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THESE BRAVE BELGIANS., Issue 15637, 30 October 1914
THESE BRAVE BELGIANS.
[By Major RtmvAY, in tin; • i liobe.’l What has become of the Bokhan army, which stood at 60,000 on a footing, and was estimated in June bust to produce 350,000 of all ranks on mobilisation? Not one word has been published to show how far ,1m force has been depleted by the. defence of Liege and Namur and by the various minor attacks upon isolated bodies of the enemy. Antwerp, no doubt, requires a considerable garrison, hut when all allowances aro made, there would seem to exist an army of far greater strength than tinPortuguese army which Wellington, by ibraid of his shipping, was aide to transit;from point to point in the Peninsula.. At tacks on the Germans who are in posses si on of Belgium tend only to reprisals upo ; the- peaceful inhabitants, whereas the addition of two or three corps of men with a month’s experience of war ought, to prove invaluable In France, for there is tin- decisive point. When
—The German Main Army is Beaten—the disappearance of the enemy from Belgian territory will follow us a matter of course, bub not till then. The one tiling that may have operated to prevent the association of the Belgian army with the rest of the Allies in France is the want of mobility—that is to say, the absence of abundant transport and of the rearward cervices which furnish, among other things, ammunition for guns and rifles. Allies, who have adopted different natures of firearms are unable to utilise a common lino of communication. Bearing this fact in mind, it is idle to discuss the possibility of a quarter of a million Hessians being transported, with all the impedimenta necessary for ten army corps, from tho East to the West, from East Prussia, where they are badly needed, to the west of France, whe.ro they will not be needed until the resources of Belgium, France, England, and the Dominions arc exhausted. Meanwhile we are told that the French and British troops on tho Murno have taken the offensive at some point, with the result that the enemy has beer, forced back in a north-easterly direction. But this movement, apparently applies only to the Germans about Mea.ux, Cculommiers, and La I'erte-Gaucher, and wo are not told how far they retired. If they were driven back across the Marne of course they would seek the bridges leading to SoLssons or Rheims rather than those loading to Beauvais and Oompoigne. But there is also lighting on the line Verdun -V i try -Sozan no. and if the enemy were pushed back rapidly on this line the transport of his lefx% wing would cross the transport of his right wing, will very serious results. But this is perhaps looking too far ahead, and would imply that the Germane are already so weak that a temporary defensive would not rave them. There is unfortunately no reason whatever to suppose that the Kaiser has thus come to tho end of his tether; and we continue to hope that General Joffro will persist in his plan of thoroughly exhausting his enemy before he resorts to a counter-stroke. —Tho British Losses.— The sum total of British casualties to date is 15,141 all ranks. By a remarkable coincidence the three returns published show almost equal numbers'—namely, September 2, 5.127; September 4, 5.213; September 7, 4,796 ; and the proportions of killed, wounded, and missing correspond. Fortunately only 265 are reported as killed in action, and wo may trust that nearly the whole of the remainder will ultimately be restored to their frends. But tire numbers of missing—23o officers and 13,415 other ranks—are quite without precedent in the case of actions that were not, and were not intended to I>e, decisive; and it is odd that the military authorities have not thought fit to allude to this; phenomenon. since it is important to know how many officers and men are likely to return to duty, and how many will remain in tho hands’of the enemy till the close of the , war.
THESE BRAVE BELGIANS., Issue 15637, 30 October 1914
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