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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 ноя 1874 - 24 янв 1965) Part III 1916–1918 (1923-31)

To All Who Endured

CHAPTER XXII

THE TEUTONIC COLLAPSE

‘…and from the charge they drew,

As mountain waves, from wasted lands,

Sweep back to ocean blue.’

SCOTT, Marmion.

For instance, in each of the last two weeks of open fighting on the wide battle front they have fired over 70,000 tons, and they are now asking for a daily intake of over 9,000 tons against 5,000, 6,000 and 7,000 with which we have been able to satisfy them to date.

There is no doubt that the demands of the Air Force on men and material are thought to be much in excess of the fighting results produced. There is no doubt that if Haig had to choose between 50,000 men for the Infantry and 50,000 men for the Air Force, he would choose 50,000 men for the Infantry. The reason is not that a man in the air is not worth more than a foot soldier, but that a man in the Air Force is not a man in the air, and that from 50 to 100 men are required in the Air Force for every one man fighting in the air.

CHAPTER XXIII

VICTORY

During the year 1918, the effort of Britain and of the British Empire reached its highest pitch.

The Imperial forces in the field against the enemy in all theatres amounted to four and a half million men, and those under arms to nearly six millions. The strength of the Grand Fleet in vessels of every kind reached its maximum, and the Germans were no longer in a condition even to put to sea. The U-boat warfare was defeated and kept down by the operations of nearly 4,000 armed vessels flying the White Ensign. Under the protection of these agencies upwards of two million United States troops were transported across the Atlantic, of which more than half were carried in British ships, and landed in France during the year with hardly any loss of life by enemy action.

From the opening of the campaign of 1918 on March 21 down to the Armistice on November 11 the British armies in France suffered 830,000 casualties, and inflicted on the Germans in killed, wounded and prisoners, a comparable loss of 805,000 men. During the same period the French (and Belgians) sustained 964,000 casualties and inflicted 666,000 upon the enemy.

Such was the culminating war effort of a State which, before the campaign of 1918 began, had already been at war for three and a half years, suffered more than a million and three-quarters casualties, sustained a loss of over six and a half million tons of shipping and expended six thousand millions sterling. These facts and figures will excite the wonder of future generations.

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