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Story of Two Months’ Combat with 2,000,000 Invaders.

[From the Bulletin Francais.]

Two million men were engaged on the German side in October and November when the Kaiser’s forces hammered at the Allies’ lines in an attempt to break through to Dunkirk and Calais. Around Ypres alone the invaders’ losses were more than 120,000 men. These statements are made in a semi-official account of the fighting in Flanders, which takes up three pages of the Bulletin Francais, copies of which reached THE NEW YORK TIMES on Ja, 1915. As translated, the article in the December Bulletin appears below.

The hour has arrived when the balance of these last weeks can be established and the results clearly seen. The formidable attempt by the Germans, first to turn the left of ourselves and our allies, and then, that having been prevented, to break through, has entirely failed. By the effort the enemy tried to repair the defeats of the Marne, and they have only added another check to the failure of September.

Meanwhile, in order to invade our territory, according to their old plans the Germans have neglected nothing. On the front that extends from Lys to the sea they massed, in the beginning of October, fifteen army corps, including four divisions of cavalry. Their army heads, the Crown Prince of Bavaria, Gen. Deemling, the Duke of Wuerttemburg, have multiplied their exhortations and appeals to the troops in the effort to maintain the morale of their men.

We have found their orders on dead officers and prisoners, and always they are the same. It is a question of “a decisive action against the French left” or a question of “piercing the line at Dupres or Ypres,” for, as one of these orders stated, “the decisive coup remains to be struck, and to accomplish this the allied line must be pierced.” This, the orders stated, had to be accomplished at any price and in all haste. They wanted a decision in the western theatre of war before turning to the east.

Then the Emperor himself was with his troops, hoping to animate the German soldiers with his presence. He announced to them that he would be at Ypres on No, and that was the date fixed for the annexation of Belgium. In fact, everything had been taken into account, except, of course, the victorious resistance of the allied armies.

To make possible this effective resistance it was necessary for the Allies to oppose the enemy with a force which if not equal to theirs was nevertheless sufficient for the purpose in view.

What was the situation at the beginning of Oc? The Belgian Army came out of Antwerp intact, but too exhausted to participate in the actions then pending. The English Army had left the Aisne to operate in the north. The army of Gen. de Castelnau did not extend on its left south of Arras. The army of Gen. Maudhuy stretched out from that point to the south of Lille. Further on were the territorial cavalry and the marines. This was not a sufficient force to meet the German advance.

Gen. Joffre, the Commander in Chief, ordered Gen. Foch to the command of the armies of the north. Reinforcements were sent him in the ensuing three weeks, and during that period the rail and automobile services operated day and night, hurrying up reinforcements. They arrived on time by divisions and by corps, every man being animated by an admirable spirit.

About Oc our battle line was from Nieuport to Dixmude, between which places one of our divisions and the marines held the railroad. Meanwhile, just back of them, the Belgian Army was being reorganized. South of Dixmude, and along the canal, our line stretched to the east, forming before Ypres a vast half circle occupied by four French and one British army corps. The line then descended toward the south of Messines to Armientieres, forming two sections, the first held by the English and the second by the French.

The German attack had as its object the seizure of Dunkirk, which was necessary if Calais and Boulogne were to be reached. The purpose was to envelop us and cut the British lines of communication to the sea. All the heavy artillery was brought up from Antwerp and made ready for use against the Allies. What happened?

On No the attack was made and repulsed, crushing the enemy, who had managed to gain the left bank of the river. We then pushed the German rear guard into the water, and to this day German cannon and the carcasses of their animals can be seen half buried in the water and mud.

Finding it impossible to turn our left, the enemy tried to break through our lines. This was the battle of Ypres, a furious and savage struggle, with the German commanders hurling their organizations in enormous masses, regardless of the life of their men, sacrificing all for the end they hoped to attain.

This end was not attained. During the following three weeks we suffered and withstood their repeated and frantic attacks. All these attacks were repulsed, and this despite the fact that our front, with its circular form, was not easy to maintain.

In these actions about Ypres the armies of France and England worked in the closest union, and this union, in which co-operation was so splendidly maintained, is worthy to be recorded on the brightest pages of military history.

On No the Germans were successful to the north of Ypres and crossed the canal in two places. A day passed and they were thrown back to the other side. On the 12th also they gained a little ground south of Ypres, but this loss was quickly regained, and by the 15th their attacks had become fewer and our position by then was practically impregnable.

Subsequent actions by the Germans were likewise repulsed, and in these encounters we were brilliantly supported by our Allies. These actions have sealed the fraternity of the allied troops, and the energy of our resistance has likewise encouraged and strengthened the confidence of the Belgians.

The losses of the Germans certainly exceed 120,000 men. In certain trenches of 1,200 meters length as many as 2,000 bodies have been found, and this is impressive when we take into consideration that the Germans take advantage of every opportunity to remove their dead from the fields of battle. These great losses explain the recent formation of new army corps in Germany.

The numerous artillery commands that we have put in action south of Ypres have opened great chasms in the German masses. All this marks the importance of our successes, and significance is added by the fact that the Germans have always regarded the taking of Ypres as one of the decisive features of the campaign.

If Dunkirk, Calais, and Boulogne had been taken, England would have found her lines of communication with her armies in France gravely endangered. In maintaining her lines from the sea to Arras we have obtained at the same time the best guarantee against the return of the enemy to Paris.

To measure the extent of the allied successes we must compare the line occupied by our left and the German right at the beginning of September and since the middle of November. When we consider this, it is plain that our successes were not temporary, but have been a constant progress, rendering vain the attacks of the Germans.

It has been demonstrated by facts that Gen. Joffre has read the plans of the German commanders and is ready for them everywhere and always. As for the allied troops, they have gained the qualities they perhaps lacked most in the beginning, particularly as regards rapid organization for the defensive and the digging of trenches. Today our troops are as expert in trench work as are the soldiers of the enemy.

France remains unconquered. Since Sep she has registered only successes, in spite of the massing against her of fifty German army corps. These fifty German corps, it must be said, and said again, for such is the truth, are still facing us. Fifteen German army corps and the whole of the Austrian force are facing Russia. Yet the formidable mass which assails us has not made us flinch in any part of our line, and in many cases our enemy has drawn back under the weight of the Allies’ efforts.