By A. F. Pollard

ISBN-10: 1428055835

ISBN-13: 9781428055834

On 28 June 1914 the Archduke Francis Ferdinand heir-presumptive to the Hapsburg throne used to be shot within the streets of Serajevo the capital of the Austrian province of Bosnia.

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Arras itself was reduced almost to ruins by the German bombardment; but Maud'huy's men held good, and on the 26th were even able to take the offensive. The Germans were driven out of their most advanced positions, though they held the Vimy Ridge, and accepting defeat before Arras, transferred some of their best troops, including the Prussian Guards, farther north. Possibly this relinquishment was the worst of their tactical mistakes, but the higher commands on both sides had learnt the cost of persisting in attempts to break through, and Falkenhayn may well have thought it best to seek a weaker spot.

There was a lull on the 16th, and on the 17th Maunoury recovered the quarries of Autrèches; but east of Reims the 9th Army had fallen back from the Suippe, and the Prussian Guard had captured Nogent l'Abbesse and was threatening Foch's connexion with Langle in Champagne. The 18th saw little progress on either side, except along the Oise, where Maunoury had as early as the 15th begun to outflank the German right. This success, coupled with the stalemate along the rest of the front, suggested to Joffre a change of strategy.

At night on the 25th they struck at Kruseik, between Gheluvelt and Zandvoorde. There followed a suspicious lull, and on the 29th the reinforced Germans drove against the centre of the 1st Corps at Gheluvelt; an initial success was reversed later on in the day, but on the 30th the attack shifted towards the right at Zandvoorde, and the 1st Division was forced back a mile to Zillebeke, while the 2nd conformed and the 2nd Cavalry Division was driven from Hollebeke back to St. Eloi. The Kaiser arrived that day and the crisis on the morrow.

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A short history of the great war, by A. F. Pollard


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