Friday, February 20, 2015

February 20th, 1915

- After authorizing the release of a division from IV Corps to reinforce 4th Army, Joffre is dismayed to learn that it may take several more days before the reinforcements enter the line and allow for renewed advances.  The French Commander-in-Chief sends a reduke to General de Langle of 4th Army, insisting on the importance of attacking as soon as possible to prevent the Germans from constructing new defensive positions faster than the French can fight through them.

On the German side, 1st Guard Division arrives in 3rd Army's sector, an increase in strength that appears to secure the army's left flank against further attacks.

- The Hankey Memorandum of December 28th, 1914, which included a proposal regarding the used of tracked vehicles on the Western Front, had led to an investigation by a War Office committee, which after unpromising tests had concluded that the concept would not be practical.  However, the memorandum has also caught the attention of Churchill, who has also been receiving suggestions from officiers of the Royal Naval Air Service for vehicles more capable than their armoured cars.  Today he authorizes the formation of the Landships Committee, chaired by Director of Naval Construction E. H. T. d'Eyncourt, to investigate the different ideas put forward for the used of tracked and/or armoured vehicles.

- In the eastern Carpathians the Austro-Hungarian 10th Cavalry Division, part of General Pflanzer-Baltin's army group, occupies the town of Stanislau this morning after its evacuation by Russian forces.  However, reinforcements from the Russian 9th Army are arriving in the region, and by the afternoon the Russians counterattack near Stanislau.  Only the timely arrival of a brigade from 36th Division allows the Austro-Hungarians to hold the town.

- At the Dardanelles the weather has taken a sharp turn for the worse, with heavy rain and high seas.  Admiral Carden is unwilling to waste ammunition when poor visibility prevents accurate targeting, and thus given the conditions the British and French warships are unable to continue the bombardment of the Ottoman forts begun yesterday.

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