Friday, September 18, 2015

September 18th, 1915

- Captain Heinrich Mathy, who had commanded the Zeppelin L13 in its raid on London on September 9th, is summoned to Berlin today to report directly to the chief of the Kaiser's Naval Cabinet.  The success has been widely celebrated in Germany as a great blow against the British, hitherto beyond reach, but it is entirely in character for the Kaiser to be primarily concerned with whether any damage had been done to Buckingham Place.  In his interview Mathy provides assurances that all bombs were aimed accurately and that no royal target was struck.

- In Artois, artillery of the French III Corps, facing stronger defences than the other corps of 10th Army, begins its preliminary bombardment today for the offensive to be launched in one week.

- The German 10th Army occupies Vilna today, the city having been vacated by the Russians.  Ludendorff still hopes to win a great victory by turning the Russian flank to the east, despite the arrival of Russian reinforcements putting the German cavalry under increasing pressure.  He thus objects to the orders from Falkenhayn yesterday to divert part of the Army of the Bug southeast to rescue the Austro-Hungarian 4th Army.  The German chief of staff, however, ignores Ludendorff's objection, remaining firm in his belief that Ludendorff's grander plans for an envelopment of the Russian 10th Army are impractical, and that a further Austro-Hungarian collapse could undermine the entire southern half of the Eastern Front.

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