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KITCHENER'S STORY, Issue 15701, 15 January 1915
THE WAR- UP TO DATE. PRAISE FOR THE SERVIANS. TURKS SADLY- BEATEN. Cable- messages to the Sydney ' Sun' dated London, January 6, say : The attendance in the Mouse of Lords this evening was conspicuously iarge on the Opposition benches. The expectation of an import-ant statement bad caused a subdued excitement. Members conversed in -small -groups in all parts of the immense chamber. Lord Kitchener, Minister of War, entered in company v/ith Lord Crewe, who was engaged in ~4f. animated conversation with him. The Archbishop of Canterbury was among the early arrivals. The galleries were full, many of the peeresses being dressed in deep mourning for relatives whom they had lost in the war. Some of the peers were in uniform, and several sons of peers, wearing khaki, sat on the steps of the throne. THE SPEECH. Lord Kitchener, who was greeted with cheers, said: "When I last- addressed your Lordships, six weeks ago. General Joffre had just sent up strong reinforcements to our fighting line, enabling General French to short-en his front and relieve bis hard-pivs-serl troops, who had been continuously working the tix-nehes. The Germans 'failed in their _ attempts in transferring several divisions, during tho last week in November, from the wee tern theatre, to meet- the critical situation at Lodz. They left sufficient strength, in the. west- to hold elaborate parallel lines of entrenchments, supported -by effective though reduced artillery, and to contain the Allies. —December Fighting.— " The Allies, in December, progressed at various points. The- most gallant attempt*; were made to take the enemy's trenches and to recapture trenches temporarily lost. The battle-tide ebbed and tlowed with varying success to either side. The French, despite the unfavorable weather, made noteworthy progress east of.Rheims. In Southern Alsace, however, the operations resolved themselves into siege warfare. Every up-to-date invention for the throwing of bombs ami gTenades into the trenches was constantly used. Our troops have been subjected to the hardships inseparable from a winter campaign, but the system of reliefs has minimised the severe strain on our soldiers, who. needless to say, have exhibited a constant cheerfulness and a resource that has redounded to their credit. —lndians Surprised.— " The only important engagement between the British and the Germans was on December 20, when the Indian trenches at Givenchy were captured owing to the Indians being surprised. But the trenches were letaken on the 21st, with considerable German losses. The line since then has been entirely main tain eel, and the Indians have enjoyed a period of relief from the trenches. (General French's force has been increased by a- number of Territorial units and another division, including the fine Canadian regiment. The Germans in the eastern theatre, reinforced from the western, were able to extricate themselves at great cost of lite from their critical situation at Lodz. Assuming the offensive on- the left bank of the Vistula, they advanced in the middle of December, and reached the line of B/.ura and Rawka. Despite repeated severe attacks upon them, our gallant Russian comrades have frustrated, for more than a fortnight, the violent German efTortc to advance, nearer than 30 miles to Warsaw. The German aspirations in Poland have therefore suffered a, severe check. The Germans realise the infinite difficulty of winter operations. The Russians have been specially hampered ly their faulty line of communication, and their casualties have been numerous. —ln East Prussia.—
"The situation in East Prussia has shown but little change since- the Russiaiis at the end of November drove the Germans from their prepared positions within the. German frontier. Germans again temporarily hold Mlawa, but the right bank of the Vistula has been cleared of the enemy, whose attempts to cross the river from the south have been repulsed. The R;iK<sians, bombarding Cracow at the end of November, penetrated nearly to the, plains of Hungary. The Austrians were reinforced in the middle of December, and assumed the offensive. They drove the Russians bark 55 miles. This sueeers wa.s shortlived. The Russians gradually forced the Austrians back to the Carpathian passes, the retreat involving severe casualties. Fifty thousand prisoners were taken. —Servians Great Feat.— "One of the brightest spots of the December operations was the, extraordinary achievement of the gallant Servian army. Its situation at tho end of November was critical. It had been obliged to evacuate considerable, ten-itty, and the At>ti-ia;:s had occupied Belgrade. Suddenly the Servians assumed the offensive along the whole b'ne with startling success. They completely routed the Austria ns, and re-or-cupied Belgrade, evoking our highest admiration. The latest Russian victory in tho Caucasus should have a far-reaching influence upon all the Turkish operations under German leadership. —lndians Defeat Turks.— "The Indian Expeditionary Force has continued its northern advance in Mesopotamia-, defeating the Turks with heavy lasses. The Arabs are- warmly welcoming our troops. The much-heralded Turkish advance against Egypt has failed up to the present to materialise. Our aircraft have observed bodies of Turks with German officers attempting to penetrate to the east of Suez Canal, but no large force has yet appeared. There has been scarcely any contact with our troops guarding the Canal. —Praise for' Botha.— "The situation in South Africa has undergone a. most welcome change. "'.lhe sinister threat of a widespread rebellion, cunningly planned and fostered by the. Germans, ha,s disappeared before, the loyal and prompt action of General Botha and his Ministers. General Botha handled the situation in a masterly manner, calling for unqualified praise. He quickly sttunped out- tho misguide'! action of a. section of the population. This result gives us great confidence for the future success of any operations General Botha may undertake." —East Coast Raid.— Referring to the east coast raid, Lord Kitchener said : " No military advantage could possibly be gained by wanton attacks on undefended seaside resorts. The chief result was the. deaths of civilians, among whom women and children figured pathetically." —A Triumphant End. — In conclusion, the War Chief declared "the great initial advantages the Germans enjoyed because of their numerical superiority and extensive preparations is certainly "diminishing. The Allies are daily increasing their resources of men and' material, which will enable, them to prosecute the. war to a triumphant end. Recruiting is proceeding normally. The Parliamentary Recruiting Committee have registered over 218,000 men willing to serve. The dearth of officers has been remedied. There is now a considerable surplus in training. Already 29,100 officers have been appointed. There is no better recruiting officer than the soldier himself, many of whom spent their leave in encourad-ru; youths to enlist."
TRIBUTE BY LORD CUP-?ON. Lord Curzon paid acknowledi aient to the interest hig and inspiring nature of Lord Kitchener's record of progress, and proceeded to say that the Opposition would do nothing to embarrass, or impedo, or hamper the Government in their overwhelming task. It would give its most* unstinted support, continuing to hold a watching brief. The Opposition regarded, the changes in E-.'ypt with unmixed satisfaction. The ceremony nf induction had been dramatic ami significant. The new r-overeign had been driven to his paiacu through streets lined by Indian. Egyptian, Australiau, and New Zealand troops and English Territorials. It was an unheardof scene, and set the .seal of almost worldwide approval 0:1 the investiture. Lord Kitchener's remark that the Turkish attack on the Suez C.'ann! had failed to materialise was a- very diplomatic way of saying that it had. been a complete fiasco. He joiner! with the Secretary for War in congratulating nil the Alius. Germany had failed in her two western objectives, Paris and Calais, and in her eastern objective. Warsaw, while her army in Flanders was held up by the unbroken armioi of the British and their Allies. Her fleet, did not, dare to emerge from the safe retreat of her harbors and canals. GERMAN HATRED.
" Tremendous German forces were occupying almost the whole of Belgium and part, of Franco. They were inspired with an rqn.il bravery to that, of Britain's own men,;' said Loir) Kitchener. '"Their bravery is inexplicable, to us. It appears to he. fortified by a hatred against ourselves such as we, with our more phlegmatic temperament, arc incapable of. But there is no ground for despondency or alarm. There has never been a greater call for resolution and foresight; never a moment when we ought to have set onr teeth more prim.lv than now. The wholn Navy is giving its devotion to the object in view." —For the Future. — Lord Kitchener, questioned, said that six new armies were being organised, including Indians, and excluding the Dominions' forces, which were not yet sufficiently trained. Arrangements were being made to keep up the strength of the depleted Indian units. Lord Crewe said that as many men were enlisting as could be dealt with. Lord Ilaklane remarked that the withdrawal of nationalisation granted to aliens was a matter of international importance. The power of withdrawal would have to be •conferred upon a Court of Justice of a high order.
KITCHENER'S STORY, Issue 15701, 15 January 1915
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