THREE MILLION MEN IN THE BATTLE ON THE MARNE.
BRITISH GENERAL KILLED IX ARTILLERY DUEL.
LESSONS LEARNT BY BRITISH IN THE BOER WAR. Loxdox, September 16. Army corps aggregating three million men participated in the fighting on the Marne. Last week's battle was fought in the fruit country of France, even the open roads being lined with avenues of pears and apples. Under the cannonade of its own artillery the British infantry fought steadily forward through orchards and unharvested corn. The lessons of the Boer war were not forgotten. The British swept from their trenches in open order, often under a withering fire from the German machine guns, but, stooping low, each man made for the nearest cover, and after a fusillade they poured on again until, with a fierce cheer, they drove the Germans from the trenches with their bayonets.
In the fighting at Torcy, north of Chateau Thierry, BrigadierGeneral Neil Findlay, commanding the British artillery in the expeditionary force, and one of Britain's best artillery officers, was killed. A shell blew him to pieces just as the British guns were getting the upperhand.
During the fighting near Soissons on Sunday the Germans occupied the heights along the narrow valley of the Aisne. The British tried to cross the river near Venizel, just below Soissons. French were in the city and on the heights south of Soissons, while the Zouaves had crossed the ri-er at Villesur-Aigue, trying to outflank the German right wing.
The Germans shelled the artillery positions and roads with big siege howitzers, but the radius of destruction was only twenty yards. Some of the French were killed by concussion of the brain, but only a few were seriously wounded.
The German shrapnel often exploded at a height of 300 ft or 400 ft, while the French shrapnel exploded low, and did much damage. By the afternoon the German fire from Soissons slackened, and the French and British crossed the Aisne, the Germans being forced to retire to Laon and La Fere.
Brigadier-General Neil Douglas Findlay, C.8., had been commander of the first division of the Royal Artillery since 1910. He was born in 1859. and entered the army in 1878. He was appointed a captain in 1887, a major in 1896, and a lieutenant-colonel in 1900. He saw active service at Hazara, in India, and was mentioned in despatches. He also served in South Africa in 1899 and 1900, and was twice mentioned in despatches, receiving the Queen's medal and six clasps, and being raised to the rank of brevet-lientenant-colonel.
Chateau-Thierry is the capital of an arrondissement in the department of Aisne, 59 miles north-east of Pari?.
Laon is the capital of the department of Aisne, and lies 87 miles north-east of Paris. It is situated on an isolated ridge forming two sides of a triangle, which rises some 330 ft above the surrounding plain.
Soissons is the capital of the department of Aisne, 18 miles south-west of Laon.
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THREE MILLION MEN IN THE BATTLE ON THE MARNE., New Zealand Herald, Volume LI, Issue 15717, 18 September 1914
THREE MILLION MEN IN THE BATTLE ON THE MARNE. New Zealand Herald, Volume LI, Issue 15717, 18 September 1914
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