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in making his selections, but in some cases this tendency seems to have been due more to an almost superstitious belief in heredity than to a partiality toward the aristocracy. True, he liked to have a flattering and subservient entourage, and, with an overweening conceit of his military knowledge, expected deference to his views on matters martial. Even the great Graf von Schlieffen, Chief of the General Staff from 1891 to 1906, from whose brain came the German war plan of 1914, felt the necessity of pandering to this weakness. He issued instructions for manœuvres and war games providing that when the Kaiser takes part he must be allowed to win; he cannot, as Kaiser, be beaten by one of his generals.'

On the other hand, Schlieffen's successor, Helmuth von Moltke, although a weaker and an inferior mind, actually restrained the Kaiser's military vanity, and was less a pliant courtier than is commonly supposed. That he was able to do so may have been due to the fact that he was essentially the Kaiser's own choice in defiance of public opinion. Nearly thirty years of his career had been spent in the gilded post of aide-de-camp to his uncle, the great von Moltke of the 1866 and 1870 wars, and to the Kaiser. Thus when, in 1904, he was suddenly raised to real responsibility as one of the two Deputy Chiefs of the General Staff, the army realized that such a step must have some future significance. Their perplexity was not prolonged. When in 1906 Schlieffen, disabled by a kick from a horse, was absent from his post, Moltke acted for him, and the next year definitely succeeded him as Chief of the General Staff. The names actually submitted, some time before, to the Kaiser as suitable had been those of von der Goltz and von Beseler. Von der Goltz,

a famous military writer, and t prophet of the Nation in Arms, four like many other soldiers, that acti thought and the power of expressing create uneasiness rather than app ciation in high places. Von Besel later the conqueror of Antwerp, longed to the Engineers, and, althou Deputy Chief of the General Staff, w therefore ignored by the Kaiser, w 'knew' only Guard and Cavalry o cers. But, above all, the choice Moltke seems to have been due to t Kaiser's belief in his historic name an omen of victory.

If Moltke's elevation was unjustifi by his achievements, the strength his pedestal enabled him to make stand against interference from 'creator.' He told the Kaiser frank that at manœuvres 'the decisions of t commanding generals are always i fluenced by the interference of Yo Majesty, so that the officers lose desire for initiative and become ine and unreliable.' And the Kaiser ga way, abstaining from active comma or interference until July 1914. Molt was thus emboldened to take libert with the war plan of his illustrio predecessor. The first change was wi politically at least. Moltke preferr to risk delay by the forts of Lié rather than to avoid them by crossi the strip of Dutch territory known the Maastricht Appendix, an act military convenience which might ran Holland as well as Belgium on the si of Germany's foes. But Moltke 1 vealed less moral audacity than 1 predecessor in matters that were pure military. Schlieffen had concentrat all his efforts on building up an ov whelming right wing in the project advance into France. He had taken t calculated risk of weakening the l wing with the view that this wi could retire gradually before a Fren onslaught without serious danger, a

by its very yielding draw the French on to their destruction by drawing them away from northwestern France, which would thus be all the more exposed to the smashing onrush of the German right wing.

Moltke shrank from the risk, and as new reserves became available strengthened the left wing at the expense of the right. And, like many timid men, he wished to risk too little at the outset and to gain too much later, thinking that a strong left wing would not only avert initial danger but enable him to envelop the French armies on both flanks, repeating 1870 and leading to a greater Sedan. Thus, when the test came, the German war machine was laboring under too great a strain, and this, coupled with Moltke's inability to keep control, caused the breakdown on the Marne, and the loss of the first and greatest chance of Germany's victory in the war. Moltke's papers after his death threw a vivid light, not only on the complexity and rigidity of the German war machine, but on the way a national, as opposed to a professional, army tends inevitably toward war. Once set in motion it gathers weight and pace like an avalanche, escaping direction and making almost hopeless any attempts either to orient or to retard its course.

On July 31, 1914, Moltke was summoned by the Kaiser and shown a telegram from the German Ambassador in London which said that Secretary of State Grey had informed him Great Britain would engage to keep France out of the war if Germany would reciprocally engage not to undertake hostilities against France. The Kaiser then said to Moltke: 'Now we need only wage war against Russia; thus we simply march the whole of our army eastward.' Moltke replied: 'Your Majesty, that is impossible. The deployment of a host of millions of men VOL. 141 - NO. 1

cannot be improvised; it means a whole year of laborious work, and once settled cannot be altered. If Your Majesty insists on leading the whole army to the east, it will not be an army ready for battle, but a disorderly crowd of unorganized armed men without supply arrangements.'

The Kaiser was 'much upset' and retorted bitterly: 'Your uncle would have given me a different answer.' The machine which they had created was beyond the power of men to control, and not only were they swept inevitably in its wake toward war, but they proved equally helpless to guide it strategically once its ponderous and remorseless passage over the French frontier had begun.

Moltke, who had already disturbed the balance between the two wings which Schlieffen had contrived, upset it still more by repeated reductions in the weight of the marching right wing. He first detached active divisions to watch the fortresses of Antwerp, Givet, and Maubeuge, and then, on August 25, to reënforce the Eastern Front against Russia, in the belief that the decision in the West was already ensured! The delusion was strengthened by the roseate reports of the various army commanders, each anxious for his own credit, and by the failure of the Supreme Command to keep in touch with

far less to keep control over - the advancing armies. A suspicion of the truth began to dawn upon Moltke through the comparatively small captures of men and guns, and in this state of doubt the Kaiser's easy optimism irritated him: 'He has already a shouthurrah mood that I hate like death." When disillusionment finally came in the Battle of the Marne, Moltke, more sensitive than his opponent, Joffre, lost his nerve. He felt instinctively that the loss of the Marne meant the ultimate loss of the war, and with still truer

instinct remarked, 'We shall have to pay for all that we have destroyed.'

Between September 5 and 9 no orders from Moltke were issued to the Army Commands, and from September 7 to 9 no information or report as to the situation was sent by them to Moltke. These were the crucial days of the Marne battle, which began on September 6 and ended with the retreat of the German armies, beginning with the Second, on September 9. The fact would be incredible if it was not attested by ample evidence. This retreat was ordered rather than compelled, due to the panic fears of leaders so saturated with military convention that a slight indentation of their front and a partial bending of their flanks led them to conclude that, by the rules of the game, they were beaten. There was no necessity to fall back if they had appreciated the defensive power of modern arms as well as they appreciated the convention of strategy. The French were unperturbed by the presence of the far deeper St. Mihiel wedge which remained in their front during four years, and in 1918 the Allied commanders did not find it necessary to fall back and straighten the line even when the enemy had driven wedges forty miles deep into their front. At the Marne the German soldiers were not beaten, but only their leaders. On the morrow of this defeat Moltke was displaced, the failure of his physical vigor being made, according to customary subterfuge, the excuse for a dismissal really due to failure of moral vigor.


This sketch of Moltke, his character and career, is a necessary preliminary if we are to understand the problem of his successor, Falkenhayn, and the conditions which surrounded his advent to power. Moltke's confession on the eve

of war that he could not alter the rig plan had evidently both irritated t Kaiser and disturbed his confidence Moltke's grip on the situation, for early as August 10 the Chief of th Military Cabinet asked Falkenhay privately if he was prepared to tal over the duties of Chief of the Gener Staff. During the advance throug Belgium into France, Falkenhayn ha uneasy qualms over the blind an headlong pace of the German onrus and urged the need and value of secu ing the advance by consolidating eac step in its wake. On September 3 the is an entry in his diary: 'Impresse again on Moltke . . . the necessity occupying the north coast and also halting for rest on the Marne.' On of the most amazing features of the wa is that the Germans, with the Allie armies in full retreat, made no attemp to secure the Channel ports, which la at their mercy. The British had evad uated Calais, Boulogne, and the whol coast as far as Le Havre, even trans ferred their base to St. Nazaire on th Bay of Biscay. German Uhlans roame at will over the northwest of France settled down in Amiens as if they wer permanent lodgers, yet left the vita ports in tranquil isolation. A mont later they were to sacrifice tens thousands of lives in the vain attemp to gain what they could have secure without losing a drop of blood.

On the eve of the Battle of th Marne, September 5, there is this sig nificant entry in Falkenhayn's diary "The German Staff itself admits to-da that the retreat of the French is bein carried out in complete order, but i cannot come to a new decision. . . Only one thing is certain: our Genera Staff has completely lost its head Schlieffen's notes do not help an further, and so Moltke's wits come t an end.' A deadly sarcasm!

The choice of Falkenhayn to succee

Moltke was dictated not merely by Falkenhayn's record and the proved truth of his criticisms, but even more by his presence at Great Headquarters as Minister of War. For the Germans had no wish to advertise the failure of their first Chief- a confession that their plan had miscarried- and they could camouflage the change better by slipping Falkenhayn into Moltke's seat than by recalling anyone from the front. Moreover, although Falkenhayn took over the duties of Chief of the General Staff on September 14, his appointment was not publicly announced until November 3, and he retained the functions of Minister of War as well until February 1915.

The first need was to restore confidence and cohesion in an army defeated through no fault of its own. The rapidity of the recovery is a tribute both to the sound body of the army and to the tonic administered by Falkenhayn's reassertion of higher control. He had seen the faults of 1870 repeated, more disastrously, in 1914, the army commanders acting independently and taking their own course without attention to a Supreme Command which was wanting in the power to control them. Falkenhayn's fault here was that he swung too far to the other extreme, centralizing power excessively in his own person. His character and manner aggravated the failings of this tendency. If he was not well served, it was partly his own fault. The head of the Operations Section was a source of friction as well as a man of limited mind, but Falkenhayn, who realized Tappen's inadequacy, declared that he did not want an adviser, only 'a conscientious man who carried out his orders punctually.' Aloof, reserved, notoriously ambitious, Falkenhayn was not the man to inspire affection in his subordinates or trust in his peers. General Stürgkh, Austrian representative

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The reaction of the Marne on the two sides was characteristic of the mentality and predisposition of the rival commanders. The Allies, whose blind optimism had led them into disaster after disaster since the outset, were so elated and inflated by the 'miracle of the Marne' that they were carried away by their ideas of a decisive manœuvre against the German flank. In the 'Race to the Sea' they buoyantly made a series of inadequate and belated attempts to turn the German flank, until they suddenly came down with a bump-to find themselves desperately, and almost despairingly, struggling to hold out against the German onslaught at Ypres.

With the Central Powers the outlook of Falkenhayn was now the decisive influence, and the impression derived not merely from his critics but from his own account is that neither the outlook nor the direction was really clear as to its goal. He was too obsessed with the principle of security at the expense of the principle of concentration, and in his failure to fulfill the second he undermined the foundations of the first. On

families. The Metropolitan of Moscow was outraged, imprisoned, and finally put to death for remonstrating with him. Not content with this, Ivan toured his unfortunate country, dealing death and destruction wherever he went. He literally devastated the prosperous city of Novgorod, and decimated its inhabitants, because it had dared to oppose his grandfather, and had rendered itself suspect of treachery. Finally, his suspicions fell on his own followers, and some of the chief oprichniki were executed. He made the people of Russia realize what it meant to invite a sovereign to come and rule upon his own terms. He did infinitely more material and moral harm to his country and to his subjects in twenty years than the Tatars had done in two hundred, and the irony of it was that he completely failed in his object.'

Among his victims was his own son, Ivan, whom he killed in a fit of rage in the presence of the victim's young wife, crushing his head with the heavy iron staff studded with iron points which the father was in the habit of carrying.

'Be like the Emperor Paul'! Now the Emperor Paul was known throughout Europe as the 'crowned madman,' whose despotism knew no bounds. So savage was his persecution, even of his own family, that a band of noblemen penetrated to his sleeping room on March 23, 1801, and murdered him. The Emperor had leaped from his bed at the sound of the approaching officers and hid behind some friendly curtain, but the leader of the band, touching the bedclothes, said, "The nest is warm the bird cannot be far away.' The members of the avenging group held the terrified despot while one of them calmly strangled him with the sash of his uniform. Among the murderers was the great-great-grandfather of Isvolsky, who served as Minister of

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"There is a superb chance now at hand. In three days we shall celebrate the sixth of December, Saint Nicholas's Day. Announce a constitution for that day; dismiss Sturmer and Protopopov, and you will see with what enthusiasm and love your people will acclaim you.'

The Emperor sat in pensive silence. He flicked the ashes from his cigarette with a bored gesture. The Empress shook her head, negatively. Nicholas answered:

'What you ask is impossible. On the day of my coronation I swore to preserve the autocracy. I must keep that oath intact for my son.'


Driven finally to desperation by the futility of their efforts to curb the invisible influences and the dark forces surrounding the Empress, a small band of men of high birth, some related to the royal family, resolved to take the law of life and death into their own hands. The first victim marked for death was Rasputin. An intercepted letter revealed the fact that the Empress herself would have been the next to be removed.

The versions of Rasputin's death differ somewhat in details, but substantially they all agree that the 'prophet,' on the night of December 30, 1916, was enticed to the house of Prince Felix Yousoupov on the Moika, in Petrograd, and there assassinated in cold blood. Besides the Prince, the

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