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Hilaire Belloc

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .to oppose some more formidable barrier to the line of advance which topography marked out for the allies into the heart of France.



[Pg 28]

Larger Image

Sketch Map showing how the Allies holding Lille thrust the French back
on to the defensive line St Venant-Valenciennes, and thus cut off the
French garrisons of Ypres, Tournai, and Mons.



[Pg 29]Some fear was indeed expressed lest a descent should be made on the coasts and an advance attempted along the valley of the Somme. The fear was groundless. To organise the transportation of troops thus by sea, to disembark them, to bring and continue the enormous supply of provisions and ammunition they would require, was far less practical than to use the great forces already drawn up under Marlborough and Eugene in the Low Countries. Of what size these forces were we shall see in a moment.

The barrier, then, . . . Read More