In German, all the Nouns begin with a capital letter. Now that is a good idea; and a good idea, in this language, is necessarily conspicuous from its lonesomeness. I consider this capitalizing of nouns a good idea, because by reason of it you are almost always able to tell a noun the minute you see it. You fall into error occasionally, because you mistake the name of a person for the name of a thing, and waste a good deal of time trying to dig a meaning out of it. German names almost always do mean something, and this helps to deceive the student. I translated a passage one day, which said that "the infuriated tigress broke loose and utterly ate up the unfortunate fir forest" ( Tannenwald ). When I was girding up my loins to doubt this, I found out that Tannenwald in this instance was a man's name.
After waging exhausting and bloody battles against the Allies at Verdun and the Somme , and with the edging ever closer to entering the war, Germany’s leaders looked to improve their defensive positions on the Western Front. In February 1917, the German army began a well-organized withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line, a move calculated to give a period of respite before the Allies could begin their attacks again. The withdrawal reduced the length of the line the Germans had to defend by 25 miles, freeing up 13 army divisions to serve as reserve troops. On their way, German forces systematically destroyed the land they passed through, burning farmhouses, poisoning wells, mining abandoned buildings and demolishing roads.
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