The Great War Part 183, February 16th 1918

Great War EDITORS H. W .WILSON J. A. HAMMERTON E D ITO RIAL Y H^IT this Part of The Great War the end of *Mr. Wright's story of the Third Battle of Ypres is reached. The conclusion leaves the reader in a state of half incredulous amazement that mortal man could achieve victory when set to fight in conditions like those that hampered every movement of the British Second Army. One thought remains clearer in the mind than any other :troops that could carry Passchendaele Ridge, despite such appalling obstacles of mud and water can carry any position on ground firm enough to support the body that enshrines such indomitable spirit. The Germans Mr. Wright says were as ready for the closing battle of the ridge as it was possible to be they knew what was coming they prepared fully against it and in the clash that followed they were beaten through meeting better men than themselves. Sir Douglas Haigs Strategy T N his final general survey of the operations on the Flanders section of the western front Mr. Wright declares that Sir Douglas H aig completely misled the enemy commanders and so played his opponent that the Prussian WarLords continued to gather fresh divisions and new guns against him in the wrong place while washe!S withdrawing a powerful army for inaction Italy and out of his small and insufficiently trained reserves jp was organising another striking force for one of the most H unexpected blows struck on the western front since the first weeks of the war. CIR DOUG LASH A IG estimated that about one hundred fl and thirty German divisions were engaged Sand defeated b y less than half that number of British divisions in the seven months operations covered in his despatch p Even allowing for the element in calculation that the g“ new model German division Contained less effectives than San ordinary British division it is a cause for-pride and I§ encouragement that such costly defeat should have been inflicted on German divisions numbering more thanH double the British divisions employed against them- g And the defeat was very costly. A t Ypres there was Hi “absolute attrition "of the enemy. He was so worn fjjj down that in the view of the British Headquarters Staff H the additioh of strength he obtained from events in Russia ty j and Italy was largely discounted b y his tremendous losses So in effectives and ordnance amid the hills and hollows H of the Menin Road. Sir Douglas H aig has said that pi the operations during 1917 brought the ultimate- defeat g of the enemy appreciably nearer. Of the Third Battle! H n i of Ypres Mr. Wright con clu d es: “So after all the H Passchendaele Ridge seemed to be to the men who had P gained the dominating heights the field of a decisive f j though arduous half-veiled success preliminary to the patent!S overthrow of the enem yin that or Bothersome theatre of war." The claim is made with characteristic p modesty not so would Berlin have described the victory g at Passchendaele. The expectation will assuredly be fulfilled. Hi 1 The Kaiser in the Warp j A/fR .CHAR LES LOWE well known as a former Berlin i'll IV A correspondent of the ”“Tim andes author of two valuable historical biographies of Prince Bismarck and the German Emperor William II. has written a chapter on “The Kaiser in ”the War which will begin in the next Part of this history. The aim of the chapter is to present a personal portrait of the Kaiser such ashe himself with histrionic art has been careful to offer to the world throughout the war— a picture compounded from his manner of life in the field his manifold activities as a soi-disant soldier diplomatist and general showman his shuttlecock flights from one front to another his meetings with fellow-sovereigns and other phases of his life. For a quarter of a century it was the Kaisers boast that he was a “Prince ”of Peace and Mr. Lowe is ready to give! him whatever credit maybe his legitimately for the fact that he helped to keep peace. He makes it abundantly clear however that the Kaiser throughout that period was the chief creator of the war spirit with which his people became saturated and which he was unable to exorcise when the crucial moment came. He may have shrunk at the last moment from the actual use of the sword— braggarts not infrequently fear the actual test o faction— -but after posing all his life in “shining armour ”as the incarnation of the furor Teutonicus he ought not to bemoan as a misrepresentation the prevalent idea that he “drew the sword ”and did not have it “thrust into his hand.” A fR.y L OWES chapter is immensely interesting the Kaiser would be furious to hear that it is also distinctly amusing. To British eyes the WarLord has always been a somewhat comic figure and to British ears his orations have always sounded rather funny save when they have offended b y their blasphemy. Specimens of his sermons and proclamations and Army Orders are given in this forthcoming chapter all chosen as being representa­tive of the man and they provide matter for thought. Some form of egomania the Kaiser undoubtedly suffers from. One result is that he has always made a point of collecting all the newspaper references to himself and still has sufficient excerpts from the worlds Press pre­sented to him everyday in order that he maybe kept informed of what the world is thinking of Whim. e trust he will enjoy Mr. Low es report. The Conquest of East Africa FOL LOWING the portrait of the Kaiser there will be included in the present volume of The Great War a chapter b y Mr. Robert M achray completing the story of the conquest of German East Africa concluding the narrative given in the successive instalm ents in Volumes VII. and IX .People at home cannot be expected to realise the enormous difficulties that attended this cam­paign but some idea of the magnitude of the task success­fully accomplished b y Sir Jacob Van D eventer is given b they mention in the War Cabinets telegram of congratu­lation on its conclusion of the fact that in four months he had conquered nearly fifty thousand square miles of hostile territory. Between August 1st and November 30th, 1917 he captured 1410 Germans and other Europeans, 4149 native soldiers eleven guns and fifty-six machine- guns and as the upshot of his skilful generalship and the courage determination and endurance of his forces, the last and greatest oversea possession of the Germans passed finally from their hands. It was a great performance. The Great War—P a r t 183.
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