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For the past two weeks (writes Mr William Maxwell in the London ' Telegraph' under date October 25) the Germans may be said to have carried on a systematic campaign of incendiarism and destruction. The villages of Givonchy, Fromelles, lilies, AbJaiu. Fumes, Warneton, Radinghcm, and others through which they passed, or out of which they were driven, have seen tho German firebrands at work, as did the towns of Lille and Arras. Their first work, as a rule, is to surround tho village with a series of trenches. As the first of these is givon up the lighting goes on behind the houses where they place their machine guns, and as soon as they feel that the battle is going against them they set their incendiary brigades to work, which set fire to as many houses as possible. Once the village is abandoned, and the Germans are driven out of the last trenches on the other side, thev shell tho unfortunate placo from tho distance, and try to destroy what remains of the houses. Never before was there a war of such ruthless destruction. If ever thero was a Scourge of God it is tho German armv of 1914. That is what the unhappy people of those towns who have fied trom their ruined homes repeat wherever, they go. Wounded officers who hear their tales boil over with rage, and say : "It makes one long to go back to the front," and, as one of these officers said this to me, I saw him get up and try to straighten a leg which was wounded in two places, as if lie were vexed at being kept away from the fight. " There would bo," ho added, "only one condign punishment, and that is, if ever we get to Berlin, to raze it completely to the ground. Even that would not make up for what the Germans have done in Belgium and the north of Franco." This is only a mild example of the indignation caused, especially among tho officers, by the vandalism of the Germans in setting fire to such towns as Lille and Arras, and carrying on a warfare of which a civilised army should be ashamed.

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Bibliographic details

"A SCOURGE OF GOD.", Issue 15669, 7 December 1914

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"A SCOURGE OF GOD." Issue 15669, 7 December 1914

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