"IT'S A LONG ROAD TO CALAIS"
I APPALLING SLAUGHTER BY OUR I FLEET. PICK Or KAISER'S ARMY BEATENBACK. j We publish below a remarkable a<-- ) count of his experiences in the field by Mr Donald C. Thompson, who has I accompanied Mr Powell, the wellknown .special correspondent of the New York World,' as photographer j from the opening of the war. Special j interest attaches to Mr Thompson's narj rative. a.s lie was present with the German army at the battle for Calais, and I had the misfortune, to he wounded by a I British aheil at Dixmmle. In all ho. has been in ,52 engagements ironi ..urns to the battle of Calais, j The Germans were wild to take Calais. ■ and are now savage that they are still so j far from it. That they had been ordered | to capture it at any cost there is no posi silile doubt, and their lighting near the coast has been here- a!in'< st beyond belief. Alons was nothing t.> what happened at Dixmude. The slaughter at Di.xmude. was almost incredible. Picture a fair-sized : Hcmi.sh village set down in a swampy I plain, intersected with canal?, rivers, and : watercourses, and you have Dixmude. The. 1 l«:oplc of Dixinudo had a pretty poor j time. First the British held it. and then i tiie Germans jobbed about 5.0u0 shells into it, wrecking most of it. They finally ; took it under a perfect hail of projectiles . from l heir guns, including some of the big I howitzers. 1 was surprised when I got i into it to find that the British dead were j tew, so that the British troops eitiier got : their killed away or else indicted heavy 10.-.5 011 the Germans for comparatively j small casualties. The whole village has i been flattened out. —Wonderful British Gunnery.— The Germans at the outset were quite j cheerful and confident. They thought I they were in for a swift walk to London, j brushing- everything away and taking J Calais ...11 their route. At fiivt all went 'pnte well, and they got fairly near to j Calais. The first awkward jolt they rej coived was from the, British" naval trims. I lh-y never imagined that the Rriti.-h I ships could get at them. And the proof jid this is that they wero moving along j 1 lose to the coast with masses of men jand any number of guns, when suddenly the British f hins started to bang shell's into them. The British ships did appalling damage, and did it almo.n before the Germans knew wiiat was happening. So extraordinary was their shootin.g that 1 turned to a German ollicer for T had been given every kind of pass and facility I by the Germans, who behaved to me with jr. niarkablo kindne.ss—and said: ••'Those j iell.iw.s are, wonderful gunners. It's great shooting 1 hoy arc making.'' " Sol a bit," j lie said; "they are directing their fire j with a captive balloon.'' But however I ttiey did it, they managed to plump their , t'.'g shells right into the German columns I and among the German guns till thev j tairly put the fear of God' into the GerI oi.-o. !n-..pj. The effect was 1 lie greater the comid-toness ~»' the .surprise. I ho- G.rnian.s seem u, have rockon.'.! r.hat tii.'ir o-.vn big I,'r.nr- and <..ih-w-vines \v. uid k.o). the " British \i ;ivv )' .<:< away from the coast. Vet day after I •>!_-■ pus pounding went on from the sea. j Jini they cotihl d,, nothing to slop it.
—Germans Lo-u; They ha a their big guns ,-u naild.' 1 s.i. v.- several ]2m howitzers. manned bv
Austnans. and two bigger gun*, which may have been the famous 17m howitzers. I hey hail to have masses of men to help get these- gnus into position, and it mav be that the British .guns knocked out the peoph- who vere mounting them. The battering the Germans got from the naval guns and the em.rmour. losses whmh thev have sulfered in the fighting round Dixmude ,-u id Vpres have uirte" shaken their euihdene.'. The oflicers ]ook<,l verv dejected, and the troop.-., except for the new arrivals, were beginning to think they had had enough. Thev went to the slaughter because thev w'ere driven forward by their oiheers. They did not show that conviction which even the raw British seamen disniaved under mv eves at Antwerp. The British bad backbone all the way topaigh. The Germans had not 1 put the German losses at 75.000 in the battle up to the time 1 wa.s wounded. J. ney w, ,0 losing prisoners, too. There
was .1 tremendous hubbub anion-' the German officers at. the news that, the British h.a<l captured a who;,, battalion, which, so far as I could make out. surrendered hel"Mis<- the men ;„;d had 1 uoitg'i of it. I liri'ish ppsoners. !, m a good
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"IT'S A LONG ROAD TO CALAIS", Evening Star, Issue 15686, 28 December 1914