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How a little band of 50 French soldiers held up a force, of six to seven thousand Germans is an incident of the recent fighting in the valley of the Oise, in which Lieutenant Verlin was tho hero. The gallant lieutenant, who has received honorable mention in General Joffrc’s order of the day, was engaged in reconnaissance, and was surrounded by the enemy. He managed, however, to rejoin his regiment on the morrow, having lost two sergeants and 37 men out of 50. One of the survivors is now lying in hospital at a Paris suburban railway station, and gives some account of it.

The reconnaissance party was operating on tho right bank of the Oise. Its members were told that Uhlans had been seen in the neighborhood, but there was no information about their numbers or the road they had followed. The lieutenant had decided to continue his reconnaissance, when the enemy was sighted in considerable numbers. He ordered his men. therefore, to rejoin the regiment as rapidly and as secretly as possible, but they were discovered.

The section gained a wood under fire of the enemy, lint without losing a single man. They were then deployed at great intervals, and took any shelter they could find. When the enemy approached it was found to number six or seven thousand. Tho lieutenant encouraged his men by going from one to another, and ordered them to husband their ammunition. If the enemy had charged the wood the little party would have been annihilated, but it was evidently deceived by tho way in whieh the. fire was managed. The tiny force kept its until midnight. At that moment only 13 were in a condition to continue the fight. r J ha lieutenant addressed his men: “ Mes cnfants, we must leave at any cost. Cease fire and get on the road. Perhaps we can get away in tho dark, as (he Germans will not dare to venture into the wood.” The Germans feared an ambush, and hesitated to advance. In that way the party got away, and at dawn reached their regiment, where the colonel embraced them.— ‘Reynolds Weekly.’

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FIFTY AGAINST 7,000., Issue 15663, 30 November 1914

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FIFTY AGAINST 7,000. Issue 15663, 30 November 1914

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