Series of Attacks.

Real Push Yet To Come.

Russian Augury.

Whole Front Aflame.

THE Petrograd message which came to hand last night in time to be included in only our last edition opened with the phrase “infantry and artillery fire is raging along the entire front,” and earlier in the day we had had the official information that General Russky, the brilliant commander who checked Hindenburg last autumn and captured Lemberg in 1914, had returned to take charge of the northern front.

Are we to take these two facts in conjunction and argue from them the extension of the Russian offensive to the whole of the front? The statement that “at many points the enemy opened counter-attacks, which were repulsed by our fire,” is confirmatory of, rather than antagonistic to, this view, and there are other indications that the remaining weeks opened for maximum military activity are to be thoroughly utilised by the Allies.

We know that when Petrograd is silent or reticent big things are afoot. Since the last occasion upon which, for several days, detailed reports were not forthcoming, we have had the new great push of Brussiloff and the capture of 358,602 prisoners (corrected yesterday to 366,000.) When, therefore, we get the bare statement of activity all along the line, and a subsequent message that “the situation is unchanged” we may anticipate with some confidence the receipt in the course of a day or so of news that some new movement is in progress.

A military correspondent this morning ventures to suggest that the present reserve covers a new stroke intended as a knock-out to Bothmer, adding, “I should not be surprised to learn that it was connected with an attempt by Sakharoff to drive at top speed between Bothmer’s main body and Lemberg.”

French critics, on the other hand, incline to the view that Hindenburg is about to make a final desperate bid for Luck – by way of a counter-offensive – and that the Russians are preparing to meet him more than half-way with a simultaneous thrust, the success of which is guaranteed by their all-round superiority.

There is something to be said for both theories, but the other alternative – a northern Russian offensive to ensure the quicker success of the push below the marshes – must not be forgotten particularly as the condition of affairs in other theatres, notably, of course, the Western, provides our Eastern Allies with a better opportunity than they have ever had before.

The suggestion, however, of a big German offensive on one front or the other must not be lightly dismissed. Mr Hilaire Belloc, in his review of the western position, is not disinclined to believe in the theory – “very widely discussed by competent authorities during the last few weeks” –- that the Germans will attempt “one last offensive” in this field. If so, it will suit us.

Both our troops and those of the enemy have learned of late, if they did not realise it to the full before the costliness of attack, and if the enemy likes to repeat (only on a larger scale) the kind of performance Sir Douglas Haig reported upon last night the sooner will their strength be shorn from them and the sooner shall we be able to launch our offensive with a certainty of success.