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■ » ————— < Most people in this coin try are now looking forward to the next big push (writes Mr. Arnold. Bennett, in the Lon- don "Daily News.") ".This big and record- breaking push, which iis to em'e all illsi monopolises our expectation. What Russia may do on the East Front does not really Interest us. We regard her potentialities as j supplementary, and not essential, to the Anglo-French work in France and Flan- j ders. What Rumania has not done due;- i not really interest us. Her faHure, gCQms to us- not to matter greatly. The sameof the Salonika stagnancy y.nd the acrobatics b? King Constantine. Our ti. >ps have re- ??K'ngConptantine. Ourtr<o p s h aver' centlv eased Egypt of a distinct menace— we iweived 'the news with bland calm. Our troops are also making clear progress towards wiping out. the Itumijiatloncf Kitt —we do not care deeply about that either. For us tbece :sónly one push, which win occur at the close of winter, and which will c?ccui- -it ilie clo se of i ii t e  ali d -,v h ic h -,vill end the war.   The Government itself has encour- aged this pleasant idea by hints, speeches, and the strictly unofficial influencing of journajjsts. This pleasant idea hris be'. come ata obsession, almost a religion. True, the last big push was preceded by a similar, obsession. The last big pupil wac to end the war. It showed, however, thnt onr generals had still a lot to kanl; and it did not end the war. Therefore it has been called a failure. It was not, in my opinion, a. failure-rather was it a mighty achieve- mehtbut it was, unquestionably, a slow disappointment to the majority of citizens. Has that disappointment, impaired our jaitli Not a bit. We believe as sin- cerely as we did last year that the next push will wholly and finally succeed. We believe that ere it begiis our generals wiil nave ncr¡Uin,d technical wisdom in the right ^chool, and that when it ends the German? will ask for mercy." This is a view whch. if not' the general opinion', is at least sumciently widely held to deserve an analysis. As it it Is unreasonable and represents emotion epthei-I than an examination of the situation and t-he drawing of conclusions from such facts 1 as are available. Too much may be ex- pected from the West ;Iiid t(,It),Iittle from the East. True, we lack knowledge of the strength and equipment, of the Russian Army, and we do not care much to see such allusions as that made in the order to his j troops written by General Dimitrieff at Riga., j laying stress upon the .value of saving ex-e-r. "tens of thousands of shells." But, last year Russia crumpled up the Austrian front and inflicted at least three-quarters o* a million casualties; and this year. presuma bly there has been a continued improvement in num- hers, equipment and efficiency. To wipe Russia almost- clei,ii uff the late and to en- tertain no expectation? at an of her efforts in the coming campaigning season. Is alto- gether exaggerated. On the other hand, in the West. the long-sought'-for "decision" I may continue to e?ad? us. "Th ij" t t. 'b k, The til-At to he :?ked. i" examin- .ingthe?ituationtntheWestandthepro.?- pects of the coming oftensive. :s. t? -?_? quiremen't? of success in an on'o'?Ive cam- paign and the second question, whether the Ai'iies fulfil these requirements. An offensive under the prevalent conditions deiuruMs a skilled and experienced staff. )f .lenders and organisers; a numerous, ardent, and endurin.g infantry; sup'eriority over the enemy in weight of fire: perfect co-opera- tion between artillery, infantry, and the aerial observing services; and special ac- cessories such as "the Tanks, which, imper- vious to bullets and not- easily hit or (lis, -aided by shells, can frolic about in any system of trench es and destroy the garrisons which-have survived-bombardment.. The Allies have all thsse, andmeet all the de- ma.nd8 laid down above, and there can be no quest-ion that generally they lutve a c-.Iear and all-round superiority in resources. And they can US;) the latter at last to the best advantage. The two French victories in the counter-attacks at, Verdun in the j aiitumn and winter, and the British victory on the Am-re, demonstrate that. De- oidedly the prospect* are bright. ) A British semi-official writer, however, maintains that we possess nothing like the preponderance in numbers that is required in the West, not only to secure a victory, but a decisive victory. Need that be fatal to our prospects? Emphatically, no; but it does threaten to reduce seriously the extent of the victory to which we are justified in looking. A two or three to one superiority in numbers ha,8 probably never obtained in any great offensive in the West or the East,Hakim; the situation as a whole. There was nothing like, the two to one advantage on the side of the Germans in 1914 in the Wrest when they attacked the Franco-British and Bel- gian Armies, though in t-hi,, plwe or that they may have been two or three to one, or even many times more numerous. But there is an instance in which one of the Allies also possessed .¡¡.t the outset, in a certain, no- torious action, a superiority in numbers that was, at the opening, overwhelming—so immense as to be ver y rare- in war of any time. Yet it ayailed that side nothing. In the West then, it may be said that the Allies possess not only a superiority of resources to holo out every chance of sue- cess, but the knowledge of how to turn it to the best, advantage. It Js incapacity in the latter respect which has hitherto played havoc with the Allied plans. Rumania is a classic example of a waste of resources, and Greece and Bulgaria, and in a sense even Turkey, are further 'in- stances of factors that might have been in- valuable to the Allies, being thrown away through sloth or folly. The whole won- derful history of Germany is an example not of superiority of resources over other I countries, but of superior capacity in utilk- ing such means as lay to hand. Compare tho German navai and military expenditure with that of trance and Russia- in the vears preceding the war and compa-re the peace strengths of the French and Ru ssian and of the German Army. On paper the contrast would seem totally. disadvantageous to the but the re^ul to,- achieved by the Germans, for a much leaser outlay and with smaller num?rp of men, ipeak for them- selves. (-, i a !vea- t supe- Numbers, or the lack of a (great supe- riority in them, need not, howeveiv be at all fatal to the pl(Jpeet of a decisive Allied success. In the portentous triumphs' at Verdun in (fccf-ober and December the; French and the German forces were about 1 equal, if the French had a it does not appear to liav,-? bee,,ii Urge. Yetth? j French achieved results. that, whet hor judged by losses iniEQted in proportion to losses sustaipei, fortified ground stormed, ??r -4,1?!- (a 'lb?-.xr., ?tt-?- ?tt? .the shade their, ps&t achijev?ne]'!?. a'id -o(fpr''d to the world a revelation oi whatkHl c<?< I. effect. 310I'e0ver, moral-di?c?uut? num. her?; 5??0u men on one ?ide, if in better j?pirit, bebter fed. clad and equipped, better led. and h'Mher tha-a a con-e&ponding 5,COO adversaries, co.?t m reality for much more jn the elements of? superiority that arc ncnc the less vital h-ec.iuse th,?v ?re impon- ncnc the teas  are  det'?bie. And there ih no.d?ubtnow but that 1 all fche.-e advantages incline conspicuously to the Allied forces in. tire NVest. I Granted the means and the sk-ill there re- mains a third dimension—that of time. With a time-limit upon them the finest armies fight und e r' a gra\-e handicap. La.st'l year we made ? belated, attack, and were robbed of tha fruits of victory by the doge of the season in which c?mpaignmg wa? pos- sible.? This year we do not start under that fata!h?n<!icap. We can make full use of every day of fine weather that th" year will contain. 1 here cctufs in then the question of the objective. Will Nivelle end Joffro seek this year at last a definite break through' Last yea" it was declared, the kind aii(i tl, -.e ncthing of the kind -was intend?d. and the Sovnnie offensive was even tosor.1e extent defensive in its .aims—to e?.*e th'-> di essure on hard-pressedVerdnn. As to tji? objec- ozi liard-i)re.Sed Vei-diiii. As t?D t.?-objec- ii 1917 tjip p-i-.bl;c 7f is for tiie Allied leaders. Nivelle and Haig, foltle _Vlli6a"-Ieadei??. Ni-eLe and Haig, wit-Ji their full knowledge, to decide what )s is Ynea,,is ?iid tile strive to achieve all that is poasibic, iust as we are convinced that pinchAvill be possible. "The success attained may he beyond or niav be far short of their expectations or plans. But we can make the general statement, j chat a.sati. sfactory is-ne of the coming effen- su v ill he the expulsion of the enemy from the greater part, if not the whole of I'.ranpe .and Belgium. We say. thfej .because it ;q from his" continual retention of the invaded territory tb.fc the en-mv still 'considers himself victorious. And we have to disabuse him, and not ourselves of that behef. A foe is beaten not when 4is enemy j* convinced of it, but when he ac- knowledges it himself. Military and moral deteatarenot necessarily the same tli Illg The Fiench deduct consider themselves .e?yb?en as a nation on account of 1?0. Ktfinse the cond?nsiu that war v?re not pqna), and did not aeord i' test. there was then national preparation ni the part ot Germany, nn'd the French Army was not "national" as that is under- stood to-day. We want, to defeat the enemv. not in the manner the. French were defeated in 1870. h.H;ni;Se that iF iiiii)o' -sib' hut by p method I that Will drive it home to th. German mind that hIs military machine, the summit of German capacity, embodying the maximum of German efit)-cl lr;s been not only defeated i hut broken to bits, The British Army is peculiarly capable of doing this, not only despite, -but even, oii,Rc- count of its.extemporised nature. This is one of the things that maddens the Germans, because r-fter he has sweated and striven for manv years to p rfeet his machine., the Britisher the muddling •' unscientific," rule of thumb, unmethodical Britisher, is knock- ing it to ai-id ea,i-- going manner, as if he were taking up a new Besides. tpe German has no reason to believe that the French and Russian Armies themselves, raided, wero st- '')' likely to beat him, in the end. And. (is we observed, we have no* only to make the enemy admit that he is beaten, and reduce him to a grovelling mood of eomnlete desp-iir and ".nconditioiuil surrender, but to con- rtract our own war ma p. And that- is a piece of work that differs n, I 'v from the present day examoJe of Teutonic draughts- manship that we must he prepared for m,re. prolonged and costly efforts than it is the popular mood, to anticipate. ^lw»v.s pre- suming the failure of the potato crop in Ger- many last year does not enforce a to this ni'trhtv drama. But it i will be the wrong kind of fiuale for -the Allies. v

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