- At and west of Lodz the German 9th Army has spent several days grappling with the Russian 2nd and 5th Armies without making any progress. The situation to the east of Lodz, however, is completely different. This was the one part of the line where the Germans arrived before the retreating Russians. Here there was the German 25th Reserve Corps and Guards Division, and finding no significant resistance before them they had moved to implement Ludendorff's original plan - i.e. isolate Lodz to cut off the two Russian armies. Thus over the past few days the German corps and division have marched first south past Lodz, and then west, believing themselves to be enveloping the Russian defenders. In reality, it was the Germans who were being enveloped. Today the westward movement of 25th Reserve Corps and Guards Division is halted by Russian reinforcements rushed from west of Lodz, while their path south and east were blocked by other Russian units. Further, there were no German units to their north, which meant that the Russian 1st Army, sweeping south from the Vistula River, might be able to block the escape of the two German units. After a promising beginning to his offensive, Ludendorff is now confronted with the potential envelopment and destruction of a significant part of 9th Army.
|The Battle of Lodz, November 21st to 24th, 1914.|
- The French ambassador to Russia has an audience with the Tsar today, during which he elaborates on the war aims of France. The recovery of Alsace-Lorraine is naturally essential, but the ambassador declares that France must extend its influence over the Rhineland, to ensure that Germany can never again pose a deadly threat to France.
- Though the news of the Ottoman abandonment of Basra reached Indian Expeditionary Force D yesterday evening, the occupation of Basra remains no easy task: the infantry have a thirty-mile march ahead of them, while movement by water is hindered by a number of ships sunk by the Ottomans in the Shatt al-Arab to block British vessels. As several British ships attempt to manoeuvre past the obstructions, they are met by a steam launch carrying the leading citizens of Basra as well as British residents, both representing the large commercial community of the port. They plead with the British vessels to occupy Basra as quickly as possible, as from the moment the Ottomans withdrew yesterday the inhabitants of Basra have been enthusiastically looting their stores. Thus the initial occupation of Basra is as much to defend private property as for any other reason. Several British sloops are able to make their way through the sunken Ottoman ships and anchor off Basra, sending landing parties ashore to dismantle the Ottoman field guns left behind and clear looters from the port area. The initial landing has a limited effect - once the population realizes that the occupying force is only a few groups of sailors, not a large army, they eagerly resume looting.