A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 275

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A FRENCH SUCCESS


were constructed by them at Mouzon, and they began to develop an advance along the whole Meuse front, and to push south from Remilly and Sedan, but suffered a severe repulse at Noyers. This caused so much alarm to the German 4th army command that he demanded aid from the 3rd army (Hausen), stating that the Sth corps had been brought to a complete standstill south of Sedan. Hausen, however, was ordered by the supreme command to march south-west, and he did not go to the 4th army's aid. His advance towards Signy I’Abbaye, nevertheless, brought him on the flank of the French 4th army. On the night of August 27, Langle de Cary issued orders to the French to resume the battle next day, and drive the Germans backintotheMeuse. TheGermanswereattackingontheFrench right, where their advance from the Meuse became most threaten- ing, and on the French left, where they were held in check with severefightinginthedirectionofSignyI'Abbaye. Inthecentre, the French troops gained ground towards Sedan, and German troops recrossed the Meuse. In the early morning, and again in the early afternoon, a fresh cry for aid was addressed by the German 4*th army to Hausen, with the warning that the Germans had been compelled to withdraw their left towards Olizy. Hausen, therefore, ordered his 12th and 19th corps to move south- east on the 28th, The French had won a distinct success, handling the German 4th army very severely, and had tlieir reserves been thrown in, it is possible tliat the}^ might have gained a great victory, as the German 5th army was paralysed by orders from Moltke to be ready to send troops to Russia. The situation was generally good on the French front, but Langle, in view of Joflre's orders for a retreat, was obliged to fall back on the Aisne, to the immense disappointment of his troops. He had, in fact, con- sidering himself victorious, asked permission to continue the battle. Theanswerfromgeneralheadquartershadbeen We see no objection to your keeping your positions to- morrow (August 28), in order to assist our success and to prove that our falling back is merely strategic ; but on August 29 everybody must be in retreat. He retired rapidly, abandoning a great extent of country and the Argonne, where there were many opportunities of fighting delaying actions. His ^conduct of the battle has been severely criticised by French authorities, who blame him for failing to utilise great opportunities to deliver the counter-attacks which

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