THE United States ended two years of war confident that the last phase of the struggle in Europe was starting. The protracted retreat of the German Army on the eastern front, the increasing tempo of Allied air raids on the Reich, the continuing failure of the German submarine war, the invasion and collapse of Italy, and particularly the Moscow conference justified that assumption. The Moscow Declaration that Britain, Russia and the United States would fight the war to unconditional surrender weakened Germany's hope of retrieving victory from defeat by political means. Specifically, the better understanding which the three Powers achieved there must have ended any idea she may have nourished that she could negotiate a separate peace with Russia. Since in addition it prepared the way for the international collaboration of the three Powers it must have dampened Germany's longer-range hopes also.

The last chapter nevertheless may be a long

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  • HANSON W. BALDWIN, military and naval correspondent of the New York Times; author of "The Caissons Roll," "Strategy for Victory" and other works
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