Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/35

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The War and the Future

wreck of the forts, and those parties of French and Germans would count heads to see which side had won.

And while the attack was at its height, and while Verdun was still in danger, the English and French together counter-attacked in force on a line of 25 miles, further to the north, in the Department of the Somme, and beat the enemy out of his main position there. That put an end to the attack on Verdun. The battle of the Somme gave another use for the enemy's men and guns. The city was saved. And a great deal more than the city; for the battle of the Somme beat the enemy out of a strip of France 65 miles long by from 12 to 20 deep, where today the great battle of this war is being fought.

This Battle of the Somme was an attack upon some of the most elaborate field fortifications ever made. On the right of the attack, where the French attacked, much of the ground is flat, and without good defensive position, but on the left, where the English attacked, the ground is a succession of rolling chalk downland, rising some hundreds of feet above little valleys. On this rolling downland, the enemy had dug himself in, when he was strong and