Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A Gloomy Day

Thursday 15th March 1917 from our correspondent in the field

At 8 am this morning C Company, 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment were ordered to attack the Bihucourt Line, with A Company in support. On the opening of the attack a very heavy machine gun fire developed from Achiet-le-Petit [south-west of Achiet-le-Grand] and the Bihucourt Line itself, heavy shelling also took place. The advance under such conditions became impossible and C Company dug in about 200 yards down the hill. A company did not advance at all.

The position was held without change from midday until 5 o’clock this evening. Under cover of darkness C Company was withdrawn. A Company then held the original line on the sunken road with B Company in support, D and C Companies in reserve.

Since 8th March we have been hearing disquieting news from Russia where a revolution seems to be under way against the government. This news got much worse today when news began to trickle through that Tsar Nicholas II has abdicated. What this means for that huge country no one here at the front knows, but all are uneasy as it may mean that Russia seeks to withdraw from the Entente. If that were the case all the German divisions currently on the Eastern Front fighting the Germans could be unleashed here on the Western Front which might spell catastrophe. The one hope, in this situation, would be a declaration of war on Germany by the United States of America.

Source: X550/8/1

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