Word has filtered down from high command that they believe the German counter-attack, and thus the Battle of Cambrai is over. If they read the battlefield correctly then some appraisal seems called for.
The first day of this battle, like the southern portion of the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras, the Battle of Messines Ridge and the Third Battle of Ypres, was a spectacular success. Then, like other offensives before it, things began to run out of steam on the second day as the enemy’s defences hardened and the grand plan began to break down into small local initiatives, seemingly un-co-ordinated by high command. It has to be said that the same pattern seems to have befallen the enemy with their attack on 30th October.
Modern warfare, it seems, is over too large an area, with too many local variables, to control more than one day’s attack. It had been hoped that the use of tanks en-masse might achieve a decisive breakthrough and many of us here thought that this had been achieved. Still, though, the advantages of entrenched positions, barbed wire, machine guns, modern quick-shooting rifles and massed quick-firing artillery all lie with the defender.