General Hamilton

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

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 which is intended to outflank the Turks and relieve pressure on the British hemmed in at  Cape Helles and the Australians hanging on at ANZAC.

Monday, August 3rd

The second Italian offensive on the Isonzo front ends: 42,000 Italian casualties. The British Treasury urges the wider use of paper money instead of gold.

Tuesday, August 4th

The Archbishop of Canterbury preaches on the British anniversary of the war – ‘Watch ye, stand fast, quit you like men, be strong.’

Wednesday, August 5th

The Germans capture Warsaw. Russian forces retreat. The French appoint an ardent Socialist, General Maurice Sarrail, to command at Gallipoli.

Thursday, August 6th

The first British troops land at Suvla Bay under cover of a Royal Navy bombardment. The British commander of the operation, General Stopford, stays in bed on his ship.

Friday, August 7th

Further troops land at Suvla but there is confusion and delay. British units make tea while awaiting orders.

Saturday, August 8th

General Stopford lands at Suvla. The Gallipoli C-in-C, General Hamilton, encourages him to advance but without ordering him to do so. The Turks rush in reinforcements.

Sunday, August 9th

Fierce fighting inland from Suvla as Colonel Mustafa Kemal organises against the tardy British advance. Zeppelins raid East Anglia: 17 killed; 21 wounded.

Monday, August 10th

Germany and Austria seek to persuade Czar Nicholas of Russia to make a separate peace.

Tuesday, August 11th

The British dig in at Suvla Bay, having lost the initiative. The Russian withdrawal on the Eastern Front continues.

Wednesday, August 12th

Work begins on building the first proper tank (‘Little Willie’) in Lincoln. Zeppelins bomb East Anglia and Essex: 6 civilians killed; 24 wounded.

Thursday, August 13th

Three German prisoners of war are recaptured in Wales after escaping. Losses in sick and wounded at Gallipoli in the past week: 22,000.

Friday, August 14th

A British troopship, the Royal Edward, is sunk by a German submarine at Gallipoli : 800 killed.

Saturday, August 15th

Registration of civilians aged between 15 – 65 renews concerns about compulsory military service in Britain. At Gallipoli, General Stopford is sacked and replaced.

Sunday, August 16th

Lord Kitchener visits the Western Front and urges a strong summer offensive from Joffre now that the Russians in the East are in full retreat.

Monday, August 17th

As 8,500 more troops land at Suvla Bay, General Hamilton tells London he needs ten times as many. Zeppelin raids on East Anglia and London: 10 killed; 48 wounded.

Tuesday, August 18th

London police raid an anti-war Socialist newspaper , The Labour Leader, and charge its editor with sedition, of which he is eventually cleared.

Wednesday, August 19th

Colonel Hugh Trenchard is promoted and made Commanding Officer of the Royal Flying Corps on the Western Front.

Thursday, August 20th

The war cabinet meets to discuss Gallipoli with particular reference to Hamilton’s performance as C-in-C. Italy declares war on Turkey.

Friday, August 21st

Another attack by the British at Suvla is driven off with more than 5,000 British casualties. Hamilton rejects the idea of a withdrawal.

Saturday, August 22nd

The Russians retreat all along the Eastern Front. In Greece, the anti-German, Eleftherios Venizelos becomes Prime Minister again.

Sunday, August 23rd

New generals arrive at Gallipoli as Hamilton decides he cannot afford any more attacks and must stay on the defensive.

Monday, August 24th

The Paris newspaper, Le Figaro, launches a campaign against censorship of war news.

Tuesday, August 25th

The Germans install a military governor as Poland comes under occupation following the Russian withdrawal. Welsh coalminers strike for a war bonus.

Wednesday, August 26th

French planes bomb a poison-gas factory inside Germany.

Thursday, August 27th

General Townsend returns to Mesopotamia from sick leave with orders to advance up the Tigris towards Baghdad.

Friday, August 28th

With the Germans swarming into Russian territory, Russia again rejects any idea of peace and sets about raising more men for the army.

Saturday, August 29th

A shipment of gold bullion worth £55,000,000 arrives in New York to pay American manufacturers for British munitions.

Sunday, August 30th

British fatalities from 14 zeppelin raids to date: 92 civilians killed; 263 wounded.