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
"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