Endgame for the war
Allies advance but US insists on German surrender
Washington, 26 Oct 1918 - The war is approaching its endgame. However, it remains unclear how hostilities will be concluded and on what terms.
The US President, Woodrow Wilson, has indicated that the only way in which the Allies might consider an armistice was if Germany were left in a position that made a renewal of hostilities impossible. He also indicated that if the Allies were to enter into negotiations, they must deal with the democratically elected representatives of the German people. If forced to deal with military authorities then America must insist on complete surrender.
These intimations from the White House follow the receipt of a diplomatic note in which Germany indicated that it accepted the terms of the peace laid down by President Wilson in his address to Congress on 8 January this year.
In a reply issued by Mr Lansing for the American Government, and conveyed through the Swiss Charges D’Affaires in Washington, the Americans, while acknowledging that the Germans had made some democratic constitutional changes, remain sceptical: ‘It does not appear that the principle of a Government responsible to the German people has yet been fully worked out, or that guarantees either exist or are in contemplation that the alterations of principle and of practice now partially agreed upon will be permanent.’
While the political machinations are ongoing, the military campaign continues to the Allies advantage.
The General Foch led onslaught on German positions is yielding more gains on the western front.
Yesterday, the French captured important strategic positions and prisoners between the Oise and Serre. They did the same, to even greater effect, along a 17-mile front between Sissone and Chateau Porcien (north of the Aisne): they seized the entire front and with it 2,000 prisoners and much artillery.
The British, too, made gains near Le Quesnoy and south of Valenciennes.
The German cause is now considered hopeless.
[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]