The War Illustrated, The Story of the Great European War, Volume II, The Winter Campaign 1914-1915

4 tit tor's ^Jotc to FoKtttnc ee this volume the marvellous panorama of the i. Groat War is carried one stage further. The reader will understand of course that it is not possible to present in a series of interdependent tableaux the precise dramatic progression of the war the whole upheaval having been so full of surprises involving so many peoples and spreading to such far parts of tin: earth that no record placing the whole into proper historical perspective yetis practicable— that is an affair of future years. Nay it is doubtful if such an undertaking will ever prove within the compass of any historians power. But it is possible approximately t >divide the great drama into progressive scenes and acts, and this we believe w chave attempted not unsuccessfully in The War I llu st rated Album "-de-Luxe .V N our initial volume the first three months of the war j Z fell roughly but naturally into what we described as “The ”First Phase which may beheld to have ended while the great struggle of the Germans to reach Calais was still undecided. This ineffectual and costly movement of the enemy which called iip against him the whole weight of the British Army, magnificently supported by the gallant remnant of Belgium's much tried forces has come to be known popularly as “The Great Coast Hattie.” But it was a battle the beginning of which it would be difficult clearly to indicate and the end of which had come while evidence was still lacking that the German defensive had been decisively broken. It was a “battle ”that lasted over many weeks and included in its long course numerous subsidiary battles many of which in limes past would have been accounted worthy of a whole volume of history. Indeed the struggle for the coast so vital as it eventually appeared to the success of German arms was in itself a war !This we must always bear in mind :that in thinking of the Great War we arc thinking of 110 spocific campaign but of many distinct and individual wars raging in this stricken world of ours at the same time. It is a world at war of which in these crowded pages of photographic records the camera enables us to catch many and curious glimpses “from China to Peru." llli purpose of our work is frankly to subordinate ij v the pen to the camera and to use the powers of the descriptive writer and the historian in creating in the mind of the reader a clear idea of the general course of events the better to appreciate the enduring value and high documentary importance of the work of the camera. In away we have reversed the old order of things. The picture formerly the hand-maiden of the story here plays the principal part while the pen fills a subsidiary but still important and admirably discharged role. Y describing this second volume as "The Winter Campaign— 1914-15 ”we have given it a title which even the historian of the future is likely to adopt as the great feature of the fighting that took place after the opening stages of the battle for the coast was the extraordinary inclemency of the weather. In olden times it was the custom of armies to“go into "winter quarters and in tliis wonderful war, which has revived the most ancient weapons such as the catapult and the sling hand-grenades as well as the very latest inventions of the scientific mind the winter season in which the armies of the East and West were fighting seemed to abe revival of the rigorous past— it was more terrible in its severity than any experienced for many generations. From the beginning of November 1914 until the middle of February 1915, man was not only warring against man throughout the Continent of Europe and in Asia and Africa as well as 011 the great ocean highways but the elements of Nature seemed to have declared war against all mankind. ANY of the interesting photographs in the present volume place 011 record the wintry aspects of the battlefields from the Caucasus and Carpathians to the Belgian coast and the extra­ordinary field of interest which this volume covers is also noteworthy for the cameras of our correspondents have yielded scenes from every quarter of the world where the effects of the war have assumed material form. One could write at considerable length 011 the courage and resource of the men to whom these pictorial records are due for many of the photographs have been taken at grave risk of the photographers life and among the direct contributors to The War Illustrated are included a large number of French and Belgian officers and soldiers who under great difficulties have taken in the trenches and along the firing front many of the most interesting pictures reproduced in our pages. E SPITE the elaborate plans of the British authorities for discouraging the adequate illustration of actual war scenes our readers will probably agree with the writer in thinking that we have succeeded more thoroughly than might have been hoped in maintaining the high pitch of human interest in our actual war photographs and our preparations in this re­spect have proved so adequate that we foresee no lessening of pictorial interest in the volumes that are to follow. In this volume Mr. Arthur D. Inncs M.A. continues the narrative of the war and it would be impossible to put into less space abetter historical view of this strange pageant of warring nations than is contained in his account of the Winter Campaign. Mr. Innes is one of the most eminent of living British historians and his contri­bution to The War I llu st rated Album -de-Luxe gives it a special literary distinction. J. A. 11.
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