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Motlb's Greatest Mflar 

Volume I 


THE EVENTS OF 1914-1915 


Charlemagne, General Robert E. Lee 





<C7ie College of the City of New York 


Ma j. -Gen. Leonard Wood, U.S.A. 


G. C. Marshall, Jr. 


Herbert T. Wade 


John H. Finley, LL.D. 



Albert Sonnichsen 


Basil Clarke 


Nelson P. Mead, Ph.D. 


Muriel Bray, L.L.A. 


Vernon Kellogg 


Rear-Admiral William S. Sims 


Carlyon Bellairs, M.P. 


Lt.-Gen. Sir Arthur Currie, 
G.C.M.G., K.C.B. 


Sir John Willison 


W. S. Wallace 


Robert Machray 


L. Marion Lockhart, B.A. 


Michael Williams 


Viscount Northcliffe 


And Other Contributors 

Volume XVI 






All rights reserved, including that of translation 
into foreign languages. 


WHEN the Great War broke out in Europe more than six years ago 
we promised our patrons that we would present to them a volume 
containing the story of the contest. At that time no one foresaw the 
duration, the intensity, or the extent of the conflict and certainly no one dreamed 
that almost the whole world would become involved. Quite evidently no single 
volume can describe adequately such a struggle of nations. Therefore the history 
which we now offer is more than three times the length of the narrative planned 
six years ago. 

The delay in publication has been unavoidable. We were unwilling to offer 
our readers a hasty sketch made up from newspaper accounts which, however 
interesting, could have neither the accuracy nor the balance of true history. 
Such a course would have been entirely contrary to our policy and out of har- 
mony with the other volumes of our great BOOK OF HISTORY, which this 
HISTORY OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST WAR. now adequately completes. 

Though our editorial staff collected, studied, and filed all the accounts, 
reports and documents as they appeared, actual writing was not begun until 
long after the Armistice was signed. Only when the end of the war brought to 
light hundreds of secret documents, when the final reports of the military and 
naval officers were published, and the leaders, civil and military, of all the 
nations began writing to explain, to justify or to excuse their actions, did it 
become possible to prepare a history of permanent value. 

The contributors to the history form an unusual group drawn from Europe, 
Canada, and the United States. Some were distinguished participants in the 
military or naval actions; others held high positions as civilians, while still 
others are able students and writers of history. Their contributions, moreover, 
are not a series of unrelated essays as so often happens in works by a number of 
authors. All the contributors have co-operated most generously in carrying out 
the general plan worked out by the incessant labor of the Editor-in-Chief, 
himself a well-known historian, who has welded their contributions into a well- 
balanced and harmonious whole. 

The thousand and more illustrations and maps add immense value to the 
text. Through our connections in Europe we have been able to secure many rare 
photographs not before published on this side of the Atlantic and some which 
have not been published at all. The official photographs of the leading nations 
have been freely used, and many have come from daring civilian photographers 
who risked their lives to secure the coveted pictures. The many pictures made 

within the lines of the Central Powers are especially unusual and interesting. 
We show the war, not only as it appeared to the Entente nations, but as it 
appeared to the Central Powers, and the smaller nations as well. 

It is with genuine satisfaction that we offer, therefore, in our HISTORY OF THE 
WORLD'S GREATEST WAR an interesting and accurate account of the great struggle 
which will be of permanent value on account of plan, authorship and illustration. 



THE difficulties which present themselves in the preparation of an 
account of a great cataclysm like the World War are stupendous, and 
may well disturb any author or editor. The task is not alone to write 
the story of a convulsed world writhing in agony for more than four years, but 
to find the reasons, often obscure, why the rulers of nations dared to provoke or 
to enter into such a contest. 

Perhaps the most difficult decisions confronting the editor had to do with 
proportion and selection. A full account of the participation of any one of the 
great nations involved would require many volumes. The story of Verdun or of 
the Somme will some day be told in thousands of pages, but that day is not yet. 
Since the space is limited, what shall be told and what omitted? Since the editor 
must make a selection from the almost infinite number of important facts, 
what shah 1 be his guiding principle? 

It would be easier to tell the story from the standpoint of some one of the 
participants, giving the greater part of the space to the actions and decisions of 
that nation, with brief summaries of those operations with which the soldiers 
or the statesmen of that nation were not immediately concerned; but such an 
account would not be a real history of the war. 

It fell to the lot of the Editor as his chief share in the war to attempt to 
explain and interpret the confusing events of those crowded days to more than 
two thousand keen-minded youths, among whom could be found representatives 
of the blood of nearly every warring power. Their eager interest and searching 
questions forced him to strive to see the war in its entirety and not simply the 
part of Britain or Belgium or Russia or France. He has sought in planning this 
work to show the whole world at war, armies and peoples, and not simply the 
Western Front or the war upon the seas, or the part of a single nation. 

The plan finally adopted was a combination of the topical and chronological 
methods. Approximately one-third of the space is devoted to the background, 
and the events of 1914-15, one-third to the events of 1916-17, and the remainder 
to the events of 1918, the Peace Conference and the subsidiary agencies. The 
value of pictures has been recognized throughout, and the choice has been made 
from more than twenty thousand. 

When the question of proportion and selection of subjects was settled, only 
a part of the difficulties was overcome. Many of the accounts of battles and 
campaigns are absolutely contradictory. This is true not only of opposing leaders 
as Lord French and General von Kluck, or General Ludendorff and Sir Douglas 

Haig, but also of leaders upon the same side. Some of these contradictions can 
be reconciled; others are as opposed as the Poles. Often a third or a fourth story 
or explanation is presented. 

That the authors have entirely succeeded in avoiding error is not to be hoped. 
Every effort has been made, however, to find the truth. No pains have been 
spared in gathering, comparing and sifting the voluminous literature of the war 
which confuses by its bewildering abundance. The chapters have been checked 
again and again, and where accounts are contradictory that version has been 
chosen which has seemed to have most of the marks of truth. 

The list of those who have helped by special knowledge, wise advice or keen 
interest, is so long that special credit is impossible, and selection would be 
invidious. The Editor cannot refrain, however, from recognizing the ability, 
zeal and untiring industry of his office assistants, and must express his apprecia- 
tion of the kindly interest of the contributors, and their forbearance under his 
many queries. The liberal and sympathetic attitude of the publishers has made 
the difficult task easier. 



Chapter Page 


















XVIII FIGHTING IN FRANCE, 1915 . . . . . . 299 








XXVI THE WAR DURING 1915 . . . .J . 4 T 7 





Chapter Page 
















THE BALKAN STATES AFTER 1913 . . . . . . . 63 



STAGES OF RETREAT . . . . . . . . 137 








THE FORTRESS OF TSING-TAU . . . . . . . 223 






FIGHTING IN THE ARGONNE IN 1915 . . . . . . 310 







THE BALKANS IN 1915 ......... 367 




THE TURKISH EMPIRE ......... 395 

REGION AROUND BASRA . . . . .- . . . 397 

DEFENSES OF KUT-EL-AMARA . . . . . . . 401 


THE SALIENT OF VERDUN ......... 437 





FRENCH SUCCESSES ON THE SOMME, 1916 . . . . . " 521 





ITALIAN ADVANCE IN AUGUST, 1916 . . . . . . 593 









GENERAL SIR DOUGLAS HAIG . . ... . . . . 279 


WOODROW WILSON . . . . . . . . .421 


Various Types of Hand Grenades 


The World War and Other Wars 



*TpHE World War, which began when 
* the great German tide swept into 
Belgium and the Austrian host ad- 
vanced into Serbia, in August, 1914, 
and ended formally with the signing 
of the treaties of peace at Versailles at 
various times, surpassed all other wars 
in history in the number of countries 
involved, the number of men engaged, 
and in the cost in blood and treasure. 
Waged on three continents Europe, 
Asia, and Africa on many islands, on 
all the seas, under the sea and in the 
air, by white men, black, yellow, brown 
and red, no country and hardly an 
individual in the remotest corner of the 
earth has failed to feel its influence. 


Coming at a time when an increasing 
proportion of the population of the 
civilized world was beginning to feel 
that no great war could ever occur 
again, it has surpassed all previous 
wars, not only in the size of the armies 
on the battlefield, and the variety and 
the deadliness of the weapons, but also 
in the extent to which the whole popu- 
lation of the belligerent lands was 
engaged. Whole nations have been at 
war, and not simply armies. Every 
resource of some of the countries has 
been called upon and some of those 

who remained at home were quite as 
useful as those in the ranks. Both arms 
and other goods useful in warfare were 
produced on an unprecedented scale. 

Countries entirely unmilitaristic, 
with only tiny armies in times of peace, 
raised millions of men, and sent them 
across intervening water to meet other 
millions in combat. Boys and their 
bearded grandfathers served together 
in the trenches. The number of men 
mobilized can only be estimated now, 
but official statistics and estimates fix 
the total at about 60,000,000, and of 
these nearly 10,000,000 were killed or 
died of wounds or disease. The esti- 
mate of the wounded is more than 
20,000,000, but many of these are count- 
ed more than once. The number of 
prisoners and missing is near 6,000,000, 
and of these it is estimated that half are 
dead. The estimate of civilian dead due 
to the war massacre, famine, disease, 
and other causes is more than 9,000,- 
ooo, but there is more uncertainty 
about this figure. Many refugees 
counted dead may be yet alive. The 
estimate of soldier deaths then is nearly 
13,000,000. During the Napoleonic 
Wars (including the French Revolu- 
tionary Wars) which lasted from 1790 
to 1815, the best estimate of the dead 
is only 2,100,000. 



Unprecedented debts were incurred 
in waging the war. The production and 
expenditure of munitions of war was 
tremendous. In many single weeks 
more ammunition was used than in 
the whole of previous great wars. 
Machine guns were almost as common 
as rifles. New weapons and imple- 
ments of war were invented, as for 
example, the "tank", and old ones as 
the hand-grenade, Greek fire and poi- 
son gas were revived. Armor was re- 
vived, partially at least, and the whole 
war was a strange mixture of the old 
and the new. 

Undersea boats sent to the bottom 
millions of tons of merchant shipping, 
and destroyed many vessels of war; 
and were themselves destroyed by 
gunfire, or the deadly depth bomb, or 
were entangled in great nets stretched 
across their path under the water. 
Airplanes dropped bombs from the 
skies upon cities, towns and men, or 
else fought one another like hawks, 
swooping and darting high in the air. 
Great steerable airships made their 
silent way across France to Paris, and 
even across the North Sea to drop great 
bombs upon the cities and the peace- 
ful English countryside. 


Every resource of the scientist and 
the inventor was utilized to take life, 
on the one hand, and to preserve it on 
the other. With such an array of 
destructive instruments as the world 
has never before seen, were also 
appliances, inventions and discoveries 
which prevented disease, neutralized 
the dangerous gases, healed the wound- 
ed and gave new hope to the maimed 
or disfigured. 

In our childhood we were awed by the 
accounts of the great hosts which ad- 
vanced to battle, but the stones told of 
the great multitudes in the armies of the 
Persian kings who attacked Greece five 
hundred years before the Christian era, 
are no longer believed by modern his- 
torians. Herodotus estimated the army 
of Xerxes at nearly 5,000,000, but this 
number should be divided by ten at 

least, even if it does seem to lessen the 
glory of the Greek victory. Perhaps 
this exaggeration of the Persian armies 
was deliberately intended to give 
greater lustre to the story of the Greek 
state. The same doubt may be cast 
upon similar stories of the combatants 
opposed to Alexander the Great. If 
there were no other obstacle, the im- 
possibility of feeding immense num- 
bers with only the slightest organiza- 
tion of supply trains made very large 
armies impossible. 


Some of the most important battles 
and wars in history have been waged 
by comparatively few soldiers. Alex- 
ander the Great won his greatest vic- 
tories with armies seldom if ever ex- 
ceeding 50,000 men. His opponents 
had greater armies but their very size 
was often a hindrance. The number of 
soldiers in the Teutonic armies which 
broke across the Rhine and the 
Danube, captured Rome and overran 
the Roman Empire was small. The 
highest estimate of the army with 
which William the Conqueror won the 
battle of Hastings and conquered 
England is about 60,000, and some 
students believe that he had hardly 
more than 25,000. The armies of 
Frederick the Great were only about 
250,000, including allies and mer- 
cenaries, when he was contending for 
his very existence. 

During the American Revolution 
there were few battles in which 20,000 
men were engaged on both sides and 
in the greater part of them the num- 
ber did not exceed 10,000. A British 
force of 3,500 captured the city of 
Washington in 1814. During the 
Mexican War General Taylor had only 
about 12,000. Wolfe captured Quebec 
and thereby won Canada for Great 
Britain with 4,500 men, though he had 
as many more who did not take part in 
the deciding battle on the Plains of 


The only wars with which the World 
War may be compared in the extent 
of territory and the number of coun- 


tries involved are the Seven Years War 
and the Napoleonic Wars. In the 
Seven Years War (1756-1763) Austria, 
France, Russia, Sweden and Saxony 
joined forces against Prussia, aided 
first by Great Britain. Later the astute 
Frederick was able to detach Russia 
from the coalition, when Great Britain 

dom had as many as 200,000 men in 
any of his battles, though he did lead 
400,000 into Russia. At Waterloo, the 
battle which definitely ended the 
dream of French supremacy in Europe, 
Napoleon had only 125,000 men and 
Wellington and Blucher had together 
about 214,000, but not all of these were 


In designing railway equipment for artillery two loads must be considered by builders. One is the ordinary 
weight of the gun and its carriage upon the car wheels. The other, the so-called firing load, is the weight of the 
unit plus the additional weight of the downthrust of the gun when it recoils. Underwood and Underwood 

showed signs of withdrawing her help. 
The allied forces attempted to raise 
500,000 men to fight Frederick, but in 
no year of the seven was anything 
approaching that number under arms. 
The British fleet carried the war to 
North America and took Canada, and 
also took India and some of the West 
Indies from France, but the number of 
men engaged in any of these operations 
was small. 

In the Napoleonic Wars all Europe 
was engaged; but it was armies, not 
nations which fought. Napoleon sel- 

engaged. The fate of Europe was 
settled by armies which seem tiny 
now, and with insignificant losses. 


In the four years of the American 
Civil War, more than 2,600,000 men 
were enlisted in the North. The num- 
ber in the Southern armies is not defi- 
nitely known, as the Confederate rec- 
ords were destroyed. The estimates 
range from 600,000 (obviously too low) 
to about 1,100,000. The proportion of 
men of military age enlisted is estimated 


by one student at 45 per cent in the 
North, and at 90 per cent in the South. 
If the later figure is accurate, then the 
South was drained of its man power in 
a degree approaching the sacrifices of 
France and Great Britain. In the 
North there were more short enlist- 
ments, and nothing approaching two 
and a half million was ever under arms 
at one time. So far as actual fighting 
is concerned the numbers engaged in 
the great battles of this war were not 
overwhelmingly large. At Gettysburg, 
the battle which proved the turning 
point of the war, about 82,000 Union 
soldiers were opposed by hardly 75,000 
Confederates; Grant captured less than 
30,000 at Vicksburg and Sherman with 
60,000 marched to the sea. At the 
Wilderness the Federal Army amount- 
ed to only 120,000 and Lee had a little 
more than half as many. Lee sur- 
rendered at Appomattox less than 
27,000 men. 

The Franco-Prussian War which 
made the German states into an 
Empire, was over too soon to bring 
out immense numbers. The three 
German armies numbered only 475,000 
men and less than 400,000 of these 
made up the invading force, though it 
was shortly reinforced. The French 
could oppose to this force at first only 
250,000 men, though later a million 
more were called into service. Through 
bad generalship, in nearly every battle 
the French forces were locally inferior 
to their opponents and the result was 


Beside the Great War, all of these 
fade almost into insignificance. From 
first to last twenty-eight nations made 
formal declarations of war, twenty-four 
on the side of the Allies as against four 
of the Central Powers. Five others 
severed diplomatic relations with one 
or another of the Central Powers. Only 
sixteen nations, none of them of the 
first rank, and some of them insig- 
nificant in power, remained neutral, 
and some of these, as Denmark, The 
Netherlands, and Norway, would 
doubtless have declared war if it had 
been possible. These neutral nations 

include hardly one-sixteenth of the 
population of the world. The remain- 
ing fifteen-sixteenths belong to nations 
which took one side or the other side in 
the great conflict. 

Country Population 

Austria-Hungary .... 50,000,000 

Belgium 8,000,000 

Bulgaria 5,000,000 

Brazil 24,500,000 

British Empire 400,000,000 

China 320,600,000 

Costa Rica 440,000 

Cuba 2,500,000 

France (including colonies) . 81,000,000 

Germany (including colonies) . 79,000,000 

Greece 5,000,000 

Guatemala 2,000,000 

Haiti 2,500,000 

Honduras . . . . . . 560,000 

Italy 37,000,000 

Japan 54,000,000 

Liberia . . 2,000,000 

Montenegro 500,000 

Nicaragua ...... 700,000 

Panama 450,000 

Portugal (including colonies) . 15,000,000 

Rumania 7,500,000 

Russia 180,000,000 

San Marino 12,000 

Serbia 4,500,000 

Siam 8,000,000 

Turkey 21,000,000 

United States 110,000,000 


The following nations severed diplo- 
matic relations with one or other of 
the Central Powers 

Bolivia 2,900,000 

Ecuador ....... 1,325,000 

Egypt 12,500,000 

Peru ........ 5,000,000 

Uruguay 1,380,000 



Not all of the nations which declared 
war against the Central Powers gave 
effective military aid. China, for ex- 
ample, did little or nothing, nor did 
Liberia. The soldiers of Portugal and 
Siam were comparatively few. San 
Marino, with its area of 38 square miles 
and its population of 12,000, could not 
be expected to make a large contribu- 
tion, though it sent 300 soldiers to the 
Italian army. China, however, sent 
thousands of laborers to France who 
liberated fighting men for the front. 
Only Brazil of the Latin-American 
states rendered any active aid, in this 


case through her navy, though a Cuban 
army was mobilized and ready, if 
needed. The moral effect of this 
awakening of the world, however, was 
tremendous, and its effect will continue 
through future years. 


The great armies of fighting men 
were furnished by comparatively few 
of the great nations. All figures now 
given are subject to revision, par- 
ticularly those of Russia and the Cen- 
tral Powers which have issued no 
official statistics. The best estimate 
now available of the numbers of the 
Central Powers as follows; 

German Empire 11,000,000 

Austrian Empire 6,500,000 

Turkey 1,600,000 

Bulgaria 400,000 


The figures for the Allied nations 
opposed to the Central Powers are 
even more impressive. The latest 
accounts largely drawn from official 
statements are as follows; 


British Empire . (approximately) 


Serbia . 





United States 


Russia .... (uncertain) 

Japan .... ... 

Miscellaneous, including Poles, 

Czecho-Slovaks, Arabs, Siamese, 














The French figures include the 
colonial troops, some of which were 
among the best fighting men engaged 
on the Western Front, while others 
served only behind the front lines. 
Continental France alone furnished 
about 8,000,000 men out of a popula- 
tion of 40,000,000. 

The British total of 8,654,000 in- 
cludes a considerable number of non- 
combatants in the Indian Army, and 
some irregular native troops in Africa 

concerning which there is little avail- 
able data. The principal sources from 
which regularly mobilized troops were 
drawn are as follows; 

Great Britain and Ireland . . . 5,704,416 

India (combatant troops) . . . 757,747 

Canada . . . (official figures) 595,441 

Australia 416,000 

New Zealand 220,000 

South Africa 136,000 

In comparing the contributions of 
France and Great Britain', it must be 
remembered that France, a country 
where universal service prevails, called 
all the men on the rolls to the colors. 
Many thousands unfit for active service 
were detailed to war industries or the 
production of food, tasks which in 
Great Britain were generally left to 
civilians. The actual contribution of 
France in fighting men was not so 
large as it appears at first glance. 


Take a map of the world, color the 
territories of the states at war, and 
their colonies, and see how little is 
left. In Europe there are Spain, Nor- 
way, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland 
and The Netherlands, all second or 
third class powers, and none except 
The Netherlands had any colonies or 
dependencies worth mentioning, for 
Iceland and Greenland, which are 
attached to Denmark, are out of the 
course of trade and commerce. In 
Africa, Abyssinia and a Spanish de- 
pendency or two are left white. All 
Asia was at war with the exception of 
three tiny native states. In North 
America, Canada and the United 
States covering by far the greater part 
of the continent were at war with all 
their resources and strength. Mexico 
was professedly neutral, though, be- 
cause of her jealousy toward her 
neighbor to the north, and toward 
English capitalists, apparently un- 
friendly toward the Allies. A horde of 
German propagandists exaggerated 
every petty difficulty, and poured out 
through a subsidized press a flood of 
falsehoods. In Central and South 
America, there are more neutral states 
Salvador, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, 
Paraguay and Venezuela declared their 


entire neutrality. Though they did 
not go to the extent of declaring actual 
warfare, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and 
Uruguay, however, severed diplomatic 
relations with one or more of the 
Central Powers. On the other hand the 
remaining states, Brazil, Costa Rica, 
Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, 
Nicaragua, and Panama, made formal 
declarations of war against the German 
Empire, and Cuba and Panama fol- 

long after the war has technically end- 
ed, and the amount of which is difficult 
to prophesy. There are, in addition, 
other factors less easy to determine, 
some of which can not be reduced to 
figures at all. 

There is the fact that large numbers 
of men are withdrawn from productive 
employment for varying periods. Even 
though, by the employment of women 
and by greater exertions of the re- 


The ammunition for a howitzer includes both shrapnel to attack men and animals, and high-explosive shell for 
the attack of material objects, and overhead cover. A howitzer concealed behind steep cover, over which its 
curved trajectory makes it possible to fire, can attack the field gun which can not effectively reply because of 
the flatness of its trajectory. 

lowed the example of the United States 
and declared war against Austria- 
Hungary also. 


Any attempt to compute the real 
cost of any war is necessarily futile. 
The cost of the material of war ex- 
pended can be found, the total cost of 
maintaining the troops can be cal- 
culated, and likewise the additional 
cost of the civil government over peace 
times. The value of property de- 
stroyed, incidentally or purposely, can 
also be estimated. There are other 
expenses, as pensions, which continue 


maining workers, the total produc- 
tion of goods remains as great, there 
may still be an economic loss in the long 
run through injury to health or en- 
durance of the workers. The actual 
value of the lives lost in war is seldom 
computed. It is evidently true that if 
the death of a man by accident in 
industry or transportation is an eco- 
nomic loss, for which compensation 
must be paid, the death in war is no 
less serious to the state. 


The number who are rendered less 
efficient by wounds, or by loss of health 


is no less a loss. This is not to deny 
that some of these men may, perhaps, 
through greater effort become more 
efficient economically than when able- 
bodied; and service in the army will 
also energize some men who are not 
wounded, and make them more effec- 
tive workers. On the other hand some 
men are always permanently demoral- 
ized by temporary emancipation from 
the usual restraints and the ordinary 
routine of civil life. These are factors 
which can not be estimated in money. 

Another point which must be con- 
sidered in the life of a nation is the loss 
of potential population. Not only have 
the belligerents suffered the loss of 
some millions of young lives, but they 
have lost the children which these 
young men would have fathered. Over 
long periods of time the number of men 
and women in any country is approxi- 
mately equal. As a result of this War 
there can be no husbands for many 
young women, and fewer children can 
be born into the world. France, for 
example, and in a lesser degree, other 
nations will feel the losses of the war 
twenty to thirty years from now per- 
haps more keenly than today. 

Another incalculable economic loss is 
the derangement of the financial sys- 
tems which has come to every country. 
Though the United States has re-, 
mained upon a gold basis, the whole 
economic structure has been dislocated 
for the time. All the other principal 
contestants were forced to go upon a 
paper basis. This allows some men, 
lucky or shrewd, to make fortunes, but 
in the long run the nation loses through 
the disturbance of its foreign trade. 
No country in which the price of money 
varies from day to day can trade upon 
equal terms with a country in which 
financial conditions are more settled. 


The direct costs of this war have 
been calculated by many distinguished 
economists, who do not differ in their 
results so much as might be expected. 
Under authority of the General Staff 
of the United States an estimate of 
$186,000,000,000 was published in 
1919. The expert of the Carnegie 

Foundation arrived at practically the 
same result. Professor E. R. A. 
Seligman, of Columbia University, 
using somewhat later figures, arrived 
at the conclusion that the cost had 
been about $211,000,000,000. As some 
of the statistics were of no later date 
than March, 1919, Professor Seligman 
believes that the total money cost of 
the war will reach $215,000,000,000. 

This estimate does not include the 
value of property destroyed during the 
war. No accurate estimate of this can 
be made now, if indeed it can ever be 
done. Some economists believe that 
the destruction of property, private 
and national, was as great as the 
money cost of the war. This is prob- 
ably an exaggeration, but at present 
there is no way of disproving the 
accuracy of the estimate. 

It is interesting to note that the cost 
increased progressively. The cost of 
the first year is estimated at less than 
$19,000,000,000. The fourth year cost 
more than the other three together. 
This was partly due to the increased 
use of the instruments of warfare by 
the contending powers, and partly to 
the great expenditure of the United 
States, which was spending an average 
of over $60,000,000 a day at the end. 
This figure, however, includes some 
advances to the Allies, which can be 
included only if they are not paid back. 


Professor Seligman's table of the 
direct money costs of the great struggle 
is as follows; 

In Millions 


W 1 

British Empire 

France . 



Belgium . 



United States . . 

Total Entente 
Powers . 



Germany . . . 48,616 

Austria-Hungary . 24,858 

Turkey .... 1,802 

Bulgaria . . . 732 

Total Central 

Powers . . . 76,008 
Total Cost 



From this figure must be deducted 
the loans to allied powers as follows; 

Great Britain 
United States 


Total 21,123,000,000 

Total War Expenditure $210,935,000,000 


The mind is unable to grasp such 
figures, for which no basis of com- 
parison exists. Neither ordinary peace 
time expenditures nor the costs of any 
previous wars can afford any standard. 
The total debts of all the belligerent 
powers before the war were less than 
twenty-eight billions. The direct cost 
of the Civil War in the United States 
was about $3,330,000,000 to the Union 
though this sum was largely increased 
later by the liberal pension policy and 
other reasons. The cost to the Con- 
federate states can not be calculated. 
It is believed that the cost of the 
Franco-Prussian War was not more 
than $500,000,000. The total ex- 
penditure of Great Britain in the 
Napoleonic Wars was not above four 
billion dollars. 

Public debts increased enormously 
as few countries attempted to pay any 
considerable part of the war expendi- 
tures by taxation. Only Great Britain 
and the United States made any 
determined effort in this direction. 
Great Britain's war debt is about 35 
billions and that of the United States 
about 24 billions, or, excluding the 
loans to the Allies, about 15 billions. 
Great Britain raised about 7 billions by 
taxation and the United States about 
7 and a half billions. The other nations 
engaged paid almost the entire costs 
by loans. 


Perhaps the most impressive fact 
of the war, particularly on the Western 
Front, was the condition of equilibrium 
into which the struggle so soon fell. 
After the first German rush for Paris, 
and the hardly less precipitate retreat, 
movement largely ceased. For nearly 
four years the line from the Swiss 
border to the sea really varied little. 


A few yards here, a mile there, marked 
the only changes for months at a time 
over long stretches of the front. In 
other sectors there was greater pro- 
gress or loss, but these gains or losses 
were small compared with any stand- 
ards in common use in measuring 
invasion. Even the great German 
gains in 1918 were small compared 
with those an attacking army had 
been accustomed to make. 

This does not mean that trench 
warfare was something entirely new. 
Every Roman camp, though occupied 
only for a night was fortified by a 
"wall and a ditch." In all wars the 
weaker party has always taken ad- 
vantage of trenches and ramparts, 
though not always willingly. During 
the Civil War "hasty entrenchments" 
were first used to any considerable 
extent in modern warfare. It may be 
noted that during the first months of 
that war, both sides largely ignored 
the use of such means of protection. 
The soldiers themselves dug most un- 
willingly, many expressing the feeling 
that such warfare was "not quite 
honorable." Time brought wisdom, 
however, and it was not long until their 
"dirt diggers" were honored as much 
as they had been despised. The Con- 
federates naturally made the larger 
use of these entrenchments and also 
planted sharpened stakes, and made 
temporary barricades of such stakes. 
Some of these entrenchments were 
strong enough to resist frontal attacks 
almost indefinitely, but the Confederate 
line was never so long that it could not 
be flanked. 


Here was the great contrast with 
the World War. The Western line was 
continuous. With one end on the sea 
and the other on Switzerland, the 
line could not be flanked but must be 
broken. In all previous wars, a more or 
less simple flanking movement caused 
the retirement of the weaker party, as 
Lee was flanked out of one position 
after another in 1864, and Johnston 
was compelled to fall back toward 
Atlanta, as Sherman flanked his posi- 
tions one by one. 


Double listening post, used both for wireless telegraphy and telephony. The man on the right is furnished with 
receivers and has near him in a portable box the necessary equipment for receiving wireless messages; he writes 
them and communicates them to the telphone operator on the left who transmits them to headquarters to which 
he is attached. When aeroplanes were fitted with, fuller wireless sets, artillery fire was directed in this manner. 


Communication trenches were as varied as the nature of the terrain through which they were made. In Mace- 
donia they were often deeply blasted through solid masses of rock. In France sometimes they ran through a 
village street, their walls raise'' by packing cases. Here the Germans are shown bringing up ammunition. 

Picture from Henry Ruschin 


The Germans seem to have prepared 
trenches in advance along the line of 
the Aisne, to which they might fall 
back from the Marne. They were 
not the elaborate constructions they 
later became, but they served to halt 
the Allied advance, and perhaps to 
prevent the German retreat from 
becoming a rout. The French and 
British learned the lesson and after 
the race for the sea, the line quickly 
became stabilized. Dug from six to 
ten feet into the ground except on the 
Belgian coast where breastworks large- 
ly took their place in that marshy 
region, they were later elaborated 
into perfect webs of defenses. First 
line trenches, backed by second and 
third lines, all connected by com- 
munication trenches reaching far back. 
All of these trenches had dugouts 
excavated in either the front or back 
walls where the men might try to 
sleep when off duty. 

Though varying much in different 
sectors and at different times, the 
general plan was largely the same. 
Over hills and through woods and 
valleys the trenches ran on, though, of 
course, a range of hills was followed 
if possible. The top of the side next 
the enemy, the parapet, was reinforced 
by several layers of sandbags as a 
protection both against bullets and 
against crumbling. If necessary the 
sides were strengthened by boards or 
wicker work. 


Not only did the World War surpass 
all other wars in the number of men 
engaged, but also in the variety, 
magnitude and deadliness of the weap- 
ons used, and conversely in the 
ingenuity and elaboration of the means 
and methods of defense. In fact much 
of the history of war is the story of the 
balance between weapons intended 
to destroy and defenses designed to 
preserve. As the naval guns became 
heavier, the armor became thicker and 
more resistent, or else speed was 
increased. Stronger forts were met 
by heavier guns. Rifles of longer 
range were less effective against uni- 
forms of a neutral color which faded 


into the background. In other cases 
a more vigorous method of attack was 
adopted as a method of defense. 

Some few of the weapons of the war 
were new, as the aeroplane, and the 
depth charge and the automobile 
torpedo. Practically all the others 
are improvements or modifications of 
instruments already existing, or else 
revivals of weapons long since deemed 
obsolete. Some of these had been 
forgotten so long that they were 
generally considered to be new. 


The artillery of the present war fired 
larger shells, loaded with heavier 
charges of more powerful explosives, a 
longer distance, with greater accuracy 
than in any previous war, but all of 
these changes are developments rather 
than innovations. The greater use of 
concrete for gun foundations, and the 
use of caterpillar tread and the motor 
in heavy artillery are new. The rifle 
of the World War was a better weapon 
than the rifle of the Civil War, and 
incomparably better than the flint 
lock of the Revolution, but weapons 
just as good, in some cases the 
same have been used in many of the 
smaller wars which have disturbed the 
twentieth century. 


The story of the artillery during the 
World War is almost incredible. Larger 
guns with heavier projectiles were used 
than ever before, and the number of 
rounds fired surpassed anything pre- 
viously known. For example in the 
Battle of the Somme British guns fired 
4,000,000 rounds in seven days. During 
the entire Civil War in the United 
States, only 5,000,000 rounds were 
fired in four years by the Union forces. 
The monthly average of the British and 
French together during the last twelve 
months of war was over 12,700,000. 
During the short Franco-Prussian War 
the German Army used, including the 
expenditure during the siege of Paris, 
only a little more than 800,000 rounds. 
The Russians in the Russo-Japanese 
War of 1904-5 fired only 950,000 
rounds. The total weight of metal 


Extreme mobility, high-angle fire, rapid and accurate calculation are the essentials for anti-aircraft work. The 
German guns first proved formidable by reason of a method adopted for range-finding. Eventually, range-finders 
taking into account altitude and wind and engine-speed were adopted, though these could not calculate the various 
evolutions of the aeroplane. 


The most powerful guns on the Western Front were the fourteen-inch United States Naval Guns, mounted on 
special railway carriages instead of on ships, and manned by United States sailors, under the command of a rear- 
admiral. These guns did great damage to the German railway communications. This picture was taken near 
Belleville, Meuse, October 22, 1918. Photograph, United States Official 



thrown in this war was more than 
proportionately greater. 

We have read of the 1 7-inch Austrian 
gun which crumbled the Belgian forts 
and of the German guns which threw 
projectiles into Paris from points 
seventy-five miles away. We have 
heard less of the heavy naval guns 
mounted on railway carriages which 
ranged up and down the Western 
Front. Much has also been written of 
the French "75" and the "155" and 
the great British guns. 


These differed however in more than 
size or weight of projectile. Artillery 
may be divided into guns, howitzers, 
and mortars. A gun has a long barrel 
compared with its bore. For example, 
the barrel of a fifty calibre gun is fifty 
times the diameter of the bore. Guns 
are designed to throw their shells with 
a flat trajectory, that is, to fire almost 
directly at the object. As a matter of 
fact the muzzle is always slightly 
elevated unless the fire is directed at an 
object lower than the position of the 
gun. Many years ago, however, it was 
found desirable to throw a shell into or 
upon a fort rather than against the 
walls, or over a hill or other obstruction. 
Pieces with shorter barrels were de- 
signed which were fired at a consider- 
able angle, that is, the muzzle was 
sharply raised. The shell rises into 
the air and describes a sharp curve. 
These are mortars. The impact of a 
large shell falling from a considerable 
height will do great damage which is 
increased by the explosion of the shell. 

For a long time guns have been 
rifled, that is, the inside of the barrels 
is provided with spiral grooves which 
set the shell to spinning upon its own 
axis, thereby increasing the accuracy 
of its flight. Mortars were not rifled, as 
the nearby target was large and easier 
to hit. In the course of time a com- 
promise gun was designed called the 
howitzer. The barrel is somewhat 
longer than that of a mortar, and is 
rifled. It can find a target over a hill, 
at a greater distance than a mortar is 
able to do, but it has not the range of a 
gun of anything like equivalent calibre. 



Europeans almost universally use 
the metric system. The metre (39.37 
in.) is divided into hundredths (centi- 
metres) and thousandths (millimetres). 
The forty-two centimetre howitzer 
then had a bore of a little more than 
16.5 inches. The shell weighed a little 
more than 2100 pounds and was nearly 
five feet long. Though these guns 
captured the popul'ar imagination, they 
were too heavy to be transported 
easily, and similar pieces of smaller 
calibre were more useful, as they could 
be taken apart and carried f rom place 
to place by special motor cars. All of 
the principal belligerents used more 
howitzers than heavy guns. 

The German long range gun was 
simply an application of what artiller- 
ists had long known; that is, by 
lengthening the barrel in proportion 
to the diameter and weight of the 
projectile, a heavy charge of explosive 
can throw a shell much further than 
guns in common use are able to do. Of 
course accuracy diminished with in- 
creased range. The shells which fell in 
Paris were apparently only about nine 
inches .in diameter and did com- 
paratively little damage. At the high- 
est point of its curve it is estimated 
that the shell was twenty-four miles 
from the earth. 


It is said that the Ordnance Depart- 
ment of the United States designed a 
gun which would throw a ten-inch shell 
more than 120 miles. At the highest 
point of its trajectory it would be 
forty-six miles from the earth. The 
regular 10 inch gun has a barrel 42 
feet long and 200 pounds of powder 
can throw a shell weighing 500 pounds 
about 25 miles. The barrel of this long 
range gun (which no one ever con- 
sidered building) was to be 225 feet 
long and 1440 pounds of powder were 
to project a 4OO-pound shell. 

Other large guns, 8 inches to 14 
inches, were provided with railway 
mounts or were fixed in ppsition and 
did good service. More valuable than 
any of these in their influence upon the 


These guns figured in the attack on the forts of Liege, and other fortified places in the north, together with the 
famous Krupp guns. Later they battered in the Russian and Italian fronts. In those early months the Allies did 
not produce anything that compared with these great pieces, but after two years their heavy artillery was excellent. 


When a war of positions succeeded to a war of movement, it Was necessary to resort to the use of heavy artillery 
wherever the enemy's line was especially fortified. This picture shows how the needed mobility for the puns 
was attained by means of tractors mounted on caterpillar wheels which could travel on the worst roads. Over 
the excellent roads of Belgium and Northern France they were able to move with comparative ease. 



struggle were the field guns ranging in 
calibre from 37 mm. (one and a half 
Snches) to a little more than six 
inches. The most famous and the 
best loved was the French 75 milli- 
metre gun, a marvel of rapidity and 
accuracy. Remembering the length 
of the metre it is seen that this gun was 
just under three inches in calibre. Its 
projectile was simply a giant rifle 
cartridge in shape and a trained crew 
could fire twenty shots a minute, with 
almost the accuracy of a rifle. In the 
larger guns as the 155 millimetre and 
the howitzers, powder and shell were 
inserted separately. 


While the explosive shell is not a 
modern invention, solid shot were the 
principal reliance in the wars of a 
century ago. Even in the Civil War 
guns fired principally solid shot, though 
mortars generally used shell. A shell is 
simply a hollow projectile containing 
an explosive which is detonated either 
by a fuse cut to burn a certain number 
of seconds, or else is exploded by contact 
when it strikes some object, throwing 
the pieces in all directions, killing men 
and destroying houses or fortifications. 
The charge in the shell is not of powder 
but of some one or other of the so- 
called "high explosives," that, is, ex- 
plosives which are quickly converted 
into great quantities of gas. Such an 
explosive can not be used as a propelling 
charge, as it would burst the gun. 
The concussion when a shell bursts is 

Shrapnel of which so much was heard 
in the earlier years of the war is also not 
a modern invention. A shrapnel shell 
is filled with powder and about 250 
bullets. By an ingenious contrivance it 
explodes at an arranged time after it 
leaves the gun and sprays the vicinity 
with bullets. It was chiefly because of 
the extensive use of shrapnel that the 
contending armies adopted the metal 
helmet. It would turn a shrapnel 
bullet, though of little use against a 
rifle or a machine gun. 

The modern machine gun is enor- 
mously more effective than the Catling 
gun of the Civil War, or the mitrail- 

leuse used in the Franco- Prussian war, 
but it can hardly be said to be a new 
invention. Mortars and hand grenades 
have been greatly improved but they 
are old. The grenade goes back almost 
to the invention of gun powder, though 
for a time it almost went out of use. 
The mortar has always been used more 
or less. The great use of both in this 
war grew out of its stationary character 
for long periods. 

Three instruments of war attracted 
much attention. These were poison 
gas, liquid fire and the tank, which 
were among the surprises of the war 
and all of them created more or less 
consternation. None of these however 
is absolutely new. There is a record 
of the use of poison gas, in this case 
the fumes of sulphur, over 2300 years 
ago in one of the wars between the 
Spartans and the Athenians, and there 
are many instances of the use of 
sulphur or similar substances during 
the Middle Ages. These "stink-pots" 
were a part of the equipment of many 
besieging armies. Compared with the 
poison gases employed in the Great 
War they were almost harmless, but the 
difference is in degree of deadliness 
not in kind or intention. 


1 GUN. 

First may be considered the machine 
gun which was used more extensively 
than ever before, though it is not a new 
weapon. The first true machine gun 
was invented by Dr. Richard J. 
Catling, a physician with a mechanical 
turn of mind. Though Southern born, 
Dr. Catling was not a secessionist 
and his gun was used to some extent 
by the Union forces in the Civil War. 
By present standards it was clumsy 
and slow. It consisted of a number of 
barrels bound together, and by turning 
a crank each of these in turn was 
supplied with a cartridge. This gun 
was adopted in Europe and some were 
used in the Franco-Prussian War. 
Improved models were used in the 
Spanish War and in the Russo- 
Japanese contest. 

A decided step in advance was 
taken by Sir Hiram S. Maxim, Amer- 
ican born but a British subject, who 


utilized the force of the recoil, to 
continue the firing. This gun was 
effective in the Boer War, where it was 
able to fire 500 shots a minute. With 
certain changes it became the Vickers 
gun and was the standard British gun 
during the war, though several other 
types were used. There were two 
difficulties with the earlier types of 
machine guns, namely, weight and the 
tendency of the barrel to become red 
hot after firing a few minutes. The 
Benet-Mercie, the joint invention of an 
American and a Frenchman, met the 
difficulty by providing extra barrels 
to replace the one which had become 
heated. Other inventors used a water 
jacket surrounding the barrel. This 
added so much weight that the gun 
could not be fired from the shoulder, 
but required a rest of some sort, 
usually a tripod. 


There were at least a dozen different 
guns in use by one or other of the 
belligerents, as the Schwarzlose used 
by the Austrians; the Hotchkiss and 
the Chauchat, used by the French; 
the Fiat used by the Italians and the 
Spandau and Maxim used by the Ger- 
mans. However there were only two 
distinct lines of development. The 
light machine gun, air-cooled, was 
simply an automatic rifle fired from 
the shoulder until it became too hot. 
The heavier gun, generally water 
cooled, was fired from a fixed position, 
though it could be moved by one man. 
Both used clips or belts of cartridges 
with one exception, again the invention 
of an American. 

This was the Lewis gun invented by 
Col. I. N. Lewis. The ammunition 
is contained in a round flat magazine 
containing forty-seven cartridges, but 
a fresh magazine can be quickly 
inserted. Both light and heavy guns 
of this type were produced and it was 
found to be especially useful on 
airplanes. It was largely used by the 
Allies. It was unaffected by the 
weather and seldom got out of order. 

Before the War the Germans saw 
dimly the value of the machine gun, 
and had a larger supply than any 

other belligerent, according to report, 
50,000 Maxims. Even they did not 
foresee the importance this weapon 
was to assume. Guns were used on 
airplanes, and against airplanes in 
both attack and in defense. The 
Germans built many inconspicuous 
forts (pill-boxes) in which one or more 
guns were placed, or else "nests," 
somewhat less elaborate. Oftener a 
gun or two in an old shell hole, behind 
a log or a rock, or concealed simply 
by vegetation, took heavy toll of the 
advancing opponents. The gun could 
be swung around. The ground could 
be sprayed with bullets. The machine 
gun is largely responsible for the 
unprecedented quantity of ammuni- 
tion used in this war. 

When the United States entered 
the War the regulation equipment of an 
infantry division was fifty machine 
guns. At the end it was 260 heavy 
guns and 768 automatic rifles. Several 
different guns were issued to American 
soldiers, but the guns with which all 
the American infantry would have been 
equipped but for the sudden end of 
hostilities were the Brownings both 
light and heavy. 


Soon after the discovery of gunpow- 
der the hand grenade was invented. 
It was simply a metal container filled 
with powder and slugs and provided 
with a fuse, which was hurled at the 
enemy. In the close quarters allowed 
by the weapons then existing they 
were deadly, and specially picked regi- 
ments grenadiers were later organ- 
ized to use them. As muskets were im- 
proved the opportunities for use were 
lessened and the missile went out of 
use, though the name of the special 
regiments persisted. 

In the close fighting of the Russo- 
Japanese war the grenade was revived 
to a limited extent, and a few appear 
to have been used in the Balkan wars. 
With the exception of Germany the 
Western Powers ignored this revival 
of an old weapon. The Germans in 
their desire to be prepared for any 
emergency provided themselves with 
considerable numbers, and when trench 



fighting was established, were able to 
work havoc upon the Allied lines. In 
return British soldiers improvised gren- 
ades of jam tins which they filled with 
old nails, bullets or slugs, inserted 
fuses and threw them toward the 
trenches of the enemy. As might be 
supposed they were not very satis- 
factory. Sometimes the fuse went out, 
or became separated in the flight 
through the air. Sometimes the fuse 
burned too rapidly and the grenade 
exploded before it had been well 
started on its journey. Occasionally an 
overcautious thrower cut his fuse too 
long and the spark could be extin- 
guished by the enemy after it had 
fallen, or there might even be time 
to return the missile to- its source. 


The French quickly manufactured 
satisfactory grenades and many grena- 
diers were specially trained. The 
British later developed the Mills gren- 
ade, which was about the size of a 
lemon. An internal fuse could be set 
alight by a percussion cap, but a 
safety pin prevented explosion until the 
missile had left the hand of the thrower. 
The shell of these grenades was 
marked by grooves so that it would 
fly into numerous pieces. Such gren- 
ades could be used only when the 
throwers were protected by trenches or 
other defenses. 

Other grenades were used. Some 
contained toxic gas, others phosphorus 
which produced a dense smoke, while 
still others were designed to cause 
fires. Then there was the offensive 
grenade made of water-proof paper 
which was carried by advancing troops. 
It would kill by concussion within a 
radius of about ten feet from its point 
of explosion and had no metal to fly 
back toward the thrower. Many 
grenades were manufactured to be shot 
from rifles. By this method they 
could be sent further, and more 
accurately than by hand. 


Another important weapon was the 
trench mortar, of which the most 
successful type was the Stokes, the 


invention of an English civilian. This 
was simply a steel tube the closed end 
of which rested upon the ground. Two 
legs were attached near the muzzle, 
and the mortar could be inclined at 
any desired angle, as the butt and the 
legs formed a tripod. A light charge 
of black powder or other slow explosive 
could throw a shell filled with high 
explosive a considerable distance. Three 
and four inches were the most popular, 
but some were larger. The Germans 
were fond of these minenwerfer, and 
had large quantities of them. The 
French had a trench mortar using 
compressed air as a propellant. These 
mortars were useful not only against 
trenches and machine gun positions 
but also against barbed wire. Shells 
containing gas, oil, and chemicals were 
also used with deadly effect. 

The service rifles of the contending 
armies differed little from those used 
in previous wars of the twentieth 
century. The number required for 
modern armies is so great that there 
must be a large reserve, and large 
facilities for continued production. 
Unless the ammunition is interchange- 
able, no improved piece is likely to 
be adopted in war time. For this 
reason it was not possible to arm all 
American troops with the new Spring- 
field which the War Department ex- 
perts believed to be the best gun in the 
world. Several manufacturers were 
producing Lee-Enfields for the British 
army, and advantage was taken of their 
facilities to produce this rifle, though 
bored to receive the regular American 


When news of the appearance of the 
tanks in the Battle of the Somme was 
given to the world, the invention was 
hailed as the most brilliant new idea of 
the war. The value of the tank was 
great, and in a sense the idea was new, 
but any one who in his youth fought 
over some of this same territory with 
Caesar, was not so certain. He seemed 
dimly to remember that the great 
captain, certainly as great as any 
leader developed in the recent struggle, 
used something similar. Search of 


Smoke pots being set off by Lieutenant Colonel B. C. Goss, Chemical Warfare Service, in the Argonne Forest 
near Beaucamp, Meuse, France, October, 1918. It was a curious development that was manifested when belliger- 
ents who for long had been perfecting a smokeless powder for rifles and artillery, had to turn their attention 
to devising fresh means of producing smoke-clouds to mask advance or hinder attack. U. S. Official 



This is a picture of German barbed-wire entanglements beside the Vesle River. The enemy used especially 
constructed manganese wire which required a very strong two-handled cutter to sever. Under cover of night 
parties of wire-cutters did their work, and fire-shells would reveal both destroyers and builders of entanglements 
at work, as offensive or defensive tactics were adopted by either side. Times Photograph. 




This was one of the earliest kinds of tanks used by the British in the great drive for Cambrai. 
It was capable of containing a dozen men, and its armor plate was about five-eighths of an 
inch thick. Some of the later types were much superior. 

his half-forgotten texts brought a 
certain satisfaction. 

Farfetched though the comparison 
may seem to be, there were three 
instruments of warfare used by the 
Romans which accomplished what the 
tank was expected to do. There was 
"aries," the battering ram, protected 
by a heavy roof, which was rolled 
forward to breach the walls. There was 
"testudo," the tortoise, composed of 
interlocked shields which protected 
the assailants of a walled town until 
they could reach the breached wall. 
There was " turris, " the tower, as high 
as the walls, which was rolled forward 
until the occupants could attack the 
besieged from above. These were all 
probably as effective against ordinary 
defenses in their day, as the tank in this. 


No one can say who invented the 
tank, and the question is likely to 
remain a subject of controversy. This 
much seems to be certain. Mr. H. G. 
Wells, the versatile British author, 
suggested the idea of a movable fortress 
in a story which attracted the attention 
of military men. Colonel Crompton, 
Royal Engineers, began to work upon 
this idea. Lieutenant Macfie of the 
Navy suggested the ' ' caterpillar tread ' ' 
common on American tractors. Colonel 
Swinton, and Naval Constructor d'Eyn- 


court worked 
to develop 
the idea, 
while at the 
last Sir Wil- 
liam Tritton, 
of Fo s t e r , 
Tritton and 
Com pany , 
the construc- 
tors, worked 
out many of 
the practical 
details. It 
seems how- 
ever that the 
French had 
with the idea, 
before the 
British be- 

gan, though they did not use them until 
after the British had demonstrated 
their usefulness. 

The first tanks were heavy, slow and 
cumbersome. They waddled along un- 
der the power of their gasoline engines, 
but were difficult to steer. Their heavy 
armor was proof against bullet, shrap- 
nel, or grenades, but not of course 
against artillery. Their power was 
sufficient to break through the strong- 
est barbed wire, to smash the concrete 
machine gun nests the Germans had 
constructed, and to push down the 
walls of houses. They could cross a 
- trench not more than six feet wide 
and climb out of shell holes unless 
very deep and with steep sides. These 
first tanks carried everything before 
them and if the British had waited 
until a large number had been con- 
structed before springing the surprise, 
they would have been more effective. 


Later, smaller tanks carrying crews 
of only two men were developed both 
by the British and the French. Because 
of their speed (about twelve miles 
an hour) they were called whippet, or 
mosquito tanks. The large tanks 
carried one or more small calibre guns, 
but the smaller carried only one machine 
gun. They were particularly useful in 
pursuing retreating infantry, and on 


occasion did 
deadly execu- 

The Ger- 
mans, using 
a captured 
British tank 
as a model, 
built a small 
number of 
large tanks. 
says in his 
book that the 
army could 
not spare the 
men neces- 
sary to build 
large num- 
bers, and 

seems not to have valued them highly. 
Those which were sent to the battle 
front were distinctly inferior both to the 
British or the French types. They were 
very heavy, but neither material nor 
workmanship was good. 



A tank that was captured in 1918 on the Western Front. The enemy affected to scoff at 
the usefulness of this grotesque machine but copied captured models. The closing months 
of the tanks' brief history found them used by both sides in increasing numbers. 

movements of the wearers, and were 
not liked for that reason by the Allied 
soldiers. The Germans issued com- 
plete sets of body armor to many 
soldiers particularly machine gunners 
in fixed positions. 

In spite of the greater range of 
modern projectiles, in no recent war 
has there been so much hand to hand 
fighting. For this reason the use of the 
bayonet was greater, and there was 
also a great development of the trench 
knife. This was a knife with a blade 
nine or ten inches long, and with a 
heavy corrugated handle which pro- 
vided protection for the fingers, and, 
on occasion, could also be used as a 
weapon itself. 



The use of body armor was of course 
a revival of the practices of the Middle 
Ages. In fact armor has been occasion- 
ally used almost to the present day. In 
the Revolution, in the Napoleonic Wars 
and even in the Civil War and the 
Franco-Prussian War, breast plates 
were used to some extent. The 
helmet, or "tin hat," as it was dis- 
respectfully called by the wearers, was 
almost universally used during the 
latter part of the World War. The 
French were the first to issue them to 
their soldiers, and all the other belli- 
gerents followed. They would hardly 
stop a bullet fired at ordinary rifle 
range which struck squarely, but they 
turned thousands which struck oblique- 
ly, and they were an effective protection 
against shrapnel bullets and small 
pieces of bursting shell. Heavier hel- 
mets protecting the neck also were 
provided for aviators. 

Other experiments in body armor 
were made and some breastplates and 
guards for the arms and legs were 
produced, but they interfered with the 

As mentioned above, the use of 
suffocating gases in warfare is old, but 
the methods of distribution were new. 
In spite of the Hague Convention 
forbidding the use of gas, which the 
German delegates had signed, the 
General Staff determined to use it late 
in 1914, and the first trial was made at 
the second Battle of Ypres, April 22, 
1915, the story of which is told in 
another chapter. In this case the gas 
was chlorine discharged from cylinders 
through nozzles led under the parapet 
of their trenches. Driven by a gentle 
wind it rolled along the intervening 



space, struck the Turcos and the 
Canadians and almost opened the 
road to Calais. 

The French and English were forced 
not only to find means of protecting 
themselves, but also to retaliate in 
kind. Various other gases were used 
before the end of the war, some of them 
much more deadly than chlorine, as, 
for example, phosgene and the dreaded 


There were ten principal parts in a double-protection 
mask: a knapsack, metal canister containing the 
neutralizing chemicals, hose, flutter valve, face-piece, 
eyepieces, harness, body guard and angle tube. 

U. S. Official 

mustard gas. Some of the later gases 
were more dangerous because they did 
not sting and burn the throat and lungs, 
as did chlorine. A man might be 
fatally gassed without realizing the fact. 


In addition to the gases which killed, 
large quantities of the so-called tear 
gases were used. These were partic- 
ularly irritating to the membrane of 
the eyelids, and temporarily blinded all 
who got the slightest touch. The tear 
gases were more volatile, spread over 
a larger area, and were also much 


cheaper than the heavier poison gases. 

The method of forcing from cylin- 
ders was risky as a chance wind might 
carry the deadly cloud back to the 
points from which it had been dis- 
charged. Besides if the wind was too 
strong the cloud might be dissipated 
before reaching the enemy trenches. 
Soon the method of loading in shell or 
grenades was adopted, and during the 
latter part of the war the number of 
gas shells fired approached the number 
filled with high explosives. 

The first means of protection adopted 
were simply pads soaked in various 
chemicals. These soon became useless 
and the gas mask which covered the 
entire head was devised. It was found 
that charcoal made from the shells of 
coconuts or other hardshelled nuts 
had marvelous power of absorbing 
gases. The air from outside was led 
through a canister filled with a mixture 
of carbon and cement granules. So 
effective were the later masks that 
the soldiers could move among bursting 
gas shells almost without danger. The 
dreaded mustard gas was both danger- 
ous and powerful if it came in contact 
with the skin and heavy gloves were 
necessary to enable the men to avoid 
danger. A large part of the gas dis- 
charged, however, was intended to 
produce smoke under cover of which 
troops might advance, rather than to do 
bodily harm. 


The flame thrower introduced by the 
Germans was an adaptation of an old 
idea. We read in ancient history of 
Greek fire which could not be extin- 
guished, and of boiling fire poured 
upon the heads of assaulting troops. 
The flame thrower in this war was a 
tank of oil discharged through a long 
nozzle by pressure of compressed air. 
By it the enemy trenches could be 
sprayed with fire as by a garden hose. 
Some of these tanks were stationary 
but more were carried upon the backs of 
selected men. No task was more 
dangerous. At any moment an in- 
cendiary bullet might pier.ce the tank, 
and transform the bearer into a 
writhing pillar of fire. 


r AIR. 

The extent of the use of aircraft in 
this war is of course greater than ever 
before. In fact any previous use is 
negligible. The airplane had not reach- 
ed an effective stage of development 
at the time of any former war, and 
almost the same may be said of 
dirigible balloons, from which ex- 
plosives might be dropped. Observa- 
tion balloons have been employed more 

with the other. The dirigible balloon 
was, on the whole, a disappointment. 
The cost in money and in man power 
required for care and management was 
greater than the results justified. The 
observation balloon, on the contrary, 
was of inestimable value. 


The submarine, or more properly, 
the submersible vessel of war was 
likewise so important that it almost 


Type of a single-seater French Nieuport fighting plane armed with two machine guns. The Lewis gun above is 
fed from a drum containing 47 cartridges and is fired by pulling a string. Empty drums are quickly replaced. 
The lower gun fires between the blades of the propeller, as engine and gun are geared together. 

or less for over half a century. The 
subject is so large that separate 
chapters must be devoted to the 
development and use of these vessels of 
the skies. 

It must suffice to say here that the 
importance of the airplane was such 
that its exclusive possession by either 
side would easily have ended the 
struggle in its favor. As it was each 
struggled to improve existing models, 
and to invent new devices with the 
result that the advantage fluctuated, 
resting first with one side and then 

turned the war issue in favor of the 
Central Powers. The effect upon 
vessels of war was insignificant, for the 
first submarines were built of plates so 
thin that they could almost be pene- 
trated by a rifle bullet, and they 
carried no armament except their 
torpedo tubes. A lucky shot from the 
smallest piece of artillery generally 
meant the end. Some of the later types 
carried a gun or two, a few as large as 
six inches, and also were built of thicker 
plates. They were almost submersible 
cruisers, but nevertheless the sub- 



marine remained vulnerable on the 

The development of the depth bomb, 
a charge of high explosive (up to 300 
pounds) which can be arranged to 
explode by hydraulic pressure at any 
desired depth, greatly lessened the 
chances of the submarine under water. 
Against unprotected merchantmen, 
however, the submarine was desperate- 
ly effective, and the destruction of 

have been mentioned and much more 
might be told of each. While the 
dangers and hardships of war seem to 
have been multiplied, it is also true 
that never before have great armies 
been so well fed and so well cared for, 
as in the recent war. The Service of 
Supply by whatever name , it was 
called was more efficient, due largely to 
modern methods of refrigeration, and 
to the great use of motor transport. 

This is the K 17, a recently completed British submersible cruiser, built to run by steam when traveling along the 
surface of the water and by electricity when submerged. In the latter case, the smoke-stacks are laid back. The 
boat, as here shown, also furnishes a striking illustration of dazzle-painting, which played so important a part on 
land as well as on sea in the World War. At a little distance the form of the craft can not be distinguished, owing to 
the irregular bands of light and dark color distributed upon its surface. 

Allied tonnage brought bitter hard- 
ship. In the spring and summer of 
1917, victory hung in the balance. 
The adoption of the convoy system 
soon relieved the situation. 

This subject is likewise so large and 
the story so important that the under- 
sea craft and their effect upon the war, 
must be treated in separate chapters 
in this and in the other volumes. 


The story of the weapons and in- 
struments of warfare invented or de- 
veloped during the contest might easily 
be extended. Only the most important 


In fact this might almost be called the 
war of gasoline. 

The ambulance and hospital service 
was infinitely superior to anything ever 
before known, upon the Western Front 
at least. Some of the achievements of 
the surgeons would have been hailed 
as miracles a half century ago. Nor 
must mention of the opportunities 
for amusement and recreation be 
neglected. The work of the various 
volunteer and semi-official organiza- 
tions did much to preserve and even to 
raise the morale of the armies. No 
innovation was more important, and 
the story will be told elsewhere. 

A Detachment of German Engineers Halted by the Roadside 


Some Causes of the World War 



HpHE shot which a neurotic youth fired 
* at the heir of the Austro-Hungarian 
monarchy, on June 28, 1914, was not 
the cause of the war, hardly even the 
occasion. It was the spark which fired 
the train, but the explosives had been 
accumulating for many years. There 
is no one cause for this greatest of all 
wars, but, on the other hand, there are 
many causes, some of which go far back 
into History. 

Some of these reasons which can be 
held partially responsible for the world 
conflagration, seem, on first examina- 
tion, hardly to be connected at all. 
Yet, if we study them carefully, we 
shall see that if they had not happened 
when they did the whole course of the 
world might have been different. It 
would be easy to defend the statement 
that this war would not have been 
without Napoleon; that the action of 
the Congress of Vienna over a hundred 
years ago made impossible permanent 
peace in Europe. 


Looking backward we can now see 
that practically every important policy 
of the past century had its effect upon 
the situation in 1914. One is tempted 
to feel that the War was inevitable, 
that Europe had gradually come into 
such a position, that only a great war, 
if not this greatest of all wars, could 

relieve the tension. Jealousies, rival- 
ries, conflicting ambitions, all had 
developed and apparently could not 
be composed without a test of strength 
which should determine which could 
be gratified and which must be re- 
pressed or surrendered. 

When the star of Napoleon set at 
Waterloo the confusion in Europe was 
only less than at the signing of the 
Armistice in 1918. Old landmarks had 
been destroyed and the wreckage of 
states was piled high. Napoleon had 
wiped out dozens of tiny states in 
Italy and in the old Holy Roman Em- 
pire, and had divided and consolidated 
others as he saw fit. Some of his work 
was to be undone, some endures to the 
present day. The exiled princes clam- 
ored for their thrones, and others who 
had risked much to overthrow the 
Corsican demanded compensation. 
Those who had aided him feared the 


At Vienna a grand council met during 
1814-1815, the Congress of Vienna, 
and there the representatives of all the 
rulers of Europe, except Turkey, met 
and discussed the reorganization of 
Europe. Out of the confusion and the 
conflict of interests grew a Europe 
full of the seeds of future wars. One 
principle governed the Congress: the 


right of the ruler was to be considered 
above the rights' of the people. The 
right of people to be associated with 
others of the same race or language or 
culture as themselves, which we may 
call the principle of nationality, was 
disregarded in favor of the supposed 
claims of the rulers. Slices of territory 
were added to, or subtracted from 
states, without considering the wishes 
of the inhabitants. Austria, Prussia 
and Russia kept their Poles, and to the 
races of Austria were added some 
millions of dissatisfied Italians. The 
Catholic and the Protestant Nether- 
lands were yoked together, and Greece 
and the other Balkan peoples were 
left to groan under the Turkish yoke. 

Not satisfied with .disregard of the 
principle of nationality, a determined 
effort was made to destroy any heritage 
of the French Revolution in the way of 
liberalism. Prince Metternich, the 
actual ruler of Austria, was "guide, 
philosopher, and friend" of European 
rulers for a long generation, and suc- 
ceeded in communicating his horror of 
democracy to many of his friends among 
the rulers if indeed they needed his 
teaching. The good old days before 
the Rights of Man was considered 
more than mere philosophical specula- 
tions were to be restored. 


Metternich was to live to see much 
of his work undone. The two ideas of 
nationality and democracy which the 
French Revolution had left to the 
world, were not to be entirely repressed. 
The flame of revolution in 1830, and 
again in 1848, was to run through 
Europe, and finally to drive him a 
fugitive from Vienna. Though checked 
in some places and even suppressed in 
others, there were real gains for the 
ideas of democracy and nationalism. 
The Austrian Netherlands broke away 
from the Protestant provinces and was 
erected into the kingdom of Belgium 
with its neutrality guaranteed, in 1831, 
and in 1839, by Great Britain, France, 
Austria, Prussia and Russia. Greece 
(in 1829) and Serbia (in 1830) were 
freed from Turkish dominion and be- 
fore the middle of the century Italy 


was aflame with the nationalistic idea, 
though the peninsula was not united 
until 1870. Even then some regions 
Italian in blood were left under the 
power of Vienna for a half century 

Though much of the structure he had 
erected had crumbled, Metternich died 
before the worst had come. The Con- 
gress of Vienna had left only thirty- 
eight German states instead of the 
hundreds in existence before Napoleon. 
Austria assumed first place among 
these as a matter of right, but soon her 
position was challenged by upstart 
Prussia which had gained strength 
during the Napoleonic Wars. Inveigled 
by Bismarck into joining in the seizure 
of Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark, 
the master of the Prussian state was 
soon to provoke Austria into a quarrel, 
in which she was surprisingly, almost 
instantaneously, defeated. Discredited 
and weakened she then found her 
interests outside of Germany with the 
Magyars and the Slavs, while Prussia 
took her place as the leading German 
state, though not yet master of all the 
others. This sight, at least, Metternich 
was spared. 


Then Napoleon III, Emperor of the 
French, gave to Bismarck, wily schemer 
as well as man of "blood and iron, " an 
excuse for war which the Iron Chan- 
cellor was not slow to seize. Altering 
a despatch of King William so that 
it became an insult to the French who 
had been led to believe that their army 
was irresistible, and many of whom 
were eager for war, he waited for the 
inevitable consequences. The deceived 
French saw their armies beaten or 
captured, the Emperor deposed, Paris 
besieged, then taken, and the parade of 
Prussians through Paris. Then came 
Bismarck's demand for Alsace and a 
part of Lorraine and an indemnity of a 
billion dollars, a demand far exceeding 
any previous indemnity in history. 
The Prussian was to remain in France 
until payment was made. With fever- 
ish industry the French people sought 
to deliver their land from the foot of the 
conqueror. After this was the struggle 


Potsdam, the seat of the Prussian Province of Brandenburg, has a number of fine gates. The Brandenburg Gate, 
built in 1770, leads from the city to the park of Sans Souci. The ex-Emperor William II used the Palace of Fred- 
erick the Great in Sans Souci as a summer residence. 


This is the only public building in Berlin which is not modern, for it was erected in the reign of Frederick the Great. 
In it are more than 600 rooms and halls of which the Old Throne Room with gorgeous rococo decoration, the Weisse- 
aaal used for court pageants, and the halls of the chapters of the Black and Red Eagle orders are most beautiful. 

Picture from Henry Ruschin 



for a government which a majority of 
the people would support, finally ending 
in the establishment of the Third Re- 

While the German armies were still 
besieging Paris, the Throns Room at 
Versailles on January 16, 1871, saw a 
pageant destined to change the face 
of Europe. On that day in the presence 
of the allied German kings and princes, 
with uniforms and decorations every- 
where, the Prussian King became the 
German Emperor. "Through blood 
and iron" as Bismarck had predicted, 
Germany had attained outward unity. 
How the spirit of Prussia came to 
influence and even to dominate the 
gentler states of South Germany, we 
shall see shortly. Prussia and Germany 
came to be, as the years passed, more 
and more nearly synonymous. Aus- 
tria no longer influenced the other 
German states. Bismarck had suc- 
ceeded Metternich as the arbiter of 


With the sudden appearance of 
Germany and Italy as full-grown 
states, a new arrangement of Europe 
was necessary. At first there was the 
League of the Three Emperors (of 
Germany, Austria and Russia) which 
was to serve the common interests of 
the rulers concerned. Germany's fail- 
ure to support Russia in her march 
toward Constantinople, discussed in 
Chapter IV, led co Russia's withdrawal, 
and in 1879 Austria and Germany 
formed a new alliance to which Italy 
was admitted in 1882. Italy's part in 
this Triple Alliance is told in Chapter 
XXI. Once Austria acknowledged the 
superiority of Germany the alliance 
was useful to both in their ambitions 
in the Balkans and the Near East, 
while France was left without a friend. 
Great Britain had been a traditional 
enemy of France for centuries, and 
there was little in common between the 
Russian autocracy and the turbulent 
republic in the west. Any understand- 
ing seemed highly improbable. 

The improbable happened however, 
and in 1891, a treaty between France 
and Russia was signed. The Dual 


Alliance had come into being, as a 
counterpoise to the triple agreement. 
France was no longer isolated. Instead 
of being alone and powerless, grieving 
always for the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, 
and hugging the idea of revenge, she 
was now buttressed by the mighty 
power of Russia. The latter, an un- 
developed country, sorely needed capi- 
tal to develop industries, and this 
France furnished, so that the advantage 
was not all on one side. 


When Germany became obsessed by 
the desire for colonial possessions, and 
began to develop her fleet with the 
apparent intention of equaling or 
surpassing Great Britain, that country 
was disturbed. If Germany, easily 
dominant upon land, through the 
size, equipment and training of her 
army, turned her attention to the 
water, there was a decided menace to 
the British Empire. The policy of 
Great Britain for more than half a 
century had been one of isolation with 
France and Russia as traditional en- 
emies. King Edward VII was quick 
to see that Germany was a greater 
threat to the continued existence of 
the Empire, than either France or 
Russia. Though France and Great 
Britain had been on the point of a 
contest over a part of the Sudan in 1898 
(Fashoda), all differences were com- 
posed before what both considered to 
be a greater menace. After about 1904 
we hear of the Entente Cordiale, be- 
tween the two, not precisely an 
alliance but a friendly understanding 
at least. 

The British diplomats had refused to 
allow Russia to march upon Constanti- 
nople for fear of danger to their interests 
in Egypt, the Suez Canal, and India. 
Russian propaganda among the Af- 
ghans had been a real danger in the 
past but under new conditions Sir 
Edward Grey feared Germany more 
than Russia. In 1907, all questions at 
issue were patched up, and the Entente 
now bound three members. Meanwhile 
Italy and France had composed their 
differences, and agreed to bury their 
jealousies over Africa. The Triple 


This is a view of Linderhof, one of several magnificent castles built for the gratification of Ludwig II of Bavaria, 
the friend and benefactor of Richard Wagner. This monarch's enthusiastic devotion to art and music led him into 
extravagant expenditures. In 1886, pronounced insane and incapable of governing, he ended his life by drowning. 


Munich, the third largest town in Germany, is situated on a high plain near the foothills of the Alps. Its archi- 
tecture is beautiful and interesting, with many buildings designed after celebrated prototypes of other countries 
and other periods. King Ludwig I, a patron of art, who came to the throne in 1825, did much to beautify and 
modernize the city. Munich is noted for its splendid collections of art, which are handsomely housed. 



Alliance was thereby weakened, though 
Austria was still bound to the chariot 
wheels of Germany and Italy did not 
repudiate her obligations. On the 
other side was the Triple Entente, 
watchful, and more or less prepared for 
whatever might come. The Powers 
were divided into two unfriendly camps, 
though tentative gestures of friendship 
between Germany and England were 


With this brief summary of the 
development of the Great Powers, and 
their alignment in the first decade of 
the twentieth century, let us prepare 
for the study of the causes of the war. 
A survey of Europe in 1914 will aid in 
the task of bringing order out of what 
appears to be a hopeless tangle. 

Studying the causes of this War, one 
may see that it arose from a series of 
conflicts. (There is the conflict of 
nationalities, of dynastic ambitions, 
of economic interests, of desires for 
territorial aggrandizement, of the dem- 
ocratic idea with that of the all power- 
ful state, and last but by no means least 
the inevitable conflict between the 
German dream of world domination 
and the instinct of self-preservation 
in the other states of Europe.) 

Before the war few continental states 
were homogeneous. Nearly all held 
territory inhabited by people of a 
different stock kept against their will. 
The old Poland had been divided among 
Prussia, Austria and Russia more than 
a century before, but the Poles never 
ceased to think of themselves as a 
separate people, in spite of all the 
efforts to submerge them. Germany 
and Russia vainly attempted to destroy 
the spirit of Polish nationality, only 
to see it flame the brighter. Austria 
was more liberal, for it was her policy 
to govern her ramshackle empire by 
setting the races against one another. 
In Galicia it suited her purpose to 
placate her Poles by privileges and 
they appreciated their better fortune. 


( Austria-Hungary itself was a medley 
of races in which the German and the 

Magyar, though a minority of the total 
population, had formed an alliance, 
offensive and defensive, to enable 
them to dominate the other national- 
ities. Each was to "rule its own bar- 
barians." Northern Slavs, Southern 
Slavs, Ruthenians, Poles, Italians, all 
were held subject against their will, 
and dreamed either of independence or of 
joining aggregates of their fellows.? The 
Northern Slavs wished for indepen- 
dence, a revived free Bohemia, which 
finally came as the result of the War. 
The Southern Slavs likewise dreamed 
of union with the Serbs, a result like- 
wise obtained with the end of the great 
struggle. Italy had never ceased to 
look with longing eyes at the "unre- 
deemed lands, " Italian in blood, speech 
and culture. The Austrian Poles felt 
the spirit, though less strongly perhaps. 
The Ruthenians though feeling their 
kinship with the Ukrainians, hesitated 
only because they feared that absorp- 
tion into Russia would mean only a 
change of masters. In Transylvania 
were many Rumanians. 
( All the inhabitants of the German 
Empire were not Germans. Besides 
the Poles already mentioned, there 
were Danes in Schleswig who obsti- 
nately insisted upon remaining Danish 
in speech and thought, and then there 
was the crown land of Alsace-Lorraine, 
the greatest disturbing factor of all, 
which had threatened the peace of 
Europe for a half-century. Though 
profiting economically by inclusion in 
the German Empire, the people ob- 
stinately refused to love the harsh rule 
of the Prussians, and looked back to 
France. ") 


Alsace and Lorraine are a part of 
that borderland between the kingdoms 
of the East and the West Franks, which 
has been a cause of contention for over 
a thousand years. Though both had 
belonged to the old Holy Roman Em- 
pire, the numerous feudal states of 
which they were composed had been 
practically independent. The East 
Franks and the West Franks grew 
further apart with the passage of 
centuries, but these districts partook 


of the culture of both. The German 
language prevailed in Alsace, and had 
a firm foot hold in Lorraine. 

By conquest, treaty, and by the free 
will of the inhabitants these provinces 
became united to France. At the time 
of the French Revolution they chose 
to remain a part of the French state 
and until 1870 were an integral part of 
France. (When Alsace and a large part 
of Lorraine were snatched away, and 

men brooded upon the loss until they 
were not quite sane. Never could 
there be accord between the nations 
until the wrong was righted. In the 
Place de la Concorde in Paris are 
statues representing the eight great 
cities of France outside Paris. Wreaths 
and mourning garlands have decorated 
Strassburg, snatched away from France 
by the seizure of Alsace, and served 
as a perpetual reminder of the loss. 


In the great armament works of Creusot, Bourges, and Saint-Chamond, the Vulcans of France were equipped with 
machinery for turning out quantities of guns and other war material. This picture shows a part of one of the largest 
plants that was used for testing newly-forged gun-barrels. A sort of sounding apparatus is inserted in the bore of 
the gun for the purpose of discovering any possible defect. 

joined to the new German Empire there 
was almost a unanimous protest. 
Many thousands refused to live under 
German rule, and emigrated. Though 
greater economic prosperity came dur- 
ing German occupation the people as a 
whole did not become Germans. ) 


France never forgot the gaping 
wound which the seizure of the dis- 
tricts had left. The determination to 
gain again the stolen territory has 
colored French life and French thought 
all through the period. Some French- 

sBismarck had taken the provinces 
largely because they were demanded 
by the General Staff to make the 
frontier impregnable. He confesses 
that he moved the frontier line farther 
west to include Metz because of the 
insistence of his military advisers. 
Of course the feeling that they were 
really German lands had its influence, 
and the value of the natural resources, 
particularly in iron, had weight also. 
This last factor, however, was not the 
determining reason, for Germany had 
not yet become industrialized and only 
a few far-sighted Germans had yet 



visualized the 
future of the 
Empire as one 
of the great 
nations of the 
world. If they 
had realized 
the importance 
of these de- 
posits of iron 
they would 
doubtless have 
moved the 
frontier line 
still farther to 
take in the 
great iron dis- 
trict of France, 
of Meurthe-et- 


The inhab- 
itants of the 
annexed prov- 
inces protested 
almost un- 
animously at 


On February 27, 1881, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia was 
married to the Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg- 


Augustenburg, who has filled her difficult place at his side wi 
the transfer *^ gn * ty ant * devotion. They assumed Imperial responsibilities in 1888. 

and many thousands, refusing to live 
under German rule, emigrated to France 
elsewhere. Considering the fact 

1911, he was 
practically su- 
preme in local 
affairs, though 
the inhabitants 
chose members 
of the Reichs- 
tag. In that 
year a local 
legislature was 
granted, but 
the members of 
the Bundesrat 
allotted were to 
be appointed 
by the gover- 
nor. (it is 
enough to say 
here that in 
nearly fifty 
years German 
rule never be- 
came popular, 
and the people 
continued to 
hope either for 
reunion with 
France, or for 
the creation of 
an autonomous 
state. ") 

Though- the 


that a majority of the inhabitants were 
undoubtedly of German blood, who 
used and still use a German dialect, 
this fact of continued protest is 
the strongest possible testimony to the 
liberality of French rule. With the 
development of industry these prov- 
inces have greatly prospered econom- 
ically. It is possible, even probable, 
that they might have grown reconciled 
to the transfer but for the stupid tact- 
lessness of the rule imposed upon them. 
They had been an integral part of 
France enjoying the same privileges 
as the remainder of the country. They 
were not made a state of the Empire, 
but were constituted a "crown land" 
(Reichsland] under the control of the 
central government. The governor was 
appointed by the Emperor and, until 


problems in the German Empire were 
serious they were insignificant compared 
with those of Austria-Hungary, for there 
they were complicated with dynastic 
considerations. The Hohenzollernswere 
firmly fixed upon the throne and there 
was no expectation that they would 
be expelled. In Austria-Hungary the 
tenure of the Emperor-King was pre- 
carious, or at least it was understood 
that the tenure of the successors of 
Franz Josef would be uncertain. In 
another chapter the difficulties of the 
ruler of that strange conglomeration 
of people are told, an empire which 
continued to exist because no man 
could suggest a better arrangement of 
the fragments, if it should perchance 
be destroyed. Some one, paraphrasing 
another famous epigram, once said 
that "if Austria-Hungary had not 
existed, it would have been necessary 
to invent it." However this may be, 


the Hapsburgs, shorn of much of 
their former greatness, were less and 
less able to suppress the discordant 
voices of their subjects, who were not 
placed on the same plane as the favored 
Germans or Magyars. 


The greatest problem was that of the 
Jugo-Slavs, that is, the South Slavs. 
The most ambitious of the northern 
Slavs were almost surrounded by 
Germans. They had rebelled many 
times in the past, but the probability 
of another revolt was slight. With the 
southern Slavs the case was different. 
Millions of them spoke the same lan- 
guage as the free peoples of the Balkans. 
The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
lately annexed, had felt that their 
destiny was to become a part of a 
Greater Serbia, once the last vestige of 
Turkish rule was eliminated. Croatia 
and Slavonia had also heard the call of 
blood and were dreaming of Jugo-Slav 
unity. Other Slavic people under 
Austrian rule were restless. 

Naturally Serbia, which in the 
fourteenth century had dominated the 
Balkans, and had grown more am- 
bitious since the Balkan Wars, was 
eager to encourage any unrest. All the 
Jugo-Slavs would make a considerable 
state, perhaps of fifteen millions, al- 
most a first class power. To Austria- 
Hungary the matter was vital. If these 
Slavic provinces were shorn away, the 
dual monarchy would be left an inland 
state, without access to the sea. The 
Austrian dream of access to the ^Egean 
would also vanish. Then too, the 
matter of prestige was no less impor- 
tant. If one body of Slavs succeeded 
in securing freedom, the remaining 
divisions were sure to redouble their 
efforts. For the same reason Serbia 
must not be allowed to become too 
powerful in the Balkans. Under no 
circumstances must a Slav outlet to 
the Adriatic be allowed. All of these 
things are discussed at length in other 


Meanwhile the most powerful repre- 
sentative of the Slav people was not 

idle. For centuries Russia has been 
looking toward the West and toward 
the South. There is no real Russian 
there are Russians and so the nation- 
alistic feeling took the form of Pan- 
Slavism, a union of all the Slavs under 
the guidance of Russia, though the 
idea was always indefinite. For this 
reason Russia favored Bulgaria until 
the people of that state showed them- 
selves Bulgarians first and Slavs after- 
ward, and repulsed somewhat rudely 
the efforts of Russia to guide them. 
Then she turned her attention to Serbia 
and the other southern Slavs, assuming 
the right to advise and protect. 

This sense of Slav kinship was not 
the only reason for the expenditure of 
Russian effort in the south. There was 
Constantinople, the holy city of their 
religion, in the hands of the Turk; and 
Constantinople also controlled the out- 
let to the Mediterranean. Russia had 
been striving to "get her feet into 
warm water" for centuries. She had 
gained the Black Sea, only to have the 
fruits of the conquest taken away. 
In the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 
she was again within sight of her am- 
bition, only to have the fruit snatched 
from her grasp by the Great Powers, 
led by Great Britain, who was unwilling 
to have her own influence in the East 


Considerations of another sort guided 
the rulers of the German state for two 
decades after 1870. Between 1870 
and 1900 the country underwent a 
marvelous industrial transformation. 
In 1870 there were few factories, and 
almost no exports of manufactured 
goods. The great mass of the popula- 
tion was composed of frugal peasants 
living upon the soil. Forty years 
afterward the proportion had dropped 
from 67 per cent to 33 per cent. In 
1910 there were forty-seven cities of 
over 100,000 compared with the eight 
of 1870. There was a veritable exodus 
as the peasants moved from the farms 
to the factories, and after about 1900 
the immigration into Germany exceeded 
the emigration. 
(^Almost at a bound Germany became 



an industrial nation. German goods 
were to be found in every market, often 
poor in quality, at first, imitations of 
British or French wares perhaps. Soon, 
however, "Made in Germany" be- 
came a legend to be dreaded by her 
competitors in the world markets. A 
docile people, accustomed to discipline, 
almost without illiterates, made ex- 
cellent workmen and they were well 
directed. The discovery of the "Thom- 
as process" in 1878, made the hereto- 
fore difficult iron ores of Lorraine 
of immense value, and before the out- 
break of the World War over three- 
fourths of the iron smelted in the 
Empire came from this source. The 
production of Great Britain was sur- 
passed in 1903, and only the United 
States remained superior./ 

large number of tramp freighters owned 
in the latter country. } 


The story of German steel production 
is similar. There has, however, been a 
definite policy in German manufactur- 
ing. Since the population is large for 
the area, and the natural resources 
small, it is obviously unprofitable in 
the long run to export either raw 
materials, or those which have passed 
through only the first stages of fabrica- 
tion. Therefore the pig iron must be 
made at least into steel, or better still, 
made into machinery of various sorts 
in which the labor cost represents a 
large proportion of the value. There- 
fore electrical machinery, cutlery, fine 
tools and instruments and the like 
made up a large proportion of the 

V When the Empire began to develop 
a merchant marine the first ships were 
built in Great Britain, but before long 
immense shipyards were constructed 
from which came some of the largest 
ships in the world, including the very 
largest, the Vaterland, renamed the 
Leviathan when taken over by the 
United States} It is one of the ironies 
of fate that this ship which was designed 
to fill all beholders with envy and 
admiration should have carried to 
Europe more American soldiers than 
any other transport.^ In total tonnage, 
however, the Empire was far from 
rivaling Great Britain, owing to the 



Great progress was made in the 
textile industry, especially in hosiery 
and knit goods. In Saxony and Alsace 
especially the industry flourished, but 
here again the start of Great Britain 
was too great, and her hold upon her 
markets too firm, to allow her to lose 
her place in the industry. In china 
and glassware German exports were 
large, and in optical glass she had almost 
a monopoly. Leather and leather 
goods were also important items. 

An Englishman, W. H. Perkin, in 1856 
derived a purple dye from coal tar, 
and other dyes were soon found. The 
industry was begun in Great Britain 
to some extent, but was soon taken 
up in Germany where dozens of tints 
and shades were developed and placed 
upon the market. The universities 
and technical schools co-operated with 
the manufacturers. ( German chemists 
are painstaking and industrious, and in 
1914, four-fifths of the world's demand 
was supplied by Germany. The once 
despised tar is wonderfully complex, 
and dozens of drugs were also extracted 
from it. In the preparation of these 
and many other chemicals Germany 
led the world. ) 


This marvelous development did 
not come at the expense of agriculture. 
In Great Britain, when the manufac- 
turing and industrial interests came 
into power at the middle of the nine- 
teenth century, they were committed to 
the policy of Free Trade. A logical 
corollary was the desire for cheap food. 
Expensive food necessitated higher 
wages, which in turn made competition 
more difficult. Therefore they were 
able finally to secure the repeal of the 
Corn Laws, and English agriculture 
unable to compete with the fresher 
lands of the newer parts of the world, 
has declined until England raises hardly 
a third of the food necessary to support 
the population. 

In Germany, as it happens, the manu- 
facturers desired protection and to get 


Bremen, the second largest of the three Free Cities of Germany, is divided into the old town and the new town. 
The Gothic town hall (Rathaus) with its celebrated wine-cellar stands on the market square, and the Cathedral of 
St. Peter was built in the twelfth century on the site of Charlemagne's wooden church. 


Early in the 9th century, Charlemagne founded the castle of Hamburg as a defense against the Slavs. After an 
episcopal see was established there in 831, it became a centre of civilization for northern Europe. By treaties with 
Liibeck and Bremen it initiated the H-anseatic League about 1250, and has increased rapidly in commercial impor- 
tance. It is now one of the important ports of the world. Pictures from Henry Ruschin 


it formed an alliance with the agricul- 
tural interests, giving them protection 
also. As a result in a country not 
naturally fertile, a smaller and smaller 
proportion of the total population 
engaged in agriculture has been able 
to produce a very large proportion of 
the food required for the rapidly ex- 
panding population. By scientific farm- 
ing the yield has been enormously in- 
creased. In fact through the cultivation 
of improved varieties of the sugar beet, 
it has been possible to export large 
quantities of sugar, and food stuffs 
are another large item in the exports. 


CThe development of the German 
Empire which has just been outlined 
brings us to another cause of the World 
War.\ Any industrial country can pro- 
duce 'more goods than it can consume. 
The remainder must be sold, and if 
there are several rivals competing for the 
same markets, discord is likely to arise. 
Great Britain and Germany were the 
two great industrial nations of Europe. 
In France and Italy the balance be- 
tween agriculture and manufacturing 
was fairly even. Russia was not yet 
industrialized, and some other Euro- 
pean states were even less influenced by 
the new forces. Which should sell 
them the goods they' must buy? Un- 
doubtedly the rapid growth of German 
trade had excited alarm in some quarters 
in Great Britain, but that country had 
not yet experienced any disastrous 
results from German competition. Ger- 
man trade was increasing much faster 
but British trade was increasing also. 
The Empire itself furnishes an immense 
market and Great Britain had the 
greater part of this trade, though no 
obstacles were placed in the way of 
German goods. Great Britain's ma- 
chinery for supplying her colonies and 
dependencies was organized, and habit, 
inertia and old commercial ties com- 
bined to give British merchants the 
lion's share. 

(Germans on the other hand were 
intensely jealous of the British com- 
mercial position. They feared that 
some sort of a customs union would 
be formed in the Empire which would 


have the effect of shutting them out 
altogether. Already some of the self- 
governing Dominions had adopted a 
system of "imperial preference" giving 
lower rates to goods manufactured 
within the British Empire. An exten- 
tion of this policy might be disastrous 
to Germany. ) 


It was only a step farther to attribute 
British success to the possession of 
a world wide Empire, protected by a 
great navy. Great Britain had been 
first to gain large colonial possessions. 
When most other nations of Europe 
had been engrossed in European affairs, 
the British flag was being planted in 
every part of the world. When the 
other nations woke up France, Italy, 
Portugal, the German Empire, the 
fairest portions of the earth had already 
been appropriated by Great Britain 
and the Netherlands. France managed 
to gain an Empire in Africa and Asia, 
much of it desert or swamp, but there 
was little for Germany. (She laid claim 
to slices of Africa, Togo, Cameroon, 
South-West Africa, and German East 
Africa, to various islands of little 
worth, and also gained a strong foot- 
hold in China. The expenses of all 
these possessions were large, and the 
returns very small. Moreover, they 
were unsuited to white settlement, and 
the Germans who left home to seek 
their fortunes must go to another state, 
there perhaps to be merged into another 
nationality. That Germany, populous, 
powerful, should be shut out from the 
benefits of a colonial empire seemed 

Naturally Great Britain was not 
disposed to transfer any considerable 
part of her empire to Germany, and 
some Germans persuaded themselves 
that this was an intolerable wrong. 
When the Entente Cordiale was formed 
these people persuaded themselves, 
and sought to persuade all Germans, 
that the purpose was to strangle ex- 
panding Germany. 1 f 


This brings us to a peculiar twist in 
the German mentality. The overwhelm- 


ing victory over France in 1870 in- 
spired the German people with both 
confidence in their power and pride in 
their achievements. These feelings 
were deliberately fostered by high 
officials,distinguished professors, preach- 
ers, authors and soldiers, and de- 
veloped into a cult. ( Professors in the 
universities taught their students, of 
course with the imperial sanction, that 
the German was the only pure race, 
and that it had been preserved to rule 
the world, j 

( For example a distinguished professor 
in Berlin said: "A man who is not a 
German knows nothing of Germany. 
We are morally and intellectually 
superior to all, without peers. It is 
the same with our organizations and 
our institutions." A professor at Jena 
says: "We have a right to say that 
we form the soul of humanity, and 
that the destruction of the German 
nature would rob world history of its 
deepest meaning." A professor of 
history at Heidelberg says: "The 
destinies of the immortal great nations 
stand so high that they can not but 
have the right in case of need to stride 
over existencies that can not defend 
themselves but support themselves 
shamelessly upon the rivalries of the 

Some one has said that "what the 
professors think today the people will 
think tomorrow" and in Germany this 
was especially true. Possession of a 
university degree was a requisite for 
many of the high offices in the Empire 
and all the governing class, the teachers 
in the gymnasia, and in the lower 
schools passed on the teaching they 
had received at the universities and 
every German became saturated with 
the idea of German superiority. } te-ii 


Even the Socialists devoted to the 
brotherhood of man though they 
pretended to be, meant Germany was 
to be the elder brother who should 
guide the less developed nations. A 
distinguished Socialist unblushingly 
said : ' The German race is called to 
bind the earth under its control, to 
exploit the natural resources and the 

physical powers of man, to use the 
passive races in subordinate capacity 
for the development of its Kultur. " 

Therefore, taught as he was in school, 
church, and army, the humblest Ger- 
man, no matter how hard his lot, had a 
belief in German superiority which 
could not be shaken and was willing to 
fight and to die for that conviction in 
common with his officer of higher 
social station .(.ProfessorVernon Kellogg 
who lived with German officers and 
soldiers for months in connection with 
the relief work in Belgium and France 
sums up the attitude thus: "And they 
fought not simply because they are 
forced to, but because, curiously enough, 
they believe much of their talk. This 
is one of the dangers of the Germans 
to which the world is exposed; they 
really believe much of what they say. " 
With such fixed ideas as these it is 
easy to see the Germans needed no per- 
suasion to believe that any nation or 
people which opposed Germany was 
jealous of her superiority, and per- 
sistence in such opposition was a sign- 
of depravity. Declining England, li- 
centious France, corrupt Belgium and 
uncouth Russia all were jealous "be- 
cause Germany is the leader in the 
entire domain of intellect, character 
and soul," in the words of a German 
pastor. ) 

^Out of these ideas grew the German 
dream of dominating the world as the 
Romans once had done. "The Teu- 
tonic race is called to circle the earth 
with its rule, to exploit the treasures 
of nature and of human labor power, 
and to make the passive races servile 
elements in its cultural development." 
Since the Germans were superior to all 
others, the German state must be 
omnipotent and all-wise. All the 
world must profit by the experience of 
German rule, and the Germans them- 
selves deserved the responsibility and 
the profits. ) "27 


First, however, all the Germans 
must be brought under one head. This 
was the aim of the Pan-German League 
founded in 1890. The Teutonic hy- 
pothesis was stretched to the fullest 



extent. The Scandinavians were Teu- 
tonic and must become a part of 
Greater Germany; likewise the Dutch 
and the Flemish. Austria proper was 
German and part of Switzerland also. 
Some French citizens were German in 
blood, and they too must come. North- 
ern Italy was originally Teutonic, and 
the Baltic provinces of Russia had 
Teutonic blood. England was once 
Teutonic and must share the blessings 
of German Kultur. The Germans who 
had migrated to other lands must 
preserve their German allegiance and 
all of German descent, no matter how 
far removed, were to be brought back 
into the fold.^A catalogue of Germans 
in foreign lands was completed in 1899, 
and in 1913 the Delbrueck law gave 
Germans authority to become natural- 
ized in their new home and at the same 
time to preserve their German citizen- 

Strange as it may seem this policy 
of recalling the dispersed and scattered 
abroad had some success, even in the 
United States. When Germany de- 
clared war in 1914 there were citizens 
of the United States, native born and 
educated in the public schools, who 
showed more interest in the welfare of 
Germany than in that of their own 
country. Some did not change their 
attitude when the United States de- 
clared war, so powerful was the idea of 
Deutschtum im Ausland. \ 


vThe Pan-German League did not 
confine its efforts to the advocacy of 
"Mittel-Europa." It was sympathetic 
with the organizations advocating a 
larger colonial empire. It worked in 
harmony with the Navy League which 
strove to increase the desire to make of 
the German Empire a great sea power. 
Everything which made for a more 
powerful Germany became its prov- 
ince; and then it was only a step to the 
idea that Germany ought to dominate 
the world. 

This idea, which was really a sort of 
diseased nationalism, is important 
enough to deserve treatment separate- 
ly; it ranks as one of the real causes of 
the war. Handed down from above this 


idea spread to broader and broader 
layers of the pyramid which was social 
Germany. The speeches of the Kaiser, 
and the Princes, the speeches and 
writings of high officials, the lectures of 
the professors, the sermons of the 
pastors, taught that Germany deserved 
and must have the dominion which she 
craved. ) 


As said above, the danger in the 
programme lay in the fact that the 
Germans really believed what they 
said. Other nations have had men of 
extravagant speech. There have been 
flamboyant individuals in the United 
States, who, intoxicated by their own 
oratory, have pictured the future 
United States as stretching from the 
Arctic Circle to the Straits of Magel- 
lan, with authority over all islands of 
the Western seas. They knew they 
were talking nonsense, when they 
spoke, and their hearers have only 
ridiculed them. In Germany similar 
individuals were treated with respect, 
and the next step was the attempt to 
make the dream come true. 

An unsuccessful attempt to extend 
German influence is seen in the Mo- 
rocco incident. In the early years of the 
century Morocco was still nominally 
independent, but the Sultan was utter- 
ly unable to preserve order. Both 
Germany and France had acquired con- 
cessions, but their citizens were often 
attacked by the restless tribesmen. 
French troops were sent to restore 
order and France gained a commanding 
position in the country, which was 
recognized by Great Britain and Spain 
in 1904. Germany at first raised no 
objections but in 1905 the Kaiser 
visited Morocco and encouraged the 
Sultan to resist French control, and to 
demand a conference of the powers. 
This was held at Algeciras, Spain, in 
1906. Germany found no support ex- 
cept from Austria, and the conference 
practically gave France control, sub- 
ject to guarantees of economic equality. 


(The Pan-Germans were not satisfied, 
and as France in reducing the country 


This picture shows the dockship Vulcan at Kiel. It was able to lift a small ship entirely out of the water for repairs 
or could raise a sunken ship from the bottom. This boat was particularly useful in repairing and refitting of sub- 
marines to which it acted on occasions as a mother ship. 


Kiel is the eastern terminus of the great Kaiser Wilhelm Canal connecting the Baltic with the North Sea. As the 
chief naval station of Germany its war harbor is perhaps the best example of its kind. The Imperial shipyards, 
with two large basins connected by a canal, have three shipways for the launching of newly-built ships, four dry 
docks, a floating dock and a haven for torpedo boats. Pictures from Henry Ruschin 




(The Berlin to Bagdad Rail- 
way (or as the Germans called 
it, the Berlin-Byzantium-Bag- 
dad) was an ambitious scheme 
to connect Hamburg with the 
head of the Persian Gulf. A 
branch line through Syria to 
Mecca would pass not far from 
the Suez Canal. Through con- 


to order had pene- 
trated deeply into the 
interior, in 1911, the 
German gunboat, 
Panther, suddenly ap- 
peared at Agadir, in 
which region Germans had se- 
cured valuable concessions. 
Apparently German aid in resist- 
ing French control was promised 
the native chiefs. Maps show- 
ing "German West Morocco" 
were published in Berlin. War 
seemed imminent and both 

France and Germany sent troops to their 
respective frontiers. Great Britain, 
however, took a firm stand on the side 
of France, and Germany was forced to 
recede and acknowledge the right of 
France to establish a protectorate. 
Though receiving compensation in the 
form of an addition to Cameroon from 
the French Congo, the Germans felt 
that they had been humiliated by a 
great diplomatic defeat.^ 

This setback caused much bitterness 
among the advocates of a greater Ger- 
many and many of the publicists 
frothed with rage. The Kaiser was 
blamed for the humiliation Germany 
had suffered and for a time was actually 
unpopular. Some students of inter- 
national affairs believe that the deter- 
mination to have a war with France 
and a settlement with Great Britain 
became irrevocable at this time. Cer- 
tainly the bill increasing the military 
strength of Germany was passed soon 
after, with the result that France im- 
mediately extended the period of 
military service from two years to 
three years. 



In order to make the way safe for the Kaiser's Bremen-Berlin- 
Bosphorus-Bagdad-Bahn to be operated, German influence and con- 
trol had to be extended through Austria-Hungary across the Balkan 
lands, where Serbia and Rumania were a menace. 

trol of this, railway all Asiatic Turkey 
would be made economically tributary 
to Berlin. Its existence would be a 
threat for the British interests in 
Egypt; by it forces could be easily 
mobilized for an attack upon India. 
The completion of this railway would 
have cut the British Empire in two, and 
would have been a challenge to French 
influence in the Orient. 

It is doubtful whether the German 
promoters at first realized the enormous 
strategic value of the road. The pos- 
sible economic results seem chiefly to 
have been considered in the beginning. 
The first steps were taken just before 
the Kaiser's first visit to Constan- 
tinople in 1889. The previous year a 
concession for a short line along the 
Asiatic side of the Gulf of Marmora 
had been granted to a German com- 
pany. This concession was extended 
to cover a line to Angora and Konia. 
After the Kaiser's second visit in 1898 
during which he proclaimed himself the 
friend and protector of. the Moham- 
medans of the world, a concession was 
granted for the continuation of the line 


to Bagdad and the Persian Gulf. A 
supplementary concession in 1903 gave 
the Germans, backed by the Deutsche 
Bank, still more favorable terms. ) 


The authority of the Sultan on the 
Persian Gulf was, however, only shad- 
owy. There were Turkish garrisons in 
a few towns, but for the most part the 
sheikhs repudiated his pretensions to 

without the consent of Great Britain. 
Blocked for the moment the Germans 
sought a foothold in other parts of the 
Gulf, but were everywhere checked and 
were forced to be content with Basra, 
up the Shatt-al-Arab, in what was dis- 
tinctly Turkish territory. To the Brit- 
ish their course seemed necessary for 
self-preservation. To the Germans it 
was another proof of the intention of 
Great Britain to strangle them, just 


In 1889 and again in 1898 William II was the guest of the Sultan. The second time he went on into Palestine and 
attended the consecration of the German Protestant Church of the Redeemer at Jerusalem, which is connected 
with a hospice. The Sultan's domains were honored with Imperial gifts. In this ceiling decoration in the church 
at Jerusalem a German artist has made a mediaeval-looking group of the Kaiser and his consort, Augusta. 

as the British occupation of Walfish 
Bay in South West Africa had been. 

rule them. With one or other of these 
tribal chiefs the Germans must deal to 
secure a terminus on the Gulf. They 
chose the Bay of Koweit, and sought 
to make a bargain with the sheikh of 
Koweit. He courteously refused to sell 
or lease the twenty square miles of 
land desired and with a good reason. 

A few British statesmen had realized 
the importance of the threat and Lord 
Curzon, in 1899, within a month of 
assuming the viceroyalty of India, had 
made an agreement with the sheikh of 
Koweit. That ruler bound himself not 
to sell or lease to a foreign government 
or its citizens any part of his dominions 


Since the days of the first Napoleon, 
the Prussian ideal had been universal 
military service, "the nation in arms." 
The system was extended to the new 
Empire, and as a result, the other 
nations of continental Europe followed 
more or less completely; but no other 
nation gave so much thought and pains 
to its military machine as the govern- 
ing body of the German Empire. Every 
German male physically qualified was 
liable for military service, either two or 



three years. Usually he reported for 
service at the age of twenty, but might 
be called at seventeen. After com- 
pleting his time he then passed into the 
reserve for five years, during which he 
was called out for drill for two periods 
of six weeks each. Then came enroll- 
ment in the Landwehr with some drills 
until the age of thirty-nine, after 
which was the Lancjsturm until the age 

people. They were taught to obey 
orders unquestioningly, to the smallest 
detail, to observe habits of neatness 
and punctuality. Usually there was a 
gain in physique also. Undoubtedly 
the docility and reliability of the Ger- 
man workman was a great factor in 
favor of Germany in the struggle for 
industrial supremacy. Through the 
systems of old age pensions, health and 


Every mother's son in the German Empire was a soldier during part of his life and received minute training in 
military accomplishments. Here a class of soldiers is being instructed in the handling of a gun. In actual conflict 
the Germans showed least strength in bayonet fighting. They did not stand up well before steel. 

Picture from Henry Ruschin 

of forty-five. During all this time he 
was subject to call, must inform the 
proper authority of any change of 
address, and must know exactly where 
and to what officer he must report in 
case of call. There were certain special 
services, but the usual routine is stated 
above. On a peace footing the army 
was over 800,000 men and there were 
millions of trained men in the various 


The rigid discipline to which the 
German youth were subjected had its 
influence in molding the German 

accident insurance he was made to feel 
that the state was interested in his 
welfare, and his attitude toward the 
state was generally one of loyalty and 
devotion in spite of the growth of 

The officers were drawn from the 
aristocracy, and to a less extent from 
the sons of professional men and 
wealthy townsmen. They were per- 
manent and were expected to have 
private means. Their enhanced social 
position was supposed to be ample 
compensation for the smallness of their 
pay. In fact the officers formed what 
amounted to a separate caste with its 



Military manoeuvres were an important event in Germany, and were planned to imitate as nearly as possible 
actual war movements. Representatives of friendly governments were eager for invitations. Here Count Cadorna, 
then Italian Chief of Staff, is present in company with the German Emperor and his nephew, Prince Waldemar. 


These guests of the Emperor a family party include his sister, two brothers-in-law and two nephews. On the 
left, Queen Sophia of Greece, unshakably Prussian in sympathy, is absorbed in the manoeuvres. Next is her eldest 
son, Prince George, with his cousin, Prince Waldemar of Prussia (son of the Kaiser's brother, Prince Henry). 
Beyond are King Constantine of Greece and Prince Bernard of Saxe-Meiningen, husband of the Kaiser's eldest 



own code of laws, morals and conduct, 
and had a supreme contempt for 
civilians. This was especially true in 
Prussia, but as the years went on the 
other states were more and more 
Prussianized. Since the army was in 
the opinion of all the most important 
institution in Germany, the officers 
worked hard and the abler were de- 
tailed to the General Staff, where they 
toiled terribly. Nothing was left to 
chance but all was planned to the 
tiniest detail. 


(The world marveled in the days be- 
fore the war at the perfection of the 
workings of the military machine, but 
it was a machine which had really not 
been tried in actual warfare. The 
High Command, which had exercised 
it in manoeuvres and which had worked 
out every possible military plan to 
invade the territories of their neighbors 
or to defend their own, was eager to see 
it function, to test their theories in 
actual practice. Tired of peace, fearing 
that their officers would grow stale in 
time, and that the people might tire of 
the burden of maintaining the army, 
the High Command as well as the 
officers themselves clamored for war 
with any enemy. War would also 
prove to the Socialists that the army 
was a necessity. This desire for war on 
the part of practically all the thousands 
of officers must not be neglected as one 
of the reasons why there was war. 

War was exalted as a positive good 
by many of the publicists, and pro- 
fessors who spoke for the Empire. For 
example, Professor von Treitschke, 
long the most influential man in Ger- 
many, said; "The living God will take 
care that war shall always return as a 
terrible medicine for the human race. 
We have learned to recognize the moral 
majesty of war precisely in those of its 
characteristics which to superficial 
observers seem brutal and inhuman." 
Another distinguished author wrote: 
"Everything in the state must be 
calculated for the possibility of war. 
Separate states are therefore by nature 
in a state of war with each other. . . . 
Between states there is one sort of 


right the right of the stronger. . . . 
A state can not commit a crime." ) 


( The strongest supporters of such 
opinions were to be found among the 
country squires, the so-called "Junker" 
class, whose stronghold was in East 
Prussia. They lived on their estates 
and managed them in a fashion little 
different from the time a century before 
when their tenants were serfs. Few 
were wealthy, for in spite of tariffs 
upon agricultural products, tilling the 
soil was not generally very profitable. 
They were all devoted heart and soul 
to Prussia and absolutely loyal to the 
Emperor. This class furnished the 
greatest number of officers for the army 
and of officials for the government 
service. Their political influence was 
altogether out of proportion to their 
numbers or their wealth. The dis- 
tricts for the Reichstag had not been 
altered since they were first laid out in 
1871, and the votes of the Junkers and 
those of their tenants in the rural dis- 
tricts counted for much more than the 
votes of the inhabitants of the rapidly 
growing towns. Consider the injustice 
if congressional or parliamentary dis- 
tricts in the United States or Canada 
had not been changed since 1871. The 
shifting of population in the German 
Empire had been almost as great. } 

Some of the conditions in Europe 
which made war possible have been 
given above, but no extended discus- 
sion can be given in the space which 
can be allowed. In the chapters on 
Austria, the Balkans, and Italy, some 
influences which affected those states 
will be given at greater length. To 
know all of them would require a care- 
ful study of the political, economic and 
social history of all Europe for cen- 
turies. Study of the nineteenth and the 
twentieth centuries does not really go 
to the roots of the question. 


CThe government of the German 
Empire was in no way democratic. 
The Bundesrat, the upper house of the 
federal legislature, was composed of 
personal representatives of the rulers 

Heligoland consists of two islets : the smaller Dunen Insel and Main Island. The latter is almost triangular in shape 
and is surrounded by steep red cliffs, surmounted by fortifications built at a cost of more than $175,000,000. Never- 
theless its mighty guns fired but once throughout the war at the British warship Shannon. 


This island played a negative part in the defense of the German coast, probably because allied experts agree that 
it would have been impossible to silence its batteries. The ground on which the barracks stand was reclaimed 
from the sea at a cost of $5,000,000 and everything in the defenses was worked by hydraulic power, and the water 
necessary for the purpose was drawn by huge pumps from fifty feet below sea-level. Picture from Henry Ruschin 



of the German states, whether called 
kings, princes, archdukes or dukes. 
The Kaiser appointed the members 
assigned to Alsace-Lorraine thereby 
strengthening the power of Prussia, 
which could veto any change in the 
fundamental law. Only in the three 
city republics of Bremen, Hamburg and 
Lubeck, each entitled to one member, 
was there even a suspicion of popular 

The lower house, the Reichstag, was 
elected by universal suffrage, but had 
little power. It became in fact a mere 
debating society, as practically all 
legislation originated in the Bundesrat, 
and the Imperial Chancellor, the execu- 
tive head of the government was re- 
sponsible only to the Emperor and his 
position was in no way affected by 
opposition in the Reichstag. As wais 
said above, the districts were by no 
means uniform. Conservative' rural 
districts had fewer voters than the 
more radical industrial cities. 

In local affairs there was some varia- 
tion. In a few of the petty states 
conditions were feudal. In others the 
people had some voice. In Prussia, 
however, which included nearly two- 
thirds of the area and population, the 
constitution gave to the King-Emperor 
and the aristocracy, either of birth or 
wealth, almost absolute power. ^ 


may summarize conditions in 
1914, as follows: All Europe was full 
of fragments of peoples or races which 
were attached to alien states. Most 
of these wished either independence 
or to be united to those of their own 
race and language. The democratic 
movement was strong, and only in 
Russia and Germany was autocracy 
still triumphant. We see Great Britain, 
with her flag in every part of the world, 
anxious to keep what she already had. 
We see the German Empire, increasing 
in population and wealth, eager to 
gain new lands to rule and new markets 
for her goods. Then there was Austria- 
Hungary with its discordant races, 
hoping to be preserved from extinction. 
In the Balkans there were restless 
states which desired to become greater. 


Italy was looking with longing eyes 
at the millions of Italians under 
foreign rule. France long the strongest 
power in Europe but now almost 
stationary in population, was seeing 
other nations surpass her in strength 
and one of them had wounded her 
sorely. Turkey uncertain as to the 
future was seeking a strong friend who 
would help preserve the remnants of 
her great empire. Belgium was also 
anxious only to be undisturbed. Final- 
ly there was Russia obeying the im- 
pulse to gather the scattered Slavs 
together as a great people. ") 


i Prussia first, and then the German 
Empire had set the example of com- 
pulsory military service for the greater' 
part of the male population " the nation 
in arms." All the other states men- 
tioned except Great Britain had fol- 
lowed suit and demanded that their 
young men spend from two to five 
years of their lives in barracks with- 
drawn from all productive industry. 
Great Britain alone had a small army 
in proportion to her population, but 
her fleet surpassed all others in power. 
Englishmen relied upon their insular 
position and felt that a large army was 
not needed. 

In addition to the indirect costs men- 
tioned above, the direct cost of all this 
preparation for war was enormous. In 
the budgets of all the states the items 
for military and naval expenditures 
were always the largest. While the 
saying that every European peasant 
carried a soldier on his back is per- 
haps an exaggeration, it is nevertheless 
true that all Europe was staggering 
under its military burden, a burden 
which seemed to grow greater. 

Such was Europe in 1914, full of 
conflicting, contradictory ambitions, 
full of suspicion and jealousy, full of 
past wrongs, present threats and future 
dangers. A misguided youth, perhaps 
not quite sane, thinking to serve his 
fatherland, slew the man who was to 
rule over some millions pf his fellow 
countrymen, thereby changing not 
only the whole map of Europe, but 
the whole face of the world. \ 


m r 

The Palace of Schoenbrunn in Vienna 


The Tottering Empire of Austria-Hungary 



AS the year 1916 approached its end 
*^ under dark clouds of war and de- 
pression, a scene of strange, almost bar- 
baric, splendor was enacted upon the 
banks of the Danube. At Budapest, 
on December 3Oth, Karl I of Austria was 
crowned Karl IV, "traditional king 
and constitutional ruler of all Hungar- 
ian lands." Surrounded by a brilliant 
assemblage in purple and green, crim- 
son and saffron and ultramarine, vel- 
vets, furs, jewels of great value, gold 
and silver and shimmering tissue, the 
young man but recently considered 
distressingly democratic in his sympa- 
thies stood up in the gold-brocaded 
coat of St, Stephen and, drawing the 
ancient iron sword of St. Stephen which 
had just been girded upon him, smote 
the air with it to all four points of the 
compass. Thus he signified "his inten- 
tion to defend Hungary against all 
enemies. " Next, his head was crowned 
with the battered old crown which 
Pope Sylvester II had bestowed upon 
Stephen, King of the Magyars, in 1001. 





Hungarian magnates and magni- 
ficoes in traditional gala attire, oddly 
picturesque, raised their "eljen" cheer. 
Here and there a simple field-gray uni- 
form accentuated the impression of a 
gorgeous masquerade the twentieth 
century masquerading as the fifteenth. 

To a war correspondent looking upon 
that spectacle, it had the effect of a 
moving picture "the most superb 
film" he had seen. In his ears the 
salvos of guns, the pealing organ-chords, 
the noise of brass and kettle-drums, 
could not drown the booming of war 
cannon and the rattle of shrapnel, not 
many hundred miles away, east, west, 
and southwest. 

A few weeks earlier, on November 
2 1st, the death of the veteran monarch, 
Franz Josef, had left young Karl (or 
Charles) Emperor of Austria, heir to 
all the glories and responsibilities of 
the House of Hapsburg. For the mur- 
der at Sarajevo, of his uncle, Franz 
Ferdinand, had made him next in line 
of succession to his famous old great- 
uncle. At his coronation in Vienna 
the eleven-hundred-year-old crown of 
Charlemagne figured, though it might 
no longer be placed upon the roval 
head, since Napoleon Bonaparte, the 
little Corsican soldier, in 1806, had 
divorced the Hapsburgs from the Holy 
Roman Empire and made an end of 
that ancient traditional institution. 
From that time, the title and the crown 
of Charlemagne ceased to be worn, but 
glorious tradition still clung about the 
name of Hapsburg. Visions of almost 
unparalleled dominion and power could 
be summoned by the sound. Had not 
Charles V and Ferdinand divided be- 



tween them almost all of Europe, with 
priceless colonies beyond the sea to 
boot? Four centuries have passed since 
then. The dynasty crowns another 
Charles, Emperor of Austria and 
King of Hungary. 


The Austrian Empire has been char- 
acterized as consisting of "a dynasty 
and a diplomacy. " Of the diplomacy 
the two greatest exponents had been 
Metternich, the Chancellor, and Franz 
Josef, the Emperor. The former was so 
dominating a figure in European pol- 
itics almost throughout the first half of 
the nineteenth century that his period 
is known as the "era of Metternich." 
When emperors and kings and princes 
and statesmen met at the Congress of 
Vienna, in 1815, to make over the map 
of Europe, the adroit and charming 
diplomat exerted a strong personal in- 
fluence over the distinguished circle, 
while politically he achieved several 
victories. Austria, quickly recovering 
from the blows of the Napoleonic up- 
heaval, emerged with restored dignity 
and no mean territorial control. Italy 
was simply a "geographical expression," 
wholly at the disposal of Austrian pol- 
icy. Germany was a loose confedera- 
tion of states, in which Austria held 
the foremost position. 

In a world surging with discontent 
and political agitation, Metternich felt 
himself to be the one sure rock and sup- 
port for European society in general 
and for the House of Hapsburg in par- 
ticular. To restore everything as nearly 
as possible to its old order and maintain 
that order became his object. "The 
Revolution," in all its phases, must be 
suppressed, since democracy was but a 
door to anarchy. Germany, Naples, 
Piedmont, Spain, full of impulses to- 
ward nationalism and liberty, one after 
another felt the compelling pressure of 
Metternich's "system." But in the 
Empire itself were forces growing bold 
and strong in their reach for freedom. 
Hungary, with characteristic impetu- 
osity, flung itself against the bars of 
autocracy. On the high wave of revolu- 
tion that swept Europe in 1848, Met- 
ternich was carried from his seat. 



The revolutionary wave bore off 
Metternich; the wave of reaction that 
followed brought in Franz Josef. On 
the verge of disruption, the Austrian 
Empire was saved from ruin by the 
very diversity and incompatibility of 
the elements that composed it. In 
Bohemia, Germans and Czechs, who 
had fought side by side against Austria, 
failed to agree how to use independence 
once it were gained. In Hungary, Mag- 
yars and Slavs were even more antag- 
onistic. The Magyars showed a ten- 
dency to be as masterful as the rulers 
from whom they were breaking away. 
They demanded supremacy for their 
race and their language in the pro- 
posed new state. The Croatians re- 
fused to comply. Therefore, the success 
of the rebellious races was short-lived. 
Austrian armies subdued the efforts 
for liberty in Italy and Bohemia, and, 
when reinforced from Russia, even the 
brilliant dash of the Hungarians under 
Kossuth's leadership. 

In order that the Austrian govern- 
ment might start anew, untrammeled 
by any concessions granted in a mo- 
ment of necessity, the Emperor Ferdi- 
nand had abdicated in December 1848, 
in favor of his nephew, young Franz 
Josef, who then began the longest per- 
sonal reign in European history. For 
almost sixty-eight years he held the 
actual control of affairs, while of the 
seventy-two years granted to Louis 
XIV of France, sixteen must be counted 
out as belonging to his irresponsible 


By a clever policy of adjustment and 
temporizing, supported by a serviceable 
army, Metternich had held together a 
state inherently weak, filled with 
forces that make for disintegration. 
Franz Josef, temporizing when neces- 
sary, firm when possible, carried that 
difficult state through another half- 
century and more. He relied partly 
upon the prestige of his dynastic name, 
and upon the power of the scepter, 
"wherein doth sit the dread and fear of 
kings." Personal devotion to him as 


the hereditary ruler of the land probably 
played a large part in preventing the 
fall of the empire in a time when politi- 
cal independence and race-conscious- 
ness were astir on every side. 

Coming to the throne at the age of 
eighteen, in a period of revolutionary 
danger, he had reason to distrust lib- 
eral or progressive movements, al- 
though later he found it wise to offer 

unifying motive of his decisions and 
acts was dynastic purpose and am- 


Some of the inconsistencies of Franz 
Josef's policies can be accounted for by 
considering the shifting phases of his- 
tory during his long reign. In 1851, 
Austria was in a position to hold in 


Of the races in the Empire of Austria-Hungary, those in the northern strip, known as Czecho-Slovaks, Poles and 
Ruthenians, lived in Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia and Galicia. In the south, the Jugo-Slav countries were Carniola, 
Croatia-Slavpnia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Dalmatia. In Austria and Hungary, between the two Slavic regions, 
lived the ruling races Germans and Magyars. In Transylvania were Rumanians, of Latin descent; and in some 
Adriatic and Alpine regions were Italians. 

constitutions and parliaments to his 
peoples. He early took into his own 
hands control of state matters and al- 
ways administered them with strict 
attention to detail and great diligence. 
His knowledge of affairs was extensive; 
his perceptions were quick and clear. 
In European councils his influence was 
moderate and pacific, unless he saw 
something to be gained by a different 
attitude. He was clever, shrewd, and 
practical, and on the whole good- 
natured, if somewhat cynical. The 

check her own subdued races and to 
rebuke Prussia's ambitious step to- 
ward supremacy in the German Con- 
federation. Instead of being excluded 
from the union, Austria inflicted upon 
her presumptuous rival the "humilia- 
tion of Olmutz. " But by 1861, when 
Napoleon III had helped Piedmont to 
take Lombardy from Austria and the 
Hungarians had again shown signs of 
rebellion, the Emperor tried new meth- 
ods to strengthen his hold. His plan 
for a single Constitution and a single 




Franz Josef, the aged Emperor of Austria, after a 
life of tragedy and a reign of great historic signifi- 
cance, died on November 21, 1916, in the midst of 
the World War. 

Parliament to represent the whole Em- 
pire met with little enthusiasm in Hun- 
gary, where Francis Deak, a wise and 
moderate statesman, was taking the 

Hungary's attitude was this: Noth- 
ing short of the recognition of her his- 
toric rights as a separate and individ- 
ual kingdom would be acceptable. No 
constitution granted by the Emperor of 
Austria was desired. Her own consti- 
tution, suspended since 1848, was the 
only constitution to be considered. 
Hungary always had been a separate 
state whose union with Austria was 
simply personal, through the monarch. 

For several years no agreement 
could be reached. Then came Bis- 
marck's sudden blow, the Seven Weeks' 
War of 1866, and the Peace of Prague. 
Austria found herself bereft of Venetia 
and shut out of the German Confedera- 


tion. Franz Josef began to realize that 
Hapsburg policy would better "seek 
its centre of gravity in its own realms. " 
As a result, then, of political stress, 
when the Empire was in danger from 
outside pressure, a compromise was 
contrived, without due deliberation, 
for the sake of reconciling the elements 
at home. This was the Ausgleich of 
1867, which gave Europe an unprece- 
dented kind of state, the Dual Mon- 
archy, Austria-Hungary. 


The plan arranged for two states, 
distinct and equal before the law, with 
separate Parliaments, Ministries, and 
Internal Administrations. Each had 
its own capital Vienna for Austria, 
and Budapest for Hungary. The tiesr 
of union were two-fold, the monarch 
and a joint ministry. The Emperor of 
Austria was by dynastic right the King 
of Hungary. The joint ministry, which 
was apart from the individual minis- 
tries and in addition to them, consisted 
of three departments, War, Finance, 
and Foreign Affairs. It was responsible 
to neither the Austrian nor the Hungar- 
ian Parliament, but to the Delegations, 
made up of sixty members from each 
Parliament. The Delegations were in 
the nature of committees. They met 
simultaneously, alternating their ses- 
sions between Vienna and Budapest. 
Their meetings were separate, and all 
communications between the two bod- 
ies were in writing, except in case of 
disagreement. At such times they met 
together to vote, but without discus- 
sion. The most unsatisfactory part of 
the Dual System was that providing 
for the control of tariff and currency. 
These matters were regulated by ar- 
rangements drawn up between the two 
Parliaments every ten years. There 
came a time when the relations between 
the sister states were so strained that 
the terms could be renewed only for a 
year at a time and then only by an ar- 
bitrary act of the Emperor. 

Franz Josef was crowned at Budapest 
with the iron crown of St. Stephen, and 
for better or for worse trie Hapsburgs 
had recognized the individuality of the 
Magyars in Hungary. For it was only 


the dominating race of the 
country that was satisfied 
with the new arrangement. 
In the Hungarian territories 
the Slavs and Rumanians, far 
outnumbering the Magyar 
population, but politically 
inferior, gained little or noth- 
ing by the Ausgleich. Of 
them we shall see more. 


In the Austrian side of the 
Monarchy a variety of nation- 
alities was represented. En- 
couraged by the success of 
Hungary, they began to press 
claims for recognition. Fore- 
most of all, the Czechs of 
Bohemia asserted their right 
to restore an old and inde- 
pendent kingdom, demanding 
that Franz Josef should be 
crowned at Prague with the 
crown of King Wenceslaus. 
Of the two leading elements 
in Bohemia, the German and 
the Czech, the former held 
supremacy in the state. This 
German faction at once pro- 
tested against any increase of 
power for the Czechs. The 
Magyars added their voice to the pro- 
test, fearing that the Slavs of Hungary 
would become importunate if their Slav 
brothers in Bohemia gained equality 
with German and Magyar. Therefore, 
the Emperor was forced to withdraw 
his promise already given to Bohemia, 
and the Dual Monarchy remained un- 
changed. The Slavs continued under 
the oppressive mastery of German and 

It must be borne in mind that when 
one of the Emperors, in making a proc- 
lamation, used the words, "my peo- 
ples" or "my countries," the term in- 
cluded not cfnly the two domains Aus- 
tria and Hungary, but the great masses 
of diverse races and tongues that com- 
posed those states. Somewhere I have 
read that Franz Josef could converse in 
at least seventeen different languages 
or dialects spoken by his various sub- 
jects. In order to understand the his- 


The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew of Franz Josef, was not in 
favor with either German diplomats in Austria or Magyar rulers in 
Hungary. His plan for the Empire was a triple, instead of a dual, 
arrangement giving Slavs equality with Magyars. 

tory of the Dual Monarchy and its fate 
we must consider carefully the distribu- 
tion of its strangely consorted elements. 
The Austrian Empire was never a na- 
tion but rather a group of nationalities 
with conflicting traditions and aims, 
all held together by a single bond, that 
of government. 


In a large way, the peoples are massed 
in geographic areas whose positions can 
be stated quite definitely, although it 
must not be forgotten that there are 
often large numbers of the other races 
sprinkled through the population, be- 
sides islands, or enclaves, of some par- 
ticular race, dotted here and there over 
a region mainly inhabited by a differ- 
ent people. German settlements of this 
kind are scattered over the whole Em- 
pire, among Magyars, Slavs and Ru- 



Austria proper, home of the South 
Germans who were the ruling class of 
the country, held the westernmost posi- 
tion. It included Tyrol among the 
Austrian Alps, where it touched Italy, 
Switzerland, Wurtemburg and Bavaria, 
and extended east to the junction of the 
March with the Danube near Press- 
burg. On the north it adjoined Bohe- 
mia and Moravia, the lands of the 
Czechs, and on the south, Carniola, in- 
habited by Slovenes. 

East of Pressburg, and occupying 
the central valleys of the Danube and 
the Theiss, is situated Hungary proper, 
whose Magyar people long dominated 
all the neighboring regions. The Drave 
and the Danube form the southern 
boundary, beyond which lie Croatia 
and Slavonia, of the southern Slav 
group. Less than a hundred miles east 
of the Theiss, the old borders of Hun- 
gary met those of Transylvania, with 
its Rumanian population, later incor- 
porated into Hungary proper. This, 
with Bukovina lying northeast, reached 
the eastern limit of the Empire, except 
for an extreme outpost of Hungarians, 
called Szeklers, descendants of a colony 
established in very early times to guard 
the eastern frontier. 


North of Hungary, from Pressburg 
east to the headwaters of the Theiss, is 
the country of the Slovaks. Austria 
and Moravia are its western neighbors, 
while on the north and northeast it 
meets Galicia, whose Polish and Ruthe- 
nian occupants share the tongues and 
customs of their home countries, Poland 
and Russia. Eastern Galicia covers the 
upper valley of the Dniester. Western 
Galicia has for its northern boundary 
the Vistula and includes the cities of 
Cracow and Tarnov. 

There remain to be mentioned sev- 
eral small sections on the outskirts. 
Austrian Silesia, mostly German, fits 
between Bohemia and Galicia, north 
of Moravia. In the extreme south, 
Bosnia, Herzegovina and Dalmatia, 
Slavic in race, lay between Serbia and 
the Adriatic. And Istria, Gradisca and 
the Trentino, were long known as the 
"unredeemed" regions of Italy. 


If we divide these peoples according 
to nationality, we find that there are 
two groups of Slavs, one in the North 
and one in the South, separated by a 
broad belt of non-Slavic races. Inas- 
much as the central region contains 
the Germans and the Magyars, we 
shall turn our attention first to that. 
From west to east the order is: Ger- 
mans of Austria, Magyars of Hungary, 
and Rumanians of Transylvania. 


The Germans whose center is at 
Vienna are in many ways different from 
their northern brothers around Berlin. 
With less providence and efficiency, 
more ease and charm of manner, they 
are more likely to make good diplomats 
and pleasant companions than great 
leaders of thought or successful busi- 
ness men. In the thirteenth century, 
the Hapsburgs began to turn their at- 
tention from their "Hawk's Castle" 
near the Rhine to their new duchy of 
Austria beside the Danube. From gen- 
eration to generation, by marriage, in- 
heritance, and conquest their domin- 
ions increased, until they held sway 
over an agglomeration of folks of varied 
blood, language and religion. In order 
the better to bind their lands together, 
they established here and there centers 
of German influence, which were also 
strongholds against foreign invasion. 

A part of Hungary was added to the 
realm of the Hapsburgs in the sixteenth 
century when it was claimed, through 
marriage, by the Archduke Ferdinand. 
He was a brother of the great Charles 
V, the head of the Holy Roman Em- 
pire. The Magyars had just suffered 
their greatest national calamity in the 
disastrous battle of Mohacs, where the 
Turks had defeated them with shock- 
ing slaughter. Although that happened 
in 1526, the Hungarians still commemo- 
rate it in a mournful ballad, with the 
refrain : 

"Well, no matter! More was lost 
at Mohacs Field." 


A hope of presenting stronger resis- 
tance to the Turkish invaders led the 
Magyars to offer their crown of St. 


Stephen to Ferdinand. He, on his part, 
promised to preserve their "nation and 
language." The centuries since have 
not weakened the conviction that lan- 
guage and nationality must stand or fall 
together. During the nineteenth cen- 
tury it appeared in the attitude of the 
Magyar masters of Hungary, seeking to 
impose their speech upon all their sub- 
jects, Slav and Rumanian, and holding 
out against Franz Josef because he re- 
fused to allow the Magyar tongue to be 
substituted for German in the Hungar- 
ian branch of the Imperial Army. 

The Magyars are not a Caucasian 
people, but on the other hand, are akin 
to the Turks. Coming from Asia in the 
ninth century, they made a wild sweep 
across central Europe, then settled 
down in the rich valleys of the Danube 
and the Theiss. Their conversion to 
Christianity and the adoption of West- 
ern civilization differentiated them from 
the Turks, who later sought to absorb 
them. But their fiery energy and some- 
what exotic wildness still perpetuate 
their oriental origin. To Metternich is 
attributed the saying, "Asia begins on 
the Landstrasse" (the eastern suburb 
of Vienna). Their individuality is dis- 
tinct. They have never been entirely 
Europeanized, nor have they been at all 
assimilated by the Germans. 


The Hungarian territories, beside 
Hungary proper with which Transyl- 
vania has been joined, include Croatia 
and Slavonia. Hardly half of the popu- 
lation of the kingdom are Magyars. As 
the Magyar nobility have been the 
landowners, wealth and power have lain 
in the hands of the few a condition 
similar to that of France before the 
Revolution. Anarchy is the most nat- 
ural result of such a situation. 

The principal force holding Hungary 
to Austria has been a dread lest the 
Slavs should become strong enough to 
assert their independence. Again and 
again the Imperial government held 
out false promises to the Slavs of the 
South, for the purpose of checking in- 
subordination on the part of Hungary. 
In the revolutionary uprisings of 1848 


Karl Franz Josef came to the throne "in a stormy 
time." With his brief reign the sceptre of the Haps- 
burgs ceased to hang "like the sword of Damocles 
over the peace of the world." 

the Magyars under Louis Kossuth made 
a determined struggle for independence. 
Even the compromise of 1867, with all 
its concessions, has never satisfied the 
nationalistic ambitions of many. But, 
eager as they have been for the recogni- 
tion of their own rights, they have in 
their turn refused to acknowledge the 
claims of their subjects. The Law of 
1868, whose author was Francis Deak, 
indeed guaranteed the "equal rights of 
nationalities," but with the passing of 
Deak's influence, the law became a 
dead letter, retained only for the sake 
of answering critics or blinding the eyes 
of those who showed signs of investi- 
gating. Entire Magyarization of all 
Hungarian domains became the policy 
of the governing circles. 


Attempts to reform the franchise 
so as to give the large non-Magyar pop- 
ulation fair representation met with de- 
termined opposition in Budapest. When 
Franz Josef offered to yield to the de- 


mand for the use of the Magyar speech 
in the Hungarian army, on condition 
that universal suffrage were adopted in 
Hungary, he felt safe. Both measures 
were put aside. At last, in 1908, man- 
hood suffrage was granted, but quali- 
fied by educational and other conditions 
that practically shut out most of the 
Slav and Rumanian subjects. With 
difficulty, it is true, yet not without suc- 
cess, the Hungarians preserved the in- 
tegrity of their kingdom up to the year 
of reckoning, 1914. Steering between 
too great compliance to the Hapsburgs 
at Vienna and embarrassing conces- 
sions to their subject races, they 
thought it possible to hold to their 
course; but beyond Vienna lay Berlin. 
Hohenzollern schemes were a web 
woven to entangle Hapsburg and Mag- 
yar alike. 


In Transylvania, a high mountain 
plateau of the eastern Carpathians, 
with a steep approach on the border, 
Hungary possessed a frontier that was 
a natural fortress. In addition, the 
land is rich in agricultural and mineral 
resources. Grains, fruits and forest- 
trees flourish there; the richest gold 
mines in Europe are found among its 
mountains. The great majority of the 
inhabitants are Rumanians: a part 
of the remnant of old Dacia, the Roman 
colony founded by Trajan early in the 
second century. In spite of the surging 
of many waves of nationality across the 
plateau, the people have preserved the 
Latin flavor in their speech and cus- 
toms. Language and tradition bind them 
to Rumania, their neighbor on the south. 
Race pride is strong among them. 

Superiority in numbers did not make 
for power in Transylvania. Control of 
the land and of the government was in 
the hands of the Magyar minority. 
The Rumanians were chiefly peasants, 
tillers of the soil and herders. Even the 
forest lands that belonged to them the 
Magyars sought to take away. The 
land is not thickly peopled. Most of 
the settlements are in the river valleys. 
The cities contain the greater part of 
the non-Rumanian inhabitants, Mag- 
yars and Germans. Whatever indus- 


tries there are have been developed 
chiefly by the Germans, who are the 
artisans, manufacturers, and merchants. 


The large enclave of Hungarian 
Szeklers ("frontier guardsmen"), at 
the southeastern point of Transylvania, 
has been mentioned before. It was an 
outpost against the Turks, established 
in the twelfth or thirteenth century. 
There alone are found Magyars who 
work on the land. Along its western 
edge lie clustered settlements of Ger- 
mans known as "Saxons, " a relic of the 
German advance guard sent forward to 
keep off the Turkish incursion in the 
Middle Ages. They are valuable indus- 
trially and have been allowed consider- 
able political latitude. 

Even in religion there is no bond of 
unity for the several elements in 
Transylvania. The Magyars and Ger- 
mans are either Roman Catholic or 
Protestant Christians, while the Ru- 
manians learned their Christianity 
from the Orthodox Church of the East, 
to which they nearly all belong. Tran- 
sylvania became fully incorporated 
with Hungary in 1868, but because of 
unfair and discriminating treatment 
by their rulers, the native people did 
not cease to hope for ultimate union 
with Rumania. They believe their 
proverb, "The Rumanian never dies." 


Bukovina, a small province fitted 
in between Transylvania and Galicia, 
just south of the Dneister River and 
west of Rumania, was added to the 
Hapsburg crown in the latter part of 
the eighteenth century. The popula- 
tion, once principally Rumanian and 
Ruthenian, now represents almost 
every race in the Empire. Many set- 
tled in the province as colonists after it 
became an Austrian possession, espe- 
cially Germans from the West and Mag- 
yars from Transylvania. The Ruma- 
nian inhabitants, like those of Tran- 
sylvania, are peasants, but of a more 
prosperous class. In the little area 
there is a broad diversity of religions, 
with Orthodox Greek Christians and 
Jews in the lead. 



me last reserve^Hs" inlo^hTch & a ma^alled^t^t^.^ Same *' r e l?i? th at of German y- The Landsturm was 
Ersatz Reserve. These men are moving thmnal = r. y "I! "Sl'SKJ^S? ""SS 11 ^^' **? Landwehr . 

Pictures, Henry Ruschin. 



Bukovina is like a vestibule connect- 
ing the central non-Slavic region with 
the chain of Slavic states stretching 
across the northern part of Austria- 
Hungary. Of these, Galicia is farthest 
east and has a more detached character 
than the others. It was a part of Po- 
land, Austria's share in the partitions 
of that unhappy country made in 1772 
and 1795. "Galicia" is the name given 
it at that time. The Polish population, 
not quite half of the entire count, live 
chiefly in the western part, although 
there is another Polish area around the 
city of Lemberg. In Eastern Galicia, 
the Ruthenians are almost as numerous 
as the Poles in the West. They are 
Ukrainians, or Little Russians. Few of 
them live in the towns. They are peas- 
ants, toiling in the fields for the most 
part. Those who do seek the cities 
find their places as factory workers. 


The third important element in Gal- 
icia is the Jewish, mak ng up about 
thirteen per cent of the population. 
Encouraged by Austrian statesmen, in 
order to keep Slavic aspirations under 
control, the Jews have secured many 
large domains in the land and exert 
considerable influence in the cities. 
There are, too, numbers of poor, uned- 
ucated Jews living there. As elsewhere, 
Germans manage many of the indus- 

The Poles in Austria have had great- 
er prosperity than their kinsmen in 
either Russia or Prussia. They own 
large estates in Galicia, and have been 
granted unusual political advantages. 
The Diet for local government was 
made up of Poles and Ruthenians, who 
used each his ow r n language; but the 
Poles, superior in culture and political 
ability, held the predominance. In- 
deed, the Ruthenians have suffered 
much from exploitation by both Poles 
and Jews. 

The policy of the Hapsburg rulers 
has played with the interests of these 
peoples as seemed expedient. Under 
the Taaffe Ministry, in the later years 
of the nineteenth century, the Poles 
and other Slavs were given preferment 
for the sake of checking a refractory 


German faction in the government. 
And very recently the Ruthenians have- 
been given unprecedented encourage- 
ment in their efforts for a nationalistic- 
revival and the establishment of a uni- 
versity, in order that they may be di- 
verted from giving too much attention 
to Russian propaganda ApparemK 
religious and educational, the move 
ment had distinctly political signif- 
icance. Should the Ukrainians consider 
their language and race Russian or 
count themselves a separate Slav en- 
tity? The Austrians declared for the 
latter point of view. 


Bohemia, Moravia, and the Western 
Carpathian home of the Slovaks may be 
looked upon as a connected Czecho- 
slovak area. L : ke a bold headland or 
promontory Bohemia's mountain- 
rimmed plateau is thrust out into 
the surrounding sea of German states. 
Saxony, Bavaria, Austria are her neigh- 
bors; and, nearer yet, a ring of German 
population occupies her own mountain 
wall. Far back in history, Bohemian 
kings invited German colonization. 
The consequence has been a long, 
steady struggle between Teuton and 
Slav. Sometimes it has taken the form 
of religious controversy and persecu- 
tion, as in the Hussite movement. 
Sometimes it has found expression in 
great literary activity, and in this re- 
spect the Bohemians have an advantage 
over other Slavs. They began early to 
preserve their language in literature. 
Always language has played a promi- 
nent part in their fight for nationality. 
"As long as the language lives, the 
nation is not dead," they say. 

They would not accept Christianity 
presented by German missionaries in 
the German tongue, but appealed to 
Byzantium for teachers whcm they 
could understand. Forthwith, they 
were sent priests provided with a Slavic 
translation of the Bible and became 
communicants of the Eastern Orthodox 
Church. Later, they were Roman Cath- 
olics, using Latin in their services. 
Again, after the Protestant Reforma- 
tion, their own speech was the language 
they chose for religious expression. 


In Bukovina, many of the inhabitants are nearly related in speech, appearance and customs to their neighbors on 
the east, the Ukrainians (or Little Russians). These peasant women.'in their heavyjskin coats, great boots, and 
clumsy head wrappings, show the same emotions upon bidding farewell as many of their sisters in other lands. 


This is a picture of a typical Ruthenian peasant's house in Galicia, scene of much fighting between Russians and 
Germans in the war. The population of Galicia is 47% Ruthenians and 53% Poles who replaced the original 
Germanic population at the time of the great migration of nations. The land is mainly agricultural and pastoral, 
but unequally distributed among the population. Pictures, Henry Ruschin 



The greatest catastrophe of the Bo- 
hemians was their severe defeat in 1620 
at the battle of Bila Hora (White 
Mountain), after which their kingdom 
was lost in the Hapsburg dominions. 
They had passed under Hapsburg rule 
in 1526, at the same time that Hungary 
was claimed, but the earlier kings of the 
house allowed them much freedom. In 
the rigid reaction that followed, Ger- 
man became the language of govern- 
ment and culture. The best of the 
Bohemian nobility were dead. Their 
lands and the lands of other Slavs 
passed under German ownership. Then 
it was the turn of the sturdy peasants 
to keep alive the Bohemian speech. 
The trust was accepted. 


For the origin of the word Czech, 
we have to look back to the invasion of 
Europe in the sixth century by the 
Slavs. Czech was the name they gave 
to Bohemia. Of the present popula- 
tion at least two-thirds are Czechs, 
and three-fifths of the land is owned by 
them. In Moravia, which occupies the 
plateau adjoining Bohemia on the 
southeast, the proportion is even great- 
er. The people of the two countries are 
so closely affiliated that they are all 
known as Czechs, although there are 
some variations of dialect, dress and 
customs to be distinguished among 

In the nineteenth century a vigorous 
literary and nationalistic reawakening 
began. Bohemia was active in the up- 
risings of 1848, only to be suppressed, 
like her fellow-rebels, by the still- 
dominant Germans. Although disap- 
pointed, through German' and Magyar 
opposition, in their hopes of recogni- 
tion by Franz Josef in 1868, the Czechs 
did not allow the matter to drop. Later 
in the century, to offset German pre- 
sumption at Vienna, the Taaffe Minis- 
try favored them to the extent o!: giving 
them better electoral laws and granting 
them a separate university. This was 
obtained by dividing the old University 
of Prague into two institutions, one 
German and one Czech. In 1906 a fur- 
ther step was gained by the adoption 
of manhood suffrage. 



In industrial and economic develop- 
ment, as well as political influence, the 
Czechs have been going forward. Bo- 
hemia is well endowed by nature to 
bring about industrial prosperity. Hops, 
sugar-beets, cereals, flax and fruit 
are some of the most abundant crops. 
A thrifty peasant class has developed 
agriculture to a high degree. With coal, 
iron and many other useful minerals 
supplied in the mountains, and water- 
power provided by the streams, manu- 
facturing has been made easy and 
profitable. It is not surprising that 
Bohemia arrived at the first place in- 
dustrially among her fellows of the 
Dual Monarchy. 

The Slovaks, living in the mountaia- 
ous country between Hungary, Mora- 
via and Galicia, have not kept pace 
with their kin-folk, the Czechs. A ter 
they had been taken into the kingdom 
of Hungary, in the ninth century, they 
became separated politically from Bo- 
hemia. Race ties were renewed in the 
fifteenth century by the eager response 
of the Slovaks to the teachings of John 
Huss and their reception of the Bohe- 
mian translation of the Bible. The 
Catholic clergy sought to counteract 
this influence by urging a literary de- 
velopment of the Slovak language. 
Affiliation with Bohemians was in- 
creased when refugees fled into the 
Slovak region after the battle of White 

But it is only within recent years 
that the Slovaks have been aroused to 
any particular feeling of nationality. 
The process of Magyarization, pushed 
too far by Hungary, changing familiar 
ancient names of places and otherwise 
seeking to blot out all speech not Mag- 
yar, finally shook even them from their 
lethargy. There are Polish, Magyar 
and German settlements among the 
Slovaks, and many Slovaks live in 
Hungary, where their ancestors had 
their homes before the coming of the. 


A recent writer says, "Every Haps- 
burg firmly believes in a special 'mis- 


sion' of his own." It is believed that 
the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, had 
he lived to become Emper.or, would 
have felt it to be his mission to replace 
the Dual System by a new arrange- 
ment, "Trialism," giving to the Slavs 
of the Empire a. position equal to that 
of the other nationalities. By that 
plan Hungary, with Croatia-Slavonia 
cut away from her, would have been 
united with a Galicia raised to a status 
equal with her own. The Slavs in 
Croatia-Slavonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, 
Dalmatia, Carniola and Istria were 
then to be consolidated in a new king- 
dom of Jugo-Slavs (South Slavs), 
which would have been the third mem- 
ber of the triple unit. Some supposed 
that Bohemia and Moravia might be- 
come a fourth part. 

It can be seen how hateful in the eyes 
of the Magyars such a plan must be. 
They knew that the Heir Apparent 
scorned them and would show them no 
favor. In return, at Budapest, as well 
as in the Court circles at Vienna, he 
was disliked and distrusted. Slavic 
union was a plan entirely out of 
keeping with the policies of the existing 
governments. " Pan-Slavism " haunted 
them like a specter, for behind all other 
Slavs they saw looming the form of 


In order to keep clearly in mind just 
what is implied in the name, Slav, it is 
well to recall the divisions of the race in 
Europe. The northern branch, we have 
seen, includes Russians, Poles, and 
Czecho-Slovaks. In the southern divi- 
sion, the Jugo-Slavs, are the Bulgars, 
the Serbs, the Croats, and the Slovenes, 
although the Bulgars in the course of 
their history have become alienated 
from the others in their interests and 

It is hardly possible to separate the 
story of the Jugo-Slavs of Austria- 
Hungary from that of their brothers in 
the Balkan Peninsula beyond. They 
came into Southern Europe in groups 
of the same race, in the fifth, sixth and 
seventh centuries. Geographical con- 
ditions and other influences gradually 
/worked to modify their natural char- 

acteristics until differences among them 
in their different localities could be 

Foremost in the westward move- 
ment, those that we know as Slovenes 
(a term which originally included them 
all) came to a stop in the foreland of the 
Alps, on the northeastern shore of the 
Adriatic Sea. Surrounded by Germans, 
they were greatly influenced by them 
and were soon incorporated into Aus- 
tria. Friction between Teuton and 
Slav has been less noticeable in their 
area than in any other. They live in 
the provinces of Carinthia, Styria, 
Carniola and Istria. Most important 
of all, they had the sea-port, Trieste. 


Southeast of the Slovenes, in Croatia- 
Slavonia, the settlers eventually be- 
came known as Croats and Serbs, al- 
though the separate names were not 
used before the ninth century. The 
distinction came about chiefly be- 
cause the eastern section was led natur- 
ally toward Byzantine and the western 
toward Roman influences. When the 
division in the Christian Church oc- 
curred, the Slavic converts were divided 
in their allegiance; the Croats became 
Roman Catholics; the Serbs, Greek 
Orthodox believers. In the course of 
years this made a difference in their al- 
phabets and the written forms of their 
languages, although in sound the re- 
semblance is so strong as to indicate 
the common origin. Since religion and 
politics often went hand in hand, the 
diversity of beliefs affected the choice 
in other matters. 

By 1102 all the inhabitants of Croa- 
tia-Slavonia were a part of the Magyar 
kingdom of Hungary, which had thus 
spread to the south side of the River 
Drave. The main body of the Serbs in 
the Balkans developed a prosperous 
kingdom which reached its height under 
Stephen Dushan. Even Constanti- 
nople was almost in their grasp. But, 
like the Magyars at Mohacs and the 
Czechs at Bila Hora, the Serbs met a 
crushing disaster when the Turks over- 
whelmed them, in 1389, at Kosovo 
Field (Field of Blackbirds). Never has 
the mark of that b'ow been erased. 



Their ballads tell the sad tale still. In 
this battle and those that followed, the 
nobility of the Serbs were destroyed. 
They were beaten down to a "level of 


In the years of terror after Kosovo, 
many Serbs fled into Austria and Hun- 
gary to take refuge with their kinsmen 
there. Well did these Slavs serve the 
Hapsburgs in battling against the 
Turks. Originally peaceful by nature, 
they were forced to assume the part of 
fighters. Rewards and privileges were 
freely promised by their masters, then 
as freely withdrawn or forgotten when 
danger was past. A kind of autonomy 
was granted to Croatia, under a " Ban" 
of its own; but this independence prac- 
tically amounted to nothing. Fiume, 
its Adriatic port, was governed under a 
separate arrangement with the Crown. 
As this city is the industrial center for 
the whole region, the Croats vigorously 
resisted tendencies to Italianize it 
during the nineteenth century. 

The nineteenth century, overturning 
the whole European situation, brought 
many shifts in the South. Napoleon 
set up the first Jugo-Slav state of mod- 
ern times, when he formed Illyria by 
massing together the Slovenes, Croats 
and Serbs of Austria-Hungary under 
one government. In spite of its brief 
existence, this state had called to life a 
feeling of separateness that grew under 
Metternich's regime of reaction and 
centralization and the efforts of Mag- 
yarization put forth by Hungary. As 
Montenegro and Serbia emerged from 
Turkish rule, the Slavs formed a center 
around which new hopes clustered. A 
"greater Serbia" seemed possible one 
that would gather in all the Slavs of the 


Meanwhile, the Hapsburgs had been 
looking after their own interests. By 
the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Dal- 

matia, the eastern coast of the Adriatic, 
was added to the Empire. The Con- 
gress of Berlin, in 1878, gave Bosnia 
and Herzegovina, Dalmatia's eastern 
neighbors, over for occupation and ad- 
ministration. Bosnia, pushed into Mo- 
hammedanism by the Turkish con- 
quest, had previously been a bar to 
Serbian union. Now it became a gate- 
way for Austrian aggression in the 
Balkans. Close upon the decree of Ber- 
lin followed rapid German immigration 
into Bosnia and Herzegovina with con- 
sequent results in industrial improve- 
ment. Natural facilities for agricul- 
ture, stock-raising, mining and manu- 
facture were supplemented by German 
efficiency. There was a possibility of 
creating a Jugo-Slavia inside the Em- 
pire, if Serbia and Montenegro could 
be secured. 

After the formation of the Dual Mon- 
archy, Hungary had at first furnished a 
market for German industries. But 
Hungary promptly built up her own 
industries, leaving the Germans in need 
of a new field, for which they turned to 
the Balkan countries. Serbian aspira- 
tions interfered with Austrian and Ger- 
man plans. Whether it were to take the 
form of an expansion of Serbia into 
Greater Serbia or an independent 
union of Jugo-Slavs, the erection of a 
Slav barrier across the peninsula must 
not be allowed. To prevent any such 
achievement, Franz Josef announced 
in 1908, the incorporation of Bosnia 
and Herzegovina in the Empire. This 
became an added source of contention be- 
tween the two halves of the government. 

In the tossing turmoil of the next 
few years, race hatreds increased in 
fury. The "centripetal motions of the 
different nationalities" in Austria-Hun- 
gary whirled faster and faster up to 
the moment of the tragedy at Sarajevo 
in Bosnia. Hapsburg and Magyar 
could not agree except in the determin- 
ation to deny their subject peoples the 
federal government which might have 
made for real unity. 

View of Bucharest, the Capital of Rumania 



HpO begin the story of the Great War 
with the assassination of the 
Archduke Franz Ferdinand, of Austria- 
Hungary, at Sarajevo is to consider it 
only as a series of military operations. 
As a vast, human drama, tense with 
driving, human emotions, the story of 
the war has a prologue, without which 
the motives of" the men who precipi- 
tated the great tragedy remain ob- 

There are many causes of the war, 
especially where British, Japanese and 
American participation is concerned, 
but certainly one of the chief reasons 
1 es in the Balkans. Here were enacted 
a series of events to which the World 
War was largely a dramatic climax. 
The narrative of these events rivals 
even the great story of the war itself 
in human interest; for again and again 
the reader must pause as the slender 
threads of the destinies of nations 
strain and twist. Again and again one 
wonders: had this man or that man 
spoken this word instead of that word, 
would the millions of dead be living 


The geography of the Balkan Penin- 
sula is a partial explanation of the 
clashing interests involved in the great 
struggle. The territory known under 
that name is the great peninsula of 

Southern Europe, which lies South of 
the Danube, the Save and the Kulpa 
rivers. It contained at the beginning 
of the World War, European Turkey, 
Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, 
and Greece, besides certain provinces 
under Austrian rule as Dalmatia, 
Bosnia, Herzegovina and part of 
Croatia. Politically speaking Rumania 
also belongs to the group of states. 


The most striking characteristic of 
the peninsula, topographically speak- 
ing, is its mountains; indeed, "balkan" 
in Turkish signifies any mountain. Be- 
ginning from the Black Sea Coast, 
between Varna and Bourgas, in Bul- 
garia, a high mountain range sweeps 
inland, curving northward, reaching 
almost over to the Adriatic, then turns 
broadly into a semi-circle and shoots 
back, eastward, above Rumania. The 
southern half of this semi-circle is 
the Balkan Mountains; the upper is 
the Carpathians. Inside the semi- 
circle is a vast area of level plain, in- 
cluding northern Bulgaria and part of 
Rumania. Through the middle of the 
semi-circle bursts the great Danube 
River, pouring down the narrow pass 
known as the Iron Gate, across the 
broad basin to the Black Sea. Outside 
the semi-circle of towering granite, 
however, over toward the Adriatic 



Coast and down toward Greece and the 
JEgean Sea, the country is extremely 
rough, with here and there, a few small 
valleys and plateaus. 

Broadly speaking, it will be observed 
that the peninsula forms almost an 
isthmus, a pathway, between Western 
Europe and the fertile plains of Asia. 
The mountainous nature of the coun- 
try, however, renders the pathway 
extremely narrow, whether for rail- 
road traffic or for marching armies. 
As a matter of fact, there is only one 
highway passing down from north to 
south, and that is a valley so narrow 
that it is almost a defile, the Morava. 
At Nish the road forks, one leg passing 
straight down the Vardar Valley to 
Saloniki, the other branching off 
eastward into Bulgaria, across the 
plains of Thrace to Constantinople. 
Only mighty armies as the Crusaders, 
and later the Moslem hordes on their 
way to Vienna, have ever forced this 
passageway, for the craggy steeps on 
either side are ideally suited to a strong 
defense by small forces. This moun- 
tainous country, furthermore, has been 
especially favorable to the develop- 
ment of a strong spirit of nationalism 
among its inhabitants, not only by 
impeding a wide intercourse with 
foreigners, but because of the com- 
parative ease with which they have 
been able to defend themselves against 


The ancient history of this region 
may be passed over with a few words, 
for, with the exception of the Greeks, 
the peoples involved in what has been 
known as the "Balkan Problem" are 
comparatively recent arrivals. Herod- 
otus describes the inhabitants of 
parts of this territory as .barbarians 
who used the skulls of their enemies as 
drinking vessels. Later appeared Philip 
of Macedon, and his son, Alexander 
the Great, whose capital was supposed 
to have been situated on the shores of 
Lake Enedjee, a short distance out- 
side of Saloniki, the center of a region 
still unofficially known as Macedonia 
and the pivot of the entire Balkan 
question. For a while Roman armies 


held certain areas of territory through 
Thrace and in the Danube Basin, and 
attempted to establish Roman colonies. 
The present day Rumanians claim 
descent from these early Roman set- 
tlers, pointing to the similarity between 
their speech and Latin, but racially 
they are now probably much mixed 
with other races. 

After the fall of Rome the weakened 
descendants of the ancient Greeks 
ruled the Byzantine Empire, whose 
emperors in Constantinople were in 
perpetual conflict with the barbarian 
hordes pressing down on them from 
the mountainous regions in the north. 
These were the wild Slavs who swept 
down into the peninsula from the 
steppes of Southern Russia, later 
establishing settlements far down m 
Greece, almost to the shores of the 
Aegean and the flanks of Mt. Olym- 
pus. During the ninth century they 
became converted to Christianity and 
organized themselves into a kingdom, 
Serbia, which became powerful and for 
a time almost dominated the whole 


It was in the seventh century that 
another barbarian tribe invaded the 
Balkans, the Volgars, or Bulgars, so 
called because they came from the 
banks of the Volga. They are sup- 
posed to be of Asiatic origin, and to 
have come from the same ethnic stock 
as the Finns. They, too, established a 
kingdom in what is now northern Bul- 
garia, south of the Danube and waged 
wars against the Serbians, at one time 
almost completely conquering them. 
Gradually they lost their racial identity 
through intermixture with the Slavs 
and developed a speech from which 
was developed the modern Russian. 

The last to appear on the scene were 
the Ottoman Turks who, after con- 
quering Asia Minor, crossed the Bos- 
phorus and took Constantinople in 
1453. Before their northward advance 
all fell; first the Greeks, then the 
Bulgarian and Serbian Tsars. The 
Bulgars were completely submerged, 
but a few remnants of the Serbs 
found refuge in the more inaccessible 


mountains over toward the Adriatic, 
in what is now Tsernagora, or, as it 
was called by the Italians, Montenegro. 
Further up another handful of Slavs 
maintained themselves in the fortified 
city of Ragusa, a seaport on the 
Adriatic, where they preserved the 
traditions and the best culture of the 
race, but they later fell under the sway 
of the Austrians. 


The Moslem tide swept up to the 
very gates of Vienna before it was 
turned, but finally it was turned and 
pushed back by the Moscovite Slavs 
and the Teutons, the former attacking 
from the east, the latter from the north. 
And as the Turks were driven back, so 
gradually the little Balkan nations 
emerged again. Which brings us up 
to modern times; to the late seventies 
of the last century, when the Balkan 
problem first began to engage the atten- 
tion of the statesmen of Europe. 

In its simplest terms, this was the 
problem: Two great powers were en- 
gaged in driving the Turks down the 
passageway toward Asia Minor out 
of Europe. Down to the Danube the 
territory they conquered from the 
Turks was broad enough for the two 
of them. But down within the Balkan 
Peninsula itself there was no room 
for two. Each wished to pass down 
that narrow vestibule for the goal at the 
lower end, access to the Mediterranean, 
and the conquest of the Orient. 


Had only the two great empires, 
Russia and Austria, been concerned, 
they might have settled the difficulty 
in primitive fashion, and fought till 
one or the other emerged victorious. 
But other European powers were in- 
terested. Neither England nor France 
was willing to be excluded from the 
trade of the near East, and neither 
France nor Italy desired other naval 
powers on the Mediterranean. Thus 
Austria and Russia were obliged to 
halt at the upper banks of the Danube. 
And instead of fighting each other 
openly, they intrigued and fenced 
to gain the advantage. 

Though great in territory and in pop- 
ulation, Austria was weak because of 
the racial and national rivalries which 
split her people into many antagonistic 
groups, though this was also the reason 
why she could maintain her hold on 
them. But Austria herself was German ; 
Vienna had been the capital of the old 
German Empire. And Prussia was 
beginning to dominate Austria, just 
as she later dominated, more directly, 
the individual states of the modern 
German Empire. As Prussia acquired 
power, after the Franco-Prussian War, 
through industrial development and 
military organization, she became am- 
bitious and gradually evolved a scheme 
for an empire which should dominate 
all of Middle Europe and extend down 
into Asia Minor a second Roman 
Empire. As this gigantic project be- 
came obvious, England and France 
threw their support over to the rival 
of Teutonic ambitions, Russia. 


Austria had annexed the Slavic 
peoples on her way down to the 
Danube, partly through force, partly 
through their own realization of weak- 
ness. Russia based her hopes of 
annexation on a stronger motive, that 
of sympathy. Russia was Slavic, and 
so were the peoples of the Balkans 
down to Constantinople, with the ex- 
ception of the Rumanians. Russia 
expected to be able to assimilate these 
peoples of kindred blood and make 
good Russians of them. This was the 
Pan-Slavism which the Teutons feared, 
which in fact all Europe feared. 

These were the rivalries, the con- 
flicting interests, among the great 
European Powers, which stayed the 
expulsion of the Turk from Europe. 
It was this situation which enabled 
the Balkan peoples to assert themselves 
and attain a partial independence, 
enough to develop military power of 
their own. Fortunately for them the 
majority of the Powers adopted the 
policy of encouraging their self-asser- 
tion, to a limited extent. Russia 
thought this would awaken their race 
consciousness, and bring them nearer 
to her. England and France thought 



they would serve as a check to Aus- 
tria's imperialistic expansion. And 
the Teutons had no doubt that one 
could be bribed to serve her interests 
against the others. 


The Balkan peoples were not so 
pliable as the Great Powers thought 
and in the end it was they 
who shaped the destiny of 
Europe, in that they forced 
the final great climax. They 
almost upset the schemes and 
intrigues of all the European 
diplomats; therein lies the 
prologue to the story of the 
great war. 

Sofne few words must be 
devoted to the actors them- 
selves in the Ba'kan tragedy, 
for it was their individual 
rivalries and jealousies which 
created the internal Balkan 
Problem, and made of the 
Peninsula a scene of perpetual 
combat and political intrigue; 
the "cock pit of Europe," as 
it was called. Inside the 
wolves were fighting among 
themselves, while outside the 
bears clamored for admittance. 


Regarding the moral quali- 
ties and relative numbers of 
the Balkan peoples much mis- 
information has been pro- 
mulgated. In no other region 
of the world has the question 
of population and race kinship 
been the cause of such bitter 
controversy and falsification. 
Greek authorities have claimed that 
the Greek population extended up to 
the very banks of the Danube, while 
Serbian, Bulgarian and even Albanian 
champions have made equally wide 
claims for their people. The result is 
that no information originating within 
the Balkans is to be trusted, save the 
official census figures of Greece, Serbia 
and Bulgaria, and these cover only 
their own respective territories as they 
were before the First Balkan War. 


In 1910 Bulgaria had a population 
of 4,337,000. In the same year the 
Serbian census reported a population 
of 2,900,000. In Greece the people 
numbered 2,730,000 while little Mon- 
tenegro reported less than 400,000. 
So far the figures may be considered 
fairly reliable, for they covered ter- 
ritory not under dispute. It is when 




The Balkan States, where Russia and Austria jostled each other, 
appear on this map as they were before the wars of 1912 and 1913, 
with Turkey extending from the Black Sea to the Adriatic and in- 
cluding Macedonia and Albania. 

we come to that portion of the Balkans 
still occupied by Turkey before the 
Balkan Wars, chiefly Macedonia and 
Adrianople, that the confusion begins, 
for Turkey felt no interest in statistics. 
We must turn to outside sources for 
even approximate estimates, the trade 
reports of foreign countries and the 
observations of traveling Frenchmen, 
Englishmen and Americans. Prob- 
ably the most reliable estimates are 
those contained in the Austrian trade 


reports, published entirely for com- 
mercial purposes. Certainly all maps 
of the Balkans are based on Austrian 
surveys, and they have been found 
remarkably accurate. 


Summing up all these authorities, 
there is little doubt that throughout 

valla, and over toward the old Greek 

Another important element of the 
population Lmited, however, to the 
cities and larger towns, is the Jewish. 
In Saloniki they form the bulk of the 
population; an average estimate gives 
them 100,000 out of the city's popula- 
tion of 175,000. They, too, constitute 
one of the mercantile elements 
of the Balkans up into 
Rumania. But though they 
are racially Hebrews, and Jews 
by religion, they differ very 
much from the German or 
Russian Jews whom we know 
in America. Physically supe- 
rior, they are apparently in- 
ferior mentally. These are 
the descendants of the Jews 
driven out of Spain, who 
were welcomed so cordially by 
the Turkish Sultan. Scholars 
and scientists and artists have 
not appeared from among 
them since the days of Spinoza ; 
barter and commercial profit 
are their ideals. In politics 
they have been neutral, for 
which reason they were 
favored by the Turks above 
all the other subject races. 
Few individuals among them 
have participated in the 
various national or democratic 



The Balkans, the scene of the prologue of the World War, are 
here shown as arranged in the Treaties of London and Bucharest, 
1913, whereby Serbia, Greece and Rumania were extended, an 
independent Albania created, and Turkey reduced. 

the interior of the Balkans (excluding 
Rumania) the population is over- 
whelmingly S'avic. Along the coasts, 
even up into Bulgaria on the Black 
Sea, but especially between Saloniki 
and the Bosphorus, there is a strip 
of Greek populat'on. In all the larger 
cities, even in Varna, Bourgas and 
Plovdiv (Philippopolis), in Bulgaria 
the merchant classes are mainly Greek. 
As peasantry, however, they are found 
only down in Serres, Drama and Ka- 


Another of the minor race 
divisions is the Vlachs, or 
Wallachs, a simple, pastoral 
people who graze their flocks 
in the mountain regions dur- 
ing the summer and come 
down into the lowlands during the 
cold months. On these Rumania has 
based her pretensions in the Balkans 
below the Danube, for they speak a 
dialect akin to the language of the 
Rumanians, and Bucharest has sent 
propagandists among them to arouse 
a "national spirit." In places they 
have formed permanent settlements. 
Berea, near Saloniki on the Monastir 
Railroad, is a Vlach city. Thence there 
are villages, stretching across Mace- 



donia toward lower Albania, and drop- 
ping down into Greece proper. 


The Albanians are solidly massed 
over a definite area, which has given 
them some political significance. Their 
territory stretches along the Adriatic 
Coast from upper Greece up to Monte- 
negro, and extends to the lower slopes 
of the mountains forming the western 
side of the valley above Lake Ochrida. 
Outside of this territory they appear 
only as itinerant peddlers and wander- 
ing horse traders, while some of the 
more intelligent of them are found as 
clerks or kavasses in the big cities. 
As a people they may be compared 
somewhat to the Highland Scots dur- 
ing the seventeenth century; rude, 
primitive, almost completely illiterate, 
yet possesse.d of certain strong bar- 
baric virtues, such as loyalty to friends 
and guests, and marked physical cour- 
age. In number they are about 
800,000. Two-thirds of them are 
Mohammedan, but some in the North 
and in the South have been converted 
to Christianity. Their speech stands 
out in sharp contrast to all other 
languages or dialects in the Peninsula. 
They are supposed to be descended 
from the ancient Illyrian barbarians, 
who were such unruly neighbors of the 
ancient Greeks. 


The Turks nowhere in the Balkans 
form a solid mass of population, but 
many of them are scattered throughout 
the entire region, even up into Bosnia, 
Herzegovina and Dalmatia. Judging 
from physical appearance, they are, 
for the most part, Slavs who have 
been converted to Mohammedanism; 
indeed, whole villages of them, fanati- 
cal Mohammedans, still speak a dia- 
lect which any Bulgar or Serb may 
easily understand. As peasantry they 
are found mainly in Thrace or Adri- 
anople, but Turkish villages are plenti- 
ful around Monastir in central Mace- 
donia. Peculiarly enough they are 
quite numerous in Northern Bulgaria, 
over toward the Danube delta and 
along the Black Sea Coast ; in Bourgas 


and Varna they live in populous quar- 
ters, where they are chiefly engaged 
in petty trades. After her liberation 
Bulgaria proved very tolerant of the 
Moslem population. Serbia, on the 
other hand, persecuted them, and 
many emigrated. 


Of least importance, and of purely 
casual interest, are the Gypsies, or 
"Copts," as they call themselves. 
Every town and city has a settlement 
of them, usually outside the town limits, 
for their customs and filthy habits 
cause them to be despised by all. 
Usually they are the metal workers of 
the community, but the majority live 
as free from labor as they can. In 
religion they are Mohammedans, but 
their native dialect differs from any 
other Balkan language and is largely 
made up of words of Hamitic origin. 
According to their traditions they are 
comparatively recent arrivals from 

Of all the Balkan races, however, as 
said above, chief and foremost stand 
the Slavs. With a slight knowledge 
of Slavic terminations, one has but to 
study a large scale map of the Balkans 
to realize this; down to the borders of 
Greece proper the names of villages, 
mountains, lakes and rivers are Slavic. 
But admitting this, there still remains 
ground for what is the bitterest dis- 
pute in the Balkans. Between Greek 
and Slav the casual tourist can almost 
distinguish, but between Serb and 
Bulgar the distinction is so vague that 
opinion rests largely with political 
sympathy. True, between the Serb of 
Belgrade and the Bulgar of Sofia there 
is a difference, but no more than may 
be found between the Slavic peasants 
of two communities in Macedonia, 
within a day's walk of each other. 
Forty years ago the statesmen of 
Europe agreed that the population in 
Serbia around Pirot and Vranje was 
Bulgarian, but to-day the keenest 
ethnologist might find difficulty in 
discovering Bulgar origin in these 
Serbian subjects. This dispute be- 
tween Serb and Bulgar is the keynote 
of the Macedonian problem. 


AS LATE AS 1876. 

In 1876 Turkey still controlled all 
of the Balkan Peninsula, except Greece, 
whose independence had been at- 
tained with the assistance of the 
Powers in 1829. Turkish territory 
furthermore included Bosnia and Her- 
zegovina. Rumania was a vassal 
principality, and Serbia also enjoyed 

culture as the race had possessed, 
had been almost completely wiped out. 
Tyranny was not exercised by the 
Turks alone. The Eastern Catholic 
Church, personified by the Greek 
Patriarch, shared the control. Tem- 
peramentally the Greeks were different 
from all the other peoples subject to 
the Sultan. Courtiers rather than war- 
riors, they bent under the Ottoman 


The cluster of houses at the foot of the Acropolis, on the site of ancient Athens, forms the inner city; and outside 
of this the Neapolis, or new city, extends in a semi-circular arc. 

a certain measure of autonomy. Nom- 
inally Montenegro was also subject to 
the Sultan's rule, but as a matter of 
fact Turkish armies never attempted 
to invade the bleak crags and dark 
ravines among which dwelt this little 
nation of mountaineers. Bulgaria, 
however, was completely dominated 
by the pashas appointed from Stam- 
boul and her people suffered from the 
blackest kind of tyranny. Never had a 
people been more completely leveled 
with the dust. With no inaccessible 
mountains in which to maintain them- 
selves, the ancient nobles and leaders 
of the Bulgais, together with such rude 

lule, rather than broke. What must 
be endured they smilingly accepted, 
and swept such crumbs as they could 
from the table of the ruling race. Many 
of their women were in the harems of 
the Turkish nobles and high officials, 
and they exercised an increasing meas- 
ure of influence in the government. 


The chief concession granted to them 
was the recognition of their Church 
as the spiritual representative of all 
the Christian peoples of European 
Turkey. The Greek Patriarch en- 
joyed a temporal power in European 



Turkey second only to that of the 
Sultan. The higher and more lucrative 
offices in the Christian provinces were, 
of course, rilled by Turks, but the 
minor officials were largely the ap- 
pointees of the Greek Church. Such 
educational institutions as the Govern- 
ment allowed to be maintained, were 
under the direct supervision of the 
Greek clergy. Since the Church must 
maintain itself on the crumbs left 
over after the Turkish taxgatherer 
had paid his visit, its taxes seemed all 
the more severe. 

Such was the situation in Bulgaria 
and the sections down in the lower part 
of the peninsula, outside of Greece, in 
1876. For years there had been 
revolutionary agitation among the 
peasants, carried on by young Bulgars 
who had been abroad and imbibed 
lessons in democracy taught by French 
and American histories. National in- 
dependence for their people was their 
ideal, but they received Russian sup- 
port, for that country was anxious 
to see racial consciousness aroused 
among the subject peoples in the 
Balkans. Furthermore, a revolution- 
ary uprising might provide the pre- 
text for active intervention. 


In the spring of 1876 an uprising 
did take place in Eastern Rumelia, 
near Plovdiv (Philippopolis). Limited 
to this locality, it attracted very little 
outside attention. It was suppressed 
after the characteristic Turkish fashion, 
with fire and massacre. Even the 
atrocities might have received little 
attention from the outside world, but 
a young American newspaper man, 
MacGahan, who had received a roving 
commission from the London Daily 
Mail, wandered down into that region 
and the Turkish officials carelessly 
allowed him to see something of what 
was going on. With a graphic pen and 
a heart burning with human indigna- 
tion MacGahan wrote article after 
article for his paper, and though the 
pro-Turkish Tory Party was then in 
power, the London Daily Mail printed 
them unedited. All England read, and 
was aghast. Murmurs of protest began 


rising on all sides, louder and louder. 

"Coffee house babble," remarked 
Disraeli, the Tory Premier of Great 

But the murmurs quickly rose to a 
roar, and swept all over Europe. 
MacGahan wrote as he saw things. 
It was one of those rare occasions 
when popular opinion asserted itself 
and could not be divetted or played 
with by the diplomats in power. 
National policies withered before pop- 
ular indignation. The people of all 
the Western countries declared there 
must be an end of Turkish rule in 


Here was Russia's grand opportun- 
ity. War was declared by the Russian 
Tsar against Turkey, and not a states- 
man in Europe, not even the flam- 
boyant Disraeli, dared raise his voice 
in protest. Russia pushed her armies 
across the Danube and attacked the 
Turks furiously. Russian arms, sup- 
ported by the Rumanians and some 
few bands of Bulgarian revolutionists, 
drove the Turks down from the 
Danube, through Shipka Pass in the 
Balkan Mountains and down into the 
plains of Thrace to the very gates of 
Constantinople. There the Turks sued 
for terms, and in the little town of San 
Stefano a treaty was drawn up and 
agreed to by both sides. 

By this treaty the Turks in Europe 
would have been all but dispossessed. 
By it "Greater Bulgaria" would have 
been created; in her territory would 
have been included practically all of 
Macedonia, over to the Prespa and 
Ochrida Lakes; the Vardar and the 
Struma would have been Bulgarian 
streams from source to mouth. 


But by this time popular indigna- 
tion had cooled down, and the states- 
men could once more assert their 
policies. To all the Powers there 
seemed to be good reasons why they 
should veto this plan for a Bulgarian 
state of such size in the Balkans. The 
Bulgars, blood kindred of the Rus- 
sians, and presumably also deeply 


Nicholas was proclaimed Prince of Montenegro after the assassination of his uncle in 1860. In 1878 his country 
obtained from the European Powers recognition of its independence in the Treaty of Berlin. In 1910 the title of 
King was conferred upon him by the Skupshtina. During the Balkan wars he played a very active part. 


The grandfather of Peter of Serbia led the Serbians in their struggle for independence against the Turks, but his 
father was deposed by the National Assembly and left the Balkans. Peter was put to school in Hungary, made 
frequent visits to Russia and finally entered the French military school of Saint-Cyr. He served with distinction 
against Germany 1870-1, and led a body of insurgents in Bosnia" in 1875-6, a rising which culminated in the Russo- 
Turkish war of 1877-8 and the establishment of Serbian independence. In 1903 he was elected King of Serbia. 



grateful to Russia for their liberation, 
would probably submit to Russian 
influence. Ultimately Russia would 
annex Bulgaria, and soon would take 
Constantinople. There was then no 
power in Europe which could tolerate 
such vast expansion of the Russian 
Empire. The Treaty of San Stefano, so 
the, statesmen of the Powers believed, 
meant handing over the Balkans and 
Asia Minor to Russia, with the control 
of the Suez Canal, and thereby the 
Far East. 

A conference of the Powers was 
called at Berlin, in 1878, and there 
the Treaty of San Stefano was dis- 
carded in favor of the Treaty of 
Berlin. Half of what was to have been 
Greater Bulgaria, namely Macedonia 
and Thrace, was handed back to 
Turkey, under limitations purely theo- 
retical. Eastern Rumelia, just south 
of the Balkan Range, was made into a 
semi-autonomous province, and the % 
territory north of the Balkans, the 
Danube Basin up to the Danube, was 
given over to a free Bulgaria, nominally 
under the suzerainty of the Sultan, but 
actually free. Bosnia and Herze- 
govina were placed under the adminis- 
tration of Austria-Hungary, so that the 
Austrians enjoyed the spoils of the war 
for which the Russians had fought. 
Serbia was given a slice of territory 
which included Nish and Pirot. 


The significant feature of the Treaty 
was that Macedonia was handed back 
to Turkey. It was a territory over 
which the three chief Balkan govern- 
ments, those of Bulgaria, Serbia and 
Greece, might brew perpetual intrigues. 
The Balkan state which became pos- 
sessed of Saloniki, a first class sea- 
port on the Mediterranean, would 
dominate the Balkans, politically and 
commercially. Here glowed the fire 
which was to set the Balkans ablaze; 
eventually to precipitate a world con- 

Russia, apparently, received none 
of the spoils of her own war, for Ru- 
mania was made entirely independent, 
and Bulgaria was set up as an in- 
dependent principality under the 


nominal suzerainty of the Sultan. 
Bessarabia was taken from Rumania 
and given to Russia. However, the 
signers of the Treaty of Berlin be- 
lieved that they were handing Bulgaria 
over to Russia. No one believed that 
a population made up of half a dozen 
racial elements would be able to govern 
.itself. There would be increasing 
disorders, and intervention by an out- 
side power would become necessary. 
This would be Russia's opportunity 
for annexation. It was because they 
thought they foresaw this result as 
inevitable that the Powers had re- 
duced the Bulgaria of the San Stefano 
Treaty 'by half. Even so, it was a 
considerable prize, and Russian states- 
men prepared to go through the 
formalities necessary to eventual pos- 


Bulgaria, however, deceived them 
all. The Bulgars were unquestionably 
grateful to Russia for their liberation; 
it remained a creed of the people even 
up to the outbreak of the Great War. 
Nevertheless the policy which was 
pursued in Bulgaria by the Russian 
Autocracy aroused in the Bulgars a 
painful sense of subordination. The 
Russian Prince who was left in Bulgaria 
to administer the provisional govern- 
ment seemed to assume that the 
country was already a Russian prov- 
ince, and the people the subjects of 
the Tsar. There was a Turkish flavor 
to his rule. 

Eventually the national constitution 
was drafted and adopted by the first 
National Assembly, and Prince Alex- 
ander of Battenberg was elected reign- 
ing prince of the state. He was a nephew 
of the Russian Tsar, and a mere youth 
of twenty- two. It is said that he asked 
Bismarck's advice as to whether he 
should accept the throne, and that 
Bismarck remarked, cynically: "At 
any rate, the experience will always 
be a subject for a pleasant reminis- 

So on July 9, 1879, Prince Alexander 
went through the ceremony of being 
enthroned as ruler, of Bulgaria. A 
week or two later the Russian army of 


occupation ostensibly evacuated the 
country. There remained, however, a 
large staff of Russian military officers 
and civil officials. For four years 
nothing of note happened and the 
Russian Government had reason to 
believe that its plans were bearing fruit 
in Bulgaria. Suddenly the boy ruler, 
Alexander, dismissed all his 
Russian advisers and in- 
stalled Bulgars in their 
places. Bulgaria had abruptly 
taken the control of its own 


The Russian Government 
apparently placed the blame 
on the personality of Prince 
Alexander himself, for one 
night, not long after, a de- 
termined attempt was made 
to abduct him from the palace 
in Sofia, which was only 
frustrated by the sergeant 
of the palace guard and the 
sentry at the gates, who re- 
fused to be awed by the two 
Russian generals who de- 
manded admittance. In the 
carriage from which they had 
just alighted were found all 
the evidence of the plot: a 
proclamation announcing the 
expulsion of Prince Alexander 
from the country and the 
establishment of a provisional 
government. This incident 
was typical of many more of 
minor significance during the 
next two years. Again and 
again the Russian representa- 
tives in Bulgaria attempted 
to seize the reins, and again and 
again the Bulgarians rudely 
snatched them back from their hands. 

Six years passed after the liberation, 
and not only had the anticipated 
disorders in Bulgaria not broken out, 
but the Bulgarians were slowly com- 
pleting the organization of a stable 
government and a first class military 
force, all of which remained under 
their own control. Then an incident 
which proved conclusively that the 

statesmen of Europe had radically 
changed their opinions of Bulgarian 
capacity for self government took 


In Eastern Rumelia the Bulgar 
population was deeply dissatisfied with 


The Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, out of sympathy 
with the court at Vienna and hated by the Magyar power at Buda- 
pest, found his chief interest in his family (shown in this group). 
His wife belonged to the old Czech nobility. 

their condition under the Treaty of 
Berlin. They were neither in heaven 
nor hell; they were not really under 
Turkish rule, and they were not in- 
dependent. On the morning of Septem- 
ber 1 8, 1885, a committee elected by a 
secret revolutionary organization broke 
into the residence of Gavril Pasha, the 
Turkish Governor, as he was sipping 
his coffee, and placed him under arrest. 


A few hours later the Committee pro- 
claimed Eastern Rumelia's union with 
free Bulgaria. The Turkish commander 
awaited orders from Constantinople, 
but the orders to suppress the uprising 
never came. By this time Disraeli 
was out of power in England, and 
Gladstone was Premier. On receiving 
the telegraphic despatches announcing 
the uprising in Rumelia, the British 
Government immediately wired in- 
structions to its Ambassador in Con- 
stantinople, which were to the effect 
that if Turkey attempted to interfere 
with the Rumelians, a British fleet 
would make a demonstration on the 
Bosphorus. So the Sultan decided to 
relinquish a province from which he 
was not getting much profit. 


Russia took quite a different attitude. 
The Russia which only six years before 
had so strenuously demanded a Greater 
Bulgaria, now protested with equal 
energy against the enlargement of the 
Bulgaria that had been created at the 
Berlin Conference. England and Rus- 
sia had changed places in their attitude 
toward the Balkan Question. Ap- 
parently the rest of the Powers had 
followed England, for Russia's protests 
were in vain. The same diplomats 
who had reduced Bulgaria in size at 
Berlin were now quite content to let 
her acquire an additional piece of 
territory. They had learned that Bui-, 
garia had no intention of becoming a 
Russian province, but that, on the 
contrary, Bulgaria was proving a check 
on Russian aggression in the Balkans. 
Greece and Serbia were furious, for 
Bulgaria was already too large for 
their comfort. Greece had nothing to 
say in the matter, but Serbia played 
a more unfortunate r61e. 

It is said that Prince Alexander 
hesitated to accept the annexation 
which Eastern Rumelia had pro- 
claimed, fearing the international com- 
plications which might follow. His 
Bulgarian advisers insisted, and two 
days later he was proclaimed Prince 
of North and South Bulgaria. Rumelia 
was officially merged with free 



Expecting trouble with the Turks, 
the Bulgarian Army had gone down on 
the Rumelian frontier, and then 
marched into Plovdiv, the provincial 
capital. Just as it seemed that' the 
affair was to terminate bloodlessly 
came the news that Serbia had mobi- 
lized all her forces and was crossing the 
Bulgarian frontier toward Sofia. (No- 
vember, 1885.) The freight cais which 
carried the Bulgarian soldiers up north 
again were black with men clinging to 
their roofs and sides, and inside the 
soldiers were packed like sardines. 
Meanwhile crowds were marching up 
and down the streets of Belgrade 
shouting: "Long Live King Milan, 
ruler of Serbia, Bulgaria and Ma- 

The Serbians were well across the 
Bulgarian frontier before they met the 
Bulgarians in force at Slivnitza, where 
a three days' battle was fought. The 
Serbians were completely routed and 
driven back across their frontier, a 
disorganized mob. The Bulgarians 
advanced into Serbia, Prince Alexander 
leading them. The Russian officers, 
who still remained with the Bulgarian 
Army, had resigned the day before the 
battle. But before the Bulgarians 
had advanced very far after the re- 
treating Serbians, a courier from the 
Austrian Minister in Belgrade rode 
into the Bulgarian headquarters and 
delivered this message: that if the Bul- 
garians advanced further they would 
have to fight Austrian troops. The 
Bulgarians retired within their own 
territories, and some months later a 
treaty of peace was signed with the 
Serbians, whereby Bulgaria gained not 
an acre of ground. While Russian 
intrigue had been foiled, on the other 
hand, Austria had shown that she 
realized that a powerful Bulgaria 
might check Austrian intrigues and 
aggressions as well. 


That Russia was now thoroughly 
roused became evident five months 
later, when a second, ahd this time a 
successful, attempt was made to kidnap 


The palace of Bulgaria's sovereigns was built in 1880-1882 by Prince Alexander, and the public garden in front 
of it is known as Alexander Park. King Ferdinand, who declared the independence of Bulgaria in 1908 and assumed 
the title of Czar, greatly enlarged the building. Ferdinand guided the tortuous course of Bulgarian diplomacy 
until his country surrendered to the Allies in 1918. Prince Boris, his son, then became Czar. Times Photo 


Since 1880, Sofia has been largely improved and rebuilt in modern European fashion. Its Parliament House is 
the meeting-place of the Sobranje, or National Assembly, which consists of a single Chamber and constitutes the 
legislative authority of the country. Its duration is four years. Laws passed by the Sobranje must have the assent 
of the King. Picture from Henry Ruschin 



Prince Alexander. The Bulgarian 
Army and the principal Bulgarian 
officers had been drawn off to the 
Serbian frontier by a false alarm over a 
second Serbian attack. Among the 
conspirators was Clement, head of the 
Bulgarian Church. Alexander was 
carried to the Danube, put aboard a 
boat and taken to Russia. Simulta- 
neously the conspirators proclaimed a 
new government. 

Stambulov, who has since been 
called the "Bismarck of the Balkans," 
now came to the front. He was then 
Speaker of the Bulgarian Sobranje, or 
National Assembly. As such he issued 
a second proclamation, denouncing 
the conspirators and calling on the 
Bulgarian people to support him 
against them. Bulgaria's independence 
was in danger, he said. The people 
rallied to his call so completely that the 
conspirators fled, and Stambulov as- 
sumed a temporary dictatorship. He 
prosecuted the search for the missing 
Prince Alexander so energetically that 
the Russians released him and he re- 
turned to Bulgaria. On his arrival, 
however, he sent a message to the 
Russian Tsar: "Russia gave me my 
Crown; to her sovereign I return it." 
And so the good natured, harmless 
boy, whom the Russians had mistaken- 
ly believed to be responsible for Bul- 
garia's resistance against Russian 
intrigue, abdicated in earnest and 
stepped off the stage, never again to 


Stambulov now showed himself to 
be the real ruler of Bulgaria. Had it 
not been for European politics, Bul- 
garia would then have established a 
republic, but all Europe could not be 
defied. A delegation was appointed 
and went up into Europe to find an- 
other prince to sit on the Bulgarian 
throne. Numbers of scions of royal 
houses were interviewed, but none 
showed any special ambition to become 
a Balkan ruler. Finally Prince Ferdi- 
nand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a young 
grandson of King Louis Philippe, 
through his mother, Princess Clemen- 
tine, and the son of an Austrian 


nobleman, was recommended to the 
Bulgarian delegation. After lengthy 
discussions, he accepted the invitation 
to become ruler of Bulgaria. On 
August 14, 1887, he was formally 
crowned, much to the anger of the 
Russian Government, to which from 
the beginning Ferdinand was no friend. 
Ferdinand, ignorant of Bulgarian 
customs and speech, was for some 
time compelled to play a minor part in 
Balkan politics. Wisely he allowed 
Stambulov, the son of a peasant inn- 
keeper, to remain in power as Premier, 
and for seven years he guided Bulgaria 
through the shoals of European inter- 
national politics. Even his bitterest 
enemies admitted his ability, his power- 
ful personality, nor has anyone yet 
ventured to suggest the slightest doubt 
of his integrity. But, like many men 
of power, especially those of lowly 
origin, there was also something of the 
brute in him. He made short work of 
his political opponents, to his sup- 
porters he was none too genial, and 
thus he made many personal enemies. 
Yet for seven years he kept the Russian 
bear out of the Balkans, in much the 
same manner that a strong man would 
handle a bear of blood and flesh. 


By the end of this period, however, 
the personality of Ferdinand began to 
assert itself. Evil as it may be, he has 
a powerful personality. No one man 
has had a more continuous influence 
in Balkan politics than he. And of 
that small group of men responsible 
for the great war, he stands second to 
none, not even William Hohenzollern. 
Utterly selfish, regardless of the true 
interests of the people he had been 
called upon to govern, Ferdinand 
thought first and foremost of his own 

Under Stambulov's guidance Bul- 
garia had made rapid strides, not only 
in military organization and adminis- 
trative efficiency, but in the develop- 
ment of educational institutions and 
industry. Nevertheless, Ferdinand was 
jealous of his power, and in May, 1894, 
feeling himself no longer dependent on 
the peasant Premier, he dismissed 


him from office and installed a more 
pliant creature in his place. Stambulov 
was never a popular hero, but the more 
intelligent classes, whatever they 
thought of him personally, had come 
to realize that his had been the hand 
which had raised Bulgaria to be the 
most advanced and most powerful of 
all the Balkan nations. Eventually 
Stambulov would rise to power again. 
Only one thing could prevent death. 
At that time, at least, Ferdinand would 
have hesitated before such a method. 
At any rate, there seems no reason 
to believe that he had a hand in the 
murder of Stambulov, but the same 
cannot be said of Russia. One evening, 
in July, 1895, as Stambulov was re- 
turning home late from his club, three 
men sprang into his carriage and literal- 
ly hacked him into shreds. Later his 
murderers, identified as ex-brigands 
from Macedonia, were identified, but 
they had escaped to Russia, and Fer- 
dinand made little effort to secure their 


Stambulov was dead, but the spirit 
of the man remained alive in the party 
which was, even up to the recent war, 
named for him. That party soon after 
came into power and proved to Russia 
conclusively that no one man in 
Bulgaria was responsible for Bulgaria's 
attitude toward Russia; that the people 
themselves were determined to lead 
their own national life, free from the 
influence of Russia's autocracy. 
Though Russian intrigues undoubtedly 
continued potent in the Balkans, never 
again, after Stambulov's assassination, 
did she attempt such desperate meas- 
ures as those which had gained her 
the hatred of the Bulgarians. She 
turned to Serbia, and that country, 
standing in no fear of actual annexa- 
tion on account of her geographical 
position, proved a willing ally. 


Henceforward Ferdinand himself 
stands forth as the guiding personality 
behind Bulgaria's foreign policy, 
though the same stubbornness which 
resisted Russia at times was shown 

by his political opponents. Ferdinand, 
however, was more of a diplomat than 
Stambulov had been; there is none 
craftier in all Europe, and none more 
unscrupulous. It suited him to ally 
himself with the Russophobes, repre- 
sented in the Stambulovist Party, for 
several reasons. First of all, Russia 
never had recognized him, always had 
opposed him. Secondly, he was an 
Austrian by birth and early associa- 
tion, and to Austria he turned for 
support and found it. Realizing that 
they needed a powerful friend in the 
selfish scramble of international politics, 
the Bulgarians were quite willing to 
allow Ferdinand full rein in cultivating 
his pro-Austrian policy. Austria, on 
her part, was only too pleased to 
cultivate the friendship of Bulgaria, 
for already the Serbians were de- 
veloping their Pan-Serbian propaganda 
in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, and 
Dalmatia. Naturally it would be to 
Austria's interest to encourage the 
chief rival of Serbia in the Balkans. 


It was at about this time, in the 
middle 'go's, that the Balkan Problem 
began to shift its center down into 
Macedonia. The Macedonians them- 
selves were beginning to show an 
annoying interest in their own fate, 
and this at once raised the question 
of the ultimate disposal of Macedonia. 
Some Macedonian teachers, educated 
in the free schools of Bulgaria, where an 
increasing number of Macedonians 
came to study, had been agitating a 
primitive sort of Socialism among the 
peasants, and began to form local 
organizations in the villages. At first 
these secret societies seemed to have no 
other object than to discuss politics, 
but very quickly they changed their 
character. Growing in. number and 
membership, they federated, and so 
evolved the Central Revolutionary 
Committee of Macedonia and Adri- 

The Committee, by which name the 
whole organization became known, 
though its members eventually num- 
bered over a million, became one of the 
most peculiar political institutions of 



modern times. It was, in fact, nothing 
more or less than a secret, underground 
Soviet Government, established to 
maintain some sort of law and order 
under Turkish anarchy. In spite of its 
name it was not revolutionary. Its 
youthful leaders did not aspire to 
national independence, but they stood 
for an autonomous Macedonia (and 
Adrianople), in which all races and 
both sexes should have equal suffrage. 
On this political program they rested. 
Macedonia was an agricultural coun- 
try, with not a dozen factories through- 
out its length and breadth, and there 
was no need to enunciate an economic 


The political ideals of the Macedo- 
nian Committee were heretical enough 
to the neighboring Balkan states. 
The Greek Church, with its intricate 
spy system, was the first to discover 
the Committee. It began immediately, 
with the assistance of the Greek 
Government, to organize bands in 
Greece, and these crossed the frontier 
and began terrorizing the Macedonian 
peasantry, to frighten them back into 
the fold, for the young Macedonians 
who joined the Committee simulta- 
neously left the Patriarch's Church. 
The Committee responded by organiz- 
ing bands of its own, which fought the 
Greek bands, and so general attention 
was attracted to the issue over which 
they fought. 

Ferdinand was no less worried than 
the Greek Church over the appearance 
of the Committee. An autonomous 
Macedonia under Turkish suzerainty 
did not correspond to his imperialistic 
plans for a revived Greater Bulgaria, 
of which he should be Czar. His bands, 
which he sent across the frontier into 
Macedonia, did not at first resort to 
open warfare against the peasants; 
they merely attempted to "awaken the 
national spirit." But the day came 
when the Macedonian bands fought 
the Bulgar filibusters as fiercely as they 
fought the alien Greeks, though the 
two sides were of the same Slavic blood. 
Finally Serbia, whose contention it 
was that Macedonia was and should 


be Serbian, joined the attack against 
the Committee, and the latter found 
itself hard pressed, fighting defensively 
against Greeks, Serbs, Bulgars, and 


In the Bulgarian Government's Mac- 
edonian policy, guided absolutely 
by Ferdinand, as was the whole of 
Bulgaria's foreign policy, that ruler 
showed the craftiness which is his chief 
characteristic. The campaign of vio- 
lence and terrorism which he allowed 
his bands to conduct across the 
irontier was kept secret as long as 
possible in Bulgaria, but as there were 
near a hundred thousand Macedonians 
in Bulgaria, many of whom had risen 
high in the professions, in business 
circles and even in government service, 
the Committee not only found the 
means by which to make the truth 
known in Bulgaria, but to rouse strong 
public opinion against Ferdinand's 
policy. That prince of diplomats then 
made other plans. 

First of all, he corrupted a young 
Macedonian officer in his own Army, 
Boris Sarafov, and had him join the 
Committee as a native Macedonian. 
Sarafov's personality gained strong 
support for him in Macedonia, and 
then he began his intrigues, creating a 
party within the organization in favor 
of annexation to Bulgaria. He was able 
to create some dissension within the 
ranks of the Committee itself. Those 
who followed Balkan events in the 
newspapers during the first three or 
four years of the century will remember 
how frequently Boris Sarafov was 
featured in the American press as 
the "revolutionary leader of Mace- 
donia" against the Turks. For Prince 
Ferdinand was also a clever press agent. 


Hoping to create a crisis, of which he 
could take advantage, and believing 
that Sarafov had accomplished more 
than he really had, Ferdinand at- 
tempted to precipitate a popular revo- 
lution in Macedonia against Turkey in 
the summer of 1903. He sent one of 
his own generals, Tsontchev, across the 


frontier, supported by several regi- 
ments of Bulgarian soldiers, all in the 
uniforms of Macedonian comitajees, 
and called on the peasantry to rally 
against the Turks. But the peasants 
did not rally. They remained passive, 
at the command of the Committee, 
while the Turks quickly drove Tsont- 
chev's filibusters back across the 

In the following year the Committee, 
being forced to an issue by Bulgarian 
intrigues, precipitated a popular up- 
rising against the Turks in the Monastir 
district. This time the peasants re- 
sponded, there was heavy fighting, and 
the insurgents at one time gained full 
possession of the important town of 
; Krushevo. Finally numbers told, and 
the insurrection was suppressed, in the 
customary manner with massacre and 
fire. Hardly a village in the vilayet 
or district of Monastir escaped de- 
struction. Nor was the chief object 
of the Committee attained. It had 
hoped to bring about European inter- 
vention, but the Powers remained 
passive, except for instituting certain 
"reforms," chief of which was forcing 
Turkey to put her Macedonian gendar- 
merie under French, Italian, English 
and Russian officers. 


. Meanwhile Sarafov's intrigues con- 
tinued, until finally he was assassinated 
in the streets of Sofia at the direct 
instigation of the Committee's chief 
leader in the field, Yani Sandanski. 
At the same time that Sarafov was 
slain, Sandanski sent a note to Prince 
Ferdinand, in which he told that 
monarch that if he continued his 
interference in Macedonian affairs, 
he would share the fate of his creature, 
Sarafov. The Committee was now at 
the height of its power. Serbian and 
Greek interference still remained con- 
fined to the forays of armed bands, 
and these the Committee's forces were 
well able to resist, for they had the 
backing of the whole population, as 
the Vlachs and a large proportion of 
the Turkish population stood solidly 
with the Slavs, who, naturally, formed 
a majority. 

For some years the Committee's 
leaders had been in close touch with 
the foremost spirits of the Young 
Turkey Party, drawn together by 
their common aim, which was a con- 
stitutional Turkey, with local auton- 
omy for the Christian vilayets. In 
1908 the Young Turks surprised all 
Europe by precipitating a military 
mutiny in Monastir, which quickly 
spread to a general revolution, result- 
ing in the proclamation of a constitu- 
tion by the Sultan. In this successful 
movement all the progressive elements 
of Macedonia combined. The soldiers 
of Mahmud Shevket Pasha, military 
leader of the Young Turk Army, 
marched side by side with the comita- 
jees under Sandanski. When the 
Sultan, Abdul Hamid, some weeks 
later attempted a counter-revolution, 
and the Young Turks marched on 
Constantinople to drive Abdul Hamid 
from his throne, at the head of the 
whole army marched a hundred Ma- 
cedonian comitajees, Sandanski lead- 
ing them. To him was given the honor 
of breaking in the gates of the capital. 


This turn of affairs was probably the 
keenest disappointment that had as 
yet been experienced by all the im- 
perialistic interests involved; first of 
all, those of 'Austria and Russia, and 
second those of Bulgaria, Serbia and 
Greece. If Turkey began a genuine 
housecleaning, where, then, would be 
the pretext for outside interference 
and eventual partition of Turkish 
territory in Europe? If the Christian 
subjects of the Sultan avowed them- 
selves contented with Turkish suze- 
rainty, how could their Christian 
neighbors, Bulgaria, Serbia or Greece, 
proclaim themselves their champions? 

The interests involved immediately 
began to consider new tactics. For 
the first time they realized they must 
co-operate, temporarily, at least. 
Young Turkey must be discredited. 
Unfortunately, they had a powerful 
ally in the ignorant, fanatical and 
reactionary masses of Turkey in Asia 
Minor. The Young Turks of 1908 
were sincere, and they had the support 



of the more progressive Turkish pop- 
ulation of Turkey in Europe. But 
when the hosts of Islam on the other 
side of the Bosphorus spoke, the vote 
was against recognizing Christian gia- 
ours as equals. But for this fact the 
whole course of later events might 
have been different. 


The Powers, the big and the little, 
began to plot against Young Turkey. 
Hardly had the new regime been 
established when Austria formally .an- 
nexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, which 
she had been governing for thirty years. 
At the same moment, to increase the 
irritation of the Turks, Ferdinand 
kicked over another theory by pro- 
claiming Bulgaria free from Turkish 
suzerainty and himself Czar of the 
Bulgars. True, the practical situation 
had not been changed, but the new 
Young Turk Government was put 
into a very awkward position in rela- 
tion with the fanatical elements within 
the Empire. 

For the next four years the Young 
Turkey Party struggled to establish 
Turkey on a really firm basis, but 
their policy was unwise, and the re- 
actionary elements gained the majority 
in Parliament. The war with Italy 
over Tripoli was another serious set- 
back. Gradually the old influences 
began to reassert themselves in the 
suppression of the rights so recently 
accorded to the Christian population. 
Some of the Young Turkish leaders 
became reactionary. By this time the 
Macedonian Committee had disbanded 
its armed forces, but Sandanski re- 
tired from his co-operation with the 
Committee of Union and Progress in 
disgust, and finally took to the hills 
again, with a hundred of his picked 


Meanwhile the Balkan states were 
making their preparations. This time 
they must combine and bury their 
rivalries. Afterward the spoils could 
be divided. There yet remained, 
however, the potential power of the 
Macedonian people themselves; the 


Committee. It would not do to invade 
Turkish territory without a moral 
pretext. There could be only one 
pretext of that nature, and that was 
to rescue the Christian people of 
Turkey from Turkish tyranny. This 
needed the acquiescence of the Chris- 
tian people mostly concerned. They 
were represented by the Committee. So 
the Balkan governments, through Bul- 
garia, approached Sandanski and made 
him a proposal. 

While official documents recording 
this conference have not yet been 
published, Sandanski was apparently 
promised that if he would co-operate 
with the Balkan Allies in their inva- 
sion of Turkey, Macedonia would be 
created an independent state. The 
actual treaty drawn up by the Allies 
themselves would seem to indicate 
that they had no intention of keeping 
this promise, and that the spoils were 
to be divided. Mention was made of 
a "free Macedonia," but was imme- 
diately followed by the modification, 
"should this prove impossible," pre- 
ceding a detailed statement of how 
the spoils should be divided. That 
Russia, rather than Austria, was be- 
hind this movement was indicated by 
the clause providing for Bulgarian 
assistance to Serbia in case of inter- 
ference from Austria, while Russia was 
to be arbitrator in case of disagree- 


On September 30, 1912, little Mon- 
tenegro rather hastily precipitated the 
conflict, but the other Allies threw 
their armies into the invasion of Turkey 
with tremendous energy and with a 
military efficiency which astonished all 
of Europe, and even surprised the 
Balkan Allies. Sandanski, at the head 
of his irregulars, protected the right 
wing of the Bulgarian army in Thrace 
and quickly overran and conquered 
the Razlog district. By the following 
Spring the Turks had been driven 
down to the gates of Constantinople 
and were suing for peace. 

Austria had undoubtedly been taken 
by surprise by the Firsf ^Balkan War. 
To have interfered while the cam- 


paign was in progress was hardly 
possible; public opinion nowhere in 
Europe would have countenanced such 
interference in favor of Turkey, for 
the whole world looked upon the war 
as one for freedom for peoples long 
oppressed by an alien race. But when 
peace negotiations were begun, Austria 
had her opportunity. Behind her 
stood the German Empire. For by 
this time the Empire had already per- 
fected her plans for a great Middle 
European empire. 


First of all, Austria insisted on an 
independent Albania and was sup- 
ported by Italy and the German 
Empire. This closed Serbia's longed-for 
opening to the Adriatic, and likewise 
Montenegro's hope for a seaport. 
Undoubtedly Ferdinand and Austria 
were intriguing together during the 
peace negotiations, which took place 
in London, for when Serbia resisted 
Austrian demands, Bulgaria did not 
back her up as she should have done. 
Thereupon Serbia contended that, hav- 
ing been compelled to relinquish her 
conquests over toward the Adriatic 
Coast, she must be compensated in 
Macedonia, the larger part of which 
was to fall to Bulgaria according 
to the agreement made before the war. 
Greece, too, was cheated of her ambi- 
tions in Albania by Austria's action, 
for she had counted on expansion in 
that direction. 

The controversy thus raised might 
have been settled peacefully by the 
Balkan states, but for two obstacles. 
One of these was the desire of Austria 
and Germany to create violent dissen- 
sion between the two Slavic states, 
Bulgaria and Serbia. A strong Balkan 
Confederation would block further 
expansion to the south and east. The 
second obstacle to peace was San- 
danski and his Macedonian associates. 
What promises Austria made Ferdi- 
nand in case he should fight Serbia 
can only be surmised. Bulgaria had 
been heavily engaged fighting the 
Turks in Adrianople. While she had 
been held up here on the main battle 
ground, Serbia and Greece had quickly 

overrun Macedonia. So that these two 
powers, though they had been less 
heavily engaged on the actual firing 
line, held most territory. And this 
territory was Macedonia. 


During this period of occupancy 
the Serbians and Greeks had both 
initiated a vigorous policy of "nation- 
alization." Any manifestation on the 
part of the inhabitants in favor of 
national independence was energeti- 
cally suppressed. Thousands of men 
were imprisoned, still more were simply 
shipped out of the country. Over a 
hundred thousand such refugees arrived 
in Bulgaria. 

To have this situation made per- 
manent was a bitter thought to San- 
danski and his people. Rather would 
they chance another war, with an- 
nexation to Bulgaria as a result. Be- 
hind Sandanski stood the influential 
Macedonians in Bulgaria, many of 
whom held high rank in the Govern- 
ment and in the army commands. 
One of these was Ghenadiev, former 
Minister of Agriculture, later one of 
the leaders of the opposition to Ferdi- 
nand's pro-German policy, for which 
he suffered imprisonment during the 
period of the war. 


It is said that Sandanski himself 
precipitated the actual fighting of the 
second Balkan War. He and his comi- 
tajees crossed the frontier and attacked 
the Serbian garrisons. Rumania joined 
Greece and Serbia against Bulgaria, 
beat her, and the victors dictated the 
terms at Bucharest. Practically all 
of Macedonia was divided among 
Greece and Serbia. And not only 
Ferdinand, but his people and the 
Macedonian people, were bitter. Later, 
this bitterness of feeling was to have a 
very deciding influence when Ferdi- 
nand played his game of intrigue in 
favor of Berlin. The Bulgarians were 
probably most bitter over the loss of 
Dobrudja to Rumania. Rumania had 
done none of the fighting, and the 
population of the Dobrudja was largely 



Austria was undoubtedly disap- 
pointed at one result of the Second 
Balkan War: the enlargement of Ser- 
bia. Serbia, on the other hand, was 
intoxicated with the glory of her suc- 
cess, and dreamed of greater annexa- 
tions to come. Both Serbia and Greece 
began a vigorous campaign in their 
respective slices of Macedonia. Who- 
ever was known to have been in any 
way connected with the former Mace- 
donian Committee was sent out of the 
country, and his lands and house were 
given over to colonists from Serbia or 
Greece. Most of these expatriated 
Macedonians found refuge in Bul- 
garia, where they intensified the deep 
hatred that had now sprung up be- 
tween Bulgarians and the Serbs and 


Perhaps some day some participant 
will tell of the Austrian intrigues which 
now began and ended only with the 
magnificent pretext: the assassination 
of the Austrian Crown Prince and his 
wife at Sarajevo. If Austria did not 
secretly stimulate the activities of the 
Serbian society which worked for a 
general union of all Serbs, the Narodna 
Odbrana, at least it was in her interest 
that the Serbian propaganda should 
be brought to a head. Then she could 
beat the Serbians decisively, and annex 
their territories. The Narodna Odbrana 
was only one of several organizations, 
made up largely of military officers and 
given every kind of encouragement by 
the short-sighted Serbian authorities. 
They had been behind the filibustering 
forays down into Macedonia. Such 
methods could hardly work in Austria, 
however, so there they substituted 
written propaganda. 

Intoxicated by the success of the 
Balkan Wars, the Serbian nationalists 
now turned their full attention toward 
the Serbs in Bosnia, Herzegovina 
and Dalmatia. And here they found 
more co-operation, for the peoples 
in these provinces were undoubtedly 

Serbian in sentiment. Austria really 
aided the Serbian propaganda by the 
repressive measures she took against 
the Slavic elements of the population 
of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Rebellion 
was in the air. 

In June, 1914, the Archduke Franz 
Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of 
Austria-Hungary, and his morganatic 
wife, decided to go down to Sarajevo 
in Bosnia to view the military maneu- 
vres. It is a matter of record that the 
Serbian Minister in Vienna protested, 
expressing his fear that incidents en- 
dangering the peaceful relations of 
Austria and Serbia might take place. 
This warning remained unheeded, and 
on June 28 the royal couple arrived ih 
the Bosnian city. 


After leaving the railroad station, as 
they were passing up the streets 
toward the Town Hall, where the 
municipal officials were awaiting them, 
a bomb was hurled from a roof into 
the automobile occupied by the Arch- 
duke and his wife. The Crown Prince 
averted this attempt on his life by his 
presence of mind; he picked up the 
bomb with his hand and threw it to the 
sidewalk, where it exploded without 
killing anyone. Arriving at the Town 
Hall, he severely reprimanded the city 
officials for their lack of precautionary 
measures. On leaving the Town Hall, 
as he was about to enter his motor car, 
a youth rushed out of the crowd and 
fired a revolver point blank at the 
Archduke and his wife, riddling them 
with bullets. Both died shortly after. 

Austria had her pretext. The whole 
world was in sympathy with the mur- 
dered couple and indignant against 
those who were responsible for their 
assassination. With pious phrases the 
Teuton diplomats began the prepara- 
tion of the "notes" and the final 
ultimatum which, as none knew better 
than they, were to bring about the 
great World War. 


Inadequate Belgian Preparations for Defense 


The Fateful Twelve Days 


(~)N June 28, 1914, the Archduke 
^^ Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the 
Austrian throne, and his morganatic 
wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, were 
assassinated at Sarajevo, the capital 
of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The crime 
was committed by Gavrilo Princip a 
youth of Serbian descent but a resident 
of Bosnia. It was generally believed 
in Austria-Hungary that the crime 
had been instigated by Pan-Serbian 
agitators in Belgrade and that it was 
the logical result of the persistent pro- 
paganda which had been carried on 
in Serbia for the separation of Bosnia 
and Herzegovina from the Austro- 
Hungarian Empire. 


The former Turkish provinces of 
Bosnia and Herzegovina had been 
placed under the administrative juris- 
diction of Austria-Hungary by the 
Congress of Berlin in 1878. In 1908, 
taking advantage of the Young Turk 
revolution at Constantinople, the Aus- 
tro-Hungarian authorities proclaimed 
the annexation of the two provinces to 
the Dual Monarchy. This action 
aroused bitter resentment in Serbia 
for the Serbs had long cherished the 
hope that these provinces, inhabited 
by people closely related to them, 
would eventually become a part of a 
Greater Serbia. Under pressure from 

the Great Powers, Serbia was per- 
suaded to agree to the incorporation of 
these provinces into the Austro-Hun- 
garian monarchy. This formal action 
on the part of Serbia did not signify a 
cordial acceptance of the decision and 
unofficial agitation in Serbia for the 
acquisition of this territory continued. 

After the Balkan wars in 1912-1913, 
which greatly increased the territorial 
possessions and national pride of the 
Serbs, the anti-Austrian propaganda 
became more pronounced. To the 
Austro-Hungarian authorities this Pan- 
Serbian propaganda appeared as a 
serious menace to the integrity of the 
Dual Monarchy. The Hapsburg do- 
minions comprised a polyglot empire 
of a large number of racial elements. 
Austria-Hungary was, in fact, a 
dynasty, not a nation. Since the 
organization of the Dual Monarchy in 
1867, the Hapsburg monarchs had 
aimed to hold together their hetero- 
geneous dominions by giving control 
to two of the racial elements, the 
Germans in Austria and the Magyars 
in Hungary. The Slav subjects in 
both Austria and Hungary, and the 
Rumanians in Hungary, were sub- 
ordinated, and were discontented and 
almost rebellious. 

There was, however, a possible solu- 
tion of the Austro-Hungarian problem 
which might have bound the various 



races within the Empire into a vigorous 
nation, and some discussion had arisen 
concerning it. This would have neces- 
sitated the reorganization of the Em- 
pire on a federal basis, granting to the 
Slavs equal political rights with the 
Germans and Magyars. 


In this connection the assassination 
of the Archduke is not without its 
sinister aspects. Franz Ferdinand 
had given evidence of his sympathy 
with the Slavs within the monarchy, 
and it was commonly believed that he 
favored some form of "trialism" or 
federalism for the Empire. Any such 
move, however, would meet with the 
bitter opposition of the German and 
Magyar junkers and it is probable that 
they did not regard with unmixed 
sorrow the removal of Franz Ferdi- 
nand from the succession to the 
throne. It has been charged, in fact, 
that the political enemies of the Arch- 
duke, although warned of the danger, 
did not take proper precautions to 
protect him on his visit to Sarajevo. 

The European statesmen imme- 
diately recognized that the Sarajevo 
tragedy would precipitate another seri- 
ous crisis in the delicate international 
situation, and for several days they 
waited in the keenest anxiety for some 
move from Vienna. It seemed certain 
that the Austro-Hungarian authorities 
would not allow this most favorable 
opportunity to pass for placing Austro- 
Serbian relations on a new basis and 
removing once and for all a serious 
menace to the territorial integrity of 
the Empire. 

Nearly a month passed, however, 
after the assassination of the Archduke 
and no move had been made by the 
Austro-Hungarian authorities. It is 
true that the press in Austria and 
Germany clamored for the most vigor- 
ous action against Serbia, and a per- 
sistent effort was made to excite the 
passions of the people in the Teutonic 
Empires. The prolonged delay of 
Austria in taking official notice of the 
assassination gave some encourage- 
ment to the European diplomats that 
this crisis would be safely passed as the 


previous ones had been. No evidence 
of the impending storm was given 
either at Vienna or Berlin. But there 
can be no doubt that decisions of the 
utmost importance for the future peace 
of Europe were reached during those 
first three weeks of July, 1914, by the 
diplomats and military leaders of the 
Teutonic powers. 


The German authorities later as- 
serted that they were not aware of the 
precise nature of the action which 
Austria would take, but it is incon- 
ceivable that the diplomats of the Dual 
Monarchy would take action which 
would precipitate a European crisis 
without first being assured of the 
support of Germany, and later revela- 
tions show the falsity of this assertion. 
That Austria was assured of such 
support prior to the dispatch of the 
ultimatum to Serbia is clearly stated 
in the German official White Paper: 
"The Austro-Hungarian Government 
advised us of its view of the situation 
and asked our opinion in the matter. 
We were able to assure our Ally most 
heartily of our agreement with her view 
of the situation and to assure her that 
any action that she might consider it 
necessary to take in order to put an end 
to the movement in Serbia, directed 
against the existence of the Austro- 
Hungarian Monarchy would meet with 
our approval. " 

Later disclosures furnished addi- 
tional evidence that the military and 
diplomatic leaders of the Teutonic 
Empires were working in entire har- 
mony during these critical weeks. 
There is little doubt that they hoped 
to present Europe with another fait 
accompli as they had done in the 
Bosnian crisis of 1908. Despite Ger- 
man denials there would seem to be 
almost conclusive evidence that early 
in July a great state council was held at 
Potsdam, at which the diplomatic and 
military policy of the Teutonic Powers 
was determined upon. 

ENCE IN JULY, 1914. 

Shortly after the outbreak of the 
war Baron Wagenheim, the German 


ambassador at Constantinople, con- 
fided to Mr. Morgenthau, the American 
ambassador, that such a conference had 
been held. He informed Mr. Morgen- 
thau that he was present to report on 
conditions in Turkey, and that in 
addition to the Kaiser, who presided, 
there were present General von Moltke, 
the Chief of Staff, Grand Admiral von 
Tirpitz, the leaders of German finance, 
the directors of the railroads, 
and the captains of industry 
"Each was asked if he were 
ready for war. All replied in 
the affirmative except the 
bankers, who insisted that they 
must have two weeks in which 
to sell foreign securities and 
arrange their loans." 

On July 23 the long expected 
action by Austria was taken. 
An ultimatum was presented to 
Serbia of which Sir Edward 
Grey said that he "had never 
before seen one state address 
to another independent state a 
document of so formidable a 


The Austrian note first re- 
minded Serbia of the declar- 
ation made by the Serbian 
government in 1909, after the 
annexation of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina by Austria-Hun- 
gary, in which the Serbian 
authorities agreed to recognize 
the annexation and "to live 
in the future on good and 
neighborly terms with Austria- 

Having presented this indictment 
the Austrian note required that the 
Serbian government should publish in 
its Official Journal a condemnation 
of all propaganda against Austria- 
Hungary, that they should express 
regret that Serbian officials had been 
involved in such propaganda and 
punish all persons guilty of such activ- 
ity in the future. This declaration was 


Hungary. 1 hlS promise, the When the newg of the death of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and 

Austrian authorities charged, his duchess reached Vienna, flags and streamers of mourning were 

i_j i f 1/-11 i /-T^? displayed upon some of the public buildings and business houses, 

had not been lUlnllea. 1 hey but the funeral was conducted without the state ceremony and 

accused the Serbian govern- honors that were due the Imperial heir. 

ment of conniving at subversive move- to be read to the Serbian army as an 
ments "in Serbia aimed at the terri- 
torial integrity of the Austro-Hungarian 
Empire;" of tolerating "unrestrained 
language on the part of the press" and 

order of the day. In addition, the 
ultimatum made ten specific demands 
of Serbia. 

"criminal machinations of various 
societies and associations directed 
against the Monarchy;" of allowing 
"an unwholesome propaganda in public 


The demands required that the 
Serbian government should suppress 
certain societies in Serbia that were 
charged with instigating propaganda 



against Austria-Hungary, especially 
the Narodna Odbrana; that all per- 
sons in the military or civil service 
in Serbia who were guilty of encour- 
aging such propaganda should be dis- 
missed; that objectionable matter in 
text books used in Serbian schools 
should be eliminated; that Serbia 
should take action against two officials 
who were accused of complicity in the 
Sarajevo crime, and also take effective 
measures to prevent the smuggling of 
arms and ammunition from Serbia into 
Bosnia. Finally Serbia was required 
to accept the collaboration of Austrian 
officials in the judicial proceedings in 
Serbia against persons accused of being 
involved in the assassination of the 
Archduke, and also to allow Austrian 
officials to assist in the suppression of 
anti-Austrian propaganda in Serbia. 


While it was freely admitted that 
Austria was fully justified in taking 
vigorous action to protect herself 
against a neighboring state whose 
government appeared to be unable or 
unwilling to suppress the propaganda 
against the Dual Monarchy, neverthe- 
less the European statesmen were not 
prepare'd for any such far-reaching 
document as the Austrian Ultimatum 
proved to be. For Serbia to accept the 
Austrian demands without reservation 
would have meant the disappearance 
of Serbia as a sovereign state. 

There would seem to be little doubt 
that the diplomats of the Teutonic 
powers seized upon the assassination 
of the Archduke as a peculiarly favor- 
able opportunity for reasserting Teu- 
tonic prestige on the continent. The 
outcome of the Balkan wars had 
unquestionably been a bitter dis- 
appointment to Germany and Austria. 
German military prestige had suffered 
through the defeats of Turkey and 
Bulgaria, and German commercial 
interests in the Balkans were likely to 
suffer as a result of the strengthening 
of the Slavic states. From the German 
point of view this situation was intoler- 
able and it was important that some 
action should be taken to restore 
Germanic influence in Central Europe. 



For this purpose the Austro-Serbian 
crisis came at a most opportune time 
for the Teutonic powers. The brutality 
of the murder would tend to arouse 
sympathy for Austria throughout the 
civilized world, and to justify vigorous 
action on the part of Austria. As Sir 
Edward Grey stated: "No crime had 
ever aroused deeper or more general 
horror throughout Europe; none was 
ever less justified. Sympathy for 
Austria was universal. Both the 
government and the public opinion of 
Europe were ready to support her in 
any measures, however severe, which 
she might think necessary to take for 
the punishment of the murderer and 
his accomplices." 

Russia, who regarded herself as the 
protector of the small Slavic states in 
the Balkans, was believed to be in no 
condition to take vigorous action in 
support of Serbia. The Japanese war 
had demonstrated the inefficiency of 
the Russian military organization. 
Something had been done to remedy 
the most obvious defects, but there 
remained much still to be done. The 
transportation system was notoriously 
inadequate for large military operations. 
The financial conditions within the 
Empire were not reassuring and the 
unstable industrial conditions were 
evidenced by the outbreak in July of a 
great strike in Petrograd. Under such 
circumstances there was ground for 
the belief in Germany and Austria that 
Russia would make no effective protest. 


France, too, appeared to be far from 
ready to support Russia in any move 
which would precipitate a European 
crisis. Pacifist sentiment in France 
had been rapidly developing. The 
French military organization was de- 
clared by the War Minister to be 
inadequate and ineffective. Political 
conditions throughout the country were 
disquieting. The unsavory Caillaux 
case gave evidence of an unhealthy 
condition in the high places of French 
political life. In the elections of 1914 
the Unified Socialists, who had vigor- 


In spite of the danger involved, the Duchess of Hohenberg, morganatic wife of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, 
heir to the Austrian throne, accompanied him in 1914, to a celebration at Sarajevo in Bosnia. With their assassina- 
tion, on June 28, the place and the occasion flamed into historic importance. The picture shows the funeral coach 
of the Duchess. 


In July, 1914, the strained attention of the diplomatic world was focused upon Vienna and Belgrade, during the 
negotiations that were to decide the destiny of nations. In the picture are Dr. Laza Patchou, Serbian Minister 
for Foreign Affairs (left), and Baron Giesl von Gieslingen, Austro-Hungarian Minister to Serbia (centre), who 
delivered the ultimatum. Pictures, Henry Ruschin 



The publication of the Austrian note 
aroused the gravest concern in the 
various European capitals. On its face 
the note appeared to call for the 
punishment of persons guilty of a 
serious crime and the suppression of 
unfriendly acts on the part of one 
state toward a neighbor. The Aus- 
trian authorities insisted that this 
was all that was contemplated. But 
it was obvious that far more serious 
questions of national honor, dynastic 
interest and economic power were 

ously opposed measures intended to 
increase the military strength of France, 
obtained one hundred and one seats in 
the Chamber of Deputies, a gain of 
twenty-six seats. Little wonder that 
in the eyes of the thorough-going 
German militarist France was a deca- 
dent nation. 

Finally Great Britain was regarded 
by Germany to be in a peculiarly un- 
favorable position to intervene in 
continental affairs. The Liberal-Labor 
coalition which controlled the British 
Parliament was strongly tinged with 
pacifism. Many of the leaders 
of the coalition strongly ad- 
vocated a curtailment of ex- 
penditures for military pur- 
poses. Far more significant 
was the very serious situation 
in Ireland. 


In May, 1914, the Irish Home 
Rule Bill passed Parliament for 
the third time and became law 
under the Parliament Act of 
1911, despite its rejection by 
the House of Lords. In the 
county of Ulster there was 
bitter opposition to the Home 
Rule Bill and it was deter- c< "' J ' r * ht ' . THE RACES OF AUSTRIA-HUNGARY 

mined to resist the application of The ma P marks the principal race divisions of Austria-Hungary, 
,1 i MI , T TI , -f Slavs of North and South, Germans of Austria, Magyars of Hun- 

trie Dill tO Ulster, II necessary, gary, Rumanians of Transylvania, and Italians of the "Unredeemed" 

to the point of rebellion. Sir lands - Fate ' in 1914 placed Sara J evo on the ma P- 

Edward Carson, a Conservative leader, 
organized the Ulster Volunteers and 
proclaimed his intention to resist the 
Home Rule Bill by force. A group of 
British army officers in Ireland de- 
clared that they would refuse to "coerce 
Ulster." In the south the Catholic 
Irish organized a military force called 
the Nationalist Volunteers. The danger 
of civil war appeared to be imminent. 
The Cabinet was in a quandary and 


Ostensibly aimed at Serbia the note 
was a direct challenge to Russian 
prestige in the Balkans. If Serbia 
submitted to the Austrian demands 
she would become in fact, if not in name, 
a vassal state of the Dual Monarchy. 
If Russia failed to stand behind Serbia 
her own prestige in the Balkans would 
be seriously impaired. Back of these 

the King summoned a conference of questions of dynastic interest and 

political leaders to discuss the serious 
situation. This conference was in ses- 
sion in July when the Austrian Ulti- 
matum was sent. 

Such were the internal conditions 
in the Entente countries in the summer 
of 1914. Perhaps never again could 
Germany and Austria find a more 
favorable combination of circumstances. 


national honor was the important 
question of economic control of the 
Balkan region. In this Germany was 
vitally interested. For years the 
German financial and military leaders 
had looked forward to the creation of 
a great Germanic economic sphere of 
influence extending from Germany, 
through Austria-Hungary and the 


Balkan States to Turkey and thence 
through Turkey to the Persian Gulf. 
Binding these territories together there 
was to be a railroad running from Berlin 
to Bagdad. In the realization of this 
plan the control of the Balkan states 
was of the first importance, for they 
occupied the gateway between Europe 
and Asia. 

As has been stated above, the 
strengthening of the Balkan states, 
especially Serbia, as a result of the 
Balkan Wars in 1912 and 1913, seriously 
threatened the realization of German 
ambitions, and Germany therefore was 
prepared to support vigorously the 
efforts of Austiia to restore Teutonic 
prestige in the Balkan territory. 


These considerations make it obvious 
that it was futile to consider, as the 
German and Austrian authorities re- 
peatedly insisted, the dispute as merely 
a local quarrel between Austria-Hun- 
gary and Serbia. As soon as the terms 
of the Austrian ultimatum became 
known, the British, French and Russian 
statesmen urged Austria to extend the 
time allowed Serbia to reply. They 
pointed out that it was impossible for 
the diplomats of the Great Powers to 
undertake any useful steps in solving 
the difficulties that had arisen, in the 
brief 48 hours provided in the ultimatum. 
Austria refused, however, to make any 
modification in her demands. Failing 
in this effort, the French and British 
ministers addressed themselves to Ser- 
bia with the view to persuading Serbia 
to accept as fully as possible the 
Austrian demands. In these efforts 
they were largely successful. 

The Serbian reply was, in fact, an 
almost complete acceptance of the 
Austrian proposals. Eight of the ten 
demands were agreed to without change. 
In regard to the demand that Austrian 
officials should collaborate with Serbian 
authorities in suppressing anti-Austrian 
propaganda, Serbia agreed to allow 
such collaboration "as agreed with the 
principles of international law. " The 
proposal that Serbia accept the partici- 
pation of Austrian officials in the 
judicial inquiry in Serbia against 

persons charged with complicity in the 
Sarajevo crime was declined on the 
ground that such action would violate 
the Serbian constitution. In conclu- 
sion, Serbia agreed that if Austria 
found the reply unsatisfactory, to refer 
the entire dispute to the Hague 
Tribunal or to the decision of the Great 


It was generally agreed in the Entente 
and neutral countries that the Serbian 
reply went very much farther toward 
an accommodation than had been ex- ' 
pected, and that at least, it left the way 
open to further diplomatic negotiations. 
To these conciliatory proposals, how- 
ever, the Austrian authorities turned a 
deaf ear. The Austro-Hungarian min- 
ister at Belgrade took only forty 
minutes to examine the Serbian reply 
and declared it to be wholly unsatis- 
factory. On July 25 he left for Vienna. 

From that moment the situation 
became most critical. The treaty 
obligations among the Great Powers 
made it practically inevitable that any 
break between two of the Great Powers 
would eventually involve the whole of 
Europe. Russia had declared in no 
uncertain terms that she could not 
remain indifferent to the fate of Serbia. 
France was bound to support Russia 
and Germany was under similar obliga- 
tions to support Austria-Hungary. 
Europe was to reap the bitter fruit of 
a half centmy of diplomatic intrigue 
which had divided the Great Powers 
into two armed camps. 

Obviously it was of the utmost im- 
portance to delay the first hostile move 
by Austria against Serbia. The Aus- 
trian foreign minister declared that 
the Dual Monarchy "entertained no 
thought of the conquest of Serbia" 
but that they wished to be assured 
that the Serbian intrigues would be 
effectively checked. If this was all 
that was contemplated it seemed to be 
quite possible to reach a solution of 
the difficulty by peaceful means. 


To this end Sir Edward Grey pro- 
posed that the question should be sub- 



mitted for consideration to the repre- 
sentatives of the four least interested 
powers, Great Britain, France, Ger- 
many and Italy. France and Italy 
readily accepted this suggestion but 
Germany declined on the ground that 
such a conference would amount to a 
court of arbitration. Throughout the 
period of the crisis the German Govern- 
ment maintained that the questions 
at issue involved only Austria and 
Serbia and that the efforts of the Great 
Powers should be devoted to a "local- 

sir Edward Grey, British Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs from 1905 to 1916, had worked for internationalism 
in Europe. In 1914 he tried to persuade Austria and 
Germany to arbitration rather than war. 

ization" of the conflict. In view of the 
international situation indicated above 
such a position was quite untenable. 
This appears to have been fully realized 
by the German authorities for the 
German memorandum stated that 
"warlike moves on the part of Austria- 
Hungary against Serbia, would bring 
Russia into the question and might 
draw Germany into war in accordance 
with her duty as Austria's ally." 

It was therefore with a full realiza- 
tion of the terrible results which would 
follow that Austria-Hungary, with the 


tacit, if not expressed, approval of Ger- 
many, declared war on Serbia July 28. 
In answer to the Austrian challenge 
which Russia felt was aimed primarily 
at her the Russian Government pro- 
claimed partial mobilization of her 
army on the Austrian frontier. The 
determined attitude on the part of 
Russia had a sobering effect in Vienna. 
Negotiations were started in an effort 
to arrange a "formula" satisfactory 
to Russia and Austria, but without 
success. In a last desperate effort to 
preserve European peace Sir Edward 
Grey suggested to the German Am- 
bassador that if Germany would pro- 
pose any reasonable method of solving 
the difficulty, Great Britain would 
bring pressure to bear upon France 
and Russia to accept such a proposal, 
but that if no proposition was made 
by Germany and if France became in- 
volved, Great Britain would be drawn 
in. Nothing fruitful came from this 


Finally on July 31, the last day of 
European peace, the Austrian Govern- 
ment agreed to accept the mediation 
of the Great Powers and also to discuss 
the substance of the ultimatum to 
Serbia. This changed attitude on the 
part of Austria aroused once more 
the hope that even at this eleventh 
hour a European war might be avoided. 
Just at this juncture when there ap- 
peared a slight chance of preserving 
peace the whole situation was changed 
by Germany's peremptory demand 
that Russia should cease military 

To understand the situation it is 
necessary to keep in mind the fact that 
Germany placed great dependence 
upon its greater speed in mobilization 
to give her an advantage in case of war 
and it was not likely that she would 
allow this advantage to escape her. 
Russia had the advantage of unlimited 
man power and if she had time to 
mobilize these forces before Germany 
it would place the latter at a great dis- 
advantage. It is true that Russia 
assured Germany that her mobiliza- 
tion was directed only against Austria, 


but Germany insisted that under the 
cloak of partial mobilization the vast 
Russian military machine was being pre- 
pared. In the light of the later revela- 
tions at the trial of the Russian General 
Soukhomlinoff there would appear to be 
some truth in the German contention. 


Germany realized that every day's de- 
lay weakened the advantage which 
she possessed through her perfected 
plans of mobilization, and on July 
3 1st, she dispatched an ultimatum 
to Russia demanding an immediate 
demobilization of the Russian 
Army. As Russia returned no re- 
ply to this demand the German 
Ambassador at Petrograd notified 
the Russian Government, on August 
I, that a state of war existed be- 
tween Germany and Russia. At last 
had come the dreaded European 
conflagration, for it was inevitable 
that with two of the Great Powers 
involved, the treaty obligations of 
the other powers would sooner or 
later draw them into the conflict. 

At the same time that Germany 
sent her ultimatum to Russia a 
communication was sent to France 
demanding what attitude France 
would take in case of war between 
Russia and Germany. To this de- 
mand France replied that she 
"would take such action as her 
interests required." Two days later 
on August 3, Germany declared war on 

With the four great continental 
powers involved there remained the 
all important question of the attitude 
of Great Britain in the face of this 
world crisis. In order to get a clear 
understanding of the course of British 
diplomacy during that fatal week 
after the presentation of the Austrian 
Ultimatum it is essential to bear in 
mind certain facts and conditions. 



First of all was the strong English 
tradition of British isolation from the 
politics of continental Europe. For 
years before the outbreak of the Great 
War British statesmen had pursued 

the policy of maintaining the so-called 
"balance of power" among the states 
on the continent. They conceived of 
Great Britain as the balance wheel in 
the European international mechanism, 
ready to redress any serious disturbance 
of the equilibrium among the states on 
the continent but loath to be involved 
in the constant quarrels of continental 
politics. It is true that Great Britain 

Count Sergius Sazonov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
from 1910 to 1016, had opposed Austria's ambitions in Serbia. 
Working with Sir Edward Grey, he strove to avert war in 1914. 

had joined the "Triple Entente" with 
France and Russia, but British obliga- 
tions under this arrangement were very 
indefinite. 1 1 was an ' ' understanding ' ' 
not a formal treaty. 

Moreover, the Liberal-Radical coali- 
tion which had controlled British 
politics for a decade was distinctly 
anti-militaristic and was inclined to 
discount the alarmist reports of a 
German menace which were circulated. 
In fact, the leaders of the Liberal party 
had been engaged for a number of years 
in an earnest effort to relieve the grow- 
ing tension in the relations between 
Germany and Great Britain. Prince 
Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador 
to Great Britain, in his famous Memo- 
randum gives convincing evidence of 



this desire on the part of the British 
leaders. He testifies that Sir Edward 
Grey's policy did not aim to restrict 
the legitimate growth of German 
commerce and industry but that on the 
contrary, Great Britain was disposed 
to deal most liberally with Germany's 
aspirations for colonial expansion and 
economic development. Then, too, 
the British authorities made repeated 
attempts to reach an understanding 
with Germany which would put an end 
to the competitive building of naval 


In these circumstances Sir Edward 
Grey's position was exceedingly diffi- 
cult. Some of the members of the 
cabinet were definitely opposed to 
Britain's participation in the war. 
Certain influential Liberal newspapers 
insisted that British interests were not 
menaced and urged British neutrality. 
Public opinion throughout- England 
was, to say the least, doubtful. When, 
therefore, the Serbian dispute first 
arose, the responsible leaders in England 
were inclined to hold aloof. Sir 
Edward Grey stated explicitly: "I do 
not consider that public opinion here 
would or ought to sanction our going 
to war over a Serbian quarrel." 

The French and Russian statesmen, 
with a truer insight into the real signi- 
ficance of the dispute, urged Great 
Britain to declare her support of France 
and Russia. M. Sazonov, the Russian 
Foreign minister, said that he did not 
believe that Germany really wanted 
war but her attitude was decided by 
England's. If she took her stand 
firmly with France and Russia, there 
would be no war. M. Poincare, the 
French president, similarly, in a per- 
sonal letter to the British King, stated: 
"I am profoundly convinced that at 
the present moment the more Great 
Britain, France, and Russia, can give 
a deep impression that they are united 
in their diplomatic action, the more 
possible it will be to count upon the 
preservation of peace." This view 
Sir Edward Grey steadily rejected and 
up to the last day of European peace he 
refused to give any definite promise as 


to the attitude which Great Britain 
would take. At the same time he made 
it clear to the German Ambassador at 
London that if France became involved 
British interests might be so affected 
as to force her participation in the war. 


The German leaders made every 
effort to take advantage of this appar- 
ent indecision of the British cabinet. 
A bid was made for British neutrality 
by offering to respect the neutrality of 


Dr. Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, whose reference 
to the Belgian neutrality treaty as "a scrap of paper" 
passed quickly from tongue to tongue around the 
world, was German Imperial Chancellor from 1909 
to 1917. 

Holland and the territorial integrity of 
Belgium and France. This offer was 
declined by Great Britain with the 
statement that France might be so far 
subordinated as a Great Power, even 
without the loss of territory, as to 
seriously affect British interests. Urged 
further by Germany to formulate the 
conditions upon which ^Great Britain 
would remain neutral, Sir Edward 
Grey declined with the statement that 
they must keep their hands free. 


Thus Great Britain stood at the 
outbreak of hostilities, unwilling on the 
one hand to promise definitely to come 
to the aid of France and Russia or on 
the other hand to remain neutral. 
This noncommittal policy of the British 
authorities aroused much criticism in 
England. These critics maintained 
that had Great Britain made her posi- 
tion clear at the beginning of the crisis 
war would have been avoided. 


In the light of later events, however, 
Sir Edward Grey's position would seem 
to be justified. In the first place if 
Germany was bent upon war, Great 
Britain's unqualified support of France 
and Russia would have embittered 
Germany and would have strengthened 
the hands of the war party. On the 
other hand if it is assumed that 
Germany was sincerely desirous of 
maintaining peace an uncompromising 
position on the .part of Great Britain 
would have nullified such efforts. 

The difficulties and perplexities of 
the British Government were resolved 
by the shortsighted action of Germany 
in violating the neutrality of Belgium. 
For centuries the little country of 
Belgium had been the cockpit of 
Europe. On its soil had been fought 
many famous battles. Spain, Austria, 
France and Holland had in turn 
possessed it. Its fine harbors and valu- 
able commercial resources made it a 
rich prize. Great Britain had always 
maintained a vital interest in the fate 
of these provinces because of their 
close proximity to the British coast, 
and she had opposed their acquisition 
by any of the great continental powers. 
When, therefore, in 1830 Belgium 
established her independence of Hol- 
land, Great Britain proposed that 
Belgian independence should be recog- 
nized and her perpetual neutrality 
guaranteed by all of the Great Powers. 
In 1831 a treaty making such provisions 
was signed by Great Britain, France, 
Prussia and Russia and Austria. This 
treaty was replaced by a similar treaty 
signed in 1839 when Holland finally 
recognized the independence of Bel- 
gium. In 1870 at the outbreak of the 

Franco-Prussian war, Great Britain 

negotiated treaties with both France 

and Prussia to assure further respect 
for the neutrality of Belgium. 


With the outbreak of the Great War 
Belgium was once more threatened. 
Strategically this country occupied a 
most important position in a war which 
involved France and Germany. The 
eastern French frontier from the Swiss 
to the Belgian border was strongly 
fortified. A German invasion of France 
through this frontier would have been 
a long and difficult task, as the war 
later proved. If France could be 
attacked, however, on her northern 
border by crossing Belg'um the chances 
of success were much greater. 

Reports of large concentration of 
German forces on the Belgian frontier 
made it evident that Germany con- 
templated such a move. In view of 
this situation, Sir Edward Grey on 
July 3ist, sent instructions to the 
British Ambassadors at Berlin and 
Paris to inquire whether Germany and 
France were prepared to lespect the 
neutrality of Belgium. France replied 
that she was resolved to do so, so long 
as other powers did the same. Germany 
made no direct reply. The German 
Secretary of State indicated that to 
reply to the British note would disclose 
a part of the German plan of campaign. 
The world was not left long :'n doubt as 
to the German intentions. 


On August 2nd, the German Govern- 
ment presented a note 1o Belgium 
proposing "friendly neutrality." It 
was stated that Germany had received 
information that France proposed to 
march through Belgium and that 
Germany proposed to forestall this 
move. She declared that if Belgium 
would allow German troops to cross 
her territory, Belgian independence 
would be completely restored at the 
close of the war, and an indemnity paid 
for all damage done but that if she 
refused her fate would be left "to the 
decision of arms." To her everlasting 
honor Belgium refused to listen to the 



German proposal and stated that she 
was resolved to maintain her rights 
"by every means in her power." At 
the same time she called upon Great 
Britain, France and Russia to fulfill 
their obligations under the treaty of 
1839. In response to this appeal, Great 
Britain sent an ultimatum to Germany 
demanding that satisfactory assurances 
be given that Germany would respect 
the neutrality of Belgium. Failure to 
receive any reply to this demand 
resulted in Great Britain's declaring 
war on Germany, August 4th. 

At first Germany justified her inva- 
sion of Belgium on the ground of 
military necessity. The German Chan- 
cellor stated that Germany was con- 
fronted with a great national crisis and 
that under the circumstances "neces- 
sity knows no law. " When, however, 
the public indignation in all civilized 
countries became apparent, the German 
leaders endeavored to find some other 
warrant for their breach of international 
law. Certain documents were found 
in the Belgian archives when the 
Germans occupied Brussels which 
Germany claimed gave evidence of 
unneutral acts on the part of Belgium. 


The Belgium government had no 
difficulty in showing that these docu- 
ments in no sense involved a breach of 
neutrality by Belgium and that, more- 
over, Germany had been aware of the 
nature of these documents long before 
their supposed "discovery" in Brussels. 

Apart from questions of inter- 
national morality, the invasion of 
Belgium was a serious diplomatic 
blunder, for it gave to the British 
Cabinet a moral issue upon which they 
could rely to unite British public 
opinion in support of Great Britain's 
participation in the war. That Great 
Britain would be drawn into the 
struggle sooner or later was inevitable. 
In the first place she was under obliga- 
tions to France to defend the northern 
coast of France from attack by the 
German navy. On August 2nd, two 

days before Great Britain entered the 
war, Sir Edward Grey notified the 
French Government that Great Britain 
would fulfill this obligation. Moreover, 
quite apart from this specific agreement 
Great Britain could not have stood 
aside and allowed France to be crushed. 
The preservation of France was of vital 
importance to Great Britain. If Ger- 
many established herself on the English 
Channel she would threaten British 
naval supremacy and the very exis- 
tence of the British Empire. 


There can be little doubt, therefore, 
that British participation in the war 
was assured when France was attacked. 
The question of Belgian neutrality 
was important in that it gave Great 
Britain a strong moral basis for entering 
a struggle which her vital interests 
would inevitably have forced her to 
enter. Great Britain's decision to 
enter the war aroused feelings of bitter 
resentment in Germany. In the famous 
words of the German Chancellor 
"just for a word 'neutrality' a word 
which in war time had so often been 
disregarded just for a scrap of paper 
Great Britain was going to make war 
on a kindred nation who desired 
nothing better than to be friends with 
her. " But it is difficult to believe that 
the German authorities could have had 
any doubts as to the consequences of 
their action in violating Belgian neu- 
trality. In fact later events would 
justify the belief that Germany de- 
liberately challenged England with the 
intention of realizing her long-cherished 
dream of world domination. 

Thus on August 4, 1914, the stage 
was set for the greatest and most 
terrible of all world tragedies. Probably 
none of the statesmen then guiding the 
policies of the Great Powers had any 
conception of the magnitude of the 
impending struggle or of the tremen- 
dous political and social changes 
through which Europe was to pass in 
the next four years. 



By permission of Ceo. Pulman & Sons, Ltd. 


The Garde Civique on Duty in Belgium 


The Crime Against Belgium 


"DESTING upon the treaties which, 
in 1839 and 1870, guaranteed her 
neutrality, Belgium made little prepar- 
ation for war. Her army in 1914 
numbered only about , 260,000 men, 
and of these one half were needed for 
the fortresses, so that only 130,000 
together with some 90,000 almost 
untrained Gardes Civiques were avail- 
able for war. The great fortress of 
Antwerp and the lesser ones of Liege 
and Namur had been modernized and 
strengthened by the great engineer 
Brialmont, but in a day before the 
great siege gun. With the failure of 
Sir Edward Grey's diplomacy to con- 
fine the trouble between Austria and 
Serbia to the Balkans, France, in 
accordance with the Dual Entente 
threw in her lot with Russia, and 
Germany supported Austria. Thus the 
theatre was ready and the scene placed 
for a great European conflict. 


The German high command had long 
before made its plans in case of war 
with France and Russia. By using a 
great proportion of her strength in the 
west, France would be crushed by a 
quick envelopment of her armies. Then 
Germany could turn to the east in full 
strength and meet the sluggish Russian 
bear. This plan demanded, first of all, 
speed. Delay until the Russian armies 

should be mobilized might be fatal to 
the smooth execution of the plan, 
which contemplated the passage of the 
Belgian plain and the employment of 
her network of railways to launch a 
drive which should first roll up and then 
destroy the armies of France. 

Leaving out of consideration all 
questions of morality, and thinking 
only of the object to be gained, the 
German strategists were wise and far- 
seeing. An examination of a topo- 
graphical map of France showed in 
advance what subsequent events 
proved. Eastern France is a series of 
plateaus sloping gently toward Paris, 
but presenting steep faces toward the 
German Empire. The few gateways 
nearest Germany were guarded by the 
great fortresses of Verdun, Toul, Epinal 
and Belfort. Guarding the passes 
behind these were other fortifications, 
and other positions where Nature made 
resistance easy to invasion from the 
East. While the General Staff had 
confidence in the power of the heavy 
artillery to reduce these fortifications, 
progress would necessarily be slow. 
As a matter of fact the invincibility of 
Verdun was to be shown in 1917. 


On the other hand, northeastern 
France bordering on Belgium is a 
continuation of the low Belgian plain. 



There are no natural defenses to help 
hold back an invading army. Roads, 
many and good, make an invasion 
easier. To be sure the route from the 
German frontier to Paris by way of 
Belgium is 80 miles longer than the 
route from Metz to Paris (250 miles as 
against 170) but one was expected to 
be easy and the other was known to be 
difficult. From the standpoint of the 
German General Staff, there could be 
no hesitation in choosing the route 
through Belgium, since as said above 
speed was the very essence of the plan. 
Such a course violated the neutrality 
of Belgium, which had been guaranteed 
by the European Powers in 1839, ar >d 
which Prussia had again affirmed in 
1870. By this treaty all the signatory 
powers agreed to refrain from invading 
Belgium so long as it waged no war 
beyond its own boundaries. Tiny 
Luxemburg was neutralized in 1867. 
In 1907 the Hague Convention, ratified 
by Germany, definitely forbade bellig- 
erents to move troops, supplies or 
munitions across the territory of a 
neutral power. This applied of course 
equally to Belgium, Luxemburg and 
Switzerland, and seemed to make 
possible their continued existence in 
peace and security. 


As we have seen, however, the 
dominant school of thought in Germany 
held the theory of the survival of the 
fittest, that is, the strongest, in its 
boldest and most uncompromising 
form. Morality in international ques- 
tions was a meaningless term. Only 
self-interest could be considered. The 
test of right or wrong in considering 
the action of a state was whether or not 
it was beneficial. "The state can not 
commit a crime." The desire for 
world dominion had seized the ruling 
classes in Germany, and the state had 
long been preparing for the struggle. 
In the words of the Kaiser, "Belgian 
neutrality had to be violated by 
Germany on strategic grounds. " Noth- 
ing else counted. 

Following plans made long before, 
three of the eight German armies were 
mobilized on the border of Belgium. In 


the preceding chapter the story of the 
German demand that Belgium should 
sacrifice her neutrality and allow the 
German armies to pass through is told 
at length. On .August 2, 1914, the 
German note was presented and an 
answer was demanded before seven 
o'clock the next morning. To these 
demands the Belgian government re- 
plied within twelve hours that they 
were firmly resolved to repel, by all 
means in their power, every attack upon 
their rights. Three hours later that 
Monday night the Belgian king tele- 
graphed to the King of England as 
follows: "Remembering the numerous 
proofs of your Majesty's friendship and 
that of your predecessor, and the 
friendly attitude of England in 1870, 
and the proof of the friendship you have 
just given us again, I make a supreme 
appeal to the diplomatic intervention 
of your Majesty's government to safe- 
guard the integrity of Belgium. " 

The next day Parliament was sum- 
moned in special session, and in the 
national crisis all faction quarrels were 
forgotten, all parties united. As the 
queen entered, the deputies cheered 
enthusiastically to show that they 
looked upon her as a Belgian queen and 
nothing else, in spite of her Bavarian 
birth and upbringing. When the cheer- 
ing had subsided, the king came in, 
walking quietly to the dais, plunged 
right into the heart of the situation. 
He called upon the deputies for the 
great need of union, and then put this 
question to the House "Je vous 
demande, Messieurs: Etes-vous decides 
inebranlablement'& maintenir intact le 
patrimoine sacre" de nos ancetres?" 
"Oui! Oui! Oui!" roared the chamber 
and from the Socialist members came 
cries of "At any cost, by death if need 
be!" The king continued, "J'ai foi 
dans nos destinees. Un pays qui se 
defend s' impose au respect de tous; ce 
pays ne pe"rit pas. Dieu sera avec nous 
dans cette cause juste! Vive la Bel- 
gique independante!" 


When the king departed, the houses 
remained in joint session to read the 
German note of August 4, stating " that 


in view of the refusal of the King to the 
well-intentioned proposals of the Emper- 
or, the Imperial Government, greatly 
to its regret, was obliged to carry out 
by force of arms the measures indis- 
pensable to its security." That same 
morning German soldiers crossed -the 
Belgian frontier at Vise, overcoming 
the resistance of a Belgian detachment 
holding the bridge. Their first objec- 
tive was Lige within the circle of whose 
forts lay the railway junction of the 

las after they had . been fired, rising 
again to fire another shot. In 1892, 
when the works had been completed 
they were considered very strong but 
the remainder of the plan, trenches and 
redoubts for infantry, had never been 
constructed. The garrison numbered 
only a few hundred, for whom there was 
room in the barracks. 

With the news of the coming of the 
Germans the Third Belgian Division 
had been hurried to Liege, and with 


Full of confidence, the German soldiers left their capital on the way towards the Belgian frontier as though they 
were setting forth for manoeuvres. It is a testimony to the curious German habit of mind that when they returned 
defeated four years later, the same civilian population acclaimed them victorious. Picture, Henry Ruschin 

lines connecting Belgium and Northern 
France with Germany. 

On the Meuse, near the German 
frontier lay two fortresses, Liege and 
Namur, which had been designed to 
command the railway lines crossing 
the frontier, and prevent an invasion 
from the east. The town of Liege was 
surrounded by twelve forts, six large 
and six smaller. There was no artillery 
larger than a 6-inch gun and an 8-inch 
mortar, and there were few of these. 
The guns were mounted in armored 
turrets which sank into concrete cupo- 

some companies of the Gardes Civiques 
hastily threw up intrenchments in the 
spaces between the detached forts. 
They were poorly provided with the 
requisites for trench warfare, including 
ammunition, but those across the 
Meuse made a vigorous resistance to 
the German attack. The Germans 
underestimated their adversaries, and 
the Seventh and Tenth Corps, under 
General von Emmich, though partly 
supplied and not yet fully organized, 
were expected to take the city without 



A bird's eye view of the land between the fortified town of Liege and Namur around which the severest fighting 
took place during the opening weeks of the war. When Vise had been sacked and burned and Liege taken, the 
Belgians hotly contested the advance of the enemy at Tongres, Hasselt, St. Trond, Landen, Haelen, Diest and 


After an inadequate artillery bom- 
bardment an unsuccessful assault was 
made on the morning of August 5, 
though Fort Fleron was silenced by 
the artillery. Another assault followed 
that night, after a heavier bombard- 
ment, and the next day, August 6, the 
German infantry had forced their way 
between two of the eastern forts though 
the Belgians still held the village 
between the outer forts and the town. 
Three more of the forts were silenced 
but the Germans were too exhausted to 
follow up their advantage at first. On 
the morning of August 7 the town was 
entered but General Leman had ordered 
the Third Belgian Division to evacuate 
the place and join the Belgian Army 
behind the Gette, in order that they 
might not be involved in the general 
capitulation which he saw was becom- 


ing inevitable. Unfortunately the 
bridges were not destroyed. General 
Leman determined to hold the remain- 
ing forts as long as possible so as to 
cause the Germans the greatest hind- 
rance in seizing the railways passing 
through the city. On the Qth and loth 
two more forts fell before the concen- 
trated fire of heavy field howitzers. 
On the nth the siege train arrived 
and began its work, smashing the steel 
and cement cupolas which protected 
the guns of the forts. Fort Loncin held 
out until the I5th, when it was struck 
by a shell from a 42 centimetre howit- 
zer, according to General von Luden- 
dorff, but it is not believed that these 
had yet come up. There brave General 
Leman was captured after he had been 
rendered senseless by the explosion 
which destroyed the fort. 

Meanwhile, in Brussels at first great 
optimism prevailed and the press 


Tirlemont. After the occupation of Louvain and Brussels, the German forces executed a great turning movement 
towards Namur, whose ancient citadel looks down on the Meuse and Sambre some 600 feet below, and captured 
the town August 24, 1914. 

headed its news sheets day after day 
with the line "Les forts tiennent 
toujours." There came a change in the 
rumors, and the king and the queen 
left for Antwerp, while the defense of 
Brussels lay only in her companies of 
Gardes Civigues who had had no more 
training than that they had received 
on Sunday afternoon marches through 
the pleasant woods or a parade on some 
fte day. 


The way through Belgium was now 
open. To be sure Antwerp on the 
north and Namur to the south still 
stood but there was a wide gap between 
through which the invaders might pass. 
Further the Germans realized that 
their heavy artillery could demolish 
any fortifications within range, and 
they knew that their numbers would 
enable them to drive back any forces 

which should attempt to keep them at 
a distance. Namur must be taken, of 
course, for it separated the German 
line, but Antwerp was harmless and 
might easily be left until a more con- 
venient season. 

Meanwhile the first German Army 
under General von Kluck, had been 
mobilizing on the extreme right of the 
German line. According to plan he 
was to march through Belgium and get 
around to the rear of the French left. 
(The plan did not anticipate the arrival 
of the English forces.) The siege of 
Lidge had delayed his advance long 
enough for the English forces to get 
into position on the French left, though 
it is not probable that the total delay 
was as much as the twelve days during 
which the last fort held out. Even had 
Lige fallen earlier, General von Kluck 
could not have moved at once, but the 
sacrifices at Liege did cause appreciable 



delay in carrying out the German plans, 
and it is not too much to say that the 
Belgian resistance saved France. 

By the lyth of August General von 
Kluck reached the Gette, between 
which river and the Dyle the main 
Belgian army was lying (the Fourth 
Division only was stationed down at 
Namur to guard the crossings of the 

of forts around Antwerp itself. Then von 
Kluck's army wheeled round upon Brus- 
sels, sending the Third and Ninth Re- 
serve Corps to watch Antwerp. On the 
1 9th the Second Corps passed through 
Aerschot and marched on to get round 
Brussels which it entered on the 2Oth, 
the Third Corps passed only through 
the south suburbs of the capital, and 


The beautiful Pont des Arches at Liege was destroyed by the Belgian army in the vain attempt to hamper the 
crossing of the Meuse River. The German engineers soon built a pontoon bridge, however, and were hindered 
only a short time. This part of the city was not greatly damaged by the bombardment. 

Picture, Boon, Amsterdam 

Meuse immediately below the fortress), the Ninth marched west from the Gette 
The Belgians had been successful in upon Braine 1'Alleud. 
repulsing a German attempt to cross 
the Gette at Haelen on the I2th, so von 
Kluck brought against the small army 
three army corps, following these up 
closely with four additional reserve 
ones. At Haelen and Diest, August 
1 8th, they forced their way across the 
river and by evening the entire line of 
the river was in von Kluck's hands. 
Then the Belgian commander seeing 
that he was in danger of being out- 
flanked by a greatly superior enemy, 
withdrew behind the Dyle River on the 
i8th and 19th, and finally on August 
2oth, with his army, entered the circle 


The igth of August was a day of 
anxious anticipation within Brussels. 
With the news of German advance, 
plans for the defense of the city had at 
first been adopted by the Burgomaster 
M. Max. As he had at his disposal no 
regular troops, but only companies of 
the Garde Civique, it would have been 
a useless and futile sacrifice involving 
the loss of civilian property and life to 
attempt to hold the city. He was, 
therefore, dissuaded from resistance, 
and finally, wearing his scarf of office 


rode out to Tervueren on Tuesday night 
to arrange with the German Staff the 
details of the German march through 
the capital. All shops were closed and 
proclamations issued to the Bruxellois 
warning them to make no demonstra- 
tion. A silent, sullen crowd thronged 
the streets through which the great 
army rode. Eye witnesses of the scene 
testify to the fearsome equipment of 
the Germans, from the great siege 
trains down to the smallest details of 
uniforms. There was no shouting, no 
giving of orders, all this was done by 
signal or by whistle as staff officers or 
motorcycles rode up and down on the 
left of the boulevards. Sometimes the 
Germans broke into solemn hymns and 
kept time to their music; at others they 
marched past in grim silence and there 
was no sound but the eternal footfall 
of thousands of feet. So "the mighty 
grey grim horde, a thing of steel" 
thundered on, whilst all Brussels won- 
dered. Part of the host swept on 
towards the south, a small fraction only 
remained in the city as an army of 
occupation. At first the general plan 
seems not to have included a stay in 
the Belgian capital but as resistance 
strengthened farther south a policy of 
occupation was substituted. 

When the rest of the main Belgian 
army evacuated Brussels on the iQth, 
it fell back on Antwerp whose forts and 
strong natural defenses seemed to 
make it an ideal line of final resistance. 
The Germans had not intended to 
capture Antwerp at first, had merely 
meant to prevent it from being a 
menace on their rear; now when the 
battle line shifted it became necessary 
to eliminate this Belgian threat upon 
their right flank for the Belgians had 
not contented themselves with a mere 
defensive r61e but had made vigorous 
sorties upon the foe, the first time 
causing the Germans in revenge to burn 
and sack Louvain. 


The further account of General von 
Kluck's military operations belongs in 
the next chapter, as perhaps also does 
the account of the fall of the fortress of 
Namur, at the junction of the Sambre 

and the Meuse. The fortifications of 
Namur, like those of Liege, were of the 
cupola type, and it was expected that 
they would be able to stand at least as 
long as the forts of Liege. The Fourth 
Belgian Division was sent to defend the 
forts and there were also some scatter- 
ing Belgian units and a few French 
soldiers besides the garrison, perhaps 
30,000 men in all. Inside the angle 
formed by the rivers was General de 
Lanrezac's Fifth French Army. 

The Second German Army under 
General von Billow and the Third 
under General von Hausen advanced 
to attack the salient. Accompanying 
General von Biilow was the heavy 
siege artillery, now reinforced by a 
battery of the heavy Austrian 42 
centimetre howitzers. These opened 
fire on August 22, and pulverized the 
forts, while the field artillery destroyed 
the infantry intrenchments. The be- 
sieged did not have a chance. The next 
day (Aug. 23) the German infantry 
advanced, took the forts, and captured 
a large proportion of the defenders. 
Meanwhile, von Biilow on the Sambre 
and von Hausen on the Meuse were 
able to cross these streams, and the 
Fifth French Army was forced to fall 
back precipitately, with consequences 
which will be told in the next chapter. 

As said above, when the German 
armies swept through Belgium into 
France, Antwerp and the main Belgian 
forces around it were almost ignored. 
The Ninth and the Third Reserve Corps 
were left to watch the Belgian army, 
until reinforcements should arrive from 
Germany. Not until after the retreat 
from the Marne was an attempt to take 
the city made, and the story really 
belongs to those operations told in 
Chapter VIII. It is enough to say here 
that operations began on September 17, 
and that the Germans occupied the city 
on October 9, capturing a considerable 
part of the Belgian army. About 
10,000 blundered across the Dutch 
frontier and in accordance with inter- 
national law were interned. A larger 
remnant escaped by marching west- 
ward hugging the coast, until connec- 
tion was established with the English. 
This fragment for four years more held 



a few miles of trenches, and helped to 
prevent the whole of Belgium from fall- 
ing under German domination. 


If the crime against Belgium had 
stopped at invasion and conquest, 
history would pronounce its verdict 
and pass on, but more must be told. 
The trail of the German armies across 
the Belgian plain is unhappily only too 
easy to trace, for it is a trail of wanton 
bloodshed, of rapine and pillage, of 
incendiarism and bestiality. Reports 
of German atrocities in Belgium were 
not at first believed; it seemed that 
such things could not be true. As new 
reports were made, however, careful 
investigations were made, and in re- 
ports published by Lord Bryce and the 
Belgian and French commissions, the 
main charges have been proved beyond 
a doubt. 

Doubtless some of the early reports 
were exaggerated. For example, the 
practice of cutting off the hands of 
children was not general, if indeed any 
cases were really absolutely proved. 
On the other hand, countless acts of 
robbery, pillage, and wanton destruc- 
tion of property occurred. There were 
as many instances of brutality and 
mutilation, some almost beyond belief. 
Thousands of innocent persons were 
put to death by the military authorities. 
There were other hundreds of cases of 
brutal murder by individudal soldiers; 
women were violated either by German 
officers or with their consent. Leaving 
out of consideration all cases in which 
the evidence is not absolutely conclusive, 
the remainder makes a record which 
Germany can not explain away. 


The excuse given by the Germans 
was generally that civilians had fired 
upon the soldiers, and wide currency 
was given to this statement in Germany. 
Another favorite explanation was the 
alleged cruelty of Belgian civilians, 
men and women, toward wounded 
German soldiers. Even in Germany, 
doubters were able to prove that not 
a single case of such mutilation by 
Belgians had been officially reported. 


The whole German explanation lay in 
the word "reprisal." The lack of 
truth in this explanation is established, 
but even granting that German might 
was exercised only after provocation, 
two facts are evident. The punishment 
was altogether out of proportion to the 
provocation, and second, the innocent 
were punished contrary to the rules of 
war of all nations. 

The war manuals of France, Great 
Britain, and the United States accept 
the provisions of the Hague Conven- 
tions that the inhabitants of a country 
who take up arms in defense, even 
though not in uniform, must be treated 
as prisoners of war, provided that they 
carry their arms openly, nor can a 
community be punished for acts of 
individuals unless the community as a 
whole was guilty, actively or passively. 
All of these manuals expressly forbid 
levying contributions upon a commun- 
ity unless it can be proved that the 
whole community is at fault. The 
German war code repudiates such 
restrictions as sickly sentimentality, 
and not only were Belgians taken in 
arms killed, but whole communities 
were held responsible, where such 
charges, true or false, were made. 
Immense fines were levied upon com- 
munities on accusations, unsupported 
by evidence. On the country as a 
whole a contribution of $8,000,000 a 
month for the support of the German 
government of the occupied territories 
was levied in December, 1914. This 
contribution levied at a time when 
Belgian industry was prostrate and the 
inhabitants were suffering for want of 
food, was increased to $10,000,000 
monthly in November, 1916, and in 
May, 1917, to $12,000,000. Meanwhile 
all Belgian stocks of raw material, and 
the machinery from the Belgian fac- 
tories was being shipped to Germany. 
It is impossible to wander through a 
maze of twenty horrible tragedies each 
with its sickeningly familiar wholesale 
murder of noncombatants, women and 
children as well as men, organized 
pillage and scientific incendiarism. The 
stories of Louvain, Dinant, Aerschot, 
Vise", will illustrate what occurred in 
scores of small hamlets in Belgium. 


Louvain was one of the most important Catholic Universities of Europe. The library was a beautiful specimen of 
mediaeval architecture, and also contained many rare books and manuscripts in some cases the only copies in 
existence. All were lost when the building was destroyed by the invad ng German armies. 

Picture, Boon, Amsterdam 


Ypres, like so many other towns in France and Belgium, was shelled so often and so long that hardly a house was 
left standing. For the information of the constant traffic along the roads it was necessary to print signboards 
giving the name of the town, lest the drivers should miss the way. Brown Bros. 




When the Belgian army in its 
retreat was falling back on Antwerp it 
contested every step of the way as it 
went. A German army entered Lou- 
vain in force on August I5th, and seized 
hostages among the notables of the 
city the burgomaster, rector of the 
university, provincial councilor, etc. 
An affiche was posted announcing that 
"in case a single arm be found, no 
matter in what house, or any act of 
hostility be committed, against our 
troops, our transports, our telegraph 
lines, our railways, or if any one 
harbors francs-tireurs, the culpable 
and the hostages who are arrested in 
each village will be shot without pity. " 
Troops were quartered in the city, but 
a few days passed quietly. On the 25th 
an order was issued commanding the 
inhabitants to be indoors at 8 o'clock 
and all that day heavy detachments of 
troops were arriving. That afternoon 
the Belgians made a sortie from 
Antwerp and after sharp righting at 
Malines drove the Germans along the 
road to Louvain. Night was falling so 
that in the dusk, German reinforce- 
ments just leaving Louvain fired upon 
Germans retreating into the city. A 
panic ensued, there was the usual cry of 
" 'Man hat geschossen!" riderless horses 
and terror-stricken soldiers streamed 
into the town, and the awful tragedy 
began. A few minutes later eight shots 
were heard and immediately the soldiers 
began firing wildly at the facades of the 
closed houses. Then for three days 
German soldiers went through the 
streets, killing, burning, torturing. The 
famous Library of the University, one 
of the most beautiful specimens of 
mediaeval architecture in existence, 
erected in 1317, held incomparable 
riches, over 230,000 volumes, many of 
them extremely rare, and this the 
Germans burned. 

Beautiful Dinant upon the Meuse 
met a terrible fate. The Germans 
entered the city on the 5th of August, 
and on the I5th made repeated and 
unsuccessful attempts to cross the 
river. The temper of the troops be- 
came ominously ugly and on the 23rd 


broke out in open violence. Numbers 
of men poured into the town, turned 
the inhabitants out of doors, set the 
dwellings on fire and herded people in a 
mass to the Place d'Armes. Here the 
men were separated from the women 
and children, and from time to time, 
groups of them were led out and shot. 
The terror lasted for a day and night, 
the fires raging fiercely, so that out of 
1400 homes only 400 remained, and the 
beautiful old Church of Notre Dame, 
the College and the Hotel de Ville all 
lay in ruins. Four hundred and sixteen 
Dinantais were sent captive to Cassels, 
but, on the famous Rocher Bayard, 
overhanging the Meuse, a group of 
inhabitants was held as a screen for the 
German engineers constructing bridges 
across the river. As the French con^ 
tinned to fire at intervals the group of 
hapless inhabitants- nearly 90 in all 
including 12 children under six, were 
shot down. At evening the survivors 
were forced to bury the dead. 


In Namur, by organized incendiarism 
the Hotel de Ville and nearly all the 
houses on the Place d'Armes were con- 
sumed by flames. In Andennes, a 
small town on the Meuse between Liege 
and Namur, a horrible massacre oc- 
curred. The Belgians and French 
troops hotly contesting the German 
advance, on the iQth of August, blew 
up Andennes Bridge and retired under 
shelter of Namur. That evening a 
large body of German troops entered 
Andennes without any resistance on 
the part of the allied armies or of the 
civilian population. The next after- 
noon shots came from the other side of 
the river, and in revenge a slaughter of 
the inhabitants of Andennes (who were 
in no way responsible) began. Machine 
guns were brought into play, the 
German troops for the most part 
drunk murdered and ravaged un- 
checked, intermittently all through th 
night, the grim scene lit up by the 
burning houses and farms. At six 
o'clock the following morning, the 
inhabitants were dragged from their 
houses, and driven into the square, 
whence some of the prisoners were taken 


The black and white line on this map indicates the southernmost limit of the German invasion of France in Sep- 
tember, 1914, when the battle line was not more than 30 miles from Paris and the government moved thence to 
Bordeaux. The heavy black marking shows the position of the conflicting armies in August, 1915, which on the 
east was about the same as it was a year previously, save that in Alsace-Lorraine the German line had advanced 
to the crest of the Vosges. It Will be seen that only a very small portion of Belgium remains unoccupied, the dis- 
trict on the Yser where by obstinate fighting and inundation of the land, the Belgians kept the foe at bay. The 
strong positions of Verdun and St. Mihiel cause abrupt salients in the line, the former held by France, yet proving 
so costly to the enemy in defense that he literally poured men and money against it in 1916, in a vain effort to 
reduce it. The latter, the salient of St. Mihiel held by the Germans, is the well-remembered scene of the gallant 
Meuse-Argonne fighting done by the Americans in 1918. 



to the banks of the Meuse, and there 
shot. About 400 people lost their lives 
in this massacre, some on the banks of 
the river and some in the cellars of the 
houses where they had taken refuge. 


One more instance, Aerschot, and the 
story must pass on. Aerschot, just as 
Lou vain, seems to be an example of 
vengeance taken by the Germans for 
the sorties of the Belgian troops from 
Antwerp. It was entered upon the igth 
and from the moment of their arrival 
evidence goes to show that the Germans 
were seeking a quarrel with the in- 
habitants. A stray shot fired that 
evening no one sure of its direction 
gave the signal for the soldiers to begin 
to fire in various directions at people 
in the streets. Some German officers 
were standing at the window of the 
Burgomaster's house, and in the square 
below a large body of German troops, 
some of them drunk, let off their rifles. 
One of the officers fell, and immediately 
the pretext was given that the son of 
the Burgomaster had killed him. This 
boy was at the time taking shelter with 
his mother in the cellar, but the excuse 
served, and fires and murders started. 
Many civilians were marched to a field 
on the road to Louvain and kept there 
all night. On the following day a num- 
ber of them were shot under orders of 
an officer, together with the Burgo- 
master, his brother and his son. 


It is always the same story, "The 
Germans enter a town, take hostages, 
the burgomaster, some councilors, one 
or two notables. They demand money, 
food, wine and forage. All goes well 
enough for a few days. The army 
moves on. There is a reverse and 
soldiers swarm back into the town 
crying 'Man hat geschossen!' Then 
murder, pillage, fire, rape, massacre! 
This happened again and again. " Well 
might the report of the Belgian 
Commission of Inquiry on the Violation 
of the Rules of the Rights of Nations 
and of the Laws and Customs of War 
summarize the report of their inves- 
tigations in the following words: 

1 02 

1. That thousands of unoffending 
civilians, including women and children, 
were murdered by the Germans. 

2. That women had been outraged. 

3. That the custom of the German 
soldiers immediately on entering a 
town was to break into wineshops and 
the cellars of private houses and 
madden themselves with drink. 

4. That German officers and sol- 
diers looted on a gigantic and system- 
atic scale, and, with the connivance of 
the German authorities, sent back a 
large part of the booty to Germany. 

5. That the pillage had been accom- 
panied by wanton destruction and by 
bestial and sacrilegious practices. 

6. That cities, towns, villages, and 
isolated buildings, were destroyed. 

7. That in the course of such 
destruction human beings were burnt 

8. That there was a uniform 
practice of taking hostages and thereby 
rendering great numbers of admittedly 
innocent people responsible for the 
alleged wrongdoings of others. 

9. That large numbers of civilian 
men and women had been virtually 
enslaved by the Germans, being forced 
against their will to work for the 
enemies of their country, or had been 
carried off like cattle into Germany, 
where all trace of them had been lost. 

10. That cities, towns, and villages 
had been fined and their inhabitants 
maltreated because of the success 
gained by the Belgian over the German 

11. That public monuments and 
works of art had been wantonly 
destroyed by the invaders. 

12. And that generally the Regula- 
tions of the Hague Conference and the 
customs of civilized warfare had been 
ignored by the Germans, and that 
amongst other breaches of such regu- 
lations and customs, the Germans had 
adopted a new and inhuman practice 
of driving Belgian men, women, and 
children in front of them as a screen 
between them and the allied soldiers." 


A trained American observer in 
Belgium, Irvin S. Cobb, calmly and 


The capture of Antwerp meant the capture of a considerable part of the Belgian army though one fragment escaped 
by marching along the coast, and several thousand got across the Dutch border. Before the war Antwerp was 
considered one of the strong fortresses of Europe, but it could not withstand the German siege artillery. 


This picture shows the precious possessions discarded by the Belgian refugees at the station in Antwerp, so great 
was their terror of being left behind. Many families had painfully transported their household goods along the 
dusty roads under a hot autumn sun. Much of what they left behind was necessary clothing, hard to replace. 

Pictures, Henry Ruschin 



dispassionately sums up his verdict as 
follows : 

"But I was an eyewitness to crimes 
which, measured by the standards of 
humanity and civilization, impressed 
me as worse than any individual excess, 

Professor Fritz Rausenberger was the inventor of the 
German long-range gun which bombarded Paris from 
a distance of seventy-five miles, and also of the 42 
centimetre mortar. Press Illustrating Service 

any individual outrage, could ever have 
been or can ever be; because these 
crimes indubitably were instigated on 
a wholesale basis by order of officers of 
rank, and must have been carried out 
under their personal supervision, direc- 
tion, and approval. Briefly, what I saw 
was this: I saw wide areas of Belgium 
and France in which not a penny's 
worth of wanton destruction had been 
permitted to occur, in which the ripe 
pears hung untouched upon the garden 
walls; and I saw other wide areas 
where scarcely one stone had been left 
to stand upon another; where the 
fields were ravaged; where the male 
villagers had been shot in squads; where 
the miserable survivors had been left to 
den in holes, like wild beasts. 

"Taking the physical evidence of- 
fered before our own eyes, and 


buttressing it with the statements 
made to us, not only by natives but by 
German soldiers and German officers, 
we could reach but one conclusion, 
which was that here, in such and such 
a place, those in command had said to 
the troops: 'Spare this town and these 
people.' And there they had said: 
'Waste this town and shoot these 
people.' And here the troops had dis- 
criminately spared and there they 
had indiscriminately wasted, in exact 
accordance with the word of their 
superiors. " 


This verdict is confirmed by a mass 
of other testimony which cannot be 
disregarded. The German actions in 
Belgium and France during the first 
months of the war were a part of the 
German policy of Schrecklichkeit, 
"Frightfulness, " and were intended to 
strike terror deep into the hearts of the 
inhabitants. When the protests of the 
world arose and the German High 
Command realized that they were 
paying too high a price for the results 
obtained, most forms of these atrocities 
ceased as abruptly as they had begun. 

If one needed unconscious corrobora- 
tive testimony as to the truth of the 
German atrocities, it is surely to be 
found in the fact of the "refugees." 
History records in her pages instances 
of the flights of inhabitants: the 
Huguenots after the Revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes, Royalists after the 
English Civil War, but these were not 
examples of the flight of a large pro- 
portion of the nation. Never before 
has an army of occupation caused a 
population to rise up and "get them 
into Egypt." Attila and his Huns, 
indeed, slew the peoples they con- 
quered, but contemporary barbarians, 
the Goths and Lombards, contrived to 
live with the Roman citizen of the 
fallen Empire and even absorb much 
from him of the "grandeur that was 
Rome." In the reputation of the 
conquerors of their country, the major- 
ity of the Belgian refugees found their 
motive for flight. In the days to come 
will the great tragedy of these homeless 
ones be pityingly told by some great 


artist of the pen? When Israel went 
out of Egypt, she went unknowingly to 
face the wilderness and the great deep, 
but the darkness was behind her and 
the land of promise ahead. She had a 
leader, she had sure guides. The 
Belgian left his land of promise to face 
a future where all seemed dark and 
unknown. An English eyewitness has 
left us a vivid picture of the scenes on 
the outskirts of Antwerp on the road 
to Ghent: 


"I saw women of fashion in fur 
coats and high-heeled shoes staggering 
along clinging to the rails of the cais- 
sons or to the ends of wagons. I saw 
white-haired men and women grasping 
the harness of the gun teams or the 
stirrup leathers of the troopers, who, 
themselves exhausted from many days 
of fighting, slept in their saddles as 
they rode. I saw springless farm- 
wagons literally heaped with wounded 
soldiers with piteous white faces; the 
bottoms of the wagons leaked and left 
a trail of blood behind them . . . 
Here were a group of Capuchin monks 
abandoning their monastery; there a 
little party of white-faced nuns shep- 
herding a flock of children many of 
them fatherless who had been en- 
trusted to their care. The confusion 
was beyond all imagination, the clam- 
or deafening; the rattle of wheels, 
the throbbing of motors, the clatter of 
hoofs, the cracking of whips, the curses 
of the drivers, the groans of the 
wounded, the cries of women, the 
whimpering of children, threats, plead- 
ings, oaths, screams, imprecations, and 
always the monotonous shuffle, shuffle 
of countless weary feet." 

England and Holland offered na- 
tional hospitality to these homeless 
ones. The story of those that crossed 
the Channel had better first be told 
for not only did the Belgians begin to 
arrive in England in large numbers 
first, but they continued there in 
largest numbers through a longer 
period of time. Though Holland, at the 
time of the fall of Antwerp, received 
the greatest number, 800,000-1,000,000, 
many of these stayed for a week or 

two and then returned to their own 
land. Beginning late in August of 
1914 and extending to, the summer 
months of 1915, the refugees arrived 
in England. The first weeks in Sep- 
tember witnessed a daily rate of 500; 
after the fall of Antwerp 11,000 in one 
day reached Folkestone; and when the 
Germans advanced on Ostend 26,000 
left in one week. By the end of Novem- 


General von Bissing was appointed Governor-General 
in Belgium, December 1914. From that day until his 
death, April 18, 1917, his rule was terrorism supported 
by "special Military Tribunals." 

Picture from Henry Ruschin 

ber 45,000 destitute refugees had come 
in. December saw 12,000, but after 
this the totals dwindled and fell in 
the summer of 1915 to 2000 a month. 
By the end of June, 265,000 in all had 
come and of these some 211,000 were 
in England to stay. 


When the first public appeal for the 
Belgians appeared in the London 
"Times," August 24, the response was 
generous. Within a week hospitality 
for 100,000 was promised. A special 
War Refugees Committee was formed 



who saw to the homeless people's first 
needs of rest, medical attention and 
clothing. Then suitable houses as far 
as possible, from among those offered 
either in families or as village-sup- 
ported colonies, or government-sup- 
ported model dwellings were allocated. 
Departments of education, of health, 
of transport, and of clothing were 
organized to meet these needs. The 
problem of employment a very serious 
one was attempted but never satis- 
factorily solved, for the uncertainty of 
the duration of the war, and the haste 
with which the incoming stream had 
arrived had not permitted a wise dis- 
tribution of country-men to the coun- 
try, and of industrial workers to the 
factories in the north and the mid- 
lands. In September, such was the 
magnitude of the problem that the 
British Government offered national 
hospitality, and thereafter though the 
original War Refugees Committee and 
private individuals continued in their 
work, the Government was at their 
back if need arose. 


In Holland, the problem of dealing 
with the refugees was somewhat differ- 
ent, as in this case the maximum im- 
migration occurred immediately after 
the fall of Antwerp. The fate of the 
inhabitants of Dinant, of Louvain, 
Andennes and Aerschot was only too 
well known. The Dutch government 
was not taken unawares, indeed it had 
been making preparations to distribute 
the multitude of fugitives throughout 
the country, but the flood when it 
came was too great. The first and most 
urgent duty of Holland was to see to 
the interning of the 10,000 soldiers who 
had crossed her frontier. In addition to 
these, the southern part of the country 
was inundated with from 800,000 to 
1,000,000 refugees. Fortunately, the 
season was mild and an enforced so- 
journ in the open air not harmful. 

The food problem was the most 
serious, for Holland's wheat supply was 
restricted and import from overseas 
very difficult. Nevertheless, a noble 
effort was made, and the distribution 
of the fugitives throughout the country 

1 06 

proceeded with. As soon as possible, 
the voluntary return of the Belgians 
was facilitated by the Dutch govern- 
ment who put on special daily trains 
for the purpose. When it was found 
that an undesirable element elected to 
remain behind, these people were moved 
to Oldebroek or Veenhirizen where 
Belgian camps were set up. Other re- 
fuge places were created by the govern- 
ment, Nunsheet, a village south of Ede, 
and Uden. Nor were all of the wan- 
derers in camps or in villages. Like 
the amphibious dwellers on Nile, 
Ganges and Yang-tse-kiang, many 
found refuge in the holds of ships. 
For others barracks were constructed, 
or public buildings set aside. By 
June, 1915, about 100,000 still re- 
mained in Holland, and for these 
church and school accommodations 
under a special commission of Belgians 
and Dutchmen were arranged. 


Immediately after the occupation, 
thousands of German civilians de- 
scended upon Brussels. Troops of 
boy-scouts came in as messengers, 
hundreds of women and girls as clerks. 
Entire hotels were assigned for their 
housing, their salaries were enormous, 
and all paid out of the contributions 
and fines wrung from the Belgians. A 
government of occupation was by 
degrees evolved, exceedingly compli- 
cated and of a' character that was half 
military and half civil. The supreme 
authority was that of the Governor- 
General who was appointed by the 
Emperor and responsible only to him. 
Up to December, 1914, General von 
der Goltz filled this function, and was 
then superseded by General von Biss- 
ing. All political authority was vested 
in this man and his position was that of 
a dictator but a dictator subject to 
the whims and prejudices of the mili- 
tary. By decrees published by the 
Governor-General it was announced 
that the powers appertaining to the 
King of the Belgians would be exer- 
cised by a Military Governor-General, 
that the powers appertaining to Pro- 
vincial Government in Belgium would 
be exercised by a Military Governor of 


the Provinces, and lastly that the roles 
of Commissioners of arrondissements 
would be filled by Kreischefs. 

The territory under the Govern- 
ment of Occupation comprised the pro- 
vinces of Limburg, Lige, Luxembourg, 
Namur, Hainaut, Brabant and Antwerp. 
Towards the sea in the provinces of east 
and west Flanders, was a military zone 
exclusively under military government. 
Each province in the government of 
occupation had a Military Governor 
with the rank of General and a presi- 
dent from the civil administration who 
replaced the Belgian governor. The 
Belgians' provincial delegates were as- 
sembled only in order to arrange for 
the collections of the continuous war 
contributions levied by the conquerors. 


Three administrations, a central 
military, a civil, and a political, con- 
trolled every aspect of the country and 
its life. The military organization 
under the sole direction of the chief 
of the General Staff who was the 
Military Governor of Brussels was 
supreme in all military matters, and 
also controlled the police. Such mat- 
ters as lines of communication, troops 
of occupation, frontiers, spies, anti- 
aircraft defense, questions of supplies 
and so forth, lay under its jurisdiction. 
A German writer visiting the conquered 
territory writes as follows: "It is a 
matter of course that the military 
administration of Belgium as far as its 
needs are concerned, holds the country 
in an iron grip, guarding the conquered 
territory in every way." 

In the civil administration, lesser 
officials in the departments of the Bel- 
gian government were permitted to 
stay at their posts under the German 
eye as long as they occupied them- 
selves solely with internal affairs. This 
was an extremely beneficial thing as 
municipal government was thereby 
kept in touch with local problems. 
All official documents passed, of course, 
through the hands of a German refer- 
endary. Belgian judges administered 
the law and tried civil and criminal 
cases as long as only Belgians were 
implicated. When a Geiman was con- 

cerned, the case was immediately 
passed over to a military tribunal. 


All manner of new departments were 
created by the Germans. A Zentrale 
for all food-stuffs was set up the most 
famous instance of all being the Kar- 
toffelzentrale which in intent cornered 
the potato supply. The Belgians 
solved this difficulty by bringing about 
an amazing disappearance of the tuber 
in question. The political department 
established by the conquerors was a 
kind of Foreign Office in direct relation 
with the Department of Foreign Affairs 
in Berlin. With this Politische Abtei- 
lung the few diplomats who remained 
in Brussels had their relations. Under 
its shadow was an economic depart- 
ment which controlled the question of 
imports and exports. A Bank A bteilung 
regulated all financial questions, .the 
sequestration of property, the Bourse, 
savings bank and war contributors. 

Such was the German machine. 
What was its spirit? From the Geiman 
writer quoted above we read: "The 
longer the German administration lasts, 
the more there penetrates into broader 
and broader circles an understanding 
of its excellent intentions and of the 
strength and energy it is devoting to 
the good of the country." Perhaps the 
mocking laughter of the irrepressible 
Belgian interrupts the flow of the 
writer's words and touches even Ger- 
man complacency, for he adds: "But 
we dare not cherish expectations that 
the rapprochement will become genuinely 
deep and hearty, because, aside from 
the history and development, the 
inhabitants of Belgium, be they Wal- 
loons or Flemish, have been impressed 
with customs and ideas that lead them 
into entirely different ways from those 
which are natural and right to Ger- 
mans. However things may turn out 
during the next year, the civil admin- 
istration had done its best to make the 
sufferings of war endurable for the 
Belgians just back of the battle front, 
and to revive the rudely interrupted 
development of their national life, of 
their trade and industry, and to lead 
them into paths that are bound to 



induct them to new heights after the 




The life of Belgium, almost more 
than in any other country, depended 
upon its industries. The soil is poor 
and though industriously worked could 
support hardly half Belgium's teeming 
population. The German army had 
requisitioned the greater part of the 
stocks of food they found in the 
country, and disclaimed responsibility 
for feeding the civilian population, on 
account of the virtual British blockade. 
Food must therefore be found some- 
where and distributed to the popula- 
tion. This was accomplished through 
the Commission for Relief in Belgium, 
and the Belgian Comite National. 

The former society composed of 
Americans and Spaniards was neutral, 
the latter was made up entirely of 
Belgians. The Commission met in 

London for the first time, Oct. 22, and 
by November 2 the first cargo of food- 
stuffs passed over the Belgian frontier. 
Composed almost entirely of American 
business men without previous expe- 
rience in relief work, the Commission 
faced the great questions of acquiring, 
transporting, distributing and paying 
for, enough food for a whole nation. 
The work of the Belgian society sup- 
plemented that of the Commission; 
they could not procure food, but hav- 
ing it, knew only too well where most 
of it was needed. Because of its strict- 
ly neutral character, the relief com- 
mission obtained immunity from attack 
at sea, trade through the enemy lines, 
privileges in railway and canal Trans- 
port and dues. Nevertheless, its prob- 
lems were enormous, and its possibil- 
ities untried. These organizations kept 
7,000,000 people from starving. The 
story of what they achieved will be told 
in another chapter. 


The German practice of parading their troops in public places of Belgian cities was adopted to impress the populace 
with their force and discipline and to shorten resistance. Before they entered a city the troops were given orders 
to brush up and give the appearance of freshness. Picture from Henry Ruschin 

Boulogne, the Port Where the British Army Landed 


On to Paris: The German Cry 


HPHE German invasion of Belgium 
was merely a means to an end ; and 
having brushed aside the Belgian re- 
sistance, the German armies turned 
to their major task, the invasion of 
France and the defeat of the French 
armies. The strategical plans of the 
German General Staff called for the 
accomplishment of this task in an 
audaciously short time apparently in 
some six or seven weeks from the out- 
break of war. Their aim was, by 
throwing practically the whole of their 
weight against France at the outset, 
to put France out of action before 
they had to turn to meet the slow and 
cumbrous attack of the Russian co- 


The device of meeting one's oppo- 
nents separately, and defeating one 
before the other can attack, is as old as 
the art of warfare; but Germany's 
central position, her strategic railways 
running from east to west, even her 
superb military organization, all placed 
her in an exceptionally advantageous 
position for putting this strategy into 
effect. Just how near she came to 
realizing her program, it is difficult to 
say, for no one can penetrate the veil 
of what might have been; but the 
opinion may be hazarded that she 
came nearer to realizing it than most 
people, even at this date, imagine. 

When the Belgian field army evac- 
uated Brussels and retired on Antwerp, 
leaving the road to France open be- 
fore the oncoming masses of feld- 
grau, the German armies lay in a vast 
menacing quarter-circle about the nor- 
thern and eastern boundaries of France. 
On the right, in the central Belgian 
plain, lay the First German Army, 
under General von Kluck, a former 
inspector-general and one of the ablest 
tacticians in the Kaiser's forces. This 
Army was composed of no less than 
seven army corps, containing some of 
the best troops of the German Empire. 
The Second German Army, com- 
manded by General von Bulow, and 
composed of five army corps, including 
the Imperial Guards, stood in the 
valley of the Meuse. To the immediate 
left of this force, in the forest-clad 
hills of the Belgian Ardennes was the 
Third German Army, composed of 
three army corps and a division of the 
cavalry of the Prussian Guard, under 
the command of General von Hausen, 
formerly the Saxon Minister of War. 
Facing the French frontier opposite 
Sedan was the Fourth German Army, 
comprising four corps, under Duke 
Albrecht of Wurtemberg, which had 
also come through the Ardennes; 
and facing the French frontier opposite 
Verdun was the Fifth German Army, 
comprising six corps, under the Ger- 
man Crown Prince, which had forced 



its way through the neutral Duchy 
of Luxembourg. Along the eastern 
frontier of France lay two more Ger- 
man Armies. The northernmost of 
these, which was commanded by the 
Crown Prince of Bavaria, and num- 
bered six corps occupied Lorraine and 
was based on Metz; the southernmost, 
commanded by General von Heeringen, 
and numbering two corps, occupied 


General Joseph Jacques Cesaire Joffre, whose decisive 
action at the Marne and services as Commander in 
Chief of France won him the ancient, distinguished title 
of Marshal, is a figure familiar and beloved. 

Alsace and was based on Strassburg. 
The supreme command of all these 
seven armies was vested nominally in 
the Kaiser, but was actually in the 
hands of the Chief of the Great Ger- 
man General Staff, General von Moltke 
a nephew of the great von Moltke 
who commanded the German army in 
the war of 1870. 


It will be obvious that this dis- 
position of the German troops menaced 
rather the northern than the eastern 
boundaries of France. It was, in- 


deed, the intention of von Moltke to 
launch his main blow on the right of 
his line. His plan of campaign is -well, 
and authoritatively, explained by an 
anonymous officer of the German 
General Staff who published in Berlin 
in 1916 a little book on The Battles of 
the Marne which was later withdrawn 
from circulation. "The German Gen- 
eral Staff," he says, "had resolved to 
hold itself on the defensive between 
the Swiss frontier and the Donon. 
Between this important summit of 
the Vosges and Verdun, it was dis- 
posed to pass from the defensive to 
the offensive only according to circum- 
stances, for the troops which were 
stationed there had for their principal 
mission the holding of the enemy 
forces opposed to them. But with the 
great body of the troops at their dis- 
posal in the west, the General Staff 
sought to' push between Thionville 
and Aix-la-Chapelle, in order to pene- 
trate into France by Luxembourg and 
Belgium, so as to try finally to extend 
the right wing more and more toward 
the sea." 

By means of this brilliant turning 
movement on the right, it was hoped 
that in the great arc of the circle 
which, by Brussels, Valenciennes, Com- 
piegne, Meaux, passed to the east of 
Paris it would be possible "to throw 
the French armies back beyond the 
Meuse, the Aisne, the Marne, and 
perhaps even beyond the Seine, in 
order to outflank them finally to the 
south of Fontainebleau and thus to 
roll up the whole of the French line of 
battle." And, adds this officer, "it 
should have been possible, so far as 
the human mind could foresee, to 
carry out this plan by the end of 
September, 1914." 


Just when the French High Com- 
mand perceived the drift of the strateg- 
ical plans of the German General Staff, 
it is difficult to ascertain. It is possible 
that General Joffre, the comparatively 
unknown engineer officer who had been 
placed in command of the French 
armies, read something of the mind of 
von Moltke at an early date, and that 


his first dispositions and his prelim- 
inary operations were designed mainly 
to upset von Moltke's plans a result 
which they certainly did not succeed 
in achieving. On the other hand, it is 
clear that the details of von Moltke's 
plan were not revealed to Joffre until 
the very moment when the German 
attack was launched. 

There were several reasons for this. 
The French intelligence service proved, 
at the beginning of the war, very de- 
fective; aeroplane reconnaissance did 
not yield, in the wooded districts of 
southern Belgium, the accurate results 
which had been expected ; and the very 
efficiency of the German military 
organization enabled the Germans to 
do what had not been regarded as 
possible. For instance, both French 
and British military writers had as- 
sumed that the Germans would be 
able to bring through Belgium only 
seven, or at the most ten, army corps; 
as a matter of fact, they brought 
through no less than sixteen. But the 
question of when the French grasped 
the German plans is not really im- 
portant. Until those plans actually 
unfolded themselves, no one could be 
certain as to their details; and the 
strategy imposed on Joffre by the cir- 
cumstances of the case must have been 
in any event approximately the same. 


One fact above all others determined 
the character of that strategy: the 
French had the advantage of interior 
lines. Behind their front lay an admir- 
able network of railways; and Joffre, 
who belonged to the modern school of 
railway strategists, knew well how to 
use these. His best policy was ob- 
viously to hold what military writers 
call "the operative corner" in suffi- 
cient strength to break the first shock 
of the German offensive, and to hold in 
reserve "a mass of manoeuvre" which 
could be concentrated at any given 
point or points as the battle unfolded 
itself. This, in fact, is what he did; 
and neither his attempt to utilize 
part of his army of manoeuvre in 
creating diversions in Alsace, nor the 
failure of some parts of his line to 

sustain the first shock of the German 
offensive, should be allowed to obscure 
this essential feature of his strategy. 


It is probable that the French mobili- 
zation did not proceed as smoothly or 
as quickly as the German. In particu- 
lar, it was found that equipment was 
not on hand for some of the second-line 
troops called up; and these troops 

General Helmuth Johannes Ludwig von Moltke 
(nephew of the great German field marshal), Chief of 
the Imperial General Staff when the war began, was 
superseded on October 25, 1914, by General von 

could not be mobilized until this equip- 
ment was forthcoming. Consequently, 
Joffre did not have at his disposal 
quite as many troops as he had perhaps 
the right to expect. He was able, 
nevertheless, to present to the enemy a 
fairly strong front. On the right, in 
Alsace, facing von Heeringen, was the 
First French Army (four army corps) 
under General Dubail, together with 
some elements of the army of manoeu- 
vre under General Pau, a one-armed 
veteran of the war of 1870. Facing 
the Crown Prince of Bavaria in Lor- 
raine tood the Second French Army 



(four army corps and three reserve 
divisions) under General de Castelnau. 
The Third French Army (four army 
corps and three reserve divisions), 
under General Ruffey, stood guard in 
front of Verdun opposite the army of 
the German Crown Prince. Facing 
the Duke of Wurtemberg in the Arden- 
nes lay the Fourth French Army (five 
army corps), commanded by General 
Langle de Gary, which had originally 
been held in reserve behind the centre 
of the line, but had been pushed up to 
threaten the flank of the German in- 
vasion of Belgium; and occupying the 
triangle made by the Sambre and the 
Meuse Rivers, facing the two armies 
of von Biilow and von Hausen, was 
the Fifth French Army (four army 
corps and three reserve divisions), 
under General de Lanrezac. In front 
of von Kluck's First Army stood only 
the British Expeditionary Force (two 
corps) under Field -Marshal Sir John 
French, together with some divisions 
of French reservists and territorials 
scattered over the country to the west. 


The presence of British troops on the 
line of battle was the result of informal 
arrangements made some years pre- 
viously between the British and the 
French War Offices. It had been agreed 
that in the event of war between 
Great Britain and France on the one 
hand and Germany on the other, Great 
Britain would immediately dispatch 
to the continent an expeditionary force 
of several army corps; and plans for the 
mobilization of this force and its trans- 
portation across the Channel had been 
made under the Haldane administra- 
tion of the War Office. The speed with 
which the force took up its position in 
Belgium on the left of the French line 
was something of a feat. Despite the 
fact that Great Britain did not declare 
war until several days after war was 
declared between France and Ger- 
many, and despite a further delay of a 
day or so caused by the inability of 
the Asquith government to make up 
its mind about the dispatch of the 
force, Sir John French had practically 
two army corps in line by August 20, 


Field-Marshal Sir John French, distinguished in South 
Africa, then Chief of the Imperial Staff, 1912-1914, held 
command of the British expeditionary forces in France 
and Belgium early in the war.; 

two days before the Germans delivered 
their great blow against the left of the 
allied line. 


While these vast armies number- 
ing, in the case of the Germans, some- 
what more than a million and a quarter 
men and, in the case of the French and 
the British, somewhat less than a 
million and a quarter were moving into 
position, some fighting of a preliminary 
nature took place. There were nat- 
urally repeated clashes between the 
French and German frontier guards; 
and in the first week of the war bodies 
of French cavalry made some raids 
into Alsace and Lorraine with the 
object of damaging the German rail- 
way communications. It was not, 
however, until the end of the first week 
that any important fighting took 

The first real blow was delivered by 
the French in Upper Alsace. Here, in 
the gap between the Vosges and the 
Swiss border, the French Seventh 


This cathedral is the product of four centuries of building, ending with the 15th century. The beautiful facade, 
part of which is seen here, has an elaborately carved screen, giving an effect of double tracery. The lofty tower, one 
of the highest structures in Europe, has been called "the very upsoaring spirit of Strassburg." 


In 1871 Strassburg became the capital of Alsace-Lorraine, an imperial province under German rule. But in 
France and in the provinces French hearts kept alive the hope of a day of restoration. In an old sofa in Strassburg 
itself, guarded by three old ladies, lay a flag, a souvenir of Napoleon's General Kleber. The old silk banner was 
awaiting the hour when the tricolor of France should again float under the sky of Alsace-Lorraine. 


Corps advanced on August 7 from 
Belfort, and crossing the German fron- 
tier captured the towns of Miilhausen 
and Altkirch. The French troops were 
welcomed with manifestations of great 
joy by the Alsatian population; and 
the news of the invasion of Alsace was 
acclaimed throughout France as an 
augury of good omen. Unfortunately, 
French generalship was now for the 
first time to reveal defects which were 
to prove costly later on. The French 
general in charge of the operations 
failed to make adequate arrangements 
for coping with the inevitable counter- 
attack, and a well-conceived blow 
launched by the Germans on his left 
flank compelled him to evacuate Miil- 
hausen on August li and retire on 
Belfort. He was promptly relieved of 
his command, and on August 14 the 
invasion of Alsace was begun anew, 
this time under the direction of Gen- 
eral Pau. 


This second invasion was more suc- 
cessful. After a brilliant little victory 
at Dornach, where the Germans lost 
no less than twenty-four guns, Pau 
retook Mulhausen on August 19 and 
swept on toward the important town of 
Colmar. On August 20 it almost 
seemed that the bridges of the Rhine 
were actually within his reach. But 
by this time events were happening 
elsewhere which compelled the sus- 
pension of further operations. As the 
German plan of campaign in Lorraine 
and along the Franco-Belgian frontier 
developed, the army of Alsace was 
needed in the north. It was therefore 
broken up; only a small part of it was 
left to hold the region from Thann to 
the Vosges; and the invasion of Alsace 
remained a brilliant but unfinished 
episode, without much apparent in- 
fluence on the later course of the war. 

The motives which actuated Joffre 
in embarking on this Alsatian adven- 
ture have been much debated. It has 
been suggested that he was influenced 
rather by political than by strategic 
considerations. It is indeed probable 
that political considerations weighed 
with him: the reconquest of the "lost 


provinces" would doubtless have heart- 
ened wonderfully the French people. 
But it would be a mistake to imagine 
that there were no solid strategic rea- 
sons for the invasion. The weakness 
of the German forces in Alsace was 
apparent from the outset, and offered 
to Joffre an opportunity for delivering 
a blow which might reasonably be 
expected to upset the German plans in 
the north. 

It is an axiom of warfare that the 
best defensive is an offensive; and in 
using part of his army of manoeuvre to 
strike a blow before the Germans were 
ready, Joffre stood to gain much and to 
lose little. In truth, however, the in- 
vasion of Alsace was dictated mainly 
by considerations of local strategy. 
It was Joffre's intention to launch his 
chief assault in Lorraine, in order if 
possible to outflank the German forces 
in Luxembourg and Belgium; and his 
occupation of Upper Alsace was de- 
signed mainly to protect the flank of 
this attack. 


It had long been predicted that, in 
the event of war, the first great clash 
between the French and the German 
armies would take place along that part 
of the Lorraine frontier which lay 
opposite Nancy. This district formed 
a natural gateway between the French 
Verdun-Toul barrier and the German 
forts of Metz and Thionville on the 
north and the Vosges and the forts 
of Epinal on the south. It was here, in 
a fairly open country, that Joffre 
planned, once the French hold on 
Upper Alsace was secure, to deliver his 
first heavy blow. 

The operations, on which much de- 
pended, since they struck at the most 
vulnerable spot in the German armor, 
were confided to General de Castelnau, 
one of the ablest and most distin- 
guished generals in the French army. 
De Castelnau's concentration, which 
was based on Nancy, only eleven miles 
from the frontier, was completed on 
August 14; but already on August 13 
his advance-guards were 6ver the bor- 
der, and had won some initial successes. 
During the week that followed, the 


advance swelled to something re- 
sembling a real invasion. By August 
19 the French were across the Metz- 
Strassburg railway, and had occupied 
a line running from fifteen to twenty 
miles from the frontier. De Castelnau's 
left rested on some strong hill-positions 
near Delme, his center ran through the 
village of Morhange, and his right 
rested on the lake district to the east 
of Dieuze; while, farther to the right, 
the army of Dubail occupied Saarburg. 
Here, however, the French came into 
contact with the main German forces. 
The Crown Prince of Bavaria brought 
down from Metz the whole of the 
German Sixth Army, five or six army 
corps in all, and von Heeringen brought 
up from Strassburg strong forces be- 
longing to the German Seventh Army. 


In the battle that followed on August 
20, the Germans, though apparently 
in superior numbers, played at first a 
defensive game. The country was one 
with which they were thoroughly 
familiar, and every foot of which they 
had accurately surveyed. They posted 
their field howitzers of the full effect 
of which the French were now for the 
first time to become cognizant in 
hidden positions inaccessible to the fire 
of the French '75's; and their infantry 
skilfully entrenched themselves on 
the wooded hillsides. The French in- 
fantry advanced to the attack with 
their accustomed dash and fire. But 
the French artillery had not succeeded 
in making much impression on the 
German artillery or on the machine- 
guns which lined the German trenches; 
and the advancing troops came under 
a veritable hurricane of fire. So appal- 
ling was it that the attack came to a 
full stop. "We were nailed to the 
ground," writes an officer of one of the 
French regiments. "My men bent 
to the earth, like a herd of animals in a 


The crisis of the battle came when 
the Fifteenth Corps, composed of im- 
pressionable southerners from Mar- 
seilles, who occupied the centre of the 

line near Morhange, suddenly broke 
and fled. The Germans, having exacted 
a terrible toll of the fugitives, then 
passed to the attack. The situation 
was critical; and nothing saved the 
French from disaster but the cool and 
skillful generalship of de Castelnau. 
He withdrew his wings, which held 
firm, and he thrust into the breach in 
the line the Twentieth or Iron Corps, 
under General Foch, a distinguished 
writer on military strategy who now 
placed his foot on the first rung of 
the ladder which was to bring him to 
the position of generalissimo of all the 
Allied forces. Foch conducted a bril- 
liant rearguard engagement; and de 
Castelnau was able to withdraw his 
army, comparatively intact, across the 

The battle of Morhange, or (as the 
Germans call it) the battle of Metz, was 
a real defeat for the French. .It 
wrecked their offensive, and it came 
pear to being a first-class disaster. 
The Crown Prince of Bavaria, elated 
by his success, pressed on over the 
border, and made a vigorous attempt 
to capture Nancy. It is known that 
in the operations that ensued the 
Kaiser himself, with his personal body- 
guard, was present, ready to make a 
formal and triumphal entry into Nancy 
when it should have fallen. But the 
French, when they had reached the 
Grand Couronne, the circle of hills 
which surround Nancy, made an un- 
expected and very effective rally. The 
German attack was beaten off, and 
the French were able to recover a little 
of the ground they had lost. During 
the battle of the Marne, another Ger- 
man attack in this region was frus- 
trated; and by the end of September 
the French were once more at the 
frontier. There, however, a deadlock 
occurred; and this deadlock lasted 
almost until the end of the war. 


The day following the battle of 
Morhange, the French centre passed 
to the offensive. The forces here con- 
sisted of the Third and Fourth Armies, 
under Generals Ruffey and Langle de 
Gary, which lay in front of Verdun 


and Sedan, facing the Fifth and Fourth 
German Armies under the German 
Crown Prince and the Duke of Wur- 
temberg, respectively. The fell in- 
censed points of the mighty opposites 
met along the line Virton-Neufchateau 
in the south-eastern corner of Belgium. 
Of the details of the fighting we know 
little, save that by August 22 the 
offensive had collapsed along the whole 

The French artillery failed once more 
to silence the German field guns and 
howitzers; and when the infantry 
advanced to the attack with their 
Gallic enthusiasm, they were smoth- 
ered with high explosive and shrapnel, 
swept with machine-gun fire, and 
blocked by wire entanglements. The 
German officers proved to be much 
better versed in the niceties of modern 


This picture shows a regiment of General von Kluck's infantry halting for a brief rest by the wayside, in Belgium. 
The August sun has made all men in the ranks and some of the officers discard their great coats. In the rear are 
the field kitchens, supply wagons and Red Cross ambulances. Times Photo 

front. The French official communique, 
with unusual candor, explained the 
causes of this collapse as follows: 
"There were in this affair individual 
and collective failures, imprudences 
committed under the fire of the enemy, 
divisions ill-engaged, rash deployments, 
and precipitate retreats, a premature 
waste of men, and, finally, the in- 
adequacy of certain of our troops and 
their leaders, both as regards the use 
of infantry and artillery." 

The truth seems to be that the battle 
of Neuf chateau (to give it "a local 
habitation and a name") was merely a 
repetition of the battle of Morhange. 


warfare than the French, a fact which 
the French War Office admitted when 
they conceded to the enemy "the 
superiority of his subaltern cadres"; 
and under these circumstances the 
very elan of the French private soldier 
could not but prove a positive dis- 


Having foiled the French thrust, the 
Germans now advanced to the attack 
in their turn. They "masked" the 
small frontier fortress of^Longwy, and 
forced the passage of the Semois and 
Othain Rivers, behind which the 


French had retreated. But the French 
retreat in this sector was not like the 
rout of the Fifteenth Corps at Mor- 
hange. The troops of Ruffey and 
Langle de Gary inflicted heavy losses 
on the Germans as they moved for- 
ward, and they were able to make good 
their stand behind the line of the River 
Meuse, as the troops of de Castelnau 
had made good their stand in front of 
Nancy. Here they held their ground, 
levying heavy toll on the Germans who 
sought to cross the river, until the line 
of the Meuse was forced and turned 
farther north, and events on the left 
of the line compelled their further 

It was on the left of the line, indeed, 
that the really decisive action was 
taking place. It will be remembered 
that the angle between the Sambre and 
the Meuse Rivers in Belgium was held 
by de Lanrezac's Fifth Army, and 
that facing this force were two German 
Armies, the Third under von Hausen 
and the Second under von Billow. 
Just why de Lanrezac came to occupy 
this awkward salient is not certain; 
probably it was owing to the repeated 
requests of the Belgian government for 
succor, and especially the desire to 
bring aid to the Belgian fortress of 
Namur at the junction of the Sambre 
and the Meuse. 


Namur was one of the strongest of 
the Belgian fortresses; it was doubtless 
expected that it would hold out as long 
as, if not longer than, Liege; and its 
incorporation in the allied line of 
defense was perhaps considered de- 
sirable. As events turned out, how- 
ever, the occupation of the Sambre- 
Meuse salient was an invitation to 
disaster. Namur fell almost at the 
sound of the German trumpets, and 
de Lanrezac found himself attacked on 
both sides of the salient by overwhelm- 
ing forces. On August 22, the day fol- 
lowing the battle of Neuf chateau, von 
Hausen's Third Army fell on him along 
the line of the Meuse, while von 
Billow's Second Army had descended 
on the crossings of the Sambre below 
and in the neighborhood of Charleroi. 

The fighting about Charleroi was of 
the most desperate character. The 
Germans forced the passage of the 
river, and the bloodiest street-fighting 
took place in Charleroi itself. Several 
times the town changed hands, but 
by night it remained in the hands of 
the Germans. De Lanrezac was doubt- 
less still in a position to renew the 
battle the following day; but at this 
juncture word reached him that von 
Hausen, whose attack he does not seem 
to have expected, had succeeded in 
crossing the Meuse in the neighbor- 
hood of Dinant and was threatening 
his rear. 

Under these circumstances, de Lan- 
rezac had no choice but to order a 
precipitate retreat. He fell back, in 
considerable confusion and disorder, 
on the line between the French frontier 
fortresses of Givet and Maubeuge. 
Here he attempted to make a stand; 
but whether because of the disor- 
ganized condition of his army, or 
because of the danger which he con- 
ceived threatened his flanks, he felt 
obliged to resume his retreat, and it 
was not until he reached the valley of 
the Oise that his forces were able to 
oppose an effectual resistance to the 
German advance. 


The sudden and rapid withdrawal 
of de Lanrezac's Fifth Army placed 
the British Expeditionary Force on 
his left in a precarious and critical 
position. Sir John French had taken 
up a front of about twenty-five miles 
extending from Binche on the left to 
Conde on the right, with his centre 
resting on the ancient Belgian town of 
Mons. He had at his disposal two 
army corps, the First, under General 
Sir Douglas Haig, which was to the 
right of Mons, and the Second, under 
General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, 
which was along the Mons-Conde 
canal to the left of Mons; but the whole 
of the Second Corps was not yet in 
line, and it is probable that the British 
did not number at the outset more than 
70,000 men. 

The right of the British line linked 
up with de Lanrezac's forces on the 



Sambre; but the left of the line was in 
the air, except for some French reserve 
formations occupying Tournai, Valen- 
ciennes, and Lille, which exerted no 
appreciable influence on the operations 
that ensued. When de Lanrezac with- 
drew therefore on August 23 to .the 
line Givet-Maubeuge, French's "con- 
temptible little army," as the Kaiser 
was reported to have denominated it 
in an order to his generals, was left 
standing in splendid, if dangerous, 
isolation unprotected on either flank 
to meet the full hurricane of von 
Kluck's offensive. 

So far as the defective French and 
British intelligence services had been 
able to discover, the British had facing 
them only one, or at most two, army 
corps. The British force was composed 
entirely of highly trained regulars; it 
was the only veteran army in the field ; 
and its commander doubtless felt 
confident of dealing with the enemy in 
the gate. As we have seen, however, 
von Kluck had brought through Bel- 
gium no less than seven army corps, 
and of these he was now preparing to 
launch no less than five against the 
British. Four corps were to undertake 
the frontal attack; a vast horde of 
Uhlans were dispatched into north- 
western France to cut the British line 
of communication with the Channel 
ports; and a fifth army corps was sent 
forward from Brussels through Tournai 
to make a wide turning movement 
around the British left. 


The speed with which this turning 
movement was made was phenomenal. 
A famous American war correspondent, 
who fell in with the advance, has left 
us a vivid picture of it: "We advanced 
with a rush that showed me I had 
surprised a surprise movement. . . . 
It was not so fast as the running step 
of the Italian Bersaglieri, but as fast 
as our 'double-quick.' . . . For two 
days the men in the ranks had been 
rushing forward at this unnatural gait 
and were moving like automatons. 
Many of them fell by the wayside, but 
they were not permitted to lie there. 
Instead of summoning the ambulance, 


they were lifted to their feet and flung 
back into the ranks." The rate of 
progress would appear to have been 
about thirty miles a day. 

The battle opened on the morning 
of August 23, just as the people of 
Mons were coming home from church. 
The British cavalry screen, which had 
been waging Homeric combats with 
Uhlans in the villages of southern 
Belgium, had been driven in, without, 
however, bringing with them any vital 
information either as to the strength 
of the German forces or as to the 
flanking movement on the left. One 
by one the German batteries swung 
into position and opened fire. German 
aeroplanes appeared overhead, drop- 
ping smoke-bombs to indicate the 
location of ^trenches and batteries.. 
The British i8-pounders, quicker but 
lighter than the German artillery, 
roared back in reply. Then the infan- 
try attack developed. It was the 
practice of the Germans at the begin- 
ning of the war to attack, not in open 
order, like the French and the British, 
but in a denser formation, usually in 
three double waves. They swarmed 
forward at Mons, as an English soldier 
said, "like a crowd coming up for Cup 


The British infantry, who were per- 
haps the best-trained riflemen in Eu- 
rope, waited until they could see the 
faces of the oncoming hordes; then 
they broke out with that rapid fire 
which they had learned on the ranges 
at Hythe and Aldershot. The result 
was devastating. "Our men believe," 
testified a German officer who was tak- 
en prisoner, "that each of you English 
carries with him a portable Maxim." 
Time and again the German masses, 
with dogged courage, rallied and re- 
turned to the attack. On the British 
right, where the pressure of von 
Billow's army began to tell, they 
forced a slight retirement; and they 
compelled the British to evacuate the 
town of Mons, which had become 
untenable from shell-fire*. But along 
the rest of the line their attack was 
nowhere driven home; and the day 


ended with the honors of war, to all 
appearances, resting with the British. 

As the fighting developed, however, 
the British staff began to scent trouble. 
For one thing, the strength and volume 
of the German artillery fire seemed to 
argue the presence in front of them of 
a much larger force than they had 
been led to expect. Then, at 5. p. M., 
there came what Sir John French has 
diplomatically described as "a most 
unexpected message" from French 
general headquarters. This was a 
telegram announcing that Namur had 
fallen, that the French Fifth Army 
had been in full retreat since the, even- 
ing of the day before, that there were 
in front of the British, not two, but 
three corps (as a matter of fact, there 
were four), and that another corps was 
sweeping about their left flank, with a 
view to taking them in rear. 


Why French headquarters were so 
tardy in notifying the British of the 
retreat of de Lanrezac, why de Lanre- 
zac and French were not themselves in 
touch with each other, why neither 
the French nor the British intelligence 
services discovered until August 23 
the size of von Kluck's forces or his 
flanking movement toward Tournai 
these and other questions will some 
day require a great deal of explana- 
tion. But whatever the explanation, 
this telegram at last lifted the veil 
from the German plans. It was seen 
that von Kluck had succeeded in con- 
centrating against the British an over- 
whelmingly superior force of over a 
quarter of a million men, that he was 
aiming at the envelopment of the 
entire left flank of the allied line, and 
that if the British were to escape being 
surrounded on both sides they would 
have to retire with the utmost expe- 

A retreat under pressure is perhaps 
the most difficult of all military opera- 
tions to carry out successfully. It 
requires the nicest judgment as to the 
size of the rearguard which is to cover 
the retreat, the exact moment when 
this rearguard should break off the 
engagement, and the manner in which 

one rearguard should be relieved by 
another. The slightest miscalculation 
in regard to any one of these points 
may give the enemy a chance to turn 
the retreat into a rout. In that case, the 
retreat becomes a defeat; but not 
every retreat is a defeat. A strategic 
retreat that is, a retreat undertaken 
for strategical reasons may be a 
means to victory. It is merely a 

General Alexander von Kluck, who had been wounded 
in 1870 at Metz, was commander of the German First 
Army in the rush toward Paris and the retreat. 

manoeuvre whereby a commander may 
exchange an unfavorable for a fa- 
vorable situation, may reculer pour 
mieux sauter. No better illustration of 
this type of retreat could be found 
than the retreat which the British 
army now began. They left behind 
them at Mons a position which had 
become utterly untenable; and after a 
week and a half of incessant marching 
and fighting, they exchanged it for a 
position, south of the Marne, which 
was highly favorable. They succeeded 
in fact, after having repeatedly cheated 
von Kluck of decisive victory, in lead- 
ing him into a trap from which he had 
great difficulty in escaping. 




Sir John French had already recon- 
noitred, in case he should be compelled 
to retire, a defensive position some ten 
miles to the south of Mons, running 
from the French fortress of Maubeuge 
westward through Bavai and Bry. 
By the morning of August 24 he had 
commenced his withdrawal to this 

General Sir Thomas d'Oyly Snow, who, with the 4th 
Division of the Third Corps, vigcrouslyi resisted the 
enemy pursuit in the retreat of September 1914, es- 
pecially in the battle near le Cateau. 

line. Just why, when time was so 
valuable, he delayed so long his rear- 
ward movement, has never been ade- 
quately explained; but once the retire- 
ment began, it was carried out with 
remarkable success. 

While Smith-Dorrien's Second Corps 
retired to a line halfway between 
Mons and Bavai, Haig's First Corps 
undertook an offensive movement in 
the direction of Binche, which had 
been abandoned the day before. The 
Germans, taken by surprise, and think- 
ing doubtless that the British had 
been reinforced, stood back on the 
defensive; and at the psychological 
moment Haig withdrew his troops, 

1 20 

and made good his retreat to the line 
Maubeuge-Bavai. Then Smith-Dor- 
rien, having covered the latter part 
of Haig's retirement, withdrew in his 
turn. There were several critical 
moments in the retreat, especially in 
the afternoon, when Smith-Dorr ien 
was attacked on both flanks by over- 
whelmingly superior forces; but the 
British cavalry, which was here, there, 
and everywhere, intervened effectively 
in each case, and by the early evening 
the whole force was safely back on the 
new line. 


It had apparently been intended by 
the French General Staff that, if the 
situation warranted it, the British 
should make a stand on this line, which 
linked up with the chain of French 
fortresses on the left. But French 
immediately recognized that to stay 
where he was was to invite disaster. 
The French Fifth Army was still 
retiring to the east of Maubeuge; it 
was now known that the French ter- 
ritorial force in Tournai had been 
captured, that Lille had been aban- 
doned to the Germans, and that the 
German army corps to the west was 
swinging around to the British rear in 
the direction of Cambrai. To make a 
stand would almost certainly result in 
the British army being hemmed into 
the fortress rayon of Maubeuge, where 
it would in all probability suffer the 
fate that had befallen Bazaine's army 
at Metz in 1870. It became therefore 
urgently necessary to continue the 
retreat; and hardly had the troops 
taken up their new positions when 
orders were issued that at dawn the 
following day, August 25, the force 
was to move back another day's 
march to the line Landrecies-Le Ca- 

August 25 was a day of almost 
tropical heat, and the British troops, 
toiling backward over the dusty roads, 
suffered severely from thirst and fa- 
tigue. But the movement was com- 
pleted without any pronounced inter- 
ference from the Germans, who w r ere 
doubtless as weary as tKe British. At 
Le Cateau the British received a wel- 


come reinforcement in the Fourth 
Division, the advance-guard of the 
Third Army Corps, which had come 
up by train from the base. This divi- 
sion was placed on the extreme left 
of the line toward Cambrai; and the 
whole force turned in to bivouac be- 
hind their outpost line, hoping for a 
quiet night. 


Their hope was rudely shattered. 
Suddenly, between nine and ten o'clock, 
in the darkness of a clouded summer 
night, the British front in the neigh- 
borhood of Landrecies was beaten 
upon by a terrific assault. The brunt 
of the attack fell on the Guards, the 
crack troops of the British army, at 
Landrecies itself. Less highly trained 
troops might easily have lost cohesion 
in the confusion of the night attack; 
but the Guards rallied with splendid 
discipline, and completely repulsed the 
assault, inflicting on the enemy the 
heaviest losses. In the main street of 
Landrecies an entire German battalion 
was wiped out. Meanwhile, two re- 
serve divisions of the French Fifth 
Army, with which the British were 
now in touch, came up and supported 
the British right the first occasion 
on which the French had been able to 
lend to the British any support what- 
ever. The German attack was checked 
all along the line, and gradually the 
battle died down. 

The supreme trial to which the First 
Army Corps had thus been subjected, 
coming on top of the long marches of 
the preceding days, naturally left the 
troops exhausted; and it was found 
necessary to withdraw them from the 
fighting line. They were ordered to 
resume their march southward; and 
the task of covering their retreat was 
once more confided to Smith-Dorrien's 
Second Corps and Allenby's Cavalry 
Division, which were in line between 
Le Cateau and Cambrai. As soon as 
Haig was well away, Smith-Dorrien 
was to follow him. 

This program, however, was more 
easily conceived than executed. As 
dawn broke on August 26, a German 
attack developed along Smith-Dor- 

rien's front and left flank which exceeded 
in ferocity anything to which the 
British had yet been subjected. Not 
only had the Germans brought up 
opposite him a force which outnum- 
bered his at least four to one, but the 
corps which had made the outmarch 
through Tournai was now assailing 
him from the west. Before long he was 
so deeply engaged that it was deemed 
impossible to break off the battle. 
There was nothing to do but to fight 
it out. An attempt was made to ob- 
tain support from General Sordet's 
French Cavalry Corps, which had 
covered the retreat of de Lanrezac's 
army from Charleroi; but Sordet's 
horses were so exhausted that they could 
not at first go forward, and Smith- 
Dorrien was left to work out his own 
salvation, with the assistance only of a 
brigade of French infantry near Cam- 


This engagement was perhaps the 
most critical moment of the whole 
retreat. On one occasion the cavalry 
of the Prussian Guard rode right into 
the British firing line, and were only 
ejected after the most desperate hand- 
to-hand fighting. The Germans got 
around both of the British flanks, and 
some of their batteries began to enfilade 
the British positions. It became clear 
that if the British were to escape com- 
plete annihilation, a retirement must 
be attempted ; and the order was given 
to withdraw about 3:30 p. M. Just 
about this time, as luck would have it, 
the German attack seems to have 
spent itself; and though Smith- 
Dorrien's rearguards lost heavily, the 
main body of his force actually suc- 
ceeded in eluding the grasp of its 
pursuers, and making good its escape. 
That it should have done so, can only 
be regarded as a miracle ; for the battle 
of Le Cateau was as hopeless an action 
as any commander ever undertook 
to fight. 

All through the long August night, 
in pouring rain and murky darkness, 
the retreat continued. Under such 
circumstances, efficient staff work be- 
came next to impossible; units became 



hopelessly mixed; parties lost their 
way and blundered into the hands of 
the Germans, or struck westward, only 
to emerge finally near the Channel 
ports. The Gordon Highlanders were 
surrounded in the darkness and anni- 
hilated as an organization. So great 
was the fatigue of the men that 
many of them had to discard their 
equipment, and even then were barely 
able to drag themselves along. An 
officer who rounded up two hundred 
and fifty stragglers in St. Quentin 
could not induce them to resume their 
march until, with quick wit, he bought 
a toy drum and a penny whistle and 
played them, laughing in their misery, 
down the road to Ham. 


To the Germans, as they followed 
after, the retreat must have borne every 
appearance of a rout; but, in truth, if 
the British were disorganized, they were 
not demoralized. "Beneath the dirt 
and grime and weariness," testifies an 
American volunteer, " I saw clear eyes 
and grim jaws even when the men could 
hardly walk." Staff officers stationed 
at cross-roads sorted out the tangled 
units; and by the time the Second 
Corps caught up with the First in the 
valley of the Oise, the force had recov- 
ered something of its cohesion. It 
was a force utterly weary and cruelly 
harassed, but still intact and still 

After August 27 the imminent dan- 
ger which for five terrible days had 
actually threatened the very existence 
of the British Expeditionary Force 
disappeared. On the right, the French 
Fifth Army, which had now passed to 
the command of General Franchet 
d'Esperey, was holding firm in the 
region of Guise, and was about to 
administer a heavy check to the 
troops of von Billow; on the left, 
Sordet's cavalry had at last come into 
action, and French infantry divisions 
were beginning to appear, taking some 
of the pressure off the British flank. 

On August 29 Sir John French was 
able to give his weary troops a day's 
rest. From the valley of the Oise the 
retreat was continued to the Marne, 


and even beyond the Marne, but in 
this movement the British succeeded 
in avoiding any general engagement, 
so that a German general complained 
that they retired "in seven-league 
boots." Their retreat, moreover, was 
in conformity with the general strate- 
gical plan which the French command- 
er-in-chief was evolving as a result 
of the failure of the first French offen- 
sive a plan which required for its 
execution an iron patience and self- 


The situation as the last week of 
August drew to its close was, to out- 
ward appearances, far from encourag- 
ing for the Allies. The chain of French 
frontier fortresses in the north Long- 
wy, Montmedy, Mezi6res, Givet, Hir- 
son, and Lille had nearly all fallen, 
mostly before the first assault, though 
the little fort of Longwy had made a 
gallant resistance of over a week. 
There remained only Maubeuge, which 
was to fall on September 7, and Verdun, 
which was to defy then, and for the 
rest of the war, all the attempts of the 
flower of the German army to take it. 
The Third French Army, however, had 
been forced back on the circle of forts 
which surrounded Verdun, and the 
ancient and famous city was virtually 
beleaguered. The Fourth French 
Army, after vainly attempting to hold 
the line of the Meuse, had been com- 
pelled to fall back on Rethel. Here, 
after two days of bitter fighting on 
August 28 and 29, the French had 
been driven from the burning town 
and thrown back across the Aisne. 
Farther west, though the French 
Fifth Army had won a very pretty 
success at Guise, thus relieving the 
pressure on the retreating British, the 
Germans had captured on August 29 
the town of La Fre; and the British 
were still in retreat, concerned appar- 
ently only in escaping from the clutches 
of their pursuers. 

The authorities, both in France and 
in England, strove at firet to conceal 
from the public the actual state of 
affairs. The official communiques were 
laconic almost to the point of unin- 


telligibility. When the Somme . first 
appeared in the reports of the oper- 
ations, many people thought it was a 
misprint for the Sambre. But gradually 
fugitives and stragglers reached the 
lines of communication, and the truth 
began to leak out. 


On August 30 the correspondent of 
, The Times in France sent to his paper 
a dispatch in which he described the 
British as "a broken army." The day 
on which this dispatch reached London 
is still known as "Black Sunday." 
In Paris, the droves of fugitives which 
flocked in from the north, with their 
ghastly tales of German atrocities 
unhappily, only too well founded 
created a most unpleasant impression; 
and when it was announced that the 
French government was moving forth- 
with to Bordeaux, the scenes in the 
French capital were well-nigh inde- 
scribable. An exodus took place which, 
but for good management, might easily 
have turned into a panic-stricken 
flight. To many Frenchmen the days 
of 1870 seemed doubtless to have 

In truth, however, the situation was 
not as black as it appeared. Although 
the logic of circumstances had com- 
pelled the French to evacuate once 
more Upper Alsace, the eastern barrier, 
buttressed by the fortresses of Belfort, 
Epinal, Nancy, Toul, and Verdun, still 
held firm; and de Castelnau's army, 
having checked the Germans opposite 
Nancy, had resumed its offensive, and 
was pushing its adversaries back to the 
border. To the west of Verdun, the 
French armies had been checked and 
thrown back, but they were still 
intact; and they were standing approx- 
imately on a line of heights parallel 
with the Aisne and the Oise which had 
long been regarded as France's secon- 
dary line of defense in the north. 



During the week which had elapsed, 
moreover, since the German plan had 
divulged itself, Joffre had had an 
ample opportunity to make use of his 
railways in altering the disposition of 

his mass of manoeuvre. He had 
created two new Armies, the Ninth, 
under General Foch, who was now 
promoted from the command of his 
famous "Iron Corps," and the Sixth, 
under General Manoury. The Ninth 
Army, which was composed partly of 
troops from the Lorraine front, in- 
cluding the "Iron Corps" itself, was 

General Sir Douglas Haig, who in command of the First 
British Army Corps gained distinction early in the war, 
in December, 1915, succeeded Sir John French as Com- 
mander-in-Chief in France and Flanders. 

being concentrated in rear of the 
centre of the French line; and the 
nucleus of the Sixth Army, composed 
of the victorious Seventh Corps from 
Alsace, several divisions of reserve 
troops which had been operating on 
the left flank of the British, and Sor- 
det's cavalry, was already in action 
on the extreme left of the Allied line, 
menacing the right flank of von 
Kluck's advance. This Sixth French 
Army, after fighting some rearguard 
actions about Bapaume and Albert 
towns which were to become later the 
storm-centres of a more titanic struggle 
had taken up its position by August 
30 between Amiens and Rove, where 
it was in touch with the British, cavalry. 



In doing so, it had attracted to itself 
a large part of von Kluck's attention, 
and had greatly relieved the pressure 
on the British. 



It might have seemed that the time 
had now arrived for Joffre to make a 
stand. His armies presented once 
more a fairly unbroken front from Ver- 
dun to Amiens; and the Fifth French 
Army had already struck back at the 
Germans with brilliant success in the 
neighborhood of Guise. On August 
30 Joffre did indeed seriously contem- 
plate ordering a resumption of the 
offensive all along his front; but in 
the end he decided against it. His 
reasons for doing so , appear to have 
been twofold. In the first place, the 
reverse at Rethel had weakened his 
right centre; and though the situation 
here might have been restored by the 
intervention of Foch's Ninth Army, 
it nevertheless contained elements of 
danger. In the second place, Sir John 
French did not believe his troops 
capable of resuming the offensive with 
success until they had had an oppor- 
tunity to rest and refit. 



Their losses had not indeed been 
excessive, for, strange to relate, they 
did not amount at this time to twenty 
per cent of the whole force; but the 
physical exhaustion of the men was 
extreme. The disruption of the British 
lines of communication, moreover, and 
the consequent transference of the 
British base from Boulogne to St. 
Nazaire in the west of France, had 
prevented the arrival of reinforcement 
drafts and had seriously disorganized 
the supply arrangements. French's 
reluctance to stand and fight greatly 
perturbed Lord Kitchener, the British 
Minister of War, and brought him 
posthaste over to Paris, where an 
unpleasant altercation took place be- 
tween the two field-marshals; and grave 
political pressure was brought to bear 
on Joffre to persuade him to surrender 
no more French territory. But with 
that Olympian serenity which char- 
acterized his strategy, Joffre accepted 


the .situation, and on August 30 
ordered the continuance of the retreat 
to the line of the Marne, east of Paris, 
with the line of the Seine, southeast 
of Paris, as the extreme limit beyond 
which the retreat was not to go. 

In doing so, it is probable that he 
judged wisely. The critical character 
of the battle of the Marne a week later 
would seem to suggest that the Allies 
would have joined battle on August 
30 on the line from Verdun to Amiens 
with very indifferent chances of suc- 
cess. Joffre had much to gain, and 
little to lose, except territory, by 
further retreat. He was all the time 
drawing the Germans farther and 
farther from their bases of supply and 
reinforcement; while the French were 
steadily approaching nearer and nearer 
to theirs. 

Already the Russian invasion of East 
Prussia, the home of the German jun- 
kers, was gathering momentum, at a 
date much earlier than had been 
thought possible by the German Gen- 
eral Staff; and Joffre felt that he could 
count with practical certainty on the 
almost immediate weakening of the 
German front in the west to reinforce 
the front in the east. As a matter of 
fact the Russian invasion prevented 
the reinforcement of the west rather 
than took troops from that front. The 
Marne position, moreover, afforded 
the allied line what it had hitherto 
lacked, a strong anchor or point d'appui 
for its left flank in the vast fortified 
camp of Paris; and it presented oppor- 
tunities for entrapping part of the 
right wing of the German armies, of 
which, in fact, advantage was ultimately 


The decision of Joffre to retire on 
the Marne placed von Kluck in 
something of a dilemma. He had set 
out from Brussels with a fixed idea. 
His aim was to overwhelm the British 
and to outflank the whole of the Allied 
line. On two occasions, at Mons and 
at Le Gateau, he had had a superb 
opportunity to achieve .this result; 
but on both occasions he had failed. 
When he had found the French Sixth 


Army moving up on the British left, he 
had promptly moved in a southwestetly 
direction against them, with the ap- 
paient object of continuing his out- 
flanking movement. On August 30 
he was occupying a line from Amiens 
to St. Quentin, and was in touch only 
with the British left. 

Von Kluck doubtless hoped that the 
Allies would give battle on this line, 
in which case he would have had a 
third chance to bring his enveloping 


The private soldiers and even the 
junior officers were obsessed by the 
idea that they were bound "nach 
Paris"; but the staff had been brought 
up on the doctrine of Clausewitz, that 
the first object of military operations 
is the annihilation of the enemy's 
forces in the field, and that once that 
object is attained fortresses and capitals 
will fall like rioe fruit from the tree. 


This chart depicts the defenses of Paris, the city that the Germans planned to enter in September, 1914. The 
inmost line is formed by the old ramparts -21 miles long. The next circle includes the forts built in 1870. Out- 
side of these lies another line of fortresses and batteries 40 in all constructed in 1878. Through the northern 
gates of the city refugees flocked in during the first weeks of the war. 

movement into play; but on August 
31 Manoury began to retire on Paris, 
yielding Amiens to the enemy. Von 
Kluck was now presented with these 
alternatives: he could either follow 
Manoury, in which case he would very 
soon come up against the girdle of 
fortifications surrounding Paris, or he 
could, by means of a dangerous flank 
march in a southeasterly direction in 
front of Manoury and the Paris forts, 
recover contact with the German 
armies on his left, and join them in 
attacking the Allied positions on the 
Marne. He chose, or von Moltke 
chose for him, the latter alternative. 
To attack Paris with his siege artillery 
still far in the rear would have been a 
tedious business; and in any case the 
siege of Paris does not seem to have 
come within the scope of the original 
plans of the German General Staff, in 
spite of the general belief. 

We know, as a matter of fact, that in 
the first group of maps issued to von 
Kluck's army, the map of the Paris 
area was not included, though maps of 
the Marne valley to the east of Paris 
were included. In undertaking the 
risky experiment of the flank march, 
von Kluck doubtless made a virtue 
of necessity; but he probably counted 
also on the Sixth French Army shutting 
itself up in the intrenched camp of 
Paris, and he certainly feared nothing 
from the British, whom he regarded 
as already out of the fighting. 

The Allied armies fell back on the 
Marne in good order. The Third 
French Army, which had now passed 
from the command of Ruffey to that 
of Sarrail, swung back, pivoting on 
Verdun, until it faced in a north- 
westerly direction, with its left flank 
resting on the Ornain. Langle de 
Gary's Fourth Army and Franchet 



d'Esperey's Fifth Army fell back 
below the Marne, destroying the 
bridges in their retreat; while Foch's 
new Ninth Army came up between 
them, with his centre resting on La 
Fere-Champenoise. The British army, 
which had retreated by easy stages 
from the Oise and the Aisne, crossed 
the Marne on September 3, and took 
up a position to the south of the river 
between La Ferte-sous-Jouarre and 
Lagny. Manoury's Sixth Army, now 
further reinforced by Joffre, who 
seemed to produce fresh troops from no- 
where, stood guard in front of Paris. 


The Germans, exulting in the belief 
that they had before them a beaten 
foe, who was incapable of making a 
stand, pressed on in pursuit. The right 
flank of the Crown Prince's army 
swung south, pinning in Sarrail to 
Verdun, and virtually surrounding the 
Verdun forts on three sides. Duke 
Albrecht of Wurtemberg's Fourth 
Army, swinging southeast, pressed in 
on the left flank of Sarrail and the 
right flank of Langle de Gary. Von 
Hausen's Third Army moved south 
through Chalons opposite Langle de 
Gary's left and Foch's right; and von 
Billow's Second Army, in close touch 
with it, came south facing Foch's left 
and Franchet d'Esperey's right. Mean- 
while, von Kluck was executing his 
daring flank march in front of Paris. 
Moving southeast by way of Senlis, 
he left the Fourth Reserve Corps 
along the Ourcq as a flank guard, and 
crossed the Marne on September 4. 
Disregarding the British on his right, 
he then moved toward Coulommiers, 
with the apparent object of attacking 
Franchet d'Esperey's Fifth Army. 


In this advance, the German armies 
unfortunately once more sullied the 
German name by deeds of unspeakable 
barbarity. The German atrocities in 
Belgium are well known and as well 
attested as any fact in history. The 
German atrocities in France are not 
so well known, but they are no less 
well attested. No one can read the 


report of the French commission ap- 
pointed to investigate these atrocities 
without being convinced that prac- 
tically all the crimes against humanity 
with which the Germans have been 
charged in France were actually com- 
mitted; in many cases the commission 
had before it ocular evidence. 

The most outstanding case was that 
of the beautiful old-world town of 
Senlis, twenty-five miles north of 
Paris. Senlis was defended by a French 
regiment, which gallantly resisted the 
advance of von Kluck's troops. When 
the Germans entered the town, on the 
pretext that civilians had taken part 
in the fighting, they burned it to the 
ground; and having arrested the white- 
haired mayor and others of the prin- 
cipal inhabitants, they forced them, 
after the mockery of a court-martial, 
to dig their own graves and then face 
a German firing-party. The fate of 
Senlis is a true pendant of the fate of 


But what happened at Senlis hap- 
pened also in many obscure villages 
in the valley of the Marne. Here old 
men were shot down in cold blood, 
babes were skewered with bayonets, 
children had their hands cut off, 
women were raped and disembowelled. 
The most perverted efforts of the 
imagination could hardly exhaust the 
category of German crimes. How far 
these crimes are to be laid at the door 
of the German military authorities, 
and how far they were due to the 
excesses of German private soldiers, 
flushed by the unaccustomed wines of 
northern France, is difficult to say. 
Certainly the German General Staff 
cannot escape the chief responsibility. 
Just as the Jacobins in France in 1791 
made terror a political weapon, so the 
German General Staff in 1914 made 
terror (Schrecklichkeit) a military wea- 
pon. The Kriegsbrauch im Landkriege, 
a manual issued by the German 
General Staff before the war for the 
instruction of German officers, express- 
ly lays it down "that certain severities 
are indispensable in war, nay, more, 
that the only true humanity very often 


Arras, though in France, looked like a Flemish city. This square, the Petite Place, shows old buildings in Flemish 
style, with upper stories overhanging the footway and supported by columns that formed arcades. The belfry of 
the Hotel de Ville, rising above the Renaissance facade with its seven different arcades and its ornate Gothic 
windows, housed a fine peal of bells, and was topped by a gilded ducal crown. Under buildings and squares were 
the usual large cellars, which, throughout the invaded region of northern France, were utilized during the war as 
fortified defenses. In ancient days, the capital of the Atrebates, a Gallic tribe; in the fifteenth century, the meeting 
place of a Peace Congress; in the eighteenth century, Arras became the birth-place of Robespierre. 


Before Shakespeare, Arras was a thriving city famous for its tapestries. "Arras" was even used as the name for a 
curtain of such tapestry. Until the first year of the World War the old flavor clung to the place (although no Arras 
tapestries were to be found there). On market-days the squares were gay with booths and carts and peasant folk. 
Then came bombardment and ruin, the belfry crushed to a weather-worn crag; gaps torn between houses; the 
people, fled ! In two years no vestige remained of the Hotel de Ville. 



lies in a ruthless application of them;" 
that "if the necessity of war demand, 
. . . every sequestration, every tem- 
porary or permanent deprivation, every 
use, every injury, and all destruction 
are permitted"; and that "interna- 
tional law is in no way opposed to 
the exploitation of the crimes of third 
parties (assassination, incendiarism, 
robbery, and the like) to the prejudice 
of the enemy." 


Such doctrines, indeed, were merely 
in line with Bismarck's famous injunc- 
tion to leave the enemy population 
"nothing but eyes to weep with," and 
Wilhelm II's advice to his troops to 
model their behavior on that of 
"the Huns under their king Attila." 
There must have been many German 
officers and men who did not approve 
of this policy, and who were ashamed 
of the excesses of their comrades. A 
captured Saxon officer who had been 
at Rethel was found to have written 
in his diary, "The place is a disgrace 
to our army." But those who repro- 
bated the excesses were helpless in 
view of the avowed attitude of -the 
German General Staff. The blond 
beast was in command. 

Of the issue of the battle which was 
about to be joined, the Germans ap- 
pear to have been supremely con- 
fident. They regarded the French 
armies, and especially the British 
army, as already decisively beaten; 
and they seem to have thought that 
all that was necessary was to admin- 
ister to -thsm the coup de grace. Sep- 
tember i was the anniversary of Sedan, 
and the omens seemed propitious for a 
newer and greater Sedan. Not only 
were the people of Germany, whom the 
victories of the end of August had 
naturally raised to a state of patriotic 
delirium, filled with these great expec- 
tations; but even the German High 
Command itself entertained them. 
Evidence of this is indisputable. A 
German officer who saw von Kluck 
on September 4, and who had a con- 
versation with one of von Kluck's 
staff, wrote in his diary, which was 
captured and published by the French : 


"The reports of spies who had seen 
the enemy in retreat are very satis- 
factory. They are a disorganized and 
discontented horde, and there is no 
chance of their being able to do us any 
harm. The General fears nothing 
from the direction of Paris. We will 
return to Paris after we have destroyed 
the remains of the Franco-British 
Army. The Fourth Reserve Corps 
will have the honor of the triumphal 
entry into the French capital." 

Yet at the very moment when these 
lines were being written, Joffre was 
preparing the orders for his long- 
looked-for counter-offensive, and was 
laying the trap out of which the Ger- 
mans were, a few days later, to come 
reeling backward, outgeneraled and 


It was on September 3 that General 
Gallieni, the military governor of 
Paris, discovered by means of his 
aerial observers that von Kluck was 
marching in a diagonal direction 
through Senlis in front of Paris. He 
promptly communicated the fact to 
Joffre by telephone; and the two 
generals between them planned the 
operations which were to result in 
what the French call "the miracle of 
the Marne." It was arranged that the 
army of Manoury, now augmented to 
a formidable force, should be placed 
under Gallieni's orders, and that Gal- 
lieni should launch against von Kluck's 
rear flank along the Ourcq a powerful 
attack, while the Allied armies south 
of the Marne were to turn and advance 
along the whole front. Von Kluck 
would thus be caught between two 
fires, and would, it was expected, find 
great difficulty in extricating himself 
from the trap into which, in his over- 
confidence, he had fallen. In the actual 
execution of this plan, Joffre and Gal- 
lieni appear to have worked to some 
extent at cross purposes. On Septem- 
ber 4 Joffre issued his orders for the 
battle, which began as follows: 

"It is necessary to profit by the 
dangerous situation in which the First 



German Army has placed itself, by 
concentrating against it the efforts of 
the Allied armies on the extreme left. 
During September 5 all arrangements 
will be made to begin the attack on 
the 6th." 

Manoury was to drive the Germans 
over the Ourcq; the British were to 
advance in a northeasterly direction 
toward Coulommiers and Mont- 
mirail; the French Fifth Army was to 
move due north; and Foch's Ninth 
Army was to hold the weight of the 
enemy in the centre of the line, and to 
cover the advance of the Fifth Army. 
Unfortunately, Gallieni and Manoury 
decided to attack on September 5. 
On September 4 they both motored out 
to French's headquarters and requested 
the co-operation of the British in this 
attack. French, however, had already 
been requested by Joffre to retire 
through the forest of Crecy toward the 
valley of the Seine. The object of this 
manoeuvre is not certain; but it was 
probably undertaken in the hope that 
the Germans would move forward into 
the pocket thus created. It was per- 
haps an invitation from the spider to 
the fly to walk into his parlor. Apart 
altogether, therefore, from the fact 
that French no doubt preferred to act 
under instructions from Joffre, he 
found himself unable to accede to the 
request of Gallieni and Manoury, since 
he calculated that it would take him 
at least forty-eight hours to resume 
the offensive. Consequently, when 

Manoury attacked on September 5, he 
attacked alone; and the opportunity 
for a simultaneous double attack 
upon von Kluck in his exposed posi- 
tion, was lost. 


If only Manoury and French had 
been able to time their attacks so 
that they occurred together, the posi- 
tion of von Kluck would have been 
well-nigh desperate. Over the question 
where the responsibility for this failure 
to co-operate lay, much controversy 
has arisen. On the one hand, French 
is blamed for not having given to 
Manoury on September 5 the support 
which the latter had a right to expect; 
on the other hand, Gallieni and Man- 
oury are blamed for beginning their 
offensive a day too soon. The time has 
perhaps not yet arrived when it is 
possible justly to assess the blame. 
We do not know how essential it was 
that Gallieni should launch his blow 
on September 5, and we do not know 
whether French could actually have 
made his weight felt on that day. In 
any case, the lack of co-operation, un- 
fortunate as it was, was not of suffi- 
cient importance to alter the issue of 
the battle; for when the Allied armies 
south of the Marne advanced on the 
morning of September 6, it was to 
indubitable victory a victory which 
was destined to be a turning point in 
the history of the world. 




During the first weeks of war, the Emperor moved, with his retinue, to headquarters in France. But the Royal 
Family became less and less conspicuous as they failed to win distinction. The Crown Prince, both because of his 
lack of ability as a commander and his notorious personal conduct, lost rapidly in public favor. 


German machine guns were everywhere in hidden nests, or suddenly appearing from dug-outs, or carried far 
forward for surprise attacks. The guns in the picture are of the heavy type fired from tripods and requiring two 
men to move each of them. At the beginning of the war the Germans had many more machine guns than any other 
of the contending powers. Pictures from Henry Ruschin 


French Colonial Troops From Algiers The Turcos 


The Marne and the Race for the Sea 

*~pHE situation at the opening of the 
* battle of the Marne strongly re- 
sembled that at the opening of the bat- 
tle of Mons with this difference that 
the tables were now turned and the role 
of the respective armies reversed. Just 
as von Kluck had threatened French 
with envelopment at Mons, so Man- 
oury now threatened von Kluck in his 
turn with envelopment along the 
Ourcq; and just as von Moltke had 
been able, by means of his strategic 
railways and his excellent organization, 
to concentrate opposite the left flank of 
the allies in Belgium a force of the size 
of which neither Joffre nor French had 
until the last minute any conception, so 
Joffre was now able, by means of his 
railways and his army of manoeuvre, to 
concentrate opposite the right flank of 
the German line along the Ourcq a 
force much larger than either von 
Moltke or von Kluck appears to have 


The creation of this force is a story 
in itseF. From all points of the com- 
pass from Alsace and Lorraine, from 
North Africa, from the South of France, 
from the region of Amiens Joffre 
poured into Paris by the railways that 
radiate from it regiments, brigades, 
divisions, army corps; and out of these 
miscellaneous and heterogeneous ele- 

ments he fashioned the Sixth Army into 
a force of formidable strength. These 
troops continued to arrive for the rein- 
forcement of the Sixth Army all through 
the battle of the Ourcq; and on two 
critical occasions Gallieni, with splen- 
did expedition, rushed them to the 
battle-front in fleets of motor-cars and 

The reasons why the Germans failed 
to suspect this dangerous concentra- 
tion of troops on their right flank until 
it was almost too late, appear to have 
been in the main two. In the first 
place, they were ignorant of the extent 
to which Joffre had drawn on the east- 
ern front to reinforce his army of man- 
oeuvre. The vigor with which de Cas- 
telnau in Lorraine, with his now com- 
paratively weak forces, pressed them 
seems to have given them a totally 
false impression ; and as late as Septem- 
ber 4 the German official communique 
announced, doubtles much to the re- 
lief of French headquarters, that "the 
armies of the Crown Prince of Bavaria 
and of General von Heeringen have 
still in front of them strong enemy 
forces holding entrenched positions in 
French Lorraine. " 


In the second place, the Germans 
were thinking at the moment mainly 
of attack, rather than of defense. Their 


great attempt to envelop the left flank 
of the allied line had, it is true, defin- 
itely failed; but they had promptly 
substituted for this plan another which 
seemed to offer no less decisive results. 
They now aimed, not at envelopment, 
but at an overwhelming frontal attack 
with the object of piercing the French 
line in the centre. The French line was 
like a taut rope holding back a crowd: 
if it were cut in the centre, the two 
halves of it would fly back toward 
either end, and the crowd would surge 
through. The left half would be pinned 
in on Paris, the right half would be 
herded toward Verdun, and the Ger- 
mans would be able to dispose of the 
two halves at their leisure. The idea of 
a direct frontal attack was not, it is 
true, in harmony with the teaching of 
the modern school of German strate- 
gists, who believed that in the face of 
modern artillery, rifle, and machine- 
gun fire such an attack must entail 
losses out of all proportion to the suc- 
cess it was likely to achieve; but it must 
always be remembered that the Ger- 
mans believed they were facing a 
beaten and demoralized enemy, and in 
such a case a frontal attack doubtless 
seemed to them permissible. 


Before launching this general attack, 
however, the German staff planned a 
preliminary attack on the eastern part 
of the front. Here, where de Castel- 
nau's weakened Second Army stood on 
guard in front of Nancy, the Crown 
Prince of Bavaria began to attack as 
early as September 3. This movement 
had originally been planned in connec- 
tion with von Kluck's enveloping 
movement in the west: it had been in- 
tended as the left arm of the pincers. 
But it fitted in very well with the new 
plan of attack. If the Crown Prince of 
Bavaria succeeded in breaking through 
de Castelnau's front near Nancy, and 
von Hausen and von Bulow succeeded 
in piercing the French centre between 
Verdun and Paris, the French armies 
pivoting on Verdun would be taken in 
front and in rear, and the whole French 
battle-line would be hopelessly dis- 
rupted. Even if the German armies 


failed to pierce the French centre, and 
the French won the battle of the Marne, 
the success of the attack on Nancy 
would seriously embarrass the French, 
and would effectually nullify the re- 
sults of any victory they might win. 
The importance which the Germans 
attached to this preliminary offensive 
may be seen from the fact that the 
Kaiser himself was present at the bat- 
tle, and is reported, at one stage of the 
fighting, to have been ready with his 
white-uniformed bodyguard to make a 
triumphal entry into Nancy. 


The Germans first attacked at the 
northern extremity of the Grand Cour- 
onne de Nancy. They advanced 
south on both sides of the Moselle, 
took Pont-a-Mousson, entered the 
Forest of the Advance Guard, and at- 
tacked a battalion of French infantry 
on the plateau of Ste. Genevive. 
Against all the rules of war, this heroic 
battalion stood its ground; and at the 
end of the day it had repulsed, with 
appalling enemy losses, the massed at- 
tacks which were repeatedly launched 
against it. Then, on September 6, 
came the main German attack oppo- 
site the southern end of the Grand 
Couronne, the Forest of Champenoux, 
and the River Meurthe. Heavily out- 
numbered, the French were pushed 
back through the Forest of Champen- 
oux; and the Germans actually got a 
foothold on the Plateau d'Amance at 
the southern extremity of the Grand 

Thus far they got, and no farther. 
Both here, and along the Meurthe far- 
ther south, the attacking masses were 
checked and thrown back by the devas- 
tating fire which met them, directed 
from positions long prepared with a 
view to just such an eventuality as 
this. Even after the crisis was over, 
the Germans launched in vain spas- 
modic attacks against the French posi- 
tions, probably with the object of 
pinning down the large forces which 
they falsely believed to be facing them. 
But gradually these attacks- died down ; 
by the time the battle of the Marne was 
over, the Crown Prince of Bavaria was 


The advantage of using motor-lorries for the transport of supplies to armies in the field is obvious. With a rate of 
speed and a carrying capacity unapproached by any horse-vehicles, the big automobile camions (actual kitchens on 
wheels) took soup and other rations close up behind the front lines to furnish cheer and comfort for the poilu. 
Cooks, dish-washers and attendants often displayed as great heroism as the fighters. On the modern field of 
battle the soldier, weary, often faint, sometimes chilled and drenched, is not left, as a rule, to the cold and cheerless 
refreshment of hardtack and other emergency food, but has his stew and tea hot from the kettles of the traveling 
commissary division. 


Brussels, which since Napoleon's time had not been occupied by a foreign army, was entered on August 20, 1914, 
by a German army equipped with every modern contrivance. Moving kitchens with chimneys smoking, motor 
trucks exhibiting great activity, stacks of arms, and soldiers ostentatiously marching were displayed before the in- 
habitants to depress their spirits. It was an imposing panorama of system, equipment, war machinery and dis- 
cipline, calculated to produce awe and dismay. Men, horses, guns, wagons and everything else were brushed and 
polished to parade perfection. 



in retreat; and de Castelnau was once 
more pushing on toward the border. 


While de Castelnau was thus, with 
gallant resolution, defending the east- 
ern barrier of France, the great battle 
in the west between Paris and Verdun 
was developing. It was on September 
5 that the first gun in the long-awaited 
French counter-offensive was fired. 
On that day Manoury's Sixth Army 
hurled itself on the German Fourth 
Reserve Corps, which von Kluck had 
left as a flank guard in the valley of the 
Ourcq, and pushed it back toward the 
river. News of this attack reached von 
Kluck on the afternoon of Septem- 
ber 5. Now thoroughly alarmed about 
the safety of his rear, and aware at last 
of the importance of the French troops 
on his flank, he promptly passed back 
two army corps, in quick succession, to 
the Ourcq. His remaining two army 
corps he left facing the left wing of 
Franchet d'Esperey's Fifth Army; and 
in the interval, facing the British, he 
placed only von Marwitz's cavalry 

Had the British, now three corps 
strong, been able, at this juncture, to 
attack von Marwitz in force, and drive 
him north over the Marne, von Kluck's 
position would have been most unen- 
viable: his army would have been liter- 
ally cut in twain. But the British 
were at this time still south of the forest 
of Cr6cy, and were not ready to attack. 
Consequently, von Kluck's manoeuvre, 
risky as it was, very nearly succeeded 
in its object which was to crush Man- 
oury, while von Marwitz held up the 
British. Von Kluck was able on Sep- 
tember 6 to oppose to Manoury forces 
approximately equal in numbers, and 
superior in cohesion and striking pow- 
er, to the hastily gathered units of the 
French Sixth Army. Had it not been 
for the reinforcements which Manoury 
received during the battle, the last lot 
being composed of a miscellaneous 
collection of all the soldiers Gallium 
could scrape together in Paris, the 
battle might have gone badly for the 
French. As it was, von Kluck not only 
held up Manoury's attack, but, in 


fighting of almost unparalleled ferocity, 
he succeeded in pushing him back. On 
September 9, he finally succeeded in 
occupying Nanteuil-le-Haudouin, to 
the rear of Manoury's left flank. The 
outflanker was being outflanked. 


Meanwhile, however, the British 
had been creeping forward. They had 
advanced to the attack, in accordance 
with Joffre's orders, on the morning of 
September 6. Re-passing through the 
forest of Crecy, early on September 7, 
they occupied Coulommiers, which had 
been evacuated by the enemy the day 
before. Here, for no apparent reason 
they halted; and it was not until Sep- 
tember 8 that they continued their ad- 
vance northwards toward the Petit 
Morin. Along this river the German 
cavalry, reinforced by some battalions 
of the Guard Rifles, made a determined 
stand; but the passage of the river was 
forced, and the day ended with the 
British well across it, while the French 
on their right occupied Montmirail. 
At dawn on September 9 the British 
reached the Marne. Here to their great 
relief they found that most of the 
bridges were still intact; and by 9 a.m. 
the advanced troops of the Second 
Corps were four miles north of the 
river, well in the rear of von Kluck's 
left flank on the Ourcq. The First 
Corps, however, was held up by the 
threat of a flank attack, from the direc- 
tion of Chateau-Thierry, from which 
the French had not yet evicted the 
Germans; and the Third Corps was 
held up by the destruction of the bridge, 
at La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, and by the 
enemy's defense of the Marne at this 


The delay enabled the Germans to 
patch up some sort of defensive line 
along the Lizy-Ch&,teau-Thierry road, 
and here they held back the British 
for the rest of the day. But this was 
merely a desperate delaying action to 
enable the main forces of von Kluck to 
get away. Though he was gaining 
against the French west' of the Ourcq, 
the news that the British had crossed 


the Marne and were in his rear, com- 
bined with the news, brought to him by 
his aviators, that still more reinforce- 
ments were pouring out from Paris by 
motor-car and motor-bus, had been 
too much for him; and before noon he 
had thrown up the sponge. Under 
cover of a last vicious attack by his 
right wing, he withdrew his centre and 
left, and commenced a precipitate re- 
treat toward the north. 

There is no doubt that the appear- 
ance of the British north of the Marne 
they were the first of the allied troops 
to recross it exercised a primary in- 
fluence in deciding the result of the 
battle of the Ourcq. Von Kluck, deep- 
ly engaged on the Ourcq, had no troops 
with which to meet the British threat 
to his rear. At the same time, however, 
it must be regretted that Sir John 
French did not press his attack with 
more vigor. With little more than the 
three divisions of a German cavalry 
corps in front of him, it took him more 
than three days, from September 6 to 
September 9, to advance barely twenty 
miles. French military writers have 
hinted that General French did not 
give to Manoury the fullest support of 
which he was capable; and such seems 
to have been also the opinion of the 
Germans. "If, in these days," writes 
a German staff officer who appears to 
have been with von Kluck, "French or 
his subordinate commanders had only 
shown a little initiative, the situation 
of von Kluck must have become very 
critical; but the English did not seem 
able to accustom themselves so quickly 
to the change of circumstances." 


Whether the tardiness of the British 
advance was due to the condition of the 
British troops or to the over-cautious 
generalship of Sir John French is diffi- 
cult to determine. All the available 
evidence goes to show that the morale 
of the British rank-and-file was won- 
derful, in spite of what they had gone 
through. A British battery commander 
has testified that, when he gave his men 
the order to advance, "there was a 
cheer which must have startled the 
French government in Bordeaux." On 

the other hand, the British were un- 
doubtedly war-worn; they had lost 
much equipment; and the congestion 
of railways about Paris, due to the re- 
inforcements pouring in for Manoury, 
had made the problem of refitting them 
almost insoluble. Perhaps, on the 
whole, Sir John French somewhat un- 
derestimated the recuperative powers 
of the men under his command. 

Von Kluck's attempt to rout and 
crush Manoury, before the British 
could penetrate the cavalry screen in 
his centre, was a bold manoeuvre; but 
under the circumstances it was prob- 
ably destined from the beginning to 
failure. Von Kluck had made the fatal 
error of underestimating his opponents; 
he had walked, with his eyes open, into 
a palpable trap; and his troops were no 
longer what they had been two weeks 
before. They had traveled incredible 
distances: even after leaving the Brit- 
ish at Le Cateau, von Kluck's trcops 
had moved around two sides of a right- 
angled triangle of which the British 
had traversed the hypotenuse. Their 
fatigue was profound; and they had 
kept themselves going, first, by the 
vision of a triumphal entry into Paris, 
and second, by a liberal recourse to 
the heady wines of northern France. 
The notebook of a captured German 
officer has given us a candid picture of 
the condition of von Kluck's army: 


"Our men are done up. For four 
days they have been marching 24 
miles a day. . . The men stagger for- 
ward, their faces coated with dust, 
their uniforms in rags, looking like liv- 
ing scarecrows. They march with 
their eyes closed, singing in chorus so 
that they shall not fall asleep on the 
march. . . Nothing but the delirium of 
victory sustains them, and in order that 
their bodies may be as intoxicated as 
their souls they drink to excess, but 
this drunkenness helps to keep them 
going. Today after an inspection the 
general was furious. He wished to 
stop this general drunkenness. We 
managed to dissuade him from giving 
severe orders. If there were too much 
severity, the army would not march." 



Not only were von Kluck's troops 
nearing the limit of human endurance, 
but his supply arrangements had begun 
to break down. Prisoners captured by 
the French and the British complained 
that they were hungry; and the German 
guns for the first time were starved for 
shells. Every nation in the war had its 
shell crisis; Germany, in spite of her 
elaborate preparations for war, appears 
to have had hers at the battles of the 
Ourcq and the Marne. 


The retreat of von Kluck was the 
turning point in the general battle 
which had opened on September 6 
along the whole battle-front; but mean- 
while events were shaping themselves 
on the eastern part of the line which had 
it in their power to accentuate or annul 
the effect of the victory won by Man- 
oury and French. The aim of the Ger- 
mans here, as has been explained, was 
to disrupt the French centre. Conse- 
quently, when the French Fourth, 
Ninth, and Fifth Armies advanced on 
September 6 to the attack, they came 
into collision with strong enemy forces 
equally bent on attack. Before the 
shock of this encounter the French 
forces almost everywhere recoiled. 
Franchet d'Esperey was thrust back 
to the south of the Grand Morin; Foch 
was driven south of La Fere-Champen- 
oise; Langle de Gary had much ado to 
hold his ground between the Camp de 
Mailly and Revigny; and Sarrail found 
himself hemmed in closer and closer to 

Throughout September 7 and 8 the 
Germans continued to achieve tactical 
successes all along the line; and at this 
stage of the fighting they took so many 
prisoners that they were able, after 
the battle of the Marne was over, to 
boast whether with justice or not, 
is difficult to say that they had cap- 
tured more prisoners than the French. 
Joffre, fearful that the long line would 
somewhere break beneath the tremen- 
dous strain imposed on it, began once 
more to draw troops from the already 
weakened forces in Alsace and Lor- 
raine, in order to reinforce the weak 
spots in the French line. 



But gradually the battle of the Ourcq 
made its influence felt on the battle of 
the Marne. When von Kluck with- 
drew his two corps facing the British, 
leaving only a cavalry screen in their 
place, he naturally set up a tendency in 
the rest of the German line toward the 
vacuum which he had thus created. 
Both from the two corps which he had 
left facing Franchet d'Esperey, and 
from von Billow's Second Army, he 
was compelled to draw troops to stop 
the gap in the centre of his line. These 
movements inevitably caused succes- 
sive dislocations of the line further 
eastward. The whole line, in fact, was 
pulled westward, until, on September 
9, at a critical moment in the battle, 
von Hausen, the commander of the 
Third German Army, was compelled 
to leave on his right flank, near the 
marshes of St. Gond, a dangerous gap. 
At the same time, the slow but steady 
advance of the British took much of 
the pressure off the French Fifth Army, 
and enabled Franchet d'Esperey to de- 
tach his right corps to the help of Foch, 
who had been and was still hard pressed 
by both von Bulow and von Hausen. 
While the Germans, therefore, were 
being drawn as by a magnet further 
and further from the crucial point in 
the centre of the line, the French were 
actually moving troops toward that 


It was fortunate for the allies that 
the point in the French line against 
which the Germans directed their main 
attempt to break through was that de- 
fended by one of the few military gen- 
iuses the world war produced, General 
Foch. Throughout three days of the 
fiercest and most incessant fighting 
fighting which left in the little village 
of La Fere-Champenoise alone ten 
thousand soldiers' graves Foch had 
keenly watched for his chance to strike 
back at the foe. Now, on September 9, 
his chance arrived; and he saw and 
seized it. To outward appearances, his 
position was well-nigh desperate. His 
right and his centre had been driven 


back so far that his army was facing 
more in an easterly direction than to- 
ward the north. His troops were worn 
out with fighting; and it seemed as 
though at any moment von Hausen 
might break through between his army 
and that of Langle de Gary, which was 
also being heavily pressed. But the 
loan of Franchet d'Esperey's Tenth 
Corps enabled him to meet the situa- 
tion. Using it to buttress up his left 
flank, he withdrew from the line the 
Forty-second Division, one of the two 

divisions of the "Iron Corps" which he 
had trained under his own eye at Nancy 
before the war. This division he passed 
north to the point where von Hausen, 
having parted company with von Bil- 
low, and straining southward to force a 
rupture of Foch's right flank, had left a 
gap in the line between the marshes 
of St. Gond and La Fere-Champenoise. 
In the late afternoon of September 9, 
doubtless at the very moment when 
von Hausen was congratulating him- 
self that he was at last breaking through 



the French line, Foch launched the 
Forty-second Division at this gap, at 
the same time ordering a general offen- 
sive. It was at this juncture that he 
sent his famous paradoxical telegram 
to Joffre: "My right is retreating, my 
centre is yielding; situation excellent; 
I am attacking." The result of his 
attack was overwhelming. The Forty- 
second Division went through the weak 
German defenses as a knife goes 
through paper. Units of the Prussian 
Guard near the marshes of the St. Gond 
were cut to pieces and lost all their ar- 
tillery; and von Hausen's Saxons south 
of La Fere-Champenoise, finding them- 
selves attacked in front and threatened 
in rear, broke, turned, and streamed 
northwards in confusion and disorder. 
All during the summer night, amid the 
rain and lightnings of a thunderstorm 
which broke over the battle-field, they 
were pursued by Foch's eager infantry; 
and only when they had put the Marne 
between themselves and their pursuers 
did the pursuit come for the time being 
to an end. 


It has been maintained by some 
writers that Foch's victory at La Fere- 
Champenoise decided the battle of the 
Marne. Such, however, is not the case. 
Hours before the Forty-second Divi- 
sion made its glorious charge, von 
Kluck's left and centre were already in 
retreat; and von Kluck's retreat must 
inevitably have drawn with it the rest 
of the German armies west of Verdun. 
What Foch did was to turn what would 
have been otherwise a limited success 
into a real victory. The German 
armies, which, but for Foch's defeat of 
von Hausen, would doubtless have been 
able to retire fighting in good order, were 
compelled to beat a hurried and precip- 
itate retreat a retreat which in places 
strongly resembled a rout. 

Unfortunately, the French and the 
British were not able to extract from 
their victory the maximum of benefit. 
Both horses and men were so exhausted 
by their long retreat and by the terrific 
strain of the four days' fighting along 
the Ourcq and the Marne that they 
were not capable of following up their 



Early trenches contrasted strangely with the elaborate 
structures of the days when war conditions had become 
apparently permanent. This is a trench made by 
German Pioneers. 

beaten foe as closely as if they had been 
fresh. The total number of prisoners 
and guns captured by the allies in the 
battle of the Marne does not appear to 
have been large. The French figures 
have never been announced, doubtless 
because they seemed insignificant in 
comparison with the huge captures an- 
nounced by the Germans during the 
fighting in August; but the British took 
only about 2000 prisoners and 13 or 14 


These facts should not be allowed to 
obscure the substantial character of 
the allied triumph. At the battle of 
the Marne the German plans for a 
quick decision in the West were once 
and forever foiled ; the German General 
Staff were forced back on the defensive, 
and were compelled to accept a long 
war, in which the superior resources of 
the allies could be gradually mobilized 
and brought into play. There were to 
be, before the war ended, many critical 


moments for the allies; but never again 
did the Germans have the chance which 
they had in those fateful days of Sep- 
tember, 1914, to defeat their enemies 
separately, and so to win the war. In 
this sense, the battle of the Marne rep- 
resents the turn of the tide, the su- 
preme crisis of Armageddon. 


The Germans halted and turned at 
bay on the high ground to the north 
of the Aisne and the Suippe, some 
thirty-five miles north of the Marne. 
Here, with wise foresight, they had al- 
ready selected and prepared a line of 
defense, with a view to the possibility 
of just such a retreat as had occurred. 
This position, which had been used for 
defensive purposes by Bliicher's Prus- 
sians when invading France just one 
hundred years before, was one of the 
strongest in Europe. It followed, not 
the line of the rivers, but the line of 
heights immediately north of the Aisne 
and the crest of the natural glacis 
which rises from the north bank of 
the Suippe, ending in the difficult and 
wooded country of the Argonne. Along 
this high ground the German sappers had 
already laid out and begun to construct 
elaborate entrenchments-, of a type 
little known at that time, but only too 
well known since; and from these 
trenches the Germans had complete 
command of all the river crossings. 

The French and the British, pressing 
on in pursuit, came in contact with the 
German outposts south of the Aisne on 
September 12, and everywhere drove 
them in. On September 13 they reached 
nearly everywhere the river line in front 
of the German positions. They found 
that practically all the bridges had been 
destroyed ; but by boats, rafts, and pon- 
toons, even in several cases by the sole 
remaining girder of a demolished bridge, 
they made their way across the river, 
amid a storm of shell-fire from the 
heights above. By the end of the day 
they had forced the passage of the 
river at nearly all points. 


At this time the Allied commanders 
were still undecided as to whether the 

Germans intended to stand at bay, or 
whether they intended merely to fight 
a delaying action, with a view to a fur- 
ther retirement. Possibly the compara- 
tive ease with which they had forced 
the river crossings inclined them to the 
latter opinion. Had they known the 
character of the German positions and 
the strength with which they were held, 
they might well have hesitated to press 
their frontal attack further. But, lack- 
ing this knowledge, they had no choice 
but to try the Germans out, to see what 
they would do. 

Accordingly, on September 14, a 
general attack was launched against 
the main German positions along the 
whole of the allied line. This attack 
almost everywhere broke down. Langle 
de Gary and Foch hurled their forces up 
the slopes to the north of the Suippe, 
only to see them recoil before the 
almost impregnable German defences; 
Franchet cTEsperey assailed in vain the 
Craonne plateau; the British left and 
centre was hung up in front of tfae Ger- 
man positions along the Chemin des 
Dames; and Manoury attacking north 
of the Aisne between Soissons and 
Compiegne, found the massif between 
the valleys of the Aisne and the Oise a 
nut too hard to crack. Only at one 
point, on the British right, was success 
attained. Here, indeed, Haig's First 
Corps reached the Chemin des Dames, 
on the crest of the ridge, four miles 
north of the Aisne, and captured the 
sugar factory near Cerny, which the 
Germans had turned into a machine- 
gun fortalice. A small detachment 
even pushed some distance north of 
the Chemin des Dames, without en- 
countering any organized resistance; 
and if the British had had any reserves 
readily available, it is conceivable that, 
by exploiting their success, they might 
have pierced the German positions. 


Reserves, however, were what the 
British most lacked; and, in any case, 
Sir John French did not know about 
the gap opposite his right flank in time 
to take advantage of it. The day ended 
with the British still retaining their 
foothold on the Chemin des Dames a 



foothold which they retained during the 
rest of their stay on the Aisne front ; but 
with the remainder of the allied forces 
en joying a precarious tenure of the north 
bank of the river, overlooked by the 
Germans on the heights above them. 
When the Germans halted their re- 
treat, nothing had been farther from 
their minds than to fight a purely de- 
fensive action. They had regarded the 
battle of the Marne as merely an inci- 

edge of the Aisne; Langle de Gary was 
forced back toward Ste. Menehould; 
and Foch found himself obliged to with- 
draw to the very environs of Rheims. 

During the days that followed, the 
Germans subjected Rheims to that 
pulverizing bombardment which ruined 
the Cathedral of Rheims, the noblest 
example of French Gothic architecture 
in existence. Whether, as the Germans 
insisted, the French had used the tower 


When, in September, 1914, German shells and bombs crashed through the historic walls of Rheims Cathedral and 
set fire to its roof, the world protested. The Germans argued that the French had used the towers for observation 
posts; then, that the German guns were aiming at a battery near by. But the battery was proven to be a mile away; 
and Red Cross flags floated from the towers to protect the German wounded in the Cathedral. 

dent an action in which they had un- 
fortunately blundered into an unfavor- 
able situation, but from which they had 
withdrawn with comparative success. 
They now hoped to attack again under 
more favorable conditions, to demon- 
strate once more the ability of the Ger- 
man legions to defeat the effete troops 
of France and Great Britain, and to 
resume their slightly deferred march on 
Paris. On September 15 they advanced 
to the attack. In one or two sectors 
they achieved considerable success. 
Manoury was driven back to the very 

of the cathedral for military purposes, 
such as observation and signaling, will 
perhaps never be known; but certain it 
is that the bombardment of the cathe- 
dral did the Germans no good and much 
harm. It did not facilitate their ad- 
vance; but on the contrary it hardened 
the heart, not only of the French people 
but of the whole world, against the 
German menace to civilization. 



A week after the drive toward 
Rheims, the Germans followed with an 

attack on the right flank of the Verdun 
defenses, north of Pont-il-Mousson. 
Here they succeeded in driving a spear- 
head into the French line, and actually 
in gaining a bridgehead over the Meuse 
at St. Mihiel, thus creating that inden- 
tation which remained such a curious 
feature of the allied line in the west un- 
til it was obliterated by the First Amer- 
ican Army in September, 1918. But 
here their success stopped. Though 
the front from St. Mihiel to Soissons 
continued active for several weeks, 
neither side was able to make much 
impression on the other; and gradually 
there supervened that condition of 
stalemate on this part of the line which 
was destined to last, despite desperate 
attempts on both sides to end it, almost 
until the end of the war. 

As soon as it became apparent that 
neither side was able to advance, a 
natural result followed. Each side be- 
gan to feel out toward the west, in an 
attempt to outflank the other; and 
thus there began that rapid, and at 
times feverish, race for the sea which 
ended only when the battle-front 
stretched in one unbroken line from 
the Swiss border to the Flanders coast. 


In this race the French were the first 
to leave the starting-post. Already on 
September 15, when the Germans were 
counter-attacking, Manoury's left 
flank was stealing up the valley of the 
Oise toward Noyon. The following day 
Joffre, now fully aware that the Ger- 
man resistance on the Aisne was not 
merely a rearguard action, gave orders 
for the formation of two new French 
Armies, the Seventh and the Tenth, to 
operate on Manoury's left. The Sev- 
enth Army he entrusted to the com- 
mand of de Castelnau, who handed 
over the defense of Lorraine to Dubail ; 
and the Tenth Army he placed in 
charge of General Maud'huy, a new 
man, who had risen in three brief weeks 
from the command of a brigade to that 
of an army a rapidity of promotion 
almost unparalleled even in the armies 
of Napoleon. De Castelnau was in 
position by September 20, extending 
the line in a northerly direction from 

Manoury's left flank, near Lassigny, to 
the valley of the Somme, near Peronne. 
Ten days later Maud'huy carried the 
line further north to the neighborhood 
of Arras and Lens. 

The Germans were not slow to meet 
this new threat to their right flank. 
Once bitten, they were twice shy. As 
soon as French troops came into line, 

Field Marshal Josias von Heeringen, an experienced 
and stubborn fighter, was transferred from the 7th 
Army around Verdun and Metz to reinforce von Kluck 
and von Bulow in the Battle of the Aisne. 

they were promptly met by German 
troops advancing to oppose them. 
Many observers were mystified at that 
time as to where these forces came 
from. They were obtained in the same 
way as Joffre had obtained the greater 
part of his Seventh and Tenth Armies, 
by robbing other parts of the line. Von 
Bulow, who handed over the defense 
of the Craonne plateau to von Heerin- 
gen, who came up from Alsace, was 
transferred from von Kluck's left to 
his right. The Crown Prince of Bava- 
ria, leaving General von Strantz with 
weak forces to guard Lorraine, was also 
moved west, where he found, curiously 
enough, that part of his army again 
faced that of de Castelnau. Finally, 



Duke Albrecht of Wurtemberg, hand- 
ing over the Champagne front to von 
Einem, the successor of von Hausen, 
was moved over to the extreme Ger- 
man right. 


The German General Staff, in fact, 
had promptly recognized, from the 
moment when their offensive on the 
Aisne had ended in deadlock, that the 
storm-centre was bound to shift to the 
westward, and that it behooved them 
to transport thither with the utmost 
expedition the best troops at their dis- 
posal, leaving the defense of the strong 
entrenched positions between Soissons 
and the Swiss border in the main to 
comparatively weak forces of Land- 
wehr and Landsturm. They were the 
more readily able to do this since the 
mobilization of these second-line troops 
was already well advanced much fur- 
ther advanced than was the mobiliza- 
tion of the corresponding troops in the 
French army. These German second- 
line troops were expected to be able to 
hold, even if they could not advance. 

In the face of this strong counter- 
movement on the part of the Germans, 
the French, who had thought to out- 
flank the German right, soon found that 
they were hard put to it to keep their 
own left from being outflanked. The 
fighting, in which for the last time for 
many a long day cavalry and horse 
artillery played an important part, was 
a constant succession of battles and 
skirmishes a sort of running fight to 
the north-west. To attempt to describe 
in detail the vicissitudes of the struggle 
would be tedious and unprofitable. The 
first encounters took place in the valley 
of the Oise near Noyon. Here Man- 
oury's left wing was thrust back by von 
Kluck's flank guards until it rested on 
Lassigny. There followed a bitter fight 
between Roye and Ham, in which de 
Castelnau's troops achieved at first 
some success, and which raised the 
hopes of the allies that their flanking 
movement might after all prove effec- 
tive, for Ham was within striking dis- 
tance of von Kluck's main line of com- 
munication, the trunk railway line in 
the Oise valley. 



In the end, however, de Castelnau 
was pushed back well behind Roye, 
Chaulnes, and Peronne by the superior 
numbers brought up against him. 
Later, as Maud'huy's Tenth Army 
came into action, a struggle of some 
magnitude developed near Bapaume. 
The Germans, who seem to regard this 
as one of the most important battles of 
the campaign, captured Bapaume, and 
pressing on assailed with desperate 
valor the Albert plateau. But Maud' 
huy, who showed that Joffre's confi- 
dence in him was well placed, stood his 
ground, and the end of the battle found 
him still master of the plateau. Grad- 
ually, along the whole front from Sois- 
sons to Arras, an equilibrium was es- 
tablished. Trenches were dug; the 
deadlock which prevailed on the Aisne 
crept northward; and both sides set- 
tled down into the positions which 
they were to occupy, with little change, 
until the great battle of the Somme in 
the autumn of 1916. 

There still remained, however, to the 
north of Maud'huy, a wide gap between 
Lens and the sea which was as yet un- 
stopped. Here for many weeks Uhlan 
patrols had roamed at large, meeting 
with almost no resistance; and already, 
during the first week of October, strong 
German cavalry forces were reported 
in the neighborhood of Lille. In order 
to fill this gap and, if possible, to link 
up with the Belgian army at Antwerp, 
Joffre decided to withdraw the British 
army from the Aisne and to transfer it 
bodily northwards. The move would 
greatly shorten and improve the Brit- 
ish line of communications, which now 
ran athwart those of the French Sixth, 
Seventh, and Tenth Armies; the Brit- 
ish had a peculiar interest in the de- 
fense of the Channel ports; and, in any 
case, veteran troops like the British 
would be much better employed in the 
critical fighting in the north than" in 
the stagnant battle of the Aisne. 



On October 3, therefore,, the British 
began to hand over their trenches to 
the French, and to make their way to- 


ward Flanders. By October n, the 
Second Corps was swinging into line on 
the French left at La Bassee ; the Third 
Corps was prolonging the line north- 
ward toward Messines; and the First 
Corps was moving up from the Aisne 
to the neighborhood of Ypres. But 
while the British migration was still in 
progress, events were already happen- 
ing in western Belgium which were des- 
tined to alter radically the general situ- 
ation on the northern front, and which 
were to bring the British face to face 
with a supreme trial of which they had 
no inkling a trial beside which even 
the retreat from Mons can hardly stand 
in comparison. 

When the Belgian field army evacu- 
ated Brussels on August 19, it retired 
on the fortified camp of Antwerp. Ant- 
werp was not only one of the wealthiest 
commercial centres in Europe, but it 
was also a fortified place reputed to be 
of great strength. It was ringed around 
with two girdles of steel-and-concrete 
forts, the outer of which, some sixty 
miles in circumference, had been com- 
pleted just before the outbreak of war. 
Its position, moreover, was naturally 
strong. It was protected on the south, 
east, and north-west by low-lying 
ground which could be readily flooded ; 
its proximity to the Dutch border made 
its complete investment impossible; and 
the sea behind it afforded a means 
whereby it could obtain, if necessary, 
supplies and relief. It had been forti- 
fied indeed with a view to just such 
a contingency as had arisen: it was a 
sort of national citadel, within which 
the Belgian army might take refuge 
while assistance was coming. 



The Germans had been content at 
first merely to "mask" Antwerp. 
When von Kluck swung south toward 
France on August 20, he left only two 
army corps to shut the Belgians up in 
Antwerp and prevent their doing any 
harm. Antwerp itself was at this time 
of no conceivable use to the Germans; 
and if it had been, they had no troops 
to waste in side-shows. Every avail- 
able man was needed to bring about the 
decisive defeat of the French ; once this, 

indeed, was accomplished, the reduc- 
tion of Antwerp would have been a 
simple matter. 

The Belgians, however, had declined 
to accept the r61e which the German 
General Staff had assigned to them. 
On at least two occasions they had sal- 
lied forth and fallen on the Germans 
with no uncertain effect, and at most 
awkward junctures. First, when the 
battle of Charleroi was beginning, they 
made a sortie toward Louvain, as a re- 
sult of which this venerable university 
town was burned to the ground by the 
Germans, amid scenes of execrable bar- 
barity; and second, while the battle of 
the Marne was in progress, they made a 
sortie which detained in Belgium troops 
which were sorely needed by the Ger- 
mans in the south. The Belgian staff, 
moreover, had taken to heart the les- 
sons of Liege and Namur. They real- 
ized that the most modern steel-and- 
concrete forts could no longer be re- 
garded as proof against the fire of the 
German 28 and 42 centimeter guns and 
the Austrian Skodas; and they kept 
pushing their infantry out beyond the 
forts, in the hope of keeping the Ger- 
man siege howitzers out of range. 


Under these circumstances, the Ger- 
mans would probably have decided to 
storm Antwerp in any case, as soon as 
they had the necessary troops, in order 
to clean out the hornets' nest. But 
there were now additional reasons why 
they should do this. In the first place, 
German public opinion was sorely in 
need of encouragement. After the 
events of August, the events of Sep- 
tember had been somewhat of an anti- 
climax. In the second place, the shift- 
ing of the centre of gravity of the war 
from the Aisne toward Flanders and 
this was the most important factor 
made it urgently necessary for the Ger- 
mans to eliminate the Belgian threat to 
their right flank. So long as the Ger- 
man battle-front was along the Aisne 
or the Marne, the Belgian threat to 
the German lines of communication 
was slight; but once the battle-front 
was removed to Flanders, the threat 
became immediate and direct. 



The German decision to attack Ant- 
werp seems to have been taken about 
the middle of September, just after the 
failure of the German counter-offensive 
on the Aisne. On September 17, von 
Beseler, who was in command of the 
army facing Antwerp, drove the Bel- 
gians back to the line of the Malines- 
Louvain railway. By September 25 he 
had forced them back to the railway 
line between Malines and Termonde. 
Here the Belgian field army made a des- 
perate and gallant resistance, and the 
battle ebbed and flowed for several 
days; but by September 28 the Ger- 
mans had advanced far enough to en- 
able them to bring their great siege 
howitzers to bear on the southern forts 
of the outer ring of the Antwerp de- 
fenses. The bombardment of Antwerp 
had begun. 


The German guns, from a distance of 
from seven to eight miles, pounded the 
steel cupolas and concrete works of 
Forts Waelhem and Wavre Ste. Cath- 
erine, neither of which mounted a gun 
having a range of over six miles. It was 
a repetition of the fate of Lidge and 
Namur. By the early morning of Sep- 
tember 29 Fort Wavre was silenced ; its 
cupolas and concrete works were 
smashed as by an earthquake, its maga- 
zine was blown up, and its command- 
er, when he insisted gallantly on re- 
turning to it with a fresh garrison, 
found that every gun was out of action. 
Waelhem, with one of its cupolas 
wrecked, continued its resistance dur- 
ing the day; but it was so battered that 
by October I it had only one gun firing. 
By October I Forts Koningshoyckt 
and Lierre to the north had also been 
silenced. During the following night 
the Belgian forces, abandoning the line 
of the ruined forts, fell back to a pre- 
viously prepared line of entrenchments 
behind the Nethe, an affluent of the 

The Belgian authorities recognized 
that, once the outer defenses had gone, 
the fate of Antwerp was sealed ; and on 
October 3 they began to make arrange- 
ments for the evacuation of the city. 
But on October 4 there arrived in Ant- 


werp no less a personage than Winston 
Churchill, the First Lord of the Brit- 
ish Admiralty. He was followed by a 
brigade of Royal Marines, regular 
troops with several naval guns, and by 
two brigades of the Royal Naval Vol- 
unteer Reserve, newly organized troops 
with imperfect equipment and still in 
the drill-book stage of training. 


Churchill persuaded the Belgian 
authorities that there was still a good 
chance of defending the city by holding 
the line of the Nethe; he advised them 
that the British War Office was landing 
troops on the Belgian coast at Ostend 
and Zeebrugge; and he held out the 
hope that the allies would in a short 
time be able to link up Antwerp with 
the allied line farther south. As the sit- 
uation developed, Churchill's inter- 
vention proved unfortunate. On Octo- 
ber 4-5 the Belgian army would have 
been able to withdraw virtually unmo- 
lested behind the Scheldt; whereas by 
waiting, as they did, until October 9, 
they and the British contingent suffered 
many casualties, lost thousands who 
were taken prisoners or interned in 
Holland, and invited untold damage to 
Antwerp and its environs. But because 
the event turned out badly, it does not 
follow that there were not solid reasons 
for Churchill's action. 

The garrison of Antwerp, including 
the British reinforcements, cannot have 
been outnumbered by their assailants 
by more than two to one; and, with 
reasonable luck, they should have been 
able to hold the line of the Nethe. Brit- 
ish troops about Ypres farther south 
were to face in a few days odds much 
more fearful without yielding. While 
Churchill was in Antwerp, Sir John 
French was already on the way north 
toward Ypres, and British cavalry and 
infantry were being dispatched from 
Ehgland to the Flanders coast. Noth- 
ing was known as yet of the new and 
hastily improvised armies which the 
Kaiser was shortly to hurl on the road 
to Calais; and there seemed a good 
chance that, if Antwerp could hold out, 
a line might be patched up from the 
Swiss border all the way north to Hoi- 


land. Naturally, as head of the Brit- 
ish Admiralty, Churchill had an espe- 
cial interest in the defense of Antwerp 
and the Belgian coast, for Antwerp in 
the hands of the Germans would be, as 
Napoleon had said, "a pistol aimed at 
the heart of England." 


At first it looked as though Churchill's 
judgment was to be justified. On 
October 3 the Germans attempted 
to cross the Nethe near Fort Wael- 
hem. They built several pontoon 
bridges, but each one of these was 
blown to pieces by the Belgian artil- 
lery before it could be used; and the 
attack was repulsed with heavy losses. 
The next day, likewise, the Germans 
failed to effect anywhere a crossing 
of the river. On October 5 they suc- 
ceeded in getting a foothold on the 
northern bank of the river near Fort 
Lierre; but the British marines, who 
held this part of the line, held them 
down to the river bank. That night 
the Germans launched a general at- 
tack. Once again all their pontoons 
were destroyed. But under cover of 
the darkness large bodies of German 
infantry swam or waded across the 
stream, and the morning found them 
strongly established on the northern 

This crossing gave the quietus to the 
defense. General de Guise, the Bel- 
gian commander, withdrew his troops 
to the inner circle of forts, and began 
immediately the evacuation of Ant- 
werp. The Germans brought their guns 
across the river, and by nightfall two 
of the inner forts built half a century 
before were silenced. During the 
evening von Beseler sent messages into 
the city warning the Belgian command- 
er that he intended to bombard it, and 
asking for a plan of the city with the 
hospitals, museums, and public build- 
ings clearly marked, so that, so far as 
was possible, they might be spared. At 
midnight the bombardment began. It 
continued all during the day of Octo- 
ber 8 and the following night, while a 
bitter rear guard action raged along the 
inner defenses. But by the morning of 
October 9 practically all of the Belgian 


forces had retreated over the Scheldt; 
and shortly after midday the Germans 
entered the city. 


The scenes which occurred during 
the evacuation of Antwerp would have 
defied the stylus of Dante. There were 
in the city, when the siege began, not 
less than half a million people, including 
not only the citizens themselves, but 
great numbers of refugees from the sur- 
rounding country. The exodus began 
on October 3, when the outer forts had 
fallen, but it reached its climax only on 
October 7, when the bombardment of 
the city was imminent. Vast crowds 
thronged the landing-stages and filled 
to the water-line every sort of craft 
available. Tramps, ferries, dredgers, 
trawlers, pleasure-yachts, launches, 
row-boats, and even rafts were pressed 
into use. Meanwhile, the roads north 
into Holland and south-west to Ghent 
were black with long dense columns of 
fugitives, using every kind of vehicle 
from high-powered motor-cars to wheel- 

Behind these scenes there was a back- 
ground of burning villages and crashing 
guns, followed during the night by the 
outbreak of conflagrations in Antwerp 
itself; and over all there spread slowly 
a vast black cloud the smoke from the 
burning oil-tanks across the Scheldt 
which obscured finally the sun by day 
and the stars by night. The fall of Ant- 
werp was like a rehearsal of the Day of 


The Antwerp garrison was withdrawn 
by way of the narrow neck of land be- 
tween the Dutch border and the Scheldt 
toward Ghent. Several thousand were 
captured by the Germans, and several 
more thousand including 2,000 Brit- 
ish blundered into Holland and were 
there interned ; but the bulk of the gar- 
rison got safely away. Fortunately on 
October 7 the Belgian commander dis- 
patched a strong force up the left bank 
of the Scheldt to hold the river cross- 
ings and to protect the flank of the re- 
treat. This force made a gallant de- 
fense of the river line, and for two days 


it held up the Germans near Zele, thus 
insuring the retreat of the main army. 
South of Ghent the retreat of the Bel- 
gians was covered by a brigade of 
French Marines under Admiral Ron- 
arc'h, and by the British Seventh Divi- 
sion and Third Cavalry Brigade under 
General Rawlinson, which had disem- 
barked at Ostend and Zeebrugge on 

Switzerland. Antwerp had fallen, and 
the Belgian coast as far south as Nieu- 
port had been laid bare a fact which 
was to exert an important influence on 
naval warfare. But the Belgian field 
army was still intact, and was still 
fighting on Belgian soil; and the allies 
had won, by a narrow margin, the race 
for the sea. 


The soil of much of Flanders is so low and so water-soaked that trenches would have soon become ditches filled 
with water which could not be properly drained. Here we see hasty breastworks of earth thrown up as a substitute. 
German soldiers are firing upon advancing Allied troops through loop-holes in the earthen walls. 

October 6-8; and slowly and in good 
order the whole force fell back on the 
line of the Yser canal. Here the Bel- 
gians, supported by French territorials 
and marines on their right, turned at 
bay, while Rawlinson linked up with 
the British army now coming into line 
north of La Bassee. A glance at the 
map on page 137 will make the rela- 
tive positions of the armies clear. 

There were at first wide and danger- 
ous gaps in the British line; but by 
October 19, when Haig's First Corps 
came into position near Ypres, the last 
of these gaps had been stopped, and the 
allied line presented a fairly solid and 
continuous line from the North Sea to 


In order to understand the operations 
that followed the fall of Antwerp, it is 
necessary to grasp the frequent changes 
during this period in both Allied and 
German policy. When the French be- 
gan to creep up around the German 
right on the Aisne, their object was to 
outflank the enemy and to strike at his 
line of communications in northern 
France. This continued to be their 
object until the end of September. But 
when Antwerp was attacked, and while 
it was still hoped that it would be able 
to resist the attack, the Allies modified 
their aim to this extent, that they now 



strove to extend their line northward 
until they came into touch with the 
Belgians. It was with this object in 
view that Rawlinson's force was land- 
ed on the coast of Belgium and that in 
October a new French army was 
formed to operate in the extreme north 
an army of which the French marines 
who were with Rawlinson were the 

This plan, of course, did not pre- 
clude an attack on the German line of 
communications in northern France; it 
was still hoped that Sir John French 
would be able to push forward from La 
Bassee and Armentieres in the general 
direction of Maubeuge. But once Ant- 
werp had fallen, and the forces invest- 
ing it had been released, the allies were 
forced to devote their energies to patch- 
ing up what was essentially a defensive 
line to the sea. 



The Germans, on the other hand, had 
set out with the object of outflanking 
their outflankers, of beating the French 
at their own game. This was the aim of 
their vicious attacks between Roye and 
Ham and on the Albert plateau. But 
when the allied line had reached the sea, 
they were compelled in the nature of 
the case to give over this strategy. 
There was nothing for it now but a di- 
rect smashing frontal attack toward 
Calais. It was currently believed at 
the time, even in the German army, 
that this attack was aimed primarily at 
Great Britain, against which country 
the Germans had worked themselves 
up into a white heat of hatred. The 
threat to Great Britain which the 
capture of Calais would have en- 
tailed, may well have been a secondary 
consideration, but their chief objective 
was still the defeat of the French ar- 
mies. Of the attainment of this objec- 
tive the drive toward Calais seemed 
still to offer at least a chance. It would 
almost inevitably result in the rolling 
up of the long northern arm of the allied 
armies in France; it would then give 
the Germans an opportunity to fight a 
new great battle in the region of 
Amiens, at which they might be able to 
reverse the decision of the Marne, roll 


up the main French armies, and so gain 
that quick decision in the west which 
had been the central feature of their 
strategy, but which since the beginning 
of September had been receding fur- 
ther and further into the distance. 


Having decided on this plan of cam- 
paign, the Germans set to work to make 
preparations for it with characteristic 
thoroughness. They cleared their flank 
by the capture of Antwerp, and at the 
same time they released von Beseler's 
troops for service farther south; they 
denuded the eastern part of their line 
of every man who could be spared ; and 
they proceeded to form in Germany 
itself a whole new army, composed of 
Landsturm, Einjahrige, and volun- 
teers men past middle age and boys 
still in their 'teens. On one day, Octo- 
ber 1, we know that four army corps 
of these troops left Germany for the 
Flanders front. 

When the British began to move 
on Maud'huy's left near La Bassee, 
they had no idea of this vast concentra- 
tion of troops which was being pre- 
pared against them. Just as Sir John 
French had been ignorant of the size of 
the army which von Kluck had brought 
against him at Mons, so now he re- 
mained ignorant of the fact that the 
Germans were planning once more to 
overwhelm him. He knew, of course, of 
von Beseler's force at Antwerp; but he 
thought that this was a detached and 
isolated force many miles to the north, 
which could have no immediate influ- 
ence on the events on his front. 


Both he and Foch, who had been 
placed by Joffre in charge of all opera- 
tions north of the Aisne, were under the 
impression that the British wuld find 
comparatively weak forces opposing 
them, and that they would be able to 
move forward without much difficulty. 
Lille was still occupied by a force of 
French territorials ; and the first task of 
the Second British Corps, which came 
into action on October 2, was to link up 
Lille with Maud'huy's left. This task 
they never came within many miles of 


accomplishing. On October 12 they 
ran up against a strong German resis- 
tance north of Festubert and Given- 
chy; and on October 13 Lille fell, for 
the second time since the beginning of 
the war. The corps struggled forward 
until by October 17 they had captured 
Aubers, but this represented the high- 
water mark of their advance, and on 
October 18 the German counter-attacks 

Meanwhile, the Third Corps, having 
detrained at St. Omer on the night of 
October II, was moving forward to 
the north, with Conneau's French Cav- 
alry Corps on the right flank and Allen- 
by's British Cavalry Corps on the left. 
The Third Corps had at first better 
success than the Second. It drove some 
mixed German infantry and cavalry 
from in front of Bailleul; on October 
1 6 it occupied Armentieres; and by the 
following day it was well over the Lys. 
But here its success stopped. Allenby's 
cavalry seized the Messines ridge to 
the north of Armentieres; but it found 
the Lys beyond so strongly held that 
it, too, was here brought to a stand. 


Something of the situation confront- 
ing him had now begun to dawn on 
French; but he had not given up the 
idea that he might still outflank the 
Germans. The First Army Corps was 
due to arrive from the Aisne on Octo- 
ber 19; and with a view to paving the 
way for a new attack on their part, 
French ordered Rawlinson's force, 
which, after covering the Belgian re- 
treat, had fallen back to the east of 
Ypres, to advance on Menin. Rawlin- 
son's task was an impossibility. The 
vanguard of the new formations from 
Germany was now beginning to appear 
on the Ypres front; and although the 
Seventh Division made a valiant ad- 
vance to within three miles of Menin, 
they were compelled, both by the forces 
facing them and by strong German 
columns moving south from Roulers on 
their left flank, to retire to Gheluvelt. 
Here, protected on their left flank by 
the Third Cavalry Brigade and four 
Drench cavalry divisions, they awaited 
ic arrival of the First Corps. 

The First Corps, which passed 
through Ypres on October 20, arrived 
in the nick of time. Their instructions 
were to move forward on Bruges and 
Ghent; but they encountered superior 
German forces only a few miles north 
of Ypres, and were there pinned down. 
Thus the Ypres salient destined to be 
held by the allies at the cost of tragic 
losses during the remainder of the war 
came into being. The position was 
now clear. The Belgians, supported on 
each flank and in rear by the Eighth 
French Army, held the line of the Yser; 
the British in a painfully attenuated 
line stood on guard in front of Ypres, 
and extended south to La Bassee; be- 
yond them stood the army of Maud'- 
huy. Against this frail breakwater, the 
German tidal wave was now to break, 
and break in vain. 


In the battle that followed com- 
monly known as the First Battle of 
Ypres, though its extent ranged all the 
way from Nieuport on the north to 
Arras on the south it is not easy to 
disentangle the threads of German tac- 
tics. Von Falkenhayn, the Prussian 
Minister of War, who had now succeed- 
ed von Moltke as Chief of the General 
Staff, attacked in four distinct sectors 
along the Yser canal, around the 
Ypres salient, north of La Bassee, and 
opposite Arras. It is probable that 
some of these attacks were designed 
merely to hold down the allied troops 
facing them; but they were all pressed 
with such vigor that it is difficult to say 
which was originally intended to be 
the main attack. 

In the end von Falkenhayn seems to 
have thrown his chief weight into the 
onslaught on Ypres, whence the battle 
takes its name; but this may have been 
merely because the situation, as it de- 
veloped, offered better results there 
than elsewhere. Had he dissipated his 
energies less widely, there might well 
have been a very different tale to tell. 
He doubtless thought that his numeri- 
cal superiority entitled him to attack 
on a wide front; and certainly, as the 
British were to find out later, to attack 
on too narrow a front was to court dis- 



aster. But it would seem that von 
Falkenhayn attacked too hard at too 
many points, and so missed the chance 
to break through which a greater con- 
centration against one of these points 
might have given him. 


The Germans struck first along the 
coast. Here stood von Beseler's vic- 
torious army from Ant- 
werp, facing the left 
wing and centre of the 
Belgian army, with 
some French supports. 
The Belgians were 
greatly outnumbered, 
and were utterly ex- 
hausted by their efforts 
of the previous two 
months. On October 
17, after a two days' 
preliminary bombard- 
ment, von Beseler at- 
tacked them south of 
Nieuport and drove 
them over the Yser; 
they counter-attacked 
during the night, and 
regained the right bank 
of the canal; but the 
following day they 
were attacked in great- 
er force than ever, and 
the situation began to 
look black. If the Bel- 
gian left were driven 
in, the whole Allied line 
would be turned, and 
incalculable results 
might follow. 

At this critical mo- 
ment help came to the 
sorely pressed Belgians 
from an unexpected 
quarter. Off Nieuport 
there suddenly a p - 
peared three strange- 
looking warships. These were British 
monitors, shallow-draught vessels with 
high crow's nests, which had been built 
before the war to order of the Brazilian 
government for the patrolling of the 
Amazon River. Their shallow draught 
enabled them to enter the shoal waters 
off the Flanders coast, where they were 


safe from the attacks of German sub- 
marines; and their six-inch guns en- 
abled them to enfilade the German lines 
on shore without coming within range 
of the German field pieces. Their fire 
effectually smothered von Beseler's 
attack. They were joined later by 
other warships, oldish vessels which 
the British and French Admiralties 
were not loth to risk in this novel bat- 

The Belgian Army's positions were from Nieuport to just north of Ypres. On the 
map the inundated area is indicated by shading. Nieuport and Dixmude, with 
Ypres and Furnes, have received the French War Cross for heroism. 

tie; and eventually the Germans had, 
for the time being, virtually to evacu- 
ate the coastal area, and transfer their 
attack farther inland. 


Here, on the left of von Beseler, 
stood Duke Albrecht of Wurtemberg, 


who had now brought up from the 
Argonne the pick of his army. On Octo- 
ber 23 the Wurtembergers delivered a 
furious assault on the line of the Yser 
from St. Georges to Dixmude. At Dix- 
mude Admiral Ronarc'h's French ma- 
rines repulsed no less than fourteen 
separate attacks in twenty-four hours. 
But north of Dixmude the Germans 
succeeded the following day in forcing 
the line of the canal. The Belgians, 
contesting every foot of ground amid 
the network of dykes, with which the 
country is intersected, were compelled 
to fall back until by October 28 they 
were well back to the railway embank- 
ment in rear of the Yser. The situa- 
tion was now again critical; but the 
Belgians were not yet at the end of 
their resources. By damming the 
lower reaches of the Yser, and by flood- 
ing the fields, they called to their aid 
the fourth element, the ancient and 
traditional weapon of the people of 
the Low Countries. 

Still, however, the Germans strug- 
gled on. On October 30, they reached 
the railway line and captured Rams- 
capelle, only to be thrown out by a 
combined French and Belgian counter- 
attack. Then the Belgians opened the 
sluices of the upper canals. The shal- 
low floods in which the Germans stood 
rose as if by magic. Men, horses, and 
guns were drowned on all sides; and 
the survivors escaped only with diffi- 
culty to the high ground to the east of 
the Yser. The Germans continued 
their assaults on Dixmude, now a heap 
of ruins, and on November 10 they 
captured it, together with a number of 
the gallant French marines who had so 
stubbornly defended it. But by this 
time the capture of the town meant 
little. The Belgians were now safe be- 
hind their flooded countryside; and 
everywhere the German fury was be- 
ginning to exhaust itself. 


While the Belgians were thus hold- 
ing the coast roads on the left of the 
long battle-front, the British and 
French were desperately engaged in 
holding the gates near La Bassee and 
Arras on the right. The gravest men- 

ace was perhaps the attack on Arras. 
If the attack here had succeeded, 
Foch's northern forces would have 
been cut in two. Up to October 20, 
von Billow's Prussians, who had been 
brought up to this part of the line, 
had aimed at driving in Maud'huy's 
left wing in front of Lens; but on this 
date they suddenly transferred their 
main attack to Maud'huy's centre 
near Arras. Maud'huy's line ran in a 
crescent shape to the north and east 
of Arras; and during October this line 
had been pressed back until the Ger- 
man guns were playing on the beauti- 
ful old- Hotel de Ville in the heart of 
the city. 

On October 24, von Billow staged a 
grand assault. The Prussian Guard 
Corps, advancing with their famous 
parade-step, and their officers holding 
their swords at the carry, hurled them- 
selves, together with other Prussian 
and Brandenburg troops, on the French. 
But the latter, many of them middle- 
aged territorials, stood firm beneath 
the shock. For two days there was 
fighting of the bitterest description. 
The German guns continued to bom- 
bard Arras ; and it was at this time that 
the city was reduced to that shell with 
which later British and Canadian 
soldiers were to become so familiar. 
But no German soldier entered Arras 
except as a prisoner. By October 26 
the attack had spent itself; and Maud'- 
huy, receiving reinforcements from 
Foch, was able to retaliate. Little by 
little he forced the Germans back from 
the gates of the city; and by the begin- 
ning of November the danger to Arras 
was over. 


The attack on the British right wing 
north of La Bassee appears to have 
been merely a holding attack, but it 
was made in great strength. Smith- 
Dorrien's Second Corps, between Octo- 
ber 22-24, was forced back from the ad- 
vanced position which it had taken up 
on October 19, to the line Festubert- 
Laventie. On October 27-28 there was 
a bitter struggle for the possession of 
the village of Neuve Chapelle a pre- 
lude to the greater battle about the 


village the following spring. By this 
time the Second Corps, which had been 
fighting incessantly for a fortnight, was 
nearing the limit of its powers of en- 
durance. Fortunately, however, relief 
was at hand. The Indian Army Corps, 
under General Willcocks, composed of 
native and British troops in the pro- 
portion of three to one, had now ar- 
rived from India by way of Marseilles; 
and at the end of October they took 
over the trenches from Smith-Dorrien's 
weary men. 

The Indian soldiers were not des- 
tined to prove an unqualified success 
on the western front : they found- it very 
hard to sit still under heavy shell-fire, 
and the cold damp winter of northern 
France undermined their constitu- 
tions. But, in their right place, they 
were among the finest soldiers in the 
world ; and they effectually stopped the 
German advance. "The devil knows," 
one German soldier wrote home to 
Frankfurt, after his first encounter 
with them, "those brown rascals are 
not to be underrated." 


But it was in front of Ypres that the 
supreme struggle took place. Here, 
from October 20, when Haig's First 
Corps was held up north of the town 
by the oncoming German hordes, to 
November 1 1 , when the Prussian Guard 
reeled beaten out of Nonnebusch, the 
battle raged almost without intermis- 
sion. For three terrific weeks the 
German thunderbolts smote on the 
thin British line. That line bent, 
cracked, swayed, and yielded; but it 
never broke. The first blow fell on 
the northern face of the salient, where 
one of the new corps from Germany 
composed largely of Einjahrige, cor- 
responding roughly to the British and 
American Officers' Training Corps 
attacked on October 22 Haig's left. 
These dauntless youths, under the eyes 
of the Kaiser, advanced singing patri- 
otic songs, and actually pierced the 
British line, overwhelming one of the 
finest regiments in the British army, 
the Cameron Highlanders; but the next 
day a British counter-attack restored 
the position, and when, on October 24, 


the French Ninth Corps, veterans of 
La Fere-Champenoise, came up on the 
left, Haig was able to swing forward 
and sideways. 

Meanwhile, the main German attack 
had shifted to the eastern face of the 
salient, where Rawlinson's Seventh 
Division had been holding up the Ger- 
man advance until Haig's arrival. The 
troops of this division, drawn from gar- 
rison service abroad, represented per- 
haps the highest state of training and 
efficiency in the British army. Though 
they were holding an extended front 
against many times their number of 
assailants, and though the Germans got 
repeatedly around, through, and be- 
hind them, they refused to budge; 
whenever the enemy broke through 
them, they merely pocketed the in- 
truders and cornered them. Farther 
south, however, the British cavalry, 
at the southern re-entrant of the sali- 
ent, were being hard pressed. By Octo- 
ber 27 they were back at Klein Zille- 
beke, not three miles from Ypres; and 
it became necessary to withdraw the 
heroic Seventh Division from their 
exposed position. 


On October 28 there was a lull; but 
at dawn the following day the German 
attack was renewed with redoubled 
vigor. The day ended with honors 
easy. Haig's Corps was driven from 
its trenches near Gheluvelt by no less 
than three German corps; but a mag- 
nificent counter-attack drove the Ger- 
mans out again. The next day the 
British cavalry, attacked by two Ger- 
man corps, were again driven back, 
fighting desperately; and only the in- 
tervention of some French reinforce- 
ments saved the situation. The crisis 
came on October 31. On this day the 
pressure on the southern end of the 
salient was so great that even the 
cooks and orderlies were pushed into 
the line; the Seventh Division was bent 
on the Klein Zillebeke ridge; and the 
First Division, on the right of Haig's 
Corps, was driven back from Ghelu- 
velt toward Hooge. It " looked as 
though at any moment the British line 
might collapse like a house of cards. 

g bfd, 




But British generalship, though play- 
ing for high stakes, was not yet bank- 
rupt. The First Division, instead of 
conforming to the movement of the 
Second on its right, merely bent back 
its flank, enfiladed the German ad- 
vance, and, at the psychological mo- 
ment, launched a counter-attack. The 
honors in this attack went to an Eng- 
lish county battalion, the 2nd Worces- 
ters, who, in one glorious charge, retook 
Gheluvelt with the bayonet, restored 
the line, and saved the day, though 
their losses were heavy. 

By this time reinforcements were 
arriving. Smith-Dorrien's Corps had 
been brought up from the south, to- 
gether with a territorial battalion, the 
London Scottish, who represented the 
vanguard of Great Britain's new ar- 
mies; the French Sixteenth Corps ar- 
rived to take over part of the line from 
the British cavalry; and the supreme 
moment was past. The Germans still 
attacked persistently however. On 
November I they captured the Mes- 
sines ridge. Five days later, they drove 
in the French near Klein Zillebeke, and 
the situation was retrieved only by a 
brilliant charge of the British House- 
hold Cavalry on foot. 

On November n they made a last 
culminating effort. They brought up 
the Prussian Guard from Arras and 
launched them against the British 
First Corps at Gheluvelt; and they 
launched the new formations from 
Germany in yet another attack on the 
northern face of the salient, where Gen- 
eral Dubois's Zouaves and General de 
Mitry's cavalry were now posted. But 
the Prussian Guard, although they 
came forward with great steadiness, 
were. driven back in disorder; and the 
French took a terrible toll of the half- 
trained infantry before them. After 
this, the Germans attacked spasmod- 

ically here and there, and they contin- 
ued to shell Ypres until its famous 
Cloth Hall was a heap of ruins; but by 
November 17 the bitter Flanders win- 
ter had set in, and the First Battle of 
Ypres died away in wind and snow. 


The Spartans at Thermopylae per- 
ished and lost. The British at Ypres 
in 1914 very nearly perished, but they 
won. Without detracting in any way 
from the splendid defense of the Bel- 
gians on the Yser or the French in front 
of Arras, and without denying the gal- 
lant and opportune assistance which 
the French gave the British at many 
stages during the battle, it may still 
be said that the British stand before 
Ypres is one of the deathless pages in 
military history. 

The British held at the beginning of 
the battle a front of over thirty miles 
with a force numbering barely a rifle 
per yard ; whereas the Germans attack- 
ing them had a force at least three 
times as large, and in places their su- 
periority was no less than five or six to 
one. Their attack was delivered with 
all the desperate energy of a drowning 
man clutching at the last straw; and 
in places it almost obliterated the de- 
fense. The British Seventh Division 
came out of action not 2,000 strong; 
the British cavalry, fighting on foot, 
lost more than half their effectives; 
and the losses of the rest of the army 
were in proportion. Divisions were 
reduced to brigades, brigades to bat- 
talions, and battalions to weak pla- 
toons. It is an axiom of the text-books 
that a force which has lost one-third 
of its effectives may be regarded as 
out of action. The British army chose 
to ignore this axiom; and in so doing, 
they perhaps saved Europe. 


A View of the Region of the Masurian Lakes 


The Russian Steam Roller Halted 


TT was on the Eastern Front that the 
gigantic proportions of the war mani- 
fested themselves in the operations of the 
contending armies. Here the belliger- 
ents met along a line nearly a thousand 
miles in length. Here too massed in- 
fantry attacks and strategic skill were 
to decide the issues of battles, rather 
than the intricate science of modern 
trench warfare and heavy artillery, 
which were such prominent features of 
the fighting on the Western Front. 
Whichever side would win on this 
front must overwhelm its opponent 
with numbers, for the more or less level 
nature of the terrain from the Baltic 
down to the foothills of the Carpa- 
thians would give neither any decided 
natural advantage, save for the numer- 
ous broad rivers which traverse this 
vast territory. 


In numbers the advantage seemed 
assuredly with Russia, with population 
of 182,000,000 as compared to Ger- 
many's 65,000,000 and Austria-Hun- 
gary's 50,000,000, not considering Ger- 
many's problem in Belgium and France. 
But this superiority was heavily coun- 
ter-balanced by so many deficiencies 
that the German General Staff had 
good apparent reason to suppose that 
Russia would not become a serious 
menace before sufficient time had 

elapsed to conquer France and hold 
England effectively in check. 

Russia had begun mobilizing her 
vast armies before any of the other bel- 
ligerents; at any rate, Germany made 
that the pretext for precipitating the 
great conflict. But Russia was more 
handicapped than any of the other 
nations because of the vastness of her 
territory. Such railroads as she did 
possess were sufficient to bring only a 
small proportion of her troops to the 
points of mobilization; the majority 
must march for days and days over 
rough country roads. This affected 
the collection of military supplies as 
well as the mobilization of the soldiers 
themselves. It was this disability, to 
a greater degree, of course, which had 
lost Russia the war against Japan. 


This inferiority of railroad facilities 
was especially significant over toward 
the Austrian and German frontiers. 
Both Austria and Germany were cov- 
ered with a network of railroad lines, 
laid principally for military purposes. 
On the Russian side of the frontier 
there were a number of railroads run- 
ning from the interior of the country 
toward the frontier, but these were not 
joined together laterally, so that when 
it became necessary to move large 
forces up or down the front, the Rus- 



sians were much delayed by having to 
send their men far back into the inte- 
rior to distant junctions, and back 
again on the other lines running east 
and west. The Germans had lateral 
connecting lines close up to the fron- 
tier, and could shift their forces north 
or south with great rapidity. This per- 
fection of railroad organization made 


Compare the strategic railways on Germany's eastern boundary 
whereby she could concentrate her armies on the Polish front, with 
the few in Poland. 

Germany confident that she would be 
able to defeat the French and British 
and still have time to meet the Rus- 
sians before they should be fully mobi- 
lized. Therefore, during the first days 
of August, Germany was content to 
have only a defensive force of compara- 
tively small proportions in East Prus- 

On the other hand, Austria was still 
free to devote her whole strength to 
meeting whatever forces the Russians 
could mobilize until Germany could 


turn her attention to the Eastern 
Front, save for the comparatively 
small army which she believed would 
be sufficient to conquer Serbia. When 
hostilities did begin Austria had fully 
a million men mobilized in Galicia, 
ready to assume the offensive in Rus- 
sian territory. The Austrian right 
flank rested over against the Carpa- 
thians, which served as a 
natural protection to the 
plains of Hungary. But it 
was very important that 
Galicia should be held, for 
here were the oil wells from 
which the armies of the 
Central Empires drew their 
supplies of petrol. It was in 
this section that Russia must 
expect the first attack. 


A glance at a pre-war map 
will show that in the center 
Russia's frontier swung west- 
ward in a huge semicircle, as 
though at some time she had 
taken a substantial bite out 
of western Europe. This en- 
closed her portion of the for- 
mer kingdom of Poland, which 
had been divided among 
Russia, Austria and Germany. 
The attitude of the Polish 
people was probably a ques- 
tion of some doubt to all 
three of the belligerents when 
the war began, for all three 
had ruled their subject Polish 
populations against their will. 
Austria, perhaps, had been 
the most liberal. In Russian 
Poland, however, there had 
been insurrections as late as 1905, and 
so doubtful was Russia of the loyalty 
of the Poles that she decided to with- 
draw from at least the western portion 
of Russian Poland, for the time being. 
At any rate, her position here formed 
a salient which was threatened on the 
right flank by the Germans in East 
Prussia and by the Austrians in Gali- 
cia. All three governments bid for the 
support of the Poles by liberal offers. 
Russia promised to re-establish the 
Polish kingdom, should the war be won 



General Rennenkampf, one of the few soldiers who 
had added to his reputation during the Japanese 
War and the hero of the Russian raid into East 
Prussia, August, 1914. 

Picture Henry Ruschin 

by the Allies. German promises, to a 
similar effect, were published in pam- 
phlets and showered down on Russian 
Poland by aeroplanes shortly after 
hostilities began, but with their usual 
tactlessness the Germans dropped 
bombs on Warsaw several days later, 
killing numerous noncombatants, and 
this did much to neutralize the effect 
of the pamphlets. At any rate, the 
Poles in Russian territory showed 
themselves unexpectedly loyal, and 
Russia once more pushed her forces 
forward in Poland, to hold Warsaw 
against German attacks. 


Seen now, in perspective, it is plain 
that the Russians mobilized more 
quickly than had been anticipated by 
the enemy. The Russian commander- 
in-chief was the Grand Duke Nicholas, 
uncle of the Czar, whose competency 
as a military strategist shines by com- 
parison with most Russian leaders. 
Certainly the Russian Army was to 

show itself far superior as a fighting or- 
ganization to the Russian Army which 
had floundered through the mud of 
Manchuria back in 1904, when drunk- 
eness, corruption and incompetency 
had been a characteristic of Russian 
officers in general. No vestige of this 
former weakness was now apparent to 
Allied observers. Much of this super- 
ior efficiency was ascribed to the influ- 
ence of General Sukhomlinov, later to 
stand trial not only for corruption, but 
as a traitor in the pay of Germany. It 
is probable, therefore, that her allies 
were blind to the fact that Russia had 
not yet rid herself of the canker at her 
core which was finally to bring her to 
such a disastrous end. 

By the beginning of the second week 
of August the first Russian forces were 
ready to undertake operations against 
the enemy. These were arranged as 
follows: facing East Prussia was the 
Army of the Niemen, four corps strong; 
the Army of -Poland, consisting of fif- 


General von Hindenburg known at first derisively as 
"the old man of the lakes," was later acclaimed as 
"the saviour of Germany" for driving the Russians 
from East Prussia. 



teen corps, occupied a wide front from 
the Narew to the Bug Valley; and the 
Galician Army, faced the country in 
between Lemberg and the River Sereth. 


The Army of the Niemen, the first 
to be mobilized, was under the com- 
mand of the old Manchurian veteran, 
General Rennenkampf, who had about 
250,000 men. In command of the Ger- 
mans facing him in East Prussia was 

kampf entered Insterburg on August 
24. There was fighting the next day at 
Goldop, but von Francois, realizing 
that the odds were too great, retired 
from Insterburg toward Konigsberg. 


Meanwhile, a part of the Russian 
forces in Poland, the Army of the 
Narew, under General Samsonov, was 
advancing to join the invaders of East 
Prussia. This army was of about the 


The thick shaded line indicates the positions occupied by the hosts of the Tsar August 25, 1914. The northern 
arrow indicates the advance of the Russian Army of the Niemen under Rennenkampf, the southern arrow the 
progress of the Army of the Narev under General Samsonov. Two victories, Gumbinnen and Frankenau, virtually 
put out of action the first field army of East Prussia. All that was left of it was shut up inside the Konigsberg lines, 
and this fortress was in danger of capture. 

von Francois, the descendant of a 
French Huguenot refugee. His mission 
was only to hold back whatever Rus- 
sian advance might be attempted in 
this region; nothing serious, as the 
Germans thought. 

All through the first and second 
weeks of August there had been outpost 
skirmishes between these two forces, 
generally in favor of the Russians, and 
on August 1 6 Rennenkampf made a 
general advance. On August 20, he 
attacked at Gumbinnen near Inster- 
burg, and though the Germans met the 
initial infantry attacks successfully, 
the oncoming numbers of Russians 
finally overwhelmed them, and Rennen- 


same size as that of Rennenkampf, and 
advanced through the Masurian Lakes 
region. After delaying action at Sol- 
dan, Neidenburg and Allenstein, Sam- 
sonov was opposed by the German Twen- 
tieth Corps, at Frankenau, on August 23. 
On this day and the next was fought 
the decisive battle of that campaign, 
resulting in an overwhelming victory 
for the Russians. The Germans broke 
before the Russian bayonet charges 
and fled in disorder, toward Konigs- 
berg, and the greater part of East Prus- 
sia was now at the mercy of the Rus- 
sian armies. 

East Prussia was more than an ordi- 
nary province. Here Prussia had 


The Russian offensive at the beginning of the war was characterized by the use of cavalry in enormous bands. 
The terror of their name was felt all along the line from Konigsberg to Budapest. Before the revolution the Cos- 
sacks held their land by military service tenure and were liable to duty for life. Service began at the age of nineteen 
and lasted for 24 years in three distinct periods. Continual conflict with the Mongols had hardened the race. 


Konigsberg, the capital of the Province of East Prussia, was a fortress of the first rank. The approach by water 
having been found inadequate for heavy ships the Konigsberg Ship Canal, from the city to Pillau, on the Bay of 
Danzig, was opened. The city is dear to the heart of the Prussian who dreaded its capture. 

Picture from Henry Ruschin 



begun to take form. The old Dukes of 
Prussia had ruled from Konigsberg, 
and East Prussia was the stronghold 
of the "Junkers, " the typical Prussians, 
who had furnished so many leaders to 
the army, the government, and the 
diplomatic service. Refugees, fleeing 
before the dreaded Cossacks, crowded 
the roads and many of them reached 
Berlin, bringing home to the rulers of 
the Empire some of the same dread 
which they had inflicted on others. 
That East Prussia should be trodden 
under the foot of the invader seemed an 
intolerable blow to Prussian pride. 
They must be driven back. 


The Staff had underestimated the 
Russians and had left too few men in 
the East. But not only men were 
needed to stem the Russian advance; 
a man was needed as well. And Ger- 
many had such a man, in retirement. 
That leader was Paul von Hindenburg, 
sixty-seven years old, a veteran of the 
Franco- Prussian War, who had de- 
voted his later years to a close study of 
the East Prussian terrain, from a mili- 
tary point of view. On foot or on 
horse he had traveled through the 
marshy lake region and he knew it as 
not even the peasant folk who lived 
there knew it. He knew where the 
ground was firm enough to support 
artillery, by what ways troops might 
march in safety, and where were only 
treacherous bogs. It was largely 
through his influence that the country 
had not been drained and rendered fit 
for agriculture. It was even said that 
his retirement was due to the fact that 
he had once badly worsted the Em- 
peror himself in a war game the board 
of which represented the Masurian 
Lakes region. 

Just after Samsonov's decisive vic- 
tory, von Francois was displaced and 
von Hindenburg was in command of 
the German Eastern Army, with not 
more than 200,000 men at his imme- 
diate disposal. Behind him he had an 
admirable system of strategic railroads 
and reserves of artillery. He had 
against him two armies each as large 
as or larger than his own. 

1 60 


Elated with their victories, the Rus- 
sians had continued their advance, re- 
gardless of the dangerous character of 
the country. Rennenkampf was over 
toward Konigsberg, which fortress he 
prepared to besiege. Samsonov had 
pushed on to the triangle formed by 
Allenstein, Soldau and Frankenau to- 
ward the lower Vistula. Though his 
army numbered up toward a quarter 
of a million, he was compelled to split 
it into a number of columns on account 
of the marshy nature of the terrain. 

On August 26, and apparently to his 
surprise, his advance guards were sud- 
denly driven in at Soldau, and Hinden- 
burg had control of the railroads. This 
sudden stroke, only three days after 
von Hindenburg took command, cut 
Samsonov off from his main line both 
of supply and retreat. The next day 
Samsonov attempted to retake Soldau, 
but because of bad roads could not 
bring large numbers against the strong 
German forces, whose lines held firm 
against his attempts to push them in. 
His position was extremely dangerous. 
His opponent was astride the railroad 
from Allenstein to Soldau, and inter- 
cepted the only road in the rear by 
which he could have retreated back 
toward Poland. Furthermore, von 
Hindenburg's center was largely pro- 
tected by lakes and swamp. 


Samsonov might still have saved 
himself had he made a strong effort to 
retire, but instead he determined to 
give the enemy battle. All during the 
first day he kept the Germans on the 
defensive, and it seemed for a while 
that he might even break through. 
However, von Hindenburg's knowl- 
edge of the country enabled him to 
know where the lakes and marshes 
afforded adequate defense. He could 
there move his forces at will to strike, 
and this he did by large use of motor 
transport. He knew the roads; his 
opponent did not. On the following 
day von Hindenburg suddenly swung 
his forces over to his left, drove the 
Russians out of Allenstein and crum- 


This picture shows a typical street scene in Grajevo, a town on the borders of Russian Poland at the outlet of the 
Masurian Lake Region. Situated on the railway from Bielstok to Konigsberg, Grajevo witnessed both the ad- 
vance of the Russian soldiers to their invasion of East Prussia, and their hurried retreat, dogged by the Germans. 


To have one's photograph taken must evidently be a great break in the monotonous life of the poverty-stricken 
peasant of the Polish and Russian small town. This group is mainly composed of boys or women for the reason 
that the war has taken all men of fighting age. Upon the young boys and old men and women who remained de- 
veloped all the responsibility of providing for the family in those hard times. Pictures from Henry Ruschin 


pled their right wing up against their 
center. Ignorant of the country, Sam- 
sonov did not realize that his enemy 
was artfully rolling him into a pocket, 
as a skillful pool-player manipulates a 
cue. Presently the Russians found 
themselves entangled in a maze of bogs, 
quagmires, lakes and morasses, with 
the enemy on three sides. 

For the next three days (August 
29-31) the Russians continued fighting 
desperately, gradually realizing that 
they had been trapped. The Germans 
paid dearly in lives, but of Samsonov's 
magnificent army of over 200,000, only 
a small part succeeded in escaping back 
to Russian territory. Blundering 
blindly about in the dark, whole regi- 
ments, whole batteries of artillery, pre- 
cipitated themselves into the quag- 
mires and sank out of sight completely. 
Finally, on the last day of the month, 
Samsonov himself and two of his corps 
commanders were killed. Over 90,000 
unwounded Russians laid down their 
arms and were marched into Germany 
as prisoners. At least 30,000 more 
were killed or drowned. The Russian 
Army of the Narew practically had 
ceased to exist; had been wiped out. 
Von Hindenburg had justified his 
theory regarding the military value of 
the Masurian swamps. 


The news of the glorious victory 
which the Germans called the battle of 
Tannenberg reached Berlin on^ the 
anniversary of Sedan, and all Germany 
rang with praise of Hindenburg. Five 
hundred years before the Poles de- 
feated the Germans at Tannenberg. 
This battle, though at some distance 
from the town, seemed to wipe out the 
old shame. On the same day also came 
the report that von Kluck was already 
before the gates of Paris. Germany 
went frantic with enthusiasm. And the 
old and obscure retired officer who had 
plodded through the marshes of East 
Prussia to study roadways and foot- 
paths, was made Field Marshal and 
given command of all the Teutonic 
armies on the Eastern front. 

Having eliminated Samsonov's army 
from the field, von Hindenburg now 


turned his attention toward Rennen- 
kampf, who, on hearing of the disaster 
at Tannenberg, began retreating toward 
the Russian frontier and the Niemen. 
Von Hindenburg raced after him, hop- 
ing to intercept him before he should 
reach the cover of the river. At Gum- 
binnen the Russian rearguard made a 
stand against the German advance 
temporarily, then retired. On Septem- 
ber 15, German soil was clear of in- 
vaders, and German soldiers had ad- 
vanced into the wild forests of Augus- 
tovo, between the frontier and the 
Niemen. Here the Russians made 
another stand, and the fighting which 
ensued was advertised in Germany as 
the victorious Battle of Augustovo, 
but viewed in retrospect it becomes 
apparent that this was a mere rear- 
guard action to retard the German ad- 
vance while the main body of the Rus- 
sians crossed the Niemen and en- 
trenched themselves along its further 
bank. However, at least 30,000 pris- 
oners were lost, and many guns were 


As a matter of fact, von Hinden- 
burg was now giving way to the same 
weakness which had caused Samsonov's 
disaster; overconfidence. Actual con- 
duct of operations was left to General 
von Morgen, as he supposed that 
Rennenkampf s army had been shat- 
tered. He had not waited to bring up 
his heavy guns, and presently he found 
himself in trouble. Pursuit was begun 
on September 7. His army consisted of 
the same four corps with which he had 
destroyed Samsonov, and some rein- 
forcements from Germany. On Sep- 
tember 21, the banks of the Niemen 
were reached only to find that the Rus- 
sians had crossed safely and awaited 
the attack. Reinforcements and re- 
placements made the Russian army at 
least twice as large as the German, and 
General Ruzsky had arrived to share 
in the defense. 

Next day the Germans began throw- 
ing pontoon bridges across the river, 
which is here wide and 'deep. Mean- 
while their artillery raked the Russian 
positions along the opposite banks. 


The Russian guns skillfully restrained 
their return fire, giving the effect of 
being put out of action, but no sooner 
were the bridges completed and the 
Germans beginning to march across, 
than the Russian artillery and machine 
guns again burst 
forth and cleared the 


Again von Morgen 
played a barrage fire 
on the Russian lines, 
and again the Rus- 
sians deceptively 
toned down their re- 
turn fire. All day 
Friday, the 26th, the 
Germans bombarded, 
and not a Russian 
gun replied. So on 
the morning of the 
2yth Hindenburg be- 
gan his bridge build- 
ing task again, with 
the same result; in 
the afternoon the re- 
sult was the same. 
Another attempt near 
Grodno likewise 
failed. Then, sud- 
denly, it dawned on 
Hindenburg's mind 
that he was wasting 
his time. On the fol- 
lowing day, the 28th, 
he began a quick re- 
treat back toward the 
frontier. Undoubt- 
edly the news that 

ment of the beaten Austrians further 
south. The German army dug elabor- 
ate trenches defended by barbed wire, 
and were content to hold the Rus- 
sians back, which they did with diffi- 


The first phase of war on the eastern front included the Russian occupation of 
Galicia and raid into East Prussia; the German counter- victory amid the 
Masurian Lakes at Tannenberg, and their advance upon Warsaw; the Russian 
drive back to Cracow and the second attempt to capture Warsaw. 

the Russians were driving the Austrians 
before them in Galicia influenced this 
decision. Rennenkampf quickly re- 
crossed the Niemen and followed the 
retreating Germans closely, harrassing 
them through the dark forests of Au- 
gustovo, where they suffered heavy 
losses. But von Hindenburg, with his 
expert knowledge of the country, man- 
aged to get the bulk of his army back 
through the lake region, where he hast- 
ened to turn his command over to von 
Schubert, while he devoted his atten- 
tion to directing the German reinforce- 


During all this period, since the 
middle of August, the Russians had 
been conducting a campaign in Galicia 
which was to have a deep influence on 
the Western Front, in that the Germans 
were compelled to retain large forces in 
the East to prevent a Russian invasion 
of Austria, at a moment when the 
French and English seemed all but 

As already stated, Austria had nearly 
a million men in the field opposing the 



Russians in this region. About a 
fourth of these were in reserve near the 
Carpathians, among the foothills. The 
rest were divided into two active ar- 
mies; the first, in the north, under 
Dankl, with its base at Przemysl, the 
second, under von Auffenberg, resting 
its base on Lemberg. 

Dankl's plan was to advance into 
Russian territory, toward Lublin. The 



On August 10, Dankl crossed the 
frontier and began a rapid advance into 
Russian territory. The Bug Army 
offered only enough resistance to de- 
ceive the Austrians into the belief that 
it was being defeated. On August 14 
the Second Army, under Ruzsky, made 
a rapid advance and succeeded in push- 


The Germans showed little respect for the sanctity of churches: here they are seen using one as a workshop. 
The Ruthenians (a form of the word Russians) mostly belong to the Uniate Church, acknowledging the Pope, but re- 
taining their Slavonic liturgy and most of the outward forms of the Greek Church. Their intellectual center is Lem- 
berg where, before the war, some the university were given in their language, and they were agitating for 
it to have equal rights with Polish. Picture from Henry Ruschin 

army under von Auffenberg, to the 
south-east, was to protect Dankl from 
a possible attack from the south. 
Against these forces the Russians had 
arrayed three armies: The First Rus- 
sian Army, at first a comparatively 
small force under Ivanov, on the 
Bug; the Second Army, about 350,000 
strong, under Ruzsky, moving toward 
Sokal from the Lutsk and Dubno 
fortresses; and a Third Army, about 
300,000 strong, under Brusilov, ad- 
vancing from the south toward the 
Sereth. The plan of campaign was 
very simple. 

ing itself in between the two Aus- 
trian armies. This movement was 
facilitated by the fact that Dankl 
had turned slightly to the westward. 
A week of desperate fighting fol- 
lowed. There were many casualties 
on both sides. 

Meanwhile Brusilov had also ad- 
vanced and by August 26, he was in 
touch with Ruzsky, and on August 31, 
the Austrian line was broken. On Sep- 
tember I, the two Russian armies fell 
upon the Austrians under Von Auffen- 
berg, Brusilov on his left flank, Ruzsky 
on his right flank. To save himself, the 


Austrian general retired to a line of vol- 
canic hills a few miles east of the city 
of Lemberg to reform his shaken army. 
At first the Austrians successfully re- 
sisted the clouds of Cossack cavalry 
which Brusilov hurled at their lines, 
but when the infantry came up with 
gleaming bayonets, they broke and 
fled. On September 3, von Auffenberg 
evacuated Lemberg and retreated. The 
Russians entered the city the same day 
and captured 70,000 prisoners, besides 
large stores of military supplies. The 
lowest estimate of the total Austrian 
losses in these operations is 130,000. 
There is no evidence that the con- 
querors committed any excesses in the 
captured city. Behind Lemberg lines 
reaching from Grodek northward be- 
yond Rowa-Ruska had been prepared, 
but the Russians were quick to follow 
up their advantage. The Austrians 
resisted desperately, but Brusilov broke 
the" line at Grodek, and after some of 
the most bitter fighting of the whole 
war, Rowa-Ruska was taken, and the 
Austrian retreat became a rout. The 
retreat of the Austrians now uncovered 
the road to the Carpathians, and Brusi- 
lov sent a force southward to occupy 
the passes, advancing with his main 
body toward Przemysl, behind which 
the remnant of von Auffenberg's army 
took refuge. 


Now let us turn to the Austrian army 
in the North under Dankl. Before 
this time he had realized his danger 
and called for reinforcements from the 
reserve army, which, under Archduke 
Joseph Ferdinand, had attempted an 
invasion of Poland along the left bank 
of the Vistula. This movement was 
now nipped in the bud because of the 
need of supporting Dankl. It was 
this situation, too, which compelled 
the Austrian General Staff to draw on 
the reserves behind the army then at- 
tempting a second invasion of Serbia, 
with the result that the Serbians were 
thereby helped at a critical moment. 

Because of these reinforcements, and 
because of German troops which were 

I 'so being rushed down to him, Dankl 
>w had a very strong force. On Sep- 

tember 2, he made a determined attack 
against the Russians and came within 
eleven miles of Lublin, but the Rus- 
sians were stronger than Dankl had 
anticipated, for during all this period 
they had been continuously reinforced 
by the mobilization. The Russians 
took the offensive on September 4, and 
on September 10, the Austrian lines 
caved in and broke. Everywhere the 


As supreme Commander of all the Russian Armies 
and later as Commander-in-Chief in the Caucasus, 
the Grand Duke Nicholas proved himself a great 
general, but the Provisional Government superseded 

Austrians were beaten. Whole regi- 
ments of Austrian Slavs surrendered 
and marched willingly into the Rus- 
sian lines, and this no doubt was one of 
the reasons of the Austrian defeat by 
an army no larger than its own. In 
considerable disorder Dankl's soldiers 
fled, some southward, toward Prze- 
mysl, others westward, toward Cracow. 
By September 15, the whole of Eastern 
Galicia, including the oil fields, was 
occupied by the Czar's armies and 
Przemysl and Cracow were threatened. 
The total Austrian losses are estimated 
at 500,000 men, besides vast quantities 
of supplies. It was this situation which 
had suddenly caused Hindenburg, on 



the Niemen in the north, to abandon 
his offensive against the Russians in 
that region and turn his attention to 
Galicia. For when the news of the 
disastrous defeat of the Austrians 
reached Berlin, the German General 
Staff immediately gathered together 
eighteen corps, to be sent south to re- 
trieve the Austrian defeat. 

Ruzsky was placed in command of the 
Russian center, which was now heavily 
reinforced. Brusilov was to direct his 
attention to the Carpathian passes. 
Dimitriev was to continue the drive 
after the beaten Austrians, and cap- 
ture the main fortresses of central Gali- 

The two chief strongholds were on 


Each railway artillery project calls for ammunition cars, fire-control cars, spare-parts cars, supply cars and the 
like, a complete unit being a heavy train in itself. The matter of traction power for these gun and armament trains 
near the front was a problem. It was out of the question to use steam-engines near the enemy's lines so a gas, 
electric or gasoline locomotive of high horse-power was adopted to pull artillery trains at the front. 

Picture from Henry Ruschin 


Highly elated with their success, the 
Russians now determined to enlarge 
their defensive program against Aus- 
tria. Two objectives of vast impor- 
tance lay before them; the seizure of 
the Carpathian passes, thus opening 
up a doorway into Hungary, even to 
Vienna itself, and the capture of the 
city of Cracow. 

General Ivanov was now put in com- 
mand of the Galician armies, with 
Brusilov and Radko Dimitriev, the 
Bulgarian, as his chief lieutenants. 

1 66 

the River San, at Jaroslav and Prze- 
mysl, both of them important junctions 
of a network of railroads. In spite of 
its fortifications, Jaroslav was captured 
by Ruzsky after only three days of 
fighting on September 23. But Prze- 
mysl proved not so easy. It held out 
for many months after the whole pro- 
vince had been overrun by the Rus- 


The German relief of the defeated 
Austrians came very quickly, however. 
Already German officers had arrived 


down in Cracow to rally the discour- 
aged Austrians. By the first week of 
October the Russian advance in Gali- 
cia was stopped by the appearance of 
a large German army advancing from 
Thorn, on the frontier of Russian Po- 
land. This was von Hindenburg with 
his main force, though he was now in 
general command of all the Teutonic 
armies on the Eastern Front, includ- 
ing Austrians as well as Germans. 

Under the stimulus of his command 
the whole Teutonic front now stiffened 
up and began to advance against the 
Russians, through Poland and Galicia. 
The main German army marched into 
Poland in two columns, one north of 
the Pilitsa River, the other south of it, 
while a third army based on Breslau 
followed. Meanwhile the Austrians, 
under Dankl, extended their left wing 
down to the Carpathians. Aside from 
assisting the Austrians, Hindenburg 
meant now to take the capital of Rus- 
sian Poland, Warsaw, whose loss would 
have had a very demoralizing effect 
throughout the whole Russian Empire. 

The Russian leaders had not ex- 
pected this attack through Poland, and 
Warsaw was weakly defended. The 
German advance was swift and the Rus- 
sians withdrew to await the German 
attack behind the Vistula, until rein- 
forcements should arrive. One German 
column to the north was so near War- 
saw on October 10, that its guns could 
be heard in the city. On October 20, 
Russian reinforcements arrived, not a 
day too soon, and the German troops 
were driven back from the outskirts of 
Warsaw. The troops to the south of 
Warsaw were also defeated after bitter 
fighting, and retreated out of Russian 
Poland. It is said that the King of 
Saxony and many other princes and 
dukes were with the army, and it was 
the theory at the time that the Ger- 
mans expected to proclaim him King 
of Poland, a throne held by two of his 
family in the past. The plan, if it was 
a plan, was necessarily deferred. 


Having disposed of the Germans, the 
Russians now turned their attention to 
the Austrians in Galicia. Here the 

Austrians had been meeting with con- 
siderable success. The Russians under 
Ivanov had been driven back, Jaroslav 
had been recaptured and the siege of 
Przemysl had been relieved, just as the 
garrison was on the verge of surrender 
from starvation. But within a few days 
the tide turned again; the Russians 
came back, heavily reinforced from the 
north, retook Jaroslav and again laid 
siege to Przemysl, though not before 
the garrison had been pretty thor- 
oughly revictualled. 

Not content with driving the Ger- 
man forces out of Poland, the Rus- 
sians advanced, preceded by their num- 
erous Cossack cavalry as a screen. On 
November 10, this vanguard crossed 
the frontier into German Posen and 
cut the Posen-Cracow railroad line. 
Nowhere did either the Germans or 
the Austrians show serious resistance. 
So the Russian Commander-in-chief, 
Grand Duke Nicholas, determined to 
make his great effort to take Cracow. 

But Hindenburg was not a comman- 
der to be demoralized by an initial de- 
feat, and, after all, he had only been 
thrown back. His main forces were 
still intact. Furthermore, he made 
demands on Berlin for reinforcements, 
which were drawn from the Western 
Front, and these were quickly sent 
him by means of the strategic railroads 
behind him. Furthermore, he now had 
under him two of Germany's foremost 
generals Mackensen and von Luden- 
dorff. He began reorganizing his forces 
at Thorn and Breslau. He determined 
to concentrate his chief effort on his 
campaign against Warsaw. Here the 
Russians had only about 200,000 men, 
as the main forces had been sent to the 
south. It was down in this section that 
the Teutons registered some minor suc- 
cesses, before the main movement 
against Warsaw was begun. 


Dimitriev's cavalry was already skir- 
mishing in the suburbs of Cracow, by 
the end of the first week in December, 
when two separate Austro-German 
forces struck against the Russian rear 
simultaneously. One of these came 
from Hungary and broke through the 



mountains, taking Dukla Pass from 
the Russians. The other, advancing 
eastward in the extreme south, among 
the Carpathian foothills, struck Iva- 
nov's left flank. Though not seriously 
defeated, the Russians were compelled 
to fall back, for fear that large enemy 
forces might strike their lines of com- 
munication from the Carpathian passes. 
Bv December 20, however, large 
reinforcements arrived and the Rus- 
sians advanced again. With great 
energy the Russian left was thrown up 
into the mountains again, and by 
Christmas Day Dukla was once more 
in Russian hands. 

Meanwhile von Hindenburg, with 
a reorganized army of perhaps half 
a million men, had begun his second 
big offensive against Warsaw. On Nov- 
ember 10, Mackensen began operations 
by deploying his army along a fifty 
mile front, reaching from the Warta to 
the Vistula, making use of both rivers 
as lines of communication. Within 
three days the Russians were driven 
back to Kutno. For two or three days 
the battle raged along a line thirty 
miles in length. 


The Russians were faced by a super- 
ior force and were presently forced back 
to the Bzura, an excellent natural de- 
fensive line, with some fords, but no 
bridges. For two weeks no progress 
was made. Then the Russian right 
wing fell back, passing the city of Low- 
icz, then around Lodz thus forming an 
awkward salient. West of Lowicz the 
country is extremely marshy, through 
which an army cannot move except by 
artificial pathways. The Germans 
made every effort to beat the Russians 
to Piontek, at which point a causeway 
crosses the marshes. 

The Russians were at first successful 
in defeating this attempt, but on No- 
vember 19, they were overwhelmed by 
the superior numbers of the enemy, 
and they broke. The Germans came 
pouring over the causeway, hurling 
the Russians to either side of them, 
splitting them into two separate bodies; 
one on the south, near Lodz, the 
other to the east of Brezin, on the Vis- 


tula. The Russians about Lodz were in 
an especially perilous situation, being 
almost surrounded. But just as they 
were facing the critical moment, several 
Siberian regiments arrived from War- 
saw and the tables were turned on the 
enemy; about 90,000 Germans found 
themselves surrounded by Russians. 
Ruzsky made a strong effort to close 
in on them, but the failure of one of his 
generals to block a certain roadway 
gave the Germans their opportunity, 
and they made their escape a'ter sev- 
eral days hard fighting. 


For the time being it seemed as 
though the advantage lay with the Rus- 
sians, but the Germans were being con- 
tinually reinforced, and Hindenburg 
determined on a fresh assault. The 
German left w r ing was now far in front 
of Lodz, one of the most important of 
the Polish cities, with a population of 
half a million. Feeling his inability 
to maintain this salient, the Russian 
general in this section decided to with- 
draw, and on December 6, the Germans 
entered the city without opposition. 
In Germany this was announced as a 
great victory, but as a matter of fact 
its fall was purely political in its signifi- 
cance. For now the Russians were 
able to straighten out their line. 

The Germans aimed their next blow 
directly at the greater city, Warsaw. 
This new movement was directed at 
the Russian right wing, which was then 
north of the Bzura River and east of 
Lowicz. The German forces in East 
Prussia were also directed to advance 
and attempt to cut the main railroad 
line connecting the Polish capital with 
Petrograd. But this attempt ended 
in failure, as the Russian force at this 
point was strong enough to drive the 
Germans back across the frontier. 

The Russian right wing, however, 
now slowly swung back, not because of 
the German pressure, but because of 
the condition of the roads, which were 
being flooded by the thawing of the ice 
and snow, which was naturally unex- 
pected at that time of the* year. The 
country was waterlogged, and the Rus- 
sian Commander-in-chief was quite wil- 

'/ \ . ' / \\ / 

?4 '" \* i W^wic 
Si^fe^aL^^x "T^ 


The dotted line shows the position of the Russian armies after their pursuit of the first German invading force, 
and indicates how closely the Grand Duke Nicholas pushed his offensive against Cracow until Von Hindenburg 
in turn threatened Warsaw. The broken line shows the later Russian position on the river system of defenses 
after Hindenburg' s second lunge at Warsaw; the retirement to this line from the Warta was brilliantly executed. 
In the offensive against Warsaw the severest fighting took place on the line of the Bzura and the Rawka. The 
Bzura Sows through a level plain dotted over with great patches of fir-woods, in which stand the Polish country 
houses. The river is easily forded in its lower courses for it is only 50 yards wide and has no adjacent marshes. 
The Russians dug their trenches close to the stream, the Germans about a hundred yards from the western 
bank behind a small encampment. Between December 19 and 25, the Germans made night attacks through the 
ice-cold water, but beyond capturing an advanced Russian trench sometimes, they accomplished nothing and by 
Christmas Eve the second attack on Warsaw died down. Winter had the land in its grim hold. 



ling to allow the Germans to occupy it 
for the time being. 


This gradual retirement lasted from 
the end of the first week of December 
until Christmas. And while a number 
of important towns, so far as mere size 
was concerned, were thus given over 
to the enemy, at the end of the retreat 

supposed they would be, may be mat- 
ter for speculation. Who can say what 
Germany's Western armies might not 
have accomplished, had they had the 
support of Hindenburg's battalions in 
the East? The fact was, however, that 
the Russians compelled the Central 
Empires to maintain forces on the 
Eastern front far exceeding their own 
in number, during a period in which the 


the Russians had secured themselves in 
a position from which they were able 
to hurl back the German attacks again 
and again. The Germans had pro- 
claimed that the New Year would find 
them in Warsaw, but at the beginning 
of the year the city was in no imme- 
diate danger of occupation by the Ger- 


Germany had been mistaken in sup- 
posing that there would be time to 
solve the problem of the Russian men- 
ace after the French and the British 
had been defeated. What she might 
have been able to accomplish in France, 
had the Russians been as slow as it was 


fate of France hung in the balance. 
The Russian leaders had shown un- 
expected ability and the troops unex- 
pected mobility. Wherever needed, 
men seemed to "grow out of the 
ground," and they showed wonderful 
fortitude. Though the Germans, by 
way of excusing themselves for the Bel- 
gian atrocities, have circulated harrow- 
ing tales of the conduct of the invading 
Russians, there seems to be little foun- 
dation for these stories. Doubtless 
there were individual outrages, but 
they were comparatively few, and 
there is no evidence of deliberate in- 
tent to produce submission By "frjght- 


View of Belgrade, the Capital of Serbia 


Austria Fails to Conquer Serbia 


HpHE early morning mists were still 
* hovering over the low banks of the 
River Danube. Less than twenty-four 
hours before, on July 28th, Austria had 
declared war against Serbia. A shell 
came screeching through the light 
vapors and burst over the battlements 
of the old citadel in the city on the 
rising ground, awakening the inhabi- 
tants of Serbia's capital to the fact 
that hostilities had begun. 


The bursting shell did no damage, 
but it was the first of the war. The 
quiet preparations which Serbia had 
been carrying on for the past week were 
now quickened into feverish activity. 
Better communications caused the 
whole world to centre its attention, 
some days later, on the brilliant defense 
of Liege by the Belgians, but no phase 
or campaign of the whole war can 
excel, in heroism or in picturesqueness, 
the fighting which took place between 
the Serbians and Austro-Hungarians 
during the first five months after 
hostilities began. Here long range 
artillery played a less prominent part 
and men still fought hand to hand with 
primitive passion. And here, too, the 
Teutons suffered what was probably 
the most ignoble defeat of all the cam- 
paigns of the war. 

A few words on the chief topograph- 
ical features of this theatre of the 
war are necessary, for these played an 

important part in deciding the issues of 
battles. A survey of a pre-war map 
will show that Austrian territory pro- 
jected far below the northernmost 
frontier of Serbia in the west, con- 
stituting the provinces of Bosnia, 
Herzegovina and Dalmatia populated 
by blood brethren of the Serbs. Thus 
Serbia was exposed on two sides; on 
her northern and on her western 
frontiers. On the north was the 
Danube, broad and deep below Bel- 
grade, but dotted by a string of low 
islands along its middle. 


The northern boundary, west of 
Belgrade, however, was formed by a 
much shallower river, the Save, empty- 
ing into the Danube just above Bel- 
grade, and here it was that the greater 
danger lay from a massed invasion, 
for numerous fords and many islands 
splitting the river in two afforded too 
many crossings to be guarded in force. 
The western boundary is formed by the 
Drina, which empties into the Save, 
and is still narrower and more easily 
forded, and is also split by many low, 
wooded islands. It was on the Drina, 
between Loznitza and Leschnitza, that 
the Austrians made their first attack. 
From this point up to Shabatz on the 
Save lie the bloody fields of the Austro- 
Serbian battles. 

Nearly all of this region is extremely 
mountainous and heavily wooded, 



affording excellent cover for the move- 
ments of armies. On the other hand, 
communications are bad, for outside 
of a few well -graded roads maintained 
by the government, supplies must be 
carried over mountain trails on the 
backs of horses or even men. Never- 
theless, the approach through this 
territory was chosen by the Austrians, 
for although the main road down 
to Constantinople, or Saloniki, lay 
through the Morava Valley, more 
directly reached by way of Belgrade, 
such an advance would have necessi- 
tated a crossing of the Danube. The 
fortifications at Belgrade were strong 
enough to forbid such an attempt 
except at the cost of such losses as the 
Austrians felt they could not afford. 


Of the Austro-Hungarian forces 
which attempted to break down the 
Serbian door between the Central 
Powers and their Turkish allies little is 
known even now, five years later, but 
that they far outnumbered the Serbians 
was obvious from the battles them- 
selves and from the losses they sus- 
tained on Serbian soil. Partially off- 
setting the advantage of numbers, 
however, was the fact that the Aus- 
trians were composed of men who had 
never heard a shot fired to kill and 
must first overcome that initial terror 
of bloodshed which even the primitive 
savage experiences in his first encoun- 
ter with an enemy. Furthermore, they 
were not patriotic for a large portion 
were undoubtedly Slavs, with no love 
for Austria, and, above all, they were 
fighting on foreign soil. 

The Serbians were practically all 
veterans of two recently fought wars, 
in which the fighting had been fierce 
and heavy. From those two wars, the 
first with Turkey, the second with 
Bulgaria, they had emerged victorious. 
Finally, they were now fighting on 
native soil, defending their very fire- 
sides and their families from foreign 
invasion . 


At the outbreak of hostilities the 
first line army of the Serbians num~ 

bered about 125,000 men. The Second 
Ban, or Reserve, brought this number 
up to about 180,000. The Third Ban 
men numbered about 50,000, but the 
majority of these could only be used in 
actual fighting as a last resource, as 
they were men well past middle age, 
unable to stand hard marching. In- 
cluded in this total number were five 
divisional cavalry regiments, a regi- 
ment of mountain artillery, made up 
of six batteries, six howitzer batteries, 
and two battalions of fortress artillery. 
Then there was a separate cavalry 
division, composed of two brigades, 
each of two regiments, with a war 
strength of 80 officers and 3,200 men. 
Attached to this division were two 
horse artillery batteries, of eight guns 
each. All told, there were about 330 
guns and 5,200 sabres. Altogether, the 
whole Serbian Army probably num- 
bered about 200,000 really effective 
men, armed with Mannlicher or Mauser 
rifles. The Third Reserves were armed 
with a very inferior Berdan rifle, a 
single loader. No part of the Serbian 
armies was particularly well equipped, 
for the wastage and losses of material 
during the two Balkan wars had not 
yet been made good. 


At the head of Serbian operations 
was the Chief of Staff, Field Marshal 
Putnik, a veteran of all the Balkan 
wars since 1876. His whole experience 
had been gained at home. With him 
was associated Colonel Pavlovitch, 
more versed in the theoretical aspect 
of warfare, for he had studied in Berlin. 
Under the chief command of Putnik 
he had directed the Serbian field 
operations against the Turks and the 
Bulgarians, and in this struggle against 
Austrian invasion he was to play a 
similar role. 

During the last days of July and the 
first week of August the people of 
Serbia waited anxiously, not knowing 
where the Austrian attack would begin. 
Between July 29 and August II, the 
Austrians pretended to make eighteen 
attempts to cross the frontier, doubtless 
with the idea of keeping the Serbian 
Army scattered. The great bulk of the 


Serbian Army was concentrated within 
the interior, ready to rush to whatever 
point along the 350 miles of frontier at 
which the enemy should present him- 
self in force. On August 6 some Bos- 
nian peasants .crossed the .Drina and 
reported that they had seen large 
bodies of troops moving along the 
mountain roads in Syrmia, and in 
northeastern Bosnia. Two days later 
two enemy aeroplanes came sweeping 

artillery fire burst forth from the 
shore beyond the island and rained 
shells down on the Serbian forces. 
The latter replied with their old field 
pieces, of which they had two batteries, 
firing at the approaching barges. But 
the Austrian fire became heavier and 
heavier, and when one-tenth of their 
number lay dead, the Serbians began 
retreating across the cornfields and 
up the slopes to the hills behind Loz- 


The Austrians attacked on the line of the Drina, a shallow river with many fords and islands, and advanced on 
both slopes of the Tzer Ridge hoping to concentrate at Valievo, first. The map shows also the fighting on the 
Suvobor mountains and around Belgrade, where the Austrians were likewise repulsed. 

above the Save from the west and 
circled about over Shabatz and Valievo. 
And finally came the news, on August 
12, that masses of enemy troops were 
visible behind an island in the Drina, 
near Loznitza, and that they were 
rapidly building pontoon bridges. 



Two battalions of the Serbian Third 
Reserve men were stationed here. 
Hardly had they sent their message 
over the wire to headquarters when a 
swarm of barges black with soldiers shot 
around each end of the island in mid- 
stream and made for the Serbian 
shore. Simultaneously a storm of 

nitza. By the next day the Austrians 
had built a. bridgehead at Loznitza, 
thrown a pontoon bridge entirely 
across the river, and their forces 
swarmed over; a whole army corps 
and two divisions more. 

Meanwhile, at almost the same time, 
a similar attack was made over the 
Save, at Shabatz, where the country is 
level, being a lower corner of the great 
plain which is Southern Hungary. 
And here, too, the outpost of Third 
Reserve men was compelled to fall 
back, giving way before the invaders, 
who occupied and fortified the town. 
Smaller enemy forces effected cross- 
ings at Zvornik and Liubovia, and 



bridges were thrown across at Amajlia 
and Branjevo. Thus the front of the 
attack covered a distance of over a 
hundred miles. 


Six enemy columns had advanced, 
all heading toward Valievo, which was 
the terminus of a single track railroad 
branching off from the main line be- 
tween Belgrade and Constantinople, 
the natural objective of the enemy 
advance. The main body, of the 
Austrians, however, was that which 
had crossed at Loznitza and which now 
began advancing toward Valievo along 
the Jadar River. 

On each side of the Jadar rises a steep 
chain of hills, into which the Serbian 
outpost at Loznitza had retired on 
being driven back from the river. 
Unfortunately for themselves the Aus- 
trians neglected to gain these heights, 
the possession of which was necessary 
to any force that would make its way 
up the valley. It was not till two days 
later, on the morning of the I4th, that 
they finished their bridgehead about 
Loznitza. and began their advance up 
the slopes toward the hill tops, from 
which the handful of Serbians had been 
continuously firing their antiquated 
fieldpieces during the past forty-eight 


The Serbians were, most of them, 
men of past middle age, but there were 
still many among them who had seen 
heavy fighting against the Turks in 
the First Balkan War, and still fiercer 
fighting against the Bulgarians at 
Bregalnitza. As the first line of 
Austrians neared their positions at the 
top, they rose to the counter attack 
and swept down on the enemy. The 
Austrians were thrown back in a panic; 
it was their first contact with actual 
warfare. Later in the day they made 
a second attack, and again they were 
repelled. By evening they had still 
not taken the important positions for 
which they were striving. 

But the Serbians had suffered heavily, 
too, and that night they retreated 
along the ridges for ten miles. Here 


they came in contact with the van- 
guard of the main Serbian Army, 
hurrying to their support, and imme- 
diately the Serbians began entrenching 
themselves, at Jarebitze, on a line 
ten miles long across the valley of the 
Jadar River, a tiny stream not named 
on many old maps. 


It was on the ridge of the Tzer 
Mountains, that the Serbians gained 
their initial advantage, largely through 
the unaccountable delay of the Aus- 
trian commander and the determined 
resistance of the Third Ban men. This 
range of hills, north of the Jadar, 
separated the two main Austrian 
columns; the one which was attempt- 
ing to advance up the Jadar Valley, 
and the one which had established a 
base in Shabatz, just north of the 
Tzer Mountains. By possessing them- 
selves of this ridge the two main 
Austrian columns would be able to 
effect a junction, and so advance to 
Valievo with a strong front. 

The second day of the invasion, 
August 15, the Austrians devoted to 
preparations and made no attempt to 
resume their attack. Thus the Serbians 
gained time, not only to intrench 
themselves, but to augment their 
strength from the continually arriving 
reserves. Meantime, too, the Serbian 
commander was able to deploy his 
forces southward, toward the Austrians 
who were advancing from that direc- 
tion toward Krupani, and to direct 
his cavalry against the Austrians in 


On the morning of August 16 the 
Austrians resumed their advance up 
the slopes of the Tzer Mountains, this 
time in overwhelming force. A young 
Serbian artillery officer, Major Dju- 
kitch, asked permission to advance 
beyond the Serbian position, along the 
ridge toward the advancing enemy, 
and attempt to hold them back. He 
had at his disposal only one cannon, but 
permission was granted aricl, with a 
handful of volunteers, he planted him- 
self in the path of the approaching 


The last days of July and first of August were anxious ones for the Serbian General Staff, who had no knowledge 
of the point where the enemy would attack in force. The soldiers in this picture are many of them middle-aged 
veterans of at least two great Balkan wars. Picture from Underwood & Underwood 


Prince Alexander is King Peter's second son and became heir-apparent when his brother Prince George re- 
nounced his right of succession in 1909, and Prince Regent on his father's retirement, shortly before the outbreak 
of war. During the fighting the Prince shared the hardships of the men. Underwood & Underwood 



Austrians, and opened fire with his 
gun. In half an hour his shells had 
thoroughly demoralized the vanguard 
of the advancing Austrians and thrown 
them back in disorder. So encouraging 
was this result that a larger force was 
sent to support the young officer^ 

This incident had the important 
effect of delaying the Austrian advance 
several hours. By noon, however, they 
had resumed the attack with such 
determination that a single cannon 
could not longer check them. Slowly 
the Austrians pressed upward and 
onward, subjecting the Serbians to a 
heavy rifle and machine gun fire. 
By evening the Serbian position was 
one of extreme danger, but reserves 
were constantly arriving, and they 
held on desperately. Just as the hot 
summer sun was dropping below the 
western ridges an officer on horseback 
rode up to the Serbian lines and 
shouted that reinforcements were ar- 


With an exultant cheer the Ser- 
bians behind the breastworks on the 
Tzer ridges sprang to their feet and 
swept down on the Austrians half a 
mile below. It was the sort of fighting 
the Balkan Slavs know best; hand to 
hand, with the bayonet. The Magyar 
peasants holding the Austrian positions 
had not yet acquired the stomach for 
this sort of conflict, and at the first 
impact of the onslaught they turned 
and ran. One or two regiments held 
their ground, and were in consequence 
almost wiped out. Before dark the 
Serbians had cleared the Tzer ridges of 
the enemy and had driven a wedge in 
between the two main columns of the 
opposing forces; those in Shabatz, and 
those attempting to reach Valievo 
along the Jadar Valley and from far- 
ther south. 

In spite of this initial defeat, how- 
ever, the Austrians continued to main- 
tain their lines on each side of the Tzer 
Mountains. Over toward Shabatz, on 
the Serbian right, the Serbian cavalry 
was operating against the Austrians, 
as the ground was favorable for such 
movements. The horsemen were heav- 


ily outnumbered by the enemy, but 
fortunately the Serbian heavy artillery 
up on the Tzer ridges could afford 
them a great measure of protection, 
when the Austrians advanced too far 
out of Shabatz. The Tzer Mountains 
dominated the whole scene of action, 
save for a small section in the extreme 
south, where the Serbians at first 
suffered severely from the Austrian 
infantry attacks. 


For four days the battle raged 
fiercely up and down the line, swaying 
back and forth, as reinforcements 
arrived to the aid, first of one side, 
then of the other. But by the morning 
of August 2Oth the split in the Austrian 
lines told on- their strategy. As the 
sun rose on that fifth day of the conflict, 
thfe Serbian cavalry on the plain before 
Shabatz, after a brief artillery pre- 
paration, charged on the Austrians 
outside the town and drove them in a 
panic toward the Drina. 

A few hours later the Austrians over 
in the Jadar Valley were likewise fleeing 
before the Serbians toward the fron- 
tier, and the Serbian artillery was 
inflicting heavy losses on them. To- 
ward evening the last of them had 
retreated across the Drina, and Serbian 
territory south of the Tzer ridges was 
cleared of the last of the enemy. 

The Austrians in Shabatz, however, 
though badly beaten, retained their 
foothold in Shabatz itself and along 
the river bank in that neighborhood. 
On the morning of August 21 the whole 
Serbian forces turned their attention 
to this last remnant of the invaders. 
The Austrians held on tenaciously; all 
that day they held the Serbians back. 
Oh the following day, the 22nd, the 
Serbians delivered a general assault, 
the bloodiest engagement of the week's 
fighting, but were still unable to drive 
the Austrians across the river. It was 
not till the morning of the 24th, when 
the Serbians had brought their heav- 
iest artillery up, that they attempted a 
second attack. And theji it was found 
that the enemy had retreated during 
the night. The last of the invaders 
had been driven from Serbian soil. 

fcl 1 

?i\ W 



Three weeks after the beginning of the fighting, the Serbians were able to claim that these same Austrian invaders 
had been chased out of their country. Furthermore, they had launched a counter-attack in Bosnia, which, however, 
proceeded but slowly for it was too weak in artillery to make war against the fortresses. 

Picture from Henry Ruschin 


One of the difficult problems confronting the Austrians grew out of the heterogeneous group of races included 
in the army. They had to be disposed on frontiers where they would not be forced to fight race-brothers. For 
instance, the Slavs, who constituted 47 per cent of the army, could not be used against their Serbian neighbors. 
Between Magyar and Slav, on the other hand, there were hatred and rivalry. 



So ended the first invasion of Serbia, 
the "straf" expedition so loudly her- 
alded by the Vienna press, so sorely 
strafed itself. 


Field Marshal Putnik has been 
criticized for his failure to pursue the 
beaten Austrians in their own territory. 
The Austrian losses had been heavy; 
at least 6,000 had fallen, and 4,000 
remained in Serbia as prisoners, to- 
gether with fifty cannon, thirty ma- 
chine guns and much war material. 
On the other hand, the Serbian losses 
had also been heavy; about 3,000 
killed and 15,000 wounded. There was 
also a shortage of rifles, the men had 
been making forced marches one reg- 
iment as much as fifty miles in twenty- 
four hours and the Austrians had 
stripped the rivers of boats. 

For twelve days the exhausted 
Serbians rested within their frontiers, 
recuperating and bringing up fresh 
supplies of ammunition, the supply of 
which had been nearly exhausted at 
the front. On September 5 General 
Putnik determined to follow up his 
victory on Austrian soil, and that 
night the Serbian Second Army crossed 
the Save,, between Shabatz and Bel- 
grade, and marched toward the 
Frushkagora Mountains, about twenty 
miles north of Shabatz. Possession of 
these heights would aid in the subjuga- 
tion of Bosnia. The Austrian forces in 
this region were known to number only 
twelve regiments, and for seven days 
this expedition drove the enemy before 
it. But just as the Serbians were about 
to attain their objective, on September 
12, the command to retreat was sud- 
denly given, and the First Army retired 
across the Save. And for a very good 
reason, for further south, along the 
Drina, the Austrians had suddenly 
begun swarming over into Serbia again. 


This second invasion began on 
September 7. General Potiorek, the 
Austrian commander-in-chief, now had 
at his disposal 300,000 men, with a 
reserve of another 150,000 men. For- 
tunately the bulk of the Serbian Army 


had remained massed in this region, 
ready to invade Bosnia toward Sara- 
jevo, should the expedition in the 
north prove successful. The Austrians 
now made a frontal, mass attack, 
hoping to win by sheer weight of num- 
bers. North of Loznitza the Austrians 
were severely defeated during the first 
day of the battle, being driven back 
across the river before dark, save for 
a small, triangular patch above Sha- 
batz, near the river which they were 
able to retain and fortify. 

South of Loznitza the Serbians were 
not so fortunate. Here, on the morning 
of September 8, the Austrians began a 
general advance, beginning at Liu- 
bovia. For a while the Serbians held 
the enemy back, but later in the day 
they were compelled to retire up into 
the hills. For three days the battle 
continued, and the Serbian left wing 
in the south was driven steadily back. 
At the end of that period the Austrian 
right had swung in as far as Petska. 
But at this critical moment the forces 
which had been recalled from the 
invasion of Austrian soil in the north 
began to arrive. The Austrians were 
then checked. But never had they 
fought so stubbornly. The Serbians 
delivered one bayonet charge after 
another; their favorite form of fighting. 
For hours the conflict was hand to 
hand. Men dropped their guns and 
grappled and smashed in 'each others' 
skulls with stones. Finally the Aus- 
trians broke and were driven back 
toward the Drina. 


Further north, however, the Aus- 
trians still retained possession of Cat 
Rock, an eminence which dominated 
the country around Gutchevo. Eight 
times the Serbians had charged this 
height, without success. And here the 
Austrians remained, intrenched. Up in 
the north-west the Austrians had a 
foothold around Kuriachista and also 
held an intrenched triangle of Serbian 
territory, between the Drina and the 
Save. But for nearly two months they 
made no further attempts to advance, 
and the situation settled down to one 
somewhat similar to that in France, 


The final defeat of Serbia was largely due to lack of artillery. When any of the precious guns were taken, the loss 
was serious, as they could not be replaced. These guns captured by the Austrians are being removed by the 
ox-team, the usual method of transport of the country. 


Deep-sounding bells, that give the alarm amid the echoing passes of the Black Mountains, are used by this 
little nation which has successfully maintained its independence of the Turks. In 1878 Turkey and other Sig- 
natory Powers of the Treaty of Berlin formally recognized the freedom of Montenegro. 

Pictures from Henry Ruschin 



with both lines facing each other in 
trenches, sometimes separated only by 
a few yards of "no man's land." The 
losses on both sides had been enormous 
considering the forces engaged. 

This time the Austrian defeat was 
due to the absence of the reserves on 
which General Potiorek had counted. 
The General Staff had received alarm- 
ing news from the Russian front in 
Galicia, the 150,000 men in Bosnia 
had been sent hurrying to the Car- 
pathian passes, and at the critical 
moment the Austrian commander had 
found himself deprived of this resouice. 
So, for the second time, the Serbians 
drove the invaders back, but not en- 
tirely off their territoiy. 

But the Austrian General Staff, 
though it realized that it had seriously 
underestimated the Serbian strength, 
was still determined to make another 
effort to retrieve its humiliating defeat. 
This time it drew on all available 
resources throughout the Empire, up 
to the Italian front, and gradually 
assembled an army against the Ser- 
bians of such proportions that another 
failure seemed unthinkable. 


The third Austrian invasion of 
Serbia began less dramatically than 
did the first two. No sudden attempt 
to advance was made, but as the 
Austrian forces were augmented a 
gradually increasing pressure was 
brought to bear. Early in November 
the Serbian General Staff realized that 
it must shorten its lines, for the men in 
the trenches were badly worn down by 
nerve strain, the reserves being too 
small to enable them to rest. For- 
tunately this contingency had been 
foreseen from the beginning, and a line 
of trenches had been thrown up along 
the Kolubara and Lyg rivers, stretch- 
ing from Obrenovatz, on the Save 
River, southward. The high banks of 
the Kolubara and the extremely rough 
nature of the terrain further south 
rendered this line especially favorable 
for defensive purposes. 

Early in November the Serbians 
began a gradual withdrawal, first from 
the level plain above Shabatz, then 

1 80 

from the Drina eastward, the Austrians 
following exultingly on their heels. A 
little later, on November n, the Ser- 
bians again retired, this time evacuat- 
ing Valievo, the terminus of the 
branch railway. The Vienna dis- 
patches had it that the Austrian troops 
were pursuing a disorganized rabble, 
but disillusionment was soon to come. 
And now the Serbians made no attempt 
to hold the Austrians back until they 
reached their prepared positions along 
the Kolubara-Lyg Line. Here, cer- 
tainly, one defender was worth two 


Over the more mountainous country 
the Austrians followed the retreating 
Serbians more carefully. Obviously 
the Austrian General Staff realized 
that many difficulties lay ahead. Al- 
most every town in Bosnia had been 
depleted of its garrison, and a whole 
army corps had been brought down 
from the Italian front, consisting of 
men used to mountain operations. 
All in all, there were about 250 bat- 
talions of infantry, in addition to 
cavalry, artillery and engineer corps. 

On the morning of November 15 the 
advancing Austrians reached the Ser- 
bian line, and the first attack was 
delivered, south of Lazarevatz, which 
was about the centre of the Serbian 
line. For five days the invading 
swarms sent one wave of attacking 
infantry after another against this 
part of the Serbian front. During this 
period the Serbians took more prisoners 
than they had captured during the first 
two invasions, so persistent were the 
attacks. Simultaneously a really ser- 
ious effort was being made to take 
Belgrade, but that phase of the inva- 
sion will be considered later, as a 
separate operation not directly con- 
nected with the fighting in the interior. 

At the end of the fifth day, on No- 
vember 20, the Austrians seemed to 
have decided that they had found the 
weak point in the Serbian line, and 
with overwhelming forces they at- 
tacked at that one point, at Milovatz. 
Unable to withstand the terrific assault, 
the Serbians fell back, with heavy loss. 


The assault continued during all the 
next day, and again the Serbians were 
compelled to retire. Up and down the 
whole front the fighting became in- 
tense, but elsewhere the Serbians 
managed to hold their ground. For- 
tunately for the Serbians the Austrians 
now showed their characteristic inabil- 
ity to follow up a success promptly, 
and the beaten Serbian centre had 

as it had been. The critical moment 
had arrived. Not only was the issue 
of the battle in the balance, but the 
fate of Serbia. 

Without shortening his line again, 
the Serbian commander felt that he 
would be beaten. So on the night of 
November 29 the Serbians along the 
Kolubara, up to Belgrade, fell back 
and retired across the railway line 


This picture shows the ruin made by a shell in the throne room of the royal palace of Serbia, at Belgrade. The 
throne stood on the left and was torn to splinters. The palace was built on the site of the Turkish konak, and is 
often called by that name. N. Y. Times 

time to recover its breath. Not till 
three days later, on November 24, 
did the enemy come on again with full 


Again the Serbian centre fell back. 
In the north, toward Belgrade, the 
Austrians were less successful, but in 
the south they made rapid advances, 
pushing back the Serbian left, which 
was in .continual danger of being 
flanked. Furthermore, the bending in 
of the Serbian centre had compelled 
a lengthening of the line, and the 
Serbians were too few to hold the line 

from Belgrade to Nish, at Varoonitza, 
thus abandoning Belgrade and north- 
western Serbia for the time being. 
Thus shortening his front, the Serbian 
commander had enough troops to 
strengthen his centre and other weak 
points along the line. 

Press dispatches from Vienna now 
announced a great victory over the 
Serbians and General Potiorek was 
ceremoniously decorated by the Em- 
peror. Undoubtedly the Austrian Gen- 
eral Staff sincerely believed that Ser- 
bian resistance had been definitely 
broken, and rather leisurely the Aus- 
trian field commander proceeded to 



swing his left wing around the Ser- 
bians in the north and south, down the 
Morava Valley. Had he succeeded in 
accomplishing this, not only the Ser- 
bian Army, but Nish, the temporary 
capital, and the arsenal at Kragujevatz 
would have been encircled and all 
Serbia would have been in Austrian 


But again Serbian strength was 
underestimated. On December 2 
the Serbians suddenly delivered a 
counter-attack along the whole line, 
all the more effective because it was 
unexpected. Like a thunderbolt the 
Serbian First Army, in the center, 
which had suffered so severely before, 
but which was now under a new com- 
mander, General Mishitch, threw itself 
against the Austrian center along the 
Suvobor Mountains. At first the 
Austrians stood the strain successfully, 
then attempted an orderly retirement. 
But the assaulting Serbians swept on 
with their bayonets in waves, and 
before the sun set that evening the 
Austrian soldiers were fleeing in 
frenzied terror down the mountain 
slopes toward Valievo. The Serbian 
First Army alone captured over 1,500 
men, while so hasty was the Austrian 
retreat that the mountain roads were 
strewn with guns, ammunition wagons, 
rifles and vast amounts of other field 
equipment. In these losses of material 
alone went the last hope of the Aus- 
trians, for practically two army corps 
were thrown out of the conflict. 


For three days more the fighting 
continued, but its issue had been de- 
cided on that first day, December 2. 
Up in the north the Austrians at- 
tempted a counter-attack, only to be 
driven back, and then the whole 
Austrian line was in retreat, which 
gradually resolved itself into a general 
foot-race for the rivers along the 
frontier. At Valievo the Austrians 
made one determined effort to hold the 
Serbians back, for they were reluctant 
to give up this strategic point, but the 
Serbians encircled the town, threat- 


ened the Austrian flank and the latter 
finally turned and fled, leaving behind 
all the artillery with which they had 
intended defending this point. A 
wedge had been driven between the 
three Austrian corps in the south and 
the two in the north. By December 
8 the Serbians were down to the 
banks of the Save and Drina again, 
shouting their defia'nce to the last, 
straggling remnants of the fleeing 

There remains only to tell the story 
of Belgrade; how the Serbian capital 
fell into the hands of the enemy and 
what befell the city during the short 
period they were permitted to hold it. 

From the time that the first shell of 
the war had burst over the old Turkish 
citadel on the morning of July 29, there 
had been a continuous bombardment 
of the city from the Austrian fortress 
at Semlin, across the Save. Every 
effort was made to destroy the public 
building and utilities. Later the Aus- 
trian monitors steaming up and down 
the river joined in with the shore guns 
and wrought terrific destruction in 
that portion of the city down near the 
river front. Over 700 buildings were 
struck by projectiles of one sort or 
another. In the beginning of Novem- 
ber two 14-centimeter guns, sent by 
the French Government by way of 
Saloniki, attended by two French 
gunners, arrived in Belgrade, and 
thereafter the river was cleared of 
monitors until the city was entered by 
the Austrians. 



Such was still the situation on 
November 29, when, as previously 
mentioned, the Serbian line, with the 
right wing resting against Belgrade, 
was shortened and the whole north- 
western region of the country was 
abandoned. Naturally, the garrison 
of Belgrade evacuated the city and 
retired with the main line. The 
Austrian left wing, composed of two 
army corps, immediately took advan- 
tage of this situation and entered Bel- 

When the Serbian Army made its 
strong counter-attack, on December 


2, it will be remembered, the Aus- 
trians in the north offered the strongest 
resistance, but finally gave way. The 
Austrians in Belgrade, however, though 
isolated, continued to hold the city. 
It was not until December 10, after 
the main body of the Austrians had been 
driven across the Save and the Drina, 

crescent which the Serbians formed 
about the capital began to contract. 
Foot by foot the invaders were being 
squeezed back into the city. By the 
morning of December 14 the Serbians 
had reached the outermost defenses of 
the city itself. Here it was that the 
Austrians must make their last stand 


The population of Serbia is almost entirely agricultural, and nearly all the land is held by small owners so that 
there are few large farms. Villages are far-scattered and squalid, and cities of small importance since manufac- 
tures are primitive. Communication is difficult because of the mountain masses extending from north to south. 

Courtesy Red Cross Magazine 

that General Putnik was able to turn 
his attention to the task of recovering 

The commander of the Austrians 
holding Belgrade threw his forces well 
out into the country outside the city, 
his lines extending over toward the 
Kolubara. And, to his credit be it said, 
his troops made a brilliant fight; the 
best fight the Austrians had yet made. 
During the greater part of the day, 
December n, when the battle for 
Belgrade began, the Austrians held 
their own. But toward evening the 

or retire across the river. At least a cer- 
tain amount of Austrian prestige would 
be retained, if only the Serbian capital 
could be held. 


All day the Austrians held back the 
attacking Serbs. The fighting was es- 
pecially heavy before the central 
height of the defenses, Torlak Hill, 
where two regiments of Magyars made 
a magnificent stand and were, in conse- 
quence, completely annihilated. Just 
before sundown the Serbians, fixing 



their bayonets, charged the defenses 
and leaped into the Austrian trenches. 
Again and again the Austrians ejected 
them, hurled them down the slopes, 
but again and again the Serbians re- 
turned charging. By dark the fight 
was still going on, but the Austrians 
lacked the experience which is so neces- 
sary to night fighting, and before mid- 
night the Serbians were in possession of 
the outer ring of fortifications guarding 
the city. All that night, until dawn, 
they toiled, dragging their big guns in- 
to position, on heights commanding not 
only the city, but that portion of the 
river where the Austrians had built 
their pontoon bridges, and over which, 
they must retire if they did not sur- 


The sun was not yet up, when a huge 
shell hurtled over the city and dropped 
beside one of the pontoons, sending a 
fountain of water shooting upward, 
which fell as spray on the mass of blue 
grey uniforms. Screams of terror arose 
from the struggling mob. A minute 
passed, and another shell screeched 
through the air, then dropped squarely 
into the middle of the bridge, smashing 
it to pieces. Hundreds of the struggling 
soldiers dropped or were thrown into 
the turbid, rushing waters below. 
Again came a Serbian shell, and struck 
home. A pontoon of the second bridge 
was struck, and began sinking. The 
intervals between the shells lessened. 
Dozens dropped into the river, harm- 
lessly, but finally one struck the re- 
maining bridge walk, and the Austrian 
retreat was cut off, while yet some ten 
thousand Austrians remained on the 
Serbian shore, unaware that they were 
now prisoners of war. 

The return of the Serbians into their 
city was indeed a triumphal entry. 
Riding at the head of the troops, the 
King and the Crown Prince went to 
the cathedral to celebrate a mass of 
thanksgiving. Meanwhile the Magyars 
still remaining in the city offered a 
stout resistance to the triumphant Ser- 
bians, the fighting sweeping up and 
down the streets of the city, until final- 
ly the volleys broke up into desultory 


shooting, then died down into stray 
shots here and there, and finally ceased. 
And so ended the third Austrian inva- 
sion of Serbia, more ignominiously than 
had the first and the second. 

Of the 300,000 Austrians who had 
entered Serbia, over 100,000 remained 
behind. During the fourteen days 
preceding the disaster, the Serbians had 
captured over 40,000 prisoners and more 
war material than their own army pos- 
sessed. The Austrian killed and wound- 
ed were fully 60,000. The Serbian 
losses in killed and wounded had like- 
wise been heavy, but worse was yet to 
come. The sanitary organization of 
both armies was primitive, and the 
dread typhus took heavy toll of those 
whom bullets had missed. 


Comparatively little was said at the 
time of the atrocities committed by 
the invading armies in Serbia, probably 
because they were overshadowed by 
those in Belgium. Unimpeachable tes- 
timony shows, however, that the behav- 
ior of the Austrian armies in Serbia 
differed little from that of their Ger- 
man allies in Belgium. The orders of 
the High Command authorized the 
taking of hostages, and their execution 
in case of disorder, the execution of all 
men in civilian dress found with arms, 
or suspected of having arms. Houses 
were pillaged and burned, often with 
their inhabitants, and many women, 
children and old men were murdered. 

Austria's humiliation was complete 
and final. Alone she could not conquer 
this little nation of Balkan fighters, and 
she realized it. For now Germany was 
called on for aid, and early in the follow- 
ing month preparations were made to 
gather together an army of Austrians 
and Germans along the banks of the 
Danube, half a million strong. German 
skill and superior fighting ability would 
probably have decided the fate of 
Serbia then, but meanwhile Russian 
pressure on the Eastern front became 
so insistent that the fourth invasion 
had to be abandoned for the time be- 
ing, and for nearly a yar afterward 
Serbia was left unmolested by the Cen- 
tral Empires. 

South African Troops Moving off in Pursuit of Christiaan De Wet 


The War Spreads Over the World 



'""pHE British Empire," wrote Gen- 
eral von Bernhardi in his Ger- 
many and the Next War, "is divided 
from the military point of view into 
two divisions: into the United King- 
dom itself with the colonies governed 
by the English cabinet, and the self- 
governing colonies. These latter have 
at their disposal a militia, which is 
sometimes only in process of formation. 
They can be completely ignored so far 
as concerns any European theatre of 
war." Not only, however, did he be- 
lieve that Great Britain's overseas 
empire would be of no military advan- 
tage to her in case of a European war, 
but he held great hopes that it might 
be a positive handicap. "The centrif- 
ugal tendencies of her [Great Brit- 
ain's] loosely compacted world-empire," 
he wrote in the same book, "might be 
set in movement, and the colonies 
might consult their own interests, 
should England have her hands tied by 
a great war." 


There is no doubt that these views 
were widely current in Germany before 
the war, even in the highest and best 
informed circles. Despite the elabor- 
ate German espionage system, or per- 
haps because of it, the Germans be- 
lieved that they had nothing to fear, 
and much to hope for, from the far- 

flung overseas possessions of Great 
Britain. It is easy to see the grounds 
on which this belief was based. The 
great self-governing Dominions of the 
Empire Canada, Australia, South Af- 
rica, New Zealand, and Newfound- 
land had already traveled far along 
the road toward complete political 
autonomy; and, to a superficial eye, 
they must have presented the appear- 
ance of ripe fruit ready to drop from 
the tree. They controlled their own 
military forces, and, where they had 
them, their own navies; they made 
their own commercial treaties, and they 
raised tariff barriers even against 
Great Britain and against one another; 
nothing seemed to bind them to the 
Mother Country but a nominal alle- 
giance to a common sovereign who had 
ceased to be much more than a symbol. 


Even if any of the Dominions de- 
sired to come to the Mother Country's 
aid, it was not thought possible for 
them to do so. None of them had any 
permanent military forces to speak of; 
their only standby was an inefficient 
militia, on which British inspecting 
officers had repeatedly passed the 
severest strictures, and which in any 
case was not liable for service abroad. 
As for India and the numerous other 
dependencies which were controlled 



from Westminster, these seemed likely 
to prove, in case of war, a positive 
source of weakness. Both in India and 
in Egypt there had been widespread 
agitations for Home Rule; and, to 
casual observers, it doubtless seemed 
that these countries were held down 
only by the British troops that garri- 
soned them. If, as eventually occurred, 
the Sultan of Turkey were found among 
Great Britain's adversaries, it might be 
expected that the large Mohammedan 
populations of both these countries 
would shake off British rule. Nor, in- 
deed, was it here only that rebellion 
might be looked for. In case of a Euro- 
pean war, it was reasonable to expect 
that the Boers in South Africa might 
strive to regain their independence, 
and that the French-Canadians in Can- 
ada might hold up Canadian aid to 
Great Britain. 

Never were expectations more sig- 
nally disappointed. At the very out- 
set of war, the self-governing Domin- 
ions leapt to the aid of the Mother 
Country with an eager alacrity. The 
silken thread of sentiment which bound 
the Empire together proved stronger 
than iron bonds of compulsion. The 
Germans, in their obtuse way, had 
thought that the development of colon- 
ial autonomy in the British Empire was 
a symptom of disintegration ; whereas, 
in point of fact, it was a guarantee and 
safeguard of solidarity. Immediately 
on the declaration of war those Domin- 
ions which had naval forces placed 
them at the disposal of the British 
Admiralty; and all the Dominions 
prepared to take part in the war on the 
land. South Africa, because of the 
proximity of German West Africa and 
the presence of disaffection within her 
own borders, was at first compelled to 
wage war at home, though at a later 
stage of the struggle South African 
troops were found fighting in France; 
but the other Dominions Canada, 
Australia, New Zealand, and New- 
foundland immediately offered to dis- 
patch expeditionary forces to the Eur- 
opean theatre of war. 

Before the year was ended, the ad- 
vance-guard of these forces had reached 
the western front. Nor did these troops 

1 86 

prove to be the negligible quantity the 
Germans were pleased to think them. 
The Canadians at the Second Battle of 
Ypres and the "Anzacs" (Australian 
and New Zealand Army Corps) at the 
Dardanelles made for themselves a re- 
putation second to none. Before the 
war ended the Canadians had at the 
front four divisions and the Australians 
and New Zealanders five divisions of 
what were generally recognized to be 
among the very best troops on either 

From India and the other dependen- 
cies of the Empire came a similar res- 
ponse. Two months after the out- 
break of war, an Indian Army Corps 
was on French soil ; and the manner in 
which the native princes of the Indian 
Empire rallied to the support of their 
Emperor was surprising even to the 
British, and a sufficient answer to the 
philippics of those critics among them 
some American politicians who had 
decried British rule in India. 


Even after the Sultan of Turkey, the 
head of the Mohammedan world, had 
declared a holy war on Great Britain, 
the Indian troops, mostly Mohamme- 
dan in faith, continued faithful to the 
Allied cause; and they were largely in- 
strumental, through the brilliant cam- 
paigns which, with a mere sprinkling 
of white troops, they waged in Pales- 
tine and Mesopotamia, in bringing 
about finally the downfall of the Turk- 
ish Empire. In South Africa and in 
Canada the nationalist parties among 
the Boers and the French-Canadians 
caused, indeed, some trouble; but this 
was nowhere serious, and the war was 
not far advanced before many Boers 
and many French-Canadians had laid 
down their lives for the Empire against 
which they or their fathers had fought. 
The Great War brought many sur- 
prises, but, to most observers, none 
perhaps more striking than the solidar- 
ity of Great Britain's "ramshackle em- 


It should always be remembered 
that the participation in the war of the 


The Kaiser did not make war too soon for the Klondikers; in September the steamboats on the headwaters of 
the Yukon running from White Horse to Dawson would have been frozen in, and winter travel performed by 
stage would have been too slow for the crowds of eager volunteers hastening towards Berlin. 


After a delirious welcome by the inhabitants of Plymouth, the First Canadian Contingent set out in all manner of 
vehicles for their training camp on Salisbury Plain. This, their first acquaintance with the motor-bus, was the 
beginning of a long association with them as they were used constantly in France between base and front. 

Canada, 1919 

I8 7 


self-governing Dominions of the Brit- 
ish Empire and of the native princes of 
the Indian Empire was not necessarily 
a matter of course. It is true that, 
technically, when Great Britain was at 
war, they also were at war ; but the ex- 
tent of their participation in the war 
was a matter which rested with them- 
selves alone. They might, with per- 
fect legality, have taken the view that, 
so long as they were not attacked, they 
would not lift a finger to help the 
Mother Country. They had had no 
share in the control of British foreign 
policy, no hand in the declaration of 
war. But they did have control of 
their own military and naval forces; 
and they could withhold these from the 
struggle, if so it seemed good to them. 

Such, however, was not their temper. 
They realized, with instant insight, 
that the German menace threatened 
not only Great Britain but also the 
most remote unit in the British Empire; 
that their soldiers would be righting in 
France the battles of Canada and Aus- 
tralia and India as well as those of Eng- 
land and France. They therefore set 
themselves to prosecute their share in 
the war with all the energy of which 
they were capable, an energy which was 
limited only by the stubborn facts of 
time, distance, and materials. But in 
order to describe their war effort, it 
will be convenient to deal with each of 
the Dominions and with India in turn. 

At the beginning of 1914 Canada 
the eldest among the self-governing 
Dominions had a navy composed of 
two small vessels of an antiquated type, 
and an army consisting of about 3,000 
permanent force troops and about 
60,000 militia. The militia had fallen 
into a state of undeniable inefficiency. 
The urban units had only a few days' 
training in camp during the summer 
and a few evenings' drill during the 
winter; while the rural units had noth- 
ing but the summer camp, which they 
regarded more in the light of a picnic 
than of a school for soldiering. The 
spirit of the Canadian people brought 
up beside a three-thousand mile boun- 
dary line defended by neither forts nor 
warships had grown deeply pacific; 
few Canadians thought that there was 

1 88 

any danger of their country becoming 
implicated in war; and the unpre- 
paredness of Canada was merely a re- 
flection of this prevailing temper. The 
truth is that seldom has a country 
gone into a great war so unready, so 
badly prepared, as Canada in 1914; 
and seldom has a country so unready 
girded itself for action so quickly and 

The declaration of war found Canada, 
pacific in spirit though she was, re- 
markably united as to the course which 
she should pursue. Sir Wilfrid Laur- 
ier, the veteran leader of the Liberal 
opposition, promptly proclaimed "a 
truce to party strife, " and expressed the 
opinion that Canada should render to 
the Mother Country "assistance to the 
fullest extent of her power." The 
Conservative government of Sir Rob- 
ert Borden, backed by all but a few 
French-Canadian Nationalists, placed 
Canada's two warships at the disposal 
of the British Admiralty, and offered 
to dispatch immediately an expedi- 
tionary force of whatever size the Brit- 
ish War Office suggested. The offer was 
accepted, and an expeditionary force 
of one division was agreed on as a be- 
ginning. The formation of this force 
(approximating, with the necessary re- 
serves, the number of 22,000 men) was 
pushed forward with astonishing ener- 
gy by Sir Sam Hughes, the volcanic 
but unconventional Canadian minister 
of militia. 


The concentration centre chosen was 
Valcartier, a beautiful valley north of 
the city of Quebec. In two hectic 
weeks this valley, which had been 
taken over by the Canadian govern- 
ment some years before, but which had 
never been placed in shape for the re- 
ception of a large body of troops, was 
transformed into one of the finest mili- 
tary camps in the world, with three 
miles of rifle ranges, water supply, elec- 
tric light service, administrative stores 
and offices, and even a "movie" thea- 
tre. Then the volunteer troops began 
to pour in. Some of them were in khaki 
some in "civics," and some in the red 
and black uniforms of the militia. 


never failed ta k e an otiv 


part in the 

to, September, 1914. They 
ing. Sir Arthur Currie in a 

in Canada 


These are some of the daring rough-riders from the neighborhood of Calgary who went overseas in the early 
fall of 1914. After a winter amidst the mud and rain of Salisbury Plain, these men crossed to France early in 1915 
and played a gallant part in the Second Battle of Ypres. 


These are the same volunteers after some months' military training at Valcartier and on Salisbury Plain. Several 
of them were killed in the Flanders battles. During the war Canadian troops captured forty-five thousand 
prisoners, eight hundred and fifty guns, and four thousand two hundred machine guns; they retook one hundred 
and thirty towns and villages, and liberated three hundred and ten thousand French and Belgian civilians. Their 
casualties amounted to 218,433. 



Their numbers transcended all ex- 
pectations. In spite of rigid medical 
tests, and a definite allotment of quotas 
to the various militia units, every train 
came in rilled to overflowing. The Fort 
Garry Horse of Winnipeg chartered 
two trains, and came down to Valcar- 
tier in a body without authority; and 
no one had the heart to send them back. 


This cartoon representing a Canadian soldier on Salisbury Plain is hardly 
exaggerated. During the winter of 1914-15, the mud was indescribable, 
and it was difficult to keep cheerful. 

When the concentration was complete, 
it was found that there were not 22,000 
but 35,000 men in camp. So keen was 
the competition for a place in the con- 
tingent that the government decided 
finally to send practically the whole 
force overseas; and on October 3, 
the First Canadian Contingent, num- 
bering 33,000 men, set sail in an armada 
of thirty ships, accompanied by a con- 
voy of British cruisers, for England. 
It was the largest military force which 
up to that time had ever crossed the 



After a delirious welcome at Plym- 
outh where the staid people of the 

south of England forgot their tradition- 
al phlegm and went into transports of 
enthusiasm over what was the first 
tangible evidence they had seen of the 
unanimity of the British Empire the 
Canadians went into camp on Salis- 
bury Plain. This plain is in the sum- 
mer an ideal camping-ground ; but it so 
happened that the winter of 1914-1915 
was one of the wettest on 
record, even in England, 
and under the constant 
rains Salisbury Plain be- 
came half-morass, half- 
lake. The plight of the 
Canadians became tragic. 
The hospitals filled to 
overflowing; training be- 
came impossible; and 
there occurred what 
seemed to be a serious 
lapse of discipline. Ab- 
sence without leave be- 
came epidemic; in some 
units the greater part of 
the regimental roll was at 
times made up of the 
names of those who were 
in hospital, or who had 
taken French leave. Ugly 
rumors arose about the 
behavior of the Canad- 
ians, and there were not 
wanting pessimistic crit- 
ics who seemed to agree 
with the Germans that 
the militia of the overseas 
Dominions of the British 
Empire were not likely to be of use in a 
European war. But, in truth, the break- 
down in discipline, if such it must be 
called, was only temporary and superfi- 
cial ; for when these same troops went to 
France in February, 1915, after a win- 
ter which might well have broken the 
spirit of more highly trained troops, 
they displayed on the stricken field of 
the second Battle of Ypres a discipline 
as steady and unyielding as that of any 
troops on either side in the Great War. 
The first Canadian contingent was 
merely a preliminary instalment. Hard- 
ly had it been dispatched overseas, 
when a second contingent was author- 
ized, and then a third. During the 
first year of the war there was no diffi- 


This is the 22nd Battalion composed of French Canadians, drilling at Quebec. Though the number enlisting from 
Quebec was not so large as from other provinces, some of the Quebec Battalions gave a good account of them- 
selves. Many of the Quebec volunteers spoke no language except French. 


Out of a population of eight million men, women and children, that included more than half a million German 
and Austrian immigrants, Canada supplied at least one million soldiers, sailors, munition makers and general 
war-workers. At the same time she brought more land into cultivation and produced more than ever before. 

in Canada 



culty in obtaining recruits; many units 
were raised in a day; and the problem 
of the government was to find the 
equipment rather than the men. But 
by the end of 1915, the sources of re- 
cruitment began to run less freely. The 
Canadian government, believing that 
the country was not yet ready for com- 
pulsory military service, adopted al- 

Robert Borden had become convinced 
that if the Canadian forces in the field, 
which now numbered four divisions and 
a cavalry brigade, beside many special 
units on the lines of communication, 
were to be kept at full strength, re- 
course must be had to compulsory 
military service. This was especially 
desirable, since under the voluntary 


Here the Canadians are training to "go over the top". They learned their lesson so thoroughly that in the winter 
of 1915 they started trench-raiding at night. Bored by the inactivity of trench duty at night they crept out stealth- 
ily and cut the enemy's wire, climbed over his parapet, and knocked the sentry on the head. Sometimes instead 
of killing the Germans, they took them prisoners and carried them gagged and bound into their lines. 

most every conceivable device in order 
to persuade men to enlist. Sir Robert 
Borden, the prime minister, set before 
the country as the goal of its efforts at 
first 250,000 and then 500,000 men; 
and by posters, by public meetings, and 
by the authorization of all sorts of fancy 
units appealing to local and individual 
feeling county battalions, bantam 
battalions, Irish, Scotch, French-Cana- 
dian units, and so forth an attempt 
was made to reach this figure by volun- 
tary enlistment alone. The attempt 
failed by something under 50,000 
men. By the beginning of 1917 Sir 

system some parts of the country, not- 
ably the French-Canadian province of 
Quebec, had not done their full share. 


The Borden government therefore 
introduced into the Canadian parlia- 
ment in the spring of 1917 a Military 
Service Act which enabled the Militia 
Department to call up, in a fixed order, 
certain classes. The Act was strongly 
opposed by the French-Canadians, who 
made in some places resistance to its 
operation, and by a wing of the Liberal 
party under Sir Wilfrid Laurier; but 


This is a church parade of the Tenth Battalion from Calgary. Recruiting sergeants met an eager response to 
their appeal for enlistments in this city, the centre of a large stock-raising and mining section. 


The First Canadian Contingent included the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry, which was largely composed of 
veteran soldiers. Four hundred and fifty men in the ranks had the right to wear war medals. Its commander 
was Colonel Farquhar, D.S.O., Military Secretary to the Duke of Connaught. Pictures in Canada 




it passed by large majorities in both 
Houses, and it brought about a coali- 
tion of the Conservatives and the con- 
scriptionist Liberals which consider- 
ably strengthened the government. The 
Act was imperfectly administered, es- 
pecially in Quebec; but it served the 
purpose of keeping Canada's forces 
well supplied with reinforcements, and 
it brought the total of Canadian en- 
listments well over the half-million 
mark. It was perhaps a pity that, hav- 
ing embarked on the absurd, but heroic 
policy of voluntary enlistments, Canada 
could not have carried it through to 
the end; but the failure of a few parts 
of the country to rise to a sense of 
their responsibilities made conscription 
inevitable, if Canada was to keep up 
the record she had begun. 

Beside the war effort of such coun- 
tries as France, Great Britain, and 
Italy, the effort of Canada, even in re- 
lation to her population, may appear 
small. But in her case, and in the case 
of all the other outlying parts of the 
British Empire, it must be remembered 
that the contribution of man-power was 
conditioned throughout by questions 
of transport and supply. It should be 
remembered also that Canada's effort 
was hampered by her large French- 
speaking, and her considerable foreign- 
born population, ill-instructed in the 
ideals of British citizenship. If these 
facts are kept in mind, the part which 
Canada played in the Great War will 
be seen in its true light, as an effort 
beyond the dreams, not only of the 
.Germans, but even of the most enthu- 
siastic believers in the virility of the 
British Empire. 


The Commonwealth of Australia was 
somewhat better prepared for war in 
1914 than the Dominion of Canada. 
It had a small but effective navy of 
one battle-cruiser, the Australia (19,000 
tons), three cruisers, the Melbourne, 
the Sydney, and the Encounter, three 
destroyers, and two submarines the 
beginnings of a large and ambitious 
program entered upon a few years 
before. In 1910, moreover, it had 
adopted the principle of compulsory 


military training; and a scheme drawn 
up by Lord Kitchener had been put 
into effect. This scheme had run for 
only half the time considered necessary 
to yield satisfactory results; and the 
citizen force it had created was in- 
tended solely for home defense. The 
militiamen could not be sent abroad 
"unless they voluntarily agreed to go." 
Nor could the force be described as 
well trained. General Sir Ian Hamil- 
ton, in a report issued on the eve of the 
war, expressed the opinion that "they 
would need to be in a majority of at 
least two to one to fight a pitched bat- 
tle with picked regular troops from 
overseas." But the scheme, such as it 
was, at least gave Australia a larger 
reservoir than Canada possessed from 
which to draw partially trained troops 
of military age for a volunteer expedi- 
tionary force. 

Australian action anticipated even 
the declaration of war. On August 3, 
1914, when the issue between Great 
Britain and Germany was still tremb- 
ling in the balance, the Australian 
government cabled to the British Colo- 
nial Secretary, offering to place the 
Australian navy at the disposal of the 
British Admiralty, and to dispatch to 
Europe an expeditionary force of 
20,000 men. The offer was accepted 
with gratitude. On August 10, the 
Australian warships were formally 
handed over to British control; and 
during the first months of the war they 
played a glorious part in sweeping the 
Pacific clean of German raiders. The 
fight between the Sydney and the Em- 
den was one of the epic episodes of the 
first year of the war. At the same time, 
an appeal was issued for volunteers to 
fill the ranks of the expeditionary army. 


The first Australian Imperial Force, 
numbering slightly over 20,000 men, 
was immediately recruited, and con- 
centrated at Melbourne. Here, on 
October 17, it embarked on board a 
fleet of twenty-three large passenger 
ships, and was convoyed by British, 
Australian, French, and Japanese war- 
ships to Egypt, where it disembarked 
on December 3. After a period of 


training in Egypt, it was dispatched to 
the Dardanelles to take part in that 
gallant, but unsuccessful, adventure. 
The story of its landing in Suvla Bay 
and its all-but-successful attempt to 
storm the heights of the Gallipoli pen- 
insula is told elsewhere in these pages; 
but it is interesting to note that at the 
Dardanelles the Australians fought 
under the same British General that 

declaring at once that the country 
must "see the thing through, whatever 
the difficulty and whatever the cost." 
Mr. Andrew Fisher, the leader of the 
strong Labor opposition, was equally 
explicit. "In so far as this war affects 
the Mother Country and ourselves," 
he declared, "there are no parties. 
Whatever the government decides it is 
necessary to do to protect, help, and 


In April, 1916, the first bands of Australians, who had already seen arduous fighting in Egypt and Gallipoli, began 
to arrive at Marseilles. Their ambition had always been to fight against the Germans and by the side of the 
Canadians, South Africans and other overseas troops. They were received by the French citizens with a cordiality 
which gave an ineffaceable impression of the strong bond by which the Allies were united. Am. Press Assn. 

had made the rather adverse report on 
the Australian militia a few short 
months before. In the face of the An- 
zac exploits at the Dardanelles, Sir Ian 
Hamilton must often have regretted 
his rather gloomy predictions as to the 
fighting efficiency of the Australian 

In her whole-hearted participation 
in the war, Australia was unanimous. 
Mr. J. H. Cook, the prime minister 
when war broke out, set the pace by 

support the Mother Country, and to 
protect the interests of Australia, I and 
the whole Labor party will be behind 
it." The feeling of the country was 
perhaps best expressed, however, by 
a prominent member of the Senate, who 
avowed that all Australia possessed 
was at the disposal of the Mother 
Country "to the last ear of corn and 
the last drop of blood." In the begin- 
ning of September, the Cook govern- 
ment was defeated at the general elec- 



tions, and a strong Labor Adminis- 
tration was formed by Mr. Fisher, with 
Mr. W. M. Hughes, a vigorous person- 
ality who was to play a prominent part 
in the later stages of the war, as Attor- 
ney-General; but this change of gov- 
ernment was not destined to effect any 
change in the policy of the country. If 
anything, indeed, the Labor ministry 
was more energetic in its prosecution 
of the war than the insecure adminis- 
tration which had preceded it. 


On November 21, 1914, the new 
prime minister stated in parliament 
that his intention was to "maintain a 
force of trained men to be sent to the 
European battlefields in contingent 
after contingent." He was as good as 
his word. Despite the heavy casual- 
ties of the Australians at Gallipoli and 
later on at the Somme, reinforcements 
poured overseas from the Antipodes 
until the "Anzac" Corps reached the 
magnificent total of five divisions, 
apart altogether from a considerable 
force of mounted troops employed in 
Egypt. As the war wore on, the strain 
of keeping this force up to full strength 
by voluntary enlistment began to tell; 
and in 1916 the Australian govern- 
ment decided to submit in a referen- 
dum to the people the question as to 
whether Australia should resort to 
some form of conscription. 

The verdict of the electors, however, 
was against conscription; and as a 
consequence the Australian forces suf- 
fered somewhat during the latter part 
of the war from depleted reserves. But 
this did not affect their splendid fight- 
ing qualities; as the war reached its 
final phases, they came to be recog- 
nized, along with the Canadians, as 
among the very best storm-troops on 
the Western front. Their discipline, 
judged by continental standards, was 
perhaps irregular; but in action they 
betrayed a dangerous discipline all 
their own, and in the assault they were 
veritable berserkers. It is the glory of 
Australia that in her army every man 
was a crusader of his own free will, who 
had come across half the world to strike 
a blow for freedom; and that with this 


host of volunteers she played her part 
in the great war to the end. 


The war effort of New Zealand was 
to some extent identified with that of 
Australia. Their troops wore a similar 
distinctive uniform; and both at Gal- 
lipoli and in France they formed part 
of the same army corps. Consequently 
the splendid contribution of New Zea- 
land has not perhaps always received 
proper recognition. That contribution, 
indeed, outshone in many respects the 
contribution of any of the other Domin- 
ions. New Zealand is a small coun- 
try. It is composed of only two islands 
in the Pacific, with a population of 
little more than a million inhabitants. 
Yet at the very outset the New Zea- 
landers set the pace for the rest of the 
Empire. They alone were able to con- 
tribute a dreadnought, the New Zea- 
land, to the North Sea fleet; and the 
expeditionary force which they offered 
the British government numbered 8,000 
men an infantry brigade, a mounted 
rifle brigade, and a field artillery brig- 
ade. In proportion to population, this 
force was at least double the size of 
that offered by either Canada or Aus- 
tralia. In addition to this, they sent, 
during the first month of the war, a 
small expeditionary force to German- 
Samoa; and on August 29, this force 
occupied Apia, the German capital, in 
the name of the King of Great Britain. 

Here, as in Australia, all parties were 
united in their attitude toward the war. 
Mr. W. F. Massey, the prime minister, 
and Sir Joseph Ward, the leader of the 
opposition, vied with each other, in urg- 
ing in the most unreserved manner, New 
Zealand's duty to the Mother Country 
and to civilization. Within three weeks 
of the outbreak of war, New Zealand's 
Citizen Force modeled on the same 
basis as that of Australia had con- 
tributed the full quota of 8,000 men 
for the European expeditionary force 
and 1,500 for the Samoan Expedition; 
and by the middle of October the troops 
for Europe were already on board the 
transports in Wellington Harbor, 
ready for the convoy of 'Allied battle- 
ships which was to escort them to 


Egypt. Not the least remarkable fea- 
ture of New Zealand's effort was the 
extraordinary financial burden which 
these expeditionary forces laid on her 
small population. All the countries who 
entered the war had to face enormous 
financial responsibilities; but in the 
very first half-year of the war New 
Zealand did not hesitate to incur an 
expenditure of $50,000,000 or about 
$50 per capita of the population. 

classes which Canada never thought of 
calling up; and when the war ended, 
her contribution in man-power ran into 
figures which, in comparison with her 
population, placed her more on a par 
with the belligerent countries of Europe 
than with her sister Dominions. Cer- 
tainly, none of the outlying parts of 
the British Empire contributed more 
of their best and reddest blood to the 
common cause. 


The first Australian contingent consisted of 20,338 men, trained in equal proportion according to population. 
Arrangements were made to send monthly reinforcements of between 2,000 and 3,000 each to make up for casu- 
alties and wastage, and no sooner was the first contingent ready than a second contingent of over 10,000 was 


As early as November 4, 1914, the 
New Zealand minister of defense an- 
nounced that a further series of con- 
tingents would be organized and sent 
forward at stated intervals. By reason 
of these reinforcements, New Zealand 
was able eventually to place an entire 
division in the line on the Western 
front. This naturally entailed a heavy 
strain on her voluntary system; 
and in 1917 she was compelled, like 
Canada, to adopt a form of compulsory 
military service. But she called up 


The Union of South Africa, the new- 
est of the self-governing Dominions, 
was that from which the Germans 
hoped the most in the way of disaffec- 
tion and obstruction. Only a brief 
period of years had passed since the 
South African War, in which Great 
Britain had forced the subjection of 
the Boer republics; and it was con- 
fidently expected by the Germans that 
the Boers would rise en masse in the 
event of a great European war, and 
shake off the British yoke. This doubt- 



less seemed to them the more likely 
since the formation of the Union of 
South Africa in 1910, and the concomi- 
tant grant of responsible government, 
had thrown political power into the 
hands of the Boers themselves. The 
Prime Minister of the Union in 1914, 
the late General Louis Botha, was a 
former Boer general ; and the same was 
true of the minister of defense, General 
J. C. Smuts, and the commandant- 
general of the Union forces, General 
C. F. Beyers. 

Even before the outbreak of war, 

resented the extreme left in the House, 
while the Conservatives under Sir T. 
W. Smartt represented the extreme 
right; and on the cross-benches there 
was a group of Labor members under 
Mr. Cresswell. All these parties, with 
the exception of the Nationalists under 
General Herzog, adopted an attitude 
of uncompromising loyalty. General 
Herzog on the floor of the House and 
General Beyers in a public letter both 
advocated a policy of "neutrality" 
toward the Germans; but they were 
hopelessly defeated in parliament, and 


After an uneventful voyage, save for the incident of the Emden's destruction, the Australians and New Zealanders 
landed in Egypt along the Suez Canal, and camped, many of them right at the foot of the Pyramids. 

the stinging rebuke which General 
Smuts administered to General Beyers 
well expressed the view of the loyal 
element among the Boers. 

German agents had been at work among 
the Boers, creating trouble and dis- 
affection. On the declaration of war, 
German forces in German West Africa 
immediately crossed the frontier, in 
order to lend support to a Boer rebel- 
lion. A rebellion did occur, and it was 
not lacking in elements of danger, 
mainly owing to its unexpectedness; 
but the great majority of the people of 
South Africa, including a majority of 
the Boers themselves, united to stamp 
it out, and by the end of the year the 
rebels had shot their bolt. 

There were in the South African par- 
liament several parties. General Botha 
was supported by the moderate element 
among both the Boers and the British, 
who were anxious to make the best of 
the Union; a section of the Boers 
under General Herzog, who desired the 
restoration of Boer independence, rep- 



"You forget to mention," he wrote, 
"that since the South African War 
the British people gave South Africa 
her entire freedom under a Constitution 
which makes it possible for us to rea- 
lize our national ideals along our own 
lines, and which, for instance, allows 
you to write with impunity a letter for 
which you would without doubt be 
liable in the German Empire to the 
extreme penalty." There had been 
many shakings of the head in Great 
Britain when the British government 
in 1910 had granted the Boers self- 
government; but never *had the vital 
principles of liberalism which underlie 


the modern British Empire received a 
more striking justification than in the 
attitude which the larger part of the 
Boer people adopted in 1914. The 
Boer rebellion of that year, the story 
of which will be told elsewhere, was not 
put down by British troops, but largely 
by Boer volunteers led by Boer gener- 

South Africa's internal troubles, and 
the danger of invasion from German 
West Africa, made it impossible at first 
for the Union to send troops to the 
European theatre of war. Even volun- 
teer troops raised by private persons 
for service in Europe had at first to be 
used for local operations. But General 
Botha, who himself assumed command 
of the forces, immediately released for 
service elsewhere all Imperial troops 
stationed in South Africa, and under- 
took to maintain British supremacy 
in South Africa with the Union forces, 
alone. Later, when the rebellion was 
a thing of the past, and the menace 
from German West Africa had been 
scotched, South Africa was able to 
send to the western front a brigade of 
infantry, who, together with two High- 
land brigades, formed one of the crack 
divisions in the British Army. It was 
a remarkable circumstance, and must 
have given food for thought to the Ger- 
mans, that, as the war drew to a close, 
South African troops should have been 
found fighting in France, and a Boer 
general, General Smuts, should have 
been found a member of the British 
War Cabinet. 


Newfoundland, the smallest of the 
self-governing Dominions, though the 
oldest of the British colonies, was not 
able to rival the other Dominions in 
her war effort. With a population of 
only 240,000, and with annual revenues 
totalling only about $4,000,000, she 
had neither the man-power nor the 
wealth to enable her to make a spectac- 
ular contribution to the war. But her 
mite was given as gladly as that of the 
widow in the parable. Four days after 
the outbreak of war, the Governor of 
Newfoundland cabled to the Colonial 
Secretary the offer of his government 

to contribute to the Naval Reserve a 
force of one thousand men and to raise 
also a Newfoundland Regiment for 
service with the British Expeditionary 
Force. The offer was accepted; and 
before the end of the year, the New- 
foundland Regiment was recruited, 
transported across the Atlantic with 
the First Canadian Contingent, and in 
training at Salisbury Plain, while no 
less than five drafts of several hun- 
dred naval reservists each had been sent 
to England, and assigned to duty with 
the British navy. 


These men came of a stock which 
has for centuries produced a race of 
sailors, and though they lost their 
identity in the^ British Navy, the New- 
foundlanders showed time and again 
in the honors list the stuff of which 
ithey were made. The exploits of the 
Newfoundland Regiment were on a 
level with those of its fellow-country- 
men in the senior service; and at Del- 
ville W T ood on the Somme it gained a 
reputation of which many older regi- 
ments might well have been envious. 
The war effort of Newfoundland was 
necessarily slight in quantity; but 
what it lost in quantity, it made up in 


If the way in which the Dominions 
rallied to the support of the Mother 
Country was surprising, the way in 
which India rose *o the situation was 
amazing. This vast country, which 
had in 1914 a population of well over 
300,000,000, of whom barely 500,000 
were whites, and which was "held 
down" (to use the expression employed 
by some detractors of British rule in 
India) by a British army of about 
50,000 men, had been giving before 
. the war some concern to British states- 
men. There was little difficulty in 
connection with the native states, 
which comprised the greater part of the 
whole, and which were ruled by semi- 
independent native princes, with Brit- 
ish residents attached to them in an 
advisory capacity; but in some of the 
provinces which were directly under 



British rule, such as Bengal and the 
Punjaub, there had sprung up a nation- 
alist movement which demanded self- 
government for the Indians, and which 
had given rise to some disorders. 

Although British rule in India was 
on the whole just and efficient, and 
although the varied racial and relig- 

years before; and there is reason for 
believing that a shipload of Hindu im- 
migrants which was refused admittance 
to Canada in May, 1914, was financed 
by German money. Taken all, in all, 
the situation in India when war broke 
out was not without its ominous fea- 


India was a substantial help to the Empire in time of need. She sent troops to aid in those critical days when the 
Germans were striving to reach Calais. She also sent troops to Egypt, Gallipoli, East Africa, Mesopotamia, 
Persia and China. Indian princes used their wealth in the Imperial cause. 

ious divisions in India prevented un- 
organized unrest from becoming dan- 
gerous, there always lurked in British 
minds the fear of another Indian 
Mutiny. The situation was compli- 
cated also by the fact that a number 
of the British Dominions, notably 
Canada, had refused admittance to 
Hindu immigrants; and this apparent 
slur on fellow-members in the British 
Empire, this denial to the Hindus of 
citizenship in the Empire, caused much 
disaffection among some elements in 
India. Of this situation, full advantage 
was taken by the Germans. It has 
been established that seditious litera- 
ture circulated in India at the out- 
break of war was printed in Berlin four 



Yet, when the call came, all dis- 
affection vanished as if by magic. 
What the British under-secretary of 
state for India described as "a wave 
of instinctive and emotional loyalty" 
swept over the country. Nationalist 
agitators, Indian princes, and govern- 
ment officials vied with each other in 
the enthusiasm with which they threw 
themselves into the prosecution of the 
war. "We may have our differences 
with the government," said the lead- 
ing Nationalist newspaper in Bengal, 
"but in the presence of a common 
enemy, Germany or any other, we sink 
our differences, and offer all that we 



Sir Pertab Singh, veteran chief of the fighting Rajputs 
and Regent of Jodhpur "refused to ; be denied his right 
to fight for the King-Emperor" and went to France. 

possess in the defense of the great Em- 
pire with which the future prosperity 
and advancement of our people are 
bound up." "We are above all," de- 
clared a former president of the Indian 
Nationalist congress, "British citizens 
of the great British Empire, and that 
is at present our greatest pride." 
The attitude of the Indian princes 
was even more noteworthy. With one 
accord they offered their services and 
the resources of their states to the 
King-Emperor. The Maharaja of Bik- 
aner, who afterwards fought in France, 
telegraphed to the Viceroy of India 
that he and his troops were ready to 
go at once "wherever our services 
might be usefully employed, in interest 
of the safety, honor, and welfare of 
our Sovereign." The ruler of the 
ancient state of Rewa bluntly -asked: 
"What orders are there from His 
Majesty for me or my troops?" The 
veteran Sir Pertab Singh, the Regent 
of Jodhpur, insisted, in spite of his 
seventy years, in being accepted for 
active service, and with him went his 
sixteen-year-old nephew, the Maharaja, 
as well as many another prince and 

noble of India. The Indian Empire 
proved itself a much more virile thing 
than it had ever been in the days of 
the Moguls of Delhi. 



The extent of India's contribution to 
the war was at first limited, of course, 
by questions of transport. So far as 
man-power was concerned, the re- 
sources of India were limitless; as the 
Maharaja of Idar said, "If the Emper- 
or wished an army as large as the Czar's, 
India could furnish it." But within 
a month of the declaration of war two 
infantry divisions and a brigade of 
cavalry, together with the correspond- 
ing amount of artillery, were on their 
way to the western front, where they 
were the first of the British overseas 
forces to arrive. These troops were 
not wholly native; for with every two 
native battalions, a British battalion 
was brigaded, and the commissioned 
officers were mainly British. Shortly 
afterwards, other expeditions were dis- 

H.H. the Maharaja of Bikaner, a Rajput chief, had done 
valuable fighting for the Empire in China and Somali- 
land. In 1914 the Maharaja's Camel Corps went to 



patched, one to the valley of the Tigris, 
and the other to German East Africa. 
Before the end of the year the Indian 
government had dispatched from the 
shores of India well over 100,000 troops 
to theatres of war far distant an 
achievement which may well be re- 
garded, in view of the unexpected char- 
acter of the crisis and the difficulties 
of transportation, as bordering on the 
miraculous. In the later stages of the 
war, the volume of India's contribution 

difficult factor into the situation so far 
as India was concerned, since a large 
part of the population of India, and 
that too the most warlike, was Moham- 
medan. But if it was expected that the 
action of the Sultan of Turkey would 
detach the Mohammedans of India 
from the British cause, the expectation 
was bitterly disappointed. The Aga 
Khan, the head of the Mohammed- 
ans of India, and president of the All- 
India Moslem League, not only de- 


The First Canadian Division left Valcartier in October and after additional training in England, landed at St. 
Nazaire, February 11, 1915. This western port was chosen to avoid German submarines lying in wait for the 
Canadians. The steamship in the background is the Novian. In the left foreground is the famous band of the 
Royal Canadian Highlanders which marched up and down playing the troops, ashore. 

Canadian War Records 

increased, of course, greatly. Not only 
the operations in German East Africa, 
but those also in Mesopotamia and 
Palestine, were carried out largely by 
Indian troops. There was in Mesopo- 
tamia a most unfortunate breakdown, 
which threw a shadow for a time over 
the war effort of the Indian govern- 
ment; but this was, after all, merely 
an episode, and the memory of it was 
effaced later by the splendid success 
of the British campaigns both in the 
Euphrates valley and in Palestine. 


The entrance of Turkey into the war 
on the side of Germany introduced a 


nounced the action of Turkey and ad- 
hered to the British cause, but he volun- 
teered to serve as a private in the ranks 
of the Indian Expeditionary Force. 
The Nizam of Hyderabad, one of the 
most powerful of the Moslem princes, 
adjured his subjects "to swerve not 
a hair's breadth from their allegiance 
to the British crown"; and practi- 
cally all the other Mohammedan rulers 
adopted a similar attitude. The Brit- 
ish government undertook to preserve 
from molestation the Holy Places of 
Arabia and Mesopotamia; it was 
pointed out that, since 'Turkey had 
fallen under German and Austrian in- 
fluence these places were in danger of 


falling into German and Austrian 
hands; and the Mohammedans of 
India threw themselves into the war 
with perhaps greater vigor than ever, 
impelled no longer merely by patriotic, 
but also by religious, zeal. The Sultan 
of Turkey's "Holy War" proved in- 
deed a self-inflicted boomerang. 

But Moslem India responded merely 
with renewed and intensified effort. 
No better illustration could be found 
of the failure of the Germans to. under- 
stand the psychology of other peoples. 
They mistook the superficial phenom- 
ena for the fundamental, in the case 
of both India and the British overseas 

This stock has produced notable characters in the past, conflict with the whites and the Iroquois doubtless serving 
to stimulate native genius. Among their famous men are such names as Powhatan, Tecumseh, and Francis 
Assickinack. In some cases the Indian came from distant reserves and spoke very little English. His lot in 
hospital was likely to be a lonely one unless some visiting missionary chanced in. 

Dominions. They saw only the trou- 
bled surface of the waters, but did not 
plumb the quiet depths beneath. They 
were apparently constitutionally in- 
capable of realizing that the British 
Empire was something more than a hap- 
hazard conglomeration of hetero- 
geneous elements, but that it was in- 
deed a living organism, informed with 
vital forces. And that incapacity to 
understand their adversaries cost them 
dearly in the war. 



In nothing perhaps did the calcula- 
tions of the Germans go farther astray 
than in regard to India. They ex- 
pected India to burst into the flame 
of revolt, once Great Britain was in- 
volved in a European war. India did 
nothing of the kind, but rather threw 
herself into the struggle with unexpect- 
ed enthusiasm. When Turkey entered 
the war, the Germans counted at least 
on the neutrality of Moslem India. 



The Canadian Motor Launch boats rendered good service in many ways during the war. Here we see them on a 
moonlight night patrolling off Dover Cliff in the English Channel. Dover Castle is on the top of the cliff. The 
picture, painted by Lieutenant Julius Olsson, R.N.V.R., is a part of the Canadian War Records, which include 
paintings of artistic as well as historical value. Canadian War Records 

Above are shown some of the smallest boats in use against menace of the submarine. Here are shown four of the 

Sueen Elizabeth's eight fifteen-inch guns at the moment of firing in the Dardanelles. The Queen Elizabeth was 
e most powerful British ship considering both gun power and armament. 


The Indomitable Towing the Lion 


The War on the Water 


"VI AVAL warfare since the time of 
Nelson has suffered a complete 
change, yet since the great admiral's 
day only one great war, the Russo- 
Japanese War of 1904, had tested the 
principles of modern naval tactics and 
weapons. To take the place of actual 
war, in order to make progress through 
experience, annual manoeuvres were 
adopted by the navies of the Powers. 
Such an annual mobilization of the 
British Fleet was. taking place as usual 
in July 1914, and because "the days 
were evil," Winston Churchill, First 
Lord of the Admiralty, with rare good 
judgment, countermanded the order 
for the fleet's demobilization. This 
state of preparedness was a great asset 
to the Allies when war began, for it re- 
duced to a minimum the chance of an 
attack upon Britain, and further, it 
almost eliminated the danger of German 
cruisers escaping from naval ports to 
the high seas and carrying on a long 
war against British and Allied com- 




Britain was the paramount sea- 
power and her naval superiority from 
the outset imposed upon her Grand 
Fleet the policy of watching and con- 
taining the German High Seas Fleet 
in its ports and naval bases. The Ger- 
man naval plan, due to inferior strength 
and also to the threat of Russia in the 
Baltic, condemned her larger ships to 

watchful inaction within her coast fast- 
nesses, for the most part, together with 
a policy of aggression by her smaller 
craft, submarines, mine sowers, des- 
troyers, and the like. These by tor- 
pedo, drift mine and surprise attack 
were to prey upon the blockaders until 
by their ceaseless effort the disparity 
between the two fleets should disap- 
pear. Then the German Grand Fleet 
could engage at even odds with its 
rival. The chances of naval warfare 
are great, and mistakes very costly; a 
disaster or a blunder on the part of a 
British Admiral might do Germany's 
work for her. With exceeding care only 
could the stalker clad in dull grey go 
abroad into the North Sea, borrowing 
all possible disguise of frequent fog 
and blanketing mist, and threading 
with care the shoals and the shallows 
in which mine and death-carrying tor- 
pedo lurked. 


Such a policy as this, unostentatious, 
indeed effacing, had great results. Ger- 
many became almost at once an isolated 
nation as far as her sea communication 
was concerned, for within a few days 
her merchant marine was swept from 
the seas, her great liners were interned 
in neutral harbors and the great trade 
created after the Franco- Prussian War, 
was paralyzed in an hour and so re- 
mained. Further, such German squad- 
rons and cruisers as were at sea were 



systematically wiped out within five 
months of the outbreak of hostilities. 

Meanwhile the troops of Great Brit- 
ain and the tide of colonial support 
were landed in Europe in the first 
three years of the war, 3,000,000 men 
were carried across the Channel with- 
out the loss of a single transport. 
Strategically, the British Fleet domin- 
ated the western campaign: if it had 
not existed or if it had been over- 
whelmed the seaboard of France would 
have been at the mercy of the enemy, 
troops might have been landed any- 
where, and Great Britain would have 
been besieged. Economically, the su- 
premacy of the British Fleet aided in 
the transformation of the United 
States into the workshop, arsenal and 
granary of the Allies. Finally, it led 
Germany to the submarine policy which 
changed powerful neutrals into active 
enemies whose advent to the Allied 
cause finally brought about the ruin of 
the Central Powers. 

This was the achievement of the 
British seapower, aided considerably 
in the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas 
by the French and Russian Navies. 
Upon the western battle front the main 
issues of the land campaign were de- 
cided; in the North Sea for the most 
part occurred the most vital incidents 
in the naval warfare. The British 
Grand Fleet established its base far 
up in the stormy waters off the north 
of Scotland, from its security emerging 
at intervals upon such errands as 
sweeping, chasing and decoy work. 
Its lighter craft assured the passage of 
the English Channel and patrolled the 
enemy coasts. 


Almost the first "round" to occur 
between the rival fleets in the North 
Sea came at the end of August. From 
the outbreak of the war British sub- 
marines had been actively employed 
in scouting the waters around the 
strongly fortified island of Heligoland 
on which n-inch guns defended the 
"wet triangle" behind which lay the 
chief German naval ports. This island 
had been ceded to Germany by Lord 
Salisbury in 1890 and served as a use- 


ful shelter for enemy warships, sub- 
marine destroyers and Zeppelins. The 
Bight itself is a channel about 18 miles 
in width through which lies the course 
for vessels sailing north from the Elbe. 
Following this submarine reconnais- 
sance, the Admiralty ordered a rendez- 
vous for August 28 which was evi- 
dently more than a purely sweeping 
movement. Rather it had the purpose 
of reconnaissance with the object of 
attacking the enemy's light cruisers 
and destroyers, if they should come out 
from under the guns of the forts. Ac- 
cordingly, the Eighth Submarine Flo- 
tilla together with two destroyers 
searched the area through which the 
battle cruisers were to advance for 
enemy submarines and mines, and 
then proceeded towards Heligoland. 

Three of the submarines, the E6, 
7, E8, exposed themselves with the 
object of inducing the enemy to pur- 
sue them toward the west. The bait 
seems to have been taken. As the 
submarines approached the enemy's 
ships, the visibility decreased and this 
fact, together with a calm sea, pre- 
vented the submarines from closing 
within torpedo range. At 8 A.M. dim 
shapes in the mist were perceived to be 
six German destroyers, and the British 
ships fled to the west followed by the 
enemy. When these approached the 
British cruisers and destroyers, a series 
of separate encounters began in thick 
weather over a wide expanse of water. 


Farther out to seaward the British 
Battle Cruiser Squadron manoeuvered 
at high speed to avoid the enemy sub- 
marines working like so many sharks 
in the seas around them, and finally 
thrust itself into the struggle between 
the cruisers and destroyers. Vice- 
Admiral Sir David Beatty's reasons for 
this action are given in his statement to 
the Admiralty: "As the reports indi- 
cated the presence of many enemy 
ships one a large cruiser I consid- 
ered that his (Commodore Good- 
enough's) force might not be strong 
enough to deal with the situation 
sufficiently rapidly, so at 11:30 A.M. 
the Battle Cruisers turned to E.S.E. 


and worked up to full speed. It was 
evident that to be of any value the 
support must be overwhelming and 
carried out at the highest speed pos- 
sible. " In other words, the gallant 
admiral was clearly persuaded that 
one ought not to throw away trumps! 
Thus at 12:30 P.M. coming into the 
action he sighted and chased a cruiser 
of the Kolberg class, at 12:56 P.M. 
sighted and engaged a two-funneled 

was attacked by a flotilla of English 
destroyers coming from the north. 
Hardly had the first shot been fired, 
' when more hostile destroyers, also sub- 
marines, arrived and surrounded the 
German craft. " The writer goes on to 
describe the destruction of the -187 
and pays a tribute to the British effort 
to rescue survivors: "The enemy de- 
serves the greatest credit for their 
splendid rescue work. The English 


These fast motor-boats off Dover traveling at 'top speed and photographed from the air appeared for the first time 
in 1915. They were among the varied craft which made up the Dover Patrol. Because of their short range of 
vision over the water they were often convoyed by aeroplanes which signaled the presence of enemy ships. 

sailors, unmindful of their own safety, 
went about it in heroic fashion. " They 
that go down to the sea in ships and 
ply their business in great waters are 
at close grips with Eternity all the days 
of their lives, and each dawn breaks 
upon a little epic. The encounters and 
valiant struggles of doomed ships are 
in Homeric strain. 


The gray curtain fell again as the 
British Grand Fleet retired to its 
northern hold. Dramatically and vio- 
lently it lifted for a moment when the 
three cruisers, the Cressy, Aboukir 
and Hogue were torpedoed in late 
September on patrol duty off the coast 


cruiser so that she disappeared into the 
mist, burning furiously and in a sink- 
ing condition. By 1 140 P.M. the Battle 
Cruisers were approaching a mine-field 
and so turned to the northward cover- 
ing the retirement of the destroyers 
and cruisers. Late that night they 
reached the northern base with a total 
casualty list of 69 men. The Germans 
lost three light cruisers, two destroyers, 
and over 1,000 men. 

The Berliner Tageblatt account of 
the action thus describes how the trap 
closed: "The smaller craft fought hero- 
ically to the bitter end against over- 
whelming odds. Quite unexpectedly 
the V-i87 (a torpedo boat, the Ger- 
mans never used the word destroyer) 


of Holland. Profiting by the sad expe- 
rience the Admiralty issued orders that 
in similar cases attendant ships must 
not stand by for rescue purposes; and' 
in the future, took care to shift the 
patrol line more frequently. 

Meanwhile far off in southern waters 
a different drama was being enacted. 
British trade routes around the Horn 
were menaced by the presence in the 
Pacific of a German squadron. Admiral 
von Spee, in command of the German 
fleet off China disappeared after the 
fall of Tsing-Tau into ocean silence. 

Rear- Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock was lost in the 
Good Hope in the battle off Coronel. Left unevenly 
matched with antiquated vessels, he went down with 
his ships. 

Once at sea he detached from his 
squadron the Emden which set about 
raiding work in the Indian Ocean, and 
the Karlsruhe to act as a privateer in 
the South Atlantic and with his more 
powerful vessels, the Scharnhorst and 
Gneisenau each carrying eight 8.2-inch 
and six 6-inch guns, hurried himself to 
the Pacific. For a while he found pro- 
vision and coaling bases on the coasts 
of Ecuador and Colombia and among 
the Galapagos Islands, and because the 
duties of neutrals were ill-understood 
was allowed the use of wireless stations 
and thereby collected valuable informa- 
tion. Finally in November he accom- 
plished a concentration of five vessels, 
two armored cruisers, the Scharnhorst, 
and Gneisenau, and three additional 
light cruisers, the Dresden, Leipzig 
and Niirnburg, off Valparaiso. 


His presence was known and the duty 
of protecting the traders fully recog- 
nized by the British Admiralty, but 
the times were anxious ones in home 
waters, many of the new ships were not 
yet in commission and the balance of 
strength too nicely adjudged to risk 
the sending of many vessels on such a 
long errand. In August a small British 
squadron set sail commanded by Admir- 
al Sir Christopher Cradock, an officer 
who had seen service in the Sudan and 
.the relief of Peking and had distin- 
guished himself in saving life at the 
wreck of the Delhi. He had with him 
the Good Hope, an armored cruiser of 
14,100 tons, armed with two 9.2 and 
sixteen 6-inch guns; the Monmouth, an 
armored cruiser of 9,800 tons with four- 
teen 6-inch guns and with a maximum 
speed of 23.9 knots; the Glasgow, a 
light cruiser of 4,800 tons with two 
6-inch guns and with a speed of 25 knots, 
and the Otranto which was simply a 
liner converted upon the outbreak of 
war into an auxiliary cruiser. 

Cradock began by sweeping the 
North Atlantic. August 14, he 
reached Halifax and after moving his 
flag to the Good Hope sailed to the 
Bermudas and through the West 
Indies to the coasts of Venezuela and 
Brazil. Thence he cruised round the 
Horn and visited the Falklands. The 
third week in October saw him in the 
Pacific moving up the Chilean coast on 
the look-out for von Spee. He knew 
and his officers knew that the Germans 
were stronger. The Canopus, the only 
battleship of his squadron, had fallen 
behind for repairs but hourly Cradock 
expected reinforcements. A letter writ- 
ten by the surgeon aboard the Good 
Hope says: "We think the Admiralty 
have forgotten this trade route squad- 
ron 10,000 miles from London town. 
Five German cruisers against us. What 
is the betting on the field? Pray to 
your Penates we may prevent them 
concentrating." But they had con- 
centrated and the fate of the little 
squadron hung low in the scales. 
Cradock sailed to Coronel and on to 
Valparaiso, and then back again to 


Coronel to send off cables. The Glas- 
gow at 4 o'clock qn the afternoon of 
November I first sighted the enemy 
off Coronel. Two big armored cruisers 
were leading and the lighter cruisers 
came on behind. At once the Glasgow 
sent a message to the Good Hope, but 
it seems to have been jammed by the 
enemy. When at 5 o'clock the flagship 
came up the Monmouth had already 
joined the Glasgow and Otranto. 


The engagement 
that follows was fought 
under unequal condi- 
tions: the German Ad- 
miral chose the moun- 
tainous coast course 
and this as soon as the 
sun went down gave 
him cover of inshore 
twilight. The British, 
on the other hand, 
stood out to sea sil- 
houetted against the 
glowing sky. Both 
squadrons in parallel 
course steered south. 
A strong wind was 
blowing and a heavy 
head-sea handicapped 
the British gunners 
whose 6-inch guns on 
the lower deck were 
of little service in the 

When she got the range, shell after 
shell hit the Good Hope and the Mon- 
mouth. Shortly before 8 there was a 
great explosion on the Good Hope 
which soon disappeared. The Mon- 
mouth was afire and turned away sea- 
ward in her distress. So far the Glas- 
gow had been hit only by stray shots 
but, shorn of their prey now, the Ger- 
man cruisers concentrated upon her at 
a short range of two and a half miles. 

/' A C I / I 


After leaving Tsing-Tau, Admiral yon Spec succeeded in concentrating a 
considerable force in the South Atlantic, which was sighted by Cradock's squadron 
off Coronel. The Germans, taking the inshore course, got the range first and 
only the Glasgow escaped. 

spray. Moreover, unable to " spot " their 
hits in the bad light the British had per- 
force to fire at the flashes of the German 
guns. On the other hand the good Ger- 
man shooting (the Gneisenau had sev- 
eral times won the Kaiser's prize for 
gunnery) found an excellent target in 
the British ships. The broadsides of 
the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau, too, 
poured 3,300 pounds of metal against 
the 760 of the Good Hope. Out- 
gunned, out-classed, what could the 
upshot be? It was a quick decision 
which came that November night. 

At 6 o'clock the Good Hope which led 
the British, and the Scharnhorst in the 
van of the Germans were 1 2 miles apart : 
half an hour later there was only 8 
miles between them and by 7 the 
Scharnhorst opened fire at 7 miles. 

Only her coal seems to have saved her, 
for she was lightly armored and struck 
by five shells at the water line. She 
could not fight them so she fled and 
by 9 o'clock was out of range, though 
she still perceived flashes of gun-fire 
and searchlights afar off. She steered 
N.W.W. then gradually worked round 
south desirous of warning the Canopus. 
The next day she found her and the 
two ships proceeded together to the 
Straits of Magellan. No rescue work 
seems to have been attempted, and 
1, 600 officers and men lie with brave 
Cradock beneath the deep waters of 
the Pacific. Von Spee had drawn the 
first blood, and the result of the en- 
counter was a serious disaster for 
Britain, which the German press was 
quick to profit by. 




It seems to have roused the British 
Admiralty very effectively. Lord Fisher 
had succeeded Prince Louis of Batten- 
berg in office as First Lord of the Admir- 
alty, and within twenty-four hours 
Vice-Admiral Sir F. C. Doveton Stur- 
dee left British waters with a strong 
squadron and disappeared somewhere 
into the Atlantic. He had with him the 
swift battle cruisers, Invincible and 
Inflexible, each carrying eight 1 2-inch 
guns, the armored cruisers Kent, Corn- 
wall, each with fourteen 6-inch guns, 
and Carnarvon, with four 7. 5-inch and 
six 6-inch guns, the light cruiser Bristol 
and the armed liner Macedonia, and he 
picked up the Canopus and the Glas- 
gow somewhere in the South Atlantic. 

The .expedition was kept secret, but 
its arrival off the Falkland Isles Decem- 
ber 7 must have been a great relief 
to the inhabitants who were fearing an 
attack by von Spec's force. The latter 
intended seizing the Islands' wireless 
station, but it was becoming increas- 
ingly difficult to maintain himself in 
the waters around the Horn, as the 
Japanese fleet was reported hot upon 
his scent, and he appears to have de- 
cided to cross the Atlantic and to 
attack the Union Force recently landed 
in Luderitz Bay, South Africa. Novem- 
ber 15 accordingly he left the island 
of Juan Fernandez and navigated the 
Horn. Sturdee's secret was safe, and 
von Spec believed the Canopus and 
Glasgow were somewhere within his 
reach. If accounts be true he seems to 
have picked up a wireless to the Cano- 
pus telling her to proceed to Port 
Stanley in the Falklands, as the new 
guns had arrived and she would be safe. 
The German Admiral (as Sturdee had 
hoped) treated the message as a piece 
of bluff and determined to go to Port 
Stanley where he thought to find the 
Canopus an easy prey. To the delight 
of the British sailors, therefore, the ap- 
proach of a German squadron was an- 
nounced early on the 8th of December, 
the morning after they arrived. 
"A four funnel and two funnel man-of- 
war in sight from Sapper Hill, steer- 
ing northwards" signaled the station. 



The English ships had spent the pre- 
vious day in coaling, and had just fin- 
ished. Orders were given to raise steam 
for full speed; the battle cruisers used 
oil fuel and thus made an effective 
screen. At 8:20 the signal station re- 
ported another column of smoke in 
sight to the southward and the Kent 
passed down the harbor and took up a 
station at the entrance. At 8:50 a 
fourth column of smoke was seen, and 
half an hour later the two leading ships 
of the enemy (Gneisenau and Niirn- 
berg) with guns trained on the wireless 
station came within range of the Cano- 
pus who from within the inner harbor 
opened fire at them across the narrow 
spit of land. When von Spee came 
abreast of the harbor and saw the 
strength of the British squadron he at 
once altered his course and turned out 
to sea at high speed. It was his turn to 
flee. Immediately Sturdee weighed 
anchor and followed, and at 10:20 the 
signal for a general chase was made. 
Morning replaced the evening gloom 
of Coronel, the visibility was at its 
maximum, over a calm sea the sun 
shone bright in a clear sky, and only a 
light breeze blew from the north west. 
The hunt was up and the hounds 
stretched themselves for the chase! 

The Bristol had been left behind in 
harbor and sent a wireless shortly before 
noon that three enemy transports were 
off the islands. Sturdee directed her to 
take the Macedonia and follow and 
destroy them. At the start von Spee 
was leading by 12 miles, but Sturdee 
was gaining. On the British ships there 
was no haste and all hands were piped 
to dinner as usual and given time for a 
smoke before the call of the bugle rang 
out and "Action Stations" was called. 
Barely five minutes and all was ready ; 
portholes and doors had been closed, 
woodwork thrown overboard and in- 
flammable gear stowed ; the men were at 
their stations, the officers in fore- 
top and conning tower. In the depths 
engineers, men at munitions hoists, tel- 
ephone and telegraph operators waited 
the word. At 12:47 the signal "Open 
fire and engage the enemy" was made. 



The Inflexible and Invincible at once 
opened upon the Leipzig, one of 
von Spec's light cruisers. She found 
the deliberate fire at a range of 15,000 
yards too threatening and together 
with the other light cruisers, the Niirn- 
berg and the Dresden fled to the south- 
west. The Kent, Glasgow and Corn- 
wall followed and the action thus devel- 
oped into three separate encounters, 
the main action between the armored 
cruisers, the action between the light 
cruisers, and the action with the ene- 
my's transports. 

To take the main action first, the 
battle of the armored cruisers, the 
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau against the 
Inflexible, the Invincible, and the 
Carnarvon. Firing as they ran, the 
Germans sped on till shortly before 
3 o'clock when they turned upon their 
pursuers and a terrific artillery duel 
began. Smoke spoiled the vision of the 
British gunners. Therefore, using their 
extra speed they got to the other side 
of the enemy and pounded the Scharn- 
horst. She caught fire, smoke and 
steam belched forth, and a large hole in 
her side revealed a dull red glow of 
flame within. At 4 o'clock she listed 
heavily, lay over on her beam ends and 
at 4:17 disappeared beneath the waters. 
Cradock was avenged ! 


The Gneisenau remained, and she 
continued a determined but ineffectual 
effort to fight the two battle cruisers. 
Soon after five it became evident that 
she was doomed though she continued 
to fire for another half hour, until her 
ammunition was exhausted. At 6 
o'clock the German ship keeled over 
very suddenly, showing the men gath- 
ered on her decks, and then settled. 
Prisoners reported that before the end 
600 men had been killed and wounded, 
and when the ship sank over 200 
jumped into the water; though every 
effort was made to save them the 
shock of the cold water drowned many 
within sight of the boats and ships. 

Meanwhile, the pursuit of the light 
cruisers continued and as thick mist 

came down upon the water each duel 
assumed the aspect of a separate 
battle. The Kent was the slowest of 
the British boats but her engineers 
and stokers by amazing efforts got 25 
knots out of her and she engaged the 
Nurnberg and after a two hour com- 
bat sank her at 7:27. Perhaps the 
news that the main battle was nearly 
over had put fresh heart into the men, 


Admiral von Tirpitz, known in Berlin as "Tirpitz the 
Eternal" because he ruled the Kaiser's navy for eigh- 
teen years, was responsible for the submarine warfare. 

for the Glasgow and Cornwall sank the 
Leipzig at 9 o'clock. One incident only 
mars the victory; battered but uncon- 
quered the Dresden fled away into the 
mist and as the wet night closed in and 
the battle died down she made good her 
escape. She had a brief liberty only, 
however, for three months later she 
was caught by the Kent and Glasgow 
off Juan Fernandez and sunk in five 
minutes. There remains only the ac- 
tion with the enemy's transports to 
note. The signal had said three trans- 
ports, but only two were found, and 
both were sunk by the Macedonia and 
Bristol after the removal of the crews. 




Coronel was avenged; British disas- 
ter in the Pacific more than retrieved 
by brilliant victory in the South Atlan- 
tic, and von Spee and Cradock lie be- 
neath the same waters in the final con- 
cord of those who have made the 
supreme sacrifice. The results of 
Sturdee's victory were not slight. If von 
Spee had remained master of the 
Pacific, with the Falkland Islands as 
another Heligoland and as a submarine 
base, British trade would have been 
exterminated in those waters; General 
Botha and his fleet of transports, pro- 
ceeding to the conquest of German 
South-West Africa, would have been 
attacked, and the British Squadron at 
the Cape of Good Hope in all proba- 
bility would have shared the fate of 
Cradock's. Further, the Allies' great 
need in the first year of war, munitions, 
could not have been supplied for the 
nitrate of British munition factories 
was all drawn from Chili. 

No other German squadron remained 
at large in any sea. The commerce 
raiders, the Emden, Karlsruhe, Prince 
Eitel Friedrich, Dresden and Konigs- 
berg, had yet a brief day to run. The 
Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse had been 
destroyed off the Cape Verde Islands in 
August and the Cap Trafalgar off the 
east coast of South America in Septem- 
ber. Of the others, the Dresden, we 
know, fell an easy prey to the Glasgow 
and Kent in March 1915; the Karls- 
ruhe was wrecked in the West Indies 
in the wild autumn gales of 1916; the 
Prince Eitel Friedrich after a brief 
course in the North Atlantic was 
interned in Newport News, Virginia; 
the Konigsberg was knocked out by 
the monitors Severn and Mersey in the 
Rufigi River on the East African Coast. 


The Emden's career though short 
was brilliant, and even chivalrous, for 
her commander, Captain von Miiller, 
made war with reckless courage but 
with strict regard for fair play. Soon 
after the outbreak of war, Admiral von 
Spee detached the Emden from the Ger- 
man China Squadron with orders to 


prey on the merchant shipping of the 
Indian Ocean. She had fitted up for a 
long cruise before leaving Tsing-Tau, 
and was able to supply deficiencies 
from some of her captures. At first the 
merchant ships were an easy prey, "We 
did not need to hurry at all; the ships 
seemed to come by themselves to us. 
When one came near enough, the 
Emden made it a friendly signal which 
tempted it on to join the other boats. 
And by the time this one was prepared 
for sinking, another mast top would 
appear. " Such is the description given 
by Lieutenant Miicke in these early 
days. But the notoriety of the raider 
became so great that at the end of ten 
days every merchantman in those 
waters was beneath the waves or in 
port. At this juncture one of the crew 
who knew Madras well suggested the 
firing of the city's great oil tanks, and 
accordingly Miiller steamed in one 
night with all lights out. When he 
was within two miles of shore, he fired 
a few shells into the great tanks. "The 
fire of the burning oil-tanks lighted us 
for ninety miles on our way" is his 
comment as they sailed away. 

Another ten or twelve ships and a 
period for refitting and then the 
Emden's greatest achievement of all, 
the attack on Penang Harbor. The 
palate of the raiders had become 
epicurean; merchantmen were after all 
a tame diet, warships and these in num- 
bers would refresh her jaded crew. 
The New York Times correspondent 
in Penang writes thus of her visit : ' ' The 
German cruiser Emden called here yes- 
terday (October 28) and departed, 
leaving death and destruction behind 
her. . . This has been made more or 
less of a naval base by the English Gov- 
ernment. Large stores of Admiralty 
coal have been collected and all vessels 
have been commanded to stop here for 
orders before crossing the Bay of Ben- 
gal. . .It was early on Wednesday 
morning that the Emden, with a dum- 
my fourth funnel and flying the British 
ensign, in some inexplicable fashion 
sneaked past the French torpedo boat 
Mosquet, which was on f patrol duty 
outside, and entered the 'outer harbor 
of Penang. Across the channel leading 


to the inner harbor lay the Russian 
cruiser Temtchug. Inside were the 
French torpedo boats, Donde and 
Pistolet and the torpedo boat des- 
troyer D'Iberville. " 


Two torpedoes disposed of the Rus- 
sian cruiser, three broadsides the Mos- 
quet. Every moment was of value to 
the Emden's captain now for the har- 
bor was bristling with guns. Never- 
theless, he stopped to pick up thirty- 
three survivors from the Mosquet be- 
fore steaming on his way. On his way 
out he met the tramp Glen which in- 
stead of capturing he sent into Penang 
with the message "I tried not to hit 
the town. If I did so, I am very sorry 
indeed." This was on the 28th of 
October. Twelve days later the Emden 
landed a force commanded by Lieuten- 
ant Miicke on Direction Island, one 
of the Keeling-Cocos group, to destroy 
the wireless station which under the 
Eastern Telegraph Company relayed 
messages between Europe and Aus- 
tralia. The cable operator at the sta- 
tion writes, "At 6 o'clock on Monday 
morning a four-funneled cruiser ar- 
rived at full speed at the entrance to 
the lagoon. Our suspicions were 
aroused for she was flying no flag and 
her fourth funnel was obviously a 
dummy, made of painted canvas. 
Therefore we were not altogether sur- 
prised at the turn of events." The 
events proved to be the destroying of 
the wireless station by Lieutenant 
Miicke and forty sailors. 

Just as the task was finished, a siren 
from the Emden blew a signal to the 
landing party to return to the ship. 
"They at once dashed for the boats 
but the Emden got under way at once 
and the boats were left behind. Look- 
ing to the eastward we could see the 
reason for this sudden departure, for a 
warship, which we afterward learned 
was the Australian cruiser Sydney, 
was coming up at full speed in pursuit. 
The Emden did not wait to discuss 
matters, but, firing her first shot at a 
range of about 3,700 yards, steamed 
north as hard as she could go." A 
despatch from Captain John C. T. 

Glossop of the Sydney carries on the 
story. "At 6:30 A.M. a wireless message 
from Cocos (sent just before the Ger- 
mans landed) was heard reporting that 
a foreign warship was off the entrance. 
I was ordered to raise steam for full 
speed at 7 A.M. and proceed thither. 
I worked up to 20 knots and at 9:15 
A.M. sighted land ahead and almost 
immediately the smoke of a ship, which 
proved to be H.I.G.M.S. Emden 
coming out towards me at a great rate. 
At 9:40 A.M. fire was opened, she firing 
the first shot." 


The chase and fight lasted for two 
hours when the raider ran ashore on 
North Keeling Island. She was safe 
for the night and the Sydney left her to 
attend to an attendant captured Brit- 
ish collier, and to investigate the cables 
and wireless at Direction Island. When 
at last the warship got into touch with 
the station she learned that the Emden 
landing party had seized a 7o-ton 
schooner (the Ayesha) and left the pre- 
vious night. There was nothing to do 
but rescue the survivors from the 
Emden. "Conditions in the Emden 
were indescribable" he adds. 

The story of the Ayesha hardly be- 
longs to a chapter on naval warfare, 
but Mucke's adventures must be 
briefly told. To mislead the British he 
steered in a westerly direction until 
dark as if he were heading for Africa, 
but at nightfall changing his course 
made for Padang, a Dutch settlement 
in Sumatra. There he claimed a war- 
ship's right of twenty-four hours' stay 
and refreshment, although he was not 
warmly received by the harbor master, 
a Belgian, who allowed the Ayesha only 
provisions and water, sails and tackle. 
When the little schooner again put to 
sea she was headed for one of those 
long predestined "sea-trysting" places 
whither the German commerce raiders 
repaired for reprovisioningand refitting. 
For three weeks she lay low and finally 
on December 14 the Choising a 1,700- 
ton China Coaster of the North German 
Lloyd hove into sight. The crew of the 
Ayesha lined up upon the decks of their 
little craft, acclaimed her coming, for 



from fever. The record of the next two 
months is insufficient and unsatisfying. 
In his diary and in his lectures Miicke 
dismisses this period as being passed 
among the highlands of Sana "in 
lengthy inquiries and discussions that 
finally resulted in our foregoing the 
journey by land through Arabia for 
religious reasons." But the time had 
not been altogether lost for the sick 
men had recuperated amid the Yemen 

In March the adventurers returned 

they were in great extremities and their 
clothes had literally fallen off them. 
With mixed emotion the transfer to the 
new ship was made, for the Ayesha that 
had rescued them from a tedious 
marooning on Direction Island must 
perforce be sunk. 


Miicke assumed temporary com- 
mand of the Choising and steered west 
across the Indian Ocean though he was 
much exercised in his mind how to avoid 
falling into British hands. 
In all this story of adven- 
ture one is struck by the 
readiness with which Miicke 
deals with emergencies as 
they arise, by the prompt- 
ness of the decisions taken, 
and by the flair displayed 
for grasping the essential 
trifle which may turn the 
balance in a seemingly lost 
cause. In one of the Choi- 
sing's few books the young 
officer found a statement 
that the Pilgrim's Railway, 
which he knew of as run- 
,ning only from Damascus 
to Medina, now extended 
to Hodeidah upon the Red 
Sea. He determined at once THE EMDEN'S CRUISE IN EASTERN WATERS 

tO run through the British This map shows the route of the commerce raider Emden dispatched to 
in tl-iF> ^straitc nf P f ey on Allied merchant-shipping in the Indian Ocean. She was finally 
' ^trail. tl captured by H.M.A.S. Sidney off the Keeling-Cocos Group, November 7. 

Perim, effect a quiet landing 
near the old city and so make good his 
escape north to Damascus and Turkish 
allies. Accordingly at night time after 
clearing the straits, he and his men put 
into shore and after being accosted by 
a group of inquisitive Arabs, reached 
Hodeidah itself, where they were 
warmly received by the Turkish gar- 

There was no truth in the statement 
that the Pilgrim railway had been ex- 
tended below Medina, but the Turks 
believed that Miicke would have no 
difficulty in traversing the distance by 
caravan. He favored the interior route 
himself as offering fewer hazards than 
the coast where the British blockaders 
were everywhere, and also for the rea- 
son that it would be more healthful for 
his men of whom several were suffering 


to Hodeidah, faced with the only alter- 
native of attempting to steal through 
the coast blockaders. The Turkish 
Government gave them two Tsambuks 
(native Arab craft of about twenty-five 
tons, fifteen metres long and four metres 
beam), and they set sail in the shallow 
coastal water full of sharks and coral 
reefs, steering north. By ceaseless 
watch for three days they had threaded 
the perilous channels, when the larger 
craft struck upon an island which the 
lighter one had safely scraped over. 
All the crew including Miicke and four 
convalescent typhoid patients were 
flung into the water. Darkness came 
on and the rescue was a tedious process 
accomplished only by two canoes and 
the guidance of the stars, as both wind 
and waves were high. Next day 


through Arab divers they recovered 
most of their guns, but the salt water 
had spoiled their accuracy and later 
they frequently failed to go off when 
needed. For ten days the dangerous 
cruise kept on and then Miicke, learn- 
ing that three English ships were search- 
ing for him, betook himself to land and 
caravan ing once again. 

jars and ten petroleum cans. There 
were about 300 of the Arabs as against 
50 Germans armed with twenty-nine 
guns. For three days and three nights 
under the blazing sun or cold night air 
of the hyena-haunted desert, the un- 
equal fight raged. Ever in the back- 
ground lay the sinister thought of the 
shortening water supply. "We had 


The return of the crew of the Emden through Asia Minor was a triumphal progress. Finally, they reached Scutari 
on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, shipped on a destroyer across its swift current and, disembarking on the 
Constantinople shore, tramped in procession with Turkish cavalry and boy scouts down a flower-decked boulevard 
to where the German Admiral Souchon stood waiting to receive them. 


The peril of Bedouins and scarcity 
of water now replaced the menace of 
British ships and coral reefs, and one 
night the looked-for attack came. 
Miicke's men were tired for they had 
been in the saddle eighteen hours but 
with all haste they built a sort of wagon 
barricade, a circular camp of camel 
saddles and rice and coffee sacks filled 
with sand. They had no shovels and 
had to dig with bayonets, plates and 
hands. Within the circle they dug 
trenches, made the camels lie down and 
in the centre of all placed the sick men 
and their precious water supply, two 

only a little ammunition left, and very 
little water," says Miicke, "now it 
really looked as if we should soon be dis- 
patched. The mood of the men was 
pretty dismal. Suddenly, at about 10 
o'clock in the morning there bobbed up 
in the north two riders on camels, wav- 
ing white cloths. Soon afterwards there 
appeared, coming from the same direc- 
tion, far back, a long row of camel 
troops, about a hundred, they drew 
rapidly near towards us in a pictur- 
esque train. They were the messengers 
and troops of the Emir of Mecca." 

So under safe protection the little 
company reached Jeddah, and pro- 
ceeded without mischance by sailing 



boat to Elwesh, thence in a five-day 
caravan journey to El Ula where they 
found the railway at last. All the way 
through Asia Minor they made tri- 
umphal progress amid Oriental ap- 
plause. Finally at the first station of 
the railroad on the European side, 
Miicke stepped up in military order to 
the German Admiral Souchon awaiting 
him and lowering his sword said simply, 
"Beg to report most obediently, Herr 
Admiral, landing corps of the Emden, 
44 men, 4 officers, I surgeon." 


These are the stirring events in the 
outer seas of the autumn of 1914: to 
return to naval warfare in and around 
the waters of the North Sea. In order 
to make clear the action of a flotilla off 
the coast of Belgium between October 
17 and November 9, we must first 
briefly recall the military position on 
the western front at this date. The 
German advance upon Paris had been 
stayed at the Marne, rolled back at 
the Aisne, Antwerp and Ostend had 
fallen, and the race for the sea was on. 
A great concentration of German arms 
had been made from every corner of 
the Empire for a fierce thrust. The ex- 
treme left of the Allied line was held by 
the retreating Belgians, reinforced by 
French and British divisions. The first 
blow fell along the sea-coast south of 
Ostend where the remnant of the Bel- 
gian forces led by King Albert lay be- 
hind the Yser at Nieuport. For days 
the Belgians maintained an unequal 
combat. At the critical moment a 
British fleet took station beyond the 
dunes and with heavy artillery beat 
down the German advance after ter- 
rible slaughter. 

Rear- Admiral Hood was in charge of 
these British ships which included 
three monitors, built on order from 
Brazil for river work on the Amazon, 
but taken over by the British Admir- 
alty. They were armed with 6-inch 
guns and could approach close to the 
shore. Aircraft signaled the positions 
of the German troops and artillery 
which, indeed, often in that flat coun- 
try could be seen from the masthead. 
The ships moved in diagonal courses 


to avoid the German guns, and at high 
speed because of submarines. They 
were supplied with nets against the 
electrically-driven boats of the enemy. 
At times they approached the shore so 
closely that the sailors even fired with 
rifles at the foe. Five French torpedo- 
boat destroyers also acted under Vice- 
Admiral Hood's command. At the 
end of the latter's report to the Admir- 
alty, in which he describes the action, 
he says, "It gradually became apparent 
that the rush of the enemy along the 
coast had been checked, that the opera- 
tions were developing into a trench war- 
fare, and that the work of the flotilla 
had, for the moment, ceased. The ar- 
rival of Allied reinforcements and the 
inundation of the country surrounding 
Nieuport rendered the further presence 
of the ships unnecessary." 


Early in November a hostile recon- 
naissance was carried out against Yar- 
mouth. The authorities did not take 
warning and on December 16, the 
raid was repeated in force. In the inter- 
val spies had been active and efficient, 
for the enemy knew not only the Brit- 
ish naval disposition and his way 
through mine-fields, but also the to- 
pography of the English coasts. The 
raiders drove away three small vessels 
and bombarded the Hartlepools, Scar- 
borough and Whitby and in all these 
places inflicted severe casualties upon 
the civilian population. All of these 
were seaside resorts, almost without 
defenses. Then the German ships 
rendezvoused somewhere in the North 
Sea and started home, escaping very 
narrowly in the fog. 

The British Grand Fleet had, on re- 
ceipt of wireless, at once sent out two 
battle cruiser squadrons and half a 
dozen battleships, and though these 
watched the gap between the ends of 
two mine-fields where it seemed the 
Germans would emerge, and the Sec- 
ond Battle Squadron actually twice 
sighted the enemy's ships, they yet 
failed to catch them, owing in the main 
to the fog. In his report* Admiral Sir 
John Jellicoe writes: "The escape of the 
enemy's force was most disappointing 


seeing that our own squadrons were in 
a very favorable position for intercept- 
ing the raiders. Low visibility was the 
main reason for their escape, but the 
absence from the Battle Squadrons 
(through the bad weather in the Pent- 
land Firth) of its attached cruisers and 
of a sufficient force of destroyers was a 
contributory cause, as well as the fact 
of our light cruisers having, by mis- 
chance, lost touch with the enemy at 
11:50." The same day the Admiralty 
pointed out that such raids 
"must not be allowed to modify 
the general naval policy which 
is being pursued." The pur- 
pose of the raid then failed: 
the hoped-for panic that would 
reduce English recruiting had 
exactly the opposite effect, while 
Sir John Jellicoe stoutly refused 
to move the base of the Grand 
Fleet nearer the English coast 
and thus undertake coast pro- 


With the New Year came a 
fresh attempt. On January 24, 
Rear-Admiral Hipper left Wil- 
helmshaven with a strong force 
of three battle cruisers and the 
armored cruiser Bliicher, six 
light cruisers and a number of 
destroyers. Whatever his pur- 
pose, whether it was to raid 
anew the English coast or decoy 
the British on to 

sels in sight. It was a clear day, and 
when two such reports came in the 
battle fleet increased to 19 knots 
speed and steered to support the 
cruisers. At 7:25 the flash of guns was 
observed as the Aurora, Captain Wil- 
mot Nicholson, opened fire, off Dogger 
Bank. Admiral Hipper appears then 
to have altered his course to the south- 
east, with a wind blowing lightly from 
the northeast and extreme visibility 


/ German 
/ iubma rine 


rallel position of the British Fleet adopted to avoid dropping 
aes. Lack of speed proved the Blucher's undoing; she was tor- 
mine- P e< *oed at noon. The crippling of the Lion saved the enemy, for 
Moore broke off pursuit during Beatty's absence. 

fields, we do not know, but be- 

fore he went he enlarged the mine- 
fields north of Heligoland and there 
concentrated a submarine flotilla, 
Zeppelins and seaplanes, with orders 
to come out under certain contingen- 

Was it a coincidence that the ,prev- 
ious evening the British Battle Cruiser 
Squadron under Vice-Admiral Sir 
David Beatty had left for a sweep in 
the North Sea or had a hint of German 
designs reached the Admiralty? In 
any case, the British squadron com- 
pletely outclassed the German in num- 
bers, pace and weight of fire. Early on 
the morning of the 24th the Battle 
Cruiser Squadron reported enemy ves- 


In his report of the 'action, Vice- 
Admiral Sir David Beatty says : ' ' Owing 
to the prompt reports received we had 
attained our positions on the quarter of 
the enemy, and so altered our course to 
S.E. parallel (to avoid dropped mines) 
to them, and settled down to a long 
stern chase, gradually increasing our 
speed until we reached 28.5 knots." 
The Lion led, followed by the Tiger and 
the Princess Royal. Then came the 
Indomitable and the New Zealand, 
these last two had only a speed of 25 
knots an hour but in this emergency 
they worked it up to 30. By 9 o'clock 



we had decreased the enemy's lead 
from 14 to II miles and at this range 
the Lion made her first hit on the 
Bliicher, the fourth and slowest ship 
in the German line. The British ships 
began, to draw level and by 9:45 A.M. 
the Blucher was already showing signs 
of having suffered severely, the leading 
ship and No. 3 were also on fire. The 
enemy's destroyers emitted vast col- 
umns of smoke to screen the battle- 
cruisers and under cover of this the 
latter altered their course to the north- 
ward, to increase their distance from 
the British line. Then the destroyers 


As shallow water prevented access to the Belgian coast by vessels 
of heavy draught, monitors were used, their fire directed by balloons. 
Ruling on the land indicates the zone within range of the biggest 
British guns outside the shallow area. 

made as though they would attack but 
the Lion and Tiger, opening fire upon 
them caused them to resume their orig- 
inal course. By 1 1 o'clock the Blucher 
hauled off the line, steering north with 
a heavy list, afire, and in a defeated 
condition. The Vice-Admiral conse- 
quently ordered the Indomitable to 
attack the enemy breaking to north- 
ward. Shortly before noon the Meteor 
got a torpedo home in her and she 
began to sink. The men were ready to 
go down with the ship but at the shouts 
of the crew of the Arethusa, jumped 
into the water. The crew attempted to 
rescue as many as they could. Unfor- 
tunately, the work was interrupted by 
a German Zeppelin and a seaplane 
dropping bombs upon the rescue parties, 
apparently under the conviction that 
the Blucher was a British boat. 



From an account given by one of the 
Bliicher's survivors we can only re- 
motely picture the inferno which pre- 
vailed upon and below her decks. . , 
"the shells came thick and fast with a 
horrible droning hum. At once they 
did terrible execution. The electric 
plant was soon destroyed, and the ship 
plunged in darkness that could be felt. 
Down below decks there was horror 
and confusion, mingled with gasping 
shouts and moans as the shells plunged 
through the decks. . .They bored 
the way even to the stoke- 
hold the coal in the bunkers 
was set afire in the engine 
room a shell licked up the oil 
and sprayed it around in flames 
of blue and green, scarring its 
victims and blazing where it 
fell. The men huddled together 
in dark compartments but the 
shells sought them out, and 
there death had a rich harvest. " 
(Later a new battle cruiser was 
named Blucher and this fact has 
given rise to some confusion). 

Submarines had been sighted, 
one indeed just under the port 
bow of the Lion, the British 
flagship. This time by a quick 
turn she escaped danger only 
to be struck by a shell about 9 
minutes later which caused her to drop 
out of line. Beatty shifted his flag to 
the Attack and proceeded at utmost 
speed to rejoin his squadron. When he 
met them at noon after an absence of 
half an hour they were retiring N.W.W. 
The task of pursuing the battle cruisers 
had passed to Beatty's next senior 
officer, Rear-Admiral A. G. H. W. 
Moore, who for some unaccountable 
reason broke off the fight 70 miles from 
Heligoland, and at least 40 miles from 
the new mine-field laid by Admiral 
Hipper. In his report upon the engage- 
ment Admiral Jellicoe merely says, 
"The hit which disabled the Lion was 
a bit of luck for the enemy. " It seems 
to have been, for the British fleet was 
within an ace of destroying the whole 
German force of battle cruisers! That 
it escaped with slight losses, a casualty 


The Bliicher, a great fifteen-thousand-ton ship, was too slow and fell out of line to be torpedoed by the Arethusa. 
When it was seen that she was doomed, the bell that rang the men to church parade each Sunday was tolled, 
those who were able assembled on deck, helping as well as they could their wounded comrades. Permission 
was given to leave the ship. Picture from Henry Ruschin 


H. M. S. Lion, flagship of Vice-Admiral Beatty, belongs to the battle cruiser class.' ' She has a displacement of 26,350 
tons, a speed of 28.5 knots, and is armed with eight 13.5-inch, sixteen 4-inch, four 3 pounders and five machine- 
guns, and two torpedo tubes. During the North Sea action, January 24, 1915, the Lion was disabled by a hit from 
a torpedo and was towed into port by the Indomitable. 



list of 29 and damage that was soon re- 
paired in the flagship, seems poor com- 
fort in face of this great disappoint- 
ment. The enemy as a result of this 
action lost the Bliicher, and the Derrf- 
flinger and Seydlitz were seriously dam- 
aged, thus causing a large number of 
casualties among the crew. From Ger- 
man prisoners later it was learned that 
this list was at least 400. Germany's 
design, whatever it may have been, had 
failed, however, and shortly after- 
wards Admiral von Ingenohl was re- 
placed in office by Admiral von Pohl. 


Towards the end of January, 1915, 
the German Government announced 
its intention of taking over all grain 
and it thus became difficult to distin- 
guish between imports intended for the 
civilian population and those for the 
army. The British Government there- 
upon called all grain contraband. As a 
counter stroke, in an order dated Feb- 
ruary loth and effective on the i8th, 
Germany announced a submarine block- 
ade of the British Isles, and this cam- 
paign with the grave consequences to 
its instigator and the details of its 
progress will be found in another place 
in this volume. 

Upon the outbreak of the war the 
agreement between France and Britain 
had been that Great Britain should 
charge herself wifti the entire range of 
the northern waters and also lend assist- 
ance in the southern. Consequently, the 
French Battle Fleet was at the out- 
break of war in the Mediterranean, sup- 
ported by the British Mediterranean 
Fleet. France at the same time was 
also giving assistance in the northern 
seas where she had a squadron of ar- 
mored cruisers and a considerable 
number of small craft, destroyers and 
submarines. It will be remembered, 
too, that the transportation of the 
French African forces, 12,000 troops of 
the first line, had to be effected early 
in the war. 


The German battle cruiser Goeben 
and the cruiser Breslau were in the 
Mediterranean early in August and on 


the 6th it was announced that they had 
been driven into Messina by British 
cruisers after an exciting chase, and on 
August 8, came the report that they 
had left Messina, through the careless- 
ness or the stupidity of the British 
commander. Later they reached the 
Dardanelles, in spite of a plucky at- 
tempt made by the light cruiser Glou- 
cester to prevent their escape. This 
was a misfortune greater than it 
seemed, for the ships gave Enver Pasha, 
Minister of War, the additional weight 
needed to throw in Turkey's lot with 
Germany and declare a Jehad or Holy 
War. As a consequence, the senior 
British Admiral in the Mediterranean 
was recalled, and the second in com- 
mand court-martialed. Turkey did not 
openly commit herself for three months, x 
but German officers were introduced 
into her navy (in spite of protests 
against the breach of neutrality the 
crews of the Goeben and Breslau had 
been allowed to stay upon their ships), 
and mining of the seas and coastal 
fortifications proceeded amain. When 
the Ottoman Empire entered the war 
in November their presence upon the 
Black Sea and in the rear of the Bal- 
kans was a serious menace to Russia, 
who in January sought help from the 
Allies. As a consequence the ill-fated 
Dardanelles campaign followed. French 
and British warships co-ordinated in 
the attack upon the Narrows and an 
account of their operations will be 
found under the chapter entitled "The 
Gallipoli Expedition." 


"Aided in the Pacific by Japan and 
by her own Australasian subjects, in 
Africa by the Boer and British colonists 
alike, supported by French and Belgian 
troops in Central Africa, drawing upon 
East Indian and black troops, Britain 
slowly but surely dealt with the Ger- 
man overseas colonies." Thanks to 
the Allied control of the seas all the 
colonies of Germany were entirely cut 
off from the Fatherland and soon help- 
less before their foe. In the Pacific, 
operations were at once undertaken be- 
cause of the urgent need of destroying 
the wireless stations by which Germany 


Pomerania: a fortnight later Wilhelms- 
haven in German New Guinea was 
occupied without resistance. Two sta- 
tions, one on Yap Island, the other on 
Pleasant Island of the Caroline group, 
were captured in October. 


Japan was anxious for the removal 
of the threat of German commercial 
rivalry in the East, and Germany's 
absence would see the last obstacle 

kept the units of von Spec's China 
squadron informed as to enemy move- 
ments. Accordingly an expedition left 
Wellington, New Zealand, August 15. 
In latitude 35.0 S. and longitude 178.30 
E. the two troop-ships rendezvoused 
with three British cruisers, Psyche, 
Pyranus and Philomel. The object of 
their journey was to seize colonies, not 
to destroy ships, and so they carefully 
avoided the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau 
then at large among the Pacific Islands, 
and steamed north night after 
night in complete darkness save 
for shaded lights at bow and 


Off New Caledonia August 20 
they were joined by the French 
cruiser Montcalm, and by the 
battle cruiser Australia and the 
light cruiser Melbourne of the 
Australian fleet. From the Fiji 
Islands the squadron passed on 
to German Samoa. Apia on 
beautiful Upolu, the home of 
Robert Louis Stevenson, was 
the headquarters of the German 
Government, and accordingly 
the contingent steamed in and 
demanded the surrender of the 
city. The Germans, who had THE FORTRESS OF TSING-TAU 

been expecting their OWn fleet, Tsing-Tau was assaulted by sea and land. After the adjacent waters 

, ! i j i i were cleared of mine-fields, British and Japanese ships approached 

Were taken by Surprise ana naa and shelled the city. Land forces advanced and October 31 began 

no alternative but Surrender * bombard the fortress which surrendered, November 7. 

I I 

*" * 

Thereupon parties landed from the 
squadron, seized the government build- 
ings and wireless station, and hauled 
down the German flag which had flown 
over the island for fourteen years. Next 
morning the British flag was hoisted in 
its place and out in the open sea the 
tricolor and ensign flew on the war- 
ships of France and England. The 
Germans submitted with good grace, 
and received courteous treatment; 
the governor of the island was sent to 
New Zealand for detention but was 
entertained as an honored guest. 

Then the Australian squadron pro- 
ceeded to destroy all the chief German 
wireless stations in the Pacific. On 
September n a party under Com- 
mander J. A. Beresford surprised the 
signal station at Herbertshohe, New 

removed to her ambitions in China. 
Kiau-Chau had been granted to Ger- 
many by China and its presence as a 
strongly fortified base menaced Jap- 
anese policy in China. Its restoration 
to China then was necessary in the eyes 
of Japanese statesmen and upon that 
ground Japan entered the war. Aug- 
ust 23 she declared war against Ger- 
many after an ultimatum which had 
demanded the departure of German 
ships from Chinese waters. A contin- 
gent was landed early in September 
near Tsing-Tau, fifteen hundred Brit- 
ish troops joined the Japanese, Allied 
warships covered the transportation of 
the troops and opened the bombard- 
ment of Tsing-Tau. Thenceforth the 
engagement is military in character 
rather than naval : the Japanese pushed 



their trenches close up against the city 
and by November 7 the brave garri- 
son of less than 4,000 surrendered to 
the heavy odds against them. Coinci- 
dent with the fall of Kiau-Chau in the 
Far East, came the barring of the road to 
the sea, upon the western front before 
Nieuport and Dixmude. The Germans, 
truly, had much to reflect upon in their 
trenches that rainy autumn and winter 
of 1914. 

Continuing their activities the Jap- 
anese navy next attacked and cap- 
tured Bonham Island in the Marshall 
group where the Germans had a wire- 
less station, and this was the last of 
their Pacific possessions. The threat of 
Japanese proximity finally drove von 
Spec early in December to leave the 
Pacific with the intention of interfer- 
ing in the South African rebellion. 
Thence, as we know, Sturdee's bait 
lured him to the Falklands and his 

In Africa, the loss of German colonies 
belongs to a naval chapter only in so 
far as it is remembered that the Allied 
command of the seas left each posses- 
sion helpless before attack. On Nyassa 
Lake in German East Africa there was 
naval fighting in August when the 
small armed steamer Gwendolen cap- 
tured a German ship, but operations 
otherwise belong to military history. 


The presence of the Russian fleet in 
the Baltic during the early years of the 
war furnishes yet another reason why 
Germany could not leave her bases and 
seek out the English fleet. No offensive 
was directed against Russia for the first 
months but careful reconnaissance was 
made of the Russian coast defenses, 
and early in the war, in this work the 
Germans lost a fine new cruiser, the 
Magdeburg, which had been laid down 
in 1911. About the first week in Sep- 

tember a flotilla of German warships 
which were hunting down passenger 
steamers mistook their own for enemy 
ships and engaged in a lively battle. 
Some seven German destroyers and 
torpedo boats arrived at Kiel in a 
damaged condition and many wounded 
were conveyed ashore. 

During this period the Germans were 
trying by torpedo attack to reduce the 
strength of the Russian navy and with- 
in eight weeks twenty submarine at- 
tacks were delivered although only one 
got home, on the Pallada, which sank 
with all on board. Meanwhile the 
Russians were gaining confidence, add- 
ing to their navy and adapting them- 
selves to the modern devices of naval 
warfare. With the spring and break-up 
of the ice, the Russians still held their 
own in spite of the German superiority 
of numbers, and the command of the 
Baltic remained in dispute. In March 
the Russians, supported by their fleet, 
made a raid into East Prussia and cap- 
tured Memel. The city was surrendered 
again to a German relieving force, and 
seven battleships accompanied by tor- 
pedo craft cruised along the Courland 
coast, fired on defenseless villages, 
March 31 heavily shelling Libau, an 
open town. May witnessed the great 
German offensive against Russia, both 
on her Carpathian and Baltic fronts, 
and on the latter the fleets of both 
countries assisted in the operations, 
the Germans capturing Libau and 
extending their activities as far north 
as Windau, until the time came for 
them to make an attack in force in the 
Gulf of Riga. During this phase the 
Russian naval Commander-in-Chief, 
Admiral von Essen, died of pneumonia 
in hospital at Reval. Vice-Admiral 
Kanin took office and successfully han- 
dled the Russian sea-forces during the 
next few months. 



Early British Encampment in France 


The First Five Months of War 


^THOUGH the War at the end of 1914 
* had almost attained the proportions 
of an All-European War, it had not yet 
become a World War. On the one side 
the German and the Austrian Empires, 
aided by Turkey, were arrayed against 
France, Russia, the British Empire, 
the remnant of Belgium, Serbia, 
Montenegro and Japan. Italy, though 
a member of the Triple Alliance, had 
declared her neutrality and was in 1915 
to take her stand on the side of the 
Entente Allies, rather than with her 
former associates. Bulgaria was watch- 
ing her opportunity to strike a blow 
at Serbia, though possibly Allied mili- 
tary success would have caused her to 
cast her lot with them. 


Switzerland and the Netherlands on 
the flanks of the battle line mobilized 
their armies to defend their neutrality. 
Greece was bound to assist Serbia by 
treaty and the Prime Minister, Veni- 
zelos, and the people generally were 
apparently ready to recognize and ful- 
fill their obligation, but were hindered 
by the pro-Germanism of King Con- 
stantine and some of the higher military 
officers. Norway, Sweden, Denmark 
and Spain had proclaimed the neu- 
trality which they maintained more or 
less successfully to the end. Portugal 
and Rumania were to maintain their 
neutrality for over a year to come, 
when they declared for the Entente. 

The United States was neutral, 
though both sides were struggling for 
sympathy and for material help. Though 
the language, institutions, laws and 
blood of the people of the United States 
had been derived chiefly from the 
British Isles, the number of inhabi- 
tants of German or Austrian birth or 
descent was very large. These together 
with some of Irish descent set them- 
selves to gain the good-will of the 
United States for the Central Powers. 
In general the people were dazed by 
the magnitude of the War, the causes 
of which they understood only im- 
perfectly, and could not comprehend 
that it was of any immediate concern 
to the United States. None of the 
other American states had as yet taken 


The German General Staff had 
planned every detail of the War far 
in advance, and believed that their 
solution of the problem was as definite 
and as unassailable as a mathematical 
calculation. The armies of decadent 
France would be crushed with ease 
and Paris would be taken within a few 
weeks. The German forces would turn 
then upon Russia before the clumsy 
colossus could finish mobilization. The 
War was to be ended by German 
victory so quickly that the soldiers 
would spend their Christmas at home. 
Meanwhile Austria would overrun the 



Balkans, and Turkey would be ready 
to take care of complications in the 

Material preparations were made 
and the German machine functioned 
perfectly, but Germans have shown 
themselves constitutionally unable to 
understand the psychology of other 
peoples. Therefore a whole series of 
miscalculations marred the success of 
the beautiful plan. In the first place 
the General Staff did not expect the 
Belgians to resist the passage of the 
German armies through their territory, 
and had underestimated the strength 
of that resistance should they be so 
mad as to oppose the German battal- 
ions. The Belgians did refuse permis- 
sion, did resist, and delayed the German 
advance several precious days. 


Concerning Great Britain the Ger- 
man strategists were mistaken in nearly 
every point. They had the fixed idea 
that Great Britain was so pacifist in 
sentiment, so torn with dissension 
over Ireland, and so fearful of revolt 
in Egypt and India, that she would 
not declare war. In the improbable 
event that Great Britain should come 
to the aid of France and Belgium, the 
military masters of the German Em- 
pire were quite certain that she could 
render no assistance in time to be 
effective. The War was to be ended in 
such a short time that the superior 
strength of the British Navy would be 
unable to exert any considerable pres- 
sure upon the Central Powers. Again, 
the self-governing Dominions were ex- 
pected to take the first opportunity to 
sever their connection with the Empire. 
Instead, as we know, Canada, Australia, 
New Zealand and South Africa (so 
lately in arms against Great Britain) 
rallied with unexpected enthusiasm. 
Even India was aflame with loyalty, 
and Egypt was quiescent. 

Five months of 1914 were to empha- 
size these errors of judgment. The 
German armies, though delayed in 
Belgium, had swept through Belgium 
and Northern France, only to be 
turned back at the Marne less than 
twenty miles from Paris, by the French 


armies and the small British Expedi- 
tionary Force. They had been forced 
to retreat to the Aisne and beyond. 
Then came the substitute plan, the 
attempt to reach Calais and the other 
Channel ports, since Paris was, for the 
moment, out of their reach. This too 
failed, as the Allied line held on the 
Yser, at Ypres, at La Basse'e and around 
Arras, though against fearful odds. 
At Ypres they could not have been 
less than five to one. A continuous line 
of trenches extended 600 miles from 
the sea to the Swiss frontier. 



Nor were these the only disappoint- 
ments. Three times Austria had at- 
tempted to invade Serbia, only to be 
thrown back with humiliating losses. 
Nor had the Austrian attempts to 
occupy a part of Russian Poland been 
much more successful. The Russian 
bear had moved with astonishing 
celerity, and but for German help, 
Galicia would have been lost, for the 
time at least. As it was, the Austrian 
armies were demoralized and required 
German aid to reorganize. 

On the Eastern front generally there 
had been much more mobility than 
in the West. Armies had struggled in 
the open and not behind a continuous 
line of trenches. The Russian generals 
had shown themselves to be possessed 
of initiative, and their men had shown 
enthusiasm. The front line troops 
seemed fairly well equipped, and the 
defects and deficiencies, so fatal later, 
were not yet obvious. The sacred soil 
of East Prussia, the cradle of the 
Hohenzollern power, had been invaded, 
though the Russians did not spend 
Christmas in Berlin as they had hoped. 
At the so-called battle of Tannenberg 
they had lost heavily and had been 
thrown back within their own frontiers 
by an elderly German officer called 
from his retirement to take command. 
The Germans had found in Paul von 
Hindenburg a general who could win 
battles, but even he could not win 
Warsaw until the next year. He held 
a considerable part of Poland, but the 
Russians occupied very nearly the line 
they had first intended to defend. 



On the water the situation was 
wholly in favor of the Allies. A brush 
off Heligoland in August ended to the 
advantage of the British fleet. Von 
Spee's victory off the coast of Chile, 
on November I, had been avenged on 
December 8, by Sturdee's destruction 
of the German squadron off the Falk- 

vessels of war, British and Russian, 
but more unarmed merchantmen. A 
few submarines had been captured or 
sunk. Great Britain had not been 
effectually blockaded ; the paths across 
the Channel over which men and sup- 
plies poured to France had been kept 
open; and a British submarine had 
braved the dangers of the Dardanelles, 
and had sunk the Turkish Messudiyeh. 


Potsdam Place is a part of the business centre of Berlin. Because of its position as the centre of the North German 
Railway System, Berlin was before the war the natural emporium for the agricultural products coming from Russia, 
Austria and East Prussia. Besides this nearly every article of domestic and industrial use are produced in the 
city's many busy factories. The iron and steel industry, cloth printing and dyeing were also important. 

Picture from H. Ruschin 

land Isles. A few German commerce 
raiders still held the sea The Karls- 
ruhe, the Prince Eitel Friedrich and 
the light cruiser, Dresden, but they 
were now the hunted rather than the 
hunters, and soon were trapped. The 
careers of the Kaiser Wilhelm der 
Grosse, the Cap Trafalgar, the Emden 
and the Konigsberg were ended. The 
German High Seas Fleet was safe 
behind guns and mine-fields, and did 
not dare risk a general engagement. 
An Allied fleet was blocking the Dar- 

The submarine campaign had had 
more success. It had destroyed some 

Moreover the actions of the submarine 
commanders had begun to excite the 
resentment of neutral powers, a re- 
sentment for which Germany was to 
pay heavily in the future. 


Outside of Europe the War seemed 
to be going against the Central Powers. 
The German possessions in Africa 
were in straits. Togo had been taken, 
and the conquest of Cameroon was in 
process. The abortive rebellion in 
South Africa, which Germany had 
encouraged, had come to an inglorious 
end, and German South West Africa 



was on the point of being taken. The 
German flag had been hauled down 
from every German island, and an 
Allied force and fleet, chiefly Japanese, 
had compelled the capitulation of 
Tsing-tau, that formidable fortress, 
which had been erected as a centre of 
German power and influence in China. 
The pro-German Khedive of Egypt 
had been deposed, and the Suez Canal 
was still open. The British held the 
Persian Gulf, and a force had advanced 
to Basra, the city of Sindbad the Sailor. 
Nevertheless the Germans might 
point with pride to their territorial 
gains. All Belgium, except a narrow 
strip was in their hands and German 
officials dealt out a German conception 
of justice to the conquered people. The 
richest and most populous industrial 
districts of France were occupied by 
German soldiers and all the resources 
of the occupied lands were being ex- 
ploited for the benefit of the Father- 
land. A tiny corner of Alsace was in 
French hands, but it had no military 
significance. The small neutral coun- 
tries nearby, fearful of German might, 
were supplying food and material for 
the factories. The old rules for con- 
traband of war did not fit new con- 
ditions, and Great Britain was slow 
to change them. Many commodities 
vitally necessary continued to come 
through the semi-blockade. The Ger- 
man population had not yet felt the 
pinch of hunger or even serious de- 
privation of the common comforts. 


On the Eastern front conditions 
were hardly less encouraging. Great 
stretches of Russian territory were 
occupied, and von Hindenburg, the 
organizer of victory, was preparing for 
the New Year, which, it was confident- 
ly expected, would put Russia definitely 
out of the War. Bulgaria was not yet 
in the War, but it was already known 
that she would come when the time was 
ripe. German intrigue had kept Greece 
from the side of the Entente, and the 
Kaiser had faith in the good-will and 
the power of King Constantine. 

Though plans for the permanent 
occupation of Belgium and Russian 


Poland were being made, here again 
the fatal capacity of the Germans for 
making mistakes was to prevent their 
success. Deliberately in both Poland 
and Belgium, and to a less extent in 
Northern France, a policy of "fright- 
fulness" (Schrecklichkeit) was adopted 
to awe the inhabitants, and to warn 
others who might be disposed to resist 
the German power. Comparatively 
little authoritative information con- 
cerning the outrages in Poland reached 
the Western World, but the stories of 
what had happened in Belgium aroused 
; a feeling against the Germans, which 
they were unable to overcome. Finding 
that their policy was failing to have the 
desired effect the worst of the outrages 
ceased, but the constant appeals of the 
Commission for Relief in Belgium 
kept Belgian wrongs in mind. 

TO 1915. 

In spite of the obvious German gains 
the Allies were confident of success 
which they hoped would come in 1915. 
They studied potential resources, par- 
ticularly in man-power, and could see 
no answer except in early decision in 
their favor. They had not realized 
either the strength of the German 
military machine, or the demands and 
possibilities of modern war. This is 
particularly true of Great Britain and 
Russia. France, which had felt the 
iron heel twice within fifty years had a 
better conception of the task, but even 
France was not fully aroused. 

Russia could put into the field mil- 
lions of men, provided she could equip 
them, and for many reasons this equip- 
ment was not forthcoming. In Great 
Britain the signs, "Business as usual," 
had not yet been all removed. Vol- 
unteers had been enrolled by the 
hundred thousand, but the War Office 
seems to have had little conception 
of the quantity and kind of war ma- 
terial which would be required. The 
fact that this was to be a war of things 
as well as of men had not penetrated 
the consciousness even of the leaders 
of the nation. Great Britain was strong 
in heart, but was not yet fully awake 
to the situation. So far only the army, 
not the nation, was at war. 

German Unterseeboot 8 at Anchor in Kiel Harbor 


War Under the Water 



awash and kept under water by means 
of oars. The secret of air-supply was 
carefully guarded by the ingenious 
inventor who encouraged a rumor that 
he could purify exhausted atmosphere. 



The succeeding century and a half 
saw nothing of great practical value 
added to the submarine until the time 
of David Bushnell, an American inven- 
tor of the time of the Revolution. The 
British fleet was blockading the Atlan- 
tic ports, thereby causing considerable 
privation and suffering. Bushnell was 
at Yale when war broke out, and deeply 
interested in the problem of under- 
surface navigation. He now resolved 
to turn his experiments into a means 
of attack upon the enemy ships lying 
in his home waters. A charge of an 
explosive against the most vulnerable 
part of the ship, the hull, was, he deemed, 
the best offensive. Means of attaching 
this charge had therefore to be found, 
and Bushnell prepared a little one- 
man submersible which when fully 
ballasted showed only the surface of its 
conning-tower above the water. He 
could submerge his boat by admitting 
water into tanks and raise it by pump- 
ing the water out again. He steered 
by compass and propelled his ship 
slowly by a little screw-shaped oar. 
Air was admitted through a ventilator 


above the ground, beneath the 
ground, and below the surface of 
the sea have been the most striking 
phases of the great struggle. In the 
air, in the trenches and beneath the sea 
have been fought the most thrilling 
battles of the war. The aeroplane, 
the long-range gun and the submarine 
are indisputably the greatest of all the 
multitudinous weapons of hard-pressed 
ingenuity. Though the fighting has 
involved the destruction of much in art 
and nature that was an heritage of the 
ages, it has also witnessed the trium- 
phant fruition of centuries of patient 
toiling in the vast fields of science. 


The submarine is not a product of 
new principles but rather an applica- 
tion of those already learned. The 
strides in the generating and storing of 
electrical energy, the development of 
the Whitehead torpedo and the internal 
combustion engine with the advances 
in metallurgy, are results gleaned from 
at least 400 years of endeavor. As far 
back as the days of "Good Queen 
Bess" a certain William Bourne des- 
cribed how to make a boat "swimme 
when you would, and sinke when you 
list," and in 1620 a Dutchman, Van 
Drebbel built two small boats for use 
upon the Thames. These were weight- 
ed down with ballast so as to be nearly 


on the surface and there was enough 
in the ship to last for 30 minutes below 
water. When the ship was ready, a 
magazine, fitted with a clockwork con- 
trivance for firing, after a safe interval 
of 30 minutes had elapsed, was towed 

Bushnell's health was too delicate 
for him to navigate his own invention, 
and a brave volunteer, Sergeant Ezra 
Lee, one night attempted to blow up 
one of the English ships lying off 
Plateau Island. He was towed by a 
row-boat from the New York shore 
and set adrift with a strong tide running 
towards the English ships. It was too 
strong and carried him past and it cost 
him two hours' hard work to bring 
up alongside one of them, the Eagle, 
again. When, he attempted to attach 
his magazine to the ship's hull, he 
failed as it was probably encased in 
copper. As he had four miles to go for 
safety's sake he was obliged to get 
away while darkness lasted. Near 
Governor's Island some English sol- 
diers perceived the conning tower and 
gave chase, but Lee detached the 
magazine, which floated towards them, 
and they gave up the chase. Other 
attempts against the English ships 
with Bushnell's submarine all failed, 
in great measure because the operators 
were unskilful. 


During the wars between France and 
England following the Revolution, the 
English fleet, in 1801, was blockading 
the French ports. An American, 
Robert Fulton, offered an invention to 
the French Government which he 
claimed would annihilate the English 
Navy. After some delay the matter 
was taken up by Napoleon, then first 
Consul, and a grant of 10,000 francs 
was made to enable Fulton to proceed 
with the construction of his boat. It 
was completed and launched under 
the name of the Nautilus, and given 
several trials both upon the Seine and 
in open water off Brest. As in Bush- 
nell's invention, the offensive power 
consisted of an explosive magazine 
which was to be fastened to the hull 
of the enemy ship. The Nautilus was 


provided with a mast and sail for sur- 
face work, and when submerged was 
propelled by a two-bladed propeller 
rotated by a hand wheel. 



Popular opinion, however, was 
against this method of warfare, and in 
spite of successful experiments, the 
French Government finally rejected 
all Fulton's propositions. In disgust, 
he crossed the English Channel and 
laid his schemes before the English 
Government. Pitt was Prime Minister 
at the time and he was greatly attracted 
by the proposals. He could not act 
alone and the Commission appointed 
to consider the schemes even went 
so far as to offer Fulton money to de- 
sist from his inventions. In great in- 
dignation the American left the coun- 
try, and within a few years astonished 
Europe by his development of steam 
propulsion for ships. Just before he 
died he was preparing another sub- 
marine, the Mute, which had steam 
motor power, and armored plates 
as protection against gun power. 

In 1850 a Bavarian, Bauer by name, 
offered a submarine to the Prussian 
Government to raise the Danish block- 
ade. During a trial off Kiel, the boat 
Le Plongeur Marin was lost, but Bauer 
and his companions were miraculously 
saved. The plan was not further 
developed but the mere rumor of the 
device had caused the enemy to recede 
to the waters of the offing. In 1887, 
Le Plongeur was raised and it is now 
in the Oceanographical Museum in 

In the Civil War the Union fleet 
blockaded the chief harbors and navi- 
gable rivers of the South, whose de- 
fenders were thereby forced to place 
their reliance upon the torpedo for 
breaking up the blockade. A number 
of little submarine boats were built 
and these received the biblical appella- 
tion of "Davids" as against the great 
' ' Goliaths ' ' of the North . One of these 
Davids, the Huxley, was the first 
submarine up to the time of the Russo- 
Japanese War that succeeded in des- 
troying a battleship. On Feb. 7, 1863, 
the Huxley sank the Housatonic as she 


lay in shallow water. In the same year 
several larger boats propelled by en- 
gines were begun in Europe, and these 
at intervals were followed by others 
designed by Hovgaard, Goubet, Zede, 
Nordenfelt, Tuck and Holland. 


John Philip Holland, an Irish school- 
teacher, read in 1863 of the battle 

and Holland, reserving only the engine, 
sank his old boat and began once more. 
His new venture (christened "The 
Fenian Ram" by a disappointed re- 
porter) was built on the Hudson. 
When, in 1895, the U. S. Navy Depart- 
ment advertised for plans of a sub- 
marine to be built out of a $300,000 
appropriation for the purpose, Hol- 
land's plans were accepted. These 


This submarine belonged to a class laid down in 1906-07, measured 141 feet 8 inches in length and was armed with 
two torpedo tubes. When captured, British naval authorities decided that in view of the inhumane conduct of 
submarine warfare, its authors could not be accorded honorable treatment. Germany immediately declared 
reprisals, placing British officers in solitary confinement and the original decision was revoked. 

between the Monitor and the Merri- 
mac, and realized that the ironclad had 
come to stay. His interest in Irish 
independence led him to investigate 
means of breaking the English sea- 
power. In 1871 he came to Paterson, 
N. J., and obtained capital to build a 
small boat whose advent he thought 
would doom the ironclad. His small 
one-man boat (which was neither armed 
nor fitted with a tube) was tried out 
in the Passaic. It had two great de- 
fects; the diving rudders were amid- 
ships instead of aft and his motor would 
stick as soon as it was hot. It was 
cheaper to build anew than to readjust, 

proved the practicability of gasoline 
engines, and later in 1900 the Govern- 
ment ordered seven more boats of the 
same type. 

In spite of all precaution, however, 
gasoline would escape and cause ex- 
plosions. The invention of the Diesel 
engine which burns heavy oils removed 
this danger and made the submarine 
safer. The name submarine is, how- 
ever, misleading. Submersible is really 
more accurate. A cruiser submarine 
hardly averages three hours a day 
under water. The engines are not 
used under water, but the boat is 
driven by electric batteries, which are 



charged by the engines while the boat 
is moving on the surface. Except 
when at rest on the bottom, the sub- 
marine can remain only a comparatively 
short time under water. 


The French Navy began experiment- 
ing with submarine boats about 1885. 
The Gymnote was built in 1888, and 
in 1901, the construction of submarines 
was actively commenced. Twenty 
boats were provided in the budget of 
that year, and by 1914 France had 
completed over 70. Great Britain 
began in the same year as France and 
used first of all the Holland type. By 
1914 she had built in all 96 for her own 
use, and two for Australian defense, 
and had 70, as against 28 in commission 
for Germany. In 1914 Russia had 43, 
Italy 20, Germany 45 and Austria 15. 

The submarine steadily increased in 
size during the war. In 1914 few were 
as much as 150 feet in length, and the 
inside diameter was about 12 feet. 
The limit of speed was around twelve 
knots on the surface and about nine 
submerged. Before the end of the war a 
length of 300 feet was reached and speed 
was increased about fifty per cent, and 
the cruising radius was likewise enor- 
mously increased. Good habitability 
for the men, space for a number of 
torpedoes, a battery which could sink 
an unarmed vessel, and as much sur- 
face speed as it was possible to obtain 
were also developed. In some cases 
(Deutschland and Bremen}, the sub- 
marine was designed for underseas 
merchant service and reached a ton- 
nage of over 2000, and was able to cross 
the Atlantic. Fleet submarines, from 
1500-2000 tons displacement, built 

in 1916, were expected to be able to 
accompany the battle fleet and in these 
instances something of the submarine's 
greatest handicap vulnerability 
was overcome for they could stand 
some punishment from guns of small 
craft, and themselves carried guns 
in some cases up to 6 inches. 


The torpedo, itself the principal 
weapon of the submarine, is like a small 
submarine. It is built in three parts 
with a head, an air-flask and an after- 
body. In war time the head carries 
an explosive charge of wet gun-cotton, 
with a priming charge of dry cotton 
in a hermetically sealed case which is 
inserted in the front end just before 
screwing in the "nose." At the nose 
end is a projecting pin, which, if driven 
forcibly inwards will explode the con- 
tents of the head. To prevent the 
pressure of the water from exploding 
the torpedo as it travels along, there is 
a releasing screw whose blades revolve 
and gradually unscrew till the firing 
pin is unlocked. If the torpedo then 
strikes an object the firing pin is driven 
in and explodes the charge. The body 
of the torpedo is the air-flask, charged 
with compressed air. In the after- 
body are contained an engine-room, a 
depth regulator, a steering engine, 
a gyroscopic wheel, propellers, and 
rudders. The rudders are actuated by 
the gyroscope, which serves to keep 
the torpedo on its course. The speed 
of the torpedo is about four times that 
of a submarine so that a modern type 
has a speed for a 1 short range (up to 
2500 yards) of fifty knots or sea miles, 
or about fifty-seven and a half land 
miles an hour. The Germans used a 

This diagram of a torpedo shows its two forward parts, the head containing the charge and the air-flask. 



short range torpedo with an enormous 
bursting charge which was very effec- 
tive and rarely failed to sink the enemy. 
The torpedo tubes are generally in the 
bow of the submarine, though some 
have tubes in the stern also. Each 
tube has a water-tight door at each 
end. Only the inner door is opened 
while the torpedo is placed in position, 
and then the inner door is closed, and 
the outer one opened, ready for firing. 


Thus the era of the submarine was 
tentatively begun. Early in 1914 Sir 
Percy Scott, a great British naval 
expert, expressed the opinion that the 
submarine and not the battleship in 
future would be the controlling factor 
on the high seas. His words aroused 
great interest, and considerable dif- 
ference of opinion. When hostilities 
began it soon became apparent that 
Germany was greatly inferior in battle- 
ship strength and must retire her ships 
within her own harbors and bases 
accepting blockade, and must seek 
to reduce the preponderance of her 
enemy's strength by mining and by 
destroyers and submarines. The only 
protection of a blockading fleet against 
the submarine was to keep on the move, 
and even when in motion it would be 
exposed to anchored or floating mines. 
Though Great Britain had 70 sub- 
marine vessels against the 28 in com- 
mission for Germany on the outbreak of 
war, the difference was offset because 
the German submarines were able to 
pass into the high seas and carry on 
their operations in waters free from 
obstructions. Few German vessels 
were on the seas and the British sub- 

marine found its way barred by mine 
fields and heavy steel netting which 
prevented entrance to German harbors 
and roadsteads. 

In the first week of the war, the 
U.I5, (Unterseeboot, i.e., Undersea boat, 
Number 15) attempted an attack 
on the Grand Fleet at sea and was 
promptly rammed on coming to the 
surface by H.M.S. Birmingham. H. 
M.S. Pathfinder was sunk by the. U.2I 
in the Firth of Forth, but on September 
15 the Hela, a light German cruiser, 
was sunk by the submarine E. 9, six 
miles south of Heligoland. 


A week later the Germans scored a 
considerable success against three Brit- 
ish cruisers on patrol duty in the North 
Sea, the Aboukir, Cressy, and Hogue, 
of 12,000 ton displacement, mounting 
29 two-inch and 12 six-inch guns and 
protected by a belt of six-inch armor. 
They had been laid down in 1898-99, 
and as they had been placed in the 
second line, they were manned by reserve 
forces. The weather which from the 
outbreak of war up till the loth of 
September had been calm, had broken 
and violent storms raged continuously 
up to the morning of the 22nd so that 
the accompanying screen of destroyers 
had been forced into port. On the 
morning of the 22nd the cruisers had 
just taken up their patrol stations 
three miles apart when, shortly before 
6:30 A.M., the Aboukir was torpedoed. 
Both the Cressy and Hogue started in 
to her rescue and were within a quarter 
of a mile respectively of her starboard 
and port when the Hogue was struck 
with such violence that she leapt into 







The after-body of the torpedo contains all its vital machinery. The rudders are actuated by the gyroscope. 



the air. Three of her boats had already 
started to the assistance of the Aboukir 
but one of these, the launch, was be- 
sieged by so many survivors that her 
timbers parted and she sank. The 
Cressy came in close and fired on the 
submarine until she too was struck 
amidships by two torpedoes. Two 
Dutch boats and an English trawler 
arriving upon the scene, saved as many 
lives as they could, but the total loss 
in officers and men was about 1600. 
It took between twenty and forty 
minutes to send these three ships to 
the bottom and the attack was so 
boldly made that at times the enemy 's 
conning tower was exposed at close 

Thereafter, the attempted reduction 
of the British Grand Fleet proceeded 
but slowly. On October 15, the Hawke 
was sunk in the northern waters of the 
North Sea and out of her crew of 544 
men only 70 were saved. Four days 
before an enemy submarine had attack- 
ed three Russian cruisers on patrol duty 
in the Baltic and succeeded on October 
1 1 in sinking the Pallada. The last day 
of October witnessed the sinking of the 
Hermes in the Straits of Dover by a 
German submarine, and on November 
II the torpedo gun-boat Niger was 
torpedoed in the Downs, a spectacle 
seen from the shore by the inhabitants 
of Deal. As a counter blow to this, late 
in November the German submarine 
U. 1 8 was sunk off the north of Scot- 
land and her crew interned in Edin- 
burgh Castle, while on December 13 
the British submarine B. n entered the 
Dardanelles, dived under five rows 
of mines and torpedoed the Turkish 
battleship Messudiyeh, returning safely 
after a nine-hour immersion. In 
January, 1915, the Formidable wassunk. 


Considering the length of the line 
patrolled by the British Fleet, aided 
by the French in the Mediterranean, 
from Archangel in the north to Alex- 
andria in the south, a distance of 5,000 
miles, losses from submarines were 
comparatively small. After six months 
of war, the German Government find- 
ing her warships swept off the high 


seas, her merchant marine paralyzed, 
her mines and submarines failing to 
reduce the strength of the British fleet 
and her people threatened with hunger 
when Britain declared wheat contra- 
band, was driven to the desperate 
expedient of declaring a submarine 
blockade of Britain. The announce- 
ment was made Feb. 10, 1915, and the 
blockade came into effect on the i8th 
of that same month. 

This policy as it was inaugurated 
and carried out by the enemy was pro- 
ductive of very grave results, and 
ultimately supplied one of the principal 
causes of Germany's defeat. In the 
first place it was contrary to the accept- 
ed principles of international law in 
general as German submarine com- 
manders sank ships irrespective of their 
nationality, destination or cargo. In 
the second place it first lost the hope of 
obtaining American aid in breaking the 
British blockade, and finally led to 
war with America. Thirdly, in its 
attack upon merchantmen, it neglected 
the main issue of submarine activities, 
the weakening by attrition of the 
British Fleet. 


No special principles of international 
law governing the use of submarines 
had been formulated, for, previous to 
the Great War, the use of such vessels 
had been negligible. The general rules 
for the treatment of enemy merchant 
ships provide that the safety of the 
crew and passengers must be assured 
when a ship is captured or destroyed. 
In the case of neutrals suspected of 
carrying contraband, the customary 
procedure when search had been made, 
was to take the ship into port where her 
cargo was thrown into the prize court, 
her crew of course suffering no penalty. 
Only as a last resort were prizes to be 
sunk. Obviously, the German sub- 
marines could not take merchantmen 
into their blockaded ports, and their 
only resort, therefore, was to sink their 
prizes. Thus at the start, submarine 
warfare upon enemy merchant ships 
was questionable; further? the attack 
upon neutral ships became illegal when 
search was not made for suspected 

The torpedo is brought down to the dockside on a small trolley and then swung around and lowered into its place 
by a crane. The projecting pin at the nose end, which, driven forcibly inwards will explode the contents of the 
head, is covered by a safety cap until the discharge is determined upon. 


The men are working in gloves in order to get some grip on the slippery metal sides of the torpedo, which, when 
is a little lower, will slide down over the steel rest provided for it. Below, one of the crew guides it into its tube 
and then fastens the water-tight door, or else it is placed in reserve in the magazine. The torpedoes cost about 
$8,000 each, and the number which a submarine can carry is limited because of lack of space. 



contraband, but the ship was sunk at 
sight without due warning or a safety 
period allowed for the escape of the 
crew. A more detailed discussion of 
the legality of submarine warfare will 
be found in the chapter dealing with 
the causes of the entrance of the United 
States into the war. 

At first the policy of the submarine 
blockade was tentative in character. 
That is to say, the merchant ships of 
the Allies were the sole victims and 
America and the other neutrals re- 
mained calm. Moreover, British sea- 
borne trade was not paralyzed and as 
American trade with her enemy in- 
creased, Berlin suspected a growing 
tolerance for whatever breaches of in- 
ternational law the Allied blockade of 
Germany entailed. Then Germany's 
will crystallized and a policy of un- 
restrained terrorism was decided upon. 
British sea-power left her with only one 
weapon, the submarine. She used it 
ruthlessly with the result we know. 


After seven weeks of the new phase 
of naval warfare only 37 British mer- 
chant vessels and six British fishing 
vessels had been destroyed, the gross 
tonnage of which in all was not more 
than 100,000. Several submarines 
were reported as destroyed either being 
rammed by merchant vessels and war- 
ships or by the gunfire of destroyers. 
Most notable of all, the submarine, 
U. 29 which had torpedoed the Hogue, 
Cressy, and Aboukir, in September, 
1914, was sunk. At the end of March, 
however, the warfare developed in 
intensity and on March 28 the Falaba 
of 4,806 tons was torpedoed on five 
minutes' notice and sank in ten min- 
utes with a loss of 100 lives, one of 
which was an American. The cases of 
the Gushing and the Gulflight, both 
American ships, followed. The former 
was damaged by an aeroplane and the 
latter was sunk by submarine with a 
loss of three lives in spite of the fact 
that President Wilson, in a note to the 
German Government after the block- 
ade was announced, had warned Ger- 
many that the United States would hold 
her to "strict accountability." 


On May 7 a top-note of horror was 
struck when the Cunard liner, Lusita- 
nia, was torpedoed without warning off 
the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, and 
sank in 18 minutes, with a loss of 1198 
out of her total number of 1959. Over 
100 of these were American citizens 
and the world waited breathless even in 
those days of cataclysmal horror Amer- 
ica's exaction of Germany's "strict 
accountability." The day that the 
Lusitania left New York a warning 
signed by the German embassy was 
published in the chief newspapers of 
the United States. The text was as 
follows : 

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


It appears from subsequent events 
that having warned the victim Germany 
felt herself licensed to commit murder. 
On the afternoon of May 7, when with- 
in the danger zone of the Old Head of 
Kinsale, Captain Turner of the Lusi- 
tania was on the port side of his vessel 
at 2:20 when the second officer cried, 
"Here's a torpedo!" The captain 
rushed to the other side of the ship and 
saw clearly the wake of a torpedo, and 
immediately after a slight shock was 
felt and then another, and smoke and 
steam came up between the last two 
funnels. It was fair and calm, and the 
vessel was making only about 18 knots 
an hour in order not to reach the 
Liverpool bar before high tide. Cap- 
tain Turner ordered the boats to be 
lowered down to the rails and for the 
women and children to get into them. 
Next the bulkheads were closed and 
signal given for the engines to be re- 
versed but it became evident that they 


were out of commission. As soon as 
headway was sufficiently reduced to 
make it safe to lower the boats this was 
done, mostly over the starboard side 
as the vessel was beginning to list 
heavily. The discipline was admirable 
and as many as possible of the women 
and children given place in the boats but 
only an interval of 18 minutes elapsed 
between the first explosion and the 
final settling of the greatest liner afloat 
so that the loss of life was very great. 
On May 13, President Wilson sent 
a note to the German Imperial Govern- 
ment in which, after reviewing the 
attacks upon the Falaba, Gushing, 
Gulflight and Lusitania, he insisted 
upon the right of American citizens to 
travel "wherever their legitimate busi- 
ness calls them upon the high seas" 

and demanded a disavowal from the 
German Government of such acts 
together with all possible reparation. 
Berlin's reply cast the entire re- 
sponsibility upon the British Govern- 
ment, alleging that the Lusitania was 
armed, was carrying ammunition, that 
due warning had been given and that in 
any case, the incidents were legitimate 
acts of war. The German Press began 
to assume a hostile attitude towards 
America whom it accused of partiality 
towards the Allies. Thus the sub- 
marine issue during 1915 narrows down 
to a German-American one. Consider- 
able diplomatic correspondence follow- 
ed, which will be discussed in another 

The United States assumed the posi- 
tion of insisting that Germany should, 



no matter what the cost to herself, 
abandon a policy of jeopardizing Amer- 
ican lives and property. 


In the North Sea the submarine was 
a menace to the patrol service of the 
British Navy but, perhaps because its 
efforts were directed mainly to the 
attack upon commerce, loss from this 
cause was negligible, and only one ship, 

national law Norway entered a pro- 

In the Baltic a number of British 
submarines acting under command of 
the Russian Admiral did good work. 
Between July and the end of October 
they succeeded in sinking six battle- 
ships and six transports while a seventh 
transport was forced to run ashore. 
In the autumn the Allied submarines 
turned the tables on the enemy by 


This picture shows a British submarine which overtook a U-boat, and fired a torpedo. A splash was observed and 
the enemy turned end-on, with its stern out of water and conning-tower half submerged. In another minute the 
sea was empty save for pieces of wreckage and patches of oil. 

attacking German merchantships, at 
first during October driving them 
ashore at the rate of one or two a day. 
This hindered the export of minerals 
from Scandinavia into Germany 


In the Dardanelles the enemy sub- 
marines torpedoed the battleships 
Triumph and Majestic and forced the 
big Allied ships to retire to sheltered 
harbors protected against their attack. 
Then when France and Britain used a 
fleet of monitors less vulnerable to 
submarine attack, the alien underseas 
craft began an attack on the long Allied 
line of communication through the 

the Bayano, was sunk on patrol duty 
March I. June 10 the British Navy 
lost its first torpedo boats sunk 
during the war by submarine attack. 
June 20 the cruiser Roxburgh was 
torpedoed off the Firth of Forth but 
sailed into port. June 30 the Light- 
ning was torpedoed with the loss of 14 of 
her crew but the fighting was confined 
to small affairs between outpost vessels 
and the only clash through July in the 
North Sea was the sinking of a Ger- 
man destroyer by a British submarine. 
In August the auxiliary cruiser, India, 
was torpedoed in Norwegian waters 
at the entrance to the Western Fiord, 
and at this territorial breach of inter- 


Mediterranean and for a while achieved 
considerable success, sinking or damag- 
ing several transports (the Royal 
Edward, Southland, Ramagam, Mar- 
quette, Woodfield and Mercian), some 
merchantmen, and two liners, the 
Ancona of the Italian line with a loss 
of 300 lives in November, and the 
Persia of the P. & O. line with 200 lives 
in December, in both cases firing tor- 
pedoes without warning. 

As a counter-success French and 
British submarines penetrated into the 
Sea of Marmora and up to the end of 
October had sunk two battleships, five 
gunboats, one torpedo boat, eight 
transports and 97 supply ships, thereby 
considerably affecting the supply of 
Turkish forces in the Peninsula. The 
work was highly perilous and four 
French and three British submarines 
were sunk or captured during the year. 


In the Adriatic, the French, British, 
and Italian submarines, operating 
against the Austrian and German boats 
met with fairly even fortunes. Elud- 
ing the vigilant guard kept at the 
Straits of Gibraltar, the enemy sub- 
marines received reinforcements over- 
land as they came shipped in three 
divisions on the Austro-German rail- 
ways. One wonders if the inanimate 
torpedo felt a spark of dormant energy 
working within him as he lay in the 
shipping yards of Fiume where his 
forebears had under the genius of 
Lupuis and Whitehead first seen the 
light of day! Serious loss of life from 
enemy submarine activity occurred in 

April when the Italian cruiser Leon 
Gambetta was sunk with a loss of 600 

Two amazing duels between sub- 
marines occurred, in the first instance 
both the Italian and Austrian adver- 
saries engaged went to the bottom, in 
the latter instance only the Austrian 
duelist, the U. 12 was sunk. At the 
end of the year, the narrow seas were 
much used as a transport lane, first 
for the Serbian refugees coming into 
Italy, and secondly for the Italian 
expeditionary forces crossing into Al- 
bania. Austria used her opportunity 
with the greatest assiduity: again and 
again her submarines attacked, but 
such was the alertness and vigilance of 
the watch displayed that the Allies 
suffered the loss of only three small 
ships though nineteen such raids were 

All this time the attacks upon mer- 
chantmen continued and although they 
had considerable success, the results 
gained were in no way commensurate 
to the means employed. Commanders 
of the merchant ships showed extra- 
ordinary bravery and great ingenuity 
before the devices of the pirates of the 
deep. Nor were protective measures 
left to the inventiveness of private 
seamen; experts were busied under the! 
French, British, and Italian Govern- 
ments in devising means to counteract 
the unusual possibilities of the sub- 
marine, and these devices whose object 
was to sink more submarines than the 
enemy could build were used increas- 
ingly as the months went by and'finally 
in a later year accomplished their end. 



The drawing on the left illustrates a set of ideal conditions for an attack by airship. A layer of heavy cloud is hang- 
ing rather low, and makes the land below experience a "dull" day. Meanwhile the airship floating in the sunlight 
above the cloud, progresses with ease, its large bulk hidden from the earth. From the cage suspended through the 
cloud, and visible only with difficulty against the dark background, the navigators in the gondolas above can be 
instructed as to route, and bombs can be dropped upon selected spots. The drawing on the right illustrates how 
hard it is to detect an airship on a moonless night. It is only by the employment of powerful searchlights that it 
can be seen at ail, and even then those parts not in the direct rays of the searchlight beams are invisible, and there- 
fore can escape all anti-aircraft guns. 


Fighting Plane Armed With a Machine Gun 


The Beginning of War in the Air 



TT has become a commonplace to re- 
A mark on the number and variety of 
scientific inventions during the Great 
War. For four years the mind of the 
whole world was focused on some one 
or other of the war's many phases, 
seeking instruments of destruction and 
agencies of healing, intensifying pro- 
duction and feeding the scrap heap 
with its fruits. Even in an age of con- 
flicting claims no one will deny that 
the progress attained in mastery of the 
air transcends that in any other line of 
warfare. The state of the application 
of steam power at the end of the first 
decade of its discovery, perhaps repre- 
sents the stage to which the science of 
flight had arrived upon the outbreak of 
war. After that, not a month passed 
without discovery and advance : statis- 
tics were out-of-date as soon as pub- 
lished, and today the machines and 
equipment of 1914 are as obsolete as 
the flintlock gun. As each step was 
taken an important discovery was reg- 
istered in one of the many branches of 
science that form the complex subject 
of aeronautics. 


The chronicles of aviation through- 
out the war are less terrible than those 
of any other "arm" for the reason that 
its greatest achievement the mastery 
of another element is its crowning 

glory rather than the accompanying 
destruction of human life and property. 
A triumph as great as the application 
of steam and the harnessing of electric- 
ity has emerged out of war's hideous 
chaos. Furthermore, though of so re- 
cent use in war it may be said that 
aviation has largely determined the 
nature of the recent struggle. One 
reason for the long drawn-out character 
of modern warfare lies in the employ- 
ment of aircraft. By its- use the ele- 
ment of surprise has been almost elimi- 
nated, and armies brought almost to a 
position of immobility under deadly 
artillery fire directed from the clouds. 


As the study of the science of flight 
was pursued, two-fold development 
appeared, aviation and aerostation. 
The history of the former is concerned 
with attempts to fly machines heavier 
than air, and also with attempts of 
human beings to fly by aid of artificial 
wings. The great principle upon which 
artificial flying rests is the extraction 
from the air of vigorous upward recoil. 
In the case of birds this recoil is ex- 
tracted from the air by the vigorous 
action of their wings. In the aeroplane, 
wings and action are featured by planes 
driven through the air by a propeller. 
Like the wings of a bird the wings of 
an aeroplane are slightly inclined to 



the path of the air, and thereby pres- 
sure or recoil is developed on the under 
side which is much greater than the 
driving force necessary to produce it 
and the aeroplane ascends. 


The science of aerostation deals prop- 
erly with machines which like balloons 
are lighter than air, and therefore float 
in that medium. From the flying dove 
of Archytas of Tarentum (400 B.C.) 
that was set in motion "by hidden and 
enclosed air" down to the super-dread- 
noughts of Count von Zeppelin, the 
subject has attracted imaginative 
minds, which, however, were limited by 
the narrow scope of scientific knowl- 
edge of their time. The modifications 
and improvements of the "hidden and 
enclosed air" and the application of 
steering gear are comparatively mod- 
ern developments 

Among the ancients Archytas' dove, 
that legends report to have flown, prob- 
ably represents the highest effort 
towards mastery of flight. In the 
Middle Ages Roger Bacon propounded 
a theory that copper vessels of exceed- 
ing thinness filled with a liquid fire 
would float in the atmosphere like a 
ship; and other inventors between the 
thirteenth and eighteenth centuries all 
based their methods on equally fantas- 
tic conditions. This was not surprising 
when one remembers the superstitions 
of the age, the magnitude of the task 
attempted, and the limitations of 
scientific knowledge- 


In 1766 Henry Cavendish, an Eng- 
lish chemist and physicist, discovered 
the remarkable lightness of hydrogen 
gas or as it was called, inflammable 
air and sixteen years later in France 
two brothers, Etienne and Joseph 
Montgolfier made a hot air balloon 
which rose into the air. As the air 
cooled the craft descended and the 
problem of keeping the air hot was met 
by procuring a small dish, which they 
filled with glowing charcoal and tied 
to the neck of the balloon. News of 
the Annonay experiment roused great 
interest throughout the country and in 


Paris a subscription was set on foot to 
cover the cost of repeating it. The new 
balloon was constructed by two bro- 
thers named Robert under the super- 
vision of a young and inexperienced 
physicist Charles, who decided to in- 
flate the envelope with hydrogen made 
by the action of sulphuric acid on iron. 
Four days were needed to obtain suffic- 
ient gas to fill a silk globe 13 feet in 

Paris waited on the daily bulletin 
with the greatest excitement and the 
crowds were so great that on the third 
day (August 26, 1783), the balloon was 
moved secretly to the Champ de Mars. 
The following day at 5 o'clock the 
ascent was made, the balloon rose to a 
height of 3000 feet and remained in the 
air for about three-quarters of an hour. 
When it fell in a field near Gonesse 
some 15 miles away it so frightened 
the peasantry that it was torn into 
fragments by them. About a month 
later the experiment was repeated at 
Versailles before the King and Queen 
and court. The farmyard supplied the 
first aeronauts, a sheep, a duck and a 
cock who occupied the wicker cage 
swinging beneath the envelope. Half 
a mile's voyage produced no ill-effects 
upon the passengers. 


On the 1 5th of October that same 
year the first human being ascended in 
a balloon. Jean Francois Pilatre de 
Rozier made several trial trips in a 
captive balloon to test the practicability 
of taking up fuel and feeding -the fire 
which was in a brazier suspended under 
the balloon. All went well and Novem- 
ber 21, de Rozier, accompanied by the 
Marquis d'Arlandes, made the first 
aerial voyage in a free fire balloon. 
They remained in the air about 25 min- 
utes, rose, to a height of 500 feet, and 
sailed across the Seine and over a con- 
siderable part of Paris. The first step 
had been taken and for a while prog- 
ress was rapid. Ten days after the de 
Rozier. success, Charles and one of the 
Roberts made an ascent in a balloon 
inflated with hydrogen and supplied 
with a valve, a barometer and sand 



In 1794 such strides had been made 
that the French used an observation 
balloon in the battle of Fleurus against 
the Austrians. When Napoleon sailed 
for Egypt, he ordered a balloon to be 
carried with him, but its shadow never 
fell across the face of the pyramids for 
the ship that carried it was captured 

noitering the German positions around 
the beleaguered city, and Gambetta 
escaped in one. In South Africa the 
British Army remapped the Orange 
Free State and the Transvaal from 
topographical photographs taken from 
captive balloons. 

In the Great War the balloon per se 
was by no means superseded, as it 
formed a valuable adjunct to the fight- 


This balloon has a "girdle" to which are attached the sacks of ballast which keep it on the ground. Once filled it 
can make a number of ascensions before it leaks so much that it must be refilled. During intervals it is kept in a 
sheltered spot, preferably under trees, where it will rest secure from the wind and from the reconnaissance of 
enemy observers. 

by an English frigate on its way through 
the Mediterranean. In Moscow, in 
1812, the Russians in desperate straits 
planned a giant craft which, carrying 
some 50 passengers, would shower 
bombs into the ranks of the assaulting 
French. Some fault in construction, 
however, reduced the Russians instead 
to the desperate expedient of destroy- 
ing Holy Moscow by fire. In the 
battle of Solferino in 1859 the captive 
balloon was successfully used for obser- 
vation purposes, and again during the 
Civil War in the United States. Dur- 
ing the siege of Paris, 1870-71, balloons 
played an important part in recon- 

ing machine in performing observa- 
tions. During the British naval attacks 
upon the German forces in Flanders, 
owing to the undulating nature of the 
country, the "spotters" upon the 
monitors and battleships were unable 
to obtain a sweeping view of the coun- 
try. Captive balloons were therefore 
sent aloft, sometimes from the deck 
of monitors, at others from the beach, 
and these easily picked up the German 
dispositions which they reported by 
telephone or by signals. In the Battle 
of the Somme we have another testi- 
mony to their effective use from the 
diary of a German lieutenant who 



writes "August 25. We stand here 
under the most severe artillery fire ever 
seen by the world, directed so accu- 
rately by 29 captive balloons and about 
thirty aviators, that they bring under 
fire every shelter and every junction of 
a trench." And again from the same: 
"August 31. There are thirty -four 
English captive balloons and one Ger- 
man to be seen. That is a fine state of 
affairs! ' It is not easy to put a balloon 
out of action by artillery as the bag 
must either be riddled or the gas set on 
fire. Shrapnel, high explosive or incen- 
diary shells must, accordingly, be used, 
and the difficulties of picking up the 
range and timing the fuse for the 
critical moment are complex. 

When war broke out the average 
British balloon was the lightest used 
by any of the belligerent powers, lifting 
only 290 or 300 pounds or the weight 
of two observers. The French and 
German balloons were able to lift four 
times the weight (except the French 
auxiliaries designed to lift one observer 
only), and possessed a greater maxi- 
mum altitude. The familiar spherical 
balloon was used at first in the French 
and British armies, but the Germans 
thought it satisfactory only in calm 
weather and accordingly evolved the 
so-called Parseval-Siegsfeld captive bal- 
loon. This in form is a bulky cylinder 
having at one end a surrounding outer 
bag whose lower part is open to the 
wind. When the wind blows against 
it, it charges the balloonet with air, and 
causes it to act as a steadying force in 
rough weather. When war broke out 
Germany is said to have had about 100 
balloons of this type. After a few 
months, the Allies applied the princi- 
ples of stream-line shape to the captive 
balloon, and thus the kite balloon of 
Caquot type, the well-known "sau- 
sage" made its appearance to be the 
target for enemy aerial operations and 
the chief dependence of its own artil- 


All balloons at first were at the 
mercy of the wind unless they were 
attached to a windlass on the ground or 
a truck by a cable. The next step was 


the dirigible balloon, that is one which 
could be guided, and could be driven 
even against the wind. In 1852 a 
Frenchman, Henry Gifford, first made 
an ascent in a balloon that was driven 
by a three horse-power steam-engine 
and an eleven-foot propeller, and 
which made six miles an hour. To 
steam succeeded gas and electrically 
driven motors and in 1884 Renard, a 
countryman of Gifford's. flew an air- 
ship modeled with a true stream line, 
and fitted with an electric motor 
developing 9 horse-power. On one 
occasion this balloon flew around Paris 
at an average speed of 14^ miles an 

The last decade of the twentieth 
century is filled with the interesting 
experiments of two great aeronauts, 
Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian gentle- 
man, residing in Paris, and Count Zep- 
pelin, the German inventor. Santos- 
Dumont began his experiments in 1898 
and in several years produced a number 
of interesting types. In 1901 his sau- 
sage-shaped balloon with a pointed end 
won a prize of $20,000 for circling the 
Eiffel Tower and returning to the 
starting point in half an hour. His 
No. 5 was fitted with a four-cylinder 
air-cooled motor driving a large pro- 
peller which gave a thrust of 120 
pounds at 140 revolutions per minute. 
This was a great advance at the time 
but it is significant of the amazing 
progress of aeronautics to contrast this 
number with the 1400 revolutions 
demanded in a modern machine! 


The first rigid dirigible with alumi- 
num framework was built by an Aus- 
trian named Schwartz in 1897. In 
1898 Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, 
who had become interested in balloons 
while in the United States during the 
Civil War, first began his experiments. 
He divided the framework of his rigid 
airship into seventeen compartments 
of which fifteen were filled with gas so 
that if some of these burst, the others 
would keep the balloon up. Two cars 
for engines, crew and passengers were 
suspended from the metal shell and in 
1900 a successful ascent was made. 

" >i / 


This shows a French captive balloon doing observation work. This model has balloonets which increase stability. 
From his basket the aerostat surveys the enemy's lines, and furnished with a powerful telescope, can note the 
sites of hostile batteries, movements in the rear and the massing of troops preparatory to attack. 


After the balloon itself the most important part is the truck on which is the mechanism for winding the cable. Such 
trucks were generally camouflaged lest enemy observers should train their batteries on to them and set the balloon 
loose among the clouds. Mounted on the truck is a vertical boiler, a steam motor and a drum which carries a cable 
of 1000 metres passing between pulleys which control the cable. 



Despite obstacles and disappointments 
other and better airships were made 
until in 1910 a voyage of over 300 
miles was made in a little more than 
nine hours. Engines and balloonets 
were added, the length of the dirigible, 
the volume of hydrogen gas used for 
inflation, and the horse-power were all 
increased, but nothing more in the way 
of radical changes was effected to the 
end of the Great War. 

Count von Zeppelin's work began in 
his country that most remarkable mili- 
tary airship organization which within 
a single decade enabled Germany to 


Parachutes attached to baskets of the observation balloons were the observer's 

sole means of escape if his balloon was brought down. A moment's hesitation 

would bring the burning envelope floating down upon him. Note the belt March 

around the observer's waist over the telephone apparatus 

assume supremacy in this field. Some 
account of the Zeppelin brought down 
in Essex will illustrate the stage of 
development to which the airship had 
been brought. Its length was about 
680 feet and its largest diameter 72 
feet. Stream-line in form it had a 
blunt rounded nose and a tail that 
tapered off to a sharp point. Its 
framework of aluminum alloy was 
made of longitudinal latticework gir- 
ders connected at intervals by circum- 
ferential ties and stiffened by wires 
which could be tightened as required. 
Within the framework 24 balloonets 
afforded a hydrogen capacity of 2,000,- 
ooo cubic feet. Four gondolas con- 
nected by a passageway running along 
the keel held the crew of twenty-two 

men and the engines, six enormously 
powerful May bach-Mercedes gasoline 
engines of 240 horse-power each, pro- 
pelled the vessel, which weighed a total 
of 50 tons all complete, at a rate of 
60 miles in still air. The gasoline 
tanks had a capacity of 2000 gallons. 
In the forward gondola, were placed 
the engine room, wireless operator's 
cabin and navigating platform whereon 
all steering apparatus was concen- 
trated as well as control of the electrical 
gear for releasing bombs. Nine mach- 
ine guns were carried two of these 
of 0.5 inch bore on the top of the vessel 
and six of smaller cali- 
bre in the gondolas, 
and the ninth in the 
tail. The airship had 
a flying radius of 800 
miles and could climb 
to 12,000 feet. 


In August 1914, of 
Zeppelins, Parseval s 
and other types of di- 
rigibles Germany pos- 
sessed twenty-four 
with an average speed 
of 48 miles per hour. 
By the end of the year 
she had added three 
super-Zeppelins, and 
quadron by 
1915. Of the 
semi-rigid and non- 
rigid types her best examples were the 
Gross and Parseval craft. The Gross 
figured in the "M" class and the M -IV 
completed in 1913 was the largest of 
the type, as it measured 320 feet in 
length, had a maximum diameter of 
44 }/2 feet, displaced thirteen tons and 
was fitted with motors developing 450 
horse-power and a speed of 47 miles 
per hour. The PaPseval ranked, per- 
haps, as the finest type of airship 
flying the German flag. It is a di- 
rect outcome of the Drachen balloon 
perfected by Parseval and Siegsfeld, 
and though strictly speaking non- 
rigid, the strength of the suspension 
system a long reinforced girder which 
supported the gondola-=-gave it a 
character of great solidity. No greater 


skill or knowledge was needed to handle 
it than that required for an ordinary 
free balloon. In the vertical plane its 
movements are not dissimilar to those 
of the aeroplane as ascent and descent 
are normally conducted in the "screw- 
ing" manner. Germany had five 
classes of aerial cruisers and vedettes 
among her military Parsevals when 
war broke out. The largest and most 

ard-Clement, Astra, Zodiac and gov- 
ernment-built machines, all of the non- 
rigid type. The semi-rigid type was 
represented by the Lebaudy type, the 
largest of which measured 293 feet in 
length by 51 feet in diameter and had 
a displacement of ten tons. The French 
did not favor the rigid type but one 
example of this, the Spiess, was being 
constructed during the first months of 


This shows a raiding Zeppelin being tested over Friedrichshaf en. This town on the east shore of Lake Constance, 
was the home of Count Zeppelin, inventor of the great lighter-than-air rigid dirigibles. The shores of Lake Constance 
have been the scene of many of his trial flights. In 1909 a Zeppelin factory was established in Friedrichshaf en, 
and during the war this plant turned out scores of airships. Picture from Henry Ruschin 

powerful was the B type which meas- 
ured about 240 feet in length by 40 
feet maximum diameter, of 223,000 
cubic feet capacity, and was fitted with 
two motors and two propellers. In the 
large types the speed ranged from 32 to 
48 miles per hour with a horse-power 
of 360-400. 


France's military programme called 
for seven large swift aerial cruisers of 
24,000 c. metres to be delivered Janu- 
ary 1915, but by the end of the year 
only three were in process of construc- 
tion. Her air-navy included the Bay- 

war. This fleet was inferior to the 
German numerically, in point of speed 
and at first in military tactics, though 
their last advantage was speedily over- 
come, and the skill and ability of the 
French aeronauts had no equal. 

Russia possessed not more than two 
airships which were of fairly modern 
type. England had seven slow and 
old-fashioned non-rigid airships of 
various types and six improved non- 
rigids were ordered. Later she built a 
small rigid dirigible measuring between 
200 and 250 feet buoyed up by a bal- 
loonet at each end and carrying a fusel- 
age and one aeromotor, and propeller 



directly under the airship. Two men 
formed the crew of these "blimps" as 
they were called, which could make 50 
miles an hour and were much used as 
scouts over the North Sea and adjacent 
waters on the look-out for submarines. 
Austria owned two-passenger dirigibles 
of early Zeppelin type which were 
adapted for war purposes and three 
non-rigids, but she was able to use this 
somewhat insignificant total with 
greater effect as her border enemies 
possessed nothing of consequence. 


Apart from Germany's possession 
of the largest fleet of dirigible air-craft 
early in 1914 was the interesting fact 
of their distribution throughout the 
Empire as if in readiness for the coming 
combat. Harbor facilities had been 
provided at Konigsberg, Berlin, Posen, 
Breslau, Kiel, Hamburg, Wilhelmshav- 
en, Diisseldorf, Cologne, Frankfort, 
Metz, Mannheim, Strassburg and other 
places besides elaborate headquarters 
at Friedrichshafen upon Lake Con- 
stance. Workshops, testing grounds, 
harboring facilities had all undergone 
complete remodeling, and tools of the 
latest type had been provided to facili- 
tate the rapid construction and over- 
hauling of the Zeppelin monsters. 

A further circumstance which gave 
Germany's dirigible fleets the advan- 
tage of unusual mobility and security 
of base was the system of aeronautic 
signal lights and beacons. Between her 
east and west frontiers ran a network 
of beacon stations which enabled the 
Zeppelin to steer a straight course at 
night. France and Britain omitted 
this precaution, and the neglect proved 
a handicap for several months. Ger- 
man experiments had proved that 
searchlights could not be seen at long 
distance. Colored lights, however, 
were found very practical for marking 
landing-places, aerodromes, or hangars. 
So the searchlight plan was discarded 
and beacons were erected resembling 
the lighthouses for marine navigation. 


These beacons were of three kinds; 
the flash, fixed, and revolving lights 

which operated not upon the horizon 
but upon the sky. In a class by them- 
selves were Morse beacons, so con- 
structed as to translate into perpendic- 
ular flashes the dots and dashes of the 
Morse telegraphic code. Thus a Morse 
beacon gave its position by short and 
long flashes. Landing lights were em- 
bedded in the ground with a thick glass 
cover on which the aircraft landed and 
was brought to a stop. A further in- 
genious arrangement of lights sig- 
naled to the aviators the direction of 
the wind. In the centre was a large 
square white light and 75 yards from 
this centre were four large red lights, 
north, east, south, and west. A weath- 
er vane was connected electrically so 
that in a dead calm there would be no 
light other than the white showing, 
and in a wind all lights other than 
those showing its direction would be 
extinguished. At the end of 1914 the 
largest aeronautic light was the Wei- 
mar beacon which had a candle power 
of 27,200,000 behind its huge revolving 
flashlight on top of the military aero- 
drome: and the tallest light was that 
of the Grosser Feldberg on the Taunus 
range, which possessed 800,000 candle- 
power and shone from a crag over 2,800 
feet above sea level. 

As the war developed the Allied 
lighting and defense of aerial bases 
at first both defective improved con- 
siderably. In 1914 German defense in 
military aeronautics was also better 
developed. Their bases were sur- 
rounded by a zone of rapid artillery 
fire covering a wide area. In the case 
of an attack on an aerodrome the diri- 
gible would leave its housing at night 
and take up its position at an altitude 
supposedly greater than that which 
hostile aircraft must steer in order to 
make an attack on an aerodrome effec- 


The actual problem of flight through 
the air as differentiated from floating 
has occupied men's minds for a very 
long time but up until almost the end 
of the nineteenth century the sum total 
of all investigations only wtnt to prove 
that certain thin rigid surfaces of a 


certain shape and structure could sup- 
port weights when projected through 
the air at sufficient speed. At the close 
of last century two schools arose; in- 
ventors of the first sought to accom- 
plish flight by large kite-like apparatus 
which enabled them to fly against winds, 
while their machines were supported 
by the inertia of the air. The second 
sought to send their kite machines 
through the air at high speed by motor 

Among the disciples of the first 
group the most prominent were a Ger- 
man, Otto Lilienthal, and Octave 
Chanute, an American citizen. Lilien- 
thal made rigid wings arched like those 
of a bird which he fastened to his 
shoulders, and then would run down 
hill until the wings would catch the 
air and lift him completely from the 
ground. A rigid tail acted as glider 
and the inventor balanced the planes 
by swinging his legs. While making an 
experiment in 1896 Lilienthal was 
killed, but before his death he had 
made over two thousand glides. Chan- 
ute's gliding trials were similar to 
Lilienthal's, but his apparatus was 
stronger and different in that he used 
a trussed double wing that was similar 
to a box kite. 


Of the second school Sir Hiram 
Stevens Maxim, an English inventor, 
made a machine with two engines of 
175 horse-power, and this almost flew 
when the trial was made in 1897. At 
the same time Clement Ader in France 
had the same bad fortune; he experi- 
mented for six years with two machines 
fitted with propellers and a steam- 
engine but neither of the two left the 
ground at their trials and further 
government backing was refused. In 
America, Professor Samuel Pierpont 
Langley, of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, was commissioned by the Board 
of Ordnance and Fortification of the 
United States Army to build an aero- 
drome, as he called his machine, 
Congress appropriating $25,000 for the 
purpose. Langley had made several 
small machines with engines which 
flew without a passenger, and finally 

built a tandem monoplane fitted with 
a 50 horse-power engine to carry an 
engineer. Two attempts on October 
7 and December 8, 1903, were made to 
fly the craft but on both occasions the 
machine became entangled in the de- 
fective launching apparatus and was 
thrown headlong into the Potomac 
River. Langley had used up the appro- 
priation and his failure caused so much 
ridicule that he is said to have died of 
a broken heart. The correctness of 
his reasoning a'nd deductions has been 
shown in subsequent work, and his 
studies and experiments have become 
aeronautical classics. In 1913-14 the 
Langley aeroplane, fitted with a 
Curtiss motor and controls, flew. 

Next two young Americans began 
experiments in the fall of 1900 at Kitty 
Hawk, North Carolina. All the theo- 
ries of flight that disciples of the gliding 
school had put forward were patiently 
tested. Unrewarded the Wrights put 
aside old theories and still using 
gliders started all over again and 
finally constructed a glider which was 
easy to balance both laterally and 
longitudinally. In place of Lilienthal's 
swinging of his legs, they made a 
horizontal elevator which was raised 
and lowered by a lever operated by the 
pilot stretched out on the lower wing, 
and this kept the machine level with 
respect to the ground. Lateral control 
next occupied their attention and by 
observation of the flight of birds the 
brothers obtained transverse control 
by warping the wings. Later an aileron 
was attached to the ends of the wings. 
The idea was distinctly a Wright dis- 
covery. A vertical rudder for direc- 
tional steering was next added, rounded 
wing tips and curvature proved neces- 
sary, and the greater safety of the 
biplane was recognized. In construct- 
ing the wings the brothers adopted the 
stream line surface which has since 
been used for all surfaces meeting the 
air in the forward progress of the craft. 
This form was later adopted when the 
fuselage was constructed. 


The problem of the engine remained, 
and because there was no gasoline 


motor in existence light enough to 
mount on their glider, the Wrights 
made one in their shop at Dayton, Ohio. 
This was a four-cylinder gasoline 
motor developing 1 6 horse-power, which 
was mounted on the rear of the planes 
of the glider and had twin propellers 
fitted by a chain drive. December 17, 
1903, on the sand hills at Kitty Hawk, 
Wilbur Wright made the first success- 
ful sustained and steered flight of 852 
feet in 59 seconds. Further experi- 
ments were made, and on October 5, 
1905, the aeroplane made a flight of 
24^ miles in 38 minutes and 3 seconds. 
For a while field flights were suspended 
while the patent rights were protected, 
and then in 1908 Wilbur Wright in 
France and Orville Wright in America 
began to demonstrate their machines 
by public exhibitions. The superiority 
of their biplane over the French ma- 
chines was clearly demonstrated. 

The success of the Wrights was 
followed by much experimenting, in 
France especially, where prizes were 
offered for flights. Santos-Dumont 
turned from balloons to aeroplanes 
and in 1909 presented a monoplane 
with the least weight and the smallest 
surface of any machine that had been 
built up to that time. It was not safe, 
however, and the type was soon 
abandoned. Glenn H. Curtiss, an 
American inventor and manufacturer 
of motor cycles, developed a type of 
biplane driven by one high-speed 
propeller which depended for its sta- 
bility on ailerons and won in 1908 the 
Scientific A merican trophy with a flight 
of over a mile. A second and improved 
machine was entered in the great inter- 
national competition at Rheims and 
won the Gordon Bennett cup in 1909 
for flying a distance of 12.42 miles in 
15 minutes, 65^ seconds. In 1910 
Curtiss devised a hydroaeroplane. Fol- 
lowing the success of the Wrights in 
France came that of Henri Farman 
who flew a Voisin cellular biplane with 
curved parallel surfaces, which was 
both the first machine to be fitted with 
wheels to aid in landing and in rising, 
and also the first machine in France to 
fly a sufficient distance to win a prize 
for practical flight. 



In 1909 the famous Gnome rotary 
engine appeared having eleven cylin- 
ders set like the spokes of a wheel. 
There followed in France the Brequet, 
Somner, Bleriot, de Nieuports, and 
Duperdessin types of machines; in 
England the Cody, Dunne, Roe and 
Short machines; in Germany the 
Taube of 1912 and the Albatros trac- 
tor biplane of 1914. In 1908 Louis 
Bleriot designed a successful type of 
machine which had a covered fuselage, 
the engine in front of the aviator and a 
shape similar to a bird. Other ma- 
chines of both mono- and biplane type 
followed and the years were marked 
by ever-increasing distance and speed 
records. At a great international meet 
held at Rheims in August 1909, 
thirty-six aeroplanes competed and 
notable speed records were made, 
Farman completing in his Gnome 
engine biplane 145 miles in four hours, 
eighteen minutes, forty-five seconds. 
Some conception of the increase in this 
respect can be gained by the compari- 
son of the speed records of 1909 and 
1919. In 1909 Glenn H. Curtiss won 
the trophy with an average speed of 
47.04 miles an hour in a biplane. In 
1919, Sadi Lecomte reached a speed of 
226 miles an hour. 


When war broke out the standing 
of the different Air Services was as 
follows : France possessed an enormous 
number and variety of aeroplanes; 
since 1911 she had added fully 1000 
machines so that a round 1500 were 
ready for service, ,and during mobiliza- 
tion the military force was augmented 
by about 500 machines from private 
owners, but ere the war had been in 
progress many weeks an official order 
was issued forbidding the employment 
of the Bleriot, Duperdessin, Nieuport 
and R.E.P. monoplanes. Those which 
received official approval included the 
Caudron, Henri and Maurice Farman, 
Morane-Saulnier and Voisin machines. 
The effect of this order wae to reduce the 
effective strength of France's aerial navy 
by 558 aeroplanes. The reason for the 


The role of the machine gun mounted on armored motor cars was considerable until the war of movement gave 
way to trench war. In Belgium, especially, they rendered great service; later they were generally used against 
aircraft. In this picture the observer is scanning the heavens with powerful glasses. 


This was the precursor of the "traveling circus" in which the whole squadron worked as a self-contained unit, in a 
train which moved material, stores, spare parts and mechanics from place to place, and also provided sleep- 
ing accommodation for the pilots. The Germans had these early in 1916, for Richthofen their great "ace" describes 
i journey through Germany in one to O" Russian front in June of that year- 



order was to standardize as far as possi- 
ble in order, among other things, to avoid 
carrying a varied assortment of spare 
parts, and confusion in the repair shop. 
The French aviators were highly 
trained and possessed of brilliant dar- 
ing and initiative but were behind the 
Germans in their tactical knowledge 
and use of aircraft. 

Germany possessed about 1000 ma- 
chines of which from 600 to 700 were 
ready to use, and, during the period 
of mobilization 450 others were added, 
drawn from the most part from private 
owners. She possessed upwards of 30 
factories, many of them along both her 
important frontiers, and a day and 
night service was installed so that by 
the end of a few months' fighting a 
thousand machines were in full com- 
mission. Every biplane excepting a 
few special fast scouts was fitted with 
bomb-dropping apparatus and a cam- 
era. Her policy of standardizing her 
machines was a further asset in the 
game for it eliminated delay and 
confusion in repair. 


The most marked German types at 
that early date were the Etrich mono- 
plane, or Taube, the Gotha monoplane 
and the Albatros biplane. All these 
machines were standardized tractors; 
that is, their propellers were mounted 
in front. To relieve the pilot as much 
as possible of the strain of maintaining 
his balance, the Taube and Albatros 
were .made automatically stable by 
shaping the wings like those of a dove 
and by giving them the contour of a 
broad arrow-head. They were strong 
as strength was conceived in 1914, and 
they were dependable. If the original 
German plan of a smashing campaign 
had gone through their air equipment 
was sufficient for the purpose, for it 
was superior to that of the Allies, but 
the prolongation of the war gave both 
France and England time to create 
strong air fleets, which in time gained 
the mastery in the air. 

Great Britain's aerial navy was not 
large; on paper she had a total of 300 
aeroplanes, but the Royal Flying Corps 
had only about eighty-two machines 


in good condition, and the Royal Naval 
Air Service some twenty seaplanes. 
There was a somewhat heterogeneous 
collection consisting, among others, of 
Henri Farman biplanes (8o-h.p. Gnome 
engines) and Maurice Farman biplanes 
(yo-h.p. Renault engines), Bleriot Ex- 
perimental biplanes, Caudron biplanes, 
Short biplanes, Bleriot monoplanes, 
Nieuport monoplanes, and Duperdessin 
monoplanes. Not a single machine used 
a British-built engine at the beginning 
of the war, but such was the rapidity 
of organization that hundreds of com- 
plete aeroplanes were built in the first 
year of war, thousands in the second, 
many thousands in the third, and plans 
for the production of tens of thousands 
in the fourth were only stopped by 
the armistice. The care that had 
been taken by the R. F. C. to train 
pilots as well as observers was an ob- 
ject lesson to both France and Ger- 
many, for the British service gave 
good account of itself at the front 
from the start. 


The Belgian Army in 1914 had about 
thirty efficient aeroplanes, mostly of 
the Farman "pusher" biplane type 
fitted with 8o-h.p. Gnome engines. 
This small "fourth arm" soon came to 
an end under service conditions, but 
not before the Belgian pilots had given 
the Allied commanders valuable infor- 
mation about the German forces. The 
later Belgian aeroplanes were French 
designed and built, and were em- 
ployed in reconnaissance, and bomb- 
ing work on the Western Front, where 
their pilots successfully co-operated 
in many raids, especially those around 

Austria-Hungary was the weakest 
of the great powers in aeroplanes. She 
had little more than a score of modern 
machines at the front, although Ger- 
many loaned her a squadron of fliers. 
The Russian air force had been enor- 
mously improved under the Grand 
Duke Alexander, but although on paper 
statistics showed her to possess some 
500 machines, these inclyded all im- 
ported aeroplanes of private ownership 
and perhaps not a fifth of this paper 


armada, and much of it antiquated, 
was really in readiness in August 1914. 
Of great interest, however, were the 
Sikorski giant biplanes for destructive^ 
purposes, but of these only four were* 
completed. When Italy entered the 
war in May, 1915, she used machines 
of French design but successful engines 
later were produced in the Isotta- 
Fraschini, Fiat and other Italian work- 
shops, and some huge machines were 


Almost nothing has been learned in 
previous wars concerning the military 
use of airships and aeroplanes. In the 
Tripolitan and Balkan Wars a few 
aeroplanes had been employed for 
scouting purposes: in the former war 
only Italy used them as the Turks had 
none; in the latter the airmen did their 
work and tacitly avoided one another. 
Therefore the belligerents in 1914, al- 
though they expected great develop- 
ments in the air, were all ignorant of the 
enormous demands upon both men and 
machines the struggle was to make. 
Scouting for troop disposition was the 
only function which at first was ex- 
pected from the fourth arm. Control 
of artillery fire and destruction of war 
material developed with trench war- 
fare, and as competition in design 
waxed keen, the evolution of the rapid- 
climbing machine led to actual fighting 
in the air. 

The Germans boldly took the initia- 
tive with their air-scouts from the first 
day of war. Aeroplanes ushered in the 
invasion of Belgium, and scrutinized 
the terrain of northern and eastern 
France before the great army rolled 
on toward Paris. Their aviators re- 
ported the weakness of the Allied line 
along the Meuse and Sambre and hour 
by hour the men in the clouds sent back 
news of vital importance to the German 
commanders so that from the first there 
was no battle that resembled a surprise 
attack. Although Allied reconnaissance 
was inferior to German with few ex- 
ceptions it also prevented surprise. 
One of the officers of the Royal Flying 
Corps first brought news to Sir H. 
Smith-Dorrien that his advance divi- 

sion was faced by three German army 
corps supported by strong reserves in 
place of the three divisions which he 
thought were opposing him, and so led 
to the retreat from Mons which saved 
the British Expeditionary Force. Sir 
John French's first official report em- 
phasizes the valuable work done by 
his flying men and adds: "When the 
news of the retirement of the French 
and the heavy German threatening on 
my front reached me, I endeavored to 
confirm it by aeroplane reconnaissance; 
and ae a result of this I determined to 
effect a retirement to the Maubeuge 
position at daybreak on the 24th. " 


Aerial reconnaissance first brought 
news of von Kluck's wheel to the south- 
east. The flying machine unskillfully 
handled even as it was by the French 
nevertheless reported that the enemy 
had over-reached himself and would 
fall back before an offensive. Again, 
German airmen perceived the move- 
ment to turn their flank so that the 
High Command was able to draw in its 
lines and retreat to the Aisne. There, 
their Taubes informed them of an 
Allied enveloping movement from the 
southwest, while French and British 
aviators gave information as to the 
German counter-movements so that 
the curious hand-over-hand character 
of the race for the sea was a direct 
result of cloud reconnaissance. 

With the development of trench 
warfare both sides set up a daily recon- 
noitering system as to changes in the 
enemy's disposition and lines and the 
effect of the foreknowledge was to pre- 
vent surprise and thereby to lengthen 
the war. The vital duty of aircraft 
now was to detect the positions of big 
guns, especially howitzers which could 
be concealed miles away behind a hill. 
"Spotting" for big guns in 1914 was 
crude in comparison with what was 
done in later years when the machines 
were fitted with reliable wireless sets. 
Then ranges were worked out by 
artillery officers in the usual way, and 
aircraft signaled the results of fire by 
smoke bombs, tinsel paper, and colored 
lights. The enemy had also a code of 



signals by means of aeroplane evolu- 
tions which sent news to the batteries 
in the rear. From Sir John French's 
official report covering the period from 
November 20, 1914 to February 2, 1915 
we read: "Armies have now grown 
accustomed to rely largely on aircraft 
reconnaissance for accurate informa- 
tion of the enemy. . . Although the 
weather was uniformly bad. . . there 
have been only thirteen days on which 
no actual reconnaissance was effected 
and approximately 100,000 miles have 
been flown. In addition to the daily 
and constant work of reconnaissance 
and co-operation with the artillery, a 
number of aerial combats have been 
fought, raids carried out, detrainments 
harassed, parks and petrol depots 
bombed, etc., various successful bomb- 
dropping raids have been carried out, 
usually against the enemy's aircraft 
materiel. ..." 


An official note on the airmen by the 
French Government early in 1915 cor- 
roborates that of the English comman- 
der. "They give information to our 
commanding officers who find them 
invaluable auxiliaries, concerning the 
movements of the enemy and the prog- 
ress of columns and supplies. They 
are not liable to be stopped like cavalry 
by the uninterrupted line of trenches. 
They fly over positions and batteries, 
enabling our forces to aim with accur- 
acy. They drop bombs on gatherings 
of troops, convoys and staffs and are 
an instrument of demolition and de- 
moralization. " 

The second function the destruc- 
tion of enemy troops and material 
was in 1914 and early 1915 a secondary 
one for most aeroplanes were busied 
with reconnaissance, and no air forces 
were then so organized as to be able to 
cause great or continued damage to 
troops, nor were the machines so con- 
structed as to be able to carry sufficient 
weight of explosives to destroy any- 
thing but delicate structures such as 
gas works, magazines, airships and 
aeroplane sheds. In the case of the 
British Air Service the chief destruc- 
tive work was done by the naval wing 


of the Royal Flying Corps who had no 
daily reconnaissance and from whose 
headquarters at Dunkirk many bold 
raids were carried out. A few instances 
taken from a long list of destructive 
aeroplane raids by both parties will 
illustrate this. News of Russian air- 
work is scanty, but the bombarding of 
railway stations by the gigantic Rus- 
sian Sikorski biplane with its four 
engines producing a horse-power be- 
tween 400 and 600 is of interest, as well 
as its work in the great Russian retreat 
to the San where it operated against 
the enemy's railways and transport 

When Italy came into the war great 
aerial activity prevailed in the northern 
corner of the Adriatic, the Italian aero- 
planes attacking all the Austrian rail- 
ways, the Fiume dockyards, torpedo 
works and submarine factory, and the 
Trieste dockyards. 


Two aeroplanes of the British R. N. 
A. F. discovered the German cruiser 
Konigsberg up the Rufigi river in Ger- 
man East Africa. Indicating her posi- 
tion by smoke bombs, they trained two 
monitors, the Severn and the Mersey, 
on to her so that she was finally sunk. 
In the Dardanelles the seaplanes re- 
ported day by day location of new gun 
positions and gave valuable informa- 
tion to the mine sweepers about surface 
mines. An observer in a balloon off 
the coast of Anzac saw a large transport 
packed with Turkish troops going 
across the sea of Marmora. He sig- 
naled this fact to the Queen Elizabeth 
which was across the mountainous 
peninsula, rapidly calculated the future 
position of both ships and gave the 
signal. The observer saw the 15-inch 
shell strike and sink the enemy trans- 
port and its burden. In the Mesopo- 
tamian campaigns airplanes were also 

The French air service made recon- 
naissance daily along 500 miles of 
front. For example, on April 2, 1915, 
apart from seven bombardments, their 
work included forty-five reconnais- 
sances and twenty range corrections. 
As the submarines and airship bases of 


Flanders were the main British objec- 
tives, the bases of S. W. Germany were 
the French objectives. May 27, a 
French squadron of eighteen planes 
attacked the chemical factory of Lud- 
wigshafen, the most important factory 
of explosives in Germany, aviators 
dropping eighty-five bombs and kind- 
ling three enormous fires. 


About the middle of June 1915, the 
French press published a list of raids 
made by German aircraft to that date. 
Open towns in England and France 
had been bombarded eighty- three times 
by aeroplanes and twenty-one times by 
Zeppelins. Paris and Calais were the 
chief French centres visited, London 
and the east and northeast coast towns 
in England. As the summer went on 
Paris was less molested as her aerial 
defense grew more perfect. When the 
raiders arrived, fire from forts and anti- 
aircraft batteries poured up to greet 
them, searchlights flashed into the sky 
and a squadron of aeroplanes arose 
jtrom the ground, where all lights faded 
into darkness and bugles rang out in- 
sistent peals to take shelter. Never- 
theless Germany had a long list of 
destructive work wrought by her air- 
planes, especially during the early 
months of fighting. The railway sta- 
tion at Charleroi was destroyed, bombs 
were dropped upon Ghent, Ostend, 
Dunkirk, Calais, Luneville, Pont-a- 
Mousson, Nancy and Warsaw. To- 
wards the end of October over a hun- 
dred persons assembled close to the 
headquarters of the Russian General 
Staff were killed. In December at 
Hazebrouck a British soldier and five 
civilians were slain by bombs from air- 
craft. Through January, Dunkirk, 
Paris, Warsaw and the coast of Suffolk 
suffered visitations. In March again 
Calais was bombarded and twice dur- 
ing May bombs were dropped over St. 
Denis. The summer saw a new develop- 
ment in the attacks made from the skies 
on British merchantmen. 


German superiority in airships told 
most in the naval war. The British 

Navy held the command of the North 
Sea but the German Navy ruled its 
atmosphere with especially large Zep- 
' pelins each with a weight of thirty-five 
tons. Their engines gave them a speed 
of 50 miles an hour, afterwards devel- 
oped to 60 miles, and their fuel storage 
put all the North Sea easily within 
their range. No aeroplane or seaplane 
within the first twenty-one months of 
war had their range of action or their 
staying power for they were able to 
hang at a great height over the sea, 
drifting in the wind without using their 
engines while they watched the waters 
beneath. England did not possess any 
such craft and she endeavored to make 
up the deficiency by using airships 
with narrow radius of action, or squad- 
rons of seaplanes rising from mother 
ships. As a consequence British de- 
stroyers and patrols at great risk had 
to carry out most of the reconnaissance 
work that should have been done by 
large airships. 

The enemy used his fleet in two ways. 
Not only did he scout over the coasts 
of Russia, hunt out submarines that 
passed the Sound, patrol the coasts 
from Denmark to Holland, and watch 
the movements of ships in the North 
Sea, but he employed his airships 
against the armies in Flanders and 
France and the Balkans in an indirect 
but telling manner. Raids were made 
on England for the purpose of detain- 
ing large forces of anti-aircraft guns 
and crews and an increasing number of 
machines and pilots that could have 
been used at the front. Attempts to 
terrify the hostile populations of France 
and Russia were made as well: the 
towns behind the Russian front were 
bombed with great violence, continual 
attempts being made around Riga, 
Dvinsk and more southerly cities to 
reach ammunition depots and dislocate 
the railways. 


England, however, was the chief 
object of attack, because of her length 
of coastline. It was not until April 19, 
1915, that the German airship director 
launched his ships against the coast 
towns. The raids were renewed with 



energy in May and June when the 
British Army in Flanders was trying to 
remove the pressure against the Rus- 
sians by attacking the German front. 
May 31 the Zeppelins reached their 
goal, London, and the German press 
extolled the time as the "moment 
which sets the keystone to the lifework 
of Count Zeppelin." Contrary to 
German expectation raiding increased 
recruiting and roused the British spirit 
so as to banish for ever all thoughts of 
a premature peace. By August the 
enemy had lost more than twelve 
Zeppelins without counting any hit by 
the Russians or any loss of Parsevals. 
This was the minimum loss of rigid 
airships on the western front and his 
total losses on land and sea were proba- 
bly much greater. In the summer of 
1915 the airship sheds were moved for 
greater safety from near Brussels to 
Antwerp, and Count Zeppelin con- 
structed a new model with increased 
protection, lifting power, and speed, 
and this was built in numbers which 
were said to have brought the Zeppelins 
up to 100 by the spring of 1916. The 
German press was filled with the tre- 
mendous exploits of its air fleet and 
greatly exaggerated enemy losses were 
recorded. In all, in 1915, twenty raids 
were made upon England. The Press 
Bureau issued a statement February 4., 
pointing out that 133 men, 90 women 
and 43 children had been killed by 
bombs besides several hundred injured. 
Of these by far the largest proportion 
were civilians. 

British aerial defenses at the end of 
eighteen months' warfare were in a 
deplorable condition. Neither the 
Fleet nor the Army could spare the 
long-range guns needed against high- 
flying Zeppelins; the supply of high 
explosive shell was urgently needed in 
Flanders, the Dardanelles and Mesopo- 
tamia; nor had the organization itself 
been planned with sufficient system. 
In February 1916 Lord Kitchener made 
a short statement on the problem of 
air defense duringadebate in the House 
of Lords. He pointed out that hostile 
invasions of England so far had effected 
no military purpose and continued, 
"as regards Zeppelin attacks, it is 


beyond our power to guarantee these 
shores from a repetition of incursions. 
But although we have only one exam- 
ple of a Zeppelin being destroyed by 
aeroplane attack I allude to Lieuten- 
ant Warneford's gallant action there 
have been several cases in which we 
have so disabled the enemy's aircraft 
as to bring them eventually to the 
ground or to render them useless for 
further service." 




This is a reproduction of a notice issued by the military 
authorities to French soldiers, so that they might be 
able to recognize hostile German aircraft. 


To be able to fly rapidly and against 
adverse weather conditions was all that 
was required of aviators in the first 
weeks of war when reconnaissance was 
their sole function. When destruction 
of war material was added to scouting, 
machines were required to carry bombs, 
and steel darts or flfahettes for use 
against troops. The early bomb-carry- 
ing and bomb-release mechanisms were 
primitive, of course, and aviators found 
it expedient to get rid of all bombs, even 
by sacrificing them, before risking a 
landing. As progress was made, the 
bombs were carried suspended under 


the wings or fuselage of the plane, or in 
a compartment in the fuselage. The 
release mechanism was designed for 
lightness and for safety, and the order 
of releasing so arranged as to disturb 
the balance of the plane as little as 
possible, so that for instance, bombs 
would be released alternately from each 
wing. All bombs were fitted with a 
safety mechanism so that if the aviator 
had to get rid of them over his own 
lines he could drop them 
"safe" and they would not 
explode. Bombs were of three 
kinds: demolition, for use 
against ammunition dumps, 
railways, roads, buildings and 
all sorts of heavy structures; 
fragmentation bombs which 
threw showers of fragments 
against bodies of troops; and 
incendiary bombs, designed for 
use against ammunition depots, 
light structures, grain fields 
and the like. 


Bombing aeroplanes were 
not developed until early 1915, 
and then by the French most 
rapidly who first used a Voisin 
pusher, and later a multiple- 
engined plane of the Caudron 
type which had unique climb- 
ing powers and considerable 
weight-carrying capacity. In 
the early months, bombing 
aeroplanes were not fitted with 
sights adjusted to height, air 
speed and strength of wind, 
and aviators had to trust to 
their own skill entirely in cal- 
culating the parabolic curve that a bomb 
would describe above its mark. Nor 
were the early bombs so finished and 
steadied with fintails as to offer the 
least possible resistance to the air and at 
the same time avoid tumbling over and 
over in their downward course. These 
developments came in the second and 
third years of the war. Bombardment 
was generally undertaken by Allied 
aeroplanes in squadrons so as to be sure 
that some of the bombs hit the mark. 
In September a French squadron flew 
to Stuttgart and dropped thirty bombs 

over the palace of the King of Wurtem- 
berg, and made other raids on Treves 
and Saarbruck as a reprisal for Zeppelin 
attacks upon London. 


Since to be "all-seeing" was to be 
"all-hitting" it behooved the belliger- 
ents to strive for mastery in the air, and 
fighting in the clouds followed naturally 
on reconnaissance and bomb-throwing. 


Armament of aeroplanes is entirely a 
development of the Great War, and the 
question of the inventor and use of the 
first machine gun is somewhat obscure, 
as there is much conflicting evidence. 
The French had made a few experi- 
ments, and at the beginning of the war 
had a few heavy aeroplanes equipped 
to carry machine guns, but pioneer 
aviators usually only carried automatic 
pistols, and sometimes trench grenades 
and steel darts which, however, were of 
little use against swiftly moving ma- 
chines. The first historic record during 



the war of a machine gun mounted on 
an aeroplane was in the despatch tell- 
ing of the death of the French aviator 
Garaix, August 15, 1914, by the aero- 
bus Paul Schmitt; and the first re- 
corded equipment of a machine gun on 
a German machine was October 25, 
1914, when a Taube near Amiens 
opened fire on a Henry Farman ma- 
chine, piloted by Corporal Strebich and 
his mechanic who were directing artil- 
lery fire. The Germans first used a 
Mauser gun for their aeroplanes, but 
these are only isolated instances, and 
the British actually began real air- 
fighting because their staunch fast 
biplanes were the most suitable for 
mounting machine guns. 

The fact that the Allied machines 
were of so many types was responsible 
for their being able to make trial and 
choice of the fittest fighting machine. 
The high-powered racer of Morane 
with wings arranged over the pilot's 
head and the small fast biplanes of 
Sopwith and Bristol all became models 
for new squadrons, and all subsequent 
changes in aeroplanes were dictated 
by the necessity of engaging in air duels. 
When the French and British strength- 
ened their racers so that they could 
carry machine guns the Germans at 
first discarded their standardized mono- 
plane Taubes in favor of the biplane 
Albatros, but these were too heavy 
and they tried the Fokker, a small 
fast-climbing monoplane with extra- 
ordinarily powerful engines. "When 
the Allies saw what was needed to 
defeat the Fokker it was a matter of a 
few weeks before the type was doomed, 
and afterwards temporary supremacy 
in the air belonged to the owners of the 
machines having advantages in speed 
or armament, so that it became a con- 
stant battle of wit, skill in design and 
engineering knowledge." 



In the meantime developments had 
been taking place in the equipment and 
mounting of the machine gun itself. At 
first the gun was mounted on the upper 
plane of the biplane so as to shoot 
over the arc described by the propeller, 
but this position only allowed of a sin- 
gle belt or magazine being used on a 
trip. Then early in 1915 the gun was 
brought down into the fuselage to fire 
through the whirling propeller. Garros 
mounted a gun to shoot through the 
propeller February i, 1915, and in order 
to protect the propeller blades covered 
the tips with steel. Only a small pro- 
portion, about 7 per cent of the shots, 
hit the blades with this device. Many 
of the French Nieuports at this time 
had their fixed guns literally shooting 
through the propellers, the bullets 
perforating where they did not shatter 
the blades. There is even an instance 
on record of a flight commander in the 
British service working a Lewis gun' 
over the Bulgarian lines in 1917, with 
the propellers protected only by cloth 
wrappings. The invention of the so- 
called "synchronizing" device put an 
end to these make-shifts. By it the 
mounting of the gun was so fixed that 
the bullets would miss the blades of 
the flying propeller because engine and 
gun were geared together so that the 
engine pulled the trigger. This syn- 
chronized field gun the Germans were 
using extensively in their Fokkers by 
the spring of 1916. No very satisfac- 
tory machine for "spotting" for the 
guns was evolved up till the beginning 
of 1916 when the Germans showed a 
good type; the body was encased in 
metal protecting it against trench fire. 
Hereafter the greatest development 
was to be in fighting planes and in the 
heavy bombing planes. 


The Capitol of the United States, at Washington 


War and the Neutral Nations 


TN every great war of modern times 
questions of neutrality and neutral 
rights have been raised. In such con- 
tests two parties always appear; one 
concerned chiefly with belligerent 
rights; the other with the rights of 
neutrals. In a war which involved all 
of the great industrial nations of Eu- 
rope these questions were certain to be- 
come pressing and the division was one 
to appear. 


The United States was the greatest 
of the neutral powers at the outbreak 
of the war and it very soon became 
apparent that American interests 
would be seriously affected by the 
titanic struggle across the Atlantic. 
In the first place other neutral powers 
would expect the United States to 
champion the rights of all neutral 
states. Furthermore this country was 
the largest available source of supply 
for foodstuffs and war munitions. 
Naturally all of the belligerents wished 
to avail themselves of these resources 
while at the same time they would en- 
deavor to prevent their opponents 
from doing so. 

The situation which confronted the 
country was not unlike that which it 
faced more than one hundred years 
before during the Napoleonic wars. 
The recent struggle was, however, 
far more desperate and the economic 

relations of the great nations of the 
world were far more intricate than they 
had been in the previous century, and 
the difficulties were correspondingly 


Various attempts had been made- in 
the past to define neutral rights by 
international agreement. The most re- 
cent effort in this direction was the 
Declaration of London signed by the 
ten leading naval powers at the Inter- 
national Naval Conference in 1908. 
The Conference aimed to define pre- 
cisely the principles of naval warfare 
relating to blockade, contraband, con- 
tinuous voyage, use of neutral flag and 
other disputed points. The Declara- 
tion fixed a list of absolute contraband, 
that is, goods which are primarily in- 
tended for warfare and hence liable to 
seizure and confiscation; a second list 
of conditional contraband, that is, 
goods which might be used either for 
peaceful or warlike purposes and which 
were liable to seizure only in case they 
were for military use; and finally a 
list of non-contraband goods which 
were absolutely free from seizure. 

In Great Britain the Declaration 
was not received favorably and that 
nation refused to ratify it. When the 
Great War began the United States in- 
quired whether the belligerent states 
were prepared to conduct naval war- 



fare according to the terms of the 
Declaration of London. To this query 
Great Britain replied that she had de- 
cided "to adopt generally the rules and 
regulations of the Declaration in ques- 
tion subject to certain modifications 
and additions." These modifications 
involved new and extended lists of con- 
traband. Further, that Great Britain 
would "treat as liable to capture, a 
vessel which carried contraband of war 
with false papers if she were encoun- 
tered on the return voyage." Certain 
other technical changes were also indi- 
cated. In reply to this note the United 
States Government stated that it 
would withdraw its proposal to abide 
by the Declaration and -that "it will 
insist that the rights and duties of the 
United States and its citizens in the 
present war be defined by the existing 
rules of international law." But there 
was no "existing rule of international 
law" regulating the vexed question of 
contraband, and as the war advanced 
the Entente powers steadily extended 
the livSts of absolute and conditional 
contraband despite the protests of the 
United States and other neutral powers. 


It was natural that Great Britain 
should take full advantage of her pre- 
ponderant sea power. In doing so, 
however, serious questions involving 
the rights of neutral states arose due 
to the geographical position of Ger- 
many. On two sides Germany was 
bounded by neutral states with access 
to the sea. Through Holland and the 
Scandinavian countries, goods from 
the United States and other neutral 
states could be sent into Germany. 
More indirectly foreign goods were 
brought from Switzerland. Unless 
Great Britain could in some manner 
regulate such trade in order to prevent 
contraband goods reaching the enemy 
the value of her sea power would be 
materially lessened. This was some- 
what complicated by conditions in the 
states themselves. 

In the Scandinavian states there 
was a divided public sentiment toward 
the nations at war. In Sweden as a 
whole there was a strong pro-German, 


or perhaps more truly, an anti-Russian, 
sentiment. The aristocracy was frank- 
ly pro-German. In Norway popular 
sentiment appeared to lean toward the 
Allied cause, and the same was true, 
though perhaps in a less degree, in 
Denmark. All suffered from the Al- 
lied blockade, and their ships felt Ger- 
man frightfulness. Norway, particu- 
larly, lost a large proportion of its ship- 
ping. The responsible leaders in all 
three of the Scandinavian f countries 
realized the necessity for' common 
action in the protection of their common 
interests. Conferences were held by 
representatives of the three powers in 
December, 1914, in March, 1916, and 
again in February, 1917. At these 
conferences steps were taken to protect 
the economic interests of the three 
states, though they were powerless to 
do more than enter protest against 
belligerent encroachments on their 


The geographical position of the 
Netherlands placed that country in a 
peculiarly difficult position. The in- 
vasion of Belgium by Germany aroused 
the fear in Holland that she might 
meet a similar fate, and to meet this 
danger the Dutch army was mobilized. 
To the expense which these military 
measures involved was added a con- 
siderable burden in caring for the large 
number of Belgian refugees who fled 
across the Dutch border. In main- 
taining her blockade of Germany, 
Great Britain found it necessary to 
control in some way the movement of 
goods through Holland into Germany. 
By an arrangement w.ith the Dutch 
Government there was organized a 
company called the Netherland Over- 
seas Trust, to which imports from for- 
eign countries were consigned with 
the proviso that such goods should not 
be shipped into Germany. The exam- 
ple was later followed in other coun- 

The little country of Switzerland 
found herself completely surrounded 
by the nations at war. With a popula- 
tion sharply divided in their sympa- 
thies toward the belligerents, the Swiss 

The palace was originally designed and used for a townhall 1648-55. Louis Bonaparte appropriated it as a royal 

The sovereign usually lives at The Hague. 


The canals of Amsterdam cut the city up into 90 islands which are connected by about 300 bridges. Building in 
Amsterdam is a lengthy process, as it is necessary to go down deep before a firm foundation can be secured. In 
the Jewish quarter of the city Rembrandt lived and Spinoza was born, and many of the former's pictures are in the 



authorities faced a difficult problem 
in maintaining the neutrality of the 
country. The army was mobilized on 
all of the frontiers to prevent any 
possible violation of Swiss territory. 
The war brought a heavy financial 
burden to Switzerland. In addition 
to the added military expenses, many 
refugees from the surrounding coun- 
tries were cared for while, at the same 
time, the Swiss were deprived of a 
large part of their peace-time revenue 
from the tourist travel. 


/\ MANY. 

Great Britain, early in the war, 
brought pressure to bear upon all of 
these states to limit their exports to 
Germany. Partly due to this pressure 
and partly due to a desire to conserve 
their resources all of these countries 
declared more or less effective embar- 
goes on foodstuffs, livestock, oil, chemi- 
cals, munitions and other commodities. 
Denmark and Holland attempted to 
divide their surplus products between 
the Allies and Germany, which de- 
manded food in return for coal. 

South American countries suffered 
a severe dislocation of their economic 
life. A large part of the business in 
these countries depended upon credits 
from the nations at war, particularly 
Great Britain and Germany. A large 
part of their export trade was cut off, 
because of the diversion of means of 
transportation to war purposes. In 
their difficulties these countries turned 
to the United States for financial aid. 
Argentina floated two loans in this 
country, one for $15,000,000 and the 
other for $25,000,000. 


At the beginning of the war the im- 
ports of the neutral states adjoining 
Germany increased enormously and 
some began to receive articles never 
before imported. For example, the 
quantities of lard, meat, cereals, cocoa, 
cotton, copper, rubber, and other com- 
modities received by these states was 
many times greater than they had ever 
received before. Denmark and Hol- 
land, both normally exporters of meat, 
received large amounts, and Holland, 


in which there was neither coke, nor 
blast furnaces, received at the single 
port of Rotterdam a million and a half 
tons of Swedish and Norwegian iron 
ore between August and December 
1914. Obviously these commodities 
were going to Germany, either across 
the Baltic, or through Denmark and 
Holland, and unless they could be cut 
off, the blockade was ineffective. On 
the other hand legitimate neutral trade 
was allowed in time of war, and here 
controversy arose with the United 
States, the chief neutral source of com- 


In September the British authorities 
seized two cargoes of copper shipped 
from the United States to Holland, and 
in October three shipments of copper 
to Italy were held at Gibraltar on the 
ground that the ultimate destination 
of these goods was Germany. A fur- 
ther restraint upon neutral commerce 
came with the declaration by the Brit- 
ish Admiralty on November 3, 1914, 
that the whole of the North Sea was to 
be considered a military area and warn- 
ing neutral vessels that if they entered 
this area they did so at their own peril. 
This action was justified on the ground 
that Germany had "scattered mines 
indiscriminately in the open sea on the 
main trade route from America to 
Liverpool via the north of Ireland." 

Ships desiring to trade with the Scan- 
dinavian countries, the Baltic or Hol- 
land were advised to go through the 
English Channel where they would be 
given sailing directions. In announc- 
ing this unusual policy, Mr. Asquith 
explained that the British authorities 
were aware of the anxiety which such 
action would cause in neutral countries 
and that he hoped that these neutrals 
"will appreciate their earnest desire 
that there should be no interference 
with neutral trade provided that the 
vital interests of Great Britain, which 
are at stake in the present conflict, are 
adequately maintained." Against this 
policy of the British Government vigor- 
ous protests were made by American 
business interests and he State De- 
partment was urged to obtain some relief. 



For some months the United States 
Government made no official protest, 
possibly in the hope that Great Britain 
would not continue a policy which ap- 
peared to be unjustified by the estab- 
lished rules of international law. 
Finally on December 26, 1914, a formal 
note of protest was sent to Great Brit- 

bursed for detained cargoes was not suf- 
ficient. The American Government 
recognized the right of visit and search, 
but it could not admit the right to take 
American vessels into British ports for 
such purpose. It was pointed out that 
great injury was done to the commer- 
cial interests of the United States, be- 
cause they were denied the right to 
trade in foreign markets. In conclu- 


The capital of Sweden has often been called the Venice of the North, but in aspect it is different from the southern 
city. Waterways cut it in every direction, but the islands and peninsulas so formed are rocky and high, and forests 
creep in almost to the heart of the city. Stockholm possesses a good harbor but the approaches are somewhat 
perilous on account of reefs. Picture from Henry Ruschin 

ain. It was stated that the United 
States Government "has viewed with 
growing concern the large number of 
vessels laden with American goods 
destined for neutral ports in Europe 
which have been seized on the high 
seas, taken into British ports, and de- 
tained sometimes for weeks by the 
British authorities." Goods consigned 
to neutral countries had been detained 
and seized because the countries to 
which they were consigned had not 
forbidden the export of such articles. 
Foodstuffs had been stopped despite 
the presumption of innocent use. The 
fact that the consignors were reim- 

sion the United States Government 
stated that the policy which Great 
Britain was pursuing might "arouse 
a feeling contrary to that which has so 
long existed between the American and 
British people." 


The reply of the British Govern- 
ment to this protest stated that it was 
not the intention to interfere with legit- 
imate neutral trade. It was pointed 
out, however, that the trade of the 
United States with neutral countries 
contiguous to Germany had increased 
to such an extent that the presumption 



was that a considerable proportion of 
these goods reached Germany. Thus 
the exports from New York to Den- 
mark which in November 1913 amount- 
ed to $558,000 in the same month of 
1914 amounted to $7,101,000; to 
Sweden $377,000 in November 1913 
and $2,558,000 in November 1914; 
to Norway $477,000 in 1913 and 
$2,318,000 in 1914; and to Italy, 
$2,971,000 in 1913 and $4,781,000 in 
1914. Furthermore it was shown that 
this great increase was especially mark- 
ed in contraband articles. Thus the 
exports of copper to Italy had in- 
creased nearly three-fold, and to other 
neutral countries five-fold. 

In regard to foodstuffs it was stated 
that it was not proposed to seize them 
unless they were destined for the armed 
forces of the enemy. It was further 
stated that Great Britain had not con- 
sidered placing cotton on the list of 
contraband. The question of importa- 
tion of foodstuffs into Germany became 
complicated when on January 22, 1915, 
Germany issued an order comman- 
deering all stocks of grain within the 
empire. This action made it difficult, 
if not impossible, to distinguish be- 
tween grain intended for the military 
forces and that for the use of the civil 
population. As a consequence Great 
Britain declared that thereafter food- 
stuffs would be considered contraband. 


For six months after the outbreak 
of the war Great Britain did not pro- 
claim a blockade of German ports. 
This delay was probably due to the 
difficulty of enforcing the blockade 
under the existing rules of international 
law. Two of the fundamental require- 
ments for a blockade are, first, that it 
should be effective and second that it 
must bear equally upon all neutral 
powers. The geographical position of 
Germany and the operation of sub- 
marines made the application of these 
rules difficult. To enforce the usual 
"close" blockade by maintaining a 
patrol outside the German harbors 
would have exposed the blockading 
fleet to constant danger from sub- 
marine attack. Furthermore, as has 


been stated, an effective blockade of 
Germany would involve a control of 
the commerce of contiguous neutral 

Despite these difficulties Great Brit- 
ain and France, on March I, 1915, de- 
clared their intention to confiscate all 
goods "of presumed enemy destina- 
tion, ownership or origin." Such ac- 
tion, of course, was justified only if a 
blockade was proclaimed and in answer 
to an inquiry from the United States 
whether such a blockade was contem- 
plated the British Government replied 
that as "an effective cordon controlling 
intercourse with Germany had been es- 
tablished and proclaimed, the importa- 
tion and exportation of all goods to or 
from Germany was, under the accepted 
rules of blockade, prohibited." Great 
Britain justified its action on the 
ground that Germany had violated the 
rules of international law in the proc- 
lamation of a "War Zone" around the 
British Isles, threatening to sink all 
vessels entering this zone, and in the 
inhuman treatment of the civilian 
population of Belgium and northern 


The British note defined the radius of 
activity of the British and French fleets 
in enforcing the blockade as "European 
waters including the Mediterranean." 
At the same time it was stated that 
the Entente powers would not exercise 
the right to confiscate ships for vio- 
lating the blockade, but would only 
stop goods going to or coming from the 

In a communication addressed to 
the British Government on March 30, 
1915, the Government of the United 
States called attention to the unusual 
character of the proposed blockade. 
It was stated that it "would constitute 
a practical assertion of unlimited bellig- 
erent rights over neutral commerce 
within the whole European area. " The 
unprecedented feature of the blockade 
"is that it embraces many neutral 
ports and coasts." While ready to ad- 
mit that new methods of warfare, es- 
pecially the use of the submarines, 
might justify a modification of the old 


form of "close" blockade the United 
States could not concede any inter- 
ference with "free admission and exit 
to all lawful traffic with neutral ports 
through the blockading squadron." 
Moreover, it was asserted that alleged 
illegal acts of Germany could not be 
offered as a justification for abridging 
the rights of neutral states. 

For a time the questions in dispute 

ports of his enemy." Concerning the 
American contention that the blockade 
should not interfere with commerce 
through neutral territory the British 
note maintained that such interference 
did not violate the fundamental prin- 
ciples of international law provided 
that "circumstances render such an 
application of the principles of blockade 
the only means of making it effective. " 


This picture shows Dutch and German guards on the Holland-Belgium frontier. The Germans shared the vigil 
for other reasons than the Dutch who were anxious that their neutrality be respected. The Germans feared lest 
any should escape or enter with information of military value. Where the frontier was unprotected, a fence of 
electrified barbed wire was erected, and notices of warning affixed. 

In this connection Sir Edward Grey 
asserted that Great Britain was follow- 
ing the precedent established during 
the American Civil War. In order to 
make effective the blockade of the 
ports of the Confederacy the Federal 
Government seized goods in transit 
from European countries to Bermuda 
and Mexico on the ground that the 
ultimate destination of these goods was 
the Southern Confederacy. It was 
further pointed out that this practice 
was upheld by the United States Su- 
preme Court. Finally the British note 
stated that the utmost possible care 
would be taken not to interfere with 

between the United States and Great 
Britain were eclipsed by the far more 
serious questions which arose in con- 
nection with the German submarine 
campaign which culminated in the sink- 
ing of the Lusitania. 


On July 23, 1915, the British Govern- 
ment sent a long note defending the 
principles of the British blockade in 
answer to the American protest. Sir 
Edward Grey stated that the right of 
blockade had "obviously no value save 
in so far as it gives power to a belliger- 
ent to cut off sea-borne exports and im- 



the bona fide commerce of neutral coun- 
tries, and that it had tempered the 
severity of the old rules of blockade by 
relinquishing the right to condemn 
ships entering or leaving the block- 
aded area. 


Early in October 1915 the submarine 
controversy between Germany and the 
United States appeared to have reached 
a satisfactory solution when Germany 
agreed to abandon her policy of sink- 
ing merchant vessels without warning. 
With the main issues in the strained re- 
lations with Germany for the moment 
disposed of, the United States Govern- 
ment resumed with vigor the contro- 
versy with Great Britain in regard to 
the interference with American com- 

In a long and vigorous note, Mr. 
Lansing, on October 21, 1915, replied 
to the British defense of the blockade 
measures. In regard to the statistics 
submitted by the British Government 
showing the increase in the volume of 
American export trade to neutral coun- 
tries adjacent to Germany it was point- 
ed out that Great Britain had failed to 
take into account the increased price 
of commodities or to make allowance 
for the closing of markets formerly 
open to such neutrals. The practice of 
taking vessels into port for purposes of 
visit and search, it was contended, was 
not justified under the existing princi- 
ples of international law. While the 
United States was at first inclined to 
view the blockade measures with 
leniency because of British assurances 
of regard and provision for neutral 
trade, experience had shown that such 
assurances were not realized in actual 

In regard to the character of the 
British blockade the American note 
asserted that it violated all of the basic 
principles laid down in international 
law. Concerning the British contention 
that the blockade of neutral ports was 
practiced by the United States during 
the Civil War it was held the circum- 
stances then were essentially different 
from those in the present case and that, 
moreover, Great Britain had never 


recognized such a practice as warranted 
by international law. 


The note concluded with the sharp 
reminder that the United States re- 
garded the blockade as "ineffective, 
illegal and indefensible" and that the 
United States "can not submit to the 
curtailment of its neutral rights by 
these measures which are admittedly 
retaliatory, and therefore illegal, in 
conception and in nature" but would 
"insist that the relations between it 
and His Majesty's Government be 
governed, not by a policy of expediency, 
but by those established rules of inter- 
national conduct upon which Great 
Britain in the past has held the United 
States to account when the latter na- 
tion was a belligerent engaged in a 
struggle for national existence." 

This vigorous protest did not bring 
any material change in* the blockade 
policy of the Entente powers, but on 
April 25, 1916, the British Govern- 
ment made an extended and concilia- 
tory reply to the American note. It 
was maintained that the policy pur- 
sued by Great Britain was "judicially 
sound and valid" and that every effort 
was being made to meet the legitimate 
complaints of neutrals through the ap- 
pointment of "an impartial and influ- 
ential commission." In regard to the 
complaint that ships were taken into 
port for purposes of visit and search it 
was pointed out that the size of modern 
steamships and methods of concealing 
contraband made it impracticable to 
search vessels at sea. Once more the 
British submitted figures to show that 
American commerce with neutral coun- 
tries had not been seriously curtailed. 
It was shown that large consignments 
of meat and other commodities had 
been made to dock-laborers, lighter- 
men, bakers,- etc. , in Sweden and Den- 
mark and that such consignments 
were obviously meant to conceal the 
real destination of the goods. The 
statement that the blockade was ineffec- 
tive was denied. On the contrary, it 
was asserted that it is doubtful whether 
there had ever been a more effective 


In Switzerland the French-Swiss were outnumbered by three to one by the German-Swiss, and each was kept 
from his own frontier. At intervals the Imperial forces were reported to be massing for a drive through Switzer- 
land. In 1916 Falkenhayn was said to be preparing to break through into Italy. 


Her mountainous terrain was Switzerland's best safeguard against violation of her neutrality by Germany, who 
would have liked to outflank the right of the French line by pouring troops through Switzerland. Nevertheless, 
her army was a factor in her safety. The Swiss army, including all the citizens, was fairly well trained, and the 
war material was excellent. The German High Command did not dare risk adding another enemy with such 
advantage of position to those she already had. 




Concerning the vital question of re- 
strictions upon trade between neutral 
countries the British note said that 
"no belligerent could in modern times 
be bound by a rule that no goods could 
be seized unless they were accompan- 
ied by papers which established their 
destination to an enemy country. To 
press such a theory is tantamount to 
asking that all trade between neutral 
ports shall be free, and would thus 
render nugatory the exercise of sea 
power and destroy the pressure which 
the command of the sea enables the 
Allies to impose upon their enemies." 

This reply made it clear that while 
Great Britain was anxious to mitigate 
the hardships which neutrals suffered 
under the blockade, she was unwilling 
to concede the claim made by the 
United States that neutral trade should 
be free from interference. In America 
there was considerable irritation against 
Great Britain because of her unwilling- 
ness to accept the American point of 
view. In Congress retaliatory meas- 
ures were proposed in order to force 
concessions from the Allies. In an 
amendment to the General Revenue 
Act the President was empowered to 
restrict or prohibit the importation of 
commodities from countries which 
placed restrictions, contrary to the law 
and practice of nations, upon goods 
exported from the United States. 


On the other hand there was clear 
evidence that by the end of 1916 pub- 
lic opinion in the United States had 
undergone a marked change. Two 
years of warfare had tended to clarify 
the great fundamental issues. It had 
come to be recognized in the United 
States that the Entente powers repre- 
sented, on the whole, those principles 
of democracy and justice which the 
American people respected. Moreover 
the shocking crimes of Germany on 
land and sea had caused a feeling of re- 
sentment among all right-thinking 
Americans. It is doubtful, therefore, 
whether public opinion in the United 
States in 1916 would have supported 


any action by the Government which 
would have seriously embarrassed the 
Entente powers. 

Two other questions arose which led 
to an interchange of notes between the 
United States and Great Britain. One 
involved the use of neutral flags by 
belligerents and the other dealt with 
the interference with neutral mail. 


Early in the year 1915 complaint was 
made by the German Government that 
British vessels were using neutral flags 
to avoid attack by submarines. It ap- 
pears that the British steamer Deduna 
on leaving Queenstown had raised the 
American flag and that the Lusitania 
when approaching the coast of Ireland 
had received wireless orders to hoist 
the American flag and sail under it to 
Liverpool. In a note addressed to the 
British Government the Government 
of the United States called attention 
to "the serious consequences which 
may result to American vessels and 
American citizens, if this practice is 
continued. " It was pointed out that 
while it was legitimate under inter- 
national law to use neutral flags in ex- 
ceptional cases to escape capture, any 
general use of the American flag for 
such purposes would seriously endanger 
American vessels. 

In answer to this note the British 
Government stated that the raising of 
the American flag on the Lusitania had 
been done at the request of American 
passengers on board. Moreover it was 
stated that Great Britain, when a neu- 
tral, had accorded to vessels of bellig- 
erent states the use of the British flag 
to escape capture and that the United 
States had so used it during the Civil 
War. At the same time it was indicated 
that the British Government did not 
propose to permit British merchant 
vessels to use neutral flags as a general 


In December 1915 the British Gov- 
ernment began the practice of remov- 
ing mail pouches from ships sailing be- 
tween the United States and neutral 
European ports. Against this practice 


the United States entered a vigorous 
protest. While the United States Gov- 
ernment was "inclined to regard par- 
cel-post articles as subject to the same 
treatment as articles sent as express or 
freight in respect to belligerent search, 
seizure and condemnation" it was un- 
willing to admit the right of belligerents 
to force vessels to enter their harbors or 
to bring pressure upon ship-owners to 
have their vessels voluntarily enter 
such harbors and there to subject the 
mails to censorship and delay. It was 
pointed out that "important papers 
which can never be duplicated, or can 
be duplicated only with great difficulty, 
such as United States patents for in- 
ventions, rare documents, legal papers 
relating to the settlement of estates, 
powers of attorney, insurance claims, 
income tax returns, and similar matter 
had been lost" as a result of the open- 
ing and search of mail pouches. Delay 
in transmitting business correspondence 
such as bids on contracts had caused 
serious loss to American business 

In answer to this protest the British 
authorities showed that under the pro- 
tection of the mails considerable quan- 
tities of contraband were being sent to 
Germany and declared that the Allied 
Governments proposed to stop such 
shipments. It was asserted that the 
Allies did not propose to interfere with 
genuine correspondence but that it was 
impracticable to examine the mail bags 
without bringing the ship into port. In 
regard to ships which voluntarily en- 
tered British ports it was held that mail 
on such ships was subject to British 
regulations in regard to censorship. 
Charges were made in certain business 
circles in the United States that Great 
Britain was using information obtained 
through the censorship of American 
mail to the advantage of British busi- 
ness interests. This was emphatically 
denied by the British authorities, and 
no proof in support of the charge was 
presented. In Congress a resolution 
was passed giving the President power 
to deny the use of the American mails 
to the citizens of countries which inter- 
fered with the free use by American 
citizens of the mails in such countries. 

More serious difficulty arose with 
Sweden on this question. Swedish 
mail both inward and outward bound 
was detained for examination by the 
British authorities, and in reprisal the 
Swedish Government, in December, 
1915, held up British mail destined for 
Russia. A sharp correspondence en- 
sued in which the Swedish Govern- 
ment charged repeated infractions of 
international law on the part of the 
British. The British Government de- 
nied the charges, and finally Sweden 
reluctantly released the detained mails, 
on the promise that any claim of in- 
jury should be submitted to arbitra- 
tion after the war. 


Of the many new devices which the 
Great War brought forth none aroused 
such serious problems or such bitter 
feeling as the submarine. For the first 
time the under-sea warship appeared as 
an important factor in offensive naval 
warfare. Hopelessly distanced by Great 
Britain in naval strength Germany ap- 
parently hoped to redress the balance 
by a vigorous development and use of 
this new naval weapon. The use of the 
submarine was certain to give rise to a 
number of novel and vexing questions 
which the existing rules of naval war- 
fare did not cover. First of all was the 
nature of the craft itself. Being lightly 
armored it wo.uld be an easy prey, if 
discovered, for warships or even for 
merchantmen carrying small calibre 
guns. The one element of strength of 
the submarine was its ability to attack 
unseen. Deprived of this recourse it 
became practically impotent. But to 
sink a merchant vessel without warn- 
ing and without making provision for 
the safety of passengers and crew 
would violate long established rules of 
naval warfarei Furthermore it was 
quite impossible for submarines to fol- 
low the old methods of capture by which 
a prize-crew was placed on the captured 
vessel, for the submarine carried only a 
small crew. 


The war was not many months old 
before Germany clearly indicated that 



she did not propose to be hampered in 
the use of submarines by attempting to 
conform to the accepted rules of naval 
warfare. On February 4, 1915, she 
served notice that the waters around 
the British Isles were to be considered 
as a war zone and that after February 
1 8, 1915, all enemy merchant vessels 
encountered in this area would be sunk 
even if it was not possible to provide 
for the safety of their crews and passen- 
gers. Neutral vessels were warned of 
the danger of traveling in this zone ex- 
cept for a passage along the Dutch 
coast and another along the Norwegian 

In defense of this remarkable proc- 
lamation the German Government as- 
serted that Great Britain had refused to 
abide by the established rules of inter- 
national warfare in repudiating the 
Declaration of London and by pro- 
claiming a blockade of neutral ports. 
These measures, it was asserted, were 
aimed not only at Germany's military 
strength, but at her economic life, and 
"by starvation to doom the entire pop- 
ulation of Germany to destruction. " 
As Great Britain had claimed that vital 
interests of the British Empire were at 
stake, so Germany appealed to the 
same vital interests, and "it is to be 
expected that the neutral powers will 
show no less consideration for the vital 
interests of Germany than for those of 


The United States Government 
promptly took notice of the German 
proclamation. In a note addressed to 
the German Government on Febru- 
ary 10, there was pointed out the "very 
serious possibilities of the course of 
action apparently contemplated." It 
urged Germany to consider before act- 
ing on that policy "the critical situa- 
tion in respect of the relation between 
this country and Germany which 
might arise were the German naval 
forces to destroy any merchant vessel 
of the United States or cause the death 
of American citizens." While loath to 
believe that the German Government 
contemplated any such violation of the 
well-recognized principles of interna- 


tional law the United States felt con- 
strained to warn Germany that "it 
would be difficult for the Government 
of the United States to view the act in 
any other light than as an indefensible 
violation of neutral rights" and that 
"the United States would be con- 
strained to hold the Imperial German 
Government to a strict accountability 
for such acts." 

To this warning of the United States 
the German Government replied on 
February 18, 1915. It called attention 
to Germany's observance of "valid 
international rules of naval warfare" 
in contrast to Great Britain's illegal 
interference with neutral commerce. 
It charged that neutrals had tacitly 
acquiesced in Great Britain's acts and 
hence Germany felt "obliged to answer 
Great Britain's method of murderous 
warfare with sharp counter-measures." 
The German Government expressed its 
willingness "to deliberate with the 
United States concerning any meas- 
ures which might secure the safety of 
legitimate shipping of neutrals in the 
war zone" but at the same time Ger- 
many declared her intention of suppress- 
ing by every means in her power the 
large contraband trade with Great 
Britain. Finally it was suggested that 
American merchant ships carrying 
non-contraband be convoyed through 
the war zone. In conclusion the note 
stated that if the United States should 
be able to persuade Great Britain to 
abandon her alleged illegal methods of 
naval warfare Germany would "gladly 
draw conclusions from the new sit- 
uation. " 


In view of the very serious conse- 
quences which Germany's proposed 
policy threatened, the United States 
addressed identical notes to Great 
Britain and Germany proposing a basis 
of settlement. It was suggested that 
both powers should agree to the follow- 
ing conditions, (i) That neither power 
should sow floating mines on the high 
seas or in territorial waters, and that 
anchored mines should be* placed only 
in cannon range of harbors for defen- 
sive purposes; that all mines should 


The cost of keeping the army mobilized was a great drain upon the resources of Switzerland and the Netherlands, 
but these countries did not dare do otherwise. Guards were stationed at every road and bridge, and at intervals 
along the whole frontier. Along most of the frontier there were fences of barbed wire. 


The Germans desired the Dutch to remain nominally neutral, but practically favorable to the German cause, and 
aided their commerce. In addition to these commercial considerations the memory of the Boer War told against 
Great Britain. Nevertheless, the experience of the refugees influenced the Dutch, making them willing if need be 
to oppose the power of Germany. They prepared large quantities of munitions to be ready for any emergency. 

Picture from Henry Ruschin 



bear the stamp of the government 
planting them and should be so con- 
structed as to become harmless when 
separated from their moorings; (2) that 
neither should use submarines to attack 
the merchant vessels of any nationality, 
except to enforce the right of visit and 
search; (3) that both should prohibit 
the use of neutral flags for the purpose 
of disguise. Finally it was suggested 
that Germany should agree to allow 
foodstuffs imported from the United 
States to be consigned to agencies des- 
ignated by the United States and to 
guarantee that such foodstuffs should 
be used for the civilian population only 
while Great Britain was requested not 
to place foodstuffs on the list of abso- 
lute contraband nor to interfere with 
such foodstuffs as were consigned to 
the designated agencies. To these sug- 
gestions Germany returned a qualified 
agreement while Great Britain refused 
to modify its blockade measures in 
these particulars. 


Unable to arrange an understanding 
between the belligerents the United 
States awaited the result of Germany's 
submarine activities. On March 28, 
1915, word was received that the Brit- 
ish steamship Falaba had been sunk 
near the English coast and an Ameri- 
can, Leon C. Thrasher, had been 
drowned. In defense of this act Ger- 
many claimed that the Falaba had 
been warned and had attempted to es- 
cape. Upon being overhauled the pas- 
sengers were given ten minutes to get 
into the life boats and the vessel was 
then sunk. During the month of April 
1915 two American vessels were at- 
tacked in the war zone, the Gushing and 
the Gulflight. The United States in- 
stituted inquiries at London and Berlin 
concerning these attacks, but before 
the Government had taken any final 
action in these cases the whole civilized 
world was horrified at the news of the 
sinking of the Cunard Line Steamship, 
the Lusitania, on May 7, 1915, off the 
Old Head of Kinsale, the southeastern 
point of Ireland, resulting in the loss 
of 1153 lives. Of the victims 114 were 
American citizens. 


On Saturday, May i, the following 
notice had appeared in the newspapers 
throughout the United States. 

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

"Imperial German Embassy 
"Washington, D. C., April 22, 1915." 


Mr. John R. Rathom, editor of the 
Providence Journal, later disclosed the 
interesting story of this message. 
Mr. Rathom, early in the war, deter- 
mined to ferret out German intrigue 
and propaganda in this country. He 
succeeded in placing confidential agents 
in the German Embassy at Washing- 
ton and in the German Consulates in a 
number of important cities. (For the 
story of Mr. Rathom's work see the 
"World's Work," December 1917, Feb- 
ruary and March, 1918.) 

On April 29, 1915, the wireless sta- 
tion maintained by the Providence 
Journal picked up a code message 
which read as follows: 
From Berlin Foreign Office 

To Botschaft, Washington. 
669 (44-W) Welt nineteen fifteen warne 
175, 29, i stop 175, I, 2 stop durch 622, 
2, 4 stop 19, 7, 18 stop LIX, 11, 3, 4, 

This message aroused great curiosity 
for it followed no known code. The key 
was finally discovered through the clev- 
er work of one of Mr. Rathom's agents 
who recalled that on the morning of 
April 29 one of the officials of the 
German Embassy had been looking for 
a copy of the World Almanac. The 
words "Welt 1915" furnished the'clue 
and with a copy of the World Alma- 
nac for 1915 by following the num- 


bers as indicating page line and word 
the message was decoded as follows : 

"Warn Lusitania passengers through 
press not voyage across Atlantic. " 

Throughout the United States this 
ruthless sacrifice of innocent lives 
aroused a feeling of bitter indignation. 
Some few German apologists attempted 
to justify the act. Dr. Bernhard Dern- 
berg, who was regarded as the Kaiser's 
spokesman in America, issued a state- 
ment defending the German action on 
the ground that neutrals had received 
ample warning not to travel on bellig- 
erent ships, concluding that "every- 
body takes a risk if they want to. Any- 
body can commit suicide if they want 


During the week following the sink- 
ing of the Lusitania the American 
people awaited with tense interest to see 
what action would be taken by the 
President in the face of this very grave 
situation. Public opinion was clearly 
aroused and it was expected that the 
United States would hold Germany to a 
"strict accountability" for the terrible 
crime. On May 10 the President ad- 
dressed a meeting of four thousand 
naturalized citizens at Philadelphia. 
Coming so soon after the Lusitania 
tragedy it was expected that he would 
make reference to it. In the course of 
his remarks he said: "There is such a 
thing as a man being too proud to 
fight. There is such a thing as a nation 
being so right that it does not need to 
convince others by force that it is 
right. " By many persons both in this 
country and abroad this statement was 
interpreted as foreshadowing a mild 
protest to Germany in the Lusitania 

Such fears, however, proved to be 
unfounded. On May 13, 1915, the 
eagerly awaited statement of the 
United States was published. With 
forceful dignity the President reviewed 
the acts of German submarines since 
the proclamation of the war zone 
"which the Government of the United 
States has observed with growing con- 
cern, distress and amazement." Con- 
cerning the German claim that the al- 

leged illegal acts of Great Britain justi- 
fied retaliatory measures the United 
States was unwilling to admit that such 
measures could deprive neutrals of 
rights clearly established by interna- 
tional law. Among such rights was 
that of traveling on merchant ships 
either of belligerent or neutral owner- 


The United States assumed that the 
German Government recognized these 
clearly established principles and there- 
fore that "it confidently expects the 
Imperial German Government wall 
disavow the acts of which the Govern- 
ment of the United States complains; 
that they will make reparation as far 
as reparation is possible for injuries 
which are without measure, and that 
they will take immediate steps to pre- 
vent the recurrence of anything so 
obviously subversive of the principles 
of warfare, for which the Imperial 
German Government has in the past so 
wisely and so firmly contended. " The 
note concluded with the warning that 
"the Imperial German Government 
will not expect the Government of the 
United States to omit any word or any 
act necessary to the performance of its 
sacred duty of maintaining the rights 
of the United States and its citizens 
and of safeguarding their free exercise 
and enjoyment. " 

A communication received from the 
German Government on May n, 1915, 
clearly indicated that the German au- 
thorities appreciated the force of the 
resentment in neutral countries against 
Germany's submarine ruthlessness. It 
was stated that the German submarine 
commanders had no intention of at- 
tacking neutral ships in the war zone. 
Even if such ships carried contraband 
they were to be dealt with only accord- 
ing to the accepted rules of cruiser war- 
fare. If any neutral ship should be 
attacked as a result of an "unfortunate 
accident" the German Government 
would "unreservedly recognize its re- 
sponsibility therefor." This statement 
did not touch upon the right of neutrals 
to travel on belligerent merchant ves- 
sels but it nevertheless marked a clear 



retreat from the extreme position taken 
in the proclamation of the war zone. 


On May 28, 1915, the German Gov- 
ernment sent a reply to the American 
communication. In regard to the 
Gushing and the Gulflight it was stated 
that the German Government had in- 
stituted an investigation and if it was 
shown that the German commanders 
were at fault, the German Government 
would express regret and make repara- 
tion. The sinking of the Falaba was 
again justified because of the vessel's 
efforts to escape and to summon help. 
Concerning the Lusitania it was stated 
that the German Government had al- 
ready expressed its regret at the loss of 
American lives. It was then suggested 
that the Government of the United 
States had not considered all of the 
material facts connected with the sink- 
ing. Among these were the alleged facts 
that the Lusitania had guns mounted 
below decks, that it carried a large 
amount of ammunition and some Can- 
adian troops and that commanders of 
British merchant vessels had been or- 
dered to ram submarines without warn- 
ing. The German Government then 
requested the United States to take 
these matters into consideration and to 
make a further reply. A supplemen- 
tary communication acknowledging re- 
sponsibility for the Gushing and the 
Gulflight was received soon after. 

Before the despatch of the American 
reply to this communication, Mr. Bryan 
tendered his resignation as Secretary of 
State, which was accepted. In explana- 
tion of his action, Mr. Bryan stated 
that he had found it impossible to agree 
with the President as to the mode of 
procedure in settling the controversy 
with Germany. In Mr. Bryan's opin- 
ion the Lusitania controversy should 
be submitted to an international tri- 
bunal and moreover the Americans 
should be warned against traveling on 
belligerent merchant vessels or on ves- 
sels carrying munitions of war. 

On June 9, 1915, the Government of 
the United States replied to the German 
observations concerning the Lusitania. 
The note first expressed satisfaction 


that Germany recognized its responsi- 
bility in the cases of the Gulflight and 
Gushing. Concerning the Falaba the 
United States was unable to agree that 
the attempt of the vessel to escape jus- 
tified the sinking without making pro- 
vision for the safety of personson board. 


Turning to the Lusitania question 
the American note stated that the Ger- 
man contention that the ship was armed 
was not true. In regard to the carrying 
of munitions of war it was stated that it 
was entirely "irrelevant to the question 
of the legality of the methods used by 
the German naval authorities in sinking 
the vessel." Coming to the heart of 
the matter the President said that " the 
sinking of passenger ships involves 
principles of humanity which throw in- 
to the background any special cir- 
cumstances of detail that may be 
thought to affect the cases, principles 
which lift it, as the Imperial Govern- 
ment will" no doubt be quick to recog- 
nize and acknowledge, out of the class 
of ordinary subjects of diplomatic dis- 
cussion, or of international controver- 
sy. Whatever be the other facts re- 
garding the Lusitania, the principal 
fact is that a great steamer, primarily 
and chiefly a conveyance for passen- 
gers, and carrying more than a thou- 
sand souls who had no part or lot in 
the conduct of the war, was torpedoed 
and sunk without so much as a chal- 
lenge or warning; that men, women 
and children were sent to their deaths 
in circumstances unparalleled in mod- 
ern warfare." The United States 
therefore "very earnestly and very 
solemnly" renewed the representations 
made in its previous communication. 


Coincident with the publication of 
this note Mr. Bryan issued a further 
explanation of his differences with the 
President. He pointed out that if the 
differences were merely personal it 
would matter little, "but the real issue 
is not between persons; it is between 
systems." In settling international 
disputes either force or persuasion may 
be used. "Persuasion employs argu- 


ment, courts investigation, and de- 
pends upon negotiation. Force repre- 
sents the old system, the system that 
must pass away. Persuasion repre- 
sents the new system, that has been 
growing all too slowly, it is true, but 
growing for 1 900 years" . . . "The war 
in Europe is the ripened fruit of the old 
system." He further said that he 
wished to be "counted among those 
who earnestly urge the adoption of a 
course in the matter which will leave 
no doubts of our Government's will- 
ingness to continue negotiations with 
Germany until an amicable under- 
standing is reached, or at least until 
the stress of war is over, we can appeal 
from Philip drunk with carnage to 
Philip sobered by the memories of an 
historic friendship, and by our recollec- 
tion of the innumerable ties of kinship 
that bind the Fatherland to the 
United States." 

At the same time Mr. Bryan ad- 
dressed an urgent appeal to all German 
Americans not to misunderstand the 
President who was "not only desirous 
of peace, but hopes for it, and he has 
adopted the methods which he thinks 
most likely to contribute towards 
peace. My difference with him is as to 
the method, not the purpose." He 
urged the German Americans to use 
their influence to persuade the German 
Government "to take no step that 
would lead in the direction of war. " 


On July 8, 1915, a further communi- 
cation was received from Germany. Its 
tone was conciliatory but there was 
very clear evidence in the note that the 
German authorities were attempting to 
evade the real issue. In answer to this 
note the State Department sent a reply 
on July 21, 1915, couched in language 
which was clearly intended to convey 
to Germany the conviction that the 
United States regarded the German 
note as "very unsatisfactory, because 
it fails to meet the real difference be- 
tween the two governments" and it 
called upon the German Government 
"no longer to refrain from disavowing 
the wanton act of its naval commander." 

The determined stand of the United 

States apparently had its effect in Ger- 
many. It is true that many boastful 
statements appeared in the German 
press declaring that Germany would 
not abandon its submarine warfare. 
During the later months of 1915, how- 
ever, sinkings without warning and 
without provision for the safety of 
passengers were the exception rather 
than the rule. In the case of the steam- 
ship Arabic, sunk without warning on 
August 18, 1915, the German Govern- 
ment, while inclined at first, to refuse 
to admit any obligation for the sink- 
ing, on the ground that the Arabic had 
attempted to ram the submarine, nev- 
ertheless, later agreed to disavow the 
act and to pay an indemnity for the loss 
of American lives. At the same time it 
was stated the orders given to the sub- 
marine commanders "have been made 
so stringent that a recurrence of inci- 
dents similar to the Arabic case is con- 
sidered out of the question. " 

The tension was further relieved by a 
statement made by Ambassador von 
Bernstorff in a letter to Secretary Lan- 
sing on September I, 1915. In it he 
gave assurance that no more liners 
would be sunk without warning and 
without safety of the lives of non- 
combatants. It will be noted that this 
assurance includes belligerents as well 
as neutral ships. The result of these 
negotiations was regarded as a distinct 
diplomatic victory for the United 
States. It had apparently forced Ger- 
many to abandon her policy of mari- 
time terrorism and to agree to respect 
those principles of law and humanity 
which she had set at naught for eight 


Just as the country began to breathe 
more easily at the passing of the crisis 
with Germany a new issue appeared 
which once more precipitated a grave 
situation. Under the accepted rules of 
naval warfare merchantmen were al- 
lowed to carry guns for defensive pur- 
poses. The practice was a relic of the 
days of piracy and the armament of 
merchantmen was intended for defense 
against these marauders of the sea. 
Such armament was never sufficient to 



be available against a regular war ship. 
Against the submarine, however, even 
the small calibre guns of a merchant 
vessel would be effective for offensive 
as well as defensive purposes. 

The German Government charged 
that Great Britain had mounted guns 
on many merchant vessels and had 
given instructions to the commanders 
to sink German submarines on sight. 
It was the view of the German Govern- 
ment that under these circumstances 
the armed merchant vessel became a 
man of war. This contention had some 
force and Secretary Lansing in a note 
to the Entente powers stated "that my 
government is impressed by the reason- 
ableness of the argument that a mer- 
chant vessel carrying an armament of 
any sort, in view of the character of 
submarine warfare and the defensive 
weakness of undersea craft, should be 
held to be an auxiliary cruiser, and so 
treated by a neutral, as well as by a 
belligerent government and is seriously 
considering instructing its officials ac- 
cordingly. " It was suggested, there- 
fore, that all armament should be re- 
moved from merchant vessels. 


Without waiting for the reply of the 
Entente powers to this proposal of the 
United States, Germany served notice 
that after March I, 1916, armed mer- 
chant vessels would be sunk by the 
Teutonic powers without warning. 
Shortly after this a communication was 
received from the Entente powers de- 
clining to accede to the suggestion of 
the United States that guns should be 
removed from merchant vessels. This 
refusal created an unfavorable impres- 
sion in the United States and in both 
houses of Congress resolutions were 
introduced to carry into effect the an- 
nounced position of the United States 
to consider armed merchant vessels as 
vessels of war. In the House a resolu- 
tion proposed by Mr. McLemore of 
Texas provided that the President 
should warn all Americans to refrain 
from traveling on any armed merchant 
ships at their own'risk. A similar reso- 
lution was introduced by Senator 


Great excitement developed in Con- 
gress and much bitter feeling was dis- 
played. For a time it appeared that 
the resolutions would pass by substan- 
tial majorities. A serious breach be- 
tween Congress and the President was 
threatened. Appealed to by Senator 
Stone, President Wilson stated that no 
nation has a right while a war is in prog- 
ress "to alter or disregard the prin- 
ciples which all nations had agreed 
upon. " As the Entente powers had re- 
fused to modify their position in regard 
to armament on merchant vessels, the 
President maintained that the United 
States could take no further action in 
the matter. At the same time the Pres- 
ident did not take kindly to Congres- 
sional interference in the conduct of 
the country's diplomatic negotiations. 
In a letter to Mr. Pou of the House Com- 
mittee on Rules, the President pointed 
out that the impression had gotten 
abroad that there were divided counsels 
in Congress in regard to the foreign 
policy of- the country and that such an 
impression would "expose the country 
to the utmost risk." He therefore 
urged an early vote on the resolutions 
before Congress, in order that "all 
doubts and conjectures may be swept 
away." This appeal to "stand behind 
the President" had its effect upon Con- 
gress and the resolutions were laid on 
the table in both houses. 

Fortified by this expression of sup- 
port from Congress the President let it 
be known that no further negotiations 
relative to the Lusitania case would be 
undertaken until Germany gave assur- 
ance that American lives would not be 
endangered by the announced intention 
of Germany to sink armed merchant 
vessels. The later developments in the 
submarine controversy ending in the 
declaration of war by the United 
States will be discussed in another 


The war had been under way but a 
short time when it became evident that 
the Entente allies w r ould draw largely 
upon American munition manufac- 
turers for supplies of arms'and ammuni- 
tion. The German press in Germany 


and German sympathizers in the 
United States demanded that the 
United States Government should pro- 
hibit such traffic in the interest of real 
neutrality, pointing out that it was im- 
possible for Germany to obtain such 
supplies in the American market be- 
cause British control of the seas would 
prevent their delivery in Germany. 
German sympathizers throughout the 
country through such organizations as 
the American Truth Society, American 
Peaceful Embargo Society, Friends of 
Peace, Friends of Truth and many 
others, started a vigorous campaign to 
influence American public opinion in 
favor of an embargo on arms and ammu- 
nition with the hope of helping Ger- 
many or injuring Great Britain. The 
membership of these societies included 
a considerable number of native-born 
Americans, chiefly pacifists or senti- 
mentalists. Some of the members of 
such organizations did not realize that 
they were being used to advance Ger- 
man interests. 

The question of an embargo reached 
Congress and bills were introduced in 
both Houses, making it unlawful to ex- 
port any munitions to the European 
belligerents. On April 4, 1915, Am- 
bassador von Bernstorff called the mat- 
ter to the attention of the Government 
of the United States officially. He in- 
sisted that conditions in past wars 
formed no precedent for this gigantic 
struggle and that a real spirit of neu- 
trality demanded the prohibition of a 
trade which was aiding only one of the 
belligerents. To this communication 
the United States replied that the right 
to sell arms and ammunition to bellig- 
erents was clearly recognized by inter- 
national law; that American firms were 
prepared to sell to Germany on equal 
terms with the Allies and that it was 
no fault of the United States if Ger- 
many was unable to transport such 
supplies to Germany. To prohibit the 
export of munitions would be a clear 
modification of international law which 
was not warranted during the progress 
of a war. 



In answering a similar protest from 
the Austrian Government the State 
Department made the position of the 
United States clear. Not only would 
an embargo be a violation of neutrality 
but it was clearly not to the interest of 
the United States to establish such a 
precedent. It was pointed out that it 
had never been the policy of the United 
States to maintain a large military es- 
tablishment, but that it had depended, 
in case of war, upon its right to pur- 
chase in the markets of the world the 
necessary military supplies. To deny 
this right would necessitate the build- 
ing up of large military stores in time 
of peace and would encourage that very 
militarism to which the United States 
was unalterably opposed. 

This very forceful presentation of the 
American point of view tended to si- 
lence the clamor for an embargo, except 
among the small but energetic group of 
German sympathizers in the United 
States and definitely put an end to the 
possibility of Congressional action in the 
matter. For more than two years the 
United States authorities had labored to 
maintain the essential rights of neu- 
trals. It was a difficult and thankless 
struggle. To the inevitable criticism of 
all the belligerents was added that of 
many neutrals who felt that the pro- 
tests of the United States were not 
sufficiently vigorous, and also the pro- 
tests of those Americans whose sympa- 
thies drew them to one or another of 
the belligerents in Europe. There 
were many persons who maintained 
that the United States had been far 
more insistent in protesting against 
German than against British viola- 
tions of neutral rights. This was true 
and there was a very good reason 
for this difference. British viola- 
tions, however irksome, affected only 
property for which indemnity was 
promised in case of any proved injus- 
tice, but German violations resulted 
in the loss of human lives. 




The roads and squares of Ypres which had once been lively with prosperous Flemish merchants and their families, 
then had settled into quiet small-town life, became in 1914 and 1915 a setting for strange military pageants. Here 
we see the Canadian Scottish passing through the ruins after their gallant charge in the wood west of St. Julien. 
The Highland pipes echoed where the chimes and trumpets of Flanders lay broken and silenced. The part of the 
Kilties from Canada in the battle of April 22, 1915, was so brilliant a performance that the day is celebrated in their 
home country as St. Julien's Day. Moving in light order and with fixed bayonets upon the German position in the 
wood, they rushed through a storm of fire upon a low ridge, shouting and cheering, to fight hand-to-hand in woods 
and trenches. The 10th Battalion, in the van, lost its Colonel, Russell Boyle. In the battle the 48th Canadian 
Highlanders lost 691 officers and men out of 896. 

2 7 8 


Commander-in-Chief of the British Armies in France 

and Belgium from December 15, 1915 

Scene in the Region Held by the Belgians 

Fighting in Flanders in 1915 


two armies. Already in Europe were 
troops from both India and Canada, 
the latter the vanguard of the largest 
military force which had ever up to that 
time crossed the Atlantic. On the other 
hand, Austria-Hungary had been 
brought by her early defeats to the 
verge of ruin; and Germany was com- 
pelled to face, virtually single-handed, 
the outnumbering adversaries who 
ringed her round. Armchair strate- 
gists, computing the man-power of 
the various belligerents, proved by 
mathematics that Germany was al- 
ready as good as beaten; and many 
people thought that an Allied advance 
to the Rhine was on the cards for 1915. 

year 1915 dawned with high 
hopes for the Allied cause. The 
Germans had been balked during 1914 
of that quick decision in the west on 
which they had staked their strategy; 
and the Allies had been given time to 
bring their more slowly mobilized re- 
sources into play. Already the "Rus- 
sian steam-roller" as the British fond- 
ly designated the vast Russian armies 
had been moving through Galicia 
and Poland and over the Carpathians; 
and the British newspapers began pub- 
lishing estimates of how far the Rus- 
sians still had to go .to reach Berlin. 
France, although she had suffered 
terrible losses in 1914, was still sound. 
Her depots were as yet far from deple- 
tion; her incompetent generals had 
been weeded out by Joffre with a 
ruthless hand; and the spirit of her 
people had never shone so brightly. 


The British Empire had sprung to 
arms with an unsuspected alacrity. 
Lord Kitchener, the British Secretary 
of State for War, realizing almost im- 
mediately the character of the struggle, 
and discarding at once the doctrine 
that Great Britain had only a limited 
liability in a continental war, had issued 
a call for a million volunteers. These 
volunteers had flocked to the re- 
cruiting offices even faster than the 
country, with its unprepared resources, 
could equip them; and by the end of 
1914 Great Britain had in Flanders, 
not two army corps, as at Mons, but 


These hopes were false and illusory. 
They failed to take into account two 
cardinal facts. The first of these was 
that, even more important than the 
question of man-power, was the ques- 
tion of munitions; for the vastest 
armies, if they are inadequately 
equipped, are helpless against very 
much inferior forces which are well 
equipped. Had the British people, for 
instance, known that at this very time 
Russian soldiers were advancing against 
the enemy without rifles and ammuni- 
tion, and that the Russian guns were 
already being rationed to two shells 
a day, they might have discounted 
somewhat the Russian menace to 
Germany. Had they fully realized 
that the smallness of the British stand- 
ing army was the least part of the 



British unpreparedness for war, but 
that this was seen much more vitally 
in the absence of any adequate or- 
ganization of the country for waging 
war on a large scale, they might have 
been less sanguine about their own 


Nor did they know that Germany, 
prepared for war as she was, had al- 

come over the character of the war 
on the western front. The war of 
manoeuvre in the open had for the 
time come to an end, and trench war- 
fare had succeeded it. During the 
long winter each side settled down into 
long rows of parallel ditches, so that 
an observer, scanning the battle-field, 
might not see a single human being. 
At first these trenches, sometimes 
waist-deep in water and liquid mud, 
offered an uncomfortable and 
precarious refuge; but grad- 
ually, since necessity is the 
mother of invention, they 
were improved and strength- 


A new branch of military 
science sprang into being. 
Trench-warfare was, of course, 
not entirely new. It had been 
seen during the Russo-Japanese 
war in Manchuria; but its les- 
sons had not been fully digested. 
The Germans alone seem to 
have grasped something of its 
implications. They, for in- 
stance, foresaw that under 
trench -war fare conditions the 
rifle would be superseded, ex- 
cept for sniping purposes, by 
the bomb and the machine- 
gun, and they had armed their 
.troops plentifully with both of 
these, whereas the British were 
less well equipped with ma- 
chine-guns, and were compelled 
to manufacture their bombs on 

the battle-field weird missiles 
KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM made Qut Q jam and bul , beef 

August 1914, Lord Kitchener was called to the War Office by un- . j i i 

animous popular sentiment. It was largely due to him that a great tins and Slabs Ot gUn-COtton 
army was available for the Battle of the Somme. 

ready taken to heart the warning of 
her shell shortage on the Marne, and 
was now straining every nerve to 
make up for her comparative weakness 
in man-power by the most colossal 
output of war material guns, shells, 
machine-guns, bombs, even liquid 
fire and poison gas of which she was 

The second fact of which the undue 
optimism of the Allies failed to take 
account was the change which had 


tied to sticks. All these facts 
militated against the chances of a suc- 
cessful Allied offensive on the Western 
Front; and they enabled the Germans, 
during the winter of 1914-1915, to 
withdraw large bodies of troops from 
this front for service against the 

Some inkling of these new factors in 
the situation must have come to the 
British officers and men who through 
that exceptionally wet and bitter 
winter fought in Flanders fields. Along 


the Yser, where the Belgians, with the 
French on their right, stood guard be- 
hind the inundations over the last 
remnants of their country, there was 
little or no fighting; for it was not until 
toward the spring that the German 
guns broke down the dam that held 
up the waters of the Yser, and so per- 
mitted the drainage of the flooded 
area. But along the British front from 
Ypres south there was continual local 
fighting; and in this fighting neither 

a French-Canadian rebel, carried out 
the first of those trench-raids for which 
the Canadians were to become famous. 
New methods of warfare were resorted 
to. Trench mortars and minenwerfers 
appeared on the scene ; and the struggle 
was even carried underground, where 
mines and counter-mines were run. 
On February 20 the Germans blew 
up a whole squadron of British Lan- 
cers doing their tour in the trenches. 
The casualties on both sides in this 


In the flooded areas of Flanders it was impossible to dig trenches, therefore structures of sand-bags resting upon 
piles had to be substituted for furrows in the earth. It was an odd setting for the episodes of war upon lakes or 
lagoons. But there the heroic Belgians kept a foothold. 

side was able to advance. A section of 
trench here, a strong point there, gener- 
ally represented the gain to the at- 
tackers; and frequently this was lost 
during the counter-attack. 



In such struggles the most desperate 
valor was often displayed. It was at 
this time that the Irish Guardsman 
O'Leary won the Victoria Cross and 
world-wide fame by clearing a German 
trench single-handed, and that a party 
of the Princess Patricia's Canadian 
Light Infantry, led by the grandson of 

winter fighting were heavy; among the 
British alone they were not less than 
20,000. But nothing availed to break 
the deadlock. 


The general situation demanded 
that, no matter what the difficulties, 
the western Allies should attack in the 
spring. Loyalty to the Russians, who 
had been fighting heavily all winter, 
alone required this. On the other hand, 
as the winter drew to a close, the 
British, at any rate, found themselves 
in no position as yet to undertake a 



general offensive. Though they had 
now over a quarter of a million men in 
France and Flanders, they were hardly 
in a position to undertake an attack 
on an extended front. For that, it 
was deemed better to wait until more 
of "Kitchener's million" were ready 
to take their places in the line of 
battle. But in the meantime it was 
decided to attack on a narrow front 
and with a limited objective, partly in 
order to aid the Russians, partly in 
order to improve the British line, and 
partly for the purpose of making trial 
of the strength of the German defenses. 
Plans for the attack were laid with 
much care and thought. The spot 
chosen for the attack was a shallow 
salient thrust into the British line 
in front of the village of NeuveChapelle. 
This village had been much fought 
over the previous autumn, and had 
finally remained in the hands of the 
Germans; but its importance rested 
in the fact that it lay in front of the 
Aubers ridge, a slight eminence which 
looked on the broad plain surrounding 
Lille. An attack on it was calculated 
to yield into the hands of the British 
this dominating position, and possibly 
even the city of Lille itself. 


The assault here was to be made on 
a front of lour miles by two army 
corps of Haig's First Army, the Fourth 
Corps under Rawlinson and the Indian 
Corps under Willcocks, with a cavalry 
division in reserve. At the same time, 
strong demonstrations were to be 
made along the line to the north by the 
Second Army, and to the south by the 
First Army Corps, with the object of 
pinning down the German forces. The 
attack was to be prefaced by an in- 
tensive artillery bombardment; and 
for this purpose some three hundred 
guns were quietly collected in the 
Neuve Chapelle sector a concentra- 
tion which clearly foreshadowed the 
massed artillery attacks of subsequent 
battles. All preparations were made in 
great secrecy; and the British airmen, 
who now began to win that ascendancy 
over the German airmen which became 
so pronounced later on, not only 


bombed the German railway junctions 
behind the front, but effectually pre- 
vented aerial observation over the 
British lines. 

The battle began at 7 :3O A. M. 
on March 10. As the half-hour struck 
the British guns opened up with one 
voice a terrific bombardment the 
type of bombardment to which the 
Germans immediately gave the endur- 
ing name of "drum-fire." This con- 
tinued for half an hour, the gunners 
working their guns with such speed 
that at the end of the time they were 
lying panting like spent hounds about 
their pieces. The result was most 
successful. Along the greater part of 
the German front the heavy wire en- 
tanglements were blown to pieces, the 
trenches were levelled almost beyond 
recognition, and the German infantry 
in them were either annihilated or left 
so dazed and unnerved as to be in- 
capable of resistance. Then, at 8:05 
A. M., the British troops attacked, 
while the artillery lifted on the village 
of Neuve Chapelle. 


Except on the German right, where 
the wire had been only partially de- 
stroyed and the German machine-guns 
were still in action, the attack swept 
forward almost unopposed; and by 
noon Neuve Chapelle itself was in 
British hands. Here occurred, how- 
ever, a most unfortunate delay. Espe- 
cially in the north, where the British 
had had to overcome a stubborn re- 
sistance, units had lost direction, had 
become badly mixed up, and in some 
cases had lost most of their effectives. 
It was therefore deemed necessary to 
reorganize and rearrange them. This 
took time; but it can hardly have been 
the chief cause of the delay, for some 
of the units were actually able to re- 
form in the open, so completely had 
the Germans been taken by surprise 
and overwhelmed. The chief cause of 
the delay seems to have been the failure 
of the British reserves to arrive in time. 
It was not until 3:30 P.M. that the 
line of khaki once more swfcpt forward ; 
and by this time the German local 
reserves had had a chance to recover 




themselves, and reinforcements had had an organized resistance from the ham- 
a chance to arrive from the adjacent let of Moulin-du-Pietre to the north- 
parts of the line. east of Neuve Chapelle, in the centre 
The attack had not gone far before by a machine-gun post at a bridge over 
it found itself held up on the left by the little Des Layes River, and on the 



right by the Bois de Biez south-east of 
Neuve Chapelle. The machine-guns 
on the Des Laves exercised a peculiarly 
important influence on the situation, 
for they were able, not only to hold up 
the attack in front of them, but they 
were able to bring a most destructive 
enfilade fire to bear on the Indians as 
they swept into the Bois de Biez. 
The result was that, as night came on, 
the British were compelled to dig in 
to the east of Neuve Chapelle, barely 
a mile from their point of departure. 


It was still hoped that the attack 
might be resumed with success on 
the following day, when the British 
artillery might be brought to bear on 
the new German positions. The next 
morning, however, broke unfortunately 
thick with mist; observation of the 
enemy's positions became impossible; 
and the artillery was able to lay down 
only a blind fire. A few hundred 
yards were gained by the British 
infantry here and there; but no 
appreciable difference was effected in 
the general situation. On March 12 
the Germans, heavily reinforced by 
Bavarian and Saxon reserves from 
Tourcoing, launched their counter- 
attack. It broke down with heavy 
losses all along the line; and the 
western slopes of the Aubers ridge 
were littered with German dead. But 
when the British attempted to follow 
up the repulse of these attacks, they 
found the defense still too strong to 
be broken; and by the evening of the 
1 4th Sir John French deemed it wise 
to break off the engagement. 

The battle of Neuve Chapelle antic- 
ipated in many important respects the 
fighting of the later stages of the war. 
In the use of massed artillery fire for 
beating down a strongly entrenched 
line, in the double use of aeroplanes 
both for offense and defense in con- 
junction with the attack, and in the 
employment of successive assaulting 
waves, one passing through the other, 
it pointed the way for future tactics. 
The scheme was, however, less happy 
in its execution than in its conception. 
It was unfortunate that the author 


of the scheme, Brigadier-General John 
Gough, the brilliant general staff 
officer of the First Army, was killed 
before the battle began, and so was not 
able to superintend its conduct. Very 
early in the battle co-operation between 
the infantry and the artillery broke 
down, with the result that the British 
troops suffered under their own guns 
and did not get adequate support from 
them in the later stages of the attack. 
It is clear, too, that the British had not 
yet learnt how to deal with the mur- 
derous German machine-guns; perhaps, 
in view of their deficiency in bombers, 
they could not have been expected to 
deal with them. 


The most disastrous breakdown, 
however, was the failure of the reserves 
to arrive in time. This alone was 
sufficient to rob the operation of suc- 
cess, no matter how well it began. 
Neuve Chapelle, in truth, was a costly 
lesson for the British in the hard school 
of experience. They had captured 
2000 prisoners and a tract of ground 
not much larger than a good-sized farm 
at the cost of nearly 13,000 casualties, 
nearly as many as they had sustained 
in the wJiole of the retreat from Mons; 
but they had learnt much about the 
difficulties of attacking the new en- 
trenched lines, and, above all, they 
had learnt that, in order to get the 
best results, it was necessary to ad- 
vance on a wide front, to do which they 
had to wait until more of the new 
British forces were ready for the field. 

The next move went to the Germans. 
Although they had checked the British 
at Neuve Chapelle, they seem, with 
their weakened man-power on the 
western front, naturally to have been 
afraid of a resumption of the British 
offensive. It was a cardinal article of 
their military creed that the best kind 
of defense is an attack. An attack 
would not only conceal somewhat their 
weakness, but, if at all successful, 
might seriously upset the British plans. 
The difficulty was that an attack with 
weak forces, especially against the 
new entrenchments, mignt easily end 
in disaster. In this predicament they 


cast about for some device which they 
could call to their aid. The device 
upon which they hit was poison gas. 


Attempts have been made to defend 
the use of poison gas in warfare, on the 
ground that it is no more cruel and 
painful in its effects than artillery fire 
may be. This is hardly true: a man 
who is hit by a high explosive shell may 
suffer as terriblv as a man who is 

lightly upon her. Nor was the decision 
to use poison gas one taken without 
thought on the spur of the moment. 
It can only have been the result of long 
preparation, in which the making of 
great retorts and repeated experi- 
ments upon dumb animals had their 

The spot selected by the Germans 
for their first public demonstration of 
this new and hellish mode of warfare, 
was the old battle-ground of the Ypres 


A wave of the greenish-yellow poison gas, by which the Germans planned to "settle the hash of the wicked English" 
is shown in the picture as it looked rolling on in the direction of the trenches. Taken by surprise in the first attack 
by this new device used in the Second Battle of Ypres, the Algerians were overcome. The story of the Canadians' 
stand, in the face of the horrible peril, has become famous. 

gassed, but he may also die a painless 
and instantaneous death, whereas the 
man who is gassed is certain to suffer a 
long and lingering torment. But the 
real objection to the use of poison gas 
was that the use of poison had by com- 
mon consent long been barred in war- 
fare among civilized peoples, and had 
been expressly forbidden by the Hague 
Convention, to which the representa- 
tives of the German Emperor had set 
their sign and seal. Once again, as in 
the invasion of Belgium, Germany 
showed that her plighted word sat 

salient. Here the Allied line was held 
by a variety of troops. At the northern 
re-entrant of the salient, adjoining the 
Belgians, who still clung to the fringe 
of their native soil behind the Yser, 
were elements of the French Eighth 
Army, mainly Algerians. Next to 
them, holding the northern face of the 
salient, stood the First Canadian 
Division, which had reached the front 
in February, but had as yet seen no 
heavy fighting. The remainder of the 
salient was held by British troops of 
Smith-Dorrien's Second Army. It was 



to the north of Ypres that the gas 

attack was launched. 


In the late afternoon of April 22, 
there appeared from the German 


Here on April 22, 1915, stood the thin but steadfast line that kept the Germans 
from marching through into northern France. The barrier of thorn-bushes 
interlaced with beams, on the ancient ramparts of Ypres, seems now to have 

overwhelm their over- 

prefigured the barbed-wire of our time. 

trenches opposite the Algerians a 
cloud of greenish-yellow vapor, 
which, under the impulsion of a north- 
erly breeze, rolled down on the French 
lines. As the deadly fumes reached the 
Algerians, these superstitious natives 
of North Africa were seen suddenly to 
throw up their hands, to clutch their 
throats, to betray all the symptoms of 
asphyxiation; and then, leaving some 
of their number wallowing on the 

ground in a blue agony of death, they 
turned and fled. Many of them did not 
halt in their flight until they had 
reached Ypres or put the canal between 
them and their diabolic enemies. 
Meanwhile, the German infantry had 
jumped from their 
trenches and were 
moving forward into 
the gap thus created. 
By the evening they 
were actually in one 
place across the Ypres 

The Canadians, on 
the right of the 
Algerians, were now 
in a most critical posi- 
tion. They had suffered 
from the gas, although 
not so severely as the 
Algerians, and their 
left flank was com- 
pletely in the air. Ac- 
cording to all the rules 
of warfare, they should 
have fallen ,back with 
all haste in order to 
straighten the line. 
The Germans, who re- 
garded them as raw 
colonial militia, doubt- 
less expected them to 
do so. But the Cana- 
dians were not minded 
to retreat. While hold- 
ing their original line, 
they merely extended 
it several thousand 
yards in a south-west 
direction so as to cover 
their flank, and awaited 
developments. The 
thinking to 

bold opponents, attacked them from all 
sides with furious rifle and artillery fire, 
and with blasts of their infernal gas; 
but when they attacked they were met 
with such deadly rapid-fire from the 
thin Canadian line and such avalanches 
of shrapnel from the Canadian guns 
firing point-blank with fuses set at 
zero, that they recoiled, from the 
severity of the punishment. The 
Germans were astonished. 




Meanwhile, the Canadian reserves 
were being rushed forward. Two 
battalions of these counter-attacked 
at midnight at the extreme left of the 
Canadian line, drove the Germans 
back, and recaptured four British 4.7 
guns which had been taken by the 
Germans in their advance. The next 
morning two more battalions counter- 
attacked still further to the left, and 
they too drove the Germans back. 
The very vigor of these counter- 
attacks seems to have given the 
Germans the impression that the Brit- 
ish had at their disposal considerable 
reserves, when, as a matter of fact, 
nothing lay between them and Ypres 
but one thin and over-extended line. 
Gradually, on the left of the Canadians, 
the five-mile gap along the canal was 
filled by British cavalry and by detach- 
ments of British and French infantry; 
and by the morning of April 23 the 
supreme danger was over. Had they 
known it, the Germans on the eve- 
ning of April 22 could have walked 
through into northern France; and 
nothing but the high-spirited stand 
of the Canadians seems to have 
stopped them. 


The situation, however, was still 
not without its peril. The Canadians 
were occupying a sharp and dangerous 
salient, with no supports in rear, and 
at any moment they might be over- 
whelmed by the superior numbers of 
their opponents. During April 23 and 
24 they were compelled to withdraw 
the centre of their line, under pressure 
of heavy attacks, to a less vulnerable 
position nearer Ypres, But by the 
time this movement was completed, 
British reinforcements had begun to 
arrive from farther south. At first, 
these were thrust in anywhere and 
everywhere, so that Canadians and 
Britons were found fighting together 
in the same trenches, a bitter object- 
lesson to those Germans who had 
thought the British Empire on the 
point of dissolution; but by April 25 
sufficient reinforcements had arrived 


to permit of the sorely-tried Canadians 
being relieved. It was indeed high 
time. Their losses had been appalling, 
even when judged by the standards of 
the Great War. Several battalions 
had come out of action barely one 
hundred strong; and in three terrific 
days the division had lost about half 
its effectives. But it had the satis- 
faction of knowing that, as Sir John 
French reported, it had "saved the 
situation," and that it had made the 
name of Canada respected and feared 
upon the battlefield. 

The battle did not end with the with- 
drawal of the Canadians. It con- 
tinued, almost without abatement, for 
another ghastly month. It seemed as 
if the Germans suddenly realized how 
near they had come to breaking 
through, and were making frantic 
efforts to recover the opportunity they 
had lost. The British and the Indians 
who had relieved the Canadians were 
attacked with redoubled vigor; and 
some of the British units lost even 
more heavily than the Canadians. 


Whenever the wind was favorable, 
the Germans continued to launch 
their devil's gas. So deadly did the 
gas attacks become that the British 
began to adopt the heroic expedient 
of dashing quickly through the on- 
coming cloud of vapor and falling 
with the bayonet on the Germans 
behind it. In addition to the gas, the 
Germans now brought to bear on the 
British a furious artillery bombard- 
ment, to which the latter, most of 
whose guns were still in the south, 
could make no effective reply. The 
ordeal became almost more than flesh 
and blood could stand. Fortunately, 
while these attacks were proceeding, the 
British and French who had filled in 
the gap along the Ypres canal were 
making some progress; this somewhat 
relieved the pressure on the right; and 
by the end of the month the German 
onslaught in the north had slackened. 

Then the Germans shifted their 
attack to the eastern "face of the 
salient. Here the withdrawal of the 
Canadian line in the north had left an 


awkward angle in the British line 
which invited attack. As early as 
May I the Germans began to show 
their hand in this sector. On May 3 
the British made a most successful 
retirement, flattening out the salient so 
. that the front line ran now, not five, but 
three miles from Ypres. It was well 
they did so; for on May 5 the Ger- 
mans, after bombarding the empty 
British trenches for a day, advanced to 
the assault with a fury reminiscent 
of the First Battle of Ypres. On May 
8 the attack culminated in an over- 
whelming artillery attack, both with 
gas shells and high explosive, which 
transcended anything the British had 
faced before. Whole battalions were 
wiped out of existence. Repeatedly the 
line was broken and pushed back. It 
became necessary once more to throw 
the British cavalry into the breach. 

1 GER. 

With grim, bull-dog tenacity, the 
British held on, sometimes fighting 
both in front and rear. "Even num- 
bers about turn, odd numbers carry 
on," was a command improvised by 
one gallant British officer. For six 
days the tornado lasted; and then it 
died down out of pure exhaustion. On 
May 24 the Germans made a last 
despairing effort to reach that gaunt, 
tottering tower in Ypres, so near and 
yet so far, which was the goal of their 
hopes. On a front of over three miles, 
from Shell-trap Farm to Bellewaarde 
Lake, they launched a gas attack of 
great virulence, followed by an in- 
fantry assault. But the British troops 
had now been served with rude res- 
pirators, soaked in chemicals which 
counteracted the effect of the chlorine 
gas. When the Germans advanced to 
the attack they met with unexpected 
opposition. "They were simply shot 
back into their trenches by a blaze of 
fire," a British officer wrote afterwards. 
"They bolted back like rabbits." 
This was the end. The Germans cried, 
"Enough ;" and though the Ypres salient 
continued for many long months to be 
a veritable charnel-house for the Allies, 
the Second Battle of Ypres was over. 
The net result of the battle was a 

gain to the Germans, at the cost of 
losses probably as great as those which 
they inflicted on the French and the 
British, of several thousand prisoners, 
eight batteries of French guns and four 
British 4.7 guns, all captured on the 
first day of the battle, and a strip of 
territory some two miles deep, repre- 
senting the outer fringe of the Ypres 
salient. To outward appearances, the 
battle seemed to be merely a senseless 
repetition of the First Battle of Ypres 
five months before, distinguished only 
by the criminal use of the poison gas. 
But from the strategical standpoint it 
is probable that it represented a dis- 
tinct advantage to the Germans, no 
matter how unfairly that advantage 
was gained. It must have seriously 
deranged the Allied plans for the sum- 
mer; for it forced them to alter their 
dispositions, and to use up in defense 
troops which might have been used in 
attack. Above all, it revealed to the 
world to the Germans as well as to 
the Allies the unreadiness of Great 


A striking feature of the battle had 
been the overwhelming predominance 
of the German artillery. Not only did 
it outnumber, in guns, the British artil- 
lery by at least six to one, but it seemed 
to have at its disposal unlimited sup- 
plies of shells, whereas the British at 
times during the battle had been com- 
pelled to rely almost solely on their 
rifles. The truth was that the Germans 
had been during the winter speeding 
up their production of munitions, 
whereas the British had not. That the 
importance of an overwhelming superi- 
ority in munitions was realized by 
some at least of the British staff in 
France, is shown by the plans for 
Neuve Chapelle; but there seems to 
have been a strange lack of co-operation 
between France and England. Per- 
haps the truth is that Lord Kitchener, 
the British Secretary of State for 
War, had tried to do too much himself, 
and consequently had not been able to 
give sufficient attention to some aspects 
of his work. In any case, the Second 
Battle of Ypres ami its revelation of 


bungling at the War Office produced a 
most unpleasant impression in Great 
Britain, and brought on a political 
crisis. The Asquith Government, which 
had hitherto been in power, was com- 
pelled to transform itself into a coali- 


St Martin's Cathedral, Ypres (whose beautiful choir, with handsome 
cartings in oak, is here seen piled with debris) was a fine example of a 

n ble ta Une 

tion or national ministry, and to create 
a new Department of Munitions, under 
the charge of David Lloyd-George, the 
leader of the radical wing of the Liberal 
party. Only when this was done did 
Great Britain really begin to place 
itself on a war basis. 

The Second Battle of Ypres con- 
demned the British to comparative 
inaction for the whole summer of 


1915. While the fighting at Ypres was 
in progress, the British, it is true, 
launched an offensive along the south- 
ern section of their line, between 
Laventie and Festubert. This battle, 
which began with a bloody repulse for 
the British on May 9, lasted 
for two weeks, and resulted in 
the capture of the German for- 
ward positions on a front of 
about four miles in the neigh- 
borhood of Festubert and 
Richebourg. But the object of 
this battle was merely to relieve 
the pressure on the Ypres 
salient farther north, and might 
properly be regarded as part 
of that struggle. On June 15, 
the Canadians, in conjunction 
with the British on either side 
of them, made a local attack in 
the neighborhood of Givenchy. 
The Canadians, who brought 
two of their artillery pieces up 
to the front line, captured their 
objective, but the British on 
their flanks were not so fortu- 
nate; and the whole attack had 
to fall back. 


On June 16, British troops 
in the Ypres salient carried out, 
under cover of the first ade- 
quate artillery protection they 
had had for months, a smart 
attack on the German trenches 
near the ruined chateau of 
Hooge, and carried them. Two 
weeks later the Germans 
counter-attacked. They ex- 
ploded a mine they had run 
under the British position ; they 
sprayed the survivors with 
liquid fire from their diabolical 
flamenwerfer , and only one man 
is known to have escaped alive from 
the trench. But on July 9 the British 
came back with an old-fashioned bayo- 
net attack, and took their revenge. 
The trenches of Hooge were recaptured, 
but there were few German prisoners 
captured in them. Warriors who took 
refuge in poison gas and* liquid fire did 
not seem to the British infantryman to 
be deserving of mercy. 


Apart from these encounters, how- 
ever, the British front during the sum- 
mer remained quiescent. To people in 
England, inflamed by the sinking of the 
Lusitania and by the inhuman methods 
of German warfare in the field, the 
inaction of the army was exasperating. 
Nor was it good for the troops them- 
selves, since it weakened their offensive 
spirit. The Germans likewise felt 
this decrease in vigor. A German divi- 
sional order captured at this time com- 
plained that it had become the habit 
of the infantry "to fire as little as possi- 
ble so as not to provoke a reply from 
their opponents." But the British 
inaction was dictated by the stern 
compulsion of necessity. 


As the summer advanced, the field 
fortifications on both sides had assumed 
a formidable and almost impregnable 
aspect. It was a far cry from the 
shallow shelter trenches of the be- 
ginning of the war to the deep and com- 
fortable trench-labyrinths of 1915, with 
their timbered dugouts and their 
strong points bristling with machine- 
guns. In order to attack these new 
triumphs of military engineering with 
any hope of success, a crushing superi- 
ority, not only of men, but of guns 
and munitions, was necessary; and for 
this the British army had to wait in 
patience until Lord Kitchener's new 
armies were trained and equipped, 
and until Lloyd-George's new fac- 
tories had been able to turn out the 
requisite number of guns and shells. 
To attack prematurely was merely to 
postpone the day when the great offen- 
sive should drive the Germans out of 
France. It made little difference that 
during the summer the Russian armies 
were in full retreat, striving to save 
themselves from destruction at the 
hands of von Hindenburg's and von 
Mackensen's victorious troops. The 
bitter truth was that the western 
Allies were not yet in a position to 


It looked at one time as though the 
French and the British would not be 

able to resume the offensive until the 
spring of 1916; but as the summer wore 
on, the French munition factories had, 
by working overtime, reached an un- 
expected level of production, and the 
new British plants, under the organiz- 
ing genius of Lloyd-George, had en- 
tered on a programme which was to out- 
rival the output of the death factories 
of Essen. In the beginning of Septem- 
ber, therefore, Joffre, who, with that 
Olympian patience which had charac- 
terized him during the fighting of Au- 
gust, 1914, had been biding his time, 
now decided that the hour was ripe 
for the resumption of the Allied offen- 
sive in the West. In view of the losses 
which the French had sustained in 
1914, he might well have asked the 
British to undertake the chief offensive; 
but he preferred to reserve that honor 
for his own countrymen. He decided 
to launch a great French offensive in 
Champagne, which is described in 
another chapter, perhaps because an 
attack there was nearer to the Ger- 
mans' base, and was therefore more 
likely to affect their line of com- 
munications; and he merely asked the 
British to conduct, in conjunction with 
the Tenth French Army on the Arras 
front, a subsidiary attack in the west. 
During the summer the British 
army in the field had grown to formid- 
able size. It was now composed of three 
armies, and every army corps had been 
increased from two to three divisions. 
The total force under Sir John French's 
command numbered probably three- 
quarters of a million men ; and of these 
nearly half a million represented bay- 
onets in the line. The increase was 
largely made up of the first instal- 
ments of Lord Kitchener's "New 
Armies," citizen soldiers who in the 
great majority of cases had had ab- 
solutely no military training before 
the war. Scorn had been poured in 
Berlin on the idea that Great Britain 
could suddenly improvise armies that 
could meet on equal terms the highly 
trained troops of the German Empire; 
and fears had been entertained even in 
Allied circles that the new levies might 
not prove to be all that could be 




These fears, however, were in most 
respects ungrounded. Every man in 
"Kitchener's mob," as the new forma- 
tions with humorous modesty de- 
scribed themselves, was a volunteer, a 
crusader. Through a year of intensive 
training he had applied himself to 
learning the art of warfare with un- 
quenchable enthusiasm; and the result 
had surpassed all but the fondest 
expectations. Even in the technical 
branches of the army, such as the 
artillery and the engineers, the new 
troops had reached a state of efficiency 
which surprised even the British staff 
in France. With this addition to the 
strength of his forces, Sir John French 
had been able to increase greatly the 
frontage he held, and to relieve the 
French on his right. His line now ex- 
tended south of La Bassee to Lens; 
the French Tenth Army held the line 
from Lens to the south of Arras; and 
thence the British front ran again 
south to Albert. 

The place chosen for the combined 
British and French attack was at the 
northerly junction of the British and 
the French Tenth Army near Lens. 
To the south of Lens the French were 
to storm the long hog's back of Vimy 
Ridge; and to the north the British 
were to assail the German lines, on a 
front of about seven miles, between the 
La Bassee canal and the village of Loos, 
while holding attacks were to be 
made here and there along the British 
front as far north as Ypres. Neither 
in the Vimy Ridge nor in the Loos 
sectors were the German defenses 
easy of capture. Vimy Ridge itself, 
with its long glacis, was a position of 
great strength; and the country about 
Loos was dotted by mine-pits, slag- 
heaps, quarries, and mining villages 
which offered special facilities for the 
defense. But a successful attack in 
each sector would squeeze the Ger- 
mans out of the important railway 
centre of Lens, and might conceivably 
lead to a considerable advance which 
would force a German retirement all 
along the line. Lens was the key of 
the whole situation. 



The British infantry attack was 
timed to begin at 6:30 A.M. on 
September 25. For four days before 
this the guns pounded the German 
positions, and at dawn on the 25th 
their fire rose in a crescendo to a roar 
not unlike that of the bombardment 
at Neuve Chapelle. At the same time, 
the new gas cylinders, with which the 
British had now in self-defense provided 
themselves, were turned on. Then, as 
the guns lifted to lay down a barrage 
fire behind the German front line, the 
infantry jumped over the parapets 
and rushed forward. Their attack 
met with varying fortunes. On the 
left, near the La Bassee canal, they 
ran into uncut wire and strong intact 
positions; their own gas, a treacherous 
ally, came back on them; and they 
met with a bloody repulse. This was 
the more unfortunate, since the Ger- 
man line in this part already formed a 
salient, and now provided a position 
from which the German guns south of 
the canal were able to bring an en- 
filade fire on the British advance 
farther south. 

In the left center, Highlanders of 
the New Armies a battalion of Cam- 
erons, led by Lochiel himself, heading 
the charge swept past Fosse 8 and 
even reached the outskirts of the village 
of Haisnes; while the veteran Seventh 
Division, the heroes of Ypres, cap- 
tured the Hulluch quarries and reached 
the hamlets of Hulluch and Cite St. 
Elie. But these troops found that they 
had outstripped the advance on either 
side of them, and were compelled to 
fall back from the point of their farth- 
est gains. In the right centre, the 
attack was again held up by un- 
demolished defenses; and it was only 
after repeated assaults and heavy 
losses that the troops in this part of the 
field were able to push forward. Only 
on the right was anything like a break- 
through achieved. Here the Londoners 
one of whose units, the London Irish, 
advanced kicking their regimental foot- 
ball before them stdrmed Loos. 
Meanwhile, the Highlanders on their 
left urged on by the martial music of 


The march to the front is headed by a mitrailleuse section of the Belgian Army. After the shock and losses of the 
first few months of war, this army had been greatly improved by reorganization. On the Allied line they held the 
section from Nieuport to a point directly north of Ypres. 


The belfry of the Cloth Hall at Ypres, which until August 1914 was perhaps the best preserved specimen of Flemish 
Gothic in the Netherlands, no longer rings out its clarion either to give alarm or call the towns-folk to their joyous 
kermesse, as it did before the World War began. The long facade of the Hall, with its fine, simple lines and statue- 
filled niches is crumbled to wreckage. 



their bagpipes screaming defiance at the 
foe swept over Hill 70, and actually 
attacked one of .the suburbs of Lens. 
But here these gallant Scotsmen found 
themselves completely isolated; and 
the few survivors of the charge had to 
fall back to the western slope of Hill 70, 
leaving -behind them, as one of their 
countrymen has said, "a fringe of 
Jocks and Sandys to mark the farthest 
point of advance." 

long night march through strange 
country; they had lost their field 
cookers; and they were already weary 
and famished before they came into 
action. They did not reach the front 
line until late in the evening, when the 
Germans had already reinforced their 
defense; and it was not until n A. M. 
the next day that they took up the 
attack. Why Sir John French should 
have been so dilatory in throwing these 


Order and system were essential in the great culinary establishments that prepared the food for thousands of ex- 
hausted, famished fighters at the front. Here are cooks and bakers at work on the wholesale production of bread 
in their out-of-door' workshop, with cooking-ranges on wheels, portable tables and other equipment. 


By noon the attack had everywhere 
been brought to a standstill. Now 
was the time for the reserves to come 
forward, and restore impetus to the 
line. But unfortunately the reserves 
were still far in the rear. In view of the 
length of the battle-line, Sir John 
French had insisted on keeping his 
reserves, nearly all of whom were new 
troops who had never yet even been . 
under fire, in his own hand; and they 
had hardly begun to move forward 
when the need for them had arisen at 
the front. They had had, moreover, a 


reserves into the battle, and why, in 
any case, he should have chosen to 
employ as reserves wholly unseasoned 
troops, are questions for which it is 
difficult to find an answer. 

The advance of the new divisions on 
October 26 was launched along the 
right centre of the line, between Hul- 
luch and Hill 70. It was conducted 
with great gallantry at the cost of 
appalling losses. On the right the 
attackers reached the Bois Hugo, a 
thick wood to the north of Lens. Here, 
however, they came into collision with 
a powerful German counter-attack; 
their ammunition ran out, and when 


they attempted a bayonet attack, they 
found themselves overwhelmed. Un- 
nerved by this their first experience of 
warfare, they broke and fell back 
precipitately on their supports; with 
the result that all the fruits of their 
fine advance were given up, and an 
awkward sag was produced in the 
British line north of Hill 70. 


The following day the newly-formed 
Guards Division, the corps d 'elite of 
the British army, was brought up, and 
they succeeded in restoring the posi- 
tion. But by this time the German 
counter-attacks were developing all 
along the line, and the decimated 
British troops were being hard put 
to it to maintain their gains. They 
were pushed off Hill 70; farther north 
they temporarily lost the Hulluch 
quarries, were driven back from Fosse 
8, and had difficulty in holding the 
Hohenzollern Redoubt, a quadrilateral 
fortification which had formed part of 
the German first line. In this mixed 
fighting hundreds of British prisoners 
were captured, including a brigadier. 
So hard pressed were the British that 
French had to ask Foch on his right to 
assist him by taking over the defense of 
Loos. Gradually, however, the British 
succeeded in consolidating their posi- 
tions and in rectifying their line; and 
when, on October 8, the Germans 
launched a grand counter-attack with 
the object of sweeping the British back 
to their old trenches, they encountered 
a stonewall defense. 

The German bombers who made up 
the vanguard of the attack were driven 
back by avalanches of the new British 
bombs, thrown by men accustomed to 
games of sport from their infancy; and 
the German infantry once more re- 
coiled before the punishment dealt 
out by British musketry fire. Every- 
where the line remained intact. After 
this, fighting continued for several 
days. A modern battle is like a storm 
at sea, which may blow itself out in 
two or three days, but which leaves 
behind it tempestuous waters. By 
October 13, however, the struggle 
had died down, an equilibrium had 

been established, and each side was 
able to take stock of its wounds. 


It was not possible for the British to 
regard the result of the battle with 
much complacency. They had cap- 
tured perhaps eight or nine square 
miles of ground, 3000 prisoners, and 
26 guns. But, far from breaking 
through the German positions, they 
had not even reached their primary ob- 
jectives; and they had suffered a 
"butcher's bill" of between 50,000 and 
60,000 men. Compared even with 
Neuve Chapelle, Loos was a very 
limited success. One reason for this 
was no doubt the difficult country in 
which the British had to attack. But 
in the later stages of the war much 
thornier positions were carried on both 
sides with comparatively small losses; 
and the real reasons must be sought 
elsewhere. One of these was without 
doubt the fact that preparations for 
the attack had not been kept secret 
enough, and that the Germans were 
ready to deal with it when it de- 
veloped. Another was the failure of 
the artillery to demolish certain parts 
of the German first line defenses, due 
perhaps to the fact that some of the 
new batteries had not yet "found" 
themselves. But the most incompre- 
hensible of all was the failure of the 
reserves to arrive until the first attack 
had already spent itself and was forced 
back on the defensive. For this Sir 
John French, who had made the ar- 
rangements for the battle, was directly 
responsible; and it was not surprising 
when, shortly afterwards, he was, to 
use the language of the British army in 
South Africa, "Stellenbosched." As 
Lord French, he returned to England 
to take over command of the Home 
Forces; and Sir Douglas Haig, the 
commander of the First Army, suc- 
ceeded him as commander-in-chief in 
the field. 


While the British were attacking 
north of Lens, the French were attack- 
ing south of it. The line of d'Urbal's 
Tenth French Army, which occupied 



this sector, ran from its junction with 
the British line opposite Lens south 
to the Souchez River, which it crossed 
west of Souchez village, and thence 
south-east through Neuville St. Vaast 
and the maze of trenches known as the 
Labyrinth to the eastern outskirts of 
Arras. The object of the attack was 
primarily to seize Vimy Ridge, a 
long upland some 400 feet high, which 

6:30 A. M. on September 25; but at the 
last minute it had to be deferred until 
I P. M., perhaps because some of the 
mines were not yet ready to be sprung. 


When the zero hour struck, the 
guns lengthened their range, the mines 
exploded with an earth-shaking up- 
roar, and the blue-coated infantry of 


This is a regiment of Canadians passing in review before the Duke of Connaught on their way to the, fighting front- 
The men, descendants of Scotchmen who had settled in Canada, are wearing the kilt of the Highland regiments. 
It was in February, 1915, that the First Canadian Division reached the front. 

lies south of the Souchez River, and 
which overlooks the rolling plain about 
Douai. This position, as was seen 
more clearly in the fighting of 1917 
and 1918, was a pivot or anchor of the 
whole German line in the west. 

The French preparations for the 
attack consisted in a three-weeks' 
artillery bombardment, which greatly 
damaged the German defenses, and in 
the tunneling of no fewer than seven 
mines underneath the German front 
line. The infantry assault was original- 
ly timed to begin simultaneously with 
the British advance farther north, at 


France went over the top. Like the 
British farther north, they met with a 
stubborn resistance. To the north of 
the Souchez River they captured a 
small wood and the trenches adjacent 
to it, and the Souchez cemetery fell 
into their hands; but Souchez itself, 
a leveled village with cellars bristling 
with machine-guns, defied their brav- 
est efforts to take it. Opposite Vimy 
Ridge, they drove the Germans from 
their last foothold in the labyrinth; 
but twilight found them still strug- 
gling at the foot of the heights. Night 
fell on an inconclusive battle. 


The following morning, however, the 
battle was renewed with much better 
success. On the extreme left, the 
French chasseurs swung south across 
the Souchez River, drove back the 
Germans at the point of their long 
bayonets, and got well up the north- 
west slopes of Vimy Ridge. At the 
same time, troops on their right carried 
the ruins of Souchez, ferreting nearly a 
thousand German prisoners out of 
the cellars. On the rest of the front, 
the attack swept up the lower slopes 
of the ridge. This advance was no 
doubt due to the fact that the British 
attack near Loos had absorbed most 
of the German reserves. 


On September 27 the French 
rested, consolidating their new posi- 
tions in expectation of the inevitable 
counter-attack; but when no counter- 
attack developed, they once more 
moved forward on October 28. By 
this time reinforcements had begun to 
arrive for the defenders of the ridge, 
among them two divisions of the 
Prussian Guard; and the French met 
again with a bitter resistance. The 
Hillside was found to be honeycombed 
with underground shelters and pass- 
ages, some of them capable of shelter- 
ing half a company of infantry; and the 
advance had to be made with great 
caution. But the French had set their 
hearts on reaching the crest of the 
ridge, and they were not to be gain- 
said. By the morning of September 29, 
they were intrenched on the plateau. 

Under ordinary circumstances, the 
French would now have swept on, 
and endeavored to drive the Germans 
down the farther slopes of the ridge. 
But at this juncture the British had 
found themselves in need of help, and 
the French had to extend northward 
so as to take over the defense of Loos. 
It became therefore difficult for them 
to pursue their offensive further; and 
the action was broken off. 


The year ended with the British 
line in France practically where it had 
been when the year opened. The 

Germans had flattened out the Ypres 
salient a little, and the British and 
French had made a few dents in the 
German line farther south; but else- 
where virtually the same trenches 
faced each other. The high hopes of 
the early spring had given way to the 
disillusionment of the autumn. People 
began to wonder whether the German 
positions in the west were not after all 
impregnable, and whether the war was 
not destined to become a war of 
exhaustion. What made the prospect 
so dark was the tragic scale of casual- 
ties entailed by the war. By the end of 
1915 the British losses on the Western 
Front alone cannot have been less than 
a quarter of a million men ; and of these 
the great majority were the hope and 
youth of England. 

The losses of 1914, comparatively 
small in themselves, had fallen mainly 
on the British Regular Army, which 
was composed of professional soldiers; 
but the losses of 1915 had fallen most 
heavily on the New Armies, which 
were composed of those civilians who 
had leapt first to the call of duty. 
These latter, Manchester mill-hands 
and Whitechapel costers as well] as 
Oxford and Cambridge scholars and 
blues, represented the best that "'the 
British Isles had to give, the bravest, 
the truest, and often the ablest of 
the youth of the nation. Now the God 
of War had accepted the sacrifice, and 
had vouchsafed no mercies in return. 


But though there was depression in 
England, there was no despair. The 
British people never appear to such 
good advantage as when under the 
stress of adversity. A deep determina- 
tion now arose among all elements in 
the nation to fight the battle out on 
these lines, if it took many summers 
to see the struggle through to a suc- 
cessful conclusion no matter what the 
cost. And behind this determination 
lay something of the old Puritan belief 
that God would confound their enemies 
that He would not permit warriors to 
prosper who used the devil's weapons 
and who contemned all laws, human 
and divine. W. S. WALLACE. 


- s s 



A British Artillery Camp in France 


Fighting in France in 1915 



AXT'HEN 1915 opened, the new boun- 
* * dary of France, determined by the 
first great struggle of the War, was set- 
tling into position in a line that was to 
remain little changed throughout the 
year, in spite of desperate and almost 
continuous fighting along its whole ex- 
tent. Fighting on mountain tops deep 
with snow; fighting in forests which be- 
came barren stretches dotted with shat- 
tered stumps; fighting through drench- 
ing rain and clogging mud and envel- 
oping fog; fighting face to face, with 
bayonets and hand grenades; fighting 
across miles of intervening ground, 
with long distance guns and hurtling 
shells; bombing from aeroplanes; min- 
ing and counter-mining; fighting for a 
hill, a bridge, a trench, a few feet of 
land; fighting always with a deter- 
mined vow that the foe should not pass, 
the French armies sacrificed their thou- 
sands in engagements that yielded lit- 
tle apparent gain. 


" Few of the civilians who glibly used 
and gaily accepted the expression 
'siege warfare' in describing the war at 
this period can have had any idea of 
the terrible accuracy of that descrip- 
tion. It was not only siege warfare, but 
siege warfare, as it were, under a micro- 
scope. Any yard of the front might be- 
come a bastion and delay advance at 

the cost of hundreds of lives to the as- 
sailants and a minimum of loss to the 
defenders. The minute localization of 
this war is shown quite clearly by ref- 
erence to the communiques. Day after 
day Europe, the greater part of which 
was in the war area, waited eagerly for 
news of events at the sugar refinery or 
the cemetery of Souchez, at the ferry- 
man's house on the Yser, the crest of 
Hartmannsweiler Kopf in Alsace, the 
Four de Paris in the Argonne. It was 
not until 1915 that, the French seem 
definitely to have realized this intense 
localism of the war, and to have con- 
ducted all their operations on that 
knowledge." The conflict had become 
a "war of positions." 


The object of the invading armies 
was to hold the front to which they had 
been pushed back after the battle of 
the Marne, while they devoted all the 
force possible to the destruction of 
Russian power in Eastern Europe. 
This was the reverse of their plan for 
1914, when they had "held" on the 
Russian front while throwing full 
weight upon France in order to crush 
it. The object of the French in 1915 
was firmly to resist the enemy all along 
the front, "nibbling," as General 
Joffre said, here and there at the line 
where opportunity offered, with an 



offensive movement now and then, 
timed to coincide with some need of the 
Russian ally, so hard pressed in the 
East. No offensive of any great extent 
could be undertaken until Kitchener's 
new army was ready for the field and 
British factories were furnishing abun- 
dant supplies of munitions of the right 
sort especially, high explosives and 
machine guns. 



In France adjustment had been rap- 
id. Since 1914, the army had been re- 
organized, and reinforced with troops 
gathered in from all over France and 
her colonies. It numbered about 
2,500,000, as many as the whole popu- 
lation of Paris. Spade , warfare, which 
had seemed irksome and exhausting at 
first, was now a matter of course. 
Since trenches must be dug, they must 
be made deep and adequate. The army 
uniform had been changed from the 
striking blue and red to a color as in- 
conspicuous as possible horizon blue, 
which blended into surrounding mass- 
es, and, at a little distance, became in- 
visible. Ammunition was being pro- 
duced in great quantities, to be dis- 
tributed all along the four hundred 
miles of disputed frontier. Machine 
guns were increasing in number. The 
artillerists were gaining extraordinary 
skill in the use of the "75" guns, 
"France's greatest artillery asset." 
The commissariat was working success- 
fully. Transportation had been brought 
to a high degree of efficiency. In places 
of high command changes had been 
made by the removal of incompetent 
or elderly officers and the rapid ad- 
vancement of those who proved their 
ability by brilliant or able service on 
the battle-field. It was such recogni- 
tion that led General Joffre to put in 
command of the newly-formed Ninth 
Army, General Ferdinand Foch, who 
had been at the head of a corps. 

From where the British and French 
combined forces were pressing upon 
the German right wing in Flanders and 
around Lille and Lens, the great line of 
battle swept south, east, and south 
again to the border of Switzerland, 
just east of the strong French fortress 


of Belfort. From Arras, directly south 
of Lens, it described a slight curve, 
crossed the Somme and bent around to 
cross the Oise a short distance north of 
Compiegne. This point formed the 
hinge where the French left wing joined 
the center, which extended along the 
Aisne to Berry-au-Bac, across the 
Champagne and the northern part of 
the Forest of Argonne, and over the 
Meuse to the neighborhood of Verdun. 
There the line formed a half-circle 
around Verdun, with the salient of 
St. Mihiel forming the arc on the 
south-east St. Mihiel, later to be the 
theatre of American deeds of valor. 
Along the border of Lorraine and south 
through the Vosges, the new French- 
German border dropped, then straight 
into Alsace itself, halfway between 
Belfort and Miilhausen, which had been 
taken twice in the early French offen- 
sive, but abandoned when troops were 
called off to strengthen the armies 
nearer Paris. The western edge of Al- 
sace, "redeemed" from Germany, in 
August, 1914, remained in French 
hands during the war. The moral 
effect of this occupation far outweighed 
its strategic value. 


In the section of France to the north 
and east of the long, irregular gash 
where the hostile trenches faced each 
other, were ninety per cent of the iron 
ore of France, fifty per cent of the coal. 
The greater part of French manufac- 
turing equipment had passed under 
German control, and much of it was 
used to forward German military mas- 

Much machinery was taken to Ger- 
many, some was destroyed, while other 
establishments were run by their Ger- 
man captors. 

In the early days of January, 1915, 
the most important combat of all, 
along the extended front, was a con- 
tinuation of the Battle of the Aisne. 
On the north bank of the river, opposite 
Soissons, between the villages of Cuf- 
fies. Braye and Crouy was a height, 
Hill 132, overlooking the road and rail- 
way between Soissons and Laon. On 
January 8, that part of General Man- 


Seen from even a little distance these trees reveal no peculiarity. To an observer in the air they would offer no 
sign of alert human occupants, ready with glasses and with gun. This is an excellent example of the use of trees, 
tangles of shrubbery, ruined buildings, or other screens for concealing observers or gunners. 


Efficiency appears to be operating in this post office at the front of battle. To keep up the spirit of the men in the 
trenches or on the field jetters from home were most welcome. Judging from some that came to light, however, 
not all the messages written to them or by them were cheerful or encouraging. The commanders realized the 
effect of discouraging news and attempted to keep back information which might affect the spirits of either soldier 
or civilian. 



oury's army stationed on the right 
bank of the river attacked and captured 
the hill. Heavy rains on the following 
days swelled the Aisne and cut them off 
from the main body. The Germans 
were strongly entrenched in this region 
and General von Kluck rushed rein- 
forcements from Laon. On January 12 
and 13, the Germans, by counter-at- 
tacks retook the hill. The Kaiser, who 
was present, laid plans for entering 
Soissons and proceeding to Rheims 
where he proposed to hold services in 
the Cathedral. Soissons and its Cathe- 
dral, meanwhile, were under bombard- 
ment by German guns, for the contin- 
ued existence of the city "annoyed the 
representatives of Teutonic Kultur. " 


The French forces, beside having the 
disadvantage of inferior numbers (about 
12,000 against 40,000 of the Germans), 
were beset by natural difficulties. Their 
perilous position, with their backs to 
the river, was further endangered by 
heavy rains that swelled the stream 
and drenched the ground. Bridges 
were destroyed by German guns or 
carried off on the rising waters. Pon- 
toon bridges were of short life. It was 
impossible to keep open communica- 
tion with the base on the south side 
of the river. When the Germans, by 
tunneling to the shore, succeeded in 
blowing up the river bank and flooding 
the French trenches, retreat became in- 
evitable. On the night of the I4th, the 
French retired, over new pontoon 
bridges, to the left bank of the Aisne, 
although they were able to retain St. 
Paul, situated in the loop on the oppo- 
site shore, and two bridge-heads. They 
established a new and stronger position 
before Soissons. The contest had in- 
volved considerable losses on both 
sides, probably about 10,000 Ger- 
mans killed and wounded and half as 
many French. In the retreat, some 
guns were abandoned, but they were 
destroyed first. The battery which 
covered the withdrawing troops at 
Missy fought until ammunition was 
gone and there were only six men left 
standing. They wrecked their guns be- 
fore following their comrades across the 


river. Again the line between the ene- 
my and Paris had been strained, but 
not broken. 

A point of particular danger in the 
battle-line was located in the Cham- 
pagne region between Rheims and 
Verdun. There the army of the Ger- 
man Crown Prince occupied a part of 
the forest of Argonne, with General 
von Einem's troops nearby a little to 
the west, in the area south of the Aisne. 
In case of successes on the Eastern 
European Front, the Germans might in- 
crease their pressure at this point, and 
try to push through to Rheims or to 
break General Joffre's right wing from 
his centre. . 


While the Russians were engaged in 
withstanding the Austrian armies in 
the Carpathians, the French command- 
er aimed to hold in the Champagne 
"the largest possible German force, to 
oblige it to use up ammunition, and to 
prevent any troops being transported 
to Russia. " To judge fairly of the bat- 
tle waged in February and March, 
around Perthes, which had been won 
early in January, we must keep in 
mind that aim. 

Early in February General JofTre 
ordered General Langle de Cary to ad- 
vance against von Einem's forces. On 
the sixteenth the French secured two 
miles of German trenches, beyond 
Beausejour, north of Perthes. The 
battle front was pushed back and 
forth, in repeated attacks and counter- 
attacks, through the remainder of 
February and up to the I2th of March, 
with the German reports claiming suc- 
cesses for their army. From four to 
five and a half German Army Corps 
were engaged. Yet, the net result of 
the encounter showed a slight gain for 
the French, some one or two miles ad- 
vance on a four and a half mile front, 
and a better position secured for their 
line. Moreover, when the British 
"drum-fire" opened the attack upon 
the enemy at Neuve Chapelle before 
Lille, on March 10, the resistance of 
the Germans was not so trong as it 
would have been if their reserves had 
not been drawn off for the Champagne 



battle. France had co-operated with 
her allies both east and west, to the 
advantage of all, even though von 
Einem's army had not been driven back 
across the Aisne. More and heavier 
fighting was to follow. 



Both Germans and French were 
strongly intrenched in the northern end 
of the Forest of Argonne. There the 
nature of the ground was most difficult, 



with a "hog's back" lying north and 
south, in the midst of broken ridges, 
valleys, and watercourses. The confor- 
mation of the land was well adapted to 
the construction of the deep, "three- 
decker" intrenchments that had been 
built in. The French faced both the 
western and eastern entrances to the 
Argonne. In the close quarters of the 
woods, with their rough slopes and 
thick underbrush, fighting assumed a 
peculiar character. Saps were dug to- 
ward the hostile trenches, sometimes 
running as close as seven or eight 
yards. There, unless they were dis- 
covered by counter-sapping, mines 
were exploded, tearing up the intrench- 
ments and making havoc among the 
troops who happened to be in them. 
During the first week in January, while 
Langle de Gary was engaging von 
Einem near Perthes, General Sarrail, 
with the assistance of Constantin Gari- 
baldi, and a band of Italian Volunteers, 
made an attack upon a section of the 
German trenches, after the explosion 
of eight mines by way of preparation. 
But the Italians went too far forward, 
Garibaldi was killed, and no real ad- 
vantage resulted from the effort. This 
was but one of a long series of contests 
conducted at close range and yielding 
little ultimate benefit to either side, al- 
though the German reports published 
them as victories. 


General Sarrail's command included 
the city of Verdun and its environs. 
As we have already noticed, his trenches 
made a large loop around the city, so 
effectual that the fortress hardly felt 
any impression of the war. Barbed- 
wire entanglements, skillfully protected 
battery emplacements, and extensive 
defenses turned toward Germany a 
strong shoulder, pushing back as far as 
possible the. menacing Teuton guns. 
Air reconnaissance was useful in direct- 
ing the course of the artillery in the 
duels that kept activities open and 
strove to widen the encircling area 
around the fort. A newspaper corres- 
pondent describes the situation in this 
way: "It is the men in the trenches 
who are giving Verdun her elbow room. 


It is the artillery which renders their 
existence possible." And so it was at 
Toul and Epinal and Belfort. 

At the St. Mihiel salient, the wedge 
which in September, 1914, the Germans 
had thrust across the Meuse from their 
base at Metz, the policy of the French 
strategists was to put pressure upon the 
sides of their base, so as to "press them 
together like the legs of a pair of com- 
passes. " On the northern side, too, 
they hoped to interrupt enemy com- 
munication with St. Mihiel by taking 
some part of the strategic railway. The 
point of the salient was made practi- 
cally impregnable by the Camp des 
Remains just above St. Mihiel. 

Les Eparges, on the northern leg, 
and Pont-a-Mousson, on the southern 
leg, of the salient, were the objectives 
of many -French assaults. January saw 
hot contests in the Bois-le-Pretre near 
Pont-a-Mousson. February and March 
brought a resolute drive upon the 
heights at Les Eparges, where there 
were tiers of excellent German trenches, 
stretching one above another' around 
the summit. None of them gained 
much ground. In April, concerted 
movements were made from Verdun 
on the north and from Toul on the 
south. The latter attack struck near 
the apex of the salient, near Apremont, 
instead of at Pont-a-Mousson. 


In the Wood of Ailly, where the St. 
Mihiel Road formed an angle with the 
road to Apremont, the Germans had 
constructed a strong work. On April 5, 
after a terrific bombardment and ex- 
plosion of mines, the French rushed 
forward through heavy rain and smoke. 
The work at the angle of the roads had 
been reduced to ruins by artillery fire. 
The St. Mihiel road trenches were 
quickly taken and the first lines of the 
Apremont trenches. Then came a 
check. Fighting with bayonets and 
bombs, all day and all the following 
night, the French troops finally pre- 
vailed and held the new position against 
counter-attacks. At the same time, at 
Bois-le-Prtre and in other woods on 
the southern edge of the salient, various 
operations met with varying success. 


The fighters in the Vosges, like their neighbors in the Alps, had especial problems to meet. When snow and frost 
enveloped the mountains, the chasseurs with their skiis performed striking feats of skill and bravery in the man- 
oeuvres. Some of the country in which they fought was very rough and difficult. 


The work of the engineers in opening routes of communication or improving those already in existence was of ut- 
most importance on all the fronts. In the picture a regiment is seen traversing a fine road through a forest on a 
mountain side in the Vosges. In the forefront of the group appears their music. The snowfall in this region is 
considerable and the temperature often falls many degrees below freezing. 



At Les Eparges, from April 5 until 
April 12, the struggle for mastery was 
violent. The Germans considered the 
position so important as to claim every 
attention and means of security. Their 
shelters, made ready at their leisure, 
were strong and safe and provided with 
comforts. A narrow-gauge railway 
brought supplies and reinforcements 
from Metz. Guns of all sizes were con- 
cealed on the sides and summit of the 
hill. It was discovered during the bat- 
tle that the gunners had been chained 
to their machine guns. 


The slopes of the hill presented a 
difficult approach, made far more for- 
bidding by the drenching, soaking rain 
that fell in torrents until the earth was 
water-logged. Men, unwounded even, 
were drawn down and drowned. Rifles 
became choked with mud, so that only 
the bayonets were of use. In spite of 
all, however, the summit of the hill was 
attained. As trench after trench was 
taken, the parapets were reversed and 
turned against their former occupants. 
By the morning of the Qth, both sides, 
exhausted, stopped for rest. Then re- 
inforcements, which had taken four- 
teen hours to labor up the slippery in- 
cline, reached the French. They re- 
newed the attack at once, under cover 
of their artillery, until a sudden fog en- 
closed them and the covering fire had to 
stop. Summoned to go forward again, 
after a successful counter-attack by the 
enemy, they stood at last upon the 
plateau of Les Eparges, where they 
could look down upon the whole sur- 
rounding region and control with their 
guns the plains of the Woevre and lower 
hills around. Counter-attacks made 
during the next few days failed to dis- 
lodge them, but men could not be 
spared just then to reduce the salient. 

South of St. Mihiel, in the Vosges 
and in Alsace, no important engage- 
ments took place. The bodies of troops 
stationed there were small by compari- 
son with those on all other parts of the 
front. But they were busy drilling 
through the rocks with mines and 
counter-mines, and making sudden 
sallies from time to time. First rains 


and then snowstorms interrupted hos- 
tilities during part of the winter. How- 
ever, on January 3-4, Steinbach was 
captured by the French in a sharp house 
to house contest. It was a town twelve 
miles within the German frontier. 


The artillery in this region was 
strengthened, and frequent long-dis- 
tance duels were fought. On the moun- 
tains, when frost had hardened the 
snow, some gallant deeds were done by 
the Alpine Chasseurs, who dared any 
danger as they dashed down the steep 
slopes on their skis and landed with 
terrifying suddenness in the enemy 
trenches, wielding their bayonets with 
as much ease and skill as they did their 
skis. A small band of these Chasseurs 
on the top of Hartmannsweiler Kopf, 
when surrounded and cut off from their 
base, for several days held their 
trenches. At last, about forty of them 
attempted to make a sortie by glissading 
on their skis down into the midst of 
the enemy, shouting "Vive la France." 
The rest stood their ground until over- 
powered. In June another company of 
Chasseurs became isolated on a hill. 
They made a camp and there defended 
themselves, with the aid of protecting 
shells from their distant artillery, until 
after three days they were rescued. 
When ammunition began to fail, they 
rolled rocks down upon their assail- 
ants below. 

One salutary effect of the activities 
in Alsace was that the German popu- 
lation close at hand could not be de- 
ceived by falsified reports about things 
that they could see for themselves. An- 
other good result was that German 
forces were detained here opposite the 
French right wing instead of being used 
where the greater issues were being 
fought out in Champagne and Artois. 
General Dubail was the French officer 
in command of the whole right wing, 
from Pont-a-Mousson to the Swiss 
border. In the west, General Foch was 
responsible for the movements of the 
left wing from Compiegne to Flanders. 
On that wing the Seventh Army, under 
General de Castelnau, guarded the 
section between the Somme and the 


Oise; while the Tenth Army, com- 
manded by General Maud'huy, hinged 
upon the British forces near Lens and 
extended south beyond Arras. 

For the first three months of the 
year, in the area north of Arras there 
was the habitual artillery strife, often 
so intense that neither side could break 
through the barrage of fire. This was 
varied by mine explosions and crater- 

been included with the right wing under 
General Dubail's supervision, was now 
put under the control of General de 
Castelnau, whose Seventh Army was 
given to General Petain. At the head 
of the Tenth Army, General d'Urbal 
succeeded General Maud'huy. The 
latter, who had been a Chasseur, was 
sent to the Vosges under General Du- 
bail to command the Chasseurs there. 


These operations a part of the concerted movement by French and British were under the personal direction 
of General Foch. The fighting soon became a series of isolated actions against strong German positions like the 
Souchez sugar refinery, Ablain Cemetery, a road on Notre Dame de Lorette ridge, and the Labyrinth, where for 
weeks a desperate struggle was waged through dark, intricate underground caverns. 

fighting, that is, using the mine craters 
as points of vantage from which to at- 
tack. The moral superiority lay with 
the side which could keep up the live- 
lier activity. North of Arras, near 
Lens, where the Tenth Army was co- 
operating with the British under Sir 
John French, the most notable of its 
achievements in the early spring was a 
successful advance upon the ridge of 
Notre Dame de Lorette, in March. 
The Germans promptly retaliated with 
a fresh bombardment of Arras. 

By the month of May, certain 
changes and adjustments had been 
made by way of preparation for later 
undertakings. The center, from Com- 
piegne to Pont-a-Mousson, which had 


Reinforcements of troops and large 
additions of artillery built up the 
strength of d'Urbal's army opposite 
Lens in the old province of Artois, 
which nearly corresponds to the de- 
partment of Pas-de-Calais. Here the 
German position was one of the strong- 
est to be found on either front. Gen- 
eral Foch himself arrived to superin- 
tend operations during the offensive 
drive which the Allies had planned for 
the assistance of Russia. Simultane- 
ously with the British advance in the 
direction of Lille, the French would 
push toward Lens. After the custom- 
ary preparation by artillery fire, on 



May 9, they moved forward. The 
right wing made an impetuous and 
successful assault upon Neuville St. 
Vaast; the center seized the White 
Works, which were German fortifica- 
tions cut in the chalky rock; and the 
left wing began a struggle for Carency, 
farther north. On May 12, the day of 
Carency's surrender, the summit of 
the ridge of Notre Dame de Lorette 
was taken and the village of Ablain 
was partly conquered. 

The situation then presented a new 
phase. Instead of forming a continuous 
barrier, the German front in this sec- 
tion had been broken up into a series of 
isolated forts, each of which had to be 
laid under siege. One after another in 
those weeks of May and early June, 
the sugar refinery at Souchez, the cem- 
etery of Ablain, the White Road, and 
the Labyrinth yielded to the fierce, uru- 
remitting blows of the French. The 
Labyrinth, all but impregnable, was a 
fortification contrived with tortuous, 
complicated tunnels, sometimes as deep 
as fifty feet below the surface, with 
mines and fortresses, death-traps, caves 
and shelters, from which unexpected 
foes could attack with gas or liquid fire 
or knives. In the darkness and damp- 
ness and foulness of those Stygian 
vaults where in some places the only 
guiding gleams were from electric 
flash-lights, men battled for days, 
for weeks, until June was half spent. 
What wonder that the Germans could 
scarcely believe that the enemy had 
made it their own? What wonder that 
one of them exclaimed, "Nothing re- 
sists these French devils"? 

Meanwhile, the British near Festu- 
bert were vigorously sustaining their 
side of the offensive in spite of the 
strain they had just passed through in 
the second battle of Ypres. Both Ypres 
and Arras were suffering still from con- 
stant bombardment. As the battle of 
Artois was coming to its end, General 
d'Urbal directed an attack upon the 
1 7th Baden Regiment at Hebuterne, 
not far from Albert. In two days the 
German regiment was not only defeated 
but practically eliminated and the 
French had gained a few yards of 



Coincident with this was a sudden 
dash upon the German position oppo- 
site the farm of Quennevieres in the 
angle of the Oise and the Aisne, where 
General de Castelnau's artillery, Zou- 
aves and sharpshooters by combined 
action made a gap in the enemy's front. 
The infantry who captured the German 
trenches carried with them rations for 
three days, and each man was supplied 
with a bag, to be filled with earth and 
used in fortifying each position as soon 
as it was taken. The engagement was 
short, June 5th, 6th, and yth; but it 
cost the Germans about 3000 lives. 
The French losses were 250 killed and 
1500 wounded. 

These engagements taken individu- 
ally were brilliant achievements, but 
they made little material difference in 
the situation as a whole. By the end of 
the first year of the war, the superior 
equipment of the Teutonic invader had 
been demonstrated. No rift in his long 
solid line would be effectual unless it 
could be made along a front of at least 
twenty or thirty miles. It had been 
made clear to themselves and to the 
foe that as yet, the Allies had not the 
men nor the guns nor the munitions 
required for so great an offensive. But 
there was hope to sustain them in the 
time of waiting. Their supplies were 
increasing. Millions of men could yet 
be brought forward. For the enemy 
there was no such reserve. He was al- 
most at the crest of his man power. 
The failure to cross the Marne had ac- 
tually blocked his plan, which was de- 
pendent upon a rapid, sweeping vic- 


Summer in the trenches was a hap- 
pier time than the winter and spring, 
of painful initiation. With sunshine, 
instead of frost or rain, life seemed more 
endurable. The men improved their 
shelters and made gardens in protected 
spots. On both sides, alternative posi- 
tions were prepared and fortified, be- 
hind the front lines. The intrenched 
regions developed into * underground 
cities of cement, wicker-work and sand- 


Ludwig III is here shown bidding farewell to the officers of the Landsturm, reserve troops called from business 
and professional life to become part of the great conflict. The figures of these officers are probably quite different 
in line from those which they presented in their earlier years of military service. 


From his headquarters, behind the battle line in France, Emperor William II issued from time to time to make 
spectacular appearances on the battle-field, becoming more modest as time passed and Paris was still out of reach. 
His r61e changed from stern military leader to',"venerable father of his people", and signs of age were allowed to 
appear in photographs. The spiked helmets are covered with cloth to avoid reflection of light. 



bags. The siege area was taking on a 
permanent look. While France was 
able to bloom and smile a little through 
the scars of battle, the same sun that 
blessed her was pouring anguish upon 
Gallipoli, where Britain's gallant hosts, 
landed there in April, were digging, 
wrestling, and dying in the tortures of 
heat and thirst. 

The only action of first importance 

A N 


during midsummer was an offensive, in 
the Argonne, undertaken by the Impe- 
rial Crown Prince, reinforced by troops 
from St. Mihiel. Possibly the object 
was to cut the railway communication 
between Verdun and Chalons, or it may 
have been an effort to brighten his own 
reputation, none too glowing. The pre- 
liminary bombardment had less effect 
in the irregular, wooded terrain than in 
a more open district, but was not 
omitted. It opened on June 2Oth. The 
first attack, directed against the French 
on the western side, was rewarded with 
some success. When the French made 
their counter-attacks, German Staff 
reports accused them of using liquid 
fire one of the instances of the Ger- 

mans making excuse or justifying them- 
selves in their trespasses by bringing 
charges against the Allies. 

In an attempt to move down through 
the middle of the forest, the Germans 
advanced by attacking near the hunt- 
ing-lodge, Bagatelle, and between the 
spring, Fontaine Madame, and the 
woodland ridge, Haute Chevauchee. 
Eventually in July, the ground was 
partly recovered and 
the Germans were 
driven back. 


"A French corporal, 
Rene Destouches, who 
was captured and after- 
wards escaped, has re- 
corded the interview 
which he had with the 
German Crown Prince. 
The Crown Prince, with 
whom was an elderly 
officer, perhaps von 
Haeseler, according to 
Destouches, looked 
thin and tired. He 
paced up and down his 
tent with his hands in 
his pockets, and, if 
Destouches is to be be- 
lieved, spoke excellent 
French with a nasal 
accent. He assured 
Destouches that life in 
a German prisoners' 
camp was not very ter- 
rible. After asking several questions, 
which were answered evasively, he threw 
away his half-smoked cigar, and with 
a sad smile remarked: ' I am afraid you 
are rather stupid, Destouches, and 
don't keep your eyes open. I suppose, ' 
he added, 'your chiefs never tell you 
how badly things are going with you. ' 
The answer of the French corporal was 
' that every Frenchman saw for himself 
that the situation was excellent.' A 
weary expression passed over the 
Crown Prince's face. He shook his 
head, and with his companion passed 
out of the tent." 

September was the earliest moment 
that seemed practicable for an Allied 
undertaking of any magnitude; but 



The occupation of the miner on the war front was 
perilous and exciting, for the enemy's mine sometimes 
met his own or wrought havoc by explosion. 

it was deemed wise not to wait later 
because of conditions both military 
and political in Russia. General Joffre 
and Sir John French, with the support 
of the leaders of both countries, arrived 
at a decision to attack simultaneously, 
driving upon the two sides of the great 
salient in western France. The Brit- 
ish and French were to attack in the 
north near Lens, while the French alone 
were to make an attack in Champagne. 
The story of the combined Franco- 
British attack is told in the preceding 



Preparations of the utmost scientific 
precision and patient care were in prog- 
ress throughout the greater part of the 
summer, along the Champagne front. 
From observation posts and reconnais- 
sance aeroplanes the map-makers stud- 
ied the enemy's trenches, daily record- 
ing their discoveries. Every foot of the 
elaborate fortifications which the Ger- 
mans considered a "steel barrier," was 
accurately examined and diagrammed, 

so that it might be familiar ground to 
the officers who should direct the com- 
ing attacks. Fighting aircraft, mean- 
while, were busy keeping enemy planes 
from reconnoitring the Allied posi- 
tions. At the same time, engineering 
works of large proportions were pre- 
paring the way for a smooth perfor- 
mance of the proposed drive. Where 
the distance between the French 
trenches and the enemy was broad- 
est, long saps were pushed out. 

Next, bombardments of greater in- 
tensity than had yet been known broke 
out all the length of the front, in Au- 
gust, to hammer as hard as might be on 
the defenses to be taken. Squadrons of 
bombing planes, escorted by fighting 
air machines, hovered over the enemy 
supply centres and railway junctions, 
dropping their loads of explosives. And 
the guns great and small kept pounding, 
pounding on. 

The last three days of this bombard- 
ment revealed where the offensive was 
to be launched. Day and night the 
roar of guns did not cease, while shells 


Listeners in branch galleries sometimes used 
stethoscopes to catch the faintest sound indicating 
an attempt at a counter-mine by the enemy. 


rained thick along the Champagne 
fortifications. In a German soldier's 
letter we may find a description of the 
conditions resulting in the German 
front-line trenches: "A cloud of smoke 
hangs so thick upon the front of battle 
that nothing is to be seen. The men are 
falling like flies. The trenches are 
nothing but a heap of ruins. " 


The Champagne region between 
Ville-sur-Tourbe and Auberive, the 
section chosen for the attack, was open 
country, with plains and rolling downs 
of chalky soil. In the hollows, here and 
there, were wooded bits. Many of the 
trees had been shivered into tattered 
posts by the wild storms of shells to 
which they had been exposed. Behind 
the German front and almost parallel 
with it ran the Bazancourt-Challer- 
ange-Apremont railway, a connecting 
link between von Einem's army and 
the army of the German Crown Prince 
in the Argonne. Five roads led back 
to the railway from the intrenched 
front, which they crossed at or near 
Auberive, St. Souplet, Souain, Perthes, 
and Ville-sur-Tourbe. 

Along this portion of the front, the 
"steel barrier" consisted of a main, or 
first line, position, and a second line. 
A space of from two to two and a half 
miles lay between the two. The front 
line was a deep and intricate network 
of parallel trenches joined together by 
communication trenches, with dug-outs 
and concrete protections, and, stretch- 
ing between the trenches, extensive 
barbed-wire entanglements. This the 
French knew. But, hidden from them, 
on the farther side of the hills lay a line 
of support trenches, connected by tun- 
nels with observation posts and gun- 
emplacements on the front of the hills, 
and communicating with the first line 
through lateral trenches. 

For still greater protection there 
were fields of wire entanglements in 
great pits dug into the chalky earth. 
They covered areas of seventy yards 
each and were sunk to a depth of six or 
seven feet, so that the tops were level 
with the surface of the. ground. The 
artillery bombardment could not reach 


this rear line of defense, which was des- 
tined to be a baffling surprise and in 
places an insuperable bar to the onrush- 
ing ranks of the French. 


The Fourth Army under General 
Langle de Gary, was the one chosen to 
make the attack, with General de 
Castelnau present to direct operations 
in person. Some of the troops engaged 
were the 2nd Corps, men of Picardy; 
the Colonial Corps; the yth Corps, from 
Franche-Comte ; the 2ist Corps, from 
Lorraine and Burgundy; and some 
Chasseur battalions. To the Chas- 
seurs and Colonials fell the most diffi- 
cult share, the advance upon the left 
centre. In command of the Colonials 
was General Marchand, the former 
explorer of Africa. When wounded in 
the Champagne conflict, he wrote to a 
friend: "I expect to return to the 
front to take up my command again in 
six weeks, for, in these days, one has 
a right to be dead, but not ill. " 

The great flanking movements of the 
first weeks of the war had been set 
aside when the siege settled into 
trenches; but on a small scale the same 
method was applied in local contests. 
An individual section could be envel- 
oped by a flanking operation after in- 
fantry had been thrust in at different 
points. This plan was adopted for the 
new effort in Artois and Champagne. 
Wherever the fortifications showed a 
position of comparative weakness, the 
strongest advance was made, so that 
each section might be besieged like a 
separate fortress. Between Auberive 
and Souain was one opening; opposite 
Souain, another; and again, east of 
Perthes and facing le Mesnil, and be- 
tween Beausejour and Massiges, two 
more gateways were opened. General 
de Castelnau had said to one of his 
staff officers: " I want the artillery so to 
bend the trench parapets, so to plough 
up the dug-outs and subterranean de- 
fenses of the enemy's line as to make it 
almost possible for my men to march 
to the assault with their rifles at the 

In places the infantry 'found this 
wish almost realized and took the first 


line trenches with little loss for them- 
selves. In other places, however, the 
resistance was so strong as to take 
great toll of their numbers. The men 
were given exact instructions as to what 
they were expected to do, so that each 
platoon had a definite objective as its 
aim. They were heartened for their 
task by the Order from General Joffre, 
which was read to them : 

the whole front in close union with the 
Armies of our Allies. 

"Your dash will be irresistible. 

"It will carry you with your first 
effort up to the enemy's batteries 
beyond the fortified line opposing 

"You will leave him neither truce 
nor rest until victory has been achieved. 
On, then, with your whole heart for 


Beyond Souain and Perthes in the Champagne region, on September 25, 1915, an attack was delivered by the 
French, with General de Castelnau in immediate command. Tahure was captured, many prisoners and guns 
were taken in the Trpu Bricot fortress (north of "the Pocket"), and there was brilliant success on the "Hand of 
Massiges," a most difficult position. But the advance was held up at the Butte du Mesnil, northeast of Perthes. 


"Soldiers of the Republic! 

"After months of waiting which have 
enabled us to increase our strength and 
our resources while the enemy was using 
his, the hour has come to attack and to 
conquer, to add fresh pages of glory to 
those of the Marne, of Flanders, the 
Vosges, and Arras. 

"Behind the storm of iron and fire 
unloosed, thanks to the labor of the fac- 
tories of France, where your comrades 
have worked day and night for you, 
you will go to the assault together upon 

the liberation of our country, and for 
the triumph of right and liberty. 

"J. Joffre." 


The infantry dash was made on the 
morning of September 25, in a veil of 
rain, although the three days preceding 
had been clear enough to give the aero- 
planes excellent opportunity to recpn- 
noitre and to direct the artillery fire. 
The first rush across the slimy, chalky 
stretch between the fronts, where the 
surface had been ploughed and tossed 
up by shells and mines, was made so 



suddenly that the German barrage was 
too late to catch it. A great part of the 
German first line was carried before 
noon. One regiment traveled two and 
a half miles in two hours. But progress 
varied more and more after the forward 
roll of the first wave, as it was controlled 
by the difficulties of the section under 

The region between Souain and 
Perthes, where the French had made 
some advance steps in the Bois de 
Sabot, during February and March, was 
one of the most nearly invincible points 
of resistance. The French called the 
system of defense there, the "Pocket." 
A heavy blow was struck directly east 
of the Pocket. When the troops on the 
left had carried their column around to 
the north and joined those who pierced 
the line on the right, or east, the posi- 
tion was surrounded. In the woods a 
little farther east the battalions from 
Perthes moved so quickly through the 
trenches of the first line that they sur- 
prised some of the German officers in 
bed, trusting confidently in the strength 
of the "steel barrier." 


The next position on the east, oppo- 
site le Mesnil, offered greater resistance 
than any other. Almost no impression 
was made upon it by the first day's 
fighting. But, a step beyond, the 
greatest success of the day was at- 
tained. There the infantry broke 
through and drove forward, opening a 
way that encouraged the cavalry, so 
long idle, to follow. The German gun- 
ners harnessed their horses and started 
to save their guns. The French cavalry 
could not advance far because of the 
fire of machine guns, but some of them 
dismounted and on foot fought with 
the sword. At the extreme ends of the 
wings, both left and right, the German 
resistance held firmly. 

The net result of the first day's oper- 
ations was an advance of five-eighths 
of a mile to two and a half miles on a 
fifteen and a half mile front, with more 
than 12,000 prisoners captured. Al- 
most the whole of the German front 
line was demolished, and the French 
were holding some sections of the second 


line. The suddenness of the attack had 
surprised the Germans so as to throw 
them reeling back. The French line 
east of Auberive had reached and seized 
1'Epine de Vedegrange; north of Souain 
the Colonials had rolled on as far as 
the Navarin Farm; north of Perthes, 
the advance was not far from Tahure; 
and north of Beausejour the right wing 
held the farm, Maisons de Champagne. 


For five days a stern conflict was 
waged for the mastery of a formidable 
German fortification called "La Main" 
(the Hand), on three hills north of 
Massiges, whose conformation sug- 
gested the back of a hand and three 
fingers. The Germans boasted that it 
could be held with "two washerwomen 
and two machine guns." The Colonial 
infantry who made the assault upon 
it, wrote there "a new page of hero- 
ism. " An officer in the battle gives the 
opposing army credit for admirable 
bravery. "The enemy fought with 
amazing courage against a still more 
amazing attack," he said. "Time and 
again the enemy machine guns were 
only put out of action when the gunners 
had been bayoneted at their posts. 
Grenadiers fought with desperation, 
and so close was the fighting that many 
of them were killed or wounded by the 
explosion of their own grenades." 

The heights were at last secured, to 
be used in flanking attacks upon the 
trenches east of them, where the front 
did not yield to any assault. There 
are other instances where the Germans 
held their ground until they were des- 
troyed or hopelessly overpowered, but 
there are accounts of others who sur- 
rendered readily in groups. One French 
officer reported, "I can't find men to 
take the prisoners back." 

At the German rear, reinforcements 
were being thrown in, almost without 
order or system troops of many differ- 
ent commands sent from all parts of the 
German front, rushed into the fighting 
in precipitous haste, not properly pro- 
visioned or organized. "They reached 
the front anyhow and anywhere." In 
managing these reserves, the method 
which usually characterized the Ger- 


man Staff seems to have been entirely 


The French communique 1 for Octo- 
ber i, states: "Our men are holding 
firmly the captured positions in the 
enemy's second line." But for every 
foot of progress now, the loss was pain- 
fully heavy. October was not far spent 

dred years and more ago the Christian 
manhood of Europe, although semi- 
barbarous itself, halted the furious 
super-barbarian, Attila, and his Hun 
followers. Southwest, again but a little 
way, Rheims lifts her battered Cathe- 
dral, whose vaults have echoed with 
the shouts of many generations at the 
consecration of their kings, where Joan 
of Arc brought the Dauphin to be 


In the mountains where trenches, hewn from rocks, followed the undulations of the surface, sometimes the lines 
came close together, occ isionally but a few yards apart. Sometimes, on tie other hand, they were separated by a 
whole valley. Dotted all along the walls of the fortifications were the useful mitrailleuses. 

before the offensive halted. The aver- 
age advance of front was approximate- 
ly a mile and a half. About 25,000 
prisoners had been taken and 125 to 150 
guns, besides large quantities of small 
arms and munitions. The French Gen- 
eral Staff arrived at an estimate that 
the German losses altogether amounted 
to about 140,000 men. The French 
themselves lost probably about 120,000. 
To glance back over the battle field 
of the autumn offensive in Champagne, 
let us see it in relation to the rest of 
central France and to past history. 
Only a little way to the south is Ch&- 
lons-on-the-Marne, where fourteen hun- 

crowned. Nearer than either Ch&lons 
or Rheims, almost within the fighting 
area, lies Valmy, where the new Repub- 
lic, in 1792, made a successful stand 
against the Prussian intruders. Direct- 
ly north of Souain and Perthes, Vou- 
ziers, a meeting-place for railways and 
roads, was the objective of the French 
assault in September, 1915, as Lille 
and Lens formed those of the British 
and French respectively, in their syn- 
chronous attack in Artois, between La 
Bassee and Arras. In Artois, at Loos 
and Vimy Ridge, the subsidiary British 
and French attack went on, with results 
shown in the previous chapter. 



The great offensive was yet to be 
made, far in the future, when unlimited 
supplies of munitions should be ready 
and a broad front could be pounded 
with untiring persistence. But the 
autumn campaign had not failed of its 
immediate object. Large numbers of 
the enemy had been detained in Cham- 
pagne, many of whom had been killed 
or wounded or made prisoners. This 
meant a diminution of the total enemy 
forces. Moreover, the line of siege had 
been moved back, though very slightly, 
in a few positions. 


Although by the middle of October 
the great engagements all along the 
front in Champagne Pouilleuse were no 
longer continued, there were severe en- 
counters at some points throughout the 
remainder of the year. General de 
Castelnau's aim was to straighten his 
line by attacking the German salient 
between Tahure and Maisons de Cham- 
pagne. The Germans endeavored by 
vigorous counter-attacks to drive the 
French from their foothold on the 
Butte de Tahure. They used quantities 
of asphyxiating gas shells in almost all 
their assaults. Occasional success fell 
to either side. The French held most 
of their gain around Tahure, where they 
were but a mile from the Bazancourt- 
Challerange railway; but the Germans 
won back a small district west of the 
Maisons de Champagne. In Alsace the 
struggle over the Hartmannsweiler 
Kopf went on without cessation. The 
summit passed into the hands of the 
French, to be retaken by the enemy; 

however, at the end of the year the 
French were holding it with desperate 

On the whole there was little activity 
along the western front during the 
winter until the Verdun offensive began 
in February. The trenches, far more 
habitable than those of the previous 
winter, were further strengthened and 
improved ; and every part of the serv- 
ice was receiving attention so as to 
set it in readiness for the next great 
combat. Some changes in high com- 
mand were made before the year ended. 
For instance, General Gallieni replaced 
M. Millerand as Minister of War, while 
General Joffre was appointed Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the French armies 
in all the theatres of war. 


But minor objects were drawing upon 
the resources of the Allies. Gallipoli 
had already cost them dear. After 
Bulgaria became allied with Central 
Europe in October, French and British 
troops were transported to Saloniki 
under General Sarrail. The German 
and Austro-Hungarian successes in the 
East, while they did not destroy hope, 
called for prolonged patience, since they 
made another pause a necessity for the 
Powers who had thus gradually to gain 
confidence and force after steadying 
themselves from the shock of the first 
terrific onslaught of the foe. They were 
building up, while Prussia and Austria 
had passed the zenith of their power. 
The war had become a test of patience 
and endurance, and the moral advan- 
tage lay with the western Allies. 



Austrian Soldiers in Trenches in Galicia 


The Eastern Front During 1915 



some weeks after the close of 
1914 it seemed as though the oppos- 
ing armies along the Eastern Front lay 
panting in the snows from sheer ex- 
haustion. Not that there was any indi- 
cation of settling down into winter 
quarters; there was to be none of that. 
Numbers considered, the Austro-Ger- 
mans had as yet accomplished little. 
Russians occupied a part of East Prus- 
sia, Galicia was almost entirely in Rus- 
sian hands, and the great von Hinden- 
burg had twice been thrown back from 
Warsaw. At least 150,000 Austrians 
were being besieged in the great fort- 
ress of Przemysl, on the San, and Brusi- 
lov's men held the important Carpa- 
thian passes. For Austria the situa- 
tion was extremely serious; her armies 
had again and again been shattered, 
and now she faced the possibility of a 
Russian invasion of the fertile plains of 
Hungary, from which so large a portion 
of her foodstuffs must be drawn. 


But on the other hand, Russia was 
now running short of munitions. To 
a large degree this was probably due 
to unpreparedness, but rank treachery 
in the higher circles of Petrograd is 
also indicated. Already at this time 
the pro-German intriguers within the 
Court itself, headed by the Tsarina and 
the corrupt monk, Rasputin, had be- 

come active and were working for a 
Russian defeat. To what extent Suk- 
homlinov, the War Minister, was their 
conscious creature, even his trial did 
not make clear, but it is certain that 
had the Russian forces been properly 
equipped and had they had an ample 
supply of ammunition, the operations 
of 1915 might have taken a different 

For several weeks in January neither 
side showed any activity, but the 
whole Teutonic Eastern Front was now 
under a single command: the German 
General Staff. Soon its superior brain 
power began to manifest itself. Great 
plans of campaign were in preparation. 
It was decided to give up hopes of ad- 
vance in the West, to strengthen Aus- 
tria by affording help in Serbia and 
Galicia, and to attempt to deal a death 
blow at Russia. We may divide the 
Eastern Front into three parts: the 
East Prussian zone, the Polish zone and 
the Galician, or Carpathian zone. 



Early in the year rumors were set in 
circulation that Germany was now 
going to support Austria in a really de- 
termined effort to overrun Serbia. For 
the special edification of spies a con- 
tinuous stream of troop trains was sent 
southward, but many miles north of 
the Serbian frontier these trains were 



switched off on lines running eastward, 
across the plains of Hungary, toward 
the Carpathians. Over 400,000 men, 
divided into three separate armies, 
were involved in this movement. 

The Russians held the chief passes 
of the Carpathians, and had even pene- 
trated some distance down toward the 
Hungarian plains. Gradually, toward 
the end of January, they observed that 
the enemy outposts opposing their 
lines became more numerous and active. 
Slight skirmishes developed into lively 
engagements. Then a determined at- 
tack was made on the Russians under 
Brussilov holding Dukla Pass. At Duk- 
la the Teutons were thrown back with 
heavy losses, but they succeeded in 
forcing their way into Uzsok Pass, fur- 
ther to the eastward, without, however, 
being able to clear the northern de- 
bouchment of the cleft of the Russians. 
On February 7 the Russians emerged 
from Dukla Pass on the Hungarian 
side and attempted to flank the Aus- 
trian line below the Lupkov Pass, and 
almost succeeded, taking some ten 
thousand prisoners. For over a month 
the fighting went on in this district al- 
most continuously, without any suc- 
cess on the part of the Austro-Germans. 
Here it was that the Russians suffered 
severely from the lack of sufficient 
arms and ammunition; again and 
again their attacks failed at the point 
of success, only because their supplies 
ran short. 


The Austro-German army, under 
von Linsingen, with Lemberg as its 
goal, succeeded in taking all the passes 
in its appointed section. The Russians, 
under Ivanov, retired to the Koziowa 
Ridge, facing the passes, and waited. 
Passing down the bald slopes below the 
passes, the Austro-Germans were mak- 
ing for the valley of the Orava River, 
when Ivanov fell upon them, on Febru- 
ary 6, and so began the most fiercely 
contested battle for the Carpathian 
passes. During one day the Teutons 
made as many as twenty-two bayonet 
charges in their attempt to drive the 
Russians from their commanding posi- 
tions, but this was the sort of fighting 

at which the Russian soldiers excelled. 
Nevertheless, the fighting continued 
for five weeks, without the Austro- 
Germans being able to hammer their 
way through. Though hardly to be 
described as a victory for the Russians, 
their success in holding back the enemy 
was of tremendous importance, in that 
they prevented the relief of Przemysl 
and saved Lemberg for a time. 


Another Austrian Army, meanwhile, 
was also delivering its assault, further 
east in an effort to retake Bukovina, 
through the Jablonitza, Kirlibaba and 
Dorna Vatra passes. Bukovina forms 
the eastern end of Galicia and its 
people are Rumanian in blood and 
speech. Here the Russians were in 
much smaller force, and here, too, they 
were less successful in holding back the 
enemy. On February 1 8, after storm- 
ing Jablonitza and marching down the 
Valley of the Pruth, the Teutons took 
Czernowitz, and after that, Kolomea, 
whence the railroad runs to Lemberg. 
Within three days they had reached 
Stanislavov, another important rail- 
road centre, where a heavy engagement 
was fought lasting a whole week. Fin- 
ally, however, at the critical moment, 
when the Austro-Germans seemed on 
the point of success in their attempt to 
swing around the Russian rear, rein- 
forcements arrived from Ivanov, who 
was holding his own so well, and on 
March I, at Halicz, the Teutons were 
so decisively defeated that they were 
compelled to retire, losing nearly 20,000 
men as prisoners alone. Although the 
Russians lost all but two of the Carpa- 
thian Passes, they still held the greater 
part of Galicia, nor was Przemysl re- 
lieved. The occupation of Bukovina 
however, prevented Rumania from 
considering joining the Allies at that 


That important stronghold of Prze- 
mysl had now been besieged for four 
months. As already stated, the Aus- 
trians succeeded in relieving the siege 
for a few days in the midcfle of October, 
but in spite of the food supplies which 


Count Tisza, the Hungarian Dictator, demanded half a million German troops to continue the Battle of the Car- 
pathians, and defend the Hungarian plain and its wheat. Early in September the Germans sent a few army corps 
to the Carpathians but some time passed before they dispatched the number needed. 


The troops of the Dual Monarchy felt the severity of winter mountain-warfare far more than the Russians. Their 
transport service over the heights was often disarranged by snowstorms, and the condition of the wounded was hor- 
rible in the wild, desperate scenes of struggles far removed from the Hungarian railway system. Fighting day 
after day in the snow became exceedingly wearisome. Pictures from Henry Ruschin 



had been rushed in during that brief 
period, before the beginning of the new 
year the gariison and the population 
were again suffering severely from a 
scarcity of provisions. 


Again and again the garrison had 
made desperate sorties, not so much in 
the hope of breaking through as to com- 
pel the Russians to maintain a large 
besieging force and to keep their artil- 
lery busy here. On the night of March 
20 a final attack was made against the 
besiegers, in which the Russians took 
some 4,000 prisoners and drove the 
Austrians back. Next day heavy ex- 
plosions were heard within the city; 
the Austrians were destroying their 
munitions, and the following day, 
March 22, General von Kusmanek for- 


mally surrendered, with 2,600 officers 
and 117,000 men, besides 1,000 pieces 
of ordnance and a large quantity of 
rather useless ammunition. The Rus- 
sians were jubilant over their success. 


This was a tremen- 
dousblow to Austria, for 
not only did she lose a 
substantial part of her 
fighting forces, but over 
100,000 Russians were 
released for duty on the 
main front. In spite 
of the strong Prussian 
support, Austria now 
seemed on the point 
of collapse, like a pugi- 
list who has been hit 
hard during the first 
few rounds of a fight. 

But Galicia was only 
one section of the great 
Eastern Front, and dur- 
ing this period active 
operations had been 
going on along other 
parts of the thousand- 
mile line. In East 
Prussia the Germans 
had been attacking the 
Russians, too, and 
there the latter had not 
been so fortunate as 
they had been in Gali- 
cia. Attacks launched 
by the Russians against 
the East Prussian fron- 
tier, in January, 1915, 
centering at Lyck, had 
met with some success. 
The Germans, in weaker number, had 
been compelled to fall back to posi- 
tions of considerable natural strength, 
formed by the Masurian Lakes and the 
Angerapp River. Here they had been 
able to hold back the Russian offen- 
sive, until later in February, when 
Hindenburg came up to this section in 
person and was ready to give the situa- 
tion his direct attention. 

With the same secrecy that the Gali- 
cian campaign had beeij planned, he 
now gathered together forces in East 
Prussia, for the purpose of throwing 

d^Jtfc AOK.~ . '.AL_-.j>rifc) Brown & Daw son 

This picture shows Fort IDA, when the Austrian mortars had finished their work. The Great War has shown that 
defenses of concrete and steel are of little use. Field fortifications or earthworks offer better resistance. 

Jrown & Dawson 

This gun must be mounted on a concrete base. Fired at an angle, its shell is thrown high into the air and falling, 
explodes -with irresistible force. In contrast is the field gun fired at short range directly at its target. 



main plan of action; the Western 
Front must be held defensively while 
the Russians were decisively defeated 
and so thoroughly crippled that they 
could not again take the offensive till 
the Germans had defeated the British 
and French. 


It was not until spring that the Ger- 
mans were ready to deliver this great 
attack, this chief effort to bring the 
war to a close on the Eastern Front. 
On April 28 the first movement began 
with von Mackensen in command of 

back the Russians and overrunning 
Courland and the Baltic Coast up to 
Riga. He had been waiting for cold 
weather, and had prepared thousands of 
sledges and sled runners. 


On February 8-9 the Germans came 
on, driving through a whirling snow- 
storm, about 300,000 strong, taking 
the Russians, who numbered about 
120,000, by surprise. Thus began the 
winter Battle of the Masurian Lakes. 
By February 12 the German left wing, 
sweeping down on the Russian right 
flank from the north, 
had pushed the whole 
Russian line off of Ger- 
man soil, and the Ru&- 
sians were finally ex- 
pelled from East Prus- 
sia. Much of this fight- 
ing was witnessed by 
the German Emperor in 
person. Berlin reported 
that 100,000 prisoners 
were taken, which in- 
cluded the commander 
of the Russian Twen- 
tieth Army Corps. The 
Russians, however, 
claimed that only 
30,000 men were lost 
during these opera- 


i ir Map of part of the swampy Masurian Lake region, showing the area of the 

Swept in a great hall- German attack on Prasnysz, including the ridges where 6,000 Russians held 
the Blltif 48,000 Germans till the relieving army arrived. 

circle from 
to the borders of Rumania. It is ob- 
vious that both the Galician and the 
East Prussian campaigns were, com- 
pared to the main German effort to 
come, mere demonstrations. The Rus- 
sian centre, holding Poland and War- 
saw, was, after all, the main objective. 
Here there had been comparative 
quiet while the battles raged in the 
Carpathian passes and over the frozen 
swamps of the Masurian Lakes. Here 
von Hindenburg was quietly making 
his biggest preparations. Fully 
2,000,000 men were being gathered 
together behind the German centre, 
to deliver a final blow at the whole 
Russian line. For this time the Ger- 
man General Staff had reversed its 

the Eleventh German Army and two 
Austro-Hungarian corps. After an artil- 
lery fire, such as had never before been 
seen during any war, General von 
Mackensen swung his right wing for- 
ward, near Gorlice, against the Rus- 
sians under Dimitriev. The infantry 
attack began on May I. The Russians 
were completely overwhelmed, and 
quickly fell back, defeated. This army 
(von Mackensen 's phalanx) ' was to 
drive forward, paying no attention to 
other armies. 

From the left bank of the Dunajec 
River, where it joins the Biala, then 
along the Biala to the lower slopes of 
the Carpathians, stretched the line of 
battles, each a military engagement of 



the first magnitude in itself, yet com- 
pared to the field as a whole, a mere 
skirmish. That summer of 1915 
claimed more than its proportionate 
share of the 4,000,000 dead which has 
been Russia's loss on the Eastern 


For nearly a week the Russians made 
their stand along the Visloka, but 
outnumbered, betrayed by Petrograd 

By June 1 8 the Teuton tide had 
swept far to the eastward and lapped 
the very gates of Lemberg. Przemysl 
had been retaken on June 3, just ten 
weeks after the city had surrendered 
to the Russians. By this time the Rus- 
sian losses approached 800,000 men; 
half in dead and wounded, the other 
half marching west as prisoners of war. 
On June 23 Lemberg fell to the ad- 
vancing victors. By this time the 
army of Dimitriev was practically noth- 


May 8, 1915, by means of a combined naval and military attack, the Germans captured the valuable port of Libau. 
This was a serious loss as it was usually free from ice throughout the year, and the harbor was a base for the Ger- 
man warships which had been operating from Dantzig. 

itself, they could not withstand the 
Teutonic masses that swept against 
them and steadily bore them back. On 
May II the bulk of their line lay just 
west of the lower San, as far as Prze- 
mysl, then south to the upper Dniester. 
By that time Dimitriev had fallen back 
nearly eighty miles. Over 100,000 Rus- 
sians had been taken prisoners during 
those eleven days, and the Russian 
army in the north under General 
Evarts, and Brusilov on the south 
had likewise retreated to escape dis- 


ing more than a retreating, unarmed 
mob, save when they could come into 
hand to hand conflict with the pursu- 
ing foe with their bayonets, for their 
ammunition was now practically ex- 
hausted. More sinisterly significant 
was the fact that often supplies of am- 
munition arriving at the front did not 
fit the rifles or the cannon for which 
they were intended. 


Up in the north the German advance 
more than kept pace with the general 

onward sweep of the Teuton hosts in 
Poland and Galicia. A column of Ger- 
mans poured up over the sand dunes 
of the Baltic Coast, and by May 8 it 
had reached as far as, and taken Libau, 
and a large part of Courland had been 

By July i the stupendous advance 
under the command of von Hinden- 
burg had made such progress that the 

sian salient. Twice had Hindenburg 
attempted to take that important city 
by a frontal attack. He was leaving it 
now until the last. He would squeeze 
the Russians out of that portion of 
Poland or trap them. 



But in the north and in the south 
blow after blow fell, re-echoing in all 


Although all irregular troops of the Russian cavalry were called Cossacks they have not a common origin; they 
come from the provinces of the Don, Kouban, prenenbourg, the Ural and Transbaikalia. Something of the repu- 
tation of the Cossack should be credited to his horse, a small animal, shoit of limb and neck, but a wonderful 
stayer, thriving on poor food, docile, intelligent, indifferent to weather and ignorant of the luxury of a stable. 

whole world of the Allied countries was 
thoroughly alarmed, fearing a disas- 
trous Russian debacle. On July 19, 
the German Emperor telegraphed his 
sister, the Queen of Greece, that Rus- 
sia was paralyzed, and would so remain 
for the next six months. On July 24 the 
German line ran from Novgorod in the 
north, south of Przasnysz, thence to 
Novo-Georgievsk, then swinging to the 
southeast below Warsaw, it passed 
close to the west of Ivangorod, Lublin, 
Cholm, and then south to a point just 
east of Lemberg. Warsaw, it will be 
noted, was at the point of a great Rus- 

the Allied capitals. "Can Warsaw 
hold?" was the general question asked. 
Each end of the long Russian line was 
being gradually pushed back. Would 
it presently break in the middle at 
Warsaw? "Yesterday evening," tele- 
graphed the correspondent of the Lon- 
don Daily Mail from Petrograd, on 
July 22, "the bells in all the churches 
throughout Russia clanged a call to 
prayer for a twenty-four hours' serv- 
ice of intercession for victory. " 

Prayer availed Russia little. All 
through the last days of July the Ger- 
man armies advanced. On July 23, the 



troops of von Hindenburg were close 
up to the encircling forts of Ivangorod 
and stood on the Vistula all the way 
between the fortress and the mouth 
of the Pilitza. The following day 
brought the announcement of the cap- 
ture by the Germans of the fortresses of 
Rozan and Pultusk on the Narew, 
placing the crossing of the Narew be- 
tween those two places in the hands of 
the Germans. On that same day, in 
Galicia, the Russians retreated on a 
front of forty kilometres between the 
Vistula and the Bistritz for a dis- 
tance of ten kilometres. Their at- 
tempts to make a stand in between 
were rendered impossible by the on- 
rushing sea of Austro-Germans. 

1 MANS. 

On July 25 the Germans crossed the 
Narew along its whole length from 
Ostrolenka to Pultusk. The troops 
moving southeast from Pultusk now 
approached the Bug, getting toward 
the rear of Warsaw, thus threatening 
to close the only way of escape to the 
Russians in the Polish capital the 
Warsaw- Bielstok railroad. On July 26 
the Russians made a determined coun- 
ter-offensive from their line running 
from Goworowo to Serock, in an effort 
to remove this danger from Warsaw. 
But they gained nothing and lost over 
3,000 prisoners. 

The jaws of the pincers were coming 
together. To the south of Warsaw the 
Germans had seized a number of vil- 
lages, which brought them nearly to 
the Vistula, just below the capital. 
The Russian troops before Warsaw had 
been falling back, and in so doing had 
laid the country waste, which served to 
hinder the advance of the enemy a 
little. On the morning of July 28 the 
Germans crossed to the eastern bank 
of the Vistula between the mouth of 
the Pilitza and the Kozienice at several 
places, and thus threatened the War- 
saw-Ivangorod railroad. 


Continuously, by day and by night, 
the Russians in Warsaw made counter 
attacks, both to the north and the 
south. On the night of July 27 they 


made a desperate attempt to push for- 
ward to the west near Gora-Kalvaria, 
south of the city, but were completely 
shattered. Farther south the German 
advance was still more vigorous. Again 
the Russian front between the Bug and 
the Vistula was thrust back. On the 
evening of July 29 the Teutons cap- 
tured the Warsaw-Kiev railroad line 
at Biskupice, about half way between 
Lublin and Cholm, thus getting as- 
tride of this important line of commu- 
nication. On the afternoon of July 30 
Lublin was occupied, and on the follow- 
ing day Cholm was taken. Thus the 
German armies now had possession of 
the important railroad between War- 
saw and Kiev. Meanwhile a further 
advance was attained up in the north, 
in Courland, where the important rail- 
road centre, Mistan, was seized. 

Warsaw was now doomed; every 
Allied military expert recognized that 
fact, even though basing his deduc- 
tions on the Russian official reports. 
The decisive blow was that which came 
with the crossing of the Vistula twenty 
miles north of Ivangorod, on July 28. 
It showed that Warsaw was rapidly 
being surrounded. On July 30 Petro- 
grad announced officially that the Teu- 
tons had crossed the Vistula on pon- 
toon bridges where it is joined by the 
Radomka. By August 2, two German 
army corps were across. On August 4, 
the fortress at Ivangorod surrendered, 
after a violent bombardment of four 


The evacuation of Warsaw began 
on the night of August 3. Many of the 
inhabitants, half a million in number, 
sought refuge in flight, toward Russia. 
All material that could be of use to the 
Germans was destroyed, so that when 
they entered they found the shell of a 
city. At midnight, during the night of 
August 5, the last Russian troops left 
the city, first blowing up the bridges. 
At six in the morning the Germans 
entered, under the command of Prince 
Leopold of Bavaria, who was widely 
advertised in Germany as the con- 
queror of Warsaw, for * political 


In commenting on the fall of War- 
saw, the military critic of the Fort- 
nightly Review said : 

" If, as is believed, Field Marshal von 
Hindenburg in communication with 
General von Falkenhayn conceived, 
planned and executed the campaign, 
which began on April 22 with the at- 
tack on General Dimitriev's army on 
the Dunajec, and led to the occupation 

was due to the skill of his imperturb- 
able antagonist, who always seemed 
to know where to stand and when to 
retire, and kept his brain cool, no 
matter how difficult the situation 
which confronted him." 


Politically and economically the fall 
of Warsaw was a hard blow to Russia, 


Prince Leopold of Bavaria was accorded the privilege of entering Warsaw as a conqueror. He found only a remnant 
of the population Poles and the poorest of the Ghetto, for the rest had migrated eastward removing all goods that 
might be useful to the enemy, and burning what they could not transport. 

of Warsaw by Prince Leopold on Aug- 
ust 4, he has established a claim to a 
high place among living strategists, for 
he grasped the problem before him with 
a foresight which provided for every 
eventuality, and left no stone unturned 
to secure success. One army after 
another was first organized, then con- 
centrated, and finally launched at the 
right time, and in the right place, just 
when and where it was wanted to step 
into the strategical area. It is true 
that the Marshal failed to obtain the 
full results which he expected, for 
there was no Sedan in Poland; but this 
was not the fault of his strategy, and 

but in a military sense, it was merely 
an incident in a great campaign. The 
taking of territory counts for compara- 
tively little in a campaign, so long as 
the enemy's military forces remain in- 
tact. Von Hindenburg had not at- 
tacked Warsaw directly in this great 
campaign. He had hoped that the 
flower of the Russian Army would re- 
main within the fortifications of the 
city and be trapped when the city did 
fall. The Russian Army covering the 
approaches to the city on the west was 
allowed to remain in position without 
being attacked, in the hope that it 
would remain there long enough to be 



unable to escape, and there be locked 
up, as the French had been at Metz. 
It was von Moltke's strategy over 
again, and if it had succeeded Russia 
would indeed have been rendered help- 
less for at least six months, as the Ger- 
man Emperor had hoped when he joy- 
ously telegraphed his sister in Greece. 
But the brilliant strategy, the sound 
military judgment, of Grand Duke 

it was commencing to experience a 
number of difficulties. First of all, the 
German lines of communication were 
lengthening. So long as the excellent 
German railroads lay immediately be- 
hind them, the German armies could be 
quickly and effectively served. But 
now they were advancing into territory 
where railroads were not so well laid 
out, beside which they were of a differ- 


After the capture of Warsaw the Germans sought to capture the Central Russian Army which heavy artillery only 
had caused to withdraw into the interior. In the retreat fortresses became death traps (for field-armies could not 
hold them against German siege-trains). One after another was treated as temporary earthworks and abandoned 
as soon as the maximum loss had been inflicted upon the enemy. Picture from Henry Ruschin 

Nicholas, or his advisers, had defeated 
this plan. With extreme nicety he 
knew when to withdraw his forces, 
neither too hastily, nor too late. War- 
saw fell, but the Warsaw Army was 
saved, intact. In the eyes of the world 
generally, and of the German public 
specially, von Hindenburg had won a 
brilliant victory. But all military 
critics, and not least of all von Hinden- 
burg himself, probably realized that in 
itself it was but a hollow victory. 


From this time the advance of the 
German armies was not so headlong; 

ent gauge from those in Germany and 
must be relaid before they could be used 
for the German engines and cars. 
Again, the German forces were daily 
being weakened by troops being as- 
signed to the conquered cities and 
towns for garrison duty. The Russian 
defense gradually stiffened. 

After the capture of Warsaw, von 
Hindenburg concentrated his next ef- 
forts on Brest-Litovsk, on the Bug, 
where he probably hoped to set another 
trap for the Grand Duke. First of all, 
he must capture Kovno, the key to the 
Russian line on the Niemen. On Aug- 
ust 6 the Germans before the fortress 


of Kovno made a strong attack, but losing two cruisers and eight torpedo 
were repulsed with enormous losses, boats, the Germans fled, leaving the 
Finally the Germans brought up their marines on the lighters to be captured 
heavy howitzers, and ten days later before they had landed, 
the south bank of the Niemen fell into On August 25 Brest-Litovsk was 
German hands. That night they abandoned by the Russians, before the 
crossed the river and 
captured the rest of the 
fortress, taking pris- 
oner 4,000 Russians, 
together with 400 guns 
and much war mate- 
rial. Some of the cir- 
cumstances suggest 
treachery on the part 
of the Russian com- 
mander. This was in- 
deed a greater disaster 
to the Russians than 
the fall of Warsaw. For 
not only was the line 
of the Niemen turned, 
but the road to Vilna 
was opened up, threat- 
ening communication 
with Petrograd and 


It was only ten days 
later, while two large 
Teuton armies were 
converging on Brest- 
Litovsk that the Rus- 
sians scored their first 
important triumph of 
thecampaign. On that 
date the Germans at- 
tempted to capture 
Riga from the sea. A 
German fleet of forty 
ships, mainly gunboats 

Sailed Up the Gulf of Map of the campaign in Courland, Kovno, and the Gulf of Riga, illustrating 
Riga, escorting a force xe German attack on the road to Petrograd. 


of 5,000 marines, who were embarked 
on lighters and sent to be landed at a 
small town on the north shore. The 
Russian fleet had retired before the Ger- 
man ships, giving the impression that 
the Russian Admiral feared an en- 
counter with a superior force, but 
before the marines could be landed the 
Russian ships turned on the enemy and 
engaged them in battle. For four days 
the engagement lasted, and then, after 

Germans could close in on them. 

the Germans entered this important 

city, it was a mass of flaming buildings, 

and all the Russian forces had with- 

drawn in time. Again had von Hinden- 

burg failed to destroy the Russian 




A continuous retreat, no matter how 
brilliantly conducted, eventually in- 



jures the morale of the soldiers compos- 
ing the retreating armies. Under the 
circumstances Napoleon himself could 
only have retired before the advancing 
Germans, nor could he have conducted 
the retreat more dexterously than did 
the Grand Duke Nicholas. Neverthe- 
less, it was only natural that the Rus- 
sian peasants composing the mass of 
the Czar's armies should gradually be- 
come imbued with the belief that their 
Commander-in-chief had failed. Under 
such circumstances, no matter how 
blameless he may be, a commander is 
usually removed. This is one logical 
reason which may be ascribed for the 
removal of the Grand Duke from the 
chief command, on September 5, when 
Czar Nicholas announced that he 
would himself henceforth command the 
whole Russian front. Another reason 
was German intrigue at Petrograd. 
Grand Duke Nicholas was transferred 
to the Caucasus, where he later had an 
opportunity to show his great ability 
in directing the operations against the 

As a military commander Czar 
Nicholas was, naturally, a mere figure- 
head. The real Commander-in-chief 
was now General Alexiev, who was 
made Chief of the General Staff, and 
as such henceforward had charge of 
the operations, though he was hindered 
by influences in Petrograd. 


This change in command may have 
had some stimulating effect on the rank 
and file of the Russian armies, for now 
the fighting grew fiercer than it ever 
had been before. The battle before 
Vilna, which resulted in the fall of that 
city on September 1 8, was one of the 
bitterest of the whole long retreat. 
Here the Germans made another ef- 
fort to trap a large portion of the Rus- 
sian forces, by intercepting their re- 
treat, but again their strategy failed, 
and the Russians retired intact, after 
inflicting heavy losses on the enemy. 

While these operations were going 
on in the north, the armies of General 
Ivanov, south of the Pripet, won two 
considerable successes in the eastern 
corner of Galicia, defeating two Ger- 


man divisions west of Tarnopol, and 
an Austrian corps at Trembovla, on 
the Sereth, making large captures of 
prisoners and war material. 

The capture of Vilna proved the 
high water mark of German success. 
From that date the Russian defense 
assumed a more stubborn character; 
the great retreat had come to an end. 
Possibly, too, the Germanswere stretch- 
ing their endurance and were forced to 
slacken their offensive from sheer ex- 
haustion. Von Mackensen himself, 
directing the operations in the Pripet 
Marshes for a fortnight, finally re- 
moved his troops in that section, turned 
his command over to a subordinate, 
and gave his attention to what seemed 
a more hopeful quarter. 


Meanwhile Ivanov, after defeating 
the Austrians at Trembovla, continued 
advancing toward the Strypa, and on 
October 1 1 he badly defeated the Aus- 
trians under von Bothmer in a fiercely 
fought battle at Hajvoronka, driving 
the enemy across the river and taking 
many prisoners. This gave him con- 
trol of practically all of that portion of 
Galicia which lies east of the Strypa. 

Von Hindenburg now attempted to 
take Dvinsk, but this time his plans 
ended in complete failure. The marshy 
nature of the country around this 
important stronghold prevented the 
Germans from bringing up their heavy 
siege artillery, and without this they 
proved themselves unable to complete 
the task before them. The Russian 
retreat was now definitely ended; 
henceforth the Russian armies held 
their own, giving here and there, per- 
haps, but taking elsewhere in retalia- 
tion. The Prussian Commander had 
come to the end of his tether. 


This change in the situation was in 
some measure also due to the fact that 
supplies of ammunition were beginning 
to arrive from Vladivostok, where the 
munitions purchased in the United 
States were being landed* Also, at this 
time the necessity of pushing their way 
through Serbia was becoming impera- 


tive to the Central Powers, in order 
that Bulgaria might be brought into 
the war and that direct communications 
might be opened up with Turkey, now 
much in need of Teutonic assistance. 
Thus large forces of both Germans and 
Austrians were diverted to this enter- 
prise in the south, and Mackensen 
himself was compelled to leave the 
Eastern Front to direct it. For the 
Central Powers knew, from former 
experience, that the Serbian nut was to 
be decidedly hard to crack. Some 
divisions were also transferred to the 
Western Front to oppose the attack 
upon Loos. Thus the Russians were 
given a breathing space, a period dur- 
ing which they were enabled to prepare 
for a counter offensive: 

The Russian lines now extended 
from Riga, on the extreme north, 
along the Dvina, down to Dvinsk, 
thence, turning eastward along the 
river, they again turned south and so 
on down, east of the famous Pripet 
Marshes. From this point they ex- 
tended almost due south to the Ruman- 
ian frontier. This was practically the 
line the Russian commander had first 
considered defending in 1914. The 
Polish Salient had disappeared, pinched 
off at its base. The line was now across 
Russia from north to south. 


Late in December the Russians be- 
gan their counter-offensive with a de- 
termined attack against the Austrians 
near Czernowitz, between the Pruth 
and the Dniester, and so successful 
was it that for a while, at least, von 
Mackensen was obliged to leave his 
operations in Serbia and direct the 
Austrian defense in Bukovina. This 
battle continued on into the new year, 
and was, therefore, the beginning of 
the campaign of 1916, in which the Rus- 

sians were to recover some of what they 
had lost during that unfortunate re- 
treat of 1915. 

In this quick recovery Russia showed 
a recuperative power truly remark- 
able; a power which might have been 
even more effectively manifested had 
it not been for the corruption and lack 
of ability among the higher officials 
surrounding the Czar's throne. In no 
country was there displayed more gen- 
uine enthusiasm for the war than 
among the Russian people. It was the 
voluntary social organizations, such as 
the zemstovs, the federation of munici- 
palities, and the co-operative societies, 
which made it possible for the Russian 
commanders to maintain their armies 
at the front at all, in that they supplied 
food, clothing, hospital facilities and 
medical aid to the soldiers. Often the 
administrative machinery of the auto- 
cracy deliberately hindered these ef- 
forts, to such an extent that there is 
still good reason to believe that from 
the Court down to minor provincial offi- 
cials, the government organization was 
honeycombed with rank treason. 


The war had begun as a quarrel be- 
tween great imperialistic powers. Be- 
fore the end of