World War One Diary for Friday, July 12, 1918:
Pacific: Japan’s first dreadnought 21,900t Kawachi blown up by magazine explosion in Tokuyama Bay, 700 killed.
Somme: French capture Castel-Auchin Farm, northwest of Montdidier. Foch asks Haig to be ready to attack in Flanders from La Bassee canal north to liberate Bethune mining district. Haig demurs citing ‘water-logged’ terrain, counter-proposes early advance ‘east and southeast of Amiens, so as to disengage that town and the railway’. Foch agrees and reveals that Debeney (French First Army) is ‘studying an offensive with the same objective’. Petain letter to Haig: ‘I have the honour to request a more complete participation of the British Army in the burdens … weighing on my armies for 3 1/2, months: either by … at least 3 divisions or by an attack launched before 18 July on a suitable part of the front.’ Ludendorffs 5th offensive postponed to July 15.
Haiti: Government declares war on Germany.
Australia: Prime Minister Hughes says no return of German Pacific Island.
Germany: Colonel Bauer note to Ludendorff ‘We will win if the Homeland no longer stabs the Army in the back.’; repeats the view to Duesseldorf Industry Club on July 20.
Britain : ‘Propaganda is advertising …’, by Northcliffe.