Слике страница
PDF
ePub

dalous condition, if borne out by the facts, which brings shame country they are producing an uneasiness which is both to the cheeks of all Americans at home and unconcealable con pathetic and ominous. The spiritual objects of this war have tempt to the lips of all the nations whom we are supposed to be reached down into the souls of the people and America is eager saving from defeat and ruin.

to grapple with the serf army of autocracy in the name of the There is more that the American people want to know : God of Righteousness. They know the war cannot be won by What was the ultimate reason for the rejection of the Lewis phraseology, however adroit or stately or unctuous it

may

be. machine gun by our military bureaucrats, when more than They have risen sheer above party politics, and are passionately seventy thousand of them are now being used effectively by the intolerant of any one who uses any phase of the war for party French, British, and Italian armies, in favor of the Browning advancement. They have proved their willingness to consecrate gun, which has been demonstrated only by “wet-nurse” 1 methods themselves or their sons to the glorious hazards of the battle and has never yet been used on active service? Why has Gen field. They have made, are making, and will still make uneral Leonard Wood's official report upon our Atlantic coast limited sacrifice of wealth and comfort in order to bring the defenses never been made public? Why not make it public im war to an honorable and righteous conclusion. They realize now mediately? Why did we have to send 200,000-(official correc that the Belgians died for us at Liège and Louvain, the French tion 20,000, accepted)—20,000 gas masks to our Army in France at the Marne and Verdun, the British at Ypres and on the and then bring them back in favor of better gas masks, when Somme, the Italians at the Piave and the Brenta. They know the satisfactory French and British models have been available this, and all the honor that lies in the soul of America

urges from the beginning of the war? Why have we no American them to take their share in the line which is the last barrier artillery in France, and when shall we have a quantity sufficient left between barbarism and civilization. Every delay or to protect our troops without stripping the French and British deficiency or misdirection drives into the heart of America like lines?

the dagger of an assassin. We must know the worst, not because These are some of the questions plain matter-of-fact Ameri we like morbid criticism, but because we must cure the evil cans are asking. As they pass from mouth to mouth across the before it kills our honor.

GERMAN PROPAGANDA IN THE CHURCH

BY THE PASTOR OF A CITY CONGREGATION

1

T

THIS letter came to my desk a few days ago from a mem army began to come to us, I was surprised to find men of Amerber of the church:

ican birth and education, but of German descent, whom I had I do not come to church to hear war sermons and Red

looked

upon as men of kindly feelings and of Christian disposiCross appeals. To my mind, the church has no business to preach tion, justify every German atrocity, and yet condemn the United about war, and if the women of the church attended to their States in unmeasured terms for carrying on any trade with the homes they would be more Christian than going to Red Cross Allies. The climax came when, after the sinking of the Lusimeetings. Neither do I think that the church is any place for tania, I heard one of my church board, in conversation with a flags. I will not come to your church any more.

number of other men in the church vestibule after service, Yours,

declare that it served America right for aiding the Allies with I felt very sorry about this letter, for I had great hopes of munitions and for presurning to criticise the war aims of Germaking out of the writer a good American and an energetic many. His resignation from the church board was immediately church worker. You see, I need men, for all my young men and requested by the rest of the members, and I did not hesitate to some of the older ones have gone into the service of the country. sign that request. The service has taken our best, and I am short-handed. But When the United States entered the war, which I felt was then, on the other hand, if my friend the writer, who is of Ger inevitable from the very beginning, we at once established an man descent, could not stand the very mild exhortations which active Red Cross auxiliary at the church. This auxiliary has I have delivered to my people as to their duty to their country done excellent work and has received commendation from headin this crisis, then perhaps we are better off without him. quarters both for the amount and the excellence of its output

. I am serving a congregation which has a number of Germans Several of the most active women in this auxiliary are of Gerin it, both American-born and a few foreign-born. In ordinary man descent. They are giving at least two days a week to the times I count that as a decided benefit to the church. The work, and also have spared neither time nor trouble to secure church in America should be as cosmopolitan as the Nation, a large membership for the Red Cross. But there are several and the representative American church is that which is com others who have resented deeply every reference to the Red posed of many nationalities. But since the beginning of the war Cross made from the pulpit, who would not give a cent to the the presence of Germans in the congregation has been some work, and who were active in circulating stories which have what of an embarrassment and sometimes a decided detriment been started by German sympathizers concerning mismanage to the spiritual life of the church.

ment and misappropriation of materials manufactured by the The German as I have known him in the church is not a Red Cross auxiliaries. The story of the sweater with the tenspiritual-minded person. Many of the women have a devout, dollar bill hidden in the seam, a very silly story at the best, simple faith, but the men are apt to look upon church member with other similar tales, went through the congregation, until | ship more as a duty which they owe to their families, and some found it necessary to speak of the matter from the pulpit and times in the nature of an insurance for the future life, Seldom to say that henceforth people would be requested to cite their do the men become active in religious work. With them it is authority for the stories which they told. Red Cross posters on each man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost.

our announcement board were several times disfigured or torn After the beginning of the European war I felt it incumbent down, and we found in two cases that German sympathizers had upon me to state to the congregation my attitude, and what I paid boys to do this. believed to be the attitude of Christian civilization, and what, Almost without exception the young men who are in the considering the issues involved, must be the attitude of Chris. service from this church are enlisted men. I am free to acknowltian and democratic America. This was taken exception to by edge that the attitude of their pastor toward the war may have a number of my German parishioners. When authentic stories hari considerable influence upon them, but I think that the chief of the atrocities and frightfulness practiced by the German reason was that here was a group of loyal and patriotic Amer

ican young men, and before the draft ever came into operation 1 * Wet-nurse" is a technical or colloquial term employed by army men to describe the tests of a gun in the arsenal or on the proving-grounds under the special

almost every young man in the congregation had enlisted. We direction of the inventor or promoter.—THE EDITORS.

have at present one man in Camp Meade, we have several at

[ocr errors]

1

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Camp Hancock, some in the Regular Army, three or four in the

all over the country, and the fact that many of our boys have Navy, and a good representation in France.

been without overcoats has not been so much due to official inOne fine young fellow whom I received into the church about

efficiency as to the constant effort of the enemy in our midst to three years ago enlisted early last spring. He is only eighteen

cause delays and hamper production wherever possible. vears old. I did not know anything about his enlistment until

Many attempts have been made by men and women to change he appeared in uniform. His two sisters were also members of my attitude toward Germany and my

views upon

the war.

One the church, and I began to note their absence from our services.

woman in my congregation, who is American-born, but who I went to the house to ascertain what the difficulty might be, and was married to a rather well known German who died a few also to get their brother's camp address. He had been sent to

years ago, used every opportunity when I went to her house or one of the Southern camps. The parents are very German, and when we met elsewhere to sing the praises of everything Gerthe sisters, while not able to speak a word of German, are strong man, and to enlarge on the kindliness and Christian qualities German sympathizers. I was met with a tirade of indignation. of the Germans, and the superiority of German Kultur to every. It was my fault and the fault of my church board that their thing American. America was crude and "unkultured” (thank brother had enlisted, and we would be held responsible for his the Lord !), and lacked appreciation of the aims and aspirations safety until he returned home discharged from the service. I have of the German nation. She was suspiciously insistent in her since ascertained that his parents have been trying to use the propaganda. When, a little later, there was considerable trouble influence of German-American politicians to get the boy sent about certain interned German-ships in the vicinity, this woman home on the basis of any excuse which might prove effective disappeared from the city, and I have not seen her since. To offset the case cited I would refer to two excellent

young That German propaganda in the United States is not a recent men both of whom are sergeants at Camp Hancock. Their par thing was very evident to me. Long before there was any ents were born in Germany. There are four sons in the family, thought of war among us I heard it continually dinned into the and the two oldest enlisted soon after the United States declared ears of the church-going public by clergymen of German war. They were recently home on a furlough, and the German descent that we must go to Germany for a purer doctrine, a parents were prouder of their two soldier boys in 0. D. than

deeper scholarship, and more efficient methods of Christian if they had the highest decorations of the German Emperor. work. All that Protestants possess of religious life and devotion

One can readily understand the difficulties which are en was supposed to come from there, and the principles of Protescountered in equipping our Army and Navy when he observes tantism had only been distorted in the too free atmosphere of what goes on in a comparatively small circle of people, such as America. I was blind to the meaning of this religious propaa congregation. Two men who are cloth manufacturers sought ganda until after the war broke out and the plea was made and received a large contract from the Government for cloth that Christian America should sympathize with ultra-Christian for uniforms. Then they began to find all sorts of difficulties in

Germany. their way. They claimed that it had been impossible for them My patriotism may be of quite a pronounced type. So, I hope, to get wool, but that they expected a shipment soon. Then the is my religion. And patriotism for such a country as ours I necessary dyes could not be got; and when, with the help of somehow cannot dissociate from my religion. My business is to the Government, these difficulties were overcome, a strike fight the devil, and I have never met him so clearly in the open wcurred in the mill which held up the work two months longer. as in this war, and therefore we should fight him in the open. The strike was caused by a cut in wages which the German He is our enemy, and I must fight those who are giving aid and American owners of the mill claimed was necessary because of comfort to the enemy whether they are in the church or elsethe high cost of materials. The same scheme is being worked where.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

T:

[ocr errors]

10 understand Trotsky's brief stay on the East Side it is eties that represent every shade of Socialistic thought. Cultural
important to get an impression of East Side life, to con societies, Zionistic organizations, fraternal orders, settlement

stitute a background against which his powerful figure houses, labor organizations, hospitals, orphan asylums, homes can be silhouetted.

for the aged, are among the many other visible incorporations The East Side is more of a state of mind than even Boston, of popular aspirations. to which this term was first applied. Externally it is a chain of

The tone of this restless spiritual life of the East Side is sup tenements

. Its streets are black with men, women, and children. plied by the vigorous Jewish labor movement. The unions of Many of its thoroughfares are packed with push-carts. Behind Jewish workers are no mere trade organizations for higher them stand the picturesque peddlers whose shouts, siren-like, wages and better living conditions. They supply the outlet for serve to attract the beshawled housewife to the wares piled high that striving which bread alone cannot feed. for her scrutiny and discriminating purchase.

The tragedy of the great war has acted as an international Superficial journalists have exploited the picturesqueness of catharsis purifying the souls of many and liberating human the East Side. Reformers have been moved by the challenge sympathy on a most unprecedented scale. The heart of the of its sordid environment. Externally the East Side is as ugly Jewish worker has been touched by the affliction of his as its soul is fascinating.

flesh and blood throughout the war zones. He has given genIn the whole neighborhood there is no colony of immigrants erously and with sacrifice of his small means to relieve the which can show such a rich and variegated life of the spirit as sufferers. But the vision of the men who make up the Jewish that of the Russian Jewish immigrants. They support five proletariat includes the brotherhood of the workers, and mere claily newspapers printed in Yiddish, with a circulation of over relief, though necessary, does not appeal either to their imagithree hundred and fifty thousand, and read by many more. The nations or their minds. They see in the outcome of the world Jewish life of the world is mirrored in this press. The intema war a realization of their dreams of internationalism--a federational mind is popularized by the agile-minded Jewish journal

tion of free peoples. ists, and the news is frequently colored by the headline methods Therefore, while American Jewry was raging with controversy of the American popular dailies. They support many serious

over the calling of an American Jewish congress which would weeklies, monthlies, and even a weekly of biting Jewish satire represent American Jewish opinion respecting the removal of and humor, all printed in the common tongue of the quarter.

Jewish civil and political disabilities at the final peace conferThere is scarcely a school of religious, social, or economic ences of the belligerent nations, and whether it should or should thought unrepresented on the East Side. Orthodox synagogues

not advocate the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, and small congregations that conserve the religious traditions of the Jewish workmen of America organized a National Committhe Jews are, outwardly at least, associating with radica! soci tee of Jewish Workmen on Jewish Rights. The freedom of the

[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Es Exo

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

LÉON TROTSKY

THE NEWSPAPER OFFICE WHERE TROTSKY WORKED WHILE HE WAS IN NEW YORK CITY Jews throughout the world concerned them even more than the world war as the clash of capitalistic states in their race for Palestine. In their reaction as to Jewish questions the Jewish world empire. He referred to Morgan of the United States, workers are internationally minded.

Bleichroeder of Germany, and the Rothschilds of France and
One of the first things undertaken by the National Committee England as capitalists who were accidentally Americans, Ger-
was the publication of their Black Book of Jewish Suffering, mans, French, or English. If shaken in a hat and thrown into
which set forth a series of acts of cruelty deliberately committed other countries, they would take the other side with the same
by the military staff, the bureaucracy, and the tools of the degree of patriotism.
Romanoff régime against Jews who were giving their lives for He contrasted the conflict of interests of the capitalistic states
the Russia which persecuted them. As chairman of their Com with the common interests of the workers of the world, and
mittee on Publication I submitted the Black Book to the Con- pointed out that there was only one war in which the workers
vention of the National Committee of Jewish Workmen on of all lands were concerned--the class struggle; and only one
Jewish Rights at Beethoven Hall, New York City, March 25, enemy-capitalism.
1917. Five hundred thousand Jewish workmen of the United He appealed to the workers to remain steadfast to their
States were represented by delegates that Sunday morning: internationalism, and to continue their enthusiasm for the only

In presenting the book I tried to enlist the support of the tactics which will realize it-the revolution of the workers of
radical workers for the war, and appealed to the international the world.
ism of the protelariat by declaring that the dream of Marx and While in New York Trotsky lived in a Bronx flat with his
Lassalle was coming true. It had become a practical world issue, wife and two children. He earned a meager living by lecturing
and the President of the United States was sponsoring the to Socialist locals and writing for a Russian radical paper, the
necessity for internationalism as the only basis for a permanent “ Novy Mir,” in its dingy editorial rooms ou St. Mark's Place.
peace.

Trotsky was born in a little Jewish colony in the Province of So long as I dwelt upon internationalism there was warın Kerson (Little Russia). He received his education at the gymresponse. But when support of the war was urged the response nasium of Tehnernigov, and probably went to the University, was not so enthusiastic. The ordeal was passed with more sub- though he was never graduated. He was, like other Russian jective satisfaction than applause.

students, early engrossed in revolutionary activities. He became Upon the platform sat a tall, broad-shouldered, shabbily prominent in the Revolution of 1905 as president of the first dressed, and gaunt figure. His friends say that he is under Council of Workmen's Delegates at Petrograd. forty, but his appearance, with the lines of suffering in his With the failure of the 1905 revolution, Leon Braunsteinface, was that of a man past fifty. He had keen and blazing for that is his real name—was arrested, tried, convicted, and eyes. He looked unshaven and his hair was disheveled. He was exiled for life to Siberia. Like other revolutionists, he made a picture of the disinherited intellectual—a fighting agitator who daring escape from Siberia, and it is said that he accomplished had neither the means vor the inclination to concern himself it by the use of the passport of his jailer, whose name, Trotsky, with his appearance.

he also assumed, and whom he sufficiently resembled to make The chairman introduced him-Comrade Trotsky. When he such a method successful. rose, the Convention applauded him vigorously. They recog He lived the life of a revolutionary outcast in some of the nized him as one of their own.

leading capitals of Europe. Berlin, Vienna, London, Paris, and Trotsky's manner of speaking was unlike the manner of the Madrid he knew. Like other revolutionists, he found refuge in conventional agitator. He was calin, sincere, and undramatic. Switzerland. His sharp, metallic voice penetrated the hall without exertion Both in his point of view and in his life experience the world and carried conviction.

is his country. He displays in all his writing a familiarity with Unfortunately, I could not understand what he was saying, the latest Socialist thought of Europe and a knowledge of for he spoke in Russian. But the drift of his speech became Socialist and radical European leaders which come from close plain with the help of a friend who sat next to me. His person- personal association. ality was magnetic. Every little while the audience chuckled or

He arrived in this country in 1916, and received a warm roared with laughter at a sally or a satirical reference to the

reception from his East Side comrades, who were accustomed capitalistic war for humanity.

to welcome and help revolutionary outcasts. The East Side I remember vividly my friend's translation. Trotsky depicted has been a sanctuary for many of the men and women who

[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors][merged small]

were driven from pillar to post for their dreams of Russian hopes to stimulate this revolt by Russian propaganda among freedom.

the German soldiers. He has the abiding faith of revolutionists Trotsky's struggles on the East Side were not new. His rest in the force of the revolutionary idea. less energies found many avenues for expression. He talked to

That Trotsky is pro-German nobody familiar with the history scores of assemblies and wrote many articles. He had on the of the persecution by the Prussian state of the Russian revoluEast Side and in the radical Socialist movement a large and tionists can believe. The Hohenzollerns faithfully served the responsive andience.

Romanoffs in hounding those pioneers of Russian freedom. The Sholem Asch, brilliant Jewish writer and dramatist, whose colony of Russian students who lived in Berlin and eagerly plays have stood the test of successful European production, drank from the well-springs of German scholarship there was and whose fascinating teuilletons should have even a wider constantly reminded of the kinship between Russian and Prus audience than the Yiddish newspaper reading public, wittilysian autocracy when scores of their number were driven from remarked to me, as we sat in one of those East Side cafés, where Germany at a moment's notice at the behest of the Russian the air is either heavy with philosophic discourse or scintillating secret police. If American journalists were only slightly familiar with wit: "I am honored with the burden bequeathed to me by with the history of Prussian persecution of Russian revolutionthe Russian Premier. I must pay the $200 for the Premier's aries like Trotsky, they would not describe him as pro-Germanfurniture which he bought on the installment plan for his Bronx aside from the theoretical impossibility of the position---because Aat. His Excellency, answering the call of his country, left New of his revolutionary and internationalist doctrines. York and left me with the debt--which I had guaranteed." But Trotsky perhaps overestimates the effect of revolutionary

So Léon Trotsky returned to Russia and plunged into the propaganda upon the German people under the spell of Prus maelstrom. How he will emerge it is difficult to prophesy. sianism. German social democracy, the cradle of theoretical

In his book on The Bolsheviki and World Peace," after revolutionary Socialism, has itself become Prussianized. It is analyzing the function of secret diplomacy with an uncanny in action and tactics the least revolutionary of Socialist parties. knowledge and critical acumen, he adds: “ The exposure of I am reminded of a statement which I heard the late Prodiplomatic trickery, cheating, and knavery is one of the most fessor Gustav Schmoller, of Berlin University, make in the important functions of Socialist political agitation."

semester of 1904. In the concluding lecture of his course on He has carried out this function in Brest-Litovsk with a “ The Class Struggle in History” he said : "Chancellor von master hand and bared the “trickery, cheating, and knavery' Bülow told me that the existence of the Social Democratic of the Teuton diplomats to the world.

party in Germany is fortunate for the monarchical state because Trotsky is endowed with a scalpel-like critical faculty schooled it provides us with a disciplined proletariat.” How prophetic ! by years of revolutionary activity and study of Socialist litera In 1914 the Social Democratic party of Germany, departing ture. He is typical of a class of European Socialist journalists from international traditions, voted for the war credits and dewho have been trained to a life of critique.

serted its proletarian brothers of France, England, and Russia. Temperamentally he is like those brilliant Jewish labor It was truly the act of a “disciplined proletariat.' leaders I have known on the East Side whose minds require Can Trotsky undermine the discipline by the naïve, sincere the stimulus of a strike to bring out their resourcefulness and propaganda of Russian peasants and revolutionary soldiers ? their ingenious fighting tactics which have won many a hard Can fraternization and non-resistance break the German war fought battle for the organized workers.

machine? Or is he playing with fire ? Some of us are skeptical. Trotsky's remarks to the Allies and the Central Powers have In the meantime the Bolsheviki have imprisoned Bourtzeff, reminded me at times of addresses I have heard East Side labor the consecrated historian and sleuth of the Russian Revolution. leaders make to garment manufacturers. They show the same Their mob has murdered some of free Russia's choicest spirits nerve, the same subtle jockeying for position.

and in the name of Russian public opinion, of which they are His publication of the secret treaties was such a strike stroke, the arbitrary interpreters, they are employing autocratic methaud it answered the demands of the Russian soldiers who were ods against which revolutionists fought and bled. In their fear told by the German soldiers with whom they fraternized on the of a counter-revolution and bourgeois government they give east front that the Allies' aims were imperialistic. “ If you the illusion of a strong government by surface acts of ruthless want proof, ask your representatives at Petrograd to publish brutality violative of elementary democratic principles. the secret treaties. They will convince you.” When the Ger A quality of incrusted prejudice against the possessing classes man soldiers abandoned fighting, they were sowing the seeds of permeates the spirit of the Bolsheviki agitator, even though he German propaganda. The literal-minded Russian soldier said, explains class exploitation in the impersonal terms of his mate" It is not true. We shall ask our Government." And so they rialistic conception of history. . sent a committee to Petrograd. The publication of the treaties Those radicals whom America harbored from persecution, was Trotsky's reply to the demand of Russian public opinion. and who returned to Russia after the Revolution, tlenouncing It also answered the demand of liberal world opinion and our country as the land of plutocracy and industrial exploitabrought forth a definite statement of our democratic war aims, tion, played into the hands of the German propaganda. which Kerensky's milder methods of importunate appeal and They do not represent the mass of the East Side people, nor good manners could not achieve.

even the majority of Russian revolutionists, like Kaplan, who Russia is a land of intellectual contrasts-a mass of illiterate also believed in an international federation of free peoplespeasants with “ literal minds” at the bottom, with a stratum of even as the Socialists conceive it. sensitive intellectuals who are familiar with the last word in Their estimate of America's role in the world war betrays the scientific, economic, and sociological thought at the top, many limitation of minds that think solely in terms of a system, and of whom also have “ literal minds.

of those who do not recognize that idealism takes many forms
Whether Russia can survive the Bolsheviki only time will and has a varied expression.
tell. But in the meantime they have contributed to the cause of The Bolsheviki of all lands may serve a useful dynamic
open diplomacy by baring the trickery and the annexationist function in times of storm and stress. Even in Russia they are a
designs of Prussian Junkerdom, masquerading under the for temporary phenomenon, a product of anarchy incident to every
mula of “no annexations and no indemnities." They have heart profound revolutionary movement. But they are not the ones to
ened the liberals of the world, and made a more definite formu build, brick upon brick, the new social structure. This is Amer-
lation of the Allies' war aims along democratic lines inevitable. ica's lesson to the Bolsheviki wherever they may be, in Russia

Trotsky's internationalism is rooted in economic determinism. or on the East Side of New York.
The world war, according to Socialist theory, represents the

Through the seething life of the East Side Léon Trotsky vollapse of the capitalistic states in their economie rivalry for passed like hundreds of other exiles who maule temporary use of world markets. To some of us this theory does not sufficiently the refuge this country afforded them. Citizens of the world, take into account complicated race, historical, moral, and psy- they let fall their messages like plumage from a bird's wing, chological factors, which Socialists dismiss with their well-worn and passed on. No one thought, and least of all those who word, " ideology." The internationalism Trotsky represents can

knew him closest, that he was destined to become a world figure be achieved only by a world revolt of the proletariat. Trotsky

in a world tragedy.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

BY LAURENCE LA TOURETTE DRIGGS

A

war.

N “ace” is a fighting pilot who has brought down five small aces, but magnify the prowess of the established ace of enemy airplanes.

great reputation, who is invariably, a squadron leader. The A study of the opposite page, which contains an almost fighting squadron sallies forth on its daily patrol. A victim is complete list of the war aces of aviation, published here in sighted. Down drops the crafty patrol, and by the time the isoThe Outlook for the first time in America, reveals many truths lated observer is aware of its presence he is completely hemmed about the romantic mystery of airplane fighting, if coupled in by the swifter enemy machines. At the proper instant, when with the available information concerning the various methods the ensnared pilot is fully occupied with his encircling enemies

, of air tactics practiced by the different nations engaged in this the squadron leader comes diving down to the attack, pouring

ahead of him a living stream of lead as he approaches. Incidentally, these aviation scores are as familiar to the citi With nothing else to distract his attention, his opportunity zen of France as are the batting averages of New York's famous for a “victory” is almost certain. But, successful or otherwise, Giants to our populace. America's participation in the war once his attack is delivered, he swoops on down to safety absowill eventually make them of even more interest to us.

lutely without risk of danger to himself and withdraws with his It must be remembered that the experiments and growth of supporters to await another opportunity for a surprise attack. the fourth arm in warfare are exclusively in the hands of the Thus Germany saves her star ace from exposure and permits young lads of civilization. It is rare to find a man of forty him to roll up prodigious individual scores at the expense of his actively engaged in aviation, and it is safe to say that the most fellows until they, too, have become proficient through repeated brilliant of the air fighters produced by this misanthropic war experiences with their expert leader. have been approximately one-half that age.

With the Allied airmen this successful system is imitated Fifty-nine French aces appear in this list, only sixteen of only so far as the enemy's tactics compel them to follow it. whom have been killed or captured. But their total is only five Every man is for himself among the Allied air fighters, and hundred and sixty-seven airplanes brought down, as against overwhelming odds are recklessly disregarded to a most melanone thousand and ninety-three brought down by the sixty-four choly degree, as is evidenced by the heavy and growing losses German aces!

among the French and British Aiers. Our conclusion here is irresistible. The Germans must have England neither publishes the British lists of aces nor gives some superiority either in men, machines, or tactics which per their victories particular mention, unless for some distinguished mits this approximate doubling of the score.

conduct which accompanies them. Therefore the British list But another glance at the list discloses the fact that over half herein is far from complete, and is appended only as an indicathe German aces have been killed, leaving but twenty-seven active tion of a few conspicuous British airmen who have secured their aces with their total of five hundred and four, as compared with handful of enemy airplanes. forty-three living French aces totaling three hundred and ninety It is probable that this table of thirty-three British aces, with nine victories. Both tables are accurate up to December 1, 1917. their total score of almost four hundred enemy airplanes shot So over half the German aces have been destroyed by the down, might be easily doubled both in number of aces and in French (with the assistance of the British, Italian, Belgian, and number of enemy machines destroyed if the whole truth could American aviators), while but sixteen of the French airmen of be ascertained. But England with blunt justice declines to this expert class have lost their lives. Moreover, the vanquished advertise her fighting airmen over other soldiers, who are doing enemy aces number among

of their most celebrated their duty as brilliantly, even if in a less spectacular fashion, fighters, while the bulk of the surviving French aces have modest and I have been able to secure this partial list of Great Britain's scores and cannot be regarded as superior in experience to the flying sharpshooters during these three years of war only famous enemies they conquered.

through the incidental mention of their victories when these With this evidence before us, it is logical to conclude thatpilots have received decorations for distinguished conduct from while Teutonic air tactics may produce more high-score aces, their King: yet their tactics do not serve to prevent ultimate defeat by The United States has but one ace, Major Raoul Lufbery, antagonists of less renown. And here we arrive at the meat of of Wallingford, Connecticut, who is now commanding officer the problem.

of the Escadrille Lafayette. Lufbery is credited with seventeen Tactics are of vast importance, but individual superiority German airplanes to date. So far he has escaped absolutely means vastly more.

unhurt after some thirty months' constant exposure to the perils Captain Guynemer, the Prince of Aces, is brought down by of flying and the bullets and shells of the enemy. an unknown Wissemann. The victor writes boastfully home Fifteen Americans in all have gained at least one victory over that he has conquered the king of them all, so he need in the their opponents which is officially credited to them, while many future fear no one. A fortnight later he is leisurely shot to others have brought down one or more German airplanes which pieces by René Fonck, a comrade of the fallen Guynemer! fell to earth deep within the enemy's lines and were not observed

The silent “ Pere" Dorme, of Guynemer's famous Escadrille by French officers, and therefore could not be homologated. N. 3, the “ Cigognes," was reputed among his fellows to be the Confronted now with this official score after three years of most skillful pilot, the most expert shot, and the most careful war, we not only realize the mistake we have made in blandly fighter in the French air service (not excepting Guynemer him- accepting newspaper reports announcing our supremacy in the self). Yet with all these phenomenal possessions the lamented air, but we begin to estimate with due caution the size of the Dorme went aloft on the morning of the first day of May, 1917, task that is, before us. with the confident assertion that he would return with an in Adding up the total scores, we find that sixty-six aces of creased score-and he has not been heard of since !

Pan-Germany have brought down one thousand one hundred and What small particular error or omission cost the masterful twenty-one of our airplanes up to December 1 last, while it has and experienced Guynemer and Dorme their valuable lives? required one hundred and twenty-five of our Allied airmen to We can only speculate in this matter, for the same human falli account for one thousand one hundred and seventy-one German bility likewise terminated the careers of the intrepid Englishman machines : Ball, the dreaded Boelke, Immelmann, Wolf, and Crefeld, and a What is the trouble here? Why should Germany with apa score of other respected German airmen, who, for their brief span proximately half the number of pilots almost equal our score? of weeks, swept irresistibly through these hotly contested skies. The answer is, Germany's air service is entirely in the hands Returning again to our printed list, we are struck with the

of one competent man. General von Hoeppner, formerly Chief disproportionately high scores of the German aces as contrasted of Staff of General von Bulow's army, was in November, 1916. with the large number of “little aces” in the French service. made Chief of Germany's Air Service. Subject only to the This, however, is easily explained.

orders of the Kaiser, von Hoeppner is absolute dictator of the German air tactics discourage the production of numerous air service. He not only dopbled the ontput of airplane

them many

« ПретходнаНастави »