FIGHTING AT HOYOM. DETAILS OF FIERCE FIGHTING ~ ON BOTH FRONTIERS. Press Association—By Telegraph—Copyright. PAMS, December 22. Offidal: The enemy made violent counter-attacks south of Noyon (on the Oise, near Soiaeona). They were repulsed.'- . , We have gained a footing and made progress at Bournevilles, south of Varennes and west of (in the Argonne). FRENCH BATTLES REVIEWED. TAKING OP VEEMELIrES.' AN EIGHT-WEEKS’ JOB. LONDON, December 22. Mr Martin Donohoe writes that the fight for Vermelles lasted for 52 days. The whole town was destroyed by the explosives from the heavy artdiery. Towards the middle of October the Germans snugly entrenched themselves at Vermelles and inflicted heavy losses on the attackers. The fight was tenaciously carried from house to house and farmyard to farmyard. On dark nights it was the German custom to set fire to a house so that it -would serve as a torch and facilitate the fighting. The French .used light mountain guns with deadly effect. House after house was bombarded and captured. Directly the French earned possession of a house sappers cut a hole through, to the adjacent one, held by the Germans. The muzzle of a mountain gun was then shoved through the hole and harried the enemy. The chateau of Vermelles, with its extensive grounds, was captured on December 1. The Germans constructed trenches sft deep, lined with cement. The French found it impossible to drive them out by bombardment, and a direct infantry attack would have involved immense sacrifice of life, therefore they mined their way up to the main wall and blew it up, burying half the garrison. A French storming party entered through the broach, and sanguinary hand-to-hand fighting followed, room after room being captured. The Germans fought to the last with clubbed rifle and bayonet, and at the end of half an hour only one German was left alive in the chateau. There were 400 dead within the enclosure. Using the chateau as a base, the French artillery soon demolished the enemy’s entrenchments, and 10 hours later the French occupied tho town.
THE NIEUPORT BATTLE.
HOW BRITISH CLEARED BETHUNE.
LONDON, December 23. Details of the battle of Nienport show that the French troops took ap a position at a dangerous point where they had to cross live bridges commanded by tha enemy. The enemy were surprised, and took some time to reply. A furious artillery fire and a cannonade from the fleet was then opened, with a maximum discharge of all the guns. After some hours the German fire slackened. The Allies poured shrapnel into the enemjfs trenches with tremendous precision. Groups of the Germans were blown bodily over among the sand dunes. The French and Belgian infantry attacked the German trenches from five points. The Germans did not know from where the attack was coming, and five separate lines of trenches were taken. The forward movement worked like clockwork-
Three French aeroplanes reported the enemy’s movements on land and gave warning' o£ the movements of submarines at sea, enabling the destroyers to ward off attacks.
Simultaneously •with the'attack on Nieuport the Allies cleared the Germans from the region of Bethune (in France, between Ypres and Arras). The British distinguished themselves particularly, and drove the enemy from positions which they had stubbornly contested for four weeks inch by inch to a distance of 10 miles from Bethune. Soane German aeroplanes, previous to the German troops being driven back, dropped bombs on Bethune, killing a number of civilians. GERMAN GENERAL RESPECTS OUR TROOPS. AMSTERDAM, December 22. The ‘-New York Times’s * correspondent spent three days with General Von Heeringen’s army. . General Von Heetingen did nob hesitate to praise the British troops. He said they were splendid soldiers, experienced and tough, especially on the defensive. The Germans had learnt many lessons from the English, especially in the way of taking cover. He rejated that at one point the Germans threw hand-grenades into the British trenches, making a noise that ho calculated would shake the morale of the stoutest of Germany’s men. They advanced, expecting to find the British groggy, but the Scotsmen crawled from the trenches and actually attempted a counter bayonet charge. On the other hand. General Von Heeringen accused the British of misuse of the Red Cross flag, and also of the use of dum-dums.
PARIS DEFENCES. (London 'Times’ and Sydney 'Sun’Services.) LONDON. December 22. If the Germans should again threaten ' Par it they will meet elusive and formidable defences. General Gallina has constructed deep trenches and hurled up heavy artillery, which is cunningly disposed. Nothing is visible, though this entrenched camp stretches for miles outaide the city. THE ORIGINAL VIOLATION STILL BEING DISCUSSED. NEW YORK, December 22. The Belgian Minister to the L T nited States, in a statement, explained that the claim of Germany that proofs existed of the neutrality of Belgium having been violated by Prance previous to the war was entirely unfounded. The Belgian Attache, fearing German aggression, consulted France as to what military measures had been taken to prevent a German attack, hut no agreement was reached between the Governments, the military attaches merely discussing the question. A DOCTOR’S SURPRISE AX NATURAL “PHENOMENON,” (London ' Times * and Sydney 'Sun ’ Services.) LONDON, December 22. A medical correspondent saya that the wounded in the hcwi't-ds avoid to tie campaign. Their unwarliko tales and fcentimental stories woven around Christmas and home rather startle the visitor and kill his illusions about aoldiere’ thoughts. The soldiers are not joyful, and shun recollections. They possess no zest for killing. THE? RUSSIAN FRONT. FIGHTING ROUND- WARSAW ON THRii SIDES. DEPORTED REPULSE OF ENEMY. PETROGRAD, December 23. . .. IMSdalv A series of bard combats oc•on Monday between tho lower Yietula andUthe Pilica.Riyer, especially inthe of tie left bank, of the Filica t.. : x, ... , *
• (which enters the Vistula from the west some 30 miles south of Warsaw). '■ Nearly all the German attacks w«e repulsed with great loss; and only in some small districts did the Russians retreat somewhat. This was in order to occupy more convenient positions. The Germans who crossed the Bzura River in the region of Oahrreff have been driven back towards the river. Many were killed, and nine machine guns were ?he Austrians who crossed the Nidd (South Poland) in 1 the region of Skowromio have been driven back over the river at the point of the, bayonet. Eighteen officers and 1,000.. men surrendered. Russian activity in Galicia is proceeding satisfactorily. The Russians have inflicted S* losses and made many prisoners at t, Ryglice, and elsewhere. ' The garrison at Przemjtd; again made sorties in different directions. These were everywhere repulsed with heavy loss.
WEST OF WARSAW.
FUTILE GERMAN ONSLAUGHTS.
LONDON, December 23.
The ‘Daily Chronicle’s’ Petrograd correspondent, describing tho German repulse, states that they made 11 desperate onslaughts on the Russian trenches in the Sochazew district (between Warsaw and Kutno). with disastrous to themselves. He declare* that’ human lives are the only things in which the Germans do not economise. . When about to charge the men are ordered to leave their tunics behind, so that if they are killed the uniform will dothe another victim. Every man before charging is served with spirits mixed with ether.
LONDON. December .22.
‘The Times’s’ Petrograd correspondent maintains that the backward movement along the whale Russian front is due to strategical considerations, and is deliberately -undertaken. The Gorman attack in the North Vistula district plainly failed. The Austrian movement in- the Carpathians has been defeated.
LONDOX. December 23.
Two trains of Anatiian troops collided near Kalira owing to a false setting of the points. Several carriages were reduced. to matchwood. A thousand soldiers were billed or injured.
AND POLAND CAMPAIGN.
COPENHAGEN - . December 23.
A private message from Berlin states that the censorship is more strict than at any time since the beginning of the war. No details are jiiven of the fighting in Poland. The only message on Tuesday night was that the Germans were 15 miles from Warsaw, and that reinforcements were being cent. Crowds are vainly seeking news at the newspaper offices. LONDON". December 22.
Private messages from Berlin state that the people are anxiously awaiting details of General Hindenberg’s victory in Poland. Feeling is uncertain regarding the facts.
COST OF UPKEEP,
PARIS, December 22. Mr Lloyd George, in an interview, stated that the British war expenditure was £45,000,000 monthly. At present Great Britain had over ’2,000,000 soldiers and sailors under arms, and before the spring 500,000 fresh British troops would join those in Franco and Belgium.
LONDON, December 22.
Commercial men at Cardiff have appointed a committee to ronsidor tlie question of putting enemies’ ships now lying useless in countries outside Great Britain to commercial use or to act as Government transports, to help to relievo the high freight rates. NORWEGIAN MINED. LONDON, December 22. The Norwegian steamer Boston, timber laden for London, struck a. mine near Filey. The crew were landed. [Filey is only a few miles south of Scarborough, situated on a large bay cf the same name.] THE MATCH THAT SET THE WORLD AFIRE. LONDON, December 23. The Archduke Ferdinand’s assassins have been removed from Serajevo to a jtison in Bohemia. A DAY OF REPENTANCE. (London 'Times’ and Sydney ‘Son ’ Services.) LONDON, December 22. Germany will observe January 10 as a day of prayer and repentance in the army. THE’ ARMY’S CHRISTMAS TO BE HONORED"WITH FORCED SUPPLIES. AMSTERDAM, December 23. Germany is making extensive preparations for holding Christmas festivities at Ghent. She has requisitioned the inhabitants to provide a million cigars, a'million cigarettes, and large food supplies. Also all the wine cellars have been seized. FRENCH PARLIAMENT REOPENS. THE GREATEST DRAMA IN HISTORY. WHEN FRANCb'wILL LAY DOWN HER ARMS. PARIS, December 23. Parliament has opened. Many of the Deputies came straight from the trenches. The President of the Chamber of Deputies (M. Deschanel) said: “ England, at whose heart Germany aims, rises with Canada, Australasia, India, and with mb, and pursues her glorious civilising mission in the greatest drama history has known. AU will do their dutr to realise the ideal that right is greater than might.” (Cheers.) The Prime Minister (M. Viviani) said that Franco and her Allies would fight to tho hitter end. France would lay down her arms only when the lost provinces had been regained, the independence of the Belgians restored, and Prussian militarism broken. THE EAST COAST RAID. HOW BEST TO "TREAT TRAITORS. LONDON, December 22. The death roll at Hartlepool was 100. In connection with the internment of 40 Germans a dramatic episode preceded their arrest. When tho bombardment opened a German shouted exultingly: “Now, you English dogs, we will lot you have it.” . . ... Some English workmen immediately knocked three of them out. Tho Hartlepool shipbuilding firm* have requested the Wat Office to take adequate measures fox the defence of tho port. A GERMAN FUNNY STORY, FOR CHRISTMAS*CONSUMPTION. (London ‘Time*’ and Sydney ‘Sun'Services.) LONDON, December 22. The ‘Lokal Anzejgex’ says that the English are trembling mote than ever at the thought of a German invasion. There is the utmost mistrust of the' Navy and its controllers.
OF,DOUBTFUL VALUE;: UNLESS ToTdECEIVE.
AMSTERDAM, December 22. A semi-official agency circulates an alleged interview: vnth- Admiral Von Tir-' pi til, in which he is said to have stated that the duration of the war depends on England.' Questioned whether the German fleet would corns out and attack the English, he replied: “Can you expect our fleet, which is only a third that of the English, to'come out and allow the English to deliver their blow?” • .Admiral Von Tirpitz said he believed that tho use. of the submarine against English merchantmen would be more effective than any Zeppelin raid.
' FIRST KAVAL.BAH)
SEA STREWX WITH MIXES.
LONDON. December 23.
The Vienna newspaper ‘ Diezeit' publishes the letter of a German sailor describing the raid on Yarmouth on- November 3. It indicates that cither Admiral Seydlitz or General Von Moltke carried it” out. The German chips started at 6 o’clock in the evening. The crews w T ere at the guns all night, and the ships reached the coast at 8 o’clock in the morning without sighting any of the enemy’s ships. They were unable to get close owing to mines. The main object of the raid, however, was gained by enabling smaller cruisers toi drew the English waters with mines.
THE CHILIAN NAVAL BATTLE
LONDON, December 23. A member of the crew of the Glasgow states that Admiral Cradock’s last message to the Glasgow was: “ Get away at full speed.” The captain of the 'Monmouth signalled: “I can’t get away, because my ship Is making water rapidly, so I will go oack and engage the ctemy, and try to ram. or torpedo one.” The Glasgow at one time received the concentrated fire of five of the German vessels. Only the. rolling of the ship saved her from being riddled.
BOTTLING UP TUB KONIGSBERG
LOXjjOX, December 25.
Tho crew of the British steamer Newbridge have returned to Shields. They state that vessels belonging to tho East Indian and Mediterranean squadrons caught the Somali, which accompanied the Konigsberg on her raiding expeditions, and sank her in tho mouth of Rufiji River. Tho British then took the Newbridge and another vessel and sank them across the channel, completely bottling up the Konigsbcrg. PRIZES OF WAR. PERTH. December 23. Sir Justice Burnside, in giving his reserved decision respecting tiro German steamers Ncumunster and Thuringen, which were seized at Rottnest Island, said the owners contended that the vessels were exempt frem confiscation under The Hague Convention, because they were seized after entering the port of Fremantle. Mr Justice Burnside held that the Rottnest coast vas not part of the port of Fremantle, and condemned the ships. . Leave to appeal to the Privy Council was granted. A SENSIBLE PROPOSAL. (London 'Times’ and Sydney ‘Sun’ Services .l LONDON, December 22. The Vatican proposes to place British dignitaries at the head of tho Catholic hierarchy in Egypt. The announcement of the protectorate was warmly welcomed by tho Pope. INSURANCE RISKS. The Department of Agriculture. Industries, and Commerce has received advice from the High Commissioner that Lloyd’s war risk insurance has been reduced to £1 4s during tho outward voyage from England and' during tho return voyage from. New Zealand. HOW THE CEIER WAS INTERNED. BOARDED AT MIDNIGHT. MARINES DISMOUNT GUNS. Dramatic action was taken by the United States Navy officers in connection with tho internment in Honolulu of tho German gunboat Geiev, which was not prepared to leave the port and face tho formidable warships outside. The gunboat was boarded at midnight by the collector of the port and Rear-Annual Moore, of the U.S. Navy, with a guard of marines. A cable from Honolulu on November 8 to tho San Francisco ‘Chronicle’ stated that the officers of tho Goier and tho North German Lloyd steel schooner Locksun, which had been acting as a naval tender, had been paroled, guards bad been placed on board, and the guns had been dismounted by marines. The cable states also that a battleship and cruiser wero standing guard at sea outside the tlrree-mile limit, awaiting the decision of the U.S. authorities.
In a telegram from Washington the same paper states;— The case of the Geier, a craft of only 1,600 tons, aroused much international interest. Soon after she dropped anchor in the harbor of Honolulu, about 'three weeks ago, after a voyage from the Far East, a big and powerful cruiser appeared off the Hawaiian coast and anchored outside the tiuea-milo limit. Later another cruiser joined, and they seemed determined to wait as long as necessary for the enemy. Tho captain of the vessel then was given 24 hours in which to decide whether he would remain at Honolulu until the end of the war or put out and take the chance of meeting the enemy. He decided on the fanner course, after communicating with his GV vernment. The fact that the Geier, if she had escaped from Honolulu, would have been in the direct course of important shipping passing the Hawaiian islands, and a constant menace to all shipping in the Pacific, caused considerable anxiety. Another ’fact to which attention was called was that the cruisers which had been waiting for the Geier would ho free to join the general search for German warships in the Pacific. COME TO CHURCH CAMPAIGN. One of the results of .previous great wars has been a great spiritual revival amongst the people, and there are signs that the present war will have a similar effect. Churches everywhere are reporting increased attendance and a growing desire on the part of men and women for divine worship. To take full advantage of this change the Free Church Council is arranging to hold a united “Como to Church” campaign on two Sundays. January 24 and 31. One of , the measures to bo adopted for reaching the people will be the universal adoption of tho parish visitation scheme. Every church throughout tho land will ho given a “parish,” and it will be the duty of that church to see that every homo in its parish is visited and an invitation left tor the people to “ Come to Church.” ' MIS CELLANEOU S. Tho Telegraph Department advises that plain language cable messages for members of tho New Zealand Expeditionary Force in Egypt may bo accepted from this morning at a charge of lUd per wrod. The word “soldier” must he written in tho instructions in order to identify the .class of message • The president of the Methodist Conference directs that in every Methodist church and preaching place in the Dominion Sunday, January 3. shat! h© set apart an a day o! intercession on account of tho war. The Primate and the Moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly had already fixed the same date. Two truckloads of vegetables left Wanganui yesterday for the troops at Trenthem, being donations from about 300 citi- ! rens. ■ We have received front “Sisters” £1 land;from Jack- Balharry 5s for the Bcl[xiaii relief fund.
According to the ‘Jewish World,’ the Chief Rabbi of Lyons was killed on the battlefield; While tending Jewish soldiers he had been called to the side of a dying trooper, a Roman Catholic, who, presumably thinking ho was a priest, bogged the Rabbi to exhibit before his eyes the symbol of his faith and give him hie blessing. It was while holding a crucifix before the mortally wounded warrior and whispering to him words of comfort that the Rabbi fell a victim to an enemy missile. The ‘Paris Journal ’ states that aircraft builders in Germany have completely given up constructing monoplanes of the Taubc type, and are now building nothing but biplanes of designs based on French models. The three most important German builders aro turning out 14 machines a week. The German aeronautical losses since the beginning of -the war have been considerable. Up 'to October 15, 52 pilots had been Lulled or were missing, and over 100 machines, had been put out of action. —Reuter. According to information which has reached England, says Reuter, the Katikiro, or Prime Minister or Uganda, Si.' Apollo Kagwa, K.C.M.G., has announced his intention of placing himself at the head of an army of 5,000 men to march against the Germans. Northern German East Africa forms the southern frontier of the Uganda Protectorate.
Under the title * Our Toml)s in the Land of France,’ a Baden paper says:—“An exalted persona"© has visited tho tombs of our soldiers fallen in the month of An mist and September on the,banks of the Oise, and found among many others tiro large mounds with wreaths of Ilowers laid on them. The first boro the inscription: ‘Offered by the women of Prance to tho German soldiers, our brothers in' Jesus Christ.’ A second inscription read:—‘For the German soldiers, our brothers in Jesus, dead far from their country, wept bv their families. Wo pray for them.’ German mothers will road, certainly not without emotion, bow France treats their eons fallen in the great battle.’’
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THE WAR, Evening Star, Issue 15684, 24 December 1914