Peter E Wright.

At the Supreme War Council online

. (page 10 of 10)
Online LibraryPeter E WrightAt the Supreme War Council → online text (page 10 of 10)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

be arriving without their guns, their transport, or
any sufficient signal or other staff organisation.

"By nightfall, March 21st, the situation on the
army front was as follows : —

"Thus the Army front on the battle zone of
forty miles remained intact except for three serious
breaches and one minor breach.

"The situation as the result of one day's fighting
against immense odds and holding such a long line
so thinly imder the very adverse conditions of a
dense fog, might have been considered very satis-



factory if it had not been for the fact that very few
Reserves were at hand to fill the gaps, to organise
counter-attacks, or to sustain the struggle for six
or eight more days, and that the losses had been

"Friday, March 22: —

"This morning a thick mist again enveloped the
battlefield, rendering all observation for more than
fifty yards impossible.

"By 1 1 A.M. it became apparent that the enemy
was continuing his attack as heavily as ever.

"During the rest of the day heavy fighting con-
tinued along the whole army front.

" In consequence of this situation, the exhaustion
of the troops, the inadequacy of their numbers to
hold seriously the length of front involved, and the
knowledge that, except for one French division and
some French cavalry in the 3rd Corps area, no
support could possibly reach the fighting line before
Sunday morning, the 24th inst., I decided on a
further withdrawal behind the Somme. "

(This French division, of which the distinguish-



ing number is not given by General Gough, must,
I think, be the 125th, who arrived during the night
and, in company with a few companies of our i8th
Division, counter-attacked at 6 a.m. on Saturday
on the Crozat Canal, but without success. The
ist Division of French cavalry seems to have been
dismounted and amalgamated with it. These were
the first French troops to take part in the battle,
but were, I believe, without guns, and had only 50
roimds of ammimition a man.)

"Accordingly, the following Army Orders were
issued by II p.m., 22nd inst.

"Information from G.H.Q. informed me that
two French divisions and one French cavalry divi-
sion might be expected about Noyon during the
course of Friday night, 22nd inst., and the 8th
British Division would be detraining at Nesle and
west of it during Saturday and Sunday night.

"None of these troops could be expected in the
firing-line, and then only gradually, till Saturday
afternoon and Sunday morning, when the first
brigade of the 8th Division was able to take post
along the line of the Somme.

"Information also reached me that the 35th



British Division was to join me, but this was not
due till after the arrival of the 8th.

"Saturday, March 23: —

"During the early hours of the morning reports
arrived saying that the enemy had forced the
passage of the Crozat Canal.

"During the day heavy fighting again continued
along the whole of the army front.

"At about 4 P.M., 3rd Corps reported that the
French troops were coming into action — one regi-
ment, 9th Division, south of Flavy le M artel, and
two regiments of the same division — to meet the
threat on the left flank, in the direction of Golan-
court; while the loth Division was coming up still
farther to the west and filling what was tending to
become a gap between the 3rd Corps and the right
of the i8th Corps."

(Thus the first reinforcements of any kind that
ever reached Gough were these imits of the French
9th and loth Divisions, late on Saturday afternoon,
and the other French division mentioned before,
which I believe was the 125th French Division.)



"During the night of the 2T,rd-2^th, the 8th
Division commenced to reach the line of the river
{i. e. the Somme), coming up as they detrained.

" Nothing in the way of a detailed reconnaissance
or deliberate occupation of the position was possi-
ble ; nevertheless, this division successfully got into
position, an operation for which it deserves much

"I may here say that in all the subsequent heavy
fighting the division showed its fine spirit and good
training to great advantage. It is doubtful,
however, whether the jimction with the i8th Corps
was ever satisfactorily established."

(This 8th British Division was the first and only
British reinforcement that ever reached Gough.)

"Simday, March 24: —

"During this day the enemy continued his pres-
sure on the 3rd Corps and the French, who were
now coming into this area. . . .

• • • • •

"As the command passed, from this date, to
the 3rd French Army, I do not propose here to
deal further in detail with the operations of the
3rd Corps. ..."



(The new French troops coming into this area
on Sunday were the 62nd and elements of the
22nd Division, besides those that came in on Satur-

"By 2 P.M. the right of the 8th Division had
been pushed back west of Potte. , . .

• • • • *

"During the afternoon of 24th and night of
24th-25th, some brigades of 35th Division arrived,
I beHeve, and went into Hne north of the Somme
under the orders of the 7th Corps."

• • • • •

(After the 8th British Division, these brigades of
the 35th Division were the only other British troops
to reach Gough, but on Monday morning these were
taken away from him, and passed under Byng.)

" Monday,^ March 25 : —

"Early on this morning the French Command,
under orders of General Fayolle, took over up to
the Somme."

• • • • •

(Fayolle even then only had the 133rd French
Division, which came into action on Monday,



besides the French divisions that had been heavily-
engaged on Saturday and Sunday, viz. 125th, 9th,
lOth, 62nd, and 22nd; not more than six in all, and
these certainly insufficiently equipped, and prob-
ably by no means complete; on Tuesday, the
French 35th, and on Wednesday the French 56th,
162nd, and i66th came into action: ten French
divisions only, therefore, came into action during a
continuous battle lasting one week.

During that week of continuous fighting, the
only British reinforcement that reached Gough
was the 8th Division.

These French divisions were the framework
of the 3rd French Army under Himibert, and the
1st under Debeney, Fayolle being commander of
the Army group.)






yn of th« BHtlsn Olvltloni wat obtained from G H Q th« potltlon
•i Otvlaiona from tha Franch aectloo of tha Supreme war Counc<>
ubtcdiy correct- I mentiol tins twcaute tha C H Q Mae waa marked

very forcibly ' — T*.i vt.l'<«f

'i-t* Qf '.neat Map* at

•ilish OiviSion shown thus

rench „ (o.sivounied)

oriuguese .,

'D..iiio..< cf Itt Bt!f..- Anil) ,».c nr. lho»i»

Coblenti o

:■ DUCHY '1


The Mirrors of Downing Street

By "A Gentleman with a Duster"

800. With 12 Portraits

A selection from a host of reviews of an amazing and
brilliant volume:

'* Since Lytton Strachey shocked and amused us by his Eminent Victorians, no
book written by an Englishman has been so audacious, so reckless, so clever,
and so full of prejudices, apparently based on principles." — Maurice Francis
Egan in the New York Times.

"Of fascinating interest, with a style pungent and epigrammatic . . . does not
contain a dull line . . . there is scarcely one of the great controversies which
agitated British political waters during and since the war that is not touched
on . . . the author is partisan in his friendships, and he is a good hater, so
his work is altogether engaging." — New York Herald.

"A very serious book, without being heavy, a daring work, without being
reckless. It is judicial in tone, endeavoring to give each man his due, setting
down naught in malice or partiality ... a work of keen interest and highly
illuminating." — Cincinnati Times-Star.

" This book of scintillating wit and almost uncanny power of vivid phrase-
making." — N. Y. Evening Mail.

"Some of his characterizations fairly take one's breath away. His epigrams
are as skillful as those of ' E. T. Raymond,' and his analysis is reminiscent of
Lytton Strachey. . . . This book has created a sensation in England, it will
create another in America." — News-Leader, Richmond, Va.

"It is a book that every intelligent person should read, dispelling, as it does,
a number of the illusions to which war conditions have given birth . . . the
book is one to be read for its light on specific facts and on individual men.
Often the author's least elaborated statements are the most startling . . .
it is written with the vim and audacity of Lytton Strachey's Eminent
Victorians, and it has in addition a very vivid news interest, and it is just
both in its iconoclasm and in its frank hero worship — of the right heroes."
— Chicago Post.

" It is one of the few cases of a startling work being also a fine piece of
literature . . . the author is obviously on the inside. No merely imaginative
person could have produced such a picture gallery." — N. Y. Evening Telegram.

"One of the most interesting studies that has been presented to English
or American public." — Troy Record.

New York G. P. PUTNAM^S SONS London

A Defence of Liberty


Oliver Brett

"Socialism is conservatism. The Roman
Empire and Karl Marx are twins. So holds
Oliver Brett, who explains the purpose of his
book by declaring emphatically that * Socialism,
far from being, as its friends and many of its
enemies believe, a dangerous movement to the
left in politics, is in reality a dangerous reaction
toward primitive conservative ideas.* If there be
any who, hearing this statement of Mr. Brett's
purpose, come to scoff, they had better take the
chance on remaining to pray. For he deals a
man's size blow, and all the laughing a Socialist
will find to do will be at that initial statement
of whom he is going to hit and where. If Mr.
Brett's Defence of Liberty does not remain a
constantly growing stone wall for Socialists to
butt their heads against in years to come, it de-
serves to do so." — A^. Y, Times,

G. P. Putnam's Sons

New York London





AA 000 978 715

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10

Online LibraryPeter E WrightAt the Supreme War Council → online text (page 10 of 10)