<– Part 72 – December 5, 1915  | Part 73 – December 12, 1915 |  Part 74 – December 19, 1915 –>

Serbian campaign, 1915. This week’s fighting took place in the far southern part of Serbia.

A close-up of the southern region, marking Skopje, Krivolak, and Kosturino.

This week saw fighting between the Bulgarians and British at Kosturino in Serbia, where they engaged December 6 after several days of skirmishing, and a full push was made by Bulgaria two days later, outnumbering the small British division 4 to 1. Fighting finished today with the British withdrawal into Greece towards Saloniki. With this, the last of the Allied troops have left Serbia. The German High Command has ordered Bulgaria not to enter Greece, as there are still hopes among the Central Powers that Greece will join them. The Allies are using this opportunity to reinforce and dig in. All told, the Serbian campaign cost Serbia 90,000 casualties (plus 174,000 captured), against merely 67,000 Central Powered casualties.

The British and Indian forces retreating from their defeat at the hands of the Ottomans at Ctesiphon have withdrawn to a defense of Kut, a city set in a loop of the Tigris River – an area easy to defend, but difficult to supply. 31,000 British and allied troops face off against an Ottoman force of 41,000, who have surrounded Kut since December 7. The British general, Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend (great-great-grandson of the famous Field Marshall George Townshend), has ordered the cavalry to retreat farther south after seeing the greater Ottoman numbers.


There have been reports since December 7 that veterans of Gallipoli have been arriving in other theaters; is a full draw-down and evacuation beginning?

A B.E.2, like those used in North Africa (and elsewhere) for reconnaissance and communications.

In North Africa, a British column of infantry, artillery, and armored cars was attacked by 300 Senussi December 11 but repelled at a cost of 90 Senussi to 35 British, although one of those was the commander of the coast guard in that area, a Lieutenant-Colonel C.L. Snow. Snow had been involved in the (ultimately) failed attempts to maintain peace. Reinforcements were called for via message dropped from aeroplane. Having reconnoitered the following day, a larger British force was attacked by between 1,000 and 1,500 Senussi, 250 of whom became casualties to the British’s 75. There are reports that the British regulars feel that under-trained and under-experienced local and colonial troops cost them a great victory.

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