Free Read: Intro and Ch. 1-3 (pdf)

Sample Passage from Hilaire Belloc’s ‘Land and Water’.

It is interesting to look at a sample passage from ‘Land and Water’ and compare it with what Godwin wrote above concerning its tone. “The launching of the first great Allied offensive of this year (1917) has fallen at such a time in the week that it is unfortunately impossible to deal with at all thoroughly in the present number of Land and Water. (…)

The general position which makes an offensive in this particular region of such high strategic value, is that which we have been following uninterruptedly for nearly two months since the Germans were first shaken back towards the Bapaume Ridge. A straightening of their line, which eliminated the Noyon salient, took them back to positions running more or less directly from the eastern suburbs of Arras to the Aisne above Soissons.

These two points, the region of Laon and the old trenches still maintained in front of Arras were the two points of junction between the new line and the old. These points of junction were the two links upon which the whole of what may be called from its central point the St. Quentin line, depended. The advance of the Allies over the destroyed belt of the German retirement proved more rapid than the enemy had allowed for. The French pushed forward to the Oise above La Fere and came within range of St. Quentin in quite the first few days.” (April 12, 1917)