Page 3631

3631 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

rather than submit to the enemy, had

left their homes and fled, a suffering and

sorrowful multitude, into Albania. Food

and clothing were lacking, and the refugees

died by thousands and tens of thousands;

nor was the lot of those who remained at home much, if any, better. In the preceding winter the Servians had suffered frightfully from an epidemic of typhus, which

swept away a large part of the population

and was only controlled by the help of foreign physicians, including many Americans.

Altogether the Servian people undoubtedly suffered far more by the war than

did the Belgians, and the task of supplying

them with food was much more difficult.

The spirit of King Peter and of thousands

of his soldiers, however, remained unconquered. Many of the troops were transferred to Salonica, Corfu and other places,

and the Allies undertook the task of reorganizing what remained of the Servian

and Montenegrin military forces. The

coming of spring saw these men fighting

valiantly for the recovery of their country

and homes.

Meanwhile, the French and British,

under General Sarrail, after some successes

against the Bulgarians, were forced from

Servian Macedonia into Greece. Their

situation was perilous, for not only were

they in danger of being pursued by the

Bulgarians and Teutons, but fear existed

that King Constantine might use the Greek

army against them. But Russia opportunely inaugurated an offensive against

the Teutonic lines, thus making it impossible for Austria or Germany to use many

troops against the French and British in

Greece; while the Bulgarians and Turks

showed little disposition to attempt the

task of driving them into the sea.

General Sarrail, aided by General de

Castelnau, fortified Salonica and the country north of it most thoroughly; and ultimately a very large force of French and

British troops was gathered there, though

whether for offensive or defensive purposes

was unknown to the world. Bulgarians,

Turks, Germans, and Austro-Hungarians

stood guard north of the Greek frontier,

but throughout the winter confined their

activities to a few aerial raids. The Allies

treated Salonica much as if it belonged

to them, and arrested enemy subjects

and consular representatives and either

imprisoned or deported them. It was

expected that the coming of spring would

see some stirring scenes in this region,

though the question of which side would

assume the offensive remained in darkness.

Not only did the Allies have large forces

in Salonica, but the military camps in Egypt

and on various islands about Greece and

Turkey swarmed with veterans from Gallipoli, fresh troops from France, Great Britain, and the British colonies, and escaped

Servians and Montenegrins.

The last word had not yet been said

about the settlement of Turkish and

Balkan questions, and many of the Servian

and Montenegrin exiles believed that a few

more months would see them in possession

of their mountain homes.