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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

The New Warfare

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"Is it any wonder, or any disgrace, to the defeated, that under such novel and appalling conditions the orderly and disciplined onslaughts of the legions of the League have in almost every case been completely successful? The sober truth is that the invention and employment of these devastating appliances have completely altered the face of the field of battle and the conditions of modern warfare. It is not in human valour, no matter how heroic or self-devoted it may be, to oppose itself with anything like confidence to an enemy which strikes from the skies, and cannot be struck in return.

"It was thus that the battles of Alexandrovo, Kalisz, and Czernowicz were won in the early stages of the war upon the Austro-German frontier. So, too, in the Rhine Provinces, were the battles of Treves, Mulhausen, and Freiburg turned by the aid of the French aerostats from battles into butcheries. It was under the assault of these irresistible engines that the great fortresses of Königsberg, Thorn, Breslau, Strasburg, and Metz, to say nothing of many minor, but strongly fortified, places, were first reduced to a state of impotence for defence, and then battered into ruins by the siege-guns of the assailants.

"All these terrible events, forming a series of catastrophes unparalleled in the annals of war, are still fresh in the minds of our readers, for they have followed one upon the other with almost stupefying rapidity, and it is yet hardly six weeks since the Cossacks and Uhlans were engaged in their first skirmish near Gnesen.

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"This is an amazingly brief space of time for the fate of empires to be decided, and yet we are forced, with the utmost sorrow and reluctance, to admit that what were two months ago the magnificently disciplined and equipped armies of Germany and Austria, are now completely shattered and broken up into fragmentary and isolated army corps, decimated as to numbers and demoralised as to discipline, gathered in and about such strong places as are left to them, and awaiting only with the courage of desperation the moment, we fear the inevitable moment, when they shall be finally crushed between the rapidly converging hosts of the victorious League.

"Within the next few days, Berlin, Hanover, Prague, Munich, and Vienna must be invested, and may possibly be destroyed or compelled to ignominious and unconditional surrender by the irresistible forces that will be arrayed against them.

"Meanwhile, with still deeper regret, we are forced to confess that those operations in the Low Countries and the east of Europe and Asia Minor in which our own gallant troops have been engaged in conjunction with their several allies, have been, if not equally disastrous, at least void of any tangible success.

"Erzeroum, Trebizond, and Scutari have fallen; the passes of the Balkans have been forced, although at immense cost to the enemy; Belgrade has been stormed; Adrianople is invested, and Constantinople is therefore most seriously threatened.

"By heroic efforts the French attack upon the Quadrilateral has been rolled back at a fearful expense of human life. Antwerp is still untouched, and the command of the Baltic is still ours. In our own waters, as well as in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, we have won victories which prove that Great Britain is still the unconquered, and we trust unconquerable, mistress of the seas. We have kept the Dardanelles open, and the Suez Canal is still inviolate.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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