vading and subduing France would enable the Russian millions to be arrayed on the eastern frontier, and to carry war into Germany and Austria. Consequently, no time was available in which to besiege the barrier fortresses on the eastern frontier of France, and to push through the difficult country behind them. The quickest and easiest route to the heart of France had to be taken, and that lay through the Belgian plain, which was so well supplied with railways that food and munitions from the German bases could readily reach the invading armies as they pushed forward. Belgium, it was true, had been guaranteed freedom from invasion by a treaty to which Prussia was a party; but in the opinion of the German Government military necessity overrode all such engagements and reduced them to mere "scraps of paper." Belgium, it was thought, would make little or no resistance. She had but few trained soldiers, and these were ill-equipped. She had powerful fortresses on her frontier, but there were not enough men to garri
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