Diary October 17, 1918

Hungarian soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army in Prague
Hungarian soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army in leisurely occupation of a road junction in Prague in October 1918. The Habsburg empire meekly conceded nationalist demands.
World War One Diary for Thursday, October 17, 1918:


Austria­: Czechs proclaim Republic at Prague (Council in Paris declares formal independence on October 18); Hungarian
Parliament declares independence except for Crown as figurehead.
Germany: Kaiser, Ludendorff and Prince Max confer on reply to US note.

Western Front

Flanders: Belgians reoccupy Ostend. British Second Army reach Tourcoing outskirts. Allied advance since October 14 has turned Lille defences, BEF FIFTH ARMY (57th Division) OCCUPIES LlLLE without firing a shot (Clemenceau visits on October 20).
Selle­ – BATTLE OF THE SELLE (until October 25): BEF Fourth, Third and First Armies (8th Division occupies Douai and Canadians cross Sensee Canal) and US II Corps assault Hermann position at 0530 hours on 10-mile front south from Le Cateau (captured) and line 3 miles to east on October 18 with 5,000 PoWs and 60 guns.
Germany – Full Cabinet: LUDENDORFF DEMANDS A FIGHT TO THE FINISH denounces Wilson’s second Note and declares ‘… on my conscience a breakthrough [by Allies] is unlikely’; in 4 weeks campaigning season will be over; that, provided with promised reinforcements he can retire to Antwerp-Meuse Line, to resume in spring 1919. If necessary, Belgium must again become a battleground ‘so that 1914 will be child’s play compared to it’. Ludendorff, interrogated by Imperial Chancellor, calls situation grave but not hopeless (‘perhaps Germany’s luck may return’). War Minister Scheuch says c.600,000 reinforcements raisable but warns that if Rumanian oil … is cut off Army (and Air Force) can only continue operations for another 6 weeks.
Britain: King George V becomes Col-in-Chief, Tank Corps.

Sea War

North Sea: German Navy evacuates Ostend, Zeebrugge and Bruges, abandoning 9 coastal torpedo boats.
Mediterranean: Austrian U-boats ordered home.

Air War

Western Front: Rain and mist restricts flying (until October 27) and aids retreating Germans. RAF pilots land at Ghistelles, Ghent and in Ostend market square, just as Germans leave.

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