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IX, Tours; X, Rennes; XI, Nantes; XII, Limoges; XIII,
Clermont-Ferrand; XIV, Lyons; XV, Marseilles; XVI,
Montpellier; XVII, Toulouse; XVIII, Bordeaux; XIX,
Algeria; XX, Nancy; XXI, Epinal.

A brief calculation will reveal the unusual volume of
traffic involved in the general mobilization in France. We
shall deal approximately with the larger masses of the first-
line army without going into minor variations and excep-
tions. We may begin with a computation of the problem
of conveying the army corps to the front, the third in the
series of movements enumerated above. Freight and pas-
senger cars — as generally throughout the continent — were
employed indifi^erently, as might be gathered from the
familiar device on the outside of the former : — Hommes 36
{-40), Chevaux 8. In view of the vastly superior number
of freight cars available we can scarcely assume that the
average accommodation per car for cars of all kinds was
more than forty men. The French regiment on a war
footing numbers 3000 men, and would require, therefore,
two trains of about forty cars each. The eight regiments
of infantry of an army corps would fill sixteen trains and
would require two other trains for such equipment as
wagons, portable field-kitchens and machine-guns, together
with the officers and their horses. As for the artillery, a
flat-car is required for each standard field-piece with its
caisson. The twelve batteries, — each of four guns, — which
make up a regiment, require forty-eight cars. But the

British KxpeiiiticiiKiry Fnivf; :i reginiriil of Higlilaiuicrs marcliitig tlirmiijh Koulogne.

The Mobilization of Military Forces 453

men, horses, parks, munitions, and other equipment bring
the required rolling stock for the artillery regiment up to
five trains, and that for the three regiments forming the
complement of the army corps to fifteen trains. About
two hundred cars are generally required for the horses of
a single cavalry regiment and a train for the men. But
the larger part of the cavalry regiments are not directly
attached to any corps. The special services require from
ten to fourteen trains for every corps.

Our calculation has been based upon the minimum re-
quirements in rolling stock for an ideally economical em-
ployment of space. In reality about seventy trains were
required for the conveyance of the normal units of each
army corps as expanded to a war-footing. There were
twenty-one army corps. But in time of war, as was shown
above (page 303), only the youngest reserves were incor-
porated with the existing regiments, the others formed
new units practically doubling the number of regiments.
We have to reckon, therefore, with the numerical equiva-
lent of forty-two army corps of the first-line, which would
require about 3,000 trains on the basis of the above calcula-
tion. But the transportation of the army corps, after their
mobilization had been accomplished, from their head-
quarters to the front represents not more than a third of
the actual service performed by the railways, reckoned on
the basis of the number of trains in operation, for the first-
line troops alone. If we add the transportation of the
reservists to their regimental depots, and that of the regi-
ments to the places of concentration of their respective
army corps, we may conclude that the mobilization and con-
centration of the first-line troops alone involved the running
of about 10,000 trains within the period of twenty days.

Besides this the British Expeditionarj^ Force was conveyed
from the ports of disembarkation, Calais, Boulogne, Havre,

454 The Great War

and Saint-Nazaire, to Mons in about eight days, August
12-20, an operation which involved the running of about 420
trains continuously day and night. For about a vv^eek the
military trains on the Northern Railway (Chemin de fer du
Nord) followed one another at intervals of six minutes.

The headquarters of the German army corps were as
follows: I, Konigsberg; II, Stettin; III, Berlin; IV, Magde-
burg; V, Posen; VI, Breslau; VII, Munster; VIII, Co-
blentz; IX, Altona; X, Hanover; XI, Cassel; XII, Dresden;
XIII, Stuttgart; XIV, Carlsruhe; XV, Strassburg; XVI,
Metz; XVII, Dantzig; XVIII, Frankfurt-on-the-Main ;
XIX, Leipzig; XX, AUenstein; XXI, Saarbriick; I, Bava-
rian, Munich; II, Bavarian, Wiirzburg; III, Bavarian,
Nuremberg; Prussian Guard, Berlin.

The service performed by the railways in Germany was
even greater than in France. The German railways requi-
sitioned for military purposes are subject to the orders
of the military authorities in regard to the regulation of
traffic. A General Inspector of Communications and Rail-
ways is appointed on the outbreak of war, who takes the
place of the Chief of the General Staff in relation to the
railways and determines the general principles for their
administration. A Military Railway Chief issues the in-
structions for the control of the service. Line-commanders
superintend the execution of the military dispositions on
the respective lines committed to their charge. Schedules
for the operation of the railways during the transportation
of the troops are kept constantly in readiness in time of
peace. They provide for the running of the greatest
number of trains which each line can accommodate. The
Military Railway Chief decides how many of these trains
shall actually be put in operation. Whenever mobilization
is ordered the date is inserted in the time-tables which are
ready at hand and they are immediately posted up in the

The Mobilization of Military Forces 455

stations. The speed of the military trains usually varies
from about fifteen to twenty miles an hour. For con-
venience the twenty-four hours of the day are divided
into six periods of four hours each. The trains are timed
at uniform intervals throughout the day, except that one
of the six periods is left vacant to allow for delays in the
operation of the trains as arranged in the schedule for
the other five periods.

The actiial operation of the trains within the field of
military movements may be taken over by the military at
the order of the General Inspector of Communications
and Railways. In this case a special traffic manager is
appointed, or a military railway directorate with a director
at its head, to whom an adjutant and a staff physician are
assigned. The manager — or the directorate — has charge
of the operation of the lines under his supervision. This
official takes rank as a regimental commander.

Mobilization in Germany, as in France, found hundreds
of thousands of people away from home for their summer
holidays. Nearly all were immediately impelled by the
desire to return without delay, before communications
should be interrupted. The regular time-tables seem to
have remained in force during the first two days of mobi-
lization, the military schedule taking effect on August 4th.

It is said that 120 trains, each composed of fifty-five
cars, were required for the conveyance of each army corps
to its designated position at the front. The greater appor-
tionment in cars and trains, as compared with that for the
French army corps, might be explained in part by the
larger number of horses and guns, and the more exten-
sive special equipment of the German army corps. But
perhaps the above-mentioned assignment provided like-
wise for the reserve division which corresponded to each
army corps.

456 The Great War

After a few days, civilians were admitted, so far as there
was room, to the military local trains, four or five of which
were operated daily in each direction on the main lines at
a speed of about fifteen miles an hour. Enormous quan-
tities of baggage clogged the channels of communication
at the principal railway centers. About 120,000 pieces of
baggage had accumulated at the leading stations of Berlin.
All these were eventually cared for, even the articles be-
longing to English and French travellers being faithfully
sent forward through the neutral countries.

An exceptional attention for about 5,000 Americans was
a number of special trains, known as A}nerika7ierzuge, made
up of corridor and restaurant cars, which carried the trans-
Atlantic guests to Holland for their homeward sailing.
Circulars were distributed in these trains leaving Berlin
containing the farewell greetings of the Fatherland, an
ostensibly trustworthy account of the causes of the war
for dissemination in America, and the prediction that the
victorious issue for German arms would soon afford an
opportunity for the resumption of business and profitable
residence in Germany.

Day and night the loaded troop trains passed in almost
unbroken succession in Germany, thundering over the
bridges and disappearing into the tunnels. The soldiers on
their way to the front were greeted with boundless enthu-
siasm and abundantly provided with food and drink by
eager throngs wherever they stopped. But gradually as
the troops departed into the mysterious distance of uncer-
tainty and peril, a grim, expectant silence settled over the
country, ominous of the terrible energy of approaching
action. The movement of the armies was shrouded in im-
penetrable concealment. The plan of campaign and even
the identity of the chief commanders remained for the
time a secret. Reservists hurried from the embrace of

The Mobilization of Military Forces 457

relatives and friends to an unknown destination and un-
known dangers. For a time the German people resigned
not only all control, but even all knowledge, of their des-
tiny. They were in the situation of the passengers confined
below on shipboard during a great storm, who can only
trust blindly in the judgment of the officers, being igno-
rant alike of the extent of the danger and of the measures
taken for their safety. The strict suppression of all infor-
mation brought ample compensation, no doubt, in the
success of the initial operations.

Whatever our attitude may be with respect to the sup-
posed utility or justification of war, whether we regard it
as sublime or detestable, we shall probably not withhold
our highest admiration for the several mobilizations in
general, and for the German in particular, considered for
itself, as the most stupendous organized movement of men
and utensils which the world has witnessed, the supreme
triumph of human ingenuity, the marvellous culmination
of a plan of which all the parts, elaborated to the smallest
detail with tireless industry, have been combined with un-
failing amplitude of vision. The most ardent German
Jingo and the most inoffensive pacifist will perhaps agree
in the wish that this wonderful phenomenon will never be


Despatch from the British Ambassador at Berlin
Respecting the Rupture of Diplomatic Rela-
tions with the German Government

(It is in this confidential tetter that the ambassador relates the "scrap of paper" incident.}

Sir E. Goschen to Sir Edward Grey.

Sir, London, August 8, 1914.

In accordance with the instructions contained in your
telegram of the 4th instant I called upon the Secretary of
State that afternoon and enquired, in the name of His
Majesty's Government, whether the Imperial Government
would refrain from violating Belgian neutrality. Herr von
Jagow at once replied that he was sorry to say that his
answer must be "No," as in consequence of the German
troops having crossed the frontier that morning, Belgian
neutrality had been already violated. Herr von Jagow
again went into the reasons why the Imperial Govern-
ment had been obliged to take this step, namely, that they
had to advance into France by the quickest and easiest
way, so as to be able to get well ahead with their opera-
tions and endeavor to strike some decisive blow as early as
possible. It was a matter of life and death for them, as if
they had gone by the more southern route they could not
have hoped, in view of the paucity of roads and the strength


460 The Great War

of the fortresses, to have got through without formidable
opposition entailing great loss of time. This loss of time
would have meant time gained by the Russians for bring-
ing up their troops to the German frontier. Rapidity of
action was the great German asset, while that of Russia
was an inexhaustible supply of troops. I pointed out to
Herr von Jagow that this fait accompli of the violation of
the Belgian frontier rendered, as he would readily under-
stand, the situation exceedingly grave, and I asked him
whether there was not still time to draw back and avoid
possible consequences, which both he and I would deplore.
He replied that, for the reasons he had given me, it was
now impossible for them to draw back.

During the afternoon I received your further telegram
of the same date, and, in compliance with the instructions
therein contained, I again proceeded to the Imperial For-
eign Office and informed the Secretary of State that unless
the Imperial Government could give the assurance by 12
o'clock that night that they would proceed no further with
their violation of the Belgian frontier and stop their advance,
I had been instructed to demand my passports and inform
the Imperial Government that His Majesty's Government
would have to take all steps in their power to uphold the
neutrality of Belgium and the observance of a treaty to
which Germany was as much a party as themselves.

Herr von Jagow replied that to his great regret he could
give no other answer than that which he had given me
earlier in the day, namely, that the safety of the Empire
rendered it absolutely necessary that the Imperial troops
should advance through Belgium. I gave his Excellency
a written summary of your telegram and, pointing out
that you had mentioned 12 o'clock as the time when His
Majesty's Government would expect an answer, asked him
whether, in view of the terrible consequences which would

Appendix 461

necessarily ensue, it were not possible even at the last
moment that their answer should be reconsidered. He
replied that if the time given were even twenty-four hours
or more, his answer must be the same. I said that in that
case I should have to demand my passports. This inter-
view took place at about 7 o'clock. In a short conversa-
tion which ensued Herr von Jagow expressed his poignant
regret at the crumbling of his entire policy and that of the
Chancellor, which had been to make friends with Great
Britain and then, through Great Britain, to get closer to
France. I said that this sudden end to my work in Berlin
was to me also a matter of deep regret and disappointment,
but that he must understand that under the circumstances
and in view of our engagements, His Majesty's Govern-
ment could not possibly have acted otherwise than they
had done.

I then said that I should like to go and see the Chan-
cellor, as it might be, perhaps, the last time I shou'-^ lidve
an opportunity of seeing him. He begged me to do so.
I found the Chancellor very agitated. His Excellency at
once began a harangue, which lasted for about 20 minutes.
He said that the step taken by His Majesty's Government
was terrible to a degree; just for a word — "neutrality," a
word which in war time had so often been disregarded —
just for a scrap of paper Great Britain was going to make
war on a kindred nation who desired nothing better than
to be friends with her. All his efforts in that direction
had been rendered useless by this last terrible step, and the
policy to which, as I knew, he had devoted himself since
his accession to office had tumbled down like a house of
cards. What we had done was vinthinkable; it was like
striking a man from behind while he was fighting for
his life against two assailants. He held Great Britain
responsible for all the terrible events that might happen.

462 The Great War

I protested strongly against that statement, and said that, in
the same way as he and Herr von Jagow wished me to
understand that for strategical reasons it was a matter of
life and death to Germany to advance through Belgium
and violate the latter's neutrality, so I would wish him to
understand that it was, so to speak, a matter of "life and
death" for the honor of Great Britain that she should keep
her solemn engagement to do her utmost to defend Bel-
gium's neutrality if attacked. That solemn compact sim-
ply had to be kept, or what confidence could anyone have
in engagements given by Great Britain in the future? The
Chancellor said, "But at what price will that compact have
been kept. Has the British Government thought of that?"
I hinted to his Excellency as plainly as I could that fear of
consequences could hardly be regarded as an excuse for
breaking solemn engagements, but his Excellency was so
excited, so evidently overcome by the news of our action,
and so little disposed to hear reason that I refrained from
adding fuel to the flame by further argument. As I was
leaving he said that the blow of Great Britain joining
Germany's enemies was all the greater that almost up
to the last moment he and his Government had been
working with us and supporting our efforts to maintain
peace between Austria and Russia. I said that this was
part of the tragedy which saw the two nations fall apart
just at the moment when the relations between them
had been more friendly and cordial than they had been
for years. Unfortunately, notwithstanding our efforts to
maintain peace between Russia and Austria, the war had
spread and had brought us face to face with a situation
which, if we held to our engagements, we could not possi-
bly avoid, and which unfortunately entailed our separation
from our late fellow-workers. He would readily under-
stand that no one regretted this more than I.

Appendix 463

After this somewhat painful interview I returned to the
embassy and drew up a telegraphic report of what had
passed. This telegram was handed in at the Central Tele-
graph Office a little before 9 P.M. It was accepted by that
office, but apparently never despatched.*

At about 9.30 p.m. Herr von Zimmermann, the Under-
Secretary of State, came to see me. After expressing his
deep regret that the very friendly official and personal
relations between us were about to cease, he asked me
casually whether a demand for passports was equivalent to
a declaration of war. I said that such an authority on
international law as he was known to be must know as
well or better than I what was usual in such cases. I
added that there were many cases where diplomatic rela-
tions had been broken off and, nevertheless, war had not
ensued; but that in this case he would have seen from
my instructions, of which I had given Herr von Jagow a
written summary, that His Majesty's Government expected
an answer to a definite question by 12 o'clock that night
and that in default of a satisfactory answer they would be
forced to take such steps as their engagements required.
Herr Zimmermann said that that was, in fact, a declaration
of war, as the Imperial Government could not possibly give
the assurance required either that night or any other night.

In the meantime, after Herr Zimmermann left me, a
flying sheet, issued by the Berliner Tageblatt, was circu-
lated stating that Great Britain had declared war against
Germany. The immediate result of this news was the
assemblage of an exceedingly excited and unruly mob
before His Majesty's Embassy. The small force of police
which had been sent to guard the embassy was soon over-
powered, and the attitude of the mob became more threat-
ening. We took no notice of this demonstration as long

* This telegram never reached the British Foreign Office.

464 The Great War

as it was confined to noise, but when the crash of glass
and the landing of cobble stones into the drawing-room,
where we were all sitting, warned us that the situation was
getting unpleasant, I telephoned to the Foreign Office an
account of what was happening. Herr von Jagow at once
informed the Chief of Police, and an adequate force of
mounted police, sent with great promptness, very soon
cleared the street. From that moment on we were well
guarded, and no more direct unpleasantness occurred.

After order had been restored Herr von Jagow came
to see me and expressed his most heartfelt regrets at what
had occurred. He said that the behavior of his country-
men had made him feel more ashamed than he had words
to express. It was an indelible stain on the reputation of
Berlin. He said that the flying sheet circulated in the
streets had not been authorized by the Government; in
fact, the Chancellor had asked him by telephone whether
he thought that such a statement should be issued and he
had replied, "Certainly not, until the morning." It was
in consequence of his decision to that effect that only a
small force of police had been sent to the neighborhood
of the embassy, as he had thought that the presence of a
large force would inevitably attract attention and perhaps
lead to disturbances. It was the "pestilential Tageblatt,"
which had somehow got hold of the news, that had upset
his calculations. He had heard rumors that the mob had
been excited to violence by gestures made and missiles
thrown from the embassy, but he felt sure that that was
not true (I was able soon to assure him that the report had
no foundation whatever), and even if it was, it was no
excuse for the disgraceful scenes which had taken place.
He feared that I would take home with me a sorry impres-
sion of Berlin manners in moments of excitement. In fact,
no apology could have been more full and complete.

Appendix 465

On the following morning, the 5th August, the Emperor
sent one of His Majesty's aides-de-camp to me with the
following message: —

" The Emperor has charged me to express to your Excellency his regret for the
occurrences of last nighl, but to tell you at the same time that you will gather from
those occurrences an idea of the feelings of his people respecting the action of
Great Britain in joining with other nations against her old allies of Waterloo. His
Majesty also begs that you will tell the King that he has been proud of the titles of
British Field-iSIarshal and British Admiral, but that in consequence of what has
occurred he must now at once divest himself of those titles."

I would add that the above message lost none of its
acerbity by the manner of its delivery.

On the other hand, I shovild like to state that I received
all through this trying time nothing but courtesy at the
hands of Herr von Jagow and the officials of the Imperial
Foreign Office. At about 11 o'clock on the same morn-
ing Count Wedel handed me my passports — which I had
earlier in the day demanded in writing — and told me that
he had been instructed to confer with me as to the route
which I should follow for my return to England. He said
that he had understood that I preferred the route via the
Hook of Holland to that via Copenhagen; they had there-
fore arranged that I should go by the former route, only I
should have to wait till the following morning. I agreed
to this, and he said that I might be quite assured that there
would be no repetition of the disgraceful scenes of the
preceding night as full precautions would be taken. He
added that they were doing all in their power to have
a restaurant car attached to the train, but it was rather a
difficult matter. He also brought me a charming letter from
Herr von Jagow couched in the most friendly terms. The
day was passed in packing up such articles as time allowed.

The night passed quietly without any incident. In the
morning a strong force of police was posted along the usual

466 The Great War

route to the Lehrter Station, while the embassy was smug-
gled away in taxi-cabs to the station by side streets. We
there suffered no molestation whatever, and avoided the
treatment meted out by the crowd to my Russian and
French colleagues. Count Wedel met us at the station to
say good-bye on behalf of Herr von Jagow and to see that
all the arrangements ordered for our comfort had been
properly carried out. A retired colonel of the Guards
accompanied the train to the Dutch frontier, and was
exceedingly kind in his efforts to prevent the great crowds
which thronged the platforms at every station where we
stopped from insulting us; but beyond the yelling of
patriotic songs and a few jeers and insulting gestures we
had really nothing to complain of during our tedious
journey to the Dutch frontier.

Before closing this long account of our last days in Berlin
I should like to place on record and bring to your notice
the quite admirable behavior of my staff under the most

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