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Every measure of defence within the power of the defenders of Antwerp was provided beforehand, but proved unavailing against the gigantic siege-guns with which the Germans battered down the forts and bombarded the city. The elaborate and extensive barbed-wire entanglements for blocking the approaches between the inner forts, constructed by men of the British contingent, sent to Antwerp in the last week of the defence, were useless once the German shells began bursting in the city.–As testimony to the Belgian resistance, one of our photographs shows three separate combats taking place simultaneously.
The smoke from the burning town of Audeghem, where the Germans trying to cross the river were shelled by the Belgians at Berlaere, can be seen through the trees towards the left. From Termonde the Germans were attacking Gremberghen. The huge petrol storage-tanks at Antwerp were set on fire by the Belgians themselves and the oil allowed to run into the Scheldt.—Lierre Bridge across the Nethe, fifteen miles from Antwerp, was blown up, in the face of a hot German attack, by a party of British Marines, who escaped by a small boat after holding out to the last. It was at Lierre, where the chief German attack was delivered, that the British Bluejackets and Marines were entrenched. They had to retire owing to a Belgian regiment being surprised in the night and the position thus being outflanked.
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