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COMBLES CUT OFF

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COMBLES CUT OFF BRITISH ADVANCE ON 6 MILES FRONT MORE SOMME VILLAGES TAKEN BY THE ALLIED TBOOPS MANY PRISONERS TAKEN Most important news comes from the Somme front. Mondnay, nighfs official reports state that the British haye taken M orval and Lesbouel s, both strongly forti- fied yillages with an important bearing on Comble*. Meanwhile the village, of Ran- court has fallen into the power of the French, and the result of the combined operations is that Combles is now 'prac- tically severed from communication with the enemy. The map gin-eii below illus- trntes the ney Allied gains. BRITISH OFFICIAL. General Headquarters, France, Monday, I J.JO.-South of the Ancre our troops at- tacked to-day and have been everywhere successful. The enemy's positions have been stormed on a front of about six miles between Combles and Martenpuich to a depth of more than a mile. The strongly-fortified villages of Morval and Lesboeufs, together with several lines of trenches, have fallen into our hands. The village of Morval stands on the height north of Combles, and with its sub- terranean etierries, trenches, and wire en- tanglements, constituted a formidable fortress. The position of these two villages is of considerable military importance, and Scene of the New Advance. practically severs the enemy's communi- cation with Combles. A large number of prisoners, machine- guns, and other war material has been taken. Heavy losses were inflicted on the enemy. In comparison with the result achieved our losses are. so far, comparatively small. Yesterday six enemy aeroplanes were destroyed in air fights and at least three others were driven to earth in a damaged condition. Three of our machines are also missing. FRENCH OFFICIAL. Paris Monday. 11 p.m.âTo the north of the Nomine the battle was resumed to-day with violence on the Franco-British front. The French infantry, passing to the offensive about noon, simultaneously at- tacked the German position between Combles and Rancourt and the defences accumulated by the enemy from the latter villages as far as the Somme. North-west of Combles we carried our line to the northern outskirts of Fregi- court, captured all strongly organised ground comprised between this hamlet and Hill 148. The village of Rancourt also fell into our power. East of the Bethune road we have ex- tended our position to a depth of about one kilometre from the. Combles road to Bouchavesnes, taken by assault the heights north of this village and to the south-east have reached Hill 130. Further to the soiifh we have captured several trench systems at the approaches to the Nord Canal, between the Bethune- road and the Somme. The number of unwounded prisoners taken by us and now counted exceeds 400. On the rest of the front there is nothing to report except rather lively artillery fighting on the right bank of the Meuse and in the Yaux Chapitre region. In the night of September 24-25 a num- ber of our aircraft dropped 150 bombs on the stations of Flam, Hombleux, Manni- court. and on the aviation'' grounds of Vraignes. DETAILS OF THE GAIN. Paris. Monday (received Tuesday).âThe Expert French Commentator, writing to- night. saTS: Wdh the return' of favour- able weather the Somme offensive was re- sumed to-day with renewed vigour, and brought important gains for the French and British troops, who are operating in conjunction. North of the river, the British forces attacked on a front of about three miles, describing an arc, from Flers to Combles. For the last two days in- creased aerial reconnaissances and artil- lery preparation, which the German com- muniques admit was formidable, had in- nounced the assault, which was delivered at noon. Thanh to the efficiency of the bombard- ment, the Allies speedily carried the first German line and soon reached the out- skirts of Guedecourt. Further eastward they even pushed AS far as the village of Les Boeufs, which fell entirely in their hands at three o'clock in (he afternoon. Finally, on the extreme right, they captured after lively fighting Morval, where the Germans offered a stub. born resistance. On the French side operations were eon- ducted with equal success. The zone attacked comprised two sectors at right angles, one running west to east, including Combles and Rancourt. and the 11er north to sou th from Rancourt to the river. On our left wing, the encircling of the formidable fortress of Combles was con- tinued methodically. Ea-t. of Com bIes-in fact our line which previously passed through Lf' Priez Farm--ivis advanced one kilometre northward, and now borders on the south the hamlet of Fregi court. Thus Combles forms a deep salient of at one kilometre into our lines. Its situation will soon become untenable bv the enemy. East of Fregicourt we won all the enemy defences between the hamlet and Hill 148 which is situated north of Hancourt. On the edge of the Bethune Road an ad vance. of one kilometre in depth on a width of 1,500 metres (about a mile) ren- dered us masters of Rancourt. South of the village we also made progress of one kilometre east of the Bethune Road from where it crosses the Combles Road as far as Bouchavesncs. A hill north-east of the town was carried by assault. To the soijf]) we are now established at the foot of Hill 130 ill front of Bois I'Abbe a, bbew Wood*, Farm. Thus o positions at Bouehaves- nes, which hitsrto formed a somewhat pronounced saint, are considerably ex- tended and coequently singularly" im- proved. Finally, to tl south we extended a series of trench between Hill 76 and the Northern Cana' Such is the balance of a victorious day 11 of promise. I BELGKN OFFICIAL. Havre,Monda,(received Tuesday).âTo- night's Belgiarommunique states that there was an aiMcry duel at various points of the int, especially towards Ramscapelle authe districts around Dix- mude. I FRENCH RISONERS: 65,800. I The Press Asoiation learns from an authoritative 80'ce that the total num- ber of German risoners taken by the I French in the btlos of the Somme and I Verdun up to Stember 18 was 65,800. I THE GEMAN VERSION. Amsterdam, on day.âThe following official comnmnhe vas issued in Berlin to-day:â Western Theati of War.âArmy Group of Prince Ruppreht of Bavaria. The tremendous artillry battle between the Ancre and Sonne continues. Hostile partial attacks iiqirt the Combles-Han- court sector ctnt icar Bouchavesnes tailed. Army Group of t\ German Crown Prince.âWeak tienc hand-grenade at- tacks at Tliiaumont Work and strong French hand-grenadettacks north-east 01 Fort Souville were raised on Sept. 22. In the course of rrnerous aerial en- gagements yesterday e shot down nine aeroplanes. Our anti-icraft guns during the past few days IHHbrlmght down four aeroplanes. As a rest of bombs dropped by the enemy on Le six civilians were killed and L'8 injurei In an air attack yesterday m the regi< of Essen one child was killed and otlrs wounded. The material damage wasnsiguificant.âPress Association.

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