Operation Albion Passchendaele Drowns In Mud I THE GREAT WAR Week 168


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The Allies Had Been Gaining Ground In The

west the past couple of weeks, but this week theyll re-learn the perennial autumn lesson of the war; you can fight in the cold, you can fight in the heat,, but you just can t fight in the Mud. I m Indy Neidell; welcome to the Great War.

Last Week, The Allies Were So Successful At

Broodseinde that German High Command was re-thinking its entire defensive strategy. Offensively, though, the Germans were planning a new offensive to the northeast against the Crumbling Russian Army. . There was skirmishing on the Italian Front and sabotage on the Hejaz Railway, the Ottoman s vital supply link.

And That German Offensive, A Real

amphibious operation, began near the end of this week.. It was an attack and an invasion attempt on the islands in the Gulf of Riga. ON. The 10th, They bombed Russian transports at south end of Oesel Island and the next day made a combined naval and military landing.

The Russian Coastal Batteries Were Destroyed.

On. The 12th, They land at the island Dagö. An attempt to capture the pier on Moon Island is repulsed. This operation, known as Operation Albion, will kick into high gear next week.

  • allied
  • allies
  • riga
  • tactics
  • bombed


And Russia will certainly have its hands full resisting it; on the 6th a Russian railway strike began, with over a million men leaving their posts, so moving troops to the front was now impossible. And anyhow, the situation at home in Petrograd, the capital, was still deteriorating. Leon Trotsky had been elected Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet. Lenin was still lying low in Finland.

Back When The February Revolution Had Happened.

, Trotsky too had been living abroad, in the Bronx,, but had returned to Russia to cast his lot. with the Bolsheviks. By now he was becoming the public face of Bolshevik leadership. Apparently, he was a real fire and brimstone speaker too.

Uk Uk Man Trotsky Is The King Of

agitators; he could stir up trouble in a cemetery.. That was a quote from Leighton Rogers, a New York bank employee stationed just now in Petrograd, and he also paraphrased some of Trotsky s talk in his diary.

Uk In A Few Weeks, A Week,

a few days, we are going to rise from our slavery.. . you may be free men As the revolution meant you to be. You must support the Soviet because we shall give you, first, peace; second, bread; and third, land.

Yes, We Shall Take All The

land from the rich and divide it among the peasants, and we shall reduce the hours of work, my comrades of the factories, to four, at double the wages you now receive.. . Pie in the sky kind of stuff, but it couldn

T Help But Have A Real Appeal In Light

of the daily situation in the city at the time. Domestic electricity was reduced to just the hours between 6 UK and midnight, and since the streetlights were not lit because of the worry of Zeppelin raids, and since the whole city was starving, there was a UK rise in robbery, rape, and murder in the dark of night. In fact, people were frequently stabbed and killed for not turning their valuables over quickly enough. Food supplies from outside the city were disrupted because the trains carrying them were attacked and plundered, and in the countryside, particularly in the south, it was total chaos, with peasants ransacking country estates and killing the landlords. The German offensive against Russia was just beginning, but the British one against the Germans in Belgium-the Battle of Passchendaele-was now in its third month.

  • allies gaining ground
  • riga 10th bombed russian transports
  • landing russian coastal batteries destroyed
  • crumbling russian army skirmishing italian
  • island repulsed operation known operation


The 9th it was renewed, though rains were by now turning Flanders into something of a shallow muddy lake. The lead role moving forward would be troops from the Dominions-Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but the state of the battlefield made fighting not just difficult, but impossible. Artillery could quite simply not be moved. It couldn

T Even Be Set Firmly In One

place. Some big guns sank out of sight in the Mud. An. Entire light railway The Mud. An entire light railway sank out of sight in the mud.

They Tried Bringing Artillery Shells Forward

on pack mules,, but many of them too sank and drowned in the Mud. Even had the shells gotten to the front, it wouldn t have made all that much difference anyhow, since the mud beneath the water was too soft to activate their fuses, so they too sank and disappeared. In the center, some UK troops-Australian and NEw Zealand Army Corps-did miraculously manage to fight their way forward,, but this exposed them to machine gun fire from three directions instead of one, and they had to withdraw to the starting point, leaving the wounded to disappear in the bog. But.

Even Though The Attack The 9Th Was

a disaster, the attack planned for the 12th would still go forward as planned. I ll quote As planned. I ll quote Nick Lloyd here, from UK a new History

, Uk Attack On 12 October Should

never have gone ahead. While UK Sir Douglas) Haig and his commanders could, perhaps, be forgiven for ordering their divisions forward. On October 9th. . .

There Was No Excuse For Trying

again just 72 hour later. Haig, though, was optimistic as ever. John Monash, commander of the 3rd Australian Division, which would make the main assault, was not enamored of the job ahead of him. .

On The 11Th, He Pleaded For

a delay, but to no avail. General Johnston, artillery commander of the NEw Zealand Division, had so much difficulty getting equipment moved around, that that same day he said straight out that an artillery attack could not be guaranteed for Tomorrow. IT s interesting to think about where General Sir Herbert Plumer fit into all of this-the guy whose Second Army has seen success the past few weeks. .

When, He Began His Program Of Limited Offensives

September 20th, it was a plan with attacks every six days, and now they were down to just three days. Haig was now abandoning Plumer s bite and hold tactics and once again looking for the big breakthrough. Why did Plumer not literally stick to his guns here on his need for adequate preparation and planning I really don t know, and he didn

T Leave Behind Memoirs.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Anyhow, the attacks on October 12th failed by a combination of exhausted infantry, terrible terrain, weak artillery support, and strong German defenses. Communications constantly broke down and pigeons couldn t even fly against the harsh winds.

Uknk] Corps Was Tasked That Day.

That day, with taking the highest part of the ridge, Monash s division would take the actual village, and the New Zealanders on the left would take Bellevue Spur. In. Some places, orders called for an advance of nearly three kilometers across the swamp.

The Attack Failed And Failed Badly.

Some of the bloodiest fighting of this or any other battle was at Bellevue Spur. The German 6th Jäger Regiment held it and their barbed wire had not been destroyed by the preliminary artillery barrage. Their combat report read in part, UK the heaviest of losses, the troops were in the best of spirits. .


due to the first-rate impact of their guns and in view of the colossal losses among the English. . The Day was a particularly great day for the machine guns. .


during the course of this day alone, more than 130,000 rounds of machine gun ammunition were delivered-. targets. . .

Could Be Taken Under Continuous Machine Gun

fire.. Some of the machine guns fired up to 15,000 rounds. . .


the effect of the machine guns was truly devastating for the enemy. The New Zealand Division. There suffered 3,000 casualties, the single worst day in New Zealand

S Military History.

I ll have another quote here, from John Keegan, about this battle and this week. UK the most enthusiastic technical historians of the Great War, even ready to highlight the overlooked significance of an improvement in the fusing of field-artillery shells or range of trench-mortars, concede that Haig should have stopped after Broodseinde. He determined adamantly otherwise.

Having said that, the British war cabinet finally began looking at the battle s total casualties October 11th. Now, you might think that they would look at the casualties compared with the ground gained and see whether Haig s promise of a breakthrough to the Belgian coast was.

But They Didn

t. In fact, on the 16th, They will send him congratulations for UK and Wilson), . .


his continuous, persistent, and dogged advance of 4½ miles in conditions of great difficulty . The Germans were also losing ground was down in Africa. They retreated from the British in the Mbe Mkuru Valley, and after engaging Belgian troops northeast of Mahenge, the Belgians occupied Mahenge, the former German regional UK on the 9th.


The week comes to an end, with Allied failures in the West, the beginnings of a German offensive in the East, Belgian success in the South, and crime all over Russia. . It wasn t just Russia that had food issues,, though theirs were likely the worst.

This Week, France Announced The Worst

harvest in 50 years,, though the French distribution chain was still completely intact.. Chaos in the Russian countryside; starvation in Petrograd, causing murder and robbery to be commonplace; the government obviously unable to cope with it. And a magnetic speaker telling you that he ll give you a four-hour workday for double wages comes along Yeah, sure, I might believe him.

I Might Believe In Him.

Desperation makes strange bedfellows. If. You want to know more about the German defenses at Passchendaele, you can click right here for our special episode about that. Our Patreon supporter of the week is sneurlax, thank you for your ongoing support on Patreon, it helps us to improve this show and make it better and better for you.


Don t forget to subscribe, see you next time. .


The Allies had been gaining ground in the west the past couple of weeks, but this week they&ll re-learn the perennial autumn lesson of the war . The Germans were planning a new offensive to the northeast against the Crumbling Russian Army. This operation, known as Operation Albion, will kick into high gear next week.& And Russia will certainly have its hands full resisting it; on the 6th a Russian railway strike began, with over a million men leaving their posts, so moving troops to the front was now impossible. And anyhow, the situation at home in Petrograd, the capital, was still deteriorating.& UK UK man Trotsky is the king of agitators; he could stir up trouble in a cemetery.& On the 12th, They land at the island Dagö.& An attempt to capture the pier on Moon Island is repulsed.& This operation is repulseed. A Russian railway strikes began. On the 11th, a Russian ….. Click here to read more and watch the full video