BRITISH MILITARY ASCENDANCY
 BEFORE the outbreak of war the military strength of Great Britain was far below that of France, Russia, or Germany.
Now it ranks as one of the foremost military powers in the world, while it continues to maintain its naval
supremacy. German dreams of world conquest have consequently been shattered.
During 1916 the British offensive on the Ancre and Somme proved that the enemy's elaborately entrenched and
strongly held line could not withstand the bombardments of numerous and powerful British guns, or hold back
our valorous soldiers. The Germans were out-manoeuvred, out-generalled, and out-fought, and were forced to
retreat from a large salient on the Somme to the concreted entrenchments of the Hindenburg line. But before
they could settle down, early in 1917, hard blows were struck. Vimy Ridge, the northern pivot of the line, was
captured by our soldiers on a single morning. Its forts, earthworks, and dug-outs had been previously mauled
or shattered by shell-fire, while deep mines, constructed secretly, were exploded at dawn on the day of
battle. The enemy were afterwards deprived by the Allied armies of the strategical advantages of other heights
on the Aisne, at Messines, and at Passchendaele.
Among the new developments in modern warfare was the British Tank, which did much
 to facilitate attacks on entrenched positions. At the battle of Cambrai, several hundred Tanks were employed
to break through masses of barbed wire, enfilade trenches, and shatter machine-gun positions.
But for the revolution in Russia, which brought about the rapid decline of that country's military power, it
is probable that German resistance on the Western Front would have been shattered before the end of 1917.
Russian inactivity enabled Germany to strengthen its armies in France and Flanders, but the entry of the
United States on the side of the Allies restored the balance of man-power on the Western Front.
Nevertheless the Germans succeeded in making a great and successful advance in March, 1918, and for a time the
Allied positions in France were in grave danger, till, under the command of Marshal Foch, the Allies were able
again to throw back the Germans from the Marne. As summer and autumn wore on, constant pressure forced the
enemy to continual withdrawal.
Eventually, on 4th October, Germany was compelled to beg for an armistice, which was granted on 11th November.
Meantime the Bulgarians, the Turks and the Austrians in rapid succession had submitted and sued for terms.
The Great World War was ended.
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