Page 3442

3442 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

could not withstand the power of the new

artillery. Although virtually impregnable

against the guns in use when they were

constructed, they were smashed into ruin

by the terrific power of the shells that

landed upon them. Fort Fleron was the

first to go, being silenced on the morning

of the 6th. This broke the ring of the

fortress, and General Leman, realizing

that the defense could not be protracted

beyond a few days, withdrew his field

forces to the west side of the Meuse River

and blew up the bridges, leaving the remaining forts on the east side to hold out

as long as they could.

That same day half a dozen Uhlans

succeeded in passing through the gap into

the town and attempted to capture the

General, but were themselves slain. The

troops and most of the population evacuated the city, and the Germans marched

in and occupied it.

General Leman took refuge in Fort

Loncin, and this fort and the others that

remained undestroyed continued to hold

out, the last falling on August 17. Major

Mameche, the commander of one fort

which had the task of preventing the

Germans from using the Verviers railway

line, found that he could hold out no

longer, so he blocked up the tunnel through

which the railway ran, and then fired the

powder magazine of his fortress, thus

blocking the road.

The end of Fort Loncin came on the 15th.

It was already badly battered, and the

final scene is thus described by General

Leman

"After some time passed amid these

horrors, I wished to return to my observation tower; but I had hardly advanced a few feet into the gallery when

a great blast passed by, and I was violently

thrown to the ground. I managed to