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CURRENT HISTORY

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES

OCTOBER, 1916

THE WAR: MILITARY PHASES

THE

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New Aspects of the Conflict THE outstanding events of the last

month were the declaration of war by Italy against Germany, the entrance of Rumania on the side of the Allies, and the practical surrender by King Constantine of Greek sovereignty to the Allies.

The importance of Rumania's decision lies not only in the fresh troops she supplies and opening the gates which heretofore have barred the Russians from Bulgaria and Hungary, but in the moral influence of her action on the neutrals. The Rumanian statesmen from the very beginning have been closely watching the situation; they have had access to the fullest and most secret information; moreover, they have been in a position to observe critically and thoroughly at first hand the march of events, and have not hesitated to confess frankly that if they yielded their neutrality it would be to take sides with the forces which Rumania was convinced would win. Now that they have unsheathed the sword and aligned themselves against the Teutons, Bulgarians, and Turks, the act serves notice to the neutral world that the most formidable uncommitted nation of Europe after two years of investigation feels sure that the cause of the Central Powers is lost.

The action of Greece implies practically the same conclusion. King Constantine undoubtedly intended to maintain neutrality, though the sympathies of his consort and of the entire royal entourage were decidedly pro-German. The FROM THE LIBRARY OF

H RYCKMAN

deathblow to his prestige came when the Bulgarians invaded Greek soil and occupied Greek fortresses. A flame of indignation swept over Greece, revolutionary parties were formed in Thessaly and Macedonia, and some garrisons were forced to yield their forts to the revolutionists. Finally, when Bulgaria seized the important port of Kavala, the allied powers saw their opportunity; a large fleet was assembled at Piraeus, and instant demand was made that the posts and telegraph be turned over to the Allies, and that German propagandist agents be expelled from Greece. These demands were at once complied with, and the Allies are now practically administering Grecian affairs. The Zaimis Cabinet has tendered its resignation, and Nikolas Kalogeropoulos, a distinguished Greek lawyer friend of Venizelos, has formed a new Cabinet. The voice of ex-Premier Venizelos is paramount. The elections will be held in October. If they go, as is confidently expected, in favor of Venizelos, the King will face the alternative of abdicating or formally joining the Allies.

Italy's declaration of war against Germany simply gives the formal and final touch to the dissolution of the Triple Alliance and commits Italy irrevocably to a policy hostile to the aims of the Central Powers. She has been practically at war with Germany since her declaration against Austria in May, 1915, but the formal declaration late in August last has political significance, and may have influenced the final decision of Rumania.

Military Developments

Stormy Days for Premier Tisza HE first impression following the Ru. RUMANIA'S

entry into the war caused manian action was that it meant the the sudden collapse of the recently early ending of the war, but this opinion

patched-up peace between the Hungarian gradually altered, and within two weeks Government Party, led by Premier Tisza, it was generally noted that as her ene and the four groups forming the Opposimies multiplied, Germany's backbone tion, led by Counts Michael Karolyi, Alstiffened. The grandiose structure of bert Apponyi, Julius Andrassy, and Pan Germanism was shaken, however; Stephan Rakovski. The Opposition atthe problem of the Central Powers had tacked the Premier fiercely for the failbecome one of keeping their empires in ure of the Foreign Office to avert Rutact, and to this end they were prepared mania's participation on the side of the to fight with desperation, and to expend Entente Powers, for the advance of the the uttermost farthing and the last able Rumanians into Transylvania, and for bodied man in their realms if necessary. the critical food situation in Hungary.

“ The nippers are gripping." The ring Scenes of great excitement were enacted of steel begins at Riga and now extends at the session of the Hungarian Diet on southward in an unbroken line through Sept. 5 and at subsequent sessions. The Transylvania, Macedonia, lower Hun Premier was greeted by the Opposition gary, Trent, Tyrol, Alsace-Lorraine, forces with shouts of Resign!” ExWestern France, and Flanders, to Ostend Premier Andrassy urged a change in and Antwerp. It is being contracted leadership in view of the serious posieach day, but very slowly, and if this tion in which the country found itself. pressure can be resisted as effectually as Premier Tisza, however, showed no disat present, many months must yet elapse position to retire. Meanwhile the Bulbefore German soil is reached.

garo-German invasion of Rumania in the The Rumanians have suffered severe Dobrudja district lessened somewhat the territorial losses on their southeastern vigor of the Opposition's attacks. The border-lands which Bulgaria has long leaders even expressed themselves to the sought-but have advanced with the Rus effect that the adding to the Cabinet of sians in Transylvania and Bulgaria. The some Ministers without portfolios from full manoeuvre of the Rumanian-Russian their own ranks would satisfy the Oppocampaign is not yet defined. The Allies sition. The latter scored a victory on have begun a serious upward pressure Sept. 13 in the withdrawal from the Govfrom Saloniki, and have already recon ernment Party of Count Bela Serenyi quered some Serbian territory. The and his resignation from the office of Italians are making progress, driving for

Minister of Agriculture. The political Trieste, the Trentino and Tyrol. The situation in Hungary is so dependent French have the advantage at Verdun, upon the position of the army that there and are gradually recovering the outly is certain to follow a political crisis in ing fortresses they lost there. On the case of further Russo-Rumanian sucSomme the Anglo-French offensive is cesses across the Carpathians. blasting its way through the German trenches, gaining a few thousand yards

Hungary's Hard Lot every few days, but the Allies have not THE position of the Kingdom of Hunbeen able to break the German lines, and gary at the present stage of the war at their present rate of progress will be is singularly hard. After fighting for unable before Winter to bend them back her independence, which she would have far enough to flank them and drive the won in 1848-9, but for the intervention enemy out of France; but backward the of Nicholas I. of Russia as the defender Germans are moving, surely if slowly; of imperialism, Hungary, taking advanit is clear that, unless new forces can be tage of the Austrian Emperor's diffilevied and new instruments of warfare culties after Sadowa in 1866, made herintroduced, they must in the end be forced self practically independent without to their own frontiers.

fighting. The Magyars, who are only

10,000,000 out of Hungary's 20,000,000 four and a half millions; about equal to population, then tried to dominate the the population of Ireland, with about the Slavs and Rumanians within the boun same area. If she is able to do as well daries of Hungary—and these include as Rumania promises to do, she will be Croatia and Slavonia-disfranchising able to put into battle something over them and dictating to them in many 400,000 men, or, let us say, ten army ways. This treatment by the recent

corps. ly liberated Magyars of the Ruma We may reach about the same result. nian element in Transylvania was given in another way. Each belligerent nation by the Rumanian Government as one of which had universal military service has its chief reasons for entering the war on been able to put into the field an army the side opposed to Austria-Hungary. six or seven times as numerous as her,

Yet Hungary's position is exceptionally peace army, by drawing on all reserves. hard: though practically an independent, But Greece has a peace army of 60,000; kingdom, she has no independent army, six times that number will give us 360,practically no control over the valiant 000; seven times that number gives 420,and hard fighting Hungarian regiments 000_much the same result as before. in the Austrian Imperial Army. Accord Since military service in Greece is coming to the agreement, (the Ausgleich of pulsory and universal, with very few 1867,) which binds the two parts of the exemptions, practically every man in Dual Monarchy together, there is only Greece above the age of 20 has had a one War Ministry in the empire, that at full military training, and has been Vienna, and it is practically beyond the trained well. The Greek service rifle is control of the Budapest Parliament. the Mannlicher-Schoenauer; the field Hence the sharp discontent in the Magyar artillery is armed with Schneider-Canet capital; Hungary sees her eastern prov guns, very similar to the famous French inces given up to the Rumanian invader, “ 75.As for leadership, King Constanknows that there are many valiant Hun tine, whose courage was questioned in garian regiments who might have fought the disastrous war against Turkey in to keep that invader back, but is unable 1897, showed himself in the Balkan wars to send them to the frontier passes. They of 1912-3 a soldier of considerable force have already been dispersed along other and skill. And, as incentive in this war fronts, nominally by the Vienna War for nationality, there are still large coloMinistry, but really by the Great General nies of “unredeemed ” Greeks at many Staff of Germany, in accordance with points throughout the Turkish Empire, German, not with Hungarian needs and notably in the splendid historic terristrategy. After keen discontent, a com tories of Ionia, facing Greece across the promise has been reached at Budapest, Aegean Sea. under which the critics of the Opposition The new Greek Premier, who organized have agreed not to quarrel under the a Cabinet on Sept. 16, is Nikolas Kaloeremy's guns.

geropoulos, one of the cleverest lawyers

of Greece. He holds the degree of DocThe Forces of the Hellenic Armies

tor of Laws from the University of R UMANIA, with a population of about Paris. He is regarded as friendly to

8,000,000, affirms that she will be Venizelos, and though he announces that able to put 800,000 men of all arms into Greece will maintain “benevolent neuthe field, in furtherance of her national trality” toward the Allies, it is believed ambition for a Larger Rumania of 12, this cannot continue long. 000,000 souls. Even if her armies lose heavily, the nation, should it be success

A Lost Italian Dreadnought

TSEI two Balkan ,

on the cause of the loss of a fine 2,600,000; these wars gave her new ter Italian dreadnought named in honor of ritories with a population only slightly the most universal genius of Italy, Leoless, so that, in 1914, she counted some nardo de Vinci, reported to have sunk in

The fact of the loss remains. IN the month of July, 1916, the Germans

the harbor of Taranto under the instep Germany's and England's Losses in Men of the Italian boot. The cause is obscure. This fine battleship was one of a group

lost 121,824 men, divided as follows: laid down from 1909 to 1912, six in

Killed, 21,196; died of sickness, 2,062; number, and several of them bearing missing, 15,334; severely wounded, 17,807; splendid historic names: Dante Alighieri,

wounded, 5,654; slightly wounded, 50,Conte di Cavour, Giulio Cesare, (Julius

157; wounded but remaining with units, Caesar,) Leonardo da Vinci, Duilio, and

9,614. The total German losses, exclusAndrea Doria-named for the authors

ive of colonial forces, from August, 1914, of works as various as the Divine Com

to August, 1916, are 3,135,177, of whom edy, the Commentaries on the Gallic

784,400 were killed or died of wounds or War, and United Italy. Two of these

sickness, 357,617 missing and prisoners, ships, the poet and the statesman, dis

and 425,175 severely wounded. place 19,000 tons and carry a primary In August, 1916, the British lost in armament of twelve 12-inch guns; the killed, wounded, and missing 4,711 offiother four were built to displace 21,500 cers and 123,234 men. In the first two tons each, and to carry thirteen 12-inch years of the war the British casualty list guns; among these is the Taranto wreck. of officers alone aggregated 41,219. Up

Italy began, in 1914, a group of still to Jan. 28, 1916, the British losses of larger battleships, four in number, to men were 525,345. No cumulative list of be called the Cristoforo Colombo, the losses of men since that time has been M. Colonna, the F. Morosini, the Carrac published, but, assuming that the ratio ciolo. These new ships were to displace of losses of officers to men has remained 28,000 tons, excelled by only two ships constant, the number of men killed, in the British Navy, the battle cruisers wounded, and missing in the twenty-four Queen Mary and Tiger, the first of which months is about 1,000,000. went down at the battle of Jutland;

The Munitions Miracle equaled, in the German Navy, by the

THE likewise sunk in the battle of Jutland, and tion of munitions in England is reperhaps by two or three new ships, one ported by the Minister of Munitions as called after Field Marshal von Hinden follows: The output which before the burg. The four Italian superdread war took an entire year to produce is noughts were designed to carry a pri now turned out in periods as follows: mary armament of eight 15-inch guns, Eighteen-pounders, 3 weeks; field howa stronger primary battery, it would itzers, 2 weeks; medium-sized shells, 11 seem, than any in the United States

days; heavy shells, 4 days. The monthNavy, though paralleled by all the newer ly output of guns has been increased British and some of the newer German twelve fold over the pre-war production, ships. But Italy has always had a liking machine guns fourteen fold, rifles three for the biggest guns. She was said at fold, small-arms ammunition three föld, one time to have primary batteries of high explosives sixty-six fold, and trench 17-inch guns on some of her warships, bombs, thirty-three fold. In one week of and it was said that these were the the western offensive the British conbiggest calibre guns ever mounted on sumed more light ammunition than was shipboard. But just what stage of com produced in eleven months before the pletion the Cristoforo Colombo and war, while all the heavy ammunition “her” three sister ships have reached, manufactured in eleven months before it would be difficult to say.

By the the war would not have met the requireway, is it not, to say the least, an odd ments of the army in Picardy and Flanfact in nomenclature, that Dante and ders for a single day. Today 2,250,000 Caesar, George Washington and Kaiser persons are employed in England as Wilhelm are all spoken of as

munition workers, of whom 400,000 are when their names are given to ships?

" she

women,

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