Obvious printer's errors have been corrected. Hyphenation and accentuation have been made consistent. All other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has been retained.
THE STORY OF THE GREAT WAR
History of the European War from Official Sources
Complete Historical Records of Events to Date, Illustrated with Drawings, Maps, and Photographs
What the War Means to America Major General Leonard Wood, U.S.A.
Naval Lessons of the War Rear Admiral Austin M. Knight, U.S.N.
The World's War Frederick Palmer
Theatres of the War's Campaigns Frank H. Simonds
The War Correspondent Arthur Ruhl
Francis J. Reynolds Former Reference Librarian of Congress
Allen L. Churchill Associate Editor, The New International Encyclopedia
Francis Trevelyan Miller Editor in Chieft, Photographic History of the Civil War
P. F. Collier & Son Company New York
THE STORY OF THE GREAT WAR
Champagne . Artois . Grodno Fall of Nish . Caucasus Mesopotamia . Development of Air Strategy . United States and the War
P . F . Collier & Son . New York
Copyright 1916 By P. F. Collier & Son
PART I.—WAR IN SYRIA AND EGYPT
I. Renewed Turkish Attempts 9
PART II.—WAR IN THE AIR
II. Raids of the Airmen 16
III. Zeppelins Attack London—Battles in the Air 29
IV. Venice Attacked—Other Raids 34
PART III.—THE WESTERN FRONT
V. Summary of First Year's Operations 39
VI. Fighting in Artois and the Vosges 46
VII. Political Crisis in France—Aeroplane Warfare—Fierce Combats in the Vosges—Preparations for Allied Offense 52
VIII. The Great Champagne Offensive 61
IX. The British Front in Artois 81
X. The Battle of Loos 90
XI. The Cavell Case—Accident to King George 98
XII. Operations in Champagne And Artois—Preparations for Winter Campaign 104
XIII. Events in the Winter Campaign 117
XIV. The Battle of Verdun—The German Attack 131
PART IV.—THE WAR AT SEA
XV. Naval Situation at the Beginning of the Second Year—Submarine Exploits 143
XVI. The Sinking of the Arabic—British Submarine Successes 150
XVII. Cruise of the Moewe—Loss of British Battleships 156
XVIII. Continuation of War on Merchant Shipping—Italian and Russian Naval Movements—Sinking of La Provence 165
PART V.—THE WAR ON THE EASTERN FRONT
XIX. Summary of First Year's Operations 174
XX. The Fall of the Niemen and Nareff Fortresses 178
XXI. The Conquest of Grodno and Vilna 185
XXII. The Capture of Brest-Litovsk 193
XXIII. The Struggle in East Galicia and Volhynia and the Capture of Pinsk 200
XXIV. In the Pripet Marshes 209
XXV. Fighting on the Dvina and in the Dvina-Vilna Sector 212
XXVI. Winter Battles on the Styr and Strypa Rivers 223
XXVII. On the Tracks of the Russian Retreat 229
XXVIII. Sidelights on the Russian Retreat and German Advance 240
XXIX. Winter on the Eastern Front 250
PART VI.—THE BALKANS
XXX. Battle Clouds Gather Again 255
XXXI. The Invasion Begins 263
XXXII. Bulgaria Enters the War 269
XXXIII. The Teutonic Invasion Rolls on 273
XXXIV. The Fall of Nish—Defense of Babuna Pass 282
XXXV. Bulgarian Advance—Serbian Resistance 290
XXXVI. End of German Operations—Flight of Serb People—Greece 300
XXXVII. Allies Withdraw into Greece—Attitude of Greek Government 308
XXXVIII. Bulgarian Attacks—Allies Concentrate at Saloniki 316
XXXIX. Italian Movements in Albania—Conquest of Montenegro 327
XL. Conditions in Serbia, Greece, and Rumania 339
PART VII.—THE DARDANELLES AND RUSSO-TURKISH CAMPAIGN
XLI. Conditions in Gallipoli—Attack at Suvla Bay 344
PART VIII.—AGGRESSIVE TURKISH CAMPAIGN AT DARDANELLES
XLII. Sari Bair—Partial Withdrawal of Allies 353
XLIII. Aggressive Turkish Movements—Opinion in England—Change in Command 357
XLIV. Abandonment of Dardanelles—Armenian Atrocities 369
XLV. Campaign in Caucasus—Fall of Erzerum 380
PART IX.—ITALY IN THE WAR
XLVI. Review OF Preceding Operations—Italian Movements 393
XLVII. Italy's Relations to the Other Warring Nations 399
XLVIII. Problems of Strategy 404
XLIX. Move Against Germany 410
L. Renewed Attacks—Italy's Situation At the Beginning of March, 1916 413
PART X.—CAMPAIGN IN MESOPOTAMIA
LI. Operations Against Bagdad and Around the Tigris 419
LII. Advance Toward Bagdad—Battle of Kut-el-Amara 426
LIII. Battle of Ctesiphon 437
LIV. Stand at Kut-el-Amara—Attempts at Relief 444
PART XI.—THE WAR IN THE AIR
LV. Development of the Strategy and Tactics of Air Fighting 454
LVI. Zeppelin Raids—Attacks on German Arms Factories—German Over-Sea Raids 459
LVII. Attacks on London—Bombardment of Italian Ports—Aeroplane as Commerce Destroyer 466
LVIII. Air Fighting on all Fronts—Losses 473
PART XII.—THE UNITED STATES AND THE BELLIGERENTS
LIX. Sinking of the Arabic—Another Crisis—Germany's Defense and Concessions 480
LX. Issue with Austria-Hungary Over the Ancona—Surrender to American Demands 490
LXI. The Lusitania Deadlock—Agreement Blocked by Armed Merchantmen Issue—Crisis in Congress 496
LXII. Developments of Pro-German Propaganda—Munitions Crusade Defended—New Aspects of American Policy 505
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Kaiser Wilhelm Inspecting His Troops Frontispiece
Opposite Page Zigzag Trenches in the Champagne 62
German Infantry Storming a Hill 94
General Joffre and General Petain 142
Austrian Infantry in Russia 238
Constructing a Bridge Over the Danube 270
British Hydroplane on Guard at Saloniki 318
Aeroplane Guns on Turntable 462
Firing a Torpedo from the Deck of a Destroyer 494
LIST OF MAPS
Page Middle Europe—The German Vision of an Empire from the Baltic to the Persian Gulf (Colored Map) Front Insert
Champagne District, The 63
Battle in Champagne, September, 1915, Detail Map of 69
Artois Region, September, 1915, The French Gains in 86
Battle at Loos, The 95
Verdun, The Forts at 134
Verdun, Fighting at, up to March 1, 1916 141
Verdun (Colored Map) Opposite 142
Kiel Canal 167
Russia, The Battle Front in, January 1, 1916 228
Balkan (Serbian) Operations, General Map of 262
German-Austro-Bulgar Campaign Against Serbia, The Beginning of the 268
Retreat of Serbians 304
Saloniki, The Allies at 324
Montenegro, The Austrian Campaign in 335
Dardanelles, Operations at the 368
Turkish Empire, The 381
Turkey in Armenia, The Russian Advance on 390
Bagdad Railroad, The 420
Russian Advance Through Persia, The 438
Mesopotamia, The British Campaign in 451
PART I—WAR IN SYRIA AND EGYPT
RENEWED TURKISH ATTEMPTS
The leaders of the Turkish troops had been hard at work arousing the fanaticism of the Turkish soldiery against the British foe before the next day's battle began. It is due these noisy "Holy Warriors" that sentries of the Fifth Egyptian Field Battery were warned of the near presence of the enemy.
The Indian troops now took the offensive, supported by the warships and mountain and field artillery. The Serapeum garrison, consisting of Ninety-second Punjabis and Rajputs, now cleared its front of the enemy who had been stopped three-quarters of a mile away. A counterattack made by the Sixty-second Punjabis of the Tussum garrison drove the Turks back. Two battalions of the Turkish Twenty-eighth Regiment now joined the fight, but the British artillery threw them into disorder, and by 3 p. m. of February 3, 1915, the Moslems were in retreat, leaving behind them a rear guard of a few hundred men hidden in the gaps among the brush along the eastern bank.
The warships on Lake Timsah had been in action since morning, and the sand hills near Ismailia were at first crowded by civilians and soldiers eager to witness the fight, until the Turkish guns to the east and southeast of the Ferry post drove them in cover.
About 11 a. m. an old unprotected Indian Marine transport, H. M. S. Hardinge, was struck by two 6-inch shells. One carried away the funnel and the other burst inboard doing much damage. Two of the crew were killed and nine wounded. George Carew, the pilot, lost a leg, but continued on duty and helped to bring the injured vessel into Ismailia. The French coast guard battleship Requin came now under the Turkish fire, but her 10.8-inch guns soon silenced the enemy's batteries.
The morning of February 3, 1915, the Turks advanced on the Ismailia Ferry, then held by Sikhs, Punjabi Rifles, a battery of Indian mountain artillery and Australian engineers, digging shelter pits as they moved forward, covered by two field batteries. Their advance was stopped by the British guns when they had come within 1,000 yards of the outpost line. During the afternoon the Turks kept up some desultory firing that was ineffective; they also engaged in some reconnoitering of British positions during the dark night that followed, but when morning broke they had all disappeared.
Meanwhile, at El Kantara the struggle had reached much the same conclusion. The Indian troops had repelled an advance from the south, in which two Turkish regiments, the Eightieth and Eighty-first of the Twenty-seventh Division, were engaged. H.M.S. Swiftsure, which had taken the place of the disabled Hardinge, aided by Indian and Territorial artillery, did effective work in covering the British positions. The nature of the ground here was so marshy that in places the Turks sank to their waists in muddy ooze, and foredoomed their attack to failure. Again it was demonstrated that they are poor strategists and fail to make careful observations of the terrain before advancing to attack. At El Ferdan, where some Turks made a demonstration with a battery about this time, there were no losses, though the gunboat Clio was hit several times. At El Kantara, where a part of General Cox's brigade of Gurkhas, Sikhs, and Punjabis were engaged, there were thirty casualties.
Between Tussum and Serapeum there was some sniping during the late afternoon of February 3 from the east bank of the canal, during which a British sailor was killed on H.M.S. Swiftsure. The desultory firing continued during the night and through the early morning of February 4. A deplorable incident occurred this day in which a brave British officer and several of his men were the victims of Turkish treachery. Several hundred Turks had been discovered by half a battalion of Ninety-second Punjabis sent out from Serapeum. In the encounter that followed, some of the Turks held up their hands as a sign of surrender, while others continued to fire. Captain Cochran of the Ninety-second company, who was advancing with his men to take the surrender, was killed. A few of his soldiers also fell, and some others were wounded. The British took a prompt and complete revenge for the loss of these men. After being reenforced by Indian troops they overpowered the enemy in a hand-to-hand struggle, in which a Turkish officer was killed by a British officer in a sword combat. The Turks had lost in this brisk engagement about 120 killed and wounded, and 6 officers and 25 men were captured with 3 Maxim guns.
The Turkish attempts at Suez on February 2, 1915, were insignificant, and did not cost the British the loss of a single man. By nightfall, just as their compatriots had done along other parts of the canal, the Turks fled in the direction of Nakhl, Djebel, Habeite, and Katia. On the afternoon of the 4th, when the fighting between Serapeum and Tussum was concluded, Indian cavalry and various patrols captured some men and war materials. At Ismailia preparations were under way to pursue the retreating Turks across the canal. This plan, for some reason, was subsequently abandoned.
During these various fights along the canal, the British had lost 115 killed and wounded, a small number considering the character of the ground and the very numerous attacks and skirmishes. Nine hundred Turks were buried or found drowned in the canal, 650 were taken prisoners, while it is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 must have been wounded. The brunt of the struggle fell on the Indian troops, who, in general, fought with great bravery. There were some Australian and Egyptian troops engaged who proved themselves valuable auxiliaries.
In these engagements along the canal the Syrian Moslems displayed even greater bravery than the Turks, who were not lacking in intrepidity, though they showed poor judgment. They had much to learn in the way of taking cover, and would often blindly advance over difficult ground that placed them at a disadvantage.
Djemal Pasha had evidently counted on an Egyptian rising, and perhaps a mutiny of the Indian Moslem troops, but he showed that he entirely misjudged their sentiments, as they displayed great bitterness toward the Turks during the fighting, and attacked them in a thoroughly vindictive spirit. If Djemal had not counted on help from these quarters he would probably not have attempted to break through the British positions covering a ninety-mile front with such a small force. It was estimated that he had about 25,000 men, but not more than half of these were brought into action at any given point where they might have achieved some success. The Turks had burned up some war material and left a few deserters behind them, but they had retreated in good order, and the British commanders had reason to believe that they should soon be heard from again, and that a main attack was contemplated.
On February 6, 1915, British aeroplane observers discovered that the Turks in front of the Tussum-Deversoir section had gathered at Djebel, Habeite, and were strongly reenforced. It appeared that Djemal was now preparing to attack in force. The British were quite ready for them, having been reenforced on February 3 and 4 by the Seventh and Eighth Australian battalions, a squadron of the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry, and the Herts, and Second County of London Yeomanry. But the British hopes of a decisive engagement were blighted by the general retirement of the Turkish army with their reenforcements.
They crossed the desert successfully, thanks to the organizing skill of Kress von Kressenstein and Roshan Bey, and set off for the Turkish base at Beersheba, spreading the news along the road that they had won a victory and would soon return to Egypt and achieve another, this by way of keeping the Syrians reassured that success was on the Moslem side.
In January, 1915, the commander of Turkish troops at Fort Nakhl, hearing that the Government quarantine station at Tor was undefended, sent a body of men under two German officers to occupy the place. The raiders found on their arrival at Tor that about 200 Egyptian soldiers were in occupation and waited there until they received reenforcements, which brought their force up to 400 men. For the time they occupied a small village about five miles north of Tor, occasionally firing a shot at long range and sending arrogant messages to the Egyptians. On February 11 a detachment of Ghurkas embarked secretly from Suez, and advancing over the hills in the rear of the Turks, surprised their position on the following morning. In the encounter that followed the Turks were annihilated. Sixty lay dead on the field, and over a hundred, including a Turkish officer, were made prisoners. On the British side one Ghurka was killed and another wounded. It was a disappointment that the German officers and a few men had left the camp some days before for Abu Zenaima on the coast, where there was a British-owned manganese mine, which the raiders damaged as best they could, and then stealing some camels, departed for the fort at Nakhl.
The failure of the Turks to win any success at that canal, and their subsequent retreat, had a discouraging influence on the Bedouin levies, who had joined Djemal Pasha and Hilmi Bey, and they now chose the first opportunity to vanish with the new rifles that had been given to them.
For a month the Turks did nothing but keep the British troops occupied by petty raids and feint attacks, which were worrisome, but better than utter stagnation.
On March 22, 1915, a Turkish column with guns and cavalry appeared near the canal near El Kubri, and their advance guard of about 400 encountered a patrol of nine men under Havildar Subha Singh of the Fifty-sixth Punjab Rifles. The Havildar retired fighting courageously, holding the enemy back until he had got his men to safety, with a loss of two killed and three wounded. The Havildar, who was badly wounded himself, received the Indian Order of Merit and was promoted to Jemadar. He had inflicted on the enemy a loss of twelve men and fifteen wounded.
On March 23, 1915, General Sir G. J. Younghusband set out to attack the Turks who had been under the command of Colonel van Trommer, but owing to delays they had had time to retreat toward Nakhl. In the pursuit that followed, their rear guard lost about forty men and some were taken prisoners. There were about a dozen British casualties.
On April 29, 1915, a raiding party with Maxims attacked a detachment of Bikanir Camel Corps and Egyptian sappers near Bir Mahadet, which resulted in the wounding of a British officer, and five killed and three wounded among the Egyptians and Bikaniris. A punitive expedition sent out to attack the raiders marched through the night to Bir Mahadet only to find that the Turks had fled. The British aeroplane soon after "spotted" the enemy near a well six miles north. The Patiala cavalry, who were leading, came up with the Turkish rear guard in the afternoon and charged. The Turks stampeded, except for a small group of Turkish soldiers led by a plucky Albanian officer, who held their ground and attacked from the flank the advancing British officers and Patiala cavalry. Two British officers and a native officer were killed or badly wounded in the subsequent charge. The Albanian, who had displayed such courage, proved to be a son of Djemal Pasha. He fell with seven lance thrusts, none of which however proved fatal, while all his men were killed or captured. The British had four or five times as many men as the escaping enemy, but they did not pursue.
In June, 1915, Colonel von Laufer and a mixed force attempted a feeble raid on the canal near El Kantara, but were driven off with some loss by the Yeomanry, who had done effective work in keeping the enemy away from the British lines. A mine having been found near the canal about this time, the Porte informed the neutral powers that the canal must be closed to navigation owing to the arbitrary conduct of the British in Egypt. But the Turks were not in a position to carry out their threats, owing to the vigorous attack on the Dardanelles. Troops were hurried from Syria to Constantinople, and by June 6 less than 25,000 Turkish troops remained in central and southern Syria and the Sinai Peninsula. At Nakhl and El Arish there were left about 7,000 veteran desert fighters, but the British air scouts kept a watchful eye on the desert roads, and used bombs with such effect that the Turks were kept in a constant state of apprehension by their attacks.
At Sharkieh, the eastern province of the Delta, there had been some uneasiness when the Turks made their unsuccessful strikes at the canal, but the population gave no trouble. At Alexandria and Cairo some few fanatics and ignorant people of the lower classes displayed some opposition to the Government. The sultan was fired on April 8, 1915, by a degenerate, Mohammed Khalil, a haberdasher of Masoura, the bullet missing the victim by only a few inches. Khalil was tried by court-martial and executed April 24. The attempt on Sultan Hussein's life had the effect of making him friends from among the disaffected in the higher classes who found it wise policy to express their horror of the attempted crime, and to proclaim their allegiance to the Government. On April 9 the sultan received a popular ovation while on his way to the mosque.
As a base for the allied Mediterranean expeditionary force, and as a training ground for Australian, Indian, and British troops, Egypt in 1915 was of the utmost military importance to the British Empire. From the great camps around Cairo and the canal, forces could be dispatched for service in Europe, Mesopotamia, and at the Dardanelles, while fresh contingents of soldiers were constantly arriving to take their places.
On July 5, 1915, a body of Turks and Arabs from Yemen in southwest Arabia made a threatening demonstration against Aden, the "Gibraltar of the East," on the Strait of Perim at the entrance to the Red Sea. They were equipped with some field guns and light artillery, and crossing the Aden hinterland near Lahej, forced the British to retire on Aden.
On July 29, 1915, Sheikh Othman, which had been abandoned by the British on their retreat on the 5th, was again occupied by them, and the Turks and Arabs were expelled. The British troops drove the enemy for five miles across the country, causing some casualties, when the Turks and their allies scattered and disappeared.
PART II—WAR IN THE AIR
RAIDS OF THE AIRMEN
The war in the air developed into a reign of terror during the second half of the first year of the world catastrophe. While the armies on the land were locked in terrific conflict, and the navies were sweeping the seas, the huge ships of the air were hovering over cities with a desperate resolve to win on all sides. By degrees the pilots of the various nations learned to work in squadrons. The tactics of the air began to be developed and opposing aerial fleets maneuvered much as did the warships. Long raids by fifty or more machines were reported, tons of bombs being released upon cities hundreds of miles from the battle line.
The German ambition to shell London was realized, and the east coast of England grew accustomed to raids. The spirit of the British never faltered. Perhaps it was best typified in the admonition of a Yarmouth minister following a disastrous Zeppelin visit, who said: "It is our privilege, we who live on the east coast, to be on the firing line, and we should steel ourselves to face the position with brave hearts."
Casualties grew in all quarters. French cities were the greatest sufferers, although French airmen performed prodigies of valor in defending the capital and in attacks upon German defensive positions. But the stealthy Zeppelin took heavy toll on many occasions. It was shown that there was no really adequate defense against sudden attack from the air. Constant watchfulness and patrolling machines might be eluded at night and death rained upon the sleeping city beneath.
The spring of 1915 found the air service of every army primed for a dash. The cold months were spent in repairing, reorganizing and extending aerial squadrons. Everything awaited the advent of good weather conditions.
During February, 1915, the hand of tragedy fell upon the German air service. Two Zeppelins and another large aircraft were wrecked within a couple of days.
In a storm over the North Sea on February 16, 1915, a Zeppelin fought heroically. Contrary air currents compelled the Zeppelin commander to maneuver over a wide zone in an effort to reach land. Caught in the gale the big dirigible was at the mercy of the elements. Snow, sleet, and fog enveloped it and added to its peril. The craft caught in the February storm, fought a losing battle for twenty-four hours and finally made a landing on Fanoe Island, in Danish territory. The officers and men were interned, several of whom were suffering from exposure in an acute form and nearly all of them with frostbitten hands and feet.
Another Zeppelin was lost in this same February storm. It is presumed that the two started on a raiding trip against England and were caught in the storm before reaching their destination. Details of the second Zeppelin's fate never have been told. It fell into the sea, where parts of the wreckage were found by Dutch fishermen. All on board lost their lives. The third airship wrecked that month was of another type than the Zeppelin. It foundered off the west coast of Jutland and four of its crew were killed. The others escaped, but the airship was a total loss.
This trio of accidents shocked the German official world to its depths and had a chilling effect upon the aerial branch of its military organization for some weeks. The Zeppelins remained at home until the return of better weather. England, for a time, was practically freed from the new menace.
It was not accident alone, nor an adverse fortune, which caused the loss of the three airships. The position of the British Isles, on the edge of the Atlantic, enabled British weather forecasters to tell with almost unfailing exactness when a storm was to be expected. The French also had an excellent service in this direction. Realizing that bad weather was the worst foe of the Zeppelin, aside from its own inherent clumsiness, the two governments agreed to suppress publication of weather reports, thereby keeping from the Germans information of a vital character. The German Government maintained a skilled weather department, but the geographical location of the country is such that its forecasters could not foretell with the same accuracy the conditions on the Atlantic. The shrewd step of the French and British therefore resulted in the destruction of three dirigibles in a single month, a much higher average than all the efforts of land guns and aviators had been able to achieve.
February, 1915, was a bleak, drear month. Aviators of all the armies made daily scouting trips, but wasted little time in attacking each other. Few raids of importance took place on any of the fronts. But British airmen descended upon German positions in Belgium on several occasions. Zeebrugge, Ostend, and Blankenberghe received their attention in a half dozen visits between February 5 and 20.
On February 16, 1915, a large fleet of aeroplanes, mostly British, swept along the Flanders coast, attacking defensive positions wherever sighted. At the same time, French airmen shelled the aeroplane center at Ghistelles, preventing the Germans from sending a squadron against the other flotilla.
Paris, Dunkirk, and Calais glimpsed an occasional enemy aeroplane, but they were bent on watching troop movements and only a few stray bombs were dropped. The inactivity of the armies, burrowed in their winter quarters, was reflected in the air.
It was announced by the French Foreign Office that from the beginning of hostilities up to February 1, 1915, French aircraft had made 10,000 reconnaissances, covering a total of more than 1,250,000 miles. This represented 18,000 hours spent in the air.
Antwerp, which had surrendered to the Germans, was visited by British flyers on March 7, 1915. They bombarded the submarine plant at Hoboken, a suburb. The plant at this point had been quickly developed by the conquerors and the harbor served as a refuge for many undersea boats. Numerous attacks on ships off the Dutch mainland persuaded the British authorities that a blow at Hoboken would be a telling stroke against German submarines, and so the event proved. Several craft were sunk or badly damaged. Bombs set fire to the submarine works and much havoc was wrought among the material stored there. A number of employees were injured. The Antwerp populace cheered the airmen on their trip across the city and back to the British lines, for which a fine was imposed upon the city.
During March, 1915, there was some activity in the East, where Zeppelins shelled Warsaw in Poland, killing fifty persons and causing many fires. One of the raiders was brought down on March 18, and her crew captured. The Russian service suffered losses, Berlin announcing the capture of six aeroplanes in a single week. One of these was of the Sikorsky type, a giant battle plane carrying a half dozen men.
Shortly after one o'clock on the morning of March 21, 1915, two Zeppelins appeared above Paris. Four of the raiders started from the German lines originally, but two were forced to turn back. They were first seen above Compiegne, north of which the German lines came nearest to Paris. The news was flashed ahead. The French airmen rose to meet them. Two of the Zeppelins eluded the patrol. Their coming was expected and when they approached the city searchlights picked them up and kept the raiders in view as they maneuvered above the French capital. The French defenders and the Zeppelin commanders met in a bold battle in the air. The Zeppelins kept up a running fight with pursuing aeroplanes while dropping bombs. They sailed across Mt. Valerien, one of the most powerful Paris forts, dropping missiles which did little harm. A searchlight from the Eiffel Tower kept them in full view. They were forced to move rapidly. Finally they swung in a big arc toward Versailles, and then turned suddenly and sailed for the heart of the city. Twenty-five bombs were dropped. Eight persons were struck and a number of fires started.
The Parisians flocked to the streets and watched the strange combat with rapt interest. Although the raiders had come before, the spectacle had not lost its fascination. Even though the authorities issued strict orders and troops tried to drive the throngs indoors, Parisians persisted in risking life and limb to see the Zeppelins battle in the night skies. Upon this occasion the battle aloft lasted until after four o'clock in the morning, or more than three hours.
On the same night, March 21, 1915, three bombs were thrown upon Villers-Cotterets, fifteen miles southwest of Soissons. There was small damage and no casualties. But the two raids emphasized that a few weeks more would see intensive resumption of war in the air.
French aviators shelled Bazincourt, Briey, Brimont, and Vailly on March 22, 1915. At Briey, the station was damaged and the railway line cut, two of the birdmen descending to within a few hundred yards of the track. Enemy batteries at Brimont suffered damage. The next day a German machine was shot down near Colmar, in Alsace, and its two occupants captured.
With the return of spring, 1915, came renewed activity among airmen on all fronts. The first day of April was marked by the loss of two German machines, one near Soissons and the other near Rheims. The first fell a victim to gunfire, both occupants being killed. The second, an Albatross model, was discovered prowling above Rheims. French pilots immediately gave chase and after a circuitous flight back and forth across the city, compelled the enemy machine to land. The pilot and observer were overpowered before they had time to set it afire, the usual procedure when captured.
A typical day of this season with the birdmen of France was April 2, 1915. A War Office report of that day tells of forty-three reconnoitering flights and twenty others for the purpose of attacking enemy positions or ascertaining the direction of gunfire. Bombs were dropped upon the hangars and aviation camp at Habsheim. The munition factories at Dietweiler, and the railway station in Walheim. The station at Bensdorf and the barracks at the same place were shelled from the air. Much damage was done.
Seven French aeroplanes flew over the Woevre region on this day, penetrating as far as Vigneulles, where the aerial observers discovered barracks covered with heavy corrugated iron. The machines descended in long spirals and dropped a number of bombs, setting the barracks afire. Troops were seen rushing in all directions from the burning structures.
The aviation camp at Coucu-le-Chateau, north of Soissons, and the station at Comines, Belgium, were under fire from the air. In Champagne a quantity of shells were unloosed upon the station at Somme-Py and Dontrein, near Eacille and St. Etienne-sur-Suippe enemy bivouacs were bombarded. Other bivouacs at Basancourt and Pont Faverger were struck by arrows dropped from the skies.
These numerous raids and reconnaissances were repeated every day at many points. German airmen were not less active than those of the Allies. Neither side allowed a fine day to pass without watching the enemy from the air and striking him at such places and times as they could.
Early on the morning of April 13, 1915, a Zeppelin was discovered surveying allied gun positions near Ypres, in Belgium. The batteries immediately opened fire and several shells found their target, judging from the heavy list which the airship developed. It was seen to be in serious trouble as it made its escape. Amsterdam reported the following day that the craft fell near Thielt, a complete wreck. What became of the crew never was learned.
The raids on England were now resumed. On April 13, 1915, a Zeppelin visited Newcastle-on-Tyne and several near-by towns. Newcastle, a great naval station and manufacturing city, had been the objective of previous air attacks that brought forth little result. The Zeppelin commander, who directed the bombardment of the thirteenth, was well informed and proceeded straight to the arsenal and naval workshops. More than a dozen bombs fell. Strangely enough none of these caused material loss, and there were no casualties. Dwellings were set afire in other quarters of the city. The stir that followed brought England to the realization that better weather was dawning and with it an imminent peril. Efforts were redoubled to ward off aerial raiders.
A flotilla of Zeppelins shelled Blyth, Wallsend, and South Shields, on the northeastern coast of England on the night of April 14, 1915. This attack was directed primarily at the industrial and shipping centers of Tyneside. Berlin claimed a distinct success, but the British denied that extensive harm had been done.
French airmen drove home an attack on April 15, 1915, that had important results. The station at Saint-Quentin was shelled from the air and upward of 150 freight cars and extensive freight sheds destroyed. Some of the cars contained benzol, the explosion of which spread burning liquid in every direction. Adjacent buildings were consumed by the spreading fire and it seemed that Saint-Quentin itself might go. Twenty-four German soldiers were killed and the fire burned from four o'clock in the afternoon until six the next morning, the explosion of shells being frequently heard. These facts were communicated to the French by spies and prisoners and thus written into the war's record.
Lowestoft and Maldon, only thirty miles from London, were the mark of bombs on the morning of April 16, 1915. The raiders arrived at Lowestoft about midnight and released three bombs, one of which killed two horses. A half hour later they appeared over Maldon, where six bombs were dropped. Several fires broke out. There was a panic when searchlights revealed one of the raiders still hovering above the city. But he apparently was merely bent on learning the extent of his success, as he passed on to Hebridge, two miles away, where a building was fired by a bursting shell.
Another German squadron of six craft was sighted at Ipswich, approaching from the direction of the channel. A few fires in Ipswich and two persons hurt at Southwold were the only evidences of the visit. This raid was made significant by the fact that the squadron paid small attention to towns in its route, proceeding to Henham Hall, residence of the Countess Stradbroke, near Southwold. It then was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers. A half dozen bombs fell in close proximity to the main building, but fortunately none of them struck their mark.
The evening of that day, April 26, 1915, the third raid on England in less than twenty-four hours took place. Canterbury, Sittingbourne, and Faversham were shelled, all three towns being within thirty miles of London. British machines drove the invaders off. About half past one of the next morning a Zeppelin dropped seven bombs in the neighborhood of Colchester. It was evident from these frequent visitations that the German authorities were bent on reaching London itself. Nearly every raid brought the enemy craft nearer. The gain of almost a mile was made on each raid. The Germans were wary and evidently suspected that London's air defenses were adequate. The small towns which they shelled were of no importance whatever from a military standpoint, and such casualties as resulted were insignificant as compared to the death roll that London might be expected to yield.
A French squadron engaged in a raid of some consequence on April 16, 1915. Leopoldshoehe, east of Rurigue, fell a victim. Workshops, where shells were made, came in for a heavy aerial bombardment. Fire started which swept away several buildings. Equipment and supplies were smashed. Other bombs dropped on a powder magazine at Rothwell caused a second fire. The electric plant at Maixienes-les-Metz, ten miles north of Metz, which supplied the city with light and power, was rendered useless. Munition plants and the station in Metz itself suffered, and three German aeroplanes guarding the city were compelled to land under the guns of the fortress when the French squadron turned about. This dash was a profitable one for the French and showed a new organization that promised well for the future. Just how many machines took part was not learned, but there probably were forty or fifty. North of Ypres French gunners brought down a German aeroplane which fell behind the enemy's trenches, ablaze from end to end.
The Germans took similar toll. Several of their flyers shelled Amiens on April 17, 1915, dropping bombs which killed or wounded ten persons in the vicinity of the cathedral. The invaders sailed up in the night and descended to a point just above the city before dropping the first bomb. They were off in a couple of minutes, before pursuing machines could engage them.
All of these raids were more or less effective. At the time they attracted wide attention, but as the war wore on the world became accustomed to aerial attacks. The total of lives lost and the destruction caused never will be accurately known.
On April 21, 1915, came news of another trip to Warsaw by Zeppelins, a dozen persons being killed. Bombs fell in the center of the city and the post-office building was struck. A resumption of activity in that quarter was productive of raids, clashes in the air and Zeppelin alarms, such as were common in the western theatre, but on a lesser scale, as the Russians and Austrians possessed only a limited air equipment and the Germans were compelled to concentrate the bulk of their machines elsewhere.
In the southern war zone the aerial operations recommenced with April, 1915. The Austrians made several more or less futile attacks on Venice. Italian cities, especially Venice, Verona, and others near the border removed many of their art works to safe places, including stained-glass windows from cathedrals, canvases, and statuary. The base of the Campanile, Venice, and other historic edifices were protected with thousands of sandbags. The famous horses brought from Constantinople were taken down. This denuding process robbed the ancient seat of Venetian power of its many splendors, but assured their preservation and future restoration.
The Austrian bombs started numerous fires, tore up a few streets, and caused some casualties. In turn, the Italians dashed across the Austrian lines and attacked supply bases, railway stations, and other vantage points in the same way that the Allies were harrowing the Germans on the western front. In this work the Italians made use to some extent of their dirigibles, a type smaller than the Zeppelin but highly efficient.
Thirty persons were killed or wounded in Calais on April 26, 1915, when a Zeppelin succeeded in reaching a point above one of the thickly populated sections of the city. The raid took place before midnight. The visitor was quickly driven away by a French machine, but not until the damage had been done. An orphanage was among the buildings struck, many of the victims being children. A fleet of aeroplanes visited Amiens at about the same hour, their efforts being directed to the bombardment of ammunition depots near that city. The invaders were driven off with small results to show for their work.
In a raid on April 28, 1915, upon Friedrichshafen, so often the mark of airmen, several airship sheds and a Zeppelin were damaged. A nearly simultaneous bombardment of Leopoldshoehe, Loerrach, and the station at Haltinge resulted in the destruction of train sheds and two locomotives. Forty-two members of the Landsturm were killed or wounded at Loerrach and two aeroplanes put out of commission, service being cut on the railway line. This was the official French version. Geneva gave a different and more vivid account. According to the Swiss, the French airmen visited Friedrichshafen twice within thirty-six hours, destroying five airships, setting fire to several buildings, and causing at least $1,000,000 damage. The report said that they returned by way of Metz, dropping arrows and bombs, and wrecking the station at Loerrach.
The east coast of England was the victim of an air raid on April 30, 1915. Hostile aircraft were sighted over Ipswich, about sixty-five miles from London, shortly after midnight. The alarm was spread westward, whence the craft were bound. Five bombs fell upon Ipswich, but no one was killed. A few dwellings and commercial buildings were struck, fires starting which the local department soon controlled. Only a few minutes after the machines shelled Ipswich, they were seen to approach Bury St. Edmunds, fourteen miles to the northwest of Ipswich. Three bombs failed to produce casualties, but fires were started. Little damage resulted.
On the first day of May, 1915, announcement was made in Paris that experiments conducted at Issy les Molineaux over several months had brought about successful tests in firing a three-inch gun from an aeroplane. This had never been accomplished before, and had seemed a well-nigh impossible task. An entirely new piece was developed, firing a shell of about the same size as the regular 75-millimeter field gun. It was made lighter by half, with an effective range of 2,500 meters, considerably less than the standard gun.
French skill in designing weapons, always a trait of the race, was evidenced here. The heavy steel breechblock of the seventy-five was replaced by a wooden block. When fired the explosion of the powder charge automatically blew the wooden breechblock backward, thus neutralizing the shock. But owing to the open breech much of the powder's driving force was lost. Nothing to equal the new arm had there been up to that time. The wooden breechblock completely did away with the heavy hydraulic recoil cylinders which were one of the distinguishing features of the seventy-five. These cylinders were esteemed by many authorities to be the finest in the world, absorbing maximum shock with a minimum of effort.
The coming of this new gun marked a big step forward in aerial war and gave the French machines so equipped a decided advantage. Its effect was to make the German flyers more wary, avoiding combat except when impossible to avoid the issue. But its use was confined to the larger machines as a rule, particularly the Voisin biplane, the machine gun being favored by many airmen because of its lightness and the ease with which it could be handled.
The beginning of May, 1915, found aerial warfare in full progress again. The British defense squadrons showed somewhat better generalship and it was not until the tenth of the month that Zeppelins obtained any appreciable advantage in that quarter. But two of the raiders evaded the patrols on the night of May 10, 1915, and dropped bombs upon Westcliff-on-Sea, near Southend, at the mouth of the Thames, a bare twenty-five miles from London. There were no fatalities, but a man and his wife were badly burned when their home caught fire from a bursting bomb. At Leigh, near Southend, several shops were burned. It was reported that four Zeppelins had been seen at Leigh, whereas Westcliff-on-Sea saw but two. If the larger number were correct it would indicate that the Germans were becoming more determined to reach London. One feature of the raid at Westcliff-on-Sea was that of sixty bombs dropped only a few struck in the town. Most of them fell on the beach and the sand neutralized any effects that the missiles might have had.
The Bull and George Hotel at Ramsgate was completely wrecked by bombs which struck it on the night of May 17, 1915. An instance of the vagaries of explosives was furnished by this raid. One of the bombs which struck the hotel penetrated the roof and fell upon a bed on which a woman was sleeping. It wrecked the room and tore a great hole in the floor through which the bed and occupant fell to the cellar. The sleeper was badly hurt and the bed practically uninjured. Fires started by other bombs in Ramsgate soon were extinguished.
Advices from Rotterdam stated that during this raid a Zeppelin fell into the Gierlesche Woods, Belgium, two men being hurt. The cause of the airship's plight was unknown, but the damage made it necessary that the frame be taken apart and sent to Germany for repairs.
One of the oddest combats of the war was staged on this day—May 17, 1915. A Zeppelin, flying from the direction of the English coast, was sighted in the channel by a French torpedo boat. The craft was at a comparatively low altitude and furnished an excellent mark. Only a few shots had been fired when it was seen to be in distress. The Zeppelin made several frantic efforts to rise, then fell into the sea within four miles of Gravelines. It sank before aid could be given the crew.
May 17, 1915, was a bad day for Zeppelins. One of the dirigibles supposed to have attacked Ramsgate early that morning was discovered off Nieuport, Belgium, by a squadron of eight British naval machines which had made a sortie from Dunkirk. They surrounded the enemy craft and three of the pilots succeeded in approaching close to the Zeppelin. Four bombs were dropped upon the airship from a height of 200 feet. A column of smoke arose. The Zeppelin looked as though it would fall for a moment, but righted itself and mounted to an altitude of some 11,000 feet, finally eluding its pursuers.
Two Zeppelins and two Taubes were caught by daylight after a frustrated raid upon Calais on May 18, 1915. They were fired upon from many points. A battery at Gris Nez succeeded in hitting one of the dirigibles. The other craft of the flotilla stood by their injured fellow as long as they dared, but made off after a few minutes, as French machines were closing in from all sides. The injured Zeppelin dropped on the beach near Fort Mardick, about two miles from Dunkirk. Forty men aboard were taken prisoners, including several officers.
Two women in Southend, England, met death on May 27, 1915, when Zeppelins visited that city. A child was badly injured. The lighting plant and several industrial establishments suffered damage. Repeated attacks on Southend had resulted in the installation of searchlights and the detailing of more aviators to guard its citizens. Neither availed to prevent the loss of life, but they did succeed in driving away the raiders after their first appearance.
Of all the raids carried out during the spring and summer of 1915, one of the most important was that upon Ludwigshafen, in Bavaria. Here the laboratories of the Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik were located. This plant was said to produce two-thirds of the nitrates used in the production of ammunition for the German armies. Since the start of the war it had been the object of several attacks, none of which had noteworthy results.
But on the morning of May 26, 1915, eighteen French aeroplanes started at daybreak from a border stronghold and headed straight for Ludwigshafen. They had a supply of gasoline to last seven hours and rose to a height of 6,500 feet in order to escape detection. In this they did not succeed, but ran into several lively cannonades before reaching their destination. Once there, they circled above the big chemical works, dropping bomb after bomb. More than a ton of explosives were hurled upon the buildings in a quarter of an hour. Columns of smoke rose from the burning structures. Loud explosions issued from the smokestacks, sounding like the report of heavy guns. Workmen fled in all directions and the whole plant soon was wrapped in flames. The airmen lingered about for a short time, watching the results of their work. It became evident that the plant would be a total loss, and the flames spread to near-by buildings, for a time threatening a good part of the city.
Swiss reports of a few days later said that upward of a hundred workmen lost their lives, that scores were hurt and the property loss ran well into the millions. The blow was severe, the heaviest up to that time which German industries, far from the battle front, had sustained. It revealed a new chapter of war in the air to communities which would be snugly secure under any other condition. On the return trip, ill fortune overtook the French flotilla. The machine of its commander found it necessary to make a landing. Chief of Squadron, De Goys, and Adjutant Bunau-Varilla were captured. They burned their aeroplane before being taken prisoners.
ZEPPELINS ATTACK LONDON—BATTLES IN THE AIR
England's insularity disappeared on the night of May 31, 1915. The isolation by sea which had kept her immune from attack since the days of the Normans failed to save London from the Zeppelin. After ten months of war the British capital looked upon its dead for the first time. Four children, one woman, and one man were killed. An old apple woman died of fright. There were numerous fires, only three of which assumed serious proportions and these were extinguished by the fire department after a few hours.
London's initial glimpse of a Zeppelin was obtained about 11.30 p. m., when the theatre section was filled with homeward bound throngs. The lights attracted the raiders to this district, where a half dozen bombs were dropped. No sooner had the first of the missiles fallen than antiaircraft guns began to open a bombardment from many directions. Searchlights mounted at advantageous points threw their narrow pencils of light into the skies. The people in different sections of the city caught a fleeting glance of a huge airship that floated sullenly along, like some bird of prey from out of the past—a new pterodactyl that instead of seizing its victims dropped death upon them.
One shell fell in Trafalgar Square. The Zeppelins passed over the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, and other famous buildings, but apparently did not have their location well in mind as these noted monuments escaped harm.
But the Zeppelins had come. And they left scars which greeted Londoners the following morning to prove that the raid was not a bad dream which would disappear with the morning mists. In addition to the four persons killed, seventy others were injured, some of whom suffered the loss of limbs and other injuries that incapacitated them. Immediately there was a cry for revenge. Some of the newspapers advocated reprisals upon German cities. This the government refused to do and steadfastly adhered to a policy of war upon fortified places and armed men alone. Rioting took place in many districts where Germans were numerous. Shops and homes were looted. Every German who appeared in the streets, or any person who looked like one, was liable to attack. A number of aliens were badly handled. The public declared a spontaneous boycott upon every person having a name that seemed to be of German origin. There was a united movement to obtain some reparation for the Zeppelin raids. But the results were only trifling and the indignation died down with the passing days, British calmness soon succeeding the excitement of a moment.
Italian frontier towns became the goal of Austrian airmen on June 1, 1915. A half dozen persons were killed or injured and there was some property damaged. With warm weather and good flying conditions raids were in order every day.
On June 3, 1915, British aviators made a successful attack upon German airship sheds at Evere, Belgium. The same day French machines bombarded the headquarters of the crown prince in the Argonne, with what results never was definitely established, although there were reports that several high officers had been killed.
It was made known in London on June 3, 1915, that Great Britain and Germany had agreed to a plan for the protection of public buildings from air raids. According to this agreement hospitals, churches, museums, and similar buildings were to have large white crosses marked upon their roofs. Both governments pledged themselves to respect these crosses. Much importance was attached to the idea at the time, but its effects were disappointing. The marks either were not readily perceivable from an aeroplane or the pilots did not trouble themselves too much about the crosses. Public buildings continued to suffer.
On the night of June 4, 1915, German dirigibles attacked towns at the mouth of the Humber, the port and shipping of Hardwich, in England. There were some casualties and considerable property loss, but the British Government would not make public the extent of the damage as the places attacked were of naval importance. Calais, on the French coast was raided the next day by two German airmen. There was one casualty. England's east coast was visited by Zeppelins on the night of June 6, 1915, twenty-four persons being killed and forty hurt. There was much damage, all details of which were suppressed.
Just after the break of day on June 7, 1915, a British monoplane was returning from a scouting trip over Belgium. At the same hour a Zeppelin flew homeward from the English coast. The two met between Ghent and Brussels. Four persons had been killed and forty injured during the night at Yarmouth and other near-by towns on the East channel coast. Raids had been frequent of late and the British pilot sensed the fact that this Zeppelin was one of the dreaded visitors. He was several miles away when the big aircraft hove into view. Uncertain for a few minutes how to proceed, he rose until he was two thousand feet above the Zeppelin. His maneuver was not appreciated at first, or the Zeppelin crew did not see him. There was no attempt either to flee or give battle.
But as the monoplane drew nearer it was sighted and a combat followed such as never was seen before. Sub-Lieutenant R. A. J. Warneford, a young Canadian who had not reached twenty-one years of age, matched his pygmy machine against the great aerial dreadnought. The fight started at a height of 6,000 feet. Lieutenant Warneford released his first bomb when about 1,000 feet above the Zeppelin. He saw it strike the airbag and disappear, followed by a puff of smoke. Because of the sectional arrangement this did not disable the airship. The Lieutenant circled off and again approached the Zeppelin. Every gun was trained upon him that could be brought to bear. The wings of his machine were shattered many times, but he kept on fighting. When once more above the enemy craft, he released another bomb. It also struck the Zeppelin, but appeared to glance off.
The antagonists resorted to every conceivable ruse, one to escape, the other to bring down its quarry. All efforts of the Zeppelin commander to reach the height of his antagonist were defeated. His lone enemy kept above him. The battle varied from an altitude of 6,000 to 10,000 feet. Three other bombs struck the airship, and each time there was the telltale wisp of smoke.
The Zeppelin was mortally injured. Her commander turned to earth for refuge. Seeing this, Lieutenant Warneford came nearer. He had but one bomb left. Descending to within a few hundred feet of the airship, while its machine guns played upon him, he released this remaining bomb. It struck the Zeppelin amidship. There was a flash, a roar, and a great burst of smoke as the vanquished craft exploded and plunged nose downward. The rush of air caused by the explosion upset the equilibrium of the victorious machine, which dropped toward the ground and turned completely over before its pilot could regain control. The presence of mind which he showed at this juncture, was one of the most remarkable features of this remarkable conflict.
The young Canadian pilot righted his machine in time to see the Zeppelin end its career. Like a flaming comet it fell upon the convent of Le Grand Beguinage de Sainte Elizabeth, located in Mont Saint Amand, a suburb of Ghent. This convent was used as an orphanage. The burning airship set fire to several buildings, causing the death of two sisters and two children. The twenty-eight men aboard were killed. Accounts from Amsterdam a day or two later gave a vivid description of the charred remnants of the machine, the burned convent buildings, and the victims all piled together.
Lieutenant Warneford saw the Zeppelin fall and knew that its raiding days were over. Then he discovered that his own machine was in trouble. In another moment he realized the impossibility of returning to the British lines, and was compelled to volplane toward earth, cutting off his driving power. Descending in a soft field, he found that his motor was out of order. Thirty precious minutes were spent repairing the damage. It took him as long again to get his machine started, a task not often accomplished by one man. But he sailed serenely home and brought the news of his strange victory.
Within twenty-four hours Lieutenant Warneford was the hero of the world. His name and achievement had been flashed to the four corners of the earth. Every newspaper rang with acclaim for the boyish aviator who had shown that one man of skill and daring was a match for the huge Zeppelin. It was the old story of David and Goliath, of the Roman youth who bested the Gaul, of Drake's improvised fleet against the Armada. The lieutenant was called to London and presented with the Victoria Cross by King George, who thanked him in the name of the British Empire for adding another laurel to the long list of its honors. A day or two later President Poincare received him in Paris and pinned the Legion of Honor cross upon his breast.
But this same week saw the climax of this war romance—a tragic ending to a war epic. Lieutenant Warneford was practicing with a new French machine at Versailles. He either lost control or the motor failed him. It dropped to earth, killing the pilot and an American newspaper correspondent who was in the observer's seat. This sudden end to a career so brilliant, the cutting off of a future so promising, cast a pall over the minds of both the French and British airmen. The body of Lieutenant Warneford lay in state at the French capital and afterward in London, where every honor was shown his memory.
VENICE ATTACKED—OTHER RAIDS
British airmen visited Ghent on June 8, 1915, where several ammunition depots were fired. The railway station was hit and a number of German troops in a train standing there killed or hurt.
On June 9, 1915, Venice was shelled by Austrian aviators, bombs falling near St. Mark's and setting a number of fires. There were no casualties as far as known.
An Italian airship squadron raided Pola, the principal Austrian naval base, on June 14, 1915. Pola has one of the best harbors on the Adriatic and is an exceptionally strong position. It was from there that Austrian warships and aircraft made their attacks upon Italian and other allied shipping. The city had a big arsenal and miscellaneous war plants. The arsenal was struck by some of the bombs dropped during this raid, shipping in the harbor was bombarded, and one warship badly damaged. This was perhaps the most valuable accomplishment of the Italian air service in offensive actions up to that time. Contrary to what might be expected from the Latin temperament, Italy had confined herself to the use of aircraft for scouting purposes almost exclusively. The campaign in Tripoli had taught her their value, and she had not shown a disposition to bombard Austrian cities in reply to attacks upon her own people.
The visit of the Zeppelins to London had aroused not only the ire of Britain, but that of her French allies. It was decided to take reprisals. Forty-five French machines left the eastern border during the night of June 15, 1915, and set their journey toward Karlsruhe. Some of the craft were large battle planes; all of them had speed and carrying capacity. Approaching Karlsruhe they at first were taken for German machines, by reason of the location of Karlsruhe far from the front.
The squadron divided and approached the city from a half dozen different directions, dripping bombs as they came. One of the largest chemical plants in Germany was set afire and burned to the ground. Both wings of the Margrave's Palace were struck and one of them practically ruined. In the opposite wing, which escaped with only slight damage, the Queen of Sweden, who is a German by birth, was sleeping. She was said to have missed death only by a few inches. Other titled persons in the palace had narrow escapes. A collection of art works was ruined. Despite the fire of antiaircraft guns the French machines hovered above the city and dropped bombs at will, again proving that there was no sufficient protection against air attacks except by flotillas of equal force.
Within a half hour flames started in many sections of the city. The chemical and other plants were burned. Karlsruhe's citizens were made to realize the losses which German airmen had inflicted upon the noncombatants of other countries. According to the best advices 112 persons were killed and upward of 300 wounded. The maximum number admitted by the Germans to have been injured was 19 killed and 14 wounded. But persons arriving in Geneva, for weeks after the raid, told of the wholesale destruction and large casualties. The victims were buried with honors, and the German Government issued a statement deploring the "senseless" attack. This was one of the few raids made by aviators of the allied powers in which the lives of noncombatants were lost. That it was a warning and not an adopted policy is indicated by the fact that it was not followed up with other raids.
Zeppelins were seen off the east coast of England about midnight on June 16, 1915. They left in their wake one of the longest casualty lists resulting from aerial raids upon England up to that time. South Shields was the principal sufferer. Sixteen persons were killed and forty injured. The Zeppelins devoted their attention to the big Armstrong works principally. Guns and munitions of almost every description were being made there, and the raid was planned to wreck the establishment. This attempt was partially successful, but the buildings destroyed soon were replaced and operations at the plant never ceased. The extent of the damage was kept secret, but the number of victims again caused indignation throughout the British Empire.
One result of this raid was a demand in the House of Commons on June 24, 1915, that the public be informed as to defense measures against air raids. The Government had evaded the question at every opportunity, and up to that time kept discussion of the subject down to the minimum. But on this occasion the Commons were not to be easily disposed of, and insisted upon an answer. This was promised for a future day, but Home Secretary Brace announced that 24 men, 21 women, and 11 children had died as a result of attacks from the air since the war began. He said that 86 men, 35 women, and 17 children had been wounded. Of these a percentage died later. The secretary intimated that the Government was keeping a record of every pound's worth of damage and every person injured, with the expectation of making Germany reimburse.
The South Shields attack led to further expansion of the air service and redoubled measures to check the raiders. It seems likely that not a few aircraft have been captured about which the British Government made no report. What the motives for this secrecy are it would be hard to decide. But a guess may be hazarded that, as in the case of certain submarine crews, it is intended to charge some aviators and Zeppelin crews with murder after the war is over, and try them by due process of law. For a time the Government kept a number of men taken from submarines, known to have caused the loss of noncombatant lives, in close confinement. Germany retaliated upon army officers, and the British were compelled to retire from their position. It has been hinted that in the case of the Zeppelin raiders she had quietly locked up a number of them without announcing her purpose to the world.
The closing days of June, 1915, brought two raids on Paris. Taubes in one instance, and Zeppelins in another were held up by the air patrol and driven back, a few bombs being dropped on Saint Cloud. The work of the Paris defense forces was notably good during the summer of 1915, countless incursions being halted before the capital was reached.
What may have been intended as a raid equal to the Cuxhaven attack was attempted on July 4, 1915, but was foiled by the watchfulness of the Germans. Cruisers and destroyers approached German positions on an unnamed bay of the North Sea, and a squadron of British seaplanes rose from the vessels. German airmen promptly went aloft and drove off the invaders. The set-to took place near the island of Terschelling off the Netherlands. When convinced that the Germans were fully ready to meet them the British turned back and put out to the open sea. It was intimated from Berlin that a considerable naval force had been engaged on the British side. There was a good deal of mystery about the incident.
Perhaps the most important accomplishment of the British flying men during July, 1915, as concerns actual fighting, was the destruction of three Taubes at the mouth of the Thames. The invaders were sighted while still at sea and the word wirelessed ahead. Four British machines mounted to give battle, and after a stirring contest above the city brought down two of the Taubes. They were hit in midair, and one of them caught fire. The burning machine dropping headlong to earth furnished a spectacle that the watchers are not likely to forget. The third Taube was winged after a long flight seaward and sank beneath the waves, carrying down both occupants. This contest took place July 20, 1915, and followed several visits to England by Zeppelins, none of which had important results.
On July 21, 1915, French aviators made three conspicuous raids. A squadron of six machines descended upon Colmar in Alsace, dropping ninety-one shells upon the passenger and freight stations. Both broke into flames, and the former was almost wholly destroyed, tying up traffic on the line, the object of all attacks upon railroad stations, except at such times as troops were concentrated there or trains were standing on the tracks ready to load or unload soldiers.
The second raid of this day was especially interesting, because a dirigible and not an aeroplane was employed, the French seldom using the big craft so much favored by the Germans. Vigneulles and the Hatton Chattel in the St. Mihiel salient were the objectives of the dirigible. A munition depot and the Vigneulles station were shelled successfully. The third air attack was made upon Challerange, near Vouziers, by four French aeroplanes. Forty-eight bombs were dropped on the station there, a junction point and one of the German lesser supply bases. The damage was reported to have halted reenforcements for a position near-by where the French took a trench section on this same day. Accepting the report as true, it exemplifies the unison of army units striving for the same purpose by remarkably different methods and weapons.
The French kept busy during this month of July, 1915, with raids upon Metz and intermediate positions. Metz is the first objective of what the French hope will be a march to the Rhine, and since the start of the war the Germans there have had no rest.
On July 28, 1915, Nancy was visited by a flock of Zeppelins and a number of bombs dropped which did considerable damage in that war-scarred city. Eleven or twelve persons were killed.
During the night of July 29-30, 1915, a French aviator shelled a plant in Dornach, Alsace, where asphyxiating gas was being made. Several of his bombs went home and a tremendous explosion took place that almost wrecked the machine. But the driver returned safely. An air squadron also visited Freiburg, so often the target of airmen, and released bombs upon the railway station.
French airmen were extremely active on July 29, 1915. One flotilla bombarded the railroad between Ypres and Roulers, near Passchendaele, tearing up the track for several hundred yards. German bivouacs in the region of Longueval, west of Combles, also were shelled from the air, and German organizations on the Brimont Hill, near Rheims, served as targets for French birdmen. A military station on the railway at Chattel was shelled, and the station at Burthecourt in Lorraine damaged. Forty-five French machines dropped 103 bombs on munition factories and adjoining buildings at Pechelbronn, near Wissemburg.
PART III—THE WESTERN FRONT
SUMMARY OF FIRST YEAR'S OPERATIONS
The first anniversary of the war on the western front fell on August 2, 1915. It was on Tuesday, July 28, of the previous year that Count Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, had pressed the button in "the powder magazine of Europe"—the Balkans—by declaring war on Serbia.
For two days the world looked on in breathless, wondering suspense. Then, like a series of titanic thunderbolts hurled in quick succession, mighty events shaped themselves with a violence and a rapidity that staggered the imagination.
On July 31, 1914, "a state of war" was proclaimed in Germany; the next day (August 1) that country declared war on Russia; on August 2, 1914, Germany delivered her ultimatum to Belgium and invaded both France and Luxemburg, following up these acts with a declaration of war against France on the 3d of the same month.
Before the sun had risen and set again there came the climax to that most sensational week: Great Britain had thrown her weight into the scales against the Teutonic Powers. This occurred on August 4, 1914, the same day that the German frontier force under General von Emmich came into contact with the Belgian pickets before Liege.
After thirty-six hours of fighting the southern forts were captured and the city fell into German hands on August 7, 1914. It was not until the 15th, however, that General Leman, the Belgian commander, was conquered in his last stronghold, the northern fort of Loncin. When that fell, the railway system of the Belgian plains lay open to the invaders. Leman's determined stand had delayed the German advance for at least a week, and afforded an extremely valuable respite for the unprepared French and British armies.
The first drafts of the British Expeditionary Force landed in France on August 16, 1914. On August 7, 1914, a French brigade from Belfort had crossed the frontier into Alsace and taken the towns of Altkirch and Muelhausen, which, however, they were unable to hold for more than three days. Between August 7 and August 15, 1914, large bodies of German cavalry with infantry supports crossed the Meuse between Liege and the Dutch frontier, acting as a screen for the main advance. The Belgian army, concentrated on the Dyle, scored some successes against the Germans at Haelen, Tirlemont, and Engherzee on the 12th and 13th, but after the fall of Fort Loncin the German advance guards fell back and the main German right under Von Kluck advanced toward Brussels. On the 19th the Belgians began to withdraw to the fortress of Antwerp. Brussels fell to the Germans on the 20th. Von Kluck turned toward the Sambre and Von Buelow advanced along the Meuse to Namur. On the opposite bank (the right) of the Meuse the Saxon army of Von Hausen moved against Namur and Dinant, while farther south the German Crown Prince and the Duke of Wuerttemberg pushed their forces toward the French frontier. Meanwhile, General de Castelnau, commanding the French right, had seized most of the passes of the Vosges, overrun upper Alsace almost to the Rhine, and had reached Saarburg on the Metz-Strassburg railway. On August 20, 1914, the Germans attacked Namur, captured it on the 23d, and demolished the last forts on the 24th. This unexpected event placed the Allies in an extremely critical situation, which led to serious reverses. The British force on the left was in danger of being enveloped in Von Kluck's wheeling movement; the fall of Namur had turned the flank of the Fourth and Fifth French armies; the latter was defeated by Von Buelow at Charleroi on the 22d; the pressure exerted by the armies of the Duke of Wuerttemberg and the crown prince also contributed to render inevitable an immediate retirement of the allied right and center. The French army that had invaded Lorraine—a grave strategical blunder—had also come to grief. The Bavarians from Metz had broken its left wing on the 20th and driven it back over the frontier. De Castelnau was fighting desperately for Nancy on a long front from Pont-a-Mousson down to St. Die. On the 24th the British line fell back to the vicinity of Maubeuge, where Von Kluck attempted to close it in. Sir John French frustrated the plan by further retiring to a line running through Le Cateau and Landrecies, August 25, 1914. After a violent holding battle during two days the whole British front had fallen back to St. Quentin and the upper valley of the Oise.
It was General Joffre's plan to retreat to a position south of the Marne, where his reserves would be available, a movement which was successfully carried out by all parts of the allied line during the following week. By September 5, 1914, this line extended from the southeast of Paris, along the southern tributaries of the Marne, across the Champagne to a point south of Verdun. Beyond that, De Castelnau was still holding the heights in front of Nancy. The powerful German advance had forced the Allies back some hundred and thirty miles, almost to the shelter of the Paris fortifications. It seemed only a matter of hours to the fall of Paris when General Joffre began his counteroffensive on September 6, 1914. Attempting to pierce and envelop the allied left center, Von Kluck marched across the front of the British to strike at the Fifth French Army commanded by General d'Esperey, who had replaced Lanrezac after the Charleroi defeat. But the turn of the tide was at hand. The Sixth French Army from Paris, under General Manoury, fiercely attacked Von Kluck's rear guards on the Ourcq; Sir John French drove against the right of the main German advance; the Fifth and Ninth French armies held the front of Von Kluck and Von Buelow; the Fourth French Army south of Vitry resisted the piercing movement of the Duke of Wuerttemberg, and the Third French Army (General Sarrail) checked the crown prince at Verdun, while De Castelnau at Nancy entered upon the final stage of the battle of Lorraine. The first great German offensive had failed in its purpose. By September 12, 1914, the whole German front was retreating northward. The Aisne plateau, where the Germans came to a halt, is considered one of the strongest defensive positions in Europe, and General Joffre soon realized that it could not be taken by direct assault. He therefore attempted to envelop the German right and extended his left wing—with a new army—up the valley of the Oise. Some desperate German counterattacks were met at Rheims and south of Verdun, but they achieved small success beyond creating a sharp salient in their line at St. Mihiel, where the invaders managed to cross the Meuse, General Sarrail defended Verdun with a field army in a wide circle of intrenchments, with the result that the crown prince was unable to bring the great howitzers within range of the fortress, and his army suffered a severe defeat in the Argonne.
The allied stand on the Marne and the resultant battle not only checked the German avalanche and saved Paris, but dislocated the fundamental principle of the whole German plan of campaign—to crush France speedily with one mighty blow and then deal with Russia.
On September 3, 1914, the Russians had already captured Lemberg—two days before the allied retreat from Mons came to a sudden halt on the Marne. On that same day, too, the French Government had been removed from Paris to Bordeaux in anticipation of the worst. Having secured the capital against immediate danger, General Joffre now began to extend his line for a great enveloping movement against the German right. He placed the new Tenth Army under Maud'huy north of De Castelnau's force, reaching almost to the Belgian frontier. The small British army under Sir John French moved north of that, and the new Eighth French Army, under General d'Urbal, was intended to fill the gap to the Channel. With remarkable flexibility the Germans initiated the movement with their right as fast as the French extended their left, and the whole strategy of both sides developed into a feverish race for the northern shore. Before General d'Urbal could reach his appointed sector, however, that "gap" had been filled by the remnants of the Belgian army, liberated after the fall of Antwerp on October 9, 1914. By a narrow margin the Allies had won the race, but were unable to carry out the intended offensive. Desperate conflicts raged for a month, but they succeeded in holding the gate to the Channel ports. The first battle of Ypres-Armentieres opened on October 11, 1914, when the Germans attacked simultaneously at Ypres, Armentieres, Arras, and La Bassee. As a victory at either of the two last-named places would have amply sufficed for the German purpose, this fourfold attack appears to be a rather curious division of energy. The passages at Arras and La Bassee were held by General Maud'huy and General Smith-Dorrien respectively. The former defended his position for the first three weeks in October when the German attacks weakened; the latter, with the British Second Corps, had reached the farthest point in the La Bassee position by October 19, 1914. Violent fighting occurred round this sector during the latter part of October, and, though compelled to yield ground occasionally, the British force prevented any serious German advance. In the early stage of the struggle the Belgian army and a brigade of French marines held the Yser line. A British squadron, operating from the Channel, broke the attack of the German right, and during the last week of October the Belgians held the middle crossings, with the assistance of part of the French Eighth Army. All immediate danger was removed from this section by October 31, 1914, after the Belgians had flooded the country and driven the Wuerttembergers back at Ramscapelle.
Returning to Ypres, we have stated that the Germans attacked four different points in this region, on October 11, 1914. By the 20th, however, it became apparent that their main objective was the Ypres salient—neither the best nor the easiest route to the sea. What, then, was the motive underlying this particular phase of the German strategic plan? It would be pure presumption—taking that word at its worst meaning—to criticize the deep, long-headed calculations of the German war staff. A reason—and a good reason—there must have been. What the historian cannot explain he may, perhaps, be permitted to speculate upon in order to arrive at some working hypothesis. Hence, would it be considered an extravagant flight of fancy to assume that the German decision was influenced by the very simple fact that the British Expeditionary Force was concentrated in and around Ypres? Skillful stage management is useful even in the grim drama of war, and the defeat or elimination of the British forces in the first great battle of the war would indeed have produced a most sensational effect with almost incalculable results. Be that as it may, the first battle of Ypres has already been accorded its position in the British calendar as "the greatest fight in the history of our army." There is yet another distinction that battle can claim: it was the first mighty collision between Anglo-Saxon and Teuton in the history of mankind. They had fought shoulder to shoulder in the past—never face to face. French troops also took part in the battle; they consisted of territorials, some cavalry, and Dubois's Ninth Corps; but the heaviest blows were delivered with whole-hearted force and energy upon the British line. This remarkable fight lasted nearly a month. During its progress the Allies withstood some half a million German troops with a force that never exceeded 150,000 in number.
Before the last thunderous echoes of Ypres had melted away in space, dreary winter spread its mantle over the combatants with impartial severity. During the next three months the opposing forces settled down and heavily intrenched themselves and then began that warfare at present familiar to the world, resembling huge siege operations. The Allies were fighting for time—the Germans against it. The allied commanders aimed at wearing down the man-power of the enemy by a series of indecisive actions in which his losses should be disproportionally greater than their own.
The most important events of the winter campaign were the fight near La Bassee in December, 1914, where the British Indian Corps distinguished itself; the fighting at Givenchy in January and February, 1915; the battle at Soissons in January, 1915, where the French lost some ground; the long struggle in northern Champagne during February and March, 1915, where the French first made use of artillery on a grand scale; and some considerable actions in the neighborhood of Pont-a-Mousson and the southeast valleys of the Vosges.
In March, 1915, the Allies began what has been described as a tentative offensive. Between March 10 and March 12, 1915, the British advanced about a mile on a front of three miles at Neuve Chapelle, but the aim of the operations, which were directed against Lille, could not be achieved. Early in April the French carried the heights of Les Eparges, which commanded the main communications of the Woevre, an action that led to a general belief that the Allies' summer offensive would be aimed at Metz. But the plan—if it ever was entertained—was abandoned toward the end of April, 1915, when the critical situation of the Russians in Galicia made it imperative to create a diversion in another area, where the effects would be more quickly felt. Before the French attack could mature, however, the second battle of Ypres was developing.
The Germans began shelling Ypres on April 20, 1915, to prevent reenforcements from entering the salient, and in the evening of April 22, 1915, they made their first attack with poisonous gas. A French division lying between the canal and the Pilken road had the first experience of this new horror added to the methods of warfare. Much has been written in condemnation of employing poisonous gas, and the practice has been widely discussed from the "moral" and "humane" point of view. The Germans claim that the French used it first—a contention not supported by evidence. "On the general moral question," says Mr. John Buchan, the well-known English writer on military subjects, "it is foolish to dogmatize." He points out that all war is barbarous in essence, and that a man who died in torture from the effects of poison gas might have suffered equal agony from a shrapnel wound. Hence he draws the conclusion that the German innovation, if not particularly more barbarous than other weapons, was at least impolitic, since its employment raised a storm of indignation and exasperated the feelings of Germany's enemies. Be that as it may, the poison clouds proved very effective at Ypres during April and May, 1915. The French line was driven in and the left brigade of the Canadians on their right was forced back in a sharp angle. For the first five days the northern side of the salient was steadily pressed in by gas and artillery attacks. This, the second battle of Ypres, ended about May 24, 1915; it had lasted practically as long as the first battle, though the fighting had been less continuous. The Germans were meanwhile striving desperately to force a decision in Galicia and Poland, simultaneously fighting a long-range holding battle in the west with fewer men and more guns.
On May 10, 1915, began the great attack by the French in the Artois, aimed at securing Lens and the communications of the Scheldt valley. After violent artillery-fire preparations, the French center south of Carency was pushed forward a distance of three miles. In a few days they took the towns of Albain, Carency, Neuville St. Vaast, and most of Souchez, besides the whole plateau of Lorette. But the Germans had prepared a number of fortins, which had to be captured before any general advance could be made. This mode of warfare enables a numerically inferior force well supplied with ammunition to resist for a considerable time the most resolute attacks. The French army was still engaged in this operation when the first anniversary of the war dawned. The situation at the moment is summarized in a French official communique as follows: "There has been no great change on the western front for many months. Great battles have been fought, the casualties have been heavy on both sides, but territorial gains have been insignificant."
FIGHTING IN ARTOIS AND THE VOSGES
On the first of August, 1915, the situation on the western front was as follows: The position of the Belgian troops has been described; the British held the line from the north of Ypres to the south of La Bassee. The Germans had closed in to some extent round Ypres during the two big battles, and the trenches now ran in a semicircle about the city at a distance of from two and one-half to three miles. The line turned south at St. Eloi, skirted the west of the Messines ridge, turned east again at Ploegstreet Wood, and south to the east of Armentieres. Hence the trenches extended southwestward to Neuve Chapelle and Festhubert to La Bassee. The remainder of the front—down to the Swiss frontier—was defended by the French, along by Lille, Rheims, and the fortresses of Verdun, Toul, Epinal, and Belfort.
After the battles of May and June, 1915, in Artois, activity on the western front became concentrated in the Vosges, where the French by a series of comparatively successful engagements had managed to secure possession of more favorable positions and to retain them in spite of incessant and violent counterattacks. The supreme object of the allied commanders at this stage was to wear down their opponents through vain and costly counteroffensives, and to absorb the German local resources in that sector. It had been decided by the Allies to begin a fresh offensive on the western front in August, 1915, but owing to incomplete preparations, the attempt was of necessity postponed till the third week in September. It was extremely urgent that some determined move should be made as speedily as possible; the Russians were suffering defeat and disaster in the east, and were already retreating from Warsaw in the first days of August, 1915. The British and the French meanwhile could do little more than engage in local actions until their arrangements for offensive operations on a vast scale should be completed. On the other side, the Germans were also busily making preparations to provide against every possibility in case of retreat. New lines of defenses were constructed across Belgium; formidable complex trenches guarded by barbed-wire entanglements; concrete bases for heavy guns connected by railways; and a large fortified station was erected. These preparations rendered possible a very rapid transportation of troops and munitions to Brabant and Antwerp.
The fighting on the western front during August, 1915, may be described as a fierce, continuous battle, a lively seesaw of capturing and recapturing positions, followed at regular intervals by the publication of the most contradictory "official" reports from the German, French, and British headquarters. Many of them gave diametrically opposite accounts of the same events. In the first week of the month the Germans made furious attacks against the French positions at Lingekopf and Barrenkopf. All through the Argonne forest the combatants pelted each other with bombs, hand grenades, and other newly invented missiles. Several determined attempts were made by the Germans to recapture the positions lost at Schratzmannele and Reichsackerkopf, but the French artillery fire proved too strong. Soissons was again bombarded; desperate night attacks were delivered around Souchez, on the plateau of Quennevieres, and in the valley of the Aisne; local engagements were fought in Belgium and along parts of the British front; trenches were mined and shattered, while aeroplanes scattered bombs and fought thrilling duels in the air. The Belgians were forced partly to evacuate their advanced positions over the river Yser, near Hernisse, south of Dixmude. In the Argonne the Germans, by a strong infantry charge, penetrated the first line of the French trenches, but were unable to hold their ground.
On August 9, 1915, a squadron of thirty-two large French aeroplanes carrying explosives, and accompanied by a number of lighter machines to act as scouts, set out to bombard the important mining and manufacturing town of Saarbruecken, on the river Saar, in Rhenish Prussia. This was where the first engagement in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 was fought. Owing to mist and heavy clouds, only twenty-eight of the aeroplanes succeeded in locating the town, where they dropped one hundred and sixty bombs of large caliber. A number of German aviators ascended as soon as the flotilla's arrival had been signaled, and a lively skirmish ensued between them and the French scouts. The results and casualties of the raid have not leaked out.
The German General Staff was evidently not unacquainted with the fact that the Allies had a big "drive" in contemplation. Most of the fighting had been forced by the Germans with ever-increasing violence and energy. Toward the middle of August, 1915, their attacks became fiercer still. After a deadly bombardment that literally flattened the countryside, and in which shells of all calibers as well as asphyxiating gas bombs were hurled against the French positions between the Binarville-Vienne-le-Chateau road and the Houyette ravine in the Argonne, the German infantry dashed from their trenches in great numbers and close formation and charged across the intervening ground. So furious was the onslaught that the French were driven well back out of their shattered defenses. Within a few hours strong reenforcements hurried to the spot enabled the French to deliver a counterattack and recover some of the lost ground. Simultaneously, the Germans attempted to storm the French position in the neighborhood of La Fontaine-aux-Charmes, but with less success. During the last week of July and the first half of August, 1915, large bodies of German troops were detached from the armies operating on the eastern front and poured into France and Flanders. Different estimates fix the numbers at from 140,000 to 200,000.
On August 18, 1915, violent fighting broke out in the region north of Arras, in the course of which the French took an important field position. In a desperate bayonet charge the following night the Germans vainly endeavored to recover the ground. The French also captured a trench in a long battle spread over a wide section of the Alsatian front. In the Artois they seized the junction of the highroads between Bethune and Arras and between Ablain and Angres. North of Carleul they held the Germans in check against a heavy artillery, infantry, and bomb attack, but were driven out of some trenches they had previously won on Lingekopf. By the 20th the Germans had regained some of the trenches on the Ablain-Angres road, but lost them again in a French bayonet charge two days later. French aviators bombarded the railway stations at Lens, Henin-Lietard and Loos, in the Department of Pas de Calais. Arras, the scene of some of the severest conflicts in the war, was subjected to another prolonged bombardment by the heavy German artillery. Thus the pendulum swung to and fro; the main strength of Germany and Austria-Hungary was strenuously being exerted in the Polish salient, while on the western front the Germans also conducted a harassing and exhausting defensive. Meanwhile the Allies were gradually completing their preparations for the great coup from which so much was expected.