Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [General] >> General Discussion >> RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War Page: <<   < prev  4 5 [6] 7 8   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/12/2018 3:09:25 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
12 September 1918

In the United States, the trial of Eugene Debs came to its conclusion. Debs had called no witnesses for his defense, asking only that he be allowed to address the court. The request was granted, but his two-hour speech apparently was not enough: he was found guilty.

He would be sentenced to 10 years in prison, and shamefully, the Supreme Court would uphold the conviction. President Wilson never forgave Debs, but in 1921 President Warren G. Harding would commute his sentence to time served, and then invite him to the White House.


In the Caucasus near Baku, an ethnic Arab officer defected to the pro-Allied coalition. (the Arabs owed less loyalty to the Ottoman Empire than did the Turks.) He revealed that another assault on the city defenses would be launched the next day, however, he could not say where on the defensive lines the blow would fall.


In France, the village of Havrincourt was taken by the British Third Army. This might have seemed just another episode of back-and-forth advances and retreats: the village had been captured in 1914 during the opening weeks, recaptured in 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai, and re-re-captured by the German Spring Offensive. But there was a difference that the British commanders did not fail to notice. It had taken three divisions to ensure the victory, but they had defeated four German divisions, who additionally had the advantage of defending. The German will to fight was measurably eroding.


In the St. Mihiel sector, the combined American and French attack got underway. This time there was no subtlety; the Allies began with a tremendous three-hour artillery barrage. It is estimated that more ammunition was expended in those three hours than in the entire Civil War. In addition to the over 3,000 cannon, the Allies had 400 tanks and 1,500 airplanes. Interestingly, the air effort would turn out to be the largest air operation of WWI, involving American, British, French, Italian, and even Portuguese squadrons.

Though the German soldiers on the front lines now knew what was coming, the Allies had again achieved strategic surprise. Many of the German cannons had been limbered in readiness to move out, or were already on the move. There would be little artillery support. The infantry retreated from their positions, but because they were in a salient whose roads were already crowded with the traffic of equipment being pulled back, they often had no good escape route. Thousands of prisoners were captured by the Americans and their French supporters.

Under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel George Patton, the American-crewed Renault tanks went forward. Patton smoked a pipe during much of the action to bolster the confidence of the men (and his own). The confidence was not misplaced, however: though they were light tanks, the Renaults' armor was enough to stop bullets, and there was little cannon fire. In addition, a number of the defending troops were Austrians, and not as motivated or experienced. There were only two problems. First, when the tank column came to a bridge, the drivers stopped for fear that the bridge was mined. Patton walked across the bridge "expecting to be be blown to heaven at any moment", and established that it was safe. The second problem was not so quickly overcome: the Americans advanced so far that all but one of the tanks ran out of fuel. Further attacks would have to wait for the next day.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 151
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/12/2018 12:34:19 PM   
jwolf

 

Posts: 2274
Joined: 12/3/2013
Status: offline
quote:

...the Americans advanced so far that all but one of the tanks ran out of fuel.


Patton's army running out of fuel? Never!

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 152
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/13/2018 4:03:57 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
13 September 1918

It was an unlucky Friday the 13th for the Germans. The Allied attack on the St. Mihiel sector continued to be successful. Encouraged by the results, General Pershing ordered that the advance be continued beyond the objectives originally set for the day. The troops complied: in the afternoon, the “pincer” from the south met the column from the east, trapping the remaining Germans and Austro-hungarians who were still at the tip of the triangle they had held.



The advance went far enough that the “doughboys” outran their artillery support:

Friday, Sept. 13th.

A Great Day for the Americans! Our infantry is still pushing 'em back. Many prisoners are going by. We were at guns all morning, but had to stay in camp all afternoon. We are out of range and await orders to move up. Steady stream of men and material going up constantly. Two of our boys sneaked off and went up to the old Hun trenches and brought back lots of Hun souvenirs -- razors, glasses, pictures, equipment, etc.

– Diary of Sgt. Edwin Gerth, 51st Artillery



When Pershing learned of the link-up, he ordered a halt to further advances to the east. He had reluctantly agreed to Foch’s plan to switch his forces towards the north, and it was time to put that plan into action. The offensive in the Argonne forest was scheduled in two weeks, and that was scant time to turn an army of over half a million men with all its support in a new direction.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/13/2018 4:04:50 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to jwolf)
Post #: 153
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/14/2018 3:27:41 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
14 September 1918

At Baku, before sunrise, the Islamic Army of the Caucasus re-started its assault on the city. They came close to seizing the heights of Wolf’s Gate, but a desperate counter-attack halted them – temporarily. The fighting continued throughout the day, with more and more of the local militia troops breaking and fleeing. Eventually it became clear that the defenders could not hold for much longer. The rules on treatment of prisoners of war were rarely observed in that part of the world, so General Dunsterville ordered the evacuation of his men on the ships that had brought his heavy equipment to Baku, and which he had wisely ordered to stay in the area.

Knowing that the Russians and Armenians would be angered, the loading onto the ships was kept secret for a few hours, as long as it could be. As the ships pulled away, a Russian guard ship actually opened fire, but the Russian gunners were even less effective against the British than they had been against the Turks and Azerbaijanis. All four ships managed to escape.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 154
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/15/2018 4:06:41 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
15 September 1918

After the evacuation of Baku, a disgusted Lieutenant-Colonel John Warden, highly critical of his commander, recorded in his diary:

Baku could have been held by good sound management & organization but Gen. Dunsterville was not capable of doing either & his staff was far worse … Mjr. Gen. Dunsterville should be made a full Gen. & knighted & kicked out as they do everyone who makes a mess of his job.

This appears to be highly unfair to Dunsterville. The task of defending Baku was actually nearly impossible: the attackers were superior in equipment, supplies, training, and above all they enjoyed unity of command. It is well worth noting that Dunsterville controlled less than a tenth of the anti-Ottoman coalition soldiers. The Russians were essentially mercenaries receiving very little support from either the Red or the White armies, and the Armenians were not fighting for their own soil.

Whether Dunsterville did a good job or not, he was blamed for the fall of Baku, and actually treated somewhat worse than Colonel Warden’s suggestion. He would receive neither knighthood nor promotion, and appears to have languished in obscurity for the rest of his life. His Dunsterforce, however, had achieved one major strategic objective. In the limited time they had left until the end of the war. the Ottomans and their German advisers were unable to deliver any of the precious oil to the Central Powers; the first shipment appears to have gone only as far as Georgia. And meanwhile, the fuel-starved German air force was losing control of the skies to the Allies.

Although the city of Baku was now essentially defenseless, the Ottoman commanders decided not to send in their regular troops just yet. Instead, the less disciplined irregular forces, and in particular the soldiers known as Bashi-Bazouks, entered first. Everyone knew what that meant: for decades the Bashi-Bazouks had been a watchword for atrocity.


And the Muslims had a massacre of their own to avenge: with the weakening of law that followed the collapse of the Russian Empire, there had been a terrible pogrom known as the “March Days" in Baku. Roughly 10,000 people had been killed, the great majority of those being Muslims killed by ethnic Armenians.

Many of the Armenians in Baku crowded to the harbor in a desperate effort to escape, but virtually all of the ships had sailed with the evacuation of the Dunsterforce the evening before. And because Baku is located on a peninsula into the Caspian Sea, there was no other route open. Wholesale killing began, the last major massacre of WWI. The Bashi-Bazouks did not spare women or children, and it appears that a number of the regular troops of the Islamic Army of the Caucasus joined in, against the orders to stay out of the city for two days. The German advisers in the area protested the slaughter, and asked the Ottoman commanders to stop it. They were ignored.


At St Mihiel in France, the Americans completed their mopping-up operations. They had captured 15,000 Central Powers soldiers, and had killed 2,000 and wounded 5,500 more. The cost had been relatively low, but oddly, the Allies had lost 4,500 men killed and only 2,500 wounded. But it appears that the Americans became overconfident, and their next action would be against troops determined to hold rather than withdraw.


The Central Powers began definite moves towards peace. The German government, hoping to divide the Allies, made a formal peace offer to Belgium. The Austro-hungarian government sent a diplomatic note to President Wilson, proposing a peace conference.


In northern Greece, General Franchet d’Esperey had managed to bring his Allied Army of the Orient up to 31 divisions: 8 French, 6 Greek, 7 British, 6 Serbian, and 4 Italian. They were under-strength from sickness and thin in artillery, but d’Esperey had finally received permission for an offensive. There were 19 divisions opposing him: 17 Bulgarian and 2 Ottoman. This might have been enough for defense in the mountainous terrain, but the Bulgarians were tired of war by this time.



The Allies launched the attack in two places. The British were assigned the toughest task; an assault against a well-defended range of hills. They made very little progress on this date. Happily for the Allies, it was primarily a holding attack, meant to stop the Bulgarians from reinforcing the Dobro Pole Ridge, where the main thrust was made. Here the French and Serbians inched forward, gaining some key high ground. Far more important was the effect on the Bulgarian troops, many of whom broke and ran from the artillery barrages, infantry fire, and airplane attacks. When sundown brought a temporary lull in the fighting, almost half of the 12,000 Bulgarian troops opposing the French and Serbian attack were out of the fight. This included 3,000 captured and 2,689 killed. In addition, about a third of the Bulgarian artillery had been seized. In turn, the Allies had lost 1,700 French and 200 Serbian casualties, serious enough, but still leaving the units ready and willing to fight.




Attachment (3)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/15/2018 4:08:08 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 155
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/16/2018 4:01:35 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
16 September 1918

President Wilson lost no time in replying to Austria-Hungary’s suggestion of a peace conference. He had noted that the proposed conference would be “unofficial”, a mere exploration of possibilities that neither side would be committed to, and so he rejected the idea as a distraction.


The Germans made an aeroplane raid on Paris. It does not seem to have been any more effective than the previous bombings, and so it was decided that it would be the last. Germany needed to conserve the fuel and other resources for the fighters defending the front.


In Baku, the regular Ottoman troops entered the city for a formal victory parade. The worst part of the massacre of the Armenians came to an end, but thousands more would be forcibly deported from the city. The death toll of the “September Days” is estimated to have been about 10,000, though some estimates place it as three times that figure.


In the Balkans, d’Esperey’s Allied troops renewed the attack against the Bulgarians. A Serbian force, with Greek assistance, now managed to seize the Kozjak mountain range and the Golo Bilo peak. Another attack in the late morning by French and Greek units against Zborsko was not as successful, being repulsed by artillery and machine-gun fire. The Allies kept at it, however, even mounting a night attack against the Gradešnica fortified zone. By midnight, there was a gap in the Central Powers defensive line 25 km (16 mi) wide and 7 km (4.3 mi) deep.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 156
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/18/2018 3:50:28 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
18 September 1918

After the British success at Havrincourt, British chief commander Douglas Haig decided to move to the Hindenburg Line while the 1918 campaigning season still had two months to run. To get there, his troops needed to take Epéhy. There were not enough serviceable tanks available for the assault, so it was decided to spring a surprise “creeping” barrage with 1,500 cannon. Additionally, there would be an attack by the French 1st Army on the British right.

The bombardment opened promptly at 0520, but the French attack did not materialize. The right flank did not advance as far as had been planned. The left flank also ran into trouble, for the Germans had built strong fortifications and fought with rather more determination than they had shown at Havrincourt. After heavy fighting, the 7th Norfolk, 9th Essex and 1st Cambridge managed to capture the village.

There was a success in the center, not suprisingly provided by General John Monash's Australian force. Two divisions, reduced to a total active strength of only 6,800 men, nonetheless managed to take 4,243 prisoners and 76 guns. They made forward progress of distance of about 4.8 km (3 mi), including all of the objectives assigned to them for the day. The one dark spot was the first WWI mutiny of Australian troops: 119 soldiers of the 1st Australian Battalion refused to advance to help a nearby British or “Imperial” unit.

Total casualties of the Battle of Epéhy are poorly recorded. The Australians lost about 1,260 men, but the additional British casualties, which must have been substantial, are not known. A head-count on the Allied side showed a total of 11,750 German soldiers had been taken prisoner, but figures for German killed and wounded also seem to be missing.


On the Dobro Pole front, the Allies continued their advance. Villages and crossroads fell to them one by one. At the day’s end, they had pushed a total of 15 km (9.3 mi) beyond their starting lines. Far more importantly, there was no longer any Bulgarian force left standing capable of stopping them:

. . . the Bulgarian soldiers retreated, ceased to fight, and declared their intention of going to their homes to gather the harvest. These sturdy peasants were deaf to German expostulations. They were quite friendly to the small German forces which steadily advanced to sustain the front. The retreating battalions even spared the time to help the German cannon out of the ruts. But turn, or stand, or fight--all that was over for ever!

--Winston Churchill, “The World Crisis, Vol. 3”


Churchill had not told the whole story. At Lake Doiran, a British force backed up by smaller Greek and French units mounted an attack on the Bulgarian lines. This was not the first Allied attempt to break through at that location: they had tried and failed twice in 1917. This time, their preparations were thorough, including training of the assaulting units and a heavy bombardment including gas shells. However, the Bulgarians here were equally prepared. They had an excellent commander in General Vladimir Vozov (below), who had made sure the defensive fortifications were even stronger than they had been in the past, and that he had a good amount of artillery. Nor had gas masks been overlooked: the Bulgarian troops put them on and waited out the bombardment.

The initial infantry attacks took some of the forward trenches, but here there was no collapse of Bulgarian morale. Vozov ordered his artillery to bombard the captured trenches, whose exact coordinates his artillerymen knew. After the softening-up, the Bulgarian infantry counter-attacked, and recovered nearly all of the lost ground. The Allies took serious casualties, especially the XII Corps.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 157
Armageddon Battle! - 9/19/2018 4:02:38 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
19 September 1918

In northern Israel there is a plains dominated by a “tel”, or hill, formed by ruins being built on top of ruins on top of ruins. This ancient place, which may have been inhabited as early as 7000 BCE, is generally known as Megiddo, but is more famous by its Greek transliteration from the Hebrew har məgiddô: Armageddon.



By AVRAM GRAICER - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36308008


Three battles have already been fought in this area, including history’s earliest reliably recorded battle (which happened between the Egyptians and the Canaanites in 1457 BCE). Nearly three and a half millennia later, on this date, it was the site of a decisive clash between the Ottomans and the British. The Ottoman troops were now commanded by Otto Liman von Sanders, who had replaced the more famous Erich von Falkenhayn after he had lost Jerusalem. But von Sanders was faring little better; though he had the Turkish Fourth, Seventh, and Eighth Armies, they totaled only about 35,000 men.

In most parts of the world, summer is considered the best campaigning season, while winter is the time for going into camp, resting, and re-supplying. It was the opposite in the Middle East, where the searing heat of June, July, and August made any movement of man and beast an invitation to heatstroke. British commander Edmund Allenby had used the time well, having been reinforced to 69,000 troops, plus at least 4,000 Arabs under Emir Faisal. And although cavalry was no longer useful on the Western Front with its trenches and barbed wire, here Allenby had built up a formidable mounted force. The British had also established not merely air superiority but supremacy, with only a handful of German aircraft taking to the air in the month of September.

The hot weather had now moderated. At 4:30 am, the British artillery opened up on the Ottoman lines. The Ottoman communications had been disrupted by remarkable night bombing attacks on their telephone exchanges, and even if they had not, Allenby gave them little time to react. After just twenty minutes of bombardment, British and Indian infantry launched their assault, and swiftly scored a breakthrough near the coast. Into this opening poured thousands of the cavalry of the Desert Mounted Corps. The Turks had no reserves to stop them, and while the fighting continued on the front lines, the cavalry advanced 65 km (40 miles) by the end of the day, cutting off the retreat of the majority of the Ottoman forces.

And they were retreating. The Ottoman Eighth Army in particular had been broken by the British left wing, and its men were streaming to the north as fast as they could go. Whatever chance they had of re-forming was spoiled by strafing attacks from Australian fighters. Nor could any German fighters interfere, for a steady relay of British patrol aircraft prevented anything from taking off from the Central Powers airfield at Jenin.


At Lake Doiran on the Salonika front, the Allies made another attempt to break the defensive lines. Two new brigades from the XII Corps went forward, along with supporting units including French Zouaves. The results were the same as before: they took some forward trenches, but then were driven out by accurate Bulgarian artillery bombardment plus infantry counter-attacks. The British had now had enough. Over the two days they and their allies had lost between 6,600 and 7,800 casualties, while probably inflicting less than 3,000 on the Bulgarians.

In one of the many grim ironies of the war, Bulgaria’s last significant battle was a victory. But it would do little good, for to the west, the Allies were advancing at will. There was nothing to stop them from reaching the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/19/2018 4:03:24 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 158
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/20/2018 3:44:06 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
20 September 1918

North and east of Megiddo, the British and Australian cavalry spread out and captured one key place after the other. The 4th Mounted Division seized Afulah and Beisan, major depot locations for the Ottomans. Part of the Australian Mounted Division took Jenin, putting a stop to any further Central Powers attempts to launch aircraft, and also bagging a number of Ottoman soldiers. A unit of the 5th Mounted Division even reached Nazareth, the location of the Turkish-German headquarters. By this time the Allied troopers were so spread out that there were not enough of them to immediately overrun the town, and so General Liman von Sanders managed to escape.

With the Ottoman Eighth Army essentially finished, commander Mustafa Kemal of the Seventh Army decided his force must retreat or be surrounded. After sundown, hoping to avoid detection by the Allies until they could reach a safer place, the Seventh Army pulled out and headed east, following the Nablus-Beisan road.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 159
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/21/2018 3:22:32 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
21 September 1918

The Ottoman Seventh Army had not managed to reach the Jordan River, where it might link up with the Fourth Army. Now it was spotted by Allied aircraft, and waves of fighters and bombers were quickly dispatched to do as much damage as possible to the retreating Turks. The results were everything the Allies could have dreamed. The bulk of the Seventh Army was caught in a defile, unable to scatter, and the bombs and strafing attacks wreaked havoc. In an hour the Seventh Army lost nearly all of its equipment and all of its cohesion. Wreckage extended over nearly 10 kilometers (6 miles), and was later found to include 87 cannon, 55 trucks, and 837 wagons, pus numerous field-kitchens and other gear. The RAF lost 4 airmen. It was the first real victory scored by air power.

As for the Fourth Army, only now did refugees reach it and tell of the disastrous breakthrough that the Allies had achieved. Later in the day, orders were received from General von Sanders to retreat away from Amman.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 160
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/22/2018 4:06:52 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
22 September 1918

The War Office formally disbanded “Dunsterforce”. Its soldiers were offered postings to Mesopotamia, North Persia, or Siberia. A few, mostly Canadians, accepted, but the remainder chose to re-join their units on the Western Front.


At Lake Doiran, the Allies noticed silence in the area. What they had not been able to accomplish by force had been achieved after all: the Bulgarian troops had abandoned their lines to rush to the defense of their heartland.

However, it did them little good. To the west, the Allies were going forward rapidly. Now the Italian troops joined in, taking the important position of Hill 1050, from a German Division, no less.


In the Middle East, on this date, General Allenby reported that his confirmed captures amounted to 25,000 prisoners and 200 guns. Of the three Turkish armies in the area, the Seventh and Eighth no longer existed as effective fighting forces. The Fourth Army was retreating, but it had been spotted by British aircraft and Arab raiding parties, and it was going into disorder. Ottoman resistance was collapsing.

The Allied advance was going so rapidly that the shorter-ranged British fighters needed a new base to operate from. Landing strips were improvised at a place called Um el Surab (recommended by T. E. Lawrence AKA Lawrence of Arabia). Fuel, ammunition and spare parts for the fighters was delivered by Handley Page bombers, one of the first combat airlifts.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 161
RE: Armageddon Battle! - 9/22/2018 8:55:54 AM   
Veloz


Posts: 303
Joined: 8/27/2018
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

19 September 1918

In northern Israel there is a plains dominated by a “tel”, or hill, formed by ruins being built on top of ruins on top of ruins. This ancient place, which may have been inhabited as early as 7000 BCE, is generally known as Megiddo, but is more famous by its Greek transliteration from the Hebrew har məgiddô: Armageddon.



By AVRAM GRAICER - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36308008


Three battles have already been fought in this area, including history’s earliest reliably recorded battle (which happened between the Egyptians and the Canaanites in 1457 BCE). Nearly three and a half millennia later, on this date, it was the site of a decisive clash between the Ottomans and the British. The Ottoman troops were now commanded by Otto Liman von Sanders, who had replaced the more famous Erich von Falkenhayn after he had lost Jerusalem. But von Sanders was faring little better; though he had the Turkish Fourth, Seventh, and Eighth Armies, they totaled only about 35,000 men.

In most parts of the world, summer is considered the best campaigning season, while winter is the time for going into camp, resting, and re-supplying. It was the opposite in the Middle East, where the searing heat of June, July, and August made any movement of man and beast an invitation to heatstroke. British commander Edmund Allenby had used the time well, having been reinforced to 69,000 troops, plus at least 4,000 Arabs under Emir Faisal. And although cavalry was no longer useful on the Western Front with its trenches and barbed wire, here Allenby had built up a formidable mounted force. The British had also established not merely air superiority but supremacy, with only a handful of German aircraft taking to the air in the month of September.

The hot weather had now moderated. At 4:30 am, the British artillery opened up on the Ottoman lines. The Ottoman communications had been disrupted by remarkable night bombing attacks on their telephone exchanges, and even if they had not, Allenby gave them little time to react. After just twenty minutes of bombardment, British and Indian infantry launched their assault, and swiftly scored a breakthrough near the coast. Into this opening poured thousands of the cavalry of the Desert Mounted Corps. The Turks had no reserves to stop them, and while the fighting continued on the front lines, the cavalry advanced 65 km (40 miles) by the end of the day, cutting off the retreat of the majority of the Ottoman forces.

And they were retreating. The Ottoman Eighth Army in particular had been broken by the British left wing, and its men were streaming to the north as fast as they could go. Whatever chance they had of re-forming was spoiled by strafing attacks from Australian fighters. Nor could any German fighters interfere, for a steady relay of British patrol aircraft prevented anything from taking off from the Central Powers airfield at Jenin.


At Lake Doiran on the Salonika front, the Allies made another attempt to break the defensive lines. Two new brigades from the XII Corps went forward, along with supporting units including French Zouaves. The results were the same as before: they took some forward trenches, but then were driven out by accurate Bulgarian artillery bombardment plus infantry counter-attacks. The British had now had enough. Over the two days they and their allies had lost between 6,600 and 7,800 casualties, while probably inflicting less than 3,000 on the Bulgarians.

In one of the many grim ironies of the war, Bulgaria’s last significant battle was a victory. But it would do little good, for to the west, the Allies were advancing at will. There was nothing to stop them from reaching the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.



fhotoshop


_____________________________

sicnt est pecunia Provis num; zeke

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 162
RE: Armageddon Battle! - 9/22/2018 8:56:41 AM   
Veloz


Posts: 303
Joined: 8/27/2018
Status: offline
venga

_____________________________

sicnt est pecunia Provis num; zeke

(in reply to Veloz)
Post #: 163
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/23/2018 3:30:34 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
23 September 1918

In the Middle East, the Allied advance rolled on. On the Mediterranean coast, the city of Haifa fell to the British. Across the Jordan River, the Turkish Fourth Army began receiving the same bombardment from the air that had wrecked the Seventh Army. Es Salt, which the British had captured at the end of April, but relinquished in May, was again taken.


In the Balkans, the Allies were being equally successful, so much so that General Louis Franchet d'Espèrey modified his plans. His Italian forces were ordered to advance and prevent the German and Bulgarian troops then at Monastir from falling back to the railroad hub in Uskub. A French Division was assigned to take the town of Prilep, which it did less than an hour after receiving the orders. Other French and Serbian units marched through the Peristeri mountain range.

In the space of ten days, Bulgaria and Turkey had both gone from relative stability to grave danger. There was nothing left standing on either front capable of stopping the Allied forces. The Ottomans had the advantage of distance to the borders of Turkey proper, but their Empire was being dismantled.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 164
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/24/2018 3:12:16 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
24 September 1918

Though the Allies considered the Battle of St Mihiel to be a great American success, the Germans were less impressed. On this date a Captain Weise in German Intelligence wrote a summary of his observations, which document later fell into Allied hands. In Captain Weise’s judgment, the American soldiers were courageous enough, but lacked both experience and proper training. Especially, they did not know how to utilize the terrain for cover. The junior officers were roundly criticized; Weise’s opinion was that they were weak and uncertain. After achieving their first objectives, they seemed to fall into confusion about how to follow up. The senior officers fared no better, with the ability of the German units to disengage and set up new defensive lines proof that the Americans could not manage a rapid advance.

Given that Captain Weise was probably writing to please his superiors, the document should be taken with more than a grain of salt. But the American problems of managing an advance would soon be demonstrated in grim fashion.


It was now clear to both the Bulgarian generals and political leaders that stopping the Allied advance was hopeless. The capital of Sofia might be reached in two weeks or even less -- and what would happen then was terrible to contemplate. There were Serbian troops in the fore of the Allied units. Back-and-forth massacres were centuries old in the Balkans, and the Serbians had woes to avenge. It is estimated that more than half of the Serbian army perished in WWI, either in combat or from disease and starvation during the terrible retreat of the winter of 1915-1916. The territory of Serbia had been completely conquered, and numerous atrocities committed by both Bulgarians and Austro-Hungarians.




It was time to throw in the proverbial towel. A message was transmitted to the Allies, asking for a cease-fire.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/24/2018 3:18:07 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 165
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/25/2018 3:51:15 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
25 September 1918

Although the Allies had scored major successes in the Middle East and the Balkans, the general opinion was that winter would come and interrupt the fighting before the war could be concluded. Minister of Munitions Winston Churchill, along with a number of others, believed that the war might actually stretch on until 1920 unless steps were taken to fully equip the American troops for a decisive campaign in the summer of 1919:

SUPPLIES TO THE UNITED STATES ARMIES.

To the War Cabinet. September 25, 1918.

The United States in response to our appeals are sending men to Europe far in advance of their general munitions programme. Their shell programme is hopelessly in arrear [of these increased numbers]. Their gun programme is even worse. Not only in the main staples of equipment, but in a very large number of minor supplies, they will find themselves deficient. Unless therefore the arsenals of Great Britain and France can supply these deficiencies, the Americans cannot be expected to continue pouring in men, and the armies available for 1919 must be proportionately reduced. On the other hand, there is reason to believe that, working together, the French and British munition works can supply fully the needs of all the United States troops which can be brought by our maximum carrying capacity to Europe, and can supply them with good weapons and ample ammunition, provided only that the necessary raw materials are sent by America to be made up in our factories. . . I am therefore pursuing the policy of doing everything possible to equip the United States armies, and offering every assistance in my power. I have agreed to supply them with more than 2,000 guns in 1919, and to make the ammunition for all these guns if they will send the raw materials. By this deal alone, considerably more than one hundred millions of British indebtedness to America will be extinguished. It seems to me indispensable that this process, to which we are deeply committed, should continue. . .



But Churchill would probably not have bothered with this memorandum if he had known the events of the day. In the Balkans, a group of Bulgarian soldiers fleeing from the defeat at Dobro Pole had now reached the city of Kyustendil, which happened to be where the Bulgarian High Command was located. The disgruntled troops now went from desertion to outright rebellion, looting the city and forcing the generals to hastily abandon their headquarters.


In the Middle East, the British forces took the town of Acre (mentioned in the Bible and famous during the Crusades) on the coast, and captured the city of Amman to the east. The total number of prisoners taken by General Allenby’s forces had now risen to 45,000 as the garrisons of the various places surrendered one after another.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 166
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/26/2018 2:30:50 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
26 September 1918

It was time for Marshal Foch’s grand offensive plan to begin. Unfortunately, the Allied attack in the Meuse-Argonne sector did not go nearly as well as the Battle of St Mihiel a short time before. There were not as many Allied aircraft to support the effort, allowing the Germans to gain local air superiority. The ground war was in no better shape: only 59 tanks were available, and the U.S. troops were inexperienced, the units that had fought at St. Mihiel having been rotated to the rear to rest. The Allies tried to compensate with hours of preliminary bombardment, but this only softened up the first of the several German defensive lines. It also made the terrain even more difficult to traverse:

Pershing and Gouraud fell on shoulder to shoulder at daybreak on the 26th, the Americans engaging on a 20-, the French on a 24-mile front. The Americans, undaunted by severe losses, stormed the German first system of defences on almost the whole front of attack and penetrated at some points nearly 6¾ miles. Gouraud’s army also advanced from 1¼ to 2¼ miles, but thereafter neither attack made much progress. The American supply arrangements broke down, the roads became hopelessly blocked for tens of miles with stationary vehicles. The nourishment of the American fighting line with food, ammunition and reinforcements was only achieved partially and with extreme difficulty. The German counter-attacks retrieved some of the lost ground, and in places cut off or destroyed the American units which had advanced the farthest.

--Winston Churchill, “The World Crisis, Vol. 3”


Compounding the difficulties, Lieutenant-Colonel George Patton was shot through the lower abdomen while leading his tanks forward. He would recover, but coordination between the infantry and the few serviceable tanks would be poor from that point on.

In the air battle, another American who would become famous became a casualty on the return from a bombing run:

We were still below the rest of our formation and it seemed as though all the lines of tracer bullets were coming in our direction. I worked faster and faster, but had not time to tell whether a Hun that slid away from my bullets was hit or not, for as fast as one moved away, a second took his place for a shot. I knew that couldn’t last forever and was beginning to wonder how long it could last, when "blam" I got it in the neck. The shot knocked me down on the seat with the sudden force of a pile driver. I thought my end had come, but it hadn’t. The Fokker who had shot me, and seen my guns stop shooting, was coming up close beside us. I got on my feet, took good aim, shot at him with both guns from about fifty yards. The tracer bullets went right into his cockpit and he slid out of sight, "Coop" says that he went down in flames. Probably he did. I was too busy to watch him the instant his bullets stopped coming. I was conscious of only one thing -- to get rid of three other Fokkers which had begun to close in on us from the other sides. Suddenly our plane dropped into a nose spin. My first thought was that "Coop" had been shot and that in a very few seconds we would hit the ground and be through with everything. I slipped down on the seat unconscious, but only for an instant. When I regained my senses, we were still falling in a spin, but "Coop" had unfastened his safety belt and was standing up with one foot over the sides in the act of jumping overboard. And no wonder, for his cockpit was a mass of flames from the motor which was on fire. It was a question of dying an easy death by jumping overboard, or of burning to death. His first thought was to escape the terrible agony of the flames. He did not know whether I was dead or alive, but when he saw me open my eyes, he did not hesitate. Rather than desert a wounded and helpless comrade, he stepped back into what seemed, at the time, the certainty of burning to death. We came out of the spin upside down ... By this time his hands were so badly burned that the stick slipped from his fingers and he had to use knees and elbows to work the controls. Finally by diving straight down ... the almost impossible was accomplished, and the flames put out. We landed in a large field, barely missing some telephone wires as we came into the field. "Coop" landed the machine with the control stick between his knees and elbows. Although we hit the ground with force enough to send the plane up on its nose and break the wings, neither of us was thrown out. The machine was pretty well shot up.

--Lieutenant E. C. Leonard, 20th Aero Squadron


“Coop”, the pilot, was Merian C. Cooper, who would go on to direct the classic “King Kong”.


The “Harlem Hellfighters” 369th infantry regiment was placed in support of the French attack at the Dormoise River. When the Germans put up a stiff resistance at the town of Rouvroy-Ripont, the Hellfighters were sent in. They captured the town, and the French decided that the regiment would advance in front instead of in support.

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/26/2018 2:33:56 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 167
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/27/2018 3:48:47 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
27 September 1918

The African-American 369th infantry regiment continued to perform well, though at a cost in casualties. On this date they took the village of Fontaine-en-Dormois and continued further to reach the slopes of Bellevue Signal Ridge.


In the Middle East, the 4th Mounted Division moved to Daraa, and discovered the Ottomans had already evacuated. They then joined up with a force of Arab irregulars and advanced towards Damascus.

The Ottoman evacuation had not been quiet. Along their way, they committed a number of atrocities the local Arab villages in retaliation for the Arab revolt against the Empire. This was a mistake, for when the Arab forces learned of it, they gave no quarter to the Ottomans. On this date, near the village of Tafas, nearly a full Ottoman brigade (along with some German and Austrians) was massacred.


In northern France, the Germans had turned the partially finished Canal du Nord into a formidable defensive position, incorporating it into the Hindenburg Line. The area was unsuitable for tanks because of the marshy ground. But it was necessary for the British to cross the canal to get to the key city of Cambrai.

British Third Army commander Julian Byng had considered the problem carefully and decided on a surprise attack. At 0520 on this date, before dawn had started to break, four divisions stormed the German positions. Thanks to some elaborate movements and minor attacks in the days before, the 1st Prussian Guards Reserve Division and the 3rd German Naval Division were caught entirely off guard. By mid-morning, the other side of the canal was in Allied hands, and Canadian engineers proceeded with bridge-building.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 168
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/28/2018 3:47:51 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
28 September 1918

At 0230 in Flanders, the next part of the Allies’ grand offensive got underway with a three-hour preparatory bombardment of artillery. Then the Groupe de l’Armees des Flandres (Flanders Army Group) under the Command of Belgian King Albert I, attacked the German lines. His forces were large, though mixed: 12 Belgian, 10 British, and 6 French divisions. As usual for a major WWI offensive, the first day was a success: the German defenders were driven back up to 10 km (6 mi).

This action is sometimes called the Fifth Battle of Ypres. All five battles were in WWI, and the previous four had casualty lists in six figures. The bloodiest had been the Third Battle of Ypres, the mud-soaked nightmare of Passchendaele. The Allies devoutly hoped this effort would not repeat that cost, but at the end of the day it began to rain.

Further to the south, the 369th infantry continued forward, but losses were mounting. Two more African-American regiments, the 371st and 372nd, were put into the line alongside the 369th.

Foch’s strategy was now clear. He enjoyed a total infantry strength only a little higher than the Germans had possessed at their peak earlier in the year, but he was using it in a different way. Instead of focusing on one sector, hoping for a breakthrough, he assaulted one area after another so quickly that the Germans would have no time to rush reinforcements to the battle area before they were needed elsewhere. On this date, the realization of inevitable defeat and ruin seems to have caught up with Erich Ludendorff. He began ranting at his staff about treachery, the incompetence of the Navy, the absence of reserves, growing more and more hysterical. Finally, in the afternoon, he collapsed to the floor, foaming at the mouth.


On the Palestinian front, Arab forces found another retreating Ottoman brigade, and subjected it to the same kind of massacre that they had dealt out the day before. For the loss of a few hundred casualties, they had slaughtered almost 5,000 Central Powers soldiers over the two days.


In Africa, General von Lettow-Vorbeck and his force, now reduced to only about 1,400, crossed the Rovuma River into what had been German East Africa. British troops were still in pursuit, and still having no luck catching him.


The monitor HMS General Wolfe had been built when there were no spare 15-inch or even 13.5-inch guns available to arm her, and had to settle for 12-inch guns at first. However, when HMS Furious had been converted into an aircraft carrier, there was now a turret with a single monster 18-inch gun looking for a ship. The Wolfe was refitted to carry it, at some cost to her appearance. (She acquired the nickname “Elephant & Castle”, after the Underground station.) The gun and its equipment was so massive that Wolfe could carry only 60 shells for it.

At 0732 on this date, the Wolfe anchored just off the Belgian coast and began shelling the railway bridge at Snaeskerke, at a distance of 33 km (36,000 yards). This was the largest ship-mounted gun at the longest range that ever been fired in anger up to that time, and the longest range any Royal Navy ship has ever fired a shell. Aided by spotting aircraft, since she could not see anywhere near her target, Wolfe expended 52 18-inch shells. They are reported to have landed in the target area, but this writer can find no record of whether the bridge was actually knocked out.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 169
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/29/2018 2:35:17 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
29 September 1918

In France, the Allies launched yet another drive, this time against the St Quentin Canal. Although the initial plans had been drawn up by the brilliant Sir John Monash, the higher-ups had decided on changes and ordered preliminary attacks. This ruined the element of surprise, and the addition of some inexperienced American units led to confusion on the British side. Lastly, the Germans had learned how to make and deploy anti-tank mines:

Up at 3 a.m. Pack up. Big push started. I was detailed with my squad to go ahead of British tanks to hunt for tank mines and all we had were bayonets on our rifles to dig in the ground to try and find the mines. They were round, about 10” [25cm] with a short fuse sticking in one side, the tip of which was even with the ground level so that when the tank rolled over it, the fuse would ignite the mine, it would blow, and all 12 men in each tank would be blown and burned to death – and they all were! I will never forget some of the tank men trying to crawl out of the tanks with their clothes burning, after they had hit a mine! So barrage! 10,000 guns and machine-guns. Noise! Full pack up to Ronsoy. Men dead and wounded. Across no-man’s-land. Sheltered in shell holes. Machine-gun bullet in Bible in pack as I was diving into shell hole when machine-guns opened fire on me. Refuge in trenches. Saw many dead on road and tanks in action. Returned to St. Emilie at night to deep dug-outs with British Red Cross men.

--Private Walter J. Strauss, 102nd Engineers, 27th Division


General Rawlinson's Fourth Army, including the American II Corps and Australian units, went forward after what may have been the largest British bombardment of the war. It was not well delivered, however, and the German infantry was able to largely recover by the time the Allied soldiers arrived. The advance of the British right prospered, and by the end of the day had occupied its objective. In the center, matters were more mixed: the U.S. 30th Division went forward and seized Bellicourt and Nauroy, but the 27th Division was late to the jump-off point and took murderous losses. Of 39 tanks supporting the division, only one was still in action by evening. Nonetheless, the Americans continued, and with Australian assistance managed to reach the high ground on the far side of the canal. The Hindenburg line was being breached.


In Japan, accepting responsibility for the massive rice riots, Prime Minister Terauchi and his cabinet resigned. By this time more than 66,000 people had taken part, and 25,000 people had been arrested. Eventually 8,200 would be convicted on a variety of charges, and punishments would range all the way from minor fines to the death penalty.


With her own troops rebelling, Bulgaria had had enough. Franchet “desperate Frankie” d’Esperey was now able to dictate terms to a desperate foe. On this date the Bulgarian delegation signed the Armisistice of Salonika, essentially demobilizing the Bulgarian army. Bulgaria was now not even neutral territory, for the armistice gave the Allies the right to march their troops across the country, and even to use the Bulgarian railroads. This immediately gave the Western powers major advantages. First, they could now advance and liberate Montenegro and Serbia. They could also provide supplies to Romania, a powerful inducement for that country to renounce its treaty of neutrality and rejoin the war on the Allied side. Perhaps most important of all, it cut off Turkey from Germany and Austria, and allowed the Allies to advance on the Turkish Western border. Part of d'Esperey's Army of the Orient promptly did just that, heading for Constantinople. The weak link in the Central Powers chain had been broken.



The Ottomans were caught on the proverbial back foot. Their forces were engaged in the Caucasus and the Middle East, and the troops in the latter area were being mopped up. There was nothing capable of stopping d'Esperey's force, or for that matter, Allenby’s force which was moving up through what is now Syria and Lebanon. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire was now only a question of time and marching distance.

There was one other consequence. Though it did not affect the progress of the war, it was very important to the people directly affected. Since Bulgaria was now no longer allied with Turkey, the return of Armenian refugees was halted. They were now safe from massacre by the Ottoman Empire, at least.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/29/2018 2:36:26 PM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 170
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 9/30/2018 3:49:11 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
30 September 1918

In the Argonne forest, matters went from bad to worse for the Americans. No less than 6 additional German divisions were thrown into the line. The 5th Guards and 52nd Division mounted a counter-attack against the U. S. 35th Division, which was now very low on both food and ammunition because of the failure of the American supply organization. The German assault gained back ground for a time, but were barely brought to a stop by the 35th Division's 110th Engineers, 128th Machine Gun Battalion, and 149th Field Artillery. A runner named Paul Shaffer brought the news of the advancing Germans to the Captain of D Battery:

…When he read my message he started runnin’ and cussin’ all at the same time, shouting for the guns to turn northwest. He ran about a hundred yards to a little knoll, and what he saw didn’t need binoculars. I never heard a man cuss so well or so intelligently, and I’d shoed a million mules. He was shouting back ranges and giving bearings. The battery didn’t say a word. They must have figured the cap’n could do the cussin’ for the whole outfit. It was a great sight… everything clockwork, setting fuses, cutting fuses, slapping shells into breeches and jerking lanyards …

The Captain was Harry S. Truman, later the 33rd President of the U. S.



There could no longer be any doubt that the Battle of the Atlantic had been won. Allied ship losses for September totaled less than 188,000 tons. For this, eight U-boats had been sunk. Three of these were lost to the North Sea minefield, which was having the impact on the U-boat crews’ morale that the Allies had hoped for. It would be the last full month of the submarine war.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 9/30/2018 3:50:05 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 171
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 10/1/2018 3:46:16 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
1 October 1918

In Berlin, Ludendorff had apparently recovered from his breakdown of two days before. He reported to the German government on the awful truth:

Terrible and appalling! It is so! Indeed! As we were gathered together, Ludendorff stood up in our presence, his face was pale and filled with deep worry, but his head was still held high. A truly handsome Germanic hero figure. I had to think of Siegfried with the mortal wound in his back from Hagen's spear.
He said roughly the following: It was his duty to tell us that our military condition was terribly serious. Any day now, our Western Front could be breached. He had had to report this to His Majesty the Kaiser recently. For the first time the question had been posed to the Supreme Army Command--by His Majesty the Kaiser and the Reichs Chancellor--what the officers and troops were still capable of accomplishing. Together with the General Field Marshal, he [Ludendorff] had answered that the Supreme Army Command and the German Army were at an end; the war could no longer be won, but rather an unavoidable and conclusive defeat awaited. Bulgaria had already been lost. Austria and Turkey, both at the end of their powers, would also soon fall. Our own Army had unfortunately also been heavily contaminated with the poison of Spartacus-socialist ideas, and the troops were, he said, no longer reliable. Since the 8th of August the situation had rapidly gotten worse. As a result, some troops had proven themselves so unreliable that they had had to be quickly pulled from the front. If they were replaced with other troops willing to fight, they would be received with the label "Strike breakers" and challenged not to fight anymore. He said he could not operate with divisions that were no longer reliable.
It was thus foreseeable, he went on to say, that the enemy in the near future, with the help of American troops anxious to fight, would succeed in a great victory, a breakthrough in grand fashion. As a result, the West Army would lose its last hold and retreat in full disbandment across the Rhein and carry the revolution back to Germany.
This catastrophe, he said, must be avoided by all means. For the cited reasons we could no longer allow ourselves to be beaten. Therefore, the Supreme Army Command demanded of His Majesty the Kaiser and of the Chancellor that a proposal for the bringing about of peace be made to President Wilson of America without delay, for bringing about an armistice on the basis of his 14 Points. He said he had never shied away from demanding the utmost from his troops. However, after clearly realizing that the continuation of the war was useless, he was of the opinion that an end needed to be found as quickly as possible in order not to unnecessarily sacrifice the most valiant people who were still loyal and able to fight.
It had been a terrible moment for him and for the Field Marshall to have to report this to the His Majesty the Kaiser and the Chancellor. The latter, Count Hertling, then informed His Majesty the Kaiser in a noble manner that he would then have to resign his office. After so many honorable years, as an old man, he could not and would not close out his life by tendering a petition for ceasefire. The Kaiser had accepted his petition for resignation.
Excellency Ludendorff added: "At present, then, we have no Chancellor. Who will fill this position is yet to be determined. I have, however, asked His Majesty the Kaiser to bring those circles into the government whom we can mainly thank that we have come to this. We will now see these gentlemen brought into the Ministries. They should make the peace that must now be made. They made their bed, now they must lie in it!"
The effect of these words on the listeners was undescribable! As L. spoke, quiet sobbing and moaning was audible. Many, probably most all, had involuntary tears run down their cheeks. I stood to the left of General Director Gen. von Eisenhart. We instinctively grasped one another by the hand. I almost pressed his flat.
After his last words, L. lowered his head slowly, turned and went to his adjoining room.
Since I had an appointment to report to him afterwards, I followed him and—since I'd known him so long—grabbed his right arm with both hands, something I never would have done under other circumstances, and said: "Your Excellency, is that the truth? Is that the last word? Am I awake or dreaming? That really is too terrible! What will happen now?"
I was completely beside myself. He remained calm and gentle and said to me with a deeply sorrowful smile: "Unfortunately, that is how it is, and I see no other way out."

--Diary Notes of Colonel Oberst von Thaer, October 1, 1918


A new Chancellor was needed so that the Allies would look as favorably as possible on the request for an armistice. After some discussion, von Hertling suggested the 51-year-old Prince Maximilian of Baden to the Kaiser. The hope was to make the replacement immediately, and send a request for an armistice to President Wilson, believed to be the most receptive of the Western leaders, the next day. But Kaiser Wilhelm was reluctant, and it took a number of additional people arguing in favor of the proposal, including Ludendorff, to get the German Emperor to agree.


In the Middle East, the city of Damascus fell to a combined force of British and Arabs. There was some confusion over who would be in charge, for T. E. Lawrence was there, and he had promised that the Arabs would have control. This was not what British High command had in mind, for the city, along with all of Syria, had been promised to the French by the Sikes-Picot Agreement of 1916.




But there was no time to bring in French forces. Within hours, the Arabs hoisted their flag and declared their independence. Inconveniently, Damascus was still full of Ottoman and German troops, so there was also a formal surrender of the city at Hall of Government to the British commander of the 10th Light Horse Regiment. The British were primarily interested in rounding up the enemy soldiers before they could withdraw to fight another day, so they did not immediately contest possession. Eventually they would round up almost 12,000 prisoners from the city and its surrounding area.

Soon the Arabs decided their loyalty would be to Hussein bin Ali, who had been Sharif of Mecca and was now claiming to be King of the Hejaz (the western side of the Arabian Peninsula). He also happened to be the father of Prince Faisal, the commander of the Arab forces on the scene.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 10/1/2018 3:47:27 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 172
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 10/2/2018 2:44:11 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
2 October 1918

Prince Max arrived in Berlin at the summons of the Kaiser. He was looking forward to being made Chancellor; in fact, he had put himself forward for the job a month before. But he was stunned when he was told that his primary task would be to seek an armistice – in other words, to negotiate a surrender. Knowing that this meant the end of the German Empire and quite possibly the transformation into a democracy, Prince Max declared his opposition. Kaiser Wilhelm now found himself having to persuade a man he had originally been reluctant to appoint, to take the position of Chancellor. It would take longer than one day, and so the request for an armistice was delayed.


The Fifth Battle of Ypres came to an end, largely because the Allied advance had gone beyond the point where they could be supplied. The rain had turned the ground to mud, and the wagons could not be moved forward as fast as the infantry was marching. The troops actually ran out of rations, leading to an air-drop of food. Small sacks with several ration packs were padded with earth to cushion their fall. A total of 80 aircraft delivered 15,000 rations or about 13 tons in all, to the hungry troops in the field.

The Allies had advanced up to 29 kilometers (18 miles), at a cost of 4,695 British casualties and 12,000 Belgian casualties. At least 7,000 of these latter would recover from wounds or illness, however. German total losses are uncertain, but the Allies captured rougly 10,000 prisoners and 300 pieces of artillery.


Further south and east in the Meuse-Argonne sector, the Americans were still trying to advance. Major Charles White Whittlesey was given command of seven companies of infantry, totaling about 500 men, and ordered to participate in a wide-scale attack against the German defensive line. In hindsight, the orders were remarkably foolish: the units were to break through a strongly fortified ravine, and then advance to high ground beyond Charlevaux Brook. There was to be no retreat and no surrender.

The day started out miserably and did not improve for some time. The weather was foggy and damp, and, as had become usual in the tangle of the Argonne Forest, the wagons carrying breakfast failed to arrive. There was a preliminary bombardment lasting only half an hour, and then at 0630 the signal rockets went up, and it was time to advance. The area was so tangled with underbrush that Major Whittlesey led his battalion-sized force in person, since he was the most familiar with the map.

The underbrush was something of a blessing, for the Germans opened a heavy fire. By 1000 the entire advance had been brought to a halt, including Whittlesey’s force. Division HQ, compounding its poor judgment, ordered a resumption of the assault two hours later. At that point the Americans had a stroke of luck, although whether it was good luck or bad is up to debate. Whittlesey noticed that while there was heavy fire on his left, there was not much coming from a point identified as Hill 198 on his right. He ordered his men to attack in that direction, and they quickly overran the hill. (Apparently it had been manned by older reservists, many of whom had fled from the opening bombardment.) From that point, there was little difficulty advancing to his objective beyond Charlevaux Brook. Whittlesey ordered his men to dig in, and sent runners back to report his position.

The trouble was that no other Allied units had managed to go beyond the ravine. The Germans closed up behind the Americans, and now Major Whittlesey’s force was trapped behind enemy lines. The saga of the Lost Battalion had begun.


On the Albanian coast, one of the war’s most unusual naval battles was fought, involving land, sea, air, and underwater elements. The target was the port city of Durazzo, now called Durres. Allied aircraft began the action by bombing the shore batteries. Then a force of Italian and British warships, accompanied by smaller craft including U. S. subchasers, arrived and began to engage the Austro-hungarian vessels and the merchantmen in the harbor.

The Austrians had a surface force of only two destroyers and a torpedo boat, and did not care to engage the much larger Allied fleet. They made a hasty escape, managing to get away with minor damage to one destroyer. However, there were also two submarines, U-29 and U-31. One of the American sub-chasers spotted U-29 and she was subjected to a heavy depth charge attack, taking significant damage before she managed to evade. U-31 was more successful, avoiding the depth charges and firing a torpedo which blew off a good portion of the stern of the light cruiser HMS Weymouth.

But there were plenty more Allied cruisers remaining, and they bombarded the port furiously. The accuracy was not what it could have been, and only one of the three cargo ships in the harbor was sunk. The surrounding area took much more damage: the Old City was virtually destroyed, and the Royal Palace was reduced to ruins. The civilians began fleeing the city even while the action was underway, and there were many casualties when shells caught the people in the open. Eventually Durazzo would be largely abandoned.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 173
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 10/3/2018 3:24:43 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
3 October 1918

In the Argonne Forest, neither the Germans nor the Americans in the “Lost Battalion” fully grasped the situation at first. The Germans assumed that only a much larger unit could have broken through, and believed they were outnumbered. Major Whittlesey was not aware that none of the other Allied units on his left and right had managed to advance, and sent out runners to establish contact. As the morning went on and not one of the runners returned, the Americans realized they were surrounded. The Germans got a better idea of what they were up against, and began attacks from all sides during the afternoon. All of the assaults were beaten back, with many losses to the Americans and even more casualties to the Germans.


After Bulgaria’s defeat, Tsar Ferdinand I abdicated. He still hoped to preserve his family’s claims to rule, however, so he abdicated in favor of eldest son, who became Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria. He would exercise very little power for some years: under the treaties after WWI, Bulgaria had to give up considerable territory, and it would become a republic in 1919. Bulgaria’s alliance with Nazi Germany in WWII gave Tsar Boris somewhat more authority, until he died of an apparent heart attack in1943. (There is suspicion that he was poisoned because of his reluctance to surrender Bulgaria’s Jews.)




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 174
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 10/4/2018 3:17:06 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
4 October 1918

In the Argonne Forest, a tragic mix-up happened. In an effort to hit the Germans surrounding the Lost Battalion”, the American artillery started shelling the American position itself. Some argue that Major Whittlesey had sent back the wrong coordinates, while others argue that either Allied spotter aircraft or the artillery batteries themselves had made the mistake. Whittlesey and his men quickly realized that American shells were falling on them, and sent back their last carrier pigeon, a bird named Cher Amie (Dear Friend). The bird was badly wounded by a shell-burst, but managed to reach the U. S. lines with the message: “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heavens sake stop it."

The shelling was stopped, but the Lost Battalion had traded one threat for another. The Germans promptly launched another assault. The fighting was desperate, going hand-to-hand in a number of places. Once again the Americans drove their foes back.


Tragedy also struck Americans back at home. Sayreville, New Jersey, had been a logical place to build a factory for artillery shells, since DuPont had began producing gunpowder there back in 1898. Now, the T. A. Gillespie Company Shell Loading Plant had been constructed, one of the largest such facilities in the world. Production had begun three months before, and tragically, that would be the entire run. The cause of the initial explosion at about 7:36 pm. is unknown, but is most likely accidental. Fire broke out and led to more and more explosions, lasting for three days and consuming an estimated 6,000 tons of explosives. (The more famous “Black Tom” explosion that damaged the Statue of Liberty and temporarily closed Ellis Island was less than 1,000 tons.) Approximately100 people were killed, with hundreds more injured, and Sayreville had to be evacuated.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 175
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 10/6/2018 4:04:19 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
6 October 1918

The passenger liner Otranto had been converted into an “armed merchant cruiser”, which at this point meant a troopship. On this date she was sailing in convoy with over 1,000 people on board. It was not a fortunate cruise: two deaths had occurred from the influenza epidemic which was now entering its most deadly phase, and the weather had gone from bad to a full Force 11 gale.




At dawn, the convoy sighted the Scottish Isle of Islay, and most turned south. Otranto turned north and collided with HMS Kashmir, which tore a large hole amidships and flooded both boiler rooms. Kashimr’s bow was damaged, so her captain ordered all passengers to the stern and managed to make port in Glasgow. But Otranto was doomed: the engine room flooded, all electrical power was lost, and the ship listed heavily to starboard. The list, and even more the massive waves, made it too risky to launch lifeboats. Otranto drifted towards the coast, The destroyer HMS Mounsey maneuvered alongside, and though she was seriously damaged when waves repeatedly smashed the two ships together, roughly 600 men managed to jump across. In a final stroke of bad luck, Otranto went onto a rocky reef and the waves soon broke her in half. If she could have cleared the reef she would likely have grounded on a sandy beach. 21 men managed to swim to shore, though two later died of their injuries. 470 men died, about 120 officers and crew, and 350 American soldiers. It was the greatest loss of life for American troops crossing the Atlantic in the war, and it had nothing to do with German submarines.


In the St Quentin sector in France, the Allies were making definite progress. By this date, they had breached the Hindenburg Line in that area over a width of 31 km (19 mi) front. But in the Argonne Forest, matters were looking worse and worse for the men of the “Lost Battalion”. Food was exhausted, and ammunition was running low. Fortunately for the Americans, there was a creek running through a part of “the pocket” that they held, but it was within rifle range of the Germans. And to complete the list of bad news, the Germans had sent in a Prussian Guards division, plus a battalion of "Storm Troopers" equipped with flamethrowers.

The Americans held on. A good part of the reason was that they were no longer truly alone. News of the situation had reached “Black Jack” Pershing, and he had sent reinforcements as well. These included the veteran 28th Infantry Division and the 1st Infantry Division, "The Big Red One", now ready for action again after a brief rest from St Mihiel. The rescuers clawed their way forward, and the Germans found themselves between hammer and anvil.





Attachment (2)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 10/6/2018 4:18:04 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 176
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 10/7/2018 3:31:35 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
7 October 1918

Poland had been erased from the map as a nation in 1795, its territory divided between Prussia, Austria, and Russia. The Germans had seen fit to establish the “Kingdom of Poland” as a puppet state in November of 1916. However, Germany and Austria had never been able to agree on who should actually be king. Now, the great majority of German troops were tied up in the Western Front, and the Austrians were equally distracted on the Italian and Bulgarian fronts. On this date in Warsaw, the Regency Council dissolved the Council of State and declared its intention to create a truly independent Polish state. Nearly all of the fledgling Polish political parties agreed except for the “Social Democratic Party of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania”, which appears to have been heavily influenced by the Russian communists.


In the Ardennes, an American private named Lowell Hollingshead had been captured from the “Lost battalion”. There was a German officer who had sent several years in the U. S., and had a fair command of English. He sent Private Hollingshead back with a note requesting the American commander to surrender, “as it would be quite useless to resist any more, in view of the present conditions. The suffering of your wounded men can be heard over here in the German lines, and we are appealing to your humane sentiments to stop. A white flag shown by one of your men will tell us that you agree with these conditions.”

Major Whittlesey decided that no response was necessary, except that he ordered the white cloth panels on the ground supposed to mark the spot for the Allies to air-drop supplies taken up, lest they be mistaken for white flags. It was just as well: the Germans had instantly realized what they meant and put out larger white panels of their own. All or nearly all of the rations and ammunition that the Allied aircraft attempted to deliver went into enemy hands.

Though he probably did not know it, Whittlesey's refusal was correct. A messenger had finally gotten through to the American forces attempting to rescue the Lost Battalion, and now they knew the route to take:

For five days and nights Major Whittlesey and Captain McMurtry had been sending out messengers in the attempt to get information back to the balance of the 77th Division. Every messenger sent back was either captured or killed by the Germans. Major Whittlesey called for volunteers and I was chosen.
I started at sun-up on a gray, gloomy day already weak from lack of food and already convinced that death would be the only outcome. I didn't care. After five days of being fired at, hope was gone, and all I wanted was peace. Yet there must have been a spark of hope that kept me going.
My worst experience of the day came early in the morning. I was lying just behind the German lines concealed beneath some bushes when a German officer walked by and accidentally stepped on my fingers. I managed to stay quiet, but it took a great deal of effort. It was several hours before I could leave my place of concealment.
All day I was under heavy fire. Every minute I thought they would get me, I expected death, but I thought of it only as a physical thing, nothing more. I thought of nothing but the necessity of getting that message through. Home, friends, memories, those things one thinks of in less dangerous places were all forgotten. I was kept busy retracing my route and making detours in the effort to throw the Germans off the track.
At nightfall I stumbled into a deserted German trench. For a moment I lay quiet trying to regain some strength and to discover where I was. Then I heard American voices, and not having the password of the day began shouting, "Hello, Hello." After several minutes of this a scouting group of Americans found me and took me to headquarters where I delivered my message, giving the position and condition of the Battalion.
I was then given food and medical attention and ordered to return that night as an escort with the relief troops.

--Report by Abraham Krotoshinsky



Elsewhere, the African-American 369th Regiment was finally pulled out of the line, along with the two other regiments sent in to support it. They had taken heavy losses; 2,246 killed, wounded and missing. By this time, however, they had won the admiration of every French unit that had fought alongside them, including some of the toughest divisions in the French army.

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 10/7/2018 4:03:24 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 177
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 10/8/2018 3:49:30 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
8 October 1918

The First Battle of Cambrai had been the first real success of tanks, though it had backfired when the Allies had tried to push too far, and taken heavy losses from German counterattacks. Now the British began the Second Battle of Cambrai. They actually used fewer tanks than in the First Battle (324 vs. 378), but they had the relatively fresh Canadian Corps, which massively outnumbered the German defenders.

The 2nd Canadian Division entered the city of Cambrai on the first day, encountering only light resistance from the surprised 20th Landwehr and 54th Reserve divisions. Having little taste for house-to-house-fighting, they decided to leave the less glamorous and more dangerous work to the 3rd Canadian Division which was following them, while they pursued the Germans to the north and east.


In the Ardennes sector, 17 American soldiers were ordered advance into German-held ground and take out a machine gun emplacement. The Yanks went forward, capturing a number of Germans, but at a cost of 6 dead and 3 more wounded, in other words, half of the patrol. All the remainder still on their feet were privates, save for a newly promoted corporal named Alvin C. York. Taking command, York ordered the rest to stay back and guard the prisoners while he attacked the machine gun nest alone. He killed several Germans with his rifle and then ran out of ammunition for it. Six of the remaining enemy made a bayonet charge at him, but York still had a pistol, and killed all six. At that point, the German officer in command of the position called out his surrender.



Painted by Frank Schoonover

Mission accomplished, Corporal York and his men marched back with a total of 132 prisoners. Some of the news stories credited him with doing it all single-handed, which was of course not true, though what he had done was certainly extraordinary. The feat would be extensively celebrated back in the U. S., eventually leading to the movie “Sergeant York”, starring Gary Cooper. (Note the real York had a mustache.)




Following Abraham Krotoshinsky, American units finally reached the pocket where the Lost Battalion was holding out, bringing their ordeal to an end. Of the roughly 550 men trapped behind enemy lines, only 194 were still in condition to walk back out. 197 had been killed, and about 150 captured. However, it seems likely the Germans suffered even greater losses attempting to wipe them out.




President Wilson was now in a somewhat tricky position. He had become the leader that the Central Powers wanted to negotiate with, for his Fourteen Points were more lenient than what the other major Allies wanted. Italy especially had been persuaded to join the Allied side by promises of territory. Wilson had no authority to conclude an armistice on his own, but on the other hand, if there was a chance to end the war soon, how could he refuse? On this date, he sent his reply to the German request for an armistice, demanding evacuation of occupied territories as a first condition for negotiations.


Attachment (3)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 10/8/2018 3:51:46 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 178
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 10/9/2018 3:28:47 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
9 October 1918

In yet another sign that the Western Front had finally become a war of movement, the Allies were successfully able to use cavalry. At Maretz, German machine-gun fire from two positions was holding up the British advance. Units of cavalry, most prominently a regiment named Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) swept in.

Helped by the morning fog, they managed to clear first the German emplacement in the village of Clary, and then the second in the Bois de Gattigny. And they didn’t stop there: by the of the day, the Allies had managed an advance of 13 kilometers (8 miles), and had cut the road connecting the two important cities of Cambrai and Le Cateau.

Lord Strathcona’s Horse still exists today, although its men now ride Leopard 2 tanks.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 179
RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War - 10/10/2018 3:41:58 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5220
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
10 October 1918

The 3rd Canadian Division entered the city of Cambrai, expecting a difficult task clearing out Germans hidden in attics and basements. Instead, they found that the Germans had slipped away in the period between the departure of the 2nd Canadian Division and their arrival. It was the 2nd Division that had the more costly job, for the Germans had established a new defensive line northeast of the city.

Although the advance was slowed in that particular sector, this date can also be considered to be the finish of the Battle of the St. Quentin Canal, and therefore the effective breaking of the Hindenburg Line. The Allies had achieved several penetrations some days before, but now they had wide enough gaps to send forward both men and supplies in quantity.

"Battle of the Hindenburg Line" painting by William Longstaff




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 180
Page:   <<   < prev  4 5 [6] 7 8   next >   >>
All Forums >> [General] >> General Discussion >> RE: Centennial of the End of the Great War Page: <<   < prev  4 5 [6] 7 8   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.199