World War One Diary for Sunday, September 30, 1917:
Allied and neutral shipping loss to U-boats: 159 ships (68 British with 293 lives) lowest since January or 338,242t (German figure 353,602t including 111,241t in Mediterranean). Record of 11 U-boats lost. Only 6 ships lost over 50 miles from land (September to December), ie convoys forcing U-boats inshore.
Germany: During September Rear Admiral Souchon returns to Germany from Turkey to command High Seas Fleet 4th Battle Squadron, Vice-Admiral Rebeur-Paschwitz in command of Turk Navy.
USA: AEF (American Expedition Force) personnel in Europe total 61,927 soldiers.
Flanders: British take 5,296 PoWs and 11 guns during September. Three German flamethrower attacks between Tower Hamlets and Polygon Wood.
Aisne: Brief German advance at Berry-au-Bac.
Italian Front: 56,000 Italian deserters (Cacdorna’s report of November 3), monthly desertion rate 5,500 (July to September) vs 650 in 1915.
Turkey: Kemal protest letter to Enver Pasha and resignation as Seventh Army Commander at Aleppo. He urges defensive strategy and independence from Germany; best divisions lose 50% of strength before reaching Front in Palestine; ‘Public life is in full anarchy’. Fevzi Pasha replaces him.
Britain: 6 of 11 Gotha bombers sent (no losses) bomb London, most damage to East End houses (52 civilian casualties).
Turkey: RNAS Handley Page (Flt Cdr J Alcock) forced to ditch in Gulf of Xeros by Turk anti-aircraft fire, 3 crew PoWs.
USA: In these days Royal Flying Corps Advanced HQ opens at Fort Worth, Texas, helps train 10 American squadrons on 3 airfields for RFC (until April 1918).