The Word From the Front, 23 June 2015

From the New York Times, 24 June 2015


But Germans’ Bombardment at 20-Mile Range Caused No Panic.

DUNKIRK,  June 23.  (via Paris, June 24.)–Thirty-six  tons of explosives and metal ,were  fired into  Dunkirk yesterday from the German position somewhere behind Dixmude. Several  civilians  were  killed   or wounded, and considerable material damage was done, but not a single shell reached the port, or any  other point of military importance. The impression on the inhabitants   differed in no way from that made  by  preceding  bombardments, and the first trains out of the city today carried no more than   the usual number of travelers.

The first shell struck in the city at the break of dawn and others followed at intervals of twenty-five minutes until 6:15 in the evening. They came without warning for through Dunkirk constantly hears the guns of the Allies along the Belgian front no I sound comes from the monster weapon that   hurls these sixteenth-inch shells from a spot more than twenty miles distant.  The shriek of the shell gives no warning of the missile’s coming as the noise is heard only in the last 200 yards of flight, and almost simultaneously comes an explosion that makes the earth tremble.
Scarcely had the smoke of the first shell lifted when red-colored notices reading: “Refuge in case of alarm” began to appear on the fronts of buildings having cellars safe from the shell fire. Many people, hastily clad, hurried to these shelters. Still more ran in the direction of the explosion, hoping  to aid the  victims whenever  one of these monster missiles falls. However the work of rescuers is reduced to a minimum, as the destruction the shell works   in the immediate vicinity is  nearly  complete. The streets were strewn in many places with broken plate glass, crushed paving stones and other  debris  before  the   work  of clearing away began.
In the intervals of this fifteen-hour bombardment melancholy calm  prevailed in the city. There was little excitement at any time,  and no panic whatsoever.
Then  the  fire  was  over  the streets  resumed  their ordinary war-time aspect and among the throng that went  about  their  affairs in neither  haste nor confusion street Arabs swarmed about the stricken   spots  hunting fragments of shells to sell  to passers-by.
The electric current was cut off in the city but gas could be burned as usual. Persons who had sought the cellar refuges came  out  before morning to the sound of violent cannonading from the Allies’ front that had continued all night.

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