The Great War Part 190, April 6th 1918

(ii.) Registered. "GREAT WAR PART 190. History in the Making kV E theN Bolshevists one must suppose, are dismayed now when it is too late at the greed with which the Teutonic eagles are gorging themselves upon their prey. The Russian debacle is indeed an appalling business and a convincing lesson that the only weapon with which to fight Germany is the sword. Arrangements have been made for a chapter of The Great War which will bring the story of events in Russia up to the date of tho signing of the disastrous “peace.” In the meantime, Mr. Wrights account of Germ anys attempt to procure alike disaster in Italy and of the way in which Italy countered the attempt is con­tinued in this Part and will bo carried on in a third chapter to the victorious stand made b y tho loyal and devoted Italian Army upon the A siago Plateau and Grappa front. PEOPLE in England anxious about tho development of the situation in Italy after the first news of the break-through a t Caporetto reached them showed some disposi­tion to think that there was some tardiness in the arrival of the British and French reinforce­ments on the Italian front. As a matter of fact, the transference of two modern armies from Northern and Central France to Eastern Italy in a month was a magnificent achievement in rapid organisation on a gigantic scale. The men marched entrained and marched sometimes over the Alps sometimes along the Lombard Plain but the transport of the vast machinery required in modern warfare was a different matter. The number of available locomotives was limited as so many were required b y tho armies already inaction and preparing for action on the western front and in all respects tho task was both huge and critical. The arrival of the western armies in the nick of time was an extra ­ordinarily creditable achievement. THE British Army took up a position on theM ontello Ridge so as to form a strong pivot casein a fighting and manoeuvring retirement from the mountain wall above Asola Was necessary. The French Army settled just above Asola to recejve the thrust which Von Below was expected to deliver from Mohte Tom ba.By thoir splendid recovery the Italians saved themselves but the Allies arrived in time to see tho final episodes in their victorious stand. Mr. Wrights account of the retreat and the recovery is remarkably vivid and its power to affoct the imagination is greatly increased by the fine panoramic views of the Isonzo Valley and the Asiago Plateau reproduced in photogravure in this Part of our History. Recovery from disorganisation in such a terrain could have been possible only to an Army inspired by tho loftiest patriotism and the most sublime valour. HE story of the Italian disaster and recovery will be followed by a chapter written by Mr. F.A. McKenzie bringing Canadas glorious record of service to the Empire up to date. The achievements of the Dominion upon the battlefield have been un­surpassed in brilliant heroism drawing upon her the particular attention of the German High Command but they do not constitute the whole sum of her efforts in the cause of civilisation and freedom. Mr. McKenzie’s survey of her manifold activities is most comprehensive and his eulogy will be found to be as discriminating as his summary of facts is complete. M AVE you ordered your binding-case for Volume fOX. The Great W a rand any earlier Volumes still unbound and if not will you please do so with as little delay as possible? I keep the question constantly and prominently before you at the urgent request of the publishing department whose work is made anxious and difficult by the shortage and 'greatly increased cost of many materials neces­sary in the manufacture yjf the cases. If sub­scribers to this History coulxl realise how greatly they would help the Editors and the publishers by such simple moans as giving a standing order for the weekly parts and if not a standing order for all future binding-cases at any rate a prompt order for each one as it is re­quired for a completed Volume I am sure they would comply at once with both requests and, incidentally thereby secure thoir own possession of the Standard History complete and in good condition. 7C. Heard at the Listening Post The Germans have directed that Russia shall “transfer her warships to Russian harbours and leave them there until the conclusion of a general peace or immediately disarm them.” A Naval For the present therefore while the Mystery 'Allies are deprived of the support the Russian fleets in the Baltic and Black Sea represented a sudden increase of tho German Navy is not yet an accomplished fact. Nevertheless the danger is there and the posses­sion by Russia of a number of ships for which the German Government would we maybe sure be willing to pay liberally and cash down is a tempta­tion to which any temporarily predominant party at Petrograd might succumb. It is really a puzzle why Germany did not insist upon the surrender of the Fleet as part of her peace terms. *There is some uncertainty as to the strength of the Russian Fleet in the Baltic since it is Un­known whether four battle-cruisers laid down at the end of 1912 have been passed The into service. These vessels— named Baltic Fleet Borodino Ismail Kinburn and Navarin— have a speed of 26-5 knots, and the unprecedented armament— for battle- oruisers— of twelve 14 in. guns on a tonnage of 32200. The acquisition of such ships would abe tremendous advantage to Germany for sinco the Battle of Jutland the British superiority in this invaluable type has not been as great as could bo desired. There is also uncertainty as to whether tho four light cruisers Greig Butakoff Spiridoff and Sbietlana have been completed. ThoSe have a speed of thirty knots an armament of fifteen 5-1 in. guns and alb the necessary equipment for “mothering ”seaplanes. The Fleet definitely known to be in commission comprises four twenty-throe- knot Dreadnoughts with twelve 12 in. guns two pre-Dreadnoughts armed with four 12 in. fourteen 8 in. and twelve 4-7 in. guns and a number of useful cruisers and destroyers. *In the Black Soa the Russians have three Dread­noughts with twelve 12 in. guns each— though one may not yet be ready for sea— six older battleships, and four cruisers besides lesser craft. The The possibility of these ships ever Black Sea passing into German hands is ren- Fleet dored the more serious by the fact that Austria already has in the Adriatic four Dreadnoughts armed with ten 14 in. guns of which two are perhaps not yet in service, and four others with twelve 12 in. as well as eleven older battleships of which three belong to the so-called “ semi-Droadnought ”type being armed with four 12 in. and eight 9-4 in. guns. Young officers stationed in Ireland for a time find the life thereto their liking. They are made more of than in country districts in England. The Irish ladies indeed cannot make Youth in enough of them and entertain them Ireland at tea-parties with a lavishncss that recalls the “good ould days beyant,” Home-made jams and potato-cakes aro surprises to hungry young officers fresh from the comparatively meagre mess-tables on tho other side of the Channel. Red Cross dances and bazaars are frequent and at a bazaar the other day a lieutenant picked up for eighteen-pence at the “rubbish ”stall a beautiful little Whistler etching. Returning to barracks he raffled it and was able the next today send another 10 to the Rod Cross fund. Along with this sum the winner of the raffle sent the etching itself. There is hunting also though it is not quite what it used to be and unmounted officers have a difficulty in picking up a dcccnt mount. For a thoroughbred screw not fit for training a dealer asks 3 3s. a day, and the sportsman takes his chance at the“ leps.” *Lord Denbigh related a remarkable incident at a meeting of the Royal Colonial Institute. A t Madeira the Germans first took an hotel then wanted a convalescent home and A n Incident finally desired to establish certain o f 1906 vested interests. They demanded- certain concessions from Portugal. Tho German Ambassador early in 1906 called on the Portuguese Government said and that if the concessions asked for were not granted the Kaiser would send his Navy up the Tagus to Lisbon. The Portuguese Government sent a telegram to London and that night the British Admiralty were on the point of mobilising the whole resources of the British Fleet. They thought of another way of meeting the' situation however and sent the Atlantic Fleet instead closeup against the Portu­guese coast. They let the Kaiser know what had happened through a non-diplomatic source with the result that the next day the German Ambassador had to call again on tho Portuguese Government and explain that he had exceeded his instructions. “When tho Americans learnt of that business," Lord Denbigh added “they expressed considerable disappointment at not being allowed to have a hand in it.” *An English nurse home on leave from France, says tho ”“Daily Telegraph relates a striking story of a German airmans fatal funk in the presence of danger. The aviator had taken part True to his in a reccnt raid on London. On the C olours return journey his inachino .was crippled and was forced to descend in France. The crow were captured and it was found that one of them was badly injured in the knee. He was sont to a hospital where he boasted of the ruin and deaths caused by German bombs in London. Two nights lateran air raid by his own comrades took place in the neighbourhood of the hospital in which he lay. So terror-stricken was tho wounded man that ho clambered out of bed and tried to seek refuge in a room below. In his condition of help­lessness and fright he fell headlong down the stairs, receiving fatal injuries. *The question what is a maroon ?—the name given to the rockets' or sound bombs which warn Londoners of the imminence of an air raid— is ofton asked and as few persons have What ii an exact idcja of these ingenious ex- a Maroon ?plosives a few notes will be of interest. Maroons are fired in a kind of paste­board cannonade. The projectile is cardboard, enclosing gunpowder and wrapped round and round with strong twine. It whizzes into tho air and explodes loudly and is dispersed without doing anybody any harm. ”These “pip-squeaks as they are popularly called have proved very successful as raid warnings. The word “maroon ”is derived from the ”French“ marron a chestnut and it is probable that the derived meaning is duo to the original fire-cracker to which it was applied, resembling a'chestnut in shape.“ M arron” also meant a kind of round knot of ribbon. The World To-day is continued on page iii. A WEEKLY REVIEW SUPPLEMENT TO “THE
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