14 JUNE 1940, Page 5


IF there is tragedy, there may equally be hope in the precision with which 1940 is repeating 1914 in France. It is true, no doubt, that hopes enough have been frustrated already. The Maginot Line and its extension were to be barriers that no Germans could surmount. And they never might have sur- mounted them but for the appeals from Holland and Belgium and the defection of King Leopold. But now the French are back to the Marne, and what has been a turning-point once may be the same again, though a stand there could not protect Paris as it did when Gallieni brought his army out from the capital in taxis and von Kluck rashly wheeled across the British front. The aeroplane makes all the difference to that. It is curious that with all the differences between warfare in 1914 and war- fare today it has taken the Germans the same time, almost to a day, to reach the Marne now as then. In 1914 the Kaiser invaded Belgium on August 4th, his armies reached the Mame on September 3rd-3o days. In 1940 Belgium was invaded on May loth, the French withdrew behind the Marne on June IIth-32 days. But the Germans had not then, or ever in that war, the Channel ports.

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