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3482 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

, son of the Russian commander in

the last war with Turkey and second

cousin of the reigning Czar. He served

as a young man under his father in the

campaign of Plevna, Lochva, and the

Shipka Pass, and was awarded the Cross

of St. George for valor under fire. He

took no part in the war with Japan, but

throughout his career kept abreast of

developments in military science, and was

active in the reorganization of the Russian

army after the disasters in Manchuria

had made evident its weaknesses. Personally he inherited the unusual height

and extraordinary physical strength so

common among the house of Romanoff,

being six feet and five inches tall. His

wife was a daughter of the King of Montenegro and a sister of the Queen of Italy.

Russian efficiency was greatly increased

in the war by a novel step. Drunkenness

had long been the bane of the Russian

army and of many of the Russian people,

the popular drink being the exceedingly

strong liquor known as vodka. An imperial ukase was issued closing the wine

shops during mobilization, and this was

presently followed by an edict forbidding

the sale, transportation, or consumption

of any liquors during the period of the

war. The Russian example was followed

to a lesser extent by others of the warring

countries. France, for example, totally

abolished the use and manufacture of the

demoralizing and poisonous absinthe.

It was universally recognized that racial

sympathies and antipathies would probably play a great part in the course of

events along the Eastern Front. We have

already shown that there were millions

of Servians within the boundaries of the

Dual Monarchy who were dissatisfied

with their status, while, to a lesser extent,

a similar situation existed in eastern Germany. The longing of hundreds of thousands of people of Italian blood in the

region about the Adriatic to be united

to Italy also gave reason for anxiety to

Francis Joseph, and was ultimately to

prove an important factor in the situation.

Russia, likewise, was not without her

troubles of a similar nature; and the desire of the Poles for independence had been

evidenced in the past in many bloody

outbreaks. On the 15th of August, the

Grand Duke Nicholas, commander-in-chief

of the Russian forces, issued, on behalf

of the Czar, a, proclamation promising

autonomy to Poland, with freedom of

religion and language. It was a clever

stroke, cleverly phrased, and undoubtedly

did much to hold the Russian Poles in

loyalty to Russia. The Russian people,

in fact, entered the conflict much more

united than could have been expected,

and really with genuine enthusiasm. In

Austria-Hungary, however, there was much

Slavic disaffection, which made itself felt

in mutinies and also by lack of resistance

in the field.

Although the Germans at the outset

had only five or six army corps available

for service in the east, both they and the

Austrians attempted an offensive. The

Germans seized a stretch of Polish territory

to the east of Silesia, including the important railway town of Kalish and also

Czestochowa, the latter a city held in

particular esteem by the Poles because

of its historical associations. The Germans did not expect, however, to push

this invasion with any great vigor at

this time, and the chief movement was

left to the Austrians further southward.

Meanwhile, a Russian force under General

Rennenkampf had crossed the border

into East Prussia. The first considerable

action took place on August 5 when the

Russians reached Stalluponen, the Germans being driven out of this town with

considerable losses. It was not until

about a week later, however, that the real

forward movement of the Russians began.

The Austrians in the early days of the

war massed almost a million men in Galicia.

These troops were divided into two armies;

one, facing northward and based on the

great fortress of Przemysl, had for its

task the invasion of Russian Poland; the

other, based on Lemberg, faced northeastward and had for its duty the protection of the right flank of the first army

and of eastern Galicia against Russian

attacks from that direction. The first