One further reflection was suggested to me last night by a very distinguished and influential Russian soldier, holding office under the Government. “The method which prevailed at Przemysl was as follows: Instead of rushing against the place and losing heavily, we waited and husbanded our forces until the garrison was unable to hold out any longer. That is the method adopted by the Allies. It must in the course of time force Germany to surrender also.
“Up to now we have held our own against her furious sorties. Soon we shall begin to draw more closely our investing lines. Only one end was possible to Przemysl. The fate of Germany is equally sure.”
Now all eyes are fixed on the Dardanelles. The phrase on every lip is: “When the fall of Constantinople follows, then Prussia must begin to see that the case is hopeless.” But we must not deceive ourselves, for even when her allies are defeated Prussia will still be hard to beat. Przemysl must not cause us to slacken our effort in any direction or in the slightest degree.
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
LONDON, April 3.—The London Times under date Przemysl, March 30, publishes a dispatch from Stanley Washburn, its special correspondent with the Russian armies, who, by courtesy of the Russian high command, is the first foreigner to visit the great Galician fortress since its fall. He says:
Przemysl is a story of an impregnable fortress two or three times over-garrisoned with patient, haggard soldiers starving in trenches, and sleek, faultlessly dressed officers living off the fat of the land in fashionable hotels and restaurants.
The siege started with a total population within the lines of investment of approximately 200,000. Experts estimate that the fortress could have been held with 50,000 or 60,000 men against any forces the Russians could bring against it. It is probable that such supplies as there were were uneconomically expended, with the result that when the push came the situation was at once acute, and the suffering of all classes save the officers became general. First the cavalry and transport horses were consumed. Then everything available. Cats were sold at 8 shillings, and fair-sized dogs at a sovereign.
While the garrison became thin and half starved, the mode of life of the officers in the town remained unchanged. The Cafe Sieber was constantly well filled with dilettante officers who gossipped and played cards and billiards and led the life to which they were accustomed in Vienna. Apparently very few shared any of the hardships of their men or made any effort to relieve their condition. At the Hotel Royal until the last, the officers had their three meals a day, with fresh meat, cigars, cigarettes, wines, and every luxury, while, as a witness has informed me, their own orderlies and servants begged for a slice of bread.