<– Part 113 – September 17, 1916  | Part 114 – September 24, 1916 |  Part 115 – October 1, 1916 –>

The great Russian Brusilov Offensive came to an end September 20, having nearly conquered Austria-Hungary, drawing large numbers of German troops from the Western front (halting advances at Verdun), and advancing all the way to the Carpathian mountains.

The Romanian offensive has stagnated, with troops ordered to hold defensive positions. The Germans and Austro-Hungarians are launching counter-attacks, halting further advances. At Cobadin, the joint Russian and Romanian defense is slowing the Central Powers’ advance.

In Macedonia, the Monastir offensive has seen the Bulgarians pushed back into defensive positions at Kaymakchalan mountain. At the Somme’s Flers-Courcelette advance, British forces have slowed their assault as of September 22, their tanks seeming to have turned the tide. The skies above are filled with German aeroplanes harassing them, though Allied planes are fighting back.

At Mesopotamia, the British are consolidating their positions, supply lines, and are preparing for another offensive.

<– Part 112 – September 10, 1916  | Part 113 – September 17, 1916 |  Part 114 – September 24, 1916 –>

British Mark I tank in action at the Somme campaign

The South African attack on German forces at Kisaki, in German East Africa, ended September 11 with the Allied forces withdrawing. The German commander, Lettow-Vorbeck, abandoned Kisaki 3 days later.

Somme progression at Flers-Courcelette, showing gains by the Guards division, which used the tanks

In Macedonia, the Allies have launched a new offensive September 12, with the intent of pushing the entrenched Bulgarian forces back. Following a two-day artillery barrage and attacks at Malka Nidzhe and Kaymakchalan, the Bulgarians have been pushed back in several sectors, although fighting continues at Kaymakchalan, with heavy casualties.

On September 14, Italian forces, still outnumbering the opposing Austro-Hungarian 2:1, launched the seventh assault across the Isonzo, attempting to broaden the bridgehead they’ve reached at Gorizia. After 17,000 Italian and 15,000 Austro-Hungarian casualties, the assault ended September 17 with no ground gained.

At the Somme, Allied forces launched an assault at Flers-Courcelette September 15, which included the introduction of a mighty, armored war machine called a “tank,” which was used to attack German trenches and provide cover for infantry. The Germans have suffered heavy casualties, and many trenches and some village have been taken, with the Allies gaining nearly 1,000 yards so far.

Battle of the Somme, 1916

That same day, two Austro-Hungarian seaplanes obtained a world first, as they dropped bombs on the French submarine Foucault, forcing it to surface and then be destroyed. The 27 survivors held onto the landed planes until an Austrian torpedo boat took them prisoner. The French, however, had their revenge, as the French sub Ampere torpedoed an Austrian hospital ship, which had to be beached for repairs.

The Bulgarian offensive into Romania has been opposed at Cobadin by a combined Romanian and Russian army earlier today. Fighting is ongoing. At Verdun, more French attacks have failed. At Transylvania, the Romanian offensive continues, gaining support from some local populations, opposed to the Austro-Hungarian occupation.

<– Part 111 – September 3, 1916  | Part 112 – September 10, 1916 |  Part 113 – September 17, 1916 –>

German lines near Delville wood, at the Somme, July-September 1916. Guillemont & Ginchy are on the left of this map

The Bulgarians continue to push the Romanians north following the Battle of Dobrich of September 5-7, despite being outnumbered 2:1.

At Turtucaia, the fortress was captured by the Bulgarians September 6, following bombardment and an infantry assault. At the Somme, Guillemont was captured by the British, although difficulties of weather and communication made it more difficult than needed.

In German East Africa, South African forces attacked the British as Kisaki September 7, and the fighting continues as German artillery and defensive positions obliterate African attacks.

Troops advance at the battle of Ginchy September 9, 1916

The village of Ginchy was taken by British forces September 9, the Germans having been pushed back, and the Delville Wood salient eliminated and the lines straightened. This victory was assisted by the nearby taking of Guillemont. At Verdun, a French counter-attack at Fort Souville again achieved only minimal gains.

Meanwhile, in Transylvania to the north, the Romanian army continues its advance north.

<– Part 110 – August 27, 1916  | Part 111 – September 3, 1916 |  Part 112 – September 10, 1916 –>

Italy finally declared war on Germany August 28, following months each fighting the other’s allies. Near Florina, the Chegan offensive ended with the Bulgarian advance halted and their positions shelled. The Serbian counter-attacks, likewise, were repulsed. The offensive saw nearly 10,000 total casualties.

In Germany, Erich von Falkenhayn was removed as German chief of staff, and Paul von Hindenburg replaced him August 29. Two days later, Germany suspended her unprovoked U-boat attacks on merchant ships.

The Central Powers launched an invasion of Romania from Bulgaria on September 2, attacking the fortress of Turtucaia. The outer lines of defense have been quickly taken, and the Romanians seem unprepared and their defense poorly-organized and executed. To the North, in Transylvania, the Romanian Second Army continues its advance.

At the Somme, following the failure of full-frontal assaults to reach objectives, as well as weeks of costly casualty reports, the Allies have opted for smaller-scale attacks. An attack has been launched towards Guillemont by the Allied forces on September 3. With a severe breakdown in communications over the last month, caused by fog, smoke, and other issues, an elaborate system has been set up for this offensive, including telegraph, carrier pigeon, Roman candles, and more. Additionally, decision-making has been moved closer to the front, both in positioning and in permission for front-line commanders to make decisions as necessary.

At Verdun, an assault at Fleury by the French retook several hundred meters of land lost earlier in the battle. At Delville Woods, nearby on the front line, attacks and counter-attacks by each side have been costly, but the victory seems to be swinging to the British.