Page 3601

3601 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR,

preparing. In this war the footsteps of the

Allied forces have been dogged by the

mocking specter of 'Too Late!' And

unless we quicken our movements damnation will fall upon the sacred cause for

which so much gallant blood has flowed."

Yet the process was to be a long and

slow one. It was to need all of the Welshman's superb energy, moving eloquence,

and unsurpassed adroitness to organize

the country for its work. And in the

meantime, Britain the Unready was forced

to sit and watch, her Allies suffer defeat

after defeat because she was unable to

throw into the contest the potential might

that she possessed yet had not available.

From April to September, then, the

Allies on the west were condemned to

comparative inaction, to occasional "nibbling," which produced results that appeared pitiful beside those which the

triumphant Teutonic legions were achieving in Galicia and Poland. The most

considerable of these "nibbles" was that

of the French against the immensely

powerful series of German trenches and

fortifications north of Arras, known as

"The Labyrinth." These fortifications

and trenches formed a salient in the

German line which the French were

anxious to capture in order to render future

operations in that region feasible. The

positions were not only strongly held

by large forces of Germans, but were also

defended by scores of heavy guns, some of

them as big as the 305-millimeter howitzers.

The Labyrinth was first subjected to

heavy bombardments, and from the 9th

of May onward the French made repeated

but futile assaults. Toward the end of

May, orders were given to take the position

"inch by inch. To accomplish this it

was first necessary by well prepared and

vigorous rushes to get a foothold in the