27 November 1914; Friday

Got day book written up to date. Stayed in at night and wrote a long letter to Ernie. Went out last thing with Joe and had short walk round.

Russians gained great victory in East Prussia1.

  1. East Prussia largely disappears from standard WW1 histories after Hindenburg’s victory at Tannenberg in September 1914, which stopped the Russian advance. According to a 1917 Illinois University thesis by Benjamin E. Ludvik, “The Russian Invasions of East Prussia, 1914-15”, the Germans in turn then advanced, despite bad roads and worse rail, but their attempt to cross the Niemen near Grodno (modern Hrodna) was repulsed with heavy losses; Ludvik quotes: “The London Times claims a great victory but the Germans deny the claim”. But this appears to date from 5 October. Ludvik records that thereafter the Russians advanced “slowly but surely”, and by 14 November had reached Stallupönen (c. 80 miles E. of Königsberg), where there had been a battle on 17 August, preceding Tannenberg. But the next phase, which Ludvik calls “The second [Russian] invasion of East Prussia” did not start until January 1915. So, failing any other candidate for the “great victory”, perhaps ALL had belatedly seen or heard a reference to The Times’ October headline, with the date missing.