Tuesday, May 05, 2015

May 5th, 1915

- After two weeks of fighting, the Germans manage to recapture the craters of Hill 60 southeast of Ypres after a gas attack today, retaking the last bit of ground lost to the initial British attack on April 17th.

- For a fourth consecutive day the German 11th Army is able to secure significant gains in west Galicia.  Though the progress of VI and Guards Corps is somewhat slowed by the resistance of the Russian III Caucasian Corps, X Corps encounters only sporadic opposition and is able to seize Zmigrod, cross the Wistoka River, and advance almost to Dulka while securing bridgeheads over the Jasiolka River.  The two Russian corps to the south are at great risk of encirclement; indeed, the reployment area to which XXIV Corps was ordered just yesterday has today been occupied by the Germans.  General Dimitriev of 3rd Army issues new orders for a further retreat today, with both XXIV and XII Corps to pull back east of Dulka to reform some semblance of a coherent line east of the Wislok River.  They are now pursued by the Austro-Hungarian 3rd Army, which leaves its trenches in the Carpathians to advance northwards.

Further north, Dimitriev orders IX Corps, opposite the Austro-Hungarian 4th Army, is to pull back to the Wistoka River at Pilzna.  Though the Austro-Hungarian attack has made less progress, IX Corps finds that its southern flank has been uncovered by the German advance, and must fall back.

Dimitriev's superiors, however, did not share his concerns: General Ivanov of South-West Front was confident that the meagre reserves arriving at the front would be sufficient to avoid a breakthrough, and this evening Grand Duke Nicholas, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army, wires Dimitriev: 'The arrival of the celebrated III Caucasian Corps and other reinforcements guarantees that you will be able to do everything necessary to restore a favourable situation.'  Or not, as the case may be.

- The rumours of the Treaty of London have reached Berlin, where they prompt another attempt to win the Italians back to neutrality.  After applying suitable pressure to the Austro-Hungarian government, Ambassador Bülow meets with Foreign Minister Sonnino at 1130am to present new concessions, which include all of the Trentino inhabited by Italians, boundary adjustments along the Isonzo River, a measure of autonomy for Trieste, and an Austro-Hungarian statement of disinterest in Albania.  Sonnino receives the proposals politely, but of course has no intention whatsoever of negotiating, having already committed to the Entente.

- The last units of the British 42nd Division departs Egypt today, bound for the Gallipoli campaign.

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