<– Part 224 – November 3, 1918 | Part 225 – November 10, 1918 | Part 226 – November 17, 1918

Australian troops scaling the walls of Le Quesnoy, a village on the Sambre Canal

Additional fighting erupted at the Sambre Canal November 4, as the Allies continue to push the crumbling German army back, preventing them from forming any type of defensive line. At dawn, British and French divisions, coupled with only 37 tanks available for combat, attacked the canal, the sight of fighting four years earlier. 1,200 Allied soldiers fell attempting to place bridges across, included war poet Wilfred Owen. The German defense-in-depth held until noon. French troops to the south captured Gusie and Thiérache later in the day. The crossing of the Sambre River, to depths of 2-3 miles, is now 50 miles wide. The Allies are now marching nearly-unopposed towards the Meuse, and beyond to Berlin. Sedan was captured November 6 by the French. Negotiations for an armistice with Germany began the next day in the railcar headquarters of Ferdinand Foch, French field marshall.

In Germany, the riots and protests are increasing, with Kiel and Wilhelmshaven now both rocked by revolt. The “14 Points,” issues by the soldiers in revolt, are now finding allies amongst the entire populace:
  1. The release of all inmates and political prisoners.
  2. Complete freedom of speech and the press.
  3. The abolition of mail censorship.
  4. Appropriate treatment of crews by superiors.
  5. No punishment for all comrades on returning to the ships and to the barracks.
  6. The launching of the fleet is to be prevented under all circumstances.
  7. Any defensive measures involving bloodshed are to be prevented.
  8. The withdrawal of all troops not belonging to the garrison.
  9. All measures for the protection of private property will be determined by the soldiers’ council immediately.
  10. Superiors will no longer be recognized outside of duty.
  11. Unlimited personal freedom of every man from the end of his tour of duty until the beginning of his next tour of duty
  12. Officers who declare themselves in agreement with the measures of the newly established soldiers’ council, are welcomed in our midst. All the others have to quit their duty without entitlement to provision.
  13. Every member of the soldiers’ council is to be released from any duty.
  14. All measures to be introduced in the future can only be introduced with the consent of the soldiers’ council.

On November 9, Kaiser Wilhelm II of German abdicated the throne and fled to Holland. Multiple declarations of a new German Republic have been declared, as the confusion and revolt grows. The following day, Romania re-entered the war against the Central Powers.

Anthem for Doomed Youth – Wilfred Owen
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
      — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
      Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
     Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
      And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
      The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
nd each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

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