Puslapio vaizdai

flict that intellectual preparation without which the war cannot be effectively carried on.

Strictly speaking, it is possible, by spending enough money, to extemporize in two or three years a supply of war material, and armies in the shape of soldiers and regiments, whereas these same operations would require half a score of years in time of peace; but all the gold on earth is powerless to implant swiftly in any man's brain, however well endowed he may be, the enormous mass of positive knowledge which alone will enable him to evolve the guiding ideas which are indispensable for the conduct of a war so complex as this. Such knowledge and such ideas cannot spring to life spontaneously in a human brain; they cannot make their way into it, and arrange themselves there in the logical order of their relative importance except as the result of a mental training which demands, not only a native intelligence, but an enormous amount of time.

To acquire these essentials William II and his collaborators, despite the vast resources at their disposal, had to work a full quarter of a century. Now, not one of the leaders of the Entente had received, even in the most rudimentary form, down to twenty-five days before the war, the special kind of intellectual training without which it is impossible to direct effectively the conduct of this war, which resembles no other war in history because of the vast scope which the Germans have given to it and the endlessly varied methods which they are employing in carrying it on.

These reasons, then, furnish a simple explanation of the fact that, although all the leaders of the Entente have at last agreed to form an Allied Staff, in order to unify the conduct of the war, no one of them is able to say how this staff should be constituted to meet

the special necessities of the conflict. Doubtless they understand perfectlyas indeed the great mass of the public understands that this is not simply a military war, but a political one as well. But this idea of the connection between the war and politics is still extremely vague and confused. Consequently, then, it is essential, first of all, to give it a definite form.


The first cause of the errors of the Allies in their conduct of the war is their failure thus far to understand clearly its predominant characteristic. Some say, 'This is a war of effectives.' Now the Allies have had for three years an overwhelming superiority in effectives. They have had entire liberty in arming them and making use of them, and yet they are not victorious.

Others of the Allies declare: "This is a war of matériel.' Another mistaken idea. In the third year of the war the Allies, as a whole, certainly had more matériel at their disposition than their adversaries. Now if, in the second half of 1917, the Russians have given way; if the Italians have allowed their Friuli front to be pierced, it is because they chose not to avail themselves of the matériel on hand. In these instances, then, it is very clear that the moral factor far surpassed the material factor.

Lastly, others of the Allies declare that "This is a war of credit. When Germany is ruined, she will go to pieces all in a moment.' These men do not understand that, although Germany's external credit is beyond question sorely shaken by the stoppage of her exports, on the other hand, her internal credit is constantly augmented by the enormous profits which the war enables her to realize. Now this internal 1 See my articles in the Atlantic for November, 1917.

credit is based upon actualities so evident that it will permit the Berlin government to negotiate all the internal loans it may desire, to support the burden of the war as long as is necessary. If the character of the war is not yet understood, it is because it has been shaped in every detail by the Germans themselves, who, having embarked upon it with a concrete end in view, have long been studying the question by what endlessly diversified means they might attain that end. It is their employment of these means which gives to the war its wholly unique character.

The Berlin government entered into this war in order to obtain by conquest the instruments of universal domination. As this was a far-reaching object, the Germans devoted themselves for a quarter of a century to studying all the military, naval, geographic, ethnographic, economic, and national-psychologic problems of the whole world, and especially of Europe. This preparation-profoundly scientific, we must admit- for the gigantic Pangermanist scheme, led the Germans to make a most thorough investigation, not only of everything relating to the army and navy, but also of four political sciences -geography, ethnology, political economy, and national psychology. These four sciences are known, outside of Germany, only in the theoretical or rudimentary stage, whereas the Germans have carried their study of them so far, that they derive from them immense practical powers which have a constant and far-reaching influence on the whole evolution of the war.

The Allied leaders do not even suspect the extreme importance of these factors for two reasons. In the first place, not one of them has made a sufficient study of the four political sciences in their application to Central and Eastern Europe to realize the extraordinary efficacy of the intensive

use that the Germans are making of them. Secondly, while the powers derived from the political sciences are immense, and as real as the X-rays, like those rays they are invisible.

The constant use of the political sciences, in enormous doses, made by the Germans in their conduct of the war, has this result: that the utilization of the military art alone, even the most highly perfected from a material standpoint, is absolutely insufficient to ensure victory to the Allies. It is because of their failure to understand this that, notwithstanding their boundless resources, they have condemned themselves to the most unremitting, the most cruel, the most heart-rending disappointments. As a matter of fact, this war not only is not solely a military and naval war-it is, in addition, a geographical war, an ethnographical war, an economic war, a war of national psychology. To define its endlessly complex character by a brief phrase which includes all these factors, we may say that it is a war of political sciences.

A few examples derived from actual events will prove that this is not a matter of words alone, but that the utilization of the political sciences is an absolute necessity for the Allies.

Down to the present time the swift invasion of Roumania-October-November, 1916—has been regarded as a triumph of the German heavy artillery. But, while the action of the heavy artillery in forcing the Dobrudja and the passes of the Carpathians was the great physical fact, manifest to all, which determined the German victory, the effective use of the heavy guns was possible only because, long before the military movement was begun, the invasion of Roumania had been prepared for by the Staff at Berlin with the aid of a practical application of the political sciences.

Geographical preparation. In March, 1916, it was known that a system of espionage had been organized in the Roumanian Dobrudja by Germans who alleged archæological explorations as a pretext for their travels. The very precise information thus acquired by the Staff at Berlin was quite indispensable to it. In fact, the Roumanian Dobrudja is a swampy region of a very peculiar nature, altogether impassable under ordinary conditions by the immense and heavy matériel of modern armies. To move quickly through such a country, it was necessary to look ahead to construct months beforehand, and have in readiness for use on the Bulgarian frontier, innumerable small bridges to be thrown across the streams, and enormous supplies of movable floors to be used in building, on the unstable soil, artificial roads practicable for motor caissons and the tractors of the heavy artillery.


It was the turning to account of the minute details of the geographical information in the hands of the Germans operating long before the invasion, which enabled her Staff to realize precisely the nature and amount of the special matériel which it was necessary to manufacture and to get together long before the offensive, in order to ensure, when it should be launched, a rapid forward movement of the troops at the predetermined points.

Ethnographical preparation. In the Dobrudja there were Bulgarians and Turks as well as Roumanians. Side by side with the geographical study went the ethnographical research, which made it possible to arrange systematically for a general uprising of these Pro-German elements which was considerably facilitated by the rapidity of the German invasion.

a movement

Economic preparation. Early in October, 1916, before the movement was begun, a number of merchants,

experts in cattle and cereals, and certain specialists in political economy, assembled behind Falkenhayn's front, and were thus all ready to exploit Roumania after the invasion.

[ocr errors]

Therefore the overthrow of Roumania by means of military operations, -advance of the Kaiser's troops and effective employment of heavy artillery, which alone were regarded by Allied public opinion as having had a decisive effect, was long anticipated by the geographical, ethnographical, and economic preparation for the military invasion, which was simply a consequence of that preparation. In fact, when one is familiar with the swampy character of the Dobrudja, one can but be satisfied that, without careful forethought for the geographical obstacles and without preparing the means to overcome them, the rapid advance of Falkenhayn's heavy artillery an inescapable condition of military success after the offensive was started-would have been impossible. On the other hand, it was due to the previously arranged scheme for the economic exploitation of the country that the German troops were able to obtain their supplies on Roumanian territory and thus to force the RussoRoumanian troops back without delaying. Now, this rapidity of movement was an essential condition of the military success. It is perfectly certain, therefore, in the case we are considering, that the military success of the Germans, which was apparent to all eyes, was achieved only by virtue of the previous employment of three extremely powerful invisible forces, derived from the practical application of geography, ethnography, and political economy-redoubtable forces of which the Allies have as yet made no use in any of their operations.

Utilization of national psychology. The recent occurrences in Russia and

Italy will enable me to demonstrate the even more tremendous power of that other political science-national psychology.

The extraordinary disruption of Russia by Germany, which entails such threatening consequences for the whole world, was brought about, not by force of arms, but by means of a moral propaganda carried on by speech or in print. The reason that this manœuvre has produced such tremendous results is that it was based upon exact data supplied by national psychology - a political science of which the Allies seem not even to suspect the existence. It was by favor of this science, no less subtle than powerful, founded on minute observations, that the Germans were able to exploit unerringly the extraordinary ignorance of actualities of the Russian Socialists, their immeasurable pride, and the artlessness, even the very genuine evangelical spirit, of the Russian people, which lead them naturally to forget affronts, and, lastly, the particularist tendencies of certain Russian nationalities, which the Boche propaganda has transformed into separatist movements to be immediately carried out. Thus the moral, and even the material, dissolution of the vast Russian ex-Empire of one hundred and eighty millions of people was made possible in a few months by the application of national psychology.

Now, although this force is invisible, it is unquestionably far greater than the most stupendous military force imaginable, since its knowledge of the national psychology of the mixed peoples of Russia enabled the Berlin government to obtain a result which could never have been obtained by millions of German troops using the most highly perfected weapons and the most terrifying explosives of the present day in greatest profusion.

force, national psychology, which enabled the Boches to manufacture systematically the 'defeatist' frame of mind, by virtue of which they were able to break through the Italian front at Friuli, which they would probably never have succeeded in doing if they had had to carry by sheer assault the exceedingly strong mountain positions held by the Italians.


The utilization of these invisible forces by the Germans has varied in accordance with the changing phases of the war.

One can distinguish three very clearly marked phases in their conduct of the war. By studying them, we can appreciate how the Grand General Staff at Berlin has unvaryingly pursued the same end - the fulfillment of the Pangermanist plan of 1895-1911with the assistance of widely different methods, which, taken as a whole, constitute the 'strategy of political sciences,' which necessarily coördinates with the 'war of political sciences.'

First phase-from August 1, to the early days of October, 1914; about two months.

The Staff at Berlin plunged into war confident of a speedy triumph by means of a whirlwind campaign in two acts: first, utter defeat of France in five or six weeks, following an initial blow of formidable and unparalleled intensity; second, a powerful blow against Russia, which would certainly be incapable of resisting single-handed the German armies which had just triumphed over France.

If this scheme could have been carried out, Germany, after a contest of about three months, would have been mistress of the whole of Europe. In

Again, it was this same gigantic that case no Balkan campaign would

[blocks in formation]

But the calculations of the German Grand General Staff were upset by events not only unforeseen but coincident: the invasion of East Prussia by the Russians, the resistance of Belgium, the intervention of Great Britain, the much greater consumption of munitions than had been anticipated, and, finally, by the victory of the Marne, which was in large measure the consequence of all these facts. During this first phase, marked throughout by violence carried to the point of frenzy, the German strategy was purely military the strategy of political sciences had not yet appeared.

Second phase from October, 1914, to December, 1917; about thirty-eight months.

At the beginning of October, 1914, William II's Grand Staff found itself constrained to abandon the idea of carrying through the Pangermanist scheme by means of the whirlwind campaign which it had prepared. It was obliged therefore to plan to attain its object by means of a long war. It resigned itself the more readily to this necessity because it knew that it was infinitely better supplied than the Allies with material to bring about the essential moral and physical conditions - various and complicated as they are - of a long-drawn struggle.

Furthermore, on the morrow of the battle of the Marne, the Staff had been

in a position to appreciate the extraordinary defensive power of strongly fortified continuous points, consisting of deep trenches protected by barbedwire entanglements; a defensive system the technique of which it had studied exhaustively since the RussoJapanese War (1904-1905), whereas it was wholly unknown to the French and British. For these reasons, from the battle of the Marne (October, 1914) down to the end of the first phase of the offensive against Italy, that is, to December, 1917, a period of thirtyeight months, the whole tactics of Berlin has been directed to the object of carrying out a programme composed of the following elements:

1. To organize an immovable defensive on the Western front, while pretending now and then to attempt a genuine attack.

2. To carry out without pause a series of circular offensives against Russia, Serbia, and Roumania, in order to seize one after another the territories of those states, which are essential to the constitution of Central Pan-Germany according to the plan of 1895.

3. To take advantage of these successive offensives on the Eastern fronts to go to the very vitals of Germany's allies, properly so-called: that is to say, under color of helping Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey to defend themselves against Russia, Serbia, and Roumania, to organize those three countries militarily and economically to the precise degree and in the precise form necessary to bring it about that even, at need, without changing their ancient names and the frontiers of 1914, they should contribute to practical purpose, and almost without suspecting it, to the constitution of Central Pan-Germany. The plan of 1895 assigned to AustriaHungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey an

« AnkstesnisTęsti »