The Great War Bookshop 2015 – 1915 Diary

Monday, March 2nd

Blockade: the British and French warn all neutral shipping to Germany it will be stopped. After bad weather at the Dardanelles, the Royal Navy’s big guns fire again.

 

Tuesday, March 3rd

The first Canadians on the Western Front take over a section of the British line. Indian and British regiments mass to attack German-held Neuve Chapelle.

 

Wednesday, March 4th

Belgian troops shoot down a zeppelin heading for London. Trades unions agree to allow women and unskilled labour to work in munitions factories.

 

Thursday, March 5th

Another German zeppelin is shot down over the Belgian coast. In South West Africa, 40,000 South African troops march against German garrisons.

 

Friday, March 6th

Political turmoil in Athens as the pro-German king refuses to allow the Prime Minister to send troops to fight with the French and British at Gallipoli.

 

Saturday, March 7th

Indian troops move up at Neuve Chapelle where the British artillery has concentrated for its biggest bombardment of the war so far.

 

Sunday, March 8th

Austrian political and military leaders argue about yielding territory to Italy in an effort to prevent another war front opening against them.

 

Monday, March 9th

Lloyd George urges parliament to back legislation giving the government wide powers over the munitions industry.

 

Tuesday, March 10th

Indian and British regiments attack at Neuve Chapelle and break through the German lines. Lord Kitchener appoints the general to command at Gallipoli.

 

Wednesday, March 11th

The Neuve Chapelle battle bogs down as the Germans steady staunch the breach and bring up reinforcements.

 

Thursday, March 12th

German counter attacks at Neuve Chapelle are driven off. Rupert Brooke anchors off the Greek island of Lemnos for the Gallipoli campaign.

 

Friday, March 13th

The battle at Neuve Chapelle ends: British casualties, 12,000; German casualties 10,000. The general leading the Gallipoli campaign, Sir Ian Hamilton, is on his way there.

 

Saturday, March 14th

British vessels trying to clear Turkish mines from the Dardanelles channel are driven back by artillery batteries that have escaped the naval bombardment.

 

Sunday, March 15th

A German warship, the Dresden, is blown up by its crew after the Royal Navy catches it at anchor off the coast of Chile. Lord Kitchener urges greater efforts on munitions.

 

Monday, March 16th

Sixteen British and French battleships at the Dardanelles prepare to storm up the channel with guns blazing if necessary.

 

Tuesday, March 17th

General Hamilton arrives on the Greek island of Tenedos to take command of troops for Gallipoli. The Royal Navy commander, Admiral Carden, goes home sick.

 

Wednesday, March 18th

Disaster for the Royal Navy: two battleships are sunk by mines in the Dardanelles as they try to force a way through; others are damaged; the rest turn back.

 

Thursday, March 19th

Trades unions agree to a system of arbitration for settling disputes rather than strikes to speed up munitions production.

 

Friday, March 20th

The Allies accept Italian terms for entering the war. Winston Churchill orders the first prototype tanks. German zeppelins bomb the outskirts of Paris.

 

Saturday, March 21st

German forces in South West Africa are in retreat after their first encounter with General Botha’s columns. The Italian military attaché leaves Vienna.

 

Sunday, March 22nd

The Austrians suffer a humiliating defeat on the Eastern Front when the key fortress off Przemsyl falls with the Russians taking 120,000 prisoners.

 

Monday, March 23rd

Sir Ian Hamilton decides it will take weeks before his troops can be organised for a landing at Gallipoli. The naval bombardment resumes.

 

Tuesday, March 24th

The Turks appoint a German, Otto Liman Von Sanders, to overall command at Gallipoli. British aircraft bomb submarine yards near Antwerp.

 

Wednesday, March 25th

General Hamilton goes to Egypt to rally Australian and New Zealand troops, ANZACs, for the Gallipoli campaign and to co-ordinate plans.

 

Thursday, March 26th

French aircraft bomb German zeppelin sheds at Metz. Local officials in Germany are given powers to restrict alcohol sales and weaken the beer.

 

Friday, March 27th

Rupert Brooke arrives at the Egyptian port of Alexandria so the Royal Naval Division can re-pack and re-organise for the Gallipoli landings.

 

Saturday, March 28th

Outrage in London after The Times publishes a report blaming the failures at Neuve Chapelle on a shortage of munitions.

 

Sunday, March 29th

Lloyd George gives a speech saying Drink is a more dangerous enemy than Germany. General Hamilton inspects a parade of 20,000 ANZACs in Egypt.

 

Monday, March 30th

King George decides to take the pledge and abstain from alcohol for the duration of the war. In South West Africa General Botha’s men advance.

 

Tuesday, March 31st

The German armies on the Western Front now comprise over 5,000,000 men. In New York, crowds flock to see the first epic of the film era – ‘The Birth of a Nation’.

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