World War One Diary for Saturday, October 26, 1918:
Piave: Italian Grappa attacks mainly fail, gaining only Peak 1186 and Col del Cuc (Aosta Alpini Battalion 568 casualties to date). Field Marshal Boroevic thanks defenders, confident ‘that they would convince the enemy that their blood had been shed in vain’, but 3 Hungarian divisions ask to be withdrawn home (until October 27). Italians begin 4 bridges at middle Piave.
Germany: LUDENDORFF RESIGNS at Berlin as First QMG and de facto C-in-C Western Front. Kaiser says ‘The operation is done. I have split the Siamese twins’ (Hindenburg and Ludendorff). Kaiser refuses Hindenburg’s tendered resignation. Ludendorff succeeded by Groener whose railway expertise proves invaluable during the retreat.
Britain: At BEF GHQ Churchill chairs senior gas officer conference (flies home on October 30).
Aegean: Three Turk envoys begin armistice talks at Mudros (until October 30).
Syria: British enter Aleppo at 1000 hours after c.1,000 Turks leave; 500 Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers (80 casualties) charge Kemal’s 3,000 Turks and 8 guns north of city at Haritan but beaten off after lancing 50 and taking 20 PoWs.
Mesopotamia: Cassels’ 1,000 cavalry with 6 guns (11th Cavalry Brigade) ford mile-wide Tigris 13 miles north of Sharqat after 83-mile ride in two days as 17th Indian Division (until October 27) repulsed from Turk Humur line with 618 casualties.
France: Trenchard appointed C-in-C Inter-Allied Independent Air Force under Foch.