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portant treaty was nothing just shocked opinion, even of the politicians, sufficiently to help to incline the balance against her.
There is much more. The Prussian estimate of Russian, of French, and even of English psychology was very erroneous. The Prussian way of getting France not to join is about as subtle as spitting in a man's face, and the elephantine gambols of the German diplomats in London during the fatal week preceding the war were a positive aid to the catastrophe that was about to take place. They blundered as hard and as heavily as it was possible to blunder; going to the wrong people; despising the subtly powerful; paying court to the more advertised and less controlling of the English public men, and in a word behaving themselves after that fashion for which we have coined the adjective "newspaper."
There was further the peculiar aggravation of the tone in which the Austrian note had been addressed to Servia. There
was further the patent and almost puerile double dealing of Berlin in the attempted negotiations for peace between Russia and Austria-in which negotiations the British Cabinet was very prominent. But beyond all these other minor points, these three causes I have mentioned, by their convergence, seem to have determined England's participation in the war, with all the enormous but as yet unguessed consequences that will follow therefrom.
I repeat, I do not say that any one of those three causes would in itself have been sufficient. The three combining were just sufficient, and this account, if I am not mistaken, justly presents the picture that history should have of the manner in which Great Britain determined to conclude the long process of her recent diplomatic revolution and to engage with the Allies against the German Empire and the Hapsburg house, which the German Empire tows in its wake.
Germany's Strategic Railways
By Walter Littlefield
ERMANY'S explanation of her violation of Belgium's neutrality has thus far assumed two successive phases which have been placed on record by the Imperial Chancellor in as many speeches in the Reichstag. Before that body Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg said on Aug. 4, 1914:
Our troops have occupied Luxemburg, and perhaps have also found it necessary to enter Belgian territory. This is contrary to international law. The French Government has declared in Brussels that it will respect the neutrality of Belgium as long as she respects the opponent. We know, however, that France was ready to invade Belgium. France could wait; we, however, could not, because a French invasion in our lower Rhein flanks would have proved fatal. So we were forced to disregard the protests of the Luxemburg and Belgian Governments. We shall try to make good the injustice we have committed as soon as our military goal has been reached. Whoever, like us, is fighting for the highest, must only consider how victory can be gained.
On Dec. 2 last Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg said:
When, on Aug. 4, I spoke of the wrong which we were committing with march into Belgium, it was not yet established whether the Belgian Government at the last moment would not desire to spare the country and retire under protest to Antwerp. * * Now. however, that it is demonstrated by documents found in Brussels how the Belgians surrendered their neutrality to England the entire world knows two facts. One is that when our troops on the night of Aug. 3-4 entered Belgian territory they were on the ground of a State which had given up its neutrality long ago.
To both these charges the Belgian Government has made reply. To the first it said that, while the assurance that France would not invade Belgium was sufficient, yet if France did take
the initiative the Belgian Army stood ready to defend its territory from a French invasion.
To the second, it said that the documents found in Brussels merely showed an exchange of ideas as to how England might aid Belgium in defending her neutrality against an attack by Germany, and that there was nothing binding on either England or Belgium as to the outcome of these "conversations" of military experts.
In rebuttal Germany has asked: But why were we also not taken into the confidence of Brussels and similar plans formulated by which we might aid Belgium in repelling an invasion from either France or England?
To this the answer is simple: It has always been one of the objects of British policy to preserve Belgian neutrality, and that, aside from moral considerations, it would not be good military science for France to seek Germany via Belgium.
But this answer is capable of an expansion it has not hitherto received. Why did Belgium appear to fear an invasion from Germany and not one from England or France?
One has heard a great deal about Germany's supposed ambition to expand her North Sea coast at the expense of Denmark, Holland and Belgium, by coercing the Danish and the Dutch Governments to rebuild their coast fortifications toward England and to dismantle their forts on the German frontier. Much has also been said of Germany's contemplated invasion of the Low Countries at the time of the Agadir incident in 1911.
Documentary proof of Germany's contemplated initiative has hitherto been missing. Certain facts have, however,
recently come to hand which enable one to review the German explanation. One of these facts embraces a project for railway expansion engineered and carried out on the Belgian frontier, which can leave no doubt in any reasonable mind that Germany deliberately planned to violate Belgium's neutrality the moment it became a military expediency to invade France.*
If, according to jurisprudence, the planning to commit crime is legally on a par with its achievement, then Germany, for five years prior to the war, had been guilty of violating Belgium's neutrality-guilty in such a manner as to leave no doubt in the minds of Belgian, French, and English statesmen and military experts that the actual commission of the crime would some day take place.
It was Belgium's peculiar duty, as will be seen, to prepare for that day. To have taken Germany into her confidence on a point on which Germany was already fully informed would very likely have hastened the day and the tragedy thereof.
In keeping up her forts facing Germany and building none on the French frontier, in exchanging ideas with English military experts as to how best her
*Compare the railway maps of Northern France and Northern Germany in "Cook's Continental Time Tables " for the years 1908 and 1914.
A confidential agent of the British Government examined the ground in May, 1914. Part of the results of his work has been published from time to time by the military correspondents of The Times and The Morning Post of London and all is particularly designated in the British Foreign Office Memorandum secured by Prof. Hibben of Princeton on Nov. 9, 1914, and published in THE NEW YORK TIMES of Nov. 25. In this memorandum it is stated: "The strategic dispositions of Germany, especially as regards railways, have for some years given rise to the apprehension that Germany would attack France through Belgium."
The disposition of the Third, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Germany Army Corps and the First, Fourth, and Fifth Cavalry Divisions, from Aug. 2 to 5, shown on French war maps, reveals that the attack was so made.
neutrality could be defended, Belgium was preparing for the inevitable. This inevitableness is no longer a matter of moral conjecture. It is a matter of material evidence.
First, let us see what it was that Germany violated. Belgium, partly by a decree of the Vienna Congress in 1815 and partly by revolution, secured her independence from the Netherlands in 1830. The next year she inaugurated her Constitution, and by the Treaty of London, signed Nov. 15, 1831, became the god-child, as it were, of Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia, who guaranteed her neutrality for all time in the following manner:
Article 7-Belgium, within the limits specified in Articles 1, 2, and 4, shall form an independent and perpetually neutral State. She shall be bound to observe this same neutrality toward all other States.
Article 26-Consequent upon the stipulation of the present treaty there shall be peace and unity between H. M. the King of the Belgians, on one part, and H. M. the Emperor of Austria, the King of the French, the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the King of Prussia, and the Emperor of all the Russians, on the other, respectively, forever.
The treaty, however, was not at once put into force, for there was a pending quarrel between Belgium and the Netherlands. When peace was made in 1839 the treaty was again brought forward, signed, and promulgated. Thereupon all the States of Europe recognized the Kingdom of Belgium. The plenipotentiaries who then signed the treaty were Palmerston for Great Britain, Sylvan van de Weyer for Belgium, Senfft for Austria, H. Sebastiani for France, Bülow for Prussia, and Pozzo di Borgo for Russia.
It has been asserted that, for various reasons, it was not incumbent upon the German Empire to observe the treaties contracted for by the Kingdom of Prussia. But these assertions, even to German statesmen, amount to nothing. That the German Government recognized that
This he stated in the Reichstag. "I speak openly," he had said. That same evening he is reported to have exclaimed to the British Ambassador that "just for a word 'neutrality,' a word which in war time had so often been disregarded-just for a scrap of paper Great Britain was going to make war on a kindred nation who desired nothing better than to be friends with her."
There can be no doubt that Germany realized just what she was doing when she marched her troops into Belgium.
The question is, had she any precon-
In the southwest corner of Prussia is a rectangular piece of territory, the western and eastern sides of which are formed respectively by the Belgian and Luxemburg frontiers and the River Rhine. This territory includes about 3,600 square miles, and supports a population, including the great centres of Cologne, Coblence, Aix-la-Chapelle, and Treves, of nearly 1,000,000 souls. In other words, it is an area about half as large as New Jersey, if we omit that State's water surface, and just about as thickly populated.
Five years ago this little corner of Prussia had about 15.10 miles of railway to every 100 square miles of territory and New Jersey 30.23. In five years the Prussian territory has increased her rail
way m a littl
Map Showing Germany's Plan to Invade Belgium by a Strategic System of Railways Begun in 1909.
way mileage to 28.30 and New Jersey to a little less than 30.25.
Five years ago, in the Prussian territory, the only double lines existing were those from Cologne to Treves, from Coblence to Treves, and the two double lines, one on each side of the Rhine, from Cologne to Coblence, thus forming the three sides of a triangle. There was also the double track running from Cologne to Aix-la-Chapelle. These double lines were fed as commerce required, by only two sets of single-track lines, all amounting to a little less than 550 miles of traction-a very fair service, considering the products of the country covered. In five years, without any apparent industrial and commercial demand for it, this traction has been increased to nearly twice its length, or to about 1,020 miles. Villages like Dumpelfeld, Ahrdorf, Hillesheim, Pronsfeld, and the health resort of Gerolstein of comic opera fame, all of less than 1,300 inhabitants, have been linked up by doubletrack lines with towns like Remagen, St. Vith, and Andernach, whose populations only range from 1,500 to 9,000.
Exactly what has been done? In the first place the Stolberg-St. Vith line has been relaid and doubled, and very extensive detraining stations constructed at various points along it, especially at Weiwertz and St. Vith. Then the Remagen-Adenau line has been doubled as far as Dumpelfeld, whence a double line has been continued to Hillesheim, with double branches outward from Hillesheim to Pelm and Junkerath, both on the Cologne-Treves railway.
Then from Ahrdorf, between Dumpelfeld and Hillesheim, a single line has been built to connect with the CologneTreves line at Blankenheim, and a most important double track laid across the barren country from Junkerath to Weiwertz on the Stolberg-St. Vith line.
It will thus be seen that five lines converge on Pelm: the double line from Cologne, the new double line from Remagen via Hillesheim, and the single line from Andernach. Pelm is 24 miles from Gerolstein, and yet over this short distance between the two villages there
are laid down six parallel lines of rail, besides numerous additional sidings. Moreover, the double line from Hillesheim to Junkerath crosses over the main Cologne-Treves line by a bridge, and runs parallel to it for some distance before turning off to the left to reach Weiwertz.
In fact, the knot of lines around Junkerath, Pelm and Gerolstein is a marvel of construction for heavy, rapid transit, for no congestion would arise in a case of a sudden flood of traffic going in various directions, and to secure still more freedom the line from Gerolstein to Pronsfeld has been doubled.
Few of these lines, it is to be noted, cross the frontier. Three of them as late as last May led to blind terminals within less than a day's march from it— the double line from Cologne via Stolberg to Weiwertz, the double line from Cologne via Junkerath and Weiwertz to St. Vith, and the double line from Remagen via Hillesheim and Pelm to Pronsfeld.
The cost of the whole system, with its numerous bridges and multiple sidings, must have been enormous. The German average of $108,500 to the mile would hardly cover it.
Here is what a traveler saw when he visited this corner of Prussia last May:
The observer is as much struck by the significance of the ordinary traffic along these lines as he is by the huge embankments and cuttings on which nothing has yet had time to grow, and by the inordinate extent and number of the sidings to be seen everywhere. Baby trains, consisting of a locomotive and four short cars, dodder along two or three times a day, and if a freight train happens to be encountered, it will be found to be loaded with railway plant.
Another point that is noticeable is that provision exists everywhere at these new junctions and extensions for avoiding an up-line crossing a down-line on the level; the up-line is carried over the down-line by a bridge, involving long embankments on both sides and great expense, but enormously simplifying traffic problems when it comes to a question of full troop trains pushing through at the rate of one every quarter of an hour, and the empty cars returning eastward at the same rate.
The detraining stations are of sufficient length to accommodate the longest troop