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———— The ellemy's cff ensive in Rumania con- tinues upon a scale imperfectly appre- ciated so far. It is one of the major opera- tions of the war, and it has to be proved whether it will not shape the course of hos- I' tilities in the Eastern front in the coming year. It is calculated that. wW, with 25 to 26 Gerrrwi and Austro-Hungarian divi- sions, eight Bulgarian divisions (each equal to a.n army corps of 25,000 to 30,000 mea), and six Turkish divisions, with cavalry and non-combatants, 600,000 men are engaged with probably inferior Russian and Ruma- nian forces. The Austrian and German contingents are equal in numbers, and Ger- many has actually (werthrown Rumania with the employment of lees than six per cent. of her to?al number o.f divisions—-an in?igninoaitit fraction, supplemented by other workers for the King of Prussia." Probably in numbers as well as in equip- ment the en amy en joys a considerable supe- riority, particularly as the larger part d what rmains of the Rumanian Army has been withdrawn to reorganise. The enemy enjoys other advantages, which account for his steady progress to the river Sereth, the last natural barrier but one between him and the plain which stretches eastwards to Odessa. The Russian calcula- tions certainly never contemplated. the Rumanian collapse. When Rumania took the field on August 27th the mass of the Russian armies in Galicia was engaged in an effort to continue the big drive of Brussiloff in the early summer against the new line taken up by the Germans who came to the rescue of their shattered allies. The effort failed and the enemy, collecting from one front and another an army sufficient to over- power the Rumanian resistance, threatened to turn the Russian left flank and annul all the gains made. The Russians did all that they could by direct and indirect action. But whereas the Germans had their forces upon the spot, -and were advancing vie- j toriouslv, the Russian alternative offen- sives in Galicia .ind Moldavia failed, and the Russians could not transfer sufficient forces to the Rumanian zore. be cause nf the miserable railway communications (blocked also by the exodus from Bukharest) in time to save Bukharest, the Dobrudja; or Braila. The Russian troops which actually arrived, after making their way into a country where the Rumanian civil population was fighting its way to get out, could only share the Rumanian defeats and retreats. But they certainly won invaluable time which de- stroyed some of the benefits, of the highest importance, which the enemy expected to derive from his conquests—the stored-up grain and oil. The Russians are plainly not yet on the spot in adequate strength, though their retreat yields few prisoners to the enemy and is evidently being conducted' slowly and in good order. But the readjust- J ment of the line takes time. and the effect upon the Russian plans and dispositions is probably revolutionary. Already we have in thiq remote southern zone of Russia gene-1 rals whose armies were last autumn massed on a relatively short front- in Galicia, and that have now to be extended over several; hundred miles of new front. This thinning i out of the line naturally modifies extensively Russian plans for the spring. To a certain extent the enemy has thus seized the initia-; tive and dictated the field of operations. It is certainly an to his good that Rumania should be employed by him as a lightning conductor to draw oft. tite electricity that might otherwise be discharged against the Austro-Hungarian front in llunglVry. ————— -0

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