The Ambassador in Germany (Gerard) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: The recent sessions of the Reichstag have been lively. Liebknecht caused a row on several occasions. Once by interrupting the Chancellor to imply that the Germans were not free, next to deny that the Germans had not wished the war, and another time by calling attention to the attempts of the Germans to induce Mohammedan and Irish prisoners of war to desert to the German arms. The Irish being attacked through the notorious Sir Roger Casement. Liebknecht finally enraged the Government by calling out that the loan subscription was a swindle.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This cry in America that German babies have not sufficient milk is all rot. Enclosed is a report of one of our Doctors on the subject.23 The cry is only raised to get a hole in the British blockade.

The Germans probably will take Verdun in the end. They are going at it carefully, and an imitation of each French position or trench they wish to take—planned from airmens’ and spies’ reports—is constructed behind the German lines and the German soldiers practise at taking it until they are judged letter perfect and are put to work to capture the original.

It is said the Germans have developed a submarine periscope so small as to be almost invisible and which works up and down so that only at intervals for a second does it appear above the water. Also it is said the wireless vibrations by means of copper plates at each end are transmitted through the boat, and every member of the crew learns the wireless code, and no matter when working can catch the vibrations.

Sussex and other four ships’ note just received—24 that we treat by cable—I think Germany is now determined to keep peace with America as the plain people are convinced that otherwise the war will be lengthened, a contingency abhorrent to all.

Yours ever

J. W. G[erard]
  1. Not enclosed. An added notation reads: “Enclosures go in letter to President.”
  2. Foreign Relations, 1916, supp., p. 227.