Kolubara | 05 Dec 1914

The Serbian counter-attack just keeps on going; and a turn of bad fortune for the British down in Africa.


Today ends Herbert Dennis Cutler’s short and spectacular military career. His flying boat takes off again to follow up his earlier successful reconnaissance flight to find Konigsberg’s hiding place. He’s barely reached the coast when the plane suffers a terminal failure, and eventually Cutler is forced to crash-land a mile up the Rufiji. An operation is quickly mounted to recover the plane, and they succeed in preventing the Germans on shore from taking it; but it’s too badly damaged to be salvaged.

Cutler can only surrender, and spent the rest of the war as a POW in the heart of the African bush, after which he disappears almost entirely from history. It will be some time before the Navy has the wherewithal to make a move against Konigsberg with any weapon stronger than colourful language.

Our Advertising Feature

Advert from the Daily Telegraph, December 1914
1914’s Got Talent! (Starring the Hon. E.S.P. Cowell)

Battle of Kolubara

The Serbians keep up their assault, and again they achieve wide success. Their Austro-Hungarian opponents simply don’t have enough time to dig proper defences or gun-positions. Without those, their heavy artillery is worthless and their men are unable to resist a determined attack. It doesn’t matter that the Serbians are leaving their own meagre artillery behind them. They’ve thrown their opponents into such disarray that they can barely use their vast superiority in guns. If they can’t pull themselves together soon, there’s a military disaster of the highest order in the making.

The Austro-Hungarian troops begin destroying everything in their path as they retreat. The First World War is perhaps not as strongly associated with war crimes and reprisals against civilians (especially when dealing with countries other than Germany) as it should be. This is just one example.

Actions in Progress

Siege of Przemysl
Battle of Kolubara
Battle of Limanowa
Battle of Qurna

Further Reading

The Daily Telegraph is republishing its archives from the war day-by-day. In today’s paper: An excellent Page 4 has reports on a pair of singers and a pair of detective inspectors who are suing each other. Page 5 has a very mildly funny story about some Gurkhas pinching the enemy’s mail, the leader on Page 8 muses about what Christmas will be like at the front, Page 9 describes the Battle of Lodz as a charnel house, and Page 10 reports that relations between Austria-Hungary and Italy are apparently deteriorating.

Of course, Saturday means that Page 12 is A Page for Women! Mrs Eric Pritchard appears to have some very odd ideas on what fashions are “simple and practical”; and Page 14 continues the debate over football in wartime.

(If you find the olde-tyme style difficult to read, have a look at this reading guide.)

The excellent tumblr Today in World War I covers the French Government’s return to Paris.

Leave a Reply