"The Red Watch"

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER IV THE CALL TO ARMS IN the War of 1870, the Germans advanced across the Rhine on the frontier of France. The independent State of Luxemburg and the Kingdom of Belgium were not disturbed. The Germans at that time respected the neutrality of these countries. They kept the treaties that had been made years before, guaranteeing these countries from invasion in case of war. Bismarck, although a man of "blood" and "iron," as a rule, respected treaties. With the French frontier bristling with guns, fortresses and entrenchments that had been deliberately prepared in advance, the Germans, in 1914, stood a good chance of being beaten in the first round if they had attacked the eastern frontier of France on the declaration of war. Behind a ring of entrenchments the French Generals could deliberately mass their armies, and the battle front could be narrowed to such an extent that the preponderance of numbers which the Germans could put in the field would not count. For some years, however, German military writers had been advocating that the German army of invasion should march through Belgium and Luxemburg. It was known that the latter country could not object, but with Belgium it was different. The Belgians had been warned, and were busy arming, under the leadership of their ruler, who was universally beloved. The Belgians are a proud people, and since the days of Caesar they had on numerous occasions hurled the invading Germans back and held their homes and frontiers inviolate. The Germans, however, imagined, that once their vast armies crossed the Meuse and began a march on Namur and Charleroi, the martial ardor of the Belgians would cool and that beyond a formal protest, no resistance would be offered. As France and Belgium had been on terms of friendship for many ...
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