The Great War Part 237, March 1st 1919

482 The Great War field. The Flemish coast should have been held against King Alberts group of armies with the help of the 1920 class. As this was not done the High Sea Fleet had so Admiral von Scheer decided to be risked to prevent the consequences of the grave mistake of the perturbed military leaders. As by attempting to risk his fleet Admiral von Scheer provoked a general revolution, we may fairly attribute decisive import­ance to the recovery of Ostend and the march along the Flanders shore. It may also be remarked that the event showed how far-sighted Sir Douglas Haig was in the strategic aim with which he tried to conquer the Flanders Ridge in 1917. He had to open his campaign late in a rainy year, and he was further delayed by the need for pressing the enemy elsewhere at the time when the French front was weakened by outbreaks of unrest and the Russian front dissolving through treachery. He failed in his grand design, though it was sound. His men who fell between Ypres and Passchen- daele did not fall in vain. Though the Germans re­turned over their bodies their tragic heroism purchased the means of victory for their comrades of the Second and Fifth British Armies and for the Belgians and French. They won the knowledge that others triumphantly used indeed if they had not come so close to a grand decision against the concentrated main forces of the enemy in the THE PRESIDENT RECEIVES LILLE FROM THE VICTORS. M. Poincare with General Birdwood inspecting the Guard o f H onour when he received Lille from the victorious Fifth British Arm yin October 1918 and (in oval) the French President near one of the gates of the city. year of his renewed strength the final victorious inoffensive Flanders might not have been undertaken even when the enemy was permanently weakened. The Fifth British Army which had shared fully in the earlier Flemish campaign was again joined with the Second British Arm yin the glory of the decisive advance. In the morning of October 17th about the time Sir Roger Keyes REW ON FOR FRANCE. General Birdwood and the Mayor of Lille a t the saluting base during the formal entry of the British army of deliverance October 28th 1918. was landing at Ostend a patrol of the Liverpool Regi­ment working down the road from Armentieres entered Lille. From the singing cheer­ing sobbing multitudes of liberated citizens girls came forward with flowers for the army of saviours which, however did not take the grateful greeting but swung round the city north and south in pursuit of the out­ manoeuvred enemy. This was partly courtesy and partly precaution on the part of Sir William Birdwood commanding the Fifth Army. He took much trouble and lost sometime in keeping his forces out of the streets in order to allow the enemy no shadow of any military excuse for turning guns on the thronged ways of the city or sending bombing aeroplanes by tonight wreck the buildings and murder the people. With happy thoughtfulness a French regiment which had been fighting alongside the British was sent first into the centre of Lille and Lieut.-General Sir R. C.B. Haking whose Eleventh Corps had held the Lilles day ol sector by the city for three years despatched liberation the flag of his army corps to Paris to be placed on the Lille Statue in the Place lade Concorde, when he entered the Manchester of France on the evening of October 17th. The Mayor of Lille did not have to wait either for French or British infantry to learn that his city was free. A t dawn of the day of liberation while General von Bernhardis men were marching away eastward to escape envelopment by the Second British Army on the Lys and the First British Arm yon the Sensde River friendly pilots came flying low over the houses. One of them flying the Tricolour landed by the public gardens. He was Captain DelesallS the son of the Mayor. After giving the news he flew away-— also with a view to giving the enemy no provocation. Lille was undamaged except for the effects of the early enemy bombardment in the autumn of 1914. The suburbs were looted there having been a plan to despoil every house and then burn down the city and the factories were not in working order as the Germans had taken the
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