The War Illustrated No 8 Vol 1 November 4th 1939

228 The War Illustrated November 4lh, 1939 French soldiers are seen above on outpost duty on the Western Front. They are using an automatic rifle, supported on a rolled greatcoat, a weapon too heavy to beheld to the shoulder. One magazine is in place, and them anon the left holds another ready to replace it. The bel! formation of the muzzle is an an ti-flash device. troops under uncertain guidance. Some of the old soldiers who peered through the murk at the moving lights may well have asked, “What would have happened to us in 1917 and 1918 if we had shown alight like that ?”Airmen returning to their headquarters from night reconnaissances reported that six or eight miles behind the line they had detected the headlights of lorries all moving towards the front, and it was reasonable to suppose that the intermittent flashing and dimming was due to obstacles encountered on the road —unlighted vehicles and bodies of march­ing troops. Then, too, the photographs of the Siegfried defences, taken day after day and sometimes several times a day, gave many a clue to the expert eye. Following reports of great activity be­hind the German lines accompanied by heavy artillery and machine-gun fire, on the morning of October 16 the Germans launched an attack on a front of about four miles immediately to the east of the Moselle. According to the French War Communique No. 86, the attackers, sup­ported by artillery fire, “occupied the height of the Schneeberg on which we had alight line of observation posts sup­ported by landmines. .Caught under our fire, the enemy attack came to a halt and they even had to withdraw to the north of Apach, into which village they had momentarily penetrated.” A further communique announced that “the Germans launched a second attack supported by heavy artillery in the region east of the Saar over a front of about 20 miles. Our light troops fell back infighting accordance with their mission, but our fire upheld the enemy at the prearranged line.” Later it was given out that the French, in anticipation of the attack, had with­drawn from their advanced positions, leaving a quantity of mines behind them, which, as the Germans advanced, exploded and killed a large number. The Germans were reported to have employed six divisions and to have suffered more than 1,000 casualties. So the attack collapsed, blown into nothingness by the concentrated fire of the French guns. The zero hour of the great offensive had not come— yet. The British and French air forces early showed marked superiority over the German air force, and there was surprisingly little interference with their reconnaissance overflights the German line. Above, French aeroplanes are returning to an aerodrome after a overflight the German lines with no losses. On the ground is a machine that has just landed. The camouflage, natural and artificial, of all Allied aero­ d romes made it difficult to recognize them from the air when once the machines were housed. Photos, Planet News and Keystone
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