Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30th, 1914

- Elements of Maud-huy's detachment move through Arras today and push eastwards on the road to Douai.

- At Antwerp the forts of Waelhem and Lierre to the south of the city are the focus of German bombardment.  In addition, the main waterworks for Antwerp, located behind Fort Waelhem, are destroyed, inundating the Belgian trenches in the and greatly reducing water supply for those civilians remaining in the city.

Meanwhile, the Belgian Prime Minister issues a formal request for military assistance to the British and French.  While Joffre is willing to send a small force of territorials and marines, he is unwilling to part with any of his regular divisions, and views the Belgian request through the lens of the ongoing battle in France - his hope is that the Belgians will retreat to extend the Entente line north of Arras.  The British response is to offer to land the 7th Infantry Division and 3rd Cavalry Division on the Belgian coast to reinforce the western flank of the Belgian defenders along the Scheldt River.  These divisions are composed of Regular Army battalions that had been scattered around the Empire at the outbreak of war garrisoning points such as Gibraltar, Malta, and Egypt.  These units had been recalled in August and assembled in Britain in preparation for dispatch to the continent, and the two divisions together formed IV Corps, under the command of General Henry Rawlinson.

- Yesterday the ships under the command of Admiral Craddock descended on Orange Bay in the Magellan Straits after receiving word from the British consul at Punta Arenas that the German light cruiser Dresden had been coaling there.  Finding the bay empty, but with indications that Dresden had been there recently, Craddock orders his ships today to return to the Falklands Islands to coal.

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