December 6, 1914

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

From the Daily Oregon Statesman comes the following:

Combatants Exhaust Ammunition, then Resort to Bayonets
Thirty Citizens Killed, Three hundred Wounded

Germans and Russians are engaged in a mighty battle to the south of Lodz in Russian Poland and along line from Glowno, northeast of Lodz, to the Vistula river.

The front extends for some forty or fifty miles and probably close to half a million men are taking part in the desperate encounters which at some places are at the point of the bayonet.

The Siberian troops are showing tireless aggression, charging batteries and moving swiftly up to hand-to-hand fighting. Villages have been burned and the countryside is reported to be strewn with the bodies of the dead and wounded. On both sides the losses have been great.

An editorial, “Industrial Strategy” comments favorably on an article by Ida Tarbell, in the American Magazine:

“We must organize men and women for labor, as for war,” says Ida M. Tarbell in the American Magazine. “Watch the perfection of the training and the movement of the masses that at this moment are meeting in unspeakable, infernal slaughter in Europe. See how the humblest is fitted to his task. With ease great bodies wheel, turn, advance, retreat. Consider how, after standing men in line that they may be knocked to pieces, they promptly and scientifically collect such as have escaped, both friend and foe, and (oh, amazing and heart-breaking human logic!) under the same sign of the cross tenderly nurse them back to health.

“If this can be done for war, should we do less for peace?”

Should we? War is only an occasional and accidental enterprise. Industry goes on every day of the year. We have got into the habit of calling our workmen “soldiers of industry,” and yet how wretched and inadequate is the organization of industrial armies compared with the aries that are meant for destruction! Why not organize the forces that create and conserve?

Imagine tens of thousands of trained soldiers lingering back of the firing line and pleading in vain for the privilege of taking up arms and plunging into the battle. That is precisely the case in most of our industries a large part of the time. Disciplined soldiers of labor are unemployed, or half employed. They suffer and the nation suffers. The workmen always need work, and industry as a whole always needs men.

Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as over-production. There is simply unregulated or unwise production – too much of this and too little of that – or a failure in the distribution of products. Why not use strategy in handling the forces of labor just as a general marshals his corps at this point or that for the purposes of military strategy? That is one of the big questions driven home by the war.


About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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