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3571 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

does not know," while in Germany the

Italians for the time being took the place

of the English as the most hated of enemies.

In a speech before the Reichstag the

German Chancellor declared that "Italy

has now inscribed in the book of the world's

history, in letters of blood which will never

fade, her violation of faith." Both Austria and Germany, however, declared

their undaunted determination to fight on.

Said the German Chancellor:

"The more wildly the storm rages

around us the more firmly must we build

our own house.. ..In the mutual confidence

that we are all united we will conquer,

despite a world of enemies."

If the Italians had any compunctions

about the course they took, they silenced

them by the reflections that the Central

Powers had shown themselves barbarous

peoples and that their policy of "frightfulness" had put them beyond the pale,

so that any attack upon them was a

praiseworthy act. Undoubtedly the German course in Belgium and the Lusitania

horror, which occurred sixteen days before

Italy entered the war, tended greatly

to weaken the opposition to entering the

war among the Italian people. As it was,

the Italians assured themselves that they

were not only fighting in their own interests

but in those of humanity generally.'

Italy brought to the Allies a fleet that

was considerably stronger than that of

Austria. The army consisted of about

twelve hundred thousand fully trained

men and about eight hundred thousand

partly trained men, with perhaps a million

more untrained men available for service.

The artillery was numerous and of excellent

quality. Both fleet and army had seen

more or less active service in the recent

war with Turkey. The commander of

the fleet was the Duke of the Abruzzi,

the Arctic explorer, and of the army,

General Cadorna.

If the whole Italian army could at once

have been thrown into action against the

enemy, it is not improbable that it could

quickly have decided the war; but, fortunately for the Central Powers, this was

impossible. The frontier between Italy

and Austria was not only comparatively

short-about 140 miles-but it was also

one which, from the Austrian side, was easy

of defense. Either right at the frontier

or not far back from it, in all regions except

just north of the head of the Adriatic,

rise towering mountain ranges, some of

the peaks of which reach up to regions

of perpetual snow, while all are of the

most rugged character. Few passes run

through these mountains, and these few

are capable of easy defense. Toward the

Adriatic, however, the Alps fall away

gradually, breaking up into separate ridges,

and beyond Udine there is a comparatively

flat gap about fifty miles wide, beyond

which lies the important seaport of Trieste,

a rich town, with a fine harbor, and inhabited predominantly by people of Italian

blood. Even here, however, the Isonzo

River and the Carso Plateau furnished

many opportunities for defense.

It was certain that the Italians would

make their chief attacks in two places: