Слике страница

importance of outflanking strategy has not been affected by the lessons of the war; what Germany must try to do is to obtain by "policy" a better starting-point for her future wars. The following passage may be taken as Freytag's real "deduction from the world war":

If, as we hope, policy succeeds in future in preventing the recurrence of such a menacing situation, or at any rate in producing the effect that we

The Times.

shall have greater freedom for violent and decisive blows in one direction, then the war will take a different shape and will be more like former wars. Our business, therefore, is to maintain the fundamental ideas of war as they lived in the German Army up to the year 1914, to soak them in the experiences of the present war, and to make the fullest technical use of these experiences—but to do all this without giying an entirely new direction to our thinking on strategy and tactics.



[blocks in formation]

they risked the existence of the State and of the dynasty. Still they were once more ready to risk all for all in view of the immensity of the advantages which a victory would bring to them. The victory of 1866 doubled the population under the sway of William the First and more than doubled Prussia's armed strength and wealth. It raised Prussia to the rank of a real Great Power, and gave her the predominance in Europe. The War of 1914, if successful, would far more than double the population governed from Berlin and would give Germany the predominance throughout the world. These were gigantic stakes. It was worth while risking once more all for all. Austria-Hungary has become Germany's vassal, and Bulgaria and Turkey have become vassals of the Central Empires. These four States have together a population of about 150,000,000 and for all practical purposes they form now a single political unit absolutely controlled from Berlin. By merely preserving the status quo before the War, and without allowing for Germany's vastly improved strategical position by her domination of the point where three continents meet, that country would have more than doubled her population and armed strength. It must be obvious to all that if peace were now concluded reestablishing the status quo ante bellum, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey would not be able to recover their independence. They would remain Germany's vassals politically, militarily, and economically. It follows that a drawn war would considerably more than double Germany's strength. If on the other hand the Central Powers should be victorious and retain their conquests and dictate a peace, Germany would no doubt keep the lion's share. She would retain part of Eastern France and

Belgium, containing together perhaps 10,000,000 inhabitants, and her annexations in the East would increase her population still further. If Germany should take the Baltic Provinces of Russia and Poland and attach these to herself, her population would be increased from 67,000,000 to about 100,000,000. As Belgium and Poland are the two most important industrial centers outside Germany on the Continent of Europe, Germany's economic power and wealth would be more than doubled. Poland, Belgium, and Eastern France are exceedingly rich in coal and iron which furnish weapons of war and munitions of every kind Possibly Germany would, as Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg and other German statesmen have repeatedly declared, re-establish the independence of Belgium and Poland under vaguely mentioned “guarantees,” which would safeguard Germany from another “ag

gression” on the part of her rapacious

neighbors. The nature of these “guarantees” has been made known to the world through numerous indiscretions of leading Germans who have outlined them in detail. The most authorized description of these guarantees is contained in the remarkable disclosures made by Mr. Gerard, the late American Ambassador in Berlin. He has stated in his book:

From the time when Chancellor Hollweg first spoke of peace, I had asked him and others what the peace terms of Germany were. I could never get anyone to state any definite terms of peace. On several occasions when I asked the Chancellor whether Germany were willing to withdraw from Belgium he always said, “Yes, but with guarantees.” Finally, in January, 1917, when he was again talking of peace, I said:

“What are these peace terms to which you refer continually? Will you allow me to ask a few questions as to specific terms of peace? First,

are the Germans willing to withdraw from Belgium?” The Chancellor answered: “Yes, but with guarantees.” I said: “What are these guarantees?” He replied: “We must possibly have the forts of Liège and Namur. We must have other forts and garrisons throughout Belgium. We must have possession of the railroad lines. We must have possession of the ports and other means of communication. The Belgians will not be allowed to maintain an army, but we must be allowed to retain a large army in Belgium. We must have commercial control of Belgium.” I said: “I don't see that you have left much for the Belgians excepting that King Albert will have the right to reside at Brussels with a guard of honor.” And the Chancellor answered: “We cannot allow Belgium to be an outpost (Vorwerk) of England.” “I do not suppose the English on the other hand wish it to become an outpost of Germany,” I returned, “especially as Tirpitz said the coast of Flanders should be retained in order to make war on England and America.” I then asked: “How about Northern France?” “We are willing to leave Northern France,” the Chancellor responded; “but there must be a rectification of the frontier.” “How about the Eastern frontier?” I asked him. “We must have a very substantial rectification of our frontier.” “How about Roumania?” “We shall leave Bulgaria to deal with Roumania.” “How about Serbia?" “A very small Serbia might be allowed to exist, but that question is for Austria. Austria must be left to do what she wishes to Italy and we must have indemnities from all the countries and all our ships and colonies back.” Of course “rectification of the frontier” is a polite term for annexation.

The nature of the “guarantees” demanded by Germany appears clear

ly from the Chancellor's own words. Before the War Germany had 67,000,000 inhabitants, and the four States of the Central Alliance had together about 150,000,000 people. By attaching to Germany Belgium, Poland, the Baltic Provinces, and certain French territories Germany's population would be increased to about 100,000,000. Austria-Hungary, if victorious, would probably acquire the Ukraine and parts of Roumania and of Serbia which would increase the population of the Dual Monarchy to about 80,000,000. The population of Turkey and Bulgaria combined would, by the territories they claim, be increased to at least 40,000,000. The population of the four States would then be increased to at least 220,000,000 and these would be absolutely dominated by Germany. A greatly aggrandized Germany would not merely control her three vassal States, but would also endeavor to attach to herself the smaller States around the gigantic new composite State, in accordance with the views and desires which have been expressed by many of the most prominent Germans. Holland, Denmark, and Switzerland would be the first to fall under Germany's sway. A victorious war would therefore not merely double the population and wealth at the disposal of Berlin, as did the war of 1866, but would more than treble Germany's subjects and armed strength. The crude system of increasing the number of one's subjects by the annexation of independent States is completely out of date. One can have the identical result by incorporating States which nominally retain their independence. Bismarck's action in 1866 and the German system of Kartells have furnished valuable precedents. In 1866 the Prussian Government doubled the population under its sway while preserving the nominal independence of the minor German

States. After a victory in the present War Germany might respect the nominal independence of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, who now stand in the same relation to Germany in which Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden stand to Prussia, and she might in addition maintain the nominal independence of Belgium and Poland as well. The latter countries would probably be given even less real independence than is enjoyed by the “independent” States of Brunswick and Oldenburg. Germany's present rulers share the view which Bismarck exThe Nineteenth Century and After.

pressed in his dispatch of the 9th of July 1866, that the full control of nominally independent States is as valuable as their absolute possession.

To all who think clearly it must be obvious that a peace which would reestablish the ante-bellum frontiers would firmly establish a greater Germany of more than 150,000,000 people, while a peace concluded on the basis of a German victory would create a connected State under Germany's control the population of which would be at least 220,000,000. Germany would dominate the world.

J. Ellis Barker.


(From a Correspondent lately returned from Vienna.)

The Austrian capital has always had the reputation of being one of the gayest and most light-hearted cities in Europe, and it has not entirely changed its character even now, but to the keen observer there are many curious and interesting differences which show how deeply the stupendous war has affected it. The question which touches the whole population, from the highest to the lowest, most nearly is that of the food supply. The state of semi-starvation at which the poorer classes have now arrived has come on so gradually, and has been marked by such distinct stages, that they have almost come to regard it as natural, and have ceased to wonder at it. They suffer most severely from lack of fat in every form. Almost every afternoon, outside the large markets, from four o'clock onwards, one can see crowds, consisting chiefly of women and children but with elderly men and boys too, gathering round the entrances; by about ten o'clock in the evening they may be counted by hundreds. These people lie, sit, or stand out on the pavement the whole night, waiting

for the lard or bacon which is sold at seven or eight next morning. Each person receives six dekagram (about an eighth of a pound), and, as a rule, the supply is so limited that only the first-comers get any; those who only take up their places after nine in the evening come too late. The bread with which the people are supplied has gone through many stages; there was a time when it was made almost entirely of maize flour; then the maize gave out, and barley was chiefly used; since April of this year it has consisted chiefly of bran, horsechestnuts, and dried beans, with a small percentage of musty flour. Each person gets 18 dekagram (about 6 oz.), and the control is very strict. This amount is quite insufficient for the working classes, since they have nothing else to take its place; potatoes were hardly ever to be seen; dried peas, beans, lentils, rice, and sago have long since disappeared from general consumption; vegetables are scarce and enormously dear, and meat is only to be obtained at high prices and after long waiting. The principal articles of food for the people are a coarse kind of sausage, lights, horseflesh, such odds and ends of vegetables as they can manage to get hold of, and their portion of bread and flour or oatmeal. Coffee is no longer sold. One can only get the “war mixture,” which consists of burnt barley, sugar, and a little inferior coffee or chicory. For real coffee, which can sometimes be got irregularly, people pay as much as 80 kronen (about £3.10s.) a kilogram (2 lb.). Milk is very scarce. " kept chiefly for children and sick persons; butter is strictly rationed-six dekagram a week for each person; eggs are almost unobtainable, and one gladly gives 7d. for one; and ham has disappeared from view since before Easter. Tea costs anything from 40 to 80 kronen a kilogram (a crown is about 10d.), and one can only get 5 dekagram at a time. Boiled sweets, which to some extent take the place of sugar, are sold in small quantities once or twice a week, and people stand in long queues several hours to obtain them. For a tin of salmon which I saw here the other day marked at 10%d. one pays 24 kronen (exactly £1), wine and beer are made only in small quantities, and have become very dear. At the restaurants a very small quantity of beer is sold once a day, either for dinner or supper. As soon as the “Piccolo” (the small boy who brings the drinks and clears the tables) makes his appearance there is a general rush for the coveted refreshments; he is relieved of most of his burden before he can reach the end of the room; the unscrupulous thirsty drink off their portions at one draught, hide the glasses under the table, and demand a second. I have seen as many as five glasses stowed away under a table. Of course liberal tips play an important part in impairing the Piccolo's memory.

Business, politics, even the war

have almost ceased to be discussed much in public; the great and burning topic in the trams, in the cafés, in the streets, everywhere where people come together, is the price of food, which shops still have supplies of this or that, which restaurants give the largest portions, when and where soap, candles, chocolate, petroleum, or other much-coveted articles can be obtained.

Every kind of clothing has become enormously dear, and not only clothing but all the little necessaries of daily life in connection with clothes. Elastie containing real india-rubber is almost unobtainable—for the last piece I bought I paid at the rate of 8s. a meter; a pair of shoe laces costs a shilling, a reel of sewing cotton about the same; all linen goods are so dear that two ladies of my acquaintance have been wearing their own dining-room curtains made up into costumes. They were of good Liberty linen, a little faded by the sun, but after being dyed they were as good as new, and cost less than half the price now asked for linen of very inferior quality. Ladies can only buy one pair of stockings at a time; woolen dress materials cost anything from £1 to £4 a meter; cottons are somewhat cheaper, but the supply is very limited. For men's clothes there are, as yet, no cards as in Germany, but it is difficult to obtain a sufficient supply of anything. Most of the children of the working classes are wearing wooden sandals, for the soling of a pair of shoes costs about £1, and genuine leather can only be obtained from the military authorities.

In spite of the high prices, there never was greater luxury in dress in Vienna than during the last two years. Many fortunes have been made, so that the wives and daughters of these nouveaur riches are resplendent in garments of finished elegance, furs, jewels, dainty shoes and stockings, and costly laces; many of them literally carry a

« ПретходнаНастави »