Page 3605

3605 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

their greatest effectiveness. Hitherto the

British armies-save the first expeditionary

force to France-had not greatly distinguished themselves except for courage,

but it seemed possible that they might

loom very large toward the end of the

war.

Both sides claimed the advantage of

the deadlock in France. The Germans

declared that because of the strength of

their "strategic defense" they were able

to bold what they had conquered with a

firm grasp and that they could so hold

it forever. The Allies asserted that the

Germans were already beaten in the West,

that the deadlock gave the Allied forces

time to increase their numbers and obtain

guns and munitions in such overwhelming

quantities that the result could not be

doubtful. Furthermore, they argued that

even if they merely succeeded in holding

the Germans within bounds, they would

win ultimately because of the blockade.

Meanwhile, feeling between the combatants was becoming more and. more

embittered. The invasion of Belgium,

the sinking of the Lusitania and other

vessels, the bombing of defenseless towns,

the use of poison gas, and other examples

of German "frightfulness" created an

ever-increasing abhorrence of the nation

guilty of such offenses. In Great Britain,

public feeling was deeply stirred by the

execution in Belgium of a heroic nurse,

Edith Cavell.

Miss Cavell was an Englishwoman who

was the head of a nursing school in Brussels.

Practically her entire life had been spent

in alleviating the sufferings of others,

and she had cared for many wounded

German soldiers. After the battle of

Mons, numerous British wounded soldiers