Puslapio vaizdai

the Vardar and the Tcherna, the Bulgarians having, apparently, been so completely demoralised by the loss of their strong positions in the mountains that the efforts of German reinforcements failed to stay their flight. On Sept. 21 the infantry reached the Vardar in the direction of Negotin and Demir Kapu, cutting the railway communications of the enemy on the Doiran front, and outflanking their formidable positions in the bend of the Tcherna, from which they began to fall back, pressed by the Italians, who had taken the offensive on the previous day. The Bulgarian retreat then became general on a front of 100 miles, and soon degenerated into a rout, which the so-called 11th German Army (Bulgarians, with a German stiffening and German officers) was powerless to stay. The enemy's front was broken, the right wing being driven towards Albania. Prilep was occupied on Sept. 24, and Veles on Sept. 26. Greek and British troops, crossing the Belashitsa range, seized Strumnitza; and Serbian cavalry, pressing forward through Kochana, reached the Bulgarian frontier. On Sept. 30 it was reported that Bulgarian envoys had arrived at Salonica, bearing proposals for an armistice.

Almost simultaneously with the attack on the Bulgarians, the Turks in Palestine were subjected to another crushing defeat. The Turkish forces were distributed on either side of the Jordan, the 4th Army on the east, the 7th and 8th Armies on the west, where they were opposed by French and British troops on a front lying approximately east and west through El Ballutah. Preparatory to the main attack, a force advancing on the night of Sept. 18-19, between the river and the Jerusalem-Shechem road, got astride of the road from Shechem to the Jordan, thus interposing itself between the two parts of the Turkish army. On the following morning the main attack launched on a sixteen-mile front adjoining the coast, and assisted by the fire of naval guns, quickly overran the Turkish positions, and, in the afternoon, captured the enemy's advanced base at Tul Keram (on the railway, twenty-five miles north-east of Joppa)—an advance of twelve miles in as many hours. The Turks being in flight on the whole front between the Jordan and the sea, mounted troops were sent forward in two bodies, of which one, proceeding north of

Shechem, intercepted large numbers of the enemy; while the other reached the railway from Haifa to Damascus at El Afuleh, 50 miles north-east of Joppa.

These initial advantages were swiftly followed up. The passages of the Jordan were seized; and the 7th and 8th Turkish Armies, being thus deprived of their last means of escape, lost all their artillery and transport, and were virtually destroyed. East of the river, mounted troops, closely supported by infantry, seized the Hedjaz railway at Amman; while Arab forces of King Hussein occupied Maan (70 miles south of the Dead Sea) and, advancing northwards along the railway, drove before them the greater part of the 4th Turkish Army, which thus found itself between two fires. The situation of the remainder of this army, dispersed along the railway south of Maan, is equally unpromising; and it seems unlikely that any appreciable fraction of the Turkish armies in Palestine and Syria will continue to exist as a fighting force. The captures reported down to Sept. 27 amounted to 50,000 prisoners and 325 guns, besides a large quantity of material and rolling stock.

Passing to the Allies' defensive measures, it may be recalled that allusion was made, in the July number of this Review, to a movement of Kurdish irregulars towards the Caspian after the Turks had occupied the southern Caucasus. This movement subsequently developed into a Turkish advance on Baku, to oppose which, as well as to counteract German activities in the direction of Afghanistan, a force was sent from Baghdad through Persia to Enzeli, on the south-western shore of the Caspian. From this point two detachments were despatched; one eastwards, to co-operate with an Indian force which was working along the Trans-Caspian railway from Meshed; the other to aid in the defence of Baku, which was held by about 10,000 Russians and Armenians. On being closely pressed, the Armenians, numbering some 7000, deserted to their homes. The British force, after repelling determined Turkish attacks on three occasions, evacuated Baku on Sept. 14, and rejoined the main body at Enzeli.

Of more moment is the situation-as yet only vaguely defined-in northern Russia, where the Germans, with the aid of Finnish and Bolshevist troops, aim at gaining

possession of the railway communications with Archangel and Katerina; and that in Siberia, in which the dominating factor is the Siberian railway. On Aug. 2 an Allied force of French, British, and Americans landed at Archangel-at the request of the inhabitants, who had deposed the local Soviet-and moved along the railway towards Vologda, 400 miles distant, encountering Bolshevist forces, said to number 8000, which were defeated and driven back on Oboserskaya, 100 miles south of Archangel. Another force, which disembarked on the western shore of the White Sea, is reported to have occupied Kem, on the Murman railway, 250 miles from the terminus at Katerina harbour. The serious factor in the situation is the presence of strong German forces in Finland, where the enemy have been endeavouring to organise two expeditions, composed of German-led Finnish troops, with Katerina and Kem as objectives. Such, broadly, was the situation about the middle of August, since which period no information about the course of events has been published.

The conclusion of peace at Brest-Litovsk was followed by the formation, in eastern Siberia, of armed forces composed of released German and Austrian prisoners, which, with the local Bolshevists, threatened to gain control of the railways between Lake Baikal and Vladivostok, and to dominate Siberia in the German interest. To meet this menace, and to cover the rear of the Czecho-Slovaks who, under Colonel Dieterichs, were desirous of forming a junction with Colonel Gaida's force, operating west of Lake Baikal, the Allies decided, after prolonged discussion, to send a force to occupy Vladivostok. When General Otani, the commander of the Japanese contingent, and subsequently Commander-in-Chief, arrived at Vladivostok on Aug. 16, the situation was as follows. The Bolshevist forces were in possession of the Amur railway from Khabarovsk to its junction with the main line near Chita, and of the main line from Irkutsk to the Chinese frontier-station at Manchurie. The Czecho-Slovaks in the Usuri province had been driven back between Khabarovsk and Vladivostok to within 100 miles of the latter; and Colonel Semenoff, who with 2000 Cossacks, had been endeavouring to advance from Manchurie towards Chita, had been obliged to

fall back into Chinese territory. Gaida's force was in jeopardy west of Lake Baikal; and the line from thence to the Volga was in the possession of the Czecho-Slovaks, against whose main forces, on the middle Volga, German and Bolshevist troops were concentrating. It had become plain that the Allied force could not remain inactive at Vladivostok; and the British contingent had already started for the Usuri front. It was decided to send French troops forward forthwith, and to despatch part of the Japanese force as soon as it disembarked.

The gradual influx of these reinforcements resulted, after some vicissitudes, in the defeat of the Bolshevists, 8000 strong, and their retreat to Khabarovsk, which was occupied on Sept. 5 by the Allies, who found the railway bridge over the Amur intact. Meanwhile the general situation had undergone an important change. The Bolshevist forces had been attracted from all quarters to the Usuri front, where they arrived too late to influence events; while the weakening of the forces opposed to Semenoff and Gaida enabled these commanders to take the offensive. Semenoff, supported by a Japanese detachment, which had hastened to his aid via Kharbin, resumed his advance; and Gaida, defeating the forces opposed to him, commenced his eastward march. On Sept. 2 a junction was effected at Olovyanna, on the River Onon, completing the occupation of the railway from Vladivostok to the Volga. But, while the position in Siberia has been secured, the situation on the Volga is disquieting. Down to the middle of September the main army, under the Czech General Syrovy, held, approximately, the line Kazan-SimbirskSamara-Volsk. Volsk, Simbirsk, and Kazan have since been lost; and it is evident that the Germans are resolved on the destruction of the Czecho-Slovaks, who are ill-furnished with the material requirements.

The significance of these various side-shows lies in their influence on the situation in the west-the only quarter in which, since the defection of Russia, the Allies have been in contact with the enemy's main forces. That Germany finds the presence of an Allied force on the Murman coast inconvenient is admitted by her offer to abstain from attacking eastern Karelia if the Allies withdraw from that region. She already

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