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By A. F. Pollard

On 28 June 1914 the Archduke Francis Ferdinand heir-presumptive to the Hapsburg throne used to be shot within the streets of Serajevo the capital of the Austrian province of Bosnia.

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The rival armies were like two doors swinging towards one another on the same hinge; but they were not wooden or rigid, and the banging together began at the hinge near La Bassée and extended northwards to the coast in a concussion spread over several days. On 11 October Smith-Dorrien's 2nd Corps reached the La Bassée Canal between Aire and Béthune, while Gough's cavalry was clearing the German patrols out of the forest of Nieppe. On the 12th he attempted a frontal attack on La Bassée, but found the German position too strong, and determined to try to wheel round it on the north.

It succeeded after three days' fighting and a heavy bombardment on the 10th. But Dixmude had, as was natural in a country which had generally feared attack from France, been built on the eastern bank of the Yser; and the Germans were never able to debouch across the river (see Map, p. 288). The capture of Dixmude coincided with the last attack on Ypres. That famous battle was but an act in the drama played along the Flanders front, and it may not have been more decisive and was perhaps less dramatic than the battle of Arras.

The Germans rarely if ever came out without information of their intended movement preceding them, and Beatty put to sea within an hour of their start. 5-inch guns, and he had five other battle-cruisers, the Tiger, 28,000 tons, 28 knots, and the same armament as the Lion; the Princess Royal, a sister ship of the Lion; the New Zealand, 18,800 tons, 25 knots, and eight 12-inch guns; and the Indomitable, sister to Sturdee's Invincible and Inflexible. There were also four cruisers of the “town” class, three light cruisers, and torpedo flotillas.

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