<– Part 12 – October 18, 1914  | Part 13 – October 25, 1914 |  Part 14 – November 1, 1914 –>

Locations of the Allied and German armies, 19 October 1914, near Ypres.

Fighting erupted across the Yser in Belgium as Allied and German forces battle for Ypres on October 18. With the front closed, the forces “racing to the sea” seem to have settled into more minor attempts at flanking operations, far removed from those attempted by entire armies earlier this month.

In Kamerun, the Germans retreating from Jaunde took up defensive lines near Edea. The French and British advance on October 20, simulataneous by land, river, and rail, led to the Germans retreating towards the colonial capital rather than risk encirclement.

<– Part 11 – October 11, 1914  | Part 12 – October 18, 1914 |  Part 13 – October 25, 1914 –>

British colonial forces (the 129th Baluchis) near Holobeke, at Messines.

The Belgian Plain, site of much of this week’s fighting. Lille is in the middle of this map.

Fighting erupted October 12 around the Belgian town of Messines as the opposing forces attempt to outflank one another towards the North Sea. Some ground was retaken by the French and British forces, with only minor losses.

Later that day, the Germans captured Lille, and the following day, the Battle of Armentieres

German Uhlans in 1912

around Lille began. The Germans

Dismounted Uhlans during the war

ordered all French citizens to leave; some died of exhaustion on the long walk to safety while others were captured by German Uhlans. British aerial reconnaissance spotted German forces withdrawing to strongpoints, while the Germans dropped bombs from their own aeroplanes. On October 14, the Allied forces met and closed the line from the North Sea to the Swiss border.



After the failed assaults on Jabassi in the German Kamerun colony last week, a second assault on the 14th was successful with the addition of artillery support, and the station has been occupied by the British troops. 4 Germans were killed, and 10 captured.

Belgian soldiers

HMS Hawke

On October 14, the German sub U-9 sunk the British protected cruiser HMS Hawke.

U-9 before the war

On October 16, fighting on the Yser opened up between German and French & Belgian troops on the Belgian coast. The Belgian army is attempting to hold the last sliver of their territory; despite fierce fighting with heavy casualties on both sides, the Belgian army successfully held the city of Diskuide.

<– Part 10 – October 4, 1914  | Part 11 – October 11, 1914 |  Part 12 – October 18, 1914 –>

Postcard commemorating the capture of Antwerp.

On October 7, British troops landed near Jabassi in the German Kamerun colony. Two assaults were attempted, but both were driven back by German machine gun fire.

Map of the defenses around Antwerp. Click to enlarge

Antwerp has fallen to the besieging Germans on October 10 following artillery bombardments and the capture of the inner forts. Approximately 60,000 prisoners were taken, and they way for further advance has been opened. At La Bassée, the Allied armies have launched an attack following cavalry and infantry skirmishing. The British and French forces have made some advances, but not as many as had been hoped.

Location of the battle of Flirey. Verdun is the fortified area shown in blue.

The following day, the three week long battle of Flirey ended with the German offensive cutting of many supplies to the fortified Verdun area, but failing to completely surround it. A salient now exists in the Western front to the south of that city.

Belgium and northern France. La Bassée is near the center, south of Lille.

<– Part 9 – September 27, 1914  | Part 10 – October 4, 1914 |  Part 11 – October 11, 1914 –>

The National Redoubt around Antwerp. Green are forts, and blue are smaller redoubts.

In Belgium, Antwerp has been under siege by German troops since September 28. The outer forts of the “National Redoubt” have been taken by the Kaiser’s troops, but the other forts hold still. The Germans have brought forward heavy artillery to pound the defenders into submission.

German “Big Bertha” cannon in action at Antwerp.

September 29 saw German and Austro-Hungarian forces engage Russian troops on the eastern bank of the Vistula River outside Warsaw. Some Russian troops have withdrawn, though others are fighting and resisting orders to withdraw themselves.

The Allies have established a new front line at the river Marne. The last 4 days have seen fighting in Arras, as the French and German armies again attempt flanking and counter-flanking operations towards the North Sea. Fighting also ended earlier today at the Drina – the Serbian army succeeded in holding back the Austro-Hungarian army, though they did establish beachheads in the Serbian territory.

In Tsintao, China, the German base remains under siege by the British and Japanese.