« ПретходнаНастави »
steamer Seward, 3,390 tons, was sunk in the Mediterranean April 7.
On April 5 there came news of the sinking of two Belgian relief ships, the Trevier from New York and the Feistein; the latter was 2,991 tons, the Trevier 3,001. On April 9 the loss of the Belgian relief ship Camilla was sunk with a cargo of foodstuffs, making four relief ships destroyed in five weeks, with 17,000 tons of food.
On April 10 it was reported by the State Department that up to April 3, 1917, German submarines had sunk during the war 686 neutral vessels, including 19 American, and attacked unsuccessfully 79 others, including 8 American. Since the German war zone decree went into effect on Feb. 1 more than one-third of the vessels sunk were neutral, and a large number of other neutral vessels were terrorized into staying in
port. The neutral vessels sunk were as follows:
Norwegian, 410; Swedish, 111; Dutch, 61; Greek, 50; Spanish, 33; American, 19; Peruvian, 1; Argentine, 1; Total, 686.
Neutral vessels attacked and escaped: Norwegian, 32; Swedish, 9; Danish, 5; Greek, 8; Spanish, 2; Argentine, 1; Brazilian, 1; American, 8. Total, 79.
The British Admiralty reported sinkings in the five weeks ended April 1, 1917, to have been 80 vessels of over 1,600 tons each, 41 under 1,600 tons, and 43 smaller vessels. During the week ended April 8, 1917, the sinkings reported by the British Admiralty were: Vessels over 1,600 tons, 16; under 1,600 tons, 2; vessels arriving and sailing from United Kingdom in same period, 4,773. During the week ended April 15 the Admiralty reported the loss of 19 vessels of more than 1,600 tons, 9 less than 1,600, also 12 fishing vessels.
The Wind of Freedom
By JOHN GALSWORTHY
A wind in the world! The dark departs,
The chains now rust that crushed men's flesh and bones;
Feet tread no more the mildewed prison stones,
Of darkened Russia, watching long in vain,
Now shall you see the cloud of Russia's pain
In all the future left no kingly doll,
Decked out with dreadful sceptre, steel, and stole, But walk the earth, a man in charity.
A wind in the world—and doubts are blown
To dust along, and the old stars come forth,
Stars of a creed to Pilgrim Father's worthA field of broken spears and flowers strown.
A wind in the world! Now truancy
From the true self is ended; to her part
Supreme again she moves and from her heart
Together sea by sea in all the lands.
Vision doth move at last and freedom stands
Holland in the Cross-Fire of
to be adopted not only in the North Sea, the Channel, and a part of the Atlantic Ocean, but also in the Mediterranean. These measures are summed up in the establishment of two vast maritime zones, in which trade under any flag, neutral or enemy, will be stopped by force of arms, and in which ships will be exposed to destruction.
As far as the North Sea is concerned the zone is outlined in such a way as to leave a free passage for Dutch navigation, but on the other hand in the eastern portion of the Mediterranean the way is entirely barred between Port Said and the track drawn from Gibraltar to Greece, so that the route to the East Indies, which is essential to Holland as a colonial power, is cut.
The Queen's Government has in the course of the war more than once explained how it regards the arbitrary delimitation by the belligerent powers of a part of the sea as a zone reserved for military operations, in which commercial traffic is exposed to danger. Thus the Government protested, in a note, dated Nov. 16, 1914, to the British Minister, against the designation of the North Sea as a military zone in which merchant ships and fishing boats would be at least in danger by observing strictly the indications furnished by the British Admiralty.
Similarly, the Dutch Government protested in memorandum, dated Feb. 12, 1915, against the proclamation by the German Government of a large portion of the North Sea and the Channel as a zone of war.
In these two cases the Queen's Government pointed out that, according to the law of nations, only the immediate sphere of action of the belligerents' military operations constitutes a military zone in which a belligerent's police power can be exercised. A zone with an area of the whole of the North Sea or of a large part of this sea and the Channel could not, in its opinion, be considered as an immediate sphere of action for operations of war; and in calling such areas military zones a serious blow was struck at the fundamental principle of the freedom of the seas.
That the Netherlands Government protested against both the above-mentioned cases is only a reason more why it is obliged to protest most energetically against the system now instituted by your Excellency's Government, a system which not only extends over much vaster areas but which also suggests premeditated attack on neutral vessels, whatever their cargo or destination, and without distinction as to whether their presence in the aforesaid areas is voluntary or due to circumstances independent of their will.
Even if the Imperial Government had de
tion and destruction of shipping. The little nation's geographical position exposes it to interference by both warring groups. The drastic means adopted by Great Britain to prevent the Germans from importing foodstuffs and raw material would alone have been sufficient to cause privation, but when to this is added the havoc wrought by the German submarines at the expense of the Netherlands merchant marine the state of affairs becomes still more distressful. Even there the menace does not end. Since the beginning of the war Holland has had to be prepared to defend her neutrality by guarding her land frontier and by keeping the mouth of the Scheldt closed against any attempt to make Antwerp a base of submarine and other naval operations. In addition to the large force concentrated at Antwerp the Germans have recently had five army corps massed on their Dutch frontier. Nor has the problem of dealing with the hundreds of thousands of Belgians who fled into Holland from the invaders been a light one.
In the circumstances it was not practicable or expedient for Holland to follow the example set by the United States when the new submarine campaign began. Nevertheless, while unable to break off relations with Germany, the Netherlands Government lost no time in protesting in the most vigorous manner, as will be seen from the following note, dated Feb. 7, 1917, which was addressed by J. Loudon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the German Minister at The Hague:
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of the note of Jan. 31 last, A 390, in which your Excellency informed me the Imperial Government sees itself forced to abolish the restrictions which it has applied until now to its methods of warfare at sea.
This note was accompanied by a memorandum containing details of the naval measures
scribed as a blockade the measures which it had just adopted, the merciless destruction of every neutral ship proceeding to or leaving an enemy port would be contrary to the law of nations, which recognizes only the confiscation and not the destruction of ships trying to break a blockade. Moreover, the term blockade," [" blocus "" in the French original of this document,] which the Imperial Government has rightly avoided using, could evidently not be applied to the immense stretch of sea covered by each of the two zones of military operations indicated in the memorandum which your Excellency has transmitted to ine; much less so, since, from the standpoint of international law, a blockade is directed solely against traffic to and from an adversary's ports and in no case against navigation directly between two neutral countries. Now, in the aforesaid zones the Imperial Navy has received orders to destroy all ships it meets without making the least distinction between those proceeding to or leaving an enemy port and those which are on the way between two neutral ports without touching at an enemy port.
Faithful to the principle which it has constantly upheld during this war, the Queen's Government can see in the destruction of neutral vessels by belligerents only a violation of the established law of nations, to say nothing of the wrong against the laws of humanity if such destruction is to take place without any regard for the safety of the people on board.
The responsibility for the destruction of Dutch ships which may eventuate in the zones under discussion and for the loss of human lives which would be involved will fall on the German Government. Its responsibility will be particularly heavy in the cases which are to be foreseen where vessels are forced to enter the danger zone by warships of an adversary exercising the right of visit and search.
To this protest Germany paid nọ attention. On Feb. 22 seven Dutch steamships sailing from Falmouth, England, were attacked by a German submarine a few hours after they left port. Six of the vessels, the Noorderdijk, Zaandijk, Jacatra, Bandoeng, Gaasterland, and Eemland, representing a total of over 30,000 tons, were sunk—without loss of life. The seventh, the Menado, was damaged, but towed back to port. Three, in ballast, were outward bound to America, and the others homeward bound with cargoes consisting mainly of foodstuffs. They had arrived at Falmouth on various dates and had been released by the British authorities at the special request of the Netherlands Government in the belief that the German submarines would
leave the ships unmolested. A storm of indignation swept through Holland, but the German Government refused to accept the blame. Foreign Secretary Zimmermann, replying to a question in the Reichstag on Feb. 28, said:
In the name of the Government I express regret at the accident which occurred a few days ago to Dutch boats. On our part, however, nothing was left undone to prevent it. In no way is the Imperial Government blamable. The Dutch shipowners naturally desired to get their ships out of English ports. Doubtless they were not ready to sail on Feb. 10, ur to which date they could have gone with full security,
Then we put before them the dates Feb. 22 and March 17, stating expressly and formally that on the previous date the ships would have only relative security, while positive security could be guaranteed for March 17. The reason for this was that the possibility existed that on the earlier date submarines, being already en route, they might not all receive our message granting safe conduct to the Dutch vessels,
When the Dutch owners, notwithstanding our reiterated warnings, decided in favor of the earlier date, the Minister of Marine did everything in his power to communicate the order to all submarines. But it appears he was not successful, for, although a complete report on the incident has not yet been received, it appears established that the sinkings are attributable to a German submarine.
I can only repeat regrets of the Admiralty that the Dutch merchant marine has lost precious ships. The incident proves how dangerous it is to navigate the prohibited zones, and gives expression to our wish that neutral navigators cease to cross the zone, and remain in their ports. Thus they really serve their own interests and contribute effectively to the desired end that freedom of the seas be rapidly established.
The German Government also tried to appease Dutch anger by offering to replace the seven ships with German freighters. A Dutch Foreign Office statement issued on March 23 explained that the German Government on March 6 offered to pay an indemnity for the loss of members of the crews and to help the owners by facilitating the purchase of German ships after the war. This offer was made on considerations of humanity and good neighborship." Further steps led to a reconsideration of the offer by Germany, who then suggested that Holland rent German ships on reasonable conditions." The Dutch Government rejected the offer, and the owners of the ships that had been sunk in the
circumstances also refused to accept the defined its attitude as one prohibiting all proposal of indemnification for the crews. armed merchantmen from entering its
In Great Britain the view was held ports. The German military menace that, despite the protests made by Hol on the eastern frontier and Great Britland, that country was accepting“ what ain's control of the sea easily accounted ever Germany dictates " and was indors for Holland's indecision. Germany ing “ Germany's ruthless action by ac wanted armed merchantmen barred alquiescing in illegal submarine warfare together, while Great Britain demanded on neutrals," and that, therefore, it was that they should be admitted to Dutch out of the question for Holland to expect ports in return for the facilities extendfacilities or consideration from Great ed to Dutch vessels in avoiding German Britain. These words were used in a submarine dangers. statement issued in London on March 7 At the end of March the British Govand were inspired by the fact that since ernment insisted that a certain percentthe new German submarine campaign age of Dutch merchant tonnage should had begun Holland had held up practi carry cargoes to British destinations, cally all its shipping, thereby depriving and on the Dutch Government refusing England of the food supplies normally it was reported that forty Dutch steamreceived from Holland.
ers in British ports were to be confisThe refusal of the authorities at Rot cated, if they could not be acquired otherterdam to permit the British merchant wise. Many of these vessels had been steamer Princess Melita to enter the har detained from six to eight weeks. The bor because it was armed provided an holding back of the grain in their holds other bone of contention between the intensified the food shortage in Holland, British and Dutch Governments. On where a rule reducing the bread ration March 9, however, when the Princess went into operation on April 2. Melita put in an appearance for the third The situation created by Germany's time after having thrown its armament new submarine campaign had thus in the overboard, it was permitted to berth. It course of a couple of months developed was supposed that the Princess Melita several new issues, with the result that had been sent for the purpose of giving there was also a growth of hostile feeling the British Government the excuse to re against Great Britain. America's entry open the whole question of armed mer into the war brought a change over the chantmen. The Dutch Government, in whole aspect of things, but at this writits Orange Book of October, 1915, had ing Holland's attitude is undefined.
Progress of the War
Recording Campaigns on All Fronts and Collateral Events
GERMAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS On March 21, a few days after the sinking of
the American ships Vigilancia, City of Memphis, and Illinois by German submarines, President Wilson issued a proclamation calling Congress in extra session on April 2. On March 24 he ordered the withdrawal from Belgium of Minister Whitlock, all American Consular officials, and American members of the Commission for Relief in Belgium. Mr. Whitlock and most of the relief workers left Brussels for Switzerland on April 2, but a few Americans who were working where the
German Army was in operation, by agree-
many's request to extend the Prussian
American treaties of 1799 and 1828.
April 2, asking that body to declare that
had been begun and warning alien enemies
to keep the peace. Defensive war zones around the coasts of
the United States were announced in an
executive order. A $7,000,000,000 war loan bill providing for a
loan of $3,000,000,000 to the Allies was
passed by Congress. On April 15 President Wilson issued a proc
lamation to the people setting forth the necessity for the mobilization of all the industrial forces of the nation to help win the war. Another proclamation, issued April 16, warned alien enemies against
committing treasonable acts. The United States destroyer Smith reported
that she was attacked by a German sub
marine on April 17 off the Atlantic Coast. Several American ships were sunk by Ger
SUBMARINE BLOCKADE On March 23 Germany declared a submarine
blockade of the Arctic coast of Russia. The British Admiralty announced that
twenty-four British steamers were sunk in the war zone in the week ended March 18, nineteen in the week ended April 8, and nineteen in the week ended April 15. A dispatch from Berlin dated March 26 reported that twenty-five steamships, fourteen sailing vessels, and thirty-seven trawlers had been sunk within a few days. An additional list of thirty-four vessels sunk in March was given out April 1. Seven Italian ships were sunk without warning in the week ended April 15. The Norwegian Legation in London announced that in February and March 105 Norwegian vessels of over 228,000 tons were sunk and 106 persons killed and 222 missing. An official tabulation given out by the United States Government showed 686 neutral vessels, including 18 American, sunk by German submarines from the beginning of the war
up to April 3. Two Danish steamers were sunk outside the
barred zone. American losses for the month included the
armed steamer Aztec and the unarmed ships Missourian and Seward. The schooner Marguerite was captured and
presumably sunk. Two British hospital ships, the Asturias and
the Gloucester Castle, were sunk. The British steamer Alnwick Castle was torpedoed 320 miles from land. Four boats containing passengers reached Spain with ten dead. Other British losses included the horse transport Canadian and
the steamships Crispin, Eptafolos, and Snow
don Range. Three Belgian relief ships, the Camilla, the
Trevier, and the Feistein were sunk and two others, the Tunisie and the Haelen, were attacked.
Spain protested against the sinking of the
Spanish steamer San Fulgencio without warning and demanded an indemnity. Later the Spanish steamer Tom was sunk,
also without warning. Brazi! severed relations with Germany after
the sinking of the steamer Parana in which three lives were lost, and seized all
German ships in Brazilian ports. Argentina, on April 10, issued a declaration
announcing that the Government supported the position of the United States with reference to Germany. A few days later two Argentine ships, the transport Pamra and the sailing vessel Oriana, were sunk. Germans were ordered from a suburb of Buenos Aires, and German ships in Argentine waters, which were found to be damaged, were placed under guard. Mobs in Argentina destroyed much German
property. Guatemala protested to Germany against the
blockade note of Feb. 1. Cuba announced on April 7 that a state of
war existed with Germany, and German
ships in Havana Harbor were seized. Panama announced her support of the United
trality. CAMPAIGN IN EASTERN EUROPE March 23-Russians regain positions near the
Beresina River east of Lida. March 2+Russians prepare to meet huge
concentration of Germans on the northern
front. March 27-Germans force Russians back by
gas attacks in the Baranovichi region. April 1-Russians repel repeated Austrian at
tacks near Kirlibaba. April 4-Germans defeat the Russians and
cross the Stokhod River near Helenin;
capture Toboly bridgehead. April 6-Germans occupy part of Russian
trenches east of Plakanen, but are driven
out by counterattack. April 14-Germans bombard Brody. CAMPAIGN IN WESTERN EUROPE March 19-Germans retreat over eighty-five
mile front extending from south of Arras to Soissons; French take Ham, Guiscard, and Chauny; British advance slowly; Germans make slight gains at Verdun be
tween Avocourt and Dead Man Hill. March 20-French occupy Tergnier and reach
the outskirts of Roupy; ruins of Coucyle-Chateau destroyed by Germans; French beat off German attacks on the left bank
of the Meuse. March 21--Germans make a stand on the
Arras-Cambrai-St. Quentin-La Fère line;
the Somme Canal at two