The Great Battle

Germans Making Progress

Stubborn French Resistance

Confidence as to Final Result

Terrible Enemy Losses

SEVERAL alternative organisations of the great German offensive in the neighbourhood of Verdun were offered here yesterday, and they are all reproduced by military and other critics in the morning newspapers, so that, although the Germans may be a little nearer their immediate objective, we are just as far away from understanding the considerations which have dictated their strategy.

That Von Falkenhayn, the master Teutonic mind, has more up his sleeve than he has yet led us down seems likely, and it is possible that he is essaying somewhat difficult feat of killing two birds with one stone.

The “News and Leader” points out, as we had yesterday, that the whole situation of the Central Powers in the Balkans has undergone a viable change for the worse that the break up of Turkey may at any time bring Romania and Greece in and force Bulgaria to her knees, and this is the point that “this is a contingency which would be disastrous to German prestige that it may be felt no price is too high to counter it in time.”

The same writer also reproduced the suggestion that the Germans, with their doctrinaire belief in the value of the offensive in warfare may hint that the best way to check and concludes the coming Allied offensive is by a violent attack of their own.

The “Daily Telegraph” remarks that the enemy may be testing the strength of those opposed to him or, in the alternative “these theatrical mature intended to impress neutral countries with an idea of the immense Teutonic strength or at least to reassure the inhabitants of Berlin, who may have been more than a little depressed of the recent tide of Russian victories.”

The “Times” Paris correspondent states that the remains which had led the Germans to attack Verdun are believe in France to be lynastic. The Crown Prince commands the flower of the troops in the West, asks for no supplies in vain is in normal control and he and the kaiser hope to restore their waning prestige by a success which shall strike the popular imagination.

It will be seen that no new theory has been advanced, and as in all probability, there is but one real explanation, all, or at the best all, but one, those put in must be ruled out as incorrect.

If the movement which has now culminated in a grand offensive commenced as early as we are beginning to believe it did, the fall of Erzerum did no more than hasten its development; if, as we are also inclined to believe, Romania’s decision was arrived at some weeks ago, the new peril in the East cannot be adduced as the cause, as the time for an attempt to influence the Balkan State would have gone by; the weather cannot be the determining factor for Von Falkenhayn has selected a time when the proportion of men who die from wounds and exposure is vastly greater than it would be a few weeks hence.