Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 406

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 406

It was upon his return to London that Bok learned, through the confidence of a member of the British “inner circle,” the amazing news that the war was practically over: that Bulgaria had capitulated and was suing for peace; that two of the Central Power provinces had indicated their strong desire that the war should end; and that the first peace intimations had gone to the President of the United States. All diplomatic eyes were turned toward Washington. Yet not a hint of the impending events had reached the public. The Germans were being beaten back, that was known; it was evident that the morale of the German army was broken; that Foch had turned the tide toward victory; but even the best-informed military authorities outside of the inner diplomatic circles, predicted that the war would last until the spring of 1919, when a final “drive” would end it. Yet, at that very moment, the end of the war was in sight!

Next Bok went to France to visit the battle-fields. It was arranged that the party should first, under guidance of British officers, visit back of the British lines; and then, successively, be turned over to the American and French Governments, and visit the operations back of their armies.

It is an amusing fact that although each detail of officers delegated to escort the party “to the front” received the most explicit instructions from their superior officers to take the party only to the quiet sectors where there was no fighting going on, each detail from the three governments successively brought the party directly under shell-fire, and each on the first day of the

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