The Spectator at war

The Spectator at war: Gallant little Belgium

11 August 2014

From ‘News of the Week’, The Spectator, 15 August 1914:

The war continues to be as amazing as ever. We have now had actual firing for over ten days and yet there has been no serious invasion of French soil. What one was always told would happen in the great war, and what undoubtedly the German meant should happen, was a steady and rapid advance of the stupendous tide of German soldiers into France. Wave was to succeed wave of men on the frontier and all of them were to have their faces turned to France and Paris. The sea, no doubt, was to break in through Belgium, but Belgium, it was confidently predicted, would make no serious opposition. It would flow over Belgium just as an incoming tide flows over and covers as isolated rock. In a word, the Germans were to turn neither to the right nor to the left for anything the Belgians might sat or do, but keep steadily on their appointed course. Now look at what has really happened. The first fighting line of the German Army, instead of facing south, has had to turn round and face practically west. The little rock, instead of being over-whelmed at once, has actually help up the tides! It is incredible, but it is true. Instead of France being invaded, and the first great battle taking place on French soil, it is Belgium that is being invaded, and the battle which is beginning as we write is not only in Belgium, but one largely against Belgian troops- a battle in which German guns will point west and the Belgian and French guns east.

No doubt, undercover of the battle on the German right flank, vast masses of German troops which are now penned up to the east of Liege and the line of the Meuse, ready to begin the business, will at once push south for the invasion of France. Possibly the German numbers are so enormous that they will be able to accomplish the double manoeuvre which ease. We certainly are not going to make the capital error of being optimistic till there is real ground for optimism, and for that we frankly confess there is none. At the same time, it would show a rather paltry superstition not to note the great difficulties of the Germans. If the accounts of the position of their forces are anything like accurate, they would seem to be dangerously thick on the ground to the east of the Meuse. Numbers are all very well, but regiments can get in each other’s way. They have also got the very formidable works of Namur before them. These may roughly be taken as the pivot of the double German advanced west and south. The Germans ought to be in Namur to-nite, and have all its outlying defences in their hands. Will they be able to do this? If not, will they dare to neglect Namur and go forwards, masking it with a large body of men, of which, of course, have plenty, but otherwise treating it as if it did not exist?

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We do not believe either that they will dare to attack Namur summarily or that they have the nerve to neglect it. Namur is a very much stronger Liege, and during the last ten days the spades have been busily at work. The country round is now literally seamed with trenches and bristling with guns. But if Namur is now taken summarily it may play a very tiresome part in the Germans preliminary measures, but of course, from the German point of view, that is all we are witnessing just now. As a preliminary to invading France, Germany has had to invade Belgium. But even if all sorts of miracles were to happen to help Germany, and things went like lighting and clockwork combined, the fact would still remain that the preliminaries are a week late…

It would be useless to attempt to describe the minor vicissitudes of the campaign in North-East Belgium. It is evident, however, that the Belgians have been fighting in the open with all the dash, cleverness, and resources shown by them in and around Liege, which latter place, by the way, is now occupied by very large bodies of Germans, who, if all accounts are true, are well pleased with the shelter and the good food to be obtained in the town. Meanwhile, contrary to all expectations and all likelihoods, the forts of Liege are still intact, and have kept the Belgian flag flying. That is an absolute “record” for such little places as these but, thank Heaven! Little places and little nations are showing us that the big battalions and the big nations are not everything, and that man’s unconquerable mind is still not to be reckoned by weight but by worth.

The Belgians, of course, have the incomparable advantage of fighting in their own country and having all its resources at their disposal. The boys and women convey food to them wherever it is humanly possible to do so, whereas the Uhlans have great difficulty in feeding themselves and their horses. The Belgians do not take wrong turnings or go up impossible lanes or mistake their direction, as the Uhlans are constantly doing- and small blame to them, for the best maps are often blind guides in a country covered like Belgium with a labyrinth of paths and roads which seem to run parallel, but which in fact diverge on all converge with the most maddening in decision.

Before we leave the subject of the invasion of Belgium we must say a word as to the manner in which the Germans are using up their horses. This is for them a most serious matter, for if they have not plenty of draught-horses for the guns and transport, and plenty also for their cavalry screens, they will sooner or later be a waterlogged army. No doubt the Germans started with a splendid supply, but the wastage has obviously been unusually heavy. And remember that the Germans, who used to get great numbers of horses from Russia and America and the Argentine, cannot now get a single animal. The only extra supply is Hungary, and the Hungarian horses are not much good for draught, and are also wanted by the Austrians. No doubt the wastage for us and the French will be equally great, but we have the whole of the Transatlantic supply open to us, while the French can get thousands of useful horses from Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and even Syria.

We understand, indeed, that Canada is already sending us some twenty thousand remounts, and very soon we shall be getting walers coming to our assistance, not to mention the South African ponies.

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  • Dean Jackson

    In one of the many senseless campaigns fought on the Western Front, the Cambrai campaign (20 November 1917 – 7 December 1917) witnessed more than 44,000 casualties, including 7,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South Africa dying for zero ground claimed. That 44,000 casualty figure should have been used instead for the more critical campaign against the Bolsheviks in Petrograd (who had just mounted the November 7 coup, overthrowing the Provisional government), resulting in the re-entry of Russia into the war, thereby sparing the exhausted Western Front Allies the prospect of facing another thirty German divisions previously deployed against Russia on the Eastern Front. In fact, a 57,000-man Allied military unit was already in Russia (the Ukraine) at the time–the Czechoslovak Legion–and could have been used to overthrow the Bolsheviks if the Allied powers so wished. Instead, the Czechoslovak Legion was sent on a 6,000 mile odyssey across Russia, its destination Vladivostok on the Pacific coast for passage back to Europe and the war, instead of sending the legion 700 miles due north to Petrograd and collapse the Bolshevik coup. The politicians of the West were doing all they could to (1) protect the fledgling Bolshevik regime in Petrograd; while (2) sabotaging every opportunity to immediately get Russia back into the war before the Bolshevik position had strengthened throughout Russia. Only when the position of the Bolsheviks was relatively secure would the Allied powers mount campaigns to supposedly overthrow the Bolsheviks (North Russia Intervention and Siberian Intervention), campaigns that were sure to fail due to the lackluster number of soldiers assigned to both missions (though the Japanese contingent of 70,000 soldiers deployed to the the Siberian Intervention is a minimum number one would expect from the combined American, British and French contingent, whose actual total complement registered an anemic 10,250 soldiers up against 600,000 Bolsheviks) and the remote locations for the soldiers’ landings–Archangel (British, French, Italian and American), Murmansk (British, French, Italian and American) and Vladivostok (American, British, French, Canadian, Italian, Polish, Chinese and Japanese)–far from the Bolshevik’s Command and Control center located in Petrograd (Saint Petersburg), where too the Bolshevik’s leadership (Central Committee) is located.

    When Allies did attempt to intervene in Russia they do it (1) too late (now Allied troops would be up against the Red Army, not incompetent Red Guards); and (2) in ports that are remote from the Command and Control Center that is Petrograd!* The Allies land in the remote, out of the way, Archangel or Vladivostok, but won’t land in Petrograd! To ensure that they win the war, the Allies needed to immediately move on Petrograd to quickly get Russia back into the war. In fact, knowing that Lenin had been sent to Russia by the Germans in order to get Russia out of the war, the British would have already drawn up battle plans for a Russian intervention centering on Petrograd.

    It should also be understood that as the Czechoslovak Legion moved north to annihilate the Bolshevik Command & Control centers in Petrograd–a mission a non-Marxist co-opted Allies would have assigned the Czechoslovak Legion on November 8–the ranks of the 57,000 strong unit would have swelled with disaffected officers, non-commissioned offices and enlisted personnel of the former Imperial Russian Army who were furious over the inexplicable dissolution of the Imperial Russian Army. No wonder so many ‘White’ officers had disdain for ‘democracy’, for ‘democracy’ in Russia was a front for Bolshevism.

    The above is a clear case of intentional botching of the Allied war effort in order to assist the Bolsheviks in Petrograd, proving that World War I was a Marxist ‘Scissors Strategy’ operation, the purpose of the operation to lead to the establishment of the first aboveboard Marxist nation that would spread the Marxist germ to China, where the West in 1949 would throw up its arms asking, “Who lost China?” The Marxist West lost China, of course! Then the French lost northern Vietnam thanks to China. Then America intentionally lost the Vietnam War, where (1) over 50% of NVA regiments were 100% manned by Chinese soldiers; and (2) the United States refused to invade and liberate the atheistic Marxist North Vietnam; where (3) the constant replenishing of NVA regiments by Chinese ringers and the refusal of the United States to bring the war to a quick end by invading North Vietnam, led to the loss of the war, resulting in Americans’ loss of faith in their government and institutions.

    The following is a discovery I made in May regarding the fake collapse of the USSR, and what that fraudulent collapse proves about the institutions of the West…

    When Soviet citizens were liberated from up to 74 years of horrific Marxist oppression on December 26, 1991 there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the ‘collapse’ of the USSR was a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists,** otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.

    ZERO celebrations, as the The Atlantic article inadvertently informs us…

    For more on this discovery see my blog…


    The West will form new political parties where candidates are vetted for Marxist ideology, the use of the polygraph to be an important tool for such vetting. Then the West can finally liberate the globe of vanguard Communism.


    * During World War II, the German General Staff wanted to concentrate resources on capturing Moscow, since Moscow was then the Command & Control location for Soviet forces. Hitler insisted on dissipating the effort on three fronts. The same sabotage took place during the Marxists’ World War II operation, where after the war the Marxists’ global position was strengthened.

    ** The failed socialist inspired and controlled pan-European revolutions that swept the continent in 1848(1) thought Marxists and socialists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly,(2) so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties/institutions. In the case of the United States…(continue reading at DNotice)…

    Now you know why not one political party in the West requested verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    The fraudulent ‘collapse’ of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Marxists, which explains why verification of the ‘collapse’ was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

    It gets worse–the “freed” Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of “Perestroika” (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    The above means that the so-called “War on Terror” is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending “War on Terror”; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union “From the Atlantic to Vladivostok”; which will (5) see the end of NATO.

    Now you know how Bolshevik Russia survived in 1917; how the West “lost” China to the Communists in 1949; why the Eisenhower administration turned a deaf ear to the anti-Communist Hungarian uprising in 1956; why the Eisenhower administration in 1959 was indifferent to the Castro brothers’ Communist fidelity, actually used the CIA to overthrow the Batista government; why the Nixon administration abandoned Taiwan for Communist China, and signed treaties/provided economic aid to the USSR; why the Nixon administration refused to tell the American People that over 50% of North Vietnamese NVA regiments were actually Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers (attired in NVA uniforms, and proving that the Sino/Soviet Split was a ruse, as KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn told the West back in 1962), thereby (1) ensuring the Vietnam War would be lost; (2) destroying the prominence of the United States abroad and at home; (3) breeding distrust between the American people and their government; and (4) securing Communist victories in Southeast Asia. Working in the background within the political parties of the United States and Great Britain were Marxist agents doing their best to (1) ensure the survival of Communist nations when they popped up; and (2) sabotage any policies that would bring down a Communist nation. That’s why after the fake collapses of the East Bloc nations and USSR there was no mandatory Western verification process to ensure the Communists weren’t still in control.

  • Ronni

    Poor Belgium, geographically inconvenient in 2 wars.

  • Jabez Foodbotham

    “The Germans ought to be in Namur to-nite”

    Was ‘to-nite’ really Spectator style in 1914?

  • Carter Lee

    Those are Austrian soldiers not German. The Spectator should try to put a little more effort into properly identifying photographs rather than just guessing.

  • Mark McIntyre

    If we knew then what it would become now – EU HQ – methinks we would have left it to the Bosch !
    Knowing now what we did not know then – methinks we should have left it to the Bosch !!
    Belgium – an illegitimate little country – inhabited by ‘Lemmings and ‘Wallys’ !!!

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