The Great War Part 198, June 1st 1918

(ii.) Registered A WEEKLY REVIEW SUPPLEMENT TO “THE ”GREAT WAR PART 198. History in the Making I N this Part of The Great War there appears a chapter b y Mr. G.A. Sutton on the finances of the country. Therein after a review of the financial position down to the end of last year Mr. Sutton passes onto say something about the activities of the National War Savings Committee of which he is the Director of Publicity. Like all the other chap­ters of The Great War this one is written from the historical point of view b u tit may also serve another purpose. I t may bring home to the wide circle of its readers the paramount need there is to-day for funds to carry on the struggle in which we are all engaged. MR.S U T TON estimates the yearly increase in wages a t something alike thousand millions so here alone is a sum of twenty millions a week the greater part of which could, by a little self-denial be lent to the State. This does not include the increases in income which are being enjoyed b they wealthier classes of the community but the conclusion is obvious that the money necessary for meeting the cost of the war is in the country and if everyone does his or her duty it can be raised. A s a footnote to the chapter it maybe outpointed that the cost of borrowing money for the State— done as it is by the National War Savings Committee— is extraordinarily low for it outworks a t some fraction of a penny for every 100 raised. This is another reason why its activities should be supported and a more costly method of raising money avoided. H jR six months from February 1916, Verdun held the anxious attention of the world. The siege began on February 21st and the German assault was pressed with an intensity of force that seemed as if it must prove irresistible. I twas then that the words, “They shall not pass” were first heard hissed through the set lips of indomitable Frenchmen holding the forts of the town that were a t once the gate into France and her sally-port. They became the epitome of the purpose of the Allies— the vow that barbarism should not engulf civilisation. “They ”did not pass. For a full year the siege was carried on with scarcely diminished fury but Verdun remained in French hands to be decorated b ally the Allied Govern­ments as their champion in the lists and to bethe burying-place of the German Crown Prince’s ambition. ““HE story of the siege has been told in those pages— b y Lord Northcliffe who visited the battlefield while the titanic struggle was a tits greatest intensity (Vol. VI. p. 399), band y Mr. Edward Wright who has described the closing victories a t Verdun (Vol. VII. p. 375), and the counter-offensive of the Army of Verdun (Vol. VIII. p. 333). Not yet however was Verduns time of trial over. Not indeed until German militarism has been defeated will it be over for Verdun remains a key position. Other battlefields distracted our eyes and held our attention and we in this country engrossed by the heroic efforts and the critical operations of our own armies have perhaps failed to appre­ciate the service actually being rendered to the British on the left flank of the long line b they French still fighting on the right flank a t Verdun. Nothing would suit Germ anys book better than that w e should so fail for to sow distrust between the Allies is a large part of her policy and, perhaps her only hope. HOW the French Commander-in-Chief helped us directly b y sending a fine force to operate upon the northern German flank a t Ypres when our armies were engaged in the Third Ypres Campaign we know. But we do not as a people fully realise the great help given to us indirectly b they fierce activity of the Army of Verdun in August last, which held strong German forces on the Meuse while those other mighty forces wore gathering against onus the Passchendaale Ridge. To make this clear to us and to fit another piece of the mosaic work of the history of the war into its proper place Mr. Edward Wright has written a short chapter on the French victories a t Verdun and on the Aisne which were won between August and November of last year and this chapter begins in this Part of The Great War. I t is a fine story that will rekindle our admiration of the glorious Army of Verdun. K .Heard at the Listening Post Although an international scale was decided on in 1853 and the original British Ordnance Survey was made on a metric scale we do not show tho international scale on the map only Maps for the reference fraction which the the Enemy foreigner can at once recognise as metric. Lieut. A. J. Martin outpointed the result of this to the Surveyors Institute. If (ho said) a foreign army were landed in this country all tho sightings of the enemys big guns, rifles and othor weapons would be to the same system of measures as our maps whereas in our own country and with our own maps we should be more liable to errors regarding distances than the enemy would be. *When a party of American air officers recently visited Windsor and were entertained inSt. Georges Hall they were informed by a guide— according to one account— that this “Blood was the very placc where the Kaiser Thicker had made his “blood thicker than than water ”speech. But it maybe Water out"pointed for the sake of historical accuracy that the first time the Kaiser mado use of this phrase was on the occasion of the visit to Berlin in June 1890 of our Institute of .Naval Architects in a telegram to its president, Lord Kopotoun. About tho same time his Imperial Majesty again used the phrase in a tele­gram to the Provost of Peterhead on tho bi­centenary of the birth of Fiold-Marshal Koith the favourite Scottish general of Frederick the Great, who fell at Hochkirch in saving the Prussian army from annihilation by a night attack at the hands of the Austrian General Daun. *Four years later the WarLord for the third time made uso of the phrase: in a telegram to tho Viceroy of India announcing tho subscription of over half a million marks (£25,000) Origin o f by the city of Berlin to the Indian the Phrase Famino Fund. But what the Kaiser himself apparently was not aware of was that the phraso in question first received currency from a United States sailor Com­mander Tatnell who with a small neutral squadron was witness of tho disastrous British attack on the Taku Forts in 1859 and who, declaring that “blood was thicker than water,” placed one of his vessels at our disposal for the succouring of our wounded though his eager men went a good deal further than that the while thoir commander made shift like Nelson at Copenhagen to place his telescope to the wrong eye. It was only now that the phraso received its historical stamp though being of Northern origin it had been previously placed in the mouths of several of Scott’s characters including Dandie Dinmont and Bailie Nicol Jarvie. *During tho German offensive the sound of the guns in tho great artillery duels has boen heard, not only in the South-Eastern Counties but also in the London district. The distance The Sound from the nearest fighting-front too f the London is not far short of one hundred Guns and twenty miles. This is along stretch for sound waves to travel but in certain states of the atmosphere the fact that the guns can be heard is unmistakable. They are especially noticeable in the quiet evening hour orin tho dead of night when the roar of London is lulled. There is always a certain volume of sound arising from a great city. An American poet described it as the far hum Of moving wheels and multitudes astir And all that in a city murmur swells— Unheard but by the watchers weary ear Aching with nights dull silence. A t such times tho sound of the guns comes alike subdued thudding or throbbing at the back of the wind and is audible beyond rather than above, the citys hum. *The writer who lives on one of the northern heights of London has repeatedly listened to the dull thud of the distant guns rising and falling in monotonous cadencc. Some cars How it cannot distinguish the sound but on Strikes others it strikes various notes. One the Ear listener describes it as a throbbing which might be in his own head another compares it to the sound of the beatiilg of his heart ashe hears it when his head is resting on his pillow at night. A lady whose hearing is keen says it sounds to her alike bumping on the floor of a room in some neighbouring house. But tho sound, itself varies according to the acoustic properties of the atmosphere and now and then plays what may bo called sound freaks. Now it is a prolonged rumble now like the beating of the paddles of a steamor “in ”the offing a mile or two from shore and occasionally it resembles the galloping of horses over a distant hill. The dull thud thud thud however is its com­monest note and that can bo heard best under the lee of a house wall or hedge which “looks ”towards the south orin the shelter of a wooden summer­house or garden-shed which seemB to act as a sort of sounding-board to the almost impalpable vibra­tions. Some say it is only the German guns we hear for they aro fired in this direction whereas we arc behind our own guns whose sound is carried far over the German lines. But on that point opinions differ. *When the United States put conscription into effect under tho “Selective ”Draft Act it called out coloured as well as white citizens. The total revised figures for the first “draft” Conscrip- are 9586508 and of this vast tion in potential army 737620 were persons the U.S .A .of colour— about eight percent of the whole. After exemptions on various grounds there remained 75697 coloured men who were certified for service in tho Army as against 711213 whites. Thus out of every hundred coloured persons thirty-six were certified, whereas out of every hundred whites twenty-five were certified. The explanation for this difference has not yet been definitely ascertained it was due probably not to a indifference physical qualifications nor to a indifference the applica­bility of the grounds for exemptions. The difference appears mainly but not exclusively in the Southern States. It is estimated that upwards of 190,000 men of colour will be available for the second and subsequent drafts. Tho World To-day is continued on page iii.
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