The Evening Star TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1914.
The general tenor of our cable messages continues favorable. There
havo been crucial times and tests daring the past month along the Allies* western line of battle, from which they have emerged with distressing gaps iu their ranks, but unshaken, and with the honors of battle on their side. From the eastern frontier the story is equally reassnring. The tide or victory has ebbed and flowed, but of Russia s gradual advance and its effect npon tho whole area of military operations there can bo no reasonable doubt. Where so many people are apt to go astray is that they persist in looking for definite victories. These are not to bo had. When millions of men aro engaged, and tho lines of battle extend from 250 to 1,000 miles, it is practically impossible that an immediate and conclusive victory can be secured. Modern war is a matter of few or many simultaneous engagements carried on over vast stretches of territory. And what happens is what we ought to know will take place. There is no indisputable result, but a series of isolated actions of alternating advance and retirement. Such mighty masses of troops cannot be swept into defeat in a few hours; it is a mutter of weeks and months, until one side or the other, either from sheer physical exhaustion or financial, industrial, and social pressure, resolves that the terrible game is not worth the cost. So regarded, the position and progress of tho Allies on land are distinctly satisfactory. “ Our men are confident of success, Lord Kitchener told the - * House of Lords, and the Empire has learned to place implicit trust in the statements of the supreme director and organiser of the British land forces.
On the sea the situation is unchanged,, in spite of tho lamentable and heavy losses of human life. For they are heavy, much heavier than were anticipated, and altogether disproportionate to the results achieved. To say, as has been said, that the loss in British seamen represents a very small percentage of the total strength of the British naval force is to declare something that neither Mr Churchill nor any thoughtful man would dream of doing. Britain has lost over 5,000 seamen killed and over 3,000 wounded, missing, and interned. It is a formidable total —one that has never been equalled before under similar conditions in British naval history. Had there great and decisive engagement in the North Sea a casualty roll of over 8,000 men, 5,000 of whom were killed, would have been regarded with blanched cheeks and trembling lips. But tho sting of our loss lies in the fact that with the exception of a few scores, or, at most hundreds, of the enemy tho Empire has nothing to show for this terrible toll. The fleet battlo has yet to come. Hence public uneasiness to which Mr Churchill and Lord Charles Beresford made reference in tho House of Commons. Neither the sailor nor tho statesman talked of very small percentages. They knew bet-' ter, and they also know the temper of their countrymen. But what they did say was eminently wise and therefore to tho point. Their advice is t “ Have no fear, and trust your Navy.” “Luck or no luck,”said Lord Charles, “wo shall win.” The saying is a true one, but, like every other, it is qualified with the proviso “if we prove ouraelvea worthy of victory.” We shall not win if we underrate tho strength of tho power* of evil that have been brought against us, or relax our efforts to secure those material forces, human and mechanical, that are essential to its attainment. Meantime we have only assumed the command of the sea. The Empire has yet to lace the ordeal of battle to secure it. We do not command until the enemy has been destroyed.
Ip the field of diplomacy Germany has an unbroken series of defeats to her credit. She has tricked and lied and intrigued in vain. The revelation of her cunning and treachery throughout her dealings with Belgium and the Allies up to the very hoot;that war was proclaimed has been equalled by her attempts to drag tbs whole
ental Powers, China, Japan, Egypt. Afghanistan, and oven out-of-the-way Abyssinia have each been approached in turn to join their forces with those of Germany for the overthrow of the British Empire. Even her eavago hatred of Franco pales before the intensity of her anger against the nation which, to her everlasting honor, has dared to challenge her right to hade her way through Belgium to Paris. But neither intrigue nor anger lias availed her. Germany stands alone, or worse than alone, before a hostile and offended world. The slaughter and havoc she has wrought have been in vain. The response to her overtures k the same from Tokio as from Paris; Ameer and Negus and Maharajah have returned but one answer: “Westand behind the British guns.” Germany pitted “knltur” against British civilisation. From the hour she offered it until now she has been learning that all that is true and of good report,' all that makes for the higher life and the upliftment of this present life, have rejected it with unspeakable loathing. What can German “knltur” offer save broken treaties, violated homes, desecrated shrines, and raoun-tains-high of smangled bodies? The fame and name of that “knltur” will go down through tho ages to the nover-rilent cry of women and children. Even the Negus of Abyssinia did not hesitate in his choice. Under which king—German knltur or British civilisation? The question need not be answered. From east to west and from north to south, in whatever land or clime, is heard the one eager shout: “ Lo, thy sons “ come whom thou eendest away; they “ come gathered from the West unto the “ East by the word of tho Holy One, rejoicing in the remembrance of God.”
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The Evening Star TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1914., Evening Star, Issue 15664, 1 December 1914
The Evening Star TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1914. Evening Star, Issue 15664, 1 December 1914
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