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The Great War

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RlI IllN( last week, Ibefore tic object of (;eneral o in Kluck’s new movemnnt to the Marne and the soutih-ast of Paris had become clear, I ventured to suggest, as an explanation thereof, that ” the (;lernius were now seeking to imitate the strategy aitil tactics of the Zulus, whose aim it always was to, advance on their enemies (ourselves included) in a wide cresceu(tl, ever lnarrowilng into a circle, so as to ‘ Sedan ‘ them,” and this surmise has now been brne outo t the letter biv the latest War ()fice report based on conuic ications frm the headqluarters of Sir Jo hn Frcncih. This report told us much that was new, thus throwing welcome light on some obscure points; but perhaps its most interesting feature was the astonish- ing revelation that, for the purpose of his vast enveloping movement, (G;eneral von Mluclk, comlmand- ing the army on the right of the long German line, had determined to treat the British Army as


rno-existent, or out of action from its losses in all its rcirguard, or (‘Crunna, sort of fighting sinllnc it s. In fact, we were regarded as a ” negligible quantity,” which was the highest form of studied insult lihe could possibly have olteretdl us. But now this contemptuous Kluck must ie a saddecr andll at wiser imaia. Still, one mutint be too lhard on him, since he was only putting into practice the contemlpt for our


Army which had been inculcated bNy (;ernan critics from the lKaiser downward. The Ziulu, or Sedan, strategy of Von Mluck was initiated on Sept.t (which happened to be the anni- versary of the blirth of the Third French Republic), when it became apparent that the Germans had changcd their line of advance and were no longer heading for Paris, but to the south-east of it. Since the baut l: near 1lons on Aug. 23, their arnmy, accord- ing to Sir John French, ” had been playing its part in the colossal strategic endeavour to create a Sedan for thliet Allies by outflanking and enveloping the left of their whole line, so as to encircle and drive both British and French to the south.” In fact, the contemptuous Teutons were executing ” what amounted to a flank march diagonally across our front,” something similar to our flank march past Sebastopol after the Alla, though inspired by far more disdain of our power to do harm. But pride, as usual, came before a fall; and presently the overweening Germans had bitter cause to regret their error of judgment. The detlection of their line of march to thel south- east hadi caused r.. ‘-


tilent all the more dlisappoint- ment. since, front letters found on the ‘deatd-and how valuable are such documents for an op- posing General ! — it appeared that there was a general im- pression among the enemy’s troops that they were about to enter Paris. The British Army, which had been left out of account by Rluck as a negligible quantity, was quick to.ebtrude itself once more upon his notice, and to upset all his calculations in the most heartbreaking way-pro– ing once more the truth of the maxim that ” the best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley.” Linking up with two French armies, one on either side, the British hastened to fall on the German flank and threaten to roll it up-the most dangerous and fatal of all move- ments in war-so that the Ger- mans had no choice but to refuse


or throw back their right flank and convert their sweeping-forward movement into a retrograde one, muttering fiercely the words of Schiller in ” Don Carlos “-” Riickwaits, riickwarts, Don Rod’rigo ! ” As if in the twinkling of an eye, the whole theatre of war had presented a transformation-scene of the most wonderful kind, the German armies all along their far-flung line, from Meaux to Metz, being steadily


– Dy CHARLES LOW4E. q; 1· ,,< · , ·:: - " ,<- -i , .;? (- , , b7 '1


pressed bhack before the irresistible advance of the Allies, as these self-same Allies had once together breasted the heights of the Alma. As Ladv Tennyson wro)te – Frenchman, a hand in thine ()ur flags have waved together; I.et us drink to glory of thine and mine At the Battle of Alma River. The rhyming is not perfect, especially for a Poet Laureate’s wife, but the sentiment is sound, and is now echoc,l throughout the armies and the countries of the two Western Allies, who are exchang- ing compliments on each other’s bravery and devotion


uit qu h- an .st oc( (d- des -‘- ni- obj rat. ad a115 C WHERE GERMAN SOUTH – WEST AFRICAN FORCES INVADED our SOUTH AFRICA: STOLZENFELS – A TYPICAL GERMAN WATCH- t TOWER ON THE FRONTIER. in me General Botha stated, on the 9th, that a force from German South-West Africa had invaded Union territory. On the 15th came news that the he 4th South African Mounted Rifles had advanced against the enemy and ye captured a blockhouse. Stolzenfels is a village on the Orange River.


such as never passed between them before, as wit- ness this eulogy from M. Hanotaux, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs : ” It seems to me that the honours of the day should rest with our British Allies, who behaved so admirably on the battlefield, and whose Commander-in-Chief, Sir John French, displays in his finely written reports a clear and firm psychology, with


SAID TO HAVE BEEN DESTROYED BY THE GERMANS TO PREVENT CAPTURE BY THE BRITISH: SWAKOPMUND, A PORT OF GERMAN SOUTH – WEST AFRICA. Swakopmund is at the mouth of the river Swakop, just north of Walfish Bay, the small British possession in the centre of the coast-line of German South-West Africa.


something in it of proud disdain and cheerful good- humour.” The battlefield in question was that on which the Allies for a whole week-from Sept. 4 to io- had steadily pressed back the overweening invaders, in some cases converted their enforced retiremc.nt into something very like a rout, to judge by the fact that the British made large captures of men, guns,


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and war material ; while one French army was stated to have taken all the artillery of one German Corps, amounting to o20 guns. Evidence of haste, dis- organisation, and even headlong flight was every- where met with, and in the region north of the Marne the Germans ” seemed to be demoralised and inclined to surrender in small parties,” many of them not having tasted food of any kind for two days. In fact, it was everywhere a case of ” order, counter-order, and disorder.” The Germans themselves, of course, deny the charges of vandalism and brutality brought against them, but on this head the evidence of our Head- quarters Staff is direct and damning. ” Much brutal and senseless damage has been done in the villages occupied by the enemy. Property has been wantonly destroyed, pictures in the chAteaux have been ripped up, and the houses generally pillaged. It is stated on unimpeachable authority, also, that the in- habitants have been much ill-treated.”


Perhaps the most gratifying feature of the official report is the praise that is bestowed on the work of our Royal Flying Corps, both by Sir John French and General Joffre-not only for the ” precision, exactitude, and regu- larity ” of its reconnoitring work, but also for its combatant merits in attacking air-craft, and bringing them to the ground. Our airmen do not bother-much about dropping bombs-leaving that for the most Dart to the Germans. at Antwern


and elsewhere. On the other hand, ” the constant object of our aviators has been to effect the accu- rate location of the enemy’s forces, and incident- ally–since the operations cover so large an area-of our own units.” All this has been done only by great daring and endurance, and ” to give a rough idea of the amount of work carried out it is sufficient to mention that during a period of twenty days a daily average of more than nine reconnaissance flights of over a hundred miles each has been maintained.” These fine results entitle Sir John French to say that ” something in the direction of the mastery of the air has already been gained,” a
nd also that ” the British Flying Corps has succeeded in establishing an individual ascendency which is as serviceable to us as it is damaging to the enemy “–the same sort of personal ascendency as that to which Sir John, in a previous report, referred as having been gained by the men of all our arms, especially infantry and cavalry. over the corresnondine


forces of the enemy. If only we had more men and, above all, more guns, such as those which work such havoc among our de- voted soldiers with their diabolic shrapnel, we should be all right. But the time seems to be at hand when the Germans must divert more of their army corps to the assistance of Austria, who has already lost several Sadowas and seems to be on the brink of positive disruption altogether. Even the Servians have seized Semlin, which most of our dailies-uninstructed by a war which is said to be the best teacher of geography-as well as the Times Gazetteer of the World, continue to locate on the left bank of the Danube instead of the right. Another curious freak of the journalistic imagination, which spread to the general pub- lic and possessed it with the force of one of our Thirty-Nine Articles, was that an army of Russians- variously estimated at 40,000 to 250,000 men, had been brought


round from Archangel (where there is only twenty feet of water !), rushed through the Kingdom by rail, and re-embarked for Belgium, where it was to spring upon the Germans the surprise of their lives. But those honest Russians-Cossacks, for the most part, and where were their horses ?-will presently find equally congenial and useful work to do on the line between Konigs- berg, Dantzig, Frankfort – on – the – Oder, and Berlin. LONDON, SEPTEMBER IO.



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