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I RUSSIA'S HANDS FULL

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I RUSSIA'S HANDS FULL The Germans first reported that they had taken 46.000 Russian prisoners in the Hast Prussian batih>s. Then another lour thousand was added to tho nnmber. A tian- later, the.ir "wireless" jumped to the total of 6-i,ftOO. TV a will do well t-> | receive these figuras with considerable reserve. There is no doubt but. that the KiLssians, quite out-numborcd because of tho facilities their strategical railways give the Germans for rapid of troops, have suffered a serious reverse, but the extent of it wo shall not know until Petrograd elects to speak. The Germans have in all probability given us a very exaggerated statement of their sunc«?ss. We can place no reliance, upon the makers of a German naval success cut of the. Dogger Bank fight, and 1he j authors of the "Mtcen thousand British gcldiers drowned in Flanders tale. We have, however, to face the fact that the position in the East is far from being as satisfactory as the operations before "Warsaw a fortnight ago gave us reason t,) believe. Instead of waging offensive warfare in East Prussia, the Russians have now to defend their own soil. On the other extreme of their line, they htve had to evacuate the Southern Bukowina. Movements are in operation which are said to imperil Warsaw, not by means of eObtly frontal attacks the Germans I hava several times attempted, but. in a more threatening way. The enemy aro said to bo aiming at the forrress of Kovno, and possibly at Grodno also, and what, is far moro important from their poinc of view. at cutting the main line from Petrograd to Warsaw. And the line is believed to be further and perhaps even more seriously menaced by the simultaneous advance into Poland in the neighbourhood of Ostrolenka, from points south of the Masurian Lake region. Should the railway bo reached and held by either advance, Warsaw would be in grave danger. Still we have confidence in the Eus- sians. Their task in enormously difficult. They have to fight on a very long front, and in country where they are without many transport facilities. The Turkish I forces' iu the South are not to be despised, although they are not to be feared. The Austria-Hungarian armies have powers of recuperation which have often been insisted upon in this journaL Notwith- standing the jubilant massage from tho pan of Professor Pares, the authorised correspondent with the Russian Ariniea, the, soldier? of the Dual Monarchy are by no means played out. The situation does not givo much ground for anticipating] an early advance over the German borders, and the Times has good reason to declare that the moral for thé Western Allies is. in simple. lang-uag that whatever may happen during the nest few weeks, Russia has her hands! full. It is the duty of the Allies in the West to prosecute their efforts with in- creasing rigour as soon as conditions per- mit, without too much regard lor the operations in the Eastern theatre. The war began in the West, and the strobes that linish it will probably bavo to be administered in tho West." We have had spy books by the score since the outbreak: of the war, some en- j titled to the benefit of the doubt, some too melodramatic, to have importance attached! to them. Wo think that when the public see a publication professing to state j "What I did as a German Spy" it is! frankly incredulous, and prepares to "allel the said spy's doings with a liberal help- ing of salt. But -A-Len a soldier of the reputation of Lieut.-General Sir Robert Baden-Powell bilks of his adventure*, as a tpy, it is another matter; we know and are ready to believe. There- fore great valuo must bo attached to his new book My Adventures As a Spy ^Pearson, Is.), wherein he breezily writes of his many and thrilling experiences. Six years ago. the lierutenant- general recounted, in a private lecture to othcerf-, illustrated with! lantern slides and maps, one of the plans of invasion of this country drawn up by the Germans. It wa3 not until the report of this lecture leaked into the papers that he realised how nearly he had touched the spot." The Secretary of State ior War was badgered with ques- tions in the House of Commons, and, says B.-P. "I was assailed with htteIC from Germany of most violent, abuse from various quarters, high and low, which showed me that I had gone nearer the truth than I had'oven expected. You are but a brown-paper general,' said one, and if you think that by your foolish talk you are to frighten 116 from coming, tou are not right. The German idea, six years ago, accord- ing to Sir Robert's discoveries after getting into touch with. a sort of interna- tional spy agency, was that they could, by means of mines and submarines, at any time block the traffic in the British Channel in the space of a few hours, thus holdihg our home fleets in the stations at Spithead and Portland. With the Straits of Dovar so blocked, they could then, rush a fleet of transports across the North Sea from Germany, to the East Coast of Eng- land, either East Anglia or, as in this plan, in Yorkshire. They had in Germany nine embarking stations, with piers and ¡\ platforms, all ready made, and steel lighters for disembarkation purposes or for actual traversing of the ocean in case of fine weather. The nearest Bank Holiday to July 13th —considered, by the law of average, the nnpst day of the year—was to be the Day Bank Holiday, because then com- -lie j organised. Spies in England were to cut wires, to blow dowr. bridges, and to create, as much confusion as possible. Not London, but the teeming Midland centre I where there are fourteen millions of people* in a short radius, was the strategical ob- | jeetive. Their theory wa? that if they could rush an army of even ,¡(¡,OOO men j into Leeds, Sheffield. Halifax. Manchester, I land Liverpool without, encountering great j opposition in the tirst tew hours, they could thero establish themselves iu such strength that it would require a powerful army to drive them out again. Bringing I a week's provisions with them, and seiz- iB? all the local pro?'isiou?. they would have chough to su?isin Ib?ui for a C')11-1 "idprahle time, and t1e fint step of their occllpation would hI) to expel every in- habitant—man, woman, and child-frnm f the neighbourhood and destroy the towns. Thus, within a few hours, some fourteen i 1. 1 1 millions of people, would be starving, and I wandering without shelter over the face of the country—a disaster which would need a large for''? to deal with? and would causK entire disruption of our food supplies and of business in the country. that was before our nava l bases bad been established in the North. Sir Robert Baden-Powell believes that if at that time (nve or six y-ars ago) they had declared war, they might, have had no serious interference from our Navy during the- passage of flour transports, which, of course, would be protected on that flank by their entire flout of warships. At j first glance," he comments, it seems too fanciful a plan to commend itself to belief, but iu talking it over with German officers, I found they fully believed in it as a practical proposition. They them- selves enlarged on the idea of the use that they would thus make of the civil popula-j tion, and foreshadowed their present bru- i tality by explaining that when war came, j it would not be made with kid gloves.1 ¡ The meaning of their commands would be j brought home to the people by shooting i down civilians if necessary, in order to prove that they were in earnest, and to I' force the inhabitants through terror, to; comply with their requirements." The best-laid plans This plan, like many another, made by Germany since, went astray. Until the Gernian fket is smashed—and that will be when it shows its BOco beyond the mine-tMid? of the Bight—we &hail have to rNnain on the ¡ alet't. But with tho Battle of the Dogger Bank, the lat GM man hope of invasion r practically vanished. I

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