From: Los Angeles
29 May 1918
In the Caucasus, the new Republic of Armenia scored two successes. At the Battle of Bash Abaran, an Ottoman force which had been trying to break through into eastern Armenia finally decided to retreat after over a week of fierce fighting and losing about half of a force of 13,000. Armenian losses were only 1,500 in all.
Still more important was the conclusion of the eight-day Battle of Sardarabad. Another Turkish force had been moving into eastern Armenia, and had progressed to within 40 km (25 mi) of the capital, Yerevan. A mixed force of Armenian army units and militia had counter-attacked, and in spite of being numerically inferior, inflicted 3,500 casualties on the Ottomans while losing less than 1,00 of their own. On this date, a cease-fire was agreed to, preventing the Ottomans from seizing the capital (and likely massacring the population).
It is quite possible that this pair of victories saved the Armenian nation from eradication.
At Cantigny in France, the Germans were still trying very hard to re-take the village. Five infantry assaults were mounted over the course of the day. The Americans defeated them all, but their losses now totaled over 1,600 including 199 killed and 200 gassed. The Germans, however, had lost a bit more: 1,400 killed and wounded, and 250 captured.
The Americans had proved that they were no second-string force. The decision was made to send U. S. reinforcements to the aid of the British and French troops being hammered by Operation Blücher-Yorck. They were still lacking in experience, but in fact there were few other troops that could reach the area in time.
For in the Chemin des Dames sector, the German juggernaut was rolling on. On this date they gained still more ground, and captured Soissons, famous as one of the most ancient towns in France. It was now the turn of the French be alarmed. For three days the German troops had advanced nearly 16 km (10 miles) a day. Another week at this rate would bring them to Paris. And even if they were stopped short of that, if they got within range of their railroad guns, they could do damage far beyond what their Paris Gun had been able to do. If they got close enough to use their monster “Big Bertha” howitzers that had demolished the supposedly impregnable forts in Belgium in 1914, they might well be able to reduce the city to flaming ruins.
Therefore, the French authorities began to remove a number of the more valuable artworks from the Louvre museum and ship them quietly to safer places. They also drew up plans to evacuate the government, as had been done in 1914. There was another matter that was larger and more difficult, however: the armaments factories. Plans also had to be made to move the machinery, and this was truly a case of preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best:
The French factories on which we depended for an essential part of our programme were mostly grouped around Paris. The danger to the capital required elaborate plans for moving these establishments southwards in case of need, and at the same time a very nice decision whether and when to put them into operation. If we moved without cause, we interrupted production. If we tarried too long, we should not be able to get our machinery away. Paris was calm and even pleasant in these days of uncertainty. The long-range German cannon, which threw its shells about every half-hour, had effectively cleared away nearly all those who were not too busy nor too poor. The city was empty and agreeable by day, while by night there was nearly always the diversion of an air raid. The spirit of Clémenceau reigned throughout the capital. ‘We are now giving ground, but we shall never surrender. . .’
--Winston Churchill, “The World Crisis, Vol. 3”
< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 5/30/2018 3:28:08 AM >
Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?