Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 12th, 1915

- At 6am, a major German counterattack is launched against the British line at Neuve Chapelle which is able to retake a portion of the trenches northeast of the village that was lost in the initial British attack two days ago.  However, a lack of artillery impairs the German ability to hold the new line, and an attack by the British 7th and 8th Divisions at noon manage to regain the lost ground.  By 8pm, the headquarters of the German 6th Army concludes that further attacks to recover Neuve Chapelle will be fruitless, and decides to entrench on the present line.  For the British, the German counterattacks are sufficiently disruptive and damaging that, despite being able to retake the lost ground, they are unable to push further towards Aubers Ridge.

British dead at Neuve Chapelle, March 12th, 1915.
- Today the French XVI Corps begins its assault in the Champagne, joined by other elements of 4th Army.  Despite the concentration of infantry and the focus on a maximum effort, the attack is little more successful than those earlier in the battle.

- The second advance towards Prasnysz by the German forces under General Gallwitz is called off today north of the town, as Russian counterattacks have checked German momentum.

- In the central Carpathians, General Brusilov continues the counterattack against the left wing of the Austro-Hungarian 2nd Army, and today 34th Division is forced back.  The commander of the Austro-Hungarian 2nd Army, meanwhile, is concerned about a Russian breakthrough that would undue what little has been accomplished to date, and rushes his reserves to XIX Corps in front of Lupkow.  Further east, the grinding Austro-Hungarian advance towards Baligrod continues - the village of Rabe and the Manilowa Heights are seized today.

- This afternoon a small English gunboat thoroughly searches Isa Bay, from which Emden's landing party is rumoured to be sailing from tomorrow.  In truth, Mücke's deception has worked, as his party prepares to sail on the fourteenth.

- The British and French commanders of Entente forces invading German Kamerun agree to a plan of campaign, in which their forces are expected to reach the line Dume-Lomie-Akoafim-Ntem River by the end of March.  The plan, however, bears little resemblance to the actual position of French columns in the south and west, and assumes a level of co-ordination utterly impossible given the terrain of the colony.

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