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1st January 1918 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day

1st January 1918

On this day:

  • Events in 1918   Bavarian Ersatz Division part of 7th Army

    Verdun 1918.

    The division held the quiet Verdun sector until July 12, when it was relieved by the 231st Division.

    Vesle 1918.

    It was moved to the Vesle front and on July 25 relieved the 40th Division near Oulchy-le-Chateau. It remained in this sector until the 12th August, when it was withdrawn and sent to rest in the vicinity of Meubeuge.

    Champagne 1918.

    On the 1st September it proceeded to Mauchault and during the first days of September relieved the 88th Division in the line near Perthes. It was in the fighting between September 23 and October 3 in Champagne, losing about 2,000 men in that engagement.

    The division was so reduced in strength that it was dissolved shortly after its retirement from line in October.

    The 13th Bavarian Reserve Regiment was dissolved and the men drafted to the 15th Bavarian Division.

    The 15th Bavarian Reserve Regiment was also dissolved.

    Allied Intelligence Value - 1918 Estimate.

    The division was rated as third class. It was used only in defensive sectors during 1918.

    historical records

  • Mezieres and Grand Seracourt - defensive preparations   16th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Pioneers.

    The Battalion left its billets at 0330 on the 29th December and entrained at 0900 in Monticourt. It detrained in Moreuil (44 miles) and marched to Mezieres (2 miles). The 30th December was a rest day and on the 31st December the Transport section, which had travelled by road, arrived.

    Whilst resting from pioneering work, infantry training took place from 1st to 5th January with 100 men leaving as replacements to other Royal Irish Rifles Battalions. (50 to 15th RIR, and 25 each to 14th and 10th RIR). 99 men of B1 Status arrived as replacements Ė B1 meaning fit for manual work but not for front line combat.

    On the 7th January the Battalion moved to Caix (5 miles) for infantry training from 8th to 11th January and then on 12th Jan. to Campion (7 miles) with rest on 13th Jan. On 14th January they moved to dugouts north of Grand Seracourt (19 miles) followed by two days bathing. All these moves were in conjunction with the gradual takeover of French positions by the 36th Division.

    Naturally the tasks that followed were to strengthen and improve defensive positions for the 6000 yards front which the Division had to control in a southwards direction to St. Quentin. The first task was road repairs in St Simon which took from 17th to 18th Jan. for 1 and 2 companies. On the 19th Jan. HQ moved to Grand Seracourt and work commenced on widening and deepening trenches which had been poorly constructed by the French.

    The companies were employed from the 19th to the 31st Jan. on the following work: 1 and 2 Companies at LíEpine de Dallon. 3 Company at Boyeau de Station. 4 Company at Boyeau de Contescourt.

    Battalion Strength - January 1918 Jan 1st Officers 43 Other ranks 903 Jan 31st Officers 43 Other ranks 879 Casualties Other rank 1 died from wounds.

    The Terrors by SN White

  • 9th Irish Fusiliers at Boves   9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers in rest billets, at Boves, carrying out training programme.

    War Diaries

  • Training and relocation   1st German Guards Division


    The division remained in line at the Marquise sector in Champagne from the end of October until the 21st of January 1918

    It was withdrawn at that date and put through a course of training in open warfare until the 1st March, when it entered the line east of Reims (relieving the 203rd Division), remaining there until the 15th in order to become familiar with the terrain.

    historical records

  • 1st January 1918 Relocation

  • 1st January 1918 Relief and relocation

  • 1st January 1918 Ongoing actions

  • 1st Jan 1918 Actions during 1918

  • 1918 Actions   1st Bavarian Division part of 1st Bavarian Corps and 2nd German Army.



    Withdrawn from the line, the Division was put through a course of training. It relieved the 80th Reserve Division north of Vauquois on February 17th. It was relieved by the 80th Reserve Division about the 1st of March.

    St. Quentin.

    On the opening day of the March offensive the division reinforced the front south of St. Quentin. It was withdrawn the next day. On March 23rd it came back into line north of Chauny. It was withdrawn about the 30th.


    On April 6th, it relieved the 3rd Bavarian Division west of Lassigny. It was in turn relieved by the 3rd Bavarian Division on the 12th.


    Having suffered a great deal in the fighting on the Somme, the division was taken to a quiet sector in Champagne, relieving the 52nd Reserve Division on May 1st, north of Souain. About June 30th, it was relieved by the 30th Division. It reinforced the front near Souain on July 15th. It was withdrawn about the 31st.


    The division entered the line northeast of Soissons on August 11th.


    It was relieved by the Jaeger Division about August 19th and moved to the west, taking over the Cuts sector, southeast of Noyon on August 20th and was withdrawn on the 22nd.

    Coucy le Chateau.

    On the 31st August the division was identified at Folembray, northwest of Coucy-le-Chateau and was withdrawn about September 12th.


    On about the 27th September it took of over the Maure sector, southeast of Vouziers, where it remained, fighting, until the signing of the armistice.

    Allied Intelligence 1918 Value Estimate.

    The 1st Bavarian is rated as a first-class assault division and it was utilized as such throughout 1918. It fought well and its losses were severe.

    Historical Records

  • 1st January 1918 Actions during 1918

  • 1st January 1918 Actions during 1918

  • 1st January 1918 Actions during 1918

  • Actions during 1918   2nd German Cavalry Division part of 2nd Cavalry Corps which preceded 1st and 2nd German Armies.

    Divisional Actions during 1918 (Report pages from 1914 to 1917 missing)

    The division was in the Stochod sector until February 28, when it advanced through Kiev and Kharkov to Rostov, where it was on August 4. At this date the division occupied the area between Kharkov and Rostov. The troops were frequently attacked by armed bands or by mobs. In this way they suffered some heavy losses. The German cruiser Goeben, which had been supporting them, was damaged by fire and had to put into Constantinople. Nothing was known of the divisions movements after August, 1918.

    Allied Intelligence 1918 Value Estimate.

    The division was considered as 4th class.

    Historical Records

  • 1st January 1918 Actions during 1918

  • 1st January 1918 Actions during 1918

  • Actions during 1918   German 2nd Division part of 1st Army Corps and 8th Army

    Divisional Actions during 1918.


    The 2nd Division remained in line in the Souaine-Somme-Py region until relieved by the 87th Division about April 2nd. It went back to the Army depot at Semide, where it stayed about a week drilling and maneuvering. On April 10th, it entrained at Machault and went via Rethel, Liart, Marle, then detrained at La Ferte-Chevresis, encamping in the vicinity. It traveled by St. Simon (Apr. 11), Ham, Solente (5 km. east of Roye), and Laboissiere, where it stayed until April 30th.


    On May 1st the division relieved the 51st Reserve Division at Monchel, south of Montdidier until relieved on the 31st August.

    St. Quentin.

    The division was identified in line near Essigny-le-Grand, south of St. Quentin on September 5th. It was relieved about the 15th by the extension of the fronts of the neighboring divisions. During the night of September 20-21 it went back into line north of St. Quentin, in the Bellenglise sector. It was withdrawn about the 10th. The division rested for a fortnight in the Avesnes area, then came into the line on October 24th, relieving the 19th Reserve Division east of Ribeinont (southeast of St. Quentin). It was withdrawn from line early in November and did not return.

    1918 Allied Intelligence Value Estimate.

    The 2nd is rated as a third-class division. It was used in a great deal of heavy fighting and suffered severe losses (July 23 it lost 54 officers and 1,800 men in prisoners alone) west of the Avre; the 9th and 10th of August it lost 443 prisoners; in its engagements between August and October it lost over 1,500 prisoners). Nevertheless, it was never used as an attacking division, but confined itself to holding the sectors allotted it; on account of its weakened condition and lowered morale (there are several cases of insubordination on record), it did not acquit itself any too well.

    Historical Records

  • Actions during 1918   2nd Landwehr Division part of 5th German Army

    1918 Argonne.

    The division remained in line in the Apremont sector, engaging in but little activity until the American attack of September 26th. From that time on until it was withdrawn, October 25th, it fought a great deal.

    Allied Intelligence 1918 Value Estimate.

    Most of the young men of the division were taken from it to be sent to other organizations early in the year. On October 12th the corps commander telegraphed the King of Wurttemberg (the 2nd Landwehr Division comes from Wurttemberg): The 2nd Landwehr Division has particularly distinguished itself by its bravery and intrepidity during the last combats in the Argonne and has thus contributed toward the failure of the enemy's attempt to break through. It was badly used on the opening day of the American attack, but it fought hard. It loaned companies to various other divisions, including the 1st and 5th Guard Divisions and for days at a time these Landwehr troops were making the greatest resistance in the Aire Valley. While the division lost only 795 prisoners during the offensive, its total losses undoubtedly are above 5,000, there being evidence to show that many companies did not have more than 25 men, there being only three companies per battalion and, in at least one case, only two battalions in the regiment. It is rated as a fourth-class division.

    Historical Records

  • Actions during 1918   2nd Bavarian Division part of 1st Bavarian Corps and German 6th Army

    Divisional Actions during 1918.

    1918 Meuse.

    The division remained in line north of the Bois des Fosses until relieved by the 19th Reserve Division on January 14th. It went then to the Longwy region, where it was put through a stiff course of training in open warfare.


    On the 23rd March it entrained at Audun-le-Roman, and traveled via Longwy-Sedan-Charleville-Hirson-Anor-Avesnes-Le Cateau-Bertry-Caudry to Cambrai, where it detrained March 24-25. At first the division marched in the direction of Bapaumes, but was diverted in a southerly direction on the way and passed through Le Transloy-Sailly-Saillisel-Peronne-Villers-Carbonnel-Estrees-Foucaucourt and billeted at Beaucourt-en-Santerre on the night of March 30-31. On April 2nd it attacked at Morisel and two days later to the southwest of Morisel. It fought then until the 15th, when it side-slipped to the north, relieving the 54th Division, its place being taken by the 15th Division. It was relieved about May 4th by the 21st Division.

    It moved to the area southeast of Ghent, and there was reconstituted and trained. On June 2nd, it relieved the 14th Bavarian Division in the Morisel sector. It was relieved in the middle of the month by the extension of fronts of the neighboring divisions.


    It rested in the rear of the front in Champagne for about a month and then entered line in the Navarin sector (north of Souain), being identified by prisoners on the 15th July. It was withdrawn on the 20th July.


    On the 4th August the division relieved the 22nd Division at Jonchery (on the Vesle, east of Fismes). It remained in line, taking part in the general retirement, until the armistice.

    Allied Intelligence 1918 Value Estimate.

    The 2nd Bavarian is one of the very best German shock divisions. It was called upon to do a great deal of heavy fighting, and always acquitted itself well. It suffered severe losses in consequence, but these were made good as long as the German High Command had replacements at its disposal.

    Historical Records

  • 1st January 1918 Actions during 1918


    Very quiet. Ground still too hard to carry out the wiring on TIRED and TOMMY CTís. Working party of 200 converting Sump holes into fire bays with a view to using TIRED and TOMMY as defensive fire trenches. A few heavy shells fell near TUNNEL DUMP at about 10pm. SOS sent up on the left sector. Battalion stood to for about an hour and then carried on work.

    The National Archives Reference WO95/2361/1

  • 1st Jan 1918 New CO

  • 1st Jan 1918 Food Shortages

  • 1st Jan 1918 Working Parties & Baths

  • 1st Jan 1918 In the Trenches

  • 1st of January 1918 On the March

  • 1st Jan 1918 Working Parties & Baths

  • 1st Jan 1918 Training

  • 1st Jan 1918 Reliefs

  • 1st Jan 1918 Quiet

  • 1st Jan 1918 At Rest

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Remembering those who died this day.

  • Pte. William Edwell Baston. Dorsetshire Regiment 1st Btn. Read their Story.

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