Saturday, November 21, 2015

November 21st, 1915

- Senator René Besnard, undersecretary of state of aviation in the War Ministry, publishes today a revised plan for aircraft production, which calls for an air arm of 128 squadrons by spring 1916.  In addition to expanding the French air force, Besnard, proposes significant changes to its composition - fewer bomber units to allow for additional fighter squadrons, and halting production of outdated observation planes and 80-hp to 100-hp engines.  Most significantly, and most controversially, he proposes to construct eight hundred all-purpose twin-engine three-seat aircraft, which to some parliamentary deputies appears to run counter to the trend in aviation towards specialization.

- Italian attacks continue along the Isonzo today.  North of Oslavija, the Italians attack out of the trench seized yesterday, but when they are repulsed an Austro-Hungarian counterattack hits them while they are disorganized and they abandon most of the ground won yesterday.  To the south further assaults are launched today against the heights at Podgora, and again they are defeated in hand-to-hand fighting.  On the front of the Italian 3rd Army, another assault south of Mt. San Michele manages to secure a small stretch of the line at St. Martino, and are able to hold most of the ground in the face of heavy Austro-Hungarian counterattacks.

Given the continued Italian attacks, the commander of the Austro-Hungarian 5th Army orders the recently-arrived 9th Division to replace 28th Division on the southern end of the Isonzo front, pulling the latter out to serve as the army's reserve.

- Given the ongoing diplomatic dispute with the American government regarding the sinking of the Italian liner Ancona on the 7th, the German submarine U38, along with its crew, is entered into the Austro-Hungarian navy's List of Warships.  If the issue does ot arbitration, the Austro-Hungarian government can point to the list to show that U38 is in fact Austro-Hungarian, though of course it is German.

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