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PROGRESS OF THE WAR, Evening Post, Volume LXXXIX, Issue 99, 28 April 1915
PROGRESS OF THE WAR
WHAT THE ALLIES DESIRE A NEW GERMAN OFFENSIVE. THE DARDANELLES OPERATIONS The London Times military correspondent writes in. a very striking vein regarding the enemy's efforts in Belgium, j He says there is reason to hope for an onset in Flanders, but &s yet we can hardly allow ourselves the gratification of believing it is coming. On top of this comes a report that the Germans have closed the avknues of communication, between Holland and both Belgium and Germany, and that the Belgians expect the gravefit developments. The message attributes the German onset to the necessity for a success which will react .upon the political situation. The cvi dence is in favour of the belief that the Germans *have in view a renewed offensive in Belgium, and the importance of such a development is clearly indicated in the words of The Times correspondent. In spite of the fact that their ! ideal of warfare is constant aggression, the _ western campaign has been 8O terribly costly to the Germans that they I took its lessons to heart, overcame their , repugnance to the defensive, and accept* ed the stalemate on this front. But political needs — the pressure of public opinion— will move anything short of mountains ; and if it demands and ib to be given a. renewal of the offensive in Flanders, the Allies will be pleased even more than the German people. In the west, the deadlock will remain until one side or the other makes a decisive movement ; and the side which does so will have to pay an enormous price for its bravery That the Allies would ulti* mately take the step is certain, but they Have waited, hoping that the enemy would save them this terrible task ; and that is the chief reason why the famous spring, campaign of the Allies has hung fire. More than once the probable cost, in men, of driving the enemy out of France and Belgium has been stated, and the claim has been made for the Allies that they can end the invasion at their chosen time. But the very fact that those statements were made by men who would not bo likely to Ray «uch things unless they believed them, showed their additional belief that it was best to wait. Time, to the Allies, means new men, new guns, more ammunition ; to the Germans, the reverse. And however much the Allies' public, as men and women, desire ,the German invasion to be ended, the desire has not been converted into- a political goad urging the armies on to an injudicious offensive. The soldiers have ruled. But if the Germans find it necessary for another offensive to be undertaken in Flanders, they are playing into the Allies' hands. The task of the French, the Belgians, and the British is to get the Germans out of their trenches. If they climb out on their own initiative, so much the better / There is news of activity at various other p^rts of the front than Flanders, but it is not such as to suggest that the advent of new armies of the enemy is resulting in fresh aggression. Such new troops as are available for the west Sire most likely to be ysed, directly or indirectly (by replacing hardened troops elsewhere) for the fighting in Flanders. In Alsace the French were displaced from the high hill behind Ha-rttnanns-wieler, but recovered it later THE GREAT FIGHT AT YPRES. In the course of the messages relating to the great battle north of Ypres is the statement: "We retook Hot Sas." This is to be read in connection with the official message of earlier origin, stating that the Allies had made marked progress north of Ypres, on the left of the fighting front, where they had driven the enemy back, inflicting heavy losses. The interest of Set Sas lies in the fact that I if its position represents the extent to which the Allies are pushing back the enemy, and the. recovery is being fairly evenly made to the east of it, the German capture of St. Julien is more than discounted. Het Sa6 lies on the Yser Canal, about a mile north of Boesinghe, which was the most southerly point reached by the enemy. The recapture of Het Sas, if the general line has advanced correspondingly, means the recovery of nearly half the ground overrun by the enemy in their advance. The capture of St. Julien, a village north-east of Ypres, affects the position by tio great amount. -The village was originally just Ikhind the Allies' lines, and was lost through the disorganisation which* followed the hurried retire ment of the Frctach. That retirement compelled the British lino, which previously faced in an\ easterly direction, to swing round to thi west, facing north St. Julien, placed, As it is upon a, high road, was very likely the actual pivot of the change of frctot. The Canadians did their utmost to ihold it, but it was seized. No further light is 1 thrown upon the enemy's new gaseous weapon, though someone has suggested ih&t sulphur burnt upon wood fires was UsW. Some simple means of minimising tie effects of the gases has been appliec by the Belgian and French troops wth success 5 and recent attacks by the enemy with the aid of the gases have fsiil£d. A message from Dm kirk states that the Germans, in the piesent activity at Ypres, are using 100,0)0 men and the biggest concentration <^f artillery yet made in the war. No official reference to an enormous u&e ot artillery hae yet been settt out; and tbfc fact that the enemy found it necesswy to use gas instead of guns, which t re beyond doubt the chief element in pre; taring a position for attack, does not bear c at the statement. II is absurd, too. to siy that 16-inch guns, as well, as 17-incA howitzers, are included in tMt Germans batteries. The pxistence of the big 1' -inch (42 cm.) howitr.er has not bee 1 satisfactorily
quite or almost prohibitive, the idea ot a 16-inch gun is out of all question. Ghins are far more heavy and powerful than howitzers, and in Such sifces can only bo used in permanent fortifications of the most solid kind, A sort of mythology has grown up about the Germans' big artillery, and all sorts of stones, which, however plausible they seem, will not bear any^ investigation, are in circulation. It is interesting to note, in Sir John French's despatches, that the Allies' airmen have been specially active in attacking railway stations At a number of im* portant Junctions, newly all of great importance in connection with the pre* sent German efforts, Bince the wrecking' of the lines at the points attacked interrupts the routes which are essential to the movement of troops to the Ypres front. THE DARDANELLES ARMY. Comment was made yesterday on the renewed bombardment of the Dardanelles forts, suggesting that this gunnery indicated that an army had been landed j and among the late messages received irt the afternoon was an official report that an army had been disembarked at various points on th© Gallipoli Peninsula. Tt is suggestive that the report uee« the word "resumed" in inference to the general attack by army and fleet ; but an English critic in The Times »ay« that attention was diverted by feints at other parts— the reported landing of 20,000 men at Enos was presumably one of them— and it is evident that there have been some complicated transportations during the preparatory work. The landing was successfully carried out under the cover of naval guns, and the public 'can now expect to hear before long of an attack which will more or less closely resemble the famous Japanese subjugation of Port Arthur. From the first of the operations on the Kuan Tung Peninsula, on 26th May, 1904) the Japan* ese were occupied in attacking the fortress till the end of December, and tha capitulations were signed on 2nd .Tana* ary. 1905. Whether the defeat of the Turks will take so long or not depends on many circumstances. In the case of the Dardanelles, the Allies have an. enormous advantage in the possession of a fleet which has proved it* ability to silence the forts with considerable «ace.
PROGRESS OF THE WAR, Evening Post, Volume LXXXIX, Issue 99, 28 April 1915
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