German Loan.

Has it been a Failure?

Verdun: Fresh Offensive Preparing.

Russian Guns and Shells: Enemy Outclassed.

WHILE fresh doubts arise as to whether Russia has really entered upon her great coming offensive, Berlin, it is clear, wishes to make it appear that the evidence points to the existing uneasiness in the German High Command.

Taking the communiques as they stand, both man and Russian, the impression conveyed that the fighting is severe in character, that the Germans call the Russian “main offensive activity” extends over a considerable front, and that the points of “intensity” are not fixed.

A further impression, derived from an intensive process of reasoning and supported by correct appraisement of Allied and enemy methods of reporting, is that we may believe any word that comes from Petrograd and considerably less than half of what Berlin likes to say.

Berlin, for example, again claims that “with the huge masses of men and ammunition they employed the Russians were unable to gain the smallest advantage” and the boast of an “unshakeable Germany defence” is once more repeated.

Petrograd, on the other hand, while quoting successful advances and the occupation of new munitions at various points from Riga down to the Upper Strypa and the Dniester, frankly puts its that in one sector a counter-attack by Germany has placed the enemy in temporary repossession of a portion of the trenches from them the previous day.

If anything, Petrograd is too modest, but notes with pleasure the concluding paragraph in last night’s message which takes us to the lowest section of their front, and indicates not only an advance but consolidation on ground gained.

“After speaking of the repulse of an attack, the infliction of heavy losses on the south east of Kosloff (in Galicia, in the Upper Strypa region), all they say is that further south we advance a little,” and adding “On the Dniester our troops occupied after a fight in the village of Lattach Khmelevka.”

Everything supports the assumption that the Russians have to firmly establish themselves on the right bank of the Dniester.

However whether we are witnessing the great Russian offensive or not we are certainly looking upon successful work in a district where political events are involved. Activity in the Dvinsk region on the other hand, may be attributed to our anticipation of a German offensive, where to the effect of the sudden blow here, no more than some hundreds of miles, upsets a plan from which much had been hoped.

Germany, it must not be forgotten, is fighting only for military success but for cash. A big and striking triumph somewhere was desperately desired. At Verdun, the second card was to be called, but Riga and Dvinsk seem once more snatched from their grasp and if the loan money is to be gathered in either stock of bromidial lies will have to be crushed or another huge sacrifice of life.

It is added, however, in the semi-official statement that the present uncoherent German tactics do not permit an easy judgement as to whether the attempt will be merely local, as recently on a sector of a few miles or whether it will be directed over a more extended radius as at the beginning of the battle.