First two days
No decisive result
Great hopes of ultimate victory
British losses not heavy
MUCH, perhaps everything depends on the next few days. When news was to hand that the first line of defence at Namur had been taken and that a portion of the allied troops had been withdrawn and realigned on their original defensive position on the French frontier, it was like a cold douche on our highest hopes.
But it prepared us for the intelligence that followed soon afterwards, the news of the capitulation of the entire place. This was a severe blow and the only consolation was the discovery that Namur had apparently been fighting independently of the armies and that the disposition of the French British line had not been made without taking into account the possibility of Namur’s impossibility to remain an obstacle to the German advance.
The troops had been detached to check the advancing infantry and there are indications that their withdrawal was effected in good order.
As to the progress of the great battle itself we have really not much to go on. Certain facts stand out with sufficient clarity but general conclusions are wisely withheld. The Germans claim a great victory and the advantage certainly appears to rest with them but it has to be said that after two days of fighting, their proper objective has not been achieved. The battering ram attack has failed to effectively pierce the Allies’ lines and make open that much desired and vitally needed path into France.
It may be taken for granted that the battle is still raging as the Germans cannot afford to delay their second stroke. The experience of the last two days must have done a great deal towards shattering the Germans’ illusion as to their invincibility and as it is unlikely that they can do more than advance in France slowly and painfully, the eventual overthrow of Germany’s ambitious plans may confidently be reckoned upon.
The great battle opening stages
British troops participate and do excellent work
The brightest and most inspiring chapter in yesterday’s story is the authentic narrative, brief but stirring of the plucky stand made by the British in Sunday’s fighting. Our troops, we are told held their ground throughout that sanguinary day and indeed until darkness fell over the scene, it is claimed that there are 4,000,000 men in the front line and an equal number in the second.
It will take a day to wake the English said a French General, and years to put them to sleep again.
It appears that in the first 24 hours of the battle that will decide the fate of Europe, the British have effectively opened their eyes – and the yes of the enemy too! Today or tomorrow we may learn much more.