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This Portrait of the Kaiser Appeared in a Leading German
( Mustrirte Zeitung, Berlin.)
Progress on All Fronts
the west of them, had driven the enemy HE war situation in the past month
back over the Bistritza River, and on has inclined somewhat favorably to
Nov. 19 they captured Monastir. Greece the Allies. The British and French
seems to have grown quieter, and has acmade advances in France, the latter hav
cepted the domination of her affairs by
the Entente Powers. The independent ing executed a brilliant and effective
movement under Venizelos is making furstroke in the recapture of Forts Douaumont and Vaux, with many prisoners and
ther progress with allied assistance. much equipment. By this feat the
Italy has scored a distinct success on French regained in a few hours what
the Carso plateau and is now within cost the Germans eight months and 600,
striking distance of Trieste, which seems 000 men; moreover, it definitely dispelled
destined ultimately to fall into Cadorna's
hands. any illusions the Germans may have cherished as to the ultimate fall of Ver
There has been sanguinary fighting dun, and proved a new inspiration to the
all along the eastern front, from Riga to French. Along the Somme and Ancre
the Carpathians. The advance of the both French and English made several
Russians has been checked, and they have effective thrusts into the German inner
met with some reverses; the fighting in lines, and advanced two or three miles
the vicinity of Halicz has been particualong an extended front.
larly severe, and the advantage seems to In the Balkans the fortunes of war
rest with the Germans, for the moment, swayed from side to side. The armies of
but the bloody struggle still continues. the Central Powers made a formidable
No important events are chronicled in advance into Rumania, capturing the im
Asia Minor, but the British are completportant City of Constanza and reaching ing the capture of German East Africa. a point nearly fifty miles within the Ru There were no important naval engagemanian border; but early in November ments, but the month brought a renewal this advance was checked, and then of German submarine activities with changed into a retreat. At this writing great losses to English and neutral shipthe Teutonic forces have been driven ping. Several large steamships with back thirty miles, and one wing of Americans aboard have been torpedoed; Mackensen's army is in grave danger of but the Germans assert that in each inbeing caught between two strong Russian stance the vessels either offered resistarmies. The Serbians, with French as ance or attempted to escape. The mersistance, have achieved success along the chant submarine Deutschland again Cerna, and have recaptured a consider crossed the Atlantic and reached New able area of their own territory. By London safely with a cargo of dyestuffs Nov. 16 their forces, co-operating and securities valued at several million with the Franco-Russo-Italian army to
dollars. It was reloaded with a cargo
General Fayolle, in Command on
AFTER the first days of fighting.com
of rubber, nickel, and copper, and quietly left port before daylight on Nov. 17. A few hours after leaving, while passing through the narrow opening of Long Island Sound, the submarine rammed one of its convoying tugs; the tug was sliced in two, and immediately sank with five of its crew. The Deutschland was slightly damaged and at once returned to port. She is expected to resume her voyage before Dec. 1.
Peace Prospects Remote The prospects of peace made no appreciable improvement during the month. The speeches of the German Chancellor and the British Foreign Minister, printed elsewhere in this issue of CURRENT HisTORY MAGAZINE, offer no hope of an early solution. A feeling is manifest at Washington that the re-election of President Wilson may encourage him at an early day to take the initiative in suggesting a conference of the belligerent powers, with a view to discussing possible terms of peace, but the surface indications give slender hope that any mutual basis can be reached until the war enters a new phase.
While all the powers undoubtedly desire to end the struggle, their aims are so widely divergent and their hatreds so implacably fixed that further exhaustion must ensue before peace can
come in sight. A significant passage in Viscount Grey's blacklist reply, printed elsewhere in these pages, indicates that Great Britain is preparing for a long struggle, the duration of which cannot be now foreseen.
Germany also is clearly of the same opinion, as is shown by the announcement on Nov. 15 of the proposed introduction of compulsory nonmilitary seryice. Major Gen. Groener, former Chief of Military Railways, has been given supreme control of all German industries and economic resources. It is understood that he will at once proceed to organize all the man power and woman power in the empire, so that every ounce of potentiality may be employed, and every available man capable of bearing arms may be released from industrial service and sent to the front.
eral Fayolle, who commands the French forces there, declared that victory was certain, if the Entente forces continued to pursue it “with energy and method." The two words, the two qualities, are characteristic of the man. Energy and method General Fayolle practices himself and demands from all his subordinates. A General of Artillery, he recognizes the fact that artillery plays the essential role in the war today; he asks for the best guns obtainable, and he asks for the greatest results from his guns. He is in particular a master of the correlation of artillery with infantry, which has gone so far, in the French Army, that the protecting “curtain of fire ” moves just far enough ahead of the advancing infantry to secure them against the spray of the bursting shells, and no further.
First, the heavy guns must smash the obstacles in the way of the infantry; then, under cover of the curtain fire, the infantry must reach exactly the objective assigned to every battalion, to every company. But it is not enough to destroy the trenches, the troops of the enemy; there remain his guns. And the best way to guard one's infantry against the enemy's guns is to make a direct attack on these guns and put them out of commission. Therefore General Fayolle has developed the organization of his “counterbatteries," whose sole objective is the guns of the enemy. He always insists that the greatest successes gained by his men are due to his domination of the enemy's guns by his own counterbatteries.
When, in crossing the field of battle, as he daily does, he notices the enemy's shells falling more thickly than usual, he immediately asks:
“ What are my counterbatteries doing?” And he requires sufficient
General Fayolle always desires to see exactly what his guns are accomplishing. He goes to the batteries, asks what their objective is, inquires into the sighting,
the number of hits; he demands exact answers, and is no friend of zone fire or of fire not accurately controlled. He holds, in a word, that it would be foolish to ask for energy and method, unless he himself daily set the example of both. A man of 64, almost of an age with Joffre, General Fayolle is one of the most noteworthy men in the French Army.
Mackensen and Sakharoff in Dobrudja THE THE outstanding fact in the Dobrudja
fighting in November was the appearance of General Sakharoff to command the Russo-Rumanian troops then retreating before Field Marshal Mackensen. Sakharoff was one of the four able Generals fighting under General Brusiloff, (Kaledin, Sakharoff, Stcherbatoff, Letchitsky,) and had greatly distinguished himself on the sector facing Lemberg. His transfer to Dobrudja shows that Russia holds this to be a very important fighting zone. Without doubt, very considerable forces, both of men and guns, went with him, crossing the Danube by pontoon bridges at Braila or Galatz, where Russia built pontoon bridges in the war of 1877, while Dobrudja was still Turkish territory.
Now, Sakharoff's forces, based on Ismailia, Reni, Galatz, and Braila, are only from 50 to 75 miles from their bases; but it is difficult to name any real base for Mackensen's army nearer than Germany, that is, some 1,000 miles off, by way of Sofia, Nish, Belgrade, and Hungary; at no nearer point, it would seem, can Mackensen get large supplies of heavy guns and the shells to load them with, and these are the backbone of his campaign. Food, in no very large quantities, he may get from Bulgaria or Turkey; but, without heavy guns and large calibre shells, he cannot go on fighting. And he can get them only over a thousand miles of railroad, much of which is only a single track.
This would seem to place an enormous advantage of position in the hands of the Russian commander, whose efforts may easily be supplemented by attacks on both of Mackensen's wings, from the Danube flotilla, on the west wing, and
from the Black Sea Fleet on the east. The dispatches leave us a good deal in the dark as to what has really happened on the Danube. There have been suggestions of Russian crossings along the line of the Czernavoda Bridge, only a short section of which may have been cut, and also further south, at a point nearer Silistria. And there are reports of artillery duels across the river both at Silistria and at Turtukai, both of which may mean preparation for a Russian crossing.
It will be remembered that in 1877 the Russians crossed the Danube by pontoon bridges at two points, first clearing the great river of Turkish monitors and gunboats, and then protecting their pontoon bridges by stringing chaplets of contact mines across the river above and below each pontoon bridge. The artillery duels at Silistria and Turtukai may well be the prelude of
similar manoeuvre; if so, then a considerable Russo-Rumanian force may at any moment appear well in the rear of Mackensen's army, and cut that thin and perilously long line of supplies. In this case, Mackensen's position would be almost desperate; it might involve the loss, or surrender, of his entire army, which must already have lost very heavily, and which can only be reinforced with the utmost difficultyif it can be reinforced at all. Before the new year we shall probably see developments in Dobrudja which may well be decisive for this part of the campaign. The Fall of Monastir and Its
Consequences DE ECEMBER would seem to be the de
cisive month in Balkan fighting. In the early Winter of 1877 the Russians won the great victory of the Shipka Pass, fought in the midst of blizzards, and December saw Turkey practically knocked out as a military power. In the Balkan war of 1912 the allied kingdoms reduced Turkey to impotence in December and effectively ended the war.
The present month may see an equally decisive turn in the Macedonian campaign in a rapidly unfolding series of events, of which the fall of Monastir is likely to be the key.
To understand why, with a battle line of some 150 miles, General Sarrail has