Winning a Cause - World War Stories
by John Gilbert Thompson and Inez Bigwood
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E-text prepared by Al Haines




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In Flanders Now

(An Answer to Lt.-Col. McCrae)

We have kept faith, ye Flanders' dead, Sleep well beneath those poppies red, That mark your place. The torch your dying hands did throw We 've held it high before the foe, And answered bitter blow for blow, In Flanders' fields.

And where your heroes' blood was spilled The guns are now forever stilled And silent grown. There is no moaning of the slain, There is no cry of tortured pain, And blood will never flow again In Flanders' fields.

Forever holy in our sight Shall be those crosses gleaming white, That guard your sleep. Rest you in peace, the task is done, The fight you left us we have won, And "Peace on Earth" has just begun In Flanders now.

EDNA JACQUES in the Calgary Herald

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[Frontispiece: Edwin Rowland Blashfield's poster, "Carry On," used in the Fourth Liberty Loan.

This striking lithograph in the movement of its design expresses the compelling force of the American spirit as it entered the World War.

The original oil painting has been purchased by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.]


World War Stories


JOHN GILBERT THOMPSON Principal of the State Normal School, Fitchburg, Mass.


INEZ BIGWOOD Instructor in Children's Literature, State Normal School, Fitchburg, Mass.

Authors of Lest We Forget

Silver, Burdett and Company Boston —— New York —— Chicago Copyright, 1919, by Silver, Burdett and Company.


Lest We Forget, the first volume of World War stories, gave an outline of the struggle up to the time of the signing of the armistice, November 11, 1918, and contained in general chronological order most of the stories that to children from ten to sixteen years of age would be of greatest interest, and give the clearest understanding of the titanic contest.

This; the second volume of the same series, contains the stories of the war of the character described, that were not included in Lest We Forget,—stories of the United States naval heroes, of the Americans landed in France, of the concluding events of the war, of the visit of President Wilson to Europe, and of the Peace Conference. In a word, emphasis is placed upon America's part in the struggle.

This volume should be of even greater interest to American children than the first, for it tells the story of America's greatest achievement, of a nation undertaking a tremendous and terrible task not for material gain, but for an ideal.

No more inspiring story has ever been told to the children of men than the story of America's part in winning the greatest cause for which men have ever contended. President Wilson said in Europe, "The American soldiers came not merely to win a war, but to win a cause." Every child in every home and in every school should be made familiar with how it was won, and with the separate stories which go to make up the glorious epic.

The two volumes of the series give for children, in a way that they will comprehend and enjoy, through stories so selected and so connected as to build up an understanding of the whole, the causes, the conduct, and the results of the World War.

The thanks of the authors and publishers are hereby expressed to Mr. Edwin Rowland Blashfield for the permission to reproduce his poster, "Carry On"; to Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox for "Song of the Aviator"; to George H. Doran Company, Publishers, for "Pershing at the Tomb of Lafayette" from "The Silver Trumpet," by Amelia Josephine Burr, copyright 1918; for "Where Are You Going, Great-Heart?" from "The Vision Splendid" by John Oxenham, copyright 1918; for "Trees" from "Trees and Other Poems" by Joyce Kilmer, copyright 1914; to Collier's for Lieutenant McKeogh's story of "The Lost Battalion"; to Mr. Roger William Riis for his article "The Secret Service"; and to Mr. John Mackenzie, Chief Boatswain's Mate, U. S. S. Remlik, for the facts in the story, "Fighting a Depth Bomb."


1. WHY THE UNITED STATES ENTERED THE WAR 2. AMERICA COMES IN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Klaxton 3. PERSHING AT THE TOMB OF LAFAYETTE . . . . Amelia Josephine Burr 4. AMERICA ENTERS THE WAR . . . . . . . . . . . David Lloyd George 5. THE FIRST TO FALL IN BATTLE 6. FOUR SOLDIERS 7. WHERE THE FOUR WINDS MEET . . . . . . . Geoffrey Dalrymple Nash 8. THE SOLDIERS WHO GO TO SEA 9. WHEN THE TIDE TURNED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Otto H. Kahn 10. A BOY OF PERUGIA 11. REDEEMED ITALY 12. SONG OF THE AVIATOR . . . . . . . . . . . . Ella Wheeler Wilcox 13. NATIONS BORN AND REBORN 14. "TO VILLINGEN—AND BACK" 15. ALSACE-LORRAINE 16. THE CALL TO ARMS IN OUR STREET . . . . . . . . . . W. M. Letts 17. THE KAISER'S CROWN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charles Mackay 18. THE QUALITY OF MERCY 19. THE REALLY INVINCIBLE ARMADA 20. "I KNEW YOU WOULD COME" . . . . . . Rev. Ernest M. Stires, D.D. 21. THE SEARCHLIGHTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alfred Noyes 22. FIGHTING A DEPTH BOMB 23. THE SECOND LINE OF DEFENSE 24. U. S. DESTROYER OSMOND C. INGRAM 25. JOYCE KILMER 26. BLOCKING THE CHANNEL 27. THE FLEET THAT LOST ITS SOUL 28. THE LITTLE OLD ROAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gertrude Vaughan 29. HARRY LAUDER SINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. George Adams 30. THE THIRTEENTH REGIMENT 31. WHERE ARE YOU GOING, GREAT-HEART? . . . . . . . . . John Oxenham 32. THIS CAPTURE OF DUN 33. BOMBING METZ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Raoul Lufbery 34. THE UNSPEAKABLE TURK 35. THE SECRET SERVICE . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roger William Riis 36. AT THE FRONT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . G. B. Manwaring 37. A CAROL FROM FLANDERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frederick Niven 38. THE MINER AND THE TIGER 39. THE LOST BATTALION 40. UNITED STATES DAY 41. NOVEMBER 11, 1918 42. IN MEMORIAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alfred Tennyson 43. THE UNITED STATES AT WAR—IN FRANCE . . General John J. Pershing 44. THE UNITED STATES AT WAR—AT HOME 45. A CONGRESSIONAL MESSAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . Woodrow Wilson 46. PRESIDENT WILSON IN FRANCE 47. SERGEANT YORK OF TENNESSEE


Edwin Rowland Blashfield's poster, "Carry On," used in the Fourth Liberty Loan . . . . Frontispiece

The standard bearers and color guard leading a column of the Fifth Artillery of the First American Division through Hetzerath, Germany, on their way to the Rhine.

"Lafayette, We Are Here!" The immortal tribute of General John J. Pershing at the grave of the great Frenchman.

The religious and military tribute paid to the first Americans to fall in battle, at Bathelmont, November 4, 1917.

Saint George and the Dragon, painted by V. Carpaccio in 1516, Venice; S. Giorgio Maggiore.

Jeanne d'Arc, rising in her stirrups, holds on high her sword, as if to consecrate it for a war of Right.

Memorial Day, 1918, was celebrated abroad as well as at home.

This memorial to the memory of Edith Cavell was unveiled by Queen Alexandra in Norwich, England, at the opening of the Nurse Cavell Memorial Home.

Somewhere in France these Salvation Army "lassies" are baking pies and "doughnuts for the doughboys."

The U.S. Destroyer Fanning with depth bombs stored in run-ways on the after deck.

One of the camouflaged guns of the German shore batteries which raked with fire the Vindictive, the Daffodil, and the Iris when they grappled with the mole, during the night raid.

The British Cruiser Curacao, Admiral Tyrwhitt's flagship, leading out one column of British cruisers at the surrender of the German navy.

From left to right, Admiral Sir David Beatty, Admiral Rodman, King George, the Prince of Wales, and Admiral Sims on the deck of the U.S. Battleship New York.

The heroic American ace, Raoul Lufbery, wearing his well-earned decorations just after an official presentation.

A two-passenger tractor biplane flying near the seashore.

The official entry of General Allenby into Jerusalem, December 11, 1917.

David Lloyd George.

Georges Clemenceau.

Major General Clarence R. Edwards pinning the congressional Medal of Honor on the breast of Lieutenant Colonel Charles W. Whittlesey.

Messages from Colonel Whittlesey and Lieutenant McKeogh.

This picture shows the standardized style of building used in every army in the United States.

A 10-inch caliber naval gun on a railroad mount.

A photograph from an airplane at 7900 feet, showing Love Field, Dallas, Texas, and a parachute jumper.

The Red Cross War Fund and Membership poster.

A photograph of the United States Transport George Washington taken from an airplane.

President Wilson driving from the railroad station in Paris with President Poincare of France.

Sergeant York wearing the French Croix de Guerre and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Pronouncing Vocabulary (four images).



The United States was slow to enter the war, because her people believed war an evil to be avoided at almost any cost except honor. In fact, "Peace at any price" seemed to be the motto of many Americans even after two years of the World War.

President Wilson declared in a speech at Philadelphia on May 10, 1915, that there is such a thing as being too proud to fight. He was severely criticized for his statement, and yet it is very true, and for more than a generation it had been taught to American boys and girls. Peace societies had sent lecturers to the public schools to point out the wickedness of war and the blessings of peace. Prizes had been offered to high school, normal school, and college students for the best essays on Peace, How to Maintain the Peace of the World, and other similar subjects. To get ready for war by enlarging the army and navy was declared to be the very best way to bring on war. School reading books made a feature of peace selections, and school histories were making as little of our national wars as possible. These teachings and the very air of the land of freedom made people too proud to fight, if there were any honorable way of avoiding it.

It is said that "People judge others by themselves." So Americans, being peaceful, contented, and not possessed with envy of their neighbors, supposed all other civilized people were like themselves. Therefore they could not at first believe that the Germans were different and looked upon war as a glorious thing, because through it they might get possession of the wealth and property of others. Perhaps the Germans, judging other people by themselves, believed that the French and Russians and English, like the Germans, stood ready to go to war whenever through it they might gain wealth and territory; but the Germans did not think this of the people of the United States. They thought that they were a nation of traders and money-getters in love with the Almighty Dollar. As events proved, this idea was a fatal mistake on the part of the Germans.

In entirely different ways, both Americans and Germans were taught that they were the people above all other peoples in the world. The German insolently sang "Germany above All" while the American good-naturedly boasted his land as the freest, the noblest and best, leading all the other countries and showing them the way to become greater and better. The American people, however, did not intend to force their beliefs upon other nations. But the Germans were led by the idea that German Kultur would be a blessing for all mankind and that it was their destiny to conquer and improve all other nations.

Thor stood at the northernmost point of the world. His hammer flew from his hand. "So far as my hammer this arm has hurled, All mine are the sea and the land." And forward flew the giant tool Over the whole broad earth, to fall At last in the southernmost pool To prove that Thor's was all. Since then 'tis the pleasant German way By the hammer, lands to win, And to claim for themselves world-wide sway, As the Hammer-god's nearest kin.

But the American does not go this far. While he is inclined to believe himself and his country better than any other people or nation, yet he is content to let others live in their own way as long as they are honest and do not interfere with him and his business. He is, to be sure, desirous of improving them, but by peaceful means, by building dams and railroads for them, and by giving them schools and sending them missionaries.

It was difficult therefore for Americans to realize that the Germans really planned and desired the war in order that they might rule the world. It took months and even years of war for the majority of Americans to come to a full realization of this truth. This should be remembered when the question is asked, not why the United States entered the war, but why she did not enter it earlier.

Americans are honorable and look upon the breaking of a pledge or an agreement as a shameful thing. It was almost impossible for them to believe that a nation, far advanced in science and learning of all kinds, could look upon a treaty as a scrap of paper and consider its most solemn promises as not binding when it was to its advantage to break them. Americans in their homes, their churches, and their schools had been taught that "an honest man is the noblest work of God." They had heard the old saying that "All is fair in love and war"; but they could not think for a moment that a whole nation of men and women had been taught that lies and treachery and broken promises were fair because they helped the Fatherland work out its destiny and rule the world.

They knew that Chancellor Bismarck falsified a telegram to bring on the war with France in 1870, and they learned to their dismay that Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg in 1914 declared the treaty with Belgium only "a scrap of paper" when Germany wished to cross that country to strike France. Americans kept learning that Germany's promises to respect hospitals and hospital ships, stretcher-bearers and the Red Cross, not to interfere with non-combatants, not to use poison gas, not to bombard defenseless cities and towns were all "scraps of paper." They discovered even the naturalization papers which Germans in America took out in order to become American citizens were lies sworn to, for the German who declared his loyalty to his new mother country was still held by Germany as owing his first fealty and duty to her. It must be said, however, that many Germans who became naturalized in the United States did not agree with these secret orders of their Fatherland; but many others did, and the rulers of Germany encouraged such deception.

It was many months after the beginning of the World War before the large body of American citizens would believe that the German nation and the German people made a business of lies and deception, and considered such a business just and proper when in the service of the Fatherland. But when Germany—after having promised the United States on May 4, 1916, that merchant ships would not be sunk without warning or without giving the crews and passengers an opportunity for safety—on January 31, 1917, informed Washington that she was not going to keep her promise and told the German people that she had only made it in order to get time to build a great submarine fleet which would bring England to her knees in three months—then the American people saw Germany as she was and in her shame.

Of all the peoples of the earth, the Americans are probably the most sympathetic and helpful to the weak and the afflicted. They are the most merciful, striving to be kind not only to people but even to animals. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, another for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the numberless Bands of Mercy show the feeling of the people of America toward the helpless. Americans supposed that other people were like them in this respect. They knew of the German pensions to the widows and to the aged, and they supposed that the efficient and enlightened Germans were among the merciful and sympathetic to the weak and dependent. The people of the United States knew, of course, of the Zabern incident where two German soldiers held a crippled Alsatian cobbler while a German officer slashed his face with his sword for laughing at him,—they knew that the German army officers were haughty and overbearing, but they thought this came from their training and was not a part of the German character. Americans had read the Kaiser's directions to the German soldiers going to China during the Boxer uprising to "Show no mercy! Take no prisoners! Use such frightfulness that a Chinaman will never dare look at a German again. Make a name for yourselves as the Hun did long ago." But the Americans, or most of them, did not believe that in the twentieth century a nation classified among the civilized nations could or would adopt Frightfulness as a policy. But when they read of the devastation of Belgium and northern France; of the destruction of Louvain; of whole villages of innocent men, women, and children being wiped out; of the horrible crimes of the sinking of the Lusitania, the Falaba, and the Laconia; of the execution of Edith Cavell; of the carrying off into slavery, or worse than slavery, of the able-bodied women and men from the conquered territory—when Americans learned these horrors one after another, they at last were forced to acknowledge that, like the brutal Assyrian kings who sought to terrify their enemies into submission by standing as conquerors upon pyramids of the slain, the modern Huns sought mastery by Frightfulness.

When most Americans came to realize that Germany was fighting a war to conquer the world, first Russia and France, then England, and then the United States—for she had written Mexico that if she would attack the United States, Germany and Mexico would make war and peace together—when they came to know the German nature and the idea of the Germans, that Might makes Right and that truth, honesty, and square dealing like mercy, pity, and love are only words of weaklings; that they were a nation of liars and falsifiers and the most brutal of all people of recorded history; when, added to this, the Americans realized that for over two years France and England had really been fighting for everything for which the United States stood and which her people held dear, for her very life and liberty, then America almost as one man declared for war.

Meanwhile Germany had declined to recognize the laws of nations which allowed America to sell munitions to the Allies. She had scattered spies through the United States to destroy property and create labor troubles. She had challenged the right of peaceful Americans to travel on the high seas. She had sunk the Lusitania with a loss of one hundred twenty-four American lives; the Sussex, the Laconia with a loss of eight Americans, the Vigilancia with five, the City of Memphis, the Illinois, the Healdton, and others. She had tried to unite Mexico and Japan against us.

Not until then, after the American people had become fully aware of the German character and purposes, did Congress on April 6, 1917, declare a state of war existed between Germany and the United States. On that day the outcome of the war was decided. Through her hideous selfishness, her stupidity, and her brutality, Germany, after having spent nearly fifty years in preparation, lost her opportunity for world dominion. The resources and the fighting power of what she looked upon as a nation of cowardly, money-loving merchants decided the conflict.


We are coming from the ranch, from the city and the mine, And the word has gone before us to the towns upon the Rhine; As the rising of the tide On the Old-World side, We are coming to the battle, to the Line.

From the Valleys of Virginia, from the Rockies in the North, We are coming by battalions, for the word was carried forth: "We have put the pen away And the sword is out today, For the Lord has loosed the Vintages of Wrath."

We are singing in the ships as they carry us to fight, As our fathers sang before us by the camp-fires' light; In the wharf-light glare, They can hear us Over There When the ships come steaming through the night.

Right across the deep Atlantic where the Lusitania passed, With the battle-flag of Yankee-land a-floating at the mast We are coming all the while, Over twenty hundred mile, And we're staying to the finish, to the last.

We are many—we are one—and we're in it overhead, We are coming as an Army that has seen its women dead, And the old Rebel Yell Will be loud above the shell When we cross the top together, seeing red.



They knew they were fighting our war. As the months grew to years Their men and their women had watched through their blood and their tears For a sign that we knew, we who could not have come to be free Without France, long ago. And at last from the threatening sea The stars of our strength on the eyes of their weariness rose; And he stood among them, the sorrow strong hero we chose To carry our flag to the tomb of that Frenchman whose name A man of our country could once more pronounce without shame. What crown of rich words would he set for all time on this day? The past and the future were listening what he would say— Only this, from the white-flaming heart of a passion austere, Only this—ah, but France understood! "Lafayette, we are here."




APRIL 12, 1917

I am in the happy position of being, I think, the first British Minister of the Crown who, speaking on behalf of the people of this country, can salute the American Nation as comrades in arms. I am glad; I am proud. I am glad not merely because of the stupendous resources which this great nation will bring to the succor of the alliance, but I rejoice as a democrat that the advent of the United States into this war gives the final stamp and seal to the character of the conflict as a struggle against military autocracy throughout the world.

That was the note that ran through the great deliverance of President Wilson. The United States of America have the noble tradition, never broken, of having never engaged in war except for liberty. And this is the greatest struggle for liberty that they have ever embarked upon. I am not at all surprised, when one recalls the wars of the past, that America took its time to make up its mind about the character of this struggle. In Europe most of the great wars of the past were waged for dynastic aggrandizement and conquest. No wonder when this great war started that there were some elements of suspicion still lurking in the minds of the people of the United States of America. There were those who thought perhaps that kings were at their old tricks—and although they saw the gallant Republic of France fighting, they some of them perhaps regarded it as the poor victim of a conspiracy of monarchical swash-bucklers. The fact that the United States of America has made up its mind finally makes it abundantly clear to the world that this is no struggle of that character, but a great fight for human liberty.

They naturally did not know at first what we had endured in Europe for years from this military caste in Prussia. It never has reached the United States of America. Prussia was not a democracy. The Kaiser promises that it will be a democracy after the war. I think he is right. But Prussia not merely was not a democracy. Prussia was not a state; Prussia was an army. It had great industries that had been highly developed; a great educational system; it had its universities; it had developed its science.

All these were subordinate to the one great predominant purpose of all—a conquering army which was to intimidate the world. The army was the spearpoint of Prussia; the rest was merely the haft. That was what we had to deal with in these old countries. It got on the nerves of Europe. They knew what it all meant. It was an army that in recent times had waged three wars, all of conquest, and the unceasing tramp of its legions through the streets of Prussia, on the parade grounds of Prussia, had got into the Prussian head. The Kaiser, when he witnessed on a grand scale his reviews, got drunk with the sound of it. He delivered the law to the world as if Potsdam was another Sinai, and he was uttering the law from the thunder clouds.

But make no mistake. Europe was uneasy. Europe was half intimidated. Europe was anxious. Europe was apprehensive. We knew the whole time what it meant. What we did not know was the moment it would come.

This is the menace, this is the apprehension from which Europe has suffered for over fifty years. It paralyzed the beneficent activity of all states, which ought to be devoted to concentrating on the well-being of their peoples. They had to think about this menace, which was there constantly as a cloud ready to burst over the land. No one can tell except Frenchmen what they endured from this tyranny, patiently, gallantly, with dignity, till the hour of deliverance came. The best energies of military science had been devoted to defending itself against the impending blow. France was like a nation which put up its right arm to ward off a blow, and could not give the whole of her strength to the great things which she was capable of. That great, bold, imaginative, fertile mind, which would otherwise have been clearing new paths for progress, was paralyzed.

That is the state of things we had to encounter. The most characteristic of Prussian institutions is the Hindenburg line. What is the Hindenburg line? The Hindenburg line is a line drawn in the territories of other people, with a warning that the inhabitants of those territories shall not cross it at the peril of their lives. That line has been drawn in Europe for fifty years.

You recollect what happened some years ago in France, when the French Foreign Minister was practically driven out of office by Prussian interference. Why? What had he done? He had done nothing which a minister of an independent state had not the most absolute right to do. He had crossed the imaginary line drawn in French territory by Prussian despotism, and he had to leave. Europe, after enduring this for generations, made up its mind at last that the Hindenburg line must be drawn along the legitimate frontiers of Germany herself. There could be no other attitude than that for the emancipation of Europe and the world.

It was hard at first for the people of America quite to appreciate that Germany had not interfered to the same extent with their freedom, if at all. But at last they endured the same experience as Europe had been subjected to. Americans were told that they were not to be allowed to cross and recross the Atlantic except at their peril. American ships were sunk without warning. American citizens were drowned, hardly with an apology—in fact, as a matter of German right. At first America could hardly believe it. They could not think it possible that any sane people should behave in that manner. And they tolerated it once, and they tolerated it twice, until it became clear that the Germans really meant it. Then America acted, and acted promptly.

The Hindenburg line was drawn along the shores of America, and the Americans were told they must not cross it. America said, "What is this?" Germany said, "This is our line, beyond which you must not go," and America said, "The place for that line is not the Atlantic, but on the Rhine—and we mean to help you roll it up."

There are two great facts which clinch the argument that this is a great struggle for freedom. The first is the fact that America has come in. She would not have come in otherwise. When France in the eighteenth century sent her soldiers to America to fight for the freedom and independence of that land, France also was an autocracy in those days. But Frenchmen in America, once they were there, their aim was freedom, their atmosphere was freedom, their inspiration was freedom. They acquired a taste for freedom, and they took it home, and France became free. That is the story of Russia. Russia engaged in this great war for the freedom of Serbia, of Montenegro, of Bulgaria, and has fought for the freedom of Europe. They wanted to make their own country free, and they have done it. The Russian revolution is not merely the outcome of the struggle for freedom. It is a proof of the character of the struggle for liberty, and if the Russian people realize, as there is every evidence they are doing, that national discipline is not incompatible with national freedom—nay, that national discipline is essential to the security of national freedom—they will, indeed, become a free people.

I have been asking myself the question, Why did Germany, deliberately, in the third year of the war, provoke America to this declaration and to this action—deliberately, resolutely? It has been suggested that the reason was that there were certain elements in American life, and the Hohenzollerns were under the impression that they would make it impossible for the United States to declare war. That I can hardly believe. But the answer has been afforded by Marshal von Hindenburg himself, in the very remarkable interview which appeared in the press, I think, only this morning.

He depended clearly on one of two things. First, that the submarine campaign would have destroyed international shipping to such an extent that England would have been put out of business before America was ready. According to his computation, America cannot be ready for twelve months. He does not know America. Second, that when America is ready, at the end of twelve months, with her army, she will have no ships to transport that army to the field of battle. In von Hindenburg's words, "America carries no weight." I suppose he means she has no ships to carry weight. On that, undoubtedly, they are reckoning.

Well, it is not wise always to assume that even when the German General Staff, which has miscalculated so often, makes a calculation it has no ground for it. It therefore behooves the whole of the Allies, Great Britain and America in particular, to see that that reckoning of von Hindenburg is as false as the one he made about his famous line, which we have broken already.

The road to victory, the guarantee of victory, the absolute assurance of victory is to be found in one word—ships; and a second word—ships. And with that quickness of apprehension which characterizes your nation, I see that they fully realize that, and today I observe that they have already made arrangements to build one thousand 3000-tonners for the Atlantic. I think that the German military advisers must already begin to realize that this is another of the tragic miscalculations which are going to lead them to disaster and to ruin. But you will pardon me for emphasizing that. We are a slow people in these islands—slow and blundering—but we get there. You get there sooner, and that is why I am glad to see you in.

But may I say that we have been in this business for three years? We have, as we generally do, tried every blunder. In golfing phraseology, we have got into every bunker. But we have got a good niblick. We are right out on the course. But may I respectfully suggest that it is worth America's while to study our blunders, so as to begin just where we are now and not where we were three years ago? That is an advantage. In war, time has as tragic a significance as it has in sickness. A step which, taken today, may lead to assured victory, taken tomorrow may barely avert disaster. All the Allies have discovered that. It was a new country for us all. It was trackless, mapless. We had to go by instinct. But we found the way, and I am so glad that you are sending your great naval and military experts here just to exchange experiences with men who have been through all the dreary, anxious crises of the last three years.

America has helped us even to win the battle of Arras. The guns which destroyed the German trenches, shattered the barbed wire—I remember, with some friends of mine whom I see here, arranging to order the machines to make those guns from America. Not all of them—you got your share, but only a share, a glorious share. So that America has also had her training. She has been making guns, making ammunition, giving us machinery to prepare both; she has supplied us with steel, and she has all that organization, and all that wonderful facility, adaptability, and resourcefulness of the great people which inhabits that great continent. Ah! It was a bad day for military autocracy in Prussia when it challenged the great republic of the west. We know what America can do, and we also know that now she is in it she will do it. She will wage an effective and successful war.

There is something more important. She will insure a beneficent peace. To this I attach great importance. I am the last man to say that the succor which is given to us from America is not something in itself to rejoice in, and to rejoice in greatly. But I do not mind saying that I rejoice even more in the knowledge that America is going to win the right to be at the conference table when the terms of peace are being discussed. That conference will settle the destiny of nations—the course of human life—for God knows how many ages. It would have been tragic for mankind if America had not been there, and there with all the influence, all the power, and the right which she has now won by flinging herself into this great struggle.

I can see peace coming now—not a peace which will be the beginning of war, not a peace which will be an endless preparation for strife and bloodshed, but a real peace. The world is an old world. It has never had peace. It has been rocking and swaying like an ocean, and Europe—poor Europe!—has always lived under the menace of the sword. When this war began two-thirds of Europe were under autocratic rule. It is the other way about now, and democracy means peace. The democracy of France did not want war; the democracy of Italy hesitated long before they entered the war; the democracy of this country shrank from it—shrank and shuddered—and never would have entered the caldron had it not been for the invasion of Belgium. The democracies sought peace; strove for peace. If Prussia had been a democracy there would have been no war. Strange things have happened in this war. There are stranger things to come, and they are coming rapidly.

There are times in history when this world spins so leisurely along its destined course that it seems for centuries to be at a standstill; but there are also times when it rushes along at a giddy pace, covering the track of centuries in a year. Those are the times we are living in now. Today we are waging the most devastating war that the world has ever seen; tomorrow—perhaps not a distant tomorrow—war may be abolished forever from the category of human crimes. This may be something like the fierce outburst of winter, which we are now witnessing, before the complete triumph of the sun. It is written of those gallant men who won that victory on Monday—men from Canada, from Australia, and from this old country, which has proved that in spite of its age it is not decrepit—it is written of those gallant men that they attacked with the dawn—fit work for the dawn!—to drive out of forty miles of French soil those miscreants who had defiled it for three years. "They attacked with the dawn." Significant phrase!

The breaking up of the dark rule of the Turk, which for centuries has clouded the sunniest land in the world, the freeing of Russia from an oppression which has covered it like a shroud for so long, the great declaration of President Wilson coming with the might of the great nation which he represents into the struggle for liberty, are heralds of the dawn. "They attacked with the dawn," and these men are marching forward in the full radiance of that dawn, and soon Frenchmen and Americans, British, Italians, Russians, yea, and Serbians, Belgians, Montenegrins, will march into the full light of a perfect day.


During the trench warfare, it was customary to raid the enemy trenches at unexpected hours, sometimes during the night, often during "the sleepiest hour," just before the dawn. In such a raid made by the Germans in the early dawn of November 3, 1917, fell the first American soldiers to die in the World War.

The Germans began by shelling the barbed-wire barrier in front of the trenches where the Americans were stationed for a few days, taking their first lessons in trench warfare. A heavy artillery fire was then directed so as to cover the trenches and the country immediately back of them. This prevented reinforcements coming into the trenches. Following the barrage a large number of Huns broke through the barbed wire and jumped into the trenches.

The Americans did not fully understand the situation, for it was their first experience with a trench raid. A wounded private said, "I was standing in a communicating trench waiting for orders. I heard a noise back of me and looked around in time to see a German fire in my direction. I felt a bullet hit my arm."

Three Americans were killed. They were the first fighting under the American flag to fall in battle on the soil of Europe. They were—

Corporal James B. Gresham, Evansville, Indiana.

Private Merle D. Hay, Glidden, Iowa.

Private Thomas F. Enright, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

On November 6, three graves were dug. On one side of them stood a line of poilus in their uniforms of horizon blue and red, and on the other a line of American soldiers in khaki. The flag-covered caskets were lowered, as the bugler sounded "taps," and the batteries fired minute guns.

Then the French officer in command of the division, amid the broken roar of the minute guns and the whistle of shells, paid a tribute to the dead.

"In the name of this division, in the name of the French army, and in the name of France, I bid farewell to Corporal Gresham, Private Hay, and Private Enright of the American army.

"Of their own free will they left a happy, prosperous country to come over here. They knew war was here. They knew that the forces battling for honor, for justice, and for civilization were still being checked by the forces serving the powers of frightfulness, brute force, and barbarity. They knew that fighting was still necessary. Not forgetting historical memories, they wished to give us their brave hearts.

"They knew all the conditions, nothing had been hidden from them, not the length and hardship of the war, not the violence of battle, not the terrible destruction of the new weapons, not the falseness of the enemy. Nothing stopped them. They accepted the hard life, they crossed the ocean at great peril, they took their places at the front beside us; and now they have fallen in a desperate hand-to-hand fight. All honor to them.

"Men! These American graves, the first to be dug in the soil of France, and but a short distance from the enemy, are a symbol of the mighty land that has come to aid the Allies, ready to sacrifice as long as may be necessary until the final victory for the most noble of causes, the liberty of peoples and of nations, of the weak as well as the strong. For this reason the deaths of these humble soldiers take on an extraordinary grandeur.

"We shall ask that the mortal remains of these young men be left here, left with us forever. We will inscribe on the tombs, 'Here lie the first soldiers of the Republic of the United States to fall on the soil of France for liberty and justice.' The passer-by will stop and uncover his head. Travelers and men of feeling will go out of their way to come here to pay tribute.

"Corporal Gresham, Private Hay, Private Enright, in the name of France, I thank you. God receive your souls. Farewell."

As the French officer wished, there they remain. Soon a worthy monument will be erected upon the ground where they fought and now lie asleep in death. Americans of this generation and of generations to come will stand in future days with bared heads before that monument and pay tribute.



The boche was chiefly what his masters made him.

He was planned and turned out according to specifications. His leaders and his enemies always knew just what he would do under any given circumstances, and he himself always knew just what he would do. He would do what he was ordered to do, if he understood the order and had been taught how to execute it; otherwise he would do nothing but stare helplessly. He was a machine built to order, according to plans and specifications.

"In critical moments the boche waited for direction instead of relying on himself. He could not vary a hairbreadth from an order given, even when the variation would have brought success. He was part of a machine army, a cog in a mechanism which needed a push to make it move; his actions must be dictated or he could not act; his very thoughts were disciplined and uniformed."

To the boche there was no chivalry in war. He fought as the barbarians would have fought, if they had had all his knowledge and equipment, but were still uncivilized. Women and children never called forth his pity or his mercy. He would defile and destroy a church or a cathedral with greater pleasure than he would a peasant's hut.

To him there were no laws of war. War meant to fight, to conquer, to kill, to gain the end by any means whatever. Dropping bombs on defenseless women and children and on Red Cross hospitals; torpedoing merchant ships without warning and sending all the passengers, even neutrals or friends, to death, or worse, in open boats far from land; firing on stretcher-bearers and nurses; using poison gas and liquid fire; poisoning wells and spreading disease germs; all are forbidden to civilized races by the laws of war. The boche regularly perpetrated them all and committed other atrocities much worse. He hoped to frighten the world by his cruelty and brutality, by making every man, woman, and child among his enemies believe that each boche was an unconquerable giant possessed of a devil.

To the boche war was simply a robbery, and he was one of a robber band. On the land, he was a brigand, on the sea, a pirate. He went about his business with no more mercy and chivalry than a New York gunman or a Paris apache. To him war was a business, an unlawful business to be sure, but, he believed, a profitable one. He went at it, therefore, as he had at manufacturing and commerce in the days of peace. He sought to do bigger things than any one else and to gain an advantage by any means, fair or foul. Why should he think about being fair or humane? He was a thief, not a judge.

And yet let it be recorded that while nearly all boches acted like brutes instead of men, there were some who were different and who showed the highest type of courage and died bravely as soldiers may die.


The soldier of France, the poilu, is a crusader. He is fighting to defend France, his great mother, in whose defense, centuries ago, the invisible powers called and sustained Jeanne d'Arc. In his love of country there is something almost religious, like that of the Mohammedan for Mecca and Medina. To serve France, to fight for her, to die for her—and every French soldier expects to die in battle—is a privilege as well as a duty. He fights for his country as an Englishman fights for his home. With the Englishman, his home comes first and is nearest and dearest; with the Frenchman, his country.

Philip Gibbs, who has written from day to day, from the trenches and the battlefields, letters that will never be forgotten because of their beauty and truth, says of the French poilu:—

"Yet if the English reader imagines that because this thread of sentiment runs through the character of France there is a softness in the qualities of French soldiers, he does not know the truth. Those men whom I saw at the front and behind the fighting lines were as hard in moral and spiritual strength as in physical endurance. It was this very hardness which impressed me even in the beginning of the war, when I did not know the soldiers of France as well as I do now. After a few weeks in the field these men, who had been laborers and mechanics, clerks and journalists, artists and poets, shop assistants and railway porters, hotel waiters, and young aristocrats of Paris, were toned down to the quality of tempered steel. With not a spare ounce of flesh on them—the rations of the French army are not as rich as ours—and tested by long marches down dusty roads, by incessant fighting in retreat against overwhelming odds, by the moral torture of those rearguard actions, and by their first experience of indescribable horrors, among dead and dying comrades, they had a beauty of manhood which I found sublime. They were bronzed and dirty and hairy, but they had the look of knighthood, with a calm light shining in their eyes and with resolute lips. They had no gayety in those days, when France was in gravest peril, and they did not find any kind of fun in this war. Out of their baptism of fire they had come with scorched souls, knowing the murderous quality of the business to which they were apprenticed, but though they did not hide their loathing of it, nor the fears which had assailed them, nor their passionate anger against the people who had thrust this thing upon them, they showed no sign of weakness. They were willing to die for France, though they hated death, and in spite of the first great rush of the German legions, they had a fine intellectual contempt of that army, which seemed to me then unjustified, though they were right, as history now shows. Man against man, in courage and cunning they were better than the Germans, gun against gun they were better, in cavalry charge and in bayonet charge they were better, and in equal number irresistible."


John Masefield, the English writer, says, "St. George did not go out against the dragon like that divine calm youth in Carpaccio's picture, nor like that divine calm man in Donatello's statue. He went out, I think, after some taste of defeat knowing that it was going to be bad, and that the dragon would breathe fire, and that very likely his spear would break, and that he wouldn't see his children again, and people would call him a fool. He went out, I think, as the battalions of our men went out, a little trembling and a little sick and not knowing much about it, except that it had to be done, and then stood up to the dragon in the mud of that far land and waited for him to come on."

But as soon as the British Tommy had reached the dragon's lair, he became the British player in a great championship game of the nations. He was the British sportsman, hunting big game; for in matters of life or death, he is always the player or the sportsman. That it was a hideous dragon breathing out poison gas and fire and destroying Christian maidens, made the sport all the more interesting and worth while. Philip Gibbs says of the English Tommy:—

"They take great risks sometimes as a kind of sport, as Arctic explorers or big game hunters will face danger and endure great bodily suffering for their own sake. Those men are natural soldiers. There are some even who like war, though very few. But most of them would jeer at any kind of pity for them, because they do not pity themselves, except in most dreadful moments which they put away from their minds if they escape. They scorn pity, yet they hate worse still, with a most deadly hatred, all the talk about 'our cheerful men.' For they know that, however cheerful they may be, it is not because of a jolly life or lack of fear. They loathe shell-fire and machine-gun fire. They know what it is 'to have the wind up.' They have seen what a battlefield looks like before it has been cleared of its dead. It is not for non-combatants to call them 'cheerful'; because non-combatants do not understand and never will, not from now until the ending of the world. 'Not so much of your cheerfulness,' they say, and 'Cut it out about the brave boys in the trenches.' So it is difficult to describe them, or to give any idea of what goes on in their minds, for they belong to another world than the world of peace that we knew, and there is no code which can decipher their secret, nor any means of self-expression on their lips."

The Tommy dislikes to show emotion or to brag or to be praised when he is present. To outsiders and to soldiers of other nations sent to help him, he likes to make the duties and the dangers seem as disagreeable, as horrible, and as inevitable as he possibly can, but when he has discharged a particularly tiresome and obnoxious duty himself or has met without flinching a terrible danger, he declares his act was "nothing."

"The poilu and the Tommy are vastly different. The Frenchman works himself up into a fanatical state of enthusiasm, and in a wild burst of excitement dashes into the fray. The Englishman finishes his cigarette, exchanges a joke with his 'bunkie' and coolly goes 'over the top.' Both are wonderful fighters with the profoundest admiration for each other."

The Tommy wants his tea and the officers like to carry their canes and swagger sticks with them "over the top" into battle. A brave, unpretending man, who likes his own ways and wishes to be allowed to follow them and who is willing to fight and die that others also may be free—such is the English Tommy. With him it is all a part of the game, the game of war, and the greatest game of all, the game of life. He must play his part and play it well.


The boche went into the war as a robber, the poilu as a crusader determined to save the sacred and holy things of the world from desecration and destruction, the Tommy as a player in a great game, and the Yank as a policeman whose job it was to "clean up" the affair.

To the American soldiers, the Yanks, and to the American people, the war was a job, a most disagreeable one, but one that must be done. No one else was ready and able to do it; so they went at it smilingly and "jollied" every one with whom they came in contact.

French children were asked to write descriptions of the "Yanks" for a New York paper. They nearly all said that they were big and handsome and quick, that they always smiled and were always hungry, especially for chocolate and candy. The French noticed the everlasting smile of the Yank, for after three years of war and suffering the French, even the children, had ceased to smile. It is said the children had even forgotten how to play, but they responded to the love in the hearts of the Yanks, as did the German children when the American soldiers crossed the Rhine. To the Yanks there were no enemies among the children; they loved them, French or German.

The Yank did not smile because he failed to realize the seriousness of his job, but because with him the harder, the more dangerous, and the dirtier the job, the more must he smile and "jolly" about it.

"They had come to France to do a certain piece of work. It was a bloody, dusty, sweaty, unclean, disagreeable one, and they proposed to finish it. . . . We are a people given to discounting futures, and the average American soldier, to put it bluntly, discounted being killed in action. If our Allies, whose fortitude was sustained in a dark hour by the way that our men fought, could have probed what was in the mind of these Americans, they would have found still further reason for faith in our military strength." So declares Major Palmer of General Pershing's staff.

Raymond Fosdick says the character of the American soldier was shown when a Y.M.C.A. secretary asked a large body of Yanks to write on little slips of paper distributed to them what they thought were the three greatest sins in a soldier. When the papers were passed back and examined, it was found that they agreed unanimously upon the first sin. It was cowardice. And almost unanimously upon the second. It was selfishness. And the third was big-headedness.

The Yank is wonderfully free from the sins he hates. Dashing, fearless, willing to die rather than to surrender, unable, as General Bundy said, to understand an order to retreat, he is always a "jollier." It is said one platoon of Yanks went "over the top" wearing tall silk hats with grenades in one hand and carrying pink parasols in the other. This may be only a story of what the Yanks would have done if permitted, but it is true to their nature.

The Yanks have written the noblest chapter of American history. They have honored their fathers and mothers, their churches, the American public school, and the land of Washington and Lincoln. Those who sleep beneath foreign soil have not died in vain.



So nigh is grandeur to our dust, So near is God to man, When Duty whispers low, "Thou must," The youth replies, "I can."


There are songs of the north and songs of the south, And songs of the east and west; But the songs of the place where the four winds meet Are the ones that we love the best.

"And where do the four winds meet?" you ask. The answer is ready at hand— "Wherever our dear ones chance to be By air, or by sea, or land."

So the sailor, keeping his midnight watch 'Mid icicles, snow, and sleet, Can think of a village near Portsmouth town As the place where the four winds meet.

And mother, perhaps, and sweetheart true Pray hard for the North Sea Fleet, And harder still for the boy who's gone To his place, where the four winds meet.

And the man on guard at the "firing-step," 'Mid star-shells shimmering down, Can think of his home—where the four winds meet In some sheltered English town.

And thoughts may fly to the distant trench, Whatever its name or "street," For "Somewhere in France" seems far less vague If we add, "where the four winds meet."

And the pilot steers thro' the trackless waste While the engines throb and beat, Flouting surprise, with the army's eyes High up where the four winds meet.

And to those who mourn comes a cheering cry, Which the angels in heaven repeat, "Grieve not, brave hearts; we await you here— Here, where the four winds meet."

There are songs of the north and songs of the south, The east and the west complete; But here is a song of the place we love, Which is called, "Where the four winds meet."




Our flag's unfurled to every breeze From dawn to setting sun, We have fought in every clime or place Where we could take a gun— In the snow of far-off northern lands And in sunny tropic scenes, You will find us always on the job— The United States Marines.


"If the army or the navy ever gaze on Heaven's scenes, They will find the streets are guarded by United States marines."

So sing the soldiers who go to sea, commonly called the marines. The Germans after the battles of Belleau Wood and Bouresches called them "devil hounds," and the French named them the "green devils."

An English rhymester wrote to his home paper,

"You must not call them Sammies, You should not call them Yanks. And if you call them 'doughboys' Loud laughter splits their flanks. You will not call them Buddies, And when on Kultur's track, You need not call them forward, You cannot call them back."

They know too that whenever trouble arises in any part of the world, they are the first to be sent to protect American interests. It is said that many of them believe the chief reason why the United States has a navy is for the purpose of carrying the marines to the points where they are needed. They are aware of the fact that marines may be landed and such landing not be considered an act of war. Therefore they look upon their service as much more important than that of the soldier.

The marine has been everywhere man has gone by land or sea or air, as one of their poets wrote:

"From the hills of Montezuma To the gates of old Peking He has heard the shrapnel bursting, He has heard the Mauser's ping. He has known Alaskan waters And the coral roads of Guam, He has bowed to templed idols And to sultans made salaam."

"I am more than a sailor, for although I belong to the navy I fight on the land. I am more than a soldier, for I do all that the soldier does and at the same time I belong to the navy and go to sea." Thus the marine proves to himself that he is "it," as the soldiers and sailors would say.

"The marines get aviation, searchlight, wireless telegraph, heliograph, and other drill. They plant mines, put up telegraph and telephone lines in the field, tear down or build up bridges, sling from a ship and set up or land guns as big as 5-inch for their advance base work.

"It is a belief with marines that the corps can do anything. Right in New York City is a marine printing plant with a battery of linotypes and a row of presses. They set their own type, write their own stuff (even to the poetry), draw their own sketches, do their own photography, their own color work—everything. Every man in that plant is a marine, enlisted or commissioned. Every one has seen service somewhere outside his country."

Such a feeling of superiority, however, would soon be laughed down if it were not based upon something more than talk. The marines know this and try in every way to show that they excel the other branches. They are extremely careful of their dress, and their personal appearance, and of their conduct whether on duty or off. They try to sustain the reputation of their branch in every little way as well as in every great one.

As an illustration of this, they are not satisfied with a commonplace mascot. Soldiers and sailors, and marines too, must have a mascot. A cat, a dog, a goat, a parrot, a monkey, a pig, a lion cub, or a bear are among the commonest and most popular of mascots. Therefore the marines would usually disdain any one of these. If any of them should happen to be accepted as a mascot, there would be some wonderful story to explain why it was the most remarkable monkey, goat, or lion cub that ever lived.

A large and hideous snake, a young kangaroo, or an anteater are mascots more to the liking of the marines. They must have something like themselves, exclusive and distinguished. The anteater that one body of marines adopted when they were landed at Vera Cruz proved a very interesting and original mascot, and also that anteaters were not always exactly as they are described in school textbooks, for this anteater disdained to eat ants and greedily devoured anything from the food of the marines that they would give him, or that he could steal—bread, meat, pie, doughnuts, or eggs.

A writer telling about this anteater mascot says he was taught several tricks, one of which was to put out with his forepaws every lighted cigarette dropped near him and then to tear it into little pieces. Heywood Broun, the writer, goes on to say, "The marine who dropped a hundred franc note by mistake just in front of Jimmy says that teaching tricks to anteaters is all foolishness."

And how do they sustain the reputation of their branch in the great things? Here is where soldier, sailor, or marine must prove his superiority, for excelling here means greater service to his country. It would be difficult indeed to give the palm to any branch of the service. They have all endured hardship and met wounds and death with equal gallantry, each striving to outdo the other in devotion and sacrifice.

Secretary Daniels has told the inspiring heroic story of the fighting of the eight thousand marines who in June, 1918, were thrown into the open gap between the advancing Germans and Paris.

Although they were without proper artillery support and too small in numbers for the task, General Pershing in those dark days offered their services to Marshal Foch, saying, "If you have no other troops to use and the gap must be closed and the Germans stopped, they will do it." And they did! But out of the eight thousand, four thousand were missing, wounded, or killed. Read Secretary Daniels' story of this fight, called the battle of Belleau Wood, and be proud that you are an American.

This efficient fighting, building, and landing force of the navy has won imperishable glory in the fulfillment of its latest duties upon the battlefields of France, where the marines, fighting for the time under General Pershing as a part of the victorious American army, have written a story of valor and sacrifice that will live in the brightest annals of the war. With heroism that nothing could daunt, the Marine Corps played a vital role in stemming the German rush on Paris, and in later days aided in the beginning of the great offensive, the freeing of Rheims, and participated in the hard fighting in Champagne, which had as its object the throwing back of the Prussian armies in the vicinity of Cambrai and St. Quentin.

With only 8000 men engaged in the fiercest battles, the Marine Corps casualties numbered 69 officers and 1531 enlisted men dead and 78 officers and 2435 enlisted men wounded seriously enough to be officially reported by cablegram, to which number should be added not a few whose wounds did not incapacitate them for further fighting. However, with a casualty list that numbers nearly half the original 8000 men who entered battle, the official reports account for only 57 United States marines who have been captured by the enemy. This includes those who were wounded far in advance of their lines and who fell into the hands of Germans while unable to resist.

Memorial Day shall henceforth have a greater, deeper significance for America, for it was on that day, May 30, 1918, that our country really received its first call to battle—the battle in which American troops had the honor of stopping the German drive on Paris, throwing back the Prussian hordes in attack after attack, and beginning the retreat which lasted until Imperial Germany was beaten to its knees and its emissaries appealing for an armistice under the flag of truce. And to the United States marines, fighting side by side with equally brave and equally courageous men in the American army, to that faithful sea and land force of the navy, fell the honor of taking over the lines where the blow of the Prussian would strike the hardest, the line that was nearest Paris, and where, should a breach occur, all would be lost.

The world knows today that the United States marines held that line; that they blocked the advance that was rolling on toward Paris at a rate of six or seven miles a day; that they met the attack in American fashion and with American heroism; that marines and soldiers of the American army threw back the crack guard divisions of Germany, broke their advance, and then, attacking, drove them back in the beginning of a retreat that was not to end until the "cease firing" signal sounded for the end of the world's greatest war.

It was on the evening of May 30, after a day dedicated to the memory of their comrades who had fallen in the training days and in the Verdun sector, that the 5th and 6th Regiments and the 6th Machine Gun Battalion, United States marines, each received the following orders:—

Advance information official received that this regiment will move at 10 P.M. 30 May by bus to new area. All trains shall be loaded at once and arrangements hastened. Wagons, when loaded, will move to Serans to form train.

All through the night there was fevered activity among the marines. Then, the next morning, the long trains of camions, busses, and trucks, each carrying its full complement of United States marines, went forward on a road which at one place wound within less than ten miles of Paris, toward Meaux and the fighting line.

Through the town of Meaux went the long line of camions and to the village of Montriel-aux-Lions, less than four miles from the rapidly advancing German line. On this trip the camions containing the Americans were the only traffic traveling in the direction of the Germans; everything else was going the other way—refugees, old men and women, small children, riding on every conceivable conveyance, many trudging along the side of the road driving a cow or calf before them, all of them covered with the white dust which the camion caravan was whirling up as it rolled along; along that road only one organization was advancing, the United States marines.

At last, their destination reached early on the morning of June 2, they disembarked, stiff and tired after a journey of more than seventy-two miles, but as they formed their lines and marched onward in the direction of the line they were to hold they were determined and cheerful. That evening the first field message from the Fourth Brigade to Major General Omar Bundy, commanding the 2d Division, went forward:—

Second Battalion, 6th Marines, in line from Le Thiolet through Clarembauts Woods to Triangle to Lucy. Instructed to hold line. First Battalion, 6th marines, going into line from Lucy through Hill 142. Third Battalion in support at La Voie du Chatel, which is also the post command of the 6th Marines. Sixth Machine Gun Battalion distributed at line.

Meanwhile the 5th Regiment was moving into line, machine guns were advancing, and the artillery taking its position. That night the men and officers of the marines slept in the open, many of them in a field that was green with unharvested wheat, awaiting the time when they should be summoned to battle. The next day at 5 o'clock, the afternoon of June 2, began the battle of Chateau-Thierry, with the Americans holding the line against the most vicious wedge of the German advance.

The advance of the Germans was across a wheat field, driving at Hill 165 and advancing in smooth columns. The United States marines, trained to keen observation upon the rifle range, nearly every one of them wearing a marksman's medal or better, that of the sharpshooter or expert rifleman, did not wait for those gray-clad hordes to advance nearer.

Calmly they set their sights and aimed with the same precision that they had shown upon the rifle ranges at Paris Island, Mare Island, and Quantico. Incessantly their rifles cracked, and with their fire came the support of the artillery. The machine-gun fire, incessant also, began to make its inroads upon the advancing forces. Closer and closer the shrapnel burst to its targets. Caught in a seething wave of machine-gun fire, of scattering shrapnel, of accurate rifle fire, the Germans found themselves in a position in which further advance could only mean absolute suicide. The lines hesitated. They stopped. They broke for cover, while the marines raked the woods and ravines in which they had taken refuge with machine gun and rifle to prevent them making another attempt to advance by infiltrating through.

Above, a French airplane was checking up on the artillery fire. Surprised by the fact that men should deliberately set their sights, adjust their range, and then fire deliberately at an advancing foe, each man picking his target, instead of firing merely in the direction of the enemy, the aviator signaled below "Bravo!" In the rear that word was echoed again and again. The German drive on Paris had been stopped.

For the next few days the fighting took on the character of pushing forth outposts and determining the strength of the enemy. Now, the fighting had changed. The Germans, mystified that they should have run against a stone wall of defense just when they believed that their advance would be easiest, had halted, amazed; then prepared to defend the positions they had won with all the stubbornness possible. In the black recesses of Belleau Wood the Germans had established nest after nest of machine guns. There in the jungle of matted underbrush, of vines, of heavy foliage, they had placed themselves in positions they believed impregnable. And this meant that unless they could be routed, unless they could be thrown back, the breaking of the attack of June 2 would mean nothing. There would come another drive and another. The battle of Chateau-Thierry was therefore not won and could not be won until Belleau Wood had been cleared of the enemy.

It was June 6 that the attack of the American troops began against that wood and its adjacent surroundings, with the wood itself and the towns of Torcy and Bouresches forming the objectives. At 5 o'clock the attack came, and there began the tremendous sacrifices which the Marine Corps gladly suffered that the German fighters might be thrown back.

The marines fought strictly according to American methods—a rush, a halt, a rush again, in four-wave formation, the rear waves taking over the work of those who had fallen before them, passing over the bodies of their dead comrades and plunging ahead, until they, too, should be torn to bits. But behind those waves were more waves and the attack went on.

"Men fell like flies"; the expression is that of an officer writing from the field. Companies that had entered the battle 250 strong dwindled to fifty and sixty, with a sergeant in command; but the attack did not falter. At 9:45 o'clock that night Bouresches was taken by Lieutenant James F. Robertson and twenty odd men of his platoon; these soon were joined by two reenforcing platoons. Then came the enemy counter-attacks, but the marines held.

In Belleau Wood the fighting had been literally from trees to tree, stronghold to stronghold; and it was a fight which must last for weeks before its accomplishment in victory. Belleau Wood was a jungle, its every rocky formation forming a German machine-gun nest, almost impossible to reach by artillery or grenade fire. There was only one way to wipe out these nests—by the bayonet. And by this method they were wiped out, for United States marines, bare chested, shouted their battle cry of "E-e-e-e-e y-a-a-h-h-h-yip!" charged straight into the murderous fire from those guns, and won!

Out of the number that charged, in more than one instance, only one would reach the stronghold. There, with his bayonet as his only weapon, he would either kill or capture the defenders of the nest, and then swinging the gun about in its position, turn it against the remaining German positions in the forest. Such was the character of the fighting in Belleau Wood, fighting which continued until July 6, when after a short relief the invincible Americans finally were taken back to the rest billet for recuperation.

In all the history of the Marine Corps there is no such battle as that one in Belleau Wood. Fighting day and night without relief, without sleep, often without water, and for days without hot rations, the marines met and defeated the best divisions that Germany could throw into the line.

The heroism and doggedness of that battle are unparalleled. Time after time officers seeing their lines cut to pieces, seeing their men so dog tired that they even fell asleep under shell fire, hearing their wounded calling for the water that they were unable to supply, seeing men fight on after they had been wounded and until they dropped unconscious; time after time officers seeing these things, believing that the very limit of human endurance had been reached, would send back messages to their post command that their men were exhausted. But in answer to this would come the word that the lines must hold, and, if possible, those lines must attack. And the lines obeyed. Without water, without food, without rest, they went forward—and forward every time to victory. Companies had been so torn and lacerated by losses that they were hardly platoons, but they held their lines and advanced them. In more than one case companies lost every officer, leaving a sergeant and sometimes a corporal to command, and the advance continued.

After thirteen days in this inferno of fire a captured German officer told with his dying breath of a fresh division of Germans that was about to be thrown into the battle to attempt to wrest from the marines that part of the wood they had gained. The marines, who for days had been fighting only on their sheer nerve, who had been worn out from nights of sleeplessness, from lack of rations, from terrific shell and machine-gun fire, straightened their lines and prepared for the attack. It came—as the dying German officer had predicted.

At 2 o'clock on the morning of June 13 it was launched by the Germans along the whole front. Without regard for men, the enemy hurled his forces against Bouresches and the Bois de Belleau, and sought to win back what had been taken from Germany by the Americans. The orders were that these positions must be taken at all costs; that the utmost losses in men must be endured that the Bois de Belleau and Bouresches might fall again into German hands. But the depleted lines of the marines held; the men who had fought on their nerve alone for days once more showed the mettle of which they were made. With their backs to the trees and bowlders of the Bois de Belleau, with their sole shelter the scattered ruins of Bouresches, the thinning lines of the marines repelled the attack and crashed back the new division which had sought to wrest the position from them.

And so it went. Day after day, night after night, while time after time messages like the following traveled to the post command:—

Losses heavy. Difficult to get runners through. Some have never returned. Morale excellent, but troops about all in. Men exhausted.

Exhausted, but holding on. And they continued to hold on in spite of every difficulty. Advancing their lines slowly day by day, the marines finally prepared their positions to such an extent that the last rush for the possession of the wood could be made. Then, on June 24, following a tremendous barrage, the struggle began.

The barrage literally tore the woods to pieces, but even its immensity could not wipe out all the nests that remained, the emplacements that were behind almost every clump of bushes, every jagged, rough group of bowlders. But those that remained were wiped out by the American method of the rush and the bayonet, and in the days that followed every foot of Belleau Wood was cleared of the enemy and held by the frayed lines of the Americans.

It was, therefore, with the feeling of work well done that the depleted lines of the marines were relieved in July, that they might be filled with replacements and made ready for the grand offensive in the vicinity of Soissons, July 18. And in recognition of their sacrifice and bravery this praise was forthcoming from the French:—

Army Headquarters, June 30, 1918.

In view of the brilliant conduct of the Fourth Brigade of the Second United States Division, which in a spirited fight took Bouresches and the important strong point of Bois de Belleau, stubbornly defended by a large enemy force, the General commanding the Sixth Army orders that henceforth, in all official papers, the Bois de Belleau shall be named "Bois de la Brigade de Marine."


On July 18 the marines were again called into action in the vicinity of Soissons, near Tigny and Vierzy. In the face of a murderous fire from concentrated machine guns, which contested every foot of their advance, the United States marines moved forward until the severity of their casualties necessitated that they dig in and hold the positions they had gained. Here, again, their valor called forth official praise.

Then came the battle for the St. Mihiel salient. On the night of Sept. 11 the 2d Division took over a line running from Remenauville to Limey, and on the night of Sept. 14 and the morning of Sept. 15 attacked, with two days' objectives ahead of them. Overcoming the enemy resistance, they romped through to the Rupt de Mad, a small river, crossed it on stone bridges, occupied Thiacourt, the first day's objective, scaled the heights just beyond it, pushed on to a line running from the Zammes-Joulney Ridges to the Binvaux Forest, and there rested, with the second day's objectives occupied by 2:50 o'clock of the first day. The casualties of the division were about 1000, of which 134 were killed. Of these, about half were marines. The captures in which the marines participated were 80 German officers, 3200 men, ninety-odd cannon, and vast stores.

But even further honors were to befall the fighting, landing, and building force, of which the navy is justly proud. In the early part of October it became necessary for the Allies to capture the bald, jagged ridge twenty miles due east of Rheims, known as Blanc Mont Ridge. Here the armies of Germany and the Allies had clashed more than once, and attempt after attempt had been made to wrest it from German hands. It was a keystone of the German defense, the fall of which would have a far-reaching effect upon the enemy armies. To the glory of the United States marines, let it be said, that they were again a part of that splendid 2d Division which swept forward in the attack which freed Blanc Mont Ridge from German hands, pushed its way down the slopes, and occupied the level ground just beyond, thus assuring a victory, the full import of which can best be judged by the order of General Lejeune, following the battle:—

France, Oct. 11, 1918.

Officers and Men of the 2d Division:—

It is beyond my power of expression to describe fitly my admiration for your heroism. You attacked magnificently and you seized Blanc Mont Ridge, the keystone of the arch constituting the enemy's main position. You advanced beyond the ridge, breaking the enemy's lines, and you held the ground gained with a tenacity which is unsurpassed in the annals of war.

As a direct result of your victory, the German armies east and west of Rheims are in full retreat, and by drawing on yourselves several German divisions from other parts of the front you greatly assisted the victorious advance of the Allied armies between Cambrai and St. Quentin.

Your heroism and the heroism of our comrades who died on the battlefield will live in history forever, and will be emulated by the young men of our country for generations to come.

To be able to say when this war is finished, "I belonged to the 2d Division; I fought with it at the battle of Blanc Mont Ridge," will be the highest honor that can come to any man.

JOHN A. LEJEUNE, Major General, United States Marine Corps, Commanding.

Thus it is that the United States marines have fulfilled the glorious traditions of their corps in this their latest duty as the "soldiers who go to sea." Their sharpshooting—and in one regiment 93 per cent of the men wear the medal of a marksman, a sharpshooter, or an expert rifleman—has amazed soldiers of European armies, accustomed merely to shooting in the general direction of the enemy. Under the fiercest fire they have calmly adjusted their sights, aimed for their man, and killed him, and in bayonet attacks their advance on machine-gun nests has been irresistible.

In the official citation lists more than one American marine is credited with taking an enemy machine gun single handed, bayoneting its crew and then turning the gun against the foe. In one battle alone, that of Belleau Wood, the citation lists bear the names of fully 500 United States marines who so distinguished themselves in battle as to call forth the official commendation of their superior officers.

More than faithful in every emergency, accepting hardships with admirable morale, proud of the honor of taking their place as shock troops for the American legions, they have fulfilled every glorious tradition of their corps, and they have given to the world a list of heroes whose names will go down to all history.






These are soul-stirring days. To live through them is a glory and a solemn joy. The words of the poet resound in our hearts: "God's in His heaven, all's right with the world."

Events have shaped themselves in accordance with the eternal law. Once again the fundamental lesson of all history is borne in upon the world, that evil—though it may seem to triumph for a while—carries within it the seed of its own dissolution. Once again it is revealed to us that the God-inspired soul of man is unconquerable and that the power, however formidable, which challenges it is doomed to go down in defeat.

A righteous cause will not only stand unshaken through trials and discomfiture, but it will draw strength from the very setbacks which it may suffer. A wrongful cause can only stand as long as it is buoyed up by success.

The German people were sustained by a sheer obsession akin to the old-time belief in the potent spell of "the black arts" that their military masters were invulnerable and invincible, that by some power—good or evil, they did not care which—they had been made so, and that the world was bound to fall before them.

The nation was immensely strong only as long as that obsession remained unshaken. With its destruction by a series of defeats which were incapable of being explained as "strategic retreats," their morale crumbled and finally collapsed, because it was not sustained, as that of the Allies was sustained in the darkest days of the war, by the faith that they were fighting for all that men hold most sacred.

To those who were acquainted with German mentality and psychology, it had been manifest all along that when the end foreordained did come, it would come with catastrophic suddenness.


It is the general impression that the tide of victory set in with Marshal Foch's splendid movement against the German flank on July 18th. That movement, it is true, started the irresistible sweep of the wave which was destined to engulf and destroy the hideous power of Prussianism. But the tide which gathered and drove forward the waters out of which that wave arose, had turned before. It turned with and through the supreme valor of our marines and other American troops in the first battle at Chateau-Thierry and at Belleau Wood, in the first week of June.

The American force engaged was small, measured by the standard of numbers to which we have become accustomed in this war, but the story of their fighting will remain immortal and in its psychological and strategic consequences the action will take rank, I believe, among the decisive battles of the war.

I am not speaking from hearsay. I was in France during the week preceding that battle, the most anxious and gloomy period, probably, of the entire war. What I am about to relate is based either on authoritative information gathered on the spot, or on my own observations. In telling it, nothing is farther from my thoughts than to wish to take away one tittle from the immortal glory which belongs to the Allied armies, nor from the undying gratitude which we owe to the nations who for four heart-breaking years, with superb heroism, fought the battle of civilization—our battle from the very beginning, no less than theirs—and bore untold sacrifices with never faltering spirit.


On the 27th of last May the Germans broke through the French position at the Chemin des Dames, a position which had been considered by the Allies as almost impregnable. They overthrew the French as they had overthrown the British two months earlier. Day by day they came nearer to Paris, until only thirty-nine miles separated them from their goal. A few days more at the same rate of advance, and Paris was within range of the German guns of terrific destructive power. Paris, the nerve center of the French railroad system and the seat of many French war industries, not only, but the very heart of France, far more to the French people in its meaning and traditions than merely the capital of the country; Paris in imminent danger of ruthless bombardment like Rheims, in possible danger even of conquest by the brutal invader, drunk with lust and with victory! As one Frenchman expressed it to me: "We felt in our faces the very breath of the approaching beast."

And whilst the Hunnish hordes came nearer and nearer, and the very roar of the battle could be dimly and ominously heard from time to time in Paris, there were air raids over the city practically every night, and the shells from the long-range monster guns installed some sixty or seventy miles distant fell on its houses, places, and streets almost every day.

They were not afraid, these superb men and women of France. They do not know the meaning of fear in defense of their beloved soil and their sacred ideals. There was no outward manifestation even of excitement or apprehension. Calmly and resolutely they faced what destiny might bring. But there was deep gloom in their hearts and dire forebodings.

They had fought and dared and suffered and sacrificed for well-nigh four years. They had buried a million of their sons, brothers, and fathers. They were bleeding from a million wounds and more. They said: "We will fight on to our last drop of blood, but alas! our physical strength is ebbing. The enemy is more numerous by far than we. Where can we look for aid? The British have just suffered grave defeat. The Italians have their own soil to defend after the disaster of last autumn. Our troops are in retreat. The Americans are not ready and they are untried as yet in the fierce ordeal of modern warfare. The Germans know well that in three months or six months the Americans will be ready and strong in numbers. That is why they are throwing every ounce of their formidable power against us now. The Hun is at the gate now. Immeasurable consequences are at stake now. It is a question of days, not of weeks or months. Where can we look for aid now?"

And out of their nooks and corners and hiding places crawled forth the slimy brood of the Bolshevik-Socialists, of the Boloists, Caillauxists, and pacifists, and they hissed into the ears of the people, "Make peace! Victory has become impossible. Why go on shedding rivers of blood uselessly? The Germans will give you an honorable, even a generous peace. Save Paris! Make peace!"

The holy wrath of France crushed those serpents whenever their heads became visible. Clemenceau, the embodiment of the dauntless spirit of France, stood forth the very soul of patriotic ardor and indomitable courage. But the serpents were there, crawling hidden in the grass, ever hissing, "Make peace!"

And then, suddenly out of the gloom flashed the lightning of a new sword, sharp and mighty, a sword which had never been drawn except for freedom, a sword which had never known defeat—the sword of America!


A division of marines and other American troops were rushed to the front as a desperate measure to try and stop a gap where flesh and blood, even when animated by French heroism, seemed incapable of further resistance. They came in trucks, in cattle cars, by any conceivable kind of conveyance, crowded together like sardines. They had had little food, and less sleep, for days.

When they arrived, the situation had become such that the French command advised, indeed ordered, them to retire. But they and their brave general would not hear of it. They disembarked almost upon the field of battle and rushed forward, with little care for orthodox battle order, without awaiting the arrival of their artillery, which had been unable to keep up with their rapid passage to that front.

They stormed ahead, right through the midst of a retreating French division, yelling like wild Indians, ardent, young, irresistible in their fury of battle. Some of the Frenchmen called out a well-meant warning: "Don't go in this direction. There are the boches with machine guns." They shouted back:

"That's where we want to go. That's where we have come three thousand miles to go." And they did go, into the very teeth of the deadly machine guns. In defiance of all precedent they stormed, with rifle and bayonet in frontal attack, against massed machine guns.

They threw themselves upon the victory-flushed Huns to whom this unconventional kind of fierce onset came as a complete and disconcerting surprise. They fought like demons, with utterly reckless bravery. They paid the price, alas! in heavy losses, but for what they paid they took compensation in over-full measure.

They formed of themselves a spearhead at the point nearest Paris, against which the enemy's onslaught shattered itself and broke. They stopped the Hun, they beat him back, they broke the spell of his advance. They started victory on its march.

A new and unspent and mighty force had come into the fray. And the Hun knew it to his cost and the French knew it to their unbounded joy. The French turned. Side by side the Americans and the French stood, and on that part of the front the Germans never advanced another inch from that day. They held for a while, and then set in the beginning of the great defeat.

I was in Paris when the news of the American achievement reached the population. They knew full well what it meant. The danger was still present, but the crisis was over. The boche could not break through. He could and would be stopped and ultimately thrown back, out of France, out of Belgium, across the Rhine and beyond!

The aid for which the sorely beset people of France had been praying, had arrived. The Americans had come, young, strong, daring, eager to fight, capable of standing up against and stopping and beating back German shock troops specially selected and trained, and spurred on by the belief in their own irresistibility and the exhaustion of their opponents. The full wave of the hideous instruments of warfare which the devilish ingenuity of the Germans had invented, liquid fire, monstrous shells, various kinds of gases including the horrible mustard gas, had struck the Americans squarely and fully, and they had stood and fought on and won.

The French, so calm in their trials, so restrained in their own victories, gave full vent to their joy and enthusiasm at the splendid fighting and success of the Americans. The talk of them was everywhere in Paris. Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers already in France, thousands coming upon every steamer, millions more to come if needed—and they had shown the great stuff they were made of! All gloom vanished, overnight. The full magnificence of the French fighting morale shone out again—both behind the lines and at the front. "Ils ne passeront pas!" "On les aura." [1]

And the Bolshevik-Socialists, Boloists, weak-kneed pacifists, and that whole noisome tribe slunk back into their holes and corners and hiding places, and never emerged again.

And, as the people of Paris and the poilus at the front correctly interpreted the meaning of that battle in those early days of June, so did the supreme military genius of Marshal Foch interpret it. He knew what the new great fighting force could do which had come under his orders, and he knew what he meant to do and could do with it. It is an eloquent fact that when six weeks later he struck his great master stroke which was to lead ultimately to the utter defeat and collapse of the enemy, American troops formed the larger portion of an attacking force which, being thrown against a particularly vital position, was meant to deal and did deal the most staggering blow to the enemy; and other American troops were allotted the place which from the paramount responsibility attaching to it, may be termed the place of honor, in the center of the line, in immediate defense of the approaches to Paris.

They made good there—officers and men alike. They made good everywhere, from Cantigny to Sedan. They made good on land, on the seas, and in the air; worthy comrades of the war-seasoned heroes of France and Great Britain, worthy defenders of American honor, eager artisans of American glory. When for the first time the American army went into action as a separate unit under the direct command of its great chief, General Pershing, Marshal Foch allotted them ten days for the accomplishment of the task set for them, i.e., the ejection of the German army from the strongly fortified St. Mihiel salient, which the enemy had held for four years. They did it in thirty hours, and made a complete and perfect job of it.

I have had the privilege of seeing these splendid boys of ours, in all situations and circumstances, from their camps in America to the front in France—the boys and their equally splendid leaders. The sacred inspiration of what I have thus seen will stay with me to my last day.

I confess I find it hard to speak of them without a catch in my throat and moisture in my eyes. I see them before me now in the fair land of France—brave, strong, ardent; keen and quick-witted; kindly and clean and modest and wholly free from boasting; good-humored and good-natured; willingly submissive to unaccustomed discipline; uncomplainingly enduring all manner of hardships and discomforts; utterly contemptuous of danger, daring to a fault, holding life cheap for the honor and glory of America. What true American can think of them or picture them without having his heart overflow with grateful and affectionate pride?

As I observed our army "over there," I felt that in them, in the mass of them, representing as they do all sections and callings of America, there had returned the ancient spirit of knighthood. I measure my words. I am not exaggerating. If I had to find one single word with which to characterize our boys, I should select the adjective "knightly."

A French officer who commanded a body of French troops, fighting fiercely and almost hopelessly in Belleau Wood near Chateau-Thierry (since then officially designated by the French Government as the Wood of the Marine Brigade), told me that when they had arrived almost at the point of total exhaustion, suddenly the Americans appeared rushing to the rescue. One of the American officers hurried up to him, saluted and said in execrably pronounced French just six words: "Vous—fatigues, vous—partir, notre job." "You—tired, you—get away, our job." And right nobly did they do their job!

[1] "They shall not pass!" "We will get them."


Almost every soldier who goes into battle leaves a letter to be read in the event of his death. Sturgis ("Spud") Pishon, a former famous college athlete, serving in the American air forces in Italy, before his fatal flight wrote this letter, so full of the strength and simplicity of a great soldier:

"What little I have to give to my country I give without reservation. If there ever was a righteous cause it is ours, and I am proud to have worked and died for it.

"Pray God this war will be over soon and that it will be the last war.

"I leave you with a smile on my lips and a heart full of love for you all. God bless you and keep you."



In the year 1500, Raphael was a boy of eighteen in Perugia working and studying with the master painter Perugino. Did the city itself, free on its hill top, looking afar over undulating mountains and great valleys, implant in the sensitive soul of Raphael a love of beauty and a vision that made him become one of the greatest painters of the world? Perugia can never be forgotten, for the boy Raphael once lived, worked, and studied there.

In the year 1915 Enzo Valentini was a boy of eighteen in Perugia. He was a high school boy and his father was mayor of the city. One of his teachers says he was an unusually brilliant scholar, with remarkable artistic gifts. Did the city and its beautiful surroundings open his soul to the vision of love and tenderness for his "little mother" and of the duty that called him while but a boy in the high school to serve and, if need be, die for his country?

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