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Abergavenny Children Entertained.

The " Abergavenny Chronicle…


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I THE MILITARY SITUATION. I GERMANY'S RESERVES OF MEN. Coming, as they did, after a long period of comparative passivity on the part of the Ger- mans, the attacks near Ypres and La Bassee on Monday have been invested in some quarters with undue importance. These appear to have been mere isolated outbursts of activity, and they are chiefly remarkable because, apparently, they were unprovoked. As observed recently in connection with the action at Soissons, the enemy's activity during the past two months on the front west of the Argonne has been of the nature of counter-attacks, made with the object of recovering ground gained by the Allies' offen- sive. This was the case at Soissons, where the French had almost succeeded in effecting a lodg- ment on the plateau. At Ypres and at La Bassee the forces employed appear to have been much smaller than those by which the counter- offensive at Soissons was made yet these attacks seem to have been spontaneous. The German force engaged at Ypres was originally estimated at a battalion, but it is now Stated, on the information of prisoners, to have amounted to a brigade, a discrepancy which is hard to account for. The attack delivered to the west of Craonnc on the same day was prob- ably made with the object of extending the local I success previously gained in the Soissons region, And it seems to justify the opinion expressed at th timCj that the uemJ" WQU1$ not attempt to push their "116 across the Alsne, "but WQliW rather try to extend their advantage Ifitefaily if they should pursue the offensive at all. The French position on the Craonne plateau, being somewhat advanced, would form a natural point of attack with that object. Although there are still rumonrs of consider- able movements of troops in Belgium, it seems, on the whole, unlikely that the Germans are pre- paring for a renewal of the offensive on a large scale in the Western theatre of war. If that were their intention it is not probable that they would begin operations with isolated attacks in numbers which could not achieve any decisive result. The question was discussed a few days ago in some detail, and there is so far no reason to alter the opinion then expressed. It is, in- deed, difficult to assign any adequate motive for the spasmodic attacks at Ypres and La Bassee. At present no better explanation can be devised than that suggested in the reports which foreshadowed an offensive of some kind, namely, the desire to make a display in honour I of the Emperor's birthday. It is hardly to be supposed that the Germans would in existing circumstances be able to trans- fer troops from the Eastern theatre of war. There, as in France, the endeavour to evade outflanking operations has resulted in an ex- cessive extension of the line, which, in the two theatres, amounts approximately to one thou- sand miles. The Austro-German forces at present in the field can hardly do more than hold this vast front defensively, allowing for reserves distributed at convenient points for use in re- pelling serious attacks, as at Soissons, or for undertaking a local offensive, as at Ypres and La Bassee. For the movement of such reserves the enemy have in France the advantage of the railway communications, which offer great facilities for lateral movement within the area enclosed by their angular front west of the AT- gonne and they have doubtless improved these facilities by the construction of troop-sidings and platforms at the stations where the troops held in reserve are likely to entrain or detrain. An ample supply of rolling stock would also be kept in readiness and every other provision be made for the rapid despatch of the troops. The Germans are experts in railway organisation, and the speed with which they concentrated the force, said to have amounted to an army corps, to meet the French attack at Soissons was in no way surprising. For anything on a larger scale than a local offensive, for which the reserves above referred to would suffice, it would probably be necessary to draw 011 the new levies which have been train- ing assiduously for some months. To what ex- tent these have already been brought under re- quisition is, of course, not known, but there is no doubt that both the Germans and the Austrians have placed in the field all the trained forces that were available at the beginning of the war, and a considerable number in addition that have since been trained. Further drafts on these newly-trained troops will be needed if a fresh campaign is to be undertaken against Serbia, and, no doubt, they have recently had to meet demands for the prolongation of the line in Hungary southwards to the Roumanian frontier. The Germans will probably husband their remaining reserves as far as possible, and will not squander them in France, where there lis no immediate cause for anxiety, until the passing of the winter makes it possible to resume I active operations on a large scale.

I j Abergavenny Stock Market.

; Amateur Dramatic Performance

Mr. and Mrs. Vyvian Thomas,I



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