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HET TURKSCHE RIJK IN EUROPA.

taldsja. Om dezen te versperren moest Kirk-Kilisse vóór alles bevestigd worden.

Het plan bleef sleepen, werd slechts gedeeltelijk uitgevoerd. Dicht bij de stad werden drie duurzame werken gebouwd, die echter spoedig verouderd waren en verwaarloosd werden.

Het offensief, waartoe de Sultan 17 October 1913 bevel gaf, was begrijpelijk de kroon op het ontwrichtingswerk der Jong-Turken en lijnrecht tegen het plan VON DER GOLTZ in, die wel begreep dat de Turksche soldaat in loopgraven met voldoende munitie nog even hardnekkig is als indertijd bij Plewna.

Blijkbaar moest dit offensief een gebrekkig voorbereid defensief maskeeren, werkelijk een hopelooze struisvogelstrategie !

Hoe onverantwoordelijk de voorbereiding tot den oorlog was, hoe alle geestkracht in den Turkschen soldaat verlamd werd, GlBBS geeft daarvan eenige levendige indrukken weer, welke boekdeelen zeggen :

„These Turkish peasants were for the most part men of „fine physique, and their gaiety and high spirits seemed to „prove their fighting valour. As they passed in thousands, „and as 1 watched their faces and heard their laughter and „shouts, no thought came to me then of the change that „would come over them in a few weeks only — a change „which made them different beings, which stamped their „faces with marks of torture, which doubled up these big „fellows into twisted, writhing creatures, which made living „skeletons of them and took the brightness out of their eyes, „turning it to the leaden glaze of agony and death.

„Little did these Turkish peasant guess that the Goveru„ment which was organising this war, which was flouting the „christian allies and returning contemptuous answers to their „challenge, had already forfeited the power of „Turkey in „Europe" bij hopeless inefficiency".

„Erom the lips of dying men, from those who staggered „hopelessly away from the battlefielcl on the way of retreat „there must have been many curses for those who had sent „them to fight with bayonets that would not pierce and „swords that would not cut and bullets that would not kill. „Not yet has the secret of that panic been fully told, but „as I write I have before me one little object picked up „upon the battlefield which seems to reveal one reason for „that orgy of fear. It is one of those wooden bullets found „in thousands at Kumanova as the)- were flung awav bv

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