Last week rain fell continuously on the Western Front. In the 20-mile sector north of the Swiss border which faces the rocky fortress of Istein—Germany's "Gibraltar of the Rhine"—sodden French infantrymen came in from patrol to report that across the swelling river the German troops were busy in the flats. To stop this activity—whatever it was—French engineers had an answer that cost no lives, no ammunition. They closed the gates that drain Rhine water into the Rhine-Rhone Canal, let the river flood the flats.

Over all the front from Luxembourg to Switzerland the...

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