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possibility of popular comprehension. Mention of the magnitude of the armaments was like mention of the extent of the interstellar spaces. The human mind could scarcely grasp such numbers.
THE RUSSIAN LEGIONS Russia, for example. Her military increase that year was perhaps the most sensational of all. With her new scheme of keeping the fourth class with the colors for three months longer than formerly, she swelled her peace establishment-her standing army in time of peace, to the quite unprecedented numbers of more than 1,700,000. Legislation then provided that that establishment should be kept up to 1,760,000 the year around, while during three or four winter months it would be above 2,000,000.
Russian authorities estimated that as a result of the new legislation the war force of the empire would be
Fully trained men.
That was a big showing. But the German General, Blume, who was one of the best informed authorities in all Europe concerning all armies but the German, declared that those figures were far too small. The real size of the Russian army, he insisted, would be in time of war something like this:
Regular war footing.
A RUSSIAN COSSACK CHARGE IN THE CARPATHIANS Some of the stubbornest and most eagerly contested engagements of the great war took place on the snow covered heights of the Carpathians. This illustration shows a charge of a famous Cossack regiment upon an Austrian battery. The Cossacks are numbered among the finest cavalry organizations in the world and are fearless and relentless fighters. Their horses are small and wiry, having great endurance and adaptability to the cold weather and poor feed which is their usual lot.
GERMAN ABUSE OF THE WHITE FLAG An incident showing how a company of British soldiers were cut down by an ambushed enemy. The front rank of Germans had been firing from behind a small ridge. In apparent surrender they stood up in a long row and held up the white flag. The British advanced to receive their guns and take them prisoners, when suddenly the entire line fell down and a second line arose from behind the ridge and immediately killed all the British company.
On the basis of these figures, there is no room for wonderment at the increase of the Russian military budget from $275,000,000 in 1908, to $445,000,000 in 1914.
This was called Russia's answer to the new German army law. Let us see what that measure was, which so aroused the martial rivalry of Russia.
GERMANY'S GROWING ARMY The German rule had always thitherto been to keep the peace strength of the army at about one per cent of the population, and the various army laws provided for increases from time to time, according to the increases of population shown by the census. The size of the army on a peace footing was thus as follows under the successive acts of the Reichstag:
At the same ratio the numbers for 1912-13 would have been 626,000, and those for 1913–14 would have been 661,000. But the new law made the former no less than 723,000 and the latter 870,000 all told. That was more than one per cent of the population. It was about 1.35 per cent, while the Russian percentage was only about 1.25 and that of France, as we shall see, was no less than 1.47. This new law imposed upon the German people the greatest military burden they had ever borne in time of peace, and was considered by many to be the limit of their endurance. They were bearing it with apparent patience, but they would have welcomed relief from it with general joy.
THE FRENCH ESTABLISHMENT France made no response, in numbers, to Germany's increases in 1911 and 1912. In 1905 she made a law under which at the beginning of 1913 she had only 567,000 men. That was 303,000 fewer than Germany had; a tremendous disparity. She then turned to the three years' service plan, and under it swelled her peace strength to 673,000, all told, or 197,000 less than that of Germany.
THE OTHER ARMIES i Italy was credited with a peace army of 306,300, and a war force of from 750,000 to 1,100,000, of first and second lines only. Austria-Hungary had a peace army of 425,881, which in time of war would be increased to 810,000 in first and second lines, and to 2,000,000 when the reserves were included.
Great Britain had what the German Emperor slightingly called a "contemptible little army,” of only 275,000 on a war footing; her reliance having long been placed upon her unequaled fleet.
THE PEOPLE'S BURDEN It was no wonder that statesmen were beginning to wonder where it would all end. Here were armies on a peace footing of nearly seven million men, which in time of war would be swelled to fifteen millions. The burden of taxation imposed upon the people was appalling. Here is the European army budget of the six great powers for
1913–14, the last year before the war: