Diary March 23, 1918

Tank IV at Peronne

A British tank Mark IV (female) in the ruined streets of Peronne, shortly before evacuation.

World War One Diary for Saturday, March 23, 1918:

Western Front

Somme – Battle of St Quentin ends. British lose line of Crozat Canal: Gough decides to continue retreat to western bank of the Somme. Germans enter Ham and Peronne (evacuated) and pursue to there; some bridges lost more or less intact. French infantry (5 divisions ordered) begin to arrive by lorry to take over front south of Peronne, 1 regiment in action. Byng’s Third Army abandons Flesquieres (Cambrai) Salient.
Paris Gun: 3 special 8.26in Krupp guns (misnamed ‘Big Berthas’) begin daily shelling (303 rounds) of Paris (until August 9) with 23 shots at range of 74 miles (256 killed, 620 wounded). First bombardment 183 shells (until May 1).

Sea War

North Sea: 4 British echo-ranging East Coast stations accurately fix Dover Patrol monitors bombarding Zeebrugge.
Western Mediterranean: Italian minelayer Partenope sunk by UC-67 off Tunisia after firing her last shell.

Air War

Western Front: French fighters reinforce Royal Flying Corps (38 planes lost including 6 in Flanders; Germans claim 29 Allied aircraft for loss of 14) between the Oise and Somme (until March 24) who claim 36 German aircraft as weather improves.

Call of War
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