The Literary Digest History of the World War/Introduction


Why This War?Edit

Its Magnitude, Many Causes, Early Consequences, New Methods and Decisive Later AspectsEdit

Because a poor Bosnian student named Gavrilo Prinzip, eighteen years old, fired two shots from a revolver which killed the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Crown Prince of Austria, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, when driving through the streets of Serajevo in broad daylight in June, 1914—that is, as immediate or ensuing results of that act—more than thirty states, great and small, entered into war on the two sides, six others severed diplomatic relations with Germany, and our own country, before going into the war, was several times on the verge of doing so; the material civilization of Europe was set back several decades; some millions of men, women, and children—perhaps 30,000,000—were killed or injured; quite 6,000 ships, of which some 200 that were warships were sunk; large parts of Belgium, Poland, and Serbia were laid waste, together with fertile stretches in France, Austria, Roumania and Russia; national debts were increased to figures which a generation before would have meant wholesale bankruptcy; and industry, commerce, arts and letters over half the globe for four and a half years stood still. Gavrilo Prinzip, then too young under Austrian law for execution, by many regarded as a martyr, by others as a madman, was condemned to spend twenty years as a prisoner in an Austrian fortress near Prague, where he died of tuberculosis on April 30, 1918, his name perhaps destined in later times to be quite unknown to men who should talk with intelligence of the great war.1

Almost overnight was the world involved in this war, a conflict which transcended the Napoleonic Wars, as those dwarfed the Thirty Years' War, and as that in turn dwarfed the Hundred Years' War. Because an ancient empire believed she saw a chance to humiliate and place in subservience an obnoxious neighbor one-twelfth her size, and because a greater sister empire, in the opportunity thus presented saw a chance to extend her dominion in Europe, or, as she steadily contended, without convincing anyone else, because she had to defend herself against Russia, France, and England, more than 550,000,000 people were at once torn from the peaceful routine of their daily lives and thrust directly, or indirectly, into a war that was waged by Prussianized Germany more barbarously than any other war since fighting men were flayed alive or drawn and quartered. More than one writer was reminded of the comment of Macaulay on the assault made by Frederick the Great on Austria in 1740, in order that he might add Silesia to his Kingdom:

“On the head of Frederick is all the blood which was shed in a war which raged during many years and in every quarter of the globe, the blood of the column of Fontenoy, the blood of the brave mountaineers who were slaughtered at Culloden. The evils produced by this wickedness were felt in lands where the name of Prussia was unknown; and in order that he might rob a neighbor whom he had promised to defend, black men fought on the coast of Coromandel, and red men scalped each other by the Great Lakes of North America.”

This, however, was a mild comparison. Because Austria and Germany saw an opportunity of crushing France, Russia, and Serbia, black men fought each other in Nigeria, on the Gold Coast, and on the Kongo; Boer Burghers broke into revolt and were supprest by the sword in South Africa; Turkey came into a conflict which cost her many thousands of lives, made her treasury more bankrupt than ever, and stript her of all that she had left of European, and much she had of Asiatic, territory; in great waters, from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea, from the Strait of Magellan to the Indian Ocean, from the English Channel to the Bay of Biscay, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Suez Canal, half a score of battles were fought by great ships of war; on thousands of square miles of land, not alone in Belgium, France, Italy, the Balkans, and Russia, but in regions near the heart of African jungles, along the mountain passes of Caucasia, and in that cradle of the human race where the Tigris and Euphrates mingle their waters before entering the Persian Gulf, there was desperate and bitter fighting; ruthless devastation was wrought by warships, which were themselves afterward turned into blazing hulks; off the coast of Ireland more than twelve hundred non-combatants, men, women, and children, were drowned by the sinking of one of the world's largest Atlantic passenger-ships; in an unrestricted submarine warfare, savagely prosecuted by Germany, more than one-third of the world's prewar mercantile tonnage was destroyed; Constantinople, the ancient city of Byzantine Greeks, of Imperial Romans, and of Ottoman Turks, suffered bombardment from airplanes and eventually, after nearly 500 years, ceased to be a possession of the Turks, while at Gallipoli, in defense of Constantinople, there occurred one of the most memorable seiges, in combined naval and military warfare, that the world has ever known.

In the last year and a half of the war still more momentous events occurred. Russia, for several centuries the most complete autocracy in Europe, was wholly transformed—politically, industrially, and socially—by a revolution which, in the first six months of its progress, was far less remarkable than the French revolution for the violence that attended it, but which eventually inflicted such bloodshed and social misery as never before had occurred in any national upheaval known to history, while the Czar and other members of the Romanoff family were pitilessly put to death. Germany, which in barbarous ways sought to exploit the Russian revolution to her own territorial and economic advantage, in the following year herself became the victim of a revolution in which the Kaiser and Crown Prince of the Empire were forced to abdicate, the King of Bavaria was deposed and all the other kings and reigning grand dukes of the federated empire lost their thrones. In Austria a great dismemberment of the “ramshackle empire” began as if automatically, before the peace terms were laid down by the Paris conference, the Emperor abdicating, Hungary and Bohemia declaring their independence, and new states being raised up from other non-Teutonic peoples. Turkey emerged, not only as no longer a European power seated at Constantinople, but as a greatly reduced Asiatic power, losing as she did Arabia, Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Syria. Germany's fourth ally, Bulgaria, saw her King, under compulsion, abdicate in favor of his son, who after a reign of only a few weeks was deposed and a republic proclaimed.

Simply to say that this was the greatest of wars, ancient or modern, would fail to indicate its proportions. No other war approached it in numbers engaged, in killed and wounded, or in expenditure of money. Traditional details have come down to us of vast hordes who crossed the Hellespont with Xerxes and Alexander the Great, but their numbers were far surpassed by the armies engaged in this great conflict. No fewer than 13,000,000 men were under arms in the first year, and in the same period 2,000,000 were killed, nearly 4,000,000 wounded, and more than 2,000,000 became prisoners. Our Civil War had commonly been called the greatest conflict of modern times, but apparently it was only one-tenth the magnitude that this twentieth century war reached in the first year. At no time did the number of men under arms for both North and South exceed 1,300,000, while the total of those who were killed in battle or who died in four years of wounds on the Northern side was only 110,000, and on the Southern side probably not more than 80,000. In the four years the destruction of life was less than one-tenth of what it was during a little more than one year of the recent war, while in the four years and four months of the greater conflict 7,354,000 men were killed in battle or died of wounds.

In the Napoleonic wars, from 1796 to 1815, the largest army ever assembled was that which Napoleon led into Russia in 1812, but the number was only somewhat in excess of 500,000. The German armies sent in 1914 against Russia on the east, and France, on the west, were more than six times larger than Napoleon's armies. The greatest battle in previous history was probably what is known as the “Battle of the Nations,” fought at Leipzig in 1813, but the combatants in that struggle numbered only 474,000. At Sadowa, in the war of Prussia against Austria in 1866, 436,000 men were engaged; at Gravelotte, in the war of Prussia against France in 1870, 300,000; at Mukden, in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904, fought on a front of eighty miles and lasting three weeks, 700,000. In the World War the battle-front in Europe sometimes extended over twice or three times eighty miles and battles lasted for weeks and even months. At Verdun in 1916 the battle lasted for several months, and again on the western front in 1918 men fought for several months. The total number of men engaged on a single front more than once was in excess of two millions.

Our War of 1812 caused the death of about 50,000 men, and the Mexican War cost us a like number—50,000—most of the deaths being due to disease. The Crimean War cost France, England, Piedmont, Turkey, and Russia, 785,000 men, 600,000 of whom died from neglect, privation, and disease. Our Civil War caused the loss of between 600,000 and 800,000 lives from wounds and disease—by far the greater number being from exposure and disease. The war of Prussia and Italy against Austria in 1866 cost 45,000 men. In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 more than 225,000 lives were sacrificed, and during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 not less than 250,000; the Boer War, 125,000, of whom 100,000 were British. The losses from wounds and disease on both sides during the Spanish-American War totalled 6,000. Allison, the historian of modern Europe, estimated that the French lost about two million men in killed during the wars of the Revolution and under Napoleon (1793–1815). In nine battles in which Napoleon himself took part, the losses were as follows:

Name of Battle Date Men Engaged Killed and Wounded
Austerlitz 1805 148,000 25,000
Jena 1805 98,000 17,000
Eylau 1807 133,000 42,000
Friedland 1807 142,000 34,000
Eckmuhl 1809 145,000 15,000
Wagram 1809 370,000 44,000
Borodino 1812 263,000 75,000
Leipzig 1813 440,000 92,000
Waterloo 1815 170,000 42,000

The Napoleonic wars have been estimated to have cost France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, Russia, and Turkey in actual expenditure and destruction, not including losses of trade and other economic waste, not less than $15,000,000,000. Our War of 1812 cost $300,000,000; our Mexican War, $180,000,000; the Crimean War, $1,660,000; the Italian War of 1859, $294,000,000; the Schleswig-Holstein War of 1864, $35,000,000; our Civil War, $8,000,000,000; the Prusso-Austrian War of 1866, $325,000,000; the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, $3,000,000,000; the Russo-Turkish War of 1877, $1,100,000,000; the Zulu and Afghan Wars of 1879, $150,000,000; the Chino-Japanese War of 1894–5, $60,000,000; the Spanish War of 1898 cost Spain, the Philippines and the United States, $800,000,000; the Boer War of 1899–1901, $1,300,000,000; the Russo-Japanese War of 1904, $1,735,000,000, of which Japan's share was $800,000,000.

The grand total of this vast expenditure—about $33,000,000,000—if combined with the cost of innumerable little wars, of which England alone fought eighty during the past century, and of which there have been also an uncomputed number in South and Central America as well as in the foreign possessions of various European nations, would give an approximate total cost of $38,000,000,000, which, with no fear of real exaggeration, may be raised to $40,000,000,000, to represent the cost of wars extending over a period of 120 years, or from the beginning of the French Revolutionary wars in 1793 to the end of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905.2 The World War enormously exceeded these figures. The outlay of Germany alone has probably reached $40,000,000,000. For all the nations engaged the best obtainable data show a total of at least $150,000,000,000; another estimate has placed it at $200,000,000,000.

Causes innumerable have been cited for the first outbreak, some as if they were the sole causes. The long list might be classified as psychological, racial, political, military, economical, industrial, and diplomatic. Among these causes have been named conflicting territorial ambitions; Germany's belief that Great Britain unlawfully repressed her, and Germany's consequent resentment; a growing organization of states on a capitalistic basis; colonial expansion by Great Britain and France to the detriment of Germany; tariff barriers; a nervous tension at the breaking-point after war crises; the continued expansion of rival military and naval establishments; political ignorance and mistrust of certain nations by other nations; an unequal capacity for rapidity of mobilization; the division of European states into two distinct groups of alliances; the displacement of the balance of power in Eastern Europe by Austria's attack on Serbia, as backed by Germany, in violation of “the law of Europe”; secret methods in diplomacy; a greater proportionate growth of wealth and population in Germany than in England and France, and in a too restricted area; Russia's partial mobilization in July, 1914, against Austria and possibly against Germany; Germany's definite refusal, late in July, to join in the mediation definitely proposed by Sir Edward Grey; an excessive nationalism, or an exalted patriotism, leading to the exclusion of international feelings and sympathies; Darwin's doctrines of evolution, and the survival of the fittest as developed in Germany by Nietzsche into a cult of the superman; a mistaken conception of the State, as something above all law, national and international; the deification of force by Germany, and especially of military force; Great Britain's hesitation to side promptly with Russia and France against Germany at the end of July or in the first days of August, 1914, which by “calling” Germany's bluff to Russia, might have averted war.

Under conditions such as these, and especially in view of the relation of these conditions to various crises which had occurred in European affairs for forty years, were found real and remote causes. Back of many apparent causes, however, back of the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente; back of the Fashoda incident of 1898,3 and of affairs in Morocco in 1907–11; back of Austria's annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Germany's support in 1908; back of the two Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913; back also of the tragedy of Serajevo in June, 1914, lay another and far older cause—one vital and fundamental because it was not military, not diplomatic, not political, but something more, being rooted in human nature—this was the cause of race. More and more as the war went on did close observers give weight to the movements of races striving to expand their governments on lines co-extensive with their racial identities.

Such movements had come violently into conflict with an existing order of things. To the twentieth century they were what the movement of Liberalism against another existing order of things had been to the nineteenth century, around about 1848; what hatred of monarch against monarch had been to the century of Frederick the Great; what the movement for religious change had been to the century of Luther and Gustavus Adolphus, of Philip II, and the Duke of Alva; or what the movement against feudalism had been to the century of Louis XI. Each was the great motive force of its age, and in each was involved practically the whole of Europe, just as all Europe became involved in the great conflict that began in August, 1914. In the re-adjustments of the Balkan States in 1878, after the Russo-Turkish War, and again in 1913, after the Balkan War, according to political and diplomatic wisdom rather than according to racial needs and ambitions, might be found a parent, or perhaps a grandparent, of the World War.

The chief political cause was probably the crisis in Morocco. After its settlement in 1911, many observers believed that a great catastrophe had been only postponed; that war was eventually inevitable. The German people were deeply convinced that they had been humiliated in Morocco. They felt that, having taken a strong position, Germany should not have receded from it and that the maximum, not the minimum, “compensation” should have been obtained by her from France. Fierce irritation against Great Britain was developed, due mainly to an almost universal belief in Germany that British intervention in support of France had been the decisive factor in German defeat. With France in Morocco and Great Britain in Gibraltar, both entrances to the Mediterranean were controlled by these Powers and yet all the Powers had a vital interest in the Mediterranean. For generations control of the Mediterranean had been an object of British foreign policy, and that policy explained to the German mind the diplomatic support which Great Britain gave to France in Morocco and the British efforts to block Germany from extending the Bagdad railway to the Persian Gulf. The Mediterranean to German minds had become in effect a British sea, in consequence of Great Britain's command of its entrance at Gibraltar and the Suez Canal, and yet it was the greatest trade route of the world. The German complaint was that Great Britain by this control had become a menace to the commerce of all European countries, so that world commerce was not really free. Germany, under this obsession, in order to enforce her claims for freedom of the sea, had fostered a policy of naval construction. Great Britain meanwhile had tightened her hold on the Mediterranean by entering into a close alliance with France, and had combined with Russia for further control of the eastern end through the partitioning of Persia. Great Britain had also blocked the completion by Germany of her Bagdad railway by assuming a protectorate over Koweit, its eastern terminus on the Persian Gulf.

The fact that Great Britain desired peace, and as late as the end of July, 1914, was willing to go to the limit of diplomacy to secure it, did not relieve the situation from the official German point of view—a point of view subjectively influenced by Germany's devotion for generations to military power—because diplomacy had already been tried and had resulted in defeats for Germany. Germany had been outplayed in Morocco and had been excluded from the Persian Gulf. Great Britain, France, and Russia encircled her, and in diplomatic conventions and agreements had overpowered her. Each year she saw some part of the world pass to the control of one of the Entente powers, or closed to her own trade by preferential tariffs—all notwithstanding her long preparation for military superiority. While none of these events could in itself be regarded as a main cause of war, when taken collectively they boded for Germany, as the militaristic German mind saw them, her economic as well as her political isolation.

Some students of causes, holding to this view, believed the real, if remote, origin of the war would thus be found hidden partly in diplomatic victories and resentments over Morocco and Turkey. Ellercy C. Stowell 4 found as an underlying cause a disturbance, extending over several years, of the balance of power between the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. Ever since the Fashoda affair, the Entente had been gaining so steadily over the Alliance that it had become clear that time was working, and would still work, against the Alliance. In succession the Alliance had been weakened by Italy's desertion of Germany at Algeciras in 1906; by Italy's attack on Tripoli in 1911, in which she gained territory belonging to Germany's Turkish friend; by the settlement of the Agadir incident in a manner regarded as a diplomatic defeat for Germany; and by the Balkan settlement of 1913, under which the Balkan Allies divided among themselves territory in Europe belonging to Germany's right-hand man in Constantinople. To Germany the crime of Serajevo came as a last straw. She had seen France take Tunis and Madagascar; had seen her expand her African colonies into an empire and round them out with Morocco, and in Asia, had seen her consolidate in Indo-China a colony territorially larger than Germany. She had seen Great Britain fortify her position in Egypt and develop South African territory. At the same time the British domains in Australia and America grew in wealth and population. Germany concurrently had seen Russia expand in Asia and transform the wastes of Siberia into a second American Far West, while Japan more and more openly assumed supremacy in the Far East. Italy by taking Tripoli had seated herself on the other side of the Mediterranean and, in taking the Greek Isles, had seized a post lying at the gate of Smyrna. Even the United States, growing with the years, was becoming too powerful for her to challenge over the Monroe Doctrine, so that South America also might, in the future, be closed to Germany.

That in Bismarck's time Germany had not sought colonial expansion; that her colonial ambitions were of comparatively recent date compared with those of France and Great Britain, did not ameliorate the distress that had come into official German minds. As a balance to successful and great expansion by other States, Germany could point only to her African possessions, walled in by British and French colonies, and her widely scattered territory in the Pacific, all at the mercy of the British fleet, which was a bare colonial outlook for a nation of 70,000,000 people, with an industrial organization which surpassed anything that the world had ever seen, not merely in actual efficiency but in the intelligence with which it cared for its workers. As a nation bursting into new life, making new progress industrially, achieving new triumphs commercially, Germany thus looked out upon a future of restraint that was greater than the expansive, militaristic, romantic German could endure. Professor Stowell held, however, that the state of mind in Germany “influenced her Government to assume an extremely uncompromising attitude,” and that her “refusal to cooperate with her sister States, among whom was her ally Italy, must place upon Germany the first, and by far the heaviest, responsibility for the war.”

In most Entente circles it became more and more a matter of conviction that the military masters of Germany had forced this war on a world wholly unprepared for it, in confident reliance upon a great national delusion, among Germans, due to a generation of systematic teaching in homes, schools and public life, that Germany out there alone in Central Europe, was surrounded by a world of enemies, and that, to save her national existence, she had reached a point where she had to fight. Through deliberate and constant suppression afterward of real truths about the war, and through a clever manufacture of falsehoods about it, this great delusion ran parallel year by year, even down to the summer of 1918, to an unshaken belief among the German people that the German army was invincible, and that Germany had won the war. Maximilian Harden, the famous editor of Die Zukunft, of Berlin, who, altho in the first year of the war almost as frankly subject to the national delusion as any other newspaper writer in Berlin, began soon afterward gradually to see the light, until in 1917 and 1918 he had been disillusioned to a point where he possest an international mind.

Harden, in January, 1919, reminded Germans that in the first German White Book important passages had been supprest, that from the Belgian archives, seized in 1914, the most important matters disclosed were forgeries; that the report of the trial of Sukhomlinoff in Petrograd for treason had been colored in Germany by a purpose repugnant to justice, “even as had every presentation of the economic and financial status, the intentions and conduct of our foes and of our allies.” It seemed as if some one on the first day of the war “had yelled ‘We must lie until the hour of victory, lie until the rafters split,’” and this command was followed so thoroughly that “no true word, if it were an inconvenient one, was permitted to reach the popular ear.” People were told that “a horde of scabby scoundrels had conspired to attack us”; that France “was a world brothel, disintegrating beneath its varnish”; Britain “a shopkeeper's booth, threatened with collapse far and near”; North America, “a nest of hypocrites and ghouls, who must draw dividends from our misery”; Italy and Roumania lands that “had faithlessly broken their bonds of alliance,” while “in fleckless purity there shone afar only as shields of honor those of the Magyars, Bulgars and Turks.”

Meanwhile, the massacres of Armenians, the violation and sale of Serbian girls, the deportation of hostages from Belgium and northern France, the contract negotiated with the Irishman Casement and the attempt to have his captured countrymen released from their oath of allegiance by priests, with punishment if they refused, of requisitions and corruption to an extent never before known, “of all this the Germans were permitted to learn nothing.” Nor were they permitted, continued Harden, to learn that the President of the United States “had been lied to by order of our Chancellor, even until the day of the announcement of the submarine warfare, and that our Ambassador had often enough warned against such dangerous fraud practises upon a genuine idealist.” The fact and the significance of the first retreat from the Marne, the terrible failures at Ypres and Verdun, the bankruptcy of Zeppelinism, the total losses in killed, prisoners, ships, airships—“these things were deliberately hushed up.” All around one saw “nothing but liars, plunderers, lawbreakers and frauds; all of whom, however, had been decorated with honors.”

That the war originally sprang from “the rivalry of States in pursuit of power and wealth,” was believed by G. Lowes Dickinson5 to have been “universally admitted” by the end of the second year. Whatever diversities of opinion might still prevail in different countries, nobody pretended any longer that it had risen from actual needs of civilization, from any generous impulse, or from any noble ambition. According to the popular view in Great Britain, it rose solely and exclusively from the ambition of Germany to seize territory and power and, according to the popular view in Germany, out of the ambition of Great Britain to attack and destroy the rising power and wealth of Germany. But in its remote causes the war proceeded rather from rivalry for territory in every part of the world between all the Great Powers. There was contention between France and Germany for control of Morocco; between Russia and Austria for control of the Balkans; between Germany and the other Powers for control of Turkey—and “these were the causes of the war.” Territory may sometimes be sought for its own sake, but in earlier times it was not commonly sought by States as a means to wealth. Now, however, rivalry in pursuit of markets, concessions and outlets for capital, as forces lying behind a colonial policy, had led to war. States competed for the right to exploit the weak and in the competition that ensued Governments were prompted or even controlled by financial interests.

“Frenzied trade” as a cause was forcibly outlined by Professor Maurice Millioud.6 Such were the conditions it had created that, altho threatened by no one, Germany felt herself menaced by every one and she claimed to be fighting for her existence, which in one sense was true, because her manufacturers, financiers, and statesmen had dragged her so deeply into a war of economic conquest that she could not withdraw, and yet to achieve a peaceful victory was beyond her power. Rather than wait for a crash that was inevitable, for a stoppage of trade, a downfall of credit, and the misery that would overwhelm her people, she believed it was better to make war while there was some likelihood of its ending rapidly and victoriously in her favor, which made the issue what General Von Bernhardi7 had said it was, “world-power or downfall.” Professor Millioud traced an alliance for conquest between the German military aristocracy and the German industrial and commercial elements as dominated by nine great banks. In a struggle to secure and control foreign markets, it had become necessary for German industrial leaders to save themselves by advancing prices on all commodities to the domestic consumer, until the breaking-point at home was reached, with enormous inflation and an over-extension of credit based on German prestige. This condition of over-expansion and borrowed capital had brought about a crisis in which a rapid and victorious war seemed to offer the only relief. “Given such a condition,” said the Wall Street Journal in comments on Professor Millioud's work, “together with that extraordinary obsession, so terrible in its consequences, that between Germans and other men there exists a difference not of degree but of kind, and that others have no rights, as against Germany, which Germany was bound to respect, and war had become inevitable long before the pretext of the assassination of the Austrian Archduke precipitated the actual conflict.”

Germany's industrial progress imprest many other minds as a leading cause.8 Efficiency and economy, as developed in Germany in forty years, had become the supreme industrial marvel of modern times, but their fearful cost to the whole world was now to be realized. Nobody had questioned their material value, but Germany had given such exclusive attention to them as to dwarf, if not to extinguish, certain other qualities, moral and spiritual, of far greater value, not to the German people alone but to the world at large. By a centralized government, in the hands of a few strong men, under a leadership unrestrained by those who were subject to it, efficiency and economy had been carried to logical conclusions in Germany. Never, probably since the time of the Babylonian and Egyptian empires, had centralized government been carried so far. In those ancient empires the people became only instruments in the hands of powerful men under whose rule palaces, towers, and pyramids were built; deserts, through irrigation and fertilization, were made to blossom like the rose; powerful armies were maintained, victories won or lost, and the seeds of ultimate national decay were sown.

With modern methods and appliances, something of the same thing had been attempted in Germany under the house of Hohenzollern. Attention was given almost wholly, and energies were directed with extraordinary zeal, to the production of wealth by the most effective and least costly processes, and to the building up of an invincible power. This purpose absorbed the efforts of statesmen and scholars, and of directors of industry and trade. To it as an end were devoted practically all general education and all personal ambition. Every resource of science and invention was invoked in its aid. Manufacturing industries were developed in such manner as enabled Germany to pervade the markets of the world until her shipping was in operation in all known seas. An inevitable consequence was that the whole nation entered upon a policy of territorial and industrial expansion. Neglected and backward spaces of the earth became subjected to fruitful processes under which an imperial realm in Europe sought greater wealth and power, all of which made imperative to the German mind the maintenance of a great military force, in order to preserve the authority of a government completely dominating all national activities. Thus militarism, in itself a costly instrument, was regarded as a necessity in the work of giving to national economic forces their full effects, since a pushing and grasping policy was likely to excite jealousy and provoke enmity, and if it should fail to succeed by intimidation, might produce actual war, in which case there would be need for a great military power.

These interrelated forces had great influence in overturning old ideals and raising up new ones until an entirely new national spirit possest the German people. For such complete absorption of minds and bodies, of thoughts and energies, alike by rulers and subjects, by teachers and learners, by capitalists and laborers, in the work of building up a great empire that should dominate the world's civilization—a Deutschland that should be “über alles in der Welt”—the price had to be paid. Efficiency and economy bore their fruit, in the sacrifice of older and better things born of the spirit. Everything that was necessary for success was brought into subjection. Sympathies, except for those working in the common cause, were kept down. Generosity to others became out of place.

One fatal result among many was a narrowing of vision. A generation grew up under a kind of obsession that, whatever this dominating power sought or demanded must be entirely right, since it had divine sanction and was for the benefit of the whole world. How other people felt about this? What were their rights? What views did they hold of German domination? All this was ignored. Hence the war, to the Entente Allies, became a struggle to destroy a fabric of imperial domination, supported by the menace of a great military machine. Shortness of sight, narrowness of vision; failure to understand the unconquerable forces that would be raised up among other nations in opposition; failure to see the effects produced on other minds, even on neutral minds not trained by German methods, multiplied from month to month, until the new imperialism found itself face to face with a world in arms. For weary months, dragging on into weary years, the colossus struggled desperately and to the point of exhaustion, like some huge Cyclops, in an effort to destroy the many powers that arrayed themselves in a common cause against Germany.

So argued and judged as to causes, the historian, the sociologist, the economist, the statesman, the journalist, the average citizen. Then came the psychologist and the philosopher, but not until long after the war began, when fundamentals were becoming clear. The psychologist9 believed that the causes lay much deeper than political or economic conditions, and were to be sought in the constitution of the human mind. Biological, psychological, and sociological points of view had to be taken into the reckoning. Ours had been an age of hard mental work of a highly specialized kind, and had involved stress on the most intensely developed brain-centers. Tremendous activity had occurred under what might be called a gospel of striving, dating from Lessing and Fichte, but which found poetic expression in Goethe. This striving had been elevated into a sort of gospel of modern life. Manifesting itself in an intense desire for expansion and self-expression stupendous results were produced by it, in scientific inventions and discovery, in industrial and commercial expansion. Then followed a desire for political and territorial expansion, and with that came occasions for war. The normal man wants not so much peace and tranquillity as strife. To him actual tranquillity is close to ennui, and that is his greatest dread. What he wants most is not peace, but a chance to pit his force against the force of some one else, or against some new thing. Man was not originally a working animal; it was civilization that imposed work upon him. But when you work a man too hard he will quit work, and go to war or to a football game. Man emerged from his primeval state through work and pain; he struggled up, fought his way and went through a never-ceasing experience of pain and battle. He was still what he always had been, not so much a mere working animal as an animal given to fighting.

It was inevitable to the psychologist that disaster of some kind, or a reaction of some kind, should follow that high-tension, that one-sided life. Something was bound to snap and so something did snap. Nature had overreached herself. The form that reaction took was the form which the psychologist had seen it must inevitably take; namely, a temporary reassertion of the primitive impulses of men to fight one another. The world had had a long orgy of thinking, unusual in severity and tension, and now had to have its “fling.” In Europe this led to war; in America, where the conditions of unbalance were much the same, the reaction, until America herself got into the war, had taken the milder form of amusement crazes, dances, moving-picture “shows,” automobiles, crowded baseball and football games witnessed by tens of thousands of wrought-up spectators. To the psychologist, the manifestations in both hemispheres meant a temporary reversion to primitive instincts seeking to restore the balance in an overwrought social brain.

Before the war, the real significance of an all-pervading, long-continued, state of “unrest,” alike in this country and Europe, had been little understood. The marvel was that it existed amid so many conditions—social, economic, and hygienic—that apparently were the most favorable for human happiness that the world had ever known. There had, however, been an unsymmetrical development in the human personality. Men had been given overmuch to mere thought and effort, to efficiency and achievement as sole ends, and not enough to balance, not enough to bodily vitality. Efficiency demands great powers of attention, concentration, analysis, self-control, and sustained effort, all of which in time become extremely fatiguing, and call for relaxation, until society goes back to the prehistoric type, to the primitive mortal combat of man with man, in order to bring rest to tired brains, and obtain release from high tension. The twentieth century, altho comparatively a time of great plenty, thus witnessed the most ferocious and bloody of all wars. An increase of riches, national and individual, had not conduced to peace, but rather to irritability and contention. So it might be contended that the war sprang in a large measure from an enormous increase in national wealth, that was not tempered by a corresponding increase in morality and self-control.

The philosopher10 saw how difficult, if not impossible, it was for the passive onlooker to understand the war; because, to the passive onlooker, war always was an altogether beastly business. Noble deeds of sacrifice and courage could not to him redeem its essential atrocity as a case of wholesale manslaughter. Whether committed by nations or by individuals manslaughter to him was the same. If nations in war are to be judged as individuals are judged, war certainly could not be defended or understood, but the philosopher contended that war should not and could not be judged from that point of view, being, as it was, an expression of “super-individual necessity.” He believed that war should by all means be avoided, just as disease should be; but disease, as well as war, can not always be avoided, and once caught must follow its own particular course. Disease, however hideous in its symptoms, must be taken as a natural expression of nature, and it not infrequently has appeared that what was temporary ill health led afterward to a permanent state of good health.

Wars such as this world-war, from this point of view, were constitutional diseases, evil in themselves, but inevitable in human society as phases of growth. But wars, whether inevitable or not, when once entered upon, had to be pursued to their ends, and no medicine could change the general character of their courses. The question of right and wrong, as usually discust by neutrals and passive onlookers, was not to the point. If one had to think of right and wrong the Greek idea of fate came nearer the truth than did the modern idea of responsible freedom. The respective wrongs of Germany and the Allies were fated to emerge in hideous calamity. That did not excuse them, but it did give them a meaning transcending by far their immediate moral significance. All great wars had been fated and all had been inevitable. It was of little importance to determine what were the immediate causes that occasioned them. Had Germany's conscious intentions been ever so kind, and her official morals never so exemplary, the mere fact of her tremendous expansion when bound in there by an outer world of Great Powers, loaded down with aggressive traditions, whose equilibrium depended on opposition instead of on collaboration, would sooner or later have caused a conflict which, in turn, would have expanded into a World War, because, in an age of universal independence, any serious shock to the larger part of the whole needs must have upset the entire whole.

Germany's ambitions, this philosopher declared, were no more the primum movens of the catastrophe than Bonaparte's dreams of world-power were the first causes of the European catastrophe of a century before. As Napoleon always maintained that his was not a premeditated career, so the Germans had not striven consciously to set the world on fire. Napoleon and the Germans were both driven to act as they did by circumstances over which they had little or no command. In both cases, uprisings and revolutions would have happened in some form or other, even if the immediate causes, so obvious and seemingly so important and conclusive at the time, had not been operative. The ancien régime would have fallen in Western Europe without the Corsican's sword, and it is quite as true that the European equilibrium of July, 1914, would have been upset without pressure having been brought to bear against it by increasing armaments. Both events were inevitable states in social, political, and commercial evolution.

That Germany early in 1914 considered war inevitable at no distant date was probably certain. The caution, not to say the defensive and disquieting steps taken in May and June, 1914, by financial houses in America having Austrian and German connections, pointed to premonitions of war on their part, based on hints or suggestions they had received from exalted quarters. Perhaps Germany had no deliberate intention at that time of forcing a European war by sudden violence of her own, but she must have believed in the certainty of war coming soon, and when the chance appeared she was probably not averse to seizing it. Long before Russian mobilization was announced, and military law was proclaimed in Germany, the German army had known what was coming. When sanguine diplomatists were still striving for peace, the Great General Staff was selecting maps that showed where future battles would be fought.

There were men in the Entente world having knowledge of the inside history of events leading to the war, who were not inclined to place the chief personal responsibility for the outbreak on the Kaiser. One of these was Colonel E. M. House, President Wilson's friend and adviser, who before and during the war had made several trips to Europe in order to obtain information for the President at first hand. He was represented11 as disposed to believe from close observation that the Kaiser's responsibility, great as it was, was not the major part; that he did not actually wish to force the war but feared to take a positive stand against it, lest he be pushed out of the way by an arrogant clique of generals and great industrial potentates who had long contended that Germany must have war or lose her supremacy. Colonel House, who was in Berlin only a few weeks before the war began, “found plenty of evidence of a state of mind to increase the world's uneasiness.” German military leaders were “crazy with excitement” and had been living under high tension since the trouble over Morocco, while the disturbed course of events in 1913–14 had “stimulated their hysteria.” Field-marshals and generals who had built up Germany's great military machine, and had been subalterns in the War of 1870–71, “felt themselves growing old without having had a chance to play with their marvelous toy—this stupendous engine of their own genius,” almost a possession of their own, which they “had forged, tempered, and tested in play”—and they hated the thought of dying the death of old men “without the satisfaction of having tried it out in battle under their own leadership.”

This, in Colonel House's view, was really the psychology of the German military chieftains in the early summer of 1914; they were “hungry for war, their nerves on edge.” It was they who talked loudly of the “insolence” of the Serbians to Austria; of the need of teaching Russia to keep her hands off the Balkans; of the commercial tyranny of Great Britain, and of the degeneracy of France. In so many words, they were saying: “We have been on the edge of war now for ten years. It has been one incident after another. It has been unhealthy and unsettling. Well, we Germans are ready for war now. We shall never be in better shape for it. Let us end the uncertainty and have war.” Count Czernin, a former Austrian minister of foreign affairs, gave color to the view that the Kaiser did not want war in a public statement made after the armistice was signed. “Emperor William,” said he, “did not want the war, but he did not know how to get out of it. No one wanted hostilities. Neither Emperor Francis Joseph nor Emperor William, nor their ministers wanted war. There was too much diplomatic bluffing, everyone looking for the other fellow to recede from his position.” In conditions such as these the assassination of the Austrian Archduke, following closely on that of King George of Greece (March 18, 1913), who stood “in the way” of German expansion in the Near East, became the immediate cause of the war—a cause such as the Imperial War Lords of Germany had long looked for with some eagerness. Thus it was the lighted match that caused a great conflagration when thrown into a mass of highly combustible material.

Germany's case in 1914, viewed solely from the diplomatic angle, “was not bad” in Professor Morris Jastrow's opinion.12 She had some justification for feeling that she had been hemmed in by Great Britain, France, and Russia, and some reason to fear Russian aggression. With Great Britain and Russia pooling their interests in Persia in 1910, she thought she saw a new enemy showing its hand, but she probably failed altogether to see that it was fear of Germany's growing power in the East that had brought Great Britain to the side of Russia in that affair. Again, she thought the Agadir incident of 1911 had revealed a definite alinement of Great Britain and France against Germany, and that it foreshadowed from the Triple Entente an aggressive act directed primarily against Germany. These facts Professor Jastrow thought should not be entirely brushed aside in any fair review of the European situation as it existed just before the war began, and which had grown more complicated as Germany saw France and Spain in control of Morocco and Italy getting a slice of Turkey, while she herself was left out “without prospect of getting so much as a bone.” Germany also had “some academic justification for her contention that the quarrel between Austria and Serbia should be fought out by these two contestants,” albeit the position she took “may have had a sinister substratum,” which her subsequent course made clear beyond any doubt.

Whatever be the responsibilities, however, this writer believed Germany “entirely spoiled her case by her conduct of the war.” It was that conduct rather than her responsibility that “aroused at once the fear and the hostility of practically the entire world, outside of the groups arrayed on her side, and even those groups stood in fear of her.” While the official mobilization of the Russian army in the last week of July he regards as “a contributing factor,” for no one who was in Germany at that time, as Professor Jastrow was, “could have had any doubt of the genuine fear of Russia felt in Germany,” Germany nevertheless “could have prevented the war, and that is quite as serious a charge against her as the general belief that she willed it.” Her rejection of Sir Edward Grey's proposal for a European conference to take up the Austro-Serbian question, “when it was perfectly evident that the question, without such a conference, would lead to a general European war, revealed Germany's unwillingness to prevent war.” Of this unwillingness, indeed of a definite policy on Germany's part for war, ample evidence from Germany herself was published in the last year of the war by Prince Lichnowsky, Doctor Muehlon and the government of Bavaria.

As to Germany's conduct of the war, Professor Jastrow said there could be “no difference of opinion,” because “the facts are there and speak for themselves.” By her conduct he means “the military policy adopted by the General Staff and executed as the official acts of the German government,”—that is, the official violation of Belgium's neutrality; the official imposition of exorbitant fines on Belgian cities and towns; the official recourse to such medieval, almost primitive, methods of warfare as taking hostage and deporting the population of invaded districts; the official order to burn and sack a large portion of Louvain; the official sinking of ships carrying non-combatants; the official destruction of towns and villages in the line of retreat; the official raiding of cities and towns by airplanes and airships. The feature common to these acts, apart from their inhuman aspects, was that they affected “to an almost exclusive degree the civilian non-combatant population,” and the effect was to bring “the entire world to a realization of the menace involved in the existence of a government acting autocratically, without any responsibility to the people, and, therefore, without control.”

After the war had been in progress for a year there grew up a conviction that no punishment could adequately fit the crimes of Germany. The rape of Belgium; the sinking of the Lusitania and of other ships that carried women and children to their ocean graves; the pillage, destruction, and desecration of sacred shrines; the cold-blooded murder of the helpless; the handing over of innocent girls to a fate worse than death—all were “made in Germany.” Before the war ended, Germany had in consequence arrayed against her thirty sovereign states, great and small, and the words “made in Germany!” for years to come were to stand as a memorial of her incredible violations of law. Besides these thirty states there were six which had severed relations with Germany, or were in “a state of benevolent neutrality toward the United States.” Following is a list of these states:

Entente Belligerents
Great Britain
Arabia (Hejaz)
San Marino
United States
Dominican Republic
Costa Rica
Severed Relations with Germany, or were Benevolently
Neutral Toward the United States

In Professor Jastrow's opinion, Germany, in her conduct of the war was responsible for the new situation that arose in 1917 after she began her intensified submarine warfare. Even those who might have been disposed to justify her on grounds of military necessity, had to “recognize the result as a natural and logical sequence of autocratic rule.” Responsibility for this new aspect of the war as for having forced it at the beginning, therefore rested primarily with the German government, rather than with the German people, “who were not consulted, either at the outbreak of the war, or at any time during the war.” The German government declared war on Russia before calling in the Reichstag; Germany invaded Belgium before she told the Reichstag she was going to do it, and she carried on war to the very end, with all its unspeakable barbarities, “with little regard to the national legislative body which merely passed credits.” The German government never had from the people a mandate for war, or for the crimes it committed in conducting the war. It simply imposed its authority on the Reichstag and the people. Germany's conduct of the war was “the chief factor in creating the new war spirit of 1917.” It was that spirit which brought the United States into the war and which, by November, 1918, had landed nearly 2,000,000 American soldiers in France, with as many more preparing to sail. The idea of popular government—of government with the consent of the governed—was part and parcel of the political spirit of the age, and the German government, in opposing itself to that spirit, had become “an enemy of mankind.” The war in and after 1917 became simply a struggle forced upon the world to secure the triumph and the duration of democracy.

The entrance of the United States into the war made the issue clear as a struggle for the preservation of democracy, and President Wilson became the world's spokesman. He made the program so definite that he who ran could read. He clarified the issue in such manner as to make it evident, even to the people of Germany, had they been able to think about it, that America's part in the war against Germany was “actually a war for the German people, as much as for the preservation of American democracy.” We as Americans had no special concern with the issues of 1914. We were concerned with “securing the peace of the world through popular government”—the complete responsibility of a government to its people through its elected representatives.

As the war went on it was seen that the methods of waging it had introduced greater changes in the art of warfare than had been made in the previous fifty years.13 Some of these were more important than any that had occurred in five centuries—that is to say, since the first use of gunpowder. During the ten years that preceded it the aeroplane, the motor-vehicle, the submarine, and wireless telegraphy had been so perfected as to be effectively useful in war, just as in the preceding fifty years the railway, the steamboat, and the electric telegraph had first come into military use, and had completely transformed methods of transportation and communication which had remained substantially the same in the time of Napoleon as they were in the days of Pompey and Cæsar. In Napoleon's time, as in Cæsar's, rapidity in the transmitting of orders had been limited to the speed of a horse, and the ability to move troops was dependent on the endurance of a man's heart and legs. The only advance in methods of warfare from Cæsar's time to that of Napoleon's was in the use of gunpowder and in the improvement of weapons resulting therefrom.

Since Napoleon's time the art of warfare had added to its equipment, instantaneous communications of intelligence, marvelously rapid transportation of troops, and ability to feed and supply unheard of numbers of men in the field; power to fly through the air and so from above to detect the enemy's movements, power to operate under the water and so to destroy an enemy's ships, power to hurl projectiles of unprecedented size great distances against forts, and facilities for caring for hundreds and thousands of wounded, who but for the motor-ambulance would have perished on the battlefield. These new methods differentiated the World War from all previous wars. Indeed, they differentiated this war from the wars of comparatively recent years almost as much as from the wars of antiquity. While the steam-railway had been used in war for sixty years, this was the first conflict in which the motor-truck was employed. Without the motor-truck the task of supplying such vast armies would have been an impossible one. Hitherto the distribution of supplies, from the nearest point of a railway to the actual position of troops in the field, was accomplished by means of wagons drawn by mules, horses, and sometimes oxen, but the capacity of the wagons, depending as it did on the condition of roads, was from 500 pounds to one ton per animal, and the food of the animal was always no inconsiderable part of the load, while the distance covered rarely exceeded twenty miles per day. The motor-trucks, with a few gallons of oil, lighter than water, carried at least four times as heavy a load as a wagon of equal size drawn by animals, and carried it at a speed at least ten times greater. As compared with animal traction, the motor-truck had a capacity for military purposes of perhaps forty to one. Much had been expected of the motor-truck in time of war, but few anticipated such extraordinary results in the distribution of food and ammunition.

The vast numbers of men employed in the war, and the enormous quantities of ammunition consumed, made it necessary that almost the entire industrial development of each nation be devoted to military purposes. The effect of this was that resources in coal and iron—the bases of all industries—became distinct military factors. Germany had already become the first of European States in the production of iron and steel. By overrunning and holding Belgium and northern France, and getting possession of the mines, ironworks, and manufacturing establishments in those regions, Germany and her ally, Austria, secured greater resources in fuel and iron than all the rest of Europe combined. Altho her ships were driven from the seas, and her foreign commerce was completely paralysed, her internal resources and those of her ally, because of conquered territory, became apparently sufficient to keep her constantly supplied with ammunition, while her enemies, with the markets of the world open to them in addition to their own resources, failed for many months to keep their troops supplied. The chief cause of the long series of Russian defeats extending over five months in 1915, including a retreat of nearly four hundred miles from Galicia across Poland and well into Russia, was lack of ammunition. In Great Britain, notwithstanding an industrial development which at one time had placed her first among industrial nations, lack of ammunition for many months in the first year of the war prevented her from putting into the field in France more than 600,000 men, altho her enlistments numbered over 3,000,000. Her troops occupied only thirty or forty miles of the fighting line, whereas her allies occupied nearly a thousand miles—300 miles on the Western Front and 650 miles on the Eastern.

From Napoleon's time until the beginning of the World War, the manner of conducting a battle had not substantially changed. There were three distinct stages, in which each of the three arms performed its distinctive part. Cavalry kept in touch with the enemy, and discovered his movements; the battle was opened by an artillery duel in which it was sought to silence the enemy's artillery, and to shake the morale of his infantry, and then came the final and decisive stage, an infantry attack, first at long range, then an advance to shorter range, ending possibly in a hand-to-hand combat, or, at the final critical moment, cavalry might be sent in to turn the scale with a vigorous charge in which, in case of the enemy's retreat, the cavalry would be sent in pursuit in the hope of converting the retreat into a rout. This method of fighting was now greatly modified, if not completely changed. Cavalry was no longer the only means of keeping in touch with the enemy and discovering his positions. This was far more completely and satisfactorily done by the aeroplane, the balloon, and the airship, which soared above the enemy's position, while aviators made sketches or took photographs of it, counted, or estimated numbers, and returned with the speed of a bird to report to the commanding general. While cavalry did not cease to be “the eyes of the army,” its rôle in this respect was greatly diminished, and, except in the Near East, became almost insignificant in comparison with its work in previous wars.

The rôle of artillery increased in importance as much as that of cavalry decreased. Again it was a case of improved mechanism. The size of the guns, the weight of the projectiles and the distance they could be fired had been increased to an extent not possible before the coming of the mechanical tractor and its internal combustion engine. Enormous projectiles were now able to destroy permanent fortifications at very long range, and shrapnel could be fired with such rapidity and accuracy at long range as to annihilate a line of infantry and so make an advance across open ground impossible. The manner of handling and firing guns was also changed completely. The gunner no longer saw the enemy, the piece being concealed, as in a thicket or behind a brush. The gun-carriage did not recoil, the recoil being absorbed by pistons and cylinders filled with oil. The gunner got his instructions as to azimuth and altitude from a battery-officer, with a range-finder, who might be located in a tree or on the top of a house, or in some other elevated position from which the enemy could be seen. The aeroplane came to the assistance of the gunner and helped him to correct range and direction. Flying over the enemy and discovering his position, an aviator could drop a small bomb leaving a vertical trail of white smoke, from which the battery-officer, with instruments of precision, could obtain the correct distance and direction.

The number of sick on both sides apparently was very small. In our Civil War deaths from sickness were probably twice as many as from wounds; but in this war modern methods for preventing typhoid and malaria were used with great success. As the killed and wounded were numbered in seven figures immunity from sickness meant the saving of other millions of lives. With reference to the wounded German reports stated that the deaths were less than two per cent.; the recoveries, with permanent disability, about eight per cent., and the complete recoveries about ninety per cent. In our Civil War the deaths among the wounded in hospitals were about ten per cent., or more than five times as many as in the World War. The ratio of killed to wounded was formerly as one to five; now apparently it was as one to one and three-quarters.

Another striking fact in the war was the number of elderly, or old men, who, when the war began, were among conspicuous leaders on both sides. As in the previous war between France and Germany when the Emperor William, then King of Prussia, was in his seventy-fourth year; Moltke in his seventy-second; Roon in his sixty-ninth, and Bismarck in his fifty-sixth, so in this war the commanding men were past middle life, and some were unquestionably old. Moltke was sixty-six; Haaseler was seventy-eight; Von der Goltz, seventy-one; General von Kluck, sixty-seven; Emmich, Mackensen and Von Tirpitz were sixty-six, and Hindenburg, sixty-seven. Kitchener, the organizing genius of the British Army, was sixty-four when the war began; French, commanding the British forces in the field, was sixty-two; Fisher, First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, was seventy-two; Joffre, Chief of Staff of the French Army, was sixty-two; Pau was well advanced in the sixties, and Gallieni was seventy. In contrast with these figures are those for several of the world's greatest military leaders of earlier times. Julius Cæsar defeated Pompey at Pharsalia when he was fifty-two and was assassinated at fifty-six; Marlborough won the battle of Blenheim at fifty-four; Washington took command of the American Army at forty-four; Napoleon won the battle of Austerlitz at thirty-six; Wellington, the battle of Waterloo at forty-six; Grant was in command of the Union Army at forty-one, and Lee of the Confederate at fifty-four.

This war proved once more how important a factor in war is control of the sea. It was contended by not a few authorities that the war in the last analysis was a naval war, and that the British fleet had decided the issue. Within a few months after the outbreak, the naval superiority of Great Britain enabled her to destroy every warship of Germany on the high seas, to paralyze German commerce, to keep open British commerce with every part of the world, and to maintain uninterrupted her military lines of communication with the Continent and with her allies. Meanwhile the German fleet which had been toasting “Der Tag!”14 for many years, remained for nearly two years—until May 31, 1916—idle and useless in harbor and when it did emerge seeking battle was so badly beaten that it never again came out to fight.

Germany endeavored to restore the balance by a submarine warfare, which was absolutely novel, both in the mechanism of the submarines and in the magnitude of the destruction accomplished. The total of the ships destroyed in the first year was in excess of 300, the total tonnage about 600,000, the lives lost about 6,000. In the list were several warships and neutral ships, and some of the most modern and splendid passenger vessels afloat and freighters. Of the lives lost, nearly one-half were those of non-combatants. These figures while absolutely large were relatively small. The merchant shipping of Great Britain was more than 20,000,000 tons so that the destruction by submarines thus far represented less than three per cent. and considerably less than that of the new vessels built since the outbreak of the war. The number of lives lost, in comparison with those killed in battle, was insignificant, and the damage done to vessels of war by submarines was not sufficient to produce any serious effect. It remained a question whether the submarine was really an important military arm. The U-boats gave rise to endless diplomatic disputes. During the first year of the war more than fifty of them were reported sunk with all on board.

The menace of Germany's submarine warfare, in a later period, beginning on February 1, 1917, reached proportions that aroused world-wide alarm and seemed for a time to promise ultimate success. Germany's faith in it remained fixt until near the end. Unrestricted submarine warfare was declared, and all the arts and energies of Germany's naval powers were employed in carrying it on, until by September, 1918, the deadweight of tonnage sunk, allied and neutral, reached an appalling total, estimates of which ranged as high as 15,000,000 tons or higher. The average was about 400,000 tons monthly. The offsets to these figures were 3,795,000 tons of tonnage belonging to the Central Powers, which had been seized, and new construction, which, at the end, was considerably in excess of sinkings. The net result was that allied and neutral nations at the end of the war had 3,362,088 fewer tons in operation than in August, 1914.

The Allies at the beginning established a definite mastery in the air, and, tho much alarm was caused by the feats of the Fokkers, that mastery was usually maintained. So far as Zeppelins were concerned, however, the Germans long remained unchallenged. They had devoted much thought and heavy expenditure to this weapon and looked to it as destined to offset, in a measure, the naval supremacy of Britain. As an instrument of “frightfulness” the Zeppelin for a time justified itself, but about two years later it was abandoned after the loss of many ships. It had added terror to darkness, not only in London but over all England; it had destroyed many innocent lives and created widespread alarm; but in a strict military sense the value of its work was negligible, for it could operate only in the dark and drop its bombs at random or, at best, by guesswork. But it proved of real service to the Allied cause by awakening Great Britain to the actualities of war and so acted as her best recruiting sergeant.

The effect of the war on the aeroplane promised to be one of permanent good. An improved state of development in aerial navigation was produced which prominent birdmen said could not have been attained in many generations of normal progress in the art. There had been great improvement in the skill of aviators and a development of flying machines hitherto uncontemplated. The old way of flying had made all aeroplanes easy prey to anti-aircraft guns and to attacking machines, but when it became necessary to dart out of the range of any enemy who had suddenly revealed his presence with bursting shrapnel, or when only a quick maneuver could prevent him from blocking the way home, the old-fashioned, steady, level flyer and slow climber became deathtraps. Loop-the-loop, caper-cutting, all the acrobatic performances that at first attended exhibition flying, became in the war normal evolutions. Only excess power for sudden bursts of speed and climbing could now save one in a perilous moment. Daily encounters in the sky proved conclusively that flying had been as thoroughly mastered as horseback riding. Machines were made to respond to the subconscious action of the rider as obediently as a cavalry horse responds. Indeed, fighting aeroplanes were often under better control than cavalry horses.

So rapid and extensive was the expansion of the military air service that it suggested the miraculous. At the outbreak of the war Britain's total fighting strength in aircraft consisted of six squadrons of aeroplanes—80 in number—manned, approximately, by 250 officers and 1,000 men, and the military wing of the aerial fighting forces regarded itself as fortunate if it could obtain for its purpose an appropriation of £1,000,000. In 1916 the annual expenditure of the Flying Corps was several million pounds. The country's total investment in military aircraft was not short of £38,000,000 or £40,000,000 and eventually was considerably more. The Flying Corps which, in August, 1914, had found an adequate home in six or seven rooms in the War Office building in Whitehall, London, occupied, by 1916, an immense building of its own in Blackfriars, with 375 rooms. Among the wonderful things accomplished by British aeroplanes was the dropping 100,000 pounds of food into Townshend's camp at Kut, on the Tigris river, in 1916—an operation attended with great danger, and a considerable number of men were lost. Early in the war there were cases on the Western Front of two or three British machines accepting battle with twenty Fokkers. Many were the instances of British airmen chasing German machines to the ground, and firing upon them from a height of fifty feet. From this level they shot at the Germans as they scrambled out of their machines. They even landed and fought with them on the ground.15 Before the battle of Arras in the Spring of 1917, they took nearly 1,700 photographs of the German line which were of inestimable service in the conduct of that battle.

In this war Germany, for lack of the far-sighted diplomacy of Bismarck, had to rely on the genius of her generals and the efficiency of her military machine. In preparedness there had been no parallel to her astonishing position when the war burst on Europe. Her commerce, financial methods, railways, education, social reform, and even her recreations had had as their ultimate purpose the securing of her supremacy on the battlefield. War had been conceived by her, not as a thing of swift inspiration, but as something prepared long before in the scientist's laboratory—the personal factor subordinated to the machine. Conquest of the air, the discovery of wireless telegraphy, the development of motor-traction, the achievements of chemistry in the matter of high explosives, all had worked to the advantage of the Power which had been most industrious in the practical applications of science and most concerned in making them subservient to war.

The confidence of the Germans in their machine had a foundation that was solid and absolute. It was on the spiritual side that they were wrong. They miscalculated Belgium, misread Great Britain, underrated France and the United States and blundered in their estimate of the ability of Austria to hold Russia. On the material side they were substantially right, for if preparedness for war had been the final condition of victory they would have been masters of Europe and indeed, of the world, in six months. The Allies had little to offer against them except improvised methods. They had no common strategy and no body of agreed doctrine. France had passed through a series of military convulsions which made a coherent theory impossible. The Russian military system was corrupt and inefficient and was in a state of reorganization. Of the younger Russian generals only twenty-five per cent. had passed through the regimental mill. Of 300 colonels of recent promotion only one had gone through a military academy. In Great Britain the idea of intervention in Continental warfare had almost ceased to belong to the realm of practical considerations. In the past generation no army had been seen fighting in so many and in such varied fields as the British Army, but the fields were remote, the scale in general was small, and the methods were antiquated. Up to the Great Boer War the British Army was looked upon as a social asset into which “sons of the aristocracy went to learn polo.”

When the clash came, it was found that the Germans were easily first. In the matter of fortifications, they had seen how modern weapons of offense had made the fortress obsolete except as a center of widespread operations. The collapse of Namur was the first evidence that in military thought the Germans were decisively superior. As the war went on, especially on the Russian front, the fact that the modern gun would dominate the fort was established with terrible emphasis. It was only on the Verdun-Toul line that fortresses retained an appearance of supremacy, but there this supremacy was based on the fact that the land lent itself to such a wide defensive system as to reduce forts to the function of depots for field operations. Not less sound was the doctrine of the Germans as to the use of big guns in field warfare. The French General Staff had pinned its faith to the 75 mm. and had resisted every proposal for the employment of heavy artillery in the field. The ground of objection was that the use of heavy guns would destroy the mobility of the army and embarrass its operations. But when the struggle settled down into permanent trench warfare, big guns for the field became a factor of the first importance.

That the Germans looked confidently for a swift triumph in the field is undoubted; but that they had also foreseen the possibility of trench warfare became evident, not only from their preparations, but from the promptness with which they brought into play the hand-grenade and the trench-mortar. The revival of these obsolete weapons was an inevitable consequence of siege warfare, but only the Germans were prepared. Evidently they alone had seriously and minutely considered the possibility of a static struggle. For a considerable time after the great parallel lines from Flanders to Switzerland had been drawn, the Germans were using an abundance of perfectly manufactured hand-bombs, while their foes could reply only with crude improvisations of an inferior sort. The Germans started with sounder theories as to methods of war, and their advantage in the master of strategy should have been even more decisive than it was. They alone had a strategy that was conceived on large and comprehensive lines. The Allies had never discust the strategy of a possible Continental war in a collective way. Beyond a secret understanding between Great Britain and France that, in the event of an invasion of Belgium, the British Army should go to the defense of that country, there was no strategic preparation on the part of the two countries. The idea that Great Britain would raise an army on the Continental scale had never been contemplated. Her task was to command the sea, and defend her own shores. Italy, so far from being involved in the general strategy of the Allies, was at that time nominally an ally of Germany. The relations between France and Russia had been more intimate, but, in so far as the two governments had discust a common strategy, it was the strategy of defense in unknown circumstances at an unknown time. The geographical position of Germany alone was a decisive factor in the dictation of the initiative. Her chief ally, Austria, was not separated from her by land as the Entente Allies were one from the others, but was solidly at her back. Working on interior lines, Germany could calculate on dealing with her enemies in detail, and on bringing the whole weight of her resources to any given point with a minimum of delay.16

After April, 1917, the war was not the same war as in earlier years, but an entirely different war. The first explosion had been a result of “over-pressure exerted on the European body politic by conflicting national ambitions, by Pan-Germanism on the one side, by Pan-Slavism on the other”; and by growing mutual distrust and fear among nations, which had led to the Triple Entente as a counter-balance to the Triple Alliance. Another cause was European economic rivalry. Definite issues of a political, racial, and economic character were thus involved when the war first broke out, but these all moved into the background before the paramount influences that characterized the war in 1917, when it had become “a struggle on a gigantic scale for popular government,” the United States having gone into it not only because Germany committed acts of war against us, but because she represented a “powerful and menacing government based on the autocratic principle.” As her violation of Belgium's guaranteed neutrality had been the occasion for the entrance of Great Britain into the war, so was the sinking by Germany of the Lusitania, and the resumption of a ruthless sink-at-sight submarine policy the occasion for ours.

It was not until at Seicheprey on April 20, 1918, that the Americans saw fighting that tested their quality as soldiers. Seicheprey was only a skirmish, but was memorable for a certain quality which it disclosed in our young, troops. Next our First Division went into action and on May 28 took Cantigny, held it and broke the German counter attack. Cantigny was our real beginning as combatants in the war. Our troops arrived there after the first flood of the German rush had been checked, and so we began in a small way the process of regaining lost ground. A little more than a month later Ludendorff had won his last victory when he burst across the Aisne and reached the Marne. It was in that critical time that two American divisions, including the Marines, gathered up from rest camps, seized upon a moment of supreme necessity, and appeared on the road to Paris and south of the bridge across the Marne at Chateau-Thierry. By them the road to Paris was barred, and after another month the tide had turned. While these American divisions shared in the work of first checking Ludendorff's final bid for success, other divisions were soon serving with Mangin's spearhead in Foch's great counter offensive of July 18, and still others, including the Twenty-seventh Division, were with the British in the north, where early in August they forced the Germans back from positions they still held around Kemmel Hill. Whether it was Kemmel Hill or Chateau-Thierry that would rank in history as the high-water mark of the German invasion of France, in the sense that the “bloody angle” at Gettysburg became the high-water point of the Confederacy, might be long debated; but in any case it was American soldiers who struck the final blow that dislodged the Germans from both places.

With Gouraud east of Reims were a few Americans in July, but in the Marne salient more Americans were with Mangin on the Ourcq. It was not until mid-September that the Americans had an army of their own. Its first battle was fought at St. Mihiel where it caused a recession of the Germans from ground they had held since 1914, a defeat which cost the Germans many towns, large territory, and 16,000 prisoners, our casualties being only 7,000. Elsewhere on the western front another notable strike was made in September by American troops—one that stood out large in records of this war. This was work done by the Twenty-seventh Division, which comprised troops made up from the National Guard of New York State. Late in the month, acting with the Thirtieth Division,17 the Twenty-seventh took over a front that had been occupied by British divisions in the St. Quentin sector, drove the Germans from a tunnel of the St. Quentin Canal, and broke through the Hindenburg Line. By the last days of September, the Germans were hard prest on all fronts and their retreat had begun. For this retreat they had two routes available—northward through Liége, southward through Sedan. Our assignment in the fighting was to clear the Argonne of Germans and close the Sedan door. From September 26th to November 11th our men fought to close that door. At the same time we had kept divisions in Flanders and in Champagne.

The German saw his peril in the Argonne and sent his best troops to face us—forty divisions first and last. For more than a month he held his ground, aided by a formidable terrain, but finally his strength began to ebb until he could not keep up the pace and, on November 1, our men broke through. Six days later our troops reached Sedan; and when the armistice was signed the southern route of retreat had been closed. To Ludendorff was left surrender or a supreme disaster, and he chose to surrender. The thing that had happened to Napoleon had happened to Wilhelm II. The troops of the aroused nationalities of Europe had worn down his veterans until his victories became local and of passing importance, his defeats heavy and his battle-losses irreplaceable. Then followed the signing of the armistice in Foch's railway car, side-tracked in a forest near Senlis, as a companion-piece to the abdication of Napoleon at Fontainebleau in 1814.

As to the part taken by the United States in the war, an admirable report to the War Department was made early in December by General Pershing in which he showed himself a reporter in Cæsar's class, his story being terse, lucid, and rapid. When he placed American troops at the disposal of Marshal Foch at the end of March, 1918, they numbered only 343,000 men, but by the second week of October there were twenty-eight American divisions, or more than 750,000 men in the battle line, and we had sent two million men overseas. In three years the British had raised only two million; the British forces, however, had been cut down by heavy casualties, which they had had to fill up, “while the American forces could for many months find practically every man needed to build up the force.” Nevertheless the building up of overseas communications and the equipping and supplying of an overseas army, Pershing said, “must rank as one of the great military achievements of all time.” Pershing's story was that of an army which established its fame from the beginning. In May, 1918, the First American Division had the honor of sharing in Foch's gigantic resistance which after first holding the Germans back, then defeated them, and finally ended the war. Attached, at Foch's request, to a position in reserve at Chaumont-en-Vexin, in the Montdidier salient, they had gone into action at Cantigny and captured the place in what Pershing described as “a brilliant action.” When the Germans undertook their offensive toward the Marne, the Third Division was hurried to the danger-point and made itself famous at Chateau-Thierry, while the Second Division, which had been held in reserve, and in which were the Marines, drove the enemy out of Bouresches, captured Belleau Wood, and took the village of Vaux “with most splendid precision.” Again in the Chateau-Thierry sector, during July, a single American regiment “wrote one of the most brilliant pages in our military annals.”

Pershing's report revealed the reason why in 1917 our men had taken their first position in France on the Toul sector. It was due to “the vital questions of communication and supply.” Northern French ports were so crowded by British shipping that the “already overtaxed railway system behind the active front” was not available. The southern ports and the comparatively unused railway systems leading from them to the northeast, which meant Toul, were all that was left. Two other notable things shone out from Pershing's report. One was the extent to which we were assisted in the training and equipment of our armies by the French and the British, and the other was the good feeling that accompanied the cooperation of diverse nationalities between the appearance of our troops in France and the decisive victories of the war. In Pershing's phrase, “our entry into the war found us with few of the auxiliaries necessary for its conduct in the modern sense,” and these deficiencies could not be supplied at a moment's notice. In this emergency the French supplied guns, aeroplanes and tanks to the limit of their ability. Pershing's tribute to the French for what they did in these matters was frank and open, but he was careful to add that American manufacturers deserved credit for what they had accomplished in the time set. When the armistice was signed he was “able to look forward to the early supply of practically all our necessities from our own factories.” Pershing said, of the relations that existed between French, British, and the Americans:

“Cooperation among the Allies has at all times been most cordial. . . . A far greater effort has been put forth by the Allied armies and staffs to assist us than could have been expected. . . . The French Government and Army have always stood ready to furnish us with supplies, equipment and transportation and to aid us in every way. . . . In the towns and hamlets wherever our troops have been stationed or billeted the French people have everywhere received them more as relatives and intimate friends than as soldiers of a foreign army. . . . For these things words are quite inadequate to express our gratitude. . . . There can be no doubt that the relations growing out of our associations here assure a permanent friendship between the two peoples. . . . Altho we have not been so intimately associated with the people of Great Britain, yet their troops and ours when thrown together have always warmly fraternized. . . . The reception of those of our forces who have passed through England and of those who have been stationed there has always been enthusiastic. . . . Altogether it has been deeply imprest upon us that the ties of language and blood bring the British and ourselves together completely and inseparably.”

Pershing's testimony to the courage, resourcefulness, and quick intelligence of our troops supported and confirmed observations that had been previously made on the subject by others. The American soldier won the respect and confidence of the veterans of France and England. He brought to the battle front “eager desire for knowledge, quick comprehension of instructions, and a confidence in himself which his conduct amply justified.” From Pershing we got a clearer notion than we had before of the difficulties and complexities of the work of defeating the Germans. The principal fact as to strategy that was revealed by his report was the tremendous contribution to success made by a unified command under Foch of which Pershing and President Wilson had been among the earliest advocates.

By December 1, 1917, the United States had sent only 145,198 men overseas. When the armistice was signed we had sent 1,950,513, an average of 162,542 each month, the number, in fact, rising in May, 1918, to 245,951, in June to 278,850, in July to 307,182, in August, 289,570, and in September, 257,438. No such movement of troops ever took place before across 3,000 miles of sea, followed by adequate equipment and supplies, and carried safely through extraordinary dangers of attack—dangers which were alike strange and infinitely difficult to guard against. In all this movement only 758 men were lost by enemy attacks—630 of whom were upon a single transport which was sunk near the Orkney Islands. 18

Lloyd George early in December said at Leeds that he could never forget that morning early in 1918 when he sent a cable message to President Wilson telling him “how essential it was that we should get American help at the speediest possible rate, and inviting him to send 120,000 infantry and machine-gunners to Europe.” The following day he received a cablegram from President Wilson, “Send your ships across and we will send the 120,000 men.” All British shipping was then engaged in essential trades, and as Britain, in ships, had been “cut down to the bone,” this change meant taking chances “even with our food and essential raw materials.” But the thing to do was to get Americans across at all hazards. The result has already been stated—two million men were sent overseas, and out of that number approximately half (forty-eight and one-half per cent.) were carried by the British merchant marine. The good old ships of Britain had saved the liberty of the world many times, said Lloyd George. They had saved it in the days of Queen Elizabeth; had saved it in the days of Louis XIV.; had saved it in the days of Napoleon, and had now saved it in the days of Kaiser Wilhelm II. American ships carried overseas forty-six and one-half per cent. of these troops, or not quite as many as British ships carried.

When Ludendorff began his last campaign in March, the Entente allies had been outnumbered by upward of forty divisions and the Americans had only one division ready. When that campaign ended in November the Americans had forty divisions in France—thirty in the field, and ten serving as material to replace wastage. We had fought at Seicheprey with a regiment; at Cantigny, with a division; at the Marne in June, with not more than three divisions; at the Marne in July, with twice or three times as many; and at St. Mihiel in September, with an army, and in the Argonne in October, with two armies. We gave to this cause the last reserves of civilization. We arrived terribly late on a field where disaster had again and again been avoided only by supreme and unbelievable heroism from our associates. But, having arrived, we unhesitatingly gave all we had and what we gave we had committed to the hands of one of the greatest captains of all time. The winning of this war was not the single achievement of any nation. Comparisons of amounts contributed could not, and would not, be made by those who shared the tasks. It was for the European Allies to appraise the real value of our services, but they would have been the first to recognize our national sense of pride in the achievement of that young army, newly come from store, farm, factory, and college campus, while the personal achievement of Pershing was revealed in that of his army.

The Sixty-fifth Congress of the United States, which entering into its first session on March 4, 1917, had declared war on Germany on the ensuing April 6th, and closed its two years' labors on March 4, 1919, promised always to hold a memorable place in our annals. None of its predecessors had ever faced such vast problems in respect to mobilization of men and resources and providing funds to carry on the war. It called into being an army of about 3,700,000 men, and made provision for about 1,000,000 more, the great bulk of them raised by conscription. The total of its appropriations amounted to about $60,000,000,000, and the bonds authorized by it to about $25,000,000,000. It had passed the greatest loan and tax measures ever enacted by a national legislature. Not only was its military legislation unprecedented in our history, but acts of an ancillary character which it placed upon the statute books were numerous and important. It had very little respite from its labors in the course of its existence, its three sessions covering a total of 635 days, so that its recesses were few and short.

With the war suspended, by the signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918, attempts were made to count up the direct—none dared to estimate the indirect—costs in lives and property. Estimates of the direct money-cost varied from $150,000,000,000 to $200,000,000,000 of which Germany's part was set at about $40,000,000,000. As to lives, “let us visualize a march of the British dead down Fifth Avenue,” suggested a writer in the New York Tribune, in an endeavor to make the staggering casualty lists of the war more real than mere figures could do. “At daybreak they start,” said he, “twenty abreast. Until sundown they march, and the next day, and the next, and the next. For ten days British dead pass in review. For eleven days more French dead file down ‘the Avenue of the Allies.’ For the Russians in would require the daylight of five weeks more. Thus, two months and a half would be required for the Allied dead to pass a given point. While the enemy dead would require more than six weeks.” In this four months' march twenty abreast, by men who were actually killed in the war, the writer suggests, a fitting punishment could have been found for the former German Kaiser, provided he were forced to stand at attention and review the stupendous ghastly procession, from the first to the last rank. In the following table, showing men in arms, lives lost, and total casualties of the leading nations involved in the war, the list of killed follows, in general, figures as they were gathered by the New York Evening Post and the New York Tribune, but corrected by such official reports as were issued early in 1919 after the original estimates were made.

Nation Men in Arms Lives Lost Total Casualties
United States 3,764,700 71,700 275,500
Great Britain 7,500,000 658,665 3,049,991
France 6,900,000 1,400,000 4,000,000
Italy 5,000,000 500,000 2,000,000
Russia 14,000,000 1,700,000 9,150,000
Belgium 350,000 50,000 300,000
Serbia 300,000 150,000 200,000
Roumania 600,000 200,000 300,000
Germany 11,000,000 2,000,000 6,068,000
Austria-Hungary 7,500,000 800,000 4,000,000
Turkey 1,500,000 250,000 750,000
Bulgaria 1,000,000 50,000 200,000
Totals 59,414,700 7,830,365 30,293,501

The British total of 658,704 losses did not take into consideration men reported missing and who actually lost their lives, but of whom there was no trace, nor did it account for men who died at the front from sickness. With these additions, the total of British deaths perhaps reached 900,000. The British ships sunk during the war numbered 5,622, of which 2,475 were sunk with their crews and 3,147 with their crews left adrift. Fishing vessels to the number of 670 were lost. The merchant marine service suffered casualties exceeding 15,000 men.


The Sources for This HistoryContentsThe Outbreak and the Causes


1 With Prinzip twenty-two other men had been arraigned at the trial, the evidence at which was never made public. Four were executed, but Prinzip, who was the actual murderer, and Gabrinovitch, who threw a bomb, both being under age, got only twenty years each. One of the other men was sentenced to life imprisonment, one to thirteen years, two to ten, one to seven, and one to three years.

2 Summarized from an address by General Francis Vinton Greene before the New York State Historical Association at West Point in 1915. Printed afterward in The Outlook.

3 Fashoda was a military post which a French officer named Marchand established in 1898, on the White Nile in the Sudan country, where he came into conflict with the British under General Kitchener. The international complications which ensued ended in the French withdrawing from the post. Out of the better feeling between France and Great Britain, which began with this settlement, and especially after the ascension to the British throne of Edward VII., in January, 1901, there came a condition of actual friendliness, that led eventually to the Franco-British Entente, which however, in the larger sense, dates from the Algeciras conference of 1906.

4 “The Diplomacy of the War.” (Houghton, Mifflin Co.)

5 “The European Anarchy.”

6 A Swiss economist, author of “The Ruling Caste and Frenzied Trade in Germany.”

7 “Germany and the Next War.”

8 Among them Amos Kidder Fiske, editorial writer for the New York Journal of Commerce, one of whose articles is summarized here.

9 See, for ideas here set forth on this phase of the causes, George T. W. Patrick's chapter on “The Psychology of War” in his book entitled “The Psychology of Relaxation.”

10 One of these was Count Herman Keyserling, whose reputation was European and whose presentation of the case in The Atlantic Monthly is briefly summarized here. Altho his name suggests a German, Count Keyserling was understood to be a Russian of noble birth, with estates in one of the Baltic provinces.

11 By Arthur D. Howden Smith, in the New York Evening Post in April, 1918.

{12 “The War and the Bagdad Railway.” (J. B. Lippincott Co.)

13 These are set forth here at some length as presented by Gen. Francis Vinton Greene in his West Point address.

14 “The Day!” In allusion to the day when the German fleet would meet the British fleet in battle.

15 Edward P. Bell in the Chicago Daily News.

16 This and several preceding paragraphs are condensed from parts of an article by Alfred C. Gardiner in The Atlantic Monthly for May, 1916. Mr. Gardiner was the editor-in-chief of the London Daily News.

17 The Thirtieth Division was made up of men from the South, and was known familiarly as the “Old Hickory Division.” On coming home in March, 1919, it landed at Charleston, S. C., about the same time that the Twenty-seventh was having its formal welcome home in New York.

18 President Wilson, in his address before Congress, December 2, 1918, two days before he sailed to France to take part in the Peace Congress.