21 NOVEMBER 1914, Page 30

A. BUNDLE OF WAR BOOKS. — II.* A PAMPHLET which should receive

the special attention of our readers is Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace's Our Russian Ally.' The world has nothing to teach Sir Donald Wallace about Russia, and we most sincerely hope that his pamphlet wilt be the means of passing on some of his knowledge to the general public. Happily the English-speaking race are always sympathetic to Russians individually, and they are now beginning to understand much better the nature of the Russian State. Still, there is a great deal of ignorance about Russia, and Sir Donald's pamphlet will greatly help in the work of dispelling it. Amongst other things, he shows how the old autocracy is disappearing, and what a great place the Duma has already made for itself. His picture of the Tsar's personality is striking, and we believe also sound. Among the qualities, he tells us, which commend him to Englishmen are his scrupulous honesty and genuine truth- fulness. " Of these—were I not restrained by fear of commit- ting a breach of confidence—I might give some interesting illustrations." We believe that there is no Englishman who has known the Emperor of Russia at first hand who will not unhesitatingly confirm those words. The Emperor may not be a genius or an Empire-builder like Peter the Great, but he is a gentleman through and through and a man who strives to do his duty. It is a complete mistake to suppose him to be an enemy to democracy and popular government.

A French book to which we must make reference is Prance and the Next Wens by the strategical writer, Commandant Colin, of the French War School, a book which may be said to contain the French view of modern war. Though the name of Commandant Colin is not well known to the general public here, it is very well known to all students of strategy. He is recognized as one of the greatest living authorities on the Napoleonic school of war. In his summary of Napoleon's essential war maxims he tells us that the following tactical • (1) Our Russian Ally. By Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace. London Macmillan and Co. [3d. ](2) France and the Next War. By Commandant J. Cohn. London: Hodder and Stoughton and Hugh Bees. [2s. net.]— (3) The Last of the Huns. By George Saunders. London : George Routledge and Sons. [1s. net.]—(4) Back from the Front. By T. A. Beggs. London: Frank and Cecil Palmer. [1.s. not.]—(5) Cromwell's Soldier's Bible. London, Elliot Stock. Lis.]

instructions were counted upon by Napoleon to attain his object :—

" (1) To have his troops sufficiently assembled to be able to concentrate them on the battlefield.

(2) On the eve of the battle, to be spread on a front sufficiently wide for a portion of the army to come in on the enemy's flank.

(3) To be always in a condition to change his dispositions to meet the unforeseen.

(4) To conceal his plans."

The Last of the Huns,' by Mr. George Saunders, the well- known ex-correspondent of the Times, first at Berlin and then at Paris, is memorable not only for the good sense with which it is written, but for the fact that it contains the authentic texts of so many of the statements made by the Emperor, state- ments which are often loosely and wrongly quoted—for example, the "mailed fist" passage, the passage about the "Huns," and the "smashing" speech. These we will leave to our readers to find out for themselves, but will quote here Mr. Saunders's description of the attitude of the Emperor and of Germany in general towards Britain :— " It would, perhaps, be nearest the truth to say that the Emperor's mental attitude towards us was a mixture of admira- tion, jealousy, and radical inability to understand English ways. British home politics in particular were a sealed book to him ; and here his ignorance was excusable in view of the way in which British political parties malign and misunderstand one another. But in other spheres he was handicapped by the German habit of rapid generalization which is at once the strength and the weak- ness of German educational and political methods. Many a German will reel you off in five minutes an exhaustive charac- terization of the state of England, based upon newspaper reports of British backwardness in education, in business methods, in military efficiency and in general culture. In a sledge-hammer German review of so slight a subject as the farce, `Charley'e Aunt,' the writer once found it stated that 'English literature has only twice flowered : it produced Shakespeare and Byron, and the rest is a barren wilderness.' " Amongst the large number of books reprinting newspaper articles conveying news from the front, many of them full of good things, we have only space to notice one—i.e., Mr. Beggs's Back from the Front,' a series of letters concerned with the beginnings of the war of 1914 originally published in the Birmingham Daily Post. It chanced that on August 25th Mr. Baggs had the good fortune to witness and take part in one of the most dramatic spy episodes that we have ever seen recounted. After an alleged spy had been arrested in a cafe a little way out of Ostend, Mr. Baggs was asked by a gendarme to try English upon him. His effort produced no response. Then Mr. Baggs, who, by the way, had been sole witness of an attempt on the part of the spy to escape, had an idea:— " Suddenly I rapped out upon him: ' Es geht ganz gut, nicht, in Yrankreich P ' It took him unawares. ' Jawohl,' came the swift, unpremeditated answer, and his face gleamed, his eyes lit with intelligence. That was sufficient for the gendarmes. They hurried him down the street. He went easily between his guards along the rough cobbled pavement. They had loaded carbines with them, and each had a hand on the prisoner, who went quietly and made no sign of resistance. Then, in a moment, with startling abrupt- ness, he swung himself clear and sprang away. Instantly he snatched his hat from his head, and there ascended—a grey, carrier pigeon. The fellow was brought down at the third shot, fifty yards away, and immediately escorted to Bruges. When I in- quired at the Prefecture that evening, the spy had met his doom."

Before we leave our batch of war books we desire to draw special attention to a facsimile reprint of what is known as Cromwell's Soldier's Bible.' It is not, of course, a full small- print Bible, but simply a series of extracts, or, as might be said, a string of texts, specially appropriate to soldiers trained for the Cromwellian Army. In the words of the title-page, it

contains :—

" The most (if not all) those places contained in holy Scripture, which doe chew the qualifications of his inner man, that is a fit Souldier to fight the Lords Battels, both before he fight, in the fight, and after the tight; Which Scriptures aro reduced to severall heads, and fitly applyed to the Souldiers severall occasions, and so may supply the want of the whole Bible; which a Souldier cannot conveniently carry about him: And may bee also usefall for any Christian to meditate upon, now in this miserable time of Warre."

We commend the book to all soldiers and civilians. The Bible is as sore a source of inspiration now as in the time of Cromwell.