Sunday, November 01, 2015

November 1st, 1915

- At Kragujevać Serbian forces, after destroying the arsenal, have withdrawn south of the city, and a municipal delegation arrives today at the headquarters of General Lochow of the German III Corps, offering the surrender of the city.  Kragujevać is subsequently occupied by the German 168th Regiment of 25th Reserve Division, supported by elements of the Austro-Hungarian 57th Division.  Because the railway connection had been severed, the Serbians were forced to leave behind large amounts of war material, as well as 2100 wounded soldiers.

The victory, however, is at best partial, as Mackensen's two armies have failed to envelop the Serbian 1st and 3rd Armies before them.  The failure of the German III and Austro-Hungarian VIII Corps to pin the Serbs north of the city allowed them to withdraw to the south, while the western flank of the Austro-Hungarian 3rd Army has been slowed by poor weather - while the Austro-Hungarian XIX Corps today reaches the West Morava River at Čačak, while the German XXII Reserve Corps has yet to reach the Čačak-Kragujevać road.  Instead of the army's western flank pushing ahead of the corps opposite Kragujevać, they are still in line with them.  Mackensen and Seeckt, however, still hoping to destroy the Serbian armies in the field, orders their increasingly exhausted forces forward - the Austro-Hungarian 3rd Army is to push south to Kraljevo while the German 11th Army is to capture the confluence of the Morava and West Morava Rivers.

- The chief of the Greek General Staff, General Victor Dousmanis, and the assistant chief, Colonel Ioannis Metaxas, are staunchly monarchist, and side with King Constantine's policy of neutrality as opposed to the dismissed Venizelos' pro-Entente stance.  Given the substantial Entente presence at Salonika, the possibility exists that circumstances may draw Greece into the war on the side of Germany - for example, if the French forces in southern  Serbia cross back into Greece, the latter, as a neutral, by international law ought to disarm them, but the Greek General Staff is under no illusions what would follow such an act.  With Constantine's blessing, the pair, while emphasizing that continued neutrality is their preferred policy, approach the German military attaché in Athens regarding the extent and nature of German support in the event of war.  Metaxas is particularly concerned about naval support - with its long coastline and many islands it is particularly vulnerable to British seapower, while sea transport, especially of food from southern Greece to northern, is essential to Greek survival.  Metaxas inquires of the German military attaché whether German submarines would be able to protect coastal trade and limit Entente access to the Aegean Sea.  He also requests, in the event of war, artillery batteries and munitions for coastal defence.

- After a two-day lull, the Isonzo front from Plava in the north to Mt. dei sei Busi in the south is again the scene of heavy fighting as Italian infantry again fling themselves against the Austro-Hungarian defences. At Zagora the Italians launch a attack at dawn without a preliminary bombardment and under cover of rain and fog which catches the Austro-Hungarians by surprise; the Italians take the enemy position and capture many prisoners.  This evening two Austro-Hungarian battalions counterattack, forcing the Italians to abandon part of the thoroughly-ruined village.

Opposite Görz itself, after a heavy bombardment Italian infantry advance at 7am.  A brigade of 10th Division attempts to seize the summit of Mt. Sabotino, but is repulsed by the Austro-Hungarian 60th Brigade.  To the south, the inner wings of 11th and 12th Divisions make initial headway on the Podgora and Hill 184, but the rapid deployment of Austro-Hungarian reserves allows for most of the lost trenches to be regained this evening.

To the south, the Italian 3rd Army has received 22nd Division from reserves, and heavy attacks are launched from north of Mt. San Michelle to Mt. dei sei Busi.  South of St. Martino, regiments from 28th and 19th Divisions break into the Austro-Hungarian trenches, but counterattacks force them to relinquish most of the ground gained.  Elsewhere, the attacks of 3rd Army accomplish nothing.

No comments:

Post a Comment