Page 3617

3617 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

Meanwhile, von Hindenburg in the north

managed to take Vilna, but the Russian

forces once more evaded his net, and all of

his efforts against Dvinsk and Riga were

foiled. That the last mentioned town was

able to hold out was due in large measure

to the failure of the German navy to force

an entrance into the Gulf of Riga and

cooperate with the German army. Russian

warships, aided by British submarines, foiled

all the German efforts and succeeded in

sinking a number of vessels, one of them

a battle cruiser. The Teutons were now

entering upon their Balkan campaign and

were content to accept the defensive

along the Eastern Front, holding what

they had gained. Some observers had

supposed that the Teutons would endeavor

to capture Petrograd or Moscow, but this,

for the present at least, was no part of

their intention.

The campaign thus closed had been one of

the greatest in all history. Beside the hosts

of von Hindenburg and von Mackensen, the

"Grand Army" led by Napoleon to Moscow

appeared insignificant. The whole movement was a triumph of method and organization rather than of any special brilliancy

in leadership. Behind the German and

Austrian armies followed the engineers,

repairing and improving old highways

and building railroads. Merely to provision such a multitude of men involved

enormous transportation problems; while

the fact that it was artillery which enabled

the Teutonic forces to drive back the Russians necessitated a vast amount of work

to bring up the great cannons and their

shells, which were expended in quantities

undreamed of before this war began.

The rapidity with which bridges were

rebuilt and railroads constructed almost

exceeded credibility. It was as if the

Germans had rubbed Aladdin's lamp and

had conjured up genii to do the work.

But it was all due merely to careful forethought and preparation in advance and to

execution by competent, thoroughly trained

men. In less than six months the Teutonic

forces had not only redeemed practically