A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 167

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A FIGHT DESCRIBED


trains waiting about five miles from the town. They rushed on them, and were carried to Brussels, where their tale of pillage, death andwoecausedconsternation. On Wednesday, August 19, the Belgian field army made a stand at Louvain itself. The Belgians had chosen their position w(‘U, and it was expected that they would oiler a stubborn resist- ance. Aftersomefighting,however,theBelgianforcessuddenly retired. They had been beaten all along the line by the force oftheGermanonset. TheGermanswereshowingthequalities wliichweretocarrythemsofarlaterinthewar. Thereckless- ness in advancing, the wholesale sacrifice of life, the powerful artillery fire concentrated on central points, the innumerable machinegunsandtheaeroplanes,helpedthemtovietpry. Amcftig the many descriptions of individual fights one fragment, by Raymond Coulson, stands out: The Belgian lancers, six hundred, were out scouting. •As they were trotting down a long road they suddenly sighted the enemy and began to charge. On the left, •they came un- expectedly^ on a large, deep hole that threw a considerable part of their line into disorder. Then, entirely without warning, there ljurst over on the front the sharp, terrible roar of the mitrailleuses. The cavalry were funning into a nest of little Maxim guns the Germans had brought up on horses. They rode until their saddles were emptied. We saw them in a sdiallhollow. Twominuteslateranumberofriderlesshorses scattering widely over the country’^side told us what they^ were meeting. Yetinthefaceofthatstreamofleadtheyactually^ (lismounted and tried, with carbines, to worry the Maxims. At the same time they found themselves exposed to infantry fire from the woods. They came back at a gallop, a small scatteredremnantofthehost. AtthesamemomentGerman gunsbegantoopenuparoundthesemicircleofhorizon. Shells burst like puffballs on green fields, searching our wide front. The thunder of big guns, the rhythmic beat of pom-poms, the roar of mitrailleuses, and the rattle of rifle fire came suddenly^ from ahead all the way from right to left. Around the sky^- line village after village went up in a pillar of smoke. The German advance was irresisitiblo. The Belgian troops in attemptingtostay’itlostveryheavily^. Threeregimentswere almost annihilated. In the end the Belgian field army was for the time broken, and withdrew in the direction of the fort^ ofAntwerptofindprotectionthere. Brussels,thecapital,was left open to the foe. Following the attacks on Li<f^ge, the German emperor made another effort to win the Belgians to his side. He approached

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