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EARL ROBERTS.

LAST FRONTIER CROSSED.

HiS TRUE METIER.

ONE OF A WORLD’S QUARTET. GRIM DAY AT YPRES. THE ELITE OF TWO ARMIES. [By A. Spence.] From the realm of men and mannequins, from the world of shadows and realities, from the hoof-heats of battle and the. shouting of the captains, from the travail of the nations Frederick Sleigh Roberts—campaigner and crosser of frontiers —ha? crossed the Last Frontier of all.

When history paints his portrait to bang in the hall of warriors, whom will they hang it beside? Not beside Napoleon. The Man of Kandahar is neither greater nor less than Napoleon; Just different—so different that the portraits have hardly a line or a tint in common. Not beside the Great Duke of Wellington, for they arc more different still. Not bosi-Ic Caesar, nor Tnrenne, though Earl Roberts had qualities in common with Tnrenne. Where, then?

One distinguished exclusive place in the galaxy of portraits will surely bs reserved for four, and only four, of tho great ones—for Frederick Roberts, for Hannibal, for Robert E. Lee, and perhaps for Alexander of Maoedon. These lour —the first three certainly—possessed a wondrous gift, rare even in generals. They could pick up an army at short notice, prepared or unprepared, and do something with it. One is duly mindful that Napoleon could do tho same, but he did it regardless of exhaustion of -iroops. The four tor whom history will reserve their own place on the wall could take over an unprepared army, campaign with it, and bring it through in reasonable heart and condition. and Lea were crushed at last, it is true, but only Lv the endless resources of the foe.

“ Linesman,” in one of lus brilliant passages, mentions that the list of thingi which are noted by the man in the street as wanting in this general or that is a large one, am! the Index Expurgatorius of the things he has, and should not have, is no less portentous. This critic calls for business capacity, that for political astuteness, the other for administrative genius. One would have him a military chess player remote from his pieces; another prefers to see, him hard at it with the bring lino “ sharing the perili of his men.” One would hare him s glorified Intelligence agent; another an Addisonian minute-writer; another a great cartographer. All, to be sure, would have him a Hannibal, and, having found the vinegar, feel defrauded when he does not melt the rocks.

Such multitudes of qualities are not combined in one man. The essential oil of generalship does not require that they should. It only requires that there should be some groat point of character greatly developed. Is a supremo driving force wanted ? There is Earl Kitchener. A. genius for organisation? There is Sir William Nicholson. A tactician? Wo have Sir John French. A man of long views? The late Lord Wolseley. A man of wonderfully effective short views? The Duke of' Wellington. A successful breaker of all the maxims in the textbooks? Napoleon. But oven for the best of them this game of war is a desperate gamble in which military reputations are staked, and won, and lost. ‘ hlany a grand general— McClellan, of America, for instance—-has quailed and stayed his hand in the midst of a brilliant plan when ho thought the chances over, so loaded are the dice with which the game of generalship is played. Out of such considerations we may fashion as true an estimate of “Bobs” as ever will be fashioned. How much

- move nn* ert.'idn gamble when tha . genera! knows that the army which ho ' has to take in hand te only partially ' prepared in proportion to the task, and ’ tlm task so pressing that little preparation can l:.c nirdcf Act on mat memoralil- 'lav in D-.ember. 1839, when they (■■ill;.--! Lord Roberts to the Horse Guards ;>n ! askr-d him to assume charge in South Afri ■ —v. bcr,’ vnr io! c.-d a new game, ; »1 i >k-w plavt-r;-. and new instruments, for r.c.v Ktnk"s of appalling heaviness — he v. a= no iomy r than a f*-w minutes in m- kin.i i.,i ims mind. lir,.pa : nied, tic;- late Lord Roberts ■was on.' of ihe -vorld’s first strategists, ju- {- ; • very firm of them. As a t.a* - ’t;.■;-n ';-■ was* gocyi ; r.s an organiser * dr. T; • .-,,:n -<■ of time and new events if a I.’ivir of Oblivion : it. will soon cany il- vthe war i-i gape al new scones 1 rnn.-mrin;; ..1 j its banks, lint no draught, ho-.i-cr Of Lethe. with beaded btibi.;.- v. inkirv: at ike brim.” will caaso il* -'. ci to iorvet the seer who told us ditiniv - . ct c time ago that the probi t t’l-av-iii <■{ Europe must, come (to ir,- r,:vn word.-; “ hy convcrgeacd ol national destiny." CLOSE PEEP AT 42-CENTIMETRE GUN. S'ln.e <iaring «<na has had a close peep at the German 42-ecntimetrc cun. Ho :-aw it. of a ! ! places in the. world, ci the fill of Waterloo, unrl (as he puts it in t'• ■ Eomlon ‘ Tiircs '1 if the spirits of any of the deed still haunt the battlefields one can imagine them marvelling at the.-e most t-rtihic engines of war as tin y w.-ro drage ed by. It ‘terns thr.t thr gun goes to the front in four parts. How these heavy parts roe put togetlie- on tlm lr.itiefkW is not ■-;nlained. Eh ;: t'.art is drawn by three t f uTion engines, and there are threv? s;cire traction cnri’ics to give an extra, Paul 0:1 1 h- bill-. That makes 15 engines to ca *-! 1 coc. D may lie a complimeiit, to Brit is'v engineering, but the man who saw them stales that of the 2ft engines teen all hut two bore the r.ariic-phuc o’ ,*n English firm. THE THIN ALDER'II Oi LINE. Fir Dottgla-s Hai.g anil the two Aidershot divbiojis must have experienced a blof.dv day at A'prc-s last Wednesday. Their opfK.nem* were the Prussian Guard, and. thou.,di I hj" Guard is sometimes treated 01 paper a« a joke, it is a, grim tcoii.m j. when it comes to battle, ’lie-, line troops had been specially bK"mbt no for (lie occasion, just as tht-j were :.t Graved-/te during the »fl«jito«-.f ' t August, 18. 1879. it is curious to now • hat t !•*? very brigades of the Guard—the Ist tni 41 It—which were knocked about so badly on that mentor■o,’.. * :r.-:ifjo;i (they lost nearly their full s’. 1 rcigt !i in 10 minutes) seem to have Milfcivd again. This time they faced tha rifles of the thin Aldershot line. At Gravclotte, in assaulting the village of St. Brival, they faced Canrobert’s scratch eorpts, and were brought to a standstill al a range of 1,500 yards. In th*-- struggle at Ypros the Guard drove home on the British in masses, and, of course, there was the inevitable artillery preparation of the severest kind. The cable states that it was the yet experienced. Perhaps a shell to the yard, accurately ranged, was alighting on tha parapets of the trenches, and ‘‘Tommy’ would certainly have to mind his P’s and Q’e as he rose to fire. No doubt th® trenches were well supplied with head cover. CAPTAINS THAT COUNT. The British line at Yprea was broken at three points. Who reformed it? It must have been none other than the British company captains. It is a boast, by ttosi who know the First Army, that 500 British captains would defeat any equal array of captains drawn from the forces of th® world. On this point I hove no opinion

Ift offer except one. It is contained in the last line of tho cable, which states that "our casualties were heavy." The captains of companies, engaged in reforming the line, and, standing full height to give the gesture of command to the men, could hardly bo missed by bullets flying )ne to the foot cr thicker. They would fall fast. That is the trouble. The Loudon 'Times’ has published an extraordinary Sst of British officers who fell during the nonth of September alone. It was nearly sqnivalent to 40 per cent. At the time that this list was published there was a feeling in. military circles at Home that It would be better to maintain eight fully>fficered divisions on the Continent than lend Mr Churchill's ‘'twenty-five army Jorps” to the shamol-*s. We are. however, sonunitted now to the principle of largo masses, which will have to take their chance, with company officers trained, half-trained, or not trained at all. 'The company and regimental commanders whom ive are losing now can never he replaced. BRAVO. -THE TIMES.’ They sxo felling the London ‘’limes’ tor £9 a copv in Belgium. ‘The limes’ de>erves every penny of it. In a people’s war the first journal in tin* world is giving the people the news to which the people nre bo sorely entitled. And. with all the news which ‘Tho Times’ is giving. *t is not giving away one word from which tho enemy can profit. Military juukerdom must gnash its teeth at ‘The Times’ now and then. Bv the way, the London ‘ Limes’ does not pay much regard to our own little colonial restrictions. In its issue of September 24 it publishes fid' particulars of the first Ans Italian Expeditionary Force, giving particulars of horse, fool, mid guns. It states that Victoria sent 7.400, New Hcuth Wales 6.420. Queensland 2.c81i. South Australia 1.770. Tasmania 1.G.X0. ami go on. Total: 19.779 men. 7.477 horse-, and 70 guns. Why did juukerdom suppress Ihi- news at the Australian cud and allow it to ne published, without, doing tho slightest harm, nt a point so much nearer the seat of war’ Just now there is a colonial force gleaming, let. us say. between Nova Zembla and .Spitsbergen. Every second man yon meet knows where it is. No German raid at sea could possibly molest it- Yet. no one must speak. I once heard a gentleman who ha.d lived many yearn on the’ Continent say ; "Freedom! New Zealand freedom! Why, there, is far more freedom in Russia than there is here.” DIXMUDE OURS AGAIN. After being a week in Herman hands Dixmtido (about 10 miles tram tho coast) passes back into oms. Ihe recapture (effected on Wednesday last) is a severe exposure of the one-sided news. When the Allies first took the place the operation waa described in startling phrase bv Mr Philip Gibb and 31 r Ash mead Bartlett. From their accounts it seemed hav® been a terrible combat. When tin- German got into it we were led I*> nmimtamt that it was of no me men* —it was only a smouldering heap of ruins. Hut. as we learn to-day, soldier.- hot to wade deep through imindati in.s t<> retake* it. Dixmnde is really a. very important place. Why was ifs importance belittled when the Gormans got into if.' OUTRAGES OX TRUTH. Something e.bout reporter of outrages .'ippears elsewhere in this column. The flame which is biting played is apparently ano which will embitter nation against nalion for ever, even when junkers have been inally pushed hack into the wilderness. Wo have one message', which reads: -- i There are signs that the Germans arc instructed to refrain from outrages upon th® Belgians. Several soldiers clgnandsd money from a fanner. He informed the authorities, with the result tl’.al. three or four men were .-eiiteiitvd *, , death. If ever time war. a mc,Min.v to' which th® wrong color has been given this is on ■. The German foraging pat tics have carte blanche to commandeer anything of u.-" far j their armies, but not mcriev. Requisitions in money are for the high r authorities. IE the private soldier vfM-tmvs oil fiat on- I terpriso tho penalty to-day is d ath, jn.-t { as it was in 1870. The phrase about- " th.- : Germans being” instiucted to refrain, et .. I is mere babble. It is their old ::run tale, j carried into force to-day. j ON OUTRAGES. . | A Dunedin professional man writes: “In your notes on Saturday y<> umention two eases of reported mutilation of noncombatants at the hand.- of the Geimans The Nurse Heme tale has been already exposed. A younger sister of this mirsj has been imprisoned in Durnftic* for forging a letter purporting to come from a nursing friend of her eister's at the front. The Judge considered that the n-e waseither one of hysteria on the writer's parlor was tho result of German management. The ‘eight doctors’ story was su'd to have been written to a gentleman in New Zealand from a- doctor brother at a London hospital. After tracing the story through five people 1 have so far not been able to find tile originator. The gentleman j in question has denied that the story was extracted from his brother's letter. 1 enclose a cutting from an American paper which seems to hear the stamp of truth. Though there must be a, great deal of foundation for many of the reports cm this subject, there is no reason why obvious fabrications should be allowed to continue in circulation." AX INSTANCE OF FABRICATION. The cutting enclosed reads as follow.--; ‘Herald’ Bureau,’ No. 1 502 H street. N.W.. Washington, D.C., Saumlay. Stories of maltreatment of Red Cross nurses and other women in the war zone in Europe by different belligerents have been greatly exaggerated, according to information sent to American Red Cro.-e headquarters by George F. Totter, of Chicago, now in London. Mr Torter investigated certain reports of alleged atrocities committed in which Rod Cross nurses were injured or killed. " I was told by an American woman of 40 Belgian Red Cross nurses in a London private hospital, each with a thumb and first two fingers of each hand cm off,” ho said. “With considerable difficulty I obtained the name of the supposed private hospital in Hammersmith, went there and found it a private house belonging to a woman echo was much interested in relief work and had given her house for nursing, preparing gaiments, etc. Shi would not. see me, but I saw a friend of the woman, who also tried to put me off. Tin’.- made mi- in.-istenf, and I finally got an admission from a responsible person whom f knew that the whole story was hearsay and with no foundation. They did ted me, however, of a Belgian nurse' at the St. Thomas Hospital here with the tendons of her wrists cut. 1 went the re inline dif.tely, saw ihe secretary of the hospital. and found there was a nurse there, nut instead of tl it* tendons of Ikt wrist- i being cut she had burned her writes j badly by the explosion of -a -pitit lamp on which she was making i-a. Here waa a typical example of tho way stories are fabricated out of nothing.” THE BEAR IN THE SNOWS.

The lumber of the Russian Hear through Poland dooms faster than of you-, but one must be careful in bending tbu ear to that Evs. 1 here, was an astonishing message t week—viz., that Russian vanguards 1 reached Kalis/, the very heart of the salient. Pushing 3.C00.0C0 "men over the •now is nut easy, especially when the railways have to be rebuilt and great wounds in the bridges healed. We have Ij.cu badly taken in with Ru.-'-iau news before this. 1 or instance, th-.-ro was a paper march on Cracow about the middle of .September. On October 11 all Russian armies were back on the Vistula. Kovv. it is alleged. they are beginning again. TheVilna army is entering on .the /rotten lake region in Last Prussia, and the southern armies are said to have vedettes within 13 miles of Cracow. Either contingency is possible or impossible. The doubtful part is the move on Kalisz. in the centre of the angle. Vienna, it is said, is strongly entrenched, and the bridge of Spitz and others kadirtg north over the Danube are lined with Hvo wires. Food is scarce, and the popular feeling against Germany strong. The Last part will bo quite true. The war, as far as Austria is concerned, never was popular with tho common people. 'Dm scenes at mobilisation have been described tourists. Tho railway, woro.

great sobbing places, ami lift' reservists going to tho front ha<l often to be torn forcibly array from mothers. y>tn - s. and sweethearts. Vienna, however, is in no danger, except from tho Russian cavalry movement through the Caucasus, of which wo have heard nothing for a long lime. CARL LODV AND SOME OTHERS.

Carl Lody. tho spy, has gone to his gra-vu under the concrete in the Tower of London with ;i last reference to his tinal relat ions between himself and his spiritual confessor. Meantime others, who equally deservo condign punishment, escape the platoon. One Melbourne cable says :

The Defence authorities raided several more business places, including the olfit'o of the Norddcutscher Lloyd Company. Mr Hughes. ( Attorney-Genera!) states that. as a result of further investigations. papers have been obtained and additional evidence of an important character has been made available. The High Court, acting under the Trading With Enemies Act, lias appointed Mr Frederick Wilson receiver and manager of the- Continental Rubber Company etc. Receiver and manager! The letter and safer plan would be to pul some of them in juxtaposition to the platoon, and make them receivers-hi-chief. • HOLD ON, MATES I" There is a good story about the Niger which looks tine. A potty officer leaving the .-inking ship noticed the ensign still floating. Ho exclaimed : “ Hold on. mates!" got on board, stripped the ensign, waved a farewell to the Niger, and joined the boats. This is very like tho story told by one of the survivors of the I'ivssy. Wb.n the seuimd .subimo. iue explosion threw a column of water as high as tho top of her masts, and the word wa.s given " Dative, qni pent.” he took off his boots, and slid down deck into tho water. No less than live joined him in holding on to a bit ol wreckage It eculd not keep them all up, so, b.-iug a. good swimmer, he intimated to the oilier lour that he would strike out for himself. He was not rushed with platitudes for his pains. One of tho other quartet—-a Imy--nuvrly said: "All right, cockle !" .MECCA AND A RISK. Mecca, the Holy City, comes up in the cables to-day for about the first time. It seems that pilgrims miring to Egyptcannot get back, and are in distress. Fifty Turkish sailing shins are held up in Egyptian ports. This is a .matter which the long arm of the Foreign Office will deubtless rectify soon, hut till il is rectified it carries an element of risk affecting Moslem feeling. The pilgrim who starves and stints to qualify for tho green turban, by making the pilgrimage will not care for further starvation nenunly because the Unbeliever sou of Sheitau Juts held up the shins. He will be calling -down the terrors of Maunkir and Nakir on things as they stand at present. THE JUNKER'S GAMBLE 'The liuics’ furnishes a message worth attention. Germany, says 'The ’1 lines.' has gambled for .success in France and has la.-.t. she dare not go hack. I ►.•cause the bankrupt! v of the Prussian strategy would bo bare to the- whole world. It would not avail to hold pait of Belgium while. East Prussia and Silesia, are overrun. d ids must not lie read to* literally. Germany is not yet tactically beaten in rEarce ami eßigiui"- -far from it. But she has violated two <>r the four rules of strategy She committed her armies to the offensive, but eve.,-its proved that she was not able- to maintain the offensive. She is also now committed to what, is known as ;r divergent operation—-east and west. THE HOSTAGE DEVICE. The hostage device, so dear to tin* <»erni.nfi, was worked off on them at .Majiing.i, in Madagascar. When tln- Konigsfcerg came into the offing with intention to bombard, her captain w;.- informed that the French commandant- held 20 Germans as hostages, and the guillotine would bo used on them —one head for each shot. It is elated that the Kmig.-bcrg did not stay to argue matters. COUNT SPUE'S FLEET. A telegram from Valparaiso identities the Dresden and Leipzig as row terming part of Count Von Spec's Pacific fleet. There si a. fifth ship to ho accounted for. and she may bo either the N urn berg or the* Bremen. The latter bee once been reported on the Chilian coast, hut the Nurnberg is the more likely one.

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Bibliographic details

EARL ROBERTS., Evening Star, Issue 15651, 16 November 1914

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3,429

EARL ROBERTS. Evening Star, Issue 15651, 16 November 1914

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