June 23, 1918 – Austrians Retreat from the Piave River
Pictured – A motley band of Austro-Hungarian troops on the Piave. Their defeat there was the beginning of the end for the Hapsburg Empire.
On June 15 the Austro-Hungarian Army launched an offensive on the Italian front which caught the Allies by surprise and drove them back from their defensive line on the Piave River. On June 23 the Austrians were in retreat.
After some fierce fighting, the Italians had regrouped with help from British and French divisions that had been placed to stiffen the lines. Fifty airplanes from the new Royal Air Force also harried the Austro-Hungarian attackers with strafing runs. Allied weight of numbers and a better operational plan won the victory, with the Italians drawing the Austrians deep into their lines before hitting them hard with a counter-attack by reserve divisions. Despite a personal plea by Emperor Karl I to maintain the bridgehead over the Piave, the under-supplied and outgunned Austrians withdrew. By the next day all their men had retreated over the Piave, leaving behind over one hundred thousand casualties they could ill afford.
June 22, 1918, Salsk–The Volunteer Army had successfully regrouped and recuperated after the Ice March of the late winter and Kornilov’s death in battle in April. On June 22, Denikin’s 9000-man force once again began attacking the Soviets, striking at a rail junction just south of the Don. Although Soviet forces in the larger Kuban and north Caucasus area outnumbered the Volunteer Army more than ten-to-one, the Whites had some distinct advantages. The Cossack population of the area had largely turned against the Soviets; many Kuban Cossacks joined the Volunteer Army, while the Don Cossacks under General Krasnov had recovered after Kaledin’s suicide and retaken Novocherkassk. The Germans had also entered the area, having occupied Rostov in early May, and were on friendly terms with Krasnov’s Cossacks. This cut off Soviet forces from the most direct routes to the rest of Russia, and in their first few weeks of operations in late June and early July, the Volunteer Army was able to cut off the rest as well; the Soviets in the north Caucasus would be on their own until after the armistice.
Today in 1917: German U-Boats Attack US Troop Transports
Today in 1916: Greek Government Resigns After Allied Demands
Today in 1915: Austrians Recapture Lviv
Cheerful French gunners by their 90 mm artillery gun near Martigny (Meurthe-et-Moselle), 18 November 1916.
A French soldier displaying a regulation infantry dress at the Army Clothing Department at Vanves, 28 December 1916.
The moustache isn’t regulation but definitely encouraged.
“June 22 1918 – A French officer came up
with his “felicitations” today. My “pourquoi?” elicited the answer “Croix de
Guerre!” and in proof he showed me a list of 14 men who are to be decorated. The section is
likewise to be cited. I’m awfully glad for the folks’ sake; how proud old Dad
will be and Mother too. Not sure I deserve a “Croix de Guerre” – certainly not when I think of
what the Frenchmen in the trenches go thru.”
American ambulance driver in Oise region,
France – The Compensations of War – Photo: 1918, France, American soldiers
being decorated with the Croix de Guerre.
An aerial oblique view of the messenger dog kennels of the French Sixth Army at Gournay, 20 September 1915.
Jun 23 1918 “Aviatik (Berg) D.I "O” single-seat fighter biplane. Serial number 138.43. Aircraft forced down on the Italian Front. Treviso" https://t.co/daASa0Y55s http://twitter.com/ThisDayInWWI/status/1010277760743325696