George L. (George Lillie) Craik.

The Times history of the war online

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The Battlefield of Europe


WOODWARD & VAN SLYKE, Incorporated,
45 West Thirty-fourth Street

All rights reserved,

Woodward & Van Slyke, Incorporated,

45 West 34th Street,

New York, N. Y.

U. S. A.





I. Political Antecedents to the War 5

II. The Army and Fortresses of Belgium .' 27

III. The German Invasion of Luxemburg and Belgium 43

IV. The German Army and German Strategy 53

V. The German Army— 1870-1914 67

VI. The German Army in the Field 90

VII. The German Theory of War 107

VIII. The British Army 129

IX. The Armies of the Dominions ' 149

X. The Native Indian Army 161

XI. The Hally of the Empire 168

XII. The British Theory of War 178

XIII. The French Army 183

XIV. The French Theory of War 205

XV. The Story of Liege 217

XVI. The German Advance to. Brussels 257

XVII. The First French Offensive in Alsace 283

XVIII. German Conquest of Belgium 297

XIX. The German Advance on Paris: Battles of Namur, Charleroi, Mons 327

XX. The Retreat to the Marne 355




Luxemburg and the Surrounding Country 4

H. M. The King 6

H. M, The Queen '7

Luxemburg 8

The Grand Duchess of Luxemburg 9

The French Ambassador in London, M. Paul Cambon 9

The Empeoror William II 10

Berlin 11

The Late Archduke Francis Ferdinand 12

The Late Duchess of Hohenberg 12

Serajevo 13

The Emperor Francis Joseph 14

The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, M. Sazonoff 15

The British Ambassador in Berlin, Sir Edward Goschen 15

The Emperor Nicholas II 16

Belgrade 17

The King of the Belgians 18

The Servian Prime Minister, M. Pashitch ' 19

The Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Berchtold 19

Map of the Area of The European War 20 and 21

The British Ambassador in Vienna, Sir Maurice de Bunsen 22

The German Ambassador in St. Petersburg, Count Pourtales 22

Metz 23

Bismarck • 24

Von Moltke 25

The German Ambassador in Paris, Baron Von Schoen 26

The French Ambassador in Berlin, M. Jules Cambon 26

Liege 29

General Leman 30

Plan of the Liege Fortresses 31

Belgian Soldiers at Brussels 32

Civil Guards at Antw^erp 32

Count De Lalaing, the Belgian Minister in London 33

Battle Order of Division (Diagram) 35

Pentagonal Brialmont Fort 36

Triangular Brialmont Fort. 36

The Modern Defences of Antwerp 37

Namur 38

Belgian Soldiers in Brussels 39

Belgian Troops 40

The Defences of Namur 41

Antwerp 42

The Reigning Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide of Luxemburg 44

M. Eyschen. The Minister of State for Luxemburg 45

View of Luxemburg 45

The Adolph Bridge and Viaduct, Luxemburg 46

Palace of the Grand Duchess of Luxemburg 47

Belgian Soldiers Sniping from a Bridge 48

View on the Riverside, Luxemburg 49

One of the Incidents Which Impeded the German Advance 50

Belgian Expert Shots on a Fast Automobile Who Were Continually Harassing the

Germans 51

Germans Marching Through a Burning Village 52

The President of the French Republic, M. Poincare 54

Map of Franco-German Frontier 55

The Right Honourable H. H, Asquith 56

Coblenz 57

The Right Hon. Sir Edward Grey 58

The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador in London, Count Mensdorff 59

The German Ambassador in London, Prince Lichnowsky 59

The German Imperial Chancellor, Dr. Von Bethmann Hollweg 60

The Chief of Staff of the Germany Army, General Von Moltke 62

The German Foreign Secretary, Herr Von Jagow 63

The French Pfime Minister, M. Viviani 63



King Peter of Servia 64

The Crown Prince of Germany 65

The Crown Prince of Austria 65

The Crown Prince of Bavaria 68

The Crown Prince of Germany in the Uniform of the Death's Head Hussars 69

General Von Kluck 70

General Von Heeringen 71

General Von Falkenhayn, Prussian Minister of War 72

The Julius Tower, Spandau, where the German War Chest was Stored 73

General Von Emmich 74

German Infantry Marching Through Berlin 75

Field-Marshal Von Der Goltz 75

Officers of the Death's Head Hussars. The Crown Prince in the Centre 76

The Kaiser in Uhlan Uniform 77

A Trooper of the Death's Head Hussars 77

The Alexander Grenadier Guard Regiment, of which the Tsar was Colonel. The Tsar

and the Kaiser in the Foreground 78

Duke Albrecht of Wurtemberg 79

General Ulrich Von Bulow 80

General Von Hansen 81

German Siege Gun 82

German Telephone Rangefinder 84

Germans Taking Observations 84

General Von Einem 85

German Siege Gun in Transit / 85

Map of Territorial Distribution of German Army Corps Areas 86, 87

Colour Sergeant, Alexander Grenadier Guard Regiment 88

General Von Hindenburg 88

German Siege Howitzer 89

Herr Krupp Von Bohlen und Halbach 91

New German Bomb-Gun 91

Bomb-Gun Ready for Firing 91

German Military Motor Car. Gun in Position for Firing at Aeroplanes 92

General Von Moltke, Chief of the Great General StaflF of the German Army 93

Prince Von Bulow 94

Uhlans 95

Corps (Diagram) 96, 97

German Field Battery 98

The Prussian Goose Step 99

German Military Motor Car, Armed with a Krupp Gun for Firing at Aeroplanes 99

Concealed German Artillery 100

Members of the German Red Cross Corps 101

German Transport 102

Fortifications of the Rhine Frontier 103

German Field Post-Office 104

Prince of Lippe 105

German Infantry Celebrating Sedan Day in Berlin 105

General Gallieni, Military Governor of Paris in 1914 108

General D'Amade 109

The Kaiser Instructing His Generals 110

General de Castelnau HI

German Field Artillery 112

German Medical Corps and Field Kitchen Crossing a Pontoon Bridge 113

Phases of a German "Envelopment" Movement (Diagram) 113

German Infantry About to Attack 114

A Cuirassier with Carbine 114

German War Rocket Photography 115

German Cavalry Taking Up Positions 116

In the Krupp Works at Essen 117

French Fortress Artillery. Charging a 95 mm. Gun 118

French Fortress Artillery. Officers watching effect of fire 118

French Armoured Train Car. The upper picture shows the Observation Tower raised.. 119

French Mobilization. Drawing up Orders in a Railway Car 120

French Heavy Artillery 121

General Bonnal. The Eminent French Strategist 121

M. Messimy. French Minister for War at the Outbreak of Hostilities 122

French Fortress Artillery — 22 cm. Mortars 122

A View of the Battlefield' Near Sezanne 123

Part of a Battery of 155 mm. Remailho Q.F. Guns 123

A French Infantryman Showing Modern Equipment 124

French Officer Instructing His Soldiers Before Going Into Action 124

French Infantry in Action 125

Corps Deployment (Diagram) 125

Zouaves Working Mitrailleuse 126

French Mountain Artillery 126

A French Gun Travelling over Rough Ground 127

H. R. H. The Prince of Wales 128

Field Marshal Earl Roberts 131

Brigadier-General H. H. Wilson 132

General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien 134



Major-General Allenby I34,

Field Marshall General Sir John French I35

Major-General Robb 136

Major-General Pulteney 136

General Sir Ian Hamilton I37

Lt.-General Sir Douglas Haig I37

Brigadier-General Sir Philip Chetwode I39

View of Salisbury Plain I39

Army Motor Cyclists 140

London Scottish Rifles 141

Make up of a Division (Diagram) 142

60-Pounder in Action I43

Irish Guards I43

Dublin Light Infantry I44

Queen's Own Oxford Hussars 14t

General Sir Charles Douglas I45

Gordon Highlanders I45

A Maxim Gun on New Tripod 146

Cavalry Division (Diagram) 146

Major-General Sir Archibald Murray 147

British Troops at Havre 148

Fifth Lancers 147

Canadian Troops, The Queen's Rifles 149

Australian Commonwealth Horse 151

Hon. Samuel Hughes, Canadian Minister of Defence 151

New Zealand Mounted Rifles 152

The Governor-General's Bodyguard (Canada) 152

Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada 153

The Hon. T. Allen, New Zealand Minister of Defence 151

Group of all Units, Cape Colony 154

The Hon. E. D. Millen, Australian Minister of Defence 155

The Right Honourable Sir Edward Morris, Premier of Newfoundland 156

The Newfoundland Naval Reserves , 156

General the Hon. J. C. Smuts, Minister of Defence Union of South Africa 157

Type of Canadian Soldier, Lord Strathcona's Corps. 159

Map of the World, Showing British, French and German Possessions 162

Typical Gurkha Rifles 163

Group of Indian Officers, with Orderlies, etc., and British StaflF Officers in mufti 164

Indian Cavalry: a Typical Sowar 165

Group of Mohammedan Officers and Men, Lancers and Infantry 167

A Veteran Subada-Major of the 45th Rattray's Sikhs 168

H. M. The King 171

Sir Pertab Singh, the Veteran of the Indian Expeditionary Force 172

Lord Hardinge of Penshurst, Viceroy of India 173

The Marquess of Crewe, Secretary of State for India 173

The Maharaja of Mysore 174

Field-Marshal Earl Kitchener, Secretary of State for War 176

Major-General Sir Charles Fergusson, Commanding 5th Division 178

Major-General Snow, Commanding 4th Division 178

General Sir Henry Hildyard, late Commander-in-Chief in South Africa 179

Major-General Sir William Robertson, Director of Military Training 179

Vickers' Latest Qulck-Firer. Firing 600 rounds per minute 180

A Vickers 75 mm. Gun 181

General Joffre 184

Generals Joffre, Castelnau (Chief of Staff) and Pau 185

M. Etienne, a former Minister of War 186

M. Millerand, the French Minister of War 186

General Pau 188

General Percin 189

General Michel 189

A Mitrailleuse on the Back of a Mule 190

Plan of the Maubeuge Fortresses 191

A Group of Zouaves 193

Transport of a French Heavy Gun 193

French Troops Marching Through Paris 194

Huy 194

Plan of the Lille Fortresses 195

Plan of the Belf ort Fortresses ' 197

Belgian Scouts on the Battlefield of Waterloo 198

Republican Guards in Paris 200

Dinant 201

Map of France, showing the Territorial Distributions of the French Army 202, 203

Concentrated Attack (Diagram) 206

French Soldier with New Service Equipment 206

French Artillery. A 75 mm. Gun en route 207

French Artillery Crossing a Road 208

French Artillery. Placing in position a 75 mm. Gun 209

French Patrol Guarding Railway Line 210

Zouaves 211

French Cyclists' Company 212



"Lozenge" with first corps used as strategic advance-guard (Diagram) 213

"Lozenge" formation and its uses (Diagram) 214

French Motor Ambulance 215

General Chevenet, Military Governor of Belfort 216

Liege 218

Liege 219

Steps Leading Up to the Forts, Liege 220

General Leman. The Gallant Defender of Liege 221

The Queen of the Belgians 223

Where the Germans Are Said to Have First Crossed the Meuse 224

The Church at Vise 225

Bravo, Belgium ! 227

Place St. Lambert and Palace of Justice, Liege 228

Square of the Virgin, Liege, Before Bombardment 239

Church of St, Jacques, Liege 230

The Cloisters, Palace of Justice 231

A Ruined Street in Liege 232

Effect of German Shell Fire 233

Left Side of the Famous Bridge at Liege 234

Right Side of Bridge at Liege 235

Map of Liege and the Surrounding Country 236, 237

One of the Famous German Siege Guns 238

Mounting of the Gun Shown Above 238

Dismantled Cupola 239

German Soldiers Standing on One of the Overturned Belgian Guns 240

Ground Surrounding One of the Liege Forts 241

The Liege Forts 242

Effect of Firing on Cupolas 243

No. 1 — Cupola raised for firing. No. 2 — Cupola lowered (Diagram) 244

Another Type of German Gun — Siege Howitzer 245

One of the Forts at Liege After Bombardment 246

Another View of the Ruined Bridge 247

German Soldiers Marching Through Liege 248

German Sentries on the Banks of the Meuse 249

General Wonters and his Aides-de-Camp 250

Belgians Loading a Gun 251

Belgian Soldiers 252

Inside a Belgian Trench 253

An 11-inch German Mortar 254

Belgian Soldiers Firing at a Passing Aeroplane 255

Namur, from the Meuse, before bombardment 258

A Belgian Look-out Man 259

German Field Kitchen Captured and Used by the Belgians 260

Belgian Soldiers Having their Mid-day Meal 261

Belgian Soldiers Firing from Cover 262

German Shells Bursting in a Field near the Belgian Position where Infantry were Con- *

cealed 263

The Last Stand Made by the Belgians at Louvain 264

Germans Holding a Review in Ruined Louvain 265

The Church at Haellen 266

The Village of Melle 267

German Soldiers Tending the Wounded 268

Priest Assisting the Wounded after the Battle of Hofstade 269

Homeless 270

German Troops Resting After the Fighting at Vise 271

Belgians Driven from their Homes 272

German Troops Having their Mid-day Meal in the Grande Place, Brussels 273

Belgian Airmen 274

German Infantry in the Square at Brussels 275

Map to Illustrate the German Advance to Brussels 276, 277

German Troops Outside the Bourse, Brussels 278

M. Max, Burgomaster of Brussels 279

Count Von Arnim, who was Military Governor of Brussels 279

A Common Sight in Distressed Belgium: Villagers Flying from the Approaching

Germans ^^^

Destitute Belgians 281

Map to Illustrate the French Operations in Alsace 282

Panoramic View of Mulhausen 284

Altkirch, Looking Towards Saint Morain 285

A Train of Wounded at Nancy 286

View of Nancy from the Hotel de Ville 287

Colonel Von Renter, who supported von Forstner 288

Return of Colonel Von Renter's Notorious Regiment to Zabern 289

Lieutenant von Forstner of Alsace ^^^

The Citadel at Belfort *J^

Captured German Guns in Belfort ^^^

The Famous Military Monument at Belfort ^^"^

A Typical View in the Vosges ^

Generals Joffre, Michel, Gallieni, and Pau -^^

Belgian Soldiers on the March



Fugitives on the Road 299

Louvain. General View after Bombardment 300

Bridge over the Meuse. Showing the Destroyed Centre 301

Dinant. As it Appeared before Bombardment 303

Dinant after Bombardment. Remains of the Famous Church and Bridge 303

Refugees on the Road between Malines and Brussels 304

Namur. The Citadel from the River 305

Louvain. Sanctuary of the Cathedral. A Priest is Seen Standing by the Ruins of the

Altar 306

The Last Supper, by Dierck Bouts. In the Church of St. Pierre, Louvain 307

The Martyrdom of St. Erasmus, by Dierck Bouts 308

Louvain. Ruins of the Vestibule of the Library 309

Louvain. The old Church of St. Pierre before its Destruction 310

Louvain. The Church of St. Pierre as the Germans left it. The Hotel de Ville on the right

was practically Uninjured 311

Destruction of Louvain 313

Louvain, Destruction in the Rue de Namur 314

Louvain. Remains of part of the University buildings 315

Louvain. Interior of the famous Library before its Destruction 316

Malines. Removing a Picture by Van Dyck to a Place of Safety 317

Malines Cathedral. The Famous Carved Pulpit ; 318

Malines. Interior of Cathedral 319

St. Rombaut, Malines 320

Malines Cathedral. Window destroyed by German shell 321

The Crucifixion, by Van Dyck. In the Church of Notre Dame, at Termonde 321

Malines. The Old Brussels Gate 322

Termonde. The Railway Bridge 323

Belgian Soldier Standing on the Ruins of Bridge 323

Termonde. Re-occupied by the Belgian Soldiers 324

Termonde. Scene of Destruction 325

Hotel de Ville, Lierre 326

Royal Marine Light Infantry Arrive on the Continent 328

A Section of the Royal Flying Corps at the Front 329

British Troops at the Front 330

Earth works for Infantry Defence. (Diagram) 331

A Belgian Cart Drawn by Dogs 331

German Prisoners Captured by the British 332

British Field Gun 333

Meaux from the River Marne 334

A British Outpost 335

Entrenching n 60-Pounder Gun 336

British Artillery on the March 337

A Railway Wreck 338

A French Red Cross Train Derailed and Precipitated into River 339

German Officers in an Elaborate Splinter-proof Entrenchment 340

British Soldiers in the Trenches 341

German Infantry Advancing 342

A German Sheltered Trench 343

British Wounded Awaiting Removal to Hospital Base 344

British Wounded being Conveyed to a Hospital Train 345

Map. The Second Part of the British Retreat from Mons 346, 347

Wanton Destruction Caused by German Soldiers in a Chateau near Malines 348

Interior of Barcy Church Wrecked by the Germans 349

Maxim Section on the March 350

British Soldiers Fixing a Machine Gun in Position 351

Night Fight in the Street of Landrecies 352

English Position at Mons. (Diagram) 353

The Graveyards of the Battlefields 353

French Heavy Guns in a Village Near Arras 355

After a Battle 357

Paris. For Defensive Use Trenches were Dug 358

Saving the Guns in the Action at Compiegne 359

French Army on the March in the Champagne District 360

Remains of a German Motor Convoy 361

Map to Illustrate the First Part of the British Retreat from Mons 362

Steinhauer. The Kaiser's Master Spy 363

Maubeuge. A Cupola Fort after Bombardment 364

French Wounded Soldiers Detraining and Boarding a Hospital Ship 365



THIS book marks the beginning of what will probably be for many years the
most comprehensive and authoritative history of the Great War. Interest-
ing as is the present volume, "The Battlefield of Europe," the subsequent
volumes, recording various dramatic phases of the war, are likely to be even more

Pre-eminent as a gatherer and interpreter of news, and thoroughly competent
to deal with historical subjects, The Times, of London, is the institution that would
reasonably be expected to produce the one great history of the most stupendous
struggle the world has ever seen.

The average size of The Times each week-day, not counting the many and
elaborate supplements on a variety of subjects, is twenty full pages. According to
the pressure of news, the number of pages varies from fourteen to thirty-six. Ex-
pansion beyond the latter number is considered by the publishers impracticable,
because the capacity of the reader has its limitations. The mechanical facilities of
the paper, however, are so complete that it would be easy to go beyond the thirty-
six-page limit. Each ten pages of The Times contains about as much reading mat-
ter as the ordinary standard novel of 90,000 to 100,000 words. Thus every day
the reader of The Times is offered an average amount of matter equivalent to
two complete novels ; and a thirty-six-page issue contains as much reading as three
and a half novels. In a single recent year The Times with its supplements printed
the equivalent of more than seven hundred novels.

The chief importance of the paper, however, is by no means in its physical size,
but rather in its far-reaching ability to gather the news of the world, and the high
standards maintained by its numerous editors and correspondents. These consid-
erations give the paper its extraordinary influence throughout Europe, and re-
cently lead a Berlin journalistic authority to write, in commenting upon the recent
sixty-four page special number of The Times, celebrating its forty thousandth
issue: "With this number The Times has proved once more that it continues to
hold its place at the very head of all newspapers" ("dass sie noch immer an der
Spitze aller Zeitungen steht").


The vast editorial work of The Times is of necessity divided into departments,
each with its own staff, and each as independent of the others as the various units
of an army in active service. To quote a recent commentator on this subject:
"The Editor is the commander-in-chief, and with his assistants, secretaries, sub-
editors and leader writers (who constitute the headquarters staff), he inspires and
controls the general conduct and policy of the paper. Since to write to The Times
became the chief refuge of the aggrieved Briton, in every part of the world, the
Editor has received an ever-increasing volume of correspondence." Much of this is
handled by the various departments, but a great deal is handled at headquarters.
Although many letters are published, they represent so very small a proportion
of those received that i\. is something of a distinction to have an unsolicited com-
munication accepted for publication.

Besides the various editorial staffs and the special departments responsible
for the supplements. The Times has fourteen distinct editorial departments,


namely : Foreign, Military, Naval, Home News, Parliamentary, Law, Police, Sport-
ing, Court and Personal, Ecclesiastical, Dramatic, Art, Finance, and Commercial
and Shipping.


The Foreign Department of the London Times has been famous since the
foundation of the paper in 1785. Nelson's great naval victory over the French and
Spanish fleets off Trafalgar in 1805 was first announced in the columns of The
Times. Its dispatches from the field of Waterloo, June 18, 1815, announced the
downfall of Napoleon several hours before the regular couriers reached the Gov-
ernment officials in London. The amazingly outspoken letters of the brilliant war
correspondent, William Howard Russell, bitterly criticizing the conduct of the
Crimean campaign, when Great Britain with her alhes was pitted against Russia,
exemplified the extraordinary independence and overwhelming influence of The

When the Congress of Berlin, which included delegates from Germany, Austria,
Russia, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Turkey, was in session, under the presi-
dency of Bismarck, the famous London Times correspondent, de Blowitz, was the
chief figure among the European correspondents of the day. Possessing sources
of information more complete than most of the rulers and diplomats with whom he
daily came in contact, he was in the habit of supplying to his paper intelligence
of the most valuable description. One of his most notable achievements, said to
be without a parallel in the history of journalism, was the publication in the Lon-
don Times on July 13, 1878, of the text of the Treaty of Berlin a couple of hours
before it was signed by the congress of ministers in Berlin. This same de Blowitz
of The Times held the key to a multitude of state secrets and is credited with hav-
ing averted a second Franco-Prussian war in 1875.

During one year, 1898, the foreign intelligence of The Times cost about
$250,000. A single cable message, on the subject of a revolution in Argentina cost
$6,000. During the Boer War The Times supphed its readers with war dis-
patches from some twenty-four correspondents.

Although The Times is celebrated for the reliable and brilliant work of its
own correspondents, yet, as a well-informed writer has pointed out, "part of the
business of the editorial organization of every newspaper nowadays is to make the
best possible use of the invaluable assistance which the various news associations
and press agencies place at its disposal. The Times subscribes for the service of
some two score of such associations. . . . To the brains of the members of the
paper's own staff, therefore, must be added the brains of all the vast and highly
efficient army of contributors to each of these associations.

"The strength of The Times has, of course, always rested, hardly less on the
great ability of its successive editors, on the excellence of its corps of contributors
which has been organized with so much judgment and so laboriously built up, but
the work of this corps is in these later days supplemented and, as it were, but-
tressed at every point by the work of the correspondents of all the news associa-
tions. And when it is considered that each one of all these thousands of workers
is in his degree a trained writer and a trained observer and interpreter of news —
each one a man of parts and education — it is probably safe to say that there is no
other institution in the world, no department of any government which needs and
is daily fed by so great a volume of talent of so high an order.

"The Times has naturally, in its long career, built up a large and valuable
library. This is reinforced by a special intelligence department in which fifteen
persons are constantly at work filing, cataloguing and indexing information on a
multitude of subjects for the use of the staff. Moreover, the complete file of The
Times itself is a reference library of the greatest value. The history of The
Times begins with the history of modern Europe. It has been said that "no con-

Online LibraryGeorge L. (George Lillie) CraikThe Times history of the war → online text (page 1 of 43)