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50 THE SECOND YEAR OF THE WAR
student, a month apart-March 9th and y
April 9th. The first was the last of the -
great massed attacks in which the enemy .
hoped to break in the French lines, -
although these had rallied and stood d
twelve days before. The second was the
last of the great main actions in which it
was hoped no longer to break the French
line, but at least to compel its reorganisa- ,
tion in such a fashion as to allow the i
entry of German troops into the ruined 1
‘ houses lying upon the east of the river 1
and forming part of the municipality of J
Verdun. It was upon the later occasion ,
with the failure of this general offensive, 1
at the most appalling expense in men, E
that the Battle of Verdun may be said to 1
be won. It became more and more t
apparent that the effort was now political. 1
German prestige demanded it. The now w
ilattened salient of this sector was talked (
of as though it were a fortress suffering 1
investment. t
The price paid in military affairs for the
error of political digression is invariably j
severe and usually disastrous. It is that ç
error which explains Napoleon’s failure in jy
Spain; still more his failure in Russia, W