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with the aid, since the beginning of the second phase of the war, of her six main pacifist manœuvres: a separate peace between Berlin and one of the Entente Allies; a separate peace between Turkey, Bulgaria, and AustriaHungary and the Entente; the democratization of Germany; peace through the International; the armistice trick; and the drawn game of the deceptive formula, 'peace without annexations or indemnities.'
These six manoeuvres, which have served in some sort as a screen for the never-ending military achievements of the German armies, had as their chief object the exploitation to the utmost extent of the intellectual lacunæ of which the Germans had detected the existence among the Allies- that is to say:
1. The incredible yet indubitable ignorance on their part of the Pangermanist plan. Even at the present moment this ignorance is still so great that some of the leaders and some even of the great newspapers of the Entente are wondering what Germany's real war-aims can be, when they have been laid bare for twenty-two years past in numberless German publications, and the whole German people knows them, and the geographical boundaries of Pan-Germany correspond exactly to those indicated in the basic plan of 1895, as our map shows. It is this undeniable ignorance on the part of the Allies which has enabled the Germans constantly to spread the belief that they were going to stop; whereas in reality they have planned and executed without a pause the series of offensives destined to constitute Central PanGermany.
2. The credulity of the Allied diplomacy, which ever since the outbreak of war has allowed itself to be deluded into incessant negotiations, official or semi-official, with the Turks, the Bul
gars, and the government of Vienna. This credulity contributed largely to the loss by the Allies of the Danube front, the key to the war.
3. The credulity of the Allied Socialists, which is as extraordinary as that of the diplomatists. The Socialists have been hoodwinked by means of the Stockholm manœuvre, which has had the following disastrous results: the accession to power of Lenine; anarchy in Russia; the capture of Riga; the conquest of the Baltic; the fact that many Allied Socialists have declared their adherence to the Boche formula of 'no annexations or indemnities,' without a suspicion that its application would assure the overwhelming triumph of Prussian militarism and the autocracy; the piercing of the Italian front through the 'defeatist' campaign; and, finally, the armistice with Russia and Roumania, which puts them at Germany's discretion while leaving her at liberty to devote all the effectives at her disposal to the final offensive in the West.
This last manœuvre was sure to be attended by a lot of others, of which the chief are easily detected already. Portugal is to be detached from the Entente. The recent pronunciamento, issued at Lisbon early in December, 1917, has begun the process. Switzerland, deeply undermined by the German propaganda, as was proved by the disturbances at Zurich in November last, is to be violated. If the passage of troops through Switzerland should become possible, the Germans would seize Marseilles and Toulon. France would then be cut off from the Mediterranean, and the situation for which the Boche propaganda has long been laying wires in Spain, would then produce all the results foreseen. The scheme is to align Spain against the Entente through the medium of the junta of pro-German officers who are
to create a military dictatorship, receiving its orders from Berlin and managed by Prince von Ratibor, German Ambassador at Madrid.
To sum up the 'idealistic' offensive of Pan-Germany against all of Western Europe which is still outside the rays of the light that shines from Berlin, as it is projected by the Staff of William II, is to be executed finally by means of a land attack, on a line which will form a complete envelopment on the day when the intrigues of Berlin have reached their fruition in Switzerland and Spain. Furthermore, it is probable that the attack on the Western front will be made up of several simultaneous Verduns, in order to involve the Franco-British troops, admirable in their gallantry and courage, but manifestly fatigued by three years and a half of atrocious warfare, in a momentary weakness which will make possible the piercing of the wall behind which the freedom of the world is still sheltered.
It is clear, moreover, that the general offensive of the Pan-German forces against the Western front must, in order to be successful, take place before American troops, having gone through the training that is indispensable to make them into effective fighting men, have arrived in sufficient numbers to reinforce that front.
Let us glance now at the other side. If the German offensive now in preparation on the West presents a very serious and undeniable danger, we must consider as well that it will have to reckon with many contingencies. The disposable forces of Pan-Germany which can be concentrated on the Western front are tired out, whereas the Allied troops on that front are infinitely more numerous, better equipped and disciplined than they were at the time of the attack on Verdun. It is extremely probable, therefore, that the
Verdun achievement will be repeated on a gigantic scale, thus postponing the definitive decision and giving the Allies another chance to conquer Pan-Germany if they decide to make use at long last of the large unemployed forces existing in Pan-Germany itself which I have described in a previous paper.
The grave nature of these contingencies is well understood at Berlin. That is why the preparation for the general offensive against the Western front is sure to be attended by the same pacifist manœuvres which, by bringing about anarchy in the Russian front and rear, have enabled the German Staff to avoid an expensive military movement which the moral downfall of Russia has made unnecessary, while leaving the Germans to become de facto masters of the former Empire of the Tsars by virtue of the monstrous Maximalist delusion.
It is plain, in truth, that if - let us pose this hypothesis in order to make our argument plausible - a decided moral backsliding should manifest itself among the Allies in the West, the general military offensive against them of the forces of Pan-Germany, involving such great losses and so many contingencies, would cease to have any purpose; for fallacious negotiations on the basis of a so-called peace by agreement, of which the negotiations of the Boches with the Maximalists give a very succinct idea, would suffice to assure Germany of a complete victory, avoiding the necessity of its making itself manifest by a brilliant military operation as a tangible sign.
For this reason. The war-expenditures of France and Great Britain are so formidable that, unless the conflict ends with the utter defeat of Germany, making possible a progressive reparation for the incredible damage caused by her, a few months of the Boche peace the 'peace by agreement'
would suffice to cause, if our hypothesis should prove true, the French and English bank-notes to lose their value, and there would ensue in France and Great Britain a financial, economic, and moral disaster of such gigantic proportions that those two countries could no longer offer the slightest resistance to the constantly augmented economic and military resources of triumphant Pan-Germany. At that At that moment the Germans, without the slightest risk, could overrun France as far as Bayonne. And on the day when affairs reached this pass, the Germans would meet with no serious obstacle to their projected invasion of the British Isles.
The analysis we have made of the German methods of warfare proves that the strategy of the Grand Staff at Berlin, infinitely more complex than the purely military variety, is a strategy of the political sciences.
This is a result of the fact that the creation of the complex Pangermanist scheme has led the Germans to realize that the solution of every great problem susceptible of statement demands for its performance an accurate acquaintance with, and, generally speaking, the employment of six welldefined factors: a military factor; a naval factor (in fact a problem that seems to affect only the centre of Europe always has in certain aspects some reaction on the general naval situation); a geographical factor; an ethnological factor; an economic factor; and a national-psychologic factor.
It results from this that a military operation to be executed on land, on the sea, or in the air, as soon as it proves to have any relation whatsoever to the general conduct of the war, is not decided upon at Berlin until the
following points have been determined by means of a documentation always kept in sight.
1. The military or naval, geographical, ethnographical, economic, and national-psychologic conditions of the execution of the operation proposed.
2. If the operation should be successful, what would be its military, naval, geographical, ethnological, economic, and national-psychologic reactions on the general situation?
The result of these considerations is that the solution of every problem presented by the general conduct of the war requires the solution of an equation with six unknown quantities, not one of which is negligible.
To place in relief the extreme importance of this last aspect of the matter, I will take as an example the unknown ethnographic quantity. The determination of this quantity is so indispensable to the proper conduct of the world-war, that the German Grand Staff, although already possessed of a documentation of exceptional value on the ethnographic questions, carefully got together in peace-time, does not, nevertheless, deem itself justified in neglecting other sources of information. That is why it has mobilized in its service all Germans who are specially familiar with foreign countries, particularly those who are experts as to the various nationalities of AustriaHungary, the Balkans, and Russia. Thus no major operation which may have an effect on foreign peoples is decided upon at Berlin until the opinion of these specialists has been most seriously considered.
ingly unfavorable to them, and would have remained so, had the Allies known enough to make the very slight effort which would have sufficed to effect that result.
To summarize, then it is in the strategy of scientific politics- that is to say, in the intellectual management of the war in every domain-that the whole secret of the German victories resides. In like manner, it is the ignorance on the part of the Allies of this kind of strategy which explains their successive set-backs and their constant disappointments despite the superabundance of their material resources. Now, this ignorance is so undeniable that, after three years and
a half of war, it is impossible to point to a single operation of theirs, of which the geographical, ethnological, economic, and national-psychologic conditions of its execution have been first seriously studied. They have not even thought of such a thing; and at the present moment their leaders have no organization intellectually equipped to solve a complete strategic equation.
But such an organization is absolutely essential to winning a victory. All the elements exist for creating it whenever they choose, in such wise that it will give practical results with comparative promptitude.
This is what I propose to prove in my next article.1
1 To be printed in the April Atlantic.
SCHOOL CHILDREN OF FRANCE
BY OCTAVE FORSANT
THE four compositions given below, taken from the collection of papers written for the examinations for the Diploma in 1915, and reproduced word for word, give a clearer idea than any commentary of the mental qualities of the children of Rheims. I may add that the details given are as exact as possible.
This is how young André Deligny describes the entry of the Germans at Rheims on September 4, 1914.
'After breakfast, and without asking my parents' leave, because I knew very well that it would not have been granted, I started out alone to see the GerVOL. 121 - NO. 3
mans, who had just arrived in the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville. In front of the Mayor's office I saw ten or twelve horses hitched to lamp-posts; some German cavalry were going to and fro on the opposite sidewalk, with their hands behind their backs and looking rather ill at ease. One of the policemen who were holding back the crowd made us fall back, saying that the German Staff was just coming. It was n't long before they came. A magnificent limousine drove out of rue Colbert. Five officers got out, revolvers in hand, and the car went in under the arch at the left.
'Suddenly there was a loud report like a clap of thunder. We pricked up
our ears, but the policeman reassured us, saying that the Germans were firing blank shots to celebrate the arrival of their staff. In a minute there was a second shot, and a third, and finally a fourth which sounded much louder than the others. At the same time pieces of iron and lumps of lead came tumbling down from the roofs near-by, and the policeman cried, "Sauve qui peut!"
'I understood then that it was a bombardment. I ran off in a fright; I don't even know now through what streets I ran, until I came out on Place d'Erlon. The square was deserted; there was nothing to be seen but an abandoned tram-car, without a conductor. At that sight I was more frightened than ever, I ran faster, and during that frantic race I had to lie flat on my stomach several times for fear of the shells. At last I got home: my mother was standing at the door, anxious enough; but I told her I was all right and confessed my disobedience. That bombardment taught me a lesson, and I determined not to go out any more without my parents' consent. I was made very sad by what I had seen: they were the first atrocities committed by the Germans in Rheims, where they were to commit so many others.'
Young Angélina Menny describes in these words the return of the French to Rheims eight days after September 12, as the result of the Victory of the Marne.
"The eighth day we had spent under the German yoke had come to an end, as always, in sadness and despair. Suddenly a cannon-shot like a thunderclap made us jump. Two or three more followed, and then the cannon roared without interruption. Hope sprang again: could it be the French returning? After a sleepless night during which we heard the rain and wind and cannon roaring, we were just going
home when - oh, a miracle! in the distance the red trousers. In a few seconds all the streets were hung with flags. We had suffered so terribly to see our city occupied by the enemy and to hear the Boches singing their hymn of victory in every street! How great was our joy to see our defenders once more! We no longer felt our weariness. Everybody ran after them; people embraced them, and laughed, and wept, and acted like madmen. You would have said that a mother had found her child who she thought was lost.
'The shops were not large enough for their customers; everybody was offering sweets to our liberators. When they came in front of the Hôtel de Ville, the Mayor received them and saluted them from the steps. Many Germans surrendered in the streets. That will be the happiest day of my life.'
Lecoq Raymond, a pupil, tells in these words of one of the numerous bombardments of which he was a spectator and nearly a victim.
'Day before yesterday we were just eating breakfast. It was half-past seven when a shell passed over our heads and burst a hundred metres away. We jumped to our feet and listened. The shells were falling now by fours in our quarter and bursting with a tremendous crash. From the house we could hear the noise of falling tiles and beams and all sorts of things. Through the open window - it was a warm morning - we watched the smoke, sometimes white, sometimes gray or reddish, rise in the air, taking strange shapes; and at the same time the fumes of burning powder got into our throats. The hissing noises came fast, one on another. A shell burst 50 metres from our house; a yellowish smoke rose from it, and with a sharp hiss a fragment buried itself in the wall a metre from the window. We hurried