Jose E. Alvarez Jr.

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28th August 1917: Final German Attack on Romania Pictured: Romanian soldiers near Mărășești. The German and Austrian offensives against Romania, though they had achieved some initial successes, resulted in unexpectedly high casualties for the Central Powers and did not come close to achieving a great breakthrough that would knock Romania out of the war, as hoped. On August 19, a Romanian counterattack in some places even pushed beyond their original starting positions, though, worried about overextending themselves, they soon stopped. Mackensen, however, was eager to keep up the offensive, pleading for additional reinforcements. Even if extra soldiers were not forthcoming, further attacks were absolutely necessary “in order not to give Romanian authorities the idea that their local successes…had influenced German operations.” Ludendorff rejected this idea, and on the 24th even informed Mackensen that the elite mountain units in the area would soon be transferred to the Italian front to stabilise the situation there. Romania was not to be conquered this year. Given this news, Mackensen limited himself to an attack on Muncelu, though German artillery conducted an extensive barrage all along the front with their large shell stockpiles. The Alpine Corps took the town after a fierce battle on the morning of August 28: “house by house, courtyard by courtyard had to be stormed in tough combat.” Afterwards, a precipitate Russian retreat opened a large gap in the lines that the Germans were able to exploit, advancing nearly three miles in some places. However, Romanian reserves soon arrived and filled in the gap left by the retreating Russians, and counterattacks over the next few days stabilised the front, though Muncelu remained in German hands. The Romanians successfully kept their position largely intact throughout the German offensives in August, despite occasionally unreliable support from the Russians. The Central Powers would not launch another offensive against Romania; while they would ultimately be knocked out of the war, it was due only to political circumstances beyond their control. Sources: The Romanian Battlefront in World War I. By Glenn E. Torrey http://today-in-wwi.tumblr.com/

The Great War Diary, Wednesday, 29th August 1917 Pictured: Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig reviewing the 5th Australian Division at Ebblinghem. The Australian flag (Australian Blue Ensign) can be seen on the right, with the Union Jack in the background. 29th August 1917 WESTERN FRONT: The Third Ypres Situation Report. On the 27th August, Haig called a halt to operations until the weather improved, he also handed command of the Battle over to Plumer. The next operation will be 'The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge', which will begin on the 20th September 1917 and will last for six days. During the pause in British and French general attacks between late August and 20 September, the British will change some of the infantry tactics, adopting the leap-frog method of advance, where waves of infantry will stop once they reached their objective and consolidated the ground, while other waves will pass through the objective to attack the next one and the earlier waves will became the tactical reserve. General adoption of the method will be made possible when more artillery is brought into the salient. In the air new tactics will also be used, there will be an increase in the number of aircraft involved in close air support and by specialising the tasks of air defence, contact-patrol, counter-attack patrol, artillery observation and ground-attack. EASTERN FRONT: Fighting continues in Focsani region. ITALIAN FRONT: Isonzo: Cadorna orders Bainsizza operations suspended except north and east of Gorizia. General Waldstatten submits Austrian offensive plan to General Arz for an offensive involving 13 divisions (including Germans) from the Tolmino bridgehead north of Bainsizza Plateau towards Cividale. Hindenburg and Ludendorff eventually approve what will become the Caporetto offensive after the Bavarian mountain warfare expert, General Kraftt inspects the front. WAR AT SEA: German submarines sink, 4 British, 1 Italian and 1 American cargo ships with the loss of 10 lives, all British merchant seaman. POLITICS: Canada introduces conscription: After visiting Britain for a meeting of First Ministers in May 1917, Borden announced that he would introduce the Military Service Act on August 29, 1917. The Act was passed: allowing the government to conscript men across the country if the Prime Minister felt that it was necessary. After the Military Service Act was passed, tensions ran high throughout Canada. The majority of Canadians were not as enthusiastic about joining the war effort as the first Canadian volunteers had been. In fact many people objected to the idea of war completely. 5,000 demonstrate against it in Montreal. Britain: Churchill writes to union leaders on necessity for increased aircraft produc­tion. Germany: Industrialists tell Chancellor ‘they are ready to fight 10 more years’ to keep the mineral-rich Longwy-Briey basin. Polish State Council resigns. Sources: Times History of the War (complete in 22 vols; 1914-1921) NAVAL OPERATIONS, Volume 5, April 1917 to November 1918 (Part 1 of 4) by Henry Newbolt. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence: Military Operations France and Belgium: in multiple volumes for each year of the war: 1914 volume 1, 1922; 1914 volume 2, 1925; 1915 volume 1, 1927; 1915 volume 2, 1928; 1916 volume 1, 1932; 1916 volume 2, 1938; 1916 appendices volume, 1938; 1917 volume 1, 1940; 1917 volume 2, 1948; 1917 volume 3, 1948; 1918 volume 1, 1935; 1918 volume 2, 1937; 1918 volume 3, 1939; 1918 volume 4, 1947; 1918 volume 5, 1947; 1918 appendices volume, 1935. all published in London by Macmillan except 1917 volumes 2 & 3 and 1918 volumes 4 & 5, all by HMSO. The German Army in World War I" by Nigel Thomas

July 30th 1917: The Battle of Flanders Pictured: British soldier sitting in the shell-hole in a gasometer at Nieuport, 30th July 1917. Not the work of u-boats but a shell hole in a gasometer near the front. Gasometer Gas holders, sometimes known as gasometers, began to emerge in Victorian times and do largely as the name suggests: store large volumes of gas, usually from nearby gasworks. Sources: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205079145

19th August 1917: Passchendaele Pictured: British soldiers wearing bandoliers of ammunition in support trench at Wieltje, 19 August 1917. Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205196002

The Great War Diary for Tuesday, July 17th 1917: Pictured: Artillery in action at Ypres WESTERN FRONT: Third Ypres bombardment (until July 30) begins: British fire 4,283,550 shells (cost £22,211,389 14s 4d) including 100,000 rounds (250t) of chlorine gas shells at Germans (until July 31); 1,250 gassed (75 deaths). Successful British raids in the Ypres sector. Verdun: French regain positions northwest of Mort Homme lost during the last 18 days. Unsuccessful German trench raids northwest of Verdun on July 18. EASTERN FRONT: Russians hold their positions in Galicia against German counter-thrust. WAR AT SEA: German Crown Prince Wilhelm calls submarine warfare “the last argument of Kings.” 'HMS C34' The British Royal Navy C-class submarine was sunk off the Shetland Islands while on the surface by the Imperial German Navy submarine SM U-52 with the loss of eighteen of her nineteen crew. The survivor was rescued by U-52. 'HMS Newmarket' The British Royal Navy auxiliary minesweeper was torpedoed and sunk in the Aegean Sea south of Icaria, Greece with the loss of 44 of her crew. Three of the survivors were taken as prisoners of war. German submarines sink, 2 British and 1 French cargo vessels with the loss of 7 of the French crew. POLITICS: Russia: Justice Ministry documents allege Lenin is a German agent (until July 18) as do other sources. 6,000 Kronstadt sailors join Red rising but Cossacks begin charges as troops arrive from Front. Great Britain: King George V issues a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British Royal Family will change it's name from the very German sounding ' Saxe-Coburg-Gotha' to Windsor. Canada: Resistance to the introduction of conscription is increasing in Quebec. Many are taking their money out of banks to put pressure the government. Resolution in favour of extension of Canadian Parliament passed. AMERICAN NEWS: The Justice Department fails to find any evidence of German financial backing for the International Workers of the World (IWW) Cipher Bureau of Military Intelligence created, Herbert O. Yardley became the head of the newly created Bureau. known to you and me to-day as the NSA. USA: Presidential order drafts 678,000 of June 5 registrees. War Secretary will draw the first numbers for draft on July 20. Some Northern senators are complaining that the Census Bureau’s methods of calculating the numbers of men to be drafted in each state is unfair, disadvantaging northern states where there are high numbers of immigrants. Sen. Ben Tillman (D-South Carolina) says the race riots in East St. Louis were caused by white prejudice against the negro. “The more the Northern people know of the negro the less they like him. ... The white blood, becoming once aroused, grows savage and very cruel.” He thinks that white Northern men being trained in military camps in the South will improve their understanding of the negro problem. I shudder to think what Pitchfork Ben’s solution to the negro problem might be. In June, 2,400 loggers had joined a strike in North Idaho, and it soon engulfed most of the logging camps east of the Cascade Mountains. When workers on the coast joined the strike in on 17th July, logging across the entire Pacific Northwest essentially shuts down. Lasts until October. Sources Include: Military Operations France and Belgium 1917: 7 June – 10 November. Messines and Third Ypres (Passchendaele). History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. II. By J. E. Edmonds Military Operations France and Belgium 1917: Appendices. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. By J. E. Edmonds and G. C. Wynne The workers' revolution in Russia, 1917. The view from below. By Daniel H. Kaiser OPERATIONS, Volume 5, April 1917 to November 1918 (Part 1 of 4) by Henry Newbolt

The Great War Diary for Sunday, July 15th 1917: Pictured: Short Folder with starboard wings still folded. WAR IN THE AIR: Southern Turkey: 4 Royal Navy Air Service Short seaplanes from HMS Empress report hits on cotton factories near Adana. More Empress aircraft later start fires in Beirut quay warehouses in August and on September 27. WESTERN FRONT: German assault on captured positions on Mont Haut (Moronvillers) defeated. British air raid on Belgium. EASTERN FRONT: Galicia: Litzmann’s 4 new German divisions block Kornilov after 18-mile advance, he evacuates Kalusz on July 16 but then holds, gaining and then losing Nowica on July 18. ITALIAN FRONT: Italian raid in the Carso, 275 prisoners. WAR AT SEA: Britain: Commander Tyrwhitt of Harwich Force knighted. Atlantic: U-boats switch main attack to outward-bound unescorted shipping, twice as risky for latter as homeward bound by August. German submarines sink, 6 British, 1 French and 1 Royal Navy trawler with the loss of 29 lives with 4 taken prisoner. 'HMS Redbreast' The British Royal Navy fleet messenger was sunk in the Aegean Sea by SM UC-38 with the loss of 44 lives. One of the survivors was taken as a prisoner of war. POLITICS: Crisis in Russia: resignation of four Ministers of Cadet Party, as protest against recognition of the Ukraine. The new German chancellor is George Michaelis, described as bureaucrat of the old type.” He was the Prussian under-secretary of finance and the German food commissioner. And no “von” in his name; he’s the first commoner to hold the office. Other than that, the only interesting thing about him is that he spent several years in Japan. The ouster of Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg is being blamed by many on Crown Prince Wilhelm, who never liked him, but it’s really more like a right-wing coup against the prospect of the “parliamentisation” of the Reichstag, i.e., making the German government responsible to the elected Reichstag rather than the crown, as the majority in the Reichstag becomes increasingly critical of the war, the way it’s being waged, and the lack of stated war aims. Kaiser Wilhelm did not bother consulting with any member of the Reichstag before appointing Michaelis. AMERICAN NEWS: Another 16 suffragist picketers are arrested at the White House, celebrating Bastille Day with banners reading “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” American-born lead miners in St. Francois County, Missouri force foreign miners out of the area at gunpoint. The Western Federation of Miners blames the IWW, but it would. The IWW men and other Bisbee deportees say they won’t return to Bisbee unless accompanied by US soldiers. Evidently they actually believe the US government will support their right not to be kidnapped from their homes and deported. Spoiler Alert: It won’t. Sheriff Harry Wheeler, replying to Arizona Gov. Campbell’s request for an explanation of his actions, says “I can protect law abiding and peaceful citizens, but I cannot guarantee the technical rights of lawbreakers and criminals. I would not endanger the lives of loyal American citizens in attempting to protect the I.W.Ws.” Woodrow Wilson complains about the Bisbee Deportation, cabling the governor of Arizona, “may I not respectfully urge the great danger of citizens taking the laws into their own hands”. He thinks the kidnapping of 1,200 people creates “a very serious responsibility”. The governor of New Mexico, where the men were dumped, is trying to pass the whole thing to the feds, who are currently feeding the deportees. New Mexico has put them under arrest, as one does with kidnapping victims, I guess. Sources Include: OPERATIONS, Volume 5, April 1917 to November 1918 (Part 1 of 4) by Henry Newbolt The German Army in World War I" by Nigel Thomas

July 14 1917, Arras–First American Military Injury From Enemy Fire Pictured: Nurses who served at Base Hospital #18 were raised at Johns Hopkins Hospital. While the first American division had arrived in late June had had participated in a pomp-filled 4th of July parade through Paris, they were along way away from fighting the Germans. American medical personnel, however, had arrived a month before and were already serving just behind the front lines with the British, relieving British personnel for service elsewhere. Here, they were within range of German artillery, and on July 14 suffered their first injury. Under artillery fire southwest of Arras, France, Capt. Louis J. Genella of the U.S. Army’s Medical Reserve Corps, became the first combat casualty of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Captain Louis J. Genella was wounded in the head by German shell fire. His injuries, though painful, were relatively minor, however; he was treated on site and remained with his unit. Genella, like many men of the AEF, was cared for by the base hospitals, casualty clearing stations and aid posts that provided different levels of care to the wounded during World War I. Medical staff assessed and treated the sick and injured. From brutal trench warfare to the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 to accidents, more than 115,000 Americans would die in service during the war. The loss would have been significantly higher, and the suffering of the wounded greater, without the vigorous, skillful, and compassionate American military medical services. Medical units arrived with surprising speed after the United States entered the war. Base hospitals began to arrive in Europe on May 18, 1917 and by June 11th the last of an initial six had arrived at their posts in France along with 1200 independent medical officers to serve with British forces. Many more would follow this vanguard of American military medicine. Others stayed to work in camps and hospitals in the United States. At its peak the Army Medical Department would number 264,181 women and men. By the end of the war Army medical facilities could treat 403,000 bed cases. The work went far beyond the war front and hospitals. The millions involved in this vast, modern war called for public health and dental work, aviation medicine, psychiatric facilities, and diverse laboratories. The base hospitals moved into sites termed general hospitals by the British. British medical staff remained temporarily to orient arriving Americans. These hospital sites differed greatly and included former hotels and sprawling complexes of new temporary buildings in rural fields. Recuperating wounded found themselves in war tents of 60 beds, heated huts for thirty men, or even the opulent ball rooms of former casinos. Maj. Julia C. Stimson, Chief Nurse of the AEF, described “…rows and rows of canvas tents, each of which holds about 14 beds” and the lived in ”huts…made of thin wood and roofed with tarred paper and are divided into single cubicles, … accommodating 16 to 18 people.” Many sites could accommodate over 2000 patients and expanded in times of need. The hospitals stood on rail lines between the front in Flanders and the English Channel to make movement of patients and supplies as easy as possible. During a quiet time there might be several dozen operations daily and several hundred patients in the wards. The lethality of World War I meant those numbers could suddenly surge. Admitting over 1000 patients and completing over 100 operations in a day was not unusual. American-staffed general hospitals requested and received more staff to increase their patient admission capacity. Although these facilities were beyond the range of enemy artillery fire, they were sometimes the targets of enemy bomber attacks. Some sites sandbagged the sides of structures for protection. British general hospitals were not the only places that early arriving American medical staff found employment. Some medical specialist officers were sent to Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) hospitals in England that required their specific expertise. Many general hospital staff spent time in RAMC facilities for wartime medicine training. Americans in general hospitals or with the RAMC did not only work behind the lines. Like the British, they rotated through tasks closer to the front. In July 1917 surgery teams were assembled to support forward casualty clearing stations (CCS) several miles behind the forward trenches. The experience familiarized medical department staff with more frequent work and the conditions of soldiers’ lives. At CCS teams often worked with other Allied medical personnel. Threats from air raids, long-range artillery, or capture in an enemy offensive were greater at a CCS. Along with these challenging operating conditions, supply problems existed. Built to accommodate the fluctuating needs of battle, some CCS could accommodate a maximum of 1000 patients. The level of care available was greater than an aid station, but not as complete as a hospital. Some major surgeries were performed. Shattered limbs were removed. And procedures to stabilize patients for transport to the general hospitals were completed. Further forward were the physicians and nurses at the aide posts of battalions, and regiments. Very basic and emergency medical care was carried out. Here medical officers triaged the wounded into the hopeless, those needing care to survive, and those that would pull through regardless. From there they moved back to where ambulances were stationed at advanced dressing stations. It was at forward stations like these that Genella became the first American combat casualty among the medical reservists. On August 17, 1917 Nurse Beatrice M. McDonald of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps was wounded by a shell splinter while she worked at a CCS. She lost an eye as a result. McDonald and Genella were both early volunteers, part of the first wave to serve in American uniform at the front. These men and women were a significant assistance to the British Expeditionary Force’s medical staff, and that of the RAMC in Britain. Many leaders of these early medical units had previous experience as medical volunteers earlier in the war. When the AEF began to arrive in greater numbers, the early arrivals provided experienced at every level of military medicine. Early arrivals, like Stimson, became the trainers and leaders of AEF medicine. Genella was obviously not the first American injured by German military action; many had been killed by U-boats, and several Americans volunteering for the Allies had been killed in the line of duty. But Genella was the first injured in the line of duty by enemy fire. Sources: Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. The Army Medical Department 1917-1941. By Mary C. Gillett The Bulletin of the U.S. Army Medical Department, Earliest American Battle Casualties in the World War. Army Medical Bulletin No. 27, Volume 1 Supplement, July 1932. YANKS IN THE KING’S FORCES: AMERICAN PHYSICIANS SERVING WITH THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE DURING WORLD WAR I. By Mr. Michael Rauer, edited by Dr. Sanders Marble

The Great War Diary for Wednesday, 27th June 1917: Pictured: 'Lange Max’ WESTERN FRONT: Flanders: Batterie Pommern, also known as 'Lange Max’ a 15-inch gun at Luegenboom became the world's biggest gun in 1917. On June 27, 1917 the gun fired for the first time. Its target was Dunkirk where the first shot was a direct hit. Dunkirk and Ypres were the main targets of the gun. During the III. Flandernschlacht it played a huge role for the Germans. ITALIAN FRONT: Trentino - Battle if Mount Ortigaro: Austrian attack on Agnello pass repulsed by Alpini SINAI AND PALESTINIAN CAMPAIGN: Egypt: General Allenby becomes C-in-C EEF replacing Murray at Cairo. WAR IN THE AIR: Death of German Ace Leutnant Karl Allmenröder. Flying on patrol in the skies above Zillebeke his aircraft came under fire from Allied aircraft: he was killed when his 'plane crash-landed. A number of honours were conferred upon him posthumously. He was aged 21 at his death. WAR AT SEA: French cruiser "Kleber" The Dupleix-class cruiser struck a mine and sank in the Bay of Biscay off Brest, Finistère with the loss of 42 of her crew. French Destroyer 'Doxa' The Niki-class destroyer was torpedoed and sunk in the Aegean Sea off Milos by SM UB-47 with the loss of 29 of her crew the rest being saved by escorting destroyers. British transport "Armadale" Torpedoed and sunk by U-60, 160 miles NW of Tory Island on route from Manchester for Salonica with troops and stores. Eleven people lost. German submarines sink, 7 British and 1 Swedish vessels with the loss of 6 lives and 1 British captain taken prisoner. POLITICS: M. Venizelos assumes power at Athens. Diplomatic relations severed with Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. Declaration of War by Provisional Government against Germany and Bulgaria of November 23rd, 1916, becomes effective for the whole of Greece. "State of War" also begins between Greece and Austria-Hungary and between Greece and Turkey (see 26th). Dragutin Dimitrijević (a.k.a Apis) executed by firing squad. He was a leading member of a military group that organised the overthrow of the Serbian government in 1903. He personally organised and participated in the coup against King Alexander and his wife Queen Draga that resulted in their murders, though he was not present when they were killed. He was also the leader of the Black Hand group responsible for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria on June 28th 1914. The latter triggering the July Crisis which led to the outbreak of World War I. In March 1917, Apis was arrested in a government crackdown on the Black Hand. Several theories exist for why. One, is that Prime Minister Pasic and the Prince Regent were preparing to negotiate a separate peace with Austria and that they feared Black Hand reprisals. Another theory was that Pasic wanted to eliminate Apis and the others because they could expose government involvement in the Sarajevo murders. Yet another theory is that Apis was actively subverting the government. Apparently it required some 20 shots before Dimitrijevic was confirmed dead. Or where his executioners just making sure. In 1953, Dimitrijević and his co-defendants were all posthumously retried by the Supreme Court of Serbia and found not guilty, because there was no proof for their alleged participation in the assassination plot. Sources: Gray; Przemyslaw Budzbon (1 May 1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906-1921. Naval Institute Press. p. 386.

20 May 1917: The Vaulx Arms Hotel Pictured: Original Description: A cookhouse of a 5th Australian Division unit, named 'The Vaulx Arms Hotel', *during the attacks on Bullecourt by the Australian troops. 20 May 1917. Note: *The original caption is somewhat misleading as the fighting At Bullecourt had ended on the 17th Three weeks after the first battle of Bullecourt the Australian 2nd Division, now with the British 62nd Division attacking on their left towards Bullecourt itself, assaulted over the same ground where the Australians had met defeat on 11 April. This time the Australian infantry attacked without tanks but was well supported by artillery. On the first day of the battle, 7 May, one Australian brigade on the right flank was unable to reach the German first line, and the British obtained only a foothold on the southern edge of Bullecourt, but the main Australian attack was successful in capturing the same German trenches the Australian 4th Division had been ejected from on 11 April. The battle continued for two weeks, the Australians and British committing four more divisions (the Australian 1st and 5th Divisions, and the 7th and 58th British Divisions). The Germans, also reinforced, made numerous unsuccessful counterattacks. By 17 May the Germans admitted defeat by ceasing attempts to recover their lost ground. Of 150,000 men from both sides who fought at Second Bullecourt, some 18,000 British and Australians, and 11,000 Germans, were killed or wounded in battle. The Arras offensive was initially made on a 12 mile front from Vimy ridge in the north to Neuville-Vitasse in the south. By 17 May, when the offensive ended, the British had advanced up to 7 miles eastwards and the offensive was correctly hailed as a success, though the larger French offensive it was supporting was a failure. Source: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/E02008/

The Great War Diary for Saturday, 12th May 1917. Pictured; Italian heavy 305mm howitzer, known as a ‘heavy mortar on a De Stefano carriage’. This distinctive system featured four large solid iron wheels running on rails to absorb the recoil. ITALIAN FRONT: The Tenth Battle of the Isonzo 12th May – 8th June 1917. The Italian bombardment began at dawn on 25-mile front with 1,058 heavy and 1,320 field guns versus 1,400 Austrian pieces and lasted for two days. At noon on 14 May the Italian infantry attack will begin. The Italians, deploying 38 divisions - against only 14 of the Austro-Hungarians - switch tactics once again. The previous three Isonzo battles had seen Cadorna concentrate short, sharp initiatives against closely defined targets, generally aimed at extending their sole bridgehead east of Gorizia. This time the Italians returned to the Kras plateau south-east of Gorizia, setting in train an infantry advance along a 27 mile front in order to achieve a breakthrough towards Trieste. The second aim of the offensive was to conquer Mount Škabrijel, thus opening the way to the Vipava Valley. Some fighting also took place in the northern sections of the front in the Julian Alps, where the Austro-Hungarians strengthened their positions along the Vršič mountain ridge. WESTERN FRONT: British storm most of Bullecourt, and Roeux trenches. Enemy's counter-attack fails. WAR IN THE AIR: Western Front: French ace Nungesser shoots down 2 of 6 Albatros fighters over Douai. WAR AT SEA: Heavy naval bombardment of Zeebrugge by Dover Division. The Royal Navy bombarded these ports in order to put the lock system out of action and used a smoke screen to hinder German observation. While the bombard failed in its task, the Germans stepped up defensive measures and as the war progressed, the front line drew ever closer to Ostend, bringing it within range of the Royal Marine heavy howitzer battery in France, forcing the Germans to transfer many of its facilities to Zeebrugge. One of the main objectives for the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) was the expulsion of the Germans from Flanders and to capture the ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend. (see 11th) German submarines sank 9 British cargo ships with the loss of 9 lives. POLITICS: The British government warns munitions workers not to strike and that anyone inciting strikes is liable to imprisonment for life. The Russian provisional government reportedly had plans to deport the czar and his family, but they were vetoed by the Petrograd Workers’ and Soldiers’ Soviet, which want to make sure all of the Romanov’s money is seized. Great Britain: Two new groups for attestation announced: 41 to 45, and 45 to 50. India: Bombs and seditious leaflets seized in Calcutta. Canada: Both Houses, Canadian Parliament, addressed by M. Viviani. AMERICAN NEWS Calls for Enlistment of Women Telephone Operators into Army Signal Corps U. S. Rifle Model of 1917 accepted Sources:

Killed By His Own Men Pictured: Captain John Currie Lauder (Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 25. Captain Currie was the son of ‘Sir’ Harry Lauder a popular composer and entertainer throughout the English-speaking world and Dame Lauder. His fiancée will die unmarried in 1975 and leave 50,000 pounds to Erskine Hospital “to provide some amenity for the hospital in memory of my late fiancée”. His father will compose a poem entitled “To the Memory of My Beloved Son Captain John Lauder”. But another side of Captain Lauder seems to have existed. He is seen by his men as a haughty disciplinarian, a stickler for rules and is intensely disliked by his men. It has been reported that he was actually killed by his own men. The Story. Whilst going on stage in London's West-End in early January 1917, Sir Harry Lauder received a tersely-worded War Office telegram reporting his son's death in action. Bravely, Harry continued on-stage, singing "Keep Right On To The End Of The Road". The accepted story is of Captain Lauder being killed leading his Highlanders into battle against the Germans. However another, different story, told over the years amongst local Argyll people, is retold here. John Currie Lauder, a privileged child, whose rich, famous father sent him to the prestigious City of London School, did well and "went up" to Cambridge. His father had bought two estates in Cowal, Argyll, building palatial residences on each. Despite his demeaning "Highland" stage-act, Harry Lauder wanted to play the Highland Laird for real. But local lairds cold-shouldered this jumped-up music-hall singer who got rich ridiculing his countrymen. Undeterred, Lauder Snr used his influence to secure for John an officer's commission in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, a fitting social position for a "laird's" son. When war came, on 4th August 1914, John was with his father, touring Australia. A telegram recalled him to his battalion in Dunoon, Argyll. They were sent on active service in April 1915 as part of the 51st Highland Division, seeing some action first at Festubert then Givenchy. Lauder was seen as a haughty disciplinarian, a stickler for the rules, and was disliked intensely by his men. On 13th November 1916, the 51st were chosen to spearhead the last Battle of the Somme. In late December, following hard frosts and heavy casualties, Lauder and his men were still on the Western Front. The 28th of December 1916 was a quiet day on the Somme. For the 1/8th Argylls, only one fatality. Captain JC Lauder. How ? There were no enemy attacks that day. According to "the story", he was killed by his own men, who despised him and had no respect for him as a leader. Although there are no official records, the story is strongly entrenched and part of local folklore in Argyll, the very county where the battalion and it's men belonged. The story has also since appeared in a novel, Empty Footsteps, by Lorne MacIntyre. Note: Over the years I've come across perhaps a dozen such stories where it seems a number of captains, sergeants and other ranks died where it seems to appear they were extremely disliked due to their overbearing attitude towards their men and accounts of those deaths are often shrouded in mystery but testimonies in letters and memoirs point to deliberate acts of murder. Sources Include: information:

Mules Trapped In The Mud On Christmas Day 1916 Pictured: Mules on the Somme,engulfed in the mud on the Somme,near Bernafay Wood, 25th December 1916. Sources:

Russia and Tsar Nicholas a Very Brief Overview. (I'll be posting at length about the Tsar over the coming weeks) Nicholas Romanov was born on 19 May 1868 to Tsar Alexander III and his wife, Danish princess Marie Fedorovna. He was the eldest of six children and became Tsar Nicholas II in 1894 when his father died at the age of 49 of kidney failure. Nicholas, who was a gentle man, had not been trained to be the Tsar and was unprepared for the role. At the time of his father's death, he was engaged to German Alix of Hesse, the granddaughter of English Queen Victoria I. They were married on 26 November 1894. They had five children together; Olga (1895), Tatiana (1897), Maria (1899) and Anastasia (1901). A much-longed for male heir was born on 12 August 1904 and they named him Alexis. The Romanovs hid a secret from the Russian people. Their son had the blood condition hemophilia and the family did not want the public to know as they may have lost their faith in the Imperial regime. Instead they asked Grigory Rasputin, known for his healing abilities, to look after their son. In 1908, Alexis was taken seriously ill but Rasputin stopped the bleeding. From that point on, he was a member of the royal entourage. In August 1914, Russia went to war against Germany and Austria, which boosted the Tsar's popularity at first. Nicholas often travelled to the Eastern Front to improve morale among the troops but the family's popularity faded following heavy casualties in the war. The Tsarina had been put in charge of domestic affairs and dismissed plenty of ministers for which Rasputin was blamed. Rumours emerged that the two were lovers. It was also thought that the pair were leading a pro-German court group, which led to Rasputin's murder in December 1916. On 2 March, 1917, Tsar Nicholas II, head of the Russian Romanov dynasty, was forced to abdicate after 23 years. The vast country was in the throes of revolution. The Imperial Family was exiled to Siberia, and a year later, moved to Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains. By the summer of 1918, the Tsar, his wife, four daughters and son had vanished.

Diary for Sunday, September 10, 1916: Pictured: Wounded Allied soldiers lie on stretchers near the village of Ginchy, waiting for evacuation by horse-drawn ambulance. Photograph: Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images Wounded Allied soldiers lie on stretchers near the village of Ginchy, waiting for evacuation by horse-drawn ambulance. Western Front: Battle of the Somme: Rain 1mm. 68° - 57° overcast day. The Germans counter-attacked at Ginchy but were repulsed. British line advanced a mile east of Guillemont, also 1,000 yards east of Ginchy. Five enemy attacks on French line, Berny to region south of Chaulnes, defeated. Rawlinson attends a conference which features the role of the tanks in the forthcoming attack. Eastern Front: Brusilov Offensive ,Carpathians: Pflanzer-Baltin sacked from Austrian Seventh Army, Kirchbach replaces. Austrians retreat west of the Gyergyo and Czik valley. Russian and Romanian forces in contact. Southern Fronts: Salonika: 6 British detachments demonstrate (161 casualties) along river Struma, further cross-river raids on September 15 and 23. African Fronts: East Africa: British 2nd Division occupies Kidodi and halts with 1,946 of 6,696 men unfit. Belgian Southern Brigade fights at Lulanguru (until September 12) in railway advance on Tabora. Political: Mr. Lloyd George at Verdun, with General Dubois and M. Albert Thomas; Lloyd George's speech praising Verdun. Sources: http://www.ramsdale.org/timeline.htm http://www.firstworldwar.com/onthisday/1916_09_10.htm

Battle of Verdun The Battle for Fleury An American Ambulance Drivers Diary. Packing Up? September 10 1916 Well, we go "en repos" to-morrow. To-day we are loafing and packing up. Oddly enough , this is the date of the end of my enlistment in the Field Service. I'm already a month over my enlistment with the Ambulance, but I think I'll hang on a little longer. We tried hard to get transferred to still another Division, and to hold on to the Front Service and our bully cantonment, --- the best the Section ever had; but as we have been on the Souville job longer than any Section has been since the beginning of the attack on Verdun last February, they told us we must take a rest. Also we must go back to the Thirty-second Division again, which has been re-formed (it lost some fifty per cent of its strength in four days), and is now at Thiaucourt. They were all extremely sorry to see us go, and we have heard nothing but pretty speeches from both officers and men. Source: http://net.lib.byu.edu/estu/wwi/memoir/Stevenson/flivpix.html

A mix of infantrymen and MG 08 crew preparing to "go over the top" Postcard Divided reverse. No correspondence. Drakegoodman Suggests we're seeing a mix of infantrymen and MG 08 crew preparing to "go over the top", but the casual atmosphere in the trench suggests that they're simply posing for the photographer. The MG 08 required a crew of six: Gewehrführer: Senior man in charge of the gun/crew. Usually an NCO, he nominated targets and oversaw the operation of the weapon in the field. Schütze 1: Carries ammunition and is responsible for the steam hose. In combat he would lie behind the Gewehrführer and gunner (Richtschütze). Schütze 2: Richtschütze. Carries and fires the weapon. Schütze 3: Assists the gunner loading and keeping the weapon firing. Assists carrying the sled mount. Schütze 4: Observer, carried ammunition and the sled mount. Schütze 5: Carried water, ammunition and the MG shield. Also an assistant to the Gewehrführer. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/drakegoodman/29456613766/in/datetaken/

French Army on the Western Front. Modelling Septembers Latest Fashion... Troops of the French 13th Artillery Regiment displaying uniforms and equipment of a lead driver and a gunner without greatcoats. Vincennes, 7 September 1916. Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205284171

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A Short Guide To Medical Services During The First World War Image of a watercolour The Interior of a Hospital Tent, 1918, by John Singer Sargent. The hospitals set up immediately behind the lines were often housed in tents during the First World War, including wards and operating theatres. This was particularly true of Casualty Clearing Stations, with base hospitals further away from the fighting sometimes making use of existing or more permanent buildings. ART 1611 Medical care throughout the First World War was largely the responsibility of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). The RAMC’s job was both to maintain the health and fighting strength of the forces in the field and ensure that in the event of sickness or wounding they were treated and evacuated as quickly as possible. Every battalion had a medical officer, assisted by at least 16 stretcher-bearers. The medical officer was tasked with establishing a Regimental Aid Post near the front line. From here, the wounded were evacuated and cared for by men of a Field Ambulance in an Advanced Dressing Station. A casualty then travelled by motor or horse ambulance to a Casualty Clearing Station. These were basic hospitals and were the closest point to the front where female nurses were allowed to serve. Patients were usually transferred to a stationary or general hospital at a base for further treatment. A network of ambulance trains and hospital barges provided transport between these facilities, while hospital ships carried casualties evacuated back home to ‘Blighty’. As well as battle injuries inflicted by shells and bullets, the First World War saw the first use of poison gas. It also saw the first recognition of psychological trauma, initially known as ‘shell shock’. In terms of physical injury, the heavily manured soil of the Western Front encouraged the growth of tetanus and gas gangrene, causing medical complications. Disease also flourished in unhygienic conditions, and the influenza epidemic of 1918 claimed many lives.

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