Saturday, July 04, 2015

July 4th, 1915

- Mackensen's orders to the Austro-Hungarin 4th Army to halt do not reach its headquarters until early this morning, too late to stop the day's operations.  In the course of the day the centre and right of the army are able to advance northwards up to fifteen kilometres, a notable success that encourages the commander of 4th Army to order a further advance tomorrow.  However, the infantry have been in constant combat since June 29th, and General Alexeiev of North-West Front is concentrating reserves near Lublin for a counterattack.

- This morning the lead elements of the Austro-Hungarian 46th Landwehr Division of 1st Army arrive northeast of Lemberg, though delays on the railways are slowing down the transport of the rest of the army.  As a result, Falkenhayn proposes to Conrad today that a new army be formed on the right of the German 11th Army to ensure its eastern flank remains covered.  General Linsingen is appointed to lead the Army of the Bug, and is replaced as Südarmee commander by General Felix Bothmer.  Under Linsingen will be the German XLI Reserve Corps, the Beskid Corps, and the German 1st, 107th, 11th Bavarian, and 5th Cavalry Divisions.

- Yesterday the German submarine U-21, after resupplying at Constantinople, sortied through the Dardanelles on its second mission against Entente shipping.  It did not have to wait long to find suitable prey: for several days the large French steamer Carthage has been off the south-west tip of Gallipoli, used to resupply French forces on the peninsula.  It makes a very inviting target, and upon sighting the steamer U21 promptly puts a torpedo into Carthage, which rapidly sinks.  Its loss is of little surprise to British naval officers off the Dardanelles; Commodore Keyes suggests afterwards that given its location and size its sinking was only a matter of time, and the French would have been better off using smaller but faster and more agile craft for resupply purposes.

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