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Page 281 of Italy and the world war / by Thomas Nelson Page ; with maps.

ITALY IN THE DARK PERIOD OF THE WAR 281 its attitude in this matter of Italy may have been caused in part by the attacks on the American Government, and emphasized by the refusal of the Italian Government to permit for so long American Press correspondents to visit the Italian front. The discrimination against Italy as en- gaged on a moral basis less exalted than that of her Allies was a shock to many of those connected with the conduct of Italy's action, as well it might be, for it exposed the fact that the action of England and France was better under- stood in America than that of Italy. Italy knew that the fundamental ground of her action in entering the war was not desire for conquest, but for the rescuing of her own people from a foreign yoke; and with this her own eman- cipation from the Austrian menace. Meantime, however beset on many sides, Italy was bend- ing all her energies not only to render secure what she had already won at great cost, but to prepare for the spring campaign as soon as the snows should melt sufficiently to permit. Her factories were being enlarged and increased in output to an extent hitherto unimagined. Mglilitary roads were constructed in regions hitherto unpenetrated by amy- thing on wheels; up mountains inaccessible to anything but pack-animals. Bridges were thrown across swift torrents and deep ravines; mountains were tunnelled and precipices were turned. Supplies of everything necessary for the use and maintenance of an army were accumulated and trans- ported, and all this with an incredible dearth of fuel. If Italy had been taught organization, she had learned it well. In no war zone along the entire war-front, whether on the West or the East, were so many natural difficulties over- come with more address or scientific skill. The public men might; confer and wrangle, plan and dis- cuss and decide; the Press might describe and censure or flatter; but the army, grumbling or swearing, kept on in the snow and the rain and the mud; digging away; cutting, drilling, and building; fighting and dying-for Italy. On the 22d of January (1917) the President of the United States delivered before the Senate an address, the text of

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