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THE WESTERN CAMPAIGN.

EPITOMISED FROM START. FRENCH OFFICIAL REPORT. BRIMFUL OF CONFIDENCE. PARIS, December 5. Official : A bulletin sketches the war from the violation of the territory of Belgium to date. It shows that tho main struggle would occur in the north. The French would be unable to engage the enemy until the British cam© into line, therefor© they sought to retain as many army corps as possible in Alsace and Lorraine. From September 8 onwards General Miinourny's new army's attack against 'the German right began to take effect. The enemy shifted their front, thus presenting their weak point to tho British army, which crossed the Marno and came lo grips with the German flank. Meanwhib General De Sperey, with General Manourny on the wing, also crossed and drove back tho Germane, supporting the British left, with Goneral Foch on their right. It was upon this army that tho Germans sought to avenge the check their right had received, and from September 6 U» September 9 thi» force was compelled to face repeated attacks, until on the evening of the 9th its left, near La Fere and Champenoiso, took the Prussian Guard and another German corps on the flank. This audacious manoeuvre decided the. issue. The liemians i'eli back, and General Foch entered Chalons-eur-Mar.ie on September 11. From the 13th onwards began the contest of a real race to tho sea. The Ger- j mans had tho .advantaga of a> ooacentriol

front, shortening their distance; nevertheless, the movement of their right failed, and the victory of the Marne was confirmed.

General Castlenau, on September 20, formed a new army on General Mauourny'si left, and strongly established himself in the .Lassigny-Roye-Peromio district. General Mand-kuy's army entered the line on the 30th, occupying the region wound Arras and Lens with a viow to functioning with, the Dunkirk division, but the lino was still too thin. General French instantly decided -to transfer the British from tho Aisne to the vicinity of the Lys. The Belgian army from Antwerp, covered by British and French marines, arrivedto strengthen the projected barrier in the Yser district. Tho British wore unable to come into action before October 20, and the Belgians were short of munitions. Therefore, General JofEre entrusted to General Foch the task of co-ordinating tho operations of the northern armies. Fresh reinforcements enabled him on November 12 to constitute a Franco-Belgian army, under General Dourbal, co-operating with the Belgians and British between the sea and Lys against a dozen German army corps and upwards of four cavalry divisions.

The Kaiser was present and made proclamations emphasising the necessity of a decisive blow reaching Dunkirk, Calais, or Boulogne along the coast, or piercing the line towards Ypres; also declaring Belgium to have been annexed.

For three weeks the Germans launched repeated and furious attacks in dense masses. It was obvious after November 12 that tho balance was on our side. We yielded not an inch, and held an impregnable position against tho German offensive for a fortnight. The attacks wore broken and weakened, and the artillery became less active.

The battle at Ypres cost tho enemy 120,000 men. Never has an attack so carefully prepared and furiously delivered suffered a more complete check. The Kaiser witnessed the repulse eastward of Rheims, and a week later the repulse, at Ypres. Our forces are now as largo as at the outset of the campaign, and their quality is enormously improved All the men are profoundly imbued with a eentse of superiority over tho enemy, and display an absolute confidence of victory. The futile efforts of tho Germans have exhausted their reserves, ivhiio the troops, they are bringing up to-day arc badly olficerod and badly trained. Russia is more and more asserting her superiority, and the German halt in the east is doomed inevitably to becoino a retreat. OUR MARINES AT ANTWERP. GENERAL FRENCH'S REPORT. A PERILOUS RETREAT. LONDON, December 5. Sir John French's despatch to the Admiralty on the Naval Brigade's ussistanco at Antwerp declares that General Paris, R.M.A., handled the men with great skill and boldness. 'J"he fortress was not saved, but the Marines certainly delayed tho enemy for a considerable time, and enabled tho Belgian army to withdraw after destroying war material and ammunition which would have been of great value to tho enemy. Tho Belgians were afterwards a great asset,to the Allies on the Yser. Also the moral effect on the Belgian arniv by this aooans 're f)dui9i)f o;ir.i»cis»p A|i.iu*ss9oau was of great value in increasing their efficiency. General Paris reported that when it was evident that the Belgians were unable to hold the fort, in order to avoid disaster ho retired under cover of darkness. The roads were crowded with Belgian troops, refugees, cattle, and vehicles. Partly by reason of this and partly on account of fatigue and unexplained causes numbers of the brigado became detached. Meanwhile the main body entrained and effected a retreat. The rearguard entrained later, with hundreds of refugees. Tho engine was derailed and the enemy opened lire. Considerable confusion prevailed in tho darkness, and the agitation of the refugees made the passing of orders difficult. Tho battalion behaved splendidly, and fought its way through, hut the loss in missing was upwards of half its numbers. Major Richardson, of the New Zealand Staff Corps, is mentioned in General

rarifi's despatches.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141207.2.14.7

Bibliographic details

THE WESTERN CAMPAIGN., Evening Star, Issue 15669, 7 December 1914

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890

THE WESTERN CAMPAIGN. Evening Star, Issue 15669, 7 December 1914

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