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REAPPEARANCE OF THE RUSSIAN FRONT
Czecho-Slovak Intervention Recon? stitutes Both Political and Military Barriers to German Aggression in Land the Romanoffs Once Ruled With a Little Help From the Entente New Power Will Cause Reshifting of Men From Western Front and Make Passage of Rhine Easier By W. L. McPherson . .. ? .:? CMS. hu The Tribune Association [Sen- York Tribune) THE re-creation of an roaster front is not an empty drean It seems so only to those wh view the situation too narrowly? and from the strictest militar angle. The Kastern front can be recom stituted in two senses?one military the other political and psychological A new front of the second sort woul< be well worth the effort to establisl it, even though a new front of tht first sort may be beyond presen possibilities. Cannot Expect Great Armies Again We cannot expect, of course. t< see Russia put such armies in tht field as she mobilized in 1914 anc maintained in 1015, 1916 and a par of 1917?-from the Baltic Sea to th< Rumanian border. In all that perio< Russia more than offset the military power of Austria - Hungary. Sh< would have overrun the Hungariar plains and possibly marched to th? gates of Vienna had not Germany besides defending her own Easterr frontier, gone to Austria-Hungary'i aid in Galicia and in the Carpa? thians. Russia absorbed the shock of Austrian power and a large pari of the shock of German power through the early years of the war She saved France by tieing up Ger? man resources and gave Great Brit? ain time to create the Kitchener ar? mies. The Allies cannot look to her now to repeat the opportune East Prus? sian and Galician offensives of 1914. Or to repeat the great Brusiloff of? fensive of 1916, which temporarily ?recked Austria-Hungary's Eastern armies and cut short the first Aus ;ro-Hungarian assault on Italy. Nor can the Entente Powers themselves undertake to man a new line from Riga to the Bukovina. At this stage of the war a military decision must be sought on the Western front. The way to Berlin lies over the Rhine, not over the Vistula. Yet any re constitution of a Russian front which will draw more German forces east and keep them there will help to end the war by making the Allied march across the Meuse, the Rhine and the Elbe swifter and easier. Must Threaten Germany From Rear What is needed?and what is now practicable?is the reestablishment of an Eastern front, political and psychological in character, with suf? ficient military backing to compel a ?shifting of German troops east? ward. Russia must become again a threat to the German rear. And she can become such a threat only through a national reorganization. following Allied intervention. In the months since the Brest Eitovsk theaty was signed Russia "as cea.-ed to be a nation. She has r.ad only a shadow of central gov? ernment. Her territory has shrunk ?'?te Balzac'a Magic Skin. At Hrest-Litovs.k von K?hlmann and von < zernin played on the cre? dulity and folly of the Bolshevists. ?hey rudely dismembered the an? cient Romanoff empire, L?nine and "rotzky looking on with fatuous complacency. Germany took, under ?e disingenuous "self - determina? tion" clauses of the treaty, the bulk '?? Western Russia Finland, Lithu 4-n-ia, Courland, Poland and the olcraine She gave three Trans Caucasian governments to Turkey. Ut*r, without any warrant but ?rte Bhe stripped Russia of Livonia ?Bd Esthonia, Carelia, the Crimea *M the whole northern Black Sea "'?^t. She allotted Bessarabia to Boroania. ***** Expected Both ?^Pplie? and Recruit? In ?H this territory the most PqpuloTM and the most highly devel *&?1 industrially |n the former Ro **??? Empire- Berlin ?et up a ^rroan overlord.Chip. Germany be ? fi ?t once to exploit it? resources ''Ujtt own hen? fit and to lay plans for reducing the rest of Russia, Si? beria included, to a condition of economic dependency. It was her purpose, undoubtedly, to recruit her armies with conscripts furnished by the puppet states she had established in Western Russia. In Finland site is now demanding that Finnish troops shall attack the Allied forces which have been landed on the Kola peninsula and at Archangel. The Bolshevist government at Moscow has been a pliant German tool. It ?surrendered the Baltic fleet, [t made no resistance to the inva? sion of Southern Russia. It cedec C'arelia to the Finns. Four month: ago German domination of Russia seemed assured. There was no or ganized power anywhere capable o: disputing Lenine's policy of nationa dismemberment and suicide o: checking German penetration to ant beyond the Urals. Accident Gives Allies a Chance But a pure accident saved Russia Out of a clear sky came the Czecho Slovak intervention. History con tains no more romantic or dra matic episode than the sudden tram formation wrought in the Russia situation by the chance interpositio of these Austro-Hungarian ex-pris oners of war. Their adventure is chronicle more stirring than tb March to the Sea of Xenophon's Te Thousand. The Czecho - Slovaks had giadl surrendered to Brusiloff and ha subsequently entered the Russia ranks. Peace left them in an en br.rrassing situation. They could m afford to be exchanged as prisoner They were no longer prisoners, b rebels. They demanded an oppo tunity to get out of Russia by wj of Vladivostok. Most of them su rendered their arms. The Bolshev government promised them trar portation to the Pacific Coast. Germany could have read the futu she would have speeded them their way, Germany Barred Retreat From Russia But Germany didn't want to them escape to join the Allied arm in France and Italy. German in) er.ee with the Bolshevists was exc ed to stop them on their way throt Siberia. Despite Lenine's pr.^mh they were held up and attacked various points on the Siberian r road. To protect themselves t! routed and disarmed the Red Gua who attempted to interfere v them. Then they seized the Siber railroad. A few of them had through to Vladivostok and mained there. They eventually t over that port. The rest, scattc between the Urals and Lake 1 kal, extended their hold on the berian system until they hek practically from Irkutsk to the I Mountains. Few Men Hove Done Miraculous Work The strength of the Czecho vaks has been estimated at from 000 to 120,000, Probably there 1 been less than 80,000 of them u arms. But they have done a < which looks miraculous. Ha cleared the Siberian line from '. Baikal to the Urals, they have cently marched west into Ri proper and established thems on the line of the Volga River. r ine and Trotzky have sent ai against them. But, they have their own everywhere through discipline, high intelligence as diera and extraordinary cou Every Czecho-Slovak is an a ; patriot. He is fighting for the ; ation of his race for the real i y , of a dream which his people cherished for centuries. The Czecho-Slovak army has tained itself in Siberia and F because it has never clashed 1 the bulk of the population. It not oppress the people, It rei ! the local government? and war; WHERE ALLIED FORCES ARE AT WORK IN RUSSIA against the Red Guards and the Austrian. Hungarian and German prisoners who have joined the Bol? shevists. In Eastern Russia and most of Siberia the Bolshevist rule has been tacitly or openly repudi? ated. The Czecho - Slovaks merely assist friendly communities to set up self-government. Allies Slow to Realize Opportunity Without their fortuitous interpo? sition Russia would have been hope? lessly lost to the Allies. Either the Germans would have exercised a completer and completer control through a puppet Soviet dictatorship at Moscow or the country would have lapsed into anarchy. The Al? lied powers were slow to realize the value of tSo Czecho-Slovak achieve? ment. They had despaired of Rus? sia. But the spectacular success of these marooned representatives of anti-Bolshevism and anti-German? ism at last stirred the Entente to action. To relieve them arid to secure their communications with the Pa? cific and with the Arctic had become an Allied moral obligation. Japan v. as evidently willing to go to their rescue. But unfortunately the Uni? ted States balked for a long time at anything which looked like a mili? tary effort antagonistic to the al? leged Moscow government. The or? ganization of the Austrian, Hunga? rian and German prisoners of war through German influence and their employment to fight the Czecho-Slo vaks finally compelled Allied action. Teuton Prisoners Mostly Far East Military policy i -quires all tht Allied powers to protect the Czecho Slovaks from enemy forces and t( prevent the escape from Siberia ot ex-prisoners who would join the ene my's ranks. Fortunately, the bull of the Austrian. Hungarian anr German ex-prisoners are in Lasten Siberia, where they have assimilatec l with themselves the remaining Roc Guards and the worst convict ele ments. These forces can be isolatei by a movement through Manchuri; Lo Chita, east of Lake Baikal, when the unfinished Amur River brand of the Siberian railroad joins t.h> eastern Chinese branch. They cai be bottled up in Eastern Siberia am dealt with at leisure. Before the Czecho-Slovak advent ore came to a head the Allied pro gramme in Russia contemplate' nothing more than landings in Vladi vostok and on the Kola Peninsul . to protect military stures furnishe 1 to the pre Soviet, governments au still side-tracked there. Marine , were disembarked both at Vladivos ? ol: and at the terminal of the Mui ; mansk railroad. But with the Czecho-Slovak su< cesses and the rapid decline of S( viet power a wider vista opened. I .has been found practicable to ?ntei j vene in a military way to fveo Rui """'-"' sia from German domination and to arouse a desire, both in what is left of Russia and in the western and southern provinces annexed by Ger? many, to drive the Germans back again within their own borders. Every Germanized state?Finland, perhaps, excepted?is sick of Ger? man arrogance and rapacity. A new Russia, freed, nationalized and in? vigorated, would become an agent for the liberation of the lost Caucasus provinces, the Crimea, the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Courland, Livonia and Esthonia. The Germans would be thrown everywhere on the defen? sive. They would have to renounce their conquests or create a new Eastern front, to retain them. Have Entered Russia At Many Points The Allies have now entered Rus? sian territory at many points. The Czecho-Slovaks hold Vladivostok and seme territory west of it toward the Ussuri River. They also hold the Transsiberian line west of Lake Baikal all the way to the Urals. West of the Urals they have ad? vanced to the upper Volga River. French, British, American and Jap? anese detachments have reached Vladivostok, where they will operate to clear the railroa?? west to the Chi? nese border and to contain and capt? ure the Teuton ex-prisoners and Red Guards who control the ?Siberian maritime province. The main force of the Japanese. with Chinese auxiliaries, is probably moving up through Manchuria from Port Arthur. It intends, apparent? ly, to strike from the northwestern Manchurian border for Chita and then clear the railroad west to Lake Baikal and Irkutsk. A Russian force under General Semenoff has twice tried to invade ?Siberia from Manchuria and has twice been driven back by the Bolshevists. But the Red Guards and their Teuton associates are not likely to make a serious stand against trained Japan? ese troops. The purely military dif? ficulties of an expedition to Chita and Lake Baikal are not great. But transport and supply* may make s< me trouble after the cold weather sets in. Czecho-Slovaks' Rear Will Be Safe When Chita and Irkutsk -are reached the first purpose, of the Si b? rian relief expedition will have been accomplished. The rear of the Czecho-Slovaks will be secured. A line of retreat to the Pacific through Manchuria will be opened fur them in case it becomes desirable for them to bead again for the East. From Irkurtsk west to the Urals through Tomsk and Omsk, there u in, obstacle at present to an extern ' sion of the Allied line. This countrj ! is under the control of an anti-Bob : shevist government, which has de 1 clared its independence of Russia There are Czecho-Slovak detach nient- al the principal railway cen tres, working in harmony with th? local authorities. No lighting hat been reported in Central and West ' ern Siberia for several months past. The second purpose of the Siberian expedition will be to round up the Teuton ex-prisoners in Eastern Si? beria. East of Chita the unfinished Amur River branch of the Siberian railroad turns northeast, following the line of the Shilka River until the latter empties into the Amur. This uncompleted railroad, the Shilka and the Amur rivers are the main line of communication between the Province of Aum, the Bolshevist stronghold, and Trans-Baikalia. Bolshevists Along the Chinese Border From the Amur strong Bolshevist contingents made their way into the Trans-Paikal province. They for? merly held Irkutsk, across the lake, but were driven out early this sum l mer by the Czecho-Slovaks. They now bar the way to an Allied advance lrom the Chinese border. If defeat? ed they will have to retire down the Amur railroad line, the Shilka and the Amur rivers, on the last of which there are many river vessels avail? able. How far the Allies intend to pursue them in that direction is a 'question of military expediency solely. At present the Red Guards are rel? atively strong in numbers, but they probably have little artillery and are i under lax discipline. The Czecho ' Slovaks, so far as they have com? into contact with these forces, both in Trans-Baikalia and in and about Vladivostok, have killed the tier mans, Austrians and Hungarians and disarmed the Russians. The pol? icy of disarming the Russians wil probably be followed. The Teuton ex prisoners who surrender will be in terncd in Japan. , Forces in Control ' Along the Ussuri The Czecho-Slovaks and the othe Allied forces in Vladivostok are nov in contact with the Amur Bolshevist : and their auxiliaries in the Ussur 1 River region, west of Vladivostok The Siberian railroad runs west fron the Pacific to the L'ssuri and ther ; joins a branch line coming dowi from the Amur. The northern ter ? minus of this branch is Khabarovsk i Just north of the Ussuri junction i N'ikolskoye. The Red Guards cam down the railroad line in force am occupied N'ikolskoye. They intendc* to cut the Chinese Eastern Railroa between the Ussuri and the Manehu rian frontier. The Czecho-Slovak marched west from Vladivostok earl this summer and ejected the enem from this town. But they have bee hard put to hold their own again? more numerous enemy forces gatl cred on the line of the Ussuri. Last Friday Tokio announced tha Japanese troops had advanced bf yond N'ikolskoye. Lieutenant Genei al Otani is beginning to get the si* uation in hand. In the narrow section near th j Pacific Coast a round-up of the Bo shevists and Teuton prisoners ; more practicable. Communication - north are good and the Allies, if the cared to do so, could march to th Amur and. proceeding up it. occup ' Hlagoveschenk. That would extii ?guish the Bolshevist movement i the East. The Japanese, as a pn : caution, have already seized Nik lnevsk, on the Pacific Coast, at ti mouth of the Amur. This port about TOO miles north of Vladivosto But for a successful campaign in tl maritime province and alone ti ' Amur a considerable Allied force will be needed. The Allies have established them ! selves at two other points in Asiatic Russia. The British have recently dispatched small contingents to Bokhara and Baku. Both these operations are defensive in charac? ter. After the treaty of Brest Litovsk was signed all Middle Asia seemed to lie open to Germany. The Germans thought so themselves. They believed they had found a new route to India. The "Berlin to Bag? dad" slogan was dropped. Bagdad was ia British hands. The German public found a new watchword of empire. It was "Berlin to Bokhara." Bokhara lies close to the northern | most projection of India, and an al I tentative route south lies through Persia and Afghanistan. British First To Reach Bokhara The British, however, have beaten , the Germans to Bokhara. The Bok haran province is probably loosely attached to the new independent government of Turkestan, which is anti-Bolshevist. But conditions are unsettled. The British expedition composed of East India troops, came up through Baluchistan and Easterr Persia. The new Persian government seem; to have turned away from Turke\ and the Pan-Turanian agitators Since Russia disappeared and G real Britain annulled the partition ol Persia with Russia into "spheres o: influence" relations between Tehe ran and London have become mon cordial. With Persia's active or pas sive good will the British can main tain a force in Bokhara, protecting the Bokharan railroad and guardinj the northern approaches to India. Persia also put no obstacles in th? way of the second British expeditioi ?across her northwestern province ? from Mesopotamia to Baku. Las spring, when the right wing of th British army in Mesopotamia wa making rapid progress up the Tigri and east of the Tigris toward Mosu a Turkish force?mostly Kurds moved from Lake Van into North western Persia with the appareil intention of working down on th right flank of the advancing Britisl The Turks reached Lake Urumial but got no further. Now British troops?a small bud; naturally ? have passed throug Northwestern Persia from the T gris, taken ship at Enzeli, on th t'aspian Sea. and disembarked t Baku. Allies Aid Bolshevist Forces at Baku Baku is the terminus of the rai road across Transcaucasia from Bi turn, on the Black Sea. At Bres Litovsk Russia surrendered to Tu key the districts of Kars, Erivan at Batum. The Turks had to fight get possession of them, for the A menian population resisted and tl independent governments set up the rest of the Caucasus were ho tile. Turkey finaly got. possession ? the greater part of the three di tricts. But Turkish ambitions didn't st< there. The Pan-Turanian agitato wanted to open a road into Bokha and Turkestan. Turkish troops ha been trying for some time to ta Baku, the chief west shore port, the Caspian and the centre of great oil trade. Control of Bak with its shipping, means control of! the Caspian. Armenians and Bolshevists joined' in opposing the Turkish invasion of Eastern Transcaucasia. They have defended Baku and the British expe? dition is cooperating with them. Baku h also the key to the control of the trans - Caspian railroad, running oast from the Caspian Sea into Tur? kestan, and of the routes into North? eastern Persia. With a sufficient force Baku could also be used as a base for operations up the Volga River. The Czecho? slovaks hold the upper Volga. Be? tween the Volga and the Pon are the Cossacks, who arc strongly anti-Bol? shevist. A connection with the 1 zecho-Slovaks could be made along this line. Lut it would be a long precarious route, far inferior to the route across Siberia. The occupa tion of Baku is. therefore, probably ;; purely precautionary measure? 1 ke the occupation of Bokhara. Allies Hold Base On Arctic Coast There remains the Allied expedi? tion into Northern Russia. Mur? mansk, the ice-free port?n the Kola peninsula, was the chief entry point. of Allied supplies for Russia when Russia was at war with Germany. Archangel came second. The Allies U ok possession of the Murmansk lit? toral after L?nine and TrotZky turned Russia over to the Germans. They had to protect the vast quanti? ties of material stored there. The Murmansk railroad and coast were also threatened by the Finm. acting under German instructions As chaos spread in Russia the Alli?e forces in the north were increase? British, American and French ma rir.es were easily landed there, since the Kola peninsula is only a relative? ly short distance from the base of the Allied fleets north of Scotland The Finnish - German expedition tc seize the railroad has not yet mate rialized. The Finns do not want tc fight the Allies, although Germain has compelled L?nine to cede Careli:; t(i Finland as a bait for Finnish am? bitions. Recently the Allies also landed at Archange!, where a pro-Ally inde pendent government has been set u[ and a new state has been proclaimed embracing several of the northerT Russian provinces. The Red Guare forces in Archangel have retreatec down the railroad toward Vologda the junction point of the Archange line with a line running west U Petrograd. The Allies have pursue, the Red Guards 100 miles down th' Archangel-Vologda railway to Pa bareshkaia, where they have beer held up. They are in a friendl; country, however, and ought to h able to reach Vologda, if sufficientl; reinforced. Reds Fail to Break Line of the Volga From Vologda the Archangel rail toad continues south to Yaroslav This city was the centre of an anti Bolshevist uprising a couple o months ago. The Bolshevists retoo! it after hard lighting. From Yaro slav the railroad turns southeas through Kovroff and Nijni-Novgoroi (the great Eastern Russia trad centre i to Russayevka, from whicl branches radiate to Kazan. Simbrins and Samara. Volga River town which are held by the Czecho-Slc vaks. Thus another line of eommu nication with the Czecho-Slovaks ca be established by way of Archange The Volga River line from Kaza to Simbrinsk and Samara?about 20 miles in length?represents the Cz< :h< -Slovaks' western front. The hold other towns eastward to th Urals. But. in this rear region fight ing has died out, as it has in West ern Siberia. The people are livin under practically autonomous loc;. governments. Within the last six weeks the Mo: cow Soviet government has bee making desperate efforts to break tl" Volga une. But according to L?nine own confession the Red Guards hav been very reluctant to face th Czecho-Slovaks. The only depend? i.le Soviet troops are 'he Letts, wh seem to have pro-German sympi thies. Few Anti-Bolshevists Among Don Cossacks In the Don Cossack territory tl ei are some anti-Bolshevist force.-, bl they are poorly organized and ha\ undertaken no aggressive mov? ments. In a way. however, they pr< tect the southern flank of the Czech? Slovak army in Russia proper. T! ( zecho-Slovaks are about 500 mil* ea.-t of Moscow. General March was emphatical right when he said the other day thi "the idea of trying to establish an Eastern front in Russia with a little handful of Americans is simply ri? diculous." Intervention in Russia would be ridiculous if the United States alone were to undertake it. But it has behind it the military strength of all the Western Allies. It has also the merit of employing for the first time since the fall of Kiao Chau the untouched strength of Ja? pan. It also employs to some extent the resources of China. ( hance Justifies Allied Intenenhon Vor its own limite?! purposes Al? lied intervention is fully justified on military as well as political ground.*1. It takes a chance on the establish? ment of a new front of collision with Germany?a grandiose idea, but not half so grandiose as the venture which the Czecho-Slovaks have dem? onstrated to be entirely practicable. The Czecho-Slovaks had the faith which moves mountains. And they did move mountains. In the main, however, and for the present the Allied front in Russia? a country of magnificent distances must be largely a moral front. It could not stand if it were not. It represents a purpose?self interest? ed, of course, but genuine?to put thi Russian nation again on its feet. The Allies do not want to conquer Russia They want to save her. In so far a! that purpose boemos clear to thosi Russians who still hope for nationa regeneration, native cooperation wii undoubtedly follow. The great masi of the Russians apparently care litth about the form of government unde which they live. But they are begin ning to have a real desire for th return of order and economic sta bility. They recognize in a vagu way. moreover, that Germany an Germany's Bolshevist tools have con mitted a ghastly crime against Ru? sia and Slavdom. The new Russi? whatever else it is, will be anti-Gei man. Would at Least Resist Germans Whether a new government. pr< Ally and nationalistic in cbaracte would reenter the war, is an obscui problem. But it would resist Ge man penetration at every point, would try to recover the Russi? Black Sea fleet. It would try to r gain the Crimea (which Turkey co et s i and the Black Sea coast, whi< Germany holds by no warrant b the sword. It would try to reur.i the dismembered parts of the empii 11 might go further and denoun the iniquitous Brest-Litovsk treat thus putting Germany on notice th her possession of the lost WTeste provinces will terminate as soon Germany's ability to hold them force, vanishes. Germany is in the same positi with her military conquests as N pele?n. His rule was propped up bayonets. Wherever the hayon? were withdrawn the imperial stru ure crumbled. So the conquered Russian deper encies are now a peril rather than a? set to Germany. She has ruthle ly exploited Poland and the Ukrai She is trying to conscript the Fin She is ordering the Lithuanians a the people of the Baltic state? raise armies for "domestic defem ? that is, against Russia. But mies which are raised in Lithuar Courland. Livonia and Estho would be no longer of use to G many if a new Eastern front sho be created. They would turn agai their conquerors and oppressors Napoleon's foreign contingents whenever they had the chance. Ukraine Already Revolts Against Huns The Ukraine i=- already in re1 against German tyranny. Polanc smouldering with disaffection. new nationalized Russia, re-crea by Allied aid, would inevitably I to attempts in the several provir to attain freedom through Rus? and Allied assistance. Germ mig if not have to face on a i Eastern front two or three milli of soldiers- armies like those of Grand Duke Nicholas or Brusi But she would have to face the su hostility of millions of Slav subje eager to be free and ready to st for freedom as soon as the grij German military occupation bega relax. There can. therefore, easily t new moral and psychological East front, which, if the war lasts a J loneer. may suddenly change int real military front. For Germ Russia is becoming a quicksand, cannot draw out. Yet if she si she will be gradually engulfed suffocated.