Diary August 8, 1918

Black Day of the German Army

German soldiers taken PoWs on the ‘Black Day of the German Army’.

World War One Diary for Thursday, August 8, 1918:

Western Front

France: FOCH BEGINS HIS ‘FREEING ATTACKS’ (until September 18).
Somme – BATTLE OF AMIENS (French Battle of Montdidier) (­until August 11): BEF Fourth Army, with French First Army (Moreuil captured with 3,150 PoWs and 161 guns), and 430 tanks (96 Whippets) attacks at 0420 hours on 15-mile front east of city. 5 German divisions routed (27,700 casualties including 15,565 PoWs from 11 divisions and 400 guns). Newly arrived Canadian Corps (3,868 casualties) advances 6 miles taking 12 villages; 5,033 PoWs and 161 guns; Australians (3,000 casualties) take 7 villages; 7,920 PoWs and 173 guns.
The ‘BLACK DAY OF THE GERMAN ARMY’ IN THIS WAR (Ludendorff War Memoirs). From a German headquarter BEF obtain map of all ‘Hindenburg Line’ dug-outs, emplacements, HQs, OPs, dumps, railheads, billets, balloon sheds and landing grounds between river Oise and Bellicourt. BEF loss under 9,000 soldiers and 109 tanks (8 to 1 anti-tank gun).

Sea War

Channel: Destroyer HMS Opossum and minelayers depth charge and sink UC-49 off Start Point near Plymouth. 6 Royal Navy destroyers lay first 234 magnetic mines off Dunkirk. Officially designated Sinker Mk1(M) they are prone to explode prematurely, but Germans never discover.

Air War

Somme: Record losses of aircraft in 1914-18 air combat – 83 Allied plus another 52 RAF planes written off (90 casualties), 49 German during Battle of Amiens which 800 RAF (376 fighters) and 1,104 French aircraft (612 fighters) support vs 365 German planes (140 fighters). Some German pilots (including Goering) 10 hours in air successfully defending Somme bridges (14 permanent) from 205 RAF sorties (12t bombs dropped). 9 RAF fighter squadrons drop 1,563 bombs and fire 122,150 MG rounds at ground targets (until August 9). RAF shoot down 9 German balloons, ace Beauchamp-Proctor shares in all these kills.
Italian Front: 4 No 139 Squadron Bristol Fighters destroy 2 of 3 Austrian Albatroses over Pergine airfield (east of Trent) during Emperor Charles’ visit.

Call of War
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