Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 16th, 1914

- There is no significant combat today at Ypres, outside of the usual shelling of each others' lines.  This allows the British and French to continue to redeploy their units - the French IX Corps stretches south to cover the trenches to the Menin Road, permitting the British 1st Division to move into reserve.

- Near Krakow the Austro-Hungarian 4th Army is scheduled to begin its attack at 6am this morning.  However, the nighttime march to its starting line is hopelessly confused, with numerous traffic jams inhibiting progress.  It is not until early afternoon that 4th Army is actually in position to attack the Russian 9th Army opposite, which has had time to dig a defensive position that stymies the attacks of 4th Army.  Meanwhile, X Corps of 1st Army had been ordered to advance in the afternoon, on the assumption that 4th Army struck the Russians in the morning.  Again, the divisions are significantly delayed, and by nightfall have not yet reached Russian positions.  Thus ends the first day of Conrad's grand 'pincer movement'.

The line near Krakow at the start of the Austro-Hungarian offensive, November 16th, 1914.

- In South Africa a rebel commando commanded by C. F. Beyers is attacked by superior Government forces near Bultfontein and is defeated.  Beyers and the remnants of his unit flee eastwards.  The rebels have not been able to attract enough support among the Boer populace, given that the leading figures in the South African government - men such as Botha and Smuts - are Boers themselves who were active leaders in the Boer War, and thus could draw on considerable personal loyalty in raising government units to combat the rebels.

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