Page images

ish was the Aubers ridge east of Neuve Chapelle. tro-German armies—including von Woyrsch's If successful, from Lens and Aubers the Allies army operating north of the Galician frontier, could press on towards Lille. By the evening Archduke Joseph Fredinand's, and von Mackof May 12th, Carency, the fortified chapel of ensen's own armies-concentrated east of CraNotre-Dame de Lorette, and the cemetery of cow between the Vistula and the Carpathians, Neuville St. Vaast had fallen into French Boehm-Ermolli attacking northward in the hands. From May 13 to the third week in June central Carpathians, von Linsingen further east the French were engaged in capturing the iso- menacing Stryj from Munkacs, and von Bothlated fortins or redoubts which the German en- mer and von Pflanzer in the extreme east. By gineers had constructed with astounding inge- feints in the direction of Stryj the Russians nuity, blocking the way to Lens. By the mid- were kept in uncertainty as to the direction dle of June the most formidable of these defen- from which the attack was to be delivered, if, sive works, the so-called “Labyrinth” (between indeed, the Russians realized at all the danger Arras and Neuville St. Vaast) –

-an intricate in which they stood. After a preliminary admaze of trenches and subterranean tunnels- vance east of Neu Sandec towards Gorlice, the was mastered by the French. But Lens re- main attack began on May 1st with an artillery mained uncaptured. The British in the mean- bombardment of unprecedented magnitude. The time had failed in their first assault on the Russian trenches along the eastern bank of the Aubers ridge, May 9th, because of insufficient Biala River, between Tarnow and Gorlice, were artillery preparation. A second assault on the blasted out of existence. In order to visualize German lines was delivered by the British at a the operation, the north-and-south line of the point a little further south, May 16th. This Biala River between Tarnow and Grybow may second assault, “the battle of Festubert,” con- be conceived as the cross-bar of a huge letter tinuing for 10 days, placed the British in pos- H lying on its side. The northern leg of the H session of “the entire first-line system of was the east-and-west railway running through trenches” on a front of 3200 yards, according Tarnow; the southern leg was the parallel railto Sir John French's report, and of the first way running through Novo Sandec, Grybow, and and second lines of German trenches on a front Gorlice. The brunt of the German attack was of two miles more. It was a distinct victory, on the cross-bar of the H, south of Tarnow. In but the objective of the attack had not been the middle of the cross-bar, the Biala River gained, and the British had once more been was crossed at Ciezkowice, May 2nd. Other forced to admit the superiority of the German Teutonic armies were thrown across the Donatechnique in trench warfare. The only other jetz River, north of Tarnow. Simultaneously important fighting on the Western front dur- an advance was made eastward along the southing the summer was the German offensive con- ern leg of the H, where Gorlice was captured, ducted by the Crown Prince in the Argonne May 2nd. If the legs of the H are continued from June 20th to the middle of July. The eastward, a second cross-bar will be discovered German front in the Argonne, as the result of in the Wisloka River, about 20 miles east of the midsummer battle, was advanced about 400 Tarnow and Gorlice. To this position the Rusyards; the forces engaged, however, were rela- sians fell back after the defeat of May 2nd, and tively small, and the strategic idea obscure. A in new trenches along the eastern bank of the British historian derisively describes the Ar. Wisloka they waited with grim determination gonne battle as “an attempt to retrieve a some- for von Mackensen's attack. It will be noted what damaged reputation on the part of a gen- that Dukla Pass lies almost due south of the eral (the Crown Prince), whom birth had cast Wisloka cross-bar, and that if the Germans for a part he could not fill.”

could cross the Wisloka, the Russian troops

which had penetrated into Dukla Pass would be (7) Von Mackensen's Drive in Galicia: May, virtually cut off. Realizing this danger, the June.

Russian defenders of the Wisloka fought des. perately. But irresistibly

Mackensen While in the West and on Gallipoli, the Brit- pressed on until he had crossed the Wisloka at ish and French armies were meeting with dig. Jaslo, May 7th. The Russians from Dukla Pass couraging results, in Galicia the Russian ar- fled towards the Wystok River, east of the Wismies of General Ivanov were sustaining a dis- loka. Here again they were hotly pursued by astrous defeat. Up to the end of April, the a German force, which crossed the Wystok, May Russian offensive, in spite of the inadequate 8th. Large bodies of fugitive Russian troops supply of munition which hampered General were made captive. A considerable part, how. Ivanov's campaign in Galicia, seemed to offer the ever, of the Russian Army of the Passes extri. brightest prospects of success to which the Al- cated itself in time to join the more northerly lies could look. The “military experts” of Eng portions of Ivanov's armies in a stand on the lish and French journals optimistically debated line of the San. The centre of the Russian line, the question whether Cracow or Hungary would on May 12th, before the battle of the San, rested be General Ivanov's next objective. Then sud- on the San River, from the fortress of Przemysl denly the amazing news was received that the to a point well north of Jaroslav; the right was Russian armies in Galicia were in full retreat, in front of the San; the left wing was bent back pursued relentlessly by General von Mackensen. behind the San. The battle of the San, one of The reason for the surprise was simple. With the most momentous engagements of the war, marvelous secrecy and speed Austrian and Ger- began on May 15th with a Russian counter-atman armies, aggregating about 2,000,000 men, tack, and ended on May 17th with the Austrians had been concentrated for a prodigious blow in crossing the river at Jaroslav, under the personal Galicia. Probably as many 1500 heavy observation of the German Emperor. Przemysl, guns, and thousands of lighter field pieces, with further south, held out until June 2. Meanunlimited supplies of ammunition, had been while von Linsingen, striking north through the placed in position. The whole group of Aus- Carpathians, captured Stryj, June 1st, and ad



[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]


Photographs by Paul Thompson



vanced north across the Dniester. Although against a Great Power which menaced its securvon Linsingen suffered severe punishment at the ity, the other members of the Triple Alliance hands of General Brussilov, the Austro-German would either join in the war, or "maintain advance continued to make progress. On June benevolent neutrality towards their Ally.” At 20th von Mackensen captured Rawa Russka, the outbreak of the War of the Nations, in Aunorth of Lemberg.

gust, 1914, Italy had remained neutral, anVon Mackensen's victory at Rawa Russka ren- nouncing that since Germany and Austria-Hundered Lemberg untenable and compelled the gary were engaged in an offensive war, the Russians to evacuate the strong line of lakes, casus foederis of clause III did not exist. Italy river, and marshes which constituted the “Gro- was therefore obliged simply to observe "benevodek position,” just west of Lemberg. On June lent neutrality” (clause IV). As the war pro22nd the Austrian General Boehm-Ermolli tri- gressed, however, the spirit of Italy's neutrality umphantly reëntered the city which the Russians became less and less "benevolent," and the Italhad captured nine months before. The fall of ian government accused Austria-Hungary of Lemberg may be taken as the crowning achieve- violating clause VII, which stipulated that as ment of the first phase of von Mackensen's great far as the "territorial status quo in the East” drive. The Russians had been driven out of was concerned, the Allies “will give reciprocally the Carpathian passes in headlong rout, Tar- all information calculated to enlighten each now, Jaroslav, Przemysl, and Lemberg had been other concerning their own intentions and those reconquered, and the Russians all but expelled of other Powers.” “Should, however, the case from Galicia—they still held a strip of Eastern arise that, in the course of events, the mainGalicia, including Sokal, Brody, and Tarnopol tenance of the status quo in the territory of the -within an incredibly brief space of time. At Balkans or of the Ottoman coasts and islands the end of June and during the first part of in the Adriatic, or the Ægean Sea become imJuly, von Mackensen's battering ram was pointed possible, and that, either in consequence of the north, into Russian Poland, presaging an even action of a third Power, or for any other reason, more ambitious Teutonic offensive.

Austria-Hungary or Italy should be obliged to During June alone the Teutonic forces cap- change the status quo for their part by a temtured 145,000 prisoners, 80 heavy guns, and 268 porary or a permanent occupation, such occupamachine guns. In recognition of his brilliant tion would take place only after previous agreesuccess, von Mackensen was appointed a field ment between the two Powers, which would have marshal. Archduke Frederick, commander-in to be based upon the principle of a reciprocal chief of the Austrian army, was similarly hon- compensation for all territorial or other advan. ored.

tages that either of them might acquire over

and above the existing status quo, and would (8) Italy's Intervention: May.

have to satisfy the interests and rightful claims

of both parties.” The clause had been invoked In May, while the Russians were in full re- by Austria-Hungary in the Turco-Italian War treat and while the British, slowly perceiving to restrict Italy's operations against Turkey. the gravity of the situation, were reconstructing It was now invoked by Italy, in December, 1914, their cabinet and establishing a ministry of to justify a demand for "compensation," since munitions to remedy the shortage of machine the Austro-Hungarian government had failed to guns and high explosive shells, a new factor inform Italy in advance of the intention to send became prominent, upon which the Allies had an ultimatum to Serbia, and had failed to arlong counted to redress the balance of power in range to compensate Italy for the new advantheir favor. Belligerent speeches by Italian tage which the attack on Serbia would give to patriots during the winter and spring, when the the Dual Monarchy. The Austro-Hungarian situation had seemed more favorable to the Al- government could retort that Italy had been inlies, had stimulated popular enthusiasm for formed as early as the summer of 1913 of Auswar to such a degree that in May, in spite of tria-Hungary's intention of taking action the Russian retreat and the British crisis, the against the Serbian menace (this fact was remomentum of the anti-Austrian movement car- ferred to by Signor Giolitti in a speech before ried Italy into the war. From the Green Book the Italian Chamber of Deputies in December, published by the Italian government to justify 1914). Furthermore, no "temporary occupathe war, and from the information made public tion” of Serbian territory existed, and the Auson the other side by the Austro-Hungarian and tro-Hungarian government had declared its inGerman governments, it is now possible to re- tention of respecting Serbía's territorial integ. construct at least the main outlines of the dip- rity. The Italian government, however, perlomatic maneuvres which preceded the Austro sisted in its demands. The port of Avlona on Italian break. The secret Triple Alliance the Albanian coast, whither an Italian landing treaty, first negotiated in 1882, when Italy was party was dispatched late in December, 1914 full of resentment against France for seizing (see ALBANIA), would only partially compen: Tunis, and renewed in 1887, in 1891, in 1903, sate Italy. In addition, Austria-Hungary would and most recently in 1912, bound Italy to the have to cede to Italy the Italian speaking disCentral Powers in a defensive alliance. From tricts around Trent and a strip of land along clauses III and IV of the treaty (as pieced to the Isonzo River. This amazing interpretation gether by the Vossische Zeitung from the of the Triple Alliance treaty was accepted in phrases disclosed in course of the negotiations principle by the Austro-Hungarian government in 1914–15), it appears that if either or both on March 9th, but only after a new Austroof her Allies, “without direct provocation on Hungarian foreign minister had been appointed their part" should be attacked by another (see Austria-HUNGARY). The German governPower, Italy would be obliged to join in the war ment, which had consistently advised the conagainst the attacking Power (III). If either ciliation of Italy, and had sent Prince von Ally should be forced to declare offensive war Buelow to urge moderation in Rome, offered to guarantee the execution of whatever terms ing its abhorrence of Italy's "treachery,” the should be agreed upon. The Italian demands, German government remained at peace with as formulated finally in April, embraced (1) Italy; a possible explanation of this anomaly the cession of the Trentino including the towns might be the belief in Germany that after breakof Rovereto, Trent, and Bozen; (2) an exten- ing her strength against impregnable Austrian sion of the eastern Italian frontier along the fortifications, Italy could be induced to make Isonzo River to include the strong positions of peace separately, deserting the Entente Powers. Tolmino, Gorizia, Gradisca, Plezzo, Monfalcone, THE ITALIAN PLAN OF CAMPAIGN. Italy's enand Malborghetto; (3) the erection of Trieste try into the war added to the Allied forces a into an autonomous state; (4) the cession of field army of 1,000,000 with 2,000,000 reserves several Dalmatian Islands; (5) the recognition (territorial militia), under the nominal comof Italian sovereignty over Avlona, and the dec. mand of King Victor Emmanuel, and the actual laration of Austria-Hungary's disinterestedness command of Count Luigi Cadorna, and a navy in Albania. At first Austria-Hungary abso- comprising 4 dreadnoughts, 10 older battleships, lutely refused the second, third, and fourth de- 20 submarines, 40 destroyers, and other craft, mands, and modified the first by reserving under the command of the Duke of the Abruzzi. Bozen. On May 4th Italy denounced her treaty Austria-Hungary at the outset was too much of alliance with Austria-Hungary. Unmistak- occupied in the Galician campaign (supra) to able preparations for war were pushed forward. take the offensive against Italy, and contented Before the final rupture, Austria-Hungary made herself with a naval and aërial raid on the a last attempt to purchase Italy's neutrality, Italian coast, from Venice to Brindisi, early in according to a statement made by von Beth- the morning of May 24th. Against Austriamann-Hollweg, May 18th, by offering (1) the Hungary's weakened resistance, it was predicted Italian part of the Tyrol; (2) the western bank that Count Cadorna's army would make brilof the Isonzo, “in so far as the population is liant progress. His plan of campaign was purely Italian,” and the town of Gradisca; (3) largely determined by geographic factors. The sovereignty over Avlona and a free hand in Al- main strength of the Italian army was concenbania; (4) special privileges for Italian na trated at the railheads along the southeastern tionals in the Dual Monarchy, and amnesty for portion of the Austro-Italian frontier, for an political prisoners who were natives of the ceded attack in force against the Isonzo River, just provinces; (5) "Trieste to be made an impe- east of the border line. Within a week the Italrial free city, receiving an administration giv. ian armies had penetrated Austrian territory as ing an Italian character to the city, and to far as the Isonzo and were ready to assail the have an Italian university.” Moreover, the main Austrian defenses, the fortified heights Austro-Hungarian government accepted the east of the Isonzo, from Monte Nero in the Italian demand that the concessions should be north to Monfalcone and the Carso plateau on made as soon as the new boundaries could be the coast: if this line could be carried, the way delimited, instead of awaiting the conclusion of would be opened for the capture of Trieste and the war. Signor Salandra, however, having the invasion of Carniola. “Against the middle tested the strength of the war-spirit by tenta- sector of the Austro-Italian frontier, which is tively resigning (see ITALY), was so confident simply a northward-bulging mountain ridge, of popular support that he refused to bargain General Cadorna sent only a comparatively thin longer, and on the evening of May 23rd the Ital. line of troops, with the commission of guarding ian government announced that the war against the passes and preventing an Austrian counterAustria-Hungary would begin the following day. invasion. In the first week of the war the ItalItalian intervention in the war must not be re- ians possessed themselves of the mountain pass garded simply as the culmination of unsuccess- called Val d'Inferno in the centre of the middle ful haggling over a few paltry patches of ter- sector, and captured Cortina, in the Val d'Am. ritory. Italy went to war first of all because pezzo, at the southern entrance to the Strada the people had been aroused to wild enthusiasm d'Allemagna, an important pass at the western for a war of emancipation to "redeem” the Ital. end of the sector. The third or western sector ian populations of Trent and Trieste from the of the Austro-Italian frontier was formed by hereditary enemy of Italian national unifica- the irregular triangle of the Trentino, jutting tion. At the same time chauvinistic journals scuthward into Italy. The strong popular senhad already begun to preach the doctrine that timent demanding the “liberation” of the ItalItaly as a great and growing Power must con- ian inhabitants of the Trentino, taken in comtest the possession of the Adriatic Sea with her bination with the military necessity of forerival Austria-Hungary, and must secure new stalling an Austrian invasion from commanding territories outside of the Italian peninsula. heights of Trentino, furnished ample justificaWhile chauvinists were frankly urging an ag. tion for an Italian offensive in this region. gressive war for imperial expansion, humani. With Trent as its ultimate objective, one Ital. tarian radicals were exhorting the Italian nation ian army penetrated the blunt apex of the trito join in the defense of civilization, democracy, angle, following up the valley of the river Adige and liberty against Austro-German militaristic and the basin of Lake Garda towards Rovereto imperialism. These three powerful sentiments and Riva. Simultaneously small parties of -anti-Austrian nationalism, aggressive imperi. Italian mountaineers attacked the mountain alism, and anti-German liberalism-enabled at passes along both sides of the triangle, threatleast a majority of the Italian nation to accept ening Trent from the east and from the west. with approval, if not with actual jubilation, the result of the diplomatic contest. The Italian

(9) Lull in the Serbian Operations : January declaration of war, as might have been expected,

September was received with delight in France and England, with deep resentment in the “Teutonic" After the exhausting campaign of December, countries. It is significant that notwithstand- 1914 (described in the YEAR BOOK for 1914),

« PreviousContinue »