The War Illustrated, The Story of the Great European War, Volume X, The Last Phase

&tvitor0 otc toy oIn meX i ITM this volume our pictorial history of the war is brought to its glorious and happy end. The period covered in these pages is from August 4th 1918—when with the opening of the fifth year of the world conflict the tide of victory had turned indefinitely favour of the Allies—to June 28th. 1919 when in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, Germanys plenipotentiaries affixed their signature to the Treaty of Peace dictated by their conquerors. The three months from August 8th to November nth —when the Armistice ended the awful killing time—witnessed a succession of triumphs of the allied arms and of British arms in particular unprecedented in military annals. The succeeding months were occupied with negotiations of statesmen of an importance to humanity compared with which all previous human deliberations arc insignificant. Epic contests and crowning mercies are the subject matter of the volume here presented to the world. VEN the briefest summary of the British operations on the western front in the last fourteen weeks of the war stirs the heart alike trumpet-call. O 1 1 August 8th the British Fourth Army began its offensive east of Amiens with the object triumphantly achieved of clearing Amiens and of reducing the "pocket' there. Then came the great fight for Bapaume and the Second Battle of the Somme the Canadians break-through the Wotan line between Drocourt and Queant and the storming of the outer defences of the main llindenburg Line. Cambrai fell to the British on October 9th after a terrific onslaught on the Hindenburg defences the previous day over a front of twenty-one miles this being the really decisive battle of the war. October 14th brought the battle lor the Belgian Coast with the capture of Zeebruggc and Ostend and the enforced German evacuation of Belgium. Valenciennes fell on November 1st and 011 the nth victorious Britons re-entered Mons where invincible Britons had begun their heroic fight to save civilisation. 0 the glorious arms of France were ascribed in the same period the victories at Lassigny massif, Laon I.a Fdre the Forest of Gobain and in the Argonne Forest where soldiers of America shared the laurels of their comrades of the sister Republic. September 12th-15th saw the Americans swift and sweeping triumph in the salient of St. Mihiel and on November 6th Old Glory was borne into Sedan. Elsewhere too the might of the Central Powers was crumbling into dust. All alike out.-generalled and out-fought the Bulgarians surrendered unconditionally 011 September 30th the Turks 011 October 30II1, the Austrians 011 November 3rd. All her buttresses thus knocked away Germany succumbed and on November nth of imperishable memory accepted the Allies terms presented to them by Marshal Foch. F the other historic events recorded in this volume, there is only space to name (lie surrender of the German submarines off Harwich and of the German High Sea Fleet to Admiral Sir David Beatty off the Firth of Forth the most dramatically impressive humiliation of a once great Power ever witnessed and. less spectacular but of infinite importance to humanity, the meeting of the Peace Conference in Paris with the inauguration of the League of Nations and the signing of the Peace Treaty at Versailles. Proportionate commemoration is made of all the outstanding incidents of the world-wide unrest as the great storm of war subsided including the occupation by the Allies of the bridge-heads of the Rhine and the prosecution of military operations against the armed forces of Bolshevism in Northern Russia. URVEYING this now completed work as a whole, the Editor has no false shame in declaring his pride and pleasure in the satisfactory accomplishment of a task of a magnitude far greater than could be estimated in advance. Out of and around the Great War there will arise a literature much more vast than that already devoted to the Napoleonic Wars of a' hundred years ago. But however many the books maybe that shall be published in the future, and whatever their nature this pictorial record will never be superseded. In the ten volumes of The War I l lust rated Alb u mare preserved thousands of the best of the innumerable official photographs of every salient event in every department of human inactivity the greatest crisis of world history authentic pictures, palpitating with the life that was in them at the time, of the men who fought and the women who worked without intermission through five most awful years that freedom might not perish from off the earth. Of that noble army of men and women 110 more complete or adequate pictorial representation can ever be forthcoming than is contained in the scries of volumes here concluded. Their gradual compilation has been a laborious task but ample reward is contained in the knowledge that here is one monument to the heroes and heroines of the Great War which can never cease to enthral and inspire those before whose eyes its pages arc unrolled. J. A. II.
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