CH\ APTER GGLIV. THE FOURTH YEAR— THE DARKEST HOUR BEFORE THE DAWN— VICTORY AT LAST INSIGHT. By H. W. Wilson. R ussias Collapse and Germ anys Increased Strength— Unequalled Gravity of the Problem before the. Allies— Effects of Military Conservatism and Political Drift— Conflict between Brute Violence and the Laws of Humanity and. Justice-—All Free Nations Enrolled inD efence of Right— M oltkeism Marxism and Bolshevism— T he Mailed Fist in Finland— Examples of German Devilry— Murders of Prisoners and Outrages at Sea— Tourist Picnics to Scenes of Teutonic Crime— Perfidy of German Diplomacy— Croesus on the Throne and Croesus on the Funeral Pyre— Britain Transformed— Ludendorff's Boast and German Dreams of Victory— The Cyclone of March 1918— Benefits Seized from Disaster— Allied Command Unified— The Third Great German Offensive— A ustrias Failure on the P iave— The Worst Hours Over— F ochs Irresistible Counter-stroke— Developments in Siberia and Central Asia— The Dawn inSight. HE fourth year of the war was one of the most terrible twelvemonths through which civilised man has passed W5J 5^9 When it opened, the Russian “-Revolution was in full swing and the rout which had sealed the doom of the old Russia had taken place on the Galician front though the Peace of Brest Litovsk had not been made. If a nation is that for which its sons will die Russia had ceased to be such. This Russian collapse vitally affected the Allies in the west. Their offensives were beginning to breakdown before the increasing resistance of the German armies heavily reinforced by picked men and masses of artillery— much of it traitorously surrendered— from the eastern front. On the Carso and Isonzo General Cadornas troops in the positions which they had taken up to render the maximum of support to Russia by engaging as large as possible an Austrian army were now themselves in peril. The American forces SURRENDER OF JERUSALEM. Historic photograph taken on the morning of December 9th 1917 when the Mayor (with walking-cane and cigarette) and his white-flag party met the first British outposts before Jerusalem. were only beginning their training and though a small American army had appeared in Europe the problem for the Allies was one of unequalled gravity. It was to resist the German legions strengthened as these were by the armies which had hitherto been occupied on the eastern front, until the American units could complete their equipment and training and could arrive. The problem was complicated by the utter uncertainty which attached to the submarine position. No one could say what the submarines might do. The British Admiralty, then unreformed and ill- organised for modern war had failed to deal energetically with a situation which was full of peril. The bright was indeed black and the safety of the Allies was further endangered by an agitation proceeding openly or stealthily in Great Britain in France in Italy to provoke such anarchy as had ruined Russia paralyse the armies and by giving the battle to Germany to destroy forever human freedom. A 1
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