The New York Times Current History of the European War

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New York Times Current
History of the European War,

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The New York Times Current History
of the
European War, Vol 1, Issue 4, January 23, 1915, by Various This
eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no
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Title: The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol
1, Issue 4, January 23, 1915
Author: Various
Release Date: July 27, 2005 [EBook #16363]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, James LaTondre and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at

[Transcriber: The original document contained a number of errors.

Obvious spelling mistakes have been corrected and a notation included
for each. There were three places with missing text that have also been
annotated. In addition, there were also a number of inconsistencies in
spelling (ex. Perceval Gibbon vs. Percival Gibbon; Rennekampf vs.
Rennenkampf) which have not been changed or noted given the desire
not to introduce unintentional errors.]
[Illustration: FIELD MARSHAL SIR JOHN FRENCH Commanding
the British Forces in France and Belgium (_From Painting by John St.
Helier Lander._)]
[Illustration: GEN. SIR HORACE SMITH-DORRIEN One of the
British Corps Commanders (_From Painting by John St Helier

JANUARY 23, 1915.

Sir John French's Own Story
The Famous Dispatches of the British Commander in Chief to Lord
Kitchener, Secretary of State for War.

*First Report from the Front*
7th September, 1914.
My lord: I have the honor to report the proceedings of the field force
under my command up to the time of rendering this dispatch.

1. The transport of the troops from England both by sea and by rail was
effected in the best order and without a check. Each unit arrived at its
destination in this country well within the scheduled time.
The concentration was practically complete on the evening of Friday,
the 21st ultimo, and I was able to make dispositions to move the force
during Saturday, the 22d, to positions I considered most favorable from
which to commence operations which the French Commander in Chief,
Gen. Joffre, requested me to undertake in pursuance of his plans in
prosecution of the campaign.
The line taken up extended along the line of the canal from Condé on
the west, through Mons and Binche on the east. This line was taken up
as follows:
From Condé to Mons inclusive was assigned to the Second Corps, and
to the right of the Second Corps from Mons the First Corps was posted.
The Fifth Cavalry Brigade was placed at Binche.
In the absence of my Third Army Corps I desired to keep the cavalry
division as much as possible as a reserve to act on my outer flank, or
move in support of any threatened part of the line. The forward
reconnoissance was intrusted to Brig. Gen. Sir Philip Chetwode with
the Fifth Cavalry Brigade, but I directed Gen. Allenby to send forward
a few squadrons to assist in this work.
During the 22d and 23d these advanced squadrons did some excellent
work, some of them penetrating as far as Soignies, and several
encounters took place in which our troops showed to great advantage.
2. At 6 A.M., on Aug. 23, I assembled the commanders of the First and
Second Corps and cavalry division at a point close to the position and
explained the general situation of the Allies, and what I understood to
be Gen. Joffre's plan. I discussed with them at some length the
immediate situation in front of us.
From information I received from French Headquarters I understood
that little more than one, or at most two, of the enemy's army corps,

with perhaps one cavalry division, were in front of my position; and I
was aware of no attempted outflanking movement by the enemy. I was
confirmed in this opinion by the fact that my patrols encountered no
undue opposition in their reconnoitring operations. The observations of
my aeroplanes seemed also to bear out this estimate.
About 3 P.M. on Sunday, the 23d, reports began coming in to the effect
that the enemy was commencing an attack on the Mons line, apparently
in some strength, but that the right of the position from Mons and Bray
was being particularly threatened.
The commander of the First Corps had pushed his flank back to some
high ground south of Bray, and the Fifth Cavalry Brigade evacuated
Binche, moving slightly south; the enemy thereupon occupied Binche.
The right of
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