Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/59

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53
THE PERIL OF NOT DOING ENOUGH

inaction, during which all the parties to the quarrel, like boxers in distress, sparred to gain their "second wind." Now just as Germany was better prepared when the first round opened, so she was, necessarily, more advanced in her preparations for the second stage. Thanks to her scheme of training, there was a very real risk that her vast masses of new levies would be ready before our own—and this has actually proved to be the case.

New troops are to-day being poured on to both the eastern and western fronts at a very rapid pace, probably more rapidly than our own. We know that it was, in great part, their new levies that inflicted the very severe reverse upon the Russians in East Prussia and undid, in a single fortnight, months of steady and patient work by our Allies. It is also probably true that Germany's immense superiority in fully trained fighting men is steadily decreasing, owing partly to the enormous losses she has sustained through her adherence to methods of attack which are hopeless in the teeth of modern weapons. But she is still very much ahead of what any one could have expected after seven months of strenuous war, and we must ask ourselves very seriously whether, by some tremendous national effort, it is not possible to expedite the raising of our forces to the very maximum of which the nation and the Empire are capable. It is not a question of cost: the cost would be as nothing as compared with the havoc wrought by the prolongation of the war. If there is anything more that we can do, we ought, emphatically, to do it. It is our business to see that at no single point in the conduct of the war are we outstripped by any effort the Germans can make.

Now it is a tolerably open secret that we are not