History of the World War - Vol. 3

History of the World War - Vol. 3

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History of the World War - Vol. 3

History of the World War - Vol. 3

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The third period of the World War, that which is included within the twelve months of 1916, presents a clearer and less complicated picture than the two preceding periods. In it the expectations of a sudden decision, following a tremendous success continue to weaken--have in fact well nigh vanished by the end of the campaign. Even the Germans, who in their attack upon Verdun at least dreamed of a new Sedan, have laid it aside by the coming of winter and are seeking to reinforce military weapons by a peace offensive, while the experience of the Allies--on the defensive at Verdun, on the offensive at the Somme--has dissipated the notions common in all the earlier months of the struggle.

In this period which we are now to examine, the real interest and importance of two contests dwarf all else. Verdun and the Somme are conflicts which in turn held the stage of the world as no two military dramas had fixed the concentrated attention of a world audience since the last phases of the Napoleonic cycle. Unlike the great campaigns of the previous year in the east, they were fought on ground that had, in a measure, been familiar at all times to millions in Allied and neutral nations alike, and in the months of the World War had been studied. and re-studied until Arras and Rheims, Amiens and Verdun, were definite circumstances in the minds of the people of all classes in all countries.

The result was unmistakable. While the German armies advanced through Poland and Serbia, while Mitteleuropa was constructed by campaigns along the Vistula, the Dniester and the Danube, the world audience still fixed its attention upon the trenches of Flanders and Champagne. The meaning of the eastern movements escaped it, but . . .

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