During the second half of November the enemy, exhausted and having lost in the Battle of Ypres alone more than 150,000 men, did not attempt to renew his effort, but confined himself to an intermittent cannonade. We, on the contrary, achieved appreciable progress to the north and south of Ypres, and insured definitely by a powerful defensive organization of the position the inviolability of our front.
[The compiler of the report here adds a footnote saying that the bodies of more than 40,000 Germans were found on the battlefield during these three weeks of battle. The report next proceeds to summarize the character and results of the operations since the Battle of Flanders—that is, during the period Nov. 30-Feb. 1.]
Since the former date the French supreme command had not thought it advisable to embark upon important offensive operations. It has confined itself to local attacks, the main object of which was to hold in front of us as large a number of German corps as possible, and thus to hinder the withdrawal of the troops which to our knowledge the German General Staff was anxious to dispatch to Russia.
As a matter of fact, the numbers transported to the eastern front have been very moderate. Of the fifty-two army corps which faced us on the western front, Germany has only been able to take four and one-half corps for the eastern front. On the other hand, climatic conditions—the rain, mud, and mist—were such as to diminish the effectiveness of offensive operations and to add to the costliness of any undertaken, which was another reason for postponing them. Still another reason lies in the fact that from now on the allied forces can count upon a steadily expanding growth, equally in point of numbers and units as of material, while the German forces have attained the maximum of their power, and can only diminish now both in numbers and in value. These conditions explain the character of the siege warfare which the operations have assumed during the period under review.
[Illustration: Map illustrating the Battle of Flanders, the Battle of Ypres, and the terrain of the frustrated German efforts to reach Dunkirk and Calais.]
Meanwhile, it is by no means the case that the siege warfare has had the same results for the Germans as for us. From Nov. 15 to Feb. 1, our opponents, in spite of very numerous attacks, did not succeed in taking anything from us, except a few hundred metres of ground to the north of Soissons. We, on the contrary, have obtained numerous and appreciable results.
[The French writer here proceeds to strike a balance of gains and losses between the allied and the German forces in France during the Winter campaign. The result he sums up as follows:]
1. A general progress of our troops; very marked at certain points.
2. A general falling back of the enemy, except to the northeast of Soissons.