Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 14th, 1915

- Overnight five German Zeppelins undertake a bombing raid on London.  While L11 turned back near the English coast after coming under fire, dropping his bombload on several small villages, and L16 strikes the town of Hertford, twenty miles north of London, the three others all manage to hit the British capital.  Most notably, L15, watched by members of Parliament who had been debating an emergency taxation measure, drops its bombs from Charing Cross to the Bank of England, with the second bomb exploding in Wellington Street and killing seventeen, the greatest number of deaths caused by a single bomb in a raid to date.  L13, meanwhile, targets pumping and power stations at Hampton as well as Woolwich Arsenal, and L14, after a lengthy diversion to Hythe on the Kent coast where it dropped nine bombs on an army encampment and killed fifteen soldiers, struck the suburb of Croydon where a number of homes were damaged or destroyed.  Though the Zeppelins had trouble with fog on the return voyage, all return safely (though L15 landed three miles short of Nordholz, necessitating repairs).  This raid is one of the deadliest of the war, with 71 killed and 128 injured, including 38 killed and 87 injured in London itself.

- The Kossava continues unabated in Serbia today, and the only craft able to cross the swollen Save and Danube Rivers are boats with motors or steam engines, of which only two are available to transport supply for the entire German III and X Reserve Corps.  For the German and Austro-Hungarian forces on the south banks of the rivers, supply problems continue.

South of Belgrade further attacks by the German XXII Reserve Corps and the Austro-Hungarian VIII Corps succeed in pushing the Serbians back from their forward positions, and elements of the German 43rd and 44th Reserve Divisions advance on either side of the railway running towards Ripanj.  On the front of the German 11th Army, after reconnaissance patrols yesterday established that the Serbs had evacuated Požarevac, the German 3rd Bavarian Regiment occupies the town today.

Meanwhile the Bulgarian 1st and 2nd Armies begin their advance today.  Given that the former is clearly aimed directly at Niš, the Serbs have deployed strong forces, totalling five infantry divisions and one cavalry division, to contain the Bulgarian advance in the mountain passes east of the city.  Given the strong resistance, coupled with the continuing bad weather, the Bulgarian 1st Army makes no progress today.  However, given the continued pressure the Serbs are under on all fronts, they are incapable of being strong everywhere, and only small forces can be spared to hold back the Bulgarian 2nd Army.

The deployment of the Bulgarian 1st and 2nd Armies and the Serbian forces assigned to
contain them, Oct. 14th, 1915.

- French forces begin to arrive at Strumica Station today, where they join seven Serbian battalions.  Given their proximity to the Bulgarian frontier here, however, they quickly come under Bulgarian artillery fire.

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