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taxicabs, and notices more and more the scarcity of vehicles generally and in many cases of personnel. The women are beginning to dominate the sphere of work, doing everything on their own responsibility.
We have own army of occupation, since whole rows of houses are taken up by the new War Bureaus and the countless subordinate departments which are carrying out the national organization. What was called 'shopping' has stopped. Since everything is rationed, shopping due to fancy, luxury, or boredom in other words, women's shopping-has ceased."
The article goes on to say that the theatres are full, but that, except in the lowest class of revues, the plays have little to do with the war. People have become quiet and introspective, and hostesses are acquiring the habit of reciting poetry to their guests.
The Berliner Tageblatt on March 7 announced that the suspension of all beer brewing in Northern Germany was imminent. This action was due to the desire to save Indian corn for bread and malt to take the place of coffee.
At a conference in Vienna March 3, attended by Cabinet Ministers, Governors of Provinces, Burgomasters, and several Parliamentary Deputies, Premier Count Clam-Martinic announced that the Minister of Finance was about to put into operation measures to provide foodstuffs for the poorer classes at considerably reduced prices.
Bread Cards in France Announcement that bread cards would be instituted in France to prevent waste was made March 1, 1917, in an official communication issued by Edouard Herriot, Minister of Provisions.
The announcement says:
"To avoid wastage, the Minister of Provisions has decided to regulate the consumption of bread by instituting cards. Instructions will be given to the Prefects of the different departments to put the new regulation into effect.”
It developed in a debate in Paris that the wheat acreage of France was reduced about 800,000 by the invasion, out of a total of 16,250,000, while the deficiency for 1917 is estimated at 5,500,
000 acres, of which 500,000, at least, is expected to be made up by Spring seeding of Manitoba wheat, which, it is now conceded, will
grow successfully in French soil.
To increase the wheat acreage it is necessary to raise the maximum selling price from an equivalent of $1.85 to $2.25 per bushel, and also to intensify the use of modern motor implements and a greater number of prisoners of war, of whom only 35,000 have been employed on farms.
Russia also is suffering serious privation, aggravated by a serious breakdown in its transportation and distributing systems. News dispatches before the recent revolution told of food riots in Moscow and Petrograd, but the censorship was so strict that no details were allowed to filter through. Food riots in Petrograd, indeed, were a direct cause of the downfall of the Czar's Government. Those who know most concerning the internal situation in Russia declare that starvation still faces large numbers of the poor throughout that country.
Scarcity in Great Britain There is a great scarcity of potatoes in Great Britain, and it is stated that the available stock will be entirely exhausted by May 1, unless there is a material reduction in consumption. The measures taken to increase the British food supply by restricting the importation of nonessentials are given in detail elsewhere. Among the new regulations in London is the establishing of one meatless day at all clubs. The prices of bacon, butter, cheese, and lard are regulated. A reliable observer says under date of March 8:
All over the United Kingdom men and women are, in advance of mandatory legislation, limiting their food consumption, reducing the use of meat, of sugar, of all the things that are supplied by seaborne freights. Britain is getting ready to stand siege; millions of British subjects recognize that the cost of victory in the great struggle may be scarcity at home such as has not been known in modern times in England.
“In the restaurants and hotels only
two courses are served for luncheon and three for dinner. And nothing is more impressive than the fashion in which people are submitting to that sort of regulation.
“ The time has not come when there is an actual and visible shortage of foodstuffs in England. There is no starvation and there is no evidence of that very general underfeeding which all witnesses agree is so unmistakable in Germany. Britain is not yet hungry, but Britons are taking every step to avoid possible famine hereafter by making meagre now.”
Deprivations of Neutrals The war years have doubled prices of many necessities in all lands, and the suffering in the neutral countries of Europe is almost as acute as that in the belligerent nations. Reports from the Scandinavian countries and Holland tell of serious want owing to the submarine blockade. Sweden has not enough grain to last until the next harvest, and Norway has still less than Sweden.
Holland suffered a severe blow in the torpedoing of six Government grain ships by German submarines, followed by a virtual paralysis of all overseas traffic. There has been some modification of the sea lanes open to Holland, but the food
shortage continues acute. The Dutch Government found itself compelled, owing to this situation, to prohibit the exportation of bread to Belgium after March 10, 1917.
Switzerland has two meatless days a week, and must limit its egg consumption, according to a measure promulgated by the Bundesrat at Berne on Feb. 23. In order to conserve the milk supply the sale of whipped cream is forbidden in all public places. The same provision forbids the giving of more than 15 grams of sugar with a tea or coffee order and limits the quantity of sugar which may be used for frostings. Butter may be served only at breakfast or at meals at which no meat or egg dishes are supplied and may no longer be used with cheese. The use of eggs in making pastry is prohibited.
The United States has not escaped its share of the war's effects. In New York City late in February there were riots in the congested districts over the high prices of food and considerable excitement prevailed for some days. Many tons of food were purchased at distant points by municipal committees and sold in New York at cost. After a week of excitement the food supply increased, prices dropped and the flurry subsided.
[AMERICAN VIEW] Germans and Turks in Retreat Period from February 15 to March 17, 1917
By J. B. W. Gardiner
URING the past month only two
theatres of war have been at all active—the front in France
and the Near East. The others have remained in the grip of an unusually long Winter, which, while it has permitted sporadic outbursts of short duration, has effectually prevented any sustained movements. But in these two theatres the Allies have achieved the greatest successes of the last two years.
On the French front the ground has not hardened after the melting of the Winter snows, but the British have maintained a consistent pressure which the Germans have not seemed able to hold back. Continuing their success at Grandcourt, which they took last month, the British were pushing slowly up along the railroad that runs from Albert to Achiet le Grand and thence to Arras. The Germans gave ground stubbornly for a while, and then an unexpected thing happened. The entire southern side of the German salient began to retreat, slowly and in good order, with apparently small loss. The German official reports failed to mention this retreat for days, and the British reports were none too definite in regard to it. For sometime the whole affair remained clouded in mystery.
Apparently the British were taken by surprise, and were afraid of some sort of trap. Their advance, therefore, was slow, as if they were feeling their way forward. The Germans were equally wary in their retreat. They left behind them, as the main forces retired, strong posts armed with machine guns lest the retreat be turned into a rout. A number of strong positions were given up. Even the railroad junction at Achiet le Grand
was permitted to come directly under fire of the British artillery through the occupation by the British of Achiet le Petit. As many of the roads over which the retreat had to be made were covered by the British artillery the German loss must have been considerable; but, notwithstanding some press reports of a rout, there was not the slightest indication that the withdrawal was otherwise than orderly and in complete control.
The retreat carried the British lines up to the outskirts of Bapaume, the first of the objectives for which the battle of the Somme was begun. Here the Germans made a stand. But the British immediately shifted the point of pressure and attacked along the Bapaume-Péronne road against the Woods of St. Pierre Vaast near Sailly-Saillisel.
They captured these woods, and, pushing their lines well forward both to the north and south, went well to the east of the Bapaume position, outflanking it and accentuating the danger of an attack from the south. On the morning of March 17 Bapaume was captured by the British, while the French took Roye and Lassigny.
Abandoning the Whole Salient This German retreat is evidently the beginning of a retirement from the whole of what might be termed the Ancre salient. That it has not progressed more rapidly is evidence of the extreme care which must be exercised in a retrograde movement when enemy pressure is constant and where contact is never for a moment lost. The Germans have, of course, vast stores of ammunition in their endless series of dugouts, and this must be moved. Not a little of it has fallen into British hands. This was un
eration. But a small part was withdrawn at a time. This, however, has reached a stage where, for the forces left behind in the original position, there is an element of extreme danger.
On the other hand, the present German position is untenable. The present British position is a three-quarter circle about the German lines, this circle being about ten miles from tip to tip and about seven miles deep. Two railroads run out of this circle to the German bases eastward, the more northern being about two miles from the northern tip, while the more southern is but a few hundred yards from the British line. This latter, then, is of no use whatever. The former can be used only with danger. There are few good dirt roads in this entire ten miles. To extricate the troops
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avoidable, and will be the case whenever such a movement takes place, but, relatively, the amount is small. This necessity of removing ammunition is going to be a source of much trouble to the Germans as they retire, as it must and will subject them to much greater punishment than would otherwise be the case. The fewer the roads, too, over which this can be moved, the greater is going to be the danger of disaster, at least as far as ammunition is concerned. And this difficulty is present now even to a greater degree than before.
The Germans did not and could not retire from the entire salient position at one operation. The line here, with its sinuosities, was about fifteen miles long. Had a retirement on any such front been attempted British pressure would have ruined the movement as a tactical op
which still hold the northwestern corner of the old salient position can only be accomplished at a considerable sacrifice of material and great loss of men. And yet this must be given up. There is scarcely a foot of all this territory which is not under fire of the British guns from practically all directions. As trenches cannot at the same time face more than one way, it is impossible that they can furnish adequate protection. The Germans are therefore in trouble, no matter what their choice may be.
Causes of Retirement The movements of the past month are in themselves a sufficient answer to the assertion that to get the Germans out of France it will be necessary to drive them out foot by foot for the whole distance. Clever strategy can frequently,
even in trench warfare, put an enemy in Oise north of the Aisne and in the Chama position where a retirement is his only pagne district. Both of these sections salvation, even though infantry
may of the line are of importance in the never have to go into action to effect it. possibilities they present. The former This is what the British have done on the threatens the Noyons salient as well as Somme.
the entire Aisne line by flanking it, the As to the reasons for the German re latter the same line from the other end tirement, the Germans have been very by threatening the railroad communicasilent except to state that it was a stra
tions. A successful operation against the tegic retreat. This is, of course, mean
road between Challerange and Bazaningless, as every retreat is properly so court would place the German line in an characterized. The British have in like unenviable position as far as supplies manner had but little to say of it. One are concerned. thing we may be certain of: It was dic
The Turkish Reverses tated by necessity, not through choice.
In the Near East events have been much This necessity may have been either of
more determinative, and at this time it is two things. As I have said, the British
not too much to say that Turkey is in pressure was becoming more and more severe, and the trap was slowly being
grave danger of being forced into a drawn tighter and tighter about the Ger
separate peace. The British, operating man lines. If these forces did not retire
along the Tigris River from the head of
the Persian Gulf, have conducted one of soon there was a possibility that they
the most brilliant individual moves of would not be able to retire at all, but must surrender. Another question was
the war. Here the fighting has been wide the shortage of men. There can be no
open, trench warfare has not appeared, doubt that this question is causing not
and, because of the mobility of the a little embarrassment. The Central
forces engaged, strategy has borne a Powers are outnumbered on all fronts
much more prominent part than in the two to one, and are outgunned and out
western fighting. It is not a question in generaled on the western front. As it is
this territory only or even principally of possible to increase the number of men
the mechanics of war. It is a question per mile of line only by shortening the
of the brilliancy of the individual com-. line, this must be done. The eastern line
mander. cannot, from its very nature, be shortened The British here have made the most without grave sacrifice of territory. expert use of their cavalry through a Therefore this operation must take place series of well-planned and skillfully exein the west. In either case it bespeaks cuted movements against the Turkish a German emergency.
line of communications along the river. Just how far the German retirement As fast as the Turks would halt and enwill extend no one, of course, can say.
deavor to make a stand, the British Since the rain broke up the battle of the cavalry, operating on the western bank Somme last Fall the Germans have had of the Tigris, where the ground is high plenty of time to prepare in rear of their and excellently adapted to cavalry work, present lines a strong line of defense, would strike behind them and force a just as strong, in fact, as was their orig retreat. As the Tigris is the only line inal line when the storm on the Somme of communications the Turks possessed broke. It is equally certain that they in this country of few roads, a retreat have taken advantage of the opportunity. was in every case inevitable. It is to this line that they are retiring, Position after position was turned in and they will halt when it is reached, not this way, until, after a most rapid adbefore.
vance, Bagdad fell into British hands. The remainder of the western front At this writing the British have pushed has shown an uneasiness, reflecting pos fifty miles beyond the City of the Caliphs, sibly the action north of the Somme. This and the Turks are still in retreat. has shown itself on both sides of the addition the British are striking out