AMERICA'S WAR FOR HUMANITY
Pictorial History of the World War for Liberty
By THOMAS H. RUSSELL, A.M. LL.D.
Noted Historical and Military Writer. Member American Historical Association
[Illustration: Drafting the armistice terms by the Allied plenipotentiaries at Versailles. On the left side of the table from left to right are shown: Gen. du Robilant; next man unidentified; Italian Foreign Minister Sonnino; Italian Premier Orlando; Col. E.M. House; Gen. Tasker H. Bliss; next man unidentified; Greek Premier Venizelos; Serbian Minister Vesnitch. On the right side of the table from left to right: Admiral Wemyss, with back to camera; Gen. Sir Henry Wilson; Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig; Gen. Sackville West; Andrew Bonar Law; Premier David Lloyd-George; French Premier Georges Clemenceau; and French Foreign Minister Stephen Pichon. (French Official Photo, from I.F.S.)]
[Illustration: Above—American observation balloon being brought down to its anchorage. One of many similar balloons used to direct the fire of artillery and observe the movements of the enemy, a service of considerable danger as the balloonists are constantly exposed to airplane attack. Each observer is harnessed to a parachute and jumps when the balloon is attacked and in danger of destruction. (Copyright by C. P. I., from W. N. U.)
Below—Canadian officers of a Royal Air Squadron, lined up with their machines behind the front in France. It was the splendid work of these gallant fellows and thousands more like them—British, French, and Americans—that kept the supremacy of the air in the hands of the Allies. (Canadian Official Photo, copyright by U. & U.)]
[Illustration: Scene at Gen. Sir E. H. Allenby's historic entry on foot into Jerusalem, December 11, 1917, after its capture by the British from the Turks, who had held the Holy City under Moslem domination for centuries. All Christendom hailed the event with rejoicing. Every sacred building, shrine, and traditional holy spot will in future be scrupulously maintained and protected. The Holy City was not bombarded by the British, but was evacuated by the Turks and surrendered by the leading inhabitants when Gen. Allenby's forces, after defeating the Turkish troops repeatedly in the field, reached Gazara, three miles from Jerusalem. Subsequently the entire Turkish army in Palestine was captured or dispersed in disorder. (Copyright, U. & U.)]
[Illustration: ONE OF THE GREAT GERMAN 16-INCH SIEGE GUNS USED AT ANTWERP
The above photograph shows the gun train complete, ready for transportation. The motive power is furnished by the powerful motor truck at the right, which also carries most of the artillerymen forming the gun crew. About thirty men are needed to manipulate the gun in action. The huge shells and ammunition are conveyed in separate trucks or caissons. As a fort-wrecker this powerful piece of ordnance is most effective. Its total weight is nearly 100 tons. The gun proper is at the left and its Krupp sliding breech can be plainly seen at the side. In the center is the gun carriage, with its very powerful recoil apparatus. When the gun is in action these two sections are joined, being so constructed as to fit together readily. The bursting projectiles were called by the British soldiers "Jack Johnsons," "Black Marias" and "Coal-boxes," from the thick black smoke they produced. These epithets ignored their awful death-dealing qualities. (Copyright, U. & U.).]
"LaFayette, we are here"—General Pershing
THE OFFICIAL STORY OF AMERICAN OPERATIONS IN FRANCE
By GENERAL JOHN J. PERSHING Commander-in-Chief
WILLIAM DUNSEATH EATON CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Author "The War in Verse and Prose" "A Soldier of Navarre" etc.
SPECIAL CHAPTERS BY HON. JAMES MARTIN MILLER Former United States Consul to France Author "Spanish-American War" "Prussian-Japanese War" etc.
To the soldiers and sailors of the United States and Canada; to the men of the armies and navies of nations allied with us; to the splendid courage and devotion of American, French, British and Belgian women, who have endured in silence the pain of losses worse than death, and never faltered in works of mercy for which no thanks can ever pay; to all the agencies of good that have helped save civilization and the world from the most dreadful menace of all time, this volume is dedicated.
To the honor of those nations upon whom the laurel of victory has descended. To those who have vouchsafed for us the permanence of the higher ideals of humanity and civilization.
To those who have sheltered posterity from the dominance of barbarity, brutality, serfdom, bigotry and degradation.
To those who have striven against the Teuton and the Turk that God-given and God-ordained freedom may triumph.
To those noble stoics of Belgium, of France, of Serbia, of Roumania, of Poland and all other peoples who have felt the mailed fist of the ruthless oppressor; who have looked upon their devastated fields, their dismantled cathedrals, their violated hearth-stones and the desecrated graves of their kindred, and that peace, tranquillity, contentment and prosperity may again be restored to them in bounteous meed.
To those heroes who by their valor, their vigor and their inspired devotion to right and patriotism have so nobly fought and conquered.
To those martyrs whom God in his immutable manifestations has chosen for the ultimate sacrifice of their lives upon the altar of freedom and humanity's cause.
In honor to these who have attained this glorious victory. In honor to the commingling flags of the allied nations reflecting in their rainbow hues a covenant of everlasting peace in this their hour of triumph, may we all consecrate our purposes and our lives to a brotherhood of mankind, a spirit of broadest humanity and universal peace on earth.
With the signing of an armistice November 11, 1918, by the plenipotentiaries of the nations at war, active hostilities were halted while the sweeping terms of the truce were being complied with by Germany. The collapse of the Teutonic forces came with a suddenness that was surprising, and the collapse was complete. The German army and navy ceased to be a menace to the civilized world—and all civilization rejoiced with an exceeding great joy.
Remarkable events in the world's history followed with amazing rapidity, and are duly recorded in all their interesting details in these pages. The flight and abdication of the Kaiser; the abject surrender of the German high seas fleet and submarines to the British Grand Fleet and its American associates; the withdrawal of the defeated German armies from Belgium and France; the return of the French flag to Alsace and Lorraine; the occupation of Metz, Strassburg, Cologne, and Coblentz by Allied and American forces, and the memorable entry of Belgian troops as conquerors into Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen); the sailing of the President of the United States to take part in the Peace Conference—all these events and many others form part of the marvelous record of the recent past, furnishing material that has never been equaled for the use of the historian.
Now the eyes of all America are turned to the eastern horizon, and would fain scan the wide waters of the Atlantic, on the watch for the home-coming heroes of the great conflict. A million young Americans are coming home—but a million more will stay abroad awhile, to safeguard the fruits of victory and insure the safety of the world. Truly the story of their achievements, in permanent form, should find a place in every American home, for in the words of General Pershing, their great commander:
"Their deeds are immortal and they have earned the eternal gratitude of their country."
PRESIDENT WILSON'S WAR MESSAGE
I WHY WE WENT TO WAR
Review of America's Good Reasons for Fighting—Memories of Beautiful France—Why I Was Not Accepted as Consul to Germany—Why We Went to War—Work or Fight—Rationing the Nations, by Hon James Martin Miller, Former US Consul to France—What the Yankee Dude'll Do
II UNITED STATES ENTERS THE WAR
The President Proclaims War—Interned Ships Are Siezed—Congress Votes $7,000,000,000 for War—Enthusiasm in the United States—Raising an American Army—War to Victory, Wilson Pledge—British and French Commission Reaches America—American Troops in France
III AMERICANS AT CHATEAU THIERRY
Personal Accounts of Battle—Gas and Shell Shock—Marines Under Fire—Americans Can Fight and Yell—Getting to the Front Under Difficulties—The Big Day Dawns—The Shells Come Fast—A Funeral at the Front—Impression of a French Lieutenant—Keeping the Germans on the Run
IV AMERICAN VICTORY AT ST MIHIEL
First Major Action by All American Army—Stories to Folks Back Home—Huns Carry Off Captive Women—Hell Has Cut Loose—Major Tells His Story—Enormous Numbers of Guns and Tanks—Over the Top at 5: AM—Texas and Oklahoma Troops Fight in True Ranger Style—Our Colored Boys Win Credit
V THE WAR IN THE AIR
Air Craft—Liberty Motors and Air Service—The Danger of Aviation—Air Plane's Tail Shot Off—Champions of the Air—Lieut. Lehr's Personal Stories of Air Fighting at the Front—American Aviator Grabs Iron Cross as Souvenir—Eyes of the Army Always Open
VI CAUSES OF THE WORLD WAR AND HOW WAR WAS DECLARED
VII INVASION OF BELGIUM
Belgians Rush to Defense of Their Frontier—Towns Bombarded and Burned —The Defense of Liege—Destruction of Louvain—Fall of Namur—German Proclamation to Inhabitants—Belgian Capital Occupied by the Germans Without Bloodshed—Important Part Played by American Minister Brand Whitlock—March of the Kaiser's Troops Through the City—Belgian Forces Retreat to Antwerp—Dinant and Termonde Fall
VIII BRITAIN RAISES AN ARMY
Earl Kitchener Appointed Secretary for War—A New Volunteer Army—Expeditionary Force Landed in France—Field Marshal Sir John French in Command—Colonies Rally to Britain's Aid—The Canadian Contingent—Indian Troops Called For—Native Princes Offer Aid
IX EARLY BATTLES OF THE WAR
Belgian Resistance to the German Advance—The Fighting at Vise, Haelen, Diest, Aerschot and Tirlemont—Mons and Charleroi the First Great Battles of the War—Allies Make a Gallant Stand, but Forced to Retire Across the French Border
X GERMAN ADVANCE ON PARIS
Allies Withdraw for Ten Days, Disputing Every Inch of Ground with the Kaiser's Troops—Germans Push Their Way Through France in Three Main Columns—Official Reports of the Withdrawing Engagements—Paris Almost in Sight
XII BATTLE OF THE MARNE
German Plans Suddenly Changed—Direction of Advance Swings to the Southeast When Close to the French Capital—Successful Resistance by the Allies—The Prolonged Encounter at the Marne—Germans Retreat, with Allies in Hot Pursuit for Many Miles
XII THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN
Slow Mobilization of Troops—Invasion of German and Austrian Territory—Cossacks Lead the Van—Early Successes in East Prussia—"On to Berlin"—Heavy Losses Inflicted on Austrians—German Troops Rushed to the Defense of the Eastern Territory
XIII THE AUSTRO-SERVIAN CAMPAIGN
Declaration of War by Austria—Bombardment of Belgrade—-Servian Capital Removed—Seasoned Soldiers of Servia Give a Good Account of Themselves—Many Indecisive Engagements—Servians in Austrian Territory
XIV STORIES FROM THE BATTLEFIELD
Thrilling Incidents of the Great War Told by Actual Combatants—Personal Experiences from the Lips of Survivors of the World's Bloodiest Battles—Tales of Prisoners of War, Wounded Soldiers, and Refugees Rendered Homeless in the Blighted Arena of Conflict—Hand-to-Hand Fighting—Frightful Mortality Among Officers—How It Feels to Be Wounded—In the "Valley of Death"—A Belgian Boy Hero—A British Cavalry Charge—Spirit of French Women—In the Paris Military Hospital—German Uhlans as Scouts—How a German Prince Died—Fearful State of Battlefields
XV THE MYSTERY OF THE FLEETS
Movements of British Battleships Veiled in Secrecy—German Dreadnoughts in North Sea and Baltic Ports—Activity of Smaller Craft—English Keep Trade Routes Open—Several Minor Battles at Sea
XVI SUBMARINES AND MINES
Battleships in Constant Danger from Submerged Craft—Opinions of Admiral Sir Percy Scott—Construction of Modern Torpedoes—How Mines Are Laid and Exploded on Contact
XVII AERO-MILITARY OPERATIONS
Aerial Attacks on Cities—Some of the Achievements of the Airmen in the Great War—Deeds of Heroism and Daring—Zeppelins in Action—Their Construction and Operation
XVIII BATTLE OF THE AISNE
Most Prolonged Encounter in History Between Gigantic Forces—A Far-Flung Battle Line—Germans Face French and British in the Aisne Valley and Fight for Weeks—Armies Deadlocked After a Desperate and Bloody Struggle
XIX FALL OF ANTWERP
Great Seaport of Belgium Besieged by a Large German Force—Forts Battered by Heavy Siege Guns—Final Surrender of the City—Belgian and British Defenders Escape—Exodus of Inhabitants—Germans Reach the Sea
XX THE WOUNDED AND PRISONERS
Typical Precautions Used by the German Army—The Soldier's First-Aid Outfit—System in Hospital Arrangements—How Prisoners of War Are Treated—Regulations Are Humane and Fair to All Concerned CHAPTER PAGE
XXI HORRORS OF THE WAR
Plan to Send Santa Claus Gifts From America to War-Stricken Children of Europe—A Widespread Response—-Movement Endorsed by Press, Pulpit and Leading Citizens—Approved by Governments of Contending Nations
XXII LATER EVENTS OF THE WAR
Results of the Battle of the Rivers—Fierce Fighting in Northern France—Developments on the Eastern Battle Front—The Campaign in the Pacific—Naval Activities of the Powers
XXIII SINKING OF THE LUSITANIA
Torpedoed by a Submarine—Crisis in German-American Relations—The Diplomatic Exchanges
XXIV A SUMMER OF SLAUGHTER
Submarine Activities—Horrors in Serbia—Bloody Battles East and West—Italy Declares War and Invades Austria—Russians Pushed Back in Galicia
XXV SECOND WINTER OF THE WAR
XXVI CLIMAX OF THE WAR
XXVII WORLD'S GREATEST SEA FIGHT
XXVIII BATTLES EAST AND WEST
XXIX CONTINUATION OF WAR IN 1917
XXX GENERAL PERSHING'S OWN STOBY
XXXI WHEN THE DAYS OF RECKONING DAWNED
XXXII HOME FOLLOWS THE FLAG
XXXIII TERMS OF THE ARMISTICE
XXXIV HONOR TO THE VICTORS
XXXV CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD WAR INTRODUCTION
PRESIDENT WILSON'S EPOCHAL ADDRESS
CALLING FOR ACTION AGAINST GERMANY, DELIVERED BY HIM TO THE CONGRESS IN EXTRAORDINARY SESSION, APRIL 3,
"Gentlemen of the Congress: I have called the congress into extraordinary session because there are serious, very serious, choices of policy to be made, and made immediately, which it was neither right nor constitutionally permissible that I should assume the responsibility of making.
"On the 3d of February last I officially laid before you the extraordinary announcement of the imperial German government that on and after the first day of February it was its purpose to put aside all restraints of law or of humanity and use its submarines to sink every vessel that sought to approach either the ports of Great Britain and Ireland or the western coast of Europe or any of the ports controlled by the enemies of Germany within the Mediterranean.
HOPED FOR MODIFIED WARFARE
"That had seemed to be the object of the German submarine warfare earlier in the war, but since April of last year the imperial government had somewhat restrained the commanders of its undersea craft in conformity with its promise then given to us that passenger boats should not be sunk and that due warning would be given to all other vessels which its submarines might seek to destroy, when no resistance was offered or escape attempted, and care taken that their crews were given at least a fair chance to save their lives in their open boats.
"The precautions taken were meager and haphazard enough, as was proved in distressing instance after instance in the progress of the cruel and unmanly business, but a certain degree of restraint was observed.
"The new policy has swept every restriction aside. Vessels of every kind, whatever their flag, their character, their cargo, their destination, their errand, have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom without warning and without thought of help or mercy for those on board, the vessels of friendly neutrals along with those of belligerents.
"Even hospital ships and ships carrying relief to the sorely bereaved and stricken people of Belgium, though the latter were provided with safe conduct through the proscribed area by the German government itself and were distinguished by unmistakable marks of identity, have been sunk with the same reckless lack of compassion or of principle.
RELIED ON LAW OF NATIONS
"I was for a little while unable to believe that such things would be in fact done by any government that had hitherto subscribed to the humane practices of civilized nations.
"International law had its origin in the attempt to set up some law which would be respected and observed upon the seas, where no nation had right of dominion and where lay the free highways of the world. By painful stage after stage has that law been built up, with meager enough results, indeed, after all was accomplished that could be accomplished, but always with a clear view, at least, of what the heart and conscience of mankind demanded.
"This minimum of right the German government has swept aside under the plea of retaliation and necessity and because it had no weapons which it could use at sea except these which it is impossible to employ as it is employing them without throwing to the winds all scruples of humanity or of respect for the understandings that were supposed to underlie the intercourse of the world.
PRESIDENT WILSON'S WAR ADDRESS
CHALLENGE TO ALL MANKIND
"I am not now thinking of the loss of property involved, immense and serious as that is, but only of the wanton and wholesale destruction of the lives of noncombatants, men, women and children, engaged in pursuits which have always, even in the darkest periods of modern history, been deemed innocent and legitimate. Property can be paid for; the lives of peaceful and innocent people cannot be. The present German submarine warfare against commerce is a warfare against mankind.
"It is a war against all nations. American ships have been sunk, American lives taken, in ways which it has stirred us very deeply to learn of, but the ships and people of other neutral and friendly nations have been sunk and overwhelmed in the waters in the same way.
"There has been no discrimination. The challenge is to all mankind. Each nation must decide for itself how it will meet it. The choice we make for ourselves must be made with a moderation of counsel and a temperateness of judgment befitting our character and our motives as a nation. We must put excited feelings away. Our motive will not be revenge or the victorious assertion of the physical might of the nation, but only the vindication of right—of human right—of which we are only a single champion.
"When I addressed the congress on the 26th of February last I thought that it would suffice to assert our neutral rights with arms, our right to use the seas against unlawful interference, our right to keep our people safe against unlawful violence.
"But armed neutrality, it now appears, is impracticable. Because submarines are in effect outlaws when used as the German submarines have been used against merchant shipping, it is impossible to defend ships against their attacks, as the law of nations has assumed that merchantmen would defend themselves against privateers or cruisers, visible craft giving chase upon the open sea.
"It is common prudence in such circumstances, grim necessity, indeed, to endeavor to destroy them before they have shown their own intentions. They must be dealt with upon sight if dealt with at all.
"The German government denies the right of neutrals to use arms at all within the areas of the sea which it has proscribed, even in the defense of rights which no modern publicist has ever before questioned their right to defend.
"The intimation is conveyed that the armed guards which we have placed on our merchant ships will be treated as beyond the pale of law and subject to be dealt with as pirates would be. Armed neutrality is ineffectual enough at best. In such circumstances and in the face of such pretensions it is worse than ineffectual; it is likely only to produce what it was meant to prevent; it is practically certain to draw us into the war without either the rights or the effectiveness of belligerents.
"There is one choice we cannot make, we are incapable of making: We will not choose the path of submission and suffer the most sacred rights of our nation and our people to be ignored or violated. The wrongs against which we now array ourselves are no common wrongs. They cut to the very roots of human life.
MUST ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY
"With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I advise that the congress declare the recent course of the imperial German government to be in fact nothing less than war against the government and people of the United States; that it formally accept the status of belligerent which has thus been thrust upon it; and that it take immediate steps not only to put the country in a more thorough state of defense but also to exert all its power and employ all its resources to bring the government of the German empire to terms and end the war.
COURSE WE MUST PURSUE
"What this will involve is clear. It will involve the utmost practicable co-operation in counsel and action with the governments now at war with Germany and, as incident to that, the extension to those governments of the most liberal financial credits, in order that our resources may so far as possible be added to theirs.
"It will involve the organization and mobilization of all the material resources of the country to supply the materials of war and serve the incidental needs of the nation in the most abundant and yet the most economical and efficient way possible.
"It will involve the immediate full equipment of the navy in all respects, but particularly in supplying it with the best means of dealing with the enemy's submarines.
ARMY OF 500,000 MEN
"It will involve the immediate addition to the armed force of the United States already provided for by law in case of war at least 500,000 men, who should, in my opinion, be chosen upon the principal of universal liability to service, and also the authorization of subsequent additional increments of equal force so soon as they may be needed and can be handled in training.
"It will involve also, of course, the granting of adequate credits to the government, sustained, I hope, so far as they can equitably be sustained by the present generation, by well conceived taxation.
"I say sustained so far as may be equitable by taxation because it seems to me that it would be most unwise to base the credits which will now be necessary entirely on money borrowed. It is our duty, I most respectfully urge, to protect our people, so far as we may, against the very serious hardships and evils which would be likely to arise out of the inflation which would be produced by vast loans.
MUST SUPPLY THE ALLIES
"In carrying out the measures by which these things are to be accomplished we should keep constantly in mind the wisdom of interfering as little as possible in our own preparation and in the equipment of our own military forces with the duty—for it will be a very practical duty—of supplying the nations already at war with Germany with the materials which they can obtain only from us or by our assistance. They are in the field, and we should help them in every way to be effective there.
"I shall take the liberty of suggesting, through the several executive departments of the government, for the consideration of your committees, measures for the accomplishment of the several objects I have mentioned. I hope that it will be your pleasure to deal with them, as having been framed after very careful thought by the branch of the government upon which the responsibility of conducting the war and safeguarding the nation will most directly fall.
SEEKS FREEDOM OF WORLD
"While we do these things, these deeply momentous things, let us be very clear, and make very clear to all the world, what our motives and our objects are. My own thought has not been driven from its habitual and normal course by the unhappy events of the last months, and I do not believe that the thought of the nation has been altered or clouded by them.
"I have exactly the same things in mind now that I had in mind when I addressed the senate on the twenty-second of January last; the same that I had in mind when I addressed the congress on the third of February and on the twenty-sixth of February. "Our object now, as then, is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power and to set up amongst the really free and self-governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action as will henceforth insure the observance of those principles.
"Neutrality is no longer feasible or desirable where the peace of the world is involved and the freedom of its peoples, and the menace to that peace and freedom lies in the existence of autocratic governments backed by organized force which is controlled wholly by their will—not by the will of their people.
"We have seen the last of neutrality in such circumstances. We are at the beginning of an age in which it will be insisted that the same standards of conduct and of responsibility for wrong done shall be observed among nations and their governments that are observed among the individual citizens of civilized states.
NO QUARREL WITH GERMANS
"We have no quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling towards them but one of sympathy and friendship. It was not upon their impulse that their government acted in entering this war. It was not with their previous knowledge or approval. It was a war determined upon as wars used to be determined upon in the old, unhappy days when peoples were nowhere consulted by their rulers and wars were provoked and waged in the interest of dynasties or of little groups of ambitious men who were accustomed to use their fellow-men as pawns and tools.
"Self-governed nations do not fill their neighbor states with spies or set the course of intrigue to bring about some critical posture of affairs which will give them an opportunity to strike and make conquest.
"Such designs can be successfully worked out only under cover and where no one has the right to ask questions. Cunningly contrived plans of deception or aggression, carried, it may be, from generation to generation, can be worked out and kept from the light only within the privacy of courts or behind the carefully guarded confidences of a narrow and privileged class. They are happily impossible where public opinion commands and insists upon full information concerning all the nation's affairs.
MENACE OF INTRIGUES
"A steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained except by a partnership of democratic nations. No autocratic government could be trusted to keep faith within or observe its covenants. It must be a league of honor, a partnership of opinion.
"Intrigue would eat its vitals away; the plottings of inner circles who could plan what they would and give account to no one, would be a corruption seated at its very heart.
"Only free peoples can hold their purpose and their honor steady to a common end and prefer the interest of mankind to any narrow interest of their own.
WELCOME TO FREE RUSSIA
"Does not every American feel that assurance has been added to our hope for the future peace of the world by the wonderful and heartening things that have been happening within the last few weeks in Russia?
"Russia was known by those who knew it best to have been always in fact democratic at heart in all the vital habits of her thought, in all the intimate relationships of her people that spoke their natural instinct, their habitual attitude toward life. The autocracy that crowned the summit of her political structure, as long as it had stood and terrible as was the reality of its power, was not in fact Russian in origin, character or purpose; and now it has been shaken off and the great, generous Russian people have added in all their native majesty and might to the forces that are fighting for freedom in the world, for justice, and for peace. Here is a fit partner for a league of honor.
"One of the things that has served to convince us that the Prussian autocracy was not and could never be our friend is that from the very outset of the present war it has filled our unsuspecting communities and even our offices of government with spies and set criminal intrigues everywhere afoot against our national unity of counsel, our peace within and without, our industries, and our commerce.
"Indeed, it is now evident that its spies were here even before the war began, and it is unhappily not a matter of conjecture, but a fact proved in our courts of justice, that the intrigues which have more than once come perilously near to disturbing the peace and dislocating the industries of the country have been carried on at the instigation, with the support, and even under the personal direction of official agents of the imperial government accredited to the government of the United States.
SOUGHT TO IGNORE PLOTS
"Even in checking these things and trying to extirpate them we have sought to put the most generous interpretation possible upon them because we knew that their source lay not in any hostile feeling or purpose of the German people towards us (who were, no doubt, as ignorant of them as we ourselves were) but only in the selfish designs of a government that did what it pleased and told its people nothing.
"But they played their part in serving to convince us at last that that government entertains no real friendship for us and means to act against our peace and security at its convenience. That it means to stir up enemies against us at our very doors the intercepted note to the German minister at Mexico City is eloquent evidence.
FIGHT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
"We are accepting this challenge of hostile purpose because we know that in such a government, following such methods, we can never have a friend, and that in the presence of its organized power, always lying in wait to accomplish we know not what purpose, there can be no assured security for the democratic governments of the world.
"We are now about to accept gage of battle with this natural foe to liberty and shall, if necessary, spend the whole force of the nation to check and nullify its pretensions and its power. We are glad, now that we see the facts with no veil of false pretense about them, to fight thus for the ultimate peace of the world and for the liberation of its people, the German people included; for the rights of nations, great and small; the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and of obedience.
SEEK NO SELFISH ENDS
"The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the right of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.
"Just because we fight without rancor and without selfish object, seeking nothing for ourselves but what we shall wish to share with all free peoples, we shall, I feel confident, conduct our operations as belligerents without passion and ourselves observe with proud punctilio the principles of right and of fair play we profess to be fighting for. SILENT AS TO AUSTRIA
"I have said nothing of the governments allied with the imperial German government because they have not made war upon us or challenged us to defend our right and our honor.
"The Austro-Hungarian government has, indeed, avowed its unqualified endorsement and acceptance of the reckless and lawless submarine warfare adopted now without disguise by the imperial German government, and it has therefore not been possible for this government to receive Count Tarnowski, the ambassador recently accredited to this government by the imperial and royal government of Austria-Hungary; but that government has not actually engaged in warfare against citizens of the United States on the seas.
"On these premises I take the liberty, for the present at least, of postponing a discussion of our relations with the authorities at Vienna. We enter this war only where we are clearly forced into it because there are no other means of defending our rights.
"It will be all the easier for us to conduct ourselves as belligerents in a high spirit of right and fairness because we act without animus, not in enmity towards a people or with the desire to bring any injury or disadvantage upon them, but only in armed opposition to an irresponsible government which has thrown aside all considerations of humanity and of right and is running amuck.
GERMANS IN AMERICA
"We are, let me say again, the sincere friends of the German people, and shall desire nothing so much as the early reestablishment of intimate relations of mutual advantage between us, however hard it may be for them, for the time being, to believe that this is spoken from our hearts.
"We have borne with their present government through all these bitter months because of that friendship, exercising a patience and forbearance which would otherwise have been impossible.
"We shall, happily, still have an opportunity to prove that friendship in our daily attitude and actions towards the millions of men and women of German birth and native sympathy who live amongst us and share our life, and we shall be proud to prove it towards all who are in fact loyal to their neighbors and to the government in the hour of test. They are, most of them, as true and loyal Americans as if they had never known any other fealty or allegiance. They will be prompt to stand with us in rebuking and restraining the few who may be of a different mind and purpose. If there should be disloyalty it will be dealt with with a firm hand of stern repression; but if it lifts its head at all it will lift it only here and there and without countenance except from a lawless and malignant few.
CIVILIZATION IN BALANCE
"It is a distressing and oppressive duty, gentlemen of the congress, which I have performed in thus addressing you. There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance.
"But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.
"To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other."
WHY WE WENT TO WAR
MEMORIES OF BEAUTIFUL FRANCE—WHY I WAS NOT ACCEPTED AS CONSUL TO GERMANY
BY HON. JAMES MARTIN MILLER
FORMER UNITED STATES CONSUL IN FRANCE
To have lived on the principal battle ground of the world war was a privilege the author did not appreciate at the time. As representative of the United States Government in the Consular district of France that includes the departments of the Aisne, Ardennes, Marne, Aube, Meuse, Vosges, Haute-Marne and Meurthe-et-Moselle, he lived and had his headquarters at Reims, some years before the war. Reims is (or rather was) a beautiful city of 112,000 people. The story of the city goes back to the days of the Roman empire, and bears the mark of many Gallic insurrections. In comparatively later times Joan of Arc caused Charles VII to be crowned in the great Cathedral there—one of the most glorious and stately in all Europe, now a ruin. A history of the eight departments (or small states) mentioned above would include a history of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, and of the greatest and most desperate of all wars, the one just brought to a close.
My Consular district bordered on Belgium, Luxemburg and Alsace-Lorraine. The Marne, the Aisne, the Vesle, and other streams whose names adorn with sad pride so many of America's battle-flags, flow through it. After 1914 Belgium saw very little fighting; but this district saw almost four years of continuous and enormous battle. It was overrun time and again. Neither Belgium nor any other country suffered such devastation, nor such material destruction. Today it is a vast graveyard. Hundreds of thousands of men dyed its soil with their lifeblood. All America and all the world knows about Chateau Thierry and St. Mihiel, and the gallantry of American troops in those two brilliant and significant actions. It is difficult to realize the stupendous tragedy that through all those years hung over that beautiful country, whose fields were once as familiar to me as any fields of home. I look back to that time with affection, in the glow of happy memories.
Americans before this war had held the Monroe Doctrine in high reverence. Presidents had strengthened it in their messages. Candidates for office for more than half a century had argued as a campaign issue that the United States must never be drawn into foreign entanglements; that no European nation ever would be allowed to interfere in the affairs of the American continents. This doctrine was so deeply rooted that objectors everywhere rose up when we began to talk of "preparedness" against the ultimate day when we could no longer keep out of the fight. Many declared it would be "unconstitutional" for the United States to send troops to Europe. The war lords of Germany took advantage of this traditional sentiment among our people and felt sure that the United States never would come in, no matter how many American lives nor how much American property Germany might destroy, nor how many of our ships German pirates might sink at sea, without warning. The German government had built up a propaganda in this country that at one time threatened to poison the minds of all our people. There were some among us who hated England, and wanted to see Germany win for no other reason than that. Others hated Russia, and so desired Germany to win. Germany's secret intrigues in Mexico came near to getting us into a war with that country. In the face of all these things there was a strong sentiment among our people and even in Congress favorable to Germany. It is easy now to say that we should have gone to war when the Lusitania was sunk, but pro-German feeling was so noisy and so strong, even though it was held by a minority, that the Congress itself was affected and withheld its hand.
Public sentiment had to be crystalized so that it would stand back of the administration. With our lack of a secret service capable of coping with the German agents who were busy everywhere and all the time, we were at a disadvantage in gathering evidence to convince our people that the Germans were menacing our very existence. Even after the secret service was built up it took many months of hard work and several thousand government men to uncover and stamp out their organizations and their ruthless plots. The slimy tracks of the German ambassador at Washington had to be followed through devious underground channels that no one had suspected. The embassy had filled the country with German poison gas, and backed the German campaign of wholesale arson. Germans living here, many of them American born, were busily counteracting public opinion as the evidences accumulated.
Democracies are always at a disadvantage in dealing with monarchies; in the initial stages of war at least. We have seen it demonstrated that a democracy must become autocratic if it is to carry on a war successfully. But an American autocracy takes the shape of a temporary delegation of unusual power in conditions that cannot wait for the slow action of ordinary times; and those who exercise it are put in power by the people themselves, to do the people's will. It was necessary to consolidate not only the direction of the nation itself, but of our military affairs abroad. We soon got the home situation in hand, and then the President of the United States threw his influence, backed by all the American people, toward bringing the allied armies and those of the United States under one head in the person of General Foch as Field Marshal. This was not accomplished until after the great Italian disaster, when it looked as though the Austro-Hungarian armies would crush Italy. The same may be said of the threatened disaster to the British army early in 1918, when von Hindenburg began his great drive toward Calais and Paris. Here were Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria, four monarchies dominated by the German government, fighting nearly all the democracies of the world, not considering Russia, which dropped out shortly before the United States effectively entered the war.
We will not consider Japan's position as a nominal member of the entente, except for her action at the beginning of the war in capturing Kiauchau, China, the German fortified port and naval base in the Orient, and sweeping Germany out of the Pacific by taking the Marshall islands. Beyond this, Japan sent soldiers to Eastern Siberia to help in police duty, and in guarding the great stores of supplies accumulated by the Russians at Vladivostok. These stores had been bought largely upon the credit extended to Russia by the United States.
With Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary gone as monarchies, Japan is the greatest of the remaining imperial states. We have seen more than a dozen kings, emperors, princes and grand dukes pass into the discard as a result of a war which they themselves brought on.
France tried to discard kings and princes in 1798. The sovereignty of the people was proclaimed in that war, but the governments which have ruled France since have been many, and presented wide differences. In this present age, no doubt it will be much easier to establish a stable democracy upon the wreck of a monarchy than it could have been a century ago. Still, the construction of a democracy is a difficult ordeal for people who have always been imperialists. The several monarchies, big and little, that have fallen in this war, present most perplexing problems. There are boundary and racial disputes of the most bitter kind between some of their peoples. But the great democracies of the world that won this war are taking the part of "big brothers" to these, and are seeing to it that their petty quarrels and internal differences are held in check. Each of these countries, even though they establish democracies, will have strong royalist parties that will constitute a standing threat. France even to this day has a royalist group of considerable strength. Their persistent claim is that France will again be a monarchy. The United States is really the only democracy without such a party. It is the only republic that was not founded on the ruin of a monarchy.
WHY I WAS NOT ACCEPTED AS CONSUL TO GERMANY
I have had some personal experience with the late German Imperial Government. As a war correspondent it was my duty to give to the world an account of the forcible deportation of King Mataafa from Samoa to the Marshall Islands, where he was kept in exile six years. The Germans had shoved him aside to make room for Malieto, an imbecile and a German figurehead. I was there again when Mataafa, at the end of those six years, returned to Samoa, to the great joy of his people.
A few years later I discovered that Germany's policy was to "mark" any individual who wrote or spoke in criticism of anything German.
I was appointed United States Consul to Aix la Chapelle, Germany, four years after those articles appeared. My appointment came from President Roosevelt, and was confirmed by the United States Senate. When I arrived in Germany I found I was United States Consul so far as the United States Government was concerned, but I was put off in the matter of my exequatur (certificate of authority) from the government to which I was accredited; and without an exequatur, I could not act. I was kept cooling my heels in the consulate several months before I found out what was the matter. My newspaper articles describing what the Germans had done in Samoa, published four years earlier, were being held against me. My presence in Germany was not desired.
I had crossed the Atlantic with Prince Henry, the Kaiser's brother and Admiral of the German Navy, in February, 1901, when the Prince brought his party of a dozen or so militarists to this country to "further cement the amity and good will" existing between the great republic and the great empire. It later developed that this was a well planned operation in German propaganda. As a representative of the Associated Press, I had written of it. That was just after I had written the Samoan articles.
Speck von Sternberg was the German Ambassador to Washington. He was in Paris. I went there to see him and ascertain, if I could, why my exequatur was withheld. The Government at Washington could get no information on the subject. The whole affair was clothed in mystery.
After some conversation I suggested to Ambassador von Sternberg that perhaps the foreign office at Berlin was withholding the document because of my writings on German colonial matters. Then it came out—my guess was true. Some underlings in the foreign office had the case in charge. The Ambassador suggested that as I knew Prince Henry, I would better write him at Kiel. I did this, with the result that the obstacle was removed and the exequatur issued.
WHY WE WENT TO WAR
German Propaganda in the United States and Mexico—Sinking of the Lusitania—Unrestricted Submarine Warfare.
WHY WE WENT TO WAR
During two years preceding our entrance upon war, Germany had been carrying on open warfare against us, within our own borders. For more than thirty years Germany's policy of preparatory penetration had been in course. As we know now, every country, all round the globe, but especially the United States in North America and Brazil and Venezuela in South America, had been filled with Germans, ostensibly settlers, business men and followers of the higher professions, but for the greater part agents of Germany, in continuous contact with Potsdam and under Potsdam direction. It was the business of these imported Germans to foster the German idea, exalt Germany's leadership in military power and in science and the arts, impress their language, their literature, music and customs upon our people, and to do all those things which might work for the day when Germany, having faked a partnership with Almighty God, should reach out for world dominion.
The processes were pressed with that strange blend of industry, stupidity, mendacity and cunning which characterize the Prussian and all his acts. Under our noses a German solidarity was attempted here, and in part achieved. Organizations having Prussian ends in view were numerous, large, popular and unsuspected. Threading them through and through was a spy system unbelievably thorough and amazingly adroit. Potsdam had us marked as a nation of easy going money getters, to be bled white, crammed with her muddy kultur and taught the goose-step, at her imperial leisure, after France and England had fallen to her guns.
But her blend of qualities, no matter how strong in itself, was nullified by just one lack: the total inability of the Prussian mind to understand the mind of the world exterior to Germany. In the day of test it failed.
Because of that inability, and knowing full well how readily the German mind could be terrorized, the outbreak of war in Europe brought an outbreak of blind German violence in the United States. We were to be impressed by the German power to strike. Our soil was chosen as a garden of domestic sedition, and of foreign conspiracy against powers with which we were at peace. To keep us busy with troubles of our own, German propaganda and German money in Mexico raised on our southern border a threatening spectre of war. We were to have been rushed into conflict with Mexico and kept employed there while being terrorized by wholesale arson and sabotage at home, so that by no chance could any friendly European power look to us for help. The scheme came near to succeeding, for our people were aroused by Mexican aggression, and the flaunting insults of Mexican authority, prompted by German agents. The policy of our Government saved us from falling into a trap that might have held us fast while Germany overran the whole of Europe and made ready to come a-plundering here at her own time and convenience.
If the truth had been known by the people then as clearly as it was known at Washington, nothing could have held us back: We would not have bothered with Mexico at all. We would have joined the free nations of Europe, and nobody may guess what would have happened. Certainly we could not have assembled the men and the resources we actually and swiftly did assemble later, when the real hour sounded. We would have cut a sorry figure and gone into the mess confusedly. Washington knew. The President knew so well that through 1915 and 1916 he and others in high places never ceased crying a warning to "prepare." The President himself toured the country and told the people everywhere that with a world on fire we could not hope to escape unsinged.
He said openly as much as he dared. Under the surface the Government did much more. The rapid movement of events once we were declared a combatant would have been impossible otherwise. That rapidity of effective action surprised the world only because it had all been planned before a word was said.
In the years of our neutrality our course as a nation was surely shaping itself for war, without an outward sign or act. Ruthless destruction of property and of life became too open, too frequent, too outrageous, for the patience of even a long-suffering, tolerant people such as we. The first impulse of genuine resentment was given when the Lusitania went down with its neutral passengers, a defenseless ship on a peaceful errand, drowning more than a hundred Americans of both sexes and all ages without the slightest notice, or the faintest chance of escape.
Any nation other than ours would have gone to war in a moment over such a blow in the face. We did not. Farther, we endured a sudden and flagrant increase of German propaganda in high quarters and low, and of German insolence openly and defiantly parading itself. The catalogue of provocations grew daily, and daily bred anger, but our temper held until in February of 1917, when Germany proclaimed unrestricted piracy by submarines, and under the thin pretext of starving out the British Isles, American and other ships were destroyed with all on board, wholesale.
Even then our hand was withheld until Germany advised us that we might send just one ship a week to Europe, one ship and no more, provided that solitary ship were painted in a manner prescribed in the permission, and then held strictly to a course laid down by the German admiralty. Germany, a third rate naval power, had arbitrarily forbidden us the freedom of the seas.
Then our patience broke. For this and all the other causes Germany had given us, and for our own safety and the rescue of a world that without us would have perished, the United States went to war.
WORK OR FIGHT
Back of every American soldier about fifty men and women were needed in order that he be supplied with everything his physical, moral and military well being might require. They were put there. The result was a sweeping change, an immense expansion of energy in the United States itself. The draft took care of the army. No time or trouble had to be given to filling the ranks and keeping them full. The enormous sums of money necessary to finance our allies as well as ourselves were promptly oversubscribed in a series of loans, the first and least of which ran into three billion dollars, the fourth into six billions, a sum larger than any single loan ever floated by any other nation. Idleness was abolished. The order to "work or fight" was strictly enforced upon all the people, rich and poor alike, for any attempt to except any one or any class would have been blown away in a gale of laughter. In a space incredibly brief the United States became a nation of actual workers, in which every individual did his or her share, submitting meanwhile, with good grace and no murmuring, to being rationed. Interstate utilities were taken over and operated by the government, including the railway, telegraph and telephone lines; and government fixed prices on the necessaries of life. Everything was subordinated to the one and only purpose of winning the war. All that we were and all that we had was thoroughly mobilized behind the fighting arms, the army and the navy.
RATIONING THE NATIONS
Almost immediately after the first military and naval preparations had been set in operation the United States Government, taking no chance as against the future, began to regulate the lives and living of Americans at home. A policy of conservation, so well devised that it went into effect without the slightest disturbance of daily living and daily routine, was at once adopted.
England, France and Belgium had to be fed. Belgium had to be clothed and housed as well as fed. Out of our abundance had to come the means to those ends, as well as to equip and maintain vast armies of our own, from bases three thousand miles away in Europe and twice as far in Asia. The whole nation was mobilized for war.
Britain and France had come through more than three years of close-lipped but bone-cracking effort, in which every aspect of domestic life was changed, the final ounce of strength exerted, privations unheard of endured in grim silence. America saved them, and not alone by force of arms against the common enemy.
WHAT THE YANKEE DUDE'LL DO
BY TOM H. DEVEREAUX.
Uncle Samuel blew the bugle call, For his boys to fall in line, And they came, yes, by the million, On the march at double time, With muskets on their shoulders They answered to the call To defend our nation's honor, And for Liberty of all. They buckled on their knapsacks, And they loaded up their guns, To the tune of Yankee Doodle, They whipped those Turks and Huns; For their hearts were with the colors Of the red, the white and blue, And they've shown those fiendish Prussians What the Yankee Dude'll Do.
Singing rally round Old Glory, boys, And fight for freedom true, Rally to the Stars and Stripes As your fathers did for you. Oh! we sailed across the ocean deep, With the red, the white and blue, And we've shown that devilish Kaiser What the Yankee Dude'll Do.
From our north land, and our east land, To our far-off Golden Gate, From our south way down in Dixie And the old Palmetto State, Bravest sons of all the nation came To fight our country's foe, Who would follow our Old Glory, Where her stars and stripes might go; To the battle cry of Freedom, All our men would surely come, And fight for world-wide Victory At the call of fife and drum. We have proved to all creation That our boys are real true blue, And we've shown those fiendish Prussians, What the Yankee Dude'll Do.
UNITED STATES ENTERS THE WAR
The President Proclaims War—Interned Ships Are Seized—Congress Votes $7,000,000,000 for War—Raising an American Army—War to Victory Wilson Pledge—British and French Commission Reaches America.
On April 2, 1917, Congress having been called in special session, President Wilson appeared before a joint session of both houses and in an address worthy of its historical importance asked for a formal declaration that a state of war existed with Germany, owing to the ruthless and unrestricted submarine campaign. He recommended the utmost practical co-operation with the Entente Allies in counsel and action; the extension of liberal financial credit to them, the mobilization of all the material resources of the United States for the purpose of providing adequate munitions of war, the full equipment of the Navy, especially in supplying it with means for dealing with submarines, and the immediate enrollment of an army of 500,000 men, preferably by a system of universal service, to be increased later by an additional army of equal size. The President took pains to point out that in taking these measures against the German government, the United States had no quarrel with the German people, who were innocent, because kept in ignorance of the lawless acts of their autocratic government, which had become a menace not only to the peace of the world, but to the cause of fundamental human liberty. The object of the United States, said the President, was to vindicate the principles of peace and justice as against selfish and autocratic power, and to insure the future observance of these principles.
After due debate the following joint resolution, declaring war with Germany was adopted by the Senate and House of Representatives and signed by the President on April 6, 1917:
"Whereas, the imperial German government has committed repeated acts of war against the government and the people of the United States of America; therefore, be it
"Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the imperial German government which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and that the President be, and he is, hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the government to carry on war against the imperial German government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States."
THE PRESIDENT PROCLAIMS WAR.
Immediately after signing the resolution of Congress, President Wilson issued a formal proclamation of war, embodying in it an earnest appeal to all American citizens "that they, in loyal devotion to their country, dedicated from its foundation to the principles of liberty and justice, uphold the laws of the land and give undivided and willing support to those measures which may be adopted by the constitutional authorities in prosecuting the war to a successful issue and in obtaining a secure and just peace."
The President further enjoined all alien enemies within the United States to preserve the peace and refrain from crime against the public safety, and from giving information, aid, or comfort to the enemy, assuring them of protection so long as they conducted themselves in accordance with law and with regulations which might be promulgated from time to time for their guidance. The great mass of German-American citizens promptly avowed the utmost loyalty to the United States, but numerous arrests of suspected spies followed all over the country.
INTERNED SHIPS ARE SEIZED.
Following the declaration of war all the German merchant vessels interned in ports of the United States were seized by representatives of the Federal authority, their crews removed and interned, and guardians placed aboard. These ships in American waters numbered 99, of an aggregate value of about $100,000,000, and included some of the finest vessels of the German merchant marine; for instance, the Vaterland, of 54,283 tons, valued at $8,000,000, and numerous other Atlantic liners. The disposition to be made of the German ships was left to the future for decision, with great probability, however, that they would be used to transport munitions and supplies to the Allies in Europe through the German submarine blockade.
CONGRESS VOTES $7,000,000,000 FOR WAR.
Prompt action was taken by Congress to furnish the sinews of war. By April 14 a bond and certificate issue of $7,000,000,000 had been unanimously voted by both houses, and preparations were made to float a popular subscription for the bonds. Three billions of the amount was intended for loans to the Allies, and the remainder for active prosecution of the war by the United States. The debates in Congress indicated that the country stood solidly behind the President in a determination to bring the military autocracy of Germany to a realizing sense of its responsibility to civilization. RAISING AN AMERICAN ARMY.
Legislation was immediately presented by the War Department to the military committees of the Senate and House of Representatives, to provide for raising an army for active participation in the war. This legislation was described by President Wilson as follows:
"It proposes to raise the forces necessary to meet the present emergency by bringing the regular army and the National Guard to war strength and by adding the additional forces which will now be needed, so that the national army will comprise three elements—the regular army, the National Guard and the so-called additional forces, of which at first 500,000 are to be authorized immediately and later increments of the same size as they may be needed.
"In order that all these forces may comprise a single army, the term of enlistment in the three is equalized and will be for the period of the emergency.
"The necessary men will be secured for the regular army and the National Guard by volunteering, as at present, until, in the judgment of the President, a resort to a selective draft is desirable. The additional forces, however, are to be raised by selective draft from men ranging in age from 19 to 25 years. The quotas of the several states in all of these forces will be in proportion to their population."
Recruiting for the army and navy became active as soon as war was declared. On April 15 President Wilson issued an address to the nation, calling on all citizens to enroll themselves in a vast "army of service," military or industrial, and stating that the hour of supreme test for the nation had come. The United States prepared to rise to its full measure of duty, confident in the patent justice of its cause, and echoing the sentiment of its President when he said:
"The hope of the world is that when the European war is over arrangements will have been made composing many of the questions which have hitherto seemed to require the arming of the nations, and that in some ordered and just way the peace of the world may be maintained by such co-operations of force among the great nations as may be necessary to maintain peace and freedom throughout the world."
ENGLAND WELCOMES U.S. AS AN ALLY.
The news of the President's proclamation of war, following the action of Congress, was received in England and France, Russia and Italy, with enthusiasm. A great service of thanksgiving was held in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, attended by the King and Queen, ministers of state, and an enormous congregation that joined in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the national anthem, while the Stars and Stripes by official order was flown for the first time in history from the tower of the Parliament buildings at Westminster and on public buildings throughout the British empire. A high commission was appointed to visit the United States for a series of war conferences, and Premier Lloyd George expressed the national satisfaction in glowing terms of welcome to the United States as an ally against Germany, paying at the same time an eloquent tribute to the masterly address of President Wilson to Congress, which stated the case for humanity against military autocracy in such an unanswerable manner, the British premier said, that it placed the seal of humanity's approval on the Allied cause and furnished final justification of the British attitude toward Germany in the war.
POPULAR DEMONSTRATION IN PARIS.
In France, the Stars and Stripes were flung to the breeze from the Eiffel Tower on April 22, and saluted by twenty-one guns. This marked the opening of the ceremonies of "United States day" in Paris.
The French tricolor and the star-spangled banner were at the same hour unfurled together from the residence of William G. Sharp, the American ambassador, in the Avenue d'Eylau, from the American Embassy, from the city hall, and from other municipal government buildings.
It was a great day for the red, white and blue, 40,000 American flags being handed out gratis by the committee and waved by the people who thronged the vicinity of the manifestations, which included the decoration of the statues of Washington and Lafayette.
Members of the American Lafayette flying corps, a delegation from the American Ambulance at Neuilly and the American Field Ambulances were the guard of honor before the Lafayette statue.
Ambassador Sharp and his escort were received at the city hall by the members of the municipal council and other distinguished persons. Adrien Mithouard, president of the municipal council, welcomed Ambassador Sharp, who was greeted with great applause when addressing the people of Paris. He said:
"Citizens of Paris: May I say to you, on this day you have with such fine sentiment set apart to honor my country, that America remains no longer content to express to France merely her sympathy. In a cause which she believes as verily as you believe to be a sacred one, she will consecrate all her power and the blood of her patriotic sons, if necessary, to achieve a victory that shall for all time to come insure the domination of right over wrong, freedom over oppression, and the blessings of peace over the brutality of war."
The French Government also appointed a war commission to visit the United States forthwith for conference.
Resolutions expressing the great satisfaction of the Allied nations at the action of the United States were adopted by the British House of Commons, the French Chamber of Deputies, the Russian Duma, and the Italian Parliament. ENTHUSIASM IN THE UNITED STATES.
War being declared, the people of the United States were not slow in letting the President know that they stood solidly behind him. From all parts of the country came assurances that the action of the Government was approved. Organizations of every conceivable kind passed resolutions pledging their support to all war measures decided to be necessary to carry the war to a successful issue. Recruiting was at once started for both the Army and the Navy. The recruiting depots were thronged daily and thousands were enrolled for active service while Congress was debating the respective merits of the volunteer system and the "selective draft" advocated by the general staff of the Army and approved by the President and his cabinet.
The full quota of men desired for the Navy, to place the ships already in commission in a high state of efficiency, was soon secured. More men offered themselves for naval service, indeed, than could be accepted pending the action of Congress. Volunteers for the aviation corps, the marines, the field artillery, the engineer corps, and all the various branches of the military establishments came forward freely, and a general desire was expressed to send an American force to the trenches in Europe at the earliest possible moment consistent with proper training for the field.
As the reports of American diplomats from the war zone, freed from German censorship, were given to the public, the martial spirit of America grew apace. Ambassador Gerard's corroboration of German atrocities in the occupied territory of France, and Minister Brand Whitlock's report on the situation in Belgium and the illegal and atrocious deportation of Belgian citizens for hard labor, ill treatment, and starvation in Germany, added fuel to the flame of national indignation, already running high as the result of continued destruction of American merchant vessels and the loss of American lives by submarine piracy and murder, continued almost without cessation since the infamous sinking of the Lusitania, one of the never-to-be-forgotten crimes of German ruthlessness.
One hundred million free-born people were at length aroused to action. The Navy was ready for immediate service where it could do most good, and promptly took over patrol duty in the western Atlantic, relieving British and French men-of-war for service elsewhere. The raising of an army of a million or more men for active participation in the war waited only on the action of Congress.
American women responded nobly to the President's call for universal service, flocking to the Red Cross headquarters in every city and setting to work immediately in the preparation of comforts for the great army gathering on the horizon. They were promptly organized, so that their efforts might count to the best advantage. In August, 1916, the United States Navy included 356 war craft of all kinds, as against credited to Great Britain, 404 to France, and 309 to Germany, The latter figure does not include an unknown number of submarines of recent construction.
THE BRITISH COMMISSION ARRIVES.
On Sunday, April 22, the British war commission reached Washington, headed by the Right Hon. Arthur James Balfour, secretary of state for foreign affairs and former premier. The commission included Rear Admiral Sir Dudley R.S. De Chair, naval adviser to the foreign office; Major-General G.T.M. Bridges, representing the British army; Lord Cunliffe of Headley, governor of the Bank of England; and a number of other distinguished officials and naval and military officers, with clerical assistants. The party met with an enthusiastic welcome in Washington. Mr. Balfour was received by the President in private conference next day, and after a round of receptions and social functions of various kinds, arrangements were made for the business meetings affecting war policies, which were the object of the visit.
Mr. Balfour informed the President that the British commission had come to Washington not to ask favors, concessions, or agreements from the United States, but to offer their services for the organization of the stupendous undertaking of fighting Germany. He said that if the United States was confronted by the same problems that confronted England at the outset of the war, the British commission could be of service in pointing out many grievous mistakes of policy and organization that proved costly to the British cause. He was, in turn, assured by the President that the United States would fight in conjunction with the Allied until the Prussian autocracy was crushed and Americans at home and abroad were safe from the ruthlessness of the Berlin government.
MARSHAL JOFFRE IN WASHINGTON
The French war commission soon followed the British envoys, arriving in Washington on Wednesday, April 25, on board the presidential yacht Mayflower from Hampton Roads. Headed by M. Rene Viviani, minister of justice and former premier of France, the commission included the famous hero of the Marne and idol of the French army and people, Marshal Joffre; also Admiral Chocheprat, representing the French navy; the Marquis de Chambrun (Lafayette's grandson), and other distinguished Frenchmen. The fame of Marshal Joffre and the traditional friendship for France secured for the party an enthusiastic popular greeting. Its members were accorded similar official receptions to those of the British commissioners, and they similarly expressed their desire to be of service to the American people by giving the Washington government the benefit of their costly experience in three years of war. ALLIES CONTINUE THEIR WESTERN DRIVE
Following the spring drive of the Allies on the western front and the retirement of the Germans to the so-called Hindenburg line, the British and French continued their offensive during the months of May, June and July, 1917, which concluded the third year of the great struggle. Great battles in the Champagne and along the Aisne were fought by the French, who in April had captured Auberive, and they advanced their forces from one to five miles along a fifty-mile front, inflicting great and continual losses on the enemy. At the end of the third year, the French line ran from northwest of Soissons, through Rheims, to Auberive. French troops also appeared in Flanders during this period and co-operated with the British on the left of Field Marshal Haig's forces. The chief command of the French armies was in the hands of General Petain, the gallant defender of Verdun, who was appointed chief of staff after the battle of Craonne.
The continuation of the British offensive northeast of Arras, following the bloody battle of Vimy Ridge, which was firmly held by the Canadians against desperate counter-attacks, placed the British astride the Hindenburg line, and the Germans retired to positions a mile or two west of the Drocourt-Queant line. These they held as the third year closed at the end of July.
In June, 1917, the British began an attack on Messines and Wytschaete, in an effort to straighten out the Ypres salient. By this time their flyers dominated the air, and they had gained the immense advantage of artillery superiority. By way of preparation, the British sappers and miners had spent an entire year in mining the earth beneath the German positions, and the offensive was begun with an explosion so terrific, when the mines were sprung, that it was heard in London. Following immediately with the attack, the British won and consolidated the objective ground, capturing more than 7,500 German prisoners and great stores of artillery. This victory placed them astride the Ypres-Commines canal, having advanced three miles on an eight-mile front. Portuguese and Belgian troops assisted in this offensive, which resulted in the greatest gain the Allies had made in Belgium since the German invasion. Fighting in this terrain had been confined for many months to trench-raiding operations.
GERMAN LOSSES TO JULY
It is estimated that during April, May, and June the Germans suffered 350,000 casualties on the western front. The totals of the German official lists of losses for the entire war to July 19, 1917, were as follows: Killed or died of wounds, 1,032,800; died of sickness, 72,960; prisoners and missing, 591,966; wounded, 2,825,581; making a grand total of casualties of 4,523,307. The German naval and colonial casualties were not included in this total.
FURTHER GAINS IN FLANDERS
Fighting continued almost steadily in Flanders during the month of August, although the Allies were greatly hampered in their operations by heavy rains and mud. On a nine-mile front east and north of Ypres, a long drawn-out battle carried the advancing French and British troops more than a mile into the intricate hostile trench system on August 16, after successive advances on previous days. From Dreigrachten southward the French surged across the River Steenbeke, capturing all objectives, while at the same time the British occupied considerable territory in the region of St. Julien and Langemarck, captured the latter town, and carried the fighting beyond Langemarck. The main difficulty encountered was the mud in the approaches to the town, the infantry plunging deep into the bog at every step. Not infrequently the soldiers had to rescue a comrade who had sunk to the waist in the morass, but they continued to push forward steadily, facing machine-gun fire from hidden redoubts and battling their way past with bombs and rifle fire. There were concrete gunpits about the positions in front of the town, which was flooded from the Steenbeke River, but the infantry divided and bombed their way about on either side until they had encircled the town and passed beyond, where the Germans could be seen running away. Little resistance was offered in the town itself, but the Germans suffered severely from the preliminary bombardment, which worked havoc in their ranks, according to the prisoners taken in the Langemarck region. The contact between the French and British forces was excellent throughout the fight; in fact, the perfect co-operation of the two armies continued to be one of the minor wonders of the war.
CANADIAN VICTORIES AT LENS
Canadian troops added to their laurels by the storming and capture of Hill 70, dominating the important mining center of Lens, in northern France, August 15, following up their victory by the occupation of the fortified suburbs of the city and apparently insuring its redemption from German hands, after a struggle that had lasted for two years.
The men of the Dominion swept the Germans from the famous hill, defeated all counter-attacks, and thus gained command of the entire Loos salient. It was on this hill that the British forces under Sir John French were badly broken in their efforts to reach Lens in the first battle of Loos, in September, 1915. Hill 70 was the last high ground held by the Germans in the region of the Artois, and its fall menaced their whole line south to Queant and north to La Bassee.
The Canadian attack began at 4:25 o'clock, just as the first hint of dawn was appearing. All night the British big guns had been pouring a steady stream of high explosive shells into the German positions, great detonations overlapping one another like the rapid crackling of machine-gun fire and swelling into a mighty volume of thunder that shook the earth and stunned the senses. Then, a short time before the hour set for the attack arrived, the batteries ceased abruptly and a strange, almost oppressive stillness crept over the terrain which until then had been an inferno of crashing noise and death. It had been raining and gray clouds still hung over the trenches where crouched the Canadian infantrymen, waiting eagerly for the arrival of the moment which would summon them to attack.
Suddenly, ten minutes before the time set for the advance, every British gun within range broke out with a hurricane of shelling, and solid lines of crimson lightning belched from the German trenches as the explosives broke about them. To this lurid picture was added the spectacle of burning oil, which the British threw on the enemy lines. Great clouds of pinkish colored smoke rolled across the country from the flaming liquid and the murky sky threw back myriad colors from the conflagration below.
The moment of attack arrived, and as the British guns dropped their protecting barrage fire in front of the Canadian trenches, the clouds parted and the yellow crescent moon appeared. Under the light of this beacon the Canadians leaped over the parapets and began their methodical advance behind their barrage fire.
The British barrage was without a flaw, says an eyewitness. Behind it the Canadians mounted Hill 70 and swept along the rest of the line. On the crest of the hill, where so much blood had been, spilled before, heavy fighting might have been expected, for the position was well manned with machine guns. The resistance here, however, was not strong, and it was not until the dwellings in the outskirts of the suburbs were reached that vigorous fighting occurred. The ground over which the infantry advanced was honeycombed with British shell holes and the barbed wire defenses had been leveled, so that they gave little trouble.
FIGHT IN CELLARS AND DUGOUTS
The first serious resistance from the Germans was met at a point where the enemy was strongly intrenched in connecting cellars and there sanguinary fighting occurred. The place was a sample of many other suburbs about Lens. The city is surrounded by colliery communities which are so close together and so near the city proper that they really form part of the town. Lens, before the war, had a population of 30,000, but had become a mass of ruins.
Following their usual tactics, the Germans had carried out systematic destruction of the houses and had constructed strong underground defenses. The whole city was undermined with tunnels and dugouts, which had been reinforced with concrete, and most of the ruined buildings had been turned into machine-gun emplacements.
The effect of the preliminary British bombardment was most demoralizing to the enemy. The first German prisoners taken were in a completely dazed state as a result of the terrific bombardment they had undergone, and other Germans were seen to flee to the rear, deserting their posts as the attack began.
The result of this preliminary fire was shown in the speed of the Canadian infantry's advance. The extreme depth reached in the first stage was 1,500 yards, and this was achieved in ninety-three minutes. This new front, taken into conjunction with positions secured previously in the southwestern outskirts of Lens, established an angular line like a pair of shears whose points reached out to the north and south of the city.
As the Canadians pushed in on the northwest, a simultaneous advance was started by the troops on the lower blade of the shears, and close fighting began, with the Germans intrenched in their concreted cellars, which were linked up with barbed wire and filled with hundreds of machine guns. The capture of the entire city of Lens was then only a matter of time, as Hill 70 insured the holding of the ground won by the Canadians, German reinforcements being placed under the range of irresistible fire from that dominating height. Among the prisoners taken in the attack were many German lads apparently not more than 17 years of age.
The German commander, Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, made frantic efforts to recapture the lost positions around Lens. The taking of Hill stirred the German high command as nothing else had done on the western front for many months, and a grim battle was waged for several days. On August 16 the enemy came on ten separate times, but they seldom got close enough to the Canadians for fighting with bayonet or bomb. The Prussian Guards participated in the counter-attacks and were subjected to a terrible concentrated fire from the British artillery and Canadian machine guns. Their losses were frightful and all German efforts to retake Hill 70 came to naught, while their hold on the central portion of the mining city became most precarious, as the Canadians consolidated the advantageous positions their valor had finally won.
RUSSIAN VICTORIES AND COLLAPSE
After the Russian revolution in March, 1917, the military affairs of the new nation entered upon a curious phase. At first the Russian army made a feint to advance on Pinsk, to cover the actual operations resumed in the month of July against Lemberg. This latter front extended for eighteen and a half miles and was held by troops known as "Regiments July First." These troops, reinvigorated by the consciousness of political liberty, confounded German military prophets by the magnitude and extent of the offensive which they began. Led by Alexander Kerensky, the revolutionary minister of war, and observed by American army officers, they forced the Teutons to evacuate Brzezany, and then captured many important positions, including terrain west and south of Halicz and strongly-defended positions northwest of Stanislau. On July 11 Halicz was taken, thus smashing the Austro-German front between Brzezany and the Carpathians.
This Russian operation broadened by mid-July, so that it extended from the Gulf of Riga to the Roumanian front, a distance of 800 miles. The Germans were reported to be rushing troops from the Italian and French fronts. Widespread enthusiasm was created throughout Russia, and the moral effect on the other entente powers was tremendous.
Before the third year closed, at the end of July, however, Russia's offensive suffered a collapse. German spies, anarchists, peace fanatics, and other agitators succeeded in destroying the morale of some of the Russian troops in Galicia, where a retreat became necessary when unit after unit refused to obey orders. Brzezany, Halicz, Tarnopol, Stanislau and Kaloma were lost, together with all the remaining ground gained during the offensive. The Russians surrendered many prisoners, heavy guns, and an abundance of supplies and ammunition.
The death penalty was invoked as a check to further insubordinations and the provisional government introduced a policy of "blood and iron" in an effort to avert disaster.
South of the Carpathians and in the Vilna region there was little disaffection among the Russian troops, and Russia had not yet thrown up her hands, although the situation on the eastern front was disappointing to the Allies. Alexander Kerensky, a popular hero, became the strong man of Russia. A counter-revolution was promptly and forcibly crushed in Petrograd and an "extraordinary national council," meeting at Moscow, August 25, took steps to end the crisis. All loyal Russians, conservative and radical, were called to the aid of Kerensky, who ignored factional and party lines and succeeded in bringing something like order out of the political chaos in the new republic. Every effort was made to restore the power as well as the will of Russia to gain ultimate victory, and Elihu Root, head of a United States commission to Russia, assured the American people on his return from Petrograd that the ill effects of the revolution would soon pass away, leaving Russia once more united for action against the Teuton foe.
On August 15, Nicholas Romanoff, the deposed czar of Russia, and his entire family were removed from the palace at Tsarskoe-Selo, near Petrograd, and transported to Tobolsk in Siberia. Fifty servants who were devoted to him accompanied the ex-emperor into exile. Instead of the gorgeous imperial train in which he was wont to travel, an ordinary train composed of three sleeping cars, a dining car, and several third-class coaches was used for the transportation of Nicholas and his party, which included the former Empress Alexandra, whose pro-German attitude was a prime cause of his downfall. On arrival at Tobolsk the ex-czar and his entourage were received as political prisoners.
GERMAN SUBMARINE CAMPAIGN FAILS
The campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare, which was relied upon by Germany to win the war by the extinction of the British mercantile marine and the stoppage of transatlantic supplies, had proved a failure by August, 1917, after six months' duration. While the tonnage destroyed by the undersea instruments of frightfulness was sufficiently serious to cause grave alarm on both sides of the Atlantic, it formed but a small percentage of the ships actively and continually engaged in the transportation of munitions and supplies, while it was practically counterbalanced by the activities of Allied shipbuilders and by the seizure for Allied service of interned German ships in the countries that entered the war subsequent to February 1, 1917, when the campaign of unrestricted destruction began. Determined efforts were made by the British, French and United States navies to cope with the undersea enemy, and these were increasingly successful. Many merchant ships and transports were convoyed to safety by the destroyers of the three great naval Allies, and by August the fear that Britain could be starved out by means of German submarines had practically disappeared. The record of sinkings of British vessels for the first twenty-four weeks after the "unrestricted" warfare began was as follows:
Over Under 1,600 1,600 Smaller Week tons. tons.
First............ 14 9 Second........... 13 4 Third............ 16 8 Fourth .......... 19 7 Fifth............ 18 13 Sixth ........... 17 2 Seventh.......... 19 9 Eighth .......... 40 15 Ninth............ 38 13 Tenth............ 24 22 Eleventh ........ 18 5 Twelfth.......... 18 5 Thirteenth ...... 18 1 Fourteenth ...... 15 3 Fifteenth........ 22 10 Sixteenth........ 27 5 Seventeenth ..... 21 7 Eighteenth ...... 15 5 Nineteenth ...... 14 3 Twentieth........ 14 4 Twenty-first..... 21 3 Twenty-second ... 18 3 Twenty-third..... 21 2 Twenty-fourth ... 14 2
Total............ 474 164
Grand total of ships sunk......
KING OF GREECE DEPOSED
King Constantine I of Greece was forced by the Allies to abdicate his throne on June 12, 1917, in favor of his second son, Prince Alexander. The kingdom remained, but not a pro-German one as before. In order to block the designs of the King and court, who were doing their best to deliver Greece to the Germans, the Entente powers were obliged to make a succession of demands upon the Greek government, including the demobilization of most of the army, the surrender of the fleet, and the withdrawal of Greek troops from Thessaly. In an effort to enforce their demands the Entente allies landed marines in Athens—who were fired upon—and finally declared an embargo on imports into Greece. Turmoil and intrigue continued, and pressure was brought to bear upon Constantine which compelled him to abdicate the throne. Venizelos returned as premier and Greece was announced as a belligerent on the side of the Entente.