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§743 The battles of Reims and Tours-sur-Marne (1914-1918): IV-46.

IV-46 (§743):

It shall be a fact of preeminence that your country shall have been well defended,
Tours-sur-Marne, guard against your close ruin.
London and Nantes shall defend by Reims,
Don’t pass by the time of drizzle.

(Bien defendu le faict par excelence,
Garde toy Tours[-sur-Marne] de ta proche ruine:
Londres & Nantes par Reims fera defense,
Ne passés outre au temps de la bruine.)

NOTES: V. Ionescu (1976, p.387-388) gives us a smart interpretation of the quatrain with the theme of the battles of Reims and of Tours-sur-Marne (September 1914 and July 1918).

Londres (London): « A synecdoche, for Britain.» (Ionescu, id., p.387).

Nantes: « A synecdoche, for France – or an apheresis, for “Ponantes”, a name given to the Americans, called also the Hesperians, for Occident and Ponant are the synonyms of Hesperia which designates the lands of the West.» (id.). And Nantes can connote USA also through the fact that a part of the soldiers of American Expeditionary Forces landed at the port of St. Nazaire in front of Nantes (cf. Coffman, 1968, p.125). 

Tours-sur-Marne, guard against your close ruin: « Ludendorff still planned to reopen the Flanders offensive when sufficient Allied reserves had been drawn south. Meanwhile American troops were being convoyed across the Atlantic in increasing numbers. Fifty thousand were arriving every week and being given extra training for battlefield conditions. Time was running out for Ludendorff, who was all too conscious that he had to strike again quickly. His new focus of attack was the French front on the Aisne, between Soissons and Reims, the axis being south towards the river Marne [Tours-sur-Marne, guard against your close ruin].» (Chasseaud, 2013, p.263).  

London [Britain] and Nantes [France & USA] shall defend by Reims, Don’t pass by the time of drizzle: « The defending troops of Duchêne’s Sixth Army [France], including five weak British divisions [Britain] recuperating in this ‘quiet sector’ from earlier fighting were crammed too densely into the narrow frontal area along the Chemin-des-Dames ridge north of the Aisne. On 27 May they found themselves pounded by 3,719 guns and mortars for three and a half hours, in yet another murderous Bruchmüller bombardment. On that day the Germans stormed through twelve miles on a forty-mile front, advancing over the Aisne and Vesle rivers to the Marne in three days, reaching a point only forty miles from Paris. American troops [USA], part of the one-and-a-half-million-strong American Expeditionary Force already in France, helped to hold the Germans on the Marne. French troops on both flanks held fast, Reims on the east acting like an anchor [shall defend by Reims] as Verdun had done during the First Battle of the Marne in 1914, and again the result was a huge German salient, against the west flank of which Pétain immediately launched counter-attacks. The contents of the wine cellars of the Champagne region, as well as the temptations of other forms of looting, contributed to the loss of impetus of the German attacks. Officers, as elsewhere during their 1918 offensives, found it difficult to get their men moving again.» (Chasseaud, id., p.263-264).
 
« From 31 May the Germans tried to drive out of the western part of the bulge created by the breakthrough to the Marne, aiming to push down towards Paris between the Ourcq and the Marne. On 9 June the Germans attacked at Compiègne between the two salients created by their Montdidier and Aisne attacks. This attack also was intended to draw Allied reserves from Flanders, as also was the later attack (15 July) astride Reims. Pétain was painfully aware of the disaster caused on the Chemin-des-Dames by a too-rigid defence. So he tried to destroy the impetus of the Compiègne attack by insisting on an elastic defence, but was to some extent foiled by the inflexibility of the local commanders. However the attacks met with little success. Ludendorff’s chief railway staff officer now insisted on the capture of Reims to ensure communications to the Marne salient; if this was not achieved, he claimed, the salient would have to be abandoned. On 15 July, the Germans used forty nine divisions in an attempt to pinch out the French salient at Reims by attacking on either side. They succeeded in crossing the Marne but were prevented from pushing their artillery over the river in support, and soon had to withdraw from this exposed position. To the east of Reims the French artillery, forewarned by Intelligence, smashed the German assault waves in their jumping-off positions by opening counter-preparation fire ten minutes before the assault [France shall defend by Reims]. The defeat of these German attacks and the waxing Allied defence signalled that the tide had turned. Ludendorff had diverted his reserves from the Flanders attack, planned for June but cancelled, and his gamble had failed.» (Chasseaud, id., p.264).

« The turning point was an attack at Amiens on 8 August, spearheaded by Australian and Canadian infantry, and supported by massed British and French tanks. Described by the German general Erich Ludendorff [1865-1937] as “the black day of the German army”, it initiated the “Hundred Days” of relentless Allied offensives, with large-scale use of tanks and aircraft. In September, Pershing achieved his ambition of commanding an independent US operation – the capture of the St Mihiel salient. This was followed by a combined American and French offensive in the Argonne forest, the costliest single battle in American history with 117,000 US casualties.» (
DKHistory, p.353).

« Battle of Epéhy and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive In the battle of Epéhy on 18 and 19 September, British forces broke through the outer Hindenburg defences and established jumping-off positions for the attack on the main Hindenburg position. Foch’s grand offensive now gathered pace along the whole Allied front. On 26 September, Pershing’s American First and Gouraud’s French Fourth Armies began the Meuse-Argonne offensive, on the front from Verdun to the Argonne Forest, with Pershing’s right flank on the river Meuse and the French attacking on his left. Twenty-two French and fifteen American divisions were involved. This, the largest American operation of the war, lasted from 26 September to the Armistice on 11 November [Don’t pass by the time of drizzle]. In the difficult Argonne Forest terrain of tangled woods, gullies and ridges, it was almost impossible for tanks to operate, and the Americans found themselves engaging in a bloody slog through a succession of strongly held German positions. By 1 October the French and Americans had advanced some ten miles and taken 18,000 prisoners, and in a few more miles came up against the strong defensive position of the Kriemhild Line. While their advance was painfully slow, they were at least holding down thirty-six German divisions.» (Chasseaud, 2013, p.269-271).
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Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 219 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§949).

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