The War Illustrated, The Story of the Great European War, Volume I, The First Phase

C ?tutor's orrtoorti HE great conflict of the European nations, brought about by the overmastering ambition and narrow-minded self -sufficiency of the German peoples which changed with awful suddenness all the long-established conditions of civilised society will belong memorable for a minor but altogether extra­ordinary circumstance. Not only has this German-made war to be accountcd the most stupendous upheaval in all history, but it is the first great armed conflict to be adequately recorded during its progress by means of the most wonderful inventions of human ingenuity. If the telegraph and the instantaneous camera had been in existence during the Napoleonic wars how differently the social life of those times would have been affected, and what an abundance of documentary evidence would have accumulated for the study and instruction of later generations !RUE we are all familiar with many of the count­less drawings and sketches of the battles which took place in that epic age of France the features of Napoleons great leaders are also well known in their numerous painted portraits. But what would we not give to-day for a few photographs of actual scenes in the retreat from Moscow or on that fateful June day one hundred years ago when Wellington supported as the exigencies of the time demanded by the very nation which to-day is Britains bitterest enemy sealed the fate of the great warrior the descendants of whose armies are now by times revenge our warmest allies ?Herein the Great European War which differs from all other wars in magnitude and character differs in its chronicling from all others of the past. The perfection of the telegraph the almost uncanny efficiency of the wireless have enabled the whole world day by day—nay hour by hour—to follow the epoch-making events in Europe in Asia and on the remotest reaches of the seven seas. ITHIN an hour or two of a great naval encounter in the North Sea the story had been told .in our daily Press and within a day or two newspaper readers were looking upon actual photographs of the vessels going into action the sinking of a mighty battleship and the admiral who had charge of the memorable operation was seen in photographic reproduction stepping ashore or attending the funeral of one of his men fallen in the action !Soused are we in these marvellous times to the resources of modern progress that we are apt to accept as commonplaces things that are full of wonder and it is doubtful if the average reader more than dimly realises the tremendous importance of the inexhaustible photographic documents which have been presented to him hot-foot on the actualities by the illustrated Press of to-day. Yet in years to come these will be looked on by new generations of our people with the profoundest interest for they tell a story more vivid than the most skilful pen can write. T is not too much to say that among the con-temporary records of the Great W arno publication has achieved the unique distinction of The War Illustrated. Devoted almost exclusively, to recording by means of the camera every aspect of the historic happenings in the course of the world-wide hostilities it has presented to the reading public a collection of contemporary photographic evidence such as a few years ago could hardly have been conceived. Its pages have teemed with pictorial records the interest of which will long endure and no one in the years to come who seeks to refresh his memory—or, it maybe to acquaint himself for the first time with the outward form and evidence of these world-shaking events—will be able to turn to a more valuable store­house of documentary evidence than is found within the pages of The War Illustrated. J T Twas felt that in view of the great importance of its pictorial contents and the popular inform which the publication was first issued an edition printed on superior paper which would do more justice to the illustrations and would naturally endure much longer than the cheaper publication was imperatively called for. Hence the publishers of The War Illustrated instead of binding up the separate parts for after-sale in volume form have decided to meet this demand by the publication of its contents in the superior form of this “album deluxe.” Such errors areas inevitable to any rapidly-produced periodical have been carefully corrected although the Editor is happy to state that few indeed had found their way into its pages. The pages of the earlier parts have been rearranged in sections and many valuable additions have been made in the shape of colour plates and also in the publication of a revised and largely re-written story of The First Phase of the War. HUS in^S every sense of the word it will be admitted that this revised and re-edited edition of The War Illustrated is worthy of its description as an “album ”dc luxe and the completed work, wherein the Story of the War is "told by camera pen. "and pencil worthy of a place on the shelves of tlw: most select libraries in the land. J. A. 11.
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