The Great World War A History, Part XII

What Might Have Been 227 in July. It is quite clear why the appeal was rejected. The British Head-quarters Staff thought that all the men it had to spare would be wanted for the September “Push ”in France. They were. But the Sep­tember campaign did not resolve itself into the great advance. A s shown in Chapters IX and X I it achieved a measure of success and stopped. If it had been an overwhelming success Serbias troubles would have been ended automatically for the Germans would not have had the forces with which to prosecute them. But as soon as the September thrust was at an end and any further advance in the West improbable then with Italy held and Russia immobilized there was nothing to prevent the Germans from outfitting anew expedition in their usual workmanlike style. Bulgaria recognized it. Greece recognized it.o £Serbia recognized it and a c cor ding toO o unofficial Serbian reports begged to be allowed to concentrate troops on the Bulgarian frontier. A Serbian officer writing in the Fortnightly Review of February 1915 defined the attitude of the Allies as follows:— “To the very last they appeared to be­lieve that Ferdinand would never venture to come into conflict with Russia Britain, and France. A s usual the weak had to give way :we allowed the B ulgars to mo­bilize and concentrate. When they were quite ready and the A ustro-G erm ans were making good progress in the north they began hostilities with the absolute certainty o f success for the Serbian army numbered barely 200000 men as against some 600,000 A ustro-G erm ans Band ulgars with plentiful artillery and unlimited ammunition.” At that the preliminary situation maybe left without any further at­tempt to apportion the blame to Russia for having been deceived at Sofia as to the resolution of Bulgaria or to Britain for having rested on the broken reed of Greece. It is reasonable to suppose that nothing abut reversal of the checks the Allies had suffered in the field the Russians in Poland and the British in Gallipoli would have affected the course of events very much. A s neither mobilization nor con­centration of 600000 men can be effected under many weeks the German Head-quarters Staff in con­junction with the Bulgarian Staff with whom they had conferred in Septem­ber must have matured their plans for sometime. Their task was not a difficult one and it resembled in many respects the closing of a salient such as had been created on a small scale at Przemysl or Wilna and on a larger scale about Warsaw. Serbia was itself a salient with Austria-Hungary 011 the northern and Bulgaria on the eastern side. While only an attack from the direction of Austria-Hungary 011 the north was to be met the enemy would himself have to create a salient in order to secure victory. In the Aus­trian attack of 1914 this had been done by holding the Serbians on the northern or Danube frontier with one army while another army marched southwards along the Drina in order to outflank the Serbians on the west. That attempt had a preliminary mea­sure of success. It was repelled because it was not undertaken with large enough forces or with forces of O O good fighting quality and leadership. In the campaign undertaken a year
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