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Official British Obser-ver with the Russian Armies in the Field 




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Tidings from the Tsar of Germans, 
Tidings to the Russian Tsar. 

" I will come and break your Russia, 
And in Russia I will live." 

Moody was the Russian Tsar, 
As he paced the Moscow street. 

" Be not moody, Russian Tsar, 
Russia we will never yield. 

" Gather, gather, Russian hosts ; 
William shall our captive be. 

" Cross the far Carpathian mountains ; 
March through all the German towns." 

Marching Song of the Third Army. 


For the last ten years or more I have paid long visits 
to Russia, being interested in anything that might con- 
duce to closer relations between the two countries. 
During this time the whole course of Russia's public Ufe 
has brought her far nearer to England — in particular, the 
creation of new legislative institutions, the wonderful 
economic development of the country, and the first real 
acquaintance which England has made with Russian 
culture. I always travelled to Russia through Germany, 
whose people had an inborn unintelligence and contempt 
for all things Russian, and whose Government has done 
what it could to hold England and Russia at arm's length 
from each other. I often used to wonder which of us 
Germany would fight first. 

When Germany declared war on Russia, I volunteered 
for service, and was arranging to start for Russia when 
we, too, were involved in the war. I arrived there some 
two weeks afterwards, and after a stay in Petrograd and 
Moscow was asked to take up the duty of official corre- 
spondent with the Russian army. It was some time 
before I was able to go to the army, and at first only in 
company of some twelve others with officers of the 
General Staff who were not yet permitted to take us 
to the actual front. We, however, visited Galicia and 
Warsaw, and saw a good deal of the army. After these 


journeys I was allowed to join the Red Cross organisation 
with the Third Army as an attache of an old friend, Mr. 
Michael Stakhovich, who was at the head of this organ- 
isation ; and there General Radko Dmitriev, whom I had 
known earlier, kindly gave me a written permit to visit 
any part of the firing line; my Red Cross work was in 
transport and the forward hospitals. My instructions 
did not include telegraphing, and my diary notes, though 
dispatched by special messengers, necessarily took a 
month or more to reach England; but I had the great 
satisfaction of sharing in the life of the army, where I 
was entertained with the kindest hospitality and invited 
to see and take part in anything that was doing. 

The Third Army was at the main curve in the Russian 
front, the point where the German and Austrian forces 
joined hands. It was engaged in the conquest of Galicia, 
and on its fortunes, more perhaps than on those of any 
other army on either front, might depend the issue of 
the whole campaign. We were the advance guard of the 
liberation of the Slavs, and to us was falling the role of 
separating Austria from Germany, or, what is the same 
thing in more precise terms, separating Hungary from 
Prussia. I had the good fortune to have many old 
friends in this area. My work in hospitals and the per- 
mission to interrogate prisoners at the front gave me the 
best view that one could have of the process of political 
and military disintegration which was and is at work in 
the Austrian empire. I took part in the advanced trans- 
port work of the Red Cross, visited in detail the left 
and right flanks of the army, and went to the centre just 
at the moment when the enemy fell with overwhelming 


force of artillery on this part. I retreated with the army 
to the San and to the province of Lublin. My visits to 
the actual front had in each case a given object — usually 
to form a judgment on some question on which depended 
the immediate course of the campaign. 

I am now authorised to publish my more pubUc com- 
munications, including my diary notes with the Third 
Army. I am also obhged to the Liverpool Daily Post 
and Mercury for leave to reprint my note of September 
1914 on Moscow. I think it will be seen that if we lost 
Galicia we lost it well, and that the moral superiority 
remained and remains on our side throughout. We were 
driven out by sheer weight of metal, but our troops 
turned at every point to show that the old relations of 
man to man were unchanged. The diary of an Austrian 
officer who was several times opposite to me will, I think, 
make this clear. When Russia has half the enemy's 
material equipment we know, and he does, that we shall 
be travelling in the opposite direction. 

It was a delight to be with these splendid men. I 

never saw anything base all the while that I was with the 

army. There was no drunkenness; every one was at 

his best, and it was the simplest and noblest atmosphere 

in which I have ever lived. 

Bernard Pares. 




July-August 19 14. 
While the war cloud was breaking, I was close to my 
birthplace at Dorking with my father, whom I was not 
to see again. Though eighty-one years old he was in his 
full vigour of heart, mind and body, and we were motoring 
every day among the beautiful Surrey hills. He had 
had a great life of work for others, born just after the 
first Reform Bill which his own father had helped to 
carry through the House of Commons, and stamped 
with the robust faith and vigour of the great generation 
of the Old Liberals. Like every other interest of his 
children, he had always followed with the fullest par- 
ticipation my own work in Russia, and I had everything 
packed for my yearly visit there. In London I had 
had short visits from Mr. Protopopov, a liberal Russian 
publicist, and later from the eminent leader of Pohsh 
pubUc hfe, Mr. Dmowski, than whom I know no better 
pohtical head in Europe. Both had expected war for 
years past, but neither had any idea how close it was. 
Mr. Protopopov was absorbed in a study of English 
town planning and Mr. Dmowski was correcting the \.^ 
proofs of his last article for my Russian Review, which 
he ended with the words, " The time is not yet." He 


came down and motored with us through what he called 
" the paradise of trees " — and Poland itself has some of 
the finest trees in Europe; and my father was keenly 
interested in his hopes for the future of Poland. He was 
going to the English seaside when events called him 
back to an adventurous journey across Europe, in the 
course of which he was twice arrested in Germany, the 
second time in company of his old political opponent, 
the reactionary Russian Minister of Education, the late 
Mr, Kasso. To them a German Polish sentry said 
that as a Pole he wished for the victory of Russia, for 
*' though the Russian made himself unpleasant, the 
Schwab (Swabian or German) was far more dangerous." 

When I read Austria's demands on Serbia, I felt that 
it must mean a European war, and that we should have 
to take part in it. I remember the ordinary traveller 
in a London hotel explaining to me how infinitely more 
important the Ulster question was than the Serbian. 
It was clear that the really mischievous factor was the 
simultaneous official and public support of Germany, 
who claimed to draw an imaginary line around the 
Austro-Serbian conflict and threatened war to any one 
who interfered in the war. I had long realised the 
humbug of pretending that Austria was anything dis- 
tinct from or independent of Germany; and the claim 
of the two to settle in their own favour one of the most 
thorny questions in Europe could never be tolerated by 
Russia. The Bosnian withdrawal of 1909 would, I 
knew, never be repeated, least of all by the Russian 
Emperor. The line had been crossed; it was "mailed 
fist " once too often. 


Serbia's reply showed the extreme calm and circum- 
spection both of Serbia and of Russia. Then came in 
quick succession the great days, when every one's political 
horizon was daily forced wider, when all the home 
squabbles of the different countries — the Caillaux case, 
the Russian labour troubles, and the Irish conflict, on 
which Germany had counted so much — were hurrying 
back as fast as possible into their proper background. 
There was a significant catch when the Austro-Russian 
conversations were renewed, and Germany, who had now 
come out in her true leadership, went forward to the 
forcing of war. The absurd inconsequences of German 
diplomacy reached their extraordinary culmination in 
the actual declaration to Russia. To make sure of war, 
the German ambassador in St. Petersburg received for 
delivery a formal declaration with alternative wordings 
suitable to any answer which Russia might give to the 
German ultimatum; and this genial diplomatist de- 
livered the draft with both alternative wordings to the 
Russian Foreign Minister, Mr. Sazonov. It is the last 
communication printed in the Russian Orange Book. 

The question was, how soon we should all see it. The 
news of the German declaration was in the EngUsh 
Sunday papers. Many English clergymen see virtue in 
not reading Sunday papers. I went to church. The 
clergyman began his sermon : " They tell me that the 
Sunday papers assert that Germany has declared war 
on Russia." Not a very promising beginning, but Eng- 
land was there the next minute. " If this is true," he 
went on, " and if we come into it, as we shall have to, 
we sta^" d at the end of the long period when we have 


been spoiling ourselves with riches and comfort and 
forgetting what it is to make sacrifices " ; and there 
followed an impromptu but very clear forecast of what 
was to be asked of us. 

No one will forget the great days of probation, when 
each great country in turn was called on to stand and 
give whatever it had of the best. Russia was what one 
had felt sure that she would be. The Emperor's pledge 
not to make peace while a German soldier was in Russia, 
was an exact repetition of the words of Alexander I, 
but given this time at the very beginning of the war. 
The wonderful scene before the Winter Palace showed 
sovereign and people at one; and the wrecking of the 
German Embassy was an answer of the Russian work- 
men to an active propaganda of discontent that had 
issued from its walls. Next came France's turn, her 
remarkable coolness and discretion, and the outburst of 
patriotic devotion which the President of the Chamber 
voiced in the words, " Lift up your hearts " {Haul les 
cceurs). Then the turn of the Belgians, king and people, 
and their splendid and simple devotion. And now it 
was for us to speak. 

I beheved that we were sure to come into the war, 
but it was three days of waiting and the invasion of 
Belgium that gave us a united England. The Germans 
did our job for us. It was a quick conversion for those 
who hesitated; one day, neutrality to be saved; the 
next, neutrality past saving; the next, war, and war 
to the end. When we were waiting before the post 
office for Sir Edward Grey's speech, every one was 
asking, " Have they done the right thing ? " T his was 


the atmosphere of the London streets on the night that 
we declared war. We all lived on a few very simple 
thoughts. It was clear that there must be endless losses 
and many cruel inventions, but just as clear not only 
that we had to win but that, if we were not failing to 
ourselves, we were sure to. 

I was in London before our declaration to ask what I 
could do, and was now making my last preparations for 
starting. The squalor of the great city had taken the 
aspect of a dingy ironclad at work. At the Bank of 
England, where payment could still be claimed in gold, 
I was asked the object of my journey. No one seemed 
to know about routes except Cook & Son. In the 
country the mobilisation passed us silent and unnoticed, 
except for the aeroplanes which we saw streaming south- 
wards. I saw my father in his garden for the last time, 
went to London, and there, in a confusion of little things 
and big, with a taxi piled in haste with parcels of the 
most various nature and ownership, hurried to King's 
Cross, bundled into a full third-class carriage and started 
for Russia. 

August 21. 
At King's Cross I was already almost in Russia. The 
sixty or so Russians who had come to the Dental Congress 
in London, after one sitting had been caught by the war. 
Their English hosts looked after them splendidly, and 
they themselves pooled the supplies of money which 
they happened to have on them. There were also 
several members of the Russian ballet, and other Russians 
on their way from Italy, Switzerland and France, going 



via Norway and Sweden to St. Petersburg. Our route 
of itself was a striking illustration of the great military 


(to illustrate the journeys of members of our party.) 

advantage possessed by Germany and Austria. With 
its interior lines of communication, the great German 


punching machine could measure its forces to any blow 
which it wished to deal on either side, while for any 
contact with each other the Alhes had to crawl right 
round the circumference. For this military advantage, 
however, the aggressors had sacrificed in the most evident 
way all political considerations. In a quarrel which 
Austria had picked with Serbia, Germany forced war 
on Russia for daring to. mobilise. Germany made an 
ultimatum to France at the same time, so as to make 
war with both countries simultaneously and give herself 
time to crush France before Russia could help her. For 
greater speed against France, she invaded neutral Belgium, 
thus making England an enemy and Italy a neutral. 
The absurdity became apparent when, with all this done, 
we were still waiting for the completion of the Russian 
mobilisation which was the nominal cause of the Euro- 
pean War. Hence the union of so many peoples; but 
for all that the military advantage remained. It was as 
if Europe had the stomach ache, with shooting pains in 
all directions. 

I asked a friend in the train what might be the state 
of mind of the Emperor William. He replied by quoting 
the answer of an Irishman : " He's probably thinking. 
Is there any one that I've left out ? " 

At Newcastle, the Norwegian steamer had booked at 
least forty more passengers than it could berth. I only 
got on to the boat by a special claim and had to sleep 
in a passage with my things scattered round me. All 
the corridors were taken up in this way. The Russians 
are admirable fellow-passengers : they had organised 
themselves informally under a natural leader into a 


great family. One corridor was set apart for a night 
nursery. The women received special consideration, and 
any one who had a berth was ready to give it up to them. 
One Russian, thinking I was ill, offered me his. I was 
ensconced with my back to the wall at the head of a 
staircase, and they would stop to chat as they went 
up or down. They had been greatly impressed by the 
spirit in England : the Englishman they regarded as a 
civil fellow who had better not be provoked, for if he was 
he would get to business at once and not look back till 
it was finished. They spoke very simply of themselves 
and of their little failings, and said that for this reason 
it was the greatest comfort to have England with them. 
What had impressed them most was the calm and vigour 
. with which we had faced our financial crisis. They had 
seen some of our territorial troops, whom they classed 
very high for physique and spirit. They had much to 
tell one of France and Italy, and also of insults offered 
to them or their friends when leaving Germany. There 
were outbursts of sheer hooliganism marked with a sort 
of brutal contempt for Russians, and one lady, they said, 
had the earrings torn out of her ears. Their humanity 
was shocked by all this. They had nothing but con- 
demnation for anything of the kind, from whatever side 
it came, and they were quite ready to criticise their own 
people or ours wherever there was any ground for doing so. 
The captain said to me, " We sail under the protection 
of England." We were stopped once by an English 
warship, but only for a few minutes. At Bergen I 
found new fellow-passengers, and after an evening which 
was a succession of fiords, lakes, rocky heights and 


white villages, we passed by a wonderfully engineered 
railway over the snow level and down to Kristiania. The 
Norwegians were friendly and sympathetic, the Swedes 
courteous but reserved. There had recently been un- 
veiled a frontier monument showing two brothers shaking 
hands; *and one felt that the one country would not 
move without the other. 

Between Kristiania and Stockholm I wrote an article 
on the Poles, and directly afterwards, puzzling out a 
Swedish newspaper, I read the manifesto of the Grand 
Duke Nicholas. We had with us Poles who were travel- 
ling right round to Warsaw. From Stockholm the more 
apprehensive members of our party went northward for 
the long land journey by Torneo. The rest of us risked 
the voyage across the Gulf of Bothnia. In the beautiful 
Skerries, we were at one point sent back by a Swedish 
gunboat and piloted past a mine field. I was on a 
Finnish boat, which was fair prize ; so I had an interest 
in any ship that showed itself on this hostile sea. When 
we reached Raumo, a httle improvised port in Finland, 
there was an outburst of relief for those who had come 
so far and were home again at last. All classes joined 
and enjoyed the home-coming together. The train 
picked up detachments of Russian troops on their way 
to the war. I had no seat, and went and slept or drowsed 
for an hour or two in a carriage full of soldiers. As I 
lay on a wooden bench I listened to a young peasant 
recruit with a bright clear face who was talking to his 
mother. It seemed to be a kind of fairy tale that he was 
telUng her, and the clearly spoken words mingled with 
the movement of the train : " And he went again to the 


lake, and there he found the girl, and there was the 
golden ring, the ring of parting." 


I shall not dwell on the six weeks or so that I spent 

in St. Petersburg. My time was taken up with a number 

of details and with arrangements for getting to the front. 

/ I had volunteered for the Red Cross when I was asked 

to serve as ofi&cial correspondent. 

On my arrival I saw Mr. Sazonov, who spoke very 
simply about the overdoing of the mailed fist; he was 
as quiet and natural as he always is. He was very pleased 
with the mobilisation, which he told me had been so 
enthusiastic as to gain many hours on the schedule. 
This was the account that I heard everywhere. Mr. 
N. N. Lvov, of Saratov on the Volga, one of the most 
respected public men in Russia, was at his estate at the 
time. When the news of war came, the peasants, who 
were harvesting, went straight off to the recruiting depot 
and thence to the church, where all who were starting 
took the communion ; there was no shouting, no drinking, 
though the abstinence edict had not then been issued; 
and every man who was called up, except one who was 
away on a visit, was in his place at the railway station 
that same evening. In other parts the peasants went 
round and collected money for the soldiers' families, 
and even in small villages quite large sums were given. 
The abstinence edict answered to a desire that had been 
expressed very generally among the peasants for some 
years. It was thoroughly enforced both in the country 
and in the towns. In the country the savings banks 


at once began steadily to fill, and the peasants, who would 
speak very naively of their former drunkenness, hoped 
that the edict would be permanent. In the towns some 
few restaurants were for a time still allowed to supply 
beer, but this ceased later. In all this time I only saw 
one drunken man. 

The whole country was at once at its very best. After 
a mean and confused period every one saw his road to 
sacrifice. The difference between the Russians and us 
was that while this feeling, often so acute with us, could 
often find no road, in Russia, with her conscription and 
her huge Red Cross organisation, the path was easy. 
All the life of the country streamed straight into the 
war; age limits did not act as with us; and the rear, 
including the capital, was depleted of nearly every one. 
This made one feel that no good work could be done 
here without access to the army. Nearly all my friends 
were gone off, and I was anxious to join them. 

The interval was filled with different lesser interests. 
The question of communications between the Allies was 
engaging a great deal of attention. I was a member of 
a committee at the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, 
which was working out arrangements for trade routes. 
My English friends and I also tried to plan an exchange 
of articles, asking leading Russians and Englishmen to 
write respectively in English and Russian papers. But, 
though this was felt to be important, we broke down on 
the Russian side, because those who wished to write 
for us were swept away to war work at the front. In 
the rear the most important work was the relief of the 
families left behind. This engaged a number of devoted 


workers and was soon brought into very good order both 
at St. Petersburg and at Moscow, but it was in the main 
a task for women. 

At the outset of the war the aged Premier, Mr. Goremy- 
kin, whose pohtical record was that of a benevolent 
Conservative, at once saw the need of engaging the full 
co-operation of the nation as a whole. After consulta- 
tion with public leaders the Duma was summoned. A 
few representative speeches were expected, but with a 
remarkable spontaneity not only every section of political 
opinion, but every race in the vast Russian empire took 
its part in a striking series of .declarations of loyalty 
and devotion. Each man spoke plainly the feelings of 
himself and those for whom he spoke. Perhaps no 
speeches left a greater impression than those of the 
Lithuanians and of the Jews; these last found a noble 
spokesman in Mr. Friedmann. The speeches in the Duma, 
which were circulated all over the country, were a revela- 
tion to the public and to the Duma itself; and the war 
thus had from the first a national character; it was a 
great act in the national life of Russia. 

In particular it was found that the Red Cross work 
could not possibly be organised on any basis of suspicion 
of public initiative. In the Japanese War Zemstva were 
still suspect to the Government, because they represented 
the elective principle. The Zemstva created a large Red 
Cross organisation under the admirable Prince George 
Lvov, but it worked under great difficulties. Now Mr. 
Goremykin confided the main work of the Red Cross to 
Prince Lvov and the Zemstva; and almost every one 
prominent in Zemstvo or Duma life engaged in this 


work, which gave splendid results. The later attempt 
of the reactionary Minister of the Interior, Mr. Maklakov, 
to close this organisation ended in his resignation. 

Red Cross Zemstvo work meant the nationalisation 
of Russian public life, which had so long been under 
the strong control of reactionary German influences. 
The liberation from these influences was sealed by the 
re-naming of the capital. The German name, St. Peters- 
burg, was exchanged for the Russian Petrograd. This 
was no fad. It was the fitting end to a long struggle of 
the Russian people as a whole, under a national sovereign, 
to develop itself independently of any mailed fist, to 
manage its own affairs as Russian instincts should direct. 

In Moscow in 1812 the Emperor met his people after 
the beginning of the war. Gentry offered their fives; 
merchants, with clenched fists and streaming eyes, 
offered one-third of all their substance. In 1914 the 
Emperor again went to pray with his people in Moscow, 
and the growth of a still greater Russia has only aug- 
mented those proportions, deepened the reach of that 
historic example of patriotic self-sacrifice. 

" Russia," said one of the best Russians to me, Mr. 
N. N. Lvov, " was lost in a confusion of petty quarrels 
and intrigues ; and suddenly we see that the real Russia 
is there." 

The pleasant streets of this great country city, so far 
more homelike than those of the capital, we found even 
more country-like than ever; a notable absence every- 
where of young men ; the feeling that all those who were 
left were at work somewhere together. 

In the town hall, which I have always found so 


thronged and busy, none of the chief pubhc men were to 
be seen; the work of all seemed to have passed to the 
new department opened close by for the town organisa- 
tion in connection with the Red Cross. There, after a 
long wait while numberless applicants for service passed 
us, we received an admirably short and clear explanation 
of the work for the wounded. In the same building was 
organised the care for the poor, strongly developed in 
recent years at twenty-nine local branches, and now 
working wholesale and with splendid effect for the homes 
of those who have gone to the war. 

At the Zemstvo League there was the atmosphere of 
all the years of missionary work for the people that has 
been carried on in camping conditions for so many years 
by the Zemstvo in all sorts of country corners of Russia. 
Every one was moving quietly and quickly about his 
share of the common business. At the big green baize 
table every seat was occupied — here a woman of the 
poorer class volunteering as a Red Cross sister, there a 
medical student asking for service. Small conferences 
of fellow-workers going on in all the side rooms ; and in 
the evening a common discussion of how the Zemstvo 
work could be carried further to the economic support 
of the population ; an appeal is being drawn up to go to 
every one in Russia. Here I found the excellent " twin " 
secretaries of the President of the Duma, Mr. Shchepkin 
and Mr. Alexeyev, who have done so much for friendship 
with England, and the head of the whole Zemstvo League, 
Prince Lvov, who in a few simple words gave all the 
objects of the work for the wounded, who were expected 
to number 750,000. 



Next we were taken to the chief depots. Princess 
Gagarin has given her beautiful house for one, and now 
hves in a corner of it, helping at the work. There are 
two main departments for paid work and for unpaid. 
Patterns of all the clothes, pillows, and hospital linen 
required for the wounded are sent here, and the material 
cut out is given out to 3,200 women, some of whom stand 
in a long file in the court outside. Every day the store, 
which works till midnight, is cleared for a new supply, 
and the materials prepared are packed in cases of birch 
bark for the army. In the Government horse-breeding 
department there is another great depot under the direc- 
tion of Princess O. Trubetskoy. The workers, rich and 
poor, all have their simple meals together in one of the 
working rooms. There is a large store of chemicals, and 
elsewhere a department for the supply of furniture and 
implements for the field hospitals. 

It would be hard to make those who cannot see it feel 
how intimately the Russian people now feels itself bound 
up with the English in a great common effort. The 
Rector of Moscow University, with whom I was only 
able to converse by telephone, said to me : " Tell them 
in England that we have one heart and one soul with 

Every day great numbers of wounded are brought by 
train to Moscow. By the admirable arrangements of 
Countess O. Bobrinsky, a vast number of students, 
young women, and helpers of all kinds are waiting for 
them at the Alexandrovsky station to assist in moving 
them and to supply them with refreshments. An enorm- 
ous silent crowd surrounds the white station. The owners 


of motors are waiting ready with their carriages; all 
details are in order. Three trains come in between six 
and ten o'clock. The sight is a terrible one ; faces bound 
up, limbs missing; some few have died on the journey. 
The wounded are moved quickly and quietly to the private 
carriages. As they pass through the crowd all hats are 
off, and the soldiers sometimes reply with a salute. It 
is all silent; it is the pulse of a great family beating as 
that of one man. 

October 8. 
The Emperor's visit to the Vilna was a great success. 
He rode through the town unguarded. The streets were 
crowded, the reception most cordial. The upper classes 
in Vilna are mostly Poles, a kind of Polish " enclave." 
There are several splendid Catholic churches. On the 
road to the station are gates with some revered Catholic 
images, before which all passers by remove their hats. 
There is a large Jewish trading population often hving 
in extreme poverty : for instance, sometimes in three 
tiers of cellars on,e below another. The peasants are 
mostly Lithuanians. Thus there are not many Russians 
except officials. At the beginning of war the nearness 
of the enemy was felt with much anxiety. Now there is 
an atmosphere of work and assurance. The Grand Hotel 
and several public buildings are converted into hospitals, 
where the Polish language is largely used. The Emperor 
visited all the chief hospitals, and spoke with many 
wounded, distributing medals in such numbers that the 
supply ran short. He received a Jewish deputation and 
spoke with thanks of the sympathetic attitude of the 


Jews in this hour so solemn for Russia. The general 
feeling may be described as like a new page of history. 
Among Poles, educated or uneducated, enthusiasm is 
general. This is all the more striking because in no 
circumstances could Vilna be considered as politically 
Polish. Vilna shows all the aspects of war conditions, 
but the country around is being actively cultivated. 

October lo. 
We reached the Russian headquarters as the bugle 
sounded for evening prayer. The atmosphere here is 
one of complete simplicity and homeliness. Our small 
party includes several distinguished journalists from 
most of the chief Russian papers, also eminent French, 
American and Japanese representatives of the Press. 
We found the Grand Ducal train on a side line. It was 
spacious and comfortable but simply appointed. We were 
received by the Chief of the General Staff, one of the 
youngest lieutenant-generals in the Russian army. He 
is a strongly built man with a powerful head, whose 
carriage and speech communicate confidence. He spoke 
very simply of the military conditions, of the common 
task, and of his assurance of the full co-operation of the 
public and Press. The Grand Duke then entered, his 
Ught step, bright eye and imposing stature well shown up 
by his easy cavalry uniform. Shaking hands with each 
of us, both before and after his address, he said: "Gentle- 
men, I am glad to welcome you to my quarters. I have 
always thought, and continue to think, that the Press, 
in competent and worthy hands, can do an enormous 


amount of good. I am sure you gentlemen are just the 
men who by your communications through the papers, 
telHng all that is most keenly interesting, and by your 
correct exposition of the facts, can do good both to the 
public and to us. I unfortunately and necessarily cannot 
show you all I should be perhaps glad to show, as in 
every war, and particularly in this stupendous one, the 
observing of military secrecy relative to the plan and all 
that can reveal it is the pledge of success. I have marked 
out a road on which you will be able to acquaint your- 
selves with just what is of most lively interest to all, 
and what all are anxious to" know. Allow me to wish 
you success and to express to you my confidence that by 
your work you will do all the good which is expected of 
you as representatives of the public, and will calm re- 
lations and friends and all who are suffering and anxious. 
I welcome you, gentlemen, and wish you full success." 
We were invited to join in the lunch and dinner of the 
General Staff in their restaurant car. There were no 
formalities — it was simply a number of fellow workers 
having their meals together, without distinction, just as 
in the big houses in Moscow where the making of clothes 
for the army is proceeding. A notice forbids handshak- 
ing in the restaurant, under fine of threepence for the 
wounded. I noticed a street picture of the Cossack 
Kruchkov in his single-handed combat with eleven 
German Dragoons, also a map of the front of the Allies 
in the West, but hardly any other decorations. Among 
the party there was, in accordance with the temperance 
edict, no alcohol. 


October 12. 
To-day I visited several wounded from the Austrian 
front, mostly serious cases. The first, an Upper Austrian 
with a broken leg, spoke cheerily of his wound and his 
surroundings. He described the Russian artillery fire 
as particularly formidable. His own corps had run short 
of ammunition, not of food. Another prisoner, a young 
German from Bohemia, singularly pleasing and simple, 
described the fighting at Krasnik, where he was hit in 
the leg. The battle, he said, was terrible. The Austrian 
artillery here was uncovered and was crushed. The 
Russian rifle line took cover so well that he could not 
descry them from two hundred yards in front of his own 
skirmishing line, but its firing took great effect. I saw 
also an Austrian doctor taken prisoner, and now con- 
tinuing his work salaried by the Russians. All three 
prisoners evidently felt nothing antagonistic in their 
surroundings. They struck me as men who had fulfilled 
a civic duty without either grudge or any distinctive 
national feeling. I spoke with several Russians who had 
been badly hit in their first days of fighting, especially 
at Krasnik. Here a young Jew fell in the firing line on 
a slope, and saw thence more than half of his company 
knocked over as they pressed forward. He was picked 
up next morning. A Russian described how his company 
charged a small body of Austrians, who retired precipi- 
tately to a wood but reappeared supported by three 
quickfirers which mowed down most of his company. 
All accounts agreed that the Austrians could never put 
up resistance to Russian bayonet charges. This was 


particularly noticeable in the later j&ghting. As one 
sturdy fellow put it, " No, they don't charge us, we charge 
them, and they clear out." I was most of all impressed 
by a frail lad of twenty who looked a mere boy. He was 
not wounded, and was sent back simply because he was 
worn out by the campaigning. He said, " They are firing 
on my brother and not on me. That is not right, I 
ought to-be where they all are." One feels it is a great 
wave rolling forward with one spirit driving it on. 

Many of these wounded had only been picked up after 
lying for some time on the field. I saw one heroic lady, 
a sister of mercy, who had herself carried a wounded 
officer from the firing line. Both the hospitals that I 
visited were strongly staffed. In the second, designed 
only for serious cases, and admirably equipped with 
drugs. Roentgen apparatus and operating rooms, the 
sister of the Emperor, the Grand Duchess Olga Alexand- 
rovna (who went through the full two years' preparation) 
is working as a sister of mercy under all the ordinary 
discipline and conditions of travel and work. Starting 
at the outbreak of the war, she was in time for the tre- 
mendous pressure of the great Austrian battles, when the 
hospital had to provide for three hundred patients instead 
of the expected two hundred. All the arrangements in 
these hospitals, based on fifty years' experience of Russian 
country hospital work, were carried out under the most 
difficult conditions and bore the impression of missionary 
devotion. Here, for instance, all the medicine chests 
were adapted for frequent transport; the table is also 
the travelling chest, and so on. 

The country aspect was also noticeable in an army 


bread factory which I visited. The rye bread is dried 
to a portable biscuit ; the soldier can carry a large supply 
of this biscuit and has something to eat in the firing Une 
when other provisions run short. 

Lvov [Lemherg), October 15, 

To-day, on their arrival, the Russian Governor- 
General of Galicia received the correspondents, and 
addressed us as follows — 

" I am glad, gentlemen, to meet you ; I am well aware 
of the enormous advantage that can be derived from the 
use of the Press, and am only sorry that you are to be 
for so short a time in Galicia, for I should like you to 
have had the opportunity of studying on the spot the 
difficult questions of administration : you might have 
communicated to me your impressions and suggestions — 
for in your capacity of writers you are trained critics. 
We have to deal in Galicia with various nationahties, and 
very divergent political views. 

" I shall be glad if I can be of any assistance in your 
study of the country. I have already communicated to 
various deputations, and to the public, the principles of 
my attitude toward the problems of administration, and 
have no alterations to make in my declared views. 

" Eastern GaUcia should become part of Russia. 
Western Galicia, when its conquest has been completed, 
should form part of the kingdom of Poland, within the 
empire. My policy as to the religious question is very 
definite. I have no desire to compel any one to join 
the Orthodox Church. If a two-thirds majority in any 



given village desires to conform to the Orthodox Church, 
then they should be given the parish church. This does 
not mean that the remaining third should not be free to 
remain in its former communion. I am avoiding even 
any suggestion of compulsion. The peasants pass over 
very easily to Orthodoxy ; for them the question is in no 

V way acute, indeed the so-called Uniats consider they are 
Orthodox already. But it is different for the clergy, for 
whom the question is a real one. I respect all the priests 
who have remained in their parishes, and they have not 
been disturbed. Those who have abandoned their bene- 

V fices I am not restoring : nor shall I permit the return of 
any who are associated with any political agitation against 

"A difficult question has arisen relating to Austrian 
of&cials in the town of Lvov : from persons of means they 
have now become paupers requiring assistance. Another 
question is that of credit : numbers of banks are without 
their cash, which has all been taken away to Vienna. 
These banks are sending a deputation to Petrograd to 
solicit the support of the Bank of Russia. 

" There is also the question of the police. I am waiting 
for trained policemen to be sent from Russia : it is impos- 
sible, of course, to use untrained men for administrative 
work, and meanwhile I contrive to employ the local 
Austrian police. Some magistrates have fled — we have 
to put the affairs of justice in order : I am awaiting a 
representative of the Ministry of Justice, who will examine 
the question. 

" In certain regions around Lvov, Nikolayev, Gorodok 
and other places where there has been severe fighting, 


the population has been left in a state of great distress. In 
Bukovina, however, there is little distress, except in the 
towns-, and as the crops there are good, we are importing 
food into Galicia from thence. The relief of distress is : 
being dealt with by committees, including prominent local 
residents, under the Directors of Districts, and con- 
trolled by a central committee, whose chairman is Count | 
Vladimir Bobrinsky. In cases of extreme distress it is / 
being arranged that money may be advanced to the 

" I have established in GaHcia three provinces : Lvov 
(Lemberg), Tarnopol, and Bukovina. Perhaps we may ^Z 
establish another province, following the line of demarca- 
tion of the Russian population, which on maps of Austrian '^' 
Poland is admitted to include parts of the region about 
Sanok (in central Galicia)." 

October 24. 
I have spent some days in the Austrian territory con- 
quered by the Russians. The Russian broad gauge has 
been carried some distance into Galicia, and the further 
railway communication with the Austrian gauge and 
carriages is in working order. The large waiting-rooms 
were covered with wounded on stretchers with doctors 
and sisters of mercy in constant attendance. They utter 
no sound, except in very few cases when under attention. 
One poor fellow, a bronzed and strapping lad struck 
through the lungs, I saw dying; he looked so hale and 
strong; his wide eyes kept moving as he gasped and 
wrestled silently with death; he seemed so grateful to 
those who sat with him ; he died early in the morning. 


I talked with three Hungarian privates, keen-eyed and 
vigorous. They said their men were very good with 
the bayonet and seldom surrendered, a statement which 
was confirmed by a Russian cavalry officer who had just 
returned from fighting in the passes, though it seems the 
Hungarians do not consider the war as national beyond 
the Carpathians, and they fight well because they are 
warlike and not because they like this war. The 
prisoners with whom I talked were very energetic in 
praising their treatment by the Russians, which is in- 
deed beyond praise. Everywhere they met people with 
tea, sugar, and cigarettes. One said repeatedly, " I can 
say nothing," and another said, " I cannot but wish that 
we may do as well by them in Hungary." These were 
the only Austrian prisoners in whom I have seen a 
trace of that national enthusiasm for the war which is 
so evident in all the Russian soldiers. I talked with 
two Italians, simple, friendly fellows who described their 
treatment as fulito, or very decent. 

The Slovenes and Bohemians seemed rather in a maze 
about the whole thing. A Ruthenian soldier of Gahcia 
was quite frank about it. " Of course we had to go," he 
said, but he expressed pleasure at the Russians winning 
Galicia, and even regarded it as compensation for his 

I saw off a train of Russian wounded. They were most 
brotherly and thoughtful for each other. An Austrian 
patient told me he was happy and had made great friends 
with the Russian next to him. The electric trams are 
used for ambulances, and the chief buildings are turned 
into hospitals. The biggest is in the Polytechnicum, and 


is served practically by Poles. The big Russian hospital 
of the Dowager Empress is very well equipped. The Red 
Cross organisation is in the hands of eminent public men; 
such as Homyakov, Stakhovich and Lerche, who visited 
England with the party of Russian Legislators in 1909. -— ^ 
Count Vladimir Bobrinsky, another member of that v/ / 
party, is chairman of the relief committee appointed 
by his cousin the Russian Governor-General of Galicia. 
The town is old and pleasing, set in undulating country. 
It is in excellent order. A little sporadic street firing 
was quickly suppressed. All inhabitants throughout the 
conquered territory must be at home from ten in the even- 
ing till four unless they have special permission. How well 
this rule is kept one could judge when returning from 
the station. No one was out except Russian sentries and 
Austrian policemen, who have been continued on their 
work. Otherwise one sees no signs of a conquered 

The day the Russians entered, the Polish paper issued 
its morning edition under Austrian control and its even- 
ing edition under Russian. The electric Ughting and tram- 
ways continued working and the shops remained open. 
The fighting, which was most severe, was all outside. 
But even on the sites of engagements the amount of 
damage done by artillery is limited to few places and few 
houses, and cultivation is now going on, without any signs 
of war, close up to the present front. A general order for- 
bids the leaving about of any refuse. There is no friction 
between the Little Russian peasants and the troops or 
the new administrators; but the Jews adopt a waiting 
attitude. The general position is a great credit to the 



Russians, and gives ample proof of their close kinship 
with the great majority of the conquered population. 

October 26. 

I have visited some of the battlefields of Galicia. It 
is much too early to attempt any thorough account of 
these battles; nor did the conditions of my visits make 
any complete examination possible. 

The chief harm which Germany and Austria could 
inflict in a war against Russia was to conquer Russian 
Poland, whose frontier made defence extremely difficult. 
Regarding this protuberance as a head, Germany and 
Austria could make a simultaneous amputating operation 
at its neck, attacking the one from East Prussia and the 
other from Galicia. But the German policy, which had 
other and more primary objects, precipitated war with 
France and threw the bulk of the German forces west- 
ward. Thus the German army in East Prussia kept 
the defensive, and Austria was left to make her advance 
from Galicia without support. 

The Austrian forces on this front were at first more 
numerous than the Russians. The Russians had been 
prepared to defend the line of the Bug, which would have 
meant the temporary abandonment of nearly all Poland. 
But the alliance with France and England made it both 
possible and desirable to advance, and at the battle of 
Gnila Lipa the army on the Austrian right was driven 
back beyond Lvov (Lemberg), the town falling into 
Russian hands. The next great fighting was for the 
possession of the line of the river San. 



It must be remembered that while the fighting hnes 
ran roughly from north to south, the frontier line here 
ran from east to west. Thus the left of each force occupied 
the territory of the other. The first decisive success had 
been that of the Russian left in Galicia ; but the Austrian 



.-^/ — ' 






Vr P L A N 1 

r u 

\° / 

!' --■--. 

~c / 


V /" 

6 y x.^ 

-"•-•v./f « 

\ "^.-y 

1 < ^ 




a Main Austrian impact 

b Secondary Austrian forces 

c Russian centre (retiring) 

d Russian right wing ( advancing) 


e Russian armies in Galicia (aduancing) 


left and centre were still allowed to advance further into 
Russian Poland, A double movement was then under- 
taken against them. While General Brusilov pushed 
home in southern Galicia the success already obtained 
on this side, and thus secured the Russian left flank from 
a counter-offensive, General Ruzsky, the conqueror of 
Lvov, came in on the Austrian centre at Rava Ruska, 


while other Russian armies, detached from the reserves 
standing between the Russian northern and southern 
fronts, and making good use of the advantageous railway 
connexion, arrived to the north of the Austrian left. 
Seldom has a tactical battle been planned on so large 
a scale. The Austrians, threatened at this point with 
outflanking on both sides, after several days hard defensive 
fighting, withdrew with a haste that had the character 
of a rout, and which only saved them from complete 
annihilation. Their centre, like their already beaten 
right, retired southwards toward Hungary, while their left, 
just escaping the peril of being surrounded, fell back 
rapidly in the direction of Cracow, where it was strength- 
ened by further support from Germany. Two German 
corps had already joined it, but too late to avert the 
reverse already described. The success of Brusilov at 
Gorodok (Grodek) secured to the Russians the line of 
the river San as far as Peremyshl (Przemysl). 

This series of operations, after the Russian evacuation 
of East Prussia necessitated by the strong German move- 
ments on the northern fronts, left Russia with the following 
line of defence : the Niemen, the Bobr, the Narev, the 
middle Vistula, the San (to Peremyshl) and the Carpa- 
thians. This line includes the larger part of Russian 
Poland, the city of Warsaw, and western Galicia, with 
its capital, Lvov. This line is infinitely more satisfac- 
tory than that of the Bug. Its security on the south 
depends in part on the action of Rumania, but a counter- 
offensive from Hungary has already been repulsed on this 
side. On the north, attempts of the Germans on Grodno 
and on Warsaw have been triumphantly repulsed; and 


the Russians have since fought with success along almost 
the whole line; a serious German and Austrian effort is 
to be anticipated on the middle Vistula and the San. 

I have so far visited only Galich (Halicz), the junction 
of the Stryi (Stryj) and Dniestr, and the battlefield 
of Rava Ruska. Galich was at the south of the first 
Austrian line of defence. The Dniestr here presents from 
the north-eastern side a concave front, defended by exten- 
sive wire entanglements and trenches, and, behind the 
river, by low but jutting hills. The town, which lies on 
a ledge between these hills and the river, bears the distinc- 
tive Russian character and possesses an ancient Russian 
church, now Uniat, and a remnant of an early Russian 
tower. There is no doubt of the Russian-ness of Galich ; '''' 
the only inhabitants whom one sees besides the picturesque 
Little Russians are the numerous Jews. There was nothing 
to indicate nearness of the enemy, and complete order 
prevailed, the Russian authorities being evidently chiefly 
concerned with the newness of their work and the task 
of organisation. Friendly relations were maintained be- 
tween the troops here and the inhabitants ; and the only 
violences of which there was local evidence were those 
committed by Austrian soldiers before the evacuation 
of the town. In spite of the strength of the position, no 
serious resistance was offered here. The Russians ap- 
peared unexpectedly at a point on the north of the river, 
taking in reverse the Austrian field works at this point. 
They shelled the neighbouring township with extraor- 
dinary accuracy, destroying only the houses in the middle 
and leaving standing the two churches and a third spired 
building, the town hall. The Austrians then retired 


rapidly over the bridge, which they blew up, and evacuated 

At the junction of the Dniestr and Stryi we also found 
deep trenches, some six feet deep and three feet wide. 
The tower at the bridge head, commanding a wide, flat 
outlook, had suffered but little. The railway bridge had 
been blown up. Here, too, there were no signs of serious 
resistance. At a railway junction in the neighbourhood 
there were again striking signs of the accuracy of the 
Russian artillery fire, only a distant portion of the station 
building having suffered. Close by lay a very hand- 
some French chateau belonging to the Austrian General 
Desveaux, who was connected with the Polish family of 
Lubomirski. The interior of this chateau had been 
systematically wrecked by the Little Russian peasants 
of the locality, the top torn off the piano, family portraits 
defaced, sofa and chairs destroyed, and the bare floor 
covered with a thick litter of valuable sketches and 
pictures, among which I noticed a map of the Austrian 
army manoeuvres of 1893. I heard here and in other 
places of the violences committed against the peasants 
by the Austrian troops on their passage, the inhabitants 
being often left entirely destitute. The Ruthenian troops 
in the Austrian army were in a very difiicult position : in 
several cases they fired in the air; and the attacking 
Russians would sometimes do the same, on which numbers 
of the Little Russians would come over to them. The 
Cossacks who preceded the Russian army offered no 
violence here, I was told, except where villagers told them 
untruly that the Austrian troops had left the village ; with 
such cases they dealt summarily. They were also some- 


times drastic, though not necessarily violent, with the 
local Jews, who in Galicia have held the peasants in the 
severest bondage, leaving only starvation wages to the 
tenants of their farms and exacting daily humiliations of 

My examination of these questions could only be very 
short; but the general picture obtained was, I think, in 
the main correct, because it was confirmed by much that 
I have heard from the soldiers of both sides; and it is 
clear that the Russians considered themselves to be at 
home among the Ruthenians of Galicia, whose dialect 
many of them are able to talk with ease. One thing was 
clear : namely, that there was no friction in the parts 
which I visited, except with the Jews, and that life was 
going on as if the war were a thousand miles away instead 
of almost at one's doors. 

Our visit to Rava Ruska presented much greater mili- 
tary interest ; we drove round the south, east, and north 
front of the Russian attack on this little town, and very 
valuable explanations were given by an able officer of 
the General Staff. On the southern front, near the station 
of Kamionka Woloska, where there were lines of trenches, 
the deep holes made by bursting Russian shells and some- 
times filled with water, lay thick together. 

The eastern front was more interesting. Here there 
were many lines of rifle pits, Austrian, Russian, or Austrian 
converted into Russian. The Austrian rifle pits were 
much shallower and less finished than the Russian, which 
were generally squarer, deeper and with higher cover. 
An officer's rifle pit just behind those of his men showed 
their care and work for him, as was also indicated in 


letters written after the battle. Casques of cuirassiers, 
many Hungarian knapsacks, broken rifles, fragments 
of shrapnel, potatoes pulled up, and such oddments as 
an Austrian picture postcard, were to be found in or near 
the rifle pits. These wide plains, practically without 
cover, were reminiscent of Wagram. A high landmark 
was a crucifix on which one of the arms of the figure was 
shot away; underneath it was a " brother's grave " con- 
taining the bodies of 120 Austrians and 21 Russians. 
Another cross of fresh-cut wood marked the Russian 
soldiers tribute to an of&cer : ." God's servant, Gregory." 
Close to one line of trenches stood a village absolutely 
untouched, and in the fields between stood a picturesque 
group of villagers at their field work, one in an Austrian 
imiform and two boys in Austrian shakos. 

The hottest fight had been on the north-eastern front. 
Here, after a wood and a fall of the ground, there came 
a gradual bare slope of a mile and a half crowned by 
two Austrian batteries which lay just behind the crest. 
This ground had been disputed inch by inch and was 
seamed with some five or six fines of rifle pits. At one 
point three Russian shells fired from about due east had 
fallen plump on three neighbouring rifle pits, and frag- 
ments of uniform all round gave evidence of the wholesale 
devastation which they had worked. All the ground was 
cut up with deep shell pits, and this place, which was 
a kind of angle of the defending li ^e, must have become 
literally untenable. The pits for the Austrian guns still 
contained a broken wheel and other relics, and close by 
was a cross made of shrapnel. 

The impressions which most defined themselves from 


this battlefield were the almost entire absence of cover, 
the exposed position of the rifle pits, the deadliness of 
the Russian artillery, the toughness of the resistance 
offered, and lastly the thunder of cannon from some thirty 
miles away, which was sounding in our ears all the time 
of our visit to the field of Rava Ruska. 

We did not pursue our journey further along the 
northern positions. In the market place we saw an angry 
scramble of a large number of Jews over some sacks of 
flour ; and in a wood outside we passed a strong, masterful 
old Jew with dignified bearing striding silently with his 
two sons over his land, a sight which is hardly to be seen 
in Russia. The Jewish land-leasers here sometimes take 
ten-elevenths of the profits, as contrasted with the two- 
thirds which the leaseholder takes in Russia. Distant 
hills to the north marked the old frontier of Russia. 

From narratives of soldiers a few characteristics of all 
this fighting may be added. The attack was throughout 
delivered by the Russians, even where their numbers are 
inferior. The men are full of the finest spirit, and they 
have the greatest confidence in their artillery, though 
the proportion of field guns to a unit is less numerous on 
the Russian side than on the German or Austrian. When 
given the word to advance, the Russians feel that they 
are going to drive the Austrians from the field and go 
forward with an invincible rush. They say that less 
resort is made to the bayonet by the Austrians and by the 
Germans. In the rifle fire of their enemies they find, to 
use the expression of one of them, " nothing striking," 
the one thing that commands their respect is the heavy 
artillery, but the Russian field artillery has had a marked 


advantage. Small bodies of Austrians have made re- 
peated use of copses to draw advancing Russian companies 
on to their quick-firing guns, which have sometimes done 
deadly work. Cavalry has played but an insignificant 
part in the fighting. 

But the most impressive thing of all is the extraordinary 
endurance of the men in the trenches. It is a common 
experience for a man to be five to eight days in the 
trenches in pouring rain, almost, or sometimes altogether 
without food, then perhaps to rush on the enemy, to fall 
and see half his comrades fall, but the rest still going 
forward, to lie perhaps through a night, and then to the 
hospital to lose a limb : and yet, spite of the reaction, 
such men are not only patient and affectionate to all 
who do anything for them, but really cheerful and con- 
tented, often literally jovial and always in no doubt of 
the ultimate issue. 

There are no two accounts of the spirit in the Russian 
army. One feels it as a regiment goes past on foot pr 
packed into a train, with one private tuning up an in- 
definite number of verses and the rest falling into parts 
that give all the solemnity of a hymn. It draws every- 
thing to it; so that no one seems to feel he is living 
unless he is getting to the front; the talk of all those 
who are already at work, whether officers or men, is 
balanced and confident, and all little comforts are 
shared simply as among brothers. I saw a little boy 
of twelve with a busby looking as large as himself, an 
orphan who performed bicycle tricks in a circus, and had 
now persuaded a passing regiment to let him come with 
them, and seemed to have found his family at last. 


All the life of Russia is streaming into the war, and 
never was the Russian people more visible than it is now 
in the Russian army. 

October 30. 

I have spent some days in Warsaw and have examined 
the scenes of the recent fighting as far out as beyond 
Skiemewice. The Russian river Une of defence ran along 
the Niemen, Bobr, Narew, middle Vistula and San. The 
Germans had not previously seriously tested the strength 
of the centre of this line, and Russian reports issued had 
so far only spoken of a northern and a southern front. 

Warsaw lay beyond the defensive river line. A rapid 
seizure of the city before winter set in would have greatly 
strengthened the Prussian northern front and have en- 
dangered the Russian occupation of Galicia. It would 
also have created a moral effect on the Poles and might 
have served as a support to any proposals to negotiate. 

The Germans advanced principally from the south- 
west, a region largely left in their hands. German army 
corps reached a line south-east of Blonie, and at Pruszkow 
they were little more than six miles from Warsaw. The 
cannonade shook the windows in the city. German 
aeroplanes dropped bombs near the railway bridge, Etat 
Major and elsewhere, killing over a hundred persons but 
not achieving any military object. The population were 
much exasperated, and many went out to the scene of 
the fighting. The brunt of the defence fell on two 
Russian corps, especially on one containing Siberian 
troops which had to oppose three German corps. Splendid 
work was done at Pruszkow and also by a Siberian regi- 


ment at Rakitna. Here the Germans, covered by woods 
and gardens, delayed the Russian advance and placed 
machine guns on the roof of a high church. The in- 
habitants say that the Siberians long refrained from 
returning the fire from the church. The regiment lost 
its colonel and many officers and 275 men, but held good 
till reinforced. Several Russian corps arrived, and the 
Russians then drove the Germans back in successive 
rearguard engagements which lasted for eighteen days. 
Another regiment specially distinguished itself at Kazi- 
mierz and received a telegram from the Commander-in- 
Chief, congratulating it on a brilliant bayonet attack. 
Two days ago it drove back the enemy with the bayonet 
through a wood, inflicting heavy loss. The Germans 
retired rapidly in the night south-westward. The country 
up to several miles west and south of Lowicz and Skieme- 
wice has now been recovered. 

The Germans in these operations seized provisions and 
some valuables and committed some minor indignities, 
but the country has in no way an aspect of devastation. 
The population is strongly for Russia and offers every 
service to the Russian soldiers. In Warsaw great en- 
thusiasm prevails, with a very striking difference from 
the attitude before the war and the Grand Duke's appeal. 
The Germans during their withdrawal made clean work 
of bridges, railways, and stores. There was every sign of 
a deliberate and well-executed retreat. Fewer prisoners 
were taken than in the case of the Austrians, the wounded 
being mostly carried away. The Russian artillery 
worked with great precision and effect, and the Russian 
infantry, after artillery preparation, attacked throughout. 


There is no sign of any likelihood of a further German 
aggressive on this side before winter, but there is always 
the possibility of an early conflict southward, where the 
Russians need to secure and complete their conquest of 
Galicia, and the enemy have to guard their base of joint 
action between Germany and Austria. 

October 30. 

My visits to the scenes of fighting in the Warsaw area 
have been of interest. The main scene of the most 
critical fighting, Pruszkow, we did not visit. The 
Germans tried to force their way up here from the south, 
close to the Vistula, and got to within some nine miles 
from Warsaw. If they had captured the town (about 
900,000 inhabitants, of whom 300,000 are Jews), and 
occupied the Vistula bridges, they would have established 
an enormous political and "military advantage, which 
could not have been reversed without the greatest diffi- 
culty. Though Warsaw was beyond their line of defence, 
the Russians made every effort to hold it. 

We visited a point in the centre of the line of defence, 
where the Russians held good under heavy losses ; their 
rifle pits were close up to a copse and gardens, and they 
had tried to secure a footing even closer in. From thence 
their line ran in a convex curve to Rakitna. Here their 
artillery had battered in the sides of the lofty and im- 
pressive church, leaving standing the woodwork of the 
roof and two irregular pinnacles. The Germans fired 
from this church; they had confined several of the in- 
habitants in the vaults. The buildings near the church 
were reduced to ruins. Close up against the village lay 


graves of the attacking Siberian regiment, marked by 
lofty well-cut orthodox crosses, the men lying together 
under a vast regular mound and Colonel Gozhansky and 
six of his officers under separate crosses at the base, while 
at the head stood one great cross for all the dead of the 
regiment. The inscriptions were throughout in almost 
identical language, ending : " Sleep in peace, hero and 
sufferer." In a small garden close by, the Germans had 
buried their dead so rapidly that some of them were still 
uncovered. On two neighbouring crosses they had paid 
their tribute to " six brave German warriors " and to 
" six brave Russian warriors." Through a great hole 
in the ruined church one caught sight of a crucifix, un- 
touched but surrounded with marks of shot in the wall. 
In the neighbouring township of Blonie, the town hall had 
been set on fire. 

Blonie, which was the northern point of the line of 
battle, lies about eighteen miles due west of Warsaw; 
from thence runs an excellent broad chaussie, embanked 
and lined with poplars, going straight westward towards 
the frontier. At Sochaczew the high bridge over the 
river was broken off clean at both ends and the central 
supports entirely destroyed, but there were few other 
marks of war. At Lowicz the bridge had been destroyed 
and, as at Sochaczew and Skiernewice, had been very 
rapidly repaired by the pursuing Russians. Lowicz 
lies in flat country, through which the rivers make deep 
furrows. It is a clean and picturesque little place, 
with a symmetrical central square flanked by large 
buildings and with the fine parish church at the western 
end. The Poles of this part wear very distinctive 


national costumes ; the women have skirts in broad and 
narrow vertical stripes, with orange, or sometimes red, 
as the foundation of colour, the narrow stripes being 
usually black, purple and yellow; round their shoulders 
they wear what look like similar skirts, fastened with 
ribbons at the neck, and they have variegated aprons, 
in which the foundation colour of the dress is absent; 
the general impression in the fields or on the sky line is 
of a mass of orange. The old men wear grizzled grey 
overcoats and broad-brimmed hats, and the younger 
men elaborate and tight-fitting costumes that suggest a 
groom of the eighteenth century, or loose zouave blouses 
and trousers of blue or other colours. Houses in the 
villages are spacious and plastered white, with sometimes 
a certain amount of decoration, usually in blue. At 
Lowicz there were some marks of war. My host for the 
night, an old soldier from Orenburg who had served 
under Skobelev, spoke with indignation of the recent 
German occupation; they had taken all the supplies 
that they could find. But there were no signs of any 
permanent occupation, and the German requisitions 
could not have been very thorough, as one saw many 
geese, pigs and, above all, very fine horses in this part, 
and the inhabitants had quite settled down again to their 
ordinary occupations. From such accounts as I have 
read of the conditions in Germany, I should think 
that one would see there fewer young and middle- 
aged men and less field work going on than in this 
no-man's land that has lain between the two hostile 
lines of defence and has been traversed by each army 
in turn. 


From Lowicz to Skiernewice there runs south-westward 
a chaussee and also a more direct road that passes through 
an area of sand and mud. Napoleon used to say that in 
his campaign of Poland (1807) he had discovered a fifth 
element — mud. There is no other obstacle, the broad 
undulating plains suggesting parts of the north of France ; 
combining lights and shades, they offer scope for the 
artist, and the long lines of well-to-do villages have a 
pleasing effect that is enhanced by the graceful local 
costumes. The peasants are well built and good featured, 
often with a military air and carriage; their manners 
are excellent, and their intercourse with the Russian 
soldiers is both courteous and cordial. They were at any 
time ready to come and help in the frequent breakdowns 
of our motors, and I noticed, to my surprise, after ex- 
periences of other years in Warsaw, that they felt no 
difficulty in understanding Russian and in making them- 
selves intelligible to us. At some points on our road 
there were marks of rearguard fighting, and as we were 
told, two or three wounded, but we saw hardly any 
prisoners, except a body of Landwehr men, and no 
trophies. At the village of Mokra (which means " damp ") 
the houses still bore the ordinary German chalk marks 
assigning the billets to given numbers of men. At 
Skiernewice the coal stores at the station had been fired 
and were still burning : but the town was comfortably 
held by the Russians, and we found no difficulty in the 
matter of supplies and quarters. Skiernewice will be 
remembered as one of the last stopping places in the 
Russian empire on the road from Moscow to Berlin, 
and also as a former meeting place of the three emperors. 


It has great preserves for pheasants, which are only 
touched during the visits of the Sovereign. There is the 
usual central square of Polish houses, and here, as in 
Sochaczew, the Jews were in evidence, though they have 
been removed from some military centres where they 
have given assistance to the enemy. From Skiemewice 
we travelled a considerable distance south-westwards, 
passing over a fine military position carefully prepared 
by the Germans, and commanding a view of some 
ten miles to the north-east, but abandoned without 
any sign of resistance. At every point we met the 
picturesque - looking peasants returning to their now 
recovered homes. 

At a low-lying village we saw vedettes riding to and 
fro, trains of supplies, vans of the Red Cross being loaded 
with wounded, and in front of the poor thatched cottages 
a Hne of deeply hollowed trenches, from which rose a 
colonel, a simple homely man in workday uniform, to 
offer us part of the repast. There was the strong family 
feeling typical of any gathering of Russians. We passed 
along the line chatting with the men; a young colonel 
galloped up to invite us to visit his guns ; but we turned 
to a nearer battery, of which the old commander did us 
the honours. These men were from a military province 
in the heart of Russia, and their faces passed into a broad 
friendly grin as they stood to their guns for us, sat to 
be photographed at their tea-drinking, and told the story 
of their last fighting. They had been firing for all the 
last two days. At about half a mile lay a copse on a 
hill, at first held by the Germans, and behind it a long 
wooded ridge near which were German rifle pits. The 


German artillery put up a cross fire from both sides. 
Their shells had done very little damage. The Russian 
infantry charged up the nearer slope and drove the 
Germans with the bayonet through the copse. Here 
there were more than three hundred German dead; 
among them boys of thirteen and fourteen, whose soldiers' 
pay-books gave their ages. One officer remained stand- 
ing just as the blow had caught him. In the night the 
Germans had rapidly withdrawn and were now several 
miles away. 

On a bare slope to the right of the battery stood an 
infantry regiment, which in eighteen days' fighting had 
been reduced to about half its strength. As we ap- 
proached, we saw it drawn up under arms and in a 
hollow square. A priest was preaching. He was arrayed 
in rich blue vestments, which showed up in the dull 
earthen colour of the slope and of the soldiers. His 
strong handsome features and long hair recalled pictures 
of Christ. His deep voice carried without effort to the 
ranks in the rear. As I approached, he was saying, 
" Never forget that wherever you are and whatever is 
happening to you the eye of God is on you and watching 
over you." After the sermon followed prayers, a band 
of soldiers at his side, led by a tall Red Cross soldier, 
joining in the beautiful other- world chants of the Eastern 
Church; they were trained singers and sang just as in 
church, without any accompanir^ent and with perfect 
balance and rhythm, the tall soldier conducting them 
very quietly with his hand. At one point, the prayers 
for the Emperor, all crossed themselves. All fell on 
their knees again at the prayers for the Russian troops, 


for the armies of the AlHes and that God should give 
them every success. Once more all knelt at the prayers 
for their slain comrades, while the beautiful " Eternal 
memory " was chanted by the little choir. The rest of 
the service was standing; the men remained firm and 
motionless, in fixed and silent attention. There were 
impressive moments when the priest placed a httle 
Gospel, bound in blue velvet, on an improvised lectern 
of six bayonets crossed in front of him, and when turning 
to all sides shadowed the men with a little gold cross 
which he waved slowly with both hands. After the 
service the Colonel stepped forward and with a quick 
movement called for the salute to the flag, and every 
musket was raised with a dull rattle that sounded out 
over the vast open space under the grey sky. Next 
he read out in a loud clear voice a message from the 
Commander-in-Chief congratulating the regiment on the 
brilliant bayonet attack at Kazimierz, and called out : 
" For Tsar and country, Hurrah I " This cheer rose like 
low thunder and died away in distant peals. Some 
twenty to thirty men had received the cross of St. George 
for personal bravery, and these, at a word from the 
Colonel, stepped out and filed by with quick springing 
step, circling round the priest and the piled bayonets, then 
stopped in front of him to kiss the Cross which he pressed 
in turn to the lips of each. Then the whole regiment 
fell into movement and swung round the open square, 
the cross movements, carried out slowly and in perfect 
order, giving the appearance of a labyrinth. One could 
not tell which way the men would turn, but they swung 
round with precision and came forward with the strength 


of a great river. An officer had asked me to carry a 
postcard message for him, and while he wrote " I am 
aHve and well " and a short greeting, we were caught in 
the current, which parted to each side of us at the words 
of the kneeling writer, " Brothers, don't come over me." 
As each section passed the saluting point, the officer 
ordered the salute, the Colonel replied with a word of 
congratulation, and the men gave a short sharp cry ex- 
pressing their readiness for work. There was a remark- 
able regularity and springiness in the march of the men, 
and their motion was that of an elemental force moving 
well within its strength, like the flow of the Neva. After 
the march past the Colonel handed to us a whole bundle 
of postcards for home. 

We passed from the bare grey slope with all this strong 
life on it and drove forward to the next village, lately 
held by the Germans and now abandoned. Here we saw a 
very different spectacle, showing the effectiveness of the 
Russian artillery. The houses were for the most part 
long and spacious, built of huge stones with a super- 
structure of wood and roof of thatch. Some of them 
still remained intact ; but most had only the stone basis 
standing. Everywhere were groups of the bright orange- 
coloured peasants, just returned, and in one house stood 
an old woman making her first examination of her 
devastated home. We stood in the slush on the dirty 
lane listening to the last report of a mounted staff officer, 
and as the Germans were evidently retreating rapidly 
we turned back to Skiernewice. We had followed the 
Russian advance some seventy miles from Warsaw. 

It is well to recognize the value of these operations. 


The Germans would obtain obvious advantages from 
a rapid seizure of Warsaw. So far western Poland, 
lying between the two military lines of defence, had been 
a kind of no-man's land, and as the main operations were 
to north or to south, the Germans had made here a number 
of raids and had secured partial and transitory successes. 
They now, as at Grodno, tasted the actual Russian line 
of defence. The Russian forces in the centre were much 
stronger than anticipated, and making a great effort, 
not only repulsed the attack but made any real success 
on the German side impossible. The political aspect of 
the attempt and the character of its failure are illustrated 
by the following incident. The King of Saxony, whose 
ancestors were kings of Poland, had sent a court official 
with presents and decorations for those who should take 
part in the capture of Warsaw, and this official was 
himself captured by Cossacks after the repulse. The 
Germans, on the failure of their attempt, withdrew 
quickly but in good order, leaving few prisoners and 
spoils of war. The country was not devastated. There 
had been, after the repulse, some disgraceful incidents, e.g. 
they had made a Polish landowner and his servants stand 
in the Russian line of fire : and clocks and ornaments 
were taken away. But I have no evidence of any 
atrocities such as those in Belgium, and these could hardly 
have escaped observation. The German troops seem to 
have been partly reservists, with whom excesses are less 
likely. The signs indicate that the retreat is definitive, 
and such is the inference from the reported incendiarism 
at Lodz, which is full of German factories. 


November 4. 

Trustworthy eyewitnesses speak with great enthusiasm 
of the conduct of the Russian troops on the Upper Vis- 
tula, where more serious fighting is to be expected. 
The influence of the Commander-in-Chief has produced 
the selection of capable commanders everywhere, and the 
subordinate officers are full of spirit and energy. Here 
again the German heavy artillery commands respect, but 
the Russian field guns and howitzers are served with 
remarkable precision and alertness and meet with great 
success. The complete confidence of the Russian infantry 
in the effectiveness of the Russian artillery is a striking 
and general feature. The men are always keen for 
bayonet work, which the enemy consistently avoids. 

The Russian cavalry has, by different accounts, shown 
great dash and has been handled with dash and skill. In 
a raid beyond the river on the enemy's communications, 
a Russian cavalry division came on Germans in the dusk, 
and the troopers with the baggage column in the centre 
left the baggage and, charging, completely routed the 
enemy. The division several times got into the German 
forces, taking many prisoners. Large numbers of stragglers 
have been taken by the Russians. A Hungarian division 
put up a good resistance for three days and then 

German officers pay ridiculously small sums for their 
keep ; for example, two marks for two days' keep of three 
officers, and they appropriate valuables and take all stores. 
The population in southern Poland is in a state of pro- 
found distress, and the Russians are organising extensive 


relief work. The Germans compel captured officers to 
work with the men, spit at them and drive them about 
bare to the waist. 

A competent eyewitness in East Prussia says that the 
German communications are very good, and that under- 
ground telephones are frequently discovered. Large 
forces are in close contact here, and the Russian counter- 
stroke has much impressed the enemy. Our men bear 
fatigue and privations with great endurance. 

The Polish population shows the greatest alacrity in 
assisting the Russian troops both in the country and in 
the towns. All Poles now readily speak Russian. Yester- 
day the Warsaw Press entertained the Russian and foreign 
correspondents. There was a distinguished gathering, 
and both Russians and Poles spoke with striking frank- 
ness and feeling. One eminent Polish leader, Mr. Dmow- 
ski, said that all the blood shed between the two nations 
was drowned in the heavy sacrifices of the present com- 
mon struggle. Polish politicians are keenly enthusiastic 
for France and Great Britain, and are studying the 
development of closer economic and other relations with 
Great Britain. 

The Russian advance is now much more complete in 
southern Poland and is better lined up with the forces 
in Galicia. This advance tends to secure the Russian 
position on the northern frontier, where any German 
initiative becomes daily more hazardous. The ordinary 
fresh yearly Russian contingents mean an increase of 
half a million men. The arrangements for the wounded 
provide, if necessary, for over a million. 


November 8. 

I have just made a journey over the country lying 
between Warsaw and Cracow, where the Russian advance 
is now proceeding. My previous communication spoke 
of the original line of Russian defence along the Bug, 
and the later and more advanced line along the Vistula 
and the Narew. Present events are rapidly converting 
the new advance west of Warsaw from a counterstroke 
into a general transference of the sphere of operations and 
a most valuable rectification of the whole Russian line. 

In East Prussia the Germans are being slowly driven 
back by a double turning movement. Further westward 
the northern frontier of Poland is well secured. The 
Russians have now occupied and hold firmly Plock, Lodz, 
Piotrkow, Kielce and Sandomir, as also Jaroslaw and all 
the other passages of the river San. A glance at the map 
will show the importance of this line, which is only a 
stage in the general advance. 

On the repulse of the German attack on Warsaw, the 
enemy was pressed back south-westward in three weeks 
of continuous fighting. Near Ivangorod, a famous 
Caucasian regiment forced the passage of the Vistula 
under the fire of German heavy artillery. The advance 
guard crossed the broad stream — here unbridged — in 
skiffs and ferry-boats, and held good under a devastating 
cross fire till the construction of a pontoon bridge allowed 
the passage of reinforcements. The supports coming 
along the river bank from Ivangorod had to advance 
through flooded swamps almost breast high. Their 
footing was made good at Kosienice, where desperate 


fighting took place. Later they made a series of brilHant 
attacks in forests, after which the Germans were thrown 
back on Radom. The general advance drove the enemy 
back beyond Radom and Ilza. 

At the small town of Szydlowiec the German com- 
mandant threatened, as the Russians approached, to blow 
up the remarkable town hall, in Florentine style, con- 
spicuous for thirty miles around, and the beautiful Gothic 
church, six hundred years old. The inhabitants offered 
to ransom them by a contribution of 5000 crowns. The 
offer was accepted ; but twenty minutes later the town 
hall was blown up, and the church followed at the end of 
another quarter of an hour. This story was narrated to 
me with great indignation by the inhabitants. 

Some miles in front of Kielce the Austrians — now 
abandoned by the Germans, who had retired — made a 
stand near Lesczyna on a high sandy position with a large 
fir copse in its centre and extending over a wide front. 
The attack on it was delivered by a Russian corps includ- 
ing a division mainly composed of Poles, and fell chiefly 
on an Austrian Polish regiment from Cracow. The 
assailants kept up a fire all day, and finally rushed the 
enemy's rifle pits with hurrahs. The Austrians left 
Kielce at night and in the early morning — some were 
captured by the Russians, who came in close upon their 
heels. They were pursued for some miles, and brought 
to action again later on the same day. Next day the 
Russian artillery was also heard to the south-east of 
Kielce. The Germans had retreated in the direction of 
All this three weeks of fighting was in the characteristic 



Russian style : bayonet attacks were repeated for two 
hours; small units eagerly attacked larger ones of the 
enemy. In general the Russians outflanked the enemy, 
but in one case they broke through his centre. Often 
the Russian artillery caused him to decamp in the night. 

Officers describe the enthusiasm of the rank and file 
as growing if possible greater. It is clearly visible in the 
rear of the army, and shown by the energy with which 
transport is being pushed up. The enemy has thoroughly 
destroyed the bridges, but they are quickly repaired, and 
meanwhile the ardour of the troops and of the transport 
trains minimises all delay. 

It may be noted that the German rifle fire is superior 
to the Austrian. Some Austrian regiments have been 
found to be officered by Germans. The Austrian Slavonic 
regiments resist well for two or three days, but then break 
up and surrender in large bodies — they have sometimes 
asked for guides to take them to the Russian lines. 

The inhabitants speak well of the Austrians, but with 
indignation of the Germans. Prisoners confirm the bad 
relations between the two allied armies, and Austrians and 
Germans when captured have to be kept apart. 

I saw at Kielce ample evidence of the enthusiasm of 
the Poles for the Russian cause ; they show the greatest 
courtesy and kindness, especially in the villages. I am 
told on good evidence that at Kalisz, when a German 
soldier defaced a portrait of the Tsar, a Pohsh official 
struck him in the face, and for this was bound to a tele- 
graph post for two days, and then taken down and shot. 
All evidence of prisoners shows that the Russians are 
treating enemies as well as their own comrades — often 


I have seen them giving the captives the best of 

The following interesting proclamation was posted to- 
day by the commander of a Russian army corps at 
Radom, where the Germans had remained for over a 

" Poles ! Our wounded officers and soldiers, and also 
our prisoners who have fallen into the hands of the 
enemy and have passed through the town or province 
of Radom, speak with deep gratitude of your cordial 
treatment of them. You have tended the wounded, fed 
the starving, and clothed and sheltered from the enemy 
those escaping from captivity. You have given them 
money and guided them to our lines. Accept from me 
and all ranks of the army entrusted to me our warm and 
hearty thanks for all your kindness, for your Slavonic 
sympathy and goodness." 

The theatre of the present operations is of crucial 
importance. Here Austria and Germany join hands. 
Serious reverses would compel them either to retreat on 
diverging lines, or to expose one or other of their capitals. 
Either event would have political consequences of the 
highest military significance. 

November 9. 
I left Warsaw on November 2 by motor and arrived 
without incident at Radom (sixty miles to south-south- 
west). The town was held by the Germans for a month 
and four days. They made themselves objectionable to 
the inhabitants, taking all suppHes on which they could 



lay hands ; but I came on no evidence of any particular 
outrages. The inhabitants showed the heartiest friend- 
ship to the Russians, as is recognised in the proclamation 

of the Commanding General which I have already 
quoted. Nothing could exceed the care and thought- 
fulness of my own Polish hosts ; the Russian soldiers, for 
instance the one who accompanied our party, were on 
friendliest terms of intercourse with the Poles, and the 


objection which the Poles previously had to speaking 
Russian had vanished as if by magic. It should be noted 
that the inhabitants of all this area are particularly 
strong in Polish patriotism. Beyond Radom the ex- 
cellent high road to Cracow, running on an embankment 
and lined with poplars, was broken at every bridge and 
cut up for some distance by a road plough. Side tracks 
had been made at every necessary point. We travelled 
in the midst of troops all hurrying forward to participate 
in the taking of Kielce. They moved slowly along the 
road in straggling groups like an enormous family on its 
way to a huge picnic, but the unity of each regiment is 
never lost and the most remarkable impression which one 
receives is that of destination — of movement to " the 
appointed place." Every artificial barrier was little more 
than an occasion for thought and effort : the Russian 
peasant, everywhere accustomed to obstacles of this 
kind, has all sorts of ready and resourceful ways of sur- 
• mounting them; and they call forth all his brotherly 
instincts of joint work and mutual help. Any number 
of men run up from their loose ranks to push a motor 
or cart or transport wagon over a marshy stream, and 
the travellers call back from their vehicle, " Thank you, 
brothers." It is like a current that slows up and takes 
thought against some barrier, but whose general move- 
ment seems not even to be checked. Some of the side 
passages looked very bad indeed, but every one somehow 
got through, no matter what the size of their carriage. 
Often at such points there were companies that rested 
along the grassy banks of the road ; in other places one 
saw, to the side, great parks of small grey wagons. 


Those carrying straw for the bivouacs were in front; 
but sometimes one came upon a resting battery. The 
brotherhood between officers and men is another notable 
feature of the march of a Russian army. 

At Szydlowiec, seventeen miles south of Radom, I saw 
the first signs of devastation, but these were not the 
work of the advancing Russian artillery but had been 
perpetrated deliberately by the retreating Germans. The 
tower of the town hall was crumbled to ruins. The church 
is not large, but has a high pointed roof, of which the 
open woodwork still remains, with the cupola as if caught 
astride of it in its falL Inside, the beautiful painted inner 
roof is mutilated, but the monuments of the ancient 
Szydlowiecki family, and notably the graceful figure of 
a sleeping woman, have for the most part escaped. The 
floor was covered with rubbish and the damage is esti- 
mated at a very high figure. While I was in the church, 
the dignified old priest entered with six young men, who 
knelt with faces full of reverence before they set to work 
to clear the nave of rubbish. The Pole who told me the 
story of the ruin of the church told it quietly but with 
flashing eyes. He said the inhabitants asked rather 
that the whole town should be destroyed and the church 
be left standing. The only excuse was a few shots from 
the advancing Russian infantry and artillery, and there 
was no regular fighting there, the Germans making no 
resistance and retreating too quickly to blow up the castle. 

After Szydlowiec, the Cracow road on its way to Kielce 
(twenty-seven miles) passes through country of quite a 
different character. A long rise, and we were now close 
up among the troops. At one point the long train of 


wagons branched away to a village on our left, and out 
of it by another road there came in another stream of 
fighting men. • We passed some two hundred Austrian 
prisoners in their blue shakos and uniforms; they were 
all Poles, with hardly any guard but giving no trouble; 
one of them courteously stepped out of the ranks to pick 
up my field glass, which I had dropped. These men, who 
talked freely to us, did not look at all miserable, only 
confused. The Russians behaved to them as to their 
own people. 

At last we came to the hills above Kielce. It was now 
clear what had happened. Troops of all kinds were 
streaming into the town and all resistance was over. On 
the main street we were stopped for a few moments by a 
general and his staff. At the chief hotel large parties 
of officers were sitting down to lunch. All the streets 
were full of movement, but with no sign of any conflict 
or friction — horses, dismounting messengers, soldiers 
eating, talking or resting, the townspeople standing 
watching, satisfying the requirements or questions of the 
newcomers or joining in their talk. We had no difficulty 
in securing good rooms, and our lunch was as good as it 
would have been in Warsaw. Many of the troops had 
passed or were passing on along the broad road in the 
direction of Cracow. Mounting the high hill south-west 
of the town we could see the scattered stream of men, 
horses and carts going forward past pleasant houses, 
hills and villages, and the thunder of artillery came to 
us from beyond a ridge in the distance. Our plans, how- 
ever, prevented us from going further. At the hotel the 
regiment which had done most of the fighting was 


sitting at dinner and singing the regimental song and 
the national hymn. The song began with a Mahometan 
word, " God has given us victory." 

Next day, November 4, with villagers guiding and 
recounting to us, we went over the scene of the last 
Austrian resistance about six miles east of Kielce. A 
long curving line of rifle pits ran over a broad high front ; 
sometimes the hne ran along the inside of an extensive 
copse of small fir trees; some of the pits contained 
extemporised pallets of fir boughs, in others were bullets, 
weapons or even letters. The Russian advance was 
indicated by two hostile lines running almost side by side, 
where within a few yards I picked up undischarged bullets 
of the two armies. In a little wooded cemetery on the 
bare ridge lay a number of bodies, Austrian and Russian, 
brought in by the villagers for burial. It was not a sight 
to dwell on ; but one thing that I shall not forget was the 
body of a young Austrian of not more than twenty, full 
of grace and beauty, the head thrown back, the breast 
bared, and the hand hfted as if waving on the attack. 
Outside, other bodies were still being brought in, the 
Russians greatly predominating in numbers. Some Aus- 
trian wounded still walked about the village. One, with 
whom I spoke, had the lower part of his jaw bound up 
and complained that he could drink nothing. He was 
greatly depressed but had no rancour and evidently felt 
at home with the villagers, who were of the same blood 
and behaved to him rather as people would to an interest- 
ing traveller in their midst. He was a Pole from no 
further off than Cracow^ where he was a master — " pro- 
fessor " as he put it — in a secondary school, a very 


intelligent and educated man who seemed quite out of 
place in a uniform and on a battlefield. He told me how 
they replied all day as best they could to a cross fire, till 
in the evening the Russians came on them shouting 
" Hurrah I " A day earlier, and we should have seen this 
fight. The Germans had left them in the lurch — " as 
they always do," he added. It was in the main a battle 
of Poles against Poles. He himself was a " Pan-Slavist," 
he told me, but could not say so because of his post. If 
the Russians got Cracow and maintained the appointment 
of Polish civil officials there, including a Polish Governor, 
as at present, he felt certain that all western Galicia would 
be on their side. I left him a little tobacco and took the 
address of one of his colleagues in Cracow. Heavy firing 
from the south was all the time audible. 

We returned to Kielce, passing regiments of all kinds. 
On our way back to Radom my motor broke down, and 
after sitting for three hours amidst marshy ground, with 
wounded; transports and villagers passing and occasion- 
ally hearing stray rifle shots, I had to return again to 
Kielce for the night. The discomfort of this contretemps 
disappeared before the unconquerable wit and good 
humour of my French colleague, M. Naudeau, who 
improvised little songs on our mishap. 

The next day, the 5th, there was nothing left but to 
return to Radom, occupying three seats which a Russian 
general, a man of charming simplicity, kindly put at our 
disposal in his motor. The strength of the Russian 
advance was everywhere before our eyes. The great 
stream was still flowing on. There were troops of all 
kinds — we inquired the name of each regiment, which 


they always gave in a kind of jovial chorus; there 
were food transports, field kitchens, pontoons and, not 
least important, the post. At one point we saw a large 
body of Austrian prisoners sitting by a wood and drinking 
water with their very small escort. These men helped 
some of our motors over difficult places. Streams, their 
bridges broken down, were still being crossed by the 
great onflowing current of men and wagons, only with 
more ardour than before. Teams of white horses, which, 
because of their conspicuousness, are only allowed to 
serve in the transport, were dashing through the mud 
and water with a fervour as great as if on the field 
of battle. At one place a bread wagon dropped all its 
cargo and turned over on its side, but horse and driver, 
evidently not noticing, carried it on into the stream with 
no diminution of pace — one wheel high in the air and 
the other broken beneath the wagon. Our General 
spoke frequently with the men; and we all helped one 
another through difficult places, on each occasion with 
a hearty " Once more thank you, brothers," from the 
General. Nothing will remain with me longer than these 
endless irregular lines of big, sleepy, almost stupid-look- 
ing faces moving at a walk which might last for ever, 
and all in one direction and all with set eyes, a people 
that lies down to sleep at the roadside, that breakfasts 
off stale biscuit soaked in water, that carries nothing 
but what it can put to a hundred uses, that will crouch 
for days without food in flooded trenches, that can die 
like flies for an idea, and is sure, sooner or later, to 
attain it, a people that never complain, a brotherhood 
of men. 



In Radom I found our Russian orderly from Kostroma 
fraternising with the PoHsh servants, joining in their 
work and singing them songs of the Volga. I told him 
he was another Susanin who had led the foreigners into 
the marsh. We were soon on our way back to Warsaw. 

November 25. 
I have dealt with the Russian advance from Warsaw 
and Ivangorod, by which the Russian front was carried 
forward some one hundred and seventy miles in all 



J ^ 



















a First advance 

of the Russians 



b b Russian fine on the San 



c c Russian advance after the German retreat to the North || 


d Cnnnecdon w 

Ih Russian line to the North 

from the original defensive line on the Bug and the 
communications of the Austrian and German armies 
were threatened in the neighbourhood of Cracow. This 
movement was necessarily completed by an advance of 
the Russian forces on the San. 

After their first successes in Galicia the Russians had 
advanced as far as the Wisloka, but the German attempt 
on Warsaw from the west and south and a strong Austrian 
and Hungarian counterstroke on Galicia made advisable 
a temporary strategic withdrawal of the Russian line to 


the San, while all available forces helped in repulsing 
Germans further north. For nearly a month the Russian 
defensive line held good against superior Austrian forces 
on the San and in the south. Report says that bounteous 
rewards were offered to the Austrian troops for the re- 
conquest of Lvov ; and the Russian occupation of eastern 
Galicia was seriously endangered. The San varies in 
breadth from fifty to a hundred and fifty yards and is 
lined with marshes. Across this narrow obstacle Russians 
in trenches maintained an unbreakable resistance, re- 
pulsing all Austrian attempts at crossing. 

I have seen many of the wounded of this long defensive 
struggle. Their temper is the same conquering spirit 
that has carried the general advance. I stayed at their 
hospital some days. A group of slightly wounded, 
mostly young men with bright, radiant faces and strong, 
lusty voices, sat up in bed recounting to me, one after 
the other, individual feats of daring done by their com- 
rades. Throughout there was the feeling of individual 
superiority to the enemy tested by the heaviest con- 
ditions and sometimes by the wiping out of nearly all 
one's company or squadron. Most were wounded in the 
left arm or left leg in the trenches. Five or ten of the 
company would fall every day. The most exposed were 
the telephonists. Others fell in daring reconnaissances 
in boats across the river. All testified to the far heavier 
losses inflicted on the enemy. One simple young fellow 
crippled in a leg described how one did not in one's first 
day's fighting like to look out of the trenches. Then he 
showed how one began to peer about, and later one took 
no notice of bullets whistling round one, because of the 


sense that the army would surely go forward. One bright 
day he said to me, " It must be fine in the trenches 
to-day." This is the spirit of them all. 

At last, when the Russians to the north had advanced 
and Sandomir had been taken, the word came to go 
forward. The river was crossed at night and the enemy 
driven from the trenches and neighbouring villages and 
further back. The advance was triumphant at all points. 
The Austrians were driven southward and westward. 
Some were pressed against the Carpathians, with two 
difficult passes which would hardly admit the passage of 
artillery and field trains; others were pressed back on 
Cracow where the line of the whole Russian advance is 
now complete. 

The Russian impact on Cracow promises, first, a 
settlement of the destiny of western Galicia, where the 
population is Polish and very ready to respond to the 
appeal of Grand Duke. Next, a gap is made between 
the Austrians and Germans who are already retiring in 
mutual dissatisfaction in different directions, and whose 
political interests must more and more differentiate. 
Further advance through this gap will be on Slavonic 
territory, as southern Silesia up to the River Neisse is 
mainly Polish or Bohemian, and the Czechs in general 
are largely Russophil and quite hostile to Germany. 

The Germans are doing all that is possible to make 
diversions on other sides. Stopped and driven back on 
the side of Mlawa, they have made a serious effort on 
both sides of the Vistula, near Plock, but have been 
decisively repulsed, the inhabitants giving effective aid 
in bridging the river. They are now attempting to 


force a strong wedge into the Russian front between the 
Vistula and the Wartha; but so far the Russian Hne, 
which is everywhere continuous and is reinforced wherever 
necessary with strong reserves, has successfully out- 
flanked every local German advance. 

Meanwhile a double Russian advance on East Prussia 
from east and south is overcoming the numerous obstacles 
and making rapid progress, avoiding and enveloping the 
thickset fortified line of the Mazurian lakes. Here, too, 
the subject population is chiefly Polish. 

Retreating German troops in Poland, previously 
transferred from the western front, expressed to the 
inhabitants great despondency, even saying, " This is 
our last judgment " (Das ist unser Weltgericht) . Many 
prisoners have displayed a similar mood. 

November 28. 
A Russian Field Hospital 

A large, low, white building with a grassy court and 
outhouses; four large tents stand in the court; on the 
centre of the main building a white canvas band that 
bears in rough black letters the inscription : First Etape 
Lazaret of the Imperial Duma. 

After a wonderful star-lit journey in a formanka or 
double-horsed cart with a courteous and humble old 
grey-haired peasant, I come on this building about half- 
past two in the morning. The last part of the journey 
was adventurous; the driver at one point wished to 
strike work, which resulted in a wait of nearly an hour ; 
the way had to be asked of a group of soldiers with 

A Russian field hospital ea 

blackened faces seated round a camp fire, and of three 
sentries of the etape marching through the night with 
fixed bayonets, who challenged, " Who goes there ? " and 
received with some hesitation the answer, " Our side " 
{svoi). One of them lowered his bayonet to be ready for 
any further emergencies. In the end I was guided to 
the lazaret, where I had a cordial welcome from the two 
sanitars on duty and was accommodated with a bed in 
one of the large tents, which was empty and ready for 

The Duma Lazaret was equipped chiefly by the energy 
and liberality of Prince Volkonsky, Vice-President of the 
Duma and one of its most respected and popular members. 
All parties are associated in the work; and Prince 
Volkonsky, who is a Conservative, has had the valuable 
help of the eminent Radical, Dr. Shingarev, who earlier 
earned a wide reputation as the organiser of the sanitary 
system in the province of Voronezh. Meetings of a 
committee are held in the Duma, and lately two other 
lazarets have been equipped and dispatched, one to 
the Prussian front and one to the Caucasian. 

The first Duma lazaret was one of the earliest to 
arrive behind the front during the tremendous fighting in 
southern Poland and in Galicia. At Brody on the road 
to Lvov it gave preliminary treatment to thousands of 
wounded in the course of a few days. Later it was 
moved to Lvov, Sokal and Belzec, where I now found it. 
It had picked up on its road stray dogs which it had 
named after their places of adoption — Brodka, Rava, 
and Belzec. 

The lazaret was equipped for two hundred patients. 


but at the time of my visit had only forty, as it was about 
to be moved further to the front. Operations were 
performed daily, to be ready for the move. I saw one 
poor fellow, very frail and no longer young, just after his 
leg was amputated; he was calling in a piteous way to 
his mother. In one ward the patients were in a late 
stage of convalescence from typhus, and in another lay 
one of the sanitars of the lazaret. In a far corner lay 
a poor fellow with a wound in the head; his case was 
hopeless, and he was communicated by the priest in an 
interval of consciousness. 

The central wards were full of strong, lusty men, most of 
them young, some with bad wounds but nearly all getting 
the better of them. They were in many ways like dormi- 
tories of big schoolboys, all of them good comrades — during 
my stay of some days I only heard one altercation and 
that was mild and very short. They lived a chance 
corporate life of their own ; and when I went round with 
cigarettes, there was always some one to see that tired 
or sleeping comrades got their share. There was very 
little groaning and no complaint; the men felt their 
wounds in the long night time, and sometimes one would 
mention that his wound was smarting. One Armenian, 
a weak-looking lad of the gentlest disposition, lay striving 
to bear his pain. "Oh I" he said as he fought it; and 
then, with closed teeth, "No matter; it doesn't matter; 
our Emperor ought to be rich; it had to be done — to 
beat the Germans; it doesn't matter." 

Usually, however, the wound would only be mentioned 
in a side sentence in a narrative — " and then I got this," 
or it would be the occasion for a story of strong hfe and 


effort and the triumph of " ours." There was a pecuhar 
delicate courtesy about the halest and strongest, who 
would shift their wounded limbs with an inviting gesture 
of the hand, making room for me to sit on their beds; 
and then there would rise a general stream of narrative 
where all joined in without ever seeming to interrupt 
each other, each telling of some daring feat of a comrade 
against all odds. One will not forget the figures leaning 
up in bed and the young, radiant faces ; many of these 
men were cripples who will never fight again, but every- 
thing about them was full of health and fresh air and 

A young trooper told me of the actions of his regi- 
ment against the Hungarians. They have, it appears, a 
particularly mobile horse artillery, served with great 
accuracy by horsemen who fire with the left hand. 
They enticed the regiment up with displays of white 
flags and suddenly rent them with a murderous fire. 
For all that, as in practically all these narratives, in the 
end the Russians triumphed. 

Others described the long defensive work on the San, 
with its narrow stream and muddy banks, and the final 
irresistible advance. There were two young men, one 
from Chernigov and one from Tauris, who beckoned to 
me each day, and with whom I spent several happy 
hours. When I asked for their addresses they wrote 
them down in form, beginning in the one case with 
"Wounded in arm" and in the other with "Wounded 
in leg." " Wounded in leg " was a sunny youth who, 
when we were photographed together, made quite a 
careful toilette. He was the boy who called out " What 


a splendid day I It's fine to-day in the trenches I " 
These two discussed with me all sorts of subjects, includ- 
ing the English sailors and the Grimsby fishermen, who 
appealed to them as " going for boldness." Another 
more elderly pair, one like a jolly farmer and the other 
like a brown-bearded stationmaster, worked out with me 
on the map the progress of the Russian army. Sim- 
plicity was the note of all, and it would have been hard to 
convince them that it was they more than any others 
who were now under the eyes of Europe. 

There was another still more elderly couple that had 
an out-of-the-way interest. They were two old men, 
one of sixty-six and one of seventy-two, who had been 
shot by the Hungarians for sheltering Russian soldiers. 
One of them, a picturesque-looking person with round 
head and furry grey hair, told me of how he was locked 
up in his attic and then called down to be shot, while 
his womanfolk were reviled and struck. His leg was 
broken, but was mending. Both these poor old men 
were full of plaints and, after the Galician manner, 
insisted on kissing one's hand each time that one talked 
with them. 

One of the most sympathetic figures in the lazaret 
was the priest, a man of the age and with many of the 
features of a Russian picture of the Christ. He was a 
monk from the famous Pochayev monastery in Volyn, 
sent hither by the Archbishop Eulogius. His was an 
entirely un-selfconscious nature, gentle, good and whole; 
and the care that he gave to the dying was like the 
best of man and of woman combined. I had some talk 
with him of the Uniats, that oppressed people under 


the heavy hand of Jewish taskmasters, which had held 
through centuries to its roots of parish organisation 
thrown out by the early Brotherhood of Lvov. We 
glanced in at one of their services in the quaintest little 
wooden church, where the singing was congregational 
and like a sad plaint. 

Our priest every day read a short Orthodox service in 
the central ward, and on Saturday and Sunday served 
the full Mass in one of the largest tents. Some six 
of the soldiers were trained singers; the priest himself 
did not chant, and the words of the service came with all 
the more reality, especially the frequent allusions to the 
" Christ-loving army." At one point the priest went 
through the wards to repeat a part of the service; for, 
as he said, " our soldiers are deeply religious, and the 
patients will feel that they are left out." At the end 
all in the tent kissed the cross, and the priest then went 
to hold it to each of the patients in turn. He told us 
that at the mobilisation and before battle communions 
were frequent and that fasting was in such cases excused. 

It was while I was here that the order to move forward 
arrived. The remaining wounded were arranged for in 
neighbouring hospitals ; warm blue vests were served out 
to all for the journey. " We have much to be thankful 
for," said one soldierly fellow who looked like a sergeant 
and took a lead among the rest. " Our Emperor has 
indeed fed and clothed us." Everything was packed, the 
large farm buildings were left deserted, and the hospital 
moved forward in the track of Radko Dmitriev. 


Kiev, December 15. 

The Country and the War 

I have just made a journey across Russia. The 
average opinion seems to be the same everywhere. The 
feehng expressed is quiet and sober; no boasting of any 
kind is heard anywhere; news of the war is treated on 
its merits, and anything that seems unsatisfactory is 
faced and is given its reasonable value. As to the 
ultimate issue, complete confidence is felt, and, in this 
feeling, satisfaction with what has been done and the 
determination to go through with the matter seem to 
have an equal share. Every one is clear that there can 
be no stopping half-way with the task unfinished; and 
the task, as it presents itself to the average man or 
woman, is that the crisis thrust upon us must not 
occur again. I say " thrust upon us " because, with 
average people even perhaps more than in official circles, 
and with the peasant more than all, there is the strongest 
feeling that peace has been wilfully disturbed by Germany, 
and that Russia was left no option but to hit back as 
hard as she could. A peasant cabman, fraternising with 
me on our alliance and promoting me in the course of 
our conversation to the second person singular, summed 
up the common instinct very well by saying : " How 
disagreeable He is " (" He " is always the enemy) ; " he 
makes himself nasty to every one," which is surely 
the chief reason why " He " is having a bad time of 
it now. " He might have smashed you or the French," 
my cabman goes on; "us he can only hit about a bit 
ipobit)," and his attitude is that of a big, kindly animal 


that is provoked into defending itself and others. 
" Pobit " is the ordinary expression of the soldiers for 
the work they have to do. A peasant servant puts it 
stronger and is sorry that I am not going to " spike " 
(kolot) any Germans, especially as she has made up her 
mind that they are going to kill me. " You had better 
tell me what to do with your things," she says, " for 
you're not going on a pleasure trip " ; and she reminds 
me of this as I start by asking, " But when you're killed, 
though? " I quote this because this good woman has a 
brother in the Siberian rifles, of whom so many are lying 
under the great wooden crosses outside the wrecked 
village of Rakitna, and no doubt she judges of my chances 
by his; but she talks of him with the same equanimity. 
Beneath all this, there is the full and silent sense of all 
the sacrifices that are asked and a silent pride in making 
them. I have never heard this take words with the 
peasants, though it is behind everything they say; but 
it comes out often with those who have any responsibility 
for others and most of all with any who are in close touch 
with the common soldier. Those speak the strongest 
and simplest of him, who are only teUing a friend 
their daily experience of him; and the selflessness of 
his courage and endurance keeps coming back on 
them as something that astounds and even confounds 

All the Hfe of the country that lies behind the Una is 
centred in it. The nearer one comes up to the line, the 
more does one feel in the moral atmosphere a sense of 
satisfaction, of ease of mind. In the hne itself all sense 
of self disappears, and the big band of brothers lives for 


its daily work and divides up everything in common. It 
is wonderful how far little resources can go when they 
are put together; one produces some chocolate, another 
a httle store of comfits, a third hands round a flask, 
another supplies the cigarettes and another the matches, 
and a little feast is thus improvised by the half-light of 
a candle ; all these stores are renewed at chance and are 
expended without reserve. 

But it is farthest of all from the front that the sense 
of the war is most painfully felt, and that because it 
has to seek ways of finding its satisfaction. For this it 
seeks continually. Every now and then, in the capitals 
and all the big towns, a week is set aside for some special 
object : for the collection of warm underwear for the 
men in the trenches, for Christmas presents for the troops, 
for the families left behind, for the widows and orphans, 
for the supply of means for the crippled. At these times, 
which are constantly recurring, every tram or train is 
boarded and every restaurant is traversed by the collectors, 
who for each donation pin on a little special badge to 
secure the donor from any further importunity; but the 
badge is quite disregarded both by donors and collectors, 
and one sees many who have paid their due several times 
over. Thus the public is taxing itself over and over 
again for every need that it can think of. 

The posters have a nervous force, such as the Petro- 
grad one that begins and ends in large letters with the 
words " It's cold in the trenches." Several of them bear 
the signatures of members of the Imperial Family, one 
of the most simple and telling coming from a sister of 
the Emperor who is engaged in ordinary hospital work 


among the wounded. Another striking appeal, for the 
widows and orphans, is simply a twofold picture. Along 
the top in pale blue with a sullen sky of winter dawn 
above, a number of scattered soldiers, big and clumsy 
and heavily clothed, are running forward over a rough, 
flat field, with the lumbering run of a Russian porter 
at a railway station, their bayonets lowered and all with 
set faces; from a copse in the distance come puffs of 
smoke; and in front of the men, close behind his chief, 
who has already fallen, an officer has his hand thrown 
up in the air as a bullet carries him over. Underneath 
sits a group of dark-haired figures; a young wife with 
set and brooding face, and two young boys at once with 
fear and spirit in their eyes. I have asked that some of 
these posters should be sent to England, in case any 
could spare from their nearer needs something for the 
countless bereaved of Russia. 

Every non-military unit of society is looking for a 
way of its own of helping. Mary Dolina, who might 
perhaps be called the Mrs. Kemble of Russian opera, 
has, with her many helpers, now given over thirty con- 
certs of national and patriotic music for widows and 
orphans. The artists of Russia, banded together with 
special imperial approval, are giving movable repre- 
sentations in restaurants or in public squares, where, as 
in all other cases, the full collection goes to the army. 
The Press of Moscow is meeting to organise a day on 
which the Press will make a united effort for the same 
object. And then there are the collections for claims that 
make a special appeal, such as the devastated homes of 
Poland, Belgium and Serbia. The superscriptions adopted 


in these various endeavours are quite simple and usually 
take the form of offering a present — for instance, 
Petrograd to Poland, Moscow to Poland and Belgium, 
Artists to Soldiers, and so on. All this wealth of various 
charity is co-ordinated, and regularity of service is secured 
by committees of the most representative kind under the 
chairmanship of one or other member of the Imperial 
Family. The Emperor himself is constantly paying 
visits to the army with abundant supplies of medals for 
all the heavily wounded. 

Among the links between front and rear are the fre- 
quent short visits to the capitals of those chief organisers 
of the Red Cross who must be everywhere. Prince 
George Lvov, one of the most admirable of Russian 
public workers, who organised relief during the famines 
and led the Civil Red Cross in the Japanese War, passes 
from Lemberg to East Prussia, or from Warsaw to the 
Caucasus, seeing as much as can come under one pair of 
eyes, and returning to Petrograd and Moscow to find 
ways of meeting each new need. Nicholas Lvov, a 
former Vice-President of the Duma, whose brother has 
fallen and whose eldest boy has been killed by shrapnel 
before Cracow, passes constantly between Petrograd and 
Galicia. Alexander Guchkov, the organiser of Red Cross 
work on the Warsaw front, who is constantly in the 
front line and was reported prisoner at Lodz, pays flying 
visits to Moscow. And all these ghmpses of the reahties 
of the war draw closer the ties between the army of 
defenders at the front and the country that is waiting 
to meet every sacrifice and to fill every gap. Russia 
will close the ranks till the work is done; and she can 


go on doing this after it has become impossible for our 
enemies. / 

December i8. 

In Kiev, though there is every sign of its being in the 
minds of all, materially the war is hardly felt. It is in 
fact wonderful how little effect of this kind it seems to 
have made on the body of Russia. On the other hand, 
the atmosphere of nervous tension begins to disappear 
the moment one begins to get really near to the front. 
In the Red Cross offices at Kiev I found the same strain- 
ing toward the front as elsewhere, only much calmer 
because these were people who had a big war work to do. 
Hospitals meet the eye in the streets at every turn. 

Once in the train for Galicia it was again the war 
atmosphere and simplicity itself. The talk was all of 
people engaged directly or indirectly in it. A graceful old 
lady with a very attentive son was on her way to get 
a sight of her husband, one of the generals. A young 
officer, whose wound has kept him out of it for three 
weeks, is on his way to the front before Cracow. A 
fresh-looking young man, at first unrecognisable to his 
friends with his close-cropped bullet head, tells how he 
went on a reconnaissance, how he came on the Austrians, 
how their first line held up their muskets and when the 
Russians had passed on fired on their rear, how never- 
theless practically all came back safe and sound. It 
was told with a kind of schoolboy ingenuousness and 
without suggestion or comment of any kind on the 
conduct of those concerned. Then followed an account 
of a war marriage, at first put off and then carried out 


as quietly as possible. All the friends of every one 
seemed to be at the war. 

At the old frontier some of the buildings near the 
station were wrecked by artillery fire, and the railway 
was lined with a succession of solid hospital barracks, 
with the local commandant's flag flying over one of 
them. There was plenty to eat at the station; and 
though we moved on very quickly, every one from our 
crowded train managed to find a place in the Austrian 
carriages, chiefly because every one was ready to help 
his neighbour. The corridors jammed with passengers 
and kits, we moved on through the typical " strips " of 
Russian peasant culture, a pleasant wooded country, 
passing a draft detachment on the halt which waved 
greetings to us. My companion, Mr. Stakhovich, a 
phenomenally strong man and imbued by a fine 
spirit, was talking of the indifference of the Russian 
peasant to danger; he regarded it as an indifference to 
all sensations; anyhow they go forward, whatever the 
conditions, as a sheer matter of course. With the 
ordinary educated man the mind must be kept occupied 
with work if unpleasant possibilities of all kinds are to 
be kept out of it ; but General Radko Dmitriev, to whom 
we are going, will jump up from a meal, however hungry, 
when there is a chance of getting under fire. 

We draw up in the great station at Lvov. To the 
right of us stretch endless lines crowded with wagons, 
especially with sanitary trains. In the lofty passages 
and waiting-rooms are sleeping troops with piled muskets, 
some wounded on stretchers tended by the sisters of 
mercy who are constantly on duty here, and a crowd of 


men, all soldiers, coming and going. One passed many 
Austrian prisoners, of whom another enormous batch 
was just announced to arrive; and elsewhere a Russian 
private explained to me the excellent quality of the 
Hungarian knapsack, which he and his comrades had 
turned into busbies. One man was asleep inside the 
rail opposite the ticket office. He did not seem to mind 
how often he was woken up. 

In the town everything is quiet, and life goes so natur- 
ally that no one could take it for a conquered city. In 
the country this might have been expected because far 
the greater part of the population is Little Russian; 
but in Lvov the Russians are only about 17 per cent, 
and the predominant element is the Polish (60 per cent.), 
the rest being Jews (20 per cent.) or Germans (3 per cent.). 
The university, the Press and the bulk of the professional 
class are Polish. This result is in character with the 
place, which has a peculiarly pleasing atmosphere of its 
own. But it is also a great tribute to two quite different 
influences : to those Poles who, though in no way tied 
to Russia, have preferred to all other considerations the 
corporate interests of their fellow-countrymen, and to 
the wise and sympathetic administration of the Russian 
Governor-General, Count George Bobrinsk] 

)ecemhcr 22 . 
Lvov is taking on more of the charactei- of a Russian 
town. Many of the Jews have left. The Russian signs 
over new restaurants, stores, etc., meet the eye everywhere. 
Of the Little Russian party which supported the Austrians, 



many have now returned and are making their peace 
with the new authorities. The Russian soldier is quite 
at home in Lvov, as one sees when the singing " drafts " 
swing past the Governor-General's palace ; the Austrian 
prisoners in uniform, who are allowed liberty on parole, 
seem equally at their ease. Numbers of Russian priests 
! are pouring into Galicia, but not fast enough for the 
I Uniat villages which have embraced Orthodoxy; as 
V soon as they arrive, peasants come with their carts and 
take them off to their parishes, without waiting for any 
formal distribution. The Uniat creed and ritual are 
practically identical with the Orthodox, so that the 
difference between the two was purely political. At the 
new People's Palace of Nicholas II, I saw a number of 
children, principally from families that had suffered 
severely at the hands of Austrian troops, receive Christmas 
presents on the day of St. Nicholas, who is the Russian 
Santa Claus. Archbishop Eulogius, in a very effective 
little address, told them that the biggest Christmas 
present which they were receiving was the liberty to 
speak their own language and worship in their own way 
in union with their Russian brothers. 

Starting for the army, I spent a night of strange 
happening m the great railway station, as our train 
was delayed till the morning. At one time I went, in 
the frosty night, to look for it at the goods station, where 
there were endless rails and wagons, and found it after 
a long search. In the big restaurant four little boys 
made great friends with me, one of fourteen in uniform 
and spurs who had been serving as mounted scout with 
a regiment at the front, and one of thirteen who had 


attached himself in the same capacity to a battery. 
Both were small creatures, and the first was a remarkable 
little person, with all the smartness and determination 
of a soldier, relieved by an amusing childlike grace and 
courtesy. He said to me in a confidential voice, " I 
see you are very fond of little children," and he ordered 
with pride lemonade and chocolates for us both. He 
said the men at the front could last a week to 
ten days, if necessary, without any food but sukhari 
(army biscuit), so long as they had cigarettes. His 
imagination had been caught by the aeroplanes over 
Peremyshl, and also by the Carpathians, which he 
described with an up and down movement of the hand. 
He had a great disgust for anything mean and a warlike 
pride in the exploits of the soldiers of his regiment. His 
model was a boy, now a young man, who had been 
through the Japanese War. " If a general comes past," 
and he made a salute to show the extreme respect felt 
for his hero. Many a time in that long night, while 
the weary heads of doctors and sisters of mercy were 
bent in sheer tiredness against the tables, he would 
come and sit by me and ask me to read the war news to 
him, or to tell him about the EngUsh submarines. He 
left me with the smartest of salutes in the early hours of 
the morning. 

Our train is an enormous one with endless warm 
carriages {teplushki) for the wounded. The staff of 
sanitars and sisters, working for the Zemstvo Red Cross, 
live in a spotlessly clean carriage, and there are special 
carriages for drugs, stores, kitchen, etc. They are simple 
and interesting people, and, as I am now in the Red 


Cross and have many interests in common with them, 
they kindly made me up a bed in their carriage, where 
we discussed Russia in all its bearings. 

We carry a group of passengers who have all made 
friends after the Russian way. A colonel and his wife 
are going to fetch the body of a fallen comrade. Another 
colonel, a delightfully simple man with close-cropped 
hair, thin brown face and bright, clever eyes seems to 
know all the Slavonic languages and has much to say 
of the Austrians. He has seen twenty of them surrender 
to a priest and his clerk who came on them in a wood, 
made the sign of the cross and told them to come with 
them. In another place twenty-two Austrians were 
captured by two Russians. The Austrian officers put 
quick-firing guns behind their own rifle pits for the 
" encouragement " of their men, on whom he has seen 
them fire. They make their gunners fire every two hours 
in the night as a kind of exercise. He has seen them 
form their men in close column under fire and march 
them about up and down along the line of the Russian 
trenches. The Austrian artillery seldom takes cover; 
the Russian directs its fire on the enemy rather than on 
his batteries. In one place, heavy Russian artillery at 
a range of seven miles demolished an Austrian field 
train and two battalions who were lunching in the square 
of a small town. He is full of life and confidence, and 
all that he says breathes of fresh air and of work. 


December 24. 

Our train made its way through to the furthest point 
up. We had to stop several times to let through the 
ambulance trains already charged with wounded, which 
take precedence. We had to go very slowly over several 
repaired bridges; and this was no simple matter, as we 
had twenty-seven long and heavy coaches. Some of 
these repairs were complicated pieces of work, as the 
bridges were high above the level of the rivers. At 
point after point, and especially on the Austrian sides 
of the rivers, we passed Unes of carefully prepared trenches, 
and in one place there was a masterpiece of artillery 
cover, with every arrangement for a long stay. 

The damage done by the artillery fire was sporadic — 
here a smashed station building, there a town where 
several houses had suffered. But there was nothing 
indiscriminate ; and the Pohsh population, which showed 
no sign of any hostility to the Russians, seemed to find 
the war conditions Uvable. 

As in other parts, I was specially struck by the easy 
relations existing between the inhabitants, the Austrian 
soldiers and their Russian captors. There were excep- 
tions. I had some talk with a few Austrian Germans 
from Vienna. They were simple folk and seemed to 
have no grudge against the Russians; and the circum- 
stance in their position which they felt most — they were 
only taken the day before yesterday — was that this was 
Christmas Eve, the " stille Nacht, heilige Nacht " of the 
beautiful German hymn, and that they were far from 
home among strange people. They kept apart as far as 


possible not only from their captors but from their fellow 
prisoners from Bohemia and Moravia. These last seemed 
at least quite comfortable, smoking their long pipes 
and leisurely sweeping the platforms. They were quite 
a large company. They understood my Russian better 
than my German. When I asked them how they stood 
with the German troops, instead of the sturdy " Gut " 
of their Viennese fellows, they answered with a slang 
word and a gesture. When asked about the Russians, 
they rephed in a quite matter-of-course way: "We 
are brothers and speak the same tongue; we are one 
people." For any difficulties, the Poles often prove 
good interpreters. It is very different for the Austrian 
captive officers, who often cannot understand their own 

These Czechs confidently assured me that any Russian 
troops that entered Bohemia would be welcomed as 
friends ; and they claimed that not only the neighbouring 
Moravians and Slovaks but also the Croats further south 
were to be taken as feeling as they did. The Bohemians 
and Moravians seem to be surrendering in the largest 
numbers of all; and though the Viennese claimed that 
large numbers of Russians had also been taken, I cannot 
regard as anything but exceptional the enormous batches 
of blue uniforms that I passed on the road here. I asked 
these men about their greatcoats and was not at all 
surprised when they said they felt cold in them. It is 
nothing like such a practical winter outfit, whether for 
head, body or legs, as that of the Russian soldier. 

We came very well over the last part of our journey. 
I was sorry to part with the friendly sanitars, who all 


seemed old acquaintances by the end of the journey and 
invited me to take up my quarters permanently with 
them. Theirs was more than ordinary kindness, as they 
had shared everything they had with me, including their 
little sleeping apartment. The bearer company under 
their orders is all composed of Mennonites, a German 
religious sect from South Russia which objects to war on 
principle and, being excused miUtary service even in 
this tremendous struggle, seems to be serving wholesale 
as ambulance volunteers. 

As there were none but soldiers about, these men 
helped me out with my luggage ; and through the window 
of the First Aid point in Tarnow station, I saw another 
acquaintance waving me a welcome. This is the last 
point that the railway can serve; and my friends will 
go back with a full burden, which will keep the medical 
staff busy day and night all the way. One of my new 
companions, who has been out to a village to get milk for 
the wounded, has seen the shrapnel bursting; and the 
guns are sounding loud and clear near the town as I 
write this. It is here that the most seriously wounded 
must be treated at once, as a railway journey would 
simply mean death for them. This is brought home to 
one, if one only looks at the faces of the workers. Yet 
with this huge line of operations, and the assaults which 
may be made at any point of it, at any moment the nearest 
field hospitals may need to send off any wounded who 
can be moved without delay. Though the work is being 
done with danger all round, less thought is being given 
to it than anywhere that I have been yet. 

Christmas Eve : peace on earth and good will toward 


men. And all through " the still night, the holy night," 
the sound that means killing goes on almost continuously. 
How can any one say prayers for a world which is at war, 
or for himself that is a part of it ? May God, who knows 
everything, help each of us to bear our part and not 
disgrace Him, and make us instruments to the end that 
He wishes. 

December 26. 

Christmas day I spent in the hospitals. In one ward, 
at a local Austrian hospital, and full of wounded, I found 
that almost every one of the line of patients was of a differ- 
ent nationaHty. Going round the room, one found first 
a Pole of western Galicia, then a Russian from the Urals, 
next a Ruthenian (Little Russian) from eastern Galicia, 
next a Magyar from Hungary, and against the wall a 
young German from Westphalia. After him came an 
Austrian-German from Salzburg, a Serbian from southern 
Hungary, another Ruthenian, an Austrian-German from 
Moravia, an Austrian-German from Bohemia, and a 
Moravian from Moravia. 

I spent a couple of hours here, talking sometimes with 
each of the patients, sometimes with all. The Pole knew 
only Polish and the bearded Russian, who had a bad 
body wound, was too tired to talk much. Of the Ruth- 
enians one was a frail, white-faced boy from close to the 
Russian frontier who seemed, like most of his people, 
subdued, and confused with the strangeness of his position 
in fighting against his own people; the other was a 
lumpish boy without much intelligence. The thin, 
bearded Hungarian, who knew no German but a httle 


Russian, was mostly groaning or dozing. The Salzburg 
Austrian was dazed and drowsy, but at intervals talked 
quietly of his pleasant homeland. 

The German stood out from the rest. He was a bright, 
vigorous boy of twenty, had gone as a volunteer and was 
tremendously proud of the spirit of the German army. 
He had fought against the French during four days of 
pouring rain, mostly in standing water. The Bavarians, 
who seemed to have quarrelled with the other troops in 
that part, were making war atrociously, he said, knifing 
the inhabitants, insulting the women and destroying all 
that came in their way. He was later moved to the 
Carpathians, where one German division fought between 
two Austrian ones. They advanced in snow without 
field kitchens, and were not allowed to touch the pigs 
and poultry that they passed. However, they had 
enough to eat; and they were hoping to surprise their 
enemy, when the Russians fell upon them and left only 
the remnants of a regiment, many of the officers also 
falling. He himself was wounded in both legs, and was 
brought here in a cart. 

Every German soldier has a prayer-book and a song- 
book. They constantly sing on the march, and find it 
a great remedy against fatigue. Songs of Arndt and 
Korner are very popular, and there is a new version of 
an old song, which is perhaps the greatest favourite; it 

begins — 

" O Deutschland hoch an Ehren, 
Du heil'ges Land der Treu," 

and it goes on to speak of the new exploits in east 
and west. There are any number of volunteers in 


Germany; the women are all joining the Red Cross; 
and the population is busy with every kind of work for 
the army; but when I asked whether the people were 
keen for the war, he answered with astonishment, " The 
people? The people thought that the war was not to 
be avoided ; but that was at the start ; now it is differ- 
ent." He asked if there were many other Englishmen 
in Russia, and when I answered that there were some, 
he said, to my surprise, " The English are everywhere, 
they are a fine people — nobel. He also asked me on the 
quiet whether, when he was well, he would be sent to 
Siberia. He had been told that the Russians were 
terrible, but had written home to say that he had found 
them nothing of the sort. 

Much of our talk turned on the Austrian army. The 
German said that it didn't stand firm " unless it was 
properly led, by Germans." In Bohemia and Moravia 
the regiments were mixed, Slavs and Austrian-Germans, 
and, according to the Moravian soldiers, were constantly 
quarrelHng; all the officers were Austrian-Germans, and 
even some of the Hungarian regiments seemed to be 
commanded by Germans. The young Serbian spoke 
of frequent quarrels and even brawls between Serbian 
and Hungarian fellow-soldiers. The great wish of all 
was that the war should end. When I said that the 
end was not in sight, the German exclaimed, " More 
misery, more misery ; " a second said, " Oh, Jammer, 
Jammer" (lamentation), and a third had tears in 
his eyes. 

In another ward I heard more of the Bohemians. 
There Prussia is the antipathy. There appear to be 


Czech officers only in the reserve. After the outbreak 
of war, the Austrians made wholesale arrests among the 
educated Czechs, quite apart from party politics, and 
were particularly severe on the gymnastic volunteer 
organisations (sokols), which are popular among all 
the Slav nationalities of Austria. The Bohemians had 
not had time to find their legs under the new possibili- 
ties created by the Russian successes, but the Russian 
troops would be sure of a cordial welcome there. The 
whole of my informant's regiment had surrendered en 
masse; and even in the mobilisation of 1909, a Prague 
regiment had refused to march against Russia and 
several of the men had been shot. I was told that the 
Austrian army was much weaker in reserves than the 

I ended the day at the railway station, where the 
Russian wounded just brought in were being attended 
to, while the cannon sounded from time to time not far 
off. Several lay on stretchers in the corridors and others 
on pallets in the ambulance room, all still in their great- 
coats and with their kits lying beneath them. I had 
no conversations here; there was too much pain, one 
could only sit by the sufferers or perhaps help them to 
change their position. First aid had been given elsewhere, 
but this was the stage when the wounds seem to be felt 
most. There was wonderfully little complaining. Most 
were silent, except when a helping hand was needed. One 
man shot through the chest told me that " By the grace 
of God, it was nothing to matter." It was always a 
satisfaction to the men that they had been wounded 
while attacking. A general walked quickly round, dis- 


tributing cigarettes, which he put in the men's mouths 
and himself hghted. 

In the night the cannonade sounded close to the town, 
but seemed farther off again next morning. 

To-day I also went round a hospital with the dressers. 
The work was quickly executed, but much of it was very 
complicated. One does not describe such scenes, not 
so much because of the ugly character of many of the 
wounds, nor because of the end impending over many of 
the patients. To this last the Russian soldier's attitude 
is simple — gilt es dir, oder gilt es mir. He will speak 
of it as "going to America," the undiscovered country. 
But all these things come to be forgotten in the atmosphere 
of work. Here all the resources of Hfe are going forward 
in their own slow way, for they can have no quicker, 
handicapped and outpaced in their struggle to keep up 
with the work of death. You work early and late, do 
what you can, and try to be ready for the fresh work of 

December 27. 
General Radko Dmitriev is a short and sturdily built 
man with quick brown eyes and a profile reminiscent of 
Napoleon. He talks quickly and shortly, sometimes 
drums on the table with his fingers, and now and then 
makes a rapid dash for the matches. The daily visit 
of the Chief of the Staff is short, because, as the General 
says on his return, simple business is done quickly. 
Every piece of his incisive conversation holds together 
as part of a single and clear view of the whole military 
position, of which the watchword is " Forward." 



It is only the heavy rains that have saved the retreating 
Austrians from further losses. The roads are so broken up 
and so deep with mud that any quick movement is im- 
possible. This gives the occasion for a useful rest. The 
cold weather — and it is freezing now — will be welcomed 
on this side; and the Russian winter kits, which have 
already been served out, are immeasurably better than 
the thin blue greatcoats of the draggled and demoralised 

Numbers of Austrian units are so reduced that they 
are only shadows of what they were, and some seem to 
have disappeared altogether. The ordinary drafts came 
in some time ago and are now exhausted — such is 
the testimony of Austrian officers. The new Russian 
recruits, on the contrary, will join the colours shortly. 

From the beginning of the war, Bosnians, who are really 
Serbians, surrendered in large numbers. Then the Poles 
began to come in, and now the Bohemians. The Hun- 
garians are sure to go on to the end ; l?ut the Roumanian 
and Itahan soldiers of Austria have also come over 
very easily. In front of Cracow a Russian officer under 
fire came on a whole number of Bohemians, who were 
singing the " Sokol " songs and shouted a greeting as 
they came into the Russian lines. 

These wholesale surrenders have, I think, an extremely 
interesting pohtical significance. When governments 
turned the whole people into an army, it was clear that 
the army was also being turned into the people; but it 
was not clear how the people could express itself when 
under army disciphne. These surrenders, in their general 
character and in their differences of detail, are a picture 


of the feelings and aspirations of the various nationahties 
which are bundled together under the name of Austria. 

January i, 191 5. 

At this Staff, as at the General Staff, life was very 
simple. We all met twice a day for a plain meal without 
any alcohol; there was plenty of conversation, but it 
was that of men engaged in responsible work ; any news 
from outside was welcome, especially from the western 
allies, and there was full appreciation and sympathy for 
their hard task. 

There was plenty of news from other quarters of the 
Russian front, and one could have a much juster and 
fuller perspective of how things were going than any- 
where behind the army ; the two things which stood out 
even more here than elsewhere were, on the one hand, 
the immensity of ihe sacrifices which have been asked 
and are being chef;rfully made by Russia, and, on the 
other, the sense of quiet confidence as to the ultimate 

These things were of course talked of here with greater 
detail. There is 1 photograph of a battlefield, not with 
a few straight lines and some scattered dead, but with 
zigzag lines all close together and simply heaps of Aus- 
trian dead (the Russian dead had already been removed). 
From the attack of one German division on this side, 
one thousand corpses were counted. The Germans and 
also the Austrians advance in close column, which may 
give moral support to the men, but results in terrible 
losses, as compared with the more individuahstic advance 


of groups of eight to ten on the Russian side. In bayonet 
fights practically no quarter can be given, and sometimes 
the men can only use their rifles as clubs. The Austrian 
army is already no more than a relic of its former self, 
though it still makes some vigorous moves and covers 
every retreat with a tremendous cannonade, often re- 
sulting in the capture of the guns and men thus left 
behind. It must not be forgotten that Russia has had 
to deal with practically all the forces of two of the three 
allies (Austria and Turkey), as well as with an ever in- 
creasing proportion of the forces of the third (Germany). 
But she is going steadily through with her work, and 
already it is possible to see more clearly both what has 
been achieved and how the remainder of the task can be 

After some days in a cottage with some friends, living 
largely by candle-light and discussing the great social 
changes which are to be expected in Europe after the 
war, we were joined by V. S., who had walked in through 
the thick mud a distance of some twenty miles. V. S. is 
a young and clever Conservative, who has sat in several 
Dumas, always a strong and witty enemy of revolution, 
but never content to sink his conservatism or patriotism 
in any commonplace formula. He went to the front at 
the beginning of the war and was wounded in the trenches 
simultaneously by shrapnel and by bullet. He is now 
partially recovered and is working energetically for the 
Red Cross, superintending the removal of the wounded 
from the front. 

V. S. left the neighbouring town in a motor with some 
Christmas presents for the General. He had only come 


halfway when his benzine gave out, and, as none was to 
be got anywhere near, he left the motor with the chauffeur 
and made the rest of the journey on foot. He had to 
plough his way through rivers of mud, and when the 
early night fell he took shelter in a Polish cottage. 
When he reached us next day he was dead beat and slept 
for hours. 

As soon as his main business was done, we set out 
together yesterday morning in a long boat-like cart with 
three horses and a soldier driver; our plan was to find 
the motor and return to the town, sending back the 
General's presents in our cart. For some hours we made 
a sort of slow progress, rolling about in a way that ex- 
ceeded the North Sea at its nastiest ; however, we had 
time to talk over many subjects that interested us both. 
We pulled up at the Polish cottage, where V. S. had a most 
affectionate welcome from the children, and we lunched 
on bread and milk. We were not out of sight of the 
cottage when our axle broke; and after finding that 
there was no smith, and no other cart to be had, we loaded 
our benzine and chattels on the horses and left the cart 
at the cottage with a note explaining what was to be 
done with it. 

For several more hours we tramped on in the mud with 
our pack horses ; it was quite impossible to follow the 
track of the road closely ; it was thick with mud too deep 
to walk through and often the fields were a sort of swamp. 
At one point we turned in to a Jewish cottage and ate 
more bread and milk, while our old host asked ceaselessly 
when the war would end. 

At last we found the motor and the chauffeur, and. 


after a cottage dinner, started on the short remainder of 
our journey ; but we were by no means at the end of our 
troubles, and this, I was told, was to be expected, be- 
cause a hare had run across our track. We were going 
along, dodging the huge and deep ruts in the chaussSe, 
when, close up to one of the hugest and deepest, a cart 
coming the other way compelled us to make a sudden 
turn, and we were landed on a kind of plateau between 
two deep holes with our wheels almost off the ground 
in them. 

We had tried almost all the ordinary expedients in 
vain, when a long train of soldiers began to pass us with 
artillery. Appeals of " Brothers, come and help us," 
brought about a dozen of them to our aid, and they per- 
formed prodigies of strength, pushing forwards or back- 
wards, and at one point even raising the wholbk motor 
from the ground. Sometimes they counted " one, two, 
three," sometimes they sang a bargee's chanty, and each 
of them put the best of his wits to our service; but at 
last, just after one of them had said " Let's do something 
a bit more together," the officer in command felt it his 
duty to call them back to their work, and our brown- 
coated brothers left us in the semi-darkness while the 
guns boomed a few versts away. 

The chauffeur meanwhile had set himself like a hero 
to raise the motor out of the ruts. V. S. and I found a 
cottage with a pile of bricks outside, which we took with 
the explanation " Needed." After several journeys to 
and fro we collected a little brickyard; and V. S., though 
his back was paining him, came dragging a huge log and 
a tree stump to use for leverage. He still found a free 


hand to shake mine with the words : "A Happy New 
Year ; it finds us hard at work but full of spirits in spite 
of everything." The new year began well : the lever 
acted, the chauffeur made a sort of macadam of his own, 
and we sailed over the obstacle and on to our destination, 
which we reached at 1.30 a.m. 

These are the conditions of weather and roads under 
which Russia has to press back the enemy ; but she never 
lets him alone, for she knows that on persistent pressure 
depends the issue on the allied front. 

January 3. 
Yesterday I walked out to the lines, which are about 
four miles miles out of Tarnow. The railway runs quite 
straight to the little river which is the Russian front 
at this point; so I followed the railway embankment, 
meeting small bodies of troops on the way and a few 
sentries guarding the bridge over the Biela. It was a 
beautiful crisp December day, with a blue sky, distant 
views and a good foothold. To the left lay a long low 
plateau abutting on the river and crowned with a wooded 
viUage and a little church. In front was flat ground, 
rather marshy, with scattered villages close up to the 
broken railway bridge. The smoke from burning houses 
rose at different points to either side of the foreground, 
and high rugged hills bounded the view. Making my 
way to some rising ground, I for a time sat in an arbour 
beside a dismantled and deserted house, with the pano- 
rama of plain and villages stretched in front of me, 
listening to the swirl of the enemy's shrapnel and to 
the booming replies of a Russian battery. I made my 



way round to this battery; the men were engaged in 
improving their underground shelters, which were lined 
with straw, well heated, and furnished with shelves for 
a few belongings, including even books, and, anyhow, pro- 
vided a refuge against frost and bullets. Water was near. 

-_— _• /fuasian front in December 

February A March. 
cooeeeoe* gussian front in April , 









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and the soldiers' washing was hanging out to dry outside. 
We couched in the straw and talked of the western front 
till the word was given to fire. The officer gave the 
directions and the guns were discharged smartly. A 
German shell, which broke near us, was greeted with a 
cry of " Bravo ! " ; and when the officer announced that 
the practice was " excellent " the men all cheered. I had 


more talk in the telephone pit and in the officers' shelter ; 
there was absolute composure, and the men were anxious 
to move forward again, having been here for over two 
weeks; I was asked to share any little dehcacies that 
these hermits possessed. 

Exchanging good wishes " for health and success " I 
made my way on through the villages toward the broken 
bridge. One of a group of soldiers, when I asked the 
way to the lines, simply pointed, saying " Here, close 
by." A long line of high earthworks ran close to the 
stream, on the other side of which were the Germans, 
their sentry being about looo yards away. I entered a 
hut and drank tea with the battalion commander, an old 
gentleman in a jersey, who, with charming apologetic 
gesture, offered me some white bread and chocolate. The 
telephone gave word of my coming to the staff of the regi- 
ment, to which I was pUoted over the marsh by a soldier. 
The Germans shoot at almost any mark, or, even, at 
hazard, in the darkness; but very few are wounded in 
this way — this day none, and the day before only one. 
Scouts go out from time to time and sometimes find a 
searchlight turned on them. It is a waiting position. 

The colonel, a good-looking young man of great sim- 
plicity and vigour, entertained me at supper, and we 
talked late into the night. Everywhere one feels the 
winning spirit. After the last great halt, on the San, 
the men went forward with a tremendous rush, and the 
enemy's rifle pits were filled with dead. Again the talk 
turned chiefly on the French and Enghsh front, and on 
the necessity of carrying the war to a real settlement. 
No one can understand why the Germans challenge such 


enormous losses by their attacks in close columns. Late 
at night I made my way back to the town; every now 
and then a few isolated shots rattled in the darkness. 

January 5. 

I set out late in the evening for a forward ambulance 
post attached to a famous fighting division. Our party 
consisted of two soldiers, a niece of Count Bobrinsky, who 
took such a notable part in the Duma visit to England, 
and myself. The young Countess, who was enveloped 
in tarpaulins, is one of the hardest workers in the am- 
bulance. Our cart was stacked with necessaries for the 
soldiers; on the wall of the courtyard German soldiers 
had scribbled in large letters expressions of their self- 
satisfaction, such as " Austria and Germany fear God, 
and nothing else in the world," and sundry contemptuous 
allusions to " der Nikolai, der Georg und der Franzose." 

From the time when we left the lights of the town we 
had to go mostly on foot, negotiating difficult bits of 
road and ploughing our way through fluid mud. We 
passed over high ground and close to the front ; all round 
us was the glare of camp fires and in the distance the 
flash of projectors. In the darkness we were constantly 
meeting trains of carts. 

At last, on the slope of a hill, we turned into a Polish 
hut. It had two fairly large apartments, with a big stove 
and an earthen floor. In the inner room lived the six 
sisters of mercy : in the outer we were an interesting and 
strange collection ; along one side lay a big bed, on which, 
crosswise, sat or slept the PoUsh peasant, his wife, two 


daughters and little son ; in a comer, on a heap of boxes 
which he had to arrange each night, slept the young 
priest, the monk, whom I had met before, and one of the 
most spiritual men whom I have known ; the two sanitars 
and myself made our beds each night beneath the windows 
(one of which was smashed), removing them each day to 
make room for the dinner-table. By the stove, or any- 
where else, our soldier servants slept on straw. 

Not two hundred yards off, but only to be reached 
by crossing two deep gullies of mud, lay the lazaret of 
the division, quartered in a white-walled village school. 
These quarters, I was told, were luxury compared to most 
of the ordinary stopping places; but we were in a very 
different atmosphere from the admirably equipped hos- 
pitals further back. The wounded arrive all day in large 
carts or on foot; they come straight from the First Aid 
stations, which are close up to the actual fighting line; 
there are no beds, only pallets of straw, on which the men 
lie down while waiting their turn. They have not yet lost 
the sense of the battlefield or reached the stage where they 
are fully conscious of their wounds. They take their places 
one after another in the cottage chair — in which one of 
them died yesterday as soon as he had sat down — and the 
young divisional doctor, with the help of the sisters, 
removes their first rough-and-ready bandages, and gives 
them such quick treatment as may enable them to be sent 
further. It is, of course, the seriously wounded of whom 
one sees most here, for many of these get no further, 
dying here, or on the road. From one of them the doctor 
removed an enormous splinter of shrapnel completely 
embedded in the body; the largest bombs of all, which 


the soldiers call " portmanteaux," make terrible 

Here all day and all night the doctors and sisters work 
at the wounded as they come in. The senior sister, a 
lady of the most remarkable capacity, takes about one 
night's sleep in five, but is always as fresh and bright as 
can be. Her husband, a member of the Duma, travels 
over Russia for the better organisation of the Duma field 
hospitals. The transport is in charge of one of the 
sanitars, the son of a Moscow business man, who has a 
particularly clear head for work. The whole party, three 
of whom talk excellent English, are drawn close together 
by their work ; and there is the atmosphere of complete 
unselfishness which one feels so strongly in anything con- 
nected with the Russian soldier. As to our soldier ser- 
vants, it is clear that their constant preoccupation is to 
make themselves useful to anyone. 

January 6. 
We lie at the head of a little valley, some few miles 
from the Divisional Staff. As the troops move forward 
new questions are constantly arising ; and our transport 
sanitar, Nikolay Nikolayevich, discusses the possibilities 
of getting better access for the wounded to the hospitals. 
We are pressing back the enemy into the Carpathians, and 
there are halts in front of difficult hill positions. The 
advance through swamps of mud makes tremendous 
demands on the men, who have to lie for days in rifle pits 
full of water ; at times a well-chosen and well-entrenched 
position holds the Russians at bay at a distance of a few 
hundred yards or less, in one case fifty, and yet they will 



not go back. " Und auf den Carpathen sind die wege 
beschneit," often recur to me, these lines of one of the 
laziest of German student songs, which is a kind of 
renunciation of all effort. 

Nikolay Nikolayevich and I rode over through the 
snow to the Staff of the Division. He is a charming 
and simple man, very like one of our own best-known 
Generals both in face and manner. He lives in a small 
hut, which is kept very clean. We lunch and discuss 
transport, and I am asked to carry certain suggestions 
to the town. On our way back, accompanied by two 
Cossacks, we pass through Tuchow, a little township half 
in ruins, and I notice that, as on our way out, some one is 
still strumming on a piano in a house of which only the 
walls are standing. The cannon has carried away a large 
tree and left deep pits near the road. 

Driving in the evening to the town, I find groups of 
wounded, for whom there is no place on the carts, wan- 
dering forward in the darkness. The men choose among 
themselves which I shall take with me : " Let him with 
the nose go," for one of them has had his face smashed 
up; the rest move on contentedly, and my passengers 
give me a word of thanks, which would make any one 
feel ashamed of himself. This is their Christmas Eve. 

It is very wonderful, this self-denying patience of the 
Russian soldier, and it is too big a thing that one should 
get tired of speaking of it. A doctor at work here tells 
me how constantly it is impressed upon him. A man 
whose chin he has had to remove simply says : " Thank 
Heaven, now you've tied me up, and I am all right." 
Another, after his leg has been taken off, as soon as he is 


able to speak, says : " Ah, but it was a fine fight at 
Krasny; they gave it us, but we gave it to them too." 
Another, when he is brought in for operation, is only 
taken up with the thought that he meets in the operating 
room an Austrian officer to whom he has attached him- 
self as guide and friend. Anything else that is human 
comes before any thought of self. I am quite certain 
that one of the greatest things that this war is doing is 
its revelation to Europe of the simple goodness of the 
Russian peasant in the person of the Russian soldier. 
He is more than the unconscious hero of the moment. 
The qualities of the real Russian people are going to take 
their proper place among the best factors in the future of 
European civilisation. 

January 8. 

In our halupa (hut) we had those intimate and specu- 
lative conversations which seem so natural to Christmas 
Eve. Monk and Intelligents were on common ground. 
Only once Father Tikhon put down his foot when one 
of the party expressed indifference as to the other hfe. 
" No," he said, " joking apart, that's not good, least of 
all in time of war " ; and the rebuke was accepted as 
gently as it was given. 

Our Russian Christmas began with the burial of a 
wounded soldier who had died in the night. In a little 
waste patch in the snow, near the lazaret, the priest 
stood in his gorgeous vestments and bowed deep over the 
new grave, while two soldier choristers sang the beautiful 
prayers for the dead. 

In the evening there was a Christmas Eve service in a 


room of the lazaret, which Father Tikhon and the soldiers 
had spent no end of trouble in turning into a chapel. The 
room was crowded with soldiers, and there was an 
improvised choir. The simple directions of the priest 
and the strangeness of the surroundings only added to 
the deep atmosphere of reverence. 

I completed the night service in our hospital in the town. 
Here the first-floor landing had been turned into a chapel. 
A matronly sister from Moscow, one of the simplest souls 
in this work-a-day gathering, served as clerk. The 
leader of the choir was a young Social Democrat doctor, 
who had suffered for his convictions at the time of the 
second Duma; and among the choir were all who had 
had a training in church singing, which reaches such a 
high standard in Russia. The singers included sisters, 
sanitars, soldiers and several of the convalescent wounded, 
who were wrapped in their long grey dressing-gowns; 
and one wounded man had been laid on his stretcher 
among the choir in order that he might take part in the 
singing. Afterwards we all had cakes and tea; and a 
conversation as to what England could do, and what 
would follow in Europe, lasted well into Christmas Day. 

We have here with us Bishop Tryphon, of Moscow, who, 
like the Bishop of London, asked leave to accompany the 
army, and is now the Superior, or Rural Dean, of one of 
our Divisions. The Russian army has a staff of army 
chaplains with an Arch-Presbyter or Chaplain General, 
as in England ; but many priests have enrolled specially 
for the war. Some have been killed, others wounded, 
others taken prisoner ; some have been specially honoured 
for serving the Liturgy to regiments under fire. I am told 


that Father Tikhon's first sermon under fire was wonder- 
fully simple and impressive. One regimental priest told 
me how a shell burst in his quarters, blowing a medical 
attendant to bits and leaving himself with a bad contusion. 

Bishop Tryphon took a prominent part in the enter- 
tainment of our Bishops in Moscow, and sends them by 
me a message of greeting and good wishes. He arranged 
a solemn Christmas Day service, with trained singers who 
were serving in the army. He later visited the hospitals, 
giving short and plain addresses, and his blessing to 
each branch of the Red Cross work in turn. There was a 
great Christmas tree in the station, where presents were 
distributed to four hundred wounded. Gifts were also 
distributed under fire by the hospital workers to the 
soldiers in the trenches some miles from the town. 

In the evening I took part in a Christmas gathering in 
one of the big hospitals. Everyone's health was drunk 
in turn by Christian name, the whole being woven into a 
long song. Afterwards we sang songs of the Volga, and 
some stayed on talking till five in the morning, resuming 
their work a few hours later. 

January lo. 
Returning to our halupa in the Httle village, I rode 
over in the night to the General to convey the results of 
my journey. It was almost pitch dark and the road was 
in most places a simple swamp of mud, sometimes with 
gaping holes in the causeway or with beams or trunks 
of trees lying about; and though I had a soldier and a 
lantern, the ten miles took over four hours. Next morn- 
ing we left the halupa : the dismantling process made 


the hut look more desolate, and while our things were 
being packed, the peasant family sat on their bed, looking 
on like moony spectators at some rustic entertainment. 
They showed more than satisfaction with their payment, 
which they expressed after the local fashion by kissing 
every one's hands; but they had now to expect the 
arrival of a fresh batch of strangers. 

Our forward move of a few miles was carried out with 
great expedition ; but our carts made quite a long train, 
and the movement of even a small ambulance section 
is in itself, under such conditions, almost an exploit. 
Just in front of me went our Austrian field kitchen with 
three separate cauldrons, wliich is found very useful. 
In a few hours we were installed in our new quarters, a 
great improvement on the halupa, within a stone's throw 
of the divisional lazaret and the now reopened railway 
station. From beyond a near wooded hill came the 
sound of almost continuous firing. 

We were now close behind the line of the front ambu- 
lance points. At the station, which we put in order for 
their reception, there was a constant dribbling stream of 
soldiers who had come almost straight from the front. 
Most of them had walked in with their kits, and many 
seemed almost unconscious of their wounds. Their 
conversation was of comrades who stood at other points 
in the line, of the relative distance of the enemy and of 
the conditions of work in the rifle pits. 

Through the thick mud the Russians are driving the 
Austrians upward over the deeply indented country of 
the Carpathian region. The enemy entrenches himself 
strongly, making much use of complicated wire entangle- 



ments which can only be carried with a rush. Thus, the 

heavily clad Russians, whose efforts have pushed the 

enemy all this way, have sometimes to dig themselves 

in as best they can at a few paces from the enemy — 

1000, 500, 100 or even 50. The rifle pits are full of 

water, straw makes hardly any difference, and as soon 

as a head is shown it is shot at ; many of the wounded 

have fallen at the moment of rising from the trenches. 

The Austrians continue a rumbling fire nearly all night. 

On the other hand, some of our men have seen the shells 

from the heavy Russian artillery falling plump in the 

middle of the enemy and have seen how they scatter 

under the fire of the Russian machine guns. The Russians 

use less ammunition with much more effect. I have 

met several Russians who have had at different points 

fifteen or seventeen days on end of this soaking trench 

work. One officer, who had had two long doses of it, 

had contracted rheumatism in one place and bronchitis 

in another and was resting in a hospital with the hope 

of getting back as soon as possible. A wounded soldier 

asked Father Tikhon to write a request that he should 

be sent back to his regiment as soon as possible. One 

man at the station, twice wounded in hand and in chest, 

asked that this time he should be sent to recover in his 

native town. 

The station was very soon in order. One of the sisters 
went round distributing clean underwear. " Change 
while you can, children," she said; " we shall give you 
some tea and soup, and pack you into the train, and 
send you straight off to Russia " ; and in a few hours 
the first train had arrived and the station was cleared 



for further work. In the dusk, the miUtary ambulance 
men set out again to collect more of the wounded under 

What is happening is, shortly, this. The Russians, 
who had first to deal mainly with the Austrians, leaving 
the Germans to us, have now got within sight of the end 
of this part of their task. A first-class mihtary power 
has been so pounded and smashed and has been repulsed 
in so many vigorous counterstrokes that it is coming 
to have only a secondary importance. Meanwhile the 
bulk of the Russian forces is now devoted to meeting 
the incessant and desperate initiative of the Germans. 
Russia's new defensive front on this side runs in a straight 
line to the point where it covers the Russian conquest 
in Galicia. It is now being extended further south to 
the natural barrier of the Carpathians. The interval 
made necessary by the operations in the north is not 
being wasted by the victorious troops in the south. 
When we get to the end of the Austrian efforts and have 
a mountain barrier to safeguard us on that side, these 
forces will be able to act with much more effect against 
the Germans. Russia, by accounting for Austria and 
concentrating her attack on Germany, will have done 
more than her full share of the work in the common 
cause. " Honour is not to be divided," said Ney when 
he stormed the heights of Elchingen; and it is in 
this spirit of generous rivalry that the Allies move 


January 15. 
By a little arrangement room was made in our small 
quarters for a New Year's feast, to which the divisional 
doctors were all invited. Father Tikhon had turned the 
local hall of the Sokols into a Russian church, and the 
evening service was crowded with soldiers. There was 
great delight in unpacking the gifts and dehcacies received 
from Petrograd, and soon the guests began to arrive. 
It was all the simple talk of men accustomed to great 
privations : some of it turned on a comparison of un- 
pleasant bivouacs; for instance, one told of a night 
spent in driving wind and rain on an open slope by the 
light of a burning village; he hoped the wind would 
blow over some of the warmth from the flames, till at 
last shelter and sleep were found in a ditch. Another 
officer was drowsing in a hovel when the door was opened, 
there entered a strong smell of coarse tobacco and a 
heavy weight fell on him; he woke in the morning to 
find a soldier asleep across his knees. An artillery officer, 
a fine-looking man, told of the tremendous work of the 
mobilisation and of the strain which war hfe puts upon 
the hardest nerves. Regimental doctors have, of course, 
had to work under fire for weeks on end. Every one 
discounts the heavy German mortars which in the field 
do very little damage in comparison with their expense. 
Ai to the Austrian bullets, one doctor says that it takes 
a man's weight of bullets to wound a man. When the 
trenches are near they come pouring in a sort of con- 
tinuous rain. One man who insisted on standing up 
had thirty-six bullets through him directly. When the 


distance is a hundred to two hundred yards, especially 
where there is no natural cover, continuous sniping goes 
on. The line not being straight, but varied by all sorts 
of indentations, due to the lie of the ground and to the 
Russians' desire to get as close as possible to the enemy, 
the former at many points crouch in the temporary 
and flooded holes which they have scratched out for 
themselves, perhaps all the while under a cross fire. 
Men are killed going out with long scissors to cut the 
Austrian wire entanglements. Many a man has fallen 
in a crawling excursion to dig up a potato. The sniping 
becomes a kind of game, and it was described as such 
by two Russian soldiers, of whom one had knocked over 
nine Austrians and the other sixteen. The Austrians 
fire a lot of random shots in the night which are in most 
cases a sheer waste of powder ; but it was hard on a man 
who was relieved after a week's rifle pits to be hit by a 
bullet in the night on his way back, as far as a mile 
from the front. 

The last hours of the Russian Old Year I spent in a 
goods carriage. My companions kept reckoning whether 
we should reach the town by midnight. Twelve o'clock 
was well past when the train drew up heavily a verst 
from the station and we were told that it would go no 
further. We scrambled out into the snow, when suddenly 
from the lighted station there rose in full orchestra, strong 
and triumphant, the most beautiful and the most religious 
of national anthems. It was played three times, and the 
notes may even have been carried to the neighbouring 
Germans beyond the river. This was our Russian New 
Year : and in the station a colonel was dismissing his 


men with the words, " For this year I wish you health 
and victory." 

Next day the stretch of railroad that we had traversed 
and the carriage in which we had supped was cannonaded 
by the biggest German shells. The bombardment went 
on all day and night, the huge " portmanteaux " making 
tremendous holes and falling for the most part far wide 
of their only mark, the railway, and carrying ruin and 
mutilation to many of the inhabitants, who are thus 
encouraged by the beaten enemy to remain Austrian 
subjects. There is hardly any object in this bombard- 
ment, which is put down to the Germans and has roused 
great indignation among the many wounded Austrian 
officers and men who are lying here in hospital. Not 
a soldier has been touched; but wounded civilians, 
men, women and children, have been brought in to the 
different hospitals. 

January i6. 
The bombardment, which was continued yesterday, has 
created a certain excitement here, but nothing approach- 
ing to panic. The big " portmanteaux " are very ugly 
things and make an unpleasant noise, but only two shots 
can be said to have produced any results worth mention. 
The prevailing mood is one of vigour and interest. 

I have had some informing conversations with wounded 
officers of the enemy. They indicate a definite mental 
attitude very different from ours. I see no trace of 
religious enthusiasm and little of nationality in the 
wider sense. The Germans have the greatest confidence 
and pride in their army. They tell me that two miUion 


volunteers were inscribed at the beginning of the war — 
an enormous fact, if correct. The attitude of the German 
women is such that no man who can serve dares to 
remain at home. My informants fully realise that for 
Germany the war is a matter of life and death. They 
have served on the western front and described the 
French fortresses as extremely strong (" brillant "). 
The Bavarians are terrible in warfare and spread alarm 
among the population. The losses of the first move 
through Belgium were enormous. The Belgians are 
described as excellent soldiers, and large German losses 
are put down to them. In the march on Paris the 
reserves and the commissariat could not keep up. The 
retreat is accepted as an unpleasant necessity. There 
was a certain pedantry among my informants in insisting 
on the need of turning the aUied right wing, whatever 
should happen at other points. They claimed that the 
Germans were now in Calais. 

Large losses against the Russians were admitted, but 
it was claimed, without any real evidence, that the 
Russians had lost more. Again, there was a kind of 
machine-like insistence on the need of attack in columns 
with reserves close up — as this was " our tactics." The 
Germans had so far been saved by the default of any 
real Russian winter, which would have ruined the German 
transport and artillery and robbed their operations of 
all effect. What struck me most was the absence of any 
real intelligence as to the political issues in debate. My 
informants were, for reasons of humanity, in favour of 
a status quo peace. 

Some Austrians gave an interesting account of the 


origin of the war. The Austro-Serbian quarrel was not 
poUtical but personal. The Serbian dynasty, faiUng to 
obtain any satisfactory recognition from Austria, was 
credited with a personal hostility against the late Arch- 
duke, who was described as in general a friend of the 
Slavs. Proof in support of this view of his end had 
been widely circulated in Austria in December. The 
personal quarrel between the reigning houses of Austria 
and Serbia had been turned by the insistence of the 
Emperor William into an occasion for a European war, 
specially directed against Russia, into which Austria 
had been hurried against her will. Her present position 
now was described as very precarious. j 

To a Hungarian officer I put the question whether 
the war had produced any real poetry in Hungary. He 
answered that there had been some rough-and-ready 
effusions among the working classes, whom he described 
as militant in their habits in time of peace and always 
ready for any war, especially with Russia. But the 
educated classes were not well disposed either to war or 
to this war. 

It is rarely that one meets among these wounded of 
the enemy any other disposition than a strong desire 
for peace. I should add that several of them have 
asked me to communicate to their relations that they 
were being treated with the greatest kindness in Russia ; 
" I am lovingly tended," wrote one of them. An Austrian 
colonel, a fine soldier and gentleman, told me he should 
never forget the " Anstandigkeit " (decency) of all the 
Russians with whom he had had to do since his capture. 
Even Germans who at first are challenging and hostile, 


are softened by the true humanity with which they are 
surrounded in the Russian hospitals. 

January 22. 

The town has been bombarded for several days on 
end, beginning with the Russian New Year, January 14. 
The Germans had given a foretaste on our own Christmas 
Eve. They dropped from an aeroplane a paper bearing 
the words : " We ask you not to shoot on December 25 ; 
we will send you presents " : the text of the telegram 
I had from the Commandant of the town, to whom it 
was taken. For all that, and though the Russian artillery 
was instructed only to reply, five heavy bombs were 
fired into the town and some of the inhabitants were 

There were other Christmas " presents " which I have 
seen, sent by the Austrians with a parley er and a white 
flag. With other objects of no importance were six 
matchboxes full of matches and containing also short 
manifestoes printed in Russian and addressed to the 
troops. They were signed " Your unfortunate Tsar, 
Nicholas " ; and they informed the Russian soldiers that 
the Emperor knew the war would ruin Russia and had 
sought to avoid it, but had been forced into it by the 
Grand Duke Nicholas and the " perfidious " Russian 
generals, against whom the soldiers were invited to turn 
their arms. I have not often seen a document so con- 
spicuously lacking in humour. 

Punctually at midnight of January 13, one Russian 
regiment received two large shells bearing on their case 
the words " Congratulations on the New Year." The 


next day the town, though it had no troops in it, was 
shelled severely, and this bombardment was kept up for 
several days. The chief mark, and a very legitimate one, 
was the railway ; here there fell in all six large bombs, 
making holes some twenty feet in diameter and ten 
in depth. But the great majority of the bombs fell in 
other parts of the town ; and two of them rattled close 
over the roof of two different hospitals while I was in 
them, and the splinters of a third flew into the lodging 
of the workers of another lazaret. 

In one of these hospitals, a local one now served by 
the Russian Red Cross, a large proportion of the patients 
are wounded of the enemy, including officers, most of 
them too badly hit to be removed without danger to 
their lives ; and these were greatly agitated by the shells 
passing so near to them. Hurried councils were held 
by the different Red Cross authorities. One hospital, 
where the shells continued to fall quite near, left the 
town. The most serious cases were moved to the local 
hospital, where the Russian Red Cross courageously 
decided to remain. Here are also to be found many 
local inhabitants, wounded by bullets and shrapnel in 
the town or in neighbouring villages under fire ; and one 
room is mostly filled with Httle PoHsh boys, all of them 
wearing a little silver religious medal round their necks. 
Here, too, are the inmates of a PoHsh hut who were 
injured by the explosion of a hand grenade; in a space 
of about twelve feet square, some sixteen persons were 
thus wounded; the father is dead and the mother and 
one of the children are out of their minds. 

These are all cases that have come under my notice; 


and of course there are many others. Yet it is wonderful 
how the inhabitants remain in their huts under fire in 
the hope that the worst is over or in despair of finding 
any other shelter. From one such hut, after the last 
and finally crushing shot, there issued an old man of 
nearly seventy with a pipe in his mouth and entirely 
unharmed. I remember that on my first visit to Lvov, 
I heard a barrel organ repeating about fifty times the 
beautiful Polish national hymn : " From the Smoke of 
Fires " ; in the Lublin province, on a Une of some seventy 
miles, I found almost every other village half demolished. 
It is ever3rwhere Poland that suffers ; and it will be hard 
if some new Ufe for this unhappy people does not rise 
out of their present ordeal. 

There must be endless espionage in this town. An 
Austrian was found by one of our priests at the top of 
a tower working a telephone, and to the priest's question 
he replied that he was " sending word as to fires," which 
was no doubt strictly true. If so, it is a pity that the 
shots were not better directed. There is no question 
that the guns at work were not Austrian but German. 
General Radko Dmitriev came without delay to the 
town, and distributed the George medal for bravery 
among the workers of the Red Cross. 

January 23. 
I have been visiting some of the Regimental First Aid 
stations. In principle each regiment of four battalions 
should have five doctors and a captain of bearers. The 
bearers are selected from each company and can be 
supplemented by soldiers who volunteer for this service. 


They must be sound and strong; in peace time they 
march with their companies, carrying the rifle, and meet 
for a course of instruction twice a week. They are 
expected to gather under their captain before an action 
and to go out to the field to pick up the wounded only 
at night time, or after the action is over. In the present 
war it is seldom possible to maintain the full complement 
of regimental doctors. As battles have continued for 
weeks on end, it has been quite impossible to limit the 
bearers' work to less dangerous times; and it has been 
found most convenient to send them to the trenches with 
their respective companies, as they could then get to 
work as soon as they were wanted, and could also know 
the least dangerous track from their companies to the 
first-aid points. Ordinarily four bearers are assigned 
to one wounded : but as the track under fire is often 
long and exposed, it is sometimes necessary to send out 
eight men together, to carry by turns. They are sup- 
posed to have a leader, but in practice any one gives a 
lead, and if good it will be followed. The mortality in 
this service is considerably higher than in the ranks, as 
this is largely a war of cover, and these are the men who 
are most deprived of it. 

Every Russian soldier is supplied with a packet con- 
taining Unt, two compresses and a fastening pin. The 
object of the first bandaging is simply to stop the flow 
of blood and keep out dirt; and the wounded man is 
bandaged on the spot by himself, some comrade, or a 
feldsher (a trained medical assistant), one of whom is in 
the trenches with each company. 

During the seventeen days of fighting on the San, the 


wounded had to be carried by relays over a long exposed 
slope and in many cases over the river. It was found 
possible to divide the distance into different sections ; but 
the workers in each section were under fire, and so was 
the regimental point, which might sometimes be in a 
hut, but was more often a patch of open ground, with a 
tent stretched over it, or with no covering at all. There 
were instances where wounded and bearers alike were 
crushed by a shell on their road; for the Austrians 
poured endless artillery volleys on to given points. For 
all that, when the Russian trenches were examined after 
the battle, it was found that the bearers' work had been 
carried out completely, and that all the wounded had 
been removed. 

The tremendous mortality of this war has put a speci- 
ally hard strain on this service. Yet it is one of those 
which it would be most difficult to supplement with 
volunteers. Untrained men would be almost certain to 
be killed off soon ; and indeed the appearance of bearers 
on the field is at once an indication to the enemy of the 
positions of the troops. 

It has been found quite impossible, with the present 
range of artillery, to keep the regimental points in 
security. The work has therefore to be dispatched with 
the greatest expedition. The regiments, for mobihty, 
dispense with any superfluous material and appliances 
and send their patients as soon as possible to the divisional 
lazaret, where the first really serious treatment is 

Lazarets further back have often, as I have previously 
mentioned, been under fire. Austrian prisoners tell me 


that they have often seen their artillery fire on field 
hospitals; and from Russian observation points it has 
several times been noticed that the Austrian fire has been 
opened on what could only be a hospital field train. 
One of the subjects discussed with me by wounded 
officers of both sides is the possibility of securing further 
respect for the Geneva Convention and even a further 
definition of its regulations; but at present the over- 
powering stress under which we all live seems to be 
carrying us to the total disregard of any limitations 
at all. 

January 27. 

After a talk with the Divisional General, I set out for 
a visit to the regiments at the front. My orderly told 
me with pride that this was the best fighting Division in 
the army; certainly it has that reputation in other 
quarters and has three times in this campaign done 
decisive work against superior odds. It has rushed the 
Austrians from point to point, and would do so still 
unless they had taken refuge in the hill country before 
the Carpathians, where every hill has to be won in turn. 
Its General, an old man full of fire and energy, has 
received three wounds, which, as he says, make for him 
a calendar of the war. 

The way lay between pleasant fir-clad hills, and late 
in the evening I reached the X regiment, with quite 
a good-sized house for its headquarters. The Colonel, 
who was very simple and businesslike, lived with his 
staff in the dining-room by a kind of half-light and with 
picnic fare, of which, as always in Russia; much more 


than his share was pressed upon the guest. The talk 
was that of comrades at serious work. These men will 
all go to the end, but they don't find it necessary to say 
so. When one said something about finishing at Berlin, 
a young ofiicer put in with a smile : " Do you know, if 
we do, I expect none of us will be alive by then ? " 

I spent the night in the regimental doctor's hut, and 
next day went off to the artillery observation point. It 
was a clear day and we could see not only our own lines 
and the enemies', but also some of the Austrians walking 
about near their trenches. A shell from us sent them 
scattering back into their burrows, and our guns were 
then turned on one point after another, the shells, as 
we could see, always exploding on or very close to the 
object aimed at ; this day, there was only a half-hearted 
reply. The following day, I saw the guns themselves 
at work; the place of the battery was not likely to be 
located. It is very seldom during the war that a Russian 
battery has been silenced by the enemy. The Austrians, 
on the other hand, often place their guns on the crests 
of hills and have suffered severely from the accuracy 
of the Russian artillery, which is one of the striking 
features of the whole campaign. There is, further, this 
difference, that the Russians never fire without a target, 
whereas the Austrians in the most systematic way sweep 
whole areas in turn, as a rule doing extraordinarily little 
damage for the powder expended. One colonel suggested 
that the Emperor Francis Joseph must have more money 
than he knows what to do with. 

In the evening I set out with a party of soldiers for 
the infantry trenches. With a clear moon lighting the 


snow-clad slopes we made our way along the more ex- 
posed lines ; there was no sign of hfe, though the Austrian 
trenches could be seen quite near. Passing under shelter 
we found the Russian mud huts, which take only three 
or four hours to make and give good cover from weather, 
bullets and shrapnel, but not from bombs. We sat for 
some time in an angle of the entrenchments ; here several 
bombs had fallen close to a very exposed hut, in which 
however, the inhabitants still remained. We passed the 
night in another hut, which we could only enter in the 
dark for fear of drawing the enemy's fire. The scouts 
came in for instructions, headed by a young volunteer who 
was doing his first work of this kind. Voices went on 
long into the night ; reports came in from various points. 
The scouts returned about 3 a.m. They had come on 
a body of Austrians double their force in a wood; they 
let themselves be nearly surrounded, then threw a hand- 
grenade with effect and scrambled back to our lines; 
as the whole Austrian line opened fire the reconnais- 
sance had achieved its object, which was to ascertain 
whether the enemy had made any changes in his positions. 
In the early morning appeared an Austrian officer who 
had made his way across to us. He was smiling so 
broadly that I saw his smile before I saw the man. He 
was a Ruthenian and was married to a Serbian, so that 
all his sympathies were long since on our side; his wife 
was already under Russian rule in conquered Galicia, 
and his own great wish was to fight in the Serbian army. 
The Russian officers made him completely at home at 
once, putting their breakfast and their servants at his 
disposal; when a few hours later another Ruthenian 


fugitive arrived, our last-found ally helped to make him 
feel comfortable, stroking his face and relieving his 
apprehensions, amid the broad smiles of the Russian 

The day we spent under the fire of i8o bombs, which 
fell often along the Hne of the entrenchments, but only 
wounded some five or six men. It was very unpleasant 
for the infantry to have to sit under this alarming noise, 
and certainly the men would infinitely have preferred to 
attack. From the Austrian side no other sign was made, 
and there was no such mark as the Russian artillery or 
infantry think it worth while to fire at. 

In the evening I was coming back on horseback in the 
twilight when a shell fell on the road close in front of me. 
This was the last as far as I was concerned, and I slept 
in comfort at the first-aid point of the regiment. 

January 29. 

On my way to the H regiment I had to pass over a 
commanding plateau, and from hence, looking backward, 
I could see endless and intermingling lines of wooded 
hills with the main masses of the Carpathians in the far 
distance. I commented to my orderly on the beauty of 
the view, and as usual when I made any pointless remark, 
he replied courteously, " I understand," which meant 
" I don't." 

Shrapnel was falling by a fir- wood on the crest, and we 
took a lower road to the regimental staff. The Colonel 
was a soldier of an English type, with a grace which I 
have seldom seen in a man. Altogether, minds seem 


more at ease at the front than anywhere else in Russia ; 
there is the fullest consciousness of heavy losses and of 
straining conditions, but all this seems only to make 
every-day life more simple. There was a strange incident 
after lunch : one of the regimental doctors had just gone 
out of the door when he was bitten by a mad dog that 
was running wild in the woods, and the place had to be 
burnt out with a hot iron. One comes on many " extras " 
of this kind, which have nothing to do with the war but 
seem to fit themselves into it. 

When twilight was come, I made another of these foot- 
pace rides over frozen fields and gullies to the lines of the 
regiment. Halfway, by some trees and a stream, we 
met a very young soldier who reported the presence of 
" Free Austrians " in a neighbouring hut. These turned 
out to be only the local peasants ; and my orderly, who 
was an old soldier, was very outspoken with his rebuke. 
We soon reached a hut, containing two commanders of 
battalions, with a young officer who seemed to me a 
type of that fearlessness that I have seen everywhere in 
the Russian army. They wanted to give away all their 
chocolates and other luxuries, and sent guides to take me 
to the trenches. 

We had to climb one of the steepest hills I have ever 
gone up. Fortunately it was covered with light scrub : 
otherwise I should never have got to the top, for the 
frozen and clouted soil was so slippery that one slid 
back at every step. Yet up this hill the Russian troops 
had gone at night under the fire of the defending Austrians 
not many days before, and I was told that the ground 
was then in even worse condition. The storming of 


these hills one after the other calls for the most reckless 
courage; but this kind of task is the favourite work of 
the Russian soldier. 

Halfway up, we took an " easy " in the mud hut of 
a superior officer. We sat together in the straw with 
our toes to the stove, and, as is often the case, the talk 
was not about the war at all, but about the human things 
that most interest the Russian mind : about the characters 
in Russian literature and the future of Russia. Naturally 
there is also a good deal now to be said about England; 
and nowhere more than in the trenches does one notice 
how every one wishes to give us the best word, just as 
the guest receives the best of the fare. England's share 
in the war was put to me, with a real thought and kind- 
ness, much better than I could have put it myself. In 
these rough surroundings where ordinary comforts must 
all be dispensed with, there is nothing that makes them 
seem so unnecessary or that so stamps the character of 
officers and men alike, as a certain delicacy of mind 
which seems to me the ideal of good breeding. 

Reaching the top we went over some ground which 
by day was almost impassable and was covered with 
huge holes made by shells, and I slept in an officer's 
mud hut just behind the trenches, where the five of us 
lay literally packed in like sardines. Some shells fell 
during the night; but the Austrians did not ordinarily 
open a regular fire till ten in the morning. The last few 
days they had covered the brow of this hill with shells. 
A hut standing on the summit and some farm buildings 
in a hollow behind had been smashed to bits. To-day 
there was a fog, so that even the Austrians did not make 


their usual aimless cannonade. But they sent us in the 
course of the day what might be called a mixed packet : 
the mortars, field and mountain artillery machine guns 
and rifles all coming into play at one time or other. In 
particular there were chance rifle shots on all sides. The 
Russian trenches, despite the concentrated fire of the last 
few days, had suffered very little ; and here as elsewhere 
it appeared that, though only explosive shells are effec- 
tive against entrenchments, even they are comparatively 
harmless. This day I was able to pass along the front 
of the regiment and even further forward. My general 
impression was that the Russian superiority is so great 
that all neutral ground may almost be reckoned as 
Russian. The Russians are always ready to venture 
into this unknown land ; the Austrians, on the contrary, 
expect attacks from all sides, answer every isolated shot 
with a wild volley, and are ready to fire at anything, 
even a fog. Two or three Austrian soldiers came across; 
they were loutish youths, not like soldiers, and had only 
quite recently joined the colours; there have been in- 
stances of prisoners who did not know to what regiment 
they belonged and had not yet received their rifles. I 
was present while the Colonel examined some prisoners, 
and the tale they told of the conditions in the Austrian 
trenches was pitiable : water in the trenches, thin coats 
and ridiculously ineffective boots, constant diarrhoea 
from eating fresh meat; the roughest treatment from the 
officers (nearly all Germans), who themselves avoided 
all danger and privations ; a Hungarian battalion at one 
time put to discipHne them and shots fired at them from 
behind; regiments reduced to a quarter of their strength, 


boy recruits without any training, discordant elements 
in a given regiment, a general and growing resentment 
against Germany and the German Kaiser, a keen longing 
for peace, and an almost epidemic desire to surrender. 
This is the consequence of six months' punching, which 
has, however, cost heavy losses to the Russians. 

February 4. 

Every one here — particularly the young men who are 
in the Red Cross — is naturally drawn as bj^^ a magnet 
to work being as near as possible to the actual front. 
Different people show this in different ways; some are 
restless, some are evidently there in thought, others 
keep it to themselves as an intimate purpose which they 
only mention when their desire is to be satisfied. Often 
this satisfaction is long in coming, even when it has long 
been worked for and seems quite near. F., a quiet, self- 
contained young man, asked leave to go off with the bearers 
in the hope of learning how to help later in carrying the 
wounded, and I saw him ride off in his grey mantle with 
set face ; but that time he got no further than the regi- 
mental headquarters. K., one quiet evening, told me 
how all was arranged for regular volunteer work in the 
trenches, but everything is still uncertain and he will 
anyhow have to wait for some weeks. 

The fact is that this creditable straining after the most 
dangerous work of all, for it is more dangerous than that 
of the soldiers in the firing line, does not easily fit in 
with the requirements of the army. There are certain 
dangers which it is madness to court, not only in one's 


own interest but in that of others, and especially of the 
troops themselves. For instance, a body of volunteer 
helpers would simply by their appearance indicate the 
positions of the troops and draw the fire of the enemy, 
and would probably have to return without any wounded. 
Such experiments have been made with doubtful success. 
It is only by following the wishes of the commanders, 
and learning from them how and when help can be given, 
that any good can be done; and this means that it is 
necessar}'' to stand near to some given military unit and 
earn the confidence of its chief. 

A few days ago I had a chance meeting with a few 
men in rough winter coats, who came in together and 
sat down to a hasty meal. They were of different ages, 
but all bore the stamp of the simple seriousness of the 
front. It was the same with their talk. We discussed 
the meaning of this war for the Russian soldier — that is, 
for the Russian peasant — and I expressed my conviction 
that this war is one of the greatest stages in history, in 
the manifestation of the true qualities of the Russian 
people to Europe. The quietest of the party, a middle- 
aged doctor, intervened to say that this idea pleased 
him ; the Russian seemed uncultured because he took 
less thought for comforts and contrivances, but all his 
care was for the biggest things of all; the scope of his 
vision might indeed help to broaden the heart of Europe ; 
and it was good to feel that all this quiet and selfless 
heroism would not go for nothing. 

I learned that these men belonged to the most famous 
and the most forward of the Red Cross organisations. 
No. 14 is headed by a miHtary man ; it has three doctors, 


several students and 130 soldier-bearers. It was the 
first to attach itself to a given Division, and, by waiting 
for its chances and always keeping close up, it has so 
far made the most interesting experiments in volunteer 
help. I expressed my respect; but my acquaintances 
hastened to tell me that the reports of their work were 
highly exaggerated, and they gave me a plain prose 
picture of what they did and of things that might be 

Yesterday I paid a visit to No. 14. They were in clean 
quarters in a little scattered village in the snow some 
five miles from the front. They had good quarters for 
first aid and some twenty very practical carriages for 
the transport of the wounded. The soldier-bearers were 
drawn up in line and received a message of thanks for 
their work from the General. Six of them, and two of 
the students, had the George medal for bravery, bestowed 
for their work on the San. 

TravelHng on to the regimental staff, we entered the 
atmosphere of which I have written above. The regi- 
mental surgeon described with enthusiasm the work of 
No. 14, especially when the regiment was in movement ; 
at such times he could not have possibly coped with 
his work alone. He himself was forbidden by the 
regulations to work further forwards. 

Somewhat farther on stood a village, with a lofty 
church that had been struck by several shells. To 
appear beyond the village was at once to draw lire, as 
it lay along the Dunajec, beyond which were the enemy. 
There was no natural cover; but our side of the stream, 
which is not a broad one, was lined with a kind of em- 


bankment. However, we also held the bridge and a 
bridge-head on the other side. As this bridge-head was 
faced and flanked by the enemy's trenches it was con- 
stantly under the closest fire ; and every night, especially 
when it was dark, the bridge was under a continuous 
shower of bullets and shrapnel, while by day the appear- 
ance of a single person at once called forth a volley. We 
were not allowed to cross this bridge, nor was any one 
allowed to come across to us, for at the time of our visit 
it was under rifle fire and shrapnel. But in the earth- 
works beyond there has been put up in the trenches a 
first-aid point with approaches from the sides and all 
necessary appliances ; here the wounded can be attended 
to and kept under some kind of shelter till a slackening 
of the fire, perhaps once in twenty-four hours, allows of 
their transport across the bridge ; and here at this point, 
prohibited to the regimental surgeon, lives, sleeps and 
works Dr. Vladimir Petrovich Roshkov, who spoke to 
me of the quiet heroism of the Russian soldier and of 
his faith in the qualities of the Russian people. 

February 21. 

After my visit to No. 14 I was laid up with a bad chill, 
but after two weeks I was able to resume my journeyings. 

I arrived at the N regiment in a cab, or rather did not 
arrive, because we stuck in a sea of mud. The PoUsh 
cabman, plaintive but poUte, described it as an " awful 
drive," and seemed incHned to stay there all night, till 
some soldiers came and dragged us out. 

The Colonel and his two adjutants Uved in the usual 


hut. These PoHsh cottages are very clean and well 
furnished, with handsome stoves, decorated roofs, some- 
times a divan, and in all cases rows of religious pictures 
encircled with wreaths of artificial flowers. 

We had the usual telephone-interrupted night and a 
long talk about the Colonel's earlier experiences in 
Austria. He now had in front of him an Austrian 
regiment whose guest he had been when on his travels. 

Next day I rode to some of the positions. One could 
get close up to them without danger. We walked for- 
ward, through brushwood and swamp, with sentries at 
various points, up to the rapid Dunajec. To the right 
some of our positions were across the stream ; to the left 
it was itself the dividing line. Here there was a broken 
bridge, and on either side of the break were the opposing 
sentries, who occasionally took snapshots at each other 
at short range. The German lines and their wire en- 
tanglements were plainly visible, but at midday the view 
was as bare and desolate as the ship of the " Flying 
Dutchman " before the awakening. One of the most 
curious things in war is the tacit convention that develops 
itself illogically out of a set of circumstances entirely 
novel. In open day to show oneself here is ordinarily 
to be killed, yet at certain hours, fixed rather by instinct 
than by reason, there is an unspoken truce of which both 
sides take advantage. Photographs could be taken, and 
we returned in peace to the main positions. 

In the evening I set out for some more distant trenches 
where the enemy was Austrian. I stopped to take tea 
at a point where some of the inhabitants were being 
examined. I have seen a good deal of this, and have 


always found that the Russians, if anything, erred on 
the side of leniency. There are undoubted communica- 
tions between the lines, but, apart from the most obvious 
espionage, the most that is done is to remove suspects from 
the ground nearest to the trenches. We went forward 
on foot in the twilight, with a good moon and a clear sky, 
and with a full view of the enemy's ground, though we 
ourselves were indistinguishable from our surroundings. 
We soon came on the trenches, which were elaborate, 
deep, and for the most part dry. My host here was one 
of those ideal persons who seem made for such conditions 
of life. I will call him George, because he is one of the 
most worthy knights of that Order of bravery. I asked 
him how he won this distinction, and after starting the 
briefest account of a village taken and communications 
secured he broke it off saying : " For execution of orders." 
He was a big man with kind eyes, a manner prompt and 
natural, and the simplest address to his soldiers. 

It was now comparatively safe to traverse a bit of 
more open ground and visit some other positions. Here 
again the works were excellent, and George required some 
still further improvements. The men were in good heart 
and vigour ; and across the plain we could hear how the 
younger soldiers of a neighbouring regiment were singing 
in lusty chorus one of their favourite war-songs. 

A voice came across from the Austrian Unes which 
were here only a few hundred yards off : " The Russians 
are singing— Peace." Answering shouts of song came 
from the Austrian trenches, but they were feeble and soon 
ended sharply as if by order. We made our way back in 
the dark to our central entrenchments. 


After a half-hour's talk on the straw in our earth hut 
the moon had waned, though the stars were still shining 
bright all over the sky. With a guide I passed through 
some trees down the slope to the river and beyond the 
line of our trenches. It was reported that there were 
signals and signs of movement beyond the river, and all 
the men were ordered to be clothed and ready. 

My guide was one of those native gentlemen who are 
so common among the Russian peasants and are to be 
met ever5rwhere in the army, entirely selfless, indifferent 
to all danger except for others, and full of quiet, childUke 
intelligence of the great issues engaged. His hand, a 
strong and gentle one, was there to help my every move- 
ment with the instinct of the most devoted of family 
servants. The whispered talk came with a strange 
freshness, and the whole atmosphere of our excursion 
was that of another world more real than our own. We 
entered a dwelling where the watch sat round a smoky 
camp fire. There was a brisk salute, and the answer to 
my greeting from England was " Very pleasant." What 
they all Uked to hear about was how we were preparing 
new armies. " Then we'll take him on both sides," 
whispered my companion as we left the watch, " and 
we'll surround him — the barbarian." 

We crept slowly for\vard till we came up with the 
second of the two advanced sentries, a young man 
crouched on his knee with rifle loaded and ready. Here 
we stayed a little time, with now and then the lowest 
whisper, and in front of us the rushing river, beyond 
which were the sentries of the enemy ; sky and air were 
clear. We crept on to the forward sentry on the bank. 


and were crouching beside him when a rocket went up 
in front of us beyond the river followed by a blaze of 
light and then a second and a third. " Lie down, your 
nobihty," whispered my companion, and we lay as still 
as we could together while four rifle shots cracked at us. 
We could hear each other's breathing in the few seconds 
while the blaze hung above us. We had all crawled 
back to the second sentry when the rocket went up again 
followed by more shots, but this time we had some httle 
shelter. We returned and bade " Good-night " to the 
Watch and lay for a while in a shelter close by, with a 
whispered talk of our joint task. On the way up the 
hill there were more rockets and more shots at us, but 
we were soon back at the eart;h hut with its welcome 
shelter and its friendly host, and the straw screen that 
served as a door shut on a good night and a sound sleep. 

February 23. 
All day long we sat in our earth hut or passed crouching 
along the trenches visiting the different points of ob- 
servation. What a difference a few inches make ! At 
each more exposed point no care seemed enough. The 
whole day bullets passed above us, sometimes singing — 
or as George said " wailing " — about fifteen yards ofiE, 
but most of them embedded themselves in our hill, 
sometimes kicking away with a ricochet or exploding. 
Often there were sharp salvos from several rifles at once 
aimed mostly at the loopholes where our sharpshooters 
lay ready; men were shot through the forehead in this 



In the afternoon I saw a fire light up in some German 
trenches by the river, and it quickly spread along their 
lines. A figure like an insect stood out shovelling at 
the flames and some of our men shot at it ; the German 
passed down the slope but came again, this time going 
back at a run. The flames spread further until they 
were at last extinguished from below. We ourselves 
got nothing except bullets, and none of our men were 
wounded. There was no excitement and practically no 

It was considered that the enemy was wasting his 
powder, in a nervous fear of attack. 

But all the day we saw, from our vantage-point, shell 
after shell raining on neighbouring positions. At one 
time attention was given to the high ground behind us, 
and a large hut in which I had halted the night before 
went up in flames, and in a few minutes seemed to have 
disappeared altogether. However, only a cow was killed, 
and except for two huts I found the position unchanged 
when I passed back here in the evening. No wonder 
that our own artillery did not deign to reply till the 
evening, when it lighted up a big flame in a small town 
beyond the river. 

Southward across the flat ground which we had traversed 
in the dark the cannonade was more furious and had 
more meaning. Here there was a projecting bluff where 
our front came close up to the river before receding 
sharply from it and taking an altogether different direc- 
tion. This was doubly an angle. It was a salient land- 
mark in the curve of the whole Russian line from a western 
front against Germany to a southern front against 


Austria, and was therefore one of the points from which 
the conquering Russian march through Gahcia threatens 
the junction of the two allies. The lie of the ground 
made it still more a challenge to the enemy, as the ad- 
vanced trenches on this side were opposed to a fire from 
both sides and even partly from the rear. On this 
devoted hill the enemy's artillery, strongly reinforced, 
poured an unending torrent of shells. We could see 
them burst almost without interruption — the heavy 
explosive shell for driving the men from their shelter 
followed by the two shrapnels for catching them in the 
open. In all some eight hundred shells must have been 
lodged on the hill on this day, and in the evening a large 
hut on the top lit up like an illuminated fairy castle. 

No fewer shots were fired the next day, and when I 
was later able to get to this ground, it was all harrowed 
up with enormous holes even in the gullies that ran 
crosswise through the hill itself. The men crouched 
in the trenches where death threatened any exposed 
movement and the falling shells often carried the works 
away wholesale, wounding and killing large numbers. 

A wounded officer, much loved by his men, was asked 
by them what they could do to pay the enemy back, and 
he answered, " Sit and Wait." 

This time the cannonade was not, as so often with the 
Austrians, simply a nerve-stricken discharge of ammuni- 
tion. When the hill, and especially the line of our 
trenches, had been covered with shell, and the defenders 
had been long enough reduced to a condition of paralysis 
and impotence, a whole division of the gallant Tirolese 
advanced on the projecting angle of the line. These are 


the best troops that Austria has left, and they were 
opposed to parts of two Russian regiments. They 
ensconced themselves at night in rifle pits on a lower ridge 
of the hill, and forcing their way up found lodgment in 
a small wood and even occupied some disused trenches 
only fifty yards from the Russians. They planted a flag ; 
and the fire of their artillery, which was this day wonder- 
fully accurate, continued to pound the Russians over the 
heads of the Tirolese infantry. An attempt was made 
to break through the Russian line at the point of the 
angle, which was also the jimction of the two defending 

And now came the reply. Standing up under the 
cannonade the Russian infantry, with the support of its 
machine guns, poured in such volleys that everything 
in front of it went down. The rush to break through 
was beaten out and backward, the trenches occupied by 
the Tirolese became a line of corpses; no attempt was 
made to resist the bayonet ; Russian troops on the flank 
passed down towards the river and took the enemy in 
flank; the whole attack, or what was left of it, rolled 
down the hill, leaving 1300 corpses in the wood and in 
the open; a number of prisoners, wounded and Red 
Cross men were left behind; and next day retreating 
columns, without even their baggage, were seen marching 
off into the hills beyond the river. 

Prisoners told me they had not eaten for four days, 
and that enteric and typhus were rampant in their 
trenches, which were often full of water. They gave no 
good account of their ofiicers, and they said that both 
they and Tirol were sick of the war. I found many 


dead in the Russian trenches, all killed by the enemy's 
artillery. The fire was then intermittent, and we were 
still obhged to act on the defensive ; but the men 
were perfectly unperturbed. As a Russian private put it 
when I asked him to compare the Austrian soldier with 
the Russian : " He is a man, too, but we have rather 
more vigour, rather more boldness, more incHnation for 
it, and we are anyhow winning. It might be added that 
we are steadier." A modest and quiet estimate enough 
at the moment of a signal victory against odds and 
natural conditions. 

February 26. 
In the bandaging-room every description of suffering is 
seen, and many ways of meeting it. What strikes one most 
is the difference between the Russians and the rest. In 
general the Russians have an altogether stronger physique 
and therefore a much firmer and sounder morale. Some 
of the younger men lie there under treatment as if they 
were not ill at all and were simply having football in- 
juries patched up. Such was Alexey of Yaroslav, who 
kept a fine ruddy colour and chatted away jollily about 
the market gardeners at Lake Nero as he arched his 
broad back and had his numerous wounds attended to. 
He was wounded in a scouting expedition, but crawled 
back of himself to the Russian lines; and when he was 
carried out of the hospital he behaved like an ordinary 
traveller going on a journey. He had no intention of 
going to Russia and spoke of his return to the ranks as 
" a matter of course." Many of these wounded write 
begging their officers to keep their places open for them. 


Some lie glancing at their serious wounds as they are 
treated, with a healthy and indifferent eye. The head 
wounds are the most trying to the morale; they always 
make men look weak and unequal to things. But 
even here the Russian temper shows itself. Ivan, a 
married peasant, had two nasty holes in his head, but 
he talked all the while he was being treated with a love- 
able simplicity, and even his exclamations of pain were 
only little appeals to the sisters, full of a natural courtesy. 
Once when the knife was a long time in his head, he 
protested mildly, " Enough, gentlemen ! " There was 
great alarm when he suddenly rolled off the dressing- 
table on to the stone floor; but this proved to be the 
turning-point in his recovery, and he was soon after- 
wards joining with the others in his ward singing peasant 
songs. The Armenians are sometimes a frailer people; 
but there was one man with a great heart, who had both 
his legs smashed while bringing in an officer from under 
fire ; one leg had been amputated, and delay in first aid 
had induced a mass of gangrene ; the man was doomed ; 
but he held out for day after day, and nothing but a 
dull, strong groan escaped him until at last he succumbed 
under his sufferings; to the end he was always asking 
after the officer whom he had saved. 

The Germans show a much greater consciousness of 
their wounds, but take a quiet pride in conquering them. 
Will and purpose are triumphant, and these men return 
sooner than others to a normal outlook on the little 
businesses of life. A Tirolese, badly wounded in the 
head, at first took a little too much trouble to keep up 
his self-respect before strangers, but later talked away 


freely, though he was very troubled that he would go 
back to his sweetheart with the brand of a prisoner of 
war. The Austrian Germans were frailer and more 
gentle. Two of them in particular, both officers, won 
golden opinions from all who met them. They were 
men of a happy disposition, of real culture and of great 
delicacy of mind. There was not the slightest difficulty 
in talking with them about the war, because they bore 
no grudge against any one, not even against the Emperor 
William, whose unwisdom they regarded as the main 
cause of their country's misfortunes. These two showed 
the greatest patience under treatment, talking mean- 
while of their army, literature and music, and regarding 
their wounded limbs as children who were being gradually 
persuaded to be good. 

Much the saddest sight in the bandaging-room were 
the little Polish boys who had been wounded in villages 
during the operations, mostly by shrapnel. There were 
eleven of them in the hospital, and they almost filled one 
ward. They were all pretty httle fellows, remarkably 
well made and with something martial in their bearing ; 
all of them wore round their necks Uttle silver rehgious 
medals. It was very painful to see them minus an arm 
or a leg, or still worse with some body wound which 
could only look natural on a full-grown soldier. Most 
of these children were from ten to thirteen years of 
age. They were bright and smiling in the bandaging- 
room, and seemed to have no more regret for them- 
selves than they would have had for their own broken 
toys. But Poland will be covered with such after the 
war. There may be a renewed, there may be a united 


Poland, but anyhow there will be a Poland of cripples. 
That is why I continue to hear everywhere, like a burden 
that ever repeats itself, the beautiful Polish national air 
" In the Smoke of Fires." Its solemn tones meet one 
everywhere, now hummed by passers-by, now ground 
out endlessly by a barrel organ. I came one day on to 
the street humming it myself, when an old Pole at once, 
with the grace of his nation, took off his hat and solemnly 
bowed to me. It is the motto of the Polish population 
on whichever side of the Russian frontier ; and may the 
purification of which it speaks lead to happier things : 
for no nationality has been tempered in a harder school 
than that of Poland. 

Nothing could exceed the kindness of the Russian 
staff in dealing with all these various patients. There is, 
of course, no distinction of nationality or condition ; the 
sisters play with the children, find all sorts of little 
questions or other interests to distract the attention of 
those under treatment, and bring them back to lighter 
mood, as soon as the actual pain is passed. A Russian 
hospital, even with all the afflictions of war, gives out an 
atmosphere of home of which there is frequent mention 
in the letters which the prisoners send off to their distant 

March i. 
My friend " Wiggins " is a very remarkable person. 
Heaven knows what he doesn't manage, and it would 
be difficult to say what he doesn't know. Take England, 
though Wiggins has many other languages and know- 
ledges. Wiggins's English, learnt in childhood, is of the 


" WIGGINS " 187 

most daring and comprehensive kind and runs to the 
writing of doggerel verse. The history of the English 
Church he knows far better than most English clergymen, 
and the development of the English Constitution he both 
knows and understands better than some English pro- 
fessors. He will write, for instance, " Please send me 
more books on the period of transition from Constitu- 
tionalism to Parliamentarism." Parliamentary procedure 
he has studied night after night in the Distinguished 
Strangers' Gallery; and his toast when he was dined in 
the House of Commons in 1909 was " to the glorious 
traditions of the Parliament of Great Britain." He is 
very well up in all the detail of our Army and Navy, 
is thought a good judge of English shorthorns, and hopes 
to send his son to Winchester. 

Wiggins has done no end of work for the close friend- 
ship of his country with England. His quick resourceful 
mind and his ties with men in all departments of Russian 
politics and public life here have for years been mobilised 
to this object, which is the mainspring of all his great 
and untiring efforts. He has never lost heart when 
events went against him or when some favourite plan 
was blocked, and was always ready for another go. He 
is a good man and a brave man. 

War has brought Wiggins and me together in novel 
surroundings. He has a liking for all that is venturesome 
and an innocent predilection for anything that par- 
takes of conspiracy. Wiggins sits and collects all the 
military telegrams from the different fronts, including 
the western; Wiggins reads, answers and transmits 
private telegrams from Russia to other countries. 


Wiggins goes through the letters found in the enemy's 
trenches, and his staff is competent to deal with all the 
Babel of languages of Austria. Wiggins interrogates the 
prisoners and fixes the movements of the enemy's troops ; 
there is a delightful caricature of him, standing like a 
wild boar at bay, among a crowd of gaping Austrians. 
Wiggins looks after the aeroplanes; and sometimes goes 
himself on the most perilous of scouting expeditions. 
On one of these I found with him a man of the most 
quaint simplicity, an artist, who used to sit down between 
the lines and sketch the enemy's positions. He described 
with an impersonal unconcern how the bullets passed 
him. " But what do you do when you have finished? " 
I asked. " Oh, I go on to another position." " But 
surely it is very dangerous work ? " " Yes, I suppose 
there are about ninety-nine chances in a hundred of 
my getting killed ; but I haven't any children, I should 
rather like to do my work from an aeroplane; I think 
that would be safer." 

" Wiggins " asked my help in reading some of the 
letters from the trenches. One way or another, I have 
seen a good many of these. The great thing that strikes 
me is that they are so good — that the war after all brings 
out the best of every one. The Italian letters (of soldiers 
in the Austrian army) are particularly graceful and 
pretty; but then most Italians are gentlefolk. One 
writes : "I hear that T. is a prisoner and with the 
Russians and that they are much better off than in the 
line of fire." Another, hoping for the end of the war 
by Christmas, writes : " For the Babe Jesus we hope 
for peace." " Angelina " writing to " Carissimo Gus- 


tavo " ends thus : " If we are meant to be married, 
few letters are enough; and if we are not, no letters 
are any use." 

I came out on the muddy Uttle square and to my 
surprise caught the notes of a melody that was for many 
years prohibited in Poland. It was " Poland is not/ 
ruined yet," the battle-song of the Polish legions that 
fought under Dombrowski against Russia for Napoleon 
and for Polish independence. The words were different 
but not in spirit ; they were the famous " Slavs come 
on." I was surprised, because I was in purely military 
surroundings at the staff of our army. But the men 
who were singing were all Slavs of non-Russian origin, 
they were a military unit in Russian uniform and marched 
round the square in front of Radko Dmitriev, who, with 
all others present, stood to the salute. To these troops 
he then distributed crosses and medals of the George 
for signal bravery, and they sang him another Slavonic 
air, a Bulgarian hymn in honour of himself. Behind him 
stood a number of Czech (Bohemian) prisoners ; and the 
troops next played the Bohemian salute and the Czech 
National Hymn; some of the prisoners were in tears. 
Turning to them, the General said that as Slavs they 
could have no doubt as to the welcome that awaited 
them in Russia, where all that was possible would be 
done for their comfort, and that when the war was 
over they would return home, and he hoped that they 
would find their country free. The last words were, at 
his desire, repeated to them by the interpreter. 

No wonder that the Slavs of Austria are coming over 
in great masses and begging for employment on the 


Slavonic side; while the fictitious unity of Austria, a 
mechanism for turning to German uses a country which 
is three-quarters Slavonic, is crumbling before the eyes. 
German ambitions are being reduced to count only on 
the services of instruments that are really German. 

March 9. 
I crossed the river and followed the line of the entrench- 
ments. The men were resting in the evening before 
their earth-burrows. I passed along to the corner of our 
positions ; in the half-light one could stand on the earth- 
works and see without being shot at. The enemy, who 
were Hungarians, were only six hundred yards off. 
Between the two lines ran a broad causeway built in time 
of peace, part of a great dam of which sections are occupied 
by us and other sections by the enemy. Here, where for 
a short distance it becomes neutral, all sorts of queer 
things are possible. Our scouts can pass under partial 
cover along either side of it, and constantly do so. The 
enemy makes no counter-moves; his advance sentries 
stand only just outside his wire entanglements, and creep 
in and report the moment they see any movement out- 
side; he does not even open fire. The Russian soldier, 
who here, as elsewhere, has a complete moral and physical 
superiority, goes out on little night raids, sometimes in 
small companies, sometimes alone, to hear the conversa- 
tion of the enemy, which if Slavonic can be readily un- 
derstood by him, or, still better, to catch a " tongue," 
that is, to bring home a captive sentinel for information. 
This is why the enemy's sentries retreat. If fire were 


opened, it would only tell the Russians just what they 
want to know, namely, in what strength the positions 
are occupied. 

I should like to have stayed here, but there were 
other things to see ; so, with a soldier guide, I passed over 
some flat, marshy ground to a forward angle of our lines. 
We found our way by passing the field telephone through 
our hands, which is also a good means of seeing that it is 
in order. In the dusk, with the sense of danger and mystery 
around us and stray bullets sometimes coming from the 
enemy, my companion spoke in short and simple sen- 
tences, of which one would like to have preserved every 
word. " He " (the German) must be having a bad time; 
why doesn't he see it ? We are drawing in on him from 
all sides; the Austrians will be no use to him; they are 
nervous and fire at everything, and seldom hit anything ; 
our people only fire to hit. 

In a stone cellar with nothing above it, for the whole 
village was destroyed soon after it was taken, there are 
gathered the officers of the battalion. The commander, 
Lukich, is a genial, communicative man who has knit 
them all together into a little family ; indeed, two of the 
captains are cousins, and the commander has living with 
him in his mud hut his nephew, a boy of fifteen, who has 
been allowed to spend his holidays at the war. Not many 
of those who set out for the war are left now, and that 
alone makes a closer brotherhood among the rest. They 
all smile at Lukich's inventiveness and resource, and are 
all very fond of him. 

Lukich gives elaborate instructions for the night's 
scouting. Pavel Pavlovich, whose turn it is to go, is a 


splendidly built man with a great head and big brown 
eyes : " an ideal fighting man," I am told. He is down 
with a very bad chill, and reports himself quite unfit. 
Lukich says that he always has to send out sick scouts. 
"Don't laugh," says Pavel Pavlovich; "I can hardly 
keep on my legs." However, without further words he 
gets ready for his night's job. Half-an-hour later he 
appears in a long white dressing-gown which hangs care- 
lessly over his huge figure, and with him are thirty picked 
men — for there are always plenty of volunteers for this 
work — drawn from different companies. All are clad in 
white, and when first I stumbled on them in the dark- 
ness, though I knew they were there, I took them for 
a row of posts. Lukich made them a little speech, 
telling them that some one from their English allies 
had come to see them and that he hoped they would 
do well. 

Their job was to crawl some one thousand yards, to 
overhear the conversation in the enemy's trenches and 
judge of the numbers there, to catch a sentry if possible, 
to cut through some of the wire entanglements, and, 
above all, to throw some hand-grenades into the Austrian 
lines. Each man had a definite task ; the bomb-throwers 
were trained men, and several carried huge scissors for 
cutting wire. As the Austrians sometimes pass an 
electric current through the wires, these scissors often 
have wooden handles. 

The men passed at once into the darkness, and we 
waited on the line of our trenches. Nothing happened 
for some time. Various figures appeared from the 
neutral ground : sentries and patrols, who gave the 


impression that all this ground was Russian, At last, 
at the request of a soldier, we took cover (the soldiers 
are always trying to put their officers in greater safety 
than themselves), and directly afterwards there was a big 
thud, and flash went the first bomb. The next moment 
the Austrians were shooting wildly in all directions; but 
very soon after the firing had died down the second bomb 
went up, followed by another excited discharge from the 
enemy. This showed that our scouts had stayed close 
outside the Austrian lines; and among those around us, 
too, there was a sort of buoyant audacity. " They'll 
come away now? " I asked. " Oh no; they've several 
more bombs with them;" and soon after the calm of 
night had returned up went No. 3. We waited till six 
bombs had been lodged in this way, and each time there 
was the same nervous discharge of musketry, bullets 
flying everywhere, but no one being hit. 

After a time Pavel Pavlovich came back, as if from a 
football match. He had left a reserve in the rear, sent 
watchers in various directions, and taken the rest forward. 
Not a man was hurt, and every detail of his instruc- 
tions had been carried out. Pavel Pavlovich was a 
different man, full of life and spirits; and, to complete 
his satisfaction, there appeared in our cellar at this very 
moment his nearest friend, a brother officer wounded 
earher in the war through the head and only to-night 
returned to the regiment. " We must leave those two 
alone," said Lukich ; " they are hke man and wife, and 
no one will get a word out of either of them." 


March ii. 

The staff of the V regiment was in the usual hut, clean, 
comfortable and decorated with religious pictures, as 
most of these Polish cottages seem to be. It was the 
usual family party, the little colonel being a sort of 
paterfamilias, the major a kind of uncle, and the younger 
men like cousins of different degrees. It was very interest- 
ing when the reports came in from other parts of the huge 
front and the day's changes were filled in on the maps — 
as usual, on the whole satisfactory. 

The colonel of artillery was a bronzed man whose 
face was a mixed suggestion of a raven and of a kind 
Mephistopheles. He was a strong Conservative, and had 
friendly discussions with the chronicler of the regiment, 
a highly cultivated Liberal with a beautiful voice and 
the features of a youthful Mr. Pickwick. The war brings 
all sorts of political views together, and the exchange is 
always free, equal and without rancour. 

When I got to know these good people, I told them I 
thought they spent a lot of time in copying out verses. 
" Position warfare " — standing in the trenches — is not 
an eventful life ; and while I was with the regiment three 
sets of verses were put on the machine and circulated to 
the battalions. One of these, with a number of jokes 
about " Wilhelm," was written by a soldier in the ranks; 
and another was the composition of a non-commissioned 
officer, also of this regiment. This second was headed 
by the word which is in every one's thoughts here, " For- 
ward," and contained one verse which had almost the 
smoothness and simplicity of Pushkin, and is, therefore, 



not for translation. The third set came from Pickwick 
Junior, and I give a rough rendering of it which, I am 
afraid, only spoils it — 

Now in this year of heavy trial 

Happy is he who for his land 
Has passed at price of self-denial, 

Into the heroes' shining band — 

Who of his hopes and love the whole 
On his dear country has bestowed. 

With all the ardour of his soul. 

His highest aims, his mind, his blood. 

'Twill pass, the battle and its blare; 

'Twill sink, the endless crash of guns; 
And, in their place, the burning prayer 

Of mothers orphaned of their sons. 

The meadows will be green again. 
The com will ripen on the plain. 

The spite of war will pass away, 

And happy peace once more will reign. 

These are the simple thoughts that are in most people's 
minds here — the more so the nearer one is to the front. 
There one finds least of all doubt of the blessings of peace, 
and least of all doubt of the need to go to the end, and of 
the certainty of the final result. But Russia has done 
and is doing a giant's task, and one will meet cripples at 
every turn for many a year to come. 

My friends possessed an interesting little book in a 
black paper binding which they kindly lent to me. It 
was the song-book of the German army, which, with a 
soldier's Prayer-book, is carried in every German knap- 
sack. It is called " War Song-book for the German 


Army, 1914," and was issued by the Commission for the 
Imperial Book of Folk-songs. Roughly, about the ten 
best things in German patriotic and military song are to 
be found here, with a few of the best-known folk-songs 
and a number of inferior ditties which vainly attempt to 
be light. Prussia has more than her share, for there are 
very few good Prussian songs, though such as there are 
are military. " Fredericus Rex " and " Als die Preussen 
marschirten vor Prag " — surely an unfortunate reminis- 
cence in the present war — are both historic and have the 
merit of plainness. The year 1813, a year of liberation 
and not of aggression, gives three magnificent songs : 
" The God that bade the iron grow," by Arndt, and 
" Liitzow's wild hunt " and the " Sword Song " of 
Komer, the latter written a few hours before the author 
of " Lyre and Sword " met his death in a cavalry charge 
at the battle of Dresden. But, of course, I expected 
also to find — and am sure that I should have found in 
God-fearing 1870 — the same writer's " Prayer in Battle," 
one of the most real and masculine of hymns, and his 
soul-stirring " Landsturm." As to the omission of the 
" Landsturm," an Austrian prisoner explained it to me 
by saying, " This is no war of liberation." Of the less 
specially national songs there is Schiller's magnificent 
picture of the soldier of fortune, " Wohlauf Kameraden 
aufs Pferd, aufs Pferd," some of the verses of which have 
certainly been too faithfully followed in Poland. One 
finds also the top thing in German war lyric, " I had a 
trusty Comrade " of Uhland — a word-perfect poem which 
I shall always associate with the Saxon grave outside 
Saint-Privat where I heard it sung by veterans of 1870. 


There is also the simple trooper's song " Morgenrot " ; 
I should have put in " Die barge Nacht," but one verse 
is certainly too plain-spoken for present German hopes. 
Martin Luther's " Safe stronghold " — " Now thank we 
all our God," sung by Frederic's soldiers on the battle- 
field of Liitzen — and the Evening Prayer — these are the 
other best things in the collection ; but it is spoilt by the 
unnecessary and improbable allusions to the successful 
wooing of French and Russian damsels, and beer is too 
much mixed up with Bible, 

I left my friends singing. The Raven, with a plaintive 
and sentimental look, was with bent head putting in his 
bass to the admirable tenor of Pickwick Junior. My own 
contribution was about the " leaders " who " marched 
with fusees and the men with hand-grenades " (British 
Grenadiers). One scout, who usually works alone, had 
taken an unexploded Austrian shell back into their very 
lines, made a small bonfire round it, and was waiting 
outside for it to explode ; but the result, when I left, was 
not yet known. 

March 13. 

I have just visited " The Birds," a very tight place for 
the Russian soldier to sit in, I was in this part once 
before, for it was here that Dr. Roshkov set up his tent, 
or, to be more exact, his earthwork bandaging room in 
the foremost trenches. 

The divisional general was kindness itself; for I 
stumbled on him in the darkness by opening a wrong 
door, and his revenge was to ask me in and offer me a 
bed. The next day I visited the divisional lazaret, where 


an English lady, Miss Kearne, is working with admirable 
skill and devotion for the Russians. Nearly all the 
wounded came from " The Birds," and nearly all had 
been wounded while sitting in the trenches or looking 
through the embrasures — that is, without taking any 
risks, which in "The Birds " all are strictly forbidden to 

One soon felt one was coming to a warm place. The 
driver of my army cart explained that the open space 
over which we were passing was often covered with stray 
bullets, and there, sure enough, were the Austrian trenches 
just across the river. The village on our side had a high 
church, now smashed by the Austrian fire into an imposing 
ruin. Around it the shells continue to fall freely, and 
women and children going for water along the village 
streets are sometimes hit by stray bullets. Roshkov 
and his comrades have been sent to another part of 
the front; but a Red Cross " flying column " from the 
Union of Russian towns is working here under fire, and I 
met one of its students on horseback taking wounded to 
the rear. 

I delivered a greeting from England to the scouts who 
were drawn up in the village, and then set off with their 
leader for the advance posts across the river — as I may 
say, "The Birds Proper." The chief scout was almost a 
boy, who had joined the army as a volunteer only at the 
beginning of the war. He was a Musulman, with a most 
determined face and a manner of complete ease and 
indifference. He explained that we were passing over 
ground often swept by the fire, and added casually, 
" You've a bad coat; it is fur-lined; the fur might stick 


in your wound and give you lockjaw, so that you would 
probably die." Whether he was right or not I have no 
idea. The soldiers who accompanied us insisted on 
walking above the covered way, until we told them that 
we should join them unless they came down to us. 

At last we passed some trenches and came out into the 
open above the river. It is the peculiarity of " The 
Birds " that we hold a strip of land across the river a 
mile and a half long, but nowhere more than 300 yards 
deep. When the Russians rectified their line after the 
advance to Cracow, they decided to retain certain vantage- 
points of this kind; however cramped the position and 
however difficult the conditions of defence, the advantage 
will be felt when, as on the San earlier, the time comes 
•for another move forward. These advanced lines are 
connected with our side by bridges which are constantly 
under fire, as the favourite offensive of the Austrians is 
a hail of artillery; yet they have never succeeded even 
in endangering the communications, and their frequent 
musketry fire is disregarded. 

We were able this time to cross the bridge at a walk, 
and passed along the lines, guesting with different officers, 
and ultimately taking up our quarters in a spacious earth 
hut ten yards from the front, which was protected by a 
high line of excellent earthworks. One advanced post 
which we visited was only sixty yards from the enemy, and 
in general the distance from trenches to trenches was 400 
to 200 yards. Artillery fire is seldom brought effectively 
to bear here, but a shower of bullets is kept up, mostly 
explosive, as one can tell from their splutter; and the 
enemy have made machines for lodging bombs of various 


kinds at this short range within our trenches. There is 
little work for scouts here ; the distance is too short, and 
the opposing sentries are often not more than twenty- 
five yards from each other. My young host reassuringly 
mentioned that shrapnel would penetrate our roof, and in 
the night there was the constant thud of bullets striking 
against our shelters, while often our door was lit up by 
the reflection of the frequent rockets sent up by the 
enemy. Inside, however, our accommodation was first- 
rate, and we soon slept soundly. 

Next morning we went along the front line. The men 
were everywhere in their places, this line being fully 
occupied day and night. I had been told I must not 
stand anywhere behind an embrasure, so we took our 
view in peeps, mostly from the side. At one point we 
looked over the top of the works, with the result that 
there was an immediate volley. One man had been 
wounded by a bomb in the night, and another was shot 
through an embrasure, as the shadow made by a head at 
once draws fire. Some soldiers were busy making little 
mirrors, so as to see from the side; another had made a 
bomb-throwing machine out of an Austrian shell, which 
he fired off in front of us, the officer first calling out to two 
exposed soldiers, " Here, Beard and Black Collar, get 
out of the way I " One man's hand was shot through 
an embrasure. 

The most difficult part of the fines was on one of the 
flanks, where they passed close to the river and were 
separated from the Austrians at one point by a distance 
of only twenty-five yards. Earlier it was worse. The 
two lines were eight yards apart, the bayonets actually 


crossed over the earthworks, and the Austrians held 
their rifles over their heads in order to fire down into the 
Russian trenches. At that time a flank fire also swept 
these trenches, which were now protected by many trans- 
verses. Yet I found the men perfectly cool and natural, 
just going about the work as they would have done any 

The bridge on our return was only under a partial fire ; 
but the enemy was again heavily shelUng the village. 

March 15. 
From " The Birds " I passed on to a rather similar 
position occupied by another regiment. In this case 
only a small section beyond the river was held, and the 
Austrian trenches were at a distance of 800 to 1000 yards. 
This meant a good deal of difference. The enemy was 
not pestering the advance posts with bombs at short 
range and incessant musketry fire. The approach was 
again over a plain bare except for some patches of trees, 
and there was again a lofty church, this time of particu- 
larly handsome outUnes, ruined by the Austrian artillery 
fire. From afar its two towers looked Hke severed and half- 
twisted stalks. The Austrians evidently feel sure that all 
churches are observation points for the Russian artillery. 
In this they are quite wrong. The Russians in general 
avoid all such use of churches; I know of many cases 
in this war in which churches have figured as points of 
vantage, but always for the Austrians. In more than 
one case, after the Austrian retreat, telephones for 
spy's communications have been found attached to 


the altars, and once a priest was caught at this 

We left our horses at a ruined building and crossed 
the bridge. The advanced works were deep and well 
constructed but, as at " The Birds," the trenches were 
often full of water, and one had to walk along them frog- 
wise with a foot pressed against each side. This did not 
affect the actual shelters of the officers and men, which 
were dry and fairly comfortable, with lots of straw. One 
could look through the embrasures or even in some parts 
over the top of the works, without being likely to confuse 
the Austrian lines with the Russians as one did at " The 
Birds." At one place, however, there was an unusual 
sight. A covered way actually ran without interruption 
direct from the one line to the other and was often used 
by the scouts of either side. At the Russian side it came 
right up to the wire entanglements and the rampart, and 
here there were always stationed sharpshooters with 
loaded rifles commanding it for about fifty yards. The 
enemy's lines were, of course, very plainly visible. 

In January a considerable action took place within 
this narrow compass. The Austrians came out in force 
and tried to storm the trenches. They swarmed up to 
the wire entanglements — over which the Russians in 
general took less trouble than the enemy, as they ordi- 
narily have the confidence of the aggressive — but they 
were beaten off with terrible loss. Blue uniforms covered 
all the space between the two lines. Those who fell 
nearest to the trenches were buried by the Russians 
without delay; but the Austrians made no attempt to 
bury their dead lying between, and their fire makes it 


quite impossible for the Russians to come out for this 
purpose. Thus, two months after the engagement, I 
saw these bodies still rotting there ; it will soon be spring ; 
and with the two lines so close the danger of infection 
is pressing for both sides. It would only need a truce 
of three hours to remove it, and the Russians would 
gladly make this arrangement and do the work. It 
seems to me one of those matters which even in this war 
could be dealt with by some international association, 
and I have communicated the details, through Prince 
Dolgorukov, to the Peace Society of Moscow. 

As usual in the regiments, and more especially in the 
trenches, I deUvered with the wish of the colonels a 
greeting to the men from England; and it is one of my 
chief interests, in making these visits, to see how warmly 
it is returned, usually with some variant of the Russian 
military response, " We are glad to do our best " — such 
as, for instance, " We'll have a try together and finish 
him." Here the men were particularly cordial. There 
was the usual interchange of news with the officers as 
to the eastern and western fronts. I think I may repeat 
that there is nowhere a more generous appreciation of 
England's work in the war than in the front hues of the 
Russian army. The attack on the Dardanelles, which 
promises to be the most decisive blow that has yet been 
dealt, arouses the greatest enthusiasm ; and the military 
preparations of England, their wholeheartedness and 
thoroughness, are a tremendous source of confidence to 
the Russians. How many times it has been said to 
me : " With England with us, we know we shall make a 
clean job of it." Here an officer quoted his father, who 


had always told him, " Where England is, there things 
go right." The support is not only moral. The spirit 
in the two countries is so identical that I frequently find 
in my letters from England the same phrases, word for 
word, as I am hearing in conversation here. But it is 
much more than that ; and when it becomes known how 
close, detailed and far-reaching is the co-operation between 
the three chief Allies, I am sure that it will be found that 
no alliance was ever more close or more effective. 

Our reappearance on the bridge drew a few bullets. 
In general all this firing has very httle result, and our 
people do not take the trouble to reply to it. As to 
artillery, I am sure they fire more than twenty shells to 
every one of ours. They do it in a routine way at fixed 
times for an hour, two hours or three at a time. Our 
artillery lets it pass till it becomes a nuisance and then, 
with infinitely superior precision, plumps a few shells 
straight into their lines. This sight I have witnessed 
more than once from our infantry trenches, which might 
be miles from our guns but were only a few hundred 
yards from the marks that they aimed at. It was interest- 
ing to see the immediate rebound of spirits among our 
infantry, who had been sitting almost without reply 
under the aimless crash and roar of the enemy's fire. By 
instinct they at once looked freely over the ramparts 
as privileged spectators, and called out to each other 
" Got him again," as the smoke of our shells rose from 
the enemy's line. At such times, indeed, the Austrian 
fire stops almost immediately; and in one place, after 
the first Russian shell, a commanding voice came to us 
from the other side : " Corporal, cease firing." 


March 26. 

The bombardment of Tarnow has continued. It is 
now nearly three months that it has gone on intermit- 
tently. Yesterday I was walking along a street when 
the heavy bustling goods-train sound of a big shell came 
rattling close overhead. There was a crash somewhere 
near, and a few soldiers who were close to us laughed 
and picked up a jagged segment. The street seemed 
full of people at once, and all moving toward where the 
shell had fallen. An old soldier with a cut face came 
moodily toward me, so I took his arm and walked with 
the crowd, as it was taking the direction of the chief 
local hospital, in which I often worked. 

I was afraid that the hospital itself was hit. Far as it 
was from the railway or anything of mihtary importance, 
it had more than once had the attention of the German 
heavy artillery. In January, while I was in this hospital, 
a sheU passed over us so near as to take the breath of 
the heavily-wounded Austrians who were lying there, 
and lodged about two hundred yards off, reducing a 
house to ruins. Some weeks later another shell lodged 
on an open space about 150 yards off. The Russian 
sisters of mercy, under Miss Homyakov, never lost their 
heads for a minute and set about reassuring the wounded ; 
but these last, who were themselves entirely helpless and 
could not distract their attention by helping any one else, 
were very agitated. No one was more indignant than 
the wounded Austrian officers, especially a colonel from 
Hungary, who regarded the German shot as without any 
kind of justification. The Russian Red Cross staff were 


urged from some sides to move the hospital to a safer 
place, but the sisters absolutely refused, because to trans- 
port many of the wounded would have meant death 
to them. The Commander of the Army conferred the 
George medal on them for their courage. 

As I now neared the hospital, I saw a huge rent in the 
building in front of it, which was mostly unoccupied. 
A whole wall of this huge building was torn out, and the 
iron staircase within was twisted into fantastic shapes. 
At the door of the hospital, nearly all the windows of 
which were broken, stood a crowd of townspeople, mostly 
women and children bringing in wounded. The operating- 
room was full; on one side an old man, on another a 
wounded girl with blanched face, and in an ante-room 
a woman with a wounded baby. Here the local Polish 
medical staff works hand in hand with the Russians; 
and with remarkable expedition the wounded all received 
first aid within half an hour. 

Twenty minutes, however, had hardly passed when a 
second shell banged into something else close to us. I 
found a little Pohsh boy, previously amputated here, 
crouching in the corridor and shivering with fear: I 
had to carry him back to his ward. Not more than 
250 yards off there was a large crowd looking at the new 
big shell pit (the shell came from a 12-inch gun). In 
a garden lay the corpse of a girl of twenty, terribly 
mangled, so that no head was to be distinguished ; and her 
father, running up, cried as if his heart would break and 
fell beside her. The people, who are of course Austrian 
subjects, were furious. 

Two days later the Commandant put up posters 


announcing that, on the statement of a captured 
Austrian officer, these guns are served by a native of 

Throughout the bombardment there have been hardly 
any Russian troops in the town, and it is the local popula- 
tion that suffers. The closeness of so many shell pits 
near the hospital suggests that this is one of the regular 
" numbers " or aims of the German artillery. 

March 30. 

The fall of Przemysl, which will now no doubt be 
called by its Russian name of Peremyshl, is in every way 

Even a few days before, quite well-informed people 
had no idea that the end was coming so soon. The town 
was a first-class fortress, whose development had been 
an object of special solicitude to the late Archduke 
Francis Ferdinand. Of course it was recognised that 
Peremyshl was the gate of Hungary and the key to 
Galicia; but, more than that, it was strengthened into 
a great point of debouchement for an aggressive move- 
ment by Austro-Hungary against Russia ; for the Russian 
policy of Austria, like her original plan of campaign, was 
based on the assumption of the offensive. It was gener- 
ally understood that Peremyshl was garrisoned by about 
50,000 men, that the garrison was exclusively Hungarian, 
and that the commander, Kusmanek, was one of the 
few really able Austrian commanders in this war. The 
stores were said to be enough for a siege of three years. 
The circle of the forts was so extended as to make opera- 


tions easy against any but the largest blockading force; 
and the aerodrome, which was well covered, gave com- 
munication with the outside world. An air post has 
run almost regularly, the letters (of which I have some) 
being stamped " Flieger-Post." As long as Peremyshl 
held out, the local Jews constantly circulated rumours of 
an Austrian return, and the Russian tenure of GaUcia 
remained precarious. The practical difficulties offered to 
the Russians by Peremyshl were very great ; for the one 
double railway hne westward runs through the town, so 
that all military and Red Cross communications have 
been indefinitely lengthened. 

My friend " Wiggins " did his part toward the taking 
of Peremyshl. The air-postmen, on their long journey 
to the fortress, are often shot at and sometimes brought 
down. An Austrian airman found himself compelled to 
descend on our ground; " Wiggins " sent a cart to be 
ready for him as he alighted, and that night all his papers 
were worked through. Among them was the now well- 
known army order of Kusmanek, announcing that the 
only way of safety lay through the enemy's lines, and that 
the men must conquer or die. But side by side with it 
was a letter from an Austrian staff officer to his wife. He 
explained that he took this opportunity of eluding the 
military censor, that a sortie was determined on, but that 
it was not Hkely to succeed, and that as to danger his 
wife need not feel anxious, as the staff did not go 
into the firing line. Word was sent off at once to the 
blockading army to expect the sortie. 

For weeks past the fortress had kept up a terrific fire 
which was greater than any experienced elsewhere from 



Austrian artillery. Thousands of shells yielded only 
tens of wounded, and it would seem that the Austrians 
could have had no other object than to get rid of their 
ammunition. The fire was now intensified to stupendous 
proportions and the sortie took place; but, so far from 
the whole garrison coming out, it was only a portion of 
it, and was driven back with the annihilation of almost 
a whole division. 

Now followed extraordinary scenes. Austrian soldiers 
were seen fighting each other, while the Russians looked 
on. Amid the chaos a small group of staff officers 
appeared, casually enough, with a white flag, and an- 
nounced surrender. Austrians were seen cutting pieces 
out of slaughtered horses that lay in heaps, and showing 
an entire indifference to their capture. Explosions of 
war material continued after the surrender. 

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

The numbers of the garrison of course reduced to one- 
third the time during which the food supplies would last ; 
but even so the fortress should have held out for a year. 


The epidemic diseases within the lines supply only a partial 
explanation. The troops, instead of being all Hungarians, 
were of various Austrian nationalities ; and there is good 
reason to think that the conditions of defence led to 
feuds, brawls, and in the end open disobedience of orders. 
This was all the more likely because, while food was 
squandered on the officers, the rank and file and the local 
population were reduced to extremes, and because the 
officers, to judge by the first sortie, took but little part 
in the actual fighting. The wholesale slaughter of horses 
of itself robbed the army of its mobiHty. The fall of 
Peremyshl is the most striking example so far of the 
general demorahsation of the Austrian army and 

Peremyshl, so long a formidable hindrance to the 
Russians, is now a splendid base for an advance into 

April I. 

I am afraid to-day, which, by the way, was Bismarck's 
birthday, is a bad date to put to any anticipations as to 
the war. But things seem to be taking a more definite 
direction than for some months past, and one may say 
that the possibility of decisive events is now in sight. 

If one glances along both fronts, western and eastern, 
one sees, I think, only a single point at which a reaUy 
decisive blow, mihtary and political, is possible ; it is, of 
course, the junction on the eastern front of Austro- 
Hungary and Germany. This has been clear to every 
one for some time past. But one may go further. The 
greatest strength of our enemies, both pohtical and 


military, lies in two parts, Prussia and Hungary; and 
the gap between Prussia and Hungary is a very much 
wider one than the Austro-German frontier. In this 
gap lie Slavonic peoples, the Czechs (Bohemians), Mora- 
vians and Slovaks, whose representatives in arms have 
shown by extensive surrenders that their sympathies 
are rather with us than with the enemy. A number of 
mountain chains, the Carpathians, Giant Mountains, 
Erzgebirge and Bohmerwald, give this group rough 
geographical boundaries. 

Germany, under the lead of Prussia, is a powerful and 
compact unit which has so far given itself heart and soul 
to this war. Divisions in the future here are by no means 
impossible. There have been brawls even in this war 
between Prussian and Bavarian troops (in the Argonne) ; 
and it is not difficult to picture a return of the old jealousies 
which less than fifty years ago put South Germany and 
Saxony into the opposite camp to Prussia. Here, too, 
the Bohmerwald, Thiiringerwald and Erzgebirge have 
a traditional political and military significance; but 
such divisions are not at present in sight, and can only 
follow on decisive events on the western front. Prussia 
is at present not at all likely to be troubled by them. 

It is very different with Hungary. What an extra- 
ordinary position this valiant people holds, drowned, as 
has been said, in an ocean of Slavs, and what vigour it 
has shown in maintaining it. The Magyar from Asia has 
planted himself on the roUing plains of the Theiss and 
Danube and, though he does not inhabit the surrounding 
mountains, he has managed to grip them into a strong 
kingdom with good geographical boundaries. He has 


made himself the equal, almost the predominant partner 
with Vienna and the Austrian Germans in the Austro- 
Hungarian state, and his strength rests in the depriva- 
tion of the surrounding Slavs of any equal voice in the 
destinies of this monarchy. He has gone wholesale for 
the intimate connexion between Austro-Hungary and 
Germany which makes the first an instrament of the 
policy of the second, with many incidental gains to him- 
self at the expense of the Slavs. 

Now for the Magyar has come a time of reckoning. 
Russia, the big brother of the Slavs and his own hereditary 
enemy, stands at his door. The protecting glacis of 
Galicia has been torn away and Peremyshl, the road out 
and the road in, has fallen. Even on the south there 
is a victorious enemy, the Serbian, who has just claims 
on some of his territory. To east, the sky is equally 
cloudy for him. Transylvania, a mountain barrier whose 
loss would leave him defenceless on this side, has a large 
Rumanian population, which his oppressive poUcy has 
driven to its natural affinities; and Rumania seeks the 
realisation here of her traditional ambitions. 

The Russians are fighting their way from hill to hill 
through the Carpathians. The Austro-Hungarian army 
has suffered severely in each of the many counterstrokes 
which it had to attempt in the interest of the German 
plan of common defence. The cavalry is practically gone 
and the infantry is very exhausted. Sacrifice made 
to Germany at the beginning of the war, when so many 
of the Austro-Hungarian guns and motors were sent to 
the western front, have left their marks on the Hungarian 
artillery. The Carpathians are like a fan, and might 


perhaps have been held from the inside, but they have 
at many points been lost step by step; and once they 
are crossed, the converging passes will bring the Russians 
together into a compact mass on the further side. 

There is one strong man in Hungary, Count Tisza, 
and he still reserves his hand. He is fighting meanwhile 
the desperate battle of the Austro-German connexion, 
to abandon which is to put Hungary at the mercy of 
Russia and to sign the abdication of the Magyars' mastery 
over his Slav subjects; but this seems to be the result 
which awaits him almost inevitably. 

Germany is for every reason bound to do all that she 
can to save Hungary. But the Russian advance, what- 
ever direction it takes, must make an ever-widening gap 
between the two aUies. 

April 4. 

I had known the airmen for some time. Sometimes I 
met them discussing sporting enterprises with their chief 
in the conspirative quarters of " Wiggins." Sometimes 
I dropped in at their spacious lodging in the town, where 
everything, meals, talk or plans, seemed to go with a 
peculiar briskness and lightness; in particular there was 
this touch about any of the several services which they 
rendered me. It was Russian in spirit, but in manner 
very reminiscent of England. Several of the airmen 
might be English, and one of them they call " the 

On every fine day we see the aeroplanes above the 
town, and at different points on both sides there are 
batteries for firing on them. There are no longer duels 


of airmen on the eastern front ; there were two or three, 
but now they are apparently forbidden on both sides. 
It was felt to be waste to lose a competent airman in order 
to kill one of the enemy. This means that there is no 
such attempt on either side to drive the enemy from the 
air, as was anticipated by Mr. Wells. Thus on both sides 
the airman has come to stay, and the whole significance 
of his work is not in fighting but scouting. It is, of course, 
far the most valuable scout- work that can be done; alto- 
gether wider and more far-reaching than any other kind ; 
and there can hardly be any doubt that in the future no 
Chief of Staff but will have to fly and to fly often. On 
nearly every one of Napoleon's battlefields one will find 
some commanding point from which he fought and won ; 
there is no such point at Borodino or Leipzig, but that 
helps to explain why these battles were not won. Now, 
with the scope of operations and of pitched battles enorm- 
ously enlarged, there has come also the ideal way of seeing. 

On the other hand, the earth does not give up without 
a fight. Batteries capable of any direction and almost 
any elevation can guard those parts where the enemy's 
eye is most to be avoided. Experience on this side shows 
that the airman can be kept out of such parts. 

The contest is an interesting one to watch. The airman 
has first to fetch inland, that is away from his own lines 
in order to get as much height as possible. The guns can 
hit far higher than the airman will fly, that is if they wish 
to see anything. The Austrian flyers are therefore well 
within range, and the Russians, who take more sporting 
risks, often go not much more than half the height of the 
Austrians. In this connexion one must remember the 


infinitely greater precision of the Russian artillery. On 
a fine day the buzz of the aeroplanes and the boom of the 
batteries are among the most customary sounds here. 
One sees the Uttle puff of shrapnel at different points in 
the blue sky; the aeroplane always makes off as soon as 
possible, and it is seldom hit. It is hard to hit the motor, 
though I have seen an airship which we struck on one of 
its cylinders ; shots on the wings or tail are seldom danger- 
ous. The man who knows least of what is happening is 
the airman himself, for the noise of his motor drowns any 

April 6. 
Yesterday I went out to the aerodrome. I was given 
some breakfast in a cottage, and saw the different 
types of machines while waiting for the Chief of the 
Section. I was also shown the little missiles which the 
Austrians and Russians respectively let fall : the Austrian 
is like a pointed thermometer and the Russian is like a 
rounded letter-weight with little wings. After a while 
there came over the high level ground a tall man with a 
swinging stride and a little grizzled man whose walk and 
manner spoke of quickness and decision. This last was 
the Chief of the Section, and he has a great reputation 
among Russian airmen. Two of the smaller machines 
went out scouting. One seemed at first a little unsteady, 
but the other made a splendid take-off and rose like a 
bird ; soon one of them returned, having gone far beyond 
the enemy's line in an hour and a half. My turn came 
next, and I was seated in a larger machine with a most 
capable chauffeur, who sat in front of me. He cried : 



" Contact obtained "; the men fell back for a moment, 
and then we rushed smoothly along the ground, soon rising 
into the air. We made a circle above the town, returned 
over the aerodrome, saluted our friends and then struck 
away inland away from the front to get the necessary 
elevation. We passed over a map of ponds and villages 
and copses, all clearly marked in the bright sunshine, with 
the long ridge of the snowy Carpathians to the right of us. 
Then we turned and swept higher over the same ground 
as before straight for the lines. In front, at right angles 
to us, lay the dividing river like a long, twisted ribbon, and 
as soon as we neared it we swept to the right and along it. 
All the different points at which I had stayed came out 
clear in the sunlight. Here was the piece across the river 
where I had seen the scouting; there were " The Birds " 
with the high ruined church behind them; further came 
the smaller outpost ; and in the distance lay the marshes 
in the neighbourhood of the Upper Vistula. We again 
faced about and this time passed right over the river 
which divided the hostile hnes, following it further south- 
ward by the broken bridge and to the main road, near the 
point where I had sat at night among the sentries and 
to the hills which had been the scene of the action with 
the Tirolese. But for me the main interest of this, my first 
air ride, was that suddenly the unknown land beyond 
the fatal line was as clearly outlined as all that was so well 
known to me. Till now I had seen here a field and a line 
of ramparts, there a river with trees, and there again a hill. 
It is true that sometimes I had had good field-glass views 
of a given landscape with signs of life, but now to the 
naked eye both sides were for the first time parts of one 


common world, the dividing line ran thin and almost 
undividing, and all was alive. There occurs to one the 
notable description by Tolstoy of Nicholas Rostov looking 
across the field. The wonderful and real things that that 
field meant were gone. The tremendous and human 
struggle of all Europe was become a simple problem of 
science ; one had mounted to the skies and reached what 
Napoleon, with his heartlessness and his seeing mind, had 
called " the celestial side of the art of war." What would 
he have given for this view, where his trained eye could 
have marked down not only the numbers indicated by 
slight symptoms, but the full bearing of each, suggested 
by the flash of genius so typical of him. Surely it was 
a measure of magnificent consolation for the enormous 
widening of the area of combat. 

The dull flats beyond the river rose to higher ground 
eastward, and there on a high wooded plateau ran the 
railway dead straight, and at one point a stationary train 
marked the centre of many of our troubles, the point from 
which the 42-centimetre guns had been bombarding 
Tarnow. As our aeroplanes flew along the river, there 
flicked out from a copse a shot from a masked Austrian 
air-battery, posted there to keep off the too curious eye. 
I was told afterwards that there were other shots, but we 
did not see or hear them. 

We returned as we came, making a great circuit away 
from the lines and wheeling always nearer to the earth. 
We made a straight drive over the aerodrome while the 
company of airmen stood at the salute, and after circling 
once more over the town came to the ground. We had 
had an hour's run, and our highest elevation was 1300 


metres. It appeared that there had been awkward cur- 
rents of wind and that we had wobbled a good deal, but 
it had not seemed so to me, and what I remembered was a 
smooth, regular motion and a broad back and a cool head 
in front of me. 

April 7. 
My flying friends have a small but very interesting 
collection of letters which, with the leave of the authori- 
ties, no doubt on both sides, have been exchanged between 
them and the airmen of the enemy. It is headed simply, 
" Correspondence with the — th Austrian Section of 
Aviators." It opens with a letter from the Russian Chief 
of Section : " Airmen of yours have been taken prisoner 
in civil costume. They said that our officers have also, 
which we doubt. Please let us know what is the character 
of the serious wound of Lt. X, taken prisoner by you on 
January — th." This note was dropped on the Austrian 
aerodrome with two letters from Austrian prisoners. As 
the answer was delayed, the Russians dropped a second 
note, this time in German, on the same place. It re- 
ported that the captive Austrians were unwounded and 

proceeds : " Your note picked up at on the th 

of March leaves the impression that our first message has 
not reached you; we therefore would respectfully ask 
you to answer our note. We also send a friendly-foe- 
manly request that you will give us news of our airman, 

Lt. . He was taken prisoner on the — th of January 

and was wounded. We should like to know how it hap- 
pened and whether the wound is slight or serious. — The 
Russian][Fly ers . " 



To this the following answer was received from the 
Austrian Chief of Section : " My hearty thanks for your 
letter, which I have just got. I am sorry that I have not 
had time to drop on you a photograph of the machine of 

Lt. . On March the — th and the — th we have 

dropped you news of your airmen taken prisoners \the 
names follow], I therefore repeat that all four were 
unwounded and have probably been transported to the 

prettiest part of our country, Salzburg. Lts. and 

got a shot on their sparking apparatus. I have 

myself had a talk with Lt. . I saw no signs of any 

wound. In future every note of yours wiU be answered, 
and the answer will be dropped on your aerodrome. — With 
best greeting, Your ever devoted enemy, August, Baron 
von Mandelslob." 

To this the Russians rephed, under name and address 
of the Austrian Chief of Staff : " Our hearty thanks for 
yesterday's note which dropped straight on our aerodrome. 
We are sorry not to be able to tell you to what part of 
our country your airmen have been sent, but we think that 
the address will soon be sent you by earth-post by the 
prisoners themselves. The Albatross was shot to pieces, 
about thirty bullets in the wings and body. One bullet 
hit the propeller, but made only a smooth hole without 

any fissure. The two airmen, Lts. and are 

unhurt. With this note we shall drop on you two letters 
from the prisoners. Please address your next note as 

follows ( ). God greet you. — The Russian 


The Austrians continued : " A few days ago our airmen. 
Captain , Oberleutnant , Oberleutnant , 


Professor D and two lieutenants with two airship 

chauffeurs, left Przemysl in a balloon and are lost. We 
beg you friendly-foemanly to drop on our aerodrome news 
of these officers " [three signatures]. Baron von Mandel- 
slob also writes : " Many thanks for your last lines about 
the loss of our Albatross. I am sorry to say that we have 
not for some time had the honour of seeing Russian airmen 
among us on the ground. Will you be so kind as to for- 
ward to Omsk the accompanying note to our captive 

airman, Lt. ? We will try to get the address of 

your airmen prisoners, and then you will be able to write 
to them. Best greeting." 

The Russians reply : " A happy Easter. Many thanks 
for yesterday's letter. Your note will be sent at once to 

Lt. . On March — th we received a communication 

about three balloons from Pzremysl. It was signed by 
Captain Kahlen. As we do not know this gentleman, we 
address to you, with the friendly request to forward to 
him. All the three balloons landed in Russia. We have 
only private news of them, and understand that all the 
airmen were aUve and well. We ask you to forward the 
four accompanying letters to the proper addresses. We 
have been waiting for an answer to our letter of the — th, 
and that is why these letters are late. What was wrong 
with your motor yesterday ? We thought we should soon 
have the honour of seeing the enemy's airship land on our 
aerodrome. Best greeting and Easter wishes to all the 

gentlemen of the Section of Aviators. — The Russian 

Flyers." This letter was dropped on the Austrian aero- 
drome, and also on the same day an Easter egg and a large 
box of Russian cigarettes. On Easter Sunday an enor- 


mous Easter egg, with the inscription in Russian " Christ 
is risen," was dropped from an aeroplane and, having a 
parachute attached to it, fell slowly on the Austrian 


It was Easter Eve. A wide awning had been set up, 
and in front of it an altar with flaming lights all round it. 
The tall priest served the Liturgy with wonderful spirit; 
sometimes it was a hurried and fervent whisper; some- 
times his voice rose to a battle-cry, as when he powerfully 
swayed the Cross almost as if it were a weapon. On the 
grass, grouped in chance masses, stood the soldiers of the 
N regiment, most of them holding lighted candles, with 
their officers gathered in front. The young colonel stood 
near the priest ; through Lent he had shown the example 
of rigorous fasting. On the other side was a strong choir 
of soldiers, led with the slightest movements of the hand. 

The service begins with a time of waiting; then there 
are movements of expectancy, and the priest retires, as 
if to see whether the coffin of the Saviour is still in its 
place. He comes back and whispers, " Christ is risen," 
and these words, which are themselves in Russian like a 
whisper ("Christos Voskres") are taken up by the choir, 
first very softly and later rising to a song of triumph. 

The service ends with the Eucharist. The words " Lift 
up your hearts " were a moment of wonderful spirit and 
elevation. The priest took the Sacrament on bended 
knees with the greatest reverence and feeling, and ad- 
ministered it to two of the soldiers. 

Now every one, beginning with the colonel, approached 
in turn to kiss the Cross. Then each turned to his neigh- 


hour and gave the threefold brother's kiss, with the 
words " Christ is risen," to which comes the answer, " He 
is risen indeed." All the officers gave the kiss to the 
priest and the colonel. From the neighbouring lines shone 
out two projectors, whose lights crossed to form the first 
letter of the name of Christ — X. 

We drove off to the officers' mess, which was in a large 
cottage. At the crowded tables there reigned the spirit 
of brotherhood. After the Emperor's toast the colonel 
and the regiment drank to King George and England, and 
all stood waving their glasses and roaring hurrah, while I 
went round and touched glasses with each. My toast 
was that the alliance should last on after the war. 
We had other toasts, the sisters of mercy, the colonel's 
wife, and above all the regiment. It was well on in the 
early morning when the young officers on horseback 
escorted their guests back to the town. 

On Easter Sunday some of the Red Cross people went 
out to the front. At this point both sides had agreed not 
to shoot, and the men came out of their trenches and 
fraternised across the Dunajec, the Russians producing a 
harmonium. Newspapers were exchanged; and an 
Austrian officer sat down and wrote some impromptu 
verses, which he fastened to a stone and threw across. 
The verses began very peaceably, but had an unexpected 
end which, my friends felt, would be specially interesting 
to me. I give them in German with a translation — 

Auf Grund der hohen Feier tage 
Geandert unsere Feindeslage. 
Wir leben heut' in tiefem Frieden : 
Zur kiirzen Zeit ist's uns beschieden. 

JASLO 178 

Dann werden wir die Waffen massen; 
Jedoch soil niemals man vergessen 
Den Stifter deiser Weltenbrand. 
" Gott Strafe England." 

The holy days of Easter-tide 
Have set our enmity aside. 
We live in perfect peace to-day : 
'Tis but a little time we may. 
Then to our weapons we must get; 
But ever we'll remember yet 
Who lit this fire of world-wide wrack; 
O God, pay England back. 

Aj>ril 9. 

I have been visiting my friends at the Staff of the army 
at Jaslo. Even this place has not been immune, bombs 
have been thrown from aeroplanes, doing no damage to 
the army but wounding and killing some children. 

I visited the General in command, who is in splendid 
spirits. He is the simplest of men, and stops in the streets 
to talk to the children or to any new arrival. He is happy 
now, because things are going forward. 

The Staff lies in rather better quarters here, but with 
the same simplicity as when I first visited it at Pilsno. 
One of the regiments I knew came through in fine style 
with its colonel at its head ; it had done forty-eight miles 
in two days, and was ready for any amount more. The 
different battalions were singing different soldiers' songs, 
each taking pride in getting a good swing and putting in 
the best foot forward. I was struck with one man who 
marched at the side leading the songs with a mouth like 
a brass instrument and a voice to match. 

Two German airmen have just come down here. They 


had made a wide circuit, and were brought down by the 
failure of their motor. As always here, they are being 
well treated. Even in the case of spies caught red- 
handed, it is most difficult to get the Russian soldier to 
shoot, especially if the condemned shows any sign of 

Austrian soldiers are to be seen here ever3rwhere. The 
Germans and Magyars are under close surveillance; but 
the Austrian Slavs are ordinarily allowed to wander about 
freely. Many of them have shown in the most thorough 
way their attachment to the Russian cause; but I am 
told on the best authority for this area, that there is not 
a known instance of their abusing their liberty to play 
the part of spies. At many points on the Austrian front 
the Slavonic cause is like a kind of contagion. Under 
German direction disaffected troops are moved from one 
point to another to escape this infection, and finally, at 
the first opportunity, come over en masse. 

Every day the prisoners are gathered together in groups 
according to their various nationaUties for examination. 
These interrogations, which are of a very systematic kind, 
obtain very interesting results. Most of the prisoners 
testify to a shortness of food, not only in the front but 
in the rear. Letters from home to them speak of the 
dearness of all food; some necessities cannot even be 
obtained for money, and different parts of the empire 
are applying to each other for them in vain. Nowhere is 
there any spirit left. The only comfort which the officers 
can suggest is to await some success from the Germans. 
Some, moreover, describe the officers as being never on 
view, except to abuse their men, treating them worse 



than cattle : " So that one does not know whether one is 
a man or not." Only one Austrian officer so far has been 
taken in this part with a bayonet wound. It is known 
that there have been further protests in Bohemia after the 
taking of Peremyshl, and that the severest repression has 
been used, also that two Polish regiments have been 
literally decimated, that is, that every tenth man in them 
has been shot. One man's brother writes to him that he is 
called for the first time to the army at the age of forty- 
eight, and in his part the last call covers those between 
forty-two and fifty-two. Other new battaUons are 
formed, ninety per cent, of reservists and ten per cent, of 
wounded who have returned to the colours; in most of 
them there is now a hopeless mix up of all nationalities. 
Some describe their training as having only lasted four 
weeks. In all cases the preoccupation of the command- 
ing officers is regarding retreat. 

April II. 
The centre of interest is now in the Carpathians. If 
Russia could have advanced with success against the 
strong German positions in East Prussia, she would have 
secured her right flank, but only as far as the sea, which 
would still have remained in German hands. On her 
left, her victories in Galicia have brought her to a very 
different barrier, which, if passed by her, will certainly 
remain impassable for the beaten enemy. It is a good 
thing that the Austrians, continually spurred forward 
by the Germans, have exhausted themselves in one 
desperate counter-attack after another on Galicia. It 
is a good thing that the Germans, realising what the 


ultimate defeat of Austria must mean to them, have 
diverted so many of their forces to this side. It is best 
of all that they have risked a desperate advance in the 
Bukovina and even as far as the Russian frontier, in 
the hope of dragging Rumania in on their side. The 
fall of Peremyshl has opened the gates of Hungary and 
has made possible a movement which threatens vital 
results on this front. Hungary and Prussia are the two 
keys to our triumph in this war. The one element in 
Austria that holds firm to the Prussian alliance is the 
Magyar ; the one statesman in Austria is the Hungarian, 
Count Tisza, whose estate almost on the crest of the 
Carpathians is now in Russian hands. A Russian advance 
on this side can crush Hungary or cut her from Prussia. 
It can bring even the Magyar to wish for peace; it can 
finally put aside all action of Austria; and along the 
real barrier thus secured to the south, it can facilitate 
the concentration of the forces of the allies against the 
main enemy. It is, indeed, good that this effect comes 
at the time when we are hammering at the gates of 
Constantinople and opening up an effective advance 
from our western front. 

But the task in the Carpathians is a stupendous one, 
and it comes when the Russian army has been tried to 
the full by the tremendous work which it has already 
gone through. We had in England no adequate army 
when the war began ; we had not reckoned on the shame- 
less violation of Belgian territory or on the obligations 
of a joint struggle with allies for the independence of 
Europe. Every one in Russia understands the miracle 
that we have done in creating so rapidly a really competent 


continental army on the basis of volunteer service, and 
every one sees that we were right to defer our blow till 
the great new instrument was whole and perfected. But 
it is Russia who has given us time for preparing our 
action on land; and the sacrifices which this has cost 
her are heavy indeed. The tremendous impact at Rava 
Ruska was followed by another prolonged and extermi- 
nating effort on the San, and this takes no account of 
the work which was done in holding the furious attacks 
of the main enemy in Russian Poland. These efforts 
put a terrible drain on the Russian resources. While 
we stood firm on the west, whole Russian regiments 
were almost annihilated in the victorious storming of 
one Austrian position after another. In my earlier 
visits to regiments I have often asked how many men 
of the first call still remain; sometimes only six of a 
company were still left, sometimes it was hardly more 
out of a whole regiment. It was an army already re- 
placed at almost every point which had to attempt the 
conquest of the Carpathians. 

The Carpathians are not the Alps. It might be easier 
if they were, for there would be fewer positions capable 
of being defended. They are a belt of high and higher 
hills some sixty miles or more in breadth, where whole 
armies can hold line after line. They are full of trees, 
water and mud. Only one double line of railway runs 
through them. As they have the shape of a fan spread 
northwards, the defence can concentrate backward along 
the various converging passes and can, in a relatively 
small space, almost block the narrow entrance to the 
Hungarian plain. But once that final barrier is passed, 



Hungary is lost. Any counter advance can be blocked 
without great expenditure of forces, and the conqueror 
will be free to advance southwards or westwards. 

April 12. 

At the Staff of the Army I fell in with a number of 
casual acquaintances who all saluted me as " Mister." 
There was a keen young flying-man who was now going 
back to his cavalry regiment, and a colonel sent to take 
temporary command of an infantry regiment. The talk 
was in fragments and all of incidents of camp life or 
engagements. We knew that another advance had been 
made and that big things were going forward. 

All night we travelled by train, with changes and queer 
moments in the dark when our luggage ought to have 
been lost but wasn't. In the early morning the Colonel 
and I were on an engine climbing the Carpathians along 
a fine double track. We sat like Dean and Archdeacon 
in little side stalls with our things stacked where there 
was least coal and bilge, while the engine-driver, a most 
intelligent man from the Caucasus, explained the diffi- 
culties of his work. The rise is a very steep one, and 
we had a front view of it, passing up long slopes or 
through strata of yellow rock. In these mountains one 
had at once the feehng of being altogether away from 
Russia; and the new Russian army notices blending 
with the earlier Polish and Hungarian inscriptions 
suggested the atmosphere of a big adventure. All 
along the beautiful slopes there was the look of a 
huge Russian picnic, soldiers sitting at rest in great 


boyish crowds very much as in peace time the peasants 
do on the sloping banks of the Volga. The bright 
dresses of the Ruthenian women and the almost theatrical 
picturesqueness of their men-folk touched the whole with 

Alighting at a station near the top, I found the usual 
war crowd and park of waiting army carts, and a brisk- 
faced intendant who rapped out business-like answers 
to a running fire of questions from all sides. My own 
business was to get to General Dobrotin, and it was 
made easy by the appearance of a plain-faced officer 
who said, " He's the man who pours cold water over 
himself in the morning ; give him to me ; we know him 
all over the division." I was soon in a formanka — a 
sort of boat-like cart which works particularly well in 
the mountains — and making my way up the gorge, at 
first with a broad shallow river to my left and later 
branching into the hills. Here in a little gully lay a 
scattered village; and the notes of a mountain flute 
were wafted down the slope. 

General Dobrotin and his famous division have had 
far more than their share of the great fighting in this 
war; and they have been given one critical task after 
another, because their action has so often been decisive. 
In no less than three great movements they made the 
first cut in, and held the ground won as a kind of pivot 
until the whole operation was successfully completed. 
It was so at Rava Russka, on the San, and at Muchowka. 
They had now been transferred to the other flank of 
our Army. 

It was the second time that this division, now enlarged 


into an army corps, had had mountain fighting, to which 
the Russian soldier is much less accustomed than to the 
plains. This time the task was a stupendous one. The 
railway pass crosses one of the lowest parts of the Car- 
pathians, but close to it rises the long, steep ridge of 
the Eastern Beskides, which is the actual crest of the 
range at this point. It is covered with forest, and forms 
a line of rounded heights which are often separated from 
each other by almost precipitous gullies. Along this line 
ran a chain of carefully prepared positions, which the 
Austrian officers regarded as inaccessible. 

Dobrotin's force, brought up with the greatest secrecy, 
had in some cases hardly detrained before it was 
launched to the attack. It soon mastered the outlying 
ground and then marched from all sides to the attack 
of the main ridge. The Russian infantry, on which 
has fallen the brunt of attack in this war, does not 
ordinarily go forward in close columns like the German. 
Groups of men, led by the instinctive enterprise of the 
more daring, gain one point of vantage after another, 
each of which forms a pivot for an advance of the whole 
line. In night attacks the movement can, of course, be 
more general and more rapid. In any case the last 
hundred yards or so are covered at a rush ; but there is 
an inevitable pause before the wire entanglements, which 
in front of the Austrian trenches are generally most 
elaborate and have to be cut through with enormous 
scissors under a storm of fire, especially of quick-firing 

The Russians went up the slope with unconquerable 
daring, the new recruits showing the same courage as 


those already seasoned by the war. The whole operation 
went with a simplicity which made short work of all 
obstacles. Under a furious fire the men swarmed into 
the Austrian trenches, at once overcoming all opposition. 
There is no easy retreat from heights of this kind; 
everywhere hands were thrown up and the positions 
were won. The Russians sit firm on the crest of the 

The staff from which this crucial attack was directed 
lived like a little family of brothers in a farmhouse in 
the valley. The General, white-haired, with one eye left, 
and with two other wounds, but with a youthful vigour 
of voice and movement, lived among his officers with a 
comradely simplicity, now patting one on the back, now 
sharing with another a bench on which to draw up a 
report, now gazing with amused interest at the regi- 
mental chronicler at work with his typewriter. His was 
an authority absolute. 

Afril 14. 

The F and J Regiments were to storm a height of 
about 2,500 feet on the further side of the Beskides and 
thus close the flank of the newly-won positions against 
any turning movement of the enemy. 

I set out in the General's britchka in a swirling storm 
of sleet. Ground could only be made very slowly ; for 
the whole country was sunk in deep mud. On a slope 
in the road we came upon an ambulance transport 
stuck fast, with a couple of soldiers using all their ex- 
pletives, which would have translated quite simply into 


English. Soon afterwards we had to leave the road and 
plough through spongy meadows intersected with ditches. 
At one ditch there were two sharp cracks, and here both 
our springs were broken. 

It was a desolate halting-place, with no one in sight. 
My soldier-driver announced : " We shall go nowhere 
with this to-day." However, he set to work and showed 
prodigies of strength and resource, using broken boughs 
as levers, detaching certain parts of the carriage for 
strange uses in other places, and more than once lifting 
the cart almost off its wheels by its own strength. 
I made a fruitless journey for help; and a squadron 
passing on its way to the front could no nothing for us. 
My driver did, indeed, succeed in tying up the broken 
springs; but the most that he could hope for was to 
get back safely; so I went forward on foot over a bog 
and a moor, to the nearest village. Here I found a train 
of transports, whose captain kindly sent help to the 
britchka, and I myself went on to the staff of the J 
Regiment. This was in a Ruthenian cottage several 
miles behind the firing line; only orderlies were left 
here besides the Ruthenian family, which almost always 
remains in some comer of its hut during occupation 
by the Russians. These people had vigorous, handsome 
faces, and were dressed, men and women, in bright 
colours; they sat almost silent in an attitude of long 
waiting. While I was with them, orders came for the 
staff to move on : a squad of men marched in, and, 
saluting, took away the regimental flag, tramping off 
southwards. As the last man left, the Ruthenians began 
to talk, at first in whispers. Their language was Russian, 


their religion Uniat, and they had much more in common 
with the invader than with the neighbouring Magyar. 

The delays had spoiled my chance of seeing the action, 
which was nearly over. Horses sent from the front took 
me on to the new headquarters of the F Regiment. 
It was a big cottage with two bare, spacious rooms. 
On the wall of one were pencil pictures of Hindenburg, 
surrounded with a laurel wreath, and Austrian ladies 
of various degrees of comeliness. The officer in charge 
made me comfortable; and from the outside room were 
audible the telephone reports from the battlefield. The 
first words that I heard were " rank and file many : 
number not yet ascertained." 

The staff had left this cottage at six in the morning. 
At eight the Russians opened a heavy artillery fire which 
came home on a weak part of the enemy's line. At 
eleven the infantry left its trenches and advanced, point 
by point, making shallow holes with head-cover at each 
line when it halted. At five in the evening, being now 
within storming distance, the whole Russian line went 
forward. The Austrian front was pierced at two points ; 
to left and to right their quick-firing guns continued to 
play with deadly effect, but with a third great sweep 
forward in the centre, the whole position were surrounded 
and carried, nothing being possible for the enemy except 
surrender. The regiment encamped on the conquered 

All this came in over the telephone, with first some 
and then more detail, as to the losses. " G. is killed " ; 
" H. is shot in the ear"; " L. is wounded"; " G. is 
missing"; " G. is at the station, seriously wounded." 


The group of soldiers at the telephone were all taken 
up with the general course of the action. I asked the 
officer if G. was a great friend : " I am sorry for him," 
he said. " He's a comrade." Every word of the reports 
was checked by the receiver and then repeated to the 
divisional officers. It was clear that the Austrian 
positions were very strong, and that the chief damage 
was done by their machine-guns. 

I was in bed in my comer, when there was a hubbub 
of rather exacting voices; it was a group of fifteen 
captured Austrian officers. One, who retained the habit 
of command, quieted the rest and then entered our room. 
He was a young captain, strong and healthy, and showed 
no sign of confusion or annoyance. He seated himself 
to the good meal which his captors had prepared for 
him, ate with appetite and, turning to the Russians, 
said vigorously, " I see no point in this war; it should 
be stopped : it is all England's fault." I interposed 
from my comer and asked for his reasons ; he had none ; 
he said, "That's the only way that I can explain it; 
England is the only real enemy of Germany; she has 
egged on the others indirectly; and she has kept her 
own fleet in harbour." We had a friendly discussion 
as to the facts of the matter, especially about the Austrian 
policy of aggression at the expense of the Slavs and Russia ; 
and he ended by saying that he knew nothing of politics 
and did not think that officers ought to. He told me 
the Austrian trenches were flooded, and though the 
food was fair, the condition of the men was enough to 
make his heart bleed. When the hill was taken, he was 
at the telephone ; he saw that the Russians were through 


on the left, that they were through on the right, and that 
they were storming the centre. " There was no point 
in running on them," he said simply, " so I surrendered. 
But I'm keeping you awake, am I not ? " 

A young sentry came in, saluted the regimental flag, 
and mounted guard over it, his face settling at once into 
a fixed stare. When I woke the next morning, the man, 
his pose and his stare were still the same. 

Along the drenched road and fields came numberless 
batches of blue Austrian uniforms, prisoners, usually 
escorted only by one brown Russian. I had a lot of 
talk with some of these. " Miser ahel " was their word 
for their condition before capture. All were sick of the 
war, " even the Hungarians now, though at first they 
Uked it." " The main thing," said one, " is that people 
should not go on killing each other : nothing else counts. 
As to territory, it's all one to me to what State my home 
belongs ; I only want to earn my living." " When you 
hear that in Russia," I said, " you will have the kind of 
peace that you ask for, but I don't think you ever will." 

The colonel came back with his staff, drenched through, 
even to the case of his field-glass, but jubilant. After 
the rest came a middle-aged officer with his head bound 
up, and that gentle look which accompanies head wounds. 
He said in a conversational voice " Hurrah " and sat 
down. Some one asked him of his wound; and he 
simply answered, " Oh, that's nothing." 

April i6. 
I have been to see one of the first regiments which I 
visited, in its new surroundings. When I was first with 


the H's, they were maintaining ground under difficulties. 
They were opposite a notable and commanding height, 
which could sweep the Russian line with a cross-fire 
or lodge bombs among the H's at short range. I re- 
member in particular a visit to an exposed part of the 
trenches in company with two officers, one a fair-haired 
florid young man who sniped at stray Austrians, the 
other also young, but dark and sallow, evidently not 
strong, to whom this part of the front had been entrusted. 
When I said I should like to visit it, he said, " You'll be 
killed " ; and when I rather pointlessly said, " That is 
interesting," he replied, " No, it is not interesting." He 
struck me and others as bearing a hard burden, and 
bearing it well. I remember the fair young man sniping 
at the enemy, and also deahng with a soldier who asked 
to be sent to the rear. " What's his wound ? That's 
not much." " Yes, but he has a wife and three children." 
" Then I should say he is one of those who ought to 
stay : he has seen a bit of life." 

I found the H's beyond the Beskides. My orderly 
and I rode over a broad shoulder, then crossed a gully, 
and climbed the main ridge at one of its lower points. 
The Beskides are the frontier between Galicia and Hun- 
gary, and they are in almost every sense a dividing line. 
From here the rivers flow respectively north and south — 
to the Vistula and Baltic or to the Danube and Black 
Sea. There is a marked difference between the views 
northward and southward. Though on a very much 
larger scale and with greater detail, it recalls the difference 
between the northern and southern views from Newlands 
Comer in Surrey. To the north, it is true, there are 


descending lines of hills, but they are uniform and severe, 
and covered mostly with firs. To the south opens up a 
whole series of Hascombes and Hind Heads and, best of 
all, Horseblock Hollows. It is an English forest, of oaks 
and elms and especially beeches ; and the firs and pines, as 
in Surrey, are in relief and not in sole possession. Many 
of the hills are covered with brown fern like the hills 
in east Herefordshire. The earth is rich in soil, in water 
which seems to bubble to the surface as soon as one 
makes any hole in it, and also in snakes, of which a 
great number have been found wintering by the Russian 
soldiers wherever they have entrenched themselves. 
The streams are broad and clear with beds of stones 
and pebbles. 

One looks in vain for any sign of the plain below. In 
every direction it is a sea whose waves are hills. This 
is all the more so because the broad belt of the Car- 
pathians makes an enfolding curve forward and southward, 
both to left and to right. One sees in the distance other 
hills as high as the Beskides and to the east the towering 
mass of the High Tatra. 

Near the ridge of the Beskides was a great park of 
horses, and along the top were trenches and soldiers. 
All the way down among the beeches one seemed to 
be riding straight on to the enemy, whose positions, 
unless absolutely enveloped in cloud, seem to be at less 
than half their real distance. Soon the horses had to 
be left in the wood; and crossing a narrow hollow we 
came out on a low, bare bluff which was the line of the 
H regiment. A green hill loomed up close above us, 
and every man and every line of the trenches could be 


distinguished. This was the enemy. It seemed only a 
stone's throw, but when the rifles and machine-guns 
first set to work here, they found that they did not carry 
the distance and stopped firing. A desultory cannonade 
was going on, but it ceased as the evening began to close 
in ; mingled rain and snow were sweeping in gusts about 
us, and even the near distance was soon so shrouded 
as to seem for us non-existent. We were as if on a 
promontory in a dark sea. 

By this time I was in the earth shelter of an old 
acquaintance, the commander of the battalion with whom 
I had passed a night some months before. How changed 
he was. Always the soldier, he had before looked the 
smart man of the world. Now he was grimed and tired 
and had something of the mild and enduring look of a 
hermit. The water came through our mud hut every- 
where. As we sat eating biscuits and chocolate, another 
acquaintance came in and with almost such a smile as 
one might have in speaking of a wedding said, " You 
remember the fair young man; he is dead." I asked 
after the sallow young officer. " He is dead, too ; both 
were killed when we tried to take the green hill opposite, 
they are lying out there now." The fair youth just before 
his death had telephoned " All in order," and he was 
first wounded in the open and then shot dead while 
looking through his field-glass. The H's were among 
the first to move on the Beskides, which they took at 
the rush. Here, on the further side, they had three 
tries at the green hill in front of us, two at night and 
one in the early morning; each time they had won the 
top, and each time the German troops, which had been 


brought up in large numbers to the defence of the 
Carpathians, proved too many for them, and they had 
to retire, leaving their dead behind. Each attack was 
made up the stiff ascent in mud knee-deep. Such is 
the price to be paid for each hill in the Carpathians. 

All night the water poured in on my host and myself. 
We lay so as to avoid, as far as possible, its trickling on 
the face. At intervals in this unquiet night one saw the 
soldier servant rise from where he slept bowed on a box 
and move over our squelching floor of fir boughs to try 
some new plan to stop the dripping. My host said, 
" I'm used to it now." However, next morning he had 
a great inspection of earth shelters, with the result that 
we moved into the telephone hole. I asked a private if 
it was better there, and with a glad smile he said, " It's 
good there and it's good here ; as long as we stand here 
we have got to suffer; soon there'll be peace." 

The colonel, whose staff was some way behind, was 
of the same way of thinking. He used to like to say, 
" He that endureth to the end shall be saved." He 
had himself Uved for a week in our night quarters, till 
he was driven out by a shell which fell a yard off and 
sent a beam flying past his head. Firing went on most 
of the time, and while I was there shots lodged on or 
near the trenches and at different points on our path 
up the Beskides. When I halted to look back from the 
crest, a man came up at once and said, " You're under 
fire." I remember the quiet reply of one of the soldiers 
when he was asked if there were any wounded that day. 
He said " Not yet." 

I found the regimental staff, with the kindest of 


colonels, in an armoured blockhouse that had guarded 
the railway tunnel between Hungary and Galicia. I 
asked him after the two dead officers. The sallow young 
man was not dead after all. He had led the storming 
of the Beskides and was the first man into the trenches, 
" He saved the whole thing for us," said the Colonel, 
" and I am presenting him for the Cross of St. George." ^ 

April 17. 

I started off from the General's on a journey of six 
miles, and I had an object lesson in the difficulties of 
movement in this region. My orderly, naturally, did not 
know the names of villages in this part, and thus we 
found ourselves at a neighbouring station eight miles 
from my destination. A train was due; but at any 
station on this line a long halt may be necessary for the 
collection of all that must be forwarded, whether troops or 
niaterial. I spent the interval at a local Feeding Point, 
where I had some acquaintances. Only a soldier-care- 
taker was there, attending to a young scout-leader who 
had got a shrapnel wound. 

At last the train moved off. I had made a couch of 
my wraps in a large goods wagon; but I was the only 
passenger who travelled in comfort. The others were 
private soldiers, and in the dark they talked freely, and 
were entirely themselves. One of them was telling sad 
things of the losses in his regiment, of how the telephone 

^ Colonel Podymov was himself killed later, while defending 
the San line against an overwhelming force of artillery. Peace 
to him, and honour to his memory. 


might have saved them, but had broken down. " You 
won't manage in war without loss," said one of the elder 
men. " No losses, no victory." Few as they were, his 
words summed up the difference between sitting in 
trenches and making ground by attack. They talked 
on; and as one often notices in these night talks of the 
Russian privates, there was a kind of sacred simplicity, 
which left one thinking. I recalled the Austrian private 
who did not care what country his home belonged to 
as long as he earned his own living. 

Seven hours had passed since I left my starting-point, 
and I was still a mile and a half from my destination. I 
decided to walk, and set out along the railway. The 
night was dark, and the only light was from the enemy's 
projectors. There were bridges over deep gullies that 
called for caution ; and every hundred yards or so I was 
hailed by a sentry; one of them asked naively whether 
I was a Magyar. Anyhow, I reached the station an hour 
and a half before the train; and in the half-smashed 
station building I found first an ambulance room, and 
above it a little band of devoted workers with whom I 
had lived at another part of the front. 

This forward detachment of the Red Cross was always 
keen and united. It worked under fire during a time of 
retreat, and all its members had the George medal for 
courage. When I was with them it was a slack time; 
and the result was that one member of the band after 
another felt the effects of the previous stress and had to 
go off to Russia. Now they had struck another period 
of arduous work, and the absent ones were returning with 
a few new additions. Work pulls people together. 


especially out here, and they were making more effort 
than ever. When I reached their very modest quarters 
(two rooms : one for the sisters and one for the men), I 
could not make out where the ambulance rooms ended, 
because each member's bed in the detachment was 
occupied by a wounded man or invalid awaiting the 
evacuation train. Here was an old colonel (they had 
nursed several here) ; there was a private, who had won 
first the George Cross and then a commission. Judging 
by my own experience, I fully expected the train to be 
hours late, and thought the detachment would get no 
sleep till the morning. However, the train drew up, the 
officers thanked and kissed the gentlemen of the detach- 
ment, and the room was clear. I had a warm welcome 
from my friends, and a bed was found for me. 

The next day I had an interesting talk with some 
cordial officers at the staff of a brigade which had taken 
7000 prisoners, or almost the number of its own men, 
from the enemy since December. In all the regiments 
in the Austrian army the various nationalities were now 
hopelessly mixed up. They told me of a Serbian, an officer 
in an Austrian regiment, who had been court-martialled 
and transferred for not joining, at a banquet, in toasting 
the extermination of Serbia. All the Austrians, they said, 
are now for peace, and the military oath, to which, in this 
non-national state, the greatest significance is attached, 
is the only deterrent from wholesale surrender. As 
always elsewhere at the front, I found the greatest 
enthusiasm for the work of England in the allied cause. 

I ended this journey in an ambulance train standing 
at Mezolaborcz, which is already Hungary. The chief 


of the train, though I did not know him, gave me a 
clear night's rest, with luxuries of every kind, including 
English tobacco, of which he insisted on making me up 
a packet for my journey. But the best of the evening 
was, as so often, a clever and fascinating conversation on 
the war and the future of Russia and England. There 
is matter in this subject for all sorts of interesting sug- 
gestion, but one seldom meets any difference of opinion 
on one point, namely, that after the war the relations of 
the two countries will assume a far wider importance, 
political, economic and, above all, social, and that they 
will be among the chief factors that make for the peace 
of Farope. 

April 19. 

The staff of the Xth Division was housed in a white- 
walled cottage at the end of the little town. After the 
usual glasses of tea and talk of England, we set out with 
a small cavalcade for the front. The long street was 
very definitely Hungarian. It was not only the notices 
and the shops, with surname written first, among which 
I saw the historic name of Rakoczy, probably a Jew; 
but that the line of the houses, the river and the 
landscape were all new to one coming from Russia. 

We rode fast along the double track of railway, and very 
quickly reached our first halting-place. Diverging to the 
high road, which was also fairly hard and dry, we soon 
left our horses and proceeded on foot. The road was so 
good and straight, the weather was so fine, and the beau- 
tiful hills so peaceful, that, though talking all the time 
about the war, we somehow forgot that we were in it. 


when suddenly, from a high hill that seemed quite close 
to us, there crashed a shell about thirty yards from 
us. The little lurid flame that preceded the explosion 
burned long enough to let us throw ourselves against 
the bank, which was bright with pretty blue flowers. 
We found we had exactly reached the front of our posi- 
tions and made our way under shelter up a slope. The 
men were at work on their breastworks, which were very 
different from those of the Galician plain. On this higher 
ground, almost at any point the spade soon came on 
springs of water which filled the hole in a few minutes. 
In such places the breastworks are ordinarily what is 
called horizontal; they are constructed of brushwood 
and spruce fir, and give hardly any shelter. The earth- 
huts are replaced by little arbours of fir boughs, which 
are very much more difficult to warm, though from the 
captured Austrian trenches, unfortunately facing in the 
other direction, there have been taken quite a number 
of excellent little stoves. As the new Russian lines were 
only recently occupied, they were still in a very primitive 
state ; in the wood that stretched in front, trees were still 
being cut to the stump to serve as posts for the wire-, 
entanglements, and the lines themselves were not as yet 
at all continuous. Shells continued to fall at short 
intervals for some time, and a private, killed while at 
work, was brought up for burial. The colonel pointed 
the moral of getting the shelters finished as soon as 

When the firing died away, we walked along the outside 
of the lines ; the task of sentries and scouts was a difficult 
one, for the trees stood close together. After a halt, I 


was taken further by a business-like officer with worn 
uniform and steely blue eyes, and, with his approval, I 
passed a word or two of greeting from the English army 
to the groups of soldiers at work. Several of the men 
asked me to send a like greeting back. 

As we went forward, this little procedure became 
more detailed. The idea was taken up with enthusiasm 
by the commanders of companies, especially after I had 
been conducted, staff in hand, over a deep gully which 
separated us from the next regiment. Here each com- 
pany was called outside its trenches and drawn up facing 
the enemy. I gave the salute, " Health, brothers " ; 
and the usual answer came in a thundering peal. I told 
them how grateful we were for everything that they had 
sacrificed and everything that they had done for our 
common cause, and said that we wanted to be in time to 
do our full share on land, that our new big army was 
ready, and that we were going to advance as they had 
done. There is no difficulty in making simple things 
clear to Russian soldiers. They answered with their 
" Glad to do our best," and the " Hurrah ! " which was 
so vigorous as to bring the Austrian machine guns into 
play; I am glad to say, without results. Several of the 
men came and talked to me in groups later; they felt 
the effects of their hard work and the heavy losses that 
go with attack, but their spirit was a conquering one, 
and all the more impressively so, because of the hard- 
ships in which I saw them. Later, when I saw the 
Commander of the Army, who had run a risk of being 
captured close to this very ground, he asked me to con- 
tinue to give these greetings, " to hearten for the common 


cause," and arranged for me to get early news of any 
successes on the western front. 

I slept with the usual brotherly group of officers in a 
little forester's hut, a hundred yards from the com- 
paratively open front ; on the outside of the door was 
chalked the word " Willkommen," which read like an 
amusing invitation to the enemy. We all slept on the 
floor, but I was accommodated with a litter, which made 
an excellent bed. The porch served as first-aid point, 
and when the firing was resumed in the morning, a 
wounded man was brought in here. 

Before I went further, the Brigadier-General sent me 
by telephone a warm greeting, to be communicated to 

April 20. 

The reader will remember " The Birds," a very tight 
place held by the L regiment beyond a river on another 
front. The L's had done no end of work and had suffered 
heavily long before I visited them at "The Birds." 
There, too, they lost many men — about 1500 out of 4000 
— in an action which followed on their occupation of 
those positions and in the weeks of cannonade which 
they endured there. 

I was aware that the L's were now in the Carpathians 
and close to me. The two regiments whose lines I had 
traversed had lost many in this hill warfare. Where a hill 
is taken, the enemj^'s losses, though probably more than 
double the Russian, are rather in surrenders than in killed 
and wounded. A hill attack, which is beaten off by 
superior numbers, means heavy sacrifices. 


I clambered over another of the steep intersecting 
gulleys. A group of S's stood waving their farewells. 
There was a bit of bare slope facing the Austrian plateau, 
and then I came on the first shelter of the L's, quite a 
comfortable mud hut. The young officer, who had come 
to meet me, was an acquaintance, and he sat down and 
told me about the men I knew. In a single night attack 
on the height in front of us, two-thirds of the officers that 
I had known had gone down, and about half the regiment. 
Name after name came up with the brief record, " He's 
killed." We lay on the straw — in nearly all other huts 
here there were only boughs of fir — and he told me the 
whole story. The hill was almost inaccessible, the works 
were long prepared and elaborate, the Germans had hurried 
up large forces here; yet the attack all but succeeded. 
" All but," and no results but losses. At Rava Russka 
and on the San the L's had given of their best, and de- 
cisive successes had followed. The hill opposite had 
cost more and still faced us. It is one of the saddest 
of thoughts, that the bravest of all, the men who go 
furthest, must lie where they fell. Yet the L's, who in 
the course of a few days have again been brought up to 
full strength by the enormous reinforcements which 
Russia continues to pour into the army, will have written 
their name on the Hungarian war in as lasting colours as 
on the Galician. We are over the crest ; we are fighting 
in the main downwards ; we touch a vital spot ; and we 
are going forward. 

There is nothing which makes one feel all this better 
than to pass along the lines of a regiment so battered, 
still in position at the time when I visited it ; nay, more. 


occupying for the moment far more than the natural 
extent for its full strength, and occupying it as a conqueror 
with swiftly thrown-up works that only provide for an 
elementary shelter. And the battle is not offered; the 
enemy sits on his heights and makes no counter-stroke 
to push his temporary advantage home. 

I write of a time which has already passed; for the 
whole position is very different now. But I say the L's 
were conquerors. There were nothing like enough of 
them for a continuous line; so they had picked out all 
those sections which commanded any possible advance 
of the enemy, and held them as masters. For the inter- 
vals, the gullies, they detached large scouting parties 
which met any forward move halfway. The work which 
this meant for all will remain with me as giving a picture 
of a Russian regiment after a check. All the officers and 
men were alert and looking to the next move in the game. 
A soldier who guided me, confident and intelligent, 
stopped only for a moment in his conversation, to say : 
" But, as a matter of fact, sir, there are very few left of 
us." Regiments that can take punishments like this, 
communicate their spirit and tradition to those of the 
new recruits who are so fortunate as to join them. 

From one occupied point to another, our little party 
of officers and men walked freely over the open, in face of 
the neighbouring Austrian plateau, till each of our cleverly 
chosen positions had fallen into its place in our survey. 
I had a long walk back ; in fact, I did not get out of the 
range of the Austrian plateau till the next day. My two 
soldier guides and I sat down and smoked by a stream 
for a while, and they told me that of their fellow villagers 


who set out at the beginning of the war, the one had lost 
sixteen out of eighteen, and the other fifty out of sixty. 
One of them, with three comrades, had fought his way 
back, when the rest of his company was lost. 

The position is changed now, but I feel that the more 
we know of this fighting, the more we shall understand of 
the Russian spirit and of the Russian sacrifices, and the 
clearer will be the picture of the Russian advance. 

May I. 

Waiting at a railway station, I met a young officer 
who was taking home the body of his brother. The 
young man met his death leading a night attack. He 
took his company further up than any, and even got 
through the wire entanglements and into the enemy's 
trenches. The deadly fire of the machine guns made it 
necessary to draw off the men, and this company got the 
order late. Some fought their way through, but their 
leader was mortally wounded. The brother was serving 
in the neighbouring artillery and was able to be with 
the dying man to the last. He said that his brother 
might easily have surrendered with others, but it would 
always be a satisfaction that he did not " hold up his 
hands and go into Austria." 

At staff headquarters of the army I passed many 
funerals. Here the enemy's airmen make a visit almost 
every day. Two days ago, and again to-day, they appeared 
in force and dropped their bombs almost without a break. 
The air battery and picked riflemen kept up an incessant 
fire on them, Yesterday I watched an aeroplane under 


fire of Russian shrapnel. The shells burst all round it 
and evidently forced it to give up its intention of reaching 
the town : it sped away northwards. These raids have 
had hardly any success. Even the bombs which lodged 
where they were meant to, on the railway or on the 
aerodrome, did no real damage. The net result is a 
small number of wounded, including civilians and a 
sister of mercy. 

An officer whom I met in the trenches, and of whom I 
wrote under the name of " George," has very appro- 
priately been appointed one of the judges of recommen- 
dations for the George Cross. The soldier's George is 
given for any signal act of bravery, and the men thus 
honoured are always found to be the rallying points in 
further attacks. The officers' George is in four classes. 
Only some four individuals have ever received the first 
class, beginning with Kutuzov. The second class, which 
is for very definite achievements of generalship can only 
be given to Generals (Ivanov has it for the conquest of 
Gahcia), and the third only to Generals and Colonels. 
The fourth, which is for any act of courage or initiative, 
can be won by any officer. The different achievements 
which can win the George are clearly set out. The two 
first classes are conferred only by the nomination of the 
Sovereign ; for the other two there is in each army what 
is called a " Duma," or panel of selectors. 

My friend, who is one of the bravest and simplest men 
that I have met, told me very interesting things about 
his work. His own standard of bravery is not striking 
acts of daring, but the maintenance of normal composure 
in the performance of dangerous tasks. It is, I think, 


a standard which will appeal to Englishmen. One of 
the most typical instances of Russian courage that I 
know is among the records of the battle of Borodino. 
An aide-de-camp galloped up to a commanding officer 
and, pointing towards a hill, said : "The Commander-in- 
Chief asks you to attack there." As he spoke, a cannon 
ball carried away his extended arm ; he simply pointed 
to the hill with the other, and said, " There : be quick." 

At many points of our line there has been a complete 
lull. One battery which I visited, standing on some 
thickly wooded hills, was building a wooden villa for 
the officers, and had already put up a camp theatre for 
the performances of short plays written by the men. 
There was little but the ordinary diversion of shooting 
at aeroplanes. 

Prisoners continue to testify to the discontent in the 
enemy's armies. For instance, an Alsatian says that any 
Alsatian would come over at the first opportunity. A 
German says that the conditions in his regiment are 
such that he would have shot himself but for regard for 
his family. Czechs report further mutinies in their 
regiments which have been punished with military 
executions. The Ruthenian regiments, which cannot 
now be reinforced from Galicia, are rapidly melting away. 
Even the Hungarian soldiers are described as desirous 
of peace. 

May 3. 

The advance of the Russians over the Carpathians was 
sure to draw a counter-stroke, and it has come just where 
many have expected it, but with tremendous force. 




This is because it is not so much the work of the tired 
Austrians, but rather the biggest effort that Germany 
has yet put forth in her attempts to bolster her ally. We 
have all been preparing for May, and Germany and even 


from May I. 1915. 

a a The Russian front 
b b Initial Austro-German 

artillery concentration\ 

C Almost simultaneous impact \ ^"^'^ Mezoiaborcz 
on Tarnow ^>.^^ * _ 

d Enemy attack on the advanced 
Russian left wing 

Austria have evidently made great preparations. The 
food supply in the Austrian army has been much im- 
proved; the proportion of Germans on the Austrian 
front has been enormously increased; heavy artillery 
has been concentrated ; and the Emperor and Hindenburg 
have been reported to be here. 


I set out with a nice bright-eyed chauffeur who did a 
splendid day's work with me. We had the main road 
for some distance, and none of the varieties later seemed 
to trouble him. We went along a valley, and in a house 
standing high by a church we found the staff of the 
Division. I had friends; and I was soon dispatched 
with a tall determined Cossack to the point where the 
road cHmbed the hill. Here we left our machine, and 
in a hundred yards or so we had the whole scene 
before us. 

There was a hut on the top of the hill ; sitting in front 
of it one could see for at least ten miles in either direction. 
The Division was holding a front of eight miles with the 
Z's on the left, the O's in the middle, the R's on the right 
and the I's in reserve. The O's, who were just beyond 
a hollow, occupied a low line of wooded heights a thousand 
yards in front of me. The Z's held a lower wooded ridge, 
the R's connected with the O's over a valley and were 
posted along a less defined line, of which the most marked 
feature was a village with a little church tower. Against 
these three regiments were nine, mostly German, and 
backed by the most formidable artillery. Beyond each 
of the flanks of the Division one could see at intervals 
black clouds of smoke; one thick stream of smoke that 
stretched into the skies came from some distant petroleum 
works. The whole hue of the R's was being pounded 
with crash after crash, sometimes four black columns 
rising almost simultaneously at intervals along it ; under 
each would break out little angry teeth of sparkling flame ; 
the only thing that seemed not to be hit was the church 
tower, which, as each cloud died down, came out simple 


again in the bright sunshine. The Z's were in patches 
of smoke that sometimes disappeared for a time. 

What was happening to the O's was not so clear; so 
after watching the shells and shrapnel bursting along 
the line and on the slope for some hours, we descended 
by some winding gullies, drawing a shrapnel as we 
passed over a low shoulder, and soon reached the staff 
of the O's. Under the nearer wall of a hut, a group of 
officers was working the telephones, while a number of 
soldiers lay on logs around. The Colonel came forward 
to me with a preoccupied smile : "A convoy for the 
flag," he explained, and turning to his men; "you have 
the flag there? " Then he took me into the open and 
pointed at the ridge some six hundred yards away : all 
his left was at grips with the enemy who had come through 
at several points, and on the right his men were fight- 
ing at the close range of two hundred yards in the wood 
beyond the crest. 

We crouched behind the houses amid a constant roar 
of shells bursting all round us, and firing some of the 
neighbouring huts. The telephones worked inces- 
santly. Now each of the battalion commanders reported 
in turn — one, that his machine guns had been put out 
of action, another that there were gaps in his line, a third 
that he was holding good, but hard put to it. The Colonel 
explained that his last reserves were engaged. A message 
came that his right flank was open and was being turned. 
He seized the telephone and called to the reserve regiment : 
" Two companies forward at the double," reporting his 
action directly to the staff of the Division. There was 
a peculiar humanness about all these messages; in form 


they were just ordinary courteous conversation. The 
question which brought the most disquieting answers 
was " Connexions." The Z Colonel reported that his 
line was penetrated at more than one point, but was 
holding out. The R telephone gave no answer at all. 
Life there was unlivable, the trenches were destroyed, 
and on my way I had heard from soldiers a report that 
when taking ammunition to the R's they had seen the 
Austrians in our lines. Shells and shrapnel were crashing 
all round us, especially on our rear; a great cloud rose 
where I had sat at the top, and a hut that I had passed 
on the way down broke out in full flame. Nearer down 
there fell four black explosives ' at regular distances of 
fifty yards, " the four packets " as one officer called it. 
Our cover would all have gone with a single shot, and the 
men crouched to avoid the falling splinters from each 
shell. In this depressing atmosphere there went on the 
conversation between the Colonel and the divisional 
staff: "I can get no contact, with the R's. Cavalry 
is reported on both of my flanks. The R's have had to 
retreat." The answer was an order to retire at nightfall. 
Three hours at least had to run. The order was com- 
municated in French over each battalion telephone. The 
Colonel apologised for his elementary French; anyhow 
it was the French of a brave man. As disquietudes 
increased, the permission came to retire at once; but 
the Colonel answered that this could not be done: he 
was in hot defensive action, and the enemy would follow 
on his heels; at present he was holding his own. 

Twice on the telephone the fatal word " surrounded " 
had been used. My hosts urged me to go. " We have 


each a different duty," they said. It was with little 
heart that I faced for the slope, turning a few yards off 
to salute these brave men once more. They were some 
wounded struggling up the gullies, one with a maimed 
foot, whom we helped along but who had to sit down 
at times and smoke. As we began to approach shelter, 
we suddenly saw on the hills to the west of us men coming 
down the slope towards us. " Perhaps ours, perhaps the 
enemy," said my Cossack, who never turned a hair 
throughout the day. We got our lame man up the big 
hill, but as soon as we had passed the crest he said that 
his strength failed him, and sat down with several others 
round, a well. The next thing was to look for the motor. 
We were now in comparative safety; for we were out 
of the line of fire, and the valley to the north of us was 
full of our own people. Officers galloped forward, 
looking at the line of our retreating field trains. In the 
valley there was a long train of wounded. I at last 
found our motor in the midst of it. We packed in the 
men with the worst wounds that we noticed; they lay 
without a groan, and one old soldier said : " Thanks to 
Thee, O Lord; and eternal gratitude to you." A young 
soldier with an eager face pressed forward with a letter, 
begging us to take his wounded officer, whom he had 
brought five miles from the distant lines of the R's. 
" Harchin " — that was his name, was like a loving son, 
with his captain, walking by our side or standing on our 
step for mile after mile and all the while helping to hold 
the litter in position. He told us that no living man 
could have driven the R's from their position : but that 
the whole area was covered with shells till trenches and 


men were levelled out of existence. The companies 
left comparatively intact had all joined on to the O's. 
Of the O's themselves we could only hear vague rumours ; 
it was said that most of them had made their way back. 

There was no panic, no hurry in the great throng, as 
it retired. Each was ready to help his neighbour. 
Crossing a long hill we had to transfer some of our wounded 
to an empty cart which we commandeered, the men moving 
without a word. In the night Harchin kept holding up 
his officer and giving any comfort that he could. " It's 
quite close now, your nobility, it's a good road now," he 
would say. We reached a hut where the kind Polish 
hostess showed us beds for our wounded; Harchin was 
constant and tender in his care, and I left the two together 
to await the arrival of the doctor. A private with a 
crushed face refused to lie on his bed for fear of spoiling 
it, and sat holding his bleeding head in his hands. 

Through the darkness and past an incessant train of 
army carts, which without any shouting did all they 
could to give us passage, I made my way to the corps 
of the staff and to the next Division ; where I slept long 
into the morning. It was only later that we knew the 
full scope of our losses. The Division had against it 
double its number of infantry and an overwhelming mass 
of heavy and Hght artillery. It had held its trenches 
till it was almost annihilated. 

May 4. 
When I woke up in the morning, the deserted school 
where the staff had stretched their beds was alive with 
work and anxiety. The lines lay only a mile and a half 


outside the town of Biecz, and the Germans and Austrians 
were making a tremendous attack on them, pounding 
them with the heaviest artillery and advancing on them 
in close column again and again. The leader of this 
Division is a fighting General, robust, active and of 
great composure. The Staff was very close up to the 
front, and our own immediate movements depended on 
to-day's results. As we were being shelled, we went for 
lunch to a neighbouring Polish monastery, a pleasing 
white-walled building on a hill. It was deserted but for 
one or two monks; and its cloisters and wall-paintings 
and stations of the Cross were like an oasis far from the 
war. I lay down in one of the empty rooms and had 
some more hours of sleep. On my return to the school 
building I found that the situation was critical. From 
the balcony the General viewed the lines and gave some 
short directions. In the summer weather one watched 
groups of soldiers descending from the neighbouring hill 
and making for the bridge at the foot of our house. 
They were ours and were being relieved; and they 
formed up into order and were addressed by an officer 
before crossing the bridge. The enemy had been beaten 
off in every infantry attack, but many parts of the Unes 
were now non-existent, having been reduced to a series 
of shell-pits by the Gennan artillery. 

With a young Cossack I started out for the D regi- 
ment. The picturesque little town — all the Polish towns 
are full of pleasing architecture — was crowded with troops, 
and the atmosphere was one of uncertainty. Men were 
sheltering from the hot fire all along the banks of the 
sunken road. On the top of the hill were a few huts 


through which we threaded our way, dodging an exposed 
area where shells burst continually. Further on we found 
to the right of us a deep valley thick with lofty trees. 
On the edge of this wood were a number of soldiers who 
had lost touch with their regiments. We stopped them to 
find our way. The D regiment, we learned, was no longer 
at the front ; and indeed on this side we should not find 
any lines at all. We were told that the Austrians were 
already in the wood, which later proved to be true. The 
fire was heavy here, splinters falling upon us through 
the trees; and the stragglers hurried awa3^ 

Turning to the left I found myself at the head of a 
wide hollow in the hills. Over it soldiers were moving 
forward. Making my way to one of the huts, I found 
the Brigadier-General and got leave to accompany this 
advance. It was the first regiment of the famous Cau- 
casian Corps just arrived after an all-night march, and 
going up to the attack. A battalion commander stood 
just below the hut, putting his men in position. He was 
a quiet little man, already elderly and with an old voice, 
that sounded vigorously, however, across the slope. 
" You shall come with me," he said. The men who had 
been sitting in groups, made their way by companies up 
the different clefts in the hollow and soon lined into the 
ridge beyond. The commander moved about among 
them at an easy walk, directing some, hurrying on others. 
The men went forward on their knees, separating off 
into what the Russians call a " chain," where any one 
with initiative, by finding cover a little further forward, 
gives a lead to all the rest. The officers walked upright 


When the crest was Hned, the commander went forward 
in different directions. On his return he gave a few 
orders to his officers; one of them was a httle excited, 
and called out : " I have an instinct that it will go right ; 
God grant that it is a true one," and turning to his men 
he shouted, " God is with us." Except for this, nothing 
broke the atmosphere of the evening stillness. " Well, 
children," said the commander, " what shall I say to 
you? With God ! Forward ! " 

One company went off to the wood on the right, and 
after a few minutes another with the commander and 
myself moved forward over the bare hill, leaving two 
others to follow in reserve. Throughout the men ad- 
vanced in little groups, creeping in line with each other; 
the officers walked about freely, often in advance of the 
men, or encouraging any that showed too much caution. 
We soon saw that the ground was clear in front of us, 
and we descended the hill a good deal more rapidly. 
The commander and I branched off into the edge of the 
wood; all the time he was calling out to keep touch 
with the company on our right; he turned and smiled 
to me as the shrapnel tore away some of the boughs. 

At the bottom the machine guns were hurried up, 
and we ascended the further slope. We were now on a 
bare height, which was hke a tongue projecting forward, 
and a hot musketry fire was opened on us. A man near 
me called out that he was wounded and rolled himself 
down to the hollow, where a bearer set about bandaging 
him; a shell burst beyond us and another called out. 
I could only see what happened to the men nearest to 
me. The commander continued to stroll about among 


the men, in the same way as he would have done out of 
action ; several of the men begged him to lie down. We 
went round the outside of the height, and he brought his 
men everywhere to the edge of it and told them to en- 
trench themselves, which they set about doing at once. 

We could see where the bullets came from, on the low 
ground in front. To our left was a ridge with trees, 
along which we could see men on horseback coming from 
the direction of the enemy. To our right, beyond the 
wood, was a high ridge covered with men who appeared 
to be advancing upon us but did not open fire. Later 
it seemed that they were stationary, and we could not 
make out whether they were ours or theirs, so a scouting 
party was sent to find out. Suddenly a column of blue 
figures was seen coming up close on our front. In what 
seemed a minute, two of our machine guns had been 
moved to this side. Round some brushwood thirty 
yards away came the first rank of the column ; one caught 
sight of a line of pale faces; I remember a shm fair- 
haired youth who peered anxiously forward. Our com- 
mander shouted orders ; our machine-gun men, standing 
up and with indignation on their faces, ground out a 
shower of bullets, and the Austrian column disappeared 
into the wooded valley. 

Night was closing in, the enemy's cannonade was 
slackening, and the time was approaching when the 
physical superiority of man to man would put the balance 
firmly on the Russian side. The men were entrenching 
themselves ; and the commander wished to send a message 
to the brigade about the undefined troops on his right. 
I was going with this message and had not got more 


than two hundred yards from the front when I heard 
shouts of hurrahs, which marked the beating off of 
another Austrian attack. A few more shells burst on our 
way back, but my companion muttered to the enemy : 
" It's getting dark, brother"; for, once technique does 
not dominate, the Russian feels that he is master. 

On the road we found a large batch of Austrians 
(Poles) taken in the wood. I was invited to examine 
them ; they had had no food that day ; there was much 
disaffection in Austria; they were strongly against the 
Germans and were glad that for them the war was over. 
Our report was delivered; the troops on our right were 
Russians. Later there came other and sadder news. 
The little commander was brought back into the town 
wounded in the head in the last Austrian attack. 

In the evening I rode with the Divisional Staff several 
miles to our new quarters. All along the road he stopped 
any straggling soldiers and asked closely what had hap- 
pened to their regiments. This was all extremely well 
done; he was really severe only to one batch who told 
him an obvious lie. Altogether the retreat, for it was 
that, was unattended by any panic. Going at a sharp trot, 
we reached our new quarters at three in the morning. 

May 6. 
I woke in a farmhouse, in a village that was filled with 
the divisional field train. The Divisional General had 
gone off early to the front to rectify the new positions. 
The news that came in was uncertain and anxious. The 
first hut which the General and his staff had entered 


had been made untenable by the enemy's artillery. The 
second hut that he visited was also set on fire. No 
further news of him came till late in the evening that 
he had barely escaped capture. 

Word came that the staff would be moved further 
back. The field trains were set in motion, and we 
travelled without any kind of confusion across a beautiful 
range of wooded hills. We stopped more than once to 
see the fight that was going on below us. It was a 
blazing line of fire and smoke, the twin yellow and white 
bursts of the Austrian shrapnel being almost lost in the 
white or black smoke of the German artillery. We 
travelled very slowly and for a good part of the day; 
officers and men were full of vexation at having to retire 
before troops which they felt themselves capable of beat- 
ing with any equal conditions : among themselves there 
prevailed a simple good humour. 

I rode at different times with the adjutant, the chief 
of the field train, and the divisional doctor, all of 
whom were perfectly cool and collected. We made 
different wayside halts, and in the afternoon drew up 
in a large village also full of field trains. Here we took 
rest and refreshments, while different rumours came in 
from all quarters : and in the evening I drove in for 
news to the staff of the army at Jaslo, which was now 
close to the enemy. 

From nearly all the regiments of the corps which I 
had accompanied, great losses were reported; on the 
other hand, practically every infantry attack had been 
driven off with great loss to the enemy. The trenches 
had been left only when the enemy's artillery had made 


them untenable. In some parts the systematic ploughing 
up of whole given areas had gone so far behind our lines 
that even approach to the trenches had been made 

The game was not lost even on this ground, and im- 
mediate measures had been taken for counter-attacks the 
following day. Meanwhile Jaslo was under an inter- 
mittent but violent bombardment of aeroplanes; and 
all the hospitals were being moved to the rear. 

I learned that the enemy were making a similar artillery 
attack on Tamow, where I had spent several of my 
periods of Red Cross work at the hospitals. The Russian 
workers in the local Civil Spital had stayed on to the 
last and were now under a hot fire, and it was desired 
that they should be moved without delay. The Red 
Cross authorities had been told that this detachment 
could be guaranteed " against capture for the present, 
but not against artillery fire." I was commissioned to 
go and move it. 

I found the General of the Transport at the railway 
station full of work, but cool and business-like. His 
was one of the most difficult tasks, but there was no 
better head in the Third Army. At three in the morning 
he came to tell me that a motor was at my disposal 
at once. 

At my first stop I was asked to take with me an official 
of the Red Cross who had been deprived by contusion 
of his voice and hearing. He was in full possession of 
his senses and wrote down his wishes. He had been 
under fire with three hundred wounded in the village 
where I had slept the night before. There were other 


reports more disquieting. In one advanced bandaging 
point the German soldiers had burst in, full of drink and 
rage, and had bayoneted the staff and, as we were told, 
the doctor. 

In the early morning I reached an ambulance point 
managed almost entirely by the members of one family, 
the father (who was a retired divisional doctor), the 
mother, and their son. To them I handed over my 
unhappy companion. Here I had anxious news of the 
hospital for which I was making. Tarnow was four 
miles from the front ; on the German advance nine shells 
had been fired on the hospital in one day, and one 
of them had struck the operating-room and wounded 
the lady doctor. 

I drove on to the staff of the neighbouring corps to 
see about transport, and thence to my destination. 
There was an ominous absence of troops, other than 
retreating field trains. The inhabitants were all in the 
streets, alive as it seemed to me with excitement and 
expectation. As I drove up, I saw the five plucky sisters 
waiting on their balcony. They had already sent away 
all their Russian wounded and were ready to start. 
The wounded civilians, who were Austrian subjects, 
and some wounded Austrian soldiers had been housed 
in the cellars and would be left to the care of their own 

This work had all been done in two. hours directly 
after the last bombardment. The sisters had been given 
a second George medal for bravery. They spent the 
evening on a hill watching the artillery attack on our 
troops. It was a ring of fire that simply demolished the 


trenches. Attack after attack of the enemy's infantry 
was beaten off. One detachment, sent to the support 
of a neighbouring regiment, found some of the defenders 
asleep under the cannonade : they had beaten off eight 
attacks. The N Regiment was decimated, but full of 

All this I learned later. Without any kind of haste 
or commotion, the sisters said good-bye to the Austrian 
wounded and to the kind Polish sisters who had worked 
so long with them, and we all started in my motor. 
We were soon out of the range of fire, and continued our 
journey until we had reached the new headquarters of 
the Red Cross, where we were joined a day later by the 
staff of the army. 

May 9. 

The details of the Austro-German advance on the 
Third Army are now clearer. The Russian advance 
over the Carpathians was not met directly, but by a 
counter- advance on its flank. Here five army corps were 
concentrated, some of the fresh troops being drawn from 
reserve divisions on the French front, especially in the 
neighbourhood of Verdun. The journey across Germany 
is reckoned at three to five days, according to whether or 
not one includes the mountain marches at the end of the 
railway journey. Prisoners of the Prussian Guard tell 
me that they were given special training in hill climbing 
before they started. 

Meanwhile, the long months of comparative inaction 
had been employed in bringing up the heaviest German 
and Austrian artillery, both of which were last summer 


concentrated on the western front, and getting the range 
not merely of the Russian lines, but of squares which 
covered a good part of their rear. This was a long and 
toilsome operation, as these guns cannot be moved 
except by railway or, with great efforts and under good 


a a a The Austro German advance 

b The counter stroke of the Caucasians 

weather conditions, on roads which have a certain con- 
sistency. The potentialities of these guns are in any 
case limited; they cannot easily follow up an advance 
or get away in case of a rout. They can force the evacua- 
tion of a given area, but it may be possible to manoeuvre 
in such a way that the general position is but Uttle 
It will be remembered that the Austrians during the 


idle months have been covering the Russian Hnes in 
front of them with a ceaseless cannonade. This counted 
for little at the time. The Austrian artilleryman has 
only lately developed any accuracy; for a long time 
they continued in the most stupid errors of detail ; they 
hardly ever placed a Russian battery, and evidently 
the process of range-finding has been long and very 
expensive. The Austrians rarely attempted infantry 
attack, knowing that they always met their masters; 
thus their ceaseless cannonade was not a preparation 
for an infantry offensive ; and the Russians might even, 
if necessary, leave their trenches only partially occupied 
during the day, keeping less in those parts which were 
under the hottest fire and holding the whole line in force 
only by night. 

It was a very different story when the initiative on 
this side was undertaken by the Germans, who use 
artillery as a preparation for desperate attacks in close 
column. The difference in accuracy between the German 
and Austrian artillery fire was very soon discovered to the 
Russian regiments in front of them; and it was known 
that the Prussian Guard Reserve was here. The trenches 
were, therefore, occupied in full and held until they 
became untenable. 

The enemy's advance was at first directed against 
what was thought to be the weakest part of the Third 
Army, namely its right flank, which had sent a number 
of reinforcements to the Carpathian wing; but the 
alertness of the Russian general on this side produced 
an alteration in the plain, and the attack was diverted 
to the next army corps eastwards. This corps contained 



regiments which had had heavy losses in the previous 
hill-fighting. A gap was forced between the two army 
corps; and the right flank of the threatened corps (the 
R Regiment) was crushed by the pounding fire which 
I have described under May 3. The regiment retreated in 
good spirit, but with the heaviest losses, the O Regiment, 
holding its ground to the end, retired with its colonel 
and some 300 men : the Z Regiment was severely cut 
up. In all this fighting practically every infantry attack 
of the enemy was beaten back. The next day the impact 
fell mainly on the troops which I described on May 4. 
They held their ground to the evening and then executed 
an orderly retreat, coming into line with the broken 
forces to the right of them. But on both days a tre- 
mendous cannonade was directed on the division still 
further eastward, with the result that some regiments 
suffered terribly. The next day a fresh corps, the 
Caucasians, one of the most famous in the Russian 
army, had arrived and went forward boldly to the at- 
tack on the flank of the enemy's advance. The prisoners 
cannot speak too highly of the courage of this corps ; and 
it did succeed in stemming the tide, with such effect that 
the broken army corps to its right had in two days 
reformed and come again into position. But it did not 
get as far as the enemy's heavy artillery, and retired 
fighting rearguard actions — ^not much further than the 
point from which it had started. 

I have explained that the whole advance of the enemy 
was a counter-stroke to the Russian advance over the 
Carpathians further eastwards. The right wing of that 
advance was now outflanked and had to retire. Half 


of this corps succeeded in rectifying its positions without 
serious loss; but the other division had the greatest 
difficulty in fighting its way through, and lost heavily. 

Meanwhile the enemy's attack was extended also 
westwards, including the area against which it had been 
originally directed. Here the cannonade was furious 
and the trenches were in many parts wiped out, all 
approach to them of reinforcements from the rear being 
made almost impossible. But here, too, practically all 
hostile infantry attacks were repulsed with heavy loss. 
Ultimately a retreat was ordered by the Russians on 
this side. Results are indefinite unless they bring one 
side or the other to a definite line of defence. 

The situation resulting from all this fighting was as 
follows : The present area of conflict is a square lying 
between two rivers west and east (Dunajec and San), with 
the Vistula on the north and the Carpathians on the south. 
The square may now be divided by a diagonal running 
from north-west to south-east. On the one side are 
the Russians and on the other are the enemy ; but the 
diagonal is not any natural line of defence, and the 
operations must be continued till one side or the other 
occupies the whole of the square. 

The enemy has made a special concentration by 
depleting other parts of his line. The respective forces 
are now at close grips in a great battle which is likely 
to last for several days. The enemy's heavy artillery 
is not likely to have the same effect as before; and a 
successful Russian advance may even endanger its 

There are two obvious deductions from this fighting. 


The Germans are risking more and more of their forces 
in the support of Austria, or, to speak more accurately, 
in the defence of Hungary, and in order to do this 
they must surely have weakened their western front. 
They must secure definite results on the Russian side 
if their attack here is to be of value to them, as they 
may again have to throw their forces westwards ere 

May 10. 

What a picture these days will leave on the minds of 
those who have lived through them. It is only the 
simple things that count; but they keep coming back 
on one in new forms again and again, and that is why one 
must repeat oneself so often. 

The staff is in no way downhearted; it is sometimes 
preoccupied, sometimes cheerful, but always full of 
vigour. The cause of our losses has been localised ; and 
there is no sign of panic or hurry in the search for the 
necessary remedies. At the bottom of all is this wonder- 
ful confidence of the men and officers who come back 
wounded from the front. The Commander of the Army 
is full of spirit and energy, and we all consider that we 
are only halfway through this battle. 

The other hospital institutions have mostly been sent 
to the rear; but this period of movement is a time of 
small advance ambulance points which dispatch their 
wounded to the rear at once and themselves are ready 
to move at short notice, whether forward or backward; 
and the Russian sisters who returned with me from the 


front organised at once such an ambulance at the station, 
going on duty the same night, and working sometimes 
fifteen hours or more at a stretch. 

Enemy aeroplanes threw bombs at them every day, 
and we picked up several badly wounded at the station, 
but none of the workers in the bandaging-room took any 
notice of the explosions. 

The station is a wonderful place — as wonderful as the 
great station in Lvov, which I described several months 
ago. It is crowded with wounded, lying close together 
in the family manner of the Russian peasant. Most 
are wounded in the hands or the head; this means 
that they were under a devastating fire in the trenches 
which hit anything that was at all exposed. But there 
are also many signs of advance or of infantry attacks 
beaten off, in wounds of all kinds all over the body. 
Every night hundreds of wounded are given clean 
bandages and fed with anything that can be bought 
in a place where all is movement. 

The officers lie here like the rest, separated only by 
the silent respect shown to them by the men. The 
number of wounded officers is not surprising, for, as I 
have explained, they stand and walk while their men 
are ordered to crawl; but the sacrifice in officers is 
particularly impressive. 

For me the officers are also sources of information as 
to the fate of each of the regiments I have visited. 
Four jolly N's, three of them wounded, told me of how 
their trenches were levelled and how they retired because 
there were only shell pits to sleep in ; seven officers led 
the last counter-attack of this regiment. Of some 


regiments the news was that they were practically all 
gone ; in one case the answer was " The regiment does 
not exist." Some one asked of one of the O's where 
his regiment was to be found : he answered " In the 
other world." I learned that three hundred men of 
this regiment with the colonel had fought their way 
back; later, I learned that only seventy-one were left. 
The General of this Division told me that he had reformed 
and reinforced his men and that they were again at the 
front, where he was off to join them. The T's had 
invited me to join them when in action, and it was a 
pure chance that I was directed to another point. I 
passed in the street the field trains of this regiment; 
the officer riding at the head stopped me and grasped 
my hand : " What I wanted to say," he said, " is that 
the T's are gone, only the flag is saved." The next day 
a private with the number of this regiment came up to 
me in the street : would I come and see the Colonel 
who had just been brought in wounded? I found him 
at the quarters of the Commander of the Army. His 
head was bound up, but he was seated and writing. 
General Radko Dmitriev came in and shook his hand 
time after time. " Thank you for your splendid stand; 
human strength can do no more." The Colonel related 
that his entrenchments were demolished with the men 
in them; one company was cut off, and forty hands 
were held up in surrender; he himself saw how the 
Germans bayoneted half the number out of hand; his 
own men, when only five hundred were left of them, went 
on taking prisoners exceeding themselves in number, and 
rejoiced in this sign of their moral superiority. Of forty 


officers and four thousand men, in the end two hundred 
and fifty were left. 

The enemy was in overwhelming numbers; but 
prisoners continued to come in in great batches. I spoke 
with some of the Prussian Guard; they were vigorous 
and contentious, and spoke with small respect of the 
Austrians. The war is becoming more and more bitter. 

I return to my inevitable conclusion. There has been 
a big success of technique; and it has wiped out a 
number of good lives. Even this battle is not over, 
and our own people are advancing at points which offer 
hope of better results. The Russian army is firmer than 
ever, and more and more men are being poured in. It 
can win, but only if it can be given anything like fair 
conditions ; in a word, that the Germans should be met 
on their own ground, that of heavy and more numerous 
artillery, by every possible united effort of the Allies. 

May 13. 
I learned that the FF Corps, which contained regiments 
that I had twice stayed with, was going to make a deter- 
mined attempt to turn the tide. On the heels of this 
came the news that it had already begun a daring advance 
and had taken some heights on the rear of the enemy's 
line. I had no means of transport, and was wondering 
how to get to this corps when I met in the street a group 
of soldiers who were asking who wanted to buy a bicycle 
for five roubles (ten shillings). I learned afterwards that 
a large German cyclist corps had been cut off by our 
cavalry. The bicycle was there, so I had a turn on it 
and bought it. The handles of the bar were gone, and 



there was no bell or lamp; the seat and brake wanted 
screwing up; otherwise it was a good machine. I had 
lost njy maps in the retreat, so I went to one of the 
adjutants, who sketched for me a map of the district, 
and I started off. 

The Retreat 

a Fighting retreat of Russian S.S. Corps 

b Enemy's forces trying to outf/anh and turn S.S. 

C Attempt of Russian F.F. Corps on the enemy's flank 

My first destination was Dynow, where I was to find 
the staff of the SS Corps. The Polish inhabitants whom 
I asked pointed forward along a good straight road, 
and with the wind behind me I made good way. I 
passed plenty of troops going both ways, and the cavalry 
indulged in friendly banter with me as to who would 
arrive first. 

Meanwhile, at Dynow things were not at all as we 


imagined. The FF Corps further on found that it was 
advancing into an empty space, while its neighbour, the 
SS Corps, was being beset by superior German forces; 
there was nothing left for it but to give up its attempt. 
The SS Corps arrived at Dynow only to find it already 
occupied by the enemy. In instant danger of being cut 
off, this corps swerved from the road and went straight 
forward at a point where it had to cross two bends of the 
river. The water was more than breast high; the two 
passages were made under a hot fire, and a number of 
men were killed or drowned; but the corps made good 
its retreat, and indeed served as rearguard from hence 
to the San line. It was followed closely and vigorously, 
the Germans showing the greatest ardour, which in one 
case brought on them the most serious losses at the hands 
of the Russian artillery. The SS Corps also suffered 
severely and was greatly reduced in strength. 

I should have ridden straight on to the enemy, but 
my bicycle collapsed, and I was misdirected as to the 
road, so that in the evening I found myself at quite a 
different point, not far from the town of Rzeszow, which 
I had left in the morning. Making for a railway station, 
I found a train waiting and learned the new turn of 
events, also that Rzeszow itself was likely to fall into the 
enemy's hands. 

It was important that this news should reach those 
with whom I had been working ; but it was twelve hours 
before any train could move in this direction, and then 
it was only an engine that was sent forward, with one 
carriage full of high explosives and a colonel in charge. 
The colonel and I sat on either side of the engine, and 


the driver kept looking out and slowing down to ask 
news of the stragglers who were coming from Rzeszow. 
Of course we got the usual exaggerated reports; some 
said that every one had left or was leaving Rzeszow and 
that the enemy were just about to enter. Puffs of 
shrapnel were to be seen ahead of us, but we made our 
way safely into the town. 

Here little was known of what was happening; but 
several plain signs indicated retreat, and an officer whom 
I knew kindly gave us the lead that we required. In 
the streets there was an unpleasant silence, and the 
people seemed to be waiting for something from the 
west. The last trains out started with little delay. We 
looked back on the smoke of explosions and travelled 
leisurely and without panic through a peaceful country, 
where at each halt the road was lined by good-natured 
soldiers resting, eating or chaffing each other on the 
embankments, as if there were no war and they were 
all happy on the banks of some great Russian river. 
At one point there was a small collision, but all was put 
right without the slightest hurry or excitement. 

May i8. 

We had retreated to the San, and the Corps of the 
Third Army held a not extensive front, partly in 
front of and partly behind the river. The apparently 
endless file of trains had all made their way along the 
single line across the river. Wherever they stopped, 
the station was infested by the enemy's aeroplanes ; at 
one time ten of these were flying along the line. In one 


day three were brought down, all the airmen being 

The long road picnic on these trains, military or ambu- 
lance, shows the Russian soldier at his best. All content 
themselves with the simplest and roughest conditions, 
and lie anywhere about the spacious vans or dangle their 
legs out of the broad doors and talk cheerily with any I 

who pass. Most of these goods vans are festooned with 

Of course there is an endless stock of narratives from 
the life at the front, always with a complete absence of 
self, except for a summary mention of the date and occa- 
sion of the narrator's own wound. The main features 
are always the same — regiments reduced by sheer artillery 
fire to half or a quarter, furious infantry attacks of the 
enemy vigorously repelled. 

Now that we again had a definite line in front of us, 
I decided to go up again. I started on foot in fine even- 
ing weather and took a straight line for a point to the 
south-west. I was halfway to my destination when in 
the failing light I saw a motor, which carried one of the 
adjutants of the commander of the army. He beckoned 
me up, and explained the* day's fighting, at which he 
had been present. It was a furious artillery duel; and 
it was chiefly concentrated at a different point from that 
for which I was making. He advised me to return and 
to visit this point the next day. 

On the following morning I started out, again on foot, 
with a supply of big biscuits. Nearing the area of firing, 
I turned across the fields and came upon a battery of 
Russian heavy artillery, which was so well masked that, 


though I was looking for it, I did not make it out until 
I was only a hundred yards off. I had a talk with the 
commander and went on to a neighbouring village which 
was under a heavy fire. Here were the staffs of a regi- 
ment and of the Division which I was seeking. On the 
telephone there was brisk conversation. I was invited 
in to lunch, where all business talk was avoided, and I 
was given a Cossack to take me to the infantry positions. 
Heavy shells were rattling like goods vans over our 
heads, sometimes three being in the air at once and all 
taking the same direction. The crashes came from some 
distance behind us. The enemy was clearing a space in 
our reserves and among our staffs. 

The Cossack was a quaint person, with flashing eyes, 
who walked about leading his horse everywhere. When 
he was told to take me in the direction of the firing, he 
murmured something about its being " the very best." 
His idea was that we should go on foot, he leading his 
horse, from which he was most unwilHng to part, because 
he would feel lost without it. This was all very well : 
but the appearance of any horse near the positions is 
strictly barred, as it at once calls forth a more or less 
accurate fire on the infantry. This it was hopeless to 
explain to him; so in the end I left both him and his 
horse behind. 

I went on to one of the regimental staffs, and obtained 
two guides to the respective regiments which I was 
visiting. I had hardly left this hut when a bomb fell 
on it, killing or wounding several of the staff. We had 
sheltered ground almost up to the river. The famous 
San is here about a hundred yards broad, with a steep 


further bank and, on our own side, a long hollow running 
parallel with the river and thick with willows and alder ; 
the country in general, except for some depressions, is 
quite fiat. 

I passed along the front of the C regiment. There was 
hardly a shot fired, though the enemy could be seen 
moving on a hill opposite and was free to approach to 
the further side of the river. Our own people had made 
some progress with their entrenchments, which were not 
yet under artillery fire. To the greeting from the English 
ally, which I gave as I passed along, there was an inter- 
ested reception, and the men put questions as to the 
western front. One man, when I told him we were 
advancing, crossed himself and said " God grant it." 

The men had a very difficult part of the stream to 
guard and could easily be put under a flanking fire. 
With two of the officers I stayed some time; they were 
cool and keen, but deeply mortified at the loss of 
ground for which they had sacrificed so much. We 
watched the shells bursting just behind us; and after 
a time I made my way back over ground which was 
often traversed by shells and shrapnel, usually fired 

The cannonade became more and more intense in the 
evening and lasted all night and into the next day. 
Some hours after I left the enemy crossed at the point 
which I had visited and made good a footing on our 
side of the river. In the morning he was driven back 
out of our lines; but returning in force, he finally 
estabUshed himself on our side and forced these regiments 
to retreat for some miles. A day later I heard that 


the German Emperor in person was opposite to us, just 
across the river. 

May 24. 

On the day when I walked along the San, the enemy 
did not show themselves in any force till the evening. 
Then and throughout the night the tremendous can- 
nonade that they had kept up all day became more 
intense, and with the aid of the powerful German pro- 
jectors the area to the rear of the Russian lines was 
swept, especially at three given points. Here in the 
evening the enemy crossed the narrow stream in boats. 
The railway bridge was mined, but was left standing as 
long as possible. An Austrian shell cut the train of the 
mine, without exploding it, at a point forty yards on the 
Russian side of the river. Masses of the enemy were 
already at the bridge when a Russian officer and private 
went forward and made a new connexion, which they 
fired at once. The bridge was blown into the air, and 
the two daring Russians were sent flying by the shock, 
but remained alive. 

At different points the enemy effected a lodgment on 
the eastern bank and, where the Russian line was thin- 
nest and held by regiments already reduced to half or 
quarter strength in the previous fighting, the trenches 
were partly occupied by the Germans or Austrians. 
Next morning the Russians made vigorous counter 
attacks and recovered the ground lost; but returning 
in overwhelming force, the enemy not only regained his 
hold on the eastern bank but extended it on either flank 
and pushed further eastwards. 


There followed five days of very severe fighting. The 
issue at stake was whether the enemy's successes could 
still be limited to western Galicia — or, in other words, 
whether half or the whole of the territory conquered by 
the Russians was now to be flooded by his armies. His 
object was, of course, to find room eastward of the San 
for his powerful forces and artillery. There were in all 
five German or Austrian armies in the area chosen for 
the enemy's impact. Of these, two were engaged with 
the Eighth Russian Army and three were opposed to 
our Third Army; these last numbered nine army corps, 
including the Reserve Corps of the Prussian Guard and 
two others which were drawn from the French front. 
German heavy artillery, though apparently of a different 
calibre from that employed at the beginning of the 
Galician battle, took a prominent part in this fighting; 
and the Austrians showed better marksmanship than at 
any period in the war. 

The enemy's advance, however, had slackened before 
it reached the San; and the Russians had had time 
not only to make good a very spirited retreat but to give 
their men two days' rest on the eastern side of the river. 
These two days were invaluable. Large reinforcements 
were hurried up. In the shortest time entrenchments 
were thrown up of a kind superior to those held by the 
Russians during their long occupation of western Galicia, 
and very much better supported. The earlier ruinous 
effects of the enemy's heavy artillery were now minimised 
or even avoided ; and the Russian artillery were in much 
greater force than before. Above all, the men proved, 
if proof were needed, by the vigour of their resistance and 


by beating off one German attack after another that the 
earher retreat had been due simply to the enemy's 
technical superiority in artillery, and that even a half- 
annihilated Russian regiment felt itself to be master as 
soon as the issue lay with the bayonet. 

The enemy daily sent aeroplanes to the Russian rear, 
in one day ten at a time, but in at least five cases these 
were brought down and in most instances by the fire of 
musketry and machine guns. In one comparatively 
weak spot the Russian infantry was rescued by a few 
timely discharges from our artillery, which sent the 
close column of Germans running like hares. 

Attempt after attempt of the enemy to break through 
in close column failed. At certain points the Germans 
were able to push home their blow, at others the Russians 
closed in on their flanks, driving them back to the river 
and threatening even their success in the centre with 
serious consequences. At one moment the enemy thought 
that he was through ; but the gap was filled at once from 
the large Russian reserves. At another he even launched 
his cavalry through what seemed an empty space, and 
it looked as if he might find room to develop the favourite 
German cavalry advance, which has spread such terror 
among peaceful inhabitants in other parts; but without 
delay the tide was stemmed by Cossacks and Russian 

The struggle is still going on ; but one thing is certain — 
that the Russian resistance east of the San has stopped 
the forward flow of the German advance. It is a new 
chapter in the war, and different in essentials from that 
which preceded it. News of successful resistance or of 


advance comes from the Russian armies on either flank 
of our own. 

May 27. 

The situation seemed to be changing rapidly and at 
the same time clearing. There were reports of German 
attempts to break through at various points, but all of 
them seemed to be stopped and our line was apparently 
becoming more stable. As I have explained before, 
there is a splendid ambulance organisation of the most 
complete kind managed by a joint committee of all 
the Zemstva (or county councils) of Russia and directed 
by Prince George Lvov. Apart from a wide system of 
hospitals right away to the rear and all over Russia, it 
includes ambulance and depot trains which run almost 
up to the very front, and flying columns, giving first aid 
to the wounded. These last have attached to them large 
field transport trains, adapted to the local roads and 
working in close touch with the generals at the front and 
the military surgeons. 

It is always a pleasure to meet with any section of this 
organisation. It possesses the free initiative character- 
istic of self-government, for the Zemstva members and 
employes have everywhere volunteered for this service; 
and there is in it the healthy sense of open air 
and a practical experience at making the best of any 

There was a flying column which I met at the begin- 
ning of our retreat, and which took charge of my baggage. 
The same column was now quite near me, and they kindly 
gave me a lift to the front. I set out in one of their 


sensible " two- wheelers " adapted for carrying the 
wounded, and travelled a good part of the night to where 
they had their park : there I had a splendid sleep in the 
two-wheeler. The next day we went on in a long train 





t (May.June, 1915) 




The enemy passes the riuer 


Russian defensive line 


The Caucasians retake Seniawa 


Further enemy advance 


Later Russian defensive line 

of carts through pine-woods and sand, sometimes almost 
losing our bearings, until we found the flying column at 
work in a wood : among the sisters was an English lady. 
Miss Hopper, and in a neighbouring flying column of 
the Zemstva is another English sister. Miss Flamborough ; 
the others call them " our aUies." 


I was told that one of the mihtary doctors wondered 
whether I was a spy. As he was going to the staff of 
the LL Corps, I asked him to take me with him. Here 
I had a kind welcome, though I happened to be without 
all my papers. Everything seemed to be going better. 
The General in command, a man of decision and much 
humour, was evidently in good spirits; business was 
barred at meals ; but the position was explained to me, 
and it was clear that the enemy was being held. 

I was sent on to one of the Divisions, which had been 
in action for about five days. Here, in spite of the rapid 
changes in the personnel of the officers, there was the 
same feeling of confidence and hope. In the evening 
I rode out with the General of Division on his visit to 
one of the regiments. Everywhere we passed fresh 
troops coming up. We found the regimental staff in 
a wood; though there were huts quite near, the Colonel 
preferred a series of elaborate burrows which had been 
made in the sand among the trees. Near these burrows 
we sat round a table in the twiHght, while orderly masses 
of grey figures kept passing us in their march forward. 
This Colonel, a big genial man with a composure that 
inspired confidence, soon dropped into a conversation 
about old comrades. The General had commanded the 

regiment, and it was painful to hear his inquiries about 
one after another of his officers : almost all were gone. 

The next day I again visited this regiment and went 
forward to the front. The rear was being shelled by 
the enemy with a good deal of shrapnel, and this seemed 
to be going on every day. As I got further forward 

1 passed line after line of entrenchments and shelters. 



and eventually came on the front line, which was admirably 
complete and much more detailed than most of the 
positions which I had yet seen. The battalion, which 
was in a wood, was commanded by a fine young fellow, 
still a lieutenant, who exposed himself freely but took 
the greatest thought for his men. The enemy was only 
a few hundred yards off and suddenly opened a hurricane 
of musketry fire ; practically none but explosive bullets 
were used; this was quite clear as they kept crashing 
into the trees all around us. The men, who were in fine 
strength and spirits, did not suffer; and such measures 
have been taken that the losses inflicted earlier by the 
German heavy artillery are very unlikely to be repeated. 
At no time have I seen so marked a difference in the 
course of a few days. When I visited the San there was 
still the atmosphere of the preceding operations, heroism 
against odds. Now there was a quiet confidence for 
which one could everywhere see the reason — in the troops 
that had come up, and the lessons that had been learned. 

May 29. 
Matters here continue to take a better complexion. 
Yesterday in the staff of the LL Corps I was given the 
sketch-map of the day, which showed an advance at 
more than one point. The regiment which I had last 
visited had now crossed the little brook in front of its 
trenches and also the larger stream which runs at some 
distance almost parallel with it. Of this I had painful 
evidence just outside headquarters. A man with face 
bound up had just been brought in and came forward to 



me making signs. On the paper which I gave him he 
wrote : " I am the Commander of the second battahon of 
the Y regiment. Where are you off to now ? " It was the 
fine young Heutenant whom I had seen a few days back, 
so proud of his new command and so brisk and vigorous in 
all his dispositions. He wrote that he had been wounded 
during the attack by an explosive bullet, such as I had 
heard crackling against the trees when I was with his 
regiment. His mouth was shattered, but he was quite 
cool and gave no sign of pain. My companion sent him 
off at once by motor to the ambulance. 

At another point there had been a more definite advance, 
which, coming as it did just where the enemy had made 
a great effort to break through, seemed to promise results 
all along the line. This was the point that I decided 
to visit ; so I was directed to a cavalry division from the 
Caucasus which was stationed there. I experimented 
in a new means of conveyance, namely a hand-truck 
which worked between our last station and the front. 
It was a sporting ride, and we went faster than a good 
many trains. Just before I started I was asked to carry 
word to a badly wounded officer that a motor was being 
sent for him. Alighting at a signal-box, I made my way 
to the place, and the poor fellow was dehghted ; but alas ! 
no motor could make its way over this road, and the 
young man died before there were other means of moving 

Headquarters staff of the Division was a farm building 
crowded with fine horses and soldiers. The men wore the 
long black busbies and the picturesque flowing uniform 
of the Caucasus, with decorated sabres and bandoliers. 


The General was a patriarchal man with bald head and 
long beard, easy of manner and short and conclusive in 
speech. He kindly put me up in his own room, and 
through the night he seemed to be doing business at a 
great rate with the minimum of exertion. Next morning 
the whole position was shortly and plainly explained 
to me; in the night we had taken another village, and 
levelled up the line of our advance rightwards. I 
was sent to see the corresponding movement on the 

The General took me with him to one of his Brigadiers, 
and on the way in a few vigorous words put renewed heart 
into two brisk-looking batteries that lay on our road. 
The soldier who took me forward had the day before 
got a skin wound on the face from shrapnel, while carry- 
ing a message to the staff; it had not prevented him 
from returning to the front. The General jocularly 
told him that to-day he would probably get one on the 
other cheek. 

As we came out of the wood, we saw a man dodge past 
us, and the next minute came the explanation in the 
shape of a shell. The railway ran straight forward up 
the bare slope; and the enemy was shelling all along this 
Une. A few hundred yards on, behind the lightest of 
shelters, was a hole in the ground with a telephone, 
which served during action for the staff of the regiment. 
I asked for the Colonel, and they pointed to a splendidly 
built man lying stretched out on the ground. I thought 
for a moment that he was dead, but he was only lying 
fast asleep under the shrapnel, after the ceaseless and 
arduous work of the attack. He stood up and shook 


himself like some noble animal, standing in the open, 
much against the wish of his officers. 

We sat and talked for some hours. The ground where 
we were had all been won in the night. Our present 
positions, temporary and little developed, were about five 
hundred yards further up. Our men were only six hun- 
dred yards from the Germans and had orders to advance 
by short stages. Some of them had already crept forward 
two hundred yards and were throwing up head cover on 
the ridge of the slope. Other parts of the ridge were still 
in the hands of the Germans ; their trenches were plainly 
visible, and they were firing down on us, aiming at 
anything which stood upright. 

A soldier was sent by the railway ditch up to the 
front, so I went with him. The best plan after all 
was to walk forward, stepping out but without hurry. 
A little beyond the level of our lines I found some 
breast-high shelters on the edge of the railway ditch. 
Here we posted the bearers, who would wait to attend 
to the wounded. 

One got a near view of all our front. A group of some 
twenty men had gone forward together and were en- 
trenching themselves; others at intervals crept forward 
on their own initiative on different sides; it was rather 
like men at a Salvation meeting, coming in, one by one, 
for conversions. As one was halfway up to his comrades, 
a shrapnel burst with a flare just above him; he lay 
still for a few minutes and then crawled slowly back, 
evidently wounded. The twenty had hardly established 
themselves when three shrapnels and a shell burst at 
intervals all along their little line. However, the slow 


process went on, and the line was being gradually levelled 
up to those who were furthest forward. 

This slow advance, inevitable in daytime, is very 
trying. The moment of greatest danger was when the 
men came in full view of the enemy, who from his trenches 
could direct his artillery fire with precision on to the 
Russian advance. As our men came closer in, this danger 
would disappear, for the German artillery in the rear 
would be afraid of hitting its own infantry; but this 
stage was still far off. 

I came back to the staff, and when close to it I was 
noticed and followed with a little shower of explosive 
bullets which burst near me. Beyond the railway, much 
the same movement was in process, except that here 
machine guns were at work. I made my way back to 
the wood; shells travelled overhead far to our rear; as 
each passed, the wounded men whom I was supporting 
jerked instinctively away from me and wished to lie 
down or seek any shelter. 

I had a long walk back, passing on the way groups of 
those wounded who were able to go on foot, and followed 
for some distance by two soldiers who were on the look- 
out for spies. 

May 31. 
I have had an interesting talk with a German officer, 
commander of a battery which was cut off by the Russians 
in a recent advance on our side. He comes from the 
Rhine and has lived long in Hamburg, and he inspired 
in his captors the greatest respect by his breeding and 
good feeling. 


We talked first of Hamburg : he described it as a dead 
town ; trade there is, but it goes by other roads and most 
of the profits remain in neutral countries. The short 
rations in Germany he insisted were simply a measure 
of precaution, and latterly prices had been lowered; he 
had a poor opinion of potato bread. Next we talked 
of the Rhine Universities, which are practically emptied 
of students by the war. There are in the army many 
volunteers from the age of sixteen to that of forty-eight, 
but this is no indication of the depletion of material for 
the Army. 

We now got on to the main questions; he was very 
ready to discuss them and spoke perfectly frankly. I 
asked on what side Germany could hope for any deciding 
success. He admitted at once that no such point, of 
the kind that Napoleon used to look for, was to be found 
on any side, and he maintained that from the outset, 
both militarily and politically, Germany was fighting 
a purely defensive war, of course by frequent counter- 
offensives. In that case, I suggested, Germany could 
only have peace by our offering it, that is, by our getting 
tired of the war ; and surely it was unfortunate that she 
had all of us against her at once. In reply he reminded 
me of the German word Streber, which means a restless 
pushing person who is always disturbing and annoying 
others. Economically, he said, the struggle for life in 
Germany had become almost impossible, of which he 
himself had seen many instances. Some outlet was 
essential, and this England and the other Powers had 
united to prevent. I said that for us English the issue 
was whether Germany should have things which we at 


present possess, and that we were not likely to give them 
up without fighting. He quite accepted this, Germany, 
he said, was like the troublesome boy of the school, who 
was dissatisfied and had a grievance, and was always 
making things unpleasant for all the rest, so that there 
was no wonder if he was not liked. I suggested that 
this went too far, if his own old allies, such as Italy, turned 
against him. He expressed a natural resentment against 
Italy, and said that anyhow here right was on the side 
of Germany, who would continue to defend herself to 
the end. I answered that we might disagree as to the 
question of right, but that I could not understand how 
any successful issue could be hoped for under such con- 
ditions. He was of my opinion, and twice spoke of the 
war as a " catastrophe." I asked, then, why Germany 
should persist in a policy which had obviously, especially 
in the case of Italy, proved to be a misguided one; we 
all felt admiration for the magnificent fighting power 
of the German army, which might have dealt success- 
fully with us separately ; but it had been set an impossible 
task. He replied that England had a long experience 
as a state and that policy with her was well thought out ; 
Germany had only some forty years of a united existence 
behind her, and the policy which had led to " the catas- 
trophe " could not, as a policy, be defended. I asked 
whether it was likely to be changed, and to this I neither 
expected nor got any answer. But it was interesting 
that, in spite of the great successes in western Galicia, 
he described the present mood of the army as nothing 
like the first great outburst of enthusiasm at the beginning 
of the war. 


I was later given an opportunity of examining a German 
private (a Hanoverian). This man had been asleep when 
the Russians stormed his trenches. I was interested 
both in the readiness of his answers, which he gave with 
a smiling face, and in the answers themselves. The 
German heavy artillery was all beyond the San, and 
troops were being sent away to the Italian front. Food 
was poor in GaUcia ; all the soldiers were for peace, and 
there was the same refrain in all the letters received from 
home. He had been on the western front near Reims 
and had made the railway journey to Neu-Sandec (Nowy 
Sacz) in five days. He spoke with especial respect of the 
first English troops, of the Russian field artillery and of 
the accuracy of the French heavy artillery. 

June 7. 
I had a talk with a staff officer of the E E Corps on the 
fortunes of his corps and on the German methods of 
advance. The corps had not been hit so hard as some 
others by the Austro-German impact ; it helped to cover 
the retreat to the San, and stood to its ground beyond 
the river until one of its neighbours retired. When the 
enemy had thus got a footing beyond the river, the 
E E Corps made a counter-attack vigorous and success- 
ful. But the enemy pushed the next corps still further 
back, so that the E E's had also to rectify their line. 
However, they continued to make counter-attacks, at 
one point gaining about a mile of ground, and they were 
still holding good. They had at least the satisfaction 
of holding the forces of the enemy which were opposed 


to them, so that these troops could not move further 
along the Russian line to complete their offensive move- 
ment. This record is typical of very much of the Galician 
fighting, which is full of such ups and downs of attacks 
and of counter-attacks, and only reached decisive results 
by the employment, at given points, of an overwhelmingly 
superior heavy artillery. 

The German method is to mass superior artillery 
against a point selected and to cover the area in question 
with a wholesale and continuous cannonade. The big 
German shells, which the Russian soldiers call the " black 
death," burst almost simultaneously at about fifty yards 
from each other, making the intervening spaces practi- 
cally untenable. The cannonaded area extends well to the 
rear of the Russian lines, and sometimes it is the rear that 
is first subjected to a systematic bombardment, the lines 
themselves being reserved for treatment later. On one 
of my visits the divisional and regimental staffs were 
being so shelled that the former had to move at once 
and one of the latter was half destroyed; but mean- 
while there was hardly a shot along the actual front. In 
this way confusion is created, and reinforcements and 
supply are made difficult. It is the wholesale character 
of these cannonades that make their success, for there 
is nowhere to which the defenders can escape. The 
whole process is, of course, extremely expensive. 

When a considerable part of the Russian front has 
thus been annihilated, and when the defenders are, there- 
fore, either out of action or in retreat, the enemy's infantry 
is poured into the empty space and in such masses that 
it spreads also to left and right, pushing back the 


neighbouring Russian troops. Thus the whole Hne is 
forced to retire, and the same process is repeated on the 
new positions. 

When success in one district has thus been secured, 
the German impact is withdrawn and again brought 
forward at some further part of the Russian front. In 
other words, the German hammer, zigzagging backwards 
and forwards, travels along our front, striking further 
and further on at one point or another, until the whole 
front has been forced back. 

The temper of this corps, as of practically all the 
others, is in no sense the temper of a beaten army. The 
losses have been severe; but with anything like the 
artillery equipment of the enemy, both officers and men 
are confident that they would be going forward. 

June 10. 

I rode over dull country on my way to the S S Corps, 
one of whose divisions I had visited a week or so before. 
While I sat lunching in a wood, regiments of cavalry 
swept past me, filling the air with dust; sometimes one 
could not see a horseman until he was upon one. Not 
far from the Staif there was a sick soldier lying by the 
road, with some peasants looking after him ; we sent him 
forward on a passing army cart. 

The S S Corps was having an easy time after the recent 
fighting in a large village over three miles long which 
had several good clean quarters ; the Polish peasants are 
excellent hosts. Neither side was making any move, 
but our Staff went up every day to the positions to direct 


the work of entrenching, which was being carried forward 
with the greatest energy. The General in command, who 
is very hearty and sociable, was just starting in his motor 
when I arrived, and he invited me to come with him. It 
was a far drive, and at one point we were stuck in the 
sand; we passed quite a number of different lines of 
defence, carefully planned and executed. As large drafts 
of recruits had come in recently, we halted at the edge of 
a wood and the General gathered the men round him and 
made them a very vigorous little speech. He described 
how Germany and Germans had for several years ex- 
ploited Russia, especially through the last tariff treaty, 
which was made when Russia was engaged in the Japanese 
War, and set up entirely unfair conditions of exchange. 
He said that the German exploited and bullied every- 
body; and that was a thing which the peasant could 
understand, often from personal experience. Then he 
got talking of the great family of the Slavs, of little 
Serbia's danger and of the Tsar's championship, of 
Germany's challenge and of Russia's defiance. Next he 
spoke of the Allies and of their help. And then he spoke 
of the regiment, which bears a name associated with the 
great Suvorov; they were always, he said, sent to the 
hardest work, often, as now, to repair a reverse ; and he 
spoke plainly and without fear of the recent retreat. 
Concluding, he told them a story of Gurko : some of his 
men had said that the enemy would have to pass over 
their bodies, and Gurko answered, " Much better if 
you pass over his." He ended by telling them all to 
" fight with their heads." In the wood he addressed 
another group. Both his little speeches were manly and 


effective, and they were very much appreciated; one 
of the men (I wear no epaulettes) called me to closer 

On the further edge of the wood there were good 
trenches, and from them ran a long and very winding 
covered way to the front line of all. The enemy here 
was only some sixty yards off, and we could get a good 
view of his lines; but this day he only sent a few 
intermittent shrapnel over our heads. ^ 

The next day we motored again to this side, which was 
on our extreme right flank. We left the motors and rode 
fast through thick brushwood. Most of us got separated 
from the leaders, but we picked up their tracks, and 
our Cossacks gave us a great gallop to catch up with 
them. We had tea in a beautiful wood with an outpost 
of the Red Cross, which was living in tents; the regi- 
mental band played to us, and gave us " God save the 
King." We were just beginning to talk about the stifling 
gases. " Confound their politics ; Frustrate their knavish 
tricks " seemed to have a new significance. After tea 
we rode and walked to an artillery observation post, 
from which the enemy's lines were clearly visible. This 
day wore a holiday atmosphere, with music and snapping 
of photographs and the forest picnic. But the General's 
alertness was soon to be proved. Three days later the 
Germans made their new advance exactly at this point, 
but of that I will write later. 

June 13. 
Next to the L Corps on the right is one of the most 
famous corps in the Russian army — 3 K. In this war 


it has been put to hard and dangerous work all over the 

At Kosienice, which saw some of the hardest fighting 
in the war, two regiments crossed the Vistula — the Vistula, 
mind; and those who have seen it will know what that 
means — under fire and in face of two German corps and 
three Austrian; another brigade of 3 K came along 
the river from a Russian fortress on the western bank, 
marching knee-deep through marsh and water with the 
general at its head. The two regiments that crossed 
moved forward to a vast forest near the river, and there 
they had an hour and a half's bayonet fighting — one 
may imagine what that means. An enormous number 
of officers went down ; the B's lost forty, and the S's in 
the course of those five days had seven successive officers 
killed while commanding the regiment. In the midst of 
the bayonet fighting, when most of the Russian officers 
fell, some of the Germans shouted out in Russian, 
" Don't fight your own men ! " and in the confusion 
which followed the Russians left the forest and lay, half 
in marsh and with only the most elementary cover, under 
a devastating artillery fire; however, they held their 
ground on this bank of the river, and, as soon as they 
were reinforced, they again moved forward and scattered 
the Germans, drove them off westward, and then pushed 
the Austrians, in more than a week of fighting, beyond 
Kielce, where they feasted their triumph with the old 
corps song, " God has given victory." After this fol- 
lowed arduous fighting in the Czenstochowa region. 
Later the corps went to the eastern Carpathians to stem 
an Austro-G'erman advance, and it was thence brought 


rapidly across to the assistance of our army when the 
tremendous artillery impact of the enemy fell on Galicia 
between GorUce and Tamow. 

I first saw General Irmanov the day he had entered 
Kielce. He is one of the most remarkable and sympa- 
thetic figures of the whole war. I saw what seemed an 
old man of middle height, of sturdy figure, with a curious 
outward kink in his walk as of one who had Uved much 
on horseback; he has a singularly peaceful and gentle 
face, with a high colour and grey hair and beard ; a child- 
like simpUcity and directness blended with a fatherly 
benevolence; but the suggestion of different ages ends, 
when one sees much of the General, in one's forgetting age 
altogether. The voice is a mild, high one which some- 
times comes out Uke a Uttle bark. I had a long talk then 
with General Irmanov, and for every one of my questions 
got a clear and full answer. Irmanov was not a General 
Staff officer; in peace and off duty he lives a quiet 
domestic Hfe in his mountain home. His staff is like a 
family; there is a peculiar smartness and spirit in the 
salute when the General appears and all Une up to greet 
him. He mounts without delay and is off in a moment ; 
he is one of the fastest riders in the army, and in a few 
minutes his suite, trained riders as they are, are all 
streaming behind him. 

In the battle of Gorhce the corps was set a desperate 
task. It was to turn the German flank and get to the 
devastating heavy artillery and take it. It is always 
shorter to go forward than to go back; and this was the 
one way in which bold hands could beat metal. When I 
first heard the order, some one said, " Irmanov can do 


it " ; and he very nearly succeeded. The Prussian Guard 
Reserve was against him, and their prisoners, who held 
their heads high in other matters, were all agreed as to 
the heroism of 3 K. There followed tremendous rear- 
guard fighting, battles or marches every day. The corps 
was 40,000 when it marched on the guns; it was 8000 
when it stood covering the Russian rear beyond the river 
San. It was 6000 when it made its counter-advance on 
Sieniawa, and then it took 7000 prisoners and a battery 
of heavy artillery. Not much of the beaten army in 

I reached the pleasing white farmhouse in which the 
staff of the corps lived, and felt at home from the first. 
They made me feel myself to be one of the party; there 
was no ceremony, but the General, who found time for 
everything, saw to it himself that I had a little room of 
my own, which he visited to see that all was in order. 

Next day he asked me whether I would like to go 
with a colonel of Cossacks. This seemed simple enough. 
We went to the colonel's quarters, took a quick lunch 
and then mounted. The whole regiment, I noticed, was 
behind us ; we started at a dashing pace, breaking a way 
through thick forest, the branches often lashing our 
faces. The Germans had come through at one point, 
and we were on our way to stop them ; if we found them 
on the march, the regiment would charge; if they were 
taking cover, we should take cover opposite them and 
possibly advance on foot to a counter-attack, in which 
the Cossack's sword would replace the infantry bayonet. 
At a signal all heads were uncovered and, while we still 
rode forward, there rose a solemn hymn which is always 


sung before action. Later the colonel said, " We have 
been serious long enough; let's have some songs"; and 
with the music of the Don and Caucasus rising and 
falling we rode forward. 

I had begun to wonder what exactly was my part in 
the day's business — for I was riding, with only a Red 
Cross brassard, next to the colonel — when we were all 
told to dismount, hide in a wood and await further orders. 
We were here for about two hours ; I woke from a good 
sleep to see the divisional general come out of his hut 
with our colonel. The General made vigorous gestures 
which I thought must be an order for attack; but it 
turned out just the opposite. The gestures meant that 
the German advance had already been stopped, and the 
colonel came back, saying, " Got to go home," From 
my point of view it was just as well, for I am sure I could 
have done nothing to help except fall off. We rode 
slowly back in the evening ; and every now and then the 
men sang long melodies that fitted the hour and the bare 

June i6. 

The day after our ride there was nothing doing, and 
it was difficult to make any plan. I spent most of the 
day lying about the big garden, as many of the soldiers 
did. There were pleasant gullies, and beyond lay the 
long, rambling, white-walled village with a pretty church. 
The village girls were all on the way thither dressed in 
bright colours. It seemed that there were services twice 
a day; and the people, who were Poles, met whenever 
they heard the cannon, to pray for the success of the 
Russian arms. 


I sat for some time in the church. The younger girls 
all knelt before the chancel and sang a long and beautiful 
prayer, into which, in the second half of each stave, there 
joined the voices of the men behind. Then the priest, 
who looked both kind and clever, had a talk with the 
younger children. Poland is one of the few countries 
where all the church music is congregational, and it is 
often sung very beautifully. For the Pole the church is 
the fortress and shelter of his country ; and in this terrible 
war, which has fallen so hardly on Poland, this comfort 
is more needed and more real than ever. It is many 
times that the inhabitants of this region, especially old 
peasant women, have told me how they feared the coming 
of the Germans. 

The Staff was a very pleasant company. The chief, 
also a general, had the face and manner of a conscientious 
English country gentleman ; he was widely read in military 
history, and his judgments were always weighed. The 
senior adjutant had been contusioned and invalided, but 
somehow had managed to return almost at once ; he was 
humorous and talkative; in his room he had a placard, 
" There is no air in this room, don't spoil your health and 
GO AWAY." Over the General's door he had written, 
" Don't disturb work or rest." 

Two officers examined our prisoners, assisted by a 
Czech interpreter. There was one very militant Austrian 
German, who would have it that Austria would win ; he 
was so rude about the Austrian Slavs that I asked him 
at the end whether Austria wanted the Slavs. He said 
they wished to be quit of Galicia, and in fact of all their 
Slav provinces ; I suggested that Austria proper and Tirol 


might find their natural place inside the German empire ; 
he answered with alacrity, " Of course, far better under 
Wilhelm II." It is a view which offers possibihties of a 
settlement ; but I did not see how it would suit Austria. 

In the evening the Cossacks, encamped in different 
groups in the wood, struck up their strange songs and the 
Russian national hymn, which they have their own way 
of singing, suggestive of cadences in the music of the north 
of England. I came back from a walk in the cornfields 
to hear that the General invited me to come with him the 
next day. 

At eight in the morning all was movement. We made 
a vigorous start, and went off at a great pace towards 
our left flank, the point which I had already visited when 
with the SS Corps. The General missed nothing. He 
had a salute in his little high voice for every one : " Good 
day, sapper," " Good day, cavalier " (to any soldier with 
the George Cross) ; and men standing far away across 
the fields drew themselves to sharp attention to anticipate 
him with their lusty greeting. " Thank you for your 
trouble," he said, whenever we passed a group of men at 
work. At one point he galloped right away from all the 
lot of us, and when we caught him up he said, " I thought 
somehow he looked like my son." He turned round 
several times to ask, " Is the Englishman there? " and 
insisted on superintending the adjustment of my stirrups. 

After passing several Hnes of entrenchments, we came 
to the front line. Here he ordered us all to stay on the 
edge of a wood and went forward into the open alone, 
diving into the trenches, talking with one man or another, 
patting them on the back and distributing rewards for 



bravery. He was soon back again from his scramble and 
said he must have an observation point. They took us 
to a tree with a ladder against it ; the tree was outside our 
lines. He was up it in an instant. " They can come at 
us from three sides under cover here," he said, pointing 
to the surrounding woods. "Go up and have a look " ; 
then, " Who's on our flank? " for we were at the limit of 
our positions. The answer did not satisfy him, nor did 
the reply which he received from a neighbouring regi- 
ment ; he made the necessary dispositions and was off on 

As we passed behind our lines we met a Red Cross out- 
post, where we made a short halt. A little further on 
there passed us at full gallop four regiments of Cossacks 
on their way to relieve our neighbours on the left, where, 
as we now knew, the Germans were breaking through. 
As we passed, the General called a salute to each regiment 
by name and to officers or soldiers in person; and we 
saluted each flag as the Cossacks swept past in full swing. 
We pulled up sharp at the Staff of the brigade. The 
General had the men out and talked to them ; to the candi- 
dates presented for the George he said, " I will give it to 
any one who accounts for ten Germans; " then he spoke of 
England, and asked me to give a greeting, so I told them 
how grateful we were for all that they had done for the 
Allies, and how we meant to do our full share of the work. 

Rewards were distributed, and we were off for home; 
but we had hardly got there, with every one except the 
General fairly tired, when he ordered his motor to take 
him off to his opposite flank, the right. He invited me 
to come with him, and I asked leave to spend the night 


in the trenches of the Q regiment, which held that flank. 
He gave his leave, as there was no disquieting news from 
that side, and my traps were put in the motor. We had 
a long push through the oceans of sand, but at last were 
travelling along the rear of the right flank. At one point 
some sinister hand, well in the rear of our front, had laid 
a whole line of fire through a great wood. 

Suddenly there opened before us such a sight as I had 
seen at the beginning of the great fighting in Galicia when 
I was with the J Corps. There was one long line of fire, 
shell on shell bursting at close intervals and almost con- 
tinuously in the twilight, with a deafening noise, though 
we were some way in the rear. It was the smashing tactics 
again — and again at the expense of the J Corps — ^which 
had suffered so much in the previous fighting. 

General Irmanov thought for a moment that we had 
gone beyond our own positions ; but it proved otherwise. 
We found the Staff of the Division in a garden outside a 
hut. It was a General whom I had met elsewhere, with 
a new Chief of the Staff, very conscientious and pains- 
taking. With a lamp on the table we sat in the garden 
and heard the news. At four o'clock the Q's were intact. 
The neighbouring regiment of the J Corps, which was 
only at half strength, had had to retire from its positions ; 
and the Q's, with their flank uncovered, were pounded 
till they had but few men left. These retreated in good 
order, guarding as best they could against further out- 
flanking; but there was no question of getting to them 
that night. 

In a single day our corps, which the enemy respected 
enough to leave till last, had been turned on both flanks ; 


and at each of the threatened points so far distant from 
each other, General Irmanov, who could not have antici- 
pated the danger, had managed to be on the spot as soon 
as it presented itself. 

June 19. 

The morning after our return from the right flank every 
one was very busy, and the best thing that one could do was 
not to get in the way. I had a chat with the Chief of the 
Staff, who, when he could snatch an interval at an anxious 
time, usually spent it with one of the more fantastic novels 
of Mr. H. G. Wells. We talked of the military reputations 
of the war. He told me we were engaged along our whole 
front; I had thought of getting to the regiment which 
I had accompanied near Biecz, and which belonged to 
this corps; but he said that it was difficult to send me. 
Shortly afterwards, in the most business-like way, every- 
thing in the house was packed ; we, too, were to retreat. 

General Irmanov believed in meeting attack by counter- 
attack, and almost every day his corps had contrived 
some surprise for the enemy, usually by night; on the 
day of my arrival it took over a thousand prisoners. 
Altogether the corps had taken in prisoners much more 
than its own original strength. But this time there were 
reasons which made retreat imperative. " If I had what 
I need," said the General, " I should advance to-morrow." 

The retreat was conducted in the most perfect order. 
The General visited on his way the new line of entrench- 
ments, which had been prepared with great care. I 
accompanied the senior adjutant to the new quarters, 
which were only four and a half miles off, but, alas ! 


beyond the old frontier and in Russian Poland. What 
of our friends, the poor inhabitants, whom we left behind ? 
In our new halting-place I could not fail to notice the 
delicacy of the corps authorities in their arrangements for 
their quarters. Everything was done to lessen the incon- 
venience for the townspeople; and the General's own 
quarters were asked, rather than claimed, of the local 
priest. The General had given a special order as to my 
own accommodation; I was again to have a room of 
my own. 

By now I was coming to a conclusion which I had long 
been considering. I had visited these last corps to 
complete my information on some points which seemed 
to me to be of the first importance, not only to the army, 
but to Russia and to the allies. The data, of which I now 
had much more than enough, were overwhelming in what 
they indicated. Clearly the troops had lost not an atom 
of their fighting spirit ; equally clearly they were fighting 
under the most unfair conditions and would continue to 
do so until their technical equipment, in arms and muni- 
tions, was much more on a level with that of the enemy. 
I wished to report in person what I had seen ; and in this 
conclusion I was encouraged by the General. He thought 
I should not wait for the end of these operations, which 
might last a long while, but that I should be off as soon 
as possible. " Come back and live with us when we've got 
what we want," he said; " and we'll show you how we 
use it." 

He gave me his motor to go and pick up my luggage. 
It was a curious journey. Apparently I had twelve miles 
to go, but one could not tell how fast the enemy was 


advancing elsewhere. We ourselves were retreating twelve 
miles next day. Besides, the roads were mostly a hopeless 
waste of sand, in which motors stuck fast and had to be 
dragged out by horses. I was therefore advised to make 
a circuit of something like eighty miles. 

For most of this distance I had a glorious paved road, 
constructed, I believe, by a Polish count, and certainly 
as good as asphalte. Late at night I was only five miles 
from my luggage : but it took me till the morning — some- 
thing like seven hours — to get over those five miles, and 
it was a wonder that we got through at all, for the aquatic 
feats of the chauffeur were astonishing. However, by the 
evening of the next day I was with the Staff of the army 
and making all preparations for going further. Among 
the Staff I found not the slightest trace of agitation. The 
situation was fully recognised, and there was a clear-cut 
plan for dealing with it. I saw all my friends, got all 
further information that I needed, and started for 
Moscow and Petrograd. 

The last words of the Chief of the Staff of the army were 
these : "Be sure to say, after everything else, that we 
won't consider a separate peace and that we are perfectly 
confident of the final result." 



[This officer served in the 12th Rifle Battalion of the loth 
Austrian Division. He was at the front opposite the Russians 
in the neighbourhood of Gorlice. He took part in the Austro- 
German advance from that place, which was the point selected 
for the first and most crushing artillery attack by the enemy. 
With an interval due to indisposition, he advanced as far as 
Sieniawa. This Diary, in many particulars, supplies interesting 
confirmation of the intelligence on the Russian side. I was 
myself for some part of this period opposite to the troops 
in which the Austrian officer was fighting. The chief value of 
the Diary is the way in which it illustrates the striking contrast 
between the very great successes of the enemy's artillery fire 
and the inferiority of the spirit of the enemy's troops to that of 
the retreating Russians. I am fully persuaded that no such 
Diary could have been written in any of the Russian regiments 
with which I was during this period. — B. P.] 




March i8. — ^At 7.45 p.m. we left Liebertz.^ It was a 
merry send-off. They gave us lots of flowers, cigarettes 
and a bottle of liquor ; the band plays and the train slowly 
moves off. I am very tired and soon go to sleep. 

March 21. — At 8.45 a.m. we arrived at Gribow. We 
had a rest at Rona. The detachment was reviewed by 
the Commander of the corps. The chief thing is to keep 
up the men's spirits. In the night of March 23 there was 
to have been an attack on our flag. We bivouacked at 
Lossie. There I found our field train with Siegel Novak 
and Kolaris. 

March 22. — At 10 o'clock in the morning we marched 
out to Riechwald ; the roads were sunk in mud. Kolaris 
tells us of a four days' fight at Sekow; of his company 
there were very few left. The division is attacking the 
heights with the Imperial Rifles, the 26th and the 21st. 
The Commander of our company was told that in the 
trenches there were about fifty Russians who were only 
waiting for us to surrender. When we attacked we found 
as a matter of fact that we had no less than two Russian 
regiments against us with four machine guns.^ The com- 
pany of Kahlen marches out to a bare hill, but is met by 
a murderous fire and is almost destroyed. The Little 
Russians are almost all left on the field, either dead or 

* In Bohemia, 

" One Austrian regiment usually had twenty-four to thirty-two 
machine guns. 



seriously wounded. They are very lacking in initiative 
and resource. When one goes up-hill the heavy knap- 
sack is a great hindrance. According to what the officers 
think and what the soldiers say, this attack was an evident 
impossibility. Of the officers there fell Nietsche and 
Haube. Heavily wounded were Andreis, Lajad and 
Ensign Steiner. Riechwald is a dirty Ruthenian village. 
Near the church we buried Ensign Buhlwas. Our com- 
pany is in the trenches eastward of Riechwald in the direc- 
tion of the Dukla Pass. The company has been in the 
trenches there for seven days in all. At times the Russian 
artillery bombards our trenches. Our cannon reply. 
After dinner, work. Close to us on the right there burst 
two shrapnels, and two hundred yards from my house a 
Russian shell went past. In front of us, twenty yards 
away, there is a hut with our Staff. Not long ago 
a shell fell there; luckily there was no one here. In 
the evening at 9 o'clock the company returned from the 

March 24. — At 5 o'clock in the morning there was an 
alarm. We go off to the trenches to relieve the 21st 
Regiment. Our trenches are not very sound. We are 
always improving them. The Russians look at us from 
their trenches, but do not fire.^ They, too, are working 
at their trenches. Our sixteen-year-old volunteer went 
out on the Mahlsdorf side and saw there seven Austrian 
soldiers. Perhaps they were Russians disguised. The 
Brigadier-General has forbidden us to send any scouting 
parties to Mahlsdorf. The 21st Regiment sent out a Czech 
and a German scouting party, but neither of them came 

^ Haphazard firing in the Russian trenches is not encouraged. 


back. We could not hear any firing.^ In front of our 
trenches there is a wire entanglement, at which we put 
a sentry, to listen, especially at night, when atiy danger 
appears.* By night our outposts fire on the Russians, 
but the firing soon dies away.* 

March 25. — We have come out of the trenches. In the 
evening we all sat together and had a good time with music 
and beer. The news came that Przemysl had fallen. 
Probably now the Russians will march on Dukla and 
on Krakow. Lots of complaints against our generals. 
No one has anything to say in favour of our offensive.* 

March 26. — We are now in the reserve of the division. 
The second company is going off to Dziara, where a 
Russian attack is expected. We are leaving the village. 

March 27. — The second company has come back. The 
Russians did not attack. Jeschko took a scouting 
detachment and went off towards Mahlsdorf. There he 
caught two soldiers of the 21st Regiment. I went out 
riding beyond Riechwald. After dinner, work. All 
round there are lots of crosses. On the bridge they were 

* The Russians were always masters of the neutral zone 
at night, and took many enemy scouting parties, often with 
ludicrously inferior numbers. The Russians planned and exe- 
cuted new enterprises every night. They never fired unless it 
was necessary. 

' This was usual among the enemy at all points which I 
visited. The sentry had orders to retreat at the first alarm, and in 
some parts none of the enemy came any nearer to our trenches. 

3 This firing was ordinarily wild and general. It seldom 
took any effect, and our men did not reply to it, not wishing to 
give the desired information as to the whereabouts and strength 
of our forces. 

* The first allusion to the projected Austro-German advance 
through Galicia. 




carrying a dead soldier; in front of him was a heap of 
straw. Infectious disease is beginning.* 

March* 28. — The 26th Regiment has been joined by 
the 59th. A Divisional Order has been issued that too 
many men are surrendering.^ At 6 o'clock in the morn- 
ing two soldiers brought in by Jeschko were shot.^ One 
was twenty-one, the other twenty-five. They were 
buried near the road with a third, who was shot by a 
sentry for not knowing the password. The first and 
second companies are digging trenches. All day rain 
and snow. Work with the company till 3 o'clock. In the 
evening a lot of snow fell. At 8 o'clock in the evening 
the company of Kahlen starts off from Ropica Russka, to 
scout — to find out what regiments are in front of us. 

In front of the Mahlsdorf crest we discovered that we 
had the 34th and 248th Russian Regiments. The Rus- 
sians use Czechs as scouts. The Commander of the 
loth Division has given a prize of 500 crowns to catch 
a man.* Nestarowicz is ill; so is our doctor. The 
Russians every day get bolder and more impudent. 
They know when dinner is sent to the trenches and break 
out laughing, and before the signal is given they shout 

^ Previous to this Austrian prisoners interrogated by me bore wit- 
ness to widespread enteric and to shortage of food . Cholera came to 
us from the Austrians during their advance, but was quickly isolated. 

* The numbers were enormous. In our interrogations we 
usually had to distinguish between " Did you surrender ? " and 
" Did you come across of yourselves ? " The mass surrenders 
of Austrians took the following order in respect of nationalities : 
Serbians and Bosnians, Ruthenians, Rumanians and Italians, 
Poles, Czechs, and later in lesser numbers, Magyars, and Germans 
of Austria proper, last of all Tirolese; and Croats, not at all. 

' Evidently Austrian deserters. 

* On our side there were always plenty of volunteers to catch 
" a tongue," or person who could talk. No prizes were offered. 


out to the 36th Regiment : " Thirty-sixth, to your coffee ! " 
They also freely employ N.C.O.'s who know German. Not 
long ago a Russian N.C.O. came up boldly to our wire 
entanglements of the i8th Regiment and began abusing 
our men in German, teUing them " they had better not go 
catching crows but hide in the trenches at once." And 
indeed our brave recruits diligently executed his orders.^ 

March 29. — We are working at the trenches on the 
Magora. The scouting detachment of the 59th Regi- 
ment sent to Mahldorf has lost 14 killed. A stray bullet 
killed a N.C.O. of Sappers. In the evening we had 
dinner together in honour of the arrival of Major Eisen. 

March 30. — Heavy snow is falling. In the morning, 
work. Cannonade was to-day weak. After dinner, con- 
fession; nearly all the soldiers went. 

April I. — In the morning, work. The Russian artillery 
is strongly bombarding Sekov. Strict orders to be on 
the alert. After dinner our artillery bombards Ropica. 
In Sekov the Russians have occupied the bridge, which 
was guarded by the Imperial Rifles. Meisler is pro- 
moted to the Second Rifle Regiment. Wittner is going 
o£E to hospital.^ 

April 2. — In the morning we dig trenches towards 
Dziara. Two of our aeroplanes circle over the Russian 
trenches. Above Gorlice, there is a heavy artillery 
duel.^ A splendid day. About 5 o'clock three Russian 

^ This is t3rpical of the mutual relations which I witnessed. 

* These frequent references to of&cers going off to hospital 
without mention of any wound or illness would be dif&cult to 
parallel on the Russian side. One Russian ofl&cer's principle 
was " You may be killed, but you mayn't be ill." 

3 Gorlice is the point from which later the Austro-German 
advance began. 


shrapnels burst over one of our aeroplanes, but it for- 
tunately got away. In the evening Jeschko is again off 
to Mahlsdorf with his scouts. I very much want a drink, 
but there is no water, nor beer nor wine.^ 

April 3. — We are digging trenches. After dinner we 
were free. A magnificent day. Winternitz has brought 
champagne, cakes, wine . . . and oranges. In the evening 
we all met at the doctor's. There was a sudden alarm. 

April 4. — At 3.45 a.m. we marched out of Riechwald. 
At Dukla there was a strong artillery duel. We go 
through Laszenian and Lovica to Prislak. Very warm. 
Impassable marshes. We met Major Braunhch of the 
Second Rifle Regiment. I had dinner with him. We 
had only just finished our soup when the order came to 
go over our positions with Silberbauer. In the wood I 
parted with the Major. We came on a post where there 
were a colonel, major, captain and a lieutenant. They 
entertained us hospitably, but all were anxious for peace.^ 
In the evening we came to the trenches. We are working 
hard. There is water "everywhere. As soon as you 
think of lying down there comes the order to go on. 
All are discontented. We marched up to the knees in 
mud. On the road we received letters. Mary hopes 
I will have a pleasant Easter. I was so tired I could 
not move a yard. We forded a pretty deep brook. One 
soldier, while crossing, sprained his leg. At 3 o'clock 
in the morning we reached Kwieton. I drove out the 
bearers and slept on a stretcher. 

^ The Russian soldiers cannot get any stimulants and Russian 
officers very seldom. The StaflE of our Army was teetotal 

* The universal desire of all our Austrian prisoners, also of 
most of the Germans. 


April 5. — I cannot stand on my legs, and throw away 
my socks. I and the Staff Captain have got a rather 
nice room. They say that the Russians at GorHce wanted 
a three days' truce,i but it was not granted. In the evening 
there was heavy musketry fire. One hundred yards from us 
a house is on fire. The machine gunners of the 59th Regi- 
ment have lost a lot of saddles and harness. At 10 o'clock 
there comes the news that the Russians are repulsed. 

April 6. — Splendid day. We were again ordered to 
join the 8th I.T. Division as reserve. They have brought 
a machine which destroys. ... To it were tied an old 
man and a ten-year-old boy. The boy had eyes like a 
hawk ; he knows men of all ranks and puts all the work 
on the old man. There were salvos of artillery. In the 
evening a hundred yards off us the house with our 
machine guns is set on fire. The ammunition blows up ; 
the soldiers, barefoot and without uniform, rush out into 
the marsh. One soldier and a lot of harness were burned.^ 

April 7. — At 4 a.m. there is an alarm. We put our 
bags on a cart. We had a rest at Rona. We spent the 
night with a Jew. Two pretty Jewesses offered their 
services. Ludwig sings, after which he throws out of 
the house the Honved Staff Corporal, who was here 
drinking champagne. Before this we met in the village 
a pretty Pole. There were Honveds, who are worse than 
Cossacks.^ In November the Jew entertained here a 

^ For Easter. 

2 There are throughout several references to the accuracy of the 
Russian fire, which was nothing like so sporadic as the enemy's. 

2 A verdict given to me several times by Austrian prisoners. 
One of our men escaped from the Honveds with his tongue cut 
out for not giving information. I have seen old peasants who 
had been shot by the Honveds. 


Russian General and his staff. The PoUsh lady enter- 
tained us with cakes, and even knows German. 

April 8. — After a wretched night in the Jew's house 
we occupied some trenches above Cieszkowice. We 
are relieving the Honveds. I met by chance Lieutenant 
Spalen. I was very glad to see him. The trenches are very 
good and dry. The Russians are nine hundred yards off. 
We have in front of my squad three machine guns. In 
the evening they open fire on us in honour of our arrival. 

April 9. — At 2 a.m. a Russian scouting party and two 
squads came out of the wood. At 4 our machine guns 
fired on them. We were exchanging shots the whole day. 

April 10. — ^The Russians get their breakfast earlier 
than we do. In the evening they attacked to our left, 
where they set a house on fire. It is very dull ; I have a 
cold and want to sleep. The Russians keep throwing 
earth straight into my beer; they shoot so well at my 
mud hut. At night I send out scouts. 

April II. — Life goes slowly. We got newspapers a 
week old and I read them dihgently all through. The 
Russians fire now and then. 

April 12. — The day has gone rather quietly. The 4th 
Company has taken prisoner a Russian deserter, a Jew.* 

April 13. — There are lots of wounded in the 2nd and 4th 
Companies. At 11 p.m. the Russians attacked the 80th 
Honved Regiment to the left of us, but were beaten off. 

April 14. — At 5 a.m. the Russians attacked the 56th 
Regiment on our left flank. They took prisoner a lieuten- 
ant, commanding the company, and about thirty privates. 
Our artillery, however, drove them out of our trenches.^ 

^ This almost isolated reference to Russian prisoners is suggestive 
* The Austrian infantry seldom did so. 


April 15. — The whole day we were exchanging shots. 
It was a simply hellish night. The Russians at midnight 
made six attacks. The Russian heavy mortars threw 
about 150 shells at a copse not far from my squad. Our 
artillery repHed. The attack is chiefly directed against 
the 8oth Regiment and part of our company, where two 
huts were smashed. Two men wounded. 

April 16. — ^A recruit named Szebek was killed close to 
the trench. He was carrying wood. In the evening we 
put up a wire entanglement and took prisoner a Russian 
of a scouting party, who came too near to our wire 

April 17. — At 3 a.m. a Russian scouting party tried 
to get through our wire entanglements, but was observed 
and beaten off. In the evening another strong artillery 
duel. We are improving our trenches. 

April 18. — We are almost all iU. The Russians worry 
us all day. No one dares to show himself in the com- 
munication passage, otherwise bullets whistle over our 
head.^ We are making wire entanglements. 

April 19. — The morning was quiet. At mid-day there 
began a strong cannonade by our artillery. The Russians 
replied with only a few shots. A Russian aeroplane. 
Towards evening the Russian machine guns again fire 
on my house. We were to be reUeved. The order was 
issued, but has been cancelled. We are waiting for the 
9th marching battahon, which ought to arrive about now. 

April 20. — ^A normal day. The 9th marching bat- 
tahon arrived and brought us 54 men. 

^ I have seen nothing like this attitude on the Russian side, 
even where our trenches were sixty or even twenty-five yards 
from those of the enemy. 


April 21. — We were relieved by the 90th Magyar 
Foot Regiment. Awful disorder. In the evening we 
slept in Cieszkowice. The Russians, as we march off, 
show they know what is happening. 

April 22. — Nearly the whole day quiet. I sleep on a sofa. 

April 23. — They say that we shall be put in reserve. 
What a long time they have left us here I 

April 24. — ^They say that German regiments are coming.^ 
At Gribow a Russian airman dropped a bomb on the station. 
At night there was a lot of shooting in the trenches. 

April 25. — Lots of aeroplanes. The Russian cannon 
and machine guns are firing at our airships. I am 
entertaining Spalen. He says that on one of the hnes a 
Honved battalion has communication with a Russian. 
The Russians send champagne and caviare. I myself 
saw the Russian soldiers and ours walking about together 
between the trenches, the distance being not more than 
300 yards. Three German batteries have arrived. They 
say that we are going to pass to the offensive. 

April 26. — In the morning and afternoon, work with 
the recruits. The German General was surprised that 
we had not taken the offensive earlier. I have changed 
my quarters and am sleeping in a bed. In the evening 
there was a strong cannonade. The windows shook. 
Sleep was out of the question. 

April 27. — In the morning it rained. Orders to march 

at mid-day ; cancelled. The German Guard is marching. 

They are going in the direction of Bartieczew. There 

are already some wounded at the bridge, for the Russian 

artillery hits the columns, which scatter over the slopes. 

Our artillery replies. In the evening we go into reserve. 

* For weeks before, the Austrian ofi&cers tried to keep up the 
spirits of the men by this promise. 


April 28. — In the morning we get up late. Two Ger- 
man aeroplanes are reconnoitring the ground. Two of 
our companies are to attack, the third and fourth in 
reserve. I sleep very badly in a mud hut. 

April 29. — Katz is ill. A great attack is in prepara- 
tion. Six corps of the German Guard have come from 
France, to our part of the front. The post is stopped; 
writing is forbidden ; my poor Mary ! 

April 30. — We are drawn up in attacking order 
opposite Rzepeinik. Four hundred of our cannon 
thunder against the heights at Gollanka.i At 9 o'clock 
in the evening we cut through our wire entanglements. 
The 1st and 2nd company go forward to the attack, 
and we behind them in reserve. We lose connexion. 
The trenches are empty ; there is no one there.* At last, 
after three-quarters of an hour, we find other trenches. 
We have advanced i\ kilometres. We entrench our- 
selves. Katz wants us to entrench in the open in front 
of the wood, but I advise on the edge of the wood as the 
enemy's artillery cannonades us on our flank.^ We have 
scarcely begun entrenching ourselves when heavy Russian 
mortars open fire on us. That night was awful. I sit 
with Janikowski (my orderly) ; no one speaks. We press 
our backs against the clay dug-out. The side of the 
trench is an admirable defence from the firing. The 
shrapnels burst all round us, lighting up the surround- 
ings with a hellish fire. Janikowski shuts his eyes and 
does not want to look. I try to begin talking. The 

1 About 240 heavy and 160 field artillery. 

2 This is the ordinary advance into an empty space when all 
trenches and all life has been destroyed by the enemy's artillery. 

3 This circumspection should be noted ; this is the day of 
one of the greatest Russian losses. 




clay keeps on crumbling into the trench from the im- 
pact of the air. I think of every one at home. I think 
of Mary. I think of the action of shells and wonder how 
it was possible to invent such a terrible thing. It is 
dawning. Thank God. The shells no longer shine up in 
the darkness and do not seem so terrible. Now our two 
batteries have begun to talk. Beneath me I hear soldiers 
talking. They want to get breakfast. The Muscovite 
has, perhaps, stopped already. I remain silent. They get 
me beams to cover my trench in case the Russians should 
think of bombarding us again. I go off to sleep. 

May I. — About 6 I woke up. Janikowski has made 
some coffee. Where he got it is for me a mystery. I 
stretch myself and feel altogether knocked up, as my 
legs were higher than my head. Our artillery thunders 
in salvos all round. We wait. At ii o'clock the guard 
regiment with the 2ist is to go to the attack. It is 
already mid-day. It is only now that musketry fire 
has suddenly begun. Our men are talking. The Russian 
cannon fire straight on to us. We have to go forward 
in the direction of Rzepeinik. It is in the valley in 
front of us. My squad has three or four men crawling 
forward. The Russian shrapnel bursts a few yards off 
us. I and Katz go to the left. The bullets whistle past 
us. Our people are pressing the Russians on the right 
flank. After two hours we all go forward. In front of 
us the village of Rzepeinik is in flames. The 2ist Regi- 
ment has had enormous losses. We receive orders to 
take the southern slope of the hill from Kazalow. The 
Russians fire on our flank from the left of Gollanka. 
The hillock is taken. We have only two or three wounded. 
I sleep in a hut in front of which are our trenches. 


May 2. — At 8 a.m. orders to march. With the 2nd 
Rifle Regiments we go up through the wood on Dobrotyn, 
Hill 517. We come under fire of the Russian artillery. 
We have to go forward as quick as we can. We march in 
column. One shell burst on the first column and knocked 
out 8 men — 2 killed, 4 seriously wounded, 2 shghtly 
wounded. A volunteer is killed. We go forward at a 
run. The shrapnel bursts behind us. We several times 
march forward round Hill 517. In the end we entrench 
for the night. 

^^y 3- — Morning. We move forward as the reserve 
of the I T Division. Three short advances and then 
an order came to take Hill 417 (Obzar) with the Rifles. 
It is 3 o'clock already. We turn from the road into the 
wood. We are to attack at night. At 6 o'clock we are 
ready. We go round the wood. It begins to get dark. 
The 3rd company has to cover a battalion on its left. 
We lose connexion with the front line. Katz runs back 
and I come out on to the road. Katz is unnerved. He 
has lost connexion. He wants to lead his company from 
behind. I run forward to Katz and in person order the 
company to disperse into attack order and advance up 
the hill. In front of us are our sentries. I meet the 
squad of Ensign Minster. I take it with me. By this 
time we are come up to the reserve company of Canicani. 
I determine to attack along the road. Canicani goes 
first. We make our way for a whole hour parallel with 
the crest of the hill. It is dark. Left of us the houses 
are on fire, where the Russians were in the morning. 
We have certainly gene forward a long way, and the 
Russian left flank is able to turn us. We turn back. 
Midnight. We want to stay on the road in the wood. 


We have found a company of the i8th Regiment to the 
left, and to the right is the 8oth. We entrench. 

May 4. — ^Three a.m. Obzar is in our hands. We may 
expect a Russian artillery attack. We entrench our- 
selves on the Obzar Hill. In a hut by the road they 
have got us breakfast. I entrench myself with the 
chief of scouts, Altman, who was a volunteer from 
Liebertz. At 11 o'clock we get wine and something to eat. 
Katz and Hoffmann go off to hospital. Lieutenant Kahl 
takes over the company. At 5 a.m. we are relieved by 
the 98th, and go in the direction of Wyzjowa, Hill 419. 
Between Obzar and Wyzjowa we entrench for the night. 

May 5. — ^The Prussian Guard is attacking to the right of 
us. All round huts are burning. The Russian batteries fire 
past us. Our batteries are going off to their positions. 
Behind, one catches sight of a group of cavalry. We 
bivouac in a courtyard. The second company of Canicani 
sends out sentries towards Wyzj o wa . What is Mary doing ? 
May is the month of love, and my dear one is asleep at home. 
Shall I return ? I believe, I believe ; it is by belief that I 
live. We have taken prisoner a Russian N.C.O., a gunner. 

May 6. — Alarm at 4 a.m. We march in the advanced 
guard and are to go to the river Wislok. With fifteen 
men I go scouting, direction of Wyzjowa, Dembow and 
Blazkow, or rather south of Blazkow, Hill 291. We are 
to reconnoitre the course of the river Wislok to see if 
the enemy is there. I go with Polnerycz; he goes off a 
little to the north. We get to Czerinne. In the morning 
there were Cossacks here everywhere. Every one is 
afraid of the Germans.^ On the road, we buy some eggs. 

^ This was my general experience when retreating with the 
troops in front of the writer. 



We got to the top of the hill, and in front of us lay the 
Wislok. We could not advance further. German scouts. 
The Russian artillery is cannonading us from the opposite 
heights. I and my men look for cover in a deep ditch. 
Only two go forward on their knees up the hill, and keep 
a look out ; two I send to a hut to cook some potatoes. 
Columns are moving along the road to Blazkow. I think 
it is our battahon coming up. I send two men to the 
village and meanwhile read the newspaper. At my 
order the thinned ranks go forward. God of Mercy have 
mercy on us. I wonder who of us will survive. Two 
o'clock. We eat some potatoes. The battalion is in 
the village. I go forward to it. We got there safely. 
In the village two of our batteries are taking up position. 
We get some dinner. Unexpectedly there arrive two 
civilians. I thought I knew one of them. Just then he 
came up to me and said in pure German, " Sir, I have 
the honour to report myself from captivity." It was 
Tandler of my squad, who with Palme, of the Rifles, was 
taken prisoner by the Russians in December and escaped. 
They were disguised as Poles. Tandler spoke Bohemian 
well, and the Russians took him for a Pole. The other 
pretended to be dumb. The schoolmaster of the village 
of Blazkow helped them. The first company went for- 
ward towards the river. At night we were to attack the 
heights beyond the river. The Russians have burned the 
bridges. We must ford the river. I left my knapsack in 
the kitchen and took with me only my field glasses, . . . 
spade and revolver. At 12 o'clock we get up, have a 
meal and drink black coffee. We come to the river, the 
4th company in front, at 2 a.m. The road was very 
dusty. Behind us a Russian shell set the hut on fire. 


Our 4th company arrived at the burned bridge. Just 
then we came under a rain of bullets. All lay down. 
Next to me was Sub-Lieutenant Bader. I call Kahlen 
and want to give orders but it is no use. We run along 
the marsh to the bank of the river; I see its shining 
surface. Just one plunge forward and, with the name 
of God, we are in the water. Some fall behind in the 
water. I see that the copse on the opposite bank is full 
of our men and hear the rear ranks coming through the 
river. About 600 yards from us a hut was set on fire, 
and lit up the house to the right. We are going towards 
the flaming hut. The sub-lieutenant doesn't want to 
go forward, saying that he has no orders. I lost him. 
Our right flank is already engaged. We hear a Russian 
machine gun. I send an orderly to the left and want to 
know who is there, as so far there is not a sound on that 
side. We run forward about 300 yards and begin going 
up the hill. At 100 or 115 yards in front of us we see . 
the trenches. I don't know whether they are Russians' 
or ours. The firing does not slacken. If the Russians 
have gone, then they may come back. " Forward," I 
shout, " first battalion, forward, hurrah," but no one 
wants to move. All our men turn to the left, and no one 
listens to me. Only when I repeat the order and explain 
that there are very few Russians, they go forward. Three 
or four Russians are still firing ; the rest throw away their 
guns and throw up their hands, about seventy. I leave 
four men with them and go forward. To the left of us 
the Russian machine guns are firing on our flank. We 
are joined by a company of the 2nd Rifles. I direct them 
quickly to the left, where I see flashes of musketry fire. 
Myself I go at a quick pace to the hill. I see that the 


Russians are returning and can easily turn our 4th com- 
pany. Quickly forward. It is sad to think of so many 
lives. The will of God be done. Just then I heard 
from behind shouts of hurrah and bullets whistling. This 
was the reserve of the 98th Regiment, which was going to 
attack the Russians whom we had already taken prisoners, 
and took us for retreating Russians. They fire at us 
with machine gun. I shout out, use my whistle and at 
last succeed in stopping the fire. I look round to the 
left and see that Captain Tezera coming up. I am very 
tired, tortured with thirst and can hardly stand on my 
legs. With a gesture I explain to him the position of 
affairs to the left. He is wounded in the hand. Our 
men quickly entrench on the hill. Czwanczara takes 
me to a hut and makes some coffee. They now suggest 
that I should go to the first-aid point. I am in the 
village of Bukowa. I wait for Janikowski with clean 
linen, so as to change. The Russian shrapnels are burst- 
ing in Bukowa, above which are our trenches. After 
paying the hostess I go to look for the doctor. Every- 
where there is a mass of wounded, ours and the Russians. 
Some dead Russians lie on the road. In the hut I happen 
to meet our major. I tell him that I am going off. He 
seems very annoyed, and says that he has no one to 
replace me. The doctor of the 2nd Rifles looked me 
over. He was anxious about my lungs, otherwise it 
was simply fatigue and a bad cold. At the first-aid point 
there were a mass of wounded ; lots of them ours. I met 
Janikowski. I heard from him that among the wounded 
were Boguslaw, Minster, Klein, Tepser, Werner, Silber- 
bauer, seriously; and killed Radlenbacher, Gezl, Scout- 
master Malina, and Altman. The field hospital was in 


the school. There were many wounded in head and 
chest and stomach. I slept with the slightly wounded, 
and had a fairly good night. 

May 8. — We went by cart to Tuchow, The road was 
broken up. We stopped in Jedlowa. I had a talk with 
the commander of the corps, Kraliczek. After dinner 
we arrived in Tuchow. The bridge had been burned by 
the Russians. Lots of houses had been smashed by our 
artillery.^ There were thousands of wounded lying 
there. Colonel Szeol of the 2ist told me of the fighting 
in Serbia where he was earlier with the 79th.2 He is a 
Czech. Boguslaw is angry because they won't allow us 
to bury Silberbauer, in case of his death, in the garden 
of the estate, where many Russians were wounded. In 
the town nothing was to be bought. 

May 9. — They have brought in lots of wounded. 
In the evening it turned out that there were 600 new 
wounded. I wrote to Mary. 

May 10. — Slept well, and had a walk in the town. 
Appetite returned. 

May II. — We were invited to supper by the staff 
doctor. To-day there arrived sisters of mercy and with 
them a captain, under whose orders they were. The wife 
of the doctor, who is in prison in Russia, is living with 
the captain, as husband and wife ; rather early. 

May 12. — They promised us a cart from the corps 
field train, but it went off under our noses. Luck 
brought us a Jew from Sane with a trap. We got off 
through RypHca, Jedlowa and ... to Wielopole. 

* This was the state of Tuchow before all this fighting; there 
had now been another terrible artillery canonnade. 

* Austrian prisoners say that the hardest fighting is in Serbia. 


May 13. — Got up at 6. The cart was already at the 
door. Our men are already beyond Rzeszow. At 
8 p.m., very tired, we reached Rzeszow. Everywhere we 
could get bread, rolls, etc. They say the Russians have 
sent off from here lots of prisoners (to Russia). 

May 14. — Got up at 6. Travelled very fast, but in 
spite of a four-hour drive did not catch any one up. 
We dined in despair, waiting for our servants. Only 
towards evening to our joy we found them at last. We 
travelled on; the springs of our cart broke. In the 
evening we catch up the field train. Lieutenant Koblentz 
has been killed by a shot in the mouth. Lieutenant 
Szipdelarz has been wounded in the leg. 

May 15. — Went forward to my battalion through 
Zolinia, Bidaczew and Lezaisko. At 12 o'clock, found 
my company at the manor near Zwiedzinicz. Presented 
myself to the major and went off to cover the artillery. 
The Russians sent us about 800 shells and burned 3 
houses behind us, killing 6 men, wounding 3 and killing 

2 horses. The 30th Regiment standing in reserve had 

3 . . . Two telephonists were wounded. The San is 
only a kilometre off. 

May 16. — Slept in mud hut. Firing all night. In the 
morning the Russian artillery was trying to find ours. 
All afternoon a vigorous artillery duel. 

May 17. — At 2 a.m. we got breakfast. Near us were 
twelve batteries and behind two batteries of heavy 
mortars. The Russians kept firing incessantly. The 
1st company has six dead. Towards evening the 30th 
Regiment arrived to reheve us; however, it will only 
do so at II. The Russians keep on entertaining us 
with salvos of artillery. We are going along a lime 


alley; behind us near a cottage is the staii of our 

Shrapnels are bursting. The major is hiding in a 
mud hut. My company runs past the village. Jani- 
kowski calls out that he is wounded. The wound is in 
his right elbow. I give him an arm and we go forward. 
The battalion comes up in half an hour. We go about 
1000 yards parallel to the railway embankment and stop 
to have a rest. Rain. At 4 o'clock we are about 10 
kilometres south-east of the village of Chalupka. We 
bivouac. Janikowski has forgotten to hand over my 
chest with toilet case, which is very tiresome for me. 
At 4 we reach the San; my new orderly is called 

Shortly after this, at Sieniawa on the east bank of the 
San, the writer was taken prisoner and this diary was 
found on him. He was one of 7000 prisoners who were 
taken with a battery of heavy artillery when Sieniawa 
was stormed by no more than 6000 Russians.* 

At the same time was captured the interesting postcard 
which I append. 

Translation of a postcard. May 25, 1915, from Kralow- 
skie Winogrady (Bohemia). Written in Czech. 

" My dear Friend, 

" We have got your postcard and we wish you 
a happy return. We are often thinking of you. Here 
there is no news, only hunger and shortage of bread. 
Many of the bakeries are closed. Flour is not to be 
bought ; meat is very dear. Soon there will be a general 

^ Cf. supra, p. 251. 


Alexander I, 4 
Alexey of Jaroslav, 133 
Alexeyev, Mr., 14 
Armenians, the, 134 
Amdt, 83, 146 

Austria, 2, 3, 6, 26, 109, 140, 
162, 175, 176, 202, 221 
Army of — 

airmen of, 164, 168-71, 199, 

200, 227, 228, 233 
artillery fire of, 154, 158-9, 

218, 232, 261 
cholera in, 266 
clothing of, 87 
disaffection of, 84, 85, 

174, 201, 212, 265, 268 
methods of advance, 88 
nationalities of, 84, 87, 

174, 192, 201, 266 
prisoners and wounded, 

attitude and spirit of, 
19, 55-8, 79-80, 108-9, 
121-2, 133, 135, 174, 
184, 185. 253-4 
question of excesses of, 

45-7. 51 
treatment of Czechs, 85, 

175, 201 

use of churches, 15 1-2 
violence of, 29, 30 
" Austrian officer," diary of, 

Bartieczew, 272 

Bavarian troops, atrocities of, 

83, 108 
Belgium, 4, 7, 45, 108, 176 
Bergen, 8, 9 
Beskides, the, 186-7 

, the eastern, 180-1 

Beskides, fighting in, 188-90 

Biecz, fighting at, 208, 257 

" Birds, The," visit to, 147-51, 

Bismarck, 160 
Blaskow, 277 
Blonie, 38 

Bobr, River, the, 28, 35 
Bobrinsky, Count George, 21-3, 
25, 75, 95 

, Vladimir, 23, 25 

-, Countess O., 15, 95 

Bohemians, the, 24, 80, 84, 85, 

87, 139, 161 
Bohmerwald Mountains, the, 

Borodino, battle of, 164, 201 
Bosnia, 2 
Bosnians, 87 
Braunlich, Major, 268 
Bruselov, General, 27, 28 
Bug, River, line of, 26, 28, 48, 

Bukovina, the, 23, 176 
Bukowa, 279 

Caillaux Case, the, 3 

Carpathians, the, 161-3 

, Austrian advance on, 

, difficulties of movement 

in, 190-1 
, fighting in, 181-6, 188-9, 

198-9, 209-12, 224-6 

, German rally in, 203-5 

tactics in, 216-21 
Russian advance lines in, 

^51-4 , . 
Russia s task m, 175-8, 


with German advance 

over, 272-82 




Carpathians, the, with Russian 
advance over, 97-104, 
115-22, 126-54, 178- 
90, 193-9. 203-5 

, with Russian retreat 

from, 205-16 
Caucasian Corps, the, 209 
Chalupka, 282 

Christmas, celebration of Rus- 
sian, 99-101 
Constantinople, 176 
Cossacks, 30-1, 233, 251 
Cracow, road to, 53-7, 59 

, Russian advance to, 61, 

Czenstochowa region, fighting 

in, 249 
Czerinne, 276 
Czieszkowice, 270, 272 

Dardanelles, 153 
Dmitriev, General Radko, 67, 
74, 86, 112, 139, 223 

, staff of, 88 

Dmowski, Mr., i, 2, 47 
Dniestr, River, the, 29 
Dobrotin, General, 179-81 
Dobrotyn Hill, 275 
Dolgorukov, Prince, 153 
Dolina, Mary, 71 
Dombrowski, 139 
Dowager Empress, hospital of, 

Dresden, battle of, 146 
Dukla, 264, 265, 268 
Duma, the, 12 

lazaret, 62, 63 

Dunajec River, the, 126 
Dynuw, 225, 226 
Dziara, 267 

Easter, celebration of, 171-3 
Elchingen, heights of, 104 
England, 4, 7, 8, 26, 47, 120, 

137. 153. 154. 172, 176. 184, 

192, 193. 242, 243 
Erzegebirge Mountains, the, 161 
Eulogius, Archbishop, 66, 76 

Flamborough, Miss, 235 
France, 4, 7, 8, 26, 47 

Francis Ferdinand, Archduke, 

109, 157 
Francis Joseph, Emperor, 116 
Friedmann, Mr., 12 

Gagarin, Princess, 15 

Galich, 29, 30 

Galicia, 21-3, 26, 47, 59, 61, 

157-8, 175. 250 

, battlefields of, 26 

, road to, 73-5 

Geneva Convention, 115 
George Cross, the, 200 
Germany, 2, 3, 6, 7, 13, 26, 68, 
108, 122, 162, 163, 175-6, 
184, 202, 242-3, 247 
Army of — 

artillery fire of, 218 
cavalry advance of, 233 
heavy artillery of, 33, 46, 
202-3, 208, 216-17, 219, 
224, 232, 245, 273 
methods of infantry ad- 
vance of, 88, 94-5, 108, 
prisoner of, chat with, 

question of excesses of, 

45-7, 51. 215 
rifle fire of, 33, 50 
wounded, attitude of, 107, 

134 , 

Attitude of, to war, 107, 108 
Giant Mountains, the, 161 
Gnila Lipa, battle of, 26 
Gollanka, artillery duel on 

heights of, 273-5 
Goremykin, Mr., 12 
Gorlice, battle of, 250, 251, 

267, 269 
Gorodok, 28 
Gozhansky, Colonel, 38 
Grey, Sir Edward, 4 
Gribow, 262, 272 
Guchkov, Alexander, 72 
Gurko, 247 

Hamburg, 242 
Harchin, 206, 207 
Hindenburg, General von, 183, 

Homyakov, Mr., 25 



Homyakov, Miss, 155 

Honveds, the, 269 

Hopper, Miss, 235 

Hungary, army of, attitude 
towards war, 24, 
87, 109, 140, 201 

, , horse artillery of, 65 

, defence of, 221 

, Magyars of, 161-3, 176 

, Slavs of, 161-3 

, survey of, 161-3, 176, 178 

Irish conflict, the, 2, 3 
Irmanov, General, 250-1, 254-8 

, , staff of, 253-4 

Italy, 7, 8, 243 

" Ivan," 134 

Ivangorod, fighting near, 48 

Ivanov, General, 200 

Japanese War, the, 247 
Jaslo,2i3; bombardment of, 214 
Jews, the, 12, 17 

of Galicia, 25, 31, 33 

of Poland, 41 

Kasso, Mr., 2 

Kazalow, 274 

Kazimierz, fighting at, 36, 43 

Kearne, Miss, 148 

Kemble, Mrs., 71 

Kielce, 55, 250 

, fighting at, 49-50, 53. 5^- 

7. 249 

, scenes at, 56 

Kiev, 73 

Korner, 83, 146 

Kosienice, desperate fighting 

at, 48, 49, 249 
Krasnik, battle of, 19 
Kristiania, 9 
Kruchkov, 18 
Kusmanek, commander of 

Peremyshl, 157, 158 
Kutuzov, 200 
Kwieton, road to, 268 

Leipzig, battle of, 164 
Lemberg {see Lvov) 
Lerche, 25 
Liebertz, 262 
Lithuanians, the, 12 
Lodz, 45 

London, Bishop of, 100 
Lowicz, 38, 39 

, Poles of, 38, 39 

Liitzen, field of, 147 
Lukich, Commander, 141-3 
Luther, Martin, 147 
Lvov (Lemberg), 22-3, 25-6, 

28, 60, 74-8, 222 
, Prince George, 12, 14, 

72. 234 

, N. N., 10, 13 

, Nicholas, 72 

Magyar, the, 161-3, 176 

Mahlsdorf, 264-6 

Maklakov, Mr., 13 

Metz, 159 

Mezolaborcz, 192, 193 

Mlawa, 61 

Mokra, 40 

Moravians, the, 161 

Moscow (1812 and 1914), 13-16 

, Press of, 71 

Muchowka, battle of, 179 

Napoleon, 40, 86, 139, 164, 167, 

Narev River, the, 28, 35, 48 
Naudeau, M., 57 
Newlands Corner, 186 
New Year, keeping Feast of, 

105, 106 
Ney, Marshal, 104 
Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia, 2, 

4, 13, 16, 72, 247 
Nicholas, Grand Duke, 9, 17, 

18, 36, 61 
Niemen River, the, 28, 35 
Nikolayevich, Nikolay, 97, 98 
Norwegians, the, 9 

Obzar Hill, 275-6 
Olga Alexandrovna, Grand 
Duchess, 20 

Pavlovich, Pavel, 141-3 
Peace Society of Moscow, 153 
Peremyshl, fall of, 157-60, 176, 

, fortifications of, 157, 158 

, garrison, etc., of, 157, 159 

Petrograd, 13 


Plock, 6i 

Pochayev Monastery, 66 
Podymov, Colonel, 190 note 
Poland, 2, 40, 47-8, 112, 135-6, 


, cottages of, 126 

, Russian, 26, 28, 177 

• , scenes in, 41-4 

• , wounded children in, 

Poles, the, 16, 17, 47, 50-3 

of Lowicz, 38-41 

of Galicia, 61, 79, 87 

Prislak, 268 

Protopopov, Mr., i 

Prussia, East, 26, 28, 47, 48, 62, 

Prussia, strength of, 161, 176 
Pruszkov, fighting at, 35, 37 
Pushkin, 144 

Radom, 49, 51-3, 57, 59 
Rakitna, fighting at, 36-8 
Rakoczy, 193 
Rava Ruska, 27, 29, 31-4, 177, 

179, 197 
Red Cross Organisation of 
Russia, II, 16, 25 
, keenness and enthu- 
siasm of, 122-5, 
148, 156, 191-2, 
215-16, 222 {see 
also under Rus- 
sia and Zemstvo 
Religious questions in Galicia, 

21, 22, 76 
Riechwald, 263, 265, 268 
Rona, 263, 269 
Ropica Russka, 266 
Roshkov, Dr. Vladimir Petro- 

vich, 125, 147, 148 
Rumania, 162, 176 
Russia, 2-4, 7, 109, 162-3, 177. 
185- 247 
Army of — 

airmen of, 163-8, 271-2 
ambulance points of, 95- 

104, 215, 221-2 
artillery fire of, 30, 36, 46, 
116, 154, 165, 244, 269- 
71, 275, 277 

Russia — 
Army of — 

cavalry of, 46 

chaplains of, 66-7, 100 

field hospitals of, 20, 62-7, 

first-aid stations of, 11 2-1 5 

growing enthusiasm of, for 
England, 120, 137, 153-4, 
192-3, 195-6 

losses of, 177, 196-7, 199, 
207, 213-14, 222-4, 249 

method of infantry ad- 
vance of, 88-9 

Siberian regiments of, 35-6 

spirit of, 19-20, 24, 33-4, 
41-4, 54, 58, 60-1, 64-6, 
98-9, 125, 133, 228, 259. 

treatment of prisoners by, 

24. 174 
winter kit of, 87 
wounded of, stoicism of, 
64-6, 133-4. 222-3 
Peasants and people of — 
attitude to war, 10, 11, 53, 

68-78, 88, 199, 259 
characteristics of, 7, 8, 120, 
125, 128 
Russo-British Chamber of Com- 
merce, work of, II 
Ruthenian troops, the, 30, 179 
Ruzsky, General, 27 
Rzepeinik, advance on, 274-5 
Rzeszow, 226, 227 

San River, Austrian advance to, 

, defence of, 228-34, 236- 

41, 247-8, 250-7 

, fight for, 26, 114, 177, 

179, 197 

, German tactics at, 232 

, line of, 28-9, 35, 59, 62, 


, passages of, 48 

, Russian retreat to, 227. 

, Russian Retreat from, 

Sandomir, 61 
Saxony, King of, 45 



Sazonov, Mr., 3, lo 

Schiller, 146 

Sczydlowiecki family, monu- 
ments of, 54 

Sekow, bombardment of, 267 

, fight at, 263 

Seniawa, Russian advance on, 
251, 282 

Serbia, 2, 3, 7, 109, 247 

Shchepkin, Mr., 14 

Shingarev, Dr., 63 

Silesia, southern, population of, 

Skiernewice, 38, 40, 41, 44 

Skobelev, 39 

Slovaks, the, 161 

Slovenes, the, 24 

Sochaczew, 38, 41 

Stakhovich, Mr., 25, 74 

Surrey Hills, i, 2, 186, 187 

Suvorov, 247 

Swedes, the, 9 

Szydlowiec, 49, 54 

Tamow, bombardment of, io6- 
7, iio-ii, 155-7. 214- 


, fighting at, 81-2 

, hospital scenes at, 82-6, 


, journey to, 79-81 

, Russian lines outside, 

Taslo, visit to, 173-5 
Thuringerwald Mountains, the, 

Tikhon, Father, 99-101, 103, 


Tirolese, the, 131, 132 
Tisza, Count, 163, 176 
Tolstoy, Count, 167 
Transylvania, 162 
Trubetskoy, Princess O., 15 
Tryphon, Bishop, 100, loi 
Tuchow, 280 
Turkey, 89 

Uhland, 146 

Verdun, 216 
Vilna, 16, 17 
Vistula River, crossing of, 249 

, Middle, 28-9, 35, 48 

, Upper, 46 

Volkonsky, Prince, 63 
" V. S.," 89-92 

Wagram, 32 

Warsaw, 28, 35-7, 45, 48, 51, 


" War Song-book for the Ger- 
man Army, 1914," the, 145-7 

Wells, H. G., 164, 257 

" Wiggins," 136-9, 158, 163 

William II, Kaiser, 7, 109, 202, 
231. 254 

Wisloka, 59 

Wislok River, the, 276-8 

Wyzjowa, 276, 277 

Zemstva, 12-13 
Zemstvo League, 14, 234 
, Red Cross Staff of, 

77-8, 8o-i, 234-5 
Zwiedzinicz, artillery duel at, 


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D Pares, (Sir) Bernard 

551 Day by day with Russian 

P3 army