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WHY THE KAISER WANTED LA BASSEE

The Germans attached supreme importance to the capture of La Basscc, which, though it has lost its towers and bastions that made it a strong place in olden times, has still within resell that ancient rampart of earthworks which for 800 years commanded the plains of Artors. Round this little town on the canal have been fought the fiercest battles between the Germans and the Allies, The country is extremely difficult, with its chequer board of meadows and copses and its hillocks, which in perspectivß liave the appearance of hills, and have been christened mountains by the inhabitants of the marsh kinds. In country lilto this it ie obvious that the fifihUnxmu.st, often be at cioso quarters; bow close and how tierce tho casualty lists will reveal. Waterways have to bo crossed on planks under fire; hedgerows give chancfis for: surprises; and altogether the conditions arc costly. But nothing is impossible to determined men. . . . When the story of this fortnight's struggle in tho rccion between I-a Ba=see and Armejitieres is told the world will wonder. For both sid<v l"ive «liown dauntless courage, and shrunk from no sacrifice. Now one has beep the assailant, nr.w th-j other. In a recent letter I showed how the AMcd Forces drove tho enemy from a strong position near La Bassco by a night attack. Covered by a terrific bombardment that, could be heard for miles, the infantry went forward in clom order, for in the darkness it is essential that men should keep in touch with ono (mother !orb their forces should be scattered and weakened. Tho enemy, whose vengeance never slumbers, instantly opened with artillery and machine puns and rifles, sweeping the zone of the advance with a deep hurricane. That flesh and blood could survive <=ucb a storm of flame and thunder seemed impossible. . But tlirough clashing steel and geyeers of lurid earth and a Vizzard of lead the allied lines swept on. The Germans are brave soldiers; no one will deny their courage or question their intrepid leaders. But there are limits even to the bravest, and these were reached that night when British and French charged the trencnei near La Bassee. The Germans retired fighting, and left behind their pi]ed-up dead to bear testimony to their valor. Tfocse things count for more than the few miles of advance usually recorded in the official reports. They prove that tho mora'.e of tho armies is sound, and that they are confident of victory; while they teach the enemy that mass is not fo-ce. and that there are factors in war not found in army lists and not forged by Kirmps of Esen.—E. Ashraead-BarUeit, in the London 'Telegraph.'

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141210.2.38

Bibliographic details

WHY THE KAISER WANTED LA BASSEE, Evening Star, Issue 15672, 10 December 1914

Word Count
451

WHY THE KAISER WANTED LA BASSEE Evening Star, Issue 15672, 10 December 1914

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