free ebooks

Over the Front in an Aeroplane and Scenes Inside t

With the allied man power steadily growing


The

keenest realization that victory will be slow, the completest confidence that its certainty is axiomatic, is to be found in the allied armies. There, ungrudgingly, they give the Germans fullest credit for their preparedness, for their foresight, for their powers of systematic and sustained labor, for their inventiveness. And they do not waste their time trying to devise discrediting substitutes for such words as "ability" in talking of their Generals, "courageousness" in talking of their soldiers, and "patriotism" in talking of their people. It is only when you get far behind the firing line that manliness merges into meanness in estimating the enemy.

Yet these very officers who paid such soldierly tributes to their antagonists were so wholly assured of eventual victory that any scepticism on my part did not irritate them, but merely moved them to good-natured smiles.

"So far," an English staff-officer remarked to me, "we English have been bungling amateurs in the art of war contending against trained professional specialists. But with a couple of years' more experience I believe we shall know as much about it as they do, and then we shall win."

"In the last analysis, talking from the military standpoint, this war, like every war, will be won by men," said a French staff-officer. "The Germans will not be beaten through lack of guns or ammunition or machinery or supplies, but

through lack of men. How long by the aid of mechanics they can postpone the hour when the lack of men becomes fatal to them I do not know--one year, two years. But in the end, with the allied man-power steadily growing, and the German man-power steadily lessening, their military collapse is inevitable."

These are typical of a score of similar views advanced by officers, from Generals down to subalterns.

In the French army, as they show you their elaborate machine-shops mounted on motor-lorries for the repair of all the vehicles in the transport service, they will say with the most complete conviction: "This mobility is not of much importance now, but when we begin the pursuit of the 'Boches' then they will come in handy!"

When they show you their great parks of supply-trains, each carrying three days' complete provisions for one army corps, they will tell you earnestly:

"Not much use now when the railroads do most of the carrying of supplies to the armies, but wait till the advance begins and then we shall be useful!"

When they let you examine their wonderful 75's, mounted on an automobile capable of doing over thirty miles an hour over the road, and of starting a stream of twenty-five shells a minute one minute after coming to a standstill, they will shrug their shoulders and say: "Something of a waste just now, perhaps, but when the advance is on they will do wonderful work!"


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us