“During the German attack
in March the officer responsible here
for the movement of troops by rail did not leave the office even
for meals for a number of days on end.”
So the long ascent climbs, from the humblest platoon in the field, through company, battalion, division, corps, and Army to the General Staff, and the British Commander-in-Chief, moving and directing the whole; with beyond these, again, as the apex of the great construction, the figure of the illustrious Frenchman, who for the last six months of the war, by the common consent of the Allies, and especially by the free will of England and her soldiers, held the general scheme of battle in his hands. In the British Army what we have been watching is an active hierarchy of duty, discipline, loyalty, intelligence—the creation of a whole people, bent on victory for a great cause. Must it, indeed, vanish with the war, like a dream at cock-crow, or shall we yet see its marvellous training, its developments of mind and character, gradually take other shapes and enter into other combinations—for the saving and not the slaying of men?
I have thus brought these rapid notes—partly of things seen, partly of things read—to an end. They might, of course, go on for ever, and as I write I seem to see rising before me those libraries of the future, into which will come crowding the vast throng of books dealing in ever greater and greater detail with the events of the war and the causes of victory. But this slight summary sketch of the military events, and especially of the final “effort” of England and the Empire, in the campaign of last year, which I set myself to do, is accomplished, however inadequately. Except, indeed, for one huge omission which every reader of these few pages will at once suggest. I have made only a few references here and there to the British Navy. Yet on the British Navy, as we all know, everything hung. If the Navy could not have protected our shores, and broken the submarine peril; if the