Friday, 19 October 2018
Saturday 19th October 1918
Today's attack by Fourth Army went as the armchair generals of the press corps predicted. Outflanked to the south the Germans providing stiff opposition for American 27th and 30th Divisions had retired overnight allowing the Americans to capture the village of Mazinghien. Further progress took place to the south of the Americans meaning that in the last three days, though the fighting has been as hard, at times, as any in this war, an advance of up to eight miles has been made, we are told some 5,000 enemy combatants have been taken prisoner and sixty or so guns have been taken. It has been a satisfactory advance.
Thursday, 18 October 2018
Friday 18th October 1918
Fourth Army's attack today has again met with stiff resistance with the American 27th and 30th Divisions managing little forward movement. On the right, however, things went much better, with the village of Wassigny falling. Touch has been made with the French to thesouth who have cleared the Andigny Forest and so the enemy resistance in the centre will not long hold things up as they find themselves out-flanked from the south.
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Thursday 17th October 1918
As good as his word yesterday General Rawlinson's Fourth Army attacked the enemy positions along the River Selle today, after a four-day bombardment by over a thousand guns. During the misty light of dawn the men of seven divisions (including the American 27th and 30th Divisions) went forward.
It has been a tough fight all day across the swollen river, the Americans, for example, could not even take their first objective and an enemy counter-attack prompted 50th (Northumbrian) Division to give up some of the ground it had taken. However, 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division, with the South African Brigade to the fore, has taken the village of le Cateau. Tomorrow will see the attack resumed and there is a determination that the enemy are not going to prevail.
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
Wednesday 16th October 1918
As Second Army pushes towards and crosses the River Lys, to the south Fourth Army is preparing to push on after a rest of a few days, over the River Selle and through le Cateau to countryside not seen in four years. In a briefing to the press corps (1) today Fourth Army commander General Rawlinson has set the scene for us: "The valley of the Selle, which the Bosche has fortified to some extent, and, what is more inconvenient, has dammed at many of the mills and bridges, causing inundations which limit the front on which attack is possible. However I am having a go at this position tomorrow, with some seven divisions in line, and I have no doubt that we shall penetrate, and give the enemy another nasty knock"
(1) actually a letter to the King's private secretary Colonel Wigram