The action of the Government in sending the Naval Division
to Antwerp has been severely criticized in some quarters, but we do not attach much weight to these criticisms. Apart from the unlucky loss of the First Brigade, the casualties were slight—they are estimated at three hundred in all—and were almost limited to the Marine Brigade, upon which the brunt of the fighting fell. As we predicted last week, the actual bombardment of the town proved to be much less terribly destructive than the earlier descriptions made out. Neither the loss of life nor the injury to property seems to have been very great. Modern artillery is no doubt extremely effective against forts, but in the case of the bombardment of a town by far the greater part of the damage done even by the biggest of howitzers is wrought upon the nerves of the inhabitants. The evacuation of Antwerp was a result, not of the German bombardment, but of the desire to save the Belgian Field Army as a fighting force.