Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 30th, 1915

- To the north side of Loos, efforts by the British 28th Division to recover the slap heap known as the Dump, lost on the 27th, are called off today.  A German counterattack, meanwhile, manages to regain 250 yards of Gun Trench, located between the Quarries and the Hulloch-Vermelles road.  To the south of Loos, the delayed relief of the British 47th Division south of Loos by the French IX Corps is completed overnight, and in turn 47th Division has shifted north and relieved 3rd Guard Brigade, the latter going back into reserve.  Given the delay, when General Foch and Field Marshall French meet today they agree to postpone the Anglo-French offensive at Vimy Ridge and Loos to October 3rd.

British dead lay before a captured German trench near Loos, Sept. 30th, 1915.

Ruined buildings in the village of Loos, Sept. 30th, 1915.
On the German side, the first train carrying the German XI Corps from the Eastern Front passes through Liège this morning en route to 6th Army.  Further, the situation has sufficiently stabilized from Falkenhayn's perspective to permit further relief of the battered VI Corps, sending in elements of I Bavarian Corps into the line in its place.  Falkenhayn also receives reports that ample ammunition remains for defensive artillery in the event of further Entente assaults.  The German chief of staff concludes today that while fighting on the Western Front continues, the armies have weathered the worst of the enemy attacks, and though the margin of victory was at times narrow, this has been accomplished without having to divert significant forces from the Balkans and delay the impending invasion of Serbia.

- As a result of the debacle in Champagne that ensued after the false report of a breakthrough by the French 14th Division, Castlenau informs Joffre today that several days will be needed to reorganize and recover from the earlier fighting before the offensive can be resumed.  Though a decision about timing has yet to be made, Joffre tells Castlenau to proceed as if another attack will be undertaken.

- As German and Austro-Hungarian forces finalize preparations for their invasion of Serbia, German aircraft have been conducting aerial reconnaissance of Serbian positions and key crossings of the Save and Danube Rivers.  In addition, a series of bombing raids have been carried out, principally against Požarevac, the main Serbian airfield, and Kragujevać, home to munitions factories.  By the end of September, the Germans have dropped approximately 2400 kilograms of bombs.  At this stage of the war, however, aerial bombardment is still primitive, and it is estimated that half of the bombs fail to detonate.  Only minimal resistance is faced by the German aircraft, though today Serbian air defenses score their only success of the campaign when they shoot down a German Albatross today, part of six-plane raid on Kragujevać.

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