Page 3618

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

depleted stores.

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.