3479 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR,
the Western Front, and devoted their
greatest efforts to an offensive designed
to eliminate Russia from the conflict.
One of the main questions that remained
to be solved in the west was, would the
French, aided by the slowly increasing British volunteer armies, be able ultimately to
drive the Germans out of their trenches, or
would the stalemate, which was to last for so
many months, endure till the end of the war?
What, then, were the main results of
the first four months of the war on the
Western Front? Each side had had some
failures and some successes. The Germans
had failed to capture Paris or to annihilate the armies of their enemies-even
the army of little Belgium. The grand
stroke, toward the success of which every
human and humane consideration had
been sacrificed, had failed. Yet the Germans had much to show for their efforts.
All of Belgium except a petty strip in
the southwest, and several of the chief
industrial departments of France were
in their hands. Their enemies were not
only deprived of the use of the mines
and machinery in these regions, but to
a considerable extent the Germans were
able to make use of them for themselves.
For many months the war in the west,
except for a few hundred square miles
in Alsace remaining in French hands,
could be fought on the enemy's own soil.
The attempt on Dunkirk and Calais
had failed, but the Germans held most
of the Belgian seacoast, and this would
be helpful in the submarine campaign
against the British navy and merchant
As for the Allies, they had passed through
the fiery furnace and had come out scorched
but alive. Though suffering enormous