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HISTORY OF THE

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HISTORY

OF THE

WORLD
WAR

FRANK H.SIMONDS





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75






HISTORY OF THE

1 WORLD WAR







PREFACE

The World War, entering its thirty-fourth month, as these Hnes are writ-
ten, has had three distinct phases, both on the mihtary side and on the larger
and more significant human side. The three military phases are supplied by
the Marne campaign and its immediate consequences; the Russian campaign,
with its Balkan episode and its Verdun ending; the Allied offensive in the
west, which began at the Somme in July, 1916, and is still proceeding before
Arras and along the old Aisne battlefield.

In the Marne campaign Germany sought a complete triumph by a swift
and terrible thrust at France, the only one of her foes then in any sense pre-
pared for war. Her thrust was parried at the Marne and permanently blocked
at the Yser and at Ypres. Thereafter she had to turn east and restore the fail-
ing fortunes of Austria and protect her own imperilled marches.

In the Russian campaign Germany sought to dispose of Russia, as she had
endeavoured to dispose of France in the Marne campaign. Immediate success
escaped her in this field. Despite terrible defeats and long retreats, Russian
resistance was not broken, although the Russian Revolution, now the main
factor on the eastern front and unmistakably a consequence of Russian defeat,

vi



PREFACE



vu



gives to the German campaign of 191 5 a value that was not perceived at the
time. What the permanent value will be remains problematical. But as she
had to turn east, with her western task incomplete m 1914, Germany had,
after a brief and glorious campaign on behalf of her Turkish ally, to return west
in February, 1916, and seek at Verdun what she had not attained on the
Marne. Her failure there cost her the initiative and condemned her to the
defensive.

The campaign which opened at the Somme is still proceeding. Since they
began their attack on July i, 1916, the Allies have steadily, if only slowly,
pushed the Germans back and the recent victory of Arras demonstrates that
the British army has at last reached a high state of efficiency, while there are
signs, far from conclusive to be sure, of a decline in German morale. At all
events, the Germans remain on the defensive and the end of this third phase
has not come.

Looking now to the broader horizon, it will be perceived that here, too,
there are three aspects. In its inception, in the hrst months of battle, the
conflict still seemed to men, not alone of neutral nations but of involved
nations, one more war, greater and more terrible tlian all past wars, but a war
comparable to them in origin and purpose.

But as the struggle progressed, it brought more and more clearly to the eyes
of men of all nations, save those of Central Europe, the truth that the German
attack was something more than a bid for world power; comparable with that
of France under Napoleon or Louis XIV, of Spain under Charles V. It be-
came clear that Germany was not attacking armies or nations alone, but also
the whole fabric of our common civilization and all the precepts and doctrines
of humanity, which represent the slow progress up-
ward from barbarism.

The invasion of Belgium shocked the whole world.
The crimes committed by German soldiers in Belgium
and northern France, crimes not belonging to the
order of excesses incident to war, but crimes ordered
by commanding officers for the deliberate
purpose of terrifying a helpless population
and disarming men by the brutality practised
upon women and children, these slowly but
surely inclined the balance of neutral opinion
against Germany. At first these brutal and
bestial crimes onlv gave new heart and new
determination to the nations directly as-
sailed, but in the end they earned for Ger-
many the condemnation of neutral nations
the world over.




viii PREFACE

In its third phase there came, together with the growing anger and detesta-
tion of German violence and the clearer perception ot the danger of Germanism
to all civilization, the recognition that the war was, after all, one more stand
of autocracy against democracy, that in its essence the German thing, already
become abominable in the sight of all the non-German world, was the final
expression of militarism, which had its origin in caste and Crown; that the
" Superman " was only the old tyrant in a new disguise.

In this stage we have seen the Russian Revolution and the entrance of our
own country into the war. The clearest definition of the war, as it is now seen
everywhere save in the Central Empires, has been supplied by the President
of the United States in that document which determined in fact, if not tech-
nically, American enlistment.

In succeeding volumes I shall endeavour to set forth the development of this
world verdict upon German purposes and German methods. In the present
volume, I have sought merely to outline the events preceding the war and the
first campaigns in the struggle. Not until the first phase was completed had
the real character of German menace been established, save in the minds of
the French and Belgians on whose soil German armies had written their his-
tory of shame. Not until the war had entered its second phase was there
apparent that spirit which was to dominate the councils and arm the spirit of
the nations allied against Germany. Not until that hour was it to take
on, consciously, in the minds of millions, the character of a crusade, a concerted
defence of civilization against a new barbarism, which combined the science of
the head with barbarism of the heart, the weapons of the Twentieth Century
with the spirit of Attila.

And, conversely, when the war did take on this new character it became
something different from all wars of which we have trustworthy record — a war
fought not for territorial gain or battlefield success, but a war fought between
two ideas, two conceptions of life, of civilization, of humanity; two faiths, of
which there can be room for but one in this world, since each is utterly destruc-
tive of the other.

lardily, perhaps, but completely in the end, we in America, far removed as
we are from the European world, have perceived the issues of the war. Instinc-
tively the mass of men and women, the plain people of the
United States, like those of Britain and France, have prevailed
over the wisdom of politicians and the doubts of statesmen.
Late, but not too late, the nation which had Lexington and
Concord in its own history, recognized that neutrality was im-
possible when a new battle for democracy was going forward.
And almost at the same moment there has been heard, broken
as yet and uncertainly, a new voice in Germany, repeating some-
thing of the words that now fill the world outside of the Central




PREFACE ix

Empires Whatever be the outcome of the war, at least it is certain now that
even German things will never be again what they were when Prussian mili-
tarism crushed Belgium under an iron heel and German necessity thrust its
bayonet through international good faith and common humanity.

My acknowledgments are due both to the French and to the British Gov-
ernments and General Staffs for the courtesy which permitted me to visit their
armies and their battlefields, among others the Marne, Nancy, Champagne,
and the Somme, escorted by officers who explained the actions, and for the
kindness and frankness with which they supplied all information at their dis-
posal. To the interest of the President of France I owe my opportunity to
visit Verdun and to meet General Petain during the great battle, and to Field-
Marshal Sir Douglas Haig I am indebted for the chance to see the British army
and to meet its Commander-in-Chief just before the battle of Arras and to
look eastward from Mont St. Eloi at Vimy Ridge, soon to fall to Canadian
valour. Nor should I fail to acknowledge here my gratitude to General Dubois,
Governor of Verdun, who twice welcomed me to his ruined city and permitted
me to visit Fort de Vaux, newly reconquered from the German Crown Prince.

On one other point I desire to make an explanation; the absence of any dis-
cussion of naval operations from my narrative is not due to any failure on my
part to appreciate the greatness or the importance of the work performed by
the fleets, and in an overwhelming majority of cases by the British fleet, but
to the fact that it was agreed at the outset that the history of the naval opera-
tions of the war should be written for a later volume. The subject is of too
great importance to be crowded in the space at my disposal in this volume.

In the years that have followed the outbreak of the war, during which I
liave been writing steadily about its progress, I have made too many mistakes
and been too frequently in error not to appreciate the limitations of the present
volume. It represents merely an effort to interpret fairly and to an American
audience the earlier incidents in the world struggle, hitherto mainly explained
to Americans by commentators belonging to nations already at war who have
reviewed the campaigns horn the perspectives of belligerents, and have natur-
ally paid small attention to the point of view of the citizens of a nation sepa-
ated by its history, by its long neutrality, and by the expanse of the ocean from
the conflict.

In so far as I have been able, I have striven to make this book an American
comment upon a world war, and no one can be more conscious than am I of its
limitations.

Frank H. Simonds.
Upper Montclair, Neiv Jersey,
May I, 1917.




CONTENTS



R



PART I




Preface By Frank 11. Simcnds ...

Introduction By Dr. Albert Shazv

CHAPTER I

EUROPE BETWEEN 1871 AND 1904

I. The First Years. Germany under Bismarck — Franco-Russian Alli-
ance — Italy joins the Central Powers — Great Britain's splendid isola-
tion — France — The race for colonies. II. A New Kaiser and a
New Policy — Bismarck's colonial failure — A new Germany — Indus-
trial expansion — The Kaiser's dream of empire — Germany vs. Eng-
land. III. England and France Draw Near. The failure of the



VI



x.wii



CONTENTS xi



PAGE




Kaiser's policy — Fashoda. IV. The Conven-
tion OF 1904. The "iron ring" — Anglo-French
understanding — Germany's change of policy . 3

CHAPTER II

FROM TANGIER TO ARMAGEDDON ^ ■

I. Tangier, The First Gesture. The opening
of a new era — Delcasse — The question of sea
power — The Kaiser at Tangier — France bows.
II. Algeciras — A German Defeat. Germany and Austria stand
alone — Great Britain's stand — Great Britain, France, and Russia
united — Growth of German hatred against England. III. After
Tangier — The New France. France awakens — Great Britain's
apathy. IV. The End of the Concert of Europe. Italy draws
away from Germany. V. Bosnia, the Second Gesture. Eng-
land and Russia d.raw close — The Young Turks — Austria annexes
Bosnia — Russia protests — Germany intervenes. VI. Agadir — the
Third and Last Time. The Moroccan crisis — The Panther —
Great Britain supports France — Germany compromises. VII. A
German Disaster. The Kaiser blamed for the Moroccan failure —
Germany prepares — France and Russia follow suit — "When.''" — Eng-
land misreads the signs — Turko-Italian war. VIII. The First
Balkan War. The Turks defeated — The division of spoils. IX.
The Conference of London. Its failure. X. The Second
Balkan War. The Bulgarian defeat — A blow to Pan-Germanism —
The Rise of Serbia. XI. Bukharest and After. The question of
nationalism — Serbian menace to Austria — Italy refuses aid to Austria
— Russia vs. Austria — The loss of German prestige — ^Armageddon . 12

CHAPTER III

THE TWELVE DAYS

I. The Assassination of the Archduke. Result of Pan-Slavic prop-
aganda — A month of calm — The Austrian ultimatum — A challenge
to Russia — The new crisis II. The Austrian Case. The Pan-
Slav menace — Austria's misrule of the Slavs — Her right to self-preser-
vation — Serbia's position — Austria and Russia natural enemies — The
conflict inevitable. III. Sir Edward Grey. Fails to grasp sig-
nificance of situation — Invasion of Belgium supplies moral issue.



Xll



CONTENTS



IV. The Austrian Ultimatum. Diplomatic interchanges of the
Powers — Austria declares, war on Serbia — Russia mobilizes — Ger-
man\- declares war on Russia. V. Germany's Course. Almost in-
evitable under the circumstances, for which she was largely responsi-
ble — She must fight or surrender. VI. Britain and Germany.
Britain's reasons for entering war — France and Germany VII. Sir
Edward's Dilemma. The Powers bid for British support — Theprob-
lem of Belgium — Of British and French fleets — Belgium invaded.
VIII. Belgium Decides TO Fight England stands by the "scrap
of paper" — Triple Entente becomes a triple alliance — Italy proclaims
her neutrality — Bismarck's work undone. ,

CHAPTER IV



40



THE GERMAN ATTACK

The Two Strategical Conceptions. Decided to crush France
quickly, and then assail Russia. II. The Belgian Problem.
French frontier strongly fortified — Switzerland both strong and
difficult — Belgian route chosen for military reasons — German plans
broken by "The Maine" — ^Abandoned after Battle of Flanders.
III. French Str.'\tegy. Germany's general plan correctly forecast

■ — Understanding with Russia — Plans for
Franco-German frontier — No decisive
battle till all should be ready — Strategical
retreat deceived Germans — Results of Tan-
nenberg — Aims of the contestants —
Franco-Russian plans fail through lannen-
berg — Great importance of the Marne
Battle



CHAPTER V

BELGIAN DEFENCE AND
FRENCH OFFENCE




I. Liege. Strategic import-
ance — Fortresses and plans
for defence — Belgian mobili-
zation — German heavy artil-
lery before Liege — The
city taken — Then the forts



78



CONTENTS xiii

PACE

— Moral effect on England and France. II. Belgian "Battles."
Skirmishing behind the Geete — Haelen — English and French support
fails — King Albert retreats on Antwerp before Kluck and Biilow —
Kluck occupies Louvain and Brussels — Namur collapses before
Billow's guns — Namur a real disaster. III. The Moral Value.
German plans carried out — Allies underestimated German numbers
and power of German guns — Gallant Belgium victorious in defeat —
Invasion of Belgium costs Germany good wdl of neutrals. IV.
French Beginnings — Muhlhausen. French plans — Their mobili-
zation well carried out — The first thrust — Miihlhausen taken, lost,
retaken. V. Morhange — the First Disaster. The destined
arena near Nancy — Armies of Heeringen and the Bavarian Crown
Prince — Battle of Morhange, or Metz — French broken — Their field
artillery outranged — Foch's "Iron Corps" — Retreating French
rally, save Nancy, and later drive back Germans. VI. Neuf-
chateau and Charleroi. Ruffy and Langle de Cary meet German
Crown Prince and Duke of Wiirtemberg in the Ardennes — French are
driven back before German artdlery — Ihey stand fast beyond the
Meuse — Lanzerac defeated at Charleroi by Biilow — French retreat
becomes general, but there is no demoralization. VII. British
Disaster. Joffre's plans altered — The British in great danger —
Kluck's attempt to "run around the end." VIII. The Great
Retreat. Tardiness of Field-Marshal French — A retreat by ex-
hausted troops — Smith-Dornen's plight — Five days and nights of
fighting and marching — The Marne a French battle. IX. Joffre's
Last Plan. French army retreats before German thrust through Bel-
gium — Germans think retreat a rout — Joffre has situation well in hand 86

CHAPTER VI

THE BATTLE OF THE MARNE

I. September 5. What the French did at the Marne — Joffre's aims —
He offers Kluck a chance at Paris — Kluck refuses bait. II. Kluck
Turns Southeast. Thinks French are beaten — Exposes flank
to Maunoury — Gallieni informs Joffre — Joffre plans offensive — Issues
famous order — Role assigned to Maunoury — Role assigned to General
French. III. British Failure. General French's delay permits
Kluck's escape — British had small part in battle — Maunoury struck
in time — Prepared way for Foch's decisive blow — General French
failed like Grouchy. IV. The Battle of the Ourcq. Maunoury
attacks Kluck — Story of battle five days long — Inaction of British en-




xiv CONTENTS

PAGE

ables Kluck to withdraw after almost win-
ning. V. La Fere-Champenoise. Billow
facing D'Esperey retires with Kluck — Ger-
mans resolve to drive back Foch, at French
centre — Foch, outnumbered, is driven back
— Borrows a corps from D'Esperey —
Launches drive at Prussian Guard — The
Guard's hne, stretched too thin, is cut —
Foch launches a general attack — Prussian
Guard and Hansen's army routed. VL
Langle de Gary and Sarrail. Langle
de Gary withstands army of Wiirtemberg
for three days, behind the Ornain — Sarrail, near Verdun, resists all
attacks of Crown Prince's army — Parts played by various armies —
Foch's blow decisive. VIL The Consequences. Numbers en-
gaged — Losses — French outnumbered — French over-estimated vic-
tory — Germans under-estimated defeat — Marne kills German hope
of short war — Germans stand at Aisne and entrench — Comparison
with Franco-Prussian War — German aims upset by "Miracle of the
Marne." VIIL The Second Battle of Nancy. Crown Prince
of Bavaria and General Ileeringen try to cut French line — Castel-
nau repulses attacks with great slaughter — This battle really a
phase of Marne struggle — Finished long before The Marne ended.
IX. Tannenberg. Franco-Russian plans for invasion of East
Prussia worked well — Kaiser calls Hindenburg — He engages army
from Warsaw — Hindenburg's artillery wins at Tannenberg — The
other Russian army retires — Tannenberg a great victory — It saved
Germany, as The Marne saved France 115

CHAPTER VII

DEADLOCK IN THE WEST

I. The Battle of the Aisne. After the Marne — French plans — German
army defeated but not routed — The British in the German retreat —
German plans — They neglect to seize sea coasts — Moltke replaced by
Falkenhayn — German offensive at St. Mihiel — French turning move-
ment, west of the Oise — Kluck halts Generals French, Maunoury and
D'Esperey at the Aisne — Biilow halts Foch near Rheims — Wiirtem-
berg and the Crown Prince in the Argonne — Threatened envelopment
of Verdun — JofFre fails to get round German right. II. The Race to
the Sea. General shifting of armies — Trench deadlock, Noyon to



CONTENTS



XV



Nancy — Active front shifts to Flanders — French aims — German aims
— "Calais" — Churchill's blunder. III. Antwerp. The appeal to
neutral sympathies — Antwerp's strategic importance — Belgians im-
pede Germans — Louvain — Siege of Antwerp — Mechanic vs. engineer
— 42-centimetre guns — Antwerp, evacuated, surrenders — Ostend
falls — British danger. IV. The Battles of Flanders. A deadly
blow aimed at England — Many races engaged — The Yser region —
Belgians first engaged — Aid from British fleet — Belgians open sluices
at Di.xmude — "Golden Lads" of Brittany — Ypres — Strategy dis-
appears in the death grapple. V. Checkmate. French and Belgians
win on the Yser, the British at Ypres — Terrific losses — Death of Lord
Roberts — Another victory for Foch — Definite failure of German plans
— Germany must turn to Russia — Deadlock on west front



149



CHAPTER VIII

THE EASTERN FIELD

I. Russian and German Purposes. East Prussian field becomes less
important — Russians defeat Austrians at Lemberg — Consequences —
Russian aims — Germany tries to save Austria — ^The drive at Warsaw
fails — Germans, detained in Russia, allow French and British to pre-
pare — But British need more time. II. Turkey's Entrance. Mili-
tary effect — Political causes — Anglo-Russian rapprochement — Ger-
many replaces England as Turkey's friend — British naval blunder
allows escape of Gocben
and Breslau . . . .175

CHAPTER IX

THE BATTLE OF LEMBERG

I. Russian Mobilization.
Exposed position of Po-
land — The Bobr-Narew-
Niemen barrier — Russian
plans — Two armies enter
East Prussia — One is
beaten at Tannenberg —
Three armies against
Austria — Ivanoff to hold
Austrians south of Lublin




xvi CONTENTS

r\r,E

— BrusilofF, released by Roumanian neutrality, joins Russky for main
thrust. 11. Austria's; Plans. Russian speed and strength under-
estimated — Aims of the two Austrian armies — One stands before
Lemberg — The other approaches Lublin — Situation on all the fronts.
III. Lemberg. An eight-day battle — Brusiloff breaks the Austrian
centre — IvanofF drives back Dankl — Lemberg a great Austrian dis-
aster — Important consequences igi

CHAPTER X

WARSAW

I. Conditions of the First Bid. German strateg\- — Need to divert
Russians from Galicia — Capture of Warsaw possible — Comparison
with Early's raid on Washington. 11. At the Gates of Warsaw.
Rapid advance of Hindenburg's two armies — Russian concentration
also rapid — Hindenburg before Warsaw — His orderly retreat — Efi^^ects
of his threat — Russians diverted from Galicia — But only for a short
time. III. Lodz. Hindenburg's second effort — Turns the Russians'
flank — First Russky, then Von Francois, seems lost — But both es-
cape — Germans win battle and reenter Lodz — Deadlock on Polish
front. IV. The Third Bid for Warsaw. Russians press on toward
• Cracow, even after defeat at Lodz — Hindenburg strikes again — Hin-
dered by bad weather, he fails — Deadlock again. V. Serbia Trium-
phant Again. Serbia defeated Turks inigij — ^Thenthe Bulgarians —
Then the Austrians at Jedar — But Austrians take Belgrad in Decem-
ber, 1914 — Serbia seems lost — Austrians needed against Cossacks —
Serbia rallies — Belgrad retaken 200

CHAPTER XI

NEW HORIZONS AND NEW GERMAN PROBLEMS

I. New Year's, 1915. Germany's political problems — Problems of sea
power — Germany's isolation. II. The Military Problem. Ger-
many's plans failed in 1914 — ^Austria shaken by defeat at Lemberg —
Territorial gains and losses — Colonial losses — Germany's herculean
task. III. Italy. Clamours for Italia Irredenta — Italy's hopes with
Allies — She joins them eventually, despite Dunajec. IV. Roumania.
Ambition of Roumanians — Their conflicting sympathies — Roumania
follows Italy. V. Austria. Her domestic racial troubles — Their
effect on German policy 223



CONTENTS xvii

CHAPTER XII
ON THE EAST FRONT TO THE BATTLE OF THE DUNAJEC

PAGE

In the Caucasus. Germans send Turks against Russians in the Cau-
casus — English position in Egypt and at Suez strengthened — ^Turks
beatenintheCaucasus. II. Layingthe Roumanian Peril. Hungary-
threatened — Germany warned — She makes demonstration against
Roumania — Drives back Russians — German loan to Bulgaria — In-
cursion into Serbia. III. The Battle of the Masurian Lakes.
Russians strike again at East Prussia — Geographical conditions — Hin-
denburg drives back Russians. IV. Przemysl. Russian siege
successful — Russia takes 130,000 prisoners — ^This success of the Allies
followed by many reverses. V. The Battle of the Carpathians.
Review of Carpathian operations — Struggle at Dukla Pass — Russia
brought to a halt — Her burden too heavy 241



CHAPTER XIII

IN THE WEST, NOVEMBER, 1914, TO MAY, 1915

The Problem. Germans very near success in the west in November —
Hopes and aims of both sides — Hopes of neither reaHzed — British
military failure during first year — Little help for Russia from the west.



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