The moral success of our victory is quite upon a level with its strategic value. It has again been proved that in the west also we are at any time in a position to take the offensive, and that, notwithstanding their most violent efforts, it is impossible for the English and the French to throw back or to break through our battle line.
In another article the Kreuz Zeitung said:
When the French report says that we used a large number of asphyxiating bombs, our enemies may infer from this that they always are making a mistake when by their behavior they cause us to have recourse to new technical weapons.
Dealing with the same subject in a leading article, the Frankfurter Zeitung declared:
It is quite possible that our bombs and shells made it impossible for the enemy to remain in his trenches and artillery positions, and it is even probable that missiles which emit poisonous gases have actually been used by us, since the German leaders have made it plain that, as an answer to the treacherous missiles which have been used by the English and the French for many weeks past, we, too, shall employ gas bombs or whatever they are called. The German leaders pointed out that considerably more effective materials were to be expected from German chemistry, and they were right.
But, however destructive these bombs and shells may have been, do the English and the other people think that it makes a serious difference whether hundreds of guns and howitzers throw hundreds of thousands of shells on a single tiny spot in order to destroy and break to atoms everything living there, and to make the German trenches into a terrible hell as was the case at Neuve Chapelle, or whether we throw a few shells which spread death in the air? These shells are not more deadly than the poison of English explosives, but they take effect over a wider area, produce a rapid end, and spare the torn bodies the tortures and pains of death.
The Frankfurter Zeitung then compared the results achieved as follows:
The shells of Neuve Chapelle cost the Germans a trench and a village, but on the edge of the ruin the German ring remained firm and strong. How was it at Ypres? The enemy was thrown back on a front of more than five and a half miles. Along this whole front we gained two miles. These figures would signify little in comparison with the distance to the sea, but our next goal is Ypres, and on the north we are now only a few kilometers from this stronghold.
The Cologne Gazette referred to Sir John French’s reports as follows:
It is delightful to read the complaints about the use of shells containing asphyxiating gases. This sounds particularly well out of the mouth of the Commander in Chief of a nation which for centuries past has trodden every provision of international law under foot.