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salient. It threw the British back in must be the relative amount of permatheir first great attack early in July, and nent damage done by the Allies compared was a stumbling block in every succeed to the damage which they then selves ing effort of the Somme battle. Its cap suffer. ture was due entirely to a surprise attack First, there is the question of losses in made in the midst of the fighting in an
For a period of two years, the other sector miles away.
German casualty lists show the relation Germans Slop to React
between the number of prisoners and the
total casualties to be as 1 to 7. The The most noticeable thing in all this Allies have reported over 70,000 prisonfighting . was the slowness of the Ger
ers taken since July 1. This figure is mans to react. Several days elapsed undoubtedly correct. The one thing the before a counterstroke was attempted. Allies cannot afford to do-largely beAnd even when it did come it was con cause if they did they would be caught spicuously lacking in the dash which has
at it—is to misstate this feature of the characterized similar movements. It is fighting. If this relation of 1 to 7 holds as if for the time being the Germans in the Somme fighting, the minimum Gerwere thoroughly shaken by their inabil
man losses have been at least 500,000 ity to hold their positions, and were
As a matter of fact the total is going into action doubtful of the result.
probably greater. Never before have All doubt was removed, however, by the the Germans had to fight as they do now. British and French, who clung tenacious The intensity of artillery fire, which they ly to every foot of the ground they had themselves admit is unprecedented, has gained.
been shown literally to blot out of existTen days later, another push estab ence everything in its path. lished the British lines beyond Le Sarsanother gain of a mile toward Bapaume.
Allies' Losses, 500,000 The next attempt was made south of the
Now, as to the losses of the Allies in Somme, this time by the French alone.
this series of attacks, we have Germany's It was directed against Chaulnes and
official estimate of 500,000. This is probsucceeded in wiping out the salient be
ably not far out of the way, as the Allies tween the Chaulnes Woods and Hill 91
have saved lives at the expense of shell. and in drawing a straight line between
The thoroughness of the artillery prepathese two points. The sequence of the
ration is shown by the fact that when allied attacks, each one of which resulted
the infantry goes forward it is seldom in a material gain of ground, is worthy
halted until it has penetrated the German of note:
positions to a depth of a mile or more. Sept. 17—Berny and Vermandovillers taken.
The British, whose reports of casualties Sept. 26-27—Combles and Thiepval taken.
are generally accepted as exact, report a Oct. 7--Le Sars taken.
total of approximately 320,000, and it Oct. 11-Bovent taken.
must be realized that the British have It may be seen that there have been had the hardest fighting to do. This is four attacks made, one by the British another reason for accepting the German alone, two by the French alone, and one estimate. It is true that one German combined attack. Between the three authority advanced the theory, two or major attacks (that of Oct. 11 being a three days after the above estimate of minor move over a narrow front) there 500,000 was given out, that the Allies' was an interval of ten days. In other losses were well over 1,000,000. This is, words, it takes ten days' preparation be however, too absurd to be taken seriousfore an attack; ten days of shell accu ly. It is undoubtedly meant for local mulation, consolidation of newly acquired consumption, and the author evidently territory; ten days of beating off coun forgets Verdun. If the Allies' loss in terattacks.
three months on the Somme reaches this The value of the attacks on the Somme enormous total, what was the German cannot be measured alone by the actual loss at Verdun in six months, the differterritory regained. The measure of value ence in tactics being considered? Ob
MAP OF BATTLE OF THE SOMME, SHOWING TOTAL PROGRESS OF ANGLO-FRENCH
viously nearly two million, and, equally obvious, absurd.
In its final analysis, then, the losses of both sides have been approximately equal.
Here we have the meat of the whole thing. Germany cannot stand this exchange of man for man because she is outnumbered several to one. She must
exact at least three to one on this front The Russians had previously underbefore she can be considered to have taken a terrific drive at Lemberg, directbroken even.
ed from Brody, Bozezany, and Halicz. The question of territory, too, deserves The Rumanian defeat forced the abanconsideration, although, as we have seen donment of this move and the diversion so often in this war, the occupation of of the Russians to the Transylvanian territory of itself has but little influence. theatre. The situation created by the The situation of Germany in France is German success evidently produced a not unlike a flagpole held erect by means panic throughout Rumania and proof guy ropes. A rat, gnawing these voked King Ferdinand into giving an ropes, cutting them apart, fibre by fibre, interview to the press which laid bare his would eventually reach the point where fear that Rumania was about to suffer one absolutely essential strand was cut. the fate of Belgium and Serbia. The The pole would then fall. The German Allies, however, appreciate thoroughly resistance is upheld by lines of communi the strategic importance of Rumania's cation and supply, consisting of the rail position and seem to have shown that roads and highways of France. As the Ferdinand's fears were groundless. Allies gnaw into the German position
Italy in the Carso one road after the other will be cut, and the Germans will be forced to retire.
On the Italian front we have seen a There is no alternative. The Germans
renewal of the offensive against the Carmust halt the Allies' advance or they
so Plateau. Striking hard at the westmust move back toward the Rhine.
ern edge of this calcareous tableland on
a front reaching from Lake Doberdo to Reverses of Rumania
the Vipacco River, the Italians have In Transylvania, the Germans have ex firmly established themselves on the westperienced the first taste of success they ern tip of the plateau. About 8,000 have had in many months. In the first prisoners have been taken and the Italdays of Rumanian intervention the ians seem to be pressing their success to greater part of the army broke through the limit, although it has not yet dethe Transylvanian passes in an ill-advised veloped to the point where it assumes attempt to stretch their line from Orsova importance. to the southern tip of Bukowina. The On the Saloniki front, Sarrail's main Teutonic allies countered with the inva force is ominously quiet.
There is consion of Dobrudja, the object of which siderable activity at the two flanks, one was to take the great bridge at Corna in the Monastir section, the other along voda, the only crossing of the Danube the Struma, but between these two widely east of Belgrade, and thereby pave the separated areas no fighting has occurred. way for an invasion of Rumania from The Serbs have consistently forced the the east. The arrival of Russian rein Bulgars back, reaching a line almost due forcements brought this movement to a east and west through the railroad stadead halt. Attention was then turned to tion at Kevali, about eight miles south of Transylvania, where the Rumanians had Monastir. The British operating along succeeded in establishing an interrupted the Struma have crossed the river and at line, about thirty miles from the frontier. one point have cut the important railroad
The first effort was a raid against line from Drama to Demihissar. These the Rumanian line of communications movements, however, cannot as yet be through Red Tower Pass, south of Her considered as primary operations; on the mannstadt. This raid was completely contrary, they seem essentially secondsuccessful, and the Rumanians were ary. But the season is getting late and forced to retire from Hermannstadt to with the approach of Winter fighting in the frontier. The Germans then began the mountains must slow up if it does a terrific frontal attack along the whole not cease altogether. It is beginning to line and forced the Rumanians back al be doubtful, therefore, if we shall see most to their own border, where the Ger an advance from Saloniki before the man advance was checked.
HE most sensational naval develop The next day, Sunday, Oct. 8, the world
ment of the month just past was startled by the news that the U-53 was the act of Germany in carry was sinking British and neutral vessels
ing submarine warfare to the near Nantucket Shoals lightship, a hunAmerican side of the Atlantic. The event dred miles from Newport, and leaving the has created new problems for the Amer crews and passengers in small boats on ican Government and furnished the Chan the open sea. The underseas craft had celleries of belligerents and neutrals alike stationed itself in the steamer lane where with new themes of controversy.
nearly all incoming and outgoing vessels In the afternoon of Oct. 7 a German from New York must pass, and its day's war submarine of the largest type, the work consisted in sending five ships to U-53, rose out of the sea at Newport, R. the bottom, as follows: I., lay in the harbor there for three hours, The Strathdene, a British freighter, bound dispatched a letter to the German Ambas from New York to Bordeaux, torpedoed and
Crew sador at Washington, and entertained
taken aboard the Nantucket
Shoals Lightship and later removed to Newvisitors on its spotless decks. The com
port by American torpedo boat destroyers. mander, Lieut. Captain Hans Rose, with
The West Point, a British freighter, bound his crew of thirty-three men, stated that from London to Newport News. Torpedoed the U-53 was seventeen days out of Wil after the crew had taken to small boats in helmshaven, and that they had food, wa
obedience to a warning shot from the sub
marine. Officers and men picked up by a ter, and all supplies for a cruise of three
destroyer. months. The vessel was
one of the
The Stephano, a British passenger liner monster U-50 group that had devastated plying regularly between New York and Haliallied shipping in the Mediterranean a
fax, intercepted on the southward trip and year ago, being 213 feet long and carry
sunk by opening the sea valves after the pas
sengers and crew had been set adrift in small ing four torpedo tubes besides two deck
boats. These were rescued later by the deguns. The U-53 is the first European war stroyer Balch. submarine to enter a United States port,
The Blommersdijk, a Dutch freighter, bound and the first underseas naval craft to
from New York to Rotterdam, sunk south of
Nantucket; crew taken aboard a destroyer. cross the Atlantic without a convoy or a The Christian Knudsen, Norwegian freightsupply ship. The Deutschland, which er, bound from New York to London; met reached Baltimore on July 9, was a mer
the same fate as the Blommersdijk. chant submarine. The American flotilla The German raider also stopped the that went from San Francisco to Hono American steamer Kansan, but allowed lulu in 1915, and the British flotilla it to proceed after being convinced of its that sailed from the St. Lawrence to Gi American ownership. braltar a year ago were both under con The fact that the 216 human victims voy. The U-51 and sister submarines of this sea raid were saved, apparently that voyaged from the Weser to the Dar without the loss of a single life, was due danelles in May and June, 1915, had sup largely to the promptness with which ply ships. The sinister visitor at New Admiral Knight dispatched the Newport port, so far as known; operated without destroyer flotilla to the rescue. An hour any external base of supplies.
after the first wireless distress signal After paying formal visits to Rear told what was happening, seventeen naval Admiral Austin M. Knight, Commandant greyhounds were racing to the scene of of the Second United States Naval Dis- · operations. The Navy Department also trict, and Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves, placed its entire wireless department at commanding the American destroyer the disposal of Admiral Knight, and all flotilla at Newport, Captain Rose de commercial messages were stopped to parted with his vessel at sunset without give a clear field to distress calls from disclosing his purpose or destination. attacked vessels,
Destruction of the Red Cross liner Stephano was the heaviest blow dealt by the raider, and also the one most productive of legal issues. Setting adrift 164 people forty-two miles from land is regarded by Entente critics as a violation of the German promise to take due precautions against the imperiling of the lives of noncombatants. Captain Clifton Smith's account of the episode may be given here as typical of the German procedure:
We were about three miles east of the Nantucket Lightship and about 42 miles from the mainland when I first saw the submarine, This was at 5:35 P. M. I was on the bridge. The weather was somewhat hazy and it was a little dark, but I could make her out plainly. She was about half a mile away, and was lying next a fairly large ship, which was apparently a supply ship.
She fired a shot across our bows and I slowed down. There were four such shots fired by her altogether, about two minutes apart. None of them hit us. There were two American destroyers near by about this time. I ordered the boats lowered, and prepared to abandon the ship. There 97 passengers and 67 crew, and we used six out of eight boats. While we were doing this the submarine went under the lee of the Stephano. I could not see much of her, but could tell by her lights that she was going along by the side of the ship.
When we were in the boats it was dark, but we saw the submarine leave the Stephano and go off about a mile and a half and sink a freighter. We could not make out what vessel it was or whether her crew left, but we saw her sink.
Then the submarine returned to the Stephano. She fired thirty shots into the hull of the vessel, but they apparently did little harm. They did not even put the dynamo out of commission, and the vessel remained fully lighted. Then the submarine drew off and fired one torpedo. The Stephano went down in seven minutes after being hit. We were later picked up by the destroyer.
An immediate result of the episode was
the suspension of many sailings, amounting to a temporary blockade of American ports; but as the intruder disappeared as swiftly as it had come, trade soon resumed its normal course.
Up to the present writing the American Government has acted on the theory that the U-53 did not violate either international law or the German promises made to the United States regarding the conduct of submarine warfare. There is some resentment manifest, however, in England, as voiced by the press and by members of Parliament. Early in the war the United States Government intimated to Great Britain that there was some annoyance over the patrol by British war vessels just outside the three-mile limit, in the vicinity of our chief ports. After several protests the British method of patrol was modified. The statement that the United States destroyers stood by while the German U-boat was engaged in sinking a passenger liner, and made no protest, is therefore resented in England. It is intimated that Great Britain will eventually present claims for damages inflicted by the U-53 against our Government because she was not detained at Newport.
It was announced just after the U-53 episode that Norway had notified the Allies that no German submarines would be permitted in Norwegian waters without internment, but on Oct. 19 this was officially denied by Norway, the Government maintaining that there will be no prohibition against U-boats, and that merchant U-boats will have the status of merchant ships. Holland, on the other hand, will intern any submarines that enter her waters. The whole matter of the status of submarines in neutral ports is under discussion and in process of formulation.
Is the Deutschland a Merchant Ship?
By Rear Admiral Degouy
Of the French Navy
[Translated from La Revue des Deux Mondes for CURRENT HISTORY MAGAZINE)