24 DECEMBER 1904, Page 1

T HE progress of the Japanese attack on Port Arthur has

this week been very great. The capture of the north fort of East Kee-kwan-sban was an event of great tactical importance, and it has been followed by the expulsion of the Russians from other heights. In modern fortresses the various works are like links in a chain. If one link is destroyed, the chain is destroyed. No doubt this fact is neutralised by surrounding the citadel with many chains which as far as possible are independent. They cannot, however, be unlimited in number, and therefore whenever a link is broken and a chain shattered the chances of the fortress remaining inviolate are gradually diminished. It is impossible to say how long it will be before Japan snaps the last link, but it is at any rate safe to say that she is perceptibly nearer it than she was at the beginning of December. We have dealt with the tragedy of Port Arthur at length elsewhere, and will only say here that the bravery both of the assailants and the defenders has been beyond praise. The Russians resist the splendid fury of the Japanese with a " dour " determination equally magnificent.