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THE HUMAN WASTAGE

GERMANS LOSE Ij, MILLION MEN. Striking figures, estimating the wastage in the German armies, arc given by Mr Hilaire Belloc in ‘ Land and Water' for October. According to his very logical conclusions and calculations, the enemy have lost, over a million and a-quarU-r in the whole campaign to date, and much more probably’ the figures go well above, a million a.nd a-half. He savs :

I know that the figure looks startlingly large, but the various steps by which it ,is arrived at are not. I think, open to criticism. I have attempted to fix the lowest conceivable minimum, and I arrive at something certainly larger than a million and a-quarter for the st.net German losses in the field. But t> the losses of men caught or hit you have always to add losses from sickness, wuich ■term, in military history, signifies not only illness, but ‘ the ‘results of fat igue, accidents which prevent a man’s marching, and even the proportion, .■ucii as it may be, of men footsore at any one moment,_ and unable to keep up ‘ with their units. _ I propose—it is purely empirical, but it has the advantage cf being an underestimate—to cut severely the do rule of thumb and to add only 35 per cent, for these causes instead of 130 per co-nt. ; and that although the active pact, of the war has already been going on for ’nearly three months. You get Tittle less than one million and three-quarters of men in wastage to the enemy at this moment. It is quite certainly much inure, ■but it is even more certainly" no less. To that figure, just over one million and three-quarters, then, let us pin our first conclusion. These Josses have almost up to the present day—up to within the last two wcelts or so—fallen in the main upon the trained troops of the enemy, and with particular severity upon their body of officers. In a, service peculiarly dependent upon cadres certainly a third of the officers have by this time disappeared. It will probably be found when fuller records are available that much more than a third have already gone. Of the best troops called up for the first effort onefourth have certainly gone, and probably more. Of all troops, trained and untrained, so far incorporated by Germany one-fourth have gone, for she has quite certainly not yet summoned in any shape more than seven million men since the beginning of the war—it is doubtful if she has summoned six. Of all available material for anything approaching a true arnjy £ aptubec has already ja.ae7*

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Bibliographic details

THE HUMAN WASTAGE, Evening Star, Issue 15693, 6 January 1915

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433

THE HUMAN WASTAGE Evening Star, Issue 15693, 6 January 1915

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