The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8), by Various, Edited by Francis J. (Francis Joseph) Reynolds, Allen L. (Allen Leon) Churchill, and Francis Trevelyan Miller

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Title: The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8)

Introductions; Special Articles; Causes of War; Diplomatic and State Papers

Author: Various

Editor: Francis J. (Francis Joseph) Reynolds, Allen L. (Allen Leon) Churchill, and Francis Trevelyan Miller

Release Date: March 5, 2009 [eBook #28257]

Language: English

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E-text prepared by Merv McConnel, Christine P. Travers,
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King George V of Britain and King Albert of Belgium inspecting Belgian troops. The youth is the Prince of Wales, and beside him is Major General Pertab Singh of the Indian army.



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Copyright 1916
By P. F. Collier & Son

(p. 001) CONTENTS







(p. 004) LIST OF MAPS

The Conflicting Interests of the Great Powers in Europe and Neighboring African and Asiatic Territories before the Outbreak of the War.


"Go yourselves, every man of you, and stand in the ranks and either a victory beyond all victories in its glory awaits you, or falling you shall fall greatly, and worthy of your past."—Demosthenes To the Athenians.

What lesson will America draw from the present Great War? Must she see the heads of her own children at the foot of the guillotine to realize that it will cut, or will she accept the evidence of the thousands which have lain there before? Will she heed the lesson of all time, that national unpreparedness means national downfall, or will she profit from the experience and misfortunes of others and take those needed measures of preparedness which prudence and wisdom dictate. In a word, will she draw any valuable lessons from the Great War? This is the question which is so often asked. As yet there is no answer.

It is the question uppermost in the minds of all those who are intelligently interested in our country's welfare and safety. It is the question which vitally concerns all of us, as it concerns the defense and possibly the very existence of our nation. The answer must be "Preparedness." If we are to live, preparedness to oppose the force of wrong with the strength of right. Will it be? That's the question! Or will America drift on blind to the lessons of the world tragedy, heedless of consequences, concerned with the accumulation of wealth, satiated with a sense of moral worth which the world does not so fully recognize, planning to capture the commerce of the warring nations, and expecting at the same time to retain their friendship and regard. Let us hope that, in the light of what is, and as a preparation against what may be, the answer will be characteristic of a great people, peaceful (p. 010) but prudent and foreseeing; that it will be thorough, carefully thought-out preparedness; preparedness against war. A preparedness which if it is to be lasting and secure must be founded upon the moral organization of our people; an organization which will create and keep alive in the heart of every citizen a sense not only of obligation for service to the nation in time of war or trouble, but also of obligation to so prepare himself as to render this service effective. An organization which will recognize that the basic principle upon which a free democracy or representative government rests, and must rest, if they are to survive the day of stress and trouble, is, that with manhood suffrage goes manhood obligation for service, not necessarily with arms in hand, but for service somewhere in that great complex mass which constitutes the organization of a nation's might and resources for defense; organization which will make us think in terms of the nation and not those of city, State, or personal interest; organization which will result in all performing service for the nation with singleness of purpose in a common cause—preparedness for defense: preparedness to discharge our plain duty whatever it may be. Such service will make for national solidarity, the doing away with petty distinctions of class and creed, and fuse the various elements of this people into one homogeneous mass of real Americans, and leave us a better and a stronger people.

Once such a moral organization is accomplished, the remaining organization will be simple. This will include an organization of transportation, on land and sea, and of communications. An organization of the nation's industrial resources so that the energy of its great manufacturing plants may be promptly turned into making what they can best make to supply the military needs of the nation. By military needs we mean all the complex requirements of a nation engaged in war, requirements which are, many of them, requirements of peace as well as of war. It will also include a thorough organization of the country's chemical resources and the development thereof, so that we may be as little dependent as possible upon materials from oversea. At present many important and essential elements come from oversea (p. 011) nations and would not be available in case of loss of sea control. We must devise substitutes or find means of making these things. Chemistry is one of the great weapons of modern war. There must also be organization which will provide a regular army organized on sound lines, supplied with ample reserves of men and material; an army adequate to the peace needs of the nation, which means, among other things, the secure garrisoning of our oversea possessions, including the Philippines and the Hawaiian Islands. These latter are the key to the Pacific, and one of the main defenses of the Pacific Coast and of the Panama Canal. Whoever holds these islands will dominate the trade routes of the Pacific, and in a large measure the Pacific itself.

The regular army should also be sufficient for the secure holding and safeguarding of the Panama Canal, an instrument of war of the greatest importance, so long as it is in our control, greatly increasing the value of our navy, and an implement of commerce of tremendous value, a possession so valuable and of such vital importance to us that we cannot allow it to lie outside our secure grasp.

It must also be adequate to provide garrisons in Porto Rico and Alaska, and at the same time maintain in the continental United States a force of coast artillery sufficient to furnish the necessary manning details for our seacoast defenses, and a mobile force complete in every detail and adequate in time of war to meet the first shock of an invasion and sufficient in time of peace to meet the various demands made upon it for home service, such as troops for home emergencies or disorders, troops for the necessary training of the National Militia, also sufficient officers and noncommissioned officers for duty at schools, colleges, military training camps and in various other capacities. It must be also strong enough to provide a strong expeditionary force, such as we sent to Cuba in 1898, without interfering with its regular duties.

The necessity of building and maintaining an adequate navy, well balanced, thoroughly equipped and maintained at the highest standard of efficiency and ready always for immediate service, with necessary adjuncts afloat and ashore, is also one of the clear (p. 012) lessons of the war; others are the establishment of ammunition plants at points sufficiently remote from the seacoast, and so placed as to render their capture and destruction improbable in case of sudden invasion; the provision of an adequate reserve corps of 50,000 officers, a number sufficient for one and one-half million of citizen soldiers; officers well trained and ready for immediate service; the provision of adequate supplies and reserve supplies of artillery, arms, and ammunition of all types for these troops.

We must also build up a system under which officers and men for our citizen soldiery can be trained with the minimum of interference with their educational or industrial careers, under conditions which will permit the accomplishment of their training during the period of youth, and once this is accomplished will permit their return to their normal occupations with the minimum of delay.

The lesson which we should draw from the Great War is that nothing should be left to chance or to the promise of others, or to the fair-weather relations of to-day; that we should be as well prepared, and as well organized on land as Switzerland, a nation without a trace of militarism, and yet so thoroughly prepared and so thoroughly ready and able to defend herself that to-day her territory is inviolate, although she is surrounded by warring nations.

Belgium to-day is an illustration of what may be expected from lack of adequate preparedness.

The great outstanding lesson of the war is that we must not trust to righteousness and fair dealing alone; we must be prepared to play our part, and while loving justice and dealing fairly with others, we must be always ready to do our full duty, and to defend our country with force if need be. If we do not, we shall always be helpless and at the mercy of our enemies. We can be strong, yet tolerant, just, yet prepared to defend ourselves against aggression.

Another lesson is that our military establishment on land and sea should not be dependent upon a system of militia and volunteers. These will not be found adequate under the conditions of (p. 013) modern war, and above all we should appreciate the fact that our military system must be founded upon equality of service, rich and poor alike. We must while extending equality of privilege to all, including the thousands who are coming to us every day, insist upon equality of obligation by all. With the privileges of citizenship must go the obligations and responsibilities not only in peace but also in war.

We should take heed of the lessons of the past, and remember that the volunteer system has always failed us in our wars. Such experience as we have had in war in recent years has in no way prepared us for a war with a first-class nation prepared for war. We have never engaged in such a war unaided. This experience is one which is still before us. We should look upon service for the nation in the same way as we look upon the payment of taxes, or the compliance with the thousand and one laws and regulations which govern our everyday life.

Relatively few people would voluntarily pay taxes even though they knew the money was to go to the best of purposes. They pay taxes because the law requires it. The people as a whole cannot be expected, nor can we with safety trust to their performing their military duties effectively, unless some general system of equal service for all who are physically fit, is prescribed, some system which will insure preparation in advance of war, some system which will bear upon all alike. The volunteer spirit is superb, but the volunteer system is not a dependable system to which to trust the life and security of the people, especially in these days when the highest degree of organization marks all nations with whom we may possibly have some day differences which will result in the use of force. The militia, willing as it is, cannot be depended upon as a reliable military asset. Its very method of control makes it an undependable force, and at times unavailable. The men and officers are not at fault; they have done all that could be expected under a system which renders efficiency almost impossible of attainment. The militia must be absolutely and completely transferred to Federal control; it must cease to be a State and become a Federal force, without any relationship whatever with the State.

(p. 014) The militia must have thoroughly trained reserves sufficient in number to bring it promptly to war strength. The infantry of the National Guard, as in the regular army, is maintained on a peace footing at rather less than half its maximum strength.

For a number of years we have been confronted by conditions which may involve the use of a considerable force of troops, a force exceeding the regular army and perhaps even the regular army in conjunction with the militia. This means that a thousand or more men would have to be added to each regular and National Guard infantry regiment to bring it to full strength. In the National Guard only a small proportion of the men have had long service and thorough training, and if brought to full strength through the injection of a thousand practically untrained men it would mean these regiments would go to the front with not over 30 per cent of well-trained men. In other words, they would be military assemblages of well-meaning, but undisciplined and untrained individuals, and unless we are to repeat the experiences of '98 it will be necessary to hold them for several months in camp and put them through a course of the most intensive training. It is probable that if they are called it will be under an emergency which will not permit such training, and we shall see again the scenes of '98, untrained, willing boys, imperfectly equipped under inexperienced officers, rushed to the front, willing but a more or less useless sacrifice.

Another great lesson should be to heed no longer those false prophets who have been proclaiming that the day of strife has passed, and that everything is to be settled by arbitration; prophets of the class who obstructed preparation in England, who decried universal military training, and all but delivered her into the hands of her enemies.

"Our culture must, therefore, not omit the arming of the man. Let him hear in season that he is born into a state of war, and that the commonwealth and his own well-being require that he should not go dancing in the weeds of peace; but warned, self-collected, and neither defying nor dreading the thunder; let him take both reputation and life in his hands, and with perfect urbanity dare the gibbet and the mob by the absolute truth of his speech and rectitude of his behavior."—Emerson.[Back to Contents]


Although the greatest war in history is not yet at an end, and none of us can even guess when the end will come, it is possible to draw certain very important conclusions from the developments to date, especially in so far as these developments are concerned with war upon the sea. The great sea fight for which the world has looked since its two greatest naval powers went to war against each other has not taken place. It may never take place, although both sides profess that they are eager for it. And until it does take place, the final word will not be spoken as to the relations between guns and armor, between battleships and battle cruisers, or between either of these types of "capital" ships on the one hand, and the destroyer and submarine on the other.

The submarine has proven its power, it is true, and against the battleship; but always where the element of surprise has entered into its attack in quite a different fashion from that which is inherent in its always mysterious and stealthy nature. The battle cruiser has shown the value of speed and long-range guns combined, but in a comparatively restricted field. The destroyer has played a part in coast patrol and has doubtless accounted for a number of submarines; but in its proper sphere of activity it has accomplished nothing. And the wonderful achievements of the airship have been practically confined to operations on land. We have waited vainly and shall continue so to wait for the one supreme lesson which the war has been expected to yield, unless it chance that on some day to be forever memorable in the annals of the world there shall sweep out upon the stormy waters of the North Sea two fleets complete in every (p. 018) type of craft that human ingenuity has thus far contrived, to engage in a struggle to the death—a struggle by which the issue of the war may be decided in an hour, and in a fashion incomparably more dramatic than anything which the warfare on land, with all its horrors, has presented or by any possibility can present.

Pending this one great lesson, what is it that the war has taught?

First of all, it has taught once more the old, old lesson that has been taught by practically every war in which sea power has been a factor, that where this element is a factor, it is a factor of decisive importance. The British navy may not win the war for England, but it is every day more apparent that if the British navy did not exist, or if it dominated the sea less decisively than it does, the cause for which England stands would be a lost cause. And the extraordinary feature of the situation is that the navy is accomplishing its mission by merely existing. Thus far the "Grand Fleet" has not struck a blow. From its position on the English coast it looks across to the mouth of the Kiel Canal, and—waits! Its patrols are always on guard, the coasts which it defends are never threatened, and the commerce which trusts to its protection comes and goes with practically no thought of danger. For several months during the submarine campaign against commerce, something like one-half of one per cent of the merchant vessels bound to and from the ports of England were sunk. But no industry was crippled for a moment, and neither the necessities nor the luxuries of life were appreciably curtailed. Even at the height of the submarine operations, great transports loaded with troops crossed the English Channel freely, and out of a million and a half of soldiers so transported not a single one was lost. It is safe to say that in any three months since the war began the British navy has repaid the cost of its maintenance for a century in pounds, shillings, and pence; and in the sense of security which its existence and efficiency have imparted to the English people, the return upon the investment has been beyond all calculation.

(p. 019) The first and greatest lesson of the war, then, is this—that the value of an effective navy, when the time comes for it to manifest its effectiveness, is out of all proportion to the sums, vast though these may be, that it has cost; that if it overmatches the opposing navy decisively enough, the country behind it may rest secure and serenely indifferent to the thought of invasion or even of attack, so far as its sea frontier is concerned; and that the navy—still assuming it to be of commanding strength—may accomplish its whole mission of defense without ever being called upon to strike a blow.

It can hardly be necessary to point out the fact that this lesson may be read in terms of "preparedness." The British navy was prepared when the war began; the British army was not. The German army was prepared; the German navy was not—in the sense of being large enough for its mission. With these facts in mind, we have only to look at the contrast between the progress of the war on land and that on the sea to read the whole lesson of preparedness in a form so concrete that it is hard to understand how any observer can fail to grasp its full significance.

Among the minor lessons of the war, it will probably appear to most laymen that the unforeseen effectiveness of the submarine is the most significant. In a way this is true; but the significance of the lesson may be dangerously exaggerated unless we recognize the part contributed to the early successes of the submarine by the element of surprise to which allusion has already been made. When the war began, the submarine was an untried and an almost unknown weapon, and the British navy was rather contemptuous of it, or at least indifferent toward it. Its dramatic appearance in the North Sea at early dawn of a misty September morning was as great a surprise to the three British cruisers which it sank in rapid succession as the story of the disaster was to the world at large. The fact that the cruisers by their carelessness invited the fate which came to them does not, of course, deprive the incident of significance. But after all, the world has never doubted that a submarine could sink a ship that practically insisted upon being sunk.

(p. 020) As a result of this experience, British men-of-war operating thereafter in what they considered submarine territory, took reasonable precautions; and in such waters no other important successes have been scored against them. But neither to them nor, probably, to anyone else except their adversaries, did it occur that a submarine could make its way from the North Sea to the Dardanelles. And so it came about that when one of them appeared there, it found conditions again ideal for surprise, and taking advantage of these conditions delivered its attack and scored a success as striking as the earlier one in its own home waters.

The activities of submarines against merchant shipping we need not discuss here. The only lesson they hold for us, from the point of view of naval warfare, is the lesson that for them, as for all other activities of the submarine, there is an answer. The answer was not ready when the war began, but it was not long delayed. We are apt to think of the submarine as if it always operated under water, and completely under water. But when it is completely under water, it is completely blind and as helpless as other blind things are. To see objects at a distance, it must be on the surface, and to see them even close at hand it must at least expose its periscope. Having definitely located an object within easy range, it may wholly submerge and deliver its torpedo without seeing the target. But the chance of a hit under these conditions is remote. Normally the submarine remains on the surface until it sights an enemy. Having approached as close as seems practicable without danger of being seen itself, it submerges, except for the periscope, and approaches within range, directing its course and its aim, by sight—not by some occult instinct such as is often attributed to it. When within a zone where imminent danger threatens, it may remain wholly submerged for a long period of time, but when so submerged, it is not in any degree a threat to other craft.

In other words, the submarine is dangerous only when it can see. And when it can see, it can be seen—not easily perhaps, but certainly by an observer reasonably close at hand and on the lookout. It is especially liable to detection from an airship. (p. 021) Moreover, the noise of its propellers can be heard at a considerable distance, and a very sensitive microphone has been developed as a submarine detector. The waters about Great Britain are now patrolled by hundreds of small, fast craft—destroyers, trawlers, motor boats—always on the lookout for a periscope or other indication of the proximity of a submarine. If one is actually seen, its capture or destruction follows as a matter of course. If the presence of one is indicated by the microphone or other evidence, such as oil floating on the water, or bubbles rising to the surface, nets are lowered and the water dragged for miles around. It is not known how many submarines have been destroyed by these tactics, but the number is unquestionably large. Thus the submarine is being robbed of much of its mystery and much of its terror, and while it remains, and will always remain, a danger, the lesson of the war is that it must take its place beside other dangers with which modern war is filled, as something to be respected and feared, but not as having rendered the battleship and battle cruiser obsolete.

Another lesson of the war has resulted from the fact that practically all of the important operations on the British side have been conducted by battle cruisers, not by battleships. It is not to be understood from this that the battleship has been discredited, for such is not the case. The fleet to which reference has already been made as holding the gates of the North Sea and "containing" the German fleet behind the fortifications of Helgoland is made up principally of battleships, and it is largely because they have been engaged in this important duty that the few opportunities which the war has offered for active service have fallen to the lot of battle cruisers. But there are other reasons for this which spring from the nature of the battle cruiser itself and inhere in the difference between this type and the battleship. In size the types are practically identical, and in power of armament the difference is not great. But the battle cruiser sacrifices much of the armor by which the battleship is weighted down, and purchases by this sacrifice a great increase in speed. The typical battleship of to-day has (p. 022) some 14 inches of armor on the side; the battle cruiser, from 5 to 9 inches. The battleship has 22 knots speed, the battle cruiser 32 knots. There has been much discussion as to the relative merits of the two types, and conservative officers have been slow to accept the battle cruiser. The war has shown the necessity for both types, and no better illustration of their relative merits could be wished than that which is afforded by the spectacle of the battleships engaged in what is practically a blockade of the German fleet, while the battle cruisers have swept the German raiders, the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and their consorts, from the distant seas which were the chosen field of their operations. Following the destruction of Admiral Cradock's little squadron by the faster and more heavily armed Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the British admiralty dispatched a squadron of battle cruisers to run down the German ships, and in the battle off the Falkland Islands the history of Coronel was repeated with a change of sides, the fast and heavily armed battle cruisers under Admiral Sturdee making short work of the German ships, which they overmatched in speed and range as decisively as the Germans had overmatched the ships of Admiral Cradock's squadron at Coronel. In each case victory went to the ships of high speed and long-range guns, and these two are the determining characteristics of the battle cruiser. In the action of January 25, 1915, in the North Sea, the same characteristics won again. Battle cruisers were engaged on both sides, but the side which had the advantage in speed and range won the fight.

Thus the battle cruiser had justified itself, and its justification is one of the striking lessons of the war. We may believe that the lesson will be emphasized if the time ever comes when this type finds the opportunity to display its adaptability for work in certain other fields for which it was originally designed—in scouting operations, for example, and in flanking movements in connection with a fleet engagement.

It does not appear that aeroplanes were used for scouting in any of the operations in the open sea—either as preliminary to the battle off Coronel and the Falklands, or in the search for raiders like the Emden and the Karlsruhe. They have been used, however, (p. 023) in the waters about the British Islands, and with such marked success as to leave no doubt that they would have been of great value in search operations on a larger scale. They were used also for directing the fire of ships on the fortifications at the Dardanelles, and the results indicate that they have an important field of usefulness for directing the fire of one ship or fleet against another. It is to be expected that from this time forward, vessels fitted for carrying and launching both air and water planes will accompany fleets, and it is impossible to think of a scout to be designed after the lessons of this war, which will not carry several of them. As the scouts are the eyes of the fleet, so the aeroplanes will be the eyes of the scouts, extending the scouting range by several hundred miles and making secrecy of operations at sea almost as impossible as they have already made it on land.

Allusion has already been made to the use of aeroplanes—flying not more than a few hundred feet above the water—for locating submarines; and it is not difficult to understand how effective a waterplane would be for destroying a periscope, or even a submarine itself—this last, perhaps, by dropping a bomb.

The lesson of the torpedo is connected with that of the submarine, but has many features which are individual to itself. It is known that within a very few years past the range and accuracy of the torpedo have greatly increased, but there is little evidence connecting these features with the performance of torpedoes in the present war. So far as known, the submarines have done most of their effective work at short ranges where hits were to be expected. And no one will ever know how many shots have missed. The great outstanding lesson thus far is the extraordinary destructiveness of the torpedoes that have found their mark. It would never have been believed two years ago that ships like the Cressy, Aboukir, and Hogue would turn turtle a few minutes after a single blow from a torpedo. Still less would it have seemed possible to sink a Lusitania in fifteen minutes. A torpedo might, of course, produce an extraordinary effect if it chanced to strike a boiler compartment or a magazine. But it does not appear that this happened in any one of the (p. 024) many disasters in question. It has been said that the German torpedoes carry an exceptionally heavy explosive charge, the extra weight having been gained by a sacrifice in speed and range. This may in part explain their effectiveness, but when all allowance is made for what we know or guess along this and similar lines, the fact remains that the torpedo has shown itself a weapon of vastly greater destructive power than the world has heretofore attributed to it.

The story of the Dardanelles campaign has illustrated again the futility of attacking land fortifications by battleships. Attacks of this kind have never succeeded, and the temptation is strong to accept the theory that in planning these operations the British anticipated little or no resistance from those in command of the forts. It was conceivable that the forts could be passed—as were those at New Orleans and Mobile Bay by Farragut—but not that they could be reduced by the gun fire of ships. Information is lacking as to the damage actually done. It was probably greater than the defenders have admitted; but it evidently fell far short of silencing the forts. If the world needed a new demonstration of the power of forts to stand out against ships, we may put this down as one more lesson of the war.

An important revelation of the war is the smoothness and rapidity with which large bodies of troops, with all their impedimenta—horses, artillery, etc.—have been transported by water. This has, of course, been possible only for Great Britain and her allies, and for them only because they have held unchallenged the command of the sea. It is thus, first of all, a confirmation of the lesson with which this paper opened—the lesson that command of the sea is a factor of the very first importance in any war in which it is a factor at all. It is secondarily a lesson in the ease with which a nation which has command of the sea can, in these days of large fast steamers, transport its military forces in practically unlimited numbers to any distance that may be desired. It is thus an answer to the protestations of those who insist that the United States is secured against the danger of invasion by the thousands of miles of water which separate its coasts from those of possible enemies; (p. 025) for it demonstrates what has, from the day of the first Atlantic crossing by a steamship, become more and more notably a fact—that the oceans which separate frontiers for certain purposes, connect them for other purposes and especially for purposes of transit and transportation. The term "Ocean Highway" is no mere figure of speech. The millions of troops that have passed by water from England into France have made the passage with infinitely less difficulty than has been connected with the further passage by land to the fighting lines; and the hundreds of thousands from England, France, India, and Australia, which have assembled in the Near East could not have covered the distances that they have covered, if they had moved by land, in ten times the number of days they have occupied in moving by sea. The sea being clear of enemy ships, the route from Liverpool to the Dardanelles has been a lane for an easy and pleasant promenade. With the Atlantic and Pacific controlled by the fleets of nations at war with us, their waters would invite, rather than impede, the movement of an army to our shores. It would be difficult to exaggerate the significance of this lesson for the United States.

A rather grewsome lesson, but one which cannot be ignored, is that in a naval battle, there are, at the end, neither "wounded", "missing", nor "prisoners" to be reported. A ship defeated is, and will be, in a great majority of cases, a ship sunk; and sinking, she will sink with all on board. Some few exceptions there may be, but the rule can hardly fail to be as thus stated. One of the first things that a ship does in preparing for battle is to get rid of her boats; and, as both her companions and her opponents are sure to do the same, her crew can neither help themselves nor look for help from friends or enemies. The Good Hope and the Monmouth went down in the battle off Coronel leaving not a single survivor to tell the story of their destruction. Following the battle off the Falkland Islands, the British picked up a few survivors from the German ships, but not enough to contradict the rule. In the running engagement in the North Sea on January 25, 1915, the Blücher went down with 650 out of 900 of her crew. Scarcely a man was saved from (p. 026) the Cressy, the Aboukir, or the Hogue. And so the story runs, and so it must always run when modern ships fight in earnest.

One of the most striking features of the engagements up to the present time is the range at which they have been fought. A few years ago 10,000 yards was considered the extreme range at which ships would open fire. The ranges used in the Russo-Japanese War varied from 3,000 to 8,000 yards, and the battle off Tsushima was decided at less than 6,000 yards. In the present war the ranges have been nearly three times as great as these. In the battle off Coronel, the Good Hope was sunk at 12,000 yards, the Monmouth at a little less. In the battle off the Falkland Islands, both sides opened fire at 17,000 yards, and the German ships were sunk at approximately 16,000 yards. The running fight in the North Sea opened at 18,000 yards, and the Blücher was sunk at 15,000 yards. This extraordinary increase in the fighting range corresponds in a measure to an increase in accuracy of fire, but it corresponds also to a new recognition of the enormous advantage which may result from a fortunate hit early in the action. The theoretical advantage which should result from this has been confirmed by practical experience, and it may be regarded as certain that battle ranges hereafter will conform more nearly to those off Coronel than to those of Tsushima.

To summarize: The great outstanding naval lesson of the war is this: That a nation whose navy commands the sea can rest secure, so far as its sea frontier is concerned, from the fear of invasion or of serious attack; that, further, its command of the sea insures to its commerce the freedom of the sea; and that, finally, this freedom extends equally to its armed forces, to which the highways of the sea are opened wide, affording a possibility of offense at distant points which is denied to the forces of the enemy.

Perhaps the lesson second in importance is that, owing to the rapid march of invention in these days of progress, it is to be expected that every war which comes suddenly upon the world will come with certain elements of surprise, some of them startling in their power and effectiveness, some of them giving promise (p. 027) of much and accomplishing comparatively little. However surprising and however effective the best of these may be, they will fall short of revolutionizing warfare, but they may profoundly modify it; and the nation which has them ready for use in the beginning will gain an initial advantage which may go far toward determining the issue of the war.

Lessons of more limited significance have to do with the effectiveness of the submarine and the unexpected radius of action of which it has shown itself capable; the amazing destructive power of the torpedo; the value of the battle cruiser, both for the defense of a coast from raiding expeditions, and for operations in distant seas where speed is needed to bring an enemy to action, and heavy guns to insure his destruction; the difficulty of reducing shore fortifications by fire from ships; the necessity of aeroplanes for scouting at sea, and the modifications in naval strategy and tactics which will result from their general adoption.

After many months of sparring between the British and German naval forces in the North Sea, an important engagement took place on May 31, 1916, between the two main fleets. Exactly what forces were engaged will probably not be known until the end of the war, and it is certain that we must wait long for definitely reliable reports as to the losses on the two sides. It is already clear, however, that the encounter has added little to our knowledge of naval warfare. British battle cruisers engaged German battleships at close range and were badly punished. In this there was nothing new or instructive. Nor has anything new or instructive developed from what is thus far known of other phases of the battle. Indeed the one and only striking feature of the battle appears to be the fact that everything occurred practically as it might have been expected to occur. Neither submarines nor destroyers, neither Zeppelins nor aeroplanes provided any startling features. The only lesson thus far apparent is the old one that while dash and audacity have their place in warfare, they need the directing and steadying hand of judgment and of skill.[Back to Contents]

(p. 031) THE WORLD'S WAR


In innumerable volumes future generations will learn the details of this war: and the discussions among delving historians will never end. For our time a simpler task is the service set for us. We require a record of the essential facts of the struggle arranged with a sense of historical perspective.

For forty years the great nations of Europe had had universal service. Every able-bodied youth, unless his government chose to excuse him, became a soldier. For forty years the diplomatists had held the balance of power so delicately poised that the mighty armed forces all kept to their own sides of their frontiers. It was in the era of modern invention and man's mastery of material power that these great armies were formed and trained for the war that was to test their steel.

Where Napoleon marched a hundred thousand men along parallel roads, the modern general sends his millions on railroad trains. The problem for each nation when war came was to concentrate with a greater rapidity than its adversary its enormous masses of men and guns against the enemy; and success in this was not due as in former days to speed of foot over good highways such as the Romans and Napoleon built, but to organized railroad and automobile transport or rather the prompt employment of all the industrial resources of the nation for war alone.

Out of the conflicting reports day by day emerge to the observer as he reviews the progress of the war, with the map before him, plans of campaign as simple in their broad lines (p. 032) as in Cćsar's or Alexander's day. Generals fighting with a million or two million men under their command have held to the same principles as if they had only ten or fifteen thousand.

All schools of successful warfare have believed in the offensive; in quick decisive blows which take the enemy by surprise and find him unready if possible. They hold that the army in rest must always be beaten by the army which takes the initiative. This partly explains the frequent small actions indicated by the reports of trenches taken in assault along the western front, while the lines occupied by the armies did not radically change. Such actions are the natural expression by any spirited force of its sense of initiative. Unless you sometimes take some of the enemy's trenches, he will be taking yours. By striking him in one section you may prevent him from striking you in another. Von Moltke and the other great German generals were only following in the footsteps of Napoleon when they taught that the offensive should be the first thought of every soldier.

The offensive naturally seeks to flank its adversary. Lieutenant General Winfield Scott once stated that if two lines of men, without any officers, were placed in a field, one line would inevitably try to get around the end of the other. The immensity of the forces, the power and precision of modern armies in defense has lengthened the battle fronts from a mile or a mile and a half in Napoleon's time to hundreds of miles.

It is an old rule, that you cannot break through a battle front, which means that you are thrusting in a wedge which will draw fire on both sides. Pickett tried to break a battle front at Gettysburg. A frontal attack which was no less pitiful in its results was that of the Federals at Fredericksburg. Grant's hammering tactics against Lee succeeded only by the flanking operations of superior numbers.

Strategically, the situation of the Central Powers was extremely strong. Aside from the fact that their preparedness in numbers of trained men, in arms and material, is too well known for mention here, their excellent network of railways (p. 033) enabled them to make rapid concentration. They had what is known as the interior line, which gave Meade his advantage at Gettysburg. Whether the interior line is three miles or a thousand miles long does not affect the principle involved. Interior lines mean quick transportation of reserves from point to point in concentration. It does not matter whether their numbers are hundreds or hundreds of thousands; the advantage is intrinsically the same. Joffre had probably fifteen hundred thousand on the interior line of the Marne. Meade had seventy thousand at Gettysburg.

In keeping with all great plans that of the Central Powers was extremely simple. Austria was to look after Russia. She could mobilize more rapidly than Russia, and her army was counted upon to take the offensive into Russia and deliver a hard blow before the Russian was ready to receive her. Indeed, the Austrian was to attempt in the east what the German attempted in the west. The German army was confident that in any event the slowness of Russian mobilization would give it time for its daring venture in the west. As the French, too, had excellent railroad systems, they also would mobilize rapidly. The full strength of the German army, therefore, was thrown against the French and the little Belgian army of eighty thousand ill trained and equipped men in the first month of the war. By using their interior lines, striking first in the west and then in the east, the Germans were warranted on paper in counting on successes that might have ended the war within the first four or five months.

The frontier of France from Switzerland to Luxemburg, when manned by the large numbers of the French army, became a battle front. There was no room for a flanking operation. German ambition for a decisive and prompt victory over the French army must have room for a turning movement. The Germans made the invasion of Belgium a military necessity for their purpose, which was the destruction of the French army. They had built the great 17-inch mortars for smashing the Belgian fortresses in order to open the gate for the flood which was to sweep southward to Paris. These guns were less practicable for (p. 034) field work or even for trench work, being best against cities and stationary guns in forts.

Thus the German plan of campaign was fully developed the second day of the war. It was no longer a secret to the general public, let alone to the French staff, which recognized that it had to deal with this effort of the German wing to come through Belgium. A French movement into Alsace failed. The public reason given for this was that it was a political demonstration in raising the Tricolor over the "lost provinces" dear to the heart of every Frenchman. Another—a military reason—which would seem a more obvious one to the soldier, was a counteroffensive to draw off the force of the German offensive at Liege and Namur, hoping thus, at least, while Liege and Namur were holding the German right in position, to force the German left to the bank of the Rhine. If you will look at the map you will see that this strategy becomes transparently intelligible.

Thus early in August the French were trying to turn the German left, and the Germans were preparing to turn the French left. Had the Belgians had anything like an adequate army, had it been skillfully handled; had the fortress of Namur held ten days as many thought it would, the German right might have been held long enough to prevent the Germans forcing a battle on the Marne. By the third week of August, however, the Germans had won their first point. They had broken through Namur, so incapably defended. They had broken the French left, put the British to flight, compelling the withdrawal of the French from German Lorraine, and now the war in the west was being waged entirely on French soil.

Technically and strategically the French had been outdone by superior numbers and the incapable defense of Namur, but no decisive battle had been fought. Indeed in a maneuver for positions, the Germans had won. The test was to come on the Marne. Had France been beaten there, she would have been beaten for good. Her army would have been so badly shattered that the Germans would then have been able to have thrown such preponderance of force, in conjunction with the Austrians, against the Russians that Warsaw (and perhaps Petrograd) must have fallen (p. 035) in the first year rather than in the second of the campaign. It would not be going too far to call the Marne the greatest battle in all history, both because of the numbers engaged and the result. Barring a later successful German offensive it decided the fate of France and very likely the fate of the war. All the trench fighting that followed, after all, only nailed down as it were the results of the Marne.

The general public taking its news from the daily press, thinks of the Marne as having been waged mostly in the neighborhood of Paris. It also wonders why the Germans did not go into Paris when they were so near. Any entrance into Paris was of secondary and of superficial consideration. The object of an army is to beat an enemy's army. Had the German army beaten the French on the Marne, then it had plenty of time for its entry into Paris. If it lost the battle, it could not have held Paris.

The fate of Paris was no less decided in eastern France than on the banks of the Marne. Far and away from a spectacular point of view, the most interesting portion of that decisive conflict was among the hills and valleys and woods of Lorraine, where over a front of eighty miles the Bavarians and the French swayed back and forth in fierce pitched battle. For the Bavarians were striking at the French right flank toward the gap of Miracourt and the German Crown Prince was striking in the Argonne at the same time that Von Kluck was striking at the French left. The Bavarians and the crown prince failed, while Von Kluck extended himself too far and was nearly caught in the pincers by Manoury's new army striking on his flank. But the vital, the human, the overwhelming factor was that the French infantry after retreat, when they might have been in confusion and poor heart, held with splendid stubbornness and organization under the protection of the accurate fire from their field batteries of 75's.

It is estimated that the Germans had actually on the front, or within ready reach of the front in the battle of the Marne, 2,500,000 men, while the French had 1,500,000. As the population of France is approximately forty-five million and that of (p. 036) Germany seventy million, the ratio in armed men to population was substantially the same for either combatant. For any decisive offensive the Germans needed that percentage of superior numbers. The fact that they failed carried its own significance.

Though they withdrew they were by no means decisively beaten. It might be said—to give them the fullest benefit of the doubt—that they undertook to buy something and the price was too high. To insist, however, that they did not make their best effort is to imply that the Germans were unwilling to pay the price for that decisive victory which would win the war. They could not take the risk of going too far or pressing too long and too hard; for that might have meant, with the rapid mobilization of French reserves, a defeat that would have thrown them clear out of France and lost the war for them.

The Germans had profited by all the lessons of the Russo-Japanese War, which taught the importance of trenches to modern armies, and also the value of high-explosive shells, but their own expenditure of shells had been far beyond their anticipation, and so far as we can learn, at the Marne they faced a shortage. They lacked the munitions to carry on the battle to a conclusion, even if they possessed the men and the will.

Accepting the principle of the increased power of the defensive of modern armies, they fell back to the defensive line of the Aisne, and now the initiative must be with the French. There followed a movement of precisely the kind characterizing many battles over a smaller front and that was the extension of the line as reserves were brought up by either side.

The French tried to flank the German left but the Germans extended as rapidly as they, until the month of October found both armies resting one flank on the sea and the other on Switzerland. Still another reason for the German withdrawals from the Marne was the loss of the battle of Lublin by the Austrians, due not to the inferiority of the Austrian troops so much as to bad generalship.

The German staff was warranted by the defeat at Lublin in thinking that they might have overestimated the Austrian (p. 037) army and underestimated the Russian. In this case they might face the danger of an invasion of Germany itself from Russia. Owing to the heterogeneous character of the Austrian army with its many races and the many pessimistic prophesies that have been made about the loyalty of the Slav portions of Austria, which were fulfilled it is said by the mutiny of some Slav regiments, it looked as if such apprehensions had been well grounded.

In winning Lublin the Russians had done a distinct service to the French in relieving pressure at the Marne and by their invasion of East Prussia they undertook a service of a similar kind. The advance of the Russian "steam roller" into Prussia so much heralded at the time amounted to little more than an immense raid, as numbers go in the greatest struggle of all history.

It won laurels for Von Hindenburg, a retired general, who became the hero of the war in Germany, again illustrating that in this, as in other wars, the fortune of circumstances and the character of your enemy have much to do with the creation of martial glory. For it is an open question if as a military feat Von Kluck's skillful extrication of his army from the position beyond Paris is not as worthy of praise as Von Hindenburg's clever victory of Tannenberg.

Though the German armies had not been able to gain a decisive victory over the French, they had established themselves on French soil. All the destructive effects of war must be borne by their adversary while they could make use of the regions occupied to supply and feed their troops. They had put the burden of direct economic waste on the French and deprived them of economic supplies, while the psychologic value of driving home to the enemy population the ravages of war is considered important by military leaders.

Nor could the economic advantage be adequately measured by extent of area occupied; for the one-twenty-sixth of the territory of France which was held by the Germans represented far more than one-twenty-sixth of French producing power for war purposes. A nation's true material wealth in peace may be in (p. 038) its farms and vineyards, but in war it is in the coal and steel and machine shops. The "Black Country" of northern France of no interest to the tourist, plays the same part to industrial France that the Pittsburgh region plays to industrial America. Besides, with Lille in German hands, France had lost the income from her export trade in textiles.

As the Russians for lack of transport were not able to follow up their success at Lublin, the succeeding weeks showed it to be far from a decisive victory. The Austrian army soon recovered itself. In comparison with Russia, both Austria and Germany were highly organized industrial nations. They had not only been able to put larger forces into the field at the outset than their adversaries, but they had the resources in guns and rifles, and in the factories for the manufacture of munitions, which enabled them to increase their actual fighting forces faster than their adversaries, and to supply them with larger quantities of munitions.

The German army was established in well-chosen positions in France, which might be impregnable against even forces as superior as three to one; the Austrian army was safely established in front of the Russians. Both the French and the Russians were short of munitions, and particularly of guns of heavier caliber, and of high-explosive shells, which had become most essential in trench warfare. Relatively, the Germans were depending upon their guns to hold the Aisne line, while the Allies were depending upon the flesh and blood of infantry. Germany was rushing every trained man she had to the front and training a million volunteers. Now she could spare troops moved by her efficient railroad system, taking advantage of the interior line for Von Hindenburg to make a drive toward Warsaw, where he repeated the same maneuver, in keeping with German practice of the advance to the Marne. After his drive, he fell back from Warsaw, and intrenched for the winter.

An unskilled garrison of Belgians held Antwerp, which was on the flank of the German forces in Belgium. The fall of this fortress meant the release of a considerable force of Germans, and allowed their heavier concentration toward northwestern (p. 039) France. Having failed to defeat the French at the Marne, which would have dropped not only the ports of Dunkirk, Calais, and Boulogne, but also Havre, like ripe plums into their basket, the Germans next sought to take Calais, which is twenty-two miles from the coast of England. With Calais went the possession of all Belgium, a strip of northern France, and a foothold on the coast within twenty-two miles of England, and with the free sweep of the Atlantic past the narrow English Channel in front. Von Moltke, the chief of the German staff, who was retired about this time, was said to have still favored the greater conception of a decisive victory over the French army by an attack on Verdun instead of on the Channel ports; and the kaiser's own idea was said to have prevailed against his.

Now the allied armies in the west were to face a test second only to that of the Marne. The British army, which had been in the neighborhood of Soissons, had moved down to the left flank, hoping to assist in a successful turning movement. Their little force was being increased by every reserve that they could muster and arm. From India they brought their native troops, long-service men trained by British officers. These, at a time when every man of any kind was needed, were thrown into the crucible of the coming conflict, which reached its climax during the last days of October in the chill rains and mists of Flanders, with rich fields of a flat country turned into a glutinous mud.

Meanwhile, in a futile attempt, the British rushed small forces of marines to the assistance of the Antwerp garrison. With Antwerp theirs, the Germans were free to concentrate against the Channel ports. Once more the offensive was entirely with them in the west. They even brought into action some of the regiments of volunteers who had been enlisted in August; and following the German system of expending a fresh regiment in a single charge, these new levies were sent in masses to the attack. The Belgians, including those who escaped from Antwerp and from being driven into Holland, rested their left on the sea. Some sixty thousand were all they could muster out of a population of seven millions for the defense of the sliver of (p. 040) country that still remained under their flag. A type of man-of-war which was supposed to be antedated, the monitor, with its low draft and powerful guns was brought into action by the British in protecting the Belgians, who finally saved themselves by flooding their front.

Next to the Belgians was a French army, and next to them the British army, which shared with the French the brunt of the attack in that sector around the old town of Ypres, which was to give its name to the Ypres salient, the bloodiest region of this war, and of any war in the history of Europe.

So far as one can learn, the losses of the British and the French here were about 150,000, and of the Germans, about 250,000. Within the succeeding year, probably another 200,000 men of both sides were killed and wounded in the same locality. At the lowest estimate, 100,000 men have been killed outright in the Ypres salient, without either side gaining any appreciable advantage. British regiments held in the first battle of Ypres in some cases when they had a loss of 80 per cent.

Both Germans and Allies fought in icy water up to their hips. Many who survived succumbed to the cold. Lacking proper artillery support, the British used to cheer when the Germans charged, as that meant the end of shell fire, and they could come to close quarters with the bayonet. Little by little, but grudgingly, they had to yield against that persistent foe. The German staff was at its best in its organized offensive, and the British at their best "sticking," as they call it—and the prize was an arm of salt water, to be all Ally or part German. When the Germans gave up the struggle, they had the advantage of ground and the British stayed where they were. Whether or not the Allies should have evacuated Ypres and the deadly Ypres salient and withdrawn to better strategic positions will ever be a subject of discussion; but the loss of the city at the time would have had a moral effect on the situation of the Allies, and the political consideration may have outweighed the military.

Thus the campaign of the first summer and fall came to an end. The Allies had failed in their hope of keeping the German within his borders; and the German had failed to win any decisive (p. 041) victory which could enforce peace on all or any one of the Allies.

The casualties, on account of the vast numbers engaged, had been staggering. Germany held a small strip of Poland, and about the same amount of territory in France that she was to hold a year later, while Russia held a large section of Galicia. Where the armies had operated, lay broad belts of ruins, destroyed at enormous cost by shell fire. The moralist might well ask if the nations would have entered the war if they could have foreseen the result of their first four months' struggle.


For any adequate understanding of the strategy of the war as a whole, the trench line from Switzerland to Flanders must be extended to the east of England across the North Sea to Iceland. This war has again demonstrated the enormous value of sea power.

Glance at a map of the globe and you will see how small a portion of it is occupied by the great nations of Europe, which for 2,000 years have been the most vital and influential political, commercial, and intellectual force in the world. The present nations are for the most part only the modern expression of the vigorous races which Cćsar found and conquered. They have been in continual competition and in frequent wars.

The Russians have had only a little hold on the sea—in the Black Sea and in the Baltic; the Germanic peoples have had the Baltic and the North Sea; France faces the Mediterranean and the Atlantic; and only twenty-two miles from France is the island of Britain and Ireland, and other little islands, or what are known as the British Isles, whose superficial area is less than that of France or Germany.

Look again at the map, at the location of the British Isles and Germany. Mark them in black, if you will, and those two little points represent the two great antagonists in the war. Then turn the globe around slowly, and you come to Canada, stretching from the frontier of the United States to the Arctic, and across (p. 042) the Pacific to Australia and Hongkong, the Straits Settlements and Ceylon, India, and then in Africa, the most valuable of all its area—and you have the dominions and the colonies of the British Empire!

Between Germany and the rest of the world is the British navy. Every German ship which sails the trade routes of the earth must go past the British threshold. Germany, with a rapidly increasing population, with an imperial patriotism which discouraged emigration to foreign countries, wished to extend her domain; she wanted room in which German national ambition could expand.

Through all her history, Britain has had one eye on the continent and one on the seas. Continental affairs concerned her only so far as they meant the rise of any power which might threaten her dominion of the seas. The silver-pewter streak of channel kept her safe from invasion by any continental power, yet she could land troops across the Channel and throw the weight of her forces in the balance when her dominion was threatened. It is her boast that she has always won the "last battle," which is sufficient. She had only 30,000 troops in the allied army under Wellington, which delivered the finishing blow to Napoleon.

Twenty years ago, when the German navy was in its infancy, her policy was one of splendid isolation. France then was the second naval power, and Russia the third. The British naval program was superior to any two continental powers. The increase in German population and in trade and wealth brought with it an increase in the German navy, until Germany, with her ally, Austria, became the threatening continental factor to British security.

Now Britain formed a combination for defense with Russia and France. Her military part was to send 120,000 troops across the Channel to cooperate with the French army against the Germans. She was the only one of the great nations, except the United States, that depended upon a regular army, which was occupied mostly in policing her empire. Aside from her regulars, her only military organization were her Territorials, which (p. 043) were something on the same order as the American National Guard.

The number of men which she could throw across the Channel was therefore insignificant, compared to the great hordes of the European armies. Her real part was command of the sea. She was either to destroy the German navy or make it helpless in interfering with allied trade on the seas. Her Government was Liberal, her people as a whole skeptical of the possibility of a European war. For centuries they had been bred to believe that her security was in her fleet. She had long enjoyed her empire, she possessed immense capital, and her inclination was toward complacency, while Germany's was that of the eager newcomer to power.

The situation in Ireland on account of the passage of the Home Rule Bill had become so strained that many people believed civil war to be inevitable. The conviction of the German Ambassador in London, as well as most German observers, was that Britain would not actually enter the war, when the test came. Upon her decision, it is now evident, depended the fate of Europe. With England out, the French army could not have saved France. For then, Germany could have had the freedom of the seas. Her navy would have sent the French into harbor, closing not only every French, but every Russian port to the entrance of supplies and munitions, which would have meant food scarcity in France, and utter scarcity of munitions in Russia.

German troops could have landed in France to the rear of the French army. The whole complexion of the war would have been changed. So well laid were their plans, so sure were they of their numbers of men and guns, which they could promptly concentrate, that there seems little question of the ability of the Central Powers to have crushed France in the first three months of the war, and then to have won a decisive victory over Russia, bringing home from either country great indemnities, and, with Germany, if she choose, annexing northern France and Belgium.

Thus the Central Powers would have established themselves so strongly as the dominant nations of Europe, that Germany with (p. 044) her seventy millions of people could have directed her energy as the next step in her career against the Mistress of the Seas.

Had Belgium not been invaded, it is questionable if the British public would have favored joining in the war. But this aroused public indignation to the breaking point in support of the war members of the cabinet. Sir Edward Grey, the British Minister of Foreign Affairs, had his way.

The British navy was as thoroughly prepared for an emergency as the German army. It had no illusions as to the nature of its task or of its responsibility to the nation. Britain had superior resources in shipbuilding to Germany. She had a fleet superior in every class of ship, and she had led the world in naval progress—both her dreadnoughts and her battle cruisers being of a later type than her rival's. Her desire, inevitably, was that the German fleet should come out at once and give battle. Confident of the outcome, she contemplated the removal of her rival from the seas at a single blow.

German naval policy was as careful to avoid this test as British was to invite it. The German navy was kept safely at anchor in Kiel, protected by immense fortress guns, by elaborate mine fields, scores of submarines and destroyers, and by numerous nets against the approach of any British submarine. There was no way for any enemy to reach it except by the air. The Germans would have located any British attempt to attack their navy, as it might have meant the loss of important British fighting units which would have given the Germans more nearly equal chances of victory if they chose to precipitate an engagement. Sir John Jellicoe, in command of the fleet, however, refused to take any risks of losing his units. He kept his fleet in harbor, ready at any moment to steam out into the North Sea for action. Throughout the war to this writing, not one of his great first-class battleships has fired a shot, with the exception of the Queen Elizabeth, which took part in the bombardment of the Dardanelles forts.

Superiority of gun power has been sufficient to keep England safe from invasion, German merchant ships from sailing the seas, protect the sea passage of millions of troops, and insure the occupation of the German colonies by British expeditionary (p. 045) forces. Except as it was raised over a submarine or commerce raider, the German flag was swept from the sea within the first six months of the war.

There has been no naval battle at all commensurate with the strength of the two fleets. Each time that a British and German ship have met in action, the overwhelming importance of speed and of gun range have been demonstrated. Speed and range enabled Von Spee to destroy Cradock's squadron at Coronel off Chile, with almost no loss to himself. Later at the Falkland Islands he suffered the same fate at the hands of Sturdee, who, with his second-class battle cruisers, had the speed and range of the German third-class.

Again, in the battle off Dogger Bank, the Blücher, the second-class battle cruiser which had only 26 knots, was left behind by her sisters, the German first-class battle cruisers, while she was pounded into the sea by the Lion, the Tiger, and the Princess Mary, which were driving ahead at 30 knots. The honors of the war, so far as the offensive goes, therefore, have been with the last battle cruiser.

German naval policy, no less wise for its own ends than for the British, has depended upon the submarine, whose importance may be easily exaggerated and easily underestimated. No submarine can approach the major fighting ships of a great fleet when that fleet is properly protected by torpedo-defense guns and fast destroyers and light cruisers. The deciding test of a submarine's power in this respect was the fruitless attempts of the best German submarines to reach the Lion with a deathblow, when crippled, after the battle off Dogger Bank, she was being towed home at 5 knots an hour, under the protection of the destroyers.

However, any isolated vessel, whether a merchantman or a man-of-war, is at the mercy of a submarine, which hunts the seas for this kind of target. It has only to lie in wait on the trade routes until its prey appears, submerging in case of danger. Then a torpedo sent home and a valuable piece of property goes to the bottom of the sea. What resourceful brigandage is to traffic on the highways, the German submarine became to British traffic on the seas. It is the sniper of naval warfare, but cannot give (p. 046) battle. It must find its protection under the sea, while all freight and all passengers, all the world's business is done on the surface of the sea; and the great guns of the dreadnoughts command the surface.

George V, King of Great Britain and Emperor of India.

When brigandage becomes highly organized, it means enormous expense in increased police work, particularly if you cannot trail the brigands to their hiding places and force them to capitulate. In this case the brigands' hiding places are under the protection of powerful fortress guns and mine fields in secure harbors.

The British navy, with over three thousand ships, including mine sweepers and auxiliaries of all sorts under Sir John Jellicoe's command, was forced to go to immense expense and pains in combating the submarine campaign. Many submarines were taken; but the Germans kept on building them. It was a war against an unseen and cunning foe, which required ceaseless vigilance and painstaking effort. The amount of material, as well as the amount of ships required in order to combat the submarines and also to keep the patrol intact from the British channel to Iceland, could it be enumerated, would stagger the imagination. Meanwhile, England had to go on building new dreadnoughts and cruisers and destroyers at top speed, with a view to increasing her rate of naval superiority over the Germans. Once the German fleet had come out and been beaten, then the British would be secure in victory, and they could spare many guns for the army and devote all their energy to the land campaign.

While the Germans had a "fleet in being," they had an important counter for peace negotiations. They were as rightly advised in sticking to their harbor, as the British in holding their command of the sea without risking their units by trying to force an entrance into harbors equipped with every known defense of modern warfare.

In all instances the British army must wait for material if navy demands were unsatisfied. With the tide of fortune going against the Russians and French on the Continent, the original agreement for only 120,000 men became entirely perfunctory, in view of the tragic necessity of more troops to be thrown against the Central (p. 047) Powers on the Continent. With a large proportion of her regular officers killed in the first two months of the war, Britain had to undertake the preparation of a vast army without adequate drill masters or leaders. She had to make wholly untrained civilians into soldiers while the war was being waged. This took time, but less time than for the manufacture of rifles and guns. She had everything necessary for supplying her navy, but ridiculously inadequate plants for supplying a force of soldiers so immense. Thus England had scores of battalions of excellently drilled soldiers prepared to go to France before there were any rifles for them to fight with, or before they had the all-important artillery for their support in battle.

In the early months of the war probably she was not awake to the necessity of the situation. Besides, her manufacturers, still confident of an early victory over Germany, were more interested in permanently gaining markets which the Germans would lose than in making munitions. The war was not brought home to the Englishman as it was to the German and the Frenchman, by having bloody lines of trenches on his own soil. Every British soldier was fighting across the seas in the defense of the soil of another nation. Naturally, in many cases, he was slow to a realization that this also was his own national defense. But by the volunteer system alone, England enlisted over two million men before conscription was threatened.

In order to centralize authority under a single man, Lord Kitchener was intrusted with the stupendous task of organizing the new army and seeing that it was properly equipped. He had foreseen at the start that the war would be long and that it would be nearly two years before England could throw anything like an armed force adequately representing her population into the struggle on the Continent. He had to train his officers at the same time that he trained his men and build guns and make rifles.

Meanwhile, the German army system was complete. Indeed, there was no want of men with military experience in any one of the continental countries to act as drill masters. England was attempting a feat equaled only in our Civil War, where vast (p. 048) armies of untrained men were raised. But in this case, the enemy was not composed also of recruits, but of men trained under universal service by a staff which had traditions of preparedness as a basis for the preparation before the war, while the British staff and the British army had been trained in the handling of small, mobile forces in policing their empire. But as the months wore on, it was evident that the military decision of the war might rest with this new army when the other armies were exhausted, when at last it reached the front in full force with adequate arms and equipment in the hope of repeating history, thanks to the command of the sea which gave Britain time to prepare—by winning the last battle.

Had Britain lost command of the sea early in the war, she would have been utterly helpless. The Germans could readily have landed a force that would have taken London in six weeks. Even this would have been an unnecessary military action. For, with her food supply shut off by German ships, Britain would have had to throw up her hands and ask for terms.

The Dominion of Canada, Australasia and South Africa would have found themselves in the position of isolated nations, dependent for the time being upon their own resources for defense. Their loyalty to the British Empire has not been the least wonderful of the many wonderful results of this war. They have sent legions of volunteers across the seas to France and Gallipoli to fight beside the British and the French. As for Hongkong, the Straits Settlements, Ceylon, India, and all the colonies of the empire, they would have been Germany's for the occupation. Such is the meaning of sea power. But the British navy being superior to the German, held Germany in siege.


Germany must make the best possible use of her comprehensive industrial organization and of her preparedness for war and throw the greatest possible number of men into the fighting line at the earliest possible moment. She was practically in a race against time; and time was with the Allies. While (p. 049) they retained command of the sea the United States and other neutral nations overseas, once their plants for manufacture were completed, could pour out supplies of munitions.

Germany's foreign trade was practically at a standstill. From the port of Hamburg her argosies of manufactures no longer went forth to the world in return for raw material. Her many ships, from the enormous passenger steamers to the small tramps which had brought her tribute with their carrying trade, were idle. She could manufacture, then, only for home consumption and all her plants that had been manufacturing for export began producing for her armies. The energies of the one hundred and twenty-five millions of people, men, women and children, in Germany and Austria-Hungary were wholly occupied in making war. Their object must be to push the walls back as far as they could, and so to punish Russia or France that one or the other would yield a separate peace. The aim of British statesmanship must be to hold the Allies together at any expense and keep Germany from breaking the siege. If more nations could be brought in against Germany, that would strengthen the siege lines and lengthen the front the Central Powers were building.

Through the winter of 1914-15 the diplomats of the Allies and the Central Powers in Rome fought for Italy's hand with all the skill and resources of trained European diplomacy. Responding to the sentiment for the recovery of Trentino and Trieste which she considered ethnologically and geographically a part of her domain she was to throw in her fortunes with the Allies against her old enemy, Austria.

Serbia had her troops still on the boundary of the Danube and the Save. Rumania, facing Austria with Russia on her flank, also much courted, was even more coy than Italy. Bulgaria, with her excellent army, was on the flank of Serbia and blocked the road to Turkey. Little Greece was another state watching the conflict with the selfish interest of a small spectator, trying to judge which side would be the victor.

Russia of the steppes and the multitudes of men was short of munitions; her plants were incapable of making sufficient (p. 050) supplies. The Baltic was closed to her by the German navy, Archangel was frozen in and the closing of the passage of the Dardanelles shut her off from the Mediterranean. She was in touch with the sea only in the Far East, with the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains between her and the manufacturing regions of the United States. Her crop of wheat, which she exchanged for manufactured goods in time of peace was no less interned than the manufactured products of Germany. If the Dardanelles were opened she could empty her granaries and receive arms and munitions in return. Therefore, the first winter of the war, while their main armies were intrenched in colder climes, both sides turned their attention to the southeast. In November the Turks had joined the Central Powers, thus flying in the face of the historical Turkish policy, so cleverly applied by Abdul Hamid, in playing one European power against another and profiting by their international differences.

For many years German diplomacy, capital and enterprise had been busy building up German influence in Asia Minor. Abdul Hamid had been overthrown under the leadership of Enver Pasha and other officers who had been trained in Germany according to German military methods and who had absorbed the German ideas. Von der Goltz, a German general, had reorganized the Turkish army. The access of Turkey to the Central Powers formed the addition of another thirty million people, which gave them one hundred and fifty million on their side.

Through the assistance of the Turks, the Germans never for a moment deserting their idea of keeping the initiative and forcing their enemies to follow it, threatened an offensive against the Suez Canal, which was abortive, but served the purpose of requiring British preparation for its defense. Germany saw more than mere military advantage in the Turkish adventure. She was reaching out into the Mohammedan world which stretches across Persia and Asia Minor, through little known and romantic regions, to India where, as a part of her Indian Empire, England rules more Mohammedans than the population of the German Empire. The unrest which was reported to have been ripe in India for the last decade might thus be brought to (p. 051) a head in a rebellion against British authority; as it might, too, in Egypt, the Sultan of Turkey being the Padishah or head of the Mohammedan faith.

At least Britain would be forced to maintain larger garrisons than usual both in Egypt and India against any threat of insurrection. Among all who have had to deal with the Oriental peoples, and particularly those who know them as intimately as the British rulers of India, the importance of power—and publicly demonstrated power—is fully understood. To the average British Indian or Egyptian subject, Britain has been an unconquerable country, the mistress of the world.

Many reasons united in calling for some action on the part of the British to offset that of the Germans. With Russia in retreat the Balkan States, which had regarded her prowess as irresistible, were losing their faith in the Allies. One successful blow would do more to dispel their skepticism and to bring Italy in on the side of the Allies than sheafs of diplomatic cablegrams and notes. During such a crisis every message in the game of war diplomacy becomes only a polite calling card that represents armed men.

The British decided to take the initiative though their new army had as yet received hardly sufficient training to make them soldiers and their supply of rifles, guns and munitions was insufficient. Indeed, England was just beginning to awaken fully to the fact that the forces of France and Russia alone were insufficient to cope on land with the Central Powers, particularly now that the weight of Turkey was thrown in the balance.

With her casualties three times the number of her original expeditionary force, with more than the original number of her army engaged in Flanders, she undertook an offensive against Constantinople itself. Second-class men-of-war which were not required with the grand fleet and a single first-class dreadnought of the latest type, the Queen Elizabeth, in conjunction with a French squadron, bombarded and reduced the ancient forts at the entrance to the Dardanelles and then attacked those in the narrows. British bluejackets even smoked their pipes and cracked jokes as they sat on the crest of Achi Baba, which became (p. 052) an impregnable Turkish position after the British Mediterranean force was landed. Had the Queen Elizabeth been able to fire an army corps ashore, the corps could have marched on into Constantinople.

The success or failure of the Gallipoli expedition depended upon surprise. Superficially it seems a colossal blunder. There are inside facts about it which have never been disclosed. Greece, it is supposed, agreed to send troops, but at the last moment changed her mind. Undoubtedly the expedition was an important influence in bringing Italy in. There was a fatal delay in its departure from Alexandria. Too much time elapsed between the preparatory bombardment and the landing. The Turks had been forewarned what to expect. They had leisure for concentration and preparation. On a narrow front of difficult shore where the landing was to be made, they had stretched their barbed-wire entanglements into the sea itself, while along the beach were carefully concealed machine guns and back of them ample forces of men and artillery.

No effort in history was ever more gallant than that of the British force, including the Australians, which threw itself ashore in the face of simply insurmountable obstacles and fire, under the cover of the guns of the men-of-war. As a surprise, the affair was a complete failure. Its only chance of success being as a surprise, most competent military leaders and experts agree that this was sufficient reason, in a military sense, for an immediate withdrawal; yet British stubbornness would not yield.

Indeed, the Gallipoli expedition was a political move, a violation of the true military principle—that you should always go against the main body of your enemy, which was at this time on the frontiers of Russia and France. Of course the effort was not entirely without its compensations; no expedition is, which holds any part of the enemy's troops in place in front of your own. The pressure was withdrawn from the Russians in the Caucasus and also further adventures from the outskirts of Asia Minor toward India in stirring up the Mohammedan population were for the time abated.

(p. 053) The attempt to reach the heart of Turkish power, the sultan's capital itself, by opening these famous straits and sending British ships to lay Constantinople under their guns, was a splendid conception worthy the military imagination of the daring ages when the British Empire was built and the days of the Spanish Main, but the only criterion in the ghastly business of war remains success.

Yet the spring of 1915 opened with no rebellion in India except sporadic outbreaks of the frontier tribes which are always recurring, while Egypt itself remained peaceful. The Germans inaugurated their second year's campaign by closing the Belgo-Dutch frontier and by the administrative use of every possible means for safeguarding their movements on the western front, which would indicate that they were to undertake another effort for the Channel ports. This was an obvious feint to conceal an effort elsewhere. Instead of using troops to make it, they tried out for the first time a form of warfare which was not new in the consideration of any army, though it had not been used because it was considered inhuman.

With the wind blowing in the right direction, the Germans released an immense cloud of chlorine gas. Its gravity held it close to the ground as it swept down upon the British and French in the famous Ypres salient. The effort was successful beyond their expectation, more successful than they realized and had they had sufficient reserves to press on, they might have broken the allied line at this point.

The effect of the gas was that of a horrible form of asphyxiation; the soldiers who did not succumb retreated in face of a weapon which could not be countered by any in their possession. The casualties were heavy, the sufferings of the wounded indescribable in their torment. From the military point of view, which holds that war is killing and that any method whatsoever is warrantable, the attack was a success as it gained ground, and for the time being confused the enemy. But it was a form of attack which could succeed only once. After the soldiers were provided with proper respirators containing a chemical antidote, they were in no danger of being "gassed." Among those in the (p. 054) thick of the gas attack were the first Canadian contingent, who bore themselves with unflinching fortitude, not only that, but after the first surprise of the attack was over, the survivors charged with rare heroism.

Strategy which formerly meant the swift movement of a few thousand troops to one flank or another overnight, or in a two or three-hour march, now means the concentration of hundreds of thousands by railway trains upon a particular point and of many thousands of guns and enormous quantities of material of every kind from shells to that for building railroads to keep up with your advance.

But the general of to-day no less than the general of yesterday, would always know where his enemy is most vulnerable, and strike him at that point. In the spring of 1915, the line of least resistance for the German army was obviously to the east where the loose organization of the Russian army, lacking munitions, was stretched over a front of over a thousand miles.

The French were better off in munitions, and their army and the British had a front of four hundred and fifty miles of intact trench line. It is estimated that in order to hold a battle front with modern troops, about three thousand men to the mile are required. This does not mean that there are three thousand actually on every mile; but counting the thin line in the trenches, the thicker line in the reserve trenches and the soldiers who are out of the trenches resting and the battalions in reserve and the reserve supplies of men in the depots who can promptly be brought into action.

For example, to hold a mile of the famous Ypres salient might require double the number of men necessary to hold a mile where the lay of the ground was in the favor of your troops. Owing to the use of motor trucks and to railway trains, whenever there is an attack, concentration of men at any point is very rapid. Holding to this rule, the Germans maintained all through the summer of 1915, 1,500,000 men on their western front, and they had that number at least to spare for their eastern front. Field Marshal von Hindenburg said that by hammering he would (p. 055) get Warsaw, and he was to keep his word with stolid German persistence. Napoleon, who had depended upon the number of his guns, would have fully appreciated the Austro-German plan of action against Russia.

The Russian army has been compared to cotton wool. The farther you went into Russia, the more cotton wool there was. The Russian army would yield, but there never seemed any end of it. Gaining a passive victory over the Russian army has also been compared to brushing the snow off the front doorstep. The more you brushed, the more snow banked up. Russia could afford to lose territory equivalent to the area of all France without having received a vital blow. Russia has plenty of room in which to retreat, as Napoleon learned. She is confident in the safety of her distances. When the enemy falls back she follows on his heels.

At the end of the winter, 1914-15, she was still in the possession of a large portion of Galicia. But the Germans were preparing a battering ram which their generals thought irresistible. Their plan now was to deliver so hard a blow at the Russian that he would be forced to yield a separate peace. Von Mackensen formed his unprecedented phalanx of soldiery and of artillery in Galicia and destroying all the fortifications and covering the trenches with torrents of shell fire he skillfully worked his legions forward, first breaking the Przemysl line, which compelled a general retreat, and then breaking the Lemberg line. Thus, having beaten back the Russian left wing, the Austro-Germans turned their attention to the Warsaw front and there repeated the same organized machine method of warfare. There were no brilliant strokes of genius, but merely the use of superior systems of railroads in making the concentration; of trained engineers and workmen in advancing the railroad lines; of systematic overwhelming attacks at critical points, directed by the unsurpassed German staff organization.

With the fall of Warsaw the Russian army was inevitably badly broken. They had lost multitudes of prisoners, and staggering quantities of material. But still it remained an intact army. It was not decisively beaten. The prisoners were taken (p. 056) by brigades, regiments, and divisions—thousands of them in reserve, without a rifle in their hands, as they waited their turn to pick up the rifle of a dead man. For six months, March to August, the greatest of all campaigns in numbers of troops and length of line continued in the east, Von Mackensen and the Austrians striking in the south and Von Hindenburg in the north. Its details will be read in the history which follows. Characteristic of either adversary was his method. The German with concentration of population, resources, artillery, soldiery, and organization, and the Russian part, glamorous, slow, yielding to the terrific blows, flowing back like an ebb tide, and taking his time, never risking a decision, his army never surrounded or cut in two.

While Von Hindenburg's guns were hammering the Russians in front, German political influence was occupied in Petrograd in the rear, where certain official circles were under German influence in the hope of getting Russia to capitulate. The situation was the most critical for the Allies since the Battle of the Marne. A most influential court party was undoubtedly in favor of capitulation. Russia was bleeding cruelly. She was suffering the psychological as well as the material effects of defeat. In Paris and London the possibility of having to go on with the war without the Russian's assistance had become a serious consideration. In short, the fate of Europe was then in the hands of diplomatic and court intrigue.

According to the accounts it was the mass of the Russian people whose pressure undoubtedly defeated the aims of German diplomacy. Uninformed of the real situation, conscious only of the enormous cost of the war in blood and treasure, their spirit of race patriotism was undaunted. They realized if Russians in high places did not, that surrender by Russia then meant a defeat, which would set the Russian power back for another fifty years. England could make peace and be in possession of more territory than she had at the beginning of the war. France could be certain of retaining what she had before the war. But Russia had not only lost Poland, but the Slav had bowed the knee to the Teuton.

(p. 057) At the same time there was widespread unrest among the Russian people. They felt that they had deserved victory, but had been denied it. It was not a question of the grand duke's skill in conducting the retreat from Warsaw, or his indomitable will and sturdy patriotism, but of satisfying popular sentiment. The announcement that the czar himself was to take command unified and heartened the Russian people, who felt that "The Little Father" was the natural God-given head of the army.

There was discontent in Russia too, with the situation on the western front. All the news that Russia had from France was of an occasional hundred or five-hundred-yard trench won or lost, while the Russian army had been swept from Galicia and been swept back again and had gone through the fearful ordeal of the retreat of July and August. Why shouldn't France and Britain do something to release the pressure on the Russians? For not the least of the advantages the Central Powers had had was single-headed direction. They represented one united force, working out a consistent and simple plan of campaign. But Russia, England, and France had to cooperate in council.

With Russia so hard pressed and with the danger of her yielding to the Germans so deeply impressed on London and Paris there was nothing for the French staff to do but to respond by some sort of action in loyalty to her allies as a matter of military necessity if not of military wisdom. The attacks in Artois had fully demonstrated the arduousness and cost of any such undertaking, particularly until there was an unlimited supply of shells to draw on. A gain of two or three miles' depth on a front meant no positive advance for either side, but rather a waste of life. Indeed, any considerable attack on that western trench line which did not actually break the line must be considered a failure. And against their will, no doubt, the French and British undertook another offensive on September 25, 1915.

On many sections of the western front the nature of the ground makes an attack absolutely unfeasible. The place chosen by the French was the Champagne region, in the neighborhood of the great army review ground of Châlons. It is a rolling, sterile country, dotted with sparse roads. There is a thin loam (p. 058) over a subsoil of chalk—excellent for the defensive, but also permitting the rapid movement of artillery troops in dry weather.

So far as can be learned the Germans had already given up their offensive in Russia before the French began theirs. At least they were well advised that the French offensive was under way, and they needed to know it only a week beforehand, in order to transfer reserves from their eastern front, which they brought to the number of 300,000, concentrating them mostly in the Champagne region, where they were to be needed. Coincident with the Champagne attack, the British, who are for command purposes a part of the French army, launched one in the region of Loos.

In northern France the country was extremely difficult, and as unsuited for offense as the rest of the ground occupied by the British. Aside from their object in assisting the Russians, the French hoped to break the line. In this they failed. Over a twelve-mile front they gained depths varying from one-half to three miles; and altogether, with the British, they took some 25,000 prisoners and 160 guns. Both the numbers of prisoners and of guns were small compared with the "bags" on the eastern front. But the character of the fighting, the heavy volume of artillery fire and extraordinary coordination of the first-class fighting units by the most skilled armies in history, make this action memorable in military annals in the same way as the German attack on Verdun in the following February. The ground lost in no wise endangered the German tenancy of their line.

Along the Italian front the summer had developed something of the same kind of stalemate that had existed in France. Fighting in the Alpine country so favored the defense that the Austrians did not have more than three or four hundred thousand troops engaged in holding the Italians in position. Therefore it had been easy for anyone taking a superficial view to exaggerate the military value of Italy's entry into the war. The Austrian troops had fought with extreme tenacity, for naturally the Austrian staff had sent against the Italians all those troops in Franz (p. 059) Josef's heterogeneous empire who had any racial antagonism against the Italians, including those who had been lukewarm in fighting against the Slav.

Unquestionably, honors at the end of the campaign in 1915 were with Germany. She had held her line solidly in the west. She had stripped the country of northern France and Belgium of all the machinery of its factories which would be useful to her. She had been relieved of any necessity of feeding the Belgian population, or of the menace that would have come from the threat of a famine in either Belgium or northern France by the American Food Commission which at first had received supplies from America to carry on their work, and later had depended almost altogether upon grants from the French and English Governments and upon large voluntary contributions from England. In the east she had gained territory almost equal in area to that of Prussia itself. All Poland was hers. Her governor general ruled Warsaw. Her situation as to food supplies was improved by the occupation of immense productive areas. She had made war with all her energy, and in want of able-bodied men to gather her own harvests, she had used the hosts of prisoners which she had taken from Russia. But, despite her victories, bravely and skillfully won, she was still a nation in siege, with no communication with the outside world, except through neutral countries.

In the second winter with uninterrupted energy she again turned toward the southeast for another military adventure. Rumania still held fast to her neutrality. In Bulgaria the Central Powers were to succeed in gaining a fourth ally, which in sheer military advantage was probably worth more than the accession of Italy to her enemies. Though Russia had won her freedom for Bulgaria in '76, no sentiment drew her to Russia's assistance when Russia was losing. No statesmanship is more matter of fact than that of the Balkans. Bulgaria had an old score to settle with Serbia, which had joined Rumania and Greece against her in making the Second Balkan War, after she had borne the brunt of the first against Turkey. Then, besides, the military temptation offered the Bulgarian staff was irresistible. (p. 060) Serbia had been through two wars before the heavy drain of this one. A country of swineherds and miserable villages, dependent for munitions upon England and the Allies—she was caught in a wedge, with Bulgaria on the one side and the Austro-Hungarian advance on the other. At the most the Central Powers had probably no more than 300,000 troops—about the same number that the Bulgars had. Against such a combination, Serbia, caught between the blades of a pair of scissors, could make no successful resistance unless assistance came from England and France, which the British and French public demanded should be sent. There was no hope of sufficient allied forces reaching Serbia in time to rescue her, but the Allies, particularly the British, could not afford to see Saloniki occupied by the Austro-Germans or by their friends, the Bulgarians. Up to the Balkan War Saloniki was Turkish; then it became Greek. This excellent port had long been the goal of Austrian ambition, which sought an outlet to the Mediterranean, no less than the traditional policy of Russia was aimed at the occupation of Constantinople.

In the Crimean War France and England fought to thwart Russia's designs on Turkey and now France and England were prepared to oppose Austria's designs on Saloniki.

In order to defend Saloniki British and French troops must land on the soil of Greece and march across the Greco-Serbian frontier, which was no doubt one of the reasons that had kept the Allies from sending forces before, in order to assist the Serbians on the Danube and Save in closing "the ring of steel."

Venizelos, the Greek statesman, who had been the Greek Bismarck in the extension of the Greek domain in the Balkan War, had taken sides with the Allies; and he favored concessions by Greece as well as Serbia to Bulgaria, in order to satisfy Bulgarian ambitions and keep her from striking hands with the Central Powers, while the King of Greece, with the Queen, a sister of the kaiser, had decidedly pro-German leanings. The Greeks had a most difficult part, even for Levantine diplomacy, to play. If they cast their fortunes with the Allies and the (p. 061) Teutons won, then they could count upon the Central Powers not only taking Saloniki away from them, but bringing themselves practically under Germanic domination. If they openly espoused the German side, then as the country depended upon the sea, their ports would be blockaded, if not bombarded by the allied fleets. In the event of an allied victory over the Central Powers they were certain that Saloniki would not be annexed by the Allies, bitter as they were against Greece because she was supposed to have broken her pledged word to assist them in the Gallipoli expedition. Following a policy of drift and protest, the Greeks consented to the British and French landing troops at Saloniki and to their making it a base of action.

Certain forces were sent into Serbia before the Serbian army had been completely driven back, and whatever the public thought, certainly with no expectation of gaining a victory over the Bulgarians. This obvious movement was only for the purpose of gaining time for fortifying a line around Saloniki and bringing sufficient men and guns to defend it.

German diplomacy and staff work had not in all of the war gained a more important technical advantage for less cost in time, money, and troops, than it had in the fall of 1915 in the Balkans when they made the Bulgars to serve as they had the Turks, to secure their ends. At last the British withdrew from Gallipoli with such small losses that the evacuation of this position on an exposed coast is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant pieces of military maneuvering of its kind in all history. No credit is ever given for retreats. But this was a good deal more than a retreat. It was withdrawing from a beach in face of a well-armed enemy. The story of it—as yet unwritten—will some day bring a tribute to British military skill from professional soldiers, if not from the lay public.

The Bulgarians decided not to invade Greece; the Greeks made no attack. Those who looked forward to the war being settled in the Balkans, and to Saloniki becoming another Port Arthur, had missed their calculations. But every gun and every man that the Allies had to maintain at Saloniki might be a gun and a man kept idle, when they might be needed elsewhere.

(p. 062) The Germans having disposed of Serbia, had at the same time forced the further dissipation of English and French troops. That they could once more turn to the main theatre of the war and try to push back the siege wall in another direction. Meantime, Turkey had been doing their bidding in another quarter. The natural response of the British to any threat to their Indian Empire was to take the offensive, for this was one certain way to impress the Oriental mind. Having annexed Egypt and Cyprus and occupied the German colonies throughout the world, Britain now proceeded to the extension of her Asiatic domain. The threat of Mohammedan insurrection was met by an invasion of Mohammedan regions.

Her expedition toward Bagdad, had it not been in the midst of the greatest war in all history, would perhaps have been the most spectacular and interesting of all the small campaigns in remote regions which have gradually extended British influence. It marched through Mesopotamia and the Garden of Eden. The Turks under German direction replied with an offensive which in turn put General Townshend's army in siege, requiring that it should have relief.

The self-interest of each one of the parties to the war is evident, with the exception of Turkey. Why she ever entered in on the side of Germany, or on either side, is a puzzle. She was the one to lose in any event. German success meant German domination. German failure must mean that Russia would realize her ambition to take Constantinople, and the British must further strengthen their empire at her expense.

For many decades the British and Russian empires have glowered at each other across the dividing belts of Thibet, Afghanistan, and Persia. The fear of a Russian invasion of India haunted British statesmen until the German power became so threatening that England struck hands with France and Russia. Now while the British were advancing northward, the Russians made a southerly move to her assistance. The grand duke, who had been sent to the Caucasus in February, 1916, took the offensive and captured the fortress of Erzerum, an action which was bound to relieve pressure on the British. Thus, the Turk who (p. 063) had been led to believe that he was to regain Egypt and recover some of his lost territory, was simply losing more. Indeed, after Saloniki, despite the talk to that effect, the far-seeing Germans neither carried out their threatened attempt to invade Egypt, nor, as many expected, were they drawn from the main theatre of war by dispatching troops by rail to Turkey. In dissipating the allied troops by their threats, they had taken care not to dissipate their own.

Thus Germany would supply Turkey with officers, and all her munitions, but she would not risk an army on the other side of Bulgaria with a long line of communications threatened by the Allies from Saloniki and Dedeagatch.

The approach of the spring of 1916 found them facing much the same problem as in the spring of 1915. Despite the territory they had gained, to ask for peace was to imply that their economic situation was weaker and their casualties heavier than they were willing to admit. Even if their economic situation was strong and the reserves plentiful, any suggestion that they were ready for negotiations must convince the Allies that they were reaching the end of their resources. There could be no doubt of Russia's immense reserves of men. It was only a question with her as to whether or not she could make them into an efficient army properly equipped and supplied, and whether or not she would be able to maintain her organization and railway facilities and sufficient forces at the actual fighting front to strike a successful blow against her enemies.

On the western front there had been an enormous accession of munitions during the winter, while the British new army with two million men yet to go under fire was gradually getting its rifles and guns. Victory comes in war either when you are exhausted or when you have taken from the enemy his capital or something of such vital importance to him that he must yield in order to recover it. Neither France nor Russia was by any means in that pass. Belgium had merely become a dead land, a shop within a garden, cut off from all trade, when it had been a nation of manufacturers and traders.

Germany, unless she were exhausted in men and supplies, (p. 064) could not consider any peace which did not accord her the results of her gains, while she was still in possession of much of the enemy's territory, and she still maintained the power of the offensive. The purpose of the Allies was to contain her, to strengthen "the ring of steel." Her own purpose must be to strike some vital blow which would win a separate peace either from Russia or France. The moment she gave up her offensive and settled down to the defensive, which was naturally against the policy of her staff and the vigorous nature of her people, she was acknowledging that she had reached the limit of her prowess. Then the Allies, with the sea at their command, would bid her await their pleasure—unless she had so far exhausted them that they considered a decided victory over her hopeless, and they made a compromise.

Saloniki now being an incident of her military past, the next plan of her staff was an effort on Verdun, the great fortress which occupied a salient in the French siege line. Here, as elsewhere when she attacked, she concentrated both her own and the Austrian heavy artillery, and following the system of intense artillery preparation, threw in her waves of infantry. This blow was struck at the most inclement season of the year, in February snow and slush and rain, as if to anticipate the allied attack which was generally thought bound to come later in the spring when sufficient munitions had been accumulated on the western front and the weather was favorable.

By this time experts who had thought the war would be decided in the Balkans had again realized that it never pays to desert the simple military principle that the decision comes between the main bodies of armies and not in remote regions from any clash of subsidiary forces.

Paris or Petrograd in the hands of the Germans might mean such a decision. Certainly, should the western front be broken by either side, it would be the most telling blow of the war in both the moral and the military sense. But after all, was the line of least resistance for Germany the line of the western front? Would she really strike her great blow of 1916—if she still had the power to strike one—against the western rather (p. 065) than the eastern front? Hitherto, attacks had succeeded against Russia.

It was in Russia that she had had her success. German officers had always stated their confidence that with their superior gun fire and tactics they could always force the Russians back. Could they press back the French and the British?

When would the war end? seemed as unanswerable to the lay observer in the spring of 1916 as in the spring of 1915. How long was the fearful attrition to go on? Could either side ever strike a decisive blow, or would the eventual result be a bloody stalemate, with England still in command of the sea?

The significant generic lesson of the war is not in the power of artillery, but the power of all material organization, when nations set out to gain their ends by force: its military lesson was that both sides had pretty well followed sound policy considering the situation, despite armchair critics who knew nothing of inside facts.

Europe was spending $100,000,000 or more a day in the business of destruction—of life and of property. A broad belt of ruins spread across France and Belgium for 450 miles; a broader one of 1,000 miles across Galicia and Russia. No nation engaged could be said to be victorious except the Japanese. Japan had gained Kiao-chau; strengthened her influence in China enormously, and was making immense profits by working her arsenals and every plant at full speed making munitions for Russia.

The United States at peace, preparing to make munitions as fast as she could, and able to produce only 3,000 rifles a week for the Allies on the 1st of December, 1915, and 5,000 a week March 1, 1916, was enjoying an era of "boom" prosperity, thanks to the eager market of nations whose own production was arrested while their workers were at war. From the gloom of London and Paris, where men and women had given up all luxuries, the transatlantic voyage brought you to New York, which was the only gay capital in the world, enjoying all the privileges of extravagance when money is plentiful.


This has been a war of machinery; but the old rule has been true that development in any weapon of offense has been countered by further development of means of defense. Nor is the theoretical power of weapons ever equaled by their actual power when the test of war comes. With self-preservation remaining the first law of nature, man is in nothing so skillful as in avoiding the enemy's blows.

When one watches a 15-inch gun fired and hears its 2,000-pound shell go screaming through the air, his concept of its destructive action is exaggerated by imagination, and further confirmed if he sees that shell burst inside a house, reducing its interior to wreckage. But the shell may not hit the house; it may fall in an open field and merely make a crater in the earth. Besides, someone must be in the house when it is hit if there are to be any casualties; and it is quite possible that a single person present might be dug out of the debris unharmed. Vulnerable as man's flesh is, he remains a pretty small object on the landscape. If he knows that his house is in danger of being struck he then either goes into the cellar at the first alarm, after having covered his floor with sandbags, or he may take to a dugout in his yard.

When one has seen ten 15-inch shells strike a town of 25,000 inhabitants in a busy hour of the day and only half a dozen persons killed and injured, he may learn a contempt for shell fire which, however, is promptly turned into a tragic respect when one of the same sort of shells strikes in a stone-paved courtyard where a hundred soldiers are at their evening meal, and two-thirds of them are killed and wounded.

The bursting of a shrapnel shell and its spray of low-velocity bullets is also theoretically most destructive, but a roof of 6-inch boards will furnish perfect protection from the bullets. Mother Earth remains the best protection there is from fire. No rifle bullet can penetrate through a 3-foot thickness of sandbags. A 6 or 8-inch high-explosive shell, which is the largest caliber (p. 067) practicable for trench warfare, may burst near a double layer of bags of stone rubble without hurting anyone in a cellar 30 feet underneath. The rain of shrapnel bullets which mows the barbed wire in front of a trench, as hail mows ripening grain, will not reach a single man in the trench to the rear, if he keeps his head down.

At first thought it seems utterly inconsistent when bullets carry effectively a mile and a half, and guns carry twenty miles, that infantry should be fighting so close that they can throw bombs at each other from distances of 15 and 20 yards. The very destructiveness of modern weapons has contributed toward this result.

There has never been anything like so many guns used in battle, and never have they been capable of such rapid fire. The field gun can fire consistently eight or ten shots a minute, thanks to its modern recoil cylinder and to the steadiness of aim, and literally establish a "curtain of fire" with its torrent of bullets shot down from the air and the cataracts of earth shot up by the bursting of high-explosive shells in the ground, which no infantry can pass.

A machine gun behind a shield firing 500 shots a minute is practically safe from rifle fire, and soldiers intrenched on either side of it add to its volume their own more accurate fire from their rifles. Infantry in the open, though they were not subjected to the fearful concentration of artillery fire, could not survive through a mile of machine-gun and rifle-swept space. Successful advances against anything but very inferior numbers badly armed become impossible in any frontal attack in the open. Thus all modern infantry operations must have more or less a siege character, as the only practicable means of approach is by digging your way forward. The spade has become almost as important a weapon as the rifle.

Impatience with digging, which was characteristic of the early days of the American Civil War, and which has been generally resented by all armies in the past, has now become second nature to every soldier, because its value is brought home to him by the most telling kind of lesson in experience—death. He puts earth (p. 068) between himself and the enemy's fire as instinctively as one holds up his hand to ward off a blow.

In trench fighting all that is exposed of a man firing is his head and shoulders, which accounts for the high percentage of dead to wounded in this war. In other wars it has been as one to five; while in this war, on the western front, it has varied from as one to two and three. If the trenches are brought extremely close together then either side is safe from the other's artillery fire, because there is as much danger of hitting your own trench as the enemy's with your shells. A distance of 20 or 30 yards meant that at any time either side could start in throwing bombs or grenades by hand across that one definitely neutral country—the zone of death between the trenches. Beyond that range up to the average range, trench mortars which "lobbed" a charge of high explosive from trench to trench could be used. Thus the war of machinery became a war of explosives. Anything that could be dropped into the trench and burst might kill or wound some of the enemy, which meant debit on their side of the ledger in a war of attrition and exhaustion. The higher the angle of flight the more likely the charge actually to fall into the narrow ditch in the earth, instead of breaking its force against the wall, which accounts for the superiority of the howitzer with its high angle of flight and shorter range to the gun with its lower trajectory and longer range.

Thus there can be no limitation to the amount of artillery and the quantities of explosives serviceable in this kind of warfare. No one of the armies has ever had anything like enough shells. None ever can. Five hundred guns of all ranges set back of one another from 3,000 to 20,000 yards' range to a mile could be placed, or 225,000 for the western front, and they could readily use five million shells a day in this contest of munitions and manufacturing resources.

All armies had to conserve their ammunition, and in parts of the line, which were known as "quiet corners," for tactical reasons the stalemate was almost peaceful, either side holding its fire unless the other became restless. But between the trenches which had remained in the same position for many months, no (p. 069) living thing was visible day after day except a rabbit or a field mouse where the ground birds made their nests, and there the piping of birds joined with the song of the bullets. Except for occasional snipers' shots at the sight of anything moving on the enemy's parapet, the day wore monotonously on—when to expose the head for half a minute meant death.

Naturally the trenches do not run straight. They bend in and out at sharp angles in order to localize the explosions of shells; they are so narrow in most places that two men can pass with difficulty. A few soldiers are on guard, the rest may be lying about their dugouts or probably engaged in building new traverses or in putting up new layers of sandbags or deepening their dugouts. They become beavers rather than warriors, day laborers with spade and shovel rather than knights. There is no marching and countermarching; they have no use for the skirmish drill or the maneuver ground. Sharpshooters with clamped rifles watch for a target patiently as fishermen for a bite.

Back from the first line trench runs a winding communication trench, a foot or more deeper than the average man's height and the turns in its walls stop any bullets which otherwise might sweep its length in enfilade. In the reserve trenches are other men in burrows who have not even the excitement of sniping. They do nothing but wait and dig, repairing damages wrought by occasional shells on dull days.

At any hour the enemy may suddenly decide to attack and they may find their houses pounded down about their heads and perhaps half of a company wiped out in a quarter of an hour. Then other communication trenches lead back until finally you are in the open country out of the range of bullets, but not outside the range of shells. Here the munition caissons and the transport wagons come up by night bringing the food for men and guns which is taken up to the hungry mouths under the cover of darkness; and here, on an average day, one will occasionally observe the passing of an ambulance with its green roof and sides which melts it into the road and the landscape—and processions of ambulances when there is battle. All the (p. 070) detail of army existence is as precise as that of the best organized industrial plant.

As you walk along you will spy at intervals a hidden battery, perhaps in a house, perhaps in a hedge, perhaps in a group of trees, perhaps beautifully roofed over with sod, so that it is invisible from the air. You rarely look up without seeing an aeroplane flying overhead. When there is action, you will see many. A faint pur comes out of the heavens and two planes are seen circling as they exchange bullets from their machine guns. Another plane is turning to the right and left and ducking to avoid the thistle blows of smoke which burst from the shrapnel shells fired by the antiaircraft guns.

Follow the course of the long procession of motor trucks which feed the army and you arrive at one of the great supply depots which every day send out the precise quota of supplies that are needed, with every motor truck having its schedule and keeping that schedule with the accuracy of a first-class passenger train. Follow the ambulances back from station to station, where the wounded men are examined to see if they are suffering from a hemorrhage and whether they are able to stand the farther journey and do not need an immediate operation, and you are brought to the immense base hospitals in a closely guarded and well ordered camp where every sanitary tradition known to modern life is absolutely enforced. One of these hospitals had twelve thousand beds and in the offensive of September 25, 1915, it discharged seven thousand patients in a day.

Soldiers are restricted to the neighborhood of their billets and officers themselves must have passes if they travel outside the region occupied by their battalions. Everyone is a policeman under an intricate system guarding every detail of army secrets from any spy and from those gallant aviators who risk antiaircraft gunfire in the hope of bringing home some information to their side.

Never has the Intelligence Service of an army had so many secrets to guard; never has it required such complicated measures of protection against espionage. In Napoleonic times, it was enough to know that your adversary was marching a hundred (p. 071) thousand men along parallel roads. This your cavalry scouts might discover; or a spy who had crossed the frontier in an unfrequented place might be watching the enemy's army and counting his numbers as they passed. Now the frontier is an intact line of trenches.

The spies of Richelieu's day have been surpassed in this, our day—with their stories yet to be told. Many a man who spoke the enemy's language well has put on the enemy's uniform, joined one of his scouting parties between the trenches in the darkness, entered the enemy's trenches, heard all the talk and slipped back to his own lines safely. If apprehended, his fate was certain—death.

The most efficient spy, of course, is the one with military training He knows the value of what he sees. Usually he is an officer of good family who has been cashiered for gambling or debt and takes a desperate chance out of patriotism and the hope of atonement. Naturally, the easiest route for spies was through Holland and Switzerland which became the gateway of passing spies and the playground of espionage and counterespionage. Gradually the restrictions tightened for all neutral travelers from capital to capital, while none were permitted to go into the zones of the armies, some twenty or thirty miles from the trenches.

The problem of the Intelligence Corps is much like that of putting the parts of a picture puzzle together. A line from a newspaper in one part of the world, a line from a newspaper in another taken in connection with a photograph, an excerpt from a letter found on a prisoner or a fact got from a prisoner by skillful catechism, might develop a valuable contributory item. The amount of information procured by either side about the other was only less amazing to the outsider than how it was obtained. Again, events revealed amazing ignorance. Most baffling and most secret of all branches is this, whose work is both gaining and conserving information, and just as professional, just as carefully prepared before the war as any other.

A single instance illustrates how small a fact may be of value to the enemy. A certain well known "military expert" went out to British headquarters as a guest of a general. From a (p. 072) tower in the square of a small town, he watched a certain action. When he wrote his account of it, it was submitted to the general who was his friend; and the general carelessly passed one little statement which no Chief of Intelligence of any army would ever have passed and probably no correspondent of experience would have had the temerity to submit to the censor unless he wanted to be responsible for the death of men who were his hosts and his friends. For the writer stated that he saw the battle from this tower.

Now the London papers reach Holland at four o'clock in the afternoon where they are seized promptly by the tentacles of the German Intelligence Service, which did not need to undertake any "picture puzzle work" on this occasion. It was plain as day that this tower must be used as an artillery observation post by the enemy. From there he could see the fall of shells from his batteries and know whether they were "on" or not. Out of the blue sky the next morning, came a German artillery concentration which brought the tower down like a house of cards, and many British soldiers billeted in the neighborhood were killed or wounded.

In order to deepen the shroud of mystery over his side which baffles the enemy, many military men would undoubtedly make the press merely the herald of official bulletins. The British Admiralty carried out this system to the letter, as a navy may better than an army, in the resistance of the German submarine campaign. Thus the "Untersee-boots" came out from Kiel or Zeebrugge and disappeared in the mists of the North Sea with no message of how they had been destroyed when they never returned.

The Intelligence Service in common with army transport and the sanitary service and every other expert branch has for its object the conserving of the lives of your own soldiers and the taking of those of the enemy, best expressed by an infantry attack on the enemy's trenches, whether to gain a few hundred yards or a belt of eight to ten miles as in the case of the French attack in Champagne in September, 1915, and the German attack on Verdun in February, 1916. The first step is the concentration (p. 073) of batteries for artillery preparation. Gradually, these guns all try out their range with the aeroplanes spotting the fall of their shells. Then, at the scheduled minute they loose their blasts upon the front line trenches which are to be taken. In front of the trenches, of course, are the elaborate barbed-wire entanglements. These are often twenty, thirty or even forty feet deep. There may be more than one series of entanglements and some may be screened in some fashion or other from the effects of artillery fire. Aside from these, trous de loup, pits with sharpened sticks to impale the invader, and all the other devices of former times are used—in short, every obstacle from the time of Moses to the modern machine gun. No invader can possibly reach the enemy's trench to contest it with him until these impedimenta are removed. Thousands of short-cut plans and inventions have been offered for cleaning away the barbed wire before an attack, but not one has succeeded because it requires that whoever is to carry out the suggestion or remove the obstruction, must be submitted to murderous grilling machine-gun and rifle fire. Shrapnel shells with their sprays of bullets bursting at a height of a foot above ground remain the approved method of cutting barbed wire. If the barbed wire is not destroyed, the men in the charge are "hung up" in it, as the saying is. Then if a machine gun is still in position in the enemy's trench, they are riddled with bullets where they lie. No form of death could be more pitiless or helpless for the soldier than this. He becomes a target on a spit, as it were.

Granted that the barbed wire is swept away perfectly, no charge can succeed if many machine guns or rifles from the trenches are playing upon it. Then men simply rush into a spray of bullets. Therefore, all the teeth must be drawn from the trench itself. This is done by the concentration of high-explosive shells from guns of larger caliber, mostly howitzers, which burst in the earth, tossing up great fountains of dust, burying and smashing the machine guns and driving all the operators into their dugouts, where they are sometimes buried alive.

Back of the trench, the guns of smaller caliber which destroy the barbed wire place a "curtain of fire," as it is called, which (p. 074) does not permit the enemy to escape from a trench, or any reserves to come to his assistance. This process is kept up for such a length of time as is deemed sufficient. At a given moment, the invader charges, often protected by a screen of smoke which is sent out from his own trenches.

As the burrowers in the earth crawl from the parapets and take to their legs, they know that their fate is almost altogether dependent upon the preparation by the guns rather than any effort of their own. Ahead of them is this wall of smoke and dust from the explosions, in which they are lost to the observer. Keeping units together and protecting them is as difficult as maneuvering ships in a fog. The delicate problem of the gunner is to protect the invader just as far forward as possible, without putting shells into his own men. A few from defective fuses must fall short. This is expected and is a part of the cost of a charge; but none with correct fuses and dependable powder should. The gunners time their part to that of the invader, by lifting their fire from the first to the second line trench, as their own men are entering the first.

Granted that the barbed wire is cleared and the men enter the enemy's trench, they may find themselves struggling over heaps of dust mixed with the rags of sandbags, splintered timbers and the flesh and uniforms of their enemy—at first see not a single adversary. They will be instantly due for heavy shell fire; and also for heavy machine gun and rifle fire from the second line enemy trench. They begin to dig at once in order to establish protection. Out of this wreckage they have to reverse the enemy's trench, so that it shall face toward him. This becomes a matter of desperate effort and usually it is in the course of this that the severest casualties are suffered. But should the artillery destruction of the trench be imperfect, upon entering it they may still take the enemy by surprise in his dugouts. In that case, bombs in hand, at the doorways of these cellars they demand surrender. In case it is not given, they throw the bombs into the dugout; for, to enter, means that they will be shot down.

Or, upon entering the trench, they may meet the enemy's soldiers running out of their dugouts for hand-to-hand battle. (p. 075) The traverses are so narrow that the length of the rifle makes it a clumsy weapon, and the adversaries in modern war, whose guns carry twenty miles, engage hand to hand, using knives, bombs and even their fists. With discarded rifles and bombs lying about a trench, it is difficult to give quarter. For a prisoner who is down may pick up a rifle or a bomb and turn on his captor. It is not human savagery so much as conditions that has made the fighting so grim. Having established themselves in a certain section or sections of the trench, naturally the new occupants have the enemy on their right and left. That is, on one side of one of the winding traverses will be a German, and say on the other side a Frenchman. Neither sees the other's head, for both are hidden behind these walls of earth. If one starts around the corner, it means a bayonet or a bullet for him.

To gain ground in a trench requires a superior supply of bombs. Any small package that will contain a high explosive would serve the purpose. Early in the war, bombs were made out of jam tins and bottles or any other receptacle which could be filled with an explosive and set off by a fuse. Later on, different varieties of manufactured bombs in great quantities appeared. There have been instances of five thousand being used in a single day over two hundred yards of trench. After throwing a bomb from the traverse, the offensive follows up the explosion by rushing along the traverse and catching the defender with a bayonet while he is hors de combat from the effect of the explosion. While this orgy—characteristic of cave dwellers battling on a precipice in its ferocity—is proceeding, all is precision at the rear. As the caissons bring up the supplies of ammunition, the green-curtained motor ambulances speed on to the hospital with the wounded and the military police direct the congested traffic and keep watch for spies.


War is force, violence, killing. Whoever tries to disguise its character is a poor soldier and a poorer citizen. If you would avoid it, and if you would prepare for it, you must look at it as (p. 076) a fact, squarely in the face. Never has war been so savage as it is in this most progressive age in history. We had popular education, aseptic surgery, the wireless, and antitoxin, but war came nevertheless, and in the wake of Hague conferences and much preaching of internationalism. It came when the nations were supposed on account of the press and the telegraph to have been farther removed from parochialism than ever before, when more people in every nation in Europe knew the language of their neighbors than ever in history.

In the cave dweller's time, combatants used a stone hatchet which was the best weapon that science could produce. To-day by land and sea they have used all the powers of destruction known to modern man; all the scientific brains of Europe have been at the disposal of commanders. Yet no single revolutionary invention has appeared in the course of the war. The idea of the gas was old. Man already had learned to fly. Guns have been larger and shells more powerful, but the principle is the same. Weapons have been further developed, but the types have not changed.

All the essential lessons which the Germans applied they learned in the Russo-Japanese War. The line of trenches throughout the winter of 1904-05 before Mukden were much the same type as those along the Aisne. There were trenches in the Civil War and in the Crimea, and in the American Revolution and in many wars before that. So far as one can learn, there has not been a single invention by a civilian which would have been of any use to the British navy in fighting submarines. All have been devised and applied by naval experts who knew conditions. No profession is more expert than soldiering and none is older, because it began when Cain killed Abel.

War being the ultimate resort of force, then the poet, the dreamer, the scholar, the doctor and the organizer of the arts of peace may succumb to the bully with the square jaw, the low brow and flesh-tearing incisors, unless the civilized man uses his resources and talents to make weapons which are stronger than the bully's fist. This is precisely what civilization does in order to protect itself.

(p. 077) The two forces which were really prepared for this war were the British navy and the German army. The British navy has kept command of the seas and the German army has planted its trenches on foreign soil. For any nation which is separated from other nations by the sea, the military lesson of this war is that the sea is the first line of defense. You will escape bloody trenches at home if you never allow an enemy to land. He cannot land until he has driven your navy off the seas.

The other lesson is that a nation should know its method of defense and have it as complete, practicable and ready as the German army and British navies were. For three or four years, the Belgians saw the Germans constructing railroad sidings at Aix and making their preparations for the blow they struck. Yet the Belgians did not modernize their forts, or adequately strengthen their army for defense. If to the staffs of England and France war seemed inevitable, their governments refused to be convinced.

Any nation which is considering preparedness for national defense must have a national policy. It must know what it is going to defend and how it is going to defend it. The British navy was built for the specific problem of either defeating the German navy in battle or keeping it fast in its lair. The German army was organized for the purpose of the invasion of France and then of Russia; the French army for defense from Germany.

Their efficiency was not the result of the expenditure of money, for money will not buy defense. It requires training, organization, and patriotism, and courage, which are not for sale in the market places of mankind.

Until this war the opinion among English-speaking peoples was universal that the volunteer system was the best method of recruiting. This on the principle that the man who offers himself to fight, fights better than the one who is called to arms by government order. Thus England raised 3,000,000 men. But to a man who has lived much with armies, it seems an immoral method; it means hiring men to fight for you. One man's life is just as valuable to him as another's. It is the final sacrifice (p. 078) which he makes for the defense of his country or his home. He should make it himself and not ask others to make it for him. Those who should be the first into battle are the men of wealth, of position, the favored ones. They owe their country more than the others, because their country has done more for them.

M. Raymond Poincaré, President of France.

The courage which every Continental army has exhibited has forever destroyed the idea that universal service weakens the valor of an army. Millionaire and peasant, nobleman and workman fighting side by side in the ranks, and doing all the drudgery of the trenches in common, develop a democracy which means that a man appreciates his fellow man for his own sake.

The old idea that wars must be frequent in order to keep up a nation's virility has also been disproved. Universal service both in France and Germany through forty years of peace, had been an important influence in the better physical development of the race, which led to the fortitude, precision, and courage exhibited. At the same time, a realization of the seriousness of war on the part of all men, because they knew before this war began the punishing effect of rifle or machine-gun and artillery fire, is a powerful deterrent to making war in any spasm of emotion.

There is no more glory, there is no more sport to war. It has become scientific, businesslike, and commonplace. Never has an unprepared nation been so helpless against the prepared as to-day. The American Revolution could never have been won by untrained levies to-day against the British regulars if they possessed modern weapons. Our forefathers had their fowling pieces, taken from the walls in the days when the cannon fired a solid shot for a few hundred yards, and there were few cannon; and so far as weapons were concerned, they were almost on a level with their enemy, the enemy's only superiority being that of their drill and organization. Now the enemy would have guns and rifles which it takes many months to make, even if you have the plants.

In an era of sanitation and bodily cleanliness and popular education, it has been shown that far from men having lost their virility, they fought far better than the so-called "strong" and primitive man, and those soldiers of former ages who "drank (p. 079) hard six days a week and fought like the devil on Sunday" and would look down upon this age as effeminate. Physically, mentally, and morally, the soldiers who sprang to arms in the beginning of this war were superior unquestionably to any soldiers who have ever gone into any war in Europe. They had more skill, more courage, more determination. Their pride was greater, and that alone made them more gallant. Those who wanted to know what war was like, to have the experience of their first baptism of fire, soon had it in the swift processes of mobilization and attack. Then, in their stubbornness, they settled down to the long, grim business of seeing through a task that was begun. The trenches were the last places where you would hear the advocacy of war as war. There the sentiment was simply of duty that must go on until a decision was reached.

Never has war been more savagely fought, possibly because the modern mind reasons that war being force and violence and killing, this principle should be applied to the limit. Yet never have the wounded been so tenderly cared for, never has the hospital organization been so complete. Never probably in the history of European warfare have prisoners, once they were taken, been so well treated. In other wars 100,000 survivors or so returned home when the struggle was over. Here millions will go. Every home will either have its dead hero or its living veteran. These are the men who will rule Europe in the future. Behind the lines, among the civilian population, the war has acted as a scourge. It has submerged self into the whole. Fatty degeneration of the heart of the body politic has been cut away to the muscle.[Back to Contents]



The purpose of this review is to summarize briefly the main military phases of the first year and a half of the Great War. To do this it is perhaps simplest to accept the unity supplied by the three major campaigns of the Central Powers, that of Germany against France, that of Austria and Germany against Russia, and that of Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria against Serbia.

There is no intention of discussing here any ethical or political considerations. Certain historical details are, however, of real interest and value. Thus it is worth while to recall that the present conflict differs little, if at all, from the earlier coalition wars of Europe, in which one nation, numerically weaker, has sought to impose its will upon a group of nations collectively larger, richer, and potentially capable of employing greater numbers of men. In a word, the present war is a pretty accurate repetition of the wars of Louis XIV and Napoleon I, with Germany playing the French rôle.

Now in such struggles it had always been true, and German writers, notably Bernhardi, insisted it would be true of any future war, that the single chance for a decisive victory for the smaller nation lay in crushing the several foes before they were able to get their collective strength in the field, while the superior preparedness, training, general military efficiency of the smaller nation still enabled it to put the superior numbers at the decisive point at the crucial moment.

(p. 084) This whole conception is made perfectly clear by a glance at the familiar and classic parallel of the Napoleonic wars. In 1805 Napoleon, facing a European coalition, which included Russia, Great Britain, and Austria, and was bound to enlist Prussia ultimately, quite as the present anti-German group enlisted Italy, had to solve the same military problem.

Consider what he did. Breaking his camp at Boulogne, which he left in September, 1805, he sent his Grand Army into southern Germany and against Ulm. On October 20 he captured Mack's army at Ulm. On December 2 he routed the Austrian and Russian armies at Austerlitz, and on December 26 there was signed the Treaty of Pressburg, which eliminated Austria from the war. Prussia now intervening, he destroyed the Prussian armies at Jena and Auerstädt on October 14, 1806. In June, 1807, he completed his task by defeating the Russians at Friedland. The Peace of Tilsit, which followed immediately, removed Russia and Prussia from the fighting line, as Austria had already been removed. Between the capitulation of Ulm and the victory of Friedland there intervened nineteen months. More than eighteen have now passed since the fall of Liege in the present war.

The Peace of Tilsit made Napoleon the master of Europe with only Great Britain left in the field against him. The subsequent military and political history which led to Napoleon's downfall has no pertinence in the present discussion. What it is essential to recognize is that the German high command in August, 1914, approached a Napoleonic problem in the Napoleonic fashion.

In German quarters there had been before the war, and there has been since, a debate as to the comparative advantage of making the first campaign against France or against Russia. The fact that the attack on France failed has doubtless contributed to strengthen the case of those who held the view of the elder Moltke and advocated an eastern offensive. But this is merely an academic discussion. What is of interest to us now is to recognize that Germany did decide to attack France, that she did direct against the republic the first and necessarily the greatest blow (p. 085) she could deliver. It was not until April, 1915, that she actually undertook an attack upon Russia, and then the prospect of a decisive victory, on the Napoleonic order, had practically disappeared.


Turning now to the first campaign, the attack upon France, it is to be recognized at the outset that the German purpose was to dispose of France in the military sense for the period of the war by a campaign that should repeat the success of 1870. It was essential that this victory should be achieved before France could profit by Russian activity in the east and before Great Britain could render material military assistance to her French ally. It was equally essential that the blow should be so swift and heavy that it would crush the French before they could equip and organize their great reserves, for whom, thanks to legislative folly and pacifist agitation, there was lacking equipment and arms.

For the accomplishment of this great task, Germany counted upon her superior numbers, the greater speed of her mobilization, and the excess of her population over France to give her a decisive advantage. She counted also upon her advantage in heavy artillery and machine guns, on her organization of motor transport, which was to establish new records in invasion. Only in field artillery, in the now famous "seventy-fives," could France claim any advantage.

In 1870 Sedan had come four weeks after the first German troops had entered France. For the new campaign the Germans allowed six weeks. For this time German high command reckoned that Russia could be mobilized in the east, and that any incidental Russian success in East Prussia or Silesia would be counterbalanced by the tremendous victories to be won in northern France. Paris itself would be a sufficient counterprize for Posen, Breslau, or Cracow.

The time limit, however, imposed certain other conditions. The Franco-German frontier from Luxemburg to Switzerland had been transformed into one long barrier, garnished with detached (p. 086) forts and resting upon the first-class fortresses of Verdun, Toul, Epinal, and Belfort. To pierce such a barrier was not impossible but to break through in three weeks, with the whole French army before the forts and the shortness of the front offering the Germans no opportunity to take advantage of their superior numbers, was recognized as next to impossible.

There was left the roads through Belgium and Luxemburg. To come this way Germany had for more than a decade been constructing strategic railways leading from the Rhine and Moselle valleys to the Belgian frontier, double-track roads that served in a desolate country, but were provided with all the necessary machinery for detraining thousands of soldiers.

Belgium might not consent to suffer this invasion of her territory but the Belgian army was negligible, and the German heavy artillery was known to be adequate to dispose of the antiquated forts of Namur and Liege with brief delay. Once the Germans had passed the Meuse and deployed upon the Belgian plain, they could turn south and pass the Franco-Belgian frontier, which was destitute of real defenses, the few fortresses being obsolete, and thence the road ran down to Paris clear and open.

Conceivably Great Britain might make the Belgian invasion a cause for joining France. But, again, the British army was small, there was the gravest doubt as to whether it would be sent to the Continent at all, and even if it came, it would not redress the balance between the French and German armies. Such being the case, as German high command saw it, Belgium was summoned, and refusing, was attacked, the German armies passing the Belgian frontier in the direction of Liege on August 4, 1914, the day on which Germany declared war upon France, and the forty-fourth anniversary of the invasion of France in the Franco-Prussian War.


To grasp the main circumstances of the opening campaign it is simplest to think of the whole German invading forces as comprising one army. The right of this army under Kluck and (p. 087) Bülow came west through Belgium by Brussels and Namur, swinging south after the Belgians were disposed of, and leaving a guard to curtain the Belgian army which had retreated on Antwerp. The center moved southwest through the Belgian Ardennes and Luxemburg, entering France between Longwy and Givet on the Meuse. The left moved from Metz and Strassburg, attempting to force the French barrier line between Toul and Epinal. The center was commanded by the German Crown Prince, Albert of Württemberg, and Hausen, the left by the Crown Prince of Bavaria and Heeringen. Smaller forces operating in Upper Alsace played little real part in the operations.

Taking up first the German right: It did not begin its real advance until August 12, 1914. Liege had been captured on August 7, the last fort fell on August 15. Meantime the Germans pushed a heavy screen of cavalry forward, and there was steady skirmishing between Liege and Brussels, which was magnified into battles and German defeats. In point of fact, the Belgian army was rapidly pushed back, and once the main German advance began, it fled to Antwerp.

Kluck took Brussels on August 18, 1914, and turned south, meeting the first serious resistance at Mons. Bülow, moving across the Meuse at Huy, took Namur on August 23, 1914, and his troops fought at Charleroi, while those of Hausen forced a passage of the Meuse south of Namur. The French were beaten at Charleroi, and the British while the battle of Mons was still undecided, were forced to retreat, because Bülow's success in taking Namur had imperiled the whole allied left flank.

Because he delayed his retreat too long, Sir John French was immediately threatened with destruction, Kluck having succeeded in getting on his flank, while sending superior numbers against his front. For a week there was grave danger that the Germans would be able to destroy the British and intervene between the French left and the city of Paris. At Cambrai on the 25th, British destruction seemed imminent, but the British just managed to win clear, and French troops coming up on their exposed flank by September 1, they were safe.

(p. 088) The French center had essayed an offensive into the Ardennes at the moment the battle of Charleroi was beginning. In this they did not succeed, and the Fourth Army under Langle de Cary fell back in perfect order from the Belgian-Luxemberg frontier across the Meuse near Sedan, where they held their line until the general retreat began. Henceforth the French armies from left to right were not seriously threatened until the final struggle at the Marne.

But the right under De Castelnau had been obliged to retreat. It had opened the campaign by a series of victories which had carried the main force into German Lorraine as far as Saarburg on the railroad from Metz to Strassburg. To the south Mülhausen had been taken, lost, and recaptured. But in the third week of August the main army encountered strong forces in the region of Morhange and fell back on Nancy, the frontier town of Lunéville being momentarily occupied by the Germans. At Nancy it stood. But its stand was one of the important battles of the western war and a contributory cause to the subsequent victory at the Marne. By this victory the eastern barrier was held and the German effort to isolate Verdun and Toul blocked. Some of the most terrible fighting of the war took place here, and the Germans, fighting under the eye of the kaiser suffered colossal losses.

In the last days of August Joffre had to make his great decision. His right was holding before Nancy, and was soon to make a successful advance, clearing most of eastern Lorraine. His center, stretched across the Champagne country from the Argonne to the Oise, had recovered from early reverses and won several considerable local counteroffenses, notably at Guise. But his left was still shaky, his reserves were not yet up and his reconcentration was incomplete. Should he risk all now, or take his army back until his left rested upon Paris? To do this latter would be to surrender more French territory, but it would mean a further exhaustion of the Germans, a further increase in his numbers. The morale of his troops was unshaken. He had suffered defeats, but merely incidental defeats, the real test had not yet come.


Joffre decided to continue his retreat, and took his army south of the Marne, his left formed by the British resting upon the forts of Paris, behind which he had massed a new army, his center stretching between Paris and Verdun, his right along the barrier line from Verdun to Switzerland. The German armies, already worn down by their exertions and their losses, were now to be attacked by their foe, whom they regarded as already vanquished.

The first phase of the Battle of the Marne was fought northeast of Paris along the Ourcq, which gives its name to the local battle. Kluck had marched past the French capital, going south along its eastern front and leaving only small guards to cover his rear and flank. He had before him the British and on his flank the new Paris army, of the existence of which he was totally ignorant. In Joffre's strategy this army was to strike east while the British struck north, together they were to act like the two blades of a pair of scissors. Between them Kluck was to be destroyed and his rout would expose the flank and rear of all the German forces in France.

The French struck with great promptness, but the British failed to move quickly enough. Kluck extricated himself from between the blades with supreme generalship, brought his main force back against the French, borrowing a corps from Bülow and presently the French were driven back upon Paris. British slowness had wrecked the master stroke of Joffre's strategy.

But in the center the situation was changing. Joffre had issued his famous order to attack upon September 5. The Paris army under Manoury had struck on the 6th, and the French offensive had steadily communicated itself from west to east along the whole line, that is, to the British army, then to the armies of Franchet d'Espérey, of Foch, of De Langle de Cary, of Sarrail. In the French center about September 9, General Foch, commanding still another new army, had begun his attack. By a combination of operations, which remain the most brilliant of (p. 090) the war, he flung a portion of the Germans before him into the marshes of St. Gond and routed the remainder. In this field the Germans now began a retreat which was almost a rout. Meantime, further to the east, Sarrail, holding Verdun, had begun to attack the crown prince, who was in difficulty.

Foch's success was decisive, Kluck and Bülow began their retreat, leaving their own fights undecided. Hausen, who faced Foch, was removed in disgrace, and his army now in bad shape, went back to Châlons and then to the Rheims-Argonne district. The crown prince with difficulty drew his forces out of the lower Argonne and north of Verdun. The French victory in Lorraine had also become absolute, and the Germans were back on the frontier.

But there was lacking to the French the numbers and the strength to make their victory conclusive. They had been outnumbered at the moment of victory, their twenty-two corps facing twenty-seven at the Marne, 900,000 at most against 1,200,000. The fall of Maubeuge had released fresh German troops, who came south, and, reenforcing Kluck, enabled him to stand at the Aisne. The German front was reconstituted, running from the Oise at Noyon to Metz and the deadlock was about to begin, had in fact begun.

The remainder of the western campaign requires little comment. There now followed that operation, well described as "the race to the sea." The French coming east around the right flank of the Germans north of Noyon attempted to reach their rear at St. Quentin and turn them out of France. The Germans endeavored to extend their line westward to the sea and thus secure their flank and, in addition, take possession of the whole French coast from the mouth of the Somme to Belgium.

Neither side succeeded. Instead a line was erected from the Oise due north to the German Ocean at Nieuport, which became the new battle front. Antwerp fallen, the Germans made a supreme effort to shorten and straighten their line by attacking the French, British, and Belgians, who held the extreme left of the allied forces between Nieuport and La Bassée, along the Yser and about Ypres. This struggle lasted for nearly a month, (p. 091) and was desperate in the extreme. For the British it was a gigantic repetition of Waterloo, and they were again asked to hold a position, not now for hours, but for days, under heavy pressure, and in the face of odds such as Napoleon did not possess in the earlier conflict. In the end the line held, German approach to the Channel was blocked, and by December 1 the western war had dropped to trench fighting which still persists along the lines that had been substantially occupied in November, 1914.


Such briefly was the history of the first German venture, the effort to dispose of France. So far as its main object was concerned it failed absolutely. It failed because Joffre met the German thrust with a parry which turned it aside. French military power was not destroyed, it was not even shaken. France was not eliminated by a crushing defeat as Austria had been eliminated at Austerlitz in a similar conflict.

The victory had been won because Joffre had deliberately held his forces in hand and avoided a decisive issue, until he had brought the Germans to his own battle field. He had avoided a German net which might have encircled a portion of his armies, as Bazaine had been encircled at Metz; he had declined to consider political conditions and fight as MacMahon had been compelled to fight at Sedan. With inferior numbers, with smaller resources in heavy artillery and transport, with a handicap of inferior subordinates, who in Alsace and in the Ardennes, as well as at Charleroi, had by their incompetence imperiled his first plans, he had won a campaign. That the success was not conclusive cannot be charged to him, Sir John French's failure along the Grand Morin, as other critics assert, or Manoury's excess of zeal at the Ourcq, by enabling Kluck to avoid Joffre's embrace, possibly saved the Germans from a general disaster.

The Battle of the Marne denied Germany the continental supremacy which Austerlitz prepared for Napoleon. It saved France, gave Great Britain time to raise her volunteer armies, mobilize her industries. To win it France had put in her last (p. 092) ounce of available strength, and there was needed for her, too, time to reorganize her armies, and prepare to conduct a long war. She was not able and she has not yet been able to turn Germany out of that twenty-fifth of French area, which Germany holds, and has held since October, 1914.

But in every sense this Battle of the Marne was one of the few really decisive battles of all human history. It was a French victory, organized by French genius and won by French soldiers. The British contribution was slight, just as the British numbers were insignificant. It was not due to Belgian resistance, as has been so frequently asserted in the past, and the determining phase was the wonderful fight of Foch at Champenoise, after the Paris army had failed against Kluck.


The character of the German operations against Russia in the opening days of the war was determined by the decision to attack France. Necessarily all troops save that minimum which represented the barest margin of safety were sent to the west and there was left to a small force the duty of defending the East Prussian marshes. Germany counted upon the slowness of Russian mobilization to give her six weeks of immunity on her eastern frontier. She expected in that time to dispose of France, and she believed that at the end of it Russia would still be engaged in concentrating her masses. Both calculations were wrong.

But the main reliance of Germany in the east was Austria, whose whole force, save for one or two corps borrowed by Germany to defend Alsace and four corps sent against Serbia, was available for the invasion of Russian Poland. If Austria could organize a resistance that would last for six weeks, Germany was prepared to do the rest. This she expected of Austria, and again her calculations were wrong.

A glance at the map serves to explain the opening moves in the eastern campaign. Russian Poland projects into Austro-German territory, and is nearly encircled by German East Prussia and Austrian Galicia. Russian mobilization had therefore (p. 093) to take place not at the frontier, but behind the Vistula and the armies, once concentrated, advanced from the Niemen, west of Kovno, from Warsaw, from Brest-Litovsk on the Bug and from the Rowno-Dubno-Lutsk fortresses west of Kiev. Thus the military as contrasted with the political frontier of Russia was behind the Vistula, the Niemen and the Bug.

The Austro-German plan contemplated a defensive fight on the north, in East Prussia, and an offensive campaign from the south, aimed at Lublin and Brest-Litovsk. The Russians on their side planned an immediate invasion of East Prussia from Warsaw and Kovno and a far more considerable offensive into Galicia from the Rumanian boundary to Rowno. The objective of the northern operation was the conquest of the whole of Prussia east of the Vistula, that of the southern the capture of Lemberg and the conquest of all Galicia. Combined, these two movements would abolish the Polish salient and give the Russian right flank the protection of the Baltic, the left the cover of the Carpathians. Only then could there be any safe advance by the center through Poland upon Posen and Breslau and thence upon Berlin.

Russian mobilization was more rapid than Russia's allies could have hoped for and it wholly confounded the Germans. While the Battle of the Marne was still two weeks off Russian forces were sweeping west from the Niemen and approaching Königsberg, a second army was striking north from Warsaw. East Prussian populations were fleeing before the invaders and a German disaster seemed imminent.

The genius of Hindenburg, who now appeared upon the eastern battle ground, saved the situation. Gathering in all his available forces and leaving the Russian army coming from the Niemen almost unopposed, he caught the Warsaw army in the swamps about the frontier in the last days of August and, thanks to his generalship and heavy artillery, destroyed a Russian army. Tannenberg was a great victory and it saved East Prussia. The Niemen army had to retreat rapidly to escape destruction. At the time, it was asserted that the Russian invasion had compelled the Germans to draw upon their western (p. 094) front to meet the thrust and thus to weaken their armies in advance of the decisive battle. This is not now believed to be true, but there is no doubt that it drew reserves who might otherwise have gone to the west or to the south.

Tannenberg was a victory which filled the world with its splendor, but it merely disguised for the moment the far more considerable Austrian disaster to the south. One Austrian army had crossed the frontier and approached Lublin, another had advanced east from Lemberg. Upon the Lemberg army the full weight of the Russian thrust now fell and the army was promptly routed, driven through Lemberg and west of the San or across the Carpathians. The force that had approached Lublin was thus left in the air and succumbed to a series of disasters, which culminated in the terrible defeat of Rawa-Ruska. Meantime the Austrian troops, which had invaded Serbia were routed in the Battle of the Jedar, which preceded the other Austrian disasters and was, in fact, the first considerable triumph for the Allies in the whole war.


Austria was now in dire straits and her whole military structure seemed on the point of crumbling. Russian armies flowed west through Galicia and approached Tarnow, Przemysl was isolated, tens of thousands of prisoners, innumerable guns and vast quantities of stores fell to the victors. While the great German attack upon France was failing, Russia seemed on the point of achieving against Germany's ally what Germany had failed to achieve against France.

Germany was now compelled to intervene. At the moment when she was organizing her final effort in the west and sending her best troops to hack their way to Calais, she had to divert other troops to the east. Hindenburg undertook a new offensive, this time from the Silesian frontier, and pushed with great rapidity to the very suburbs of Warsaw. He only failed by a narrow margin, Siberian troops coming up just in time to save the Polish capital, and Hindenburg, now outnumbered, conducted a swift (p. 095) and orderly retreat to the frontier. But his intervention had disorganized the Russian campaign in Galicia and Russian armies there had been compelled to retreat and send reenforcements north.

Hindenburg's retreat was a signal for a fresh Russian advance, this time the czar's forces reached the gates of Cracow and began to crowd through the Carpathian passes and sweep down into the Hungarian Plain. Przemysl was again invested, Russian troops for the first time entering German territory west of the Vistula. It was necessary for Germany to intervene again.

This time Hindenburg was more successful. He had retreated upon Cracow and Breslau; gathering up his armies he transported them rapidly to the north by strategic railways, brought them back into Poland south of the Vistula, interposed between the Russians and Warsaw and very nearly repeated at Lodz his great success of Tannenberg. But this time the Russians after desperate fighting won clear, and fell back to the lines in front of Warsaw, which they were to hold for so many months. At the same time they retreated in Galicia from before Cracow to Tarnow and stood behind the Dunajec River. Austria was saved again, but having, in her extreme peril recalled some of her corps from an army engaged in a new invasion of Serbia, that army was routed and well-nigh destroyed.


From December to April the eastern campaign lacked decisive circumstances. In the north Hindenburg won a new and splendid victory at the Mazurian Lakes, expelling a Russian army which had renewed the invasion of East Prussia. In the south the Russians steadily pushed the Austrians back into the Carpathians, took Przemysl with more than 125,000 prisoners, and as spring came seemed on the point of crowning the Carpathians and descending into the Hungarian Plain.

But the Germans were already organizing their second great offensive. They were raising new armies, collecting fresh stores (p. 096) of ammunition and preparing for a thrust against Russia as gigantic as that against France, with the deliberate purpose of eliminating Russia from the war. There was no longer any chance of a Napoleonic success in Europe. But if Russia were eliminated, they could still hope to win a peace that might leave them Belgium. Some portion of their plans was spoiled almost as the spring campaign opened, by the entrance of Italy on the Allies' side, but Italy came too late to save Russia from the disasters that had begun.

The German plan of campaign was simple. Hindenburg was to strike east and south from East Prussia at the Russian lines along the Niemen-Bobr-Narew. Mackensen, having pushed the Russians out of Galicia, was to strike north through Lublin and toward Brest-Litovsk. A new army was to invade Courland and aim at Riga. It was the German hope that the main Russian masses would be caught and enveloped by Hindenburg and Mackensen, that Poland would be taken and all its garrisons, and the bulk of the Russian military power be destroyed.

The first blow fell at Gorlice in Galicia in the last days of April. Mackensen, furnished with the greatest train of artillery war had ever seen, burst through the Russian lines along the Dunajec, destroyed Dmitrieff's army, which faced him, almost captured the Russian Carpathian forces and drove the Russians rapidly beyond the San, retook first Przemysl and then Lemberg, thus clearing all but a corner of Galicia.

The main German and Austrian armies were then sent north toward Brest-Litovsk, while Hindenburg began his thrust by attacking Ossowetz and the Niemen-Bobr-Narew barrier of forts. By this time the world knew that Russian ammunition had failed and for many weeks the possibility of a tremendous Russian disaster existed. Step by step the Russians were pushed back. The fall of Warsaw was assured in July and it was not until August that the escape of the Russian garrison was certain. The same problem was raised about Kovno and Brest-Litovsk, but again the Russians won clear. Late in August the final net of the Germans about Vilna was drawn, but for the last time the Russians eluded it.

(p. 097) And with the battle of Vilna the German eastern campaign practically ends. In the north the Russians held Riga and the Dwina line, in the center they were behind the great marshes of Pinsk, to the south they were behind the Styr and Stripa, still holding Rowno, still clinging to a corner of Galicia. They had lost hundreds of thousands of prisoners and many guns. All of Russian Poland, most of Courland, and much other territory had been surrendered. But they had kept their armies intact and were once more in line.

In so far as the German campaign had been designed to free Austrian soil and relieve the pressure upon Austrian and German fronts in the east, it had been a shining success. It had served, too, to restore German prestige in the Balkans. But it had come too late to keep Italy out, and it had not eliminated Russia.

Unless the Germans were prepared to repeat the fatal Napoleonic march upon Moscow, there was now nothing for them to do but abandon their eastern campaign for the winter, to dig in and hold until the spring permitted new operations. But this offered to the Russians a period of recuperation and rest. In the spring they would have new armies and fresh artillery. These circumstances were the measure of the German failure in their second offensive. In their first they had set out to dispose of France and had suffered defeat at the Marne. In the second they had undertaken to put Russia out, and after a long series of victories, Russia had escaped and was now beyond their grasp.

From the military point of view the Russian failure was even more serious than the French, because it came a year later, and at the hour when the superior numbers and resources of the enemies of Germany were already beginning to tell.


The two preceding German campaigns had been based on purely military considerations. The first was a true Napoleonic conception designed to grasp a Napoleonic opportunity. The second was partly imposed upon Germany by Russian success and Austrian failure. There was no longer a question of destroying (p. 098) the opponents in order, it was a question of eliminating one and then finding a basis for peace with the others. The third German campaign, that in the Balkans, was political quite as much as it was military. It was designed to provide Germany with some profit for her great sacrifices and her great losses, but it was no longer a question of the conquest of any considerable foe.

By the operations of British sea power, Germany had now practically lost her colonial empire. It was certain that with peace she would not again be permitted to make use of British colonies or ports, as she had done before. Her overseas commerce with belligerents and their colonies was bound to be ruined, even if peace came soon, for the period of the war it was, of course, abolished.

The entrance of Turkey on the German side had opened for the Germans a new field for industrial exploitation, if there could once be opened a road from the Danube to Constantinople. This field would be beyond the reach of sea power. Once Germany had taken actual command at Constantinople, once the railroad from Hamburg to the Bosphorus was open, it was possible to threaten Britain in Egypt, and perhaps ultimately in India by the Bagdad and Mecca railways.

Such a threat, coupled with one more successful campaign, might exercise a decisive influence upon the minds of the people of the allied countries, and in opening a road to the Golden Horn, Germany might find the path to peace. Already there was apparent willingness in Berlin to evacuate Belgium and northern France, only from Russia did Germany now insist upon tribute in the form of conquered provinces. But until the road to Constantinople was open, until the Serbian nuisance was abolished, peace could not be considered.

Turkey, too, was calling for aid. Early in the year the Anglo-French fleets had tried to force the Dardanelles. Their failure had been followed by a land attack at Gallipoli, which had so far failed, but Turkish ammunition and artillery was inadequate for a sustained fight, and there was needed German aid. To lose the Dardanelles was to see Turkey conquered, Russia provided (p. 099) with munitions, and the whole German dream of expansion to Asia Minor destroyed.

It was necessary, too, to provide the German people with a new victory. They had been bitterly disappointed that the Russian campaign had not brought peace, or, at the least, the elimination of Russia. A new and relatively cheap success, the conquest of the Balkans, would fire their imagination and again stimulate their hopes for a victorious peace. In addition, Bulgaria now beckoned to the Germans. Her army was at the disposition of the two kaisers, but there was plain peril that if the coming were too long delayed, the Allies might succeed in persuading Ferdinand to cast his lot with the camp that now offered him Serbian Macedonia and Turkish Thrace, and were suggesting the further pourboire of Greek Kavala.

Accordingly Germany decided to go south, having gone west and east without finding peace or decisive victory. She had available for this operation troops no longer needed against Russia since the campaign on this front had died out, and she had to command it, the great Mackensen, whose fame now rivaled that of Hindenburg, whose victories had regained Galicia. "Constantinople and Peace" became the new German watchword, just as "Paris and Peace" and "Warsaw and Peace" had been in preceding months.

And at the outset of this third campaign it is perhaps appropriate to point out that Germany was now to achieve that complete military success that had been denied to her in France and Russia, she was to win a victory in the military sense which was beyond cavil, but she was this time to lose the political profit she had hoped, because she had mistaken the importance in the minds of her enemies of the Balkan field and fatally overestimated the war weariness of the peoples that opposed her. At the Golden Horn she was to find not peace, but the necessity for new campaigns.


On the military side the Serbian campaign was the simplest of operations. For many months the Serbian forces had been posted south of the Danube and the Save and east of the Drin, looking over their frontiers into Hungary and Bosnia. Behind them from the Danube at Belgrade to the Ćgean at Saloniki ran the Orient railroad, by which they were munitioned. At Nish halfway to the sea, the line drew near to the Bulgarian frontier and sent a branch off, which passed through Bulgaria and reached Constantinople.

The Saloniki railway was the life line of Serbia, it was also the natural route for a retreat, if the Austro-German attack became too heavy. But it was fatally exposed, should Bulgaria enter the war against Serbia. In the Treaty of Bucharest, Greece and Rumania had undertaken to join Serbia should she be attacked by Bulgaria, and the mission of Greece was to cover the Saloniki railroad as far north as it was necessary to join hands with the Serbians.

Now, while the Bulgarians were beginning to mobilize and the Austro-German hosts were gathering to the north, Serbia appealed to her former allies to keep their agreement. Both declined, and their refusal was fatal. The Allies had relied upon Greek promises, and had failed to collect any considerable force at Saloniki. They had trusted Bulgaria and refused to let Serbia attack her neighbor before Bulgarian mobilization was complete. Once Bulgaria had mobilized the doom of Serbia was settled.

What happened was this: The Germans forced the passage of the Danube north and east of Belgrade and came south along the broad Morava River Valley, driving the Serbs before them. Thanks to the heavy artillery of the invaders Serbian resistance was impotent. The Austrians, meantime, crossed the Drin and came east from Bosnia. Think of Serbia as a rectangle and you can visualize two sides of the figure as closing in on the center, which was the heart of Serbia.

(p. 101) At the appointed moment the Bulgarians struck west from a third side of the rectangle, speedily crossed the Belgrade-Nish-Saloniki railroad, and thus cut off the true line of Serbian retreat, that upon Saloniki.

Very early in the campaign the Bulgars seized Uskub, thus interposing a wedge between the small Anglo-French force at Saloniki and the Serbs about Nish to the north of Uskub. Meantime a desperate concentration was taking place at Saloniki, and an Anglo-French force, commanded by Sarrail, was being pushed up the Saloniki railroad toward Uskub to open a road to the Serbs to join their allies. The operation suggested that successfully conducted in Flanders in the opening months of the war, which enabled the Belgian army to escape from Antwerp and join their allies in Flanders.

But this operation failed. The French came north to the outskirts of Veles, twenty miles from Uskub, just too late to save the Serbians, who now fled west to Monastir and south to Montenegro and Albania. As a fighting force the Serbs were eliminated, the wrecks of their armies barely escaping to the Adriatic and Ćgean coasts at Durazzo and Saloniki. Bulgarian troops forced the Katchanik gorges and took Prisrend, and German and Austrian forces entered the ill-omened Plain of Kossovo and overran the ancient Sanjak of Novibazar.

Before the storm that was now moving south, the French and British retreated upon Saloniki, and presently began to construct about this Greek city lines and defenses recalling those Wellington built at Torres Vedras before Lisbon to restrain the flood of Napoleonic invasion in the Iberian peninsula. The conquest of the Balkan peninsula, save for Greece, was now as complete as Napoleon's own success in Spain had been more than a century before.

In due course of time an Austrian army repeated the operations of the Germans, this time succeeding in reducing the strongholds of Montenegro, which had defied the Turk through long centuries. Mount Lovetcen, the peak which looks down upon Cattaro and commands the inner bay, was at last taken, Scutari followed, northern Albania was overrun, Nicholas followed Peter into exile. All Macedonia was taken and the Allies forced out of (p. 102) Serbia, which had become an entirely conquered country. To complete the conquest of the Near East there was needed nothing but a successful siege of Saloniki, but this required preparation and the rebuilding of destroyed railroads, and so the Allies found respite in this Ćgean port for a brief time.

Such was Germany's third campaign. Her victory enabled her to send munitions to Constantinople, and insured the failure of the allied attack at the Dardanelles. Only a few weeks later the allied armies evacuated the Gallipoli Peninsula; thus testifying to the decisive character of the German operation. Still later Turkish reenforcements, doubtless drawing upon German sources for munitions, defeated another British expedition almost under the walls of Bagdad and drove it in retreat down the Tigris, ultimately surrounding it at Kut-el-Amara, a hundred miles to the south.

Again, there came immediately forecasts of another Turkish thrust at Suez, under German direction, a first attack having failed in the previous winter. Whether Germany actually obtained any considerable stock of provisions or foodstuffs may be doubted by her succor, but it is clear that her campaign had enabled her to make use of many thousands of Turkish troops, who were waiting only for arms, it had given her control of the Bulgarian army, a small but efficient force, and it had provided an eventual means of attacking the British Empire by land, once the advance upon Egypt could be organized.

This last circumstance is worth noting, for the time had now arrived when the Germans perceived that Great Britain had so far escaped injury, was the single one of the larger powers who had drawn profit without terrible loss from the war and was becoming the determining force in the allied camp, because its resources were still unexhausted and its armies only just coming into the field, while German numbers were approaching a positive decline. If Germany could reach Suez, conquer Egypt, using Turkish armies and German genius and munitions, she would deal a heavy blow to the British Empire, and she might compel the British to listen to proposals for peace, which were now contemptuously thrust aside by London.

(p. 103) In sum, the Serbian campaign saved Turkey, disposed of Serbia, enlisted Bulgaria, opened the road to the Near East and to subsequent attacks upon Egypt and perhaps upon India, but it did not bring peace, and it did not inflict any immediate injury upon any one of Germany's larger foes, only Serbia and Montenegro actually suffered serious loss, and the destruction of their armies was but a detail in a world war.


For the purposes of a summary it is unnecessary to review in detail the Italian operations. They have no distinctive challenge to the reader. Italian statesmanship imposed upon the Italian high command a task which made immediate victory impossible, and assigned to Italy the useful but inglorious rôle of occupying some 400,000 Austrian troops, and thus contributing to the strain imposed upon the Central Powers and to the hastening of the moment when exhaustion might be expected to set in.

Had Italy decided to enter the war at the moment when Russia was destroying Austrian armies in Galicia in September and October of 1914 she would almost unquestionably have supplied the necessary numbers to bring a speedy and decisive defeat for the Central Powers. Again, had she selected the moment when Russian armies were at the crests of the Carpathians, and Przemysl had just fallen, she would have probably made the German offense against Russia impossible, brought Rumania in with her, and produced the collapse of Austria. Bulgaria would not have enlisted with the Central Powers, Greece would almost certainly have attacked Turkey, and the Balkan campaign would not have taken place.

But German diplomacy averted the second peril, and Italian alignment with Austria and with Germany in the Triple Alliance made an attack at the opening of the war unthinkable. When Italy did come in, the German victory in Galicia had been won, Russia was in retreat, the allied defeat before the Dardanelles forts and the Russian disasters had produced a profound effect (p. 104) in Balkan capitals, and Austria was able to find the troops to meet and check the Italian advance almost at the frontier. Since that time the Italian operations have been merely trench conflicts, and Italy has nowhere penetrated a score of miles into Austrian territory, nor has she taken Trieste, Trent, or even Gorizia.

If one desires a parallel for the Italian operations it is to be found in the later phases of the Peninsula War against Napoleon. This field was never of decisive importance, but it did require the attention of several of Napoleon's best marshals, and drew off thousands of French soldiers needed by the great emperor in the campaigns in eastern Germany, where his fortunes were finally decided. What Wellington did, the Italians under Cadorna have been imitating in their own peninsula, and their service to their allies has thus been very considerable.

Nor is it necessary for the purposes of so rapid a review of the main phases of the war to dwell upon the allied failure in the west between the end of the battles of Flanders in November, 1914, and February, 1916. At the beginning of 1915 what were allied hopes and purposes in the west? Unquestionably French and British public believed that with the coming year the Grand Alliance would be able to crush Germany. Unquestionably French and British high commands planned to open the summer with a drive that would clear France and Belgium. As for the Germans, having laid their plans to go to Russia, they asked nothing of their western armies save that the lines should be held.

The French began their spring drive in Artois and in Champagne. The Artois fighting of May and June was exceedingly severe, incidental gains were made, but the British were suddenly disclosed lacking in all proper ammunition, lacking in numbers to support the French offensive, and barely able to hold their own lines about Ypres, after desperate fighting, made memorable by the first use by the Germans of gas as a weapon of offense.

From June until September the western armies stood still, while Britain organized her munition manufactures and continued to send her new troops to the Continent. Kitchener's "million" was not realized until the late fall, instead of the early spring. (p. 105) But when, in the latter days of September, the British attacked about La Bassée, and the French in Champagne, the muddling of British officers cost the Allies a considerable triumph in Artois, and the French victory in Champagne was purely local. Some 30,000 prisoners, 200 cannon, this was the fruit of an offensive which cost the British 60,000 casualties, and the French hardly less than twice as many.

German defense, therefore, fulfilled its mission in the west, German armies were able to drive deep into Russia without having to detach reenforcements to the west. Such offensives as the Allies ventured were either complete failures or merely local successes, without major value. Belgium and northern France were not liberated, and there was, as yet, not even a promise of the crushing of Germany.


In the brief space that remains I desire to discuss the policy of the nations which are fighting the Teutonic Alliance. The German purpose at the outset of the war has been discussed. Franco-Russian preparation had been made long before the war, and the general plan of the high commands of the two allies worked out without any material interruption. The same is true of the cooperation of the British army. This simply followed out the plans agreed upon years before.

It is not true, as has been frequently asserted, that France or her allies were surprised by the German invasion of Belgium, this had long been foreseen. It is not true, as was believed widely at the time, that Joffre invited disaster by sending the mass of his troops into Alsace-Lorraine, yielding to political and patriotic sentiment. He did nothing of the sort. Such troops as were sent into these provinces fulfilled their mission and contributed to drawing German corps away from the north. The bulk of the French armies and the British Expeditionary Corps were in line along the Belgium frontier from Arlon to Mons when the Germans began their great drive.

The French were surprised in two respects. They had not foreseen the rapidity with which the German heavy artillery (p. 106) would reduce the forts in Belgium, the fall of Namur was the greatest catastrophe of the first period of the campaign, and they had not dreamed that the Germans would be able to mobilize so many troops in so short a period. Joffre had planned to meet the Germans along the Meuse and the Sambre, that is along the French frontier, but when the German advance began, his troops on these fronts were outnumbered by at least two to one, not because the mass of the French troops had been sent to Alsace-Lorraine, but because the French had not foreseen the capacity of the Germans to mobilize their reserves and had little more than their first-line troops ready, while the Germans were making use of Landwehr and even Landsturm formations in the first shock.

Once this fact was clearly established, Joffre resolutely drew his forces back until he was able to put more reserves in the field and thus approximately restore the balance between the two armies. But he was still heavily outnumbered at the decisive moment, winning his great battle with inferior forces. His enemy had reckoned on the traditional eagerness of the French to attack, and had expected to obtain a decisive victory, through superior numbers, in the first days of the war. The impression which the press reports gave in the early days, that the French were driven from defeat to defeat and almost succumbed to the German attack is far from accurate. In point of fact, the French armies, after suffering marked but relatively insignificant reverses at the outset, reverses due to the blunders of the subordinate generals in part, and to the greatly superior German numbers and artillery in the main, were drawn back in obedience to a carefully conceived plan, were denied the opportunity to fight, as they desired, until the exhaustion of German strength, ammunition, and transport, and the increase in French numbers gave the opportunity for a victory. The whole opening campaign was fought on the French side with a very keen recollection of the mistakes of 1870, and the result justified the strategy.

But with the end of the Battle of the Marne both the Allied and the German plans collapsed. Neither side had foreseen clearly the possibility of a battle in which the French might (p. 107) win a decisive victory, yet lack the numbers to enforce the decision absolutely. But the Germans were able to meet the situation promptly and, by preparing a position on the Aisne, to retain a considerable portion of the ground they had occupied in their first rush. Thus in failing to repeat their triumphs of the Franco-Prussian War and of the Seven Weeks' War, they had escaped the disaster of Napoleon at Waterloo, when he, too, had staked all on a single throw.

In the weeks and months that followed the German defeat at the Marne, allied understanding of the actual nature of the war developed only slowly. Until the coming of spring and the British failure to get men or munitions, the French and the British public, and probably their soldiers, believed that the Germans were shortly to be turned out of France. But with the failure there was at last established the real situation, the war had taken on the character of our own Civil War, it had become a struggle in which the decision would follow the exhaustion of one of the contending forces and the incidental victories of either side could not contribute materially to the ending of the war.

In the Civil War the North was exceedingly slow in learning this lesson and it was not until General Grant at last assumed the command of all the Northern armies that an intelligent policy was adopted. This policy has been summarized as the policy of attrition and it is now generally recognized as the policy on which the enemies of the Central Powers rely for ultimate success. Grant's own statement of this policy was as follows: "To hammer continuously against the armed force of the enemy and his resources, until by mere attrition, if in no other way, there should be left to him nothing but submission." By this policy Grant won his war.

Now the allied policy, which it is necessary to recognize, to understand the war as it is viewed by one of the two contending forces, is this: The Allies are satisfied that the German numbers have begun or are beginning to fail. They fix at around 8,000,000 the total man power of Germany at the outset, using all means of computation including their own experience. They (p. 108) figure that at the end of the first eighteen months Germany had lost permanently not less than 3,500,000, possibly 4,000,000. They know that it requires upwards of 3,000,000 men to hold Germany's present lines and about 1,000,000 to perform other necessary services.

Now no such wastage has to be faced by the Allies as a whole. France is in the German situation, but Great Britain is still possessed of large numbers of men and her losses are under 600,000, while her population together with that of her colonies is above 60,000,000, whites alone being considered, against Germany's 67,000,000. Russia's man power is practically limited only by the ability to equip and munition. Italy has, as yet, made little draft upon her resources. Austria, on the other hand, has suffered more heavily, proportionately figured, than Germany.

Within a time that can be approximately fixed, the Allies believe that Germany will have either to shorten her lines or underman them. If she undermans them she will face the peril that overtook Lee about Richmond, when, as he said, his lines were stretched so thin, they broke. If Germany shortens her lines, this will be a confession of defeat and will deprive her of the conquered territories. Meantime the entire strategy of the Allies is summed up in Grant's grim words, and as Grant kept up his hammering on all the fronts of the Confederacy so the Allies are keeping up their pressure.

But attrition of men is only half; there is the question of food and of money. Command of the sea insures the food supply of the Allies and their financial resources greatly surpass those of Germany. Germany is suffering—we have Harden's word for this, because of food shortage, she is suffering from economic paralysis resulting from the blockade and she is suffering from the lack of certain materials needed in war. She is compelled to find money for her other and poorer allies. The enemies of Germany do not expect that she will be starved out or that she will have to surrender for lack of materials to make ammunition. But they do believe that shortage of food, economic pressure, financial difficulties, will go hand in hand with the failure of numbers.

(p. 109) In a word the Allies are fighting a war with many weapons of which the army is only one and the British navy another, perhaps the most effective. They are not fighting to win a campaign and they are not basing their expectation of victory on the incidents in any one field or in any single campaign. The Germans, on the contrary, as we have seen, have undertaken three tremendous campaigns, the first to win an absolute victory on the battle field, a victory which would make the Germany of William II the successor of the France of Napoleon I in Europe; the second to dispose of one of the great foes and thereby win a limited but considerable success; the third to win peace and an incidental opportunity to expand toward the east, the only direction in which expansion cannot be checked by sea power.

The Allies still expect to crush Germany; by crushing Germany they mean bringing her back to her frontiers of 1914, detaching Alsace-Lorraine from her and possibly Prussian territory east of the Vistula. They mean to destroy her fleet, demand indemnities for Belgian and French sufferers, they mean to abolish what they regard as the Prussian menace to peace. They are fighting Germany as Europe fought Napoleon and with the same determination. On the German side the struggle is also being waged in the Napoleonic fashion, Germany is seeking to employ the Napoleonic method and has so far achieved something of the early success of the great emperor.

But the simplest fashion in which to describe the later phases of the conflict is to say that a war of action has become a war of endurance, that Germany has sought and missed a decision on the battle field and her foes are now seeking the decision through economic forces quite as much as military and through casualty lists rather than brilliant campaigns.[Back to Contents]


When the American fleet was sent to Vera Cruz in the summer of 1914 and it looked for a time as if an army might go into Mexico, Major General Funston explained the conditions under which correspondents were to go to the front. There was to be no repetition of the scandalous free-for-all of the Spanish War, when news prospectors of all sorts and descriptions swarmed over to Cuba in almost as haphazard fashion as Park Row reporters are rushed uptown to cover a subway explosion or a four-alarm fire.

The number of men was to be limited and their privileges strictly defined. Only the press associations and some twenty or thirty newspapers were to send correspondents, and they must put up substantial bonds for each man—one for his good behavior, the other to serve as an expense fund against which would be charged his keep as a civilian guest of the army. These conditions fulfilled, the men were to accompany the expedition with the privileges, practically, of officers or neutral attachés.

They would join an officers' mess or have a mess of their own with similar service; they might provide their own horses which would be cared for with the other horses of the unit to which they were attached. They were to stay where they were put, so far as nearness to the fighting was concerned, according to the judgment of the commanding officer, and all their dispatches must first pass a military censor.

These rules were read with some dismay by those not included in the provisional list. To many who had hoped to see something of a war they doubtless seemed severe, yet it is a fact that had they been put into effect, the correspondents in Mexico would (p. 114) have seen much more, comparatively speaking, than any group of correspondents has seen in Europe. They would actually have accompanied the army, sharing throughout the expedition the day-to-day life of the fighting men, like the old-fashioned "horseback correspondent"—and nobody in Europe has done that.

At the beginning of the war, England permitted no correspondents at all at the front, and while a group was chosen, it was well into 1915 before they were even allowed to cross to France. Once they reached their headquarters they saw a good deal. They lived at or near the front instead of merely shooting up and back for a glimpse of it. They met many officers more or less intimately, saw the life behind and in the trenches; occasionally they were taken to observation stations from which they saw the effect of artillery fire, and even, perhaps, in the distance, charging infantry. Yet the number who had even these privileges was so limited that it included but one American.

Mr. Frederick Palmer was thus chosen to act as a sort of correspondent at large for the American press. Mr. Ashmead Bartlett, an English journalist, acted in a similar capacity for the English press and, indeed, for the rest of the world, at the Dardanelles. He saw a great deal, as much, perhaps, as any reporter has seen of any campaign, but he was almost alone in his glory, and so far as the distribution of such privileges is concerned, the English have been more cautious than any of the belligerents.

The French military authorities were more open minded, yet, while a few favored sons or the head of some press association whose position in Paris was almost as secure as that of an accredited diplomat, were quietly taken up to the trenches from the first, several months had elapsed before a group of correspondents went to the front. The desirability of publicity was better understood later, many neutral correspondents visited the trenches, and a few specially favored individuals spent some time at or near the front, but, even here, permission was obtained as a result of individual effort rather than as a part of a general scheme for handling, more or less impersonally, all applicants in good standing.

(p. 115) In Germany, correspondents were rather freely taken to the various fronts from the first. One reason for this, was, perhaps, that the Germans, with their thorough organization of everything, including censorship and secret service, may have known better just how far they could go. They were not afraid of what might get through the wall, because the wall was tight, and they knew just what could get out and what couldn't. At any rate, many reporters, both native born and foreign, were getting glimpses of the various fronts while the English group were still eating their heads off in London. Once there, however, they saw less, as a rule, than the English correspondents finally did, for their trips were generally mere visits—a sort of Cook's tour in war time.

A quotation from an article of mine in "Collier's" written after a trip through Belgium and down to the first-line German trenches at Givenchy will suggest the nature of these excursions:

"You go out a sort of zoo—our party included four or five Americans, a Greek, an Italian (Italy had not yet gone into the war), a diminutive Spaniard and a tall, preoccupied Swede—under the direction of some hapless officer of the General Staff. For a week, perhaps, you go hurtling through a closely articulated program, almost as helpless as a package in a pneumatic tube—night expresses, racing military motors, snapshots at this and that, down a bewildering vista of long gray capes, heel clickings, stiff bows from the waist, and punctilious military salutes. You are under fire one minute, the next shooting through some captured palace or barracks or museum of antiques. At noon the guard is turned out in honor, at four you are watching distant shell fire from the Belgian dunes; at eleven crawling under a down quilt in some French hotel where the prices of food and wines are fixed by the local commandant. Everything is done for you—more, of course, than one would wish—the gifted young captain conductor speaks English one minute, French or Italian the next, gets you up in the morning, to bed at night, past countless sentries and thick-headed guards demanding an Ausweis, contrives never to cease looking as if he had stepped from the (p. 116) bandbox, and presently pops you into your hotel in Berlin with the curious feeling of never having been away at all."

There were a great many trips of this sort under the auspices of the German General Staff, and every neutral correspondent who came to Berlin with letters establishing his position as a serious workman in good standing in his own country, could hope, after a reasonable interval for getting acquainted, to obtain permission to go on one of them. It was not an ideal way of working, to be sure, yet the "front" was a big and rather accidental place, and one could scarcely touch it anywhere without bringing back something to help complete the civilian's puzzle picture of war.

One man would get a chance to spend a night in the trenches, with the sky criss-crossed with searchlight shafts and illuminating bombs; an automobile party might be caught on some East Prussian road with the woods on either side crackling with rifle fire as the skirmishers beat through the timber after the scattered enemy as after so many squirrels. Our moment came one afternoon in the German trenches at Givenchy, when, with the English trenches only a stone's throw away, both sides began to amuse themselves by shooting dynamite bombs.

Groups of native-born correspondents were likely to see rather more than outsiders, and the more authoritative home writers were attached not infrequently to an army corps or staff headquarters for weeks at a time. The Berlin and Vienna bookshops are filled with books and pamphlets written by such men, though, of course, little of their correspondence has ever reached America. A man like Ludwig Ganghofer, for instance, became so much of an institution that papers even joked about him, and I remember a cartoon—in "Jugend," I think—picturing him puffing up a hill where a staff was waiting and the commanding officer saying "Ganghofer's here. The attack may now begin!"

In Germany, however, as in France, at least during the first year of the war, each correspondent, particularly a foreigner, was merely a privateer, making his own fight for a chance to work, and pulling what wires he could. After his brief excursion he returned to Berlin, a mere tourist, so to speak, and had to begin (p. 117) the old tiresome round—his own embassy—the German Foreign Office—the War Office—all over again. There was no organization in which he could enroll, so to speak, he had no permanent standing. This drawback—from the correspondent's point of view—was met in Austria-Hungary by the Presse Quartier, an integral part of the army like any other branch of the service, whose function it was to handle the whole complicated business of war correspondence.

The Austro-Hungarians, prepared from the first for a large number of civilian observers, including news and special writers, photographers, illustrators and painters, and, to handle them satisfactorily, organized this Presse Quartier, once admitted to which—the fakers and fly-by-nights were supposed to be weeded out by preliminary red tape—they were assumed to be serious workmen and treated as the army's guests.

The Presse Quartier—the Germans later organized one on somewhat different lines—was in two sections; an executive section with a commandant responsible for the arrangement of trips to the various fronts and the general business of censorship and publicity; and a second, an entertainment section, so to speak, also with its commandant, whose business it was to board, lodge, and otherwise look after correspondents when they were not on trips to the front. At the time I visited the Presse Quartier the executive section was in the city of Teschen, across the border of Silesia; the correspondents lived in the village of Nagybicse in Hungary, two or three hours' railroad journey away. In this village—the most novel part of the scheme—some thirty or forty correspondents were living, writing their past adventures, setting forth on new ones, or merely inviting their souls for the moment under a régime which combined the functions of tourists' bureau, rest cure, and a sort of military club.

For the time being they were part of the army—fed, lodged, and transported at the army's expense, and unable to leave without formal military permission. They were supposed to "enlist for the whole war," so to speak, and most of the Austro-Hungarian and German correspondents had so remained—some had (p. 118) even written books there—but a good deal of freedom was allowed observers from neutral countries and permission given to go when they felt they had seen enough.

Isolated thus in the country—the only mail the military field post, the only telegrams those that passed the military censor—correspondents were as "safe" as in Siberia. They, on the other hand, had the advantages of an established position, of living inexpensively in pleasant surroundings where their relations with the censor and the army were less those of policemen and of suspicious characters than of host and guest. To be welcomed here, after the usual fretful dangling and wire-pulling in war office anterooms and city hotels was reassuring enough.

Correspondents were quartered in private houses, and as there was one man to a family, generally, he was put in the villager's room of honor, with a tall porcelain stove in the corner, a feather bed under him and another on top. Each man had a soldier servant who looked after his boots and luggage, kept him supplied with cigars and cigarettes from the Quartier commissariat—for a paternal government included even tobacco!—and whack his heels together whenever spoken to and flung back an obedient "Ja wohl!" We breakfasted separately, whenever we felt like it, lunched and dined—officers and correspondents—together. There were soldier waiters, and on every table big carafes of Hungarian white wine, drunk generally instead of water. For beer one paid extra.

The commandant and his staff, including a doctor, and the officer-guides not on excursions at the moment, sat at the head of the long U-shaped table. Anyone who came in or went out after the commandant was supposed to advance a bit into this "U," catch his eye, bow and receive his returning nod. The silver click of spurs, of course, accompanied this salute when an officer left the room, and Austro-Hungarian and German correspondents generally snapped their heels together in semi-military fashion. All our goings and comings, indeed, were accompanied by a good deal of manner. People who had seen each other at breakfast shook hands formally half an hour later in the village square, and one bowed and was bowed (p. 119) to and heard the sing-song "habe die Ehre!" a dozen times a day.

With amenities of this nature the Quartier guests passed their time while waiting their turn to go to the front. There were always, while I was there, one or more parties in the field, either on the Italian or the Russian front, or both, while a few writers and artists were well enough known to be permitted to go out alone. The Hungarian, Mr. Molnar, for instance, whose play, "The Devil," was seen in America a few years ago, was writing at that time a series of letters under the general title, "Wanderings on the East Front," and apparently, within obvious military limitations, he did wander. One day, another man came into lunch with the news that he was off on the best trip he'd had yet—he was going back to Vienna for his skis, to go down into the Tyrol and work along glaciers to the battery positions. Another man, a Budapest painter, started off for an indefinite stay with an army corps in Bessarabia. He was to be, indeed, part of the army for the time being, and all his work belonged to the army first.

Foreigners not intending to remain in Austria-Hungary could not expect such privileges, naturally; but if they were admitted to the Quartier at all they were sent on the ordinary group excursions like the home correspondents themselves. Indeed, the wonder was—in view of the comparative ease with which neutral correspondents drifted about Europe; the naiveté to put it mildly, with which the wildest romances had been printed in American newspapers—that we were permitted to see as much as we did.

When a group started for the front it left Nagybicse in its own car, which, except when the itinerary included some large city—Lemberg, for instance—served as a little hotel until they came back again. The car was a clean, second-class coach, of the usual European compartment kind, two men to a compartment, and at night they bunked on the long transverse seat comfortably enough. We took one long trip of a thousand miles or so in this way, taking our own motor, on a separate flat car, and even an orderly servant for each man.

(p. 120) Each of these groups was, of course, accompanied by an officer guide—several were detailed at the Quartier for this special duty—whose complex and nerve-racking task it was to answer all questions, make all arrangements, report to each local commandant, pass sentries, and comfortably waft his flock of civilians through the maze of barriers which cover every foot, so to speak, of this region near the front.

The things correspondents were permitted to see differed from those seen on the other fronts less in kind than in quantity. More trips were made, but there is and can be little place for a civilian on a "front," any spot in which, over a strip several miles wide, from the heavy artillery positions of one side to the heavy artillery of the other, may be in absolute quiet one minute and the next the center of fire.

There is no time to bother with civilians during an offensive, and, if a retreat is likely, no commander wishes to have country described which may presently be in the hands of the enemy. Hidden batteries in action, reserves moving up, wounded coming back, flyers, trenches quiet for the moment—this is about as close to actual fighting as the outsider, under ordinary circumstances, can expect to get on any front.

The difference in Austria-Hungary was that correspondents saw these things, and the battle fields and captured cities, not as mere outsiders, picked up from a hotel and presently to be dropped there again, but as, in a sense, a part of the army itself. They had their commandant to report to, their "camp" and "uniform"—the gold-and-black Presse Quartier arm band—and they returned to headquarters with the reasonable certainty that in another ten days or so they would start out again.

Another advantage of the Quartier was the avoidance of the not uncommon friction between the civilians of the Foreign Office and the soldiers of the War Office. The Foreign Office runs things, so to speak, in times of peace and it is to the Foreign Office that the diplomatic representatives of foreign powers apply for favors for their own fellow-citizens. But in war time the army runs things, and the Foreign Office official who has charge of correspondents is continually promising things or (p. 121) wishing to do things he is not sure of being able to carry out. The result is often a rather unpleasant sort of competitive wire-pulling between correspondents, some trying the Foreign Office, some the War Office, some attacking both at the same time—one would even hear it said now and then that the surest way to get anything from the soldiers was to complain to them that the Foreign Office civilians wouldn't do anything for you!

In Austria-Hungary the Presse Quartier acted as a bridge between the two. It was the definite court to which all applicants were referred and a good deal of aimless waiting about and wire-pulling eliminated at once. And having cleared away the preliminary red-tape, the correspondent had, in the Quartier commandant, an agent more likely to push his interests than the civilian officials back in the capital and more likely to be listened to by those at the front.

The war correspondent had been "killed off" so many times in newspapers and magazines of late years that one might expect him to be as dead as the dodo, and of course the old-fashioned "horseback" correspondent—a sort of unofficial envoy extraordinary from the reading public, who carried his own elaborate outfit and rode more or less where he pleased—is extinct. A horse would have been about as useful on most of the European fronts, under the conditions prescribed, as a rowboat. What the correspondent needed, in the few hours he was permitted to see anything, was a fast motor car, and quite as much as the car itself the pass, without which it would have been stopped at the first crossroads.

Wandering round the active front where any point in a strip of several miles wide, however apparently peaceful, is under observation and likely to be at any moment under fire, is not practicable even were it permitted. Modern artillery, long range rifles, aeroplanes and field telephones have put an end to such strolling; while the elaborate system of communication in such highly civilized neighborhoods as those in which the present war is being fought, and the care with which every scrap of information about the enemy is pieced together and coordinated, makes (p. 122) it imperative that every possible source of such information shall be controlled.

Nevertheless the Great War had no sooner started than the old guard bobbed up serenely, and with them new ones—men and women writers, adventurous novelists, privateers of all sorts. They have kept on working and seeing more or less, and have performed necessary and valuable service. They have described the life behind the front, the life in towns, camps, prisons, hospitals and given the news—the rough general outlines—of the swiftly changing drama. Very few have seen any fighting, properly speaking, and although bits of their work here and there deserve to become part of the permanent history of the war, they themselves would be the last to suggest that they have told the real story.

The real story is of two kinds. There is the narrative of the events, the orderly, understanding arrangement and coordination of the showers of facts and rumors that blow in from a hundred sources to the great news centers far from the front. And there is the story of personal experience, the sensations of the individual as he looks into the face of war. The first tells what happened, the other how it felt. For the one, the correspondent is too near, for the other too far away.

The division of the enormous battle fronts into innumerable little news-tight compartments, so to speak, understood in their entirety only by the commanders in chief at the centers of the telegraph and telephone network far behind the front, makes it impossible for a correspondent to see very far beyond his own nose. Even were he permitted to understand the general plan of his own army he could scarcely know, while still at the front, the general plan of the enemy. A well-informed observer working comfortably at his desk in one of the capitals, with the news of the world at his disposal, with experts on every subject within easy calling distance, and with every sort of map and reference book, is much better able to write a story of the war—such a story as this, for instance—than any correspondent actually at the front, however fortunately situated. There have been many such "correspondents at home" and reporters returning from first-hand (p. 123) glimpses of this and that, have often for the first time understood the significance of such details when they were seen through the broad perspective and leisurely analysis of such long-distance observers.

The nourishing flavor of such a little book as Fritz Kreisler's "Four Weeks in the Trenches"—scarcely more than a magazine article, with no sensational adventures and no attempt at rhetorical effect, and of several little collections of published letters—reveals at once the correspondent's other disability. People feel that this man really was there—this is what one real man with a gun in his hand did feel, and not what some civilian, sitting safely out of range, imagines crowds of men might have felt. Its very incompleteness, things left out because of sensibilities so stunned that events made no mark as they whirled by, is often more impressive than the conventional war correspondent's cocksureness and windy eloquence. There are scores of men like this gifted violinist—playwriters, painters, journalists, men trained to see things in various ways—drawn in by universal service and now buried in the mass, but destined some day to emerge to normal life.

From them the story of the individual, of the fighting itself, must come long after the war is over. It will come piecemeal, from diaries now stuck away in the soldiers' pockets, from memories that will only begin to act when peace has given weary brains a chance to work again, from men now tired and dirty and horror-stunned and scarcely able to remember their own names.[Back to Contents]



In order to understand properly the underlying causes which were responsible for the outbreak of the Great European War of 1914, it is necessary to be acquainted with the recent historical development of the various nations involved. In considering the various phases of this development it becomes evident that in modern times the history of any one country exerts a powerful influence upon the history of all the other countries. The vast development of means of communication between the various countries of the earth—railways, steamships, telegraphs, telephones—resulted in an equally vast increase of their commercial and social intercourse until one might almost claim that there is not a single event of any importance whatsoever happening in one country which does not make its influence felt throughout the entire world. It is not always easy or even possible to determine the exact degree to which the various nations of the world are affected by this mutual interdependency, and frequently many years elapse before it becomes evident at all that what one nation has done or neglected to do has an important relation to the fate of another nation, even though the two nations may have few points of contact and be separated by great distances.

To describe historical events as they happen day by day or even year by year throughout the modern world is an almost hopeless task, because a description of this nature would result in a confusion which would be even worse than an entire lack of knowledge concerning these matters. We will, therefore, consider separately the historical development of each nation and (p. 126) thereby try to arrive finally at a clear understanding of the historical causes of the Great War of 1914.

Some of these causes, of course, may be claimed to go back to the beginnings of the history of the various nations; but a majority of them had their origin in comparatively recent times. It is also true that the Napoleonic Wars resulted in certain international alignments some of which, at least in part, held over until comparatively recently. But it was only approximately at the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century that international relations assumed the important position and the fateful influence which they hold now. The short war of 1866 between Prussia and Austria, fought primarily to determine the supremacy in German affairs, may conveniently be considered for our purposes a starting point of modern international history because it resulted in changes so important that their final results had a powerful influence over the fate of the entire civilized world. Inasmuch as this war affected more directly Germany and Austria, we will first consider these two countries.[Back to Contents]



In 1866 there was strictly speaking no Germany. That part of the world which during the past forty-five years has been known as Germany consisted of a large number of small states and principalities, speaking the same language and having in a general way the same customs and ideals. All attempts to find some basis for their political unification, however, miscarried. Whenever Prussia, which beyond doubt was the biggest and most powerful of all the German-speaking states, attempted to take the lead it was opposed by powerful Austria as well as by a varying number of smaller states. The latter, much as they desired in certain ways to bring about a united Germany in order to be better protected against their much more powerful neighbors, (p. 127) Russia and France, feared these hardly more than a Germany under the control of Prussia. It gradually became clear that unification of Germany would never be realized as long as Austria and Prussia were contending for leadership. How utterly impossible it was for these two countries to achieve any lasting success as long as they made a common cause of anything had been proven only two years earlier, when both went to war with Denmark about the succession to the throne of the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein. For no sooner had they succeeded through their combined efforts in defeating Denmark and thereby forced the northern kingdom to relinquish its claims on Schleswig-Holstein than they found it next to impossible to settle among themselves the division of the newly acquired territory.

It was about at this time that the greatest statesman of modern Germany, Bismarck, began to become all powerful. It was he who recognized more clearly than anyone else the need of eliminating Austria from German affairs, and then finding some cause which would appeal strongly and equally to all the other German states. The difficulties connected with the division of Schleswig-Holstein offered to him an opportune cause for a quarrel with Austria, and when he felt in 1866 that the Prussian army had been sufficiently re-formed and built up to overpower not only Austria, but any of the other German states which might possibly join with her, he went to war. Prussia had succeeded in forming an alliance with the newly united Italy on the basis of the latter's desire to regain the north Italian territory which was then in the possession of Austria. On the other hand the latter had drawn to its side the kingdoms of Hanover and Saxony, as well as all the south German states. The war was one of the shortest in the history of mankind, considering the size of the countries involved and the odds at stake. In less than two months, after only one important battle—at Sadowa—had been fought on July 3, and lost by the Austrians, peace was concluded at Prague. As a result of the arrangements made then, Austria was eliminated from German affairs and withdrew all its claims for Schleswig-Holstein, and Prussia was free to (p. 128) form a confederation of the north German states with itself as a leader, while the south German states were permitted to form a federation of their own. Austria furthermore lost Venetia to Italy. Of the Austrian allies, the south German states were let off easy with a money indemnity, but Hanover, Nassau, and Hesse-Cassel lost their independence and became part and parcel of the Prussian kingdom.

This addition to its territory made Prussia even more predominant in Germany than it had been in the past and Bismarck immediately proceeded to take the first step in the unification of Germany. This took the form of the North German Confederation and so well did he build at that time that the new government which he conceived then has ever since remained the government of united Germany. In its way it was unique. It was a mixture of monarchism and federation. Each of the federated states retained a large amount of control over its internal affairs, but yielded to Prussia control of its armies, foreign relations, railways, and posts and telegraphs. The King of Prussia became the president of this federation and as such its chief executive. The legislative powers were intrusted to two bodies, the Bundesrat and the Reichstag, the former representing the various states, the latter their people. The members of the Bundesrat were appointed by the rulers of the states which they represented, whereas the members of the Reichstag were elected by universal manhood suffrage.

This rise of Prussia's power and influence disturbed and displeased, among all the European states, none more than France. It was only a few years before Napoleon III saw himself forced, partly through internal difficulties and partly through his failures in Mexico and Italy, to challenge William I of Prussia. In this combat the predominancy in German affairs was no longer at stake, as it had been between Prussia and Austria; but so powerful had Prussia become that France felt it necessary to defend the leadership in Central European affairs which it then claimed. The revolution which had broken out in 1868 in Spain and resulted in the expulsion of Queen Isabella became the indirect cause of the Franco-Prussian War. After various (p. 129) unsuccessful attempts on the part of Spanish statesmen to find a king for their country among the European princes they offered the crown of Spain to Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a relative of the King of Prussia. Naturally the prospect of having a German prince rule its western neighbor greatly excited France and led immediately to a strong protest on its part. But not satisfied with this Napoleon demanded from King William a promise that he should at no time permit his cousin to accept the Spanish throne. These demands of the French were promptly refused by the King of Prussia, and Bismarck and Von Moltke saw to it that the message as delivered was brusque and calculated to excite France to anger. Indeed, opinion was so deeply stirred that Napoleon felt compelled to ask for a declaration of war. On July 19, 1870, this step was taken.

Undoubtedly Napoleon was influenced in his decision by his expectation that the south German states would either side openly with him or else at least refuse to side with Prussia, basing this hope on their fear that if Prussia should become all powerful in Germany their own independence would be threatened. His expectations, however, were not realized. As much through the wonderful statesmanship of Bismarck, who knew when to give as well as when to take, as through the awakening of an immensely strong national feeling throughout the length and breadth of Germany, the south Bavarian states, within a few days after France had declared war, sided openly with Prussia. This combination proved too strong for France, for it was superior not only in numbers and equipment, but especially in leadership. The unified German armies won battle after battle in quick succession and by September 2, Napoleon found himself with a large army hopelessly surrounded in Sedan and was forced to surrender. He was sent to Germany as a prisoner of war and his downfall resulted in the end of the Second Napoleonic Empire and the declaration of the Third French Republic.

The German armies immediately proceeded to the siege of Paris and on January 8, 1871, the French capital had to capitulate. A few months later, in May, France and (p. 130) Germany made peace, the former paying an indemnity of $1,000,000,000 and ceding Alsace and a part of Lorraine. In the meantime the unification of Germany had progressed rapidly. Even before Paris had fallen, the German princes, headed by the King of Bavaria, had offered to King William the presidency over a new federation containing both the north and the south German states. This federation was to be known as the German Empire and its president as the German Emperor. On January 18, 1871, in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles King William accepted this offer, and was proclaimed German Emperor.

It was quite natural that in the beginning the path of the newly created German Empire should not be strewn exclusively with roses. At the time of its formation, it is true, it had nothing to fear from other nations. France which, in a way, may be considered at that time as its only external enemy, had been beaten, and beaten in such a way that it was clear that years would have to elapse before the new republic would be in a position to undertake anything against Germany. Indeed, a great many thoughtful people throughout the entire civilized world were hoping that this period of recuperation through which France was bound to pass would result in a gradual understanding between Germany and France. The gulf which separated them immediately after the Franco-Prussian War, to be sure, was wide; for the attitude of the two peoples in regard to the taking over of Alsace-Lorraine was widely different. The French felt that Germany had abused its power at the moment of its victory to tear an integral part off the body politic of the republic. They vowed that although the necessity of the moment had forced them to submit they would never forget the "lost provinces," and this spirit, this demand for restitution, was fostered and nourished throughout the years to come. From time to time it seemed as if the great masses of people in the two countries would finally reach an understanding. But whenever the cry for restitution seemed to have been stilled, politicians of one kind or another succeeded in making it sound again. Germany on the other hand claimed that Alsace-Lorraine had originally been a German (p. 131) province, had been taken from Germany by force, and that the French had neither a legal nor moral claim to the territory.

Internally the new chancellor of the German Empire had a great many battles to fight in order to achieve the financial, social, and military reforms which he deemed necessary for the safety and upbuilding of the empire. It is not necessary for our purposes to go into these struggles in detail. It suffices to note in passing that they resulted in increases and in vast improvements of the German army, and laid the foundation for the marvelous industrial and commercial expansion of the German Empire.

The leading men of the German Empire fully appreciated the need of their country of a long period of peace in order to work out the many problems which the unification had brought about. In every possible way the diplomats, politicians, and rulers of the various German states did their best to make it clear to the other nations that they had no desire for further conquests and were, to say the least, as anxious as their neighbors to maintain peace. In 1872 the three emperors of Russia, Austria, and Germany met together with their ministers at Berlin, and although no treaty was concluded at that time, the conferences which took place then and throughout the following years had a powerful influence on the continuation of European peace. About the same time Italy also attempted to show its good will toward Germany by sending the crown prince of the new kingdom on a visit to the German Emperor, and it seemed at that time as if the fate of all of Europe and, indeed, of the entire civilized world, was in the hands of the central European states—Germany, Austria, Russia, and Italy. Both France and England seemed to be isolated.

However, it was not long before clouds appeared on the firmament, and they came, as they had come before, and as they were to come again, from the East.

The first disturbance of the cordial relations, that apparently had been established among Germany, Austria, and Russia, was caused in 1876 when the Near Eastern question became again an issue between Austria and Russia. The latter's inquiries at (p. 132) Berlin as to the German attitude in a possible war between the other two empires were met with an evasive answer, except that it was made clear that Germany would not permit Russia to deal with Austria beyond a certain point. As a result of this stand Russia decided to settle the Eastern question through a war with Turkey rather than with Austria.

During the Russo-Turkish War, April, 1876, to February, 1877, the causes and results of which will be considered in another place, Germany maintained the strictest neutrality, so strict in fact that at its conclusion Germany was chosen as mediator. To this part the young empire adhered most carefully during the Congress of Berlin, June to July, 1878, and, difficult though it was, showed the strictest impartiality. At the same time it refused to gain any profit from the readjustment which resulted. In spite of this, however, it received little appreciation on the part of Russia, which apparently had expected a more active display of gratitude on the part of Germany for its own friendly neutrality during the Franco-Prussian War. In a way this marks the beginning of a strong anti-German feeling in Russia, which by 1879 had grown strong enough to make a war between the two countries seem possible. Bismarck immediately took the necessary steps to insure Germany against such a possibility by concluding an alliance with Austria, October 7, 1879, at Gastein. In this he was bitterly opposed by William I, whose personal feelings were leaning much more toward Russia than Austria. However, a threat on the part of the chancellor to resign brought this rapidly aging emperor to terms.

The Austro-German alliance was defensive only. It stipulated that in case of an attack by Russia on either contracting party the other was to assist with its entire forces. In case of an attack by any other power only friendly neutrality was to be observed, except if such a power was in any way supported by Russia, when the first stipulation was to take force.

Three years later, in 1882, Bismarck strengthened Germany's international position by overcoming Italy's enmity against Austria to the extent of inducing the southern kingdom to join in this defensive alliance, which from then on was known as the (p. 133) "Triple Alliance," and which endured until Italy's declaration of war against Austria in 1915. The chancellor had now succeeded in placing the keystone in Germany's defensive bulwark. He had to fear no longer the possibility of a joint attack by Russia and France. For the powerful triple block of Central Powers would make any joining of forces by these two countries impossible.

A result of this security was Germany's entrance among the colonial powers of the world. The objects of this step were twofold: to open up new fields for the rapidly expanding German trade, and to divert German emigration in such a way that its steady stream would not drain the Fatherland of too large a proportion of its surplus population. From 1884 on Germany used every opportune moment to acquire colonial possessions. Though for many years none of the other powers seriously objected, it was quite natural that sooner or later Germany would find itself in conflict with the other colonizing powers, especially with the greatest of all—England.

In 1884, Alexander III, who had succeeded his murdered father in 1881 and who was much less pro-German than the latter, showed signs of succumbing to France's strenuous advances looking toward an alliance to enable the republic to gratify its desire for revenge. But Bismarck's diplomatic genius not only prevented this, but even brought about a secret neutrality treaty between the two empires, which, however, was entirely separate from the Triple Alliance.

Gradually, thus, the chancellor accomplished all that he had set out to do after the formation of the German Empire to place his country, not only among the great powers of the world, but to gain for it within certain limitations, a leading position. With his internal policies he was hardly less successful, although he had many hard battles to fight to gain his end. The year 1888 saw him in the zenith of his power, and Wilhelmstrasse (where the German Foreign Office was located) promised fair to take the place that Downing Street had held. That year, however, brought a change of rulers to Germany. In March William I died at the age of ninety-one, and was succeeded by his son (p. 134) Frederick III, the son-in-law of Queen Victoria of England. This in itself endangered Bismarck's position and influence. For ever since 1879 Frederick had more or less openly allied himself with the National-Liberal party, which strongly opposed the chancellor's foreign policy. The new emperor, however, had been stricken with a mortal disease, which in 1878 was diagnosed as cancer of the throat, and which resulted in his death on June 15, 1888, less than four months after he had become emperor.

His son and successor, William II, was less than thirty years old, a more or less unknown quantity, with little experience, but possessing a very strongly individual temperament. The break between him and Bismarck came soon, and resulted in the latter's resignation on March 18, 1890. Germany could ill spare the master hand that had guided so successfully its destinies since 1870, and at no time since has Germany's international position been so strong or its foreign policies as purposeful as under its first chancellor.

The second incumbent of this office was General von Caprivi, 1890-1894, whose accomplishments were chiefly of a military and economic nature. Of the former the most important was the change to the two years' term of army service, of the latter the conclusion of commercial treaties with Austria-Hungary, Russia, Italy, and Rumania. In the field of foreign relations his term of office yielded the important result of a better understanding with England, accompanied, however, by a lessening of friendly relations with Russia. This period also brought to Germany the island of Helgoland in exchange for certain readjustments of boundaries in Africa. Bismarck's work in regard to cementing the German-Russian relations was undone by the refusal of Germany to renew the secret neutrality treaty which expired in 1890, and in 1891 Russia concluded an alliance with France which from then on considerably reduced the influence of the Triple Alliance. The menace of a France recovered and supported by a strong ally again loomed up, and the dissatisfaction of German public opinion, increased by the severe criticism of the retired "iron chancellor," resulted finally in the resignation of Von Caprivi.

(p. 135) His successor, Prince Chlodwig Hohenlohe-Schillingfürst, 1894-1900, was an experienced diplomat, distantly related to the emperor, and possessing much stronger convictions of his own. By this time Germany's industrial development had made immense strides. From an agricultural country it had changed to a nation deeply interested in industry and commerce. Its merchants contended everywhere for the world's trade. Articles of German manufacture made the term "made in Germany" a by-word of quality and efficiency. Riches flowed into the empire in a steady stream. Riches, however, were not the only result of this development. The young empire began a fight for leadership in manufacture and commerce, in science and the arts. To achieve these ambitions, German agents and salesmen penetrated all countries, new and old, and built up vast markets for German products, at the same time using every means available to undermine and destroy the economic influence of other nations. Nor was the empire contented with material gain and new-found prestige; Germany abandoned its former policy of concerning itself only with European affairs, and became a sinister and unscrupulous opponent of other great powers in the dangerous game of "world politics." We are not concerned here, however, with this feature of Germany's advance, which is fully treated elsewhere.

This period brought out more and more the strong individuality of William II, who had early—earlier, perhaps, than anyone else—recognized his country's new needs, and who put all of his immense vitality into his efforts to fill them. Some results were: the beginning of a very definite and extensive naval program, the building and completion (1895) of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Canal between the Baltic and the North Sea, active participation in the development of Turkey in Europe and Asia, the acquisition of a "sphere of influence" in China, and the lease of Kiao-chau in 1897, the purchase of the Carolina Islands in 1899. All these activities brought Germany more and more frequently in contact and often in conflict with English interests. Its naval ambitions aroused the suspicions of the old mistress of the sea, and relations which at no time since the death of William I had been overcordial became more strained.

(p. 136) In 1909, Prince Hohenlohe was succeeded by his Foreign Secretary, Count, later Prince von Bülow. Though an experienced diplomat and a man of great intelligence and culture, he found his road beset with difficulties. Not only had he to face in international politics at every step the dual alliance of France and Russia, which was becoming rapidly more intimate, but English aversion against German independence in matters of world politics, and English resentment against German expansion grew day by day. The culmination of this general dread of German ascendancy found expression in the formation of the Anglo-French entente cordiale of 1904 and the Anglo-Russian arrangement of 1907, of which we shall hear more when considering the histories of the three countries directly involved. Whether or not the German claim that these agreements were concluded with the ulterior motives of isolating and then crushing Germany and her allies had foundations, is of little importance. For the fact remains that they were considered in this light, not only by Germany's diplomats, but by the nation at large, and ever after Germany's foreign policy was based on this consideration.

Even before England had actually come to a definite understanding with Russia, the first test was put to the new line-up of the European powers. In 1905 trouble arose about the extension of French influence in North Africa. Although a general European war seemed more possible at that time than at any other time within recent years, it was averted as a result of the so-called Algeciras Conference. In this first inning Germany won together with Italy and Austria against France, backed by Russia and England, and the result was the declaration of Morocco's integrity.

Europe in Twelfth Century, Historical Map.

During the next decade the foreign policy of Germany showed the same chief characteristic that was noticeable in that of the other countries—high tension. One is almost tempted to compare this period of Europe's history to the hours immediately preceding a violent electrical storm. The diplomatic atmosphere was surcharged with electricity, and long before the storm really broke the growl of distant thunder could be heard and occasional flashes of lightning announced its approach. That, in spite of all signs, (p. 138) so many people firmly believed that the storm would never break, is easily explained with the innate optimism of mankind, and is on a par with the spirit of unbelief in unpleasant things that makes people go out unprepared for rain, as long as rain only threatens, but does not actually fall.

In 1911, Morocco again almost became the stumblingblock. In that year France annexed this north African country in spite of the agreement that had been reached at Algeciras. Germany immediately entered a strong protest, which, however, was later withdrawn in consideration of certain commercial privileges in connection with the development of the country, and the cession of territory in central Africa. Once more war had been avoided.

This period also saw numerous upheavals in the Balkans. Throughout these Germany made it clear that it would permit nothing in that part of the world which would work out to the disadvantage of its ally—Austria.

In spite of temporary reduction in the tension existing between Germany on the one hand, and England, France, and Russia respectively on the other, the differences between these countries became more marked, diplomatic clashes more frequent, and their mutual suspicion of each other more pronounced. England especially resented the ambitious naval program of Germany, which seriously threatened British supremacy on the sea and forced England to tremendous expenditures to maintain its overwhelming naval strength. France was menaced by Germany's increase in the peace strength of its army, which was accomplished in 1913 by means of special taxation known as the "Wehrbeitrag."

The German-French relations were influenced considerably, not only by French colonial policy, but also by conditions in Alsace-Lorraine. We have already heard of the French attitude in regard to these so-called "lost provinces." Right after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and for a considerable period afterward, the desire for restitution and the demand for the reconquest of the lost territory undoubtedly was as sincere as it was widespread among the French nation. It is, however, no less true that these sentiments decreased in fervor, and most (p. 139) likely would have subsided entirely if they would have been permitted to take their natural course. Instead of this, this question gradually became a political issue of the first magnitude, and now one political party and then another would use it for its own purposes. It was thus that the French-German animosity was kept alive and nurtured. On the German side the more or less uncompromising attitude toward all things French as far as Alsace-Lorraine was officially claimed to be a matter of political necessity. At any rate it gave continual opportunities to French politicians to make capital out of the conditions as they existed in Alsace-Lorraine. One of the most severe outbreaks of anti-German and antimilitary feeling in that part of the German Empire happened in December, 1913, in the small Alsatian garrison town of Zabern, when some Alsatians of French antecedents and sympathizers were wounded in a clash with German officers and soldiers. Unimportant as this affair was, in a way, it resulted in a great deal of very pointed and unfriendly comment in the French press, and undoubtedly added fuel to the fire of Franco-German animosity which was burning even then stronger than it had done for many years.

In 1908, near the end of Prince von Bülow's incumbency of the chancellorship, his position became very difficult, because of the general disapproval on the part of the nation of the German emperor's custom to make long speeches concerning foreign affairs. Some of these speeches caused a considerable amount of offense in foreign capitals, and, while this matter, too, may be considered a minor detail in Germany's relations with foreign powers, it had at the same time some influence. Throughout this period the chancellor was supported by a combination of the National-Liberal and Conservative parties. But in 1909 the continuation of this combination became impossible on account of the divergence of opinion existing between these two parties in regard to the Government's financial reforms. The National-Liberal as well as the Social-Democrat and other radical members of the Finance Committee withdrew, and the Conservatives formed a new combination with the Center party. This new majority, however, made so many changes in the original Government (p. 140) bill, and forced through measures which the chancellor so thoroughly disapproved, that he handed his resignation to the emperor. It was not accepted right away, but upon his continued insistence, he finally was permitted to resign in July. His successor was Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg, up to then Minister of the Interior of Prussia, a member of an old patrician house with strong National-Liberal tendencies.

In 1910 the Far Eastern problem again became acute. Russia, Japan, and England, of course, were most vitally interested in the future of China. Both France and Germany, too, had important commercial interests. For a time it looked as if these great powers would clash about the Chinese question, which each wished to solve in such a manner that the greatest possible advantage and gain would come to itself and none or the least possible to the others. However, in 1910 the United States proposed that the Manchurian railway, just then the principal issue, be financed by an international syndicate, reasserting, thereby, its previous stand for an "open-door" policy in China. Germany supported this attitude, and undoubtedly did not make through this action any friendships among the other powers.

In May, 1911, the Reichstag, after long discussion, accepted a bill giving a separate constitution to Alsace-Lorraine, making, thereby, this territory more equal to the other parts of the German Empire. This action, of course, was welcomed by the inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine, and was a long step toward reconciling them sometime to the German overlordship. In the same degree in which it accomplished this it caused displeasure in France, where, by this time, every success in the Germanizing of the "lost provinces" was viewed naturally with almost as much disapproval as the original occupation.

It was in the same year, 1911, that the Morocco difficulties arose again with France, as we have already seen, but in spite of the appearance of a German gunboat at the port of Agadir and the threatening attitude of Germany, matters were finally settled amicably. The terms of the settlement, however, pleased neither the German nor the French nation at large, and a considerable feeling of enmity remained.

(p. 141) Late that year, 1911, a determined campaign was started by the German Navy League in an effort to bring about an increase of Germany's naval forces through the force of public opinion. This activity, which met with considerable success, was viewed with alarm and displeasure in England. These sentiments grew and spread to France when in the spring of 1912 the newly elected Reichstag adopted a bill carrying greatly increased expenditures for both army and navy.

In the summer of 1912 the Balkan question, which is treated in detail in a separate chapter, assumed threatening proportions. Germany as well as the other great powers, however, at that time managed to find a common basis and kept all from active participation in the two Balkan wars, restricting their activities to the exertion of their various influences for as just a settlement as was possible under the circumstances when the time for settlement had arrived in 1913. In spite of the inactivity of the powers there can be no doubt that their respective attitudes at that time toward the various Balkan States and their ambitions had an important influence on the latter's attitude toward the various powers after the war of 1914 had broken out.

In December, 1912, the Triple Alliance was renewed, although even then the conflicting interests of Italy and Austria in the Balkans had made such a step somewhat doubtful.

The early spring of 1913 brought with it the uncovering of a rather extensive scandal in connection with the manufacture of guns and other war materials. One of the Socialistic leaders in the Reichstag charged some officials of the great munition firm of Krupp and of other firms with bribery of War Department officials, and with the creation of artificial war scares in other countries for the sake of increasing munition orders. Although the German courts later sustained this contention to a certain extent, and although it resulted in a certain amount of antiwar sentiment, Germany continued with its well-defined program of increased preparedness. That the Government had behind it in its efforts the full support of public opinion was proven in June of the same year, 1913, by the passage in the Reichstag of another bill carrying considerable increases in the peace strength (p. 142) of the army, and by the fact that the necessary expenditures were met by special taxation, which, though severe in its effects alike on poor and rich, was borne cheerfully by the entire nation.

Nicholas II, Emperor of All the Russias.

Although the Balkan question continued to be the source of considerable anxiety and extensive diplomatic conferences, the political horizon of Europe during the latter half of 1913 and the first half of 1914 seemed comparatively cloudless to all but the keenest observers. Like a flash of lightning out of a clear sky, therefore, came the news that the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, had been assassinated during a visit to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, June 28, 1914, and that the Austrian Government had determined to hold Serbia responsible. England, France, Russia, and Serbia tried, in vain, during the next five weeks to check the outbreak of a general European war.[Back to Contents]



Amongst the great European nations the Austro-Hungarian Empire occupies a unique position. In number of inhabitants it is inferior only to Russia and Germany, whereas it occupies more territory than any other European country, with the single exception of Russia. In spite of this, however, Austria-Hungary possesses no foreign colonies, and those of its inhabitants who, for one reason or another, decided to leave the land of their birth, have, therefore, for years emigrated to foreign countries, and have been lost, in large numbers, to their native country. Of course, the desire for expansion, which is one of the chief characteristics of the historical development of the various nations during the twentieth century, made itself felt in Austria-Hungary as well as everywhere else. Not having any colonies and not having either the financial or military means of acquiring any, the Dual Monarchy has for many years been (p. 143) deeply interested in the Near East. There vast stretches of undeveloped territory, much of which was immediately adjoining its own territory, created a strong desire for possession, or at least for a preponderating influence. This desire was intensified by the peculiar racial conditions which existed in the Dual Monarchy.

Austria-Hungary in this respect also differed from all the other European nations. In each one of the other countries of Europe there was one race that was more numerous and more influential than any of the other races that might inhabit the same country. In Austria-Hungary, however, there were living side by side a number of widely different races. Germans, Bohemians, Poles, Hungarians, Serbians, and others. Of most of these races additional numbers were living in one or another of the adjoining countries, and this condition brought about a continuous desire on the part of these different nations to unite. For instance, the Poles living in Austrian Galicia never gave up their hope of once more becoming united with their fellow Poles in Prussian and in Russian Poland. In the same way the Rumanians in the Austrian province of Bukowina cast longing eyes toward Rumania and Russian Bessarabia; the Austrian Serbs did the same in respect to Serbia and so on.

All attempts of the Government to change this condition appeared to be futile, whether these attempts were of a friendly or of a hostile and oppressive nature. Legislature of any kind, as long as it affected racial questions, was not only unsuccessful in accomplishing its ends, but often resulted in bitter parliamentary discussions and hostilities. The resentment of the various racial units of the Dual Monarchy against such legislation was only deepened by the fact that for many years the actual power of government lay in the hands of the Germanic part of the empire in spite of the fact that the Germans, though in many ways the most advanced, were the least numerous.

In view of all these conditions it is rather remarkable that the Dual Monarchy should have held together as long as it did and, indeed, its disruption was frequently prophesied and as frequently (p. 144) expected. It is clear, therefore, why every attempt on the part of the different Balkan nations to readjust their affairs deeply interested and affected Austria-Hungary. For, even if the empire had given up all thought of profiting itself by such a readjustment, there was always the danger that it might lose both in territory and population. Such a loss, however small, would have seriously embarrassed the Dual Monarchy. For not only might it have resulted in further losses of the same nature, but also from a financial point of view the empire could not afford a diminution of any of its resources. As national wealth goes, Austria-Hungary cannot be considered rich by any means, being in this respect almost on an equal basis with Italy, which has only two-thirds the number of inhabitants and less than one-half the extent of the Dual Monarchy.

Considering the many difficult problems of political, financial and economic nature which the possession of colonies created for the various colonial powers of Europe, Austria might have considered itself fortunate because of its entire lack of colonies. However, the problem of Balkan readjustments, upon which we have touched just now, took the place of colonial problems and brought to Austria as many difficulties and entanglements as any colony has ever brought to its possessor. It was along that line that Austria-Hungary was brought into contact with the other nations of Europe. Of these Russia was the one most vitally interested in the same questions as Austria. For of almost every race that inhabited Austria additional numbers were living in Russia and whatever one country did or attempted to do in the Near East was looked upon with suspicion by the other. Turkey, too, of course, was vitally interested and affected by Austria's policy in the Near East and so was England ever since its foreign policy had been committed to the principle of keeping the Near Eastern status quo undisturbed.

Outside of these possibilities of becoming involved with another nation the Dual Monarchy had long-standing difficulties with Italy. For, previous to the creation of the present kingdom of Italy, Austria had possessed large parts of northern Italy, and the loss of these fertile and rich territories was a severe blow (p. 145) to Austria. The enmity between the two countries was still more enhanced when, in 1866, Austria had to give up Venetia to Italy. This loss was an indirect result of the Prusso-Austrian War of 1866, the details of which we have already mentioned in the recital of the political development of Germany. Previous to declaring war against Austria, Prussia had formed an alliance with Italy and at the beginning of hostilities between Prussia and Austria Italy, too, attacked Austria. Although the Austrian troops defeated the Italians, Austria was forced, when peace was concluded, to yield Venetia to Italy retaining only a small part of its former possessions on the Adriatic so as not to be cut off entirely from a maritime outlet. This small remnant of its former Italian possessions, however, proved to be a thorn in the body politic of the Dual Monarchy. The inhabitants of this province were preponderately Italian in language and Italian in feeling and ever since the formation of the kingdom of Italy a strong propaganda was carried on with the object of finally accomplishing the redemption of these provinces from Austrian rule and their unification with Italy.

In spite of the difficulties between Austria on one side and Russia and Italy respectively on the other it seemed, soon after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, as if all these difficulties would be adjusted in an amicable way. In 1872 the three European Emperors of Germany, Austria and Russia met and without actually concluding a treaty arrived at a mutual understanding which promised well for the future peace of Europe. Five years later in 1877 when Russia went to war with Turkey the definite result of this mutual understanding was a treaty concluded between Russia and Austria. As a result of this treaty Austria agreed not to interfere between Turkey and Russia whereas Russia promised to Austria Bosnia and Herzegovina, both of which were at that time under the rule of Turkey. This latter promise was kept in 1878, when the various Balkan questions that had become acute through the Turko-Russian War were adjusted at the Berlin Congress. It is true that at that time Austria was only permitted to occupy these territories, but even this was a considerable acquisition.

(p. 146) Four years later another step was taken toward the strengthening of European peace. In that year the treaty which had been concluded in 1879 between Germany and Italy was extended to include Austria-Hungary and this alliance of the three Central European Powers, known commonly as the Triple Alliance, endured not only till the outbreak of the war of 1914, but even for some time later. This alliance originally was made only for five years, but at the expiration of this time it was renewed in 1887 and again later.

Of the causes and results of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 we have heard already in the consideration of Germany's history. Immediately after its conclusion Austria-Hungary devoted its energies chiefly to internal affairs and in 1867 succeeded in a reorganization of the difficulties which had arisen with Hungary. The result was the "Ausgleich" which established Hungary practically on an equal basis with Austria, giving it a separate constitution, legislature and cabinet. It is from this dual basis that the term "Dual Monarchy" was derived and the arrangement made then fundamentally is in existence to-day.

Throughout the ensuing years Austria-Hungary's position and influence amongst the great European powers was of little direct importance. In the first place the Dual Monarchy was occupied continuously with the most vexing internal questions caused by the incessant difficulties arising between its racially different population. These were responsible for the fall of one ministry after another, and frequently caused grave apprehension to all Europe. For many years the disintegration of the empire was feared and expected. But in spite of all difficulties it held together. In the second place the country remained for many years chiefly agricultural and even to-day, considering its extent, is only moderately industrial. This made it unnecessary for Austria-Hungary to concern itself directly with such questions as the colonization of Africa or the division of China. Only occasionally it made its influence felt indirectly by supporting the policies and claims of its two allies, Germany and Italy.

In 1908, however, it took a step that immediately brought it into the center of world politics. In that year the annexation (p. 147) of Bosnia-Herzegovina was announced, although for many years previous the Turkish suzerainty over these two provinces had been less than nominal. As this was followed immediately by a declaration of independence on the part of Bulgaria, the jealousy of Serbia was aroused. But both the difficulties with this country and with Turkey about the annexation were finally adjusted, mainly through the strong support which Germany gave to its ally and in 1909 all of the powers recognized the annexation.

Once more Austria-Hungary withdrew from the international concert and devoted itself to its internal difficulties which seemed to increase in frequency and violence as the years passed by. It was not until the summer of 1912 that it again became active in connection with foreign politics. Then, when the Balkan question had become acute, the Austrian Foreign Minister, Count Berchtold, suggested to the other powers that they combine for the purpose of settling the Balkan disputes. The suggestion was accepted and although it did not succeed in avoiding war between the different Balkan States themselves, it, at least, localized this war and kept the rest of Europe out of it.

Of course, Austrian diplomats were busily occupied throughout this entire period in guarding their country's interests, and Constantinople especially was the scene of many a diplomatic battle between Austria-Hungary and the other powers. From time to time relations with Russia became somewhat strained on account of the conflicting interests of the two countries in the Balkans. But in spite of this conditions were friendly enough to permit an arrangement between these two powers in March, 1913, whereby they agreed on the demobilization of their respective forces along the Russo-Austrian border.

The murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne, and his wife during a visit at Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, however, changed immediately Austria-Hungary's attitude toward Serbia. Like one man the country rose and demanded the punishment of the murderers and of the nation which, it was claimed, had planned and financed the murder, Serbia. Racial differences and dissensions of long (p. 148) standing were forgotten and forgiven over night, as it were, and a country, more solidified than at any other period in its history, stood behind its Emperor Francis Joseph, a man who throughout his life of more than eighty years—of which more than three-fourths were spent on the throne—had suffered all the disappointments and sorrows that can come to a man, but had never lost the trust and love of his subjects.[Back to Contents]



In the middle of the nineteenth century the Russian Empire, in spite of its vast extent and resources, played a comparatively negligible part in international politics. To a certain extent this was the result of the Crimean War. But still more was it due to the internal difficulties which were so many and so serious that they kept the empire fully occupied for a considerable period.

This condition is easily understood if we remember that at that time of all the great European nations Russia was the least developed, the least advanced, and the least modernized. The many reforms instituted at that time contributed their share in changing this condition and resulted in bringing the Russian Empire rapidly to the forefront of European nations. With the details of the reforms we are not concerned, but as their actual accomplishment had an important bearing on Russia's future activities in the field of world politics it will be well to state that they consisted chiefly of five great measures: the emancipation of the serfs; the institution of the zemstvos or county councils; trial by jury; regulation of the public press; and reorganization of the army. Some of these reforms were instituted by the government only after public opinion had made such a course inevitable, and of the history of this entire period it may well be said that it was written in the very lifeblood of (p. 149) the Russian people. Two forces continuously combated each other; on one side were the large masses of the people, on the other the ruling classes. The former it is true were not always in solid union and, indeed, more frequently left the burden of fighting their cause to a small group of intellectuals. Their demands in many instances were unreasonable, but the ruling classes were just as unreasonable in their attitude, and the result was a period of terrorism during which assassination of officials abounded and even the life of the emperor was threatened a number of times.

During the war of 1866 between Prussia and Austria and in 1871 between France and Germany, Russia observed a friendly neutrality toward Prussia. This attitude was the outcome of the long-standing personal friendship between the Russian and Prussian dynasties, a condition which at that period counted much more than in more modern times. Although Russia kept out of any active participation in these two struggles it used the Franco-Prussian War, when all the other European powers were tied down by its possibilities, to declare, in October, 1870, that it refused to be bound further by the provisions of the treaty of Paris, made in 1856, establishing the neutrality of the Black Sea. As a result of this a conference was called to London the following year, 1871, which affirmed in the name of all powers represented their determination to respect the sanctity of treaties, but in spite of that rescinded the treaty of 1856 along the lines of Russia's demands, and the neutrality of the Black Sea was abolished. A few years later a separate arrangement between Russia and Turkey made it possible for both of these powers to create and maintain separate fleets in the Black Sea.

In 1872, as we have already heard, the three European emperors of Russia, Austria, and Germany met at Berlin and possibly as a result of that meeting a treaty was signed in 1873 between Germany and Russia which, however, bearing as it did only the signatures of the two emperors and of the heads of their respective general staffs, had neither a real standing nor an important influence in the affairs of either country.

Europe in 1648-1789, Historical Map.

(p. 151) Two years later, in 1875, Russia once more acted in concert with Austria and Germany when the Governments of these three empires addressed a joint request to Turkey asking for the immediate institution of reforms in the Balkan dependencies of the Turkish Empire which were then the center of continuous upheavals and threatened to disrupt European peace.

Before we continue the consideration of Russia's political history it will be well to emphasize the chief characteristics of Russian foreign policy. In western European politics Russia had no direct interest. In the Near East, however, it was more directly interested than any other European power with the possible exception of Austria-Hungary; for not only were most of the European dependencies of Turkey inhabited by Slavish people or else by races closely related to them, but it was there also that Russia hoped to gain its much-needed ice-free seaport. This strong interest of Russia in Balkan affairs which will be brought out in greater detail in another place, devoted exclusively to the Balkan question, naturally brought it continuously in contact with Austria-Hungary. For the latter's interest in these matters was as strong as was Russia's, although it was, as we have seen, based on different grounds. This condition then meant that there was nothing in the way of a strong friendship or even a possible alliance between Germany and Russia except Germany's friendship for and alliance with Austria-Hungary which made it impossible for Germany to support Russia's policy in the Balkans. As a secondary result of this obstacle to a Russo-German alliance may be considered the gradual approachment between France and Russia.

In one other part of the world Russia's interest was very strong and that was in the Far East. Here it clashed with equally strong or even stronger interests which England and Japan had and it took many years before these three powers finally arrived at an understanding concerning their several spheres of interest in the Far East.

Immediately following Russia's participation in asking reforms of Turkey for its Balkan dependencies Pan-Slavism increased rapidly and greatly in Russia. One of the most (p. 152) peculiar features of this movement is the fact that the Russian Government suppressed with all the power at its command and with all the severity within its knowledge this movement as far as it affected internal affairs, but supported it just as strongly as far as it affected the affairs of other countries. The growth of Pan-Slavism finally resulted in April, 1877, in Russia's declaration of war against Turkey.

In this war Russia was victorious, but only through the support which it received from Rumania, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro. In spite of repeated appeals on the part of Turkey to the other European powers these did not step in until Turkey was almost threatened with entire elimination. Then a conference of the European powers was called at Berlin and resulted in July, 1878, in the Treaty of Berlin which took the place of a treaty previously arranged between Russia and Turkey in March, 1878, at San Stefano. The Treaty of Berlin gave to Russia certain small parts of Turkey, but successfully reduced the excessively strong influence over Balkan affairs which Russia had attempted to gain for itself in the Treaty of San Stefano.

In spite of the difficulties between Austria and Russia, of which we have spoken, the two countries had arrived, previous to the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish War, at an understanding according to which Austria maintained a friendly neutrality toward Russia during the war, in consideration of which Russia permitted Austria's occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The following years are again marked by internal difficulties resulting in a reign of terrorism and in a period of reactionary government which exceed almost anything in Russia's previous history. It found its culmination in the successful assassination of Czar Alexander II on March 13, 1881. He was succeeded by his son Alexander III under whose rule the gulf between Russia and its western neighbors, Germany and Austria, widened in the same proportion as the friendship between Russia on one side and France and England on the other increased. To a certain extent undoubtedly this may be traced back to the new czar's personal relations with the rulers of other nations; for (p. 153) the czarina was a sister of Alexandria of Denmark, then Princess of Wales and later Queen of England, and the daughter of that King of Denmark who in 1864 had lost to Germany and Austria Schleswig-Holstein.

The beginning of Alexander III's reign was marked with the beginning of a series of terrible persecutions of the Jewish inhabitants of the Russian Empire which, though subsiding from time to time, have continued throughout the years until the present time. With the causes of these persecutions we are not concerned here, for they were undoubtedly much more of an economic than of a political nature. In one respect, however, the results had an important bearing, at least for a time, on Russian politics. For during many years both France and especially England found it difficult and almost next to impossible to enter into a close alliance with a country which apparently absolutely refused to acknowledge some of the most fundamental principles of modern government in which they themselves believed: religious and personal freedom.

With Alexander III came also a return to a more reactionary form of government which in its turn brought about a revival of terrorism and Nihilism with all its horrors and bloodshed. In spite of the continuance of these conditions in Russian internal affairs Russia participated actively in the general movement for expansion which made itself felt in the latter decade of the nineteenth century. Its interest in Near Eastern affairs became deeper and more active and its advances in the Far East kept step. In the Near East, however, Russia found determined opposition and the gradual development of the independent states of Rumania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece, most of which were formed, at least partly, out of what was once the Turkish Empire, made it clearer and clearer every day that Russia's hope for gaining a maritime outlet through the conquest of Constantinople would never be realized. Though never giving up entirely this hope Russia's endeavors turned more and more toward the Far East. One of the most important results of this new policy was the beginning of the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway in May, 1891.

(p. 154) The same year, 1891, saw the visit of a large French fleet at Kronstadt, the harbor of Petrograd, which was welcomed effusively. Two years later, in 1893, a Russian fleet repaid the compliment by visiting Toulon and found an equally hospitable reception. Even previous to this a large amount of French capital had been invested in Russian Government Bonds and in Russian industrial undertakings and the friendship between the two nations increased rapidly. However, the death of Alexander III in November, 1894, somewhat delayed the actual conclusion of the alliance and it was not until 1896 that an extensive and far-reaching treaty was signed at the occasion of the visit of the new Czar, Nicholas II, to Paris. The immense significance which this Franco-Russian treaty had in respect to its effect on all of Europe was immediately recognized. If the treaty succeeded in lasting for any length of time, it was reasonably clear that it would be only a question of time before it would result in an entirely new arrangement of European affairs.

The next five or six years were characterized by Russia's determined advances in the Far East, a strengthening of the Franco-Russian friendship and serious internal difficulties. The first of these brought Russia more and more in conflict with England and Japan of which we shall hear more immediately. The second resulted in a growth of the estrangement between Russia and Germany. The third for a time threatened the very existence of the Russian monarchy and it seemed almost impossible that anything else than revolution and anarchy could be the final outcome. These were averted only at the last moment by the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War.

In April, 1902, a treaty had been signed between China and Russia. According to it Russia agreed to observe the integrity of China and to evacuate Manchuria which it had begun to occupy as early as 1897. The evacuation was to be stretched over a year and a half and in the beginning Russia lived up to the terms of the treaty. At the end of the first six months, however, further evacuation stopped and when China demanded explanations Russia repudiated the arrangement and refused to proceed with (p. 155) the evacuation unless additional concessions were made by China. Throughout 1903 negotiations took place between Japan and Russia concerning this matter which, however, were not very rich in results. On January 13, 1904, the Japanese Government, therefore, sent what amounted practically to an ultimatum in regard to Manchuria and Corea. This step was followed immediately by warlike preparations on the part of both nations. Three weeks later on February 6, 1904, diplomatic relations between the two countries were broken off and the Russo-Japanese War was on. The Japanese showed themselves superior to their European adversaries in every respect, and, after inflicting severe defeats on land and sea, peace was concluded on September 5, 1905, at Portsmouth, U. S. A. The Japanese were very moderate in their terms, waiving their demand for an indemnity, returning to Russia all interned warships and not insisting on any restriction to Russian power in the Far East.

In the meanwhile affairs at home had progressed rapidly toward revolution. The defeat of the Russian army and fleet, the discovery of immense peculations in connection with their equipment and an increase of economic pressure, all combined to hasten the outbreak which had been preparing for years. Strikes, riots, assassination of officials and general bloodshed were the common order of the day. At the very beginning of these outbreaks a manifest of the czar promised some reforms. However, he made it clear that in a general way the Government was resolved to retain its autocratic form. In a way this manifest is a true picture of the cool attitude which the Government took throughout these troublous times. Whenever the Government was forced by especially violent outbreaks to fear the worst, it would announce the introduction of some slight reforms. This usually had the desired result of calming down, at least temporarily, the excited masses, which condition would be followed almost immediately either by a withdrawal of the reforms instituted or by some reactionary laws offsetting their influence. In a general way the revolution, however, improved somewhat internal conditions in Russia. It led to the establishment (p. 156) of a representative form of government by the creation of the Duma, although the limits within which the people were allowed to participate in governmental affairs were and are even now very narrow. In fact it was not an unusual procedure for the Government to imprison members of the Duma and to accuse them of treason whenever they promulgated or supported measures of which the Government did not approve, and throughout the following years up to the present time the struggle between a frankly reactionary government and the people demanding more liberty continued.

One of the centers of disturbances was Finland. This former province of Sweden had been ceded to Russia by the Scandinavian Kingdom as long ago as 1743, after having been practically conquered in 1714. At that time certain rights of independency and autonomy were granted to Finland. Throughout the next century and a half Russia lived up to these promises in a fashion. But in 1899 the Finnish Diet was deprived of its exclusive right of legislating for the former grand duchy, and Russia started on a policy of Russification; although the conqueror did not differ to any noticeable extent from other nations who found themselves in similar positions—Prussia and Austria in Poland, Germany in Alsace-Lorraine, England in some of its colonies—Russia had to contend with greater opposition, perhaps, than any of them. For the Finns were a people to whom liberty was as dear as life or even dearer and no particle of it would they give up except if an overwhelming power forced them to do so. One Russian governor general after another became the victim of assassination. This fact is of particular interest to us only because it resulted in a deep-seated hatred of Russia and all things Russian on the part of all Swedes, indeed, of all Scandinavians who, though Finland had been separated from them for three or four generations, still considered this unhappy country to be part and parcel of Scandinavia. To a great extent this explains the Scandinavian attitude toward Russia of which we shall hear more presently.

Among the more prominent men of Russia who fell under assassins' assaults were Von Plehve, Minister of the Interior, and (p. 157) Grand Duke Sergius, an uncle of the czar, both typical reactionaries and men whose death may well be claimed a gain for Russia rather than a loss. In this period also belongs the killing of hundreds of workingmen of Petrograd who, led by a Russian priest, Father Capon, attempted to march to the Winter Palace of their "Little Father," the Czar, in order to present to him in person their petition for relief from their many oppressions. Similar scenes were repeated in Warsaw, in Lodz and in other Russian industrial centers during 1905. Step by step the revolution of the people seemed to gain in spite of all efforts of the Government. It even spread to the army and navy and at Odessa the crew of a large battleship mutinied, seized the boat and bombarded the city, killing more than a thousand of its inhabitants. Strikes broke out in different parts of the country. Troops murdered their officers and went over to the cause of the people. Nevertheless the Government finally triumphed, partly by diplomatically granting—temporarily only, of course—some of the demands of the masses, but chiefly by force and unrelenting severity. The latter policy brought about the fall of one of the most able statesmen that Russia had ever produced, Count Witte, who was then Prime Minister and to whose diplomacy and ability Russia owed primarily its easy bargain with Japan after the latter country's victory.

The next year, 1906, however, brought some relief to the sorely oppressed people. The peasants were enabled to acquire the land which heretofore they had tilled almost like slaves for the benefit of the great landowners belonging to the aristocratic and patrician classes. All were made equal before the law, oppressive taxes and restrictions concerning the choice of residence on the part of peasants were removed and certain electoral reforms were promulgated. The latter, however, were of short duration, for in 1907, when things had quieted down a bit they were either recalled or nullified by technical interpretations which thoroughly defeated their original purposes.

During this entire period the persecution of Jews was kept up. In spite of this, however, Russia took prompt steps to stop similar persecutions of Armenians on the part of Turks, one of (p. 158) the few undertakings of the Russian Government of that time which deserves the approval of mankind.

In August of the same year, 1907, Russia also arrived at an understanding with England concerning the respective spheres of influence of these two countries in Asia, an important step toward the completion of the "Triple Entente" of Russia, England, and France.

The year 1908 was noticeable only for the enaction of further reactionary measures. The next year, 1909, saw Russia's participation in the successful effort of the European powers to adjust pacifically the various questions that had arisen from Bulgaria's proclamation as a kingdom and Austria-Hungary's annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the same year, 1909, the Russian advance for the possession of Persia began—without opposition on the part of England by that time—and an understanding was reached between the czar's and the Chinese Government concerning the Manchurian railroad. This made it possible for Russia in the following year, 1910, to reject the suggestion of the United States Government to internationalize this railroad, in which attitude Russia had the support of Japan, England and France.

During the Franco-German difficulties about Morocco in 1911 Russia put itself squarely on the side of France and its announcement to that effect, made officially to the German Government, was a decided step forward toward French intimacy and German enmity. Having helped out France in this manner, Russia promptly pushed its own cause in Persia. With England and France indifferent to this unfortunate country's fate, with Germany not sufficiently interested to risk a break with any or all of the members of the "Triple Entente," and with the United States much in the same position as Germany, Russia had its own way and Persia had to submit to Russia's demands and to its gradual enslavement under Russian rule.

In 1912 and 1913—before, during and after the two Balkan Wars—Russia acted in concert with the other European powers and refrained from active participation although its sympathies were clearly enough with Serbia. So promising was the outlook (p. 159) then for a lasting understanding between the nations of Europe that Russia and Austria found it possible—as we have already heard—to agree, in March, 1913, on a demobilization of their armies along their respective borders.

A little more than a year, however, sufficed to bring about a change in this friendly attitude of the two empires, a change fateful alike to both and to all the world. For one day after Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia on July 28, 1914, Russia began her mobilization—a necessary measure with Austria at war for increased power in the Balkans. By July 31, 1914, Russia's general mobilization had taken place.[Back to Contents]



The chief characteristic of the second empire established after Napoleon III's coup d'état in 1852 was expansion. Napoleon III's ambition in this direction was twofold. He desired to make the French Empire not only the most advanced and strongest state in Europe, but also to have it count as the strongest influence in world politics. In regard to the first part of his ambitious plan, both the emperor and his various governments were quite successful. For during the twenty-odd years of the existence of the second empire, the progress of France along industrial, commercial, and agricultural lines was, perhaps, greater than in any other similar period in its history. In regard to the second part, it also seemed for a time as if Napoleon's ambitions were to be realized. It was under his reign that the French nation's interest in colonies which had gradually disappeared or had at least been submerged by England's immense undertakings along that line was aroused again, and a considerable part of the present very expansive colonial possessions of France is one of the contributions of the second empire. Furthermore in the early part of his rule he was fairly successful, (p. 160) not only in expressing the desires of France in regard to conditions and policies of other European countries, but also in forcing their fulfillment. It is very doubtful if, had it not been for Napoleon III's interest and assistance, a united Italy could have been formed. The part which he played in the unification of Italy has already been touched upon in the latter country's history, and we have also heard how his support of Italian ambitions for unity brought France into conflict with Austria-Hungary. It was, therefore, quite natural that when the French Government was approached in 1865 by Prussia in regard to the proposed Prusso-Italian treaty he should be found a supporter, even if an inactive and silent one, of this new arrangement. And it was equally natural that during the short war of 1866 between Austria and Prussia he kept aloof from any actual interference. It might even have been possible that France indirectly would have been found at that time on the side of Prussia, for there can be no doubt that Napoleon III would have liked to assist at that time Italy against Austria. But the Mexican War, which he had started in 1862 and which had been going against France during 1865 and 1866, prevented any active French interference in European affairs at that moment.

Satisfactory as it was to Napoleon III and France to see Austria forced to relinquish its Italian provinces to Italy, it was almost as unsatisfactory, or perhaps even more so, to notice at the same time the immense and unexpectedly rapid increase of Prussian power and influence. Immediately after the war of 1866 Napoleon III took a number of steps with the object of counteracting Prussia's new power or, if possible, of destroying it. As we have already seen during the consideration of German history of that period, he met with a fair degree of success. It looked very much, immediately after the Prusso-Austrian War of 1866, as if Prussia could not count then or for some time to come on the support of the south German states in any enterprise in which Prussian influence would be predominant. The attitude of these south German states toward Prussia at that time was of such a nature that the French Government could hardly be blamed in thinking that in a possible conflict between (p. 161) France and Prussia they might be found on the side of France, or at least could be counted upon not to be on the side of Prussia.

This conflict, it was clear, was to come soon. For under the able leadership of the Prussian Prime Minister, Bismarck, Prussia was gradually more and more increasing in power and influence and intruding on the French leadership in European affairs. That it came as early as 1870 was partly due to the French expectations of support on the part of the south German states which we have just mentioned, and partly to the general unrest which made itself felt in France as a result of the lack of success of the recent foreign policy of Napoleon III.

It is unnecessary to recite here the immediate causes as well as the details of the result of this war, all of which have been considered in the history of Germany of this period, and we shall, therefore, content ourselves with the repetition of the fact that the south German states disappointed French expectations by not only refusing to support France, but by openly and actively supporting Prussia, because the immediate cause of the Franco-Prussian War was considered by them a matter of national importance affecting all German-speaking people alike. The fall of Sedan, resulting in the capture of Napoleon III himself, brought the downfall of the second empire and the end of the monarchistic form of government in France.

The next few years are among the darkest in French history. In February, 1871, M. Thiers had been made the executive head of France, and it became his task to conclude the peace with Germany which was ratified by the French Assembly on May 18, 1871. Previous to that, on March 18, 1871, insurrection had broken out in Paris, and a separate government had been set up by the people known as the Commune. This revolution was put down only after the hardest kind of fighting between the forces of the Commune and the Government troops, and after more than $150,000,000 worth of property in Paris had been destroyed.

On May 31, 1871, however, Thiers was finally elected president for a term of three years. Considering the many and (p. 162) difficult problems which the new Government had to solve, it is rather surprising that it lasted as long as it did, even if its end came before the appointed time. For in May, 1873, both the president and his ministry resigned, and General MacMahon was elected president by the Assembly. Early that fall (1873) the last parts of the German army of occupation left France after the last installment of the war indemnity had been paid, and in the latter part of the same year President MacMahon's term was extended to a period of seven years.

The part which England had played during and immediately after the German-French War was typical of England's cleverness in playing foreign politics. Intimate as at that time were the Prusso-English relations, and inactive as England remained during the war, it still managed to impress the French nation with a strong feeling of gratefulness for the apparently friendly attitude which England felt toward France. In a way this is very remarkable, for after the fall of the empire, England extended its hospitality to ex-Empress Eugenie and her young son, and then, later, after Napoleon Ill's release from German captivity, to the ex-emperor himself.

In 1876 France had sufficiently recovered from its apparently complete breakdown of a few years ago to be able to dispose of the largest revenue that had ever been at the disposal of any French Government, and this fact is of interest to us chiefly because it is one of the most definite and most significant proofs of the remarkable inherent strength of the French country and people.

In spite of this quick recovery, France for the next few years played an absolutely inactive and comparatively unimportant part in European affairs. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1876, for instance, the republic declared and maintained a strict neutrality. Internally, the republic continued to have to contend with many difficulties. Again and again strong opposition to the republican form of government showed itself, expressed at one time by the followers of the Bonapartist party, at another by those of the Royalist party. However, all of these dissensions had no actual result, and in spite of them the republic continued (p. 163) to progress and to flourish to such an extent that, only seven years after one of the most disastrous defeats that any European nation had ever suffered, France was able, in 1878, to invite the rest of the world to witness at Paris the most wonderful international exposition that had ever been staged in the history of mankind. Early in the following year President MacMahon resigned, having been practically forced to this step by public sentiment which disapproved of and feared his monarchistic leanings. M. Grévy was elected as his successor. The early summer of this year (1879) brought death to the only son of Napoleon III while he was fighting under the English flag during the campaign against the Zulus in South Africa, and this event practically ended all danger of a Napoleonic restoration, because the representatives of the Napoleonic family left were neither closely enough related to Napoleon III nor possessed the necessary ability to accomplish a change of government.

The year 1880 brought the beginning of a strong anti-Catholic movement in France. At first this movement was directed only against the Jesuits, but it rapidly spread and in a way may be considered the forerunner of the radical legislation along this line which was passed in recent years. Throughout these years the life of the different ministries was very short and in most instances measured by months rather than by years. To go deeper into the causes for this condition is not necessary; but one of its results undoubtedly was that France continued to refrain from active participation in European politics because it stands to reason that a continuous change of the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs made it more or less difficult, if not impossible, for France to establish a definite foreign policy. However, in 1881 France began again to take a more lively interest in its colonial affairs. It was in that year that Tunis gave up its resistance to French occupation and from that time on dates the preponderating influence which France has held ever since in north Africa. For our purposes it is important only to remember the fact of this preponderancy, although it may be difficult to understand why this condition should exist, (p. 164) for neither then nor during the years to come has France shown any particular adaptability to colonial problems nor was it able to register in its colonies successes such as England and Germany had to show. The colonial expansion of France, however, continued. In 1882 new territory was acquired in Annam and, in 1884, Cambodia. This aggrandizement of France at the cost of China finally resulted in a declaration of war on the part of the latter country against France in August, 1884, lasting until June, 1885, and resulting in the confirmation of the French possessions in the Far East, not, however, until the French troops had suffered severe reverses. In 1885 a protectorate was established over Madagascar.

The beginning and continuation of French expansion in other parts of the world necessarily brought France into closer and more frequent contact with other countries. French statesmen soon began to see the necessity of making friends amongst the other nations if they hoped to lead France back into the position amongst the great powers which it had a right to occupy on account of its history as well as its extent and ability. Throughout the first twenty years after the Franco-Prussian War, France may be considered to have been on friendly terms with practically all European nations with the possible exception of Germany; but these friendships during that period had not yet ripened into intimacy nor had they even resulted in the establishment of definite alliances with any one of the nations. The feeling against Germany, which was, of course, based on the defeat which France had suffered at the hands of its eastern neighbor, was not particularly pronounced during this period and, unless French interests would finally have resulted in the conclusion of alliances with countries which brought it into commercial and political conflict with Germany, there seemed to be no good reason in the late nineties why France and Germany could not have found a common basis of understanding. In spite of this fact it is true that French statesmen and especially French politicians had never entirely given up the idea of revenging the defeat of 1870, even though in a great many instances the desire for revenge was secondary only, whereas (p. 165) the desire for the reconquest of lost territory was the chief driving power. However, as we have said, in 1889 French relations with the world were pleasant enough to make it possible for the republic to again extend an invitation to all civilized nations to come to Paris for another exhibition which was opened in May of that year, 1889. In the same year a bill was passed making army service universal. In 1890 representatives of the various nations again met at Paris at an international commercial conference. In 1891 the first definite signs of an increasing intimacy with some of the European countries showed themselves. In March, 1891, England and France agreed to arbitrate the Newfoundland fisheries question which had been a long standing cause of difficulties and diplomatic dissensions between the two countries. Some time later in July and August, 1891, a large French fleet paid an official visit to Kronstadt, the port of Petrograd, and was received there with the most remarkable expressions of friendship and good will. This latter event was the beginning of the Franco-Russian alliance. It was followed in October, 1893, by a visit of a Russian fleet to Toulon, which was greeted with similar enthusiasm.

In 1894 the so-called Dreyfus affair was responsible for a revival of the anti-German feeling, because Dreyfus, who was then a captain in the French army, had been accused and found guilty of selling military secrets to a foreign power which was by everybody considered to have been Germany. However, beyond intensifying the anti-German sentiment nothing resulted, and in May, 1895, France found it possible to join Germany and Russia in demanding from Japan the return of the Liao-Tung peninsula to China.

The popular sentiment in France during the South African War was strongly pro-Boer, although the official attitude was one of neutrality. In September, 1896, France arrived at an understanding with Italy concerning the former's desires for political supremacy in Tunis. The next month brought a visit from the newly crowned Czar Nicholas who was received in France with great hospitality. The visit was reciprocated in August, 1897, by President Faure and Europe made up its mind (p. 166) then that France and Russia had become allied. In the next month England, too, as Italy had done before, made arrangements to acknowledge French supremacy in Tunis.

In September, 1898, however, it looked for a short time as if England and France were to go to war with each other on account of further French advances in north Africa. In that month Major Marchand with French troops occupied Fashoda, a town located on the upper Nile in territory which England claimed to belong to its own sphere of interest. Lord, then still Sir Herbert, Kitchener, who was Governor General of the Sudan, demanded the withdrawal of the French troops which demand was refused; but a few months afterward the matter was amicably adjusted and the French withdrew from Fashoda. At that time, however, the popular French feeling certainly was not strongly pro-English; for when Major Marchand returned to France in May, 1899, he was received with the most effusive enthusiasm.

In February, 1899, President Faure died very suddenly and M. Loubet was elected as his successor. Throughout that year the Dreyfus scandal continued to occupy public opinion in France to the exclusion of almost everything else. A second trial was ordered, but, although Captain Dreyfus was again condemned to ten years' imprisonment, the president pardoned him and in the following year, 1900, the Senate passed a bill as a result of which further criminal prosecutions on account of the Dreyfus affair became impossible.

Additional legislation regulating religious orders was passed in the early part of 1901. In April of the same year, 1901, Toulon enjoyed the visit of an Italian fleet which led to considerable discussion among diplomats in regard to the apparently increasing friendship between France and Italy. In August, 1901, the French Government recalled its representative at Constantinople and handed his passports to the Turkish ambassador at Paris because Turkey refused to pay damages which had been adjudged due to some French companies. Although in November, 1901, a French fleet occupied parts of the island of Mitylene and war clouds once more seemed to be gathering, the matter was (p. 167) finally settled amicably by the prompt payment of the damages on the part of Turkey. In September, 1901, the czar repeated his visit to France, where he witnessed both naval and military maneuvers and was again received with expressions of the most enthusiastic friendship.

Another change of ministry took place in 1902 when M. Waldeck-Rousseau was succeeded by M. Combes. The new ministry caused great excitement by closing by force all religious schools that were not conforming by this time with the new Law of Associations. Another difficulty which the cabinet had to face was caused by a speech of the minister of marine during which he made remarks which were considered offensive by England and Germany. The Government, however, disavowed this speech and declared the expressions used to be of a private and not of an official nature. The enforcement of the Law of Associations continued to cause serious difficulties in the next year, 1903. Throughout the country the clergy, which of course resented the new regulations, took a more active interest in politics than ever before and thereby caused many serious dissensions between its members and the Government. A very strong demand for absolute separation of church and state began to crystallize which found its final result in May, 1904, in the passage by the chamber of a bill prohibiting all instructions in religious institutions by the end of a period of five years. The attitude of the French Government toward the Catholic Church, of course, was deeply disapproved by the pope, and when President Loubet paid a visit to the King of Italy at Rome in May, 1904, and thereby aroused the pope to an official protest, the French Government promptly withdrew its representative at the Vatican.

May, 1903, brought to Paris King Edward of England on one of his many visits to the French capital. This time, however, he appeared there in his official capacity and was received with general enthusiasm and expressions of the most sincere friendship on the part of the French nation toward the English people. Throughout 1904 the difficulties between the French Government and the church continued with increasing violence and in (p. 168) November of that year, a bill finally was introduced separating absolutely church and state.

Relations between France and Germany became considerably strained during 1905. France resented the advances which German diplomacy and German commercial institutions had succeeded in making at Constantinople and this resentment found its expression in a refusal to finance any more Turkish loans. As an official explanation of this attitude it was stated that the French Government objected to supplying funds to the Turkish Government as long as the Turkish Government continued to spend a large part of these funds for army and munition purchases from German firms. More serious than this, however, was Germany's official announcement that the empire would insist firmly on an open-door policy in Morocco. But fortunately for the peace of Europe this question at that time was settled by a series of conferences which were concluded in the fall of 1905.

In July, 1905, the French Chamber of Deputies and in September of the same year the French Senate finally adopted a bill for the separation of state and church.

In January, 1906, France again severed diplomatic relations with another power on account of commercial disputes, this time with Venezuela.

In March, 1906, King Edward paid his first visit to the new President, M. Falličres, who had been elected to succeed M. Loubet. Other expressions of the growing intimacy between the English and French nations were the visit of the lord mayor of London at Paris, a visit of representatives of French universities at London, and a special invitation extended to General French and other English officers to view the fall maneuvers of the French army. Internally the enforcement of the new Church and State Separation Law caused many difficulties and widened the break between France and the pope. A general strike of miners followed the worst mining disaster of the age, which killed over 1,200 miners at Courričres. Captain Dreyfus was finally completely vindicated. Two changes of ministry occurred. M. Rouvier was succeeded as prime minister by M. Sarrien, (p. 169) whose resignation, on account of ill health, brought M. Clemenceau to the helm.

The separation of church and state continued to hold the center of the stage in 1907. Monsignor Montagnini, auditor of the Papal Nunciature, was expelled. The Catholic bishops, though, of course, supporting the pope in his objection to the separation law, finally reached a partial understanding with the Government in regard to the continuation of public worship in Catholic churches. Labor troubles and serious riots in the principal wine districts occurred throughout May and June, but, though they were embarrassing the Government, they did not result in any changes in its composition. France exchanged notes with both Spain and England, establishing the continuation of the status quo in parts of the Mediterranean and Atlantic as far as they affected lines of communication between the contracting powers. A Franco-Japanese agreement of June, 1907, was principally commercial in nature, although it expressed the adherence of the two countries to an open-door policy in China. King Edward and Queen Alexandria again visited Paris.

President Falličres, accompanied by M. Pichon, the Foreign Minister, reciprocated with a visit to England in May, 1908, where he was most cordially received. In July, 1908, the president also paid visits to the kings of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, and to the czar. Considerable bad feeling was created between France and Germany on account of the action of the German consul at Casablanca in giving shelter to some men of German origin who had deserted from the Foreign Legion. The matter, however, was finally referred for adjustment to the Hague Tribunal.

Both King Edward and the czar were visitors in France during 1909. The French, Italian, and Spanish fleets passed in review before President Falličres at Nice in March, 1909. A general strike, though of short duration only, was indicative of the general feeling of unrest which pervaded the country. The Clemenceau Ministry fell under an assault from the ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Delcassé, and was succeeded by one headed by M. Briand. In February, 1909, a new agreement was signed (p. 170) between France and Germany, embodying the general principles of French political preponderance and German commercial equality in Morocco. This year 1910 again brought signs of the general social unrest in the form of various strikes, the most important of which was that of the employees of the Nord Railway. This threatened to assume dangerous proportions, but was suppressed by M. Briand's prompt action by issuing a mobilization order to the strikers, and thereby, having turned them into reservists, made them subject to military law.

M. Briand resigned in February, 1911, and was succeeded by M. Monis and a Radical Cabinet, which, however, included M. Delcassé as Minister of Marine. New wine riots taxed the ingenuity of the new cabinet to its utmost before order was restored. In June, 1911, M. Monis, who had been seriously injured in an aeroplane accident which killed Minister of War Berteaux, resigned on account of ill health and was followed by M. Caillaux, Minister of Finance in the Monis Cabinet. In the late fall, 1911, the German-French difficulties about Morocco were finally settled by another treaty reiterating the general principles of the 1909 treaty, but arranging also for an exchange of territory between France and Germany in the Congo, by which Germany gained some 100,000 square miles to the east and south of its Cameroons colony.

Although this adjustment was not considered as particularly advantageous to Germany in that country itself, it aroused even more criticism in France, and resulted, in January, 1912, in the downfall of the Caillaux Cabinet. The president called upon M. Poincaré to form a new cabinet. In the meantime an understanding concerning Morocco had also been reached with Spain, and a treaty between the two countries was signed. It is significant that during the conferences held at Madrid between the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and the French Ambassador, the English Ambassador was present at the invitation of both France and Spain. In March, 1912, a French protectorate was established by treaty. Hardly had this been accomplished when the natives revolted, and it was not until the fall of 1912 that (p. 171) French troops succeeded in reestablishing order. In August 1912, M. Poincaré visited Russia, and in September Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia attended the French maneuvers, both signs that the French-Russian friendship was losing nothing in strength.

January, 1913, brought once more the presidential election, from which, after two or three ballots, M. Poincaré emerged as M. Falličres's successor. He asked M. Briand to form the cabinet and appointed M. Delcassé Ambassador at Petrograd. The Briand Ministry resigned as the result of difficulties over a matter of internal policy in March, 1913, and was succeeded by one headed by M. Barthou. The new president paid an official visit to the English court in June, 1913, and to the Spanish court in October, 1913. In August, 1913, a three years' service bill was passed to counteract recent legislative measures in Germany, increasing the army's peace strength. This bill at first encountered considerable opposition, especially on the part of the Socialists.

Like all the other great European powers, France maintained a strict neutrality during the two Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913, and, of course, played an important part in the various unsuccessful attempts of the powers to prevent their outbreak, as well as in the conferences leading up to the final adjustment. In the latter the French representatives worked in conjunction with those of the republic's allies, England and Russia.

The year 1914 brought more than the usual number of ministerial changes. First the Barthou Cabinet fell as a result of financial legislation and of an attack on the part of M. Caillaux. M. Doumerge, a political associate of the latter, formed a new one with M. Caillaux in charge of the Finance Ministry. On March 16, 1914, his wife killed M. Calmette, the editor of the Paris "Figaro," in which he had attacked M. Caillaux most violently and consistently. The Minister of Finance resigned on the evening of the murder, and the rest of the cabinet followed on June 1, 1914. The new cabinet, under M. Ribot, a moderate Republican, lasted one day and was succeeded by another, headed by M. Viviani. In July, 1914, the president paid a visit to Russia, (p. 172) from where he returned barely in time to be greeted by Germany's declaration of war. At last the moment had come when it would be seen what fruit the tree of the Russian-English-French Entente was to bear.[Back to Contents]



In two respects England, or, more correctly speaking, the United Kingdom of England and Ireland, occupies a peculiar position among the great European nations. In the first place, it differs from all the other European countries in that it is an island. This fact, of course, makes a great many of its political and economic problems altogether different from those which the other countries have to face. Its defenses, both military and naval, are naturally greatly influenced by its geographical location, and so are the policies which England has followed in connection with foreign politics. Nature, having put vast oceans between it and the rest of the world, gave thereby to England the strongest possible natural defenses. On the other hand, this gift of Nature necessitated that the island's government should at all times maintain a navy, strong and efficient enough to defend it, not only from the attack of any one other nation, but from the attack of any possible combination of countries. Inhabited as it is by almost half a hundred million people, crowded into a space of only 120,000 square miles, its economic problems also are strongly influenced by its geographical location. For it stands to reason that on comparatively so small a space it is impossible to raise sufficient food for the inhabitants, and it also stands to reason that many of the raw materials which in modern times are required by civilized nations have to be secured from outside sources. This is a second reason why an immensely strong and efficient navy has been indispensable to England at all times.

(p. 173) A second peculiarity of England is found in the fact that, although England itself—by this we mean the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Ireland—is exceeded in extent by every one of the other important European nations except Italy, it possesses more numerous, more scattered, and more profitable colonies than any of the other countries. Just as it was said of the old Spanish colonial empire at the time of Charles V that the sun never set on it, this claim can now be made for the English colonies. Large parts of every one of the three continents—Africa, Asia, America—are ruled either directly or indirectly by England, and the fourth continent, Australia, it possesses entirely. This added only another reason to England's need of a navy. For unless the home country's lines of communication with its colonies in all parts of the world were kept open at all times, the latter would have lost a great deal of their value. In a way it may be claimed that English foreign politics was predicated by these three fundamental conditions: to defend the home country against all comers; to insure a plentiful supply of all raw materials and products needed by the home country at all times; to keep open communication with its colonies in every part of the world against any interference, and to protect these colonial possessions against all attacks.

Needless to say, the fact that England possessed colonies in all parts of the world made it at once the greatest, richest, most influential, and most jealous nation. For one of the chief national characteristics of the English race is its tenacity, and it is loath to let go of anything that has once come into its possession. This characteristic frequently brought it into conflict with other nations who wanted some of England's possessions. Furthermore, there were many other instances where other nations were desirous of acquiring territory or, at least, certain rights in other countries, the acquisition of which found England's disapproval and opposition, not because England possessed these lands or wished to possess them, but because English interests apparently did not make it desirable that the nation which was trying to gain these lands should succeed. If we, however, consider that a great many of England's colonial possessions were wrested at (p. 174) one time or another from other nations, and that in some other cases their acquisition by conquest or treaty ran counter against the interests of some other nations which, however, were not strong or subtle enough to prevent England from carrying out its plans, it becomes clear why England up to comparatively recent times may be said to have possessed more and more bitter enemies than any other nation.

In the consideration of the historical development of the various European nations which we have set forth so far we have seen that, whenever a nation possessed or acquired colonies, it was brought immediately into contact, sometimes friendly and more frequently unfriendly, with other nations, and this, of course, is not only equally true of England, but even more so, because its colonial interests were so much more extensive than any others. In one other important direction England exerted an immense influence on the rest of the world. From this vast colonial empire there had been flowing for generations a steady stream of unequaled riches into the coffers of England. And much of the surplus wealth accumulated in this way was invested by Englishmen in other countries, and, even though there were quite a number of countries on the government of which England possessed no direct influence, still there were very few nations who were not financially entirely, or at least partly, dependent on England. The vastness of English interests may readily be understood if we remember that out of the total inhabited surface of the earth of about 50,000,000 square miles with 1,750,000,000 inhabitants, 13,500,000 square miles with 500,000,000 inhabitants are under the rule of England.

Comparatively little of this empire was acquired by England during the last half century, but the acquisitions which were made in that period were at once greater and more desirable than similar acquisitions by other nations. With very few exceptions England's new territorial conquests during the last fifty years were made at the expense of uncivilized and unorganized nations, and there was, therefore, comparatively little direct cause for animosity. But, on the other hand, a great many of the choice morsels which England gathered in were desired (p. 175) by some other nation or nations, and England's successes, therefore, gave plenty of indirect causes for animosity, especially if it is borne in mind that English statesmen were not only at all times striving very hard to secure for their country the best of everything, but were also working equally hard to prevent, if at all possible, other nations from getting anything.

In the period of European history, to which we are restricting our attention, the first milestone of the long line of conflicts between the different nations and countries has been the war between Prussia and Austria on one hand and Denmark on the other for the possession of Schleswig-Holstein. In this matter England, previous to the outbreak of actual hostilities, expressed very strongly that anyone who would attack Denmark would have to reckon with other than Denmark; but when the English Foreign Secretary of that period, Lord John Russell, found that he could not get the active support of Napoleon III in opposing Prussia and Austria's aggressive steps, Lord Palmerston's Cabinet, of which Lord Russell was a member, found it necessary to maintain neutrality during the war, especially in view of the fact that Queen Victoria was strongly opposed to any active interference on the part of England. In spite of this attitude of the queen a marriage was arranged in 1863 between the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, and the daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark, Princess Alexandria. Although it is true that the personal relations of the ruling houses of the different European countries did not any longer possess the same importance that they formerly had, this new alliance undoubtedly had, even if not immediately, an important influence on English foreign politics. For not only was the Princess of Wales, later Queen of England, unable to forget and forgive the territorial loss which her father had suffered at the hands of Prussia, but this attitude was shared by her sister, who was to become a few years later, as wife of Alexander III of Russia, a powerful influence at the Russian court. To a certain extent, of course, the influence of the Princess of Wales did not make itself felt until she had become Queen of England, and possibly not very strongly then, and it was also somewhat counteracted by the (p. 176) fact that one of Queen Victoria's daughters was married to the Crown Prince of Prussia, who later, as Frederick III, became for a short time the German Emperor.

During the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 England maintained the strictest neutrality and showed the same attitude during the few years following, covering Napoleon III's attempts to stop the tide of Prussian ascendancy. The English Government of that period was headed by one of the most famous statesmen that England has ever produced, Benjamin Disraeli. There can be no doubt that his attitude toward affairs on the European continent was strongly influenced by Queen Victoria's own attitude, who, it may be frankly acknowledged, was strongly pro-German on account of her personal relations, which not only included a German prince as son-in-law, but also a German prince as husband. The official explanation which the prime minister gave of England's policy of noninterference at that time was that England had "outgrown the European continent because she was no longer a mere European power. England is the metropolis of a great maritime empire extending to the boundaries of the furthest oceans ... she is as ready, and as willing even, to interfere as in the old days when the necessity of her position required it. There is no power, indeed, which interferes more than England; she interferes in Asia because she is really more of an Asiatic than of a European power." This undoubtedly was not an explanation made for convenience' sake, but expressed truly and sincerely the broad view which the English Prime Minister took of England's mission, and later events showed that he adhered to this new gospel of English imperialism which was preached then for the first time. One result of French jealousy of Prussian success was Napoleon III's effort to gain some territorial compensations. In this connection he even went so far as to propose secretly to Bismarck that Prussia should allow France to invade and annex the kingdom of Belgium provided France would recognize without opposition the new North German Confederation. Bismarck refused, and, as a counterstroke, Napoleon III protested against the continuation of Luxemburg's occupation by German troops. A conference of (p. 177) the powers was finally called at London in May, 1868, and a treaty was arranged according to which the fortifications of the city of Luxemburg were dismantled and the entire duchy received a joint guarantee of continuous neutrality.

In the meantime, in 1867, Parliament had passed a bill embodying the confederation of the various British provinces in North America and creating a form of self-government under which the Dominion of Canada had existed and flourished since then. Other internal measures of grave importance occupied the attention of the English nation at that time. Certain ritualistic tendencies in the Anglican Church aroused great excitement and apprehension. Disraeli's Prime Ministership, which he had assumed in February, 1867, after Lord Derby's resignation, came to an end in December, 1868, through a victory of the Liberal party at the general election, and Gladstone formed his first ministry. Difficulties in Ireland culminated in a revival of Fenian activities and in the committing of numerous outrages. With the fate of the reform and other measures of Gladstone's government we are not concerned, for they were almost exclusively of an internal nature. Of England's neutral attitude during the Franco-Prussian War we have already heard; but it is worth mentioning that previous to the outbreak of the war England attempted, even if unsuccessfully, to mediate between France and Prussia. In spite of the official neutrality observed by England during this war, public sentiment was pro-French, and France undoubtedly received considerable legitimate commercial assistance from England. This claim is well borne out by the fact that a short time after the war, as we have already learned during the consideration of French history, the French Parliament passed a resolution expressing the thanks of the French nation to England for its expressions of friendship during the recent war. In Germany this attitude of the English public was well known and caused a considerable amount of ill feeling. It was at that time that Bismarck published Napoleon III's suggestion of 1867 in regard to the invasion and annexation of Belgium, and its publication at this particular moment had two results: it made English intervention in favor of France absolutely impossible (p. 178) and it caused the English Government to demand from both belligerents—France and Germany—their signatures to a treaty guaranteeing the neutrality of Belgium and arranging that in case either France or Prussia would violate this neutrality Great Britain would intervene in conjunction with the other for the defense of Belgium. This treaty was also extended to include Luxemburg. Another indirect result of the Franco-Prussian War, Russia's declaration in October, 1870, that it considered itself no longer bound to the terms of the treaty of Paris, 1856, in regard to the neutrality of the Black Sea, aroused vigorous English protests. For a time it seemed as if public opinion would force England to go to war against Russia, but a conference of the powers who had signed the 1856 treaty was finally called at London in December, 1870, the results of which we have already learned. In December, 1870, the difficulties between England and the United States, which had held over until then from the Civil War, were satisfactorily settled by international commissioners at Geneva. A revolution of French-Canadians broke out in 1872, but was quickly put down. Cape Colony added to its territory in 1871 by annexing, over the protests of the Orange Free State, territory known then as Griqualand West. In the same year the Gold Coast was acquired on the West Coast of Africa through a treaty with Holland, Great Britain relinquishing in exchange its claims to Dutch Indian Sumatra. Russia's increased activity in Asia caused considerable apprehension, which, however, was removed by an understanding between Russia and Great Britain, concluded in 1872, according to which Afghanistan was to be considered not within the sphere of Russian interests in Asia.

In 1874 the ties of relationship which connected Queen Victoria's family to that of the czar were strengthened by the marriage of her son, the Duke of Edinburgh, to Grand Duchess Marie of Russia. In the same year Czar Alexander II visited London. The Gladstone Ministry was succeeded by one headed by Disraeli. In 1875 the Government announced the purchase of the Suez Canal shares, then held by the Khedive of Egypt. This practically gave England control of the canal, as the khedive's (p. 179) holdings amounted to nine-twentieths of the entire issue. A great many of the other shares were in the hands of French investors. But the French Government accepted England's purchase without opposition. This move not only secured to England control of the shortest and safest route to India, but also brought it into closer contact with Egypt, one of the great colonial prizes of the world then still available.

Disraeli soon gave proof of the sincerity of his imperialistic views. In 1876, at his suggestion and as a result of his diplomacy, the queen was proclaimed Empress of India. In 1877 the Transvaal was annexed by England. In the Russo-Turkish War, which broke out that year, England maintained neutrality, but in 1878 a defensive treaty was signed between Great Britain and Turkey which gave the island of Cyprus to England. In 1879 the Zulu War broke out and kept English forces engaged through the greater part of the year. The following year, 1880, was marked chiefly by riots and bloodshed in Ireland, the resignation of Disraeli, and the return to the premiership of Gladstone, who in 1881 succeeded in passing the Irish Land Bill. The Irish difficulties lasted throughout 1882, 1883, and 1884. Throughout that year, 1884 and 1885, English troops fought rebellious natives in Egypt after having announced to Turkey that it felt that it was necessary for the protection of the Suez Canal that British troops should assume the responsibility of restoring order in Egypt.

The Gladstone Ministry was defeated in 1885 and succeeded by a Conservative Cabinet under the Marquis of Salisbury. Following the outbreak of a war in Burma in the fall of 1885, English troops entered the capital, and in 1886 Burma's annexation was announced. Internal dissensions brought about two changes of cabinets in 1886, bringing in Gladstone again, but only for four months, when Lord Salisbury returned to the premiership. Zululand was the next addition to Great Britain's possession, its annexation being announced in 1887. In the same year the fiftieth anniversary of Queen Victoria's accession to the throne was celebrated with great splendor at London, and became a means of strongly emphasizing Disraeli's imperialistic idea. It brought (p. 180) together the most noteworthy gathering of rulers of nations, and led undoubtedly to an exchange of views which, at least for a short time, had a beneficial influence on the world's peace. In 1889 the British South African Company was chartered and the foundation was laid thereby for the immense expansion of England in South Africa. In 1890 Germany and England adjusted various difficulties in regard to their respective spheres of influence in Africa by signing a treaty. This gave to England a protectorate over Zanzibar, in exchange for which it ceded the island of Helgoland to Germany. Though this adjustment was not popular in either country, and especially not in Germany, it led to a betterment of conditions between England and Germany, as it removed at least one source of continual dissension by adjusting the African question. The young German Emperor accompanied by the Empress, paid a visit to his grandmother, Queen Victoria, in 1891, and thereby emphasized the cordiality of relations existing between the two Governments. In the summer of 1892 the Salisbury Ministry resigned as the result of renewed difficulties in Ireland, and was again succeeded by a Gladstone Cabinet.

In 1893 relations between France and England became temporarily strained on account of English aggressiveness in Egypt, where France had been considerably interested previous to England's purchase of the Suez Canal. In 1894 the Gladstone Ministry resigned once more and was succeeded by one headed by Lord Rosebery. Labor difficulties were characteristic of that year, 1894, as well as the preceding one, 1893. Another acquisition was made in 1894 by the establishment of a protectorate over Uganda in East Africa. The appearance in 1895 of a British fleet in Nicaragua to enforce the payment of certain indemnities held possibilities of a conflict with the United States on account of the Monroe Doctrine, but the matter was quickly settled and the fleet withdrawn. The Rosebery Cabinet was succeeded by one headed by Lord Salisbury in July, 1895, in which month a protectorate was established over British East Africa, and in November Bechuanaland was annexed to Cape Colony. In December, 1895, the memorable raid of Dr. Jamieson on the (p. 181) Transvaal miscarried. An ultimatum presented to Venezuela caused strained relations between the United States and England, which, however, were adjusted amicably by the end of 1896. Throughout 1897 and 1898 English troops were busily occupied with the pacification of newly acquired territory in Africa, especially in Egypt and the Sudan. Toward the end of 1898 the Fashoda incident, of which we have spoken at greater length under the French history, brought England and France dangerously near to war.

We have seen now how England, without stirring up a great deal of dust, had been adding continually to her possessions, especially in Africa. This, of course, aroused gradually the attention and, to a certain extent, the jealousy of other countries. By 1899 it had become necessary to adjust some of these difficulties, and England succeeded in doing this by treaties with France and Egypt, as she had done before with Germany. Her aggressive policy in South Africa, however, met determined opposition at the hands of the Boers, who had begun to fear for their own independence which, being of Dutch extraction, they valued greater than life. Conferences between Lord Milner on behalf of England and President Krueger of the Transvaal came to naught. On October 9, 1899, the latter country presented an ultimatum which England did not answer. Then the Boer War broke out. For our purposes it is not necessary to consider its details. It suffices to state that it lasted until April, 1902. For almost three years the brave Boers fought against almost impossible odds. Again and again they defeated the English, but finally they succumbed to the British Empire's inexhaustible resources in men and money, and on May 31, 1902, they were forced to accept England's terms for surrender which cost them their independence. Indeed, as early as September 1, 1900, the South African Republic was annexed, and on October 25, Transvaal became an English colony. In its international aspect the Boer War cost England temporarily the friendship of many nations, who resented the ruthlessness with which they carried on war, and ridiculed the lack of efficiency which was so noticeable during the early stages of the war. Relations with Germany (p. 182) became especially strained as a result of the strong pro-Boer sentiment which was evident throughout the German Empire, and which found even official expression in a much-discussed telegram of the German Emperor to President Krueger.

Although the Boer War cost England much in lives, money, and prestige, its gain far overshadowed its cost. By it Great Britain won the richest gold-producing mines and the most wonderful diamond mines in the world. It consolidated its South African possessions, and, though hard pushed at times, she emerged from it richer and more powerful than ever. Even if this war occupied public attention almost to the exclusion of everything else, a few noteworthy events happened during it. In 1900 the bill providing for the federation of the Australian colonies under the name of the Commonwealth of Australia was approved by the crown, and completed the consolidation of another important part of the British Empire. In January, 1901, Queen Victoria died, after a reign of sixty-four years, and was succeeded by the Prince of Wales as Edward VII.

While the preparations for the coronation of Edward VII were in progress the king suddenly was taken seriously ill and an operation had to be made to save his life. His coronation finally took place in Westminster Abbey in August, 1902. The rulers of all the important countries of the world attended either personally or were represented by important members of their families, and it may well be said that no other event of modern times had brought together such an assembly of the great of the earth. Once more England seemed to have assumed a leading part in the affairs of the world, and the nations of it apparently were not only willing but anxious to acknowledge British power and greatness. Just previous to the coronation, in July, 1902, Lord Salisbury had resigned the premiership and had been succeeded by his nephew, A. J. Balfour. Another feature of the coronation was the enthusiastic loyalty which all the British colonies showed for the new king and the mother country. This found even more definite expression in a series of conferences which were held in November of the same year, 1902, between the prime ministers of the different colonies and the British Secretary (p. 183) of the Colonies. These resulted in resolutions expressing a desire for a closer union of the various parts of the empire and for an arrangement by which the trade with the colonies should receive preferential treatment. In December, 1902, Great Britain and Germany presented a joint ultimatum to Venezuela concerning the payment of debts, and established a joint blockade after having seized the Venezuelan fleet. The South American republic appealed to the United States, at whose suggestion the matter was referred to the Hague Tribunal of International Arbitration.

The friendship between France and Great Britain manifested indisputable signs of rapid growth in 1903 when President Loubet payed a three days' visit to England in July, and was followed later that month by a deputation of French deputies and senators. In 1903 it was also that Joseph Chamberlain, then Secretary for the Colonies, began his campaign against free trade and for a policy of a retaliatory tariff and reciprocity with the colonies. Throughout 1902, 1903, and 1904 British troops were fighting in Somaliland, where a revolution had broken out among the natives under the leadership of the "Mad Mullah." In 1904 the Franco-English entente became still more cordial, and in April of that year, 1904, an agreement was signed between the two countries regulating their relations in Newfoundland, Morocco, Egypt, West Africa, Siam, and Madagascar, and removing thereby a prolific source of misunderstandings and irritation. A military expedition was sent to Tibet, one of the few important parts of Asia which had hitherto escaped from the attention of European powers. After many difficulties and considerable fighting this force reached the Tibetan capital, Lhassa, the ancient seat of the Dalai Lama, who fled at the approach of the English. As a result a treaty was signed between Tibet and England giving preferential treatment to English trade and arranging that no other power should thereafter be permitted to have any influence in Tibetan public affairs. In the meantime war had broken out, in February, 1904, between Japan and Russia over the latter's refusal to withdraw from China. In accordance with the Anglo-Japanese treaty of 1902, Great Britain maintained neutrality throughout this war, which, however, (p. 184) was of the benevolent kind toward Japan. English public sympathy was strongly with the latter country. In October, 1904, the continuation of England's neutrality was seriously threatened. After the defeat of the Russian fleet in the Far East, the Russian Baltic fleet was ordered to go to the support of the Russian forces. During its progress through the North Sea some shots were fired at an English fishing fleet, killing two men and wounding others. War between Russia and England was averted only by the prompt disavowal of this action on the part of Russia, and an equally prompt compensation of the Englishmen affected after the incident had been submitted to an international commission of arbitration, which met in Paris. It was at this time that the new entente cordiale between France and England had its first test. For there is no doubt that France exerted considerable pressure on its Russian ally in order to hasten a prompt amicable settlement of the matter.

In 1905 considerable opposition developed against the increase in naval expenditures, occasioned chiefly by the necessity of keeping step with the accelerated pace in naval armament which Germany began to set at that time. In July, 1905, Lord Roberts made a speech in the House of Lords in which he called the attention of the country to the fact that the English army was unfit for war both in members and equipment and training. In August, 1905, the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902 was modified to conform to the new conditions that had been created by the Russo-Japanese War. The terms of this new arrangement have already been considered fully in that section of this book which is devoted to Japan's history. In April, 1906, an Anglo-Chinese conference modified the Anglo-Tibetan treaty allowing China to maintain its suzerainty over Tibet, but giving full protection to all English interests. This year, 1906, also saw the beginning of the agitation for woman suffrage, which in the following years assumed rapidly great proportions and violence. Other matters of internal importance—educational, religious, financial, and other legislation—made English internal politics during this period more virulent than at any other period in recent times, and gradually led up to the change from a Conservative to a (p. 185) Liberal Government and to a series of very radical legislative measures.

One of the chief causes of recent friction between Russia and Great Britain was removed in March, 1907, by the signing of an agreement between the two countries regulating their respective interests in Persia. A colonial conference, which met in London in April, 1907, gave new impetus to the imperialistic movement and to the closer union between the United Kingdom and the colonies. In June of that year, 1907, the great parliamentary struggle between the two Houses of Parliament began with the passage by the House of Commons of a bill reducing very materially the powers of the Upper House. As a result of their agreement, Russia and Great Britain decided in December on joint intervention in order to prevent a threatening uprising in Persia. Slight friction between Japan and Great Britain, which had been caused by strong popular demonstrations in Canada against the increased Japanese immigration, was removed by Japan's announcement of its intention to limit extensively this immigration.

In April, 1908, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman resigned the premiership and was succeeded by Mr. Asquith and a Liberal Cabinet, in which David Lloyd-George held the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer, and soon began to push the most radical financial and social measures which have ever been advanced in England. In May, 1908, Great Britain, together with France, Russia, and Italy, withdrew her troops from the island of Crete, and in October joined France and Russia in preventing the outbreak of war in the Balkans. After the Franco-German agreement in regard to Morocco had been signed in February, 1909, a conference was held between the German Chancellor, Prince von Bülow, and Sir Charles Hardinge, with the result that the German-English relations, which had been far from cordial for a number of years, were adjusted. The refusal of the House of Lords to pass Lloyd-George's budget, containing revolutionary provisions for taxation, resulted in the dissolution of Parliament by King Edward in February, 1910. The election of the new Parliament clearly showed that the country was in favor of the (p. 186) Liberal Government, which shortly after the opening of the new Parliament showed its disapproval of the rejection of its budget by the House of Lords by the introduction of a Parliament Reform Bill. The budget was passed by the Upper House in April, 1910, but not until after the Commons had passed a resolution limiting greatly the veto power of the House of Lords. King Edward VII died on May 6, 1910, after a short illness and was succeeded by his son as George V.

Just how much King Edward's personal influence was responsible for the shaping of his country's foreign politics during his reign it is hard to determine. Much has been written about this question, and more undoubtedly will be said in the years to come. The fact remains, however, that he had a strong dislike of his nephew, the German Emperor, and an almost equally strong aversion of German customs and ideals. On the other hand he had long been an admirer of French culture and life, and he was a frequent visitor in the French capital. The rapid growth of the Franco-British friendships undoubtedly was helped along by him to his best ability. Naturally he was influenced in this matter, not only by personal prejudices, but chiefly by a conviction that his country's interests were endangered by Germany's wonderful growth, and that they could be preserved and improved more by strong alliances with other great powers than by reaching an understanding with Germany herself.

The latter half of 1910 witnessed again violent parliamentary dissensions in connection with the attempted reduction of the powers of the House of Lords, resulting finally in another general election in November, 1910, which gave to the Government a majority of 126. That month also brought an announcement that English banks had signed an agreement with German and French financial institutions to join an American syndicate in advancing $50,000,000 to China, one of the few instances of a joint financial undertaking by German and British interests.

The greater part of 1911 was taken up with the settlement of the difficulties between the Commons and the Lords, resulting finally in the surrender of the latter and the adoption by them of the Commons' bill depriving the Upper House of much of its (p. 187) former power. Hardly had this troublesome question been adjusted when the question of Home Rule for Ireland caused new difficulties of the severest nature. So strong was the opposition of one part of Ireland to Home Rule, and so strong the demand of the other part for it, that the dissensions gradually reached the point where open revolution seemed to be imminent. In July, 1911, the Anglo-Japanese alliance was renewed for a period of ten years. During the Franco-German dispute about Morocco, which threatened to disrupt the peace of Europe, Great Britain's influence was thrown on the side of France, a fact which, of course, resulted in increased bitterness against Great Britain on the part of Germany. In November the king and queen left England on a trip to India in order to be crowned as Emperor and Empress of India. In common with other countries, England experienced in 1912 a great deal of social unrest, which found expression in strikes as well as in extremely radical legislation. The Irish question and the agitation for woman suffrage continued to occupy public attention in 1912. In August of that year, 1912, Great Britain joined with France and Germany in accepting Austria-Hungary's invitation to confer on the Balkan situation, which was rapidly assuming grave importance. In conjunction with these powers, as well as Italy and Russia, it maintained a strict neutrality during the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, just as it had done during the Turko-Italian War of 1911 and 1912. At England's invitation the ambassadors of the powers met in London in December, 1912, to discuss the Balkan question while the representatives of the Balkan States and Turkey conferred concerning peace.

Almost coincident with Germany's increased efforts to upbuild its navy, a change had been made in the incumbency of the admiralty. One of the younger and most active members of the Liberal party, Winston Churchill, a member of the House of Marlborough, became First Lord. He created a sensation by a speech made in the Commons in March, 1913, suggesting that Germany and Great Britain should agree to stop naval construction for a period of a year. Although this proposal received a great deal of attention, it had no tangible result, and the race (p. 188) for increased armament continued. Neither 1913 nor 1914 brought about any diminution in the difficulties regarding the Irish question, in fact rather the opposite, and the Government even went so far as to prohibit the importation of arms into Ireland. Armed resistance against Home Rule on the part of Ulster seemed to be unavoidable. Agitation in England and Ireland over Home Rule had become so violent that the murder of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne in June, 1914, did not arouse as much interest and attention in England as it would have done otherwise. Revolution in Ireland was a matter that England expected at that particular moment, rather than a general European war. Not until the British fleet, assembled at Portsmouth for maneuvers, left there on July 29, 1914, under sealed orders, was the country aroused to the possibility of a world war, which had been considered for so many years impossible by some and inevitable by others, and which was now about to break out.[Back to Contents]



In the middle of the nineteenth century the position of Italy was somewhat analogous to that of Germany. It consisted of a number of separate states, and, in spite of the fact that all of these states were inhabited by people speaking the same language and having the same ideals and customs, they seemed to be unable to combine. One of the results of this was the fact that the country adjoining on the north, Austria, was meddling continually with Italian affairs and attempting to gain a lasting influence over them. There were too many racial differences, however, between the two countries to permit an arrangement of this nature to continue for any length of time without causing serious conflicts. Statesmen in the various Italian states finally became convinced that it would be only a question of time before some foreign nation would succeed in dominating them unless (p. 189) they would be able to consolidate and show a united front to any and all outsiders.

The difficulties in the way of Italian unification were manifold. For our purposes, however, we are not interested in them or in the means by which they were overcome beyond the fact that they finally were overcome, and that as early as 1859 a large number of the different Italian states had been united with the assistance of Napoleon III under the rule of Victor Emmanuel II, originally King of Sardinia and Piedmont. In that year, however, after Austria had been driven out of Lombardy through the combined efforts of Italian and French troops, Napoleon III suddenly arrived at an understanding with Francis Joseph, and peace was concluded between France and Austria. This left in the hands of the Austrians still an important part of northern Italy known as the Quadrilateral. Rome, too, and a considerable territory surrounding it, known as the Papal State, was not included in the newly formed kingdom of Italy, the pope refusing to give up his temporal powers and Napoleon III supporting him in that refusal to the extent of maintaining French troops in Rome.

The Austro-Prussian War of 1866, as we have already shown, had important results for Italy. For previous to its breaking out Prussia had concluded a treaty with Italy, and when hostilities began between Austria and Prussia, Italy immediately attacked her old enemy. When peace was concluded between Prussia and Austria, Prussia insisted, in order to reward her southern ally, that Austria should relinquish practically all of her Italian possessions. Four years later, in 1870, the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War necessitated the withdrawal of the French troops from Rome, and immediately after that event the forces of King Victor Emmanuel appeared before Rome and occupied it to the great satisfaction of the Romans, and in spite of all the protests of the pope. The latter lost his temporal powers, although he was permitted to retain the Vatican. This completed the unification of Italy.

The completion of the unification of Italy, of course, created many difficult internal problems, chief of which was the adjustment between (p. 190) the state and the church. The latter, as represented by the pope, refused to become reconciled to the new conditions or to acknowledge the legality of the so-called Laws of the Guarantees, according to which he was given all the privileges of a sovereign, the possession of the Vatican and Lateran palaces, and a considerable annual income. None of these appeased the church, which steadfastly refused to recognize the existence of the Italian state. The difficulties created thereby can readily be understood if one considers the immense influence that the Roman Catholic Church possesses over the minds of its members, and if one further remembers that practically all Italians are devout Catholics.

For many years after the unification of Italy and the destruction of the church's temporal power, continuous and strong efforts were made by the latter's adherents to restore to the pope that of which, as they claimed, he had been deprived illegally. The only way in which the Italian Government could subdue and overcome these efforts was by legislation which would make these efforts not only futile but also dangerous to the pope's friends, and these repressive practices naturally resulted in a strong undercurrent of dissatisfaction. These conditions, as well as a great many economic problems, very difficult of solution, kept the new kingdom sufficiently occupied to keep it out of international politics for a considerable period of time. It was not long, however, before Italy was bound to be drawn into the general scramble for colonial possessions. Italy's interests in this direction were rather restricted, but within these restrictions they were very intense. Its geographical situation made it evident that any attempt on the part of any foreign power to gain or increase its influence in northern Africa would be a matter of grave concern to Italy. France had been deeply interested for many years in north Africa, and when the French Republic showed signs of strengthening and enlarging its interests, immediately after it had somewhat recuperated from its defeat by Germany in 1871, it was quite natural that Italy should look to Germany for an alliance to counteract France's colonial policy. The seizure of Tunis by France in 1881 undoubtedly was more (p. 191) responsible than any other single factor for Italy's decision to ally itself as closely as possible with Germany. Inasmuch as the latter country in the meanwhile had arrived at a very close understanding with Austria-Hungary, there were considerable difficulties in the way of an Italian-German arrangement. For not only was it difficult for Italy to forget its old struggles and quarrels with Austria, but the southern kingdom felt very keenly on the subject of the retention on the part of Austria of territory inhabited by Italians, even though this territory was comparatively small in extent. This attitude of Italy toward Austria may be called typical of one nation's attitude toward another. It shows clearly the unreasonableness of national sentiments. For even granting that Italy had a good cause for resenting Austrian rule over Italian-speaking people, the necessity of possessing this particular strip of country was much greater to Austria than it was to Italy, giving, as it did, to Austria the only seaport available, whereas Italy stood in no need whatsoever of additional opportunities of this nature. However, Italy finally reached the decision that, between the danger of having to face alone the further extension of French power in north Africa or burying the hatchet with Austria, the latter proposition was the easier and more advantageous. As a result of this decision a treaty was arranged finally between Germany, Austria, and Italy in 1883, and this new alignment of three central European powers has since been known as the Triple Alliance. We must not forget, however, that in spite of this arrangement Italy never really has been a sincere friend or well-wisher of Austria, and it is this fact which formed the basis for the final disruption of the Triple Alliance and the entrance of Italy in the war of 1914 on the side of the Triple Entente.

The arrangement with Austria and Germany enabled Italy to enter upon a colonial policy in Africa in the vicinity of the Red Sea. As has been the case of all other colonial powers, this undertaking was wrought with a great many difficulties. It forced Italy to fight wars in distant countries, expensive in money as well as in human life, and though, in spite of repeated defeats, Italy's colonial enterprises have made considerable progress, (p. 192) the losses entailed up to the present time outweigh to a considerable extent the gains.

In 1887 the Triple Alliance was renewed for the first time. In the meantime Italy had continued to make considerable progress with its colonial expansion. Another renewal of the Triple Alliance took place in 1891. In 1893 Italy passed through a period of public scandals in connection with the failure of some of the state banks, involving one of its most prominent and able statesmen, Premier Crispi. All these years the Italian Government found it more and more difficult to raise the necessary revenues to sustain its colonial policy and to provide for the increases in army and navy which the possession of colonies naturally required. Rioting took place in a great many parts of the kingdom, and had to be suppressed by force. Socialism rapidly spread, and in October, 1894, the Government finally found it necessary to suppress socialistic and similar organizations. Earlier in that year, 1894, fighting took place between the Italian forces and dervishes in Abyssinia, which ended in success for the Italian arms. But in December of 1895 the Italian army in Abyssinia suffered a severe defeat at the hands of King Menelik. The same thing happened in March of 1896, and the continued inability of the Italian army to make headway in Abyssinia finally resulted in the overthrow of the Government and the resignation of Premier Crispi, who was succeeded by Rudini. The loss of Italian prestige had been so severe, however, that Italy was forced in the fall of 1896 to conclude a treaty at Addis-Abeba with Abyssinia, by which Italy relinquished all its claims to a protectorate over the ancient African kingdom. The year 1898 was marked again with a series of riots, caused by the high price of grain, and resulting in clashes between the people and the military forces with considerable loss on both sides.

Another result was the fall of the new cabinet, which was succeeded by one formed by General Pelloux, which, however, lasted less than one year.

In July, 1900, King Humbert was assassinated during a visit to Monza by an Italian anarchist who had just returned from (p. 194) the United States. The crown prince succeeded the murdered king as Victor Emmanuel III. In 1901 a delegation of representative English Roman Catholics, headed by the Duke of Norfolk, paid a visit to the pope, and expressed the hope of the English Catholics for a restoration of the pope's temporal powers, an action which caused considerable offense in Italian Government circles.

Europe in 1793-1815, Historical Map.

In 1902 the Triple Alliance was renewed, in spite of rumors to the effect that Italy was contemplating a change in its international politics. Previous to the announcement of this renewal, it had become known that France and Italy had arrived at an understanding in regard to their north African interests, as well as concerning all questions affecting the Mediterranean. This in conjunction with an announcement made by the French Foreign Minister, M. Delcassé, to the effect that assurances had been given to France by the Italian Government that no part of its treaty with Germany and Austria was in any manner directed against France or contemplating an aggressive attitude toward the republic, made it clear that the Franco-Italian rapprochement was progressing rapidly. The same year also brought a severance of diplomatic relations between Italy and Switzerland, caused by a difference of opinion between the Swiss Government and the Italian Ambassador at Bern. However, matters were adjusted amicably later in the year. The improvement in Franco-Russian relations apparently had a similar result in regard to Italy's relations with Russia, for the King of Italy paid a visit to the czar, during which—even if only semiofficially—international politics were discussed. A little later, however, the king also visited the German court.

These exchanges of visits with the rulers of other countries continued in 1903. King Edward VII of England, as well as the German Emperor, paid visits to Rome, both calling on the pope during their stay. The King and Queen of Italy made an official visit at Paris and London. The internal difficulties were somewhat less marked. In July, 1902, Pope Leo XIII died, and was succeeded by Cardinal Sarto, Archbishop of Venice, as Pius X.

(p. 195) Again, in 1904, the German Emperor visited at Naples. President Loubet returned the king's and queen's visit to Paris in April, 1904, and thereby caused the break between France and the pope, on account of the latter's protest against the official recognition on the part of the head of a Catholic nation of the state which had deprived the head of the Catholic religion of his dominions.

Throughout 1905 Italy was occupied with internal affairs, the most important of which were the resignation on account of ill health of Prime Minister Giolitti, the formation of a new cabinet under Signor Fortis, and the purchase of the railways by the state. The Fortis ministry lasted only until February, 1906, when it was succeeded by one headed by Baron Sonnino, and in May by another under Signor Giolitti. Although Italy had supported Germany at the Algeciras conference, the support had not been all that had been expected, and considerable resentment at Italy's lukewarm attitude was expressed in the German newspapers. The Government disclaimed any change in its attitude toward the Triple Alliance, announcing, however, at the same time its intention to maintain good relations with France and Great Britain. The latter were confirmed by a visit of King Edward and Queen Alexandra in April, 1907.

Early in 1908 difficulties of a commercial nature between Turkey and Italy led to the mobilization of the Italian fleet. Turkey, however, thereupon acceded to all of Italy's demands. Foreign affairs were overshadowed entirely throughout 1909 by the frightful destruction wrought by a series of violent earthquakes which shook the Strait of Messina on December 28, 1908, killing over 50,000 people. King Edward, Emperor William, and Czar Nicholas again visited Italy at different times in 1909.

On September 29, 1911, Italy declared war against Turkey, which latter country had not answered satisfactorily an Italian ultimatum concerning Tripoli. The war, which was principally fought in Africa, lasted until October 18, 1912, when a treaty of peace was signed at Lausanne, Switzerland, arranging for the immediate occupation of Tripoli and Cyrenaica by Italy against an annual payment to Turkey. Throughout the war the other (p. 196) European powers had maintained strict neutrality. A few days before peace was concluded, October 8, 1912, Montenegro had started that war against Turkey which was destined to grow finally into the Balkan War. Italy, in common with the other European powers, maintained strict neutrality throughout the two Balkan wars, and participated in the conference of London which settled the Balkan question, at least temporarily, in May, 1913. Throughout that year (1913) Italian troops found considerable difficulty in keeping order among the natives of Cyrenaica, and in suppressing uprisings in various parts of this colony.

The outbreak of the war found Italy still a member of the Triple Alliance; but the southern kingdom stoutly maintained that the terms of the alliance did not call for its active participation. The latter, at any rate, would have been an absolute impossibility, for public opinion was too strong against Austria-Hungary to permit ever that Italian troops should fight side by side with Austrians. In a general way Italy found itself in a most unfortunate position. Moral obligations undoubtedly strongly called, at least, for its neutrality in any war in which both its allies were involved. Political considerations equally strongly demanded that Italy should avoid offending the French-English-Russian combination, which could have ruined Italy in no time by an even superficial blockade. In regard to Albania its position was equally difficult. Its own interests there conflicted both with Austrian and Serbian ambitions. The result was naturally—neutrality and diplomatic shilly-shallying.

One of the most ardent supporters of the Triple Alliance was the Marquis di San Giuliano, who had been minister of foreign affairs since 1905. His death in October, 1914, undoubtedly had a great influence on Italy's further attitude. In October, 1914, Signor Salandra's cabinet was reconstructed. At that time the prime minister was still in more or less sympathy with the Giolitti party, which were in favor of continuing the Triple Alliance, at least to the extent of maintaining neutrality. The war party, however, gained rapidly in strength, and finally brought about a reversal of the country's foreign policy by denouncing (p. 197) the Triple Alliance of almost half a century's standing. The next step, of course, was Italy's declaration of war against Austria in May, 1915.

On May 10, 1915, the German and Austrian Consuls were removed from their respective posts. Events progressed so rapidly that by May 20, 1915, the War Party under the ministership of Salandra was placed in power.[Back to Contents]



The geographical location of Belgium is at once its blessing and its curse. Its possession of a valuable seacoast, its proximity to the rich and highly developed countries of Germany, France, and England have made it, in spite of its comparatively very small extent, one of the richest countries. Its ships have carried the goods of many other nations, and its ports have been the gateway of an immense international commerce. But these very nations which in time of peace have been the source of much of Belgium's wealth, have brought many wars upon this country. Again and again it has been Europe's battle ground. Whenever France and Germany have gone to war against each other it has always been a question which one would get at the other first—through Belgium. And then through it lies the shortest road to rich and proud Albion.

A change for the better seemed to have come for the little kingdom as a result of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. At its outbreak both of the belligerents reaffirmed the treaty of London of 1831 and 1839, by which they as well as Great Britain, Austria, and Russia were bound to respect Belgium's neutrality and integrity, and to Great Britain it is that Belgium was especially indebted for this promise. For the island kingdom made it plain to both Russia and France that it could not and would not stand by idly if Belgium were invaded. After the end of the (p. 198) war had come, Russia, France, and Great Britain signed a new agreement by which they arranged to respect forever Belgium's neutrality, and if one of the signatories should break the arrangement the other two were to combine for the protection of Belgium. Although this pact has been kept officially ever since, it seems in the light of recent discoveries in Belgian archives as if Belgium itself had placed itself outside of it by arriving at a secret understanding with both England and France that both of these countries should be permitted certain privileges in case of war with Germany. How much truth there is to these claims history will undoubtedly discover and announce.

The fact remains that, secure in its guaranteed neutrality, Belgium has prospered and grown. In spite of its smallness it has become one of the great industrial and commercial countries in Europe. To a great extent this was due to the remarkable gifts possessed by one of its recent rulers, Leopold II, the uncle and predecessor of the present king, Albert I. Leopold succeeded his father, Leopold I, in 1865. The latter had been on very friendly terms with Queen Victoria, and, in a way, English friendship for Belgium dates from that period, although Leopold II was not popular at the English court. Leopold II was married to an Austrian archduchess. His sister was the wife of the unfortunate Maximilian who, as Emperor of Mexico, betrayed by Napoleon III in his hour of need, was stood up against the walls of a Mexican town and shot by his rebellious subjects. One of his daughters, Stefanie, married the unhappy Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary, who died mysteriously at a hunting lodge long before his time. But Leopold II himself was of a different mold than all his relations. He was a man of powerful intellect, shrewd business sense, and remarkable foresight. Much against his people's will he became first the promoter and then the king of an immense and wonderfully valuable African empire, the Congo Free State. This enterprise was not at all popular in Belgium. But the king had a will of his own and saw it through, much to the final advantage of his country. By a will made in 1889 he left the Congo State to Belgium, which annexed it in 1908, and which has found it not an (p. 199) unprofitable investment. The Congo question—its finances, development, and administration—is the main feature of internal politics of Belgium in modern times. Of course there were other questions—electoral reform, financial legislation, military expenditures—that offered plenty of causes for political discussions and difficulties, but they were always more or less overshadowed by the affairs of the African colony.

In foreign politics Belgium—on account of its neutrality—had no cause to mix. It stood on the same footing with each of the other nations: it expected from each and gave to each friendly consideration. It might almost be called the irony of fate that the country which kept, due to its special status, out of all international disturbances of the last seventy-five years should be drawn into the Great War deeper than almost any other country. It is quite possible that had Leopold II still been at the helm in 1914, his country's fate might have been different.

His successor was his younger brother's younger son, Albert I, a man who, though lacking, of course, his uncle's greater experience, seemed to have inherited some of his intellectual qualities. He married a Bavarian princess, a sister of the late Crown Princess of Bavaria, and a niece of the late Empress Elizabeth of Austria and the ex-Queen Mother of Portugal.

Belgium's populace consists of two widely different parts—Flemings and French. The former are closely related racially to the Dutch inhabitants of Holland, with which country Belgium formerly was united. The French portion of the populace is very much in sympathy with French ideals and ideas, and has suppressed the Flemish half as much as possible, a great deal of strife resulting. Racially and socially Belgium felt itself closely allied to France, economically its interests were much greater with Germany. If one can speak at all of Belgium's foreign politics previous to the outbreak of the war, one must say that they were influenced by sentiments rather than anything else.[Back to Contents]



The awakening of modern Japan may be said to be coincident with Commodore Perry's mission to the Far East in 1859. His was not only the first of a long series of foreign embassies, but it resulted in a treaty between Japan and the United States, and aroused the curiosity of the Japanese sufficiently to send special ambassadors of their own to the United States, and later to other countries. This interest in western affairs at first found considerable opposition at home on the part of the conservative element, opposition which even resulted in civil war. The more liberal attitude, however, carried the day. By 1879 Tokyo had been made the capital and western laws had been introduced. At the same time that Tokyo was made the capital the present form of imperial government was adopted and the new emperor promised on his oath to give to his people a constitution. This latter was proclaimed in 1889 and the diet met for the first time in 1891.

Only three years later the Chino-Japanese War began. Its cause was Chinese oppression of Korea. In one short year the ancient empire of China was thoroughly beaten by its new rival for supremacy in the Far East. As a result Japan received at the conclusion of peace in 1895 Formosa, a huge indemnity, and independence was granted to Korea. This was a wonderful achievement for the young empire, and the entire world's attention was centered on Japan. Some of the European powers interested in China began to fear for their interests and Germany, Russia, and France combined to restrain Japan and moderate its terms to China. This aroused considerable ill feeling in Japan against the three powers whose influences were said to have deprived Japan of some of the fruits of its dearly bought victory. Especially was this feeling directed against Russia whose interests in China clashed directly with those of Japan. However, in 1898, these two countries concluded a treaty in (p. 201) which they both acknowledged Korea's independence and promised to respect it.

As soon as commercial interests of the various foreign countries had grown, Japan had to suffer the installment of consular courts of the more important European nations. This soon was felt by the Japanese as an intrusion on their sovereignty. In 1899 treaties which had been arranged during the preceding years between Japan and these countries abolishing the consular courts went into effect. Greater and greater became Japan's influence in the Far East. The superiority of its armies over the Chinese forces during the short war of 1894-1895, the apparently wonderful adaptability of the Japanese, their equally wonderfully rapid progress along commercial and scientific lines soon made Japan a desirable ally.

As many times before in history Great Britain's statesmen showed greater foresight than those of other countries. In 1902 they arranged an alliance between their country and Japan which more than offset the Franco-Russo-German bloc of 1895. It was signed at London in August, 1905, by Lord Lansdowne and Count Hayastu and provided for: (a) The consolidation and maintenance of the general peace in the regions of eastern Asia and of India; (b) The preservation of the common interests of all powers in China by insuring the independence and integrity of the Chinese Empire and the principle of equal opportunities for the commerce and industry of all nations in China; (c) The maintenance of the territorial rights of the high contracting parties in the regions of eastern Asia and of India, and the defense of their special interests in the said regions. If the rights and interests referred to above are in jeopardy, the two governments will communicate with one another fully and frankly as to the measures which should be taken to safeguard those menaced rights or interests, and will act in common in case of unprovoked attack or aggressive action, wherever arising, or the attack or aggressive action, whenever arising, on the part of any other power or powers.

This agreement was modified in 1911 to fit the changed conditions in China and a new article was added which provided (p. 202) that "should either high contracting party conclude a treaty of general arbitration with a third power, it is agreed that nothing in this agreement shall entail upon such contracting party an obligation to go to war with the power with whom such treaty of arbitration is in force." At the same time it was arranged that the alliance should remain in force for ten years and "unless denounced twelve months before the expiration of the said ten years, it will remain binding until the expiration of one year from the day on which either of the high contracting parties shall have denounced it. But if, when the date fixed for its expiration arrives, either ally is actually engaged in war, the alliance shall, ipso facto, continue until peace is concluded."

In the meantime, however, difficulties had arisen between Russia and Japan, over the former country's refusal to evacuate certain parts of Manchuria, occupied as a result of the Boxer uprising in the suppression of which Japanese troops had participated successfully with those of the other great nations. Japan sent an ultimatum to Russia which did not receive prompt enough attention and war was declared in 1904. For the second time the world's attention was centered on Japan, and to the amazement of the western world the eastern empire defeated the Russian Colossus most severely and consistently both on land and on sea. The financial burden of the war, however, was a severe strain on the limited resources of the young world power and it was forced to accept mediation proffered by the United States at a time when not all its objects had been accomplished. Peace was concluded at Portsmouth in the United States. Japan was very moderate in the consideration of the terms as we have already seen during the review of the history of Russia.

In 1907 both France and Russia signed agreements with Japan in regard to the independence and integrity of China and acknowledging the "open door" policy in commercial matters for all nations alike.

In 1910 Korea was annexed, much against the desire of the natives who made Japan's task a difficult one by means of many uprisings and conspiracies. Internal affairs during the last ten (p. 203) years also have given cause for anxiety. The two great wars in rapid succession have put a heavy financial burden on the shoulders of the great masses and socialistic tendencies have found a fertile soil in Japan. Labor disturbances have sometimes assumed serious proportions and so have demonstrations against other nations who had aroused the animosity of the Japanese people by some acts. In general, however, the progress of the country continues.

Japan's attitude in the Great European War was, of course, influenced chiefly by its alliance with Great Britain. Its general attitude toward Germany had always been a friendly one. For as Germany has played the successful schoolmaster along military and scientific lines for many nations, it has also done for Japan. The efficiency of the Japanese army is due chiefly to what Japanese officers have learned in German regiments and military schools.[Back to Contents]



Now that we have reviewed the historical development of all the belligerents, it becomes necessary to pay some attention to the few European states which so far have not yet actually become involved. For our purposes it will not be necessary to go into any great detail concerning the political history of these noncombatant nations. We are only interested in those features of their political development which have some bearing on the reasons for their present neutrality and on their attitude toward the various nations at war. In our consideration of the neutral states there will not be included either Greece or Rumania, because they will be covered together with the other Balkan nations in a separate section of this work.

Up to the beginning of 1916 there were two countries in southern Europe which had managed to remain in a condition (p. 204) of neutrality, Spain and Portugal. In the month of March the latter country, however, precipitated a declaration of war on the part of the Central European Powers and their allies by seizing the mercantile steamers of these various countries which at the outbreak of the war had sought refuge in Portuguese ports and had been interned there. Before we determine why Portugal took this step which was sure to provoke a declaration of war, it will be necessary to consider shortly the history of this country in modern times. It is many centuries since Portugal has lost its former importance as a European nation which was based primarily on its extensive colonial possessions. Its last really valuable and important colony, however, Brazil, was not lost until the early part of the nineteenth century, and even now Portugal possesses colonies in Asia and Africa which are twenty times as large in extent as its European territory. Its African possessions are adjoining chiefly British colonies and this close proximity to parts of the British Empire has resulted at times in some difficulties between the two countries, the most recent and important of which occurred in 1890 and in 1894. In spite of these slight disagreements, however, Portugal made an arrangement, quite some time ago, according to which it was under certain conditions to furnish limited subsidiary forces to England, in exchange for which England promised to assume the friendly rôle of a protector in times of need. It is undoubtedly this arrangement with England which finally resulted in the aggressive action on the part of Portugal of which we have just heard. Up to 1910 Portugal was a kingdom. In that year, however, a revolution broke out chiefly on account of oppressive financial measures which the Government had been in the habit of passing and the reigning King, Manuel, was forced to flee the country. Shortly afterward his former subjects exiled him and decided for a republican form of government which in spite of various slight monarchial revolutions has been maintained since. The 1910 revolution was preceded by two years by the murder of King Manuel's father, Carlos I, and his older brother, Luis. After King Manuel had been exiled, England assumed toward (p. 205) Portugal a part very similar to that which England had assumed toward France after the fall of the second empire. It offered a haven of refuge for the exiled king and his relatives, but at the same time acknowledged the establishment of the Portuguese Republic and showed in various ways that it was in sympathy with the liberal movement in Portugal.

Immediately adjoining Portugal on the east is Spain, which is separated from France on the north by the Pyrenees. Just as Portugal, Spain had been in times past one of the great colonial powers of the world, greater even than its neighbor. In fact, at one time in the world's history Spain occupied very much the same position that England occupies to-day. But this splendor belongs to the past and gradually Spain has lost practically all of its colonies with the single exception of the few comparatively small settlements and islands in Western Africa which, however, still total 82,000 square miles. Its last really important and valuable colonies in the West Indies (Cuba, Porto Rico), and the Philippine Islands in the Far East were lost as a result of the Spanish-American War of 1898. Some other islands in the Pacific Ocean were sold in the year following, 1899, to Germany. In more recent times, however, Spain has shown again more aggressiveness in connection with the acquisition of colonial possessions which chiefly centered in that part of north Africa which is immediately opposite the south coast of Spain. Its activities in that territory were not appreciated by the natives who at various times with more or less success revolted against the foreign rule and finally brought about the Moorish War of 1909, which was terminated by Spain only after the Spanish troops had experienced a number of defeats and after a considerable expenditure of money and life.

Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia.

During the second half of the nineteenth century Spain went through a comparatively large number of revolutions, dynastic changes and other internal difficulties. In 1886 Queen Isabella, a member of the Bourbon family, was driven out of the country by a revolution of her subjects. The latter, however, decided in favor of a continuation of the monarchial form of government (p. 206) and thereupon set out to find some European prince who would be willing to assume the burden of the Spanish crown. We have already heard that this quest was one of the principal direct causes of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, because Napoleon III attempted to force a promise from King William of Prussia to the effect that the latter would not permit his relative, the Prince of Hohenzollern, to accept the crown of Spain which had been offered to him. In 1870, however, the Spanish people succeeded in inducing Amadeus of Italy, a relative of the ruler of the newly formed Italian kingdom, to become King of Spain. Only two years later, in 1872, the so-called Carlist War broke out which had its basis in the attempt of Don Carlos, also a member of the Bourbon family, to secure the crown of Spain to which he claimed to have prior rights to those of Queen Isabella's branch of the family. This war, which really was a civil war, was accompanied by a great deal of bloodshed and cruelty and finally brought about the abdication of King Amadeus. For a short time after that Spain became a republic, but in 1874 the people decided that their interests would be better served by a monarchy and they made the son of Queen Isabella, Alfonso XII, their King. The latter was married twice, first to Princess Mercedes and after her death to Archduchess Marie Christine of Austria. Of the former marriage the issue was one girl, Mercedes, who at the death of Alfonso XII in 1885 became Queen of Spain with her stepmother as regent. In 1886, however, a posthumous male heir was born who immediately upon his birth became legally King of Spain as Alfonso XIII. Of course Queen Christine's regency continued until Alfonso XIII became of age. During her regency Queen Marie Christine faced an arduous task in her attempt to maintain for her minor son the throne of his father, but in spite of the many difficulties that she had to face she succeeded. These difficulties were chiefly internal and of an economic nature, although those in connection with Spain's West Indian possessions were almost as vexing. For many years of this period Spain was more or less in a state of anarchy, and labor disturbances throughout the country took on a most violent form. In recent years, however, conditions (p. 207) have improved considerably and to-day the future of Spain is more promising than it has been for many decades.

In foreign politics Spain did not play a very important part, especially not since the loss of most of its colonies. It participated in a number of the more important international conferences held during the last thirty-five or forty years and, generally speaking, managed to maintain friendly relations with most of the other nations. During the long regency of Queen Marie Christine her personal influence, of course, was bound to be felt to a considerable extent and to that extent Spain may be said to have been more inclined toward the Central European Powers and especially toward Austria than toward any other countries. This is due to the fact that the Queen Regent was a member of the Hapsburg family and that one of her late husband's sisters is married to a prince of the reigning house of Bavaria. On the other hand the Spanish people are, of course, in customs and language, more closely related to the French and Italian people and this racial relationship is found expressed in a more or less strong sympathy for France. In 1906 King Alfonso XIII married Princess Victoria of Battenberg, daughter of one of the daughters of Queen Victoria of England and of a German prince, but thoroughly English in her bringing up and sympathies. This alliance of course brought Spain into closer contact with England. Considering these various conditions it is clear that Spain has about as many sentimental reasons for supporting the Allies as it has for supporting the Central Powers, and this balanced its sentiments so well that its neutrality has been really fair and sincere. The entrance of Portugal into the war, however, may have an important bearing on Spain's future attitude.[Back to Contents]

(p. 208) CHAPTER X


The reasons for the neutrality which the three Scandinavian kingdoms have maintained in the Great European War are chiefly economic and geographical. Neither one alone nor all three combined are strong enough in men or money to take sides with either the Allies or the Central European Powers. Furthermore through their continued neutrality they have been able to reap a rich harvest by means of an immensely extended trade with practically all of the belligerents, especially, however, with England, Germany, and Russia. These conditions of course influence chiefly the official attitude of these countries, but have less influence on popular opinion which is more or less subject to sentimental influences. In that direction both Denmark and Norway lean toward the Allies, while Sweden leans toward the Central European Powers. Denmark has never forgotten or forgiven the mutilation which it suffered at the hands of Prussia and Austria in 1864, and which resulted in the loss of Schleswig-Holstein, a comparatively large slice of Denmark. This resentment toward Germany has been intensified since then by the severe measures which from time to time have been taken against the inhabitants of northern Schleswig, who have adhered consistently to their Danish language and customs. Its ruling family also is closely related to the rulers of England and Russia.

The latter may also be said of the ruling family of Norway, but in the case of Norway matters have been somewhat complicated by its peculiar relation to Sweden. Up to 1905 these two countries were known as the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway and were governed on the basis of a very close union. In that year, however, the union was dissolved after the Norwegians had shown for many years previous their dislike of existing conditions. After the dissolution they chose as their (p. 209) king a Prince of Denmark who is married to a sister of King George of England; this as well as the very fact that Sweden is leaning toward Germany is chiefly responsible for Norway's sentimental preference for the cause of the Allies.

Sweden's tendency to support the Central European Powers is based primarily on its fear of and hatred for Russia. The former sentiment is due to Russia's well-known desire for a port which is ice-free all year around and which it could, of course, acquire by the conquest of Sweden. The latter sentiment, which has always been strong in Sweden, has its origin in Russia's conquest of the former Swedish province of Finland and in the oppressive and most cruel treatment which Russia has given to the populace of this unfortunate country which consistently have tried to adhere to their Swedish habits and civilization. The fact that the present Queen of Sweden is a German princess, closely related to the imperial family as well as to some of the other German reigning families, and that this Queen of Sweden is very popular in her adopted country, undoubtedly also had some bearing on Sweden's attitude toward the various countries at war.

Like Portugal and Spain, Holland of to-day is only a mere shadow of its past glory. Most of its colonial possessions have passed out of its hands. Those, however, that still remain are chiefly in the Far East and are very valuable, especially Java. The possession of these colonies by as small a country as Holland, of course, raised many difficult problems of a financial and political nature. As a result, Holland's participation in international politics was naturally very restricted, and the general policy of the country was to maintain the strictest neutrality and to keep up friendly relations with the rest of the world. Its neutrality in the present war is based on the same reasons. Furthermore, public sentiment is rather anti-English, partly as a result of the resentment of English aggression during the Napoleonic wars, which almost ended in the loss to Holland of its colonies, and partly as a result of the intense sympathy felt for the Boers, who are of Dutch descent, during the South African War. At the same time they have no particularly strong liking (p. 210) for Germany, suspecting it of having designs on their absolute independence, which the Dutch guard most jealously.

The history of Holland during the last fifty years is, therefore, concerned chiefly with internal affairs, and covers few events of international importance. Its chief claim to international fame rests on its selection by the other civilized nations as the center of the international peace conferences and the seat of the International Court of Arbitration. On May 18, 1899, the First Peace Conference assembled at The Hague at the invitation of Czar Nicholas II of Russia. In it there participated, besides twenty-one European states, the United States, Mexico, China, Japan, Persia, and Siam. During sessions lasting over ten weeks international questions of the greatest importance, chiefly relating to the conduct of war, were discussed. As a result the convention adopted certain resolutions and declarations which modified warfare on land and sea, and regulated it by means of certain rules which were to be observed by all signatories. It also created a permanent court of arbitration, consisting of eminent jurists from all the countries represented, before which international disputes were to be brought for pacific settlement. At the suggestion of the United States (1904) the czar invited the countries to a second peace conference, which met on June 15, 1907. Besides the former signatories, all the South American States were represented. Its results were similar to those of the first conference, and as the years passed by the various countries concluded among each other a total of over 150 arbitration treaties.

In spite of being the center of the modern peace movement, Holland found it necessary for its own protection to keep up with the general increase in armament which was carried on in Europe. In 1913 the Coast Defense Bill provided for the fortification of Flushing and for the expenditure of a comparatively large sum, and created considerable discussion and some ill feeling, especially in England.

The Duchy of Luxemburg is ruled by the same dynasty that now occupies the throne of Holland, the House of Orange-Nassau. Until 1866 it was a member of the North German Federation, but (p. 211) in 1867 a conference of the powers, held at London, declared it to be neutral territory, and ordered the demolition of its fortifications. At that time the succession in both Holland and Luxemburg descended in the direct male line only. William III was King of Holland and Grand Duke of Luxemburg. In 1879 the king's only brother and his oldest son, and in 1881 the king's second son died. This left that branch of the house without male heirs. In 1879 William III had married a second time, and had chosen Emma, Princess of Waldeck-Pyrmont, one of the smallest German states. In 1880 a daughter, the present Queen Wilhelmina, was born. As the king was aging rapidly and was not likely to have any further issue, it became necessary to change the law of succession, in order to prevent Holland's throne from coming into the hands of the next male member of the House of Orange-Nassau, the Duke of Nassau, who was practically a German prince, and, therefore, not acceptable to Holland's people. In 1884 it was arranged that in case of lack of male issue the succession in Holland should descend to direct female heirs. When, therefore, William III died in 1890 his minor daughter became queen under the regency of Queen Emma. Luxemburg, however, descended to the Duke of Nassau, who, upon his death was succeeded by his son, and upon the latter's death by his granddaughter, the present Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide. Queen Wilhelmina, the idol of her people, assumed the reins of government upon reaching her majority in 1898 after her mother's skillful regency of eight years. In 1901 she married a German prince, Henry, Duke of Mecklenburg. This marriage was blessed with one daughter, Princess Juliana, who is heir apparent to the throne of Holland. Otherwise, though, it did not prove very happy, and, therefore, did certainly not increase Dutch friendship for Germany.[Back to Contents]

(p. 212) CHAPTER XI


From the preceding narration of the political histories of Europe's nations during the last half century there stand out very clearly two facts. All the bigger countries and even one or two of the smaller ones displayed a strong desire for expansion and the gratification of this desire resulted in a crude form of international cooperation between various groups of nations, crude because each separate nation at all times was guided primarily by its own interests and demanded cooperation on the part of some other nation or nations much more readily than it was willing to grant cooperation to its ally or allies.

The motive of this desire for expansion, it is true, was in all cases chiefly an economic need. But the very fact that the various efforts at expansion, at least in their early stages, found almost always popular approval, shows that there usually was a secondary motive, a desire for aggrandizement. For it is very rare, indeed, that public opinion possesses sufficient foresight to either appreciate or be guided by economic necessities, while undertakings which can be made to appeal to the sentiments of jealousy, of nationalism, and of rivalry, readily find public support. The second of these—nationalism—especially was reawakened and in many an instance grew into chauvinism, endangering frequently the peace of the world. This, in a way, was very remarkable; for hand in hand with the increase of nationalism went an increase of internationalism to a degree that never before had been achieved in the history of the world. Indeed, for a considerable period it looked as if the world nations were rapidly approaching that happy state when war would be unnecessary because a peaceful method of adjusting international difficulties had been found and had been universally adopted. Whether the Great War of 1914 has destroyed all that was accomplished in the years preceding to make peace lasting, or whether it was (p. 213) only one of the obstacles in the path of this revolutionary undertaking, remains to be seen.

The international cooperation of which we have just spoken was, of course, nothing new. For treaties have been signed and alliances have been concluded between nations ever since they have been developed far enough to be capable of definite, deliberate political efforts. But never before have treaties and alliances been so plentiful or gone so far, and only rarely have they resulted in such a definite alignment of the European nations into two groups. The inception of this policy the world owes to the great modern German statesman, Bismarck. It was through his efforts that the Triple Alliance was created soon after the Franco-Prussian War and after the foundation of the new German Empire which chose as its companions Austria-Hungary and Italy. That Bismarck built well then is clearly shown by the wonderful progress that Germany especially has been able to make since the Triple Alliance was founded and insured European peace for a long period of years. But that either he did not build well enough for all exigencies or else that his successors were not as capable as he, is shown equally clearly by the fact that at the most crucial moment in Germany's modern history one member of the Triple Alliance, Italy, deserted. The second group of European nations, in a way, was the logical result of the first, for the latter, as it were, left high and dry on the sea of international cooperation the three powerful countries of England, France, and Russia. At the time of the formation of the Triple Alliance France, of course, was disabled through its defeat by Germany to such an extent that alliances were, at least temporarily, out of the question. Its wonderfully quick recovery soon changed that, however, and resulted in very definite efforts on the part of French statesmen to form a defensive alliance which would insure France from any aggressiveness on the part of the Triple Alliance. This finally brought about the Franco-Russian Alliance. That Russia was available then was due to the fact that Germany's old intimacy with its eastern neighbor had received a serious setback when it chose Austria as its ally. For, though Austria and Russia had once been friends and for (p. 214) a short time even allies, conditions had changed and in modern times the interests of the two countries had become so conflicting that an alliance was entirely out of the question.

After France and Russia had gotten together it was not long before England found it necessary to choose between these two international groups. That in spite of its close racial relation to the Germanic countries it preferred the Gallo-Slavic combination, was due to a number of reasons. In the first place it was found easier to adjust whatever conflicts there were between England on the one side and France and Russia on the other than those in existence between England and Germany. In the second place English modern culture was clearly more interested in and more influenced by French than by German achievements. And last, but not least, an alliance between Germany and England became impossible, because in such an alliance neither country would have gracefully yielded the leadership to the other, whereas in an Anglo-Franco-Russian concert all England had to do was to signify its willingness to join and the leadership was England's without question or contest. It was England, then, which gave up its international isolation later than any of the others. But it did not lose thereby; for just as its Franco-Russian alliance assured to it cooperation against the Triple Alliance, if such cooperation was needed, it secured to itself protection for its immense Far Eastern interests by an alliance with the new world power of the Far East, Japan.

The outbreak of the war of 1914, then, saw these two great groups of nations: The Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, and the Quadruple Entente of England, France, Russia and Japan. To foretell the result of the gigantic struggle in international relations is obviously impossible. Its end may bring a revival of internationalism on a greater scale than ever before, it may result in a new and severe separatism, it may cause a rearrangement of the present alliances or it may simply mean a return to the status quo of August, 1914.[Back to Contents]




While it is of course impossible to assign the causes of the Great War to any one circumstance, there can be no doubt that at least one of the chief causes may be found in that snarl of diplomatic intrigues, whose setting has been the Balkans peninsula. There is not a close student of European history and politics who has not predicted the "Great European War." Indeed, it required no special powers of prophecy to foresee that this constantly smoldering, and sometimes blazing corner of Europe, would one day burst into a sweeping conflagration. The chief cause of this constant turmoil and conflict in the Balkans lay in its geographical relation to the expansion plan of Austria and Germany and all the other European states, the Balkans being the gate and roadway to the Orient. The first essential to an understanding of the situation is a general knowledge of the races and nations that inhabit this portion of the European Continent.

As the reader of ancient history knows, it was within this territory that the Macedon of Philip and Alexander was situated, their capital being not far from the present city of Saloniki. Then came the great eastern Roman Empire, which later developed into the Byzantine Empire, whose inhabitants were the degenerated descendants of the ancient Greeks. Western Rome was constantly threatened by the northern barbarian tribes, so the Greek emperors of Byzantium were in perpetual conflict with barbarian hordes that pressed down on them from the north, more than once driving them within the walls of their capital, the present Constantinople.

(p. 216) These northern barbarians were wild Slavic tribes which had come out of the steppes of Russia and swept down the Balkan peninsula, penetrating as far as Mt. Olympus itself. After them came a tribe of Asiatic origin, the Volgars, so called because they had for a period inhabited the banks of the Volga, and they first conquered and then mixed with the Slavs who lived in that section which is now Bulgaria.

And finally came the Moslem Turks, who first conquered Asia Minor from the degenerated Greeks, then took Constantinople from them in 1453. After that the Turks swept up the entire Balkan peninsula, conquering all except that little mountainous corner up against the Adriatic, which is now Montenegro, and subjugating all the peoples, Greeks and Slavs alike. Nor did the Turkish conquest stop here; it swept onward, up into Europe, and was not definitely checked until it had advanced as far as Vienna itself. Then the tide turned, and little by little the Turks were driven back, until now they are on the very verge of being forced across the Bosphorus. And as the Turkish flood ebbed, the Balkan peoples gradually emerged, one after another springing up into independent nationalities.

Now the two great forces that had been driving back the Turks during the centuries were the Austrians and the Russians. And though these two great Christian powers fought against the same enemy, there gradually arose between them a bitter jealousy. Each was determined that the Turk should be driven out of Europe, but each realized that their two paths after the retreating Turk must soon converge in the Balkan peninsula. Neither cared anything for the Christian peoples who had been and were being oppressed by the Turks; that they were freed from this oppression was merely incidental, though it was the pretext for much of the warfare during this long period. But each of these two great powers coveted the Balkan peninsula. To Austria Saloniki would be an excellent seaport opening out on the Mediterranean, for the Adriatic was dominated by Italy. Russia, on her part, had her eyes on the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, which would offer her an opening into the Mediterranean, to which she had no access at all. Added to that, the (p. 218) people of the Balkans were Slavs, blood kindred of the Russians, and could speedily be made into loyal subjects of the czar. Such was the situation which gradually evolved; which became more and more acute as the Turks retreated into the Balkan peninsula proper, across the Danube. And the first of the two grim powers to lead the pursuit down into the peninsula was Russia in 1877, when she hurled her armies over the Danube to "liberate" the Bulgars. From then on the Balkan problem demanded the most serious attention of European diplomats.

Balkan States Before the First Balkan War.

But the Balkan peoples that emerged, as the Turkish flood receded, were very different from those that had been engulfed four centuries previously. The Greeks had accepted the conquest, they bent rather than broke. Therefore the Turks had granted them special privileges. Their church and its clergy were spared and even given full spiritual authority over the other Christian peoples. But the Slavs fought stubbornly, not giving way until all their leaders were slain, and what culture they possessed was thoroughly wiped out. The Bulgars suffered especially, because they dwelt in the less mountainous regions of the peninsula. The Serbians could, occasionally, take refuge in the mountains of Montenegro, where their traditions and national spirit smoldered through the darker periods.

Just how many there were of these various peoples in the Balkans when Russia invaded the peninsula nearly forty years ago can only be left to surmise. In no country in the world has the question of population caused so much bitter dispute as in the Balkans. Because of racial and national jealousies, census figures have been deliberately padded and falsified by church and state alike. This is especially true of that part of the peninsula (Thrace and Macedonia) which was still under Turkish rule when the First Balkan War broke out in 1912. Only in what were then Serbia, Greece, and Bulgaria proper were genuine census enumerations made.

Bulgaria claims to have had a population in 1910 of about 4,337,000, this being increased by half a million after the two wars. Serbia reported 2,900,000 in 1910, the new territory increasing this by more than 1,500,000. In Greece the population (p. 219) was 2,730,000 before the wars and then became 4,400,000. Little Montenegro contributed another 800,000 Serbs. In Albania the population has been estimated roughly at 800,000. Add all these figures together, and the result is the total population of the Balkan peninsula proper, less that which covers what was still Turkish territory when the present war broke out.

It is in the proportionate numbers of the various races and nationalities, however, that the greatest confusion and uncertainty exists. Nowhere in the world is there such an intermingling of various and differing peoples. Here official figures are especially misleading, and should be considered only within the boundaries of Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece as they were before the Balkan wars. For the peninsula as a whole the testimony or the reports of impartial foreigners who have traveled through the country is likely to be far more trustworthy.

The consensus of opinion would indicate that along the seacoast the Greeks predominate, and that they are also numerous in the large towns and cities. In the interior they are not found much north of Saloniki, and even in that city the majority of the population is Jewish. As traders, as the business elements in the cities, however, they are found even up in Varna and Bourgas in Bulgaria.

In the interior there can be no doubt that the Slavs are in the vast majority over all the other peoples. The names of the smallest villages, as indicated on Austrian maps, the most trustworthy that have been made, are obviously Slavic. Down through Thrace, almost to Constantinople, over to a few miles outside Saloniki, sweeping over almost into the mountains of Albania, up to Montenegro, the people are Slavic.

The Slavs, again, are subdivided into two families: Serbs and Bulgars. And here it is more difficult to distinguish the dividing line, for although there is a marked difference between the characteristics of the two peoples, both physical and temperamental, so nearly alike are their languages that speech forms no sure guide to distinguishing, especially in Macedonia, where dialects vary with a day's travel. The trend of popular feeling seems the only guide.

(p. 220) The main population west of the Struma and nearly up to Saloniki are Serb, descendants of the Serbs, who were the inhabitants of the old Serb Kingdom and Empire in that region. In Thrace and east of the Struma the people are Bulgars.

Next to the Slavs in importance come the Turks, but these are nowhere found in a solid mass; they are scattered all over the peninsula, and even up into Bosnia and Herzegovina in Austria. Nowhere are they more numerous than in northern Bulgaria, along the banks of the Danube, and in the seaport cities on the Black Sea—Varna and Bourgas. The Bulgarian census figures give their number as about half a million in Bulgaria proper—about a seventh of the total population. Bulgaria, though she suffered most from the oppression and fanatical outbursts of the Turks in the old days, has always been the most tolerant. Because of this there was comparatively little emigration of the Turkish population after freedom gave the Christian majority control. Serbia reports only about 14,000 in her territory, but this is probably an underestimate. Down in Macedonia and southern Thrace the Turkish element is naturally very strong, increasing in mass toward Constantinople.

Of the minor race divisions the Albanians deserve first mention, not only because of their number, but because of their being more concentrated within a certain territory, which gives them some political significance. Though they have certain fine primitive qualities, they are not much higher in the scale of intelligence and civilization than were our North American Indians in the early days of our history. It is supposed that they are the direct descendants of the ancient Illyrians; if this be so, they have certainly not developed at all in the past two thousand years. The majority have long since accepted the Mohammedan faith of the Turks, but they differ markedly from the Turks in that they are rough in their manners, less fanatical in matters of religion, though violently prejudiced against all their Christian neighbors. Steady work of any kind is their horror. As a fighting force they can give much trouble, but they are not yet sufficiently developed to form a nation.

(p. 221) Next to the Albanians come the Jews. These differ very much from the Jews known to us in our American cities. They are the direct descendants of the Jews who were driven out of Spain by Torquemada during the Spanish Inquisition, and found refuge under the protection of the sultan. They still speak a curious old obsolete Spanish that can be understood by a Mexican or a Spaniard quite easily. The special privileges and the life of comparative ease which they enjoyed under Ottoman rule seems to have weakened them, for among them are not found the men of marked ability in the fields of art, science, and philosophy that may be found among the German or the Russian Jews. In Bulgaria, where the Government has given them equal rights with its Christian citizens, they number about 40,000, nearly all of them being engaged in small commercial pursuits. Farther south they increase in number. In Saloniki, now a Greek city, they form a huge majority of the total population—about 100,000 out of a mixed population of 175,000.

The Wallachs or Vlachs are another considerable portion of the Balkan population, especially in the mountain regions. They are generally considered as Rumanians, and have enjoyed the special protection of the Rumanian diplomatic agents in Turkey, but they differ somewhat from the Rumanians in Rumania proper. A gentle, peaceful people, most of them are engaged in pastoral pursuits, tending their flocks up in the mountains in the summer and coming down into the lowlands in the winter. In some places they have settled down to a civic life, as in Bersa, a town not far out of Saloniki along the Monastir railroad, where the majority of the population is Wallachian. It is said that their dialect is the nearest approach to a survival of the ancient Latin of any spoken tongue, from which it is deduced that they are the descendants of the Roman colonists that were sent by Rome into this country when it was under her rule.

Another scattered element are the Gypsies; they are especially numerous in Bulgaria and Serbia. These people are the lowest in their standard of living and culture of all the Balkan races. All of them speak Turkish, but their natural tongue differs from any other Balkan dialect. Among themselves they are known (p. 222) as "Copts," which would rather indicate a comparatively recent Egyptian origin. However, as they are absolutely of no significance, either politically or in any other sense, they need not be considered further.

Rumania, though not properly a Balkan State, has played some part in Balkan politics. The Danube forms not only a political, but a natural boundary, between Bulgaria and Rumania. Along either of their respective banks the population is solidly Bulgarian or Rumanian; there has been comparatively little mixing. Though Rumania boasts of a distinct cultured class, and her larger cities, especially Bucharest, present all the physical appearances of a higher order of civilization, on account of the longer period of independence enjoyed from the Turk, it is doubtful if the Rumanian people as a whole possess the hardy qualities of the Serbians and Bulgars. At any rate the level of education among the peasantry is much lower. In race the Rumanians are of Latin blood with some admixture of Slavic. As has been stated elsewhere, they extend as a people up into Transylvania and Bukowina in Austria, and into the Russian province of Bessarabia.

As will now be seen, the Slavs, including both Bulgars and Serbs, form the predominating element in the Balkans. Yet, in spite of the similarity between their speech, they differ strongly in temperament, as has already been stated. Possibly it is because of the mixture of Asiatic blood in the Bulgars. The Bulgar, slow, heavy, inclined to be morose and suspicious of all strangers, does not give so pleasant a first impression. The Serb is light-hearted, inclined to be frivolous, and is much more adaptable. Give the Bulgar a patch of ground and he will immediately plant vegetables; the Serb will devote at least some of it to flowers. Then will come the Greek trader and make a fatter profit out of the product of their toil than either of them.

But what is of especial political significance, in considering these various Balkan peoples, is the mutual distrust and hatred that exists between them, sown and sedulously fostered by outside powers. For had they been able to weld themselves into one people, one nation, they would have been able to (p. 223) withstand the aggressive intentions of both Austria and Russia, presented a solid front to both those powers, and able to maintain the independence and peace in the Balkans, and, very possibly, no great war at present.

The Turk is universally hated, but he is not despised. Except when his fanaticism is aroused there is no better neighbor than the Turk, he is courteous, tolerant in his quieter moments, and very much inclined to be a good fellow in the disposal of his money. Moreover, he is a hard fighter, and that quality always excites respect. Nor is he at all underhand—he never makes a good spy.

The Greek, and more especially the Greek who lives on Turkish soil, has not possessed these qualities. He has accepted and bent to the Turk, and in his rôle of a willing slave, he has played a very questionable part toward the other Christian peoples. However, there is a political reason for his unpopularity.

On account of his acceptance of Turkish rule the Greek was allowed special privileges. The Turks acknowledged the Greek Church as the representative of all the Christian peoples under their rule. This gave the patriarch of the Greek Church not only a spiritual but a temporal authority over the Bulgars and the Serbs, as well as over his own people, a power which was backed by Turkish troops.

Putting aside those frantic outbursts of barbarity against the Christian inhabitants of his country, of which the Turk has frequently been guilty, yet never has he been so oppressive as the Greek patriarch. Given power over the Slav population, the patriarch used it to its limit. Not only did he tax them oppressively to support a church with which they had no sympathy, but he used all efforts to stamp out every little spark of national feeling that had survived the centuries of Turkish rule. He forced Greek teachers on their children, and finally he made it a crime for any Slav to be heard speaking his own tongue. It was the aim to make all Turkish Christians into Greeks, and to attain this end no means was too severe. Later, some years before the liberation of Bulgaria, the sultan gave the Bulgars the right to establish a church of their own. And then, when he could (p. 224) no longer employ Turkish troops to force adherence to his church, the patriarch did not hesitate to organize secret bands of terrorists to take their place. And this policy was followed up until just before the First Balkan War, then resumed with renewed ferocity afterward in the territory acquired after the Second Balkan War.

Between the Serbs and the Bulgars the hatred may be very intense at this present moment on account of the Second Balkan War and because King Ferdinand, helped by Austria and Germany, has at last accomplished his long-prepared ambition to crush Serbia. When Bulgar meets Serb they naturally fraternize. The prejudice between them is really artificial. It has been partly created and wholly fanned into flame by the governing cliques for political reasons. In fact, it may be said that all these hatreds would gradually die out were it not for the artificial irritation that has been kept up by the governing cliques of the respective states. The fact that they could all combine against the Turks in the First Balkan War seems evidence enough that union is not impossible, if only the various kings and their supporters would suppress their personal ambitions and greed and consider the welfare of their respective people as of the first importance.[Back to Contents]



The present war is the logical sequel of the successive scenes of the drama enacted in the Balkan theatre. And though original causes may be found still farther back in history, by beginning with the liberation of Bulgaria, the whole story may be fairly well unfolded. All students of Balkan history are fairly well agreed on the point that the Treaty of Berlin is responsible for most of the troubles that have come since.

At that time in 1877 Turkey still controlled all of the Balkan Peninsula except Greece, including Bosnia, Herzegovina, and (p. 225) Rumania. Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro, however, were only nominally part of Turkey, since they were allowed to have their own ruling princes and enjoyed almost complete independence. The Bulgars were still governed by Turkish pashas, and were in no way allowed to participate in their own government.

For many years there had been revolutionary activities among them, whose aim was to prepare and stir up the peasants to active revolt against the rule of the Turks. It was part of Russia's policy to encourage these conspirators, for a strong revolutionary uprising might always be the opportunity for intervention and ultimate annexation.

In the spring of 1876 a slight uprising took place under the leadership of some schoolmasters, some of whom had been educated in Russia and had there imbibed the Panslavist idea: the ultimate union of all Slavs under the autocracy of the czar.

At first the uprising attracted little attention; it had occurred down in southern Rumania, not far from Philippopolis. Nor did its suppression at first attract notice, until MacGhan, the American correspondent of an English newspaper, went down to the scene of the troubles and began sending in reports to his paper, and as the European public read these descriptions in the British newspaper, their indignation rose and presently swept all over Europe in a storm of fury against the Turks.

These were what afterward became known as the Bulgarian atrocities. The villagers of Batak had been preparing for some days to join the insurrection when a force of bashi-bazouks, Turkish irregulars, under the command of Achmet Agha and Mohammed Agha arrived at the place. On the two Turkish leaders giving their word of honor that no harm should come to them, the villagers surrendered. No sooner had they laid down their arms than a general massacre of the whole population began; not only the men, but women and children were tortured, outraged, and hacked to pieces. When a British commission appeared on the scene two months later to investigate, the little village church was still piled up to the windows with the corpses of those that had fled there for sanctuary. Skulls with gray hairs still attached to them, tresses which had once adorned the (p. 226) heads of young girls, and the rotting limbs of small children were mingled in one gruesome heap. It is said that the Ottoman High Commissioner, who was sent by the Turkish Government with the British commission to investigate, on beholding this sight, turned to one of the perpetrators who was present and asked him how much Russia had paid him for a deed which, as he phrased it, would be "the beginning of the end of the Ottoman Empire." The Turkish Government evidently did not share this pessimistic view, for it decorated the two Turks who had led the bashi-bazouks in the massacre.

It presently developed that Batak was not an isolated example. Mr. Baring of the British commission estimated that the total number of Bulgars slaughtered in that district during the month of May must have been 12,000. In Batak 5,000 out of a population of 7,000 had been killed.

Never was Europe more aroused. Mr. Gladstone's famous pamphlet, denouncing the Turkish administration in its European provinces, went through edition after edition. Lord Derby, on behalf of the British Government, telegraphed that "any renewal of the outrages would be more fatal to the Turkish Government than the loss of a battle." Bulgaria, which had been forgotten for centuries, became a household word. All over the world swept a fierce popular demand that the Turk be immediately driven out of Europe.

Here was Russia's opportunity. In the face of this world-wide popular sentiment the policy of the European powers, especially of Austria, that Russia should not be allowed to acquire more Turkish territory, could not very well be enforced. The Austrian diplomat who would object to Russia hurrying to the aid of the outraged Bulgars, her own blood kindred, would have been mobbed in his own country. The hearts of people were so moved that they forgot the dark intrigues of diplomats.

So in the following spring Russia declared war against Turkey, and Rumania taking this opportunity to declare her complete independence, sent an army into the field to aid the Russians. The Bulgars, unorganized and untrained as they were, also gave what aid they could, especially in the storming of Shipka Pass, (p. 227) through which the invaders burst out into the plains of Thrace and advanced triumphantly on to the gates of Constantinople. Then the Turks cried for terms, and the famous Treaty of San Stefano, drawn up in the small town by that name just outside the Turkish capital, was the result.

By this treaty there would have been created the "Greater Bulgaria," of which the Bulgarians have been dreaming of and fighting for ever since. The Bulgaria of the San Stefano Treaty would have cut the European territories of the sultan in two, and thus effectively dismembered the Ottoman Empire. In addition to a coast line on the Black Sea extending a little farther north, and considerably farther south than Bulgaria now possesses, she would have had a frontage on the Ćgean Sea. Practically all of Macedonia, over to the lakes of Ochrida and Prespa, and down to near Saloniki, would have been included; the Vardar and the Struma would have been Bulgarian streams from their sources to their mouths.

But by this time the great popular indignation against the Turks had spent itself and the diplomatic machinery of the powers began revolving again. England, who had protested against the Bulgarian atrocities strongest, was the first to veto the plan that was to give all the Bulgarians their independence of Turkey. To Lord Beaconsfield, Disraeli, himself one of a race which has suffered oppression for centuries, and then prime minister of Great Britain, belongs the honor of being the first diplomat to set in motion that intervention by the powers which was to give the Bulgars of Macedonia back into the hands of the Turks.

There was a conference of the powers in Berlin, and there it was decided that the Treaty of San Stefano must be revised. The reason was that it was feared that Bulgaria would become merely a Russian province; that through Bulgaria Russia would all but have her hands on the Bosphorus, the aim of all her ambitions. So the Treaty of San Stefano was torn up and the Treaty of Berlin was substituted in its place.

By this new document, which was in force practically up until the First Balkan War, Bulgaria was created an "autonomous and (p. 228) tributary principality under the suzerainty of his Imperial Majesty the Sultan"; its limits were defined to be the Balkans on the south, eastern Rumelia being thus excluded from it; the Danube on the north, the Black Sea from just south of Mangalia to near Cape Emineh on the east, and Serbia on the west from the point where the Timok River joins the Danube to the point at which the two principalities and Macedonia should meet. Thus were not only the Bulgars of eastern Rumelia and Macedonia separated from their kinsmen in the new principality, but the district of Pirot was handed over to Serbia, who had participated in both wars of 1876 and of 1877-78. Austria's share in the spoils was Bosnia and Herzegovina, though ostensibly these two provinces were only to be under her temporary administration. The Berlin Treaty also provided for certain reforms of the Turkish Government in the Macedonian provinces, but as these were never carried out, and were never expected to be carried out by either the Turkish or European statesmen concerned, these provisions, known as "Article XXIII of the Treaty of Berlin," need not be described. This article was a mere sop thrown to whatever might be left of that public opinion which had thundered through Europe a year previously. Macedonia was handed back body and soul to Turkey, to be done with as she pleased. Herein was the cause of all the trouble that was to follow; one of the chief causes of the present Great War.

It would be a mistake, however, to assume that Russia's motives had been entirely or even largely altruistic. The powers had expressed the fear that a greater Bulgaria would gradually become part of the Russian Empire. There can be no doubt that Russia thought so too. All her later actions point to that fact. The only mistake, and this was shared by all who participated in the Treaty of Berlin alike, was the assumption that Bulgaria herself would allow this to be done. It only developed later what a stiff-necked people the Bulgars could be.

Bulgaria, as Prince Bismarck expressed it, had been put into the saddle. Her next task was to learn to ride. Under the rule of the Turks there had been no opportunity to acquire political (p. 229) or administrative experience; all the public offices had been filled by Turks or Greeks. All the natural leaders of the people having been killed off by Turks and Greeks alike for centuries, the Bulgars that emerged into independence in 1878 were essentially a nation of peasants. There were very few of them who could read or write; there were no printed Bulgarian books. Small wonder if all Europe and Russia thought that these people would not be able to govern themselves.

Until the Government of the new little nation could be organized and a ruler chosen, a Russian prince was left in the country, with a Russian army to support him to maintain order. And he acted indeed as though he were governing a Russian province. He gave the Bulgarians a taste of what real Russian authority might be like, and they did not like it. This was Russia's first mistake in her capacity as guide through the first difficulties of self-government.

Eventually, however, a General Assembly was called, a constitution drafted and the first ruler was selected. The choice fell on Prince Alexander of Battenberg, a nephew of the Russian Czar Alexander II. At the time of his election he was only twenty-two years of age, and lived as a simple military officer in the barracks of Potsdam in Germany. It is said that he asked the advice of Bismarck, when his election first became known to him, as to whether he should accept, and that Bismarck replied, "at least, a reign in Bulgaria will always be a pleasant reminiscence." Bismarck was one of those who had drafted the Treaty of Berlin and had no faith in the stability of any possible government the Bulgars could organize for themselves. On July 9, 1879, Prince Alexander took the oath to the constitution at Tirnovo. A week later the Russian army of occupation evacuated the country.

But if the Russian soldiers had left the country there were still plenty of Russians left in Bulgaria. The president of the council, the minister of war, the chief of police, the governor of Sofia, the capital, and 300 superior officers in the Bulgarian army that was presently organized, were all Russians. The Russian agent, M. Hitrovo, cleverly worked on the national dread (p. 230) of Austria, and tried to play the part of a British political resident at the court of an Indian prince.

This continued until 1883, when suddenly Prince Alexander dismissed all his Russian advisers, and Bulgarians were established in their places. Naturally, Russia was enraged. By this time Alexander's uncle, the Czar of Russia, had died, and Czar Alexander III, his cousin, was now ruler of Russia.

One night not long after the dismissal of the Russian advisers two Russian generals, Skobeleff and Kaulbars, arrived at the palace and demanded an audience of the prince. The sentry refused them admittance, and when they attempted to force their way past him the soldier drew his side arm and threatened to strike them down. The guard was called; a carriage which stood at the palace gates and from which the two Russian generals had alighted was searched, and evidence was discovered that the prince was to have been kidnapped to the Danube, thence over into Russia. Proclamations announcing Alexander's expulsion from Bulgaria, and the formation of a provisional government under the two leading conspirators, proved conclusively the complicity of Russia. Thanks to the support that he received from the Bulgarian officers about him, Alexander was saved and the plot was exposed to Russia's humiliation. Also, it showed the Bulgars to what measures Russia would resort to force her will upon them.[Back to Contents]



Meanwhile down in Eastern Rumelia the bitter disappointment caused by the separation of the two Bulgarias by the Treaty of Berlin had increased. On the morning of September 18, 1885, as Gavril Pasha, the Turkish governor, was quietly sipping his coffee in his home in Philippopolis a group of Bulgarian officers rushed in and took him prisoner. The pasha yielded to superior force; without the shedding of a drop of blood (p. 231) the revolutionists took possession. Union with Bulgaria was proclaimed. Prince Alexander, fearing the international complications that might follow, hesitated, but his Bulgarian advisers insisted, so on September 20 he issued a proclamation announcing himself as "Prince of North and South Bulgaria."

Naturally, in the commotion among the diplomats which followed, it might be supposed that those who had drafted the Treaty of Berlin would insist on its being observed, and that Russia would welcome the Greater Bulgaria she had planned at San Stefano. But just the contrary happened. England, now under the guidance of Gladstone, threatened a naval demonstration before the Dardanelles if Turkey interfered. Russia, on her part, was furious; she pressed Turkey to march an army up into south Bulgaria. Turkey, however, had no desire to be interviewed by the British ships.

Thus Russia and England had changed places in their attitude toward Bulgaria. Both had realized that they had made a mistake seven years previously; that Bulgaria herself would have a word to say as to whether she was to become a Russian province. Having failed to persuade Turkey to take military steps to bring Eastern Rumelia back under her rule, Russia now turned to Serbia. Greece and Serbia were also furious that Bulgaria should suddenly acquire territory without their having a share in it, thus making her the biggest nation of the Balkans. So Serbia and Russia intrigued together. The result was that, like the proverbial bolt out of a clear sky, Serbia hurled a declaration of war at Bulgaria and began marching her army across the frontier toward Sofia.

The Bulgarian army was in Eastern Rumelia at the time, expecting trouble from the Turks. When the news came that the Serbians were attacking them from the rear, they began rushing up north. They packed themselves into the box cars on the railroad like dried fish, and they clung to the tops like insects. Meanwhile the people of Belgrade toasted their sovereign, King Milan, as "King of Serbia and Macedonia."

Three days later the Serbian army was well on the road over the frontier toward the Bulgarian capital. Suddenly, at Slivnitza, (p. 232) a small town just over the frontier, the Bulgars burst down on them. At their head rushed a brigade of 3,000 Macedonian "brigands," natives of that territory that the Treaty of Berlin had cut off from Bulgaria. With the Bulgarian army was also a corps of 6,000 Mohammedan volunteers who rushed into the battle with as much enthusiasm as their Christian fellows. At that moment Bulgaria reaped the benefits of the tolerance she had shown the Mohammedan population during the seven years of her independence. They were now good Bulgarian citizens.

The war with Serbia lasted just three days. At the end of that time the Serbians were flying, a panic-stricken mob, back across the frontier toward Belgrade, the Bulgars at their heels. At their head, in the midst of the flying bullets, rode Prince Alexander. The war was won in spite of the fact that all the Russian officers, acting on secret instruction from home, had resigned on the day before the battle.

The Bulgarian army had already advanced to and occupied Pirot, and was preparing to continue on to Belgrade, when Count Khevenhüller, the Austrian Minister to Serbia, arrived at Bulgarian headquarters and informed Prince Alexander that if the Bulgarians continued their advance the Serbians would be joined by Austrian troops. The prince yielded to superior force, and in March, 1886, a treaty of peace was signed at Bucharest. Serbia did not cede a single yard of territory, nor did she pay one cent of indemnity. Not only Russia, but Austria, was beginning to fear Bulgaria; neither wanted a really formidable power in the Balkans. But at any rate the union with Eastern Rumelia was accomplished and remained a fact.

Again Russian intrigue had failed; again Bulgaria had not only shown her capacity for managing her own affairs, but she had also shown that her soldiers could fight. All Europe was surprised. It was not supposed that the army of this little nation, whose people only eight years ago had been all slaves, could meet trained troops in action.

Russia now made immediately another mistake in attributing her humiliation to Prince Alexander, the good-natured boy who was supposed to rule Bulgaria. She was now determined to be (p. 233) revenged on him. Nor did the Russian agents wait long before taking action. Peace had hardly been declared between Bulgaria and Serbia when they began laying their plans.

A rumor having been spread that the Serbians were going to resume their attack, all the troops were taken out of Sofia and sent away toward the frontier. Then a regiment, on which the conspirators, the Russian agents and some Bulgarian officers whom they had bribed, felt they could count, was smuggled into the capital. At two o'clock in the morning on August 21, 1886, the Bulgarian officers in the pay of the conspirators rushed into the palace, forced the prince at the point of a revolver to sign his own abdication, then kidnapped him in a carriage, taking him off to the Danube, where he was put on board of a boat under heavy guard and taken to Russia.

Meanwhile the conspirators, among whom was the metropolitan of the Bulgarian Church, Clement, issued a proclamation establishing themselves as the provisional government, and assuring the people that it would have the hearty support of the "Little White Father" in St. Petersburg.

This proclamation had hardly been launched when Stambuloff, the Speaker of the National Assembly, issued another proclamation, in his official capacity, in which he declared the metropolitan, Clement, and the other known conspirators outlaws, and appealed to the Bulgarian people to defend the independence of their Government. And the people did rise to his support, all over the country, so decidedly and with so much enthusiasm that the members of the provisional government fled. Thereupon Stambuloff and two other officials of the National Assembly assumed control of the Government until the prince could be found. Telegrams were sent all over Europe, and finally the Russian authorities were obliged to set the prince free, whereupon he reappeared in Lemberg, whence he returned to Bulgaria.

But the experience had apparently thoroughly frightened the prince. On landing at Rustchuk on the Danube, he sent a telegram to the czar, saying: "Russia gave me my crown; I am ready to return it to her sovereign." So on September 7, in spite of the (p. 234) protests of Stambuloff and the other members of the Government, he abdicated in earnest and next day he left Bulgaria forever.[Back to Contents]



A delegation was then sent wandering around Europe for another sovereign, and after much difficulty the final choice fell on Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, whose mother, Princess Clementine, was the granddaughter of King Louis Philippe, his father being an Austrian nobleman of large means. On August 14, 1887, he took the oath and was installed on the throne which he still occupies, though now as king. He immediately did what made him ever afterward bitterly hated by the Russian Government, namely, requested Stambuloff, he who had uncovered Russia's latest intrigue and conspiracy, to become prime minister, a post which he occupied for the next seven years, constantly fighting Russian influence.

Stephen Stambuloff, the son of an innkeeper, born in 1854, and one of the early revolutionary agitators among his own people, has often been referred to as the "Bismarck of the Balkans." He was, undoubtedly, the biggest statesman that the Balkans has yet produced, unless time shall decide that Venizelos is another such as he.

In the hands of Stambuloff Prince Ferdinand was nothing but a puppet, and so he continued for some years, until he became acquainted with the language, customs, and mental qualities of his people. Then the two fell out. But to the end Stambuloff was the real ruler, and under his guidance Bulgaria made that progress, both in military organization and in education, which was the surprise of the world when the First Balkan War broke out. It now dawned on Russia that it was Bulgaria herself that was opposed to her intrigues and not the princes who happened to occupy her throne. And the leader of the Bulgarians was (p. 235) undoubtedly Stambuloff, a peasant himself and the son of a peasant. His downfall must be brought about.

From the very beginning of his reign Ferdinand had not been recognized by the Russian Government. As he began to feel himself more secure in his throne he began to work for this recognition, as well as for the favor of all the reigning monarchs of Europe. With this end in view he began intriguing, and as an intriguer, Ferdinand is the cleverest of all the Balkan monarchs. Thus it was that he finally dismissed Stambuloff from office on May 31, 1894, an act which he found all the easier because Stambuloff had made many enemies among his own people by his brusque, almost brutal, ways. But in spite of the wave of unpopularity that happened to be sweeping over him at the time, there could be no doubt that a man of Stambuloff's abilities would again rise to power. Only one thing could prevent that. And that one thing was brought to pass by his enemies. In the evening of July 15, 1895, as he was driving home from his club, three men sprang up on his carriage and literally hacked him to pieces. Thus ended the comparatively short career of the man who had most to do with defeating Russian intrigues in Bulgaria. His murderers, though identified, were never arrested or punished, and found safe refuge in Russia.

But for all that his enemies gained by his death, Stambuloff might as well have continued to live. One of the strongest political parties in Bulgaria is still named after him, and bases its appeal on his policies. And ever after every Bulgarian who knows the short history of his country has hated the Russian Government, though this sentiment does not include the Russian people. In fact, nowhere in all Europe have Russian political exiles found more secure refuge than in Bulgaria, where they are received with hearty welcome, and the abler ones of them offered Government employment. As an instance: the national university in Sofia was founded by a Russian scholar upon the invitation of the Bulgarian Government. Had this same Russian scholar dared to cross over the Russian frontier he would have been arrested immediately, and, if not hung, have been sent into exile to Siberia. Again and again Russia has demanded that (p. 236) certain notable refugees living in Bulgaria be delivered up to her, but always Bulgaria has refused. The Bulgars love the Russian people; they hate the Russian autocracy.

Meanwhile important events were developing down in Macedonia. The people throughout this region, with the exception of the few Greeks along the sea shores, had been bitterly disappointed by the Treaty of Berlin, which delivered them back into the hands of the Turks. It soon became obvious that even the reforms promised by the XXIII Article of that document were to remain meaningless; the Turkish Government did not even pretend to put them into effect.

During this period many young Macedonian peasant boys crossed the frontier over into free Bulgaria, where the excellent schools being established offered them opportunity to obtain an education that had never before been available to Bulgars. These young fellows returned to Macedonia unobtrusively and quietly by exerting their influence on the peasants. At first they merely instructed them in reading and writing; then they inaugurated evening gatherings where things of the outside world were discussed. Two of the most prominent of these young educators were Damyan Grueff and Gotze Deltcheff, now worshipped by the common peasants as the martyr heroes of their movement for freedom.

It was Grueff and Deltcheff who first gave these early efforts a definite turn. They began organizing the villagers into societies whose object was distinctly revolutionary. But during all their careers neither of these two men advocated union with Bulgaria. Later on, as will be shown, they became bitterly opposed to that idea, as did all of their followers and disciples. They wanted to create a program for their organization which should be acceptable to all the people of Macedonia; Greeks, Serbs, Vlachs and even Mohammedans, as well as Bulgars. So they preached the idea of "Macedonia for the Macedonians;" Macedonia to be either an entirely separate nation by itself, or an autonomous state, under Turkish suzerainty.

Their organization had a more immediate purpose, however. And that was to establish some sort of order in the midst of (p. 237) Turkish anarchy. The trouble with the Turkish rule was not that it ruled too much, but that it ruled too little. Brigands, both Mohammedan and Christian, ranged the mountain regions, preying on the poor peasants. Turkish troops made no special efforts to check them. Turkish courts were so corrupt that justice was a joke. Though there was a tendency on the part of the courts to favor their own people, all other things being equal, still that was not the chief grievance of the Macedonian peasants. The trouble was that the courts could always be bought and a case always went against the poor man, whether he was Christian or Mohammedan. And finally, in some sections of Macedonia, especially down around Monastir, toward the Greek frontier, the Greek Church was still enjoying the same authority over Bulgar communities that it had once enjoyed up in Bulgaria. To add to this trouble, the Greek patriarch was again attempting to push his propaganda all over the country, employing armed bands to terrorize the villagers into declaring themselves Greeks. This, of course, was a campaign carried on in conjunction with the Greek Government, which wished to Hellenize Macedonia against the day when Turkey should be driven out, so that it could lay claim to the country on the strength of "blood kindred."

Over and over again the Bulgar communities sent delegations to the Turkish padisha complaining of these evils, but no measures were ever taken to remedy them. The brigands continued unmolested, the courts remained corrupt and as for curtailing the power of the Greek Church, that was distinctly against the policy of the sultan. With the Bulgars in overwhelming majority, he considered it wise to confer his privileges on the fewer Greeks, thus to rouse a mutual hatred between the two peoples, so they should not join together and make common cause against him.[Back to Contents]

(p. 238) CHAPTER XVI


The first object of the organization which Grueff and Deltcheff set about forming was to remedy this evil. In each village they established a local committee, composed of the more intelligent villagers, whose function it should be to take the place of the Turkish courts. The members of these secret tribunals were elected democratically by the villagers themselves. Later on they elected local delegates to provincial committees, which acted as courts of higher appeal, to which a defendant on trial might appeal should he feel that local sentiment was prejudiced against him. Later on, when these committees spread all over the country, yearly congresses were held, the first of which drew up a constitution for what was nothing less than a secret provisional government for the underground republic of Macedonia. Such was the beginning and the first purposes of the famous Macedonian Committee, so called because authority was always vested in the hands of committees, rather than with individuals, so strong was the democratic sentiment of the people.

The next thing was to get rid of the brigands. To accomplish that the provincial committees organized and maintained armed bands, which patrolled the mountains of the territory assigned to them. Numbering all the way from ten men to fifty each, these bands protected the villages from the bandits and even hunted them down. And, naturally, when the terrorist bands of the Greek Church became active, they were confronted by the armed bands of the committee.

It is notable that when the existence of the Macedonian Committee and its small local armed forces first became known to the outside world, it was not the Turkish Government which showed most animosity. In fact, for a long time the Turks rather treated the committee much as they had treated the brigands; that is, let them alone, so long as they did not cross their path, and the committee did not set out to molest the Turks.

(p. 239) It was the Greek Church, and the Greek and Serbian Governments that became most excited. Both the Greeks and the Serbians had been making every effort to arouse a "spirit of nationalism" of their own brand among the Macedonians. The committee was distinctly going to counteract their influence and efforts by arousing a spirit of nationality among the Macedonians which was neither Serbian nor Bulgarian nor Greek. And when the Bulgarian Government understood this thoroughly it showed itself equally unfriendly. For Prince Ferdinand and his clique dreamed of the Greater Bulgaria which they should rule. They wanted no autonomous Macedonia; even less did they want an independent Macedonia.

It was along in the later nineties that the Macedonian Committee began assuming such proportions as to attract the attention of the Balkan Governments. They began preparations for counteracting its influence, even for its destruction. So they organized armed bands, commanded by army officers "on furlough," or, in some cases, by the very brigand chiefs whom the committee had driven out. These bands were sent across the frontier to "arouse the national spirit" among the peasants.

From the very first the Bulgarian bands fought the forces of the committee as did the Greeks. Neither ever penetrated very far into the country from their respective frontiers, for the peasants were opposed to them and would not feed them, though they had plenty of money and did succeed in bribing some. They did, however, do a great deal of damage among the villages near the frontiers and, instead of arousing any national spirit, only planted a deep hatred in the hearts of the Macedonians for their respective governments. But of the three forces, Greek, Bulgarian, and Serbian, the Bulgars and Greeks were by far the most ferocious. The Serbs were inclined to fight fair, attacking only the committee's bands and such villages as sheltered them. The Greeks and Bulgars knew no such restrictions. They burned whole villages, massacred whole communities, including women and children, and frequently outraged women. And wherever they left their bloody marks behind, there they also left the (p. 240) official seal of their master, rudely drawn on rocks or charred timbers—a bishop's miter and cross.

Between the committee's armed forces and the propagandist bands sent over by Prince Ferdinand's Government there were open hostilities. The peasants complained to the committee that some of Ferdinand's band leaders, those who had formerly been brigands, were beginning to resort to their old practices, though now they described their robberies as "contributions to the cause of the revolution." The Macedonians fought Bulgars as bitterly and fiercely as they fought Greeks and Serbs. For months a bloody war was waged in the mountain forests of northern Macedonia. The committee's forces had the support of the population. The invaders had the advantage of a bigger supply of arms and ammunition, and that finally told. Little by little the bands of the committee were driven back. And just at that juncture an authority of the organization, the Executive Committee, was betrayed by a Greek spy. These leaders, who had charge of the organization's funds, were arrested and imprisoned. Without funds the bands in the field were cut off from further supplies of arms and ammunition, which had been supplied in large part by illicit Greek and Turkish traders.

Only two leaders, and less than a hundred armed men, were left in northern Macedonia to resist the further advance of the Bulgarian propagandists.

In 1901 a Macedonian leader, whose headquarters were in Thrace and in the country east of the Struma, of the name of Yani Sandanski, who later became prominent in connection with the Young Turk movement, kidnapped the American missionary, Miss Ellen Stone, and held her for a ransom of $60,000. His desperate venture succeeded. The ransom was paid, arms and ammunition were bought in large quantities, and his committee was able to meet the Bulgarian propagandists with stronger forces than ever in the country east of the Struma. The committee had men in plenty.

The Miss Stone episode, however, had given the Macedonian situation a great deal of publicity in the Bulgarian press, and (p. 241) the Bulgarian public began protesting. Thousands of students in Bulgaria were Macedonians; others were government officials. Thousands also were prospering merchants. Popular demonstrations against Ferdinand's policy were reported all over the country, and finally he was compelled to withdraw his armed forces from Macedonia. Thus was his first intrigue in that direction defeated.

It should be obvious by this time that the Macedonian Committee was the key to the whole Balkan problem, in so far as it was an internal problem at least. All the little states surrounding Macedonia wanted to grab her, and Macedonia did not want to be grabbed by any of them. In their selfish greed the governing cliques of all the little states absolutely disregarded the will of the people of Macedonia. In their efforts they were only reviving the old hatreds and creating new ones. Little wonder that the Turks sat back and refrained from interfering too actively. Meanwhile the people of Europe, seeing that the Balkan Christians fought more among themselves than they fought the Turks, believed they were only barbarians, little dreaming that the fight was not so much between Turk and Christian, as between Democracy and Imperialism; the democracy of the Macedonians against the imperialistic ambitions of the selfish little states around them. This point should be realized and emphasized, for this fight culminated in the next big act of the Balkan drama; the rise of Young Turkey.

If the little Balkan States were opposed to the Macedonian Committee, for the very same reason Russia and Austria were opposed, though to these two powers it was not so vital a matter. For the present they, with the rest of Europe were maintaining the status quo. For a number of years Russia had been busy in another quarter in the Far East, and had not much thought to give to the Balkans. Then came her defeat at the hands of the Japanese in 1905 and her hopes of emerging on the open sea in that direction were effectually doomed. Austria, too, was willing to defer the realization of her ambitions, so long as Russia made no move. Yet both realized that they must do battle for their interests in the Balkans.

(p. 242) In 1903 the Macedonian Committee, rendered desperate by the pressure of the Greek, Bulgar, and Serbian propagandists, as well as by the Turks, who were beginning to take more active measures against the "comitlara," or "committee people," as they called the revolutionists, precipitated an uprising in the Monastir district, under the leadership of Damyan Grueff, Deltcheff having been killed by soldiers some time previous. The object was not so much a successful revolution as to create a crisis in the Balkan problem; to disturb the status quo of the European statesmen. For, as Grueff expressed it, "horror with an end is better than horror without an end."

The uprising was suppressed with the customary Turkish severity, though not with such atrocities as had occurred in Bulgaria twenty-eight years previously. Nor did the burning of hundreds of villages ruffle the European statesmen. A conference of the powers was indeed called and an attempt made to institute such reforms as had been contemplated by the XXIII Article of the Berlin Treaty, which included foreign police officers, in command of the Turkish police in Macedonia. Each of the powers did indeed send some officers down there, but they had little more influence than so many tourists. After the uprising the same old situation continued. The Greek Church was now making desperate attempts to overrun Macedonia with its terrorist bands and Ferdinand started another intrigue on behalf of Bulgarian propaganda which came near proving more fatal to the committee than any of the Greek attacks.

Ferdinand, through a young Macedonian who had been an officer in his army and was now an active member of the committee, Boris Sarafoff, began a propaganda of bribery within the organization itself. By this means he hoped to work up a majority within the committee in favor of annexation with Bulgaria.

At this juncture Yani Sandanski reappeared on the scene. Grueff had recently been killed in a skirmish with soldiers. Sandanski sent one of his men down into Sofia, where Sarafoff was conferring with Ferdinand at the time, and had him shot (p. 243) down in the streets of the capital. At the same time he sent an open message to Ferdinand, warning the prince that if he continued his interference in Macedonia's internal affairs, he would share the fate of Sarafoff. That ended Ferdinand's second intrigue in Macedonia. Sandanski, who was now the recognized leader of the Macedonian organization, was of course outlawed in Bulgaria. But the time was presently to come when Ferdinand would seek his friendship most humbly.

It must not be supposed that the Macedo-Slovenes, though they formed an overpowering majority in the membership of the committee, were the only ones who were discontented with the rule of Abdul Hamid. The Vlachs of Macedonia stood solidly beside the Macedo-Slovenes. In the beginning some Greeks, too, had joined, but as the Greek Church excommunicated all who enrolled under the banner of the committee, and, moreover, as excommunication meant certain assassination, those few Greeks who really felt sympathy for the cause of a free Macedonia found it expedient to remain quiet.

The Mohammedans, however, though they did belong to the ruling race and had more reason to hold aloof than the Greeks, were by no means solidly against the committee. Whole communities of them, too, joined, or at least offered shelter and comfort to the armed bands of the committee. The Albanians especially were sympathetic, and great numbers of them were active in the work.

But the discontent of the Turks with the Government was more fully represented in a movement of separate origin. Young Turkish men had been going abroad to study in foreign universities for a generation past and had begun imbibing advanced ideas. They returned and began spreading those ideas among their followers at home. Finally they too organized, and this was the beginning of the Young Turk party.

The Young Turks had aims that differed very little from those of the committee. They wanted a constitutional Turkey, under which all the subjects of the sultan should be allowed to enjoy equal rights, regardless of creed or race. Many of them were, in fact, in favor of a republic. It was not long before their (p. 244) leaders came in contact with the leaders of the committee. And for some years they worked quietly together. The Young Turks, it should be remembered, were especially active in the army.[Back to Contents]



Then, suddenly, in 1908, occurred what was probably the most alarming event that had yet happened, from the point of view of Austria and Russia. The sultan had decided to begin taking more severe measures with the Young Turks, with the result that he precipitated a crisis. Enver Bey and Niazi Bey, two of the Young Turk leaders, openly revolted in Monastir and took to the near-by mountains, calling on all Turkish subjects to support them. The revolt spread rapidly. The Young Turks captured the city of Monastir and then the garrison at Saloniki handed that city over to them. The sultan, seeing that the whole army was against him, suddenly decided to temporize and finally agreed to proclaim a constitution for Turkey.

In November of 1908 elections were held for the new Parliament and all the various nationalities were given an opportunity to send in their deputies.

But Abdul Hamid was not going to accept the new régime without another effort to regain his old control. The following winter, after the Parliament had met, he gathered together his old supporters and, having made sure that he could count on the loyalty of the garrison in Constantinople, suddenly abolished all that he had proclaimed and declared the old régime restored.

Then Mahmud Shevket Pasha, the military leader of the Young Turks, established himself in Macedonia and called on all the people to support him.

The events which followed will ever rank as among the most dramatic and picturesque of recent Turkish history. First of all the fighting bands of the committee, which had already laid (p. 245) down their arms, reorganized again and came down from the mountains to join Shevket's army. At their head marched Yani Sandanski, the leader of the committee and the hated enemy of Prince Ferdinand. The comitajis, however, were not the only ones to respond. When Shevket finally began to march on the capital, he had in his army whole brigades of Greeks, Jews, Vlachs as well as Turks and Bulgars.

When this army finally appeared outside the gates of Constantinople, the sultan and his soldiers realized that all was lost, but it was now too late to temporize again. A large force was sent in to disarm the garrison and to drag Abdul Hamid off his throne. And at the very head of that force, together with a hundred of his best men, marched Yani Sandanski, the abductor of Miss Stone, the slayer of Prince Ferdinand's chief conspirator in Macedonia, Boris Sarafoff, the brigand chief who represented the people of Macedonia, but had been outlawed in every Balkan State. What could be more symbolical of the partnership between the Macedonia Committee and Young Turkey than that Yani Sandanski should be one of those who were to drag Abdul Hamid off his throne and send him a prisoner to Saloniki?

At that moment, and for some months after, it looked indeed as though this union of previously antagonistic elements in European Turkey would effectually balk all the intrigues, not only of the little Balkan States, but of Austria and Russia as well. Nothing could have been more disappointing to the tribe of diplomats than this unexpected turn of events.

Undoubtedly most of the Young Turk leaders were sincere and really wished to establish a new Ottoman Empire based on a broad citizenship of all its peoples and the elimination of religious and racial differences from politics. Many of them were out-and-out Socialists, as was Yani Sandanski himself, who saw far-off visions of a great European, if not a world, confederation which should banish war entirely from the earth.

But unfortunately Young Turkey had a bigger task on its hands than it could swing. The Mohammedans of Macedonia and Thrace had been won over to its progressive ideas. But the people of Islam on the other side of the Bosphorus had yet (p. 246) to be heard from. And when they did make their voices heard, it was not in favor of recognizing the giaours as their political equals.

Perhaps, even, if left to itself, Turkey, under the guidance of the new and younger elements, might eventually have emerged triumphant against the dark forces of fanaticism and reaction. But it was not to have that opportunity. The solidarity of all the Turkish subjects, especially in European Turkey, would be nothing less than a calamity to all the Balkan States. There would be no "oppressed" brothers to rescue, consequently no pretext for that territorial expansion which they had all counted on to take place some day in the future. There could be no Greater Hellas, a Byzantine Empire reestablished, with Constantinople as its capital; there could be no Greater Bulgaria, with Czar Ferdinand as its ruler. Russia, too, when her opportunity came to take Constantinople, would come, not as a liberator of the Macedonian Slavs, but as an invading enemy. And Austria would find her pathway to Saloniki blocked by a stronger Turkey than she had counted upon. All these powers were against the success of Young Turkey. But they did not stand shoulder to shoulder against it. Between the Balkan States and the two big powers was another division of interest quite as deep. It was the rivalry of the wolves and the bears.

The Young Turks' revolution may definitely be considered the first jar to the status quo, as established by the Treaty of Berlin, to be followed in quick succession by other similar shocks, which were presently to culminate in its complete upset and the present war. Turkey herself had broken the compact to remain quiescent, to stand pat. With the exception of the union of Eastern Rumelia with Bulgaria, there had been no changes during those twenty-nine years.

The next event in the chain happened almost immediately. Hardly had the revolution in Turkey occurred when Austria, who had, by the terms of the Berlin Treaty, been simply administrating the two provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, annexed them without any ceremony. In actual fact this was merely making theory conform to the practical situation, but it put the Young (p. 247) Turks in an awkward predicament. The old régime under Abdul Hamid would not have been able to do more than accept, and that was what the Young Turks were compelled to do, handicapped as they were by the confusion attending their own affairs at home. But it roused the anger of the conservative Turks, and they somehow attributed it to the new régime.

And at almost the same moment, as though to increase the irritation, Prince Ferdinand kicked over another theory—that his principality was under the suzerainty of the sultan—and declared himself king, or as he called himself, czar of the independent kingdom of the Bulgars and of all Bulgars elsewhere. Practically it meant nothing more than that he was making faces at the new régime in Turkey, but it served the purpose of irritating the masses of Islam.

But if the act of Austria in annexing Bosnia and Herzegovina irritated the Turks, it almost maddened the Serbians, who had no cards to play in this little game of diplomacy just at that moment. Serbia, like all her neighbors, had her dreams of empire; she aspired not only to the possession of Macedonia, but to the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well, because of Serb population. Their annexation by Austria meant to Serbia that there could now be no rearrangement. And it meant, too, that Austria was still determined to work her way south, down to Saloniki, when time and opportunity were ripe. It was, in fact, as much of a threat to Serbia as to the Turks.

Meanwhile the Young Turks continued with their attempt to establish democracy in Constantinople. During the winter of 1908-9 the first Parliament met. And naturally, the deputies representing the backward and fanatical Mussulmans of Asia were in the majority, so that in the very beginning it became obvious that democracy itself was going to defeat its own ends. The reactionary elements, being in a majority in the empire as a whole, it was only natural that their representatives in the Parliament should be in a majority.

In the spring of 1910 there was a violent uprising of the more fanatical Albanian tribes, who resisted the efforts of the new Government to disarm the whole of the population, which was (p. 248) undertaken as a first step toward establishing that law and order which had never yet been known in the empire and which the committee had organized to establish, within the limits of its own communities, at least. The schools, too, were taken out of the hands of the priests of the respective peoples and put under the control of a Ministry of Education, and this roused bitter resentment on the part of the Greeks, who, unlike the Serbs and Bulgars, are under the complete domination of their church.

Under the influence of the reactionary elements that had gained majority control through the Parliament, the old repressive measures began gradually to be reestablished. To Sandanski and his colleagues it soon became evident that their fond hopes of a truly democratic Turkish Empire was not to be realized. It was not under a constitutional Turkey that the Macedonians would be accorded civic justice; that could only be accomplished through a Macedonia enjoying home rule, whether as an independent state or under the mere suzerainty of the sultan. This was the state of mind toward which the Macedonians were tending when the next serious event began developing.[Back to Contents]



Even to a school child it must have been obvious all along that the solution of the whole Balkan trouble, from an internal point of view, at least, lay in a union of all the peoples and the establishment of one great nation, or federation of nations. Such a power, capable of putting two million soldiers into the field, would not only be able to push the Turk out of Europe, but it would be such an obstacle to the aggressive ambitions of Russia and Austria that either would think twice before attempting to overcome it by force.

This solution had been suggested at various times by various Balkan statesmen during the past twenty years, statesmen with (p. 249) broader visions than most of their colleagues. Stambuloff had been one of them. But such a union, or confederation, while it might prove of great benefit to the general population, would mean a complete end to the ambitions indulged in by the various Balkan monarchs and their cliques. Each hoped to build a great empire which should include all the rest as inferior possessions. Thus their selfish ambitions stood in the way of the only feasible plan for a true remedy for the political ills of the people.

But the new régime in Turkey seemed likely to put an end to their imperial ambitions anyhow. The Young Turks were spending huge amounts of money in equipping their army with modern guns and the admission of Christians into the army was increasing its size too. Within a few years Turkey would be in such a state of preparedness, from a military point of view, as to make the task of driving her out of Europe forever impossible. For each state had been building up its army for years past with this ultimate end in view.

The time had come to act. It was now or never. The Balkan States must bury their mutual jealousies, temporarily at least, and form a temporary alliance with the object of defeating the Turks before it should be too late. For the time being the spoils could be divided equally. Later on each might find an opportunity to force rearrangements. Such an alliance might temporarily suspend, but it would not end, the individual ambitions of each governing clique. The idea may not have presented itself so cynically to the man who first conceived it, but that was the spirit in which it was later on acceded to by the Governments of the states concerned.

It seems now to be generally conceded that it was the Prime Minister of Greece, Eleutheorios Venizelos, to whom the credit belongs for having initiated this new move. Of all the Balkan statesmen, not omitting the monarchs, Venizelos stands out prominently not only as the most able, but as being by far the most liberal and as possessed of the broadest vision. Toleration has been the keynote to all his utterances and actions. He seems to have been the one man of them all who, without ceasing to be a Greek, has been able to rise above the atmosphere of petty (p. 250) jealousy, greed, and hatred that pervades the politics of the Balkan States, especially in their mutual relations.

Though Italian by blood extraction, descendant of the old Dukes of Athens, Venizelos is a Cretan by birth. Beginning his public career in his native island as a "brigand" insurgent against Turkish power, he finally became the leader of his people, being Prime Minister of the Cretan Government in 1909.

In that year, shortly after the revolution of the Young Turks, there had also been a revolution in Greece, though not of so progressive a character. The "Military League," composed of the army officers, had been organized and began to institute certain reforms that should end the corruption and inefficiency that had been characteristic of Greek politics. The members of the league being military men, were also modest enough to realize their unfitness to undertake the task unaided, so they called upon Venizelos to take charge, he being then the cleanest Greek in politics. This task he assumed, as prime minister, with such ability and effectiveness that he at once became the most popular man in Greece. Among other things he undertook a complete reorganization of the army under the supervision of foreign officers.

In April of 1911 Venizelos, through a British journalist, sent an unofficial note to the Bulgarian Government suggesting an alliance against Turkey. Five months later negotiations were also commenced with Serbia, where a Serbo-Bulgarian alliance was suggested. But for a while nothing definite was done, until suddenly the bigger powers began showing signs of action. Italy, the ally of Austria, declared war on Turkey in September, 1911, with the avowed purpose of possessing herself of Tripoli.

This hurried the Balkan States. In March, 1912, Serbia and Bulgaria signed a treaty of alliance. In April Greece and Bulgaria signed a similar treaty, and a fortnight later Serbia and Greece signed another document which made the Balkan League complete, Montenegro acting in agreement with Serbia.

According to the Serbo-Bulgarian agreement, should the Turks be defeated, Bulgaria was to take the whole of the territory south and east of the Rhodope Mountains and the Struma River, while Serbia was to take that north of the Shar Mountains, including (p. 251) Old Serbia and Kossovo. The rest, comprising all of Macedonia, was to be established as an independent state. Should this, for any reason, be impossible, a line was to be drawn from the point at which the Bulgarian, Serbian, and Turkish frontiers met, a little northwest of Kustendil, to Struga at the north end of Lake Ochrida, leaving Kratovo, Veles, Monastir, and Ochrida to Bulgaria, all purely Slav districts, while the Czar of Russia was to act as arbitrator with regard to the rest of the region, including Kumanovo, Uskub, Krushevo, and Dibra. To this was added a clause by which Bulgaria agreed to send 200,000 men to the support of Serbia should Austria threaten her.

The agreement with Greece did not definitely provide for her share, but it was understood she should have Epirus in southern Albania, Crete, what islands in the Ćgean her naval forces might capture, and a slice of the Ćgean seacoast where the population was mostly Greek. Montenegro was to have what she could take from the Turkish forces in her vicinity. Albania was not mentioned, but it was understood that Serbia was to obtain her outlet on the Adriatic.

The clause in the agreement between Serbia and Bulgaria, providing for an independent Macedonia, is especially significant. It was inserted for the special consideration of Sandanski and the other Macedonian committee leaders.

Shortly after the committee had made common cause with the Young Turks, an attempt had been made to assassinate Sandanski in Saloniki. And although it did not succeed, the attempt did not serve to warm the hearts of the Macedonians toward King Ferdinand. None but he could have had any interest in Sandanski's death at that time.

But by the summer of 1912 the Macedonians were pretty well disillusioned regarding a constitutional Turkey. Many of the old leaders had taken to the hills again, determined to take up the old fight where they had left off. Even that fight seemed more hopeless than ever, for the Turkish army was now being speedily reorganized and rendered more effective, which meant that the pursuit of the guerrilla bands would be more deadly than it had ever been under the old régime.

(p. 252) How the knowledge of the clause providing for an independent Macedonia was conveyed to them is not recorded, but that Sandanski and his colleagues were approached by the Bulgarian agents cannot be doubted. Certain it is that just before hostilities broke out the blood feud between Ferdinand and Sandanski had been put aside, and Sandanski, the slayer of Sarafoff, the outlawed bandit, walked through the streets of Sofia unmolested. And when the war did actually break out, Sandanski was leading some thousands of his Macedonian comitajis against the Turks in the Razlog district, which he conquered and turned over to the Bulgarian authorities when they came there to establish a civil government.

The league, having been established, was now anxious to begin operations as soon as possible, for the reason that beginning hostilities against Turkey while she was still at war with Italy would put the latter in the position of being their ally. But that was just a position in which Italy, as an ally of Austria, did not wish to find herself. So when it became evident that the Balkan league had been formed and meant to take action, Italy and Turkey both hastened to arrange terms of peace, the former to save herself from an awkward situation, the latter so that she might give her full attention to the new danger.[Back to Contents]



The war finally broke out on September 30, 1912, precipitated by Montenegro before the other members of the league were quite ready. The wonderful victories of the Serbian and Bulgarian armies were the surprise and wonder of the world at the time. The Bulgarians were victorious at Lule Burges, and the Serbians at Kumanovo. The Greeks advanced as far as Saloniki, while their fleet bottled up the ships of the Turks in the Dardanelles. Finally the Bulgarians swept the Turks in Thrace into (p. 253) Constantinople and were battering down the gates of the capital itself. The Serbians marched an army over the mountains to Durazzo on the Adriatic, and the Montenegrins took Scutari. And by the following spring Turkey was suing for peace, which was finally brought about by the Treaty of London on May 30, 1913.

But the very success of the Balkan allies opened up new dangers of deep gravity. And now Austria, who had not quite dared to attack Serbia during the hostilities, saw an opportunity whereby she might defeat the league by opening up the dangers engendered by their very success. Had it not been for her intrigues there would have been no Second Balkan War. But she hated Serbia and was already determined on her destruction.

Largely because of the determined stand taken by Austria in the London conference, Albania was made an independent principality, Serbia was denied her longed-for outlet on the Adriatic, Greece was deprived of Epirus, and Montenegro had to give up Scutari, the taking of which cost her so much blood.

Now it had also happened that the operations of the various armies of the Balkan allies had been in territories different from what had at first been anticipated. The Turks had put up their main fight down in Thrace, leaving the greater area of Macedonia comparatively undefended. Thus the Bulgarians, while doing the heaviest fighting, had been concentrated in a small territory, hammering away at the main forces of the Turks, while the Serbian and Greek armies had been able to overrun much larger territories with comparative ease. Thus Bulgaria, though she had done most of the fighting and had lost the heaviest, occupied only a broad pathway from her own southern frontier, down through Thrace to Constantinople, while Serbia occupied most of Macedonia, and Greece was in possession of Saloniki.

Greece and Serbia, and especially Serbia, having been cheated of most of the territory they had counted on annexing by the Treaty of London, now demanded a revision of the treaties by which they had gone into the war. Moreover, the Treaty of London confirmed them in the possession of the territory they now occupied.

(p. 255) The bitterest feelings were at once rekindled. Both sides had grievances. Serbia maintained that at the conference in London Bulgaria had failed to back up her claim for Albania. Therefore she was entitled to compensation in Macedonia. Bulgaria asserted that Macedonia was inhabited by Bulgars who did not wish to become Serbian subjects.

Balkans After the Second Balkan War.

At this juncture Austria again appeared on the scene and whispered in Bulgaria's ear that she should take what she wanted by force of arms; was not her army equal to the armies of Greece and Serbia combined? Meanwhile she, Austria, would see that there was no intervention from the outside. This was one motive that drove Bulgaria into the Second Balkan War.

For the past generation Macedonian boys had been coming up into Bulgaria. Many had gone back to Macedonia, but the majority had remained and settled in Bulgaria. Hundreds of them had entered the army and many of them had acquired high rank. Others, again, had entered the Government service, and dozens had been sent to the National Assembly by Bulgarian constituencies. And several, among them Ghenadieff, had become ministers in the cabinet.

To a still greater extent Macedonians have poured into Serbia. During the past hundred years, ever since the pashalic of Belgrade became free from the Turks, thousands of Macedonians have come up into Serbia for education and a life. They entered the army, Parliament, and every department of state, in large numbers, they became educationalists and swelled the ranks of commerce. Among the members of the Serb Cabinet during this war born in Macedonia are: the Prime Minister Nikola Pashich, from Tetovo; Dr. Lazar Patchou, Minister of Finance, from Monastir; Nicola Stefanovich, Cabinet Minister at the war's outbreak, from Navrovo; Kosta Stoyanovich, former Minister of Commerce, from Monastir; General Dimitriye Tzintzar-Markovich, from Ochrida; General Lazar Lazarevich, from Moskopolye, Monastir; former Prime Minister Milan Christich, the Serb Minister Plenipotentiary in Rome; Michael Ristich; former Prime Minister Dr. Vladam Georgevich; Svetolick Popovich, from Uskub; Under-Secretary of State for Public Works, Petar Popovich, (p. 256) from Prilep; Head of Public Works, Professor Lazarevich, from Ghevgheli; Professor Alexich, from Kumanovo; General Lazar Petrovich, from Bashino Selo; Veles, and many others. The names of the distinguished and prominent Macedonians in army, state, and education services, and those in trade and other useful occupations in Serbia fill a considerable space in the Post Office Directory.

The ambition of the Coburg King Ferdinand, since his coming to Bulgaria, has steadily aimed at the conquest and annexation of neighboring countries with the view of forming for himself an extended state. In this idea Bulgaria has been developed by him on lines de facto tending toward creating rather a feudal domain than a free, modern constitutional state. He encouraged a large number of political parties which could be easily played one against another, duplicating somewhat the Hapsburg principle as applied in the Austrian system of counterbalancing the various nationalities; the educational system was not developed to the extent nor along lines to produce a truly free and powerful people evidenced by the large number of young men and women students finding it necessary to go for higher education to the American Roberts College at Constantinople.

Ferdinand, always supported by Austria, with whom he has always been in secret alliance, has devoted large sums to anti-Serb and anti-Greek propaganda in Bulgaria, Macedonia, and throughout the world, preparing for the day when his designs of conquest could be carried into effect.

As the First Balkan War drew to a finish, when King Ferdinand's grip had hardly closed on the golden prize of that war, Adrianople, which the Serbs helped their Bulgar brothers to conquer, and whose Turkish commander and his staff, as fate decreed, were actually captured by the Serbs and handed over by them to the Bulgarians, Ferdinand turned his army westward to attack the Serbs, leaving Adrianople and Thracia, rich territory which the Bulgars had just reconquered at such cost of blood and which was confirmed to Bulgaria by the Treaty of London, to fall back unprotected into the hands of the Turks.

(p. 257) On the night of June 29, 1913, without any declaration of war, the Bulgarian army suddenly attacked the Serbians and Greeks all along the line, over 250 miles in length. Apparently General Savoff, the Bulgarian commander, had taken the initiative upon himself, for all that night and the next day the Government in Sofia kept sending telegrams ordering the operations to cease.

All through July the fighting continued, and the battles were far more bloody than those that had been fought with the Turks in the first war. In the south the Bulgarians were decidedly beaten, but this was because they had counted on holding the Greeks back with only 70,000 men.

The main fighting was on the Bregalnitza River, between the Serbians and the Bulgarians. Here the Bulgarians also suffered a reverse. And the Serbians were suffering losses that they could less afford than the Bulgarians. Whether the Bulgarians might eventually have won out, as their lines were contracted and the Greeks were drawn away from their base at Saloniki, was a military question that was not to be decided. For at this juncture Rumania took unexpected action. She suddenly on July 10 began an invasion of Bulgaria from the north, and by the end of the month her cavalry screens were within twenty miles of the Bulgarian capital. The Turks, too, had recrossed the frontier and were once more in possession of Adrianople, which the small Bulgarian garrison surrendered without resistance. Literally the armies of all her neighbors were invading Bulgaria. Further resistance was useless. On July 31, after just one month of fighting, an armistice was signed, and representatives from all the belligerents met in Bucharest to negotiate terms of peace. On August 10 the Treaty of Bucharest was finally signed.

As a result of the Second Balkan War Bulgaria was left in a much worse position than she was in after the first war. First of all she had to give a slice of her Danubian territory to Rumania, as her price for entering the war. Then she had to return part of Thrace, including Adrianople, to the Turks. Serbia retained southeastern Macedonia, and Greece kept Saloniki and its hinterland for fifty miles inward, including Kavala, the natural economic outlet for Bulgaria on the Ćgean.[Back to Contents]




It was the boast of the greater European powers, during the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, and after, that the "conflagration in the Balkans had been localized"—i.e., that none of the western nations would be involved in the complications growing out of the trouble in the Balkans. The conflagration in the mountainous peninsula had been "localized," it was true; but the smouldering fire that remained after the Balkan Wars was to flare forth, during the summer of 1914, to spread over Europe from the Shetland Islands to Crete in one grand flame, and to drop sparks on the remaining four continents. That smouldering fire was the doctrine known as Greater Serbianism, sometimes wrongly spoken of as Pan-Serbianism.

As during the nineteenth century one after another the Balkan States gained independence from Turkish sovereignty and the germ of what is called Nationalism was born in them, each looked about to see in what direction its boundaries might be extended. The appetite of Nationalism, with these small states as with the greater countries, demanded that under the flag of a given nation must be gathered all the peoples of that nation; if some of them dwell in foreign lands those lands must be conquered; if foreigners live within the borders of the country those foreigners must be "ironed out"—the crushing machinery of despotic government must be brought into use to force them to adopt the language, literature, traditions, and religion of the (p. 259) nation which considered them alien. And the appetite of Nationalism demanded one thing more—that the political boundaries of a nation conform with the "natural boundaries" as they seemed to be delimited by mountains, rivers, and coasts.

The kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro had shown symptoms of Nationalism long before the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913; when they emerged from those wars with their territories almost doubled the idea took even greater hold on them. As Turkish sovereignty and influence became less feared, Austrian dominance replaced them.

Austria did nothing to allay this fear; she stood as a Teutonic bulwark between a growing Slavic menace (in Serbia and Montenegro) on the south and the already formidable Slavic menace (Russia) on the east. In her provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which were transformed from protectorates to integral parts of the Austrian Empire in 1908, there dwelt thousands of peasants who were of Serbian nationality; in more concise terms they were of the same racial stock as the Serbians. After Serbian prestige rose as a result of the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913 these Serbian subjects of Austria desired more than ever to be a part of the Slav kingdom; this desire was shared by the leading factions in Serbia itself; the doctrine of "Greater Serbia" demanded that the aims of the desire be materialized. Besides, the "natural boundaries" of Serbia seemed to take in the greater part, if not all, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for they stretched along the eastern shores of the Adriatic and shut Serbia and Montenegro off from that sea.

Propaganda began to spread throughout Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, reminding the Serbs in all three places that they must work to bring themselves under one government, and that government their own; they were urged to keep up their efforts to standardize their religion, their speech, their traditions; they were called upon, by this same propaganda, to substitute Austria for Turkey as the object of national Serbian hate.

But Austria, too, had the disease of Nationalism, and she had been engaged since 1908 in "ironing out" the Serbs within her borders. Thus great friction was engendered, and when, on (p. 260) June 28, 1914, the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the crown prince and his morganatic wife visited the Bosnian city of Sarajevo, they and the officials of the city and province knew that the lives of the pair were in danger from Serbian intrigue.

The archduke had gone to Bosnia on his first visit to take charge of military maneuvers there, and before he left the Austrian capital the Serbian minister had expressed doubt as to the wisdom of the visit, telling the court that the Serbian population in Bosnia might make unfavorable demonstrations. The fears of the Serbian minister proved to be well founded; Sarajevo displayed many Serbian flags on the day of his arrival. The archduke's party, in automobiles, proceeded to the Town Hall after leaving the railway station, passing through crowded streets. The city officials were gathered at the Town Hall to give him an official welcome. A bomb, hurled from a roof, fell into the archduke's car; he caught it and threw it to the pavement, where it exploded, doing no damage to either him or his wife, but injuring two adjutants in the car following. One Gabrinovics, a Serbian from Trebinje, was arrested as the assailant.

The archduke proceeded to the Town Hall, and after berating the city officials listened to the speeches of welcome. As he and his wife were departing a Serbian student, named Prinzip, who was later arrested, rushed out from the crowd and fired point-blank at the couple with a revolver. Both were hit a number of times and died some hours later from their wounds.

Great excitement immediately prevailed in Sofia and Vienna, and in Berlin and St. Petersburg to a lesser degree. What retribution would Austria demand? The Austrian press openly avowed that the plot on the archduke's life had been hatched in official circles in Serbia, and the Austrian Government made no attempt to suppress these statements. One hour after the tragedy had taken place it had assumed an official and international complexion.

A punitive war against Serbia was immediately urged in Vienna. On June 29, 1914, anti-Serbian riots broke out in Bosnia, Sarajevo was put under martial law, and the bodies of the assassinated couple began the mournful journey to Vienna. (p. 261) On July 2, 1914, Prinzip confessed that he had apprised the Pan-Serbian Union of his attempt to kill the archduke, and on the same day the first intimation came that the matter was considered a serious one in Germany—the kaiser became "diplomatically ill." Then, for twenty days there was an outward calm in the capitals of Europe, but behind the scenes the diplomats were at work; the great question was how far Russia would go in defending her Slavic sister state against the impending demands of Austria.

These demands were made public in a note which Austria sent to Serbia on July 23, 1914. Serbia was given till 6 p. m., July 25, 1914, to comply with the ultimatum, which read as follows:

"On March 31, 1909, the Royal Serbian Minister in Vienna, on the instructions of the Serbian Government, made the following statements to the Imperial and Royal Government:

"'Serbia recognizes that the fait accompli regarding Bosnia has not affected her rights, and consequently she will conform to the decisions that the powers will take in conformity with Article XXV of the Treaty of Berlin. At the same time that Serbia submits to the advice of the powers she undertakes to renounce the attitude of protest and opposition which she has adopted since October last. She undertakes on the other hand to modify the direction of her policy with regard to Austria-Hungary and to live in future on good neighborly terms with the latter.'

"The history of recent years, and in particular the painful events on June 28 last, have shown the existence in Serbia of subversive movement with the object of detaching a part of Austria-Hungary from the monarchy. The movement which had its birth under the eyes of the Serbian Government, has had consequences on both sides of the Serbian frontier in the shape of acts of terrorism and a series of outrages and murders.

"Far from carrying out the formal undertakings contained in the declaration of March 31, 1909, the Royal Serbian Government has done nothing to repress these movements. It has permitted the criminal machinations of various societies and associations, and has tolerated unrestrained language on the part of the press, apologies for the perpetrators of outrage and the participation of officers and functionaries in subversive agitation. (p. 262) It has permitted an unwholesome propaganda in public instruction. In short, it has permitted all the manifestations which have incited the Serbian population to hatred of the monarchy and contempt of its institutions.

"This culpable tolerance of the Royal Serbian Government had not ceased at the moment when the events of June 28 last proved its fatal consequences to the whole world.

"It results from the depositions and confessions of the criminal perpetrators of the outrage of June 28 that the Sarajevo assassinations were hatched in Belgrade, that the arms and explosives with which the murderers were provided had been given to them by Serbian officers and functionaries belonging to the Narodna Obrava, and, finally, that the passage into Bosnia of the criminals and their arms was organized and effected by the chiefs of the Serbian Frontier Service.

"The above-mentioned results of the magisterial investigation do not permit the Austro-Hungarian Government to pursue any longer the attitude of expectant forbearance which it has maintained for years in face of the machinations hatched in Belgrade and thence propagated in the territories of the monarchy. These results, on the contrary, impose on it the duty of putting an end to intrigues which form a perpetual menace to the tranquility of the monarchy.

"To achieve this end the Imperial and Royal Government sees itself compelled to demand from the Serbian Government a formal assurance that it condemns this dangerous propaganda against the monarchy and the territories belonging to it, and that the Royal Serbian Government shall no longer permit these machinations and this criminal and perverse propaganda.

"In order to give a formal character to this undertaking the Royal Serbian Government shall publish on the front page of its official journal for July 26 the following declaration:

"'The Royal Government of Serbia condemns the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary, i. e., the ensemble of tendencies of which the final aim is to detach from Austro-Hungarian monarchy territories belonging to it, and it sincerely deplores the fatal consequences of these criminal proceedings.

(p. 263) "'The Royal Government regrets that Serbian officers and functionaries participated in the above-mentioned propaganda and thus compromised the good, neighborly relations to which the Royal Government was solemnly pledged by its declaration of March 31, 1909. The Royal Government, which disapproves and repudiates all idea of interfering or attempt to interfere with the destinies of the inhabitants of any part whatsoever of Austria-Hungary, considers it its duty formally to warn officers and functionaries, and the whole population of the kingdom, that henceforward it will proceed with the utmost rigor against persons who may be guilty of such machinations, which it will use all its efforts to anticipate and suppress.'

"The Royal Serbian Government further undertakes:

"1. To suppress any publications which incite to hatred and contempt of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the general tendency of which is directed against its territorial integrity.

"2. To dissolve immediately the society styled Narodna Obrava, to confiscate all its means of propaganda, and to proceed in the same manner against other societies and their branches which are addicted to propaganda against the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. The Royal Government shall take the necessary measures to prevent the societies dissolved from continuing their activity under another name and form.

"3. To eliminate without delay from public instruction in Serbia, not only as regards the teaching body, but also as regards the methods of instruction, everything that serves or might serve to foment the propaganda against Austria-Hungary.

"4. To remove from the military service and from the Administration in general all officers and functionaries guilty of propaganda against the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, whose names and deeds the Austro-Hungarian Government reserves to itself the right of communicating to the Royal Government.

"5. To accept the collaboration in Serbia of representatives of the Austro-Hungarian Government in the suppression of the subversive movement directed against the territorial integrity of the monarchy.

(p. 265) "6. To take judicial proceedings against accessories to the plot of June 28 who are on Serbian territory. Delegates of the Austro-Hungarian Government will take part in the investigation relating thereto.

"7. To proceed without delay to the arrest of Major Voija Tankositch and of the individual named Milan Ciganovitch, a Serbian state employee, who have been compromised by the results of the magisterial inquiry at Sarajevo.

"8. To prevent by effective measures the cooperation of the Serbian authorities in the illicit traffic in arms and explosives across the frontier, and to dismiss and punish severely officials of the frontier service at Schabatz and Loznica guilty of having assisted the perpetrators of the Sarajevo crime by facilitating the passage of the frontier for them.

"9. To furnish the Austro-Hungarian Government with explanations regarding the unjustifiable utterances of high Serbian officials, both in Serbia and abroad, who, notwithstanding their official position, did not hesitate after the crime of June 28 to express themselves in interviews in terms of hostility to the Austro-Hungarian Government, and finally;

"10. To notify the Austro-Hungarian Government without delay of the execution of the measures comprised under the preceding heads.

"The Austro-Hungarian Government expects the reply of the Serbian Government at the latest by six o'clock on Saturday evening, July 26, 1914."[Back to Contents]

Austria, 1815-1914.



Because this note was so specific in its demands it is best to give in full the Serbian reply to it, which was issued within the period set by the Austro-Hungarian note. The Serbian answer in full was as follows:

(p. 266) "The Royal Serbian Government has received the communication of the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government, and it is persuaded that its reply will remove all misunderstanding tending to threaten or to prejudice the friendly and neighborly relations between the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the kingdom of Serbia.

"The Royal Government is aware that the protests made both at the tribune of the National Skupshtina (the Serbian legislative body) and in the declarations and the acts of responsible representatives of the state—protests which were cut short by the declaration of the Serbian Government made on March 18—have not been renewed toward the great neighboring monarchy on any occasion and that since this time, both on the part of the Royal Governments which have followed on one another, and on the part of their organs, no attempt has been made with the purpose of changing the political and judicial state of things in this respect.

"The Imperial and Royal Government has made no representations save concerning a scholastic book regarding which the Imperial and Royal Government has received an entirely satisfactory explanation. Serbia has repeatedly given proofs of her pacific and moderate policy during the Balkan crises, and it is thanks to Serbia and the sacrifice she made exclusively in the interest of the peace of Europe that this peace has been preserved. The Royal Government cannot be held responsible for manifestations of a private nature, such as newspaper articles and the peaceful work of societies—manifestations which occur in almost all countries as a matter of course, and which, as a general rule, escape official control—all the less in that the Royal Government when solving a whole series of questions which came up between Serbia and Austria-Hungary has displayed a great readiness to treat prevenance, and in this way succeeded in settling the greater number to the advantage of the progress of the two neighboring countries.

"It is for this reason that the Royal Government has been painfully surprised by the statements according to which persons of the Kingdom of Serbia are said to have taken part in the (p. 267) preparation of the outrage committed at Sarajevo. It expected that it would be invited to collaborate in the investigation of everything bearing on this crime, and it was ready to prove by its actions its entire correctness to take steps against all persons with regard to whom communications had been made to it, thus acquiescing in the desire of the Imperial and Royal Government.

"The Royal Government is disposed to hand over to the courts any Serbian subject, without regard to his situation and rank, for whose complicity in the crime of Sarajevo it shall have been furnished with proofs, and especially it engages itself to have published on the front page of the official journal of July 13-26 the following announcement:

"'The Royal Serbian Government condemns all propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary, that is to say, all tendencies as a whole of which the ultimate object is to detach from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy territories which form part of it, and it sincerely deplores the fatal consequences of these criminal actions. The Royal Government regrets that Serbian officers and officials should, according to the communication of the Imperial and Royal Government, have participated in the above-mentioned propaganda, thereby compromising the good neighborly relations to which the Royal Government solemnly pledged itself by its declaration of March 31, 1909. The Government, which disapproves and repudiates any idea or attempt to interfere in the destinies of the inhabitants of any part of Austria-Hungary whatsoever, considers it its duty to utter a formal warning to the officers, the officials, and the whole population of the kingdom that henceforth it will proceed with the utmost rigor against persons who render themselves guilty of such actions, which it will use all its force to prevent and repress.'

"This announcement shall be brought to the cognizance of the Royal army by an order of the day issued in the name of his Majesty the King by H. R. H. the Crown Prince Alexander, and shall be published in the next official bulletin of the army.

"1. The Royal Government engages itself, furthermore, to lay before the next meeting of the Skupshtina an amendment to (p. 268) the press law, punishing in the severest manner incitements to hate and contempt of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and also all publications of which the general tendency is directed against the territorial integrity of the monarchy. It undertakes at the forthcoming revision of the constitution to introduce an amendment whereby the above publications may be confiscated, which is at present forbidden by the terms of Article XXII of the constitution.

"2. The Government does not possess any proof, nor does the note of the Imperial and Royal Government furnish such, that the Society Narodna Obrana and other similar societies have up to the present committed any criminal acts of this kind through the instrumentality of one of their members. Nevertheless, the Royal Government will accept the demand of the Imperial and Royal Government and will dissolve the Narodna Obrana Society and any other society which shall agitate against Austria-Hungary.

"3. The Royal Serbian Government engages itself to eliminate without delay for public instruction in Serbia everything which aids or might aid in fomenting the propaganda against Austria-Hungary when the Imperial and Royal Government furnishes facts and proofs of this propaganda.

"4. The Royal Government also agrees to remove from the military service (all persons) whom the judicial inquiry proves to have been guilty of acts directed against the integrity of the territory of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and it expects the Imperial and Royal Government to communicate at an ulterior date the names and the deeds of these officers and officials for the purposes of the proceedings which will have to be taken.

"5. The Royal Government must confess that it is not quite clear as to the sense and object of the demands of the Imperial and Royal Government that Serbia should undertake to accept on her territory the collaboration of delegates of the Imperial and Royal Government, but it declares that it will admit whatever collaboration which may be in accord with the principles of international law and criminal procedure, as well as with good neighborly relations.

(p. 269) "6. The Royal Government, as goes without saying, considers it to be its duty to open an inquiry against all those who are, or shall eventually prove to have been, involved in the plot of June 28, and who are in Serbian territory. As to the participation at this investigation of agents of the Austro-Hungarian authorities delegated for this purpose by the Imperial and Royal Government, the Royal Government cannot accept this demand, for it would be a violation of the constitution and of the law of criminal procedure. Nevertheless, in concrete cases it might be found possible to communicate the results of the investigation in question to the Austro-Hungarian representatives.

"7. On the very evening that the note was handed in the Royal Government arrested Major Voija Tankositch. As for Milan Ciganovitch, who is a subject of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and who until June 15 was employed as a beginner in the administration of the railways, it has not yet been possible to (arrest) him. In view of the ultimate inquiry the Imperial and Royal Government is requested to have the goodness to communicate in the usual form as soon as possible the presumptions of guilt, as well as the eventual proofs of guilt, against these persons which have been collected up to the present in the investigations at Sarajevo.

"8. The Serbian Government will strengthen and extend the measures taken to prevent the illicit traffic of arms and explosives across the frontier. It goes without saying that it will immediately order an investigation and will severely punish the frontier officials along the line Schabatz-Losnitza who have been lacking in their duties and who allowed the authors of the crime of Sarajevo to pass.

"9. The Royal Government will willingly give explanations regarding the remarks made in interviews by its officials, both in Serbia and abroad, after the attempt, and which, according to the statement of the Imperial and Royal Government, were hostile toward the monarchy, as soon as the Imperial and Royal Government has (forwarded) it the passages in question of these remarks and as soon as it has shown that the remarks made were (p. 270) really made by the officials regarding whom the Royal Government itself will see about collecting proofs.

Franz Josef I, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.

"10. The Royal Government will inform the Imperial and Royal Government of the execution of the measures comprised in the preceding points, in so far as that has not already been done by the present note, as soon as such measure has been ordered and executed.

"In the event of the Imperial and Royal Government considering that it is to the common interest not to precipitate the solution of this question, it is ready, as always, to accept a pacific understanding, either by referring this question to the decision of The Hague International Tribunal or to the great powers which took part in the drawing up of the declaration made by the Serbian Government on March 18-31, 1909."[Back to Contents]



This reply from Serbia was not deemed satisfactory by Austria-Hungary and relations with Serbia were immediately broken off. On the following day, July 26, 1914, "diplomatic conversations," the object of which was to smooth over the differences between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, took place in Berlin, St. Petersburg and Vienna between representatives of the three nations whose capitals these were.

Austria-Hungary sent to the various governments the following "circular note" on July 27, 1914:

"The object of the Serbian note is to create the false impression that the Serbian Government is prepared in great measure to comply with our demands.

"As a matter of fact, however, Serbia's note is filled with the spirit of dishonesty, which clearly lets it be seen that the Serbian Government is not seriously determined to put an end to the culpable tolerance it hitherto has extended to intrigues against the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

(p. 271) "The Serbian note contains such far-reaching reservations and limitations not only regarding the general principles of our Action, but also in regard to the individual claims we have put forward, that the concessions actually made by Serbia become insignificant.

"In particular, our demand for the participation of the Austro-Hungarian authorities in investigations to detect accomplices in the conspiracy on Serbian territory has been rejected, while our request that measures be taken against that section of the Serbian press hostile to Austria-Hungary has been declined, and our wish that the Serbian Government take the necessary measures to prevent the dissolved Austrophobe associations continuing their activity under another name and under another form has not even been considered.

"Since the claims in the Austro-Hungarian note of July 23, regard being had to the attitude hitherto adopted by Serbia, represent the minimum of what is necessary for the establishment of permanent peace with the southeastern monarchy, the Serbian answer must be regarded as unsatisfactory.

"That the Serbian Government itself is conscious that its note is not acceptable to us is proved by the circumstances that it proposes at the end of the note to submit the dispute to arbitration—an invitation which is thrown into its proper light by the fact that three hours before handing in the note, a few minutes before the expiration of the time limit, the mobilization of the Serbian army took place."

The Great powers were not willing to go to war without first trying mediation between the two kingdoms in southeastern Europe, and even Russia, which was known to be a potential ally of Serbia, showed a disposition to use diplomacy before force. When the demands made by Austria-Hungary in her note of July 25, 1914, became known in the Russian capital, the following note was immediately telegraphed to Vienna:

"The communication [the circular note quoted above] made by Austria-Hungary to the powers the day after the presentation of the ultimatum at Belgrade leaves a period to the powers which is quite insufficient to enable them to take any (p. 272) steps which might help to smooth away the difficulties that have arisen.

"In order to prevent the consequences, equally incalculable and fatal to all the powers, which may result from the course of action followed by the Austro-Hungarian Government, it seems to us to be above all essential that the period allowed for the Serbian reply should be extended. Austria-Hungary, having declared her readiness to inform the powers of the results of the inquiry upon which the Imperial and Royal Government base their accusations, should equally allow them sufficient time to study them.

"In this case, if the powers were convinced that certain of the Austrian demands were well founded, they would be in a position to offer advice to the Serbian Government.

"A refusal to prolong the term of the ultimatum would render nugatory the proposals made by the Austro-Hungarian Government to the powers, and would be in contradiction to the very bases of international relations."

A copy of this note was at the same time sent to London with the addenda: "M. Sazonoff (Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs) hopes that his Britannic Majesty's Government will share the point of view set forth above, and he trusts that Sir E. Grey will see his way to furnish similar instructions to the British Ambassador at Vienna."

But on the same day, July 25, 1914, the Government at Vienna informed the powers that the note to Serbia was not an ultimatum; it was merely a démarche, and in it Austria had threatened to start military preparations, not operations. The requested delay, therefore, was not granted. That day was eventful in London, too, for the Foreign Office was notified by the German Ambassador that though Germany had not been apprised beforehand of the contents of Austria's note to Serbia, the German nation would nevertheless stand by its ally. "The German Ambassador read to me," said Sir Edward Grey in a telegram to the British Ambassador at Vienna, "a telegram from the German Foreign Office saying that his Government had not known beforehand, and had had no more than other powers to (p. 273) do with the stiff terms of the Austrian note to Serbia, but that once she had launched the note, Austria could not draw back." Prince Lichnowsky (German Ambassador at London) said, however, that "if what I contemplated was mediation between Austria and Russia, Austria might be able with dignity to accept it." He expressed himself as personally favorable to this suggestion.

"I concurred in his observation, and said that I felt I had no title to intervene between Austria and Serbia, but as soon as the question became one as between Austria and Russia, the peace of Europe was affected, in which we must all take a hand.

"I impressed upon the ambassador that, in the event of Russian and Austrian mobilization, the participation of Germany would be essential to any diplomatic peace. Alone we could do nothing. The German Government agreed with my suggestion, to tell the French Government that I thought it the right thing to act upon it."

On July 26, 1914, the Russian Ambassador at Berlin informed the German Government that he was instructed to state that any annexation by Austria-Hungary of Serbian territory would not be looked upon by Russia with indifference. The German Emperor, who had been away from Berlin, returned hastily to the capital. As the crisis approached the British Government once more attempted to have the matters in dispute settled by mediation. The following telegram was dispatched from Downing Street to the British Ambassadors at Paris and Rome: "London, Foreign Office, July 26, 1914. Would Minister of Foreign Affairs be disposed to instruct ambassador here to join with representatives of France, Italy, and Germany, and myself to meet here in conference immediately for the purpose of discovering an issue which would prevent complications? You should ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs whether he would do this. If so, when bringing the above suggestions to the notice of the Governments to which they are accredited, representatives of Belgrade, Vienna, and St. Petersburg, could be authorized to request that all active military operations should be suspended pending results of the conference."

(p. 274) But this move had come too late. The British Ambassador to Berlin reported by telegraph to his Government on July 27, 1914, that the Imperial German Government considered that the proposed conference amounted practically to a court of arbitration and could not be called except at the behest of Austria-Hungary and Russia. The German Government therefore turned down the British proposal. But Germany was not for provoking a war; the German Ambassador at London informed the British Foreign Office that his Government was willing to accept in principle the mediation of the powers between Austria and Russia.

The question of whether the alliances between the various nations would hold under a strain now became pointed. The Russian Government informed the British Government on July 27, 1914, that the impression prevailed in Berlin and Vienna that England would stand aloof under any circumstances, differences between Russia and Austria notwithstanding. But on the same day Sir Edward Grey, British Minister for Foreign Affairs, dispelled these impressions in a telegram to the British Ambassador at St. Petersburg. "The impression ought to be dispelled by the orders we have given to the First Fleet," it read in part, "which is concentrated, as it happens, at Portland, not to disperse for maneuver leave." On July 28, 1914, the British Government was informed that France and Russia were agreeable to having a conference called in London; the Italian Government had already reported that it agreed to this plan, but the refusal of Germany, mentioned above, rendered these communications useless.

On July 28, 1914, the British Government was informed by telegram from its Ambassador at Vienna that "Austria-Hungary cannot delay warlike proceedings against Serbia, and would have to decline any suggestions of negotiations on basis of Serbian reply.

"Prestige of Dual Monarchy was engaged, and nothing could now prevent conflict." This telegram, be it noted, made use of the term "military proceedings" instead of "military preparations" and therefore had the effect of changing Austria-Hungary's (p. 275) note to Serbia into an ultimatum. Russia, on July 28, 1914, began to mobilize troops near Odessa, Moscow, Kieff and Kazan, and on the following day this fact was communicated officially to the Government at Berlin.

As Austria-Hungary and Russia were about to come to grips Germany made it plain that she would stand by her ally, Austria-Hungary. In times of peace there may have been doubt throughout Europe as to the strength of the bonds of the Triple Entente, but the German Government was not disposed to rely on these doubts when the critical moment came. The British Ambassador at Berlin was asked to visit the German Chancellor and as a result of this visit the former sent the following telegram to the British Foreign Office:

"Berlin, July 29, 1914. I was asked to call upon the chancellor to-night. His excellency had just returned from Potsdam.

"He said that should Austria be attacked by Russia a European conflagration might, he feared, become inevitable, owing to Germany's obligations as Austria's ally, in spite of his continued efforts to maintain peace. He then proceeded to make the following strong bid for British neutrality. He said that it was clear, so far as he was able to judge the main principle which governed British policy, that Great Britain would never stand by and allow France to be crushed in any conflict there might be. That, however, was not the object at which Germany aimed. Provided that neutrality of Great Britain were certain, every assurance would be given to the British Government that the Imperial Government aimed at no territorial acquisitions at the expense of France should they prove victorious in any war that might ensue.

"I questioned his excellency about the French colonies, and he said that he was unable to give a similar undertaking in that respect. As regards Holland, however, his excellency said that, so long as Germany's adversaries respected the integrity and neutrality of the Netherlands, Germany was ready to give his Majesty's Government an assurance that she would do likewise. It depended upon the action of France what operations Germany might be forced to enter upon in Belgium, but when the war (p. 276) was over Belgian integrity would be respected if she had not sided against Germany.

"His excellency ended by saying that ever since he had been chancellor the object of his policy had been, as you were aware, to bring about an understanding with England; he trusted that these assurances might form the basis of that understanding which he so much desired. He had in mind a general neutrality agreement between England and Germany, though it was of course at the present moment too early to discuss details, and an assurance of British neutrality in the conflict which the present crisis might possibly produce would enable him to look forward to a realization of his desire.

"In reply to his excellency's inquiry how I thought his request would appeal to you, I said that I did not think it probable that at this stage of events you would care to bind yourself to any course of action and that I was of opinion that you would desire to retain full liberty."

Here for the first time the matter of Belgian neutrality entered into the diplomatic discussions; the danger of a Pan-European conflict was apparent, for the diplomats from then on were less concerned with the Austro-Hungarian dispute with Serbia than with the possibilities that a war in western Europe might entail. On the same day, July 29, 1914, the German Ambassador at London was officially informed that if the European crisis involved nothing more than disputes between Russia and Austria on the one hand, and the military operations of Austria in Serbia on the other, England would keep out of the trouble, but if Germany went to war with Russia, or if France went to war, England could not stand quietly aside. News had come that day that Austria had declared war on Serbia the day before. The declaration read as follows:

"The Royal Government of Serbia, not having replied in a satisfactory manner to the note remitted to it by the Austro-Hungarian Minister in Belgrade on July 23, 1914, the Imperial and Royal Government finds itself compelled to proceed to safeguard its rights and interests and to have recourse for this purpose to force of arms.

(p. 278) "Austria-Hungary considers itself, therefore, from this moment in a state of war with Serbia."

Poland and Its Divisions from 1772-1914.

At the same time the Government at Vienna issued this note to the foreign ambassadors there with the request that they forward it to their respective governments:

"In order to bring to an end the subversive intrigues originating from Belgrade and aimed at the territorial integrity of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the Imperial and Royal Government has delivered to the Royal Serbian Government a note in which a series of demands were formulated, for the acceptance of which a delay of forty-eight hours has been granted to the Royal Government. The Royal Serbian Government not having answered this note in a satisfactory manner, the Imperial and Royal Government are themselves compelled to see to the safeguarding of their rights and interest, and with this object, to have recourse to force of arms.

"Austria-Hungary, who has just addressed to Serbia a formal declaration, in conformity with Article I of the convention of October 18, 1907, relative to the opening of hostilities, considers itself in a state of war with Serbia.

"In bringing the above notice to the powers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the honor to declare that Austria-Hungary will act during the hostilities in conformity with the terms of the Conventions of the Hague of October 18, 1907, as also with those of the Declaration of London of February 28, 1909, provided an analogous procedure is adopted by Serbia."

The great question as to what Russia would do was answered by a note issued at St. Petersburg, July 28, 1914, which stated that Russia wished, above all, to maintain peace. But the moments during which words alone would be availing were fast passing. Austria-Hungary was mobilizing her armies, and not all of the mobilization was on her southern frontier; some corps were gathered at points from which a blow from Russia might be warded off, or offensive move against Russia made.

On July 30, 1914, the German Government sent a short note to St. Petersburg, in which three questions were asked. These were: the reason for the Russian mobilization, which Berlin (p. 279) knew to be in progress; whether it was directed against Austria; and on what terms Russia might be induced to demobilize.

The Czar, on July 31, 1914, sent a note to the German Emperor in which he said in part: "... It is technically impossible to discontinue our military operations, which have been rendered necessary by Austrian mobilization. We are far from wishing for war, and so long as negotiations with Austria regarding Serbia continue, my troops will not undertake any provocative actions." This was an admission that Russian general mobilization was in progress.[Back to Contents]



As a matter of fact, during the last days of July, 1914, all the Governments in Europe had their military departments busy on the problem of preparing for the first blows in war; these included not only the six leading powers, but also the Scandinavian countries, Spain, Portugal, all the Balkan kingdoms, and Belgium and Holland. The diplomatic exchanges that were meanwhile taking place were known to all experienced statesmen to be hardly more than masks.

On August 1, 1914, the kaiser declared Germany to be "in a state of war." This did not carry with it a declaration of war against any power, but had the effect of putting the entire German Empire under martial law, everything being in readiness to cope with an enemy. On the same day the kaiser made an important speech in which he said, "A fateful hour has fallen for Germany. Envious peoples everywhere are compelling us to our just defense. The sword has been forced into our hands.

"I hope that if my efforts at the last hour do not succeed in inducing our opponents to see eye to eye with us and in maintaining peace, we shall, with God's help, so wield the sword that we shall restore it to its sheath again with honor." On the same day, however—namely August 1, 1914, at five o'clock (p. 280) in the evening he signed an order mobilizing the German army, and Russia and Germany went to war two hours later. A demand made upon the French Government by the German Government, asking the intentions of France in case Russia went to war with Germany, received an unsatisfactory reply on August 2, 1914, and France on the same day mobilized its army, though it declared war on no power. On August 3, 1914, German troops entered French territory, for Germany did not wish to be delayed in a campaign in the west by waiting for diplomatic exchanges to take place; war between Germany and France began at the moment the foreign soldiers crossed into France.

It was, in theory at least, over the matter of Belgian neutrality that England and Germany went to war. As soon the British Government saw that hopes for peace were no longer possible Sir Edward Grey sent to its ambassadors in Germany and France the following telegram; "London, July 31, 1914; I still trust situation is not irretrievable, but in view of prospect of mobilization in Germany it becomes essential to his Majesty's Government, in view of existing treaties, to ask whether French [and German] Government is prepared to engage to respect the neutrality of Belgium so long as no other power violates it. A similar request is being addressed to the German [and French] Government. It is important to have an early answer."

To this telegram the French Government, on August 1, 1914, answered that it stood ready to respect Belgian neutrality provided no other power threatened or violated it. Germany hesitated to give a definite reply immediately for fear of disclosing the plans of campaign she had against France.

On August 3, 1914, German troops moved into Luxemburg, en route for France, and it was then known that a German invasion of Belgium would be inevitable. But before taking this step Germany tendered certain proposals to the Belgian Government, assuring it that if peaceful passage were given to German troops Belgium would be given a subsidy. But the Belgian Government turned down these proposals and the king sent this telegram to the British monarch: "Remembering the numerous proofs of your majesty's friendship and that of your predecessor, (p. 281) of the friendly attitude of England in 1870, and the proof of the friendship which she has just given us again, I make a supreme appeal to the diplomatic intervention of your Majesty's Government to safeguard the integrity of Belgium."

Italy and England were now the only two important powers in Europe which were not embroiled in war, but the moment was rapidly approaching when the former could no longer keep out of it, if for no other reason than to see that the balance of power in Europe was not upset. On August 4, 1914, Sir Edward Grey said in the British House of Commons, "The French fleet is now in the Mediterranean, and the northern coasts of France are defenseless. If a foreign fleet engaged in war against France should come down and battle against those defenseless coasts, we could not stand aside. We felt strongly that France was entitled to know at once whether, in the event of attack on her unprotected coasts, she could rely on our support. I gave the engagement to the French Ambassador last night that if the German fleet goes into the English Channel or into the North Sea to attack French shipping, or the French coast, the British fleet will give all the protection in its power. That answer is subject to the approval of Parliament. It is not a declaration of war. I understand that the German Government would be prepared, if we would pledge ourselves to neutrality, to agree that its fleet would not attack the northern coasts of France. That is far too narrow an engagement." Germany had thrown down the gauntlet in showing she intended to invade Belgium; Great Britain here threw down the gauntlet. It could be but a question of hours before Germany and England went to war.

Meanwhile, because war was already on between Germany and France, the latter did not go to the trouble of issuing a declaration of war. And on August 4, 1914, the Italian Government announced that "The Italian Cabinet has decided that while some of the European powers are at war Italy is at peace with all the belligerents. Consequently the citizens and subjects of the Kingdom of Italy are obliged to observe the duty of neutrality." This declaration of neutrality severed the bonds that held Italy to the Triple Alliance. On the same afternoon, (p. 282) August 4, 1914, the Russian Ambassador at Berlin was handed his passports and departed; this official statement was given to the German press: "In consequence of a Russian attack on German territory Germany is in a state of war with Russia.

"The French reply to Germany's note has been received in the meantime, and is of an unsatisfactory character. In addition France has ordered the mobilization of her army so that the outbreak of war between Germany and France must be awaited at any moment." The outbreak of war between France and Germany was indeed near at hand, for, as we have already seen, Germany declared war on France August 3, 1914, and on that very day served an ultimatum on neutral Belgium and occupied Luxemburg preparatory to an immediate invasion of Belgium. In view of the evident long and careful preparations for just such a sudden stroke, by which to crush France and take Paris before the French armies could offer adequate resistance, the clumsy attempts of the Germans on August 2, 1914, to represent the French as the aggressors seem ridiculous, though typical of German attempts to influence opinion at home and abroad. The German Government declared that French airmen had flown over Nuremburg, that French officers in German uniforms had crossed the German frontier from Holland, that the French were already in Alsace. These stories deceived no one.

What the neutral nations saw and understood was that the autocratic governments of Germany and Austria-Hungary had plunged the world into a war of incalculable magnitude, almost without warning and with comparatively trivial pretexts. There had been only a brief mockery of diplomatic interchanges, for the most part by telegraph and telephone.

On August 4, 1914, the last chance for averting war between England and Germany went by. On that date the British Foreign Office had telegraphed to its Envoy at Brussels: "You should inform Belgian Government that if pressure is applied to them by Germany to induce them to depart from neutrality, his Majesty's Government expect that they will resist by any means in their power, and that his Majesty's Government will support them in offering such resistance, and that his Majesty's Government (p. 283) in this event are prepared to join Russia and France, if desired, in offering to the Belgian Government at once common action for the purpose of resisting use of force by Germany against them, and a guarantee to maintain their independence and integrity in future years."

Germany, through its Intelligence Department, was aware that this note had been sent, but the invasion of Belgium began, nevertheless. Then came an ultimatum from England. As soon as the British Foreign Office had learned that German troops had crossed the border and that the fortifications at Liege had been summoned to surrender to the German army, this telegram was sent to the British Ambassador at Berlin:

"London Foreign Office, August 4, 1914. We hear that Germany has addressed note to Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs stating that German Government will be compelled to carry out, if necessary, by force of arms, the measures considered indispensable.

"We are also informed that Belgian territory has been violated at Gemmenich.

"In these circumstances, and in view of the fact that Germany declined to give the same assurance respecting Belgium as France gave last week in reply to our request made simultaneously at Berlin and Paris, we must repeat that request and ask that a satisfactory reply to it and to my telegram of this morning [which said that England was bound to protest against violation of Belgian neutrality] be received here by twelve o'clock to-night. If not, you are instructed to ask for your passports and to say that his Majesty's Government feel bound to take all steps in their power to uphold the neutrality of Belgium and the observance of a treaty to which Germany is as much a part as ourselves."

Midnight of August 4, 1914, came and the German Government had not yet made a reply to this note; fifteen minutes of grace were allowed, and then the British Government formally declared war.

The next move of a world power, toward belligerency, came in the Far East. In 1911 Japan and England had entered an (p. 284) offensive and defensive alliance, which bound each to come to the other's aid should that other become involved in war with more than one nation. Japan readily agreed to live up to its part, and on August 16, 1914, sent an ultimatum to Germany which read:

"Tokyo, August 16, 1914. We consider it highly important and necessary in the present situation to take measures to remove the causes of all disturbances of the peace in the Far East, and to safeguard the general interests as contemplated by the agreement of alliance between Japan and Great Britain.

"In order to secure a firm and enduring peace in eastern Asia, the establishment of which is the aid of the said agreement, the Imperial Japanese Government sincerely believes it to be its duty to give the advice to the Imperial German Government to carry out the following two propositions:

"First. To withdraw immediately from Japanese and Chinese waters German men-of-war and armed vessels of all kinds, and to disarm at once those which cannot be so withdrawn.

"Second. To deliver on a date not later than September 15 to the Imperial Japanese authorities, without condition or compensation, the entire leased territory of Kiao-chau, with a view to the eventual restoration of the same to China.

"The Imperial Japanese Government announces at the same time that in the event of its not receiving by noon on August 23, 1914, an answer from the Imperial German Government, signifying its unconditional acceptance of the above advice offered by the Imperial Japanese Government, Japan will be compelled to take such action as she may deem necessary to meet the situation."

The time limit set for the German reply came and passed with no official communication with Berlin. Consequently the Japanese Government declared war in the following proclamation:

"Issued at Tokyo, August 23, 1914, at 6 p. m.

"We, by the Grace of Heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated on the throne occupied by the same dynasty from time immemorial, do hereby make the following proclamation to all our loyal and brave subjects:

"We hereby declare war against Germany, and we command our army and navy to carry on hostilities against that empire (p. 285) with all strength, and we also command our competent authorities to make every effort, in pursuance of their respective duties, to attain the national aim by all means within the limits of the law of nations.

"Since the outbreak of the present war in Europe, the calamitous effect of which we view with grave concern, we on our part have entertained hopes of preserving the peace of the Far East by the maintenance of strict neutrality, but the action of Germany has at length compelled Great Britain, our ally, to open hostilities against that country, and Germany is at Kiao-chau, its leased territory in China, busy with warlike preparations, while its armed vessels cruising the seas of eastern Asia are threatening our commerce and that of our ally. Peace of the Far East is thus in jeopardy.

"Accordingly, our Government and that of his Britannic Majesty, after full and frank communication with each other, agreed to take such measures as may be necessary for the protection of the general interests contemplated in the Agreement of Alliance, and we on our part, being desirous to attain that object by peaceful means, commanded our Government to offer with sincerity an advice to the Imperial German Government. But on the last day appointed for the purpose, however, our Government failed to receive an answer accepting their advice. It is with profound regret that we, in spite of our ardent devotion to the cause of peace, are thus compelled to declare war, especially at this early period of our reign, and while we are still in mourning for our lamented mother.

"It is our earnest wish that by the loyalty and valor of our faithful subjects peace may soon be restored and the glory of the empire be enhanced."

Germany made no reply to the Japanese declaration. On August 19, 1914, the emperor had sent word to the garrison at Kiao-chau that it was to defend itself against all attacks made by the Japanese, and when the commander there heard of the Japanese declaration he issued a statement in which he invited the Japanese, if they wanted the place, to come and fight for it.[Back to Contents]



The fundamental factor in war is territory. Whether war be viewed from the point of its relation to the racial characteristics of the nations who are opposed, or to national rivalries, or to imperial ambitions, the solid fact remains that war is of peoples who live upon a certain land domain, who possess frontiers that may be attacked and must be defended, and whose patriotism coheres with geographical boundaries. The riches of a country depend upon territory and the density of population. Consequently the proportion of men able to bear arms depends upon territory, and the power of self-maintenance under times of stress—such as a blockade—is again a territorial question.

The Germanic nations, known as the Central Powers, which were allied at the opening of the war were the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The area of the German Empire (exclusive of colonial possessions) in 1914 was 208,825.2 square miles. The area of the Austrian Empire was 115,831.9, and of the kingdom of Hungary was 125,641.2. In addition to these, the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina was 19,767.9, making the total area of the territories of the Central Powers the sum of 470,093.2 square miles.

The nations known as the "Allies" in popular speech, consisted, at the opening of the war, of the British Empire, the French Republic, and the Russian Empire. Using the same basis of comparison, the area of the British Isles was 121,633 square miles; the area of the Republic of France was 207,129 square miles; and the area of European Russia, including Finland and Poland, and excluding territory within the Arctic circle, was approximately 2,500,000 square miles. Serbia had an area of 34,000 square miles. Belgium, although in no way responsible for the outbreak of the war—no matter from what point of view (p. 287) it may be considered—became the nation to suffer most at first and in the very earliest days of the war was on the side of the Allies. Her area, exclusive of oversea possessions, was 11,373 square miles. This makes a total of 2,874,135 square miles for the Allies, a preponderance of territory which seems extraordinarily disproportionate until it is realized that the British Isles, France, Belgium, and Serbia together were far smaller than the combined territories of the Central Powers, and that only a small proportion of European Russia was liable to become a part of the actual field of conflict.

Passing on to larger figures, that is to say to the total area of all the possessions of the nations involved, it will be seen that the preponderance on the part of the Allies is even greater. Thus the German Empire, inclusive of colonial possessions in Africa, in Asia, and in the Pacific, contained 1,236,600 square miles. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, as previously stated, was 261,239 square miles, there being no oversea colonies. This makes a total of 1,497,839 square miles as the total territory of the Central Powers.

Balanced against this come the enormous figures of the three great allied empires. The area of the British Empire was approximately 13,158,712 square miles, the Republic of France and her colonies 4,983,086 square miles, and the Russian Empire 8,394,018 square miles. The three empires combined thus made a total of 26,535,816 square miles, or but very little less than one-half of the total land area of the earth. These figures are compiled from the latest sources before the opening of the war, but it is to be remembered that some of the figures are approximate. For example the French possessions in Africa, of enormous extent, have not been surveyed, and there are vast stretches of Arctic Siberia and Arctic Canada which are but half explored. The small territories of Belgium and Serbia may be added to the total of the three great allied empires, and thus practically one-half of the earth on this globe was opposed to the million and a half square miles of the Central Powers.

Owing to Bulgaria's position in the Balkan Peninsula, and also owing to aggrievement following the results of former Balkan (p. 288) wars, Bulgaria joined the Central Powers later in the war. Turkey, also, fearing the loss of Constantinople to the Russians as a result of the coalition of the Allies, threw her forces on the side of Germany. The area of Bulgaria was only 43,000 square miles, but the Ottoman or Turkish Empire was territorially very large, containing 1,420,448 square miles, or almost as much as Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria combined. In round numbers, and for easy remembrance, it may be said that the territory of the Central Powers engaged in the war was about three million square miles.

For a long time Italy maintained neutrality, but the onrush of conditions forced her into the war, also on the side of the Allies. The territory of European Italy was 110,623 square miles, and inclusive of her African possessions the territory under the Italian flag was 706,623 square miles.

The territory of the Japanese Empire, also, needs to be taken into consideration, for the reason that Japan, while not entering the European theater of war, declared herself on the side of the Allies by the capture of Kiao-chau, a district leased from China by Germany, and the very next month declared to be a German protectorate. The territorial extent of the Japanese Empire was 254,266 square miles, inclusive of Korea. These are the principal factors to be taken into consideration in the mere question of the territorial extent of the opposing forces.

The geographical position of the belligerent countries, with their corresponding advantages and disadvantages, is the next factor to be considered. The geographical position of the Central Powers is best expressed by the fact that they are central. They have all the advantages of being in a united whole. When, later in the war, Serbia was conquered, Bulgaria joined the Central Powers and Turkey was swung into line, the same condition held true. Germany and her allies were a homogeneous unit, geographically considered. From the point of view of land defense very little of Germany's frontiers bordered upon enemy territory. The small section that confronted France on the west and the larger section facing Russia on the east were her only open points of attack. Her sea front except for the small section (p. 289) near the mouth of the Rhine, was on the Baltic, and secure from naval attack except by the Russian fleet, and Russia has never been a naval power. Her Mediterranean outlet, near Trieste and Fiume, menaced by the Mediterranean fleets of the allied powers, was comparatively safe, for the Austrian fleet was an efficient fighting unit, especially so for defense.

As opposed to this was the openness of England, France, and Russia to naval attack. England has but a small proportion of land to seacoast, and France is open to the sea on three sides. Russia, fronting the Baltic, possessed an infinitely inferior fleet, to which the Allies could send no reenforcement as long as the Skagerrak and Cattegat Straits were the only way into the Baltic; moreover, by the Kiel Canal, connecting the North Sea and the Baltic, the remodeling of which was completed in a few months before the declarations of war, a German naval fleet would possess an enormous advantage over an allied fleet, endeavoring to force entrance into the Baltic. In addition to this, while the Central Powers could work together on both fronts with great ease, thanks to the excellent system of German railways, Great Britain and France had no means of direct communication with their great ally in the east of Europe. Thus, in a measure, the Central Powers were not attacking the Allies at any one time, though it might truly be said that they were being attacked by the Allies. In the event of any lack of synchronization between the plans of Russia and those of the western allies, German and Austrian troops could be massed first on one side of the field of operations and then on the other. Such action was impossible to the Allies. At the time of the great German advance on Paris, Russia could give no aid. At the time of the German advance on Riga, Britain and France could give no aid. Both German advances were checked and the invaders driven back, not by the armies of the Allies, but by two non-interlocking parts of the armies of the Allies. At the same time, the susceptibility to attack on both sides prevented the Central Powers from deflecting all their men to either front, and thus by the mere existence of passive menace, prevented the Central Powers from using their geographic advantage to the full.

(p. 290) Their disadvantage, in the military sense of the recognition of geographical conditions, was that the Central Powers had constantly to bear in mind the necessity of fighting upon two fronts. Russian activity, while important to Britain and France, was a matter with which their policy had nothing to do; the coordination of movements on the west front was a matter entirely outside the scope of the operations of the Russian commanders. The German military staff, on the other hand, had the task of constantly coordinating two separate campaigns, to determine where the greatest number of men should be, to avoid weakening the one side or the other at the wrong moment.

The advantages, again considered geographically, greatly outweigh the disadvantages. The first of these was the homogeneity of the Central Powers. A general could attend a war council in Berlin in the evening, and one in Vienna the next morning. The influence of Germany was an understood thing, moreover, and in Vienna there was a readiness to accept and carry out the policies of the German military staff. There was also a geographical homogeneity, due to modern facility of communication. Not only in mobilization, but in the entire conduct of the war, the geographic nearness of points in Germany and Austria was brought about by an excellent east and west railway system. The disadvantage of fighting on two fronts was partly compensated by the fact that within three days enormous masses of men could be moved from Galicia to the Rhine, or from the Belgian frontier to the wastes of East Prussia. In all Europe there is no stretch of land so well suited by nature for this task of fighting upon two fronts as the area of the combined Austrian and German Empires. This is emphasized by the topography of the Baltic Plain, the Rhine and Danube valleys. One might say, in a measure, that this stretch of territory has not wasted any of its natural mountain defenses by flinging them athwart the territory. Thus the Vosges defend against France, the Alps against Italy, the Transylvanian Alps against Rumania—in the event of that nation entering the war with Russia—the Carpathians behind Galicia against Russia's southern attacks, and the marshy country east of East Prussia against Russian northern (p. 291) attack. Yet it is to be added that these very advantages of defense were also disadvantages of attack. The march through Belgium would not have been necessitated if, for example, the portion of Central Powers territory that confronted France had been of the same character as that which confronted Russia. The mountainous character of that frontier was a determining factor in the invasion of Belgium. The invasion of Belgium was a determining factor in the relation which Germany sustained in the war to the allied powers, and especially to the neutral nations. The relation of the neutral nations, in modern warfare, which requires such immense supplies, is a factor of great importance for success in the field. Therefore, to close the syllogism, the mountainous character of the Vosges country was the primary factor in determining the relation of all other countries to the Central Powers, a factor constantly arising at every point in the Great War. On such geographical factors does the strategy of huge campaigns depend. One more example may be given. In the battles of the Marne it became evident that France's strongest defense was the Argonne Forest, in the battle of the Aisne it became clear that the geological formation of a river bank made the German position almost impregnable.

The topographical position of the allied powers is the next factor to be considered. Germany's geographical resources have been touched upon, and to them may be added the fact that, if invaded, she had, at the Rhine, a marvelous line to fall back upon. The first factor to be considered in France is its openness to attack. Thanks to the Vosges and the Argonne, a line of great strength could be established (it was so established and was so held in the teeth of determined attack) from Belfort to Verdun. But north of Verdun the earth-making forces have not been kind to France, in a military sense. From Verdun to the North Sea is, geographically speaking, open country. This is not the place to discuss the availability of forts in open country, it is sufficient to point out that there is no geographical defense. Between the German border and Paris there is no topographical barrier to an invading army. The Germans found this out in the Franco-Prussian War, and it had not been forgotten.[Back to Contents]

(p. 292) CHAPTER XXV


"The German mobilization was the greatest movement of people that the world has ever seen. Nearly four million people had to be transported from every part of the empire to her borders. The manner in which the population is distributed made the task extremely difficult. Berlin, Rhenish Westphalia, Upper Silesia, and Saxony, especially had to send their contingents in every direction, since the eastern provinces are more thinly settled and had to have a stronger guard for the borders immediately. The result was a hurrying to and fro of thousands and hundreds of thousands of soldiers, besides a flood of civilians who had to reach their homes as soon as possible. Countries where the population is more regularly distributed have an easier task than Germany, with its predominating urban population.

"The difficulties of the gigantic undertaking were also increased by the necessity for transporting war materials of every sort. In the west are chiefly industrial undertakings, in the east mainly agricultural. Horse raising is mostly confined to the provinces on the North Sea and the Baltic, but chiefly to East Prussia, and this province, the farthest away from France, had to send its best horses to the western border, as did also Schleswig-Holstein and Hanover. Coal for our warships had to go in the other direction. From the Rhenish mines it went to the North Sea, from Upper Silesia to the Baltic. Ammunition and heavy projectiles were transported from the central part of the empire to its borders. And everywhere these operations had to be carried on with haste....

"And how was it carried on? No one could have wondered if there had been hundreds of unforeseen incidents, if military trains had arrived at their stations with great delays, if there had resulted in many places a wild hugger-mugger from the tremendous problems on hand. But there was not a trace of this. ... All moved with the regularity of clockwork. Regiments (p. 294) that had been ordered to mobilize in the forenoon left in the evening for the field, fully equipped....

Armies of the Contesting Nations.

"A thing that raised the national enthusiasm still higher was the appearance of the troops in brand-new uniforms, complete from head to feet. The first sight of these new uniforms of modest, field gray, faultlessly made, evoked everywhere the question: Where did they come from? On the first day of mobilization dozens of cloth manufacturers appeared at the War Ministry with offers of new material. 'We don't want any' was the astonishing reply. Equal amazement was caused by the faultless boots and shoes of the new troops, especially in view of the recent famous 'boot speech' of the French Senator Humbert.

"Small arms, cannon, and ammunition are so plentiful, that they have merely to be unpacked. In view of all this, it is no wonder that the regiments marching in were everywhere greeted with jubilation, and that those marching out took leave of their garrisons with joyful songs. No one thinks of death and destruction, every one of happy victory and joyful reunion. German discipline, once so slandered, now celebrates its triumph.

"There was still another matter in which the troops gave their countrymen cause for rejoicing. Not one drunken man was seen during these earnest days on the city streets. The General Staff had, moreover, wisely ordered that during the mobilization, when every one had money in his pockets, alcoholic drinks were not to be sold at the railroad stations....

"The army is increased to many times its ordinary strength by the mobilization. It draws from everywhere millions of soldiers, workmen, horses, wagons, and other materials. The entire railway service is at its disposal.... Not only is our great army mobilized, but the whole folk is mobilized, and the distribution of labor, the food question, and the care of the sick and wounded are all being provided for. The whole German folk has become a gigantic war camp, all are mobilized to protect kaiser, folk, and fatherland, as the closing report of the Reichstag put it."

From this German statement of German mobilization by a German committee of men of the utmost standing in the empire (p. 295) certain things stand out very clearly. Of this the first one is that, with a peace strength of less than a million, on the very first flush of mobilization, every possible contingency for the mobilization of four million men was at hand. German mobilization, therefore, was not the devising of plans to carry out a project, but it was rather the putting into action of a vast interacting series of preparation that had long been made and carefully conceived for an attack upon the powers to the westward. From every point of view, looking at the mobilization at the opening of the war, Germany's was the most rapid and the most complete, and, as the "Truth about Germany" states, it was perhaps the most marvelous piece of military mobilization that the world has ever seen.

As mobilization finally results in army corps, and is designed to fit into a frame, the component parts of an army corps may be set forth to show the way in which all the various units have to be drawn together to their places on a battle front. A complete army corps of the German scheme consists of 56,000 combatants and 12,000 men in the supply train. Of this, 63.81 per cent are infantry, 11.56 per cent cavalry, 10.99 field artillery, 4.21 per cent light artillery, 4.21 engineer corps, etc., hospital corps 1.04, and miscellaneous 2.02 per cent. There are 4 brigades with 24 battalions, there are 24 batteries of field artillery with 144 guns, there are 8 squadrons of cavalry, 4 howitzer batteries with 16 heavy howitzers, a machine-gun section, a battalion of rifles, a battalion of engineers, a telegraph section, a bridge train, 6 provision columns, 7 wagon-park columns, a stretcher-bearer column, a horse depot, a field bakery, 12 field hospitals, and 8 ammunition columns.

One has but to think of the various places from which these men and stores must come, of the thousands of horses and hundreds of wagons; of the millions of rounds of ammunition, speeding from different points over different railroads, and when disembarked by roads, by lanes, even by small bypaths to the appointed place on the battle front, to realize what a marvelous feat is mobilization of a modern army at the time of an outbreak of war.

(p. 296) An insight into the manner in which this can be carried out, and incidentally, an insight into the preparedness of Germany for the war, is seen in an analysis of the extraordinary and otherwise inexplicable network of railways recently erected by Germany to tap the frontiers of Belgium and Luxemburg.

"In the southwest corner of Prussia," says Walter Littlefield, writing on this subject, "is a rectangular piece of territory, the western and eastern sides of which are formed respectively by the Belgian and Luxemburg frontiers and the River Rhine.... Five years ago, this little corner of Prussia had about 15.10 miles of railway to every hundred square miles of territory. At the opening of the war this had increased to 28.30. In five years, without any apparent industrial and commercial demand for it, this traction has been increased to nearly twice its length. Villages of less than 1,300 inhabitants have been linked up with double-track lines. For example, Pelm is 2-3/4 miles from Gerolstein, a town principally of comic-opera fame, and yet over this short distance, between the two villages, there are laid down six parallel lines of rail, besides numerous additional sidings.... Few of these lines, it is to be noted, cross the frontier. Three of them, as late as last May (this was written in the fall of 1914), led to blind terminals within a day's march of it—the double line from Cologne via Stolberg to Weiwertz, the double line from Cologne via Junkerath and Weiwertz to St. With and the double line from Remagen via Hillesheim and Pelm to Pronsfeld."

"Another point that is noticeable," says another observer, quoted in the same article, "is that provision exists everywhere at these new junctions and extensions for avoiding an upline crossing a down line on the level, the upline is carried over the down line by a bridge, involving long embankments on both sides (so new that as yet nothing has had time to grow on them) at great expense, but enormously simplifying traffic problems, when it comes to a question of full troop trains pushing through at the rate of one every quarter of an hour, and the empty cars returning eastward at the same rate.

"The detraining stations are of sufficient length to accommodate the longest troop train (ten cars) easily, and they generally (p. 297) have at least four sidings apart from the through up and down lines. Moreover, at almost every station there are two lines of sidings long enough for troop trains, so that they can be used to some extent as detraining stations, and so that a couple of troop trains can be held up at any time while traffic continues uninterrupted."

Such facts of railway preparedness explain, in a great measure, the means whereby Germany was able to launch upon the Belgian, Luxemburg, and French frontiers such a vast array of fully equipped troops almost at the moment of the outbreak of the war. It must be left to the reader to determine whether there is any connection between this activity of railroad building in a district industrially inactive on a frontier that was always held inviolate; and the violation of that territory by means of these very railroads. Facts remain facts, however, and the absolutely admitted facts declare that German mobilization was directed, not at the French frontier, but at the frontier of Luxemburg and Belgium, especially at the great Belgian plain, commanded and dominated by the great fortress of Liege. In the story of that siege will be shown its topographic position. As bearing upon the subject of mobilization, however, it is to be remembered that at this point, Belgium, and not at France, was directed the main first mobilization of the German army.[Back to Contents]



French mobilization was smooth, but slow. France's great disadvantage, making her mobilization slow, was that her regiments were not territorially recruited, whereas the German army was entirely based on territorial recruitment. Where it would take a French regiment to receive its reserve men and be completed on war footing in about four days, the German regiment could be completed on war footing within four to five days. (p. 299) France in recognition of this weakness had on her eastern borders special troops stationed called "troops de couverture." Moreover, as has been pointed out, all the French railways center in Paris, and the nearness of the capital to the frontier is a gain as well as a source of danger. Therefore, from the railways running to the frontier from Paris, and from the strong garrison at the great Verdun to Belfort chain of forts, France was able to bring into effect at once enough men to present a strong face to the foe.

Navies of the Contesting Nations.

Here Germany's reason for invading Belgium appeared. French mobilization assumed the integrity of Belgium and Luxemburg. Her mobilization was directed to the German frontier. Had Germany been able to go through Belgium without an hour's delay the situation would have been serious for France, for she mobilized on the wrong front. Germany had correctly assumed that France would expect her to abide by the treaties, and consequently by disavowing these obligations had outguessed her Gallic neighbor. The speedy mobilization of Belgium, and the heroic defense of that little land by its gallant citizens, did much to alter the possible destinies of the war, not because there was at any time any expectation that Belgium would be able entirely to resist the passage of the armies of the kaiser, but because the delay which her defense caused gave the French troops time to mobilize in the direction whither the blow was designed.

The first movement against Germany was when M. Eyschen, a member of the cabinet of the Duchy of Luxemburg, drove in his motor car across the great Adolf Bridge, which had been seized by Germany and confronted the leading officer of the German advance guard with a copy of the treaty guaranteeing the neutrality of the state. The reigning Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide blocked the way with her motor car, she was ordered to return at once, and when General Vandyck, commandant of Luxemburg, arrived, he was confronted with a revolver.

At the end of July, when there was evidence that the storm which had been brewing ever since Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia on July 23, 1914, thirteen classes of Belgian recruits were called to the colors; but even so, at its full war strength on (p. 300) August 1, 1914, the entire army numbered only 160,000 men. Owing to the small size of the Belgian army and the small territory of that country, and also owing to the fact that it is one of the most thoroughly equipped countries of the world so far as railroads are concerned, Belgian mobilization presented few difficulties for the concentration of the few available troops.

But Belgium was in the midst of reorganization of its national defenses and its army, and so was de facto unprepared to use to the utmost the advantages of great fortresses of Liege, Namur, and Antwerp, which could have been made almost impregnable if the necessary field army and artillery material had existed. The fortresses of Liege and Namur demanded a garrison of about 250,000 men and artillery, and there were only about 30,000 men disponible. If the organization of the national defense of Belgium had been completed, the Belgian army would have been probably of a strength of over 600,000 men, well trained, instead of the poorly trained army of about 160,000 combatants equipped only for parade, and the story of that part of the Great War would have been another.

The German cavalry entered Belgium and pushed on ahead, and a few stray shots were fired, but the first Belgian town of Limburg, on the road to Liege, was occupied without attack. At Verviers a weak Belgian force was driven out by the strong advance guard of the German cavalry. This was the "peaceful invasion of Belgian territory" spoken of in the earliest telegrams sent to the kaiser from the advancing army. Then the German troops suddenly found themselves confronted by the destruction of the Trois Ponts tunnels, and by the wrecked bridges across the Meuse. The attack upon Vise, which had been figured by the Germans to be a matter of form, and not requiring a body of troops of any size, was stopped by blown-up bridges, and a detachment of German engineers, undertaking to build a new pontoon bridge, was shot to pieces. Belgium, having thus thrown down the gauntlet, concentrated its troops, a little over 100,000, on a line back of the forts of Liege and Namur. King Albert himself was at the front, and not only directed, but also led the defense.

(p. 301) This gallant action on the part of Belgium formed a screen behind which the French troops could mobilize in full order and with a clear knowledge of the intention of the enemy. Already the skies were filled with scouting aircraft and wireless messages buzzed incessantly from the overhead scouts of the movements of the hostile troops rushing from Berlin, from Cologne, from every point of the German Empire to the three frontiers of Luxemburg, Belgium, and France. And, all the while, the band of devoted heroes at Liege held to their ideal of independence, and Belgium grew to be a bigger thing in the eyes of the world, as her territory grew hourly smaller by the encroachment of the German invaders.

French mobilization, in spite of the prompt action in sending the first half million to the front, became disorganized under the discovery of the plans of Germany. It will be remembered that the French railroad systems all center in Paris. Therefore, in order to divert the troops to what was seen to be the point of attack, brigades had to be brought back from the Verdun-Belfort district and transshipped to the north. This, in a word, was the answer to the question why France did not rush to the aid of Belgium and hurl her forces at the Germans at the gates of Liege. For that mobilization they were not ready. The neutrality of Belgium had been considered as a true military barrier.

A glance at the railroad map of France shows how thoroughly (and unwisely) France had trusted to this treaty, the treaty that became famous when it was declared by Germany to be merely a "scrap of paper," for while there are good transport facilities to the Franco-German frontier, there were few to the Franco-Belgian frontier. The motor busses practically saved the day, and nearly all the French troops went to the northern front by this means of transport. Still more difficult was the question of munitions. The German railways brought troops at forty miles an hour, the French lines carried munitions at forty miles per day. For her German frontier she was ready. For this new contingency she was unprepared.

For this unpreparedness France paid dearly. Some of her richest provinces were invaded and held all through the early (p. 302) part of the war by Germany, almost solely because her transportation of troops to the crucial point was not effective. The mere presence of the Germans over so large a section of French territory was due solely to the rapidity of the German mobilization, which was the result of long years of preparation. Even behind the Belgian screen France did not move rapidly enough to save herself, only barely rapidly enough to save Paris. The plan of General Joffre, which entailed a gradual retreat to let the Germans expand far from their base, while the French concentrated between the border and Paris, was a move determined, not by any special theory of war, nor yet by special configuration of the country, but by the slowness of mobilization. The initial success of Germany was a victory of thorough preparedness, the initial defeats of the French army were the results of military preparedness hampered by politics.

As the campaign developed, the mobilization of the Germans on the west front was seen to have a double purpose. The armies of Von Kluck were to hold Belgium and the north of France, while the armies of the crown prince were to march through Luxemburg and batter down the Verdun-Belfort line. It has been shown how the rapid mobilization and gallant defense of Liege by the Belgians delayed the former. Without aircraft it was more than possible that, behind the screen of the forests of Luxemburg, France might not have known what forces were being concentrated on that frontier, and might have weakened the line to rush troops against Von Kluck. But the French aviators, who are the best in the world, were able to fly over the territory of Germany and Luxemburg where troops were mobilizing, and the information they sent down was sufficiently alarming to keep France from weakening the Franco-German fortress-defended line too seriously. This, again, handicapped France from being able to go to the support of Belgium. The dramatic plan of the crown prince's hammering march to Paris failed absolutely and completely by the successful defense of Verdun.[Back to Contents]

The Fortresses on the German-French Frontier.



The initial mobilization of Great Britain was a matter as well managed as that of Germany. For precision there was nothing to choose as between them. Yet, comparing the German and British mobilizations, one thing stands out clearly, viz., that Germany was ready and Britain unready, while, on the other hand, Germany had to move 4,000,000 men and England only 100,000. To offset this, Britain had to mobilize stores and supplies, not only for her own 100,000 expeditionary force, but for a large part of the armies of France and for all the armies of Belgium. Even the very motor busses that carried French troops from Paris to the Belgian frontier were largely English, two cargoes of 100 vehicles each being rushed across the English Channel on the same day.

The food question for the Belgian army and for the French armies on the Belgian frontier was acute at the opening of the war, France was ready and prepared to handle any eventuality in the way of supplies that might be needed on the Belfort-Verdun line, but she was not prepared for the conditions in the rear of the Belgian frontier. Britain came to the support of France and Belgium without a day's delay. She rushed food and munitions to the front, and on one occasion Kitchener fed two French army corps, or 80,000 troops, for eleven days without the slightest hitch. A moment's thought will show that this means not only the ability to send food, but also to organize the entire mechanism of the preparing and handling of that food.

This was made possible largely by what was known in Britain as the motor-lorry system, unlike that of any other army, introduced in 1911. Horse transport was relegated solely to the work of distributing, the conveyance of supplies to the areas occupied being performed wholly by motor transport. As the daily run of a motor lorry may be put at 100 miles, it follows that an army could advance fifty miles from its railhead and still be easily (p. 305) served with food and ammunition. Thus, for the first time in the history of war, the British army had devised a system whereby fresh meat and bread could be supplied daily to a distant army. If, as the Germans declared, the British soldier thought more of his food than fight, this desire at least had the effect of keeping the supply system to the topmost notch. The same principle was used for ammunition columns, in no case any of the men from the front being detailed in the work of looking after munitions or supplies. Thus, while British mobilization of men consisted mainly of the expeditionary force of 100,000, the British mobilization of auxiliary columns for aiding the supply system of the Belgian and French army was of a size large enough to look after several corps. By this means, recruits could be constantly forwarded to the field of war, secure in the knowledge that no matter how rapidly men were rushed to the front, the question of supplies was already considered and the requisites were in place awaiting the use of the new troops.

England's mobilization, especially when it is remembered that after the first 150,000 it was all volunteers, was a marvelous thing. How many men were sent no one could tell but Kitchener, and if ever a man was born with a gift for telling nothing, that man is Kitchener. How steadily recruits poured over no one knew. Officially, only enough men were sent to fill up the losses in the 150,000, but before the end of the year England's trained forces were immense. The details of the mobilization of that first 100,000 men (the first group of the expeditionary force) were marvelous. The railroads running to the southeast were put into Government hands, trains were scheduled at twelve minutes' distance apart, to run day and night, every troop train was on schedule, and every one was unloaded and out of the depot in time for the next train to pull in, every transport was at the dock waiting, with another ready to take her place, and the expeditionary force was in Boulogne in less than forty-eight hours after the first mobilization order had been sent out. It is not to be forgotten that Britain commandeered every ship she needed from her huge mercantile marine, and thus had transports not only for troops but also for supplies.

(p. 306) For a moment one may glance at a side issue, but an important one in the mobilization, namely the mobilization of horses. The French bought horses by the thousand in Texas. Yet English farriers inspected them, paid for them, put them in charge of their own men on their own ships, landed them in England or Bordeaux, fed them into prime condition at England's own expense, and then delivered them to the French battle line ready for service. In the first week of the war the total output of the English rifle factories was 10,000 rifles a week (a rifle will shoot well for only 4,000 rounds), by the seventh week of the war there were eleven factories with a weekly output of 40,000 rifles each, and more being built on every hand. In addition to this, between August and December, 1914, English money mobilized—it is the word—rifle orders in the United States to the extent of $650,000,000. It is a matter of knowledge that many of the Russian munition orders were either financed or indorsed by British capital. In a word, while England's military mobilization of her regular troops was rapid and efficient, and while her recruiting of volunteers was the greatest support of the principles of a volunteer army that could ever be imagined, the chief importance and the chief wonder of Britain's mobilization was her mobilization of commerce and of trade. She made it possible for French soldiers to be used at their full power, and France's perennial weakness—supply organization—was supplemented by that very thing which is the British army's chief boast.

It is time, now, to turn to the eastern theatre of war, and there the diplomatic questions underlying mobilization become excessively intertwined. All European powers watch each other like falcons above their prey, in the constant endeavor to discern the slightest sign of unusual military activity. The tornado of conflicting reports at the end of July, 1914, as to which power had begun mobilizing first, as to whether army maneuvers were a cloak for mobilization, as to whether activity in arsenals was not a threat or as to the manipulation of finances, were all due to a single thing—the knowledge that a week's advantage in mobilization might mean a huge advantage, an advantage in (p. 308) position so great that thousands of lives might be lost because of the two days' delay. It has been shown how the conquest of France's richest northern provinces by Germany was due to the difference in speed of mobilization. There was a great deal of misunderstanding on the part of the American public about this very importance of mobilization. "Supposing Russia did mobilize first, or Austria," people said, "what about it? No one has declared war." Mobilization is like two western desperadoes watching each other. They do not wait until the other man has drawn his gun and has them covered, but trouble begins at the slightest move toward the hip pocket. Any move toward mobilization is a move toward a nation's hip pocket.

German Confederation of 1815.

Germany did not dare to let Russia mobilize. Had a large Russian army been concentrated in Poland, had Russia been allowed to intrench herself on the Austrian frontier, had she had the opportunity at the beginning of the war to seize the fortress of Thorn and to secure control of the Vistula River, there would have been little to stop the armies of the czar from marching into Berlin. General mobilization by one power, therefore, absolutely compels countermobilization by another power, and unless diplomatic agreements are speedily made and the mobilization checked, it is a prelude to war.

The diplomatic interpretations of the discussion over mobilization have been dealt with elsewhere, but it may be summarily said here that Austria was the first of the great powers to begin mobilization in the first part of July, in order to frighten Serbia into submission in the controversy that arose from the assassination of the Austrian Crown Prince at Sarajevo (in Bosnia, Austria) on June 28, 1914. Serbia mobilized, and it was generally believed that this action was due to Serbia's knowledge that Russia was secretly mobilizing. By about July 10, 1914, Germany believed herself satisfied that Russia was actually mobilizing, and she also began secretly to do so. France became suspicious of German military activity, and by the end of the third week and the beginning of the fourth week in July a general, but unadmitted, military preparation was in progress. Actual and admitted mobilization is more or less arbitrarily placed as of (p. 309) August 1, 1914, which date is now generally regarded as the opening of the Great War.

In any consideration of Russian mobilization it will be remembered that Russia had three armies, not one, to mobilize, i. e., the armies of European Russia, of the Asiatic Russia, and of the Caucasus. It is also to be remembered that, unlike the German system in which every man has a definite place in a particular corps, the Russian system holds its reserves as reserves solely, and organizes them after they have been gathered together. Slow mobilization is therefore an evil not to be avoided. For this reason one must expect to find Russian mobilization occurring, not on the frontier, but at a point sufficiently far therefrom to be safe from hostile attack during the period of disorganization.

The line Bialystok-Brest-Litovsk was the main field selected, because of its central location between the Austro-German frontiers, and more particularly because it was well covered from attack by the intrenched fortress and camp of Warsaw. The troops and reserves from Little Russia, especially from the Kiev district, were readily available on lines converging to the Austrian city of Lemberg in Galicia, and, it was estimated, could take the front in ten days. From this district five army corps are raised. From the Odessa district to the south two more army corps could be counted upon, and these could reach the scene of operations in twelve or thirteen days. In actual speed of mobilization the Austrian army was ready first, but the Russian army protected and covered the slow mobilization and concentration of its forces by a dense curtain of cavalry masses, for which task the rapidly mobilized Cossack cavalry was especially well fitted. These cavalry engagements—for the Russians were met by the Hungarian cavalry—effectually screened the actual gathering of the armies, and led Austria into the error of supposing Russia to be quite unready. But, although Austria had been the first to begin actual mobilization, her strategic railways on the frontier were so poor that it was not until August 10, 1914, that she was ready to advance, and even then that single line of railroad running from the Bug to the Vistula was deficient in rolling stock. Austrian military organization was excellent, Hungarian (p. 310) railroad organization was utterly inadequate to cope with the sudden requirements of modern warfare.

The Austrian army advanced on Russia in force, expecting the success of the German armies to the east. From the plans as they developed, and particularly from railroad orders given to the lines crossing Germany, it was expected that before Russia could be mobilized sufficiently to do more than give a temporary check to the Austrian army, several German army corps could be released from the western front and sent to the Russian border to take the burden of Russian invasion away from Austria. But the resistance of Belgium against Von Kluck's armies, the resistance of France against the armies of the crown prince, and the resistance of England to all naval action, prevented any release of the German armies, and the mobilization orders for the transference of German troops from the western theatre to the eastern theatre of war during the first few weeks of the struggle proved to be unavailing, for the men could not be spared. Slowly but heavily the mobilization of Russian forces continued. Lacking strategic railroads, lacking the motor-lorry system of England, the heavy-footed but untiring Russian infantry marched the scores and hundreds of miles from their homes to the front. The Russian dirigibles and aeroplanes were more than a match for the Austrian aircraft, and kept them back from flying over the country to determine the number of forces opposing. Then the action of the Russian "steam roller" began, and with more men marching in every day, unwearied despite their long travel, the steam roller gathered force. But, in one regard, Russia had miscalculated. She had never contemplated the terrific wastage of ammunition that is required for modern artillery duels, gun conflicts that are necessary before troops can advance, and in the first few weeks of the war her ammunition was all shot away. Without ammunition the steam roller could not continue, and the advance of the Russians upon Austrian territory was first halted and then driven back. Here, again, then, was a campaign successfully begun because of a better mobilization of men than was expected, and lost because of a lack of mobilization of supplies.

(p. 312) A great deal has been said of the slowness of Russian mobilization, and much of it is undoubtedly true. But little has been said about the steadiness of Russian mobilization. The Russian officer, almost always a noble, and belonging to what is probably the most polished and most cultured class in Europe, an aristocrat to his finger tips, possesses the power of commanding men, and understands his Slav soldiers. He knows that no army in the world can begin to compare with the Russian for enduring hardship, and that no troops in the world can sustain so large a proportion of loss and still advance. Forced marches that would kill English troops can be handled by a Russian army without great fatigue. The principal note in the gathering of the czar's armies was that day by day, week by week, from every corner of the empire, men went to the front. It was not the sudden concentration of Germany, it was not the eager formation of France, it was not the heroic sturdiness of Belgium, it was not the accustomedness to active service of the British regulars, it was a gradual transition of an idealistic people from contemplation into action.

German-Belgian Frontier, Strategic Railroads on.

To the Russian, more than to any other of the peoples engaged in the war, mobilization spells advance, advance in a thousand ways. Germany, France, and England were practically unchanged in temperament and viewpoint by the mere processes of mobilization, but old Russia became new Russia almost within a month. War is the greatest unifier of racial dissension in the world, and when the first three months of war were over, the German Empire, the British Empire, the Republic of France and her colonies, and above all, the Russian Empire, were welded by the grim forces of necessity into homogeneous units. Moreover, mobilization and the conditions of war bring into high relief the powers and the characters of the several nations, and as the story of the war is told, its developments portray the changing appreciations of the national combatants for each other, and of the neutral nations for all.[Back to Contents]


Realizing the importance of presenting its case to the neutral world, each of the warring nations published its diplomatic correspondence leading up to the outbreak of the war, at a period during hostilities when the publication seemed best calculated to serve the end in view.


It is from these official documents, cast into one form by rearranging all letters, telegrams, proclamations, speeches, etc., in their chronological order, that the following history of the diplomatic controversy is compiled.

It will be observed that, from the necessity of the case, the books of the six principal allies against the Teutonic Powers are threefold in number the books of those powers; and that, from choice of their promulgators the books of the Teutonic Powers are also disproportionately less in total volume, owing to the (p. 314) almost entire absence in them of communications between Austria-Hungary and Germany; while the correspondence between their adversaries is presented by these with a fulness which gives the neutral reader the impression that nothing of importance has been withheld—indeed, that the Allies (to use for convenience the popular designation of the anti-Teutonic powers) have laid all their cards face upward on the table. The intelligent reader will not have to be cautioned that this is a psychological, rather than logical, inference.

If any prevalent arguments on either side fail to be upheld by the evidence here given, it will be because this evidence does not appear in the official documents; the editors feel that their functions do not warrant their inclusion of pleas or testimony formed outside of the records mentioned above. The time will not come until long after the close of the war when the conflicting claims in the vast amount of propagandial literature issued by both parties can be judicially weighed by impartial historians, and presented at the bar of public opinion. In the meantime, however, we can bring before this court the case as officially presented by the contesting parties, a "perfect enumeration" of all the available. The editor acts merely in a reporting capacity. He does not discriminate between "Trojan and Tyrian," unless it be called discrimination to refuse by allotment of lesser space to inflict on the party neglecting fully to present its case a penalty beyond that which necessarily results, in adverse effect, on the mind of the reader from this omission.

In brief, the controversy is presented as a case in law. The evidence is given in the correspondence between ministers of state and the pleadings are presented in the words of responsible statesmen, who apply this evidence to the issues in question.

Since the validity of the evidence is based not only on its inherent motive but on the character and authority of those communicating it, and the force of the pleadings is even more dependent upon the character and authority of the advocates, it is necessary at the outset to state the offices held by the chief representatives of the parties to the controversy, and to present (p. 315) something of their past records, especially in the case of the more responsible statesmen. This will also serve to make graphic the story of the great trial before the bar of the world; it will visualize it as a contest, man to man, in which the distance between the combatants is eliminated, and they seem to be in each other's presence, testifying and arguing in behalf of their respective causes, as in a case at law. And, when it is borne in mind that these persons are representative of the dignity of great and sovereign peoples, the exponents and conservators of their national and individual rights and aspirations, their ideas and ideals of civilization, the contest will gain rather than lose in impressiveness by the concrete form in which it is presented. The sovereigns and statesmen of the anti-Teutonic allies are listed first; of the Teutonic allies next, and a few statesmen of neutral countries who were involved in the controversy last.[Back to Contents]



George V, King of Great Britain and Ireland, Emperor of India, and Sovereign of the entire British Empire.

Haldane, Richard Burdon (Viscount), Lord High Chancellor. Born 1856, studied German at Göttingen, member Parliament for Haddingtonshire 1885-1911; Secretary of State for War 1905-12; Lord High Chancellor 1912. As Secretary of State for War, Haldane, introduced into his department several innovations, the knowledge of which he had acquired during his residence at Göttingen and in his frequent visits to the Continent. He has been in public life since entering Parliament in 1885, and, despite his later removal from the office which he held at the outbreak of the war, is still recognized as one of Great Britain's most brilliant men. Previous to the war, he was looked on as an especially warm friend of Germany, and frequently went to Berlin in the interests of British amity with that country.

(p. 316) Grey, Sir Edward: Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Born April 25, 1862, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, 1892-95; Secretary State for Foreign Affairs December, 1905.

Of the conduct of the British Foreign Office since 1906 Gilbert Murray in his "Foreign Policy of Sir Edward Grey" ("Clarendon Press," Oxford, 1915) says:

"In general, Grey is often supposed to represent the principle of continuity in foreign policy, but this is not quite exact. In certain very large issues the Liberal Government of 1906 and onward agreed entirely with the conservative policy of Lord Salisbury (Prime Minister), and Lord Lansdowne (Foreign Secretary), and therefore followed their action. On other issues it differed. For instance, it stopped indentured Chinese labor in the Transvaal, and it granted immediate self-government to South Africa. But in Europe the policy has been mostly continuous. The principles are conveniently stated in the House of Commons debate of foreign policy on November 27, 1911:

"'1. In my opinion the wise policy for this country is to expand as little as possible.' 'I say without any hesitation that we do not desire accessions of territory, and in saying that I am not speaking for one small section of the House. I believe I am speaking for the nation at large.' The first sentence comes from Sir Edward Grey, the second from Mr. Bonar Law (leader of the opposition).

"This is made a little clearer in a latter sentence of Sir Edward Grey's speech. 'If there are to be changes of territory brought about by good will and negotiation between other powers, then we are not an ambitious competing party.... And if it is wise policy not to go in for great schemes of expansion ourselves, then I think it would be morally and diplomatically wrong to indulge in a dog-in-the-manger policy in regard to others.' In particular, he explains, if Germany wishes, 'by friendly arrangement with other powers,' to extend her territories, we do not wish to stand in her way, or to claim 'compensations.'"

Nicholson, Sir Arthur: Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

(p. 317) Bertie, Sir Francis: Ambassador to France. Born August 17, 1844; private secretary to Hon. R. Bourke (Under-Secretary State), 1874-80; attached to Embassy, Berlin, 1878; Assistant Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1894; Ambassador to Rome, 1903; Paris, 1905.

Buchanan, Sir George: Ambassador to Russia. Born Copenhagen November 25, 1854; entered Diplomatic Service 1875; Third Secretary, Rome, 1878; Second Secretary, Tokyo, 1879; Second Secretary, Vienna, 1882; Berne, 1889; British Agent to Venezuela Arbitration Tribunal, 1898; Secretary Embassy, Rome, 1900; Berlin, 1901-3; Minister Plenipotentiary, Sofia, 1903-8; Hague, 1908-10; St. Petersburg, 1910.

Goschen, Sir Edward: Ambassador to Germany. Born July 18, 1847; entered Diplomatic Service, 1869; Attaché, Madrid, 1870; Buenos Aires, 1873; Second Secretary, Rio de Janeiro, 1877; Constantinople, 1881; Secretary Legation, Peking, 1885; Copenhagen, 1888; Lisbon, 1890; Secretary Embassy, Washington, 1893; St. Petersburg, 1894; Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Belgrade, 1898-1900; Copenhagen, 1900-5; Ambassador, Vienna, 1905-8; Berlin, 1908.

Rumbold, Sir Horace: Counsellor German Embassy and Chargé d'Affaires. Born February 5, 1869; Attaché, Hague, 1888; Chargé d'Affaires, Munich, 1908; served at Cairo, Teheran, and Athens; Counsellor Embassy, Tokyo, 1909; learned in Arabic, Persian, and Japanese.

De Bunsen, Sir Maurice: Ambassador in Austria. Born January 8, 1852; entered Diplomatic Service, 1877; Secretary Legation, Tokyo, 1891; Secretary Embassy, Constantinople, 1897-1902; Paris, 1902-5; Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Lisbon, 1905; Ambassador, Madrid, 1906-13; Vienna, 1913.

Beaumont, Henry Dawson: Chargé d'Affaires, Turkey. Born February 4, 1867; entered Diplomatic Service, 1892; served in Copenhagen, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, St. Petersburg, and Montenegro; Chargé d'Affaires, Turkey, 1914.

Villiers, Sir Francis: Minister to Belgium. Born August 13, 1852; entered Foreign Office, 1870; Assistant Under-Secretary (p. 318) State Foreign Affairs, 1896-1905; Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Portugal, 1905-11; Belgium, 1911.

Des Graz, Charles Louis: Minister to Serbia. Born March 2, 1860; entered Diplomatic Service, 1884; Constantinople, Teheran, Athens; Counsellor Embassy, Rome, 1905; Chargé d'Affaires, Cettinje, 1906; Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Peru and Ecuador, 1908-13; Minister, Serbia, 1913.

Crackanthorpe, Dayrell Eardley Montague: First Secretary of Legation to Serbia. Born September 9, 1871; entered Diplomatic Service, 1896; Madrid, Washington, Brussels, Bucharest, Vienna, Belgrade, 1913.

Rodd, Sir Rennell: Ambassador to Italy. Born November 9, 1858; entered Diplomatic Service, 1883; Berlin, Athens, Rome, Paris; Secretary Embassy, Rome, 1901-4; Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Sweden, 1904-8; Ambassador, Italy, 1908.

Albert I, King of Belgium.


Poincaré, Raymond: President of the Republic.

Viviani, René: President of the Council, a Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Premier of the Cabinet. Had been Minister of Instruction in the Cabinet of Gaston Doumergue, which resigned June 2, 1914; Poincaré asked him at that time to form a cabinet, but Ambassador Paléologue intimated from St. Petersburg that the Czar feared a Viviani ministry would modify the three years' military service law, and therefore another was sought for this position. After the failure of the Ribot Cabinet on June 12, 1914, he was again called upon, and, no objections being made, he formed the ministry acting at the outbreak of the war. After the beginning of the hostilities he retained the position of President of the Council without portfolio.

Jonnart, Charles Celestin: Minister for Foreign Affairs. Born December 27, 1857; Governor General Algiers and Minister of the Interior.

Pichon, Stephen: Minister for Foreign Affairs. Born August (p. 319) 10, 1857 Diplomatic Service in Hayti, San Domingo, Rio de Janeiro, and at Peking during the Boxer Rebellion.

Bienvenu-Martin, Jean Baptiste: Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs. Born July 22, 1847; Minister Instruction, 1905; in public life since 1878.

Doumergue, Gaston: Minister for Foreign Affairs. Born 1863; Minister Colonies, 1902-5; Commerce, 1906-7; Premier, resigning, June 2, 1914.

Delcassé, Théophile: Minister for Foreign Affairs. Born March 1, 1852; started life as journalist; Counsellor General; Under-Secretary Colonies, 1893; Colonial Minister, 1894-5; Foreign Minister, 1898-1905; Minister Marine, 1905-13; Mediator between Spain and the United States, 1899; Ambassador, St. Petersburg, 1913; Minister Foreign Affairs, 1913. Is one of the strong men of France; in 1904 was the French negotiator of the Anglo-French Convention (the "Entene") concerning Egypt and Morocco; was sacrificed to assuage German feeling at the time of the Algeciras conference; called the "Deadly Enemy of Germany."

Berthelot: Political Director.

Cambon, Paul; Ambassador to Great Britain. Born January 20, 1843; Ambassador Madrid, Constantinople, and at London, 1898.

Fleuriau, M. De: Chargé d'Affaires, London.

De Manneville: Chargé d'Affaires, Germany. Born February 27, 1865; entered Diplomatic Service at Berlin, 1893; later at London; a Minister of the First Class in 1904.

Paléologue, Maurice: Ambassador to Russia. Born January 13, 1859; served in Foreign Office and Diplomatic Service at Rome, Berlin, Peking, Korea, and in Bulgaria.

Cambon, Jules: Ambassador to Germany. Born April 5, 1845; entered Diplomatic Service, 1874; Ambassador, Washington, 1897; Madrid, 1902; Berlin, 1907.

Allizé: Minister at Munich, Germany.

Ronssin, P.: Consul General at Frankfort, Germany.

Dumaine, Chilhaud: Ambassador to Austria-Hungary.

d'Apchier-le-Maugin: Consul General at Budapest.

(p. 320) Bompard, Maurice: Ambassador to Turkey. Born May 17, 1854; Minister, First Class, 1898; Ambassador to Russia, 1902.

Klokowski, Antony: Minister to Belgium. Born September 23, 1855; served at Yokohoma, Calcutta, and Bangkok.

Boppé, Jules: Minister to Serbia. Born June 26, 1862; entered Diplomatic Service, 1890; served at Constantinople and St. Petersburg.

Barrčre, Camille: Ambassador to Italy.

Bapst, Constant: Minister to Holland.

Mollard, Armard: Minister to Luxemburg.

Chevalley: Minister to Norway.

Thiébaut, Eugene: Minister to Sweden.

Farges: Consul General at Basle, Switzerland.


Nicholas II: Emperor (Czar).

Sazonof: Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Suchomlinof, Vladimir Alexandrovitch: Minister for war. In 1890 at the age of forty-eight Suchomlinof was made a major general, and in 1904 became commander of Russia's most important military zone—Kiev. In 1909 he was appointed to the post which he has since relinquished, and the amazing rapidity with which Russia mobilized her army in August, 1914, can be accredited to the methods which he instituted. As a writer he is known as "Shpioa" (Spur), and is the biographer of Peter the Great, Frederick the Great, and Murat.

Benckendorff, Count A.: Ambassador to Great Britain. Born in Berlin, August 1, 1849; entered Diplomatic Service, 1869; served at Rome, Vienna; Minister Copenhagen, 1897-1903; Ambassador London, 1903.

Isvolsky, Alexander P.: Ambassador to France; was Russian negotiator of the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 regarding Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet.

Swastopoulo: Chargé d'Affaires, France.

Swereiev, S. N.: Ambassador to Germany.

Broniersky, A.: Chargé d'Affaires, Germany.

(p. 321) Schebeko, N.: Ambassador to Austria-Hungary.

Koudacheff, Prince Nicholas: Chargé d'Affaires, Austria-Hungary.

Salviatti, A.: Consul General at Fiume.

Kazansky: Acting Consul General at Prague.

Strandtman: Chargé d'Affaires in Serbia.


Albert: King of the Belgians.

Davignon, M. J.: Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Elst, van der, Baron: Secretary General.

Renkin, J.: Colonial Minister.

Lalaing H. de, Count: Minister to Great Britain. Entered Foreign Office, 1879; served Vienna, Bucharest, Berlin, Hague, London; Minister, Brazil, 1893; Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Bucharest, 1898; Berne, 1899; London, 1903.

Guillaume, Baron: Minister to France.

Beyens, Baron: Minister to Germany.

De Dudzeele, Errembault, Count: Minister to Austria-Hungary.

De Welle, Michotte, Baron: Minister to Serbia.

Grenier, A., Baron: Minister to Spain.

Fallon, Baron: Minister to Holland.


Peter Karageorgevitch: King.

Pashitch, Nikola P.: Prime Minister. In 1878, at the age of thirty-two, M. Pashitch entered the Serbian Parliament, and in three years he became leader of the "Old Radicals." Always a champion of liberty, he joined the Zayenchar Mutiny of 1883, and, of twenty-two, he alone escaped execution by flight. Upon his return he was appointed Mayor of Belgrade and in 1893 Minister to Russia, where he made a lasting impression. In 1899 he was again accused of hatching a conspiracy, but Russia served him (p. 322) well and intervention saved him. To him, in no slight degree, does Serbia owe Russia's friendship, and to his efforts has been attributed the Balkan Alliance.

Patchou, Dr. Laza: Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Boschkovitch: Minister to Great Britain.

Vesnitch, M. R.: Minister to France.

Spalaikovitch, Dr. M.: Minister to Russia.

Yovanovitch, Dr. M.: Chargé d'Affaires in Germany.

Yovanovitch, Yov. M.: Minister to Austria-Hungary.

Georgevitch, M.: Chargé d'Affaires in Turkey.

Michailovitch, Ljub: Minister to Italy.


Victor Emmanuel (Vittorio Emanuele) III.: King.

San Giuliano, Antonio di, Marquis: Minister Foreign Affairs. Born Catania, December 10, 1852; Mayor Catania, 1879; member Chamber Deputies, 1882-1904; Senate, 1904; Under-Secretary for Industry and Commerce, 1892-3; Minister Posts and Telegraph, 1899-1900; Minister Foreign Affairs, 1905-6; Ambassador, London, 1906-10; Minister Foreign Affairs, 1910. His opposition to war with Austria precipitated his downfall. Said to be the repository of more European secrets than any European statesman since Bismarck.

D'Avarna, Duke: Ambassador to Austria-Hungary.

Salandra: Premier. Appointed November 5, 1914.

Sonnino, Baron Sidney: Minister Foreign Affairs. Born March 11, 1847; entered Diplomatic Service, 1867; Parliament, 1880; Minister Finance, 1893-4; Treasury, 1894-96; Interior, 1906 and 1909-10; Foreign Affairs, November 5, 1914.


Yoshihito: Emperor.

Shigenobu Okuma, Count: Prime Minister.

Takaaki Kato, Baron: Minister Foreign Affairs.

(p. 323) GERMANY

William (Wilhelm) II.: Kaiser of Germany, King of Prussia.

Bethmann-Hollweg, Dr. Theobald von: Imperial Chancellor. Born November 29, 1856, at Hohenfinow, Brandenburg; entered Civil Service, 1879; Prussian Minister Interior, 1905; Imperial Secretary of State and Vice President of Prussian Council, 1907; Imperial Chancellor, 1909; member of Reichstag since 1890. His actions before the present war seemed to indicate an earnest desire for the peace of Europe; he appeared to oppose the military party and align himself with the moderates. His manner is frank to the point of bluffness.

Jagow, Gottlieb von: Secretary of State. Born June 26, 1863; entered Diplomatic Service, 1895, at Rome; Minister to Rome, 1907; Ambassador, 1908; Minister Foreign Affairs, 1913; credited with postponing the inevitable conflict between Italy and Austria while at Rome.

Zimmerman, von: Under-Secretary of State. Appointed 1911; previously Vice Consul Shanghai; Consul at Tientsin and in Diplomatic Corps.

Lichnowsky, Prince Karl Maximilian: Ambassador to Great Britain. Born 1860; Attaché, London, 1885; Counsellor Embassy, Vienna; Foreign Office, Berlin; Ambassador to London, 1912. Member Roman Catholic party. Did all he could to prevent rupture between Great Britain and Germany. Was very popular in England.

Schoen, Baron Wilhelm von: Ambassador to France. Born June 3, 1851; entered Diplomatic Service, 1877; Madrid, Hague, Athens, Berne, Paris, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg; Ambassador, Paris, 1910.

Pourtalčs, Count Frederic: Ambassador to Russia. Born October 24, 1853; appointed St. Petersburg, 1908.

Tschirschky, Heinrich von: Ambassador to Austria-Hungary. Born August 15, 1858; entered Diplomatic Service, 1873; Constantinople, Vienna, St. Petersburg; Ambassador to Vienna, 1907.

(p. 324) Below Saleske, Konrad von: Minister to Belgium. Born April 18, 1866; Secretary Legation, Athens; Ambassador, Constantinople, 1907.

Storck, von: Secretary Legation in Serbia.

Flotow, Hans von: Ambassador to Italy. Born September 10, 1862; entered Diplomatic Service, 1893; Second Secretary Legation, Washington, Hague, Paris.

Buch, von: Minister to Luxemburg.


Francis Joseph (Franz Josef): Emperor.

Berchtold, Count Leopold: Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Born April 18, 1863; saw Diplomatic Service in Paris. London; Ambassador to St. Petersburg, 1906; appointed Secretary of State, 1914; emulated his predecessor, Count d'Herenthal, the annexor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in strong foreign policy.

Macchio, Dr. K., Baron: Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

Forgach, Count: Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Diplomatic Service in Belgrade and Dresden.

Tisza, Count Stephen: President of the Ministry of Hungary. Born April 22, 1861; served as President Ministry, 1903-06.

Mensdorff, A.: Ambassador to Great Britain. Born September 5, 1861; Diplomatic Service in Paris, London, St. Petersburg; Secretary Ambassador, London, 1896-1904; Minister Plenipotentiary, 1903-04; Ambassador, 1904.

Szécsen, Count Nicolaus: Ambassador to France.

Szápáry, Count Josef: Ambassador to Russia.

Czernin, Count Jaromir: Chargé d'Affaires, Russia.

Szögyény, Count Ladislaus: Ambassador to Germany.

Zehlitschka: Consul General in Turkey.

Clary, S., Count: Minister to Belgium.

Giesl von Gieslingen, Baron: Minister to Serbia.

Hoflehner: Consular Agent at Nish, Serbia.

(p. 325) TURKEY

Mohammed V: Sultan.

Said Halim Pasha, Prince: Grand Vizier.

Tewfik Pasha: Ambassador to Great Britain.


Loudon: Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Eyschen, Dr.: Minister of State and President of the Government of Luxemburg.

Gerard, James Watson: American Ambassador to Germany.

Penfield, Frederic Courtland: American Ambassador to Austria-Hungary.

Whitlock, Brand: American Minister to Belgium.

It will be convenient for the reader, before entering into the diplomatic history of the war, to have before him the dates of the war marking diplomatic crises.


June 28, 1914. Assassination of Austrian hereditary Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo, Bosnia.

July 23, 1914. Austria-Hungary hands note to Serbia.

July 24, 1914. Russia proposes extension of time limit in note; decides on mobilization in South Bosnia; and seeks unconditional support of Great Britain in conflict with Austria-Hungary. Great Britain proposes four-power intervention.

July 25, 1914. Austria-Hungary sends memorandum to powers containing dossier of evidence discovered at Sarajevo trial, and declares dispute lies wholly between her and Serbia. Serbia replies to note, having previously ordered mobilization. Austro-Hungarian Legation leaves Belgrade. Germany refuses to enter mediation between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, wishing (p. 326) to "localize" the conflict, and proposes mediation of powers between Russia and Austria-Hungary. Russia mobilizes fourteen army corps on Austro-Hungarian frontier. Great Britain asks Austria-Hungary to extend time limit and suspend hostilities pending four-power conference.

July 26, 1914. Russia proposes direct conversations to Austria-Hungary. France and Italy accept four-power conference in London.

July 27, 1914. William II returns from Norway cruise to Potsdam. Austria-Hungary informs Russia she will respect Serbian integrity and independence. Russia agrees to four-power conference if direct negotiations with Austria-Hungary fail.

July 28, 1914. Austria-Hungary breaks off direct negotiations with Russia; refuses four-power mediation; declares war on Serbia, and mobilizes eight army corps. Russia begins partial mobilization. Great Britain asks Germany her plan of mediation between Russia and Austria-Hungary.

July 29, 1914. Germany attempts to secure neutrality of Great Britain in case of Austro-Hungarian and Russian war. Great Britain warns Germany that if France is involved in war she will support her.

July 30, 1914. Austria-Hungary, advised by Germany, agrees to resume negotiations with Russia, but not on basis of Serbian reply. Germany asks Russia's explanation of her mobilization. Russia agrees to stop mobilization if Austria-Hungary respects Serbian sovereignty. After negotiations with Austria-Hungary, Russia orders general mobilization of army and navy. France reminds Great Britain of her naval agreement. Great Britain refuses Germany's proposal that she remain neutral if French territory in Europe is respected, and proposes that Germany occupy Belgrade and force mediation by the powers.

July 31, 1914. Austria-Hungary accepts Anglo-German proposal for four-power mediation on basis of temporary prosecution of military measures against Serbia. Russia agrees to take no military action pending negotiations. Germany refuses to press Austria-Hungary so long as Russia mobilizes; sends ultimatum to Russia and France, and refuses to answer about respecting (p. 327) neutrality of Belgium. France agrees to respect this neutrality.

August 1, 1914. Austria orders general mobilization, but continues discussion with Russia, and gives way on only point remaining at issue. Germany orders general mobilization and declares war on Russia. France orders general mobilization. Great Britain refuses Germany's request to secure French neutrality in Russo-German war, and to remain neutral herself if Germany respect Belgian neutrality. Belgium declares she will uphold neutrality. Italy decides to remain neutral.

August 2, 1914. Great Britain agrees to give naval aid to France in event of German attack. Germany sends ultimatum to Belgium about passage of troops. German troops enter Luxemburg.

August 3, 1914. Germany declares war on France and bids for British neutrality by offering not to attack northern French coast nor use Belgium and Dutch ports as bases. Great Britain refuses offer. Belgium refuses Germany's ultimatum.

August 4, 1914. Germany sends second ultimatum to Belgium, threatening force, and offers Great Britain not to annex Belgian territory. Great Britain demands that Germany respect Belgian neutrality, and in default of reply declares war on Germany.

August 5, 1914. Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia.

August 6, 1914. Montenegro declares war on Austria-Hungary.

August 9, 1914. Serbia declares war on Germany.

August 10, 1914. France declares war on Austria-Hungary.

August 12, 1914. Great Britain declares war on Austria-Hungary.

August 12, 1914. Montenegro declares war on Germany.

August 23, 1914. Japan declares war on Germany.

August 27, 1914. Austria-Hungary declares war on Japan.

August 28, 1914. Austria-Hungary declares war on Belgium.

November 3, 1914. Russia declares war on Turkey.

November 5, 1914. France and Great Britain declare war on Turkey.

(p. 328) May 23, 1915. Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.

June 3, 1915. San Marino declares war on Austria-Hungary.

August 20, 1915. Italy declares war on Turkey.

October 14, 1915. Bulgaria declares war on Serbia.

October 15, 1915. Great Britain declares war on Bulgaria.

October 19, 1915. Russia and Italy declare war on Bulgaria.


The first evidence presented before the court of nations was that of France, in regard to the hostile intentions of Germany. To this Germany has made no official answer in the form of documentary evidence, and any inference as to the hostile intentions of France against Germany, if there were any, must be inferred by the reader without any help from cross-examination by the official advocates of Germany. The value of the French evidence must be judged by later events. Have they, or have they not, corroborated the anticipations of France, held for a year before the war, as to an attack upon her by Germany?

On March 17, 1913, M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, wrote to M. Jonnart, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Paris, transmitting reports by French military and naval attachés in Berlin to their respective French departments on German military affairs, and called his attention to the importance of the documents. Delay, he said, in the publication of the reports was due to lack of funds wherewith to provide for these military measures. The rich classes objected to a forced levy in times of peace, and the Federal states to the Imperial Government adopting direct taxation which had heretofore been reserved to them.

"However this may be, in increasing the strength of the German army the empire desires to leave nothing to chance in the event of a possible crisis.

"The German changes have produced a result unexpected by that country, viz., the proposal of the Government of the [French] Republic to reestablish the three years' service, and the manly determination with which this proposal has been welcomed in France. The surprise occasioned by these proposals of insisting on the absolute necessity of an increase of German military strength; the German proposals are represented as a reply (p. 329) to our own. The reverse is the case, since the immense military effort which France is undertaking is but the consequence of German initiative.

"The Imperial Government is constantly rousing patriotic sentiment. Every day the emperor delights to revive memories of 1813. Yesterday evening a military tattoo went through the streets of Berlin, speeches were delivered in which the present situation was compared to that of a hundred years ago.... It was of course to be expected that national patriotism would be worked up just when fresh sacrifices are being required, but to compare the present time to 1813 is to misuse an historical analogy. If, to-day, there is anything corresponding to the movement which a hundred years ago roused Germans to fight the man of genius who aspired to universal dominion, it is in France that such a counterpart would have to be sought, since the French nation seeks but to protect itself against the domination of force.

"Nevertheless, it is true that the state of public opinion in both countries makes the situation grave."

The first inclosure in M. Cambon's letter was the report of Lieutenant Colonel Serret. He speaks of a "virulent" article in the "Kölnische Zeitung" ("Cologne Gazette") on the menace of France, which, though immediately disavowed by the Government, cannot be disregarded, since its sentiments have been approved by other prominent newspapers, and it appears to express a "real feeling" among the people, a "latent anger." It throws light on the present German armaments.

"For some time now it has been quite a common thing to meet people who declare that the military plans of France are extraordinary and unjustified. In a drawing room a member of the Reichstag who is not a fanatic, speaking of the three years' service in France, went so far as to say: 'It is a provocation; we will not allow it.' More moderate persons, military and civil, glibly voice the opinion that France with her 40,000,000 inhabitants has no right to compete in this way with Germany.

"To sum up, people are angry, and this anger is not caused by the shrieking of certain French papers, to which sober-minded people pay little attention. It is a case of vexation. People are angry at realizing that in spite of the enormous effort made last year, continued and even increased this year, it will probably not be possible this time to outrun France completely.

"To outdistance us, since we neither will nor can be allied with her, is Germany's real aim....

"At the moment when German military strength is on the point of acquiring that final superiority which, should the occasion arise, would force us to submit to humiliation or destruction, France suddenly refuses to abdicate, and shows, as Renan said: 'her eternal power of renaissance and resurrection.' The disgust of Germany can well be understood.

"Of course the Government points to the general situation in Europe and speaks of the 'Slav Peril.' As far as I can see, however, public opinion (p. 330) really seems indifferent to this 'Peril,' and yet it has accepted with a good grace, if not with welcome, the enormous burdens of these two successive laws....

"To sum up, if public opinion does not actually point at France, as does the 'Kölnische Zeitung,' we are in fact, and shall long remain the nation aimed at. Germany considers that for our 40,000,000 of inhabitants our place in the sun is really too large.

"Germans wish for peace—so they keep on proclaiming, and the emperor more than anyone—but they do not understand peace as involving either mutual concessions or a balance of armaments. They want to be feared and they are at present engaged in making the necessary sacrifices. If on some occasion their national vanity is wounded, the confidence which the country will feel in the enormous superiority of its army will be favorable to an explosion of national anger, in the face of which the moderation of the Imperial Government will perhaps be powerless.

"It must be emphasized again that the Government is doing everything to increase patriotic sentiment by celebrating with éclat all the various anniversaries of 1813.

"The trend of public opinion would result in giving a war a more or less national character. By whatever pretext Germany should justify the European conflagration, nothing can prevent the first decisive blows being struck at France."

The second inclosure in M. Cambon's letter is the report of M. de Faramond, Naval Attaché. He says that there will be no increase in the German fleet this year, and that the whole military effort will be directed against France.

By October 1, 1914, the imperial army will be increased from 720,000 to 860,000 men, and proposed legislation will place the army corps near the French frontier most nearly on a war footing, in order on the very day of the outbreak of hostilities to attack us suddenly with forces very much stronger than our own. It is absolutely imperative for the Imperial Government to obtain success at the very outset of the operations....

"William II cannot allow a retreat to enter into his calculations, although the German soldier is no longer to-day what he was forty years ago, a plain religious man, ready to die at the order of his king. When it is remembered that at the last elections 4,000,000 votes were cast by the Socialists and that the franchise is only obtained in Germany at the age of twenty-five, it may be presumed that the active army, composed of young men from twenty to twenty-five, must contain in its ranks a considerable proportion of Socialists.

"It would indeed be foolish to think that the German Socialists will throw down their rifles on the day when France and Germany come to blows; but it will be very important that the Imperial Government should persuade (p. 331) them that on the one hand we are the aggressors, and on the other that they can have entire confidence in the direction of the campaign and its final result....

"And it is because a German defeat at the outset would have such an incalculable effect on the empire that we find in all the plans worked out by the general staff proposals for a crushing offensive movement against France.

"In reality the Imperial Government wishes to be in a position to meet all possible eventualities. It is from the direction of France that the danger seems to them greatest....

"In this connection I think it is interesting to quote a conversation which a member of our embassy had the other evening with the old Prince Henckel von Donnersmarck, as it may serve to reflect the opinions which dominate court circles.

"Referring to the new German military proposals Prince Donnersmarck spoke as follows:

"'French people are quite wrong in thinking that we harbor evil designs and want war. But we cannot forget that in 1870 popular opinion forced the French Government to make a foolish attack on us before they were ready. Who can assure us that public opinion, which in France is so easily inflamed, will not force the Government to declare war? It is against this danger that we wish to protect ourselves.'"

The prince, a veteran of the French war, expressed the opinion that Germany would again conquer France in event of another war.

"Frenchmen, who have a great facility for work, are not as punctual as Germans in the fulfillment of their duty. In the coming war that nation will be victorious whose servants from the top of the ladder to the bottom will do their duty with absolute exactitude, however important or small it may be. And Prince Donnersmarck added: 'An exactitude which played so great a rôle forty years ago in moving an army of 500,000 men will have a far greater importance in the next war, when it will be a question of moving masses far more numerous.'

"In this way the old prince gave expression to the confidence shared by all Germans in the superiority of their military organization."

The attaché then discusses German finances.

He mentions particularly the large loans raised by the empire and Prussia: 500,000,000 marks on January 29, 1912, and 350,000,000 marks on March 7, 1913. Quite an important part of these loans must have been applied to military expenses.

"The military law of 1913 will require quite exceptional financial measures.

"According to the indications given by the semiofficial press, the 'nonrecurring' expenditure will amount to a milliard marks, while the 'permanent' annual expenditure resulting from the increase of effectives will exceed 200,000,000 marks.

(p. 332) "It seems certain that the 'nonrecurring' expenditure will be covered by a war contribution levied on capital. Small fortunes would be exempted and those above 20,000 marks would be subject to a progressive tax. Presented in this guise the war tax would not be objected to by the Socialists, who will be able, in accordance with their usual tactics, to reject the principle of the military law and at the same time to pass the votes which assure its being carried into effect."

The attaché then discusses a subject already mentioned—the persuasion of the rich and bourgeois classes by the Government to submit to the increased taxation by "noisy celebrations of the centenary of the War of Independence" in order to convince them of the necessity of sacrifice, and to remind them that France is to-day, as 100 years ago, their hereditary enemy.

"If it is established that the German Government are doing their utmost to secure that the payment of this enormous tax should be made in full, and not by way of installment, and if, as some of the newspapers say, the whole payment is to be complete before July 1, 1914, these facts have a formidable significance for us, for nothing can explain such haste on the part of the military authorities to obtain war treasure in cash to the amount of a milliard."

On April 2, 1913, M. Etienne, French Minister of War, wrote to M. Jonnart, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, enclosing a German official secret report concerning strengthening of the army. This report is interesting in that it mentions knowledge that, as a result of her entente with France and Russia, Great Britain was prepared to send an expeditionary force of 100,000 to the Continent, and confesses that Germany refrained from declaring war on France at the time of the Agadir incident because of "the progress made by the French army, the moral recovery of the nation, and the technical advance in the realm of aviation and of machine guns."

"Public opinion is being prepared for a new increase in the active army, which would ensure Germany an honorable peace and the possibility of properly ensuring her influence in the affairs of the world. The new army law and the supplementary law which should follow will enable her almost completely to attain this end....

"Neither ridiculous shriekings for revenge by French chauvinists, nor the Englishmen's gnashing of teeth, nor the wild gestures of the Slavs will turn us from our aim of protecting and extending Deutschtum (German influence) all the world over.

"The French may arm as much as they wish, they cannot in one day increase their population. The employment of an army of black men in the (p. 333) theatre of European operations will remain for a long time a dream, and in any case be devoid of beauty.

"Our new army law is only an extension of the military education of the German nation. Our ancestors of 1813 made greater sacrifices. It is our sacred duty to sharpen the sword that has been put into our hands and to hold it ready for defense as well as for offense. We must allow the idea to sink into the minds of our people that our armaments are an answer to the armaments and policy of the French. We must accustom them to think that an offensive war on our part is a necessity, in order to combat the provocations of our adversaries. We must act with prudence so as not to arouse suspicion, and to avoid the crises which might injure our economic existence. We must so manage matters that under the heavy weight of powerful armaments, considerable sacrifices, and strained political relations, an outbreak (Losschlagen) should be considered as a relief, because after it would come decades of peace and prosperity, as after 1870. We must prepare for war from the financial point of view; there is much to be done in this direction. We must not arouse the distrust of our financiers, but there are many things which cannot be concealed.

"We must not be anxious about the fate of our colonies. The final result in Europe will settle their position. On the other hand we must stir up trouble in the north of Africa and in Russia. It is a means of keeping the forces of the enemy engaged. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary that we should open up relations, by means of well-chosen agents, with influential people in Egypt, Tunis, Algeria, and Morocco, in order to prepare the measures which would be necessary in the case of a European war. Of course in case of war we should openly recognize these secret allies; and on the conclusion of peace we should secure to them the advantages which they had gained. These aims are capable of realization. The first attempt which was made some years ago opened up for us the desired relations. Unfortunately these relations were not sufficiently consolidated. Whether we like it or not it will be necessary to resort to preparations of this kind, in order to bring a campaign rapidly to a conclusion.

"Risings provoked in time of war by political agents need to be carefully prepared and by material means. They must break out simultaneously with the destruction of the means of communication; they must have a controlling head to be found among the influential leaders, religious or political. The Egyptian School is particularly suited to this purpose; more and more it serves as a bond between the intellectuals of the Mohammedan world.

"However this may be, we must be strong in order to annihilate at one powerful swoop our enemies in the east and west. But in the next European war it will also be necessary that the small states should be forced to follow us or be subdued. In certain conditions their armies and their fortified places can be rapidly conquered or neutralized; this would probably be the case with Belgium and Holland, so as to prevent our enemy in the west from gaining territory which they could use as a base of operations against our flank. In the north we have nothing to fear from Denmark or Scandinavia, especially as in any event we shall provide for the concentration (p. 334) of a strong northern army, capable of replying to any menace from this direction. In the most unfavorable case, Denmark might be forced by Great Britain to abandon her neutrality; but by this time the decision would already have been reached both on land and on sea. Our northern army, the strength of which could be largely increased by Dutch formations, would oppose a very active defense to any offensive measures from this quarter.

"In the south, Switzerland forms an extremely solid bulwark, and we can rely on her energetically defending her neutrality against France, and thus protecting our flank.

"As was stated above, the situation with regard to the small states on our northwestern frontier cannot be viewed in quite the same light. This will be a vital question for us, and our aim must be to take the offensive with a large superiority from the first days. For this purpose it will be necessary to concentrate a large army, followed up by strong Landwehr formations, which will induce the small states to follow us or at least to remain inactive in the theatre of operations, and which would crush them in the event of armed resistance. If we could induce these states to organize their system of fortification in such a manner as to constitute an effective protection for our flank we could abandon the proposed invasion. But for this, army reorganization, particularly in Belgium, would be necessary in order that it might really guarantee an effective resistance. If, on the contrary, their defensive organization was established against us, thus giving definite advantages to our adversary in the West, we could in no circumstances offer Belgium a guaranty for the security of her neutrality. Accordingly, a vast field is open to our diplomacy to work in this country on the lines of our interests.

"The arrangements made with this end in view allow us to hope that it will be possible to take the offensive immediately after the complete concentration of the army of the Lower Rhine. An ultimatum with a short-time limit, to be followed immediately by invasion, would allow a sufficient justification for our action in international law.

"Such are the duties which devolve on our army and which demand a striking force of considerable numbers. If the enemy attacks us, or if we wish to overcome him, we will act as our brothers did a hundred years ago; the eagle thus provoked will soar in his flight, will seize the enemy in his steel claws and render him harmless. We will then remember that the provinces of the ancient German Empire, the County of Burgundy and a large part of Lorraine, are still in the hands of the French; that thousands of brother Germans in the Baltic provinces are groaning under the Slav yoke. It is a national question that Germany's former possessions should be restored to her."[Back to Contents]

(p. 335) REPORT OF M. CAMBON IN 1913

On May 6, 1913, M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, wrote to M. Stephen Pichon, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Paris, giving an account of an interview with the German Secretary of State, Herr von Jagow, concerning the conference of ambassadors in London on May 5th, and the results there obtained. It was agreed by Cambon and Von Jagow that the immediate crisis was over. Cambon submitted proofs of the anxiety of the German Government over the crisis.

"1. Von Jagow had questioned a colleague of Cambon about Russia's situation in the Far East, whether there was cause for Russia to fear difficulties in that quarter which would cause her to retain troops there. The ambassador answered him that he knew of absolutely no trouble in the Far East, and that Russia had her hands free for Europe.

"2. The mobilization of the German army is not restricted to the recall of reservists to their barracks. There is in Germany a preliminary measure which we have not got, and which consists in warning officers and men of the reserve to hold themselves ready for the call, in order that they may make the necessary arrangements. It is a general call to 'attention' and it requires an incredible spirit of submission, discipline, and secrecy such as exists in this country, to make a step of this kind possible. If such a warning were given in France, a thrill would run through the whole country, and it would be in the papers the next day....

"The intention of the General Staff is to act by surprise. 'We must put on one side,' said General von Moltke, 'all commonplaces as to the responsibility of the aggressor. When war has become necessary it is essential to carry it on in such a way as to place all the chances in one's own favor. Success alone justifies war. Germany cannot and ought not to leave Russia time to mobilize, for she would then be obliged to maintain on her eastern frontier so large an army that she would be placed in a position of equality, if not of inferiority, to that of France. Accordingly,' added the general, 'we must anticipate our principal adversary as soon as there are nine chances to one of going to war, and begin it without delay in order ruthlessly to crush all resistance.'

"This represents exactly the attitude of military circles and it corresponds to that of political circles; the latter, however, do not consider Russia, in contradistinction to us, as a necessary enemy....

"From these events the following conclusions may be drawn ... these people are not afraid of war, they fully accept its possibility and they have consequently taken the necessary steps. They wish to be always ready.

"As I said, this demands qualities of secrecy, discipline and of persistence; enthusiasm alone is not sufficient. This lesson may form a useful subject of meditation when the Government of the [French] Republic ask Parliament for the means of strengthening the defenses of the country."

(p. 336) On July 30, 1913, M. Pichon, French Minister for Foreign Affairs, made an official report on the state of German public opinion, as derived from French diplomatic and consular agents. It said that:

"1. The treaty of November 4, 1912, is considered a disappointment for Germany.

"2. France—a new France—undreamed of prior to the summer of 1911, is considered ... to want war.

"Members of all the parties in the Reichstag, from the Conservatives to the Socialists [and of all classes of the people] are unanimous on these two points, with very slight differences corresponding to their position in society or their political party. Here is a synthesis of all these opinions:

"The treaty of November 4 is a diplomatic defeat, a proof of the incapacity of German diplomacy and the carelessness of the Government (so often denounced), a proof that the future of the empire is not safe without a new Bismarck; it is a national humiliation, a lowering in the eyes of Europe, a blow to German prestige, all the more serious because up to 1911 the military supremacy of Germany was unchallenged, and French anarchy and the powerlessness of the Republic were a sort of German dogma....

"And the attitude of France, her calmness, her reborn spiritual unity, her resolution to make good her rights right up to the end, the fact that she has the audacity not to be afraid of war, these things are the most persistent and the gravest cause of anxiety and bad temper on the part of German public opinion....

"German public opinion is divided into two currents on the question of the possibility and proximity of war.

"There are in the country forces making for peace, but they are unorganized and have no popular leaders. They consider that war would be a social misfortune for Germany, and that caste pride, Prussian domination, and the manufacturers of guns and armor plate would get the greatest benefit, but above all that war would profit Great Britain.

"The forces consist of the following elements:

"The bulk of the workmen, artisans, and peasants, who are peace loving by instinct.

"Those members of the nobility detached from military interests and engaged in business, such as the grands seigneurs of Silesia and a few other personages very influential at court who are sufficiently enlightened to realize the disastrous political and social consequences of war, even if successful.

"Numerous manufacturers, merchants and financiers in a moderate way of business, to whom war, even if successful, would mean bankruptcy, because their enterprises depend on credit, and are chiefly supported by foreign capital.

"Poles, inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine, and Schleswig-Holstein—conquered, but not assimilated and suddenly hostile to Prussian policy. There are about 7,000,000 of these annexed Germans.

(p. 337) "Finally, the governments and the governing classes in the large southern states—Saxony, Bavaria, Württemburg, and the Grand Duchy of Baden—are divided by these two opinions: an unsuccessful war would compromise the Federation from which they have derived great economic advantages; a successful war would profit only Prussia and Prussianization, against which they have difficulty in defending their political independence and administrative autonomy.

"These classes of people either consciously or instinctively prefer peace to war; but they are only a sort of makeweight in political matters, with limited influence on public opinion, or they are silent social forces, passive, and defenseless against the infection of a wave of warlike feeling.

"An example will make this idea clear: The 110 Socialist members of the Reichstag are in favor of peace. They would be unable to prevent war, for war does not depend upon a vote of the Reichstag, and in the presence of such an eventuality the greater part of their number would join the rest of the country in a chorus of angry excitement and enthusiasm.

"Finally it must be observed that these supporters of peace believe in war in the mass because they do not see any other solution for the present situation. In certain contracts, especially in publishers' contracts, a clause has been introduced cancelling the contract in the case of war. They hope, however, that the will of the emperor on the one side, France's difficulties in Morocco on the other, will be for some time a guaranty of peace. Be that as it may, their pessimism gives free play to those who favor war....

"On the other hand there is a war party with leaders and followers, a press either convinced or subsidized for the purpose of creating public opinion; it has means both varied and formidable for the intimidation of the Government. It goes to work in the country with clear ideas, burning aspirations, and a determination that is at once thrilling and fixed.

"Those in favor of war are divided into several categories; each of these derives from its social caste, its class, its intellectual and moral education, its interests, its hates, special arguments which create a general attitude of mind and increase the strength and rapidity of the stream of warlike desire.

"Some want war because in the present circumstances they think it is inevitable. And, as far as Germany is concerned, the sooner the better.

"Others regard war as necessary for economic reasons based on overpopulation, overproduction, the need for markets and outlets; or for social reasons, i. e., to provide the outside interests that alone can prevent or retard the rise to power of the democratic and socialist masses.

"Others, uneasy for the safety of the empire, and believing that time is on the side of France, think that events should be brought to an immediate head. It is not unusual to meet, in the course of conversation or in the pages of patriotic pamphlets, the vague but deeply rooted conviction that a free Germany and a regenerated France are two historical facts mutually incompatible.

"Others are bellicose from 'Bismarckism,' as it may be termed. They feel themselves humiliated at having to enter into discussions with France, (p. 338) at being obliged to talk in terms of law and right in negotiations and conferences where they have not always found it easy to get right on their side, even when they have a preponderating force. From their still recent past they derive a sense of pride ever fed by personal memories of former exploits, by oral traditions, and by books, and irritated by the events of recent years. Angry disappointment is the unifying force of the Wehrvereine [defense leagues] and other associations of Young Germany.

"Others again want war from a mystic hatred of revolutionary France; others, finally, from a feeling of rancor. These last the people who heap up pretexts for war.

"Coming to actual facts, these feelings take concrete form as follows: The country squires, represented in the Reichstag by the Conservative party, want at all costs to escape the death duties, which are bound to come if peace continues. In the last sitting of the session which has just closed the Reichstag agreed to these duties in principle. It is a serious attack on the interests and privileges of the landed gentry. On the other hand, this aristocracy is military in character, and it is instructive to compare the Army List with the Year Book of the nobility. War alone can prolong its prestige and support its family interest. During the discussions on the Army Bill a Conservative speaker put forward the need for promotion among officers as an argument in its favor. Finally this social class, which forms a hierarchy with the King of Prussia as its supreme head, realizes with dread the democratization of Germany and the increasing power of the Socialist party, and considers its own days numbered. Not only does a formidable movement hostile to agrarian protection threaten its material interests, but in addition the number of its political representatives decreases with each legislative period. In the Reichstag of 1878, out of 397 members, 162 belonged to the aristocracy; in 1898, 83; in 1912, 57. Out of this number 27 alone belong to the Right, 14 to the Center, 7 to the Left, and 1 sits among the Socialists.

"The higher bourgeoisie, represented by the National Liberal party, the party of the contented spirits, have not the same reasons as the squires for wanting war. With a few exceptions, however, they are bellicose. They have their reasons, social in character.

"The higher bourgeoisie is no less troubled than the aristocracy at the democratization of Germany. In 1871 they had 125 members in the Reichstag; in 1874, 55; in 1887, 99; in 1912, 45. They do not forget that in the years succeeding the war they played the leading rôle in Parliament, helping Bismarck in his schemes against the country squires. Uneasily balanced to-day between Conservative instincts and Liberal ideas they look to war to settle problems which their parliamentary representatives are painfully incapable of solving. In addition, doctrinaire manufacturers declare that the difficulties between themselves and their workmen originate in France, the home of revolutionary ideas of freedom—without France industrial unrest would be unknown.

"Lastly, there are the manufacturers of guns and armor plate, big merchants who demand bigger markets, bankers who are speculating on the (p. 339) coming of the golden age and the next war indemnity—all these regard war as good business.

"Among the 'Bismarckians' must be reckoned officials of all kinds, represented fairly closely in the Reichstag by the Free Conservatives or Imperial party. This is the party of the 'pensioned,' whose impetuous sentiments are poured out in the 'Post.' They find disciples and political sympathizers in the various groups of young men whose minds have been trained and formed in the public schools and universities.

"The universities, if we except a few distinguished spirits, develop a warlike philosophy. Economists demonstrate by statistics Germany's need for a colonial and commercial empire commensurate with the industrial output of the empire. There are sociological fanatics who go even further. The armed peace, so they say, is a crushing burden on the nations; it checks improvement in the lot of the masses and assists the growth of Socialism. France, by clinging obstinately to her desire for revenge, opposes disarmament. Once for all she must be reduced for a century to a state of impotence; that is the best and speediest way of solving the social problem.

"Historians, philosophers, political pamphleteers, and other apologists of German Kultur wish to impose upon the world a way of thinking and feeling specifically German. They wish to wrest from France that intellectual supremacy which, according to the clearest thinkers, is still her possession. From this source is derived the phraseology of the Pan-Germans and the ideas and adherents of the Kriegsvereine [war leagues], Wehrvereine, and other similar associations too well known to need particular description. It is enough to note that the dissatisfaction caused by the treaty of November 4 has considerably swelled the membership of colonial societies.

"We come finally to those whose support of the war policy is inspired by rancor and resentment. These are the most dangerous. They are recruited chiefly among diplomatists. German diplomatists are now in very bad odor in public opinion. The most bitter are those who since 1905 have been engaged in the negotiations between France and Germany; they are heaping together and reckoning up their grievances against us, and one day they will present their accounts in the war press....

"During the discussion on the Army Bill one of these warlike diplomatists exclaimed: 'Germany will not be able to have any serious conversation with France until she has every sound man under arms.'

"In what terms will this conversation be couched? The opinion is fairly widely spread, even in Pan-German circles, that Germany will not declare war in view of the system of defensive alliances and the tendencies of the emperor. But when the moment comes she will have to try in every possible way to force France to attack her. Offense will be given if necessary. That is the Prussian tradition.

"Must war, then, be considered as inevitable?

"It is hardly likely that Germany will take the risk if France can make it clear to the world that the Entente Cordiale and the Russian alliance are not mere diplomatic fictions but realities which exist and will make (p. 340) themselves felt. The British fleet inspires a wholesome terror. It is well known, however, that victory on sea will leave everything in suspense. On land alone can a decisive issue be obtained.

"As for Russia, even though she carries greater weight in political and military circles than was the case three or four years ago, it is not believed that her cooperation will be sufficiently rapid and energetic to be effective.

"People's minds are thus getting used to consider the next war as a duel between France and Germany."

On November 22, 1913, M. Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, reported to M. Pichon, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Paris, an account of a recent conversation between the Kaiser and the King of the Belgians in the presence of General von Moltke, Chief of the General German Staff, which gravely impressed King Albert. It showed that German enmity against France was increasing, and that the Kaiser had ceased to be the friend of peace. The Kaiser had come to believe that war with France was inevitable; and, when it did come, that German success was certain. General von Moltke strengthened his sovereign in these opinions:

"This time the matter must be settled, and your majesty can have no conception of the irresistible enthusiasm with which the whole German people will be carried away when that day comes.

"The king of the Belgians protested that it was a travesty of the intentions of the French Government to interpret them in that sense, and to let oneself be misled as to the sentiments of the French nation by the ebullitions of a few irresponsible spirits or the intrigues of unscrupulous agitators.

"The emperor and his chief of the General Staff nevertheless persisted in their point of view.

"During the course of this conversation the emperor seemed overstrained and irritable. As William II advances in years, family traditions, the reactionary tendencies of the court, and especially the impatience of the soldiers, obtain a greater empire over his mind. Perhaps he feels some slight jealousy of the popularity acquired by his son, who flatters the passions of the Pan-Germans and who does not regard the position occupied by the empire in the world as commensurate with its power. Perhaps the reply of France to the last increase of the Germany army, the object of which was to establish the incontestable supremacy of Germany is, to a certain extent, responsible for his bitterness, for, whatever may be said, it is realized that Germany cannot go much further.

"One may well ponder over the significance of this conversation. The emperor and his chief of the General Staff may have wished to impress the king of the Belgians and induce him not to make any opposition in the event of a conflict between us....

(p. 341) "The Emperor William is less master of his impatience than is usually supposed. I have known him more than once to allow his real thoughts escape him....

"If I may be allowed to draw a conclusion I would submit that it would be well to take account of this new factor, namely, that the emperor is becoming used to an order of ideas which were formerly repugnant to him, and that, to borrow from him a phrase which he likes to use, 'we must keep our powder dry.'"

[See also letter of M. Allizé, French Minister at Munich, of July 10, 1914, in pages following.]

The next evidence presented before the court of the world is that by Serbia and her witnesses, the nations thus far, to all appearances, interested solely in maintaining the peace of Europe, as to Serbia's non-responsibility for the assassination of the hereditary Archduke of Austria at Sarajevo, Bosnia, on June 28, 1914, and as to her sincere desire to do all she could, short of impairing her sovereignty and suffering national humiliation; and that by Austria-Hungary and the same witnesses that were brought forward by Serbia as to Serbia's complicity in the assassination, and to Austria-Hungary's right to fix this, and to exact guaranties that Serbia should not in the future prosecute her evil designs against Austria-Hungary.[Back to Contents]


On June 28, 1914, M. Dumaine, French Ambassador at Vienna, reported to M. René Viviani, President of the Council and Minister for Foreign Affairs at Paris, the assassination that day of the hereditary Archduke of Austria and his wife at Sarajevo, Bosnia.

On June 29, 1914, Yov. M. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna, telegraphed to M. N. Pashitch, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs at Belgrade, that the Vienna press asserted that magisterial inquiry had already shown that the Sarajevo outrage was prepared at Belgrade; that the whole (p. 342) conspiracy in its wider issues was organized there among youths inspired with the great Serbian idea; and that the Belgrade press was exciting public opinion by articles about the intolerable conditions in Bosnia, papers containing which were being smuggled in large quantities into Bosnia.

On the same day, June 29, 1914, Ritter von Storck, Secretary of the German Legation at Belgrade, the Austro-Hungarian Minister, Baron Giesl von Gieslingen being absent from his post on leave, reported to Count Berchtold, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Vienna, the following facts:

"Yesterday the anniversary of the battle of the Amselfeld was celebrated with greater ceremony than usual, and there were celebrations in honor of the Serbian patriot, Milos Obilic, who in 1389 with two companions treacherously stabbed the victorious Murad.

"Among all Serbians, Obilic is regarded as the national hero. In place of the Turks, however, we are now looked on as the hereditary enemy, thanks to the propaganda which has been nourished under the aegis of the royal Government and the agitation which for many years has been carried on in the press.

"A repetition of the drama on the field of Kossovo seems, therefore, to have hovered before the minds of the three young criminals of Sarajevo, Princip, Cabrinovic, and the third person still unknown, who also threw a bomb. They also shot down an innocent woman and may, therefore, think that they have surpassed their model.

"For many years hatred against the [Dual] Monarchy has been sown in Serbia. The crop has sprung up and the harvest is murder.

"The news arrived at about five o'clock; the Serbian Government at about ten o'clock caused the Obilic festivities to be officially stopped. They continued, however, unofficially for a considerable time after it was dark. The accounts of eye-witnesses say that people fell into one another's arms in delight, and remarks were heard such as: 'It serves them right; we have been expecting this for a long time,' or 'This is revenge for the annexation [of Bosnia].'"

On the following day (June 30, 1914), M. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna, warned M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, by telegraph, that the tendency in Vienna was becoming more and more apparent to represent, in the eyes of Europe, the assassination as the act of a conspiracy engineered in Serbia.

The idea was to use this as a political weapon against Serbia. Great attention should therefore be paid to the tone of the Serbian press.

(p. 343) On the same day (June 30, 1914), Dr. M. Yovanovitch, Chargé d'Affaires in Berlin, in two telegrams informed M. Pashitch that the Berlin press was misleading German public opinion on the outrage; that German hostility toward Serbia was growing, being fostered by false reports from Vienna and Budapest, which were diligently spread in spite of contradictions by some newspapers and news agencies.

On the same day (June 30, 1914), M. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna, reported to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, a conversation he had held, in the absence of Count Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, with Baron Macchia, Under-Secretary of the Foreign Department. In this the Serbian Minister adopted the following line of argument:

"The Royal Serbian Government condemn most energetically the Sarajevo outrage and on their part will certainly most loyally do everything to prove that they will not tolerate within their territory the fostering of any agitation or illegal proceedings calculated to disturb our already delicate relations with Austria-Hungary. I am of opinion that the Government are prepared also to submit to trial any persons implicated in the plot in the event of its being proved that there are any in Serbia. The Royal Serbian Government, notwithstanding all the obstacles hitherto placed in their way by Austro-Hungarian diplomacy (creation of an independent Albania, opposition to Serbian access to the Adriatic, demand for revision of the Treaty of Bucharest, the September ultimatum, etc.) remained loyal in their desire to establish a sound basis for our good neighborly relations. You know that in this direction something has been done and achieved. Serbia intends to continue to work for this object, convinced that it is practicable and ought to be continued. The Sarajevo outrage ought not to and cannot stultify this work."

M. Yovanovitch said that he had communicated the substance of this conversation to the French and Russian Ambassadors.

On the same day (June 30, 1914), the Serbian Prime Minister received from M. Georgevitch, Serbian Chargé d'Affaires at Constantinople, the information that the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador there had told him that, in recent conversations, Count Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian Prime Minister and Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had expressed himself as satisfied with the attitude of the Serbian Government, and desired friendly relations with it.

(p. 344) On the same day (June 30, 1914), Herr von Storck, Secretary of the German Legation at Belgrade, telegraphed to Count Berchtold that he had asked Herr Gruic, General Secretary of the Serbian Foreign Office, what measures the Royal Serbian police had taken, or proposed to take, to follow up clues to the crime which notoriously were partly to be found in Serbia, and that the reply was that the matter had not yet engaged the attention of the police.

On July 1, 1914, M. Pashitch, Serbian Prime Minister was informed by telegraph from the Serbian Minister in London, M. S. Boschkovitch, that, basing their conclusion on Austrian reports, the English press attributed the Sarajevo outrages to Serbian revolutionaries. He was informed by telegraph on the same day, by M. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna, of popular hostile demonstrations in front of the Serbian Legation, which were quelled by the police. A Serbian flag was said to have been burned.

"Hatred against Serbians and Serbia is being spread among the people, especially by the lower Catholic circles, the Vienna press, and military circles. Please do what is possible to prevent demonstrations taking place in Serbia, and to induce the Belgrade press to be as moderate as possible in tone.... It is expected that decision as to the attitude to be adopted toward Serbia and the Serbians will be taken after the funeral [of the archduke]."

Thereupon, on the same day (July 1, 1914), M. Pashitch warned all the Serbian legations at foreign courts of the evident purpose of the Austrian and Hungarian press to take political advantage of the act of a "young and ill-balanced fanatic." All ranks of Serbian society, official and unofficial, he said, condemned the act, recognizing that it would be most prejudicial not only to good relations with Austria-Hungary, but to their coreligionists in that country.

"At a moment when Serbia is doing everything in her power to improve her relations with the neighboring monarchy it is absurd to think that Serbia could have directly or indirectly inspired acts of this kind. On the contrary, it was of the greatest interest to Serbia to prevent the perpetration of this outrage. Unfortunately this did not lie within Serbia's power, as both assassins are Austrian subjects. Hitherto Serbia has been careful to suppress anarchic elements, and after recent events she will redouble her vigilance, and in the event of such elements existing within her borders (p. 345) will take the severest measures against them. Moreover, Serbia will do everything in her power and use all the means at her disposal in order to restrain the feelings of ill-balanced people within her frontiers. But Serbia can on no account permit the Vienna and Hungarian press to mislead European public opinion and lay the heavy responsibility for a crime committed by an Austrian subject at the door of the whole Serbian nation and on Serbia, who can suffer only harm from such acts....

"Please ... use all available channels in order to put an end as soon as possible to the anti-Serbian campaign in the European press."

On the same day (July 1, 1914), Herr Jehlitschka, Austrian Consul General to Turkey, wrote from Uskub, in European Turkey, to Count Berchtold, Minister of Foreign Affairs at Vienna, of the actions at Prestina on the 525th anniversary of the battle of the Amselfeld (1389), for the first time officially celebrated as the "Festival of the Liberation" of the Serbian nation, and carefully prepared to make it an especially solemn and magnificent demonstration of Serbian nationality.

"The propaganda connected with this at the same time extended to Croatia, Dalmatia, and Bosnia, but especially to Hungary; those who took part in it received free passes on the Serbian state railways; food and lodging at low prices, maintenance by public bodies, etc., were promised....

"The various speeches ... dealt ... with the well-known theme of the union of all Serbia and the 'liberation of our brethren in bondage' beyond the Danube and the Save, even as far as Bosnia and Dalmatia.

"When, during the course of the evening, the news of the horrible crime of which Sarajevo had been the scene was circulated, the feeling which animated the fanatical crowd was, to judge by the numerous expressions of applause reported to me by authorities in whom I have absolute confidence, one that I can only characterize as inhuman.

"In view of this attitude of the population, which was also displayed at Uskub, all attempts of the Serbian press to divest Serbia of the moral responsibility for a deed which was received by a representative gathering with such unvarnished satisfaction collapse miserably."

On July 2, 1914, M. Dumaine, French Ambassador at Vienna, reported to M. Viviani, Prime Minister in Paris, the resentment against Serbia in Austrian military circles and by those persons opposed to Serbia's maintenance of the position she had acquired in the Balkans. If the Serbian Government refused as intolerable to its dignity the demand of Austria-Hungary that the Serbian Government investigate into the origin of the archduke's assassination, he feared that this would furnish Austria-Hungary a ground for resort to military measures.

(p. 346) On the same day (July 2, 1914), Dr. M. R. Vesnitch, Serbian Minister at Paris, telegraphed to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, that the French Government advised Serbia to remain calm, in official circles as well as in public opinion.

On July 3, 1914, M. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna, sent two reports to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, the first containing an account of a mob which gathered before the Serbian Legation on July 2, on account of his having hoisted the national flag at half-mast as a sign of mourning; the bodies of the victims of the Sarajevo tragedy having been brought that day to the Austrian capital. The police dispersed the mob. The papers of July 3, under the heading of "Provocation by the Serbian Minister," falsely described the incident. The minister mentioned by name leading instigators of attacks in the Austrian and German press on Serbia as haranguing the crowd. In the second letter he reported a conversation he had had with Baron Macchio, Austro-Hungarian Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in which the Baron severely censured the Belgrade press for its antimonarchical propaganda, and, implicitly, the Serbian Government for not controlling the press. The Serbian Minister had replied that the press was free, and that there was no means of curbing it except by going to law; and, in rejoinder, he censured the Austro-Hungarian Government, which could control the press of its empire, for permitting it shamefully to attack Serbia by accusing the whole nation of being an accomplice in the Sarajevo crime. Baron Macchio had replied: "We accuse only those who encourage the Great Serbian scheme, and work for the realization of its object." Yovanovitch had rejoined that, till the assassination, Bosnia Serbs had been uniformly called "Bosniaks," yet the assassin was now described as "a Serb," and no mention was made that he was a Bosnian and an Austrian subject. This was evidently to cast odium upon Serbia.

On July 4, 1914, Dr. M. R. Vesnitch, Serbian Minister at Paris, reported to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, a recent conversation with M. Viviani, the new French Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the Sarajevo incident.

(p. 347) "I described to him briefly the causes which had led to the outrage and which were to be found, in the first place, in the irksome system of Government in force in the annexed provinces, and especially in the attitude of the officials, as well as in the whole policy of the monarchy toward anything orthodox. He understood the situation, but at the same time expressed the hope that we should preserve an attitude of calm and dignity in order to avoid giving cause for fresh accusations in Vienna.

"After the first moment of excitement public opinion here has quieted down to such an extent that the minister-president himself considered it advisable in the Palais de Bourbon to soften the expressions used in the statement which he had made earlier on the subject in the Senate."

On the same day (July 4, 1914), Dr. M. Spalaikovitch, Serbian Minister at Petrograd,[1] telegraphed to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, that the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, M. Sazonof, had expressed his opinion that the outrages upon the Serbs in Bosnia would increase the sympathy of Europe for Serbia; that the accusations made in Vienna would not obtain credence and that therefore Serbia should remain calm.

On the same day (July 4, 1914), Count Szécsen, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at Paris, telegraphed to Count Berchtold, Minister for Foreign Affairs at Vienna, that, in officially thanking M. Poincaré for his sympathy over the Sarajevo tragedy, the President had excused the hostile demonstrations against Serbia by citing those against all Italians in France after the assassination of President Carnot.

"I drew his attention to the fact that that crime had no connection with any anti-French agitation in Italy, while in the present case it must be admitted that for years past there has been an agitation in Serbia against the [Dual] Monarchy fomented by every means, legitimate and illegitimate.

"In conclusion, M. Poincaré expressed his conviction that the Serbian Government would meet us with the greatest willingness in the judicial investigation and the prosecution of the accomplices. No state could divest itself of this duty."

On the same day (July 4, 1914), M. de Manneville, French Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, reported to M. Viviani, President of the Council in Paris, a conversation with Herr von Zimmermann, German Under-Secretary of State, in which von Zimmermann had expressed the hope that Serbia would satisfy Austria's (p. 348) demands with regard to the investigation and prosecution of the accomplices in the crime of Sarajevo. Otherwise she would be condemned by the whole civilized world.

"The German Government do not then appear to share the anxiety which is shown by a part of the German press as to possible tension in the relations between the Governments of Vienna and Belgrade, or at least they do not wish to seem to do so."

Two days later (July 6, 1914), M. Paléologue, French Ambassador at St. Petersburg, reported to M. Viviani, Prime Minister at Paris, a recent interview which M. Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, had had with Count Czernin, the Austro-Hungarian Chargé d'Affaires at the request of the latter. The Count intimated that the Austro-Hungarian Government would perhaps be compelled to search for the instigators of the crime of Sarajevo on Serbian soil. M. Sazonof interjected:

"No country has had to suffer more than Russia from crimes prepared on foreign territory. Have we ever claimed to employ in any country whatsoever the procedure with which your papers threaten Serbia? Do not embark on such a course."

On the same day (July 6, 1914), M. Yov. M. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna, telegraphed to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, that the excitement in military and government circles against Serbia was growing, owing to the tone of the press, which was diligently exploited by the Austro-Hungarian Legation at Belgrade. On the same date he informed the Prime Minister in detail of the press agitation against Serbia. By headlines the people were led to infer, on the date of the crime of Sarajevo, that the two perpetrators were Serbs from Serbia proper. In later reports there was a marked tendency to connect the crime with Serbia. Belgrade was indicated as the place of its origin by the visit to that capital of the assassins, and by the bombs originating there, which facts had been elucidated at the trial of the assassins in Sarajevo. The Hungarian press claimed that there was evidence to show:

"1. That the perpetrators while in Belgrade associated with the comitadji [revolutionist] Mihaylo Ciganovitch; and (2) that the organizer and instigator of the outrage was Major Pribitchevitch....

"Further ... the latest announcement which the Hungarian Korrespondenzbureau made to the newspapers stated:

(p. 349) "'The inquiries made up to the present prove conclusively that this outrage is the work of a conspiracy. Besides the two perpetrators, a large number of persons have been arrested, mostly young men, who are also, like the perpetrators, proved to have been employed by the Belgrade Narodna Odbrana in order to commit the outrage, and who were supplied in Belgrade with bombs and revolvers.' [This item was later recalled.]

"At the same time the Vienna Korrespondenzbureau published the following official statement:

"'We learn from authoritative quarters that the inquiries relating to the outrage are being kept absolutely secret. All the details, therefore, which have appeared in the public press should be accepted with reserve.'

"Nevertheless the Budapest newspapers continued to publish alleged reports on the inquiry. In the last 'report' of the Budapest newspaper 'A Nap,' which was reprinted in yesterday's Vienna papers, the tendency to lay the responsibility for the outrage on the Narodna Odbrana is still further emphasized. According to this report the accused Gabrinovitch had stated that General Yankovitch is the chief instigator of the outrage."

On the same day Herr Hoflehner, Austro-Hungarian Consular Agent at Nish, Serbia, wrote to Count Berchtold, Minister of Foreign Affairs at Vienna, of the satisfaction and even joy expressed, especially in the leading circles, over the crime at Sarajevo.

On the next day (July 7, 1914), M. Yov. M. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna, wrote to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, that, though Emperor Francis Joseph had appealed to the Prime Ministers of Austria (Count Berchtold) and of Hungary (Count Tisza), and to the Minister of Finance (Herr Bilinski) for calmness, it was impossible to tell what attitude toward Serbia the Government would take.

"For them one thing is obvious; whether it is proved or not that the outrage has been inspired and prepared at Belgrade, they must sooner or later solve the question of the so-called Great Serbian agitation within the Hapsburg Monarchy. In what manner they will do this and what means they will employ to that end has not as yet been decided; this is being discussed especially in high Catholic and military circles. The ultimate decision will be taken only after it has been definitely ascertained what the inquiry at Sarajevo has brought to light....

"Austria-Hungary has to choose one of the following courses: either to regard the Sarajevo outrage as a national misfortune and a crime which ought to be dealt with in accordance with the evidence obtained, in which case Serbia's cooperation ... will be requested in order to prevent the perpetrators escaping the extreme penalty; or, to treat the Sarajevo outrage (p. 350) as a Pan-Serbian, South-Slav, and Pan-Slav conspiracy with every manifestation of the hatred, hitherto repressed, against Slavdom. There are many indications that influential circles are being urged to adopt the latter course: it is, therefore, advisable to be ready for defense. Should the former and wiser course be adopted, we should do all we can to meet Austrian wishes in this respect."

On July 9, 1914, M. Pashitch telegraphed to all the foreign Serbian Legations that the Austro-Hungarian Crown Prince Alexander was receiving daily threatening letters from Austro-Hungarians, and that they should make use of this information with other foreign ministers and journalists.

On July 10, 1914, M. Allizé, French Minister In Munich, wrote to M. Pichon, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Paris, that the Bavarians were asking the object of the new German armaments.

"Recognizing that no one threatens Germany, they consider that German diplomacy had already at its disposal forces sufficiently large and alliances sufficiently powerful to protect German interests with success."

Nevertheless, public opinion will support the Imperial Government in any enterprise in which they might energetically embark, even at the risk of conflict.

"The state of war to which all the events in the East have accustomed people's minds for the last two years appears no longer like some distant catastrophe, but as a solution of the political and economic difficulties which will continue to increase."

On July 11, 1914, M. d'Apchier-le-Maugin, French Consul General at Budapest, reported to M. Vivian, Prime Minister at Paris, that Count Tisza, Hungarian Prime Minister, had refused to make to the Hungarian Chamber any disclosures on the Sarajevo incident until the judicial inquiry was closed. The chamber approved.

"He did not give any indication whether the project of a démarche [proceeding] at Belgrade, with which all the papers of both hemispheres are full, would be followed up."

The virulence of the Hungarian press has diminished, and the papers are unanimous in advising against this step, which might be dangerous.

"The semiofficial press especially would desire that for the word 'démarche,' with its appearance of a threat, there should be substituted (p. 351) the expression 'pourparlers' [conversations], which appears to them more friendly.

"The general public, however, fears war. It is said that every day cannon and ammunition were being sent in large quantities toward the frontier.... The Government, whether it is sincerely desirous of peace, or whether it is preparing a coup, is now doing all that it can to allay these anxieties.... Their optimism to order is, in fact, without an echo; the nervousness of the Bourse, a barometer which cannot be neglected, is a sure proof of this; without exception, stocks have fallen to an unaccountably low level."

On July 14, 1914, Dr. M. Yovanovitch, Serbian Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, telegraphed to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, that Herr von Jagow, German Secretary of State, had told him that Austria-Hungary, as a great power, could not tolerate the provocative attitude of the Serbian press.

On the same day M. Yov. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna, wrote M. Pashitch that the Literary Bureau of the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office, which supplied the press with material and set its tone, was exciting opinion against Serbia. Official German circles in Vienna were especially ill disposed toward Serbia. The "Neue Freie Presse," under instructions from the Vienna Press Bureau, summarized the feeling:

"We have to settle matters with Serbia by war; it is evident that peaceable means are of no avail. And if it must come to war sooner or later, then it is better to see the matter through now.

"The Bourse is very depressed. There has not been such a fall in prices In Vienna for a long time."

On the same day, July 14, 1914, M. Pashitch sent two letters to all the foreign Serbian Legations.

In the first letter he gave specific illustrations of misinformation by the Austro-Hungarian press such as that Austro-Hungarian subjects were maltreated in Belgrade, and were now panic-stricken, and that there had been a demonstration against the Austrian Minister at the funeral of Dr. Hartwig, the Russian Minister. There was no foundation whatever for these statements.

In the second letter he notified the Legations that the Austro-Hungarian news bureaus, the channel of Serbian news to the world, misrepresented, through garbling extracts, the tone of the (p. 352) Belgrade press, and that all Serbian papers were forbidden entry into Austria-Hungary.

"With us the press is absolutely free. Newspapers can be confiscated only for lčse-majesté or for revolutionary propaganda; in all other cases confiscation is illegal. There is no censorship of newspapers."

Accordingly the Serbian foreign ministers were instructed to give out information that the Serbian Government lacked the power to control the newspapers, and further to spread knowledge of the fact that it was Austro-Hungarian papers which originated all the controversies, while the Serbian ones only replied. There was no desire in Serbia to provoke Austria-Hungary.

On July 15, 1914, M. Yov. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna, reported to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, that the Ministers of the Dual Monarchy had been consulting about the Sarajevo incident, and that it appeared nothing was decided. Count Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, had gone to Ischl, where Emperor Francis Joseph was recovering from the shock of the assassination, to report to him. Count Tisza, the Hungarian Prime Minister, had replied evasively to interpellations made in the Hungarian Parliament by the Opposition. Owing to the absence on leave from his post of the War Minister and his chief of staff, the Bourse had recovered.

"One thing is certain: Austria-Hungary will take diplomatic steps at Belgrade as soon as the magisterial inquiry at Sarajevo is completed and the matter submitted to the court."

In a second letter of the same date M. Yovanovitch reported to M. Pashitch that it was thought that the inquiry had not produced sufficient evidence to justify officially accusing Serbia more than for tolerating in her borders certain revolutionary elements. Austro-Hungarian methods were criticized in diplomatic circles and the Serbian attitude was commended as in accord with the dignity of a nation.

"In spite of the fact that it appears that the German Foreign Office does not approve of the anti-Serbian policy of Vienna, the German Embassy here is at this very moment encouraging such a policy."

(p. 353) In a third letter of the same date M. Yovanovitch informed the Prime Minister that it appeared that Austria-Hungary would not invite the Serbian Government to assist her in discovering and punishing the culprits of the Sarajevo crime, but would make it a case against Serbia and the Serbians, or even against the Jugo-Slavs (on her own border), looking in this for the approval of Europe, which would prepare the way for the sharp reactionary measures she contemplated to take internally to suppress the great Serbian propaganda and the Jugo-Slav idea. The Government must take some action for the sake of its prestige at home as well as abroad....

The accusation against Serbia will extend from April, 1909, to the present. Austria-Hungary will claim to the powers that the facts developed therein give her the right to take diplomatic steps at Belgrade, and demand that Serbia in future act as a loyal neighbor. Austria-Hungary will ask Serbia to accept unconditionally her demands.

On the same day, July 15, 1914, M. Dumaine, French Ambassador at Vienna, reported to M. Viviani, Prime Minister at Paris, that certain press organs in Vienna, specifically the "Militärische Rundschau," represented France and Russia as incapable of holding their own in European affairs, and that Austria-Hungary, with the support of Germany, could therefore subject Serbia to any treatment she pleased. The "Rundschau" argued that now was the most propitious time for the war in which Austria-Hungary would have to engage in two or three years at the latest.

"At this moment the initiative rests with us: Russia is not ready, moral factors and right are on our side, as well as might. Since we shall have to accept the contest some day, let us provoke it at once. Our prestige, our position as a great power, our honor, are in question; and yet more, for it would seem that our very existence is concerned....

"Surpassing itself, the 'Neue Freie Presse' of to-day reproaches Count Tisza for the moderation of his second speech, in which he said: 'Our relations with Serbia require, however, to be made clear.' These words rouse its indignation. For it tranquillity and security can result only from a war to the knife against Pan-Serbism, and it is in the name of humanity that it demands the extermination of the cursed Serbian race."

On July 16, 1914, Dr. Yovanovitch, Serbian Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, telegraphed to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, (p. 354) that Secretary of State Von Jagow had informed him that reports of the German Minister at Belgrade pointed to the existence of a great Serbian propaganda, which should be energetically suppressed by the Serbian Government in the interest of good relations with Austria-Hungary.

On July 17 M. Boschkovitch, Serbian Minister at London, telegraphed to M. Pashitch that the Austrian Embassy there was endeavoring to favor the idea that Austria must give a good lesson to Serbia. Despite peaceable official statements by Austria-Hungary the way was preparing for diplomatic pressure upon Serbia which might develop into an armed attack.

On the same day, July 17, M. Ljub Michailovitch, Serbian Minister at Rome, telegraphed to M. Pashitch that the Marquis di San Giuliano, Prime Minister of Italy, had stated to the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador:

"Any step undertaken by Austria against Serbia which failed to take into account international considerations would meet with the disapproval of public opinion in Italy, and that the Italian Government desire to see the complete independence of Serbia maintained."

On July 19, 1914, M. Pashitch telegraphed a long notice to the foreign Serbian legations, telling of the accusation of the Austrian press from the time of the Sarajevo outrage that the crime was the direct result of the great Serbian idea, propagated by various associations such as the Narodna Odbrana, which were tolerated by the Serbian Government. The notice detailed the attitude of the Serbian Government toward the Serbian press, presented in the preceding correspondence. In regard to its attitude toward Austria-Hungary it said:

"The Serbian Government at once expressed their readiness to hand over to justice any of their subjects who might be proved to have played a part in the Sarajevo outrage. The Serbian Government further stated that they had prepared a more drastic law against the misuse of explosives. The draft of a new law in that sense had already been laid before the State Council, but could not be submitted to the Skupshtina [Serbian Parliament], as the latter was not sitting at the time. Finally, the Serbian Government stated that they were ready, as heretofore, to observe all those good neighborly obligations to which Serbia was bound by her position as a European state.

"From the date of the perpetration of the outrage until to-day not once did the Austro-Hungarian Government apply to the Serbian Government (p. 355) for their assistance in the matter. They did not demand that any of the accomplices should be subjected to an inquiry, or that they should be handed over to trial. In one instance only did the Austrian Government ask for information; this was as to the whereabouts of certain students who had been expelled from the Pakratz Teachers' Seminary and had crossed over to Serbia to continue their studies. All available information on this point was supplied."

The notice related the anti-Serbian propaganda conducted by the Austro-Hungarian press, the interpellations in the Hungarian Parliament, etc., and the probable intention of the Austro-Hungarian Government to demand a categorical reply from Serbia, which, if not satisfactory, would be followed by war.

That Austria-Hungary was picking a quarrel had been evidenced by her use of an exploded rumor of a contemplated attack on the Austrian Legation in Belgrade to prove how excited public opinion was in Serbia, and to what lengths she was ready to go.

"There is reason for apprehension that some step is being prepared against us [in the evident intention] that the inquiry which is being made is not to be limited to the perpetrators and their possible accomplices in the crime, but is most probably to be extended to Serbia and the Great Serbian idea....

"On the other hand the Serbian Government have given their particular attention to the improvement and strengthening of their relations with the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which had lately become strained as a result of the Balkan wars and of the questions which arose therefrom. With that object in view the Serbian Government proceeded to settle the question of the Oriental Railway, the new railway connections, and the transit through Serbia of Austro-Hungarian goods for Constantinople, Sofia, Saloniki, and Athens.

"The Serbian Government consider that their vital interests require that peace and tranquillity in the Balkans should be firmly and lastingly established. And for this very reason they fear lest the excited state of public opinion in Austria-Hungary may induce the Austro-Hungarian Government to make a démarche which may humiliate the dignity of Serbia as a state, and to put forward demands which could not be accepted.

"I have the honor, therefore, to request you to impress upon the Government to which you are accredited our desire to maintain friendly relations with Austria-Hungary, and to suppress every attempt directed against the peace and public safety of the neighboring monarchy. We will likewise meet the wishes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the event of our being requested to subject to trial in our independent courts any accomplices in the outrage who are in Serbia—should such, of course, exist.

"But we can never comply with demands which may be directed against the dignity of Serbia, and which would be inacceptable to any country which respects and maintains its independence.

(p. 356) "Actuated by the desire that good neighborly relations may be firmly established and maintained, we beg the friendly Governments to take note of these declarations and to act in a conciliatory sense should occasion or necessity arise."[Back to Contents]


With Serbia's case now fully before the courts of Europe, there began a movement among the powers desiring to keep the peace of the continent for mediation between the disputants. This was begun by Germany and Great Britain.

On July 20, 1914, Sir Edward Grey, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, wrote to Sir Horace Rumbold, British Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, recounting a conversation with the German Ambassador, Prince Lichnowsky. The prince said that Austria was certainly going to take some step in the Serbian matter; that the situation was uncomfortable, and that it would be desirable if Russia could act as a mediator with regard to Russia. Sir Edward Grey presumed that the Austrian Government would not do anything until they had first disclosed to the public their case against Serbia, founded upon what they had discovered at the trial of the Sarajevo assassins. This would make it easier for other powers, such as Russia, to counsel moderation in Belgrade. The more reasonable the demands of Austria, the easier it would be to smooth things over.

"I hated the idea of a war between any of the great powers, and that any of them should be dragged into a war by Serbia would be detestable.

"The ambassador agreed whole-heartedly in this sentiment."

On the same day, July 20, 1914, M. Yov. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna, reported to M. Pashitch, Prime Minister at Belgrade, that the word had been passed round in Vienna to maintain absolute secrecy about what was being done in the Serbian matter. There was no room for the optimism reported to exist in Belgrade. It was highly probable Austria-Hungary was preparing for war against Serbia.

"The general conviction that prevails here is that it would be nothing short of suicide for Austria-Hungary once more to fail to take advantage of the opportunity to act against Serbia. It is believed that the two opportunities (p. 357) previously missed—the annexation of Bosnia and the Balkan War—have been extremely injurious to Austria-Hungary. In addition, the conviction is steadily growing that Serbia, after her two wars, is completely exhausted, and that a war against Serbia would, in fact, merely mean a military expedition to be concluded by a speedy occupation. It is also believed that such a war could be brought to an end before Europe could intervene.

"The seriousness of Austrian intentions is further emphasized by the military preparations which are being made, especially in the vicinity of the Serbian frontier."

On the same day, July 20, 1914, a French consular report was made from Vienna to the Government at Paris, which referred to the diplomatic situation.

"Much will be demanded of Serbia; she will be required to dissolve several propagandist societies, she will be summoned to repress nationalism, to guard the frontier in cooperation with Austrian officials, to keep strict control over anti-Austrian tendencies in the schools; and it is a very difficult matter for a government to consent to become in this way a policeman for a foreign government. They foresee the subterfuges by which Serbia will doubtless wish to avoid giving a clear and direct reply; that is why a short interval will perhaps be fixed for her to declare whether she accepts or not. The tenor of the note and its imperious tone almost certainly insure that Belgrade will refuse. Then military operations will begin.

"There is here, and equally in Berlin, a party which accepts the idea of a conflict of widespread dimensions; in other words, a conflagration. The leading idea is probably that it would be necessary to start before Russia has completed the great improvements of her army and railways, and before France has brought her military organization to perfection. But on this point there is no unanimity in high circles; Count Berchtold and the diplomatists desire at the most localized operations against Serbia. But everything must be regarded as possible."

The report commented on the departure from usage by the Austro-Hungarian press in prominently reporting the remarks of the most obscure Serbian newspapers,

"which, just on account of their obscurity, employ language freer, bolder, more aggressive, and often insulting. This work of the official agency has obviously for its aim the excitement of public feeling and the creation of opinion favorable to war. The fact is significant."

On July 21 M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs at Paris, that M. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister to Germany, had declared to the German Government that Serbia was willing to entertain Austria's requirements arising out of the Sarajevo outrage, provided that she asked only for

(p. 358) "judicial cooperation in the punishment and prevention of political crimes, but that he was charged to warn the German Government that it would be dangerous to attempt, through that investigation, to lower the prestige of Serbia.

"M. Browniewsky, Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, mentioned this subject to Herr von Jagow, German Secretary of State. Von Jagow said that he supposed the German Government now had full knowledge of the note prepared by Austria, and were therefore willing to give the assurance that the Austro-Serbian difficulties would be localized. The Secretary of State protested that he was in complete ignorance of the contents of that note, and expressed himself in the same way to me. I could not help showing my astonishment at a statement which agreed so little with what circumstances lead one to expect.

"I have also been assured that from now on the preliminary notices for mobilization, the object of which is to place Germany in a kind of 'attention' attitude in times of tension, have been sent out here to those classes which would receive them in similar circumstances. That is a measure to which the Germans, constituted as they are, can have recourse without indiscretion and without exciting the people. It is not a sensational measure, and is not necessarily followed by full mobilization, as we have already seen, but it is none the less significant."

On the same day, July 21, 1914, M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs at Paris, notified the French Legations at London, St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Rome that the Berlin Bourse was extremely weak on the 20th, probably on account of anxiety over the Serbian question, and that M. Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, had grave reason that Germany would support Austria-Hungary in her contemplated démarche at Belgrade without seeking to play the part of mediator.

On the same day, July 21, 1914, Baron Giesl von Gieslingen, Austro-Hungarian Minister at Belgrade, wrote a long letter to Count Berchtold, Minister for Foreign Affairs at Vienna, reviewing the situation. Most of his statements have been given in more moderate language in the preceding correspondence. He describes how the relations between Serbia and Austria-Hungary have been "poisoned" by Serbian national aspirations, due to the great Serbian propaganda (carried on in Austria-Hungary as well as in Serbia), and to Serbian success in the Balkan wars. This chauvinism has increased to a paroxysm, bordering on insanity. The policy is to separate from Austria-Hungary the southern Slav provinces, and so abolish the Dual (p. 359) Monarchy as a great power. Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to revolt, and the Slav regiments in the Austro-Hungarian army to mutiny. Out of the ruins will be builded the great Serbian Empire, and that in the immediate future.

Serbian newspapers without fear of reprimand discuss the decrepitude of the Dual Monarchy and insult her officials, and even "the exalted person of our ruler." The press is the educator of the Serbian people; it promoted the great Serbian propaganda, from which sprang the crime of Sarajevo. Political parties and governmental policy are wholly subservient to it. Its accusations that the sudden death of the Russian Minister, Dr. Hartwig, was due to poison are on the verge of insanity—the London "Times" called them ravings. The people, in gratitude for the past, and in anxiety for the future, outbid one another in servility to Russia. They despise Austria-Hungary as powerless, for internal and external reasons. The serious words of our statesmen are regarded as "bluff."

"This picture leads up to the conclusion that a reckoning with Serbia, a war for the position of the [Dual] Monarchy as a great power, even for its existence as such, cannot be permanently avoided.

"If we delay in clearing up our relations with Serbia we shall share the responsibility for the difficulties and the unfavorable situation in any future war which must, however, sooner or later be carried through....

"Should we therefore ... put forward far-reaching requirements joined to effective control—for this alone could clear the Augean stable of great Serbian intrigues—then all possible consequences must be considered, and from the beginning there must be a strong and firm determination to carry through the matter to the end.

"Half measures, the presentation of demands, followed by long discussions and ending only in an unsound compromise, would be the hardest blow which could be directed against Austria-Hungary's reputation in Serbia and her position in Europe."

On July 22, 1914, Sir Horace Rumbold, British Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey, Secretary of Foreign Affairs at London, that he had had an interview with the German Secretary of State, Herr von Jagow, who insisted that the question at issue between Serbia and Austria-Hungary was for these alone to settle, without interference from outside, and said that it was inadvisable for the German Government to approach the Austro-Hungarian Government on the matter. (p. 360) The German Secretary had frequently emphasized to the Serbian Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, M. Yovanovitch, that Austro-Serbian relations should be put on a proper footing. He thought that Austria had acted toward Serbia with great forbearance.

On the same day, July 22, 1914, M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs at Paris, notified the foreign French legations of the information in M. Cambon's report of the 21st, and said that the Marquis di San Giuliano, Prime Minister at Rome, was interceding with Austria-Hungary that nothing impracticable be demanded of Serbia; thus, that the dissolution of the Narodna Odbrana be required, and not a judicial inquiry into the causes of the crime of Sarajevo. Evidently the Cabinet at Vienna, under pressure of the press and military party, is trying to intimidate Serbia by extreme demands, expecting German support in this policy.

"I have asked the French Ambassador at Vienna [M. Dumaine] to use all his influence with Count Berchtold [the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs] and to represent to him in a friendly conversation how much Europe would appreciate moderation on the part of the Austrian Government, and what consequences would be likely to be entailed by violent pressure on Serbia."

On the same day, July 22, 1914, M. Dumaine reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin that Count Berchtold was still at Ischl evidently waiting for the decision of Kaiser Francis Joseph on the Serbian question.

"The intention of proceeding against Serbia with the greatest severity ... of 'treating her like another Poland,' is attributed to the Government. Eight army corps are said to be ready to start on the campaign, but M. Tisza [Hungarian Prime Minister], who is very disturbed about the excitement in Croatia, is said to have intervened actively in order to exercise a moderating influence.

"In any case it is believed that the démarche will be made at Belgrade this week. The requirements of the Austro-Hungarian Government with regard to the punishment of the outrage, and to guarantees of control and police supervision, seem to be acceptable to the dignity of the Serbians; M. Yovanovitch [Serbian Minister at Vienna] believes they will be accepted. M. Pashitch [Serbian Prime Minister] wishes for a peaceful solution, but says that he is ready for a full resistance. He has confidence in the strength of the Serbian army, besides, he counts on the union of all the Slavs in the [Dual] Monarchy to paralyze the effort directed against his country.

"Unless people are absolutely blinded, it must be recognized here that a violent blow has every chance of being fatal both to the Austro-Hungarian (p. 361) army and to the cohesion of the nationalities governed by the emperor, which has already been so much compromised.

"Herr von Tschirschky, the German Ambassador, is showing himself a supporter of violent measures, while at the same time he is willing to let it be understood that the Imperial Chancellery would not be in entire agreement with him on this point. The Russian Ambassador [M. Schebeko], who left yesterday for the country in consequence of reassuring explanations made to him at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, has confided to me that his Government will not raise any objection to steps directed toward the punishment of the guilty and the dissolution of the societies which are notoriously revolutionary, but could not accept requirements which would humiliate Serbian national feeling."

On the same day, July 22, 1914, M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin that Sir Edward Grey, British Secretary of Foreign Affairs, had told him that Prince Lichnowsky, had stated that a démarche of Austria-Hungary against Serbia was expected at Berlin, and that the German Government was endeavoring to hold back the Austro-Hungarians, but thus far had been unsuccessful. Sir Edward Grey had answered that he would like to believe that Austria-Hungary, before intervening at Belgrade, were assured that the Serbian Government had been cognizant of the conspiracy resulting in the crime of Sarajevo, and had not done all in their power to prevent the crime.

"For if it could not be proved that the Serbian Government were responsible and implicated to a certain degree, the intervention of Austria-Hungary would not be justified and would arouse against them the opinion of Europe."

The Italian Ambassador and Serbian Minister, M. Boschkovitch, share Sir Edward Grey's apprehensions. M. Boschkovitch fears that demands will be made on the Serbian Government which their dignity and public opinion may not allow them to accept without protest.

"Notwithstanding the sacrifices which Serbia has made for her recent victories she can still put 400,000 men in the field, and public opinion, which knows this, is not inclined to put up with any humiliation.

"Sir Edward Grey, in an interview with the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador [Count Mensdorff], asked him to recommend his Government not to depart from the prudence and moderation necessary for avoiding new complications, not to demand from Serbia any measures to which she could not reasonably submit, and not to allow themselves to be carried away too far."[Back to Contents]


The expected blow now fell on Serbia. On the same day, July 22, 1914, Count Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, sent out to the Austro-Hungarian Ambassadors in Berlin, Rome, Paris, London, St. Petersburg, and Constantinople, the contents of the note which was to be presented on the morrow to the Serbian Government.

A justification of the demands in it were given. All of the complaints here made against Serbia have already been given, except the charge that

"individuals belonging formerly to bands employed in Macedonia had come to place themselves at the disposal of the terrorist propaganda against Austria-Hungary.

"The patience of the Imperial and Royal Government, in the face of the provocative attitude of Serbia, was inspired by the territorial disinterestedness of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the hope that the Serbian Government would end in spite of everything by appreciating Austria-Hungary's friendship at its true value. By observing a benevolent attitude toward the political interests of Serbia, the Imperial and Royal Government hoped that the kingdom would finally decide to follow an analogous line of conduct on its own side. In particular, Austria-Hungary expected a development of this kind in the political ideas of Serbia, when, after the events of 1912, the Imperial and Royal Government, by its disinterested and ungrudging attitude, made such a considerable aggrandizement of Serbia possible."

This benevolence, however, was repaid by the Serbian Government tolerating the propaganda which ended in the crime of Sarajevo.

"In the presence of this state of things the Imperial and Royal Government have felt compelled to take new and urgent steps at Belgrade with a view to inducing the Serbian Government to stop the incendiary movement that is threatening the security and integrity of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

"The Imperial and Royal Government are convinced that in taking this step they will find themselves in full agreement with the sentiments of all civilized nations, who cannot permit regicide to become a weapon that can be employed with impunity in political strife and the peace of Europe to be continually disturbed by movements emanating from Belgrade."

(p. 363) The ambassadors were instructed each to submit a copy of the note to the Government to which he was accredited, together with a dossier

"elucidating the Serbian intrigues and the connection between these intrigues and the murder of the 28th of June."

On the following day, Thursday, July 23, 1914, Count Berchtold telegraphed to Count Mensdorff, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at London, that, as Great Britain of all the powers might be most easily led to form an impartial judgment on the action taken, in presenting the copy of the note, he should point out that Serbia might have rendered less acute the serious steps she must expect from Austria-Hungary by spontaneously investigating the conspiracy tending to the crime of Sarajevo, and that on the contrary she had endeavored to wipe out all its traces, for example, in the case of the Serbian civil servant Ciganovic, who was compromised by the independent testimony of both of the assassins, and who was in Belgrade on the day of the crime, yet whom the director of the Serbian press declared to be completely unknown in that city.

"The short time limit attached to our demand must be attributed to our long experience of the dilatory arts of Serbia.

"The requirements which we demand that Serbia should fulfill, and which indeed contain nothing which is not a matter of course in the intercourse between states which are to live in peace and friendship, cannot be made the subject of negotiations and compromise; and, having regard to our economic interests, we cannot take the risk of a method of political action by which it would be open to Serbia at pleasure to prolong the crisis which has arisen."

Later in the day Count Mensdorff had an interview with Sir Edward Grey, British Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the substance of which Sir Edward communicated on the same date to Sir Maurice de Bunsen, British Ambassador at Vienna.

Count Mensdorff intimated the general nature of the note. Sir Edward regretted the time limit set as akin to an ultimatum, and so likely to inflame opinion in Russia, and render difficult securing a satisfactory reply from Serbia. If it later developed that proceedings were unduly protracted, a time limit could then be set. By that time Russian opinion would be less excited, and, if the case appeared strong against Serbia, the Russian Government (p. 364) would be in a position to influence Serbia to reply satisfactorily to the demands of the note. A time limit was generally a thing used only as a last resort, when all other means had failed.

Count Mensdorff instanced the bad faith of Serbia in not fulfilling her promise of 1909 to live on neighborly terms with Austria-Hungary, and said that, on the contrary, she had conducted an agitation to disintegrate that country, which made it absolute for Austria to protect herself. On this Sir Edward did not comment. He said that the French Ambassador, M. Cambon, and the Russian, Count Benckendorff, and others were agreed that those who had influence at St. Petersburg should exert it on behalf of patience and moderation.

"I had replied that the amount of influence that could be used in this sense would depend upon how reasonable were the Austrian demands and how strong the justification that Austria might have discovered for making her demands. The possible consequences of the present situation were terrible. If as many as four great powers of Europe—let us say, Austria, France, Russia, and Germany—were engaged in war, it seemed to me that it must involve the expenditure of so vast a sum of money, and such an interference with trade, that a war would be accompanied or followed by a complete collapse of European credit and industry. In these days, in great industrial states, this would mean a state of things worse than that of 1848, and, irrespective of who were victors in the war, many things might be completely swept away.

"Count Mensdorff did not demur to this statement of the possible consequences of the present situation, but he said that all would depend upon Russia.

"I made the remark that, in a time of difficulties such as this, it was just as true to say that it required two to keep the peace as it was to say ordinarily that it took two to make a quarrel. I hoped very much that, if there were difficulties, Austria and Russia would be able in the first instance to discuss them directly with each other.

"Count Mensdorff said that he hoped this would be possible, but he was under the impression that the attitude in Petrograd had not been very favorable recently."

On the same day, July 23, 1914, before the copy of the note had been presented to him, M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs at Paris, notified the French Ambassadors at London, Berlin, St. Petersburg, and Rome, that it was reported by M. Dumaine, French Ambassador at Vienna, that the intention of Austria-Hungary was to proceed with the greatest severity (p. 365) against Serbia, while keeping eight army corps ready to start operations.

Nevertheless Baron Macchio, Austro-Hungarian Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had assured M. Dumaine that the tone and demands of the note were such as to allow us to count on a peaceful result.

"In view of the customary procedure of the Imperial Chancellery, I do not know what confidence ought to be placed in these assurances....

"The Serbian Minister [M. Vesnitch] holds that as M. Pashitch [Serbian Prime Minister] wishes to come to an understanding, he will accept those demands which relate to the punishment of the outrage and to the guaranties for control and police supervision, but that he will resist everything which might affect the sovereignty and dignity of his country.

"In diplomatic circles at Vienna the German Ambassador [Von Tschirschky] is in favor of violent measures, while at the same time he confesses that the Imperial Chancellery is perhaps not entirely in agreement with him on this point; the Russian Ambassador [Schebeko], trusting to assurances which have been given him, has left Vienna, and before his departure confided to M. Dumaine that his Government will not raise any objection to the punishment of the guilty and the dissolution of the revolutionary associations, but that they could not accept requirements which were humiliating to the national sentiment of Serbia."

On the same day, July 23, 1914, M. Allizé, French Minister at Munich, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin that the Bavarian press were optimistic over a peaceful solution of the Serbian question, but that official circles were pessimistic.

The note was presented at 6 p. m., Thursday, July 23, 1914, by the Austro-Hungarian Minister at Belgrade, Baron Giesl von Gieslingen, to the Serbian Minister of Finance, M. Laza Patchou, in the absence of M. Pashitch, the Prime Minister, who was away electioneering. The time limit for acceptance of its demands was forty-eight hours. Giesl added verbally that, if the demands were not accepted within that period, the Austro-Hungarian Legation would leave Belgrade on the morrow, Friday, at 10 a. m. This information was telegraphed that evening to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Petrograd, M. Sazonof, by the Russian Chargé d'Affaires in Belgrade, M. Strandtman. Through him M. Patchou solicited the help of Russia, declaring that no Serbian Government could accept the demands of Austria-Hungary. M. Patchou at the same time telegraphed to the (p. 366) foreign Serbian Legations the news of the delivery of the note, and informed them that he was in a position to state that no Serbian Government could accept its demands in their entirety.


The following are the contents of the note:

"On March 31, 1909, the Royal Serbian Minister to the court of Vienna made the following statement, by order of his Government:

"'Serbia declares that she is not affected in her rights by the situation established in Bosnia, and that she will therefore adapt herself to the decisions which the powers are going to arrive at in reference to Article XXV of the Berlin Treaty. By following the councils of the powers, Serbia binds herself to cease the attitude of protest and resistance which she has assumed since last October, relative to the annexation, and she binds herself further to change the direction of her present policies toward Austria-Hungary, and in the future to live with the latter in friendly and neighborly relations.'"

Here follow the charges with which the reader is already familiar: That there is in Serbia a movement to separate certain territories from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which, developed under the eyes of the Government of Serbia, has found expression beyond that kingdom in a series of acts of terrorism and assassination.

The Serbian Government has done nothing to suppress the movement, its violent propaganda in public education and the press, or the participation in its intrigues by public officials.

"It becomes plain from the evidence and confessions of the criminal authors of the outrage of June 28 that the murder at Sarajevo was conceived in Belgrade, that the murderers received the arms and bombs with which they were equipped from Serbian officers and officials who belonged to the Narodna Odbrana, and that, lastly, the transportation of the criminals and their arms to Bosnia was arranged and carried out by leading Serbian frontier officials.

"These results impose upon the Imperial and Royal Government the duty to terminate intrigues which constitute a permanent menace for the peace of the monarchy.

"In order to obtain this purpose, the Imperial and Royal Government is forced to demand official assurance from the Serbian Government that it condemns the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary, i. e., the entirety of the machinations whose aim it is to separate parts from the (p. 367) monarchy which belong to it, and that Serbia binds herself to suppress with all means this criminal and terrorizing propaganda.

"In order to give to these obligations a solemn character, the Royal Serbian Government will publish on the first page of its official organ of July 26, 1914, the following declaration:

"'The Royal Serbian Government condemns the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary, i.e., the entirety of those machinations whose aim it is to separate from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy territories belonging thereto, and she regrets sincerely the ghastly consequences of these criminal actions.

"'The Royal Serbian Government regrets that Serbian officers and officials have participated in the propaganda, cited above, and have thus threatened the friendly and neighborly relations which the Royal Government was solemnly bound to cultivate by its declaration of March 31, 1909.

"'The Royal Government, which disapproves and rejects every thought or every attempt at influencing the destinations of the inhabitants of any part of Austria-Hungary, considers it its duty to call most emphatically to the attention of its officers and officials, and of the entire population of the kingdom, that it will henceforward proceed with the utmost severity against any persons guilty of similar actions, to prevent and suppress which it will make every effort.'

"This explanation is to be brought simultaneously to the cognizance of the royal army through an order of his majesty the king, and it is to be published in the official organ of the army.

"The Royal Serbian Government binds itself, in addition, as follows:

"'1. To suppress any publication which fosters hatred of, and contempt for, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and whose general tendency is directed against the latter's territorial integrity.

"'2. To proceed at once with the dissolution of the society Narodna Odbrana, to confiscate their entire means of propaganda, and to proceed in the same manner against the other societies and associations in Serbia which occupy themselves with the propaganda against Austria-Hungary. The Royal Government will take the necessary measures, so that the dissolved societies may not continue their activities under another name or in another form.

"'Without delay to eliminate from the public instruction in Serbia, so far as the corps of instructors as well as the means of instruction are concerned, that which serves, or may serve, to foster the propaganda against Austria-Hungary.

"'4. To remove from military service and the administration in general all officers and officials who are guilty of propaganda against Austria-Hungary, and whose names, with a communication of the material which the Imperial and Royal Government possesses against them, the Imperial and Royal Government reserves the right to communicate to the Royal Government.

"'5. To consent that in Serbia officials of the Imperial and Royal Government cooperate in the suppression of a movement directed against the territorial integrity of the monarchy.

(p. 368) "'6. To commence a judicial investigation against the participants of the conspiracy of June 28, who are on Serbian territory. Officials, delegated by the Imperial and Royal Government, will participate in the examinations.

"'7. To proceed at once with all severity to arrest Major Voja Tankosic and a certain Milan Ciganowic, Serbian state officials, who have been compromised through the result of the investigation.

"'8. To prevent through effective measures the participation of the Serbian authorities in the smuggling of arms and explosives across the frontier, and to dismiss those officials of Shabatz and Loznica who assisted the originators of the crime of Sarajevo in crossing the frontier.

"'9. To give to the Imperial and Royal Government explanations in regard to the unjustifiable remarks of high Serbian functionaries in Serbia and abroad who have not hesitated, in spite of their official position, to express themselves in interviews in a hostile manner against Austria-Hungary after the outrage of June 28.

"'10. The Imperial and Royal Government expects a reply from the Royal Government, at the latest by Saturday, 25th inst., at 6 p. m. A memoir concerning the results of the investigations at Sarajevo, so far as they concern points 7 and 8, is inclosed with this note.'"


"The investigation carried on against Gabrilo Princip and accomplices in the court of Sarajevo, on account of the assassination on June 28, has so far yielded the following results:

"'1. The plan to murder Archduke Franz Ferdinand during his stay in Sarajevo was conceived in Belgrade by Gabrilo Princip, Nedeljko, Gabrinowic, and a certain Milan Ciganowic and Trifko Grabez, with the aid of Major Voja Tankosic.

"'2. The six bombs and four Browning pistols which were used by the criminals were obtained by Milan Ciganowic and Major Tankosic, and presented to Princip Gabrinowic in Belgrade.

"'3. The bombs are hand grenades, manufactured at the arsenal of the Serbian army in Kragujevac.

"'4. To insure the success of the assassination, Milan Ciganowic instructed Princip Gabrinowic in the use of the grenades and gave instructions in shooting with Browning pistols to Princip Grabez in a forest near the target practice field of Topshider (outside Belgrade).

"'5. In order to enable the crossing of the frontier of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Princip Gabrinowic and Grabez, and the smuggling of their arms, a secret system of transportation was organized by Ciganowic. The entry of the criminals with their arms into Bosnia and Herzegovina was effected by the frontier captains of Shabatz (Rade Popowic) and of Loznica, as well as by the custom-house official Rudivoy Grbic of Loznica with the aid of several other persons.'"

On the same day that the note was presented to Serbia, July 23, 1914, Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg, the German Chancellor, (p. 369) wrote a circular letter to the German Ambassadors at Paris, London, and St. Petersburg, embodying and enforcing the Austro-Hungarian arguments justifying the note. These the ambassadors were instructed to present to the Foreign Offices of the countries to which they were accredited. The chancellor commended the self-restraint of Austria-Hungary in thus far avoiding war with Serbia. Now, however, he feared that Serbia would not comply with the just demands of the country she had injured, but would adopt "a provocative attitude toward Austria-Hungary."

"Nothing would remain for the Austro-Hungarian Government, unless it renounced definitely its position as a great power, but to press its demands with the Serbian Government, and, if need be, enforce the same by appeal to military measures, in regard to which the choice of means must be left with it."

The ambassadors were charged to give special emphasis to the view

"that in this question there is concerned an affair which should be settled solely between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, the limitation to which it must be the earnest endeavor of the powers to insure. We anxiously desire the localization of the conflict because every intercession of another power on account of the various treaty alliances would precipitate inconceivable consequences."

The ambassadors were instructed by the chancellor to send him telegraphic reports of their interviews.


The diplomatic correspondence of the two following days is occupied chiefly with the attempt of Serbia and the powers not party to the dispute to have the time limit of the Austro-Hungarian note extended. In order to save repetition the correspondence hereafter will be given under the heads of the dates when letters, telegrams, etc., were sent, and the subheads of the countries in whose official reports they are found.[Back to Contents]

FRIDAY, JULY 24, 1914

Serbia. M. Strandtman, Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Belgrade, telegraphed to M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs at Petrograd, that Pashitch, Prime Minister of Serbia, had returned to the capital, and would give an answer to Austria within the prescribed time, showing the points which are acceptable or unacceptable.

"To-day an appeal will be addressed to the powers to defend the independence of Serbia. Then, added Pashitch, if war is inevitable, we will make war."

Great Britain. Mr. Crackanthorpe, British Chargé d'Affaires at Belgrade, telegraphed Sir Edward Grey that M. Pashitch had told him that the Austrian demands were considered unacceptable by the Serbian Government, and that it trusted to Great Britain to induce Austria to moderate them. M. Pashitch was dejected and anxious.

Russia. The Crown Prince Alexander, Prince Regent of Serbia, telegraphed to Czar Nicholas II of Russia that the Serbian Government had been willing from the first to open an inquiry in Serbia as to complicity of Serbian subjects in the crime of Sarajevo.

"The demands contained in the Austro-Hungarian note are, however, unnecessarily humiliating for Serbia, and incompatible with her dignity as an independent state....

"We are prepared to accept those of the Austro-Hungarian conditions which are compatible with the position of an independent state, as well as those to which your majesty may advise us to agree, and all those persons whose complicity in the crime may be proved will be severely punished by us. Certain of the demands could not be carried out without changes in our legislation, which would need time.... We may be attacked at the expiration of the time limit by the Austro-Hungarian army which is concentrating upon our frontier. We are unable to defend ourselves, and we beg your majesty to come to our aid as soon as possible. The much-appreciated good will which your majesty has so often shown toward us inspires us with the firm belief that once again our appeal to your noble Slav heart will not pass unheeded...."

(p. 371) Russia. M. Broniewsky, Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, telegraphed to M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs at St. Petersburg, that the Berlin press in the main warmly welcomed the uncompromising attitude of Austria-Hungary.

"The semiofficial 'Lokal-Anzeiger' is particularly violent; it describes as fruitless any possible appeals that Serbia may make to St. Petersburg, Paris, Athens, or Bucharest, and concludes by saying that the German people will breathe freely when they learn that the situation in the Balkan Peninsula is to be cleared up at last."

Serbia. Dr. Spalaikovitch, Serbian Minister at St. Petersburg, telegraphed to M. Pashitch a report of a chance interview with Count Pourtalčs, the German Ambassador. The Count had said that peace with Austria-Hungary depended on Serbia alone, since the matter lay entirely between the two disputants.

"In reply I told Count Pourtalčs that he was under a misapprehension, and that he would see before long that this was not a question merely between Serbia and Austria, but a European question."

Austria-Hungary. Count Mensdorff, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at London, telegraphed to Count Berchtold, Minister for Foreign Affairs at Vienna, that he had handed a copy of the note to Serbia to Sir Edward Grey, British Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

"At the fifth heading he asked what it meant; to introduce officials of our Government in Serbia would be equivalent to the end of Serbian political independence. I answered that cooperation of, e.g., police officials, in no way affected the sovereignty of the state.

"He regretted the time limit, as in this way we should be deprived of the possibility of quieting the first outbreak of excitement and bringing pressure to bear upon Belgrade to give us a satisfactory answer. It was always possible to send an ultimatum if answer was not satisfactory.

"I developed our point of view at length. (Necessity of defense against continued revolutionary undertakings which threaten the territory of the [Dual] Monarchy, protection of our most vital interests, complete failure of the conciliatory attitude which we had hitherto often shown to Serbia, who had had more than three weeks to set on foot of her own accord investigations as to accomplices in outrage, etc.)

"The Secretary of State repeated his objections to the short time limit, but recognized that what was said as to complicity in the crime of Sarajevo, as well as many of our other requirements, was justified.

"He would be quite ready to look on the affair as one which only concerned Austria-Hungary and Serbia. He is, however, very 'apprehensive' that several great powers might be involved in a war. Speaking of Russia, (p. 372) Germany, and France, he observed that the terms of the Franco-Russian Alliance might be more or less to the same effect as those of the Triple Alliance.

"I fully explained to him our point of view, and repeated with emphasis that in this case we must stand firm so as to gain for ourselves some sort of guaranties, as hitherto Serbian promises have never been kept. I understood that in the first place he considered the question only as it influences the position of Europe. He must, however, in order to be fair to our point of view, put himself in our situation.

"He would not go into any more detailed discussion on this subject, said he must have time to study the note more carefully. He was to see the German and the French Ambassadors, as he must first of all exchange ideas with the powers who are allies of Austria-Hungary and Russia respectively, but have themselves no direct interest in Serbia."

Count Szécsen, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at Paris, telegraphed to Count Berchtold that, on his presentation of the copy of the note to Serbia to M. Bienvenu-Martin, French Acting Secretary for Foreign Affairs, point five in the note had seemed to make a special impression on the secretary, since he had asked that it be reread.

"I took the opportunity to impress on him that the question was one which must be brought to an issue directly between Serbia and us, but that it was in the general interests of Europe that the trouble which for years past had been kept up by Serbian intrigues against us should at last make way for a clear situation.

"All friends of peace and order, and I placed France in the first rank of these, should therefore give serious advice to Serbia to change completely her attitude and to satisfy our just demands.

"The minister said that it was the duty of Serbia to proceed energetically against any accomplices of the murderers of Sarajevo, a duty which she could not escape. While laying special stress on the sympathy of France for Austria-Hungary, and on the good relations which existed between our two countries, he expressed the hope that the controversy would be brought to an end peacefully in a manner corresponding to our wishes.

"The minister avoided every attempt to palliate or to defend in any way the attitude of Serbia."

In a second telegram Count Szécsen reported that Baron von Schoen, German Ambassador at Paris, had officially informed M. Bienvenu-Martin, French Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, that, in the view of the Berlin Cabinet, the Serbian controversy concerned only the two parties to it, and, in case that third states should wish to intervene, Germany would be on the side of her ally. M. Bienvenu-Martin replied that his Government (p. 373) agreed that the controversy concerned Belgrade and Vienna alone, and he hoped for a peaceful solution.

Count Szápáry, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at St. Petersburg, telegraphed to Count Berchtold that, on presenting the copy of the note to Serbia to M. Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the minister had questioned the fact of the outrages complained of arising in Serbia, and declared that the note was a pretext for war on Serbia.

"I said to him that no one among us was attacking the integrity of Serbia or the dynasty. M. Sazonof expressed himself most vigorously against the dissolution of the Narodna Odbrana, which Serbia would never undertake. The participation of imperial and royal officials in the suppression of the revolutionary movements elicited further protest on the part of the minister. Serbia then will no longer be master in her own house. 'You will always be wanting to intervene again, and what a life you will lead Europe!' I answered that if Serbia shows good will it will be a quieter life than hitherto.

"The commentary added to the communication of the note was listened to by the minister with fair composure; at the passage that our feelings were shared by those of all civilized nations, he observed that this was a mistake. With all the emphasis I could command, I pointed out how regrettable it would be if we could not come to an understanding with Russia on this question, in which everything which is most sacred to us was at stake, and, whatever the minister might say, everything which is sacred in Russia. The minister attempted to minimize the monarchical side of the question.

"With regard to the dossier which was put at the disposal of the Governments, M. Sazonof wanted to know why we had given ourselves this trouble, as we had already delivered the ultimatum. This was the best proof that we did not really desire an impartial examination of the matter. I said to him that the results which had been attained by our own investigations were quite sufficient for our procedure in this matter, which had to do with Austria-Hungary and Serbia, and that we were only ready to give the powers further information if it interested them, as we had nothing to keep secret.

"M. Sazonof said that now that the ultimatum had been issued he was not in the least curious. He represented the matter as if we only wanted to make war with Serbia whatever happened. I answered that we were the most peace-loving power in the world, but what we wanted was security for our territory from foreign revolutionary intrigues, and the protection of our dynasty from bombs....

"In spite of his relative calm, the attitude of the minister was throughout unaccommodating and hostile."

The Russian "Official Gazette" announced that the Government were closely and anxiously following the Serbian controversy, to which Russia could not remain indifferent.

(p. 374) Count Szápáry telegraphed to Count Berchtold that, after a council of ministers which had lasted five hours, M. Sazonof had received the German Ambassador, Count Pourtalés.

M. Sazonof took the position that the Serbian question was a European affair, the settlement of 1909 having been made under the auspices of all the powers. He pointed out

"that Austria-Hungary had offered a dossier for investigation when an ultimatum had already been presented. Russia would require an international investigation of the dossier, which had been put at her disposal. My German colleague at once brought to M. Sazonof's notice that Austria-Hungary would not accept interference in her difference with Serbia, and that Germany also on her side could not accept a suggestion which would be contrary to the dignity of her ally as a great power.

"In the further course of the conversation the minister explained that that which Russia could not accept with indifference was the eventual intention of Austria-Hungary 'to devour Serbia.' Count Pourtalčs answered that he did not accept any such intention on the part of Austria-Hungary, as this would be contrary to the most special interest of the monarchy. The only object of Austria-Hungary was 'to inflict on Serbia justly deserved chastisement.' M. Sazonof on this expressed his doubts whether Austria-Hungary would allow herself to be contented with this even if explanations on this point had been made.

"The interview concluded with an appeal by M. Sazonof that Germany should work with Russia for the maintenance of peace. The German Ambassador assured the Russian Minister that Germany certainly had no wish to bring about a war, but that she naturally fully represented the interests of her ally."

Count Pourtalčs telegraphed his Chancellor, Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg that M. Sazonof was very much agitated.

Count Berchtold telegraphed to Count Mensdorff, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at London, to explain to Sir Edward Grey, British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, that the action taken toward Serbia was not a formal ultimatum but "merely a démarche with a time limit," which, if not acceded to, would be followed only by Austria's breaking off diplomatic relations and beginning military preparations.

"If Serbia were to give way only under the pressure of our military preparations, we should indeed have to demand that she should make good the expenses which we had incurred; as is well known, we have already had twice (1908 and 1912) to mobilize because of Serbia."

Count Berchtold telegraphed to Count Szápáry, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at St. Petersburg, a report of his interview (p. 375) with Prince Koudacheff, Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Vienna. The prince had stated that St. Petersburg was apprehensive that the démarche might take the form of humiliating Serbia, and this would have an echo in Russia.

"I explained ... the danger, not only to the integrity of the [Dual] Monarchy, but also to the balance of power and the peace of Europe, which would be involved in giving further scope to the great Serbian propaganda, and how all the dynasties, and not least the Russian, would apparently be threatened if the idea took root that a movement which made use of murder as a national weapon could be continued with impunity.

"I pointed out that we did not aim at any increase of territory, but only at the maintenance of what we possess, a point of view which could not fail to be understood by the Russian Government."

Russia. M. Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, telegraphed to Prince Koudacheff, Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Vienna, to ask Count Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, that the time limit in the note to Serbia be extended, as it left to the powers insufficient time for conciliation.

"Austria-Hungary, having declared her readiness to inform the powers of the results of the inquiry upon which the Imperial and Royal Government base their accusations, should equally allow them sufficient time to study them.

"In this case, if the powers were convinced that certain of the Austrian demands were well founded, they would be in a position to offer advice to the Serbian Government.

"A refusal to prolong the term of the ultimatum would render nugatory the proposals made by the Austro-Hungarian Government to the powers, and would be in contradiction to the very bases of international relations."

M. Sazonof communicated this message to London, Rome, Paris, and Belgrade, with the request that in the three former cases similar instructions be given to their Ambassadors at Vienna.

Great Britain. Sir Edward Grey, British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, telegraphed to Sir Maurice de Bunsen, British Ambassador at Vienna, that he had said to Count Mensdorff, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at London, that it was a matter for great regret that a time limit, and such a short one at that, had been insisted upon at this stage of the proceedings.

"The murder of the archduke and some of the circumstances respecting Serbia quoted in the note aroused sympathy with Austria, as was but natural, but at the same time I had never before seen one state address (p. 376) to another independent state a document of so formidable a character. Demand No. 5 would be hardly consistent with the maintenance of Serbia's independent sovereignty if it were to mean, as it seemed that it might, that Austria-Hungary was to be invested with a right to appoint officials who would have authority within the frontiers of Serbia.

"I added that I felt great apprehension, and that I should concern myself with the matter simply and solely from the point of view of the peace of Europe. The merits of the dispute between Austria and Serbia were not the concern of his majesty's Government, and such comments as I had made above were not made in order to discuss those merits.

"I ended by saying that doubtless we should enter into an exchange of views with other powers, and that I must await their views as to what could be done to mitigate the difficulties of the situation."

Sir George Buchanan, British Ambassador at St. Petersburg, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey that M. Sazonof, the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, had sought an interview with him, as the Austrian step clearly meant war. At the interview M. Sazonof had said Austria's demands were provocative and immoral, some being impossible of acceptance. She would never have taken such action unless Germany had first been consulted. He hoped Great Britain would proclaim her solidarity with Russia and France. France would fulfill the treaty obligations with Russia, besides supporting Russia in diplomatic negotiations. Sir George said, that personally he did not expect any declaration of this kind from Great Britain. Direct British interests were nil in Serbia, British public opinion would not permit Great Britain to enter war on her behalf. M. Sazonof replied that the general European question was involved, and Great Britain could not afford to efface herself from the problems now at issue.

Evidently Sazonof wants Great Britain to join in warning Austria that her intervention in Serbia will not be tolerated. But suppose Austria nevertheless wars in Serbia, will Russia forthwith declare war on Austria?

A council of ministers is being held this afternoon on mobilization. At a meeting to-morrow, where the czar will preside, a decision will be come to.

Sir George said the important thing to do was to influence Austria to extend the time limit. M. Paléologue, the French (p. 377) Ambassador, was either set on war or was bluffing, and whichever it was, our only chance for peace was to adopt a firm and united attitude. There was no time to carry out Sir George's suggestion. The British Ambassador then said that his Government might perhaps warn Austria that war would probably mean Russian intervention, which would involve France and Germany, and so make it hard for Great Britain to keep out of the conflict. M. Sazonof answered that Great Britain would sooner or later be dragged into war; war would be rendered more likely by Great Britain if she did not make common cause with Russia and France. President Poincaré and M. Viviani, President of the Council, being in Russia, it appears as if Austria had taken advantage of their absence from France to present their ultimatum to Serbia. Even though we do not join them it seems that France and Russia are determined to make a strong stand.

Sir Maurice de Bunsen, British Ambassador at Vienna, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey that he was assured by M. Schebeko, Russian Ambassador at Vienna, that Russia would not be indifferent to the humiliation of Serbia. Prince Koudacheff, the Russian Chargé d'Affaires, had told Count Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, that the note to Serbia was unusual and peremptory, and drawn up in a form rendering its acceptance impossible. The count replied that the Austro-Hungarian Minister would leave Belgrade at the time set if Serbia did not yield. The Dual Monarchy felt that its very existence was at stake. The step taken by the Government was approved by the country. He did not think objections would be raised by the powers.

Sir Edward Grey informed Sir Francis Bertie, British Ambassador at Paris of a conversation with M. Cambon, the French Ambassador at London, over an intended interview that afternoon of Sir Edward with Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador.

"I would say to the ambassador that, of course, if the presentation of this ultimatum to Serbia did not lead to trouble between Austria and Russia, we need not concern ourselves about it; but, if Russia took the view of the Austrian ultimatum, which it seemed to me that any power interested in Serbia would take. I should be quite powerless, in face of the terms of the (p. 378) ultimatum, to exercise any moderating influence. I would say that I thought the only chance of any mediating or moderating influence being exercised was that Germany, France, Italy, and ourselves, who had not direct interests in Serbia, should act together for the sake of peace, simultaneously in Vienna and St. Petersburg.

"M. Cambon said that, if there was a chance of mediation by the four powers, he had no doubt that his Government would be glad to join in it; but he pointed out that we could not say anything in St. Petersburg till Russia had expressed some opinion or taken some action. But, when two days were over, Austria would march into Serbia, for the Serbians could not possibly accept the Austrian demand. Russia would be compelled by her public opinion to take action as soon as Austria attacked Serbia, and therefore, once the Austrians had attacked Serbia, it would be too late for any mediation.

"I said that I had not contemplated anything being said in St. Petersburg until after it was clear that there must be trouble between Austria and Russia. I had thought that if Austria did move into Serbia, and Russia then mobilized, it would be possible for the four powers to urge Austria to stop her advance, and Russia also to stop hers, pending mediation. But it would be essential for any chance of success for such a step that Germany should participate in it.

"M. Cambon said that it would be too late after Austria had once moved against Serbia. The important thing was to gain time by mediation in Vienna. The best chance of this being accepted would be that Germany should propose it to the other powers.

"I said that by this he meant a mediation between Austria and Serbia.

"He replied that it was so."

Sir Edward Grey telegraphed the results of the interview with Prince Lichnowsky to Sir Horace Rumbold, British Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin. Sir Edward's statements were those he had decided upon in his interview with M. Cambon. The prince replied that Austria might be expected to move unless Serbia accepted her demands in toto. He suggested that Serbia ought in no case to give a negative reply. A partial acceptance if sent at once might afford an excuse to Russia against immediate action. Sir Edward asked Sir Horace to submit his views to the German Secretary of State, Herr von Jagow.

Sir Edward Grey telegraphed Mr. Crackanthorpe, British Chargé d'Affaires at Belgrade, to advise the Serbian Government, if it were proved that any Serbian officials, however subordinate, were accomplices in the murder of the archduke, to give Austria the fullest satisfaction in the way of expressing concern with regret. For the rest they must reply as they consider best (p. 379) in Serbian interests. The only chance for Serbia is to reply favorably to as many points in the note as the time limit allows.

"Serbian Minister here has begged that his majesty's Government will express their views, but I cannot undertake responsibility of saying more than I have said above, and I do not like to say even that without knowing what is being said at Belgrade by French and Russian Governments. You should therefore consult your French and Russian colleagues as to repeating what my views are, as expressed above, to Serbian Government.

"I have urged upon German Ambassador that Austria should not precipitate military action."

France. M. Viviani, French Prime Minister, who had not yet seen the note to Serbia, wrote from Reval, Russia, to M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs at Paris, to send on to M. Dumaine, French Ambassador at Vienna, the following information and instructions:

In M. Viviani's conversation with M. Sazonof, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, it was agreed to prevent Austrian intervention in the internal affairs of Serbia of a kind which Serbia might consider as an attack on her sovereignty and independence. This view should be communicated to Count Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, and moderation counseled him, cooperation in this should be secured from the Russian and British Ambassadors in Vienna. The British Ambassador, Sir George Buchanan, had informed M. Sazonof that his Government might join in a démarche (proceeding) for removing any danger to general peace, and telegraphed his Government to that effect. M. Sazonof has instructed Count Benckendorff, Russian Ambassador at London, to secure such cooperation. M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London, should be instructed to back him up. M. Bienvenu-Martin sent to M. Viviani, returning from Russia on La France, and to the French Ambassadors at London, Berlin, Vienna, St. Petersburg, and Rome, and the French Minister at Belgrade, the contents of the Austrian note to Serbia, and an account of the circumstances of the delivery of the copy to the French Government by Count Szécsen, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador. M. Berthelot, French Political Director, in obedience to M. Bienvenu-Martin's instructions, had confined himself to stating to the ambassador (p. 380) that painful feeling would be aroused in French public opinion by the categorical nature of the note, and its short time limit, and its presentation to Serbia at a time when the President and Prime Minister of France were at sea, and could not exert, in cooperation with statesmen of other powers not directly interested, that soothing influence on Serbia and Austria which was so desirable in the interest of general peace.

In a letter to these ambassadors and minister, and to the French Minister at Stockholm (M. Thiébaut), M. Bienvenu-Martin said that M. Berthelot, French Political Director, had advised M. Vesnitch, Serbian Minister at Paris, that Serbia should play for delay by asking that she be allowed time to verify the evidence, presumably one sided, adduced by Austria in support of her note to Serbia, and, above all, that Serbia should declare herself ready to submit to the arbitration of Europe.

Italy had not been consulted by Austria in regard to the note, nor even informed of it. M. Bienvenu-Martin informed these same representatives at foreign courts (with exception of the Ambassador at Vienna), that M. Dumaine, French Ambassador at Vienna had reported that the chief fear of the Austro-Hungarian military party was that Serbia would accede to the demands of Austria-Hungary; and that M. Yov. Yovanovitch, Serbian Minister at Vienna thought his Government would give way on all points save the order to the army dictated to King Peter, dismissal of officers suspected by Austria, and interference by foreign officials in Serbia. M. Yovanovitch hoped that a discussion on these points might be started which would lead to arbitration by the powers.

The feeling in Germany was warlike. The tone of the press there was intimidating, particularly toward Russia. Italy was exercising moderating influence at Vienna.

M. Bienvenu-Martin notified the French representatives at the above courts and at Vienna of the contents of the circular note of the German Government delivered him that day by Baron von Schoen, the German Ambassador. Said the Acting Foreign Secretary:

(p. 381) "I called the German Ambassador's attention to the fact that while it might appear legitimate to demand the punishment of all those who were implicated in the crime of Sarajevo, on the other hand it seemed difficult to require measures which could not be accepted, having regard to the dignity and sovereignty of Serbia; the Serbian Government, even if it was willing to submit to them, would risk being carried away by a revolution.

"I also pointed out to Herr von Schoen that his note only took into account two hypotheses: that of a pure and simple refusal or that of a provocative attitude on the part of Serbia. The third hypothesis (which would leave the door open for an arrangement) should also be taken into consideration; that of Serbia's acceptance and of her agreeing at once to give full satisfaction for the punishment of the accomplices and full guaranties for the suppression of the anti-Austrian propaganda so far as they were compatible with her sovereignty and dignity.

"I added that if within these limits the satisfaction desired by Austria could be admitted, the means of obtaining it could be examined; if Serbia gave obvious proof of good will it could not be thought that Austria would refuse to take part in the conversation.

"Perhaps they should not make it too difficult for third powers, who could not either morally or sentimentally cease to take interest in Serbia, to take an attitude which was in accord with the wishes of Germany to localize the dispute.

"Herr von Schoen recognized the justice of these considerations and vaguely stated that hope was always possible. When I asked him if we should give to the Austrian note the character of a simple mise en demeure, which permitted a discussion, or an ultimatum, he answered that personally he had no views."

M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin, that official German opinion supported Austria in not abating her demands on Serbia. There was pessimism in diplomatic circles. The Russian Chargé d'Affaires, M. Broniewsky, had bitterly noted the presentation of the note to Serbia during the absence from France of the French President and Prime Minister. He thought that William II, in his desire to support the monarchic principle, was becoming less inclined to show a conciliatory attitude.

In a second letter M. Cambon reported an interview he had just had with Herr von Jagow, German Secretary of State. The secretary supported the Austrian note to Serbia. It was that country's domestic affair, and he hoped that the dispute would be localized.

King Peter of Serbia.

"I asked him if the Berlin Cabinet had really been entirely ignorant of Austria's requirements before they were communicated to Belgrade, and as (p. 382) he told me that that was so, I showed him my surprise at seeing him thus undertake to support claims of whose limit and scope he was ignorant.

"Herr von Jagow interrupted me, and said: 'It is only because we are having a personal conversation that I allow you to say that to me.'

"'Certainly,' I replied, 'but if Peter I humiliates himself, domestic trouble will probably break out in Serbia; that will open the door to fresh possibilities, and do you know where you will be led by Vienna?' I added that the language of the German newspapers was not the language of persons who were indifferent to, and unacquainted with, the question, but betokened an active support. Finally I remarked that the shortness of the time limit given to Serbia for submission would make an unpleasant impression in Europe.

"Herr von Jagow answered that he quite expected a little excitement (un peu d'émotion) on the part of Serbia's friends, but that he was counting on their giving her wise advice.

"'I have no doubt,' I then said to him, 'that Russia would endeavor to persuade the Cabinet of Belgrade to make acceptable concessions; but why not ask from one what is being asked from the other, and if reliance is being placed on advice being given at Belgrade, is it not also legitimate to rely on advice being given at Vienna from another quarter?'

"The Secretary of State went so far as to say that that depended on circumstances; but immediately checked himself; he repeated that the difficulty must be localized. He asked me if I really thought the situation serious. 'Certainly,' I answered, 'because if what is happening is the result of due reflection, I do not understand why all means of retreat have been cut off.'

"All the evidence shows that Germany is ready to support Austria's attitude with unusual energy. The weakness which her Austro-Hungarian ally has shown for some years past has weakened the confidence that was placed in her here. She was found heavy to drag along. Mischievous legal proceedings, such as the Agram and the Friedjung affairs, brought odium on her police and covered them with ridicule. All that was asked of the police was that they should be strong; the conviction is that they were violent.

"An article which appeared in the 'Lokal Anzeiger' this evening shows also that at the German Chancellery there exists a state of mind to which we in Paris are naturally not inclined to pay sufficient attention, I mean the feeling that monarchies must stand together. I am convinced that great weight must be attached to this point of view in order to appreciate the attitude of the Emperor William, whose impressionable nature must have been affected by the assassination of a prince whose guest he had been a few days previously.

"It is not less striking to notice the pains with which Herr von Jagow, and all the officials placed under his orders, pretend to everyone that they were ignorant of the scope of the note sent by Austria to Serbia."

M. Paléologue, French Ambassador at St. Petersburg, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin as follows:

"The intentions of the Emperor of Russia and his ministers could not be more pacific, a fact of which the President of the [French] Republic and (p. 383) the president of the council have been able to satisfy themselves directly; but the ultimatum which the Austro-Hungarian Government has just delivered to the Cabinet at Belgrade introduces a new and disquieting element into the situation.

"Public opinion in Russia would not allow Austria to offer violence to Serbia. The shortness of the time limit fixed by the ultimatum renders still more difficult the moderating influence that the powers of the Triple Entente might exercise at Vienna.

"On the other hand, M. Sazonof [Russian Prime Minister] assumes that Germany will desire to support her ally and I am afraid that this impression is correct. Nothing but the assurance of the solidarity of the Triple Entente can prevent the German powers from emphasizing their provocative attitude."

M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin an interview with Sir Edward Grey, British Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Cambon and Grey were agreed that everything must be done to avert the crisis, and that the British Cabinet should take the initiative in offering mediation by the four powers not directly interested, Great Britain, France, Russia and Germany. If Germany assented, time would be gained, and this was the essential point.

"Sir Edward Grey told me that he would discuss with Prince Lichnowsky the proposal. I mentioned the matter to my Russian colleague [Count Benckendorff] who is afraid of a surprise from Germany, and who imagines that Austria would not have dispatched her ultimatum without previous agreement with Berlin.

"Count Benckendorff told me that Prince Lichnowsky, when he returned from leave about a month ago, had intimated that he held pessimistic views regarding the relations between St. Petersburg and Berlin. He had observed the uneasiness caused in this latter capital by the rumors of a naval entente between Russia and Great Britain, by the czar's visit to Bucharest, and by the strengthening of the Russian army. Count Benckendorff had concluded from this that a war with Russia would be looked upon without disfavor in Germany.

"The Under-Secretary of State [Sir Arthur Nicholson] has been struck, as all of us have been, by the anxious looks of Prince Lichnowsky since his return from Berlin, and he considers that if Germany had wished to do so she could have stopped the dispatch of the ultimatum.

"The situation, therefore, is as grave as it can be, and we see no way of arresting the course of events.

"However, Count Benckendorff thinks it right to attempt the démarche upon which I have agreed with Sir Edward Grey."

In a second letter M. Cambon reported receipt of the details of the Austrian ultimatum.

(p. 384) "In consultation with my Russian colleague, who thinks it extremely difficult for his Government not to support Serbia, we have been asking ourselves what intervention could avert the conflict.

"Sir Edward Grey having summoned me for this afternoon, I propose to suggest that he should ask for the semiofficial intervention of the German Government at Vienna to prevent a sudden attack."

M. Bienvenu-Martin informed the French Ambassadors at St. Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna and Rome, and the Ministers at Stockholm and Belgrade of M. Cambon's report, and his (Bienvenu-Martin's) willingness to cooperate in the proposed conciliatory action at Vienna.

Belgium. M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, notified the Belgian Ministers at Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna, and St. Petersburg

"that the Government had under consideration an address to the powers who guarantee Belgian independence and neutrality assuring them of Belgium's determination to fulfill the international obligations imposed upon her by treaty in the event of a war breaking out on her frontiers.

"The Government have come to the conclusion that such a communication would be premature at present, but that events might move rapidly and not leave sufficient time to forward suitable instructions at the desired moment to the Belgian representatives abroad.

"In these circumstances I have proposed to the King [Albert] and to my colleagues in the Cabinet, who have concurred, to give you now exact instructions as to the steps to be taken by you if the prospect of a Franco-German war became more threatening.

"I inclose herewith a note, signed but not dated, which you should read to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and of which you should give him a copy, if circumstances render such a communication necessary.

"I shall inform you by telegram when you are to act on these instructions.

"This telegram will be dispatched when the order is given for the mobilization of the Belgian army if, contrary to our earnest hope and to the apparent prospect of a peaceful settlement, our information leads us to take this extreme measure of precaution."

The note inclosed said that Belgium had "most scrupulously" observed the obligations of neutrality imposed on her by the treaties of April 19, 1839, and would "strive unflinchingly" to fulfill them whatever the new circumstances might be.

"The friendly feelings of the powers toward her have been so often reaffirmed that Belgium confidently expects that her territory will remain free from any attack, should hostilities break out upon her frontiers.

"All necessary steps to insure respect of Belgian neutrality have nevertheless been taken by the Government. The Belgian army has been mobilized (p. 385) and is taking up such strategic positions as have been chosen to secure the defense of the country and the respect of its neutrality. The forts of Antwerp and on the Meuse have been put in a state of defense....

"These measures are intended solely to enable Belgium to fulfill her international obligations; and it is obvious that they neither have been nor can have been undertaken with any intention of taking part in an armed struggle between the powers or from any feeling of distrust of any of those powers."

On the following day this notification was also sent to the Belgian Ministers at Rome, The Hague, and Luxemburg.


Austria-Hungary. Count Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, telegraphed from Lembach to his Under-Secretary, Baron von Macchio, that Russia through Prince Koudacheff, its Chargé d'Affaires at Vienna, was pressing for an extension of the time limit in the note to Serbia, and that he should tell the prince this would not be granted, but that, even after the severance of diplomatic relations, Serbia could have peace by complying unconditionally with Austria-Hungary's demands—in which case, however, she must pay the cost of Austro-Hungarian military measures.

Later, Count Berchtold telegraphed to Count Szápáry, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at St. Petersburg, that Prince Koudacheff had based his request on the powers being taken by surprise in the demands on Serbia, and therefore that Russia should have time to consider the evidence in the case as presented in Austria-Hungary's dossier. These grounds, said Count Berchtold, rested on a mistaken hypothesis.

"Our note to the powers was in no way intended to invite them to make known their own views on the subject, but merely bore the character of a statement for information, the communication of which we regarded as a duty laid on us by international courtesy.... We regarded our action as concerning us and Serbia alone."

Baron Giesl von Gieslingen, Austro-Hungarian Minister at Belgrade, telegraphed Count Berchtold that the Serbian Cabinet on the evening of the 24th and morning of the 25th had been preparing its reply to the note, and would deliver it before the (p. 386) time limit expired; preparations were being made by the Serbian Government and army for removal into the interior; foreign legations expected to have to follow; the Russian Legation was already packing up; the Austro-Hungarian Legation were ready to leave Belgrade by the 6.30 p. m. train.

Count Berchtold notified Count Szápáry at St. Petersburg, on the same day, that, in case of Russia reconsidering her position, and refusing to be swept away by the bellicose elements, he, with the support of his German colleague, Count Pourtalčs, a close understanding with whom was presumed, should impress upon M. Sazonof, the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, that Austria-Hungary, in event of war with Russia, would not stand alone.

"That we had striven up till now, so far as in us lay, to preserve the peace which we considered to be the most precious possession of nations, was shown by the course of events during the last forty years, and by the historical fact that our gracious emperor has won for himself the glorious title of 'Protector of the Peace.'

"We should, therefore, most sincerely deplore the disturbance of the European peace, because we also were of the opinion that the strengthening of the Balkan States in a position of political and national independence would prove to the advantage of our relations with Russia, and would also remove all possibility of antagonism between us and Russia; also because we have always been ready, in the shaping of our own policy, to take into consideration the dominant political interests of Russia.

"Any further toleration of Serbian intrigues would undermine our existence as a state and our position as a great power, thus also threatening the balance of power in Europe. We are, however, convinced that it is to Russia's own interests, as her peaceful leaders will clearly see, that the existing European balance of power which is of such importance for the peace of the world, should be maintained. Our action against Serbia, whatever form it takes, is conservative from first to last, and its object is the necessary preservation of our position in Europe."

In a supplementary telegram Count Berchtold instructed Count Szápáry to explain that point five in the note to Serbia was interpolated merely out of practical considerations, and not to infringe on the sovereignty of Serbia.

"By 'collaboration' in point five, we are thinking of the establishment of a private 'Bureau de Sűreté' at Belgrade, which would operate in the same way as the analogous Russian establishments in Paris and in cooperation with the Serbian police and administration."

Other ambassadors were similarly instructed.

(p. 387) Russia. M. Broniewsky, Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, telegraphed to M. Sazonof reporting that he and the British Ambassador, Sir George Buchanan, had urged the German Secretary of State, Herr von Jagow, to advise Vienna to extend the time limit in the ultimatum to Serbia. Von Jagow had telegraphed the request to Vienna, but, owing to the absence of Count Berchtold from the capital, feared that it would have no result.

"Moreover, he has doubts as to the wisdom of Austria yielding at the last moment, and he is inclined to think that such a step on her part might increase the assurance of Serbia. I replied that a great power such as Austria could give way without impairing her prestige, and I adduced every other similar argument, but failed, nevertheless, to obtain any more definite promise. Even when I gave him to understand that action must be taken at Vienna if the possibility of terrible consequences was to be avoided, the Minister for Foreign Affairs answered each time in the negative."

M. Sevastipoulo, Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Paris, telegraphed M. Sazonof that, at his instance, the French representative at Vienna had been instructed to request extension of the time limit in the note to Serbia.

Count Benckendorff, Russian Ambassador at London, telegraphed that the British representative at Vienna had been instructed to do the same, and also to discuss the prevention of hostilities should the request be refused.

M. Sazonof replied by telegraph that in event of hostilities, Russia counted on Great Britain siding at once and definitely with France and Russia in order to maintain the European balance of power for which Great Britain had constantly intervened in the past and which would certainly be compromised by the triumph of Austria.

Count Pourtalčs, German Ambassador at St. Petersburg, handed a note verbale to M. Sazonof, denying the press report that the action of Austria-Hungary was instigated by the German Government, and declaring that this government "had no knowledge of the text" of the note to Serbia before it was presented, and had "exercised no influence upon its contents."

"Germany, as the ally of Austria, naturally supports the claims made by the Vienna Cabinet against Serbia, which she considers justified.

(p. 388) "Above all Germany wishes, as she has already declared from the very beginning of the Austro-Serbian dispute, that this conflict should be localized."

The same statement was made to the French Government by Baron von Schoen, the German Ambassador, and to the British Government by Count Benckendorff, the Russian Ambassador. The count asked Sir Edward Grey, British Secretary of Foreign Affairs, that the British Government bring conciliatory pressure on Austria.

"Grey replied that this was quite impossible. He added that, as long as complications existed between Austria and Serbia alone, British interests were only indirectly affected; but he had to look ahead to the fact that Austrian mobilization would lead to Russian mobilization, and that from that moment a situation would exist in which the interests of all the powers would be involved. In that event Great Britain reserved to herself full liberty of action."

Great Britain. Sir Francis Bertie, British Ambassador at Paris, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey that M. Bienvenu-Martin, French Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, hoped that Serbia's reply to Austra-Hungary's demands would be sufficiently conciliatory to obviate extreme measures, but said that there would be revolution in Serbia if she were to accept the demands in their entirety.

Sir George Buchanan, British Ambassador at St. Petersburg, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey that M. Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, said that the explanations of the Austrian Ambassador, Count Szápáry, did not quite correspond with information received from German quarters, which information came too late to affect negotiations at Vienna.

"The Minister for Foreign Affairs said that Serbia was quite ready to do as you had suggested and to punish those proved to be guilty, but that no independent State could be expected to accept the political demands which had been put forward. The Minister for Foreign Affairs thought, from a conversation which he had with the Serbian Minister [Dr. Spalaikovitch] yesterday, that, in the event of the Austrians attacking Serbia, the Serbian Government would abandon Belgrade, and withdraw their forces into the interior, while they would at the same time appeal to the powers to help them. His excellency was in favor of their making this appeal. He would like to see the question placed on an international footing, as the obligations taken by Serbia in 1908, to which reference is made in the Austrian ultimatum, were given not to Austria, but to the powers.

(p. 389) "If Serbia should appeal to the powers, Russia would be quite ready to stand aside and leave the question in the hands of England, France, Germany, and Italy. It was possible, in his opinion, that Serbia might propose to submit the question to arbitration.

"On my expressing the earnest hope that Russia would not precipitate war by mobilizing until you had had time to use your influence in favor of peace, his excellency assured me that Russia had no aggressive intentions, and she would take no action until it was forced upon her. Austria's action was in reality directed against Russia. She aimed at overthrowing the present status quo in the Balkans, and establishing her own hegemony there. He did not believe that Germany really wanted war, but her attitude was decided by ours. If we took our stand firmly with France and Russia there would be no war. If we failed them now, rivers of blood would flow, and we would in the end be dragged into war.

"I said that England could play the rôle of mediator at Berlin and Vienna to better purpose as friend who, if her counsels of moderation were disregarded, might one day be converted into an ally, than if she were to declare herself Russia's ally at once. His excellency said that unfortunately Germany was convinced that she could count upon our neutrality.

"I said all I could to impress prudence on the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and warned him that if Russia mobilized, Germany would not be content with mere mobilization, or give Russia time to carry out hers, but would probably declare war at once. His excellency replied that Russia could not allow Austria to crush Serbia and become the predominant power in the Balkans, and, if she feels secure of the support of France, she will face all the risks of war."

Sir Horace Rumbold, British Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey that Herr von Jagow, German Secretary of State, had instructed the German Ambassador at Vienna, Herr von Tschirscky, to present to Count Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Grey's suggestion of an extension of the time limit for Serbia's reply, but that, owing to Berchtold's absence from the capital, the extension would probably not be granted. Von Jagow did not know what Austria-Hungary had ready on the spot, but admitted that they meant to take military action. He also admitted that Serbia "could not swallow" certain of Austria-Hungary's demands.

"I asked whether it was not to be feared that, in taking military action against Serbia, Austria would dangerously excite public opinion in Russia. He said he thought not. He remained of opinion that crisis could be localized. I said that telegrams from Russia in this morning's papers did not look very reassuring, but he maintained his optimistic view with regard to Russia. He said that he had given the Russian Government to understand (p. 390) that the last thing Germany wanted was a general war, and he would do all in his power to prevent such a calamity. If the relations between Austria and Russia became threatening, he was quite ready to fall in with your suggestion as to the four powers working in favor of moderation at Vienna and St. Petersburg.

"Secretary of State confessed privately that he thought the note left much to be desired as a diplomatic document. He repeated very earnestly that, though he had been accused of knowing all about the contents of that note, he had in fact had no such knowledge."

Sir Rennell Rodd, British Ambassador at Rome, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey that the Italian Secretary General was of opinion that Austria will only be restrained by Serbia's unconditional surrender, and that there was reliable information she intended to seize the Saloniki Railway.

Sir Maurice de Bunsen, British Ambassador at Vienna, telegraphed Sir Edward Grey that the language of the Vienna press left the impression that the surrender of Serbia was neither expected nor desired, and that Minister for Foreign Affairs Berchtold would go to Ischl to communicate Serbia's reply as soon as it was presented.

Mr. Crackanthorpe, British Chargé d'Affaires at Belgrade, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey a forecast of the Serbian reply, and said that the Serbian Government considered it would be fully satisfactory unless Austria-Hungary was determined on war at any cost. In a supplementary telegram he said that in view of his French and Russian colleagues not having received instructions from their governments and of the proposed conciliatory terms of the Serbian reply, he had not offered advice to the Serbian Government. It was highly probable the Russian Government had urged the utmost moderation on Serbia.

Sir Edward Grey telegraphed Sir George Buchanan, British Ambassador at St. Petersburg, that he could not promise to Russia more than he had done.

"I do not consider that public opinion here would or ought to sanction our going to war over a Serbian quarrel. If, however, war does take place, the development of other issues may draw us into it, and I am therefore anxious to prevent it.

"The sudden, brusque, and peremptory character of the Austrian démarche makes it almost inevitable that in a very short time both Russia and Austria will have mobilized against each other. In this event, the only (p. 391) chance of peace, in my opinion, is for the other four powers to join in asking the Austrian and Russian Governments not to cross the frontier, and to give time for the four powers acting at Vienna and St. Petersburg to try and arrange matters. If Germany will adopt this view, I feel strongly that France and ourselves should act upon it. Italy would no doubt gladly cooperate.

"No diplomatic intervention or mediation would be tolerated by either Russia or Austria unless it was clearly impartial and included the allies or friends of both. The cooperation of Germany would, therefore, be essential."

Sir Edward Grey telegraphed to Sir Horace Rumbold, British Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, to the same effect, and also that Prince Lichnowsky, German Ambassador at London, was personally favorable to the suggestion of mediation between Austria and Russia, which he thought Austria might be able with dignity to accept.

"I impressed upon the ambassador that, in the event of Russian and Austrian mobilization, the participation of Germany would be essential to any diplomatic action for peace. Alone we could do nothing. The French Government were traveling at the moment, and I had had no time to consult them, and could not therefore be sure of their views, but I was prepared, if the German Government agreed with my suggestion, to tell the French Government that I thought it the right thing to act upon it."

Sir Edward Grey telegraphed to Sir Maurice de Bunsen, British Ambassador at Vienna, the text of the Russian telegram sent to the Russian Ambassador at Vienna asking the Austro-Hungarian Government for extension of the time limit for the Serbian reply, and protesting that a refusal would be "against international ethics." Grey asked Bunsen to support the Russian position.

"I trust that if the Austro-Hungarian Government consider it too late to prolong the time limit, they will at any rate give time in the sense and for the reasons desired by Russia before taking any irretrievable steps."

Sir Edward Grey telegraphed Mr. Crackanthorpe, British Chargé d'Affaires at Belgrade, an account of an interview of M. Boschkovitch, Serbian Minister at London, with Sir Arthur Nicholson, British Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

"He mentioned that both the assassins of the archduke were Austrian subjects—Bosniaks; that one of them had been in Serbia, and that the Serbian authorities, considering him suspect and dangerous, had desired to expel him, but on applying to the Austrian authorities found that the (p. 392) latter protected him, and said that he was an innocent and harmless individual."

France.—M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs at Paris, an interview with Baron Beyens, Belgian Minister at Berlin.

"The Belgian Minister appears very anxious.... He is of opinion that Austria and Germany have desired to take advantage of the fact that, owing to a combination of circumstances at the present moment, Russia and England appear to them to be threatened by domestic troubles, while in France the state of the army is under discussion. Moreover, he does not believe in the pretended ignorance of the Government of Berlin on the subject of Austria's démarche.

"He thinks that, if the form of it has not been submitted to the Cabinet at Berlin, the moment of its dispatch has been cleverly chosen in consultation with that Cabinet, in order to surprise the Triple Entente at a moment of disorganization.

"He has seen the Italian Ambassador, who has just interrupted his holiday in order to return. It looks as if Italy would be surprised, to put it no higher, at having been kept out of the whole affair by her two Allies."

M. Bienvenu-Martin notified the French Legations at London, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Stockholm of a visit made him by Baron von Schoen, the German Ambassador, to protest against an article in the Écho de Paris calling his démarche of yesterday a "German threat." M. Berthelot, French Political Director, assured him that no private information had been given out by the Foreign office of the démarche, and that the article merely showed that the proceeding was known elsewhere than at the Quai d'Orsay. The German Ambassador did not take up the allusion.

M. Paléologue, French Ambassador at St. Petersburg, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin that M. Sazonof, Russian Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had been unfavorably impressed by the evasive replies and recriminations of Count de Pourtalčs, the German Ambassador, over the note to Serbia.

"The ministers will hold a council to-morrow with the czar presiding. M. Sazonof preserves complete moderation. 'We must avoid,' he said to me, 'everything which might precipitate the crisis. I am of opinion that, even if the Austro-Hungarian Government come to blows with Serbia, we ought not to break off negotiations.'"

(p. 393) M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin the interview with Herr von Jagow, German Secretary of State, by Sir Horace Rumbold.

"The British Chargé d'Affaires inquired of Herr von Jagow, as I had done yesterday, if Germany had had no knowledge of the Austrian note before it was dispatched, and he received so clear a reply in the negative that he was not able to carry the matter further; but he could not refrain from expressing his surprise at the blank cheque given by Germany to Austria.

"Herr von Jagow having replied to him that the matter was a domestic one for Austria, he remarked that it had become essentially an international one."

Later in the day M. Cambon reported the interview between Herr von Jagow and M. Broniewski, Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin.

"M. Broniewski, like myself, has heard the rumor that Austria, while declaring that she did not desire an annexation of territory, would occupy parts of Serbia until she had received complete satisfaction. 'One knows,' he said to me, 'what this word "satisfaction" means.' M. Broniewski's impressions of Germany's ultimate intentions are very pessimistic."

M. Dumaine, French Ambassador at Vienna, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin that Prince Koudacheff, Russian Chargé d'Affaires, had sent his Government's request of an extension of the time limit for the Serbian reply to Count Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, in two telegrams, one addressed to him on his journey, and the other to Ischl, his destination. The prince does not expect any result. Baron Macchio, General Secretary of the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office, had received "with icy coldness" the prince's expostulation that the submission by Austria-Hungary of grievances against Serbia without permitting time for their examination was not consonant with international courtesy. The baron replied that one's interests sometimes exempted one from being courteous.

"The Austrian Government is determined to inflict humiliation on Serbia: it will accept no intervention from any power until the blow has been delivered and received full in the face by Serbia."

M. Barrčre, French Ambassador at Rome, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin that the request by the Russian Government (p. 394) for Italy's cooperation in securing from Austria-Hungary an extension of the time limit for the Serbian reply, came too late for action thereon, owing to the absence from Rome of the Prime Minister, the Marquis di San Giuliano.

M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, notified M. Bienvenu-Martin that report had come from Vienna of rupture between Austria-Hungary and Serbia.

"Large crowds consisting of several hundred persons are collecting here before the newspaper offices and a demonstration of numbers of young people has just passed through the Pariser-platz shouting cries of 'Hurrah' for Germany, and singing patriotic songs. The demonstrators are visiting the Siegessaül [column of victory], the Austrian and then the Italian Embassy. It is a significant outburst of chauvinism....

"In financial circles measures are already being taken to meet every eventuality, for no means of averting the crisis is seen, in view of the determined support which Germany is giving to Austria.

"I, for my part, see in Great Britain the only power which might be listened to at Berlin.

"Whatever happens, Paris, St. Petersburg, and London will not succeed in maintaining peace with dignity unless they show a firm and absolutely united front."

At the hour of expiration of the ultimatum to Serbia, M. Dumaine, French Ambassador at Vienna, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin that Prince Koudacheff, the Russian Chargé d'Affaires, had presented alone his request for an extension of the time limit, it seeming to the representatives of the other powers useless to support him when there was no time to do so.

"At the last moment we are assured that the Austrian Minister has just left Belgrade hurriedly; he must have thought the Serbian Government's acceptance of the conditions imposed by his Government inadequate."


A few minutes before 6 p. m., July 25, 1914, the Serbian Government made its reply to the Austrian note.

This declared that no attempts had been made, or declarations uttered, by responsible representatives of Serbia, tending to subvert Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina, since March 31, 1909, when protests against the annexation of these (p. 395) countries made in the Skupshtina (Serbian Parliament) were cut short by declarations of the Serbian Government. It drew attention to the fact that Austria-Hungary had since then made no complaint in this connection save in regard to a school book, concerning which it had received an entirely satisfactory explanation.

"Serbia has several times given proofs of her pacific and moderate policy during the Balkan crisis, and it is thanks to Serbia and to the sacrifice that she has made in the exclusive interest of European peace that that peace has been preserved. The Royal Government cannot be held responsible for manifestations of a private character, such as articles in the press and the peaceable work of societies—manifestations which take place in nearly all countries in the ordinary course of events, and which, as a general rule, escape official control. The Royal Government are all the less responsible, in view of the fact that at the time of the solution of a series of questions which arose between Serbia and Austria-Hungary they gave proof of a great readiness to oblige, and thus succeeded in settling the majority of these questions to the advantage of the two neighboring countries.

"For these reasons the Royal Government have been pained and surprised at the statements, according to which members of the Kingdom of Serbia are supposed to have participated in the preparations for the crime committed at Sarajevo; the Royal Government expected to be invited to collaborate in an investigation of all that concerns this crime, and they were ready, in order to prove the entire correctness of their attitude, to take measures against any persons concerning whom representations were made to them. Falling in, therefore, with the desire of the Imperial and Royal Government, they are prepared to hand over for trial any Serbian subject, without regard to his situation or rank, of whose complicity in the crime of Sarajevo proofs are forthcoming, and more especially they undertake to cause to be published on the first page of the 'Journal officiel,' on the date of July 26, the following declaration":

[Here follows the declaration required by Austria-Hungary, with alterations intended to lessen the humiliation, which changes will be noted in a following criticism by the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office.]

"This declaration will be brought to the knowledge of the Royal army in an order of the day, in the name of his majesty the king, by his Royal Highness the Crown Prince Alexander, and will be published in the next official army bulletin.

"The Royal Government further undertake:

"1. To introduce at the first regular convocation of the Skupshtina a provision into the press law providing for the most severe punishment of incitement to hatred or contempt of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and for taking action against any publication the general tendency of (p. 396) which is directed against the territorial integrity of Austria-Hungary. The Government engage at the approaching revision of the Constitution to cause an amendment to be introduced into Article XXII of the Constitution of such a nature that such publication may be confiscated, a proceeding at present impossible under the categorical terms of Article XXII of the Constitution.

"2. The Government possess no proof, nor does the note of the Imperial and Royal Government furnish them with any, that the 'Narodna Odbrana' and other similar societies have committed up to the present any criminal act of this nature through the proceedings of any of their members. Nevertheless, the Royal Government will accept the demand of the Imperial and Royal Government, and will dissolve the 'Narodna Odbrana" Society and every other society which may be directing its efforts against Austria-Hungary.

"3. The Royal Serbian Government undertake to remove without delay from their public educational establishments in Serbia all that serves or could serve to foment propaganda against Austria-Hungary, whenever the Imperial and Royal Government furnish them with facts and proofs of this propaganda.

"4. The Royal Government also agree to remove from military service all such persons as the judicial inquiry may have proved to be guilty of acts directed against the integrity of the territory of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and they expect the Imperial and Royal Government to communicate to them at a later date the names and the acts of these officers and officials for the purposes of the proceedings which are to be taken against them.

"5. The Royal Government must confess that they do not clearly grasp the meaning or the scope of the demand made by the Imperial and Royal Government that Serbia shall undertake to accept the collaboration of the organs of the Imperial and Royal Government upon their territory, but they declare that they will admit such collaboration as agrees with the principle of international law, with criminal procedure, and with good neighborly relations.

"6. It goes without saying that the Royal Government consider it their duty to open an inquiry against all such persons as are, or eventually may be, implicated in the plot of June 28, and who happen to be within the territory of the kingdom. As regards the participation in this inquiry of Austro-Hungarian agents or authorities appointed for this purpose by the Imperial and Royal Government, the Royal Government cannot accept such an arrangement, as it would be a violation of the constitution and of the law of criminal procedure; nevertheless, in concrete cases communications as to the results of the investigations in question might be given to the Austro-Hungarian agents.

"7. The Royal Government proceeded, on the very evening of the delivery of the note, to arrest Commandant Voislav Tankossitch. As regards Milan Ziganovitch, who is a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and who up to June 28 was employed (on probation) by the directorate of railways, it has not yet been possible to arrest him.

(p. 397) "The Austro-Hungarian Government are requested to be so good as to supply as soon as possible, in the customary form, the presumptive evidence of guilt, as well as the eventual proofs of guilt which have been collected up to the present, at the inquiry at Sarajevo for the purposes of the later inquiry.

"8. The Serbian Government will reinforce and extend the measures which have been taken for preventing the illicit traffic of arms and explosives across the frontier. It goes without saying that they will immediately order an inquiry and will severely punish the frontier officials on the Schabatz-Loznitza line who have failed in their duty and allowed the authors of the crime of Sarajevo to pass.

"9. The Royal Government will gladly give explanations of the remarks made by their officials whether in Serbia or abroad, in interviews after the crime which according to the statement of the Imperial and Royal Government were hostile toward the [Dual] Monarchy, as soon as the Imperial and Royal Government have communicated to them the passages in question in these remarks, and as soon as they have shown that the remarks were actually made by the said officials, although the Royal Government will itself take steps to collect evidence and proofs.

"10. The Royal Government will inform the Imperial and Royal Government of the execution of the measures comprised under the above heads, in so far as this has not already been done by the present note, as soon as each measure has been ordered and carried out.

"If the Imperial and Royal Government are not satisfied with this reply, the Serbian Government, considering that it is not to the common interest to precipitate the solution of this question, are ready, as always, to accept a pacific understanding, either by referring this question to the decision of the International Tribunal of The Hague, or to the Great Powers which took part in the drawing up of the declaration made by the Serbian Government on March 31, 1909."

The Austro-Hungarian Minister to Belgrade, Baron Giesl von Gieslingen, to whom the reply was delivered, on comparing it with his instructions, declared it unsatisfactory, and informed M. Pashitch, the Serbian Prime Minister that he and his legation would leave Belgrade that evening, turning over his Government's interests in Serbia to the German Legation. Rupture in diplomatic relations between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, he said, was a fait accompli. These events M. Pashitch reported on the same day to all the Serbian Legations abroad, and further announced:

"The Royal Serbian Government have summoned the Skupshtina to meet on July 27 at Nish, whither all the ministries with their staffs are proceeding this evening. The crown prince has issued, in the name of the king, an order for the mobilization of the army, while to-morrow or the day after a (p. 398) proclamation will be made in which it will be announced that civilians who are not liable to military service should remain peaceably at home, while soldiers should proceed to their appointed posts and defend the country to the best of their ability, in the event of Serbia being attacked."

The Austrian Minister left Belgrade at 6.30 p. m. for Vienna. On the same day the Serbian Minister at Vienna, M. Yov. Yovanovitch, received his passports. On the same day the Serbian reply was presented at Vienna, where it received the following commentaries by the Foreign Office:

"The Royal Serbian Government limits itself to establishing that since the declaration of March 31, 1909, there has been no attempt on the part of the Serbian Government to alter the position of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"With this she deliberately shifts the foundation of our note, as we have not insisted that she and her officials have undertaken anything official in this direction. Our gravamen is that in spite of the obligation assumed in the cited note, she has omitted to suppress the movement directed against the territorial integrity of the monarchy.

"Her obligation consisted in changing her attitude and the entire direction of her policies, and in entering into friendly and neighborly relations with the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and not to interfere with the possession of Bosnia.

"The assertion of the Royal Serbian Government that the expressions of the press and the activity of Serbian associations possess a private character and thus escape governmental control, stands in full contrast with the institutions of modern states and even the most liberal of press and society laws, which nearly everywhere subject the press and the societies to a certain control of the state. This is also provided for by the Serbian institutions. The rebuke against the Serbian Government consists in the fact that it has totally omitted to supervise its press and its societies, in so far as it knew their direction to be hostile to the [Dual] Monarchy.

"The assertion [that the Serbian Government was ready to proceed against all persons in regard to whom it would receive information] is incorrect. The Serbian Government was accurately informed about the suspicion resting upon quite definite personalities and not only in the position, but also obliged by its own laws to institute investigations spontaneously. The Serbian Government has done nothing in this direction."

The Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office objected to the alterations made by Serbia in the declaration published in the official organ. This, in the Serbian reply, began:

"The Royal Serbian Government condemns every propaganda which should be directed against Austria-Hungary.

"The Austrian demand reads: 'The Royal Serbian Government condemns the propaganda against Austria-Hungary....' The alteration of the (p. 399) declaration as demanded by us, which has been made by the Royal Serbian Government, is meant to imply that a propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary does not exist, and that it is not aware of such. This formula is insincere, and the Serbian Government reserves itself the subterfuge for later occasions that it had not disavowed by this declaration the existing propaganda, nor recognized the same as hostile to the [Dual] Monarchy, whence it could deduce further that it is not obliged to suppress in the future a propaganda similar to the present one."

Objection was similarly made to the alteration in the Serbian apology for acts of Serbian officers. This apology began:

"The Royal Government regrets that according to a communication of the Imperial and Royal Government certain Serbian officers and functionaries have participated in the propaganda.

"The formula as demanded by Austria reads: The Royal Government regrets that Serbian officers and functionaries ... have participated.... Also with this formula and the further addition 'according to the declaration of the Imperial and Royal Government,' the Serbian Government pursues the object, already indicated above, to preserve a free hand for the future.

"Austria had demanded:

"1. To suppress every publication which incites to hatred and contempt for the [Dual] Monarchy, and whose tendency is directed against the territorial integrity of the monarchy.

"We wanted to bring about the obligation for Serbia to take care that such attacks of the press would cease in the future.

"Instead Serbia offers to pass certain laws which are meant as means toward this end, viz:

"(a) A law according to which the expressions of the press hostile to the [Dual] Monarchy can be individually punished, a matter which is immaterial to us, all the more so, as the individual prosecution of press intrigues is very rarely possible and as, with a lax enforcement of such laws, the few cases of this nature would not be punished. The proposition, therefore, does not meet our demand in any way, and it offers not the least guaranty for the desired success.

"(b) An amendment to article 22 of the constitution, which would permit confiscation, a proposal which does not satisfy us, as the existence of such a law in Serbia is of no use to us. For we want the obligation of the Government to enforce it and that has not been promised us.

"These proposals are therefore entirely unsatisfactory and evasive as we are not told within what time these laws will be passed, and as in the event of the not passing of these laws by the Skupshtina everything would remain as it is, except in the event of a possible resignation of the Government.

"2. The propaganda of the Narodna Odbrana and affiliated societies hostile to the [Dual] Monarchy fills the entire public life of Serbia; it is therefore an entirely inacceptable reserve if the Serbian Government asserts that it knows nothing about it. Aside from this, our demand is not completely fulfilled, as we have asked besides:

(p. 400) "To confiscate the means of propaganda of these societies to prevent the reformation of the dissolved societies under another name and in another form.

"In these two directions the Belgrade Cabinet is perfectly silent, so that through this semiconcession there is offered us no guaranty for putting an end to the agitation of the associations hostile to the monarchy, especially the Narodna Odbrana.

"3. The Serbian Government first demands proofs for a propaganda hostile to the monarchy in the public instruction of Serbia while it must know that the textbooks introduced in the Serbian schools contain objectionable matter in this direction and that a large portion of the teachers are in the camp of the Narodna Odbrana and affiliated societies.

"Furthermore the Serbian Government has not fulfilled a part of our demands, as we have requested, as it omitted in its text the addition desired by us: 'as far as the body of instructors is concerned, as well as the means of instruction'—a sentence which shows clearly where the propaganda hostile to the monarchy is to be found in the Serbian schools.

"4. By promising the dismissal from the military and civil services of those officers and officials who are found guilty by judicial procedure, the Serbian Government limits its assent to those cases, in which these persons have been charged with a crime according to the statutory code. As, however, we demand the removal of such officers and officials as indulge in a propaganda hostile to the monarchy, which is generally not punishable in Serbia, our demands have not been fulfilled in this point."

5. The Serbian reply declared that Serbia was willing to permit that cooperation of officials of the [Dual] Monarchy on Serbian territory which does not run counter to international law and criminal law.

"The international law, as well as the criminal law, has nothing to do with this question; it is purely a matter of the nature of state police which is to be solved by way of a special agreement. The reserved attitude of Serbia is therefore incomprehensible and on account of its vague general form it would lead to unbridgeable difficulties.

"6. The Austrian demand was clear and unmistakable:

"1. To institute a criminal procedure against the participants in the outrage.

"2. Participation by Imperial and Royal Government officials in the examinations ('recherche' in contrast with 'enquęte judiciaire').

"3. It did not occur to us to let Imperial and Royal Government officials participate in the Serbian court procedure; they were to cooperate only in the police researches which had to furnish and fix the material for the investigation.

"If the Serbian Government misunderstands us here, this is done deliberately, for it must be familiar with the difference between 'enquęte judiciaire' and simple police researches. As it desired to escape from every control of the investigation which would yield, if correctly carried out, (p. 401) highly undesirable results for it, and as it possesses no means to refuse in a plausible manner the cooperation of our officials (precedents for such police intervention exist in great numbers) it tries to justify its refusal by showing up our demands as impossible.

"(In reference to arrest of conspirators).

"7. This reply is disingenuous. According to our investigation, Ciganowic, by order of the police prefect in Belgrade, left three days after the outrage for Ribari, after it had become known that Ciganowic had participated in the outrage. In the first place, it is therefore incorrect that Ciganowic left the Serbian service on June 28. In the second place, we add that the prefect of police at Belgrade, who had himself caused the departure of this Ciganowic and who knew his whereabout, declared in an interview that a man by the name of Milan Ciganowic did not exist in Belgrade.

"9. (In reference to expressions made against Austria-Hungary by Serbian officials in interviews.)

"The Royal Serbian Government must be aware of the interviews in question. If it demands of the Imperial and Royal Government that it should furnish all kinds of detail about the said interviews and if it reserves for itself the right of a formal investigation, it shows that it is not its intention seriously to fulfill the demand.

"10. (In reference to referring the dispute to arbitration of the powers.)

"The Serbian Note, therefore, is entirely a play for time."


The diplomatic issue now became that over mobilization by Russia: whether it was a threat of war against Austria-Hungary alone, or against Germany as well.

On the day of Serbia's reply to the Austro-Hungarian note, July 25, 1914, General von Chelius, German honorary aide to the Czar, sent a telegram to Kaiser William II through the German Foreign Office, which stated:

"The maneuvers of the troops in the Krasnoe camp were suddenly interrupted and the regiments returned to their garrisons at once. The maneuvers have been cancelled. The military pupils were raised to-day to the rank of officers instead of next fall. At headquarters there obtains great excitement over the procedure of Austria. I have the impression that complete preparations for mobilization against Austria are being made."

On the same day Count Benckendorff, Russian Ambassador at London, telegraphed M. Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs:

"Grey has told the German Ambassador [Prince Lichnowsky] that in his opinion Austrian mobilization must lead to Russian mobilization, that grave danger of a general war will thereupon arise, and that he sees only (p. 402) one means of reaching a peaceful settlement, namely, that, in view of the Austrian and Russian mobilizations, Germany, France, Italy, and Great Britain should abstain from immediate mobilization, and should at once offer their good offices. Grey told me that the first essential of this plan was the consent of Germany and her promise not to mobilize. He has therefore, as a first step, made an inquiry on this point at Berlin."

On the same day the German Chancellor, Dr. Bethmann-Hollweg, telegraphed to Prince Lichnowsky:

"The distinction made by Sir Edward Grey between an Austro-Serbian and an Austro-Russian conflict is perfectly correct. We do not wish to interpose in the former any more than England, and as heretofore we take the position that this question must be localized by virtue of all powers refraining from intervention. It is therefore our hope that Russia will refrain from any action in view of her responsibility and the seriousness of the situation. We are prepared, in the event of an Austro-Russian controversy, quite apart from our known duties as Allies, to intercede between Russia and Austria jointly with the other powers."

SUNDAY, JULY 26, 1914

Austria-Hungary. The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at St. Petersburg, Count Szápáry, telegraphed to Count Berchtold, Secretary for Foreign Affairs in Vienna, that Count Pourtalčs the German Ambassador, upon hearing reports of measures for Russian mobilization, had called the attention of M. Sazonof, the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the fact that nowadays mobilization was a highly dangerous form of diplomatic pressure.

"For, in that event, the purely military consideration of the question by the general staffs would find expression, and if that button were once touched in Germany, the situation would get out of control.

"M. Sazonof assured the German Ambassador on his word of honor that the reports on the subject were incorrect; that up to that time not a single horse and not a single reservist had been called up, and that all the measures that were being taken were merely measures of preparation in the military districts of Kiev, Odessa, and perhaps Kazan and Moscow."

M. Suchomlinoff, Russian Minister for War, had immediately after this, summoned Major von Eggeling, German Military Attaché and confirmed M. Sazonof's assurance in detail. As reported by the major, he said:

"For the present merely preparatory measures would be taken, not a horse would be taken, not a reservist called up. If Austria crossed the Serbian frontier, the military districts of Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, and Kazan, (p. 403) which face Austria, would be mobilized. In no circumstances will mobilization take place on the German front, Warsaw, Vilna, and St. Petersburg. Peace with Germany is earnestly desired.... I gave the Minister for War to understand that his friendly intentions would be appreciated by us, but that we should also consider mobilization against Austria to be in itself extremely threatening."

Russia. M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs, telegraphed the Ambassador at Rome to persuade the Italian Government to act in the interests of peace by bringing influence to bear on her ally, Austria-Hungary, and by opposing the view that the dispute with Serbia could be localized. Russia cannot possibly avoid coming to the help of Serbia. M. Kasansky, Acting Consul at Prague, telegraphed that Austro-Hungarian mobilization had been ordered. M. Sazonof reported to M. Schebeko, Ambassador at Vienna, an interview just held with Count Szápáry, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador.

"After discussing the ten demands addressed to Serbia, I drew his attention to the fact that, quite apart from the clumsy form in which they were presented, some of them were quite impracticable, even if the Serbian Government agreed to accept them. Thus, for example, points one and two could not be carried out without recasting the Serbian press law and associations law, and to that it might be difficult to obtain the consent of the Skupshtina. As for enforcing points four and five, this might lead to most dangerous consequences, and even to the risk of acts of terrorism directed against the Royal Family and against Pashitch, which clearly could not be the intention of Austria. With regard to the other points it seemed to me that, with certain changes of detail, it would not be difficult to find a basis of mutual agreement, if the accusations contained in them were confirmed by sufficient proof.

"In the interest of the maintenance of peace, which, according to the statements of Szápáry, is as much desired by Austria as by all the powers, it was necessary to end the tension of the present moment as soon as possible. With this object in view it seemed to me most desirable that the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador should be authorized to enter into a private exchange of views in order to redraft certain articles of the Austrian note of July 23 in consultation with me. This method of procedure would perhaps enable us to find a formula which would prove acceptable to Serbia, while giving satisfaction to Austria in respect of the chief of her demands. Please convey the substance of this telegram to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in a judicious and friendly manner."

Communicated to Russian Ambassadors in Germany, France, Great Britain, and Italy. The Ambassador at Berlin was requested to communicate the contents of the telegram to Secretary (p. 404) of State von Jagow, and express to him the hope that he would advise Vienna to meet Russia's proposal in a friendly spirit.

M. Sevastopoulo, Chargé d'Affaires at Paris, telegraphed M. Sazonof that, when M. Berthelot, French Political Director, informed Count Szécen, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, of the Serbian reply to the ultimatum, the count did not conceal his surprise that it was not accepted.

In a supplementary telegram he said M. Berthelot was convinced that Germany's aim, in her negotiations at Paris, was to intimidate France to mediate with Russia.

M. Broniewsky, Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, reported noisy demonstrations there by a crowd largely composed of Austrians on news of Austrian mobilization, and anti-Russian shouting by the crowd before the Russian Embassy. No precautions were taken by the police.

Germany. Major von Eggeling telegraphed to the German Chancellor, Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg, that it was certain mobilization had been ordered for Kiev and Odessa; it was doubtful at Warsaw and Moscow, and improbable elsewhere in Russia.

The Chancellor telegraphed to Baron von Schoen, German Ambassador at Paris, after Austria-Hungary's official declaration to Russia, that she had no intention to annex the territory of Serbia or to impair her sovereignty, the responsibility for a European war rested on Russia.

"We depend upon France, with which we are at one in the desire for the preservation of the peace of Europe, that it will exercise its influence at St. Petersburg in favor of peace."

This telegram, without the final sentence, the Chancellor sent also to Count Pourtalčs, German Ambassador at St. Petersburg, and to Prince Lichnowsky, German Ambassador at London, adding in the latter case that a call was expected for the several classes of Russian reserves, which would be equivalent to mobilization, and, in this case, Germany would be forced to mobilize, much against her wish.

"We ask [Great Britain] to act on this understanding at St. Petersburg with all possible emphasis."

(p. 405) Count Pourtalčs was directed to make the following declaration to the Russian Government:

"Preparatory military measures by Russia will force us to countermeasures which must consist in mobilizing the army.

"But mobilization means war.

"As we know the obligations of France toward Russia, this mobilization would be directed against both Russia and France. We cannot assume that Russia desires to unchain such a European war. Since Austria-Hungary will not touch the existence of the Serbian Kingdom, we are of the opinion that Russia can afford to assume an attitude of waiting. We can all the more support the desire of Russia to protect the integrity of Serbia as Austria-Hungary does not intend to question the latter. It will be easy in the further development of the affair to find a basis for an understanding."

Great Britain. Sir Maurice de Bunsen, British Ambassador at Vienna, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey, Secretary for Foreign Affairs at London, that it was the belief of the German Ambassador, Herr von Tschirscky, that Russia would keep quiet during the chastisement of Serbia. Everything, said Von Tschirscky, depended on the personality of the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, who could resist easily the pressure of a few newspapers; pan-Slav agitation in Russia was over; intervention in behalf of Serbia would open up Swedish, Polish, Ruthenian, Rumanian, and Persian questions; France, too, was not in a condition for war. Von Tschirscky doubted that Russia, who had no right to assume a protectorate over Serbia, would assert it by action; Germany knew what she was about in backing up Austria-Hungary; the Serbian concessions were all a sham, as proved by the Government previously ordering mobilization and preparing to retire from Belgrade.

Sir Horace Rumbold, British Chargé d'Affaires in Berlin, telegraphed Sir Edward Grey that Kaiser William was returning suddenly that night (from a sea trip to Norway) on his own initiative, and that the Foreign Office regretted it, owing to the speculation and excitement which it would cause. Herr von Zimmermann, German Under-Secretary of State, had inferred from Russia's statement that she would intervene in case of annexation of Serbian territory; that she would not do so if no territory were taken.

(p. 406) In a supplementary telegram Sir Horace informed Sir Edward that Von Zimmermann considered that the communication by Germany to Austria-Hungary of his (Grey's) hope for a favorable view of the Serbian reply implied that the German Government associated itself to a certain extent with Grey's hope. It did not, however, go beyond this.

Sir Rennell Rodd, British Ambassador at Rome, telegraphed Sir Edward Grey that Austria-Hungary had informed the Italian Government that the Austro-Hungarian Minister to Belgrade had been recalled, but that this did not imply a declaration of war.

Sir Edward telegraphed to Sir Rennell Rodd, Sir Francis Bertie, Ambassador at Paris, and Sir Horace Rumbold, Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, to ask if the ministers of foreign affairs at their courts would instruct their ambassadors at London to meet with him in conference "to discover an issue which would prevent complications," and to suggest that the ministers should instruct their representatives at Belgrade, Vienna, and St. Petersburg to request a suspension of military operations pending results of the conference.

Sir Maurice de Bunsen, British Ambassador at Vienna, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey that the Russian Ambassador, M. Schebeko, just returned from leave of absence, thinks Austria-Hungary determined on war, and that it will be impossible for Russia to remain indifferent. He and the French Ambassador, M. Dumaine, doubt whether the principle of Grey's suggestion that Russia, being an interested party, is entitled to have a say in a purely Austro-Serbian dispute, would be accepted by either Austria-Hungary or Germany.

France. M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, notified M. Viviani, Prime Minister on board La France, and the French Ambassadors at London, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, and Rome, of the events at Belgrade on Saturday, July 25, ending with the order for mobilization given by the Serbian Government, which had retired to Kragoujewatz, whither it was followed by the French and Russian Ministers. At Vienna people "soothe themselves with the illusion that Russia 'will not hold firm.'"

(p. 407) "It must not be forgotten that Italy is bound by the engagements of the Triple Alliance only if she has been consulted beforehand.

"From St. Petersburg we learn that M. Sazonof [Minister for Foreign Affairs] has advised Serbia to ask for British mediation. At the Council of Ministers on the 25th, which was held in presence of the emperor, the mobilization of thirteen army corps intended eventually to operate against Austria was considered; this mobilization, however, would only be made effective if Austria were to bring armed pressure to bear upon Serbia, and not till after notice had been given by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon whom falls the duty of fixing the day, liberty being left to him to go on with negotiations even if Belgrade should be occupied. Russian opinion makes clear that it is both politically and morally impossible for Russia to allow Serbia to be crushed.

"In London the German démarche was made on the 25th, in the same terms as those used by Baron von Schoen at Paris. Sir Edward Grey has replied to Prince Lichnowsky that if the war were to break out no power in Europe could take up a detached attitude. He did not express himself more definitely and used very reserved language to the Serbian Minister [M. Boschkovitch]. The communication made on the evening of the 25th by the Austrian Ambassador makes Sir Edward Grey more optimistic; since the diplomatic rupture does not necessarily involve immediate military operations, the Secretary of State is still willing to hope that the powers will have time to intervene.

"At Berlin the language used by the Secretary of State [Von Jagow] to the Russian Chargé d'Affaires [Broniewsky] is unsatisfactory and dilatory; when the latter asked him to associate himself with a démarche at Vienna for an extension of the time limit, he replied that he had already taken action in this sense but that it was too late; to the request for an extension of the time limit before active measures were taken, he replied that this had to do with a domestic matter, and not with a war but with local operations. Herr von Jagow pretends not to believe that the Austrian action could lead to general consequences.

"A real explosion of chauvinism has taken place at Berlin. The German Emperor returns direct to Kiel. M. Jules Cambon thinks that, at the first military steps taken by Russia, Germany would immediately reply, and probably would not wait for a pretext before attacking us.

"At Vienna, the French Ambassador [Dumaine] has not had time to join in the démarche of his Russian colleague [Schebeko] for obtaining an extension of the time limit fixed for Serbia; he does not regret it, this démarche having been categorically rejected, and England not having had time to give instructions to her representative about it.

"A note from the British Embassy has been delivered to me: it gives an account of the conversation between the British Ambassador at St. Petersburg [Buchanan] and M. Sazonof and M. Paléologue. Sir Edward Grey thinks that the four powers who are not directly interested ought to press both on Russia and Austria that their armies should not cross the frontier, and that they should give time to England, France, Germany, and Italy to bring their mediation into play. If Germany accepts, the British (p. 408) Government has reason to think that Italy also would be glad to be associated in the joint action of England and France; the adherence of Germany is essential, for neither Austria nor Russia would tolerate any intervention except that of impartial friends or Allies."

M. Barrčre, French Ambassador at Rome, informed M. Bienvenu-Martin that a telegram from Vienna stated that diplomatic rupture between Austria and Serbia had taken place, and Austria was proceeding to military measures. Marquis di San Giuliano, the Prime Minister, would return in two days to Rome. The president of the council had given Barrčre the impression that Italy would be neutral in case of war, maintaining "an attitude of observation." M. Salandra [afterward Prime Minister] had said that:

"'We shall make the greatest efforts to prevent peace being broken; our situation is somewhat analogous to that of England. Perhaps we could do something in a pacific sense together with the English.' M. Salandra stated definitely to me that the Austrian note had been communicated to Rome at the last moment."

M. Barrčre, in a second telegram, said that the greater part of Italian public opinion was hostile to Austria "in this serious business."

M. Paléologue, French Ambassador at St. Petersburg, telegraphed that M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs, had advised Serbia to ask for British mediation. M. Bienvenu-Martin thereupon telegraphed M. de Fleuriau, Chargé d'Affaires, London, that France desired British mediation. M. Paléologue reported at greater length M. Sazonof's determination to secure a peaceful solution to the Serbian question.

"'Up to the last moment,' he declared to me, 'I shall show myself ready to negotiate.'

"It is in this spirit that he has just sent for Count Szápáry to come to a 'frank and loyal explanation.' M. Sazonof commented in his presence on the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, article by article, making clear the insulting character of the principal clauses. 'The intention which inspired this document,' he said, 'is legitimate if you pursued no aim other than the protection of your territory against the intrigues of Serbian anarchists; but the procedure to which you have had recourse is not defensible.' He concluded: 'Take back your ultimatum, modify its form, and I will guarantee you the result.'

"The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador showed himself moved by this language; however, while awaiting instructions, he reserves the opinion (p. 409) of his Government. Without being discouraged M. Sazonof has decided to propose this evening to Count Berchtold the opening of direct conversations between Vienna and St. Petersburg on the changes to be introduced into the ultimatum.

"This friendly and semiofficial interposition of Russia between Austria and Serbia has the advantage of being expeditious. I therefore believe it to be preferable to any other procedure and likely to succeed."

M. Dumaine, French Ambassador at Vienna, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin that M. Schebeko, Russian Ambassador, had returned in haste from Russia, whither he had gone on the assurance of Count Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, that the demands on Serbia would be acceptable. Other Austrian officials had taken the same attitude, which is quite usual in Austro-Hungarian diplomacy, and this procedure has greatly increased the irritation of the Russian Government.

M. Schebeko, seizing advantage of the delay of mobilization, will make a proposal calculated to test the value of the pacific declarations of Germany. This is for a conference of the British, French, Italian, and German Ambassadors, to refuse concurrence in which the German Ambassador, M. Tschirsky, will almost certainly have to plead the principle of "localizing the conflict."

"My impression is that the Austro-Hungarian Government, although surprised and perhaps regretting the vigor with which they have been inspired, will believe themselves obliged to commence military action."

M. Bienvenu-Martin reported to M. Viviani on La France and to the ambassadors at London, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, and Rome the rupture of diplomatic relations with Serbia made by Austria-Hungary.

"According to a telegram from M. Jules Cambon [at Berlin], the British Ambassador [Sir Edward Goschen] thinks that there is a slight yielding; when he observed to Herr von Jagow that Sir Edward Grey did not ask him to intervene between Austria and Serbia, but, as this question ceased to be localized, to intervene with England, France, and Italy at Vienna and St. Petersburg, the Secretary of State declared that he would do his best to maintain peace."

M. Bienvenu-Martin also reported that Italy, not having been consulted about the note to Serbia, felt herself relieved from all responsibility in the grave step taken by her ally. He also told of his answer to the German Ambassador, Baron von Schoen, who sought France's influence to keep Russia from war, that Germany (p. 410) ought, on her side, to influence Austria-Hungary to avoid military operations leading to the occupation of Serbia, and the consequent intervention of Russia.

"The ambassador having observed to me that this could not be reconciled with the position taken up by Germany 'that the question concerned only Austria and Serbia,' I told him that mediation at Vienna and St. Petersburg would be the act of the four other powers less interested in the question.

"Herr von Schoen then intrenched himself behind his lack of instructions in this respect, and I told him that in these conditions I did not feel myself in a position to take any action at St. Petersburg alone."

After his visit to M. Bienvenu-Martin at 5 p. m. Baron von Schoen went to see M. Berthelot, the Political Director, to have an account of the interview officially published in the press. The article he proposed indicated the most amicable cooperation between France and Germany in the furtherance of European peace.

"The Political Director replied at once, 'Then, in your opinion, every thing is settled, and you bring us the assurance that Austria accepts the Serbian note or will enter into conversations with the powers on this matter?' The ambassador having ... vigorously denied the suggestion, it was explained to him that if there was no modification in Germany's negative attitude, the terms of the suggested 'note to the press' were exaggerated, and of a nature to give a false security to French opinion by creating illusion on the real situation, the dangers of which were only too evident.

"To the assurances lavished by the German Ambassador as to the optimistic impressions which he had formed, the Acting Political Director replied by asking if he might speak to him in a manner quite personal and private, as man to man, quite freely and without regard to their respective functions. Baron von Schoen asked him to do so.

"M. Berthelot then said that to any simple mind Germany's attitude was inexplicable if it did not aim at war; a purely objective analysis of the facts and the psychology of the Austro-German relations led logically to this conclusion. In the face of the repeated statement that Germany was ignorant of the contents of the Austrian note, it was no longer permissible to raise any doubt on that point; but was it probable that Germany would have arrayed herself on the side of Austria in such an adventure with her eyes closed? Did the psychology of all the past relations of Vienna and Berlin allow one to admit that Austria could have taken up a position without any possible retreat, before having weighed with her ally all the consequences of her uncompromising attitude? How surprising appeared the refusal by Germany to exercise mediating influence at Vienna now that she knew the extraordinary text of the Austrian note! What responsibility was the German Government assuming and what suspicions would rest upon them if they persisted in interposing between Austria and the powers, (p. 411) after what might be called the absolute submission of Serbia, and when the slightest advice given by them to Vienna would put an end to the nightmare which weighed on Europe!

"The breaking off of diplomatic relations by Austria, her threats of war, and the mobilization which she was undertaking make peculiarly urgent pacific action on the part of Germany, for from the day when Austrian troops crossed the Serbian frontier, one would be faced by an act which without doubt would oblige the St. Petersburg Cabinet to intervene, and would risk the unloosing of a war which Germany declares that she wishes to avoid.

"Herr von Schoen, who listened smiling, once more affirmed that Germany had been ignorant of the text of the Austrian note, and had approved it only after its delivery; she thought, however, that Serbia had need of a lesson severe enough for her not to be able to forget it, and that Austria owed it to herself to put an end to a situation which was dangerous and intolerable for a great power. He declared besides that he did not know the text of the Serbian reply, and showed his personal surprise that it had not satisfied Austria, if indeed it was such as the papers, which are often ill informed, represented it to be.

"He insisted again on Germany's peaceful intentions and gave his impressions as to the effect that might arise from good advice given, for instance, at Vienna, by England in a friendly tone. According to him Austria was not uncompromising; what she rejects is the idea of a formal mediation, the 'spectre' of a conference: a peaceful word coming from St. Petersburg, good words said in a conciliatory tone by the powers of the Triple Entente, would have a chance of being well received. He added, finally, that he did not say that Germany on her side would not give some advice at Vienna.

"In these conditions the Political Director announced that he would ask the minister if it appeared to him opportune to communicate to the press a short note in a moderate tone."

M. Chevalley, French Minister at Christiania, telegraphed to M. Bienvenu-Martin that the whole German fleet in Norway was returning to Germany. M. d'Annoville, French Chargé d'Affaires at Luxemburg, telegraphed that the last four classes of [German] reservists set at liberty had been forbidden to leave their places of residence, and were ordered to hold themselves at the disposition of the Kommandutur at any moment.

MONDAY, JULY 27, 1914

Austria-Hungary. On the following day Count Szápáry, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at St. Petersburg, telegraphed Count Berchtold, Minister for Foreign Affairs at Vienna, of a conversation he had just had with M. Sazonof.

(p. 412) Mistaken impressions, he told the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, were abroad in Russia as to Austria-Hungary's intentions.

"We were credited with wishing to push forward into Balkan territory, and to begin a march to Salonica or even to Constantinople. Others, again, went so far as to describe our action merely as the starting point of a preventive war against Russia. I said that all this was erroneous, and that parts of it were absolutely unreasonable. The goal of our action was self-preservation and self-defense against hostile propaganda by word, in writing, and in action, which threatened our integrity. It would occur to no one in Austria-Hungary to threaten Russian interests, or indeed to pick a quarrel with Russia. And yet we were absolutely determined to reach the goal which we had set before us, and the path which we had chosen seemed to us the most suitable. As, however, the action under discussion was action in self-defense, I could not conceal from him that we could not allow ourselves to be diverted from it by any consequences, of whatever kind they might be.

"M. Sazonof agreed with me. Our goal, as I had described it to him, was an entirely legitimate one, but he considered that the path which we were pursuing with a view to attaining it was not the surest. He said that the note which we had delivered was not happy in its form. He had since been studying it, and if I had time, he would like to look it through once more with me. I remarked that I was at his service, but was not authorized either to discuss the text of the note with him or to interpret it. Of course, however, his remarks were of interest. The minister then took all the points of the note in order, and on this occasion found seven of the ten points admissible without very great difficulty; only the two points dealing with the collaboration of the Imperial and Royal officials in Serbia and the point dealing with the removal of officers and civil servants to be designated by us, seemed to him to be unacceptable in their present form. With regard, to the first two points, I was in a position to give an authentic interpretation in the sense of your excellency's telegram of the 25th instant; with regard to the third, I expressed the opinion that it was a necessary demand. Moreover, matters had already been set in motion. The Serbians had mobilized on the previous day, and I did not know what had happened since then."

Count Berchtold instructed Count Szápáry by telegraph to declare to M. Sazonof that, so long as the war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia remained localized, the [Dual] Monarchy did not aim in any way at territorial acquisitions of any sort.

Count Szögyény, Ambassador at Berlin, telegraphed to Count Berchtold that M. Sazonof had explained to Count Pourtalčs, the German Ambassador at St. Petersburg, that he could not guarantee that Russia had not begun mobilization, and confessed that certain necessary military measures were being taken.

(p. 413) "Major von Eggeling, German Military Attaché at St. Petersburg, reports that the Russian Minister for War, M. Suchomlinof, has given him his word of honor that not a man or a horse has been mobilized; however, naturally, certain military precautions have been taken; precautions which, as the German military attaché adds ... 'are to be sure pretty far-reaching.'"

Count Berchtold informed the Austro-Hungarian Ambassadors at Berlin, Rome, London, Paris, and St. Petersburg of the annotations of his Government to the Serbian reply.

Germany. The Austro-Hungarian Consulate at Kovno, Russia, telegraphed to the German Chancellor, Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg, that Kovno had been declared to be in a state of war.

The German Minister at Berne, Switzerland, telegraphed to the Chancellor that the French Fourteenth Corps had discontinued maneuvers.

Count Pourtalčs, German Ambassador at St. Petersburg, telegraphed to the Chancellor at Berlin:

"The Secretary of War [Suchomlinof] has given me his word of honor that no order to mobilize has as yet been issued. Though general preparations are being made, no reserves were called and no horses mustered. If Austria crossed the Serbian frontier, such military districts as are directed toward Austria, viz Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, Kazan, are to be mobilized. Under no circumstances those on the German frontier, Warsaw, Vilni, St. Petersburg. Peace with Germany was desired very much. Upon my inquiry into the object of mobilization against Austria he shrugged his shoulders and referred to the diplomats. I told the secretary that we appreciated the friendly intentions, but considered mobilization even against Austria as very menacing."

The Chancellor telegraphed Prince Lichnowsky, German Ambassador at London:

"We know as yet nothing of a suggestion of Sir Edward Grey's to hold a quadruple conference in London. It is impossible for us to place our ally in his dispute with Serbia before a European tribunal. Our mediation must be limited to the danger of an Austro-Russian conflict."

This was supplemented by a telegram:

"We have at once started the mediation proposal in Vienna in the sense as desired by Sir Edward Grey. We have communicated besides to Count Berchtold the desire of M. Sazonof for a direct parley with Vienna."

Russia. Count Benckendorff, Russian Ambassador at London, telegraphed to M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs at St. Petersburg, to know if his views on direct discussions with the (p. 414) Vienna Cabinet harmonized with Grey's scheme for mediation by the four powers, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany.

"Having heard from the British Ambassador at St. Petersburg that you would be prepared to accept such a combination, Grey decided to turn it into an official proposal, which he communicated yesterday to Berlin, Paris, and Rome."

M. Sazonof replied by telegraph that the British Ambassador at St. Petersburg, Sir George Buchanan, had asked him if the Russian Government thought it desirable for Great Britain to take the initiative in convoking a conference in London of the four powers.

"I replied that I have begun conversations with the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador under conditions which, I hope, may be favorable. I have not, however, received as yet any reply to the proposal made by me for revising the note between the two Cabinets.

"If direct explanations with the Vienna Cabinet were to prove impossible, I am ready to accept the British proposal, or any other proposal of a kind that would bring about a favorable solution of the conflict.

"I wish, however, to put an end from this day forth to a misunderstanding which might arise from the answer given by the French Minister of Justice to the German Ambassador, regarding counsels of moderation to be given to the Imperial [Russian] Cabinet."

This telegram Benckendorff communicated to Grey on the following day.

M. Sazonof telegraphed to the Russian Ambassadors at Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna, and Rome that the Serbian reply exceeded expectations in its moderation and desire to afford the fullest satisfaction.

"We do not see what further demands could be made by Austria, unless the Vienna Cabinet is seeking for a pretext for war with Serbia."

M. Isvolsky, Russian Ambassador at Paris, telegraphed to M. Sazonof that the German Ambassador, Baron von Schoen, had confirmed his declaration of yesterday in writing, i.e.:

"1. That Austria has declared to Russia that she seeks no territorial acquisitions and that she harbors no designs against the integrity of Serbia. Her sole object is to secure her own peace and quiet.

"2. That consequently it rests with Russia to avoid war.

"3. That Germany and France, entirely at one in their ardent desire to preserve peace, should exercise their moderating influence upon Russia.

"Baron von Schoen laid special emphasis on the expression of solidarity of Germany and France. The Minister of Justice is convinced that these (p. 415) steps on the part of Germany are taken with the evident object of alienating Russia and France, of inducing the French Government to make representations at St. Petersburg, and of thus compromising our ally in our eyes; and finally, in the event of war, of throwing the responsibility not on Germany, who is ostensibly making every effort to maintain peace, but on Russia and France."

In a supplementary telegram M. Isvolsky stated that the telegram from Belgrade to Paris, giving the Serbian reply to the Austrian note was delayed twenty hours, and that the telegram from the French Foreign Office containing instructions to support Russia's representations, which had been sent at the special urgent rate at 11 a. m., July 25, 1914, only reached its destination at 6 p. m.

"There is no doubt that this telegram was intentionally delayed by the Austrian telegraph office."

M. Isvolsky telegraphed to M. Sazonof:

"The Austrian Ambassador [Count Szécsen] has informed the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs [M. Bienvenu-Martin] that to-morrow, Tuesday, Austria will proceed to take 'energetic action' with the object of forcing Serbia to give the necessary guaranties. The minister having asked what form such action would take, the ambassador replied that he had no exact information on the subject, but it might mean either the crossing of the Serbian frontier, or an ultimatum, or even a declaration of war."

M. Broniewsky, Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, telegraphed M. Sazonof:

"I begged the Minister for Foreign Affairs [Von Jagow] to support your proposal in Vienna that Szápáry [Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at St. Petersburg] should be authorized to draw up, by means of a private exchange of views with you, a wording of the Austro-Hungarian demands which would be acceptable to both parties. Jagow answered that he was aware of this proposal and that he agreed with Pourtalčs [German Ambassador at St. Petersburg] that, as Szápáry had begun this conversation, he might as well go on with it. He will telegraph in this sense to the German Ambassador at Vienna. I begged him to press Vienna with greater insistence to adopt this conciliatory line; Jagow answered that he could not advise Austria to give way."

In a second telegram M. Broniewsky gave an account of an interview just held between Von Jagow and the French Ambassador, M. Jules Cambon:

"Cambon endeavored to induce Von Jagow to accept the British proposal for action in favor of peace to be taken simultaneously at St. Petersburg and at Vienna by Great Britain, Germany, Italy, and France. Cambon (p. 416) suggested that these powers should give their advice to Vienna in the following terms: 'To abstain from all action which might aggravate the existing situation.' By adopting this vague formula, all mention of the necessity of refraining from invading Serbia might be avoided. Jagow refused point blank to accept this suggestion in spite of the entreaties of the ambassador, who emphasized, as a good feature of the suggestion, the mixed grouping of the powers, thanks to which the opposition between the Alliance and the Entente—a matter of which Jagow himself had often complained—was avoided."

Nicholas II telegraphed his reply to the appeal for Russian aid made by Prince Alexander of Serbia on July 25, 1914. It assured the prince of the Czar's cordial sympathy with the Serbian people.

"The existing situation is engaging my most serious attention, and my government are using their utmost endeavor to smooth away the present difficulties. I have no doubt that your highness and the Royal Serbian Government wish to render that task easy by neglecting no step which might lead to a settlement, and thus both prevent the horrors of a new war and safeguard the dignity of Serbia.

"So long as the slightest hope exists of avoiding bloodshed, all our efforts must be directed to that end; but if in spite of our earnest wish we are not successful, your highness may rest assured that Russia will in no case disinterest herself in the fate of Serbia."

M. Schebeko, Russian Ambassador at Vienna, telegraphed to M. Sazonof of a conversation he had had in the absence of Count Berchtold, Minister for Foreign Affairs, with Baron Macchio, the Under-Secretary.

"I drew his attention to the unfavorable impression produced in Russia by the presentation of demands by Austria to Serbia, which it was quite impossible for any independent state, however small, to accept. I added that this method of procedure might lead to the most undesirable complications, and that it had aroused profound surprise and general condemnation in Russia. We can only suppose that Austria, influenced by the assurances given by the German representative at Vienna, who has egged her on throughout this crisis, has counted on the probable localization of the dispute with Serbia, and on the possibility of inflicting with impunity a serious blow upon that country. The declaration by the Russian Government that Russia could not possibly remain indifferent in the face of such conduct has caused a great sensation here."

Count Benckendorff, Russian Ambassador at London, telegraphed to M. Sazonof:

"Grey has just informed the German Ambassador, who came to question him as to the possibility of taking action at St. Petersburg, that such action (p. 417) ought rather to be taken at Vienna, and that the Berlin Cabinet were the best qualified to do so. Grey also pointed out that the Serbian reply to the Austrian note had exceeded anything that could have been expected in moderation and in its spirit of conciliation. Grey added that he had therefore come to the conclusion that Russia must have advised Belgrade to return a moderate reply, and that he thought the Serbian reply could form the basis of a peaceful and acceptable solution of the question.

"In these circumstances, continued Grey, if Austria were to begin hostilities in spite of that reply, she would prove her intention of crushing Serbia. Looked at in this light, the question might give rise to a situation which might lead to a war in which all the powers would be involved.

"Grey finally declared that the British Government were sincerely anxious to act with the German Government as long as the preservation of peace was in question; but, in the contrary event, Great Britain reserved to herself full liberty of action."

Great Britain. Sir Maurice de Bunsen, Ambassador at Vienna, telegraphed to Sir Edward Grey, Secretary for Foreign Affairs at London, that he had consulted with his colleagues about the mediation of the four powers, and the impression was that the note to Serbia was intentionally drawn to make war inevitable, and, until Serbia had been punished, no proposals for mediation would be listened to.

"This country has gone wild with joy at the prospect of war with Serbia, and its postponement or prevention would undoubtedly be a great disappointment.

"I propose, subject to any special directions you desire to send me, to express to the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs the hope of his majesty's Government that it may yet be possible to avoid war, and to ask his excellency whether he cannot suggest a way out even now."

Sir Francis Bertie, Ambassador at Paris, telegraphed to Grey that France had accepted his proposal for the four-power mediation, and sent the necessary instructions to her representatives at Belgrade, Vienna, and St. Petersburg.

"Instructions have been sent to the French Ambassador at Berlin to concert with his British colleague as to the advisability of their speaking jointly to the German Government. Until it is known that the Germans have spoken at Vienna with some success, it would, in the opinion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, be dangerous for the French, Russian, and British Ambassadors to do so."

Sir Edward Goschen, Ambassador at Berlin, telegraphed to Grey:

"Secretary of State [Von Jagow] says that conference you suggest would practically amount to a court of arbitration and could not, in his opinion, (p. 418) be called together except at the request of Austria and Russia. He could not therefore fall in with your suggestion, desirous though he was to cooperate for the maintenance of peace. I said I was sure that your idea had nothing to do with arbitration, but meant that representatives of the four nations not directly interested should discuss and suggest means for avoiding a dangerous situation. He maintained, however, that such a conference as you proposed was not practicable. He added that news he had just received from St. Petersburg showed that there was an intention on the part of M. de Sazonof [Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs] to exchange views with Count Berchtold [Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs]. He thought that this method of procedure might lead to a satisfactory result, and that it would be best, before doing anything else, to await outcome of the exchange of views between the Austrian and Russian Governments.

"In the course of a short conversation Secretary of State said that as yet Austria was only partially mobilizing, but that if Russia mobilized against Germany latter would have to follow suit. I asked him what he meant by 'mobilizing against Germany.' He said that if Russia only mobilized in south, Germany would not mobilize, but if she mobilized in north, Germany would have to do so too, and Russian system of mobilization was so complicated that it might be difficult exactly to locate her mobilization. Germany would therefore have to be very careful not to be taken by surprise.

"Finally, Secretary of State said that news from St. Petersburg had caused him to take more hopeful view of the general situation."

Sir George Buchanan, Ambassador at St. Petersburg, telegraphed Grey an account of the interview between M. Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Count Szápáry, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, in which Sazonof had pointed out that Austria's demands entailed entire revision of existing Serbian laws, and were moreover incompatible with Serbia's dignity as an independent state; and that it would be useless for Russia, being an object of suspicion in Austria, to offer her good offices.

"In order, however, to put an end to the present tension, he thought that England and Italy might be willing to collaborate with Austria."

Sir George told M. Sazonof that Grey could do nothing more than he had promised on the 24th inst., and that the Russian Minister was mistaken if he believed that peace would be promoted by Great Britain telling Germany it would have to deal with her as well as with Russia and France if it supported Austria by force of arms.

(p. 419) "Their attitude would merely be stiffened by such a menace, and we could only induce Germany to use her influence at Vienna to avert war by approaching her in the capacity of a friend who was anxious to preserve peace. His excellency must not, if our efforts were to be successful, do anything to precipitate a conflict. I trusted that the Russian Government would defer mobilization ukase for as long as possible, and that troops would not be allowed to cross the frontier even when it was issued.

"The Minister for Foreign Affairs replied that, until the issue of the imperial ukase, no effective steps toward mobilization could be taken, and the Austro-Hungarian Government would profit by delay in order to complete her military preparations if it were deferred too long."

In a supplementary telegram Buchanan reported that M. Sazonof had proposed

"that the modifications to be introduced into Austrian demands should be the subject of direct conversation between Vienna and St. Petersburg."

Grey telegraphed to Sir Eward Goschen, British Ambassador at Berlin, that Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador at London, had informed him that Germany accepted in principle the four-power mediation, reserving its right as ally to help Austria if attacked.

"He has also been instructed to request me to use influence in St. Petersburg to localize the war and to keep up the peace of Europe.

"I have replied that the Serbian reply went further than could have been expected to meet the Austrian demands. German Secretary of State [Von Jagow] has himself said that there were some things in the Austrian note that Serbia could hardly be expected to accept. I assumed that Serbian reply could not have gone as far as it did unless Russia had exercised conciliatory influence at Belgrade, and it was really at Vienna that moderating influence was now required. If Austria put the Serbian reply aside as being worth nothing and marched into Serbia, it meant that she was determined to crush Serbia at all costs, being reckless of the consequences that might be involved. Serbian reply should at least be treated as a basis for discussion and pause. I said German Government should urge this at Vienna.

"I recalled what German Government had said as to the gravity of the situation if the war could not be localized, and observed that if Germany assisted Austria against Russia it would be because, without any reference to the merits of the dispute, Germany could not afford to see Austria crushed. Just so other issues might be raised that would supersede the dispute between Austria and Serbia, and would bring other powers in, and the war would be the biggest ever known; but as long as Germany would work to keep the peace I would keep closely in touch. I repeated that after the Serbian reply it was at Vienna that some moderation must be urged."

Grey telegraphed Buchanan at St. Petersburg, referring him to the above, and informing him that the Russian Ambassador (p. 420) at London, Count Benckendorff had told him [Grey] that the impression prevailed in German and Austrian circles that Great Britain would stand aside in event of war. This the Ambassador deplored for its adverse effect on peace.

Grey informed Sir Maurice de Bunsen, British Ambassador at Vienna, of his interview just held with Count Mensdorff, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at London.

"Mensdorff said that the Austrian Government, very reluctantly and against their wish, were compelled to take more severe measures to enforce a fundamental change of the attitude of enmity pursued up to now by Serbia.... We would understand that the Austrian Government must consider that the moment had arrived to obtain, by means of the strongest pressure, guaranties for the definite suppression of the Serbian aspirations and for the security of peace and order on the southeastern frontier of Austria.

"As the peaceable means to this effect were exhausted, the Austrian Government must at last appeal to force. Their action, which had no sort of aggressive tendency, could not be represented otherwise than as self-defense. Also they thought that they would serve a European interest if they prevented Serbia from being henceforth an element of general unrest such as she had been for the last ten years. The high sense of justice of the British nation and of British statesmen could not blame the Austrian Government if the latter defended by the sword what was theirs, and cleared up their position with a country whose hostile policy had forced upon them for years measures so costly as to have gravely injured Austrian national prosperity. Finally, the Austrian Government, confiding in their amicable relations with us, felt that they could count on our sympathy in a fight that was forced on them, and on our assistance in localizing the fight, if necessary.

"Count Mensdorff added on his own account that, as long as Serbia was confronted with Turkey, Austria never took very severe measures because of her adherence to the policy of the free development of the Balkan States. Now that Serbia had doubled her territory and population without any Austrian interference, the repression of Serbian subversive aims was a matter of self-defense and self-preservation on Austria's part. He reiterated that Austria had no intention of taking Serbian territory or aggressive designs against Serbian territory.

"I said that I could not understand the construction put by the Austrian Government upon the Serbian reply, and I told Count Mensdorff the substance of the conversation that I had had with the German Ambassador this morning about that reply.

"Count Mensdorff admitted that, on paper, the Serbian reply might seem to be satisfactory; but the Serbians had refused the one thing—the cooperation of Austrian officials and police—which would be a real guaranty that in practice the Serbians would not carry on their subversive campaign against Austria.

(p. 421) "I said that it seemed to me as if the Austrian Government believed that, even after the Serbian reply, they could make war upon Serbia anyhow, without risk of bringing Russia into the dispute. If they could make war on Serbia and at the same time satisfy Russia, well and good; but, if not, the consequences would be incalculable. I pointed out to him that I quoted this phrase from an expression of the views of the German Government. I feared that it would be expected in St. Petersburg that the Serbian reply would diminish the tension, and now, when Russia found that there was increased tension, the situation would become increasingly serious. Already the effect on Europe was one of anxiety. I pointed out [as an instance of this] that our fleet was to have dispersed to-day, but we had felt unable to let it disperse. We should not think of calling up reserves at this moment, and there was no menace in what we had done about our fleet; but, owing to the possibility of a European conflagration, it was impossible for us to disperse our forces at this moment. It seemed to me that the Serbian reply already involved the greatest humiliation to Serbia that I had ever seen a country undergo, and it was disappointing to me that the reply was treated by the Austrian Government as if it were as unsatisfactory as a blank negative."

Grey informed Sir Rennell Rodd, British Ambassador at Rome, that the Italian Ambassador at London had stated to Sir Arthur Nicholson, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, that Italy agreed to the four-power conference, and that the Marquis di San Giuliano, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, would recommend to Germany the suggestion that Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Serbia should suspend military operations pending result of the conference, and would inquire what procedure Germany proposed to be followed at Vienna.

Sir Francis Bertie, Ambassador at Paris, sent Grey a memorandum of M. Bienvenu-Martin's, French Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, as to steps to be taken to prevent hostilities between Austria-Hungary and Serbia.

M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, has been requested to act in concert with the British Ambassador there in Grey's plan. M. Paul Cambon, Ambassador at London, has been appointed France's representative in the four-power conference. France is ready to instruct her representatives at St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Belgrade to induce these governments to abstain from hostilities pending the results of the conference.

But M. Bienvenu-Martin considers success of the conference (p. 422) depends on the action Berlin is willing to take at Vienna beforehand.

Sir George Buchanan, Ambassador at St. Petersburg, telegraphed to Grey an account of an interview just had with M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Sazonof was conciliatory and optimistic.

"Sazonof said he was perfectly ready to stand aside if the powers accepted the proposal for a conference, but he trusted that you would keep in touch with the Russian Ambassador in the event of its taking place."

France. M. Farges, Consul General at Basle, Switzerland, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs at Paris, that German officers on leave in this district had been ordered to return to Germany, and that owners of motor cars in Baden had been ordered to be ready to place them at the disposal of the Government, and secrecy enjoined as to the order under penalty of fine. People at Basle are uneasy, and banking facilities restricted.

M. de Fleuriau, Chargé d'Affaires at London, reported to M. Bienvenu-Martin that the German and Austrian Ambassadors there were letting it appear that they were sure Great Britain would preserve neutrality in case of war. Sir Arthur Nicholson, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had, however, assured Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador, that Great Britain was free to intervene if she judged it expedient. To make this understood in Germany, nevertheless, that Government should be made to know for certain that they will find Great Britain by the side of France and Russia.

M. Paléologue, Ambassador at St. Petersburg, telegraphed that M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs, was using conciliatory language to the ambassadors, and was restraining the press, particularly in recommending great moderation toward Germany.

M. Bompard, Ambassador at Constantinople, telegraphed from Therapia that the Turks were delighted at the misfortunes of Serbia, and thought that Russia will not intervene in her favor under circumstances which would extend the war beyond Serbia and Austria.

(p. 423) "The unanimous feeling in Ottoman political circles is that Austria, with the support of Germany, will attain her objects, and that she will make Serbia follow Bulgaria and enter into the orbit of the Triple Alliance."

M. de Fleuriau, Chargé d'Affaires at London, reported the interview between Sir Edward Grey, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and Prince Lichnowsky, German Ambassador.

"The attitude of Great Britain is confirmed by the postponement of the demobilization of the fleet. The First Lord of the Admiralty [Winston Churchill] took this measure quietly on Friday on his own initiative; to-night Sir Edward Grey and his colleagues decided to make it public. This result is due to the conciliatory attitude of Serbia and Russia."

M. de Fleuriau, Chargé d'Affaires at London, reported news from St. Petersburg of the willingness of Russia to stand aside if Serbia appealed to the powers. Accordingly Sir Edward Grey will proceed with his plan of a conference, on the understanding that, pending its results, Russia, Austria, and Serbia abstain from active military operations. To this the German Ambassador, Prince Lichnowsky is favorably disposed. Later M. de Fleuriau reported that the Serbian Minister at London, M. Boschkovitch, had not yet received instructions to ask for British mediation. Possibly telegrams to that effect had been stopped on the way.

M. Bienvenu-Martin having received Sir Edward Grey's proposal for the four-power conference, authorized M. de Fleuriau to represent France in it. He repeated his conviction of failure of the conference unless Germany's influence were first exercised pacifically at Vienna.

"I have also noted, during Baron von Schoen's observations, that the Austro-Hungarian Government was particularly susceptible when the words 'mediation,' 'intervention,' 'conference' were used, and was more willing to admit 'friendly advice' and 'conversations.'"

De Fleuriau reported that Italy had accepted intervention by the powers to prevent military operations. Germany had not yet replied to Italy's request for information as to procedure to be followed with regard to Austria-Hungary.

M. Barrčre, Ambassador at Rome, reported his interview with the Marquis di San Giuliano, in which that Minister for Foreign Affairs had repudiated his reported approval of the action of Austria-Hungary.

(p. 424) "He is convinced that Austria will not withdraw any of her claims, and will maintain them, even at the risk of bringing about a general conflagration; he doubts whether Germany is disposed to lend herself to any pressure on her ally. He asserts, however, that Germany at this moment attaches great importance to her relations with London, and he believes that if any power can determine Berlin in favor of peaceful action, it is England.

"As for Italy she will continue to make every effort in favor of peace. It is with this end in view that he had adhered without hesitation to Sir Edward Grey's proposal for a meeting in London of the ambassadors of those powers which are not directly interested in the Austro-Serbian dispute."

M. Jules Cambon, Ambassador at Berlin, reported the interview of Sir Edward Goschen, the British Ambassador, with the German Secretary of State, and said that Herr von Jagow's language confirmed that of Baron von Schoen at Paris.

M. Bienvenu-Martin then notified the French Ambassadors at London, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, and Rome, of his interview with Count Szécsen, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, and the memorandum he had submitted criticizing the Serbian reply to the Austrian note.

Belgium. Baron Beyens, Minister at Berlin, reported to M. Davignon, Minister for Foreign Affairs at Brussels, the diplomatic situation at the German capital. Germany had not replied to the British proposal. "The decision rests with the emperor."

TUESDAY, JULY 28, 1914

Serbia. Count Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, this day telegraphed to M. Pashitch, Serbian Prime Minister, that Serbia's reply to the Austrian note being unsatisfactory, the Austro-Hungarian Government

"was compelled to see to the safeguarding of their rights and interests, and, with this object, to have recourse to force of arms. Austria-Hungary consequently considers herself henceforward in a state of war with Serbia."

M. Pashitch telegraphed this news from Nish to all the Serbian Legations abroad.

Dr. M. Spalaikovitch, Serbian Minister at Petrograd, gave the information officially to M. Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

(p. 425) "I have the honor to inform your excellency of this regrettable act, which a great power had the courage to commit against a small Slav country which only recently emerged from a long series of heroic but exhausting battles, and I beg leave on this occasion of deep gravity for my country to express the hope that this act, which disturbs the peace of Europe and revolts her conscience, will be condemned by the whole civilized world and severely punished by Russia, the protector of Serbia.

"I beg your excellency to be so kind as to lay this petition from the whole Serbian nation before the throne of his majesty."

Austria-Hungary. An official communication was given to the press at Vienna summarizing the Government's criticism of the Serbian reply to the Austro-Hungarian note.

"Inasmuch as the Austro-Hungarian demands constitute the minimum regarded as necessary for the reestablishment of a permanent peace in the southeast of the [Dual] Monarchy, the Serbian reply is considered to be insufficient.

"That the Serbian Government is aware of this appears from the fact that they contemplate the settlement of the dispute by arbitration, and also from the fact that on the day on which their reply was due, and before it was in fact submitted, they gave orders for mobilization."

Count Szögyény, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at Berlin, telegraphed to Count Berchtold that Germany had declined to take part in the four power-conference

"on the ground that it is impossible for Germany to bring her ally before a European court in her settlement with Serbia."

Baron von Müller telegraphed to Count Berchtold from Tokyo, Japan, that the semiofficial Japan "Times" concludes a leading article on the Serbian question with the statement that Japan is on the best of terms with the three great powers concerned, Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia, while it is in no way interested in Serbia. He infers that, in case of war, Japan would, as a matter of course, maintain strict neutrality.

Count Berchtold telegraphed Count Szögyény at Berlin the report made by Count Mensdorff, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at London, of his interview on the 27th with Sir Edward Grey.

"I believe that I need not specially point out to your excellency that Grey's proposal for a conference, in so far as it relates to our conflict with Serbia, appears, in view of the state of war which has arisen, to have been outstripped by events."

(p. 426) Count Berchtold telegraphed Count Mensdorff in London to explain to Sir Edward Grey in detail the dossier of charges against Serbia accompanying the Austrian note, and

"make clear to him that the offer of Serbia to meet points in our note was only an apparent one, intended to deceive Europe without giving any guaranty for the future.

"As the Serbian Government knew that only an unconditional acceptance of our demands could satisfy us, the Serbian tactics can easily be seen through: Serbia accepted a number of our demands, with all sorts of reservations, in order to impress public opinion in Europe, trusting that she would not be required to fulfill her promises. In conversing with Sir Edward Grey, your excellency should lay special emphasis on the circumstance that the general mobilization of the Serbian army was ordered for the afternoon of July 25 at three o'clock, while the answer to our note was delivered just before the expiration of the time fixed—that is to say, a few minutes before six o'clock. Up to then we had made no military preparations, but by the Serbian mobilization we were compelled to do so."

Count Berchtold telegraphed to Count Szápáry, Ambassador at St. Petersburg, an account of an interview with the Russian Ambassador at Vienna. Count Berchtold had informed M. Schebeko of Austria-Hungary's inability to concur in Russia's proposal to take the Serbian reply to the Austrian note as a starting point for an understanding between the disputants.

"No one in our country could understand, nor could anyone approve negotiations with reference to the wording used in the answer which we had designated as unsatisfactory. This was all the more impossible because, as the ambassador knew, there was a deep feeling of general excitement which had already mastered public opinion. Moreover, on our side war had to-day been declared against Serbia.

"In reply to the explanations of the ambassador, which culminated in asserting that we should not in any way suppress the admitted hostile opinion in Serbia by a warlike action, but that, on the contrary, we should only increase it, I gave him some insight into our present relations toward Serbia which made it necessary, quite against our will, and without any selfish secondary object, for us to show our restless neighbor, with the necessary emphasis, our firm intention not to permit any longer a movement which was allowed to exist by the Government, and which was directed against the existence of the [Dual] Monarchy. The attitude of Serbia after the receipt of our note had further not been calculated to make a peaceful solution possible, because Serbia, even before she transmitted to us her unsatisfactory reply, had ordered a general mobilization, and in so doing had already committed a hostile act against us. In spite of this, however, we had waited for three days. Yesterday hostilities were opened against us on the Hungarian frontier on the part of Serbia. By this act (p. 427) we were deprived of the possibility of maintaining any longer the patience which we had shown toward Serbia. The establishment of a fundamental but peaceful amelioration of our relations toward Serbia had now been made impossible, and we were compelled to meet the Serbian provocation in the only form which in the given circumstances was consistent with the dignity of the monarchy."

Count Berchtold telegraphed to Count Mensdorff in London of his interview with Sir Maurice de Bunsen, British Ambassador in Vienna. Bunsen had explained Sir Edward Grey's position.

Count Berchtold telegraphed Count Szögyény at Berlin to communicate to the German Chancellor or Secretary of State the following information:

"According to mutually consistent reports, received from St. Petersburg, Kiev, Warsaw, Moscow, and Odessa, Russia is making extensive military preparations. M. Sazonof has indeed given an assurance on his word of honor, as has also the Russian Minister of War, that mobilization has not up to now been ordered; the latter has, however, told the German Military Attaché that the military districts which border on Austria-Hungary—Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, and Kazan—will be mobilized should our troops cross the Serbian frontier.

"Under these circumstances I would urgently ask the Cabinet at Berlin to take into immediate consideration the question whether the attention of Russia should not be drawn, in a friendly manner, to the fact that the mobilization of the above districts amounts to a threat against Austria-Hungary, and that, therefore, should these measures be carried out, they would be answered by the most extensive military countermeasures, not only by the [Dual] Monarchy but by our ally, the German Empire.

"In order to make it more easy for Russia to withdraw, it appears to us appropriate that such a step should, in the first place, be taken by Germany alone; nevertheless we are ready to take this step in conjunction with Germany.

"Unambiguous language appears to me at the present moment to be the most effective method of making Russia fully conscious of all that is involved in a threatening attitude."

Russia. Consul General at Fiume telegraphed to M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs at St. Petersburg, that a state of siege had been proclaimed in Slavonia, in Croatia, and at Fiume, and reservists of all classes called out.

M. Broniewsky, Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, telegraphed M. Sazonof that the local papers had not published in extenso the Serbian reply, evidently being well aware of the calming effect it would have on German readers.

(p. 428) M. Schebeko, Ambassador at Vienna, telegraphed that the Austro-Hungarian order for general mobilization had been signed.

M. Sazonof telegraphed the ambassadors at London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, and Rome:

"In face of the hostilities between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, it is necessary that Great Britain should take instant mediatory action, and that the military measures undertaken by Austria against Serbia should be immediately suspended. Otherwise mediation will only serve as an excuse to make the question drag on, and will meanwhile make it possible for Austria to crush Serbia completely and to acquire a dominant position in the Balkans."

Germany. The Chancellor, Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg, confidentially reported to the Government of Germany that the evidence presented by Austria-Hungary was conclusive of the complicity in the crime of Sarajevo of members of the Serbian Government and army, and the existence of organized Serb propaganda against the Dual Monarchy. Austria-Hungary therefore was justified in her action as well as demands against Serbia.

The Chancellor telegraphed to Count Pourtalčs, Ambassador at St. Petersburg:

"We continue in our endeavor to induce Vienna to elucidate in St. Petersburg the object and scope of the Austrian action in Serbia in a manner both convincing and satisfactory to Russia. The declaration of war which has meanwhile ensued alters nothing in this matter."

Count Berchtold, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Vienna, telegraphed to the German Chancellor that the British mediation proposal, "owing to the opening of hostilities by Serbia," was "belated." William II at 10. 45 p. m., sent the following message to Nicholas II:

"I have heard with the greatest anxiety of the impression which is caused by the action of Austria-Hungary against Serbia. The unscrupulous agitation which has been going on for years in Serbia has led to the revolting crime of which Archduke Franz Ferdinand has become a victim. The spirit which made the Serbians murder their own king and his consort still dominates that country. Doubtless you will agree with me that both of us, you as well as I, and all other sovereigns, have a common interest to insist that all those who are responsible for this horrible murder shall suffer their deserved punishment.

"On the other hand, I by no means overlook the difficulty encountered by you and your Government to stem the tide of public opinion. In view (p. 429) of the cordial friendship which has joined us both for a long time with firm ties, I shall use my entire influence to induce Austria-Hungary to obtain a frank and satisfactory understanding with Russia. I hope confidently that you will support me in my efforts to overcome all difficulties which may yet arise.

"Your most sincere and devoted friend and cousin."

Great Britain. Sir Maurice de Bunsen, Ambassador at Vienna, sent to Sir Edward Grey, Secretary for Foreign Affairs at London, the text of the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war against Serbia. This was followed by the statements:

"Austria-Hungary, who has just addressed to Serbia a formal declaration, in conformity with Article I of the convention of October 18, 1907, relative to the opening of hostilities, considers herself henceforward in a state of war with Serbia.

"In bringing the above to notice of his Britannic Majesty's embassy, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has the honor to declare that Austria-Hungary will act during the hostilities in conformity with the terms of the conventions of the The Hague of October 18, 1907, as also with those of the Declaration of London of February 28, 1909, provided an analogous procedure is adopted by Serbia."

The French Embassy informed Sir Edward Grey that France accepted his four-power mediation proposal, and had appointed M. Paul Cambon her representative in the conference.

Count Benckendorff, Russian Ambassador at London, communicated to Grey a telegram from M. Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, which stated that his interviews with the German Ambassador, Count Pourtalčs, confirmed his impression that Germany would support Austria-Hungary's uncompromising attitude.

"The Berlin Cabinet, who could have prevented the whole of this crisis developing, appear to be exerting no influence on their ally....

"This attitude of the German Government is most alarming.

"It seems to me that Great Britain is in a better position than any other power to make another attempt at Berlin to induce the German Government to take the necessary action. There is no doubt that the key of the situation is to be found at Berlin."

Sir Francis Bertie, Ambassador at Paris, telegraphed Grey that M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Secretary for Foreign Affairs, realized the position of Great Britain.

"He quite appreciates the impossibility for his [British] majesty's Government to declare themselves 'solidaires' with Russia on a question between Austria and Serbia, which in its present condition is not one (p. 430) affecting England. He also sees that you cannot take up an attitude at Berlin and Vienna more Serbian than that attributed in German and Austrian sources to the Russian Government.

"The German Ambassador [Baron von Schoen] has stated that Austria would respect the integrity of Serbia, but when asked whether her independence also would be respected, he gave no assurance."

Sir Edward Goschen, Ambassador at Berlin, telegraphed that, after conference with his French and Italian colleagues, he had found that the German Secretary of State von Jagow had, while refusing to take part in the proposed conference, said to all of them that he desired to work with their Governments for the maintenance of general peace.

"We therefore deduced that if he is sincere in this wish he can be objecting only to the form of your proposal. Perhaps he himself could be induced to suggest lines on which he would find it possible to work with us."

Maurice de Bunsen, Ambassador at Vienna, telegraphed that Count Berchtold, Minister for Foreign Affairs, declared Austria-Hungary could not delay military proceedings against Serbia, and so declined the mediation proposed.

"Prestige of [Dual] Monarchy was engaged, and nothing could now prevent conflict."

The Ambassador supplemented this in a longer telegram, giving details of his interview with Count Berchtold.

Sir Rennell Rodd, Ambassador at Rome, telegraphed an account of an interview the Marquis di San Giuliano, Prime Minister, had just had with the Serbian Chargé d'Affaires.

If explanations were given of mode in which Austrian agents would intervene under Articles V and VI of the note to Serbia, Serbia might still accept the whole note. This explanation could be imparted, without loss of dignity to Austria, through the powers, who might then advise Serbia to accept the note without conditions.

The Marquis pointed out a passage in the Austrian note which had been misinterpreted by Serbia, and so might be used as a basis for settlement, namely, that regarding cooperation of Austrian agents in Serbia; this was to be only in investigation, not in judicial or administrative measures.

(p. 431) Mr. Crackanthorpe, Chargé d'Affaires in Serbia, telegraphed from Nish that he was urging greatest moderation on the Serbian Government pending mediatory efforts by the powers.

"Two Serbian steamers fired on and damaged, and two Serbian merchant vessels have been captured by a Hungarian monitor at Orsova."

This was supplemented by a telegram that war had been declared by Austria.

Grey telegraphed to Sir Edward Goschen, Ambassador at Berlin, explaining the nature of his proposed four-power conference. No suggestion would be put forward that has not previously been ascertained to be acceptable to Austria and Russia. A direct exchange of views between these countries is preferable to all other methods. This the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, M. Sazonof, is reported to have offered. If Austria accepts, the situation will become less critical. Prince Lichnowsky, German Ambassador at London, reports that his Government has counseled moderation at Vienna. This is very satisfactory.

A supplementary telegram read:

"German Government, having accepted principle of mediation between Austria and Russia by the four powers, if necessary, I am ready to propose that the German Secretary of State should suggest the lines on which this principle should be applied. I will, however, keep the idea in reserve until we see how the conversations between Austria and Russia progress."

Grey telegraphed to Sir George Buchanan, Ambassador at St. Petersburg, his satisfaction over prospect of direct exchange of views between Russia and Austria, and readiness to facilitate this if he knew what Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, proposes that the ministers at Belgrade do.

"Could he not first mention in an exchange of views with Austria his willingness to cooperate in some such scheme? It might then take more concrete shape."

Sir Edward Goschen, Ambassador at Berlin, telegraphed report to Grey on the 28th inst. of an interview with the German Chancellor, Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg. The Chancellor was most anxious for Germany and Great Britain to work together for European peace, as they had successfully done in last preceding crisis. He could not accept the four-power proposal, since the conference would look like an "Areopagus" of two groups of two (p. 432) powers, each sitting in judgment on two other powers, but this refusal should not militate against his strong desire for effective cooperation. He was doing his best at Vienna and St. Petersburg to get both powers into friendly direct discussion, but if, as reported, Russia had mobilized fourteen army corps in the south, this would put it out of his power to continue preaching moderation at Vienna. Austria, who was only partially mobilizing, would have to take similar measures; so, if war results, Russia will be responsible.

Goschen remarked that surely part of the responsibility rested on Austria for refusing to accept the almost wholly compliant reply of Serbia, or to admit it as a basis for discussion. The Chancellor repeated his views about the Serbian question being wholly Austria's affair, with which Russia had nothing to do.

"Austrian colleague said to me to-day that a general war was most unlikely, as Russia neither wanted nor was in a position to make war. I think that that opinion is shared by many people here."

Ambassador Buchanan telegraphed from St. Petersburg report of interview with M. Sazonof, the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, who thanked Grey for his language to Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador. Sazonof was pessimistic. Buchanan asked him if he would be satisfied with Austria's assurances to respect Serbia's integrity and independence. He replied: Not if she attacked Serbia; that he would order mobilization on the day that Austria crossed the Serbian frontier.

"I told the German Ambassador [Count Pourtalčs], who appealed to me to give moderating counsels to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, that from the beginning I had not ceased to do so, and that the German Ambassador at Vienna should now in his turn use his restraining influence. I made it clear to his excellency that, Russia being thoroughly in earnest, a general war could not be averted if Serbia were attacked by Austria."

Ambassador de Bunsen at Vienna telegraphed news of Austria's declaration of war against Serbia, and her declination of Russia's suggestion of direct discussion with her. Russian Ambassador Schebeko said that the London conference now offered the only prospect of European peace, and he was sure Russia would agree to it.

(p. 433) "So long as opposing armies have not actually come in contact, all hope need not be abandoned."

France. M. Viviani, French Prime Minister, on board La France, telegraphed to M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs at Paris, approving his course. Russia was not responsible for present situation, and Germany could not with grace refuse to counsel Austria, provoker of the crisis. He approved Grey's proposition of a four-power conference.

"The action of the four less interested powers cannot ... be exerted only at Vienna and St. Petersburg. In proposing to exert it also at Belgrade, which means, in fact, between Vienna and Belgrade, Sir E. Grey grasps the logic of the situation; and, in not excluding St. Petersburg, he offers, on the other hand, to Germany a method of withdrawing with perfect dignity from the démarche by which the German Government have caused it to be known at Paris and at London that the affair was looked upon by them as purely Austro-Serbian and without any general character."

M. Bienvenu-Martin replied to M. Viviani that Germany had taken no sincere action to hold back Austria, and was opposing Grey's plan of mediation, thus dooming it to failure. Austria will take energetic measures to-morrow, the 29th, to compel Serbia to give them the satisfaction demanded, and has begun to mobilize.

M. Paul Cambon, Ambassador at London, reported interviews of Sir Edward Grey, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, with Count Mensdorff, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, and Prince Lichnowsky, German Ambassador. The first continued to maintain that the Serbian reply was unacceptable. The second talked like Baron von Schoen at Paris; he desired Great Britain to use moderating influence at St. Petersburg. Grey replied that this would be embarrassing, as Russia had been moderate from the beginning, especially in her pacific advice to Serbia. It was at Vienna that action was necessary, and there Germany's help was indispensable. News had come from St. Petersburg of the first direct conversations between Russia and Austria, that of Prime Minister Sazonof and Ambassador Szápáry. Secretary Grey and Under-Secretary Nicholson were doubtful of its success, since M. Sazonof had not yet secured assent to a revision of the Serbian note by the two cabinets.

"In any case, at a moment when the least delay might have serious consequences, it would be very desirable that these direct negotiations should (p. 434) be carried on in such a way as not to hamper Sir E. Grey's action, and not to furnish Austria with a pretext for slipping out of the friendly intervention of the four powers.

"The British Ambassador at Berlin having made a determined effort to obtain Herr von Jagow's adherence to Sir E. Grey's suggestion, the German Minister for Foreign Affairs replied that it was best to await the result of the conversation which had been begun between St. Petersburg and Vienna. Sir E. Grey has, in consequence, directed Sir E. Goschen to suspend his démarche for the moment. In addition, the news that Austria has just officially declared war against Serbia opens a new phase of the question."

M. Jules Cambon, Ambassador at Berlin, reported an interview of Herr von Jagow with M. Broniewsky, Russian Chargé d'Affaires, in which the German Secretary of State was hopeful that Austria-Hungary's willingness to converse with Russia after the expiration of the ultimatum to Serbia might discover an issue from present difficulties. M. Cambon adds that perhaps Austria is seeking time to make her preparations.

Von Jagow told Cambon that he could not accept the kind of conference proposed by Grey, and that success depended on mediation taking another form.

"I laid stress upon the danger of delay, which might bring on war, and asked him if he wished for war. He protested, and added that direct conversations between Vienna and St. Petersburg were in progress, and that from now on he expected a favorable result."

Von Jagow had made the same suggestion to the British and Italian Ambassadors.

"My colleagues and I thought that this was only a question of form, and the British Ambassador is going to suggest to his Government that they should change the wording of their proposal, which might take the character of a diplomatic démarche at Vienna and St. Petersburg.

"In consequence of the repugnance shown by Herr von Jagow to any démarche at Vienna, Sir Edward Grey could put him in a dilemma by asking him to state himself precisely how diplomatic action by the powers to avoid war could be brought about.

"We ought to associate ourselves with every effort in favor of peace compatible with our engagements toward our ally; but to place the responsibility in the proper quarter, we must take care to ask Germany to state precisely what she wishes."

M. Paléologue, Ambassador at St. Petersburg, reported that M. Sazonof, Russian Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had said "Austria is unwilling to converse."

(p. 435) M. Dumaine, Ambassador to Vienna, reported the declaration of Count Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to British Ambassador Bunsen that discussion of the Serbian reply was useless, war having been declared. M. Schebeko, Russian Ambassador, said that his position from the beginning had been that the question was not of localizing the war, but preventing it. The declaration of war made pourparlers by the four powers extremely difficult. The German formula, "Mediation between Austria and Russia," is unsuitable, since it assumes a dispute between the two empires which does not exist.


Austria-Hungary. On the following day, July 29, 1914, Count Berchtold, Minister for Foreign Affairs at Vienna, telegraphed the Ambassadors at St. Petersburg, London, Paris, and Rome, copies of a memorandum which he had handed Herr von Tschirscky that day in answer to the démarche made by the German Ambassador, namely that the Austro-Hungarian Government should accept the Serbian reply either as satisfactory or as a basis for discussion. The memorandum declared that, contrary to the assumption of Sir Edward Grey, British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, at whose instance the proceeding was taken, the parts of the Serbian reply which were not accepted by Austria-Hungary are the most vital in it, since they contain the guarantees for Serbia's observance of the demands made on her. So, too, it is an assumption that the action taken against Serbia was directed against Russia and her influence in the Balkans. Austria-Hungary does not charge Russia with instigating the Serbian propaganda against the Dual Monarchy. Our feelings toward her are entirely friendly.

Austria-Hungary cannot adopt the desired attitude toward the Serbian reply since this has already been outstripped by events. Our declaration of war was made after vainly waiting three days for Serbia to abandon her point of view.

"If the British Cabinet is prepared to use its influence on the Russian Government with a view to the maintenance of peace between the great (p. 436) powers, and with a view to the localization of the war which has been forced upon us by many years of Serbian intrigues, the Imperial and Royal Government could only welcome this."

Ambassador Szécsen telegraphed from Paris that France was unmistakably making military preparations.

"The German Ambassador, Baron von Schoen is commissioned to discuss these preparations with M. Viviani [French Prime Minister] to-day, and to point out that in these circumstances Germany may be compelled to take similar measures which necessarily could not be kept secret, and which could not fail to cause great public excitement when they became known. In this way the two countries, although they are only striving for peace, will be compelled to at least a partial mobilization, which would be dangerous.

"Further, in accordance with these instructions, Baron Schoen will declare that Germany has a lively desire that the conflict between us and Serbia should remain localized, and that in this Germany relies on the support of France."

Ambassador Szögyény telegraphed from Berlin that as early as the 26th inst. the German Government had warned Russia that mobilization by her would cause German mobilization.

"Another telegram has to-day been sent to St. Petersburg, stating that owing to the further progress of the Russian measures of mobilization Germany might be brought to mobilize."

Ambassador Szápáry telegraphed from St. Petersburg that M. Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, was greatly excited over the alleged disinclination of Austria-Hungary to continue exchange of ideas with Russia, and over her mobilization, which is supposed to be more extensive than necessary, and therefore directed against Russia.

I visited the minister to explain matters. I agreed that you (Count Berchtold) had declined to discuss the wording of the Serbian reply, but made it clear that we had no intention, if the conflict remained localized, to annex Serbian territory or touch her sovereignty, and would always be ready to keep in touch with St. Petersburg on Austro-Hungarian and Russian interests.

M. Sazonof accepted the assurance in regard to territory, but on the point of sovereignty said he must continue to believe that our coercion of Serbia would result in her becoming our vassal, and that this would upset equilibrium in the Balkans, and so (p. 437) involve Russian interests. Russia recognized our legitimate interest there, but its assertion must be acceptable to Serbia.

"I expressed the view that this was not a Russian but a Serbian interest, whereupon M. Sazonof claimed that Russian interests were in this case Serbian interests, so that I was obliged to make an end of the vicious circle by going on to a new topic.

"I mentioned that I had heard that there was a feeling of anxiety in Russia, because we had mobilized eight corps for action against Serbia. M. Sazonof assured me that it was not he (who knew nothing about this) but the Chief of the General Staff who had expressed this anxiety. I endeavored to convince the minister that any unprejudiced person could easily be persuaded that our southern corps could not constitute a menace for Russia.

"I indicated to the minister that it would be well if his Imperial Master were informed of the true situation, as it was urgently necessary, if it was desired to maintain peace, that a speedy end should be put to the military competition which now threatened to ensue on account of false news.

"The minister further informed me that a ukase would be signed to-day, which would give orders for a mobilization in a somewhat extended form. He was able, however, to assure me in the most official way that these troops were not intended to attack us. They would only stand to arms in case Russian interests in the Balkans should be in danger. An explanatory note would make it clear that this was a measure of precaution, since we, who in any case have the advantage of quicker mobilization, have now also already so great a start. In earnest words I drew M. Sazonof's attention to the impression which such a measure would make in our country. I went on to express doubt whether the explanatory note would be calculated to soften the impression, whereupon the minister again gave expression to assurances regarding the harmlessness (!) of this measure."

Count Berchtold telegraphed to Count Szögyény at Berlin that the Russian military districts of Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, and Kazan were being mobilized. The ambassador should notify the German Government of this, and emphasize that if Russian mobilization were not stopped without delay, Austria-Hungary would follow with general mobilization. The representatives of Germany and Austria-Hungary at St. Petersburg, and, if necessary, at Paris, will declare the same to the Government there. We will not be diverted from our course against Serbia.

Germany. Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg telegraphed to Ambassador von Schoen at Paris to protest against the military measures France was reported to be taking, and say that, in answer, Germany would have to proclaim "a threatening state of war."

(p. 438) "While this would not mean a call for the reserves or mobilization, yet the tension would be aggravated. We continue to hope for the preservation of peace."

Count Pourtalčs, Ambassador at St. Petersburg, had an interview with M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs, which he reported as follows:

"The secretary tried to persuade me that I should urge my Government to participate in a quadruple conference to find means to induce Austria-Hungary to give up those demands which touch upon the sovereignty of Serbia. I could merely promise to report the conversation and took the position that, after Russia had decided upon the baneful step of mobilization, every exchange of ideas appeared now extremely difficult, if not impossible. Besides, Russia now was demanding from us in regard to Austria-Hungary the same which Austria-Hungary was being blamed for with regard to Serbia, i.e., an infraction of sovereignty. Austria-Hungary having promised to consider the Russian interests by disclaiming any territorial aspiration—a great concession on the part of a state engaged in war—should therefore be permitted to attend to its affairs with Serbia alone. There would be time at the peace conference to return to the matter of forbearance toward the sovereignty of Serbia.

"I added very solemnly that at this moment the entire Austro-Serbian affair was eclipsed by the danger of a general European conflagration, and I endeavored to present to the secretary the magnitude of this danger.

"It was impossible to dissuade Sazonof from the idea that Serbia could not now be deserted by Russia."


William II received the following telegram from Nicholas II:

"I am glad that you are back in Germany. In this serious moment I ask you earnestly to help me. An ignominious war has been declared against a weak country and in Russia the indignation which I fully share is tremendous. I fear that very soon I shall be unable to resist the pressure exercised upon me and that I shall be forced to take measures which will lead to war. To prevent a calamity as a European war would be, I urge you in the name of our old friendship to do all in your power to restrain your ally from going too far."

The Kaiser replied at 6.30 p. m.:

"I have received your telegram and I share your desire for the conservation of peace. However, I cannot—as I told you in my first telegram—consider the action of Austria-Hungary as an 'ignominious war.' Austria-Hungary knows from experience that the promises of Serbia as long as they are merely on paper are entirely unreliable.

(p. 439) "According to my opinion the action of Austria-Hungary is to be considered as an attempt to receive full guaranty that the promises of Serbia are effectively translated into deeds. In this opinion I am strengthened by the explanation of the Austrian Cabinet that Austria-Hungary intended no territorial gain at the expense of Serbia. I am therefore of opinion that it is perfectly possible for Russia to remain a spectator in the Austro-Serbian war without drawing Europe into the most terrible war it has ever seen. I believe that a direct understanding is possible and desirable between your Government and Vienna, an understanding which—as I have already telegraphed you—my Government endeavors to aid with all possible effort. Naturally military measures by Russia, which might be construed as a menace by Austria-Hungary, would accelerate a calamity which both of us desire to avoid and would undermine my position as mediator which—upon your appeal to my friendship and aid—I willingly accepted."

The Czar answered:

"Thanks for your telegram, which is conciliatory and friendly, whereas the official message presented to-day by your ambassador to my minister was conveyed in a very different tone. I beg you to explain this divergency. It would be right to give over the Austro-Serbian problem to the Hague Tribunal. I trust in your wisdom and friendship."

Russia. M. Broniewsky, Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin, telegraphed to M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs, that Herr von Jagow, German Secretary of State, had told him no news had been received from Vienna as to acceptance of private discussions at St. Petersburg—that it was very difficult for him to produce any effect at Vienna, especially openly.

"He even added, in speaking to Cambon, that were pressure brought to bear too obviously, Austria would hasten to face Germany with a fait accompli."

Von Jagow had heard from St. Petersburg that you were more inclined than previously to find a compromise acceptable to all parties. I replied that this had been your position from the outset, provided the compromise were acceptable not only to Austria, but equally to Russia. He then said that Russian mobilization on the frontier, of which he had heard, would render an understanding with Austria difficult as she was making no preparations on the Russian frontier. I replied that I had information in my possession that Austria was mobilizing there, and that our mobilization was in reply to it. But our measures, I assured him, were not directed against Germany.

(p. 440) Alexander, Crown Prince of Serbia, telegraphed to Nicholas II his gratitude for the sympathy extended to Serbia by the Czar on the 28th inst.

"It fills our hearts with the belief that the future of Serbia is secure now that it is the object of your majesty's gracious solicitude. These painful moments cannot but strengthen the bonds of deep attachment which bind Serbia to Holy Slav Russia."

M. Sazonof telegraphed Ambassador Isvolsky at Paris that Germany had decided to mobilize if Russia did not cease her military preparations.

"As we cannot comply with the wishes of Germany, we have no alternative but to hasten on our own military preparations and to assume that war is probably inevitable. Please inform the French Government of this, and add that we are sincerely grateful to them for the declaration which the French Ambassador made to me on their behalf, that we could count fully upon the assistance of our ally, France. In the existing circumstances that declaration is especially valuable to us.

"[Communicated to the Russian Ambassadors in Great Britain, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Germany.]"

Great Britain. Count Benckendorff, Russian Ambassador at London, reported to Sir Edward Grey, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, that Russia would mobilize at Odessa, Kiev, Moscow, and Kazan. This information had been officially sent by Russia to Berlin on the 28th inst., with assurances that there was no aggressive intention against Germany. The Russian Ambassador, M. Schebeko, was still retained at Vienna. Direct communication between Austria and Russia was, however, at an end, owing to Austria's declaration of war on Serbia. Mediation by London Cabinet to end Austria's military operations was therefore most urgent. If these continued Austria would crush Serbia while the conference was continuing.

Sir Edward Goschen, Ambassador at Berlin, telegraphed to Grey a report of his interview with Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg.

He informed me that Austria-Hungary refused to act on your suggestion to make the Serbian reply the basis of discussion. Von Jagow had written to Vienna that, though Serbia had shown a certain desire to meet the demands made on her, nevertheless (p. 441) he appreciated Austria's requirement of guaranties which were absent in the Serbian reply:

"The Chancellor then went on to say that the hostilities which were about to be undertaken against Serbia had presumably the exclusive object of securing such guaranties, seeing that the Austrian Government already assured the Russian Government that they had no territorial designs.

"He advised the Austro-Hungarian Government, should this view be correct, to speak openly in this sense. The holding of such language would, he hoped, eliminate all possible misunderstandings.

"As yet, he told me, he had not received a reply from Vienna.

"From the fact that he had gone so far in the matter of giving advice at Vienna, his excellency hoped that you would realize that he was sincerely doing all in his power to prevent danger of European complications."

Goschen reported an interview with the German Secretary of State. Von Jagow was much depressed.

"He reminded me that he had told me the other day that he had to be very careful in giving advice to Austria, as any idea that they were being pressed would be likely to cause them to precipitate matters and present a fait accompli. This had, in fact, now happened, and he was not sure that his communication of your suggestion that Serbia's reply offered a basis for discussion had not hastened declaration of war. He was much troubled by reports of mobilization in Russia, and of certain military measures, which he did not specify, being taken in France. He subsequently spoke of these measures to my French colleague [M. Jules Cambon] who informed him that French Government had done nothing more than the German Government had done, namely, recalled officers on leave. His excellency denied German Government had done this, but as a matter of fact it is true. My French colleague said to under-Secretary of State [Herr von Zimmermann] that, when Austria had entered Serbia, and so satisfied her military prestige, the moment might then be favorable for four disinterested powers to discuss situation and come forward with suggestions for preventing graver complications. Under-Secretary of State seemed to think idea worthy of consideration, as he replied that would be a different matter from conference proposed by you."

Grey replied to Goschen, stating his appreciation of the Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg's language, and assuring the Chancellor that Great Britain would strain every effort for peace.

"If he can induce Austria to satisfy Russia and to abstain from going so far as to come into collision with her, we shall all join in deep gratitude to his excellency for having saved the peace of Europe."

Ambassador Buchanan at St. Petersburg telegraphed to Grey that partial mobilization had been ordered. This said M. Sazonof, Minister for Foreign Affairs, was against Austria-Hungary (p. 442) alone. Direct conversation with St. Petersburg having been refused by Vienna, he would urge Germany that a return be made to your proposal of a four-power conference.

Ambassador Bunsen reported from Vienna that there was no step to be taken at present to stop war with Serbia, to which the Austro-Hungarian Government was fully committed by the declaration of war, and Kaiser Francis Joseph's appeal to his people, published this morning. In the opinion of Duke d'Avarans, the Italian Ambassador, Russia might be quieted by Austria-Hungary making a binding engagement not to destroy Serbian independence nor seize Serbian territory, but this she would refuse to do.

Sir Rennell Rodd, Ambassador at Rome, telegraphed that the Marquis di San Giuliano would urge in Berlin an exchange of views by the powers in London, and suggest that the German Secretary of State propose a formula acceptable to his Government.

"The Secretary for Foreign Affairs remarked that it was difficult to make Germany believe that Russia was in earnest. As Germany, however, was really anxious for good relations with ourselves, if she believed that Great Britain would act with Russia and France he thought it would have a great effect."

Grey replied to Rodd that the London conference was now impracticable owing to the attitude of Austria-Hungary, and that Italy must now speak at Berlin and Vienna.

Grey telegraphed to Ambassador Goschen at Berlin that the German Chancellor, Von Bethmann-Hollweg, said he was endeavoring to make Austria satisfactorily explain at St. Petersburg the scope of her proceedings in Serbia, but information comes from Vienna that Austria declines to discuss the Serbian issue. Germany opposes the four-power conference. I asked her to present her plan to prevent war between Russia and Austria, France and Italy joined with my request.

"Let mediation come into operation by any method that Germany thinks possible if only Germany will 'press the button' in the interests of peace."

Goschen telegraphed back to Grey that he had had an interview with Bethmann-Hollweg who had just returned from (p. 443) Potsdam. The Chancellor feared Germany's being drawn into war by Russia attacking her ally.

"He then proceeded to make the following strong bid for British neutrality. He said that it was clear, so far as he was able to judge the main principle which governed British policy, that Great Britain would never stand by and allow France to be crushed in any conflict there might be. That, however, was not the object at which Germany aimed. Provided that neutrality of Great Britain were certain, every assurance would be given to the British Government that the Imperial Government aimed at no territorial acquisitions at the expense of France should they prove victorious in any war that might ensue.

"I questioned his excellency about the French colonies, and he said that he was unable to give a similar undertaking in that respect. As regards Holland, however, his excellency said that, so long as Germany's adversaries respected the integrity and neutrality of the Netherlands, Germany was ready to give his majesty's Government an assurance that she would do likewise. It depended upon the action of France what operations Germany might be forced to enter upon in Belgium, but when the war was over, Belgian integrity would be respected if she had not sided against Germany.

"His excellency ended by saying that ever since he had been Chancellor the object of his policy had been, as you were aware, to bring about an understanding with England; he trusted that these assurances might form the basis of that understanding which he so much desired. He had in mind a general neutrality agreement between England and Germany, though it was of course at the present moment too early to discuss details, and an assurance of British neutrality in the conflict which present crisis might possibly produce, would enable him to look forward to realization of his desire.

"In reply to his excellency's inquiry how I thought his request would appeal to you, I said that I did not think it probable that at this stage of events you would care to bind yourself to any course of action and that I was of opinion that you would desire to retain full liberty."

Grey informed Ambassador Bertie at Paris of a conversation he had had with M. Paul Cambon, the French Ambassador.

I told Cambon that I would inform the German Ambassador Prince Lichnowsky, to-day that he must not suppose by my friendly tone that we should stand aside in event of a general war following failure of efforts to maintain peace. However, I warned Cambon that the case of Serbia was not like that of Morocco, in which we had made a special agreement with France, but one in which we did not feel called to take a hand.

"M. Cambon said that I had explained the situation very clearly. He understood it to be that in a Balkan quarrel, and in a struggle for supremacy between Teuton and Slav we should not feel called to intervene; should other (p. 444) issues be raised, and Germany and France become involved, so that the question became one of the hegemony of Europe, we should then decide what it was necessary for us to do. He seemed quite prepared for this announcement, and made no criticism upon it.

"He said French opinion was calm, but decided. He anticipated a demand from Germany that France would be neutral while Germany attacked Russia. This assurance France, of course, could not give; she was bound to help Russia if Russia was attacked."

Grey telegraphed Ambassador Goschen at Berlin of his conversation with Prince Lichnowsky, in which he had pointed out

"that the Russian Government, while desirous of mediation, regarded it as a condition that the military operations against Serbia should be suspended, as otherwise a mediation would only drag on matters, and give Austria time to crush Serbia. It was, of course, too late for all military operations against Serbia to be suspended. In a short time, I supposed, the Austrian forces would be in Belgrade, and in occupation of some Serbian territory. But even then it might be possible to bring some mediation into existence, if Austria, while saying that she must hold the occupied territory until she had complete satisfaction from Serbia, stated that she would not advance further, pending an effort of the powers to mediate between her and Russia."

In a following message Grey related to Goschen a second conversation with Prince Lichnowsky, in which he told the German Ambassador that, in event of a general war, the issues might be so great that it would involve all European interests, and he should not think that Great Britain would stand aside.

"He said that he quite understood this, but he asked whether I meant that we should, under certain circumstances, intervene?

"I replied that I did not wish to say that, or to use anything that was like a threat or an attempt to apply pressure by saying that, if things became worse, we should intervene. There would be no question of our intervening if Germany was not involved, or even if France was not involved. But we knew very well, that if the issue did become such that we thought British interests required us to intervene, we must intervene at once, and the decision would have to be very rapid, just as the decisions of other powers had to be....

"The German Ambassador took no exception to what I had said; indeed, he told me that it accorded with what he had already given in Berlin as his view of the situation."

In still another message Grey informed Goschen that he had said to the German Ambassador, in reference to the suggestion of San Giuliano, the Italian Prime Minister of mediation between Russia and Austria, that it would not be mediation to urge (p. 445) Russia to stand aside and give Austria a free hand to go any length she pleased.

Grey informed Ambassador Bunsen at Vienna that Austro-Hungarian Ambassador Mensdorff, had offered to submit him a long memorandum justifying the action of his government toward Serbia. Grey refused to discuss the Serbian question now that the peace of Europe was imperilled. The greater question settled, the powers might be free to obtain satisfaction for Austria in the lesser.

"In reply to some further remarks of mine, as to the effect that the Austrian action might have upon the Russian position in the Balkans, he said that, before the Balkan war, Serbia had always been regarded as being in the Austrian sphere of influence."

Bunsen reported to Grey that the news of Russian mobilization was not generally known in Vienna.

France. M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, notified the Ambassadors at St. Petersburg, London, Berlin, Rome, Vienna, and Constantinople, and the Minister to Serbia, that the Austro-German attitude was becoming clearer.

"Austria, uneasy concerning the Slav propaganda, has seized the opportunity of the crime of Sarajevo in order to punish the Serbian intrigues, and to obtain in this quarter guaranties which, according as events are allowed to develop or not, will either affect only the Serbian Government and army, or become territorial questions. Germany intervenes between her ally and the other powers and declares that the question is a local one, namely, punishment of a political crime committed in the past, and sure guaranties for the future that the anti-Austrian intrigues will be put an end to. The German Government thinks that Russia should be content with the official and formal assurances given by Austria that she does not seek territorial aggrandizement and that she will respect the integrity of Serbia; in these circumstances the danger of war can come only from Russia, if she seeks to intervene in a question which is well defined. In these circumstances any action for the maintenance of peace must take place at St. Petersburg alone.

"The attitude at Berlin, as at Vienna, is still dilatory. In the former capital, while protesting that the Germans desire to safeguard general peace by common action between the four powers, the idea of a conference is rejected without any other expedient being suggested, and while they refuse to take any positive action at Vienna. In the Austrian capital they would like to keep St. Petersburg in play with the illusion of an entente which might result from direct conversations, while they are taking action against Serbia.

"In these circumstances it seems essential that the St. Petersburg Cabinet, whose desire to unravel this crisis peacefully is manifest, should (p. 446) immediately give their adherence to the British proposal. This proposal must be strongly supported at Berlin in order to decide [Secretary of State] Von Jagow to take real action at Vienna capable of stopping Austria and preventing her from supplementing her diplomatic advantage by military successes. The Austro-Hungarian Government would, indeed, not be slow to take advantage of it in order to impose on Serbia, under the elastic expression of 'guaranties' conditions which, in spite of all assurances that no territorial aggrandizement was being sought, would in effect modify the status of eastern Europe, and would run the risk of gravely compromising the general peace either at once or in the near future."

Vittorio Emanuele III, King of Italy.

Ambassador Paléologue telegraphed from St. Petersburg that Russia would acquiesce in any measures proposed by France and Great Britain to maintain peace. Minister Klobukowski reported from Brussels that the Belgian Government regarded Germany's attitude as enigmatical, and justifying every apprehension.

"It seems improbable that the Austro-Hungarian Government would have taken an initiative which would lead, according to a preconceived plan, to a declaration of war, without previous arrangement with the Emperor William.

"The German Government stand 'with rounded arms' ready to take peaceful or warlike action as circumstances may require; a sudden intervention against us would not surprise anybody here.

"The Belgian Government are taking steps which harmonize with the statement made to me yesterday by M. Davignon that everything will be put in readiness for the defence of the neutrality of the country."

Ambassador Dumaine reported from Vienna:

"The French Consul at Prague confirms the mobilization of the Eighth Army corps, and that of the Landwehr division of this army corps. The cavalry divisions in Galicia are also mobilizing; regiments and cavalry divisions from Vienna and Budapest have already been transported to the Russian frontier. Reservists are now being called together in this district.

"There is a rumor that the Austro-Hungarian Government, in order to be in a position to meet any danger, and perhaps in order to impress St. Petersburg, intend to decide on a general mobilization of their forces on July 30, or August 1. The Austrian Emperor will return from Ischl to Vienna to-morrow."

Ambassador Paléologue reported from Berlin that Austria-Hungary refused direct conversation offered by Russia.

"Austria is hurrying on her military preparations against Russia, and is pressing forward the mobilization which has begun on the Galician frontier. As a result the order to mobilize will be dispatched to-night to (p. 447) thirteen army corps, which are destined to operate eventually against Austria."

Ambassador Jules Cambon reported from Berlin his interview with the German Secretary of State. Von Jagow was awaiting reply from Vienna to his request to hold direct conversation with Russia. He considered that the Serbian reply afforded a basis for negotiation.

"I said that it was just on that account that I considered the rupture by Austria, after she had received such a document, inexplicable.

"The Secretary of State then remarked that with eastern nations one could never obtain sufficient guaranties, and that Austria wished to be able to supervise the carrying out of promises made to her, a supervision which Serbia refused. This, in the eyes of the Secretary of State, is the cardinal point. I answered Herr von Jagow that Serbia, as she wished to remain independent, was bound to reject the control of a single power, but that an International Commission would not have the same character. The Balkan States have more than one, for instance the Financial Commission at Athens. One could imagine among other combinations, a Provisional International Commission, charged with the duty of controlling the police inquiry demanded by Austria; it was clear, by this instance, that the reply of Serbia opened the door to conversations and did not justify a rupture.

"I then asked the Secretary of State if, leaving aside direct conversations between Vienna and St. Petersburg to which Sir E. Grey had given his adherence, he did not think that common action could be exercised by the four powers by means of their ambassadors. He answered in the affirmative, adding that at this moment the London Cabinet were confining themselves to exercising their influence in support of direct conversations."

He gave a summary of the interview between Bethmann-Hollweg and British Ambassador Goschen.

"The attitude of the German Chancellor is very probably the result of the last interview of Sir E. Grey with Ambassador Lichnowsky. Up to quite the last days they flattered themselves here that England would remain out of the question, and the impression produced on the German Government and on the financiers and business men by her attitude is profound."

Ambassador Dumaine reported from Vienna that he and his British, Russian, and Italian colleagues agreed that war is now certain between Austria and Serbia since all attempts to avoid it have failed. The Italian Ambassador, Duke d'Avarna, said

"it is very probable that the imminence of a general insurrection among the Southern Slav inhabitants precipitated the resolutions of the [Dual] Monarchy. He still clings to the hope that, after a first success of the (p. 448) Austro-Hungarian arms, but not before this, mediation might be able to limit the conflict."

M. Bienvenu-Martin, Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs, informed the ambassadors at London, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Rome, Vienna, and Constantinople, and the minister to Serbia, of a semiofficial communication made by the German Ambassador.

Germany, said Baron von Schoen, was continuing its efforts to induce Austria-Hungary to hold direct conversations with Russia, being in no way impeded by her ally's declaration of war on Serbia. Germany did not know Austria's intentions.

A second message was sent to these French representatives abroad reporting an interview of M. Bienvenu-Martin and the Russian Ambassador at Paris.

M. Isvolsky communicated the telegram from Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs to Berlin, notifying Germany of Russian mobilization in the southern provinces, and the telegrams from Sazonof to London asking Great Britain to use her influence as quickly as possible with Austria to secure cessation of military operations, and stating that he believed Germany was favoring her ally's uncompromising attitude.

Ambassador Barrčre at Rome reported that the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs had been officially informed of the above telegrams.

M. Viviani, who had now reached Paris and resumed his office of Minister for Foreign Affairs, instructed Ambassador Paul Cambon at London to request Sir Edward Grey to renew at Berlin his proposal of four-power mediation, the principle of which had been accepted by both Germany and Russia.

"I would ask you also to point out to the British Secretary of