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  2. Franco-Prussian War - adaxuwamug.ga
  3. The Old contemptibles, Mons to Ypres 1914 : epic of the old British army
  4. Wellington’s Men in Australia

The battleship has 22 knots speed, the battle cruiser 32 knots. There has been much discussion as to the relative merits of the two types, and conservative officers have been slow to accept the battle cruiser. The war has shown the necessity for both types, and no better illustration of their relative merits could be wished than that which is afforded by the spectacle of the battleships engaged in what is practically a blockade of the German fleet, while the battle cruisers have swept the German raiders, the Scharnhorst , Gneisenau , and their consorts, from the distant seas which were the chosen field of their operations.

Following the destruction of Admiral Cradock's little squadron by the faster and more heavily armed Scharnhorst and Gneisenau , the British admiralty dispatched a squadron of battle cruisers to run down the German ships, and in the battle off the Falkland Islands the history of Coronel was repeated with a change of sides, the fast and heavily armed battle cruisers under Admiral Sturdee making short work of the German ships, which they overmatched in speed and range as decisively as the Germans had overmatched the ships of Admiral Cradock's squadron at Coronel.

In each case victory went to the ships of high speed and long-range guns, and these two are the determining characteristics of the battle cruiser. In the action of January 25, , in the North Sea, the same characteristics won again. Battle cruisers were engaged on both sides, but the side which had the advantage in speed and range won the fight.

Thus the battle cruiser had justified itself, and its justification is one of the striking lessons of the war. We may believe that the lesson will be emphasized if the time ever comes when this type finds the opportunity to display its adaptability for work in certain other fields for which it was originally designed—in scouting operations, for example, and in flanking movements in connection with a fleet engagement.

It does not appear that aeroplanes were used for scouting in any of the operations in the open sea—either as preliminary to the battle off Coronel and the Falklands, or in the search for raiders like the Emden and the Karlsruhe. They have been used, however, p. They were used also for directing the fire of ships on the fortifications at the Dardanelles, and the results indicate that they have an important field of usefulness for directing the fire of one ship or fleet against another.

It is to be expected that from this time forward, vessels fitted for carrying and launching both air and water planes will accompany fleets, and it is impossible to think of a scout to be designed after the lessons of this war, which will not carry several of them. As the scouts are the eyes of the fleet, so the aeroplanes will be the eyes of the scouts, extending the scouting range by several hundred miles and making secrecy of operations at sea almost as impossible as they have already made it on land.

Allusion has already been made to the use of aeroplanes—flying not more than a few hundred feet above the water—for locating submarines; and it is not difficult to understand how effective a waterplane would be for destroying a periscope, or even a submarine itself—this last, perhaps, by dropping a bomb.

The lesson of the torpedo is connected with that of the submarine, but has many features which are individual to itself. It is known that within a very few years past the range and accuracy of the torpedo have greatly increased, but there is little evidence connecting these features with the performance of torpedoes in the present war.

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So far as known, the submarines have done most of their effective work at short ranges where hits were to be expected. And no one will ever know how many shots have missed. The great outstanding lesson thus far is the extraordinary destructiveness of the torpedoes that have found their mark. It would never have been believed two years ago that ships like the Cressy , Aboukir , and Hogue would turn turtle a few minutes after a single blow from a torpedo. Still less would it have seemed possible to sink a Lusitania in fifteen minutes.

A torpedo might, of course, produce an extraordinary effect if it chanced to strike a boiler compartment or a magazine. But it does not appear that this happened in any one of the p. It has been said that the German torpedoes carry an exceptionally heavy explosive charge, the extra weight having been gained by a sacrifice in speed and range.

This may in part explain their effectiveness, but when all allowance is made for what we know or guess along this and similar lines, the fact remains that the torpedo has shown itself a weapon of vastly greater destructive power than the world has heretofore attributed to it. The story of the Dardanelles campaign has illustrated again the futility of attacking land fortifications by battleships.

Attacks of this kind have never succeeded, and the temptation is strong to accept the theory that in planning these operations the British anticipated little or no resistance from those in command of the forts. It was conceivable that the forts could be passed—as were those at New Orleans and Mobile Bay by Farragut—but not that they could be reduced by the gun fire of ships.

Information is lacking as to the damage actually done. It was probably greater than the defenders have admitted; but it evidently fell far short of silencing the forts. If the world needed a new demonstration of the power of forts to stand out against ships, we may put this down as one more lesson of the war. An important revelation of the war is the smoothness and rapidity with which large bodies of troops, with all their impedimenta—horses, artillery, etc. This has, of course, been possible only for Great Britain and her allies, and for them only because they have held unchallenged the command of the sea.

It is thus, first of all, a confirmation of the lesson with which this paper opened—the lesson that command of the sea is a factor of the very first importance in any war in which it is a factor at all. It is secondarily a lesson in the ease with which a nation which has command of the sea can, in these days of large fast steamers, transport its military forces in practically unlimited numbers to any distance that may be desired. It is thus an answer to the protestations of those who insist that the United States is secured against the danger of invasion by the thousands of miles of water which separate its coasts from those of possible enemies; p.

The term "Ocean Highway" is no mere figure of speech. The millions of troops that have passed by water from England into France have made the passage with infinitely less difficulty than has been connected with the further passage by land to the fighting lines; and the hundreds of thousands from England, France, India, and Australia, which have assembled in the Near East could not have covered the distances that they have covered, if they had moved by land, in ten times the number of days they have occupied in moving by sea.

The sea being clear of enemy ships, the route from Liverpool to the Dardanelles has been a lane for an easy and pleasant promenade. With the Atlantic and Pacific controlled by the fleets of nations at war with us, their waters would invite, rather than impede, the movement of an army to our shores. It would be difficult to exaggerate the significance of this lesson for the United States. A rather grewsome lesson, but one which cannot be ignored, is that in a naval battle, there are, at the end, neither "wounded", "missing", nor "prisoners" to be reported.

A ship defeated is, and will be, in a great majority of cases, a ship sunk; and sinking, she will sink with all on board. Some few exceptions there may be, but the rule can hardly fail to be as thus stated. One of the first things that a ship does in preparing for battle is to get rid of her boats; and, as both her companions and her opponents are sure to do the same, her crew can neither help themselves nor look for help from friends or enemies.

The Good Hope and the Monmouth went down in the battle off Coronel leaving not a single survivor to tell the story of their destruction. Following the battle off the Falkland Islands, the British picked up a few survivors from the German ships, but not enough to contradict the rule. Scarcely a man was saved from p. And so the story runs, and so it must always run when modern ships fight in earnest.

One of the most striking features of the engagements up to the present time is the range at which they have been fought. A few years ago 10, yards was considered the extreme range at which ships would open fire. The ranges used in the Russo-Japanese War varied from 3, to 8, yards, and the battle off Tsushima was decided at less than 6, yards. In the present war the ranges have been nearly three times as great as these. In the battle off Coronel, the Good Hope was sunk at 12, yards, the Monmouth at a little less.

In the battle off the Falkland Islands, both sides opened fire at 17, yards, and the German ships were sunk at approximately 16, yards. This extraordinary increase in the fighting range corresponds in a measure to an increase in accuracy of fire, but it corresponds also to a new recognition of the enormous advantage which may result from a fortunate hit early in the action.

The theoretical advantage which should result from this has been confirmed by practical experience, and it may be regarded as certain that battle ranges hereafter will conform more nearly to those off Coronel than to those of Tsushima. To summarize: The great outstanding naval lesson of the war is this: That a nation whose navy commands the sea can rest secure, so far as its sea frontier is concerned, from the fear of invasion or of serious attack; that, further, its command of the sea insures to its commerce the freedom of the sea; and that, finally, this freedom extends equally to its armed forces, to which the highways of the sea are opened wide, affording a possibility of offense at distant points which is denied to the forces of the enemy.

Perhaps the lesson second in importance is that, owing to the rapid march of invention in these days of progress, it is to be expected that every war which comes suddenly upon the world will come with certain elements of surprise, some of them startling in their power and effectiveness, some of them giving promise p. However surprising and however effective the best of these may be, they will fall short of revolutionizing warfare, but they may profoundly modify it; and the nation which has them ready for use in the beginning will gain an initial advantage which may go far toward determining the issue of the war.

Lessons of more limited significance have to do with the effectiveness of the submarine and the unexpected radius of action of which it has shown itself capable; the amazing destructive power of the torpedo; the value of the battle cruiser, both for the defense of a coast from raiding expeditions, and for operations in distant seas where speed is needed to bring an enemy to action, and heavy guns to insure his destruction; the difficulty of reducing shore fortifications by fire from ships; the necessity of aeroplanes for scouting at sea, and the modifications in naval strategy and tactics which will result from their general adoption.

After many months of sparring between the British and German naval forces in the North Sea, an important engagement took place on May 31, , between the two main fleets. Exactly what forces were engaged will probably not be known until the end of the war, and it is certain that we must wait long for definitely reliable reports as to the losses on the two sides. It is already clear, however, that the encounter has added little to our knowledge of naval warfare. British battle cruisers engaged German battleships at close range and were badly punished. In this there was nothing new or instructive.

Nor has anything new or instructive developed from what is thus far known of other phases of the battle. Indeed the one and only striking feature of the battle appears to be the fact that everything occurred practically as it might have been expected to occur. Neither submarines nor destroyers, neither Zeppelins nor aeroplanes provided any startling features. The only lesson thus far apparent is the old one that while dash and audacity have their place in warfare, they need the directing and steadying hand of judgment and of skill.

In innumerable volumes future generations will learn the details of this war: and the discussions among delving historians will never end. For our time a simpler task is the service set for us.


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We require a record of the essential facts of the struggle arranged with a sense of historical perspective. For forty years the great nations of Europe had had universal service. Every able-bodied youth, unless his government chose to excuse him, became a soldier. For forty years the diplomatists had held the balance of power so delicately poised that the mighty armed forces all kept to their own sides of their frontiers. It was in the era of modern invention and man's mastery of material power that these great armies were formed and trained for the war that was to test their steel. Where Napoleon marched a hundred thousand men along parallel roads, the modern general sends his millions on railroad trains.

The problem for each nation when war came was to concentrate with a greater rapidity than its adversary its enormous masses of men and guns against the enemy; and success in this was not due as in former days to speed of foot over good highways such as the Romans and Napoleon built, but to organized railroad and automobile transport or rather the prompt employment of all the industrial resources of the nation for war alone.

Out of the conflicting reports day by day emerge to the observer as he reviews the progress of the war, with the map before him, plans of campaign as simple in their broad lines p. Generals fighting with a million or two million men under their command have held to the same principles as if they had only ten or fifteen thousand. All schools of successful warfare have believed in the offensive; in quick decisive blows which take the enemy by surprise and find him unready if possible.

They hold that the army in rest must always be beaten by the army which takes the initiative. This partly explains the frequent small actions indicated by the reports of trenches taken in assault along the western front, while the lines occupied by the armies did not radically change. Such actions are the natural expression by any spirited force of its sense of initiative.

Unless you sometimes take some of the enemy's trenches, he will be taking yours. By striking him in one section you may prevent him from striking you in another. Von Moltke and the other great German generals were only following in the footsteps of Napoleon when they taught that the offensive should be the first thought of every soldier. The offensive naturally seeks to flank its adversary.

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Franco-Prussian War - adaxuwamug.ga

Lieutenant General Winfield Scott once stated that if two lines of men, without any officers, were placed in a field, one line would inevitably try to get around the end of the other. The immensity of the forces, the power and precision of modern armies in defense has lengthened the battle fronts from a mile or a mile and a half in Napoleon's time to hundreds of miles.

It is an old rule, that you cannot break through a battle front, which means that you are thrusting in a wedge which will draw fire on both sides. Pickett tried to break a battle front at Gettysburg. A frontal attack which was no less pitiful in its results was that of the Federals at Fredericksburg. Grant's hammering tactics against Lee succeeded only by the flanking operations of superior numbers. Strategically, the situation of the Central Powers was extremely strong.

Aside from the fact that their preparedness in numbers of trained men, in arms and material, is too well known for mention here, their excellent network of railways p. They had what is known as the interior line, which gave Meade his advantage at Gettysburg. Whether the interior line is three miles or a thousand miles long does not affect the principle involved. Interior lines mean quick transportation of reserves from point to point in concentration. It does not matter whether their numbers are hundreds or hundreds of thousands; the advantage is intrinsically the same.

The Old contemptibles, Mons to Ypres 1914 : epic of the old British army

Joffre had probably fifteen hundred thousand on the interior line of the Marne. Meade had seventy thousand at Gettysburg. In keeping with all great plans that of the Central Powers was extremely simple. Austria was to look after Russia. She could mobilize more rapidly than Russia, and her army was counted upon to take the offensive into Russia and deliver a hard blow before the Russian was ready to receive her. Indeed, the Austrian was to attempt in the east what the German attempted in the west. The German army was confident that in any event the slowness of Russian mobilization would give it time for its daring venture in the west.

As the French, too, had excellent railroad systems, they also would mobilize rapidly. The full strength of the German army, therefore, was thrown against the French and the little Belgian army of eighty thousand ill trained and equipped men in the first month of the war. By using their interior lines, striking first in the west and then in the east, the Germans were warranted on paper in counting on successes that might have ended the war within the first four or five months.

The frontier of France from Switzerland to Luxemburg, when manned by the large numbers of the French army, became a battle front. There was no room for a flanking operation. German ambition for a decisive and prompt victory over the French army must have room for a turning movement.

The Germans made the invasion of Belgium a military necessity for their purpose, which was the destruction of the French army. They had built the great inch mortars for smashing the Belgian fortresses in order to open the gate for the flood which was to sweep southward to Paris. These guns were less practicable for p.

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Thus the German plan of campaign was fully developed the second day of the war. It was no longer a secret to the general public, let alone to the French staff, which recognized that it had to deal with this effort of the German wing to come through Belgium. A French movement into Alsace failed. The public reason given for this was that it was a political demonstration in raising the Tricolor over the "lost provinces" dear to the heart of every Frenchman.

Another—a military reason—which would seem a more obvious one to the soldier, was a counteroffensive to draw off the force of the German offensive at Liege and Namur, hoping thus, at least, while Liege and Namur were holding the German right in position, to force the German left to the bank of the Rhine. If you will look at the map you will see that this strategy becomes transparently intelligible. Thus early in August the French were trying to turn the German left, and the Germans were preparing to turn the French left.

Had the Belgians had anything like an adequate army, had it been skillfully handled; had the fortress of Namur held ten days as many thought it would, the German right might have been held long enough to prevent the Germans forcing a battle on the Marne. By the third week of August, however, the Germans had won their first point. They had broken through Namur, so incapably defended. They had broken the French left, put the British to flight, compelling the withdrawal of the French from German Lorraine, and now the war in the west was being waged entirely on French soil.

Technically and strategically the French had been outdone by superior numbers and the incapable defense of Namur, but no decisive battle had been fought. Indeed in a maneuver for positions, the Germans had won. The test was to come on the Marne.

Wellington’s Men in Australia

Had France been beaten there, she would have been beaten for good. Her army would have been so badly shattered that the Germans would then have been able to have thrown such preponderance of force, in conjunction with the Austrians, against the Russians that Warsaw and perhaps Petrograd must have fallen p. It would not be going too far to call the Marne the greatest battle in all history, both because of the numbers engaged and the result. Barring a later successful German offensive it decided the fate of France and very likely the fate of the war. All the trench fighting that followed, after all, only nailed down as it were the results of the Marne.

The general public taking its news from the daily press, thinks of the Marne as having been waged mostly in the neighborhood of Paris. It also wonders why the Germans did not go into Paris when they were so near. Any entrance into Paris was of secondary and of superficial consideration. The object of an army is to beat an enemy's army. Had the German army beaten the French on the Marne, then it had plenty of time for its entry into Paris.

If it lost the battle, it could not have held Paris. The fate of Paris was no less decided in eastern France than on the banks of the Marne. Far and away from a spectacular point of view, the most interesting portion of that decisive conflict was among the hills and valleys and woods of Lorraine, where over a front of eighty miles the Bavarians and the French swayed back and forth in fierce pitched battle.

For the Bavarians were striking at the French right flank toward the gap of Miracourt and the German Crown Prince was striking in the Argonne at the same time that Von Kluck was striking at the French left. The Bavarians and the crown prince failed, while Von Kluck extended himself too far and was nearly caught in the pincers by Manoury's new army striking on his flank. But the vital, the human, the overwhelming factor was that the French infantry after retreat, when they might have been in confusion and poor heart, held with splendid stubbornness and organization under the protection of the accurate fire from their field batteries of 75's.

It is estimated that the Germans had actually on the front, or within ready reach of the front in the battle of the Marne, 2,, men, while the French had 1,, As the population of France is approximately forty-five million and that of p. For any decisive offensive the Germans needed that percentage of superior numbers. The fact that they failed carried its own significance. Though they withdrew they were by no means decisively beaten. It might be said—to give them the fullest benefit of the doubt—that they undertook to buy something and the price was too high.

To insist, however, that they did not make their best effort is to imply that the Germans were unwilling to pay the price for that decisive victory which would win the war. They could not take the risk of going too far or pressing too long and too hard; for that might have meant, with the rapid mobilization of French reserves, a defeat that would have thrown them clear out of France and lost the war for them. The Germans had profited by all the lessons of the Russo-Japanese War, which taught the importance of trenches to modern armies, and also the value of high-explosive shells, but their own expenditure of shells had been far beyond their anticipation, and so far as we can learn, at the Marne they faced a shortage.

They lacked the munitions to carry on the battle to a conclusion, even if they possessed the men and the will. Accepting the principle of the increased power of the defensive of modern armies, they fell back to the defensive line of the Aisne, and now the initiative must be with the French. There followed a movement of precisely the kind characterizing many battles over a smaller front and that was the extension of the line as reserves were brought up by either side. The French tried to flank the German left but the Germans extended as rapidly as they, until the month of October found both armies resting one flank on the sea and the other on Switzerland.

Still another reason for the German withdrawals from the Marne was the loss of the battle of Lublin by the Austrians, due not to the inferiority of the Austrian troops so much as to bad generalship. The German staff was warranted by the defeat at Lublin in thinking that they might have overestimated the Austrian p. In this case they might face the danger of an invasion of Germany itself from Russia. Owing to the heterogeneous character of the Austrian army with its many races and the many pessimistic prophesies that have been made about the loyalty of the Slav portions of Austria, which were fulfilled it is said by the mutiny of some Slav regiments, it looked as if such apprehensions had been well grounded.

In winning Lublin the Russians had done a distinct service to the French in relieving pressure at the Marne and by their invasion of East Prussia they undertook a service of a similar kind. The advance of the Russian "steam roller" into Prussia so much heralded at the time amounted to little more than an immense raid, as numbers go in the greatest struggle of all history.

It won laurels for Von Hindenburg, a retired general, who became the hero of the war in Germany, again illustrating that in this, as in other wars, the fortune of circumstances and the character of your enemy have much to do with the creation of martial glory. For it is an open question if as a military feat Von Kluck's skillful extrication of his army from the position beyond Paris is not as worthy of praise as Von Hindenburg's clever victory of Tannenberg.

Though the German armies had not been able to gain a decisive victory over the French, they had established themselves on French soil. All the destructive effects of war must be borne by their adversary while they could make use of the regions occupied to supply and feed their troops. They had put the burden of direct economic waste on the French and deprived them of economic supplies, while the psychologic value of driving home to the enemy population the ravages of war is considered important by military leaders.

Nor could the economic advantage be adequately measured by extent of area occupied; for the one-twenty-sixth of the territory of France which was held by the Germans represented far more than one-twenty-sixth of French producing power for war purposes.


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    As the Russians for lack of transport were not able to follow up their success at Lublin, the succeeding weeks showed it to be far from a decisive victory. The Austrian army soon recovered itself. In comparison with Russia, both Austria and Germany were highly organized industrial nations. They had not only been able to put larger forces into the field at the outset than their adversaries, but they had the resources in guns and rifles, and in the factories for the manufacture of munitions, which enabled them to increase their actual fighting forces faster than their adversaries, and to supply them with larger quantities of munitions.

    The German army was established in well-chosen positions in France, which might be impregnable against even forces as superior as three to one; the Austrian army was safely established in front of the Russians.

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    Both the French and the Russians were short of munitions, and particularly of guns of heavier caliber, and of high-explosive shells, which had become most essential in trench warfare. Relatively, the Germans were depending upon their guns to hold the Aisne line, while the Allies were depending upon the flesh and blood of infantry.

    Germany was rushing every trained man she had to the front and training a million volunteers. Now she could spare troops moved by her efficient railroad system, taking advantage of the interior line for Von Hindenburg to make a drive toward Warsaw, where he repeated the same maneuver, in keeping with German practice of the advance to the Marne. After his drive, he fell back from Warsaw, and intrenched for the winter. An unskilled garrison of Belgians held Antwerp, which was on the flank of the German forces in Belgium. The fall of this fortress meant the release of a considerable force of Germans, and allowed their heavier concentration toward northwestern p.

    Having failed to defeat the French at the Marne, which would have dropped not only the ports of Dunkirk, Calais, and Boulogne, but also Havre, like ripe plums into their basket, the Germans next sought to take Calais, which is twenty-two miles from the coast of England. With Calais went the possession of all Belgium, a strip of northern France, and a foothold on the coast within twenty-two miles of England, and with the free sweep of the Atlantic past the narrow English Channel in front. Von Moltke, the chief of the German staff, who was retired about this time, was said to have still favored the greater conception of a decisive victory over the French army by an attack on Verdun instead of on the Channel ports; and the kaiser's own idea was said to have prevailed against his.

    Now the allied armies in the west were to face a test second only to that of the Marne. The British army, which had been in the neighborhood of Soissons, had moved down to the left flank, hoping to assist in a successful turning movement. Their little force was being increased by every reserve that they could muster and arm.

    From India they brought their native troops, long-service men trained by British officers. These, at a time when every man of any kind was needed, were thrown into the crucible of the coming conflict, which reached its climax during the last days of October in the chill rains and mists of Flanders, with rich fields of a flat country turned into a glutinous mud. Meanwhile, in a futile attempt, the British rushed small forces of marines to the assistance of the Antwerp garrison. With Antwerp theirs, the Germans were free to concentrate against the Channel ports.

    Once more the offensive was entirely with them in the west. They even brought into action some of the regiments of volunteers who had been enlisted in August; and following the German system of expending a fresh regiment in a single charge, these new levies were sent in masses to the attack.

    The Belgians, including those who escaped from Antwerp and from being driven into Holland, rested their left on the sea.

    Some sixty thousand were all they could muster out of a population of seven millions for the defense of the sliver of p. A type of man-of-war which was supposed to be antedated, the monitor, with its low draft and powerful guns was brought into action by the British in protecting the Belgians, who finally saved themselves by flooding their front. Next to the Belgians was a French army, and next to them the British army, which shared with the French the brunt of the attack in that sector around the old town of Ypres, which was to give its name to the Ypres salient, the bloodiest region of this war, and of any war in the history of Europe.

    So far as one can learn, the losses of the British and the French here were about ,, and of the Germans, about , Within the succeeding year, probably another , men of both sides were killed and wounded in the same locality. At the lowest estimate, , men have been killed outright in the Ypres salient, without either side gaining any appreciable advantage. British regiments held in the first battle of Ypres in some cases when they had a loss of 80 per cent.

    Both Germans and Allies fought in icy water up to their hips. Many who survived succumbed to the cold. Lacking proper artillery support, the British used to cheer when the Germans charged, as that meant the end of shell fire, and they could come to close quarters with the bayonet. Little by little, but grudgingly, they had to yield against that persistent foe. The German staff was at its best in its organized offensive, and the British at their best "sticking," as they call it—and the prize was an arm of salt water, to be all Ally or part German.

    When the Germans gave up the struggle, they had the advantage of ground and the British stayed where they were. Whether or not the Allies should have evacuated Ypres and the deadly Ypres salient and withdrawn to better strategic positions will ever be a subject of discussion; but the loss of the city at the time would have had a moral effect on the situation of the Allies, and the political consideration may have outweighed the military.

    Thus the campaign of the first summer and fall came to an end. The Allies had failed in their hope of keeping the German within his borders; and the German had failed to win any decisive p. The casualties, on account of the vast numbers engaged, had been staggering. Germany held a small strip of Poland, and about the same amount of territory in France that she was to hold a year later, while Russia held a large section of Galicia. Where the armies had operated, lay broad belts of ruins, destroyed at enormous cost by shell fire. The moralist might well ask if the nations would have entered the war if they could have foreseen the result of their first four months' struggle.

    For any adequate understanding of the strategy of the war as a whole, the trench line from Switzerland to Flanders must be extended to the east of England across the North Sea to Iceland. This war has again demonstrated the enormous value of sea power. Glance at a map of the globe and you will see how small a portion of it is occupied by the great nations of Europe, which for 2, years have been the most vital and influential political, commercial, and intellectual force in the world.

    They have been in continual competition and in frequent wars. The Russians have had only a little hold on the sea—in the Black Sea and in the Baltic; the Germanic peoples have had the Baltic and the North Sea; France faces the Mediterranean and the Atlantic; and only twenty-two miles from France is the island of Britain and Ireland, and other little islands, or what are known as the British Isles, whose superficial area is less than that of France or Germany. Look again at the map, at the location of the British Isles and Germany.

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