Our trains which had remained to take a hand in the business if necessary steamed slowly back to Svagena, and I turned into my wagon for the night. After the usual battle with the mosquitoes, I fell asleep, but it seemed as though I had only slept a few minutes, when a banging at the door announced a visitor, who turned out to be a Staff captain from the Japanese Headquarters with an urgent message for the Commander of the Reserves at Svagena, who with great ceremony handed me the following order of the day:
“To colonel Ward,
Officer Commanding Reserves.
Operation Order by
lieut.-General S. Oie,
Commanding 12th Division,
“August 23, 1918.
“1. All enemy attacks were driven back to-day. We gained two machine guns and five captives.
“2. The Allied troops will attack the enemy, inflicting upon them an annihilating disaster, to-morrow, August 24.
“3. The Japanese troops will attack the enemy, starting the present line, at 3 o’clock, the 24th, morning.
“4. The reserve British, French, Kalmakoff’s forces, and a few Japanese companies will be under the command of Japanese. Colonel Inagaki will arrive at the north-western side of Dukoveskoie at 2 o’clock to-morrow morning.
“(Signed) S. OIE,
Commanding 12th Division.”
THE BATTLE OF DUKOVESKOIE AND KRAEVESK
I Looked at my watch, and called the Japanese officer’s attention to the fact that the time was 1.45 A.M., and that Dukoveskoie was four miles distant. Although he could speak perfect English, he held out his hand and with a profound bow pretended not to understand the point of my observation. It was in point of time simply impossible to arouse the British, Czech, Cossack and Japanese detachments and march four