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SEPTEMBER 27, 1916
Offices, 381 Fourth Avenue, New York
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 vastsiege. 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 Gerinans 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 country donian 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 Forces at Salonika, tactfully suppressed this revolt without losing the friendship of the rebels. But the effect was immediate in another quarter. The King was alarmed, and removed the Army Chief of Staff. It appears that the Germans had relied greatly on this officer, if we may believe the Munich “Neueste Nachrichten,” which called this act “ the first success of the Allies, whose consequences will be of great value. The Entente," continued this Munich paper,“ obtaining a transformation of the Greek General Staff, will try to substitute officials on whom the Entente can rely.”
But another and larger event also had its influence. Rumania had entered the war. The “ Nachrichten" was perfectly frank about this, acknowledging that “Greece must follow Rumania's example.” Of course Venizelos in the “ Kirix" did not fail to urge the entry of Greece into the war alongside of Rumania.
Will she enter ? That is the question. At all events, the new Premier, Kalogeropulos, has demanded of Bulgaria and Germany the immediate return of Greek soldiers captured by the Bulgarians, plainly indicating that the alternative will be war.
they are in league with the Czech Committee abroad. This is evidenced by a declaration signed at Chicago by Bohemian Deputies who managed to escape from Austria to this country. They admit that the Bohemian nation of its free choice called to the throne a King of the Hapsburg family, but assert that the dynasty has been aiming at the construction of a single great Austrian state, thus violating its agreement to maintain Bohemia's external and internal independence. They also assert that the present war has intensified the antagonism between Bohemia and Austria, war having been declared without the approval of Parliament because " the Vienna Government was afraid to listen to the voice of the Austrian peoples, for the majority would have been against the war. The Bohemian representatives would have protested most vigorously, therefore the Government did not consult a single Bohemian Deputy or leader before taking the momentous step. . . . Sympathy for Russians, Servians, and their allies was universal [in Bohemia]. ... The events of this terrible war and the reckless violence of Vienna constrain us to claim independence without regard to Austria.”
In its turn, the New York Czech Relief Association claims that of all the warring nations Bohemia has received the least consideration. If Belgium and Poland are paying sacrifices, so is Bohemia.
Who knows but that the ancient prestige of the Bohemians—the old Boii of Cæsar's campaigns—may return! They were the only people who checked Charlemagne's progress. They defeated Attila, and drove him and his Huns back to the Carpathians. In Jan Hus they produced an immortal leader and saint. They were the first Protestants. Their Comenius was a foremost educator of the Middle Ages. Among celebrated modern composers are their Smetana and Dvořák; among modern singers and virtuosi, their Kubelik, Slezak, Burian, and Destinn; among poets is their Machar, now in prison under a charge of treason, one whose poetry has ever been inspired by the hope of his country's resurrection.
Certainly among the anomalies of the war the case of Bohemia is pathetic and appealing.
When we speak of a “ Bohemian life,” we generally refer to a happy-go-lucky, very unconventional existence, the sort of thing lived by the gypsies who roam through Bohemia. Indeed, they make Bohemia a land of contrasts. In the north the German element preponderates, and, though the Germans occupy not more than a seventh of Bohemia, their wealth is about six-sevenths of the total. But wealth weighs little with the Czechs, the Bohemian-Bohemians, so to speak, and they are against the Germans, whether in their own land or in Vienna, whither Bohemian delegates must go to the Reichsrath, or Austrian Parliament.
For centuries the ancient Kingdom of Bohemia has been a part of Austria. Emperor Francis Joseph is King of Bohemia. He has been not unpopular in that Kingdom, but when he wars on the fellow-Slavs of the Bohemians he is unpopular, and imprudent Bohemian Deputies in Vienna become “suspect." According to the Paris "Temps" and the “ Journal de Genève," some of them have now been condemned to death for high treason and are in prison awaiting execution.
One of the counts against them is that
The irrepressible Villa will not down. Either he is dead or he is not; at all events, the forces operating in his name, in
their latest attack have certainly carried out ranza tax decrees, the railway situation, the his methods so vividly as to suggest that proposed reconstruction of the judicial syshe himself must have been either among tem, etc. Doubtless certain questions have them or directing them. This latest attack been asked by our representatives relative to occurred at the city of Chihuahua.
various phases of Mexican national life, inone saw Villa in the city; prisoners from his tended to enable all the Commissioners to command swore that he was on Santa Rosa form an intelligent opinion of the whole hill directing the fighting. His forces cap- Mexican situation, in the light of which tured the Federal and State palaces and the they might decide the matter of border propenitentiary, with a consequent release of tection. Doubtless also our Commissioners prisoners. The Constitutionalist troops sur- have been studying the Carranza decrees in. rounded the palaces captured, and after fierce the light of complaints made to them by fights in the streets completely defeated the Americans who declare that the decrees Villistas, who lost, according to one account, amount to disguised confiscation. On the about one hundred and sixty killed and some other hand, the Mexicans explain that the ninety taken prisoners and shot; according decrees put Mexican and foreign interests on to another account, six hundred men in killed the same footing, allowing preference to and captured. A rather amusing addendum neither ; that under them Mexican developto the despatches states that, after the battle, ment by foreign capital should be more orderly the troops of the Constitutionalist com- than heretofore, when, by reason of prefermander “ were able to take part in the regular ences given to foreigners, complications with Independence Day parade.” Some think foreign governments have arisen. By the that the attack was prepared by enemies of new policy of equal rights, it is added, Mexithe Constitutionalist government to occur at can conditions should become more peaceful the very time when American and Mexican because less subject to outside contentions. conferees were trying to compose the differences between the two countries, as showing NICARAGUA IN TROUBLE that the Villistas are still active in the field. Nicaragua is having trouble from Costa On the other hand, it is declared that the Rica on the south and from Honduras and severe defeat inflicted on the rebels serves to Salvador on the north. prove the strength of the de facto Government Costa Rica was aroused by the recent and its ability to pacify the country.
treaty between Nicaragua and the United With regard to the work of the American States. It provides for an option for the and Mexican conferees at New London, no possible construction of an interoceanic canal agreement can yet be registered on the first and the right to maintain a naval base in the problem to be solved, namely, the question Bay of Fonseca in the Pacific. A new canal of safeguarding the border line.
would probably involve the San Juan River, as long as there is reason for keeping the boundary between Costa Rica and Nicatroops on the border we cannot take them ragua ; at all events, Costa Rica declares that away. The condition of taking them away an interoceanic canal across Nicaragua canwould be the suppression of the border not be built without affecting her lands and raiders. But that they are far from being waters, hence she claims the right to be consuppressed is shown by the Chihuahua inci- sulted before any right in the San Juan dent. If the Villistas can capture palaces and River can be ceded. prisons and release prisoners at Chihuahua, · Salvador and Honduras claim the right to we must feel that all northern Mexico is still be consulted before Nicaragua cedes rights in a state of outlawry. Whether the Amer- for a naval base on the Bay of Fonseca, beican troops on the border should be of the cause their territory also borders that Bay. militia or only of the regular army is another In the latest issue of the “ American Journal question.
of International Law," Señor González, eviThe first intimation that the two sections dently a Honduran, affirms that the existence of conferees were at all at cross-purposes in of a community of interests and rights in the their view of the limitations of their delibera- Bay of Fonseca means really a joint jurisdictions came in the rumor that, contrary to the tion by Honduras, Salvador, and Nicaragua liking of General Carranza, a discussion of over that bay ; that the right of self-defense the internal affairs of Mexico was being justifies Honduras and Salvador in opposing pressed by our men—a discussion of the Car- 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
in the north. exclusive benefit inalienable rights of the true
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
Alicts. 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 RepubliUnder 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