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OUTLOOK NOTES OF THE MONTH Fall of The month of March has seen Bagdad dramatic changes in the military situation. Both in Asia and on the Western front the outlook has distinctly bright- ened. The Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, in characteristic British fashion, has turned a failure into a triumph. By well-conceived and brilliantly executed operations it has recaptured Kut, forced the Turks into a disastrous retreat, and crowned its victorious progress by the capture of Bagdad. It has even pursued the demoralised enemy to a distance of nearly 40 miles to the north of the town. After forcing the passage of the Tigris at Kut in two places, the cavalry and the naval gunboats co-operated with such success that little resistance was offered by the enemy. With the exception of a stubborn rearguard action at the Dialah River, a tributary of the Tigris ten miles from Bagdad, in the crossing of which the Lancashire Fusiliers showed heroism which recalled their superhuman bravery on the Gallipoli beaches, the retreat developed into a rout; thousands of Turks and great quantities of military stores were captured. The news of the fall of Bagdad has already penetrated into every Eastern Bazaar, and it has gone far to re-establish in the East the prestige of Great Britain, which had been so lowered by the failure of the Gallipoli campaign and the fall of Kut. Apart from its moral effect, the capture of Bagdad has adversely affected Germany's eastern policy by the seizure of the proposed terminus of the Berlin- Bagdad railway, while the advance beyond Bagdad threatens the communications of, and even imperils the force of Turks, who are now being driven by the Russians westward from Persia in the neighbourhood of Hamadan. General Sir Stanley Maude and his forces are to be congratulated on an achievement which was as brilliant in its inception and execution as its effect on the fortunes of the War in the East is far-reaching. APRIL, 1917 The German The news of the capture of Bagdad Retreat in was immediately followed by the West rumours of a retreat of the Germans on the Western front. News came daily of the evacuation by the enemy of strong positions, numerous village? and towns of considerable size, such as Bapaume and Peronne on the British front, and Roye and Noyon on the French front. It was soon realised that the enemy were carrying out a long-planned strategic retreat, and it must be admitted that they have accomplished their object with great skill and success. They have been able to reach their new positions at a minimum cost of men and material. They have shortened their line by about 30 miles, and they have timed their retreat very wisely so as to dislocate the care- fully laid plans of the British and French armies for a great spring attack. Our advance will probably have to be postponed for some weeks until the enemy's s new positions have been located and mapped out, new lines of railways laid down, our big artillery brought forward, and other necessary preliminaries arranged. On the other hand the Allies can justi- fiably derive satisfaction from the fact that for the first time for two years the Germans have been com- pelled to turn their face homewards and to evacuate defences upon which they had spent a vast amount of labour, and which they considered impregnable. It is an euphemism to term the retreat voluntary; it is rather the result of the Battle of the Somme and the hammering they have received since. The Ger- man lines, in short, had become untenable, and they probably had not enough men to hold them. Even their present line-a more or less direct line from Arras to Soissons-by no means appears to be the exact one determined upon. The French in par- ticular are threatening the left flank of the new German line they appear determined not to allow their pre-war fortress La Fere to remain in German hands, and the retreat of the German garrison of