T HE DEFEATS of 6th August were not in themselves catastrophic. One army corps had, it was true, been overwhelmed by superior numbers after a magnificent defence, but the other had merely withdrawn successfully from an untenable position after inflicting severe punishment on the enemy. But the implications were far-reaching. There was now no question of France invading Germany and repeating the triumphs of IS06; instead there loomed ahead, for the first time, a possibility of invasion and humiliation comparable to IS14 and ISIS. The allies who might have rallied to her side if the campaign had opened with a resounding success began to mutter apologies and sidle away. Gramont had already abandoned hope of Austria. Even before the French defeats, the Czar's declared intention of matching any Austrian declaration of war with one of his own had enabled Moltke to summon the three army corps standing along the Austrian frontier to join the armies in the Palatinate. The news of Wissembourg created in Vienna an uneasiness which only victory could have dispelled; and by 10th August the Austrian army had abandoned all the military preparations which it had half-heartedly begun.1 But Gramont still had hopes of Italy, and on 7th August he suggested that she should send an army corps of her own. "It could join us via Mont Cenis," he wrote, a little pathetically; "the same route that we took in IS59 to help Italy." But the Italians had no reason to be swept up in a French defeat. They began military measures which would provide within three weeks forces adequate to meet "both domestic and foreign eventualities"; but further than that they would not gO.2 Finally the Foreign Minister of Denmark, to whom Gramont had despatched the Duc de Cadore to negotiate an alliance, and who at first said encouragingly that the moment
might come when "it would be possible for the Royal Government to abandon neutrality" now frankly regretted the "unexpected events which do not allow the Royal Government to adopt any other attitude." 1 France was on her own.