3771 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.
organized attack of the Germans if the
enemy forces remain the same as now?
Two commanders answered in vague,
conditional terms: the head of the 10th
Army categorically. The general verdict
was: 'We no longer have any infantry.'
I will make the statement stronger, and say:
'We no longer have any army, and it is
necessary to create one at any price.'
"Under Paragraph 6 of the 'Declaration
of the Soldiers' Rights,' it is prescribed
that all printed matter, without exception,
shall be forwarded to the person addressed.
This deluges the whole army with incendiary Bolshevist literature, and upon
this literature the spirit of the army is fed.
It is evident that official funds, the funds
of the people and of the Military Bureau at
Moscow, have been invested in this vicious
propaganda sent to the front. . . .
"Under Paragraph 14 no one is to be
punished without trial. Certainly this
right belongs to the private soldiers alone,
for the officers continue to be denied it.
What has happened? The high military
tribunal, paralyzed by democratization,
proposes to limit its activities to the most
important cases, such as treason. The
officers have lost all disciplinary authority.
The disciplinary tribunals have not been
elected, either through indifference or
through boycott. In short, justice has
been excluded from the army. All these
legislative measures have annihilated authority and discipline, brought contempt
upon the officers, deprived them of all
confidence, all consideration.
"The officers' corps: it is very painful to
me to speak of this, and I will be brief.
Sokoloff, plunging into military life, has
said: 'I could not have imagined what
martyrs your officers are; I bow before
them.' Yes; in the darkest hours of the
Czarist epoch the satellites and police did
not employ, for those they deemed criminal,
the tortures, the jeers inflicted to-day by
the somber mass, guided by the revolutionary rabble, upon officers who are giving
their lives for their country.
"They are insulted at every turn, they
are struck, yes, struck. But they do not
complain; they are moved by shame,
mortal shame. And more than one in
private sheds tears over his misfortune.
It is not strange that to escape such a
situation many officers seek death on the
battlefield. What epic calm and tragic
resonance vibrate through this passage
from an account of a battle: In vain did
the officers, marching in advance, try to
rally their men. At that moment a white
flag appears on Redoubt 3. Then fifteen
officers, with a little group of soldiers,
marched forward alone. Their fate is
unknown. They were not seen again."
The Germans followed up their advantage by an attack upon Riga, the great city
which they had almost taken late in 1915.
A new scheme of attack-of which more
will be said in a later chapter-was used,
its formulator being General Hutier. The
Russian army was too badly demoralized
to offer effective resistance, and Riga was
speedily taken, together with many prisoners and immense war booty, including
great numbers of heavy guns. The victory aroused great rejoicing in the Central
Powers. Pan-Germans seized the opportunity to proclaim anew the invincibility