Diary September 30, 1918

US infantry with French officers Argon forest
US infantry with French officers takes a break during the fighting in the Argonne forest.
World War One Diary for Monday, September 30, 1918:

Western Front

Flanders: British troops 2 miles away from Menin.
Cambrai: British in Cambrai outskirts; six villages captured. German incendiarists at work. BEF first uses mustard gas, vs Hindenburg Line. Foch, back from Flanders sees Haig at Arras.
Cham­pagne: French capture Marfaux-Aure and St Marie-a-Py as Fifth Army attacks.
Argonne: AEF heavily engaged as its ill-organized motor and horse transport becomes increasingly traffic-jammed. Allied maximum advance now 8 miles with 18,000 PoWs and 200 guns.
German September losses 236,200 men. Total 160 Allied divisions (+57 in reserve) vs 113 German front-line divisions (+84 in reserve), but only 59 German divisions classed as ‘fit’. British Army adopts 24-hour clock (French Army throughout) from midnight September 30-October 1. During September 10 more German divisions disbanded (3 more early October) to strengthen depleted remainder. Lack of horses reducing medium batteries from 4 guns to 3.

Southern Fronts

BULGARIA HOSTILITIES CEASE AT NOON, conceding Allied occupation of key points and use of railways vs remaining Central Powers; Bulgarian Army to be reduced to 3 divisions and 2 cavalry regiments. British September sick admissions 9,855 (mainly flu and malaria); 3,137 wounded.
Albania­: Italian cavalry patrols reach river Skumbi.
Serbia­: German Alpenkorps (from Western Front) reaches Nis with 219th (Saxon) Division (from Eastern Front) behind.

Middle East

Syria: Arab flags flown in Damascus as Turks retreat north on two roads and Germans blow ammo dumps. Australian Mounted Division blocks Barada Gorge (Beirut road) and takes 4,000 PoWs; 5th Cavalry Division makes 1,294 for 10 casualties; Arabs take 600 from Turk Deraa column after Lawrence fetches 4th Cavalry Division artillery.
Mesopotamia: Turk Sixth Army estimated at 13,725 soldiers (more than 4 divisions), 154 guns and 237 MGs.

Sea War

Atlantic: U-boats sink US SS Tieonderoga (121 of 243 soldiers lost).
Adriatic­: Otranto Barrage completed.
North Sea: British seaplane squadron over Heligoland Bight.
Allied and neutral shipping lost to U-boats in September: 79 ships (48 British with 521 lives) worth 186,600t (British 136,859t). U-boat figure 91 ships worth 171,972t including 38 ships of 42,693t in Mediterranean (including last Austrian score, 16 ships worth 5,004t); 9 U-boats sunk.

Air War

Western Front: During September German airmen make 130 parachute descents as new Heinecke equipment comes into general use. RAF September loss (excluding IAF) a record 235 aircraft (French 59). German loss 115 aircraft (excluding September 21-23 and 30). Jasta Boelcke scores its monthly record of 46 kills for loss of 2 pilots.
Bulgaria: RAF photo­-recon flight to Sofia.


Germany: Chancellor Count Hertling and all Ministers resign.

Home Fronts

USA: Wilson tells Senate woman suffrage ‘a vitally necessary war measure’.
Britain: Bonar Law opens ‘Feed the Guns Campaign’ to raise second £1-Billion war loan.

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