Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23rd, 1915

- Despite German beliefs that the French are drawing down their Champagne offensive, at 3pm the French commence a sudden heavy artillery bombardment, followed by a number of infantry attacks.  The Germans, however, make excellent use of their own artillery, inflicting significant losses on the advancing enemy soldiers and breaking up the infantry attacks, ensuring that the German line holds.

- Sir John French replies today to Joffre's testy note of February 20th.  He emphasizes that the relief of the French IX and XX Corps had always been dependent on the BEF receiving reinforcements from Britain, and with those reinforcements now delayed, it was not possible for the British to take over the Ypres salient as previously agreed upon.  He also objected to Joffre's complaints regarding the density of British and French forces on their respective portions of the front, arguing that the terrain in the British sector required greater concentration and that the maintenance of the long line of communications back to Britain also consumed a significant number of soldiers.  Finally, the BEF commander assures Joffre that the British will be able to launch their offensive at Neuve Chapelle on or about March 7th.

- After four days of heavy fighting in the winter conditions of  the Vosges, elements of Army Detachment Gaede attacking west of Munster have made marginal progress, reaching the line Barrenkopf-Reichsackerkopf-Hilsenfirst.  With no further reserves available to commit to the fight, General Gaede orders that this line be transformed into the main defensive position along this portion of the front.

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