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this siege was almost a repetition of the siege of the feudal castle, with these primitive cannon taking the place of the stone-throwing machines.
These cannon threw large stones, some of them of 200 pounds weight, and, though they caused greater losses to the besiegers, they also were more destructive to masonry defenses at close quarters, and they made it easier to undermine the walls. The northern outwork, the boulevard at D in the plan, was first reduced, then the tower and northern rampart at E were battered in, and the last refuge of the garrison at A was surrendered twenty-seven days after the first investment.
Artillery and the Bastion In the seventeenth century engineers were beginning to learn the use of the new artillery arm. It became evident that, against this more powerful machine, the weakness of a formal fortress lay in allowing the enemy to get near
enough to breach the walls. The next phase of the fortress, (Figure 9,) designed by Bar-le-Duc in the reign of Henry IV., marked the appearance of the bastion instead of the artillery tower, which greatly increased the area of defensive artillery. On the north the boulevard and towers had been replaced by bastions, and by this means the enemy was forced to begin operations at 1,000 yards. It is hard to realize that in those days 1,000 yards was not an effective range for artillery.
In 1636 these defenses successfully resisted an attempt to besiege them by the Imperialist troops, using trench approaches, which afterward became so highly developed in siege warfare. But the fortress was well commanded, and the attacking army, badly led and illdisciplined, was ordered to raise the siege after four weeks of useless effort.
The next stage of the fortress (Figure 10) shows the highest development of the bastion by the great French en
The siege of Sebastopol (1854) first upset all these accepted methods. This
the range of artillery that, even in the was a weak fortress, and it was thought
formal European schools, it became evithat it would fall“after a short can
dent that the bastion should be pushed nonade."* It unexpectedly withstood a
forward and made an outwork of the siege of 349 days because the great Rus
fortress. This was the origin of the sian engineer, Todleben, made a bold use
later plan of the chain of external forts. of “ improvised defenses.”+
Viollet le Duc, among others, had urged
this upon the French Emperor, but in Chain of External Forts
the atrophy and official demoralization Of course these defenses approached
of the Second Empire little was done, the recent solution of the problem of and the French fortresses were an easy fortification, but this was obscured by
prey in the war of 1870. The Germans criticism of the attack, just as the actual
reduced most of the French fortresses at solution at Petersburg, ten years later, their leisure by bombardment. Verdun, was ignored in the first mistaken criti.
which was then of the type of fortress cism of our civil war. At first there
shown in Figure 10, a bastioned enceinte was so strong an impression abroad of a
with a Vauban citadel, fell after fortyof undisciplined mobs fighting three days. against one another that the real results
Figure 12 shows Viollet le Duc's final of the civil war in finding the best weap- scheme for the formal fortress, the ons and methods were not realized until
enceinte and surrounding chain of forts the present war.
and batteries. It will be seen at once The rifled gun had so greatly increased
that this was the plan of Verdun at the * Hamley.
outbreak of the present war. But some| Sir George Clarke.
thing more than this arrangement of
forts had given to the fortress the repu- been dropped upon it. At once this betation of strength that scared away the came so evident, from the experience of first German attack in 1914.
Liége, Namur, &c., that in September, Revolution Due to Howitzers
1914, Verdun and the other French fort
were intrenched, and became What made the empty threat effective
merely sectors of the Petersburg inwas the artificial value that had been
trenchments which are now strung along assigned to the new use of concrete and
the western front. steel in the construction of the formal
The chains of forts have been disfortresses. So highly were these recent
mantled, and at the battle of Verdun in fortresses esteemed, as an adjunct of de- 1916 Verdun was no longer a fortress. fending armies, that the German Great
It was nothing but the name of a system General Staff had not been able to of trenches. Yet the name in the French realize the tremendous power over them. mind meant the prestige of France, and of their howitzer artillery. So revolu
for its defense they made the desperate tionary was this weapon that it is not
stand that beat back the German attacks. strange its effectiveness was not con
The position in itself was of no more sidered sufficient to upset all the calcula
value than any other system of trenches. tions of years.
It will be remembered that Fort DouauOnly as recently as 1907 Sir Edward mont and Fort Vaux were no longer Clarke, the leading British expert, had forts, but merely places in the lines of declared that “the idea of breaching trenches. The great guns are no longer hidden casements by planting shells suc- mounted in definite places. They are cessively on a few square yards of area now scattered about on railway and may evidently be dismissed as futile." caterpillar mounts, with every device of Yet this is exactly what the Teutonic concealment and camouflage. The terhowitzer artillery has accomplished rain is now a labyrinth of pits and against all formal fortresses attacked by trenches, with nothing left of the formal it. Every steel and concrete fort has fortress. The whole structure of twentyproved to be a pent-house of destruction five hundred years has been overthrown after a few of these deadly shells have in a few months.
What France Is Doing for Serbians France, torn as it is by war, is supporting and giving refuge to 200,000 Belgians, furnishing them with the same kind of quarters as those allotted to French refugees from occupied territory; it has likewise gathered in many Serbians driven from their homes by the invader, and has set about preparing for the restoration of their unhappy kingdom by giving to Serbian youth the education best suited to the needs of national renaissance. A treaty signed at Corfu on Nov. 9, 1916, which the French Parliament has ratified, gives an official organization to this fraternal enterprise. It regulates the distribution of the young men among the universities and French normal schools, and arranges for the Serbian Government's nomination of Serbian professors to teach the literature, language, and history of their country. The treaty also provides for instruction of French students by these Serbian professors, exempts a certain number of Serbian students from the educational laws, and appropriates funds for their maintenance. This treaty is valid for three years and can be renewed for similar periods by tacit continuation.
By Major Edwin W. Dayton Inspector General, N. G. N. Y.; Secretary, New York Army and Navy Club
IX.-The Battle of the Somme
HE opening of 1916 was an anxious vitality of the French after the trying
period for the Allies. France had defense of Verdun was one of the surheld fast at Verdun against the prises of the war.
most terrific attacks, but grad- The weeks immediately preceding the ually the assailants pressed in closer, un- great attack in Picardy seemed full of til at the end of May it seemed that even promise for the Allies. In June Italy the heroic devotion of that marvelous de- had checked the dangerous Austrian atfense must succumb. The world began to tack on the Trentino, and in the first fear that England for some reason was week of the same month Brusiloff began unable to create the much-needed diver- the attack on Galicia and Bukowina sion in the north. Contemporary writers which threatened to crush Austria. are contending that the Allies deliberate- The struggle had raged steadily in ly delayed their northern offensive in Flanders and Artois through two hard order to compel the enemy to maintain
Whenever the thunder of guns strong armies along the whole front to quieted elsewhere in Europe, Asia, or meet the attack which every one knew Africa, attention always returned to was soon to come.
Ypres, Loos, Souchez, Vimy, Hulluch, It seemed that their well-known su- and the Labyrinth, where the war gods periority over the Germans in both men never ceased to gather their steady toll and munitions ought to have made it of British, French, and German lives. A possible to make strong feints at several little further to the south lay Picardy, places, in addition to launching a real the Santerre, a sobriquet reminiscent of attack on a great scale. Verdun, al- the old wars, when the fair fields were though an important link in the frontier
the sang terre of a hundred bloody camdefenses, was not, after all, a place whose paigns. But since the Autumn of 1914, loss would have been fatal to France. when Castelnau and Maud’huy had won The moral effect, however, of a German the race for the coast by extending and success at Verdun might have been a
covering the allied left flank, the lines serious matter. Such a result would have
which congealed then into the intrenched renewed Teuton hopes, and would cer- positions in Picardy had been the quietest tainly have disheartened many of the of all. neutrals weary of waiting to see the Ger
Germans in the Ascendency mans defeated. Whatever the real reasons may have been, it is safe to say London had been whispering for that the Allies delayed their northern at- months about the “ great push ” which tack to the very last moment if the diver- was to come, but all through the Spring sion was intended to save Verdun. When there was very little activity along the they did strike, however, their attack was British front, except for mine explosions. on a scale both in extent of front and and tunneling, mingled with small trench duration of effort far beyond anything raids. In April, May, and June there they had previously undertaken on the were a number of brilliant small exploits, western front.
but mostly distinguished as sharp counA remarkable feature was the great terstrokes recovering trenches which the part played by the French, who proved Germans had stormed. There was a notheir ability to develop a major offensive ticeable lack of initial attack, and the on a wide front while continuing to hold best that could be done appeared to be the defenses at Verdun with forces strong the prevention of any large permanent enough for frequent counterattacks. The gain by the enemy. If the gage of mili