30/9/1914 [Eastern Front] Germany bails out Austria

German troops have served a sound thrashing to Russian forces who tried to invade East Prussia. The Austro-Hungarian army has been less fortunate, suffering a series of defeats in battles in Galicia. German leaders are concerned that its ally is on the brink of collapse. To prevent such a disaster, they despatch a large force to aid Austria-Hungary. This 9th German Army will form the nucleus of a combined counter offensive into Russian Poland. Now they are in place and ready to strike.

image source (Wikipedia)

28/9/1914 [Western Front] The Germans set their sights on Antwerp

The Belgian army is concentrated in the fortified city of Antwerp. The Belgians have made several sorties, disrupting German lines of communication. Until now the invaders have been content to leave just a small force to screen the city. But as the French and German armies try to outflank each other, extending their lines northwards, the position of Antwerp becomes more significant.

To prevent the Allies from linking up with the Antwerp garrison and to prevent the Belgians from erupting forth at an inconvenient moment, the Germans decide that Antwerp must be taken. Today they begin to bombard the city’s fortifications with their heavy artillery.

image source (Wikipedia)

27/9/1914 German Kamerun’s capital falls to the Allies

Germany’s West African colony Kamerun has a short coastline on which the capital, Douala, lies. Although the Germans have seen off a British land invasion from Nigeria, the coast proves more vulnerable to Allied attention. A combined Franco-British fleet now forces its surrender. The allies are free to gobble up the entire coastal region. But although Douala was the colony’s administrative and commercial centre, the defeat does not hurt the Germans as much as might be thought. They have already retreated their main forces into Kamerun’s interior, there to prolong the struggle for as long as possible.

image source (Colloque de la SIHFLES en coopération avec le GMF (Gesamtverband Moderne Fremdsprachen) et dans le cadre de son Congrès national à l’Université de Duisburg-Essen)

26/9/1914 The French and Germans keep trying to outflank each other

Fighting near Albert in the Somme valley continues to rage as the French and Germans batter away each other. But neither is breaking through. Further south, each side realise that their attacks in Picardy are not going to achieve anything. They dig trenches, freeing up men to be marched north to try and slip around the enemy’s open flank. But they keep encountering each other, failing to break through and then digging more trenches and sending more men north. It is all a bit repetitive.

The line is curving a bit, as though the French were almost but not quite managing to turn the German position. The French have the advantage of a still fully functional rail network on their side, while the Germans are having to repair track destroyed by the retreating French. But while the German line is curving back somewhat, it is still continuous and the French are not looking like they are going to be able to start rolling up the enemy.

The British are playing a somewhat “we’re here too!” role in all of this.

25/9/1914 [Western Front] The Battle of Albert begins

The French and Germans are still pressing each other in Picardy but without making any head way. While that battle continues, each side sends troops further to the north to try and turn the other’s flank. Now they clash near the town of Albert, in the Somme valley. But again, neither is able to make serious headway against the other.

25/9/1914 South West Africa: German forces repel an invasion

When Britain went to war with Germany, its overseas dominions did too. One of these is South Africa, from which British and South African troops prepared to invade the neighbouring German colony of South West Africa. But South Africa is restive. The Afrikaaners there remember the moral support Germany gave them in the Boer War. Many of them feel that they would be better off joining with the Germans and trying to overthrow British rule.

A Boer revolt is led by Manie Maritz. It attracts some support but not so much that it distracts the British from the main goal of invading South West Africa. However, when British and South African clash with the Germans in the arid borderlands near Sandfontein, the heavily armed Germans inflict a crushing defeat on the would-be invaders. The survivors limp back into the heart of South Africa.

24/9/1914 [Galicia] Russia begins the siege of Przemysl

The Russians now begin their siege of the Austro-Hungarian fortress town of Przemysl. They also send troops on after the rest of the Austro-Hungarian army, which is retreating in disorder over the Carpathians. But with so many Russian troops laying siege to Przemysl, their spearhead into the Carpathians is blunted.

image source