World War I

Allied Aviation Of World War I - download pdf or read online

By Hugh Cowin, Hugh W. Cowin

ISBN-10: 1841760692

ISBN-13: 9781841760698

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He knew that as long as de Castelnau clung on to the heights around Verdun, his centre and left were safely hinged upon a fortress under cover of which he could launch his counter-offensive with all the weight of his now completely mobilised reinforcements. Moreover, the army that had hurried pell-mell from Paris in taxicabs, in carts, in any form of conveyance that the authorities could lay hands upon, was now completely established on the left of the British, and if Von Kluck, lured on by the prize of Paris, pushed on, he would be outnumbered on his front and very seriously menaced on his right, and disaster would be certain.

Every memory of the whole advance is saturated with that odour. It was pungent, vigorous, demoralising. It filled the air, and one's lungs shrank before it. Once, when a man drove his pick through the crisp, inflated side, a gas spurted out that was positively asphyxiating and intolerable. However much transport the Germans abandoned, however severe the losses they sustained, they always found time to break open every estaminet they passed, and drain it dry. Wretched inns and broken bottles proved to be just as reliable a clue to their passing as the smell of them.

The rôle had been melodramatic, superb! But here they were, skirting the very gates of Paris, apparently fleeing before the enemy, and this without having made any very determined effort at resistance. Poor protectors they must have looked! Those simple peasants would not understand the efficacy, the necessity even, of running away "to live and fight another day," with a greater chance of success. The Subaltern often used to wonder what the poor wretches thought of troops, which, though in possession of arms and ammunition, still retreated--always retreated.

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Allied Aviation Of World War I by Hugh Cowin, Hugh W. Cowin

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