Gain Upon Gain.

Brilliant French Success.

Where Will the Blow Fall?

THE brilliant French offensive north of the Somme continues, and the latest news from the scene of the action shows that results of great importance have been achieved.

With magnificent dash our Allies have carried position after position, village after village, until they are now well across the Combles-Peronne road, so important to the enemy, and the most furious counter-attacks have failed to weaken their hold.

A broad wedge had now been driven right in between the two strong German positions of Combles to the north and Peronne to the south, while the British guns at Ginchy sweep the road from Combles towards Bapaume.

This means that Combles is completely isolated: that the “pincers” method of attack is prospering; and that the position should be added to the Allies’ list of gains.

The important town of Peronne may, also, be the scene of a determined attack but it is to be feared that, like many another place of historic interest, destruction will be the prelude to capture.

Moreover, it must be borne in mind that since the “Great Push” began the Germans have probably greatly strengthened their rearward defences so as to oppose a succession of powerful defences should they be compelled to retreat.

As it is, they are losing heavily on the Western front, in positions, in material and in men.

Two hundred guns, 647 machine guns and 54,000 men are the booty claimed since July 1 in the Somme region and at Verdun.

The All Highest, with his Chancellor, has been in conference at the Eastern Front Headquarters with certain of his Allies, including the King and Crown Prince of Bulgaria, with their military advisers, and Enver Pasha, generalissimo of the Turkish armies.

According to some reports Austria-Hungary is not represented in the conference.

The Frankfurter Zeitung, expatiating on the importance of the conference between Germany, Bulgaria and Turkey, says a problem is now being resolutely dealt with which had for a long time greatly interested the German public, namely, the new regulation of affairs in the Balkans and the securing of Germans interests there.

Meanwhile, it may be assumed, Von Hindenburg is arriving at a final decision regarding the strategy to be employed – shall blow upon blow be delivered all along the line?

Or shall the main effort be concentrated on one or more sections of it?

Naturally, Hindenburg’s preference would be for the East, where he has scored so many successes, although there is the possibility that his visit to France and Flanders had modified the views ascribed to him.

On the other hand, there are many who believe that he is preparing to strike heavily at the Russians, and more especially, perhaps, at the Roumanians.

If so, it may mean a more or less defensive attitude in the West and on the Austro-Italian front, particularly cutting the loss at Verdun, and withdrawing a large contingent of the picked troops, the flower of the German Army sent against the French and English on the Somme.

There is not one German division to be spared from the East for the West says the military correspondent for the The Times.