Austria's Plight.

Significant Move In The East.

Third Year Begins.

"THE third year of the war opens with new hopes for the Allied Powers, whose stern resolve is unshaken, whose morale never stood higher, and whose resources had not yet all been brought into play."

This writes Lord Sydenham, in a critical survey of the first two years of the conflict, and in a concluding paragraph he points to the following important facts:

(1) Austria had been twice heavily defeated, and her military and economic is becoming desperate.

(2) Turkey, shorn of Armenia and faced with an Arab revolt which she is powerless to stem, has almost ceased to be a valid ally.

(3) Bulgaria, if Roumania moves, might be between the upper and nether millstone.

(4) In Germany there is hardship deepening into distress locally. Political rifts are opening out and the war tends to become a fight for existence on the part of the dynasty and the ruling classes, who will before long find themselves face to face with a people whom they have cruelly deceived.

He admits, however, that only victory in the field can bring a decision but says that "the effects of victory may be immensely enhanced by psychological factors," adding that "the armies of Russia, France and Britain have learned in two years that they can beat the Germans on equal terms.

"The superiority of German material had been destroyed in the workshop and every month will see an increase of the equipment of the Allies. More efforts and sacrifice will be demanded. Patience and fortitude of which our troops have given shining examples, must be the national watchwords: but the end should not be far distant."

Lord Sydenham's conclusions may seem tame to readers of the more turgid stuff served up in those newspapers which fly from one extreme to the other, but he is a keen student of events, thoroughly well-informed and cautious almost to a fault. And, after all, the sum of the four heads we have quoted makes a very impressive total.

He has full authority for all he says. If we take the case of Austria-Hungary as an example, there are facts in our possession which strongly support the view he expresses. Among all classes in both halves of the Dual Monarchy there has been war-weariness for a considerable time past, a depression which Count Tisza and Baron von Burian have vainly endeavoured to lift.

A month or six weeks ago there was still a feeling that the dominions of the Hapsburgs were secure from hostile menace, but the inhabitants think differently now. The loudly acclaimed invasion of Italy has come to naught, Bukowina is in the hands of the Russians, Galicia is again in danger and the dwellers in the Hungarian plains gaze anxiously towards the Carpathians for the coming of the Czar's legions.

There are unmistakeable signs of general unrest in Hungary, caused not only by the enormous sacrifice which the Hungarian regiments have suffered of late, and by the apprehension of a coming invasion of the country by the Russians alone, or still worse, by Russians and Roumanians together.