Battle of Sarikamis
The first combat of the Battle of Sarikamis occurs today in front of Oltu. Two seperate forves are heading this way. There’s the men who will depart from Oltu over the Top Yol. There’s also another force that will head round the Russians’ left flank and march on Ardahan, to cut off the retreat from Sarikamis. The Russian advance positions at Id are soon overwhelmed, and they fall back.
Meanwhile, the Russian command has found out that Enver’s arrived at Ottoman headquarters, and correctly deduce that the movement towards Id is the first part of a larger offensive.
First Artois and First Champagne are beginning to grind to a halt. The only major French operations are around Carency and Perthes, still both firmly in German possession. Units are being fought to a standstill, and quietly, orders for a strategic pause are beginning to percolate through them. The rain and snow continues to pour down. Fortunately for the BEF, the Germans are also unable to renew the offensive at Givenchy.
The Austrians attempt to sortie from Przemysl to relieve the siege, and get smacked right back down by the Russians. They’ve got enough food for a few months, but with the mountain passes either disputed or blocked by snow, it won’t last forever.
Actions in Progress
The Daily Telegraph is republishing its archives from the war day-by-day. In today’s paper: The Belgium Fund reaches two million shillings, £100,000. (About £10,060,000 today.) There’s also updates on a few other, slightly more quixotic charitable appeals (pages 8, 9 and 10).
Page 4 has a highly interesting Dutch report of Germans returning home “with their nerves wrecked”, and also alleges that boys of 14 and 15 are being sent to war by Germany. Which of course Britain would never do. (More on boy soldiers to come; the British ones haven’t started arriving at the front in any great numbers yet.) On Page 9 we have a play-scene from J.M. Barrie (he of Peter Pan fame), imagining the moment that the Kaiser declared war. And on page 10, rumblings in Italy continue to intensify, with reports of extremely well-attended public meetings against Austria-Hungary.
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