Friday, April 10, 2015

April 10th, 1915

- General Dubail reports to Joffre today that, in line with the Commander-in-Chief's instructions of the 8th, he intends to make four concentrated attacks on the St.-Mihiel salient in the coming days.  Two will be aimed at the western face of the salient: one on a four-kilometre front near Maizeray, and the other on the heights immediately south of Les Éparges.  Two further assaults will be directed towards the southern face of the salient, both near its centre.

- In March, Austria-Hungary agreed to surrender the province of Trentino to Italy after the war, if Italy were to remain neutral.  However, given the ongoing Austro-Hungarian defeats, highlighted by the surrender of Przemysl, such a concession is no longer sufficient for the Italian government.  Believing the Dual Monarchy to be gravely weakened and in no position to negotiate, the Italians raise their demands today, requesting the entirety of South Tirol, the Adriatic coast from the present border to Trieste, with the latter declared a free city, several Dalmatian islands, and a declaration from Austria-Hungary that Italy would henceforth have a free hand in Albania.  Given how long it took the Austro-Hungarian government to come around to the idea of handing over Trentino, it is hardly to be expected that they would submit to such escalated demands.

- Given the growing diplomatic crisis with Italy, coupled with Conrad's continued unwillingness to countenance territorial concessions, Falkenhayn sends a telegram to Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, warning him of the attitude of the Austro-Hungarian chief of staff and makes the following request:
Exert utmost pressure in Vienna in order to effect acceptance of Italian demands even if excessive.  At the same time, announce Germany's willingness to give greater military assistance in the East and if necessary to cede Prussian territory.
- In the central Carpathians the German Beskid Corps is now wholly in the front line, having relieved four Austro-Hungarian divisions, giving Conrad a substantial reserve for the first time in several weeks.  The counterattack of the German divisions over the past week have disrupted the Russian offensive in the Carpathians and inflicted forty thousand casualties on the enemy.  As a result, General Ivanov of South-West Front orders a halt to the attacks of 3rd and 8th Armies today, stating that the arrival of German reinforcements have tipped the balance.  Instead, he intends to wait for the arrival of III Caucasian Corps before resuming the attack.

- In northern German Kamerun, a German attack along the Benue River forces the Emir of Yola in northern Nigeria to flee his capital and threatens British influence in the region.  Frederick Lugard, the colonial governor in Nigeria, calls for the capture of the town of Garua in German Kamerun as a means of restoring British prestige.

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