May, 2nd 1915
Steed, the foreign editor of the Times, has been to see me this morning: he has been here on information bent, and on Tuesday he hopes to be at Joffrey’s Headquarters. In London it was, he said, believed that an agreement would be come with Italy: Benckendorff had told that Russia (who at hesitated) and France and England were ready to concede Italy’s extreme demands.
May 3, 1915
The French have obtained a possession of German General orders dated St. Quentin, October 16, giving directions for the use of machines for spraying of inflammable oils and ‘liquids fumigeres” operating within a radius of 20 m was immediate mortal effect and burning from 11/2 to 2 minutes, to be used chiefly for street and house to house fighting, and also to be kept in reserve behind assault positions: all these methods, contrary for the usage of war, and prohibited by Hague Conventions, have been deliberately prepared and adopted by these German Huns, how terribly will be the reprisal if so Allied troops penetrate into Germany, but when will that be?
May 5, 1915
Winston Churchill sent a message through the Naval Attaché that he had no time to call himself: he is by way of being incognito and calls himself Spencer, but he lodges at the Ritz, entertained half a dozen Navals at luncheon, and dined tonight with his counterpart, a sort of ostrich with its head in the sand.
May, 8, 1915
What will be the outcome, as regards the United States Government, of the latest crime of the Huns-the sinking of the “Lusitania”? We don’t know here yet how many people have been drowned, and of those how many Americans. I suppose that the submarine commander knew almost to a yard the course of the ship: to me the wonder is that he did not lie in wait and torpedo some of the rescuing vessels.
May 9, 1915
Kitchener is proving himself right in his opinion of three years’ war: he could not answer my inquiries with the Kitchener’s opinion had been founded on any trustworthy data, not open to other experts, or whether it was a mere hazardous opinion which would not be made a cause of complaint against him if the war came to an end in a shorter time. He talked a lot of rubbish about the justice of Russia’s claim to hold Constantinople and the Straits: it was inevitable: who is could do so? Evidently this is what has been preached in the cabinet: I did not argue the question, which arose out of what would be the attitude of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, and whether they knew and could be reconciled to Russia having Constantinople. On this matter he felt confident that, as none of those states could hold the Straits and Constantinople, they would prefer the Russians to the Turks there. This suffices to show his words in matters of foreign policy.
May 12, 1915
I began by not believing in German atrocities, and now I feel that I myself would, if I could, kill every Combatant German that I might meet: what therefore must reasonably be the spirit of Vengeance in those who have been samples of German Kultur?
May 18, 1915
After lunch on the day Jules Roche talked of the desiderata: the German Empire must remain on the far side of the Rhine. Emanuel d’Harcourt, who was Chef de Cabinet to President Marshall McMahon, objected that to annex anything else than Alsace-Lorraine would be to create a German Alsace-Lorraine difficulty in the future for France. Roche reduced his claims to an exclusion from such German Empire of all sit territory on the left bank of the Rhine: it need not necessarily be annexed to France: buffer states might be created: in any case the military, naval and commercial power Germany must be annihilated. The discussion rather fizzled out. The indiscretions of public men in and out of office is astounding! One matter of which I think X’s information is at fault is his belief that Russia would welcome Italian aid at the Dardanelles and Constantinople.
May 19, 1915
I learned this evening that newspaper telegrams from London which announced the resignation of Fisher, Haldane and McKenna had been suppressed here.
May 28, 1915
I had to see if the Minister of War this afternoon about the matter in which to much is expected by Lloyd George, of which presently. I had some private conversation with him: he wonders what K. means to do with 1.5 million to 2 million men whom he has collected in England. If he would send 200,000 of them to French, or as a separate unit somewhere along the line, the German line might be pierced. He has seen d’Amade, who says that if a division had been with the ships on the first bombardment of the Dardanelles a landing could easily have been made and a coup main effected, for the Turks where quite unprepared. The delay between then and the arrival and landing of the Allied troops gave the Germans time to organize the Turks for resistance: he blames Winston for his rash and implusive attempt of taking the Dardanelles by ships alone: the sacrifice of life has been great.
May 29, 1915
left Paris this morning for Dieppe. On Arrival at Dieppe I visited a British convalescent horse farm, where there where about hundred horses, on my host’s property.
Note: His host is his best friend, Jacques de Gunzburg, barely not mentioned in his diaries.
June 1, 1915
Einzige private Anmerkung: Seine Erhebung zum Baron durch den König.
I believe that the following is true: some Senegalese well ordered to charge, which they did, going beyond the trench which they were to take and without the French officers: on the return, very much satisfied, they were ask where they had been and what doing: they said that they had taken an ambulance and killed the wounded, the doctors and the nurses. When a apostrophized for such conduct, they answered that they had not committed any atrocities as the Germans did: they had simply killed.
Jun 1, 1915
neither Romania nor Greece looks “marching” at present: we have not been sufficiently successful yet at the Dardanelles to encourage them, and the Russians rebuffs or defeats have been enough to discourage them. I hear that “when the proper moment arrives” Winston Churchill will show that he was not responsible for the Dardanelles from the Dardanelles I hear that Australians having found that the one that where mutilated by the Turks at said in dictation so Ceylon of the German officers, give no quarter and kill the prisoners if any are taken that Australians are great fighters, but are not under discipline: a party of symbols order to take in a mini trench, which stated: scheme and its failure. “I was not I, it was the other boy, Fisher, who did it.”
July 2, 1915
the French are in a critical mood in our regard. We are considered responsible for the Dardanelles failure, which certainly is true. We have lost an awful lot of man and some ships. The French public consider that we do not cover a sufficient extent of the front, and that we are not active enough. Even the Board of the Suez Canal company sarcastic remarks have been made on French’s quite residence in a comfortable house, devoting some of his time to cultivation of flowers! There is a wave of pessimism passing over the country, owing with the realization that the expectation of the war being over at the latest in the autumn was without temptation, and that there must be another winter trench campaign and most probably not in Germany. To some this is a great deception, for which a scapegoat must be found-and why not Albion? She is in no hurry to finish the war before she has made arrangements for capturing German trade, so the French complainants say! I do not think that we may expect any great offensive from our side in Flanders until the effort of the Dardanelles has succeeded or failed. I fancy that we and our Friends will mark time laying in a store of high explosive shells for general attack late on. There is a rumor that Haig is to supplant French.
July 4, 1915
days beginning here of talk in high quarters of the political necessity of a victory, so as to keep the public up to the mark, as the prospect of a winter in the trenches is having a depressing effect on the general public and encourages the weak-kneed to blaspheme. We are held responsible for the Dardanelles fiasco because Winston Churchill persuaded Augagneur to conquer in the expedition, which was not properly thought out. We require a great success at the Dardanelles for the sake of our position in Egypt and in India: the French require a victory in Flanders for the sake of the ministerial position and for the reputation of Joffre. I am afraid that these desires may lead to rashness.
Bulgaria is doing what others are doing-waiting to see which is likely to be the winning side and how much in survey of promises can be extracted on both sides. If I had to decide what Russia should it would be to give Bessarabia to Romania, and promise Bukowina, Transylvania and as much of the Banat as she might insist on. To Bulgaria I would promise the Turkish territory down to, and beyond, the Enos-Media line as far as the Tchatalaja lines which defend Constantinople, and down to the Bulair lines in the Gallipoli peninsular. The fate of Constantinople, Bosporus and sit Dardanelles traits or to be decided by all suppose interested, viz., Russia, Romania, and Bulgaria as riverains, and by England, France and Italy: Greece has not behaved well enough to deserve to be consulted. We can control Greece by our sea power. Russia, however, gives way always too late to be of service.
July 6, 1915
Mr. McCormack, part owner and chief editor of the Chicago Tribune, has been here to see me today. Met comic just returned from a two-month stay with the Russian army in Poland. The purport of his conversation is as follows: the Russians man for man are bigger, stronger and better fighters than the Germans, and defeats them in hand to hand fighting…. The Russian troops have been well led and have fought with great energy and determination.
The Russians cannot be sufficiently supplied from abroad through Archangel, for the railway is a single line and badly constructed. Supplies have been lying at Archangel ever since last year, waiting to be forwarded.
Mr. McCormack evidently thinks that an invasion and complete defeat of Germany will not be, and that the result of all the fighting in the north of France and on the Russian frontier will be a kind of stale-made. With regard to the supply of arms and ammunition of war to the allies from the United States, he fears that the German Americans and the newspaper writers engaged with them may succeed in obtaining prohibition of the exporting of arms, etc. There will be in agitation and cry got up that it is immoral and wicked to provide the allies with the means of killing Germans. I doubt the American public being persuaded to give up the profit to be divided from supplying arms, etc., to the allies: it is a legitimate trade for individuals, at their risk of the arms, etc., being intercepted by the other belligerents.
July 8, 1915
Ian Hamilton’s dispatch is a well-written document, and how it shows up Winston Churchill’s folly by implication: he ought to have been shunted altogether, and that even would have not been a proper forfeit for the lives which his impetuous blunder has caused to be lost.
July 12, 1915
Mister Davydow, ex chef de cabinet of the Russian Minister of Finance, visits Bertie and remembers a private visit with the Emperor before the war:
The German Emperor then abused the French press, saying that it was, as the Russian press, in the hand of Jews. Mr. Davydow retorted that the Berlin press was also in the hands of Jews, the difference being that the French and the Russian newspapers printed very much what they liked, without submitting to dictation from the French or Russian authorities, whereas the German press, for the greater part, accepted directions from the “Wilhelmstrasse” which rendered the abuse of Russia and France in the German press a serious feature in the relations of Germany with Russia and France. The Emperor observed that Berlin had become a New Jerusalem. Finally the Emperor returned to the strategic railways, saying that he regretted to have to consider, notwithstanding all his desire of peace and his efforts to preserve it, war was in evitable: it would, he said, to be a war of Slavism and Latinism and against Germanism. Mr. Davydow objected that there was no Slavism against Germanism: the elements in Russia where of various kinds, Russians, Poles, etc.: there was no hostility to Germany: if war came it would not, and could not, be confined to Slavism and Latinism and Germanism, for there would be a general conflagration if Germany started a war: The Emperor replied that he feared that there might be such a conflagration in spite of all his efforts for the preparation of peace.
July 13, 1915
A potin told me today by a Russian is that the Grand Duke of Hesse has gone to Russia: it is supposed that he is to try to alleviate his brother-in-law from the Franco-British Entente so that there may be peace between Germany and Russia.
July 17, 1915
the Welsh miners’ strike is very serious: what can and will the government do? How will the daily fine of 5 pound be recovered? You could not im even prison thousands of men even if the penalty for non-payment where imprisonment, and you cannot force man to work. If miners from other districts where willing to work the coal in South Wales, which I suppose is very doubtful, there would be probably a resistance and bloodshed. What the government face such a situation and orders soldiers to fire on the strikers? I doubt it..
July 25, 1915
D’Aunay, a member of fun of the committees of the Senate which deals with foreign affairs, told Lee yesterday that the only thing delaying the signature of an agreement by Romania was the uncertainty as to what will happen in Russia. There is a report that a movement in favor of peace is gaining ground in Russia: there certainly isn’t an easy feeding year as to what may happen to the Russian army in the fighting line, and in Russia, where it is alleged that there is a revolutionary disposition. Russia, according to say signed agreement on the temper for or five, cannot make peace apart from the allies, but some people think that the agreement might be treated “a la Allemande” by Russia, as a scrap of paper.
July 26, 1915
A British officer from sit Dardanelles on his way home safe that we shall force them by September if you can stop arms, etc., from reaching the Turks through Romania and Bulgaria.
I am told that a large consignment of arms and ammunitions has reached Russia, but, unless German reports are entirely devoid of truth, she must have lost and be losing enormous quantities of such supplies in her retreat before the German armies. The French do not believe in a Russian offensive for some months from now, and say accordingly depressed and despondent at the slow progress at the Dardanelles.
I cannot believe that America will fight anyone: Wilson will write highly moral notes disagreeable alternatively to Germany and to England: but he has to stand well with the citizens interested in cotton, and if we declared it absolute contraband we should injure the cotton interest and Wilson might retaliate by stopping the export of arms and ammunitions-on the pretext that they might be required for American use. We cannot establish an effective blockade of Germany because the German submarines, and the Americans content that, as commerce continues between Scandinavia and Germany, that is not in fact a blockade of Germany, and we have no right to prevent trade between two or more neutral states with., America was Norway, Denmark and Sweden, even if goods landed in one of these neutral states be intended to go on to Germany. The truth is that America is doing a roaring trade in some things and this managed one in assess, and she wants to do a roaring trade in all things and not that one Roche of Kamas be put in this case of compensation against another: she claims to have her cake and eat it. Possibly some arrangement might be made for us to buy part of sick coming cotton crop: the difficulty what be the fixing of the quantities and prices, for the consumption of it, except for wall uses, is shrinking in all the belligerent countries: RV to take for ourselves the normal consumption of Germany and Austria, or all that the American do not wish to keep? They talk a lot of rot about the freedom of the seas: in North and South war, he North declared the cotton of the South contraband, and they declared a blockade of about 3000 miles of coast, and the North Prize Court (the Supreme Court) upheld the “continuous voyage” and “ultimate destination” contention.
July 30, 1915
the number of surviving German submarines passing the Samaritan region is disturbing: the Germans, in contradiction of our statement that in 22 weeks say have sunk by submarines 98 British merchant ships and 95 neutral once, say that down to July 25 say have sunk 229 Britishers, 30 as the enemy ships, and only six neutral ships (mistaken for any me), and they have, in addition, stopped and sunk 27 neutral vessels carrying contraband which say could not take to a German port: three neutral shifts have been bombarded by mistake but not sunk.
Edmond the Rothschild told me yesterday that the Jews in Russia are being dreadfully harried, 250 of the villages have been destroyed, and 500,000 are wondering about homeless: he’s very depressed generally and is not contingent of even ultimate victory. He think the German organization is too much for the bad organization here: he is apprehensive of Russia, notwithstanding her engagement of September 5, making a separate peace with Germany.
July 31, 1915
I have seen a letter from sit Dardanelles trenches from one who was persuaded to join the Naval brigade: he say’s said it is held: that nothing can exceed the bravery of our infantry, but we have not proper at Tillery protection and have to rely upon the French high explosive shells support, which is magnificent. When will those guilty for our want of such shells be brought to justice? I have also seen a letter from an eyewitness in great price of Gouraud, who is a fine soldier, processing ability, market is in and come: Hamilton has never had any difficulty with the French generals in any respect, so it is a myth that the late French commander in chief was we called at Hamilton’s instance.
Hindlip, who is a dispatch carrier, was here this morning from Athens on his way to London: he say’s that the King, his Boche wife and entourage, and the Army staff are all Pro-German: the Greeks are furious at our interference with their profitable contraband trade with the Turks through Bulgaria.