Armies In The Balkans 1914-18 by Nigel Thomas, Dusan Babac, Darko Pavlovic

By Nigel Thomas, Dusan Babac, Darko Pavlovic

Fresh heritage should still remind us that it was once occasions within the Balkans which sparked off the good battle, with the assassination of the Austrian inheritor Prince Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, and the resultant invasion of Serbia by way of Austro-Hungarian armies on 2 August 1914. however, the following four-year battle in that theatre is usually overshadowed by way of the simultaneous campaigns at the Western entrance. For the 1st time this ebook bargains a concise account of those advanced campaigns, the service provider, orders of conflict, and the uniforms and insignia of the armies concerned: Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, Serbian, Montenegrin, Albanian, British, French, Italian, Russian, Bulgarian, Greek and Rumanian.

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All three brigades were in the line, each of them having two battalions in front and one in reserve. Never has the grand tough Scottish fibre been more rudely tested than on this terrible day of battle, and never has it stood the strain more splendidly. General Reed's men undoubtedly saved Arras and held up at least six German divisions which broke themselves on that rugged and impenetrable line, formed in the first instance by the 7th Camerons upon the right, the 13th Royal Scots in the centre, the 9th Black Watch and 7/8 Scots Borderers on the left.

The front of the Sixty-second stretched from Bucquoy to Puisieux. The enemy kept working round the right flank, and the situation there was very dangerous, for everything to the immediate south was in a state of flux, shreds and patches of units endeavouring to cover a considerable stretch of all-important country. South of Puisieux there was a gap of four or five miles before one came to British troops. Into this gap in the very nick of time came first the 4th Brigade of the Second Australian Division, and later the New Zealand Division in driblets, which gradually spanned the vacant space, It was a very close call for a breakthrough without opposition.

The 37th Brigade was in the north-east of Mesnil and Aveluy Wood, the 36th in the centre, and the 35th on the west bank of the Ancre, with outposts to cover the crossings at Albert and Aveluy. The men were fresh and eager, but had only their rifles to trust to, for they had neither wire, bombs, riflegrenades. Very lights, or signals, having been despatched at the shortest notice to the battlefield. Their orders were to hold their ground at all costs, and most valiantly they obeyed it. It is only when one sees a map of the German forces in this part of the field, with the divisions marked upon it like flies upon fly-paper, that one understands the odds against which these men had to contend.

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