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

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 on the peninsula now the initiative has been lost at ANZAC and Cape Helles.

Thursday, July 2nd

The Italians push ahead 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.

Monday, July 6th

Lord Kitchener visits the Western Front on his way to a conference with French war leaders at Chantilly.

Tuesday, July 7th

Joffre tells the Chantilly conference that attack is the best form of defence on all fronts. In South West Africa, the Germans receive their surrender terms.

 Wednesday, July 8th

Canada increases the size of its army to 150,000 men and appeals for recruits.

Thursday, July 9th

The Germans formally surrender to the British in South West Africa. Some of the South African rebels who fought with the Germans are paroled and allowed home.

Friday, July 10th

The general appointed to command the next landing at Gallipoli, the 60-year old Sir Frederick Stopford, reaches campaign HQ.

Saturday, July 11th

Joffre decides that the main Western Front offensive this summer will be a mass attack by the French in Champagne, with a subsidiary one from the British further north.

Sunday, July 12th

Sir John French visits the battlefield at Loos assigned for his subsidiary attack. Lt. Pluschow sails to Holland and freedom. He becomes the only German POW held in Britain to make it all the way home.

Monday, July 13th

The British reorganise on the Western Front. The new Third Army takes over an extra 15 miles of trenches from the French leading down to the River Somme.

Tuesday, July 14th

King George is now talking in private about the possible replacement of Sir John French as C-in-C on the Western Front.

Wednesday, July 15th

Another German spy, Robert Rosenthal, is executed by hanging at Wormwood Scrubs prison. Welsh coalminers strike for more pay.

Thursday, July 16th

The Italians choose a poet and pioneer aviator, Gabriele D’Annunzio, to be their historian of the war.

Friday, July 17th

One of the British generals at Gallipoli, Sir Aylmer Hunter-Weston (‘Hunter-Bunter’), is invalided offshore with sun-stroke never to return.

Saturday, July 18th

A fortnight after the first Italian onslaught on the Isonzo they try again but strong Austrian defences cause the same heavy casualties.

Sunday, July 19th

The French air ace, Georges Guynemer, scores his first combat victory above the Western Front. He will bring down 54 German planes before he falls.

Monday, July 20th

The Canadian Prime Minister, Robert Borden, visits the Western Front. The English Football Association cancels next season’s FA Cup competition.

Tuesday, July 21st

More than 840,000 British families are now receiving separation allowances to compensate for their menfolk serving in uniform. Welsh miners go back to work.

Wednesday, July 22nd

The Austrians hold on to Gorizia on the Isonzo front. In four weeks of fighting the Italian army Chief, Luigi Cadorna, has sacked nearly 30 generals.

Thursday, July 23rd

Giant Italian biplanes bomb the Austrian town of Innsbruck. Figures from the British Medical Association show that 25,000 of the nation’s doctors are now in uniform.

Friday, July 24th

In Mesopotamia, General Gorringe’s advance up the Euphrates reaches Nasiriya.

Saturday, July 25th

Captain Lanoe Hawker brings down three German planes over Ypres and wins a VC. Nasiriya is captured by General Gorringe.

 Sunday, July 26th

The American novelist Henry James, long resident in Britain, decides to take British citizenship.

Monday, July 27th

British casualties in the war to date: Army, 330,000; Royal Navy, 9,000.

Tuesday, July 28th

The first French gas mask goes into mass production. Lloyd George announces plans for building 26 munition factories.

Wednesday, July 29th

British, Indian and ANZAC casualties at Gallipoli to date: 50,000.

 Thursday, July 30th

British troops face German flame throwers for the first time, at Ypres. In Mesopotamia, General Townsend’s force probes further up the Tigris towards Baghdad.

Friday, July 31st

As the first belligerent states mark the anniversary of the war, the Pope makes a new appeal for peace talks.

Saturday, August 1st

The German pilot, Max Immelmann, scores his first kill flying a Fokker plane equipped with a machine gun that can fire through its propeller.

Sunday, August 2nd

Final preparations are made at Gallipoli for the Suvla Bay landing to relieve pressure on the Cape Helles and ANZAC positions by outflanking the Turks.


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