12 JUNE 1920, Page 24

A War Minister and his Work. By General von Stein.

(Skeff- ington. 16s. net.)—General von Stein was the Prussian War Minister from October, 1916, to near the end of the war. He had commanded the 14th Reserve Corps which bore the brunt of our offensive on the Somme in July, 1916. He says that he put his last reserve battalion into the line to strengthen his crumbling left wing, and that it "proved sufficient to prevent the break-through until reinforcements were sent up from G.H.Q." But the General seldom condescends to mention specific details. His book is in effect a poorly written and rambling pamphlet against the revolution. It illustrates the state of mind of an old Prussian general, but has little interest for non-German readers. The general was an old comrade of Count von Schlieffen, who made the German plan of campaign, and of the late General von Moltke the younger, who was Chief of the Staff at the outset of the war and was deposed after the Marne. He says that " when the first unfavourable news was brought to him from Liege, he said to the Emperor in his frank, straightforward fashion, Now you see what you have done ; you have brought the English down on my head for no reason.' The Emperor, we are allowed to infer, never forgave him for the remark, which was indeed a foolish one, as Moltke must have foreseen the political consequences of an invasion of neutral Belgium. New Zealanders will like to know that General von Stein, in one of his endless digressions, remarks : " If I remember right, the Government of New Zealand is Socialistic. The only way it can be kept going is through continual help from England. The State is therefore hopelessly insolvent." A Prussian Minister of War ought to know better than that. The book swarms with misprints. Deutsch-Eylau is persistently misspelt from the first page onwards.