V19274 NATIONAL ROAD BRIDGE OVER THE MARNE, BLOWN UP TO PREVENT GERMAN ADVANCE The condition of this wide, substantial bridge on the National Highway, extending eastward from Paris along the valley of the Marne, indicates how closely the Germans threatened the French metropolis in the early days of September, 1914. Lagny (lån' yē'), the town in which the bridge is located, is less than 14 miles from the city. The Ger-mans did not actually reach Lagny, but the troops of the British Army under Sir John French, took no chances, destroying the Marne bridges behind them as they crossed the river and continued their long southward retreat from Mons, Belgium. General Von Kluck, whose army was pur-suing the British, made the mistake of assum-ing that the latter had already been so badly beaten that it was incapable of much more resistance. He, therefore, moved southeast-ward on the east side of the city, with the apparent intention of overtaking and routing the British. Thus would be created a gap in the Allied battle line, cutting off the French field armies from Paris. But in Paris there was a field army upon which Von Kluck had not counted, the Army of Paris under General Maunoury. When Von Kluck moved southeastward he exposed his right flank to attack from the direction of Paris and Maunoury, supported by Gllieni, promptly fell upon it. At the same time the British faced about and at-tacked the Germans vigorously in front. The result was that Von Kluck found himself in a pocket and was obliged to retreat north-ward. Thus began the defeat of the whole array of German armies.