Most of Second Isonzo is being wound down now after less than a week of attacks. The army’s remaining efforts will be pushed into another assault in two days on Mount San Michele, still stubbornly garrisoned by mace-wielding Bosnians.
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The Ottomans’ main defensive positions on each side of the River Euphrates have been well-sited, guarded by creeks, dykes, and marshes. Two blockships have also been sunk in the Euphrates to block passage for the British Empire flotilla. It’s a knotty problem, and it requires an original solution.
That solution comes with a special barge prepared by the Engineers to act as a portable bridge. Under cover of darkness, they sneak it up and get men across the Majinina Creek on the left. After just a couple of hours’ fighting, the Ottoman positions are being overrun. The barge is then towed across the canal, and although they can’t get the bridging equipment firmly in place, it’s heavy enough to effectively dam the creek. After a while, the men are able to wade through the creek and assault the Ottoman right.
The surviving defenders, seeing their position untenable, make a break for it. They’ve taken significant casualties; and as the enemy flotilla pursues them and prevents them from taking up their reserve position, they take more. However, many others escape and flee past Nasiriya, which will surrender almost bloodlessly tomorrow morning.
Battle of Malazgirt
To the south of the Belican Hills, Russian screening forces are only just becoming aware of how badly things are going. When they come under attack themselves, they quickly withdraw in a different direction, away from Malazgirt. It’s all falling down around the Russian generals’ ears.
There’s another success today in the North Sea for the Royal Navy’s growing fleet of Q-ships. Prince Charles is a small collier, fitted out with concealed guns. Today, in the middle of nowhere, she comes across a Danish steamer that had been stopped by a submarine, U-36. When the U-boat sees an enemy vessel, it immediately turns around and moves to engage with its deck guns, common practice against unarmed ships to conserve torpedoes.
And then Prince Charles runs out her guns, having drawn U-36 in close, about 600 yards away. The submarine attempts to dive, but it’s too late to escape and she’s sunk in short order. Prince Charles remains in the area and rescues four officers and 11 sailors. However, this is a rare bright spot. The sea is hardly crawling with U-boats, but those that do go out on patrol are sinking a highly annoying amount of British, French, and Russian shipping.
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(If you find the olde-tyme style difficult to get along with, have a look at this reading guide.)