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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

The Breaking Of The Charm

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    Half an hour ago the Russian fleet was lost sight of proceeding at full
    speed to the north-eastward. Our loss has been terribly heavy. The fort
    and batteries have been destroyed, all the ships have been sunk or
    disabled, and of the whole defending force scarcely three hundred men
    remain. Captain Marchmont went down on the Ascalon with his flag flying,
    and fighting to the last moment.

While the excitement caused by the news of the raid upon Aberdeen was at its height, that is to say, on the morning of the 2nd of July, intelligence was received in London of a tremendous disaster to the Anglo-Teutonic Alliance. It was nothing less, in short, than the fall of Berlin, the collapse of the German Empire, and the surrender of the Kaiser and the Crown Prince to the Tsar. After nearly sixty hours of almost continuous fighting, during which the fortifications had been wrecked by the war-balloons, the German ammunition-trains burnt and blown up by the fire-shells rained from the air, and the heroic defenders of the city disorganised by the aerial bombardment of melinite shells and cyanogen poison-bombs, and crushed by an overwhelming force of not less than four million assailants. So fell like a house of cards the stately fabric built up by the genius of Bismarck and Moltke; and so, after bearing his part gallantly in the death-struggle of his empire, had the grandson of the conqueror of Sedan yielded up his sword to the victorious Autocrat of the Russias.

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The terrible news fell upon London like the premonitory echo of an approaching storm. The path of the triumphant Muscovites was now completely open to the forts of the Belgian Quadrilateral, under the walls of which they would form a junction, which nothing could now prevent, with the beleaguering forces of France. Would the Belgian strongholds be able to resist any more effectually than the fortifications of Berlin had done the assaults of the terrible war-balloons of the Tsar?

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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