Foreign News: FLANDERS

THE place names of Flemish towns ring like bugles. They tell of bloody and costly battles in wars over the centuries: Courtrai, Passendale, Ypres ("Wipers" to the Tommy of World War I), and Armentiéres (whose "Mademoiselle" was invented to wipe out the memory of grimmer realities). In World War II, the tragedy and heroism of Dunkirk were played out on a Flemish beach.

Flanders is bloody ground, and its history a story of violence: for centuries the alien peoples of Europe have swarmed over her rich, open plain, to pillage, plunder and fight battles: Caesar's legions from the south; Viking raiders from...

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