Skip to main content

Full text of "The Literary digest history of the world war, compiled from original and contemporary sources: American, British, French, German, and others"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on Hbrary shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/| 

WcaTeww rwowT 







^ History of the World War 

Compiled from <)rit:i»'al and Coniii.:porMy 

Sources: Aineru:in, Britisli, IrciKli, 

Cierman, and Oliiers 



Author of "The Old Xno Yo>k F»"Hticr;' Ihiliur of "' r:*j.-f' i 
American l/iHtorif,'-' "S('tiny Hutopc vith t'tnnuuK Xuth-t.x ' 
"Balfour, Viriatii, and JofJr(\ TIu ir Spitj'*" 
in America," ite. 


The War AgaixjjT T'Rkky in tiik ''atcasi's, Eg\pt, Pai i:s:im?:, the 


Serbia's Trv.k' Defeat. Koumaxia OvhRRux and 


Tndkh D'Esjfkky 
August 1. 1914— r)ftolH'r. 1918 

© [VSlS © 






History of the World War 

Compiled from Original and Contemporary 

Sources: American, British, French, 

German, and Others 



Author of ''The Old New York Frontier/' Editor of "Great Epochs in 

American History/* "Seeing Europe with Famous Authors/* 

"Balfour, Viviani, and Joffre, Their Speeches 

in America/' etc. 



The War Against Turkey in the Caucasus, Egypt, Palestine, the 

Dardanelles and Gallipoli, Arabia and Mesopotamia — 

Serbia's Tragic Defeat, Roumania Overrun and 

the Final Victory of the Entente 

Under D'Esperey 

August 1, 1914 — October, 1918 

* •• •• 





(Printed in the United States of America) 

Copyright Under the Articles of the Copyright Convention of the 
Pan-American Republics and the United States, August 11, 1910 

• ■» 





I. TuEKEY AS Germany's Ally — The Bagdad Railway as 

Germany 's Road to India 3 

II. Egypt Attacked East and West op the Suez Canal — War 


Over by Great Britain (October 26, 1914 — February 2, 
1915) 15 

III. The Outbreak of War in the Caucasus, and the Armenian 

Massacres (November 19, 1914 — October 15, 1915) . . 34 

IV. A Year in the Persian Gulf and on the Tigris — Townshend 

Takes Kut-el-Amara, but Fails at Ctesiphon and Re- 
tires TO KuT (November 1, 1914 — December 30, 1915) . 56 

V. The Dardanelles and the Disastrous Allied Naval At- 
tempt TO Force Them, which Almost Succeeded (Novem- 
ber 2, 1914— March 5, 1915) 76 

VI. The Unsuccessful Land Operations at Gallipoli and the 
Evacuation — Achi Baba, Sari Bair and Anafarta (April 
25, 1915— January 10, 1916) 94 

VII. The Fall of Erzerum, Trebizond, and Erzincjan Under the 
Grand Duke Nicholas, and the Death op Von Der Goltz 
(February 15, 1916— June 26, 1916) 138 

VIII. Townshend *s Surrender at Kut-el-Amara — Kermanshah 


1916— August 8, 1916) 157 

IX. Revolt in Arabia and the New Kingdom of Hedjaz Set Up 

(June 23, 1916— July 12, 1917) 174 

X. Bagdad Falls to the British Under General Maude and 
Further Advances are Made (December 13, 1916 — April 
29, 1918) 187 

XI. The Conquest op Palestine and All op Syria, Followed by 

A Turkish D^bAcle (January, 1917— October 26, 1918) . 204 

• • • 





I. Balkan Peoblems of the Past, and the Joint Teutonic- 
Bulgarian Conquest of Serbia and Montenegro (Sep- 
tember, 1915— January 25, 1916) 239 

II. With the Allies at Saloniki — Bulgaria Invades Greece, 
but Monastir is Recovered and Constantine Abdicates 
(May 29, 1916— June 19, 1917) 289 

III. Mackensen and Falkenhayn, with Bulgarian and Turkish 

Help, Overwhelm the Roumanians (August 30, 1916 — 
January 31, 1918) . . . 325 

IV. Allied Successes in Albania and Macedonia and Bul- 

garia 's Surrender — D'Esp^rey in Command of the 
Allies (May, 1917— September, 1918) 368 




General Allenby ....... Frontispiece 

William II in a Turkish Uniform 2 

An American Relief Train Arriving in Armenia ... 53 
French Warships Sunk in the Eastern Mediterranean . 83 
The Allied Fleet at the Dardanelles . . facing page 88 
Three British Warships that Stormed the Dardanelles . 91 

British Forces Landing at Gallipoli 97 

The "River Clyde" Beached at Gallipoli 103 

Three British Ships that Served at the Dardanelles . . 113 

Turkish Troops Resting at Gallipoli 119 

Wounded British Tboops Landing in Egypt .... 127 
Anzac Cove from which a Large Force was Withdrawn . 

facing page 128 

A Road in the Caucasus Country 141 

Field-Marshal Von Der Goltz .... facing page 152 
The Entry op General Maude's Army Into Bagdad . . . 193 
Reading the British Proclamation in Jerusalem facing page 208 

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives 211 

Mayor of Jerusalem Ready to Surrender to General Allenby 217 
General Allenby Meeting the Jews of Jerusalem . . . 236 

Serbian Infantry 241 

An Historic Meeting in Nish .... facing page 256 

German Supplies En Route into Serbia 261 

King Peter o^ Serbia Watching a Battle 279 

Cattaro and Mount Lovtchen 287 

An Allied Camp and Field-Bakery at Saloniki . . . 311 
Former King Constantine and His Family .... 321 

King Ferdinand of Roumania 327 

A Roumanian White Bull as Army Mascot . ... 337 




The Kaiser Visiting Roumanian Oil- Wells . . . .359 

Athens from the Acropolis 371 

General Franchet D'Esperey facing page 376 

General View of Constantinople . . . facing page 384 


General Liman von Sanders 10 

The German Cruiser "Goeben" ....... 12 

The German Light Cruiser "Breslau" 13 

An Egyptian Camel Corps 17 

Australians in Camp Near One of the Pyramids ... 21 

A British Camel Corps Drilling 25 

French Soldiers Near Alexandria, Egypt 27 

Wounded Indian Soldiers Near Alexandria .... 29 

Camels Leaving Cairo for the Front 33 

Camels in the Caucasus 41 

Ancient Fortress of Otty in the Caucasus .... 43 

Armenians in a Trench Near Van 47 

Five Generations of Armenians 49 

A Log-Rapt Bearing Freight Down the Tigris ... 59 

The British Occupation of Bassora .63 

General Sir C. V. F. Townshend 67 

A Turkish Gunboat Sunk in the Tigris 70 

Turkish Battleship "Messudiveh" 82 

Sunday Service on Board "Queen Elizabeth" ... 85 

General Sir Ian Hamilton 94 

Rupert Brooke^ Poet 100 

Turkish Infantry Ill 

British Warship "Goliath" Sunk in the Dardanelles . . 133 
British Burning Stores on Leaving Suvla Bay. . . . 135 
Russians with Turkish Flags Taken at Erzerui«t •. . . 143 
A Russian Church Blown Up by the Turks .... 147 

Some of the Defenses of Tbebizond 153 

Wounded Men from the Tigris Leaving for India . . . 163 
The Emir Faisal, Son of the King of Hedjaz . . . 177 




The Flag of the New Kingdom op Hedjaz .... 183 
British Reclaiming Swamp Land in Mesopotamia . . 199 

General Sib Stanley Maude 201 

Armenians Escaping prom a Railroad Train .... 203 

A View op Hebron, in Palestine 213 

The City op Beirut, in Syria 223 

The Shrine op the Holy Sepulchre 225 

Street Scene in Damascus 227 

The Fortress op Aleppo 229 

Indian Cavalry Passing Through Damascus .... 233 
The Tomb op St. John the Baptist . . . . . . 235 

The Serbian Crown Prince Regent 245 

An Austrian Fleet in the Bay op Cattaro .... 249 

Concentration op Teutonic Troops 257 

Serbian Peasants Fleeing Bepore Teutonic Invaders . . 263 
German Bridge Across the Morava in Serbia .... 267 

Serbian Battery in the Field 275 

Serbian Crown Prince Inspecting Jugo-Slav Troops . . 277 

The Harbor op Corpu 283 

Reviewing Troops at Nish 285 

King Peter Mounting a Horse During His Retreat . . 288 

General Sarrail 290 

The Waterpront at Saloniki 297 

French Troops Disembarking at Saloniki .... 299 

French Soldiers in Saloniki. . . . . . . . 302 

Italian Troops Arriving in Saloniki . . . . . . 303 

British Troops Near Saloniki 305 

Russian Troops in Saloniki 306 

French Soldiers in a Vardar River Marsh .... 315 
British Highlanders Marching to the Front . . . 319 

A Corner OP THE Parthenon BY J^ooNLiGHT 324 

The Predeal Pass prom Roumania to Kronstadt . . . 339 

A Boulevard in Bucharest 345 

King Alexander op Greece 369 

EssAD Pasha 373 

Winter Scene in Albania 374 

• • 




durazzo, on the albanian coast 377 

The Harbor of Antivari 379 

French Officers Training Greeks 383 

Soldiers of the Greek Royal Guard 387 

Greek Troops on the March . 389 

Generals D'Esperey and Allenby in Constantinople . . 390 


The Environs of Constantinople and Gallipoli ... 7 
The Bagdad and Other Railways in Asiatic Turkey . . 14 

The War in Egypt facing page 16 

The Erzerum and Trebizond Territory 37 

The Erzerum^ Trebizond and Erzingan Operations . . 55 
British Operations in Mesopotamia . . . facing page 72 
Gallipoli_, the Dardanelles and the Sea of Marmora . . 79 

The Gallipoli Campaign facing page 104 

The War in Asia Minor facing page 144 

Kut-el-Amara 161 

Hedjaz facing page 184 

Saloniki and the Hills Beyond . . . . . . . 238 

The German -Austrian Conquest of Serbia . facing page 264 
The German Conquest of Roumania . . . facing page 328 
The Franco-Italian Operations in Albania .... 381 




Part V 

(£)UKJ>».Dai>.UHD».DOP. ■. t, 



HAD not the Turk dug his own grave and committed 
suicide? — this was the burden of most comments after 
Turkey forced the Allies to declare a* state of war with her. 
For several years Turkey had been in extreme peril ; the * * Sick 
Man of Europe" had, so to say, been kept alive by his 
friends, the doctors, altho they deemed his malady incurable. 
Except for the protection Germany gave her, the political 
existence of Turkey in Europe probably would have ceased 
after the Balkan wars in 1913. For this reason the Turk 
had voted to stand or fall, according as the war resulted in 
favor of or against Germany. His entrance into the great 
conflict had long been foreseen. Some trained observers 
went much further — for example, Sir Harry Johnston, the 
traveler, statesman, and diplomat, who had declared at the 
beginning of the conflict that Constantinople was ''the core of 
the war." 

The plans of Germany for years had meant the creation 
of a confederation of European and West Asiatic States, 
starting at the North Sea and going to the Persian Gulf, 
and including within its boundaries Holland, Belgium, Den- 
mark, Germany, Austria, the Balkans, Turkey, and Persia. 
Great overland roads from central and northern Europe to 
the Persian Gulf would thus have been controlled by Ger- 
many. As far east as Constantinople, the- completed rail- 
ways already existed. The completion of another line from 
Constantinople to Bagdad and the Gulf would not only have 
thrown open to European capital Asia Minor and the great 
plain of Mesopotamia, but would have furnished a commer- 
cial road to the East through which in time would flow a 
trade making the great confederation rich, and of this con- 
federation Turkey would have been an integral and essen- 
tial part. Adrianople, the key to the Balkans; Saloniki, the 


key to the Aegean; Constantinople, controlling the outlet 
of the Black Sea and the land approaches of Europe to the . 
Tigris and Euphrates valleys — all these an alliance with the 
Turk would have given to Germany. The stronger the 
Turkish State became, the better organized and the larger its 
army and fleet and the greater its resources, the more useful 
it would have been to Germany, and the more thoroughly 
would it have insured the success of Pan-Germanism. 

English and French control of Turkey through a long 
period had been fortuitous and artificial ; it depended solely 
on a little group of men in Constantinople. German in- 
fluence in Turkey, on the contrary, had acquired deep and 
fundamental roots in a large and significant part of the 
Turkish population, and had appealed to their highest im- 
pulses. Enlightened Turks honestly believed they saw in 
Pan-Germanism a democratic Turkey with constitutional 
self-government, a Turkey developing its own resources, 
gradually freeing itself from the fetters of European al- 
liances and becoming strong enough to take its place in the 
Pan-Germanic chain of states. On the other hand, they saw 
in the defeat of Pan-Germanism political and national death, 
the annexation of Turkey by its enemies, and its subjection 
to the rule of the Infidel. 

For more than a century Russia had been the hereditary 
enemy of Turkey. Russian aggression had swept away all 
ancient Turkish possessions east of the Pruth and north of 
the Black Sea, while Russia's support of the Serb and Bulgar 
had resulted in driving Turkish rule from the Danube to 
the Bosporus. Even there the Russian advance had halted 
rather than terminated, for Constantinople still remained 
the goal of Romanoff ambition. To plant the cross over 
Saint Sophia was the dream of Nicholas II in the twentieth 
century, as it had been that of Peter the Great in the 
eighteenth. Twice when Russia's soldiers were almost within 
sight of Constantinople, British intervention had prevented 
its capture. The Crimean War of 1854-56 and the arrival 
of British warships after the Treaty of San Stefano in 
1878 — ^these were the checks that had twice held back the 
Czar. But now the British were allied with the Russians, 
and so the chance that Great Britain, in her hour of 


triumph, would oppose Russia's ancient ambition was slight. 

If Russia were the immediate enemy of Turkey, Great 
Britain and France had become only less definitely so. For- 
mal British occupation of Egypt after the war began had 
already deprived the Turk of his finest province, and 
France, by acquiring Algeria, Tunis, and Morocco had further 
weakened Moslem power. To save Stamboul, to regain 
Egypt, Tunis, Algeria and Tripoli, to restore the ancient 
Mediterranean Empire of Mohammed, this had long been a 
vital part of the dream of every Turkish patriot. For the 
Turk, it was clear in 1914 that the final hour had come. 
If defeated, he must quit Europe and go back to his earlier 
home in Anatolia, lose Arabia, Syria, and the valley of the 
Euphrates, and surrender his half of Armenia. Even his 
primacy in the religious hierarchy of Islam might be lost. 

It was not until Germany acquired a paramount position 
on the European continent that she heard **th© East a 'call- 
ing,'' and it was then her professors who led the way. Dr. 
Sorenger, a distinguished Orientalist, cited Mesopotamia, 
the richest land of ancient times, as a fit field for German 
colonization. Economists pointed out vast natural resources 
that only waited to be developed for German commerce and 
industry — corn and wine, mineral deposits, oil-fields extending 
to the Persian Gulf, and fertile plains which would yield 
all the cotton required for the German market. 

Field-marshal von der Goltz was an early advocate of a 
forward German policy in Turkey — and was sent to Con- 
stantinople. To him the Golden Horn city seemed a bridge 
over which Germany could pass from Europe into Asia, there 
to find a field of adventure reaching to the Persian Gulf. 
Turkey became overrun with German manufacturers, engi- 
neers and capitalists. In 1888 the Deutsche Bank obtained the 
right to work a short railway from the Bosporus along the 
sea. of Marmora — a right that originally had been given to 
an English company. To this was added an extension line 
to Angora, which, after the Emperor's first visit, was pushed 
on with energy, and soon developed into a German monopoly 
of railway enterprise in Asiatic Turkey. German trade in- 
creased by leaps and bounds. Imports and exports were 
multiplied four fold within a decade. At Constantinople 


German influence became paramount. When other powers, 
and notably England, tried to curb Turkish misrule, Ger- 
many was ready to deprecate any interference with the 
sovereignty of the Sultan. 

In the autumn of 1898 William II, accompanied by the 
Empress, Inade a visit to Turkey, followed by a progress 
through Palestine and Syria. The Emperor entered Jerusa- 
lem as a Knight Templar, and appeared at shrines of the 
Christian faith, as the protector of Christendom. At Da- 
mascus he proclaimed himself the protector of Pan-Islamism, 
and defined what was to be henceforth the position of Ger- 
many not merely toward Turkey, but toward Turkey and 
Islam. Germany publicly recognized the Sultan's title as 
Calif, and so endorsed the greatest of his ambitions while ex- 
ploitation of the Ottoman Empire went on. Within the 
next twelve months a convention was signed between Dr. 
Siemens, director of the Deutsche Bank, and the Sublime 
Porte, conceding in principle to the German Anatolian Rail- 
way Company the right to be extended down to the Persian 
Gulf. A commission of German engineers, headed by the 
German Consul-General, and including a German military 
attache at Constantinople, was sent out to report on the 
route, while a German cruiser visited the Persian Gulf in 
order to discover a suitable terminus. 

The railways of European Turkey had already passed 
under control of the Deutsche Bank group. The new con- 
cession promised an early fulfilment of the great Pan- 
Germanic scheme, already known in Berlin as the B. B. B. 
(Berlin-Byzantium-Bagdad Railroad). Not the least of its 
features was a kilometric guaranty for the whole trunk 
line from Constantinople to the Persian Gulf, and its numer- 
ous feeders by which Germany would receive the profits 
from a long succession of lucrative financial operations. The' 
final convention for the railway was signed, sealed and de- 
livered in 1902. Excepting the Manchurian Railway conces- 
sion, which Russia had secured some years previously from 
China, it was probably the most remarkable charter ever 
granted by one independent State to another. 

Most writers on remote causes of the war in Europe have 
emphasized the Bagdad Railway concession. By this road 




Constantinople would be connected, not only witt the Gulf 
of Persia, but by a southern branch line, with Egypt. 
Originally it waa believed in England that the enterprise 
waa a private one, but more recently it had come to be 
regarded as distinctly a Pruasian State undertaking. The 
meaning of the concession, in economic and military ad- 
vantages to Germany, and its meaning to the future of 
Asiatic Turkey, and especially to the valley of the Euphrates, 


if not to the Nile valley, was well understood in European 

With the line completed, a bird's-eye view would have 
shown a railway from a point opposite Constantinople run- 
ning across the Turkish Empire in Asia to the River Tigris, 
and thence southerly to the Persian Gulf, which is the back 
door to India. Back on the main line, a second line would 
have been seen branching from the first and pointing south- 
ward through Syria, parallel to the eastern coast of the 
Mediterranean and bringing up near the frontier of Egypt, 


Looked at through English, French or Russian eyes, the con- 
cession was a grave menace. But to Germany it was a neces- 
sary prerequisite to Pan-Qermanic expansion. The mileage of 
the road when completed was estimated at 1,300, of which 
538 miles had been built in October, 1914, leaving 800 miles 
yet to be constructed. 

German engineers, as long ago as 1875, had been author- 
ized to build for the Turkish Government a short railroad 
from Haidar Pasha, opposite Constantinople, to Ismidt, 
which was dignified with the name of the ** Anatolian Rail- 
way,*' Anatolia being practically synonymous with Asia 
Minor. Thirteen years after this a German company, whose 
** angel" was the Deutsche Bank, acquired the privilege of 
exploiting this line, and it was extended into northern 
Anatolia as far east as Angora, in the province of that 
name south of the Black Sea. Had this line been extended 
farther east, paralleling the Russian border, it would have 
proved of incalculable value to the Turks in their Caucasian 
campaign against Russia in the World War. In 1896 an 
extension from Ismidt was projected southeasterly to Konia 
in the Turkish province of Adana, which borders on the 
Mediterranean, a province which Mahemet Ali once said 
was worth more than all Egypt. Good cotton is now pro- 
duced on the Cicilian plains. Twenty-three years after the 
building of the first section of the railway, or in 1898, 
when the German Kaiser visited Constantinople, he pro- 
claimed himself Abdul's ''only friend in Europe." Abdul 
then gave him a concession for the construction of the rail- 
way to connect Constantinople with the Persian Gulf by 
the way of Bagdad, which was turned over to a German 
syndicate. Such was the beginning of the Bagdad Railway 
proper, which was to become one of several indirect causes 
of a war-drama whose stage was to be three continents and 
half the population of the globe its direct or indirect par- 

The capital valuation of the road was fixt at 54,000,000 
francs per section of 200 kilometers (about 130 miles). It 
was expected that, with branches, there would be twelve 
such sections. The total mileage afterward projected con- 
siderably exceeded this estimate. When the road was fully 



^' completed, the annual charge to the Turkish Government 

^ was expected to be 31,000,000 francs. About 100 miles in 

^' the interior lies Aleppo, the emporium of northern Syria, 

^ for centuries the receiving and distributing point for the 

^ export and import trade of Alexandretta, situated in the 

midst of a rich agricultural district and the center of manu- 
factures of carpets and rugs, cotton and wool, silk and 
^ j leather goods. The Bagdad road runs southeast from Konia 
through the Taurus Mountains, and connects with Aleppo. 
A branch line connects that city with Alexandretta, thus 
* bringing the railway to the open sea. After the Aleppo 

^ connection the line turns northeast and cposses northern 

Syria. Bridging the Euphrates, it then runs almost directly 
^ east to the City of Mosul, on the Tigris, in Mesopotamia. 

f Here, too, is a land where cotton can bo produced. Three 

hundred miles south of Mosul is Bagdad, formerly the seat 
of the Saracenic califate, around which clusters much 

It was believed in November, 1916, that an important 
tunnel on this line, running through the Taurus range, had 
at last been completed. In piercing the Taurus range, one 
of the greatest obstacles in the path of the road was elimi- 
nated. It brought the Germans into nearer touch with 
Persia and Armenia through the already existing railhead 
at Nisibin and with Egypt through the Medina Railway, 
with branches at Aleppo. In the first year of the war 
Turkish motor-service had counteracted the handicap of a 
break in the line in the Taurus. From 15,000 to 20,000 
Turkish peasants had been employed in completely rebuild- 
ing an old mountain road famous since the days of the 
Phenicians. Roads had also been laid or improved in other 
parts. There had been several gaps in the Bagdad Railway. 
The first was at the Taurus range, where the tunnel was 
roughly 20 miles long, and extended* from Karapunar some 
13 miles south of Bozanti (645 miles from Haidar Pasha) 
as far as Doirak. Between Nisibin and Jibbara, where it 
connected by rail with Bagdad, was another gap of some 250 

In the completion of this railway the world was to witness 
the reopening of the bridge from Europe to Asia for West- 

V. VIII— 2 9 


em control, througli a great railway covering nearly 2,000 
milea from a point opposite Constantinople. That project, 
well under way at the outbreak of the war, ranked 
in its historical background as one of the most momentous 
enterprises of our age — more momentous than the opening 
■of the Suez or the Panama Canal, A railway from Constan- 
tinople to Bagdad under European control was a aymptom 
of the dissolution of the Turkish Empire which had become 
a mere shadow of -its former 
self and a token of the invasion 
of the East by Western enter- 
prise. Passing over a highway 
on which armies had marched 
from the earliest days of which 
any records have survived, it 
was a link connecting the pres- 
ent with the more distant 

Turkey had for years been 
virtually a member of the 
Triple Alliance. If not a very 
active or effective partner, she 
had in her sympathies been 
much more real as an ally 
of Germany and Austria than 
had Italy, the third actual 
oerman commaEder ot the Turkisb member of the Alliance. At 

Army durLnjr the war, who fled to .. ■.. , .. j-jvf i..- 

ronstantlnoplPwhenGeDeralAlleDby timCS diplomatic difficulties 
was advancing from DamaseuB to grose, aS from 1911 to 1912, 

when Turkey was at war with 
Italy, and again during the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, 
when Austria declared the annexation of Bosnia and Herze- 
govina, but with Germany herself, since the advent of Wil- 
liam II to the throne, ' Turkey had maintained increasingly 
intimate relations. Bismarck might have said the Eastern 
question ' ' was not worth the bones of a Pomeranian 
grenad'er," but in this domain, as in some others, Bis- 
marck's politics had now been discarded by Prussia. In the 
time of Abdul Hamid, Germany had acquired political and 
commercial ascendency, and was advancing her trade in- 



terests and exploiting her mineral wealth. ** Peaceful pene- 
tration" was her method. With the Turk ever pecuniarily 
embarrassed, she found many opportunities to strengthen her 
hold on this country. To build and own his railways, to be 
his banker, to drill his soldiers, to sell him Krupp guns, to 
dominate his diplomacy, were the objects pursued, in a 
hope that one day, either by some dramatic turn of events, 
or gradually and almost imperceptibly, the Sultan's scepter 
in Asia would pass from a feeble Oriental grasp into her own 
strong hands. 

The drama to be unfolded during this Turkish phase of 
the great war promised to be of the most sensational kind, 
because the end of the Ottoman Empire might be in sight. 
What was more, its heirs and successors might be other 
great Moslem powers — Great Britain, Russia, France, and 
Italy. Thus the future promised to see the British in pos- 
session of Turkey's first capital, Mosul; the French in pos- 
session of their second capital, Konia; the Russians in pos- 
session of their third and last, Constantinople, and the 
Italians occupying Smyrna. Each power was already a 
Mohammedan empire in a real sense, but the greatest Moslem 
country in the world was the British Empire. Moslems in 
India were known to favor removing the Sheik ul Islam, or 
the head of the Mohammedan creed, from Constantinople to 
Delhi or Cairo, under British protection. The Head of the 
Church in India had volunteered as a private soHier in 
France, and later was serving with the Anglo-Indian army 
in Mesopotamia. 

In August, 1914, when the war began, two German ships, 
the Ooeben and the Breslati, were off the Algerian coast. 
The Goeben was the fastest armored vessel in the German 
fleet, displacing 22,640 tons, with a speed of 28 knots, and 
carrying an armament ten 11-inch, twelve 5.9 inch, and 
twelve 21-pounder guns. The Breslau was a fast, light 
cruiser, with about the same rate of speed, and a displace- 
ment of 4,478 tons. She was the vessel which several months 
before had been sent by Germany to Albanian waters in 
order to join the international squadron which was to keep 
the unfortunate Mpret, William of Wied, in countenance. 
Both ships had great coal capacity. The Breslau could 



cover 6,000 knots without taking in fresh fuel. Both were 
admirably suited to act as commeree-destroyers. 

In August, 1914, they fired a few shots into the Algerian 
coast towns of Bona and Philippeville, but did little harm, 
and then turned northwest, with the object, apparently, of 
running to Gibraltar, but were headed off by British ships. 
On August 5 they appeared at Messina, where their captains 
and oEfieers made their wills, and deposited with the German 
consul their valuables, including signed portraits of the 
Kaiser. Decks were then cleared for action, and with bands 
playing "Heil, dicrim Siegerkranz," they sailed out — so at 
least it was recorded in German papers — under a blood-red 
sunset. Escaping from the British, and (!oing at full speed 


eastward, they encountered, olf Cape Matapan, a British 
cruiser, the Gloucester, a ship slightly larger than the 
Breslau, which attempted to engage them, and did damage 
the plates of the Goeben and the amoke-ataek of the Breslau. 
The superior speed of the German boats by the end of the 
week carried them to the Dardanelles, and presently they 
reached Constantinople, where they passed into the hands 
of the Turkish Government, and thereby started that dis- 
quieting of the diplomatic relations of the Porte to the 
Great Powers which, before many weeks, produced war with 

"When the Goeben and Breslau appeared at the mouth of 
the Dardanelles, it was the duty of Turkey, as a neutral 



Power, to see that they either left within twenty-four 
bours, or disarmed and laid themselves up. But instead of 
doing that Turkey "bought" the vessels from Germany, 

The most important thing the Turk did for Germany 
when it entered the war was to close the Black Sea, for then 
a few mines in the Dardanelles promptly put an end to Rus- 
sian trade from the Black Sea and so dealt southern Russia 
a great blow commercially. Germany thus struck at England 
also, because a large part of the English food supply came 
through the Dardanelles and the Mediterranean, which had 
been one of England's chief reasons for maintaining control 
of that route. So important was this source of supply, that 

After thp Brestaa wns takon over hy Taikey shp rpcplTPd n Turklsli name. 
In the last ypar of tbe war she was reported to hiiTV been sank off tbe 
Island ot Imhros, !q the ^gean Sea, but appears to haie been aaTPd 
eventually. The Breatau whs ot the Bamo type aa thi) commercp-ralder Hmdea. 

England now had considerable difficulty in replacing it. 
The Black Sea district also had supplies of oil of enormous 
value to England and Prance, now that extensive use of 
the automobile in warfare had made gasoline a commodity 
second in importance only to powder and food. If the 
Turkish Navy, augmented by German cruisers, could dis- 
pose of Russian ships in the Black Sea, the Turk could seize 
for Germany the Black Sea ports' supply o£ oil, a stroke of 
the utmost consequence. The closing of the Black Sea by 
the Turk, plus the closing of tbe Baltic by the German 
fleet, accomplished another important result — the absolute 



isolation of Russia from contact with all parts of Europe, 
except her enemies — Germany, Austria and Turkey.' 

■ PrlDClpsl Sources : Boland G. L'sber In tbe World't Work, The Ttmei, 
Tbe Evening Sun, New York: The Calcatta EngUittman; The Wall Btrttt 
Journal, Tile Reviem of Bevittee, New York ; Morrts Jaatrow's "The War and 
tbe Bagdad Railway" {J. B. Llpplncott Co.). The Loodon Times' "Hlfltory 

Railways from Con&tBDtinople eastward Into Anatolia for some 300 miles 
had existed tor mnDy years before the world beard of. or evea thongbt of, a 
railroad to Bagdad. The latter enterprise was a result of the growth of 
German Influence In Turkey, Ineludlng an ambition to reach Mesopotamia 
and the Persian Gulf, beyond which lay a clear water route to India. 

The Bagdad Railway extension, In one sense an cxttnaloD of the Anato- 
lian Railway, properly began at Konla and thence ran eastward to Adana. 
Aleppo, Nislbla, Mosul, Jabbara, and Bagdad. From Aleppo a FocDectiDg 
railroad bad been hullt southward Into Arabia, and there was a short branch 
line from Namurle on the main Bagdad Iloe to the Important fort of Alexan- 
dretta. The Bagdad line proper was not yet completed. Two tunnels 
through the mountains vrat of Aleppo, were understooil not to have been In 
use until the second or third year of the war. and further east some con^ 
slderable roadbed — perhaps ZOO or even 300 miles — remained to be hullt 
between Nlslblo, Mosul and Bagdad 







October 26, 1914— February 2, 1915 

ON October 26, 2,000 armed Bedouins crossed the 
Egyptian frontier and watered their camels at Mag- 
dada wells, twenty miles beyond the Egyptian line. A 
Turkish destroyer flotilla at the same time raided Odessa 
and sank a Rus^sian gunboat. British, French, and Russian 
Ambassadors then asked for their passports. On November 
5 Great Britain being definitely at war with Turkey, Anglo- 
Egyptian posts were withdrawn from the Sinai Peninsula west 
to the canal. Fort Nakhl was evacuated, and certain build- 
ings and rock-wells which might be of service to an invading 
force were blown in with dynamite. Save for the exchange 
of a few shots between Bedouin scouts and Egyptian coast- 
guard patrols no encounters took place till November 21, 
when a coast-guard patrol composed of twenty Sudanese 
camelmen was surprized while encamped east of Bir-en- 
Nuss, and captured. Captain Chope, of the Bikanir Camel 
Corps, pushing eastward to gain touch with the coast- 
guards, found their camp empty. After an hour's ride 
further east Captain Chope saw ahead of him twenty men 
mounted on white camels, waving white flags. Thinking 
they were the missing Egyptians he let them approach. 
When they got within thirty yards the Bedouins raised their 
rifles, only to be promptly shot down by the Bikanirs, who 
similarly disposed of another party which attempted to 

Captain Chope then advanced toward Katia, when sud- 
denly 150 horsemen were observed trying to moye round 
his right flank, while a like number tried to turn his left. 
He fell back flghting, hard prest by the mounted men, who 
kept up a hot fire from the saddle but dared not close with 



the Bikanirs, who fought the enemy off till they reached 
their supports. Only five of them escaped wounds. Captain 
Chope had a narrow escape, having had his water-bottle 
pierced and his sword hilt shivered by bullets. An Egyptian 
officer was killed, and ten of the Bikanir men, five other 
men being wounded. Of the Bedouins over fifty were killed 
and many wounded. Tactically the Bedouins had the best 
of the skirmish, but the moral effect of the resistance was 
such that the raiders fell back on Katia, and made no other 
forward movement to the canal for nearly six weeks. 

In Egypt the immediate objective of Turkey and Germany 
was the Suez Canal, because to block this would be to in- 
terrupt the flow of commerce between England and India, 
cut oif Indian soldiers sent to Europe to fight with the 
Allies, and, if Indian unrest culminated in a revolt, it would 
delay any British troops that might be sent east. For the 
Sultan there was in prospect the immediate gain incident to 
a possible reconquest of a province still nominally subject 
to him. Its Mohammedan population had long been re- 
ported disaffected, and it might welcome the Sultan. Eng- ' 
land would then have to send to Egypt troops that were 
needed in France and Belgium and her difficulties, already 
increased by a South African revolt, would be multiplied. 
The Germans might hope, when the Sultan proclaimed a 
'*holy war," to cripple France in Algeria, Tunis, and 
Morocco, England in India as well as in Egypt, Russia in 
Europe — that is if the Mohammedan populations responded 
to her summons. On the other hand, since the Italian 
colony of Tripoli was bound to be affected, Germany ran 
the risk of bringing Italy into the war against her. 

After these border encounters on the canal, Turkish troops 
were promptly sent forward by way of the Mecca rail- 
road toward the Sinai peninsula and Suez. British war- 
ships quite as promptly appeared on these coasts and Lon- 
don announced that territorial garrisons had been sent to 
Egypt, that the Australian contingent would soon arrive, 
that the Egyptian troops remained loyal and that Egypt 
showed no immediate signs of revolt. Early in November 
a **holy war" was proclaimed against Russia, France, and 
England. The chief ecclesiastical dignitary of the Moslem 


After the flgbtlng east of the Saez Canal, and while the BrltlHh were mak- 
ing their way Into Palpstliie, war woa begun west of the Nile Delta to the 
Cytenulca coantry by the Seoussl, and later there occurrea a ahoct-llved 
rebelltoQ Id Darlur. 
VII— 16 



faith issued a statement to the faithful declaring that it 
was the dnty of every Moslem to war against the enemies 
of Turkey. His Highness was to make a pilgrimage to 
Mecca immediately. It was expected that this announce- 
ment would result in serious trouble for England and 
Russia among their Moslem subjects, but it caused no disturb- 
ance. Correspondents saw no indication that it was effective 
anywhere outside the actual dominions of the Sultan. 
Neither in India, nor in Egypt was it "anything but a 
Platonic pronouncement," It had some effect, however, 
in northern Africa, with which France alone was concerned. 


Two neutral nations, Italy and Spain, were alarmed more 
by it than any of the belligerent Allies. In England it was 
not even taken seriously. 

The Calif is not an elected Pope, nor a "Lama sanctified 
by birth," but simply "the Moslem chief who holds the 
. road to Mecca," and if the Sultan's army could not hold 
that road, he would cease automatically to be Calif. The 
Ottoman Empire might lose Constantinople and still "re- 
main the first Power in the Moslem world," but if it lost 
Arabia it "would lose all claim to the veneration and 
obedience of Moslems." Britain would lose nothing, but 
would perhaps emerge the stronger with her Mohammedan 



dependencies extended. The Aga Kham, whose word in 
religioui^ things was law to millions of Mohammedans in 
India and elsewhere, did not seem to favor the idea of a 
**holy war" made in Germany, for Germany. In his mes- 
sage he said: 

"If Germany succeeds, which Heaven forbid, Turkey will be- 
come only a vassal of Germany, and the Kaiser's Resident will be 
the real ruler of Turkey, and will control the holy cities. No Islamic 
interest was threatened in this war, and our religion was not in 
peril, nor was Turkey in peril, for the British and Russian Em- 
pires and the French Republic had solemnly offered to guarantee 
Turkey all her territories in complete independence if she had 
remained at peace. Turkey was the trustee of Islam, and the whole 
world was content to let her- hold our holy cities in her keeping. 
Now that Turkey has so disastrously shown herself a tool in German 
hands, she has not only ruined herself, but has lost her position of 
trustee of Islam and evil will overtake her.'' 

Late in November an important step for Turkey was 
taken in the appointment of Field-marshal Kolmar von der 
Goltz, then Military Governor of Belgium, as active German 
councilor of the Sultan of Turkey. He was regarded as 
one of the greatest of German strategists. Despite his 71 
years,- he had been looked upon as likely to lead the German 
armies against the Russians. He was a native of East 
Prussia and had fought in the Franco-Prussian War and 
the Austrian campaign. Thirty years before he had gone out 
to reconstruct the Turkish army and remained at his work for 
thirteen years, being known as ** Goltz Pasha." He created 
an army out of chaos. Turkey's defeats in the Balkans were 
not regarded by his apologists as discrediting Von der 
Goltz, as it was contended that without his training the 
Turkish army would have been much more seriously de- 

When Turkey plunged into war, it was obvious that some 
change in the character of the British occupation of Egypt 
would have to be made, and so at once the Turkish suzerainty 
was declared ended and a British Protectorate proclaimed. 
The executive changes made were slight. All that Great Britain 
desired was to defend Egypt against attack and keep the 
internal administration running smoothly. Other questions 



could wait until peace were restored. There was a strong 
reason why the word ** annexation'' should not be used. 
While the Khedive, Abbas Hilmi, was formally deposed, his 
uncle, 'Prince Hussein, was placed on the throne in his 
stead, and the new ruler received the title of Sultan of 
Egypt in disregard of the designation ** Khedive'' which had 
been established by an Imperial* Turkish firman. The selec- 
tion was made in accordance with the Turkish law of suc- 
cession, under which the throne passes to the eldest male 
member of the family, but which had not been observed in 
Egypt since 1866, when the succession was made heredi- 
tary, and that tradition had gone by the board. Prince 
Hussein's elevation was also based on the practical ground 
that of all his family he was **most worthy to occupy the 
position." Prince Hussein was described as a prudent and 
experienced man. Thus with scarcely a ripple, so far as 
the actual world could see, the Ottoman suzerainty in 
Egypt gave place to a British Protectorate. A proclama- 
tion announcing Great Britain's decision and explaining the 
cause was published, and the thunder of 101 guns laid the 
ghost of Turkish rule. Great Britain by tfiis act felt that 
she had confirmed and regulated her position in the valley 
of the Nile. Until the Anglo-French agreement of 1904, her 
occupation had never been ofiicially recognized by Europe. 
The agreement of 1904 involved recognition by France, 
and subsequently by other Powers, of Britain's predominant 
interests in Egypt, but it was ''a self-denying ordinance," 
in that Great Britain bound herself not to make any change 
in the status of the country. Neither the Turkish adventure 
in 1906, nor the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by 
Austria-Hungary, nor the proclamation of a French Pro- 
tectorate over Morocco in 1911, induced Britain to alter the 
status of Turkey's vassal. It was not till the maintenance 
of the status quo had been rendered impossible by Turkey's 
attack on Great Britain and her Allies that the British Gov- 
ernment took the one step, short of annexation, that she 
could take. 

For thirty years the actual sovereign of Egypt, the Sultan 
of Turkey, had exercised no direct influence on the country. 
The nominal government was in the hands of his Vali, or 



Viceroy, the Khidewi-Misr, or as more commonly called, the 
Khedive, who ruled through native ministers, each assisted 
by an English *' adviser." In reality, the ruler of Egypt 
was the British Consul-General at Cairo, whose ** advice" to 
the Khedive had the force of a command. The Protectorate 
in Egypt as now established followed the model established 
by France in Tunis and constituted a control **as real and 
complete as sovereignty in the technical sense of the word." 
The Allied Powers and neutral countries subsequently 
recognized and approved the change. Of more permanent 
meaning than any battles could have been was this procla- 
matioDL of a British Protectorate. On the political side the 
step deprived Turkey of a shadowy sovereignty over some 
12,000,006 people and definitely closed the rule of the 
Osmanli in Africa. As with Algeria in 1830, Tunis in 1881, 
Tripoli in 1911, so now with Egypt in 1914, was set up 
a milestone of Ottoman ruin in Africa. Morocco had never 
been a Turkish province, but by the proclamation of the 
French Protectorate in 1912 it became a Christian de- 
pendency, so that the last fraction of an independent Islam 
in Africa had vanished. 

A triangle of sand-dune, rock, and mountain, its apex 
pointed due south, its sides marked to the east by the Akaba 
Gulf and the Turko-Egyptian frontier line delimited in 
1906, to the west by the Gulf of Suez and Suez Canal, with 
the shore of the Mediterranean between Rafa and Port Said 
for its base — such are the outlines of the Sinai Peninsula. 
Geographically and orographically, it is divided into three 
zones — the zone of the Drift-sand, the Plateau, and the 
Mountain. Scattered about the region of the drift-sand are 
''islands" of firmer ground, outcroppings of rock, patches 
of hard gravel, small tracts where torrents, flowing from 
the plateau perhaps once in five or ten years, have deposited 
layers of mud and gravel. In the main it is a country of 
soft sand, sometimes blown by the wind into multitudinous 
dunes, where the way is easily lost, so like is each dune to 
its fellow. In the mountain-zone a small raiding party 
operated during this year's campaign, but was destroyed as 
soon as it had ventured out of the impassable labyrinth of 
peaks, gorges and cliffs that form the southern third of 



the peniusula. No army could operate therein; but it con- 
tains two of the few permanently inhabited settlements in 
the peninsula, the Monastery of Mount Sinai and the Tor 
quarantine-station for pilgrims returning from the Holy 
places by the Red Sea route. The population of the whole 
peninsula did not exceed 40,000 persons, a few settled in- 
habitants in and near El Arish, 400 or 500 Djebeliyeh 
Arabs, descendants probably of slaves or tenants of the 
Sinai monks in pre-Islamic times, who still lived around the 
monastery, and Bedouins of small and generally unim- 
portant sects. 

When the war broke out, the Turks had had three months 
in which to complete their mobilization. DifiBeulties of 
transport and lack of equipment, which was only gradually 
supplied from Austria and Germany, prevented them from 
taking an immediate offensive against Egypt. But by the 
end of November, and early in December, a large Turkish 
army had poured through the Cieilian Gates into the plain of 
Adana. The proclamation of a Holy War, however, had been 
coldly received by most Moslems in Syria. A few recruits 
were obtained in Beirut, Jaffa, Nablus, and other cities, but 
they failed, as a rule, to arouse enthusiasm among the edu- 
cated classes and the peasantry. 

By the middle of December the British garrison in Egypt 
had been brought up to a strength that would enable it to 
repei a more formidable attack than that which the Turks 
ultimately directed against the canal. It was composed of 
the "Anzacs," or Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, 



the East Lancashire Territorial Division with most of their 
divisional troops, a mounted brigade of yeomanry, and a 
strong Indian force, including a number of Imperial Service 
troops, mostly mounted, and many excellent regular bat- 
talions, of the strength of an army corps. The efficiency of 
the Anzacs improved rapidly. During the campaign on the 
canal few of its units were actually engaged ; it was not till 
fighting occurred on the beaches of Gallipoli that it had a 
chance of displaying the spirited dash and wild valor of 
the colonial soldier. 

Early in the New Year Arab bands which had been en- 
gaged at Biren-Nuss began to show themselves to the west 
of Katia. Meanwhile El Arish had been converted into an 
advanced base and large quantities of stores collected there ; 
small bodies of Turks had come down to El Audja from 
Beersheba, and others had strengthened the force which had 
occupied Fort Nakhl. The Turkish transport was well 
organized. Each regiment had about 250 camels, the re- 
serve transport being effected by shifts of 500 camels working 
over stages of as yet unknown length. The bulk of Turkey's 
main army left Hebron on January 11, and on January 19 
a hydroplane located a force of about 8,000 men at Beer- 
sheba. On January 27 the Nakhl column made an attack 
on the Baluchistan and El Kubri posts, and was repulsed. 
Early on the following morning an attempt was made to 
rush the British outposts at El Kantara, but was repulsed 
by the Fourteenth Sikhs, who lost a native officer, and had 
about twenty other casualties. For the next three days 
there were constant skirmishes at long range between 
British outposts and the Turkish patrols, while warships 
sent occasional shells at the larger bodies which occasionally 
showed themselves, but took care to entrench just beyond 
the effective range of the shrapnel fired by British naval 
guns. More damage was probably done by airmen, who flew 
aeroplanes and hydroplanes over the advancing columns, 
now and again planting bombs among the men and camels. 
Several had narrow escapes. The Turks, marching rapidly 
and suffering from cold rather than from heat, brought 
their main body to the great pool at Er Rigm. 

By the evening of February 1 Djemal Pasha had pre- 



pared his plan of attack. The main force, composed of the 
Twenty-fifth Division and all or part of the Twenty-third 
Division, was brought to attack the canal, and if possible 
force a passage between Serapeum and Tussum, while by 
a feint attack its right wing held the British troops at the 
Ismailia Ferry bridge-head. The northern column was to 
attack El Kantara while showing itself at Ferdan to pre- 
vent the reinforcement of the other post. The south- 
ern column was ordered to make a demonstration at Kubri 
near Suez, an order which it carried out very feebly. Early 
on February 2 an Indian reconnoitering force of all arms 
met the Turks about four miles east of the Ismailia Ferry. 
A desultory engagement ensued, to which a violent sand- 
storm put an end. After nightfall the main attacking force 
pushed forward toward its destination. Between 25 and 30 
galvanized-iron pontoon-boats, seven and a half meters in 
length, which had been dragged in carts across the desert, 
were hauled by hand toward the water, with one or two 
rafts made of kerosene barrels in a wooden frame. All was 
now ready for the attack. 

The first warning of the approach was given by a sentry 
of a mountain-battery, who heard voices in an unknown 
tongue from across the water. The noise soon increased, 
and from what could be heard and understood, it appeared 
that Mudjah Ideen (''Holy Warriors"), mostly old Tripoli 
fighters, were accompanying the pontoon-section and regu- 
lars. Loud exhortations, often in Arabic, of ''Brothers, die 
for the faith," and '*we can die but once," betrayed also 
the presence of enthusiastic irregulars. The Egyptian force 
waited till the Turks began to push their boats into the 
water. Then Maxims attached to the battery suddenly 
spoke and warships on the canal and lake joined in the 
fray. The Turks brought six batteries of field-guns into 
action from the slopes west of Kataib-el-Kheil. Shells 
admirably fused made fine practise at all visible targets. 

Supported by artillery, Indian troops took the offensive. 
The Serapeum garrison, which had stopt the enemy three- 
quarters of a mile from their position, cleared its front, and 
the Tussum garrison by a counter-attack drove the enemy 
back. Two battalions of Anatolians were thrown into the 



fight, but British artillery gave them no chance. By 3.30 
in the afternoon a third of the enemy, with the exception of 
a force that lay hidden in bushy hollo^iw on the east bank 
between the two posts, were in full retreat, leaving many 
dead, a large proportion of whom had been killed by 

Meanwhile British warships had been in action. A 
salvo from a battleship woke up Ismailia early in the morn- 
ing and crowds of soldiers and civilians climbed every avail- 
able sandhill to see what had happened. A dramatic duel 
followed between Turkish guns and a warship. The Turks 
fired just over and then just short of 9,000 yards. The war- 
ships sent in a salvo of 6-inch shells. As the fighting ceased 
at the ferry it died down at El Kantara. There the Turks 
came to grief on wire-entanglements and another attempt to 
advance from the southeast was forced back by Indian 
troops. Late in the afternoon there was sniping from the 
east bank. Next morning it was renewed. Indian troops 
moving out to search the ground encountered several hun- 
dred of the enemy. A sharp fight followed in which all the 
Turks were killed, captured, or put to flight. Subsequent 
operations were confined to ''rounding up" prisoners and 
to the captiure of a considerable amount of military ma- 
terial left behind. So ended the battle of the Suez Canal. 
The British losses had been small, totaling about 111 killed 
and wounded. The Turks probably lost 2,000 men. Indian 
troops bore the brunt of the fighting and were well sup- 
ported by British and French warships and by Egyptian 
troops. The Turks fought bravely and their artillery fired 
well if unluckily. 

After the conquest of Serbia by the Teutonic forces in 
the late autumn of 1915 it was declared that another assault 
would now be made by Turkey on the Suez Canal — the 
**heel of Achilles'' of the British Empire — but it was not 
until August, 1916, that an attack occurred. The same num- 
ber of men — 14,000 — was given as the attacking Turkish 
force. Looked at from a distance, the attempt seemed as 
wild as the former attack had been. Again the Turkish 
force had to cross a pitiless desert, drag guns through the 
sand, suffer from terrible heat and from lack of water. The 



decisive battle was fought on August 7 and ended at sun- 
set. Under a crescent moon, which faintly lighted up the 
desert and east fantastic shadows over the broken, sandy 
country, the British pursued the beaten Turks. This second 
attempt suffered a more severe defeat than the other, despite 
German leadership and more scientific methods. More than 
2,000 prisoners were taken, including several Germans. 
Machine-gun fire "cut down men like reaping corn," troops 
were scattered far and wide in the desert, not in orderly 
columns, but in small parties. The brunt of the fighting 
was borne by Anzae mounted troop,s, consisting of the Aus- 
tralian Light Horse and New Zealand Mounted Rifles, re- 
leased from Gallipoli. These horsemen had been anxious to 
follow their comrades to France, but were retained in Egypt 
because they were ideal troops for work iii that country. 
For more than a week before the battle they had had little 
rest, keeping in touch with the Turks, pushing back patrols, 
and reconnoitering in a country where the Turks largely 
outnumbered them. At midnight of the day before the battle 
the Turks, a division strong, had held a north and south 
line through the Katia Oasis, about seven miles long, with 
fianks thrown westward. From a little south of Romani to 
the Mediterranean coast were Scottish infantry, while the 
Anzacs were in front of them, and from an hour before 
daylight fought with steadiness and determination against 
a well-handled enemy in superior numbers. 

The situation at midday was that the British securely 
held the line Muhamedie-Romani-Katia-Gannit, the latter a 
sand-dune nearly 300 feet high and an excellent observation 

v. VIII— 3 25 


post. From Gannit, for a mile to the west, was Wellington 
Ridge, an elevated stretch of bright yellow sand, which the 
Turks made attempts to reach. Two miles due south was 
Mount Meredith. Here and at Mount Royston, three miles 
west-northwest, the Turks got a footing in the afternoon. 
They had chosen what appeared to be the easiest path toward 
the canal, a broad, undulating, sandy plain flanked by sand- 
dunes. About 3 o'clock they made a fierce attack on Romani 
and Gannit, but the Light Horse and Scottish Territorials 
drove them back toward Abu Hamra. Meanwhile a Lanca- 
shire brigade, brought up by rail, left the train at a place 
within sound of heavy rifle-fire, and light-heartedly marched 
away to attack through ankle-deep sand. At 5 o'clock in- 
fantry began to attack from north to south, while Yeomanry 
moved over the sand-dunes working in touch with the in- 
fantry. Nothing could withstand the machine-gun fire. The 
Yeomanry and infantry drove the Turks off Mount Royston 
and the slopes of Wellington Ridge, and, after a brief delay, 
cleared Mount Meredith, collecting 1,000 prisoners during 
the advance, and scattering the remainder of the force over 
the face of the desert. 

The defenses of the canal were evidently stronger than 
the Turks had expected. These had been strengthened at 
the time of an expected attack by Von der Goltz's forces 
and the army in Egypt had also been increased by additions to 
the Australian and New Zealand troops. The Turks must 
have found the defenders better able than they had expected 
to withstand the severe conditions of desert warfare. The 
movement, however, must have been well organized in order 
to have advanced so near the British lines. * Had it suc- 
ceeded, it would have been a severe blow to British prestige 
in the East. In its failure, the British remained secure in 
control of the canal, and were in position to menace the 
Ottoman power in Asia by furnishing more active support 
to the revolting Arabians. 

The great military importance of Egypt to the British 
Empire was now made newly manifest. The country became 
at once a training-ground for Australasian, Indian, and 
British troops, a base for the Allied Mediterranean Ex- 
peditionary Force, and a center from which contingents 



could rapidly be dispatched in several directions. While 
guarding the Snez Canal against attack and retaining a 
sufficient force to deal with any poissible internal disturbance, 
the British were also able to detach Indian troops for service 
in France, Mesopotamia, and elsewhere. The greater 
part of the Australasian Army Corps and of the East 
Jjancashire Territorial Division were to be employed in 
European Turkey. As each force left Egypt new troops 
arrived to take its place, to go through a course of training 
in great camps around Cairo or near the canal. Here also 




had been received the great majority of the Allied wounded 
&om the Dardanelles. 
;■ " That the Turks would endeavor to invade Egypt from 
Syria had been foreseen from the moment when the Otto- 
man Empire was drawn into the war on the side of the 
Central Powers. An attack upon Egypt from the west — 
from the direction of Tripoli — ^was not, however, anticipated. 
Therefore surprize was felt near the end of 1915 when a 
considerable force of Arabs, Turks, and Berbers, under the 



leadership of Sidi Ahmed, head of the Senussi fraternity 
of Moslems, invaded western Egypt from Cyrenaiea, and 
were joined by some thousands of Egyptian Bedouin. It 
was only after a campaign of about five months that the 
invaders were decisively beaten, and the danger to Egypt 
from that quarter rendered nearly negligible. The danger 
to Egypt from the Senussi movement had been, serious — 
much more serious, in fact, than the Turkish attempts al- 
ready made and to be made in 1916 from the Sinai Peninsula 
to cross the Suez Canal. General Sir John Maxwell, then 
commanding British forces in Egypt, said that throughout the 
summer and autumn of 1915 his principal cause of anxiety 
had been the possibility of trouble on the Western Frontier, 
for such trouble *' might lead to serious religious and in- 
ternal disorder." No danger of that kind arose in connec- 
tion with the Suez Canal operations. But a jahad pro- 
claimed by the Senussi sheikh might have met with a wide 
response in Egypt, for the order of which he was chief was 
the most powerful Mohammedan sect in Northeast Africa, 
and the only brotherhood exercising sovereign rights and 
possessing a disciplined armed force on a permanent war 
' footing. Up to 1915 the Senussi had maintained friendly 
relations with Egypt, but the position was unsettled, be- 
cause Sidi Ahmed for many years had fought hard to oppose 
the extension of French authority in the Central Sudan, 
iand when the war in Europe broke out was conducting a 
campaign against the Italians in Cyrenaiea. 

Tripoli and Cyrenaiea had become Italian possessions as 
the result of Italy's war with Turkey in 1911-12. The 
Turks, however, had never withdrawn the last of their 
troops from Cyrenaiea, and these, aided by the Senussi, had 
continued in a somewhat desultory way the conflict with 
the Italians. At the end of 1914 the whole interior of 
Cyrenaiea was held by the Senussi, and, as the western 
border of Egypt is conterminous with Cyrenaiea, they had 
every facility needed for crossing the frontier, where, ex- 
cept along the Mediterranean and at the oasis of Siwa, were 
stationed no forces to oppose them. The Turks had never 
loyally attempted to carry out with Italy the provisions of 
the Treaty of Lausanne, which closed the Tripoli war. The 



invasion of western Egypt was thus a sequel to the cam- 
paign in Tripoli and Cyrenaica and was traceable to Turko- 
German influence. 

Cyrenaica and Tripoli had formed separate governments 
under the Turks, and remained separate provinces nnder 
the Italians who, however, had taken Libya as a common name 
for Tripoli and Cyrenaica. Altho the two provinces have 
many characteristics in common, they are distinct entities 
separated as they are by the Gulf of Sidra. Tripoli adjoins 


Tunisia; Cyrenaica adjoins Egypt. The strength of the force 
at the disposal of the Turks was conjectural ; it probably was 
not less than 30,000 and consisted of a nucleus of Turkish 
troops, with Turkish, German, and Arab officers, the 
Muhafizia or Sennssi regulars (a well-disciplined uniformed 
body of some 5,000) and a varying number of irregulars, 
every adult male in Cyrenaica being accustomed to arms. 
The troops were supplied with machine-guns, pom-poms, 
and a number of field-pieces. Starting from Bir, Warr av.d 
Msead, camps somewhat west of Solium, they rapidly ov ■- 


ran the country as far east as Daba. The first encounter 
between them and the British occurred on December 11, 
with sharp fights west and south of Matruh. When the 
eventual failure of Turkish efforts in western Egypt became 
certain, they succeeded in getting Ali Dinar, the Sultan of 
Darfur, to defy the Sudan Government, and an expedition 
against Darfur was sent out under Sir Reginald Wingate, 
who had to rely on his own resources, except for the help 
of a detachment of the Royal Flying Corps under Major 
Groves. All the rank and file engaged belonged to the 
Egyptian army, but the officers were British. In March a 
mixed force of all arms entered Darfu after slight opposi- 
tion. In April, Abaid, a place 90 miles west of El Fasher, 
Ali Dinar's capital, was occupied and became the base for 
further operations. Many chiefs surrendered, and in a 
short time Darfur was at peace. 

Since the first defeat of the Senussi, early in 1916, and 
the reoccupation of Solium, little had been heard of Sayed 
Ahmed and his followers ; but it was known that after they 
were driven across the Western Frontier they found their 
way in detachments to the Siwa Oasis, and there the Sheikh 
rallied them. Altho they no longer constituted a menace to 
lower Egypt, Sir Archibald Murray decided to send a force 
after them. "During the winter a force, the strength and 
constitution of which was not divulged, was assembled under 
the direction, if not the executive command, of Major-Gen- 
eral Sir Charles Dobell, the conqueror of the Kamerun. 
Nothing was made public about the concentration or move- 
ment of this force till February 9, 1917, when the main 
body of the Senussi had been located in a well-defended 
position south of Girba, and 15 miles west of Siwa. They 
were taken by surprize, but succeeded in holding their posi- 
tion till nightfall, when, after burning their tents and de- 
stroying their stores and ammunition, they fled toward 
Shiyata, 10 miles west of Girba, where the Sheikh had taken 
refuge when the battle began. 

The Sheikhas intention apparently was to retreat into 
Tripoli and recover his communication with the sea, but the 
British commander anticipated his plans by sending a de- 
tachment to occupy the Munasib pass, when Sayed Ahmed 



turned back in a southeasterly direction and made, as was 
supposed, for Kuffra, which is 370 miles from Siwa, and 
the headquarters of the Senussi tribe. British troops en- 
tered Siwa on February 5. The Senussi lost 200 men killed 
and wounded, but no prisoners were taken and little if any 
war booty. British armored-cars were used in routing the 
enemy. Crews traveled 200 miles into the Libyan desert 
and fought a stubborn battle with a well-hidden enemy for 
twenty hours. Twenty-two men in cars remained one night 
500 yards from a foe who outnumbered them 25 to 1. The 
Senussi were found hidden in a series of low hills. The 
cars had a hot reception but finally overcame the enemy who 
before daybreak retired. When dawn broke figures sil- 
houetted against the sky showed them and their camels 
trekking westward a long way out of range and impossible 
to reach, owing to precipitous hillsides. Fully 200 Senussi 
soldiers were killed or wounded. 

Brilliant work during the operations in Darfu of 1916 was 
done by British aviators. First they had to move south 
at short notice, by sea, rail, and desert track for hundreds of 
miles before they could reach the barren spot from which they 
were to operate against the Turks. On arrival they had 
further to face all the difficulties of flying under tropical 
conditions with an equipment not designed to meet such 
special circumstances, and in a country unknown to them 
and where maps were of little use. They became of great 
service in the operation. When the natives first saw the 
machines in the air they showed no astonishment, but they 
were surprized beyond expression when they saw men alight 
from them. One was heard to say: **The Government was 
always great, but now it is greater than ever.'' The intense 
heat that prevailed caused petrol cans to burst and evapora- 
tion was so great that a consignment of seven cases sup- 
posed to hold fifty-six gallons was found to contain only 
thirty-seven. Desert plants having sharp thorns punctured 
tires. With the thermometer registering 120 degrees in the 
shade it wiis hard work to get stores. Most of the transport 
was done with camels. For at least 150 miles it was im- 
possible to carry stores except in camel-packs. As the tents 
for housing machines had required twenty-eight camels to 



carry them, the labor involved in transport may be imagined, 
especially as it was extremely difficult to find one's way in 
the country. In the morning, when camel transport-trains 
were on the move, airmen could pick up the exact line, but 
the camels had to be rested from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. Flying 
was dangerous after midday because of heavy storms, of 
which no warning came. 

Another feature of the war in Egypt that developed 
unique features was the battle of Romani, in 1916, when 
the Sinai had to be crossed with big guns and other war 
equipment during the heat of summer. The Turkish expedi- 
tion engineered by German officers had laid plans for another 
advance from El Arish, ninety miles from the canal. About 
half this distance is a waterless desert and at this time of 
year the heat was intolerable. Moreover, it was impossible 
to march in sands when men sank to the ankle at every step. 
The only means of transporting troops and supplies was on 
camels, which was the method the Turks employed. Several 
hundred beasts were used. Progress was necessarily slow. 
Long before the Turks reached watered positions some miles 
in front of Romani, British were waiting for them. At mid- 
night on August 3 the Turks began the attack, which ended 
in complete disaster for them on August 5. 

Since 1878, under the terms of a convention between Great 
Britain and Turkey, Cyprus had been leased to and ad- 
ministered by the former. The island, which has an area of 
3,584 square miles and a population of about 290,000, was 
now, in September, 1914, definitely annexed to the British 
Empire. *An annual rent of £92,800 had been paid to Turkey 
since 1878, but that ceased with the annexation. Great 
Britain's proclamation turned back the pages of history to 
days when King Richard Coeur de Lion conquered this island 
from the Roman Emperor Izaac. King R* chard sold it to 
the Templars, who had lost many of their knights and much 
wealth during Saladin's conquest of Latin Syria. Eventually 
the Templars found they could not pay the full price, and 
Cyprus went back to King Richard, who gave it to King 
Guy, the dispossest ?Lusignan King of Jerusalem, on condi- 
tion that he pay the Templars a sum equivalent to that 
part of the purchase price which they had paid Richard and 



which Richard, having spent, could not repay. Thus Cyprus, 
the island of Aphrodite Anadyomene and of St. Barnabas, 
passed to the French House of Lusignan, under which it ■ 
became an outpost of Latin civilization in the Levant and 
one of the most important trading centers of the Middle 
Ages. One of its rulers, a woman, unable to resist the Turks, 
finally made over the island to Venice. This was the cele- 
brated Caterina Cormaro, a Venetian woman of rank, now 

the widow and heir of the Cypriote king, James HI. The 
year of the cession was 1489. With Venice in possession of 
the island we can understand why Shakespeare could place 
there a scene in "Othello." There came an end to Cypriote 
glories after the Venetians had starved the island of its reve- 
nues and dismantled its castles. The population in lftl6, was 
put at 298,775, comprising Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Maro- 
mites, and a few Jews. The island has stamps and coins of 
its own.* 

'Principal Sources; The Loodoa Tlmea' "History o* tbo War," The Sun 

<New York), The Calcutta Eni/lishtnan ; The Evening Pott, The Uterary 
Digest, The OutlooJc, The Times, New York; The Dallg Ohroame, The 
Standard, LoDdon ; a Pctrograd ststement Issued by Reuter ; The Journal 
of Commerce, The Tribune, New York; "Xelaon'a History at the War" by 
JohD Buehan, The Fortnightlu Reviete (LODdon), Associated Press dis- 





November 19, 1914— October 15, 1915 

IN the Caucasus and on the Armenian frontier reports 
chronicled early Russian victories and an advance toward 
Erzerum. That Armenia which had long suffered from the 
Kurds would welcome Christian armies seemed natural. 
Caucasia is a medley of races, tongues, and religions. 
Nowhere else in the world can one find in a similar area 
so many types, so many languages and dialects, or so many 
religions and sects, as in this Russian government where the 
troops of the Czar and those of the Crescent were now to 
resume their age-long combat. The cosmopolitanism of New 
York is provincial compared with the confusion of tongues 
and peoples in the Caucasus. Some seventy dialects, strange 
to the "West, are spoken within its boundaries. Caucasia is 
a broad, rocky isthmus which, extending from the southeast 
corner of Europe to Asia, divides the Black and the Caspian 
Seas. Its area is about 180,000 square miles, or more than 
four times that of Ohio. It has good ports on the Black 
and Caspian Seas — Batum on the one, and Baku on the 
other. It is ground that has been fought over in all genera- 
tions. Such names as Kars, Ardahan, and Bayazid ring 
familiar in the ears of students of history. The region has, 
in fact, been the cockpit of Asia Minor, the Belgium of the 
Middle East. Since Noah's ark rested on Mount Ararat it 
is doubtful whether the inhabitants of those mountains have 
ever enjoyed any long spell of peace. 

The Russian attack on Turkey was opened with a dash 
equal to that which earlier in the war carried the Russian 
arms into the heart of East Prussia. One column covered 
forty-seven miles over difficult mountain tracks in two 
days, rushing into a fight with the Turks, who were not 



expecting so rapid an offensive, captured Diadin, and dis- 
persed large forces of Kurds, taking their arms and sup- 
plies, and making a number of prisoners. The Russian ad- 
vance was made along passes and river-beds in a moun- 
tainous, diflScult, and dangerous country. This initial Rus- 
sian success was regarded as a demonstration rather than 
an advance in force. Transcaucasia was to Russia a sec- 
ondary theater of war. Her general policy was to act on the 
defensive during the winter months. The Turks, however, 
had no intention of remaining on the defensive, and at the 
end of November began an advance. Erzerum was Turkey's 
most important fortified place in Asia, and corresponded to 
Adrianople on her European frontier. The Russian concen- 
tration took place at Kars. 

When the Turkish offensive began, the Turks pushed the 
Russians back toward Khorosan and held it during Christ- 
mas week. Meantime two Turkish corps were struggling 
through icy winds and deep snow at high altitudes in the 
mountains, and reached, but did not enter, Sarikamish on 
Christmas Day. The first army, coming from the valley of 
the Chorok, crossed a mountain pass 8,000 feet above sea, and 
bearing down upon Ardahan, drove out a Russian force of 
4,000 men on January 1. On January 3 the Russians drove 
the Turks out of Ardahan. With two Turkish corps in re- 
treat, a third, which was still fighting, was surrounded and 
wiped out. The only unbeaten Turkish corps could as yet 
do nothing, for it was engaged with the head of the Russian 
column and had made no progress for over a week. Iskan 
Pasha, and the whole of his staff, including the German 
officers, and the corps which he commanded, surrendered. 

During a defense of Sarikamish from December 25 to 
December 28 the Russians had assumed the offensive until 
reinforcements arrived and saved the town. The Russians ad- 
vanced by a forced march through deep snow, engaging the 
enemy in the evening about thirteen miles from the town. 
Ragged, hungry, half-frozen Turks rolled on in columns of 
defense. Machine-gun detachments allowed them to ap- 
proach within 300 paces, and then mowed them down. New 
columns sprang up in the^'r places, and the Russians then 
slowly retired eastward step by step. The enemy, realizing 



that every hour was precious if Sarikamish was to be taken, 
came on fighting in the darkness. Turkish columns hurled 
themselves on the slender Russian line, which had to fall 
back as the Turks fired standing. The Russians then re- 
sorted to the bayonet, and with ringing cheers charged the 
enemy in masses, inflicting slaughter. The Turks were 
finally driven back under pressure of weight of numbers, 
and forced to retreat two or three miles from Sarikamish. 
More Turkish artillery arrived at this juncture, but too late 
to claim the victory, as the Russian guns were tlien covering 
their infantry. Reinforcements poured in steadily. A pro- 
tracted engagement culminated in a Russian victory. 

The Russians had inflicted a terrible blow on the Turks. 
They overcame or destroyed something like 50,000 men, 
whom they trapt in fastnesses of the Caucasus range. Of 
two Turkish army corps, all that remained were a few hun- 
dred prisoners. The best corps in the Turkish army, 
normally stationed at Erzerum, had led in the invasion of 
Russian territory, supported by another army corps from 
Van. The Ninth Corps was surrounded and crusht by the 
fire of mountain-artillery, maxims, and rifies. The com- 
mander, Ished Pasha, as well as the division commanders, 
with a hundred other officers, were made prisoners. The 
artillery, maxims, ammunition and stores, all fell into Rus- 
sian hands. Another Turkish corps, tho not annihilated, 
was hotly pursued by native hillmen. Such was the record 
of fighting in the Caucasian area up to the end of January. 
It left the Russians far on the road to Erzerum, where the 
Turks were hastily attempting a new concentration, while 
in the northwest fragments of two beaten corps had effected 
a junction and were attempting a fresh offensive. 

Here in Russian Armenia, in the heart of the Caucasus 
battlefields, with thick, crumbling walls, and ragged founda- 
tions of ancient buildings, lies Ani, a sort of Armenian 
Pompeii, in a rolling, parched, upland country, now almost 
deserted, altho near the Alexandropol-Erivan railway. It 
is a little more than thirty miles south of Alexandropol, 
and some thirty-five miles from the Russo-Turkish boundary. 
Through a tortuous gorge, alongside the dead city, flows the 
Arpa Canal, a weird, bright-green stream. Ani was once a 



E3 3 

tt ^ < 

& B H 

©a H 



splendid capital, with a thousand and one churches — so says 
the legend — whose influence extended throughout the Cau- 
casus and at one time reached into Europe, but all that now 
remains are an aged Armenian monk, who acts as director 
of excavations and a pleasant host of. stray antiquarians and 
tourists, with a few Armenian peasants. Before the war 
these few were living in peaceful isolation among scant 
memorials of a nation's greatness. The monk's home was 
headquarters for the dead city, a one-storied, stone structure, 
near the cathedral, with a single large, bare, and rather 
dirty room in which on occasion guests were accommodated. 
Four beds made it a bedroom, and benches a dining-room. 

Ani was a strong fortress in its ancient days. Power- 
ful walls, with many towers, still stand on the surrounding 
plain, but in the centuries in which the city has been un- 
peopled they have much decayed. Back of the walls, in un- 
even, indiscriminate distribution, lie the remains of churches, 
palaces, and public buildings, almost without number, some 
heavy in the groundwork that suggests their old-time pro- 
portions, with other buildings of high masonry, amid which 
stands the cathedral, unbroken, a solitary, weather-torn 
edifice of red and brown. A thousand years ago — in 961 — 
this city became the capital of the Bagratid kings of Ar- 
menia. Later it was captured by the Byzantium emperor 
and rose soon to be a wealthy and inviting city. Nearly 
twenty years later the Seljuk Turks carried fire and sword 
into it. Warlike Georgians took it five times between 1125 
and 1209. Mongols overran it in 1239 and an earthquake, in 
1319, completed the work of ruin. The great cathedral dates 
from 1010. 

Here also in the southern Caucasus, near the meeting 
point of Persia, Russia, and Turkey, is the most treasured 
possession of the Armenian nation — the monastery and 
cathedral of Echmiadzin, the Holy See of Armenian Chris- 
tians, the source of that strength which has held them to- 
gether through centuries of persecution, warfare and 
massacre. Echmiadzin is the seat of the Catholicus, or 
primate, of the Gregorian Armenian Church. Nearly a 
thousand years have gone by since the fall of the last 
definite political state of the Armenians, but their church 



has held them in national consciousness and preserved in 
them distinguishing racial and social characteristics. The 
Church is more than religion to the Armenian; it is his 
patriotism, his hope for survival, and the banner under 
which he rallies for his people. Here runs the Russo- 
Turkish frontier, and many miles to the southeast lies Persia. 
About 3,000 feet above the sea, forty miles north of Ararat, 
and twelve miles west of Erivan, the capital of the Russian 
government, lies this Armenian Rome, surrounded by 
massive, gray-mud walls, which enclose monastery, cathedral, 
and academy. The buildings are arranged around a great 
quadrangle, in the center of which stands the cathedral of 
St. Gregory the Illuminator, a church of more ancient be- 
ginnings than Saint Sophia of Constantinople. It has served 
as a bulwark for Christianity against the barbarians of Asia 
since 302. Its fight has been long, severe, and heroic. 
Little is known of Echmiadzin among peoples of the West. 

In the library of Echmiadzin are kept manuscripts of the 
Gospels dating from the ninth century. Monks maintain a 
type-foundry and a printing-press, and have accomplished 
great things for the education of their people and the de- 
velopment of Armenian literature. The academy is one of 
the first educational institutions of the Armenian world. 
Many of its pupils have done graduate work in German and 
Russian universities. Adherents of the Armenian church claim 
that it is the oldest established Christian church in the 
world, having been founded in the first part of the third 
century. It is probably the most national of all churches 
in the world. Only Armenians belong to it. 

Mount Ararat, which has known hardly a moment's peace 
since Noah and his ark grounded upon its massive shoulder, 
forms at present a huge boundary mark between the Rueks 
and Russia. Ararat is the original home of the Haik people, 
the center of what has ever been the world's most troubled 
area. Tribes from Europe and Asia have fought each other 
here from the dawn of history. Survivors from many 
battles settled here, as neighbors, hating, despoiling, and 
massacring one another. Ararat, one of the most impressive 
of mountains, rises out of an immense plain sheer up to 
the clouds, with no neighboring peaks to soften its isolation 



and take away its majesty. Mount Everest in the Himalayas 
is set well within a massive, sky-touching range of moun- 
tains. Mount Blanc is merely one of several imposing peaks, 
but Ararat stands aloft, with only a background of sky and 
plain and a framework of little mountains, a splendid thing 
among mountains and without a peer. 

There are two peaks, Great and Little. Great Ararat rises 
to a height of 17,000 feet above the sea; Little Ararat, where 
the boundaries of the Turkish Empire, Russia, and Persia 
meet, reaches 12,840 feet. The snowline here is very high — 
14,000 feet — ^but the dome of Great Ararat is covered with 
glittering fields of unbroken white. Pastures begin a little 
below the snowline. After the pastures runs a belt of for t 

the most part sterile land. Purplish-blue is Ararat. It 
rests its feet in a plain of golden sands, splashed with vivid , 
greens and reds, which shimmers like a Persian carpet. The 
Armenians hold that they were the first people who lived 
after the Flood, the immediate descendants of Noah, so to 
speak. The first village that Noah founded, after abandon- 
ing the ark, was Nakhitchevan — ^so the Armenians think — 
and his people were the first race of men who grew up after 
the Flood. The name Ararat means '*high." The Persian 
name, Koh-i-Nuh, means ''Noah's mountain." Noah's wife 
was buried near its base. Grapes are still grown at Ararat 
from vines believed by the natives to be direct descendants 
of vines planted by Noah. Ararat was first ascended in 
1892 by a German named Parrot. The climb has been made 
by many tourists since, among them James, now Viscount 
Bryce, the noted British diplomat, who wrote a book about it. 

Germany still controlled the Turkish fleet and Constanti- 
nople was commanded by its guns, but with these Russian 
advances the last temptation to Bulgaria to join Turkey 
seemed to have vanished. Roumania, meanwhile, seemed 
freed from any possible menace from Bulgaria. Russian 
troops being in Bukowina and advancing toward Transyl- 
vania, were a reminder that if Roumania would share in 
the spoils she must enter the battle-line. Turkish defeats in 
the Caucasus abolished, or seemed to abolish, the temptation 
for the Balkan States to join the Kaiser, It opened a way 
to Bulgaria, Roumania, and Greece to win easy laurels and 



new provinces. In addition it practically assured the 
British position in Egypt and the Near East, Thus had 
the first German adventures in the Holy War apparently 
came to na.ught. It was impossible not to feci sympathy 
for Turkish troops, fighting as they had always fought, and 
once more caught in the toils of European intrigues and 
persuaded to risk their existence. Apparently the gamble 
on the Golden Horn had reached the most desperate pl-ght 
it had known in its long and checkered history. But this story 
had not yet all been told, because in the future lay British 


failure at the Dardanelles and German success in the 

There was desperate fighting throughout the second week 
in January, which seems to have turned to the advantage of 
the Russians, who on the 14th almost annihilated with the 
bayonet the Fifty-second Turkish Regiment, with the ex- 
ception of its commander, staff -officers, and the men who 
were made prisoners. The fortunes of the Turkish cam- 
paign in the Caucasus had become slender since the Goeben 
and Breslau failed to control communications in the Black 
Sea between Constantinople and Trebizond, and since the 
Turkish army around Erzerum had found itself cut off from 
reinforcements and supplies. 

By April 8 the Turks were ousted from districts bor- 


dering on Batum and Kars, and the Russian offensive was 
continued in Turkish territory, on the right bank of the 
Chorokh, as well as on the front of the Tortum. Over- 
coming the difficulties in an extremely mountainous region^ 
making their way along paths few and far between, fre- 
quently moving by ways that passed over almost inaccessible 
mountain-summits, and marching in deep snow, the Russian 
troops dislodged the Turks from strongly fortified positions, 
and by May 4 had taken possession of the Turkish territory 
between their old frontier and the rivers. 

Russia had carried on a vigorous campaign in this terri- 
tory over a front of about 400 miles, running in a diagonal 
line across mountains and plateau-valleys in Transcaucasia, 
Turkish Armenia, and Persian Kurdistan, from the Black 
Sea to the heart of northern Persia. Ever since October, 
1914, her army had been drawing away several Turkish 
army corps and had held them, up in the Erzerum region. 
Irregular bands of Kurds had endeavored to protect them 
from the Russians in the Black Sea region, while on the 
Turko-Persian borderland remnants of Halil Bey's army 
still operated against the Russian left. The Russians in this 
enterprise and the British Expeditionary Force to the 
Persian Gulf were thus becoming closely related, since for 
six months they had been drawing closer and closer to- 
gether, the Russians going south, the British north, but with 
an inhospitable tract of the Kurdish highlands intervening, 
with the opportunities they gave for protracted guerrilla 

On June 4 the Russians began an attack on certain 
Turkish positions that were accessible only with great diffi- 
culty. By a thrust in the Sevritchai valley they carried the 
first line of fortifications, and afterwards by a series of 
assaults extending over five days, stormed one position after 
another. Advancing by paths and tracks, transporting men 
and guns over mountain-summits reaching 10,000 feet in 
height, and frequently making attacks with the bayonet, 
they dislodged the Turks from positions they had previously 
organized, but which they had defended obstinately. On 
June 6 the Russians occupied Ardost, and on the following 
day Ide. 



After a victory at Dilman the Russians had undertaken to 
scatter the Ottoman troops that were operating between 
Lake Van and Urmia. They began a general offensive with 
their left wing and moved in three directions, first on the 
north, from the Alaachkert and Kaidin valleys on Meliaseh- 
kert; secondly, from the northeast and the east, on Van; 
and, thirdly, from Tabriz on Urmia, with the object of carry- 
ing out an enveloping movement from the south side of 
Lake Urmia. The column that was marching south from 
the Alaschkert, by the valley of the Euphrates, began by 
bringing close pressure on a number of Kurdish regiments. 


Cossacks charged the enemy who, being unable to with- 
stand these onslaughts, fell back in a southerly direction. 
By a brilliant dash cavalry captured the town of Meliaseh- 
kert, in the Sanjak o£ Moush. On the same day another 
column occupied Pathnos, after which cavalry carried out a 
series of reconnoissances in various directions. The Turks 
then fell back to Kop, and the Russian troops encamped 
near Deril in front of the Turkish positions. On June 4, 
after another fight, the Russians captured the village of 
Adiljevaz, at the northwest extremity of Lake Van. Soon 
the whole region between the Alia Dagh mountain-chain and 
the northern shore of Lake Van, as well as part of the 


Sandjak of Moush, with the town of Meliaschkert, were in 
Russian hands, having been evacuated by the Turks. 

Simultaneously with the Meliaschkert offensive the Rus- 
sians began a march on Van, in a northeasterly direction, by 
way of Karta and Aynch, and also from Dilman. The 
Turks, who occupied strong positions in the mountains south 
of Dilman, began a retreat toward the southwest, in the 
direction of Van, by way of Dizagaverska, with Russian 
troops close on their heels. The northern column having 
successfully taken the Tapariz Pass, assumed an offensive, 
prest the Turkish and Kurd advance guards, and on May 
15, after two days' fighting, inflicted defeat on the enemy. 
Continuing its offensive this column, on May 19, captured 
the city of Van, where the population received the Russian 
troops with ceremony, and the notables presented the com- 
mander with the keys of the town. The Russians captured 
25 pieces of fortress-artillery, over 100,000 pounds of powder, 
and a quantity of arms. By June 6 the Russians had 
secured the region of Van and a part of the Sanjak of 
Moush, had annihilated Khalil Bey *s original corps, and had 
cleared of Turkish troops the region between Lakes Van and 
Urmia. On the right wing they occupied Turkish territory 
between the old frontier and the line of the rivers Chorekh 
and Tortum and the mountain-range of Chakhi Baba. 

Lake Van is the Great Sea of the Armenian people, and 
easily the most striking physical feature of their high 
plateau. It is the largest lake in Asiatic Turkey, and 
roughly, marks one of the wildest borders of the Near East, 
a border to which the authority of Constantinople has seldom 
reached and to which the ordering endeavor of the Russian 
Cossack had not yet come. Near the borders of Persia and 
Russia, Van lies on the borders of Armenia and Kurdistan, 
a lake with an area of 1,400 square miles, its greatest 
length 80 miles and its greatest width 50 miles. The 
Euphrates and Tigris rivers rise in mountains near this lake. 

The physical aspects of the country are as savage as is its 
history. Densely-wooded, massive mountains, succeeded by 
chill, bare, dark rocks, girt the lake. Much of the irregular 
shore-line is rugged and dangerous, while the forests be- 
hind form a **no man's land," where the hasty usages of 



raee-feuds hold sway. The water of the lake is bitter 
and undrinkable, and, in the autumn and winter, its surface 
is «wept by violent storms that make all navigation ' haz- 
ardous. It stands more than 5,000 feet above the sea level. 
Lake Van has been navigated from earliest times. For a 
short time in the ancient world it played a role as a high- 
way for commerce. Before the outbreak of the World War 
it floated 90 sailing boats, of 20 and 25 tons burden, which 
were engaged mainly in the transport of wheat and firewood. 
The chief town of the region, near the eastern shore of the 
lake, is also called Van, and is a place of some 30,000 
people, of the oil-and-water mixture of half Kurds and half 

To any one who remembered the rejoicings which wel- 
comed the bloodless Turkish Revolution of 1908, the en- 
suing fraternization of Moslem and Christian, and the con- 
fidence that grew up of a better future for the Armenians, 
the story of new and systematic persecution of the Ar- 
menians beginning in the early summer of 1915 and extend- 
ing over many weeks, was a bitter tale. Talaat Bey and 
his extremist allies shocked not only his allies but their 
German friends, attaining as they did an eminence for 
"f rightfulness" to which the **Red Sultan" had never before 
soared. No massacre had taken place during the Turkish 
mobilization for war, or during the early stages of the cam- 
paign in the Caucasus. It was not till Enver Pasha's army 
invaded Russian territory and another Turkish force, com- 
posed in part of Kurdish irregulars, had invaded Azerbaijan, 
that massacres began in which Armenians were thrown over 
cliffs, women violated and abducted, children frequently 
Islamized. Many of the population, after suffering great 
privations, escaped into Russian territory. In the first out- 
burst, according to Russian newspapers and American mis- 
sionaries, over 2,000 were killed, under orders from Turkish 
consuls in northwest Persia, while Kurdish tribesmen com- 
mitted gruesome atrocities near Bayezid, and began to raid 
Armenian villages near Van. 

The later defeat of Sary Kamish by a Russian army, 
which included many Armenians, infuriated Enver. At 
this period the systematic massacre of 25,000 Armenians in 



the Bashkala district, of whom less than 10 per cent, were 
said to have escaped, appeared to have been ordered. In 
April Armenians in Van, who before the war had collected 
arms to defend themselves against the Kurds, were attacked 
by Kurds and Turkish gendarmes and in some places were 
massacred. In others they more than held their own, and 
finally captured the town of Van and took a bloody 
vengeance on their enemies. Early in May a Russo- 
Armenian army entered Van. 

Turkish officers commanding in the provinces received 
orders in April and May authorizing them to deport all in- 
dividuals or families whose presence might be regarded as 
politically or militarily dangerous. In the caste of some of 
the Cilician Armenians, deportation began earlier. Talaat 
was believed to be the chief author of these crimes. **I in- 
tend to prevent any talk of Armenian autonomy for fifty 
years,'' said he. Their disappearance ** would be no loss,'' 
he added. Eastern Anatolia, Cilicia, and the Anti-Taurus 
region were scenes of the worst cruelties. At Bitlis and 
Moush a large number, according to some accounts 12,000, 
many of them women, were shot or drowned. At Sivas, 
Kaisari, and Diarbekr many executions took place and 
several Armenian villages were wiped out. At Urfa the 
first massacre did not take place until in the third week of 
August, when it was witnessed by Allied women and chil- 
dren who afterward escaped from Syria. An English girl 
ten years of age saw an Armenian's brains blown out and 
the bodies of women and children burned with kerosene. 
Several smaller massacres followed the first outbreak. 

The massacred Armenians had mostly given up their arms 
in accordance with advice from their clergy. At four widely 
separated places resistance was offered. At Shaban Kara- 
hissar, in northeast Anatolia, they took up arms, and were 
fijially overwhelmed; some 4,000 were believed to have been 
killed or sold at this place. At Kharput, on hearing of the 
intention of the authorities to deport them, the Armenians 
rose on June 3, and for a week held the town. They were 
then overpowered by troops with artillery and were mostly 
killed. In Talaat Bey's methods massacre was followed by 
a cruder system of persecution than Abdul Hamid ever in- 



vented. The Red Sultan's abominations were seldom ac- 
companied by the wholesale deportation of survivors; the 
violation and abduction of women and the conversion of 
children, the sadly frequent in some places, were by no 
means general in the massacres of 1894-1896 when, as has 
been said, "the wild beast was allowed only to run amuek 
for twenty-four hours, and was then usually chained up." 
In Talaat Bey's campaign the preliminary massacre, which 
was sometimes omitted, was followed by the separation of 
able-bodied men from their women-folk. The former were 
drafted into labor-battalions or disappeared. Women, chil- 
dren, and old men were said to have been led into the 
desert south of the Euphrates and left there to starve. 


These Armenians were the surilvora of a large number, tbe most of whom 

had been maaeacrea. They had fled to the Amerloan Mission Compound 

and fortified It agalnet further Turkish attacks 



By late summer a series of frightful massacres by which 
some hundreds of thousands of Christians were affected had 
taken place. At Bitlis, in June, in an attempt at a general 
disarmament of Armenians, the authorities, without regard 
to age or condition, undertook to torture, and even to brand 
with red-hot irons, the bodies of notables, hoping thus to 
frighten the other people. Turks visited private homes and, 
under pretext of searching for arms, robbed them and 
dragged out women and girls. Kurds joined the Turkish 
assailants. Wholesale abductions of young women and of 
boys between 10 and 15 years of age were carried out with 
the object of converting them to Islam. Few Armenians 
escaped this Moslem barbarity. Refugees swore that on one 
occasion Turks tied together some fifty old men and threw 
them into the lake of Van. Men above seventy and lame, 
blind, or paralytic persons were stript of what few rags 
they wore as clothing. Many refugees walked at night in 
the darkness through mountains and hid behind rocks, so as 
not to be seen by wandering Moslems, and lived on grass 
roots which they could gather. Appalling massacres took 
place in the districts of Bitlis, Moush and Khinis (Erzerum). 
After a desperate attempt at self-defense in Vartemis, 
east of Moush, the Armenians were overwhelmed by large 
Turkish forces, and about 2,000 men and women of every 
age and condition who had taken refuge in the church of 
the village were burned to death amid indescribable horrors. 

Toward the end of July the military situation of the 
Transcaucasian front had taken an unfortunate turn for 
the Russians. Apparently encouraged by Russian reverses in 
Poland, the Turks had sent large reinforcements, some 
40,000 regular troops, to the Armenian front to begin a 
strong offensive, whereupon the Russians ordered a general 
withdrawal all along the front, even compelling the Ar- 
menian volunteers to evacuate the city of Van, which the 
latter had captured from the Turks in May and had held 
ever since. In consequence, about 250,000 Armenians who 
had taken refuge in Van were ordered to leave their homes 
and march over a distance of about 100 miles across the 
Russian frontiers. As there are no railways, nor even good 
roads in Turkish Armenia, all means of transport being 



scanty and slow, thousands of sick women and children, ex- 
hausted by the sufferings of five months, fount] themselves 
unable to move. Hard prest by the advancing Turks who 
wished to cut off the line of retreat, Armenian volunteers 
fought several bloody rear-guard actions in order to hold 
back the Turks and secure the safety of 250,000 refugees. 

A special correspondent^ described the scenes as the most 
horrible he had ever witnessed. He saw people dying by 
the roadside owing to hunger and thirst or exhaustion, and 
mothers throwing away their children in order to lighten 
their burden. One hundred thousand of these refugees were 


quartered in and around Erivan, In spite of the fact that 
several Armenian societies and towns in Transcaucasia 
volunteered to take care of between 50 and 100 children 
each, there were about 3,500 boys and girls below 10, almost 
all orphans, who remained in Erivan awaiting attendance 
and care. By the end of October it was declared — appar- 
ently an exaggeration — that only 200,000 Armenians were 
left in Turkey, and that more than 1,000,000 had either 
been killed, enslaved, or exiled. It was feared that the 
residue might disappear before the end of the war. That 

■ OI tfac Horizon, an ArmeoLaD pHpfr pQbllshed In TIflla. 


the Turkish Government had doomed the hapless Armenian 
people to extermination many no longer doubted. With 
fire, sword and strangling knot, Turkish irregulars were 
carrying out a sentence that was pronounced in cold blood 
and declared that *'the only way to get rid of the Armen'an 
question is to get rid of the Armenians/' 

The extermination was carried out by massacre, deporta- 
tion, and forced conversion to Islam. Throughout the whole 
of Armenia these methods prevailed. The Government re- 
leased from prison criminals whom it had organized and en- 
rolled. These criminals were put in charge of the Armenian 
convoys. There was no brutality they did not commit. An 
eyewitness, an Armenian taken prisoner at the. Dardanelles, 
where he had been made to serve in the Turkish army, 
described the declaration of martial law at Zile as including 
the confiscation of all Armenian property. "Women were 
tied to the tails of ox-carts and exposed to hunger and 
rough weather until they accepted conversion to Islam or 
death ; mothers were bayoneted before the eyes of thefr 
children, and Armenian girls were distributed as chattels 
among civil and military officials. This Armenian had been 
compelled to assist in many massacres. On one occasion he 
was a member of a party of forty soldiers who superin- 
tended the death of 800 Armenians. 

The Kurds who on the Persian border shared in these 
barbarities are a survival from ancient days when self- 
respecting men lived only, or, at least principally, by the 
sword. Wild tribes of them are still scattered through Asia 
Minor, where they thwart well-meant efforts to give the 
land the modem comforts of security through sociaL organi- 
zation. Altho they inherit a country once fabulously rich, 
that country has not been able to bring forth a sufficiency 
through all the years that the Kurds have practised their 
untamed housekeeping on its soil. The Kurd is a picturesque 
person. Whatever his numbers may be — and the census- 
takers of Turkey are indefinite — ^he is much more in evi- 
dence than are the Armenians and other people among whom 
he lives. It is from the Kurd that the traveler obtains his 
first impressions of Asia Minor, and in most cases hie re- 
mains the predominate figure. He wears clothes of vivid 



colors, the poorer ones among them wearing rags of the most 
forlorn sorts. He rides the best horse obtainable, is always 
armed, and bullies Armenians and travelers at the same 
time that his overlord, the Turk, bullies him. 

Unable to get a complete mastery over the Kurds, the 
Turks have employed toward them an administrative policy 
of letting them alone, even when they massacre and rob 
Armenians and travelers. Both occupations are considered 
by them the exercise of a simple right. In his useful state 
the Kurd lives in hills where he herds sheep. In summer he 
is a pastoral tent-dweller, in winter he moves to the Meso- 
potamia plains, where he either lives in a tent or turns the 
owner out of a selected house and lives in that. His tent 
is of black, homespun goat's-hair; its furniture, mats, quilts 
and cooking tools. His children go naked and his women 
ragged. When by chance he builds a winter home, it con- 
sists of a. hole in the ground with a flat roof of wattle and 
clay, air-tight, smoke-tight, light-tight, except that there are 
small smoke vents in the roof. The whole eflfect is that of 
a prairie-dog's dwelling. 

Kurds are possest of a conscious superiority that gives 
them a certain nobility of bearing. A Kurdish chief is an 
impressive and, often, an affable individual, and Kurds oc- 
casionally attempt some of the arts of civilization. Officially, 
they are Mohammedans, but they reject the custom of veil- 
ing their women. They reverence fire and on the subject 
of religion are altogether liberal. Many are Kizilbashis, or 
heretic Moslems, and some few are Christians. Little feudal 
organizations give them their only claims to anything ap- 
proximating nationality. 

The Armenian massacres of 1915 were perpetrated under 
cover of the World War by ''the gang who were in control 
of Turkey, '^ as Lord*Bryce called the Turkish Government. 
Germans at Berlin protested that stories of outrages at 
Trebizond and elsewhere were deliberate exaggerations, cir- 
culated for political effect, and an attempt was made to 
justify the Turks. Lord Bryce gave, in the British House 
of Lords, a heart-piercing account of the circumstances in 
which the Armenian people were being exterminated. Not 
since the days of Tamerlane had the world known such 



horrors. He computed that from May to October hundreds 
of thousands of Armenians, men, women, and children, had 
been slain in cold blood in Asia Minor. The Armenian na- 
tion, however, was not yet quite extinct; forlorn remnants 
had found refuge in the Caucasus; some had managed to 
reach Egypt; a few, ill-armed, half-starved bands were 
bravely defending themselves from would-be assassins in the 
mountains of Sassun and Cilicia. On behalf of these 
pathetic survivors of a fine race he made an appeal to 
neutral nations. 

Americans were sick at heart over these awful disclosures. 
The severance of diplomatic relations with Turkey would 
have been justified but the United States Ambassador to 
Turkey could not be taken from his post without the aban- 
donment of the Armenians and without peril to Americans 
who remained in Turkey. The Ambassador was Henry 
Morgenthau, whose efforts to procure some alleviation of the 
lot of the Armenians proved unsuccessful. Talaat and Bedri 
both turned deaf ears to all his pleadings. German and 
Austro-German residents in Turkey seem at first to have 
approved of the punishment of Armenian *' traitors," but 
the methods of the Turkish extremists turned their 
stomachs and there were some Turkish protests against these 
abominations. Turks at Aintab, for example, refused to 
permit the exile of local Armenians. Rahmi Bey, the bold 
Vali of Smyrna, repeatedly protested to the Porte and re- 
fused to hand over suspected Armenians for trial. The 
Sheikh ul Islam salved his conscience by a tardy resigna- 
tion, and Djahid and Djavid Beys uttered plaintive protests 
when it was too late. 

What to do about the Armenian atrocities was a question 
that agitated many minds. The United States Government 
made informal representations to Turkey pointing out ^*the 
bad effect upon public opinion in the United States of the 
treatment of the Armenians," but, beyond this, nothing 
could be done. Lord Bryce said there was only one Power 
that could stop the Armenian atrocities and that was Ger- 
many. The German press, however, gave warning to the 
United States that '*the Germans would not only not interfere 
with Turkish massacres of infidels, but that they would not 



permit the United States to interfere.'* The Frankfurter 
Zeitv/tig pointed out that the Armenian affair "was no 
more America's business than the lynching of negroes was 
Germany's business." A writer in the Vossische Zeitung 
added that the Armenian question was **a purely theoretical 
discussion about humanity." Germany **had battles to fight 
at present in order to insure her very existence." 

Two years before an appalling tragedy such as this would 
have stirred protests from the whole world. In the summer 
of 1915 it occupied only a fraction of the attention of 
readers of the daily papers, who turned to it from the more 
striking details of some new great battle, not in Asia but 
in Europe. Terrible as was this new Turkish massacre, it 
failed to fire the public because a neutral nation, such as 
the United States, which had read and believed the reports 
of German atrocities in Belgium and northern France, could 
find no new words, and feel no new emotion, at beholding 
the Turk imitating Europeans in the task of exterminating 
a population. This terrible page of history was regarded as 
an echo and an extension of the incursion into Belgium 
fourteen months before. 

In a strict sense, there was no Armenia. When used, the 
name refers in general to a region centering about Lake 
Van in Asiatic Turkey, and extending thence north and 
southwest, Armenia means a country whose bounds have 
continually changed with the fortunes of war. The greater 
part of the region lies within the Turkish Empire, and is 
called Kurdistan. It is inhabited by Turks, Armenians, 
Russians, Persians, Kurds, Circassians, Greeks, Nestorians, 
Yezidees, Syrians, and Jews. 

The early history of the Armenians is so mixed with 
myth and legend that the truth is difficult to find. During 
the Assyrian and Median periods there was evidently a 
great organized monarchy, with a strong military power in 
the Lake Van basin. At times they were formidable enemies 
of the Medes. This country was well known to the Assyrians 
as early as the ninth century B.C. It was inhabited by four 
races — the Mairi, the Urard, the Minni, and the Hittites. 
These races appear to have maintained their independence 
until the time of Ashur-banipal, about 640 B.C., when the 



last king of that series succumbed to the Assyrian yoke. But 
in the time of Herodotus, a strange people had entered the 
land, bringing with them a new language, new names and 
customs, and a new religion. Herodotus believes they came 
from Phrygia, but their language and religion indicated 
Media. One thing was certain; the old Turanians had ceased 
to rule, and the Armenian race had come as a mixture of 
ruling Aryan tribes with primitive Turanian populations.* 

• Prlnolpfll Sources : The London Times' "HlHtory ot the War, "Bulletlaa" 
ot the XfttloBftl Geograpblc Society (New York), The Morning Poit (London), 
The Independent (New York). The Timet (London) ; The Evening Sun, 
The Literary Digest, New York ; "The Encyclopedia of Missions." 







November 1, 19 14 — December 30, 1915 

ONE of the immediate effects of Turkey's becoming a 
combatant was to extend the war-area to the head of 
the Persian Gulf, where hostilities quickly began, between 
the Turks and British and Indian troops. The British soon 
captured the port of Bassora, gained the delta of the Tigris 
and Euphrates, and drove remnants of the Turkish force 
northward toward Bagdad. Th^se operations, which formed 
an entirely separate campaign, were of much political im- 
portance. They seemed at once to shatter Germany's dream 
of domination in the Middle East, where Bassora was to 
have been the terminus of the Bagdad Railway, Germany's 
great enterprise in the domain of world politics. As the 
fall of Bassora would deprive Germany of access to the 
seas in southern Asia, the political consequence of the cam- 
paign promised to surpass the military. 

The question was often asked why, with so much on their 
hands elsewhere, the British diverted so large a force into 
Mesopotamia with the intention of occupying Bagdad. "What 
was Bagdad to Great Britain ? The answer was that Bagdad 
was on the high road to India. That fact gave the city 
strategical importance. If a line were drawn from Berlin 
through Vienna, Constantinople, and Bagdad to Karachi, it 
would be nearly straight. "With this road completed from 
Haidar Pasha to Bagdad, a journey from London to Karachi, 
which takes fifteen days by the sea-route through the Suez 
Canal, would take only eight by a land-route through Bag- 
dad. Thus the Bagdad railway would be a short cut to 
India. The British believed that the Germans installed at 



Bagdad would convert it into a powerful offensive point 
d'appui for a descent into the Persian Gulf. So great a 
menace to the security of Britain's sea-route to India had 
to be opposed with all the available strength at her com- 
mand. Bagdad, moreover, was not only on the highway to 
India, but was the gateway into Persia, where Great Britain 
and her Russian ally had long established economic inter- 
ests, irreconcilable with the aims of German statesmen. 

This war in Mesopotamia was an enterprise of the Indian 
Government, and in India alone for several months were 
details 'of it published. Modest as the campaign at first was, it 
had a strategical importance of the first order. It was of 
an old-fashioned campaign type which had become obsolete 
in Europe. In Mesopotamia there was no fixt line of 
trenches buttressed by impregnable flanks. The Turks had 
been skilful at taking up positions and digging themselves 
in, but once their front could be broken there would ensue 
a rout and a chance for effective use of cavalry. The land, 
however, was not without strategic difiSculties. Floods, in 
February, 1915, created huge lagoons on both sides of the 
river, and as these shrank there remained isolated meres 
and large areas of swamp. Old irrigation-canals, often deep 
and wide, and running out from the river, complicated the 
problem of transport. At dawn the heat might be 110° 
Fahrenheit and in the afternoon well over 120°. Baked 
sands retained the heat so that night brought little coolness. 
Of shade there was none, a blinding glare being reflected 
from yellow earth and blue water. Many British soldiers 
yearned for trenches in the deep meadow-lands of Flanders. 
By the end of September, 1915, this campaign, which for 
months had been almost forgotten in Europe, assumed real 
importance in the eyes of Allied statesmen. Efforts, here- 
tofore sporadic in this region, acquired a major value in 
the late autumn, owing to the German menace to the Balkans. 
Here was a revelation of strategy which threatened India as 
well as the Near and Middle East. 

The great battlefields in France and Russia and the dip- 
lomatic warfare for control of the Balkans had at the time 
completely overshadowed the Mesopotamian contest, which 
now was profoundly affecting a region of high importance — 

V. VHP— 5 57 


a region which in time was destined again to support a 
civilization worthy of its resources and ^ its fertility, and 
more than worthy of its political and economic traditions. 
The British campaign represented the consolidation of a 
colonial policy in that part of the world that had been in 
process of development for two decades. Germany had at 
one time hoped to obtain Koweit, which lies at the head of 
the Persian Gulf and has a magnificent harbor, as a terminus 
for her Bagdad railway, but Great Britain had forestalled 
her by treaty with Sheik Mobarek of Koweit, thus leaving 
Germany without an adequate i)ort for her railway. 

For many years Great Britain had had treaties with Arab 
chiefs on both sides of the Persian Gulf. The commerce of 
the gulf had been nearly all in British hands, the Indian 
rupee had ousted or displaced Turkish coinage, and the only 
post-oflSces in the gtlf were under British Indian adminis- 
tration. Meanwhile, piracy had been checked as well as 
slavery. Great Britain, in fact, had policed the gulf. New 
lighthouses were being erected, the entire coast charted, and 
a more active commerce had been made possible when the 
war came. The battle of Bassora in November, 1914, seemed 
at the time to decide the destinies of Mesopotamia. The 
viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge, paid a visit to Koweit, 
decorated the ruling chief, secured the good will of the Arab 
tribes, and also visited Bassora. In both places American 
missionaries received acknowledgments for their aid to 
wounded during the war, with a donation from the viceroy 
in recognition of their services. The streets of Bassora, for 
the first time in the memory of man, were made clean. 

The possible economic future of the Euphrates valley can 
be estimated from the fact that, in the days of Nineveh and 
Babylon there flourished in it a jwpulation estimated by 
Eawlinson to have reached forty millions; under modern 
Turkish misrule the population has been a little less than 
two millions. This decline has been attributed chiefly to 
tribal warfare, to the disappearance of the vast irrigation 
works of antiquity, and to a lack of all enterprise on the 
part of the government. Those familiar with the develop- 
ment of Egypt under British rule have believed that Meso- 
potamia, under some future Lord Cromer, could be made 



equal to at least one, if not two, EgjT)ts in fertility, com- 
merce, and the economie and political happiness of the 
people. "When Sir William Willcocks, the engineer of the 
Assuan Dam, or some successor of his, shall have completed 
similar works on the Euphrates and Tigris, the same agri- 
cultural transformation which has come to Egypt may be 
looked forward to in Mesopotamia. One of the great oil 
deposits of the world is found at Mohammerah in this valley. 


Recorded human history begins in the Persian Gulf. The 
destinies of empires were formerly swayed from its lonely 
shores, and to a degree that has been too little understood in 
the modem world. In Turkish Asia, thirtj- days by 
caravan from Constantinople, and westward only fifty miles 
from the legendary Garden of Eden, man's birthplace, still 
stands the once splendid city of Bagdad, which for centuries 
was the capital of the Mohammedan world, and long the 



second city of importance in the Ottoman Empire. Bagdad 
lies on both sides of the Tigris, on the west bank the old 
town, with streets so narrow that it is often impossible for 
two donkeys to pass one another, on the east bank the new 
town, with Government offices, barracks, consulates, prisons 
and the Government army factory. From Bagdad, as far 
as the eye can reach, stretches the vast, flat, treeless, empty 
plain of Mesopotamia. The older houses are box-shaped, 
with flat roofs, almost windowless, and huddled together. 
Arabs spend sultry summer-nights on these roofs with tom- 
toms, flutes-, water-pipes and dancing women. But the license, 
indolence, and insecurity of old Bagdad are gone. To-day 
the city is commercial in spirit. It has a large foreign 
trade, and is a distributing center for a spacious territory. 
Only fifty foreigners — British, German, Russian, Italian, and 
French — lived in Bagdad before the war began, twelve of 
whom were consuls. 

Germany saw the value of the Persian Gulf and for 
ten years before the war began she had sought to establish 
her influence there. No other inland sea possesses so ancient 
and so strange a history, and none is so little known or 
visited. The narrow entrance to it lies in a comer of the 
Arabian Sea, where lees from southern oceans collect and 
strange marine monsters disport themselves. In approaching 
the entrance, a ship may either shape its course past the 
land-locked harbor of Maskat, set in the midst of volcanic 
heights, or coast along the desolate shores of Mekran, where 
dwell the Icthyophagi, or fish-eaters, as they did in the days 
of Alexander's retreat from Sind. The bay of Koweit is the 
finest harbor on the gulf. At the head of the gulf sands and 
mountains are replaced by green and smiling fields, with 
palm groves which, with desert and swampy lands beyond, 
form the delta of the Tigris and Euphrates. From the 
point where these rivers unite the stream flows through an 
alluvial land as flat as Holland. Some sixty miles above 
the river stands Bassora, the center of Turkish influence in 

the gulf. 

Local issues have long unsettled the Persian Gulf. The 
Turks tried to dispute in various ways the predominant in- 
fluence which the British exercised for perhaps three hun- 



dred years. After the Turks entered into an understanding 
with the Germans, their pressure against British interests 
at Bassora steadily increased, so that the whole situation 
gradually changed. It was not now Turks and Britons 
alone who were at Bassora, but Germans too, and they were 
seeking domination, in the gulf. The lure which lay before 
them was the short road to India. 

Dreams of controlling as administrators the fertile plains 
of the lower Euphrates and Tigris, and making them once 
more the granary of the world, must have been wonderfully 
attractive to the Germans. In this rich country primeval 
man found wheat growing wild. It was here that man first 
evolved the art of cultivating the soil and making a wilder- 
ness into a garden. Paul Rohrbach, a German economist 
and State official, whose eyes were long on Mesopotamia, 
told the Germans that, as recently as the eighth century, 
the land between these rivers produced ten million tons of 
wheat annually, and supported six millions of people, while 
now it maintains only one million. The objects of the Ger- 
mans were economic, ,but they were also political. While 
wishing to build a railway terminus in the gulf waters, 
whatever flag the port should fly the place was meant by 
them to be a German stronghold, with an army at its back, 
under German influence, and to serve in future years as a 
stepping-off place for India. The vital thing, however, was 
first to reach the Persian Gulf. Whether it paid or not, 
the Bagdad railway, on its economic side, was most praise- 
worthy. Asia needed railways, and no part of that continent 
was more in need of good ones than Asiatic Turkey. British 
opposition to the railway had been based partly on im- 
proper methods of finance, but far more on a belief that 
Germany's motive in promoting it was primarily political, 
and meant to undermine British influence in the Middle 
East and British paramountcy in the Persian Gulf. 

After ten years of growth in German influence, the Ham- 
burg-American Company entered the Persian Gulf in 1906, 
and a line of steamers plying between Hamburg and all 
principal gulf ports was started. The arrival of the first 
German steamer was long remembered at each port in the 
gulf, where it had entered with a band playing **Deutsch- 



land iiber AUes," an air which some listening Britons at the 
time fondly assumed to be **God save the King." German 
trade thenceforth made steady progress at Bassora until the 
"World War stopt it. 

British claims to paramountcy in the Persian Gulf rested 
on a long sequence of events. The flag of England was 
flying in the Straits of Oman as long ago as when the Ger- 
mans were engaged in the Thirty Years' War. England had 
shouldered burdens there before the Mayflower landed at 
Plymouth. Had England in the meantime lost her grip, 
piracy, slave-dealing raids and counter-raids, all the char- 
acteristics of barbarism, would probably have reappeared 
there. Having performed a work for civilization during 
three hundred years, England was aggrieved that Germany 
should challenge her presence and purposes. Great Britain 
regarded predominance in the gulf as an essential part of 
her defense of India. She believed the . mere presence of 
another power, whether its port were fortified or unfortified, 
would have an unsettling effect on India. People in India 
could not be induced to believe that from such a port their 
country could be safeguarded. The fact that another flag 
was flying in a region where the British had been dominant 
for three hundred years, and supreme for more than a cen- 
tury, would persuade them that England's strength was 
declining. Such confidence as she inspired would be dimin- 
ished. It was not for strategic reasons alone that Britain 
was compelled to maintain her position in the Persian Gulf. 
She had to think also of the moral effects on India. 

A rupture of the relations between Great Britain and 
Turkey had been fully expected in 1914 by the small British 
community at Bassora. Many had left for Mohammerah, 
which is in Persia. A British warship of 1,070 tons had 
been lying off Mohammerah for some weeks, when people 
at IMohammerah noticed on October 31 that she was clearing 
for action. Then they knew a conflict was near. The Gov- 
ernment of India, which had charge of operations in the 
gulf, had been fully forewarned, and some time earlier 
had strengthened their forces in the gulf. First came the 
taking of Fao, which was a very brief episode; two gunboats 
bombarding the Turkish fort and reducing it to silence in 



about an hoar. A force of marines from a battleship which 
lay outside was then landed and the town occupied. The 
invasion of Chaldea had begun. With a position at Fao made 
good, a detachment of native infantry, under General Dela- 
main, advanced thirty miles up the river, its hanks lined 
with trees, largely dates, and behind them swamps and 
desert lands. Proceeding past the Abadan Oil Works and 
round the bend of the river, he anchored at San!yeh and 
debarked his brigade, which made an entrenched camp close 
to the river and awaited the arrival of reinforcements. At 
dawn on November 11 the British outposts were attacked 


by a Turkish force, evideutly from Basaora, but were quickly 
cheeked by Mahrattas. The enemy having established them- 
selves in a village from which they could be dislodged only 
by considerable effort, the Punjabs made a counter-attack, 
supported by fire from a mountain-battery. The Turks were 
finally routed, the Turkish casualties amounting to about 80. 
On November 21 came news that the Turks had evacuated 
Bassora, and that Arabs were looting the city. General 
Barrett pushed on at once. When in sight of Bassora he 
saw black clouds of smoke rising from the Turkish Custom- 
house, which had been fired. Ships had meanwhile arrived. 


A quarter of an hour afterward the Qerman flag on the im- 
posing German Consulate was lowered, and the British naval 
ensign hoisted in its stead. When the British expedition 
made a formal entry into Bassora on November 23, a procla- 
mation, stating the reasons for the occupation and the 
friendly intentions of the British Government was read in 
Arabic, the Union Jack hoisted in the presence of guards 
of honor and, as the troops presented arms, three cheers 
were given for the King and Emperor. Warships fired a 
salute of thirty-one guns. 

Late in July, 1915, a British force, under Major-General 
G. F. Gorringe^, attacked and captured in succession ad- 
vanced Turkish positions, in face of a stubborn resistance. 
On the same day gunboats shelled Nasiriyeh on the 
Euphrates. During the night the Turks retreated toward 
the north, and British troops occupied the town. In the 
earlier part of the fight the British captured eleven guns, two 
machine-guns, and several hundred prisoners, while about 
500 dead Turks were counted. British casualties were esti- 
mated at between 300 and 400. In forwarding his report, 
General Sir John Nixon stated that these operations, lasting 
for twenty days, and culminating in an attack on a series 
of entrenched positions, were carried out in a shade tem- 
perature of 113 degrees under most difficult and onerous 
conditions, the country being a network of marshes and 
canals. In June there were twenty-seven cases and nine 
deaths from enteric fever. Troops were supplied from 
Bombay with spine protectors and goggles, mosquito-nets and 
veils, ice, mineral waters, and fresh vegetables. Electric 
lights and fans were fitted up in buildings where possible. 
1 In September the British won another battle in the retreat 
of the Turks toward Bagdad. One position carried by the 
British contained a long line of defenses extending astride 
the Tigris. At a point seven miles east of Kut, two brigades 
crossed the river from the right bank, and by a forced march 
reached the left wing of the Turkish position, carrying it 
hy assault. The Turks had clung with great tenacity to 
their trenches, which, when finally reached, were found filled 

»A cousin of Commander Gorrlnge, U.S.N., who brought from Egypt to 
New York the "Cleopatra's Needle" now in Central Park. 



with corpses. A number of cannon, many rifles, several 
hundred prisoners and a quantity of ammunition were cap- 
tured. General Nixon gave the British casualties as ** under 
five hundred.'' Kut, or Kut-el-Amara, is ninety miles south- 
east of Bagdad, and two hundred and thirty miles northeast 
from the head of the Persian Gulf, on an elbow of the 
Tigris, which at this point runs east about fifty miles. It 
was on the morning of September 28 that the British moved 
forward to the final attack. The Turks resisted bravely ;. but 
after hard fighting and several counter-attacks their left was 
completely enveloped, and by two o'clock the whole northern 
end of the position was in British hands. A scorching wind, 
with dense clouds of dust, had swept the desert during the 
whole day; and the long fight in the heat, coming after the 
night march, had exhausted General Delemain's troops, who 
were suffering severely from thirst, the marsh water being 
undrinkable. He was therefore obliged to give them rest. 
Then he set them in motion again and prest on to complete 
the victory. His weary troops swept forward, and altho 
the Turks fought well, they were overthrown and routed. 
During the night the Turks evacuated all the trenches they 
still held, and their whole force fell back along the river. 
They had lost fourteen guns and 4,000 men, of whom over 
1,000 were prisoners. The British loss in killed and wounded 
amounted to 1,233. Altho fought some distance below Kut, 
the battle was called the battle of Kut. 

The British force comprised about 11,000 British-Indian 
troops and a few hundred British Territorials, who had been 
sent from Egypt after the Turkish pressure on the Suez 
Canal was relieved in December, 1914. The opposing army 
was made up of from 15,000 to 20,000 Turkish troops and 
Arab irregulars. Among them were a score or so of German 
officers. By October, when the British cavalry were in 
Kut-el-Amara, the town was found deserted, with the Turks 
in flight toward Bagdad by road and river. Along the river 
gunboats and steamers with an Indian brigade aboard, 
started in pursuit. An aeroplane dropt bombs on one of 
the Turkish steamers. The captured Turkish positions had 
shown that the trenches were constructed with remarkable 



thoroughness. They had communication, trenches extending 
for miles, and a system of contact mines. 

Kut was occupied by General Townshend's troops on Oc- 
tober 29. It was described by Sir Mark Sykes, who saw 
it at this time, as **a dirty, tumble-down, unsanitary little 
town," but with a minaret and decorated po-rtals as perfect 
in design and line as the best work of ancient days. The 
town lies in a loop of the Tigris, about 340 miles from the 
sea, by the river route, and contains about 6,000 inhabitants, 
mostly Arabs. There is fertile ground about it, which 
might be greatly developed, but, except for its position at 
the northern end of the Shatt-el-Hai, it has no special im- 
portance, and it will owe its place in history solely to its 
connection with one of the outlying episodes of the World 
War. Under Nixon, Townshend was here in full command. 

The floods that had spread over the valley of thje Tigris 
had subsided in September. North and west of marshes 
which surrounded Kurna the country opened out into a 
valley of luxuriant pasture land, where herds of cattle and 
horses and flocks of sheep met the eye. Canals intersect 
the great Tigris Valley in all directions, while every now 
and then ruins bear record of some long past civilization. 
Encampments of wandering* Bedouins were seen in the cam- 
paign dotted about here and there, and hordes of naked 
children played along the banks of canals. Before the war 
the Arabs used to vary the monotony of their peaceful lives 
by firing on trading steamers as they passed up and down 
these great waterways. In the summer of 1915, they had 
learned to treat with more respect the armed boats which 
plied there, but among the Expeditionary Force it was. still 
an axiom in the art of preserving life that an Arab should 
never be allowed to approach too close. 

An inspection of* the position captured by the British 
showed that the Turkish defenses were designed and con- 
structed with remarkable thoroughness and study of detail, 
and on the most approved principles. The communication 
trenches extended for miles. Ranges were marked by flags. 
Arrangements had been made for covering the retirement of 
troops, and for their embarkation. There was an elaborate 
system of observation and contact-mines, a number of which 



were exploded by British engiiieers without accident, but 
severe casualties were caused by m.nes. The field of fire was 
everywhere open and flat. Nur-ed-Din Pasha's forces con- 
sisted of six squadrons of cavalry, 26 guns, and the 38th 
infantry regiments, with some other formations, aggregating 
some four extra battalions, as- 
sisted by a considerable number 
of tribesmen. 

The action at Kut, altho a 
victory, had not resulted in 
the complete rout of the Turks. 
After the first confusion of 
defeat, they had retired in 
fairly good order, covered by 
a strong rear-guard with in- 
fantry and guns; and by Octo- 
ber 3 Townshend knew that 
they had halted and taken 
up a fresh entrenched posi- 
tion at Ctesiphon, across the 
Bagdad Road. All chance of 
riding into Bagdad at the heels 
of the rout was now over. The 
question had to be regarded 
from a fresh point of view. 
Townshend, pressing on in pur- 
suit with part of his force, 
reached Azizieh, 30 miles from 
Ctesiphon by land, about 100 
miles by river, and from there 
sent to Sir John Nixon, or 

his_ Chief of Staff, a telegram ^^^ g_^ ^ ^ ^ townshend 
which seemed to show that 

under existing conditions he considered it dangerous and unde- 
f^irable to march on Bagdad. Notwithstanding this, on No- 
vember 11 his advanced troops — cavalry and a brigade of 
infantry — broke camp at Azizieh, and a few days later the 
whole of the force found itself on the march for Bagdad. It waa 
still a small force for such an undertaking — perhaps 12,000 
men all told. "Why they moved forward was not made clear, 



On November 24 a communique issued by the British 
India Office announced that on November 22 Townshend 
had reached Ctesiphon, eighteen miles from Bagdad and 
three or four miles east of the Tigris, where he found the 
Turks holding a position which he attacked, and after severe 
fighting captured, along with 800 prisoners and a quantity 
of arms and equipment, his losses being estimated at 2,000 
killed and wounded. It was further stated that after 
bivouacking on the field of battle, the British force was 
** heavily counter-attacked" by the Turks on the night of 
the 23d, and that owing to want of water, the British troops 
had withdrawn to the Tigris. A second communique was 
published on the 27th, stating that Townshend 's troops were 
in possession of the battlefield, and the Turks retiring on 
Dialah, ten miles above Ctesiphon, while the British wounded 
were being sent down the river. The number of prisoners, 
previously given as 800, was reported to be 1,300, and the 
number of British wounded as 2,500. A third cowrmunique 
was issued on the 30th, in whicll the enemy's strength at 
the battle of Ctesiphon was reported to have been four 
divisions, one of which was believed to have been completely 
wiped out. 

Owing, however, to the approach of Turkish rein- 
forcements, Townshend, having completed the removal of 
his wounded and prisoners, had withdrawn his troops to 
a position lower down the river. Further information 'was 
given in a fourth communique, published on December 4, 
when the British casualties were reported to be 4,567 and 
the Turkish prisoners 1,600, and the Turks were stated to 
be following up the British retreat. On the night of Novem- 
ber 30 Townshend had fought a rear-guard action against 
greatly superior Turkish forces, his casualties being esti- 
mated at 150. He reported his troops as retiring in order, 
but he had been obliged to leave two river-boats behind, 
after destroying their engines. On December 7 the India 
Office reported that the British troops had retreated to 
Kut-el-Amara without further fighting, and on the 12th 
another covimunique announced that, after arrival at Kut- 
el-Amara, the British position was ''heavily bombarded," and 
that the Turks made infantry-attacks, which were repulsed. 



When Townshend reached Ctesiphon he found a much 
larger force opposed to him than he had anywhere previously 
encountered on the way up from Fao. Four Turkish divi- 
sions were brought into line as against one British division, 
which, however, had been reinforced by other troops. The 
Turks were probably not less than 20,000 strong. Out- 
numbered and attacked by fresh troops, Townshend event- 
ually had to fall back on his reinforcements rather than 
wait for their arrival. The Turks were holding Bagdad 
in force, and he was 350 miles from his sea-base on the 
Shatt-el-Arab, and his troops had suffered severely in the 
Ctesiphon fighting. Depending on water-transport for feed- 
ing his troops, ie had experienced great diflSculty in getting 
up supplies owing to the river being at its lowest in Sep- 
tember, rendering the passage of even small boats slow and 
precarious. Retreat was clearly necessary. 

Unless the British could take and hold Bagdad, the ex- 
pedition into Mesopotamia would have failed in the main 
object for which it was undertaken. Setting aside the pres- 
tige attaching to possession of the place, the strategic posi- 
tion of Bagdad, on the high road into Persia, was incon- 
testably of such importance as to justify the effort to cap- 
ture it before the Germans could come to the assistance of 
the Turks. If Bagdad was to be taken and fortified against 
attack, no time was to be lost in pouring reinforcements of 
British troops into Mesopotamia, for by the middle of 1916 
the Bagdad Railway might be completed, when the strategi- 
cal advantage enjoyed by Great Britain would pass out of 
her hands into those of the two Central Powers. A ** severe 
check'' had been administered to the Expeditionary Force, 
whose record till then had been one of unscarred success. 
There was now to be no early capture of Bagdad. It was a 
deep disappointment to the British Nation, already saddened 
by the gloom which hung over the Dardanelles. 

Ctesiphon was a place of deep historic interest. It had 
been the capital of the Persian kingdom of the Chosroes; 
and thirteen hundred years before the date on which it first 
heard the sound of British guns it was the scene of memor- 
able warfare between Moslems and Infidels. In the year 636 
A.D., soon after the death of the Prophet, when the Arab 



tribes, swarming from their desert sands in all the ardor of a 
new-born faith, had boldly thrown down the gauntlet to the 
two great powers of the world, Rome and Persia. The host 
of Islam, marching from victory to victory, finally drove 
the Persians back to their capital on the Tigris. At that 
time Ctesiphon extended to both banks of the river, and in- 
cluded Seleucia, the former capital of the Alej-.andrian kings. 
The Persians, taken by surprize, fled panic-stricken, and the 
whole city fell into the hands of the conquerors. The spoil 
was of priceless value — millions in coin, with countless ves- 
sels of gold and silver, and a great store of jewels and 
wealth of all kinds, including the regalia of the Persian 
Empire and the sword of the Chosroes. The Arab leader 
took up his residence in the royal palace, and the Great Hall 
was turned into a house of prayer for the worship of the 
god of Islam.. A hundred years later, when the Khalif of 
the day had chosen Bagdad for the site of his future capital, 
he resolved to demolish the palace of the Chosroes to pro- 
vide material for a new city. Much of it he overthrew 
and carried away, but not all. A noble arch, hard as iron, 
withstood the pickax, defying all efforts. On the river's 
left bank still stands that ancient monument, while all 
around it is a bare and sandy plain. This arch now was 
looking down, after twelve centuries had passed, upon a grim 
struggle in which British and Turks, backed by their Indian 
and Arab allies, contended for the mastery of Mesopotamia. 
From the British line at Lajj on the evening of November 
21, it had been seen standing out against a blood-red sunset 



sky; and in the morning the British soldier awoke from his 
sleep on the chilly moonlit plain to see it facing the sunrise, 
with the Turkish host gathered about it. 

Townshend attacked the left of the enemy's position, and 
after a severe fight the front line of trenches was stormed. 
The Forty-fifth Turkish Division, which held them, was 
practically destroyed. It lost 1,300 prisoners, and the 
trenches were choked with dead. The attacking force then 
prest on, across the flat, bare desert, toward the second line, 
losing heavily from the artillery- and rifle-fire of the Turks. 
Nevertheless, advancing by short rushes they at last reached 
the line, and, fighting fiercely, carried a portion of the 
trenches, taking eight Turkish guns. After this the success 
of the British troops came to an end. Bringing up strong 
reinforcements of fresh men, the Turks made one counter- 
attack after another ; the tide of the battle swayed backward 
and forward; the captured guns changed hands time after 
time ; ammunition ran short, all the mules having been killed 
by shrapnel, and at last^ as night fell, it was seen that the 
British could do no more. More Turkish reinforcements 
came up afterward, and during the afternoon large columns 
moved down to turn both of the British flanks, while bodies 
of cavalry began to threaten the rear. Faced by fresh 
troops greatly outnumbering his own, perhaps in the pro- 
portion of three or four to one, and encumbered by thou- 
sands of prisoners and wounded, the British commander 
recognized that another attack could not succeed. To 
remain where he was w^ould be to incur the danger of being cut 
off from his base. Accordingly during the night of the 
25th he withdrew to Lajj, where his boats and supplies had 
remained. The advance on Bagdad was over. The Arch of 
the Chosroes for the present proved the high-water mark 
of the British invasion. 

It was necessary to withdraw down stream to a more 
secure locality until conditions might permit of a resump- 
tion of the oflPensive The place selected was Kut, which had 
already, to some extent, been supplied and prepared. There 
the retreating force might h,ope to be joined before many 
weeks had passed by reinforcements from below. Kut was 
far in the rear — 120 miles by river, and 70 or more by road 



— ^but tte decision seemed sound. On November 27 the 
retreat began, and for about half the distance was not 
much molested. But the Turks had no intention of letting 
their enemy escape unscathed, or escape at all if they could 
help it. Their mounted troops were pushing down the river 
round the British flanks, and, as Townshend had foreseen, 
the Arabs of the neighboring country were hostile. The 
position was one to cause grave anxiety. 

On December 3, the British force was ** installed at Kut," 
and the retreat was at an end. Altho closely prest, Town- 
shend had brought in with him 1,650 prisoners taken at 
Ctesiphon, and there had never been anything approaching 
a rout. Nevertheless, the losses of the force during the bat- 
tle and retreat had been severe — 4,567 men. Once the re- 
treat was over, Townshend set to work to strengthen his 
position and prepare to stand a siege until relief should 
arrive from the south. Reinforcements for Mesopotamia 
were known to be coming from overseas. The siege of Kut 
now set in. On December 8 the enemy bombarded from three 
sides, and Nur-ed-Din called upon Townshend to surrender. 
On the 9th the Turks attacked the detachment on the right 
bank covering the bridge, and it was forced to- retire. Then 
followed several days of continuous bombardment, varied by 
attacks which were beaten off with severe loss to the Turks. 
After this the enemy settled down to regular siege opera- 
tions, and confined themselves to sapping -and mining. Thus 
had ended an advance from which much had been hoped. 

The attempt on Bagdad had failed, but the invaders were 
still in possession of a great tract of Turkish territory. 
Townshend 's force had been far too small for the work ex- 
pected of it. Had Bagdad now fallen, the whole Arab world 
might have sprung to arms against the despised Turk, 
Islam might have been divided, Syria provoked into revolt, 
and the road from Constantinople to Suez permanently 
closed. All this would have meant that the Turkish frontier 
would be thrown back upon the Taurus Mountains, that 
Mesopotamia would become a possession of the British Em- 
pire, an outpost of India, and that the German dream of 
an advance .along the Bagdad railroad to the Gulf of Sinai 
and the Indian Ocean was destroyed. But the venture 



failed. The back door to the Turkish Empire seemed to 
have been slammed shut, soon after the front door at Gallic 
poli was bolted by German guns in the hands of the Turks. 

Under peculiar conditions of hardship for British troops, 
the Mesopotamia campaign had been conducted, fhe climate, 
admittedly one of the worst in the world, took a heavy toll 
of British and Indian troops. The fruits of the first nine 
months of the campaign included the defeat of the Turks on 
three lines — ^the Tigris, the Euphrates, and on the Ahwax 
line — and the occupation of a large area of valuable country. 
The troops who opposed the British were in the main 
Turkish regulars. In these were included several Constan- 
tinople regiments who had been dispatched to the southern 
campaign before Constantinople was threatened by the Allies. 
The Turkish regulars were ably assisted by Arab and Kurd 
levies. Turkey, even in her most distant provinces, enforced 
universal military service. Another class who resisted the 
British were warlike Arab tribesmen. Throughout the cam- 
paign these tribesmen, who seemed to spring in thousands 
from nowhere and anywhere, played a three-cornered game, 
watching for their opportunity as the fortunes of the fight 
swung in the balance, and devoting their energies to harass- 
ing whichever side should waver. Altho the Turks had a 
primary claim on their services, it happened more than once 
that a Turkish defeat was changed to a disastrous rout by 
the actions of their treacherous allies. 

Never was a campaign fought under such adverse condi- 
tions. Two important actions occurred on the supposed site 
of the Garden of Eden. Nothing has ever shaken a local 
Mesopotamian conviction that in Kurna, at the junction of 
the Tigris and the Euphrates, Mesopotamia possesses the 
original first home of civilized man. Units of the garrison 
who occupied its defenses during the torrid months of May 
and June, 1915, acquired new doubts of the authenticity of 
this tradition, but yielded to local opinion in so far as to 
apply such names as ** Serpent's Corner,'' ** Temptation 
Square," etc., to the more important thoroughfares. Meso- 
potamia is bitterly cold and damp in winter and intensely 
malarious and hot in summer. The heat adds enormously 
to the difficulties of operations. During the first half of the 

V. VIII— 6 73 


year in which operations took place, excessive floods inun- 
dated the country. An amphibious sort of warfare was the 
result, where soldiers of the British and Indian armies and 
sailors of the Royal Navy met one another half-way. 

Bagdad lies on the natural line of communication between 
Persia and the West, and between the West and the Persian 
Gulf. Three caravan routes, one from Khorasan, another 
up the Euphrates into Syria, and a third leading up the 
Tigris into the Armenian plateau and to the Black Sea 
behind it, were the sources of Bagdad's trading strength in 
ancient times. To-day, its importance is almost wholly 
bound up in the potential wealth of its surrounding plains, 
watered by the Tigris and Euphrates, and in its dominating 
position on lines of communication between India, Persia, 
and the West. Bagdad, once **the Magnificent," was now 
a city in decay. The years that had rolled by since a 
Turkish over-lordship was first established had seen it sink 
slowly in importance as a mart for trade, as a station on 
the path of caravans from the East and West, and as the 
center of a land of abundant harvests. 

The Tigris, on whose banks flourished the great city of 
Lagash and the Babylonian Empire more than three thou- 
sand years before the Christian Era, has to-day fallen to so 
lowly a state that even Turks and Arabs scorn to honor it. 
Almost contemptuously, they call it **the cheap cameleer," 
because it is used by natives on its upper reaches to bring 
down kelleks or rafts of wood from Diarbekr to Bagdad. 
At Bagdad inflated skins used as floats, are deflated and 
then transported badk to the hill-country by caravan. On 
its turbid course through Mesopotamia the Tigris, which is 
traversed by small boats for a distance nearly four times as 
great as the navigable reaches of the Hudson, flows past 
ruins which have proved an almost inexhaustible mine of 
information for archeologists. Opposite Mosul, from which 
came our word ** muslin," as applied to the fabric flrst im- 
ported into Europe from this town in the twelfth century, 
are the extensive remains of what was once Nineveh, a 
place still associated in the popular mind with the Biblical 
account of Jonah, the great fish, and the gourd. 

Sixty miles below Nineveh, which was the last capital of 



Assyria, is the little Arab village of Karat-Shergat, on the 
buried ruins of Ashur, the oldest great city of the Assyrian 
Empire. It was in honor of their good Ashur that the high- 
priests founded the city of the same name. These. priestly 
builders and administrators were at first under the sover- 
eignty of Babylonia, but when that empire fell into decay, 
they succeeded in establishing themselves as independent 
kings, founding a dynasty which held sway over this section 
of the world for centuries. The Tigris has two main sources 
in the Taurus Mountains, at an elevation of 5,000 feet. The 
head-waters of the western branch are only two or three 
miles from one of the sources of the Euphrates. After the 
two branches come together, the river flows in a southeast- 
erly direction for 800 miles, until it unites with the 
Euphrates seventy miles above the Persian Gulf, and forms 
the Shatt-el-Arab.« 

« Principal Sources : The London Times' "History of the War" ; The Times, 
The Journal of Commerce, New York; The Times (London), The Outlook 
(New York), The Manchester Guardian (London), •'Bulletins" of the Na- 
tional Geographic Society (New York), The Fortnightly Review (London), 
"Nelson's History of the War" by John Buchan. 




November 2, 1914— March 5, 1915 

THE Turks were still in Europe, for they held the 
Dardanelles. Thus they controlled the southern door 
leading to Russia and divided the strength of the Allies. 
With the Dardanelles in an enemy's hands, Russia could not 
send to France and England her grain and goods in ex- 
change for guns, ammunition, and other war-supplies. In 
the north her few open doors — ^Vladivostok and Archangel, 
when open — were already congested with incoming freight. 
At Archangel and V>adiv()stok she could receive locomotives, 
freight-cars, automobiles, cotton, shell, cannon, rifles, and 
barbed wire, but so heavily taxed were her facilities at these 
points that it was almost impossible to transport and dis- 
charge to steamers the foodstuffs she had to sell. Thus she 
could take, but she could not give for egress, as the Baltic 
was barred by the Germans, the Black Sea by the Turks. 
In the meantime, the ruble had fallen to a disastrous dis- 
count in London and elsewhere, because, as Russia could not 
export goods in exchange for the material she imported, she 
was expected to pay for goods in actual money. Russia 
owed money to everybody. As nobody owed Russia any 
money, the exchange value of Russian money greatly de- 
preciated. A Russian oil company earned a dividend during 
the war, but was unable to pay dividends to its English 
shareholders because of the loss involved in converting Rus- 
sian into English money. This situation would have been 
greatly altered if the entrance to Russia through the Black 
Sea had been open. 

The magnitude of the economic gain to come to Russia 
from the opening of the Straits should not be obscured by 
the political arid military considerations that prompted and 



sustained the effort. The enormous volume of Russia's 
Black Sea trade was not generally appreciated. Russia had 
exported by sea twice as much in volume, and two and one- 
half times as much in value, of merchandise as she exported 
by land. Of these exports, valued in 1913 at 1,520 millions 
of rubles, 557 millions were sent out through the Black Sea 
and the Sea of Azof. For nearly twenty years the economic 
growth of Russia, both in the products of its agriculture 
and the activity of its industries, had come from immense 
fertile plains, whose great rivers are her cheapest and most 
convenient highways and lead out to sea-borne commerce. 
Odessa was j'apidly developing into another Hamburg, and, 
given the development of tributary railways, and canal- 
feeders for the great rivers, there was no longer question 
about -the Black Sea littoral becoming the granary of Europe. 

The war operations now to be undertaken in the Darda- 
nelles inspired memories of momentous events in human 
history — of the fleets of historic Greece; of the legendary 
heroes of Greece; of ancient Troy; of Xerxes sitting on his 
throne above Nagara Point watching columns of Persian 
warriors, said to number 2,000,000 men, crossing the bridge 
of boats which Egyptian and Phenician engineers had built 
for him across the Hellespont, seven days and nights being 
consumed in the crossing; of Alexander of Macedon, leading 
his legions on to Arabia; of galleys bearing Byzantine and 
Saracenic soldiers; of the hosts that composed the Fourth 
Crusade, with its splendid purpose turned into an historic 

Here at the Dardanelles Europe and Asia met, and here 
still meet. The bold headlands which guard its entrance 
from the JBJgean Sea are crowned on either side by two 
ponderous masses of medieval architecture, the Castles of 
Europe and Asia, or as they have been sometimes called, 
the Castles of Roumelia and Anatolia, massive stone walls, 
with crenelated towers and moated approaches rising 
squarely against the sky-line. Here is the setting of the 
story of Hero and Leander, one of the earliest of all love 
stories, which Kit Marlowe wove into passionate verse. It 
was this feat of Leander, in swimming the straits to gain 
the presence of the beautiful priestess of Sestos, that in- 



spired Lord Byron nearly 3,000 years afterward to emulate 
his achievement. 

With the development of the ancient world, the Darda- 
nelles are inexplicably entwined. This corner of Asia Minor, 
known of old as the Troas, and later as the Troad, contains 
the site of Troy within which was waged the famous ten- 
year siege. Archeologists in the last century actually un- 
covered the precise location of the city that owned the rule 
of Priam, and to which the stolen Helen was taken by Paris. 
The site of Troy lies near the present Turkish village of 
Hissarlik. Far beneath it are the crumbling remains 
that represent seven of its vanished communities. Here, 
where British marines and French bluejackets in the spring 
of 1915 were landing in whaleboats, Agamemnon's flimsy 
galleys, in the tenth or twelfth century before Christ, 
beached their keels and discharged their companies of spear- 
men and archers in order to assault **the topless towers of 
Ilium.'' By a curious circumstance, one of the British ships 
which in 1915 bombarded the fort on the Asiatic shore, 
sending shots so far inland as to reach the reputed tomb of 
Achilles, bore the name of Agamemnon. Where now mod- 
ern ordnance was hurling messengers of destruction, Homer's 
heroes waged their spectacular, single-handed combats, with 
admiring armies grouped around to watch them. 

From the siege of Troy to the impersonal battle of 
1915 w^as a far cry, yet the old walls of Troy must have 
brought some sort of inspiration to the soldiers who were 
fighting in their shadows, whether soldiers of the Allies or 
of the Turks. The Trojan walls of thirty centuries ago are 
still in evidence — ^the actual walls that defied the onslaughts 
of Agamemnon and Menelaus, of Ajax, Nestor, Diomedes, 
Ulysses, and Achilles, only to fall at last by the stratagem 
of the wooden horse. They provided the stage for an insig- 
nificant little drama compared with the modern one, but a 
drama that was made big with human interest became so 
divinely recorded that the world has not since produced its 
equal. If we take the ** Iliad" literally, men then fought for 
an ideal; the Homeric warfare was a beautiful pastime, 
from which emerged a happy few who were rewarded with 
immortality in son^ 




It was no mere coincidence that, after the lapse of more 
than thirty centuries, a new war should again have come 
around in these waters, that a new Agamemnmi — a ship now 
instead of a man — should sail the same sea from which the 
king of Mycenae landed his army; that blood should flow 
among hills and valleys in full s'ght of Troy, and even of 
the banks of the Scamander. Turks and Germans were 
fighting in 1915 for the same object as Trojans and Lycians 
in the twelfth century B.C. The aim of both alike was 
to keep the ships of southern and western Europe from hav- 
ing commerce with the Black Sea. The Black Sea or Euxine 
trade is now, just as it was then, one of the essential needs 
of western Europe. Those who could stop or control it have 
always been in a commanding position. The tolls which they 
could derive from it in one form or another were, however, 
so abundant that an actual stopping of the passage would 
have been to them economically suicidal. It was possible for 
the king of Troy to close. the Hellespont (the ancient name of 
the Dardanelles) to ships when he chose to do so. As he 
was rich, he did not venture permanently to block the way. 
His plan was, by preventing ships of the west from sailing 
up the straits, to force other ships to bring their wares down 
from the north and east and then to barter with the west 
under the walls of his fortress, a method of procedure which 
became the source to him of great wealth and power, and a 
power that became intolerable to the enterprising Greeks, 
just as it had" long been intolerable to modem western coun- 
tries, that all the world should be cut off by Turkey from 
the rich granaries of Russia and the Danubian plains. The 
Greeks of 1000 B.C., as the Allies of 1915 a.d., fought in 
order that this waterway should not be closed against the 
economic needs of a great and masterful race lying west. 

The Dardanelles cut off Europe from Asia along a course 
from southwest to northwest. They are only 45 miles long, 
and vary in width from one to five miles. The average 
depth of the water is 180 feet. On the European side the 
shores are steep and barren; on the Asiatic they have long 
slopes, are fertile and, for the most part, are clothed with 
beautiful forests. The Dardanelles were first fortified by 
two castles, one on either shore, by Mohammed II. in 1462. 



These forts have often been remodeled. During the last 
century, with Turkish power and initiative on the wane, the 
modernization of the fortifications was secured, now under 
French, now under English, now under German, prodding 
just as the interests of one or the other nation centered in 
the Golden Horn. 

The expedition of the western Allies to the Dardanelles in 
the early months of 1915 was criticized because it diverted 
strength from Flanders and the north of France, where Sir 
John French needed every man, gun, and shell he could get. 
Concentration, said the critics, not dispersion, should be the 
guiding principle in all strategical combinations. The Allies 
had for their task first of all to drive the Germans out of 
Belgium and the north of France. "When they had done 
this, it would be time enough, to think about driving the 
Turks out of Europe. 

Critics who talked and wrote thus misconceived the condi- 
tions under which the Allies were waging this war, and un- 
dervalued the advantage which sea supremacy conferred. 
The primary purpose in seizing Constantinople was, not to 
expel the Turks from Europe, tho that would incidentally 
follow, but to open up communications with Russia, facili- 
tate the intervention of neutral states, and establish a fresh 
base for operations against Austria-Hungary. It was easier 
to attack Austria from the south than to attack Germany 
from the west or from the .east. If the Allies could reach 
Vienna by the valley of the Danube, the effect would be 
to divert German troops for the defense of Germany's south- 
ern frontier, and by so doing relieve the pressure on 

As soon as war broke out between the Allies and Turkey 
in the arutunm of 1914, a joint Franco-British squadron 
established an effective blockade of the Dardanelles. On 
November 2 the squadron bombarded at long range the forts 
at the entrance to the Dardanelles, in order to ascertain the 
range and to test their defenses. The reconnaissance being 
inconclusive was not prest. On December 13 Lieutenant-Com- 
mander Holbrook navigated a British submarine beneath the 
mine-field in the Straits and succeeded in torpedoing in the 
Sea of Marmora the old, but still useful, Turkish battleship, 


the Messudivrh, and for this feat received the Victoria 
Cross. Holbrook's submarine, the B-11, was not fitted with 
the latest appliances, as she dated from 1905, and her sub- 
merged displacement was only -313 tons, as compared with 
800 tons in the E class. Her length was 135 feet, diameter 
13% feet, surface speed 13 knots, submerged speed 9 knots, 
and armament two torpedo tubes. Considering her com- 
paratively small size, the work she did showed that the older 
classes were still effective, and might do better work in nar- 
row waters than bigger boats. 

The B-11 had for some time been attached to the Medi- 

terranean fleet. Lieutenant-Commander Holbrook had been 
appointed to command her on December 30, 1913. Five 
successive rows of mines in the Dardanelles were passed 
under by the B-11, all being anchored. It was an act of 
extreme hardihood to dive under these mines, because at any 
moment the submarine might have fouled an anchor chain, 
or entangled her screw, or drawn one or more mines into 
contact with her hull as she went ahead. No one withheld 
admiration for the daring Holbrook displayed. But daring 
was not the only quality required. There was endurance ag 
well. So long as the submarine could use her periscope, she 
could direct her course by observation, but she had to re- 
main submerged for long periods. A handful of otficers and 
men, perhaps twenty altogether, had to be submerged for a 


The upper Bblp, the Bouvet. vae sank tn the Dardanellea operation ; tbe 

middle ODe, the Lion Qambetm, by an Austrian submarine; tbe lower ooe. 

tbe Suffern, b; a aubmarlne off Beirut 


period of nine hours in narrow quarters, in parts of which 
a man could not stand upright. During a large part of 
that time they were as good as blind, owing to the necessity 
of withdrawing the periscope. 

The Messudiveh was built in the Thames in 1874, but 
reconstructed at Genoa in 1901, when she received water-tube 
boilers and engines of 11,000 horse-power. Her displace- 
ment was 9,120 tons. She carried two 9.2 inch, twelve 6 inch 
and fourteen 3 inch guns, and twelve of lesser caliber. For 
her size she had a large anti-torpedo armament, but this 
availed nothing against B-11; nor did the pursuit of the 
torpedo-boats which followed the sudden raid. Another 
British submarine, 5-9, entered the Straits next day, but 
was detected before she had gone far. Altho observation 
mines were exploded all around her, she made good her 
escape. A month later the French submarine Saphir was 
less fortunate. While traversing the Straits, she struck the 
bottom near Nagara Point, came to the surface in a disabled 
condition, and was destroyed by shore batteries. 

During January 1915, a decision was reached by the 
Allies to attack the Dardanelles in real earnest. The watch- 
ing warships had been increased in numbers, and by Feb- 
ruary a powerful fleet was assembled, including the then 
newest British super-dreadnought, the Queen Elizabeth. 
The islands of Tenedos and Lemnos, near the entrance to 
the Dardanelles, were occupied. The bay of Mudros, in the 
latter island, became the principal base for the operations 
which followed. On February 17 the Triumph, accompanied 
by several destroyers, began their naval operations against 
the Dardanelles. The destroyers made dashes to within a 
thousand yards of the batteries guarding the entrance, but 
the Turks did not fire. Then the Aliioii bombarded a bat- 
tery between Cape Hellas and Point Texel (which the blue- 
jackets had rechristened ** Tickle Point"), and the Triumph 
at 7,700 yards opened a slow indirect fire with ten-inch guns. 
The Queen Elizabeth, which bluejackets called ''Big Lizzie," 
a super-dreadnought just out from the hands of the build- 
ers, followed with 15-inch shells. Still the Turks failed to 
reply. The Ark Royal, a water-plane ship, reported that 
Battery 50 was undiscoverable ; that trenches and barbed 



wire had been set up and could be seen on shore, and there 
were troops at the top of the cliffs, but the Turks still 
refrained from responding. The Triumph reconnoitred 
along the shore and then opened fire with 7.5-inch guns on 
trenches and field-works. A naval chaplain wrote: 

"You can not ims^ne a sj^ht more majestic than the one we 
saw as we went back in the evening to join the fleet. The French 
sliips were firing furiously against tbe Asiatic torts and the Ven- 
ffeance and the CoTmeallia were steamiog up and down firing sal- 
voes at Fort 3, which was a tough nut to crack. Imagine a glorious 

sunset flaming across the sky hehind the ships and the constant 
blazing of the salvoes shooting out over the smooth water. The hi^ 
barren hilla and the absence of everything to distract the eye from 
the great shrpg and their thundering guns made the bombardment 
a scene of grim, unforgetlable impressiveness." 

Bad weather now set in on February 19, and lasted until 
the 25th, which obliged the fleet to confine its activities to 
pafroling. On February 25 the Triumph discovered Battery 
50 and pounded it to pieces. That day three runs into the 



straits were made. The Vengeance and Cornwallis went 
first, the French warships Gaulois and Bouvet next, and 
then the Albion and Triumph, When the ships had steamed 
up 3,000 yards (less than two miles), they hove to under 
a tornado of Turkish shells that lasted three-quarters of an 
hour. Some of the shots fell short, and some fell beyond, 
the ships. Bricks and masses of earth, heaps of stone can- 
non-balls, which had been lying in the fort probably for 
a hundred years or more, were thrown into the air. When 
night came on the Turks set fire to the ruins of forts and 
barracks. Then bad weather -started in again and brought 
the operations to a standstill. 

On the 26th, as the only Turkish defenses left at the 
entrance were a few howitzers and field-guns, French and 
English mine-sweepers passed into the Straits. By March 
1 all the defenses up to, but not including, the Narrows 
were believed to have been reduced. Then the Albion and 
Triumph, ordered to make a run to a fort on the Asiatic 
side, passed under heavy fire, the ships being deluged with 
shots falling all around them. Two Turkish shells fell on 
the Triumph^ s quarter-deck and one bruised the armor-belt. 
Of two that pierced her, one burst in the captain's cabin 
and destroyed the furniture. Another fell near the gun- 
room. In the evening men who had landed blew up and 
dismounted what guns were left in the batteries. An ob- 
server^ of this storming, who was stationed on the heights 
of Mount Ilios, said of it: 

"The sight was most magnificent. At first the fleet was ranged 
in a semi-circle some miles out to sea from the entrance to the 
Straits. It afforded an inspiring spectacle as it came along and 
took up positions. The picture became most awe-inspiring when 
the guns began to boom. The bombardment at first was slow, 
shells from the various ships screaming through the air at the rate 
of about one every two minutes. Their practise was excellent, and 
with strong glasses I could see huge masses. of earth and stonework 
thrown high up into the air. The din, even at a distance, was 
terrific, and when the largest ship, with the biggest guns in the 
world, joined in the martial chorus the air was rent with the ear- 
splitting noise. 

'Writing in The Daily Mail (London). 



"The Turkish batteries, however, were not to be drawn, and, see- 
ing this, the British Admiral sent bne British ship and one French 
ship close inshore toward the Sidd-ul-Bahi; Forts. It was a pretty 
sight to see the two battleships swing rapidly away toward the 
Northern Cape, spitting fire and smoke as they rode. They- ob- 
scured the pure atmosphere with clouds of smoke from their fun- 
nels and guns, yet through all I could see that they were getting 
home with the shots they fired as they went. 

"In they sped, right under the guns of the shore-batteries, which 
could no longer resist the temptation to see what they could do. 
Puffs of white smoke dotted the landscape on the far shore, and 
dull booms echoed over the placid waters. Round the ships foun- 
tains of water sprang high up into the air. The enemy had been 
drawn, but their marksmanship obviously was very bad. 

"Out came the two ships again, ineffcjctively pursued by shells 
from the Turkish batteries. As they retired they still continued 
to make excellent practise, and their parting shots were quite as 
good as their first. The position of the enemy's batteries had been 
covered as a result of this work, and soon the Turkish guns were 
under a hail of the most deadly shells warfare has ever known. 
From a distance, which must have been ten miles at least, monstrous 
projectiles dealing destruction* and death were poured in upon the 
forts guarding the entrance, and each appeared to create a frightful 
inferno where it landed. The people gathered on all high points 
to see the awe-inspiring spectacle, the wonder of which struck them 
with iftter* amazement." 

Extreme caution was necessary in using the attacking 
battleships, as the number of mines in the Straits was enor- 
mous. The Turks used not only anchored mines', but float- 
ing mines, which swirled round in uncertain fashion at the 
mouth of the Straits. Some of these mines were picked up 
outside as far away as Tenedos Island. The larger Turkish 
batteries were skilfully hidden, and it became necessary to 
knock out each gun individually. Seaplanes -were busy dur- 
ing the bombardment on March 5, in order to discern the 
effect of indirect fire and to locate concealed positions. 
They had to fly very low, and thus were often in danger. 
Seaplane No. 172 was hit no fewer than 28 times; and Sea- 
plane 7 eight times. One day a seaplane became unstable 
and dived nose forward into the sea. Both oflScers were 



Admiral de Robeck, who had taken command of the Allied 
squadrons, decided to deliver another naval attack unsup- 
ported by land forces. Shortly before noon on the following 
day, March 18, three successive squadrons entered the 
Straits and steamed toward the Narrows, bombarding 
vigorously. Three British battleships, the Queen Elizabeth, 
Lord Nelson and Agamemnon, with the battle cruiser Inflex- 
ible, mounting between them eight 15-in., sixteen 12-in., 
twenty 914-in., and ten 6-in. guns, bombarded the west and 
east sides of the Narrows, while the battleship Prince Oeorge, 
armed with four 12-in. and twelve 6-in. guns, engaged at 
Kephez Point, which is about three miles outside the Nar- 
rows. These ships did not get within decisive range of the 
forts which they were attacking, for when the French squad- 
ron of four battleships, the Suffern, Gaulois, Charlemagne, 
and Bouvet, moved up the Straits, soon after noon, to engage 
the forts at closer range, the forts replied so savagely as 
to indicate that the first bombardment had not been effec- 
tive. Subsequently the fire of the ten battleships inside the 
Straits silenced these forts. 

Admiral de Robeck followed up this initial success by 
sending into the Straits six battleships, the Vengeance, Ir- 
resistible, Albion, Ocean, Smftsure, and Majestic, their com- 
bined armament being twenty 12-in. and four 10-in. guns. 
They were to relieve the six ships which had been engaged 
during the forenoon. It was on this occasion that the Bouvet 
was blown up by a mine north of Erenkoi, and sank in less 
than three minutes with all hands on board. Later on dur- 
ing the same day the frresistible and the Ocean were also 
sunk, after having been struck by mines; but their crews 
were saved. In spite of these casualties, the remaining 
British ships continued in action till it was too dark to see 
their targets, when they withdrew, but without having com- 
pletely subdued the fire of the shore-batteries. 

The ships sent into the Dardanelles never had a chance 
of accomplishing their purpose. Owing to the narrow 
waters in which they were operating and the heights on 
shore, they were unable to get within decisive range of the 
forts without exposing themselves, not only to the risk of 
floating mines, but to being attacked individually by the 



concentrated fire of shorcrbatteries. A battleship is a big 
target, and her only chance to avoid being hit is to keep in 
motion, as ships did during the bombardment of Alexandria, 
when, after advancing to within decisive range, they c'rcled 
round and round in front of the forts all the time they 
were firing. While the ships bombarded the Dardanelles forts, 
they in turn were bombarded by mobile guns and heavy 
field-howitzers from concealed positions outside fixt batteries. 
The damage done to the ships was, for the most part, due 
to the field-pieces, which were moved about as circumstances 
required. While the ships could keep out of the eflfective 
range of fixt forts, they could not get away from mobile 
howitzer-batteries, which, favored by the configuration of 
the ground on both sides of the Straits, were able to fire 
at the ships without the latter being able to fire back at 
them. Herein lay the diflSculty of the operations as long 
as they were confined to a naval action, a d fiiculty -which 
was increased by danger from floating mines and from tor- 
pedo-stations on the shore. A German artillery officer who 
wrote an account of the battle claimed that the three Allied 
battleships were sunk by the fir^-of guns situated close to 
Chanak. He said the fire of the f &^t|L,was first concentrated 
on the Bouvet, and, when she was-^Saiik, was diverted to the 
Irresistible and subsequently to the Ocean, causing both to 
share the fate of the French battleship. Admiral de 
Robeck's report stated that the three ships were sunk after 
striking floating mines. 

It was now clearly seen that, before again sending ships 
against the Dardanelles, it would be necessary to land a force 
of men in the Gulf of Xeros, to seize the lines of Bulair, 
and to subjugate the Gallipoli Peninsula. So there was 
nothing to do but to wait for the arrival of land forces. 
Operations for the next five wieeks were accordingly con- 
fined to mine sweepng and occasional bombardments of forts 
in the Narrows. Attempts at long-range bombardment had 
not prospered. The majority of the batteries at the Narrows 
were still effective. Neither indirect nor direct fire from the 
biggest guns afloat had really put them out of action for 
any length of time. Thus the high hopes created by the 
initiation of the naval operations were greatly diminished. 

v. VIII— 7 89 


Even the destruction of batteries at Kum Kale and Sedd-el- 
Bahr, the two points forming the outer entrance, had not 
achieved the full purpose of the assailants. Turkish troops 
had afterward crept forward and entrenched themselves near 
the ruins, so that they had to be shelled once more. It was 
evident that the Dardanelles could never be forced by long- 
range fire, and it was still more evident that an army was 
needed to carry through the operation. 

If the moral effect on the Balkan States and ' Italy of 
the opening of an attack on the Dardanelles had been great, 
it was impossible to exaggerate the counter-effect on them 
of this disaster. Greece settled back placidly to await a 
more promising time for casting in her lot with the Allies; 
Bulgarian soldiers once more began to invade Macedonia and 
threaten Serbia with a war on two fronts; German oflScers 
in Constantinople — ^Von der Goltz, notably — issued state- 
ments proclaiming that the forts of the Dardanelles were im- 
pregnable; the Sultan, himself, invited war-correspondents 
to visit him that he might express to them his confidence in 
his forts. Not even the appearance of a Russian fleet at the 
Bosporus served to counterbalance the confidence of the 
Turks. For the time being, sea-power had met with a con- 
siderable reverse. But if the loss in warships was heavy, 
it was not vital. The French and British ships actually 
sunk were old, had become mere platforms for heavy guns, 
and were of little value in the battle-line; but for these 
losses, such as they were, there had been no corresponding 
military advantage. 

When a coming Allied attempt on the forts of the Dar- 
danelles became known in Constantinople, in January, 1915, 
Henry Morgenthau '^^ says it was rejwrted that the Allies 
had assembled **a fleet of forty warships,'* and a belief 
generally prevailed **that such an attempt would succeed." 
Even Baron von Wangenheim, the German Ambassador, 
'* shared this belief," and so **in a modified form" did Field 
Marshal von der Goltz, ' Vho probably knew as much about 
the Dardanelles defenses as any other man, as he had for 
years been Turkey's military instructor." On all sides 
** there were evidences of the fear and panic that had 

'•"Ambassador Morgenthau's Story" (Doubleday, Page & Co.). 



Tbe upper ship Is tb« Irreiittible, wblcb was auak; tli^ mlilillp one 
lofiexlble, whUb was hit and set on flre ; tbe lower oac tbe Ocean, vl 


stricken not only the populace but the oflBcial classes." 
Wangenheim, making little attempt to conceal his appre- 
hensions, had set on foot preparations to send his wife to 
Berlin, and had invited Mrs. Morgenthau to accompany 
her, '*so that she, too, could be removed from the danger 
zone.'' Wangenheim even showed a fear, which was then 
the prevailing one, **that a successful bombardment would 
lead to fires and massacres in Constantinople, as well as in 
the rest of Turkey." 

Mr. Morgenthau remarks that it *'all seems so strange 
now that this conviction should have been uppermost in 
the minds of everybody then" — that the success of the 
Allied fleets against the Dardanelles was thought to be in- 
evitable and that the capture of Constantinople **was a 
matter of only a few days." Among the wild rumors afloat 
was one that seventeen transports had arrived at the strait 
loaded with troops; another was that the warships had 
already fired 800 shots and had leveled all the hills at the 
strait. Had the Allies been able to capture the city, Mr. 
Morgenthau says, the ruling powers had made their plans 
for the event. They had intended to do to that great capital 
''precisely what the Russians had done to Moscow when 
Napoleon appeared before it." ''They will never capture 
an existing city," some of them told Mr. Morgenthau, "only 
a heap of ashes." 

This, he says, was no idle threat. He was told that cans 
of petroleum had been actually stored in police stations and 
other places, "ready to fire the town at a moment's notice, 
"which, as Constantinople was largely built of wood, would 
have been no very difficult task. The plans even aimed at 
Saint Sophia, which had been marked for dynamiting. Early 
in March the exodus from the capital had begun, Turkish 
women and children being moved into the interior ; all 
banks compelled to send their gold into Asia Minor; the 
archives of the Sublime Porte carried to Aski-Shehr; while 
practically all the ambassadors and their suites, as well as 
most of the government officials, "had made their prepara- 
tions to leave." At the station stood trains which were to 
take the Sultan, the Government and the ambassadors to 
Asia Minor. These trains "had steam up, ready to move 



at a minute's notice.'' We were all awaiting** the triumphant 
arrival of the Allied fleet." Enver Pasha was the man who 
had demonstrated **the vulnerability of the British fleet." 
When on March 18 the fleet made its greatest attack on the 
strait, the attack ** proved disastrous to the Allies," the out- 
come being the sinking of the Bov/vet, Ocean, and Irresistible 
and the serious crippling of four other vessels. Even then 
most people ** still believed that the Allied fleets would suc- 
ceed in forcing their way through." The only question was 
whether the Entente **was ready to sacrifice the necessary 
number of ships." Then the fleet went away and for days 
the Turks '* anxiously waited for the fleet to return." It 
never came back. 

Had the ships returned, **what would have happened?" 
asks Mr. Morgenthau. He answers by saying **the one over- 
whelming fact was that the fortifications were very short of 
ammunition"; that they **had almost reached the limit of 
their resisting power" when the British fleet passed out on 
the afternoon of the 18th. Once these defenses could have 
been made helpless, the problem of the Allied fleet would 
have been a simple one, the only bar to their progress being 
a mine-field, but the Allied fleet had plenty of mine- 
sweepers, which could have made a channel in a few hours, 
and once having silenced the outer straits, ** there was noth- 
ing to bar the passage to Constantinople, except the German 
and Turkish warships." The Goehen was the only first-class 
fighting ship in either fleet, and would not have lasted long 
against the Queen Elizabeth, As for Constantinople, the 
populace and the best elements among the Turks, far from 
opposing the arrival of the Allied fleet, *' would have wel- 
comed it with joy." The Turks themselves were ** praying 
that the British and French would take their city," for this 
** would have relieved them of the controlling gang, emanci- 
pated them from the hated Germans, brought about peace, 
and ended their mission. " ^ 

•Principal Sources': The Fortnightly Review (London) ; The Evening Post, 
The Sun, "Bulletins" of the National Geographic Society, New York ; Walter 
Leaf in The Quarterly Review (London), The Literary Digest (New York) ; 
The Times, The Morning Post, The Daily Mail, The Daily News, London ; 
Reuter's News Agency, The Daily Chronicle (London), The Cologne Oaeette, 
The Journal 0/ Commerce (New York), The Standard (London), The London 
Times' "History of the War." 





ApKl 25, 1915— -January 10, 1916 

IN the weeks which elapsed between the great naval at- 
tack on March 18 and the first landing of troops on 
April 25, field defenses on the Peninsula had been prepared 
with feverish haste by the 
Turks under German supervi- 
sion. British troops had ex- 
pected open fighting, and so be- 
lieved they could carry Aehi 
Baba (Tree Hill) by nightfall 
on the first day. Instead o£ 
this, they found themselves in 
contact with what proved to be 
a tremendous fortress, in which 
all natural advantages had been 
utilize^ to the utmost. The 
Turks held the heights and the 
British were on the lower 
ridges. It was like the posi- 
tion at the Shipka Pass, in 
(BtiiJOTiifJi. 1877, when the Russians held 

the summit for six months and 
were never dislodged. 
The Turks on Gallipoli had their hands comparatively 
free. It might almost be said that there was no limit to the 
number of men whom they had available for use on the 
Peninsula. Nearly 800,000 had been mobilized at the out- 
break of war, and of these 600,000 had been armed. For all 
practical purposes, at the time the Allies landed on ihe 
Peninsula at the end of April, they were potentially in 
contact with the bulk of the strength of the Turkish Army. 


Not all the Turkish troops were there, but they were ** within 
call.'' The Allies were thus matching 120,000 men against 
a military reservoir containing perhaps half a million. 
Under these conditions the man at home — the tax-payer who 
was ready to spend the last penny that the world might win 
the great fight for free government, free institutions and 
the right of the people to be governed according to their 
lights — was wondering why, instead of landing in the Gulf 
of Saros and following the course of the Maritza River for 
water, the British army had been sent to put its head into 
the lion's mouth at the entrance of the Dardanelles. 

General Sir Ian Hamilton, who commanded the British 
troops, then just over 62 years old, had been soldiering all 
his life. He had been born in the Mediterranean, on the 
island of Corfu, within a short voyage of the scene of this 
most desperate undertaking. No soldier of high rank in 
the British army had seen so many varieties of warfare, or. 
had enjoyed so many opportunities of studying at first hand 
operations on a grand scale in the struggle that now ensued. 
What came to be known as the battle of the Landing 
was in certain respects unlike any other battle ever known. 
Hamilton found himself in an extraordinary position. He 
had not planned the campaign, was without intimate knowl- 
edge of the scene, and had to undertake a task for which 
the number of available troops had been prescribed by 
others. The hills of the Gallipoli Peninsula really formed 
a natural fortress defending the Dardanelles. From the 
southern point a rocky plateau more than 600 feet high ex- 
tended inland for five miles. Its highest ridge runs up to 
a summit known as Pasha Dagh. These hills form a salient, 
having its point toward the Gulf of Saros, the sides curving 
back to the Dardanelles above and below Kilid Bahr. To 
the north the high ground is broken into by a pass, 
through which a rough track runs from Krithia to the town 
of Maidos, on the channel opposite Nagara in the Narrows. 
To an invader, coming from the West and aiming at Maidos, 
the Pasha Dagh is not the only obstacle. West of it and 
south of Krithia rises the bold peak of Achi Baba, nearly 600 
feet high, which sends out rocky spurs on both sides to the 
Dardanelles and the Gulf of Saros, and forms a barrier 



from sea to sea across the narrow western point of the 

Hamilton found on arrival that while a force of troops 
had been assembled at the Peninsula, it was practically 
impotent, owing to the transports having been wrongly laden, 
a mistake for which he was in no sense responsible. Twenty- 
four hours after he arrived he had the mortification of wit- 
nessing a great naval attack accompanied by the loss 
of three Allied battleships. Because of the improper loading 
of the transports, he saw himself compelled to remove his 
troops to Egypt in order that the transports might be laden 
afresh, altho every day's delay enabled the Turks still 
further to improve their defenses. 

The gathering-place of warships and troops was in the 
harbor and town of Mudros, on the island of Lemnos, which 
now became packed with men and ships, both British and 
' French. Besides British soldiers there were Frenchmen in blue 
tunics and red trousers. Chasseurs d'Afrique with exquisite 
Arab horses, Senegalese Infantry, black as one's hat, with 
little tents, 8 feet long by 4 feet wide, and 2 feet high, in 
the middle of which six men slept. These tents were made 
in six pieces and were buttoned together, two on either side, 
and one at either end. The oflScers were Frenchmen, fine, 
sunburnt, big men; some dark-haired from the south, some 
quite fair. Ordinary French soldiers were in khaki. The 
Australians were big men, loose-limbed and big-jawed, riding 
carelessly, rough-coated, ugly horses. Here also were Ter- 
ritorials, Marines, Artillery, Flying Corps, Sappers, Army 
Service Corps, and all sorts of Gre^k soldiers and sailors, 
and women wearing the yashmak. 

Wooden shops, run by Greeks who sold fruit, candy, post- 
cards, sponges, canned goods, whisky, brandy and beer 
sprang up in all directions at Mudros. Mules staggered 
about under heavy loads of fodder and supplies. There were 
ammunition carts. Red Cross wagons, and small boys crying 
**Pennie! Signor, pennie!" Out in the bay were battle- 
ships, cruisers, destroyers, transport supply ships, colliers, 
hospital ships, Greek trading schooners by the score, huge 
flat barges laden with fodder, and everywhere little pufiing 
French patrol boats and larger British ones. 





The debarkations began on April 25. There were three 
of these: the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, 
which landed on the shore north of Gabe Tepe — that is, 
about ten miles above the southern end of the Peninsula on 
the -^iEgean side; the troops from India on the extreme 
point south, and the French Division on the Asiatic .side 
of the Straits in the neighborhood of Kuni Kale. Altho 
tlie landing at all three points was successfully accom- 
plished, the losses of the Allies were very heavy, owing to 
the nature of the shore combined with the elaborate defense 
which the Turks had constructed under the direction of 
German engineers, and the skill with which the defense was 

The advanced guard of the Gaba Tepe force was disem- 
barked from three battleships, troops being sent ashore in the 
shall boats towed by pinnaces, followed by seven destroyers 
and a number of transports containing the rest of the force 
with guns and equipment. The landing took place north of 
Gaba Tepe, where only thirty or forty yards of beach in- 
tervened between the sea and the high cliffs which rise 
precipitously from the shore. The Turks were entrenched 
on the beach under the cliff, and opened fire on the boats 
just as they reached the shore, but were dislodged with the 
bayonet from their first position, as also from a second one 
on the cliflf, which was stormed by the Australian covering 
parties, who then advanced inland in order to drive the 
Turks away from the coast, and enable the transports to 
land the rest of the troops and supplies in safety. The 
Turks being reinforced, counter-attacked the Australians in 
such numbers that they had to retire to the crest of the 
cliff, where they entrenched themselves against further 
attacks. Through the night Turks, led by German, officers, 
continued their attacks with great determination, but with 
help from the fire of the ships their offensive was broken. 
By the night of the 26th, Colonial troops had dug them- 
selves securely into their positions on the lower slopes of the 
Sari Bair ridgeway northwest of the Bokhali Valley. "While 
the Turks renewed their attacks with the help of a rein- 
forcement of field-guns, they could make no impression on 
the Australians and New Zealanders, who held a semi- 



circular line of trenches on the cliff covering the descent to 
the beach. 

The Twentieth Division of the southern force landed sim- 
ultaneously with the northern force. Under the same con- 
ditions, warships covered the debarkation with fire from 
their guns. Landings were effected on five different beaches. 
'At places the troops gained a footing on land without much 
difficulty, but in and around Sedd-el-Bahr the Turks were 
so strongly entrenched that, after going on shore in two 
places, the landing parties had to withdraw till forces 
landed under Cape Helles, made a flank attack on the Sedd- 
el-Bahr position and drove the Turks out of their entrench- 
ments. By the evening of the 27th, the Twentieth Division, 
after hard fighting, established itself across the whole of 
the Peninsula. The French landed on the same day at 
Kum Kale, not for the purpose of operating on the Asiatic 
shore of the Straits, but as a feint, made with the object of 
diverting attention from the British debarkation on the op- 
posite shore. After the landing had been accomplished, and 
Kum Kale occupied, the French crossed over to the Gallipoli 
Peninsula and joined the British. 

In the interior, which is a mass of tortuous hills and 
ravines, with here and there commanding points which dom- 
inate the surrounding country, is Achi Baba, which rises 
730 feet above the sea and commands the road from Sedd-el- 
Bahr through Krithia to Maidos, as well as the Suandere 
Valley on the north. Before the Allied troops could pass 
the hill had to be stormed. It was here that the guns of 
the fleet came in with help afterward. The hill afforded a 
good target from the sea. Achi Baba is just six miles from 
the lower point of the Peninsula and midway between the 
Straits and the sea. From it two arms extend in a slight 
semi-circle reaching to the shore line on both sides. The 
mountain itself has a particularly forbidding aspect. One 
writer described it as most resembling an old Chinese 
idol, with great round stupid-looking head and two short, 
thickset shoulders, two long arms stretching out on either 
side as if barring the way to some forbidden inner temple. 
Between these arms lies the plain across which the Allies 
had to charge with the utmost heroism in their efforts to 
storm the mountain. 




At the northeastern end of the Peninsula lies the eity 
of Gallipoli, toward which the Allies were expected to make 
their way. It guards the Peninsula where it joins the main- 
land, and is near an elbow formed by the Dardanelles and 
the Sea of Marmora. It ia the last inner defense of the 
Dardanelles, powerfully fortified, defensive works in modern 
style having been begun there in 1878, when the Russians- 
threatened to take possession of Constantinople. At irreg- 
ular intervals the work of 
strengthening it had been car- 
ried on. Gallipoli is not com- 
parable in strength to the 
world 's great fortresses, yet 
with modem batteries and ex- 
tensive outworks it was made 
to form a proper complement 
to the other fastnesses of the 
Straits. It was the first land 
in Europe that the Ottomans 
gained in the 15th century. To- 
day the town itself is anything 
but beautiful. The streets are 
narrow and dirty. Most houses 
are wooden structures, in decay 
and untidy, with few buildings 
of any architectural interest. It 
has lead en -domed bazaars that 
appeal to westerners and a few 
uncared for relics of the East- 
ern Empire and Greek times, 
but these are in a state of neglect and decay. It has two good 
harbors, both improved. One serves as the principal roadstead 
of the Turkish fleet. Gallipoli is 132 miles from Constanti- 
nople, and lies south of Adrianople. Here the Dardanelles are 
about two miles wide. Until the Turkish occupation Gallipoli 
seemed destined as a well-placed port, on one side of Nature's 
natural avenue of water trade, to become one of the greatest 
commercial cities in the Near East, but through centuries of 
Turkish rule it had slept an almost dreamless sleep. 
The story of the landing of troops on the Peninsula was 

RnPEBT Beookb 
The EngltBb poet who flled durlDif' 
the Gallipoli campalgQ. Brooke Ilea 
burled OD tbe laUud of LcmnoB 


told in much impressive detail by Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett. 
He described how ** every round of ammunition, all water 
and all supplies had to be landed on a narrow beach, and 
then carried up pathless hills, valleys and bluffs, several 
hundred feet high, to the firing-line/' The whole mass of 
troops, ** concentrated on a very small area, and unable to 
reply,'* were exposed to a relentless and incessant shrapnel- 
fire, which swept every yard of the ground, altho fortu- 
nately a great deal of it was badly aimed, or burst too high. 
On going ashore, through a fire of burning shrapnel, you 
landed on a beach thirty yards wide between the water and 
a cliff which rises steeply for some hundred feet, to find 
there regiments waiting to move to the trenches, fatigue- 
parties unloading boats and lighters, others making great 
pyramids of canned foods and biscuits, others bringing 
water, of which a supply had been found on shore. Trains 
of mules were dragging field-guns into position; Indians 
were in charge of mountain-guns, and dressing-stations where 
the w6unded were hastily tended before being sent to the 
ships. Other fatigue-parties were laying telegraph and 
telephone wires, and still others carrying supplies up the 

Mr. Ashmead-Bartlett said the problems in Southern 
Gallipoli were different from those which the Australians 
sucessfuUy solved further north. Here cliffs rise from fifty 
to one hundred feet from the water's edge, with little or 
no foreshore, jagged rocks making landings in some places 
impossible. There were at intervals stretches of beach. Five 
of these were selected for the disembarkation of troops, 
each -under the covering fire of warships. Once men had 
climbed the low cliffs at any of these points, they found 
themselves on an open, grassy plateau, which stretched 
inland about two miles until the ground became more hilly 
and broken, near the village of Marethia, and the slopes of 
the dominating heights of Achi Baba. It was hoped by the 
Allies that the trenches would be rendered untenable by 
fire from the ships' guns, but the expectations failed to be 

A desperate struggle raged all day for what Mr. Ashmead- 
Bartlett called **W Beach," and the adjoining hills between 



Cape Tekeh and Cape Helles. The landing parties had to 
land on a wide expanse of sand, enfiladed by hills, and to 
force their way up a semi-circular valley inland. Everywhere 
the Turks had made trenches, protected by barbed wire 
and held in. force, while their snipers, hidden in broken 
ground, covered every yard of the foreshore with a deadly 
fusillade. The place was described as a death-trap. At 
dawn, for three-quarters of an hour, it was swept by a tre- 
mendous fire from covering ships, which it was hoped would 
effectively destroy the barbed wire on the foreshore. 

Just at daylight troops were taken ashore from the 
cruiser Euryalus in eight tows. All were exposed to a 
heavy fire, when approaching the shore. The tows which 
made for the cliffs to the right reached the beach, and im- 
mediately scaled the cliffs and obtained a footing on the 
crest right under the Turkish trenches, but here they were 
held up and could advance no further. Troops literally 
clung to the edge of the cliff on both sides of the beach. 
The tows on the left, which had made for the shelter of 
Cape Tekeh, finally got ashore and hung on in the same 
manner. Other boats found themselves confronted by a 
solid edge of uncut barbed wire and exposed to a terrible 
cross-fire from concealed pom-poms, Maxims, trenches, and 
snipers. In the cliff were holes in which Maxims were con- 
cealed, rendering them perfectly immune from shell-fire 
from ships. Almost all who landed in the center were shot 
down. Afterward another regiment landed, swept up the 
valley and cleared the Turks off the sky-line, when it be- 
came possible to clear the wounded from the beach, cut the 
barbed wire, and start landing stores and ammunition. 
On the following day, more troops debarked on W Beach, 
and the whole line, joining up with troops on X Beach, 
was able to move forward and get astride the Peninsula. 
Everywhere was found a scene of destruction and desolation 
— trenches knocked into shapeless heaps by shell-fire, aban- 
doned kits, broken rifles, and wire. 

Running back from a fort was a perfect net-work of 
trenches and barbed wire, running round a semi-circular 
valley overlooking the beach and finally joining up with 
the old castle and fort of Sedd-el-Bahr on the farther side. 






g SSi 
S SI. 

I Is 

i Si 


The Turks had mounted pom-poms on the Cape Helles side, 
and had snipers concealed everywhere. On the right was 
the old castle fronting the Straits, but now sadly battered 
by shells, yet still presenting a solid mass of masonry in 
which sharpshooters and Maxims could lie concealed. Just 
east of the castle were remains of the great battery which 
had been silenced by guns on February 19 and 25. Twelve- 
inch guns were finally demolished by a landing party of 
marines and bluejackets. 

Behind the fort and castle lay the remains of the village 
of Sedd-el-Bahr, in which there was not a house left stand- 
ing, for all had been destroyed by repeated bombardments 
of castle and fort. Nevertheless the ruins and gardens pro- 
vided cover for the enemy's sharpshooters, from which to 
snipe the foreshore. Behind the remains of the village the 
ground rises to a height known as Hill 141, on which Turks 
had constructed a maze of trenches and barbed wire, and 
from which they could dominate the beach at point-blank 
range. The foreshore and valley leading inland were like- 
wise protected by trenches and wire. The whole position 
was indeed one of the most formidable which troops ever 
attempted to take under normal conditions. Remembering 
that these troops had to be landed in boats and rowed ashore 
without cover, the feat becomes almost inexplicable. 

The landing on V Beach will remain memorable, because 
of the novel experiment of running a liner — the River Clyde 
— full of troops deliberately ashore and thus allowing them 
to approach close in under cover without being exposed — a 
sort of application, of the ** wooden-horse" strategy of the 
Greeks at the seige of Troy. A great many lives were saved 
by the cover which steel sides afforded to hundreds of sol- 
diers crammed between the side decks. Great doors were 
cut in the ship's sides, to allow a rapid debarkation, and 
wooden gangways were slung from ropes gradually down from 
these doors, so that men could pass down on both sides in 
single file and either jump into the water, if it was not too 
deep, or on to the Tghters which were towed in with her. 
Her bridge was made a citadel with steel plates, and twelve 
Maxims, also protected by improvised casements and manned 
by the Maxim section of the Naval Division, were placed in 


n the weat coast ot the penlnBula, are indicated a» "Beach W," "Beacb X," 
etc., runnlDg north to "Beftch Z" where the AniacB (that Is. Australians, 
New Zealandera, etc.) landed. Points where Bome of tbe severest flghtlng 
took place, atter the cllIT on the shore had been surmouated. were Krlthla, 
Acbl Baha. Gaba Tepe, and Annfarta. In the earlter operations with ships 
the Dardanelles were penetrated almost through the Narrows. Many have 
since believed that the Frpnch aim British ships ralftht have forced their 
way through to the Sea ot Marmora, had they held on a few days longer, 
Turkish ammunllion being about exhausted. The question then would have 
been, could C-Jostantlnople have been.talien without a long siege? 


her bows and lower bridge to sweep the shore when the 
troops debarked. 

Over two thousand men were aboard the River Clyde, 
when at dawn, after a rapid bombardment from the battle- 
ship Albion, she slowly steamed toward shore, preceded by 
eight tows of steam-plnnaees and boats, that were to land 
the covering party. Those in the boats suffered terribly 
from rifle-fire, machine-guns, and the four pom-poms which 
swept the foreshore. Along the front of the beach was a bank 
of sand about four or five feet high. The survivors and the 
wounded crawled behind this, which gave them cover from 
the leaden storm. Meanwhile, the River Clyde had gone 
ashore further east than had been intended, bow-on, close to 
a reef of rock. The water was too deep to allow of men 
leaping from her and wading, but th's contingency had 
been foreseen, and a steam-hopper was brought up and also 
run ashore to provide a gangway from the wooden gang- 
ways on either side. But this being not sufficient, it was 
necessary to drag a lighter to the far side of the hopper 
before the troops on board could attempt to debark. Dur- 
ing this time the River Clyde was subjected to a tornado of 
rifle, Maxim, and pom-pom fire, th^ bullets rattling against 
her sides like hail-stones. Thfe* tro'ops on board knew it 
meant almost certain destruction to leave her, yet at the call 
of their officers about two hundred dashed down the gang- 
way to the starboard side and attempted to reach the reef. 
Some were shot on the gangway; others were killed as they 
reached the hopper ; others on the reef, and many of the 
survivors no sooner reached the beach than they fell. A 
few only survived, and lay under the shelter of the bank. 
Annihilation for the whole force was promised now if any 
further attempt to debark was made. 

The battleships Cornwallis, Albion and Queen Elizabeth 
opened a furious bombardment on Sedd-el-Bahr, the hills be- 
hind and on the Turkish trenches, endeavoring to silence the 
pom-poms. Throughout the entire day, the River Clyde lay 
with two thousand of her men packed like sardines between 
her decks, and with officers crowded on her protected bridge. 
Bullets rattled against her steel-plates, but could not pene- 
trate them, while the sharpshooters on shore picked off 

V. VIII— 8 105 


every ene who dared to show his head. Turks on the Asiatic 
shore endeavored to destroy the River Clyde by howitzer 
fire, but this was kept under by the covering warships in 
the Straits. Nevertheless, she was pierced by four big 
shells, all of which, fortunately, failed to explode. One 
way and other, about 1,000 men had left the River Clyde, 
and nearly half had been killed, wounded, or drowned. 
Most of the remainder were lying huddled under the sandy 
shelter on the beach, many with wounds. More than 
1,000 were still cooped up on the collier, unable to land. 
The Turkish fire had grown in intensity, until it was almost 
certain death to pass down the gangway. After a time 
Maxim-guns held off the Turks and about 8 p.m. the whole 
of the thousand men still on board came out and quietly 
walked down the gangway without a casualty. Not a shot 
was fired against them. 

Beach W had meanwhile been the scene of wonderful 
exploits. Sir Ian Hamilton said that **so strong were the 
defenses that the Turks may well have considered them 
impregnable." It was his firm conviction that **no finer 
feat of arms had ever been achieved by the British soldier 
or any other soldier than the storming of these trenches 
from open bojats on the morning of April 25.'' The beach 
was practically in a bay enclosed by hills, and the way 
out of it led through a narrow gully. The Turks had fully 
expected a landing at this point, and had prepared for it. 
They had laid both land-mines and sea-mines, and on the 
edge of the sea had constructed broad wire-entanglements 
along the whole length of the beach. Heights overlooking 
the beach were covered with entrenchments, to which the 
gully gave sheltered access. Machine-guns were concealed 
in holes in cliffs and trained on the hedge of barbed wire. 

Once the assailants emerged from the cup-like bay, they 
were instantly exposed to fire from two strong infantry 
redoubts near Hill 138, protected by wire-entanglements 20 
feet broad. The fire swept a bare, open zone which had to 
be crossed in attacking the Turks. From these redoubts 
another strong wire-entanglement had been carried to the 
edge of the cliff, thus making communication between W 
Beach and the adjacent beach impossible until the redoubts 



were taken. Add to these defenses a host of snipers con- 
cealed behind sand-dunes and tufts of grass, and it was not 
surprizing that the Turks firmly beLeved W Beach able to 
resist any attack. The Turkish position had one weakness 
in rocks at the two ends of the bay which gave just a small 
^foothold. From these rocks it was possible partially to 
enfilade the defenses. To this fact the success eventually 
achieved against heavy odds was in great measure due. 

In the afternoon companies of troops landed on "W Beach, 
advanced along the shore, and captured Turkish trenches 
on the hill overlooking V Beach, and also two pom-poms, 
but they were forced to retire at night. When it was 
suflSciently dark a fresh attempt to debark was made, and, 
strange to say, almost the entire force got ashore without 
the Turks firing a shot. On landing the troops were not 
pushed straight up the valley in front, but eastward, to get 
the shelter of the cliffs under the castle of Sedd-el-Bahr. 
At eleven o'clock the enemy was alarmed, and again opened 
a furious fusilade, sweeping the whole beach, but the Allies 
lay down under cover and suffered small loss. About eleven 
next morning began a final attack on the Turkish trenches. 
The losses were severe, but at noon the position was taken 
and the Turks fled. After these unparalleled exertions, V 
Beach was cleared, and the way paved for a further advance 

When the R ver Clyde had been run ashore at the landing 
beach immediately west of Sedd-el-Bahr, it seemed up to 
the last moment that the landing was to be made without 
opposition, but the moment the first boat touched sand the 
storm broke. A tornado of fire swept over the beach. The 
Dublin Fusileers and the Naval boat-crews suffered exceed- 
ingly heavy losses in the boats. Those who landed and 
crossed the strip of sand managed to gain some cover, but 
none of the boats was able to get off again. All were ab- 
solutely destroyed by Turkish fire on the beach. The sit- 
uation was probably saved by machine-guns on the River 
Clyde, which managed to keep down the Turkish fire. 

The ruins of Sedd-el-Bahr, as Ashmead-Bartlett describes 
them, presented an aniazing spectacle. The castle, forts, 
and villages were a jumble of crusht masonry. Guns in the 



forts were smashed into huge pieces of steel, and had been 
thrown by the force of the explosions several yards from 
their mountings. Great piles of unused ammunition were 
piled up beside them. The old towers of the castle were 
partly standing, altho riddled by huge shells. The barracks 
at the back had been gutted by shells and flames. In the 
village beyond it was difficult to follow the lines of streets, 
as houses, orchards, and gardens seemed thrown into a 
great pot together. Everywhere the ground was scattered 
with debris — fragmentts of shell, scattered graves, knap- 
sacks, great-coats, broken rifles, twisted bayonets, soldiers' 
caps and helmets, and tattered heaps of uniforms and 
clothes. Not a living soul was left in the village, except 
stray soldiers sight-seeing, and a horde of starving cats 
prowling among the ruins of their former homes. Interiors 
and roofs of houses had fallen in and lay mixed up with 
furniture, bedding, fire-grates, and cooking untensils. It 
was a scene of complete desolation. Beyond the village 
you could follow the line of the last attack, which ended 
in the capture of the Turkish trenches on Hill 141, by the 
graves, the barbed wire, and the extraordinary mazes of 
trenches which twisted and turned in all directions, many 
having disappeared altogether under the rain of shells from 
the ships. So ran Mr. Ashmead-Bartlett's thrilling narra- 
tive of which an outline has been given here. 

Immense work was accomplished by the warships during 
these operations. The whole responsibility for landing the 
troops, and keeping up supplies of food and ammunition was 
left to them, and in addition the responsibility of protecting 
the flanks of the combined armies and keeping down the 
enemy's artillery-fire. All troops, animals, guns, wagons, 
stores, ammunition, and a thousand other things had to be 
taken from the hundred transports lying off the Straits, 
which arrived from Egypt full and left empty for a fresh 
cargo at all hours of the day and night, and conveyed in 
trawlers or lighters to two narrow beaches, neither of which 
was more than 200 yards in width. Cliffs prohibited land- 
ing anything at any other point. Naval commanders, lieu- 
tenants, and midshipmen in charge of this work developed an 
efficiency which astounded even expert theorists. 



Piers were built out into deep water, so that the largest 
lighters could come alongside, with cut roads along the 
cliffs to increase the area of debarkation. A hundred 
devices were hit upon to lessen labor and increase efficiency, 
including systems of lighting which enabled the work to go 
on uninterruptedly night and day, for even when the day's 
work was over, and the last lighter had discharged her 
cargo, streams of wounded were walking or being carried 
down to the beaches, where they were embarked on empty 
barges and dispatched for transportation to hospital ships. 
The whole work of this landing meant perfection in organ- 
ization. How it was managed will ever remain somewhat 
of a mystery. Perhaps such a task was never before at- 
tempted by an army and navy — even when the landing had 
been completed. The Turks on the Asiatic shore shelled the 
beach almost every day. Warships were continually en- 
gaged in trying to locate guns and knock them out, or force 
them to change position. On one beach the sight of the 
**ship of Troy," as the River Clyde came to be called, 
seemed to excite peculiar indignation. The Turks fired 
round after round at her, while the work of debarkation 
went on uninterruptedly. 

The ultimate objective was to obtain possession of Achi 
Baba. But before this could be attempted it was necessary 
to obtain possession of the two great arms of that somber 
mountain which stretch out, one to the Gulf of Saros and 
the other to the Dardanelles. From a hill above the beach 
a perfect view was obtained of the entire battlefield. It 
was from this observation-post that Ashmead-Bartlett saw 
and then described scenes which occurred, culminating in a 
tremendous combined infantry assault on the enemy's whole 
line on the evening of May 8. From this hill Achi Baba was 
distant exactly six miles to the northeast. The battle had 
lasted for two days without cessation, when it was continued 
next day with greater violence. 

The ships opened up a bombardment of the right arm 
of Achi Baba, Krithia, and the ground behind them. 
When this had lasted for half an hour, infantry on the 
left center advanced to the attack, and again began another 
furious outburst of rifle- and machine-gun fire which showed 



that the Turks were still holding trenches with determination. 
Throughout this fighting in broken ground on slopes lead- 
ing up to Krithia, a plain stretching below looked as if 
some annual maneuvers were taking place. Across the 
whole successive lines of khaki figures were pressing over 
green fields and through farms and orchards toward the 
firing-line. The enemy's shrapnel burst over them, but 
inflicted small damage, owing to the open formations. When 
each successive line reached the fire-zone, it doubled across 
open ground, resting in vacated trenches, and then passing 
on to the next. The whole plain seemed alive with these 
khaki-clad infantry. They were the New Zealand Brigade, 
who had moved up for the final assault, and, on their 
left, the Australian Brigade, who passed on the left of the 
Krithia Road for a like purpose. 

"Weeks of effort produced practically no alteration in the 
position of the Anzac lines at Gaba Tepe. On the other 
hand, the Turks pursued a course of action which had for 
its object the reduction of the confiict to one of siege opera- 
tions, after the manner of the struggle in France. They at- 
tained their object, but at a heavy cost. The Germans and 
Turks, realizing ,the impossibility of driving the Allies off 
the Peninsula by infantry attacks, spasmodic night-attacks, 
and heavy shelling, put forth their best endeavors to 
dig, blast and bomb their enemies back into the sea. The 
fact that they did not accomplish their object with their 
greatly superior forces, and more commanding tactical posi- 
tion was because they were meeting troops of greater 
bravery, endurance and resource than themselves. 

There was terrible carnage among the Turks during their 
supreme effort on May 19. The sight of seemingly endless 
masses of them adviancing might well have shaken the nerves 
of already severely tried troops, but British machine-guns 
and artillery mowed them down in hundreds. Still the ad- 
vancing wall swept on as if the ranks would never waste their 
strength. Not till the wave was at point-blank range from 
nimble trigger-fingers did it break and speed itself among 
barbed-wire entanglements. Some of the Turks were shot 
when in the act of jumping into the Allied trenches, so 
that their corpses lay with heads' and arms hanging over 



the parapets. Allied fire gradually dominated the ground, 
and Turks who tiirned to fly were mowed down before they 
could run a dozen yards. The Germans sent supports and 
reserves forward in droves. It was sickening to observe the 
slaughter the Allied fire made among the massed battalions 
as they issued from concealing into open spaces. Turks 
scrambled over piles of dead bodies, but in an instant a 
company would be enveloped in the smoke of a shrapnel 
salvo. "When the air cleared that company would be 
stretched, or writhing, on the ground, with another company 
approaching, and ready to sh-are its predecessor's fate. It 


became a question, not of the success or otherwise of the 
attack,' but of how many Turks the British could kill. The 
wastage of life continued long after the failure of the 
assault had become apparent. A green patch became a 
shambles. On a few acres the burial party, working during 
the armistice which followed, counted no fewer than 4,000 
Turkish and German dead. The Allied losses were perhaps 
not a tenth as many. 

On May 22 the actual presence of submarines in the 
neighborhood of the Dardanelles was proved beyond a doubt. 
At 1.30 P.M. on that day a periscope was sighted. Mr. Ash- 


mead-Bartlett, six months afterward, declared that the true 
history of the voyage of the German submarines from the 
English Channel and their arrival off the Dardanelles would, 
when written, make one of the most fascinating stories of 
the war. He could not help admiring the enterprise their 
commanders showed, and especially the skill with which 
they had organized their depots of oil. Judging from what 
English submarine boats had already accomplished in the 
Sea of Marmora and in the harbor of Constantinople, he 
believed, however, that, if they had had opportunities equal 
to those of the Germans, they would have accomplished far 

The Allied fleet at the mouth of the Dardanelles had been 
confident and happy until the third week in May when vague 
rumors came that hostile submarines had passed Gibraltar, 
followed by other rumors that one had been seen oflf Malta, 
another had passed the Doro Channel and then been 
sighted again off Cape Matapan. One fine day the pride of the 
British fleet at the Dardanelles, the Queen Elizabeth, faded 
mysteriously away before all observers' eyes bound for some 
unknown destination. Men mourned her departure, but 
realized that some necessity unknown to them existed. 
Other vessels of the fleet, all of good fighting capacity, then 
were discerned to be visible on the horizon less and less, 
or off shore for short periods only and then they would 
fade away, bound apparently for distant ports. The ad- 
miral was seen to transfer from time to time four large 
flags to smaller and less valuable ships, and then the larger 
one which he had left would disappear. In the course of 
two months Ashmead-Bartlett himself lived on six different 
floating homes, which as to size and importance went 
gradually down in scale. When the submarine menace 
finally assumed definite and concrete shape, no ships of 
great, fighting value, altho there were many that bore his- 
toric names, remained off the coast of Gallipoli. The 
smaller ships that remained now took up the work of the 
others as if nothing had happened. It was from the deck 
of the Swiftsure that Ashmead-Bartlett saw the Triumph 
go down, struck by a torpedo from a submarine. 

After the Triumph was sunk the whole of the available 


The sbtp at tbe tap of tbe picture la tbe Queen EUiabeth ("Big Bessl 
SRllorB cftllea her), a auperd res dn ought. The one Id the eentpr 1 
Queen Mary, irhlch was aflerward sunk In the Jutland buttle, a shell 
Ing her thiQ-srmoced plating and rauslng her magazine to e^tplode. si 
she went dowo "In a smolh^r of smoke and flame." The one at the hoi 
la the Majeetie, which was sunk olT GaUlpolI by a torpedo 



British destroyer craft started on a hunt after the sub- 
marines which were said to be making their way south from 
Gaba Tepe toward Cape Helles. The Admiral transferred 
his flag to the twenty-year-old Majestic which was now the 
only battleship left off Cape Helles, and the oldest British 
man-of-war at the Dardanelles. Thus the veteran of the 
fleet, after twenty years of service all over the world, found 
herself once more a flagship. Destroyers kept up an un- 
ceasing chase of the hostile craft which were sighted more 
than once beneath the surface, but they were at too great a 
depth to be rammed. On May 26 the Majestic was at her 
old anchorage off Cape Helles. Ashmead-Bartlett was on 
board. At 6.40 next morning, when sleeping on deck, he 
was aroused by men rushing by when some one of them trod 
on, or stumbled against his chest. This woke him and he 
called out, *' What's the matter?'' to which a voice replied: 
** There's a torpedo coming." He had just time to scramble 
to his feet when there came **a dull, heavy explosion about 
fifteen feet forward of the shelter-deck, on the port side. 
His narrative proceeds: 

"The old Majestic immediately gave a jerk over toward port, and 
remained with a heavy list. Then there came a sound as if the 
contents of every pantry in the world had fallen at the same moment. 
You could tell at once she had been mortally wounded, and you felt 
instinctively she would not long stay afloat. Later the Majestic 
rolled right over to port, and so the old flagship disappeared for- 
ever, except for a small piece of her ram, which remained above 
water, as her bows were lying on a shallow sand-bank. As she 
turned over and sank, a sailor ran the whole length of her keel 
and finally sat astride the ram, where he was subsequently taken 
off without even getting a wetting. Some of those still clinging 
to the ship were dragged down by the fatal nets before they could 
get clear; others were probably killed inside by the explosion. 
Nevertheless, the loss of life was small, numbering only fifty." 

On June 4 a general assault was begun on the Turkish 
trenches in front of Achi Baba, preceded by a bombard- 
ment. For an hour the fire of every British and French 
gun on the peninsula poured shells of various calibers into 
Turkish trenches. Battleships and a large destroyer off the 



northern coast battered the enemy's right, while a French 
warship in the entrance to the Dardanelles dropt heavy 
projectiles on the left of the Turkish position. British 18- 
pounders and French **75's'' kept up a rain of shells on the 
parapets of the enemy's trenches. At times the whole line 
was obliterated behind a billowy curtain of creamy smoke. 
In Krithia a tower which had withstood a score of minor 
bombardments came toppling down, and fire broke out in 
the village. For an hour the air was rent with terrific 
crashes, one blending into another, and alive with shrieks 
and whistles of projectiles as they sailed overhead toward 
the enemy's lines. 

Punctually at 12 the order to go forward was given, and 
men in the first line of trenches leapt out, parties of bomb- 
throwers accompanying them, and dashed across the inter- 
vening hundred yards to the Turkish trenches. The first 
line was to occupy and clear the first trench. The second 
was to pass over the first and capture the second. The 
second had thus considerably farther to go than the first, 
the lines of trenches being about 500 yards apart. A third 
was to advance after the others, fill up the gaps, and press 
home the attack. The second did not advance until a 
quarter of an hour after the first started. 

The enemy, who had made no effective reply to the bom- 
bardment, immediately began to pour shrapnel on the troops 
rushing to the assault. The troops went forward with the 
capture of the first trench, being the work of a few min- 
utes. The Tu-rks, dazed and deafened by the avalanche of 
shell-fire which had been bursting around them for an hour, 
fired a shot or two upward from the trenches and then fled 
along the communication trenches to the rear trenches. A. 
large number who were found dead and wounded in the 
trenches seemed to have fallen victims to the shell-fire. The 
second line, dashing forward under hot fire from the Turkish 
rear trenches, captured the second line, *and the Turks being 
fairly on the run for the moment, British troops followed 
up their advantage wherever they could, which was chiefiy 
in the center, where the resistance was weakest. They cap- 
tured line after line of trenches. 

At noon armored turret motor-cars using improvised paths 



leading from Sedd-el-Bahr and Cape Helles to Krithia passed 
into something like roads, dashed up to the firing-line, four 
on each road, timing their attack to coincide with that of 
the first line. Crossing the British trenches on bridges, 
they went on jolting and rocking over pitfalls in* the 
ground and so up to the* Turkish trenches. Here the cars 
opened fire with Maxims on Turks fleeing from the first 
trenches to the rear. Soon bullets began to fall against 
the armored sides of the cars, and shells to fall around 
them. Being unable to advance further, the cars with- 
drew, shells falling between them as they drove back along 
the roads. One car was hit and the top of its turret 
knocked off, but nobody was killed. The total loss was a 
few men wounded. All the cars came back, only two being 

The quick success of the Allied center had carried their 
line 600 to 1,000 yards forward. On the flank the Turks 
were much more strongly posted, and a desperate struggle 
began. On the right the French, stopt by the formidable 
barrier of the Kereves Dere gully, were unable to make' 
similar progress. The Royal Naval Division dashed for- 
ward with the rest of the British line, but found itself 
unable to maintain the ground won, because it would have 
meant a gap between them and the French. The situation 
here tended more and more to resemble that in eastern 
France. The enemy -had an ideal defensive position — a 
narrow peninsula traversed by ranges of hills or .small 
mountains, every inch of which could be entrenched to ad- 
vantage — ^with one flank safe from attack by sea and both 
incapable of being turned by land, as they reached dowji 
to the water's edge. 

Achi Baba, the barrier in front, altho far less rugged and 
steep than the ridge on which the Australians established 
themselves, proved no less difficult to assault. The Aus- 
tralian ridge was like Majuba Hill,^* so steep that men 
climbing it would often be out of reach of others who were 
firing down from the crest. Achi Baba, on the other hand, 
was a series of smooth slopes, terraced at intervals, and much 

8« A hill In South Africa, stormed by the British In the Boer War of 




the same to mount as the glacis of an old-fashioned fort. 
Turkey was an enemy less fertile in .resource than the Ger- 
mans; less well equipped; less rigorous in attack; but she 
had advantages which the Germans could no longer claim. 
She had an ideal defensive position — a narrow peninsula 
traversed by ranges of high hills or small mountains, every 
inch of which could be entrenched to advantage. 

Lack of progress by the Allies in the Dardanelles in 
April and May had produced a cheerful frame of mind in 
the Turkish capital. Constantinople papers were crying vic- 
tory and' seemed to regard the war as virtually over. They 
pointed satirically to the series of defeats which were to be 
inflicted by the Allies on Germanic arms as soon as the 
spring campaign began, and recalled Kitchener's famous 
prophecy that the war would ** begin in May." Taking this 
for a text under the title of *'The First Fruits of May,'' 
the Constantinople Ikdam said: 

"As soon as the weather opened up, England was to send to 
France millions of troops ; then with her Allies they would take up 
position against the Germans and mak^ violent attacks on them; 
within two weeks, or three at the most, they would cut through the 
line of battle of the Germans; Alsace-Lorraine on the one side and 
Belgium on the other should be entirely freed; the Germans would 
receive such terrible blows that before June they would be suing 
for peace, for they would be beaten by land and by sea. At the 
same time the Russians would be well on their way toward Berlin. 
As for Austria-Hungary, that country would be cut to pieces by 
June; and because of the advance of the Russians toward Vienna, 
the Hungarians would secede and try to form a little State under 
the protection of Russia. Transylvania and Bukowina would also 
secede; Serbia would have occupied Bosnia and Herzegovnia; in 
short, the name of Austria-Hungary would have been wiped off the 
map. As regards Turkey, the Allies were to be in Constantinople 
before May, and the armies of Russia were to have made great 
progress in Anatolia. 

"The first-fruits that spring has ripened are as sweet and pleasant 
to us as they are bitter and poisonous to them — so poisonous that 
they are carrying them off to death. In the west the Allies are 
being beaten; they are retreating, leaving prisoners, cannon and 
ammunition behind them. On the sea the German submarines and 
in the air the German Zeppelins are constantly striking blows at 



the English. On the Eastern Front, whether in the East Prussia 
region, in Poland, op in Galicia, the victories that are being gained 
are terribly shaking the Russians, especially do the Galician vic- 
tories seem to be decisive. As for ourselves, by the grace of God, 
our heroic defenders have succeeded in inflicting terrible blows on 
the enemy in the Gallipoli Peninsula. Each day of spring that 
passes brings our enemies discouraging defeats." 


All reports from the Dardanelles in those spring and 
summer days brought out with startling clearness the 
formidable nature of the Allied undertaking. The moun- 
tainous country which lay ahead of them was to be com- 
pared only with an immensely strong fortress, that could 
be taken only by storm. Some estimates of the losses of 
the Turks named 70,000. British losses, naval and military, 
up to the end of May were stated by Mr. Asquith in the 
House of Commons at 38,636. Nevertheless the battle of 
the fourth of June ended in substantial progress. The 
British and French line across the peninsula from the 
JEgean to the Dardanelles had been confronted by rising 
ground culminating in the center with the flat summit of 
Achi Baba, 800 feet high. On either side the ground falls 
away ^o the sea in ravines- and dry watercourses, which the 
Turks had had time to make almost impregnable. The 
Allies had to storm an immensely strong fortress the ad- 
vanced works of which, by an amazing feat of arms, they 
already held, but the glacis of which had to be crossed be- 
fore they could move forward to the assault upon Achi 
Baba and beyond to the final assault upon the walls of the 


Further up the coast the Australians and New Zealanders 
had made a lodgment on one of the strongest advance-works 
of the Kilid Bahr Plateau. As seen from the northwest, 
they threatened the communications of the fortress Rnd 
were drawing against them a large part of the garrison. 
This was composed of the flower of the Turkish army. These 
troops were flghting with gallantry; with desperation, in- 
deed, because they realized that when the bastion of Achi 
Baba fell the occupation of the Kilid Bahr Plateau would 
become a mere question of time, and that when Kilid Bahr 



fell the doom of Constantinople was at hand. The gain of 
a score of yards in the Gallipoli Peninsula fairly repre- 
sented for the purposes of comparison a gain of 500 yards 
in the western theater of war. Therefore, to find its im- 
portance the gain of 500 yards on June 4 had to be named 
with Neuve Chapelle. Minor actions, generally inconclusive, 
followed for many days. 

On June 21 it was determined to straighten the line on 
the extreme right. At 1.30 a.m. the preliminary bombard- 
ment began. The dawn had come clear, but soon a curtain 
of silver, through which gleamed the ghost of the rising 
sun, hung over the Kereves Dere, formed by the smoke of 
bursting shells. Slowly as the sun climbed up, the curtain 
became more substantial, then seemed to droop and sweep 
along hollows with a vanishing mist. During a respite the 
blue smoke of bivouac fires came tranquilly into the still 
air and the bombardment began again with greater fierce- 
ness than before. The 75 's drummed unceasingly, while the 
reverberations of the 125 's and the howitzers shookj the 
observation-post. Over the Kereves Dere and beyond, on 
the sloping shoulders of Achi Baba, the curtain became a 
pall. As the sun climbed higher and higher all that first 
mirage of beauty disappeared. There was nothing but the 
monstrous shapes of bursting shells and ghosts of smoke 
along the Turkish lines. 

All through that morning the cannonade went on. By 
noon the French on the left stormed and captured all the 
Turkish trenches of the first two lines. Even the Haricot 
Redoubt, with its entanglements and maze of communicating 
trenches was in French hands. But on the right, the First 
Division, after reaching their objective, were counter-at- 
tacked so effectively that they fell back only to advance 
once more to take trenches, and again to be driven out. 
There were still five hours of daylight for this battle on the 
year's longest day, with British guns and howitzers. At 
half-past five it seemed as if every gun on earth were 
pouring shells on the Turkish lines. At six o'clock there 
was a temporary shortage of ammunition in a Turkish 
trench but the Turks fought with stones, sticks, and fists. 
A battalion, hurrying up to reinforce the trench, was caught 



on open ground by drumming 75 's and melted away. Six 
hundred yards of Turkish trenches were taken. 

The smoke of the shells, which at dawn had been ethereal, 
almost translucent, was now at the sunset, turbid and sinis- 
ter, yet the sunset was splendid, flaming in crimson 
streamers over Imbros, tinting the east with rosy reflections, 
and turning the peaks of Asia to sapphire. This possest 
peculiar significance for the longest day of the year, crown- 
ing as it did those five hours of daylight that, for the 
French, were fraught with achievement. Slowly the color 
faded out, and, minute by minute, the flashes of the guns 
became more distant; the smoke was merged in the gather- 
ing dusk, and over the more distant Turkish lines bursts 
of shrapnel came out like stars against the brief twilight. 

The Turkish casualties were believed to be about 7,000. 
One trench, 200 yards long and 10 feet deep, was brimming 
over with dead. French officers who had fought in the west 
said that, as a fighting unit, one Turk was worth two Ger- 
mans. With his back to the wall the Turk was magnificent. 
The French casualties were few, considering what a day it 
had been, what enemy was being attacked, and how much 
had been gained. The profile of Achi Baba seemed now to 
write itself less stolidly against the sky. 

On June 28 Sir Ian Hamilton ordered the attack con- 
tinued, his intention being to threaten Krithia by advancing 
his left wing west and east of the Saghir Dere ravine, which 
runs nearly parallel to the -S3gean coast, about a mile inland. 
The battle opened with a combined artillery bombardment by 
French and British guns, assisted by the fire of the Talbot, 
Scorpion, and Wolverine, The bombardment was longer and 
more effective than that on June 4, the wire entanglements 
in front of the Turkish trenches being completely destroyed, 
and the trenches themselves so shattered that when the men 
of the Indian and Twenty-ninth Divisions rushed forward to 
attack they had a comparatively easy task. West of Saghir 
Dere, where the Turkish trenches had been exposed to the 
naval gun-fire, the Indians captured three lines of trenches, 
with little opposition, many of the Turkish soldiers being 
found buried in the debris, while those who remained were 
taken prisoners. East' of the ravine the Royal Scots made 

V. VIII— 9 121 


a fine attack, capturing two lines of trenches. Meanwhile 
the Gurkhas, pressing along the Saghir Dere, captured a 
commanding knoll directly west of Krithia, the final result 
of the day's fighting being a gain of 1,000 yards, while the 
left wing was thrown forward so as to face east instead of 

The net result of the fighting on June 28 was a gain of a 
mile along the coast, the capture of four lines of Turkish 
trenches, about 200 prisoners, three mountain-guns, and an 
immense quantity of small arms, ammunition, and many 
rifles, the total gain being, a right angled triangle, each side 
of which was about a mile long. This, at the time, was the 
most successful engagement fought on the peninsula, and 
became newly important when judged by its effect on the 
morale of the Allied troops. The success was mainly due 
to changes made in tactics and to an enormous improvement 
in the support given by the artillery. 

The battle of the Gully Ravine, as it came to be known, 
was a classical example of sectional attack, the kind which 
alone leads to decisive results in modern warfare; that is to 
say, there was no general advance along the whole line. A 
section was selected and every available gun concentrated 
on the works to be assaulted, which were battered to pieces 
or completely smothered by high-explosive shells, while the 
wire in front was cut to pieces by twenty minutes' concen- 
trated shrapnel-fire. Thus, when the Allied infantry were 
let loose, they were able to walk into some of the works 
without opposition. The Turks who were not dead were 
running away or surrendering. 

The captured trenches presented an extraordinary ap- 
pearance. They were smashed by high-explosive shells and 
littered with dead and debris of all descriptions ; .the stench 
was unbearable; the entanglements had been cut to shreds 
in places by shrapnel. The Allies captured hundreds of 
rifles and thousands of rounds of small-arms ammunition. 
Every rifle taken was as good as a prisoner or a dead Turk, 
because the Turks had only a limited number, and in one 
€ngagement there were troops in the front line firmed only 
with Martinis. The prisoners captured were mixed, coming 
from all parts of the Turkish Empire, while most of the. 



officers were young and inexperienced, with only a few 
months' service behind them. 

Years from now, when the surviving veterans of this cam- 
paign in Gallipoli shall gather round some festive board in 
London or Paris, in Australia or New Zealand, holding an 
annual celebration to commemorate the final Allied success in 
the war, the name which will recall to them the most somber 
memories may be the Gully Ravine. Someone described it 
as ''a devil of a place,'' and that description was not inac;- 
curate. Steaming along the western coast of Gallipoli you 
would not have suspected its existence. It varied in depth, 
in width, and in security as you passed along its course. After 
leaving the seashore it took a general direction toward 
Krithia and twisted and turned in a remarkable manner. At 
one point you could walk in security behind a bluff, while at 
another you caught a stream of bullets from Turkish trenches. 
The Ravine lay between overhanging craggy hills, which 
were in places 200 feet high,' and covered with a thick green 
shrub, varied by patches of yellow, sandy soil, which seemed 
common to the whole of the southern end of Gallipoli. Ex- 
cept for the war, soldiers would have stopt to admire the 
beauty of the scene, which resembled the Scottish Highlands 
in its rugged grandeur. 

The heat in summer was almost unbearable because no 
sea breezes penetrated the depths of the peninsula, and the 
sun beat down on the war-worn road with pitiless severity. 
But there was plenty of good water for men. and horses, 
parched by sun and sand. Springs, carefully guarded 
against pollution, were known and beloved by every thirsty 
soldier. Some of them, flowing from interior hills, entered 
the valley in a tiny, trickling stream, clear as crystal and 
icy cold. Crowds of perspiring, dusty, thirsty men would 
wait indefinite periods in a long queue, each with his water- 
bottle in hand, for the privilege of obtaining a draught from 
one of these springs, more valued in Gallipoli than the 
choicest brand of champagne would have been in London 
or Paris. Along the road in every* spot sheltered by over- 
hanging cliffs could be found hundreds of weary men from 
the trenches who had flung themselves down to snatch a 
few hours' sleep. There they would lie unconscious of, and 



indifferent to, shells bursting overhead and the stream ot 
stray bullets ** sizzling'' along. A man would drop and be 
immediately carried to the dressing-station, but no one took 
the smallest notice, for prolonged experience had the effect 
of making nearly all indifferent or fatalists. In the ravine 
one constantly came upon lonely graves, each with a cross 
and a name, marking the last resting-place of some soldier 
fallen in one of the early engagements, or who was buried 
just where he fell. 

All the way up that gully which only twenty-four hours 
before had been in Turkish possession, had become a litter of 
the debris of the camp. Scattered bodies half protruding 
from the ground, hastily dug graves, hundreds of rifles and 
bayonets, some broken, but the majority intact; thousands 
upon thousands of rounds of ammunition, entrenching tools, 
loaves of bread, soldiers' packs, Turkish letters, a Mullah's 
prayer-stool (a souvenir eagerly sought), an overcoat and 
kits, blankets, and old sacks, cooking utensils, and firewood, 
left just where the enemy had abandoned them when the 
Allied infantry broke through at the bayonet's point. Great 
fires were burning at intervals. They were avoided by all, 
and gave forth a horrid, sickly stench. On these the 
Turkish dead, who had been hastily collected, were being 
burnt, for it was all important to get the dead out of the 
way as quickly as possible in so hot a climate. 

On July 6 some of the heaviest fighting that had occurred 
on the peninsula resulted in a swing forward of the south- 
ern line for something over 3,000 feet and the infliction of 
severe losses on the Turks. British estimates placed the 
Turko-German casualties at 7,000 killed and from 14,000 
to 15,000 wounded. The whole army in the southern part 
of the peninsula was engaged. The Australians and New 
Zealanders further north also took part. The success 
marked an indefinite stage in the initial work of throwing 
forces around Achi Baba, which the Allies had now begun 
to believe one of the strongest fortresses in the world. 
French and British machine-guns were rushed to the front, 
until a perfect wall of guns was in position. Suddenly the 
stillness was broken by a tremendous burst of shells from 
Turkish guns, and shrapnel poured down on the French 



front. The men were safely in positions in dugouts and 
little loss resulted. The battered Ooeben was at work again, 
and pounded the Allied right with 11-ineh shells, many of 
which, however, did not burst. 

The hail of shells lasted an hour and a half and was the 
severest bombardment to which the Allied lines had been sub- 
jected during the struggle on the peninsula. No sooner had 
the heavy fire ceased than great solid masses of Turks leapt 
to the attack. On they came, the silence unbroken, save 
for their shouts, until they reached a point within sixty or 
seventy yards of the French position, when from well-placed 
machine-guns a devastating fire burst from the trenches, and 
rifles joined in, 20,000 of them, the big guns flaring and 
casting a lurid light over the scene. They reached the 
barbed-wire entanglements only to find that their artillery 
had been ineffective in attempting to demolish them. The 
slaughter here was terrible. At three points the enemy 
managed to swarm into the French trenches and even to 
turn some of the French weapons on the defending troops, 
but the second French line hurled itself instantlv on the 
foe who, being badly supported, fled. Into the struggling, 
fleeing masses Maxims poured streaks of death, mowing the 
enemy down in heaps. Meanwhile, the naval division had 
been sustaining a portion of the attack and turned its 
machinie-guns on the wreck of the attacking force. They 
held searchlights firmly fixt on the Turks and thus pro- 
vided a ghastly target for guns and rifles. Soon the field 
presented an appalling spectacle Soldiers who fought in 
some of the fiercest fights in France and Flanders, and who 
had been through the terrible experience provided by the 
landing of Allied forces on the peninsula, said they sickened 
at the sight which lay before their eyes when the dim glow 
of morning was spread over the scene. 

Bodies were lying four and five deep on the ground. 
Fallen men lay strewn on the barbed-wire entanglements, 
while many of the enemy's dead still stood erect, propt up 
against masses of their stricken comrades. Further and 
further, amid yells and groans mixed with shouts and the 
whistling of officers, the battered and beaten rabble re- 
treated, followed by relentless death. The sight was so 



terrible that many could not fire guns or rifles. This espe- 
cially affected those in charge of machine-guns. At last the 
poor remnant of the Turkish attacking force was sheltered in 
trenches in front of Achi Baba's slopes. The opposition was 
feeble. The first line of attackers easily carried the first line 
of the Turkish position. Then the second line swept on, and 
after a stubborn struggle the Turks were in headlong re- 
treat. The British for the next two hours, in new positions, 
were subjected to a bombardment of between 7,000 and 
8,000 shells. When this died down, the Turks attempted to 
recover the lost ground. No fewer than seven times did they 
hurl themselves against new lines. On every occasion they 
were driven back. 

By July 14 the Allied line had made a further advance 
against Turkish trenches to the right of the Achi Baba 
nullah. This success was achieved after desperate fighting. 
During the previous three months the Turks had constructed 
a network of trenches and small redoubts, protected by 
barbed wire and connected by saps and communicating 
trenches. But they had been made to realize that no in- 
fantry could withstand tremendous bombardments, with 
high-explosive shells concentrated on a small section of the 
defense and, therefore, withdrew most of their men down 
the communicating trenches while the bombardment lasted, 
and so the Allied infantry were able to occupy two or three 
lines with small loss. The majority of the Allied casualties 
occurred in holding the trenches after they were won, for 
the enemy, knowing the ground and the plan of their 
trenches, attacked them with bombs through the saps, and 
so the fighting took place at close quarters. 

Parties of men would get too far forward and frequently 
be lost for hours, while it was no uncommon occurrence for 
men to gain possession of an advanced trench while the 
Turks were still holding sections of those behind. Thus, after 
each advance it took a long time to straighten out and con- 
solidate a captured position. Many men had to be sac- 
rificed, so many shells fired, and so many grenades used for 
every hundred yards of ground occupied. It was bludgeon- 
work, brutal and unattractive, and giving little or no scope 
for skill in tactics or strategy. In front of Achi Baba the 



situation was the same as before Ypres, or Soueliez. Vic- 
tories could not be won in a day any more than they could 
in France, for sections of the enemy's line had first to be 
pounded to pulp, then stormed, and finally held against 

While a warship bombarded the observation-station on 
the top of Achi Baba with 12-inch guns, regiments of a 
brigade leapt from trenches and surged forward toward the 
redoubt and trenches. The whole scene ** resembled some 
picture from the Inferno, for guns, shelling the works be- 
hind, made a great background of earth and smoke." Again 
Mr. Ashmead-Bartlett said the attack ''^resembled a gigantic 
steaming caldron, into whose thick vapors the gallant brigade 
poured without once hesitating or looking back.'' Indi- 
viduals soon became swallowed up in mist, and all one 
could see were ** black dots rushing about or jumping into 
trenches with bayonets flashing in the shrouded sun amid 
a continuous roar of musketry, which showed the Turks 
were resisting valiantly." But when the smoke lifted the 
Allies were seen to be in possession of the trenches. For 
nearly three hours this fighting continued on the right, 
hidden partly from view, and no one knowing exactly what 
was happening. The attack on the left was successful, being 
conducted with skill and dash. The infantry swept over 
everything in their front, bayoneting Turks who did not 
succeed in escaping down the saps. The infantry swept for- 
ward in small parties, often in twos and threes, in spite of 
shells and heavy rifle-fire. The Turks seemed demoralized by 
this final charge, and fled a long way back to the foot of 
Achi Baba, pursued by shells. 

While a new landing was being successfully carried out 
early in August in Anafarta Bay, the Australian and New 
Zealand Corps at Anzac became engaged in a desperate 
struggle to obtain possession of the main ridge running 
northeast from the Anzac position. No troops were ever 
called upon to make an advance over more difficult and 
broken country. After the close of the battle of August 6 
to 10, the greatest that had been fought on the Gallipoli 
peninsula, both armies were engaged in consolidating new 
positions, taking stock of gains and losses, replenishing am- 







munition and munitions, and sorting put and reorganizing 
divisions, brigades, and battalions which, of necessity, had 
become intermingled in that rugged, mountainous country. 
In the fighting on the ground over which Australian and 
New Zealand army corps advanced in desperate efforts, ex- 
tending over four consecutive days, to reach the crest of 
Sari Bair, the^ commanding ridge overlooking the Dar- 
danelles, which gives access to the highest peak of all, the 
sinister heights of Koja Chemen, which was torn asunder by 
a giant ravine, the New Zealand infantry, the Gurkas, and 
other battalions almost reached their objective. A battalion 
of Gurkas actually got onto the crest of the plateau. At 
the same moment the Turks counter-attacked in great force, 
and then these gallant men from the hills of India were 
driven back. 

But the survivors had obtained a view, and gave a descrip- 
tion of, the promised land which lay beneath them. Below 
were the waters of the Dardanelles. These men looked down 
on the Narrows and on Kilid Bahr. Along the roads they 
had watched Turkish transports streaming southward and 
motor-cars dashing to and fro. It was a bitter disappoint- 
ment to them to relinquish the crest when it seemed almost 
within their grasp, after so many months. The Anzac 
Corps had accomplished a feat of arms in climbing these 
heights almost without a parallel, but they were handi- 
capped by the failure of a corps to make good its position 
on the Anafarta hills further north, and thus check the 
enemy's shell-fire. When details of these operations are* 
collected they will form one of the most fascinating pages 
of the war. It was a combat of giants in a giant country. 

At dawn on the 10th the Turks, reinforced, made a des- 
perate assault on the Allied lines from Hill Q and Chunuk 
Bair. They hurled themselves on two regiments, who, after 
desperate resistance, were driven from their position by 
artillery-fire and sheer weight of numbers further down the 
slopes of Chunuk Bair. Following up their success, the 
Turks charged over the crest to gain a great gully. But they 
had reckoned without the Allied artillery and ships' guns. 
Four successive lines of infantry in close formation were 
plainly visible to all the warships and to all batteries on 



land. The Turks were caught in a trap. The momentum 
of their charge down hill prevented them from recoiling in 
time, and they were swept away by hundreds in a storm of 
high explosives, shrapnel, and common shell from ships' 
guns, howitzers, and field-pieces. As huge shells from the 
ships exploded, huge chunks of soil were thrown into the 
air, amid which human bodies were seen hurled aloft and 
then dashed to earth or down deep ravines. Even this 
artillery-fire might not have checked the Turkish advance 
had it not been assisted by the concentrated fire of ten 
machine-guns at short range. For haif an hour they main- 
tained a rapid fire until the guns smoked with heat. 

Thus closed for the time being amid blood-stained bills the 
fiercest battle since Inkermann. But Inkermann was over in 
a few hours, whereas Englishmen, Scotsmen, Australians, 
New Zealanders, Gurkas, Sikhs, and Maoris kept up this ter- 
rible combat with the Turks for four consecutive days and 
nights, amid hills, dongas, and riavines nine hundred feet 
above the sea, to which point all water-rations and ammuni- 
tion had to be borne along trails that existed t>nly on maps, 
and down which every man who fell wounded had to be borne 
in the almost tropical heat of August in the Mediterranean. 
The result extended the Anzac position. The Allies no 
longer had a confined, stifled feeling of being too many men 
crowded into a restricted area. 

The first attempt to seize the hills round Anafarta having 
broken down, it required time to sort and reorganize the 
units. It was not until August 21 that the army was in a 
position to make a frontal attack on the Turks in this 
quarter. For the bombardment which was to precede the 
attack the battleships moved in closer to shore, supported 
by cruisers and several monitors. Exactly at 3 p.m. on 
August 21 the first gun was fired. For half an hour was 
witnessed another of those terrible bombardments which had 
become commonplaces on that bloody soil. The battleships 
and cruisers concentrated on Hills 70 and 112, supported 
by field-guns and heavy howitzers. Once again the enemy's 
trenches appeared to be swallowed up in clouds of earth and 
smoke, but the Turks showed no sign, and not a man left 
his position. While this bombardment lasted the enemy's 



guns replied furiously, concentrating their fire chiefly on 
and behind Chocolate Hill, which was wreathed in bursting 
shrapnel. Very soon the shells set fire to the brush and 
shrub, which, fanned by a breeze, burnt furiously, spreading 
with amazing rapidity, and at times blotting out positions 
in clouds of rolling smoke and flame. 

The Battle of the Landing succeeded in its initial object, 
because the landing was effected, but it failed in its later 
objects, which were to effect a junction between the Anzac 
and the southern contingents, to take Krithia and Achi 
Baba, and to advance upon Maidos and the Narrows. The 
primary cause of the failure was that the Allies delivered 
their attack in insufficient force; the second, that the 
forces available were unduly dispersed. Behind these lay 
a third; lack of accurate topographical knowledge of a 
peninsula which had been for centuries an object of deep 
interest to ardent soldiers, and especially to British soldiers. 
To these causes may be added the complete elimination of 
the element of surprize, due to the original Allied decision 
to rely on naval strength alone. 

When in October it was announced that General Hamil- 
ton had been called home *'to report," and that General Sir 
C. C. Monro had been appointed to succeed him, rumor was 
rife that the expedition itself was about to be recalled. 
Official reports showed that British casualties in the land 
operations up to October 9 had amounted to 96,889 men. 
The estimates placed French losses at nearly the same figure. 
For the seven months from the date of the landing of troops 
this campaign had cost the Allies nearly a thousand lyien a 
day, and to this was to be added the naval losses, including 
the battleships Irresistible, Ocean, Bouvet, Majestic, and 
Triumph. The operations were apparently no nearer suc- 
cess than they had been months before. 

Every advantage of terrain was held by the Turks. The 
Anafarta region was compared to half of a huge saucer 
which had been broken, the line of breakage being formed 
by the shore of the ^gean Sea, and the bottom and rim 
Deing in the hands of the Allies and Turks. Until August 
16, when the Turks retook Kiretch Tepe, the position of 
the Allies had been better, as they were masters of at least 



a part of the Anafarta region, but this advantage was lost 
on that day. The Allies thereafter held themselves in the 
Anafarta region solely by virtue of an immense artillery- 
fire superiority, supported by some forty warships, cruisers, 
and torpedo boats. Military observers attributed the failure 
in the Dardanelles rather to delay in beginning the attack, 
to mismanagement at the War OflBce, and to the natural 
difficulties of the task rather than to any shortcomings of 
General Hamilton. 

General Monro was a striking instance of the emergence 
of Scottish leadership during the months the war had been in 
progress. At the outbreak he was merely an officer of a 
territorial force. He was now entrusted with the most 
difficult and dangerous task ever undertaken by British arms. 
Monro belonged to a definite type ; sturdy-framed and strong- 
jawed, and looked every inch a soldier. All the characteris- 
tics of first-rate generalship were his — instant judgment, 
unlimited receptiveness to ideas, imperturbability, unflinch- 
ing courage, and the dual capacity of winning popularity 
among his officers and men and inspiring confidence. He 
was comparatively young for such high command, being 
only 55 years ' of 'age. In August, 1914, he had gone out 
to France in command of the Second Division of the London 
Territorials. Before the battle of Mons-Charleroi he assumed 
command of the Second Regular Division. After the retreat 
of the Marne and the fighting in the Aisne, he was men- 
tioned in dispatches, made a Knight Commander of the 
Bath, and given command of an army corps. 

Would the British now undertake to withdraw their 
troops from Gallipoli? It was foreseen to be an operation 
of great delicacy and peril. Moltke once said he could see 
a dozen ways for invading England, but not one for getting 
away. The effect on the whole political and strategic situa- 
tion of an Allied withdrawal from Gallipoli would obviously 
be grave. It would be plainly to acknowledge defeat, and 
it would have released a triumphant Turkish army for 
operations elsewhere. The apparent way out of a bad situa- 
tion was to keep the Gallipoli army where it was, to 
strengthen it if necessary, and to keep *' nibbling" at the 



Turks, attacking them in force sometimes, and so holding 
them where they were, even if little progress was made 
against them. Meanwhile, Russia and Roumania might sud- 
denly change the whole aspect of things. 

The announcement made on December 20 of the British 
withdrawal from Gallipoli overshadowed all other war news. 
The shock was hardly broken by the fact that the with- 
drawal had been for weeks a matter of widespread discus- 
sion, or ever since Lord Ribblesdale 's speech in Parliament, 
in which he declared that withdrawal had been recommended 


by "a high military authority." Thus ended an enterprise 
»n which the highest Allied hopes had been built and which, 
if it had succeeded, might have turned the tide of the war. 
British troops continued for a time longer to occupy the tip 
of the peninsula at Sedd-nl-Bahr, which commanded the en- 
trance to the Straits, and where many British have declared 
that a new Gibraltar will one day arise. The position here 
was protected by a double line of ships. At the beginning 
of August the British on Gallipoli had come near to their 
greatest victory in the war, and had suffered their greatest 
defeat. While a battle was in the balance, a detachment 



from Anzac had reached the top of Sari Bair, the dominat- 
ing hill in the neighborhood, and for a few minutes had 
seea below them the whole of the Dardanelles Narrows. 
This was one of the supreme moments of the war. 

**A tragic blunder'' was the term used by the London 
Daily News to describe the ill-fated attempt to force the 
Dardanelles. The ** blunder,'' if not tragic, was certainly 
costly, for the British alone suffered 112,921 casualties, in- 
cluding the death of 1,609 officers and 23,670 men. Only a 
tiny foothold had been obtained by the Allies. After nearly 
a year's operations they believed the expedition was hope- 
less, and so withdrew every man from the peninsula. In 
essence the expedition was an attempt, first, to liberate 
Russia from her blockade ; secondly, to force Turkey to con- 
clude a separate peace; and thirdly, to influence the Balkan 
neutrals. The whole scene . of things changed when King 
Ferdinand of Bulgaria decided to throw in his lot with the 
Central Empires. 

The withdrawal was a frank, if belated, recognition of the 
failure of a great campaign and the frustration of a great 
hope. The one event of the war with which the retirement 
could be compared was the defeat of the German armies at 
the Marne. The German rush on Paris, like the Allied 
attack on the Dardanelles, was an attempt to win the war 
by a single great stroke. If the Allies had forced the Dar- 
danelles and entered Constantinople the Balkan nations 
would then have united against Austria at a moment when 
the Russians were at the crest of their power, and the Haps- 
burg resistance would have collapsed. But the Germans 
had been more quick to recognize failure and to seek a 
remedy than the Allies. When the (Jermans failed around 
Paris they tried for Calais. When they failed there, they 
gave up their offensive in the west and turned to Russia and 
the Balkans. The Allies, now suffered in prestige just as 
Germany suffered at the Marne. But this war was not to 
be decided by prestige. It had resolved itself into a bitter, 
grinding test of ultimate resources. The Allied failure 
against Constantinople, like the German failure against 
Paris, testified to the fact that in this war there were no 
short-cuts to victory. 



Every man, every animal, every baggage-cart,. and all but 
six guns, intentionally left behind to fire till the last minute 
and then be destroyed, now embarked from Suvia and Anzac 
under the nose of the unsuspecting Turk. Whatever the 
fruits of the Dardanelles campaign may be adjudged to 
be, it will always stand out in military records for two 
things — the gallantry of the first landings and the skllful- 
ness of the evacuation. In the evacuation masses of men 
and material were brought down in a: short space of time 
to Anzac and Suvla. The few stores remaining were set on 
fire, chiefly bully-beef, biscuits, and rice. They were a small 
proportion of the supplies which had been kept there. Next, 


the breakwaters which had been built of old hulks were 
smashed by shell-fire from the ships at short range. The 
decision to leave Suvla and Anzac had been reached after 
long deliberation. The final word in an operation of this 
magnitude came from London, and it was given there on 
.'vitchener'a return from the Dardanelles. 

Tennyson immortalized the heroic blunder at Balaklava, 
but what living poet was competent to sing the waste of 
human life at Suvla Bayt When the roll was called after 
the Light Brigade's return from the "jaws of death" it 
was found that 247 men bad fallen on the field of battle. 
At Suvla Bay the loss to the British was 12,000. Whole 



brigades were shot to pieces, an army division was decimated 
and regiments were left without a single officer in command. 
Here was war's havoc on a titanic scale, and it was equally 
deadly to the Turks, whose losses were enormous. It was 
a staggering price to pay for **two pieces of ground, small 
and worthless as they seemed, but worth, according to the 
ethics of war, 10,000 lives'' to the victor. "Some one had 
blundered" again, and with a genius for blundering with- 
out a parallel. No reinforcements came to sustain the ad- 
vantage gained by this and subsequent attacks by the 
British; and the Turks, their ammunition spent and their 
last hope of resistance gone, reaped the fruits of the sac- 
rifice. But if the poets should fail, General Hamilton's re- 
port would remain the prose epic of the fiasco in the Dar- 
danelles. History has no more moving tale than that story of 
bravery in war baffled by incompetence. The crowning act 
of British "muddling along" was embalmed forever in the 
official report of a general who missed by a hair's breadth a 
great height of fame. 

By January 10 the remaining jwsitions held by the 
Allies on Gallipoli were abandoned, with the wounding of 
only one man among the British and French. All the guns 
and howitzers were taken away, with the exception of seven- 
teen womout guns, whi6h were blown up before leaving. 
News of the final evacuation of the peninsula had then been 
expected for several days by observers of the Near Eastern 
campaign. The retirement of the troops from Anzac and 
Suvla Bay three weeks before had left no strategic ad- 
vantage in a retention of the peninsula. The evacuation, 
in point of pure technical skill and soldierly resolution, 
ranked with the retirement of the Allies from Mons and 
the withdrawal of Russia from the Vistula. 

Just as across the ribbon of the Dardanelles, on the green 
plain of Troy, the most famous of old world wars had been 
fought, so now the European shores had been made classic 
ground of arms. If the banks of the Scamander had seen 
men striving desperately with fate, so had the slopes of Achi 
Baba and the beaches of Helles. Had the fashion endured 
of linking the strife of mankind with the gods, strange 
myths would have sprung from the rescue of the British 



troops in the teeth of winter gales and uncertain seas! It 
would have been rumored, as at Troy, that Poseidon had 
done battle for his children. 

The news of the withdrawal, at first received in 
France and Britain with incredulity, speedily changed into 
relief. The gallantry of the April landings, the long 
struggle for Krithia, the Australasian attack on Sari Bair 
had gone for nothing. Great Britain had spilled blood like 
water to win a mile or two of land, and now had to re- 
linquish it. Fifty thousand Allied graves with rude crosses 
passed for a few years under the sway of the Crescent. 
Having failed, Great Britain escaped the worst costs of 
failure. She brought oflF three army corps to be refitted 
and reorganized for use in other lands.* 

* Principal Sources : In the main, a condensation of accounts printed in 
London and other papers, written by Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, an official eye- 
witness and war correspondent ; in part compiled from The Fortnightly Re- 
view (London) ; "Bulletins" of the National Geographic Society, The Literary 
Digest, The Times, New York; The Daily News, The Standard, The Man- 
chester Guardian, London ; The Evening Post, The World syndicated articles 
by G. Ward Price (New York) ; The London Times* "History of the War," 
'•Nelson's History of the War" by John Buchan. 

V. VIII— 10 137 






February 15, 1916— June 26, 1916 

WITH the great Russian defeats in Poland and the 
retreat of the Russian army from Kovno and Vilna 
in the early autumn of 1915, the Grand Duke Nicholas had 
relinquished his European command and gone to the Cau- 
casus, the Czar himself taking command against the Ger- 
mans and Austrians. This change to outside observers 
implied censure, if not degradation, for the Grand Duke. 
His astounding successes early in the war, first in overrun- 
ning East Prussia, then taking Lemberg and capturing the 
fortress of Przemysl, later his penetration of the Car- 
pathians to points beyond their crests, and two successive 
repulses of German drives into Russian Poland where the 
drives had reached almost to the gates of Warsaw, seemed to 
have availed him little in the face of his subsequent loss of 
nearly the whole of Galicia, of practically all of Russian 
Poland, and of a considerable strip of Russia itself. That 
his failure was due, not to his want of skill as a commander, 
so much as to an extraordinary shortage of effective guns 
and ammunition, in consequence of Russian inability to 
manufacture or forward them, apparently had not saved 
him from disgrace. To the Caucasus he went, almost as if 
into banishment, but only to achieve, five months later, a 
greater victory than he had won at Lemberg or at Przemysl ; 
in fact, one of the most spectacular Allied victories thus far 
in the war — the conquest of Erzerum. 

The whole country of the Caucasus is one of extraordinary 
difficulties for military operations. Switzerland and its 
mountains could be dropt into that region stretching down 
from the plains of Russia into Asia Minor and Persia with- 



out producing any remarkable variation in its rugged out- 
line. Elburz and Ararat would still tower unchallenged 
over Mount Blanc and the Matterhorn. Ever since Ivan took 
Astrakhan, and Peter took Azof, the heart of Russia had 
been set on acquiring this mighty barrier stretching be- 
tween two great inland seas and closing to Russia the 
gates leading south. To obtain possession even of the north 
ranges, Russia, as General Kuropatkin pointed out ten 
years before this war, had fought two wars with Turkey, 
only to find at the last that the south was guarded against 
her **not only by the Turks but by the Germans.'' 

The traveler who would reach Erzerum has a choice of 
three more or less arduous routes. He might embark from 
Odessa on a Black Sea coaster and follow the northern shore 
of Anatolia, where a great plateau breaks down in forested 
steeps, with scarcely a creek or bay to vary the line, till he 
reached Trebizond, the walled city to which the Ten Thou- 
sand Greeks under Xenophon struggled through the Armenian 
hills. Thence a good road runs inland to Erzenim, crossing 
three passes, one of them 8,000 feet high, the distance from 
port to fortress 200 miles, with a week of fine weather needed 
for the journey. Or the traveler might cover a thousand 
miles by the Bagdad railway line to Ras-el-Ain, in the 
Euphrates valley, whence he would have 250 miles of hill- 
roads through the Armenian Taurus before he reached the 
city. Again he might go by rail to Angora, two days' 
journey from the Bosporus, and after that move eastward by 
road through the great wheatlands of Anatolia, where dwells 
the flower of the Turkish peasantry and the main strength 
of the Sultan's armies, past the rich city of Sivas, till the 
Euphrates vallev had been reached at Ersingan and the real 
highlands beginl 

Erzerum lies well among the mountains, a true frontier- 
fortress, guarding the road from Russia to the fruitful vales 
of the ancient Lycus and Halys, the heart of Asiatic 
Turkey. It stands on a pocket of flat ground, 6,000 feet 
above the sea. South and north and northeast rise lofty 
mountains through which roads to Moush and Trebizond 
make their way over high and difficult passes. Southwest 
is the vale of the western Euphrates ; east are ranges of hills 



forming the watershed between the Euphrates and the 
Araxes. Erzerum is one of the highest placed of cities, and 
frequently snowbound for six months, in its hollow sur- 
rounded by high mountain peaks. Many writers have ex- 
hausted their powers in descriptions of the sublimity of the 
situation. This great fortress, seemingly untakable in winter 
and believed to be impregnable in summer, **by far the most 
important strategical position'* in Asia Minor, reorganized 
and strengthened by Posselt Pasha, with an outer breast- 
work of forts on the eastern hill and with an armament, it 
was claimed, of over four hundred modern Krupp guns, not 
to speak of mountain-guns, was taken by the Russians, led 
by General Yudenitch, in the depth of a terrible winter, and 
within four weeks after the opening of the Grand Duke's 
projected campaign. 

The strength of Erzerum against an army from the east 
lay entirely in its horseshoe of hills called Deve Boyun, the 
'*neck of the camel." Its weakness lay in the fact that it 
was a fort pushed into the borderland beyond the area of 
good communications, so that it could not speedily be .muni- 
tioned or reinforced from a base. The nearest available rail- 
road in the south was at Angora, 440 miles as the crow flies, and 
the way from Angora to Sivas traversed 200 miles of hilly 
country. Thence a rough road 230 miles long ran to 
Erzingan, and from Erzingan one had to cover a road of 
seventy-five miles to reach Erzerum, Assuming that con- 
voys covered on an average twenty miles a day, two days 
by rail and twenty-five by road lay between" the fortress and 
the Bosporus; so that, allowing for inevitable delays, thirty 
days was the minimum time for supplies to travel from that 
Turkish base. 

While it could not be said that the fall of this fortress 
was a complete surprize, few had really expected it. That 
the Russians were conducting an aggressive campaign in the 
Caucasus was known, and now and then in newspapers items 
were printed about it. But nothing like a master-stroke 
was looked for — especially in winter when the snow around 
Erzerum might be several feet deep and the cold 40 degrees 
below zero. It was as far back as the beginning of Sep- 
tember, 1915, that events had led to the transformation of 


2 S 


the Transcaucasian campaign, with the Czar's decree 
that he had himself taken over the supreme command of the 
sea and land forces of the empire, with General Alexeieff 
as his chief of staff, and that he had issued a rescript to 
the Grand Duke Nicholas, appointing him to command in 
the Caucasus. About that time — on September 28— the 
British army on the Tigris, having defeated the Turks at 
Kut-el-Amara, was advancing on Bagdad, and to facilitate 
this advance and relieve Turkish pressure increased Russian 
activity was being displayed in Persian territory. South of 
Van the Turks attacked from the Persian side on December 1 
but were driven in disorder out of two fortified posi- 
tions, while ten days later another Persian force carried the 
Sultan Bulak Pass and again opened the road to Hamadan, 
a body of Turkish and German mercenaries being routed 
with great loss. The Russians next took the Persian towns 
of Hamadan and Sultanabad, eighty miles to the southeast, 
on the road to Ispahan, intercepting the telegraph wire con- 
necting the German headquarters at Teheran and the 
Turkish troops in Mesopotamia. By the end of February 
General Baratoff had reached Kermanshah, 100 miles south- 
west of Hamadan in the direction of Bagdad. 

The British advance on the Tigris, however, had in the 
meantime received an unwelcome check at Ctesiphon when 
Townshend, almost in sight of Bagdad, late in November, was 
compelled to fall back on Kut. At the same time Serbia was 
being overrun by Teutons and Bulgarians, and the Anglo- 
French soon evacuated the Gallipoli peninsula, which released 
a large Turkish army, composed of the flower of the Ottoman 
troops, some of whom were sent to strengthen the army 
in Armenia. Mid-winter had now come. Even in the best 
of times six or seven weeks would be required to get the 
first of these Turkish reinforcements to the front. In these 
circumstances the Grand Duke decided to strike at once for 
Armenia. The evacuation of Gallipoli took place on January 
9, 1916. The march on Erzerum began on the 16th. Kiamil 
Pasha, who was in command of the Turkish army, appears 
to have been completely taken by surprize by the suddenness 
and vigor of General Yudenitch's advance. 

The forward move spread over a front extending from 



Lake Tortum on the north to a point near Malazgert, just 
north of Lake Van. Before the Turks were well aware that 
the campaign had begun, Yudenitch had advanced twenty 
miles and struck against their main central position at 
Koprukeui, where the road from Kars to Erzerum crosses 
the Aras River. The result was a striking victory, which 
soon developed into a rout for the Turks, who fled, leaving 
behind them guns, munitions, and supplies. This was on 
January 19, On the 20th the victors were already at Hassan 
Kale, ten miles farther on the road to Erzerum, and only 
thirty miles distant from that "impregnable bastion" of 


Asia Minor. On the 29th Yudenitch was before Erzerum 
with a force equipped only with mountain- and field-guns, 
in a country swept by constant snowstorms and with a 
temperature liable to reach 40 degrees below zero. Such 
daring movements might have been regarded as insane under 
ordinary circumstancesbot Yudenitch sent back to his base for 
howitzers and heavy guns, and moved his headquarters into 
the fighting-line. On the 15th the inner ring of forts was 
stormed, and on the 16th Erzerum itself was captured, the 
Turks in their retirement going west or south as they 
could find an opening to escape from Russian guns. 


Yudenitch's victory was so sudden that the Grand Duke 
Nicholas, whose labors at headquarters had been invaluable, 
had not time in which to come up and be present at the 
final triumph. He received the great news at Tiflis, where 
he was enthusiastically acclaimed by the people in the palace 
square. It was compensation to him* for the disheartening 
retreats of the previous year. It appeared after the victory 
that, in the third week of January, a violent and unexpected 
thrust against the Turkish center had resulted in the Turks 
being disorganized and dislodged from strong positions ex- 
tending east of Erzerum, from Lake Tortumghel to the 
River Chariason; that is to say, along a front of over sixty 
miles, and that the army was withdrawing in the direction 
of ErzeruTQ. At several points this retreat had assumed the 
nature of a panic-stricken flight, in which several Turkish 
units were almost annihilated. The Russians had advanced 
across heights which towered above the clouds, and had dug 
trenches in deep snow during severe storms. The Russians 
then pushed steadily on toward Erzerum and before the end 
of the jnonth were within thirty miles of the fortress and 
by the middle of February, as already told, had captured it. 

This success was achieved as a counter-offensive to a 
Turkish attempt late in November to envelop a wing of the 
Russian army. Great things had been expected at that 
moment by the Germans who planned the Turkish move- 
ment. Field-marshal von der Goltz being, it was understood, 
in virtual command. Three army corps were concentrated 
at Erzerum, with the Russians in some strength at Kars, 
which is about eighty miles from Erzerum. Kars has rail- 
road connection northwesterly with Tiflis, the old Georgian 
capital, and southwesterly with a point near the Turkish 
frontier. The German Staff had planned the enveloping of 
the Russian army at Kars. Bringing up reinforcements 
from Bagdad and Trebizond, the commander had 150,000 
men at his disposal. To cope with this force the Russians 
had 100,000. Under German leadership the Turkish plan 
was to hold the Russians on the Kars-Erzerum road and, 
with columns marching to the left over the mountains, to 
turn the Russian right at Kars and then work round its 
rear. Meanwhile, a Turkish force at Trebizond was to 



traverse a mountain-pass 8,000 feet high, capture Ardahan, 
which lies north of Kars, and cut the railroad to Tiflis. The 
Turks in this movement succeeded in driving a force of 4,000 
Russians out of Ardahan, and threw them back on Khorasan, 
toward Erzerum, seized the Saganuk heights above the rail- 
road terminus of Sarikamish and made an effort to cut the 
railroad on the north. 

But at this point the Russians rallied and beat back the 
Turkish Tenth Corps, ousted the First Corps from Ardahan, 
and surrounded the Ninth, which had occupied Sarikamish. 
At Kara-Urgan followed a week's fierce fighting, the Rus- 
sians routing the Turks during a storm in which the snow 
fell ceaselessly. After driving the Turks out of Ardahan, 
they cut their communications with Trebizond. It was an 
old-fashioned campaign with incidental trench-fighting. The 
Russians were at fir&t inferior in numbers, but were able 
later to bring down by rail from Tiflis reinforcements that 
had been spared from the Eastern Front in Europe. The 
Turkish enveloping movement was thus defeated, but the 
Turks, reinforced and with the aid of one of the ablest of 
German generals. Von der Goltz, had succeeded in blocking the 
road to Erzerum for weeks. 

At this point the Grand Duke Nicholas toijk f^ver the com- 
mand in the Caucasus, and soon redeemed fiis'^eputation by 
investing and taking Erzerum. It became clear now that 
he had been sent to the Caucasus, not as punishment, but 
to undertake another job — at least that was how the change 
now appeared to the Entente world. The capture was accom- 
plished by methods in which Russia had by this time been 
well drilled by the Germans. The attack was a typical Teutonic 
operation, as much so as the great ** drives'* of Hindenburg. 
It left nothing to improvisation, strategem, and maneuver- 
ing, but built up success out of elements that could be 
handled beforehand — efficient transportation, ample supplies 
of munitions, superior forces and a prearranged plan of ad- 
vance. The Grand Duke's victory was the victory of rail- 
road facilities, of ammunition supplies, of stronger regi- 
ments, of better planned lines of advance and of greater 
speed and method in movements. The points of Russian con- 
centration were Batum on the Black Sea, Tiflis on the rail- 



road from the Black to the Caspian Sea, and Baku on the 
Caspian. Here the Grand Duke assembled and trained his 
men and accumulated supplies. "When ready, he moved for- 
ward from the frontier of Kars, which is within fifty miles 
of the Turkish border, taking the road that leads from Kars 
to Erzerum, the only passable road in the whole district. 
The Russians probably numbered eight army corps, roughly 
300,000 men, to whom the Turks opposed perhaps two-thirds 
of that number. In an incredibly short time the Russians 
reached the defenses of Erzerum, which consisted of a ring 
of eleven fortresses that required garrisons of about 6(i,000. 
Nine of the forts had been constructed within a few years 
under the direction of German military engineers, and were 
armed with modern Krupp guns. Yet in five days after 
the fall of the first fort, the others had dropt into the 
Grand Duke's hands. 

Military history received here another example of the 
truth, first illustrated on a great scale by Alexander of 
Macedon, that good generalship in leading courageous and 
trained troops can overthrow any odds. To the Grand 
Duke with his chief of staff. General Yanuskevich, belonged 
the plans of the Caucasus campaign, the execution of which 
was entrusted to General Yudenitch, who had held the 
Caucasus command ever since Russia took the field in Asia. 
In the attack on Erzerum the military odds were against 
Russia. Forty years before she had spent the best part of 
a year in efforts to capture the outer line of its defenses. 
Those defenses now had the advantage which German 
technical science and modem weapons could give them. 
Chobon Dede fort stood 8,500 feet above the sea-level, and 
none of the forts was under 6,000 feet altitude. All were 
taken with the bayonet. 

The wiping out of this Turkish base promised to disrupt 
the whole Caucasus campaign of the Turks, since Erzerum 
not only served as a base for operations in the Caucasus 
but for others in Mesopotamia. Its fall left no strongly 
fortified point between Erzerum and Sivas, about 230 miles 
to the west, and brought once more to men's minds consider- 
ation of an eventual attack from the Allies on Constanti- 
nople from the east. Its capture had the immediate effect 



of making more secure the Russian positions along the 
Black Sea coast, while the possibility of a sueeessful Russian 
thrust in aid of the British Expeditionary Force in Meso- 
potamia increased. Przemysl yielded a larger number of 
prisoners — 120,000 odd — but in all other respects the cap- 


At St. Stefano, wblcb la d^bt ConBtantlnople, irss ceRotlated tbe famous 
trwity bearlog that name between Rusela and Turkey In 1S7S. wblcb waa 
afterward torn np and tbe Trpaty of Berlin subatltuted In Its pUee. It 
WIS tbroueh the Tren4y of BettiD tbat AuBtrta acquired ber hold on Bosnia 
a,aa Herzegovina, ending II tbclr annexation In 1008. and followed In 1914 
by tbe assassination o( tbe Austrian Arcbduke 



ture of Erzerum stood out as a more fruitful and brilliant 
military achievement. Przemysl was virtually starved out, 
having been isolated for several months. Its fall did not 
make it any easier for the Grand Duke Nicholas to push his 
armies across the Carpathian barrier into Hungary. Nor 
did it forestall the German-Austro-Hungarian offensive 
which, two months later, swept back the Russians far beyond 
the San, cleared Poland of them and forced a partial evacua- 
tion of the Baltic provinces. The fall of Erzerum, however, 
opened up wide strategic and political vistas, Erzerum being 
the key to the Turkish defense of her Caucasus front. Kars 
used to be that key, but Kars, taken by the Russians in the 
war of 1877-78, remained Russian under the terms of the 
Treaty of Berlin. Erzerum thereafter was converted into 
Turkey's main military base on the northeastern frontier. 
Its loss meant that Trebizond, on the Black Sea, would be 
difficult to hold, the more so as the Black Sea itself was 
under Russian control; while to the south, in the Lake Van 
region, the Turkish position was outflanked, and Turkish 
access to Persia from that direction would be speedily cut 
off. The loss of Erzerum also weakened Turkey on her 
Mesopotamia front, where her prospects had been bright. 
Bagdad might now have to be evacuated, provided British 
pressure up the Tigris could be renewed with fresh troops. 

The Grand Duke's success showed Russia's recuperative 
powers. A successful offensive had been conducted in the 
Caucasus, simultaneously with vigorous assaults against the 
Austro-Germans on Russia's southwestern front and a 
vigorous defensive in the direction of Dvinsk and Riga. 
The successful stroke at Erzerum was bound to be felt else- 
where. It meant a relaxation of Turkish pressure on the 
Tigris and in Thrace, a dissipation of the Turkish threat 
against Egypt, a shifting of the balance around Saloniki, 
and that the ambitious plan of a joint attack upon Turkey 
from the rear, the British coming north along the Tigris, 
the Russians coming south through Armenia, was once more 
making headway. Students of the art of war expected soon 
to see a Russian advance in Asia Minor to the west, and 
possibly in two directions, westward toward Trebizond on 
the Black Sea, southward to Diarbekr on the Tigris and 



within striking distance of the projecte4 Bagdad railway. 
Trebizond and^Diarbekr are about 150 miles from Erzerum. 
The occupation of a large slice of Armenia was thus immi- 
nent. But not until Erzingan had been passed, and the 
plain of Sivas reached, could a blow be struck at the true 
heart of Asiatic Turkey. In any such advance the flanks 
had first to be pushed forward; Trebizond to be taken, and 
Russia to be in possession of the Armenian Taurus and roads 
from the south. 

On March 7 the important position of Rizeh, only forty 
miles east of Trebizond, was captured, a detached force 
having been able to cross the mountain pass between the 
Chorok valley and Rizeh and thus join hands with the Rus- 
sian coastal force. The combined forces then took up a 
westward advance, and soon the Turks were thrown back 
across the Kalopotamos, which brought the Russians within 
little more than thirty miles of Trebizond. The doom of 
Turkey's chief Black Sea port now seemed sealed. Prepara- 
tions for the evacuation of the civil population were hastily 
undertaken, altho a month was to pass before the actual 
fall. A British entry into Bagdad, coming on top of re- 
cent events in Armenia, Egypt, and Arabia, would at this 
time have turned the scale and so shortened the war in its 
Eastern developments, but Kut instead fell to the Turks at the 
end of April. After this the Turko-German regime in Con- 
stantinople received a fresh lease of life. 

Along the coast the Turks were soon sending forward all 
the reinforcements that could reach Trebizond by road, with 
a view to stopping the Russian advance, which was now 
only thirty miles to the east. At the same time an almost 
as desperate attempt was made to reinforce and revictual the 
city from the sea. With the mystery as to the condition 
and whereabouts of the ships Goeben and Breslau still un- 
solved, the Russians could not claim absolute mastery of 
the Black Sea. One of the exciting incidents of these event- 
ful days was the sudden reappearance of the Breslau, acting 
as convoy to a number of Turkish transports and grain- 
ships destined for Trebizond. The Turks claimed to have 
sunk two Russian transports, and endeavored to bombard 
the Russian positions on the coast, but the Russians were 



able to sink or burn a considerable number of Turkish 
vessels and to compel the Breslau to retire. Turkey's en- 
deavor to stop the Russian coastal advance on land was thus 
made as ineffective as her efforts had been at sea. Taken 
between two fires Turkish resistance broke down as it had 
done at Erzerum; it collapsed with startling suddenness. 
Some of the Turkish troops, it was said, never came into 
action at all, bewildered as they were by simultaneous at- 
tacks from the east, west and the sea. Before the evening 
of the 12th the Russians were in full pursuit along the 
Gumushkhane road. The Trebizond garrison having de- 
parted, the Russians were received at the outskirts of the 
.city by a deputation of citizens headed by the American and 
Greek consuls. 

In the third week of April Trebizond fell. Quantities of 
supplies, including armored motor-cars, big guns and aero- 
planes sent from Germany were captured. Trebizond was 
far less strongly fortified than Erzerum, but, after the fall 
of Erzerum, a good deal had been done to strengthen it on 
the land side. The importance of its fall lay in the fact 
that the rest of the Russian front in Asia had been waiting 
for its occurrence, so that, with their right flank made 
secure the whole Russian force could now be swung forward, 
using Erzerum as a pivot. Russian strategy aimed at keep- 
ing all Turkish forces, brought from Constantinople for the 
defense of Trebizond, occupied over the widest possible 
front, so that, while armies were making a successful advance 
in the Kara Dere region, and bringing up reinforcements by 
land and sea, the Turks were assailed by continuous attacks 
in the southeast, in the region of Erzingan and Baihurt. 

The fall of Trebizond caused rejoicings in all Allied coun- 
tries, since it was believed that it would involve the loss by 
the Turks of Erzingan, Kharput, and Diarbekr, and with the 
fall of these towns would come a complete isolation of the 
Turkish armies in Mesopotamia. The Turks had now lost the 
second of their two principal fortified points in Asia Minor. 
They would in the future have to depend solely on impro- 
vised defenses and the natural difficulties of the country, 
if they were to prevent a westward sweep of Russia's Cau- 
casian armies. As Trebizond had never before surrendered 



to a Russian army, altho it was threatened from Baiburt 
in 1829, the moral effect of the victory promised to be 
enormous. Optimistic Russian observers were soon speculat- 
ing on the possibility of a successful campaign against Con- 
stantinople from the west. Russia's new conquest was in a 
way more striking and inspiring than that of Erzerum. 
That great fortress, grim and forbidding on its snow-clad 
heights, was a symbol of forfeited power; but Trebizond, 
apart from its importance as a port and a mart, presented 
a scene of Mediterranean beauty and luxuriance. Nowhere 
else is the dawn of day more essentially *' rosy-fingered.'' 
The scene is to-day the same as the one that brought tears 
to the eyes of Xenophon and his Ten Thousand followers, 
or that which inspired the Roman Emperor Hadrian at his 
first view of shore and sea. Trebizond is much older 
than Rome. It was already an ancient place when Xenophon 
and his men reached it in 401 B.C., after the long retreat 
from Cunaxa. The place is still shown at *the mouth of 
the Pyxitis where he pitched his camp, rested for thirty 
days and celebrated the Olympic games. Long afterward 
Trebizond was a Roman colony. Hadrian is claimed as the 
builder of the harbor. 

This triumph, was unhappily followed within ten days by 
the news — inevitable and long expected — of the surrender of 
General Townshend and his gallant little force at Kut-el- 
Amara, which rendered futile all the chivalrous efforts that 
had been made, alike by the extreme left wing of the army 
of the Grand Duke and by General Barstoff 's force in Persia 
— ^not indeed to approach or to capture Bagdad, but to re- 
lieve the pressure on Kut and the Tigris valley by threaten- 
ing some part of the Turkish communications, and creating 
a diversion on their flank. But Kut, having fallen, and the 
Bagdad enterprise being at an end, for the time being, there 
was no further object in an extreme lengthening of the 
Russian lines, eithep on the Persian frontier or south of the 
Van district. At this time, however, the Russian movement 
across the Persian frontier to Rowenduz against the Turkish 
flank had taken place, Rowenduz being eighty miles north of 
Mosul, and 200 miles north of Bagdad. The Russian forces, 
in spite of repeated attacks from Kurds and regulars, were 



everywhere successful. The Persian movement had been, 
on the whole, a profitable achievement, altho the Russians 
had been halted. In the Hamadan-Kermajishah district they 
gradually fell back in readiness for the counter-stroke that 
was sure to come. 

The Russian position was a peculiar one, and by no means 
entirely satisfactory, depending, as it did, on command of 
the Black Sea, and not on land communications in the direc- 
tion of Erzerum. The only road along the coast was con- 
trolled from the sea, and Russian command of the Black 
Sea was not altogether complete, as there were still several 
Turko-German submarines unaccounted for, not to speak of 
the Ooehen and the Breslau. The Russian fleet, in forward- 
ing Russian supplies and preventing the passage of Turkish 
supplies, had to patrol over 2,000 miles of coast line. But 
it could bombard Turkish camps, disperse bodies of troops, 
and effect important armed landings absolutely essential to 
the capture of Trebizond. With command of the sea not 
unchallenged, however, and with a good portion of the road 
between Erzerum and Trebizond in the hands of the Turks, 
the situation could not be regarded with complete com- 

In the midst of these events Baron Kolmar von der Goltz, 
Field-marshal and Commander-in-chief of the First Turkish 
Army, died at Turkish headquarters. The cause was stated 
to be spotted fever, but there were rumors of assassination. 
Von der Gtoltz, one of Germany's greatest strategists, was 
at the time of his death seventy-two years old. He had ,seen 
extensive military service, having fought in the Austrian 
campaign of 1866 and been on the staff of Prince Frederick 
Charles in the Franco-Prussian War. In 1883 he was sent 
to Turkey to reconstruct the Turkish army, and remained 
there thirteen years. In August, 1914, he was appointed 
Military Governor of the occupied part of Belgium, but in 
November was relieved of that command and sent to Con- 
stantinople, where he was appointed Military Commandant 
and Acting Minister of War. He was instrumental in form- 
ing the strong defense made by Turkey on the Gallipoli 
Peninsula, and had frequently predicted that the Allied 

»The London Times* "History of the War." 


(or Fmnfe in lOH, l)ut wns Ronn sont to Turkey, where he formerly h 

a large part Id the recon struct Ion of the Turkish army, lie died somewhat 

suddenly In Asiatic Turkey during the war. lie wng one of the oldest 

General! In tbe German (ervlcei being over TO nben tbe war began 


fleet would not be able to force a passage of the Dardanelles. 
Dispatches had since reported him as engaged in operations 
in Asiatic Turkey. Before the fall of Erzerum he was said 
to be bottled up in that Turkish stronghold with 80,000 

The mastery of eastern Asia Minor virtually passed to 
the Russians with the capture of Trebizond, which was the 
gateway to Armenia and the geographical outlet for the 
trade of western Persia. The significance of the capture lay 
as much in the manner in which it was accomplished as in 
the fact itself. The fall eame as a direct result of the battle 


of April 14, on the Kara Dere, fifteen miles to the east. It 
was clear that the Turks were badly beaten and were unable 
to Tstty. The part played by the Russian fleet appears to 
have been noteworthy, Russian supremacy in the Black Sea 
was so near being established as to mean the loss of sea 
transport for the Turks, Men and supplies would have to 
be forwarded from Constantinople over hundreds of miles 
of country destitute of railroads, while Russian armies would 
be fed from the sea. To grasp the full value of Russia's 
achievements, it needed to be recalled that Erzerum had 
fallen five days before the GermMi attack on Verdun began, 
and that Trebizond fell when the Verdun attack seemed 


to have failed. The Oermans had won in France 100 square 
miles of territory, and the Russians in Turkey between 
10,000 and 15,000 square miles. Even when allowing for 
differences in value between ground in France and ground 
in Asia Minor, the result remained striking. A peculiarity of 
the German mind was revealed, however, i^ a comment made 
by an eminent German-American, a man who was a genius in 
his profession, that the fall of Erzerum was **a joke." 

Altho the Russians were still a long way fron^ their main 
objective, which was Constantinople, no theater of the war 
was filled with greater possibilities. Russia was driving at 
Constantinople from a back door. It was in some sense not 
strictly necessary for Russia to reach Constantinople in 
order to achieve her object. "Where the Mediterranean ex- 
tends deep into Asia Minor and along the Holy Land, a line 
drawn from the Gulf of Alexandria to the Black Sea is only 
300 miles long. If the Russians could reach this line, driv- 
ing the Turks before them, they would have matters very 
much in their own hands. There was no defensive position 
the Turks could take along this line that could not be out- 
flanked from the sea. Starting with the capture of Erzerum, 
the Russian campaign in Turkey had steadily grown in ex- 
tent and importance. 

Trebizond was a prize carrying with it the commercial 
mastery of the whole southern Black Sea coast. More 
coveted than Erzerum or Kermanshah, since it lies on the 
sea and advantageously near the old border of the Russian 
Caucasus, it was worth a war in itself. Its value as a means 
to further operations in war exceeded any intrinsic value it 
possest. From now on it would be possible to ship Russian 
supplies to troops in northern Asia Minor by direct route 
from Odessa to Trebizond. The Russian frontier was thus 
brought a full week nearer its ultimate base. A week was 
saved in the transmission of the cumbrous freight that 
follows an army, and this might mean as much as 100 per 
cent, in real fighting efficiency. Trebizond, in the course 
of a few weeks, would be serving as a new base on Turkish 
soil. Karahissar, Erzingan, Kharput and Diarbeker, forming 
a trio of inland cities running from north to south in the 
path of the Russians, were all within about 200 miles of 



Trebizond and each seemed likely to fall under the battering 
of Russian shell brought down from Trebizond. 

In the region of Ashkala in the direction of Erzingan, 
the Turks, after the fall of Trebizond, assembled large forces 
and took the offensive. After a furious battle, which lasted 
the whole day, they succeeded in forcing back the Russian 
advanced posts in places, but were compelled to cease their 
offensive owing to severe losses. Obstinate fighting con- 
tinued until, on June 1, the Russians admitted they had 
withdrawn from Mamakhatun in face of simultaneous attacks 
and a threatened outflanking movement. The Turks had 
conducted a somewhat spasmodic offensive at various points. 
At Trebizond, toward the end of May, a series of attacks 
began without leading to any marked result. The Russians 
countered by an attack in the direction of Gumushkhane, 
which dislodged their opponents from a well-organized posi- 
tion on the northern slopes of the coast. 

The Entente Allies at this time were on the eve of the great 
Anglo-French advance on the Somme. Desperate and almost 
continuous attacks were being made on Verdun. The Aus- 
trians were advancing in the Trentino; Bagdad and the 
Dardanelles had ended in failure; nothing was being done 
at Saloniki; there was Turkish pressure along the Armenian 
front; in Persia General Barstoff had been compelled to 
fall back, and Lord Kitchener had been lost on his way to 
Archangel. The first definite news of the advance of Gen- 
eral Yudenitch came on July 12, altho the new movement 
itself appears to have begun on the 2d of the month. The 
great advance was soon in full swing and promised to be 
swift and as irresistible as that on Erzerum and Trebizond. 

On June 26 Yudenitch entered Erzingan. The town was 
practically undamaged. As it was the headquarters of an 
army corps, With extensive barracks and military factories, 
the booty was very considerable. In three weeks Yudenitch 
had carried the Russian front forward seventy miles and 
had added two or three thousand square miles to his con- 
quests. At Erzingan the advance was made over the scene of 
the most horrible of Armenian massacres. Erzingan, in 
fact, acted as the clearing-house of the victims who were 
being driven west, as Trebizond did of those driven north — 



a clearing-house leading to death. The extraordinary fea- 
ture of the fall of Erzingan was that the bulk of the Turkish 
forces based on that town did not retire westward toward 
Sivas, as was expected. Instead they swept southe^istward 
toward Lake Van, in the hope of falling upon the Russian 
left flank, or of cutting the line of communications; and 
eventually portions of these Turkish troops penetrated far 
into Persia. 

This victory brought the Russians eighty miles further 
on the road, seven hundred-odd miles long, between Erzerum 
and Constantinople. They had now a less mountainous 
country to traverse. Sivas, their next objective, was 150 
miles further on. Then further on would come Angora, 
the first station on the railroad to the Dardanelles. From 
here they had about two hundred miles of not too moun- 
tainous country to traverse before reaching their goal. 
Meanwhile their parallel campaign along the Black Sea 
had to go on, because, until Angora was reached there was 
no east and west railroad, and armies had to be provisioned 
by water from Batum. It was plain that an expedition mov- 
ing southward from Erzingan could threaten Adana, a 
Mediterranean port, on the Bagdad railroad, and so could 
cut oflf European from Asiatic Turkey. Bagdad and Meso- 
potamia would then fall like ripe plums without more 

" Principal Sources : The Sun, The World, New York ; The London Times' 
"History of the War" ; The Times, The Tribune, The Evening Post, New 
York; Associated Press dispatches, the Encyclopedia Britannica; The Wall 
Street Journal (New York) ; The Morning Post, The Daily Chronicle, Lon- 
don ; The Journal of Commerce (New York), "Nelson's History of the War" 
by John Buchan, TJie Fortnightly Review (London). 






April 30, 1916— August 8, 1916 

WHEN at the end of September, 1915, the Turkish de- 
fense at Kut-el-Amara was broken by the British, 
and the British began an advance on Bagdad, only to be 
checked at Ctesiphon and forced back to Kut, General 
Townshend was in a position in which many British generals 
had found themselves since the days of Elizabeth. He com- 
manded little more than a single division, was outnumbered 
by potential Turkish levies and was well over three hundred 
miles from his sea-base. Townshend had a river for his sole 
communication, assisted by armed vessels, but that river was 
full of shallows and mud-banks more formidable than the 
cataracts of the Nile. All around him lay a country ill- 
suited for operations by white troops — a sparsely-watered 
desert and reeking marshes, baked by the hottest of Asian 
suns, and brooded over by those manifold diseases which 
heat and desert-soil engender. The local tribes were either 
treacherous or openly hostile, and might at any moment 
strike at his long, straggling connections with the coast. 
That a little British army, wearied with ten months of 
incessant fighting, should have advanced to conquer a 
great province belonging to a still powerful empire might 
well seem one of the rashest of enterprises. 

The conquest of Bagdad at that time would have given 
great political advantages — if it could have been achieved. 
Its fall would have been a make-weight to German domina- 
tion at Constantinople. It would have cut at their nodal 
point the principal routes of German communications with 
Persia and the Indian frontier. This success would not, 
however, have been final. There would have remained the 



great caravan routes of the northern Shammar desert, which 
followed the projected line of the Bagdad railway to Mosul, 
and went thence to Rowandiz on the Persian frontier. Full 
success in the British objective demanded control of the 
whole of northern Mesopotamia. Such a control might have 
been won, but it required an adequate force — at least two 
army corps fully equipped, and not one weary division. 
When the same task fell into Maude's hands after Townshend 
had become a prisoner of Turkey, success was achieved be- 
cause Maude had ample supplies of men and equipment. 

At the end of September, 1915, the advance on the Somme 
in western Europe had reached its limit with no decision. 
The Balkan affair had gone from bad to worse, with Serbia 
about to be isolated, Bulgaria entering the field on Ger- 
many's side, and Mackensen's guns beginning to sound on 
the Danube. British diplomacy, justly or unjustly, had 
suffered a serious loss of credit. Looking round the globe 
for something to restore British prestige, the eyes of soldiers 
and statesmen naturally fell on Mesopotamia. The expedi- 
tion there had been up to date a brilliant success, with no 
mistakes. Miracles had been performed with a handful of 
troops. Kut-el-Amara and Nasiriyeh, however, were names 
not familiar to Europe, while Bagdad was known to all the 
world. If the old city of the Califs could fall to British 
arms there would be a resounding success wherewith to 
balance failure in the ^gean. 

In October Turkey had in the field as many men as the 
British Empire. She was fighting nominally in four theaters 
of war — in Transcaucasia, on the Egyptian frontier, in 
Gallipoli, and in Mesopotamia. But of her four theaters, three 
were virtually in a state of stagnation. Probably not more 
than 150,000 had been mobilized along the Asiatic Russian 
frontier. Nothing was being done on the Egyptian border. 
The enemy in Gallipoli had shot his bolt. In Mesopotamia 
alone was there any urgent question of a needed defense. 
It was therefore open to Turkey, given a little time and 
some assistance from Germany in the way of supplies, to 
(ieploy on the Tigris little short of a quarter of a million 
men. To meet this possibility, Sir John Nixon had an 
Anglo-Indian division and an extra brigade — all told, per- 



haps, 15,000 bayonets. White troops formed one-third of 
the force. The remainder were Indian troops, including a 
number of Punjabs, Mahrattas, Rajputs, Gurkhas, and four 
regiments of cavalry. The accompanying flotilla was com- 
posed of every conceivable type of boat, from ancient Ad- 
miralty sloops to Burma paddle-steamers, river-boats, motor- 
launches, and flat-bottomed native punts of the Delta. The 
whole British force was battle-worn and weary. Large num- 
bers had contracted ailments and diseases. AU were jaded 
from an incessant struggle during a hot summer. To cheer 
them they had had, however, a record of unbroken success. 
Wherever and in whatever numbers they had met the 
enemy, they had beaten him. Little did they dream of the 
grim fate soon to overtake them. 

In Mesopotamia, as in the Nearer East, the British found 
themselves confronted with the results of German foresight 
and organization, the Turkish army being now a very dif- 
ferent organization from what it had been in the Balkan 
Wars, in numbers, efficiency, and armament. German 
officers, known to be engaged in its reorganization and ex- 
pansion, had produced this marked improvement, and the 
results probably transcended any anticipations that the 
Allies had formed of them. Turkey, despite heavy losses, 
had been able to detach troops to Bulgaria and to send con- 
siderable reinforcements to the Tigris, beside maintaining a 
force of some kind against the British on the Syrian fron- 
tier. When contrasted with her defeat in the Balkan wars, 
her performance was remarkable 

The British expedition had had to contend with exceptional 
diflSculties. From April to October, the heat on the Tigris 
is excessive, and the rate of invaliding had been unusually 
high. The line of communication from the Persian Gulf to 
Ctesiphon is 350 miles in a direct line, and traversed a coun- 
try peopled by hostile and predatory tribes. It absorbed 
large forces in its defense, thus diminishing the numbers 
effective for fighting at the front. The Turks had had their 
forces augmented by large numbers of tribesmen, who, if not 
very eflScient, had their uses so long as things went favora- 
bly. The Turks also had the advantage of possessing ample 
«ources of intelligence, while the British commanders were 



either ignorant of the enemy's strength and movements, or 
were liable to be deceived by false information. The one 
advantage enjoyed by the British was possession of facilities 
for the transport of troops and supplies by sea and river 
from Bombay and Karachi to the front, and for the co- 
operation of gunboats. The objects of the expedition were in 
the main political, the maintenance of British prestige in 
the East, which the Germans had been making every possi- 
ble endeavor to undermine. This was cited as justification 
for an enterprise which could promise no decisive military 

Aylmer's"* advance up the Tigris to join Townshend at 
Kut-el-Amara met with stubborn resistance. Townshend 
was entrenched there in a loop in the Tigris, and seemed 
to have a good defensive position, protected, as he was, on 
three sides by the river, and open only to attack on the 
north. Aylmer left Ali Gherbi on January 6, 1916, with his 
relief force, and on the 7th came into touch with the Turks, 
who were in position on both sides of the Tigris, two or 
three miles below Sheikh Saad, and were composed of three 
divisions, under command of Nair-el-Din. A battle took 
place on the 8th, resulting in the retreat of the Turks to 
Orah, twenty-five miles down the river from Kut-el-Amara. 
Heavy rains prevented pursuit of them, and Aylmer halted 
on the 10th at Sheikh Saad, partly on account of the weather, 
partly to get his wounded away. The Turks meanwhile had 
fallen back to the Essin position, from which Townshend 
had driven them in September. 

Finding that Aylmer was not following him, Nair-el-Din 
went forward again to Orah, where he took up what was de- 
scribed as the '* Wade, position." There he was attacked by 
Aylmer on the 13th, and driven back to his entrenchments 
at Essin, six miles down the river from Kut, but owing to 
the continuation of bad weather, which lasted till the 8th, 
there was again no pursuit. Aylmer had fought two pitched 
battles, and won them both. Bad weather coming when it 

***When Aylmer's name emerged with the day*s war news many wondered 
if he might not be related to Rose Aylmer, that early sweetheart of Walter 
Savage Landor's, who died early In India, and In memory of whom Landor 
wrote his best-remembered lines, beginning "Ah, what awaits the sceptred 




did was unfortunate, as it prevented the general from reap- 
ing the full fruits of his victories, and gave time to the 
Turks to strengthen their defenses. 

During the week that preceded the surrender of Town- 
shend on April 30, such news as came to Europe from 
Mesopotamia had indicated that he might soon be relieved. 
On April 5, a victory on the Tigris twenty miles below 
Kut-el-Amara was reported by General Lake, who had suc- 
ceeded Aylmer in command of the British forces. A Turkish 

'j^ Bridge of Boatt 

—British Detached 

entrenched position at Umm-el-Henna had been attacked and 
carried, and Lake had reported that operations were pro- 
ceeding satisfactorily. The capture of Umm-el-Henna was 
the moat important news from that theater received in 
weeks, and was regarded as giving promise of early relief 
for Townshend's force now uztder siege in Kut-el-Amara. 
Umm-el-Henna lies at an important bend in the river, and 
was believed to be the last serious barrier to Townshend's re- 
lief. Two or three less strong positions had, however, first to 


be overcome. Next to the Dardanelles expedition, the operation 
in Mesopotamia was the subject on which the British Gov- 
ernment was most severely criticized; not only on account 
of the breakdown in its hospital arrangements, but on the 
question of responsibility for making an advance with insuffi- 
cient forces. 

Five days later the British attacked a Turkish position at 
Sannayyat, on the Tigris just below Kut-el-Amara, but failed 
to break through the lines. The check was due to floods, 
which were rapidly extending and seriously hampering 
British movements. The relieving force consisted of two 
divisions: one under General Gorringe, who was in chief 
command on the left bank of the Tigris, and the other 
under General Keary, who was on the right bank. The 
Sannayyat position extended about two miles on either bank 
of the river, the left bank resting on the Suwekie Marsh, 
and the right on nameless marshy ground stretching for 
twelve miles between Orak and Essin. Had Gorringe suc- 
ceeded in driving the Turks from Sannayyat, there was 
another strong Turkish position at Essin, both flanks of 
which were protected by water defenses, which he had to 
overcome before he could reach Kut-el-Amara. Gorringe had 
had great experience in river warfare; he was with Kitch- 
ener in the advance to Khartum. In view of rising floods, 
further attempts to advance up the Tigris had now to be 
put off. 

On April 15, the British troops on the Tigris, including 
those of the beleaguered garrison at Kut, did not number 
more than three, or at most four, divisions. Water trans- 
ports were their sole means for bringing up supplies. The 
Turks were better off, being within easy distance of Bagdad, 
which had been turned into a large supply depot, and was 
constantly replenished from Constantinople. It was believed 
that they had at least six divisions in position on the Tigris, 
the British troops being thus outnumbered two to one. 
The Turks, moreover, were standing on the defensive, while 
the British were attacking in order to raise a siege. 

On April 30 it was made known that Townshend's army 
in Kut had surrendered, after a resistance protracted 
for 143 days, and conducted with gallantry and fortitude. 



Townshend was compelled to this step by exhaustion of 
supplies. The force under him consisted of 2,970 British 
troops, of all ranks, and some 6,000 Indian troops and their 
followers. The surrender had been expected after the fail- 
ure of Gorringe and Keary to break through at Sannayyat, 
and after an unsuccessful attempt to send to the blockaded 
army provisions by steamers. Townshend's last messages 
to London from Kut were received by wireless on the morn- 
ing of April 29, when he reported: "Have destroyed my 
^ns, and most of my munitions are being destroyed; and 
officers have gone to General Khalil, who is at Madug, to 
say am ready to surrender. I must have some food here, 
and can not hold on any more, Khalil has been told to-day 
and a deputation of officers has gone on a launch to bring 
some food from Julnar," In his next message he said: 
"I have just hoisted the white flag over Kat fort and town, 
and the guards will be taken over by a Turkish regiment, 
which is approaching. I shall shortly destroy wireless. The 
troops go at 2 p.m. to eamp near Shamran." On the same 
day the Turkish general, Khalil, received the British parle- 
mentaires. He was anxious, he said, that the garrison should 
be well rationed, and that Townshend especially, for whom 
he exprest admiration, should receive every possible comfort 
after the privations he had endured. He welcomed the re- 
quest for food, and regretted that the supplies at his 
command were not more plentiful. The Pasha said he con- 
templated no reprisals. He could give no pledge, but he 
did not intend to hang or persecute any one. 

Kut had held out to the verge of starvation. From April 
16 the garrison had been reduced to a four-ounce ration 



of flour daily, with a ration of horse-flesh. During the first 
month of the siege men were fighting for their lives, only 
afraid that ammunition would give out before the relieving 
column could reach them. The relieving force, advancing 
from Algharbi in the first week of January, believed that 
Townshend was near the end of his resources, and the 
urgency of his case made it necessary to press on. As 
soon as the British advanced from Aligharbi the enemy 
relaxed his hold on Townshend, and there was no longei' any 
danger that the ammunition would run short; but the check 
at Oran made longer resistance a question of supplies. The 
location of Kut-el-Amara on a peninsula extending into the 
Tigris River made it impossible to send supplies by air, as 
there was no landing place for aeroplanes. The forces which 
attempted to relieve Townshend had met with almost con- 
tinuous misfortunes. Several times rising waters made further 
progress impossible, the Turkish position at Sannayyat 
being surrounded by water. The British once actually 
attacked Turkish positions after wading through mud and 
water waist deep, but, while meeting with some success, 
failure at other points made their sacrifices futile. 

The British public never lost faith in Townshend, even 
after he was forced to capitulate, and regarded his cam- 
paign, despite its sorry end, as a brilliant one. The sur- 
render was one of the few instances of the war in which an 
entire fighting unit had laid down its arms. Kut-el-Amara 
was nothing but a small collection of ramshackle mud- 
houses on somewhat raised ground. Behind the river front 
were a mosque and a collection of one- or two-storied houses. 
When it became evident that Townshend could not 
fight his way out, thirty thousand Indian troops and two 
Anglo-Indian divisions, which had been fighting in France, 
had been transported to the head of the Persian Gulf, mak- 
ing with the remnants of Townshend 's main expedition, a 
relief force of 90,000 men, but General Aylmer^s march up the 
river was turned to a retreat after the first dash. Floods 
came to increase his troubles, due to lack of equipment, until 
his position become almost as precarious as Townshend 's was 
at Ctesiphon. Like him, Aylmer retreated. 

Townshend, at the time of his surrender, was heir pre- 



sumptive to the Marquisate of Townshend, but soon after the 
surrender a child was bom to the existing Marquis, who 
before had been childless. Townshend was a great-great- 
grandson of George Townshend, who fought with distinction 
at Quebec in 1759, when Wolfe died in the arms of victory. 
He was 54 years of age, was married to the, Countess Louise 
Cahen d 'An vers of France, and had served in the Nile ex- 
pedition. His surrender was generally regarded as a blow 
to British prestige in the East, but it was clear that for a few 
thousand men to have attempted to penetrate four hundred 
miles into an enemy's country, with no support on either 
flank, and with only a shallow and uncertain river to con- 
nect them with a base of supplies, was a reckless undertak- 
ing. Nevertheless, he seemed at one time near success. The 
story of Townshend 's siege, whenever it comes to be told, 
promises to form a thrilling chapter in British annals. The 
beleaguered garrison ran short of provisions and medicine, 
were weakened by disease and incessantly beset by superior 
numbers of Turks and Arabs. The narrow circumference 
of their camp afforded no landing place for aeroplanes, 
which, when they attempted to soar low enough to drop bags 
of flour, were liable to be brought down by fire. 

When Townshend found he could no longer hold out, he 
offered to surrender his artillery and his money, over 
$5,000,000, on condition that his troops be allowed to retire 
down the river with military honors. The Turkish com- 
mander, Khalil Pasha, refused, and then Townshend sur- 
rendered, but was allowed to retain his sword. Turkish 
estimates of the British casualties on the Tigris were 20,000 
for March and April. Most of the losses were suffered by 
forces under Gorringe and Keary in their last desperate 
attempts to rescue the Townsend expedition twenty miles 
away. Townshend was first bottled up three months after 
the fall of Grodno, in the autumn of 1915, during the great 
German invasion of Russia; one month after the Bulsrarians 
captured Nish; a few days after the pro-German uprising in 
Persia, and a fortnight before the British evacuation of 
GallipoH. Since then the face of the war map had changed. 
The recovery of the Russians under Brusiloff in a splendid 
but ultimately futile offensive, the collapse of the Turkish de- 



fense in Armenia, the end of uprisings in Persia, the main- 
tenance of a Franco-British force under Sarrail in Chal- 
cidice, the Austrian reverses before Czernowitz, and the 
repulse of the German attack at Verdun had swung the 
scales of fortune adversely to the Teutonic cause. 

In most of their military operations the British had 
suffered from lack of preparedness, or from underestimating 
the force to be met or task to be performed. But notwith- 
standing this, British prestige had not commonly been 
affected by early defeats in the field — at least this had not 
been the case when it concerned the alien races whom 
the British governed. More than one British expeditionary 
force had been destroyed in Afghanistan, but ultimately 
Lord Roberts was able to march to Candahar. The Boers 
repeatedly defeated the British, and under humiliating con- 
ditions, but the British flag now floats over Pretoria, and 
Boers fought under it in this World War. The Zulus 
wiped out a British regiment at Isandula, but the British 
for a generation have governed Zululand with only a hand- 
ful of white policemen. The New Zealanders were not sub- 
dued in the field, but by the diplomacy of Sir George Grey. 
Egyptians saw Gordon sacrificed and Hicks Pasha's army 
wiped out in the Sudan, but they fought shoulder to shoul- 
der with the British during Kitchener's march to Khartum. 
India has seen the British defeated, but these defeats did 
not affect the prestige of the British Raj. Macaulay 
pointed out that Warren Hastings endangered British rule 
in India, not by his military reverses, but by his departures 
from uprightness in government, which was the real basis of 
British prestige. The British have won few battles, but 
they have not lost wars in recent times, or as some one has 
said, they never in war win but one battle — the last one. 

Kut was a military disaster which could neither be ex- 
aggerated on the one hand, nor minimized on the other. The 
surrender, no matter for what reason, of five British gen- 
erals, 240 British and 270 Indian officers, and 9,000 men, 
combatants and non-combatants, could not take place with- 
out striking a blow at British military prestige. The British 
could comfort themselves with knowledge that their troops 
were overwhelmingly outnumbered, but, while this exon- 



erated Townshend and his men from any blame for failure, 
it did not remove responsibility from those who, without 
counting the cost, had placed them in an impossible position. 

A report published in July, 1917, ascribed England's fail- 
ure at Kut-el-Amara to lack of proper preparation and 
foresight, and proved, what had been suspected all along, 
that the Indian Government, which was responsible for the 
Mesopotamian expedition, originally had no adequate con- 
ception of the task with which it was faced. It failed to 
realize the difference between an enterprise directed against 
uncivilized Afghan tribes, and one against well-drilled 
Turkish soldiers organized by German military genius. 
There was lack of ammunition and medical supplies, and, 
above all, of transportation facilities for the relieving forces. 
Bitter experience finally taught the Government of India 
how to go about its task, with the result that Bagdad later 
feU into British hands. 

Near the end of February some Persian troops concen- 
trated in the region of Kermanshah, with the help of Ger- 
man and Turkish sappers, occupied and fortified two 
mountain passes, the Budsurks and the Sakahe. The Rus- 
sians, after dislodging them from Bidsurks, and occupying 
Sakahe, pursued them and took Kermanshah, which lies 280 
miles southwest of Teheran. Trade routes from Bagdad, 
Ispahan, Hamadan and Suleimaniyah all meet at Kerman- 
shah and make it an important center. Built on rising 
ground, and connected with hills to the south, it has ancient 
walls, three or four miles in circumference, but now in 
ruins with the moat encumbered with debris. Kermfanshah 
is in reality an open town in spite of five gates and numer- 
ous loop-holed towers that flank the ruined walls. Many 
Americans first learned its name from the rugs for which it 
and its neighborhood are famous. Rug manufacture, how- 
ever, is almost a lost industry in Kermanshah itself. Rugs 
and carpets exported through its custom house come mostly 
from other parts of Persia. They are merely shipped by 
way of Kermanshah as a distributing center. Here was 
clearly seen a Russian attempt to effect a junction between 
their Caucasian army and the British then in sore straits on 
the Tigris. Aylmer's relief column, which had been pushing 



up the Tigris to relieve the beleaguered British under 
Townshend at Kut-el-Amara, late in February had opened 
a heavy artillery attack on the Turkish positions. 

About a fortnight after the fall of Erzerum, the Russian 
army operating in Persia advanced seventy-five miles west 
of Kermanshah to Karind, on its way to Bagdad. Karind, 
like Kermanshah, is on the River Dijala, a tributary of the 
Tigris. From Karind this river runs northwest for fifty 
miles and then dips to the southwest for thirty miles to 
the frontier. For about seventy mjles, broadening as it 
goes, it flows through Mesopotamia and joins the Tigris 
fifteen miles below Bagdad. This advance promised soon 
to flank the Turkish army opposing the British; indeed, the 
occupation of Bagdad by the combined Anglo-Russian armies 
seemed in prospect of early realization. The progress made 
in Persia had been little noticed, but it was hardly less 
important than the progress Russia had made in Armenia. 
Hamadan, a recognized center of pro-German agitation, had 
been taken before the Russians advanced against Kerman- 
shah. When the main army captured Bitlis, it was only 
forty miles from the eastern Tigris and 125 miles from 
Missibin on the Bagdad Railway. 

The Russian advance in Asia Minor, radiating along three 
main lines from Erzerum toward Trebizond, Sivas, and 
Bitlis, was meeting with success in all three directions. 
There had been no serious Turkish resistance since the fall 
of Erzerum. Baratoff, having occupied Karind on March 12, 
called a halt for two months in order to secure his flanks 
and reconstruct the road from Hamadan, which in some 
places was nothing more than a mule-track. In the first 
week in May he resumed his march, and on the 5th attacked 
and defeated the Turks in a position which they had strongly 
entrenched at Sermil, seven miles from Karind. "Without 
giving the enemy time to rally, he advanced to Kasr-i- 
Shirlin on the 9th. This brought him within a day^s march 
of Khanikin. 

Thus, the campaign in the Caucasus which the Grand Duke 
Nicholas had launched in January, was now being carried 
on along a front extending for 700 miles or more from 
Trebizond to Kut-el-Amara. The front, however, was not 



continuously occupied, owing to the mountainous nature of 
the country. There were many localities in which movements 
by bodies of troops were impracticable. In this respect, 
the conditions in Armenia were different from those on the 
"Western and Eastern Fronts in Europe, where rival armies 
faced one another across an unknown line of entrenchments, 
and where at Verdun more than twelve weeks had passed 
away since the opening attack, the Germans being as yet no 
nearer the fortress than on February 25, when they reached 
the Douaumont plateau, in their first offensive movement. 
By April 12 the Russian force in Persia having traversed the 
mountain district separating it from the Turko-Persian 
frontier, and driven the Turks upon their strongly fortified 
base at Khanikin, stood at the threshold of Mesopotamia, 
110 miles northeast of Bagdad. Mosul, which before had 
scarcely been considered in the war, now became a chief 
center of interest, for one of the Grand Duke's armies there 
sat astride a main caravan route in the Tigris valley, and 
had cut an important line of communication with Bagdad. 

Russian forces rapidly closed in on the ancient fortified 
town of Jaziret-ibn-Oinar, which lies on an island in the 
Tigris, less than 130 miles southeast of Diarbekr, and 
about eighty miles northwest of Mosul. This movement, 
taken with the advance of Russian forces toward Mosul, 
brought pressure on the rear of the Turkish armies in 
Mesopotamia and placed between 100,000 and 125,000 men 
in jeopardy. The advance meant the cutting of the line of 
the Bagdad Railroad, and this meant not only disaster to 
Turkey, but the overthrow of one of the great German 
schemes of empire, in which the scattered Ottoman Empire 
was to have been braced together by German railways and 
German ports, its varied races to acquire consistency and 
Turkey to be employed as an instrument against England 
in Egypt and India — ^the only instrument by which British 
power could have been effectively curbed and controlled. 
Great Britain could be attacked and mortally wounded by 
land from Europe only in one part, and that was in Egypt. 

Townshend's surrender at Kut-el-Amara, instead of caus- 
ing the Russians to abandon, or change, their plans for 
invading Mesopotamia, appeared rather to inspire them with 

V. VIII— 12 169 


fresh incentives. They soon made conspicuous progress 
along the difficult roads of the Persian mountain-province, 
which borders Mesopotamia, and drove the Turks from 
another series of positions far to the westward, and close to 
their own frontier. The main threat upon Mesopotamia, 
however, lay not in this isolated Persian expedition, which 
was far removed from Russia's other Caucasian armies, but 
in concerted Russian efforts to drive the Turks southward 
from Mush in the direction of Diarbekr. This was the 
shorter route for reaching the Bagdad Railway, possession 
of which by the Russians would have been equivalent to a 
Turkish renunciation of Mesopotamia. 

The Russians now partly achieved one of their main 
objectives in Asiatic Turkey — ^the joining of hands with their 
British allies fighting against the Turks on the Tigris. With- 
out preliminary announcements, and apparently quite un- 
expectedly, a force of Russian cavalry, ** after a bold and 
adventurous ride," formed a junction with the British 
General Gorringe on the right bank of the Tigris in the 
region of Kut-el-Amara, where only a few "weeks before a 
British force under General Townshend, after a long siege, 
had been forced to capitulate to the Turks. How this junc- 
tion of the Russians with the British on the Tigris was 
effected remained long unknown. The supposition was that 
it represented the work of a detachment from the Russian 
army which was threatening Khanikin, about 120 miles to 
the north. The sudden appearance of the Russians with 
General Gorringe raised the question whether the Russians 
already had not cut the Bagdad railway at Mosul. 

To reach the British forces on the Tigris, Cossack cavalry 
would have had to ride about 200 miles across rough coun- 
try from Russia's furthest south in the mountains west of 
Kermanshah. That was a difficult ride, but it could have 
been completed in four or five days. Infantry in this war 
had sometimes covered close to thirty miles a day. The 
strength of the force that reached General Gorringe was 
presumably not large, but it might be effective enough for 
reconnaissance work and skirmishing operations against 
Turkish line of communications. Like the arrival of the 
Russians in France, the primary purpose of this dramatic 



coup was not strategic. It was intended to serve notice on 
the Central Powers of that unity of Allied purpose which 
Premier Viviani had reasserted and specifically imprest 
upon the Turkish Government and the populations of Cen- 
tral Asia, and to show that the defeat of Kut-el-Amara 
had not checked the Allied advance against Bagdad and the 
Mesopotamian provinces. . Simultaneous pressure against the 
Turks from the Caucasus, from Persia,, and from the Persian 
Gulf made the defensive task of the Ottoman army highly 
diflScult. It compelled a thinning of the line along a front 
of seven hundred miles, and left the initiative in the hands 
of the Allies. The Cossack officers were invited to Bassora 
to meet General Lake, where by order of the King of Great 
•Britain they were decorated with the Military Cross. 

The ride across that wild country into Mesopotamia was 
a daring achievement, an extreme test of hardiness, mobility, 
and resource. The route took the Cossacks across a moun- 
tainous region, which had been a familiar landmark to the 
British for months, but it was rough and precipitous, and 
the path often difficult even for mules. Some of the passes 
were over 8,000 feet high. The Cossacks met with no actual 
opposition during the whole journey, other than a few stray 
shots at long range. For transport they had less than one 
pack animal for ten men. These animals carried ammuni- 
tion, cooking-pots, and a tent. Otherwise, beyond a few 
simple necessaries, Cossacks had no kit except what they 
stood in, and lived on the country, purchasing barley, flour, 
rice and sheep from the villagers. Fodder and fuel were 
always obtainable. They had only one surgeon provided with 
medical wallets, but none of the Cossacks fell sick. Their last 
march was one of thirty miles, during which five of their 
horses died of thirst or exhaustion on the parched desert. 
They reached the British camp after night-fall. After a 
dinner given in their honor, they indulged in singing and 
dancing, and did not turn in till one o'clock in the morning. 
The ride of the Cossacks, establishing direct contact between 
the Russian force in Persia and the British force on the 
Tigris, imprest tribesmen on both sides of the frontier. 

Meanwhile the Russian column, advancing westward on 
Mosul, the ancient Nineveh, was attacked late in May by 



Turks on a ten-mile front extending from Rewanduz to 
Dergala. On the previous day a mixed force of Turks and 
Kurds had attacked the southern Russian line at Serdasht. 
Both attacks proved ineffective. The Turkish forces which 
were thus attempting to stay the Russian progress toward 
Bagdad and Mosul were not new arrivals, but Mesopotamian 
commands released by the capitulation at Kut. Owing to 
railway connections, the Turks could still draw upon the 
central resources of the Ottoman Empire for a prolonged 
resistance, and thereby strengthen the defense of Bagdad. 
The loss of Mosul would inevitably have meant the loss 
of Bagdad. The Turko-Germans hoped to break through 
the Russian left center and take up a threatening posi- 
tion on the flank and rear of the Bitlis and Mush forces. 
The scene of fighting was only forty odd miles southwest of 
Erzerum, and about the same distance northwest of Mush. 
The country was all mountains, cut by gorges and occasional 
river valleys. The roads were mostly goat-tracks. This de- 
velopment indicated a definite strategic plan in reply to the 
Russian push southward from Trebizond, and these moun- 
tain-barriers were the last natural obstacles to a Russian 
march on Constantinople. Once they could be forced, there 
lay only a broad expanse of level plain of the richest soil 
in Asia Minor. Here was the route eastward and westward 
that had been followed by great world-conquerors of an- 
tiquity from the time of Greek and Roman domination to 

The Turks, in June, taking the offensive at three points, 
temporarily checked the Russian advance. All their attacks 
were finally repulsed, except one at Mamakhatum, 50 miles 
west of Erzerum, which was evacuated by the Russians. 
Here the fighting was over a front of about twenty miles. 
Attempts by the Turks, who had been reinforced by Aus- 
trians and Germans, to press back the Russians near Bair- 
burt and Diarbekr, failed. Again in August the Turks made 
gains. On August 8 they captured the Armenian towns of 
Bitlis and Mush, and carried on obstinate fighting in the 
regions of Mush, Bitlis, Vanskou, Rmijsk, Semesk, Hker- 
manghan and Khanazan. In time they were forced to 
evacuate Bitlis and their attempt to encircle the left flank of 



the Russian Caucasian army received a crushing blow. 
Three weeks later the Russian forces reoccupied Mush. 

Turkish forces in June made raids into Persia. The fall 
of Kut had released Turkish troops, and some of these had 
been diverted to the Persian frontier. By the beginning 
of June, they had driven the Russians from the neighbor- 
hood of Khanikin and Kasr-i-Shirin, and by July 1 had 
retake Kermanshah. News that the Grand Duke was ad- 
vancing into Armenia did not check their movements. 
Farther north a Russian force near the frontier town of 
Rowanduz was driven back in the last week of July in the 
direction of Lake Urmia. In this area a great deal of 
obscure fighting developed. The main Turkish invading 
force did not pause long at Kermanshah, but soon captured 
Hamadan, which, by the most direct route, is 200 miles 
from Teheran. These checks to the Russians in Asia 
foreshadowed the disaster which ultimately was to overtake 
the splendid offensive which Brusiloff had seemed about to 
carry out with success on the frontier of Galicia and Buko- 
wina. But they were followed in good time by the advance 
up the Tigris of the British under Maude and the capture 
of Bagdad." 

"Principal Sources: The Times (New York), The Times (London), The 
Journal of Commerce (New York), The Fortnightly Review (London), The 
Evening Post, The Independent, The Evening Sun, "Bulletins'* of the Na- 
tional Geographic Society, The Wall Street Journal, The World, New York; 
"Nelson's History of the War" by John Buchan. 





June 23, 1916— July 12, 1917 

REPORTS reached London on June 23, 1916, of a 
serious uprisings against the Turks in the Hedjaz part 
of Arabia. Rebels had displaced them in the Holy City 
of Mekka, as well as at Jidda, the chief seaport of the 
country, while Taif, sixty-five miles southeast of Mekka, 
had proclaimed its independence of Ottoman rule. The ris- 
ing had been preceded by a similar insurrection at Karbela, 
about forty-five miles southwest of Bagdad in Mesopotamia, 
also a sacred city containing the tomb of Hussein, a grand- 
son of Mohammed. Hussein-ibn-Ali, the Grand Sherif of 
Mekka, was the most powerful prince of western and cen- 
tral Arabia. He, rather than the Turks, was the real ruler 
of Mekka. Along with his able sons, he exercised a unique 
authority, due to temporal possessions and the religious 
prestige that came from having sprung from the blood of 
the Koreish. 

As the hereditary Keeper of the Holy Places, he had been 
the natural leader in a movement for Arab independence. 
As head of one of the two principal families in the Hedjaz, 
and of the tribe of the Prophet, he held a position re- 
sembling that of a feudal lord or a Highland chieftain. 
His tribesmen and dependents held property all over the 
Hedjaz, and acted as his deputies in the administration of 
ancient Arabic law. His office was temporal — that of Emir 
(Prince) of Mekka — ^but as custodian of the Holy Places he 
was looked upon as a religous leader, and in his action had 
the full support of the Ulema of Mekka. His personal quali- 
fications added to his authority. A man somewhat past 
middle life, of good presence, known as a sagacious and 
prudent prince, strictly orthodox and yet free from fanati- 



cism, he had a receptive mind and an appreciation of the 
material advantages of Western civilization. His sons, or 
the elder among them, had traveled extensively, were of 
keen intelligence, and already were known as capable leaders 
of men. One of them attended the Peace Conference and 
made an excellent impression on Europeans. 

Difficulties had to be overcome before Hussein could take 
his decisive step. Turkish troops garrisoning the country 
numbered 20,000, and were highly disciplined, well equipped, 
and strong in artillery. Altho the Arabs could put double 
that number of men in the field, they had little military 
discipline, lacked material, and had scarcely any artillery, 
but they had the advantage of great mobility and an inti- 
mate knowledge of the country, the most of which was a 
barren, fairly level plateau, separated from the Red Sea 
coast strip by a rugged mountain range. Fully 700 miles 
in length and nowhere more than 200 miles wide, the Hedjaz, 
with an area somewhat larger than that of Great Britain, 
had only five towns of any size, and a total population 
scarcely exceeding 300,000, the majority of whom were 
Bedouins. The proclamation of independence was made at 
Mekka on June 5. The townsmen sided with the Sherif, 
but the Turkish garrison rejected his summons to surrender, 
and opened fire with their artillery on the Great Mosque. 
It was not until June 13 that the resistance of the Turks 
was completely overcome in the town, altho Turkish soldiers 
in one or two small forts outside the walls held out till the 
middle of July. The total captures of the Sherif were 950 
unwounded and 150 wounded men, 28 officers, four guns, 
and large stores of munitions. 

The immediate causes of the revolt, which extended be- 
yond the Hedjaz, were both racial and religious. Secular 
hostility between Arab and Turk was notorious. While 
the Turk hated and distrusted the Arab, and had de- 
spoiled him of his finest lands, nowhere and at no time had 
Ottoman rule in Arabia been accepted by the Arab, who 
looked with disdain on a race intellectually and in many 
other respects his inferior. The Arabs in Arabia had suc- 
ceeded in retaining a large measure of independence. 
After the conquest of Egypt in 1517 by Selim the Grim, 



who had already made himself master of Damascus and 
Jerusalem, the Emir of Mekka acknowledged him both as 
Calif and lord of the Hedjaz. Since that time the Emirs, 
or Sherifs, of Mekka, altho virtually independent, had been 
nominally Ottoman vassals. In recent times the Turks had 
maintained a precarious authority, chiefly by control of the 
seaports and heavy subsidies to Arab princes and tribes. 
The troops stationed in the country were only a garrison, 
whose authority extended no further than the range of their 
guns. The Hedjaz had always been a drain on the Turkish 
treasury, but it was a question of prestige for the Turks to 
hold the Holy Cities of Islam. To be **the Servant of the 
Cities of Mekka, Medina and El Kuda (Jerusalem)'' was 
one of the most prized of their titles. The Sultan Abdul 
Hamid, by his Pan-Islamic policy, had kept the support of 
the Sherif of Mekka, and by building the railway from 
Damascus to Medina had appreciably increased Ottoman 
power in Western Arabia. Begun in 1901, the section of the 
line from Damascus to Ma 'an (285 miles) was completed in 
1904, and Medina, 820 miles from Damascus, was reached in 
1908. Built to a considerable extent with money obtained 
from the Faithful, on the ground that it made easy pilgrim- 
age to the Holy Cities, the railway enabled the Turks to 
tighten their hold on the Hedjaz and the provinces south 
of it, Asir and Yemen. Thus when Turkey joined in the 
World War in October, 1914, her position in Western Arabia 
was fairly strong. 

The summer of 1916 appears to have been chosen for the 
revolt because the success at that time of the Grand Duke 
Nicholas in Armenia had weakened Turkish military power 
throughout Arabia. Great Britain, being in control of 
India, the greatest Moslem empire, had been interested in the 
movement. Since the early days of the war, she had en- 
deavored to maintain an attitude of the highest respect for 
the Mohammedan religion, and a proclamation had been 
issued declaring that the holy places of Arabia, including 
the Shrine of Mesopotamia and the port of Jidda, would be 
*^ immune from attack or molestations by British military 
forces as long as there was no interference with pilgrims 
from India.'' The uprising was in a sense an outcome of a 



Pan-Arab movement, which aimed at the ejection of the 
Turks from the Arabian Peninsula, and the formation of a 
great confederation of Arab tribes. It had a twofold character. 
In addition to its political side, it was probably stimulated 
by resentment among Mohammedans of the German domina- 
tion of Turkey. "While Turkey remained free and inde- 
pendent most races professing the Mohammedan faith had 
been content with Turkey's guardianship of the Holy 

The EmTr arrtvefl In Enaland on December 10. IftlS. to nrpsipnt the resnecta 
of his fitlier to Klnj[ George. In the war he Imd led troonfl through three 
SDCceesirDi ramnalens. He Is se«n wearing a lonz blaek "abbs," or cloak. 
and tbe nsttonnl bpsd-rloth ot Damaacua gllh witb golden head-rone of 
Mecca manufacture. From Lonrtnn hp wpnt to Parla. to attend tbe Peace 



Places; they looked up to her as the last great Moham- 
medan State, a revered survival of days when the sword of 
Islam won widespread domination in three continents. But 
German control of Constantinople they thought meant in the 
end German control of the Holy Cities, and when the road 
from Berlin to Constantinople was reopened after Serbia 
was overrun in the autumn of 1915, Turkish independence 
came to an end. Many Mohammedans began then to feel 
that Turkey had forfeited her right to control Mekka and 
Medina, and the pilgrimages of pious Mussulmans to those 
sacred spots. 

The rising was only the last of a series of Arab rebellions 
against Turkish rule. For nine years adjacent provinces 
had been centers of an insurrectionary movement under 
Said Idris, while the Yemen had periodically rebelled ^ver 
since the Turks first invaded it in 1870. Turkish control, 
in fact, had never been firmly established over the great 
tribes of Central Arabia, where the important cities of 
Riadh and Hail maintained independence. In 1913 Ibu 
Sand drove Turkish forces out of El Hasa, in Eastern 
Arabia, on the borders of the Persian Gulf. The revolt in 
the Hedjaz was the final episode in a long series of events 
which had been set in motion before the great war began. 
The so-called Pan- Arab movement had gained impetus since 
1913. It aimed at the abolition of Turkish misrule, oppres- 
sion and maltaxation, at the ejection of Turks from the 
Arabian Peninsula, and the formation of a confederation of 
Arab tribes. Arabia, never truly conquered by the Turks, 
had remained the real stronghold of the aristocracy of the 
Moslem world. More than a century before the great war, 
the Arabs had driven the Turks not only from the Holy 
Places, but from all Arabia, and even from Berbela, a 
Mesopotamian city. Never had the Arab wholly bowed to 
the Osmanli, and now that the Osmanli had fallen under 
the spell of the unbeliever, in yielding to German supremacy, 
it was logical that the conservative theologians of the Penin- 
sula should assert themselves and precipitate a revolt. 

Abdul Hamid built the Hedjaz railroad to Medina be- 
cause he foresaw that the time might come when the Arabs 
would seize the Holy Cities, and he wanted facilities for 



sending troops southward. Since the Turkish Revolution 
of 1904, the conspirators who acquired control of Turkey 
had practically abjured Islam, making it certain that the 
Orthodox Moslems of Arabia, of whom the Grand Sherif was 
the principal representative, would eventually, thrust the 
Turks out of Mekka. And so, when in the autumn of 1916 
Turkey practically ceased to exist, when Enver Pasha and 
his colleagues almost transferred their country to Germany, 
making Prussian officers the real possessors of Turkish 
authority, the end was near. 

Politically, the Sherif of Mekka as representing the old 
Emirs of Mekka, gave the Bedouins such laws as they could 
be made to accept. Two patrician families, howeyer, had 
contested the office. By setting one against the other, the 
Sultan of Turkey had sustained with their varying fortune 
his hold on Arabia. While his position was bettered by the 
Iledjaz railroad and its strategic value, nothing had made 
his position in Arabia other than precarious. The Young 
Turks, with a genius for blundering, had sacrificed many 
soldiers in vain attempts to enlarge, or maintain, occupation 
of certain parts of the peninsula, but for eight years had 
steadily lost territory, and now Hedjaz was about to be lost. 

Arabians, always ripe for insurrection, found in the plight 
of Turkey and the Russian successes in Armenia, sufficient 
motives for a revolt. Exactly what the Sultan, who then 
had little left to lose, would lose by this revolt, was hard 
to estimate, because the value of guardianship of the Holy 
Cities, a privilege that had passed from one chief Moham- 
medan State to another, had much diminished in modern 
times. No great Mohammedan State now survived, and the 
myth of a religious solidarity of Islam had been exploded, 
the Sultan's religious headship being a fiction more tolerated 
than believed in. At the same time, the spiritual focus of 
the Moslem world was Mekka. The innermost shrine of the 
place contains the Kaaba, a great sacred black stone, toward 
which every son of Islam turned when he offered his devo- 
tion, but Turkish troops had been indiscreet enough to bom- 
bard this ''symbol of the unity of God." 

The Sherif, after declaring his independence, divided his. 
forces — ^horsemen, camelry, and foot — into four parties: one 



remained at Mekka, another was sent north under the Emir 
Faisal towards Medina, a third, under the Emir Abdulla, 
went south to Taif, and a fourth, under the Emir Zeid, 
westward to Jidda. For the success of the enterprise it was 
essential that the Sherif should become not only master of 
Mekka, but of the means of access to it, namely Jidda, and 
the forty to fifty miles of country which lay between it 
and Mekka. The conquest of the rest of the country might 
follow more at leisure. Ability to receive and safeguard 
pilgrims to Mekka would be the test of his claim to inde- 
pendent authority. The revolt spread like wildfire. The 
Emir Nuri Shalan, who had ialready refused to support 
Djema, joined the Grand Sherif, and presently the Said 
Idrissi of Asir took up arms, and captured the Red Sea port 
of Kunfidah, 150 miles south of Mekka. On July 27, Yambo, 
the port ©f Medina, fell. In Medina itself Turkish troops 
were closely besieged, while the fires of revolt spread north- 
ward among the Arabs all the way to Damascus. Constanti- 
nople could not sit still under a blow which threatened the 
little religious prestige that remained to her, and so Turkish 
troops were hurried south, forces destined for another in- 
vasion of Egypt being diverted to the new theater of war. 

At the beginning of operations the Emir Faisal laid siege 
to Medina, and hi» horsemen, riding across the desert, tore 
up a considerable section of the railway near El Ala, 150 
miles north of the city, an action which delayed the arrival 
of Turkish reinforcements from Damascus. In August the 
Turks made a great sally, and a pitched battle was fought 
in the plain south of Medina. In this encounter Faisal's 
casualties were about 500, those of the Turks were estimated 
at over 2,000. The Turks retreated to the city, where they 
perpetrated every species of barbarity upon inhabitants who 
favored the Sheriffs, cause, many being hanged or crucified. 
The Emir Fa^'sal was unable to follow up his advantage, and 
for months there was little alteration in the military situa- 
tion. The first phase of the campaign was ended. Before 
operations were actively renewed the Arab forces were re- 
organized and turned into a disciplined permanent army. 
In September, Taif, the Turkish headquarters, and with its 
vali and commander-in-chief, Ghaleb Pasha, surrendered, 



and by the end of the year Ottoman authority in the Hedjaz 
had ceased to include more than a strip of territory border- 
ing the railway leading from Medina to Eastern Palestine 
and Damascus. 

In November, 1916, the Grand Sherif took the title of 
King of the Hedjaz, and early in 1917 sent an army northr 
ward, where it gained a series of njotable successes between 
Akabah, at the head of the gulf and the Red Sea, at 
Ma 'an, on the southern border of Syria, and in places on 
the Hedjaz railway between Medina and Damascus. Earlier 
in the war, from the time when they first appeared on the 
frontiers of Sinai, Mekkan forces had constituted a friendly 
army on the right of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 
and the British, from August, 1917, onward, had given 
them help by conducting air-raids on Ma 'an, which was then 
in Turkish possession. 

The formation of the Kingdom of Hedjaz, with the 
Grand Sherif as its King, followed by its recognition by all 
the Entente Powers, had a twofold importance. From the 
political point of view, it meant the resurrection of an Arab 
State and the independence of the Arab Nation after cen- 
turies of subordination to the Turks. From the religious 
point of view, it possibly meant a new orientation for 200,- 
000,000 souls professing the Islamic faith. In Hedjaz was 
the birthplace of Islam. Its population had not been ascer- 
tained, but it was estimated at 1,500,000, of whom 250,000 
were city-dwellers, while the rest led a nomadic life. The 
Sherif was about sixty-two years old, of medium size, white- 
bearded, with a white round face, large eyes, and a big 
head. He was well educated and knew, besides the Arabic 
language, Turkish and Persian, both of which he spok6 and 
wrote. He also spoke English, French and Russian, all of 
which he had studied in Constantinople. He was the first 
Sherif to have so wide -a knowledge of foreign languages. 
Thus a new State that the war developed was seen in the 
Kingdom of Arabia. 

When the victorious Sherif proclaimed himself King, the 
boundaries of the kingdom were not defined. Great Britain 
expected eventually to have as much to do with fixing them 
as the Arabs themselves. To detach Arabia from its 



shadowy allegiance to the Ottoman Empire and to bring it 
within the sphere of British influence had long been a part 
of England's political program in the Near East. "With the 
Russians standing sponsor for a restored Armenia on the 
north, and the British for a revival of ancient Arabia in 
the south, the hold of the Turks was becoming as insecure 
in Asia as it was in Europe. The area of the peninsula 
of Arabia was about 1,200,000 square miles; but most of 
it was desert and half of it ^unexplored. The portion over 
which Turkey claimed lordship was the Red Sea coast coun- 
try of Hedjaz, Yemen, etc., embracing JViekka, Medina, Jidda, 
the Holy Places, and the trading-ports — a tract with an 
area about twice that of the British Isles and a population 
of 1,000,000. The rest of Arabia was either waste or coast- 
wise country toward the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf, 
where British influence was paramount and the ruling chiefs 
were friendly. 

Farther away, on the Edom border, was the forest of 
Hish, the principal source whence the fuel consumed by 
locomotives on this section of the Hedjaz Railway was 
obtained. A narrow gage railway connected the forest with 
the main line at Anaise station. It was to conquer this 
valuable region that the Emir Faisal set the Northern 
Hedjaz Army in motion in the early days of January, 1918. 
Strong parties were detached to keep the Turks at Ma 'an in 
check, and General AUenby, who was then advancing to the 
north of Palestine, assisted with three air-raids on the town, 
in which barracks, supply depots and railway buildings 
were bombed. The Emir Faisal quickly followed up his 
advantage. Two days later (January 28) another of his 
columns prest north between El Kerak and the Dead Sea 
and reached the shores of that remarkable lake — the lowest 
point in the earth's surface, 1,292 feet below the sea level. 
They attacked and captured El Mezra, seized an. armed 
iaunch and several dhows, captured large stores of grain and 
took 60 prisoners. The remnant of the Turkish force, some 
40 men, fled to Kerak. 

Now firmly established east of the Dead Sea, Faisal rested 
and reorganized his troops for the next phase, the advance 
on Kerek itself. Occupying a hill 3,000 feet high, with 



strong defenses, and only 20 miles from El Kutrani Station 
on the Hedjaz Railway, and thus capable of being quickly 
reinforced, the attack upon it required careful preparation. 
The operations were indirectly helped by AUenby's cam- 
paign. Jericho had fallen on February 21, and in March 
Allenby, crossing the Jordan, raided the Hedjaz Railway at 


Amman, 55 miles east-north-east of El Kerak. AUenby's 
raid gave the Emir Faisal his opportunity ; he was further 
aided by units of the Royal Plying Corps and the Austra- 
lian Flying Corps, which, on March 19, bombed El Kutrani. 
The raid was primarily intended to assist AUenby's own 
trans-Jordan advance, which began three days later, but it 


served a double purpose. The raiders were met by enemy 
aeroplanes, one of which was shot down. Two of the British 
machines were forced to descend by anti-aircraft fire, and 
were burned by their occupants. Two pilots and an observer 
were made prisoners by the Turks. Despite this mishap, 
the raid, Allenby stated, was effective, 470 bombs having 
been dropt on the station-buildings and on railway-trains, 
direct hits being observed. The result was that El Kerak, 
left to its own resources, was abandoned by the Turks al- 
most without a struggle. 

Leaving a contingent to mask Ma 'an, the Arabs, shortly 
after the surrender of Jerusalem to Allenby, prest north- 
ward and in a brilliant campaign between January and April, 
1918, conquered the fertile region south and east of the 
Dead Sea, El Kerak, the capital, being captured on April 7. 
Repeated and daring raids on the Hedjaz Railway were 
marked features of Arab operations, some of these raids 
being made as far north as the neighborhood of Damascus. 
Nevertheless the Arabs were unable for a long while to 
effect a permanent occupation of any part of the lines. 
The Turks, with German help, had shown great energy in 
repairing the damage done, and were able by means of the 
railway to send reinforcements to Ma 'an and Medina, so 
that those places were able to hold out. 

In two years of warfare, besides clearing the Turks en- 
tirely from southern and central Hedjaz, and from 300 
miles of the Red Sea Coast, the Mekkans had killed, cap- 
tured or immobilized fully 40,000 Turkish troops, the ma- 
jority belonging to the finest regiments in the Ottoman 
Army. The loss was a great moral blow to the authority of 
the Osmanli Sultan in the eyes of almost aJl Moslems. As 
careful guardians of the interests of their Moslem subjects, 
all the Allied Powers continued to look with sympathy upon 
the Arab movement and to aid it from Palestine. It was 
the settled policy of Great Britain — a policy which had the 
support of France and Italy — ^that the '^Sacred Lands** 
of Mekka and Medina should be under Moslem rule, and 
when it became apparent that Turkey was ceasing to repre- 
sent Islam they were prepared to welcome the transfer of 
the Hedjaz to a native prince. As soon as his capture of 



Mekka and Jidda showed that the Emir Hussein possest real 
authority he received the moral and, as far as could be, 
the material support of the Allies. No countries were more 
intimately concerned, both politically and economically, in 
the fortunes of the Hedjaz than Egypt and the Sudan, 
inasmuch as the Red Sea little more than separated them. 

The success of the Sherif reacted favorably on the African 
shores of that sea, and, coming about the same time as the 
overthrow of Ali Dinar in Darfur, and the Senussi Sheikh, 
in northwestern Egypt on the border of Tripoli, it had a 
salutary effect on the small but dangerous pro-Turkish 
party in Egypt. So long as Turkey held the opposite shores 
of the Red Sea, England's watch and ward, on land 
and sea, along the Egyptian and Sudan coast, had been an 
arduous business; but with a friendly State in possession 
of the Arabian Coast, that business was distinctly lightened. 

There being every sign of a settled and independent con- 
dition, official recognition of the new State by the Allies 
was not long delayed. A month after the Grand Sherif as- 
sumed the title of King of the Hedjaz, his title was definitely 
recognized by Great Britain, France and Italy. British and 
French cruisers were sent to Jld^^'to congratulate the new 
sovereign, who went down to Jiddji,/with his principal min- 
isters to meet them. *'The greatest of Arab princes," as the 
commander of the French cruiser hailed him, visited all 
the warships in turn. **I am happy,'' he said, '*to visit the 
brave and heroic Allies, who have proved their virtues to 
the world, and who merit all respect and honor." This visit 
of Allied warships was more than a ceremony; it was out- 
ward evidence of the support the Allies were prepared to 
give a great Moslem prince in his efforts to liberate the 
Arab world from Ottoman tyranny, 

Medina was surrendered to King Hussein of Hedjaz Jan- 
uary 15, 1919, under the terms of the armistice of 1918 with 
Turkey. It was the last Turkish stronghold in Asia to 
complete the compliance of the Ottomans with the armistice 
terms. It also marked the end of the rule of the Sultan 
over the most sacred shrines of Islam. Of still more im- 
portance to the Moslem world, was the faet that the tomb 
of the Prophet had been saved from desecration. Medina 

V. VIII— 13 185 


was held in revereuce next to Mekka, the true believer con- 
sidering his hadj incomplete without a pilgrimage to the 
spot where the Prophet died and was buried. For more 
than three years Medina had been closed to pilgrims. With the 
small force at his command, King Hussein had been unable 
to overcome strongly entrenched Turkish forces which held 
defenses of the town. The most that he could do was to cut 
the line of communication which the Hedjaz Railroad af- 
forded, and to imperil the position of the Turks. Aggres- 
sive action was halted by a threat from the Turkish com- 
mander that he would make his final stand at the tomb, that 
he would fortify it and the mosque of which it was a part, 
with artillery, and that rather than surrender he would 
destroy the shrine and then take his own life. This intelli- 
gence, which was quickly spread throughout Islam, caused 
the situation to be watched with intense interest. Had he j 

carried out this threat, the Turkish commander would have 
ended all Turkish leadership in the Mohammedan world; 
but, at the same time, according to his own reasoning, he 
would have caused unpleasant complications for Allied na- 
tions having large Moslem populations. This was the ex- 
planation of an oflBcial statement that ** it was incumbent I 
upon King Hussein to secure the capitulation of Medina by 
arrangement and not by assault. "^^ 

»» Principal Sources : The London Times' "History of the War,** "Nelson's 
History of the War" by John Buchan ; The Uterary Digest, The Times, The 
Sun, New York; The Times (London), Associated Press and Renter dis- 



December 13, 1916— April 29, 1918 

DURING the months that followed the disaster to Town- 
shend at Kut-el-Amara, new supplies of men and am- 
munition had been collected and in January, 1917, the British 
resumed the offensive. Northeast of Kut their troops drove 
the Turks from a strip of land on the right bank of the 
river until they obtained control of a trench-section on a 
front of 2,500 yards, and advanced to a depth of 1,100 
yards. Meanwhile the right bank of the river had been cleared 
of Turks below Kut. Southwest of the town further prog- 
ress was made. Constantinople, however, said that east of 
Kut the British had launched three attacks, but that none 
of them had been successful. Thus, while a German thrust 
in the Champagne, a British advance on the Ancre, and 
British success in Mesopotamia, were signs by mid-February 
of the approach of grand-scale operations, it was only around 
Kut that there rose the possibility of something like a 

The Tigris at Kut flows from west to east, but makes a 
sharp turn to the south and back to the north forming a 
narrow peninsula within which, on the left, or northern 
bank of the river, lies the town. The locality might be 
compared to Manhattan Island as enveloped by the Hudson 
and East Rivers; in a way those streams correspond with 
the course of the Tigris around Kut. Before the end of 
the month Kut had fallen to the British and thus atoned 
for the long struggle which Townshend had made there in 
1916. General Sir Stanley Maude, destined to conquer 
Bagdad and then to meet a melancholy fate, had started for 
Kut and Bagdad with 120,000 men on December 13, 1916, and 
now two months later the Turks were in flight. The 



fighting was of an open character, with the British forces 
disposed on a wide front. Having lost their trenches, and 
having no time to dig new ones after the fall of Kut, the 
Turks were soon driven twenty-four miles beyond Kut, altho 
fighting rear-guard actions. Bagdad was only ninety miles 

Maude's victories became important, not only as dealing a 
blow at Germany's Bagdad ambitions, on which she had 
intended to lean heavily in peace negotiations, but as de- 
creasing the available German forces on any given front in 
Europe. From Kut to Bagdad was less than half the dis- 
tance which the British army had already covered in Meso- 
potamia from its base at Bassora. A swift advance upon 
Bagdad was expected, and this was what followed. The 
British were now much stronger in numbers, equipment, and 
leadership than the hazardous expedition which in 1916 
had tried to take Bagdad. But in fairness to that expedi- 
tion, it was to be said that everywhere in the war the fore- 
runner among the Allies had made mistakes by which his 
successor was to profit. The mistake made on the Tigris 
of leaving open an undefended line of communication had 
not again been repeated. Altho important in itself as evi- 
dence of British determination and recuperative powers, this 
renewed thrust against Bagdad brought into the foreground 
once more the probable defeat of that Berlin to Bagdad 
dream which Germany had been inclined to regard as vir- 
tually realized. A southern terminus for the great nerve- 
line of Middle-Europe became now no longer an assured fact. 
Nor was the partnership of Turkey in that scheme likely to 
be established when one British army was in Mesopotamia, 
when Russians were in Armenia, and another British army 
was on the frontiers of Palestine. 

Other factors in the situation were now more favorable 
to the Allies than when the British were hemmed in at 
Kut in 1916. The Turkish forces that threatened the Suez 
Canal had been driven back. The Kingdom of Hadjaz had 
been established in Arabia. A considerable force of Arabs 
had been armed by the French and British in their war against 
the Turks. The army of the Grand Duke Nicholas, now 
holding a strong position in Armenia, had been increased 



and was better equipped than ever before to force a way 
southward to the Bagdad lines and cut off the Mesopotamian 
Valley from the Turkish Capital. It was foreseen that a 
Russian line from the Caucasus to Alexandretta on the 
Mediterranean might eventually enable the Russians to open 
up a way from the east to Constantinople. 

On March 2, what was left of Turkey's army in retreat 
had covered half the distance from Kut to Bagdad. Eight 
days later the British were in Bagdad. The day before by 
a surprize they had effected a crossing of the Diala and 
the Tigris, and driven the Turks back to within three miles 
of the city, the Turks for two days offering considerable 
resistance. Owing to the intensified submarine warfare that 
Germany had carried on since February 1, hardly anything 
more welcome than this progress could have come to the 
British public. Great Britain was beginning to feel the 
effects of the war in a reduced food supply, besides being 
thrown into a state of depression by revelations made in an 
oflScial Dardanelles report, censuring the administration for 
that ill-starred expedition. On the night of March 8, the 
British established a footing on the north bank of the Diala, 
and on the 9th and 10th the troops on the right bank of the 
Tigris, in spite of dust and storms, drove the Turks back 
on Bagdad. At the same time troops on the Diala thrust 
them back, and the city was entered on a Sunday morning. 
Maude, in these operations, had made a march of 110 miles 
in fifteen days, during which the Tigris was crossed three 
times, and the march made over a country destitute of 

The British fought their way to the walls of Bagdad on 
both banks. General Cobbe's force occupied the Bagdad 
railway station and adjoining parts of the city on the right 
bank, while General Marshall entered the part lying on the 
left bank. There was no display, nothing in the nature of 
a triumphal entry, but as the victorious troops, dirty and 
unshaven, tramped between palm groves and orange gar- 
dens, crowds of Bagdad people came out to meet them — 
Persians, Arabs, Armenians, Chaldeans, and Christians of 
divers sects and races, who lined the streets, balconies and 
roofs, hurrahing and clapping their hands. Groups of 



school-children danced in front, shouting and cheering, and 
the women of the city turned out in holiday attire. The 
gunboat flotilla, meanwhile, with mine-sweepers ahead, pro- 
ceeded up the river, Maude and his Staff going with the 
flotilla and arriving at the citadel soon after the troops. 

So fell Bagdad, the immediate base of Turkish warfare in 
Persia and Mesopotamia, and one of the most famous cities 
in the East. No romance could be stranger. Bagdad, which 
lies only sixty miles from the ruins of ancient Babylon, 
with memories reaching back to Harun-al-Rashid, now re- 
sounded to the footsteps of British soldiers, and Mosul, op- 
posite which lay all that remained of Nineveh, **the great 
city," once mistress of the world, was at their mercy. Above 
the remains of an ancient tower that, had formerly been one 
of the temples of Babylonia was a ** wireless" station that 
had been installed there since the beginning of the war — a 
tower which tradition associated with the famous Tower of 

When the British proceeded to consolidate their positions, 
their first act was to destroy all German wireless installations, 
which had been completed at enormous cost, and comprised 
one of the most powerful installations in their system. It 
had direct communication with Berlin, and possibly the 
earliest definite information that Bagdad was in British 
hands had arrived in Berlin by this route. Various measures, 
political and military, were then taken in hand to establish 
order, reassure the population and guard against mischief on 
the part of the beaten Turkish forces. For a fortnight before 
the fall, the Turks had systematically plundered the inhab- 
itants. Large sums of money had been extorted from them, 
and Everything of value that was portable had been carried 
off. ''The Turks have taken everything," a Jewish Rabbi 
said, *'even the pigeons on the Mosques are getting thin." 

When the last train steamed out of the Bagdad railway 
station at two o'clock on the morning of March 11, the 
Kurds and other rabble of the slums had swarmed out to 
loot the wealthier quarters. For seven hours shops and 
houses were gutted in all directions, and even the Turkish 
hospital was not spared. The robbers looted shops, and took 
bedding, medicine and drugs, letting in their friends to 



share in the spoils. British troops arrived in time to save 
patients from being turned out of their beds. Summary 
steps were taken to put an end to this general orgy of loot- 
ing, and soon the city was in order. Shops began to open 
again, , the trading classes here, as elsewhere, showing con- 
fidence* in British administration. Jews, Arabs, Armenians — 
such of the Armenians as had escaped from recent massa- 
cres — ^all alike seemed glad to be rid of the Turks, who had 
never been for them anything, more than a horde of foreign 

Meanwhile General Maude, in his capacity as ** political 
chief," issued to the people of the Bagdad Province a procla- 
mation assuring them of the goodwill of the British Gov- 
ernment and its Allies, and of their desire for the prosper- 
ity of the country. The British advance had covered more 
ground in a short period than almost any other movement 
of the war. It was assisted materially by defections of 
native tribes from Turkish rule, a result mainly of the 
action of the Grand Sherif of Mekka in declaring Arabia's 
independence. Various Bedouin tribes had put aside old 
enmities and become united. Peace, for example, was made 
between the Emir Arab ar Rowleh near Damascus, and the 
Emir of the Anzeh tribes near Aleppo, who had helped to 
assemble a troop of horsemen to fight the Turks after being 
supplied with drill-masters, presumably British, who had 
effected the organization of an Arab fighting unit possest 
of arms and ammunition of the latest type. The importance 
of this union of tribes lay in the fact that, all told, Arab 
tribes numbered not fewer than 4,000,000 souls. 

The British cavalry which hung on the flanks of the 
Turkish army on the Tigris, and chased it to Bagdad, was 
almost exclusively Indian. The infantry included Indian 
units which had already fought in France, GallipoH, and 
Egypt. This Tigris expedition was part of a comprehensive 
Entente plan against Asiatic Turkey. From Egypt British 
troops under Sir Archibald Murray were then approaching 
Jerusalem. In the Bitlis region the Russians were renewing 
their activities south of the Caucasus. On the Persian fron- 
tier the Russians who retired beyond Hamadan after the sur- 
render of Townshend at Kut, were again starting out for 



Kermanshah and Mesopotamia. Junction of the Russians 
with General Maude would form an Entente line of over 
1,000 miles, broken only by mountains and reaching from 
Bassora, at the head of the Persian Gulf, to Trebizond on 
the Black Sea. 

Germany's dream of world dominance received a severe 
setback at Bagdad. Here in the Near East she had aimed 
at an economic control which would have supplied her with 
the raw materials she had formerly imported from outside 
countries. Already she had acquired many Turkish con- 
cessions for exploiting and monopolizing nearly everything 
between the Dardanelles, the Tigris, and the Persian border. 
Some of the earth's most fertile soil lies in this region, as 
the ancient cities of Nineveh and Babylon bear witness. 
Bagdad itself, centuries before Christ, had a population of 
2,000,000. Modern engineering projects had been started to 
restore Mesopotamian fields to their former productivity, the 
success of which would have meant for Germany a plentiful 
supply of wheat and other grains, fruit, vegetables, cotton, 
wool, and livestock. There is a rich oil territory northwest 
of Bagdad which was being connected with the city by 
branch railroads. Copper, silver, coal, cement, and other 
minerals were under German concessions, and not only the 
''Cedars of Lebanon," but other forest products which Ger- 
many needed, had practically passed under her control. 

By the fall of Bagdad the Persian Gulf became free to 
the world, as policed by Great Britain. Had that control 
been wrested from Great Britain a naval base could have 
been established there by Germany, and connected with the 
Bagdad railway, so that a military line would have been 
opened from the Baltic to the Persian Gulf, as a standing 
threat to India and the Suez Canal, while the southern 
extension of the road through Syria would have threatened 
the western end of the canal and laid Egypt open to attack. 
Success here would in fact have meant a three-fold in- 
crease in the German Empire's population, and put the 
world at the Kaiser's feet. But the British had now made 
secure for themselves the eastern terminus of the road and 
were asking whether this had been the irony of fate or the 
hand of providence. 


! E 


Underlying the military was the political meaning of this 
new turn in the war. Mohammedans tho they were, the 
Arabs had never reconciled themselves to the supremacy of 
the Turks. The traditions of the great days of the Prophet 
and his successors who carried the Green Banner from Bag- 
dad to the Loire in France still survived. The decline of 
Islam had been for the Arabs a consequence of Turkish su- 
premacy. For many years there had been growing restless- 
ness among them. Syria, which is Arab by population, was 
on the verge of a revolt when the Young Turks overthrew 
Abdul Hamid. It was long a Syrian dream to create an 
autonomous Syria. Away to the south, about Mekka, in- 
terminable Arab revolts had occurred, and now the last of 
these had driven the Turk out of the Holy City, had deprived 
him of the possession of the center of Islam, which was 
one of his chief claims to power. A succession of events — 
the failure of the Turkish expedition against Egypt, the 
fall of Bagdad, the invasion of Palestine — ^had combined to 
shake Turkish power. Then events, joined to the great misery 
and suffering that the war had brought to Syria and Meso- 
potamia, had created a sufficient basis for a revolt of 
the whole Arab population, from the Amanus Mountains to 
the Yemen, and from the Mediterranean to the Tigris. Its 
coming was regarded as one of the most probable conse- 
quences of the fall of Bagdad. To expel the Turk from 
Islam by separating him from Mekka, to restore the Arab 
to the place he once occupied, to confine the Turk to Asia 
Minor by erecting a French protectorate in Syria, a Russian 
province in Armenia and a British colony in Mesopotamia, 
with an extension of Egyptian territory to Palestine, or by 
the creation of an independent Holy Land — these had been 
conceptions of the Entente Allies, their answer in fact to 
the German success in capturing the Turk and the machin- 
ery of Islam. 

If Saloniki was the side door of the Central Powers, 
Bagdad was its back door — and Bagdad had been broken 
open. Its great distance from London was a handicap, but 
an army could be provisioned and reinforced in Bagdad 
from Egypt and India without meeting the full strength 
of submarine menace that had so hampered Balkan operations. 



Belgium^ as providing a better route to the Atlantic, and 
Serbia, a vestibule leading to the East, had been the chief 
German war objectives. But failure before Paris and Calais 
had dimmed Germany's hope of keeping Belgium, and she 
turned for comfort to an Eastern empire that she believed 
she had securely won, and that was worth winning. Once 
a tunnel could be built under the Bosporus and the Bagdad 
railway pushed to Bassora, a man would be able to go 
from Hamburg without change of cars to a deep-water port 
off the Persian Gulf, where a Hamburg steamship line had 
actually been established before the war began. Thus trav- 
elers would have passed a dozen fine cities, or the routes 
that led to them, rich agricultural lands in Asia Minor, 
a Mesopotamia needing only irrigation to be once more a 
garden, and the gates to Persia and India. In the cold 
winter days of 1916-17, lacking food and coal, isolated from 
the world and sorrowing over dead, Germans had drawn com- 
fort from their dreams of **a place in the sun" beyond 
the Mediterranean. Those dreams had now had a rude 
awakening. How the Turk was to get back Bagdad, or 
even to avoid further reverses, was a problem Berlin sought 
vainly to solve. Meantime the world took note that, for 
the time being at least, Berlin's war-cry had been reversed 
in Entente hands so that it read, not Berlin to Bagdad, but 
'* Bagdad to Berlin." 

The next objective of the British was ]\Iosul, some two 
hundred miles farther up the Tigris. Here was the present 
eastern terminal of the railway from Constantinople to Bag- 
dad, the part leading beyond Mosul down to Bagdad not 
having yet been built. Mosul was the center toward which 
further advances were now being made from three direc- 
tions: First was the British army under General Maude 
advancing northward from Bagdad; secondly, the Russians 
advancing from Persia westward from the direction of 
Hamadan; and, third, other Russians, presumably under the 
Grand Duke Nicholas, advancing southward from Lake Van 
and Armenia. The distances were ^reat, but that a junction 
could be made between these forces, and that they coul^ 
then move westward toward Constantinople, was not beyond 
the bounds of probability. Such a movement, once under way, 



would threaten Constantinople from the rear. All indica- 
tions were that the Turks were no longer receiving such 
assistance and overseeing from Germany as they had at 
Gallipoli and the Straits. 

General Maude's expedition was curiously parallel to 
Kitchener's march to Khartum. For years the British ef- 
forts to reconquer the Sudan had failed, and at least one 
insuflficiently equipped Egyptian expeditionary force had 
been destroyed. In one of the best and most economically 
managed campaigns of its kind, Kitchener had reconquered 
the Sudan and left the Mahdists no chance to **come back." 
Maude's army was doing now what Kitchener did then, and 
what the unlucky Townshend undertook to do in the first 
advance on Bagdad. The occupation of Bagdad was ac- 
cepted in Germany as **an undeniable success for the Brit- 
ish, especially as they had also succeeded in driving the 
Turks from the Sinai Peninsula." The event was to be re- 
gretted, but it **had not the least influence on the decision 
of the war, Mesopotamia being a secondary theater of op- 

By March 14, British and Russian forces were nearing a 
point north of Bagdad, where it seemed possible for them 
eventually to' effect a junction. On both fronts the Turks 
were hastily retiring. By March 18 the retreat of the Turks 
had been turned to a rout. General Maude had dislodged 
them from a strong position on the Tigris, and scattered 
remnants of three divisions were in flight toward Samara, 
over a distance of twenty miles. Coincident with this vic- 
tory came news of Russian successes against the Turks on 
both the Persian and Armenian fronts. The Russians had 
come within ten miles of the Mesopotamian border at three 
points west and northwest of Kermanshah. Three impor- 
tant villages had fallen to them, and they had driven an 
entire Turkish column, with two battalions of infantry, six 
guns and three squadrons of cavalry, into the trackless 
mountains west of Kanijaran. On the Armenian front the 
Grand Duke's forces had captured "Van, an important town 
on the eastern shores of Lake Van, and thus opened the way 
for an advance southeastward toward the British and other 
Russian armies. 



The junction of British and Russian forces along the 
Diala River, northeast of Bagdad, signalized what was per- 
haps the most successful co-ordinated military operation the 
Allies had shown si^ce the beginning of the war. When the 
British delivered the final blow at Kut-el-Amara, the Rus- 
sians were in the neighborhood of Hamadan, and imme- 
diately took advantage of the Turkish defeat on the Tigris. 
The Russian advance from Hamadan to Khanikin covered 
nearly 250 miles in six weeks, a remarkable rate of progress 
considering the nature of the country through which the 
march lay. The territory won from the Turks by this ad- 
vance and the parallel Russian movement further north in 
the mountains south of Lake Urumia, represented a gain of 
more than 25,000 square miles. The Anglo-Russian aline- 
ment along the Diala River recalled something of the pre- 
cision of the Mackensen-Hindenburg advance into Russia 
two years before. The next step was to be a move upon 
Mosul, some 200 miles north of Bagdad. With the Allies 
established at that point the whole Turkish campaign in 
Armenia would be affected, and an .Allied line would have 
been established from the Black Sea to the Persian Gulf, cut- 
ting off a vast Turkish area. By this junction the situation 
of the Turkish forces was rendered doubly critical. For 
weeks the move had been foreseen. It was brilliantly 
executed in spite of great difficulties arising from the char- 
acter of the country. Ever since Maude's army captured 
Bagdad, the British had been steadily crowding the re- 
treating Turks northward along the Tigris and Diala rivers, 
while the Russians rapidly moved westward from Hamadan 
and Kermanshah in Persia. Another Russian force threat- 
ened the Turkish communications with their base at Mosul. 
The breakdown of Turkey, hard prest as it was in Meso- 
potamia and Armenia, promised to leave Bulgaria little 
choice but to seek the best terms possible on her own 

Disasters for the Turks on two fronts were oflScially re- 
ported on April 20. In Mesopotamia, seventy miles north 
of Bagdad, Maude had routed the Eighteenth Ottoman 
Army Corps and had taken more than 1,200 prisoners. In 
Palestine, before Gaza, the forces of General Dobell, as- 


IN The east, near east, and south 

sisted by warships' operating from the coast two miles away, 
had cleared the Turkish forward trenches on a front of six 
and a half miles, and were advancing on the city. Maude's 
victory was the result of a flanking movement, in which he 
drove the Turks back from the Diala triangle after a bril- 
liant night march across the desert from the right bank of 
the Tigris. He had now crossed the Adhem, another tribu- 
tary of the Tigris. Apparently there was little* to stop a 
Russo-British march on Mosul. Before a dash of British 
Indian troops the Turks had been utterly routed. General 
Maude on April 24 surprized an Ottoman division on the 
Shatt-el-Adhem and drove them ten miles further north, 
with heavy losses in prisoners and transport. His victory 
resulted in the capture of 687 prisoners and 17 guns, besides 
much valuable booty. In two days of fighting before Iztabi- 
lat, Maude took, besides the prisoners, a 5.9 gun, 14 Krupp 
guns, 2 machine-guns, 1,240 rifles, hundreds of hand- 
grenades, 200 rounds of artillery ammunition, 540,000 rounds 
of rifle-ammunition, four limbers, 240 trucks, 16 engines, 
and much other material. Constantinople declared that the 
Turks ** withdrew according to plan.'' The Turks, on April 
13, sustained another defeat, when the British v/on by out- 
generaling them. They made a strategic retreat, drawing 
the Turks after them, and followed this by a night march 
which enabled them to fall on the Turks from the flank, 
and put them to rout, inflicting upon them a loss of 200 
killed and 700 wounded. 

Samara, which fell in this flghting, had been for a brief 
period of forty years a rival of Bagdad. The Samara of 
to-day is almost swallowed up within the site of the ancient 
and famous city of Old Samara, or Samarra. It is con- 
nected with the right bank of the river by a bridge of boats. 
The ruins of the older city stretch along the left bank for 
a distance of nearly twenty miles. Among the crumbling 
monuments of its departed glory are the chief mosque, the 
Halviyeh minaret and two palaces built by the ninth century 
califs. One of the royal residences was erected by Mota- 
wakil at a cost of two million dinars ($4,500,000), the 
money being extorted from minor officials of the realm who 
had abused their power to amass great wealth. Samara is 



now a town of perhaps 2,500 inhabitants, wifli a few khans 
and shops on the opposite bank of the river. Eight califs 
ruled from Samara between 836 and 876, and of these five 
suffered violent deaths. 

A battle in Mesopotamia on September 27, which re- 
sulted in the capture by the British of the village of Ramadi, 
was one of those illuminating ineideDts of the war which 
had come unfrequently. It demonstrated that, in spite of 
the development of trench-warfare, the old idea of strategy. 


based on surprize made possible by great mobility, had not 
been abandoned. In fact the entire Mesopotamian campaign 
of the British had been, in its esaential elements, strategical 
rather than tactical. This distinction was seen when the 
Mesopotamian situation was compared with that which ex- 
isted on the Western Front. In the latter case strategy, 
as the term has always been understood, had no longer a 
place; the very existence of permanent trenches was 
anathema to the term. The success of the British, while 


based on elements of skilful leadership, was due entirely to 
the tactics employed — the unprecedented use of artillery in 
overwhelming quantities. But in Mesopotamia it was a war 
of movement. The mechanical superiority of one combatant 
over the other was not marked. The advantage in numbers, 
if on either side, rested with the Turks. And yet the year 
1917 had been for the Turks an unending series of disasters. 
The answer was found in the skill of the British leader, in 
the excellence of General Maude's strategy. 

The Turks had concentrated at the village of Ramadi a 
large store of supplies, both food and military, preparatory 
to moving down the Euphrates, following the south bank, 
with the idea of cutting in behind the British who, after 
the capture of Bagdad, had moved north up the Tigris to 
Samara, an4 had at the same time spread out southward 
as far as the northern bank of the Euphrates. By follow- 
ing the south bank of the river eastward, the Turks, if 
successful in their surprize-movement, would have been 
thrown to the rear of the British forces, and so threatened 
their lines of communication. As General Maude had a 
complement of airplanes for observation purposes, he un- 
doubtedly discovered that a concentration was being made 
and guessed accurately its object. He moved forward, fol- 
lowing directly up the southern bank, and his infantry 
seized a group of low heights about four miles east of the 
town. He then did exactly the same thing that Lee did at 
Chancellorsville when he detached a heavy column, under 
Jackson, from the main body and sent it forward over the 
road to fall on Hooker's flank. The British column which 
was detached left the river, maneuvered to the south of the 
Turkish position and thereby reached its flank, at the same 
time that a cavalry column, having greater mobility, reached 
to the west of the Ramadi position and occupied the low 
ridge which forms the eastern boundary of the little valley 
of Amih. The Turks were then surrounded. 

The British force moved in two columns on the night of 
September 27, and at dawn attacked Mushaid Ridge, a low 
line of dunes running north and south from the Euphrates 
to the Habbaniyah Canal. By morning the dam of the 
canal had fallen into their hands and was rendered passable 



for all arms. As the Turks had evacuated the main crest 
of the ridge, the right column was withdrawn and swinging 
around to the west behind the left column became the left 
wing of the force. The British front, three and a half 
miles in breadth, now lay between the Habbaniyah Canal on 
the right and the Azizyah Canal on the left at a point nine 
miles from the Euphrates. Cavalry made a wide, sweeping 
■ movement across the desert around the right Sank of the 
Turks and were soon established astride the Aleppo Road 
. on a regular line of hills ru7i- 
ning to the river at right angles, 
within five miles of Ramadie. 
By this move the Turks were 
cornered. They had no bridge 
behind them, and were cut off 
from all reinforcements or sup- 
plies. Their only chance was 
to make determined counter- 
attacks and break through. 
Meanwhile infantry was clos- 
ing in. One column attacked 
Ramadie Ridge on the right, 
while the other worked around 
to Aziziyah Ridge, on the 

General Maude had demon- 
strated that this was not every- 
where and necessarily a war Gen. Sib Btahlky Maudb 
of trenches and of pounding. 

The world had last heard of him early in the summer going 
up the Tigris while the Turks were throwing guns into the 
river in a mad rush to get away. Then the heat descended 
on Mesopotamia, putting an end to fighting as effectually 
as snows and rains did for four successive winters in 
Prance. "When Maude found the Turks moving to cut his 
communications he turned their trap into one for themselves. 
There was not a particle of pounding in his method. He 
suddenly seized a commanding ridge when the Turks were 
not expecting it. By the time they were aroused their main 
position was being attacked on the southeast, while cavalry 
V. VIII— 14 201 


assailed them from the west. By nightfall the Turks were 
penned in, with the Euphrates on the north, British infan- 
try and artillery on the east and south, and cavalry on the 
west. The surrounding army attacked from all sides with 
such fury that the Turks surrendered in thousands, includ- 
ing their general and his staff. This was a victory of 
strategy, dash, and determination, the old-fashioned kind of 
fighting, but it was won in Maude's own way. His accom- 
plishment had had no precedent on the side of the Allies. 
Then suddenly the death of Maude at fifty-three was an- 
nounced in official dispatches that reached London on 
November 10. At the outset of the war he was a colonel on 
the General Staff with a record achieved in the South- 
African War. He had served on various British fronts in 
the World War, and on August 28, 1916, was placed in 
command of the Mesopotamian army. 

The circumstances of Maude's death, as stated in the 
House of Commons by Lloyd George several months after- 
ward, in asking for a grant of £25,000 to Maude's widow, 
were that he had been invited to a native ceremonial, after 
his advance beyond Bagdad, in going to which he had 
warned the men who accompanied him against drinking the 
water, because of the existence of cholera in the country. 
At this ceremony, however, a cup of water formed an 
essential part of the proceedings and one was offered to 
Maude, who, out of respect for the natives whose guest he 
was, drank it. The cup contained the fatal cholera germ, 
and Maude died soon afterward. 

The British campaign in Mesopotamia by April, 1918, had 
taken a rather surprizing turn. British forces advanced north- 
ward from Bagdad and east of the Tigris to within striking 
distance of Mosul. Several weeks before another expedition 
had been reported on the Euphrates — after defeating a con- 
siderable Turkish army — and apparently was advancing 
toward Aleppo, the junction of the Syrian and Bagdad rail- 
roads. It seemed then as if the English objectives were 
to cut off Mosul, on the one hand, and the whole of Syria, 
on the other, from communication with Constantinople by 
one and the same blow. Nobody at the time had imagined 
that the British had enough troops in Mesopotamia to strike 



simultaneously at Aleppo and Mosul. But this was what 
they were doing, and doing sueeessfully. In that event, 
German-Turkish threats of a counter-effort either in Meso- 
potamia or Syria seemed mere pretext. Twelve additional 
fieid-guns were captured on April 29, when the total of 
prisoners reached 1,800." 

" Principal Sources : The "Military Eipert" of The Times, The Evening 
Post, The fiun. New York ; The London rimes' "HlBtorj of the War," "Nel- 
son's Hlstorj of the War" by John BDcban ; Tbe World, The Times, "Bul- 
letlDs" of the National .Geographic Society, New York. 



January, 1917— October 26, 1918 

EARLY in the war Turkish forces had twice reached the 
Suez Canal, and so threatened British control of the 
shortest route to India, but it was not until January, 1917, 
that all Turkish menace to the canal was removed, as the 
result of a series of British vietorieis which cleared the 
Turks out of the Sinai peninsula and carried a counter- 
attack into Palestine. Purther south, the Red Sea coast of 
Arabia had meanwhile been lost to the Turks and the in- 
dependent Kingdom of Hedjaz had been set up. Since leav- 
ing the Suez Canal one hundred miles of waterless desert 
had been traversed by the British by January, 1917. In 
the autumn of 1916 they had pushed a railway line from 
Kantara across the desert. This was one of the memorable 
achievements of the British campaign. 

Warfare in this country had been much like warfare in 
the old Sudan campaign of thirty years before, the con- 
dition being that before each new move could be made, large 
quantities of supplies had to be collected at an advanced 
base. After an action was fought and the front cleared a 
pause would ensue until a railway could be carried forward 
and a new reserve of supplies accumulated. The task 
proved harder in the Sinai Peninsula than it was in the 
Sudan, because in the peninsula there was no river. After 
the Katia basin had been left behind, water was almost non- 
existent. Supplies of it had first to be brought by rail in 
tank-trucks and then a pipe-line had to be laid. The work 
entailed was arduous. Camel transports had to help to 
bridge gaps between the rail-head and the front. 

Lands here fought over already, or soon to furnish battle- 
fields, had for twenty-six hundred years been a cockpit of 



war. Sometimes a conqueror from the north like 
Nebuchadnezzar, or from the south like Ali Bey, or Napoleon, 
or Mehemet Ali, had met an enemy in Egypt or Syria, and 
the decisive fight had occurred in Palestine. Ashkelon, 
Gaza, Rafa, El Arish, are famous in all history as battle 
names. Up and down that strip of seaward levels marched 
the great armies of Egypt and Assyria, while Jews looked 
fearfully on them from barren hills. In the Philistian . 
plain Sennacherib smote Egyptian hosts in the days of King 
Hezekiah, only to see his army melt away under the stroke 
of the ** Angel of the Lord." At Rafa, Esarhaddon de- 
feated Pharaoh, and added Egypt arid Ethiopia to his 
kingdom. On the same plain Scythian hordes were bought * 
off with blackmail by Psammetichus. At Armageddon, 
Josiah was vanished by Pharaoh Necho, who in turn was 
routed by Nebuchadnezzar. At Gaza the first Ptolemy 
was beaten by the young Demetrius, and at Rafa a century 
later, Ptolemy the Fourth shattered the Seleucid army. 
Twenty years later came the siege of Gaza by Antiochus the 
Third, and then the land had rested until 614 a.d., when the 
last great Sassanid, Chosroes II, swept down on Egypt. 
Leaping across five hundred years the eyes of the world 
were again centered on Ashkelon, when Godfrey of 
Bouillon,^^ the crusading King of Jerusalem, defeated the 
Egyptians, and a century and a half later, after being for 
long a Frankish stronghold, it fell to the Mameluke Sultan 
after a battle at Gaza. In this gateway of ancient feuds 
it had now fallen to Turkey's lot to cross swords fatally 
with the British. 

Palestine as a battle-ground might have been called the 
Belgium of the ancient and medieval world. From the 
dawn of history only two other regions could compare with 
it as a theater for the clash of peoples and conquerors — 
the lower Rhine and the plains of northern Italy. The 
lower Rhine rivaled Palestine in its thick-strewn names of 
great battlefields; northern Italy, in the names of great 
commanders who fought in its territory. Among renowned 
names in military history Palestine could claim all but 

« Bouillon, the place from which Godfrey derived his title as a duke, Is now 
a small town in the Belgian part of Luxemburg. 



Hannibal and C«esar and possibly Genghis Khan. All the 
others — Rameses, Alexander the Great, Pompey, Abu Bekr, 
Judas Maccabeus, Omar, Tamurlane and Napoleon — had 
fou^t on its soil. The parallel with Flanders ran much 
closer than with northern Italy, for Palestine, like Belgium, 
had been less an object of desire in itself than as a bridge 
between contending empires. What Belgium had been to 
Germans, British, and French, Palestine had been to the 
great monarchies of the Nile, Euphrates, and Tigris. The 
test of battle had usually taken place around Gaza, when 
it was Egypt that stood on the defensive, or one hundred 
miles further north, when the attack came from above. Be- 
tween the heights of Gilboa and Tabor, near the shores of 
Galilee and Mount Carmel, lies the plain of Esdraelon (or 
Jezreel, or Armageddon), which is the Ramillies, the 
Fleurus, the Waterloo, the Po Quadrilateral, the Sedan, of the 
ancient world. Esdraelon had witnessed the victories of 
Thotmes over Hittites, of Gideon over Midianites, of Philis- 
tines over Saul and his sons, of a second Pharaoh oyer 
Josiah, King of Judah, and of Napoleon's Marshal, Kleber, 
over th^ Turks. 

Soldiers in French and Flemish trenches had been in- 
clined to look upon the Egyptian campaign as a realization 
of the war of movement that soldiers in the great war had 
longed for, but it was less the movement of cavalry riding 
for an objective than the slow process of engineers daily 
completing a small section of line in sun-baked sand. 
Hundreds of miles of water-piping were laid, with filters 
capable of supplying 1,500,000 gallons of water daily; 
reservoirs were installed, tons of stone being transported 
from distant quarries. In due course Kantara was trans- 
formed from a small canal village into an important rail- 
v/ay and water-terminus, with wharves, cranes, and a railway 
ferrv. A desert, till then almost destitute of human habita- 
tion, now showed successive marks of the British advance 
to firmly entrenched positions protected by hundreds of 
miles of barbed wire, standing camps where troops found 
shelter in comfortable huts, tanks, and reservoirs, railway- 
stations and sidings, aerodromes, signal-stations and wireless 
installations. These activities subdued the desert and made 



it habitable, with adequate lines of communication between 
the advancing troops and their ever-receding bases. 

When, from time to time, the British were ready to 
strike, the Turks often were not there to meet them. On 
the night of December 19, 1916, it was found that they had 
evacuated positions they had elaborately fortified. On the 
night of the 20th Australian and New Zealand mounted 
troops, supported by camel corps, marched twenty miles, 
and reached El Arish at sunrise only to find that the 
Turkish garrison of 1,600 men had fallen back upon 
Magdhaba. A frontier town, which for two years had been 
in Turkish hands, was thus restored to Egypt. Mine- 
sweeping operations were begun in the roadstead, and a 
pier was built. By the 24th supply-ships from Port Said 
began to unload stores in the harbor" which the British had 
won as a necessary advance base for major operations. A 
flying coiumn found the Turks at Magdhaba, twenty miles 
to the south-southwest, in a strong position on both .banks 
of the Wadi-el-Arish. Here followed a perfect little action 
in which, by four o'clock, after a bayonet-charge by a 
light-horse regiment, the place was won, the British casual- 
ties being twelve oflScers and 134 others killed and wounded. 
More than 1,200 prisoners were taken besides four mountain- 
guns, one machine-gun and over a thousand rifles. On 
January 9, Rafa had fallen. New Zealanders taking the 
main redoubt. When the action lasting ten hours was over, 
a relieving enemy column, from Shellal, was driven back, 
the British casualties being 487, and the enemy losing 1,600, 
besides unwounded prisoners, six machine-guns, four moun- 
tain-guns and a quantity of transport. The two actions of 
Magdhaba and Rafa showed the perfect cooperation of all 
arms of the service in battles of the old type, where mobility 
and tactical boldness carried the day. The result was the 
clearing of the Sinai desert of all Turkish troops. Opera- 
tions back in the interior, conducted by small flying-columns 
of cavalry and camelry, kept pace with the greater move- 
ment. The British were now beyond the desert, on the edge 
of a habitable country, the next objective the Gaza-Beersheba 
line which was the gateway to Syria. 

From Beersheba, the terminus of the trunk line north- 



ward through Syria, to Aleppo on the Bagdad line was four 
hundred miles. From this trunk line ran four branch lines 
to the Levantine coast — at Tripolis, Beirut, Haifa, and Jaffa. 
From Damascus the road ran in a southeasterly direction to 
Medina. With the British advance on the Tigris, combined 
with this advance into Syria, the Asiatic Empire of the 
Turk appeared as if it had never been quite so imperiled 
as now. The British in moving on toward Jerusalem had be- 
fore them besides Damascus, Aleppo, their ultimate objective, 
for it was the gateway leading from the west to Bagdad. If 
Aleppo could be taken, the main supply-line of the Turkish 
armies in the Near East would be taken. But before reach- 
ing either Damascus or Aleppo the British had to take 
Jerusalem. High enthusiasm was aroused over this pros- 
pect. The ancient capital of Palestine, the city of the Holy 
Sepulcher, was last held by the English in the time of 
Richard Coeur de Lion. The menace was directed first 
against the railroad from the port of Jaffa. Thirty-five 
miles east of Jerusalem ran the Damascus-Medina railroad, 
which fed Palestine, and the southern part of which was 
already in possession of the Arabs. "With Jaffa as a base, the 
British would be able to assemble a force which, moving 
north, could cut out the Damascus railway. British pos- 
session of both Jerusalem and Jaffa promised to solve a 
serious problem for American missionaries. For many 
weeks the United States ships Des Moines and CcBsar had 
been waiting at Alexandria for assurances permitting them 
to take to Syrian ports food and supplies desperately needed 
in the interior, but had been put off by Teutonic diplomacy. 
The hope now lay in an expulsion of the Turks by British 

Late in March the British defeated a Turkish army of 
20,000 men, capturing 900, including a general and the entire 
. divisional staff of the Fifty-third Turkish Division, and ad- 
vanced fifteen miles along the coast, from Rafa to Wadi 
Ghuzzeh, a river five miles south of Gaza — Oaza being 
twenty miles north of the Egyptian-Syrian boundary. As 
Gaza is almost directly west of Hebron, this brought the 
British front to a straight line across nearly the entire 
breadth of Palestine between the Mediterranean and the 





Dead Sea. The army near Gaza undertook to construct a 
railway to facilitate operations in the interior. 

The British success seemed as decisive as their victory at 
Kut-el-Amara on the Tigris, but doubtful if General Murray 
could follow up as rapidly as Maude had done at Kut. 
The latter had the Tigris and his gun-boats to harass the 
retreating Turks, while in Palestine the British had to 
follow a road along the coast, an ancient and historic high- 
way now largely a desert road, unless a British fleet could 
cooperate with the army. The coast-road here runs so close 
to the Mediterranean as to lie under the fire of a moderate- 
sized naval gun. The immediate objective of the British 
was the Palestine ports as well as Jerusalem, rather than 
a drive through the desert against the Damascus-Mekka 
railway. The campaign as a whole coordinated itself with 
the fighting in Mesopotamia and Armenia, uniform pressure 
being exerted on Turkish armies from both directions. 

The construction by the British of railways as inci- 
dents in such advances revealed the elaborate preparation 
necessary for victory even in such comparatively small 
operations. As the British had been carrying a railway 
into Palestine all the way from the Suez Canal, so Maude 
had built a railway from Bassora to I^ut, and was engaged 
in extendiQg it to Bagdad. In astfdijton, Maude had con- 
structed virtually a new channel ier ij^j^ Tigris, and created 
new harbor works at Bassora. Sefein lay some future 
profit for the world out of the wreck and wastefulness of 
war. Railways, harbors, roads, and bridges built for mili- 
tary purposes, would remain to serve the interests of peace. 
Just as Poland, whatever might be her destiny, would 
profit by the roads which the Germans had built for their 
advance on Warsaw, so Palestine, whomever it was to call 
master, would have her railway into Egypt, and Meso- 
potamia would have hers to the Persian Gulf. 

Gaza — Samson's Gaza — lies forty-eight miles southwest of 
Jerusalem. In the Book of Judges it is recorded how 
Samson, escaping from Gaza, **took the doors of the gate 
of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, 
bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them 
up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.'' Thus, 



once more the war in the East put an old and sacred city 
again on the map, giving a military importance to historic 
localities of which little more had been left in modern memo- 
ries than a name and a tradition. . The Dardanelles expedition 
had reanimated the plain of Troy. Mekka and Medina, the 
old shrines of Moslem pilgrims, had become modern 
strategic points. Bagdad, city of the Calif, came again into 
chronicles of great deeds. The campaign of Xenophon's 
''Ten Thousand,'' after twenty centuries, had acquired a 
new parallel at Trebizond. A battle for mastery in Meso- 
potamia and Asia Minor was fought in the ** Garden of 
Eden.*' Much that happened read like chapters from 
Rawlinson. While the Western Front had been a great 
theater of war since the time of Caesar, it was the Par 
Eastern Front — the Holy Land and the Tigris and 
Euphrates — that revived the oldest of war's romances. That 
the cradle of the human race should have become in our 
century a great battle-ground, stirred romantic recollections 
as no other of the war's campaigns could do. 

The British, in the third week of March, surprized the 
enemy on a foggy dawn when he could have known nothing 
of danger unless a German airman soaring in the filmy 
clouds on the previous evening had detected columns of dust 
arising from the western fringe of the great plain of Gaza. 
The fog delayed the opening and development of the attack 
till 10 o'clock and time was the essense of the day's work, 
as Turkish reinforcements were within fifteen miles. The 
position was separated from the sea by two miles of golden 
sand-hills with trenches that ran southwest and then bent 
toward the east, the position consisting of two main hills, 
one north of the other, with a sand-hill between. The 
southern hill was a perfect labyrinth of deeply cut trenches 
and redoubts, skilfully selected, but with no barbed-wire 
framework to disclose a position of formidable strength. 
There were seven Turkish infantry battalions, the artillery 
mostly served by Austrian gunners. When the western skies 
became aglow with an exceptionally beautiful sunset, the 
vast plain was seen to be alive with troops. Long lines 
trailed across the plain, lifting low clouds of dust. Equally 
long serpentine lines of cavalry raised higher clouds, while 



artillery ammunition columns laboriously made their own 
paths. Slower and never ending supply-trains made other 
paths. Camels, bearing troops and war-material, wound 
their way over the plain long after the crescent moon had 
ceased to cast its light across the country. 

The country fought over was otherwise difficult, intersected 
as it was by ravines and nullahs, big cracks in the ground, 
and the precipitous banks of the Wadi Ghuzzeh, which had 
to be crossed in an enveloping cavalry movement, its bed 
soft and sandy, its banks often forty feet high. Anzac 
mounted troops and British Yeomanry, with horse-artillery 
batteries, got across in the dark, after having cut down its 
banks and built ramps for guns. Oaza lay visible in the 
background with its red-roofed and white-walled houses, en- 
closed by lemon- and olive-groves. Towering above all was 
the minaret of the mosque, formerly the Church of St. 
John, founded by Knights Templars in the twelfth century, 
and taken from them by Saladin. One could also see Ali 
Muntar, the high mound up which Samson carried the 
gates. The artillery operations provided an inspiring sight 
when bursts of shrapnel smudged the cerulean blue and 
high-explosive shells raised clouds of dust with vast quanti- 
ties of earth from enemy entrenchments. Here in the fourth 
week of April British forces defeated the Turks., 

Gaza was one of five great cities of the Philistines, having 
risen to commercial importance from its situation at the 
junction of trade-routes between ■ Egypt and Babylonia, 
Elath and Arabia. The Philistines were a powerful warlike 
people, their soldiers equipped with copper helmets, coats 
of mail, javelins, and long lances, each man thus accoutered 
being accompanied into battle by a shield-bearer. After the 
Israelites conquered it, Gaza became a prey to Assyrians, 
Babylonians, and Persians, and resisted the Greeks under 
Alexander the Great for several months. More than two 
centuries later it was destroyed by Alexander Jannaeus, a 
Jewish king. Subsequently a new Gaza, some distance to 
the south of the old city, was built and presented by the 
Emperor Augustus to King Herod. Upon the latter 's death 
it became a part of the Roman province of Syria. Crusaders 
under Baldwin II tried to revive its former state, but with- 



out success. Twenty years after their erection here of a mili- 
tary stronghold Saladin plundered the town. Napoleon cap- 
tured it in 1799. El Muntar ("the wateh tower") is 
thought to be the eminence to which the strong man of 
Israel "took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two 
posts, and went away with them, bar and all." It was in 
Gaza that the final tragic chapter in Samson's life was 
enacted, "And Samson said: 'Let me die with the Philis- 
tines,' " so runs the Biblical account. "And he bowed him- 


self with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, 
and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead 
which he slew at his death were more than they which he 
slew in his life." Gaza is to-day a city of some 40,000 

Late in October, Beersheba was captured by the British 
under General AUenby, who had succeeded to the command 
and was to fill the world with his fame for great martial 
deeds before the end of 1918. Beersheba, twenty-seven miles 
southeast of Gaza, was of strategic importance, lying as it did 



on the railway which, beginning near the Sinai frontier, 
ran north about fifteen miles from the coast and forty miles 
west of the Damascus-Medina line, to which it was parallel. 
Beersheba means **the well of oath," a name due to a cove- 
nant made there between Abraham and Abimelech. In the 
Old Testament it is frequently used to describe an extent 
of country, or the length of a journey, as **from Dan to 
Beersheba/' Its capture was the first sign of activity that 
had come out of Palestine in months. The British under 
Murray had been checked after their advance had been going 
forward. Under Allenby the place was now taken in a 
brilliant night-charge in which the British surprized and 
overwhelmed the Turks. Infantry and Australian horsemen 
shared in the victory. Cavalry movements had to be carried 
out at night, because of the great clouds of dust that they 
raised, which in daylight would have disclosed their pres- 
ence to the enemy. Infantry first tore down wire-entangle- 
ments. Then, just as the moon rose over the Judean hills, 
cavalry with fixt bayonets charged against strongly held 
trenches, overwhelmed the Turks and galloped into the 
town, infantry facing the northern, western, and south- 
western defenses. The entrenchments were elaborate, skil- 
fully chosen, and heavily protected by wire and guns. 

What in the spring were fertile, rolling downs, had be- 
come sun-parched deserts, the slightest movement raising 
dust. Only a few trees and cactus-hedges between the sea 
and the gaunt hills relieved the picture. In these surround- 
ings Allenby effected a surprize which the Turks had con- 
sidered impossible, the place being deemed by them impreg- 
nable. Some of the horsemen had ridden thirty miles be- 
fore they got into action. The taking of the Telelsaba foot- 
hills, three miles east of the town, was a difficult operation 
as the hills presented a redoubt of great strength and were 
almost unapproachable because of steep banks running along 
the river. In Beersheba everywhere was evidence that 
the Turks had been taken by surprize. They had blown up 
a railway engine and burned the engine-house. Warehouses 
full of corn were, however, almost intact, altho attempts 
had been made to fire them. Fifteen guns were captured 
and prisoners to the number of 444 included 26 ofiicers. 



By November 7 AUenby had advanced to within thirty- 
three miles of Jerusalem. Pushing northward along one 
of the caravan routes he had taken Khilwellfeh. Further 
west Gaza fell before troops advancing up the Mediterranean 
coast. The British had first attacked Turkish lines defend- 
ing Gaza on November 1. They captured the first line de- • 
fenses on a front of 5,000 yards and took 296 prisoners and 
five machine-guns. Three counter-attacks were driven oflf 
before the town fell. The British campaign at last was 
developing into ultimate success. The plan was practically 
the same as that of the previous year, wh'ch had met with 
failure because of Murray's check at Gaza. Two columns were 
now advancing simultaneously northward, one on the in- 
land route by way of Beersheba, the other along the coast, 
by way of Gaza. The coast enterprise had back of it the 
railroad through the Sinai peninsula and a pipe-line that 
carried an adequate water-supply, and in addition it had 
the support of a British fleet. By November 9 the Turkish 
army in Palestine was retreating to the north. British air- 
planes were following up and bombing retiring Turks. 
Ashkelon was taken, ships from the British and French 
navies cooperating with British land forces. By November 
16 AUenby 's forces were three miles south of Jaffa, on the 
railroad that connects Jaffa with Jerusalem and about 
twenty-two miles northwest of the Holy City. Two days 
later Jaffa was taken, the Turks offering no opposition. 

Altho the. British force in Mesopotamia, after the death of 
Maude, had temporarily ceased its offensive, AUenby in 
Palestine continued his forward course. Jerusalem was 
practically surrounded by November 25 and its evacuation 
by the Turks was expected to follow soon. German in- 
fluence in Syria, directed by Falkenhayn and Sanders, and 
Turkish influence throughout Asia Minor, was now in the 
balance, and if Jerusalem fell, would receive a staggering 
blow. The British in Mesopotamia and Palestine were 
widely separated, and, to the casual observer had little in 
common, but there was a close and distinct relation between 
them. Turkish resistance, wherever the British operated, 
was crumbling. Turks were showing complete inability to 
offer sustained and effective resistan<5e. Should the British 



take Jerusalem, with its advantages of terrain and rail- 
communication with the sea, there was strong possibility of 
their being able to move northward soon. 

By December 10, Jerusalem was in the hands of the 
British. It capitulated to Allenby's force of British, French, 
and Italian troops, after it liad been entirely surrounded. 
With its fall was swept away all that remained of the dream 
of Germans and Turks of driving southward through Pales- 
tine to capture the Suez Canal and invade Egypt. Since 
the taking of Jaffa and the gradual closing in on Jerusalem, 
the fall of the city had been anticipated. It was not lack 
of Allied strength that prevented its capture earlier. 
AUenby's desire was to carry out a plan of enveloping it 
and forcing its capitulation, since a frontal attack would 
have endangered numerous sacred places inside the city and 
its environs. Its capture marked the end, with two brief 
interludes, of more than 1,200 years of possession by Mo- 
hammedans. The last Christian ruler of Jerusalem was the 
German Emperor, Frederick II, whose short-lived domina- 
tion lasted only from 1229 to 1244. Its fall was virtually 
assured after the British took Jaffa. 

When Bagdad fell one of the historic centers of Moslem 
domination passed out of the hands of the receding Turks, 
but Bagdad was only a political capital. Turkish hold on 
it affronted no precious religious sense of the Moslem world. 
But Christian and Jew alike had long been impatient at the 
thought of alien and infidel occupation of the Holy Land — 
the land of Gethsemane and the Mouift of Olives, the 
heritage of the house of David. The Western nations had 
shed their blood freely in the Middle Ages to recover its 
Christian sanctuaries. They did recover them for a time 
from the Saracens, but the crusading spirit died away and 
the military diflSculties were found insuperable. Its fall in 
1917 had little military significance. Indecisive from a 
military point of view, its loss, with its garrison, was, how- 
ever, an unmistakable sign of Turkish collapse. All the 
world thus interpreted it. By Mohammedan, Christian, and 
Jew alike the passing of Turkish control was accepted as 
final and irrevocable. 

Here in Jeriasalem one political readjustment due 



to war was fully accomplished. The world was right in 
assuming that, whatever else happened, Turkish rule in 
Jerusalem was at an end. After seven centuries a new 
crusade had been crowned with victory. Ottoman dominion 
over the city had lasted all those centuries and now ended 
without so much as a stone of the city being scratched or an 
inch of soil destroyed. In none of her previous seventeen cap- 
tures had Jerusalem escaped in war so absolutely unscathed. 
It was to the glory of British arms that the most venerated 
place of the Christian world came unharmed through the 
ordeal of battle. No British gun was sighted within a con- 
siderable distance of its walls, altho Turkish artillery fired 
from positions close to the city, including the Mount of 
Olives. Of British fire the inhabitants could make out noth- 
ing except the distant rumble of guns as carried by the 
wind. For a fortnight English, Irish, Welsh, Australians, 
and New Zealanders had looked on Jerusalem from distant 

The oflScial entry was a ceremony worthy of the occasion. 
In the place from which the Savior's teaching of peace on 
earth and good will toward men was spread throughout the 
world, there was no pageantry of arms, no display of the 
pomp and circumstance of an army victorious in war. 
AUenby and his small staff, with less than 150 troops, became 
the center of a quiet ceremonial in which martial law was 
proclaimed and a meeting of city notables and heads of re- 
ligious bodies was held. No thunderous salutes acclaimed 
the victory ; no flags were hoisted ; no enemy flag was hauled 
down ; no soldiers shouted in triumph — ^just a short military 
procession took place in the Mount Zion quarter, 200 yards 
from the walls, a purely military act with a minimum of 
military display. No bells in the ancient belfries rang; no 
Te Deums were sung; no preacher came forth to point a 
moral to the multitude. It was not necessary for a parade 
of troops to tell the people that a new system of government 
had come in backed by military strength. The earlier fight- 
ing on the hills and in deep-cut valleys near the Holy City 
had been proof of that. 

At high noon the commander-in-chief's oflScial entry 
through a picturesque throng took place. From the out- 



skirts of Jerusalem the Jaffa road was crowded with somber- 
clad youths of aH nationalities, including Armenians and 
Greeks, who stood side by side with Moslems drest in the 
bright raiment of the East. Many Moslems joined in ex- 
pressions of welcome. On flat roofs and balconies were 
gathered many of the population, but in streets with their 
cosmopolitan crowds, one saw the real demonstration. 
Allenby entered on foot after having been first met by the 
Mayor and Military Governor with a guard of honor outside 
the Jaffa Gate. On the right of the gate were men from Eng- 
lish, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh counties, with fifty men 
afoot representing Australian and New Zealand horsemen, 
who had been engaged in the Sinai Desert and Palestine 
since the war broke out. Inside the walls were twenty 
French and twenty Italian soldiers, detachments from 
troops sent by Italy and France to take part in the Pales- 
tine operations. 

Close by the Jaffa Gate, the iron doors of which were rarely 
opened, was seen the wide breach made in the walls in 1898 
for the Kaiser's entry when he visited Jerusalem. Allenby 
passed that breach by and entered by the ancient gate. In- 
side the walls was a crowd more densely packed in narrow 
streets than the crowd outside. Preceded by aides-de-camp, 
Allenby had on his right the commander of the French, on » 
his left the commander of the Italian detachment. At the 
base of the Tower of David, which was standing when 
Christ entered the city, the proclamation of military law 
was read. Every person was declared free to pursue his 
lawful business without interruption, and every sacred 
building, pious foundation, or customary place of prayer, 
whether Christian, Hebrew, or Moslem, was assured pro- 
tection. The ceremony over, the procession returned to the 
Jaffa Gate, and Allenby left Jerusalem. Thus ended the 
simple and impressive ceremonial. In .Jerusalem were found 
750 wounded Turks without medical stores and practically 
without food. 

The Roman Catholics at Westminster Cathedral in Lon- 
don were the first Europeans to celebrate the great event. 
The big bell, which had not been sounded since the beginning 
of the war, was rung. Its deep note caused a sensation in 



the neighborhood. A large congregation assembled before 
the altar of the Blessed Sacrament and, at the conclusion of 
the service, **6od Save the King'' was sung in English, a 
thing rarely done in Catholic churches. At St. Paul's 
Cathedral a solemn Te Deum was sung. Robed in mag- 
nificent capes of cloth of gold, Archdeacon Newbolt and 
Canon Alexander passed 'in procession to the altar, where 
tall candles were burning, while the choir sang the first verse 
of the hymn, ** Praise to the Holiest." Two canons repre- 
senting the Eastern church had come from Serbia, in capes 
of a pattern strange to English eyes and glowing with the 
splendor of color. The whole cathedral rang with the strains 
of the national anthem. Manifestations of rejoicing were 
made by the Jewish community in Whitechapel, where broad 
pavements were studded with knots of people discussing the 
glad tidings which had become the one topic of discussion 
everywhere in London. 

The erection of Palestine into an autonomous state under 
British protection seemed a natural sequel to the brilliant 
achievement of the troops under AUenby. Even to those 
among Jews who had little sympathy with the aspirations 
of their Zionist brethren for wresting the homeland of their 
people from the age-long domination of the Turks, the 
British victory brought a thrill of genuine emotion. But 
the future of Palestine had other and larger meaning. 
Christian, Jew, and Moslem, all sent pilgrims to Palestine, 
all had religious representatives in the country. Security 
of personal property, and freedom to enter and leave, were 
matters of the first importance to all of them. "When at 
length Palestine should be provided with a government and 
people cooperating for its development, the world was surely 
to see the dawn of a new day. All competent authorities 
were unanimous in regard to the vast industrial and eco- 
nomic possibilities of Palestine. Sir Richard Burton had 
said long before that, when provided with railways and 
tramways, the Holy Land would offer *'the happiest blend- 
ing of the ancient and modern worlds." It would become 
another Egypt, with the distinct advantage of a superior 
climate, and far nobler races of men. He had prophesied 
some fifty years ago that Syria and Palestine awaited the 



hour when, as the home of a free and energetic people, it 
would again **pour forth corn and oil, flow with milk and 
honey, and bear, with proper culture, almost all the good 
things that have been given to men." 

Soon after Allenby entered Jerusalem he arranged to 
have it administered by a remarkable group of Britons — 
scholars who combined with academic learning an executive 
ability which became everywhere apparent in the manage- 
ment of the country. Almost every act of these men bore 
the mark of fine understanding of the native population and 
respect for their traditions. This attitude was seen in their 
official, as well as their unofficial, acts. They did not refer 
to Palestine as a conquered country, but made it known as 
** occupied enemy territory." Altho the British were in 
command, the British flag did not float over Palestine nor 
did any other. When a few Americans were about to hold 
their Fourth of July celebration, they were asked courteously 
not to run up the Stars and Stripes, and so they celebrated 
the Fourth without the flag. Allenby was not only a mili- 
tary man, but a student deeply interested in the historic 
background of the country. He spent one whole night with 
an American visitor pouring over the Bible and a standard 
historical work on the Holy Land, refreshing his mind as 
to spots of greatest interest.^^ 

Dramatic possibilities lay in the British advance further 
north, which began early in 1918, in double column, along 
the coast toward Haifa and Beirut, and west of the Jordan 
toward Damascus. One resource was at the disposal of 
Allenby which his predecessors, all the way back to the 
time of Thothmes, had not possest, and that was naval power. 
With the establishment of a base at Jaffa, the difficult 
problem of transport had been greatly ameliorated, since 
British cruisers and gunboats could be employed to parallel 
the land advance. A successful naval demonstration against 
Haifa would threaten seriously the right flank of Turkish 
forces in the Plain of Esdraelon, just as a powerful cavalry 
movement east of the Jordan would menace their left flank. 
With British success, the way would be open to Beirut and 

"Statement by Dr. John H. Flnley on his return from his Red Cross 
Mission to Palestine In November*, 1918. 



Damascus, with serious implications for the entire cam- 
paign against Turkey in Asia Minor and the ultimate fate 
of Germany's Berlin-to-Bagdad enterprise. By January 22, 
because of the desertion of 160,000 Turkish troops between 
Constantinople and Palestine, Falkenhayn, who was believed 
then to be at Aleppo, abandoned his plan to reorganize the 
Turkish army. He had been credited with having an army 
of 300,000 men with which to take the offensive against the 
British, but Turkish oflScers refused to support his plan be- 
cause they knew their troops were tired of the war, and so, 
in disgust, Falkenhayn, the eminent general who was for- 
merly the Kaiser's Chief of Staff and who had lost the cam- 
paign for Verdun, returned to Constantinople. 

By a brilliant operation AUenby, late in February, drove 
the Turks from mountain ridges east of Jerusalem, forced 
them out of Jericho, cleared the valley of that section of the 
Jordan, and compelled the Turks to burn their storehouses 
and pier at Rujm-del-Bahl, north of the Dead Sea, an 
important center of their grain-supply. Different phases of 
the operations lasted three days. No one who had not stood 
on the Mount of Olives and looked out on the rugged coun- 
try that falls away to the Jordan and the Dead Sea could 
realize the great effort here required to turn an enemy out 
of trenches cut and blasted out of ridges and spurs of hills. 
The whole country is one succession of hills and valleys 
until it reaches marshy flats more than 1,000 feet below sea 
level. But the Turks, with all conditions in their favor, 
were completely defeated. At dawn the British attacked 
four important positions running almost due north and 
south on a line of about 2,000 yards, five miles east of 
Jerusalem. El Muntar, a bleak hill southeast of Jerusalem, 
lightly held by the Turks, was taken soon after 6 o'clock. 
Ras-et-Tawill, a brown knob dominating a wide district, was 
taken by a column which marched from Mukmas during the 
night, overcoming resistance at Splash Hill on the way. 
After a heavy bombardment the Turks were retreating from 
Tawill in a northerly direction, and the hill was won. At 
9 o'clock the center column got Ras-umm-Desis and won 
Arak Sbrasim, north of the Jericho road, but on the high 
ground running eastward the Turks put up a stout re- 



sistanee, one London battalion having to assault three times 
before bayoneting the enemy out of the trenches. The whole 
line was captured by 3 o'clock. 

Nine miles east of Jerusalem lay Talteddumm, the key 
to Jericho. Winding up over its face was the Jerusalem- 
Jericho road. On the hill was the well-known Good 
Samaritan Inn, and standing out as a fine landmark of what 
the Arabs called the Hill of Blood, was a Crusaders' Castle, 
with little save the moat and vaults remaining of its past. 


London troops attacked this hill at daybreak. The pre- 
liminary bonibardment was short but effective, after which 
the Turks were seen to rush in retreat across a broad green 
patch toward a defile. British infantry at this time were 
ascending the spurs of the hill, and before they reached 
the top the Turks had rallied and been brought back. When 
the British reached the top there was a brief fight, after 
which the Turks retreated, but they reformed and made one 
counter-attack, which was repulsed, and the position gained 
for the British by 8 o'clock. After that, they sniped at long 


range and shelled places where they thought the British 
were preparing to attack, but their fire was hopelessly out- 
classed, and soon after 10 o'clock their first-line trenches 
were carried. For a couple of hours there was fighting on 
Ektief, the Turks having a number of machine-guns hidden 
in rough ground, but they were routed, and, by afternoon, 
the whole range was in possession of the British. When 
darkness fell the British had won such commanding posi- 
tions that the Turks moved off east and next morning the 
British entered Jericho where not one Turk was left. On 
March 6, fearing lest British troops would cross the Jordan, 
the Turks destroyed the bridge over the river at Chovaniyeh, 
east of Jericho. So far Allenby had confined his operations 
to the west of the Jordan, without attempting to cross the 
river and strike at the Hedjaz railway. His troops were 
advancing on a fifteen- to eighteen-mile front astride of the 
Jerusalem-Shechem road. On March 9 the dominating posi- 
tion of Tel Asur, 3,318 feet above sea level, was occupied. 
On March 20 the British army had reached a point about 
twenty miles north of Jerusalem and ten south of Shechem. 

Momentous events were now taking place on the Western 
Front in the great German offensive of 1918, during which 
Allenby, in April, continued his slow but sure progress in 
a northeastward advance from Jerusalem, having two objects. 
One was to cut the Hedjaz railway on the eastern boundary 
and so isolate Turkish forces operating south at Medina. 
This he accomplished by taking Amman, while Medina, the 
last holy Mohammedan city in Ottoman hands, seemed about 
to surrender. His secpnd object was, by advancing north- 
ward along the Jordan, to threaten the flank of the Turkish 
Syrian army facing him from Jerusalem to the sea. He had 
already arrived at Es-Salt, thirty-five miles' northeast of 
Jerusalem. By proceeding further north, he could, by a 
flanking movement, force a retirement of the enemy beyond 
the boundaries of Palestine. By such strategy he could 
avoid the losses entailed by a frontal attack on strongly 
entrenched Turkish positions. 

Not until autumn did any further notable event occur in 
Allenby 's program. Then something happened which 
thrilled the whole Entente world. British forces, aided by 



Tbe Jeweled lamps c 

deposited br pilgrims 

French, Anzacs, and Arabs, and themselves reinforced by 
troops from India, in the third week of September launched 
an attack on the Turkish line on a fifty-mile front from the 
Mediterranean to the Jordan, In smashing blows they broke 
through and swung forward nineteen miles in the coastal 
region and more than twelve miles inland. Three thousand 
prisoners and great quantities of stores were captured after 
18,000 Turkish troops had been almost surrounded. The 


Holy Land once more was aflame under the impetus of a 
great stroke. In less than a day Allenby's forces, with those 
under the flag of the King of the Hedjaz overran the Turkish 
defensive system. The railway and highway junction points 
were captured, strong forces of cavalry got well in advance 
of attacking troops, threatening to carry out a turning 
movement, while along the Mediterranean naval units cleared 
the coast-roads of Turks by gunfire. The predicament of 
the Turks was heightened by operations carried on by the 
Hedjaz tribesmen east of the Jordan which prevented them 
from taking refuge across the stream. The Turkish army 
was virtually annihilated. Allenby's forces, sweeping across 
Armageddon, soon advanced sixty miles, captured 25,000 
prisoners and took 120 guns. Nazareth was occupied and 
the gateway opened to Damascus and even to Aleppo, the 
supply-base of the Turkish armies in Mesopotamia as well 
as those in Palestine. AUenby had completely crusht the 
main Turkish army; he had enveloped and destroyed it. 

The event promised to free Syria as well as Palestine 
from the Turk. It gave control of the whole Turkish rail- 
way-system from southern Syria to a point not far south of 
Damascus. Strange memories and poignant associations were 
recalled by news that British cavalry, after galloping over 
the actual field of Armageddon, had occupied Nazareth. One 
more sacred place was in Allied hands. Armageddon over- 
looked the great plain of Esdraelon, southwest of Nazareth. 
It was one of the most famous battlefields of the world. It 
was there that Barak defeated the Canaanites, and Gideon 
the Midianites; there Saul was slain by the Philistines, and 
there Napoleon, in 1799, defeated the Turks. 

British troops had advanced more than sixty miles. Two 
entire Turkish armies were wiped out. Twenty-five thousand 
prisoners and 260 guns were taken on the two sides of the 
Sea of Galilee. Forty thousand more had been trapt by 
the British and could not escape annihilation or capture. 
The British coup was probably the (quickest and most suc- 
cessful of the war. The end of a hot summer had been the 
signal for a renewal of military operations in Palestine just 
as the beginning of spring had been on the plains of 
Picardy. The prospect seemed clear for a rapid march upon 



Damascus and from there to Aleppo, carrying with it the 
collapse of Turkish resistance in Mesopotamia where the 
road already opened to Mosul carried a threat against the 
line which Turkish armies still held stretched out to the 
Caucasus. All Asia Minor had been shaken. Kut-el-Amara 
had been thrice avenged; first, when Maude's army took 
Bagdad and drove the Turks far up the Tigris toward 
Mosul; second, when the British entered Jerusalem; third, 
when virtual destruction came to the Turkish army that 
barred the Allied road to Damascus — the key to Syria— 
now practically undefended. When Damascus fell all British 
armies in Asiatic Turkey could be linked up with Aleppo, 
their common as well as ultimate objective. The Turks 
seemed now to have no forces in -Syria or in Mesopotamia 
that were equal to -stopping any British drive. The Allies 
had traveled a long way from Kut-el-Amara and Oallipoli. 
The military power of the Turk was fast waning. Bulgaria 
and Turkey alike were beginning to eat the bitter fruit of 
a covetous alliance with Teutonic powers. 

Arab forces from Hedjaz successfully raided Derat, 
seventy miles north of the latitude of Jericho, and the 



junction of the Damascus-Hedjaz railway with a British 
line tapping the fertile Houran district and the country of 
Druses, from which the Turks had received grain. It was 
the first time the modern world had heard of Arab forces 
operating so far north. They were now in close touch with 
the Druses, who had never been well disposed to Turks a? 
whose hands they had suflPered much. Allenby's victory 
promised to make it possible to cut the Hedjaz railway 
permanently, which would enable the King of Hedjaz to 
clear the remaining Turks out of his territory and give him 
possession of Medina, the last of sacred cities remaining in 
Turkish hands. On September 25 more than 40,000 prisoners 
and 265 guns had been taken by the British. They were 
extending their occupation about the Sea of Galilee — had 
occupied Tiberias and Semakh and, east of the Jordan, the 
strategic town of Amman on the Hedjaz railway. Here the 
Fourth Turkish Army had been virtually surrounded. Its 
annihilation completed the clearing up of Turkish forces in 
Palestine and accounted in all for 70,000 men and 350 guns. 
Syria, with a large anti-Turk population, was now open to 

For the first time since the World War began, we saw, 
not a huge territory occupied which might count for little, 
but an entire army in a given theater of operations de- 
stroyed, which was the object of war, and what all military 
commanders aim to achieve. The Turkish army in Palestine 
had ceased to exist. If Aleppo could be taken, the Tui*ks 
for all practical purposes would be shut up behind the 
Taurus Mountains, with nothing of value left in Asia, every- 
thing in the hands of Great Britain and her Allies. Turkey's 
only hope was a peace with the Entente. 

Damascus, the capital of Syria, was occupied by AUenby's 
forces on October 1, and more than 7,000 Turks were taken 
prisoners. This swift advance indicated a decided weaken- 
ing of Turkish power in Syria. Damascus was a haven of 
desert caravans, a manufacturing center — the starting point 
of yearly pilgrimages to Mekka. Into Damascus, as into 
Bagdad and Jerusalem, the British came as deliverers from 
the Turks of its Christian, Jewish, and Arab population. 
Every advance in Syria had improved the British military 



situation. The port of Beirut was nearer Damascus than 
was Haifa, and beyond Rayak the railroad was standard 
gage. Approaching Aleppo from Horns, which apparently 
would soon fall, AUenby was coming at right angles to the 
advance of the British from Bagdad. There British armies 
would meet, at the key of Asia Minor, which was Aleppo, 
where with Falkenhayn and Sanders there would now be no 
fighting, for both had wisely fled. Reports that the Turks 
were on the point of surrender were made credible by their 
easy yielding of Damascus. 

Aleppo, on the Constantinople-Bagdad railroad, was only 
180 miles north, Damascus, 160 miles from Jerusalem and 


90 miles from the point where Allenby's offensive was 
launched on September 14, is the most beautiful and, after 
Bagdad, the most historically romantic city in Asiatic 
Turkey, situated in a fertile plain, at an altitude of 2,350 
feet, its water-supply one of the marvels of Jewish engineer- 
ing work, with many improvements made by Arabs, its 
population 150,000. More than any other city under Turkish 
rule, Damascus still posaest its ancient buildings. The five- 
mile city wall, which, in 1148, Crusaders besieged in vain, 
was still there with its seven gates. Through tbe city still 
ran the "street called Straight," where St. Paul once took 
np his abode. Conquered by David, it had afterward achieved 
independence and attacked Israel. Conquered by Assyria, 


it later became a colony of Greece and then of Rome. In 
the seventh century came the Arabs, who made it a great 
show city, a seat of learning and metal arts, the most 
famous of which was the making of steel sword-blades that 
still bear its name. From the sixteenth century it alter- 
nately surrendered to Egyptian and Turkish conquerors, 
and in 1841 was finally restored with Syria to Turkey. 

As with Bulgaria's surrender, so with these British vic- 
tories in Palestine and Syria, submarine activities in the 
Mediterranean were further curtailed. With Bulgaria now out 
of the war, not only were all Mgesn ports west of the old 
Tchatalja line closed to U-boats, but a rapid advance of the 
Allies through Serbia was assured, which meant that the 
Albanian and Montenegrin coasts would also be sealed to 
them, and the whole Adriatic more easily bottled up by 
Italy. AUenby had gained possession of the Syrian sea- 
coast from which German submarines had issued to sink 
Entente vessels, among them a great British hospital ship 
with hundreds of wounded on board. This submarine 
menace to the eastern Mediterranean had, therefore, been 
removed. At the same time, near the other end of the 
great battle-front, the Belgian Channel-ports, still in Ger- 
man hands, were threatened by the Belgians. Thus the 
?7-boats were going the way of the Zeppelins. 

Zion, now cleared of the last of its Turkish oppressors, 
was the first of subject nations to reclaim its territory. The 
feat of AUenby, while less in a military way than that of 
D'Esperey on the Bulgarian front, yielded more prompt 
results. The land of the children of Moses had reverted to 
free use by its historic possessors a few days before the land 
of the sons of Kara George passed to its heroic remnant. 
The campaign in Palestine had been one of uninterrupted 
success since AUenby took over the British command. Aus- 
tralians, New Zealanders, Highlanders, Lowlanders, Indians, 
and, last but not least, British Territorials, or county-regi- 
ments, had vied with one another in advancing the Entente 
power. It had been open warfare, with cavalry playing a 
large part. Arab tribes, as allies of Great Britain, had had 
no mean share in the triumph. The British had fought hard 
for every mile of their advance, for if Turks were not 



always well equipped they were well led by their German 
generals. Turkish domination of the Arabian world had 
come to an end, and with the political went the religious 
authority. Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine, and the Arab 
provinces were definitely separated from the Turkish Empire. 

With the fall of Beirut, on October 7, the principal 
Turkish base in Syria collapsed. Its capture was an opera- 
tion distinct from the land-movement which brought about 
the fall of Damascus. This stroke was ^nade by the French, 
and would have effect on Constantinople, where it would 
throw confusion into the ruling element which was seeking to 
belittle the advance of Allenby's men. Syria had for many 
years been a sphere of French influence. The territory 
through which the Franco-British troops were advancing 
had been conceded to France by treaties concluded between 
the Entente nations. The landing of French troops was the 
first realization of the -agreement. On the coast of Syria 
French protection already existed. After the massacre of 
Christians there in 1860, Napoleon III had occupied it for 
some months, in order to shelter Syrians from Turkish fury. 
Quite naturally the part of re-entering and succoring this 
stricken land fell to French warships. 

The route from Beirut to Damascus, a journey of fifty 
miles through the Lebanon range, now lay in Allied hands, 
which had required a new advanced base-line for a push 
northward over the remaining 200 miles of coast to Alexan- 
dretta and the Allies had good prospects of going on un- 
checked. Lands south of Alexandretta would never again be 
in Turkish hands. The end of the Turkish might upon those 
shores was near. That Turkey, like Bulgaria, would have 
to bow to the inevitable was daily becoming more nearly 
certain. Syrians, whether Arabians, Jews, or Christians, 
had from the outbreak of the war been pro- Ally in sympathy 
and filled with a great hope that an Allied victory might 
free them from the hated yoke of the Turk. In fact, before 
Turkey formally entered the war, thousands of Lebanese had 
sailed from Beirut to enlist in the French army. Syria 
above all was pro-French. Syrians regarded France not 
only as their rightful protector but as their helpful foster- 
mother. Syria's railroads, her highways, and manufactures 



were French; her principal commerce was with France; her 
educational system was largely French; her people almost 
universally spoke fluently the French tongue. The province 
had often been called '*the France of the Levant." During 
the war the Syrians had suffered cruelly; their men forced 
into the army; their horses, cattle and crops requisitioned. 
Deprived of food and of the means of producing food, they 
fell easy victims to famine and disease. The country seemed 
likely to be made into a semi-independent state under the 
protection of France. 

On October 16, British cavalry occupied Tripoli, forty- 
five miles north of Beirut, and Homs, eighty-five miles 
north of Damascus. At Homs they were within 100 miles 
of Aleppo. On October 26 Aleppo was taken. Its capture 
was mainly the work of British cavalry and armored cars. 
Since September 19 the cavalry had made a march of 
about 400 miles. They found the enemy much stronger than 
reported — some 2,000 to 3,000 men with ten guns, who tried 
to counter-attack, but were heavily repulsed. An armistice 
was signed on October 31, when the British took 18 guns, 
nearly 1,000 prisoners, and a large quantity of rolling stock. 
Aleppo was six miles from the junction of the Damascus 
and Constantinople-Bagdad railroads. Its capture was the 
crowning event in AUenby's campaign. Men recalled the 
last words spoken by Othello in the play, as he kills himself : 

"In Aleppo once. 
Where a malignant and a turbanned Turk, 
Beat a Venetian and traduced the State, 
I took by the throat the circumcized dog, 
And smote him — thus." 

The way was now open for an advance on Constantinople. 
Altho 650 miles from Aleppo in an air-line, the two cities 
were connected by the Berlin-Bagdad railway. It was be- 
lieved that Allenby would seize, as a new base, Alexandretta, 
on the Mediterranean, sixty miles northwest of Aleppo. 
Alexandretta had a fine harbor and was connected with the 
railway from Aleppo to Constantinople by a branch line. 
On November 13 fifty British, French, and Italian battle- 



ships, cruisers, and destroyers anchored in the Bosporus. 
Newspapers and many people in Constantinople acclaimed 
the squadrons as deliverers. On the outskirts of the city 
headquarters were established with a British aerial force. 
About a thousand Germans and Austrians, including Gen- 
eral Liman von Sanders, German commander in the Turkish 
army, who had fled before AUenby when he reached Damas- 
cus, were believed to be still living in Constantinople or the 
neighborhood, their exit across the Black Sea having been 
cut off by the Roumanians and by disorders in Odessa. The 


occnpation was effected in a methodical way, with such lack 
of military display as to seem out of harmony with the 
famous city's history and traditions. Remembering Gibbon's 
account of the spectacular entry of the Turk 460 years be- 
fore, there was something startling in the simple landing of 
the British commander from a motor-boat at the Galata 
bridge ; in' the anchoring of a small fleet of Allied ships in 
the Golden Horn, and in the gradual, almost imperceptible, 
sifting of soldiers throughout diiferent quarters of the city. 
V. viit— 16 233 


The army of occupation made no exactions, it merely under- 
took the task of cleaning-up the city and restoring order. 
Here on a landing pier D'Esperey met AUenby — an historic 
occurrence, already represented in photoplay, but destined to 
be preserved on canvas and in mural decorations in after 

In the tumult of the war the opening of a broad-gage 
railway which the British had built from Cairo to Jerusalem 
had passed almost unnoticed, but it was one of the great 
improvements which Allenby's army left behind it, in its 
way one of the greatest events which, next to the opening of 
the Suez Canal, the Near East had known in modern times. 
It was possible now to enter a sleeping-car at Cairo any 
evening at dinner time and to reach a little hillside station 
below the Bethlehem road, which was the terminus of the 
Jerusalem line, at 4 o'clock the next afternoon. In former 
times the overland route from Ismalia to Jerusalem, via El 
Arish and Gaza, took three weeks and was not only ex- 
pensive but dangerous. Starting from Kantara, on the 
Suez Canal, where the line connects with the road from 
Cairo, it skirts the sea to Gaza, the gateway to Palestine. 
South of Gaza it branches off, one line going to Jerusalem 
via Beersheba, the other hugging the coast. 

One could not contemplate this road and the diflSculties 
which had beset its construction without acquiring a changed 
vision of what army organization means. In the historic 
wastes of the Sinai desert had been formed huge camps, 
covering miles and laid out in perfect order, with fine roads, 
thorough and complete sanitary arrangements, plentiful and 
good food, and all other necessities for a huge army. All 
this had been set up in a wilderness into which two years 
before only the most intrepid traveler ever ventured. Now 
an endless stream of motor-lorries, Red Cross vans, equip- 
ment-vans, camels, soldiers, Arabs, Bedouins, Egyptians, and 
motor-cycles had moved across* the land. Water, which two 
years Jbef ore -was nowhere to be had, was now to be had every- 
where. "Wet and dry canteens were so numerous that one 
could buy almost anything anywhere in the desert. At night 
a sky of stars, and a moon above fields of sand looked down 
on the wonders which the British army had wrought in that 



distant corner of the world. Under the Turk it had lam 
dormant for centuries and would have continued to lie dor- 
mant for centuries more." 

"Principal Sources: Cable dlspatcbes fron W. T. MBBBe<^ Id Palestine 
to The Timet, Tbe Evealng Sun, Kew York; Tbe Times (London | ; Tbe 
Evening Post, the "Military Expert" o£ Tlie Time', W. L. Mcrteraon in The 
TTibuae, The Sun, The Journal of Commerce, '-Bulletins" of the ^■atlonal 
Geographic Society, Kew York, 

E 5 


Part VI 





■ as 

a of 



September, 1915 — January 25, 1916 

THE Balkan country extends westward from the Black 
Sea about four hundred and fifty miles, and south- 
ward from the Carpathians to the ^gean about three hun- 
dred. It is not much larger than the State of Montana, 
but it has furnished the terrain for more than two thousand 
years of conflict between Europe and Asia. In one form or 
another the struggle has continued ever since Xerxes, five 
centuries before Christ, marched across the Hellespont to 
conquer Greece. Because its people have been on the world's 
natural highway from Europe to Asia, death and destruction 
have accompanied them from generation to generation. Long 
before modern Europe emerged from the wreck of the 
Roman Empire, some of the Balkan roads were already 
great world thoroughfares, the greatest of them the Via 
Egnatia, which ran from Durazzo on the Adriatic eastward 
by Monastir and Saloniki to Constantinople. Others ran 
from Belgrade, by Nish and Sofia, to the Bosporus; from 
Skutari to Nish and the Danube; from Monastir by Sofia 
to the Danube; from Saloniki by Uskub and Novi-Bazar to 

If their inhabitants had ever been united, the Balkans 
might have played a great part in history. Includ- 
ing Roumania and Bosnia, their area of 190,000 square 
miles is not much less than the area of France, but the 
population is only about half that of France. Considering 
their defensive strength and favorable geographical situa- 
tion between the Black, ^gean, and Adriatic Seas, the 
united Balkans might have made one powerful and pros- 
perous state. The reason why they had not done so was the 
violent race rivalries that had existed there. While the 



larger part of the population is Slav, there have been three 
other vigorous race elements — Turks, Greeks, and Albanians. 
Race divergencies within their own borders have often rent 
these countries asunder. 

The Roumanians have been infused with a belief that they 
are a Roman race. Philologists have yet to decide whether 
there are, or are not, any considerable remnants of the 
Latin tongue in the present Roumanian tongue. As Rou- 
mania has been a highway for contending races for fourteen 
hundred years, it does not seem reasonable to suppose that 
the people are now much less Slav than are people to the 
north, south, east, and west of them. At the same time there 
is doubtless in Roumania a mixture of many races. As to 
Bulgaria its people believe the original Bulgars were 
Asiatics who adopted the language of those whom they 
vanquished in Europe and so became politically, tho not 
racially, a Slavonic nation. Serbia is a far more typical 
Slav country, tho within her borders are many Wallachians, 
Bulgarians, and Albanians. Bosnians are also mostly Slavs. 
The modern Greeks are a tolerably definite race, linked 
through the centuries with the great Greek race, but within 
their borders are many Bulgarians. Within the small Balkan 
area left to Turkey in 1913, including the city of Constanti- 
nople, are thousands of Greeks and some Bulgarians and 

In addition to race differences there has been lack of re- 
ligious unity in the Balkans. Roman fJatholics live in 
Albania and Bosnia, and many Moslems remained there after 
Balkan lands were taken from the Turks in 1912. Other- 
wise the Balkan people are everywhere ministered to by the 
Greek Church; but there are as many Greek churches as 
there are Balkan countries. Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, and 
Roumania each has its own church organization, and none 
of them is in organic relation to the greater Greek Church 
of Russia. It is one of the curiosities of ecclesiasticism 
that church services in Russia are held in the ancient Bul- 
garian tongue — ^which is no longer understood even in Bul- 
garia, the reason being that the earliest Christian mis- 
sionaries among the Slavs first went into Bulgaria, and, 
having converted the Bulgarian people, proceeded into 



Russia, using a ritual that had been compounded in the 
ancient Bulgarian tongue. 

Language and religion, however, are not the only bases 
of an intense subdivision of racial and political sentiment 
in the Balkans. The whole region is more or less parceled 
out among race factions, some of which comprise not more 
than hamlets. Roumanians, Bulgarians, Serbians, and 
Greeks have a deep race consciousness, but each State has 
been threatened at times with a break-away by alien race- 
units within its borders. If Greece were peopled only by 
Greeks, Bulgaria only by Bulgarians, and Serbia only by 
Serbians, Balkan problems would have been easier. It has 
been the curse of the peninsula that so many alien groups 
in time past pushed their way forward wherever they 
found vacant land, or made vacant land by driving out 
holders and forming villages of their own. The result was 
the creation of certain ** race-islands in race-seas." So long 
as the Turks were masters — and they were masters for about 
five centuries — ^these ra<;e rivalries lay somewhat dormant. 
Greeks and Bulgarians had their quarrels, and even their 
little wars, but their Turkish masters punished them im- 
partially. The real depth of Balkan race feeling was most 
clearly revealed in 1913, when the question to be faced was 
how the territory they had taken from the Turks should be 
subdivided. While the successful Balkan war had seemed to 
mark the last chapter of Turkish rule and all western 
Euroi)e rejoiced, it became the first chapter of violent in- 
ternal struggles. Every one of the four Balkan Powers, 
now made independent, wanted more territory. Each was 
eager to become the leading Balkan State. 

The investigator who gets behind **blue books,'' '*red 
books,'' '* white books," note-books, reports, and ultimatums, 
finds that the break in the strain between the Triple Alliance 
and the Triple Entente really came over the question 
whether Serbia should be allowed to grow up as the nucleus 
of a greater Balkan power and appropriate to herself the 
Slavs of Croatia, Slavonia, and Bosnia, then subjects of the 
Austro-Hungarian Empire, the murder of the Archduke 
being the match that touched off the bonfire. The ambition 
of Serbia to revive the empire of Czar Dunchan, who ruled 



in the Balkans before the Turks came, stood out clearly 
enough in that crime at Serajevo, altho there was neither 
proof nor likelihood that the Serbian Government had -any 
hand in it. The accident served also to throw out into sharp 
relief the rivalry between Austro-Hungary and Russian in- 
fluence. If Serbia were not to be punished for Gavrio 
Princip's crime, Austro-Hungarian prestige would be 
weakened, while, if Serbia were punished, Russia would 
cease to be the leading Power in the Balkans. 'The war, 
therefore, in its beginning, was a manifestation of an un- 
quenchable rivalry between two empires external to the 

The reasons why Balkan peoples have not trusted each 
other are mainly blood-reasons, complicated by artificial 
national boundaries fixt arbitrarily by the Great Powers. 
In the Balkans is found a conglomerate blood-caldron, the 
product of a thousand or more years. Across that country 
went the Crusaders to and from the Holy Land. Then 
came the Turkish wave, which, subsiding, left a submerged 
people and further race confusion. But the racial ego, 
altho submerged, remained vital. It yearned all through 
the years for self-expression. The Balkan peoples in gen- 
eral have distrusted the Great Powers almost as much as 
they have distrusted each other, for which the Great Powers 
had themselves to thank. For nearly 500 years the Balkan 
States had been a •buffer between Christian Europe and the 
Turk, but after* the fall of Constantinople, in 1453, the whole 
peninsula terminating in Greece was submerged by the 
Turkish inundation. Mohammedanism threatened, in fact, 
to overwhelm all Christiandom, and was checked only after 
reaching high-water mark at Vienna. Christian Europe at 
Vienna saved itself, but it did not rescue from the Turk the 
Balkan peoples who were abandoned to the Turk's misrule. 
That was not the worst that followed. The Powers for 
centuries made use of the Balkan peninsula as an inter- 
mediate training ground. Unable or unwilling to put the 
Turk back into Asia, they made treaties with him in order 
to secure a thoroughfare to the Dardanelles. It was easier 
to bargain for the thoroughfare than to take it by force. 

Early in the nineteenth century the Turkish population 



in the Balkan peninsula began to decline and the Christians 
correspondingly increased. Except for the jealousies of the 
Great Powers, Turkish rule in Europe would have gone on 
dec£^ying still faster. For a long time its security was 
actually fostered, in order that a state of equilibrium might 
be maintained in* Europe. For all this the Balkan people 
paid the« price, in religious, racial, and economic oppression. 
In the course of eighty-odd years, however, the Balkan 
States and Greece had slowly been shutting out the Turk. 
By 1829 the Greeks had won their independence from Turkey 
by fighting for it alone — in the war during which Byron lost 
his life — and a year later Serbia achieved partial indepen- 
dence. 'In 1?877, after frightful massacres in Bulgaria, Russia, 
single-handed, moved against Turkey, and was successful; 
but her hand in its hour of triumph was stayed by the other 
Powers. The Treaty of San Stefano, forced by Russia on 
Turkey after the war, created the Principality of Bulgaria 
largely out of Turkey, but only to be torn up in the same 
year and superseded by the Treaty of Berlin, which greatly 
reduced the size of Bulgaria. The prospective strength of a 
new Bulgarian state had seriously alarmed the Great Powers, 
and especially Great Britain and Austria, and so Bulgaria 
was made to suffer under the treaty negotiated at Berlin, 
which gave full independence, not to Bulgaria but to Serbia, 
Roumania, and Montenegro, Bismarck, acting as *'an honest 

In March, 1878, Russia was fast approaching the very 
walls of Constantinople, near which lay the small town of 
San Stefano, where the treaty was signed by the Turks, and 
Bulgaria was accorded boundaries which fulfilled her wildest 
dreams, including, as they did, every detached fragment of 
the Bulgarian race and something more. Her borders were 
made to run from the Black Sea to the Albanian hills, from 
the Danube to* the ^gean, and included the port of Kavala 
on the -^gean, and most of Macedonia. By the Treaty of 
Berlin, signed on July 13, Bulgaria got only the territory 
between the Balkan range of mountains and the Danube, 
the country south of the Balkans being erected into an 
autonomous Turkish province called Eastern Roumelia. To 
Serbia was given Nish, and to Greece Thessaly. Bessarabia 



went to Russia, Roumania retained the Dobrudja, and Bosnia 
and Herzegovina were put under Austrian admJDistration — 
an arrangement that led directly to the World War. Turkey 
was left with Macedonia, Albania, and Thrace, and remained 
the Suzerain of Bulgaria, Eastern Roumelia, 
Bosnia and Herzegovina. No authority was 
given to Austria to annex Bosnia and Her- 
zegovina, as she audaciously did thirty 
years afterward, and thus prepared the 
way for the murder of the Archduke in 
June, 1914. 

When, in 1912, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, 
and Montenegro, foregoing their separate 
quarrels in a new hatred of the Turk, 
formed the Balkan. League, the Great 
Powers were aghast. It was now obvious 
that the Balkan States would fight together 
for what they wanted, and they did fight. 
They accomplished more toward putting ■ 
the Turk back into Asia than the Great 
Powers had done in hundreds of years. 
But in their hour of triumph, the Balkan 
allies fell out over a division of the spoils 
and turned to fighting each other. This 
necessarily weakened them and the Great 
Powers interfered to limit their aspirations 
and especially those of Serbia, between 
which country and the Adriatic they 
created the new State of Albania in order 
to prevent Serbia from gaining her long 
coveted "window on the sea." Serbia thus 
remained, as she so long had been, land- the sbiibiam 

locked. Austria was mainly responsible '^'"l^J^'*^" 
for that, but she was supported by her 
allies, Germany and Italy. Each Balkan State was like 
Italy, in that it had an irredenta which could be reclaimed 
only through the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary, or 
that of Turkey, or that of one another. Each had long held 
to a policy of neutrality in the expectation of gaining terri- 
tory eventually without the risks and losses of intervention. 




But, as time passed, each drew nearer and nearer to the 
period when a choice had to be made between fighting for 
national ideals and taking chances of being ignored in a 
final settlement. 

Bulgaria's action against Serbia in September, 1915, was 
influenced, if not actually determined, by the success of 
the great German drive against Russia. Nevertheless, if 
Bulgaria could have secured from Greece and Serbia pledges 
of the territorial concessions she had demanded in Mace- 
donia, and from the Allied Powers a free hand in Thrace, 
her hopes of aggrandizement would have been substantially 
realized and she probably would not have allied herself with 
the Teutonic Powers. Many observers thought Serbia might 
well have yielded. Serbia had already invaded Albania, 
with Skutari and the northern Albanian ports as her ob- 
jectives. She showed she was in cooperation with the 
Italian plans and that she expected to seek compensation 
in Albania, as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hence 
she apparently was in a position where she could well have 
yielded to Bulgaria such portions of her territory in Mace- 
donia as were inhabited exclusively by Bulgars.^ 

Venizelos, the Premier of Greece, was known to be willing 
to cast his country's lot with the Allies. He believed that 
only in this course lay any chanee of extending Greek terri- 
tory and freeing Greek populations from Turkish sovereignty. 
The hindrance to Greek participation in the war lay, how- 
ever, in the danger of Bulgarian aggression. Greece would 
fight for her future when the time arrived — the more so 
since all the forces of diplomacy which had detached Italy 
from the Triple Alliance and alined her as a belligerent with 
the Allies, were now focussed on the problem of unifying the 
interests of the Balkan neutrals and seeking for them na- 
tional ideals along the lines which Italy had elected to 

One reason why Bulgaria betrayed an unwillingness to 
pull chestnuts out of the fire, either for Russia or for Ger- 
many, was given in concrete form by M. Tsankoff, of the 
University of Sofia. According to his calculations the 
Balkan struggles of 1912 and 1913 had cost Bulgaria $256,- 

1 Albert Bushnell Hart In The Outlook. 



000,000, apportioned among the following classes of ex- 
penditures: War credits, $70,000,000; requisitions, $30,000,- 
000; budget deficit, $10,000,000; materials of war of trans- 
portation, $30,000,000; various debts, as to the railways, 
$36,000,000; pension charges, $80,000,000. To this sum 
should be added the immense damage wrought to the eco- 
nomic structure of the nation by the loss of a large part of 
its laboring population — 58,000 men between 20 and 45 
years of age, of whom 6.7 per cent, were heads of families. 
In addition there were about 11,000 war-cripples now in- 
capable of labor, who with their families had to be supported 
by the State. Professor Tsankoff, who made his estimate 
in 1915 before Bulgaria defied Russia, said he believed a 
loan of $100,000,000 was immediately needed, in order to 
put the nation on its feet. Such figures showed what was 
the immense burden which had already been shouldered by 
four and a half million people who, in spite of it, were 
now going to war again, and this time with Great Powers. 

Every monarch in the Balkans was either a foreigner or, 
if he had been bom in the country he ruled, was of Teu- 
tonic descent or under Teutonic influence through marriage, 
with the exception of the King of Serbia. It would be difB- 
*cult to find a modern instance in which kings exercised 
greater personal influence than the sovereigns of Greece, 
Bulgaria, and Roumania in 1915. Everybody agreed that 
M. Venizelos was the ablest statesman modern Greece had 
produced, and yet a foreign prince on the Greek throne was 
able virtually to depose M. Venizelos, to counteract his 
policy, and to keep Greece neutral. The elections proved 
conclusively that the vast majority of the Greek people 
were on the side of Venizelos, but he and the Greek people 
were helpless because their King, whose wife was a sister of 
the German Emperor, refused to go to war with Germany. 
Here was a striking instance of the hold that monarchial 
institutions still had on a European people. 

So also of Bulgaria, which had been called into political 
existence so late as 1877 and as the act of Russia. Bulgaria, 
in 1914, had seen Russia mobilizing to protect Serbia and yet 
she would not raise a hand to aid her. After eleven months 
of the war, with Russia still unable to carry out her policy 



of annexing Poland and disabling Germany, the Bulgars not 
only looked passively on but finally defied Eussia, the Czar 
of Bulgaria being a Teutonic sovereign. On one side of 
French descent, on the other of German, his sympathies were 
all with the Central empires. For eleven months this king 
was able to paralyze both Greece and Roumania, and set 
them at defiance. 

In Roumania the King was of the House of Hohenzollem 
and feared that if he drew the sword he might be attacked 
in the rear. A small Roumanian party argued that the true 
policy for Roumania was, not to wring Transylvania from 
Hungary, but to get back Bessarabia. The population of 
Transylvania, however, was three or four times as large as 
the Roumanian population of Bessarabia; and Bessarabia 
was being rapidly assimilated by Russia, while Roumanian 
Transylvania was still eager to rise against the Magyars. 
Balkan States, therefore, for eleven, months in succession, 
had been paralyzed by the Czar of Bulgaria, a foreign 
prince, who not only refused to recognize the aspirations of 
his own people, but prevented his neighbor-Kings from recog- 
nizing the aspirations of theirs. 

So it was that among the influences which shaped the 
course of Bulgaria, the personal character and ambitions * 
of King Ferdinand ranked first. He was described as a 
man of considerable vanity and given to duplicity, but 
possest of political astuteness. He had been lured to dis- 
aster in the second Balkan war by a vision of being crowned 
Emperor of Byzantium, and so had chafed afterward under 
the consequences his own folly had brought upon his coun- 
try. In craving for an opportunity for revenge on Serbia, 
Roumania, and Greece, King Ferdinand and his people thus 
had at least one dominant sentiment in common. The 
Treaty of Bucharest of 1913 was imposed on the defeated 
Bulgarians almost literally at the point of the bayonet, and as 
a matter of fact, that treaty was a bad treaty. It was not 
incorrectly described as providing for a series of grotesque 
frontiers, traced on vindictive lines, in violation of the 
principle of nationalities and in defiance of economic laws. 
It condemned probably more than a million beings to con- 



ditions of life which caused some of them to regret their 
loss of the rule of the Turks. 

But the very States of whose vindietiveness the treaty 
was the fruit, had now shown a readiness to revise its terms. 
All three offered concessions so nearly approximating the 
Bulgarian demands as to open a way for mediation. It was 
here that the diplomacy of the King of Bulgaria and his 
subservient ministers came in and spoiled the last chance of 
a restored and reinvigorated Baltan confederation. Many 
observers believed that, if a Russian, Serbian or Monte- 


negrin prince, instead of a Hohenzollem, had been reigning 
at Sofia, Bulgaria would have resumed her place in the 
Balkan alliance. In that case Turkey would never have 
dared to declare war in 1914, for if she had done so, the 
Dardanelles, with Balkan help, could have been forced, Con- 
stantinople captured, and tens of thousands of valuable lives 
woald have been spared. 

"What Bulgaria sought in 1915 was an incorporation in 
her kingdom of something more than a million of her race 
who had been separated from their fatherland by the Treaty 
of Bucharest. It became with her purely a question which 


of the two conflicting alliances of Great Powers could and 
would secure this incorporation. The action of Czar 
Ferdinand and his advisers in attacking Greece and Serbia 
in 1913 and so provoking the second Balkan war, had pre- 
cipitated the ruin of Bulgarian hopes, and the consequences 
were afterward borne by something like a million Bulgars, 
innocent of complicity in the crime. A portion of Mace- 
donia, which had always been recognized as Bulgar in race, 
language, and population, now became subject to Greek and 
Serbian masters. In the Serbo-Bulgar treaty which pre- 
ceded the first Balkan war, Serbia had agreed to recognize 
Bulgaria's claim to all of Macedonia, east and south of a 
line drawn from Lake Ochrida to the point of contact of 
Serbia, Bulgaria, and the Turkish vilayet of Kossovo. This, 
had it been lived up to, would have given to Bulgaria 
Monastir, Ochrida, Kuprili, Istip, and Prilep. At the close 
6{ the war, Greece was prepared to surrender her claim 
to that portion of Macedonia which lies east of the Struma 
River, including Drama, Kavala, and Seres, but the Serbo- 
Bulgar agreement was based on the presupposition that 
Serbia would have Albania north of the Skumbi River. 
When Austria vetoed this Albanian arrangement, Serbia 
claimed as ''compensation" that portion of Macedonia which 
her armies had conquered and which embraced Monastir, 
Kuprili, Ochrida and Prilep. Bulgaria declined to accede 
to this demand. She held that Serbia was bound by her 
agreement with Bulgaria and naturally refused to give up 
territory that was inhabited by a population which desired 
to join Bulgaria. 

The question was in debate when Bulgaria in 1913 struck at 
Serbia and Greece. In this second Balkan war the Bulgarian 
troops were driven out of Macedonia by combined Serb and 
Greek armies. At the same time Turkey retook Adrianople, 
while Roumania invaded Bulgaria from the north and seized 
a wide district about Silistria and between the Danube and 
the Black Sea. At Bucharest the victors divided the spoils. 
Serbia kept all of Macedonia west of the mountains, includ- 
ing Istip, Monastir, and Prilep; Greece took Kavala and 
Drama and pushed her frontier east to the Kara-Su ; Turkey 
retook all of Thrace, save a small district between the 



Mgesm and the Rhodopians, west of the Maritza ; Roumania, 
as her share, annexed the region between the Danube and 
the Black Sea. By these processes there were taken from 
Bulgaria 1,250,000 people, who inhabited regions that Bul- 
garian troops had conquered, or districts which were Bul- 
garian before the war. Moreover, Bulgaria had laid claim 
to some 500,000 people in Macedonia in and about Monastir, 
lands which she had forfeited to Serbia. So that, out of, 
two wars, Bulgaria emerged with a gain of less than 500,000 
in population, while at least 1,000,000 Bulgars were placed 
under Greek, Roumanian, or Serbian rule. 

What Bulgaria asked of Serbia in 1915 was to return to 
her upward of 500,000 Bulgarian people and their lands in 
Macedonia, a large majority of whom desired to become 
Bulgarians. Serbia could well have done this, because the 
enemies of Germany, if successful, would have been able 
not only to restore the old situation, but with Austria out 
of the reckoning, to permit Serbia to annex Albanian regions. 
Italian consent, however, would have been necessary in re- 
storing the conditions on which the Serbo-Bulgarian treaty 
of 1912 was based. In addition the enemies of Germany 
were prepared to promise to Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, 
and Dalmatia as far south as the mouth of the Barenta, 
regions which, except for an Albanian district, were in- 
habited largely by Serbs. Serbia would thus have gained 
2,500,000 people and have lost to Bulgaria some 750,000. 
Moreover, she would have been surrendering Bulgars for 

Bulgaria opened to the Teutonic Powers the path which 
some of the Crusaders had taken from Europe to the Holy 
Land, that is, the road thji^t runs across a little neck of 
Serbia that was all that separated Bulgaria from Hungary. 
With this and a thoroughfare across Bulgaria, the Teutonic 
Powers could have marched to the assistance of the Turks. 
Thus the Allies in 1915, when Bulgaria deserted them, 
suffered a serious diplomatic defeat and were facing a 
difficult military problem. With Serbia crusht between 
the Teutonic hammer and the Bulgarian anvil, with Allied 
forces driven from Galliiwli, came the failure of a brilliant 
hope, tho hardly more, since the Allies would remain about 



where they were before they made their attempt against the 
Dardanelles. That move had for its aim the winning of 
the war by a dramatic coup. Beyond question the winning 
of Constantinople would have meant the winning of the 
Balkans as a unit for the Allies. If Constantinople had 
fallen in the late spring or summer of 1915, when the Rus- 
sian armies were hammering at the Carpathian gateway, if 
at the same time Roumania had thrown her armies into 
Transylvania, a much-talked-of separate peace by Austria 
might have become a reality. But the Dardanelles venture 
failed and then came loss in prestige and the discouraging 
after effects in Allied homes. 

The Allied move against the Dardanelles had been more 
than a thrust against a vital spot in the Teutonic armor, 
for it was intended at the same time to avert any possible 
attack on Britain's vital interests outside of Europe. By 
keeping the Turks busy at home the safety of Egypt could 
be assured, and Egypt meant India. The campaign of 
Gallipoli meant, not only the safeguarding of the Suez 
Canal, but the prevention of any formidable display of 
Turkish strength in Mesopotamia. It kept the war from 
drawing too perilously close to India, with possible disaffec- 
tion among Indian tribes. If the Allies had permanently 
failed in the Balkans, it would have meant a renewal of 
Britain's concern for her African and Asiatic possessions. 

That was the purpose of the Teutonic invasion of Serbia 
under Mackensen in 1915. Perhaps half a million men were 
thrown into the scales against the Allies in the Balkans, a 
number far larger than the Turkish army which the Allies had 
had to deal with, and it meant the release also of a Turkish 
army for a renewed offensive against the Suez Canal and 
in the valleys of the Euphrates. Had the Balkan struggle 
ended in complete Allied defeat the problem would have 
become formidable, because what German leadership had 
done for the Austrian armies and for the Turks in Europe, 
it would then have attempted with the Balkan States. 

To create a Greater Roumania, by annexing the Bukowina 
and the Roumanian portion of Transylvania, was the natural 
ambition of the Latins of the Danube delta. Their brethren 
in the Bukowina and Transylvania had suffered under the 



Hungarian yoke as much as the Italians of Trieste and the 
Trentino had suffered under the Austrian yoke. In a mili- 
tary sense, however, the Austro-German victories in Galicia, 
in the spring of 1915, had made an invasion of Transylvania 
far more diflScult to Roumania than it would have been when 
the victorious Russians were threatening northern and east- 
ern Hungary. But Italy's strength, when thrown into the 
opposite scale, had counterbalanced, so far at least as Austria- 
Hungary was concerned, the collapse of the Russian offensive 
in the summer of 1915. Roumanians problem remained, 
therefore, almost what it had been — to choose the right mo- 
ment for the occupation of Transylvania, after securing her- 
self from an attack in the rear by Bulgaria. 

Roumania is composed of two principalities, Moldavia and 
Wallachia, the first of which found freedom from the Turk 
in the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1856. The two were united 
in government almost from the start; and under the rule 
of their second Prince, Charles of Hohenzollem, a vigorous 
spirit of nationalism was instilled into all classes. After 
the defeat of the Turks by their soldiers at Plevna, in 1877, 
the little principality was recognized as a kingdom. The 
Roumanian King of 1914, a nephew of Prince Charles, ruled 
over a land of 53,489 square miles, or a little less in area 
than Massajehusetts and New York combined. Within this 
territory were 7,800,000 inhabitants, showing a density of 
population slightly greater than that of Maryland. 

A generation had passed since the Great Powers sat about 
a table at the Berlin, Congress and willed that certain 
things should be done. Their main purpose at that time was 
to protect theii: own States from war, and to prevent their 
rivals from gaining, through the Treaty of San Stefano, 
disproportionate profits from the Russo-Turkish war. But in 
the process the statesmen in Berlin turned back to the gentle 
mercies of the Turk in Thrace and Macedonia two million 
Bulgarians. Similarly the Serbs of Bosnia were transferred 
to the actual, tho not the titular, sovereignty of Austria, 
while the Greeks in Epirus, Macedonia, and the ^gean 
Islands were left to dwell beneath the Turkish yoke. 
To placate Russia, leave was given her to rob her Roumanian 
ally of Bessarabia, which was inhabited by Roumanians, 



while Roumania was quieted by a permit to seize the Bulgar 
land, Dobnidja. For a generation afterward, each succeed- 
ing spring saw men in revolt in Macedonia, women dis- 
honored, children murdered. From the Danube to the 
uiEgean islands some millions continued to live in pain and 
die in misery in order that there might be peace and pros- 
perity in London and Berlin. 

To all suggestions from the Powers in 1915 Bulgaria 
answered simply that she desired to have back her lost 
provinces and her stolen children. Let Roumania as a pre- 
lude to the liberation of Roumania, first free her Bulgarians. 
Such was the Bulgar demand — that some 3,500 square miles 
and some 500,000 souls be restored by Roumania. Of all 
her losses, the one felt most keenly by Bulgaria was the 
Macedonian loss. Here people spoke her dialect. In the 
Treaty of San Stefano this region had been assigned to her. 
In Bulgarian hearts the frontiers made by that rescinded 
treaty were still a living fact. From Serbia, Bulgaria 
merely asked that the old bargain be fulfilled ; until Monastir 
and Istip were returned to her, she would yield to none of 
Serbia's appeals for sympathy and aid. 

The picture of Germany late in 1915 driven from the 
sea by the British fleet, checked in the east after an aston- 
ishing drive which had lost to Russia thousands of square 
miles of territory and facing in the west a new offensive 
in the Champagne and Artois which threatened to break 
through Germany's hitherto impregnable line of defense, 
now suddenly striking south, with an army estimated at 
half a million, in an endeavor to win a way through hostile 
territory to the relief of a small and almost exhausted ally, 
startled anew the imaginations of men and compelled ad- 
miration once more for her powers in colossal military ac- 
tivity. Germany, in the alliance now concluded with Bul- 
garia, was believed to aim at India and Egypt. To burst 
through her **iron ring" and to seize an Oriental empire, 
all by one great stroke, was a colossal scheme which seemed 
too wonderful ever to come true. A people who had lost 
access to the sea, who had not one warship, nor one merchant 
vessel free to sail, was going forth to compass an ocean- 
spaced empire by setting out on a military expedition of 



hundreds of miles across mountains and through deserts. 
Taken not seriously, but as a piece of imaginative audacity, 
the German scheme probably had its value. As a distrac- 
tion even, it might prove important, especially if it should 
succeed in worrying the Anglo-French forces into a contest, 
in a theater of the Germans' own choosing, and at a time 
when the main Allied strength was devoted to a drive on 
the Western Front. 

The Austro-German attack on Serbia in October, 1915, 
was more than a menace to the little Serbian nation, more 
than an attempt to give relief to Turkey. It was an indi- 
cation that Germany had not abandoned her expectation of 
controlling the direct line of communication between Cen- 
tral Europe and the Near East, and indirectly was a threat 
against British sovereignty in the Mohammedan world. If 
completely successful, it would have done much to destroy 
such British prestige as was won at the outset of the war 
by the suppression of Teutonic intrigue in Egypt and India, 
and by the bold attack made at Gallipoli in 1915 on the 
seat of the Califate itself at Constantinjople. Little Serbia 
was caught between the upper and lower millstones of an 
Austro-German advance on the north and a Bulgarian ad- 
vance on the southeast. For the moment, her safety and 
independence rested on the activity of perhaps a quarter 
of a million of her own troops and the expeditionary force 
of French and British coming by way of the Mgean Sea 
and in camp at or near Saloniki, a Greek x)ort. The Bul- 
garian and Austro-German armies had for their immediate 
problem to overcome the entire Serbian forces before they 
could unite. 

The German drive thus revealed itself, not as a punitive 
expedition against Serbia, nor as a relief expedition for the 
Turkish forces fighting to hold Gallipoli, but as an effort to 
gain, by force of arms, an advantage that years of diplo- 
macy and peace had failed to secure. It was, according to 
semi-official pronouncement, a stroke to secure a swift pas- 
sage of the Balkan mountain-lands and eventually to com- 
plete an unbroken German line from the North Sea to the 
Bosporus, thence across Asia Minor to the Persian Gulf and 
India, and finally to envelop the Suez Canal, Egypt, Tripoli, 




and Algeria, all of which were the hard won North-African 
possessions of Great Britain, France and Italy. If this 
was the ultimate purpose, the enterprise was startlingly 
bold and daring, for Germany could not count on any 
movements by sea to aid it. It had to be a land operation 
entirely, and must be accomplished in part literally on foot. 

For the German press it was natural to speak of it as the 
beginning of a German thrust at the British in Egypt and 
India. In its distant implications it might hold such a 
threat. But it was altogether too early to speak of a cam- 
paign against Egypt as an actuality of the near future. 
Before that could come about, a decision had to be reached 
in the Balkans, and if precedent counted for anything, op- 
erations in the Balkans would not be completed as a matter 
of rush or dash, but would be a slow and grinding process, 
with a possible deadlock, like that in Gallipoli, for months 
afterward. Even should the tide turn definitely against the 
Allies, the menace to Egypt would have to take the form 
of a Turkish move against the Suez Canal under German 
leadership. It was hardly to be supposed that German 
troops would actually be thrown into Asia Minor in order 
to perform a difficult march through the desert. But that 
was the only way in which an attack could come, if it came 
at all. The sea would continue to be held by the Allies.^* 

A battle-front of 1,200 miles had been lengthened out by 
something like another 600 miles. For the defense of this 
new frontier, as of the old, the Germans became' responsible. 
While they had gained a new ally in Bulgaria, this did not 
alter the fact that they had added to their own vulnerabil- 
ity. For the Allies the campaign became, by force of cir- 
cumstances, strategical rather than political, and a naval 
and military operation of the first significance. If they 
were to allow the Germans to subjugate Serbia, seize Con- 
stantinople, and obtain the hegemgny of the Balkan Penin- 
sula, the Germans would succeed in doing in the South of 
Europe what they had failed to do in the West and East. 
Occupation of Constantinople by a German force would 
have dealt a tremendous blow to British prestige in India, 
and have been a standing menace to Egypt. 

"The Tribune (New York). 





a as 



The invasion of Serbia was undertaken on a carefully- 
considered plan arranged between the German and Bulga- 
rian General Staffs. An Austro-German army, composed, 
as was believed, of 300,000 men, with a reserve of 100,000, 
crossed the Danube in two main groups, one under the Aus- 
trian General Koevess, the other under the German General 
Gallwitz, Field-marshal von Mackensen being in supreme com- 
mand of both groups. The lower Morava Valley was the 

dividing line between the two armies, which were to advance 
in a southerly direction, and secure the line of the Western 
Morava. On the west an Austrian army, which was not 
thought to exceed two divisions, was to assemble at Vishe- 
grad, across the Drina, and after detaching a force to 
Koevess 'a right wing, was to move into the old sandjak of 
Novi-Bazar and drive a wedge between Montenegro and the 
Serbian army retreating south. On the east two Bulgarian 
armies were to take part in the enveloping movement, the 
first army (200,000 strong), under General BojadjefF, being 
concentrated on the northern part of the Serbian frontier, 
while the second (100,000 strong), under General Toucheff, 


^ was assembled at Kustendil and Stnimnitza. The third 
Bulgarian army, commanded by General Teodoroff, was to 
watch the Roumanian frontier. Bojadjeff's share in the 
plain was to march into the Timak Valley, seize Nish, and 
drive the Serbians westward; while Toucheff was to take 
Uskub, hem the Serbians in on the south, and prevent their 
retreat down the valley of the Vardar. 

After a month the Teutonic forces advanced about thirty 
miles, and then waited for reinforcements, for once they 
had cleared a way to the railroad, they would be obliged 
to patrol every mile of it and Constantinople was still 400 
miles away. The Allies naturally would attempt to ** break" 
this line. Anglo-French forces landing at Saloniki could 
strike at Nish, or even at Sofia. They might capture the 
pass at Stnimnitza, whence a thrust to the northeast would 
strike Bulgaria. Forces landed at Enos and Dedeagatch on 
the -^gean might fight their way up the Maritza Valley 
and deliver a body blow between Adrianople and Constanti- 
nople. Russia, in addition, was to be reckoned with. The 
first purpose of the Anglo-French troops was to protect the 
Serbian communications with Saloniki, and the second to 
hasten troops inland toward Nish to protect the Serbian 
rear from attack from Bulgaria. Serbia, after a Bulgarian 
declaration of war, occupied a position between the German 
hammer and the Bulgarian anvil. She might for a time 
hold back the Germans, but she could not ward off blows 
from both Bulgaria and Germany. 

About the middle of July it had been learned that Rou- 
mania refused to allow weapons and ammunition to pass 
through ber territory from Germany to Turkey ; to Berlin 's 
demand she had sent an emphatic rejection. Here was a 
premonitory symptom. The pinch of scant ammunition- 
supplies obviously was being severely felt by the Turks at 
Gallipoli, and found expression in such Franco-British gains 
as were made after their severe early checks. Since the 
direct line to Constantinople through Serbia was closed by 
the war, German co-operation with Turkey had been estab- 
lished through Roumania. Along the route which passed 
from Vienna through Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia, and 
Adrianople, German oflScers had traveled to Constantinople 



to train the Turks in scientific warfare and to lead their 
armies in the field. Along that route also arms and am- 
munition had been carried to the Turks until now when 
Roumania, evidently under pressure of the Allies, closed her 
railroad to shell- and powder-trains. With the only land 
route to her Turkish ally thus cut off, Germany, since the 
middle of June, had not been able to send Turkey any more 
weapons. The Turks, thus suffering from a scarcity of am- 
munition, were also faced with possible famine. Mean- 
while, the Teutonic Allies were exerting every effort to keep 
Roumania neutral. On July 7 they offered her, as the 
price of her neutrality, the Bukowina, as far as Czemowitz 
and better treatment of Roumanian peoples there and else- 
where in the Dual Monarchy. The only restraining in- 
fluence on Roumania was the Bulgarian menace. Bulgaria 
was itching to avenge the coup of the Second Balkan War, 
when the Bucharest Government, joined with Serbia and 
Greece, brought about Bulgarian defeat, and took from her 
territorial spoils of victory. 

By the end of September, when the situation had grown 
tense, slight relief was given by an announcement that Bul- 
garia would merely mobilize her army and then assume a 
stand of ** armed neutrality.'' The Bulgarian Premier, M. 
Radoslavoff, confirmed a statement made in a semi-official 
note issued at Sofia on September 23, that Bulgaria had been 
forced to adopt armed neutrality because of the develop- 
ment of political and military events in the war, but that 
her mobilization was not directed against either Roumania 
or Greece. **Our mobilization at present,'' said he, '*is 
purely a defensive measure." Bulgaria had '*no aggressive 
designs against Roumania and Greece, a fact which she 
wished emphatically to point out." Had Bulgaria attacked 
Serbia at that time, it was clear that she would have found 
herself arrayed against the army of Greece and, in all 
likelihood, that of Roumania, aided by a force of British and 
French troops. Only two days later, two members of the 
Bulgarian Cabinet resigned because Czar Ferdinand re- 
fused to approve an immediate attack on Serbia. Russia 
then, early in October, issued her ultimatum to Bulgaria 
demanding a reply within 24 hours. Receiving none, she 



sent warships to Varna, the Black Sea port of Bulgaria, and 
British and French troops were ordered to Saloniki. Mean- 
while, Bulgarian troops were massed along the Serbian 
borders. Reports then came from the Central Powers that 
men and metal had been collected preparatory to a blow 
against Serbia as the first step in what the popular imagina- 
tion accepted as a fact — German determination to smash 
through Serbia and line up with Bulgaria, thus creating a 
new battle-front from the Austrian border to Constantinople. 

The most obvious fact in the Balkan negotiations was that 
the Allies had suffered a crushing diplomatic defeat. Germany 
had the advantage of being able to offer Bulgaria territorial 
compensation which could be taken from enemies, while the 
Allies had to rely on concessions obtained from friends. 
Germany successfully induced her ally, Turkey, to surrender 
territory to Bulgaria, while the Allies failed in a like en- 
terprise. German diplomacy had found a fertile field in the 
Balkans and cultivated it with skill. The Russian reverses 
and the failure of the Allies in the Dardanelles, both hap- 
pening at Bulgaria's very door, had influence with King 
Ferdinand and his advisers. They produced upon their 
minds that certainty of German victory which made the 
Bulgarian Government declare in its official statement of 
reasons for joining Germany and Austrie that ''Bulgaria 
must fight on the victors' side,'' and that ** Bulgaria would 
commit suicide if she did not fight on the side of the Central 
Powers. ' ' 

In England Bulgaria's act was attributed solely to her 
King. In Paris it was asserted that King Ferdinand was 
so anxious to retrieve the territory he lost in 1913 that he 
was ** blind to larger issues." On the side of the Allies, 
Bulgarian intervention and the reopening of the Balkan 
campaign was viewed with not a little misgiving, altho a ray 
of hope was seen by most London papers in an eventual 
participation of both Greece and Roumania on the side of 
the Entente. 

That Austria would accept as final her humiliation and 
defeat by Serbia in December, 1914, was not expected. In 
the same winter preparations had virtually been set on foot 
for a second invasion. Perhaps 200,000 men were massed 



at Serajevo, and there was talk of a combined Austro- 
German force, but the plans were afterward abandoned for 
the much greater offensive against the Russians in Galicia. 
The Serbian army numbered at this time about 240,000 men 
of all arms, with some 700 miles of frontier exposed to 
attack from east and west. Exposed as she was on the 
Austrian side, Serbia herself held that her danger from 
Bulgaria was even greater and throughout the summer stood 
on guard. By French airmen she was kept well informed 
of all movements within striking distance of the frontier. 
The summer had passed without any serious threats of im- 
mediate danger. 

The first actual invasion of Serbia by Bulgarian troops 
seems to have taken place on October 11 at a point near 
Kniashevatz, to the northeast of Nish. Later Bulgarian 
troops crossed the frontier near Leskovatz, about an equal 
distance to the southeast of the temporary Serbian capital. 
The situation in which Serbia found herself was the worst 
that her fears could have pictured. She faced enemies 
on all sides except the south and the extreme southwest. 
On the north and west the Austro-German forces may not 
at this period have exceeded 150,000 men, but they had an 
overwhelming weight of guns. On the east Bulgaria's army 
probably exceeded 300,000. In all, Serbia's foes in the 
field may have amounted to 600,000; against which she had 
only 240,000 men, inferior in all details of equipment and 
hopelessly outclassed in artillery. Greece, as her ally, had 
failed, while the others — Great Britain, France, Russia and 
Italy — moving slowly, were too far away to render any 
effective help. The tale of the next two months is one of 
pure national tragedy. 

For some weeks an Austro-German army of invasion had 
been assembling north of the Danube. Mackensen's ob- 
jective was both strategically and tactically simple, the 
motive being to win a way to Constantinople. Two routes 
were possible — the Danube and the Ottoman railway. But 
before the Ottoman railway could be used there had to be a 
considerable amount of campaigning done; the great bridge 
over the Save which had been blown up by the Serbians 
a year before, had to be repaired and bridges and embank- 



ments restored between Belgrade and the Bulgarian frontier. 
To cross the river, however, was an easy task. The other 
route would be much slower to win, as it involved the 
capture of Belgrade and ridges to the south of it, and an 
advance to the southwest which would clear the Morava 
Valley up to Niah and the tributary Nishava Valley as far 
as the Bulgarian frontier. To secure both routes, the 
German plan of campaign was one of converging attacks. 
On the 7th both the Save and the Danube were crossed, the 
latter at Belgrade. An immense weight of artillery -fire 
made the city untenable, and on the 8tb the Serbians began 
to evacuate it. During the day fierce fighting continued at 


quays and in the lower part of the town, but by evening 
the Citadel and the royal palace were taken. There was a 
desperate guerrilla struggle in some of the streets. It was 
not till the morning of the 9th that Koevess had the 
whole place in his hands. Next day Bulgaria entered the 
war, having waited till assured of Mackensen's ability to 
force the line of the rivers. 

In the bombardment of Belgrade the guns included 
9-ineh and 12-inch howitzers. In the course of 24 hours 
probably more than 40,000 shells of all sorts were thrown 
into the area of the Belgrade defenses. Meanwhile aero- 
planes were kept flying low over the city and dropping 



bombs. To this terrific assault the city was unable to reply 
effectively. The only Allied guns which were in position to 
offer active resistance were Russian guns in the fortress. 
The destruction was almost complete. The city was on fire 
at many points, and the whole river front was pulverized. 
During the night of the 6th the Teutonic force began 
landing operations, using flotillas of flat-bottomed boats 
which had been prepared at Jakevo, on the Save, and be- 
hind Semlin. The landing was made in two places — on the 
west of Tziganlia Island, which was connected with the Ser- 
bian shore by a bridge; and at the Danube quays on the 
front of the city itself. By daybreak between 4,000 and 
5,000 men had made good their footing at these two points. 
The eastern portion of Tziganlia Island was still held by a 
small force of Serbian infantry; but in the course of that 
day, the survivors were compelled to evacuate. 

The crossing of the Drina offered as much trouble to 
troops as the Vistula and Dneister had given in the early 
summer because of the mountains along the banks, which 
gave fine positions for hidden artillery and machine-guns. 
The stream itself is in some places rapid, yet silent. Every 
sound was re-echoed at night from these mountains. When 
the Teutonic engineers got to work on pontoon bridges, the 
launching of timber and boats drew fire. Crossings were 
effected only after the Serbian guns had been overpowered 
by superior artillery. 

During the first operations, about a thousand Teutons 
succeeded in reaching the opposite bank across the pontoon- 
bridges, amid a shower of shrapnel and machine-gun fire. 
While the bridges were being constructed and finished, a 
sanguinary hand-to-hand battle was fought. Bridges were 
destroyed half a dozen times before the first man could 
reach the other bank. At night under searchlights the 
grimness of the scene made men shudder. An Austrian 
officer estimated the losses of the Austro-Hungarians on the 
Drina sector on the night of the actual crossing as over four 
thousand in killed and wounded. When he himself was 
passing over a bridge it was blown up and three hundred* 
men were thrown into the river, mostly wounded. The 
officer was rescued only after he had hung on to debris 


After Austro-German forces under Mackeasen had effi-ctcd a crossing of 
tbf Dannbe at Belgrade and e1se»li(rt their progreBS across the country 
iras rapid, assisted as It was by Bulgarian attacks on Serbia s right flank. 

quer the one weak little statF The fall of Hontcaegro was effected no leas 
rapidly, and then the greater part of Alhsola was overrun The reader will 
note In Albania the two towns Berat and Elbasan both of which were re- 
covered early In 1018 by a franco Italian force and thus became the first 
steps In the decisive campalRn won Id Serbia later In the soason by the 
Eutente forces under General Franclnet D Fsperez. 


for several hours. During the time he was in the water, 
the same bridge was repaired and blown up four times, 
hundreds of men being thrown into the water each time. 
When the invading troops finally got across the river, the 
Serbians attacked them with great vigor, at first piAning 
them to the river banks and preventing them from debouch- 
ing from bridge-heads. In the bombardment huge shells 
threw up debris to the height of five-story houses. Every 
square yard of the city was systematically searched by 
machine-gun fire. When crowds of refugees streamed out, 
German airmen dropt bombs on them. Attack after attack 
was driven back before the Germans gained a footing. 
Then their most formidable task began, for they had to win 
the capital, street by street. As George Renwick^** said, 
they *'had to pay a price for every paving-stone." Prison- 
ers told him it was appalling work. Every street-corner 
seemed a citadel. Before the Germans were masters of 
Belgrade the city had become */a mass of smouldering ruins, 
strewn in the grimmest horror with a coverijig of the dead." 
Once in possession, the Germans opened, fir^ on the Serbian 
positions behind it. Lines of trenches wer6 ffekrched one by 
one. Facing Belgrade and Semendria, the- river bank was 
often a long-continuing line of flame. The capture of a 
hill was frightfully expensive. Every hill had to be covered 
with dead before it could be won. After 12 days' onslaught. 
General Mackensen succeeded in obtaining little more than a 
foothill on the southern side of the river. On the Drina 
front he found his task equally heavy. Time after time the 
attacking forces were driven back. After ten days of se- 
vere fighting, he concentrated his forces on positions beyond 
Belgrade and Semendria, the object evidently being to drive 
south from the former place to Kraguyevats, while the Se- 
mendria army was to ascend the Morava Valley — ^the historic 
highway to Central Europe, by which the Turks in the 
seventeenth century invaded Hungary in their progress to 
the gates of Vienna. A second crossing of the Danube was 
made at Semendria, where the attack began a day later than 
the one on Belgrade, the bombardment being equally fierce 
and overwhelming. It was estimated that the Germans and 

*»> Correspondent of The Daily Chronicle (London). 
V. VIII— 18 265 


Austrians had in action against Semendria no fewer than 
200 guns of all calibers. There was practically nothing 
with which to reply to this tremendous fire. After two days 
the Teutons crossed the river in force and occupied the 
town, altho not until after desperate fighting had occurred 
with Serbian infantry. 

On October 18, after showering 10,000 shells on the Ser- 
bian position, the Teutons took Malakresna, but a strong 
force of Serbian infantry, concealed in the forest, attacked 
and drove them out. On the 19th the Teutons took Rawla, 
south of Belgrade. The heights of Avala were also captured 
after heavy fighting from October 18 to October 19. Mean- 
while, in the Morava Valley, progress was equally difficult. 
On October 19 the Teutonic advance lines were no farther 
south than a line extending from north of the Lubejevo 
bridge eastward to slightly north of Passarowitz. 

Mr. Renwick motored north from Palanka to the neigh- 
borhood of Azanya, when a most imposing spectacle was pre- 
sented in that angle of the Danube and Morava. Far in 
front were **the purple-blue'' mountains of Hungary, their 
dark sides lit up with the constant lurid flare of Germany's 
heavy artillery. Six miles away could be seen the Danube. 
General Mackensen's machinery had then been battering 
away for two weeks. From a little hill called Ossoie Mr. 
Renwick could plainly see the positions of the Teutonic 
cavalry. During the morning two heights nearer at hand, 
on both of which the Serbians were in position, had been 
subjected to ** perhaps one of the most appalling deluges 
of shells of all sizes that the war has yet seen." The hill 
and its neighbor were ** simply blown out of existence." 
From fair green hills they were altered to ** shapeless 
masses of iron-shard, on which nothing could live." 

The Serbians were described as being **as gay as a holi- 
day." They had so hampered the Teutonic advance that 
it seemed as if General Mackensen would need months to 
carry out his scheme. And in these months succor from the 
Allies, coming from the south, might wreck him. Macken- 
sen 's army probably did not consist of more than 150,000 
men, but was provided with artillery which would be con- 
sidered ample were his army composed of a million. Into 



Belgrade alone 50,000 shells were poured. Mr, Renwiek 
thought the German army a "scratch force gathered to- 
gether from all quarters." He spoke with prisoners who 
had come from the Flanders, French, Italian, and Russian 
fronts, from garrisons in Germany and from throughout the 
conquered territory. Many were young men .of 18, who 
had left their homes only & few months before. It was an 
army fighting without reserves. 

The Bulgarian attacks were delivered at eight different 
points. On October 21 the army of General von Koevess, 
from Belgrade, -had forced its way as far as Leskovatz and 


Stepoyavevatz, about thirty miles south and southwest of 
Belgrade, and was threatening Sopot, slightly to the east of 
those places. Keeping pace with Koevess on his left, was 
General von Gallwitz, from Semendria, who had occupied 
Selevatz and was pushing up the valley near Ranovatz, 
On the east fighting was in progress along the whole length 
of the Bulgarian frontier. Commencing from the north, 
the Bulgarians had occupied Negotin and Zaitchar, and des- 
perate combats were going on near both Pirot and Kniashe- 
vatz. The Bulgarians were close to Kumanovo. Pushing up 
the valley of the Bregalnitsa, a Bulgarian column reached 


the railway at Veles, and occupied half of the town on the 
eastern bank of the river. 

Forlorn was Serbia's plight, with an enemy outnumbering 
her armies by three to one, and with ten times the weight 
of guns. Not only was the fate of the country sealed, but 
the whole Serbian army, as well as the Government, with the 
King, the Crown Prince and all the foreign missions, were 
in imminent danger of being surrounded and compelled to 
let themselves fall into the enemy's hands. The sole ray of 
light was the fact that the Allies were landing troops at 
Salouiki, and that small French and British columns had 
come up along the railway across the frontier. In any 
encounters the Serbs alone would be outnumbered by as 
many as five to one. This was the ease in a valiant eleven 
days' battle which raged before Uskup. For the greater 
part of that struggle the contending Serbian and Bulgarian 
armies were at a distance of only two hundred yards from 
one another. Hand-to-hand encounters were frequent with 
heavy losses on both sides. 

The Morava Valley, along which the allied German and 
Austro-Hungarian troops pushed forward from a junction 
with the Bulgarians, forms the core of old Serbia. The 
greatest part of Serbia's trade flows through this valley. 
Here, also, is much of the small kingdom's richest agricul- 
tural land. Through this narrow strip, the mountainous 
Balkan country has maintained- contact with the West. The 
valley forms one of those famed thoroughfares along which 
armies have poured through all history. Many powerful 
conquerors in past ages have traversed the very course now 
to be taken by Teutonic soldiers. When Roman Constanti- 
nople was in its zenith, its generals, with armies in the 
Morava Valley, held back Slav incursions. Crusaders 
marched this way to cross into Asia Minor, On their way 
exuberant Franks and Teutons often kept people guessiBg 


mercial expansion in the rich tho stagnarit areas of Asia 
Minor and Mesopotamia. The Morava is not only Serbia's 
largest river, but one of the most important streams in the 
Balkans. The line of the Orient Express, coming from 
Paris, Munich, and Vienna, parallels this river. 

After the Bulgarians took Uskup, 5,000 of the 20,000 
men in garrison made a last stand in the hills midway be- 
tween Uskup and Kaschanith. The Bulgarians, having out- 
flanked them from the Tetovo plain, forced them to take 
up a position at the entrance to the Kaschanik defile. Louis 
Edgar Brown ^, who saw this battle, described how the 
Serbian artillery began the fray. Thousands upon thou- 
sand of shrapnel and high-explosive shells were thrown to 
the enemy. Bulgarian prisoners said shells fell on first 
and second line trenches and barricades continuously, with 
a roar of ''a siren on an ocean liner." Everything was 
drowned by the continuous exploding of Serbian shells. 

The Serbians calmly dug themselves out of the mud, and, 
with fixt bayonets, prepared to sell their lives dearly. The 
first attack struck the Bulgarians in the dusk of evening. 
The Serbians drove on like huge waves, accepting only hand 
encounters, and not pausing to aim the fire of their rifles. 
They seemed to be obsessed with a determination to get their 
bayonets into the Bulgarians, ** laughing at their foes as 
they lay mortally wounded on the ground." Detached 
groups, at hundred paces along the battle-front, ** stabbed, 
clubbed, bit and choked savagely." The battle became a 
melee such as only Bulgarians and Serbians as traditional 
enemies were capable of fighting. Their ruling passions 
were hatred and revenge. When the battle ended the Ser- 
bians had lost the road to Uskup. Realizing that their 
retreat was cut off, they ** fought like cornered wolves." 
While the Serbian nation knew its cause was lost, the army 
was determined to die resisting to the last shell and last 
man. The Bulgars entered Uskup on the evening of Octo- 
ber 23. Next morning the battle was resumed on the 
western side of the town. There, too, in face of superior 
forces, the Serbs put up a splendid fight. 

•Correspondent of The Daily "News (Chicago), whose account In part Is 
summarized here. 



The loss of Uskup was a misfortune of the first magni- 
tude. It cut oflf all communications between the Vardar and 
Morava valleys; it blocked the routes to Prilep and Monas- 
tir in the south and access to Kossovo and Novi-Bazar in 
the north. The outlook for Serbia was black indeed, strug- 
gling as she was against three powerful enemies — Germany, 
Austria, and Bulgaria — and she made a last despairing ap- 
peal to the Allies for aid. Throughout the land a mass of 
fugitives of every age and condition fled distractedly by the 
few routes left open to the southwest. Nish became a be- 
leaguered city. Food was scarce, and vehicles could hardly 
be obtainejd for love or money. By the 26th, disaster had 
followed disaster. 

On October 14, after fighting for a week, Gallwitz had 
stormed the fortifications of Passarowitz, and, deploying 
his army on a forty-mile front, began to advance slowly up 
the right bank of the Morava, having reached the Vodonj- 
Misljenova line on the 18th, these two points being respec- 
tively six and nine miles from the Danube. Koevess, who 
was moving up the left bank of the Morava, having cap- 
tured Belgrade on the 14th, stormed the strong Serbian 
positions on Mount Avala about eight miles south of the 
town, and then pushed forward in a southerly direction, 
his right detained for some days till he captured the forti- 
fied town of Obrenovatz.^ Nish was Mackensen's objective. 
When he^ reached it, the Orient railway through Bulgaria 
would be* at his disposal. How to block his way was the 
problem the Allies had to solve. 

The Rhodope Mountains, stretching the whole length of 
the ^gean Coast from the Struma to the Maritza, offered 
an impenetrable barrier to an army attempting to reach 
the railway from the south until it reached Dedeagatch, 
where the railway from Saloniki turns up the Maritza val- 
ley and joins the Orient line at Kuleli Burgas. Dedeagatch 
was therefore a point of strategical importance. It could 
be reached both by sea and land from Saloniki. From 
Nish to Constantinople, allowing for the winding route of 
the Orient railway, the distance, is more than 400 miles, 
so that, unless Germany was assured of the neutrality of 

•The Cologne Gazette. 



Greece and Roumania, Maekensen's advancing army might 
be in a precarious position. German prisoners taken by 
Serbians admitted that on various battlefields they had ex- 
perienced nothing so extraordinary as the stubborn way in 
which men on the Morava slowed down the German ad- 
vance. Nothing, in the opinion of the Serbians, could drive 
them out of their positions, save, perhaps, the heaviest 
howitzers. In one encounter with the Bulgarians 5,000* 
Serbs held a pass against 20,000. For some time the 
Teutonic invaders, it was expected, would fight only rear- 
guards, the Serbians, doing as they had done on previous 
occasions, falling back until they reached positions where 
they could hold their ground. The attack for a time met 
with real resistance. The Serbians gave ground foot by 
foot, and after the fall of Nish Maekensen's drive slack- 
ened. But he had what he set out to get — the Danube 
route and the Ottoman railway, and the campaign was left 
in Bulgarian hands, wh^re it became a campaign of long- 
cherished and bitter revenge. 

A blockade of the Bulgarian coast in the Mgesn Sea 
by Entente Allied warships was put into effect on October 16. 
This strip of Bulgarian coast runs from Saritchahan, in 
Greece, to Enos, in European Turkey, a distance of about 
eighty miles, and consists of territory obtained from Tur- 
key as a result of the Balkan wars. The chief seaports 
are Dedeagatch, Porto Lagos, Maronia and Mecri. Running 
parallel with the short line, at a distance back of from 
five to ten miles, is the Saloniki-Constantinople railroad. 
Late in October occurred a bombardment of this coast by 
British, French and Russian ships, mostly monitors, destroy- 
ers and cruisers, under direction of Vice-Admiral de Robeck. 
The first shots were fired at the barracks in Dedeagatch, 
which were full of soldiers, who ran in hundreds out of the 
building to and fro, seeking shelter. Heavy guns shelled 
the barracks, while destroyers trained their guns on fleeing 
soldiers and inflicted heavy punishment. Every building 
of military importance came under fire and was razed to 
the ground. "While the bombardment was proceeding, a 
train sped along at top speed, and the destroyers subjected 
it to heavy shelling. The railway line was torn up, the 



station completely wrecked and loaded railway-trucks along 
the line caught fire. 

The Allied forces from Saloniki now began operations 
against the Bulgarians. An advance guard of French 
troops crossed the Greek frontier into Macedonia on October 
21. The first encounter took place on the 23d at Robrovo, 
an important tactical point on the road from the town of 
Strumitza to the Strumitza station, which it was necessary 
to occupy in order to safeguard the railway. The French 
then pushed on to Krivolak, where the Bulgarians, who held 
an entrenched position at Istip, unsuccessfully attacked them 
on the 30th. On November 2 a further advance up the 
railway was made to Gradsko, at the confluence of the 
Cerna and Vardar rivers. The whole of the Vardar Valley 
from Gradsko to the Greek frontier was in French pos- 
session, the French being able to advance north of the 
Cerna. The Serbians were helped by the weather, which 
was cold and wintery. Then rains set in and impeded the 
movements of enemy troops and guns, which, at the best, 
had to move slowly over what answered for roads. For 
two weeks the Serbians offered stubborn resistance to Austro- 
Germans in the north, and for more than a week fought the 
Bulgarians along their eastern frontier, where lines were 
broken at places and towns captured. In the meantime, ad- 
ditional French and British forces were landed at Saloniki. 

Throughout November the situation in Macedonia was de- 
pendent on results of the campaign in Serbia. Altho the 
Bulgarian General Teodoroff was firmly established at 
Uskup until the First Bulgarian army was free to reinforce 
him, he was not strong enough to do more than hold up 
the French in the Cerna-Vardar salient, and at the same 
time prevent the Serbian army of the north from breaking 
through into Macedonia. What he did, was to occupy 
Tetovo and Katchanik, and by so doing sever communication 
between Serbia and IMacedon'a except by a circuitous route 
through Albania. But he did more than this. He kept a 
sufficient force at Istip and Strumitza to prevent a further 
advance of the Allies northward, and placed nearly a whole 
division in and about Mount Archangel, a formidable ridge 
some four or five miles west of the Cerna, in order to 



check any attempt of the French to advance westward with 
the purpose of linking up the Serbian troops that 
were holding the Babuna Pass. 

These dispositions were successful. The French crossed 
the Cema on November 5, driving in Bulgarian outposts 
before their advance, but before they got far on their way 
were pulled up in front of the enemy's main position on 
]\Iount Archangel, and were unable to get nearer than 
within ten miles of the Babuna Pass. No reserves were 
immediately available, and Colonel Vassitch's small Serbian 
army, being unable to wait, because in danger of being en- 
veloped, fell back toward Monastir, abandoning the Babuna 
Pass. Then the Bulgarians turned on the French, and 
counter-attacked with great violence, but with no real gain 
to show for the loss of 4,000 men. The French retained and 
reinforced all their positions up to November 27, when 
Sarrail, perceiving that the Bulgarians were being rein- 
forced from the north, and that there was no further hope 
of saving the Serbian army, began to retire from a position 
which had been rendered precarious by the Serbian retreat. 

The Austro-German offensive had become more pronounced 
as the Serbian resistance weakened. General Koevess con- 
tinued his advance south of the Western Morava toward the 
Sanjak, and occupied Novi-Bazar, while two days later his 
right wing entered Prijpolye. The Serbian Government, 
which after the fall of Nish had gone to Mitrovitza, left that 
town for Prisrend, and General Koevess occupied it, whne 
the right wing of General Gallwitz's army, forestalling the 
Bulgarians, who had a temporary setback west of Leskovatz, 
occupied Prishtina. The enemy's rapid advances decided the 
Serbian Government to leave Prisrend and establish itself at 
Skutari, the ancient capital of Stephen Dunshan, where 
Prince Alexander arrived with M. Passitch and the foreign 
ministers, after a rough cross-country journey through Al- 
bania. With the fall of Mitrovitza and Prishtina the his- 
toric plain of Kossovo, where Sultan Amurath overwhelmed 
the Serbian army under the Tsar Lazar in 1389, was again 
delivered into an enemy's hand, and the Serbians forced to 
seek shelter in the mountains of Albania and Montenegro. 

Mackensen now left Generals Koevess and Bojadjeff to 



continue the pursuit of the Serbians into Albania, while he 
drew off General Gallwitz's army for operations elsewhere. 
On November 29 the Bulgarians captured Prisrend, where 
they claimed to have taken between 16,000 and 17,000 
prisoners, 50 field-guns, and a quantity of war-material. 
KoQvess with his Austro-Hungarian troops meanwhile con- 
tinued his advance across the Lim River, but not without 
encountering a tough resistance from the Montenegrin army, 
which was bravely keeping the field under command of the 
old King Nicholas. The Montenegrin frontier was crossed 
on December 1, and Plevlie, the former headquarters of 
the Austrian army when in occupation of the Sanjak, was 
occupied, on the 2d. Farther south the Bulgarians, follow- 
ing up the retreating Serbians, occupied Dibra on December 
4, and Djakova on the 7th. The German troops of Koevess's 
army reached Ipek on the same day. Pursuit came to an 
end as the Serbian troops, dispersed and broken up into 
small detachments, found their way as best they could along 
mountain-tracks converging on Skutari. 

By December 2 the long struggle for Monastir had ended. 
The Serbians evacuated the town and their positions in 
front of it, and the enemy took possession. The force which 
occupied it included Austrians and Germans. Automobiles 
containing Austro-German and Bulgarian officers, entered 
first, followed by detachments of German, Bulgarian and 
AjUstrian cavalry officers. The officers proceeded to the 
Government buildings, where they hoisted the national flags 
of the Central Powers and their allies. The Bulgarian in- 
habitants displayed their joy by firing guns and pistols. 
Public and private buildings displayed flags of the con- 
querors. The hated Star and Crescent flag of Turkey was 
now seen once more in Monastir side by side with that of 

Monastir was one of the most prized acquisitions made by 
the Serbians in the war of 1912. By means of schools, 
propaganda, Serbian committees, and Serbian priests, the 
people had long been prepared for an ultimate union with 
the Serbian kingdom. The Serbians pursued the same tac- 
tics here that the Bulgarians and Greeks had pursued for 
years in endeavors to win the upper hand in the Turkish 



province of Macedonia. Monastir was to Serbian ambitions 
what the port of Saloniki was to Greeks and Bulgarians. 
It was the second city of Turkish Macedonia, and did a 
thriving business even under Turkish rule, when it was a 
base of military defense and offense of the same rank as 
Adrianople, Here were the headquarters of a Turkish army 
corps. Roads from the port of Saloniki, on the ^gean, 
from the port of Durazzo, on the Adriatic Sea, from Nish, 
the ancient capital of Serbia, and from the important 
fortresses of Adrianople, meet and cross here. The Serbians 
strengthened its defensive works after their occupation. 


General Sarrail, who had come from the Western Front, 
and now commanded a considerable body of Allied troops 
based on Saloniki, had for his problem in the Balkans 
to bring back the French left and center till a continuous 
frontal line could be formed with British troops who occu- 
pied the right flank. Quick to appreciate the position, the 
Bulgarian commander determined to prevent Sarrail from 
effecting his object. Concentrating the bulk of his troops 
on the right and left of the Strumitza-Dorian road, he 
sought to drive a wedge between British and French troops, 


throw the iormer haek on tb*- Gret-k fr-»iiT3«-, and intereept 
the Preneh line of retreat down the Vardar Vailey. The 
pJan was well eoneeived, but fail^ owimr to the stand made 
br the Tenth British Diviaoo. On Dr^rrznWr 5 the Freneh, 
who had withdrawn from Krirolak tw<i days earlier, reached 
the Demir-Kapa defile, and were cc»miiiu:ng tbeir i>etreat on 
the 6th when, after a heavy b<*mbardmeDi. a Bulgarian at- 
tack was lanccbed on the Brit:>h position, and pushed home 
with ^reat determination. Under eorer of a mist^ small 
parties of the Bul^rians gH>t into British tnmehes, but 
were immediately driven out. Undaunted by failure, the 
Bulgarians next day renewed the attaek. and by wei^t of 
superior numbers pushed the British out of their first posi- 
tion, and eompeUed them under cover of darkness to with- 
draw to a second line of trencher On the Sth the attack 
was again rmewed. but this time the British troops held 
their ground till it was necessary to retire to a third 
position in order to conform with the French movements. 
The British casualties were 1.5«X\ The Bulgarian losses 
must have been correspondingly heavy. 

The joint Teutonic-Bulgarian conquest of Serb:a was thus 
accomplished after a two months'* campaign, in which the 
Serbian Army of not more than 250aX>0 men had to fight 
against odds of probably three to one. The result was a 
foregone conclusion as soon as it was clear that little aid 
could be expected from the Allied Powers. The Serbians 
fought with heroic courage, to which the Germans paid tes- 
timony, but there is a limit to what heroism can accomplish 
against superior force. The Serbian Army was completely 
broken up and lost the bulk of its guns and equipment, but 
its fighting spirit remained. There was reason to believe 
that, after recuperation and refirtine, it would be able to 
resume the ofl'ensive in the spring in conjunction with the 
army of the Allies, which was concentrating at Saloniki. 

Heavy fighting continued well into December, when in the 
neighborhood of Lake Doiran, the British and French were 
simultaneously attacked: but because of re*nforcements they 
were able to repel the onsets. 3^[ore than 8,000 dead and 
wounded were said to have been left on the field by the 
Bulgarians during two assaults on the British lines. At the 



8econ<} assault, the fire of artillery, rifles and nQitrailleuses 
was opened on advancing masses. The Bulgarians faced 
the murderous hail at a run for 300 yards. Those who 
survived could not approach nearer and so broke into flight, 
which became a helter-skelter rout. The Bulgars started 
frenzied and simultaneous attacks on both banks of the 
Vardar, and strove to drive a wedge between Dublyani and 
Predevo. The French had no fewer than 200 cannon vomit- 
ing fire on a restricted three-mile front, and the battlefield 
was strewn with corpses. But on December 12 the last 
yard of Serbian territory passed into the occupation of the 

Teutonic allies and the Bulgarians. Within a few miles of 
Greek territory, the Bulgars, led by German officers, made 
attempts to annihilate the Anglo-French rear-guard, which 
escaped, retiring down the Vardar in order to occupy the 
first series of defensive positions already prepared. 

No mere outline can give any idea of the dreadful nature 
of the Serbian retreat. It must be remembered that it was 
not the mere retirement of an army. It was probably 
unique in that not one active army, but all the armed forces 
of the nation were withdrawing from the country. And 



with those armies went the King and members of the royal 
family, the Government and all its civil personnel; the 
foreign legations and the doctors, nurses, and staffs of the 
hospitals of the Allied peoples. Most pathetic of all was 
the great mass of peasant refugees, villagers, peasants and 
people of the towns who fled in sheer terror. Rather than 
face the Austro-German occupation, the entire Serbian pop- 
ulation, save a few who were held back by some unbreakable 
tie, gathered together what little household goods they could 
and took flight. A great proportion were physically unfit 
to face the difficulties of the road. Almost none had food to 
last through the journey. It was not only armies which 
retired, it was almost a nation which fled. Swelling the 
number of those who had to be fed upon the road were 
some 20,000 Austrian prisoners who had been captured the 
year before. The road which the multitude had to travel, 
for a great part of the way, lay through and over rugged 
mountains, often by paths dangerous at any time; and 
these mountains were peopled by a population of hereditary 
enemies, largely brigands, who fell on small parties and 
robbed and murdered whenever they dared. The crowning 
burden was the fact that the weather was most bitter, heavy 
snow falling for many days with the temperature in the 
mountains for the most part intensely cold. It seems as if 
no detail that could add to the horror of the march was 
omitted. Terrible scenes were witnessed on the road to 
Prisrend. Deep snow lay everywhere. There was practi- 
cally no supply-column or commissariat. The men sustained 
life largely on the carcases of cattle and horses that fell on 
the road. 

At Prisrend 150,000 refugees, among whom the destitu- 
tion and suffering were terrible, were massed. From here 
the only path of escape lay over the forbidden mountains of 
Albania, to Skutari, over 100 miles away. All motor-cars, 
carriages, guns and stores had to be destroyed or thrown 
into the waters of the Ibar, for to get them over the moun- 
tains was impossible. Here Marshal Putinik, very ill, as he 
had been since midsummer, arrived in a motor-car and had 
to be carried in a chair. Here King Peter left his ox-wagon, 
and with two officers as companions, went on foot, with tin 



escort of twelve men. The Crown Prince also went on 
foot, with an escort of twelve of the Royal Guard. All 
arrived finally at their destination, but suffering and broken, 
the Crown Prince lying for some time seriously ill at 

Part of the Serbian troops, instead of taking the road by 
Prisrend, struck west from Prishtina to Ipek in Montenegro, 
and so reached Skutari. These succeeded in taking with 
them some batteries of field- and mountain-guns. Over the 
Albanian Mountains it was not possible to take larger guns. 
The road was in parts of a precipitous and dangerous char- 
acter. In the snow, there was ever a likelihood of detached 
parties missing the route, which was often marked by the 
corpses of those who had fallen. Immense numbers of peo- 
ple, both soldiers and civilians, died from sheer exhaustion, 
from weakness and hunger, lying down at the roadside to 
die. Where a road was steep, or where a small stream had 
to be forced, the road might be marked by accumulations 
of the dead. Not a few people and great numbers of trans- 
port-animals lost their lives by falling out of narrow paths 
down mountain-sides. Many died from frostbite and dysen- 
tery, and not a few, .both Serbian soldiers and civilians, fell 
victims to Albanian inhabitants of the mountains. 

This flight of the Serbians from their country was one 
of the tragic episodes of history. For many who took part 
in the exodus, the retreat lasted over two months. For 
those who started from the center of the country, as from 
Kragujevatz or Krushevatz, the time taken was from six to 
eight weeks. The journey was made in all cases under con- 
ditions of great hardship, from lack of food, from the 
physical difficulties of the latter part of the road, and from 
the bitter weather. The Serbian Army, by the time it 
reached the Adriatic, had lost about 120,000 men, or one- 
half its original strength. The mortality among the civilian 
population will never be known, but it was very great. 
Hardly any country in any age has seen so terrible a 


Skutari was the sixth capital Serbia had had during two 
months. After Nish came Kraljevo, Raska, Mitrovitza, 
Prisrend, and then Skutari. In their flight to Skutari, men 



composing the Serbian Government rode little mountain- 
ponies, but often had to abandon their mounts and go on foot. 
So dangerous were mountain-roads that horses often slipt 
and fell into abysses. Sometimes a man had to go on all 
fours; others, to avoid vertigo, had to be guided. Roads in 
places were worn through the snow a yard deep. Through 
such a country the army could not bring guns and convoys. 
OflScers and soldiers wept as they demolished guns, pieces 
of steel which they called their ''French friends," and 
which had been made at Creusot. After suffering from 
cold, hunger, and fatigue, many soldiers now barefoot, 
reached Skutari. Altogether there arrived by various 
routes 6,000 women and children. The tragedy of the sit- 
uation was that the army had had almost nothing to eat 
for four days. Small quantities of flour were kept and 
baked for women and children. Skutari, altho a temporary 
haven of refuge at which the Serbians gained rest after 
their exhaustion, was by no means a place" of permanent 
safety. It was necessary to get everybody, soldier and 
civilian alike, first to the coast, and then to some place 
across the water beyond the reach of danger. 

On January 11 the Austrians had captured Mount Lovtchen 
in Montenegro, and then they occupied Antivari, which gave 
them command of Skutari Lake, and on the 19th Dulcigno. 
On January 18 the Queen and royal family of Montenegro 
embarked at Medua for Brindisi, and on January 20 the 
King followed. Later he went to France. By this time all 
members of foreign missions and the hospital staffs had got 
away. Serbia's armies had to march by land yet one more stage 
southward to Durazzo. At Durazzo the work of transferring 
them to a place of safety, chiefly to Corfu, and of there 
nursing them back to health and flghting strength, was 
taken over by the French, under General Mondesir, who had 
been sent out for the purpose. 

The war in January invaded the peaceful seclusion of 
]\rount Athos, where Bulgarian monks, from the monastery 
of Zographu, endeavored to oust their Serbian brethren 
from the neighboring monastery of Chilandari. The attack 
failed, owing to the strength of the Serbian defenses. The 
Bulgarians then set flre to a portion of the Serbian struc- 

V. VIII— 19 281 


ture. All the monasteries on this Holy Mountain were for- 
tified in the early Middle Ages, in order to resist the at- 
tacks of prates. Athos, or the Holy Mountain, is well 
known as the third and most easterly spur of the Chaleidiee 
peninsula, which is bounded by the gulfs of Saloniki and 
Orfano, and thus came within the Allied sphere in the 
^gean. On lofty heights overlooking land and sea are sit- 
uated three monasteries. They constitute a curious monastic 
survival and date in actual origin from the eleventh cen- 
tury. The most recent phase in their evolution, the advent 
of Russian monks during the last century, exerted a more 
profound influence on them than any other single event. 
Of the two rival monasteries, the Serbian is the more 
ancient, dating from 1197. Its treasure-chest contains val- 
uable specimens of Serbian ecclesiastical art. The Bulgarian 
monastery of Zographu (named in honor of St. George **the 
Painter") has a church that was built early in the sixteenth 

In co-operation with the Serbians during the winter, 
British troops seized the island of Corfu of the Ionian 
group, about 60 miles south of Valona. Here the German 
Kaiser had a beautiful villa. Every x>ower and alliance of 
powers, which has sought mastery of Adriatic waters, from 
the Delian League of the fifth century b.c., to the En- 
tente Allies in the twentieth century a.d., has warred 
for possession of Corfu. Corfu lies like a watch-tower 
before the narrowing entrance of the Straits of Otranto. To 
the north is a rugged finger of Albanian mountain-land 
that reaches out into a strait, and, bending back, forms the 
splendid naval harbor of Valona. To the northwest the 
long Italian heel cuts out into the sea. There is great 
fertility and much picturesque beauty at Corfu. It was 
originally settled in 734 b.c. by colonists from Corinth. 
The colony grew rapidly in wealth, maritime power, and 
independence. In a dispute with its mother-city, it allied 
itself with Athens, and thus became one of the causes of 
the Peloponnesian War, that world-war of classic times 
which had for historian one of its soldiers — Thucydides. 

The occupation of the Greek island of Cephalonia by 
French and British forces later in the vrinter was made for 



strategic purposes. The event marked another cycle in the 
strange history of a little island in the Ionian Sea about 
100 miles south of Corfu. With an area about three times 
as great as that of Martha's Vineyard, Cephalonia is the 
largest of the seven Ionian islands. From the year of its 
surrender to the Romans, 189 b.c., its history has been 
marked by a succession of changes in ownership. After the 
Roman Emperor Hadrian made a gift of it to Athens, 
Cephalonia and the six other islands of the group became 
"free and autonomous," but during the ascendency of the 
Byzantine Empire were subject to its power. Cyclopean 
and Hellenic walls still stand on the sites of ancient cities. 


Early in the New Year, Montenegro had met with an attack 
similar to that which had crumpled up so completely her 
friend and neighbor, Serbia. The Austrian onslaught, 
which had been a long time in preparation, was prosecuted 
with violence, and menaced several important positions close 
to and on the Adriatic coast. The great Montenegrin strong- 
hold. Mount Lovtchen, behind but overlooking Cattaro, had 
been easily taken. The Austrians here delivered furious at- 
tacks, supported by a hurricane of uninterrupted fire from 
warships and forts off or near Cattaro. The capture of the 
mountain was not only a severe blow to Montenegro, but 
to Italian prestige in the Adriatic, Mount Lovtchen domi- 
nates the Austrian naval port of Cattaro, and Cattaro con- 



trols the Dalmatian coast. To reduce Cattaro and its guar- 
dian forts at Vermatz, and to force the Austrian fleet 
hiding in the Bocche di Cattaro out into the open sea, had 
been an objective of the Allies since the war began. From 
behind the mountain islands which obstruct the waters of 
Cattaro had issued the submarines, which successively sank 
the French battleship Leon Gamhetta and the Italian ar- 
mored cruisers Amalfi and Giuseppe Garibaldi. 

The Bocche di Cattaro is famous for wild scenery, but 
no other part compares with Cattaro itself, surrounded as 
it is by mountains which soar aloft as superbly as those 
of any Norwegian fjord. The mountains* which comprise 
Montenegro, dull and cold, gaunt and bare, rise majestically 
from the smiling blue waters of the bay to a smiling blue 
sky above. To the right of the town is Lovtchen, or Monte 
Cella, as it is also called, hanging threateningly over the 
city **like a frowning demoij awaiting an opportune mo- 
ment to pounce upon and devour the frightened little town 
crouching at its feet." A new road, constructed by the 
Austrians, and a splendid feat of modern engineering, has 
replaced a perilously steep and rough foot-path that was 
in use for centuries by peasants in their long journeys 
over the mountains. This ** Ladder of Cattaro,'* as it is 
called, mounts tjie steep side of the Lovtchen, seeming to 
lurch from side to side like a drunken man, onward and 
onward, passing the castle and zigzagging its weary way 
over a wilderness of rock. 

Small as was Montenegro, with fewer people than Rhode 
Island, on slightly more than the area of Connecticut, it 
had been twice greatly enlarged under King Nicholas, who 
won Nikshidsh and a window on the sea in 1877 and in 
subsequent fighting, and had again profited from the Balkan 
Wars. Its heroic little people, who, alone among all Balkan 
people, have never yielded to the Turk, now retired before 
a mightier foe. In losing Lovtchen, Montenegro lost its west- 
ern bastion, and Austria gained a height which had threat- 
ened its best naval base in Dalmatia. There was world-wide 
sympathy for the Montenegrins. Their political course had 
been singularly free from causes of war, at least during 
the long reign of Nicholas. Under him their development, 



tho stiU primitive, had been rapid. "Wonder grew why- 
Italy, whose Queen was a Montenegrin Princess, and which 
must have had a million armed men in reserve, did not 
take some effectual step to aid the gallant little land — not 
to mention to defend its own power and prestige in the 
By the middle of the month, the capture of Cettinje, the 


capital, was announced. Its fall, after the fall of Mount 
Lovtehen, had been regarded as a matter of only a short 
time. Cettinje is only six miles from that stronghold. 
With Cettinje in the hands of the Austrians, the Montene- 
grins were hemmed in on almost every side, and, unlike 
the Serbians, had little opportunity to retreat beyond the 
borders of their own country. It was doubtful whether 
they would be able to escape into northern Albania, but, 
had they done so, they would have been opposed by hostile 
tribes in that region. Cettinje is a small town. Its popu- 


lation twenty years ago was less than 3,000. It is situated 
in a narrow valley, at an elevation of 2,000 feet. 

Fighting between Austria and Montenegro was resumed 
late in January, King Nicholas having rejected the terms 
Austria offered. The Montenegrin Government was then 
installed at Skutari, but Skutari, which is in northern 
Albania, was taken by Austro-Hungarian troops late in 
January, after a desperate battle of two days, in which the 
Montenegrins made their last resistance on the Tarabosch 
Mountains. Finding they could look for no aid from 
Italy, they gave up the fight. This opened the road for 
the Austrians to descend along the shore of the Adriatic, 
to penetrate into Albania, march upon Durazzo and organize 
a campaign against Valona. The Serbs, so far as they were 
able, fled to the coast and were transported thence to Corfu, 
Tunis and Saloniki, while King Peter took refuge in France. 
There was left only a small Italian force at Valona and a 
few Serbs to meet the oncoming Austrian storm, which was 
now directed against Valona. In five hundred odd years of 
existence Montenegro had never before acknowledged herself 
beaten, altho her mountains had on several occasions been 
overrun by invading forces, her towns burned, and her 
fields laid waste. The entrance of this miniature moun- 
tain State, with its area of only 5,606 square miles, its pop- 
ulation of a little over half a million, its army of 50,000, 
and its aged monarch into the war was purely sympathetic 
and ideal — to defend their brethren, the Serbians. 

The Germans and Austrians thought they saw in their 
victory proof of their final success, but the Allies saw no 
warrant for subjective conclusions. On Franco-Belgian 
fields the war would still have to be decided. Only a few 
thousand Allied troops had been engaged in the Balkans, 
and even if the Allies had to quit the Balkans, and defend 
Egypt or Suez, the actual military effect would not have 
been overwhelming. Maps and reports showed great German 
successes, but neither maps nor reports showed the work of 
the British fleet, or indicated the extent to which Germany 
was isolated and beleaguered. A sortie like tl^e Serbian 
expedition had expanded the area of occupied territories, 
but had not broken the lines that enveloped Germany. 



Cettaro 11?8 a«ar tbe base or Moaot I^vtcben and Is encircled b; a medieval 

wall. Above It, where crosses are seen, are forts dating (rom the time of 

the Venetian occupation 


Economically, Germany had been practically eliminated from 
the outside world, her world commerce gone, and she had 
to finance not merely her own armies, but those of Austria, 
Turkey and Bulgaria. Germany had won a campaign and 
probably accompli^ed all she set out to accomplish, save 
only to obtain peace. Peace, however, was not to be ob- 
tained as a consequence of a minor campait^n in a remote 
field. The essential object of the war had thus far eluded 
her pursuit. East and west the decision she sought to reach 
swiftly had not been reached. Her fleet still lay in hiding 
in the North Sea; the ocean was stript of her commerce; 
her colonies were lost. Her real enemies, Great Britain, 
France and Italy, were still unbeaten, despite all she had 
been able to do. In Serbia, the boasted might of militant 
Germany, aided by Austria and Bulgaria, had merely beaten 
an exhausted small State. More than conquests in Belgium 
and Serbia were needed to save the reputation of militant 

• PriLrlpal Sources : The Cologne Gazette; The Timet, The Daily Chronicle, 
The IStandard, The Momlna Po»t, Lontlon ; The Daily Neu-a (Chicago), The 
Tempe (Paris), The London Tfrnes' "History of the War"; The Timeg, Albert 
Bushnell Hart Id The Outlook, The SBn,_^The Evening Po»t, The Literary 
Digest, New York; The DaUy Neica (London), The Watt Street Journal 
(Kew York), The Economist (London). "Bulletins" at the National Geo- 
graphic Society (New York), Aseaciated Press eorrenpondence. The Forl- 
nighlly Review (London), The World (New York), Alice Lee Mogue'a ■■De- 
lightful TDalmatla" (Punk & WagnalU Company). Tbe rribune (N'eir York). 




May 29, 1916— Ji 

WHEN the Anglo-French A 
donia, and retreated to 
Greece, an unprecedented situat 
stood that, as a result of meet: 
Councils and General Staffs of 
been decided that Saloniki shoi 
of operations in the Balkans. No 
been possible, in view of the dec 
they would stand by the Serbia 
their lost territory. As Serbii 
Saloniki was the natural base fo: 
virons the city lent itself to all 
entrenched camp. On the south i 
through a practically land-locked 
batteries and mines, and by vai 
by the admiralty as a protection 
There was deep water close to 
west at a distance of twelve mil 
river Vardar, unfordable at all 
marshy banks extending for some 
the stream, and contributing to 
river placed in the way of an at 
Saloniki resembles other ports 
nean in being a picture of bear 
sty of squalor near at hand. Sa 
the gulf, who looked at it throi 
soldiers who were quartered in I 
who stumbled through us muddj 



wondered why a sailor aboard ship, with a comfortable ward- 
room to live in, should ever want to go ashore. It is a slat' 
ternly, Levantine town, in a beautiful medieval setting, 
comely in the mass, but unpleasant in detail. This ancient 
city has witnessed notable events and suffered many vicissi- 
tudes in the two and twenty centuries that have passed since 
a brother-in-law of Alexander the Great restored it and 
named it after his wife, Thessaloniki. Under its earlier 
name of Therma, which was 
derived from its hot springs, it 
witnessed the march of Xerxes 
into Greece, and was occupied 
by Athenians in the Pelopon- 
nesian War. Near its walls is 
Philippi, where the fate of the 
known world was decided after 
the assassination of Julius 
Cffisar. In commemoration of 
that event, a Roman arch still 
stands near the Vardar gate, 
but it had "been greatly injured 
by the Turks in 1867 in repair- 
ing their defenses. This arch 
was probably reared in honor 
of the victory of Octavius and 
GBNEEAL BABBA.L Anthouy over Cassius and 

Brutus. Saloniki had flourished 
afterward under successive Roman emperors. 

With the coming of way to her door, Saloniki became a 
picturesque Babel. Her harbor gulf was filled with many 
ships of many flags and her streets became gay with uni- 
forms. The long reach of the gulf revealed a continuous 
procession of ships going and coming, and from their stand- 
ards trailed the most unexpected flags, Roumanian, Belgian, 
Dutch, Russian, Egyptian, all engaged in some way in 
indicating the foreign troops concentrated here on the door- 
step of the Balkans. Huge trans- Atlantic liners, French 
and British, laden with soldiers, glided into the harbor, 
whose entrance was guarded by a common tug metamor- 
phosed into a warship by use of armor and a mounted gun or 


two. This warship flew the F 
Each entering vessel was hailed 
requested to give an account o 
mitted to pass through the ga 
net stretched across the narrowi 
floats. Within the harbor, whose 
submarines by this net, the seen 
Out in the roadstead lay French 
one Italian man-o*-war. To def 
a tiny Greek destroyer hugged 

If the harbor was a conglome: 
of every class of ship, it was as 
the quays. No Port Said or Mar 
a babel, or saw such a kaleidoscoj 
French **poilus" in their sky-bu< 
chasseurs with tam-o'-shanters 
French Colonial troops — Turcos 
khaki bloomers and short gaiters 
pompons on their round caps; Fi 
tails in their helmets; French of 
French sailors and, commonest 
French Territorials. Now and tl 
to make room for a column of C 
straggling lines of Greek infantr 
way. Afoot, bands of British **T 
down crowded streets. British ofl 
the sidewalks from side to side 
vendors into the street. Frenc 
saluted French. But the British 
Cosmopolitan as are the inhabitac 
they were more so now than evei 
tion was by refugees from Serbi 
Among the permanent inhabitan 

The city always had too many 
narrow quarters, but suddenly the 
soldiers with officers, and many ^ 
British soldiers and sailors; IIC 
sailors; and no one knew how m 



diers and refugees. It was found impossible for four men 
to sleep on the floor space needed for one, or for four men 
to sit in one chair in a restaurant, or for four men to stand 
in a spot on the street where there was hardly room for one. 
Even more impossible was it for motor-trucks to occupy the 
space designed for a donkey. The clamor of the streets 
became indescribable. R.chard Harding Davis ^, who visited 
Saloniki in 1915, stayed where half a dozen other American 
correspondents had taken quarters, formerly an Austrian club, 
sleeping on a sofa two feet too short for him. In this hotel, 
and especially its corridors, English, French, Serbians, 
Greeks, men, women, and children — ^wounded and well — all 
slept together. Meals became a continuous performance. 
The dining-room was so crowded that one set of customers 
ordered as another paid their bills. In order to clear the 
table, a waiter with a napkin swept everything on the 
floor. Sixpenny worth of tobacco cost $2, and Scotch whis- 
key rose from four francs to fifteen. 

The Allies, in their entrenched camps at Saloniki, were 
now to become a menace on the flank of the German line 
of communication with Constantinople. They were in pos- 
session of ground suitable for an offensive in the spring of 
1916. All through the autumn and winter there had been 
seen in Saloniki that indescribable, seething crowd, at once 
exotic and yet familiar, dominated by the pink and white 
British ** Tommy,'' doubly fair in that southern land with 
his cleanly shaven cheeks and mud-bespattered uniform. A 
variety of uniforms told of the presence of French, Greeks, 
and Serbs, the last-named arriving in not inconsiderable 
numbers, from remnants of Serbia's little army after its 
flight. It was essentially a military crowd, and yet the 
civilian was not wanting — Christian, Jew, and Turk, drest in 
every fashion, from the smart morning-coat to the long 
fur-lined dressing-gown and turban — every class and every 
nationality. Never had such wealth poured into Saloniki. 
Hotel proprietors, shopkeepers, owners of cafes, bars and 
** movie" shows revelled in a golden harvest. 

Among foot-passengers rolled wheeled traffic, presenting 
strange anomalies and infinite variety. With a regularity 

B Correspondent of Tbe Tribune (New York). 



that was almost wearisome, elect 
tervals of perhaps half a minutCj 
bells. Between street-cars, roun 
them, were motor-lorries, strani 
victorias, bullock-wagons. Red C 
drays drawn by Clydesdale ho 
England and laden with goods, 
boxes, carts full of meat, and ca: 
of pack mules, little pack poni« 
tels, and often the families of p 
motor-cars full of officers of ge; 
orderly disorder, this varied tr 
bumping and squeezing, now ba< 
let some great mechanical mons 
in what looked like an eternal 
on again without apparent diflScul 
with restraint and good humor, ai 
the stamp of eflSciency and contrc 
In the first days of 1916, Russ 
campaign southward toward the 
the Pripet to the Roumanian fr( 
least three hundred miles, Brusiloi 
confidence, began delivering blc 
German armies. Heights on the I 
Bukowina capital, were soon take 
This drive made from Bessarab 
regarded as one of the most ambit 
that had been devised since be^ 
promised much as an attempt to 
whole Teutonic line across the Ba 
was that Russia and the other All 
sides should meet in the Balkans 
tery of the peninsula. If they si 
subdued. The work of the Russia 
to making a gap between the Ge 
and the Austrian forces in the s< 
counter-attacks in the region of K 
vent this. An outstanding succes 
time promised to have far-reach 
This offensive in its early phases 1 



large contingents of German troops from the Macedonian 
theater of war, and by this means gained time for the Allies 
to complete the construction of their entrenched camp at 
Saloniki and to land reinforcements of men and material. 

By the end of June it was known that a successful move- 
ment of the Serbian Army from Corfu to Saloniki had been 
effected. Over 100,000 men had been taken through seas in- 
fested with submarines without a mishap or the loss of one 
man. There had been a steady flow of troops into Saloniki 
regularly, methodically, and unceasingly for four weeks. 
The transports were French. The achievement, however, 
would not have been possible without British warships. Un- 
ceasing patrolling by the British had made the seaways 
clear and safe. Over a hundred thousand Serbians were 
now encamped on the plains and in the valleys near 
Saloniki, tall, thickset fellows showing no traces of the hard- 
ships and sufferings of their retreat and exposure through 
Albania. Four months' recuperation in Corfu had sloughed 
away all marks of sickness, toil and .privation. Few had 
heard anything from their families for over six months. 
At the Serbian camp, all the talent of the regiment was 
employed to entertain guests. Some of the songs were 
stirring, even tho the words could not be understood. What 
everybody most enjoyed was the dance, the famous hora of 
the Balkans, very simple as far as the steps went. Good- 
fellowship prevailed between oflScers and men as they joined 
hands in a huge semicircle which to rhythm and measure 
slowly revolved on the green. Seeing these men it was 
difficult to realize that each of them had been more than 
once wounded and that the commanding officer had been 
wounded nine times; that they had been fighting almost 
continuously for four years; that they had been through 
scenes and experiences that might excusably have shattered 
the nerves and broken the bodies of the strongest. 

Saloniki had seen many strange sights since Alexander's 
time, but never such as now. The armies of twelve nations 
had been brought to that region, to fight over neutral ter- 
ritory which belonged to none of them, and to which none 
of them laid any claim. Here Bulgars and Serbs were con- 
testing for ground which four years before they had jointly 



conquered from the Turks and 
sians and British were on one si 
on the other. The line-up of th; 
as follows: Allied Powers — Free 
Russians, Montenegrins, Albanian 
— Bulgars, Austrians, Hungariani 
were among the belligerents 
neutral, they had been doing as 
Greek garrisons on the Struma hi 
their government to surrender tl 
and instead had put up a resisti 
journalists of the heroism of their 

Early in November, 1915, a Zepi 
niki while the French and English ^ 
was of large dimensions. After 
began real operations by droppir 
into the sea. Warships opened firi 
shots the ships were obliged to c€ 
the population, now filling the 
missed the next target, but blew 
wounded a small boy. A bomb s< 
with fats, oils, benzine and sugar 
like a torch, and the population b 
Zeppelin continued to rain down 
demolished the mosque of Yussof 
injuring eleven Greek refugees fi 
sheltered in it. Another crashe 
house and instantly killed five per 
blazing warehouse lit up the who 
against which stood out the wh 
fleeing under canvas. Fast aerc 
the Zeppelin, while British, Fr< 
sailors operated a fireboat at a ^ 
of water on the fire. The bombs 
weighed about 100 pounds, and 
estimated at 2,000 feet. The tota 
raid was eighteen killed and tl 
material damage was estimated ; 

Early in February Saloniki agai 
of a Zeppelin raid. Persons lying 


that differed from the familiar whirr of the aeroplane. 
Between then and 3 o'clock 25 large bombs fell with ter- 
rific crashes in the harbor and on the town. People with 
windows facing south distinctly saw the airship. From the 
roofs of some house might be seen the crowded dwellings 
of the town which rise amphitheater-like on a hill, flickering 
one after another into light, as the streets filled quickly. 
Greek firemen worked hard with hand-pumps. Blue-jackets, 
hurriedly landed from the ships, came along at the double, 
carrying hose. Several wounded Greeks were in the streets. 
Seven others were killed near the docks and ten in the town. 
A man and his wife were killed in bed. In all, two Greek 
soldiers were killed and 28 persons wounded. 

Between two and three o'clock on the morning of May 5, 
the people of Saloniki witnessed a fight against, and the 
destruction of, a third raiding Zeppelin. The giant airship 
afterward lay in shallow water near the mouth of the river 
Vardar. Shortly after 1 o'clock that night the c'ty had 
been plunged into darkness, a warning having been received 
that a Zeppelin had crossed the lines and was flying toward 
the city. About 2.15 the hum of engines was clearly heard 
by those whom the turning out of the lights had put on 
the alert. With the night cloudless and flying at a great 
altitude, the Zeppelin steered a course straight across the 
city. When over the gulf, searchlights caught in their 
glare the silvery form of the raider remaining clearly visible 
for fully a quarter of an hour. Anti-aircraft guns opened 
flre, a hurricane of shells bursting round the airship, some 
very close to it, while it remained practically stationary for 
some time. At 2.30 a shell appeared to onlookers to have 
struck and passed clean through it, while another seemed 
to have burst in its center. Then two blazing shells fell 
from near the tail of the airship. These were incendiary 
shells dropt by an aeroplane which had gone up when the 
first alarm was given, and was waiting for the raider. The 
Zeppelin seemed at once to be out of control; it turned to 
the left, as if to return, and then veered to the right, with 
a dip in front. Another shower of shells burst round it, 
and a minute afterward searchlights lost its position. For 
nearly half an hour people waited for the Zeppelin's re- 



appearance, and then at 3 o'clo< 
aceompanied by a dull roar, lit 
This signalled the end of the rai 
searchlights lost it, the aircraft, 
the sea, and then blew up. A f 
sent out a flashlight message am 
fleet the destruction of the Zepp 


Id tbe foreground Is a GermsD aeroplane 

scouts during 

cheering from all the warships ir i 
lay in the shallow waters of a mj 
empties itself into the sea. The i 
men. After lying in this shallow 
Zeppelin exploded or was set on 
exploded bombs were found in 

Twelve men of the Zeppelin 
French as they eame out of thi I 

* Dispatcb from fleorge Renwlok In Tb 
V. VIII— 20 2fl7 


They said the Zeppelin had come from Temesvar in Hun- 
gary, a very long journey, over mountain ranges. Directly 
they got over Saloniki, they found the searchlights that 
picked them up were of such unusual power that they were 
dazzled and unable to pick up their bearings.' At the same 
time shells began to burst all around them. They were 
hit several times, one balloonet being burst, and one of the 
four motors hit and stopt. It was probably a shell from an 
anti-aircraft 12-pounder on the fore-bridge of a British 
battleship lying in the gulf that actually brought the Zep- 
pelin down. A shell was clearly seen to strike her. From 
that moment she drifted gradually down to the marshes, 
the fall taking over a quarter of an hour. The prisoners 
were lodged in a building that was formerly the German 
school at Saloniki. The gaunt skeleton as it lay there 
reared itself up 50 feet above the marsh, and became a con- 
spicuous landmark for vessels entering the Gulf. All around 
the framework were semicircular brackets in which the 
bombs were carried. Men found one that weighed 150 
pounds still in position. This Zeppelin seems to have been 
nearly 600 feet long. The propellers were polished walnut- 
wood, built in layers, and edged with copper. From a 
letter found on one of the Zeppelin's crew, the fact was 
established that this was the same Zeppelin that had bom- 
barded Saloniki in February. Confronted with this evi- 
dence, the prisoners admitted the fact. 

In the spring of 1916 it had been repeatedly rumored 
that Allied troops at Saloniki were preparing to invade the 
Balkans as soon as the season should permit. French and 
British troops stationed there during the winter, and sup- 
posed to number from two to three hundred thousand men, 
had been reinforced in April by Serbians. The opposing 
lines were held by some three hundred thousand Bulgars, 
and such Austrian and German troops as still remained 
on the Balkan Front, but it was reported that some of the 
Bulgarian soldiers were with the Austrians in Italy and 
the Germans in France. Meanwhile the Bulgarian army, under 
German management, was following the German plan of an 
anticipatory offensive. Just as the world was expecting in 
the spring an Anglo-French drive on the Western Front, 



and the Germans forestalled 
February, so again while the Bi 
were preparing for the invaaic 
got ahead of them by invading 
Allied dispatches at first re] 
merely the raids of Bulgarian 
evident that it was a weU-cons: 
strategy, that quite disconcert* 
By advancing toward the sea 


the Bulgars secured positions oi 
roads ran out from Saloniki. T)i 
the Vardar River was to be us 
into Serbia. The two others ran i 
east, and both were now in I 
western road had been undertaki 
necting Saloniki with the Adria 
to the disturbed state of Albania 
Monastir, which was just over 


The Bulgars, who had taken Monastir late in 1915, now 
advanced down the railroad nearly half way to Saloniki. 
Serbian troops, which had been stationed along the border 
opposite Monastir, were compelled to evacuate Fiorina and 
fall back. Since then the Serbs had made furious attempts 
to regain their lost positions, but without success. If the 
Bulgars could now hold this ground it would cut off the 
Italians who were at the Albanian port of Valona from co- 
operation with the Italians at Saloniki. 

On the east the position occupied by the Bulgars was 
stronger. They entered Greece on May 29 through the Rupel 
defile by which the Struma makes its way through the 
Belashitza range to the sea. This gave them possession of 
Demirhissar and other Greek forts along the Struma, down 
which they advanced to the sea. The Greek garrisons were 
under instructions from their government to surrender their 
forts on the approach of the Bulgars ; but in some cases 
they refused to yield. The demobilization of the Greek 
army which the Allies had forced by means of the blockade, 
had made it impossible for the Greeks to offer any sub- 
stantial resistance, however much they hated to see the 
Bulgars regaining territory which they had taken from them 
in the Second Balkan War. This move secured for the 
Bulgars command of the railroad running east from Sa- 
loniki to Constantinople, and offered them an opportunity to 
attack the Allies on their right flank if they should advance 
north into Serbia. By May 29 the Bulgarian forces were 
making their way southwestward toward the ^iEgean seaport 
of Kavalla, which lies northeast of Saloniki. Along the 
Struma Eiver the Greeks had evacuated forts Rupel, Brago- 
tin, Spatovo and Kaneov. 

With Bulgarian soldiers on her soil, the neutrality of 
the Greeks ceased to be farce-comedy and became a tragedy. 
Neutrality, as Greece had practised it, for many months, 
had become an elastic condition. In turn French and Brit- 
ish troops had occupied the Saloniki district, and Serbian 
armies, reorganized on Corfu and other Greek islands, now 
occupied it. This Allied occupation, however, was an en- 
tirely friendly one, justified in a measure by an informal 
invitation received from the former (Venizelos) Greek Gov- 



eminent. King Constantine ha< 
Allied forces on Greek soil, bu 
people, he had not ventured to 
ineffectual diplomatic protests, 
have confined himself to simil 
German and Austro-Hungarian i 
Constantine was, however, pro-( 
pie were neither violently anti 
but, when it came to a violati< 
Bulgars, the inveterate enemies 
of the Greeks in the -^gean litt 
tion of the Greek Government's 
ity pould mollify the national p 

Greece had acquired Saloniki 
as far as Kavalla and Drama s 
The Bulgars had afterwards i 
Teutonic powers in order to re 
Every Greek knew this. Univerj 
garians made it impossible for 
Government to maintain any 
quiescence in Bulgaria's seizure 
that were held by Greek troops 
trality policy, therefore, became 
had thrown away the great chanc 
willing to take in the early spr: 
of Greece were tied up with the 
she were actually a participator 
for good and all an opportunity 
ments that would follow the w 
She had a statesman who had s( 
but she had a king who could n 
Constantine, the over-canny, inst 
inative and heroic. 

By June 21, under heavy p 
Powers, Greece accepted withou 
presented in a joint note from 
Russia. Greece was now withoi 
Skouloudis had announced to th< 
resignation of himself and his j 



for the present to obtain successors. The action of the 
Entente Powers came on one of the hottest days Greece 
had known in many years. The palace at Athens was 
darkened, the King at Chateau Latoy, shops closed, and the 
Ministries deserted. People were unaware of what had oc- 
curred that day until well on toward evening, when news- 
papers and hand-bills distributed broadcast made known the 
text of the Entente demands. King Constantine then re- 
turned hastily to Athens and all the troops in the city were 
ordered under arms and the Deputies summoned to the 
Chamber, where Premier Skouloudis announced that he had 
resigned. Talk of non-compliance with the demands of the 
Allies awakened no serious resistance. These demands as 
accepted unconditionally were as follows: (1) Complete 
general demobilization. (2) Removal of the Chief of Police 
at Athens. (3) Popular pro-Entente sentiment not to be 
supprest. (4) Deportation of agents spreading German pro- 

An Allied fleet was ordered to cruise before the Pireeus, the 
port of Athens, the fleet eventually to be supported by a 
landing party, Pirwus, the second largest city of Greece, 
is five miles southwest of Athens and 200 miles below 
Saloniki, the base of the Allied forces in Greece. This 
Allied action linked itself up closely with military events 
on the Russian front. The unfriendly attitude of the 
Skouloudis Ministry had been at all times a source of vexa- 



tion, and might have become a 
tion had reached a point wl 
Satoniki was feasible. Shoul 
Greek army not be carried o 
possibility would exist of an t 
a northward move was made 
General Sarrail. Benevolent n 
insisted upon as their right. 1 
no desire to force Greece into 
Greece could no longer bear t 
that her army imposed upon 1 
The nations that had given Gr 
nineteenth century, and had « 
guns — France, Russia, and G 
ease in Insisting that the will 
citizens should not be thwart& 
who had bound Greece to Teu 
the Allies controlled the sea, ) 
the Austrian defeats in Gali 
Venizelos. In this treatment of ( 
was nothing really parallel to ti 
Germany, but the Germans insi 
the ends sought to be attained i 
and the neutrality of Greece as 
coerced, the parallel otherwise 
Belgium had not merely been v 


murdered. What the Allied Powers did to Greece was to 
restore her neutrality; as, indeed, it was their treaty right 
to do. That to do this happened to favor their interests — 
to insist on the fulfilment of a moral obligation did not 
lessen the force of that obligation. 

By the Treaty of London of 1831 the neutrality of Bel- 
gium as an independent kingdom had been guaranteed by 
Austria, Prussia, Great Britain and Russia, but in 1914 
Germany had declined to be bound by a *' scrap of paper'* 
and so invaded Belgium, in order more quickly to reach an 
enemy on the other side— only for that, and not because she 
had any quarrel with the Belgians. She was sorry for them 
at first and spoke of making amends. Belgium, said Ger- 
man apologists afterward, had really grown unneutral at 
heart, and therefore she invited her fate. By the protocol 
of London, in 1830, and again by the Treaty of London in 
1863, the independence and neutrality of Greece had been 
guaranteed by Great Britain, France, and Russia. They 
had since been for nearly a century the guarantors of her 
national liberty and her protectors. To them as a matter 
of fact she had owed her existence. Nations are notoriously 
ingrates, but this fact of history did emphasize the nature 
of a relationship giving the Allied Powers alright, and im- 
posing upon them a duty, to preserve the neutrality of their 
ward. As measures to this end they made their demands. 
The coercion of Greek neutrality by the Allied Powers con- 
sisted, therefore/ in delivering the Government of Greece 
into the hands of the Greek people. While Belgium neutral- 
ity had been violated and prostrated by German arms, 
Greece was rescued from a government that was willing to 
deliver its people into German hands. 

While the Allied drive was not officially launched until 
August 20, fighting along the 150'mile Saloniki front had 
been reported as early as the first of the month. General 
Sarrail, who had defended Verdun in the opening of the 
western campaign, but who was removed by Joffre because 
of differences of opinion, had been sent to the Near East in 
command of the Allies. Why did the Allies, under Sarrail, 
so long postpone their thrust? The answer was found in 
political as well as military considerations. The longer the 



Allies waited at SKlooiki wh: 
Central Powers on all the oti 
fewer Germans and Austrians 
way to the Danube, and the mo 
decisive success, and the less 
liking for remaining with their 

By the end of August it was 
the verge of joining the All; 
abandon her neutrality. Greee 
by revolt. Stirred to action 
Macedonia and the failure of th 
it, adherents of the Allied cam 
their own hands, and seized t) 
at Saloniki, Vodena, and Fort 
of these rebels many more Ore 
revolt spread to other sections 
were determined that the Gov) 
neutrality and join the Allies. 
the restoration to power of "" 
party seemed likely. King Con 
of the situation. At the same 
twenty-three warships and sevei 

On September 4 Great Britain 
trol of the Greek posts and tel£ 
less system, that German age: 



should immediately leave Greece not to return until the 
conclusion of hostilities, and that necessary measures be 
taken against "such Greek subjects as rendered themselves 
guilty of complicity in corruption and espionage." The 
^aimis government agreed to all these demands, and Greek 
intervention seemed to rest almost entirely with the Allies. 
In ease Greek forces should be considered of value in the 
Balkan battles, the Hellenic nation, apparently, would take 
up arms with the Allies. But there were many among the 
Allied commands who held that benevolent neutrality, and 
free scope for Allied forces operating in the Balkans, were 
all that the Allies needed from Grece. Premier Zairais now 
assumed unobtrusively what amounted virtually to dic- 
tatorial powers. lie was to all appearances in a position 
to swing the whole country as he wished, unembarrassed by 
any dissenting popular opinion. 

To Greece, one year before, when the German thrust 
through Serbia was about to begin, the Allies had offered 
Smyrna, the coast of Magna Griecia, which once had been 
Greek, the Greek islands in the .^gean held by Italy, and 
the British island of Cyprus. More than two million Greeks, 
a commanding position in the ^gean, a future in Asia 
Minor, were the prizes thus offered. But the Hellenic 
monarch, convinced that German victory was inevitable, took 
the reins of government from Venizelos, who had half 


achieved the work of the reun 
missed cabinets, defied majorit: 
bound Greece to support her 
evitable, by this act, the succ€ 
Serbia. No man ever gambled 
but when all his calculations w< 
entered Kavala and Drama ; wh 
in Saloniki, and when Roum; 
enemies of the Central Power 
*'the Bulgar-Killer,'* had app 
abdication seemed bound event 
from his own people. 

On September 25 Venizelos fl 
in an open boat and was picl 
merchant-steamship on its way 
was to go to Saloniki to head i 
accompanied by Rear-Admiral 
chief of the Greek navy, severa 
many other supporters. In Cret 
in complete control. Venizelos 
the personal loyalty of the islai 
erally admitted. Practically ev 
joined the revolutionary mover 
naval officers left the Piraeus, an 
under control of the revolutioni 
for Crete or Saloniki. 

The revolt in Crete occurred : 
of the announcement of the isl 
as made by the Greek Premier c 
that time the Cretans had been 
of revolt against the Turkish 
for the great part of the ninel 
of the twentieth centuries. Cr( 
tically equal claimants for the dii 
island in size in the Mediterra 
somewhat in excess of 3,300 sc 
passed in size only by Sicily, Sa 
Corsica has sustained a compara 
world history, if one excepts the 
place of and sometime refuge of 



a stellar part for more than 4,000 years. Crete was a 
civilized land long before Greece and Rome were founded. 

This uprising in Greece was a most unusual revolutionary 
movement. It was not a movement to dethrone a royal house, 
or even a king, or to substitute one form of government for 
another, but a rebellion the object of which was to compel 
the King to obey the will of the people, and to leave him 
on the throne to carry out that will after he had been 
coerced into doing it. It followed the course of other revo- 
lutions in purposing to form a provisional government, but 
this provisional government was to have the single object 
of defending Greece from invasion and protecting her in- 
terests by bringing her into the war. It was a revolution 
**to induce the King to come forth as King and follow the 
path of duty in the protection of his subjects." So de- 
clared Venizelos, who added: **As soon as he takes this 
course, we all of us shall be only too glad and ready at once 
to follow his flag as loyal citizens led by him against our 
country's foe.*' Thus they made war on their King in 
order that he might obey the will of his people and that 
they might be able to obey him. 

On September 27 the air seemed cleared by the announce- 
ment that the Greek Ministry had decided to join the 
Allies. An actual agreement for military cooperation with' 
the Entente, it was said, had been reached by King Con- 
stantine. With Greece in the war, there were now to be 
sixteen belligerents, including the little Republic of San 
Marino— four on the side of the Central Powers, and twelve 
on the side of the Quadruple Entente. From appearances 
it seemed that King Constan tine's hand had been forced 
and that he had as his alternative abdication or war. But 
it was to be remembered that no revolutionary party, not 
even that in Crete, which Venizelos had taken in hand, had 
demanded abdication, while the King had repeatedly stated 
that the continued neutrality of his country depended on 

Greek military resources were quite suflScient to turn the 
scale in the Balkans hopelessly aga^'nst the Teuton-Turkish- 
Bulgarian alliance, and so the military situation in Bul- 
garia became at once precarious. A successful defensive 



might be maintained through t 
the spring of 1917, when On 
developed, was uncertain, Th 
side of the Allies, first of Re 
would definitely have reversec 
established in the Balkans in 1 
garia joined the Kaiser's eai 
columns overran Serbia, Monti 
once encountering any serious 

With a population of a litt 
about the same as that of Buj 
Greece could bring to the sid 
strength of 200,000 men. Th 
larger if eastern Macedonia ha 
Bulgarians and but for the L 
region, including about 400 oflBc 
of Greece actually meant ten m 
against the Bulgarian flanks, 
now stood about 700,000 men 
350,000 Bulgars, 200,000 Turks, 
— as a maximum; while on the 
200,000 Russo-Roumanians in 
Greeks, and the Saloniki army 
high as 600,000, and might be 
would make the Allies as 9 to 7 
capable of greater efforts and in 

A clearer way of estimating 
to judge what the result woul 
as 100,000 fresh troops against 
Monastir, which was hard'prest 
as a unit it meant the addition 
conquest of Serbia and the cutti 
man corridor leading by rail to 
resented not the only increase c 
expected to receive. • With tha 
side would come a iiew sense c 
Saloniki, lack of which had ban 
of its operations. Espionage at 
be greatly reduced and faciliti 



marine warfare in the eastern Mediterranean would disap- 
pear, so far as the resources of Greek harbors and islands 
were concerned. 

With the occupation of Athens and the Piraeus by French 
marines on October 17, a tense situation arose in Athens. 
Great crowds ^f Royalists paraded the streets and cordons 
of Greek troops and marines were thrown about the rail- 
way-stations, city hall and other points occupied by Entente 
forces in order to prevent clashes between them and the 
Royalists. An unofficial dispatch said Admiral du Fournet 
was hissed by throngs of men in the streets of Athens and 
that a detachment of French sailors was driven back by 
a hostile crowd. About a thousand marines landed and oc- 
cupied the railway-station at the Piraeus and several build- 
ings in Athens. Immediately this became known the streets 
swarmed with Greeks frantically cheering King Constantine 
and chanting the Greek national anthem. Great crowds 
marched, thousands gathering in the neighborhood of the 
post-office square. The War Minister, General Dracos, 
ordered troops and marines to guard every approach to the 
square, in order to prevent any clash between Greek civilians 
and the French, who occupied that section, establishing a 
complete cordon about the French and taking all precautions 
to avoid any incident or accident capable of starting strife. 

Modern Greece had come into being through the action 
of Great Britain, France, and Russia, whose fleets, in the 
battle of Navarino ninety years before the World War, 
broke the Turkish power, and these three had now recog- 
nized the independent government which Venizelos had set 
up in Crete. By all diplomatic and international pre- 
cedent, the situation was impossible. Probably if the re- 
moval of Constantine from power could at that time have 
been effected with little trouble, the Allies would not have 
hesitated to effect it, for they would have had the sanction 
of half the nation behind them, and, more than that, the 
plea of self-defense. King Constantine 's firmness in hold- 
ing out against the Allies was attributed to the exact knowl- 
edge he had of the preparations made for the great Teuton 
stroke in Transylvania. That he knew what was going on 
at Saloniki went without saying. It was to prevent such 





information from getting to the Germans that the Allies 
interfered in the internal . administration of the country. 
The entry of the French into Athens occurred in the third 
week of October. It was part of a course which the Allies 
took in an effort to deTeutonize Greece without antagonizing 
the population of the country. The difficult thing with the 
Allies was not to act more vigorously than their best ad- 
vantage required. It was now somewhat more than a year 
since official Greece, in the person of King Constantine, had 
repudiated the ** scrap of paper" that bound her to take the 
field in Serbia's defense in case of an attack by Bulgaria. 

The mission of the Sarrail force at Saloniki had a two- 
fold purpose: to oppose the Bulgars on the north and to 
repress any final espousal of the Teuton cause by Con- 
stantine on the south. The Entente strongly suspected 
Athens. It was only on the disbandment of a large part of 
the Greek army that Sarrail could venture to start any 
operations at all toward Monastir. The wonder was that 
the Entente had refrained for a year from marching hot- 
foot to Athens, seizing the hostile and unrepresentative 
ruler and setting up Venizelos as President. 

Of progressive steps the entry of the French into Athens 
was the most significant. It snuffed out the discredited 
King's authority in his own capital, as it had been snuffed 
out already in a large part of his dominions. He was 
gradually being edged off the map and out of the honorable 
regard of Greece, with violence to no one. The process was 
slow; but it was more merciful than was Germany's assault 
on Belgium and it was more definitive. The trouble in 
Greece was chiefly at Athens and the Piraeus and seemed 
entirely due to King Constantine as a brother-in-law to the 
Kaiser. It was natural that the excitable populace of 
Athens, wrought upon by friends of Germany, should re- 
sent the seizing of naval vessels of their country and the 
landing of, troops on their soil, without the consent of the 
only government they had. But the Allies not only had 
the right under the protocol of 1830 and the Treaty of Lon- 
don of 1863, but they had of necessity to proceed against 

It was not merely the British who were engaged in quiet- 



ing the Greeks, but the Frenc 
in Athens. The Allies had g( 
tion of the Greek Premier V^ 
not then opposed by King C< 
to join the Allies, but Consta 
gated Constitutional Governm^ 
eral election, despite the influei 
a victory for Venizelos. Ther 
the Constitution, drove Venizeh 
ruled Greece without regard tc 
when more than half of GreeC 
A separate government havin| 
and large sections of Greece ha 
Constan tine's policy had wreck 
produced civil war. If the All 
would have cost him his throne j 
handicapped by lack of resoui 
take advantage of the Roumania 
he had to protect his rear agai] 
Larissa of April 24, 1897, who 
to serve German ends and to ei 
tion of field-marshal in the Ge 
him by his brother-in-law in 
achievements in the second Balki 
whom he had now permitted t( 

The surprize and sensation of 
week of August was the landi 
troops at Saloniki to join in 1 
army now moving north from i 
ways which led to Monastir an( 
River toward the line between 
five nations represented — Grea 
Italy and Russia, and it wj 
Greece, had clashed with Bulgai 
battle-line, where they were i 
threatening Kavala on the -^gea 
Italians or Russians had been '. 
port said the Russians would 
They were put into service side 
who rejoiced at the political ai 

V. VIII— 21 313 


nificance of this comradeship. As to the Italians, one result 
seemed almost certain. If they fought Austrians on Balkan 
soil, they would be fighting Germans also, so that at last 
Italy would be at war with Germany. Italy's force at 
Valona, on the Adriatic, while at some distance from the 
main Allied line, might eventually move on Montenegro. 
Whether the Balkan advance was really aimed at Nish, 
which is on the -direct rail-line running north into Serbia, 
or at cutting the line between Nish and Sofia, and thus 
severing Teutonic communication between Turkey and Bul- 
garia, was uncertain; but if the latter was the immediate 
purpose and it succeeded, express trains from Antwerp to 
Constantinople would cease. 

The army under Sarrail was in composition the most ex- 
traordinary ever united under a single general. The only 
precedent was the international expedition to China under 
Marshal von Waldersee; but the difference between that 
force and the one under Sarrail was that the former had 
no homogeneity. Every section regarded the others with 
distrust to such an extent that von Waldersee never gave an 
order without first assuring himself privately that it met 
with the approval of the commanders of the various units, 
whereas the army of Saloniki had blind confidence in its 
commander. In the complicated problems that faced Sarrail 
the first of the difficulties was the international character of 
his force — ^British, French, Italian, Russians, Serbians, and 
Albanians. Such a force had to be distributed in sections, 
each holding a certain part of the line. They could not be 
mixed without reviving Babel and the confusion of tongues. 
The debarking of an army of hundreds of thousands of 
men, hundreds of miles from their base, had been a long 
and difiicult matter. It meant the accumulation of hundreds 
of thousands of tons of food, munitions, and war-stores of 
every kind. No advance was possible until its base had 
been prepared for all emergencies. 

By August 19 the Allied forces were attacking along a 
front of 115 miles, and had regained five villages. From 
Fiorina, where a Bulgarian counter-thrust had been halted, 
to the sector north of the Gulf of Orfani, well east of 
Saloniki, a battle was in progress. From August 1 the 


Allies had been feeling the li 
active night and day, airmer 
enemy. To military observers 
an Allied drive to win back S< 
of success. The Teutonic A: 
Bulgars had taken Fiorina, soi 
had begun an advance east of 
east of the Saioniki railway, 
stemmed. The Serbs then b. 
Sarrail's forces widened their a 
the Saioniki road. The generi 
irregular line upward of 150 ra 


ing the united operations of th 
donnier commanding the French 
Sarrail in taking Doiran late i 
strategic point. Its loss in tht 
the retirement to Saioniki. It 11 
Vardar and the Struma, on 
Saioniki to Sofia, the Bulgarii 
opened the way far a plan of car 
garia. Success for this movemei 
store the Serbians to their lands 
Roumania and Greece, which be 
been waiting for a decisive vii 


Allied success might also isolate Bulgaria and bring from 
her a separate peace. By August 15 the Italians, in co- 
operation with the French and British, had started opera- 
tions in Albania, a little north of Valona, where they had 
an army of about 100,000 men, forming the extreme left of 
the Allied line across nortl^ern Greece and southern Albania. 
There was nothing to indicate thus far that a general 
oflfensive had begun, but it was apparent that the entire 
Allied force in the Balkans was trying-out the Teutonic 

Such was the inconsequential fighting of the summer on 
this front. It had been political mainly. There was no 
real offensive and no sign of one. Sarrail's army remained 
much of the time passive. While the Russians held Ger- 
mans in the north and drove Austrians before them in the 
south, Sarrail was motionless. When Joffre and Haig began 
the Franco-British offensive on the Somme there was no sign 
from Sarrail. When Cadoma captured Goritza and so 
pdded his share to the hammering of Austria, Sarrail still 
did not move. When news came that Russian and Italian 
forces had been added to French and British at Saloniki, 
an advance was expected, but none came. When some fight- 
ing was reported, this was announced as not being the real 
Saloniki drive; on the contrary the Bulgarians were making 
an incursion into Greece. Roumania entered the war and 
invaded Transylvania, whereupon the Bulgarians and their 
Teutonic Allies sought to disconcert them by an advance 
into southeastern Roumania. It was to prevent the disloca- 
tion of this Roumanian plan that French and British went 
to the rescue, with an assault on Bulgaria from the south, 
its object being the protection of Roumania while she was 
proceeding with her attack on Transylvania. 

This torpor of Sarrail, a torpor imposed upon him by 
Joffre, was a mystery of the war. It was a political torpor 
only, just as the Bulgarian attack on Greece, misinterpreted 
at first as the beginning of a drive, was a political attack. 
The Franco-British army at Saloniki was held inactive while 
political negotiations were going on. The Bulgarian attack 
on Greece, apparently a foolhardy thing, was made because 
the Bulgarians knew the Saloniki army would not, or could 



not, stop them. They kne\^ 
counting on its continuance 
Allies then stirred, but only ( 
enough to bring on a great hi 
on September 11, the British 
Struma River, engaged the 
villages in Macedonia were tal 
time assailed the Teuton line 
Majadag, in the Lake Doiran 
the Bulgars for thirty-six houn 
miles, and extending to a dep 
The British, pushing further 
stronger hold on the east bank 
two more villages. In this att; 
until the Struma line was firml 
of the first results of the pus 
the Bulgars before Kavala. I 
after capturing Bulgarian in 
Veterenik at the point of the I 
and northeast of Lake Ostrovo 
height. Meanwhile Bulgars an. 
tected by the withdrawal of 
Struma, advanced to the Mgesi 

On September 15 the Serbian 

ing, overwhelmed Bulgar positic 

ing twenty-five guns and a larg 

French captured positions half 

the Vardar, while the British ^ 

center of the Allied front, had t 

Makukovo from a mixed Bulgar ; 

French, and Russians continue 

cesses until the Bulgar retreat 

into a route. They tried to mak 

of the Cerna, but failed. Florii 

of an encircling movement by ] 

which crusht the Bulgar 's flanl 

confusion toward Monastir. FIc 

of Monastir and the main railroi 

ning from Saloniki around Osti 



marks practically the beginning of a wide plain stretching 
out toward the north, paralleling the valley of the Cerna 
River. The railroad to Monastir divided this plain almost 
exactly in half. The western border of the plain is a wall 
of mountains, rising rapidly and penetrated at several 
points by streams which flow through narrow valleys into 
a lake. Fiorina itself lies at the foothills of these mountains, 
while the Fiorina station is in the middle plain. 

For many days the fighting centered around the height of 
Kaimakchalan, the highest peak of the Starkov Grob range 
of hills. This peak had great strategical significance. It 
is the highest point in the whole region south of Monastir, 
and completely dominated the great Fiorina plain in which 
the Serbs and Bulgarians were facing each othej. When 
this height fell into the hands of the Serbians the entire 
Bulgarian line was outflanked from a dominating height 
and was therefore forced to retire. This retirement was 
continued for over five miles on a front of nearly twenty 
and carried the Serbian trenches forward as far as Kenali, 
just ten miles south of Monastir, on the Saloniki-Monastir 
railroad. The bend or loop of the Cerna River had been 
crossed and was now well to the rear of the Serbs; their 
right had moved forward as far as Petalino, while the left 
was but seven or eight miles south of Monastir. This cam- 
paign in the south was just beginning to take form in Octo- 
ber. There was reason to think that, from a military stand- 
point, it would prove most interesting. It was a long way 
off, the country but little known, the names strange. But 
there was a wide field for strategical plans such as would 
not be possible in the west; a wider possibility, therefore, 
for the display of military genius. 

The Serbians on October 5 were only eight miles from 
Monastir, the British had established themselves firmly on 
the east bank of the Struma, and the French were preparing 
for a blow along the Vardar. North of Fiorina Allied 
troops were nearing the border directly south of Monastir, 
while further east they had begun to cross the Cerna. A 
desperate battle was expected, for the Bulgars had a strong 
line four miles to the south. A battle around Yenikeui on 
the Struma front resulted in a British victory, the whole 



village passing into their haa 
against Monastir crossed the 
which lay about six miles nortl 
Monastir. British troops next 
gars. The town of Nevolen W8 
a brief artillery-attack. Fren 
toward Monastir, fighting bein( 
Medzili-Kenali-Gradesnika line. 
the city fell into Allied ham 

Englishman to arrive after its 

"Down the streets, with their blai 
came French cavalry, the first to e 
hung with wreaths of flowers, for 
timidly from behind barred windo' 
offeriDg posies and garlands to the 
they constantly came marching in. 

■ Correspandent of Tbe Times ILODdoi 


Germans marched out at the northern end of Monastir, and were 
seen by French scouts pouring along the Prilep road. Thus Mon- 
astir became Serbian again, for altho the French and Eussian troops 
had the privilege of arriving first, they were anxious to admit that 
it was chiefly the tireless advance of the Serbians among the moun- 
tains that forced the Bulgars and Germans to evacuate 'Monastir." 

The capture of Monastir was the most dramatic achieve- 
ment to the credit of the Allies since Brusiloff's advance in 
June and his capture of Lutsk. But Monastir had greater 
significance in that its fall was brought about, not by an 
unexpected blow and the smashing of an entrenched front, 
but by a mixture of straight fighting and the kind of flank- 
ing work of which the German leaders had so far been the 
most successful practitioners. It was a source of encourage- 
jnent for the Allies that the rushing forward of German 
reinforcements, which had almost invari3,bly been the signal 
for a bracing up of wavering lines, was not effective at 
Monastir. To lose Monastir, and with it Ochrida and the 
region west of the Vardar, was to lose the chief prize of 
the war for which Bulgaria had been fighting. With the loss 
went a heavy casualty list, for the main burden of resisting 
the Entente forces in Macedonia was carried by the Bulgars. 
The Bulgars had to retreat north over the Babuna Pass, 
making their first stand at Prilep, on the heights between 
the Monastir plain and the Vardar valley. 

The progress made by the Allies in Macedonia after a 
month had been at least respectable. On the left wing the 
Serbs, Russians, and French had made headway in the 
direction of Monastir. On the right the British had 
definitely broken the line of the Struma. Yet, compared 
with the swift progress of the Roumanian invasion of 
Transylvania, and the still quicker recoil, Sarrail's pace 
had not been altogether impressive. The numbers engaged 
on either side were not large. Allied reports spoke of Bul- 
gars '* reinforced by a battalion," or ** reinforced by a regi- 
ment,*' making strong counter-attacks against victorious 
Serbs. Here, the addition of a thousand men, or of even 
three thousand, played the same role that entire divisions 
and army corps played in the west. On both sides the 



flanks, or at least one flank, were thinly held, while heavy- 
forces were massed along the center. 

The long expected fall of King Constantine took place on 
June 10, 1917. His abdication, made in response to the de- 
mands of Great Britain, France, and Russia, was accom- 
panied by the waiving of the claims of the Crown Prince in 
favor of Constantine 's second son. Prince Alexander, who 
was regarded as likely to deal with the political situation 
more independently. Venizelos represented the true senti- 
ment of Greece; now the Provisional Government and the 
armed forces Venizelos headed would have an opportunity 
to take their proper places in Greek aifairs. The abdication 
was finally brought about through M. Jonnart, a French 
senator, who had held posts in several French Cabinets and 
had gone to Athens as the representative of France, Great 
Britain, and Russia, and had previously visited Saloniki. It 
had been substantially proved that the King was in close 
touch with Berlin by wireless, and that the German sub- 
marines were using Greek islands as bases of submarine 
operations against Entente shipping, with the approval, if 
not the secret connivance of the King. After the abdication, 
the former King and Queen, with Prince George, embarked 
on a British warship for Switzerland by way of Italy. 
Prince Alexander, the new King, was only twenty-four years 
of age. 

Constantine had held on too long. He might have made 
favorable terms with the Allies by quitting a year or a year 
and a half before. He might have insured Greece sub- 
stantial recognition in the settlements which were to follow 
the war, but he had no thought for Greece's future. He 
chose to serve Germany, not Greece, and was willing to sac- 
rifice all that Greece was, or could hope to be, to an in- 
dulgence of his pro-Teuton sympathies. No king ever rode 
more recklessly for a fall. Greece had had e rebirth of 
energy and prosperity under Venizelos whom Constantine 
plotted against. His fate awakened no sympathy except 
among those whose tool he had chosen to be. But Greece's 
plight — due to her ineffective protest against his ruinous 
policies — excited pity. She was already partially dismem- 
bered and no one could tell how far the process of dismem- 



berment might go. Venizelos d 
Allies, but apparently the gold 
establishment of a Greek republ 

Constantine arrived at Lugani 
20. Officers and delegates of 
him at the frontier and welc< 
Switzerland. He had landed in 
a village facing Messina on th( 
starting-point of the railway t( 
of German personages waited 
Lugano, including Prince and I 
Miihlberg, German Minister to 
Minister to Berne was also pre 
suite drove directly to a hotel 
served for him, but was coldb 
After dinner he attended an ( 
being recognized he was hissed 
rear door to avoid further hostil 
ception in front of a Bestaurant 
ping a glass of beer. A mob { 
through the streets to a hotel 
windows had to be shut down 
riotous crowd that quickly swell 
ultimately rescued from this hot< 
the military. 

Nine months after Venizelos hj 
self at the head of a revolutiom 
returned to head the government 
both cases was the same, to obtai 
constitutional government. His 
separation of Greece into two i 
her state during most of his abse 
a difficult task before him — the 
tinguished and patriotic career- 
its three years of ruinous, treac 
direct it to the destiny that his 
By June 29 the Greek Governmc 
of war existed and broke off dip 
many, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria 

The return of Venizelos to th 



most enthusiastic welcome, showing how he still maintained 
his hold on the great mass of the Greek people. Only in 
Athens and itB immediate vicinity was there any reason to 
question his strength. Here Constantine and his pro-German 
followers had sought by every possible intrigue to d scredit 
him and to weaken his power. In a speech to the Crown 
after taking the oath of offipe at the palace on June 23, he 
said that Greece's place was beside democracy. The nation 
was struggling for freedom against two Central Powers with 
whom Greece's hereditary enemies were allied.' 

• Principal Sonrceg : The Forlniijhtlv RriieK (London) ; The Erening Post, 
The Inacpenietil, New I'ork ; S. Wnrd Trlre In The Timet (London). Ano- 
rlatod Press alapatches. "XelBon's Illatorr at tbe War" by JoUn Bncban, 
■■Bullet 1:;h'' o( the National Ueographlc Soflety (New Tork), The DoUji 
Chronicle (Loodon) ; The Tribune, The Etening «iin, the "Military Eipert" 
ot The Timet, New York. 

T:ie nnlknna Relief Commission of the Red Cross for a. time had Ita 
headquarters in Atheas. This picture was made by one ot its attaphea 




August 30, 1916— Ja 

OWING to the conformation 
fact that Austria-Hungary t 
her enemies, Roumania had perh 
defend, in proportion to her size 
all the belligerent powers. She 
two extensive fronts, the Transyh 
west and the Bulgarian on the s 
ever, was vulnerable along its ei 
is separated from Roumania by 
barrier which could be crossed 
passes. Through these Roumani? 
part of her army in a vigorous 
Hungarians and their allies to e 
southern frontier, at the same tii 
tected by the course of the Danr 
extremity, where a part of the tei 
lies on the other side of the Da 
Black Sea, and thus is open to in^ 
vulnerable it was selected by tl 
place to attack, not only because 
victory in this region might cut 
from access to the Black Sea. 

The importance of Roumanians 
was both military and political, 
tory for the Allies and atoned f( 
Balkan diplomacy. Austria-Hung 
gary, were now in what seemed 1 
state. Austria had to fight ei 
Italy's recent capture of Gorizii 
Austrian offensive from the Tren 



forces would have to be used to hold that part of the 
Austrian line. Austro-German armies which had swept 
through Serbia were now facing an impending advance from 
the Allies in Greece. On the Roumanian border the ap- 
pearance of a third battle-line in these circumstances was 
of no little importance, while farther north the Russian 
attack in Galicia and the Russian attack near Lemberg still 
met no force which could check them. The situation of 
Turkey was hardly less desperate. A recent serious blow 
to Turkey had been the reoccupation of Bitlis, in Asia, by 
Russian troops, and the recapture of Mush. The fact that 
a new body of troops of perhaps half a million men had 
entered the field on the side of the Allies seemed bound to 
have some effect on the situation for the time being. That 
Greece, after long hesitation and uncertainty was actually 
to declare war, was probable, the more so because of Bul- 
garia's recent invasion of her territory. Berlin took the 
new situation seriously but without outward confidence. It 
was reported that Germany had already made plans to afford 
substantial military assistance to Austria and Bulgaria. 
Meanwhile had come the removal by the Kaiser of the 
former chief of staff of the German army, Falkenhayn, and 
the appointment in his place of Hindenburg. 

Within three days of Roumanians declaration, her troops 
had crossed the Transylvania Alps in a wide encircling 
movement and captured Brasso, or Kronstadt, Transylvania's 
leading commercial and industrial center. At the same time 
a large Russian force, concentrated at the junction of the 
Pruth and Danube, had moved through Roumania in a drive 
against Bulgaria. Contrary to all previous Teutonic 
strategy, the Austrian forces, instead of seizing the offensive, 
fell back before the Roumanians in Transylvania to a second 
line of defense. Roumania 's advance was rapid and suc- 
cessful. Apparently she had all but got through some of the 
Carpathian passes before war was actually declared, had 
quickly seized Kronstadt, almost as quickly taken Her- 
mannstadt, and later occupied the important town of Orsova, 
not far from the **Iron Gates.'' She seemed at once to be 
firmly established in Transylvania. What this meant was 
evident from a glance at the map. Transylvania was a nut 




between two halves of a nutcracker made by the northern 
boundary of western Roumania, on Transylvania's south, 
and the western boundary of northern Roumania, on Tran- 
sylvania's east. One-half of the Roumanian nutcracker 
almost joined the Russian advance in Galicia, so that Russia 
and Roumania had every opportunity to act in concert. 
Russia was free to send troops south through eastern Rou- 
mania and Bulgaria in an advance on Constantinople — free, 
that is, except for the resistance which might be offered by 
Bulgaria and her allies. 

About August 21 the Teuton leaders first knew that Rou- 
mania would declare for the Entente. Operations under 
Hindenburg on the northerly Russian front were at once 
given up, and a body of 50,000 troops sent by train to 
Shumla, in eastern Bulgaria. Six days later — on August 
27 — Roumania declared war on Austria-Hungary and im- 
mediately struck north into Transylvania. A council of the 
three Kaisers, German, Austrian, and Bulgarian, followed 
in Berlin, in which Ferdinand of Bulgaria apparently 
exacted German support at the cost of Austria, as the price 
of his continued allegiance. Following that conference, Hin- 
denburg was put in supreme charge of the forces of the 
Central Empires. By September 9 the Roumanians had 
taken Olah Toplitza and five other towns in northern Tran- 
sylvania. This represented an advance of nearly thirty 
miles into the country. Hundreds of thousands of Germans 
and Magyars fled westward before the invasion. While 
more than half the people were Roumanian by race, there 
were a million Magyars and Germans in the regions into 
which the Roumanian armies were overflowing. When the 
first refugees reached Budapest, they brought with them 
every evidence of such misery and suffering as the world had 
seen in Belgium two years before, save for such deeds as 
made Louvain memorable. Belgians now read of long pro- 
cessions of Hungarian peasants, with their families loaded 
on ox-carts, fleeing through mountains, into which winter 
was coming, leaving behind them homes and all but the 
smallest fraction of other possessions, and going into an 
exile that might be permanent. Roumania occupied some- 
thing like the same area in Hungary that Germany occupied 


That tbe hopes eDtertalunl Id Entente cli 
the war sbonld have come to naught, maj 
this map. provided one remembers wbat i 
Russia gradually ceasing to remain b iDlltti 
be reifkoued on. Etoumanlan armies at tbi 
Carpathlaaa. throngb tbe Vulcan. Red Toi 
easily taken Transylvanlan territory, Inc 
Hermanstadt and Kronstadt, besides tbe D. 
Iron Gates. Alone on ter western front, 
Ocrman military forces led by Falkenbayn. 
help as RdssIb could give ber. she had to 
Bulgarians and Turks. With Maokensen 
moving north, and with Falkcnhayn's fore 
Carpathian foothills, tbe cod of Rouma 
shadowed long before the cnoltBl sas aban 
the end of IfllS overrun. While she was al 
tbe Freuch Gpieml Berthelot. to make a : 
Pruth. to wblch abe had been forced Id 
Powers back Into the Vrancea. Honntalns 
a collapsed as an ally, and Ro 
peace Imposed upon ber bj 


in France, and Russia in Buko^ 
as much territory as Germany 
the Roumanian and Russian am 

Transylvania is high land, ,bi 
with plains scattered about. 1 
rises toward a mountain-barrier 
mania in a comparatively gentle 
southeastern and southern Car] 
mountains break into huge and 
tremendous natural fortress. ' 
frontier is formed by the esusU 
cut by the Strol or Kirlibaba Paj 
the frontier of Bukowina joins 
the eastern Carpathians go soul 
the point where the Predeal or 1 
way for the railway from Kroni 
on the southwestern side of the 
vanian Alps form almost the ' 
frontier of Roumania. They mer; 
tains, which go to the bank of tl 
the heights on the Serbian sic 
famous gorge of the 'Iron Gates 
land of Transylvania has a mear 
1,600 feet above sea-level. A fer 
in length and fifty in breadth li 
the country. 

The mountains on the frontiei 
points to great heights. Thus Ne 
Tiirm Pass, reaches 8.345 feet ; Bus 
Pass. 8.239 feet; Pietrosu and 
7.544 and 7,352 feet. TransylvJ 
nations'' — the Hungarians, Szek 
Hungarians are descendants of 
The Szeklers are closely akin to 
descendants of German emigrant 
and the Lower Rhine in the tweli 
Hungarian plains, desolated by c( 
ing peoples. These races, howev 
bered by the Roumanians, who ai 
try but had long been excluded 

V. VIII— 22 329 


equality. In 1868 Transylvania was deprived of the last 
remnant of her autonomy and formally embodied in the 
Kingdom of Hungary. Political control by the Magyars had 
since been steadily strengthened, in spite of all protests 
sent to Budapest from Transylvania, Hungarian became the 
chief language and the official one. In 1872 a Hungarian 
university was set up at Kolozsvar. 

The Bulgarians were between two millstones. French, 
British, Italian, Russian and Serb troops were operating 
from Saloniki, Russian and Roumanian troops in the 
Dobrudja and along the Danube. Hitherto the whole Bul- 
garian army had been able to cover Saloniki; but now it 
would have to be divided, unless Germany, Austria, and 
Turkey could furnish troops to defend northern Bulgaria. 
The new situation had demanded a new Austro-German 
army at the moment when the invasion of Transylvania 
suddenly produced another demand. Fresh troops were 
wanted also to defend Lemberg against the advancing 
Brusiloflf, not to mention the heavy claims made on German 
reserves to replace losses in the Anglo-French offensive on 
the Somme. At the same time the Italian operations about 
Gorizia were calling for greater Austrian forces. 

There was no question as to what the Germans had to do. 
Bulgaria was vital to them. If Bulgaria had been conquered 
by the Allies, the road to the Near East would have been 
cut. If Bulgaria were threatened with conquest, there was 
little question as to what she would do, for there was a 
strong Russophile party in Bulgaria. Thus Berlin had de- 
mands for reinforcements from Vienna to save Lemberg, 
from Budapest to save Transylvania, from Sofia to save 
Bulgaria, and from Turkey to save Constantinople. Should 
Bulgaria desert the Teutons or be conquered, the collapse of 
Austro-German influence in the Balkans and Near East 
would be instant and the fall of Constantinople could not 
be long delayed. Incidentally the liberation of Serbia would 
be prompt and the gap in the circle of fire and steel about 
the Central Powers, opened by Mackensen a year before, 
would be closed. The war had seen few more dramatic 
moments and few more interesting campaigns than that 
which was opening in the Balkans. 



But when Roumania entered 
suflficient troops to defend her 
tacked in the south, the Transy! 
by the Teutons, while, if she c 
passes, and temporarily, or eve 
opportunity of striking south, 
be in danger. Russia, with 
power, was, however, on her r 
with great numbers of troops c 
Roumania to say the word wh 
and lend her aid. The point o: 
where the Pruth falls into t 
political condition here which i 
tain control over the situation 
sylvania and naturally she did 
other nation to be in possession 
time came to discuss peace. Ri 
and, for the same reason, did m 
ticipate in a movement which 
the Turkish capital. Accordin 
herself the task of invading a 
with all its mineral wealth, wl 
the problem, first, of assisting t 
the unprotected stretch of her 
time ripe and a suflBcient cone 
Bulgaria and cut a way througt 
on these plans, the Roumanians 1 
ward against Kronstadt and He 
fought a delaying action, retrea 
applied. Kronstadt and Hermai 
manian left the town of Orsovo ' 
Further to the north, near Buk" 
effected its junction with the Ri 
The Roumanian line of attack s( 

By the second week of Septe 
tion took on a portentous aspect 
following the action of Italy agj 
mania against Austria, had decl 
a Teuton-Bulgar force, supporter 
northeast frontier of Bulgaria i 



manian province of the Dobrudja. Two days later this 
force, commanded by Mackensen, engaged a Russian army, 
then landing at the Roumanian Black Sea port of Constanza, 
and, driving the Russians before them, entered the city of 
Bobric, winners in the race for position. While the right 
wing of the invasion was thus employed, the left, moving 
down the south bank of the Danube, fell upon Tutrakan, a 
city which constituted a bridgehead, or sally-port, at the 
uppermost point of Roumanian territory south of the 
Danube, and the natural point of departure for any future 
Roumanian offensive against eastern Bulgaria. Tho strongly 
fortified, Tutrakan was taken in less time than was the 
famous Belgian fortress of Liege, in August, 1914. Seven 
of its forts fell before September 6, and then the town itself 
fell. Three days later the Teuton onrush took the greater, 
but less well defended, city of Silistria. 

The immediate purpose of the Teutonic blow was to pro- 
tect Bulgaria from an expected offensive by the Rou- 
manians and Russians. Holding Tutrakan, the Roumanians 
would have been in sufficient force within a fortnight to 
move in boats up the Danube toward central Bulgaria. 
From Tutrakan east to the Black Sea coast, by water, is 
nearly 100 miles; from Silistria the distance by land is only 
seventy. If the Teutons had prest on, they would have 
reached a point where the neck of the Dobrudja between the 
Danube and the Black Sea narrows to barely thirty-five 
miles. Even by stopping short of this point, they could 
have reached a place where the neck is only fifty or sixty 
miles wide, and where 150,000 soldiers well entrenched 
might hold off the chief danger from Roumanians to Bul- 
garia. The c&pture of Dobric by a Russian force, super- 
vening upon the headlong Teuton rush toward Silistria, 
offered a serious menace to the Teutonic right flank and at 
the same time to the Bulgarian port of Varna, immediately 

Mackensen 's thrust into the Dobrudja was well conceived. 
It was the best reply Germany could have made to the 
Roumanian declaration of war. While the bulk of the Rou- 
manian army was marching into Transylvania, the Dobrudja 
was weakly held in expectation of the arrival of a Russian 



army to invade Bulgaria. The 
Belgrade to Cernavoda, where \ 
tected by batteries on both bi 
communication between the Rus 
Mackensen determined to seize 
by so doing, isolate the Dobrud 
Roumanians from cooperating, 
commander's sudden and rapid 
did the best they could to chec 
division of the Russian army ar 
way by which troops could qui< 
Danube delta to the southern f: 
large percentage of the Czar's f 
the Dobrud j a embarked from 
of Constanza, going thence by i 
in peace times by passenger-sh 
owned steamship-lines. Some 1 
lies Constantinople, through 
eventually to send vast store 
Russia and Roumania. 

Until hostilities began in 191^ 
point for an extensive passenge 
Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, and 
and the Near East. Here exp 
de-luxe trains from the west, 
nople over-night. Millions of < 
harbor and docks of Constanzf 
Roumanian possession by the 
The principal improvements 
wide, clean streets, numero 
churches, Constanza occupies ' 
Tomsi, or Tomes, the metrop 
^lany broken columns and fra 
the importance and wealth of 
the fourth century Constantin 
to Constanza, in honor of hi 
noteworthy event in its histoi 
Emperor Augustus as the pla 
poet, Publius Ovidius Naso, 
The poet's offense was the p\j 



which enjoys the questionable distinction of being perhaps 
the most immoral work ever written by a man of genius. 
Ovid was ordered to leave Rome and took up his residence 
at Tomi, where he remained for the last eight years of his 
life, bitterly complaining of his fate in a series of letters, 
afterward compiled as the five books of Tr'stia. 

The Dobrudja is now largely a fertile plain, but it was 
a low-lying, treeless, largely fen-and-swamp province, when 
ceded to Roumania in 1878 in exchange for her thickly 
populated province of Bessarabia, which had been a part 
of her domain since it was taken from Russia after the 
Crimean War. In thirty-eight years the Dobrudja had 
taken rapid strides, thanks to improvements in drainage and 
agriculture and to the prosperity of several Black Sea ports 
in the province. At the conclusion of the second Balkan 
War, in 1913, Roumania demanded and obtained as her 
share of the spoils from Bulgaria an enlargement of this 
formerly despised area. Including territory thus newly 
acquired, the Dobrudja now embraced nearly 9,500 square 
miles, with a population of 500,000, made up of many 
elements — ^Bulgars, Roumanians, Gypsies, and Jews. It pro- 
duces important cereals, tobacco, sugar-beets, vines, and 
mulberries. Bounded on the north and west by the Danube, 
on the east by the Black Sea, and on the south by Bulgaria, 
it is of great strategic importance, a fact recognized by the 
Romans, who defended it on the south by Trajan's wall, a 
double rampart extending from the Black Sea, at a point 
near Constanza, to the banks of the Danube. The Rou- 
manian-Bulgarian frontier was some sixty miles southwest 
of this ancient fortification. 

The earliest history of the Dobrudja region begins when 
it was the home of the Dacians, of whom Herodotus speaks 
as **the bravest and most honorable of all the Thracian 
tribe." Along the coast from Constanza, northward, runs 
a belt of lagoons, the remainder of the coast steep and high. 
Its most striking feature is the delta of the Danube, which 
occupies an immense triangular plain completely covered 
with reeds, and dotted with lakes, connected by small canals, 
acting as reservoirs for the three main arms of the Danube, 
the Kilia, Sulina, and St. George arms. Owing to strong 



currents and deposits of silt 
largest, is almost useless for 
true of the St. George arm. ' 
Danube Commission the Sulina 
easy and secure navigation. 
Danube remained practically i 
extraordinary life, where plan 
had to develop a new type ac 
change of floods and dry seaa 
'* Jungle Book.*' It a paradij 
can find no permanent footing 

On the railway line that ru 
stanza, the Danube is crossed b; 
between Fateshti and Cernavoc 
an iron structure 1,000 yards 
arm, with viaducts eight miles 
running over marshy lands, an 
mile long, over the main Dam 
most important port is Constar 
value because it forms, with Mi 
a safe landing can be made, an 
termines the control of a powei 
of Trajan." Constanza lies at 
from the Danube to the Black 

Once more the war in this r 
into scenes associated with the 
In Asia the war had invade( 
Garden of Eden, and made it 
the shores of rivers that are su 
early paradise, and it had r( 
Sinai, and Mount Lebanon. 
Ionian, Egyptian, Parthian, a 
visited by it, including place 
rise of Judaism, ZoroastrianisB 
danism. Men were reminded 
the Tigris that in that same 
feated Trajan. In the Dobru" 
wall as a battle-line between 
the north, and Germans an 




Eighteen hundred years before, in the year 101 a.d., Trajan 
had led his legions hither to conquer the Dacians, whose 
country comprised all those provinces of Moldavia, 
Wallacbia, and Transylvania, which the Roumanians had 
long desired to reunite under one sovereign. Dacia's 
warrior-king, Decebalus, defended his land so well that 
Trajan had to start a second campaign four years after the 
first. Not until then was Dacia forced to acknowledge 
Roman rule. 

On September 16 a telegram in Berlin received by the 
Empress from the Kaiser announced that the Bulgar- 
Turkish-German troops in the Dobrudja, under Mackensen, 
had ** gained a decisive victory over the Russo-Roumanian 
forces.*' The Russian and Roumanian forces had retreated 
to a Hue running from the Danube at Rosova through 
Copadinu to the Black Sea at Tuzla, and there intended to 
make a stand to protect Constanza and the railway running 
west to Bucharest. Russian troops from the north had re- 
inforced the line. Some military observers vainly believed 
that Mackensen 's drive would be permanently halted, for 
on an effective resistance hung the fate of Roumanians most 
accessible route for operations against Bulgaria. Along the 
Danube the Roumanians developed a vigorous artillery 
offensive, German positions being swept by shell-fire. Signs 
were not long wanting that the Bulgarian offensive was 

Its regiments that had been hurriedly dispatched to the 
Danube front at the opening of hostilities were below full 
war-strength and had further been depleted by heavy fight- 
ing. By September 21 it was announced from London that 
the battle of the Dobrudja had been won by the Roumanians. 
After five days of furious fighting Mackensen 's troops were 
in retreat before King Ferdinand's forces, as reinforced by 
the Russians. The Teuton-Bulgarian army had made a des- 
perate effort to break through the Roumanian line guarding 
the Danube crossing, but this was hurled back by troops 
turning to the offensive. Mackensen 's stroke had been a 
heavy blow, and for a time it had seemed as if Cemavoda 
would be threatened, but reinforcements from Bessarabia 
strengthened the Roumanian line, which was now able to 




mass its forces for a counter-blow. A violent battle fol- 
lowed, until fortune turned to the Allies, who, pressing their 
advantage, put the Teutons to flight. "With reference to 
these operations, Berlin admitted that the ''fighting in 
Dobrudja had come to a standstill." But next day 
Mackensen struck back. Directing a counter-drive against 
the flank, he turned it back, encircled it, and then dashed in 
on the rear, until the opposing forces fell back in disorder. 
Confidence prevailed among the Roumanians, however, that 
their main line would hold. The successful operation by 
Mackensen was only a temporary success, due to some rash 
move on the part of an over-confident Roumanian com- 
mander. Mackensen *s army was known to be in serious 
plight by inability to obtain supplies, while rain had ruined 
roads and cut communications, and his army found itself 
without food and munitions. Convoys of food coming down 
the Danube from Rustchuk had been sunk by Roumanian 
artillery. • 

As with the Russian campaigns in Asia, so with this, the 
ultimate object of Russian operations with the Roumanians 
was Constantinople, which is only 175 miles south of the 
southern border of the Dobrudja. Should Constantinople 
fall into Russian hands, or should the Russians advance to 
a point where that city was in any way threatened, this 
would have meant the collapse of the entire Teutonic de- 
fense of the Saloniki position. Turkey, meanwhile, would 
have been completely cut off from her allies and forced 
to capitulate. Bulgaria would have been so seriously 
threatened that she would in all probability have had to sue 
for a separate peace and the Central Powers would have 
been forced to retire within the borders which enclosed 
them before Turkey entered the war. Constfl,ntinople thus 
was the prize for which the Russians fought. In order to 
achieve her ambition, Russia had undertaken one of the 
greatest military tasks in modern history — ^her campaign in 
Asiatic Turkey against the back door of the Turkish capital. 
Altho generally successful in Asia, she still had before her 
hundreds of miles of the most difficult military country 
imaginable, a country full of mountains, with few roads, 
and almost entirely without railroad communications. Dis- 



tances in Europe were so muc 
campaign against Constantino] 
attractive as compared with a 
from the Caucasus. Constanzj 

Russia controlled the Black S 
trolled the Atlantic Ocean, ar 
the work of transportation of b 
most without restraints. She 
stanza, a port near the cente 
minimum of land travel. Th« 
stanza and retention of control 
est importance. In early t!me 
pire weakened, the Russians w 
by this very route. In moden 
route had been continued from 
years. Four invasions of th 
Russia in the 19th century — in 
and now again Russia was figh 
stantinople. This tfme Great '. 
stood in her way, was helping 1 

Mackensen's forces continue( 
to gain the offensive and rem 
Constanza-Cernavoda railroad-1 
were launched against the rigl 
northeast of Silistria. Buchart 
attacks were repulsed, while t 
Dobrudja seemed in little dang 



flanks were protected and the Allied armies were in strong 
force, with unexcelled means of communication and supply. 
Apparently the Mackensen menace — for the time at least — 
had been checked. The most interesting sector in the whole 
European battle-line was now the Dobrudja. Dramatic 
action and suspense it did not lack, for this one repulse 
of the Teuto-Bulgars was followed within twelve hours by a 
defeat of the Russo-Roumanians and their retreat in dis- 

What stood out from various reports was the appar- 
ent fact that Mackensen 's great march around the Rou- 
manian flank had been brought to a temporary standstill 
only, but that the situation was settling down to the famil- 
ior deadlock of trenches. Mackensen 's enterprise had been 
held up, but he had not set out to win a victory in a particu- 
lar sector. His was rather the great counter-stroke for 
which observers had been waiting ever since the beginning 
of the Allied forward march under Brusiloff, Cadoma, 
Foch, and Haig. The Mackensen phalanx was expected to 
repeat its work of May, 1915, its aim being to smash a hole 
in the Allied line, as wide as the gap which the German 
guns had laid open before Krakow and the Carpathians. 
Through another gap it expected to throw an army, in the 
rear of the Roumanians on the one hand and of the Russians 
:n Bukowina on the other, precisely as the Mackensen phalanx 
did in the rear of the Russians in Poland and the Carpathians. 
Just as the Russians in northern Poland fell back before 
Hindenburg, because of what Mackensen did to them in 
Galicia, so Brusiloff was now to be forced away from Kovel 
and Lemberg by a shattering blow near the Danube. 

At the beginning, the Mackensen steam-roller seemed in 
as good condition as ever. The sudden capture of the 
Turtukai fortress, with nearly 25,000 prisoners, was a char- 
acteristic opening smash. It was as large a haul of captives 
as was announced in the first day's report of the battle 
in Galicia in May, 1915, and that first day's record was the 
initial instalment in an account that mounted up in four 
months to a million prisoners. Would the event be repeated 
in the Dobrudja? For a week the thing seemed possible. 
Turtukai fell on September 7, and on September 15 Berlin 



announced a ** decisive victory 
while Sofia spoke of the **dc 
forces. The tide* of battle mi( 
in the Dobrudja, but the ii 
conflict apparently had been ! 
tions seemed now only a detail 

On October 2, the Roumani 
upper reaches of the Danube 
of Rustchuk and Turtukai, wl 
northeastward, leaves Bulgar 
Roumanian proper from the D< 
mania made their way to the 
Just how many men were thr< 
disclosed, but the strategic vali 
was twofold. Ninety miles e 
Varna, Bulgaria's chief seapor 
ficient men could have been ser 
along the Dobrudja-Bulgarian 
alone would that seaport be in 
constitute a serious menace 1 
Teutonic, Bulgarian and Turk 
the Roumanians to the north, 
nouncement of the crossing of 
from Bucharest that a fresh a 
in the Dobrudja had resulted 
and right flank of the Central 
of the great battle in the Ball 
In this movement the Roumai 
operated by thrusting forward 
front and pressing its lines ba 
right flank along the Danube. 

On October 3 Bulgarian for 
army that had crossed the Da 
place east of Rustchuk. On Oc 
15,000 Roumanians was annoui 
off by troops from the garrison 
By October 5, the Roumanian i 
according to Berlin, as the re 
ment put in operation by M 
flanked him by crossing the Da 



Boumania. The Russo-Roumanian attack on Mackensen's 
line across the Dobrudja, however, continued to make prog- 
ress in the center and on the left, where 1,000 men and 
seven guns were captured, the Roumanians pushing a suc- 
cessful offensive and taking 2,000 prisoners. In tlie face of 
violent attacks by the Teutonic Allies, the Roumanians and 
their Russian allies fell back on October 22. The towns of 
Toprai Sari, fourteen miles , southwest of Constanza and 
Cobadin, seventeen miles southeast of Rachova, were taken. 
On October 23, the Roumanian port of Constanza was cap- 
tured. Troops of the Central Powers crossed the railway- 
line between Constanza and the Danube, at a point to the 
east of Murfatlar, Constanza being one of the principal 
objectives of Mackensen. As it had been notably useful in 
offering a seaport and railway entrance for Russian troops 
and ammunition sent to the aid of Roumania, its capture 
cut off the most convenient water-route for Roumanian re- 
plenishments, especially munitions, of which the Roumanians 
had been reported badly in need. 

Tlie right wing of the combined Bulgarian, Teutonic, and 
Turkish force marched ahead after taking Constanza, and in 
a powerful push advanced about twelve miles beyond that 
place. The capture of Medjide became only a question of 
a few hours. The Teutonic allies now stood before the 
strong Danube bridge-head of Cernavoda, which served as 
a cover for the hasty retreat of the defeated Russians and 
Roumanians. The railroad-line from Constanza to Cerna- 
voda, now in the hands of the Teuton'c allies, constituted, 
with valuable material in locomotives and railroad-cars 
taken with it, a base for strategic operations. This material 
had been abandoned by the Russians and Roumanians. The 
defeated army was separated into two parts. Those who did 
not remain in the battlefield, or were not taken prisoners, 
saved themselves by flight across the Cernavoda bridge, or 
to the northward in the Dobrudja. The Roumanians blew 
up the bridge which, after the capture of Cernavoda, was 
dominated by Mackensen 's guns. This bridge is the largest 
in Europe. Completed in 1896 and the longest railroad- 
bridge in the world, it cost some $35,000,000. 

Strong German forces, under command of Falkenhayn, 



had now won a three-day battl 
sylvania, driving sectors of the 
in the mountains by the end 
report of the battle from Bucl 
saying the Roumanians were a 
mannstadt and had retreated wi 
called **a bold mountain marcl 
ceeded in getting in the rear ol 
Rothen Thurm or Red Tow< 
Hermannstadt, and thus had 
retreat. The fighting in the m 
Roumanians cut their way thrc 
communications. More than 3,C 
the Germans. Thirteen guns ai 
supplies were captured. The 
suffered a severe defeat. 

In his report to the Kaiser d' 
September 26, Falkenhayn c 
erusht'' the Roumanian army, 
exaggerated view of his victory, 
adversary, compelling the Bou 
fronts at the same time, was ii 
except that of Falkenhayn agre( 
ians found themselves caught in 
way out with courage and wit] 
army was not annihilated, but b 
north and south of the Red *] 
Roumania by numerous mounti 
pass, breaking up into detachni 
recovering homogeneity behind 
prisoners fell into Falkenhayn 'i 
large number for an army of 
suffering defeat in the circumsta 
cipal loss was in material, 13 gu 
200 transports and 10 locomoti^ 
enemy. After making their wa 
dispersed units rallied at Tzaini 
Red Tower pass. 

Against Roumania, the Teut 
ancient rule of concentrating 



point. Altho not the rule by which an adversary can 
necessarily be overwhelmed, it was that to which the warring 
forces of the Central Empires were now reduced. This was 
not the principle upon which the Kaiser had acted when 
he began the war, and all but ended it, with the great blow 
through Belgium against Paris. He then sought to over- 
whelm all by crushing the strongest part. The policy now 
adopted against Roumania was a repetition of that used 
against Serbia in 1915. Roumania was the weakest member 
of the Entente Alliance — weaker than Serbia — ^because she 
had the fewest forces in proportion to her front, and was 
the least provided with facilities for replenishing her muni- 
tions. But Roumania excelled Serbia in numbers, in ability 
to import supplies and, above all, in proximity to Russia. 
Serbia had been totally cut off from reinforcement until 
the Bulgar attack gave the French an excuse for landing a 
hastily improvised force at Saloniki, while Roumania was 
accessible to Russian supporting troops, which could be 
poured in by land, by the Black Sea, or by the Danube 
waterway. About Hermannstadt the Teutons, having con- 
centrated a superior force, carried out a skilful enveloping 
movement, and were able to expel the Roumanians with 
serious loss from an important part of their earlier con- 
quests. In placing these Transylvanian forces under com- 
mand of Falkenhayn, the Teutons showed that no petty 
operation was intended. The diflSculties of advancing in a 
well-defended country with a mountain range in the rear cast 
some do.ubts, however, on Falkenhayn 's ability to accom- 
plish much before Roumanian and Russian co-operation had 
made secure this front. 

Neither Mackensen nor Falkenhayn, the two projectors of 
the great Galician offensive of May, 1915, of which the 
Dunajec battle was the beginning, appeared to be strong 
enough to deliver a smashing blow. The gains they scored 
seemed more local than strategic, the power of the German 
stroke not in evidence, and the strain on German resources 
enormous. Austria was plainly failing. Everywhere in the 
bulletins it was the same story; where the Germans were, 
the Teutons won or held their own; where the Austrians 
alone were, they lost. In such conditions, Germany ap- 



parently might well have bee 

The meager results of hei 
ingly with the priee she was 
the west, where she stood on 1 
ginning of July, the British ha 
tion of this number might be 
Balkans and Mesopotamia, bal 
on the Somme alone the Brit 


300,000. By adding the loaaes 
get the half million casualties ^ 
Allies on the Somme, which wa 
the Germans paid for their vei 
Allies, however, had got more 
Crown Prince did, and they co 
price in men that Germany eoi 
follow that the Anglo-French ai 
paying at the same rate, for the 
as they got beyond the. stronge 
v. VIII— as 345 


Turning against the Roumanians, after advancing steadily 
in Eastern Transylvania, Austro-Hungarian and German 
troops by October 7 had distinctly defeated them. North 
of Fcgaras, at the juncture of the Homorod and Altrimers 
near Reps, they were in retreat, pursued by Teutonic troops. 
This successful repulse was in the hands of Falkenhayn, 
who the week before had routed the Roumanians around 
Hermannstadt and driven them back to their own frontier. 
While the Roumanians were yielding before these blows, it 
was different in the Dobrudja, where, with Russian help, 
they appeared to be meeting with some success against 
Mackensen, and in Transylvania they took the offensive, 
south of Petroseny and Hermannstadt. Berlin then an- 
nounced that ** south of Hatszag the frontier height of 
Sigelu was wrested from the Roumanians," which threat- 
ened Roumania with invasion from a second point on her 
northwestern frontier, through the Vulcan pass. The Rou- 
manian army, after being routed at Hermannstadt, was 
striking back desperately near Caineni, fifty miles northeast 
of the Vulcan pass, in order to regain Red Tower pass, 
through which Falkenhayn 's invading army threatened to 

Transylvania and Macedonia continued well into October 
to be centers of great interest. According to Berlin, the 
Roumanians in Transylvania were retreating along the 
whole line. The Teutonic Allies had recaptured Toerzburg, 
fifteen miles southwest of Kronstadt, and within seven miles 
of the Roumanian border. In the Danube, north of Sistova, 
they had occupied an island, taking six guns and making 
prisoners of Roumanian troops. The recapture from the 
Roumanians of Kronstadt was regarded in Vienna as due 
largely to the generalship and strategy of Falkenhayn, ably 
supported by Austro-Hungarian generals. Falkenhayn had 
been able to execute what was regarded as one of the most 
brilliant open field maneuvers of the war. So alarming 
indeed had become the situation for Roumania, that on 
October 13 her king appealed to the Allies to save his 
country from the fate of Serbia and Belgium. 

Germany had apparently seized upon Roumania as the 
scene for another victory over a small nation; first it had 



triumphed over Belgium, then 

to overcome Boumania. Victo 

sible. There did not seem to 

to take the offensive in any ol 

had passed into the hands of 

m Transylvania seemed largel 

Mackensen to come up to expel 

his move there had been a 

Cernavoda had been taken, not 

invasion of Roumania from th 

the Teutons could well have i 

manians to get as far as they i - 

fact, the further they penetr 

would have liked it, for the h; i 

them to get back. And the ^ i 

begun to invade Roumania fi : 

the railroads in the rear of tl ■ 

have been threatened, and lines i 

for the Roumanians would have > 

the retreat came, the Roumania] i 

tween the Teutonic forces in the • 

which had crossed the Danube. 1 i 
planation of the sudden shift in 
October 16 had driven the R i 
few miles of their border and i 
had not crossed the border at i 
was no indication yet that I i 
invaded. It was clear that the 
fered severe defeats. Their ij i 
been flung back and an Aust 
point of entering Wallachia, a ; 
had already penetrated the Dc 
First of all, there was gene 
manians had made an error ii 
Transylvania before Bulgaria 
considerations at home, the de i 
the Transylvanian prize, had h I 
den rush into undefended Aust I 
results were immediately fatal, 
manian army, save for a divis 



Silistria, had been sent across the Transylvanian Alps. 
Whether the army of Mackensen in the Dobrudja aimed 
for Bucharest, or the bridge, it had become necessary for 
the Roumanians to recall armies they intended for Transyl- 
vania, and so, after a few prosperous days, the invasion of 
Transylvania had come to an abrupt halt. It collapsed much 
as the French rush into Alsace-Lorraine collapsed in the 
first days of the war. 

Ever since the beginning of the Russian drive in Galicia, 
the Germans had apparently been gathering up an army 
for a counter-attack from the Pripet Marshes to the Rou- 
manian boundary. Germany was about ready to begin op- 
erations when the Roumanian declaration of war so changed 
the whole eastern situation that the new German force had 
to be turned against the Roumanians. Accordingly, the 
Roumanians suffered a punishment that originally was pre- 
pared for the Russians, an unhappy result for the Rouman- 
ians, but one which left the Russians in possession of all 
their summer's conquests, and enabled them to prepare for 
a counter-attack, if one should be directed against them, 
after Reumania had been sufficiently beaten. In other 
words, Roumania took from Russia's shoulders the whole 
Falkenhayn army and was well beaten in her effort. The 
net result of her intervention had thus far been to be com- 
pelled to meet the armies of Mackensen and Falkenhayn, 
which, had 6he stayed out of the war, would have been used 
against the Entente Allies in GalicisL and Macedonia. 

But the fact remained that, six weeks after the Roumanian 
declaration of war, virtually all the territory taken by the 
first drive of her armies into Transylvania had been wrested 
from her by Teuton forces under Falkenhayn, while power- 
ful armies of Bulgars, Teutons, and Turks, commanded 
by Mackensen, held many square miles of the Dobrudja dis- 
trict, and menaced the vitally important railroad-bridge 
across the Danube at Cernavoda. Meanwhile her losses in 
men, according to German estimates, amounted to not less 
than 100,000. Until October 14 pressure of Austro-Germxip. 
forces was steadily compelling the Roumanian troops to fall 
back upon or toward their own frontier, altho the Rouman- 
ians were offering stubborn resistance. King Ferdinand 



personally took supreme com] 
were expected to arrive soon, 
General Berthelot, a well-kn( 
going to Bucharest. 

Near Orsova, in one more bi 

Roumanians gave battle, and 

counter-attacks gained some ac 

the retirement of Roumanian 

tains, on the northwest front, 

infantry of the Teutonic all 

Successes were also obtained 

Oitzu and Jiul valleys, where 

On both sides of the Szurduk 

ued on the offensive, but Berl 

pelled. Apparently the Roui 

for the time being at least, in 

Teutonic Allies along their bor 

was the claim made by eithe: 

successes, while Bucharest asse 

Ferdinand at various points 

Roumanian Army, green in ^ 

with having as good stuff as ai 

ning to show that it had. A 

checked Mackensen, and now, 

stopt Falkenhayn. Not only t 

tarily panic-stricken Roumania 

of assistance from the Russi 

check. The Russians would n( 

to come to Roumanians aid, if 

of a deadly thrust in the re 

Sarrail 's army motionless for mc 

was Greece. 

The first attack against Ro 
Kronstadt was delivered in the 
8 the Teutons reached the tov 
10th the frontier ridge. By 
tended tentacles of Falkenhayn 
miles in Transylvania, were t: 
mountain passes. His extreme 
the southwest, where the advj 



Kraft's Bavarian Alpine Corps stood several miles into 
Roumania beyond Red Tower pass, south of Hermannstadt. 
His left wing, sixty miles northward of Kronstadt, threat- 
ened to cut off from Russian support the Roumanian North- 
ern Army, then retreating beyond the Palanka passes, and 
thereby to endanger the Russian flank. Falkenhayn was 
advancing in three columns through Torzburg and Predeal 
passes, which led directly toward Bucharest, distant about 
eighty miles. The third column, forming the left wing of 
his center, was operating through the Altschan pass. The 
right column, which formed the right wing of the center, 
had gone about twenty miles southwest of Sinala. In the 
Predeal pass the center column had taken the northern sum- 
mit of the heights of the pass, and possession of the pass 
up to the edge of the town of Predeal, which was under 
heavy fire. 

The Germans and Hungarians had overcome many im- 
posing obstacles in their rapid advance since the battle 
of Hermannstadt and Red Tower pass. No campaign in 
this war had demanded such tremendous physical endurance 
on the part of German troops. On the Somme it was with 
them largely a question of strong, steady nerves, but in 
these eastern mountains it was a matter of physical strength, 
an endurance of a degree that only relatively young and elite 
troops, such as Falkenhayn had, could furnish. At times 
Falkenhayn called on his troops for the well-nigh impos- 
sible. But good weather facilitated his whirlwind operations, 
and he made a spurt everywhere in order to get to the east- 
ern and southern slopes of the mountains before heavy 
snows should render mountain-operations more difficult.* 
Already weather reports showed that the long winter snow 
was beginning to fall. In the Carpathians by the third week 
of October four feet of snow had fallen in some places. 

By October 28, the Roumanians had won some success on 
the Moldavian frontier, where the Teuton invaders were en- 
deavoring to force their way through the mountains, and 
appeared at the time to have put a definite check to these 
attempts. At the most northerly point of the Roumanian 
frontier, in the region of Dorna Watre, the Austro-German 

"Karl IT. von Wiegand in The World (New York). 



forces had succeeded in drivii 
on the banks of Bystritsa, but 
clearly with the defenders. T 
success in the Trotus Valley, i 
from the neighborhood of whi 
fleeing in disorder. In the C 
in a successful attack, captured 
siderable war-material. For a 
pressure in Transylvania appea 
ian military officials estimated 
Germans in Transyl^iania as 80 
sians in the first week of Nov€ 
to be rolling the Teutons back, 
toward the Red Tower pass, a: 
in the Juil valley. They we 
about fifty miles south of the ] 

The ultimate success of the G 
the impressive events of the w\ 
might be large or small, and 
comparison with their moral 
military but the moral resul 
and weighed heavily against 
plishments during the previoi 
whole Balkan play had turned 
not been able to make use of ^ 
their hands when Roumania 
Falkenhayn's successful thruj 
mania, and Mackensen's in the 
Germans had no cmaining st] 
hayn's army was a strategic 
flung at what was the criti 
Austrian lines, and it brough 

Pressing his attack in the 
October, assailed with the f 
entire Russo-Roumanian front 
ing hard to a prepared line 
on the Danube, to Casapjeui ( 
protected by swamp-land anc 
from forty to sixty miles nor 
railroad. About this time < 



French aeroplanes arrived in Roumania for reconnaissance 
work, and four English aeroplanes from Imbros, an island 
of the Grecian Archipelago, making a flight of 312 miles 
in five hours. The Roumanians, having reformed their lines, 
were offering resistance on a line about fifty-five miles 
north of the railway, and Mackensen on November 2 halted 
his advance, apparently because of a shortage of men, in 
order to protect his line along the Danube, and to send 
several regiments to the Transylvania front to aid Palken- 
hayn. The withdrawal of these troops checked his offensive 
operations. Practically everywhere along the Ti'ansylvania 
front, excepting south of Red Tower pass, the Roumanians 
seemed to be holding their own. Southwest of Predeal and 
southeast of Red Tower pass, they made an advance. 

The transfer by Russia of General Sakharoff to the 
Dobrudja was foUewed by a temporary rolling back of the 
line that had been thrown across the province by Mackensen. 
An official announcement from Bucharest said the Teutonic 
invaders had been driven not only from Orsova on the 
Danube, where the army was aided by a gunboat flotilla, 
but from Topal, twelve miles south of that town, and only 
thirteen miles north of the Cernavoda-Constanza railroad. 
The Teutons had been forced back to the narrowest diameter 
of the province, but they were expected to make a strong 
stand. Sakharoff 's advance was described as brusque, just 
as that of his opponent had been. In one day Mackensen 
yielded more than twelve miles. Developments on this front 
depended on whether Mackensen had weakened his forces 
on behalf of Falkenhayn on the Transylvania Front, or 
whether Sakharoff 's reinforcements would throw the balance 
in favor of the Roumanians. Russians and Roumanians con- 
tinued for several days vigorously on the offensive. Keeping 
up operations north of the Cernovoda-Constanza railway, 
they pushed back Mackensen 's men to a front running 
through Tropal, Inancesne, and Karanasuf. 

Germany, suffering from inferiority of numbers, was ap- 
parently giving way before stronger opponents. The move- 
ments, however, were to a certain extent shrouded in mys- 
tery, so that it was difficult to follow the situation closely. 
But the outstanding feature was that Mackensen, whose 



spectacular advance had been h i 
the elimination of Roumania f re i 
back with the same speed wit: 
During eight days he retreated I 
of over four miles a day. What 1 
Somehow the Roumanian and R ; 
acquired sudden strength. The 
and Cernavoda, the key of all 
in imminent danger of recaptui 
advanced to within a few mile- 
gave no indication that he was a: 

On the Dobrudja front the s 
confused and uncertain. Rouni 
a line east and west through Toji 
bombarding both of Mackensen'n 
Russians, operating from warsl: 
apparently destroyed Constanza i 
Germans considerable annoyance 
ing their line. Roumanians at 
they received. The Germans w 
and securing few advantages, 
manian offensive in the Carpathii 
it protected the main railroad fr<: 
over which Russian reinforceme: 
for it was of the utmost import; 
road be kept open. If it could 
Army would practically be isolal 
mercy of the Germans, who woi 
to eliminate Roumania complete! 

The invasion of Roumania ( 
make headway along the west 
or Wallachian, front. Falkenh,! 
was directed along three main 1 
and the valley of the Prahova, t 
and along the valley of the Al 
pass along the valley of the Jiul 
lanes that the Teutons prest fi 
presumption being that these w 
Bucharest and the Russian front 
reached by reinforcements from 



which might be coming in from Russia. The river Alt 
bisects southern Roumania in almost a straight line from 
north to south, and it was in the region lying to the west 
of the river that the Teuton offensive was expected to de- 
velop most rapidly. 

The forces of the Central Powers were endeavoring to 
make a drive on Bucharest, the Roumanian capital, from 
three directions. To the west, the troops of Palkenhayn had 
reached the Alt river; to the north, the Germans and 
Austro-Hungarians were pressing southward from the Pre- 
deal and Torzburg passes, and somewhere along the Danube, 
either to the south or southwest, the forces of Mackensen 
were crossing the river. By November 25 "Western Wal- 
lachia, with the entire line of the Alt River, apparently 
was entirely in the hands of the Teutonic allies. In all 
directions the invaders were making progress with Bucha- 
rest their main objective, and they were daily coming 
nearer. When news reached Bucharest that the German- 
Bulgarian troops had successfully crossed the Danube at 
Zimnitza, it was decided to transfer the Roumanian diplo- 
matic corps to Jassy, where a large number of refugees 
from the capital and from Western Wallachia had already 
congregated. After October 14, when the advance of the 
Germans to Predeal caused a sudden and lively scare, 
especially in diplomatic quarters, Bucharest had remained 
fairly tranquil, and the subsequent successes of the Rou- 
manian troops in the Jiul valley had created a feeling of 
confidence and even of elation. Seven weeks went by, the 
latter portion of this period being marked by a recurrence 
of aeroplane attack, to which the population of the city 
had become more or less accustomed, altho the number of 
victims had increased to about a thousand killed, wounded, 
or injured. Public tranquillity, however, remained undis- 
turbed. When on November 24 the authorities received 
news that the enemy had crossed the Danube, had estab- 
lished himself at Zimnitza, and was advancing on Rosiori, 
some six hours' journey by rail from the capital, no inti- 
mation of these tidings was conveyed to the population. As 
a consequence the train conveying the diplomatic corps, and 
a certain number of invited and uninvited persons, took its 



departure in comparative qu'et 
densely crowded with refugees 

The departure of the diplom 
of November 25. When it wa 
ing day a state of panic ensue< 
arrival of several military office 
for the removal of their familic 
and violent scenes occurred at 
of which were guarded by c( 
prices were paid for country 
those who despaired of reachir 
refugees set out on foot, carr; 
their household goods; many ^ 
abandon their burdens, so that 
north became strewn with obj< 
thrown away. One fugitive 
which he paid fifty dollars. I 
train composed of 60 carriage 
fitted with air-brakes — a sud 
brakeless part of the train *M 
several persons were killed or 

The occupation of Qiurgevo 1 
to within 37 miles of Buchai 
capture of Curtea de Arges, 8 
ital, cleared the Topoiog sect 
the invaders a railroad leadir 
Pitesci, the junction of the li: 
to Bucharest. On December 
were almost within shelling d 
which protected Bucharest, 
aided by Russian troops, were 
western approaches to Bucha: 
vance continued to press forw 
ital from the northwest. Exa 
the declaration of war by R 
were in control of virtually or 
ritory — from the Transylvania] 
ital to the Danube south of 

By December 4, all hope of 



entirely abandoned, and the Roumanian troops were with- 
drawing toward the east through the whole width of East- 
ern Wallaehia. There had never been any intention of 
holding Bucharest itself as a fortress. It is true the city 
was surrounded by an impressive girdle of detached works 
composed of eighteen large forts and an equal number of 
smaller forts and batteries, situated at distances from the 
center varying between three and seven miles and sepa- 
rated by intervals not exceeding three. The principal line 
of resistance, therefore, amounted to a length of about 50 
miles, and it was calculated that at least 120,000 men would 
be required to hold the fortress. The most important of 
these defenses had been organized as far back as 1886, and 
were now completely obsolete. Even the experiences of the 
Austrians with Przemysl, where they had an immense su- 
periority of artillery over the besieging Russian forces, could 
hardly have encouraged the Roumanians to try to hold 

The evacuation of Bucharest began on the day when news 
arrived that the enemy had crossed the Danube at Sistovo. 
This news fell like a thunderbolt on the capital, and the 
authorities received an order to evacuate it as soon as pos- 
sible. **The first few days which followed," wrote an eye- 
witness, '^will remain deeply engraved in the memory of the 
inhabitants. The cry, *the Germans are coming!' filled the 
population with terror, and everybody tried to escape." 
The word ** overcrowded" only inadequately described the 
state of railway trains. Prices as high as four hundred 
dollars were offered for carriages to Ploeshti, distant only 
about 30 miles from Bucharest. By royal decree the meet- 
ing of the Roumanian Parliament was postponed and Par- 
liament ordered to reassemble at Jassy. On December 1, 
when the last members of the Cabinet left Bucharest, the 
thunder of the invaders' guns could be distinctly heard, but 
the panic had then given place to a feeling of depression 
and resignation. To maintain order troops patrolled the 
streets, but this was not necessary, for life in the gay and 
busy city had become paralyzed. On December 4, a terrific 
report awoke the capital. The arsenal had been blown up 
by the authorities. "With the destruction of this the last 



hopes of the Bucharest populati : 
further doubt regarding the f utu : 
On December 5, Mackensen g : 
of truce into Bucharest, calling 
Germans entered on the same dj 
taking up headquarters in the '.\ 
on which they entered the capital 
the night which followed was :'. 
the smoke rising from burning 
district of Ploeshti. One of [ 
world was being destroyed in or: 
from getting oil. Simultaneously 
came news of the capture of the 
of Ploeshti, north of the capr 
placed in the hands of the invad 
west and gave them the head ( 
ward to Jassy, the new capital i 
Powers were now in possession 
Entente Allied States, the otheii 
and Cettinje. Beyond Bucharei 
forward for weeks afterwards. I: 
was this prolongation of the en 
Roumanians were both taken by 
on or near Mizil, on the Ploeshti • 
any impression. Even reinforce; 
sent to stiffen the rear-guard, 
German pace. The weather, altli 
lachian lowlands, opposed no eife 
system, with its combination of p 
ing leadership, had reached its 
tion, exerted as it was agains 
power. More than 1,000 person 
by German aircraft prior to 
city. In a single day 300 persoi 
and airplanes. A group of air] 
altitude and spent several hours 
workmen and work-women in fit 
planes which were pursuing a tw 
had a race to see which could hi 



going at a good pace, but the airplanes quickly overtook it. 
Driver, passenger, and horses, were all killed. 

The capture of Bucharest led to no decisive military re- 
sults, but the moral, political, and commercial consequences 
of its fall could not be ignored. Bucharest was to Roumania 
what Paris was to Prance, the whole life of the country be- 
ing centered in the capital, where were many rich men 
who would now have to pay the same heavy contributions 
which had been extorted ^ from the merchants of Brussels. 
When Mackensen entered the city he did so without firing 
a shot, its forts having all been dismantled since the fate 
of the Meuse fortress had proven Brialmont's work power- 
less against modern artillery. 

It was suggested that the campaign in Roumania was 
only of subsidiary importance and, whichever way it went, 
whether for or against the Allies, could have no effect on 
the ultimate result of the war, which would be decided on 
the Western Front and on no other. It was hard to recon- 
cile this opinion with the frantic appeals which had been 
made to Roumania a few months before to abandon neutral- 
ity and throw in her lot with the Allies. Those who had 
seen for themselves the cereal and mineral wealth of the 
country, relatively small as its territory was, knew what an 
accession of economic strength its conquest might bring to 
the Central Powers. Just when the Allied blockade was 
getting tighter and its pinch harder, some stores of corn 
and oil, which had been waiting over many months for 
export, fell into the hands of the German commander. As 
the Germans now held 50,000 square miles of the richest 
land in Europe, it was felt to be no exaggeration to say 
that the German conquest of Roumania had put back the 
hands of the war-clock. The whole Balkan Peninsula, from 
the Adriatic to the Black Sea, north of the front held by 
General Sarrail, was practically German territory. Even if 
Mackensen went further than the Sereth the Teuton front 
would have been shortened by 200 miles. The valley of the 
Danube, up which lies the easiest route into Hungary, was 
in secure possession of the Central Powers. The dividing 
zone between the Russians on the Sereth and the Allies in 
Macedonia, had been widened by more than 150 miles. A 



through line of railway had been opened between Germans 
and Turks. Submarines could now be sent in pieces to 
Constanza and launched on the Black Sea to prey on Rus- 
sian commerce. 

The Germans had still to undertake to crush Russia and 
eliminate the Czar's empire from the ranks of her enemies. 
The chief effort of the Allies was to break the German lines 
in the West and cut German communication with Constan- 
tinople in the Balkans, as the prelude to a new attack upon 
Constantinople. No sane observer could expect immediate 
peace, or peace within twelve months. In any consideration 
of peace, the German victory would increase the German 
demands, and the least that Germany now demanded was 
the right to settle the fate of Russian Poland, to control 
Serbia, and to dominate Asia Minor. The Roumanian army 
seemed as a whole to be still intact. It had suffered severe 
losses. Probably 75,000 men in all had been taken prison- 
ers, but the others had made good their retreat, and were 
still a force with which sooner or later, Germany would 
have to deal. Roumania still existed, in many ways a 
danger and a menace to the German cause. This menace, 
in spite of the fall of Bucharest, could not be considered 
entirely removed until the Roumanian army had ceased Jto 
exist and all of Roumania — Moldavia, as well as Wallachia — 
had been completely conquered and occupied. 

Roumania closed for the Germans the period of adven- 
ture which had opened with the attack on Liege, and for 
the Allies the period which began with the invasion of 
Gallipoli. To end the war quickly, and by way of Paris, 
was the Kaiser's purpose; it had failed within a month at 
the Marne. To end the war by way of Constantinople was 
the Allied purpose; this after nearly two years had now 
failed at Bucharest. To get at Paris the Kaiser had dared 
the crime of Belgium and brought down on himself the 
judgment of the world. To get at Constantinople the Allies 
had plunged into the quagmire of Balkan hatreds and am- 
bitions. All that was now over. The Balkan possibilities 
were exhausted. Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and Roumania 
h^d disposed of themselves or been disposed of. Only 
Greece remained, and it. waa.Jio longer possible to conceive 



that developments in 
aspect in southern Ei 
stantinople, or of an i 
The great Allied prol 
army at Saloniki. 'V 
against the enormous 
could bring to bear. 

In two ways the A 
defeat of their Balkar 
to divided councils, a$ 
sives, which had undc 
war both at London i 
to be in future an i 
devoted to Mediterra: 
stored to the feeding 
munitioning of Russia 
whose annual yield of 
behind them an app 
end. All doubts aboi 
Kaiser seemed now n 
Governments needed 
diplomacy. They coi 
mind to the grim bus 

The temporary res 
which followed in th( 
to the qualities of resi 
to the strenuous worl 
Berthelot. The Roum 
much from the sad es 
not really familiar wi 
accompanied by some 
Roumania late in 19! 
disaster, but his servi 
the army. During th 
their Roumanian com 
and raising their depi 
reorganized, working 
the Allies, who reallzi 
manian disaster had 

••The Tribune (New Yorl 
V. VIII— 24 


started to send out through Russia great quantities of mu- 
nitions, guns of all calibers, trench-mortars and everything 
necessary for a modem army. The Air Service, which was 
practically non-existent at the outbreak of the war, was 
now in the hands of experienced French airmen, and had 
a fair number of French and British aeroplanes. Thus re- 
organized and prepared, the Roumanian army was ready 
by the beginning of July, 1917, to take the field again, and 
attempt to avenge the reverses suffered in 1916. 

Roumanians suddenly crossed the Sereth on July 24, and, 
advancing astride the Susitza and Putna rivers, fell sjid- 
denly upon General Qerok's Austrian outposts, and drove 
them back on their supports to the slopes of the Vrancea 
mountains. A running fight went on till the 28th, resulting 
in the Teutons being pushed back toward the passes, the 
Roumanians following close on their heels to the village of 
Soveja and to Mont Casinlui. On their way back to the 
frontier the Austrians lost 4,500 prisoners, with 90 guns 
and a large quantity of war-material, which in their flight 
they were unable either to carry away or destroy. When 
Mackensen heard of the Roumanian movement he acted with 
his usual vigor. Leaving a containing force facing Galatz, 
he sent the bulk of his troops up the right bank of the 
lower Sereth to Focsani, and called up his reserves from 
Bucharest. Reinforcements were at the same time sent to 
Gerok. On August 6 he stormed the positions occupied by 
the Russian troops who were protecting the left flank of the 
Roumanian Second Army north of Focsani, and captured 
1,300 prisoners with thirteen guns. This threat to their 
left flank caused the Roumanians to withdraw their center 
and left wing from the hills, to cover the approaches to the 
loop line between Marasesti and Tecuci, which connected the 
Sereth valley railway with the line running along the 
Berlandu to Jassy. On the 7th the Roumanian line ex- 
tended on a semi-circular front from the west of Ocna in 
the Trotus valley through Soveja and thence between the 
Putna and Susita rivers to Sereth. 

By this time Russian troops had been brought up in con- 
siderable force, and were supporting the Roumanians on 
both flanks and a stubbornly contested battle took place, 



Mackensen endeavoring to throw the Roumanians behind the 
Sereth, while their object was to hold the loop-line and 
prevent the German commander from advancing up the 
river. While Mackensen attacked the Roumanians from 
the south on both sides of the Focsani-Adjulu railway, 
Gerok directed an enveloping movement against Ocna from 
the west with troops advancing down the numerous valleys 
between the Trotus and Casin rivers. On August 9 Macken- 
sen forced a passage over the Susitza river and succeeded 
in holding the position against a Roumanian counter-attack 
on the following day. The battle extended to the Trotus 
valley, where the Austrians pushed the Roumanians back 
from the Casinlui heights and forced them to retire to a 
position west of the line Ocna-Gorozesti. On August 11 the 
battle was continued with the same intensity, the Rouman- 
ians withdrawing in the evening to the villages of Marasesti 
and Focsani on the left bank of the Sereth, while in the 
Trotus valley the Austrians gained ground west of the Ocna- 
Gorozesti position, the Roumanian right wing falling back 
on Ocna. On the 12th Russian and Roumanian counter- 
attacks resulted in the capture of 1,100 prisoners, but the 
Germans succeeded in occupying Panciu, the western ter- 
minus of the loop-line, for the possession of which there had 
been such prolonged fighting. 

The battle continued along the whole line of the 13th and 
14th with indecisive results, but on the latter day German 
troops captured the Baltavetu bridge-head, where the loop- 
line crosses the Sereth, and also stormed the village of 
Stracani, northwest of Panciu. On this day the Roumanian 
troops on the upper Susitza had to fall back from Soveja, 
which the enemy occupied, but on th? 15th there was a 
rally, and after fighting a successful battle on the 16th the 
right wing of the Second Army retook the lost positions 
in the Susitza valley, and held them against a series of 
obstinate counter-attacks. On the same day Mackensen 's 
further progress north of the loop-line in the Sereth valley 
met with a sharp check from the Russo-Roumanian forces 
concentrated at this point. Mackensen 's object in invading 
Moldavia was doubtless to get possession of the harvest 
in that rich province. A letter dated August 8, found on 



the corpse of a Prussian oflBcer, contained the following: 
**We are going to deliver a decisive blow here very soon. 
If we cross the Sereth, which I hope will not be difficult, 
Jassy and the whole of Moldavia will be ours. If we succeed, 
I believe we are going to be sent to Flanders, where things 
seem to be hot again.'' 

The last Teutonic effort was made on the night of the 
19th, when, after intense artillery-fire of all calibers, two 
German divisions and an Austrian brigade attacked the 
Roumanian positions northeast of Pancui. In the presence 
of their King, who, accompanied by Prince Carol, shared 
the risks of battle with his soldiers, the Roumanians fought 
with dash and bravery. The Germans were more desperate 
than ever, but when the last Roumanian reserves were 
brought forward and counter-attacked they fled in disorder. 
German soldiers, surprized by so violent an attack, threw 
away rifles and surrendered. Next day 600 Germans and 
Austrians were paraded before the King. On August 21 the 
battlefield was still covered with unburied corpses, piled 
up six deep, and a mile away the stench was unbearable. 
This German check on that front was the most serious they 
had had in the Near East. After a fortnight's fighting, with 
terrific losses, they had been stopt by a numerically in- 
ferior force. On the other hand the strategical advantage 
was with the Roumanians, who held the whole left bank of 
the Sereth, the very abrupt slopes of which dominated the 
right bank, which was partially in German hands.^^ 

Only minor engagements took place afterward. The Ger- 
mans had shifted their efforts to the north, where they had 
to deal with demoralized Russian troops, while the Rou- 
manians could not continue an offensive alone, their losses 
having been too heavy, and there being no hope of further 
help from the Russian army. Strong local attacks made 
by the enemy from August 20 onward were intended to 
keep the Roumanian troops engaged on the whole front, and 
in the meantime to keep the initiative with the Austro- 
German troops, but from that date ,on the Austrians' began 
to withdraw troops to the Italian front. On September 9 
the Roumanians captured a few important positions, but 

*o London Times' correspondent. 



the enemy, reinforced before the Roumanians could organize 
the captured ground, compelled them to abandon the 
temporary gain. This was the last ^effort made by the 
Roumanian army. The Russian revolution had rendered 
any further aid from the Northern ally unlikely. 

From the second half of September the main effort of 
the Germans had been to demoralize the Roumanian sol- 
diers in the same way as they had demoralized the Russians. 
A systematic propaganda was organized. Pamphlets, letters 
from relatives, proclamations from high clergy were spread 
among Roumanian peasant-soldiers, in order to break their 
faith in their chiefs and in their allies. The dissolution of 
the Russian armies that ensued was fatal to Roumania. At 
the end of December hardly 60,000 men were left in the 
trenches. A front which had been held by some 500,000 
Russians and 250,000 Roumanians had to be held now by 
Roumanians alone, whose numbers had been considerably 
diminished through heavy losses in the July and August 

Such was the situation of the Roumanian army at 
the end of 1917, or only a few months before the con- 
clusion of the so-called Roumanian ** peace." When the 
Russian armistice was signed, Roumania was compelled by 
the joint threats of Germany and the Soviets to adhere to 
it. From that day Russian troops began to leave the 
trenches wholesale, and by the end of January only such 
Siberian forces and other troops remained as found it more 
convenient to spend their time in Roumania than to return 
to their own territory. Roumania, which suddenly drifted 
into a state of war with the Bolshevist Government of 
Russia, found herself completely cut off from the rest of 
the Allies. Of her desperate situation the Germans were 
not slow to take advantage. They determined to seize the 
immensely rich oil-fields of Roumania, and to secure for an 
unlimited period Roumanian corn for Germany at a price 
fixt by German authorities. Having secured these ad- 
vantages, Germany caused eight Roumanian divisions to be 
demobilized under German Staff officers. 

On February 23, 1918, Herr von Kiihlmann and Count 
Czernin arrived at Bucharest, and, after presenting their 




peace terms to General Avereseu, went to Jassy to see King 
Ferdinand. On March 2 the King held a Crown Council 
when it was decided to accept the terms offered and enter 
into negotiations in regard to details. On March 5 the 
preliminary treaty was signed at Buftea. Roumania ceded 
the Dobrudja up to the Danube to Bulgaria, and agreed to 
a rectification of her Transylvanian frontier, which included 
the territorial cession of the oil-fields of Campina to Hun- 
gary. She also agreed to allow a right of way for Austro- 
German troops through Moldavia to Odessa. The question 
of Bessarabia was not dealt with in the treaty, but accord- 
ing to reports the local government of the province favored 
incorporation with Austria-Hungary rather than with Rou- 
mania. This meant that Roumania would be cut off from 
access to the sea, the port of Constanza, which she had 
constructed at great expense, passing into Bulgarian hands. 

Peace between Roumania and the Central Powers was 
finally brought about on May 6 by the signing of a formal 
treaty at Bucharest. Isolated from her Allies by the de- 
fection of Russia, nothing was left for Roumania but to 
accept from her relentless enemies the hard price they im- 
posed. The treaty was signed in the same room of the 
castle where the entry of Roumania into the war had been 
decided. Men with a leaning toward pacifism had exprest 
a belief in the sincerity of Germany's prof est desire for a 
just peace in the East, and ventured predictions that her 
lust for territory and greed for conquest were mere hostile 
estimates. They insisted that there yet remained in the 
empire a human element among the people and in legis- 
lative bodies. But to any one desirous of knowing what a 
German military peace meant, there was now an oppor- 
tunity of learning from a careful reading of the treaty 
with Roumania which pointed straight to the impoverish- 
ment of the country by the appropriation of all its resources, 
to the seizing of some of its most valuable territory, the 
control of its army, and the reduction of the country to a 
state of vassalage to the Berlin Government. 

Roumania was entirely cut off from the Black Sea and 
the port of Constanza lost, and the Austro-Hungarian 
border pushed down into the Wallachian and Moldavian 



plains. The Dual Monarchy secured control of all the 
mountain passes and strategic positions, much valuable 
mineral land and part of the petroleum fields. Possession 
was taken of all the oil-producing wells in the interior. The 
signatures of King Ferdinand and Queen Elizabeth were 
secured under threats that if they did not immediately 
accept the treaty they would be deposed and a new dynasty 
headed by a Prussian lordling substituted. Roumania, as a 
forced convert to the Alliance, was to become one of the 
chief connecting-links between Central Europe and Nearer 
Asia. In the darkest hours of their country's misfortune, 
Roumanian, patriots were never weary of repeating their 
proud boast that Roumania had entered the war of her own 
free will, and that, notwithstanding losses in human life 
amounting to some 800,000 souls, and the crushing material 
losses involved by this enforced treaty, she had been true 
to her destiny in entering the war on the side of the 

** Principal Sources : The Fortnightly Review (London) ; The Evening ^un. 
The Outlook, the "Military Expert" of The Times, New York; The Times 
(London), The Sun (New York), The Herald (Boston) ; The Evening Post, 
The Times, "Bulletins'* of the National Geographic Society, New York ; The 
London Times* "History of the War," The World (New York). 






May, 1917— September, 1918 

SINCE the abdication of King Constantine there had been 
in the spring of 1917 an occasional sign of military 
activity on the Saloniki front, but nothing of a major 
character. For example, in May British troops had struck 
out in blows that seemed almost like a spring offensive. 
Nearly three miles of trenches in the Bulgarian first-line 
system between Lake Doiran and the Vardar valley had been 
cut, the Bulgar left wiug on the Struma front broken, and two 
positions captured. But after these operations the Saloniki 
front quieted down and so remained for weeks and months. 
It was known that the Greek army would be increased from 
three to ten divisions (approximately 200,000 men), the re- 
cruiting and complete equipment to be completed within 
four months. The army was then far below 200,000 men, 
but there was sufficient man-power, including the dis- 
organized regulars, eventually to put a force of that size 
fully trained in the field. Activity on the front did not 
flare up again until the next year when, early in June, the 
Greeks made a successful attack on the Bulgarians at Sirka 
de Legan. These were the first Greek attempts on the Mace- 
donian front since the autumn of 1916, when an Allied 
offensive culminated in the fall of Monastir. The Greeks 
in June captured first and second lines and improved the 
Allied position on a difiicult sector and several Bulgarian 
counter-attacks were frustrated. 

Then early in July the eyes of the whole Allied world 
were suddenly turned away from the absorbing battle-front 
in France, where Ludendorff was preparing in the Marne 
salient for his last and fatal great offensive, to Albania, 



where Frencli and Italians were haying marlied success 
against the Austrians. The movement had possibilities 
which seemed interesting, since the Austro-Bulgar line, lead- 
ing from the Adriatic eastward past Lake Oehrida, might 
be outflanked and an offensive launched along the Saloniki 
front with a view to drawing Austrian, and possibly Ger- 
man, troops from Italy and France. The Franco-Italians in a 
few days advanced fifteen miles 
in Albania and thoroughly 
defeated A u a t r o- Hungarian 
f or c e s . The battle - front 
stretched sixty miles or more 
from the Adriatic eastward to 
the Devoli River. The town of 
Fieri was taken and the Aus- 
trians retired hurriedly in dis- 
order. Berat, an important in- 
terior town, was threatened and 
by July 10 had fallen. The 
Austrians recovered it after- 
ward, but it was taken again 
early in October. 

Leading an Albanian con- 
tingent was Essad Pasha, who 
had figured for many years 
as the Warwick of Albanian 
politics. After the Balkan 
Wars it was he who went to 
Germany at the head of 
delegation which offered the 
crown of Albania to the unhappy Prince William of Wied. 
He remained the power behind the throne during the first 
months of that Prince's short-lived opera-bouffe tenure of 
a throne. Before the end came for the Wied prince, an 
Austrian coterie about the King conspired to eject Essad, 
and had him arrested, but finally allowed him to seek exile 
in Italy, where, when the Great War began, he became the 
recognized head of an anti-Teuton, pro-Italian faction 
among Albanians. When William afterward fled in panic 
from Durazzo, intimidated by a miniature revolution staged 

r. 23 years old, sncceeded 
er, CoDBtaatlne, vbose 
second son be was. He had re- 
celTed a part of his education Id 


in the hills a little way back from the coast, Essad went 
back to Albania and became virtual dictator. He cultivated 
friendly relations with Serbia and, in the late autumn of 
1915, helped the defeated Serbian armies to escape through 
his country to the Adriatic. Subsequently the Austrians re- 
covered some of their supremacy in Albania, with Durazzo 
as their sea-base. Essad Pasha was a strong man among 
Albanians, not because he had the support of the whole 
country, but because he represented the Mohammedans, who 
were the most numerous religious body. 

The Allied forces in 1918 had an advantage in Albania 
which they did not have on the Saloniki front, since they 
had Italy's base on the Adriatic at Valona, while the Aus- 
trians, except for Durazzo, had to depend on difficult com- 
munications through nearly roadless northern mountains. 
Could Durazzo be taken and an evacuation of southern 
Albania by the Austrians be secured, the Bulgarian right 
wing above Monastir would be left in the air. The position 
of the Austrians in this part of the Balkans had become 
precarious after April when the southern Slavs entered 
into the Pact of Rome, by which was reached an amicable 
political understanding with Italy that involved the creation 
of a united South Slav State after the war. 

Italian forces, aided on land by French and. Albanians, 
and from the sea by British naval units, now began to 
sweep northward across practically the entire width of 
Albania. Forces of Albanians under Essad rendered 
valuable assistance and soon grew to such importance that 
for a few days Albania held the center of the European war- 
stage. The Skumbi valley was the strategic objective of 
operations. Here ran an ancient route of travel from the 
Adriatic to Saloniki, the only practicable east and west high- 
way across the Albanian mountains, a road the Romans had 
built, striking southeast from Durazzo, and still retaining 
its Roman name of Via Egnatia. In possession of the 
Allies this road opened a way to the Serbian boundary and 
thence around the head of Lake Ochrida to the flank of the 
Bulgarian positions north of Monastir. For a year the 
Allied army at Saloniki had .been discharging a political 
rather than a military mission. With help from the re- 








mobilized Greek army it had been defending Greece and at 
the same time keeping alive hopes of a partial redemption 
of Serbia. Military operations by 200,000 fresh Greek 
troops had seemed likely to follow in the near future, now 
that the right flank of the Bulgarian army was seriously 

The great Roman road in Albania was still in a fair state 
of preservation in a land of steep mountains and rugged 
valleys. The Austrians were here fighting with their backs 
to the wall, for only bridle-paths lead from this road to the 
north. Secure in possession of the road the Italians could 
hold Elbasan, the most important town of interior Albania, 
and could command Durazzo, the Albanian capital and the 
Austrian army headquarters. The Via Egnatia over which 
Roman legions had marched to Thrace, Macedonia, and 
Thessalonica — the road of Julius Csesar in his pursuit of 
Pompey to the field of Pharsalia and of Narses and 
Belisarius in the time of Justinian — thus once more became 
a strategic highway. The operation developed into one of 
the most hopeful phases of the war situation. It was in 
complete accord with the theory of military experts that 
the way to shorten the war was to make a flank or rear 
attack upon Germany. It also fell in with Andre Chera- 
dame's insistent idea, in books and magazine articles, of 
stimulating to revolt the hostile elements of the population 
within the boundaries of the Central Powers. It was cer- 
tain to put heart into Slavic disaffection in Austria and 
Hungary and into the Roumanians. Austria's defeat in 
Albania became by July 12 as proportionately overwhelming 
an Austrian reverse as the Piave rout had been in northern 
Italy in June. In a three days' advance of from twenty 
to twenty-five miles, the Italians and their Allies swept for- 
ward irresistibly, occupied the whole southern bank of the 
Semeni River, and entirely enveloped the city of Berat. 
Activity was developing along the whole Balkan front with 
indications that the fighting might spread over the 300-mile 
line from the Adriatic eastward. The right wing of the 
Austrians, retreating on a 60-mile front, was falling back so 
rapidly that the retirement in some places bordered on a 



rout. Quantities of material fell into the hands of the 

Italians and Albanians. 

The operations which led to the capture of Berat was a 

successful surprize attack. The Italiana thrust forward at 

night, taking the Austrians com- 
pletely unawares. Near Fiere, at 

dawn, cavalrymen captured an 

Austrian airdrome, including 

pilots, observers, mechanics and 

machines. Horsemen swooped down 

just as airmen and their helpers 

were getting ready for a day's 

work. A returning bomber, not 

realizing that the place had 

changed hands during his absence, 

was about to alight when con- 
fronted by a squadron of Italian 

horsemen who charged toward his 

machine. Turning on his motor, 

he attempted to rise again, firing 

his machine-gun meanwhile at the 

horsemen. The Italians answered 

with a burst of lire from carbines, 

one bullet striking him in the 

mouth when he was about fifty feet 

in the air. After this happened 

the machine crashed to the ground. 

On July 15 this small force worked 

its way around several enemy 

batteries. As soon as the attack 

reached the town, the Austrian 

officers, in panic, loaded their bag- 
gage hurriedly onto the narrow gage railway-train which 
V8S pufS^g away at its best when a handful of cavalrymen 
riding ^^ _ speed overtook and forced it to stop. All the 
Austriq^ j^cerB, together with their baggage and much war 
materjqj <? taken prisoners. The first honors in the vie- 

'"T j|,t ; ^ ^gldeA Berat to the Allies were due to cavalry- 
"^^ VhjV^ ^f twenty hours on one day and fourteen on 
^"^^ y ^^pe^° without rest or food.^' 

EssAD Pasha 



A startling contrast was here offered between the big 
elder brother of the Slav, who lay prone aud helpless in 
the far north under the heel of the Teuton, and the erst- 
while weaker, younger brother who, thrown prostrate in 
1915, was now standing erect and defiant before the mailed 
fist of the Central Powers, "When paralysis suddenly over- 
took the Muscovite there had come a time which called for 
union and strength behind Slovenes, Croats, Serbs and 
Montenegrins — Slavs whose dominions in Central Europe 
had been split in two for hundreds of years by a Magyar 
wedge. Germans and Magyars alike had weighed heavily 
on Slav borders, and yet the Southern Slavs all by them- 
selves had occupied a territory, and had a population so 
large, that they were absolutely capable of holding their 
own against outside aggression if only they could have been 
consolidated into a national whole and been wisely led. But 
it had been far beyond their powers to form a union which 
would hold together that great territory. Could they have 
secured a confederation that joined all Slav lands between 
Serbia's northwestern borders and the Isonzo River, in 
Bosnia, Dalmafia, Croatia, Slavonia, and the smaller 
provinces occupied by Slovene populations, it would have re- 
sulted, not merely in a dismemberment of Austria, but in 
the creation of a Slav commonwealth which in itself would 



have been as powerful as Austria was and which, com- 
bined with the northern Slavs, the Czechs, and Slovaks, 
could have reduced Austria to the position of a German 

What had seemed an insuperable barrier had been re- 
moved early in 1918 by the Pact of Rome. There were 
delegates to represent Poles, Roumanians, Czecho-Slovaks 
and Jugo-Slavs, while men of eminence were there to speak 
on behalf of Italy, France, Great Britain, and America. 
The resolutions adopted declared that, in the presence of a 
common danger, the difficulties which formerly had pre- 
vented an agreement between Italy and the Southern Slavs 
existed no longer, and that united and harmonious action 
henceforth would be firmly taken. The significance of the 
event was greatly enhanced when it was remembered that 
the agreement was entered into after Russia, under German 
intrigue and military force, had ceased to be a State or na- 
tion; and when Roumania, brought to her knees, had been 
stript of all she possest ; when treason and hunger had broken 
the nerve of Italian detachments, so that the fruits of cam- 
paigns had been lost in a few days until the Italian army 
had fallen back in October before the Austro-German assault 
at Caporetto at a time when it was almost within sight of 

At this critical time the Southern Slavs held out the right 
hand of fellowship to the still undaunted sons of Italy, and 
in this league believed it had found a means of breaking the 
Austro-Hungarian yoke. Italy had become the ambassador 
of Europe to the Slav world and the Slavs had resolved to 
break their fetters by showing that Pan-Germanism could be 
dealt a mortal blow from the inside and at its very center. 
Events in Albania were now moving with a rapidity 
which presaged a complete transformation of the situation 
in the Balkans. Every success heartened the Southern 
Slavs and brought nearer to the Bulgarians the unwelcome 
necessity of abandoning the Morava valley which they had 
resolved to keep at any price. When Berat fell and a 
new line — Durazzo, Elbasan, Monastir — ^was fairly estab- 
lished, the Slav confederation with its close relationship 
with Italy began to take visible form. Few then thought 

1 375 


that a year later these Southern Slavs and the Italians would 
be in bitter conflict over Piume. 

British troops at this time started an operation westward 
of Saloniki to aid the drive undertaken in Albania. West 
of Doiran they delivered a blow, while in Albania Italians, 
with French aid, continued to give the Austrians no rest,, 
pressing them back daily and capturing strategic positions 
and villages. They took Narta and Gramashi which brought 
their eastern flank appreciably nearer Lake Ochrida. The 
strengthening of the Allied line meant not only a peril to 
the Austrians on all their fronts and to the Bulgar line in 
Macedonia, but the occupation of Albania, which was the 
western key to the Balkans, with the possible restoration of 
Serbia and Montenegro, and control of the Adriatic. The 
Albanians, one of the oldest races in Europe, have as 
dominant traits devotion to their mountain-land, their tra- 
ditions, and their customs. They are born fighters and the 
law of the blood-feud, carrying a dispute through genera- 
tions, had made their lives a continuous struggle for ex- 
istence. There were no old men in those mountains ; all had 
died fighting long before they were fifty. They never suc- 
ceeded in ruling themselves after the time of their national 
hero, Scanderberg, largely because of irreconcileable differ- 
ences in religion among Roman Catholics, Orthodox Greeks, 
and Mohammedans. 

Italians and French were rapidly straightening out the 
Allied line from the sea to Monastir, with Greeks taking 
part in the fighting. Eventually the Entente forces, now 
under command of General Franchet d'Esperey, who had 
made a reputation on the Western Front, beginning in the 
battle of the Mame, and had now succeeded Sarrail, might 
begin a march up the Vardar valley, the most practical road 
into Serbia, but it would prove a difficult road because ex- 
posed on the east to attack by Bulgarians. Late in July 
Austrian preparations for an offensive in Albania were 
shattered by another drive, in which munition depots, stores 
of food, and war-materials were destroyed or captured and 
the Franco-Italian lines straightened at certain points over 
a front of twenty miles. 

After some weeks of inactivity the reconstituted Serbian 



army, cooperating early in September willi the French 
forces, stormed three strongly fortified Bulgarian positions 
and occupied Vetrenik, Dobropolje, and Sokal, the most im- 
portant part of the Macedonian front. Further east, on 
the Doiran-Vardar front, the first- and second-line positions 
were taken over a ten-mile section. This operation was the 
prelude to an important offensive, in which British and Greek 
troops were to take part. In a highly mountainous country 
a Franco-Serbian army advanced nine miles into Bulgarian 
lines, altho for two years and a half Bulgarian, German and 


Austrian troops had occupied the region and fortified it in 
a. modern way. 

Th; Near East as well as Foch's Western Front thus 
furnished sensational news. Its significance lay in the sign 
it gave of Allied confidence in its man-power. Since the 
Allies Bofg. , ^ unity of command, it was assumed that 
Focb h^,^ 'I gufiiciently assured of his position on the 
main fr-Q. /<?' ggtern Europe to indulge in distant and sub- 
sidlary f, ( jp -/ijjS- German man-power being at a stage 
where jf, ^ij ^a^*jj j4tisfrian troops to help out in the West, 

■^f i ^^ 377 



Bulgaria and Austria could not expect Germany to give 
them any help in the Balkans. On this front the weather 
in summer was usually too warm to fight and in winter too 
cold, autumn being the favorite season for operations. 
Serbia had been overrun in the fall, and Monastir retaken 
in the fall. A campaign now might show results worth 
while, for Bulgaria was disheartened and on bad terms with 
Turkey and few Germans and Austrians were left on this 

The Entente had maintained a large army in Saloniki for 
nearly three years, unable to help Serbia or Montenegro or 
cooperate with the Roumanians. It was able only to hold 
Greece in line and reconquer a little strip of Serbian Mace- 
donia about Monastir, but now that Greece was ready in a 
military way^ and the German and Austrian contingents 
had been largely withdrawn from the Balkans, the Allied 
investment in the Saloniki enterprise promised to show re- 
turns, for Bulgaria was compelled to defend Macedonia 
single-handed. Bulgarians and Turks had been quarreling 
over the disposition of spoils acquired through the Bre^t- 
Litovsk and Bucharest treaties and had become unfriendly 
allies, and Bulgaria faced a critical situation. Her front op- 
posite Saloniki and Monastir had been so over-extended and 
was so undermanned that she might be compelled to retire 
north over the mountains, and possibly be driven out of 
southern Serbia altogether. In her extremity she would 
certainly call back any soldiers she had sent to the Italian 
and French fronts. 

Two Allied offensives against the Bulgarians — one Franco- 
Serbian, the other Greek — ^had opened with striking suc- 
cesses, each on a front of about fifteen miles. The Franco- 
Serbians advanced more than five miles east of Monastir and 
took more than 3,000 prisoners. They were working down 
the valley of the Cerna, which flows northeast and empties 
into the Vardar south of Veles. An advance in this direc- 
tion threatened Prilep, an important southern Serbian town 
forty miles north of Monastir. The Greeks were pushing 
up the east side of the Vardar, between the river and Lake 
Doiran. The Saloniki-Uskub railroad follows the Vardar 
valley, and control of that valley meant control of southern 



Serbia. A Jugo-Slav division was fighting with the French 
and Serbians. 

The Vienna peace overtures of September 17 — an unmis- 
takable sign of Teutonic defeat as appeared later — had 
scarcely been published when the Serbians swept over the 
mountainous region east of Monastir and occupied heights 
dominating the strongest position in that portion of the 
Macedonian line. The points gained offered advantages such 
as the Allies had not had since the beginning of the war. 
Serbians, whose spirit had not yet been crusht by Austrian 

oppression or by Bulgarian barbarity, thus had taken the 
first notable steps in a long-delayed restoration of their 
homes. The primary objective was to clear the Vardar 
valley and capture Prilep, the great enemy supply-base 
north of Monastir. 

The Franco-Serbs, by September 20, were making an ad- 
vance from J^^^onsstir to the Vardar, a distance of seventy 
miles, the, ^iilgars evacuating all front-line positions. The 
prisonejv ^^jnbered upward of 10,000, of whom the Serbs 
captur^^ if, besi^^g sixty heavy guns. The Anglo-Greek 
attack ' P fff Lai^ jyaira<si was thirty-eight miles distant 
^""^ t^fi^ 0^°^ of tttes Franco-Serbian forces. Serbian 
'^^'^L P*? tojfe. the Vardar with little opposition. 


The Bulgars' chief concern was to escape capture. The east 
bank of the Cerna had to be held for more than ten miles. 
Over a country where mountains rise above 5,000 feet com- 
munications had been established altho maintained with great 
difficulty, and the defeat of the Bulgars began to assume the 
proportions of real disaster. Could d'Esperey's armies 
push up the Cerna a little further, they would compel an 
evacuation of all southern Serbia, and if they could reach 
the confluence of the Cerna and Vardar, would turn the 
formidable Vardar position at Demirkapu, and force Bul- 
gars to abandon the whole region north of Lake Dorian. 
The Vardar was a corridor leading into middle Serbia. 
With the Bulgarian line shattered to a depth of twenty 
miles, and the army thoroughly beaten, Bulgaria's military 
establishment was getting to be more or less of a shell. It 
looked now as if a turn in the tide had really come in the 
Balkans, which for four years had been the scene of tragic 
Allied efforts and a grave of Allied hopes. 

What had counted here, as in western Europe, was man- 
power exploiting the method of surprize. The Austrian 
defeat on the Piave and the German reverses in France 
had drawn upon Teuton resources in the Balkans and Foch 
had taken advantage of the weakening of enemy lines. In a 
new field the world again saw the inexorable pressure that 
was closing upon Germany from all sides. The drive rapidly 
developed into an operation of the first importance, the 
Allies advancing on a front of eighty miles. So sudden a 
success, after years of defeat, inspired the Serbian nation 
with new hope of redeeming their homes, and stirred anew 
the war spirit of the Greeks. It was not too much to hope 
that Bulgaria would now be conquered, that Turkey would 
be cut off from her Teutonic allies, and that a new Balkan 
front would be established from the Adriatic to the Black 
Sea, threatening Austria-Hungary once more with invasion. 

Until the Teutonic hold on Serbia could be unloosed. Cen- 
tral Europe, made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bul- 
garia, and Turkey, had to be recognized as an entity on 
the war-map, for it meant the preservation of economic and 
military lines of communication between Berlin, Vienna, 
Budapest, Sofia, and Constantinople. Possession of Serbia 



enabled Berlin to keep under restraint the Polea, Czechs, 
Jugo-Slavs and Roumanians, and, without changing names 
or frontiers, to make Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria her 
vassal states. No matter how long the war might last, the 
honor of Great Britain was pledged that Serbia should 
emerge from the conflict independent and completely re- 
stored. Nor was the matter merely one of honor; the safety 
of civilization was involved. As Belgium, in the west, had 
blocked Germany's way in 1917, so Serbia if recovered 


After the Allies bad miide their wa; loto this country against tbe Aus- 

triaos, taklns Blbasan and Berat and tlireateQliig Duraizo, tbe Entente 

army Irom Salonlkl, advancing beyond Monastir, OTembeimed tbe But- 

gartaos and forced an armUtlce 


would become a check to the Central Powers in the east. 
Teutonic deeds of which Serbia had been the victim and 
the theater were no less atrocious than those from which 
Belgium suffered. The demand for reparation was as 
imperative in the one case as in the other. 

On a front of more than ninety miles the Allied armies 
had broken through a mountain zone called impregnable, 
and were moving swiftly forward on the plains, where ran 
the vital railroad-system of southern Serbia. Italians were 
advancing on Prilep, north of Monastir. The Bulgarian 
army in this region, by September 23, had been cut off 
from communication l|it|) the Bulgarian army in the Doiran 
section. In the center, Serbian, French, and Greek forces 
had crossed the Drenska mountain and cut the German- 
built railroad from Prilep to Gradsko, where it joins the 
main line from Saloniki to Uskub; Allied cavalry were 
three miles from the Bulgarian frontier. Imperiled by the 
advance in the northwest, the Bulgarians evacuated their 
line from the Doiran to the Vardar. Bulgars and Teutons 
were in full flight toward the north. The Serbians alone 
had captured between 9,000 and 10,000 prisoners and 120 

Germany's allies, Bulgaria and Turkey, were going down 
in defeat together. Turks in Palestine were falling before 
Allenby's brilliant stroke north of Jerusalem, and Ferdinand 
was losing his dividends on the Macedonian territory be- 
longing to Serbia — the great prize he had lost at the end of 
the Balkan Wars, but which the Germans had delivered back 
into his hands. Turkey had expected to gain Egypt, the 
Crimea, and Persia, but had secured so far only three petty 
districts in Transcaucasia and meanwhile had lost Arabia, 
Mesopotamia, and Palestine, and was about to lose all Syria. 
The Bulgars, who were being chased out of Macedonia, 
might soon have to defend Sofia itself. The Bulgar defeat 
was already almost as crushing as the Turkish in Palestine. 

General d'Esperey's reorganized armies had smashed the 
whole Bulgarian front, had dislocated the Bulgarian right and 
left wings as Foch's blow in 1917 dislocated Moltke's center 
at La Fere Champenoise. Astride the Vardar at Gradsko, 
French and Serbians cut the Saloniki-Uskub railroad, and 



the branch road to Prilep, forcing the Bulgarian First Army 
on the Monastir sector into a disorderly retreat north, pur- 
sued by Italians, holding the line above Monastir. The 
Second Bulgarian Army about Lake Doiran had also to 
retreat, and the difficulties in the way of their reunion 
were eneromous, with the wedge between them broad and 
deep. The Allies now held the sole northern artery into 
Serbia, which was the valley of the Vardar, and eouid drive 
up to Uekub through the mountains. On September 25 
Allied cavalry, sweeping ahead of infantry ou their east 
wing, reached Bulgarian soil and continued a sweeping ad- 
vance against the beaten foe. New forces were thrown 


across the Vardar and Cema rivers in pursuit. Prilep was 
captured by French cavalry. 

The drive gave promise of far-r caching consequences. 
Greeo-British and Franco-Greek forces had effected a junc- 
tion, fjj former had reached Smokvitsa, ten miles north 
of Lalfg r>oiran. Strumitza, which had been called the 
OJbralf^ K Bulgaria, was seriously menaced. The capture 
ofPFif^f> ^^^ only opened up Serbia by removing conditions 
iri/eii \ Pf c^ed amies on this front, but placed Veles and 
Uskii-^ ^^^'%ediate peril. Uskub was the natural point of 



departure for an invasion of Bulgaria, and particularly for 
operations against Sofia, the Bulgarian capital. Serbian 
operations in the center were driving a wedge between the 
eastern and western Bulgarian armies, whose retreat was 
becoming disorderly, many of the troops deserting. So far 
12,000 prisoners and 140 guns had been taken. On all sec- 
tions from Lake Doiran to the Adriatic pressure was in- 
creasing. The Serbs had driven a wedge deep into the 
Bulgar line, the depth of which was about forty miles. 
It was spreading out at the apex east and west and 
gradually forcing a retirement on the entire front. 

Bulgaria now accepted Baron Burian's abortive invitation 
from Austria for a peace conference with the Entente, say- 
ing she had sought neither conquests nor the establishment 
of hegemony over her neighbors. Bulgaria, however, as a 
matter of well-known fact, had joined the Central Powers 
for the express purpose of making ** conquests.'' She had 
determined at all costs to get possession of Serbian Mace- 
donia, as pledged to her at the beginning of the Balkan 
War, in the terms of the Bulgar-Serb-Greek alliance against 
Turkey, but she had lost all moral claim to it when she 
refused to revise those terms in accordance with the judg- 
ment of the Conference of London and treacherously at- 
tacked the Serbians and Greeks. Then, in 1915, as the 
price of her declaration of war, Germany had promised 
her Macedonia and had since delivered the goods to her. 

One Bulgarian army had been nearly destroyed as a fight- 
ing force, and the Germanized Bulgarian High Command 
would be hard put either to extricate its remainder or re- 
place it as an obstacle to a further Allied advance to Nish, 
the junction point of the Saloniki railroad with the main 
trunk line from Belgrade, to Sofia and Constantinople. Once 
Nish was reached Sofia would be in peril. This Belgrade- 
Sofia-Constantinople trunk-line had been Germany's sole 
connection with Turkey until Roumania was conquered, 
when the Germans acquired other lines to Constantinople 
through Bucharest and down the Black Sea coast. The loss 
of the Vardar valley line, however, would throw western 
Bulgaria open to invasion, and might start a Jugo-Slav 
uprising in Austria-Hungary. 



Bulgarians were retreating on a front estimated at 130 
miles. A Greco-British invasion of Bulgaria seemed likely. 
A great movement had begun which would force a general 
retirement over the whole front of more than 300 miles 
from the Adriatic to the ^gean. The capture of Uskub, 
now imminent, would open the way to all northern Serbia 
and enable the Allies to advance eastward, flanking the 
powerful Strumitza position, which was the chief bulwark 
of Bulgaria against invasion from the west or south, and 
probably compelling its evacuation, leaving Sofia open to 
attack. The distance from Uskub to Sofia was about 100 
miles and the road was not difficult. America received some 
credit for the victories in Palestine and Macedonia, sAtho 
no American troops were participating in those operations, 
because, without the American troops pouring ,into France 
at the rate of 10,000 a day, Entente forces could not have 
been supplied for the Balkans. 

The Bulgarian army, estimated at one time at 300,000 
men, was now retreating in confusion, leaving behind stores 
of material, and some thousands of prisoners. The downfall 
of Bulgaria would mean a separate peace and, should Bul- 
garia drop out, Turkey's strategic position would be ruined. 
AUenby's haul of prisoners had exceeded 45,000, and the 
number of guns he captured was over 265. Both victories 
in the Near East were the direct result of Foch's successes 
in the West. As an aggressive factor in the war Bulgaria 
had practically been snuffed out, and on September 25 King 
Ferdinand asked Mackensen, then in Bucharest, to take com- 
mand of his armies, block the advance of the Allies into 
Old Serbia, and preserve Bulgaria from invasion. But 
Mackensen had something still to do in Roumania and two 
days later word came that Bulgaria had asked for an 
armistice of forty-eight hours with a view to making peace. 
Bulgaria's plea uncovered a state of panic in Sofia. She 
was in sore straits, and might be willing to capitulate. 
D'Esperey's army was nearing Uskub, and spreading east 
toward the Bulgarian border. Serbian troops had reached 
close to the Bulgarian line. Strumitza, the Bulgarian base 
above the Lake Doiran region, had been captured. Panic- 
stricken Sofia profest a willingness, if Teuton aid did not 



come, to break with Germany and Austria-Hungary and 
summarily get out of the war. Peace with Bulgaria could 
not come until she had restored her stolen goods, and so 
D'Esperey would grant no armistice that had not surrender 
for its object — ^military surrender, which meant the stacking 
of Bulgarian arms. Panic ensued in Berlin and panic 
ensued also in the German High Command, which informed 
the German Government that the war was lost and an 
armistice must be sought. 

One of the extraordinary campaigns of the war, and one 
of the most extraordinary in history, was this Allied drive 
in Macedonia. The battle of the Cerna-Vardar had begun 
on September 14, and twelve days later the Bulgars had 
sued for peace. Tradition promised to enshrine Franchet 
D'Esperey as the thunderbolt of Macedonia. Prussia's Six 
Weeks' War of 1866 had been thrown into the shade. A 
war of weary deadlock, which at one time seemed destined 
to wear itself out in dreary exhaustion, had been hastened 
to its end by a lightning-stroke. That it should be the 
Serbs, the most sorely tried of all the Allies, her men at 
one time without a foot of national soil to stand on, driven 
upon a pitiful winter pilgrimage through trackless wastes 
and across the sea, now returning indomitably to the fight — 
that it should have been this small remnant of a people, the 
original target of Teuton ambition and hatred in July, 1914, 
who stBUck the blow that shook the Kaiser-power to its foun- 
dations was dramatic enough to suit any chronicler of great 

What hurt the Bulgarians most was the fact that, in 
losing Prilep, their army became completely split, so that 
forces operating in the west, toward Albania, were cut 
away from army groups to the east, except for a roundabout 
road to Uskub, and this was a poor substitute for what the 
Bulgarians lost. The break spread panic everywhere, and 
the retreat became a disorderly flight. The entire military 
force opposed to the Allies entered a state of complete and 
unqualified collapse. Echoes of Poch's hammer-strokes in 
the west — ^victories in the Marne and Montdidier salients, 
the beginning of the break through on the Hindenburg line 
near St. Quentin — ^had become clearly audible in Sofia, 



where the German war game w«s seen to have ended. For 
Bulgarians it iecame a question of moving quickly in order 
to secure the best terms possible. Bulgaria now infbrmed the 
world that, in her opinion, Germany had lost the war. 

With Bulgaria hereafter neutral or on the side of the 
Allies, with Serbia recovered and direct communication be- 


tween Berlin and Constantinople cut off, with Allenby in 
Syria and Marshall in Mesopotamia swooping down upon 
remnants of Turkish armies, there was no longer any reason 
for Turkey to beep up a pretense of fighting. As for Austria, 
it was certain that her Government, defeated at the front 
and appalled at domestic dissensions, would jump at any 
kind of excuse for getting out of the war. The great crisis, 



and possibly the end of the war, was rising before our eyes. 
The iron ring that Germany burst out of when she mur- 
dered Serbia and hacked a corridor through the Balkan 
peninsula to Constantinople, had once more been closed. The 
keystone of the pan-German bridge into Asia was in ruins. 
Berlin to Bagdad, Berlin to Bokhara, Berlin to Cairo, even 
Berlin to the Bosporus, had become vanished dreams. 

Whether Turkey yielded at once, or fought on hopelessly 
a few months more, Constantinople's fate was sealed. Allied 
navies would now enter the Black Sea. The more immediate 
effects would be a complete restoration of Serbia, an evacua- 
tion by the Austrians of Albania and Montenegro and a 
shifting of the Saloniki front to the Danube. Roumania, 
meanwhile, was to escape from German tyranny and reassert 
the claims which drew her into the war, while Mackensen, 
her conqueror, in a few weeks was to fret his soul in a Hun- 
garian jail. The Jugo-Slavs of Bosnia, Herzegovina and 
other Austrian provinces, might now revolt and set up that 
new southern Slav state which Italy had formally recog- 
nized. In that event Austria-Hungary would have to recall 
her armies from northern Italy. Germany's had been a 
war of conquest, pure and simple, and it flourished so long 
as Germany was able to retain the offensive, but when it be- 
came defensive, as it had been since July 18, all the vitality 
had gone out of it. The Bulgarians had been smart enough 
to see that and simply rushed into the international court 
of bankruptcy ahead of other Central Powers. Bulgaria 
agreed to turn her railways over to the Allies, but German 
and Austrian troops still controlled vital links in the line. 
D'Esperey and his armies had to push northward from 
Uskub and seize Nish, a point vital to Teutonic-Turkish 
communications. Next was necessary an advance from Nish 
down the Morava valley to Belgrade. By October 4 the 
Austro-Hungarian forces in Albania were retiring before 
advancing Italians and blowing up their depots. Berat 
had been captured and Vienna admitted her armies had been 


Italian, American, and British warships on October 3 
destroyed the Austrian naval base at Durazzo and the war- 
ships anchored there. The attack took place at noon, when 



Italian and British cruisers, protected by Italian and Allied 
torpedo-boats and American submarines, made tlieir way 
through mine-fields and, avoiding attacks by submarines, 
got into the harbor. No losses or damage, except a slight 
injury to a British cruiser, were suffered by the Allied 
squadron. For the first time in history, American ships 
had fought in the Adriatic, As Darazzo was founded by 
inhabitants of Corfu over 2,000 years before the discovery 
of America, antiquity and yesterday had eome face to face. 
There were twelve American submarine chasers in the 
engagement. After the engagement they escorted the British 
cruiser, which was hit by a torpedo, safely to the base from 


which the expedition started. An enemy hospital ship was 
also taken in charge. During the bombardment, and when 
the i)ig ships were approaching .the harbor, the chasers 
circled swiftly around them. Heretofore the chasers had 
been patrolling the Adriatic, dropping depth-bombs, and 
firing on enemy submarines. The lower Adriatic and the 
railway which parallels it were now in Allied control. Else- 
where jjj fl block of wild mountain-country more than twice 
as larg. ^g New Jersey, there were no railways except 
*^'*Otp miles at Antivari and one or two spurs of tem- 
por&j.^ ■" ^ts extending a short distance inland from the 

^ *it y'^ ^^'^aace toward the Danube was as much a 

l/'^ 389 


detail in the campaign against the Qermans as Sherman's 
march to the sea was a major circumstance in the destruc- 
tion of the Confederacy. Allenby and d'Esperey were 
playing the part of Sherman and Thomas, while Entente 
armies in the West played the role of the Army of the 
King Ferdinand of Bulgaria followed the surrender by 


Their fli^ mepttos alter the armistloe witb Tarkey. The two are sbattng 

haiide, Allenby being the one nearlng a abort cokt 

abdication in favor of his son, who reigned for a few weeks 
and then retired before a revolutionary uprising. Ferdi- 
nand's career had been one of brutality and low cunning, 
his ambitions as boundless and full of greed as his abilities 
were limited. He cherished a grandiose scheme of restoring 
the ancient Eastern Empire and of controlling from Con- 
stantinople a powerful Balkan nation, in which Greece, 


Serbia, and Roomania would be satellites o£ the Bulgarian 
auii. In pursuit of this ambition, he betrayed friend and 
foe alike, and sacrificed the true interests of his kingdom. 
Had he consented, after the victory over Turkey in 1912, 
to a just division of the conquered territory with other 
Balkan States, his country would have been spared the mis- 
fortune which afterward befell it. His treacherous attacks 
upon the Greeks and Serbians not only failed, but brought 
down upon him the Roumanians and the Turks. Bulgaria 
was defeated and her frontiers limited on all aides. Greater 
was his folly in bringing his country into the World War 
on the side of Germany." 

■» Principal Soorces : The 8»n, William L. McPhecson in Tile Tribune, Tha 
journal 0/ Commerce, Tbe Bvmtng Sun, The Evenina Post, The Timea, The 
Triimne, New York.