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significant of the Russian restraint following a hard battle where losses were substantial.
It is universally observable that where villages were shelled attempts were made to spare the peasants' houses, few of which were damaged, save by fires spreading from other buildings. Everywhere wanton destruction has obviously been avoided, and the percentage of towns in this zone where any damage whatever was done is small. The foregoing facts signify the restraint and soberness exercised both by the Cossacks and the following infantry. The natives were not unfriendly to the Russians, which would partially account for this, but such discipline as was exhibited is significant even in a friendly country, when one considers the size and extent of the invading armies.
Other conclusions based on conversations with Russian officials, which were obviously prejudiced, and with peasants, whose evidence was given to a correspondent who accompanied these officers, must be accepted guardedly. Such infor
mation as was obtained from these sources indicated no complaint against the Russian soldier. Little material was taken, and this, it is said, has been paid for. This I personally believe, as the merchants and natives appear to be genuinely friendly, the occupying troops stating that even the Cossacks were docile. Many Austrian officials are wearing their old uniforms with Russian colors on their arms.
It would be unwise to attempt to estimate the underlying feelings of the population, but I believe it is a safe assumption that Russia's Galician Government will be the most progressive and liberal of all her experiments, and will probably prove an easy yoke for all those who do not attempt to interfere politically. It is obvious that an exceptional effort has been made throughout the campaign and the occupation to keep the inhabitants friendly and establish the Government here as a demonstration of Russian progressive tendencies. I believe, too, that this time the tendencies are distinctly liberal, but it is futile to attempt to estimate the future.
Officer in Battle Had Little Feeling
OTTERDAM, Dec. 1, 1914, (Associated Press.)-The psychology of the battlefield gets a rather thorough and able treatment by an Austrian reserve officer, who, after having been wounded in an engagement with the Russians, gave the following interview to a Hungarian journalist. The officer in question was with General Dankl in the fighting southeast of Krasnik.
"You feel little or nothing while in battle," he said. "At least, you forget how things affect your mind. The eyes see and the ears hear, but those are perceptions which do not result in impres
They do not
sions one could co-ordinate. even affect your sentiments. But it is not cynicism, for all that; merely the lack of appreciation of what takes place.
"My Captain, a most lovable fellow, whom I did not alone respect as an officer, but of whom I also thought a great deal personally, was leading his company into fire when three bullets hit him in the abdomen. I saw him fall, but thought nothing of it and marched on.
"In spite of the fact that you have no ill-feelings against the enemy, and may not even fear him, you destroy him as best you can. On the evening before
"Of course I have been scared. That was after I had been wounded. We had been firing a long time, and when next we advanced we came into a deep and sandy road, out of which we could not get because of the enemy's terrible fire. We had to lie perfectly still while bullets simply poured over us. That was awful."
The officer omitted to state that while in this position he was shot three times in the arm, but continued to lead his troops throughout the action.
"It is a well-known fact that the soldier sees very little of the battle. On Aug. 24, early in the morning, we received orders to occupy a low hill at the edge of a tract covered with brushwood. Forming part of the reserve, we were expected to remain under cover. In front of us was a large open battlefield. To each side of us were batteries which had thundered away since early morning. The result of this was that many of the enemy's shells dropped right in front of us. I remember noticing that while the smoke of our shells had a lilac color that of the enemy's was white.
"So far we had not been disquieted by the shells at all. On the edge of the
shwood had been planted a yellow
black flag, showing that somewhere in that vicinity was to be found our General Staff. Our Colonel left us and walked toward it, possibly to get orders, but just as he got there a shrapnel exploded a little ahead of him in the air and we saw our commanding officer, in whom we placed all our confidence, go down. After that it was a terrible feeling to lie still. From that moment on, too, a veritable hail of shells began to come. Some sappers, who had been busy digging a trench for the protection of the General Staff, started to run. I feared that my soldiers would follow the example, and began to make fun of the poor sappers, scolding them at the same time. Thank God, my battalion found that funny and began to laugh. They lived through a terrific shrapnel fire with not a care and even found occasion for laughter.
"A Major took command of the regiment and we received orders to retake a hill which the enemy had captured under heavy fire. But of the enemy nothing at all was to ' seen as we neared the position, though he hail of shell and shrapnel increased in fury. The flag bearer marched about 300 paces off my side. By accident I looked in his direction, saw the white cloud of smoke of a Russian shell, and where the flag bearer had been there was nothing more to be seen.
"The enemy meanwhile had taken to flight, and later we saw the Russians wading through a swamp. Then they got to the River Por and crossed it-we after them, shooting, wading, out of breath. Of a sudden a village behind us went up in flames, the light falling on us like the rays of a huge reflector. Then and there we received a rain of fire, and saw the enemy had taken possession in good order of the other bank. We had to fall back, not because we were afraid, but because those were the orders. The sensation of being in danger of death we did not have.
"Flags and drums are useless things in warfare. What is the use of a flag which by its bright colors reveals your
position, which, as the brown paint on my sabre shows, it has been intended to conceal? In the one case even the slightest reflection of light is guarded against, while in the other a large field of colors undoes all that it has been wished to accomplish. The drummer, on the other hand, must beat his drum as he goes to the attack, yet he is expected to run into the enemy unarmed. He would prefer exchanging his drum for a rifle, so that he would be able to shoot down a soldier.
"One feels nothing of the presence of
the enemy in battle and on the marches. To be wounded is also not such a bad experience. But you begin to think after the battle. To bear the horrors of war a sort of ideal is necessary. Once, when I took my Slovacs into an attack, we passed a cross by the wayside. Many of them knelt down for a moment and said a prayer. That was sincere and sublime. The ideal which makes it possible for me to bear everything is to be a good officer on the battlefield-under the circumstances my duty toward the social aggregate to which I belong."
The Battle of New Year's Day
By Perceval Gibbon
YRARDOW, Poland, Jan. 3, via London, Jan. 8, 1915, (Dispatch to The London Daily Chronicle.)—
The lines of trenches, the position
of which I am able to observe from here, are those extending south from Sochaczew, and to the west of Msczonow. The chief German efforts are being directed against the centre of this line.
They have made a concentration of their best troops opposite our positions west of the village of Guzow, against the trenches of the second army at a point where an army corps of veterans have turned their position into an earthen fortress. Here within the last few days the Germans have brought up guns of all but the largest calibre and generally displayed considerable increases in their artillery. Here also their infantry attacks, those tragic and wasteful assaults in force which send so many thousand German corpses down the streams of the Rawka and Bzura to the Vistula, and so home, are most intense.
During the last few days a certain lull in the frequency of these attacks
has been observable and has been construed by the Russians as prefatory to renewed endeavors to force the line and advance a short stage on the dangerous road to Warsaw. This premonition was justified on New Year's Day when the enemy's attacks were renewed east of Guzow. The armies are facing each other across their breastworks at a distance varying from 200 to 300 yards. The dawn of 1915, the Germans aroused themselves again to the dreary energy of the hopeless battle. I watched the shelling from the headquarters of a regiment which is occupying a trench in the centre of the front line.
It was impossible to approach the trench more nearly during daylight, as the grassless brown flats were noisy with bullets from the German lines. They shoot with wasteful prodigality shrapnel and even heavier shells on any single figure that is discernible; but when early dark came down the attempt was made successfully and the first line held by the Bielojevsky Regiment was reached. I had the advantage of the company up
THE NEW YORK TIMES CURRENT HISTORY
to the zone of fire of Prince Peter Volkonsky, who is leader of a Red Cross motor column. Throughout our journey the Germans were firing rockets. slow, green ball of fire ascends as gradually into the air as a loaded balloon, seems to poise aloft for a moment, then sinks slowly to earth, lighting the country for a long way around with a ghastly green illumination. Each rocket is followed by a prompt fire from the field batteries and a short spurt of rifle fire.
The trench to which I finally came at midnight was that in almost the mathematical centre of the Guzow positions. Here behind an eight-foot-high breastwork the famous regiment, which invariably has been in the front line during the five months of the war, has made itself efficiently at home. Since the war began the regiment, whose normal strength is 4,000 men, has lost 5,500, making good its losses out of the reserves, so that now again it is at its full strength.
The Germans have made a routine of their attacks, always making them at night and always ineffectually. They advance as far as the barbed wire, 30 yards in front of the trench. There they encounter the full force of the Russian rifle fire and fall back again. The Germans shell without ceasing. All the Russians speak of their profuse expenditure of ammunition. The commander of the trench told me that at the lowest they fired over 3,000 shells on a single day.
Although intermittent firing continued through the night, no attack was made. With the morning the German guns resumed their exhaustive questing along the rear of the trenches, and a big factory to the southward once more became their target. Its great chimney began to acquire a kind of sporting significance, it was so obviously the object of fire in that direction; and bets were going in the trench backing the chimney against the German gunners.
I counted in an hour thirty-six shells directed at the factory, but the chimney,
like the steeple of a persecuted but triumphant religion, was cocking its unbowed head to the skies.
Now began the shelling of the trench, while the German rifle bullets searched along the front. This, however, is a game at which the Russian riflemen are specially proficient. They can in a few moments organize a combined murderous fire which forces every German who is not weary of life to keep his head down. After a few minutes the German rifle fire goes wild, their bullets no longer striking about our loopholes.
Toward late afternoon their fire increased, and the Russian long-range batThe tery came into position behind us. gun out of sight astern of us roared grandly. A shell traveled over us, whistling in its flight, then splashed in brief fire, and a great cloud of smoke arose a hundred yards ahead of us and the same distance short of the German trenches. A second shell burst about the same distance beyond the German line. Then, after careful sighting, and the position having been verified, came a third shell, which landed superbly and within easy sight upon the very lip of the trench, blowing a great gap in the earthwork. It was gunnery of the most exact and expert kind.
Shell after shell under our eyes, timed to a fraction, raked the trench; then came the reply to it. A German heavy battery out of sight of a dip toward the river came into action. From horizon to horizon the world was noisy with the stupendous drum of artillery, while at each brief interval the rending reverberation of rifle fire from trench to trench tore at one's ears.
The dreary, icy night darkened over the desolate fields which in this war have seen their crops trampled and have been sown with dead men. The darkness was lit by gun flashes and brief moons of shrapnel winking aloft, while from the opposite trench issued a ghostly, flickering blaze of rifles at their work.
The attack developed after all to the left of the trench in which we were. It was part of a great attack along a line
which extended from near Gradow southward to Rawa, and was unsuccessful everywhere.
When dark came I made my way out of the trench in the same way I had previously entered it-under fire; but this time the moon was showing frostily clear over the horrible levels, so that as we went we were silhouetted against her vacant face. We obviously were plainly visible to the Germans, for besides bullets, which were beginning to become commonplace and unremarkable, a shrapnel shell came screaming up and burst on the ground about twenty feet away.
We gained the road to Chervonaneva. The road was white and straight, bare as one's empty hand. Here I endured the most curious experience of my life. Myself and companion, John Bass, correspondent of The Chicago Daily News, were walking in our heavy furs between the glaring moon and the German gunners, who will fire extravagantly at anything. Their guns got to work along the road and a shell came screaming up and burst perhaps twenty feet away, followed by three or four others.
Our attempt to take to the fields, where we would not be so conspicuous, was thwarted by the Russian barbed wire and other preparations for the enemy. There was nothing for it but to continue along the naked road till we got out of range. Further on low trees be
gan at the side of the road. We hastened toward them, hoping to make them serve as cover, but shell after shell arrived, each bursting close by. The trees were of no use.
There was not another soul upon the road for over two miles. Each time we heard a shell coming toward us WC cowered with our arms covering neck and face. After each shot we inquired of each other if either had been hit. The shooting of the gunners with such a small and distant target appeared to me superb.
At last a shell exploded overhead, smashing the branches and sending a load of metal flying. I felt blows of flying earth and twigs on my back. Bass asked, "Have they got you?"
"Are you all right?" I inquired. "Think they have got me in the face," was the reply.
I had an electric pocket lamp, with which I made an examination. He was cut across the jaw with a fragment of shell and bleeding freely. I bandaged him with our handkerchiefs, Bass, as always, uncomplaining and treating the wound humorously.
Several shells followed, each too near for comfort, but we were now reaching the limit of the guns' range, and we came without further incident clear of their fire.
HICAGO, Jan. 7, 1915.-John F. Bass, the staff correspondent of The Chicago Daily News, who with Perceval Gibbon had a remarkable escape from being blown to pieces by German shells while returning from a visit to a Russian first-line trench in Poland, cabled to his paper his version
of their experiences, which duplicated largely that by Perceval Gibbon cabled to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Recounting their arrival at the trench held by the Bielojevski Regiment, in the centre of the battle line, he said:
"The officers, in small underground bomb-proofs, gave us a hospitable wel