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SEPTEMBER 27, 1916
THE STORY OF THE WAR:
though it meant the retirement of the French THE GENERAL SITUATION
and the capture of many places, including On the whole, the week ending September fortified positions, had all the effect of a 20 resulted in a net loss for Germany French victory. It might seem that the gains and Austria, and a corresponding net gain which the Allies have been making in the for the Allies. There was no marked change Somme region, involving the capture of a netin the military situation. The movements work of trenches, are so far similarly profitof the troops simply continued in the di- less. There is, however, this difference. rections which they had already taken. The Those who are besieged gain nothing of war, as we have said, can best be pictured material value unless they break through inas a vast siege. Germany and Austria vesting lines; but those who are carrying on are surrounded by enemies, like a city in the siege may gain materially by driving the vested by a hostile body of troops. Although besieged further in. This is what the French during the week the besieged made some and British have been doing. The Germans progress in one or two places, they felt the have their lines outside of their own territory lines tightening around them.
and are occupying a large part of Belgium On the western front, in the Somme region, and rich territory in France. The British and both the British and the French have con French, therefore, may be said to have two tinued their advance. On the Italian front objects. The chief object is to destroy the the situation is not essentially different. On German forces; but the secondary and by no the eastern front the Germans have suc means unimportant object is to drive the ceeded in stemming, for the time being, the Germans out of France and into their own closing in of the Russians. Along the Black country. The Allied gains, therefore, on Sea, in that part of Rumania known as the the Somme have a significance which the Dobrudja, the German Field Marshal von German gains at Verdun did not have. Mackensen, leading forces of Germans and Bulgarians, has continued to make progress THE MILITARY against the Rumanians and their Russian OPERATIONS allies. But on the other side of Rumania, During the week of September 13-20 the where the combat is much more significant, French captured the important villages of the Rumanians in their turn have been mak- Vermandovillers, Berny, and Déniécourt, ing progress against the Austrians. Further while the British advanced to within four south, near the Mediterranean along the miles of their goal, Bapaume. In some reGreek frontier, the Bulgarians, fighting on spects this advance by the British is the most the side of Germany, have met with reverses notable made by them since the Angloinflicted by the English, French, Servian, French offensive began on July 1. Although Russian, and Italian troops; while in Mesopo- Thiepval, strongly fortified, still holds out, tamia and Egypt there have been reports of the British have gained all the high ground Turkish defeats.
between the Pozières-Bapaume road and the It cannot be too often repeated that the important town of Combles to the south. main object of such warfare as characterizes On the eastern front the Russians have the combats in Europe is for one side to been so far prevented from getting much break down the lines of the other, and to closer to their immediate objectives, the cities capture or otherwise destroy the army of the of Kovel and Lemberg, and have been reenemy. Mere territorial loss, so long as the pulsed again and again by the Galician conlines remain intact, does not mean defeat-in tingent of the Austro-German troops in the fact, may be coincident with success. The attempt to take the town of Halicz. fruitless attack upon Verdun by the Germans, Since Rumania has entered the war Rumanian troops have been fighting on two Powers, simply because of appreciation of sides of that country. On the Black Sea the efforts, nearly a century ago, of France, side they have been opposing within their England, and Russia in liberating Greece own territory the advance of Bulgarians and from the Turkish yoke. The three Powers Germans under Mackensen ; but on the by treaty declared themselves responsible for other side they have been in turn on foreign their work, guarantors of its lasting character, territory, fighting against the Austrians in and protectors of the state which they had Transylvania, a region occupied largely by brought again to independence and standing. Rumanians, but belonging to the Austro. Of course Greece, a sea power, must ever Hungarian Empire. The region where the be dependent on the Mediterranean sea Rumanians are fighting against the Germans powers-England, France, Italy. and Bulgarians is called the Dobrudja. It is In March, 1915, Eleutherios Venizelos, that part of Rumania that is cut off from the the Greek Prime Minister; attempted to comrest by the Danube, and the fighting has been mit his country to the side of France, Engso far largely in the region formerly belonging land, and Russia in the present war, first, by to Bulgaria. Unless the Germans and Bul the endeavor to detach Bulgaria from a garians work their way up northward to the possible alliance with the Central Power3, railway which, running from Constanza, on through the offer to her of the Greek port of the Black Sea, to the Rumanian capital, Kavala, on the Ægean; second, if this proved Bucharest, crosses the Danube, the main successful, by the immediate aid of the territory of Rumania would seem to be in Greek army and navy in the Gallipoli struggle. little danger. The Rumanian forces have been This plan was unfortunately frustrated. The falling back, although reinforced by Russians Greek minority had the King on their side! who have come down from the north. It But a King and a minority cannot forever may be assumed that before the railway is prevail against a Venizelos and a majority. reached the Rumanians and Russians will At first, indeed, affairs looked gloomy for the give battle on ground of their own selection. majority. The King mobilized his army and On the other hand, the Rumanians in Tran- ordered elections, knowing that the soldiers sylvania have met with success of a greater afield could not vote, and that the remaining military importance than the advance of citizens were mostly on his side. The result Mackensen in the Dobrudja by domination of the elections thus favored the King, of the upper reaches of the Maros and Aluta and the successors of Venizelos as Premier Rivers. Here the Rumanians are making were sympathizers with the monarch. But gains in what they regard as territory to be each new Premier has seemed less and less redeemed.
sympathetic; indeed. Alexander Zaimis, who Along the Greek frontier the Bulgarians has just retired, obtained, in general, the have lost the Greek city of Florina, which support of Venizelos, who nevertheless in they have held for some time, and have been his organ the “ Kirix” criticised Zaimis for repulsed along the Struma River. Here the not having taken the precaution of asking reconstructed Servian army on the western England, France, and Russia, in their demand. flank of the Allied forces has fought with the for Greek mobilization, to allow the Macefury of those who have seen their countrydonian troops to remain on a war footing. devastated and occupied, and who are deter- But the Greek gendarmes in Salonika, the mined to recover it. The Servians are pro great port of Macedonia, put themselves on ceeding up the valley of the Cerna River a war footing. They are over a thousand toward Monastir. If they should recapture strong. Many of them are Cretans and conthis city, it would be both a moral and a mili sequently stanch Venizelists (Venizelos is a tary victory of considerable importance. Cretan). The other day they suddenly repu
diated their former authority, paraded the GREECE
streets, watched by large crowds of Salonikans They have a new Cabinet in Greece. It all shouting“ Zito !” (Hurrah.) The genseems as if they were always having new darmes distributed a proclamation in which Cabinets. The reason for the latest change they said that the present state of affairs had is that Greece has changed.
lasted long enough, and that the time had A majority has always existed, it is be- come for Greece to place herself at the side lieved, in favor of France, England, and of France, England, and Russia, “ who have Russia, as opposed to the Central European always been her friends."
General Sarrail, Commander of the Allied they are in league with the Czech Committee Forces at Salonika, tactfully suppressed this abroad. This is evidenced by a declaration revolt without losing the friendship of the signed at Chicago by Bohemian Deputies who rebels. But the effect was immediate in an- managed to escape from Austria to this other quarter. The King was alarmed, and country. They admit that the Bohemian removed the Army Chief of Staff. It appears nation of its free choice called to the that the Germans had relied greatly on this throne a King of the Hapsburg family, but officer, if we may believe the Munich“Neueste assert that the dynasty has been aiming at Nachrichten," which called this act “ the first the construction of a single great Austrian success of the Allies, whose consequences will state, thus violating its agreement to maintain be of great value. The Entente," continued Bohemia's external and internal independence. this Munich paper,“ obtaining a transformation They also assert that the present war has of the Greek General Staff, will try to substi- intensified the antagonism between Bohemia tute officials on whom the Entente can rely." and Austria, war having been declared with
But another and larger event also had its out the approval of Parliament because “ the influence. Rumania had entered the war. Vienna Government was afraid to listen to The “ Nachrichten” was perfectly frank the voice of the Austrian peoples, for the about this, acknowledging that “Greece must majority would have been against the war. follow Rumania's example." Of course The Bohemian representatives would have Venizelos in the “ Kirix" did not fail to urge protested most vigorously, therefore the the entry of Greece into the war alongside Government did not consult a single Boheof Rumania.
mian Deputy or leader before taking the Will she enter ? That is the question. At all momentous step. . . . Sympathy for Russians, events, the new Premier, Kalogeropulos, has Servians, and their allies was universal (in demanded of Bulgaria and Germany the im Bohemia). ... The events of this terrible mediate return of Greek soldiers captured by war and the reckless violence of Vienna conthe Bulgarians, plainly indicating that the strain us to claim independence without alternative will be war.
regard to Austria.”
In its turn, the New York Czech Relief BOHEMIA
Association claims that of all the warring When we speak of a “ Bohemian life,” we nations Bohemia has received the least con
ly refer to a happy-go-lucky, very un- sideration. If Belgium and Poland are payconventional existence, the sort of thing lived ing sacrifices, so is Bohemia. by the gypsies who roam through Bohemia. Who knows but that the ancient prestige Indeed, they make Bohemia a land of con- of the Bohemians—the old Boii of Cæsar's trasts. In the north the German element campaigns—may return! They were the preponderates, and, though the Germans only people who checked Charlemagne's occupy not more than a seventh of Bohemia, progress. They defeated Attila, and drove their wealth is about six-sevenths of the total. him and his Huns back to the Carpathians. But wealth weighs little with the Czechs, the In Jan Hus they produced an immortal Bohemian-Bohemians, so to speak, and they leader and saint. They were the first Protare against the Germans, whether in their estants. Their Comenius was a foremost own land or in Vienna, whither Bohemian educator of the Middle Ages. Among celedelegates must go to the Reichsrath, or Aus brated modern composers are their Smetana trian Parliament.
and Dvořák; among modern singers and For centuries the ancient Kingdom of Bo- virtuosi, their Kubelik, Slezak, Burian, and hemia has been a part of Austria. Emperor Destinn ; among poets is their Machar, now Francis Joseph is King of Bohemia. He has in prison under a charge of treason, one been not unpopular in that Kingdom, but whose poetry has ever been inspired by the when he wars on the fellow-Slavs of the hope of his country's resurrection. Bohemians he is unpopular, and imprudent C ertainly among the anomalies of the war Bohemian Deputies in Vienna become “sus- the case of Bohemia is pathetic and appealing. pect." According to the Paris “Temps” and the “ Journal de Genève," some of themVILLA AGAIN have now been condemned to death for high The irrepressible Villa will not down. treason and are in prison awaiting execution. Either he is dead or he is not; at all
One of the counts against them is that events, the forces operating in his name, in
ranza tax decrees, the railway situation, the proposed reconstruction of the judicial system, etc. Doubtless certain questions have been asked by our representatives relative to various phases of Mexican national life, intended to enable all the Commissioners to form an intelligent opinion of the whole Mexican situation, in the light of which they might decide the matter of border protection. Doubtless also our Commissioners have been studying the Carranza decrees in the light of complaints made to them by Americans who declare that the decrees amount to disguised confiscation. On the other hand, the Mexicans explain that the decrees put Mexican and foreign interests on the same footing, allowing preference to neither ; that under them Mexican development by foreign capital should be more orderly than heretofore, when, by reason of preferences given to foreigners, complications with foreign governments have arisen. By the new policy of equal rights, it is added, Mexican conditions should become more peaceful because less subject to outside contentions.
their latest attack have certainly carried out his methods so vividly as to suggest that he himself must have been either among thein or directing them. This latest attack occurred at the city of Chihuahua. While no one saw Villa in the city; prisoners from his command swore that he was on Santa Rosa hill directing the fighting. His forces captured the Federal and State palaces and the penitentiary, with a consequent release of prisoners. The Constitutionalist troops surrounded the palaces captured, and after fierce fights in the streets completely defeated the Villistas, who lost, according to one account, about one hundred and sixty killed and some ninety taken prisoners and shot; according to another account, six hundred men in killed and captured. A rather amusing addendum to the despatches states that, after the battle, the troops of the Constitutionalist commander “ were able to take part in the regular Independence Day parade.” Some think that the attack was prepared by enemies of the Constitutionalist government to occur at the very time when American and Mexican conferees were trying to compose the differences between the two countries, as showing that the Villistas are still active in the field. On the other hand, it is declared that the severe defeat inflicted on the rebels serves to prove the strength of the de facto Government and its ability to pacify the country.
With regard to the work of the American and Mexican conferees at New London, no agreement can yet be registered on the first problem to be solved, namely, the question of safeguarding the border line. Of course, as long as there is reason for keeping troops on the border we cannot take them away. The condition of taking them away would be the suppression of the border raiders. But that they are far from being suppressed is shown by the Chihuahua incident. If the Villistas can capture palaces and prisons and release prisoners at Chihuahua, we must feel that all northern Mexico is still in a state of outlawry. Whether the American troops on the border should be of the militia or only of the regular army is another question.
The first intimation that the two sections of conferees were at all at cross-purposes in their view of the limitations of their deliberations came in the rumor that, contrary to the liking of General Carranza, a discussion of the internal affairs of Mexico was being pressed by our men-a discussion of the Car
NICARAGUA IN TROUBLE
Nicaragua is having trouble from Costa Rica on the south and from Honduras and Salvador on the north.
Costa Rica was aroused by the recent treaty between Nicaragua and the United States. It provides for an option for the possible construction of an interoceanic canal and the right to maintain a naval base in the Bay of Fonseca in the Pacific. A new canal would probably involve the San Juan River, the boundary between Costa Rica and Nicaragua ; at all events, Costa Rica declares that an interoceanic canal across Nicaragua cannot be built without affecting her lands and waters, hence she claims the right to be consulted before any right in the San Juan River can be ceded. - Salvador and Honduras claim the right to be consulted before Nicaragua cedes rights for a naval base on the Bay of Fonseca, because their territory also borders that Bay. In the latest issue of the “ American Journal of International Law," Señor González, evidently a Honduran, affirms that the existence of a community of interests and rights in the Bay of Fonseca means really a joint jurisdiction by Honduras, Salvador, and Nicaragua over that bay ; that the right of self-defense justifies Honduras and Salvador in opposing the establishment of our naval base within the
Bay, just as England and France opposed the These afford remarkably extensive and pronaval base which Germany proposed to es- tected fishing, the supply including whale, tablish at Agadir in Morocco, the opposition walrus, seal, salmon, cod, and herring. of Honduras and Salvador being specially But the mainland has an even greater justified, indeed, as their coasts and islands resource. The abundance of coal and the within the Bay of Fonseca are within the rushing torrents present potential power range of artillery from the Nicaraguan shores which, if translated into electrical energy, where the naval base sought by the United would make Greenland, as Admiral Peary States would be established.
says, “a power-house for the United States. On the other hand, we have the statement Strategically, Greenland, or a part of it, of the Nicaraguan Foreign Office:
might become a naval base. The mere claim to restrict the legitimate ac. Thus, as a whole, Greenland should be of tion of Nicaragua over the whole or any part of great value to us. Why should we continue the territory which belongs to her as a sover- to disregard this opportunity ? We plan to eign nation, on the ground of alleged dangers purchase the Danish possessions in the cenand of a sui generis solidarity by which the
tral part of the Western Hemisphere, yet do neighboring country completely and absolutely
not plan to purchase the Danish possessions and upon that ground acquired for its own and exclusive benefit inalienable rights of the true
in the north. Aside from Greenland's comowner, is so excessive and beyond every princi
mercial and strategic value, its possession by ple of international justice and rectitude that it
us, like that of the Danish West Indies, would cannot be thought for a moment that there eliminate one more possible cause of future should be a people who would be willing to con conflict arising from the ownership by a sent to a discussion of such questions under comparatively weak European state of terrisuch an aspect.
tory in this hemisphere. Costa Rica, Salvador, and Honduras carried their opposition to the Central American POLITICAL HAPPENINGS Court of Justice at Cartago, Costa Rica. In many States the Presidential campaign This is a tribunal to pass upon Central has been subordinated to other political conAmerican questions; and, as a venture in ficts. This is the season of party primaries. international peace, it received from Andrew Some of these are of more than local interest. Carnegie the gift of a Court House. This In New York interest was divided between Court has just rendered a decision against
the struggle between Governor Whitman, Nicaragua Nicaragua announces, so it is re- Republican, and Samuel Seabury, Democrat, ported, that she will not accept the decision. for the gubernatorial nomination on the ProIn consequence there are strained relations gressive ticket, and between Representative between Nicaragua and the three challenging Calder and former Ambassador and SecreCentral American Republics.
tary of State Robert Bacon for the Republic Under these circumstances it is interesting can nomination for United States Senator. to note that our cruisers San Diego and Though the Progressive primary itself was Chattanooga have arrived in Nicaragua waters, not important, it was regarded as significant and that the hundred American marines who because if Judge Seabury (who formerly had have been at Managua, the Nicaraguan capi run for Judge on the Progressive ticket and tal, ever since the latest revolution, are still was esteemed highly in the State by the there.
Progressives) were successful, it would be
looked upon as an indication of the popuGREENLAND
larity of the Wilson Administration. The day In connection with our purchase of the after the primary it appeared that Governor Danish West Indies, protests are heard in Whitman was successful in the Progressive this country against our renunciation of any primary, as he was overwhelmingly successpossible rights in Greenland.
ful over his opponent, William M. Bennett, in Greenland is the largest island in the world. the Republican primary. He will therefore Its area is about that of the United States be both the Progressive and Republican east of the Mississippi. The interior is cov- candidate for Governor, while Judge Seabury ered with an immense sheet of ice, rising will be the Democratic candidate. here and there to altitudes of some ten thou- In the Senatorial primary William M. sand feet. The ice-free land is a strip along Calder had the backing of the organization. the southerly coast. It is indented by fjords. Mr. Bacon entered the primary struggle at a