Maricourt and the Meuse
The fighting south of the Somme slacks off. Now, stop me if you’ve heard this before; but, once again, troops on both sides are heading rapidly northwards for a flanking operation. I wonder what the next occurrence in this saga will be???
North of the Somme, the French succeed in holding the line of the River Ancre, one of the You-Know-What’s tributaries, and some extremely vigorous fighting occurs around the town of Maricourt. Meanwhile, over by the Meuse, the French are pushing the edge of the German salient slowly backwards. However, the German engineers are working frantically and every time their infantry falls back, it’s to a stronger position. St Mihiel itself also comes under attack; since the Germans are all now well-installed on the heights, this goes as well as you’d expect.
In the East, at Przemysl, we’ll remember that General Dimitrev (a candidate for my planned Military Wazzocks of the Great War series) was rather eager to begin besieging the fortress. He decided to launch infantry attacks without much in the way of artillery support, which is still in transit. He’s spent the last three days bashing his blokes’ heads against brick walls, trees, barbed wire, concrete emplacements, and a rather unhealthy dose of bullets.
40,000 casualties later, he is forced to break off the attack and send men north. The Germans are moving in the general direction of Warsaw, and he needs a screening force against the possibility of being rudely interrupted. This also works in favour of a large number of approaching Austrian reinforcements, who can now be sure of reaching the fortress without being too badly harassed.
Actions in Progress
The Daily Telegraph is republishing its archives from the war day-by-day. In today’s paper: a number of feature articles and a hilariously gung-ho front-page advert for “The Best War Library Available”. Apparently generations to come will be reading the books. Anyone who has any of these, drop me a line.