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WITH PRUSSIAN ISM everywhere on the retreat,, with autocracy's defenses cracking all along the line, with the Japanese winning victories in Siberia, "with Bulgaria begging for an armistice, with the Turkish forces in Palestine virtually annihilated, with the Americans and French'' . pressing on Victoriously in Champagne, with the British advancing in the direction of Cambrai," as the New York World sizes up the situation, our editors now see the turn toward victory of the long lane through which the free peoples of the world have been struggling these four years. They see Germany's military . might, tho still formidable, at last beginning to crumble. And while Berlin trembles at the news from the Somme and the Meuse and the Vardar and the Struma,and the Jordan, the reverberation of Allied blows, in one editor's phrase, "thrills the enemies of Germany with joyous expectation." Truly do the French call the present season the "Autumn of Vengeance," says a Paris correspondent of the New York Times, noting these facts:
"Austria pleading for peace and confessing that only enough flour is left to last till January; the Bulgarian armies hopelessly cut in two and in disorderly retreat; Turkey disastrously dt>fcated, with the loss of two of her best armies and two of her richest provinces; Germany suffering the accumulated bitter 'fieSs of ten consecutive weeks of continuous defeats along the ityjaole extent of what she regarded as the most impregnable part Or her front at the hands of armies she believed at her mercy, and looking forward with ever-growing terror to the vengeance for all her crimes that awaits her at the hands of an-American army stronger than her own." **■
The capture of twenty villages and 18,000 prisoners in the first two days' advance by French and Americans in Champagne, and the rush of Haig's Britons through the outer defenses of Cambrai. threatened not only the Hindenburg line, but the very existence of the Quadruple Alliance. For it meant that the Bulgarians and Turks, whose armies were crusht during the1 preceding fortnight, could expect no help from Berlin. Their call was as vain, our press writers note, as the despairing cry to Baal for help that rose from the false prophets on Mount Carmel in ancient days, and will be answered only by the roar of Allied guns. First, the "slipping and slippery" Czar of the Bulgars, as the Allies cut his army to pieces and penetrate his territory, capturing his frontier strongholds, frantically begs b'ield-Marshal von Mackensen to come and take the command of his shattered forces; then his Government humbly pleads for an armistice from Gen. Franchct d'Ksperey. the Allied comrtlalider in Macedonia. At the same time there flees through Constantinople, toward Germany and safety, another German l''ield-Marshal who had promised the Sultan an easy conquest of Egypt, but who had barely saved his own skin after the caching defeat of the Turkish armies he commanded on the old battle-field of Armageddon. The war-lord in Berlin can spare no aid from his own hard-prest lines in France. Our editors are convinced that Teutonic prestige in the East has been forever shattered by the events of this September, and that the
evidence that Germany is no longer able to give effective support to her subordinate'accomplices,Turkey and Bulgaria—"the minor Bcelzebubs," as some one calls them—must be shaking the foundations of Germany's middle-European empire. ,
These simultaneous Allied successes in Palestine and Macedonia, .."with their prolonged, patient, silent, but consummate preparation." says the New York Evening Sun, "constitute a wonderful feat of generalship and they vindicate climactically the principle of unified command." Marshal Foch, as the Philadelphia Press notes, has kept almost'e'wry sector of the Western Front busy, "and now one by one, he is raising the curtain on the several 'side shows.'" The Foch plan of hitting the toe "hard in quick succession at point after point" is now triumphantly in action, others point out, even on the outer edges of the conflict.
America, tho supposedly at peace with both Turkey and Bulgaria, hailed the reconquest of southern Servia as tho it were an American victory, while the news that Allenby had driven the Turk from the Holy Land and "regained Palestine" thrilled every heart. In the words of the Newark News, "with one of the great cavalry-rides of history" Allenby "swept north over the plains of Sharon to Nazareth, from Judea across Samaria into Galilee, and, in three days, pocketed the Turkish main army between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee." If Allenby makes the most of his brilliant success, continues The News, " Damascus will fall, opening the road to Aleppo and making it possible to effect a junction with General Marshall in Mesopotamia, which would put tie British on the frontier of Asia Minor from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier." Turkey, other editors note, is also threatened by the Allied advance in Macedonia, where the Bulgarian armies have been divided and much of southern Servia recaptured. Further progress to the north and east would here cut off Constantinople from Berlin, Vienna, and Sofia. This would mean, says the Washington Post, the complete defeat of both Bulgaria and Turkey, the recovery of Hon mania, and an open path into Hungary; Germany can only meet this "by weakening the Western Front, where she is already outnumbered."
Allied military and political objects are the same in Palestine and Macedonia, says the military critic, Mr. Sidebotham, in a London Times dispatch to the New York Sun—
"They are, first, to redeem for the rightful owners countries opprest by alien domination. Secondly, to defeat the enemy's Oriental policy and discourage his people, as well as to take in time guaranties for future peace and freedom which, if left to the final peace conference, might be skimped. Thirdly, if possible, gain fresh points of attack against our enemies."
The Eastern victories naturally revive the old debate between "Easterners" and "Westerners." A distinguished representative of the latter, General Maurice, warns us, in a dispatch to the New York Times, not to make too much of these successes:
"Let us have no illusions. We can not defeat Germany, Turkey, and Bulgaria decisively in the field at one and the same
RELATION OF.THE BALKAN FRONT TO ADJACENT LANDS.
which argues that successes in Palestine and Macedonia were made possible by Foch's offensive in France, and observes:
"It is not minimizing the importance of the victories in the East to say that the Allies are working for a swifter victory than could be obtained by the crushing of Turkey and Bulgaria and their separation from the Central Alliance. If we were content to stand for two years on the defensive in France, the war might be so won. But that is precisely what the great Allied effort, and principally America's effort, is intended to avoid. ... If the war were to be won by negotiation the Allies would be justified in concentrating on the policy of piecemeal Eastern conquest and the break-up of the Teuton alliance. But as it is, Foch will still prepare himself to break the German line once for all between the North Sea and the Vosges."
On the other hand, it seems to the military expert of the New York Times that these successes in the East have certainly "justified in full measure the British judgment in'continuing their forces in what would on the surface appear to lie but subsidiary fields." The Washington Post laments the long ascendancy of the "Westerners" in Allied councils. It believes them largely responsible for the fact that the Central Powers w;ere venabled "without let or hindrance" to consolidate their positions in Roumania, Asia Minor, and the Russian Black Sea littoral. The results in Macedonia and Palestine have, in the opinion of this newspaper, more than justified the expectations of the "Easterners," and "the only pity is" that their views "were so long opposed and that the present success was not obtained eighteen long months ago, which, in the opinion of competent observers, could have been done." The Brooklyn Eagle is of much the same opinion and declares that "a destroyed Turkey, an emancipated Servia, a revived Roumania, and a Greece infused with new vitality and power are objects that can and ought to be secured while the waning strength of Germany is concentrated for the defense of her menaced frontiers."
The Macedonian campaign, as the Philadelphia Inquirer points out, began on August 14, when Servian artillery opened
fire on the strongest Bulgarian positions along the Saloniki front. Two weeks later some of these positions were carried by assault with the capture of 800 prisoners and considerable booty. On September ,15, after several days' bombardment, the great advance was begun by the French and the reconstituted Servian Army. The first day's fighting saw the Bulgarians driven back nine miles with a loss of a thousand prisoners. Day after day the offensive went on, the front broadening, the spear-head thrusting further north into Servia. In a week the fighting was general from Monastir to the Struma. On the left the Italians helped against the first Bulgarian Army. On the right the British and the new Greek Army struck north, driving the second Bulgarian Army beyond its own frontier. By the 26th there was continuous fighting on a 150-mile front, and the Allied center had advanced until l>rilep and Ishtib were taken and the Bulgarian armies on either side of the Vardar were in grave danger of being cut off from each other and encircled in turn. The first week's fighting brought in as many as 10,000 prisoners and hundreds of guns. The Bulgarian positions were strong, being well fortified and situated in a land of steep mountains, but fell easily before the irrepressible Servians who were reconquering their fatherland. At some points, particularly near their own frontier, the Bulgarians held well, but on many sectors, according to the dispatches, they retreated helter-skelter, abandoning guns, supplies, and wounded soldiers; several regiments mutinied. The Servians, says the London Daily Mail, "performed one of the most difficult military feats, a deed comparable to the breaking of the Wo tan line." A Jugo-Slav division also gave a good account of itself in the early part of this campaign.
The immediate purposes of the Macedonian campaign are set forth by Mr. Frank H. Simonds in the New York Tribune:
"First, to exert upon the Bulgar Army, weakened by transfer of divisions to the West Front, such pressure as will recall the divisions sent away, produce defeat before the divisions can be recalled, and add to the discontent and apprehension already existing in Bulgaria; secondly, by thrusting up the Cerna Valley, to cut the Bulgar communications in the low-er Vardar Valley, compelling a withdrawal from all the strong positions near the Greek
disengaging Monastir and thrusting a wedge between'the Buigars in Macedonia and the Austrians in Albania.
"So much for the military purpose. In addition, the Allies are now striving to get north and into communication with the Servians of the conquered regions of Servia and with the restless and disloyal Jugo-Slavs of the Austrian and Hungarian Adriatic, provinces to enable these to make a successful rising against the Austro-Hungarian Government. . . . An Allied advance through Servia might rouse Roumania, brutally opprest by the German invaders and already showing signs of resentment."
Even before the crushing attacks on their forces in Macedonia, the morale of the Bulgarians was not at its best, according to several authorities. There is much difficult country between Saloniki and Sofia, and the armies of the Central Powers have had time to construct powerful lines. But, observes the New York Times, "no line can hold if there are not men enough to hold it, or if the men holding it have lost their morale." Bulgarian eagerness for peace is noticed by this newspaper, which believes that it is genuine, but asks Americans to remember that the Bulgarian "renunciation" of conquests did not come until the Bulgarian armies in Macedonia were broken by the Servians. Similarly, the New York Journal of Commerce quotes Andr6 Cheradame as declaring that Servia is a great graveyard and "her population has been systematically butchered by the Bulgarians with German approval," and declares that "it would be to trifle with one of the gravest of war-issues to make it easy for Bulgaria to find a place of repentance by providing a light penalty for her flagrant treachery and entirely Teutonic contempt for the dictates of humanity." But the Boston (Höbe believes there are reasons for considering Bulgaria "less a member of the international criminal band than one of its tools."
The destruction of Turkish power in Palestine has naturally captured the imagination of our editorial writers, especially since the fighting was done on historic fields and since the strategy of the victor was so brilliant. After several months of apparent inactivity, but actually of incessant preparation. General Allenby struck on the morning of September 19. His troops, as the Boston Transcript notes, pushed "across the plain of Armageddon, where Deborah and Barak hurled Sisera and his nine hundred chariots of iron into the River Kishon and the stars in their courses fought against Sisera." While the main British army fought its way northward through the Turkish lines over the Samarían hills, we read in the New York Times, "a flanking force, headed by cavalry brilliantly used by a commander who is himself a cavalry officer, drove up the coast and cut across the enemy's rear by a maneuver which seems to have been as notably successful as any that has ever been seen
in the long history of strategy in that region since the days when Pharaoh Necho went up to fight against Carchemish, and beat the armies of Judah on the way." The Turkish defeat was crushing. In all, 45,000 men were taken prisoners and 265 guns were captured. The huge captures were due to the remarkable work of the British cavalry and their Arabian allies in cutting off the retreat of the disorganized remnants of the Turkish host at the fords of the Jordan and in the desert to the west. On the 24th Allenby followed up his victory by taking Haifa and Acre on the Mediterranean coast. Further advances have carried the British to the sea of Galilee and to important points on the Hejaz railroad. The victory of General Allenby has been hailed in London as a model in conception and execution. The use of both cavalry and infantry is called by General Maurice "as perfect an example of cooperation of two arms in a decisive battle as is to be found in the pages of history." Of the three Turkish armies in Palestine, amounting in all to about a hundred thousand men, the Seventh and Eighth, west of the Jordan, were completely destroyed in the main battle. The Fourth army was driven from several of its bases on the Hejaz railway and is menaced by the Arabs on one side and the British forces on the other. The German Field-Marshal Liman von Sanders, commanding these armies, barely escaped with his staff.
There is a Teutonic touch in the official statement from the Constantinople War Office that "the English follow us only step by step." But these steps, editors and war-correspondents note, are bringing the British forces near to Aleppo and Damascus. Allenby's attack, the New York Evening Sun believes, will soon be followed by an advance up the Euphrates of the forces under General Marshall, and "the ultimate purpose of these commanders is to form a junction at Aleppo, at present some 300 miles from each." Aleppo "might be called the key to both Syria and Mesopotamia," we read in the New York Evening Post. A British force landed at Alexandretta could easily march to that railroad center and sever communications between Constantinople and Syria and Mesopotamia. The Turkish armies could then only escape, in The Evening Post's opinion, by completely abandoning Syria amd Mesopotamia.
The fact that the United States is not officially at war with Turkey or Bulgaria irks some of our editors. The Republican Philadelphia Public Ledger, Boston Transcript, and Omaha Bee are inclined to agree with the New York Tribune (Rep.), which says: "Let us get into the Eastern battle-line before it is too late." Other dailies, however, believe that the President has sufficient reason for not asking for a declaration of war.
INDEX TO MAP OF THE BALKAN FRONT. LETTERS AND FIGURES REFER TO SQUARES ON MAP OPPOSITE. In looking for names mentioned in the press dispatches the reader should allow for variations in spelling due to radical differences between the English and various Balkan usages. Spellings used here follow the British official staff maps.
D 7 I Laysta Gr. G
Mount Athos. . .
Muela Bui. C
Mulyani Island... .Gr. F
Munjunua Gr. D
Mus Alia (mt.) ... Bui. B
Mushutiahte Ser. A
(Continued on page It)