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Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

  1. #2551


    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Thanks Chris,

    Yes indeed. Both of my grandfathers were gassed in this way. Both survived, one with no apparent lasting effects, the other never quite got full health back
    One of the least savoury elements of the Great War and unfortunately a legacy we still see today in places like Syria.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  2. #2552


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    11th July 1917

    The 3rd Battle of Ypres - Passchendaele

    On the day the British started their preliminary artillery bombardment we will start to look at the background to and preparation of one of the most (in) famous battles of the entire war, the 3rd Battle of Ypres or as it is better known Passchendale.

    The Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres, Flandernschlacht and Deuxième Bataille des Flandres) was a campaign of the First World War, fought by the Allies against the German Empire. The battle took place on the Western Front, from July to November 1917, for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders, as part of a strategy decided by the Allies at conferences in November 1916 and May 1917. Passchendaele lay on the last ridge east of Ypres, 5 miles (8.0 km) from a railway junction at Roulers, which was vital to the supply system of the German 4th Army. The next stage of the Allied plan was an advance to Thourout–Couckelaere, to close the German-controlled railway running through Roulers and Thourout. Further operations and a British supporting attack along the Belgian coast from Nieuwpoort, combined with Operation Hush (an amphibious landing), were to have reached Bruges and then the Dutch frontier. The resistance of the 4th Army, unusually wet weather, the onset of winter and the diversion of British and French resources to Italy, following the Austro-German victory at the Battle of Caporetto (24 October – 19 November), enabled the Germans to avoid a general withdrawal, which had seemed inevitable in early October. The campaign ended in November, when the Canadian Corps captured Passchendaele, apart from local attacks in December and the new year. In 1918, the Battle of the Lys and the Fifth Battle of Ypres were fought before the Allies occupied the Belgian coast and reached the Dutch frontier.

    A campaign in Flanders was controversial in 1917 and has remained so. The British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, opposed the offensive, as did General Ferdinand Foch the French Chief of the General Staff. Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, commanding the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), did not receive approval for the Flanders operation from the War Cabinet until 25 July. Matters of dispute by the participants, writers and historians since the war, have included the wisdom of pursuing an offensive strategy in the wake of the Nivelle Offensive, rather than waiting for the arrival of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in France. The choice of Flanders over areas further south or the Italian front, the climate and weather in Flanders, the choice of General Hubert Gough and the Fifth Army to conduct the offensive, debates over the nature of the opening attack and between advocates of shallow and deeper objectives, have also been controversial. The passage of time between the Battle of Messines (7–14 June) and the Battle of Pilckem Ridge (31 July, the opening move of the Third Battle of Ypres), the extent to which the internal troubles of the French armies motivated British persistence with the offensive, the effect of the weather, the decision to continue the offensive in October and the human cost of the campaign on the soldiers of the German and British armies, have also been argued over ever since.

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    Background to the Battle

    Belgian independence had been recognised in the Treaty of London (1839) which created a sovereign and neutral state. The German invasion of Belgium on 4 August 1914, in violation of Article VII of the treaty, was the reason given by the British government for declaring war on Germany. British military operations in Belgium began with the arrival of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) at Mons on 22 August. Operations in Flanders began after reciprocal attempts by the French and German armies to turn their opponents' northern flank through Picardy, Artois and Flanders, known as the Race to the Sea, reached Ypres. On 10 October, Lieutenant-General Erich von Falkenhayn, the Chief of the German General Staff, ordered an attack towards Dunkirk and Calais, followed by a turn south to gain a decisive victory.On 16 October, the Belgians and some French reinforcements began the defence of western Belgium and the French Channel ports at the Battle of the Yser. When the offensive failed, Falkenhayn ordered the capture of Ypres to gain a local advantage. By 18 November, the First Battle of Ypres ended in failure, at a cost of 160,000 German casualties. In December 1914, the British Admiralty began discussions with the War Office, for a combined operation to re-occupy the Belgian coast but eventually the British were obliged to participate in French offensives further south.

    Large British offensive operations in Flanders were not possible in 1915, due to the consequent lack of resources.[8] The Germans conducted their own Flanders offensive at the Second Battle of Ypres (22 April – 15 May 1915), making the Ypres salient more costly to defend. Sir Douglas Haig succeeded Sir John French as Commander-in-Chief of the BEF on 19 December 1915. A week after his appointment, Haig met Vice-Admiral Sir Reginald Bacon, who emphasised the importance of obtaining control of the Belgian coast, to end the threat posed by German U-boats. Haig was sceptical of a coastal operation, believing that a landing from the sea would be far more difficult than anticipated and that an advance along the coast would require so much preparation, that the Germans would have ample warning. Haig preferred an advance from Ypres, to bypass the flooded area around the Yser and the coast, before a coastal attack (Operation Hush) was attempted, to clear the coast to the Dutch border.

    Minor operations took place in the Ypres salient in 1916, some being German initiatives to distract the Allies from the preparations for the offensive at Verdun and later attempts to divert Allied resources from the Battle of the Somme. Other operations were begun by the British to regain territory or to evict the Germans from ground overlooking their positions. Engagements took place on 12 February at Boesinghe and on 14 February at Hooge and Sanctuary Wood. There were actions from 14–15 February and 1–4 March at The Bluff, 27 March – 16 April at the St. Eloi Craters and the Battle of Mont Sorrel from 2–13 June. In January 1917, the Second Army (II Anzac, IX, X and VIII corps) held the line in Flanders from Laventie to Boesinghe with eleven divisions and up to two in reserve. There was much trench mortaring, mining and raiding by both sides and from January to May, the Second Army had 20,000 casualties. In May, reinforcements began moving to Flanders from the south; the II Corps headquarters and 17 divisions had arrived by the end of the month. In January 1916, General Herbert Plumer, the Second Army commander, began to plan offensives against Messines Ridge, Lille and Houthulst Forest.General Henry Rawlinson was also ordered to plan an attack from the Ypres Salient on 4 February; planning continued but the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme took up the rest of the year. At meetings in November 1916, Haig, the French commander-in-chief Joseph Joffre and the other Allies met at Chantilly. The commanders agreed on a strategy of simultaneous attacks to overwhelm the Central Powers on the Western, Eastern and Italian fronts, by the first fortnight of February 1917. A meeting in London of the Admiralty and the General Staff urged that the Flanders operation be undertaken in 1917 and Joffre replied on 8 December, agreeing to a Flanders campaign after the spring offensive.The plan for a year of attrition offensives on the Western Front, with the main effort to be made in the summer by the BEF, was scrapped by the new French Commander-in-Chief Robert Nivelle.

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    Strategic Background

    Nivelle planned an operation in three parts, with preliminary offensives to pin German reserves by the British at Arras and the French between the Somme and the Oise, then a French breakthrough offensive on the Aisne, followed by pursuit and exploitation. The plan was welcomed by Haig with reservations, which he addressed on 6 January. Nivelle agreed to a proviso that if the first two parts of the operation failed to lead to a breakthrough, they would be stopped so that the British could move their main forces north for the Flanders offensive, which Haig argued was of great importance to the British government.Haig wrote on 23 January that it would take six weeks to move British troops and equipment from the Arras front to Flanders and on 14 March he noted that the attack on Messines Ridge could be made in May. On 21 March, he wrote to Nivelle that it would take two months to prepare the attacks from Messines to Steenstraat but that the Messines attack could be ready in 5–6 weeks. On 16 May, Haig wrote that he had divided the Flanders operation into two phases, one to take Messines Ridge and the main attack several weeks later. British determination to clear the Belgian coast took on more urgency after the Germans resumed unrestricted submarine warfare on 1 February 1917. On 1 May 1917, Haig wrote that the Nivelle Offensive had weakened the German army but that an attempt at a decisive blow would be premature.An offensive at Ypres would continue the wearing-out process, on a front where the Germans could not refuse to fight. Even a partial success would improve the tactical situation in the Ypres salient, reducing the exceptional "wastage" which occurred even in quiet periods.In early May, Haig set the timetable for the Flanders offensive, with 7 June the date for the preliminary attack on Messines Ridge.

    Ypres is overlooked by Kemmel Hill in the south-west and from the east by a line of low hills running south-west to north-east. Wytschaete (Wijtschate) and Hill 60 are to the east of Verbrandenmolen, Hooge, Polygon Wood and Passchendaele (Passendale). The high point of the ridge is at Wytschaete, 7,000 yd (6,400 m) from Ypres, while at Hollebeke the ridge is 4,000 yd (3,700 m) distant and recedes to 7,000 yd (6,400 m) at Polygon Wood. Wytschaete is about 150 ft (46 m) above the plain; on the Ypres–Menin road at Hooge, the elevation is about 100 ft (30 m) and 70 ft (21 m) at Passchendaele. The rises are slight apart from the vicinity of Zonnebeke which has a 1:33 gradient. From Hooge and to the east, the slope is 1:60 and near Hollebeke, it is 1:75; the heights are subtle and resemble a saucer lip around the city. The main ridge has spurs sloping east and one is particularly noticeable at Wytschaete, which runs 2 mi (3.2 km) south-east to Messines (Mesen) with a gentle slope to the east and a 1:10 decline to the west. Further south is the muddy valley of the Douve river, Ploegsteert Wood (Plugstreet to the British) and Hill 63. West of Messines Ridge is the parallel Wulverghem (Spanbroekmolen) Spur and the Oosttaverne Spur, also parallel, lies further east. The general aspect south and east of Ypres is one of low ridges and dips, gradually flattening northwards beyond Passchendaele into a featureless plain.

    Possession of the higher ground to the south and east of Ypres gives ample scope for ground observation, enfilade fire and converging artillery bombardments. An occupier also has the advantage that artillery deployments and the movement of reinforcements, supplies and stores can be screened from view. The ridge had woods from Wytschaete to Zonnebeke giving good cover, some being of notable size like Polygon Wood and those later named Battle Wood, Shrewsbury Forest and Sanctuary Wood. In 1914, the woods usually had undergrowth but by 1917, artillery bombardments had reduced the woods to tree stumps, shattered tree trunks and barbed wire tangled on the ground and shell-holes; the fields in gaps between the woods were 800–1,000 yd (730–910 m) wide and devoid of cover. Roads in this area were usually unpaved, except for the main ones from Ypres, with occasional villages and houses. The lowland west of the ridge was a mixture of meadow and fields, with high hedgerows dotted with trees, cut by streams and ditches emptying into canals. The main road to Ypres from Poperinge to Vlamertinge is in a defile, easily observed from the ridge.

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    More tomorrow...

    On this day 577 British lives were lost

    No. 7 Squadron (Royal Naval Air Service) drops bombs on enemy railway lines and ammunition dumps.

    An abortive attack on the town of Ramadi, Mesopotamia is made but the British forces are driven off and retreated to Dhibban at a cost of 566 casualties.

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Lieutenant Commander Albert Charles Henderson Duke (HMS Vanguard, Royal Navy) dies of injuries received when his ship exploded two days ago His brother was killed in action one year and one day earlier on the Somme.
    Second Lieutenant Ion Mordaunt Tatham (Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at home at age 19. He is the son of Charles Tatham JP.
    Company Quartermaster Sergeant Laurie Stonecliffe Whitney (Huntingdonshire Cyclists) dies at home at age 24. His brother was killed in September 1916.
    Quarter Master Sergeant George Frederick Stevens (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 33. His son will be killed serving in the Royal Air Force in the first month of the Second World War.
    Private the Reverend John Badenoch (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies of heat stroke in Mesopotamia at age 40.
    Private Albert Edward Stuart (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed at age 19 in Mesopotamia. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the Great War


    2nd Lt. Cathie, A.J. (Archibald James) 38 Training Squadron
    2nd Lt. Knowlson williams, H.W. (Henry William) 38 Training Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Tatham, I.M. (Ion Mordaunt) 16 Training Squadron RFC
    Capt. Van Goethem, H.E. (Henry Edward) RFC
    2nd Lt. Venn, B.J. (Bertram Joseph) RFC
    2nd. Lt. Williams, H.W.K. (Henry William Knowlson) 38 Training Squadron RFC

    The folowing aerial victory claims were made on this day...

    Arthur Coningham Australia #2
    William Alexander Canada #6
    Raymond Collishaw Canada #32

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    John Andrews England #12
    Eric Broadberry England #8
    Douglas Cunnell England #9
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #9 #10
    Frank Hudson England #6
    Reginald Soar England #9
    St. Cyprian Tayler England #2
    Walter Blume Germany #3
    Heinrich Bongartz Germany #10
    Julius Buckler Germany #8

    Otto Creutzmann Germany #1

    Flying for Jasta 20 he shot down a DH.4 over the Western Front

    Hans Klein Germany #15 #16
    Eberhard Mohnicke Germany #3
    Theodor Osterkamp Germany #4
    Richard Runge Germany #3
    Adolf von Tutschek Germany #12 #13
    Kurt Wüsthoff Germany #3
    William Molesworth Ireland #4
    Cosimo Rizzotto Italy #3
    Donat Makeenok Russia #7
    Vasili Yanchenko Russia #10
    James Fitz Morris Scotland #2

    Other news...

    Western Front

    Great aerial activity on British front.

    Eastern Front

    Capture of Kalusz (western Stanislau, Galicia) by Russians.

    Southern Front

    Statistics of health of British army at Salonika published.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    British column from Feluja (Euphrates) engages Turkish force up the river and inflicts considerable loss.

    Despatch on operations in Mesopotamia published.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    Report of British operations in East Africa published.

    Conflicting reports show the loss of the German Submarine SMU-69

    SM U-69 was a Type U 66 submarine or U-boat for the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during the First World War. She had been laid down in February 1914 as U-10 the fourth boat of the U-7 class for the Austro-Hungarian Navy (German: Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine or K.u.K. Kriegsmarine) but was sold to Germany, along with the others in her class, in November 1914.

    The submarine was ordered as U-10 from Germaniawerft of Kiel as the first of five boats of the U-7 class for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. After the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Navy became convinced that none of the submarines of the class could be delivered to the Adriatic via Gibraltar. As a consequence, the entire class, including U-10, was sold to the German Imperial Navy in November 1914. Under German control, the class became known as the U 66 type and the boats were renumbered; U-10 became U-69, and all were redesigned and reconstructed to German specifications. U-69 was launched in June 1915 and commissioned in September. As completed, she displaced 791 tonnes (779 long tons), surfaced, and 933 tonnes (918 long tons), submerged. The boat was 69.50 metres (228 ft) long and was armed with five torpedo tubes and a deck gun.

    As a part of the 4th Flotilla, U-69 sank 31 ships with a combined gross register tonnage of 102,875 in five war patrols. U-69 left Emden on her sixth patrol on 9 July 1917 for operations off Ireland. On 11 July, U-69 reported her position off Norway but neither she nor any of her crew were ever heard from again. British records say that U-69 was sunk by destroyer HMS Patriot on 12 July, but a German postwar study cast doubt on this. U-69's fate is officially unknown.

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    Political, etc.

    Announcement of judicial enquiry into the conduct of all persons affected by Mesopotamia Reported.

    Prussian Reform: Kaiser promises an equal franchise in the next elections to the Prussian Diet.

    Sinn Fein candidate defeats Nationalist in East Clare election.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 07-12-2017 at 13:51.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  3. #2553


    Thanks Chris, but your pictures are showing only as "Attachment" codes.

  4. #2554


    Yes I am getting the same.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  5. #2555


    Bloody hell they were definitely there when I posted them last night, I will add them in again now

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  6. #2556


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    12th July 1917

    Prelude to Passchendaele part two...

    The German Defences:

    The 4th Army held a front of 25 miles (40 km) with three Gruppen, composed of a corps headquarters and a varying complement of divisions; Group Staden, based on the headquarters of the Guards Reserve Corps was added later. Group Dixmude held 12 miles (19 km) with four front divisions and two Eingreif divisions, Group Ypres held 6 miles (9.7 km) from Pilckem to Menin Road with three front divisions and two Eingreif divisions and Group Wijtschate held a similar length of front south of the Menin road, with three front divisions and three Eingreif divisions. The Eingreif divisions were stationed behind the Menin and Passchendaele ridges. About 5 miles (8.0 km) further back, were four more Eingreif divisions and 7 miles (11 km) beyond them, another two in Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL) reserve.[38]

    The Germans were anxious that the British would attempt to exploit the victory of the Battle of Messines, with an advance to the Tower Hamlets spur beyond the north end of Messines Ridge. On 9 June, Crown Prince Rupprecht proposed a withdrawal to the Flandern line east of Messines. Construction of defences began but was terminated after Fritz von Loßberg was appointed Chief of Staff of the 4th Army.[39] Loßberg rejected the proposed withdrawal to the Flandern line and ordered that the front line east of the Oosttaverne line be held rigidly. The Flandern Stellung (Flanders Position) along Passchendaele Ridge, in front of the Flandern line, would become Flandern I Stellung and a new position, Flandern II Stellung, would run west of Menin, northwards to Passchendaele. Construction of a Flandern III Stellung east of Menin northwards to Moorslede was also begun. From July 1917, the area east of Ypres was defended by the front position, the Albrecht Stellung (second position), Wilhelm Stellung (third position), Flandern I Stellung (fourth position), Flandern II Stellung (fifth position) and Flandern III Stellung, the sixth position (incomplete); between the German defences lay villages such as Zonnebeke and Passchendaele which were fortified and prepared for all-round defence.[40]

    On 25 June, Erich Ludendorff, the First Quartermaster General, suggested to Crown Prince Rupprecht that Group Ypres should withdraw to the Wilhelm Stellung, leaving only outposts in the Albrecht Stellung. On 30 June, the army group Chief of Staff, General von Kuhl, suggested a withdrawal to the Flandern I Stellung along Passchendaele ridge, meeting the old front line in the north near Langemarck and Armentières in the south. Such a withdrawal would avoid a hasty retreat from Pilckem Ridge and force the British into a time-consuming redeployment. Lossberg disagreed, believing that the British would launch a broad front offensive, that the ground east of the Sehnen line was easy to defend and that the Menin road ridge could be held if it was made the Schwerpunkt (point of main effort) of the German defensive system. Pilckem Ridge deprived the British of ground observation over the Steenbeek Valley, while the Germans could see the area from Passchendaele Ridge, allowing German infantry to be supported by observed artillery fire. Lossberg's judgement was accepted and no withdrawal was made.

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    Messines Ridge (see previous posts)

    The first stage in the British plan was a preparatory attack on the German positions south of Ypres at Messines Ridge. The German positions had observation over Ypres and unless captured, would enable observed enfilade artillery-fire against a British attack eastwards from the salient. Since mid-1915, the British had been covertly digging mines under the German positions on the ridge. By June 1917, 21 mines had been filled with nearly 1,000,000 long tons (1,000,000 t) of explosives. The Germans knew the British were mining and had taken some counter-measures but they were taken by surprise at the extent of the British effort. Two of the mines failed to detonate but 19 went off on 7 June, at 3:10 a.m. British Summer Time. The final objectives were largely gained before dark and the British had fewer losses than expected, the plan having provided for up to 50 percent in the initial attack. As the infantry advanced over the far edge of the ridge, German artillery and machine-guns east of the ridge began to fire and the British artillery was less able to suppress them.Fighting continued on the lower slopes on the east side of the ridge until 14 June. The offensive removed the Germans from the dominating ground on the southern face of the Ypres salient, which the 4th Army had held since the First Battle of Ypres (19 October – 22 November 1914)

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    British 18 Pounder battery - July 1917

    Kerensky offensive

    The Russian army launched the Kerensky Offensive to honour the agreement struck with its allies, at the Chantilly meeting of 15–16 November 1916. After a brief period of success from 1–19 July, the German strategic reserve of six divisions, captured Riga from 1–5 September 1917. In Operation Albion (September–October 1917), the Germans took the islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Riga and the British and French commanders on the Western Front, had to reckon on the German western army (Westheer) being strengthened by reinforcements from the Eastern Front, in late 1917. Haig wished to exploit the diversion of German forces in Russia for as long as it continued and urged that the maximum amount of manpower and munitions be committed to the battle in Flanders.

    More to come later in the month...

    The First Mustard Gas Bombardment, 12-13 July 1917

    The new shells were marked with a yellow cross to indicate their persistency. The first bombardments which the Germans carried out at Ypres were clearly intended to forestall the British offensive. From the start, mustard was a defensive agent, used to poison areas of ground over which the Germans had no intention of attacking over in the foreseeable future. Some 50,000 shells containing 125 tonnes of mustard were used on this first night. The bombardment, with 77mm and 105mm shells, was in three phases apparently reflecting the way that non-persistent gas clouds were created and topped up using shells: starting at 10.10pm for twenty minutes, it resumed at 1230, again for twenty minutes, followed by a third phase at 1.55am for twenty-five minutes.

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    On detonation the shells, bursting with a dull plop, sprayed the liquid in a seven metre radius in the case of the 77mm and about 10 metres in the case of the 105mm. Contact with either the liquid or the vapour, which evaporated in sunlight, caused injury. However, the lack of any immediate symptoms meant that troops did not keep their masks on and did not appreciate the danger of being present in the vicinity of the shells. At first those in the bombardment suffered only slight irritation of the nose which caused some sneezing (perhaps the result of Blue Cross shells). However, in an hour or two they suffered painful inflammation of the eyes, vomiting, followed by reddening of the skin and blistering. Large numbers of casualties began to report to medical units. The first were admitted to Numbers 47 and 61 Casualty Clearing Stations at Dozinghem (near Poperinge) and Numbers 46 and 64 at Mendinghem (near Proven) and on 13-14 July a total of 2,143 were admitted to these four units. By the time they reached the Casualty Clearing Station the conjunctivitis had developed so rapidly that they were virtually blind and had to be led in files, each man holding on to the man in front, guided by an orderly or lightly wounded man. In the first few hours the symptoms were in strong contrast to those usually found in gas cases, with only one or two casualties suffering from symptoms of acute pulmonary oedema (again this was possibly caused by Green Cross shells mixed with the new shells). The majority suffered little distress to their breathing, although some exhibited a husky voice and a hard cough. After a few more hours symptoms of laryngitis, tracheitis and bronchitis became more definite in a large number of the cases and some developed grave or fatal broncho-pneumonia

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    Men developed blisters on their buttocks, genitals and armpits. Within two days many were suffering from bronchitis and some had died from inflammation of the lungs. By the sixth day the conjunctivitis which caused the blindness had disappeared but the breathing difficulties were still severe and the blistering had been replaced by skin rashes.

    Of the 2,143 cases admitted to the four Casualty Clearing Stations, a comparatively small number, 95, or 4.4%, died. German unit histories report that the British guns were all but silenced for up to two days.

    493 British lives were lsot on this day

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Major Addrian Drew
    (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 26. He is the grandson of the Reverend George Smith Drew.
    Major Reginald Carlyon Tweedy (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies on service at Newquay. He is a general practitioner at Kenilworth and his son was killed in action last September.
    Captain Donald Charles Cunnell (Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 23. He is a nine victory ace who is known for shooting down and wounding Baron Manfred von Richtofen on the 6th of this month.

    After being commissioned in the Hampshire Regiment, Donald Charles Cunnell transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in late 1915. As a flight commander with 20 Squadron in 1917, he scored 9 victories flying the F.E.2d. Near Wervicq on 6 July 1917, Cunnell and his observer fought Jasta 11 and claimed four Albatros D.Vs out of control. A fifth Albatros, flown by Manfred von Richthofen, was also hit but not claimed. Killed in action on 12 July 1917, Cunnell's observer flew the F.E.2d back to base.

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    Lieutenant Alexander Guthrie (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 23. His brother was killed in the previous July and they are sons of the Reverend W G Guthrie.
    Second Lieutenant Norman Otto Frederick Gunther MC (East Kent Yeomanry attached East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
    Second Lieutenant Montagu Frank Peyton (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 19. His older brother will be killed in a little over one year.
    Flight Sub Lieutenant Sidney Emerson Ellis (Royal Naval Air Service) is killed in a flying accident while serving on the Western Front at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend John D Ellis and is a 5-victory ace.
    Private William MacLeod (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed. His brother was killed in May 1915.
    Private James Towers (Border Regiment) is killed at age 30. His brother was killed last November.

    15 airmen were lost on this day

    Lt. Binkley, B.W. (Basil Ward) 53 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Bishop, F.E. (Frank Ernest) 57 Squadron RFC
    Sergeant Carr, J.F. (John Frasier) 11 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Cruickshank, K.G. (Kenneth George) 32 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Cunnell, D.C. (Donald Charles) 20 Squadron RFC
    2nd. Lt. Ellis, G.S. (Guy Stuart) 57 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. Ellis, S.E. (Sidney Emerson) 4(N) Squadron RNAS
    2nd Lt. J.W. (James Wellington) 29 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Hall, H.F. (Harold Francis) 52 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. Kendall, E.H. (Edward Hext) 6 (N) Squadron RNAS
    Air Mech 1 McNicoll, A. (Arthur) RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. Morrison, R.B. (Ronald Becket) RNAS
    Flt. Sub Lt. Pegler, C.R. (Charles Richard) 10 (N) Squadron RNAS
    Cadet Teasdall, R.C. (Robert C.) RFC
    2nd Lt. Whytehead, H.H. (Hugh Holtom) 29 Squadron RFC

    There was the following (very long) list of aerial victories on this day...


    Sidney Ellis Canada

    The son of Reverend and Mrs. John D. Ellis, Sidney Emerson Ellis joined the Royal Naval Air Service in August 1916. Posted to 4 Naval Squadron, he scored his first two victories in the spring of 1917 flying the Sopwith Pup. In July 1917, Ellis scored three more victories flying the Sopwith Camel. He was one of the first two pilots to score a victory with this aircraft, shooting down a Gotha bomber northwest of Ostende on the morning of 4 July 1917. Five days later, he was killed when his Camel went into a spin and crashed. Listed in some sources as Sydney Emerson Ellis.

    Douglas Cunnell England (See above)


    Arthur Coningham Australia #3
    Robert Little Australia #29
    Richard Minifie Australia #6
    William Bishop Canada #33
    Raymond Collishaw Canada #33
    Reginald Hoidge Canada #11 #12
    Ellis Reid Canada #11 #12

    William Rogers Canada #1

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    The son of Frederick and Florence Rogers, William Wendell Rogers joined the Royal Flying Corps in December 1916. Posted to 1 Squadron on 18 May 1917, he scored nine victories flying Nieuport scouts. Scoring his seventh victory on the afternoon of 12 December 1917, he shot down a Gotha bomber north of Frelinghien

    Geoffrey Bowman England #9

    John Firth MC England #1

    T./Lt. (T./Capt.) John Charles Bradley Firth, Gen. List and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has on various occasions, during a period of two months, completely destroyed two enemy planes and shot down out of control seven others. The latter, by reason of the manner in which they were observed to go to earth, were probably all rendered useless for further service. He has set a very fine example as a patrol leader, and has displayed much skill and courage.

    Kenneth Lloyd Gopsill England #5
    Roger Bolton Hay England #5

    Thomas Vicars Hunter England #1

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    Thomas Vicars Hunter attended Eton and Sandhurst before joining the Rifle Brigade. He lost a leg in France when he was badly wounded in January 1915. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 4516 on 18 April 1917. Posted to 66 Squadron, he scored five victories before he was killed in a flying accident.

    John Milne England #3
    Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids England #9 #10
    St. Cyprian Tayler England #3
    Richard Trevethan England #5

    Gustave Naudin France #1

    "Pilot who through his spirit, ability, courage and contempt for danger, won everyone's admiration. On 12 July 1917, he resolutely attacked a group of three enemy aircraft which were flying over their lines and downed one of them. Taking off a second time the same day, to carry out aircraft spotting, he was wounded by shrapnel but he completed his mission in spite of a violent bombardment. Already cited in orders." Médaille Militaire citation, 13 August 1917

    Hans von Adam Germany #4
    Friedrich Altemeier Germany #3

    Paul Bäumer Germany #1

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    A dental assistant before the war, "The Iron Eagle" (Der Eiserne Adler) had his pilot's license when he entered the army. Bäumer served in an infantry regiment before his transfer to the German Air Service. He was injured in a crash at Vivaise airfield on 29 May 1918. Bäumer was one of only five recipients to be awarded both the Blue Max and the Golden Military Merit Cross. After the war, he became a dentist and continued flying. He was killed while performing an aerobatic display.

    Interestingly Paul Baumer is also the name of the main character in the seminal WW1 Novel "All quiet on the Western front"

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    Heinrich Bongartz Germany #11
    Eduard von Dostler Germany #15 #16

    Siegfried Gussmann Germany #1

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    Wolfgang Güttler Germany #3
    Ludwig Hanstein Germany #5
    Ernst Hess Germany u/c
    Kurt Küppers Germany #4
    Theodor Osterkamp Germany #5
    Eduard von Schleich Germany #5
    Adolf von Tutschek Germany #14
    John Cowell Ireland #9 #10
    Tom Hazell Ireland #10 #11
    Ian Henderson Scotland #4

    William MacLanachan Scotland #1

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    Assigned to 40 Squadron in 1917, William MacLanachan often flew with his friend Edward Mannock. After the war, he became a journalist and often used the pen name "McScotch." He received no medals or decorations during the war.

    Archibald Miller Scotland #5 #6
    Arthur Jones-Williams Wales #6
    Richard Maybery Wales #2

    Elsewhere in the war...

    Meanwhile back with Capt. Tunstill's men: It was a very hot day... Shortly after 2.30pm the Battalion marched to Godawaersvelde Station and thence by train at 4.30pm to Ouderdom, arriving at 5.40pm, before marching back to Micmac Camp, between ****ebusch and Ouderdom.

    Western Front

    British air raid into Belgium.

    Eastern Front

    Russian progress towards Dolina (Galicia).

    General Kornilov crosses the Lomnica river.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    Announced that Turks have been routed by King of Hejaz in northern Arabia, 700 killed, 600 prisoners.

    Political, etc.

    Mesopotamia Debate: Mr. A. Chamberlain, Secretary of State for India, resigns.

    Chinese Republicans enter Pekin; Tuan Chi Jui, P.M.; Fen Kwo Chang, President.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 07-12-2017 at 14:50.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  7. #2557


    Thanks Chris.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  8. #2558


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    13th July 1917

    I know the golden rules of such threads are no religion or politics however today is the 100th anniversary of an event profound in the Catholic church and it would be remiss of this publication not to mention it here today.

    The Three Secrets of Fátima consist of a series of apocalyptic visions and prophecies which were given to three young Portuguese shepherds, Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, by a Marian apparition, starting on May 13, 1917. The three children were visited by the Virgin Mary six times between May and October 1917. The apparition is now popularly known as Our Lady of Fátima.

    According to Lucia, on July 13, 1917, around noon, the Virgin Mary entrusted the children with three secrets. Two of the secrets were revealed in 1941 in a document written by Lúcia, at the request of José Alves Correia da Silva, Bishop of Leiria, to assist with the publication of a new edition of a book on Jacinta.[1] When asked by the Bishop in 1943 to reveal the third secret, Lúcia struggled for a short period, being "not yet convinced that God had clearly authorized her to act." However, in October 1943 the Bishop ordered her to put it in writing. Lúcia then wrote the secret down and sealed it in an envelope not to be opened until 1960, when "it will appear clearer."The text of the third secret was officially released by Pope John Paul II in 2000, although some claim that it was not the entire secret revealed by Lúcia, despite repeated assertions from the Vatican to the contrary.

    According to various Catholic interpretations, the three secrets involve Hell, World War I and World War II, and 20th century persecutions of Christians

    The Third Secret

    Sister Lúcia chose not to disclose the third secret in her memoir of August 1941. In 1943, Lúcia fell seriously ill with influenza and pleurisy. Bishop Silva, visiting her on 15 September 1943, suggested that she write the third secret down to ensure that it would be recorded in the event of her death. Lúcia was hesitant to do so, however. At the time she received the secret, she had heard Mary say not to reveal it, but because Carmelite obedience requires that orders from superiors be regarded as coming directly from God, she was in a quandary as to whose orders took precedence. Finally, in mid-October, Bishop Silva sent her a letter containing a direct order to record the secret, and Lúcia obeyed.

    The third part of the secret was written down "by order of His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and the Most Holy Mother" on January 3, 1944. In June 1944, the sealed envelope containing the third secret was delivered to Silva, where it stayed until 1957, when it was finally delivered to Rome. It was announced by Cardinal Angelo Sodano on May 13, 2000, 83 years after the first apparition of the Lady to the children in the Cova da Iria, that the Third Secret would finally be released. In his announcement, Cardinal Sodano implied that the secret was about the 20th century persecution of Christians that culminated in the failed Pope John Paul II assassination attempt on May 13, 1981, the 64th anniversary of the first apparition of the Lady at Fátima.

    The text of the Third Secret, according to the Vatican, was published on June 26, 2000:

    The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fátima, on 13 July 1917.
    I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
    After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

    The War in the Air

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    Lieutenant Archibald William Buchanan Miller (King’s Own Scottish Borderers attached Royal Flying Corps) a 6-victory ace is killed in action in a combat over Gheluvelt at age 21. He is the grandnephew of the late General ‘Sir’ Archibald Galloway. He had two victory claims the previous night over Zonnebeke and his brother was killed in April 1915 at the Dardanelles. The son of Rev. Thomas Duncan Miller, M.A., and Margaret Julia (Grant) Miller of Inveraven, Bridgen, Perth, Archibald William Buchanan Miller served with the 1st Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers before joining the Royal Flying Corps. He was killed in action when his Nieuport Scout was shot down by Hans von Adam of Jasta 6. Listed in the 1901 Scotland Census; 1901 residence was Kirkurd, Peeblesshire.

    Todays Claims

    Phillip Johnston Australia #4 #5
    Robert Little Australia #30 #31
    Josef Kiss Austro-Hungarian Empire #6
    Douglas McGregor Canada #5
    Andrew McKeever Canada #7 #8
    Anthony Spence Canada #2
    Leonard Barlow England #4
    Reginald Charley England #2

    Robert Coath England #1 48 Squadron RFC

    The son of David Decimus Coath, Robert David Coath served with the Scottish Horse Yeomanry and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 1914. After he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, he scored eight victories flying the Bristol Fighter before he was wounded in action on 23 November 1917. Post-war, Coath traveled to Canada and the United States, working as a flying instructor for Bill Purcell at Curtiss field, New York in 1929. He returned to England in 1932 and served with Royal Air Force during World War II.

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    upgunned verion of course

    Geoffrey Cock England #12
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #11
    Gilbert Ware Murlis Green England #8
    Valentine Reed England #4
    Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids England #11
    Herbert Rowley England #2
    William Douglas Stock Sanday England #5
    Owen John Frederick Scholte England #5
    Reginald Soar England #10
    Frederick Sowrey England #3
    Maurice Boyau France #6
    Hans von Adam Germany #5
    Paul Bäumer Germany #2
    Julius Buckler Germany #9
    Karl Deilmann Germany #5
    Eduard von Dostler Germany #17 #18
    Heinrich Geigl Germany #2
    Ernst Hess Germany #3
    Fritz Krebs Germany #7 #8
    Eduard von Schleich Germany #6
    Emil Thuy Germany #4
    Adolf von Tutschek Germany #15
    Michele Allasia Italy u/c
    Forster Maynard New Zealand #3

    William Jordan DSC South Africa #1

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    An air mechanic in the Royal Naval Air Service, William Lancelot Jordan flew as an observer before receiving pilot training in 1917. Flying the Sopwith Camel, he scored 39 victories before being rested in 1918. On 5 September 1919, Captain Jordan received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 7784. He was killed in an automobile accident in late 1931.

    Flt. Sub-Lieut. William Lancelot Jordan, R.N.A.S.
    In recognition of the courage and initiative displayed by him in aerial combats.
    On the 13th July, 1917, in company with another pilot, he attacked an enemy two-seater machine. After bursts of fire from both of our machines, the enemy observer was seen to collapse in the cock-pit, and the enemy aircraft was last seen disappearing among some houses. On the 6th December, 1917, whilst patrolling at 15,000 feet, he saw a two-seater enemy aircraft at 10,500 feet, aud dived on him, firing about thirty rounds. After falling over to the left, enemy aircraft went down vertically. He has also been instrumental in bringing down other enemy machines.

    Ian Henderson Scotland #5
    Alexander Merchant Scotland #7
    Clive Wilson Warman USA #

    Eight airmen were killed on this day

    2nd Lt. Baumann, M.O. (Maximilian Otto) 70 Squadron RFC
    Corporal Brett, S. (Samuel) 11 Squadron RFC
    Bombadier Fletcher, E. (Eric) 70 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Matheson, A.P. (Alexander Perceval) 55 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Miller, A.W.B. (Archibald William Buchanan) 29 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Oliver, F.L. (Frank Lambton) 55 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Paget, G.L. (Gerald Lewis) 14 Squadron attached 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
    2nd Lt. Searle, A.H. (Archibald Henry) 1 Squadron attached 14 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps

    522 British lives were lost

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Lieutenant Alexander Perceval Matheson (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the 3rd Baronet ‘Sir’ Alexander Perceval Matheson. His two brothers and a brother-in-law have already been killed in the War.
    Lance Corporal Frederick Hunter (Suffolk Regiment) dies after being repatriated from being a prisoner of war with tuberculosis. His brother was killed in July 1916.
    Private Willie Lumb (Northumberland Fusiliers) dies of wounds received in action at age 30. His brother will be killed in November of this year.
    Private Frederick Charles Cannon (Scots Guards) dies of wounds at age 22. His brother died of wounds last December.
    Private J Wharton (North Lancashire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 30. His brother was killed in April 1915.
    Private William Reid (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 26. He is the third of four brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.

    Captain Tunstill's Men: Another fine day, which was spent in final preparations for a return to the trenches. Overnight, 13th-14th, the Battalion moved into support trenches in the left sector of the Divisional front near Observatory Ridge, a few hundred yards north of their former positions around Hill 60 and the Caterpillar. They relieved two companies of 8Yorks. and two companies of 9Yorks.. Battalion HQ and one Company were positioned in Hedge Street Tunells about I.24.d.5.1; one Company in Canada dugouts about I.30.a.9.4; one Company at Rudkin House Tunnels about I.24.a.0.1; and one Company in Metropolitan Left about I.29.a.8.2. The trenches here were in a very poor state, being, in fact, a series of isolated posts rather than formal defences.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  9. #2559


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    14th July 1917

    I would like to start by wishing all out friends in France a very Happy Bastille Day !

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    France has a national holiday every year on 14 July to celebrate a mob breaking into a 18th century Parisian prison. Akin to the United State's 4th of July, the date marks the beginning of republican democracy and the end of tyrannical rule. Here's everything you need to know about France's national day and why it is still celebrated.

    What was the Storming of the Bastille?

    It took place on July 14 1789 amid a deep economic and political crisis, with an out-of-touch Louis XVI increasingly unable to manage anti-monarchist forces. The Bastille, a medieval fortress and prison, was a symbol of tyrannical Bourbon authority in central Paris and had held many political dissidents.

    Following the king's dismissal of the progressive minister of finance, Jacques Necker, and the concentration of Royalist troops in the capital, liberal Parisians feared a coup against the National Constitutional Assembly. As a result, violent conflict between Royalist and anti-Monarchist elements broke out across Paris, with the Bastille's garrison eventually finding themselves surrounded by an armed mob on the morning of 14 July. After hours of negotiation and increasing frustration, the mob numbering just under 1,000 broke into the fortress. Following hours of fighting, they took the castle at the cost of nearly 100 assailants' lives and one defender's. Nearby Royalist troops had chosen not to intervene and disperse the mob. Ironically, at the time the prison was stormed, there were only seven elderly prisoners left inside.

    What is its significance?

    While there are key events in the lead up to 14 July, the storming of the Bastille proved to revolutionaries across Paris and France that the power of King Louis and his control over his armed forces was nominal at best. It became the flash point for the revolution to spread and eventually lead to the overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy and the execution of Louis XVI and his wife Queen Marie Antoinette. The prison was completely destroyed within five months and only a monument now stands on the site in the middle of a cobbled square.

    Why do French people celebrate it today?

    Like Independence Day in the United States, the French celebrate all things that symbolise France, such the tricolore flag and La Marseillaise - both of which originate from the revolution. Rather than commemorating the storming of the Bastille itself, it is a day to celebrate the three tenets of the republican national motto: "liberty, equality and fraternity". Patriotic pride rather than political history is the order of the day.

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    Meanwhile back in the Great War...

    We saw a much quieter day in the skies above the Western Front

    The following claims were made....

    Raoul Stojsavljevic Austro-Hungarian Empire #7
    Albert Enstone England #6
    Harold Bolton Redler England #3
    Erwin Böhme Germany #13
    Julius Buckler Germany #10
    Robert von Greim Germany #3
    Ludwig Hanstein Germany #6
    Julius Schmidt Germany #6 #7
    Fulco Ruffo di Calabria Italy #10
    Mikhail Safonov Russia #2

    One air ace was lost on this day

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    Kurt Schneider was born in Wurzen, Kingdom of Saxony, the German Empire on 4 October 1888. He began his World War I military service in Germany's land forces, winning an Iron Cross Second Class on 15 March 1915. Later in 1915 he joined the Luftstreitkräfte and was a founding member of Jasta 5 upon its establishment in August 1916. Schneider's exploits earned him an Albert Order on 13 January 1917. He scored his first aerial victory on 17 March 1917; by 29 April his tally was at 12, including three observation balloons. He ascended to temporary command of the squadron on 6 May 1917. By the time he was wounded and forced to land on 5 June, his victory total was 15 confirmed, and one unverified. After his return to action, he was again forced to land with wounds on 14 July 1917. He did not survive. He was awarded the Military Order of St. Henry ten days after his death.

    Despite the lack of claims there were still 14 airmen lost on this day

    Air Mech Burlinson, F. (Frederick) 23 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Churcher, E. (Edgar) 32 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Creasey, A.A. (Arthur Andrew) 22 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. De Rochie, C.M. (Curtis Matthew) 27 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Hanson, J.C. (John Clarence) 55 Squadron RFC
    PO Mech Lindsay, J. Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II'
    2nd. Lt. MacFarlane, H.E. (Harold Embleton) 55 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 McVie, W. (William) 31st BAlloon Section RFC
    Air Mech 2 Mee, J. (Joseph) 43 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt.Samuels, W.T. (Wilfred Templeton) 47th BAlloon Section RFC
    2nd. Lt Smith, T.E. (Thomas Edmund) 27 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Stevens, J.M.S.G. (John Michael Stanislaus Gregory) 1 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Thompson, W.G. (William George) 41 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Wykes, A.V. (Alfred Vincent) Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II' Pulham Royal Naval Airship Station

    King George 5th and Queen Mary Vist France 3rd - 14th July 1917

    The King and Queen arrive in Calais to start the visit. The King inspects war trophies at Bailleul with General Sir Herbert Plumer, then goes on to watch a tank demonstration and talk with a group of French officers. The Queen watches a flamethrower demonstration at Helfaut. The King and Prince of Wales meet the King of Belgium at La Panne then go on to inspect aircraft at Bray Dunes with General Sir Henry Rawlinson. The Queen inspects aircraft with Brigadier-General Sir Hugh Trenchard, commander of the RFC, and goes on to meet briefly with Sir Douglas Haig, and later to visit an American hospital. The King visits an RNAS base. The Queen visits a Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) and the Tank Corps central stores and tank park. The King and Prince arrive at Tramecourt Château and are joined by the Queen, along with the King and Queen of Belgium. On the following day they go their various ways, the King to St-Sixte Monastery (used as a CCS) and on to an aerodrome and the Gas School at Helfaut. Haig meets with the King, the Queen, and President and Madame Poincaré at Abbéville. The Queen and Prince visit the Asiatic Petrol Company factories near Rouen. The King tours Vimy Ridge and the Somme battlefield. At Albert the King knights two Corps commanders, General Currie of the Canadian Corps and General Fanshawe, and decorates a number of French officers. The King goes on to visit Australian 5th Division headquarters. The Queen visits the South African hospital at Abbéville. The King continues his tour of Vimy Ridge and the Somme area. Finally the King, Queen and Prince call in at the Duchess of Sutherland's hospital prior to leaving from Calais for Britain.

    Western Front

    German attacks repulsed in region of Lombartzyde (Nieuport).

    French gain and hold against counter-attacks German trench system on Moronvillers, east of Reims.

    German thrust on Chemin des Dames and Cerny partially resisted north of the Aisne.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    Successful British raid on Turks near Gaza.

    Political, etc.

    Herr von Bethmann Hollweg resigns; succeeded as German Imperial Chancellor by Dr. Michaelis.

    U.S. House of Representatives votes to send 22,000 aeroplanes and 100,000 airmen to Western Front.

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    The King and Queen return from visit to Western Front.

    Sir Douglas Haig made K.T.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 07-14-2017 at 15:47.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  10. #2560


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    We will start today's issue with a gratutitous picture of a pair of Bristols...

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    July 15th 1917

    On this day in 1917, a three-day stretch of fighting in the streets peaks in Petrograd after the provisional government falls temporarily amid anger and frustration within and outside the army due to the continuing hardships caused by Russia’s participation in World War I.

    Despite devastating losses on the Eastern Front in 1916, the provisional Russian government–which succeeded to power after the abdication of Czar Nicholas II in March–had rejected all calls for peace. Alexander Kerensky, appointed minister of war in the spring of 1917, was determined to reinvigorate the Russian war effort, installing the victorious General Alexei Brusilov as commander in chief of the Russian forces and making plans to go back on the offensive within months. The disintegration and despair within the army continued, however, as some 30,000 deserters were reported from the front every day. At Kerensky’s command, Brusilov launched another major offensive on July 1, the same day a massive peace demonstration was held in Petrograd.

    Though the new offensive resulted in heavy losses for the Russians, it was at home where the provisional government received its greatest threat. On July 15, 1917, an uprising in Petrograd encouraged by Leon Trotsky, an official of the Bolshevik Party–the radical socialist movement led by Vladimir Lenin, recently returned from exile due to German help–succeeded in briefly toppling the provisional government. The Bolsheviks saw their opportunity and attempted to seize power in Petrograd, as fighting broke out in the streets. The violence peaked on July 17. The following day, officers loyal to the provisional government destroyed the offices of the Bolshevik newspaper, Pravda. Lenin, sensing the time was not yet ripe for revolution, went into hiding–albeit temporarily–and Kerensky took charge, restoring order and continuing his efforts to salvage the Russian war effort.

    Months later, however, Lenin emerged again, as the Bolsheviks succeeded in wresting power in Russia from the army in November amid massive strikes and rebellions in the streets; almost immediately after taking power, the Bolsheviks moved towards an armistice with the Central Powers, ending Russia’s involvement in World War I.

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    On this day 585 British Lives were lost

    Major Bede Liddell Fenton (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed at age 35 while searching for wounded comrade Lieutenant William John Coley who was in fact already dead. He is the son of the Reverend Enos Fenton Vicar of Shotton.

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Lieutenant Colonel John Ralph Hedley DSO (commanding 1/5th Border Regiment) is killed at age 46.
    Captain Herbert Leslie Ridley (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed last October.
    Chaplain the Reverend Joseph Strickland, 12th Brigade, 4th Division, dies on Malta at age 53.
    Private Harold Lisle Loveridge (Hampshire Regiment) is killed in Palestine at age 35. He is an Isle of Wight football player.


    Flt. Sub Lt. Bray, F. (Francis "Frank") 8 (N) Squadron RNAS
    Air Mech 1 Shaw, R. (Robert) 7 Squadron attached 108th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
    Air Mech 1 Stevens, J.E. (James Edgar) RNAS
    2nd Lt. Theron, L.C. (Lucas Cornelius) RFC
    Air Mech 1 Tree, G.R. (George Robert) 7 Squadron RFC

    The following claims were made today - another seemingly quiet day on the front...

    Robert Little
    Australia #32
    Douglas McGregor Canada #6
    William Jenkins England #5
    Paul Bäumer Germany #3
    Hans Bethge Germany #9
    Kurt Jacob Germany #1
    Adolf von Tutschek Germany #16
    Keith Caldwell New Zealand #8

    Menwhile back in the trenches, its time to hear from Capt. Tunstill's men again... Support trenches in the left sector of the Divisional front near Observatory Ridge. Battalion HQ and one Company were positioned in Hedge Street Tunells about I.24.d.5.1; one Company in Canada dugouts about I.30.a.9.4; one Company at Rudkin House Tunnels about I.24.a.0.1; and one Company in Metropolitan Left about I.29.a.8.2. A reminder was issued to all Brigade commanders in 23rd Division on grounds that “The Divisional Trench Standing Orders do not appear to be sufficiently enforced in some units.” Brigadiers were particularly directed to two points:

    “With special reference to dress and the wearing of equipment etc. Men have been noticed partially undressed in the support trenches and rifles and equipment of the 25% of men who take off their equipment by day do not appear to be placed ready for immediate use on any fixed system. Equipment must be hung up ready to be put on with a minimum of delay, and rifles must be kept in close proximity to the man.

    The sanitation of the trenches requires a great deal of improvement. All refuse, empty tins etc. must be buried. Latrines should be put in off shoots from trenches and not in the trenches themselves. Fly proof lids for latrine buckets must be provided”.

    The intensity of the artillery exchanges over the next week was noted in the Brigade War Diary, “Artillery very active on both sides during this period. Our guns of all calibres were firing incessantly on enemy positions and communications. Hostile retaliation was heavy at times, especially on the raods, gun positions and back areas generally. Gas shells being freely used during these shoots. The forward area was subjected to heavy shell fire from guns of 4.2” calibre and upwards from about 3am to 5am each morning and several bursts of shell fire were put over our front line area at intervals during the night.”

    The Battalion provided carrying and working parties for the front line. In the course of one of these carrying parties, overnight 14th/15th July, taking ammunition to the Mount Sorrel sector for 69th Machine Gun Company, Pte. John Foster (see 16th January) slipped and injured his right knee. He reported sick the following morning and would be admitted to 5th London Field Ambulance before being transferred via 46th Casualty Clearing Station to 47th General Hospital at Le Treport.

    More on the German use of Mustard Gas

    Up to the end of July, the Germans bombarded the Ypres area every night with mustard, during which the Germans gunners had to surround their own gun positions with chloride of lime as a precaution against leaks or premature bursts of the shells. In addition, a series of set piece gas shoots were conducted. On 15 July a ‘multi-coloured’ shoot of a thousand rounds was carried out, which despite barrel bursts was repeated the following day. Then on 17th and again on 21st more extensive gas shoots were carried out on tracks, shelters and accommodation at Zillebeke Lake.

    On the night of 20-21 July Blue and Green Cross were again tried in combination in an operation called Britentod or ‘British death,’ postponed from the previous night owing to strong winds. British battery positions at Voormezele were targeted, each German field battery having been issued with 900 rounds of Green Cross and each howitzer battery 350 rounds of Blue Cross. The bombardment, from 1am to 3am, completely silenced the British batteries although no mention is made of mustard having been used.

    On the same night 20-21 July, in an operation called Totentanz, or ‘Dance of Death,’ Armentières was first targeted with mustard gas, injuring about 6,400. The following night 21-22 July, Nieuwpoort was heavily bombarded with mustard, thus the south and north flanks successively of the expected British attack area were rendered impassable. The casualties were worse overall than those suffered at Ypres as the troops here had not yet received adequate warning and instructions regarding mustard gas.

    On 23-24 July Britentod was repeated, then on 26-27 gas bombardments in the Wytschaete sector named Schlesien and Apolda. On 28-29 July renewed gas bombardments of Armentières and Nieuwpoort was carried out between 1am and 4.30am. The civilian casualties from mustard gas in Armentieres totalled 675, of which 86 had died by 18 August, a high mortality due in part to the number of elderly citizens, many living in cellars, who were either unable or reluctant to leave the area while the shelling was in progress.

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    Nieuport July 1917 thescene of the German gas attack

    From July, Blue and Yellow Cross shells were used in very large numbers with a reduction only coming in the winter of 1917-18. Once the Germans had identified the improved protection afforded by the British respirator against Blue Cross, they came to use these shells at the beginning of a gas bombardment, as the shells could not be distinguished from HE shell. The sneezing symptoms would therefore affect men before they could adjust their masks and then cause them to succumb to Green Cross shells used subsequently. HE or Blue Cross shells were used to disguise the distinctive bursting sound of Yellow Cross mustard gas shells.

    During August and September 1917, the Germans used mustard to defeat French attacks on either side of the river Meuse, causing 13,158 to be poisoned and 143 killed. Losses were so great in the affected areas that it has been claimed that the French were forced to abandon the attack.[10] The combination of Green and Blue Cross shells, used for the first time to support the attack at Nieuwpoort on 10 July, was later used for the successful German assault across the Daugava river on 1 September 1917 which lead to the fall of Riga. The artillery fire plan was the work of Colonel Georg Bruchmüller and the publicity accorded it has led some to assume incorrectly that Bruchmüller invented this combination of gas shells, called Buntschiessen or ‘colour shoots’.

    Mustard gas caused serious casualties to the British in July 1917 but there seems to be no evidence to support the claim by Beumelburg and Hanslian that it caused the start of the 3rd Battle of Ypres to be postponed for a fortnight.[11] Hanslian and Seesselberg claimed also that it prevented a British break-though during the offensive. Whilst mustard continued to be used throughout the battle, it was not used to cover the withdrawal of German forces as it would be in 1918, as they could not contaminate ground which they would wish immediately to recapture. Although the Germans improved slightly the effectiveness of their Blue Cross shells, the Allies regarded them as a wasted effort, something that post-war German writers could not accept.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  11. #2561


    Gas is a horrible weapon. My old platoon sergeant admitted there were two weapons that scared the hell out of him - gas and land mines - because despite however good a soldier you were there was very little you could do about either.

  12. #2562


    Quote Originally Posted by Hedeby View Post

    We will start today's issue with a gratuitous picture of a pair of Bristols...

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    Now that's more like it Squadron Leader, but did I happen to notice that they are under gunned?
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  13. #2563


    Never knowingly, surely!
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  14. #2564


    Cheers for keeping me sane Chris. Keep up the good work.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  15. #2565


    How are you doing Neil?
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  16. #2566


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    16th July 1917


    Zeppelin Raid

    Rather surprisingly, this raid set out for London on one of the shortest nights of the year with only about four hours of true darkness. Although six Zeppelins were earmarked for the raid, strong winds and engine problems meant only two crossed the English coast, L.42 and L.48.

    Commanding L.42, Kapitänleutnant Martin Dietrich, cruised off the Kent coast before finally coming inland over the North Foreland lighthouse at 2.05am. Five minutes later a searchlight briefly found L.42 then lost her again. Dietrich headed south, keeping out to sea; he believed he was approaching Deal and Dover where he thought his bombs fell. In fact it was Ramsgate. Passing the town’s Marina Pier, L.42’s first bomb landed in the sea about 400 yards south-west of the pier, followed by another 150 yards further on which also fell in the sea, off the Royal Victoria Pavilion. The third bomb, however, made its mark. A 300kg HE bomb exploded on a building about 20 yards from the Clock Tower in Ramsgate Harbour, used at the time by the Royal Navy as an ammunition store. ‘A sheet of blood-red flame shot upwards and for hours ammunition of all kinds continued to explode with a tornado of fury.’ Such was the intensity of the explosions that some residents believed the Germans were attempting a landing.

    The next bomb dropped in Albert Street, a narrow road near the harbour, where it demolished or seriously damaged a number of houses, with other damage extending over a wide area. At No. 45 the explosion killed 67-year-old Benjamin Thouless and injured his wife. Next door, at No. 47, Jonathan Hamlin and his wife also died, but his brother escaped with injuries. Two houses suffered when the next bomb detonated in a front garden in Crescent Road, amongst those injured was Lt. Warden of the Royal Flying Corps, home on leave. The following morning ‘it was impossible to walk in any of the main streets without feeling the crunch of glass under one’s feet’. The Borough Surveyor reported damage to 660 houses shops or other buildings.

    Having passed over the town, Dietrich headed away to the north-west, dropping four more bombs. One detonated about 100 yards from Southwood House, one in a field about 70 yards from where the railway crossed the Manston Road and two close together in a field about 50 yards from a railway cutting north-west of Nether Court Lodge. Continuing on the same heading L.42 neared the RNAS airfield at Manston but the five bombs dropped all fell in Poleash Fields near Manston village, about half a mile short of the airfield, breaking windows in seven houses. The final two bombs, both incendiaries, fell as L.42 turned to the north-east, landing harmlessly in fields at Lydden and at Nash Court as she approached Garlinge. L.42 only remained overland for 14 minutes. On her homeward journey L.42 evaded attacks by three RNAS aircraft from Yarmouth.

    The other Zeppelin to reach England, L.48 commanded by Kapitänleutnant der Reserve Franz Georg Eichler, had the commander of the Naval Airship Division, Korvettenkapitän Viktor Schütze, on board. L.48 spent over well over two hours off the Suffolk coast before coming inland at about 2.00am south of Orfordness, having struggled with engine problems and a frozen compass. Too late to attack London, Eichler selected Harwich as a secondary target. After following an erratic path L.48 finally seemed on course but at 2.45am seven guns of the Harwich defences opened fire on her, eventually firing off over 500 rounds. In response L.48 dropped about nine bombs near Falkenham, which fell between Falkenham Wood and Lower Farm. Turning west, Eichler dropped another 13 bombs near Kirton, falling in fields roughly between Corporation Farm and St. Mary’s Church. Heading back northwards, L.48 dropped three bombs between Waldringfield and Martlesham, on farmland between Cross Farm Cottages and Cross Farm.

    Still experiencing engine problems as he headed north, flying between 14,000 and 15,000 feet, Eichler received a radio message advising him of a helpful tail wind at 11,000 feet. Alerted to news of a Zeppelin approaching the Suffolk coast, two aircraft took off from the RFC’s Orfordness Experimental Station shortly before 2.00am. Both pilots pursued L.48 and Lt. E.W. Clarke in a BE2c fired four drums at long range as he was unable to get above 11,000 feet. Lt. F.D. Holder, flying a FE2b with Sgt. S. Ashby as his observer/gunner, made a number of attacks, but Holder’s front gun jammed and so did Ashby’s while firing his fifth drum. No.37 Squadron had also sent pilots up and shortly before 3.00am another aircraft went up from Orfordness, a DH2 flown by Capt. R. Saundby. With the sky beginning to lighten and L.48 still struggling overland, Saundby closed in and fired off three drums of ammunition at gradually shortening distances and Lt. L.P. Watkins flying a 37 Squadron BE12 from Goldhanger was also on his third drum when L.48 caught fire and began to burn. She crashed on fields at Holly Tree Farm at Theberton, Suffolk. Incredibly, three of the crew survived the crash and burning wreckage, but neither Eichler nor Schütze was among them.

    Although Holder/Ashby, Saundby and Watkins all believed they had been responsible for the fatal shots and a shared victory seemed the obvious decision, the War Office awarded the honour of shooting down L.48 to Watkins.

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    The combat.

    Previously L48 had approached the English coast at a height of 13,000 feet; she was part of a force of four airships sent to attack London that night. L48 drifted over Orford Ness at about 02.00hrs. On board that night was KorvettenKapitan Schutze who was Kommodore of the North Sea Airship Division. From here she rounded Wickham Market. Bombs were dropped around Harwich with one being dropped over Martlesham. Once the bombs had been released the ship believed it was heading East back for home. However the compass had frozen and was giving an incorrect reading in fact L48 was heading north along the coast. At this point Anti Aircraft guns opened up both on coastal emplacements and including several on ships out at sea. Searchlights flicked on and wavered about the sky finally coning in on L48, seemingly supporting her in the night sky. Once held in search lights it was imperative for L48 to get out of the area, for two reasons: firstly AA fire could be directed far more accurately as the gunners could see the actual target…and any night flying defence fighters would see the Zeppelin from up to 40 miles away in the right weather conditions. In L48`s circumstance that it just what happened. A number of airborne pilots and crews had spotted her pinpointed by search lights and bursts of AA fire. Flying a BE2c (A8896) from the Armament Experimental Station at Orfordness Lt EW Clarke was the first to attack. Between Orfordness and Harwich he fired a total of four drums of Lewis gun ammunition from 11,000 feet at the airship which was still 2,000 feet higher. However there seemed to be no effect at all for this expenditure of ammunition. The second aeroplane to attack at this time was an FE2b B401 crewed by Lt FD Holder (Pilot) and Sgt S Ashby also from the AES, this crew also fired four drums of Lewis ammunition, and an additional thirty rounds from a fifth drum when suddenly their gun jammed. As this happened they were approximately five miles from Leiston and frustratingly within 300 yards range of their target. Previously they had seen their sparking fizzling tracers whizz away through the dark night sky, like thousands of cigarette ends all flicked at the same time, streaking away being frustratingly absorbed into the giant shape of the invader. However they had finally achieved success: it could be seen now that a small fire had started in the stern end very near the tail, a small glow initially, but one that slowly gained in size. Captain RHMS Saundby in DH2 A5058 managed to fire two and a half drums at the target, now there began to be a really serious blaze in the rear section of the airship. L48 tail section now began to take on the classic “Chinese Lantern” effect as it was illuminated from within” (Saundby was later awarded the Military Cross for his part in this action and retired from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of Air Vice Marshall) As the airship fell it was finally chased by Lt P Watkins in BE12 6610 from 37 (HD) Sqn (A Flight) at Goldhanger, he fired another two drums from 2000 down to 1000 feet, and then another from 500feet. It was Watkins who would be credited with the final “Kill” of L48
    All Pilots used standard 0.303 rounds both ball and tracer. The credit given to Watkins for shooting down L48 was purely arbitrary and probably the result of higher authority wanting such credit to go to the Home Defence organisation. Like wise numerous local tales of heroics sprang up:- L48 was shot down by one pilot single handedly, he was so keen to get airborne he was still in his pyjamas, and the method used to bring the airship down was by flying above it and throwing grenades down onto it. With the latter fact there could be some confusion with the case of Sub Lieutenant Warneford who on 6th June 1915 did actually succeed in destroying Zeppelin LZ37 over Ghent in Belgium……by dropping several small bombs on it. For this action Warneford was awarded the Victoria Cross. However despite reassuring the British public to some degree, they needed Home Front Zeppelin victories. The names of pilots and crews who brought down the likes of the Cuffley Schutte Lanz and later Zeppelins over England would become phenomenal celebrities.

    The impact of the wreckage

    As she fell in flames initially the airship nosed downwards, shortly before impact she would assume a tilted up angle as the stern section became less airworthy and lost both its gas and supporting envelope fabric. Now truly ablaze and falling, the inner structure could be seen as burning fabric fell away. Several of the crew witnessed Eichler remove his thick leather coat and start to take off his overalls (He like all the crew believed they were over the sea, and would shortly be swimming for their lives) Shortly afterwards KorvettenKapitan Viktor Schutze the Flag Officer in the Gondola clutched the edge of the map table in terror as he heard hideous screams and cries from the burning sections of the airship. Eventually the stern crashed into the ground at a 60 degree angle compacting and buckling as it sent up a huge shower of sparks and flaming fabric shreds. This angled impact smashed the rear section of the gondola, hopefully finally putting those burning crewmen in this area out of their misery. Heavier sections such as the engines were snapped from their mountings and crashed down through the burning superstructure into the soft sandy soil of Holly Tree Farm. As the engines fell through the complex structure of white hot metal the massive wooden propeller blades caused flurries of sparks and debris to rise up until each blade splintered and shattered against something more resistant. As the structure settled Ellerkamm, Miethe and Uecker lost no time in jumping down from the damaged gondola. As the three escaped they watched as the flames sprang up and consumed all the envelope fabric from the nose section. The heat was now so intense that metal covering of the gondola they had been in a few seconds before (and that their colleagues were still in) was now beginning to melt. If there was still anyone else alive within the gondola area at this time, they were destined to die in this intense fire. Some of the heavier buried sections later required intensive labour to extract them from where they had embedded themselves in the sand. Several photographs show rigs and pulleys for lifting present at the impact point. It is possible that several quite large engine associated sections may still remain buried in situ. It is rumoured that during her descent one engine detached and splashed down into the reed beds of what is now Minsmere wild life reserve. One can almost imagine the mournful cries of distressed waterfowl as the a huge Maybach engine splashed down in the marsh. However Woodbridge Museum has something else that fell from the wreckage, perhaps one of the most poignant artefacts: a sailor’s style cloth hat complete with embroidered head band. Such poignant reminders of the tragic loss of life can still be found at the crash site today. On Friday 14th April 2006 a metal detecting survey revealed the crushed remains of a button that had once been sewn onto one of the crew overalls. It took between three and five minutes from first combat for L48 to impact the ground, so slowly did she fall. However the position of the fire in the rear quarters and slow descent probably allow for the survivors, of which any were unusual in such incidents.

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    The crew of L48 who were killed were:-

    Franz Georg Eichler
    Heinrich Ahrens
    Wilhelm Betz
    Walter Dippmann
    Wilhelm Gluckel
    Paul Hannemann
    Heinrich Herbst
    Franz Konig
    Wilhelm Meyer
    Karl Milich
    Michael Neunzig
    Karl Floger
    Paul Suchlich
    Viktor Schutze
    Herman Van Stockum
    Paul Westphal.

    The survivors were:-

    Heinrich Ellerkamm (said to be wandering around dazed after the crash)
    Wilhelm Uecker
    Otto Miethe
    Note: - It is believed to be Ellerkamm who was the crew member taken to a local house in Theberton. When the door opened and the occupant asked if she could look after him until the arrival of the authorities, her reply was “Not likely lock the bugger in the shed”

    Staying with the aerial nature of the combat- the following claims were made on this day...

    Robert Little Australia #33
    Geoffrey Bowman England #10

    George Brooke England #1

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    George Ai Brooke was posted to 45 Squadron as an observer in the summer of 1917. He scored 4 victories with this unit flying the Sopwith 1½ Strutter. Shot up by Max von Müller on 28 July 1917, he and pilot Matthew Frew succeeded in returning to their aerodrome before crashing. Posted to 20 Squadron, Brooke scored one more victory flying the F.E.2d and two more victories flying the Bristol F.2b.

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    Gordon Olley England #4
    Walter Bertram Wood England #8
    Hans von Adam Germany #6
    Heinrich Gontermann Germany #24

    Hermann Göring Germany #9

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    Fritz Kieckhäfer Germany #1

    Kieckhäfer was wounded in action on 4 November 1917. His sixth victory was a Bristol Fighter piloted by John Milne of 48 Squadron on 24 October 1917. He was wounded whilst attaching an R.E.8 near Lille on 4 May 1918 and died from his wounds on 7 June 1918.

    Otto Kissenberth Germany #6
    Otto Schmidt Germany #6
    Kurt Wüsthoff Germany #4
    William Charles Campbell Scotland #15 #16 #17
    Matthew Brown Frew Scotland #3
    William Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick Scotland #21
    Richard Maybery Wales #3

    One German ace was lost on this day...

    Fritz Krebs of Jasta 6

    and four British airmen were also lost...

    Air Mech 2 Carter, A.S. (Alfred S.) Aircraft Park, Mespotamia RFC
    2nd Lt. Cayford, G.E. (George Everett) 10 Traiing Squadron RFC
    Capy. Johnstone, M. (Melville) 27 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Leitch, B.M. (Bruce Mayenson) Recruits depot RFC

    RFC General Headquarters report for July 16th

    “Although handicapped by thick clouds and strong winds, our aeroplanes carried out a great deal of successful work yesterday in conjunction with our artillery, and, in addition, our raiding machines dropped a large number of bombs on various points of military importance behind the enemy's lines. In the evening many fights took place in the air, as the result of which six enemy aeroplanes were brought down, one of which was forced to land in our lines, and three others were driven down out of control. None of our machines are missing.”

    Artillery Co-operation — 92 hostile batteries were successfully engaged with aeroplane observation.

    Photographic reconnaissances were attempted by No 2 Squadron RNAS in the vicinity of Bruges, but abandoned owing to heavy cloud banks.

    Usual offensive patrols by No 4 Wing RNAS, also anti-submarine patrols by Seaplanes.

    An Offensive Patrol of 56 Squadron, when escorting Martinsydes of 27 Squadron, was attacked by four Albatros scouts but these were driven off. Shortly afterwards Capt G H Bowman noticed 15 EA above him, so turned to take his patrol nearer the lines as there was a strong west wind blowing. A number of other machines joined the EA formation and then dived at our SES who were underneath at 14,000 feet. Our machines were out-numbered and driven down to 4,000 feet. Eventually, Captain Bowman secured a favourable position on the tail of one EA which, like all the rest, simply dived past and fired. This machine after being fired at dived straight into the ground, completely crashed. In this fight Lt R G Jardine destroyed one EA, and Lt R A Maybery sent one down completely out of control

    In the evening, an Offensive Patrol of 1 Squadron led by Captain W C Campbell encountered eight Albatros scouts which they attacked over Becelaere. Captain Campbell picked out the leader into which he fired a drum and the EA was destroyed. Shortly afterwards he dived at the leader of a formation of 14 EA which the Nieuports attacked, and followed it down until he saw it crash in a field. Sgt G P Olley picked out a scout painted bright green which he shot down and saw crash, and Lt L F Jenkin picked out an EA painted slate-grey and last saw it falling over and over completely out of control

    Capt W J C Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Roulers - during a large encounter which took place over Roulers between ten Albatros scouts and Spads, Sopwith Pups, Camels and SE5s, Captain K C Patrick and 2nd Lt D U McGregor, both of 23 Squadron, each shot down one EA scout completely out of control [I have an issue here; most records show McGregor claiming his 6th victory on 15 July and K-C-P his 21st on 16 July. I haven’t got copies of combat reports for these claims so have no details of times etc, so for the time being, I’ve listed the claims as McGregor on 15 July and K-C-P on 16 July; anybody got information that clarifies the matter?]. This was K-C-P’s last claim before being promoted Major and being given command of No 60 Sqn.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  17. #2567


    Methinks this raid was last months news. Your compositor has mistook the plate from that edition and loaded it on the press in error Chris.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  18. #2568


    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Methinks this raid was last months news. Your compositor has mistook the plate from that edition and loaded it on the press in error Chris.
    Funny that I have 3 sources all with different dates for the same event

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  19. #2569


    I only noticed because the shortest nights of the year are in mid June and not July.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  20. #2570


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    17th July 1917

    George V announces that the British royal family’s name will change from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor. The House of Windsor is the royal house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The dynasty is of German paternal descent and was originally a branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, itself derived from the House of Wettin, and it succeeded the House of Hanover as monarchs in the British Empire following the death of Queen Victoria, wife of Albert, Prince Consort. The houses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Windsor have provided five British monarchs to date, including four kings and the present queen, Elizabeth II.

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    The name was changed from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor in 1917 because of anti-German sentiment in the British Empire during World War I. Edward VII and, in turn, his son, George V, were members of the German ducal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha by virtue of their descent from Albert, Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria. High anti-German sentiment amongst the people of the British Empire during World War I reached a peak in March 1917, when the Gotha G.IV, a heavy aircraft capable of crossing the English Channel, began bombing London directly and became a household name. In the same year, on 15 March, King George's first cousin, Nicholas II, the Emperor of Russia, was forced to abdicate, which raised the spectre of the eventual abolition of all the monarchies in Europe. The King and his family were finally convinced to abandon all titles held under the German Crown and to change German titles and house names to anglicised versions. Hence, on 17 July 1917, a royal proclamation issued by George V declared:

    Now, therefore, We, out of Our Royal Will and Authority, do hereby declare and announce that as from the date of this Our Royal Proclamation Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, and that all the descendants in the male line of Our said Grandmother Queen Victoria who are subjects of these Realms, other than female descendants who may marry or may have married, shall bear the said Name of Windsor..

    Two air aces were lost on this day:

    Lieutenant Roger Bolton Hay MC (1895 – 17 July 1917) was a British World War I flying ace credited with five aerial victories. He was the youngest of three sons born to The Reverend Reynell Wreford Hay, rector of Garsdon and Lea in Wiltshire, and his wife Margaret Alice (née Bolton). His grandfather William Hay was a merchant and ship owner from Bishopwearmouth, while his uncle, William Delisle Hay, was a novelist and mycologist. Hay was educated at Dean Close School, Cheltenham, and at Blundell's School, Tiverton, and was preparing to enrol at Oxford University when the war broke out.

    After serving as a cadet in the Officers' Training Corps, on 27 January 1915 Hay was commissioned as a second lieutenant (on probation) in the 3rd Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, alongside his brothers Hugh Allport Hay (1889–1965) and Guy Baldwin Hay (1890–1951). He was confirmed in his rank on 19 November, and received orders sending him into the front lines in July 1915, but a motor-cycling accident delayed his departure until February 1916. He served in the trenches until August, when he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps. Hay returned to England to train as a pilot,and was appointed a flying officer on 28 March 1917.

    He returned to France in April 1917,[5] and joined No. 48 Squadron, the first to be equipped with the Bristol F.2 Fighter. Hay began his victory string during Bloody April, taking a share with Fred Holliday, Anthony Wall, Ernest Moore, and William Winkler in the shooting down of an Albatros D.III over Vimy on the 23rd, and another over Cagnicourt the following day. On 27 April he shared in the destruction of a reconnaissance aircraft over Vitry with Maurice Benjamin and William Price. Hay had two further solo victories, destroying another D.III over Etaing on 15 June, and driving down a fourth over Ghistelles on 12 July. His final total was two aircraft destroyed and three driven down out of control. Hay was reported missing in action on 17 July, and it was later reported that he died as a result of wounds while a prisoner of the Germans the same day. He had been awarded the Military Cross in June,which was gazetted posthumously on 24 July. His citation read: For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On several occasions he has shown the utmost courage and dash in attacking and dispersing hostile aircraft in superior numbers. His willingness to undertake the most hazardous duties has at all times set a fine example to other pilots and observers of his squadron. Hay is buried in the New Communal Cemetery at Oostende, Belgium.

    Tenente Luigi Olivi was a World War I flying ace credited with six aerial victories. He won two awards of the Silver Medal for Military Valor and was killed in action. Olivi was born in Campobasso on 18 November 1894. He lived in Ancona prewar. He joined the Italian military before Italy entered World War I. On 31 March 1914, he was promoted to Caporal. He was promoted again, to Sergente, on 31 July 1914, and sent off to aviation school at Aviano to train on Bleriots. He received his pilot's license on 16 June 1915. On 25 October 1915, he was injured in an accident at Malpensa while flying a Macchi Parasol.

    His original flying duty was artillery observation for 2a Squadriglia (later redubbed 42a Squadriglia. He then transitioned to Nieuports, training at Cascina Costa, and was assigned to 76a Squadriglia on 25 July 1916. Between 8 October 1916 and 17 June 1917, he scored six confirmed victories, including one shared with Mario Stoppani; he also had an unconfirmed claim. After his final victory, Olivi returned to take aerial photos of his final victim, and was killed in action. Luigi Olivi had flown 217 hours on 180 combat sorties. In 48 aerial combats, he had claimed eight aerial victories, six of which were confirmed. He had been recognized with two awards of the Silver Medal for Military Valor.

    The following aerial victory claims were made today...

    Cecil Richards Australia #5 #6 #7 #8

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    After seeing action in Gallipoli and France, Cecil Roy Richards transferred to the Royal Flying Corps at the end of 1916. Assigned to 20 Squadron during the summer of 1917, he flew the F.E.2d until 19 August when he was shot down at Quesnoy and captured by Ernst Hess of Jasta 28.

    2nd Lt. Cecil Roy Richards, R.F.C., Spec. Res.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when on offensive patrols in attacking and shooting down hostile machines. On one occasion he shot down four in one day, displaying great dash and a fine offensive spirit.

    Godwin Brumowski Austro-Hungarian Empire #9

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    William Bishop Canada #34 #35
    Cecil Brock Canada #2

    Captain Arthur Roy Brown Canada #1

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    Intelligent but shy, Arthur Roy Brown loved to fly. After receiving an aviator's certificate on a Wright biplane at the Wright school, Dayton, Ohio on 13 November 1915, he joined the Royal Naval Air Service. He was almost killed when he crashed an Avro 504 during a training flight on 2 May 1916. He eventually recovered and was posted to 9 Naval Squadron on the Western Front in April 1917. Reassigned to 11 Naval Squadron, he scored his first victory on 17 July 1917, shooting down an Albatros D.III while flying a Sopwith Pup. In the fall, he rejoined 9 Naval Squadron to fly Sopwith Camels, becoming a flight commander in February 1918. In what would become the most famous aerial combat of the war, Brown's flight encountered Jasta 11 on the morning of 21 April 1918. In the battle that followed, Brown scored his final victory of the war. Engaging a red Fokker DR.I he was officially credited with shooting down Manfred von Richthofen. For this action, Brown received a bar to his Distinguished Service Cross. On 1 August 1919, Brown was transferred to the unemployed list and returned to Canada where he worked as an accountant, founded a small airline and became an editor for "Canadian Aviation" magazine. During World War II, Brown entered politics after his application to join the Royal Canadian Air Force was rejected. The year before he died, he ran for Parliament but was defeated.

    "The postwar period is more serious than winning the war. We who served in the last war know what it is to get kicked out of the service and then wonder where to turn and where to go to make a living. I got back into civilian life last tine with 27 fractures and was a nervous wreck. I got no pension. That kind of thing must never happen again." Roy Brown, Liberal candidate for Parliament, 1943

    Combat Report 21st April 1918: At 10:35 a.m. I observed two Albatross burst into flames and crash.
    Dived on large formation of 15 - 20 Albatross Scouts[,] D 5's and Fokker triplanes, two of which got on my tail and I came out. Went back again and dived on pure red triplane which was firing on Lieut. May. I got a long burst into him and he went down vertical and was observed to crash by Lieut. Mellersh and Lieut[.] May. I fired on two more but did not get them." - Brown's second combat report, 21 April 1918

    Lieut. (Hon. Capt.) Arthur Roy Brown, D.S.C., R.A.F.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On 21 April 1918, while leading a patrol of six scouts he attacked a formation of twenty hostile scouts. He personally engaged two Fokker triplanes, which he drove off; then, seeing that one of our machines was being attacked and apparently hard pressed, he dived on the hostile scout, firing the while. This scout, a Fokker triplane, nose dived and crashed to the ground. Since the award of the Distinguished Service Cross, he has destroyed several other enemy aircraft and has shown great dash and enterprise in attacking enemy troops from low altitudes despite heavy anti-aircraft fire.

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    Alfred Carter Canada #6
    Anthony Spence Canada #3
    Melville Waddington Canada #3
    Leonard Barlow England #5
    Charles Booker England #18
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #12
    Howard Redmayne Harker England #3
    Keith Muspratt England #3
    Edmund Pierce England #7
    Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids England #12
    Cyril Burfield Ridley England #2
    Herbert Rowley England #3
    Harry Scandrett England #3
    Reginald Soar England #11
    Frank Stevens England #4
    Richard Trevethan England #6

    Mortimer West England #1 #2

    11 Squadron RFC flying Bristol F.2b (A7138)

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    95 Squadron Bristol F2B

    Julius Buckler
    Germany #11
    Rudolf Francke Germany #4
    Walter Göttsch Germany #13
    Alfred Niederhoff Germany #5
    John Cowell Ireland #11 #12

    Edward Gribben Ireland #1

    The son of Isabella Gribben, Edward Gribben served with the Royal Irish Rifles before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to 70 Squadron in 1917. That summer, he scored 5 victories flying the Sopwith Camel. In the fall, he was reassigned to the Home Defence, flying night fighters with 44 Squadron. On 2 October 1918, Gribben was reassigned to 41 Squadron as a flight commander but was wounded in action two days later when he was forced down by a Fokker D.VII.

    Flavio Baracchini Italy #9
    Fulco Ruffo di Calabria Italy #11
    Forster Maynard New Zealand #4
    Juri Gilsher Russia #4
    Ian Henderson Scotland #6
    Oliver LeBoutillier USA #3


    (Rivers Gordon) British Adriatic Squadron, 6th Wing RNAS
    Flt. Sub Lt. Bryans, F.M.P. (Fraser MacPherson) Hornsea Mere Naval Air Station RNAS
    Lt. Hay, R.B. (Roger Bolton) 48 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Munro, J.D.S. (James Donald Sutherland) RFC
    2nd Lt. Palmer, P.E. (Percy Eric) 29 Squadron RFC
    Sub Lt. Planterose, E.A. (Ernest A.) British Adriatic Squadron, 6th Wing RNAS
    2nd Lt. Rodocanachi, P.J. (Paul John) 53 Squadron
    2nd Lt Smeeth, W.S. (William Sutton) RFC
    2nd Lt. Watt, N.L. (Norman Lindley) 53 Squadron RFC

    The submarine C34 (Lieutenant Inglesby Stuart Jefferson age 24) is sunk by the German submarine U-52 while on the surface off the Shetlands. The crew of 18 has one survivor. Lieutenant Jefferson is a holder of the Royal Humane Society’s Medal for rescuing a soldier from drowning. The minesweeper HMS Newmarket (Commander Fitzroy Henry Hall killed) is sunk in action with German submarine U-38 in the Eastern Mediterranean. The crew of 63 is lost. Commander Hall’s brother was killed on Gallipoli in September 1915.

    Second Lieutenant James Donals Sutherland (Australian Infantry attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of injuries received in England. His brother Edward Charles Munro will have his diaries published after the war as Diaries of a stretcher-bearer 1916-18. Another brother Private Christian Munro will be killed next April.

    On this day in 1917, a three-day stretch of fighting in the streets peaks in Petrograd after the provisional government falls temporarily amid anger and frustration within and outside the army due to the continuing hardships caused by Russia’s participation in World War I.

    Despite devastating losses on the Eastern Front in 1916, the provisional Russian government–which succeeded to power after the abdication of Czar Nicholas II in March–had rejected all calls for peace. Alexander Kerensky, appointed minister of war in the spring of 1917, was determined to reinvigorate the Russian war effort, installing the victorious General Alexei Brusilov as commander in chief of the Russian forces and making plans to go back on the offensive within months. The disintegration and despair within the army continued, however, as some 30,000 deserters were reported from the front every day. At Kerensky’s command, Brusilov launched another major offensive on July 1, the same day a massive peace demonstration was held in Petrograd.

    Though the new offensive resulted in heavy losses for the Russians, it was at home where the provisional government received its greatest threat. On July 15, 1917, an uprising in Petrograd encouraged by Leon Trotsky, an official of the Bolshevik Party–the radical socialist movement led by Vladimir Lenin, recently returned from exile due to German help–succeeded in briefly toppling the provisional government. The Bolsheviks saw their opportunity and attempted to seize power in Petrograd, as fighting broke out in the streets. The violence peaked on July 17. The following day, officers loyal to the provisional government destroyed the offices of the Bolshevik newspaper, Pravda. Lenin, sensing the time was not yet ripe for revolution, went into hiding–albeit temporarily–and Kerensky took charge, restoring order and continuing his efforts to salvage the Russian war effort.

    Months later, however, Lenin emerged again, as the Bolsheviks succeeded in wresting power in Russia from the army in November amid massive strikes and rebellions in the streets; almost immediately after taking power, the Bolsheviks moved towards an armistice with the Central Powers, ending Russia’s involvement in World War I.

    Western Front

    Successful British raids in the Ypres sector.

    French regain positions north-west of Verdun lost during last 18 days.

    Eastern Front

    Russians hold their positions in Galicia against German counter-thrust.

    Political, etc.

    Continued disorder in Petrograd.

    Royal Proclamation changing name of Royal House and family to Windsor. (see above)

    Changes in the Government announced.

    Resolution in favour of extension of Canadian Parliament passed

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  21. #2571


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    18th July 1917

    The vacancy remains for someone to try out the Editor's chair for a week whilst I am off on holiday and Neil re-couperates. ANyone who is interested please let me know.

    Thank you

    on with the war...

    We start today with the loss of a French air ace.

    Sous Lieutenant Henri François Languedoc
    N12 Escadrille.

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    Having joined the army on 21 October 1903, Languedoc was serving with a cavalry regiment when the war began. Promoted to Sous Lieutenant, he transferred to an infantry regiment on 21 March 1915 but was disqualified from further service when he was badly wounded in combat. On 10 January 1916, he joined the French Air Service and received his Pilot's Brevet on 31 March 1916. Posted to Escadrille N12, he scored his first victory flying a Nieuport 11 on 23 October 1916. The following year, Languedoc downed six more enemy aircraft and became N12's leading ace before he was mortally wounded on 16 July 1917 and died two days later.

    The wet and windy weather all across the front kept aerial activity to a minimum and only three airmen were lost on this day.

    2nd Lt. Owen, H.E.M. (Herbert Ernest Malcolm) RFC
    Lt. Porter, H.E.M. (Harvey Ernest Maxwell) 13 SQuadron RFC
    Air Mech. 1 Shead, E.D. (Edward Derrick) Cranwell Central Depot and Training Establishment

    There were only 5 claimed 'kills' on this day and four of those were unconfirmed and none were from the Western Front

    Cesare Magistrini Italy u/c
    Guido Nardini Italy #3
    Vladimir Strizhesky Russia u/c
    Vasili Yanchenko Russia #11
    Ivan Loiko Russia u/c

    Western Front

    A heavy preliminary artillery bombardment which will last for ten days begins for the Battle of Passchendaele. Three thousand guns expend a quarter of a million shells into the surrounding ground. This assault combined with the heaviest rains the area has seen in 30 years turns the ground into a muddy quagmire.

    On this day 465 British lives were lost

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Captain Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 22. He is the second of three brothers to die in the Great War.
    Captain William Gray Walker MC (General List attached Trench Mortar Battery, 8th Division) is killed in action at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend Johnstone.
    Captain Claude Denman Bennett (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) is shot and killed by a sniper at age 30. He is the Headmaster of Langcliffe School.
    Captain Ian MacFarlane (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Egyptian Hospital Khan Yunus Egypt) dies on service at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Norman C MacFarlane and he was a Medical Missionary at Nazareth Palentine from 1911 to 1914 joining the forces in 1915.
    Sapper George Brown (Royal Engineers) is killed on Salonika at age 38. His son will lose his life serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in the Second World War.

    Major Ernest Cole Fleming MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 33. This is the second time his wife has been widowed by the Great War having lost her first husband Captain George Armand Furse (Royal Field Artillery) is 1914.

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    The Eastern Front

    The Kerensky Offensive 1st - 18th July 1917

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    The Kerensky Offensive was the last Russian offensive of the war., whose name came from the Provisional Government's minister of war at the time. The offensive was aimed not only at holding the Central Powers in the Eastern Front in coordination with the Allied forces in the west, but also at raising the morale of the Russian Army and people's faith in the government.Despite its initial suceess, the desperate offensive ended as a catastrophe: not only did it fail to achieve any of the goals, but it also gave an unrecoverable blow to the Russian military, and further undermined the Provisional Goverment's prestige and widened the gap between the ruling elite and general public. The event contributed to subsequent domestic unrests that eventually led to the seizure of power by the Bolshviks.
    All the political elements in the Provisional Government at the time recognised that the war was one of the most urgent issues for the governemt to deal with. There were three choices about what to do about the war.
    The first one was to continue fighting. Such a view was in the mainstream, held by many high- ranking governmental officials, a representative of whom was Alexandar Kerensky, then the Minister of War, later the Prime Minister of the Provisional Government. To him, the continued Russian participation was an obligation to defend liberty and the revolution of the Russian people integral to the whole revolution endeavour, and "Russian honor" in international relationships. He also advocated "wiping out the shame" of previous defeats, especially during 1915 as the Russian Army was in constant retreat.

    However, despite their appearance as newly emerged defenders of freedom and democracy, the Provisional Government officials inherited the legacy of Tsarist Russia's sense of imperial glory.
    The second view of the war, more moderate and pragmatic, sought peace without annexations and indemnities. Dubbed as "revolutionary defensism", this view was held by the moderate socialists in the Soviet. As manifested in its first pronouncement on the war on Mar 14, the Soviet announced that ''the Russian democracy ... will oppose the policy of conquest of its ruling classes . . . and it summons the peoples of Europe to common, decisive action in favor of peace''. People holding this view did not have much enthusiam for territorial gains or the messianic Pan-Slavic heroism in liberating the Slavic population under oppression. Yet, unwilling to withdraw to reach a separate peace and hoping the war would end soon, the defensists agreed to cooperate with the government in war efforts.
    The last and most radical view, called "defeatism", was held by the Bolshevik Party under Vladimir Lenin's leadership. As Lenin and Stalin argued in their papers, the war was a ''predatory imperialist war", fighting for the caplists' expansionist ambitions at the price of revolutionaries' blood.

    The Bolsheviks further blamed the war as the topmost reason for Russian people's suffering – the financial crisis, food shortage, rising tax and cost of living, etc. To end the suffering, the Bolsheviks urged an immediate separate peace with the Central Powers and an end to Russia's own bourgeois government. There were even some who took pro-German standing among these defeatists. The Social Revolutionaries' representatives made open pro-German speeches and were in direct communication with the German government.
    One the international stage, the Allied government forces kept pressing Russia for the general offensive previously promised by the tsarist regime to be held in the spring 1917.
    The Central Powers, on the other hand, were hoping for a separate peace with Russia. A virtual armistice was realised at the front. The enermy prohibited any type of action except in response to a Russian assault "in the hope that Russia would sign a separate peace with the Central Powers". In fact, Berlin's attempts to negotiate Russia’s exit from the war started as early as April 1917.
    Preparation For The Offensive

    Despite the opposition and unrest at the front, the Provisional Government, from it very earliest days, had been preparing for a resumption of the military operation. Vasiliy Alekseyev, the chief of the army's staff from March to June 1917, started the evaluation of morale and fighting ability by requesting feedback from field commanders. The majority of these officers reported degenerated disciplines among soldiers and lowered fighting abilities resulting from the dissolution of old regulations and the absence of new ones. They thought the troops were ready for defensive operations, but that offensive operations should be put off. Also in doubt was the leadership that the army commanders could exercise over their troops. Given the special dual leadership of the Provisional Government and the Soviet, many army officers were confused and frustrated. Alexander Guchkov, the minister of war before Kerensky, once complained to Alekseyev, saying " may say directly that the Provisional Government exists only so long as the Soviete permits this. Especially in the military sphere it is possible now to give out only such orders as do not definitely conflict with the orders of the Soviet". With the army morale and discipline in question and the lack of clarity in leadership, Alekseyev wrote twice to the allies to put off Russian's commitment in the eastern front.

    By contrast, Aleksei Brusilov, Commander of the Southwestern Front, was optimistic about the general offensive. He received unanimous agreement from his commanders on several points: ''the armies had the will and capablity to attack; we must undertake our obligation to the Allies; ' the Army has its own opinion, and the opinion of Petrograd as to its state and morale cannot solve the question'; the opinion of the army is obligatory for Russia; its real force is here, in the theater of war, and not in the rear''
    However, that might not be the real case. As historian R. Feldmen pointed out, Brusilov arrived at his conclusion largely based on misinterpretation of the soldiers' revolutionary zeal as enthusiasm to continue the war. Indeed, as observed from the documents of soldiers voices during mid-1917, their opinions on the war divided widely. A small fraction of soldiers surely showed the patriotic enthusiasm as Brusilov concluded. They embraced the active military operation as ''the path to liberty and honor'' and criticised those who coiled at the offensive.

    However, the voices opposing Russia's continuous participation in war were equally strong. In the resolution from soldiers of the 1th Infantry Reserve Regiment, the soldiers called for immediate end of the war and concentrated efforts on reviving the national economy. Most of the soldiers were in confusion and tired of the war and simply held the defensist view: '' we will end it soon ... but (we) don't have to attack and aren't going to.''
    Although the army officers held different attitudes about the feasibility of the offensive, none of them ever questioned the necessity of Russia's continuous, active role in the war. Even the pessimist officers would agree that the defensive operations were to be only transient until morale and discipline were fully reestablished.However, Kerensky could not wait. Determined to implement the offensive as , Kerensky replaced the cautious Alekseyev with the bold and aggressive Brusilov on May 22. A series of purges were conducted in the army. General Dragomirov was replaced by General Klembovsky as commander of the Northern Front while General Przheval'sky replaced General Yudenich on the Caucasian Front and General Denikin, Chief of Staff to Alekseev, replaced Gurko as commander of the Western Front. Such personnel reshuffling merely one month ahead of the offensive was reminiscent of the frequent and capricious change of commanders by Nicholas II and signified the ineptitude of Kerensky in military manipulation.Kerensky spent extra efforts trying to win the support the approval and support of The First All-Russia Congress of Soviets, held in Petrograd on June 3. In order to gain support to legitimise the offensive, Kerensky once informed Brusilov to put off the offensive. As Kerensky expected, the resolution was passed, ending with the statement: 'The Congress takes the stand that until the war is brought to an end ... the Russian revolutionary democracy is obliged to keep its army in condition to take either the offensive or defensive.... The question whether to take the offensive should be decided from the purely military and strategic point of view.
    The Offensive

    On 1st July (June 18 O.S) 1917, on the day of the offensive the Russian army was better prepared than at any time during the war for an offensive. Three armies (the 11th Army to the north of the Southwestern front; 8th to the south; and 7th in the center) were rallied along the nearly long front, highly superior to the enermy in manpower and well equipped with arms from domestic factories as well as allies.
    The assault was prepared by two full days of artillery attack, although this did little harm to the enermy, who was informed well in advance about the offensive by deserters and the Petrograd news media and had enough time to evacuate their trenches.
    Tactically, the goal was to capture Lemberg which would disrupt communication and transportation between the German north and the Austro-Hungarian south. Strategically, the Russian commanders hope to give a heavy blow to the Austro-Hungarian troops in Galacia as well as to tie as much as possible German divisions so as to release the pressure on the Allies at the Western Front until the American troops arrived.
    Initial Success

    During the first few days of the offensive, the Russians gained a considerable victory. To the north, the 11th Army attacked the Austro-Hungarian 2nd Army. With intelligence, the Russian commander knew in advance that the Austrian 19th division consisted primarily of Czechs. The Russians quickly transferred a battalion of former Czech prisoners of war who had gone over to them from the Czech division. With a successful solicit of surrender before assualt, the 3000 men of the Austrian-Hungarian 19th Division dropped their weapons and surrendered to the Russians. The surrender of the 19th division created a gap in the Austro-Hungarian defence, which allowed the Russians to push deep into enemy line. On the first day alone, the 11th Army captured nearly 18,000 prisoners, 21 guns and 16 machine guns.

    At the center of the front was the 7th Army, which was the strongest among the three Russian Armies. However, they lost the iniative as they attacked three days later than the 11th Army, allowing their enemies to prepare themselves. Having sustained heavy losses, the 7th Army barely pushed through enemy line.The 8th Army in the south brought the largest success in the first few days. Mounting a full attack on the Austro-Hungarian 3rd Army, the Russian quickly cut through the enermy's defense, and eliminated a small force of German reserve. From July 1st to July 3rd (June 18 to June 20 O.S) witnessed the capture of 10,000 prisoners and 80 artillery pieces.

    The Offensive Falters

    Although filled with excitement from the initial success, Brusilov had to slow down the offensive after the first week for several reasons. Aside from the reinforcement by the Central Powers, one reason was the poor organisation of operational plans.
    The Russian commanders did not make detailed follow-up plans after the initial success. Another reason was the passive attitude of the field soldiers. Contary to the expectation that the soldiers, after initial success, would be more active in battlefield, they displayed unwillingness for further assault as they reasoned that they had done their share and were not obliged to keep up an uninterrupted advance. For these reasons, Brusilov had to postpone repeatedly his plans for secondary attacks. Finally, the commanders were given ''a free hand in deciding when the armies are ready'', which created a huge confussion that probably contributed to their later lack of coordination in operations.

    The Collapse

    While the Russians were immobilised in confusion, the Central Powers were able to organise their counter-attack. The Germans quickly transfer six divisions through their highly effective railway from the French and Belgian fronts.
    The Germans, with fighting ability much superior to that of the Austro-Hungarians, exerted tremendous pressure on the Russian lines. To the south, the Austro-Hungarian 7th Army were able to probe the loosely held positions of the Russians and made a concerted attack to push the Russians back. Altogether, the Central Powers were able to break the Russian defense and advance 100 miles within 10 days.
    During the retreat, the Russians suffered heavy losses: casualties included 40,000 killed, and 20,000 wounded. At this point, the Russian army was so devastated that they were not able to launch any further counter-attacks.


    The Kerensky Offensive, was a desperate gamble to reestablish governmental authority that backfired on the Provisional Government. Its failure marked the weakness of the Provisional Government in military, politics and diplomatic relationships.
    Suffering such a heavy blow, the Russian army never recovered to its full strength and was no longer able to launch any further offensives.
    Instead of bolstering army morale by a victory, the offensive deepened soldiers' grievances about the war and the government itself and led to further degeneration in army discipline. The government again reshuffled the army commanding personnel. General Brusilov was replaced by General Kornilov, who was the main actor in the 'Kornilov Affair' in August 1917 that catalysed the collapse of the Provsional Government. As for the relationship with the Allies, the offensive did nothing to raise Russia's prestige. Rather, frustrated by their weakness, the Allies no longer counted on the Russians for constructive warfare.
    Most importantly, the military failure shook the basis of the government's authority. The Kerensky Offensive signified the government's inability and even insensitivity to respond to the need of the people. The government was expected, best summarised in a March 1917 editorial in the Newspaper Rabochaia Gazeta:

    " with the support of the people and the army, to destroy swiftly and decisively everything that remains of the old order and that interferes with the new one, and to create, just as swiftly and decisively, everything without which the new order cannot exist...'
    However, instead of bringing in the new order, the government clutched tightly to the war, one of the major legacies of the old order, and kept feeding the war machine with the scarce resouces so desperately needed to relieve the country's suffering. Such ignorance of people's calls widened the gap between the government and the masses.
    Meanwhile, the government's weakness in maintaining order and discipline was evident. Soldiers were becoming increasingly defiant to their officers and more and more rebellious. The Bolsheviks exploited to the full advantage of these dissatisfactions to attack the government on their path of rising to power.

    Eastern Front

    Russians gain and lose Nowica (Galicia); heavy fighting.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    Sir E. Geddes succeeds Sir E. Carson as First Lord of the Admiralty.

    Political, etc.

    Revolt in Petrograd crushed; order being restored.

    Mesopotamia Report: Government announce further decision.

    Petition to extend the Canadian Parliament will not be put forward.

    Australian repatriation scheme introduced.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  22. #2572

  23. #2573


    Alas a forshortened edition this evening as I have been visiting my granddaughter in hospital all evening and have only just got back... and also beacuse of the weather there is not a great deal to report on

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    19th July 1917

    Let us start with a sentence that we have not seen for many many months....


    In addition there were only two claims on this day... both first timers.

    Captain Claude Robert James Thompson Australia #1 (19 Squadron RFC)

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    From Richmond, Victoria, Lieutenant Claude Robert James Thompson received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 4343 at Shoreham on 1 March 1917. Flying the SPAD VII and SPAD XIII, he was credited with six victories while serving with 19 Squadron in 1917. Reassigned to the Home Establishment, he was killed in a crash during the summer of 1918.

    Hauptmann Karl Nikitsch Austro-Hungarian Empire #1

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    Hauptmann Karl Nikitsch was a World War I flying ace credited with six aerial victories.

    He was killed in an air crash during a test flight of a French single-seat aircraft

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    484 British Lives were lost on this day

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Lieutenant Brian Hugh Bridgeman Lethbridge (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Bridgeman Herbert Servante Lethbridge Vicar of St Luke’s Enfield.
    Second Lieutenant Hugh Cecil Moxon (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the late Reverend Ernest Arthur Moxon, Vicar of All Saints New Market.
    Second Lieutenant John Theodore Gordon Humphreys (40th Pathans) dies while on service in Dar es Salaam at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Henry James Humphreys Vicar of Thornley who will lose two other sons in the war.
    Second Lieutenant Alexander Hope Kinnear (Cameron Highlanders) is killed in action at age 22. His brother was killed in August 1916.
    Second Lieutenant Basil Lyoons (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 30. His brother was killed last September.
    Private Frederick Turner (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 31. His brother died on service in February 1917.

    The Reichstag Peace Resolution was passed by the Reichstag of the German Empire on 19 July 1917 by 212 votes to 126. It was supported by the Social Democrats, the Catholic Center Party and the Progressive People's Party, and was opposed by the National Liberals and the Conservatives. The resolution was introduced by the Catholic leader Matthias Erzberger. It was an attempt to seek a negotiated peace to end World War I. The resolution called for no annexations, no indemnities, freedom of the seas and international arbitration. It was ignored by the German High Command and by the Allied powers.

    Discussions of Germany’s aims during the war were wedded to visions of what the country’s political institutions would look like after the war. In issues of domestic politics, the Catholic party had traditionally allied more easily with Conservatives than with the Progressives or the Socialists, where anti-clericalism ran deep. As doubts about the war grew, forces within the Catholic party migrated to the left. In the summer of 1917, the Catholic leader, Matthias Erzberger (1875-1921), persuaded a majority of the Catholics in the parliament to join with the Progressives and Majority Socialists in sponsoring a public resolution in favor of a compromise peace. In July 1917, over the protests of the chancellor and the Supreme Command, these parliamentary allies passed the so-called Peace Resolution. This was the most spectacular act of parliamentary defiance during the war and signaled a major rift in the domestic consensus that had given birth to the war.

    As it did on August 4, 1914, the word uttered from the throne still holds true for the German people at the threshold of the war’s fourth year: “We seek no conquest.” Germany resorted to arms in order to protect its freedom and independence, to defend its territorial integrity.
    The Reichstag strives for a peace of understanding, for durable reconciliation among the peoples of the world. Territorial acquisitions achieved by force and violations of political, economic, or financial integrity are incompatible with such a peace.

    The Reichstag furthermore rejects all plans that envisage economic exclusion or continuing enmity among nations after the war. The freedom of the seas must be guaranteed. Only economic peace will lay the groundwork for amicable coexistence among the peoples of the world.

    The Reichstag will actively promote the creation of international legal organizations. As long, however, as enemy governments do not agree to such a peace, as long as they threaten Germany and its allies with territorial conquests and violations, the German people will stand together as one man, persevere unshakably, and fight on until its right and the right of its allies to life and free development is guaranteed.

    United, the German people is unconquerable. In its determination, the Reichstag stands united with the men who are protecting the Fatherland in heroic combat. They can be certain of the never-ending gratitude of the entire nation.

    Western Front

    Heavy German attacks south of Lombartzyde (Nieuport sector), south of St. Quentin, and north of the Aisne repulsed.

    Eastern Front

    German counter-offensive opens; Russian positions east of Zloczow (east Lemberg) pierced as a results of troops insubordination.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    Turkish cavalry force encountered west of Beersheba (Palestine) and driven back.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    Report on operations in East Africa published.

    Main German positions in the region of Narongombe (East Africa) attacked; heavy casualties on both sides.

    Political, etc.

    German Imperial Chancellor speaks in the Reichstag on the "Majority Resolution".

    Statement issued on Russian and German Socialists meeting at Stockholm.

    Attempted assassination of M. Kerenski.

    Captain Tunstill's Men: Two Companies in the front line, between I.30.b.9.8. and I.30.c.8.4; Battalion HQ and one Company in Hedge Street Tunnels and the remaining Company in Canada dugouts.

    Pte. Mark Ruckledge (see 17th October 1916) was killed in action and would be buried at Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery, just north of the village of Verbrandenmolen. However, the precise location of his grave within the cemetery was lost in subsequent fighting and he is now commemorated on one of the special memorials in the cemetery.

    Pte. William Noel Simpson (see 5th July), who had only joined the Battalion two weeks previously, was wounded, suffering injuries to his left leg; he was admitted to 70th Field Ambulance and would be transferred via 2nd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station at Remy Sidings to 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen. Pte. John Edward Bartle (see 19th December 1916) was also wounded; the nature of his wounds are unknown.

    On the night of 19/20th the Battalion was relieved by the 9Yorks and moved back into reserve. BHQ mover to Larch Wood at I.29.c.2.9. One Company was at the Dump (I.29.c.2.4); one Company at Battersea Farm (I.23.c.7.2) and two Companies much further back at Scottish Wood near ****ebusch.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  24. #2574


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    20th July 1917

    Looks like there was break in the weather over the battlefields judging by the increase in aerial combat on this day. In addition we have some monumental changes to the Eurpoean political landscape and the founding of new states...

    Two aces were lost on this day...

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    2nd Lt. Aldred Seymour Shephard DSO.MC

    Enlisting on 8 September 1915, Alfred Seymour Shepherd served with the Australian Infantry before his transfer to the Royal Flying Corps on 23 October 1916. On 25 April 1917, he was posted to 29 Squadron as a Nieuport scout pilot, becoming a flight commander on 13 July 1917. Scoring ten confirmed victories, all of his victims flew the Albatros D.III. On the evening of 20 July 1917, Shepherd was killed in action when his Nieuport 23 was shot down by an Albatros D.V flown by Alfred Niederhoff of Jasta 11.

    2nd Lt. Alfred Seymour Shepherd, R.F.C., Spec. Res.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While on balloon attack he came under heavy fire from a rocket battery. He attacked this battery from a low altitude, silencing it, and dispersing the gunners. He then returned to the attack on a balloon, and fired all his ammunition, and though his machine was badly hit, crossed the line at 100 feet.

    2nd Lt. Alfred Seymour Shepherd, M.C., R.F.C., Spec. Res.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on numerous occasions when engaged in combat with hostile aircraft. Though surrounded by enemy machines, he continued to fight for nearly an hour with the utmost gallantry and determination against two hostile formations, finally bringing down one of the enemy out of control. Within a month he brought down seven hostile machines completely out of control.

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    Cornet Juri Vladimirovich Gilsher

    Of noble birth, Gilsher studied civil engineering before entering the Nikoliavsky Cavalry school on 13 December 1914. On 29 August 1915, he transferred to the air service, first attending flight school at Gatchina before going to the front with the newly formed 4th Army Air Detachment on 19 November 1915. A few weeks later, an accident with a propellor blade injured his left hand. When he recovered, Gilsher completed advanced flight training at Odessa, then returned to the front on 5 April 1916. Promoted to Cornet (Cavalry Second Lieutenant), he was attached to the newly formed 7th Fighter Detachment. Crashing a badly damaged Sikorsky S-16 on 9 May 1916, Gilsher's left leg had to be amputated. Refusing to give up his flying career, he learned to use a prosthesis, returned to his squadron as temporary commander and continued flying combat missions. Flying the Nieuport 21, he was credited with five victories before he was killed in action by enemy fire.

    Claims on this day were as follows:

    Arthur Coningham Australia #4 #5 #6
    Robert Little Australia #34
    Alexander Augustus Norman Dudley Pentland Australia #2
    Otto Jäger Austro-Hungarian Empire #6
    Andre de Meulemeester Belgium #4
    William Alexander Canada #7
    William Bishop Canada #36

    Raymond Collishaw Canada #34

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    Nice wing spacing on this plane

    Reginald Hoidge Canada #13
    Roderick McDonald Canada #4
    Ellis Reid Canada #13
    Charles Booker England #19
    Geoffrey Bowman England #11
    Frederick Sowrey England #4
    Mortimer West England #3
    Hans von Adam Germany #7
    Hans Bethge Germany #10

    Oscar von Boenigk Germany #1

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    The son of an army officer, Oskar von Boenigk received a commission in the König Friedrich III Grenadier Regiment on 22 March 1912. As a platoon leader during the Battle of Longwy in October 1914, he was badly wounded in the chest. Upon recovering, he returned to his unit in the spring of 1915 and was awarded the Iron Cross, second class. Later that year, his application for a transfer to the air service was accepted and he was sent to observer school in December 1915. In March 1916 he was posted to Kampfstaffel 19. After four months he was reassigned to Kampfstaffel 32. Boenigk applied for Jastaschule in January 1917 and upon graduating he was posted to Jasta 4 on 24 June 1917. With this unit he scored five victories and was awarded the Iron Cross, first class. On 21 October 1917 he assumed command of Jasta 21. Scoring an additional sixteen victories with this unit, he was awarded the Hohenzollern House Order. On 31 August 1918 he was promoted to Oberleutnant and assumed command of Jagdgeschwader II. Stationed on the St. Mihiel Front in September, Boenigk scored five more victories, bringing his total to 26. In October he was awarded the Albert Order, second class, the Saxe-Ernestine House Order, second class, the Order of St. John and the Blue Max.

    Freiherr von Boenigk served with distinction in the post-war revolution and attained the rank of Major General with the Luftwaffe during World War II. Captured by the Russians in May 1945, he died as a prisoner of war in 1946.

    Alfred Niederhoff Germany #6

    Kurt Schönfelder Germany #1

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    Schönfelder was a naval pilot attached to Jasta 7. He was killed in combat when his black Fokker D.VII, distinctively marked with a gold star on the fuselage, was shot down by the Sopwith Camels of 210 Squadron.

    Kurt Wüsthoff Germany #5
    John Cowell Ireland #13
    Fulco Ruffo di Calabria Italy #12 #13
    Juri Gilsher Russia #5
    Vasili Yanchenko Russia #12
    Gerald Maxwell Scotland #6

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    Lieutenant Colonel Clive Maitland Waterlow (Royal Engineers, Wing Commander Royal Naval Air Service) is killed at age 31 at the Royal Naval Air Service Training Establishment at Cranwell. It is typical overcast summer’s day with a light breeze of not more than four or five mph. A landing party is walking airship SS.39 back to its shed after an instructional flight. Although a routine operation, on this occasion they are being supervised by the Commanding Officer of the Airship Training Wing, Commander Waterlow. Suddenly the airship begins to lift off. As instructed the landing party lets go of the ropes, all except, that is, Waterlow and two of the party, PO Mechanic Maurice George Collins and AMII Simon Lightstone. For some reason these three men spring forward and grasp the fore starboard guy just as the airship leaps into the air and quickly gains height. The three men hang on as well as they can but as their grips weaken they fall one by one to their deaths. The SS.39 later makes a landing about one and half miles east of Cranwell village and is ripped but otherwise it suffers little damage. Wing Commander Waterlow is the only son of David Sydney Waterlow former Member of Parliament for Islington and grandson of ‘Sir’ Sydney Waterlow and dies at age 33. Waterlow was involved in the inaugural flight of the first British Army Airship, Nulli Secundus, at Farnborough on the morning of 10th September 1907.


    Flt. Lt. Akers, J.F.W. (John Frederick William) 4 (N) Squadron RFC
    PO Mech Collins, M.G. (Maurice George) Airship Training Wing, Cranwell Central Depot & Training Establishment Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'Daedalus'
    2nd Lt. Jardine, R.G. (Robert Gordon) 56 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech. 2 Lightstone, S. (Simon) Airship Wing, Cranwell RNAS
    Capt. Messervy, E.D. (Ernest Dyce) 56 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Phillips, J.L. (Joseph Leo) RFC
    Lt. Pittman, C.F. (Cecil Frederick) Central Flying School, Upavon, Wiltshire
    2nd Lt. Shepherd, A.S. (Alfred Seymour) 29 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Colonel Waterlow, C.M. (Clive Maitland) H.M. Airship 'SS 39', Cranwell Balloon Wing RNAS
    Lt. Workman, C.S. (Charles Service) 10 Squadron RFC

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    The P&O express mail liner Salsette is torpedoed in the starboard side of the engine room by UB-40 fifteen miles southwest from Portland Bill on its way to Marseilles and Bombay. The torpedo strikes at 12:01 and fifteen men are killed in the explosion. Moments later Captain Albert Armitage (Royal Naval Reserve) gives the order to abandon ship – an evacuation that is completed in five minutes. Forty-five minutes later the ship lists to the port side and sinks. The UB-40 sits out several depth-charge attacks before surfacing and sinking another steamer, the collier L H Carl, just one hour later. Two crewmembers are killed in this sinking.

    Eastern Front

    German breach of Russian front in Galicia growing; retreat stayed in Brzezany and Halicz regions.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    Record heat at Baghdad 123 deg.


    With the Austro-Hungarian empire rapidly crumbling in 1918 moves were well underway to instigate the creation of a new Greater Serbia state.

    The establishment of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes - which was formally declared on 1 December 1918 and renamed Yugoslavia in October 1929 - demonstrated the clear determination on the part of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Montenegrins, Bosnians, Macedonians and others to win self-determination from Austria; the collapse of the empire brought such nationalist agitation to a head.

    Reproduced below is the text of the Corfu Declaration of 20 July 1917 which established the Allied-backed principles upon which the new state would be created and governed.

    The Corfu Declaration, 20 July 1917

    The first step toward building the new State of Yugoslavia

    1. The State of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, who are also known by the name of Southern Slays or Yugoslavs, will be a free and independent kingdom, with an indivisible territory and unity of power. This State will be a constitutional, democratic, and Parliamentary monarchy, with the Karageorgevich dynasty, which has always shared the ideals and feelings of the nation in placing above everything else the national liberty and will at its head.

    2. The name of this State will be the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and the title of the sovereign will be King of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

    3. This State will have one coat-of-arms, only one flag, and one crown.

    4 The four different flags of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes will have equal rights, and may be hoisted freely on all occasions. The same will obtain for the four different coats-of-arms.

    5. The three national denominations, the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, are equal before the law in all the territory of the kingdom, and each may freely use it on all occasions in public life and before all authorities.

    6. The two Cyrillic and Latin alphabets also have the same rights and every one may freely use them in all the territory of the kingdom. The royal and local self-governing authorities have the rights and ought to employ the two alphabets according to the desire of the citizens.

    7. All religions are recognized, and may be free and publicly practiced. The Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Mussulman religions, which are most professed in our country, will be equal, and will enjoy the same rights in relation to the State. In view of these principles, the Legislature will be careful to preserve the religious peace in conformity with the spirit and tradition of our entire nation.

    8. The Gregorian calendar will be adopted as soon as possible.

    9. The territory of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes will comprise all the territory where our nation lives in compact masses and without discontinuity, and where it could not be mutilated without injuring the vital interests of the community. Our nation does not ask for anything which belongs to others, and only claims that which belongs to it. It desires to free itself and establish its unity. That is why it conscientiously and firmly rejects every partial solution of the problem of its freedom from the Austro-Hungarian domination.

    10. The Adriatic Sea, in the interests of liberty and equal rights of all nations, is to be free and open to all and each.

    11. All citizens throughout the territory of the kingdom are equal, and enjoy the same rights in regard to the State and the law.

    12. The election of Deputies to the national representation will take place under universal suffrage, which is to be equal, direct, and secret. The same will apply to the elections in the communes and other administrative institutions. A vote will be taken in each commune.

    13. The Constitution to be established after the conclusion of peace by the Constituent Assembly elected by universal, direct, and secret suffrage will serve as a basis for the life of the State. It will be the origin and ultimate end of all the powers and all rights by which the whole national life will be regulated. The Constitution will give the people the opportunity of exercising its particular energies in local autonomies, regulated by natural, social, and economic conditions. The Constitution must be adopted in its entirety by a numerical majority of the Constituent Assembly, and all other laws passed by the Constituent Assembly will not come into force until they have been sanctioned by the King.

    Thus the united nation of Serbs, Croatians, and Slovenes will form a State of twelve million inhabitants. This State will be a guarantee of their national independence and of their general national progress and civilization, and a powerful rampart against the pressure of the Germans, and an inseparable ally of all civilized peoples and States.

    Having proclaimed the principle of right and liberty and of international justice, it will form a worthy part of the new society of nations.

    Signed at Corfu, July 20, 1917, by the President of the Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Serbia, Nikola Pa****ch, and the President of the Yugoslav Committee, Dr. Ante Trumbic.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 07-20-2017 at 15:42.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  25. #2575


    How are we fixed for cover Chris?
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  26. #2576


    Thanks Chris - hope your granddaughter is ok

  27. #2577


    OK, things have altered in the last few days. I'll stick my neck out and say that I'm willing to give it a bash for a day or two - haven't a clue how to go about it, but i'm available this weekend. If Rob can take the reins Monday to Friday, I'll do my best to keep the print rolling tomorrow and Sunday. If that suits PM me Chris / Rob,


  28. #2578


    Very nicelt done

  29. #2579


    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    OK, things have altered in the last few days. I'll stick my neck out and say that I'm willing to give it a bash for a day or two - haven't a clue how to go about it, but i'm available this weekend. If Rob can take the reins Monday to Friday, I'll do my best to keep the print rolling tomorrow and Sunday. If that suits PM me Chris / Rob,

    Many thanks Mike, however my plans have been changed at this end and as my grandaughter was only released from hospital today I am now not going on Holiday until Sunday afternoon. This means I am around to do Saturday's and Sunday's but will need back up Mon-Sat. If you and Rob could cover a few days each that would be brilliant. I will send you through a list of sites that I refer to, but in addition to those just googling the date usually throws up a good story or two. I will be back in time for the first day of Passchendaele which is gong to be a monster edition. Also I will send you a picture to use as your header (via e-mail) Need a new sniper as I have the Mauser 98, Rob the SMLE and Neil the Moisin Nagant. I was looking for a suitable Springfield 1903 image to fit the header but couldn't find one I liked, so I chose this instead... its a bit different

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  30. #2580


    OK Chris, I'll pm Rob and see what he has planned. I'm sure we can manage between us Have a good break when you go. Hope your Grandfather is ok now.
    Chau for now.

  31. #2581


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    21st July 1917

    We will start today with an article from The Spectator magazine entitled - The Crisis in Germany

    WE think we may take it for granted that the infectious spirit of the Russian Revolution, together with the declarations from Britain and France that peace could be made more easily with the German people than with the present rulers of Germany, has produced a real impression in Germany. On many sides we see signs of disquiet, anxiety, and a desire for popular reform. We believe that these feelings so far as they affect the German people themselves are genuine enough. Indeed, we should be paying very little attention to history, which proves the infectious character of revolutions, and to the political penetration displayed by Mr. Lloyd George and M. Ribot in their recent speeches, if we thought otherwise. We believe, then, that the beginnings of a popular movement in Germany have proceeded, so far as they go and for what they are worth, from the mind and heart of, the 'people themselves, and were not originally procured by the Government as a means of misleading foreign observers. This is not to say that the German bureaucracy will not be able to turn events to their own advantage. This is of course pre- cisely what they will try to do. They may very well succeed, and indeed, as we said last week, they are already showing signs of success. They are accomplished masters of make- believe, guides who know every inch of the tortuous paths of political guile. Before we can even think of regarding seriously the first results of popular feeling in Germany we must bring them to sonic sort of test.

    This, after all, is not difficult to do. Take the resolution which is to be submitted to the Reichstag on Thursday—we are writing about it before we know the outcome of the clebat e —and see whether it satisfies any test implied in the well-known war aims of the Allies. The resolution drawn up by the Majority in the Reichstag (i.e., the Roman Catholic Centre, the Socialist Party, and the Radicals, who represent the new popular movement) runs :- " As on August 411,, 1914, so now on the threshold of the fourth war winter, the words of the Speech from the Throne hold good for the German people—namely, that we are not impelled by the lust of conquest, and that Germany took up arms for the defence of her freedom and independence and for the integrity of her territorial possessions. The Reichstag strives for peace by agreement and for lasting conciliation of peoples. Such a peace is incompatible with territorial expansion by force and with political, economic, or financial oppressions. The Reichstag also rejects all plans aiming at economic isolation and international enmities after tho war. The freedom of the seas must be assured. Only an economic peace will prepare the ground for peaceful intercourse of nations. The Reichs- tag will energetically promote the creation of International Courts. So long as enemy Govertunents do not agree to such a peace, eo long as they threaten Germany and her Allies with conquest or oppression, the German people will stand together as one man and firmly hold on and fight until its right ant! its Allies' right to live and to develop is assured. United the German people is unconquerable. The Reichstag knows itself at one with the men who in heroic fight are defending the Fatherland."

    Let us make all the allowances we can for the fact that the Majority wish to be persuasive and tactful and gently to draw hesitating politicians along with them, and we must still confess that the popular movement offers us the very smallest satisfaction at present. It is a good sign that the old bluster about conquest and annexations and indemnities has dis- appeared, but we see no trace of courage or determination. The Majority probably feel more than they say. Yet they have not dared to say it. They try to make the Kaiser's words their own, but they must remember that the Kaiser's policy to a policy of conquest, and that all the world has long known its

    That policy began with the absolutely unprecedented oppression of Serbia, and went on with the infamous violation of Luxemburg and Belgium, the murder of Belgians, the destruction of Belgian homes, the shooting of hostages, the avaricious extortion of fines, the deportation of Belgians for servile labour, the illegal introduction of gas and liquid-fire in the field, the wholesale murder of non-combatants at sea, the arch-atrocity of sinking hospital ships, the connivance in the massacre of Armenians, and so on in a catalogue too long to reproduce: No nation at war has ever compiled such a record. But let us pass over the palpable untruth about Germany's object in making war and come to the object of the Majority as now stated. It is " peace by agree- ment and a lasting conciliation of peoples." Such a peace, we agree, is incompatible in the abstract with " territorial expansion by force and with political, economic, or financial oppressions.! But the world having suffered once from the wickedness and brutality of the German rulers has no notion of suffering a second time from the same cause. The Majority must know that, and if they had an ounce of daring, or any Proper determination to prove the strength of their convictions, they would propose to offer to the Allies some pledges of their right intentions for the future. Surely the first thing they would tell themselves is that they must make amends —offer reparation—for the terrible wrongs they have done to Belgium and other countries ; and the second thing they would tell themselves is that the Allies will ritually wait some guarantee of security in future. As they do not even mention the possibility of such things, the words that follow about " International Courts " signify nothing. In their context such words are even an offencs. What is the use of Courts when the same people remain in power in Germany once more to bring the name of international agreements into contempt and ridicule ? The popular movement in Germany must go very much farther than this before the Allies can feel that they are coming into contact at any point with the German people.

    Now let us turn from the people's point of view to that of the Emperor and his bureaucrats. Although it is clear to us that the Government did not originate the present move- ment, they are no doubt trying desperately to use it for their own purposes. Just as Bismarck always diverted attention front awkward questions at home by threatening some foreign country, so he used domestic questions to disconcert his foreign enemies. We have to thank the Westminster Gazette for having picked out a striking extract front Bismarck's Recolleetions and Reminiscences :— " Looking to the in necessity in a fight against an overwhelming foreign Power of being a',lr, extretno need, to use even revolu- tionary means, I had no hesitation whatever in throwing into the frying-pan, by means of the circular despatch of Juno 10th, 1866, the most powerful ingredient known at that time to liberty.mongers, namely, universal suffrage, so as to frighten off foreign monarchies from trying to stick a finger into our national omelette. I never doubted that the German people would be strong and clever enough to free themselves from the existing suffrage as soon as they realised that it was a harmful institution. If it cannot, then my saying that Germany can ride when once she has got into the saddle was erro- neous. The acceptance of universal suffrage was a weapon in the war against Austria and other foreign countries, in the war for German unity, as well as a threat to use the last weapons in a war against coalitions. In a war of this sort, when it becomes a matter of life and death, one does not look at the weapons that one seizes, nor the value of what one destroys in using them ; one is guided at the moment by no other thought than the issue of the war and the preservation of one's external independence ; the settling of affairs and the reparation of the damage has to take place after the peace."

    Bismarck's tradition holds. If the Kaiser and his advisers can use the popular movement as a blind, they certainly will. They cannot help accepting it up to a point, because the domestic danger of resisting it would ha too great. The Kaiser is not the man ho was, nor is his position what it was. Both are shaken. Ho and his advisers recognize that Austria is utterly war-weary and wants peace, even on humbling terms, and they also recognize that the voice of Bavaria is as the voice of Austria. Yet they still hope to guide these feelings into the required channel. At present they seem to us to be awaiting their opportunity. The Majority resolution lends itself to almost any inter- pretation ; and the new Chancellor is a man who, for all we know—hardly anything is known about him—will also lend himself to any policy imposed upon him front above. That is the merit of Dr. Michaelis in the eyes of the bureaucracy, that he has no past record which need embarrass him. An issue approaches. If the popular party have any pluck, they may achieve something. If they live on in au atmosphere of servility, of condonation, and of tact rather than of fact, they will achieve nothing, and may actually find themselves for some time in a worse position than ever-

    But one way or another the situation seems likely to change a good deal faster than was has hitherto in the war. Herr von Bethmann Hollweg was like a feather-bed ; he could be punched indefinitely without result. If Dr. Michaelii is to be only a mouthpiece, as we suspect--otherwise the choice of such an obscure person is very difficult to explain— what kind of opinions will he be made to utter I There can of course be only one answer : the views of Ludendorff and Hindenburg, of the Crown Prince and Tirpitz.. so be it. We ask for nothing better. We shall know exactly against what we have to contend. The issue will more than ever be Democracy versus Autocracy." The solitary figure of the Kaiser will stand out struggling for a hopeless and discredited political system. If he plays his part cleverly, his fall may be postponed, but it will be the heavier when it comes. From his own standpoint, he may be right to fight for the cause of his House and trick his people, for if Kaiserism as he has conceived it is not militaristic it is nothing. Democracy means that militarists are out of a job. The situation, in fine, though it is dark and intricate for the Germans, is clear enough for us. We cannot make peace with Kaiserism. There must be a change of heart and a change of system in Germany, with unmistakable guarantees of reparation and future good conduct, before we can approach the question of peace. We can wait calmly for the signs. If the Majority refuse to pass the Vote of Credit in the Reichstag, they will exhibit a good sign ; if they pass it, • they will exhibit a bad one. Till there is some one in power in Germany whom we can trust there will he nobody with whom we can make peace. In the final analysis everything is reduced to a question of good faith. At present there are no traces of good faith towards us, although we believe that the German popular movement is real in itself so far as it has gone. The old solution of the war holds good. We must beat Germany to her knees.

    The War in The Air

    The following pilots made claims on this day...

    Robert Little Australia #35
    Raymond Collishaw Canada #35 #36

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    Robert Dodds Canada #1

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    An engineering student when the war began, Robert Dodds enlisted on 3 January 1916. After serving overseas with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in October 1916. Posted to 48 Squadron on 12 July 1917, Dodds flew Bristol Fighters and won the Military Cross for an attack on an enemy aerodrome. In May 1918 he returned to Canada where he served as an instructor at Camp Mohawk. In latter life, Dodds played a prominent role in the development of Canadian civil aviation. He was head of the civil aviation division of the defense department from 1930 until he retired in 1957 at age 65. According to his nephew, Robert Dodds requested his uniforms and other war memorabilia be donated to the local Hamilton Military Museum. He was a signatory to the creation of Trans-Canada Airlines, the forerunner of Air Canada. In the 1960s, he and other WWI veterans were interviewed by Frank Lalor of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation for a radio documentary series called In Flanders Fields.

    Albert Earl Godfrey Canada #9
    Ellis Reid Canada #14
    Melville Waddington Canada #4
    Brian Edmund Baker England #2
    Robert Coath England #2

    James (Jimmy) Thomas Byford McCudden VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar, MM England #6

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    Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids England #13
    Frederick Sowrey England #5

    Thomas Tuffield England #1 (48 Squadron RFC)

    From the 16th Battalion of the Welsh Regiment, Tuffield transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in the summer of 1917. Posted to 48 Squadron as an observer, he scored 6 victories flying the Bristol Fighter before becoming a pilot in 1918.

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    Any excuse.....

    Rupert Randolph Winter England #2

    Gustav Schneidewind Germany #1

    Schneidewind was posted to Jasta 1(F) in Palestine on 7 January 1918. On 23 May 1918, in a fight with the Bristol Fighters of 1 Squadron (AFC), he was badly wounded in both arms when he was shot down by Carrick Paul of New Zealand.

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    Ooh another excuse - 1 Squadron AFC

    Adolf von Tutschek Germany #17
    William Charles Campbell Scotland #18 #19


    Capt. Brown, S.F. (Sidney Frederick) 21 Squadron RFC
    Rfmn Davis, H. (Harry) 21 Squadron RFC
    Lt (Tp Flt Sub-Lt) Hervey, W.B. (William Baker) H.M. Airship 'C11', Howden Naval Air Station
    Air Mech 2 Lloyd, W.M. (William Morley) 4 Squadron attached 56th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
    Flt. Commander MacLennan, G.G. (George Gordon) 6th (N) Squadron RNAS
    Lt . Madill, R.M.K. (Ralph MacKenzie) 20 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 1 Moore, H.F. (Harold Frank) H.M. Airship 'C 11', Howden Naval Air Station
    Flt. Commander Morrison, L.D. (Louis D.) RNAS
    Air Mech 1Muir, R. (Robert) 14 Squadron attached 302nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
    2nd Lt. Rook, F.W. (Frederick William) 40 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Ward, H.R. (Harry Richard) Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II'
    Air Mech 1 Webb, C. Recruits Depot RFC

    Capt. Tunstill's men : Another very hot day. In close reserve with BHQ at Larch Wood (I.29.c.2.9). One Company at the Dump (I.29.c.2.4); one Company at Battersea Farm (I.23.c.7.2) and two Companies much further back at Scottish Wood near ****ebusch.

    Western Front

    Heavy artillery battle in Flanders.

    Eastern Front

    Germans progress south of Dniester, reach suburbs of Tarnopol.

    Russians retreating on the Sereth.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    H.M.S. "Otway" torpedoed, 10 lost.

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    SS Otway was a British ocean liner owned by the Orient Line, built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of Glasgow, Scotland and launched in 1909.

    She had five sister ships; Orsova, Osterley, Otranto, Orvieto, and the Orama. These ships allowed the Orient Line a prized attraction to the traveling public: fixed sailings every other week to Australia and New Zealand. Requisitioned by the Royal Navy and deployed as an armed merchant cruiser, Otway was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat SM UC-49 off the Hebrides on 23 July 1917 during World War I, with the loss of 10 lives. (Fog of War as we have 2 conflicting dates here one for 21st one for 23rd - editor)

    Political, etc.

    Mr. Lloyd George replies to Herr Michaelis.

    Arrest and deportation to Germany of General Pilsudski (Polish patriot).

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  32. #2582


    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    OK Chris, I'll pm Rob and see what he has planned. I'm sure we can manage between us Have a good break when you go. Hope your Grandfather is ok now.
    Chau for now.
    Another late change - when I heard we were getting back at 3:00 on Sunday, it was actually 3:00am on Monday morning so alas I will need Sunday covering as well.
    Lol I assume you mean my grand daughter if my grandfather was Ok he would be about 120 !!

    Really appreciate your support - I will PM you some links etc

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  33. #2583


    Chris, Mike.
    I can handle that. Will start Monday and talk to you on that day Mike.
    Got to go now.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  34. #2584


    Lol I assume you mean my grand daughter if my grandfather was Ok he would be about 120 !!
    Guess I need new glasses as well as a hearing aid, but please don't tell my wife (Actually she already knows - just kidding!)

    Chris, Mike.
    I can handle that. Will start Monday and talk to you on that day Mike.
    Got to go now.
    OK Rob, chat Monday

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