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Photo by Trans-Atlantic News Service Co.
KING ALBERT OF BELGIUM AT THE HEAD OF HIS ARMY The splendid defense put up by the Belgians against the German invaders astonished all the military authorities and gave time
for the armies of France to come to their assistance.
Photo by Paul Thompson.
KING GEORGE AT ALDERSHOT
with kingly bearing on a horse.
LIEGE THE IMMORTAL August 3, 1914. Like the Egyptian plague of locusts, devouring the land, the German armies rushed forward to devour France. They were four in number. One struck through central Belgium, the second through Luxembourg, the third between Metz and Nancy, and the fourth between the Vosges and the Swiss frontier. We have to do with the first named, by far the most formidable of all. Admitting that invasion of Belgium would be gross violation of law and treatment of a neutrality treaty as a "scrap of paper,” the German Government had tried to seduce Belgium into consenting to the deed. Since Belgium would not be seduced, but held out for faith and honor, Germany went in with force. The frontier was crossed on August 3d, and on the next day the invaders reached and began to attack the first of the Belgian fortified cities, Liege.
Brialmont, the great military engineer, had made it as he supposed impregnable.
impregnable. But that was before the days of the 42-centimeter guns. These stupendous engines soon pounded Brialmont's steel and masonry forts into ruin. But it took them three days to do it. Indeed, the last of the Liege forts was not reduced until August 18th. And by causing that delay to the German advance, Liege was the savior of Europe. Had it not been for that delay, and the time it gave France to mobilize her troops, Paris surely would have fallen. On August 20th Brussels was occupied without resistance. On the following three days the first great battle was fought at Namur, Mons and Charleroi, as a result of which the Belgians, French and British were driven back and the German rush toward Paris began.
THE MARTYRDOM OF BELGIUM Meantime the Germans instituted such a reign of atrocities in Belgium as the world had not known since the days of Tilly and Pappenheim, or perhaps of Timur Leng and Genghis Khan. This campaign of "frightful
was ordered from Berlin, partly in the hope of terrifying the nations into submission, and partly in vindictive spite against Belgium for having dared to resist the will of the Kaiser. Almost every principle of international law was violated. Unfortified and undefended cities and towns were sacked and burned. Unoffending civilians were murdered by hundreds, and by other hundreds were put to death wholesale by the military authorities on various lying pretences.
Vast tributes were exacted from municipalities, under threat of destruction of the towns and massacre of the inhabitants. Private houses and shops were looted. The university library of Louvain, one of the most precious in the world, was wantonly burned. Churches were looted and their altars used as latrines Men, women and children were tortured to death, by crucifixion, by burning alive, and by hideous mutilations. Women, from girls scarcely in their teens to venerable granddames, were ravished by hundreds, generally in public where their children, parents or husbands were compelled to witness the infamy; many of them being thus abused by many soldiers until they died under the torture. Living or dead, they were often obscenely mutilated, and then their mangled bodies were “pegged out” upon the ground with bayonets or stakes driven through them. Babes were snatched from their mothers' arms and tossed about on bayonet points. Whole families, after indescribable ill treatment, were fastened in their houses and the houses burned. All through
Belgium and northern France, wherever the German armies went, there was such an orgy of lust, loot and murder as the civilized world had not seen for centuries.
PORCIED ogs, OTRAIL
SALVATION OF THE MARNE
bo BOUCHAIN LAON TO NAMUR 90 M.
QALARÇONO PARIS TV METZ 180 M
5 CROWN KONSENVON
Meanwhile, reinforced by armies which had pushed through Luxembourg, the Germans swept on toward
Paris. By September 3d the French and their allies had been driven to the line of the Seine, Marne and Verdun, and the French Government filed from Paris to Bordeaux. But the French army, with a small British contingent, halted there to give battle. “We stop the Germans here,”