Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

Map printed in Berlin in 1895, and distributed by the Pangermanist League, showing the frontiers of Central Pan-Germany as they should be in 1950. It will be observed that the line of the projected frontier includes Italian (or Venetian) Friuli, which the Austro-Germans have recently taken, but stops a little short of their present front, as shown by the line added to the map by the author.

essential and indispensable part to play in its execution.

Let us, first of all, prove, with the aid of a document of unquestionable authenticity twenty-two years old, that this was actually the plan of the Berlin Staff.

The Pan-Germanist plan of 1895, which is that of Central Pan-Germany,

the formation of which is the first condition of carrying out all the other Pangermanist plans, is set forth in detail in a pamphlet published at Berlin in 1895, with a colored map, under the title, Greater Germany and Central Europe about 1950. The extraordinary importance of this pamphlet is no longer open to question, for these three

reasons. First, from 1895 on it was spread broadcast among the German masses by the Pangermanist League (Alldeutsche Verband), whose action after that time in making war inevitable was as deplorable as it was persistent and notorious. Second: everything points to the probability that this action of the Pangermanist League toward executing a concrete scheme of annexations was secretly but very definitely agreed upon with the Berlin Grand Staff. Third: the force of this assumption is peremptorily proved by the fact that the German Grand Staff, from the beginning of the second phase of the war, has carried it on in a way exactly in accord with the political Pangermanist plan set forth in the pamphlet of 1895.

In very truth, after an interval of a score of years, coincidences so perfect as these between plans and their execution cannot assuredly be fortuitous. The verification of what I say is supplied by the map printed herewith, a reproduction of the map of the pamphlet of 1895, upon which I have had the colors represented by lines and have shown the German front as it was at the end of 1917. Now, it will be noticed that the German armies have stopped a little beyond the lines marking the future frontiers of Central Pan-Germany, or in the positions that are necessary to make sure the creation of the satellite states of PanGermany to the eastward. Thus, on the Eastern front, they have stopped on lines laid down beforehand, even when they had before them no Russian troops capable of opposing their further advance. Our map also enables us to declare on the most irrefutable testimony that the offensive against Italy

that is to say, first of all, the seizure of Italian Friuli, which was such a surprise to the Allied Staffs was provided for most definitely in the plan of

1895. In fact, on our map, Italian Friuli is plainly included in PanGermany, and in the text of our pamphlet, published in Berlin twenty-two years ago, is a passage on the rectification of frontiers between Italy and Austria which the Pangermanists had already determined to be indispensable. On page 19 we read as follows:

"The frontier between Italy and Austria will start at Marmolata, and will run by Monte Cristallo, Monte Croce, and Paralba to the water-shed between the Piave and the Tagliamento. It will continue by Monte Cridola, Monte Premaggiore, Monte Valcolda, and Spilimberga, and will follow the line of the lower Tagliamento to the sea.'

Now, on November 22, Italian aviators recorded the fact, confirmed by German officer-prisoners, that extensive fortifications had been constructed by the Austro-Germans to form a Hindenburg line 'on the line of the Tagliamento,' that is to say, precisely gn

the frontier-line laid down in 1895. Lastly, the Austro-Boche schemes of annexation in this region have been plainly asserted. In the orders of the day to his troops on November 4, the Emperor of Austria described the invasion of Italian Friuli as the 'liberation of my territory on the Adriatic littoral,' a phrase which suggests explicitly both the idea of premeditation and the idea of conquest.

Let us remark in passing that, as in the matter of Poland and indeed in all others, the Emperor of Austria coöperates docilely in the execution of the Pangermanist ideas of Berlin. Certain persons of the Entente believe that the government of Vienna is subjugated by Berlin, whose tyrannous yoke it would be glad to shake off. Nothing of the sort is true. Even though the hegemony of Berlin may be offensive to Austrian self-esteem, the leaders in

Vienna and Budapest submit to it readily enough for this simple reason: the dynasty of the Hapsburgs realizes perfectly well that its fate is bound up with that of the Prussian autocracy, and that it can save itself only by saving the Hohenzollerns, that is to say, by strengthening the enormous extension of Prussian militarism. If this point of view had been grasped at the outset by the Entente, blunders resulting in endless evil consequences could never have been committed.

Our pamphlet and map prove therefore that in the second phase of the war the German Staff subordinated everything to the determination to create Central Pan-Germany first of all. This determination is easily explained when one is familiar with the Pangermanist ideas and the conditions of their fulfillment. Brought abruptly face to face, after the battle of the Marne, with a redoubtable coalition which it had not foreseen, and which threatened to take in the whole world, the German Staff knew perfectly well that the military forces alone of Germany and Austria-Hungary, in view of the ineradicable hostility of the Slavs and Latins who form the majority of the population of the Empire of the Hapsburgs, and because of the insufficient food-supply of the Central Empires, could not resist the combined forces of Russia, France, and Great Britain. On the other hand, the exhaustive investigations pursued for more than twenty years in preparation for putting into effect the Pangermanist plan, had shown the German staff that a Central Pan-Germany actually constituted, comprising, in addition to the Central Empires, the Balkans and Turkey, would contain all the military and economic elements necessary to confront a formidable coalition.

Indeed, it was because it had been established before the war that Cen

tral Pan-Germany would supply Germany with the means of universal domination, that the war was begun. Under these conditions, then, it was absolutely logical that the German Staff, before seeking to obtain a final decision in the West should have determined to create a Central PanGermany, either at the expense of Russia, Serbia, and Roumania, or, by dissembling its purpose, at the expense of Berlin's own allies, who, by the very fact of this creation of Pan-Germany would automatically become more and more completely the vassals of Germany.

It is not true, therefore, as people still say incessantly among the Allies because of their extraordinary and obstinate ignorance of the Pangermanist plan, that the Germans, for three years past, have by their circular offensives simply been seizing territorial pledges; no during the second phase of the war the Germans have taken possession of the various fragments of territory essential to the formation of Central Pan-Germany, not regarding them as pledges, but as acquisitions long anticipated, or as destined to remain forever in subjection to the will of Berlin.

Of course, to refute my interpretation of events, any one can say, 'But Verdun proves that the Germans wished to break through on the Western front early in 1916.' This objection has only an apparent or very imperfect force. In reality, the German offensive against Verdun was of a twofold character which is not yet understood by the Allies, still because of their ignorance of the Pangermanist plan. In the conception of the German staff the Verdun operation had, not one, but two objectives a maximum and a minimum. If the maximum objective could have been secured, that is to say, if the morale of the French poilus could

[ocr errors]

have been destroyed by the length and the savagery of the German offensive; if the Germans had succeeded in breaking through and taking Paris, France, struck to the heart, would unquestionably have been put out of the war. Verdun, therefore, may and should be regarded as an attempt to break through and to resume the warfare of movement.

But what must be clearly understood is that, even if they had been certain at the outset that this maximum result was absolutely impossible of attainment, still the Germans would have undertaken the Verdun operation; for to them it had its full justification in view of the extreme importance of the minimum objective which it had in the conception of the Staff — an objective which, as we shall see, was in conformity with the general decision at Berlin to constitute Central Pan-Germany first of all, before really thinking of annihilating France by a genuine offensive.

[ocr errors]

This demonstration brings me to the setting forth of a series of points of view which have never, to my knowledge, been suggested.

Not until the early days of 1916, did Germany, as a sequel of the recent seizure of Serbia, come into direct geographical contact with Bulgaria and Turkey. Berlin was still a long way from having organized the various resources of those two countries -resources which were indispensable to her to enable her to continue the

war.

Now, at that very time, certain persons in France were making persistent efforts to have the French and British supply the expeditionary force at Saloniki with the powerful means of action which it ought to have. These efforts were on the point of success, for a very large body of public opinion had become convinced of the consid

the

erable importance of the Balkan theatre. If therefore the Eastern army of the Allies had received quickly the powerful reinforcements which leaders in Paris and London did not give it, as the Bulgarians had not as yet the necessary matériel for fortifying themselves strongly, it is exceedingly probable that the Allies would have been able to recover the Danube front, that is, the strategic position which was the key of the whole war; for its possession alone, by putting into effect automatically the land blockade of Austria-Germany, and depriving her of the men and supplies without which she could not go on fighting, would have assured the Entente a complete victory, with efforts tenfold less vigorous than those which have been compulsorily decided upon, with the result that we know.

The German Staff, realizing fully that the lengthening of the war would be of advantage only to that one of the two groups of belligerents which should be in possession of the Danube front, spied an immense peril in the campaign carried on in France in favor of Saloniki. It determined therefore, at any cost, to prevent the Allies from ascribing to their actions in the Balkans the importance which would have made it possible to bring to naught all the Pangermanist plans. To divert the attention of the Allies from SalonikiBelgrade, a violent and persistent offensive against Verdun was the best expedient that could be imagined, given the fact that the Pangermanist scheme was at that time wholly unknown to the Allied leaders.

In fact, the Verdun operation, by threatening the very heart of France, presented from the German standpoint this enormous psychological advantage, that it apparently justified those of the French and British leaders, who at that time regarded the Saloniki

expedition with the opposite of sympathy. Indeed, early in 1916 they were still claiming that the Balkans could not have any decisive influence on the result of the war, since they were sure, as they declared, that they could break through the Western front-which they called the most important onewhenever and wherever they chose.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Under these conditions it is easy to see why a part of the press also and hence of public opinion was hostile to the Saloniki expedition, in France, but especially in England, This being so, a vigorous offensive against Verdun could not fail to strengthen these currents running counter to the Balkan expedition by seeming to justify the opposition that had been offered to it. Thus the minimum- but exceedingly important objective of the Verdun operation consisted in preventing the Allies from shifting the chief theatre of the war to the Balkans in the beginning of 1916. This minimum objective was completely attained.

Unquestionably the Verdun operation was expensive to the Kaiser's troops; but in reality those enormous sacrifices had their justification, since they resulted in enabling Berlin to complete the formation of Central Pan-Germany, which alone could furnish the means of contending against the world-wide coalition. It cannot be denied that Verdun, by reason of the Allies' ignorance of the Pangermanist plan, caused them to throw away their last chance of sending sufficient reinforcements to the Balkan front before the Austro-Germans and Bulgars had the necessary time and matériel to make it, humanly speaking, about as hard to break through as the Western front.

[blocks in formation]

and

and political forces have been sufficiently developed, the combined consequences of the length of the war and of the existence of Central Pan-Germany, have manifested themselves in accordance with the anticipations of the German Staff. As Russia, under the government of the Tsar, was not put in a condition to sustain a long struggle either morally or materially, - indeed, the Petrograd government was never capable of doing so, as she was, later, completely disorganized by the Maximalist traitors and maniacs, she has foundered. As a consequence Roumania is reduced to impotence. Thus, at the moment that I am writing these words, only the Allied army at Saloniki continues to embarrass the German Staff. But that army not having been reinforced sufficiently to form as dangerous a menace as was necessary, the Staff has already, in effect, a sufficiently free hand in the East to enter upon the third and last phase of the war, that is to say, to concentrate on the Western front the whole of the disposable forces of PanGermany, Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Bulgarians, and Turks, - in order to make another trial of the war of movement likely to bring about the final decision.

At this moment the concentration is proceeding with all possible speed. But we must thoroughly grasp the fact that in the German scheme the general offensive in the West is regarded as a very complex operation, necessitating recourse to the strategy of the political sciences, and hence of national psychology, which lies at the root of all the German pacifist manœuvres.

III. THE GERMAN PACIFIST MANŒUVRES AND POLITICAL STRATEGY

In reality Germany has succeeded in creating Central Pan-Germany only

« AnkstesnisTęsti »