« 이전계속 »
colleagues would have been willing to concede the vast money indemnity which was one of the conditions understood to be required by Bismarck as the price of peace; and many there were, no doubt, who, if they had dared to raise their voices on the subject, would have confessed that the forfeiture of a fortress or two and a strip of border-land territory would not have been too much to pay in addition for the boon to be acquired; nor, as a matter of principle, would have been an inconsistent method of compensating enemies from whom France herself, had victory crowned her cause, would unscrupulously have exacted the Rhine frontier. It was at this time that M. Thiers undertook a voluntary tour of visits to the Courts of London, St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Florence, in the hope of inducing the several Governments to use their efforts to bring about at least a pause in the operations of the war. The result of his mission will have hereafter to be related. Meanwhile the brilliant capital of Paris was shut out from its ordinary communications with the outer world. Privation, and that bugbear of all Parisians, monotony, unless to be relieved, as they daily expected, bv the sharp interruption of a shower of thunderbolts, crashing in their homes, their palaces, and their works of art, lay upon them. The treasures of the Louvre, &c, were indeed removed as soon as possible to cellars and other places of safety; and precautions were taken to shelter life as much as possible from the destruction of the expected bombs. A desert was made of the villas and woods and gardens between the outer forts and ramparts, and the ornamental grounds were turned into potato-fields for the future nourishment of the citizens. A captive balloon, prepared by the genius of M. Nadar, was secured in the Place de St. Pierre, Montmartre, for the purpose of observing the operations of the besiegers. More than this, balloons were now pressed into service both as means for the exit of adventurous individuals who wished to leave Paris, and for the despatch of letters, carrier-pigeons being sent out with them which could be let loose to fly back again with any special information needed.
Ingenuity was every where on the stretch to meet the cruel change in the conditions of life to which this supreme emergency had exposed the inhabitants of Europe's brightest metropolis, and it was generally admitted that, whatever their previous frivolity and excitability had been, they now met the trial before them with courage and composure. The Crown Prince's march to the northeast, however fatal in its results to the French army in the field, had had the advantage for the Parisians of giving them more time to put their house in order.
We now turn to relate the course of events on other parts of the theatre of war. During the month of September three strong places fell into the hands of the invaders. On the 9th, Laon surrendered to the 6th division of Prussian cavalry, commanded by Duke William of Mecklenburg. Just as the capitulation was concluded, and before the French had cleared out of the citadel, an explosion took place in the powde-rmagazine, killing fifty Germans and 300 Gardes Mobiles, and injuring, among others, the German commander himself. At first deliberate treachery on the part of the French commandant was suspected, but subsequent inquiry proved the act to have been committed, without authority, by a subaltern officer of artillery.
Toul was taken on the 23rd, after a bombardment of eight days, by the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. On this occasion 109 officers, 2240 men, 197 bronze guns, and a large store of arms, money, and munitions, fell into the hands of the victors. And here, as a relief from the horrors of war, we insert the account of a curious fraternization which took place between the late besiegers and besieged.
"A peculiar scene (says a newspaper correspondent) was enacted at the surrender of Toul. Instead of the bitter feeling on the one side and exultation on the other usually aroused on such occasions, both parties, when the gate was opened, seemed to meet like the best of friends. The French garrison were delighted to be out of it, and the German besiegers no less so to find their work at an end. There being many Alsatians among the garrison, besiegers and besieged at once entered into conversation, shared the contents of their flasks with each other, and but for the stringent rules separating prisoner from conqueror, would doubtless have made a night of it. The inhabitants of the town, too, came out with radiant countenances, and held a regular holiday after their long imprisonment. Excursions into the country were immediately undertaken, and civilians and officers (the latter released on parole) were seen driving about and inspecting the position which had so recently menaced them."
The last and greatest capture of the month was that of Strasburg, which capitulated at two o'clock on the morning of the 28th. The place had been besieged since the 10th of August. From the 19th of that month to its close, it had been subjected to the horrors of a bombardment, during which the curious and valuable old library had been destroyed, the Commandant, General Uhrich, having with unaccountable negligence omitted to remove the books to a place of safety. From the beginning of September a regular siege had been instituted; and the repulse of various sorties, and the advance of parallels nearer and nearer to the blockaded city had at last brought about the long anticipated result. General Werder, in command of the besieging force, made his triumphal entry on the anniversary of the day when, one hundred and eighty-nine years previously, Louis XIV. had arrived to take possession of the prize he had surreptitiously seized from the German empire. An eye-witness gives the following account of the appearance of Strasburg after the capitulation:—"The raising of the siege had been celebrated in the morning by Catholic and Protestant services in the orangery. The Protestant pastor had welcomed General Werder as their new-found leader, the representative of their true fatherland. 'Ah/ said a Prussian officer, 'that was a great moment; now will the German fatherland be complete.' As we streamed on through the streets we passed between whole rows of houses unroofed, battered to pieces, and in many places completely gutted by fire. Of the fine old Library, only some portions of the bare walls remain. The adjoining Temple Neuf is equally gutted. On the stone floor of the Library lie masses of broken stone and rubbish among remains of carved enrichments of the pillars, which will no doubt be greedily carried away in a few days by relic hunters. I was contented with some charred fragments of manuscripts, of which masses are blown by the wind into all corners. Not a book or manuscript seems to have escaped the flames. The Cathedral itself, close at hand, has not escaped quite unhurt; but, although so prominent a mark, it has been remarkably spared. The upper wooden roof seems to be quite burned away. A shell falling through the roof has smashed the organ. Some of the upper tier of windows are a good deal damaged, but the lower windows have been taken out, and are carefully stowed away, I believe, intact; so also the window at the east end, and the greater part of the church furniture and the 'tresor.' Here and there the stonework of the outer galleries is slightly injured, but the clock is uninjured, and on the whole the Cathedral has suffered no irreparable damage. The Cathedral swarmed with German soldiers, who had hastened to assure themselves of its safety, and were loud in their exclamations of delight at finding it so little injured. . . . The most frightful scene of destruction is in the suburb known as Schiltigheim, or the Quartier St. Pierre. This has been utterly burned and torn to pieces, chiefly by the guns of the citadel, lest the Germans should find shelter in it. I can compare it to nothing but Bazeilles, and that will only convey an idea to these few who have yet visited the battle-field of Sedan. The streets are strewed with debris; of the houses there remain here some blackened walls, there a heap of stones and brickwork. The signboards, the police announcements, in many places bear testimony to the recent active life which pervaded this mass of ruins; but they rather add to than detract from the bitterness of its desolation."
The number of French officers who capitulated at Strasburg and became prisoners of war was 400; of men, 17,150.
The siege cost the Germans rather less than 1000 men from first to last, including officers. After leaving sufficient numbers for a garrison, 40,000 troops were now set free to support the operations of the invasion elsewhere.
After the victories of August, the conquered districts of Lorraine and Alsace had been organized under two German governors, General Bonin and Count Bismarck Bohlen. On the capture of Strasburg, the seat of government for Alsace was removed thither from Haguenau. German popular sentiment hailed the return of the ancient imperial city to the membership of the Teutonic family with great rejoicing; more than was felt by the inhabitants themselves, who for the most part would have preferred to remain under the Gallic rule, to which they had become accustomed. French feeling elsewhere displayed its usual versatile excitement. Strasburg had been cheered, wept over, glorified as the most heroic of cities while she held out against the efforts of the besiegers; the statue of the city in the Place de la Concorde at Paris, as we have seen, had been hung with garlands and verses; Uhrich was lauded as the most exalted of patriots; but now that Strasburg had at last succumbed, it was maintained that nothing but treachery or cowardice could have brought about such an issue. Gambetta denounced the late Governor as a fit subject for a courtmartial.
Numbers and position of the German Armies—King William at Versailles—Cruelties of the War—Frano-tireors—Fines exacted by the Germans—Gambetta's arrival at Tours—Fresh levies of Mobiles—State of Paris—Boarbaki's Mission—Gambetta's Proclamation—Sensation at Paris—Red Republicans—Plebiscitum in favour of the Provisional Government—State of opinion in the Provinces—Futile negotiations between M. Thiers and Bismarck—Paris defences—Fresh levies— Battle of Coulmiers—D'Anrelle de Paladines—Orleans recaptured by Germans— Paris Sortie of Nov. 29th—Fighting on the Loire—General Chanzy—Removal of the Delegate Government from Tours to Bordeaux—The Germans occupy Tours— Sortie from Paris, Dec. 21st—Operations in the North of France—Operations in the East—Garibaldi—Outrage at Lyons—Fall of Verdun and other fortresses— Blockade of Paris—Severe frost—Bombardment of Mont Avron.
When the month of October began, the state of things was as follows :—Nearly a sixth part of France was actually held by the invaders, whose numbers amounted to 650,000. Metz, with Bazaine's army enclosed within its line of forts, held occupied round it eight German army corps, viz., the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, the division of Hessians, and General Rummer's division of Landwehr; in all sixteen divisions of infantry. Around Paris were posted sixteen divisions, viz., the Guards, the 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th North German, 1st and 2nd Bavarian corps, and the Wurtemberg division, from 200,000 to 230,000 men. The newly-formed 13th and 14th corps, mostly Landwehr, and some detachments from the corps already named, were left to occupy the conquered country, and to observe, besiege, or blockade those strong places within its limits which still held out. Thus the troops recently besieging Strasburg were sent on to invest Belfort, Schlettstadt, and Neu Brisach; those who had besieged Toul marched on to invest Soissons. The Baden division and one of Landwehr, constituting the 15th corps, and about 60,000 strong, were then alone disposable for active operations; but recruits were constantly passing through the reserve battalion cadres in Germany, to add to the
effective force. Inside Paris the armed force of resistance numbered from 350,000 to 400,000 men, Regulars, Mobiles from the provinces, Franc-tireurs, and all included, and more were being daily disciplined.
The head-quarters of the Prussian King were moved on the 5th from Ferrieres to Versailles. He drove with a military escort into the chosen quarter of Louis XIV. amidst a crowd of wondering French, who, along with their patriotic disgust, managed to combine a certain amount of amused curiosity, while gazing at "ce vieux Guillaume;" "un bel homme" as they acknowledged him to be, adding with the national shrug, "mais pourtant, je serais tres content de n'avoir pas vu le bon Roi de Prusse a Versailles." A bevy of conquering Princes and Generals followed in his wake. The forms most gazed at, next to his own, were those of Bismarck and Moltke, the two great machinists of his marvellous success. The King took up his residence at the Prefecture. Bismarck and Moltke occupied separate houses in the town. General Voigts Bhetz was appointed Commandant of Versailles.
No signs were given of the expected bombardment. In fact, a circular addressed about this time to the Foreign Powers of Europe by Count Bismarck afforded a tolerably clear intimation that, whether from the inherent difficulties of the undertaking, or, as is more probable, from reluctance to shock the feelings of those who were looking on at this terrific drama, it had been decided to reduce the city by famine and not by fire.
The communication ran thus:—" The terms of the armistice communicated to M. Jules Favre, and destined to usher in an attempt to restore order in France, have been rejected by him and his colleagues, who have resolved on the continuation of a struggle which, after all that has happened, must be regarded as hopeless by the French nation. Since the rejection of our terms any chances of victory France may have had in this pernicious war must have considerably diminished. Toul and Strasburg have fallen, Paris is closely invested, and the German troops have penetrated to the Loire. The considerable forces so long detained by the two conquered fortresses are now therefore free for employment in another direction. France will have to bear the consequences of the resolution taken by her rulers to engage in a struggle a outrance. Her sacrifices will uselessly increase, and the destruction of her social system will be all but inevitable. The commander of the German army regrets his inability to prevent this; but he clearly foresees the results of the resistance recklessly determined upon by the rulers of France, and deems it necessary to draw attention to one point in particular —that is, the state of Paris. The two more important engagements before the capital—those of the 19th and 30th of September—in which the most effective portion of the enemy's forces did not succeed in repulsing even the front line of the investing troops, justify the conclusion that sooner or later Paris must fall. In the event of the capitulation being put off by the Provisional Government till