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THE CHANCES., Issue 15655, 20 November 1914
MUST GERMANY NOW LET GO? JEST BY 'LE TEMPS.' REALITY OF THE WARFARE. FRANCE & BELGIUM. GERMAN TEETH DUG DEER [By A. Spence.] It was roses, roses thrown by French women, roses all the- way, when " Tommy "' marched during his first, days on th© Continent. It seems to bs all machine guns
now. In one of lik prophetic passages "Linesman " said : " One. dares not hint to the murderous genius who conceived the murderous machine gu-'.i how ho may carry murder further forward. No doubt he :.i ; in private life, i very estimable, lawabiding, church-going, peaceable man, with his murderous genius—a, very Frankenstein—for ever with him. Poor fellow. Some day, in some war of Europe, the machine gun may have its day ou.t, as the maxim had at Omdurman, and let us hope that the illustrated paper men will refrain from photographing the results, for the wounds inflicted will be terrible past thought. A battalion smitten by the machine nun will not be wounded a. little or wounded a. lot; it will be ALL wound." "Linesman"' was right. War has given the machine gun a new cachet more terrible than ever. In the eense in which the other Si eat Powers understand the theory of infant! y, Germany has no infantry at all. She has merely a certain number of soulless automata, marching usually in three ranks, and these open the way for the machine gun. When the moment comes these milks divide, and the machine gun is rapidly pushed through, often covered with twigs :iiid greenery. And when it comes it comes, not by twos or threes, but by hc ore?. The poor infnmtry tactician plumes himself if he can establish a shooting iino at 600 yds. equivalent, in density to one bullet to the yard In his opinion lie has then created what the hooks call the "'impassable zone of fire." The machine gun commanders are more bloody men. They specialise in a bullet to the inch. Both sides are playing that came now. The German use, of machine guns at. the start of the war caused a shock of surprise. That surprise, is over. Ir, was 4C hours, foot, to foot, at Ypres last week, and the French soldier who gives us bus version of it says that it was impossible to describe such a hell. The French 75 millimetre mitrailleuses mowed down whole battalions of Germans. These mitrailleuses would be everywhere in the trenches. The green-grey German blocks would come .it ths double, shouting as the eGrman soldiers alwavs do. and then pitch forward in heaps, to lie for ever. Dixmude. as w e see from the news, is a Genu an necropolis. The Allies have their own dead to b-.ny, though they say nothing about it. THE JEST OF ' LE TEMPS.' Jester-; abound, even on the borderland of Death, for what would the pour, sad world do without its joke? ' Le Temps' furnishes the joke to-day, and the joke is all the more diverting since it is put no solemnly. Let the Fumes correspondent of 'Le Temps' come forward and give it his own way : Although it is impossible to give details. 1 am in a position to state that the Germans have been crushed. They are now completely exhausted, and will soon lie driven out of France. Christmas will be celebrated with joy by all the Allies, and especially by Russia. It is a pity that a few more convincing details were not thrown in. but ' Le Temps' says th.it that is "impossible." Probably it is. Such details as we do know are that Von Klnck still holds a series of mighty artillery position? from Lille south to Compiegnc. More formidable plateaux for suns dot the valley of the Aisne east to Verdun and past it. In Belgium the Duke of Wurteniberg's depth of attack is still deep. Concrete trenches have been completed on the field of Waterloo. Whnt part Russin will play in the nromispd Christmas inhibitions may be dc- : fcrred for consideration till the time when ' some of her seven armies close on the fortress of Thorn and on the fortress of Cracow. Some time since wo had word that a French military export thought that the war would Vie n war of six phases, extending on to 1917. The third pha-c would ! be the, exnuNion of the Germans from PelI jjinpi. and this would end by December. Considering that every barn and canal in Belgium lias to he foujht for—taken, retikcn, mid once more taken and retaken hv the skilful use of reserves —the period allotted does not leave the Allies much time for a mighty job. I have never been able to figure this < on flirt out as a long war—a war of years —but I think that we mav be fnirly refill ti that the Germans will hang veiv ten.i- : c'ouslv to Belgium in puvs'innre of Pla.i ! Xo. 2. If Plan Xo. I—the advance on Paris—had succeeded, thev would probably have let most of Belgium co, contenting themselves with the rrfortification of the Mouse. Tt m., only after Plan Xo. 1 went to pieces at the Marne that they committed themselves to such n divergent operation .is the reduction of Antwerp. YPRK*—THE TTTTRT) PHASE. It is hard to -ay when the battle of j Ypres began. We were never told, but | perhaps October 12 may not he far out. It has therefore been raging for 39 days, largely in snow, sleet, and slush. An eyewitness states that the bloody repulse of the Prussian Guavo bv the British artillery and the Black Watch cannot be described as decisive, but it po-sibly marks the culmination of the second stage. Tha selection of the Guard for the assault certainly indie.itiK that a supremn hinw iw; intended, and since things turned out n« they did on November 11 the. Guard will \ be a very wonderful Guard if if does not i now feel itself in need of a. spell. As fur I as we know, only the Ist and 4th brigades of the corps were «ent in, and the=e only represent about one-eighth of the total block of Guards. They may Le still ready in go forward again ; but, if not, the "' Iron Corps"' of Brandenburgers may be called for the third phase at Ypres. There is some speculation in this note, but it is the view which the military mind would form. The words given us by the "eye-witness" look very like the bold Roman hand of Colonel Reppington or of Colonel Alsaager Pollock. There are no shrewder judges in the world of a military situation. As was forecasted in these notes lone ago, the phases of tho battle of Ypre/s will be preceded by one concentration of artillery after another. The Paris communique- to-day tells that " the enemy's artillery are showing increased activity on the nortbarn front, particularly between the sea and the Lys There wo have the beginning of the third phase. The poors Belgians must be good swimmers as well as good fighters by this time. Thev are in the flooded area, and the 'Tefcgraaf' says that they are using steel boats. These boats, arc probably an English gift—perhaps pinnaces sent aEhore by the feet. , URGENT CALL AGAIN. Whatever may be doing in Belgium gen- i erally there is some urgent call for assist ance from the sea, regarding which the ! Censor grants us the usual news. What naws we do receive comes as a side-lino
houses of Middlekerke. Hcrw the Germans occupied them, and how 1,600 Germans were laid low hy British cannon, is told. What has to be noted is that some portion of the British fleet has been called urgently to these dangerous shores again. That sea bombardment has not been heard of since October 22 or October 25, and, as we know, Britain was employing more than monitors. As solid a proposition as the battleship Venerable has been used. BRAVO THE BAKTAMSt
Earl Kitchener is going his own wise way to get recruits. He has sanctioned the formation of a new battalion to be known as "The Bentanis," the height* ranging from sft to sft sin. And why not? Why not give the little good man "his chance 1 The rifle Is as formidable in the hand, of a boy as it is in the hand of a giant. For my own part, I would like to see a battalion of jockeys formed, for the resource and pluck and "head" wihch guide these great-littla men through their races would meet the heavy bulldog Prussian Guard, and meet it ch'eerfully. To watch such a spectacle in the North Island races as little Deeley and little Grav bringing home the winner through the crush in the straight at Awapuni, or Trentham, or Otaki is a sight never to be forgotten. At the beginning of the war a number of boys employed in the great French stables at Compiegne found themselves out of work. Perhaps the. new bantam battalion will catch their eye now. THE DONEGAL MINES. Irishmen in Dunedin were sore to-daj over the story of the Donegal mines, saw to have been laid by Irish fishing smacks. Be of good cheer. Irishmen! When w« get at the facts we may find that some Prussian "Von'' has been operating iu Ireland under the name of O'Grady, or w« may find, as we found in the case of the mutilation of NuTse Hume, that there is nothing in it. The melancholy reflection is that the story should have been given out to the world in its present vague, unsifted form, engendering enmities which were better dropped in these sore days. The Earl of Moath "hinted" at it in the Hcuse of Lords. If it were not such a far eiy from here to England one would like to suggest to his lordship that this is tho day of realism, and "hints" are totally out of place. THE RUSSIAN NUMBERS. Yesterday we were given to understand that the Russians have seven armies, totalling 5.500,000. The number, though probably high, does not seem unreasonable. The wonder lies in another direction. Such a host, commanded by seven generals, roughly means 500,000 men per general. It would be interesting to hear what the staff work is like now, true as the news may be. The old military supposition was that no one man could command more than 150,000 and keep sane. The new development of staff activities has, however, made these huge commands possible. It may not be out of place to mention that this 1 vast expansion of sing'e commands is du-i 'to none other than our own Sir John i French. He was the first general in the j world, actively engaged, who saw the great j loie which might" be suitably assigned U | a general staff, and the Continent copied i him. j VON KLUCKS FORESIGHT. More Landsturmers are being railed tu ; Belgium. This bears out the message yesterday that railway communication with Holland had been interrupted, indicating a heavy concentration of rolling stock at Aix-la-Cbapelle. This may be interpreted as one more preliminary for the third pha>rt ;at Ypres. Contemporaneously, the Geri man defensive measures between Bruges ' and Courtrai are going on. It is one bow ' with two strings. What expenditure in blood will ultimately turn Germany out of i Belgium leaves the imagination lost in the I fog of conjecture. More definite news is that General Von Khirk inspected the north of France last j car, and noted tho country and the .pa<-i-'es. The visit of such a highly-placed geneial to France would att.-act attention, but there would be no means known to civil Taw which could stop him from coming and seeing. We now learn that the retreat after the Marne was to "take up the originally designed positions." At ths time of the battle we heard that the German reC'Mgrade movement was fast but very orderly. So ail indications point one way. The German teeth are deep in France 1 . FAREWELL, THOSE RUSSIANS. We must, it seems, finally give up the belief that Russian troops were despatched from Archangel, railed through Britain and Mnt on to Belgium. The Briti<=l I'ndei-.Sc rei-u-y of War has informed the Ibe:-.j of ( ominous that there is nothing in it. The wo.rder is how the hundreds of tourists end other's in Britain came <o ••e tli r-c Pi'ssians, and how scoies of ]ettei- received in Dunedin from friends m Scotland still assert that Russian troop* landed at Aberdeen. GROWING MORE MODEST. When the first casualty list for the Emden was published—2oo killed and 50 wounded—-the remark was made in these notes that it probably constituted the record destruction of gun stations in any ship-to-ship engagement. Since tho news came that 150 of the Emden's crew hav<> been lauded at .Singapore and 40 have gon : away in the, schooner Ayesha, we see the same old familiar cable fraud, and the Censor fraud again. The Emder. had a crew of ."21. and those, believers in the Censor, or Lord Xorthcfiffe, or the Sydney Miurce'. who have a taste for arithmetic w iJ) rind it pastime in figuring out matters. ]t i= not the first time that the public have been bought and sold. JAUNT UP THE BALTIC. Some jaunt up the Baltic has beer, carried out by the, fourth sauadron of the German Hign Stia fleet, or part of it. Among other deeds they offered Russ'i the j (front of throwing shots into Jmr chief Baltic naval base—Port Alexander 111., at Libau. Naturally, the petroleum resenoir wa- selected as first target. Heavy firing is reported in the vicimty of the island of Gothland. Just now the Russian Baltic fleet is not strong enough to face the German Fourth Squadron, bu?, it will not. be long before matters aro evened. Four :rtt-.:nr«i. of the Dreadnought type were laid down in the Nevr. yards years ago, and muit now be finishing in the basins at Kronstadt. It is thought that the/ will be sufficiently forward bi havo the flag flying any week no*.
THE CHANCES., Issue 15655, 20 November 1914
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