The Fourth Company has
now no leaders but a couple of non-coms.
When will my turn come! I hope to goodness I shall get home again.
In the trenches shells and shrapnel burst without ceasing. In the evening we get a cup of rice and one-third of an apple per man. Let us hope peace will soon come. Such a war is really too awful. The English shoot like mad. If no reinforcements come up, especially heavy artillery, we shall have a poor lookout and must retire.
The first day I went quietly into the fight with an indifference which astonished me. Today, for the first time, in advancing, when my comrades on the right and left were falling, I felt rather nervous. But I lost that feeling again soon. One becomes horribly indifferent.
I picked up a piece
of bread by chance. Thank God! At least I
something to eat.
There are about 70,000
English who must be attacked from all four
sides and destroyed. However, they defend themselves obstinately.
Attacked by 750,000 Germans.
[Official Summary, Dated Dec. 3.]
Col. E.D. Swinton of the Intelligence Department of the General Staff of the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium, in a narrative dated Nov. 26, gives a general review of the development of the situation of the force for six weeks preceding that date.
There has recently been a lull in the active operations, he says. No progress has been made by either side, and yet there has come about an important modification comprising a readjustment in the scope of the part played by the British Army as a whole. He explains the movement from the River Aisne to the Belgian frontier to prolong the left flank of the French Army, and says that in attempting this the British force was compelled to assume responsibility for a very extended section of the front. He points out, as did Field Marshal Sir John French, Commander in Chief of the British forces, that the British held only one-twelfth of the line, so that the greater share of the common task of opposing the enemy fell and still falls to the French, while the Belgians played an almost vital part.
With the fall of Antwerp the Germans made every effort to push forward a besieging force toward the west and hastened to bring up a new army corps which had been hastily raised and trained, their object being to drive the Allies out of Belgium and break through to Dunkirk and Calais. Altogether they had a quarter of a million of fresh men. Eventually the Germans had north of La Bassee about fourteen corps and eight cavalry divisions, that is, “a force of three-quarters of a million of men with which to attempt to drive the Allies into the sea. In addition, there was immensely powerful armament and heavy siege artillery, which also had been brought up from around Antwerp.”