The Great War Bookshop Great War Diary, June 2015 – 1915

Monday, June 1st

Turkish forces in Mesopotamia retreat up the Tigris pursued by General Townshend’s ‘regatta’ of naval gunboats and local river craft.

Tuesday, June 2nd

An Italian attack in the Alps, at Mount Krn, is repulsed. The Austrians abandon an assault across the Isonzo river after heavy losses.

Wednesday, June 3rd

General Townshend occupies Amara on the Tigris. Another force, under General Gorringe, is advancing up the Euphrates. The tiney statelet of San Marino declares war on Austria.

Thursday, June 4th

On the Gallipoli peninsula, French and British troops hemmed in at Cape Helles make a third unsuccessful attempt to gain higher ground. They make minimal progress at the cost of heavy casualties.

Friday, June 5th

An Italian attack on the Isonzo front pushes into Austrian territory in strength. Night-time zeppelin raids hit Hull and Gravesend: 8 civilians wounded.

Saturday, June 6th

Italian attacks repulsed by Austrians at Gorizia. A French warship, the Casabianca, is blown up by one of her own mines. Zeppelins raid England again: 24 killed; 40 injured.

Sunday, June 7th

A Royal Navy pilot, Sub-Lieut. Reginald Warneford, wins the VC for the first successful air-to-air attack on a zeppelin; he dropped a bomb on it.

Monday, June 8th

The strictly neutral American Secretary of State, William Bryan, resigns when President Wilson insists on strong protest note to Germany about the sinking of the Lusitania.

Tuesday, June 9th

Italian troops on the Isonzo capture Monfalcone; elsewhere they take heavy casualties. The British decide to send more troops to Gallipoli.

Wednesday, June 10th

Parliament approves the establishment of a Ministry of Munitions. A heat wave hits London – F.86 degrees in the shade.

Thursday, June 11th

Lloyd George, as minister of munitions, tells trades unions that Germany will only be beaten if they work harder for the war effort.

Friday, June 12th

Frontal attacks by Italian infantry at Gorizia are repulsed with heavy casualties. General Townsend leaves Amara to take sick leave in India.

Saturday, June 13th

Canadian troops in Flanders swap their Ross rifles for more sturdy and reliable British Lee Enfields. Voters in Greece return the pro-Allies Venizelos to power.

Sunday, June 14th

General Botha advances in South West Africa to mop up the last German resistance. On the Eastern Front, the Russians retreat from Lemberg.

Monday, June 15th

A zeppelin raid on Tyneside: 18 killed; 72 injured. The Derby is run at Newmarket because the Epsom track is now an Army camp.

Tuesday, June 16th

On the Western Front, the French attack near Arras in an unsuccessful attempt to push the Germans from Vimy Ridge. Lloyd George is sworn in as Minister of Munitions.

Wednesday, June 17th

The Italians capture high ground in the Isonzo fighting but their meafre gains come at the price of further heavy casualties.

Thursday, June 18th

Austrian warships raid the port of Fano on Italy’s Adriatic coast but cause little damage.

Friday, June 19th

Lloyd George crosses to Boulogne to consult with his French counterpart on how to improve munitions production. Warneford VC dies in a flying accident.

Saturday, June 20th

On the Western Front, the German Crown Prince (‘Little Willie’) attacks the French in the Argonne region along the Meuse river.

Sunday, June 21st

A French attack at Cape Helles gains ground and inflicts heavy casualties on the Turks. In South Africa, Christiaan de Wet is found guilty of treason and imprisoned.

Monday, June 22nd

The Pope provokes outrage among the Allies when he appears, in a newspaper interview, to equate the sinking of the Lusitania with the shipping blockade of Germany.

Tuesday, June 23rd

Another convicted German spy, Karl Muller, is executed at the Tower of London. The Prince of Wales celebrates his 18th birthday in uniform.

Wednesday, June 24th

The French and British on the Western Front reject passive defence and agree the outline of a major offensive in August with a breakthrough in mind.

Thursday, June 25th

The battleship HMS Lord Nelson uses a sausage to direct its fire at the Dardanelles and sets fire to the Turkish port of Chanak.

Friday, June 26th

The Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, privately discusses the possibility of replacing Sir John French as C-in-C on the Western Front.

Saturday, June 27th

General Gorringe calls a temporary halt to his advance up the Euphrates because of conflicting orders from Delhi and London.

Sunday, June 28th

Lloyd George and Churchill inspect prototype weapons for the trenches including the Stokes trench mortar and a version of the landship to deal with barbed wire.

Monday, June 29th

Another Turkish attack against the ANZACs at Gallipoli fails to dislodge them from their cliff-top trenches.

Tuesday, June 30th

French soldiers are killed on the Western Front trying try to break through German barbed wire which has been electrified. The Italians launch their biggest Isonzo assault.

Wednesday, July 1st

The first steel helmets reach the French army. British commanders at Gallipoli consider a third landing after conceding that the initiative has been lost at ANZAC and Cape Helles.

Thursday, July 2nd

The Italians push ahead with frontal attacks on the Isonzo Front (Carso Plateau) despite heavy casualties among some of their best brigades.

Friday, July 3rd

The government estimates that the war is now costing British tax-payers £3,000,000 per day. In Turkey, banks issue paper money for the first time.

Saturday, July 4th

The last Germans holding on in South West Africa seek an armistice. A German officer, Sub-Lt. Plutschow, escapes from his prison camp in Derbyshire.

Sunday, July 5th

General Gorringe resumes his advance on the Euphrates to attack the Turks at Nasiriya. A National Registration Bill fans fears at home of conscription.


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