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PROPHETS

ON THE LENGTH OF THE WAR. TRENCHES & WINTER. WHERE WE ARE IN BELGIUM. MONITOR MISCHIEF. SIR DOUGLAS HAIG'S BID FOR RQULERS. [By A. Stesce.] There, is an Austrian tip that that country will pull out of the war in January. How many tips does that make now* On November 9 "a high French military authority" forecasted six phases of the war. The last four were to be: 1. Fight for Calais to be ended by beginning of December. 2. German retreat and battle on the Meuse by April, 1915. 3. Retreat to the Rhino bv Febniarv. 1916. 4. March to Berlin during 1917. The Frenchman's first prophecy may bo a successful one, for German activities on the road to Calais have slackened. If they have given up for ever their notion of capturing Calais, iiis forecast on the rearward move, which is to begin in April, 1915, looks well on paper. His other point* snuggle to much in the lap of* the Fates that you cannot figure them. Another tips'.or-in-chief is easier to cast to one side. On November 19 the Funics ioi.respondent of 'Lo Temps' sot the man in the, street agog with, this breathless news: "Although I cannot give details, .1 am in a position to etato that the Germans have been crushed. They will soon hi- oniiivly out of France. Christmas will be. celebrated with joy by all tho Allies, but especially by Russia." This prophet lias tiro days left to make good his words. Unices something befalls the Germans like that whijh l>efell Sennacherib's hosts his reputation as a teer vanishes. Tho Austrian tip published to-dav is extremely unlikely, even though we have noticed that Count Tirza lias been saying rather rude tilings to the a sod Emperor of Austri.t. The same intelligence which previously reported Franz Josef as dead or dying will not ne above reporting unhappy relations with the Prime Minister of Hungary. LIFE OX A .MONITOR. Daily we niiy expect hmher assault tmm the sea <iti Zeebritggc and the Ileyst Canal, and in-dny come further tidings. This time th r .' Germans, did noi respond to the British bombardment. The lo British ships include three monitors, and tho flag oilicer directing til! operation is Admiral lined. Tiic hngc.-l ship engaged, so far as we know. >.< th.> baitieidiip Venerable, Captain V. !.'. ('. Bernard. An oilieer o:i one ~f tin monitors has lic-n telling ill 1 Loudon •Times' -what it fee!.- lik-.' in thl-i perilous ajoa. Th<> letter is interesting in two Mays. It contains a hint as ',<> ho v th\v evade submarines, a'id another showing that bombardments of eaunoi always lie avoided, even by tiie British. "I have had soin" lipping h'lters from iiome," sa.vs the wiitcr, "and they weie. vi rv welcc-m-?. T can tu'l vou. The last 10 '.lavs (Octclvr 20-2G) were one long r-pn:-r:; t and 1 really believe wo have done some -nod work. We have been in action iiiovl days laidv. with intervals for cooling the 'guns. 'We did 200 with our port L-un. \\- have fir-'d 400 with I ho other. Thev 4-haUe the ship tremendously ; every- j thing rattles down. A Taube tried bombs on us yesterday, bat had no luck._ . . . To-dav another ship suddenly hoisted the | 'Turn' to port' flag, and wo /ig-zagged : about like aim-hing. She. had bad two torpedoes let <>'(]' at her!- The scene ashore to-day was appallim. We wcro told <>f some''spotters' in a clinrch steeple. We jpid live shots at it if B.OCO yards. The first took the top clean <>h", the second h't Train: one ihnridi the root. Only ..ii". iu" tho live missed, and that grazed the side! They say we. uiped out- a general are! his staff to-day." LIKE IX THE TREXCHES. Trench life is alluded to in a couple, of .able?, one embodying a humorous view of it bv a- subaltern, expressing what _ he hopes 'will happen when the Kaiser ••cvcntuallv cets to Hades." A soberer message, merely states that "finer weather will be welcomed by all tho troops." Last mails from Homo said a good deal on life in the trenches, including or.o intimation that underground stables had been dug for the cavalry. Tho mextinsrnishable. gaiety of the French had also burst out in a spasm of subterranean journalism. Their newspaper was headed ' Le Fetit Colonial, organo quotidien du of ordinary notrpaper, and must have been something like tho newspaper "The Arrower.' which is the proud production of one, of the. Now Zealand contingents : excellent humor half concealed by the awful smear of the ink. In the French newspaper, intended to brighten up life in the trenches, ono first-class little sketch shows a. French, colonial infantryman introducing a. "Cipayo" to a irenegalese iu the words: "Sepoy, allow me to introduce a- son of Buddha, to a son of Mohammed. Wo don't know one another, but- we. are all brothers." Under the heading ".Situations Vacant," an offer is made to all soldiers who have acted as waiters, ushers in the law court*, etc., to announce the arrival of German shells. Jokes on the German artillery follow, and even the inevitable crop of poetry. _The poet, it seems, is perennial, and neither war nor winter nor underground editors can crush him out. THE FRENCH LOAN. | Mention of a, French war loan came yesterday. Not unrelated with it is another matter, regarding which no news arrives. It, however, partly explains why Germany has gripped tho Aicnc fio tightly. According to well-informed sources at Homo the Germans hope, by holding fast to the. line of that river, to oust something between 10,000,000 and 15,000,000 of tho inhabitants of North Franco from their own. region and throw thorn pell-mell on the lK.'!iovolcr.cos of French people further i=ouih. It U the- case- of tho "useless mouth"' again, a-nd the German expectation in October was that Franco could not stand it for more than six, months without recourse to tiro expedient of a loan. That loan, it seems, has been rendered necessary in half tho estimated period. It if. two or three months since the London 'Times' first hinted that the timo had como to purge the soil of Franco. Yesterday the cables told that an army order, si if nod- by General Joffre, had been found on a French officer: "The hour of attack has arrived. Now it is our business definitely to clear our Fatherland of tho invaders." It appears that two sides can playat the game of economic exhaustion. Considering the nature of the front from Compiegne to St. Mihiel. the chance of throwing the Germans back from it seems remote at present. _ THE KIEL MONSTER Accentuation of anything in tho nature of panic is being worked for -all it is worth by the enemy. Yesterday there was an alarmist sort of story from Kiel on the construction oi super-Dreadnought submarines and other "feverish activities in the' canal. The source is American. At the beginiiina of the "war Captain Walter R. Gberardi was extended the unrestricted hosnitalitv of the German navy. He was invited to Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, and can visit the Gorman fleet a,.? often as he pleases. Four other American

naval attaches are with Turn. The presence of this quintet doubtless accounts for the news •which the New York ' Tribune ' received. Under the segis »>i these American attaches marches the American fireworks reporter, and he has fiven us a super-Dreadnought submarine, t may or may not be, but surely it is not. The Americans are present at Kiel on the understanding that they do not inform the world on realities. The days along the canal must be dull for them now, and someone nas filled in. his winter afternoon by writing up the super-Dread-nought submarine — a newspaper monster. MORE REAL MONSTER. Gradually we are achieving acloser view of the German 42-ccntirnetre gun —the "growlers"—which came as the artillery surprise of the war. For this we have to thank Major Langhomo, the chief of tho four United States attaches with the German armies. We used to wonder how these " growlers " were loaded in the field. It seems that the heavy shells (they must weigh the best part of a ton) are levered along the grass and down the gentle ramp into the pit. Here they are lifted by a powerful chain winch, and swung by the push of a number of men, assisted by chain gear, into the breech—a job for £amsons surely. Each shot requires about live minutes to hoist up and push home. Only the muzzles show above the pit top, and some brushwork is arranged in front, for the flame is visible at a long distance, even on a bright day. They are hardly used at night unless they are firing over somo rise in the ground which blots out the extraordinarily vivid flash. RICOCHETS. The map of Belgium published in Satin-- ' day's issue of the 'Evening Star' furnishes every strategic point mentioned in the eublcn to-day. Allies' airmen fired a Zi-ppelin shed in Brussels. The construction of this shed was bejnm about October 20 on manoeuvring ground at Etterbuk in front of the old Belgian cavalry barracks. Heavy construction was also proceeding on the Berchem-.Saint Agathe aviation ground. All this is intended to push on the dirigibles which will begin the air attack on England by and by. It ticcnis that Sir Douglas Haig lias not gut ]'oul'-hk yet. Ho is in Moorlede, four or live miles south-west of Roulers, and only four miles; beyond the point from which he advanced on November 11. 'J'hey say that we hava got Bixschoot« and ljuiiioinarek. Theso were tlte spots from which the left flank attack poured on Sir Douglas Haig when he fought for Pasechcndaelr—two miles in 39 days. Langemarck is four or five miles west of P«sschendnele, and Dixschootc about three miles further westwaid. Naturally, ibe. Germans arc concentration as many men ae possible "to regain the territory lost north-east of Yprcs." This new effort re-fere to the effect of the. British advance from Zonnebeke, which began 42 days ago, and has now effected •t lodgment in Moonlede. A cryptic message say? that the Allies, by pushing northward,* will lengthen the front and make maniruvre easier. 1 am not prepared to condemn that message, but the shorter the. front tho better the chance. The '• maihvuvres " that we read of may j>c begotten in Iho imagination of tiV war correspondent. Manoeuvre is easy on paper, hut hnr<l in 'practice. Th* ordinary general likes a >hort front and deep reserves Mo.-t of the military contributors to the Pn-ss in Australia and New Zealand love to discuss the reported captures and recaptures e,f village.- in Belgium. It imp'.Ks a childlike belief in the Censor which T do not share. "For instance, there is a- mrrsag!'' to-da\ : '"There is no foundation in rlv rumor that the Allies are within two miles of 0.-tend." That rumor •.vas probable diseased in all seriousness in hundreds' of important Australian avA New Zealand journals yesterday. Towards the roa.-l- we'have got. over tfi* 3 iizht bank of the V.ser, in order to spring forward for something better. This is a Franco-Bclcriaii matter, and covers the British left'. It indicates a. pood coordination of strategv, but the strategist lives (.nly from day to day, and the. bullet is apt* to upset i-.1l plans. Additional a-c omits of the naval action which blew out the Fcharnhorst and the Gnciscnau practically lell nothing, except that the British crews were dismissed for breakfast after the. firing be'sran. The composition of Admiral Sturdce's squadron is tho point of interest. The only reason why it should have lioen concealed was that, the enemy should not know what detachment (if 'anyj had been made from Home. That risk must be over now. Is there, something else to conceal? Th<? nature of the news which we ar« receiving from Poland may be judged from the. fact that a» early as November 1 the Press eorresnondente had been admonished not even to disclose the name of the Chief of the Russian General Staff. although (as the correspondents say) evervon<> knows who he is. No harm in Mti'nz his name cut. at this end of the world,' however. He. will nlhor V t-uhhomlinofT or Jiiinski. ■. The Turks have evacuated the MnnPeninsula. A most unlikely story. Lnmbaertzvdo is about one mile anO a-half from Nieuporf, and nearer tho sea. As the whole allied move into Belgium U bv the left, this is the important flank. It is said that the hamlet of Lonibaertzydo has been converted info a miniature fortress. That is very likely. If the Germans have evacuated Miridlekerko the Allies are getting on. That place is onlv five miles from Ostend. Many German officers in Berlin are suffering from wrecked nerves. One of the saddest effects of the war will b« the thousands of half-snne men who will be turned loose on all countries after hostilities end. Lille is fondles*, and the Allies are driving the Germans back on this fortress in morasses and mud. There was a message yesterday of similar purport. If it be true that the Germans have left a first class fortress without food it is verv unlike their methodical way of doing" things. We shall probably find # the puns of Lille still booming iu the spring.

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Bibliographic details

PROPHETS, Issue 15683, 23 December 1914

Word Count
2,214

PROPHETS Issue 15683, 23 December 1914

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