THE SECOND WINTER OF THE WAR
The failure of the Entente offensives in the Dardanelles and in France had at last convinced the public of the truth of Lord Kitchener's prophecy, that the war would be long if it was to result in a German defeat. Obstinate optimists had in 1914 believed in a victory before the first Christmas, while more reasonable critics hoped for one by the end of the following year. When the second Christmas came round the date of triumph had been postponed for another year or two, and few expected that it would arrive much before the end of the three years' term Lord Kitchener had suggested, or come at all unless greater efforts were made than had hitherto been the case. The magnificent response to the call for voluntary enlistment in 1914 had confirmed the traditional English view in favour of volunteers; between two and three million men had been raised by this method, either as members of the new army or as Territorials who freely surrendered their privilege of being called upon to serve for home defence alone; and it was but slowly that the nation was constrained to abandon the voluntary principle for that system of conscription which savoured so strongly of the militarism we were out to fight. But the Russian disasters and the failure of our offensives in the spring warned the Government of the advisability of at least preparing for other measures, and an Act had been passed for a national registration on 15 August of all males between the ages of 15 and 65. The autumn confirmed the foreboding of spring, and on 5 October Lord Derby undertook on behalf of the Government a recruiting campaign by which those who had not enlisted were induced to do so on the condition that they would not be compelled to serve before those who had feebler claims to exemption.
This campaign failed to produce the comprehensive results required, and at Christmas the Government took the plunge of proposing conscription for all unmarried men under the age of forty-two who were physically fit, and whose enlistment was not precluded by the national importance of their occupation or the onerous nature of their domestic liabilities. Even this measure of conscription was found inadequate by the following spring, and in May 1916 the exemption of married men was cancelled, and a general system of conscription on the continental model was introduced. Both measures were passed by large majorities, and encountered no organized opposition in the country. A few hundreds of conscientious objectors preferred to be treated as criminals rather than contribute in any way to the shedding of blood even in the defence of their country and themselves; and only the baser among their fellow-men attributed to them any worse motive than impractical idealism. The example of the mother-country was subsequently followed, with more liberal exemptions, by New Zealand and the Dominion of Canada; but Australia, which had long enjoyed compulsory military service for home defence, and was the only country in which the issue had to be submitted to a referendum, twice rejected the extension of the principle of compulsion to service outside the borders of the Commonwealth. The Channel Islands, which also had compulsion for their own insular defence, were equally loath to expand the idea, and Ireland was for political and some logical reasons exempted from the scope of the British Act; the Home Rule Bill had been placed on the statute-book, though its operation had been suspended, and it was thought as politic to allow her as it was to allow the Dominions to make her own decision.
In other matters than conscription Great Britain was slowly and reluctantly constrained to follow the German lead until the whole country became a controlled establishment; and a series of Defence of the Realm Acts deprived Englishmen of nearly all those liberties which they had regarded for centuries as proofs of their superior wisdom, but were now found to be merely the accidents of their past insular security. Freedom of the press, of speech, and even of private correspondence was subjected to censorship, and there was not in the whole range of our indictments against foreign autocracy one charge which might not with some colour be brought against ourselves. Fear entered once more into the English mind, and fear produced its invariable results, until precedents for what was done in the twentieth century had to be sought in the worst days of the Star Chamber, Titus Oates, and Judge Jeffreys. Once more, when the panic reached its height during the spring of 1918, British subjects were deprived of liberty without due process of law and by arbitrary tribunals sitting behind closed doors; once more we reverted to the old maxim of Roman law and the everlasting plea of despots, salus populi suprema lex, and learnt to practise ourselves the precepts we scorned in others. Liberty and even law were found to be luxuries in which war made us too poor to indulge. Truth itself was made tongue-tied to authority and became the handmaid of the State. To save ourselves and the world from barbarism we had to descend to the barbarous level of our foes, and poison-gas and the killing and starvation of women and children were developed into effective methods of warfare. It was all done in the name of humanity; for to shorten the war was the humanest course, and the shortest way was that of the greatest destruction. The means of destruction were developed at a prodigious rate, and England became a vast laboratory of death. War for the time was our only industry, and all who could be spared from the actual work of killing were pressed into the task of providing the weapons, the food, and the education for those on more active service.
Germany set the pace both in efficiency and in cruelty, and her success in 1915 convinced her that she could defy the moral scruples of mankind with impunity. Nothing save verbal protests had followed the sinking of the Lusitania, and even those had led Mr. Bryan, President Wilson's Secretary of State, to resign for fear lest they might prove too strong. That crime was accordingly succeeded by others, and further American lives were lost by the torpedoing of the Arabic on 19 August, the Ancona on 7 November, and the Persia on 30 December. The unneutral conduct of Dr. Dumba, the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in the United States, did, however, precipitate a demand for his recall; and American relations grew far more strained with Austria than with her more powerful and pernicious partner. For the moment President Wilson seemed more concerned with Great Britain's disrespect for American trade than with Germany's disrespect for American lives, and put forward a claim to be regarded as the champion of neutrality which contrasted oddly with his inaction a year before when Belgian neutrality was at stake. No one, however, could boast of consistency during the war, and President Wilson atoned for his earlier tenderness towards neutral rights by fathering in the end a league of nations which would abolish neutrality altogether. No doubt, his somewhat censorious protests against the British blockade and the methods of its enforcement were primarily intended for domestic consumption, and even then their effect was severely discounted by the growing tale of German outrage; the world at large was in no mood to listen to the laments of profiteers when its ears were tingling with the story of Edith Cavell's execution. She was an English nurse in Belgium who had tended with impartiality German and Belgian wounded; but she had facilitated the escape of some of the latter, and the Germans allowed no feeling of chivalry or humanity to interfere with the barbarous logic of their martial law. On 12 October, in spite of the efforts of American diplomacy and the horror of the civilized world, she was shot by order of a German court martial confirmed by the German military governor of Belgium. There were many heroines in the war, but none achieved a surer fame, because no one's fate exhibited in a clearer light the spirit with which humanity was at grips.
It was to the credit of humanity that this single outrage produced a greater horror than the German Zeppelin campaign, which reached its height in the winter and affected a large proportion of the civilian population. It was an extension of the policy of the Scarborough raids, and while it could be justified on the ambiguous and contradictory provisions of The Hague Convention, which exposed to the risk of bombardment any locality containing soldiers, munitions, or material for war, or means for military transport, its object was mainly to terrorize the civilian population; and the Zeppelin, in particular, was an engine of war which could not discriminate between legitimate and other objects of attack. This disability also applied to the aeroplane, and there was something very childish in the persistent assumptions that Entente air-raids were not only exclusively aimed at, but invariably successful in achieving military damage--even when the French boasted of having on 22 September dropped thirty bombs on the King of Württemburg's palace at Stuttgart--and that the Germans always projected civilian destruction and never succeeded in effecting anything else. It was part of that delirium of wartime psychology, which induces all belligerents to believe that no one but an enemy ever commits atrocities, and no one but an ally is capable of virtue.
The possibility of air-raids had long been foreseen, and as early as the first October of the war the lights of London had been dimmed. The first attempt by Zeppelins was made on Norfolk on 19 January 1915 without any loss of life or appreciable loss of property. More damage was done to property by a second raid on 14 April directed against the Tyne, and four more were made in April on various parts along the East Coast. On 10 May a woman was killed and some houses demolished at Southend, and on the 31st the Zeppelins first reached London to the great delight of the German people. The East and North-east coasts were repeatedly raided in June, and by the end of the first year of war, 89 civilians had been killed and 220 injured, while possibly half a dozen Zeppelins had suffered destruction in the various theatres of war. One was destroyed by Lieutenant Warneford's monoplane in Belgium on 7 June, but none fell victims to anti-aircraft defences in England. The raids became more serious as the nights grew darker: on 7 September 20 were killed and 86 injured in London, and on 13 October 56 were killed and 114 injured. Bad weather produced a respite in November and December, but on 31 January 1916 the north Midlands had 67 killed and 117 injured, and in March and April similar casualties attended raids on the Lowlands of Scotland and the East Coast from Yorkshire to Kent. France suffered as well as England, but the Germans took a peculiar pleasure in the English raids, because they thought Zeppelins were the only means of bringing home to the English people the realities of war.
Air-raids were, however, one of the horrors of war rather than a means of achieving victory, and the military importance of aircraft never attained proportions corresponding to the space the subject occupied in the public press and the popular mind. They did not affect the duration of the war by a single day, and throughout the winter of 1915-16 it seemed to increase in horror without any other sort of progression on land or water. There was no naval action because Germany kept her fleet in harbour, and relied upon mines and submarines to wear down not so much the naval strength as the economic resources of the Allies. Occasionally a cruiser or smaller vessel was lost, and one pre-Dreadnought battleship, the Edward VII. But German successes were mostly scored against merchant vessels and similar craft; and our activities in the Balkans, coupled with the facilities afforded by the Aegean to submarines, made the Eastern Mediterranean a favourite scene for their operations. By the end of 1915 over a thousand vessels, Allied and neutral, of one sort or another, had been put out of action by mines and submarines; but the fact that few of them had any fighting value concealed the importance of their economic loss from the eyes of the public if not of the Government itself. A more legitimate and romantic form of depredation was the cruise of the Moewe, a disguised auxiliary cruiser, which succeeded in January and February 1916 in capturing fifteen British merchantmen in the Atlantic, and returned safe to Kiel with prisoners and booty. The absence of German commerce made British retaliation impossible except in the Baltic, where our submarines had some remarkable successes until Sweden closed the entrance by mining her territorial waters. She was within her rights in doing so, but the effect of her action was to give German commerce in the Baltic a security which was lacking to the commerce of the world outside, because Holland and Denmark shrank from following Sweden's example. Mr. Balfour pointed out the unfriendly nature of Sweden's action, but Russia was particularly averse from adding Sweden to her enemies at that juncture, and remonstrances were in vain.
On land the most active spheres of operation were in winter naturally in the tropical or sub-tropical regions. The East African campaign still hung fire owing to various causes, principally perhaps because of doubts and possibly disputes whether it belonged primarily to the sphere of purely British, Indian, or South African activity, and could best be fought with the different kinds of troops those various Governments had at their disposal. The earlier operations had been undertaken mainly by troops from India, and for a year longer there was little but border fighting until in March 1916 General Smuts arrived with South African forces to begin the serious work of conquest. The principal work of the winter was the reduction of the Cameroons. Considerable progress had been made by June in overrunning this vast territory, half as large again as the German Empire in Europe: the French had occupied Lome from the south, while the British, after some checks on the Nigerian frontier, had advanced to Ngaundere. The rainy season then set in, and operations were suspended until October. The Germans had transferred their capital to Yaunde, which was made the objective of converging attacks by British, French, and Belgian columns from north, east, and south. The British reached it on 1 January 1916, but the movements had been admirably timed, and the French came three days later. Only isolated posts in distant localities remained, and the last of them fell on 18 February.
From Egypt the Turks had been diverted, since their defeat in February 1915, by the attack on the Dardanelles; but the German advance in the Balkans had synchronized with attempts to disturb us on the western borders of Egypt by German and Turkish intrigues with the Senussi federation of Moslem tribes, and in Tripoli, which the Italians had never succeeded in completely subjugating. Trouble began to threaten in November 1915, and the frontier post at Sollum was withdrawn to Mersa Matruh, the terminus of a railway line from Alexandria. The Arab attacks began on 13 December and increased in strength until the middle of January 1916; but with their inferior equipment and means of communication they had little chance of success and were easily beaten off with considerable losses, which led to dissension among the Arab forces and then to their dissipation. They were finally defeated at Agagia on 26 February, and Sollum was regained on 14 March. There was no further trouble on the western frontier of Egypt, and a repercussion of the Senussi discontent far south in Darfur was satisfactorily suppressed by a detachment of the Egyptian Army which occupied El Fasher on 22 May. East of the Suez Canal there were only raids in which we were generally successful, except for the loss of Katia on 23 April; in retaliation El Arish was destroyed by bombardment from British monitors on 18 May.
In Egypt we stood and were still to stand for another year upon the defensive; but farther east in Mesopotamia we were slipping into an adventurous and chequered offensive which grew insensibly after the manner of the Dardanelles campaign. Our original operations at the head of the Persian Gulf had, indeed, unlike the attack on Gallipoli, been defensive in their purpose; but the distinction between the two easily disappears in military operations, and the Germans were only more logical militarists than other people when they openly avowed that offence was the best means of defence. British dominion in India and in Egypt had grown upon that principle, and it grew in much the same way in Mesopotamia. The security of our control of the Persian Gulf required, we discovered, the occupation of Basra; the defence of Basra demanded an advance to Kurna, and from Kurna we had proceeded in June to Amara. There we realized that our left flank might be turned at Nasiriyeh, and having got both Amara and Nasiriyeh, one on the Tigris and the other at the junction of the Euphrates with the Shatt-el-Hai (which links the Euphrates with the Tigris at Kut), we concluded that our position would be improved if, by seizing Kut, we could bar a Turkish advance down either the Tigris or the Shatt-el-Hai. The logic was sound enough for those who had the means to enforce it; and in spite of the torrid heat, the river route and our gun-boats enabled us to master Nasiriyeh on 25 July. Early in August began the advance up the Tigris from Amara to Kut, whither the Turks had retired. They had been well taught by their German instructors, and their position astride the river was well entrenched. But Townshend's attack was skilfully planned; feinting on the Turkish right on 27 September, he outflanked and drove in their left on the 28th, and at the end of a long day disposed of the Turkish reinforcements and entered Kut on the 29th.
The campaigning season was only about to begin; the Turks had decamped in disorganization towards Baghdad; and the temptation to follow proved irresistible. When so much had been done with such ease, it seemed to be flying in the face of Providence not to make a dash for Baghdad and seize the end of that railway-route on which the Germans were beginning to work with such energy from the other direction in the Balkans. If it led from Berlin to Baghdad, might it not also lead from Baghdad to Berlin? There was assuredly a touch of fantastic imagination in the transformation which first came over and then overcame our strategy in the East, and we found that the transition from defence to offence was slight compared with the change from a sound to a speculative offensive. Kut might be essential to the defence of the delta, but if Baghdad was needed for the protection of Kut, there was no limit east of the Bosporus to which the line and the logic of defence might not be pushed. The argument might have been sound, had it reposed on a firmer foundation of force. But the impetus and the organization which had carried us to Kut would be spent before we reached Baghdad; and arrangements for transport, commissariat, and medical aid, which might have served for the lesser needs and the shorter lines of communication, broke down in utter confusion under the demands of the larger ambition which they had not been planned to fulfil. We had but 13,000 bayonets, two-thirds of whom were Indian troops, while the Turks could call up reserves many times that number; and our men were worn with ten months' incessant campaigning under a tropical sun. General Townshend protested against the adventure, but was overruled by Sir John Nixon and the Commander-in-chief in India.
Within a week from the fall of Kut the advance on Baghdad began, and at Azizie half-way between the two, the Turks were routed again as they had been at Kut. By 12 November, Townshend was in front of Ctesiphon, about twenty-four miles from Baghdad. Here the Turks were strongly entrenched. Their right was protected by the Mahmudiyeh Canal which ran from the Tigris to the Euphrates, and their main position consisted of two strongly fortified lines on the eastern bank of the Tigris. Townshend's attack on the 22nd resembled his attack on Kut, and after hard fighting the first line was carried. But the second was the real Turkish defence, and our wearied and smaller forces could not cope with the continuous stream of Turkish reinforcements. The Turks lost heavily in their counterattacks on the 23rd, but they could afford to do so, while we could only succeed by a speedy and inexpensive victory which the strength of the Turkish position and reinforcements forbade. The gamble had failed, and the only thing to do was to cut the loss and retreat as well as we could. No proper provision had been made for such an eventuality, and the horrors of that retirement reflected grave discredit on those responsible for the campaign. Hard pressed by the pursuing Turks, our diminished force was back at Kut on 3 December, where in a few days it was surrounded by the enemy now under the command of the German Marshal von der Goltz.
The Germans had not been idle on the flanks of this bid for Baghdad, and their intrigues in Persia led to a revolt of the gendarmerie, which was officered by Swedes, and to the seizure by the pro-German insurgents of Kum, Hamadan, and other towns in central Persia. Fortunately this move was countered by prompt action on the part of Russia. Teheran was occupied by Russian forces by the end of November, Kum and Hamadan by 11 December, and a pro-Entente Government was established. The German route through Persia towards Afghanistan was blocked for the time; but pro-German forces at Kermanshah impeded a Russian march to the relief of Kut, where a fresh Turkish division from Gallipoli arrived on 23 December and a vigorous effort was made to carry the place by assault. It failed, and the Turks sat down to a blockade, while farther south they constructed formidable obstacles to the advance of the relieving forces coming up the river. Their position was selected with considerable skill at Sanna-i-Yat on a narrow strip of land between the Suweicha marshes and the river, while between it and Kut there was established the strongly-fortified Es Sinn line. The depth of these defences was nearly twenty-five miles, and the task of carrying the successive lines would tax anything but a relieving force far greater than that which was attempting it.
Sir John Nixon had been succeeded by Sir Percy Lake, but the advancing force was under the immediate command of General Aylmer. On 21 January he failed to carry the first of the lines at Umm-el-Hanna, although it was announced in Parliament that British forces had reached the last position at Es Sinn; and it was not till 7-8 March that Aylmer made a bold attempt at once to turn the Sanna-i-Yat defences and relieve Kut by a surprise attack on the right bank of the river. Everything depended once more upon initial success, for length of communications and lack of supplies made continuous pressure impossible; and the Turks were ready and their defences strong. Aylmer was no more fortunate at Es Sinn than Townshend at Ctesiphon, and the command was taken by General Gorringe. He reverted on 5 April to the lines on the left bank at Umm-el-Hanna. They were carried, and twelve hours later the further line at Felahiyeh. Keary's Lahore division had been equally successful on the right bank; but a flood caused by the melting snows on the Armenian hills interposed to bar the way to the relief of Kut. A final attempt was made on the 23rd across the water-logged land in front of Sanna-i-Yat; but advance was impossible along the narrow causeway which alone gave foothold for the troops, and on the 29th Townshend's force in Kut, consisting of 2000 British and 6000 Indian troops, surrendered after a siege of nearly five months.
After Gallipoli, Mesopotamia. Until March 1918 our reverses in these two "side-shows" were counted our worst disasters in the war, and to the electorally-heated imagination of Mr. Lloyd George they appeared even later as the sum and substance of British achievement before he became Prime Minister. In the case of Kut the responsibility rested mainly with the Indian Government, to which also was due our brilliant recovery in the East when Lord Chelmsford, Sir Charles Monro, and Sir Stanley Maude--all appointed in 1916--had time to retrieve the mistakes of their predecessors in the Viceroyalty, Command-in-chief of the Indian Army, and command of the Mesopotamian forces. Meanwhile, it was fortunate for the prestige of the Entente in the East that Russia's collapse in Europe appeared to have no effect upon the vigour of her action in the middle East. The Grand Duke Nicholas, who had been transferred to the command in the Caucasus, found an admirable chief of staff in General Yudenitch, and between them they brought off a stroke against Turkey which was more sensational than the Turks' success at Kut and Gallipoli.
Erzerum was reckoned the strongest fortress in the Turkish Empire, but amid the distractions of the Dardanelles and Mesopotamian campaigns it had escaped proper attention from the Turks and their German experts, and the Grand Duke profited by the fact that Turkish troops, relieved from the pressure at Gallipoli, were sent to Kut and not to the Caucasus. Moreover, the ordinary line of communication with Erzerum by the sea and Trebizond had been cut by the Russian destruction of Turkish shipping, and transport by land was almost as difficult as it was between the head of the Persian Gulf and Kut. The Russian communications were better, but theirs was an adventurous enterprise across mountain passes under the arctic conditions of midwinter; and few people had any inkling of its inception when Yudenitch began to move on 11 January. By the 16th he was at Kuprikeui where the road crosses the Araxes, and in a two days' battle he broke the Turkish army, driving its remnants south towards Mush and clearing the way to Erzerum. Time was required to bring up the heavy guns, but early in February the forts on Deve Boyun were under bombardment, and another Russian army advancing from the north down the valley of the Kara Su defeated a Turkish division and captured Kara Gubek on the 12th and Tafta on the 14th. From the south the Russians were also crossing the Palantuken Dagh, and the fate of Erzerum was sealed. Its evacuation was completed early on the 16th, and a few hours later the Cossacks rode into the city. To the south the Russian left entered Mush and Bitlis, gaining the northern shores of Lake Van, while their right slowly pushed along the Black Sea coast in the direction of Trebizond. In Persia, too, the Russians occupied Kermanshah and descended the pass to Khanikin and the Mesopotamian plain; but it was an adventurous body of cavalry rather than a substantial military force which joined hands with the British on the Tigris some weeks after the fall of Kut. The Russians had to some extent redeemed their failure in Europe, but others they had not been able to save.
In Europe their defence was materially assisted by the British and French attacks in Artois and Champagne and by the needs of Mackensen's offensive in the Balkans. To both areas troops were diverted from the German front in Russia, and the centre was especially denuded. No advantage was, however, taken of this weakness, partly because of Russia's general debility and partly because what efforts she could afford were required for the defence of the Dvina and for the sympathetic activity of Ivanov in Galicia, which was the nearest approach Russia could make to intervention in the Balkans. The German attack on the line of the Dvina was not merely intended to fend off a Russian attack in the centre; it had also the positive aim of securing Riga and comfortable winter quarters for the German army in the north. Riga, however, was not an easy nut to crack; its flank was defended by the sea, immediately south of it were marshes across which only causeways ran, and to the east stretched the formidable obstacle of the Dvina. Roads and rails for the most part crossed it at Dvinsk, and the southern approaches to Dvinsk itself lay through land and water as intricately mixed as in the Masurian mazes of East Prussia. But on Dvinsk the German attack was concentrated, and after a preliminary failure on 25 September a week's bombardment and assault began on 3 October. The siege guns which had been so fatal at Kovno and elsewhere were brought up against a minor fortress and failed. Ruszky was in command, and he took care to keep the howitzers out of range of the city by an arc of far-flung trenches which the numerous scattered lakes saved from outflanking. Illukst was at one time taken by the Germans but found of little value for the larger purpose; and German prisoners complained that Dvinsk, which they failed to take, had cost them more than all the greater fortresses they had captured. In the third week of October Hindenburg transferred his efforts back to Riga, where he met with little better success. He got as far as Olai on the direct route from Mitau, and even secured a foothold on Dahlen Island in the river south-east of Riga; but these successes profited him no more than the capture of Illukst. On 7 November the Russians recaptured Olai, and on the 10th, with the help of their fleet, drove back the Germans, who had advanced along the coast, beyond Shlock and Kemmern and Kish, extending their lines to Ragassem and Kalnzem. In the same month a similar Russian counter-offensive recaptured Illutsk and pushed the Germans farther away from Dvinsk (see Map, p. 274).
Far to the south below the Pripet marshes which divided the Russian front into two, the Germans and the Russians under Brussilov engaged in thrust and counter-thrust along the Styr which caused Czartorysk to change hands again and again, and earned for these operations the nickname of "the Poliesian quadrille"; and the fluctuations on the Strypa were equally indecisive. But the situation in the Balkans suggested the need for something less ambiguous nearer the Rumanian frontier if Rumanian neutrality was to be preserved; and the objective selected for Ivanov's new offensive was Czernowitz the capital of the Bukovina. The attack began on 24 December, and the struggle lasted for over three weeks. Containing battles were fought along the Strypa and the Styr, and Czartorysk passed once more into Russian hands and Kolki was added to their gains. But the main object was not attained. The Russians seized the heights between Toporoutz and Rarancze and threw some shells into Czernowitz, but they failed to capture the crucial point at Uscieczko on the Dniester. Mackensen and five divisions had, however, to be diverted from the Balkans, and Russia's offensive in the Bukovina helped to conceal her designs on Erzerum. Rumania was saved from descending on the wrong side of the fence; but her natural reluctance to abandon her perch prohibited that Russian attack on Bulgaria through Rumanian territory which might otherwise have been made, but would probably have failed and would in any case have come too late to relieve the Serbian disaster.
The winter of 1915-16 thus passed with little to relieve the gloom. Erzerum had balanced Kut, and the Cameroons had ceased to be a German land. But these were trifles compared to the gigantic clash of arms in Europe, and here the Germans had done more than in their first year's fighting. Russia had been dealt a far more staggering blow than France in 1914, and Serbia and Montenegro had fared worse than Belgium, while in both East and West our counter-offensives had been ineffectual. The Germans naturally thought they had won the war; they had merely reached the climax of their success, and that climax did not constitute a victory. The Allies' heads were "bloody but unbowed," and they were still the masters of their fate. The sea was theirs and all that therein lay; some of them were only in process of mobilizing their resources; and the moral factor in war which, like the mills of God grinds slowly but grinds exceeding small, required patience for its full development. Meanwhile the German military machine had done no more than establish a balance of power which was to be tilted in one direction by the Russian Revolution and then in the other by American intervention.