Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 17th, 1915

- The Dardanelles Committee, the supreme decision-making body of the new coalition government, meets in London today, and in light of the continued deterioration of the Russian position on the Eastern Front decides to offer two further divisions to General Hamilton, hoping that success on Gallipoli will repair Entente prestige in the Balkans and bolster their Russian ally.

- French attacks continue in Artois this morning, but are no more successful than those of yesterday, and only along the road running from Aix-Noulette to Souchez are the French able to gain and hold any ground.  Joffre visits Foch's headquarters this morning, and in light of the high casualty total and the continued failure to break through the German line, the French commander-in-chief orders that future attacks be limited to those sectors where progress has already been made.

Though the French have suffered greatly, German formations committed to the battle have also suffered heavy casualties.  The battle has been a constant draw on German reserves, as divisions are rotated into the line, only to themselves need relief in a matter of weeks.  The headquarters of I Bavarian Reserve Corps reports today that its 58th Division is incapable of further fighting, while 16th Division, which is considered to be in an even weaker state, is pulled out and replaced by 11th Division.  Further reinforcements are also dispatched to Artois, including two brigades from Lorraine, a division from 4th Army, and thirteen heavy artillery batteries.

- This morning the German 11th Army continues its advance eastward in Galicia, and by afternoon has closed up to the new Russian defence line running south from Rawa-Ruska.  Concluding that the enemy position cannot be taken by a coup de main, the corps commanders of 11th Army each decide that the assault on the Russian line should only follow a preliminary artillery bombardment.  After yesterday's rapid advance, the field artillery spends today catching up with the infantry, and preparations are made to open fire tomorrow.  Further south, the Austro-Hungarian 2nd Army closes up to the Russian line along the Wereszyca River, but are unable to force their way across today.

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