World War One Diary for Monday, November 4, 1918:
Baltic: Enraged by ‘Karlstrasse Bloodbath’ thousands of sailors, 20,000 garrison troops and workers join Kiel mutiny. Crew of battleship Grosser Kuerfuerst overpower their officers and march to Karlstrasse to swear an oath of vengeance. At mass meeting in 1st Torpedo Division, Artelt demands immediate establishment of a ‘sailors’ council’. Officers attempting to silence him are savagely disarmed. Council elected with Artelt as chairman drafts programme of ’14 demands’. Troops of 1st Dock Division arrive but refuse to fire, hand over their weapons. Even the staunchly loyal U-boat Division now turns against officer corps. At 1345 hours Kiel city Commander informs Souchon ‘The mutiny … continues to spread … we no longer possess any reliable troops…’. Souchon dismissed and replaced by Socialist Gustav Noske.
Germany – KIEL MUTINY: Revolution spreads to Luebeck and Travemuende (November 5), Hamburg, Bremen, Cuxhaven, Wilhelmshaven (November 6), Landwehr and workers. General Groener goes to Berlin and learns no armistice if Kaiser does not abdicate; meets Chancellor Ebert on November 6. Stuttgart founds first Workers Council.
Austria: High mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral for Emperor’s name day.
Britain: Northcliffe’s ‘From Peace to War’ tirade vs Prime Minister in Daily Mail and The Times.
Sambre – BATTLE OF THE SAMBRE: British Fourth (3 divisions with 26 tanks and 6 armoured cars; 1,200 casualties), Third (8 divisions with 11 tanks) and First Armies (6 divisions) attack on 30-mile front from east of Valenciennes to Guise; Landrecies falls to 600 men of 25th Division. NZ Division storms Le Quesnoy taking 2,500 PoWs and 100 guns. Lieutenant W Owen (Manchester Regiment), war poet, killed aged 25 by MG fire at Sambre Canal assault. BEF 5-mile advance captures 10,000 PoWs and 200 guns. Haig orders Plumer to be ready to cross river Scheldt c. November 11. German Second Army begins retreat to Antwerp-Meuse position (night November 4-5).
Meuse and Argonne: Franco-Americans clear Argonne; AEF take Stenay and Dun-sur-Meuse.
AUSTRO-ALLIED HOSTILITIES END AT 1500 HOURS. Diaz cables Paris that Italy will intervene to enforce Germany’s armistice terms if necessary.
Italian Front: US 332nd Infantry Regiment gets into action a few hours before ceasefire, capturing Austrian MGs on east bank of river Tagliamento. Italian 1st and 4th Cavalry Divisions reach the frontier in Carnia and Caporetto beyond. Italian 54th Division captures 10,000 Austrians at Muzzanella bridge west of coastal frontier after Commander Borghese cuts the road with Bafile Batallion and Arditi (November 3-4) who are forced to surrender at 0800 hours.
Montenegro: Serb Second Army liberates capital Cetinje.
Turkey: Liman reaches Constantinople, put in command of evacuation; most Germans have or are sailing to Odessa (until November 19).
Mesopotamia: British troops under General Fanshawe enter Mosul (Marshall arrives November 7).