3618 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
all of Galicia but they had overrun all of
Poland and other Russian territory as
well, had taken fortress after fortress, had
captured hundreds of thousands of prisoners, and had driven the Russian armies
far back from the German frontiers.
It seemed certain that if the Russians
should ever succeed in regaining the ground
they had lost it could only be done after a
long interval of time and after the expenditure of vast quantities of blood and treasure. The power of the German defensive
had been shown to be so great in the west
that some observers doubted whether the
Russians would ever be able to break the
new Teutonic lines-at least not until the
strength of the Central Powers had been
depleted by a long process of attrition.
To a considerable extent the conquered
territory had been swept clean of articles
of value to the invaders, and yet the possession of the territory thus gained would
doubtless prove helpful to them. Before
Germany could again be assailed on the
east, the Russians would be compelled to
reconquer what they had lost; and if the
Central Powers could manage to retain
possession of their conquests until after the
next harvest, they would be able to derive
therefrom food supplies to augment their
Yet, stupendous as was the victory, it
was not decisive. Russia had lost much
territory, but, after all, it was a bagatelle
beside the vast extent which she still
retained. Over a million of her soldiers
had been killed, wounded or captured, but
her armies were not annihilated, nor had
they lost the expectation of ultimate victory.
It had been the Teutonic hope to eliminate Russia from the conflict, and suggestions of favorable terms if she would desert
her allies found their way to Petrograd.