<– Part 196 – April 21, 1918 | Part 197 – April 28, 1918 | Part 198 – May 5, 1918


Diagram of the Zeebrugge raid

On April 22, a squadron of five Austro-Hungarian destroyers encountered four Allied ones in the Adriatic and traded shots; the HMS Hornet was seriously damaged, but the Central Powers were forced to withdraw.

The next day, Guatemala declared war on Germany. In the North Sea, the British launched a raid on Zeebrugge Harbor in Belgium. They were attempting to prevent Imperial German Navy access to the harbor by sinking large ships to block it, but two of the ships were dropped in the wrong place, and the Germans were able to clear it in a matter of days.

The German Spring Offensive continues, as the Germans rush to bring men from the now-ended Eastern Front to the West before American reinforcements are enough to turn the tide of war. On April 4, a second battle was fought at Villers-Bretonneux as part of Operation Georgette. An artillery barrage the night of the 23/24 was followed by the German infantry taking. Scouting tanks on both sides engaged one another in the first tank battle, as three German tanks encountered three British; however, two of the British tanks were of the “female” type, having only machine guns, as opposed to the “male” tanks with a larger gun. The Germans damaged the two light tanks, but the British “male” tank was able to hit the lead German tank. The British then counterattacked, retaking the town. 10,400 German casualties and 15,500 Allied casualties were the results.

From April 25-26, the offensive saw fighting at Kemmelberg. A French division was able to relieve the British forces but was then pushed back by the German Fourth Army. Despite this, the Allied line held.

Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, died in Terezín prison of tuberculosis on April 28. Terezín, an Austro-Hungarian fortress mainly used for political prisoners, is in the midst of Czech lands.

In Persia, the British took Kifri, but have begun shifting troops west to support the Sinai/Palestine offensive.

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