Page 3660

3660 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

guns kept up a tremendous fire over the

heads of their infantry.

The French, being better trained and

also less strongly opposed, carried the

German front line everywhere, dug themselves in, and steadily smashed their way

forward. In the course of ten days, they

captured twelve thousand prisoners, eighty-five guns, and considerable other booty.

On the British right similar success was

won, but on their left the works were so

strong that initial successes gained at some

points could not be sustained. By the

6th of July, however, the British had

captured nearly six thousand prisoners,

had taken numerous heavily fortified

villages and other strong points, French

and British combined had established

themselves in the German works on a

front of about twenty miles and continued

to push onward, the former toward Peronne,

the latter toward Baupaume.

For months, the great battle thus begun

continued. To meet the Allied attack

the Germans brought up hundreds of

thousands of men and thousands of guns,

and, day and night, the cannon poured

back and forth an unending stream of

death. To pound ceaselessly was the

Allied policy, and their offensive reminded

the observer of the mighty blows of a

gigantic steam hammer. Though the Germans would counter-attack, and sometimes

recapture positions they had lost, they were

slowly but irresistibly pushed back. With

each success won, the Allies would bring forward their artillery and proceed to bombard

the next strong point or line of trenches

they desired to take. Scores and scores

of times defenders met attackers in close

personal combat, and hundreds of thousands of men fell dead and wounded,

yet the conflict seemed more like a great

enterprise in engineering than a battle.