Allies’ peril

Army in retreat towards the Greek frontier

Hellenic hostility: A grave situation “

JOFFRE, Kitchener, and French,” Mr Frederick Palmer, the brilliant war correspondent, is telling his audiences in the United States, “they are getting ready for the irresistible drive which sooner or later ‘with assumption to spare’ is going to send the enemy on his return journey to the Rhine.”

Other neutral observers agree that, while the Central Powers still possess reserves “of a sort” they are not numerous enough or good enough to adequately repair wastages and that the strengthening of one front is made largely at the expense of another.

The Germans deny, in a message to hand this morning, that their 1916 class has been fully incorporated at the recruiting depots and state that the 1917 class has not been called up at all, but the fact is that most of the 1916 class, many of the 1917 class, and a few of the 1918 class are already in the army as volunteers.

So at least state those in a position to know, but if we have no official confirmation on this point, reliable information as to the enemy’s losses is available.

The French General Staff has a special department to deal with statistics regarding the enemy, securing its information from first hand observation, from its agents in Germany, from published lists of casualties, from the obituary notices in the German newspapers etc. and the information thus obtained is checked and corrected by the observation of similar staffs on the Italian and Russian fronts.

Particularly elaborate are the methods adopted for discovering omissions from the German lists but duplications are also carefully avoided, the department, in fact, being keenly desirous of arriving at absolutely accurate results.

Statements have been published from time to time but to give anything like a complete analysis would take up a deal of space and the statement must suffice that, according to the authorities upon whom we are relying, during the first 15 months of the war the German losses were nearly five million.

As the killing power of the Allies is continually increasing the German losses per month can scarcely be lower than 300,000. This figure is not universally accepted but 250,000 would be below the mark.

Moreover, utilising a poorer type of man than first employed there must be a heavier wastage from sickness - which is not recorded in the casualty lists - and the conclusion forced upon one, after careful consideration of available figures and estimates, is that Germany cannot continue fighting after next August.

Against this we have to place resources of the Allies. France, as have learned, is likely to call up her 1917 class in the course of the next few months, and it is stated that Russia is likely to do the same.

Already it is admitted, leaving Greece and Romania out of consideration, the Allies outnumbered the foe by a very considerable margin, despite the heavy losses our Eastern Ally has suffered and when Britain has thrown her full weight into the scale the preponderance will be so great that, whatever new developments may be place in the Near East, ultimate victory is assured by manpower alone.