Sunday, November 08, 2015

November 8th, 1915

- As the German 11th Army had converged on Kruševac, its front had narrowed considerably, while the few roads in the region limited the amount of men and material that could be moved forward.  Moreover, with the mountains approaching it was time, as per the discussions at Pless on the 6th, to take out of the line those German formations not equipped for mountain warfare.  As a result, from the German 11th Army the German III Corps, along with 25th Reserve and Bavarian 11th Divisions and the headquarters of IV Reserve Corps, are ordered north out of Serbia today.  Further, the German 26th Division in the Austro-Hungarian 3rd Army receives similar orders, though this formation is to be replaced by the German Alpine Corps.

- After discussion between senior German army and navy officials in Berlin, the German naval attaché in Athens presents the German reply to the questions posed last week by General Dousmanis and Colonel Metaxas of the Greek General Staff.  While German submarines already doing what they could to interrupt Entente supply lines to their forces at Salonika, there was nothing more they could realistically accomplish - the number available in the Mediterranean were insufficient to close off the Aegean Sea entirely, and using them defensively to protect the Greek coast would greatly limit their effectiveness by keeping them in port.  Moreover, there was no particular need for Greek port facilities, given that German submarines had the range to operate from Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman bases.  Indeed, the best assistance the Greeks could offer at sea would be intelligence regarding Entente ship movements.  On land, the Germans noted that only limited munitions or artillery pieces could be provided, given that there were already commitments to the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria that remained to be fulfilled.  Overall, Greek entry into the war on Germany's side would provide few benefits and greater drawbacks; indeed, at this stage of the war Greek neutrality was more useful from the German perspective than actual intervention.  If nothing else, the German reply offers nothing on which either King Constantine or the Greek General Staff can justify going to war against the Entente.

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