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It was the day for great destinies. Germany was starving; yet German armies, stronger and better prepared than ever before, were about to annihilate the British and the French. Austria, crumbling, was secretly suing for peace; yet Austria was awaiting only the melting of snow in the mountain passes before striking for Venice and Padua. Russia was reorganizing to fight again on the side of the allies; Russia, prostrate, had become a mere reservoir of manpower for the Hohenzollerns. The U-boats were beaten; the U-boats were sweeping the seas. America had half a million men in France; America had only “symbolical battalions” parading in Paris.