A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 249

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THE FIGHT AT LANDRECIES


to continue his retirement immediately. So he gave orders to fight on the ridge south of the Le Cateau-Cambrai road. Before entering into a description of that action, two incidents of Sir Douglas Haig's retirement must be recorded. When established on their new line at about dusk on the evening of the 25th, rumours reached regimental officers that the Germans were approaching Maroilles and Landrecies, near which places lay the two main passages over the Sambre. These rumours, at first discredited, turned out to be correct, and the evening saw two defensive actions. At Maroilles, about 6 p.m., German patrols engageM our cavalry patrol, and with the assistance of field artillery forced them to fall back. Rein forcements from the Berk- shire Regiment, when attempting to recover the lost bridge, found that it had been heavily barricaded, and the only access to it was under fire of a field gun. After considerable losses they were obliged to abandon the attempt. Meanwhile, at Landrecies, where reports of the proximity of the enemy had at first been disbelieved, the 4th Guards brigade were sharply attacked by an advance body of the 9th German corpswhohadcomeintothetownfromtheMormalforest. The fighting took place in the streets of the little town, and machine- guns were brought into play. The British, reinforced, finally drove the Germans froin the town after a six hours' battle. In both these actions the Germans secured some minor advantage by challenging and answering challenges in French,

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