Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 10th, 1915

- The United States issues a strong condemnation of the recent German proclamation that starting on the 18th a war zone would exist around the British Isles and that enemy merchant ships would be sunk without warning.  The position of the American government is that any harm befalling an American ship or American citizens, even if the latter were aboard a British vessel, would be 'an indefensible violation of neutral rights,' and pledged to hold the German government strictly to account for any such act.  In short, the United States will defend its rights to trade with Britain and expect Germany not to interfere.  The tone of the American note is stronger that Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg expected, and brings into sharp relief the tension between cutting British maritime trade and the attitude of neutral powers.

- The Russian 10th Army continues to be battered by the German offensive as it crosses the frontier between East Prussia and Russia itself.  General Rudolph Sievers, 10th Army commander, is struggling against against immense difficulties, only one of which are the Germans themselves.  The terrible blizzard bedevils his own infantry as much as the enemy, and makes redeployment and reinforcement almost impossible.  Meanwhile, most of 10th Army's supplies and ammunition are snowbound at railway depots in the rear, and communication links are tenuous at best.  Given the difficulties, Sievers has concentrated his attention on III Siberian Corps on the southern end of the line, which is putting up a stubborn defence that is at least slowing the advance of the German 8th Army opposite.  This concentration on the south, however, leaves the northern end of the line neglected, where the German 10th Army is having more success - today the German XXI Corps cuts the rail line from the front to the Russian fortress at Kovno to the north-east, and XXIX Reserve Corps surrounds and captures ten thousand Russian soldiers near Wirballen.

No comments:

Post a Comment