<– Part 223 – October 27, 1918 | Part 224 – November 3, 1918 | Part 225 – November 10, 1918

The once and current flagship sunk

Infantry strength on the Western front this year, showing the effects of American arrival in the summer and the Hundred Days Offensive

On October 28, the Austro-Hungarian empire began its retreat from Italy. This was not only triggered by the loss of 90,000 troops in combat but the surrender of another 448,000, nearly one-third of the entire army. Additionally, rebels in Bohemia declared the founding of Czechoslovakia, prompting other nationalities to also declare their independence, including the Slavs the next day to found “Yugoslavia,” “Land of the Southern Slavs.” A Hungarian independence politician, Mihály Károlyi, seized power on October 31, forcing the emperor to appoint him Hungarian prime minister. His first act was officially dissolving the Austro-Hungarian compromise agreement, ending the entire state, and leaving Emperor Karl with only his German, Danubian, and Alpine territories. Trieste was seized by the Allies on November 3. This full collapse of a once Great Power, having taken only 2 weeks since the October 18 statement from the United States that forced national autonomy, is remarkable for its speed.

On October 29, Wilhelm Groener, an army chief-of-staff, was recalled and appointed First Quartermaster General, replacing Ludendorff as Deputy Chief of the General staff. One of his first acts has been addressing rising revolts in Germany, sparked by several sailor mutinies amongst the High Seas fleet starting the day before, in response to an order to engage the British Royal Navy in a decisive encounter (and one the Germans would most likely lose). Following arrests of the mutineers, additional sailors reached out to several unions and political parties for support. Several thousand people gathered at a shipyard in Kiel earlier today, trumpeting the slogan, “Frieden und Brot,” “Peace and bread.” Police fired warning shots and then fired into the crowd, killing 7 and injuring 29. The crowd dispersed, but tensions remain.

The final combat between the Allies and the Ottoman empire, at Sharqat, ended October 30, when the Ottoman commander learned of the armistice signed earlier that day (and following a successful bayonet charge by dismounted British Hussars). The armistice, effective noon the 31st, orders the Ottomans to withdraw all troops into Anatolia, allow the British garrisons along the Dardanelles and Bosporus, permission to quell any disorder in Ottoman territory, demobilization of the Ottoman Army and air force, and full access to their infrastructure for the Allies. The Middle Eastern front has ended.

The Austro-Hungarian navy at Pula was handed over to the State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs. However, the Austrian’s former flagship Viribus Unitis, a dreadnought, renamed Jugoslavia, was sunk in an Allied raid November 1, as the Allies were not aware of the transfer, nor the neutrality of the new nation.

With the Americans clearing the Argonne forest, and the French reaching the Aisne river, the Allied advance along the Meuse-Argonne continues.

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