Meteorologists guaranteed mud throughout the theater for all of November and the generals of both sides guaranteed to their political leaders at least a brief respite from intense casualty returns. Both sides agreed to fast-forward through the month without attacking, but as we prepared for potential frost weather in December we also thoroughly analyzed the situation and found some interesting facts, trends, and conclusions.
Hivernage, the placing of “Noir” units into winter quarters, will be a significant burden upon the French over the winter of 1916-7. One construction and nine rifle brigades left the front in November and four of the best divisions in the army (10-attack strength) were replaced with lesser (8-attack strength) units for the winter.
Switzerland will be significant for the remainder of the war. Upon Swiss demobilization in late-1916, France and Italy are forming large Swiss border garrisons. A few French construction units and resource points went into garrison in late summer, built fortifications, and then the units came out of garrison. Significant combat units went into garrison starting in November, enough to form a small army, including headquarters. Gradually, most of the French units will return to the war, but their absence will have mattered and about three corps will remain sequestered thru the end of the war. Meanwhile, Germany increased its Swiss border garrison by one artillery regiment.
Production during November 1916 proved unexciting. Entente production flowed without hindrance, including from a few bomb damaged factories. Central Powers production still enjoyed enough fuel and likewise flowed fully. The Entente gathered 17 resource points and 27 equipment to the war in Europe, plus a bit to Cape Town. The Central Powers assembled 14 resource points and 29 equipment for the war in the West.
Britain upgraded a railroad engineer III to an X; replaced CS-1 (which went to the South of France and retrieved the second torpedo float plane); replaced its best fighter group (again); brought the first South African Native Labor Contingent to France from Africa; replaced three cadres and rebuilt six cadres into divisions.
The ANZAC contingent rebuilt two of its divisions from cadre.
The Canadian contingent rebuilt one division from cadre.
Austria-Hungary upgraded a flak II to an III.
Portugal disbanded and scrapped its railroad engineer II in France.
Italy upgraded its siege engineer III to an X.
France replaced two combat engineer III, upgraded two flak and one each field and railroad artillery II’s to III’s; replaced two air groups, and completely replaced its two best divisions.
Prussia replaced two cadres.
Bavaria completely replaced a very strong X.
In the air, the war did not stop in November. The Italians upgraded their last cities to seven points of flak but still suffered the maximum two terror hits from Zeppelins that also overcame halved bombing strength due to mud weather. The German AEG bomber visited Lille repeatedly, killed the best British fighter group once (again), hit the factory there twice, dodged about a dozen attacks by 4- and 5- attack British and French fighters, and suffered one abort from flak in return. Zeppelins in the north hit Nottingham once while their compatriots in the south left Italian targets in the second half of the month and hit the Marseilles factory once.