New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915
Author: Various
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"The fighting in other parts of the line was little less severe. The 1st East Lancashire Regiment were shelled out of their trenches, but their support company and the 2d Essex Regiment, again acting on their own initiative, won them back. The enemy penetrated into the farm at the northeast corner of the line, but the 1st Rifle Brigade, after a severe struggle, expelled them. The 1st Hampshire Regiment also repelled an attack, and killed every German who got within fifty yards of their trenches. The 5th London Regiment, despite very heavy casualties, maintained their position unfalteringly. At the southern end of the line the left brigade was once again heavily shelled, as indeed was the whole front. At the end of a very hard day's fighting, our line remained in its former position, with the exception of the short distance lost by one cavalry division. Later, the line was pushed forward, and a new line was dug in a less exposed position, slightly in rear of that originally held. The night passed quietly.

"Working parties of from 1,200 to 1,800 men have been found every night by a Territorial Division and other units for work on rear lines of defence, in addition to the work performed by the garrisons in reconstructing the front line trenches which were daily destroyed by shell fire.

"The work performed by the Royal Flying Corps has been invaluable. Apart from the hostile aeroplanes actually destroyed, our airmen have prevented a great deal of aerial reconnaissance by the enemy, and have registered a large number of targets with our artillery.

"There have been many cases of individual gallantry. As instances, may be given the following:

"During one of the heavy attacks made against our infantry gas was seen rolling forward from the enemy's trenches. Private Lynn, of the 2d Lancashire Fusiliers, at once rushed to the machine-gun without waiting to adjust his respirator. Single-handed he kept his gun in action the whole time the gas was rolling over, actually hoisting it on the parapet to get a better field of fire. Although nearly suffocated by the gas, he poured a stream of lead into the advancing enemy and checked their attack. He was carried to his dug-out, but, hearing another attack was imminent, he tried to get back to his gun. Twenty-four hours later he died in great agony from the effects of the gas.

"A young subaltern in a cavalry regiment went forward alone one afternoon to reconnoiter. He got into a wood 1,200 yards in front of our lines, which he found occupied by Germans, and came back with the information that the enemy had evacuated a trench and were digging another—information which proved most valuable to the artillery as well as to his own unit.

"A patrol of two officers and a non-commissioned officer of the 1st Cambridgeshires went out one night to reconnoiter a German trench 350 yards away. Creeping along the parapet of the trench they heard sounds indicating the presence of six or seven of the enemy. Further on they heard deep snores apparently proceeding from a dug-out immediately beneath them. Although they knew that the garrison of the trench outnumbered them they decided to procure an identification. Unfortunately in pulling out a clasp knife with which to cut off the sleeper's identity disc, one of the officer's revolvers went off. A conversation in agitated whispers broke out in the German trench, but the patrol crept safely away, the garrison being too startled to fire.

"Despite the very severe shelling to which the troops had been subjected, which obliterated trenches and caused very many casualties, the spirit of all ranks remains excellent. The enemy's losses, particularly on May 10 and 13, have unquestionably been serious. On the latter day they evacuated trenches (in face of the cavalry counter-attack) in which were afterwards found quantities of equipment and some of their own wounded. The enemy have been seen stripping our dead, and on three occasions men in khaki have been seen advancing."


The fight went on by the exchange of desultory shell and rifle fire, but without any remarkable incident until the morning of May 24. During this period, however, the French on our left had attained considerable success. On May 15 they captured Steenstraate and the trenches in Het Sas, and on May 16 they drove the enemy headlong over the canal, finding 2,000 German dead. On May 17 they made a substantial advance on the east side of the canal, and on May 20 they repelled a German counter-attack, making a further advance in the same direction, and taking 100 prisoners.

On the early morning of May 24 a violent outburst of gas against nearly the whole front was followed by heavy shell fire, and the most determined attack was delivered against our position east of Ypres.

The hour the attack commenced was 2.45 A.M. A large proportion of the men were asleep, and the attack was too sudden to give them time to put on their respirators.

The 2d Royal Irish and the 9th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, overcome by gas fumes, were driven out of a farm held in front of the left Division, and this the enemy proceeded to hold and fortify.

All attempts to retake this farm during the day failed, and during the night of May 24-25 the General Officer Commanding the left Division decided to take up a new line which, although slightly in rear of the old one, he considered to be a much better position. This operation was successfully carried out.

Throughout the day the whole line was subjected to one of the most violent artillery attacks which it had ever undergone; and the 5th Corps and the Cavalry Divisions engaged had to fight hard to maintain their positions. On the following day, however, the line was consolidated, joining the right of the French at the same place as before, and passing through Wieltje (which was strongly fortified) in a southerly direction on to Hooge, where the cavalry have since strongly occupied the chateau, and pushed our line further east.

In pursuance of a promise which I made to the French Commander-in-Chief to support an attack which his troops were making on May 9 between the right of my line and Arras, I directed Sir Douglas Haig to carry out on that date an attack on the German trenches in the neighborhood of Rougebanc (northwest of Fromelles) by the 4th Corps, and between Neuve Chapelle and Givenchy by the 1st and Indian Corps.

The bombardment of the enemy's positions commenced at 5 A.M.

Half an hour later the 8th Division of the 4th Corps captured the first line of German trenches about Rougebanc, and some detachments seized a few localities beyond this line. It was soon found, however, that the position was much stronger than had been anticipated and that a more extensive artillery preparation was necessary to crush the resistance offered by his numerous fortified posts.

Throughout May 9 and 10 repeated efforts were made to make further progress. Not only was this found to be impossible, but the violence of the enemy's machine-gun fire from his posts on the flanks rendered the captured trenches so difficult to hold that all the units of the 4th Corps had to retire to their original position by the morning of May 10.


The 1st and Indian Divisions south of Neuve Chapelle met with no greater success, and on the evening of May 10 I sanctioned Sir Douglas Haig's proposal to concentrate all our available resources on the southern point of attack.

The 7th Division was moved round from the 4th Corps area to support this attack, and I directed the General Officer Commanding the First Army to delay it long enough to insure a powerful and deliberate artillery preparation.

The operations of May 9 and 10 formed part of a general plan of attack which the Allies were conjointly conducting on a line extending from the north of Arras to the south of Armentieres; and, although immediate progress was not made during this time by the British forces, their attack assisted in securing the brilliant successes attained by the French forces on their right, not only by holding the enemy in their front, but by drawing off a part of the German reinforcements which were coming up to support their forces east of Arras.

On May 15 I moved the Canadian Division into the 1st Corps area and placed them at the disposal of Sir Douglas Haig.

The infantry of the Indian Corps and the 2d Division of the 1st Corps advanced to the attack of the enemy's trenches which extended from Richebourg L'Avoue in a south-westerly direction.

Before daybreak the 2d Division had succeeded in capturing two lines of the enemy's trenches, but the Indian Corps were unable to make any progress owing to the strength of the enemy's defenses in the neighborhood of Richebourg L'Avoue.


At daybreak the 7th Division, on the night of the 2d, advanced to the attack, and by 7 A.M. had entrenched themselves on a line running nearly north and south, halfway between their original trenches and La Quinque Rue, having cleared and captured several lines of the enemy's trenches, including a number of fortified posts.

As it was found impossible for the Indian Corps to make any progress in face of the enemy's defenses, Sir Douglas Haig directed the attack to be suspended at this point and ordered the Indian Corps to form a defensive flank.

The remainder of the day was spent in securing and consolidating positions which had been won, and endeavoring to unite the inner flanks of the 7th and 2d Divisions, which were separated by trenches and posts strongly held by the enemy.

Various attempts which were made throughout the day to secure this object had not succeeded at nightfall in driving the enemy back.

The German communications leading to the rear of their positions were systematically shelled throughout the night.

About 200 prisoners were captured on May 16.

Fighting was resumed at daybreak; and by eleven o'clock the 7th Division had made a considerable advance, capturing several more of the enemy's trenches. The task allotted to this Division was to push on in the direction of Rue D'Ouvert, Chateau St. Roch and Canteleux.

The 2d Division was directed to push on when the situation permitted toward the Rue de Marais and Violaines.

The Indian Division was ordered to extend its front far enough to enable it to keep touch with the left of the 2d Division when they advanced.

On this day I gave orders for the 51st (Highland) Division to move into the neighborhood of Estaires to be ready to support the operations of the First Army.

At about noon the enemy was driven out of the trenches and posts which he occupied between the two Divisions, the inner flanks of which were thus enabled to join hands.

By nightfall the 2d and 7th Divisions had made good progress, the area of captured ground being considerably extended to the right by the successful operations of the latter.

The state of the weather on the morning of May 18 much hindered an effective artillery bombardment, and further attacks had, consequently, to be postponed.

Infantry attacks were made throughout the line in the course of the afternoon and evening, but, although not very much progress was made, the line was advanced to the La Quinque Rue-Bethune Road before nightfall.

On May 19 the 7th and 2d Divisions were drawn out of the line to rest. The 7th Division was relieved by the Canadian Division and the 2d Division by the 51st (Highland) Division.

Sir Douglas Haig placed the Canadian and 51st Divisions, together with the artillery of the 2d and 7th Divisions, under the command of Lieutenant-General Alderson, whom he directed to conduct the operations which had hitherto been carried on by the General Officer Commanding First Corps; and he directed the 7th Division to remain in Army Reserve.

During the night of May 19-20 a small post of the enemy in front of La Quinque Rue was captured.

During the night of May 20-21 the Canadian Division brilliantly carried on the excellent progress made by the 7th Division by seizing several of the enemy's trenches and pushing forward their whole line several hundred yards. A number of prisoners and some machine guns were captured.

On May 22 the 51st (Highland) Division was attached to the Indian Corps, and the General Officer Commanding the Indian Corps took charge of the operations at La Quinque Rue, Lieutenant-General Alderson with the Canadians conducting the operations to the north of that place.

On this day the Canadian Division extended their line slightly to the right and repulsed three very severe hostile counter-attacks.

On May 24 and 25 the 47th Division (2d London Territorial) succeeded in taking some more of the enemy's trenches and making good the ground gained to the east and north.

I had now reason to consider that the battle, which was commenced by the First Army on May 9 and renewed on May 16, having attained for the moment the immediate object I had in view, should not be further actively proceeded with; and I gave orders to Sir Douglas Haig to curtail his artillery attack and to strengthen and consolidate the ground he had won.

In the battle of Festubert above described the enemy was driven from a position which was strongly entrenched and fortified, and ground was won on a front of four miles to an average depth of 600 yards.

The enemy is known to have suffered very heavy losses, and in the course of the battle 785 prisoners and ten machine guns were captured. A number of machine guns were also destroyed by our fire.

During the period under report the Army under my command has taken over trenches occupied by some other French divisions.

I am much indebted to General D'Urbal, commanding the 10th French Army, for the valuable and efficient support received throughout the battle of Festubert from three groups of French 75 centimetre guns.

In spite of very unfavorable weather conditions, rendering observation most difficult, our own artillery did excellent work throughout the battle.

As an instance of the successful attempts to deceive the enemy in this respect it may be mentioned that on the afternoon of May 24 a bombardment of about an hour was carried out by the 6th Division with the object of distracting attention from the Ypres salient.

Considerable damage was done to the enemy's parapets and wire; and that the desired impression was produced on the enemy is evident from the German wireless news on that day, which stated, "West of Lille the English attempts to attack were nipped in the bud."

I have much pleasure in again expressing my warm appreciation of the admirable manner in which all branches of the Medical Services now in the field, under the direction of Surgeon-General Sir Arthur Sloggett, have met and dealt with the many difficult situations resulting from the operations during the last two months.

The medical units at the front were frequently exposed to the enemy's fire, and many casualties occurred amongst the officers of the regimental Medical Service. At all times the officers, non-commissioned officers and men, and nurses carried out their duties with fearless bravery and great devotion to the welfare of the sick and wounded.

The whole organization of the Medical Services reflects the highest credit on all concerned.

I have once more to call your Lordship's attention to the part taken by the Royal Flying Corps in the general progress of the campaign, and I wish particularly to mention the invaluable assistance they rendered in the operations described in this report, under the able direction of Major-General Sir David Henderson.

The Royal Flying Corps is becoming more and more an indispensable factor in combined operations. In co-operation with the artillery, in particular, there has been continuous improvement both in the methods and in the technical material employed. The ingenuity and technical skill displayed by the officers of the Royal Flying Corps in effecting this improvement have been most marked.

Since my last dispatch there has been a considerable increase both in the number and in the activity of German aeroplanes in our front. During this period there have been more than sixty combats in the air, in which not one British aeroplane has been lost. As these flights take place almost invariably over or behind the German lines, only one hostile aeroplane has been brought down in our territory. Five more, however, have been definitely wrecked behind their own lines, and many have been chased down and forced to land in most unsuitable ground.

In spite of the opposition of hostile aircraft, and the great number of anti-aircraft guns employed by the enemy, air reconnaissance has been carried out with regularity and accuracy.

I desire to bring to your Lordship's notice the assistance given by the French military authorities, and in particular by General Hirschauer, Director of the French Aviation Service, and his assistants, Colonel Bottieaux and Colonel Stammler, in the supply of aeronautical material, without which the efficiency of the Royal Flying Corps would have been seriously impaired.

In this dispatch I wish again to remark upon the exceptionally good work done throughout this campaign by the Army Service Corps and by the Army Ordnance Department, not only in the field, but also on the lines of communication and at the base ports.

To foresee and meet the requirements in the matter of ammunition, stores, equipment, supplies, and transport has entailed on the part of the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of these services a sustained effort which has never been relaxed since the beginning of the war, and which has been rewarded by the most conspicuous success.

The close co-operation of the Railway Transport Department, whose excellent work, in combination with the French Railway Staff, has ensured the regularity of the maintenance services, has greatly contributed to this success.

The degree of efficiency to which these services have been brought was well demonstrated in the course of the second battle of Ypres.

The roads between Poperinghe and Ypres, over which transport, supply and ammunition columns had to pass, were continually searched by hostile heavy artillery during the day and night; whilst the passage of the canal through the town of Ypres, and along the roads east of that town, could only be effected under most difficult and dangerous conditions as regards hostile shell fire. Yet, throughout the whole five or six weeks during which these conditions prevailed the work was carried on with perfect order and efficiency.


Since the date of my last report some divisions of the "New" Army have arrived in this country.

I made a close inspection of one division, formed up on parade, and have at various times seen several units belonging to others.

These divisions have as yet had very little experience in actual fighting; but, judging from all I have seen, I am of opinion that they ought to prove a valuable addition to any fighting force.

As regards the infantry, their physique is excellent, whilst their bearing and appearance on parade reflects great credit on the officers and staffs responsible for their training. The units appear to be thoroughly well officered and commanded. The equipment is in good order and efficient.

Several units of artillery have been tested in the firing line behind the trenches, and I hear very good reports of them. Their shooting has been extremely good, and they are quite fit to take their places in the line.

The Pioneer Battalions have created a very favorable impression, the officers being keen and ingenious, and the men of good physique and good diggers. The equipment is suitable. The training in field works has been good, but, generally speaking, they require the assistance of Regular Royal Engineers as regards laying out of important works. Man for man in digging the battalions should do practically the same amount of work as an equivalent number of sappers, and in riveting, entanglements, etc., a great deal more than the ordinary infantry battalions.

During the months of April and May several divisions of the Territorial Force joined the Army under my command.

Experience has shown that these troops have now reached a standard of efficiency which enables them to be usefully employed in complete divisional units.

Several divisions have been so employed; some in the trenches, others in the various offensive and defensive operations reported in this dispatch.

In whatever kind of work these units have been engaged, they have all borne an active and distinguished part, and have proved themselves thoroughly reliable and efficient.

The opinion I have expressed in former dispatches as to the use and value of the Territorial Force has been fully justified by recent events.

The Prime Minister was kind enough to accept an invitation from me to visit the Army in France, and arrived at my Headquarters on May 30.

Mr. Asquith made an exhaustive tour of the front, the hospitals and all the administrative arrangements made by Corps Commanders for the health and comfort of men behind the trenches.

It was a great encouragement to all ranks to see the Prime Minister amongst them; and the eloquent words which on several occasions he addressed to the troops had a most powerful and beneficial effect.

As I was desirous that the French Commander-in-Chief should see something of the British troops, I asked General Joffre to be kind enough to inspect a division on parade.

The General accepted my invitation, and on May 27 he inspected the 7th Division, under the command of Major-General H. de la P. Gough, C.B., which was resting behind the trenches.

General Joffre subsequently expressed to me in a letter the pleasure it gave him to see the British troops, and his appreciation of their appearance on parade. He requested me to make this known to all ranks.

The Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Right Rev. Dr. Wallace Williamson, Dean of the Order of the Thistle, visited the Army in France between May 7 and 17, and made a tour of the Scottish regiments with excellent results.

In spite of the constant strain put upon them by the arduous nature of the fighting which they are called upon to carry out daily and almost hourly, the spirit which animates all ranks of the Army in France remains high and confident.

They meet every demand made upon them with the utmost cheerfulness.

This splendid spirit is particularly manifested by the men in hospital, even amongst those who are mortally wounded.

The invariable question which comes from lips hardly able to utter a sound is, "How are things going on at the front?"

In conclusion, I desire to bring to your Lordship's special notice the valuable services rendered by General Sir Douglas Haig in his successful handling of the troops of the First Army throughout the Battle of Festubert, and Lieutenant-General Sir Herbert Plumer for his fine defence of Ypres throughout the arduous and difficult operations during the latter part of April and the month of May.

I have the honor to be your Lordship's most obedient servant,

J.D.P. FRENCH, Field-Marshal, Commanding-in-Chief, the British Army in France.

France's "Eyewitness" Reports


The following details published in Paris on July 11 by an official "Eyewitness" with the French army of the desperate fighting which resulted in the capture of the summit of Hilgenfirst, more than 3,000 feet high, in the Langenfeldkopf region, in the Vosges Mountains, are given in an account of the struggle written by an official eyewitness with the French army.

In the fight for the capture of the eminence of Hilgenfirst, one company of our advance guard which forced a breach in the German lines was cut off from its battalion as the result of a German counter-attack. This company, nevertheless, succeeded in maintaining the conquered position four days until finally relieved.

On June 14 the Sixth Company of the Seventh Battalion crawled from its trenches and deployed toward a clearing in the woods opposite. It then charged, taking the German trenches. The Germans fled to the woods, leaving a quick-firer. Our men immediately began fortifying the position, but our sentries reported that German patrols had been seen encircling the French. Other companies were ordered forward immediately to support the one in the trench.

Meanwhile large German reinforcements had been brought up, making it impossible to reach our men. The captain in the trench, realizing that he was surrounded, ordered some of his men to form a hollow square and defend the position while others dug trenches on four sides. The Germans attacked in great force with quick firers and rifles, but withdrew at nightfall after a battle lasting two hours. Our men defending the position numbered 137, including five officers. One officer and twenty-seven men were wounded.

The following day, despite a well-directed fire from our main positions, the Germans again attacked in large numbers, advancing in columns of four. The situation now began to look critical, but at the crucial moment a hail of shrapnel from our 75.8 completely decimated one advancing column. The edge of the wood out of which the column advanced was piled high with German bodies and the remainder of the force scattered in flight.

In the afternoon the Germans again prepared for an attack, but the attempt was frustrated by our infantry fire. During the night the captain told off men to rest in squads, the others being constantly on the alert. At dawn a second lieutenant and a few men surprised a small German scouting detachment of twenty men commanded by a non-commissioned officer. Our men threw themselves upon the Germans, killing the officer and two men, the others taking to their heels at top speed.

At 10 o'clock the main body of our troops succeeded in establishing communications with the isolated company which called for help in the provincial dialect. We answered that we would attack at nightfall, but that the attack would be preceded by a heavy bombardment.

Accordingly, they constructed heavy bomb-proof shelters on the four sides of the square and anxiously waited. At 9 o'clock the attack was begun with artillery, quick firers and rifles, but it was insufficient to drive out the Germans, who had in the meanwhile established well-protected trenches and, with an excellent telephone system, made any surprise movement impossible.

The company's rations were now becoming very low. Delirious cries of the wounded added to the discomfiture of the men. The following morning a German patrol tried to take the position by storm, and some of the men succeeded even in mounting the parapet. These were driven off by a quick firer which had been captured from the Germans. On other advancing troops of the enemy huge boulders, dug from the hillside, were rolled down and we succeeded in dispersing the attack.

Another attack was prepared by us for that night, but the danger was great on account of the narrowness of the position occupied by the company. The captain of the company was ordered to light fires at the opposite ends of his position, so that our artillery could better regulate its fire, as there was great danger of killing our own men.

The artillery opened a crushing fire, and the Germans began to retreat. As they passed the company's position their men were mowed down by the exactness of the fire of our troops, and finally the brave company was delivered.

The general in command of the army in the Vosges said, in complimenting the men for their bravery, the company henceforth should be called "Company Sid Ibrahim."


The official French "Eyewitness" at the front reported on July 18 giving details of the French success in the battle of Fontenelle, in the Vosges. The scene of the conflict is in the neighborhood of the village of Senones and the forest of Ormont, and the ground is described as undulating and cut by deep ravines.

It was in this region, says the observer, that the Germans, after the battle of the Marne, look up a position on a summit commanding the surrounding countryside. This hill was Height 627, which is known as Fontenelle.

On June 22, after severe losses, the enemy succeeded in occupying Fontenelle, says the observer. Although we counter-attacked vigorously, taking 142 prisoners, the enemy held the summit. General Van Kuderzen, in a report dated July 3, said that after a careful inspection of the German works and trenches he finally believed that the hill had been transformed into an impregnable fortress, and that its capture would necessitate tremendous losses.

On July 8 all necessary preparations for the attack had been completed. The same day, at nightfall, three columns, aided by a remarkably accurate artillery fire, took a portion of the enemy's trenches. In the center we also attacked, forcing the enemy to the west of Launois in ten minutes. The attack on the left proceeded more slowly, but, aided by gathering darkness, we took possession of the northwestern portion of the hill.

At daybreak not only the whole of the summit had been retaken, but a majority of the German defenses as far as the road from Launois to Moyen-Moutier. Thanks to our artillery, all preparations for counter-attacks were immediately stopped.

During the battles of July 8 and 9 we took 881 prisoners, including 21 officers. When questioned the prisoners gave great praise to our excellent artillery marksmanship, saying: "We did not believe there could be such a hell of fire."


An Associated Press dispatch dated on the heights of Notre Dame de Lorette, near Arras, July 10, gave the following account of the 120 days' fight ended successfully by the use of high explosives:

After fighting 120 days for the hill country between Bethune and Arras, the French forces are in possession of all the eminences looking out upon the plain of Flanders. Lille, Douai, and Chambrai all are visible from here.

Every position along the broad national road between Arras and Bethune has been won except Souchez, and last night another quarter mile of trenches in the Souchez web was torn away. The attack was made under parachute rocket lights, the French burning bluish white and the Germans greenish white, covering the scene of the desperate conflict with a ghastly glow.

The most desperate fighting has been along the short ten-mile front from Arras to Aix-Noulette, which began March 9 with the taking of a few hundred yards of trenches on the watershed of Notre Dame de Lorette, where there are the ruins of an old Merovingian military road. Every day since then some section of the German trenches has been taken, lost, or retaken.

Each side has been employing formidable artillery both of small and heavy calibre, the French guns being somewhat more numerous and served with unlimited quantities of high explosive shells.

A correspondent of The Associated Press today went through five or six miles of the trenches formerly held by the Germans and reconstructed by the French, who now have abandoned them to move forward. Upward of 100,000 Germans have fallen or been captured in these trenches, according to the French official count, since the second week of March. The French losses, the correspondent was confidentially informed, while serious, have been much smaller than those of the Germans. There are thickets of little crosses made of twigs tied together, marking the graves between the trenches. Some of these graves have been torn up by the shell fire.

Almost every square yard of this region is marked by miniature craters caused by exploding shells. Spots where shells penetrated the earth without exploding are indicated by signs bearing the words "Live Shell."

One line of the German works was just below the summit of a steep slope which, from the nature of the ground, could not be shelled without danger to the French position a little higher up. The Germans were sheltered in dugouts under the hillside, and their French assailants, sliding or jumping down into the trenches, were shot or bayoneted from caves. The line was finally taken by tossing grenades by the basketful into the trenches until most of the defenders in the concaved shelters were killed or wounded. Every curve or angle in the miles of labyrinthine cuttings has its story of tragedy and heroism.

In the party which went over this ground and into the firing trenches within calling distance of the German lines with The Associated Press correspondent were Owen Johnson, Arnold Bennett, Walter Hale and George H. Mair, the last representing the British Foreign Office. As they approached the lines one shell from a four-inch gun burst within twenty-five yards of them, while others exploded only thirty or forty yards away. This incident seemed greatly to amuse the soldiers in the trenches, who laughed heartily at the embarrassment of the civilians.

The visitors were invited by the soldiers into their shelters, which are dry caves with narrow entrances and with clay floors covered with matting or sacking and faintly illuminated by the light which filters in from the entrance or by bits of candle on the inside. Men who had been on duty throughout the night were sleeping in these caves.

The men on the firing line express the utmost confidence that what was done yesterday and this morning they can keep on doing until the war has been won. They never hear the vague, unverified reports circulated in Paris, sometimes of tremendous and impossible victories, sometimes sinister hints of disaster. They know what they have done since March 9, when they were ordered to act on this part of the Aisne. They talk as a matter of course of another winter campaign, because, they say, it will take another year to break the German power.


An Associated Press dispatch of July 9 from Arras via Paris reads:

Shells have been dropping into Arras at intervals today, as they have been for 250 days. Each twenty-four hours a few more buildings crumple or burn, although the Fire Department still is efficient in extinguishing flames.

One thousand civilians out of a former population of 35,000 are still here. There were 4,000 in December when The Associated Press correspondent first visited the town. A few scores of the inhabitants have been killed or wounded, while the others have been persuaded by the military authorities to go away. None of those remaining thinks of sleeping anywhere except in a cellar. The rest of their time they spend out of doors, when no shells are falling.

The streets, which formerly were filled with traffic, are now grass-grown. Two postmen deliver the mail, which comes regularly once a day by military post. Several shops located underground are open for business. Displayed on cellar doors are baskets of fresh vegetables, which can be bought at about the same prices as in Paris. Inside the principal grocery are many standard brands of American, French, and British canned goods.

About half the outer walls of the beautiful City Hall are still standing, but there remains only one jagged corner of the imposing belfry which once adorned the great square of Arras. A citizen occupying a cellar on the other side of the square counted the shells which struck the belfry, and says it took 360 to shatter the beautiful bit of architecture.


An Associated Press dispatch from Paris dated July 13 reports:

Since June 27 the Germans have systematically bombarded various parts of Arras with projectiles of all calibres, says an official communication given out today by the French War Department.

On June 27 the bombardment was extremely violent and was executed by six-inch, eight-inch and seventeen-inch guns, between the hours of 8 A.M. and 2 P.M., and between 6 P.M. and 7:30 P.M. The fire was directed particularly at the citadel and neighboring streets.

On July 3, toward 6:30 o'clock in the evening, a further bombardment took place in which incendiary shells were used, and they started a most violent fire.

On July 5 at 4:30 P.M., the statement continues, the enemy recommenced its bombardment of the city, concentrating its fire upon the environs of the cathedral, more especially upon St. Vaast, the ancient Bishop's palace, which had been transformed into a museum. Incendiary shells set the building on fire, and the use of fuse shells from three-inch and four-inch guns prevented our organizing to combat the fire, which soon assumed great proportions and completely destroyed the palace. During the night there was an intermittent bombardment.

On July 6, about 7 A.M., shells fell on the Cathedral, the roof of which took fire, and, despite the efforts of our troops, was entirely consumed, as were the Cathedral organs.

The departmental archives, which had been deposited in the Palace of St. Vaast, had been placed in the cellar of the palace before the bombardment and were saved. The sacred ornaments and part of the furnishings in the Cathedral were removed.


The French official "Eyewitness" reported on July 15 the French victory in the battle of Metzeral in upper Alsace, as follows:

The operations by which our troops captured the towns of Metzeral and Sondernach, which are situated in the Fecht Valley, have been remarkable because of the means employed and the results obtained, and as the Alpine troops have been forced to surmount all possible difficulties.

Metzeral, the eyewitness explains, is situated in a valley surrounded by high hills, the sides of which dropped precipitously down to the Fecht region. On these hills was stationed artillery, to the rear of which, within easy access, large reinforcements could be massed and brought to the front when needed. He continued:

From prisoners we learned that the Germans considered their position impregnable. It was surrounded by several lines of trenches and barbed wire entanglements. We made long preparations for the attack, concentrating troops and bringing supplies up the Vosges through winding, narrow, and hastily constructed roads, twenty miles in length. New trenches were dug, mines laid, and various other details attended to.

On June 15, after prolonged and heavy artillery fire on both sides of the valley, the attack was begun against Hill 830, on which we captured trenches situated on the slopes, taking two companies prisoners. A portion of the trenches on Braunkopf also fell into our hands.

At Eichwald we gained less, as here the German fortifications were strongest. At Anlass, also, although many grenades were thrown, the fortifications were of such a character as to make it impossible to break through.

On the day following the attack was resumed, with the purpose of gaining us all the positions on Braunkopf and Hill 830. We began at this point to encircle Eichwald, as the road to Metzeral now lay open. The Germans remained at Anlass, where our attack always stopped, and with their fire across the valley on Braunkopf made it impossible for us to proceed.

All our efforts were now concentrated on Anlass. We attacked on June 18 and 19, and on the 20th the German positions fell into our hands. Our troops continued on down the valley, capturing 6 officers, 11 non-commissioned officers, and 140 men.

An attack directed at the same time against Winterhagel, situated to the south of Anlass, was marked by a sad incident. A small group of chasseurs who succeeded in breaking through the barbed-wire entanglements found themselves under a crossfire of quick-firers. The men tried to construct a shelter with the tools they carried. The Germans cried "Surrender!" Not one man answered. The quick-firers accomplished their work, and the men were found lying with faces to the ground, as if they had dropped when drawn up in line for parade.

Our attacks were now centred on Metzeral. The factory at Steinbruck was taken on the night of June 17, and a battalion entered Altenkof the day following. On June 21 our men came down from Braunkopf, surrounded the village on the north, and took the railway station. The Germans in Metzeral, threatened with capture, placed quick-firers in several houses to protect their retreat and prepared to set the place on fire. Our artillery quickly demolished the houses in which German artillery had been placed, and our troops entered the flaming streets from the north and west. The village was burned.

On the two following nights, while our troops harassed the retreating enemy, Winterhagel and Sondernach fell into our hands and our line was established along the length of the valley of the Fecht as far as Sondernach.

The action resulted in the capture of 20 officers, 53 non-commissioned officers, and 638 men.

The Crown Prince in the Argonne

An Associated Press dispatch from Paris stated on June 30 that the German attempt to divert the attention of the French from the latter's offensive in the region north of Arras has been productive of gains in the Argonne, where a three-days' bombardment of the French trenches was followed by the capture of French positions near Bagatelle. Elsewhere, particularly on the Yser, to the north of Arras, north of Verdun and near Metzeral in Alsace, there have been artillery exchanges without notable results.

The dispatch recorded the following French official communication, issued June 30:

In the Argonne, after a bombardment lasting three days, the Germans attacked our positions on the road between Binarville and Le Four de Paris, but were twice repulsed. They succeeded only in their third attack in gaining a foothold in some parts of our lines near Bagatelle, and they were everywhere else thrown back after a violent engagement.

There has been a bombardment on the front north of Verdun, in the Bois d'Ailly, as well as in the region of Metzeral.

On July 4 Berlin's official report said:

In the Argonne the Germans continue their offensive. Our booty has increased considerably, and amounted on July 1 and 2 to 2,556 prisoners—among them 37 officers—25 machine guns, 72 mine throwers, and one revolver gun.

It was reported from London on July 14 that the attack of the German Crown Prince's army in the Argonne, having for its objective the investment of the French forts of the Verdun area, had resulted in an advance of two-thirds of a mile and the capture of 2,581 prisoners and several pieces of artillery, according to German official reports. A communique issued in Paris, while admitting the German success, asserts that nowhere did the assailants gain more than a quarter of a mile and announces that the Crown Prince's offensive had been definitely checked.

Following is the text of the German official statement of July 14:

In the Argonne a German attack resulted in complete success northeast of Vienne-le-Chateau. Our troops took by storm the enemy positions in the hills extending over a width of three kilometers (about a mile and three-quarters) and a depth of one kilometer. Hill No. 285, La Fille Morte, is in our possession. Two thousand five hundred and eighty-one uninjured prisoners, including fifty-one officers, fell into our hands. In addition, 300 wounded were taken under our care. Two field cannon, two revolver cannon, six machine guns, and a large quantity of tools were captured. Our troops advanced as far as the positions of the French artillery and rendered eight cannon useless. These are now standing between the French and German lines.

The official statement issued at Berlin on July 15 says:

The French made repeated attempts yesterday, which lasted into the night, to recapture the positions we took from them in the Forest of Argonne. Notwithstanding the employment of large quantities of ammunition and of strong forces recently brought up, all their attacks broke down. In many places there was bitter fighting with hand grenades and encounters at close quarters.

The enemy paid for his unsuccessful efforts with extraordinarily heavy losses. The number of French prisoners has been increased to 68 officers and 3,688 men.

The success of our troops was all the more remarkable as, according to corresponding statements made by prisoners, the French had prepared for a great attack against our positions on the Argonne front on July 14, their national festival day.

The text of the German official statement published July 16 is as follows:

French attacks delivered yesterday and the day before to the west of the Argonne Forest failed in the face of the North German Landwehr, who inflicted large and sanguinary losses on the enemy in bitter hand-to-hand fighting. We captured 462 prisoners.

Since June 20 our troops have fought continually in the Argonne and to the west of that forest, with the exception of short interruptions. In addition to the gain in territory and booty in materials a total of 116 officers and 7,009 French prisoners has been reached up to the present.

On our front which joins the Argonne to the east, lively artillery battles are in progress. Attacks made by the enemy in this region were repulsed without difficulty.

In a dispatch from Berlin, dated July 16, by Wireless to Sayville, N.Y., it is reported that in the news items given out by the Overseas News Agency was the following:

German military tacticians point out that the German victory in the Forest of Argonne, in France, is of special importance, as it shows that the connections toward Western France are gradually being cut.

The large amount of war materials captured by the Germans in the last battle illustrates the importance attributed to the positions by the French commanders. The French, however, were unable to resist the terrific offensive of the Crown Prince's army.

Gallipoli's Shambles

Allied Operations Around the Turks' Fortress of Achi Baba

The subjoined narratives, official and semi-official, show clearly the formidable nature of the Allies' land undertaking in the attempt to force the passage of the Dardanelles. It will be noted that Compton Mackenzie, the novelist, has temporarily replaced E. Ashmead-Bartlett as the British press "eyewitness" on the peninsula, and that General Sir Ian Hamilton's reports have for the first time begun to appear. A notable sketch of his career appears in the Atlantic Monthly for July by the pen of Alfred G. Gardiner. A poet and a man of romantic ancestry and taste, experienced in commands in India, in Egypt, and in South Africa, General Hamilton was called by the late Lord Roberts the ablest commander in the field. For his qualities of daring and inspiration, as well as for his coolness in directing the complex movements of the battlefield, he was chosen for this most dangerous and bloody of enterprises against the German-officered Turks.[4]

Mr. Mackenzie estimates the losses of the Turks up to June 30 at not less than 70,000. Prime Minister Asquith in the House of Commons, on July 1, announced that the British naval and military losses up to May 31 aggregated 38,635 officers and men. Yet the great fortress of Achi Baba, by that time one of the most powerful in the world, was untaken up to July 20, and the French and British Allies held but a small corner of the area to be conquered.

[Footnote 4: His first report, covering the actions from March 13, when he left London, to May 20, is here omitted because other official reports covering the same period were printed in the June and July numbers of CURRENT HISTORY.]


By Compton Mackenzie

Authorized Press Representative at the Dardanelles.

Dardanelles, via Alexandria, June 30, 1915.

The battle of the Fourth of June ended with substantial progress on our centre, although on our left and on our right, notwithstanding the most violent charges and counter-charges, we were unable to consolidate some of our initial gains. The reason of this may be found in the natural strongholds of the Turkish flanks, natural strongholds that are helped by the most elaborate fortifications.

The British and French line from the Aegean to the Dardanelles is confronted by rising ground that culminates in the centre with the flat summit of Achi Baba, 800 ft. high. On either side the ground falls away to the sea in ravines and dry watercourses (deres), which the Turks have had time to make impregnable to any except those superb troops that are now fighting to pass over them.

There is no room upon the Gallipoli Peninsula to find weak points, and we are now in the position of having to storm an immensely strong fortress, the advanced works of which, by an amazing feat of arms, we already hold, and the glacis of which has to be crossed before we move forward to the assault upon the bastion of Achi Baba and beyond to the final assault upon the very walls of that fortress, the Kilid Bahr Plateau.

Farther up the coast the Australians and New Zealanders have made a lodgment upon one of the strongest advanced works of the Kilid Bahr Plateau. As seen from the northwest here they threaten the communications of the "fortress" and are drawing against them a large part of the garrison. This is composed of the flower of the Turkish Army, and, notwithstanding casualties that must already amount to 70,000, the troops are fighting with gallantry—with desperation, indeed, because they realize that when the bastion of Achi Baba falls the occupation of the Kilid Bahr Plateau becomes a mere question of time, and that when Kilid Bahr falls the doom of Constantinople is at hand. In view of the difficulties—were it not for the landing one would be tempted to say the impossibilities—which confront our men, the gain of a score of yards in the Gallipoli Peninsula may fairly represent for the purposes of comparison a gain of 500 yards in the Western theatre of war. Therefore, to find its importance the gain of 500 yards on June 4 must be measured with affairs like Neuve Chapelle; and the few quiet days that succeeded may be accepted as repose.

After a violent effort on the night of June 11 to 12 there was a brilliant little action by the Border Regiment and the South Wales Borderers which resulted in the gain of two trenches. On the 16th the enemy, led by a Turkish and a German officer, made an assault on the trenches of the 88th Brigade, but were driven off with loss. However, that night the trenches gained by the two regiments on the 11th were heavily bombed, so heavily that our men were forced to retire about 30 yards and dig themselves in. At dawn we were able to enfilade with machine-guns the vacated trenches.

Then the Dublin Fusiliers charged with the bayonet, and once more gave us possession of our gains at heavy cost to the Turks, whose dead filled one trench.

On the evening of the 18th the enemy bombarded very heavily another portion of our trenches on this side of the line. They were evidently attempting in miniature our own methods of Neuve Chapelle and June 4, as immediately after the bombardment they were seen to be massing for an attack. However, the imitation ended rather abruptly at this point, and the affair petered out.

On the evening of the 19th the Turks by a fierce attack, managed to get into an awkward salient which had remained in our hands after June 4. For some time there was great difficulty in recovering this, but the 5th Royal Scots and a company of the Worcesters, led by Lieut.-Colonel Wilson of the former regiment, made a glorious attack, and drove out the Turks.

Of the Royal Scots, one can add nothing but that they are Edinburgh Territorials brought in by the fortune of war to make the twelfth regiment of the immortal 29th Division whose deeds since April 25 might have stirred the ghost of Homer to sing their valour.

Mention has been made already of the difficulties that oppose our advance upon the two flanks. On June 21 it was determined to straighten the line upon the extreme right, and at 1.30 A.M. the preliminary bombardment began. The dawn had been clear, but soon a curtain of silver, through which gleamed the ghost of the rising sun, hung over the Kereves Dere. This was the smoke of bursting shells. Slowly as the sun climbed up the curtain became more substantial. Then it seemed to droop and sweep along the hollows like a vanishing mist of dawn, and during a respite the thin blue smoke of the bivouac fires came tranquilly up into the still air. The respite was very brief, and the bombardment began again with greater fierceness than before. The 75's drummed unceasingly. The reverberation of the 125's and of the howitzers shook the observation post. Over the Kereves Dere, and beyond, upon the sloping shoulders of Achi Baba, the curtain became a pall. The sun climbed higher and higher. All that first mirage of beauty had disappeared, and there was nothing but the monstrous shapes of bursting shells, giants of smoke that appeared one after another along the Turkish lines. All through the morning the cannonade went on.

By noon the Second Division of the French had on the left stormed and captured all the Turkish trenches of the first two lines. Even the Haricot Redoubt, with its damnable entanglements and its maze of communicating trenches, was in French hands. On the right, however, the First Division, after reaching their objective, had been counter-attacked so effectively that they had fallen back. Again they advanced; again they took the trenches; again they were driven out. It began to look as if the victory upon the left would be fruitless, that the position would become an untenable salient and the Haricot Redoubt revert to the enemy.

At this moment a message was sent to say that the trenches must be recaptured, and, when recaptured, held. There were still five hours of daylight for this battle of the longest day. British guns and howitzers were asked for and were lent at once. The bombardment was resumed throughout that afternoon, and at half-past five it seemed as if every gun on earth were pouring shells on the Turkish lines.

At six o'clock the third assault was delivered. In one trench there was a temporary shortage of ammunition, but the enemy fought even with stones and sticks and fists. A battalion came hurrying up from the Turkish right to reinforce it, was caught on open ground by the drumming 75's, and it melted away. Six hundred yards of Turkish trenches were taken, and still the bombardment was continued in order to ward off the counter-attack that was anticipated.

The smoke of the shells, which at dawn had been ethereal, almost translucent, was now, in the sunset, turbid and sinister, yet the sunset was very splendid, flaming in crimson streamers over Imbros, tinting the east with rosy reflections and turning the peaks of Asia to sapphires. It had a peculiar significance on this longest day of the year, crowning as it did those precious five hours of daylight that, for the French, had been fraught with such achievement. Slowly the colour faded out, and now, minute by minute, the flashes of the guns became more distinct; the smoke was merged in the gathering dusk, and away over the more distant Turkish lines the bursts of shrapnel came out like stars against the brief twilight. One knew the anxiety there would be in the darkness that now was falling upon this 21st of June, but in the morning we heard gladly that the enemy's counter-attacks had failed, and that our Allies were indeed firmly established.

The Turkish casualties were at least 7,000. One trench, 200 yards long and 10 feet deep, was brimming over with the dead. They were valiant those dead men. French officers who have fought in the West say that, as a fighting unit, one Turk is worth two Germans; in fact, with his back to the wall, the Turk is magnificent. The French casualties were marvellously few considering what a day it had been, what an enemy was being attacked, and how much had been gained.

The right of the line now commands Kereves Dere, and the profile of Achi Baba seems to write itself less solidly against the sky.


The British Press Bureau on June 30, 1915, issued the following:

General Sir Ian Hamilton reports that the plan of operations on the 28th was to throw forward the left of his line southeast of Krithia, pivoting on a point about one mile from the sea, and after advancing on the extreme left for about half a mile to establish a new line facing east on ground thus gained. This plan entailed the capture in succession of two lines of the Turkish trenches east of the Saghir Dere, and five lines of trenches west of it. The Australian Corps was ordered to co-operate by making a vigorous demonstration.

The action opened at nine o'clock with a bombardment by heavy artillery. The assistance rendered by the French in this bombardment was most valuable.

At 10.20 the Field Artillery opened fire to cut wire in front of Turkish trenches, and this was effectively done. The effect on the enemy's trench near the sea was great. The very accurate fire of his Majesty's ships Talbot, Scorpion and Wolverine succeeded in keeping down his artillery fire from that quarter.

At 10.45 a small Turkish advanced work in the Saghir Dere known as the Boomerang Redoubt was assaulted. This little fort, which was very strongly sited and protected by extra strong wire entanglements, has long been a source of trouble. After special bombardment by trench mortar, and while bombardment of surrounding trenches was at its height, part of the Border Regiment at the exact moment prescribed leapt from their trenches as one man like a pack of hounds, and pouring out of cover raced across, and took the work most brilliantly.

The artillery bombardment increased in intensity till 11 A.M., when the range was lengthened, and infantry advanced. The infantry attack was carried out with great dash along the whole line.

West of Saghir Dere three lines of trenches were captured with little opposition. The trenches were full of dead Turks, many buried by the bombardment, and one hundred prisoners were taken in them.

East of the Ravine the Royal Scots made a fine attack, capturing the two lines of trenches assigned to their objective, but the remainder of the Brigade on their right met with severe opposition and were unable to get forward.

At 11.30 the Royal Fusiliers led its Brigade in the second phase of the attack west of the Ravine. The Brigade advanced with great steadiness and resolution through the trenches already captured, and on across the open, and taking two more lines of trenches reached the objective allotted to them, the Lancashire Fusiliers inclining half-right and forming line to connect with our new position east of the Ravine.

The northernmost objective had now been attained, but the Gurkhas pressing on under the cliffs captured an important knoll still further forward, actually due west of Krithia. This they fortified and held during the night, making our total gain on the left precisely one thousand yards.

During the afternoon the trenches, a small portion of which remained uncaptured on the right, were attacked, but the enemy held on stubbornly supported by machine-guns and artillery, and the attacks did not succeed.

During the night the enemy counter-attacked the furthest trenches gained, but was repulsed with heavy loss. A party of Turks, who penetrated from the flank between two lines of captured trenches, was subjected to machine-gun fire at daybreak, suffered very heavily, and the survivors surrendered.

Except for a small portion of trench already mentioned, which is still held by the enemy, all and more than was hoped for from operations has been gained. On the extreme left the line has been pushed forward to a specially strong point well beyond the limit of the advance originally contemplated.

All engaged did well, but certainly the chief factor in the success was the splendid attack carried out by the 29th Division, whose conduct on this, as on previous occasions, was beyond praise.


The British Press Bureau states on July 1 that, in continuation of his last message respecting the British advance in the Gallipoli Peninsula, Sir Ian Hamilton had reported as follows:

Further details have now been received with regard to the part played by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in the operations of the 29th. As previously stated, the General Officer Commanding the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was instructed to undertake operations with a view to preventing the enemy in his front from detaching troops to the southern area.

Between 11.30 A.M. and 12 noon the action was opened, His Majesty's ships Humber, Pincher, and Chelmer engaging enemy's heavy guns. At 1 P.M. part of the Second Light Horse Brigade and the Third Infantry Brigade moved out on the right of the position, advancing some 700 yards, when the enemy was encountered in strength. Meanwhile the artillery engaged the enemy's reserves, which were collecting in the ravine opposite right centre, by shelling them effectively with guns and howitzers.

About 2.30 P.M. the enemy appeared to be preparing a counter-attack against the left of our advanced troops, but on howitzer and machine-gun fire being turned on the enemy's attacks were easily repulsed. The retirement of the advanced troops was begun at 3 P.M., well covered by rifle, machine-gun, and artillery fire, and the troops were all back in the trenches between 4.30 and 5.30 P.M.

Our machine-guns and artillery did considerable execution. Naval gun fire also gave valuable assistance. Demonstrations made after dark at 8.45 and 11.30 P.M. with flares, star shell, and destroyer bombardment were successfully carried out.

The Eighth Corps report 180 prisoners taken since the morning of the 28th, namely, 38 of the Sixteenth Regiment, 139 of the Thirty-third Regiment, and three of the Thirteenth Regiment. A Circassian prisoner carried a wounded private of Royal Scots into our lines under fire.


Sir Ian Hamilton reported, as published by the British Press Bureau on July 6, the following details of the attack made by the Turks on the night of 29th-30th June:

About 2 A.M. searchlights of His Majesty's ship Scorpion discovered half a Turkish battalion advancing near the sea northwest of Krithia. Scorpion opened fire, and few of the enemy got away. Simultaneously the enemy attacked the knoll we captured due west of Krithia, advancing from a nullah in close formation in several lines. The attack came under artillery and enfilade rifle fire, and the enemy lost heavily. The foremost Turks got within forty yards of the parapet, but only a few returned.

The Turks made several heavy bomb attacks during the night, our troops being twice driven back a short distance. Early in the morning we regained these trenches by bayonet attack, and they have since been strengthened.

At 5.30 A.M. 2,000 Turks, moving from Krithia into the ravine, were scattered by machine-gun fire. The operations reflect great credit on the vigilance and accurate shooting of His Majesty's ship Scorpion. The Turkish losses in the nullah and ravine are estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 dead.

About 10 P.M. on the 30th of June the Turks again attacked with bombs a portion of the most northerly trench captured by us on 28th. An officer of the Gurkhas being wounded, not dangerously as it turned out, the men became infuriated, flung all their bombs at the enemy, and then charging down out of the trench used their kukris for the first time and with excellent effect. About dawn the Turks once more attempted an attack over the open, but nearly the whole of these attacking forces, about half a battalion, were shot down, and a final bomb attack, though commenced, failed utterly.

Further reports from Australia and New Zealand Corps, as to the enemy's attack on 29th-30th on our right flank, state that the action commenced by very heavy fire from midnight till 1.30 A.M., to which our men only replied by a series of cheers. The Turks then launched their attack, and came right on with bayonet and bombs. Those who succeeded in getting into our saps were instantly killed; the remainder were dealt with by bomb and rifle fire from the 7th and 8th Light Horse. By 2 A.M. the enemy broke, and many were killed while withdrawing. The enemy's attack was strongest on his right. They were completely taken aback by a concealed sap constructed well ahead of our main line, and the dead are lying thickly in front of this. Some got into the sap and several across it; all these were wiped out by fire from the main parapet farther back.

Following the defeat of this attack, the enemy attacked at 3 A.M. on our left, and 30 men came over the parapets in front of the right of Quinn's Post. These were duly polished off. Prisoners brought in state that three fresh battalions were employed in the main attack, which was made by the personal order of Enver Pasha, who, as they definitely assert, was present in the trenches on June 29. This is confirmed by the statement of an intelligent Armenian prisoner captured on that date. According to him, stringent orders were recently issued that no further attacks were to be made, because if the Turks remained on the defensive the British would be forced to attack, and would suffer as severely as the Turks had hitherto suffered. But Enver Pasha, when he arrived in the northern section, overrode this instruction, and orders were received by the prisoner's regiment that the Australians were to be driven into the sea.

On July 2, after a heavy bombardment of our advanced positions by high explosives and shrapnel, lasting half an hour, the enemy infantry advanced, but were driven back to the main nullah about a mile to our front by the accurate shooting of His Majesty's ship Scorpion and by our rifle and machine-gun fire. About 7 P.M. the Turkish artillery recommenced their bombardment, under cover of which two battalions emerged from the nullah to the northeast of our most advanced trench and commenced an attack across the open, advancing in two regular lines. At the outset very effective shrapnel fire from the 10th Battery Royal Field Artillery caused great execution among the attackers. Gurkha supports then advanced, and there being insufficient room in trenches took up a position on some excavated earth in rear, whence deadly rifle fire was poured into the advancing lines. Turkish officers could be seen endeavouring to get their men forward, but they would not face the fire and retreated in disorder after suffering heavy casualties.

The ground in front of our trenches in every direction can be seen covered with Turkish dead, and patrols sent out at night report that the valleys and ravine are also full of them. There can be no possible doubt that the enemy's losses have been very heavy. After checking and counter-checking reports from all sources, I put down their total casualties between June 28 and July 2 at 5,150 killed and 15,000 wounded. The number of killed is, therefore, approximately correct, while the wounded is an estimate based partly on the knowledge of the number already reported arrived at Constantinople, and on experience of proportion of wounded to killed in previous engagements. Since June 29 the total amount of Turkish arms and ammunition collected is 516 rifles, 51 bayonets, 200 sets of equipment, 126,400 rounds of ammunition, 100 bombs.

The following is an extract from captured divisional orders: "There is nothing that causes us more sorrow, increases the courage of the enemy, and encourages him to attack more freely, causing us great losses, than the losing of these trenches. Henceforth commanders who surrender these trenches, from whatever side the attack may come, before the last man is killed will be punished in the same way as if they had run away. Especially will the commanders of units told off to guard a certain front be punished if, instead of thinking about their work, supporting their units and giving information to the higher command, they only take action after a regrettable incident has taken place.

"I hope that this will not occur again. I give notice that if it does I shall carry out the punishment. I do not desire to see a blot made on the courage of our men by those who escape from the trenches to avoid the rifle and machine-gun fire of the enemy. Henceforth I shall hold responsible all officers who do not shoot with their revolvers all the privates who try to escape from the trenches on any pretext. Commander of the 11th Div., Colonel Rifaat."

To the copy from which this extract was taken the following note is appended: "To Commander of the 1st Battalion. The contents will be communicated to the officers, and I promise to carry out the orders till the last drop of our blood has been shed. Sign and return. Signed. Hassan, Commander, 127th Regiment. Then follow signatures company commanders."


The British Press Bureau on July 7 issued this report by General Ian Hamilton:

The night of July 3-4 was quiet in the northern section, but at 4 A.M. the enemy started a heavy bombardment of the trenches. All the guns previously used against us, and some new ones, were in action, but the bombardment died away about 6 A.M. without doing much damage. During the bombardment about twenty 11.2-inch shells were dropped from a Turkish battleship in the strait.

In the southern section the Turks kept up a heavy musketry fire along the whole line during the night and did not leave their trenches. At 4 A.M. their batteries started the most violent bombardment that has yet been experienced. At least 5,000 rounds of artillery ammunition were expended by them.

Meanwhile this shelling of our lines on the peninsula proved the preliminary to a general attack on our front with special efforts at certain points. The principal effort was made at the junction of the Royal Naval Division section with that of the French.

Here, at 7.30 A.M., the Turks drove back our advanced troops and assaulted a portion of the line held by the Royal Naval Division. Some fifty Turks gained a footing in our trench, where, nevertheless, some men of the Royal Naval Division held on to our supports, and the men who had retired counter-attacked immediately and hurled the Turks out of the trench again.

Another attack on the right of the Twenty-ninth Division section, was practically wiped out by rifle and machine-gun fire. On our left the Turks massed in a nullah, to the northeast of our newly-captured trenches, and attempted several attacks. None of these was able to get home owing to the steadiness of our troops and our effective artillery support. The bombardment died down toward 11 A.M., though it was resumed at intervals.

Not only was the result a complete failure, but while our losses were negligible and no impression was made on our line, the enemy added a large number to his recent very heavy casualties. It seems plain from the disjointed nature of his attack that he is finding it difficult to drive his infantry forward to face our fire.


In a dispatch by George Renwick to The London Daily Chronicle, dated at Lemnos, July 11, the following description of fighting, followed by heavy Turco-German casualties, appeared:

The heaviest fighting which has taken place on Gallipoli Peninsula since the allied forces landed there began late on Tuesday and lasted well into Wednesday. It resulted in a swing forward of the southern line of the allied armies for five furlongs and in the infliction of staggering losses on the enemy. Those who were in the battle place the Turco-German casualties at 7,000 killed and from 14,000 to 15,000 wounded. Many prisoners were taken.

The whole army in the southern part of the peninsula was engaged, and the Australians and New Zealanders further north also played a part. The victory marks a definite stage in the initial work of throwing forces around Achi Baba, which may now be described as one of the strongest fortresses in the world.

The Allies had been resting in comparative tranquillity and the Turks had evidently become persuaded the enemy was experiencing a shortage of ammunition. This belief convinced them of the excellent opportunity of driving the invaders into the sea. Late Tuesday night the first signs of the enemy's movement were detected. No time was lost in flashing a warning message to headquarters. The French were soon alert and the artillery at that portion of the line against which the attack was being prepared was quickly and strongly reinforced.

French and British machine guns were rushed to the front until a perfect wall of heavy and light guns was in position. Then there came a short interval of silence and waiting, almost oppressive. Suddenly the stillness was broken by a tremendous burst of shells from the Turkish guns, and for a time shrapnel poured down on the French front. But the men were safely positioned in dugouts and little loss resulted. From the strait loud booming began. The battered Goeben was at work again, and during the bombardment she pounded our right with some forty 11-inch shells. Many did not burst—they were apparently of Turkish manufacture.

This hail of shells lasted just an hour and a half and was the severest bombardment to which our lines have been subjected during the weeks of struggle on the peninsula. No sooner had the heavy fire ceased than great solid masses of Turks leaped forward to the attack. On they came, the silence unbroken save for their shouts, until they reached a point within sixty or seventy yards of the French position. Then from 200 well placed machine guns a devastating answering fire burst from our Allies' trenches, and the rifles joined in, 20,000 of them. The big guns flared and cast a lurid light over the scene.

Italy's War on Austria

Second Month Closes with Offensive Operations in Swing Against Gorizia

On July 23, after two months of her war against Austria, an appraisement may be taken of Italy's extensive and business-like preparation for the conflict. Rapidly the passes leading to the Trentino, Carinthia, Friuli, and the valley of the Isonzo were secured, almost over night; and then, with the regularity of a railway time-table, the Italians began their hard, patient work, in hitherto impassable regions, of neutralizing the Trentino, so as to make impossible an invasion from that territory, and of linking up their columns along the Isonzo, so that now, at the beginning of August, a battle-front of seventy-five miles extending from Tarvis to the Adriatic, is ready to move eastward in the direction of Klagenfurt, beyond which there are no Austrian fortifications until Vienna is reached, 170 miles away—about as far as Cape Cod is from New York City. The right flank of this battle-front has been developed along the Carso plateau so as to neutralize, as the Trentino was neutralized, the Peninsula of Istria with the great commercial port of Trieste, the naval base of Pola, and the Hungarian Free City of Fiume.

The Italian field of activity saw during the week ended July 24 the blazing out of the Italian offensive. Italy apparently was then satisfied that all the passages by means of which Austria could pour troops to attack her rear are effectively stopped and has therefore begun a determined advance along the Isonzo front from Tarvis to the Adriatic, with the object of breaking down completely Austria's first defensive screen. The battle is, as is natural, centring around Gorizia.

Once Gorizia falls, the Italian problem in so far as Trieste is concerned, will be near solution. The Italians have made notable advances in Cadore and along the Isonzo, on the plateau of Carso. But Gorizia must be taken before a decided local victory can be recorded. The fighting has not progressed as yet to the point where definite information is available, but in late July it seemed to have reached the culminating stage. The surroundings of Gorizia, which is the key to the Isonzo district and the junction of five main roads and four main railway lines, are protected with all manner of fortifications. The official report from Rome on June 25 recorded the Italian occupation of Globna, north of Plava, and of the edge of the plateau between Sagrado and Monfalcone. From that date reports from Vienna recorded continuous and heavy Italian attacks from the bridgehead at Goritz to the sea. The correspondent of the Berliner Tageblatt at the Isonzo front reported on July 7 that the second great Italian offensive had forced its way into the Austrian line at Podzora—a height covering the bridgehead at Goritz—and at Vermegliano, between Doberdo and Monfalcone. A Geneva dispatch, dated July 14, reported the capture by the Italians of two miles of trenches in the Carnic Alps, the Alpine troops dragging their artillery to an altitude of 6,600 feet near Roskopel, and capturing to the south of Gorizia two important forts. On July 16 a dispatch from Rome told of a war council at the front held by King Victor Emmanuel and Premier Salandra, with Count Cadorna, Chief of the General Staff, and General Porro, his chief assistant. A Vienna official dispatch of that date reported increased artillery activity in the coast district and in Carinthia. Two passes at a height of over 10,000 feet were taken by the Italians at Venerodolol and Brizio, as reported July 17, and on July 18 they began an advance in Cadore, attacking a ring of powerful forts at a great height at Paneveggio, San Pelegrino, Monet, Livinallongo, and Tresassi, while Goritz was shelled from land and air.

Then began, on July 20, a great general Italian assault on a 75-mile line from Tarvis to the Adriatic shore. A dispatch from Turin from the correspondent of The London Daily Chronicle announced a victorious advance by the Italians on the Carso plateau, east of Sagrado, with the capture of 2,000 Austrian prisoners. The War Office in Rome reported on July 21 that while the Italian defense continued to develop energetically in Cadore, and the artillery was effectively working in Carnia, the struggle in the Isonzo zone continued with increasing intensity. Toward Goritz the Italians gained part of the line of the heights which form the right bank of the river commanding the town and the Isonzo bridges. On the Carso Plateau the Austrians were reported driven from some trenches, and 3,500 prisoners and much material captured. On July 22 the fall of Goritz and Tolmino was reported to be near, the War Office in Rome announcing a development of the offensive "along the whole front from Monte Nero to the Carso Plateau. Vienna reported that the heavy attacks were being repulsed. But on July 23 the official report from Rome for the first time declared that the Italian armies in the battle along the whole Isonzo front were achieving success," which was "constantly becoming more clearly apparent." On July 24 a dispatch from Udine said that General Cadorna was personally directing the battle in the presence of King Victor Emmanuel and the Duke of Aosta. A Milan dispatch to The London Daily News on July 25 reported the evacuation of Goritz by the Austrian General Staff in view of the imminence of its fall. Below appears a prospective account of Italy's formidable task, written on July 1 by an Italian correspondent of The London Morning Post.

The Task of Italy

[By a Special Correspondent of The London Morning Post]

Cormons, July 1.

The Italian battle for the conquest of the fortified lines on the Isonzo and the entrenched camps of Gorizia is one of the most important in the European conflict. The battle of the Isonzo is not to be regarded as a mere episode, but a prolonged siege over a front of more than a hundred miles of a natural fortress, consisting of a chain of precipitous mountains. Perhaps never before in a European war has the value of individual qualities been shown so conclusively as by the Italian troops in this war. The very steep cliffs, which are almost perpendicular, along the course of the river are almost impossible to scale. The mountain passes which open along the river are very few and also narrow. In addition the geological nature of that district, composed of strong walls of granite towers, which dominate the River Isonzo, is favorable to its defence.

To this natural defense have been added strong fortifications built by the Austrians during past years in anticipation of being used for the subjugation of Italians at some time or other. Finally, during the last nine months of Italy's neutrality the Austrians have employed the latest technical improvements in defensive warfare, and I have never seen their equal during my excursions to the front in France and Belgium, not even at Antwerp. This remark applies especially to Carso and Gorizia.

The artillery officers of the Italian Military Staff whom I met at the front have explained to me the nature of the Austrian defensive works. Upon the Carso and around Gorizia the Austrians have placed innumerable batteries of powerful guns mounted on rails and protected by armor plates. Numerous other artillery advantages are possessed by the Austrians in the form of medium and smaller guns, though the efficiency of their action is modified by the long distances separating the armies.

In view of these advantages possessed by the Austrians, the Italians have accomplished marvels and are worthy of great admiration. The infantry is much exposed while crossing large and deep rivers. With the exception of the two positions of Podgora and Sabotino, all the Austrian line on the Isonzo has been taken by the Italians.

To the conquest of Gorizia are directed the efforts of the Eastern Italian Army. The Italian infantry which crossed the Isonzo ran against a net of trenches which the Austrians had excavated and constructed in cement all along the edge of the hills which dominate the course of the river. These trenches, already occupying a position nearly impregnable because so mountainous, are defended by every modern protective device. They are armed with numerous machine-guns surrounded by wire entanglements, through which runs a strong electric current. These lines of trenches follow without interruption from the banks of the Isonzo to the summit of the mountains which dominate it. They form a kind of formidable staircase, which must be conquered step by step with enormous sacrifice. The Italian troops have accomplished this marvel.

The crossing of the Isonzo and the conquest of the first mountainous positions were accomplished by the Italians in four strategic places: At Caporetto, at Tolurino, at Plava, and at Sagrado. These four places, situated in the strong line of Austrian defense, are about twenty miles distant from one another. The chain of fortifications of which Gorizia is a center was broken in these four essential points. The immediate effect has been the disorganization of the defensive plans of the enemy. The crossing of the river was accomplished generally at night, and was conducted with a rapidity which took the enemy by surprise. Complete regiments crossed in the night upon light bridges constructed in a short time by the engineers, whose technical skill was equal to their audacity. These "bridge-heads," which were constructed with incredible courage, made possible an attack by the reinforcements which followed them. When these came in contact with the lower lines of the Austrian trenches they attacked the defenders in such a way that the latter were unable to impede seriously the more important work of the construction of strong bridges.

Two Devoted Nations


The subjoined letter, dedicated by the Belgian writer to stricken Poland, was received on July 12, 1915, by the Polish Relief Committee of New York, of which Mme. Marcella Sembrich is President.

In the Name of Belgium I Bring the Homage of a Martyred Nation to the Nation Crucified:

Of all the people engaged in this frightful war, Poland and Belgium will have suffered most, and we must add (though all the horrors of war are most revolting) they will have suffered most innocently. They are two victims of their innocence and grandeur of soul.

In misfortune and in glory their fates are the same. One, in sacrificing herself wholly to a cult, to an unparalleled passion for honor, has by breaking the first blow of barbarous invasion probably saved Europe, just as the other, the older sister, in grief and heroism several centuries ago saved Europe many times.

They are now joined forever in the memory of men. Across the combats and the sorrows which they are now enduring their hands meet in the same sacrifice, in the same invincible hope. Today these countries are but ruins. Nothing remains of them. They appear to be dead. But we, who are their sons and who know them as we know our mother, we know, we feel in our hearts, that they were never more alive, never purer, never more beautiful.

After having offered to the world a great example of pride, of abnegation, of heroism, they are again giving to it a deeper lesson, a more valuable, a more efficacious one. They are proving that no misfortune counts, that nothing is lost while the soul does not abdicate. The powers of darkness will never prevail against the forces of light and love that are leading humanity towards the heights which victory is already making clear to us on the horizon.

Rumania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece

Comment About Continued Neutrality from the Balkan and Russian Capitals

An elaborate argument that Italy is about to co-operate with the Allies at the Dardanelles in order to influence Greece and the Balkan States generally to intervene against the Germanic Powers appeared in The Frankfurter Zeitung near the close of June. A dispatch from Bucharest on July 12 announced that Austria had made concessions to Rumania in the hope of averting intervention by that Power, accompanying the offer with an ultimatum setting a month for Rumania's reply. The German Social-Democratic paper Vorwaerts published on July 17 a statement that Rumania had definitely refused to permit German arms and ammunition to traverse her territory to Turkey. This shows a distinct turning away from the German propaganda in that kingdom, which on May 26 spoke through the editorial columns of Moldova, a daily of Bucharest, as follows:

We must tread in the path opened to us by the late King Carol and the great Rumanian statesmen. We must always be attached to the Central European Powers, from which we shall secure the fulfillment of our aspirations, on that day when we shall move against Russia.

From Lupte, a Nationalist daily of Bucharest, a definite declaration of the kingdom's policy was demanded on June 4:

The smaller a nation is the more dangerous to her existence are diplomatic intrigues. Mr. Bratiano's Government has for the past eight months been coquetting with Petrograd as well as with Berlin and Vienna. With which side are we in this war? The two belligerent groups are asking this and the same question is asked of Bulgaria and Greece. We must have a sound national policy, for in this most modern war there is no profit in the old Machiavellian tactics.

That a crisis is approaching in Balkan affairs is clearly indicated in an editorial warning headed "Beware, ye Balkan Peoples!" appearing on May 29 in Dnevnik, an independent Bulgarian daily of Sofia. It says:

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