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And the Worst of It Is, They Have to Explain at Home
ALI. tho news coming out of Ger? many within the last ton days indicates plainly that the se? riousness of the military situa? tion is seen to be growing clearer every day. Not only the newspapers but also men in authority have spoken out in tones unmistakably recognizing the grav? ity of the moment. Words have been spoken by both Hindenburg and Hertling which were designed to allay the growing alarm and anxiety of the German people. Hindenburg, in a telegram to Hertling at the end of last week, said that the Gorman army is already "on the battle? fields of France and Flanders defending the sacred soil of the Fatherland." Ger? many, he said, "is fighting a bitter bat tie." He predicted that a "severe battle is still to be fought," and pleaded for unity among the people in a way to show that he is aware of the dancers in his own rear caused by the reverses of the German army. Excusing the Recent Retreats Hertling, too, admitted about the same time in a speech that he was "anx? ious about the outlook for the future." He referred to the tendency of the Ger? mans to criticise the government, which intensified party antagonism, "and there? in is undoubtedly danger." He excused the recent retreats of the army as neces? sitated by strategical reasons. The most recent discussions of the German military writers are much more outspoken. Thus, Lieutenant General Baron von Ardenne wrote on August 28: "The German army and nation now face dark hours. May God protect the Fatherland. The period from August 20 to 28 has been one of the trying tests of this hardest of wars." The WTiter goes on to explain how it was possible for Foch "to pass suddenly from the defensive to a tempestuous and, as far as territorial gains are con? cerned, successful offensive," and he ac? counts for it in this way : "The solution of the riddle lies in the fact that the Entente states' will to anni? hilation enabled them, after unparalleled exertion?, to gather together a powerful numerical cuperiority in all arms. "After three great annihilating blows ad? ministered to the Entente by the German offensive, the belief was accepted on the German side that Foch's reserve or man?u? vre army, estimated at sixty divisions, was prematurely used up. to a great extent iu !ccal defensive counter attacks. As a united operating force it wasdec'.arcd that it need not be taken into account any longer. This view was supported by semi-official reports The belief, however, rests on error, and il is well to acknowledge that." Didn't Think Enough of the Americans A few days later the military critic o the "Frankfurter Zeitung" said this: "The two main factors of the Germu. detent were tho underestimating o? the ene my's strength and the unity of commune We attacked too exclusively the reserve; \ which we defeated in three great thrust f toward Amiens, Armenti?res and the Manu We forgot other reserve?; t'.mt Koch pos- ' sessed or was able to create. "We wero not thinking enough of the Americans, <>f whom three-quarters ol a million arc said to be at the ?rout and half a million behind the lines. Knglaml, too, brought across an enormous number of troops. "Official quarters In Berlin assume to-day that about a million and a half of men arc lighting against the front of Arras and Soissons. which means a great numerical superioritj over the Germans. In view of the resistance wo put up, we can be full of calm confidence. "As to the united command on the enemy side, we must be under no illusion as to the precision and dash which came over the enemy's operations, his manipulation of the reserves, etc., as the result of this measure." Captain von Salzmann, In the "Vos? sische Zeitung," refuses to blame Ilin denburg or Ludendorff for the German reverses. "No one is 10 blame," he writes, "for circumstances stronger than could be foreseen. The crisis is over." This was apparently written a day or two before Hindenbuvg lost his "switch line," which event probably has forced Captain Salzmann to change his mind about the crisis. In his view this "bitter man?uvre" of the German army is de? signed to strengthen the line, the achieve? ment of which will mean "the end of the Franco-Anglo-American shouting about victory, for public opinion in the Entente countries will become depressed." It is interesting to recall that the. same writer was arguing only last week that it was "to the advantage of the Germans to entice the enemy into the trackless, roadless and waterless waste of the Somme." The Kaiser Now Talks of A "Successful Defence" But the latest German defeats appear to have spread confusion even in the highest quarters. The Kaiser himself has suddenly dropped into the minor key. After having continued up to three months ago to talk about German vic? tories as sure to compel the enemy to submit to a German peace, he now speaks of the determination of the German peo? ple to preserve their land and Kultur by "successful defence." His bestowal of the Red Eagle Order upon ex-Secretary of Foreign Affairs K?hlemann also involves a changed view regarding the means for bringing the war to a termination, or does it only sig? nify confusion in the imperial mind? Two months ago K?hlmann was dismissed in disgrace because he said that the war could not be ended by purely mil? itary decisions; and now he is decorated. "The New York Evening Post," after calling attention to this dualism in the operation of the imperial mind, remarks: "What all this vacillation and evidence of perturbation may bring forth in the future only a wise man in his own conceit would undertake to say positively. But the present evidence that the German morale is breaking no one can fail to see to be conclusive and full of h'ope for the righteous cause of the Allies." But the Crown Prince has evidently been talking with his imperial papa and now also chimes in upon that minor strain. He gave out an interview in which he frankly abandoned all hope of seeing Germany force a military decision. The interview caused the "Vorw?rts" to print its most, striking passage in deadly parallel with Ktihlmann's admission; and then the paper commented thus: "Von Ktihlmann's words roused a storm of anger from the pan-Germans, and yet it must be said that the words of the Crown , Prince, as a matter of fact, go Car further than Ciose of von K?hlmann, Von Kiihl , mann did not expect peace !>?,? a purclv News From Berlin ? From The Asheville (?V. C.) Citizen. The Official Explanations This will give a good idea of the way Germany reports her re? verses. We instance here some of the recent drives and engage? ments, icith their actual results, followed by the official German version. OX JULY 18 Foch launched his first great counter offensive. On that day the French and Americans advanced on a twenty-five mile front to a depth of throe to six miles, occupied more than twenty villages, too!; thousands of prisoners and enormous mil? itary stores. The French official report of July 10, summarizing results lor two days, said more than 17,000 prisoners and above 360 pieces of artillery had boon taken, The German oflicial bulletin (dayi for the 18lh merely raid: "On the north bank of the river (Marne) the enemy also en? deavored vainly to contest our successes.'1 The night report added this: "Between the Aisne and the Marne the French at? tacked with strong forces and tanks ami captured some ground. Our reserves, which were held in readiness, took part in the battle." (No mention of Americans taking part in the drive.) The day bulletin of the 19th said: "The battle has blazed up again between the Aisne and Marne. There the French 'nave begun their long expected counter offen? sive. By the employment of extremely strong squadrons of tanks the enemy sue cceded at first in penetrating by surprise our front infantry and artillery lir.es at isolated points and in pressing our lines hack. In the afternoon our lino division-, together with reserves which had been held in readiness, frustrated the enemy's attempt;-; to break through," etc. Offensive east of Amien^, begun on August 8. Ti is was justly described in cable dispatches as the worst German defeat of the war. On the first day the Allies advanced to a maximum depth of eight and three-quarter miles on a tv/en ty-milc fror,;, taking 7,000 prisoners and more lhan Kin guns. On the 9th there was a further maximum advance of four and one-half miles, and the British official bulletin reported a total of 17.000 prison? ers and 200 to 300 guns for the two day?. By the i0th the number of prisoners had exceeded 2i,n00, and the guns captured 400. On that day the French, attacking southeast of Montdidier, scored a maxi? mum advance of six miles. North of that city the maximum gain was five miles in the ceii're. The German official bulletin for August 8: "In an attack by the English between the Ancre and the Avre the enemy has fi reed his way into our positions." The night bulletin said: "The enemy is continuing his attacks between the Somme and "lie Avre.' August 9, day bulletin: "Between the Ancre and the Avre the enemy attacked yesterday with strong forces. Favored by a thick fog, he forced his way with tank- into our infantry and artillery lines. lie;ween the Somme and the Avre our counter attacks brought the enemy's advance to a standstill. . . . We suf? fered losses in prisoners and suns.'' August 10, night bulletin.: "During the night we withdrew our troops fighting on the Avre and Dom Brook to the rear lines east of Montdidier. Southeast of Mont? didier we repulsed strong partial attacks of the French. "Yesterday the British and French, bringing strong reserves, into action, con? tinued their attacks on the whole battle front between the Ancre nn? the Avre. On both sides of the Somme and astride the Foucaucourt-Villers-Bretonneux road we threw the enemy back by counter attack-. He suffered heavy losses her".'' On September 2 and I? the British capt? ured the famous "Wotan Line." took (Ju?ant, numerous villages and vast mili? tary stores, and reached the new switch line six miles behind the "Wotan Line." ??'or the two days the capture of 15.000 prisoners was reported. T'ne German day bulletin for September 2 said: "Between the Scarp" and the Somme t'ne British arc continuing their attacks on a front of forty-five kilom?tres. The effect of our artillery fire against troops placed in readiness by the enemy southeast of Arras on both, sides of Ba pautne appreciably contributed to. their repulse.'' (With other details thai give no idea of the important British success.) September 3, evening bulletin: "Be? tween the Scarpe and t'ne Somme the day passed quietly. Movements commenced during last night were completed in ac? cordance with our plan." military decision, but in the expectations of '? the Crown Prince a military decision does not enter at fill." That deep depression has been caused among the people at large by the mili tary developments is abundantly evi? denced. The Essen "Allgemeine Zei? tung" was saying the other day that the surrender of territory was encouraging the tribe of grumblers at home to lament "our desperate- situation," and it con? tinued thus: "How those who cry 'Enough!' would have u?'? stop lighting without making our situation worse we do not know." The paper blames the popular discon? tent on "the deficient political education of the German people and their absence of common sense generally." That this discouragement at home is having its effect upon the morale of the German troops at the front, is indicated in not, a few reports that huve been cabled within a week. An American staif officer told a correspondent of "The New York Times" last wee!; that the German soldier is not, now what he was three months ago. or even at the middle of July." The groat majority, he said? "are tired of a war lo which they can see no favorable issue, The men criticise the lower command and talk of hesitation and of contradictory orders. They altogether lack homogeneity. Many are physically feeble youth and in had condition. Repulse and losses, insufficient food and bad reports from hcVne have produced general depres? sion, and if it shows rallier a spirit, of fatalism than revolt, it is none the less a had military influence." 10 eproaching f hose Who -*? *- Carry Rumors Further confirmation of the general depression may be found in the fact that General von Stein, the Prussian War Minister, last week found it neces? sary to fill more than three columns in the Berlin newspapers with reproaches to the people who credit; and repeat fan? tastic rumors of disasters. One of the causes for the discontent of the people is the growing suspicion that the official bulletins of the General Staff do not tell the whole truth about the fighting from day to day. Out of this suspicion undoubtedly grows the striking tendency to invent stories of ; much greater disaster than has actually struck the German armies. It has been recently circulated in Germany that Hindenburg had committed suicide and that the Germans had lost 130.000 pris? oners in this latest fighting. This oc? curred in some way through betrayal, according to these stories. That the bulletins d? not give a full and exact account of the course of events is apparently known just as well by intelligent -people in Germany as by foreign readers of the bulletins. Thus the "Frankfurter Zeitung" of August 11 had this to say about the official reports: "We all expect from the official bulletins clear and calm information so far as this is practicable, but we know that severe restrictions are imposed upon them by the necessity of preserving mili ; tary secrets. Confidence in the strate? gical decisions is so great that the public can very well do without objective reports." The latest German papers to arrive in this country contain much interesting discussion of the earlier phase of the present offensive of the Allies, beginnirtr August 8 with the attack of the British and French on both sides of the Somme. The official bulletin of that day merely admitted that enemy forces had entered the German positions, without saying anything whatever about the extensive loss of territory, prisoners and artillery. 6 6HPhe First Serious Reverse ?- of the War" Vet the newspapers at home were not wholly deceived by this strict abstinence i on the part of the General Staff. On the '. very next day the "Deutsches Zeitung." of Berlin, the pet. organ of the Father? land party and the pan-Germans, ad? mitted that the battle of the Sth was "the first serious reverse of the war"? the editor having evidently never heard of the Bat tie of the Marne. The paper ' admitted that the Allies had succeeded in carrying out a surprise which threw the German infantry into disorder. It further remarked that the German <j fence was not so successful as previou" experience hnd given grounds to etpfct and, characteristically enough, it f0n"n'.' the explanation for this fact in v0 Kiihlmann*:? speech in the Reichstag a<i mitting that no military decision couk* bring peace. "Its effects can now b? seen," wrote the paper, "and the opinion entertained at the general headquarter* as to its probable effects upon thefightinr spirit of the troops can now l>e f>HS)* understood." It hopes that this d^fPii will teach the statesmen at Berlin no? to work at cross purposes again with tr? army command. The f'avox;ite German theory as to how the attack of the Allies scored such a big success on August 1? is that it was owing to a heavy fog. The "K?lnisch? Zeitung" said that the thick fog of the morning enabled the enemy to launch a surprise attack with squadrons of tank? Moreover, the German front, it con? tinued, was not a fortified line like the i finden burg line, but the troops on the two -ides stood opposed to each other upon open ground. Then the editor exe cates a somersault by saying that the Germans were expecting an attack there, as shown by the fact that they had ju^*. withdrawn their troops to the east bank of the Avre and Ancre. ]\q ]ia(j ju,, claimed that the attack was a surprise! The ''Berliner Neueste Xarhrichten" also alleged "an exceedimriy thick veil of fog." "It was so thick." said the paner, "that the Anglo-French tank squadrons, after a sudden and powerful bombardment, were able to pass the German anti-tank guns without danger and were able in 'part to break into the German artillery position-'." Those Poor, Simple Minded Soldiers ! Lieutenant General Baron von Ar? il enne discussed the new offensive in the "Berliner Tageblatt" on August 10, re? verting also to the first Foch counter offensive of July 18. He noted that the long "drumfire" of previous year? has been displaced this year by a heavy bom? bardment of only a few hours' duration or by '"an attack of fire-spitting dragon-, which the English have calle! tanks." He goes on to say: "This tank attack;? something astounding, demoniacal. . . . Our simple-minded soldiers had (on July , IS) first to accustom themselves to the puffing and howling of this most modero war machine before they could bepjn a cool-headed fight against it. But before they had recover."';! the possession of rheir souls the fire roller had passed over them, followed by thick masses of storm ing infantry. In the fighting of Augu.ct s the beginning of the attack appears to have been quite the same." Or. ;]:- day after the evacuation o? Montdidicr tie "Frankfurter Zeitung" discussed the two offensives in a rather frank and objective mai ner. It admitted that Foch's counter offensive was "con? ceive.! on large line- am! was well.pre? pared." It said further that the Gcr man campaign had been interrupted, rhar. a v^xo-rfc (Schlappe) had occurred, and it warned ; he German people again?' the view that "the Germans need only to appear upon the battlefield to score a victory." It regarded the "Schlappe" 25 a regrettable incident, but added the comforting remark that "the last word in the campaign of lit i 8 has not ye: been spoken." In which opinion people on this side will heartily concuT, having in mind the developments at the front since Aufrus' 11 and thf promise contained in then: of still better events just ahead of us. trange9 Homeless et in .< A ILOVAKIA, nation of exiles, already sponsored by Croat Britain, France and Italy, has at last been recognized by the United States. After centuries of aspiration, the Czecho-Slovaks, we now officially agree, have won the freedom they cherished. The boundaries of their realm have not been de? nned. Their pop? ulation can only lie estimated. But their remarkable a d ventnr e in shaking off the domination of the rentrai Powers has won them an enduring place wherever free? dom is cherished. In the words of "The New York M ASA PROFESSOR RYK ?Christian Science M nu? it or. Evening Sun"? "this new body in the county of nations, this strange, homeless comet in their galaxy, is composed of men who were ail born some? where. Of most of them Bohemia was the native land: a land now submerged in deep? est Deutschtum, yet long free and famous for her motherhood of the ideas that later changed tho religious aspect of Europe from Rome to Nova Zembla; famous for her arts; famous for her misfortunes." It is to Professor ?Nlasaryk, sixty-nine years old, "the grand old man of Bo? hemia," that much of the credit for the success of the movement is due. For? merly a teacher in the University of Prague and a Deputy to the Vienna Par? liament, he left Bohemia a few months after the outbreak of the war to come to America. To-day, as chairman of the Czecho? slovak National Council, recognized as the de facto belligerent government, he has established a temporary capital at. Washington. In having its seat on for? eign soil, the new government is in much the same position as Belgium and Serbia. Dr. Masaryk has been bailed as a lead? er by the -110,000 Czecho-Slovaks in the United States. He is now recognized as commander in chief of the three armies of his countrymen in Russia, France and Italy, whose strength has been variously estimated a1 from SO.000 to 150,000 men. Associated with him on the Na? tional Council tire General Milan R. Ste fanik, a noted Paria astronomer, now brigadier g?nerai in the French army, .tmi Dr. Edward Benese, general secre? tary, who arrived in New York last week 'from Paris. The Frogs Greeted Them With a Chorus Captain Hurban and Lieutenant. Dan ?elovsky of "the ."th Regiment of T. G. Masaryk," have just brought from Rus? sia to their commander in chief in Wash? ington an account of the exploits of that , heroic band of lighting men. As related by Harvey O'Higgins, of the Committee of Public Information, this is their story: "The Czecho-Slovaks arc one of the op? pressed races that have been struggling for centuries against Germans and Austriar.s and Magyars. When this present war broke out, thousands of them escaped across the border into Russia and took service ag'tinst Austria. Thousands more, drafted into the Austrian armies, deserted across the lines. i There were perhaps 100,000 of them in Rus i sia when the Russian army collapsed. And i one army of 60,000 of them under its own ' leaders still held its lines in the Ukraine ; ufter the Ukrainians made peace with Ger , many. "When the Bolshevist government at Mos? cow also signed the peace of Brest-Litovsk this army was left to the mercy of the (?or I I mans. The Austrian Emperor sent them an offer of amnesty if they would return to Austria and a promise of autonomy for their people upon their return. They refused to treat with a -government that had betrayed them too often. They decided to fall back to the Transsiberian railway, to negotiate with the Bolshsviki for a passage across Sibeiia to Vladivostok, and there to obtain ships from the Allies to carry them to France. They haft no sooner come to this decision than they learned that while the Austriuns were trying to hohl thern with offers of amnesty, a German army had been sent to cut them off from the railroad in their rear. "They were well supplied with munitions of war. They had gathered together in their camp the equipment of the Russian armies that had deserted their lines after the revo? lution. But, like the Russians themselves, thsy had no food, no shoes, no fodder for their horses, no proper clothing, no camp kitchens. Their horses were too weak to i pull their wagons. They pulled the wagons themselves and ate the horscmeat. They lived on dogs, cats ami frog's. 'When we came to u pone!.' they say, 'the froga greeted ua with a chorus. When we had passed there was not a frog to he. heard.' They roasted barley to make themselves coffee, and rolled it ma with bottles to crush it, and when they had drunk the coffee they ate tii? grounds. Battle That Lasted Four Days ''In that way ?hey approached the railroad junction only to find a German arfr?y be? tween them and any further progress. When their whole force had come up. they at? tacked. The battle lasted for four days. Then the Germans asked for an armistice to bury their dead. When the armistice expired, they found that the German army had retreated, leaving only a rear guard that fell back before them. They reached the railroad. They advanced along it tow A ard Moscow and opened negotiations with the Bolsheviki for a safe passage on the Transsiberian railroad to Vladivostok. "It wa3 granted '.?'.em on condition that they surrender their arms and munitions, which belonged to the Russian government. They had IOC machine &uns to each regi? ment, good rifles, aeroplanes, large supplies of hand grenades and plenty of ammunition. They gave up everything 'out their hand grenades and one rifle for every ten men. Then they entrained for the journey across Asia. "They had difficulties about getting en? gines anl cars. They commande'.:red them. They had troubles with the engineers. They put guards on the locomotives with pi : ua sive hand grenades. When ever;, tiling else failed, they-found locomotive engineers in their ranks, ran the trains themselves, and when they needed fuel they stopped the train, cut down trees and filled the tender with wood, "As they got further into Siberia they The Official Text of Secretary Lansing's Announcement of Recognition THE Czecho-Slovak peoples having taken up arms against the German and Austro - Hungarian empires, and having placed organized armies in the field, which are waging war against those empires under officers of their own nationality and in ac? cordance with the rules and prac? tices of civilized nations; and, The Czecho-Slovak* having, in prosecution of their independent purposes in the present war, con? fided supreme political authority to the Czecho-Slovak National Coun? cil, The Government of the United States recognizes that a state of belligerency exists between the Czecho-Slovaks thus organized and the German and Austro-Hungarian empires. It also recognizes the Czecho? slovak National Council as a de facto belligerent government, clothed with proper authority to direct the military and political af? fairs of the Czecho-Slovaks. The Government of the United States further declares that it is pre? pared to enter formally into rela? tions with the de facto government thus recognized for the purpose of prosecuting the war against the common enemy, the empires of Germany and Austria-Hungary. found that the German and Austrian pris? oners of war quartered in the villages had taken advantage of the revolution to work their way into the confidence of the peas? ants. They had obtained places on the local Soviets under pretence of being interna? tional revolutionists. German and Austrian officers, representing themselves as opposed to militarism and sympathizing with the peasants, had obtained great influence over the unsuspecting natives. They made diffi? culties for the Czecho-Slovaks. The latter avoided a.i open conflict until they reached Irkutsk. ith F ists and Pocket Knives "There, when the i'irst contingent arrived, they were met at the station by -,U00 'Fled Guards' under the leadership of German and Austrian officers in Russian uniforms. They wore ordered to surrender their remaining rifles and hand grenades. They refused. The German officers gave their men the or? der to fire. But in their excitement they gave the order ?n German. The Russians diii. not understand it. The Czechs did. They threw themselves on the guards barehanded, with pocket knives, or with stones which they pickeii up, and in a brief rough-and tumble struggle they disarmed the guards and killed their German officers. With the i ?Acs and machine guns which they captured they took possession of the town, disarming the troops of the Centra! Siberian govern? ment and killing the Germans and Austrians to the number of about 800. "On the intervention of the French and American consuls they sent three of their number to Moscow to negotiate. Trotzky re? fused to treat with them. The three envoys were arrested and imprisoned. The Czecho? slovak army thereupon declared war on the Bolsheviki and proceeded to clean un the Transsiberian railroad and hold it for the Allies." J And they are still holding it valiantly, ; while American and Japanese troops are ', coming to their relief. These warriors 1 have richly earned the recognition of the w Allies. They have bettered their lot am. that of suppressed peoples generally. The New York Tribune comments: "Gratitude and policy therefore comb.n* to sanction our recognition of the Czecho? slovak nation. Austria-Hungary i* a poli!' cal monstrosity. !? is one of thefhief?tum? bling blocks in the waj of the pacifieatiw of Central Europe. Its race antagonismstta repressive policies hr.d much to do with bring? ing on the war. Its structure must be reci*' and rationalized in the interest of tranqui lity and progress. And ou: 0f this recasti?! elements like the Czecho-Slovaks, the Polet the Jugo-SlavB, the Italians and the B* manians, which have for generation! bui ccssfully resisted Austrian 01 Hungarian ?*? similation, will come into their own." ' The New York Times" thinks tfce recognition points the way to the crea? tion of buffer states between Russia iM Germany: "The Czecho-Slovaka have earned their freedom and the Jugo-Slavs must be "' free with them. "When the time is ripe a logical ? sion of tlir policy of recognition of 'w Czecho-Slovaks would demand equally w recognition of Poland. The Polish pW are at present under the Prussian hot!? b? they must bo delivered, as llu-sia must w delivered. A very brief survey of the nul of Europe will bring home to the mind tW wisdom of establishing between Orm?r'. and the n? w Russia a barrier of independ?a states. The Czecho-Slovaks with their ?? 000,000 people, the Poles, with some.2ff.0W 000 in the territory they aspire to call r,ef Poland, tiie Lithuanians and Finns, W?U? serve an important end in sheltering R'J35' from German designs of domination.' A typical instance of the marvelled Czecho-Slovak perseverance was fV pressed on a banner carried in the P* rade Professor Masaryk led through tb? streets of Chicago : "Char up, Am?rica! We ha[( been lighting them for a thoustN* I years."