World War One Diary for Saturday, November 2, 1918:
Italy: Allied Supreme War Council approves plan (until November 4) for up to 40 Italian divisions (including 5 British and French) to invade Bavaria from Innsbruck and Salzburg areas in early 1919 under Foch’s direction.
Italian Front: Italian First Army begins advance, occupies Rovereto and Calliano in Adige valley (night November 1-2) and Col Santo. Italian Seventh Army begins advance west of Lake Garda, captures Mt Pari near it. First armistice meeting 2100-0300 hours (night November 2-3), Austrians reluctantly accept 24-hour delay for end of hostilities.
Aisne and Meuse: Germans retreat before US I Corps which captures Buzancy and links with French Fourth Army.
Sambre: Mutiny of Eastern Front reinforcements for German Seventeenth Army; they have to be disarmed by a storm battalion.
Scheldt: Canadian Corps (c.380 casualties) captures Valenciennes with 1,800 PoWs and 7 guns, over 800 Germans killed.
Turkey: Enver, Talaat and Djemal leave Constantinople in German naval ship for Ukraine.
Mesopotamia: Marshall gets full armistice terms; General Cassels sees Ali Ihsan, arranges advance to within 2 miles of Mosul.
Rhodesia: Lettow bombards Fife in Northern Rhodesia but declines to assault (premature shell explodes mortar) while 1/4th King’s African Rifles 23 miles to east. Lettow advances into Northern Rhodesia with 400 cattle; at Mwenzo Mission increases quinine supply to over 30lb (enough to last to June 1919).
Baltic: Mass meeting of 3rd Squadron sailors in Waldweisse meadow, Kiel. Stoker Karl Artelt urges men to persist for their imprisoned shipmates’ release and gain support from shipyard workers; 5 other speakers demand continuing resistance and refusal to obey orders (reactionary officers deserve to be ‘clubbed to death’), and an immediate end to war. Kiel Governor Admiral Souchon (of Goeben fame) attempts to disperse the crowd with 2 naval infantry coys, but both units refuse to open fire.
Constantinople: Germans hand over battlecruiser Goeben and U-boats to Turks.
Western Front – First attempted ‘cloud’ (blind) bombing (using dead reckoning): lone DH9a of No 99 Squadron RAF drops 3 x 112lb bombs in area of Avricourt rail junction and nearby dump.
Austria: 69th Hungarian Infantry Regiment deserts Schoenbrunn Palace (Hungarian troops later officially allowed to go home) but Wiener Neustadt military cadets (military academies close) replace them. Emperor Charles refuses Archduke Joseph’s call to abdicate as King of Hungary. Slovenes take over Carniola Province.
Germany: Hindenburg appeals for unity. Unions and industrialists demand demobilization office instead of Imperial Economic Office.
USA: New York’s worst subway accident (97 killed, 100 injured).