Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January 14th, 1915

- The German attack near Soissons concludes today with the seizure of the hills north of the city.  With the French pushed back to the outskirts of Soissons and to the north bank of the Aisne River, the Germans have accomplished their objectives.  Though the depth of the advance is nowhere more than two kilometres, it is considered a successful offensive, which is credited to meticulous preparations and a concentration of artillery fire, and the battle used as an example to the German army elsewhere on the Western Front on the conduct of medium-scale operations.  Overall, German losses over the past five days of fighting near Soissons have numbered about 5500.

- The Ottoman VIII Corps of 4th Army begins its advance into the Sinai peninsula, with its objective being the seizure of the Suez Canal.  Its line of march is across the centre of the peninsula held the promise of surprising the enemy and avoided either coastline where the Ottomans would be vulnerable to British seapower.  The three divisions of VIII Corps, however, must bring all of their supplies with them, as there is no railway across the Sinai.  Though the commander of 4th Army had wanted to further delay the advance to gather additional supplies, both Falkenhayn and Enver Pasha have pushed for an immediate advance, the former to gain a notable victory that will distract the British from the Western Front, and the latter to secure a triumph that will compensate and mask the failure at Sarikamish.  Thus VIII Corps is moving with inadequate ammunition, food, and water, and will need to seize the Canal quickly, as they will not be able to sustain prolonged operations.

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