Page 3758


in the afternoon the enemy's second line

had been overrun, and the third line had

been taken in most places. In one place

what was known as Hill 145 still remained

in German hands, but it was taken on

the 12th. Nearly 4,000 prisoners were

made in the capture of what was undoubtedly one of the strongest points in the

whole German line. The possession of

Vimy Ridge was subsequently to be of

great value to the British, and the fact

that they held it played no small part in

the successful defense which the British

made in the spring of 1918 at the time of

the "Kaiser's Battle."

Von Hindenburg threw in reserves by

hundreds of thousands, but he found

that fighting British and French armies

was a different affair from that of engaging

Russians and Roumanians, over whom

his great triumphs had been won. Slowly

but resistlessly, the British pushed onward,

alternately blasting the way with their

guns and thrusting forward with their

infantry. By the end of April, they had

captured nearly twenty thousand Germans, nearly three hundred cannons, and

immense quantities of other booty.

On the 16th of April, General Nivelle's

French armies struck a tremendous blow

against the German line along the Aisne,

on a front of over twenty miles between

Rheims and Soissons, advancing an average of two miles and capturing ten thousand prisoners. By the end of the month,

the French had captured over twenty

thousand prisoners and nearly two hundred

cannons, but they had fallen short of

compelling a general German retirement

and had suffered immense losses.

The difficulties they had had to face

had been, in fact, enormous. The country