to swear to a page of Mrs. Ward. I do not know but the same holds of George Eliot-the novelist whom she most resembles-but the comparison is not fair. Everybody knows that George Eliot had humor and had passion, superadded to the mental attainments which she shares with Mrs. Ward. What discriminates her from Mrs. Ward is what places her among the immortals. To try a more adequate comparison, Mrs. Oliphant too had humor, and also had charm; yet I think that Mrs. Ward's intellectual range, her real grip of struggles that involve the intellect, go far to compensate for her lack of those graces. And while Mrs. Oliphant, poor soul! wrote her fingers literally to the bone, pouring out copy with undiscriminating profusion, Mrs. Ward has been the careful stewardess of her own talent; she has evidently labored to make each book complete to the utmost of her ability. She seems to have everything that can be acquired by study-including the technical accomplishment of bringing singularly untractable matter into a story. I fear that the qualities which she lacks are qualities necessary to survival-the salt of humor, the fire of passion, the personal charm of a style. Yet in any review of our period in literature her name must always occupy considerable space. Future criticism will not overlook the fact The Nineteenth Century and After.

that she almost alone of her contemporaries avoided dealing in the crudities of passion and won her popularity by a singularly austere appeal; addressing herself not to the senses or the simpler feelings, but to those emotions which connect themselves with high and often abstract intellectual interests. There is no mistaking her honest and well-nourished public spirit, no ignoring her services as a good citizen. Yet, while a book like Beauchamp's Career braces the tone of those who read, and puts life into the ideals of good citizenship, Meredith makes these effects, as it were, unconsciously and by the mere contagion of his presence. He writes for the sake of embodying a number of characters working themselves out in mutual relations; and his creative impulse is the artist's pure and simple. I am sure Mrs. Ward enjoys writing her novels. But the pleasure which I feel in them and behind them is the publicist's who has discovered a subtle device through which argument can be conducted under special forms. She fails, I think, in the last resort, not because she is too much of the good citizen, but because she is too little of an artist. She would sooner found an influential sect than write a supremely good book. This is a perfectly natural taste or ambition, but one incompatible with the highest literary success.

Stephen Gwynn.


If it were not that the situation in the Tripolitaine is pregnant with lessons to those responsible for the military shortcomings of the British Empire, the Turco-Italian War would practically have ceased to be of interest. Italy at this moment finds herself much in the same position as this country well might be, if she succeeded in clearing the seas of the ships of


some European military power. has the command of the sea, but has no means available to impress her will upon Turkey. Her very inadequate and ponderous successes on the fringe of the Libyan desert, Turkey apparently can ignore: her not altogether meritorious depredations on the Arabian coast are of not relative importance: to throw an army either into

Macedonia or Anatolia Italy does not dare. A period of stalemate, therefore, has been reached, in which Italy is unable to reap the full benefits from her sea-supremacy since Turkey has little sea-borne commerce to be dislocated by an active blockade, and has nothing vital that her enemy dare touch. To a great extent this very parlous state of affairs has been created by the peculiar geographical circumstances of the Turkish Empire. The fact remains, however, that sea power accounts for little in the final arbitrament of war unless it be backed by a land force to carry the conviction of hostile superiority into the heart of the enemy's country. In war, sea power and land power are equally the complement of each other.

Let us see what the Italians have done with the sea superiority that they established in the Mediterranean three months ago. They have established an advanced naval base at Marsa Tobruk, and they have mobilized five Infantry Divisions. As a result of their initiative against Turkey in Africa, they have occupied the three main seaport towns of the Tripolitaine, and a few subsidiary seaside settlements. They have established themselves upon the fringe of the Libyan desert at an enormous sacrifice in treasure, and in the circumstances of their marked superiority to their enemy, at a great sacrifice of human tis

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amounts to little: while the suspension of trade between Italy and Turkey only means that Austrian and Russian houses are stealing one of Italy's particular markets. Sea power cannot prevent this. There is no great call upon Turkey's Treasury to feed the spasmodic resistance that her garrison in the Tripolitaine has so strenuously conducted. The situation has, it is true, necessitated the mobilization of the Redif units of the European Urdus of the Turkish army. But Turkish mobilizations are inexpensive measures when judged by European standards. Italy's adventure, therefore, is likely to be a costly affair, so barren of the usual fruits of victory that it looks as if eventually Italy will have to buy that which it has cost millions to steal. Of this kind is the value of sea power, when it has no adequate complement in land force, for the unprejudiced observer must reckon Italy's timidity with regard to Turkey in Europe and Asia Minor as a confession of military weakness. The so-called restriction of the area of operations out of consideration to Europe is, of course, only plausible eye-wash to comfort the proud Latins themselves in their national pride. The naïveté of the suggestion is, however, refreshing.

After this preamble let us see what the army in Tripoli has done with itself since we left it last month calling for reinforcement from Italy as a result of the mismanagement of the local native question in October. After he lost his two companies of Bersaglieri on his left front in the Tripoli oasis, General Caneva withdrew his line on that flank so far that it became possible for the Turkish artillery to shell the town with their field-pieces. Except a very small portion at the Tripoli end, the whole oasis was abandoned to the enemy. This was exactly what Colonel Neshet Bey wished. As long as his force was concentrated at

Ainzara the Italian aeroplanes from above, and their cavalry, if they shared initiative, from below, could ascertain his numerical weakness.

Masked in the cover of the fig-and date-palm groves, however, his force must appear much greater than it really was to the Italians. A further advantage lay in the fact that there were many anchorages along the northern front of the oasis, where boats running the blockade could bring him valuable cargoes.

Also the dates were

ripening, and it was an easy matter to feed his desert allies. It is impossible for any one that was with the Italians to say how many allies the Turks succeeded in inducing to join their standard. The published casualty lists on both sides are very misleading; but if one can estimate the strength of the Turks in the desert round Tripoli itself by their official returns, it will be found that the estimate given in "Maga" in December is practically accurate. The Turkish returns for the fighting round Henna, Mesri, and Hamidieh from 22nd October to the end of the month are given as 5000. It is explained that these are mostly Arabs, and the number is intended to include those that fell as a result of the internal conspiracy, and to implicate the Italians by the suggestion of coldblooded slaughter that accompanied the repression of the conspiracy. In the smaller operations early in November the Turkish losses were returned as 40 killed and 80 wounded. In the larger operations towards the end of the month, on the Hamidieh and Ainzara fronts, the Turkish losses were 90 killed and 230 wounded. In the great Italian advance by which the Turks and Arabs were finally driven clear of the oasis, the Turkish commander acknowledges to about 200 killed. In all this fighting, since September 26, it is doubtful if either Turks or Arabs have suffered heavier casualties than ten per

cent. of their entire force during any decisive period of the fighting. Let us take the last two periods mentioned and strike an average at this computation. This will give us a mean between 3200 and 9000 rifles. Let us say 7000 rifles. We know that the Turkish regulars marched out of Tripoli on 2nd October between 3000 and 4000 strong. They must have lost by the wastage of three months' war at least 1000. Therefore it seems rational to surmise that when the Italians finally drove the Turks and their allies out of the oasis, Neshet Bey disposed of about 2500 Turks and just under 5000 Arabs. Perhaps even less. The Italians were nearly 50,000 strong.

It has been necessary to go into all this detail because there is a feeling in certain quarters that we in this country have been unjust to the Italians. We have not been unjust: we may have forgotten, perhaps, that they have had to learn many things about war that we ourselves have learned by just as bitter an experience as the Italian troops have had in the Tripoli oasis. There is no intention with us to be hypercritical; but the game of modern war is so serious a science that it is impossible to see it inexpertly applied without striving to profit by the lessons that a comparison suggests.

The Italian General Staff had calculated that they could effect the conquest and subjugation of Tripolitania with the mobilization of three Divisions. That is, two Divisions for the actual theatre of war, and a Division in reserve at home. General Caneva's experience in the Tripoli oasis necessitated the immediate dispatch of the 3rd Infantry Division' to the seat of war,

The 3rd Infantry Division: Commander, General de Chaurand:

1st Infantry Brigade (51st and 52nd Regiments) from Perosa. 2nd Infantry Bragade (93rd and 94th kegiments) from Ancona. A Battallion of A'pini.

Over and above this brigade the corps troops were augmented by the addition of the 15th Regiment and other detached units.

and the mobilization of a 4th Division." These reinforcements raised the troops disembarked in the Tripoli town area to the strength of an army corps, and a corps commander was appointed in the person of General Fragoni, who, though junior to General Caneva, who retained his appointment as commander-in-chief, was senior to the divisional commanders.

With this overpowering force it was a physical impossibility for the Italians not to push back the resistance which the Turks had marshalled against them. Offensive operations, however, were delayed for nearly a fortnight by a tropical rainfall, which for North Africa even was torrential. This downpour turned all the roads radiating from Tripoli town into mountain torrents. The beat of these torrents undermined the loose sand of the field-works, and the water turned each trench and casement into a boggy quicksand. The Italian field-batteries and the commissariat depots had, for the most part, been erected in low-lying places. The rain flooded them all out, and a heavy wind rising with the storms, all shipping in the harbor had to weigh anchor and seek safety elsewhere. To add to the general disorder, the Turks and Arabs, now established on the line Hamidieh-Mesri, pushed in under cover of the heaviest downpours. The Italians withstood all these attacks, and, the weather having mended, the invaders were able to change to the offensive on the 26th of November. The plan of campaign which Generals Caneva and Fragoni jointly decided upon was not of a very complex character. The plan disposed one brigade along the line of sand dunes which lie just outside the southern border of the oasis, so as to command any movement from the

2 The 4th Infantry Division: 26th, 37th, 50th. and 57th Regiments, with the usual Divisional Light Infantry Battalion. This division has reinforced Cyrenaica, and a 5th Infantry Division has now been mobilized in reserve.

Turkish advanced base at Ainzara, while with four regiments of infantry in operation between the sea and the cavalry barracks, a general sweeping of the oasis was set in motion. Information that has been received from Turkish sources suggests that the combined artillery practice of fleet and field artillery was too much for the nerves of the Arab allies of the Turks. The shell, fired at short range, tore great lanes through the palm groves, and ringed the defenders in with a thick pall of smoke and dust from the demolished buildings. The Bersaglieri of the waving plumes and the Italian Grenadiers pressed forward with levelled bayonets, and in the first day's struggle re-established a portion of their old line. On the following day the battle still waged among the fig and cactus groves, and by that evening Caneva was able to report that he had re-established the whole line that had been abandoned in the previous month. The Turks and their allies were driven higher up into the oasis; but they still held a front, and were still based upon Ainzara, the nearest detached oasis. It was not until ten days later that the Italians turned them out from here.

The reoccupation of Hamidieh, Henni, and Sidi Mesri reopened the old story of the atrocities and reprisals. The Bersaglieri found their dead from the actions of October 23rd and 26th. There were marks of violence upon the bodies. That was to have been expected. The Arab is cruel in his blood-lust. It is nevertheless proba

ble that the Arab mutilations have been as overstated as were the Italian reprisals. Men who are said to have been buried alive are probably Italian corpses that the Turks hastily interred for sanitary reasons. It is quite pos

sible that some of the so-called mutilations were due to the packs of dogs which infest the oasis. Moreover, it

is hard to believe that the evidences of brutality, as described in the Italian journals, could have survived in the minuteness of the detail given, after the exposure of a month of North African sun and torrential rains. There is no doubt that there were nerveshaking reprisals on both sides, as there have been in every war since history began. It certainly is not the experience of the writer that the Turk is a brutal soldier. The Arab, on the other hand, holds life so cheaply, and has such curious superstitions concerning a future state, that he indulges in mutilations, believing that they carry a meaning to another sphere.

The fighting has not been confined, however, to the immediate environment of Tripoli. There have been throughout the month attacks by Turkish-led and organized Arabs against both Derna and Benghazi. In all of these the Italians have held their own, while at Benghazi they appear to have had a certain amount of success. There was one determined attack upon Khoms towards the end of October in which the Turks and Arabs lost heavily; but the most serious losses that the Turkish garrison suffered outside the Tripoli oasis were at Derna, where, during an unsuccessful attack, the forces organized by Enver Bey had over 100 killed in one action.

A great deal has been said in various places about the probability of the Turks being able to enlist the sympathies of the Senussi cult of Mahommedanism. The chief centre of this cult, it will be remembered, is at Kofra, a great oasis in the Tripoli hinterland. It is quite certain that the Turks, under the cloak of Moslemism, will be able to enlist the sympathies of the cult, but it is doubtful if they will gain more active help than an expression of sympathy. Senussiism has been the brooding mystery of North and Central Africa for the last quarter of a cen

tury. It is a particular cult of militant Mahommedanism which, established in a chain of almost inaccessible oases in the hinterland of North Africa, has established a mysterious reputation for effective power which has never yet been put to the proof. The agents and missioners of the Senussi have stretched out like tentacles from the heart of Africa to all the coast gates of the northern portion of the continent. The Intelligence Department of the French War Office, however, has no great faith in the reported power of the Senussi. It believes that much of the cult's reputation is due to the mystery which has been fostered by its system of agencies. This evidence, at the present moment, is worth considering, as the French in their colonial service in the Hinterland of Tunisia, Algeria, and the Congo have come into closer contact with Senussiism than other European Powers. This much is certain, that in their past dealings with European aggression the cult has shown a disinclination to push matters to any issue that might be interpreted as the pitting of Senussiism against Christianity. That is the practical view which guides the French Colonial Department in its military relationship with this almost mythical power. To come down, however, to actual facts in relation to the organization of the Arabs who for three months have been aiding the Turkish cause in the Tripolitaine, Kofra, the present seat of Senussiism, is over 1000 kilometres south of Cyrenaica. this great intervening space, 800 odd kilometres are the Libyan desert. It is probable, therefore, that when the true story of the Turkish defence of Turkey in Africa is told, it will be found that Fezzan is the region farthest south from which the Turks have been able to draw native allies.


The initial successes of the Turks in establishing themselves in the oasis

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