<– Part 214 – August 25, 1918 | Part 215 – September 1, 1918 | Part 216 – September 8, 1918

1899 – Nogales, Sonora to the left, and Nogales, Arizona to the right

August 27 saw the simmering tensions along the Mexico-United States border, made fraught due to the Zimmermann telegram and the Mexican Revolution (which saw an American killed by a stray bullet from across the border), erupt at “Ambos [Both] Nogales,” the cities of Nogales, Sonora, and Nogales, Arizona, separated only by “International Street.” A Mexican carpenter walked past the U.S. Customs Office into Mexico, who suspected him of smuggling weapons and ordered him to stop. The Mexican customs officials ordered him to continue. A US Army Private fired a warning shot, and the carpenter dove to cover, causing the Mexican forces to think he had been shot, thereby shooting and killing the US Private. Gunfire between army forces and armed civilians began, with US forces entering the city to secure the heights overlooking the town, which had seen trenches and machinegun nests dug in the weeks prior. The Mexicans called a ceasefire that evening, though the US army had 32 casualties (4 dead) and several American civilians injured (with 2 dead); the Mexicans had 30 soldiers and 100 civilians killed, with 300 wounded; 2 Germans were also found among the dead. Orders have been given for a permanent border wall to be erected.

Captured German A7V tank at Frémicourt on August 31

At the Second Somme, part of the “Hundred Days Offensive,” the Allied First Army widened the front at the Second Battle of Arras; the German lines have begun to break and the Allies advance is more widespread.

New Zealand Riflemen in Bapaume shortly after they captured it

At Bapaume, a second attack against the city made some advances on August 26, moving 1000 yards and encircling Bapaume to the north, but miscommunications weakened the British attack as they attempt to force the German withdrawal with a full encirclement, rather than a direct assault. A lack of German gunfire was noted the morning of August 29, and Germans spotted withdrawing east.  New Zealanders entered the town and began deactivating booby traps. Their advance continued the next morning at 5 am, with Frémicourt taken in 90 minutes, but were forced to withdraw as their neighboring units had not yet moved up to the flank. Reiencourt fell the next day, and they again advanced September 1 to sweep the Bancourt Ridge, but were again forced to withdraw to allow neighboring units to catch up.


Ragged German askaris in East Africa

The Australian Corps crossed the Somme river August 31. Key to the Australian advance was their rapid taking of Mont Saint Quentin, a strategic observation and artillery post holding the Somme. Failing to advance through marshes, the Australians redeployed, stormed the mountain “screaming like bushrangers,” to which the Germans quickly surrendered, and then took the trenches, before taking Peronne the next day. British General Henry Rawlinson called the Australian advances of 31 Aug – 4 Sep the “greatest military achievement of the war.”



The well-supplied King’s African Rifles, Lettow-Vorbeck’s enemy

Canadians at the Scarpe took Monchy-le-Preux and Wancourt over August 26-30, along with 3000 prisoners.


At Baku, in Azerbaijan, ethnic, religious, cultural, political, and historical tensions have erupted, as the newly-formed Azerbaijan Democratic Republic has allied with the Ottoman Empire and attacked Baku, held by the Baku Commune with Soviet Russian assistance, and supported by the Armenians, British, and White Russians. The Azerbaijani-Ottoman alliance launched its attack August 26 and has slowly pushed back the defenders over the last few days, before halting this morning to rest and reinforce.


The Schutztruppe withdrawal, showing the rough terrain that hindered communications, reconnoitering, and caused the German sub-units to separate.

In Africa, the German Schutztruppe under Paul Lettow-Vorbeck has begun advancing back towards German East Africa, having raided most of the supplies in Portuguese East Africa. The unit, having evaded and defeated Allied forces for the past 4 years, has dwindled from its strength of 15,000 to only 1,600, due to deaths, desertions, and surrenders. Nonetheless, the remaining experienced African soldiers are intensely loyal to their German commander. Unbeknownst to Lettow-Vorbeck, the British have begun an encirclement of his troops as he has had to move around several reinforced British supply depots. At Lioma, on


August 30, the Germans began their attack shortly after noon, underestimated the British preparations, and launched several moderately successful attacks before halting around 10:30pm. They then withdrew east, while the British moved to encircle them. The German rearguard was attacked the next day but captured askari (native African recruits) greatly exaggerated the German strength, discouraging the British to press their attack, and allowing the Germans to escape. Despite failing to destroy them, the British still count a victory, as the Germans were deprived of supplies (and forced to expend what they had), lost many NCO’s and senior officers, and lost 100-200 troops, to the British 100.




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