Suffice it to say that here, on the great coalfield of northern France, in a labyrinth of railway sidings and canals, villages and lanes, pit heaps, and factories, the British troops, helped by the French cavalry, after furious fighting, drove back the Germans from the Aa and the Lys and took up a line continuing the outflanking positions from La Bassée to Ypres in Belgium.

A third effort of the Germans to outflank the outflanking line was directed across the Yser. This was the last attempt of the kind that could[Pg 180] be made. Its success was consequently vital, ????? and its failure equally disastrous. Again it illustrates the fact that the Germans sacrifice neither money nor lives without good cause. The fighting on the Yser was as deadly for the enemy as the fighting round Rheims.

Coincidently, however, with these movements were others of a different kind. The official communiqués, covering the two kinds of movements as the evidences of them appeared day by day, have naturally led to a certain amount of mystification?not intentional, but inevitable from the brevity and caution of these statements and the fact that they cover separately only the operations of a few hours.

The movements of a different kind were those designed at one point or another to drive a wedge or salient into the Allied front.