Verdun Triumph: Five Months’ German Work Undone.

Great French Achievement.

Roumania Hard Pressed: Orderly Retirement from Constanza.

DISAGREEABLE events are occurring in the Dobrudja and, apparently, also in the Translyvanian Alps, but, observes a military writer this morning, “it would be well for those who are worrying themselves about Roumania to turn their eyes to the principal theatre of war, where we are up against the cream of the Germany Army, fighting on equal terms and where the most pessimistic should find cause for gratification.”

“The British temperament,” he had remarked earlier, “is a peculiar one. For all that frivolity with which the German reproaches us, war brings us little but a succession of ‘humps’ at irregular intervals.

The only happenings which stir our emotions are unpleasant happenings. We are rather exacting in the matter of victories, and we show no disposition to grow wildly elated at events which would decorate Berlin with flags and fill the ambient air with the music of joy bells.”

On the Somme front since the beginning of July we have put out of action considerably more than 300,000 Germans - enthusiastic soldiers say considerably more than 450,000 - but we may take the lesser figures for our purpose.

We have taken by storm not far short of a hundred fortified places, trench lines, redoubts, woods and works; we have taken about 75,000 prisoners, we have buried with a spade or with our shells many more, we have exhausted (the French and the British together) 60 enemy divisions and we have eaten a big hole in the crust of his main western defence.

Yet there has been, on the whole, exhilaration as a result of our successes anywhere near as poignant as the disappointment which people have felt as a result of the taking by the Germans of the town of Constanza, although it would appear that our enemy has not, at the moment of writing, achieved his strategical objective, which is the seizure of the Cernavoda bridge.

Since the above was written news has come through which demonstrates once again the magnificent qualities of the French in the art of war. Five months terribly costly work by the Germans has been undone, in one triumphant swoop gains which had been heralded in Germany as signifying the complete defeat of France have been wrested from the enemy’s hands, and a shock given to Teutondom which will bring down all the flags so hastily hung out to celebrate the capture of empty Constanza.

Last night’s communique shows that, attacking on the whole Verdun line, on a front of over 4 1/2 miles, our Allies broke through the German line everywhere to a maximum depth of nearly two miles.

In this splendid advance they captured the village and fort of Douaumont, rushed the quarries of Haudromont, and established themselves along the road from Bras to Douaumont.

During these operations 3,500 prisoners were taken, including about 100 officers and more are pouring in.

That this brilliant feat was accomplished at comparatively small loss is an evidence at once of superior French strategy and of a demoralised enemy.

The official report was worded as follows: On the Verdun front, after intense artillery preparation, the projected attack on the right bank of the Meuse was developed at 11.40 this morning. The enemy line, attacked on a front of seven kilometres, was everywhere broken through to a depth which at the centre reach three kilometres. The village and fort of Douaumont are in our possession.