By A. F. Pollard
On 28 June 1914 the Archduke Francis Ferdinand heir-presumptive to the Hapsburg throne was once shot within the streets of Serajevo the capital of the Austrian province of Bosnia.
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Extra info for A short history of the great war,
The proverbial licence of soldiery is the reaction against their military discipline. The second, called “the great sortie” from Antwerp, nearly coincided with the battle of the Marne. It began on 9 September: Termonde was reoccupied, but the main effort was towards Aerschot and Louvain. Aerschot was recaptured on the 9th, though the fiercest struggle took place at Weerde between Malines and Brussels. Kessel, just outside Louvain, was taken on the 10th, but German reinforcements began to arrive on the 11th, and two days later the Belgians were back in their positions on the Nethe, their retirement being marked, as before, by a fresh series of German atrocities.
Omer and marched towards Ypres. Instead of advancing on Thourout and beyond, it had to dig itself in on a line of defence from Rawlinson's left at Zonnebeke to Bixschoote, where the French began their own and the Belgian front along the Yser to Nieuport. The impact of the opposing forces had flattened them out until they extended to the coast, and the point at which they reached it remained fixed for four years to a day. Instead of a brilliant strategical run round the enemy's flanks to a distant goal in his rear, there was fated to be a strenuous scrimmage all along the line.
The first great trial of strength is associated in British minds with the first battle of Ypres. The French dwell rather on the equally strenuous struggle farther south round Arras under Foch. For the line of battle stretched north from the Albert plateau for a hundred miles, and we can hardly claim that the boys and the middle-aged men, at whom some were inclined to scoff, in Flanders were the pick of the German troops sent into the fray. The glory of the defence consisted rather in the resistance of better troops to superior numbers backed by a vast preponderance of artillery.