Transcription

18744 FRENCH CALVARY HORSES SWIM-MING RIVER

    To save time a detachment of men is sent across the river on the ferry drawn up near the opposite bank, while the horses are made to swim.  This river, like so many in France, is narrow, but deep in the middle--the horses nearest us already have their feet on the bot-tom.  The Mense, the Marne, the Aisne, the Oise and the Somme are the principal rivers of northern France.  None are great streams, like our Hudson or Mississippi.  In America they would, for most of their length, be called creeks.  All are narrow and deep.  During the World War great battles were fought along the banks of all of them.  All will be famous in history.  Without a doubt French cavalry and German Uhlans have swum their horses across them time and again.
    During four years of trench warfare, be-ginning when the Germans dug themselves in on the north bank of the Aisle after their dis-astrous defeat on the Marne, and continuing until the battle of Soissons, July, 1918, there was little that calvary could do.  They could be used neither for attack nor reconnoissance--modern artillery and the trenches extending across the whole width of France prevented either.  In July and August, 1914, both armies used calvary to "feel out" the enemy to dis-cover where his line was strong and where weak.  Thereafter, for four years, this service was performed by airplanes and observation balloons.  But when, with sledgehammer blows, Marshal Foch in the last four month of the war broke the Germans loose from their trenches and brought the war into the open, cavalry came into its own again, harassing the retreating foe, preventing the concentration of fugitives, capturing whole companies at a time.

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