The Spectator

After the breakthrough

From ‘Verdun’, The Spectator, 16 June 1916: As has been proved again and again in this war, if you are willing to pay the price you can always break the enemy’s line, and break it on a considerable front; but when you have broken it you are no better off than you were before. If you push on too far, you have only made a dangerous salient, from which you will probably be driven later by counter-attacks. Further, if, as in this case, it has taken some four months’ hard fighting to make your gap, you will discover that the enemy have had ample time to prepare fresh lines in front of you, and that your business, instead of being ended, is only just beginning.

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