Diary November 30, 1917

German soldiers before the counterattack at Cambrai
German soldiers collect their equipment before the counterattack at Cambrai.
World War One Diary for Friday, November 30, 1917:

Western Front

Cambrai – GERMAN SURPRISE COUNTER­ATTACK BEGINS with 0830 hours barrage including much gas shell: Second Army, reinforced to 20 divisions, employs infiltration tactics and close air support, tested at Riga and Caporetto; 11 divisions attack on 12-mile front in two sections salient Vendhuille­-Bourlon Wood-Moeuvres and penetrate to La Vacquerie and Gouzeaucourt capturing 6,000 PoWs and 158 guns in advances up to 3 miles. British Guards Div recapture latter, then 36 tanks arrive.
British Army’s youngest general, Brigade-General ‘Boy’ Bradford, Victoria Cross (GOC 186th Brigade, 62nd Division) killed by shell outside his headquarter, aged 25.
Flanders: Total German casualties since July 31: c.400,000 soldiers.
France: 129,623 AEF (American Expedition Force) personnel in Europe.
Germany: Transfer of 42 divisions (over 500,000 traps) from Eastern Front and elsewhere to West begins until March 21, 1918.

Air War

Cambrai: At least 30 low­-flying ‘battle’ aircraft support German advance in south, more in northern sector. 10 Australian DH5s of No 68 Squadron assist British afternoon counter­-attack. c.50 Royal Flying Corps aircraft and as many German over Bourlon Wood, both sides strafe. 11 German aircraft lost, 7 British.
Macedonia: French bomb Vardar valley and north of Monastir.
Britain­: Vickers Vimy T/E heavy bomber first flies.
Mesopota­mia: RFC bomb German Kifri airfield (night November 30-December 1), but fail to check reconnaissance for Turks.
Western Front: OHL has 144 twin-engine bombers in 7 Bogohl (36 in Bogohl 3 against England).

Sea War

Britain: Allied (standing) Naval Conference formed in London, creates coordinating Allied Naval Council including politicians for first time.
During November Allied and neutral shipping losses to U-boats lowest of 1917, with 126 ships (56 British with 376 lives) worth 289,095t (U­-boat figure 302,599t, including 104,479t in Mediterranean) and 8 U-boats lost. 90% of British ocean-going shipping now in convoy.


Austria: Government accepts Bolshevik armistice offer as basis for peace proposals.

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