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Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

  1. #3001


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    22nd January 1918

    and... it's nice to be back, we will get today's edition complate then over the next day or so catch up the ones we have missed whilst the site has been down. Apologies for the enforced break but obviously out of our hands.

    General Headquarters, January 23rd.

    "On the 22nd inst. there was a great improvement in the weather, visibility being excellent after the rain. A great many hostile batteries were engaged by our artillery with aeroplane observation, and numerous photographs were taken. Nearly 400 bombs were dropped by us on the enemy's billets at Roulers and Menin, on a large ammunition dump near Courtrai, and on other targets in the enemy's forward areas. Several thousand rounds also were fired from our aeroplanes at different ground targets, including hostile troops and transport on roads and active hostile batteries and machine guns. Seven of the enemy's machines were brought down in air fighting, and two others were driven down out of control. A hostile observation balloon was brought down in flames. Two of our machines are missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 124:

    In spite of occasional rain-storms, a considerable amount of flying was done, especially by the 2nd Brigade, who, considering the time of year, did a record day’s work.

    Seventy-nine hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, 11 neutralized, seven gun-pits destroyed, 37 damaged, 37 explosions and 31 fires caused. 196 active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    A total of 1,258 photographs were taken, 576 bombs dropped, and 18,670 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:

    1st Brigade: 187 photographs were taken; 65 25-lb bombs dropped and 475 rounds fired by the 1st Wing, and 5,800 rounds fired by the 10th Wing.

    2nd Brigade: 641 photographs were taken, 75 25-lb bombs dropped, and 3,785 rounds fired. No 57 Squadron dropped 57 25-lb bombs on Bisseghem ammunition dump. Eleven machines of No 70 Squadron, carrying 20-lb bombs, carried out a very successful raid on the Canal Wharf at Menin. Nine hits were obtained on the objective, one on the wharf and six on the town.

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    205 photographs were taken, 49 25-lb bombs dropped, and 2,380 rounds fired.

    5th Brigade: 182 photographs were taken. 22nd Wing fired 2,530 rounds and dropped 16 25-lb bombs; No 8 Squadron dropped 28 25-lb bombs and fired 2,145 rounds; No 35 Squadron dropped 20 25-lb bombs and fired 1,450 rounds; No 48 Squadron dropped 16 25-lb bombs, and No 52 Squadron fired 1,050 rounds.

    9th Wing: No 25 Squadron, while on a bomb raid over Roulers, caused two fires – one in buildings beside the railway and one in buildings on the road.

    On the night of the 21st/ 22nd, No 101 Squadron dropped 16 25-lb bombs on Bisseghem Aerodrome, obtaining one direct hit on hangars; 48 25-lb and eight incendiary bombs on Heule Aerodrome, 36 25-lb bombs on Rumbeke Aerodrome, 28 25-lb bombs on Moorslede Aerodrome, 16 25-lb bombs on Harlebeke Aerodrome, obtaining three direct hits on hangars, and fired 1,850 rounds.

    Artillery Co-operation: Machines of the 2nd Brigade carried out 35 counter-battery shoots.

    With observation by machines of the 5th Brigade, four direct hits on gun positions were obtained, two gun-pits were demolished, three damaged, four fires and an explosion caused.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    The weather greatly impeded flying, at times the sky was completely overcast, several showers of rain occurring.

    A photographic reconnaissance was carried out by No. 2 Squadron to Zeebrugge and Ostende. The only clear patch in the sky, however, was at Zeebrugge, and two plates were exposed over the Solway Works.

    Six hostile seaplanes were observed about 20 miles off Blankenberghe. A flight of No. 3 Squadron gave chase, and drove E.A. to within five miles of Blankenberghe. The rearmost E.A. were attacked, and one of them was driven down into Ostende. Hostile T.B.D. fired on our pilots.

    Few other E.A., were observed during the day. Nothing else of importance to report.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft were unusually active on the 1st Brigade front until noon.

    Lieut K A Seth-Smith, 70 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Oostnieuwkerke at 10:35/11:35
    2nd-Lieut G R Howsam, 70 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Westroosebeke at 10:45/11:45

    A patrol of No 70 Squadron were attacked by seven EA scouts. In the fighting Lieut Seth-Smith dived on one which was about 500 feet below him; he fired a good burst and the EA half-rolled over and went down completely out of control. 2nd-Lieut G Howsam of the same squadron destroyed one EA

    Sergt H Smith & 2nd-Lieut C J Agelasto, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Dadizeele - Moorslede at 11:07/12:07
    Lieut D G Cooke & Lieut H G Crowe, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south-west of Roulers at 11:10/12:10
    Capt R K Kirkman & 2/AM J McMechan, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Moorslede at 11:15/12:15
    Lieut D G Cooke & Lieut H G Crowe, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames south of Moorslede at 11:15/12:15

    A patrol of eleven Bristol Fighters of No 20 Squadron were attacked by about 20 Albatros scouts. 2nd-Lieuts D Cooke and H Crowe shot down one of the enemy machines completely out of control, and dived on another which was seen to fall issuing smoke and crash in flames south of Moorslede. Capt R Kirkman and 2/AM J McMechan shot down one Albatros Scout out of control. Sergt H Smith and 2nd-Lieut C J Agelasto engaged an Albatros Scout and were able to get in a good burst at close quarters. The EA fell out of control and crashed

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    Go Bristols !!!!

    Lieut J P McCone, 41 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south-west of Lille at 11:20/12:20 - Lieut J McCone, No 41 Squadron, dived on an EA firing two bursts and observed tracers entering the cockpit. The EA turned to the right and Lieut McCone got off another burst of 40 rounds. The EA immediately went down completely out of control, side-slipping and spinning, and was followed down to within 2,000 feet of the ground

    Flt Cdr G W Price, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Vitry at 11:20/12:20
    Flt Sub-Lieut H Day, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Vitry at 11:20/12:20

    A patrol of Naval Squadron No 8 attacked seven Albatros scouts in the vicinity of Vitry. Flight Cdr G W Price and Flight Sub-Lt H Day each shot an EA down out of control

    Capt W E Molesworth, 29 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control smoking north-east of Staden at 12:35/13:35 - Capt W Molesworth, No 29 Squadron, engaged an EA at about 100 yards range and the enemy machine went down out of control emitting a long string of smoke

    2nd-Lieut G R Howsam, 70 Sqn, two-seater in flames north-east of Houthulst Forest at 13:05/14:05 - Lieut G Howsam, No 70 Squadron, while on a bomb raid, attacked an enemy two-seater over Houthulst Forest. After 400 rounds had been fired the EA burst into flames and crashed north-east of the Forest

    Capt F G Quigley and 2nd-Lieut G R Howsam, 70 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames north-east of Houthulst Forest at 14:14/15:14
    Capt F G Quigley and 2nd-Lieut G R Howsam, 70 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control north-east of Houthulst Forest at 14:20/15:20
    Capt F G Quigley and 2nd-Lieut J Todd, 70 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed north-east of Houthulst Forest at 14:30/15:30

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    Captain Frank Granger Quigley MC. DSO

    The youngest son of R. J. Quigley, Frank Granger Quigley attended St Andrew's in Aurora, Ontario from 1907 to 1909. When the war began, he was in his second year as a student at Queen's University in Toronto where he excelled in football and hockey. He enlisted in December 1914, serving with the Canadian Army Engineers on the Western Front. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in early 1917 and was posted to 70 Squadron in France on 12 September 1917. Flying the Sopwith Camel, he scored 33 confirmed victories before he was wounded in action on 27 March 1918. Recovering from a shattered ankle at Le Touquet hospital, he returned to Canada where he served as an instructor at Armour Heights. En route back to England in October 1918, Quigley came down with influenza and died in hospital two days after his ship reached Liverpool.

    Capt F Quigley, No 70 Squadron, attacked one EA from the side and Lieut Howsam attacked from beneath its tail. The EA started to spin and then burst into flames. An Albatros scout attacked Capt Quigley from above. He turned and fired at it nose-on. The EA then dived and Lieut J Todd followed it down, firing at it, and it was observed to fall and crash north-east of Houthulst Forest. Capt Quigley and Lieut Howsam engaged another Albatros scout and followed it down until it became enveloped in a cloud of black smoke.


    Flt Sub-Lieut J E Beveridge (Wia), 9N Sqn, Camel N6370 - hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed near Houthulst Wood; possibly also credited to Ltn d R Richard Plange, Js2, 2nd victory [Langemarck at 10:40/11:40] Langemarck is south of Houthulst Wood

    2nd-Lieut A R Paul (Kia) & 2/AM Mann (Pow), 20 Sqn, Bristol F.2B C4825 – took off 10:30/11:30 and last seen east [east of aerodrome/heading east?] at 11:20/12:20 on offensive patrol; Oblt Theodor Cammann, Js2, 2nd victory [St Julien at 11:05/12:05] ?

    Lieut F W Dogherty (Pow), 70 Sqn, Camel B6426 – took off 12:20/13:20 and last seen over Menin on bomb raid and offensive patrol; Vzfw Otto Fruhner, Js26, 5th victory [Coucou – Bousbecque at 15:55/13:55]

    80 Squadron arrives in France. It is equipped with Sopwith Camels and is destined to spend much of its operational life carrying out the dangerous tasks of strafing and low bombing. As a headquarters unit it will be constantly moved about the front, taking part in nearly every great battle of 1918. For this it will pay dearly in casualties.

    The Royal Naval Air Service aircraft at Mudros are most commonly occupied with routine anti-submarine patrols and reconnaissance. However on this day all available aircraft of 2 (Naval) Wing are hurriedly drawn to the island, including several Greek pilots and their aircraft and attacks are commenced on the Goeben and Breslau. Two Sopwith Baby seaplanes allotted to this work are attacked by enemy seaplanes and one Royal Naval Air Service crew is shot down in flames. One British airplane drops a bomb on Goeben making a direct hit amidships, and volume of steam and smoke appear directly afterwards from the ship. In a raid tonight three small airplanes drop more bombs on the Goeben doing minor damage. One pilot on his return flight lands midway between Lemnos and Imbros, owing to engine trouble. On gliding to the surface six shots are fired at his machine, apparently by a submarine, when at a height of approximately six hundred feet, though he is not attacked when in the water.

    Flight Commander Guy William Price DSC (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded a bar to the Distinguished Service Cross for consistency and determination in attacking enemy aircraft, often in superior numbers. Today, when on offensive patrol, he observes seven Albatross scouts. He dives and fires into one of the enemy aircraft, which stalls, side slips, and eventually falls over on its back, disappearing through a thick back of clouds and is observed by other of our machines to fall completely out of control. He will be killed while strafing enemy positions on 18 February at age 22 as a 12-victory ace. Two British aircraft are lost behind enemy lines on the Western Front. In the first both pilot and observer die of wounds received, while in the second the pilot is taken prisoner.

    The following claims were made today, including FOUR for Captain George Robert Howsam MC

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    The son of George and Ida (Cutting) Howsam, George Robert Howsam went from high school into the army in March 1916, serving with the 116th Battalion and 182nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in the spring of 1917, learning to fly at Deseronto and Camp Borden, Ontario. In August 1917 he went to France and was posted to 70 Squadron. Flying the Sopwith Camel he scored his first victory in December 1917. On 22 January 1918, he shot down four Albatros scouts in one day. After recovering from wounds received in combat on 24 March 1918, he was posted to 43 Squadron as a flight commander in October 1918. Flying a Sopwith Snipe, he scored his final victory on 30 October, shooting down a Fokker D.VII over Aulnoye. Howsam returned to Canada in May 1921. He attended the Royal Air Force staff college in 1930. During World War II, Howsam served as director of training with the Royal Canadian Air Force and retired in 1945 with the rank of Air Vice-Marshal.

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    Eastern Front
    Austria: Czernin back in Vienna asks permission to make separate peace if necessary, Austria has only two months grain.

    Middle East

    Hejaz Railway: Arabs repulsed from Mudauwara Station despite 3 Royal Flying Corps attacks by 3 planes.

    Sea War

    Britain: Allied Naval Council first meets in London (until January 23) including Admirals Bon, Revel and agenda including neutral waters and potential fear of Germans seizing Russian Black Sea Fleet.
    Adriatic: German and arsenal workers at Pola strike (until January 27) worsening U-boat repair situation (up to 17 per day), although leaders sacked.

    Lieutenant Kenneth Ferguson Arnold Wallis (HMS Vincent, Royal Navy) dies at home at age 26. He fought at Jutland and was Captain Cadet at Osborne and Dartmouth where he won the first prize in the Cadets bayonet competition at the Royal Navy & Marines Tournament in 1911.

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    Home Fronts
    Austria: Prime Minister Seidler resignation refused. Germans in Bohemia demand own province.
    Britain: Thomson (Special Branch) reports ‘a decided increase in letters for an immediate peace’.

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    Food distribution to the German civilian population in the last year of the war.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-22-2018 at 13:48.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  2. #3002


    Ooh didn't realise 22nd Jan edition was the 3000th reply yo this thread. Another landmark.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  3. #3003


    Congratulations on another milestone Chris and the Editorial team.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  4. #3004


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    23rd January 1917

    A couple of the source sites have yet to update (trans atlantic time differences I am assuming) so I will add to this edition as and when...

    General Headquarters, January 24th.

    "Owing to rain, little flying was possible on the 23rd inst. During the night of the 23rd-24th, hostile aerodromes in the neighbourhood of Courtrai were again bombed by our machines, as well as an aerodrome north of Ghent used by the enemy's night-flying aeroplanes. Hostile billets round Roulers were also attacked by us with bombs and machine gun fire. All our aeroplanes returned."

    Admiralty, January 25th.

    "On the 23rd instant, in the course of fighter patrols, two enemy aircraft were destroyed, and two shot down out of control. One of our machines is missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 124:

    The weather was mainly fine but cloudy all day.

    Five reconnaissances were carried out; one by the 1st Brigade, three by the 2nd Brigade and one by the 5th Brigade.

    Sixty-nine photographs were taken, 59 bombs dropped, and 5,015 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:-

    1st Brigade: 1st Wing dropped 12 25-lb bombs; 10th Wing fired 500 rounds, and No 4 Squadron fired 100 rounds.
    2nd Brigade: 16 photographs were taken, 27 25-lb bombs dropped , and 3,735 rounds fired.
    3rd Brigade: 53 photographs were taken, 12 25-lb bombs dropped, and 180 rounds fired.
    5th Brigade: Eight 25-lb bombs were dropped, and No 52 Squadron fired 500 rounds.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    At noon, during the short period of fine weather, two machines were despatched from No. 2 Squadron on a photographic reconnaissance.

    The only clear patches were at Zeebrugge, and plates were exposed over the Mole and Donkerlok battery. All other objectives were covered with clouds, Ostende being invisible. No E.A. were seen.

    In the afternoon two special patrols were despatched to search for reported enemy shipping off Schouwen Bank. Owing to low clouds, patrols were carried out at heights ranging from 200 to 6,000 feet.

    After reporting the engagement by No 3 Squadron, the Communique stated: Other indecisive combats took place, from which one of our machines failed to return, he was last seen spinning down with an E.A. scout, both machines being observed to crash simultaneously.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft activity was very slight; no combats took place. [Despite this statement, the following combats were reported]

    Capt W M Fry, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Houthulst Forest

    Flt Sub-Lieut R A Blyth, 10N Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Staden at 14:50/15:50 - Ltn d R Gustav Wandelt, Jasta 36, Kia [?],
    Flt Cdr W A Curtis, 10N Sqn, two-seater broke up Staden at 14:50/15:50
    Flt Cdr W M Alexander, 10N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Staden at 14:50/15:50

    While patrolling at 7,000 feet over Staden, 10 Camels of No. 10 Squadron observed three E.A. two-seaters and an Albatross Scout just above the clouds. These dived through the clouds and were followed by a part of our patrol. Below the clouds they were joined by five more Albatross Scouts. In the general engagement which followed, one of the two-seaters was driven down out of control by Flight Commander Curtiss, and observed to break up in the air. An Albatross was driven down completely out of control by Flight Commander Alexander

    Flt Lieut G B Anderson, 3N Sqn, DFW C out of control south-east of Houthulst Forest at 15:00/16:00 - eight Camels of No 3 Squadron carried out an offensive sweep south of Ostende, Thourout and Roulers. When over Foret D’Houthulst our formation met seven E.A. (four D.F.W.’s and three Scouts, new type). Flight Lieut. Anderson dived on one D.F.W., driving him down out of control. A general engagement ensued, in which many indecisive combats took place, and all the E.A. were driven down. One of our machines failed to return


    Flt Sub-Lieut H St J Youans (Pow), 3N Sqn, Camel B7184 - last seen flying west when flight dived on 4 DFW and 3 new type Scouts near Zarren at 14:00/15:00 on offensive sweep; Ltn d R Gustav Wandelt, Js36, 2nd victory [Staden – Zarrenlinde at 14:50/15:50] time ?

    Capt J H Metcalf (Ok), 43 Sqn, Camel B2463 - crashed Laventie at 14:05/15:05 after aileron controls and distributor shot away by machine-gun fire from trenches on OP to Aubers

    Flt Sub-Lieut R A Blyth (Kia), 10N Sqn, Camel B5663 - went down out of control with EA and crashed together near Staden at 14:50/15:50 during general engagement; Ltn d R Gustav Wandelt, Js36, 1st victory [Staden at 14:45/15:45]

    Major William Robert Gregory MC (Connaught Rangers attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed when an Italian pilot mistakenly shoots him down near Grossa, Padua, Italy. The only child of the late Right Honorable ‘Sir’ William Henry Gregory KCMG former Member of Parliament and sometime Governor of Ceylon and Lady Gregory was born on 20th May 1881 in County Galway, Ireland. An accomplished artist, he worked in the design studio of Jacques Émile Blanche, and had his own exhibition of paintings in Chelsea in 1914. The Abbey Theatre, in its earlier days, owed much to the scenes designed and painted by him, especially for Synge’s Deirdre of the Sorrows, William Butler Yeats’ Shadowy Waters, and his mother’s The Image. He was a fine boxer, being chosen as light-weight boxer for Oxford against Cambridge, and in Paris as a candidate for the amateur championship of France, played cricket for his county club and for the Gentlemen of Ireland, and was well known in the hunting field and in point-to-point races. He was good enough at cricket to play once for the Ireland cricket team, taking 8/80 with his leg spin bowling in a first-class match against Scotland in 1912. His bowling performance in that match remains the tenth best in all matches for Ireland and the fourth best in first-class cricket for Ireland. His bowling average of 10.22 is the second best for Ireland in first-class cricket.

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    Major Gregory joined the Connaught Rangers in 1915, and in January 1916, transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. He went to France in the following August, and saw eleven months’ continuous active service in a Scout Squadron, being awarded the Military Cross for acts of bravery in the air and for ‘having invariably displayed the highest courage and skill, and the Legion of Honour for “many acts of conspicuous bravery.” In the autumn of 1917 he was given command of a Scout Squadron in France, and in November, 1917, he took it to Italy. Gregory’s death had a lasting effect on William Butler Yeats, and he became the subject of four poems by him; In Memory of Major Robert Gregory, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, Shepherd and Goatherd, and Reprisals.

    An Irish Airman Foresees His Death:

    I know that I shall meet my fate
    Somewhere among the clouds above;
    Those that I fight I do not hate,
    Those that I guard I do not love;
    My county is Kiltartan Cross,
    My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
    No likely end could bring them loss
    Or leave them happier than before.
    Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
    Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
    A lonely impulse of delight
    Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
    I balanced all, brought all to mind,
    The years to come seemed waste of breath,
    A waste of breath the years behind
    In balance with this life, this death.

    While on an offensive patrol, Flight Lieutenant (Acting Flight Commander) Wilfred Austin Curtis (Royal Naval Air Service) follows three two-seater enemy machines and an enemy scout through the clouds. Five other scouts then join the enemy. He dives and fires into an enemy two-seater from about forty feet behind. The enemy machine falls over on its side and starts to spin, and is observed by another pilot to break up in the air while spinning down. The two aircraft lost in air combat cause one fatality and one prisoner.

    Lieutenant Wilmot Hudson Fysh
    Australian Air Force - claims his first victory on this day.

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    The grand-nephew of Sir Philip Oakley Fysh, the 12th Premier of Tasmania, Sir Wilmot Hudson Fysh worked in the wool trade before the war. He enlisted in the 3rd Light Horse Regiment in August 1914 and departed for Egypt two months later. He served at Gallipoli from May to December 1915 and, as a Coporal, served in a machine gun crew under the command of Lieutenant Ross Smith. After being promoted to Lieutenant, Fysh, like Smith before him, transferred to the Australian Flying Corps in July 1917. Posted to 1 Squadron (AFC), he scored five victories as an observer flying Bristol Fighters. Postwar, he co-founded Australia's international airline, the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (QANTAS), with his friend from 1 Squadron, Paul McGinness. Fysh was managing director of the company from 1923 until 1955 and chairman from 1947, when Qantas was acquired by the Australian government, until he retired in 1966. He was knighted in 1953 and inducted into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame in 2013.

    Other claims included...

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    There were a total of six British Airmen lost on this day

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    Jasta 64 and 65 were formed on this day

    Royal Württemberg Jagdstaffel 64, commonly abbreviated to Jasta 64, was a "hunting group" (i.e., fighter squadron) of the Luftstreitkräfte, the air arm of the Imperial German Army during World War I. The squadron would score 20 or more aerial victories during the war. The unit's victories came at the expense of three wounded in action, and three taken prisoner of war. On 23 January 1918, Jasta 64 was founded at Fliegerersatz-Abteilung ("Replacement Detachment") 10, Boblingen. The new squadron was posted to 5 Armee on 4 February 1918 to begin operations. Its first aerial victory claim was submitted on 14 March. On 22 March 1918, Jasta 64 was posted to Armee-Abteilung C, and would remain in that posting through war's end. The three Jasta 64 POWS were Off stv Schueschkeon March 27, 1918; and Vzfw Anton Wroniecki {shot down by Douglas Campbell} and Uffz Heinrich Simon {shot down by Alan Winslow} April 14, 1918.

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    Fokker D.VII of Jasta 64

    Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 65, commonly abbreviated to Jasta 65, was a "hunting group" (i.e., fighter squadron) of the Luftstreitkräfte, the air arm of the Imperial German Army during World War I. The squadron would score 34 aerial victories during the war, including nine observation balloons downed. The unit's victories came at the expense of six pilots killed in action, two wounded in action, and two taken prisoner of war. Jasta 65 was founded on 23 January 1918. On February 4, it began operations. The new squadron began service with 5 Armee. On 6 May 1918, it was posted to Armee-Abteilung C. It would finish the war with this army.

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    Fokker D.VII of Jasta 65 (Now that's what I call a paint job - anyone fancy reproducing that one in 1/144th scale?)

    Southern Fronts
    Italian Front: Below’s German Fourteenth Army headquarter closes.

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    General Otto von Below of the German 14th Arnym who led the attack against the Italians during the successful Battle of Caporetto. He is now needed on the Western Front

    Eastern Front
    Brest-Litovsk: Trotsky suspends talks calling German policy ‘a most monstrous annexation’.
    Russia: British form Allied Petrograd Trade Barter Co to stop supplies falling to Germans. Kerensky reaches Helsinki from Petrograd.

    Sea War
    Britain: Royal Navy convoy sloops and 20 PC patrol boats (based at Pembroke) no longer to be used as Q-ships (had sailed regularly with convoys but as Q-ships since October 1917).

    S S Birkhall (Master Niel Hugh Mackinnon) is sunk by a German submarine four miles south east of Cape Doro. The master and one other crew member are killed.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-24-2018 at 12:56.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  5. #3005


    That took me back about 50 years Chris. We did the War Poets for O Level Literature. That was one of the set works.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  6. #3006


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    24th January 1918

    Flight Lieutenant Cecil Gordon Bronson (Royal Naval Air Service) carries out a determined bombing attack on the Goeben, flying low down under heavy anti-aircraft fire.

    Four casualties are suffered by pilots of aircraft lost on this day, three being killed and the one becoming a prisoner.

    Captain Harry Gosford Reeves (Royal Flying Corps) is killed while performing an engine test on a Nieuport 27 in France at age 21. He is a 13-victory ace. Reeves joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. Assigned to 1 Squadron in June of that year, he flew Nieuport scouts until the end of November and was promoted to flight commander after scoring his twelfth victory. Early the next year, he was killed in a crash while performing an engine test on a Nieuport 27.

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    Lieutenant Alan Wilson Morey MC (Royal Scots attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in a collision with German Lieutenant Martin Mobius at age 24. He is a Rhodes Scholar.
    The troopship Tuscania leaves Hoboken, New Jersey on her final voyage under the command of Captain Peter McLean OBE carrying 2,013 American troops and a crew of three hundred eighty-four. It will join Convoy HX-2 at Halifax, Nova Scotia to proceed to cross the Atlantic bound for Le Havre.


    General Headquarters, January 25th.

    "On the 24th instant there was great aerial activity on the northern portion of the front where the weather was good. Hostile batteries were engaged throughout the day by our artillery, with aeroplane observation, and photographs were taken. Over 300 bombs were dropped on Courtrai, Ledeghem, and Douai railway stations, on a hostile aerodrome near Courtrai, and on the enemy's billets west of Cambrai. One of our pilots fired into the hangars on the enemy's aerodrome at Douai with his machine-gun, and other ground targets were repeatedly attacked in this way. In air fighting seven hostile machines were brought down and five others were driven down out of control. Two of our machines are missing, including one which was seen to collide with a German machine during combat.

    "As soon as it was dark our night-flying squadrons bombed a German aerodrome north-east of Ghent, as well as other aerodromes near Courtrai and hostile billets round Roulers. In spite of a thick ground mist, which rose after our machines had left their aerodromes, all returned safely. At the same time other night-flying machines carried out most successful raids on several objectives in Germany. Bombs were dropped on the factories at Mannheim, on the Rhine, where direct hits were obtained on a large factory, and also on the docks and on the town. The barracks and railway station at Treves, the steel works at Thionville, and the railway stations at Saarbrücken and Oberbillig (south-west of Treves) were also attacked with excellent results. Our pilots report large explosions on all objectives, and that a large fire was caused at Treves. One of our machines failed to return."

    RFC Communiqué number 124:

    The weather was fine in the north; in the south there were low clouds, and visibility was bad.

    Six reconnaissances were carried out, 42 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction (30 of these were by the 2nd Brigade), and three neutralized; one gun-pit was destroyed, 12 damaged, 30 explosions and 35 fires caused. Forty-four zone calls were sent down.

    A total of 1,309 photographs were taken, 446 bombs dropped and 14,812 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:—

    1st Brigade: 402 photographs were taken. No 18 Squadron dropped 18 25-lb bombs; 1st Wing dropped 57 25-lb bombs; No 40 Squadron fired 137 rounds; 10th Wing fired 3,200 rounds and No 43 Squadron fired 500 rounds into the hangars on Douai Aerodrome.

    2nd Brigade: 568 photographs were taken, 68 25-lb bombs dropped and 4,895 rounds fired. No 57 Squadron dropped 60 25-lb bombs on Harlebeke Aerodrome.
    3rd Brigade: 300 photographs were taken, 48 25-lb bombs dropped on Quèant. and 530 rounds fired.
    5th Brigade: No 35 Squadron dropped four 25-lb bombs and fired 500 rounds; No 8 Squadron fired 1,000 rounds, and No 52 Squadron fired 100 rounds.

    9th Wing: Thirty-nine photographs were taken. No 25 Squadron dropped nine 112-lb bombs on Courtrai Railway Station; No 27 Squadron dropped two 112-lb and 14 25-lb bombs on Ledeghem, and two 112-lb and 24 25-lb bombs on Douai.

    On the night of the 23rd/24th: In spite of low clouds which blew up after the machines of No 101 Squadron had left the ground, all machines crossed the lines and dropped 6 112-lb, 74 25-lb, four phosphorus and seven incendiary bombs on Heule, Oostacker, Abeelhoek, Abeele, Beveren and Rumbeke Aerodromes, Thourout, Lichtervelde and Roopebeke. 2,100 rounds were fired at hangars, lights on roads, searchlights and billets.

    2nd-Lieuts Paull and Golding successfully bombed the station and a train at Roopebeke with phosphorous bombs; one of these exploded and caused a large fire which burned for a considerable time, and could be seen from the lines.

    No 102 Squadron also went out on the night of the 23rd/24th and dropped 84 25-lb bombs on Roulers, and 29 25-lb bombs on Rumbeke. 49 2-lb shells and 1,850 rounds were fired at Rumbeke and other ground targets.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    A special reconnaissance was carried out by No. 2 Squadron to observe enemy shipping.

    Two hundred and fifty rounds were fired at coast and trenches from heights between 1,500 and 2,000 feet.

    One of our machines when over Ostende at 2,000 feet was hit by shrapnel, and was compelled to make a forced landing on the beach at La Panne.

    Few E.A. were observed during the day. Two of our pilots saw a formation of 16 E.A. in the vicinity of Houthulst Forest. They had the appearance of a new type of machine with dihedral on top plane and rotary engine. Good climb and speed.

    A special patrol by two machines of No. 9 Squadron, fired 1,200 rounds into enemy trenches behind Nieuport. Flammenwerfer, A.A. and machine guns were fired at these two machines, one of which was hit in several places.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Lieut E Comber-Taylor & Sergt J Morris, 7 Sqn, EA out of control - Lieut E Comber-Taylor & Sergt J Morris, No 7 Squadron, whilst on photography, were attacked by about 12 EA. The observers fired 170 rounds as each EA attacked. One enemy machine went down out of control, and another appeared to have a piece of the machine shot off, as something fell from it. 2nd-Lieut Taylor’s machine was badly shot about by bullets.

    Capt F G Quigley, 70 Sqn, two-seater crashed south-east of Wervicq at 11:10/12:10 - while on offensive patrol Capt Quigley, No 70 Squadron, attacked an enemy two-seater, firing many rounds. Capt Quigley turned west, the two-seater turning after him, so he again attacked the EA which dived and crashed into a hedge

    2nd-Lieut W E Green & 2nd-Lieut H S Gros, 57 Sqn, Fokker DrI in flames north-west of Roulers at 11:30/12:30 and Albatros Scout out of control north-west of Roulers at 11:30/12:30 - whilst on photography, 2nd-Lieuts W Green and H Gros, No 57 Squadron, were attacked by ten EA - five from below and five from above. The observer (2nd-Lieut Gros) fired a burst at a triplane below him and the EA burst into flames. Another drum was fired at an Albatross Scout which fell into a sleep side-slip and was last seen falling out of control.

    2nd-Lieut A Koch, 70 Sqn, Albatros C out of control Westroosebeke at 11:30/12:30 - 2nd-Lieut A Koch, No 70 Squadron, attacked an enemy two-seater into which he fired 150 rounds from close range and the EA went down in a spin completely out of control and was seen still spinning at 1,000 feet

    2nd-Lieut G R Howsam, 70 Sqn, Albatros C crashed Westroosebeke at 11:30/12:30 - 2nd-Lieut G Howsam, No 70 Squadron, fired 400 rounds into an Albatros two-seater which went down and crashed in a field

    Flt Sub-Lieut W L Jordan and Flt Sub-Lieut E G Johnstone, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Neuvireuil at 11:30/12:30
    Flt Sub-Lieut R L Johns, Flt Sub-Lieut W L Jordan, Flt Sub-Lieut C R C Walworth and Flt Sub-Lieut J B White, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Fresnes - Vitry at 11:40/12:40 -
    Flt Sub-Lieut J B White, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Fresnes – Vitry at 11:40/12:40
    Flt Lieut G K Cooper, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Fresnes - Vitry at 11:40/12:40
    Flt Cdr R B Munday, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Fresnes - Vitry at 11:40/12:40

    Naval Squadron No 8, while on offensive patrol encountered a formation of Albatross Scouts and a general engagement ensued. Flight Commander Munday fired 250 rounds at one of the EA at close range and it fell on its back and went down in nose-dive. Flight Sub-Lieut J B White attacked one EA which was attacking one of our machines. He fired 50 rounds point blank range and tracers were observed going into the pilot's cockpit. The EA turned over sideways and fell out of control.

    Another patrol of this Squadron encountered several Albatross Scouts and Flight Sub-Lieuts Jordan and Johnstone both fired bursts at one EA which went down apparently quite out of control. Later, Flight Sub-Lieuts Johnstone and Johns attacked a single Albatross Scout close to the lines. They fired between them about 200 rounds, and the EA was last seen at 1,500 feet still descending and quite out of control

    Capt W E Molesworth, 29 Sqn, two-seater out of control north-east of Roulers at 12:00/13:00 - Capt W Molesworth, No 29 Squadron, while leading a patrol, attacked an enemy two-seater from behind and fired a drum at 150 yards range. The EA went down completely out of control and this is confirmed by another pilot

    Capt H F S Drewitt, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Comines at 12:20/13:20 - Capt H Drewitt, No 23 Squadron, while on offensive patrol attacked one of six Albatros Scouts and fired several bursts at very close quarters, the EA diving straight east, aming an excellent target as he did not endeavour to manoeuvre at all. Capt Drewitt continued to fire until the EA eventually fell over, got into a spin, and was lost sight of as it entered the clouds

    The drifter Beryl III (Skipper J H Bullock) forces the German submarine U-109 to dive into a mine barrage in the Dover Strait where the submarine strikes a mine and sinks.

    In Palestine Corporal James McCarthy (Royal Irish Regiment) is cleaning grenades in his quarters when the fuse of one becomes ignited. He carries it out to throw it into a safe place, but, finding a number of men standing around he realizes that he cannot throw it anywhere without injuring his comrades. He clasps the grenade in both hands and holds it close to his side. The grenade explodes, killing Corporal McCarthy, who by his courage saves his comrades from serious injury. He is posthumously awarded the Albert Medal in Gold.

    Flight Lieutenant Cecil Gordon Bronson (Royal Naval Air Service) carries out a determined bombing attack on the Goeben, flying low down under heavy anti-aircraft fire.

    Captain James Butler White DFC claims his first victory on this day.

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    The son of James and Katherine (Lyon) White, James Butler White attended Highfield College in Hamilton, Ontario. Before he enlisted, White worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway in western Canada and with the Standard Bank in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1918, he scored eight victories flying the Sopwith Camel with 8 Naval Squadron (later 208 Squadron). White was transferred to the unemployed list on 3 July 1919. When he returned to Canada after the war, he became a stockbroker and founded J. B. White & Company in Toronto, Ontario in 1924. From 1945 to 1947 he was the president of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

    Lieut. (A./Capt.) James Butler White. (FRANCE)
    A fine fighting pilot who has accounted for eight enemy aeroplanes. He has led numerous offensive and low bombing raids, and by his able and daring leadership has achieved great success with a minimum of casualties to his patrol.

    Lieutenant Harold Byrn 'Steve' Hudson MC claims his firat and second victories today

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    The son of a doctor and a native of England, Harold Byrn Hudson's family emigrated to British Columbia in 1912. Joining the Royal Flying Corps in 1917, he became a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 24 May 1917. Posted to Italy, he flew the Sopwith Camel with 28 Squadron and shared in several victories over kite balloons with his flight commander, William Barker. He was reassigned to 45 Squadron at the end of May 1918. After the war, Hudson returned to British Columbia where he worked in the pulp and papermill industries.

    The following claims were also made on this day.

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    Today also saw the 43rd victory for James McCudden

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    There were five British airmen lost on this day

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    Middle East
    Mesopotamia: Turk air raids on Baghdad cause slight damage (until January 25).
    Arabia: Fakhri Bey’s 1,000 troops from Amman and Kerak surprise Arabs east of Tafila.
    South Persia: Burma Mounted Rifles squadron cause c.105 casualties to robbers at Gumun northeast of Shiraz (and on January 27).

    Western Front
    Britain: Lieutenant-General Sir H Lawrence appointed BEF CoS, replaces Lieutenant-General Sir L Kiggell.
    Verdun: French repulse raids north of Aisne and at Caurieres Wood. Last French Army mutiny cases (minor).

    Eastern Front
    Russia: Lenin’s immediate peace policy rejected 9 vs 7 for Trotsky’s ‘no war no peace’.
    Crimea: Red Guards take Feodosia and Yalta, suppress Tartar revolt.

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    Arab infantry of the Turk army on the march.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-27-2018 at 04:35.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  7. #3007


    A belated congrats on your milestone Chris. 3000 huh ! That's a lot of commitment

    Fokker D.VII of Jasta 65 (Now that's what I call a paint job - anyone fancy reproducing that one in 1/144th scale?)
    By hand of course

    Regret to inform - Attachments for today not showing
    Last edited by mikeemagnus; 01-24-2018 at 15:07.

  8. #3008


    Attachments sorted for yesterday (they were there when I checked last night - so frustrating)

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  9. #3009


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    25th January 1918

    At Tafila Trans-Jordan Arabs instructed by T E Lawrence train their machine guns to spray enfilade on the advancing Turks while Lawrence swings his cavalry in a wide circle and attacks the Turks’ left wing routing them and taking two hundred prisoners and twenty-seven machine guns.

    At-Tafilah (Arabic: الطفيلة‎), also spelled Tafila, is a town with a population of 27559 people in southern Jordan, located 183 kilometers (114 mi) southwest of Amman. It is the capital of Tafilah Governorate. It is well known for having green gardens which contain olive and fig trees, and grape-vines. Tafilah was first built by the Edomites and was called Tophel. There are more than 360 natural springs in the at-Tafilah area, including the natural reservoir of Dana and hot natural springs at Afra and Borbeata. There are two phosphate and cement mines in at-Tafilah which are one of the country's main income sources.

    In January 1918, the battle of Tafileh, an important region southeast of the Dead Sea, was fought using Arab regulars under the command of Jafar Pasha al-Askari. The battle was a defensive engagement that turned into an offensive rout, and was described in the official history of the war as a "brilliant feat of arms". Lawrence was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership at Tafileh, and was also promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. By the summer of 1918, the Turks were offering a substantial reward for Lawrence's capture, with one officer writing in his notes; "Though a price of £15,000 has been put on his head by the Turks, no Arab has, as yet, attempted to betray him. The Sharif of Mecca has given him the status of one of his sons, and he is just the finely tempered steel that supports the whole stunt structure of our influence in Arabia. He is a very inspiring gentleman adventurer."

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    Hadd Al Daqiq Battle 25 January 1918 — Route to Great Victory

    This is one of the most important routes taken by the Arab Army while fighting a major decisive battle against the forces that marched in an attempt to retake Tafileh, save face for the Ottoman regime and restore confidence among the troops at the front after a number of defeats. Arab forces entered Tafileh on 15 January 1918 from two sides. The troops included regular forces led by the Tafileh fortress and irregular ones made up of volunteers led by Barakat Majali, the volunteers of the Bani Sakher and Aqeilat tribes and the guard forces of Prince Zeid. The men of Tafileh and its surrounding villages, especially Aimeh, were supporting these troops, in addition to the riders of Hweitat and Matalqa led by Hamad Al Arar Al Jazi, who had pledged himself to the Arab cause.

    The Turks arrived in Qatraneh on 23 January 1918, and advanced to Tafileh, clashing with the Arab forces. Arab crowds converged on the battlefield after being separated due to the Jarf Al Daraweesh battle, maintaining fire density and increasing it, which brought confusion to the ranks of the Turks and pushed them to re-examine their situation. The battle increased in intensity on the morning of 25 January 1918, with the advance of Aimeh people and their attack against the Turks from their left flank. They had climbed the steep mountain, which the Turks were not expecting, becoming powerless to use their own weapons. The Turkish forces’ general commander, Hamid Fakhri, was also killed. Signs of defeat began to show amidst their ranks, making it clear for Arabs that the battle was now theirs, so they intensified their attacks against the enemy, which started falling back.
    The Arabs employed a misleading tactic to gain the upper hand, using their assault rifles’ “clickers” to make shooting noises after running out of ammunition, to make it seem like they had many weapons. This prompted Hamid Fakhri, the Turkish leader, to comment that the “Arabs have turned the rules of war upside down.”

    Before sunset that day, the Arabs finished off the Turkish forces. The Turks who survived escaped to Karak and other cities. Arabs celebrated their victory in Tafileh, with one Arab soldier even wearing the uniform of slain Turkish leader Hamid Fakhri, with his weapon and all his medals, imparting a swift and effective message on the field.The battle delivered a major blow to the Turks, and the Turkish leadership showed deep resentment of the defeat. The Arab plan was to advance towards Karak, but the cold and snowy weather led them to postpone that to implement another phase of military operations. However, Arabs ended up conquering Karak without military engagement.

    The Turks then began planning retaliation against the Arab forces to prevent further advance or victory. The Arabs also started preparing for any potential developments, realising the difficult situation in Tafileh due to the enemy’s intentions to attack with heavily armed forces supported by artillery and planes, and led by Turks, Germans and Bulgarians. The Turks began mobilising in the two stations of Al Hassa and Jarf Al Daraweesh after a bout of rain and snow tapered off in the area. The army began marching on 6 March 1918, skirmishing with the Arabs for an entire day. The Arabs were forced to fall back under heavy artillery fire and shelling from aircraft. Prince Zeid decided to retreat to maintain the cohesion of defence lines and pull the enemy into valleys to expose its forces to gunfire.

    Prince Zeid’s forces held their ground on 8 March 1918, but the surprise was that the Turkish forces retreated, before returning to Tafileh on 14 March 1918. Prince Zeid’s forces, in response, returned to set camp in Rashadieh. The Turks in Tafileh destroyed many houses and sabotaged a number of locations, remaining in the city until receiving a surprise order to retreat on 23 March 1918. The Turkish leadership ordered its forces in Tafileh to withdraw and reinforce the front around Amman. After the withdrawal, the Arab forces advanced to enter Tafileh once again and start preparing for a new phase of military operations. Women played a major role in Hadd Al Daqiq Battle, according to the memoirs of Subhi Al Omari, who writes: “We would see one woman going and another coming, each with her own assignment, each pulling her midraga [traditional Jordanian dress] with a belt, assisting a wounded fighter or moving the body of a relative.” Omari also mentioned some of the women who were wounded in the battle, such as Thuraya Khamis Al Dalabih, Hasnah Abdul Ghani, Sheikha Al Qilat Al Zeidaneen, Subhiya Al Hujjaj Al Bahratm, Subhiya Al Amayreh, Fatima Deifallah Al Amayreh, Fidhiya and Abdul Rahman Jarabaa to name a few. Some of these women became martyrs after succumbing to their wounds.

    The steamship Normandy is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-90 8 miles east by north of Cape La Hague. Fourteen crew and 13 passengers die while 6 crew and 7 passengers are rescued. SS Normandy was a passenger vessel built for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1910. Among those drowned is

    Lieutenant Colonel Richard Rolls Gubbins DSO (Somerset Light Infantry attached General Staff) at age 49. He is the son of the Reverend Richard Shard Gubbins Rector of Upham and a veteran of the South Africa War. The ship’s captain is among the survivors.

    Flight Lieutenant (Acting Flight Commander) M J G Day (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on this day and 2 February. On this day he attacks, single-handed, six enemy tri-planes, one of which he shoots down. His victory is the first combat victory for his squadron.

    General Headquarters, January 26th.

    "After the thick morning mist on the 25th inst. had cleared, there was again great activity in the air. Work with the artillery was continued by our aeroplanes, and a large number of photographs were taken of the enemy's back and forward areas. The large railway sidings at Courtrai and the enemy's billets at Roulers were bombed, as well as other targets. Hard fighting took place all along the line, the results being greatly in our favour. Ten hostile aeroplanes were brought down and six others driven down out of control. One of our machines is missing,

    "On the night of the 25th-26th inst. our night-flying squadrons were active as soon as it was dark, their activity continuing until about 3 a.m., when a very heavy mist set in and rendered flying impossible. During the fine period of the night over eight tons of bombs were dropped by us, several pilots doing two trips. Five of the enemy's large aerodromes in the neighbourhood of Ghent were bombed and also billets in the vicinity of Douai. Over 160 bombs were dropped on a new hostile aerodrome west of Tournai. All of our machines returned."

    Admiralty, January 25th.

    "During January 25th a bombing raid was carried out by naval aircraft on the enemy aerodrome at Varssenaere. Direct hits were made. All our machines returned safely.”

    RFC Communiqué number 124:

    After the mist had cleared, at about 10 am, the weather was mainly fine on the whole front.

    Seventeen reconnaissances were carried out – two by the 1st Brigade, three by the 2nd Brigade, four by the 3rd Brigade and three by the 5th Brigade; and five long-distance photographic reconnaissances, on which 189 photogtraphs were taken by No 25 Squadron (9th Wing).

    Sixty-five hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, and eight neutralized; eight gun-pits were destroyed, 23 damaged, 27 explosions and 18 fires caused; 41 active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    1,791 photographs were taken, 261 25-lb and fourteen 112-lb bombs were dropped, and 9,672 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:

    1st Brigade: 358 photographs. 1st Wing dropped 58 25-lb bombs and fired 560 rounds, and 10th Wing dropped eight 25-lb bombs and fired 1,340 rounds.

    2nd Brigade: 537 photographs. No 10 Squadron, on a night bombing raid, dropped 35 25-lb bombs on a cinema at Bousbecque, and some of the bombs dropped were seen to burst on the objective.

    During the day, No 57 Squadron dropped eight 112-lb bombs on Courtrai railway sidings, and four bursts on the objective were observed; 2,465 rounds were fired.

    3rd Brigade: 394 photographs were taken, 12 25-lb bombs dropped and 560 rounds fired.

    5th Brigade: 313 photographs. 22nd Wing dropped 16 25-lb bombs and fired 200 rounds, and 15th Wing dropped 36 25-lb bombs and fired 3,047 rounds.

    9th Wing: On the night of the 24th/25th, No 101 Squadron dropped 4 112-lb, 49 25-lb, 3 phosphorus and 8 incendiary bombs on Oostacker, Rumbeke, Abeele, Bisseghem and Heule aerodromes, and Lendelede Station, Beveren and Roulers. Direct hits were obtained on the hangars at Oostacker and Rumbeke. 1,500 rounds were fired at ground targets.

    No 102 Squadron dropped 10 25-lb bombs on Roulers.

    8th Brigade: On night of the 24th/25th, 16 machines of No 100 Squadron set out to bomb Trier barracks and railway station. Five returned with engine trouble and eleven crossed the lines. Bombs were dropped as under from an average height of 1,500 feet:

    Eight 230-lb, two 112-lb, 17 25-lb and two 40-lb phosphorous bombs making a total of 2,569 lbs; 1,950 rounds were fired at ground targets.

    Two 230-lb., 2 112-lb, 5 25-lb and 2 40-lb phosphorous bombs were dropped on Trier; very good bursts were observed in the northern portion and centre of the town, and a very large fire was started in the north-east portion of the town and was later observed by other pilots.

    For 230-lb and 8 25-lb bombs were dropped on Thionville steel works, bombs bursting and large explosions being observed. 700 rounds were fired at searchlights, trains and moving lights on the roads.

    One 230-lb and two 2-lb bombs were dropped on the railway at Oberbillig, six miles south south-west of Trier.

    One 230-lb and two 25-lb bombs were dropped on the railway station and junction at Saarburg, 10 miles south of Trier, causing large explosions in the town.

    Capt Albu and Capt Lindsay were by an enemy machine near Homburg. E.A. used tracer ammunition. Capt AIbu, although handicapped by his load of bombs, managed to elude the enemy machine. On his return, his machine was found to be shot about.

    Owing to the very heavy banks of clouds from the north, only those machines that left the aerodrome early were able to reach Trier. One pilot, Lieut Martin, made four attempts and only reached Trier on his fourth attempt.

    Two machines of Naval Squadron No 16 left for Mannheim, and a third for Thionville. One machine succeeded in reaching Mannheim where six 112-lb bombs were dropped on the Badische Analine and Soda Fabrik, three on the docks and three on the town itself. As a result of the bomb bursts on the factory, dense clouds of smoke were seen to rise after the explosions. The second machine for Mannheim did not reach its objective owing to bad weather, and returned with its bombs. The third machince reached Thionville, dropped theoe bombs on the town and nine in and around the railway junction and factories.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    A photographic reconnaissance was carried out by No. 2 Squadron. Forty plates were exposed between Selzaete, Bruges, and Westcappelle. A few rounds were fired at E.A. east of Bruges.

    A second reconnaissance was also carried out. Plates were exposed over Jacobinessen battery, Turkijen battery, and the Ateliers de la Marine. A number of E.A. were seen, and visibility was good.

    Bombing raid by day, No 5 Squadron, D.H.4’s: A bombing raid was carried out on Varssenaere Aerodrome. Eight 50-lb., eight 20-lb., and thirty-five 16-lb. bombs were dropped on the objective. A direct hit is reported among a group of twelve small sheds at the north-east corner of the aerodrome.

    Photographs were secured of the Ostende-Thourout railway (northwest of Engel), and of the objective.

    While over Ostende the escort to photographic machine was attacked by three E.A., who, after firing at close quarters, dived away to allow A.A. guns to fire at our machine, which was hit in several places.

    A flight of No. 9 Squadron observed a machine go down in flames from 10,000 feet. No other machine was seen in the vicinity.

    A Pilot of No. 13 Squadron pursued an E.A. which was seen over Dunkerque and sighted it near Dixmude. A large number of other E.A. were seen and several indecisive engagements took place. In one instance six German triplanes (with rotary engines and lower plane less span than the other two) were encountered.

    Another Pilot of the same Squadron fired 500 rounds into enemy trenches and huts near Pervyse from a height of 15 feet.

    Two of No. 9 Squadron Pilots on special patrol attacked six E.A. over Cortemarck, who, however, showed no fight. A large number of rounds were fired without decisive results.

    Other claims on this day include:

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    Amongst those claiming their first victories on this day we have Captain Hugh William Lumsden "Dingbat" Saunders 84 Squadron RFC

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    The son of Fred W. Saunders, Hugh William Lumsden Saunders enlisted in the Witwatersrand Rifles in August 1914 and served with the South African Horse before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. Cadet Saunders was promoted to temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 2 August 1917. Posted to 84 Squadron in November 1917, he scored fifteen victories flying the S.E.5a in 1918. Post-war, Sir Hugh Saunders remained in the Royal Air Force and, following a very distinguished career, retired with rank of Air Marshal in 1953.

    Opening his account with a hat trick we have Oberleutnant Friedrich "Fritz" Ritter von Röth of Jasta 23 who downs three balloons on this day

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    Röth was badly wounded while serving with an artillery regiment. He transferred to the German Air Force after recovering from his wounds but was injured in a flying accident during training. In and out of hospitals for nearly two years, Röth eventually scored his first three victories on 25 January 1918. On that day, he shot down 3 enemy balloons in less than ten minutes. On 30 July 1918, he scored his 17th victory, shooting down a Bristol Fighter flown by John Cowell. Röth was wounded in action on 14 October 1918. By the end of the war, he was Germany's highest scoring balloon-buster. Of his 28 confirmed victories, 20 of them were balloons.

    Extremely depressed that Germany had lost the war, Röth committed suicide. His Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Max-Joseph was awarded posthumously in 1919.

    A total of 12 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    Southern Fronts

    Piave: British 5th Division relieves Italian VIII Corps (until January 27).

    Eastern Front
    German Suedarmee disbanded. Rumanians fight Reds at Galatz on Danube.
    Russia: Red Commissar of Military Affairs orders sailors to stiffen all detachments sent to the interior.

    Middle East

    Arabia – Battle of Tafila: Lawrence’s 600 Arabs (c.100 casualties) destroy Fakhri Bey’s force (over 200 PoWs, 2 guns, 27 MGs). Turks evacuate Kerak and retreat to Amman, Lawrence later awarded DSO. Turk Fourth Army (Djemal Kuchuk) put under Falkenhayn with German CoS Major Papen.

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    The new Italian commander-in-chief General Diaz with a British divisional commander on the Piave.

    Captain Tunstill's Men:

    Capt. Bob Perks DSO (see 5th January), serving with 3DWR at North Shields, wrote to his sister, who had evidently written to him after hearing about his intention to return to active service with 10DWR in Italy. In fact it would be some months before he would return. His letter suggests that Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 18th January), who was currently in England on leave, had written to Perks requesting that he take up a post,

    “It is about time I wrote I must admit but I have been busy writing to the Brigadier (Lambert) and also I have been decidedly off colour lately. I went to see the doctor yesterday. He says my chest is a little wrong and he suspects my throat. I am to go to a Newcastle specialist on throats but it is not supposed to be serious in any case and will not keep me from Italy. (Not even indoors).

    I am sorry my announcement was rather in the nature of a bomb shell but surely you knew I was fed up with this and would ask to go soon? When a general writes to tell you he wants you to go to him and in Italy of all places too – well I ask you?

    I hear from Italy that it is a gorgeous front. A broad river in front of you with the Austrians at least a mile away with only one casualty (due to great bad luck) in a long tour of trenches (L.Cpl. Gilbert Swift Greenwood, see 6th January). Cold and frosty but sunshine all day but only rain once since they have been there. Leave to England I fear is very slow but leave to Rome, Naples etc. quite frequently.

    I have paid a fee and had one lesson in Dutton’s shorthand but I am going off now of course.

    Yes, I shall be home after a few days on my way to the port of embarkation”.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-29-2018 at 14:27.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  10. #3010


    Bloody attachments haven't stuck again...

    Hopefully they have now

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  11. #3011


    Attachments seem to be back today.

  12. #3012


    Quote Originally Posted by zenlizard View Post
    Attachments seem to be back today.
    Had to do it twice but thankfully they have stuck. One of the sources sites has caught up so extra info going in for 24th and 25th

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  13. #3013


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    26th January 1918

    Curse these winter days - finding good stories is like searching for unicorns sometimes....

    Picks up a bit on Sunday mind you...

    While flying in England, a pilot attempting to land loses control of his machine, which crashes to the ground from a height of about one hundred fifty feet, and bursts into flames. Flight Sergeants Albert Edgar Warne and Horace Cannon (Royal Flying Corps) go to the rescue of the pilot at great personal risk, as one tank of petrol blows up and another is on fire; moreover, the machine is equipped with a belt of live cartridges, which they drag out of the flames. They manage to extricate the pilot, who is strapped to the burning plane, but he dies shortly afterwards of his injuries and burns. Both sergeants will be awarded the Albert Medal for their efforts.

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    In another accident in England Lieutenant Rupert Ernest Neve (Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed when he falls from his plane near London at age 24. He is the son of Alfred H Neve JP.

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    General Headquarters, January 27th.

    "On the 26th inst. there was very little activity in the air owing to the dense mist. One hostile aeroplane was shot down by anti-aircraft gunfire.

    "At about midday on the 27th inst., the railway station and communications at Treves were successfully bombed by our machines. A heavy mist hung over the objective and prevented our pilots from observing the exact location of the bursts. All our machines returned safely."

    RFC Communiqué number 124:

    The visibility was bad on the whole front all day, and in some places fog prevailed.

    Ten hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, two explosions caused and five zone calls sent down; 272 photographs taken, 731 bombs dropped (over eight tons on the night of 25th/26th), and 6,400 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:-

    1st Brigade: On the night of the 25th/26th, No 2 Squadron dropped 64 25-lb bombs on Oignies and 54 25-lb bombs on Courrières; No 4 Squadron dropped 21 25-lb bombs on Fournes; No 5 Squadron dropped 45 25-lb bombs on Quiéry-la-Motte, Vitry, Esquerchin and Izel, and No 16 Squadron dropped 26 25-lb bombs on Billy-Montigny, Noyelles and Hénin-Liétard.

    During the day 236 photographs were taken. 1st Wing dropped 16 25-lb bombs and fired 650 rounds; No 18 Squadron dropped 16 25-lb bombs; No 40 Squadron fired 200 rounds and No 2 Squadron fired 50 rounds.

    2nd Brigade: No 57 Squadron dropped 56 25-lb bombs on Mouscron.

    3rd Brigade: Thirty-six photographs were taken, 16 25-lb bombs dropped and 600 rounds fired.

    9th Wing: On the night of the 25th/26th:

    No 101 Squadron dropped 48 25-lb and five incendiary bombs on Gontrode, obtaining two direct hits on hangars; 48 25-lb bombs on Oostacker, five direct hits being obtained on hangars; eight 25-lb, two 40-lb and three incendiary bombs on St Denis Westrem; eight 25-lb and two 40-lb bombs on Maria Aalter; 12 25-lb bombs on Scheldewindeke, obtaining one direct hit on a large shed, and 44 25-lb, and two incendiary bombs on various targets. 3,600 rounds were fired at hangars, lights on roads, etc. Several of the pilots made two trips.

    No 102 Squadron dropped 166 25-lb bombs on Marquain Aerodrome, and 105 2-lb shells were fired from a Vickers quick-firing gun into the hangars on the aerodrome and at a train from a height of 20 feet. During the bombing the above aerodrome was being used by the enemy’s night flying machines. Thirty-four 15-lb bombs were also dropped on various targets. The majority of the piots carried ut two raids.

    During the later part of the evening while several pilots were in the air, a sudden mist came up wehich made flying practically impossible. In spite of this, several pilots reached their objective, and by determination msanaged to get, back safely.

    During the day 272 photographs were taken, 731 bombs dropped, and 6400 rounds fired at ground targets. Enemy aircraft activity was practically nil all day no combats took place. One EA was brought down by anti-aircraft guns of the Fourth Army.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    Owing to the unfavourable weather conditions little war flying was possible.

    Between 23.25 and 01.05 on the evening of the 25th-26th, a special patrol of two machines (No. 10 Squadron) went up in search of enemy machine spotting for the long-range gun which was shelling Dunkerque. Spotting machine, however, could not be observed.

    One of the pilots after searching between Dunkerque and Zuydcoote for the E.A. crossed the lines, and proceeded beyond Lichtervelde and Thourout, but saw no signs of activity in this area.

    The second machine crossed the lines further north and observed an aerodrome east of Ostende, and south-east from the revolving light at De Haan, which Pilot attacked from a height of about 300 feet, firing about 240 rounds.

    It would appear that the aerodrome referred to was Vlisseghem.

    An offensive sweep was also attempted but had to be abandoned owing to bad visibility.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft activity was practically nil all day (no combats took place).

    One hostile machine was brought down by anti-aircraft of the Fourth Army.


    2nd-Lieut C Donahay (Kia) & Lieut J R Blair (Kia), 3 Sqn, RE8 B2259 - both wings folded back and crashed Sh28.S.4.c.5.9 [south-west of Dranouter] on artillery observation

    Western Front
    Germany: OHL publishes The Attack in Position Warfare, bible of 1918 offensives, stresses attack in depth with air support.
    Somme: British Fifth Army relieves French Third Army from St Quentin south to Barisis, south of river Oise until January 30.
    Flanders: Haig dines with Asquith (visiting his surviving son).

    Eastern Front

    Soon after the Bolsheviks seized control in immense, troubled Russia in November 1917 and moved towards negotiating peace with the Central Powers, the former Russian state of Ukraine declares its total independence.

    One of pre-war Russia’s most prosperous areas, the vast, flat Ukraine (the name can be translated as at the border or borderland) was one of the major wheat-producing regions of Europe as well as rich with mineral resources, including vast deposits of iron and coal. The majority of Ukraine was incorporated into the Russian empire after the second partition of Poland in 1793, while the remaining section—the principality of Galicia–remained part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and was a key battleground on World War I’s Eastern Front.

    Immediately following the overthrow of the czar in February 1917, Ukraine set up a provisional government and proclaimed itself a republic within the structure of a federated Russia. After Vladimir Lenin and his radical Bolsheviks rose to power in November, Ukraine—like its fellow former Russian property, Finland—took one step further, declaring its complete independence in January 1918.

    But Ukraine’s Rada government, formed after the secession, had serious difficulty imposing its rule on the people in the face of Bolshevik opposition and counter-revolutionary activity within the country. Seeing Ukraine as an ideal and much-needed source of food for their hunger-plagued people, Germany and Austria brought in troops to preserve order, forcing the Russian troops occupying the country to leave under the terms of the treaty at Brest-Litovsk, signed in March 1918, and virtually annexing the region, while supposedly recognizing Ukrainian independence. In the words of Wilhelm Groener, a German army commander in Kiev, The [Ukrainian] administrative structure is in total disorder, completely incompetent and in no way ready for quick results.It would be in our interests to treat the Ukrainian government as a cover’ and for us to do the rest ourselves.

    The defeat of the Central Powers and the signing of the armistice in November 1918 forced Germany and Austria to withdraw from Ukraine. At the same time, with the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire, an independent West Ukrainian republic was proclaimed in the Galician city of Lviv. The two Ukrainian states proclaimed their union in early 1919, but independence was short-lived, as they immediately found themselves in a three-way struggle against troops from both Poland and Russia. The Ukrainian government briefly allied themselves with Poland, but could not withstand the Soviet assault. In 1922, Ukraine became one of the original constituent republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.); it would not regain its independence until the U.S.S.R.’s collapse in 1991.

    Siberia*: Provisional Socialist Government elected at Tomsk.
    Finland: Red Guards mobilize at midnight.

    Sea War
    Irish Sea: U-boats sink Dublin steam packet Cork and Spanish SS Giralda (50th victim).
    Channel: Returning U-109 blown up in Dover Barrage (only 5 High Seas Fleet boats try it outward bound in January). Destroyer HMS Leven depth charges and sinks coastal submarine UB-35 north of Calais.
    St George’s Channel: Royal Navy PC62 rams and sinks U-84. HMS PC-62 rams and sinks the German submarine U-84 in St George’s Channel. The destroyer HMS Leven depth charges and sinks the German submarine UB-35 north of Calais.

    The Cunard liner Andania leaves Liverpool for New York, with only forty passengers on board, along with a crew of approximately two hundred.

    U-boats’ costliest day of the war.

    Air War

    France: Germans bomb Dunkirk, Calais and Boulogne.
    Canada: 4,036 RFC airmen trained in past year (34 fatal accidents); 200 trained pilots per month sent to Britain in 1918.

    It was a quiet day in the air with only the following claims being made (well its all I could find)

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    However there were still 10 British pilots lost on this day

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    Captain Tunstill's Men:

    Overnight 26th/27th the Battalion would relieve 11WYR as the right battalion in the left sector of the Divisional front line. This sector ran from the area of Road 14 westwards to the western flank of the Montello, near Road 19. Three Companies and a further two platoons went into the front line proper, with the remaining two platoons in close support. Battalion HQ was at Ciano and the Transport Lines at Venegazzu.

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-31-2018 at 13:15.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  14. #3014


    Thanks Chris. Interesting posts (or possibly they are unicorns). Attachments all good

  15. #3015


    Extra info added to 24th Jan - will complete 2 missing days shortly

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  16. #3016


    20th and 21st Completed - all up to date again (well until next time the server crashes...)

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  17. #3017


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    27th January 1918

    The sinking of RMS Andania: During the morning as the ship nears Rathlin Light the Cunard liner Andania is hit by a torpedo fired by the German submarine U-46. The ship immediately takes on a list to the starboard and begins to sink. Most of those on board are saved but seven lives are lost among them fourteen-year old

    Bell Boy James Easson Richie.

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    RMS Andania

    RMS Andania was a passenger and cargo ship from Great Britain launched 22 March 1913. She was 13,405 tons and built in the Greenock Dockyard Company by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Ltd and completed 13 July 1913. In World War I the Andania was used to transport the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and Royal Dublin Fusiliers to Cape Helles for the landings at Suvla. The landing at Suvla Bay by the British IX Corps was part of the August Offensive during the Battle of Gallipoli. The Andania measured 158.58 by 19.50 meters (520.3 ft × 64.0 ft) and had twin funnels and masts. The hull was made of steel and the vessel was propelled by a twin propellers configaration, powered by eight quadruple-expansion engines creating a service speed of 15 knots. The Andania held accommodations for 520 second-class and 1,540 third-class passengers. Her sister ships were the Alaunia and Aurania which were almost identical and "cater(ed) only for second and third class passengers. The old-style third class dormitories were replaced by four or six-berth cabins.

    The Andania made its maiden voyage on 14 July 1913 from Liverpool via Southampton to Quebec and Montreal. In August 1914 it was requisitioned as a troopship and made several trips carrying Canadian troops. For a few weeks in 1915 the Andania was used to accommodate German POWs in the Thames. In the summer of 1915 it was used in the Gallipoli campaign when she was used to transport the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and Royal Dublin Fusiliers to Cape Helles for the landings at Suvla. After transporting more Canadian troops in 1916, it returned to passenger service in 1917 on the Liverpool-New York route. The Andania left Liverpool on 26 January 1918 with 40 passengers and a crew of around 200. On the 27 January the ship was hit amidships by a torpedo from German submarine U-46 captained by Leo Hillebrand two miles north-northeast of Rathlin East (Altacarry Head) lighthouse on Rathlin Island (County Antrim). The ship immediately took a list to starboard and began to sink. Attempts were made to tow the ship but it sank after a few hours. Most of the passengers were saved, but Andania's sinking killed seven crew members. The wreck is lying at a depth of between 175 and 189 metres.

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    RMS Andania at Scott's Yard alongside HMS Ajax (1912)

    Middle East
    Mesopotamia: Dunsterville Mission (200 men and 41 vehicles) leaves Baghdad for Kermanshah (main target Caucasus).

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    British soldiers of the mission of General Dunsterville on the march through northern Mesopotamia towards the Russian oil fields of Baku in the Caucasus.

    Eastern Front

    Russia: Bolsheviks sever relations with Rumania, latter’s legation leaves Petrograd on January 28.

    Southern Fronts

    Trentino: (Asiago) Sassari Brigade and 4 Alpini battalions surprise attack and recapture Cols del Rosso and d’Echele with Mt Carone (until january 29) provoking 4-division counter-attacks that yield 2,500 PoWs, 6 guns and 100 MGs for 5,240 casualties.

    Sea War

    Atlantic: Cunard liner Andania sunk (7 lives lost) by U 46 off North Ireland.
    North Sea: *Royal Navy Air Service bombs Aertrycke and Engel (-28), Coolkerhe (Bruges) airfield bombed on January 29.

    Air War
    France: 6 of 12 DH4s (No 55 Squadron) raid Trier (barracks and railways). French bomb Conflans (RFC bombed on January 5) and Metz.
    Germany: Royal Flying Corps Second Lieutenants Scholtz and Wookey (PoWs on October 17, 1917 near Cambrai when shot down in Bristol Fighters) sentenced to 10 years penal servitude for dropping anti-war leaflets behind German lines on Western Front.

    Jasta 66 is formed on this day: Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 66, commonly abbreviated to Jasta 66, was a "hunting group" (i.e., fighter squadron) of the Luftstreitkräfte, the air arm of the Imperial German Army during World War I. The squadron would score over 97 aerial victories during the war, including seven observation balloons downed. The unit's victories came at the expense of five pilots killed in action, one who died in captivity, and two taken prisoner of war. Jasta 66 was founded on 27 January 1918 at Hannover, Germany, at Fliegerersatz-Abteilung ("Replacement Detachment") 5. The new squadron became operational on 5 February. On 12 February 1918, it was attached to 7 Armee. Rudolf Windisch scored the unit's first victory on 15 March 1918. Jasta 66 would serve 7 Armee until the war's end.

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    Fokker D.VII of Jasta 66

    Jasta 67 was also formed on this day: Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 67, commonly abbreviated to Jasta 67, was a "hunting group" (i.e., fighter squadron) of the Luftstreitkräfte, forerunner to the Luftwaffe. The squadron would score over 34 aerial victories during the war, including 17 observation balloons downed. The unit's victories came at the expense of one pilot killed in action, one wounded in action, and two taken prisoner of war. On 27 January 1918, Jasta 67 was founded at Fliegerersatz-Abteilung ("Replacement Detachment") 9, Darmstadt. It became operational on 5 February 1918. It was assigned to 5 Armee a week later. The new squadron scored its first aerial victory on 13 March 1918.

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    Admiralty, January 28th.

    "At noon, on January 27th, naval aircraft carried out bombing raids on Aertrycke aerodrome and Engel dump. Both targets were partly obscured by clouds, which rendered observation of exact results difficult. All our machines returned safely."

    RFC Communiqué number 124:

    Very little flying was done owing to thick mist. No combats took place all day.

    Thirty-nine photographs were taken 28 of which were by the 1st Brigade.

    Machines of No 43 Squadron dropped four 25-lb bombs on Henin-Liétard, and four 25-lb bombs on a working party near La Bassée. Ten 25-lb bombs were dropped by machines of the 1st Wing.

    No combats took place day.

    8th Brigade: Two formations of six machines each of No 55 Squadron left the ground to bomb the barracks and station at Treves. The outline of the objective could just be seen through the mist, and five pilots of the the first formation dropped their bombs on the town. The second formation, owing to the mist, were unable to see the town and returned with their bombs with the exception of one pilot who could just see the bend in the river at the town and dropped one 230-lb bomb. All the results were obscured.

    2nd-Lieut J Fox and Lieut S Jones took photographs of an aerodrome east of Mars-le-Tours and of Les Baraques, 45 plates being exposed. All surrounding ground was covered by thick log.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    The low clouds and bad visibility prevented any reconnaissance work.

    Bombing raid by No 5 Squadron, D.H.4s: Aertrycke Aerodrome and Engel Dump were attacked by seven machines and three escorts.

    Two 50-lb. and eight 25-lb. bombs were dropped on Engel Dump at 11.50.

    Six 50-lb. and twenty-four 16-lb. bombs were dropped on Aertrycke Aerodrome at 11.55. Visibility was fair, but both targets were almost completely obscured by clouds. This rendered observation of results impossible.

    Very few E.A. were seen and no combats took place.

    The following aerial victories were claimed on this day:

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    Nine British AIrmen were lost on this day

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    Home Fronts

    Plagued by hunger and increasingly frustrated with the continuing Great War, hundreds of thousands of long-suffering German workers prepare for a massive strike in Berlin.

    Although the year 1917 had brought a string of military triumphs to the Central Powers—Kaiser Wilhelm, on a visit to the Western Front in December, told his troops that the year’s events proved that God was on the side of the Germans—it had also seen hunger and discontent on the home front rise to unprecedented levels. There were a total of 561 strikes in 1917, up from 240 the year before and 137 in 1915. Real wages—or the ratio of wages to cost of living—were falling, with disastrous effects for industrial and white-collar workers alike. War with Russia had cut Germany and Austria-Hungary off from a crucial supply of food and the Allied naval blockade in the North Sea, in effect since early in the war, had exacerbated the resulting shortages. At the beginning of 1918, the thorny negotiations between Russia and the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk promised to delay a much-needed influx of food and resources even longer. Discontent flared first in Austria, where flour rations were cut in mid-January. Strikes began almost immediately in Vienna and by January 19 there was a general strike throughout the country.

    Food shortages were even worse in Germany, where some 250,000 people had died from hunger in 1917. On January 28, 1918, 100,000 workers took to the streets of Berlin, demanding an end to the war on all fronts. Within a few days, the number was up to 400,000. The Berlin strikers enjoyed support in a string of other major cities, including Dusseldorf, Kiel, Cologne and Hamburg. By one estimate, more than 4 million took to the streets across Germany. The reaction of the German government and the army—frightened by visions of Bolshevik-style revolution and worried the workers’ revolt would further delay the peace talks at Brest-Litovsk—was swift and decisive. On January 31, a state of siege was declared and the ringleaders of the strikes were arrested and court-martialed. One hundred and fifty were imprisoned, while 50,000 more were drafted into the army and sent to the front.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-31-2018 at 13:16.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  18. #3018

  19. #3019


    Phew !

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  20. #3020


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    January 28th 1918

    Well its been a long day... and as I sit here now I am in the company of some 'Glenlivet Founder's Reserve' and the awesome tunes of the Icelandic band Solstafir (check them out guys - best band I have heard in the last 20 years), its been a good day, all I need now is two of my kids to get back to me to say that yes they have got tickets to see The Levellers and Fever Ray (again - any fans of the Vikings TV show - check this out - weird but brilliant).

    Its been a while so lets kick off with a bomber raid... Staaken anyone?

    Seven of thirteen Gothas dispatched attack Britain, as does one of two Giants. The Gothas come in between Harwich and the North Foreland, the first at 19:55 and the last some thirty minutes later. Three reach London, bombing from 20:30 to 21:45 while the others attack Ramsgate, Margate, Sheerness and the Sandwich neighborhood. The Giant makes landfall over Hollesley Bay at 22:25 and follows a course to reach central London at 00:15, its target being the Admiralty. One of its two six hundred pound bombs causes the worst London incident of the war when it hits the Oldham Press building in Long Acre which is being used as a public shelter and has about five hundred civilians in the basement. The resulting casualties are thirty-eight dead and eighty-five injured, of the total casualties of sixty-seven killed and one hundred sixty-six injured. Altogether 8,100 pounds of bombs are dropped. One Gotha flies in over the Naze at 20:00, skirting Clacton and follows a steady course to London, then instead of turning south for a major target, unloads its bombs on Hampstead at 21:45. Its return across northeast London is seen by searchlights which attract two of 44 Squadrons Camels flown by Lieutenant George H Hackwill and Second Lieutenant Charles C Banks, who independently sight the Gotha at about 10,000 feet over Romford by its exhaust flames. Banks attacks first, closing to about thirty yards under the left before opening fire with his guns. Meanwhile Hackwill moves in from the right and also engages. The battle goes on for about ten minutes, as progress is etched by tracer bullets in full view of the Noak Hill, Shenfield and Billericay anti-aircraft guns. The Gotha eventually is hit and comes down at Frund’s Farm, Wickford, at 22:10 and the crew is killed. Hackwill and Banks will both be awarded the Military Cross for their shared victory. During the evening a barrage of 15,000 shells is put up by the defenders.

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    After a break of 41 days Germany resumed raiding Britain on 28 January. Bad weather meant that of the 13 Gothas and two ‘Giants’ that set out, only seven Gothas and one ‘Giant’ made the attack. Records are contradictory as to how many Gothas bombed London — it could be three or four — while the others dropped their bombs on towns in Kent. The ‘Giant’ also reached London. In Kent, seven 50kg bombs dropped on Ramsgate at about 8.20pm - in High Street, South Eastern Road, Ellington Park, Dundonald Road, Crescent Road and two in Picton Road. The bombs caused serious damage to nine houses and lesser damage to 107 others (mainly roofs and windows) with the cost of that damage estimated at £2,600, but there were no casualties.

    At 8.25pm another Gotha dropped seven HE bombs over Richborough. Two fell in a marsh, four in an orchard and one in a meadow on King’s End Farm, damaging a fruit tree and smashing windows in a cottage. The Dockyard town of Sheerness came under attack at 9.05pm when five bombs dropped at the docks damaging the destroyer HMS Violet as well as the lighter Winkle and the steam vessel Swale, wrecking steam launch No. 121 and sinking a custom’s boat and a cutter. A bomb near the Admiral Superintendent’s Office smashed many windows and at the Gun Wharf a bomb demolished explosives stores while partly demolishing workshops and a wall between the Gun Wharf and the Dockyard. Other offices and storerooms suffered damage and the blast damaged windows in the town. Five men were injured, one, Charles Hibbins, a stoker on Torpedo Boat 19, later died. Thirty minutes later a Gotha passed over Margate and dropped a single 50kg bomb on a playing field on Laleham Road smashing windows in nine houses. The first Gotha to reach London commenced bombing shortly before 9.00pm. Five bombs fell on Stepney (two killed, two injured, six houses demolished, many others damaged and a school gymnasium wrecked) and single bombs on Poplar (two killed, 10 houses seriously damaged and 22 to a lesser extent) and at Limehouse (three killed, 14 injured, 10 houses damaged). Across London at about the same time, five bombs fell close to the Thames near Vauxhall Bridge. Two of these exploded in Wandsworth Road killing three men and injuring 10 other people. The bombs caused much damage at Lennox Buildings and Clare Cottages, demolished a retort house at the gas works, severely damaged one house and caused slight damage 70 others.

    Another attack developed at 9.15pm with a single bomb dropping on Gore Road, South Hackney, which damaged eight houses. Five minutes later two bombs dropped in Holborn, injuring two men in Parker Street and causing considerable damage to a printer’s works in Newton Street. Just west of St. Pancras station the Gotha dropped two more bombs, causing serious damage to two properties in Ossulston Street where two children suffered injury, and also to a railway coal station nearby. The last three bombs of this attack fell in Camden Town where they caused material damage but there were no more casualties. The last Gotha commenced its attack near Kilburn shortly before 10.00pm, dropping three bombs fell along Belsize Road close to a railway line. These bombs killed two people and injured two, wrecked the Prince of Wales pub and damaged 118 houses. Three other bombs, in St. George’s Road, Mortimer Crescent and Greville Road, damaged seven houses. On its homeward route across Essex two Sopwith Camels of No. 44 Squadron intercepted it and shot it down. It crashed at Wickford; all three crew died.

    The final attack of the night commenced over Bethnal Green at 12.15am when ‘Giant’ R.12 released five bombs. In Florida Street one man died and four people suffered injury, as did three in Nelson Street and nine in Maidstone Street. The bombs also caused great damage with 329 houses suffering to a greater or lesser extent. Heading south, R.12 crossed the Thames near Tower Bridge then turned west to re-cross the river by Waterloo Bridge. Bombs fell on Savoy Hill, Covent Garden Flower Market and Long Acre. Here the greatest tragedy of the raid occurred. Odhams Printing Works in Long Acre was an approved air raid shelter but, missing the building, the bomb smashed down through the pavement lights to explode in the basement bringing down much of the huge building. The final tally recorded 38 dead and 85 injured, with the last bodies only recovered in March. R.12 continued on its course, dropping bombs in Bedford Place and Hatton Garden, then one in Long Lane in the City, which demolished two floors of a cold storage warehouse. The penultimate bomb damaged the bottling store of Truman’s Brewery in Spitalfields before the final bomb exploded close to where R.12 had begun its raid. It landed close to the railway between Cheshire Street and Pedley Street in Shoreditch. The bomb injured one man and damaged the tracks and 70 houses close by.

    Besides the Gotha shot down over Essex, another four crashed back in Belgium and at least one of these crews was killed. The RFC flew 97 sorties while the RNAS put up six aircraft; it was the most flown on any night by British defence aircraft. There are reports of five close encounters with Gothas and one Bristol Fighter of No. 38 Squadron made an emergency landing after enemy bullets pierced its petrol tank. Another pilot, flying a No. 78 Squadron Sopwith Camel, suffered a hit from the anti-aircraft guns that stopped his engine. He almost made it back intact but hit telegraph wires near Hornchurch. The pilot, thrown clear, escaped injury but his aircraft was a burning wreck. As well as this response from the RFC and RNAS, the anti-aircraft guns fired 14,722 rounds against the eight raiders.

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    The submarine E14 (Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Saxton White age 31) fires a torpedo at a Turkish ship in the Dardanelles at 08:45. Eleven seconds later an enormous explosion shakes E14 as either a torpedo detonates early or she is depth charged. Whatever the cause she is severely damaged with water pouring in unchecked and the submarine is forced to surface where she is met with a barrage of gunfire. After half an hour it is clear that the best hope for survival is to beach the submarine. Soon afterwards the boat becomes out of control and as the air supply is nearly exhausted, Lieutenant-Commander White decides to run the risk of proceeding on the surface. Heavy fire is immediately opened from both sides, and, after running the gauntlet for half-an-hour, being steered from below, E14 is so badly damaged that Lieutenant-Commander White turns towards the shore in order to give the crew a chance of being saved. He remains on deck the whole time himself until he is killed by a shell. While attempting this move the submarine receives a direct hit and sinks with the loss of 23 of her crew including her commander. For his efforts this day Commander White will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

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    She is a vessel unique in the history of the Royal Navy – the only one in which two captains won the Victoria Cross for their exploits aboard.

    Now the submarine HMS E14 has been photographed in her final resting place, 94 years after she went down under heavy shellfire during the First World War. The first pictures of the vessel on the ocean bed show her looking largely intact, suggesting the remains of the crew and their personal effects are still inside. The precise location of the wreck in the eastern Mediterranean was a mystery until it was discovered by Turkish divers this month. The British government has been informed of the discovery and is due to raise the matter with the Turkish authorities to ensure the site is properly preserved as a war grave. E14 sank in January 1918, with the loss of 25 lives, after she was sent around 20 miles into the heavily fortified Dardanelles, the narrow straits between modern-day Turkey’s European and Asian coasts, to torpedo the flagship of the Ottoman empire’s navy.

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    Crew of E14, seen after leaving the Dardanelles straits in 1915. Lt-Cmdr. Boyle is standing at centre on the conning tower.

    She navigated through dense minefields and past a string of enemy forts on both shores but when her captain, Lieutenant-Commander Geoffrey White, found that his target was not where it was expected to be, he instead attacked another enemy vessel in their path. However, one of the torpedoes exploded prematurely, damaging E14 and alerting Ottoman forces along the coast to the submarine’s presence. White headed back down the straits towards safety but was eventually forced to surface the craft after her controls became unresponsive and the air on board began to run out. The vessel was instantly battered by intense bombardment by guns from both sides of the straits, but White left the comparative safety of the boat’s hull to go up on deck to navigate. Realising the submarine could not reach the open sea, he directed her towards a nearby beach, in an effort to save the crew. A survivor recalled that his last words were – “We are in the hands of God”, uttered moments before he was killed by a shell and the submarine went under. For his actions, he was posthumously awarded the VC. Only seven of E14’s 32 crew managed to escape from the stricken craft. Three years earlier, during the Gallipoli Campaign – the allied landings on the coast at the end of the Dardanelles – the same vessel conducted a daring raid through the straits, past dense minefields and deep into enemy territory, in the Sea of Marmara.

    Once there, the submarine dodged hostile patrols and caused havoc among enemy shipping for several days, sinking an Ottoman gunboat and a former White Star liner converted to a troop ship, and disabling another warship. For that 1915 mission, her skipper, Lieutenant Commander Edward Boyle, was awarded the VC. He went on to make at least two more tours of the Sea of Marmara on E14, during the boat’s distinguished career. The shipwreck was discovered by Selçuk Kolay, a Turkish marine engineer, and Savas Karakas, a diver and filmmaker, who have spent three years trying to find it. They established the approximate location from studying documents kept at the National Archives, in Kew, west London, as well as surveying the positions of coastal defences. In 2010, they detected an unusual object on the seabed just off the town of Kum Kale while scanning it from a boat on the surface. However, the wreck’s location – near the mouth of the straits – remains a strategically sensitive area, with a military installation on the nearby shore, and diving is forbidden.It took a further two years to get permission from the Turkish military authorities before their team were able to dive to the wreck and confirm it as the E14 earlier this month.

    The submarine was found at a depth of 65ft, around 800ft from the beach. It is lying at an angle of almost 45 degrees on the sloping seabed, and all but the front 23ft of the 181ft vessel is covered in sand. While the wreck looks largely intact, at least one shell hole is visible near the bows, indicating the battering the submarine took. Her location also suggests she was less than a quarter of a mile from getting out of the straits and out of the range of guns. Mr Kolay said: “They were almost out of the Dardanelles and would have been safe. The wreck is in a good condition and is one of the best preserved submarines of its type left on the earth. It is of great historical significance, as well as being, of course, a war grave.”

    Boyle, who was born in Carlisle and went to school at Cheltenham College, survived the war and also served in the Second World War, reaching the rank of rear admiral. He died in 1967 in Ascot, Berks, at the age of 84. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport, Hants. White was from Bromley, Kent, and had gone to school at Bradfield College, Reading. He was killed at the age of 31, leaving a widow, Sybil, and three children under the age of six. His medal is now owned by his grandson, Richard Campbell, 60, from Pulborough, West Sussex, who keeps it in a bank.

    “I have always felt that my grandmother is the only person who really had the right to sell it, if she wanted to,” he said. “It was very dear to her. She had great pride in it, without a doubt.”

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    Geoffrey Saxton White VC (2 July 1886 – 28 January 1918) was an English Royal Navy officer and recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

    On 28 January 1918 in the Dardanelles, Turkey, Lieutenant-Commander White, commanding British submarine E.14 was under instructions to find the German battlecruiser Goeben, which was reported to be aground. She was not found, however, and E.14 turned back. Then came the following sequence of events, for which White was posthumously awarded the VC on 24 May 1919:

    Admiralty, S.W., 24th May, 1919.

    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officers : —

    Lieutenant-Commander Geoffrey Saxton White, R.N.

    For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as Commanding Officer of H.M. Submarine "E 14" on the 28th of January, 1918.

    "E 14" left Mudros on the 27th of January under instructions to force the Narrows and attack the "Goeben" which was reported aground off Nagara Point after being damaged during her sortie from the Dardanelles. The latter vessel was not found and "E 14" turned back. At about 8.45 a.m. on 28 January a torpedo was fired from "E 14" at an enemy ship; 11 seconds after the torpedo left the tube a heavy explosion took place, caused all lights to go out, and sprang the fore hatch. Leaking badly the boat was blown to 15 feet, and at once a heavy fire came from the forts, but the hull was not hit. "E 14" then dived and proceeded on her way out.

    Soon afterwards the boat became out of control, and as the air supply was nearly exhausted, Lieutenant-Commander White decided to run the risk of proceeding on the surface. Heavy fire was immediately opened from both sides, and, after running the gauntlet for half-an-hour, being steered from below, "E 14" was so badly damaged that Lieutenant-Commander White turned towards the shore in order to give the crew a chance of being saved. He remained on deck the whole time himself until he was killed by a shell.

    White's body was not recovered at the time, and he has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (SALUTE - Editor)

    Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae
    (Canadian Army Medical Corps) dies of pneumonia at age 45. He is a Great War Poet of “In Flanders Fields”, and “The Anxious Dead”. Early in the war McCrae is appointed as a field surgeon in the Canadian artillery and is in charge of a field hospital during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. McCrae’s friend and former student, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer is killed in the battle, and his burial inspires the poem, In Flanders Fields, which is written on 3rd May 1915 and first published in the magazine Punch.

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    When Britain declared war on Germany at the start of World War I, Canada, as a Dominion within the British Empire, was at war as well. McCrae was appointed as Medical Officer and Major of the 1st Brigade CFA (Canadian Field Artillery). He treated wounded during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, from a hastily dug, 8 foot by 8 foot bunker dug in the back of the dyke along the Yser Canal about 2 miles north of Ypres. McCrae's friend and former militia pal, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed in the battle, and his burial inspired the poem, "In Flanders Fields", which was written on May 3, 1915 and first published in the magazine Punch. From June 1, 1915, McCrae was ordered away from the artillery to set up No. 3 Canadian General Hospital at Dannes-Camiers near Boulogne-sur-Mer, northern France. C.L.C. Allinson reported that McCrae "most unmilitarily told [me] what he thought of being transferred to the medicals and being pulled away from his beloved guns. His last words to me were: 'Allinson, all the goddamn doctors in the world will not win this bloody war: what we need is more and more fighting men.'"

    "In Flanders Fields" appeared anonymously in Punch on December 8, 1915, but in the index to that year McCrae was named as the author. The verses swiftly became one of the most popular poems of the war, used in countless fund-raising campaigns and frequently translated (a Latin version begins In agro belgico...). "In Flanders Fields" was also extensively printed in the United States, which was contemplating joining the war, alongside a 'reply' by R. W. Lillard, ("...Fear not that you have died for naught, / The torch ye threw to us we caught..."). For eight months the hospital operated in Durbar tents (donated by the Begum of Bhopal and shipped from India), but after suffering from storms, floods, and frosts it was moved in February 1916 into the old Jesuit College in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

    McCrae, now "a household name, albeit a frequently misspelt one", regarded his sudden fame with some amusement, wishing that "they would get to printing 'In F.F.' correctly: it never is nowadays"; but (writes his biographer) "he was satisfied if the poem enabled men to see where their duty lay." On January 28, 1918, while still commanding No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) at Boulogne, McCrae died of pneumonia with "extensive pneumococcus meningitis". He was buried the following day in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission section of Wimereux Cemetery, just a couple of kilometres up the coast from Boulogne, with full military honours. His flag-draped coffin was borne on a gun carriage and the mourners – who included Sir Arthur Currie and many of McCrae's friends and staff – were preceded by McCrae's charger, "Bonfire", with McCrae's boots reversed in the stirrups. Bonfire was with McCrae from Valcartier, Quebec until his death and was much loved.McCrae's gravestone is placed flat, as are all the others in the section, because of the unstable sandy soil.

    "In Flanders Fields"

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the dead, short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

    for a more modern slant check out Siouxsie and the Banshees -

    Western Front
    Somme: Severe British January pressure on the Anere prompts Rupprecht to demand a voluntary retirement to Siegfried Stellung (OHL vetoes on January 29).

    Sea War
    Black Sea: 2 Russian destroyers sink or capture 22 Turk sailing craft between Ordu and Sinope (until January 31).
    Atlantic: U-53 sinks Spanish SS Nueva Montana (ore for Newcastle) off Ushant and a similar ship on January 29.

    Secret War
    Britain: Royal Navy Room 40 intercepts Bernstorff’s second protest against unlimited U-boat war.


    Mexico: US General Pershing and his troops ordered home.

    The War in the Air
    (Gothas notwithstanding)

    General Headquarters, January 29th.

    "Our aeroplanes took advantage of the good visibility prevailing on Monday to carry out a large amount of work in conjunction with our artillery and to photograph the enemy's distant aerodromes and lines of defence. During the day they dropped 400 bombs on various objectives, including Roulers, Menin and an aerodrome near Tournai. Several thousands of rounds were fired from our machines at enemy troops in the trenches and on roads in the back areas. Air fighting was continuous throughout the day, and resulted in two hostile machines being shot down and six others being driven down out of control. Three of our machines are missing. During the night of Monday-Tuesday our aeroplanes were unable to leave their aerodromes until 2 a.m. owing to a heavy mist. Nevertheless, over 6½ tons of bombs were dropped on the enemy's billets, railway stations, and trains, and two night-flying aerodromes near Ghent and Tournai. All our machines returned from these bombing raids."

    Admiralty, January 29th.

    "During January 28th a bombing raid was carried out by naval aircraft on the enemy aerodromes at Aertrycke and Engel. Many bombs were dropped on objectives. During the usual fighter patrols, two enemy machines were brought down out of control. All our machines returned safely."

    RFC Communiqué number 124:

    The weather was fine all day, but there was a certain amount of ground mist in some places.

    During the day a record number of photographs were taken; 2,404 plates being exposed in all.

    Seventy hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and eight neutralized; three gun-pits were destroyed, 23 damaged, 16 explosions and 19 fires caused. Forty-two zone calls were sent down.

    A total of 981 25-lb, two 230-lb, and 19 112-lb bombs were dropped, and 13,007 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:-

    1st Brigade: 1st Wing dropped 80 25-lb bombs and fired 800 rounds; No 18 Squadron dropped 24 25-lb bombs and 10th Wing fired 2,250 rounds,

    2nd Brigade: No 57 Squadron dropped 67 25-lb bombs on Roulers ammunition dump; 2nd Wing dropped 71 25-lb bombs; 3rd Squndron A.F.C. fired 1,737 rounds, and 1,400 rounds were fired on various targets.

    3rd Brigade: Forty-seven 25-lb bombs were dropped and 2,020 rounds fired.

    5th Brigade: 15th Wing dropped 70 25-lb bombs and fired 4,400 rounds; 22nd Wing dropped nine 25-lb bombs, and No 84 Squadron fired 600 rounds.

    8th Brigade: Eight 112-lb and two 230-lb bombs on Treves.

    9th Wing: No 25 Squadron dropped nine 112-lb bombs on Marquain Aerodrome, and No 27 Squadron dropped three 112-lb and 13 25-lb bombs on Menin.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    Bombing raid by day, No 5 Squadron, D.H.4’s: Eight 50-lb., eight 25-lb., and twenty-seven 16-lb bombs were dropped on Aertrycke Aerodrome. Several explosions were observed among the two groups of hangars and sheds. A direct hit is also reported on a Hervieux hangar.

    Two 50-lb. and six 16-lb. bombs were dropped on Engel Aerodrome. Sheds and hangars were well straddled, but no direct hits were reported.

    Four 16-lb. bombs were also dropped on Engel Dump. Bombs were observed to burst among the sheds on the siding.

    On the return journey four E.A. were engaged at long range without decisive result.

    [Other than the engaments reported by No 3 Squadron] several other E.A. were attacked during the day indecisively.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft were very active and a considerable anount of fighting book in which two enemy machines were brought down and thirteen driven down of control.

    Flt Sub-Lieut J A Glen, Flt Cdr L H Rochford and Flt Sub-Lieut C S Devereux, 3N Sqn, DFW C out of control Houthulst Forest at 11:05/12:05 - while carrying out an offensive sweep over the Ypres – Dixmude - Roulers area, a patrol of eight Camels from No. 3 Squadron attacked eight E.A. Flight Lieut Glen and Flight Commander Rochford closed with a D.F.W. two-seater. The observer was badly wounded or killed by Flight Commander Rochford, as he did not return fire, and was right down in the cock-pit with his gun pointing upwards. The same two pilots and Flight Sub-Lieut Devereux attacked a second D.F.W. over Foret d’Houlthulst, which went down out of control, the observer being badly wounded

    Flt Cdr G W Price, 8N Sqn, two-seater in flames La Bassée at 11:05/12:05 - Flight Commander Price, Naval Squadron No 8, dived on an E.A. two-seater and fired 200 rounds at 20 to 50 yards range. The E.A. nose-dived and burst into flames at about 4,000 feet and crashed near La Bassée; Gfr Wilhelm Walter (Kia) & Gfr Ludwig Neeb (Kia), Schsta 17 [?]

    Capt R N M Stuart-Wortley & Lieut D W Kent-Jones, 22 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Douvrin at 11:10/12:10 -

    Flt Sub-Lieut K D MacLeod, 3N Sqn, DFW C out of control south-east of Dixmude at 11:15/12:15 - Flight Sub-Lieut MacLeod attacked a D.F.W. two-seater from the side, and after firing about 100 rounds the machine went up on one wing tip and spun down completely out of control

    Flt Sub-Lieut W L Jordan, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Beaumont - Drocourt at 11:35/12:35 - an offensive patrol of Naval Squadron No 8 had a general engagement with seven Albatross Scouts. Flight Lieut Jordan fired at about 50 yards range at one of the E.A. until his ammunition was exhausted. The E.A. pulled up and stalled, then proceeded to dive vertically apparently out of control

    2nd-Lieut H M Hutton, 40 Sqn, Scout out of control Gondecourt at 11:45/12:45 - a patrol of No 40 Squadron observed a formation of enemy scouts, about six strong. 2nd-Lieut Hutton attacked one E.A. and shots were seen to enter the fuselage. The E.A. stall-turned and went down in a nose-dive, emitting smoke, and apparently out of control

    Lieut A Wingate-Grey, 29 Sqn, Scout out of control
    Lieut P A de Fontenay, 29 Sqn, two-seater out of control Staden at 12:00/13:00
    Capt E S Meek, 29 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control south of Roulers at 12:20/13:20
    Lieut J G Coombe, 29 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south of Roulers at 12:20/13:20

    An offensive patrol of No 29 Squadron engaged eight E.A. scouts and one two-seater. During the fight four E.A. were driven down out of control, the following officers accounting for one each: Capt Meek, Lieut. Wingate-Grey, Lieut de Fontenay and Lieut Coombe

    2nd-Lieut F C Ransley & 2nd-Lieut R S Herring, 48 Sqn, Rumpler C out of control Beaurevoir at 12:40/13:40 – 2nd-Lieuts F Ransley and R Herring, No 48 Squadron, whilst on photography, attacked four E.A. two-seaters. One E.A. was shot completely out of control and the remaining E.A. broke off the combat

    Sergt C W Noel & 2nd-Lieut Stennett, 57 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Moorslede at 12:55/13:55 - whilst on photography, Sergt Noel and 2nd-Lieut Stennett, No 57 Squadron, wereatacked by three Albatross Scouts, one of which was driven down of control

    Lieut J S Chick & Capt R M Makepeace, 11 Sqn, DFW C out of control north of Bourlon Wood at 13:15/14:15 - 2nd-Lieut Chick and Capt Makepeace, No 11 Squadron attacked a D.F.W. and the pilot and observer each fired 50 rounds after which the E.A. went down out of control and was lost to sight in the mist

    2nd-Lieut H G Hegarty, 60 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control north of Kortemarck at 13:20/14:20 – 2nd-Lieut Hegarty, No 60 Squadron, attacked one of eight Albatross Scouts and drove one down out of control

    Lieut F O Soden, 60 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Handzaeme at 13:30/14:30 -

    Lieut H S Wolff, 40 Sqn, DFW C out of control Gondecourt at 13:40/14:40 - a patrol of No 40 Squadron observed a formation of enemy scouts, about six strong. 2nd-Lieut Wolff attacked an E.A. two-seater, firing several bursts at point-blank range - tracers being seen to enter the fuselage. The E.A. was seen to turn completely over and dive very steeply of control, followed by 2nd-Lieut Wolff, who was forced to break off the combat, owing to being by attacked by two E.A. scouts

    Lieut T Colvill-Jones & Lieut L H Phelps, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control north-west of Westroosebeke at 13:50/14:50 – 2nd-Lieut Colville-Jones and Lieut Phelps, No 20 Squadron, attacked the rear machine of four Albatross Scouts. After 150 rounds had been fired the E.A. went down out of control

    2nd-Lieut G Clapham, 54 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Hancourt at 15:00/16:00 – 2nd-Lieut Clapham, No 51 Squadron, dived on one of three enemy scouts. The E.A. went down out of control and was later seen to crash

    2nd-Lieut J Todd, 70 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control north-west of Menin at 15:50/16:50 – 2nd-Lieut Todd, No 70 Squadron, while on a special mission attacked four AIbatross Scouts and two triplanes who were helping a German two-seater against some Belgian Nieuports. He dived at one of the E.A. and kept firing till within 40 yards range. The E.A. went down out of control, falling from side side and finally getting into a spin


    2nd-Lieut D F Lawson (Wia), 54 Sqn, Camel

    2nd-Lieut S Reay (Kia) & 2/AM A Paterson (Kia), 11 Sqn, Bristol F.2B A7288 – took off 10:05/11:05 then missing on COP; OffStllv Josef Mai, Js5, 7th victory [Bourlon Wood at 11:10/12:10] ?

    2nd-Lieut J M Milne-Henderson (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut E A Cunningham (Kia), 11 Sqn, Bristol F.2B B1189 – took off 10:05/11:05 then missing on COP Cambrai area; Vzfw Fritz Rumey, Js5, 7th victory [Graincourt at 11:10/12:10] ?

    Lieut J P B Harold (Wia) & 2nd-Lieut F M Woolmer (Wia), 5 Sqn, RE8 B5089 - forced down by 2 EA at Sh36c.T.1.d.1.9 [south of Lens] at 11:30/12:30 during photography

    Lieut J W Ritch (Ok) & Capt Roberts (Ok), 18 Sqn, DH4 B2066 - crashed in forced landing at 4 Sqn at 11:30/12:30 due engine failure after hit by AA fire and fired on by enemy 2-seater during photography

    2nd-Lieut L J Williams (Pow), 56 Sqn, SE5a B610 - last seen diving on some EA over Bourlon Wood at 14:00/15:00 on DOP

    The following victories were claimed on this day

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    A total of eight British airmen were lost on this day

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-31-2018 at 13:17.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  21. #3021


    Certainly a massive raid. Thanks for the extensive coverage Chris.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  22. #3022


    Great post - thanks a bundle Chris

    PS Yea - like the band Solstafir lots - very atmospheric. Mines a glass of Barbera D'Asti right now, but the Jamesons will follow later Cheers.
    Last edited by mikeemagnus; 01-29-2018 at 11:30.

  23. #3023


    25th amended

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  24. #3024


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    29th January 1918

    This raid, for the first time, featured only ‘Giants’. Four set out but one returned shortly after take-off with engine problems. Of the other three, the first came inland at the mouth of the Blackwater in Essex at about 10.00pm.

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    An R.VI type Riesenflugzeug or 'Giant', the same type that attacked London on the night of 29/30 January 1918

    Commanded by Hauptmann Richard von Bentivegni, the leader of Rfa 501, this ‘Giant’ (R.39) headed south-west but at 10.15pm was intercepted by Captain Arthur Dennis, No. 37 Squadron, flying a BE12b. Dennis opened fire as the ‘Giant’ took evasive action while returning fire. After a stoppage, Dennis got his gun working again, emptying the drum of ammunition. But as he loaded another the rough slipstream from the massive aircraft’s engines threw his own out of control. By the time Dennis regained control he had lost sight of R.39. Having thrown off his attacker, von Bentivegni continued on a westward course, being observed from Hertford at 10.56pm. There he turned south, skirting London to the west before commencing to release his bombs on south-western districts of the capital at about 11.30pm. The first of these, 12 incendiaries, fell harmlessly on the open space of Old Deer Park, Richmond. Two HE bombs also dropped here, one in the enclosure of the Kew Observatory and one on the 14th Green of the Mid-Surrey Golf Club. Both dug craters and the Observatory suffered broken windows. R.39 then crossed the north of the Thames and dropped seven incendiaries in and around Syon Park without effect. Next, over Brentford, three HE bombs fell with one in Whitestile Road demolishing a house and claiming the lives of the three women and five children inside. The bomb there, together with one in Enfield Road, badly damaged six other properties and inflicted lesser damage on 151 other houses. At the Metropolitan Water Board’s works at Kew Bridge six HE bombs exploded, killing two men, injuring another and damaging a reservoir, pumping station and boiler house. Another bomb, on the pavement outside the works, caused injuries to five men, burst four water mains, while damaging telegraph and telephone lines and 13 buildings. The final three bombs landed in Chiswick where they caused damage to 99 houses. The crew, way out in their navigation, claimed to have dropped their bombs between Charing Cross and West India Docks on the either side of London. Before R.39 reached the coast, three other RFC pilots engaged her but she escaped.

    ‘Giant’ R.26 came inland at 10.44pm over Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex. Taking a south-west course, R.26 progressed only slowly as two of her four engines were giving trouble, then she started to lose height. The crew turned back near Billericay and, flying on only two engines, dropped her entire bomb load at around midnight to gain height. Six HE Bombs dropped at Rawreth, eleven at Rayleigh and one on a farm between Rayleigh and Thundersley. Other than a few broken windows there was no damage. R.26 went back out to sea near Southend at 12.20am.

    The last ‘Giant’ to come inland, R.25, crossed the coast near Foulness at 10.50pm and headed west. Picked up by searchlights, a number of British fighters attacked as she followed a course towards London, R.25’s pilots evading as best they could. Near Brentwood at about 11.25pm a bullet put one of her engines out of action but the crew continued with their mission at a reduced speed. The looming appearance of a balloon apron up ahead seems to have finally convinced the crew to turn back and as they did so they released their entire bomb load over Wanstead. All 20 HE bombs landed within 300 yards of each other at Redbridge Lane, most exploding in allotments or on a golf course. This ton of high-explosive caused no injuries, merely breaking a few windows. The crew of R.25 returned home safely but on inspecting their aircraft they discovered 88 bullet holes.

    The RFC flew 73 sorties in pursuit of the three ‘Giants’ while the RNAS flew seven. The anti-aircraft guns fired 8,132 rounds. Of those, the guns protecting London fired 3,531 rounds at the two ‘Giants’ that reached the capital.

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    Three of four Giants dispatched to attack London reach Britain. One comes in over the mouth of the Blackwater at 22:05 and is picked up ten minutes later at 12,000 feet. It then drops bombs on residential areas between Acton and Richmond Park causing the nights ten killed and ten injured. The second Giant bombs at midnight from 5,900 feet while the final Giant makes landfall at 22:44 over the Naze, develops engine trouble so it drops its bombs around Rayleigh and turns back.

    Second Lieutenant C J Howson (Royal Flying Corps) claims the last victory for his squadron in a DH5. The casualties for the day include two pilots and one observer killed and one pilot made prisoner.

    SMS Goeben is seen lying near the inner of the two bridges spanning the Golden Horn by the arsenal and stretching halfway along the bridge. During the previous nine days two hundred seventy-six flights have been flown against Goeben and approximately fifteen tons of bombs dropped with at least sixteen direct hits being observed.

    The trawler Drumtochty (Skipper Harold Harrison age 28) is sunk by a mine off Dover. All eleven crew members are killed.

    Claiming his 1st victory today is Captain Thomas Melling "Tommy" Williams MC DFC 65 Squadron RFC

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    In 1917, Thomas Melling Williams joined the Royal Flying Corps in England and was posted to 65 Squadron. Flying a Sopwith Camel, he was a frequent participant in ground attack sorties against the Germans, scoring nine victories in 1918. Remaining in the Royal Air Force, Williams served in Russia, earning a bar to his DFC in 1919. During World War II, he served in India and Burma. Before retiring as an Air Marshal in 1952, he was knighted and served as Inspector General of the Royal Air Force. 1901 residence was Dalton-in-Furness; birth registered in the 4th quarter of 1899 at Ulverston (the registration office for Cumbria and Lancashire).

    DFC citation: Lieut. (T./Capt.) Thomas Melling Williams, M.C.
    During recent operations this officer rendered most gallant and valuable service, proving himself to be a very capable and inspiring leader. On one occasion, observing three enemy railway trains, he dived, and in face of very heavy machine-gun fire seriously damaged one by a direct hit with a bomb. He then descended almost to the ground, and attacked the personnel escaping from the ruined train, scattering them in all directions. On returning to his aerodrome his machine was found to be riddled with bullets.

    The following claims were made on this day:

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    A total of nine British airmen were lost on this day

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    Air War

    Britain: Again Moonlight raid on London (20 casualties) by 3 of 4 Giants sent; defences misidentified them as 15 Gothas. Major Murlis Green (No 44 Squadron Commander) attacks R25 (hit 88 times) from close range but discovers new RTS ammo explodes prematurely; 4 other fighters (out of 73 sent up) also attack without success (night January 29-30).

    Eastern Front

    Ukraine: Red troops take Kiev and Odessa.

    Secret War

    Switzerland: *Enver Pasha and Zahroff hold fruitless talks, former says Kaiser has told him ‘the future of Mesopotamia and Palestine would be decided on the French front’.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  25. #3025


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    30th January 1918

    At a camp in England where rifle grenade practice is being carried out one of the men strikes the loophole with his bayonet and causes the fuse of a grenade to ignite. Lieutenant Fred Kelly (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) who is in charge shouts to the man to drop his rifle and get clear but he man loses his nerve and remains in the trench gripping the rifle. Lieutenant Kelly then seizes the rifle and with much difficulty gets it out of the man’s hand and throws it away. He then tries to push the man out of the emplacement but before he can get him clear the bomb explodes and they are both slightly wounded. For his actions Lieutenant Kelly will be awarded the Albert Medal.

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    Captain James Thomas Byford McCudden, single-handedly, attacks five enemy scouts, as a result of which two are destroyed. On this he occasion he returns home only when the enemy scouts have been driven far to the east; his Lewis gun ammunition is all finished and the belt of his Vickers gun has broken. This action is typical of those, which will lead to his being awarded the Victoria Cross.

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    London Fire Brigade - Their darkest day

    On the 30 January 1918, seven firefighters tragically lost their lives when a building collapsed following a fire at the Albert Embankment. The tragedy remains the greatest single loss of London firefighters during peacetime. The fire, in a three-storey warehouse, was reported at 3:44am. Over the next two hours, three fire engines, an escape ladder and around 25 firefighters and sub-officers attended the scene. Although not a big fire the dense fog that day, combined with thick smoke, made it difficult situation.

    At around 5:45am, while trying to remove an escape ladder, Brigade Superintendent Barrow ordered everyone to "drop everything and run" as the building began to give way.

    Sub-officer William E. Cornford (Clapham), Fireman Edmund J. Fairbrother (Kennington), Fireman William E. Nash (Kennington), Fireman John .W.C. Johnson (Vauxhall), Fireman Aurther A. Page (Vauxhall) and Temp.Fireman James E. Fay (Kennington) were all killed by falling debris when the front of the building collapsed.

    Sub-Officer Walter W. Hall (Vauxhall) was severely injured and later died in St. Thomas's Hospital.

    Although the cause of the fire was unknown, it was thought to have been caused by rats gnawing through electrical cabling.

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    Official Brigade record

    The following extract is from an official Brigade record, submitted by Superintendent Barrows, which recalls the deadly incident:

    From – Superintendent The Divisional Officer, “E” District Southern Division. 30th January 1918.

    Loss of Life at a Fire - Collapse of Building

    I submit that at 3-44 a.m of this date a call was received by stranger to a private house alight at Albert Embankment, S.E., to which Motor Escape, Motor Pump and 10 men from No.94. Station Vauxhall and Motor Pump and 6 men from No.87. station Kennington responded.
    At 3-55 a.m., a “home call” message was received, viz:- It is a building of three floors about 40 x 40 ft. used as Pepper Mills alight, one hydrant in use. No.3. Westminster Motor Pump and 6 men were ordered and I attended with No.80. Motor Car and 2 men.
    On my arrival I found the upper floors of a building of three floors about 45 x 30 ft. (used as cattle food manufacturers) well alight, and part of roof and upper floor had fallen in.
    The fire was practically extinguished by the use of two hydrants and 1 Motor Pump and the stop sent back accordingly.
    At 5-34 a.m., owing to a considerable amount of turning over to be done, a message was dispatched to the effect that appliances would be detained for a time and a few minutes later another message asking or a Sub-officer and four men to be sent on with a view to the appliances and myself returning home.
    At about 5-45 a.m. I was on the ground floor and in consequence of hearing a cracking noise, cleared everyone out of the building.
    Owing to the ground mist and smoke, the front of the building was hardly discernible, a hydrant was still being used up the Escape, I went to the front of the building with the men with a view of making up and removing the Escape, when suddenly I heard Sub-officer Cornford call out “Look out Sir” and saw the building collapsing.
    I called out “drop everything and run”, but was knocked down by the falling debris and part of the Escape, being subsequently extricated by our men from amongst the debris.
    On making enquiry, I found that a message to the effect that the building had collapsed and that several of our men were buried and ambulances were requires had been sent back.
    I gave instructions for the debris to be searched for the bodies of our men, then saw the Divisional Officer South who, on hearing of the nature of my injuries ordered me home.
    I have since been examined by the District Medical Officer, and placed on the sick list, nature of illness “Injury to Legs”.
    (Signed) ……..J.BARROWS

    Coincidentally, the Brigade's former headquarters, built in 1936 and opened a year later, is situated on the Albert Embankment site where the tragic 1918 fire took place.

    The names of the seven firefighters, along with others who have lost their lives during service, adorn a memorial inside the building.

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    Farewell: a public funeral was held for the men who died in the fire.

    Home Front
    Germany: Strikes spread to 6 major cities, but leadership divided.

    Western Front
    BEF now deployed from Houthulst Forest, northeast of Ypres, to Barisis, northwest of Laon.

    Eastern Front
    Brest-Litovsk: Talks resume on Trotsky’s return. White politicians form Constitutional Council at Rostov. Lenin orders 25,000 rifles and 30 MGs for Russian troops in Finland. Royal Navy Air Service Armoured Car Squadron rear party sail from Murmansk (until February 1).

    Air War
    France: First of 31 Gotha raids on Paris (259 casualties), 267 bombs (14t) dropped by 30 Gothas in 30 minutes (1 shot down).

    The following claims were made on this day:

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    There were 11 British airmen lost on this day

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    There will be more from the RFC records as / when source site updates (currently awaiting 26th - 30th updates) see below...

    General Headquarters, January 31st.

    "Another fine day on the 30th instant enabled aerial activity to be maintained, but there was more mist than on the preceding day, and observation for artillery was difficult.

    "Several long-distance reconnaissances were carried out by our aeroplanes, in the course of which many photographs were taken.

    "A hostile aerodrome south of Ghent, a large ammunition dump east of Roulers, and the railway sidings at Courtrai, were heavily bombed by us, and the enemy's troops, transport, and batteries in action were fired at from the air.

    "In air fighting four hostile machines were brought down, and four others driven down out of control; another hostile machine was shot down by antiaircraft gun fire. None of our aeroplanes are missing.

    "During the night of the 30th-31st instant, a few bombs were dropped by the enemy in our forward areas. Our own machines continued the bombing of the enemy's billets, ammunition dumps, and railway stations."

    Admiralty, February 1st.

    “A bombing raid on Oostcamp aerodrome was carried out by naval aircraft at noon on January 30th. Many bombs were dropped on the three groups of sheds and hangars. A direct hit was observed on a hangar in the south group, from which a fire and a dense cloud of smoke arose. Two direct hits on the sheds north-west of Oostcamp village caused a fire in each case. Several engagements with enemy aircraft took place, in which one was shot down out of control. In the course of the usual patrols one enemy machine was destroyed and two were shot down out of control. One of our machines failed to return."

    RFC Communiqué number 125:

    The weather was fine but misty all day.

    Twelve successful reconnaissances were carried out – three by 2nd Brigade five by the 3rd Brigade, three by the 5th Brigade, and one by 9th Wing. Capt D Jardine and Lieut Ashton, No 25 Squadron, completed the Namur reconnaissance, taking 36 photographs.

    Fifty-two hostile batteries were succdessfully engaged for destruction and two neutralized; five gun-pits were destroyed, 18 damaged, 24 explosions and 16 fires caused. Fifty-three active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    On the 30th, balloons of the 2nd Brigade registered 16 targets, seven of which were hostile batteries; five active hostile batteries were located, and a successful shoot on a hostile balloon was carried out with cross-observation by two balloons (Nos 9 and 13 Sections).

    During the night of 29th/30th, 306 bombs were dropped and 525 rounds fired, and during the day 303 bombs were dropped and 10,652 rounds fired, and 1,384 photographs taken as follows:-

    Night 29th/30th - 1st Brigade: No 2 Squadron dropped 123 25-lb bombs on Provin and 105 25-lb bombs on Fournes; No 4 Squadron dropped 45 25-lb bombs on Wicres, Salome, Marquillies, and La Bassée; No 4 Squadron fired 525 rounds; No 16 Squadron dropped 10 112-lb and 13 25-lb bombs on Noyelle, Auby, Beaumont and Esquerchin, and No 35 Squadron dropped eight 25-lb bombs on Bohain.

    (Nos 101 and 102 Squadrons were unable to leave the ground owing to a thick mist over their aerodromes).

    Day, 30th - 1st Brigade: 181 photographs. 1st Wing dropped 35 25-lb bombs; 10th Wing fired 2,259 rounds and No 5 Squadron 75 rounds.

    2nd Brigade: 344 photographs. No 57 Squadron dropped 44 25-lb bombs on Iseghem Dump, and 2nd Wing dropped 71 25-lb bombs and fired 2,005 rounds.

    3rd Brigade: 387 photographs were tauken, 37 25-lb bombs dropped and 1,300 rounds fired.

    5th Brigade: 380 photographs were taken, and 15th Wing dropped 78 25-lb bombs andfored 5,022 rounds.

    9th Wing: 92 photographs. No 25 Sqadron dropped 8 112-lb bombs on Scheldewindeke Aerodrome, and No 27 Squadron dropped 4 112-lb and 16 25-lb bombs on Courtrai railway sidings.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    Reconnaissance by No 2 Squadron, D.H.4’s: A low Fleet Patrol was carried out, but a good reconnaissance was unable to be made owing to bad visibility.

    A photographic reconnaissance was carried out in the afternoon. Forty plates were exposed between Selzaete, Bruges and Westcappelle.

    Bombing raid by day, No 5 Squadron, D.H.4’s: Oostcamp Aerodrome was attacked by seven machines. Fourteen 50-lb and sixty 16-lb bombs were dropped on the objective at 13.15.

    The three groups of sheds and hangars to the southward were straddled, and a direct hit is reported on a hangar, from which fire and dense smoke arose.

    On the return journey bombing formation was attacked by E.A. One of our machines failed to return.

    Various other engagements took place during the day with indecisive results.

    One of our pilots whilst on patrol, was compelled to make a forced landing on the water. Both pilot and machine were saved.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Activity was not so marked as on previous days.

    Lieut J Hewett, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control - Lieut J Hewett No 23 Squadron, attacked an Albatross Scout diving out of the sun. After a long burst, the E.A. went down out of control falling from side to side

    Flt Cdr L H Rochford, Flt Sub-Lieut A B Ellwood and Flt Sub-Lieut J A Glen, 3N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Gheluvelt at 10:45/11:45
    Flt Cdr L H Rochford, Flt Sub-Lieut A B Ellwood and Flt Sub-Lieut J A Glen, 3N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Gheluvelt at 10:45/11:45

    Six Albatross Scouts were attacked by a flight from No. 3 Squadron over Gheluvelt. Flight Commander Rochford, Flight Lieuts Ellwood and Glen had a decisive combat with two of the machines, both of which were attacked at close quarters and driven down out of control

    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Anneux at 11:15/12:15 - Vzfw Adam Barth, Jasta 10, Kia
    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Anneux at 11:15/12:15 -

    Capt J B McCudden, No 56 Squadron, attacked four E.A. Scouts, into one of which he fired a short burst from both guns at 50 yards range when pieces of appeared to be three-ply fell off the E.A. Turning over to the left the E.A. went down in vertical dive, absolutely out of control. He then flew on behind a Phalz [sic] and fired a short burst front both guns. The E.A. went down in a spiral, finally stalling and side-slipping and was last seen at 6,000 feet still out of control

    Lieut S A Oades & 2nd-Lieut S W Bunting, 22 Sqn, two-seater out of control east of La Bassée at 11:40/12:40 – 2nd-Lieuts S Oades and S Bunting, No 22 Squadron, attacked an enemy two-seater. The E.A. went down in flames and was seen to crash; Uffz Willy Bretschneider (Kia) & Wolfgang Pourroy (Kia), FA(A) 224w [?]

    Capt K M G St C G Leask, 84 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Villers Outreaux at 11:45/12:45
    2nd-Lieut J A McCudden, 84 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Villers Outreaux at 11:45/12:45

    A patrol of No 84 Squadron, led by Capt Leask, attacked six E.A. Scouts and one two-seaber. The enemy were eventually reinforced by six more machines, and in the fighting which ensued two enemy scouts were driven down completely out of control, one by Capt Leask and one by 2nd-Lieut McCudden

    Sergt E A Gay & 2nd-Lieut A C Flavell, 57 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control by Flavell Courtrai at 12:00/13:00

    Lieut J G Coombe, 29 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control west of Roulers at 12:25/13:25 - Lieut J Coombe, No 29 Squadron, whilst on offensive patrol attacked one of nine Albatross Scouts. He fired 200 rounds at, and it went down in a spin

    Flt Cdr C P O Bartlett & AGL W Naylor, 5N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Engel airfield at 13:30/14:30
    Flt Sub-Lieut J M Mason & AGL C V Robinson, 5N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Engel airfield at 13:30/14:30

    Immediately after leaving their objective the bombing formation was attacked by a number of E.A. scouts. One E.A. was observed to go down into a spin, but the final result could not be observed

    Lieut K W Junor, 56 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames north-west of Wambaix at 14:10/15:10 - Lieut Junor, No 56 Squadron, dived on two scouts and opened from about 100 yards. One E.A. went down in a series of dives and at 8,000 feet it burst into flames and crashed; Oblt Bruno Justinius, Jasta 35, Kia

    2nd-Lieut W Casson, 43 Sqn, two-seater out of control Douai at 14:15/15:15 - 2nd-Lieut W Casson, No 43 Squadron, shot down out of control an E.A. two-seatrer which he followed down to 4,000 feet firing all the time

    Capt J H Medcalf, 43 Sqn, Albatros crashed ? Douai at 14:15/15:15
    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-03-2018 at 11:30.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  26. #3026


    Many thanks Chris - The great work continues

  27. #3027


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    I have updated 26th, 27th and 28th January

    31st January 1918

    Operation EC1 takes place. Commander Ernest W Leir in the cruiser HMS Ithuriel leads the five ‘K’ type submarines of the Thirteenth Flotilla along the Firth of Forth, directly in the wake of the battle cruiser HMS Courageous, flying the flag of Vice Admiral ‘Sir’ Hugh Evan-Thomas. Some five miles behind him comes the four battle cruisers of the Second Battle Cruiser Squadron and behind them the cruiser HMS Fearless leading the four ‘K’ boats of the Twelfth Flotilla.

    The night is clear, the sea calm, and there seems little reason to expect trouble. But a nemesis approaches in the shape of eight armed trawlers sweeping the Firth for mines. They operate out of May Island, and through a breakdown in communications, neither they, nor the officers involved in operation EC1 are aware of the others operations on this day.

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    A mist now descends reducing visibility so that the Ithuriel loses contact with the Courageous ahead. As Ithuriel begins to lose its way, chaos ensues among her five ‘K’ boats. Minesweeping trawlers appear out of the mist, flashing their navigational lights and baffling the ‘K’ boat commanders who are trying to follow the stern light of Ithuriel. K14 tries to go hard to starboard, but its helm jams for six minutes and its commander has to stop engines to avoid going around in circles. Suddenly, at nineteen knots, K22 (the renamed K13) comes crashing into the virtually stationary K4 (Commander David de Beauvoir Stocks DSO killed at age 34). Lights now flash out from all directions – the signalman on K14 using an Aldis lamp to call for help. Meanwhile, the four huge battle cruisers are bearing down on the scene of the collision, oblivious to the situation ahead. The Australia passes by the collision area safely, managing to detach a destroyer to investigate, but the last of the big ships, HMS Inflexible, plows straight into K22. Meanwhile Commander Leir in the Ithuriel, with his remaining ‘K’ boats, responds to the appeals for help from K14 and K22. He is now virtually at right angles to the approaching battle cruisers. Although he is able to maneuver his cruiser out of harms way, the submarines are too sluggish to move quickly in any direction. Australia and her sister ships just manage to scrape past K12 with inches to spare.

    Now steaming up the Firth comes the cruiser HMS Fearless, bringing the other four ‘K’ boats at their full speed of twenty-one knots. With a horrible inevitability, they join the confusion. Fearless rams K17 (Lieutenant Commander Henry John Hearn killed at age 32), sending it straight to the bottom. As Fearless reverses its engines, Ithuriel and K11 rush back to the scene of chaos to look for survivors from K14 and K22. Even now the disasters of this night and the following morning, known later as the “Battle of May Island”, are not over. Traveling at full speed, K6 rams into K4, which, for some reason, is unlit and stationary across its path. K4 is cut in half and sinks rapidly, while K6 narrowly avoids being dragged down with it. The ‘K’ boats now face one final adversary. At the tail of the battle line are the huge battleships of the Fifth Battle Squadron, with their escorting destroyers. While frenzied efforts are made to rescue the survivors of the damaged and sinking ‘K’ boats, the destroyers escorting the battleships arrive and cut straight through the scene, washing away or cutting to pieces the survivors of K17. One hundred three submariners lose their lives this disastrous night and the following morning.

    The submarine E50
    (Lieutenant Ralph Edgar Snook) is lost with all 50 hands when she strikes a mine south of the Dogger Light Vessel in the North Sea.

    Eastern Front

    Russia: USSR PROCLAIMED. Red 1st Northern Flying Column (including 400 sailors) takes Orenburg (Urals) from Ataman Dutov.
    Austria: Colonel-General Boehm-Ermolli made Field Marshal.

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    Lenin as a hero of the revolution.

    Sea War
    North Sea: U-boat minelayers attempt until late September to seal off Forth to Grand Fleet and Norwegian convoys with batches of 36 mines at 10-mile intervals in a semi-circle, but after third batch British locate and sweep without Germans realizing.
    ‘Battle of May Island’: In sortie with 5 battlecruisers from Rosyth 2 K-class submarine flotillas suffer record disastrous night collisions in which K4 and K17 are lost (103 die); 2 others damaged along with battlecruiser Inflexible and cruiser Fearless (night January 31 to February 1).

    In wartime deaths from friendly fire and accident are more numerous than we would like to think. The Slapton Sands Disaster in April 1944 followed the pattern established for such events – poor communication, chaos, and cover-up. Such too was the nature of the events off May Island in the Firth of Forth on January 31st 1918.

    Some 40 naval vessels, including nine K-class submarines (these ships at this period still not worthy of names in the Royal Navy’s mind it should be noted) left Rosyth in the afternoon of January 31st to move northwards to take part in exercises near Scapa Flow. The convoy formed covered about 30 miles, steaming in misty conditions (though it had been clear initially), under radio silence and with just stern lights (for fear of U-Boats).

    The sighting of lights that are thought to have belonged to minesweeping trawlers caused ships to divert from their intended course, the starting point in a concatenation of events that ended with the loss of two submarines and more than 100 men. A jammed helm on one submarine threw in an additional element of chaos. Over several hours at least five collisions occurred in the poor visibility, some ships turning to help their stricken comrades not only adding to the number of these collisions, but tragically in one case cutting through the men of K-17 who had jumped to all too brief safety from their sinking vessel. Perhaps 50 had been in the water, and only nine made it to rescue ships, one too badly injured to survive long. None of the 56 sailors aboard K4 survived, that submarine sinking in minutes after K6 had rammed her amidships.

    Inevitably the disaster and subsequent courts martial were kept quiet for fear of handing the Germans a propaganda coup, giving away military intelligence (as well as the two subs sunk, four more had been damaged along with the cruiser HMS Fearless), and doubtless from the harm it would have done to morale in the Royal Navy and the civilian population. It was not until 2002 that a plaque was placed in Anstruther harbour commemorating what became known ironically (as no enemy action had been involved) as The Battle of May Island.

    Admiral Sturdee leaves Grand Fleet to be C-in-C the Nore, Vice-Admiral Sir M Browning takes over 4th Battle Squadron.
    Allied and neutral shipping lost to U*-boats: 123 ships (57 British with 291 lives) worth 302,088t (British 179,973). U-boat figure 160 ships worth 295,630t including 61 ships of 141,166t in Mediterranean (7 of 26,020t to Austrians); 10 U-boats sunk (3 unknown cause).

    Germany: World’s largest destroyer S113 launched at Elbing (Baltic) by Schichau, 2415t and 347ft overall
    with 4×5.9in guns, 4 torpedo tubes and 40 mines. Top speed 36 kts but poor seakeeping prevents her and 6 others launched by Armistice from being opera*tional.

    Air War

    RFC Communiqué number 125:

    Thick fog on all Brigade fronts prevented any service flying being carried out.



    Western Front: In January Record of 18 Jastas (including 48-63) formed after 7 in December 1917; 14 new airfields opposite BEF Fifth Army.
    Germany: In January monthly aviation fuel delivery 6,000t only 50% of target.
    Britain: During January 3 National Aircraft Factories begin production (5 more by July).
    Mesopotamia: 2 Royal Flying Corps Spads shoot down German two-seater near Falluja but crew escape. RFC loses 4 aircraft to engine failure in month.

    The following claims were ade on what was a very quiet day...

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    There were six British Airmen lost on this day

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    Home Fronts
    Germany: Martial law in Berlin and Hamburg, factories militarized, many workers drafted. OHL prepares divisions for home use.
    Russia: Third Soviet Congress adopts ‘Fundamental Law of Land Socialisation’ (decree published on February 19) and replaces Julian with Gregorian Calendar.
    France: Gare de Lyons ticket offices ‘besieged’ following German air raid on Paris.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-03-2018 at 11:29.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  28. #3028


    Communications huh!!!! Never good enough - what a disaster

  29. #3029


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    1st February 1918

    Well that's January over with, now only 10 months left to go, although I fear they may be a very busy 10 months.
    Anyway on with February...

    Air War
    Italian Front: During February new high-speed Italian Ansaldo SVA5 two-seater introduced (1,200 built), improves long*range and photo reconnaissance work.

    Ansaldo SVA5

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    The Ansaldo SVA (named for Savoia-Verduzio-Ansaldo) was a family of Italian reconnaissance biplane aircraft of World War I and the decade after. Originally conceived as a fighter, the SVA was found inadequate for that role. Nevertheless, its impressive speed, range and operational ceiling, with its top speed making it one of the fastest (if not the fastest) of all Allied combat aircraft in World War I, gave it the right properties to be an excellent reconnaissance aircraft and even light bomber. Production of the aircraft continued well after the war, with the final examples delivered in 1918. Two minor variants were produced, one with reconnaissance cameras, the other without cameras but extra fuel tanks.

    The SVA was a conventionally laid-out unequal-span biplane - however, it was unusual in featuring Warren Truss-style struts joining its two wings, and therefore having no transverse (spanwise) bracing wires. The plywood-skinned fuselage had the typical Ansaldo triangular rear cross-section behind the cockpit, transitioning to a rectangular cross section going forwards through the rear cockpit area, with a full rectangular cross section forward of the cockpit.[1]

    The Flight over Vienna propaganda flight, inspired by Gabriele d'Annunzio, was carried out on August 9, 1918, by the 87th Squadriglia La Serenissima from San Pelagio, consisting of an eleven plane flight of various models of Ansaldo SVA-series biplanes. At least two of the aircraft were two seater SVA 9 or 10s to accommodate d'Annunzio himself for the flight he inspired, with the remainder being SVA 5 single-seaters.

    RFC Communiqué number 125:

    Thick fog on all Brigade fronts prevented any service flying being carried out.



    Coverage of RNAS activity in the Communiques I have came to an end on 31 January 1918. If anybody knows of the existence of Communiques number 15 onward, or is able to suggest an alternative source of information that I can access, now's the time to chip in; otherwise, it will limited to what's in the RFC Communiques.

    France: In February 3 Italian Caproni bomber squadrons arrive (until February 19), fly 68 operations for 22 casualties by Armistice. Royal Flying Corps 41st Wing becomes 8th brigade. 4 Gotha bomber squadrons raid Paris, 45 die.
    Britain: Prince Albert (future King George VI) joins RNAS HMS Daedalus at Cranwell, Lincs, becomes OC No 4 Squadrn Boy Wing (Captain in RAF from April 1). RFC fighter squadron aircraft establishment increased from 18 to 24; 7 Sopwith Camel squadrons thus by March 21.
    Germany: JG3 (Captain Tutschek) formed from Jastas (each 14 aircraft) 12, 13, 15 and 19 plus JG3 (Captain Bruno Lorzer) from Jastas 2, 26, 27 (Goering) and 36. Another 12 Jastas including Nos 68-75 formed in February.
    Salonika: During February RFC now have up to 8 SE5as enabling it to destroy up to 4 German aircraft (January 31 and February 5).
    North Sea: US Air Service takes over Dunkirk seaplane station.

    Jasta 68 is formed on this day: Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 68, commonly abbreviated to Jasta 68, was a "hunting group" (i.e., fighter squadron) of the Luftstreitkräfte, the air arm of the Imperial German Army during World War I. The squadron would score over 40 aerial victories during the war, including ten observation balloons downed. The unit's victories came at the expense of nine killed in action, and two wounded in action. On 1 February 1918, Jasta 68 was founded at Fliegerersatz-Abteilung ("Replacement Detachment") 3, Gotha, Germany. Nine days later, the new squadron went operational when it was posted to 18th Armee. CO Fritz Pütter scored the first aerial victory on 18 March 1918. Ten days later, Jasta 68 joined Jagdgruppe Nord. The Jasta was transferred to 1 Armee on 5 July 1918. On 13 September 1918, Jasta 68 was posted to 5 Armee. The squadron would serve until its disbandment on 6 December 1918.

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    Jasta 69 is formed on this day: The squadron would score 15 aerial victories during the war, including two observation balloons downed. The unit's victories came at the expense of one pilot killed in action, three killed in flying accidents, one wounded in action, and three taken prisoner of war. On 1 February 1918, Jasta 69 was founded at Fliegerersatz-Abteilung ("Replacement Detachment") Posen. It became operational on 10 February. About 21 February 1918, the new squadron was posted to 18 Armee. Jasta 69's first aerial victory came on 23 March 1918. On 7 July 1918, the Jasta was transferred to 1 Armee. On 20 August 1918, Jasta 69 was assigned to Armee-Abteilung B. The squadron served out the war.

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    On a quiet day in the skies the following claims were made:

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    In total seven British airmen were lost on this day.

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    Western Front
    France: During February the French Army adopts lighter, more comfortable ARS gas mask (5 million made).
    Artois: New German Seventeenth Army formed under O Below.
    Occupied Belgium: At Char1eroi Bavarian Captain Bomschlegel restores during February 30 British Cambrai Mk IV tanks to an operational state for German use.

    Eastern Front

    Central Powers recognize independent Ukraine Republic. 5 German divisions transfer to Western Front during February.
    USSR: Yeremeyev forms Soviet I Corps at Petrograd.

    Southern Fronts
    Greece: Greek troops mutiny at Lamia against being sent to Salonika: King Alexander visits, refuses clemency to ring*leaders and orders shooting of 2 who plunder a village.
    Italian Front: 3 ex*-Second Army (Caporetto) corps now reorganized as Fifth Army (Capello) operational though partly with French guns and rifles.
    Italy: During February Caporetto inquiry commission recalls Cadorna from Allied Supreme War Council.

    Sea War
    North Sea: Royal Navy minelayers lay a deep minefield off the Skaw (Kattegat).

    HMS E50 was a British E class submarine built by John Brown, Clydebank. She was laid down on 14 November 1916 and was commissioned on 23 January 1917. E50 was damaged in a collision with the Imperial German Navy submarine UC-62 while submerged in the North Sea off the North Hinder Light Vessel on 19 March 1917. E 50 was lost on 1 February 1918, and it was earlier believed that she struck a mine in the North Sea off the South Dogger Light Vessel. In 2011 the wreck was found by a Danish Expedition much closer to the Danish coast, 65 NM west of Nymindegab.

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    HMS E-50

    Adriatic: Austrian naval mutiny at Cattaro, sailors demand peace without annexation, demobilization, better living conditions, but fail to win army garrison or German U-boat personals. Mutiny collapses on ultimatum and arrival of 3 battleships from Pola. 3 leaders flee to Italy in seaplane, c.800 men removed from ships, 40 tried and 4 executed. Emperor Charles sends Archduke Admiral Stephen to conduct inquiry.

    The Kotor Mutiny or Cattaro Mutiny was an unsuccessful revolt by sailors of part of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in early 1918, inspired by the October Revolution. The mutiny took place in the Kotor naval base.

    As World War I progressed, the cumulative effects of wartime economic and social disorganization became pervasive and the discipline of Austro-Hungarian soldiers became undermined. Hunger, cold and naval inaction resulted in complaints, desertions and strikes. Revolutionary propaganda fuelled by the example of the Russian Revolution now spread among soldiers and workers. On February 1, 1918 a mutiny started in the Fifth fleet division at the Bay of Kotor naval base on the Adriatic Sea. Sailors on about 40 ships had joined the mutiny. Initial demands for better treatment were soon replaced by political demands and a call for peace. The mutiny failed to spread to other units. On February 3, the loyal Third fleet arrived and together with coastal artillery engaged in a short and successful skirmish against the mutineers. About 800 sailors were imprisoned, dozens were court-martialed and four seamen were executed (the leader of the uprising, Bohemian social democrat Franz Rasch and three Croats - Mate Brničević from Omiš, Antun Grabar from Poreč and Jerko Šižgorić from Šibenik). The Commander-in-Chief of the fleet, Admiral Maximilian Njegovan, was retired and replaced by Miklós Horthy, who was promoted to Counter-admiral.

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    A mutineers' meeting aboard an Austro-Hungarian warship at the Bay of Kotor in February 1918

    Channel: From February High Seas Fleet U-boat flotillas abandon Dover Straits route due to mine barrage, but 29 Flanders boats use route in February.
    Baltic: British Foreign Office rejects Centrobalt idea of Britain paying Russian fleet.

    Secret War

    France: In February physicist Langevin begins sea test of quartz transducer off Toulon, detects submarine for first time at up to 5 miles.

    Captain Tunstill's Men: Pte. William Hewitt (25172) (see 31st December 1917) suffered an accidental injury whilst in the front line. He “went to bring a shovel from an old dugout which was very deep. He caught hold of a post to help himself up and it gave way. The side fell in and buried him. He was got out as soon as possible and taken to the Medical Officer”. Hewitt was found to have suffered a sprained left ankle, but remained at duty.

    Just two weeks after re-joining the Battalion L.Cpl. Jesse Merritt (see 19th January) was again taken ill; he was admitted via 24th Casualty Clearing Station to 66th General Hospital at Bordighera, suffering from a recurrence of the symptoms which had previously seen him hospitalised for two months.

    At some point in February Lt. George Stuart Hulburd (see 21st November 1917), who had been in England since having been wounded on 20th September 1917, was pictured in a photograph of a ‘concert party’ taken at Bigadon V.A. Hospital, Buckfastleigh, Devon.

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-03-2018 at 11:26.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  30. #3030


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    2nd February 1918

    Another quiet day (well another day where it has proven very difficult to find much information - or it could just be that it was indeed very quiet - well quiet for a world war)

    We will start with a weather story today:

    The Brighton Tornado is the strongest storm recorded in Melbourne to date.

    On the afternoon of 2 February 1918, with prevailing north-westerly winds and hot sultry weather (typical conditions for Melbourne thunderstorms). After a severe storm formed and moved off Port Phillip, two tornadoes struck Brighton beach simultaneously at approximately 5:45 pm and proceeded inland, converging near the junction of Halifax and Church Streets. Five minutes later, a third tornado struck. The tornadoes then tracked east over open fields. Damage retrospectively rated F3 on the Fujita scale was observed in places. Two people were killed a man and a boy, while the drowning of a woman at St Kilda beach is believed to be related to the same storm cell. Over 6 were injured in the Brighton area. The tornado completely destroyed the Hawthorn Road Methodist church, which was later rebuilt. Numerous homes were demolished. The tornado badly damaged the Brighton Baths, tore the roof off Royal Terminus Hotel and destroyed the verandah of Grimley's Hotel. Extensive damage was incurred to infrastructure on the Sandringham railway line.[4] Several community and sporting facilities were destroyed including the cricket club grandstand and a bandstand.[4] It also damaged the burial monument of Adam Lindsay Gordon in the Brighton general cemetery.

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    The Methodist Church, Hawthorn Road, completely destroyed by the tornado.

    Air War
    East Africa: Last 6 Royal Flying Corps planes withdrawn by February 9.

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    One of the British Voisin planes in East Africa, which was used for reconnaissance and for connecting flights. In addition there were also some Caudrons.

    General Headquarters, February 3rd.

    “On the 2nd inst. the weather was fine, though with some mist and haze. Several successful reconnaissances were carried out by our aeroplanes, and many hostile batteries were effectively engaged by our artillery with observation from the air. Nearly four tons of bombs were dropped by us during the day on various targets, including the railway station and sidings at Valenciennes. Several thousand rounds were fired at parties of the enemy in their trenches and in back areas. Five hostile machines were brought down in air fighting, and five others were driven down out of control. One of our aeroplanes is missing. On the night of the 2nd-3rd inst. the enemy's aerodromes and billets were bombed by our machines."

    Admiralty, February 3rd.

    “Naval aircraft bombed the Varssenaere aerodrome on the morning of February 2nd. A fire was observed as the result of a direct hit. An enemy machine engaged on a photographic reconnaissance was attacked and destroyed by our patrol machines. All our machines returned safely."

    RFC Communiqué number 125:

    The weather was fine but mist and ground haze prevailed.

    Twelve reconnaissances were carried out - four by the 1st Brigade, and one, a long distance photographic reconnaissance of line Valenciennes – Busigny, when 31 plates were exposed, by 2nd-Lieuts Wright and Hobbs, No 25 Squadron (9th Wing).

    1,224 photographs were taken, 285 25-lb and 12 112-lb bombs dropped and 13,285 rounds fired on ground targets as follows:-

    1st Brigade: 226 photographs, 64 25-lb bombs on miscellaneous targets dropped by 1st Wing, and 4 25-lb bombs on Fournes dropped by No 43 Squadron. 4,600 rounds were fired.

    2nd Brigade: 222 photographs were taken and 3,210 rounds fired. No 57 Squadron dropped 72 25-lb bombs on sidings at Roulers, and Corps Squadrons dropped 47 25-lb bombs.

    3rd Brigade: 315 photographs were taken and 500 rounds fired. 12th Wing dropped 28 25-lb bombs.

    5th Brigade: 390 photographs were taken and 4,955 rounds fired. No 8 Squadron dropped 34 25-lb bombs, No 35 Squadron 14 25-lb bombs, No 52 Squadron 8 25-lb bombs and No 48 Squadron 16 25-lb bombs.

    9th Wing: No 25 Squadron dropped 12 112-lb bombs on Valenciennes and took 71 photographs.

    Artillery co-operation: Lieut MacPherson and Lieut Hurr, No 35 Squadron, ranged No 21 Siege Battery, firing 270 rounds, destroying two pits and causing three explosions. In the middle of this shoot they were attacked by six E.A. triplanes and driven down to 1,000 feet. They also dropped four 25-lb bombs, fired 650 rounds on ground targets and brought back some useful information. This flight lasted from 11 a.m. to 3.20 p.m.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft activity was normal.

    Capt K Shelton, No 54 Squadron, descended to an altitude of 50 feet, and fired on a balloon which was then on the ground. The balloon was seen to burst into flames. He then attacked troops which were in the vicinity of the balloon from the same height, causing considerable consternation.

    Two machines of No 35 Squadron, whilst on photography, were attacked by five Fokker Triplanes. A patrol of No 54 Squadron and several more enemy scouts joined in. A general combat ensued as a result of which two Fokker Triplanes were driven down and forced to land.

    Capt J M Child, No 84 Squadron, attacked a large two-seater D.F.W., and apparently hit the Observer, who disappeared into his cockpit. Owing to gun trouble Capt Child was unable to carry on the combat.

    2nd Lt G S Stewart & Lt D D Richardson, 49 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control

    Lt G C Cuthbertson, 54 Sqn, Albatros Scout broke up Bellenglise at 10:40/11:40 - Lieut Cubhbertson, No 54 Squadron, attacked an Albatross Scout which was attacking a Sopwith Camel. The E.A. fell out of control, and then broke up in the air; Ltn Askan Frhr von und zu der Tann, Jasta 24s, Kia

    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, LVG CV captured east of Vélu at 10:40/11:40 - Capt McCudden, No 56 Squadron, attacked an L.V.G. at 100 yards' range. He fired a long burst from both guns, after which the E.A. went down vertically, then fell on to its back, and the E.A. gunner fell out. The machine finally crashed in our lines; Vfw Erich Szafranek (Kia) & Ltn Werner von Kuczkowski (Kia), BG 7/Bs 22 [G130]

    Flt Cdr R J O Compston, 8N Sqn, two-seater crashed Douai - Ostricourt at 11:30/12:30
    Flt Cdr R J O Compston, Flt Sub-Lt R L Johns, Flt Sub-Lt W F Crundall and Flt Sub-Lt H Day, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Carvin at 12:15/13:15

    Flight, Commander Compston, Naval Squadron No 8, attacked an Albatross Scout at point-blank range and shot it down completely out of control. He then attacked a two-seater and fired about 60 rounds very close range. The E.A. went down in a side-slipping dive absolutely out of control and was seen to crash

    Flt Cdr M J G Day, 13N Sqn, Rumpler C broke up Oostkerke at 12:45/13:45

    Sgt E A Gay & 2nd Lt A C Flavell, 57 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control smoking Cortemarck at 13:00/14:00 - while on roving commission, Sergt Gay and 2nd-Lieut Flavell, No 57 Squadron, were attacked by five Albatross Scouts and one two-seater. The observer fired 200 rounds at 250 yards' range and one of the scouts was seen to fall enveloped in a large cloud of smoke

    Lt G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, two-seater out of control south-east of Habourdin at 13:30/14:30 - Lieut McElroy, No 40 Squadron, shot down one E.A. out of control

    2nd Lt D H Jones, 41 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Auberchicourt at 14:30/15:30 - 2nd-Lieut Jones, No 41 Squadron, dived on one E.A. and fired a short burst from about 100 yards' range; he then zoomed up and got on to the E.A.'s tail, and when at about 20 yards got off a burst of 50 rounds, whereupon the E.A. side-slipped for a considerable distance and spun down. When last seen it was still spinning about 1,000 feet below

    Capt R W Chappell, 41 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Erchin at 14:30/15:30 and Albatros Scout out of control Erchin at 14:30/15:30 - Capt Chappell, No 41 Squadron, fired about 60 rounds at very close range an Albatross Scout. The E.A. stalled, side-slipped and spun to earth, and finally crashed. Capt Chappell was immediately attacked by six E.A. Scouts. He put his machine into spin, and on coming out, observed one E.A. in front, of him and five still above. He attacked the single E.A., which did a long side-slip, and was last seen about 2,000 feet from the ground, still spinning and completely out of control

    2nd Lt G S Stewart & Lt D D Richardson, 49 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control east of Cambrai at 14:55/15:55 -

    Capt F C Gorringe, 70 Sqn, two-seater crashed Becelaere at 15:45/16:45 - Capt. Gorringe, No 70 Squadron, attacked one of two E.A. two-seaters, and after firing about 100 rounds, the E.A. was last seen going down in a steep dive, and was later seen to crash (confirmed by anti-aircraft battery)

    Capt V A H Robeson and 2nd Lt J W Muir, 46 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control Flesquières at 16:00/17:00


    Maj F J Powell MC (Pow), 41 Sqn, SE5a B8273 – took off 13:30/14:30 and last seen over Auberchicourt at 14:45/15:45 engaged in combat with 2 or 3 EA about 6,000 feet on DOP; Ltn d R Max Kühn, Js10, 3rd victory [Bouchain at 14:40/15:40]

    There were five British airmen lost on this day

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    The following claims were made on this day, including two more for Major William George Barker VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Two Bars 28 Squadron RFC.
    Barker was flying Sopwith Camel B6313 the single most successful fighter aircraft of the war. Logging more than 379 hours of flight time, Barker shot down 46 enemy aircraft before Camel #B6313 was retired from service and dismantled on 2 October 1918.

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    Many of us will of course know Barker because of his miniature - one of the original series one planes

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    Today's highlighted claims

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    Twenty two including the ship’s Master are killed when S S Avanti (Skipper Fransisco De Sousa age 27) is torpedoed and sunk 4 miles southeast from St Albans Head. The trawler Remindo (Skipper George William Howard) is sunk when shelled by a German submarine in the Seine Estuary. There are no survivors and among the casualties is Lieutenant Harold Sidney Rogers who is killed at age 36. His son will be killed in the Second World War. The U-Boat responsible was UB-59

    Western Front
    France: Supreme War Council sanctions Allied General Reserve for Western, Italian and Balkan Fronts. Foch submits plan for 17 divisions behind Western Front and 13 on Italian on February 6. On February 12 Petain and Haig oppose then compromise on a 12-mile extension of BEF line.

    Home Fronts
    France: National Office of Disabled and Discharged Soldiers formed.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-03-2018 at 11:25.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  31. #3031


    Cheers Chris - interesting photo entitled "The Crocks" - Nice place Buckfastleigh, home of Buckfast Abbey which produces Buckfast Tonic Wine (15%)

  32. #3032


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    OK more updates in for 28th Jan to 2nd Feb. think thats us all caught up now, so a quick edition before an early (ish) night as off to Vapnartak tomorrow morning.

    3rd February 1918

    The destroyer HMS Viking is damaged in a collision in the Dover Straits which kills four of her crew. Two of the dead have had brothers previously killed in the war. They include

    Stoker 1st Class Charless George Newman age 23 whose brother died of wounds in September 1916
    Stoker 1st Class David Brebner age 24 whose brother died of wounds last August.

    HMS Viking was one of five Tribal-class destroyers ordered as part of the Royal Navy's 1907–08 shipbuilding programme. She was laid down at Palmers' Jarrow shipyard on 11 June 1908 and was launched on 14 September 1909.The Tribal-class destroyers were to be powered by steam turbines and use oil-fuel rather than coal, and be capable of 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph), but detailed design was left to the builders, which meant that individual ships of the class differed greatly.

    Viking was 290 feet 3 inches (88.47 m) long overall and 280 feet 2 3⁄4 inches (85.41 m) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 27 feet 5 inches (8.36 m) and a draught of 9 feet 9 inches (2.97 m). Normal displacement was 1,090 long tons (1,110 t), with full load displacement 1,210 long tons (1,230 t).[4] She had a turtleback forecastle topped by a raised forward gun platform that also carried the ship's bridge. The raised gun platform acted as a breakwater, causing heavy spray that made it difficult to work the forward gun or use the bridge.[5] Six Yarrow boilers fed steam at 220 pounds per square inch (1,500 kPa) to Parsons steam turbines, giving 15,500 shaft horsepower (11,600 kW) and driving three propeller shafts. The outtakes from the boilers were fed to six funnels, making Viking the Royal Navy's only six-funneled destroyer. Range was 1,725 nautical miles (3,195 km; 1,985 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph).

    Gun armament consisted of two 4 inch guns,[a] the 12-pounder guns carried by earlier Tribals having been proved ineffective by trials against the old destroyer HMS Skate in 1906. Two 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes were carried. The ship had a complement of 71.[

    Viking was commissioned in June 1910, having reached a speed of 33.4 knots (61.9 km/h; 38.4 mph) during sea trials

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    On commissioning, Viking joined the First Destroyer Flotilla, remaining part of that unit until 1913. In October that year, the Tribals were officially designated the F class, and as such the letter "F" was painted on Afridi's bows. In February 1914, the Tribals, whose range was too short for effective open sea operations, were sent to Dover, forming the 6th Destroyer Flotilla. On the outbreak of the First World War, the 6th Flotilla formed the basis of the Dover Patrol, with which the Tribal class, including Viking served for the duration of the war. In October 1914, the Dover Patrol was deployed to help support Belgian ground forces during the Battle of the Yser, carrying out shore bombardment operations. Viking suffered an explosion of its forward gun, wounding two and causing the ship to be withdrawn from the operations. (Viking was later awarded the Battle Honour "Belgian Coast 1914–18"). During the First World War she served in the North Sea and the English Channel with the 6th Destroyer Flotilla. She was damaged after hitting a mine off Boulogne on 29 January 1916 whilst convoying troops to France. There were 10 casualties, including Sub-Lieutenant Harold Courtenay Tennyson and Able Seaman Charles Thomas Crockford.

    The Cunard steamship Aurania leaves Liverpool bound for New York.

    Flight Commander Rupert Randolph Winter (Royal Naval Air Service) is killed in action at age 21 when his plane is shot down southwest of Roulers by German ace Otto Fruhner. Winter is a five-victory ace having won his fifth victory earlier today.

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    The son of Reuben John and Frances Ellen Winter, Rupert Randolph Winter joined the Royal Naval Air Service on 25 April 1916. Flight Sub-Lieutenant Winter received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3066 on a Maurice Farman biplane at Royal Naval Air Station, Chingford on 14 June 1916. Soon after he claimed his fifth victory on 3 February 1918, Flight Commander Winter was killed in action when his plane went down southwest of Roulers. Evidence suggests Winter may have been shot down by a Fokker DR.I flown by Otto Fruhner of Jasta 26.

    General Headquarters, February 4th.

    “On the 3rd inst. the weather was fine, but with considerable ground mist. Reconnaissances were carried out by our aeroplanes, and many hostile batteries were engaged by our artillery, With observation from the air. Nearly four and a half tons of bombs were dropped during the day on various targets, including the railway signals at Melle, Ingelmunster, and Lichtervelde. At night no operations were possible owing to the mist. In air fighting five hostile machines were brought down and five driven down out of control. One of our aeroplanes is missing."

    Admiralty, February 4th.

    “On February 3rd naval aircraft carried out a bombing raid on the enemy aerodrome at Houttave. Many bombs were dropped on objective. During the day, in the course of aerial fighting, one enemy aircraft was destroyed and two driven down out of control. Two of our machines have failed to return."

    RFC Communiqué number 125:

    The weather was fine all day, but visibility was bad owing to mist.

    Nine reconnaissances were carried out, four of which were by the 2nd Brigade.

    2nd-Lieut R P Pohlmann and 2nd-Lieut F N S Creek, No 25 Squadron, carried out a successful reconnaissance of hostile aerodromes, exposing 32 plates.

    Sixty-six hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, 12 gun-pits were destroyed, 60 damaged, 18 explosions and 16 fires caused. Fifty-four zone calls were sent down.

    1,173 photographs were taken, 451 25-lb and 20 112-lb bombs dropped, and 14,418 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:—

    Night 2nd/3rd - 5th Brigade: 15th Wing dropped six 112-lb and 16 25-lb bombs on Fresnoy-le-Grand.

    9th Wing: No. 102 Squadron dropped 24 25-lb bombs on miscellaneous targets, and 16 25-lb bombs on Scheldewindeke, and No 58 Squadron dropped 57 25-lb bombs on Rumbeke Aerodrome.

    Day - 1st Brigade: 111 photographs. 1st Wing dropped 40 20-lb and 10th Wing dropped 20 20-lb bombs on miscellaneous targets, and 5,010 rounds, were fired.

    2nd Brigade: 407 photographs were taken and 3,674. rounds fired. No 57 Squadron dropped 64 25-lb bombs on railway sidings at Lichtervelde, and Corps Squadrons dropped 73 25-lb bombs on various targets.

    3rd Brigade: 338 photographs were taken; 12th Wing dropped 26 25-lb bombs and 13th Wing dropped 19 25-lb bombs.

    5th Brigade: Corps Squadrons dropped 62 25-lb bombs and No 48 Squadron dropped 8 25-lb bombs, and 5,124 rounds were fired.

    9th Wing: No 27 Squadron dropped 12 25-lb and 4 112-lb bombs on Ingelmunster, and No 25 Squadron dropped 10 112-lb bombs on Melle Sidings.

    On the 3rd, balloons of the 2nd Brigade engaged four targets, one being hostile battery which was successfully engaged for destruction.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft activity was about normal. Five E.A. were destroyed and nine driven down out of control.

    2nd-Lieut H V Lewis, 23 Sqn, EA out of control - 2nd-Lieut H Lewis, No 23 Squadron, shot down an E.A. out of control but was unable to follow it down he was immediately engaged with three other E.A

    Flt Sub-Lieut O W Redgate, 9N Sqn, Scout out of control near Staden at 08:40/09:40

    Flt Cdr S T Edwards, 9N Sqn, Albatros C out of control Staden at 08:40/09:40

    Capt L J Maclean and 2nd-Lieut G A Lipsett, 41 Sqn, Albatros C out of control north-west of Douai at 10:10/11:10 – a patrol of No 41 Squadron observed two E.A. two-seaters. Capt L MacLean got under the tail of the higher E.A. and fired about 40 rounds into it at from 15 to 20 yards’ range. The E.A. then turned on to its right side and at the same time 2nd-Lieut G Lipsett dived from above and fired 60 rounds at 30 yards' range at it and it spun slowly down completely out of control

    Capt J Gilmour, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout broke up south of Roulers at 10:35/11:35 - Capt J Gilmour, No 65 Squadron, attacked one of 12 Albatross Scouts, firing at 20 yards' range and the E.A. went down out of control

    2nd-Lieut G M Knocker, 65 Sqn, Albatros out of control south-west of Roulers at 10:35/11:35 - in the same flight, 2nd-Lieut G Knocker attacked another Albatross Scout, firing about 50 rounds. The E.A. went down out of control

    2nd-Lieut G Bremridge, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout driven down (?) south-west of Roulers at 10:35/11:35

    Capt H H Maddocks, 54 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Honnecourt-sur-Escaut at 10:45/11:45 - Capt H Maddocks, while leading a patrol of No 54 Squadron, encountered five enemy Scouts; he dived at the nearest E.A., which went down 2,000 feet and then burst into flames; Ltn Karl Stock, Jasta 48, Kia

    Capt H H Maddocks, 54 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Honnecourt-sur-Escaut at 10:45/11:45 – Capt Maddocks then attacked another E.A. and after a short engagement got in a burst at very close range. The E.A. immediately burst into flames and went down; Ltn d R Max Kersting, Jasta 48, Kia

    Lieut G C Cuthbertson, 54 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Honnecourt-sur-Escaut at 10:45/11:45 - Lieut G Cuthbertson, No 54 Squadron, attacked one of the E.A. and shot it down out of control and it was seen to crash on the ground by another pilot

    Capt A H O'Hara Wood, 4 AFC, DFW C out of control Brebières at 10:50/11:50 – Capt O’Hara Wood, 4th Squadron A.F.C., attacked at point-blank range an enemy two-seater which fell out of control and was seen several thousand feet lower down still out of control

    Flt Cdr R J O Compston, 8N Sqn, DFW C out of control SE Douai at 11:25/12:25 - Flight Commander Compston, Naval Squadron No 8, attacked a D.F.W., firing about 200 rounds at point-blank range. The E.A. fell over on its side and went down vertically out of control

    Flt Cdr R B Munday, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Fresnes at 12:20/13:20 - Flight Commander Munday attacked an AIbatross Scout, firing over 250 rounds, the latter part of the burst at very close range. The E.A. suddenly went down vertically out of control and was last seen to be still falling in the same manner

    Flt Cdr R J O Compston and Flt Sub-Lieut E G Johnstone, 8N Sqn, DFW C crashed Sallaumines at 12:25/13:25 - Flight Commander Compston then attacked another E.A., firing about 150 rounds at point-blank range. Other pilots fired 400 rounds at this enemy machine, which was observed to fall completely out of control and crash

    Flt Sub-Lieut J B White, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Fresnes at 12:30/13:30 – Flight Sub-Lieut White fired 100 rounds at an E.A. at close range and it turned over on one wing and fell into a steep dive

    Capt G O Horsley, 40 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Santes at 12:35/13:35 - Capt O Horsley, No 40 Squadron, whilst, patrol, attacked one of seven Albatross Scouts. He fired bursts from both guns at exceedingly close range, and the E.A. fell down completely of control, first spinning and then commencing to go down first on one wing tip and then on the other

    2nd-Lieut W E Green & 2nd-Lieut H S Gros, 57 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Menin at 12:45/13:45 - 2nd-Lieuts Green and Gros, No 57 Squadron, while on photography were attacked by two Albatross Scouts. 2nd-Lieut Gros fired a drum into one of these at 50 yards' range, and the E.A. was seen to fall completely out of control, first in a vertical nose-dive and then alternately side-slipping and stalling until it was lost to view. The second E.A. was engaged and driven off

    2nd-Lieut W Beaver & 2nd-Lieut H E Easton, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Roulers - Menin Rd at 12:45/13:45 - 2nd-Lieuts W Beaver and H Easton, No 20 Squadron, while on offensive patrol dived an Albatross Scout. The pilot fired 150 rounds at close range and the E.A. was seen to fall completely out of control and burst into flames when near the ground

    Flt Cdr R R Winter and Flt Sub-Lieut M A Harker, 9N Sqn, Fokker DrI destroyed south-west of Roulers at 14:00/15:00

    Flt Lieut W G R Hinchliffe, 10N Sqn, Albatros C Destroyed south-west of Rumbeke at 15:15/16:15


    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut J O M Turnbull (Wia), 12 Sqn, RE8 - combat

    Lieut E G Green MC (Pow) & Lieut P C Campbell-Martin (Pow), 25 Sqn, DH4 A7873 – took off 07:40/08:40 then missing on bomb raid Melle sidings; Ltn d R Otto Löffler, Js2, 2nd victory [Gent - Mariakerke at 09:40/10:40]

    2nd-Lieut G A Lipsett (Wia), 41 Sqn, SE5a B60 – combat north-west of Douai at 10:10/11:10; often said to be Ltn d R Hermann Vallendor, Js2, 1st victory [east of Moorslede at 14:10/15:10] but time and location are both wrong

    Flt Cdr R R Winter (Kia), 9N Sqn, Camel B6430 - missing over enemy lines after combat near Roulers 14:00/15:00; Vzfw Otto Fruhner, Js26, 7th victory [Sleyhage at 15:15/16:15] or Offz Stv Otto Esswein, Js26, 5th victory [south-west of Westroosebeke at 15:15/16:15] ?

    Flt Sub-Lieut W H Wilmot (Kia), 10N Sqn, Camel B6370 - last seen in general engagement over Rumbeke at 15:15/16:15; Vzfw Otto Fruhner, Js26, 7th victory [Sleyhage at 15:15/16:15] or Offz Stv Otto Esswein, Js26, 5th victory [south-west of Westroosebeke at 15:15/16:15] ?

    The following claims were made on this day:

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    14 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    France: Allied Supreme War Council’s enlarged powers announced at Versailles.
    Sweden: Finnish Stockholm Minister on own initiative requests Swedish intervention, Prime Minister refuses, suggests mediation on February 4. The Finns cables Berlin.

    Eastern Front
    Finland: 1,600 White Guards capture Oulu in north and clear up to Swedish border until February 6. In centre, Reds vainly assault White line from February 2 to 12.

    Air War
    Italy: Austrians bomb Venice (and on February 5 and 25) together with Padua (February 20).

    Secret War*
    Switzerland: American George D Herron meets Austrian Imperial adviser Lammasch in low-level abortive peace feelers.

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    Allied poster celebrates politicians and generals as ‘giants of democracy’. Britain’s Lloyd George, Haig, US President Wilson and General Pershing and France’s Foch.

    A taste of things to come...

    On 11 November 1917, the German High Command decided to make a decisive attack in the west in the following Spring. Their target was the destruction of the British Army. They believed that the British were exhausted by the four major efforts in 1917 (Arras, Messines, Passchendaele and Cambrai). By mid-February 1918, the Germans had moved many Divisions from the now collapsed Eastern front to the West. It was believed by British intelligence that the Germans now had 177 Divisions in France and Flanders, out of their world-wide total of 241. Of these, 110 were in the front line, of which 50 faced the relatively short but recently extended British front. A further 67 were in reserve, with 31 of these also facing the BEF. By late 1918, the manpower advantage enjoyed by Germany would be gone as the American forces slowly built up to strength. The time to strike was now: it would win the war; it was to be the “Kaiserschlacht” (Kaiser’s Battle).

    Captain Tunstill's Men:

    Memorial services were held to remember two men who had been killed when the troopship Aragon had been torpedoed just outside Alexandria Harbour on 30th December 1917. A memorial service was held at Long Preston Parish Church to remember Cpl. John Henry Hitchin (see 30th December 1917) and a similar event took place at Bolton-by-Bowland Church in memory of Cpl. Harry Wilkinson of the ASC; he was the brother of James Wilkinson jnr. (see 30th December 1917). Reports of the memorial service for Hitchin stated that, “the local Volunteers were present in uniform, and the church was completely filled by relatives and sympathisers. The Vicar, Rev. R. Shipman, in his sermon, said he thought Lance Corporal John Hitchin was the first to join Mr. Tunstill's Company when recruiting at the beginning of the war. He tried to make good and rose to the opportunity when he won the Military Medal, which was not an easy matter. In his last letter to his father he had said if he did not come back they would know he was trying to do his duty. They could picture him on that boat from which 800 lives were lost, brave to the last. The Dead March was played on the organ, and the Last Post sounded. The flag on the Church tower was at half-mast”. The service at Bolton-by-Bowland also commemorated another local man, Pte. Dawson Parkinson, who had died whilst a prisoner of war in Germany. It was said that, “The Rector, in referring to the loss said:- ‘Death, after all, is the common lot of everyone, but to each one death is the entrance into a newer fuller life. The sadness is not the death, but the incompleteness and unsatisfactoriness of our lives. God meant each life to be perfect, therefore He must have some method of completing elsewhere that which is imperfect here. So we shall leave that which is imperfect to enter that which is perfect, and to those who realise what death really means; the entrance into possession, into fuller powers, and wider life, is but the lifting of a latch which opens the door into the bright light beyond. This is what those of whom we are thinking today are experiencing. They both fought for their country - one became a prisoner of war, with all its hardships, the other lost his life on a transport. Now they are at rest’."

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-04-2018 at 12:48.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  33. #3033


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    4th February 1918

    The destroyer HMS Zubian (Lieutenant H J Hartnoll) sinks the submarine UC-50 in the English Channel, near Dover. This vessel was commissioned in June 1917 after two destroyers had been badly damaged in late 1916 by joining the forward end of HMS Zulu and the aft end of HMS Nubian between the third and fourth funnels at Chatham dockyard.

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    The Cunard steamship Aurania is struck by a torpedo fired by the German submarine UB-67 some fifteen miles north west of Inistrahull, off the coast of Donegal. Nine crewmembers are killed in the explosion. A trawler takes the ship in tow but it becomes stranded near Tobermory on the Isle of Mull and rough seas soon break up the ship.

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    RMS Aurania was an ocean liner owned by the Cunard Line. She was built in 1916 at Wallsend and measured 13,936 gross tons.

    The Aurania was the last of three ships planned to serve between Canada and Europe. Her sister ships were the Andania and Alaunia. Although ordered in December 1913, because of the First World War, she was not completed until 1916.

    The Aurania was launched on 16 July 1916 and was immediately fitted out as a troopship. She made her maiden voyage from the Tyne to New York on 28 March 1917 and on her return sailed to Liverpool. The ship remained on hire to the British Government for the remainder of her career and was used exclusively on the North Atlantic, primarily moving troops and supplies. On 3 February 1918, she left Liverpool and was routed around the coast of Northern Ireland, bound for New York. On the following morning, she was some 15 miles north-west of Inistrahull, off the coast of Donegal, when she was hit by a torpedo from German submarine UB-67. Nine crew members were killed in the explosion. A trawler took the ship in tow but she became stranded near Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. Rough seas soon broke Aurania up and she was declared a total loss.

    The Halifax Explosion

    The Drysdale Commission of the Halifax explosion makes its report. It places full blame on the French captain of the Mont Blanc and the local harbormaster on board for failing to follow international rules of the road in the Narrows. Though both will be charged with manslaughter, charges will be later dropped.

    Home Fronts
    France: Bolo Pasha court-martial, death sentence (February 14, executed at Vincennes April 17), had received German funds to corrupt press.
    USA*: German Aliens registration week.

    Western Front
    More US units assigned to front-line.
    Lorraine: Count Bothmer (ex-Eastern Front Suedarmee) in command of new German Nineteenth Army for duration of war.

    Eastern Front
    Don: Alexeiev’s 3,500-officer Volunteer ‘Army’ begins ‘Ice March’.

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    The poster calls on French civilians and soldiers to pay attention to enemy agents and spies.

    11 British Airmen lost thir lives on this day

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    The following claims were made on this day

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    General Headquarters, February 5th.

    "On the 4th inst. haze and mist continued to make visibility very bad, although the day was fine. Several successful reconnaissances were carried out by our aeroplanes, and hostile batteries were effectively engaged by artillery with observation from the air. Over 3 tons of bombs were dropped during the day on various targets, including hostile ammunition dumps, and many thousand rounds were fired at the enemy from machine-guns. On the night of the 4th-5th, over 1½ tons of bombs were dropped by us on a hostile aerodrome southeast of Cambrai and on Menin railway station. Five German machines were brought down in the course of the day in air fighting, and three others were driven down out of control. One of our machines is missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 125:

    The weather was fine all day, though overcast and the visibility was very bad owing to mist.

    Seven successful reconnaissances were carried out, one by the 1st Brigade, three by 2nd and three by the 5th.

    Twenty-one hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and five neutralized; one gun-pit was destroyed, four damaged, 11 explosions and 11 fires caused. Seventy-five zone calls were sent down.

    Three hundred photographs were taken, 275 bombs dropped, and 11,521 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:-

    1st Brigade: Thirty-six photographs. 1st Wing dropped 137 and the 10th Wing dropped 60 25-lb bombs, and fired 8,440 rounds.

    2nd Brigade: 244 photographs. No 57 Squadron dropped 68 25-lb bombs on a dump at Heule; Corps Squadrons dropped 52 25-lb bombs, and 2,941 rounds were fired.

    3rd Brigade: Eighteen photographs; 14 25-lb bombs were dropped (six of which were on a battery in action near Dury), and 300 rounds fired.

    5th Brigade: No 35 Squadron dropped four 25-lb bombs on miscellaneous targets, and fired 440 rounds.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft activity was slight all day, except on the 2nd Brigade front. Five enemy machines were brought down, one of which fell in our lines, and eight driven down out of control.

    2nd-Lieut L P Roberts & Lieut M F Farquharson-Roberts, 20 Sqn, Albatros out of control south-east of Houthulst Forest - 2nd-Lieut L Roberts and Lieut M Farquharson-Roberts attacked an Albatros Scout which went down of control after a burst of 100 rounds at close range had been fired by Lieut Farqugharson-Roberts

    Lieut T Colvill-Jones & Capt J H Hedley, 20 Sqn, Balloon crumpled and fell 28.k.5.c [north-west of Dadizeele] at 10:55/11:55 – Lieut Colville-Jones and Capt Hedley, No 20 Squadron, dived on a hostile balloon, firing 100 rounds. The balloon was seen to crumple up and fall to the ground

    2nd-Lieut A C Atkey & Lieut C R H Ffolliott, 18 Sqn, Schuckert D out of control Messines at 11:15/12:15 -
    2nd-Lieut A C Atkey & Lieut C R H Ffolliott, 18 Sqn, Schuckert D out of control Messines at 11:15/12:15 -

    2nd-Lieut A Atkey and Lieut C Ffolliott, No 18 Squadron, when returning from a photographic and bombing expedition, were attacked by about 10 enemy scouts. Lieut Ffolliott fired a burst at the leader which, went down out of control, a portion of his tail detaching itself. A burst was then fired at another E.A. which went down out of control. The remainder of the formation then broke off the combat. 2nd-Lieut Atkey's machine was badly shot about, the magazine gun and the observer's drum being shot through and one of the elevator control wires shot away

    Lieut W J A Duncan and 2nd-Lieut J O Priestley, 60 Sqn, Albatros Scout captured Ypres at 11:20/12:20
    Lieut H G Hegarty and Lieut H D Crompton, 60 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Zonnebeke at 11:25/12:25

    2nd-Lieut H Hegarty and Lieut H Crompton, No 60 Squadron, whilst on offensive patrol, both attacked an Albatros Scout. The E.A. spun down out of control and crashed in our lines. Lieut W Duncan and 2nd-Lieut J Priestley, of the same Squadron, both attacked one of a formation of Albatros Scouts. One of the planes fell off the E.A. and the enemy machine burst into flames

    Lieut R G Bennett & 1/AM M B Mather, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Menin - Roulers road at 14:15/15:15
    Lieut R G Bennett & 1/AM M B Mather, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Menin - Roulers road at 14:15/15:15

    An offensive patrol of No 20 Squadron, engaged 20 Albatros Scouts. Lieut Bennett and 1st A.M. Mather fired 200 rounds at a third E.A. which went down out of control. They were then attacked by three Scouts, and 1st A.M. Mather fired a drum into one of these and it burst into flames and fell to pieces in the air

    Lieut E Lindup & 2nd-Lieut N S Dougall, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Menin - Roulers road at 14:15/15:15 - an offensive patrol of No 20 Squadron, engaged 20 Albatros Scouts. 2nd-Lieuts Lindup and Dougall attacked a sixth E.A. with the back gun and the E.A. went down completely out of control

    Lieut D J Weston & 2nd-Lieut W Noble, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Menin - Roulers road at 14:15/15:15 - an offensive patrol of No 20 Squadron, engaged 20 Albatros Scouts. 2nd-Lieuts Weston and Noble attacked a second E.A., 2nd-Lieut Noble firing two drums, and the E.A. went down in a slow spin

    Lieut D G Cooke & 2nd-Lieut C J Agelasto, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Roulers at 14:15/15:15 - an offensive patrol of No 20 Squadron, engaged 20 Albatros Scouts. 2nd-Lieuts Cook and Agelasto attacked a fifth E.A. which they shot down out of control

    2nd-Lieut W Beaver & 2nd-Lieut H E Easton, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Roulers at 14:15/15:15 - an offensive patrol of No 20 Squadron, engaged 20 Albatros Scouts.

    Lieut T Colvill-Jones & Capt J H Hedley, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Roulers - Menin road at 14:15/15:15 - an offensive patrol of No 20 Squadron, engaged 20 Albatros Scouts. 2nd -Lieut Colville-Jones and Capt Hedley attacked another E.A. into which the pilot fired 100 rounds, and the E.A. fell out of control and crashed

    Lieut D Leigh-Pemberton & Capt N W Taylor, 20 Sqn, Albatros in flames Roulers at 14:15/15:15 - an offensive patrol of No 20 Squadron, engaged 20 Albatros Scouts. Lieut Leigh-Pemberton and Capt Taylor fired one which into flames.


    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut F D Miller (Kia), 20 Sqn, Bristol F.2B - combat; Ltn d R Carl Menckhoff, Js3, 20th victory [Poelkapelle at 11:20/12:20] ?

    2nd-Lieut P Barker (Wia), 54 Sqn, Camel - combat

    2nd-Lieut A Holmes (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut P A B Lytton (Kia), 58 Sqn, FE2b B474 – took off 17:25/18:25 then missing from bombing
    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-05-2018 at 13:41.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  34. #3034


    Bloody attachments gone again - I don't understand why they won't stick at times

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  35. #3035


    They all seem to be present and correct now Chris

  36. #3036


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    5th February 1918

    General Headquarters, February 6th.

    “On the 5th inst. visibility was again indifferent, but a considerable amount of work was carried out by our aeroplanes in conjunction with the artillery, and many hostile batteries were successfully engaged. Several successful reconnaissances were completed, and nearly 5 tons of bombs were dropped on hostile railway stations and sidings and other targets. Hostile aircraft were rather more active. In the course of the fighting our aeroplanes brought down five German machines and drove down four others out of control. A German observation balloon was also brought down. Four of our aeroplanes are missing. On the night of the 5th-6th inst. our machines again bombed an aerodrome south-east of Cambrai, and also hostile billets, dropping 1½ tons of bombs. All our machines returned."

    RFC Communiqué number 126:

    The weather was again misty except on the 2nd Brigade front, but in spite of bad visibility 17 successful reconnaissances were carried out, 10 of which were by machines of the 5th Brigade.

    Seventy-seven hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and 10 neutralized; nine gun-pits were destroyed; 23 damaged, 50 explosions and 17 fires caused. Eighty-seven zone calls were sent down.
    Eighty hundred and sixty-six photographs were taken (464 of which were by the 2nd Brigade), 516 bombs dropped, and 21,099 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:

    Night 4th/5th - 9th Wing: No 58 Squadron dropped 24 25-lb bombs on Menin Station; No 101 Squadron dropped 108 25-lb bombs on Etreux Aerodrome and fired 2,250 rounds into hangars on the aerodrome.
    Day 5th - 1st Brigade: Two hundred and seventy-seven photographs were taken and 9,730 rounds fired. 1st Wing dropped 70 and 10th Wing dropped 54 25-lb bombs on miscellaneous targets.

    2nd Brigade: Four hundred and sixty-four photographs were taken and 3,039 rounds fired. Corps Squadrons dropped 85 25-lb bombs on miscellaneous targets; and No 57 Squadron dropped 10 112-lb bombs on Roulers sidings.
    3rd Brigade: Sixty photographs were taken and 1,220 rounds fired. Corps Squadrons dropped 35 and 13th Wing dropped 14 25-lb bombs on miscellaneous targets.
    5th Brigade: Thirty-six photographs were taken and 6,7210 rounds fired. Corps Squadrons dropped 53 and 22nd Wing dropped 16 25-lb bombs.
    9th Wing: 49 photographs were taken; No 27 Squadron dropped 13 25-lb and 10 112-lb bombs on Dechy Station, and No 25 Squadron dropped 12 112-lb bombs on Deynze Station.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    2nd-Lieut A T W Lindsay, No 54 Squadron, attacked an enemy balloon and fired about 200 rounds into it. The observer jumped out and the balloon was hauled down.

    Lieut G M Shaw & Sergt F Hopper, 25 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control – Lieut G Shaw and Sergt F Hopper, No 25 Squadron, when returning from a bomb raid were attacked by formation of Albatros Scouts. A drum was fired at the nearest EA which went down out of control

    Capt W E Molesworth, 29 Sqn, two-seater out of control Moorslede - Roulers at 10:20/11:20 - Capt Molesworth, No 29 Squadron, attacked an EA at 100 yards range, and after 100 rounds had been fired into it the EA turned on its back and fell into the clouds completely out of control

    Lieut F J Williams, 29 Sqn, two-seater out of control Moorslede at 10:30/11:30 - 2nd-Lieut F Williams fired a drum into another EA., and after a few second this EA behaved in a similar manner, turning completely over on its back and falling into the clouds quite out of control

    Lieut A C Ball, 60 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Houthulst Wood at 10:40/11:40 -

    Lieut D G Cooke & 2nd-Lieut C J Agelasto, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control north of Staden at 11:20/12:20
    Lieut D G Cooke & 2nd-Lieut C J Agelasto, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control north of Staden at 11:20/12:20
    2nd-Lieut W Beaver & 2nd-Lieut H E Easton, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Roulers at 11:20/12:20
    2nd-Lieut W Beaver & 2nd-Lieut H E Easton, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Roulers at 11:20/12:20

    An offensive patrol of No 20 Squadron engaged 12 Albatros Scouts. 2nd-Lieuts Cooke and Agelasto dived on one of the EA, firing 100 rounds at close range, and the EA was seen to go down completely out of control. Shortly afterwards they were attacked by an Albatross Scout from behind and slightly below. 2nd-Lieut Agelasto fired two drums into this EA which went, down completely out of control in a slow spin. 2nd-Lieuts Beaver and Easton dived on an EA Scout firing 200 rounds, and the EA went down out of control. They then attacked another EA which was on their bail and which they also drove down completely of control after 300 rounds had been fired at it by 2nd-Lieut Easton

    Capt F O Soden, 60 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Becelaere at 11:30/12:30
    Capt F O Soden, 60 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Ten-Brielen at 11:30/12:30

    Capt F Soden, No 60 Squadron, attacked an Albatros Scout over Gheluvelt, which he drove down out of control. Two other hostile machines then attacked Capt Soden and he was driven down from 15,000 to 50 feet, eight, miles over the lines. He came back zooming and banking round trees and saw the leading EA crash into a tree. He out-distanced the remaining EA and crossed the lines 50 feet

    Flt Sub-Lieut R C Berlyn, 3N Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control south-east of Dixmude at 12:00/13:00

    Lieut G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, DFW C crashed Wingles at 12:40/13:40 - Lieut G McElroy, No 40 Squadron, while on offensive patrol, singled out a D.F.W. and when within about 100 yards range fired 100 rounds. Pieces were seen to fall from the EA's tail and fuselage, and the EA went down in a slow spin and finally crashed

    Flt Lieut R McDonald, Flt Lieut H Day, Flt Sub-Lieut H H S Fowler and Flt Sub-Lieut W H Sneath, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south of Pont-à-Vendin at 12:45/13:45 - a patrol Of Naval Squadron No 8 attacked two Albatross Scouts. Flight Lieut McDonald fired 300 rounds at one from fairly close range, and Flight Sub-Lieuts Day and Fowler also engaged the same EA which went down completely out of control and crashed

    Lieut G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, DFW C in flames north of La Bassée at 13:00/14:00 - After his encounter with the D.F.W. Lieut McElroy found himself separated from his patrol. He observed a D.F.W. which was pointed out to him by anti-aircraft fire; he dived and fired about 200 rounds and the EA burst into flames

    2nd-Lieut A A Leitch, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Dadizeele at 13:30/14:30 - 2nd-Lieut A Leitch, No 65 attacked an Albatros Scout which he shot down out of control. He was then attacked by another EA and was forced to cross the lines at about 1,200 feet

    2nd-Lieut E F Peacock, 65 Sqn, Albatros out of control Dadizeele at 13:30/14:30 - 2nd-Lient E Peacock attacked another Albatros Scout, firing at about 150 yards range and tracers were seen to enter the fuselage and the EA went down in a vertical dive apparently out of control

    Capt J Gilmour, 65 Sqn, Balloon in flames north-west of Menin at 13:30/14:30 – Capt J Gilmour, No 65 Squadron, attacked a hostile balloon. The occupants descended by parachute and the balloon went down with black smoke issuing from it

    Maj J A Cunningham, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout broke up Beythem at 13:35/14:35 - Major J Cunningham, No 65 Squadron, attacked an Albatros Scout which was diving on another member of his patrol and fired a burst, with both guns at 50 yards range. The EA fell completely out of control, its tail plane folding up, and was observed to crash

    Lieut J W Aldred, 70 Sqn, two-seater out of control Houthulst - Staden at 13:35/14:35 - Lieut J Aldred, No 70 Squadron, attacked one of eight EA and drove it down out of control

    Lieut E H Peverell, 70 Sqn, two-seater out of control Gheluwe - Menin at 13:50/14:50 - Lieut Peverell engaged an EA two-seater and followed it down to 1,000 feet, firing all the way. The EA finally went down side-slipping and diving out of control, but owing machine gun fire from the ground, Lieut Peverell was obliged to turn away and was not able to witness the EA crash


    2nd-Lieut F A Lewis (Kia) & Lieut T McKenny Hughes (Kia), 53 Sqn, RE8 B6466 - killed by machine-gun fire from ground and wrecked at 28.j.15.c.1.8 [east of Hooge] at 11:10/12:10 during photography; ground fire

    2nd-Lieut A C Ball (Pow), 60 Sqn, SE5a B533 – took off 10:40/11:40 and missing on OP, reported hit by anti-aircraft Houthulst at 11:30/12:30; OffStllv Otto Esswein, Js26, 6th victory [Staden – Hooglede at 11:430/12:30] ?

    Flt Lieut H Day DSC (Kia), 8N Sqn, Camel N6379 – took off 11:45/12:45 and broke up in dive on EA Sh36c.O.2 [Harnes] at 12:45/13:45; Ltn d R Günther Schuster, Js29, 4th victory [north-west of Annay at 12:45/13:45] ? (Annay is about 2 Km north-west of Harnes)

    2nd-Lieut R P Pohlmann (Kia) & PM2-019459 2/AM R Ireland (Kia), 25 Sqn, DH4 A7865 – took off 13:00/14:00 then attacked by about 15 EA and seen to go down in flames during bombing Deynze railway station; Ltn d R Heinrich Bongartz, Js36, 29th victory[Kanegaun – Thielt at 14:40/15:40]

    2nd-Lieut O Cudmore (Pow) & 107229 1/AM L J Bain (Pow), 25 Sqn, DH4 A7680 – took off 13:00/14:00 then attacked by 15 EA and last seen going down under control into clouds during bombing Deynze railway station; Ltn d R Heinrich Bongartz, Js36, 30th victory [Oudenbourg at 14:43/15:43]

    Lieut G M Shaw (Ok) & Sgt F Hopper (Wia), 25 Sqn, DH4 - took off 13:00/14:00 then formation attacked by about 15 EA

    2nd-Lieut H V C Luyt (Wia), 65 Sqn, Camel B2394 - force landed in shell hole near Veldhoek at 13:30/14:30 after engaged by EA near Roulers on offensive patrol; Ltn d R Helmuth Dilthey, Js27, 6th victory [Hooglede – Paschendaele at 13:34/14:35] ?

    Two British aces were lost on this day:

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    Lieutenant Leonard Monteagle Barlow MC & 2 Bars56 Squadron RFC

    The son of Leonard and Catherine (Monteagle) Barlow, Leonard Monteagle Barlow's father was an engineer. Following in his father's footsteps, Barlow studied electical engineering before he joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. As an S.E.5 pilot, he was known for his resourcefulness. "The Gadget King" developed a method to fire his Vickers and Lewis machine guns simultaneously with a single trigger. On 25 September 1917, he attacked four German aircraft over the Houthulst Forest and shot down three of them in three minutes. Barlow was killed while testing a Sopwith Dolphin.

    2nd Lt. Leonard Mcnteagle Barlow, R.F.C., Spec. Res.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when engaged in aerial combats. He has set a very fine example of courage and dash in attacking and destroying hostile machines. He also attacked and stopped a goods train, silenced a machine gun on an enemy aerodrome, and dispersed troops on the roads from a very low altitude.

    2nd Lt. Leonard Monteagle Barlow, M.C., R.F.C., Spec. Res.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in aerial combats over a considerable period, during the course of which he destroyed six enemy machines and drove down three out of control. He has taken part in over sixty offensive patrols, of which he led ten. His gallantry and skill have been most marked and consistent.

    Lt. Leonard Monteagle Barlow, M.C., R.F.C., Spec. Res.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in aerial combats. In the course of a fortnight he destroyed several enemy machines; one occasion he attacked four enemy scouts and shot one down in flames, and two others, which were seen to crash. He showed the greatest gallantry, dash and skill.

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    Flight Sub Lieutenant Harold Day DSC 8(Naval) Squadron RNAS

    Diving on an Albatros D.V, Harold Day was killed when his Sopwith Camel (N6379) broke up and crashed near Harnes. Günther Schuster of Jasta 29 was credited with shooting him down.

    Flt. Sub-Lieut. Harold Day, R.N.A.S.
    In recognition of the skill and determination shown by him in aerial combats, in the course of which he has done much to stop enemy artillery machines from working.
    On the 6th January, 1918, he observed a new type enemy aeroplane. He immediately dived to attack, and after a short combat the enemy machine went down very steeply, and was seen to crash.
    On several other occasions he has brought down enemy machines out of control.

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    The following claims were made on this day

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    A total of 12 British airmen were lost on this day

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    The German submarine UB-77 sights the convoy HX-2- seven miles north of the Rathlin Island lighthouse. The German fires two torpedoes at the troopship Tuscania at 17:40, the first of which misses, the second scores a direct hit. By 19:00 all the ship’s lifeboats have been launched, but approximately 1,350 men remain on board. The convoy’s escorting destroyers assist in removing these men, but are hampered by the continuing presence of the German submarine. The Tuscania finally sinks at 22:00, over four hours after being struck, two hundred thirty lives being lost.

    The island of Islay is no stranger to shipwrecks for there are at least 250 known sunken vessels around her turbulent shores. On the southernmost tip of the island stands a monument, similar in appearance to a lighthouse, which was erected by the American Government in 1919 as a memorial to those who died on a bitterly cold February evening in 1918 when the Anchor liner Tuscania was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in the Irish Sea some seven miles south-west of Islay. On board were 2,235 soldiers consisting of companies 'D', 'E' and 'F' of the 6th Battalion, 20th VS Engineers, members of the 32nd Division, the 100th and 103rd Aero Squadrons and a British crew.

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    The Tuscania was part of trans-Atlantic convoy HX20 which consisted of some fourteen vessels including the White Star liners Baltic and Ceramic. She was a relatively new ship of 14,348grt, with an overall length of 576 feet and a beam of 65.9. Like her sister, Transylvania, she had been intended for the joint Mediterranean-New York service operated by the Cunard Line. With a top speed of 16 knots she was hardly an ocean greyhound but she was a good, sturdy, reliable vessel- a workhorse of the Atlantic rather than a 'headliner'. She had commenced her maiden voyage on 7th February, 1915 after fitting out at Alexander Stephen's yard on the Clyde, leaving Liverpool for New York. With a capacity for 270 first, 250 second and 1,900 third class passengers, she sailed almost empty. The war had severely curtailed trans-Atlantic passenger traffic and the demands for men to serve in France, Gallipoli and other theatres of war ensured that she sailed without her full complement of crew - some 350. In September, 1915 the Tuscania had taken on board 409 passengers from the Greek emigrant ship Athenai adrift and on fire in the Atlantic, while the following year had seen her converted for trooping duties bringing Canadian soldiers from Halifax to Liverpool or Glasgow. The year 1917 brought the first contingent of American soldiers to British shores and in this the Tuscania played a major role embarking troops from New York via Halifax to this country. Along with other vessels in the convoy, she slipped her moorings at 1.30 pm on a chill Sunday, 27th January, 1918 bound for Liverpool. The British cruiser HMS Cochrane led the convoy which was deployed in five columns. The Baltic followed by the Tuscania with the USS Kanawha bringing up the rear formed column 'XA'. The Kanawha was an ancient collier whose principal function was to provide rearguard protection against submarine attacks on the convoy, but she acted as a supply ship for the US Navy and had sailor recruits on board bound for Scapa Flow. 'W A' column was positioned on Tuscania's port side and totalled a mere two vessels one of which, the Scotian, was carrying Canadian troops. Column 'YA' off Tuscania's starboard beam comprised the Ceramic, Westmorland and an unidentified cattle boat, while 'ZA', still further to starboard, consisted of three merchant ships with an outer column of three more. Later, when the convoy was approaching the Irish coast, a destroyer escort would form a protective ring around the fourteen ships comprising eight warships in all.

    Each merchantman lay six cables apart with three between each column. The larger and more important vessels were placed in the centre lanes; some of these were equipped with M- V sets. Basically these resembled a series of microphones set at different points along the ships hulls to pick up the underwater sounds of submersibles - an early form of hydrophone which had an effective range of around two miles. The Tuscania's interiors had undergone a radical refit in preparation for this crossing. She had a number of compartments below for transporting livestock; these were now used as accommodation for the soldiers. The rest of the consisted of 30 mules, supply wagons, boxes of bacon aircraft spares. Conditions for the troops were, as usual, deplorable, food frequently comprising tiny portions of steam-cooked unsalted potatoes, fish, cheese or 'slum' - a weird concoction with the appearance of bay leaves soaked in hot water and served in tin mugs. The risk of disease was always present because of overcrowding. Light calisthenics and the occasional lifeboat drill constituted the only shipboard exercise. Following her departure from Halifax, life aboard the Tuscania settled down into a pattern of dull, repetitive routine. Convoying was a relatively new phenomenon in 1918 and there had been much opposition to its introduction, not least from merchant seamen themselves who argued that a group of vessels could not be handled together without the inevitable collision, and that the speed of the convoy was dictated by the speed of the slowest ship. Herein lay the greatest risk. HX 20's progress appeared to support this view. C.W.Nice, company adjutant aboard the Kanawha, later reported that the Tuscania had much difficulty in maintaining her position within the convoy. Progress was slow, HX 20's mean speed being around twelve knots. A series of minor engine faults plagued Tuscania's master, Peter Alexander McLean, forcing him to reduce speed for most of the crossing.

    Ten days out of Halifax, at around 3pm, land was finally sighted and identified as the island of Islay with Rathlin island off the Irish coast some miles to the south off Tuscania's starboard bow. The previous night the British destroyers had joined the convoy from Lough Swilly and had taken up their stations - the Beagle, Savage and Grasshopper starboard; Badger, Pigeon and Mosquito to port with Harpy and Minos astern of the Cochrane leading the convoy. Contact had been made with HX 20 at 9.30pm on the 4th February but deteriorating weather conditions made delivery of the convoy's sailing instructions impossible. Occasional rain squalls and a fresh south-westerly wind had obtained since the early morning of that day, but had steadily increased to force ten.

    Once the transfer had been made, both convoy and escort proceeded by the ordered course at a steady ten knots, increasing to twelve as the wind and sea died down. By the 5th visibility had improved to a range of eight to ten miles. The high peaks of Islay and Jura were sighted just after 3pm and a new course was shaped at 4.45pm to pass through the North Channel. Zig-zagging ceased at this time and the convoy proceeded towards Liverpool.
    On the 29th January the UB-77 left Borkum in Germany with her full complement of seven officers and twenty-five men on yet another tour of duty standing to the north. She was a sleek looking vessel having a distinctively raked shark's head bow and a 10.5cm deck gun as well as a saw-backed net cutter. A product of A. G. Vulcan of Hamburg, this design of submarine was so successful that it was chosen some twenty years later as the basis for the Type VII U-boat of World War II. Built in 1917, she boasted five torpedo tubes - four bow and one stern. From the outset of her career until the Armistice, the UB-77 was commanded by Kapitan-Leutnant Wilhelm Meyer. Having sneaked past the British blockade vessels maintaining a permanent watch on all German naval activities, Meyer charted a course taking U B-77 round the north of Scotland through the Pentland Firth, an area thick with patrolling trawlers and destroyers. They encountered the UB-86, also outward bound, and travelled in tandem throughout the 31st, most of the trip being undertaken on the surface, Meyer only giving the order to dive when enemy ships were sighted. On the 1st February they passed Fair Isle and the following day the Flannan Isles. St Kilda was sighted on the 3rd but with the course now set for the Northern Irish coast, Meyer pressed southward arriving off the North Channel, where UB-97 was operating, on the 5th. Here he was obliged to dive having picked up the ponderous throb of a steamer's screw. This proved to be a vessel of some 2,000 tons but Meyer failed to reach a position ahead of her for a bow shot, besides the submarine constantly broke surface owing to the swell, and with destroyers still in the vicinity he decided to abandon the attack. At around 11.30am UB-77 surfaced to recharge her batteries but four hours later she was forced to dive again to avoid patrolling craft. She rendezvoused with the UB-97 an hour later and after promises to celebrate their tour of duty together upon its completion, the two U-boats parted and Meyer's boat dived once more. At 5.50pm he gave the order to raise the periscope. A score of ships filled his vision.

    'Well ahead there was a large steamer with two funnels painted white. Ahead of her again was a small steamer presumably acting as a 'barrage breaker' (Sperrbreccher); astern of her, a four funnelled cruiser resembling the 'Drake' Class, then six to eight steamers in line ahead'. (Meyer). This misinterpretation of the convoy's formation was probably due to periscope lens distortion. Nevertheless, Meyer ordered the utmost speed in order to reach a position ahead of the convoy. The UB-77's torpedoes, each weighing 2,000lbs, lay in readiness waiting to be fired from her bow tubes. Meyer glanced once more through the periscope and only succeeded in homing in on the larger vessels in the convoy by using maximum magnification. The 'Tuscania' passed across the periscope field very indistinctly like a light shadow and it was not until her forward funnel crossed his field of vision that Meyer at last made her out mistaking her for the White Star's Baltic. Two torpedoes of the G-7 type were fired one after the other and aimed just abaft the second funnel.

    The attack was totally unexpected, for despite the M- V set carried by the 'Tuscania', it had not registered the submarine's approach. Without warning, the ship shuddered under a dull thud accompanied by the sound of breaking glass and all the lights went out. The first torpedo struck the Tuscania between the engine room and the stoke hole on the starboard side. These compartments were filled with water and escaping steam almost at once. The force of the explosion threw a spout of water-filled debris high into the air, reaching as far as the lifeboats hanging in their davits. Several were damaged so badly as to render them totally unfit for use. Within minutes the Tuscania had taken on an 8-10 degree list to starboard. Meyer had succeeded in manoeuvring UB-77 to a position roughly off HMS Beagle's port quarter and some 1,200 metres distant from his target. Only one detonation was heard by the U-boat's crew and recorded aboard the stricken vessel, the second torpedo having missed the target. Immediately thereafter, Meyer set a course away from 'Tuscania's' starboard beam over a distance of a few nautical miles surfacing some twenty minutes later. The sight which greeted her officers was that of a large liner heeling over to starboard and settling aft. Then a message was passed to Meyer from his radio operator who had managed to intercept the ship's distress signals and thus identified her as 'Tuscania'. Her position was given as Lat 55° 22' North, Long 6° 13' West, approximately seven miles south-west of Islay. The 'Tuscania's' steam whistle shrieked incessantly as distress rockets were fired, three of which were red indicating the presence of submarines in the vicinity. No panic was evident among the soldiery as each man made his way to his lifeboat station. They stood there in virtual silence counting off names as they waited to leave the stricken vessel. With the coming of dusk and a slight wind blowing, visibility was reduced to around a couple of miles. HX 20's escorts were quick to take action. Grasshopper, Mosquito and Pigeon were ordered to proceed to the assistance of the 'Tuscania'. 'Mosquito's' captain, J. B. Fellowes, sighted some men clinging to an upturned boat and, despite orders to the contrary from destroyer leader Harpy, stopped to pick them up. At this point a junior officer standing on the after deck reported that a torpedo had passed close under Mosquito's stern. Fellowes gave the order to proceed again at high speed and dropped depth charges in the position where he roughly believed the U-boat to be. Thereafter he returned to the 'Tuscania' and secured 'Mosquito' on her port side taking men off the liner's well deck on to the destroyer.

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    Launching the port side lifeboats was made almost impossible by 'Tuscania's' list to starboard. As they filled up with troops and were lowered, the waves battered them against the bilge of the liner. Oars were broken attempting to absorb the shock of the impact. Cracked and leaking, some drifted away empty; one lifeboat was accidentally parted from its davits and crashed on top of yet another trying vainly to escape crushing its occupants. Some men, thrown from these boats were caught in the wash of 'Mosquito's' propeller, while others were lost between the ships. On the starboard side the lifeboats were launched only with great difficulty as the davits and the waves held them out of reach. Many were lost trying in vain to jump the intervening space between liner and lifeboat. The Grasshopper, commanded by Lt John Smith, layoff the Tuscania's starboard bow picking up survivors who had decided to swim for it, before darting off a short distance to prevent a U-boat attack. Having picked up as many as her capacity would allow, she was obliged to leave while Mosquito, in a much more dangerous position, continued the rescue. Further assistance was rendered by HMS Pigeon commanded by Lt K. E. Eddis. He inched his ship alongside Tuscania's starboard bow and with the aid of heaving lines, rescued over 800 soldiers. Pigeon's launch was lowered in order to pick up those men still struggling in the water, but Eddis was forced to leave her behind after warnings of enemy submarines in the vicinity had been received. Petty Officer John Jones was in charge of the launch. Upon the departure of Pigeon, he continued with the rescue and methodically gathered all the lifeboats - eleven in all - and their human cargoes together. Hours later they were picked up by the trawler Elf King and returned to Larne - a total of 375 men.

    When the torpedo struck the Tuscania there were 39 men toiling in her boiler-rooms stoking coal. Not one of them survived. No one was in any doubt as to what had caused the explosion, and among the troops there followed an overwhelming urge to get up on deck to escape the sinking ship. Evacuation was carried out in an orderly fashion without panic, and the majority of Tuscania's complement were rescued but not all. The Grasshopper had accounted for 500, Pigeon over 800, Mosquito 200. Some, like Coxwain Jones, were picked up later by armed trawlers but the remainder had to take their chance with the sea. The Tuscania remained afloat for some four hours before taking the final plunge, bow-first with her monstrous stern in the air. She hung there briefly then, with a muffled explosion, slid beneath the waves. Those who survived the suction struck out for land.The rocky shores and cliffs toward which they headed were swept by storm-tossed seas. This was lslay's most southerly point called the Mull of Oa, and nowhere seems more appropriate for the enactment of the final scenes of the shipwreck. It is a wild, inhospitable place covered in bracken and heather and unutterably bleak with 600 foot cliffs continually tormented by gale-force winds. Of all places to struggle ashore this one of the worst and by this time (around 10pm) it was pitch black, Some lifeboats had not been rescued and their occupants were not equipped to withstand the freezing temperatures.

    A total of 166 soldiers and seamen lost their lives in the sinking of the Tuscania. For the survivors who sought warmth and comfort after their experience, the islanders were more than generous with their help, especially the people of Port Ellen whose two principal hotels were made available to them. The public hall served as a temporary mortuary and a new cemetery was prepared at Killeyan as well as Kilnaughton. Islanders donated clothing and food while estate owner Hugh Morrison of Islay House provided a further burial ground at Port Charlotte and timber for the manufacture of coffins. The British Empire Medal was awarded to islanders Robert Morrison and Duncan Campbell in recognition of the parts they played in rescuing survivors from the cliff face where many were washed ashore. As for Meyer and the UB-77, he had watched the sinking ship for some time before deciding to return to the scene to hasten the destruction of the liner. He manoeuvred his submarine to a position off Tuscania's port quarter and at around 7.50 fired a K-lll torpedo which missed its target. It was this torpedo which had passed under HMS Mosquito's stern and provoked the depth charge attack. Thereafter, Meyer withdrew to complete what otherwise turned out to be an uneventful tour of duty.

    Air War

    Western Front: Lieutenant Thompson of 103rd Aero Squadron (mainly Lafayette Escadrille veterans) first American fighter pilot serving in US forces to score in air combat. AEF has 225 aircraft (9 squadrons) on February 1.

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    An American fighter squadron, equipped with British S.E.5a.

    Home Fronts

    Britain: Food Ministry offers amnesty to food hoarders.
    USA: Captain Rintelen and 10 other Germans fined and imprisoned for trying to sink British SS Kirk Oswald. Committee on Public Information appeals to public not to shoot US Signal Corps carrier pigeons.
    France*: 3,000 people in Roanne (Loire Department) protest against bread shortage, burn cotton magnate’s house, looting (until February 6) but riots ends by February 26.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-05-2018 at 14:15.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  37. #3037


    Yet again this takes twice as long as I have to re-attach all the images (muttered swearing stage left...)

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  38. #3038


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    6th February 1918

    We will start today with a major victory that happened not on the battlefields of the Western Front, but in the streets and houses and offices back home.

    The Representation of the People Act 1918 was an Act of Parliament passed to reform the electoral system in Great Britain and Ireland. It is sometimes known as the Fourth Reform Act. This act was the first to include practically all men in the political system and began the inclusion of women, extending the franchise by 5.6 million men and 8.4 million women. It legislated a number of new practices in elections, including making residency in a specific constituency the basis of the right to vote, whilst institutionalising the first-past-the-post method of election and rejecting proportional representation.

    Even after the passing of the Third Reform Act in 1884, only 60% of male householders over the age of 21 had the vote. Following the horrors of the First World War, millions of returning soldiers would still not have been entitled to vote in the long overdue general election. (The previous election had been in December 1910. The Parliament Act 1911 had set the maximum term of a Parliament at five years, but an amendment to the Act postponed the general election to after the war's conclusion.) The issue of a female right to vote first gathered momentum during the later half of the nineteenth century based on the work of liberal thinkers such as John Stuart Mill. The Suffragettes and Suffragists had pushed for their own right to be represented prior to the war, but very little was achieved despite violent agitation by the likes of Emmeline Pankhurst and the Women's Social and Political Union. The issue was raised by Suffragist Millicent Fawcett at the Speaker's Conference in 1916. She called for the age for voting to be lowered to 18 overthrowing the male majority. She also suggested that, if this would not be possible, women 30–35 years old should be enfranchised.

    The debates in both Houses of Parliament saw majority cross-party unanimity. The Home Secretary, George Cave (Con) within the governing coalition introduced the Act:

    War by all classes of our countrymen has brought us nearer together, has opened men’s eyes, and removed misunderstandings on all sides. It has made it, I think, impossible that ever again, at all events in the lifetime of the present generation, there should be a revival of the old class feeling which was responsible for so much, and, among other things, for the exclusion for a period, of so many of our population from the class of electors. I think I need say no more to justify this extension of the franchise.

    The Representation of the People Act 1918 widened suffrage by abolishing practically all property qualifications for men and by enfranchising women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications. The enfranchisement of this latter group was accepted as recognition of the contribution made by women defence workers. However, women were still not politically equal to men (who could vote from the age of 21); full electoral equality was achieved in Ireland in 1922, but did not occur in Britain until the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928.

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    This French poster calls for women’s suffrage. Through the increased involvement of women in the world of work during the war, they gained the right to vote in Britain in 1918, while in France they had to wait until 1945.

    The terms of the Act were:

    All men over 21 gained the vote in the constituency where they were resident. Men who had turned 19 during service in connection with the First World War could also vote even if they were under 21, although there was some confusion over whether they could do so after being discharged from service. The Representation of the People Act 1920 clarified this in the affirmative, albeit after the 1918 general election.

    Women over 30 years old received the vote if they were either a member or married to a member of the Local Government Register, a property owner, or a graduate voting in a University constituency.

    Some seats redistributed to industrial towns.

    All polls for an election to be held on a specified date, rather than over several days in different constituencies as previously.

    The costs incurred by returning officers were for the first time to be paid by the Treasury. Prior to the 1918 general election, the administrative costs were passed on the candidates to pay, in addition to their personal expenses.

    The rest they say is history but 100 years on and we still don't have full quality in pay and conditions for example (shame on the BBC for one) - but I'd like to think things have changed for the better, I mean ladies are now allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia.

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    Henry William Firth - Conscientious Objector

    Former shoemaker Henry William Firth, dies at age 30 of pneumonia at the work center for conscientious objectors at Princetown on Dartmoor at age 21. He is a Methodist preacher. Having been in prison for nine months, he has become so ill that he accepts alternative service at the Princetown stone quarries. Admitted to hospital after collapsing at work, his request for eggs is refused on the grounds that they are needed for soldiers at the front. Eventually the authorities relent and three fresh eggs are granted to him but they arrive the day after his death.

    Eastern Front

    Rumania: Mackensen 4-day peace talks ultimatum to Rumania. Rumanian Prime Minister Bratianu resigns, General Averescu forms new Cabinet on February 9.
    Russia: German* language Red broadcast from Tsarkoe Selo calls for military revolt and Kaiser’s murder.

    Air War
    Western Front: First US Royal Flying Corps squadron (No 17) arrives (left Texas December 19, 1917), 9 more follow until March.

    General Headquarters, February 7th.

    “On the 6th inst. low clouds and mist impeded operations during the morning, but later in the day the weather improved. Several reconnaissances were carried out by our aeroplanes, and hostile batteries were engaged by our artillery with observation from the air. Over a ton of bombs were dropped by us on various targets behind the enemy's lines. Two hostile machines were brought down in air fighting. Two of our machines are missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 126:

    Weather: Low clouds and mist in the morning, improving in the afternoon. Eight successful reconnaissances were carried out all by machines of the 5th Brigade.

    Six hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction (five by the 1st Brigade) and four neutralized, two gun-pits were damaged, three explosions and one fire caused, and 18 zone calls were sent down.

    One hundred and five photographs were taken, dropped 9,405 rounds fired as follows:

    Night 5th/6th - 5th Brigade: Corps Squadrons dropped 24 25-lb, and 2 112-lb bombs on Ribemont.

    9th Wing: No 101 Squadron dropped 132 25-lb bombs on Étreux Aerodrome and fired 2,000 rounds into hangars on the aerodrome, and No 102 Squadron dropped eight 25-lb bombs on Courtrai.

    Day 6th - 1st Brigade: Thirty-six photographs. 1st Wing dropped 53 25-lb bombs and fired 300 rounds, and 10th Wing fired 4,200 rounds.

    2nd Brigade: 3rd Squadron AFC dropped two 25-lb bombs and fired 2,220 rounds.

    3rd Brigade: Forty-two photographs. Corps Squadrons dropped 13 25-lb bombs and fired 900 rounds.

    5th Brigade: Twenty-seven photographs. Corps Squadrons dropped 12 25-lb bombs, 22nd Wing dropped 16 25-lb bombs, and 1,785 rounds were fired.

    On the 6th, balloons of the 1st Brigade carried out two shoots, successfully engaging one hostile battery for destruction and neutralizing another. Balloons of the 3rd Brigade successfully engaged one hostile battery for destruction.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    2nd-Lieut P F Kent, 3 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Rémy at 16:00/17:00
    2nd-Lieut A G D Alderson, 3 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Rémy at 16:00/17:00

    A patrol of No 3 Squadron attacked six Albatros Scouts and Lieut G Alderson and 2nd Lieut Kent each shot down one EA which are reported by AA to have crashed. In this fight Capt Sutton collided with one of the EA and had his fin taken off, and was forced to retire from the combat


    2nd-Lieut P F Kent (Kia), 3 Sqn, Camel C1552 – took off 15:05/16:05 and last seen over Rémy at 16:00/17:00; one machine seen to go down in flames on COP

    2nd-Lieut A G D Alderson (Pow), 3 Sqn, Camel C6706 – took off 15:05/16:05 and last seen over Rémy at 16:00/17:00; one machine seen to go down in flames on COP

    Claims were made by Ltn d R Hermann Becker, Js12, 4th victory [Rémy] and Offz Stv Dobberahn, Js12, 1st victory [Lécluse]; Rémy is 6 Km south-west of Lécluse

    Claims were very few and far between on this day

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    There were five British airmen lost on this day

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    Captain Edward Robert "Ted" Pennell DFC
    84 Squadron RFC was wounded on this day

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    One of the first recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Corporal Edward Robert Pennell, from the Honourable Artillery Company, T.F., was promoted to temporary Second Lieutenant for duty with Royal Flying Corps on 5 August 1916. Appointed Flying Officer on 28 November 1916, he scored his first victory whilst serving with 27 Squadron in March 1917. Posted to 84 Squadron, Pennell was appointed Flight Commander on 1 September 1917 with the temporary rank of Captain. After scoring four more victories with the S.E.5a, he was hospitalized on 6 February 1918 and was transferred to the unemployed list on 17 January 1919.

    Obituary: "Captain Edward (Ted) Pennell — four times chairman of the old Clacton Urban Council — died at his home at 29 Palace Gardens on Saturday.
    Capt. Pennell was chairman of the council from 1927 to '28, 1946 to '48 and from 1953 to '54. He also served as chairman on every council committee including 18 years on the sea defence committee and six years on the finance and general purposes committee.
    Capt. Pennell joined the navy when he was 16. Later he joined the Honorary Artillery Company and when the first world war broke out he taught himself to fly and became a flight commander with the 27th Bomber Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps serving in France. He was awarded the DFC and the French equivalent of the Victoria Cross — the Croix de Guerre avec palm.
    During the second world war he was a liaison officer with a flying school in America, and in 1945 was invalided from the RAF with a weak heart.
    Capt. Pennell was a great sportsman, playing football for the town and was a life member of Clacton Golf Club. He also won a trophy for sculling in 1913.
    He also led a full social life as well as a civic one. Apart from life membership of the Golf Club he was a life member of the Clacton Club, an honorary member of the RAFA Club and the Conservative Club.
    Capt. Pennell leaves a widow, Mrs. Rene Pennell, and a married daughter, Pam, who lives in Wiltshire.
    His funeral was yesterday at St. John's Church, Great Clacton. The service was conducted by the Rev. Watts and interment was at Colchester Crematorium."

    In later life, Pennell was a very keen fisherman, property developer, restaurant owner, cinema owner (where he met his wife, Rene). He and his wife travelled the world together. Pennell rejoined the Royal Air Force in 1939/40.

    1901 residence was Hare Hatch, Wargrave, Berkshire; his birth was registered in the 3rd quarter of 1894 at West Ham, Essex.

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    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  39. #3039


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    Right so its rearranged gaming night this evening, so I will be completing today's posts in short segments throughout the evening, so please bare with me... thank you

    7th February 1918

    A very quiet day indeed only a total of 167 British casualties across all fronts

    RFC Communiqué number 126:

    Mist, rain and strong wind interfered with operations.

    One hostile battery was successfully engaged for destruction, and nine zone calls sent down.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    2nd-Lieut C G D Napier & 2nd-Lieut J M J Moore, 48 Sqn, LVG C destroyed Le Catelet at 06:00/07:00



    There was just the one aerial victory claim today

    Captain Charles George Douglas Napier MC 48 Squadron RFC

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    Yup he was flying a Bristol (as you do)

    MC Citation

    T./2nd Lt. Charles Georges Douglas Napier, Gen. List and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On one occasion during a low-flying bombing attack he descended to a height of 100 feet and dropped four bombs amongst a body of enemy troops, causing heavy casualties and scattering the enemy in all directions. Later, whilst on offensive patrol, he observed an enemy two-seater and two scouts. He fired twenty rounds at the two-seater, with the result that it crashed, and then attacked one of the scouts, which turned over completely, and finally went down in a vertical nose dive. In all he has to his credit two enemy machines crashed and four driven down out of control. He has displayed the greatest judgment, determination and daring.

    5 British airmen were lost on this day

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    France: Decree creates Czech Army.
    Rumania: British Foreign Office cables to Jassy urging no separate Rumanian peace.

    Eastern Front
    Brest-Litovsk: Kaiser orders Kuehlmann to end talks and demand Baltic States.
    Rumania: C-in-C Averescu promises Gen Ballard to try and stop munitions going to Central Powers.

    Southern Fronts

    Salonika: King Alexander visits British including Struma front on February 9.
    Italian Front: King Albert of the Belgians visits until February 9, ‘I thought that the Italian Army was more disciplined than ours’.

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    A group of Czechoslovak soldiers in French uniforms on the Western Front. They were recruited from captured or deserted Austro-Hungarian soldiers.

    Home Front

    Articles from the Wocestershire Press:

    ALLEGED WASTE OF BREAD – Bromyard Prosecution Adjourned – At the Bromyard Police Court on Monday, Beatrice Raine, formerly housekeeper at the Hill Farm, stated that on December 4th Mrs Aikin asked her to get some food for the dogs and to do it quickly because the policeman might be coming, as someone had reported that she had been giving bread to the dogs. Witness concluded that it was bread she had to cut up, as she had been in the habit of doing it. Witness got a small loaf and put it in a basin, to which she added hot water. She gave it to Mrs Aikin, who took it into the dining room and gave it to four dogs.

    MALVERN URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL – Chairman’s’ Gift of Public Gardens – The Finance and General Purposes Committee stated that the Chairman of the Council and Sir Henry Urwick had reported as to the acquisition of land for public pleasure grounds. The present tenant of the Priory grounds, who held the property on lease, was willing to enter into joint negotiations for the purchase, but could not entertain any suggestion for releasing the lower portion of the grounds abutting on Swan Pool. The south portion of the Assembly Rooms was also held on lease, so that it could not be acquired for some year as winter gardens. The Chairman of the Council thereupon said he had much pleasure in offering to the Council the freehold of the property known as Rose Bank

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    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  40. #3040


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    8th February 1918

    There was just the one aerial victory claim on this day:

    Sous Lieutenant Fernand Henri Chavannes

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    The most interesting thing about this victory Chavannes first) is the plane he was flying - a SPAD XII

    Sous Lieutenant Fernand Henri Chavannes was a World War I flying ace credited with seven aerial victories.Chavannes was the son of renowned sinologist and Chinese scholar Édouard Chavannes.
    Chavannes and his friend Lionel de Marmier were chosen to share a new "cannon Spad", the SPAD XII, when it came out in mid-1917. The letters "M" and "C", representing their last names, were intertwined in paint on the side of its fuselage.

    The SPAD S.XII or SPAD 12 was a French single-seat biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War developed from the successful SPAD 7 by Louis Béchereau, chief designer of the Société Pour L'Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD).

    The SPAD XII was inspired by the ideas of French flying ace Georges Guynemer, who proposed that a manoeuvrable single-seat aircraft be designed to carry a 37 mm cannon, a weapon which had previously been mounted only in large two-seat "pusher" aircraft such as the Voisin III. Béchereau took his own SPAD 7 design as the starting point, but the many major and minor changes incorporated into the SPAD 12 made it a quite different aircraft. The gun chosen for the SPAD XII was not the old Hotchkiss cannon but a new 37 mm Semi Automatique Moteur Canon (SAMC), built by Puteaux, for which 12 shots were carried. The Hispano-Suiza aviation engine had to be geared to allow the gun to fire through the propeller shaft. The SPAD XII also carried a single 0.303 inch synchronized (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun mounted on the starboard side of the nose. In order to carry the heavy cannon the airframe was lengthened and the wingspan and wing area increased. The wingtips were rounded rather than squared off and the wings given a slight forward stagger. To accommodate the required geared output propshaft engine, which easily allowed for the hollow propeller shaft for the cannon to fire through, and power the resultingly heavier airframe, 587 kg compared to the 500 kg of the SPAD 7, the 180 bhp Hispano-Suiza 8 direct-drive Ab engine was replaced by the geared 220 bhp model 8Cb, and gave the SPAD XII a clockwise rotating propeller, as seen from a "nose-on" view.

    Test flown by Guynemer, the early production models of the SPAD XII were highly successful after overcoming initial problems with the reduction gear between engine and propeller. Other aces also had success with the new model. However, deliveries were slow, the SPAD VII and later SPAD XIII having top priority, and even the modest total of 300 aircraft which were ordered were not all completed. Best estimates are only 20 produced. Average pilots found the SPAD 12 a difficult aircraft to master, and the cannon difficult to aim and fire, while manual reloading was difficult. The cockpit filled with fumes upon every firing. Its breech mechanism protruded into the cockpit and prevented the use of a conventional stick to control the aircraft, adding to the difficulties encountered by ordinary pilots. The control setup reverted to a split setup on either side of the pilot, a la Deperdussin.

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    No units were entirely equipped with SPAD 12s.The unknown number of aircraft produced were issued in small numbers, intended for use only by the most skilled pilots, such as Rene Fonck, Lionel de Marmier, Fernand Henri Chavannes, Henri Hay de Slade, Albert Deullin and François Battesti. They were distributed one or two per squadron. Few were delivered to combat units, 8 being recorded on strength in April and again in October; this may be contrasted with the thousands of SPAD 7s and SPAD 13s in service. Single examples for testing were delivered to the Royal Flying Corps and one to the Aviation Section of the American Expeditionary Force, with the AEF's 13th Aero Squadron receiving the aircraft, which was given the number "0", and primarily flown by the 13th's Charles John Biddle, who ended up with a total of seven confirmed victories in World War I. Six or more are said to have been held by the Red Army.

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    Now that's what I call 'up-gunning' (editor)

    General Headquarters, February 9th.

    “On the 8th inst. low clouds and rain interfered with flying, but a few bombs were dropped by our aeroplanes on miscellaneous targets. One hostile machine was shot down in our lines by fire from the ground. On the night of the 8th- 9th inst. our night-flying machines dropped bombs on hostile aerodromes and billets. All our machines returned."

    RFC Communiqué number 126:

    Low clouds, high wind and rain made flying practically impossible.

    One hostile battery was neutralized by machines of the 1st Wing, one other target engaged for effect, one fire was caused, and seven active hostile batteries reported by zone call.

    Ten 25-lb bombs were dropped on miscellaneous targets by machines of the 1st Wing.

    Three plates were exposed by the 12th Wing.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft activity was nil, except on the 1st Brigade front, where a few two-seaters were seen in the afternoon. No combats took place.


    2nd-Lieut H Fall (Inj) & 2nd-Lieut F N Phillips (Inj), 102 Sqn, FE2b A5562 - force landed due engine failure on night bombing raid

    A total of nine British airmen were lost on this day

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    The destroyer HMS Boxer (Lieutenant Joseph K Chaplain RNR) is sunk after a collision with the merchant ship SS St Patrick in the English Channel in bad weather one boy is lost,

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    HMS Boxer was an Ardent-class destroyer which served with the Royal Navy, launched on 28 November 1894.She spent several years operating with the Mediterranean Fleet and remained active during the First World War. She was sunk in a collision on 8 February 1918. On 12 October 1893, the British Admiralty placed an order for three torpedo boat destroyers (Ardent, Boxer and Bruizer) with the shipbuilder Thornycroft under the 1893–1894 shipbuilding programme for the Royal Navy as a follow-on to the two prototype destroyers (Daring and Decoy) ordered from Thornycroft under the 1892–1893 programme.

    The Admiralty did not specify a standard design for destroyers, laying down broad requirements, including a trial speed of 27 knots (31 mph; 50 km/h), a "turtleback" forecastle and armament, which was to vary depending on whether the ship was to be used in the torpedo boat or gunboat role. As a torpedo boat, the planned armament was a single QF 12 pounder 12 cwt (3 in (76 mm) calibre) gun on a platform on the ship's conning tower (in practice the platform was also used as the ship's bridge), together with a secondary gun armament of three 6-pounder guns, and two 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes. As a gunboat, one of the torpedo tubes could be removed to accommodate a further two six-pounders. Thornycroft's design (known as the Ardent-class) was 201 feet 8 inches (61.47 m) long overall and 201 feet 6 inches (61.42 m) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 19 feet (5.79 m) and a draught of 7 feet 3 1⁄4 inches (2.22 m). Displacement was 245 long tons (249 t) light and 301 long tons (306 t) full load. Three Thornycroft water-tube boilers fed steam to 2 four-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines rated at 4,200 indicated horsepower (3,100 kW). Two funnels were fitted.The ship's complement was 45 officers and men.Boxer was laid down at Thornycroft's Chiswick shipyard, as Yard number 298, in February 1894. The ship was launched on 28 November 1894, with the naming ceremony performed by Miss Joan Thornycroft, daughter of the artist Hamo Thornycroft and niece of the yards founder John Isaac Thornycroft. Boxer underwent sea trials on 25 January 1895, reaching a speed of 29.076 knots (53.849 km/h; 33.460 mph) over the measured mile and 29.175 knots (54.032 km/h; 33.574 mph) over a three-hour run. She was completed in June 1895.

    In May 1896 Boxer joined the Mediterranean Squadron, taking part in trials to determine the optimum colour scheme for torpedo craft in order to reduce the chance of being spotted in night attacks. She remained part of the Mediterranean Squadron in 1901. From 1 January 1902 she was commanded by Lieutenant Bertram Owen Frederick Phibbs.[14] She underwent repairs to re-tube her boilers in 1902, following which Lieutenant Phibbs was back in command when she visited Lemnos in August.Boxer moved back to Home waters in 1911, joining the 6th Destroyer Flotilla, a patrol flotilla equipped with older destroyers. On 30 August 1912 the Admiralty directed all destroyers were to be grouped into classes designated by letters based on contract speed and appearance. After 30 September 1913, as a 27-knotter, Boxer was assigned to the A class. In March 1913 Boxer was a tender to the training establishment Excellent, being listed as in commission, but with a nucleus crew.By June 1915, the First World War had brought a return to active service, with Boxer forming part of the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla. Boxer collided with the merchant ship SS St Patrick in the English Channel in bad weather on 8 February 1918, sinking as a result, with the loss of one crewma.

    Eastern Front
    Ukraine: Czech Corps made part of Czech Army in France.
    Finland: Mannerheim moves Headquarter inland to Seinajoki rail junction, first 5 Swedish officers join him on February 10.

    Sea War
    Channel: Destroyer HMS Boxer lost by collision with SS St Patrick.
    Irish Sea: Only 3 Q-ships now based at Queenstown.
    Mediterranean: Revel memo detailing Italy’s weak maritime situation shocks Allies in Rome conference (until February 9) which concentrates on Otranto Barrage. British mobile concept approved. US Admiral Sims presents plan for Adriatic offensive involving 30,000 troops, 25,000 mines and 5 US battleships to seize Curzola Island and attack Cattaro. First Sea Lord Geddes goes on to tour Mediterranean bases, urging end to shipping delays (until February 17).

    Air War
    Britain: London Air Defence Area has 200 aircraft, 323 searchlights, 249 anti-aircraft guns.
    Germany: French bombers attack Saarbruecken.

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    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  41. #3041


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    9th February 1918

    Bertrand Russell is sentenced to six months in prison for advocating in public that the British government accept a German offer to open peace negotiations.

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    Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense".Russell was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom. In the early 20th century, Russell led the British "revolt against idealism". He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G. E. Moore and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create a logical basis for mathematics. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy".His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science (see type theory and type system) and philosophy, especially the philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics. Russell was a prominent anti-war activist and he championed anti-imperialism. Occasionally, he advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed and "welcomed with enthusiasm" world government. He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I.Later, Russell concluded war against Adolf Hitler was a necessary "lesser of two evils" and criticized Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought.

    Some key Bertrand Russell quotes:

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

    War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

    The War in the Air

    General Headquarters, February 10th.

    “Several successful reconnaissances were carried out by our aeroplanes on the 9th inst. in spite of low clouds, mist, and high winds. Hostile batteries were engaged effectively by our artillery with observation from the air, and nearly one ton of bombs was dropped by us on various targets. In air fighting, one hostile machine was driven down out of control. One of our machines is missing On the night of the 9th-ioth inst., our night-bombing machines carried out a successful raid into Germany, although the weather was by no means good. Nearly a ton of bombs was dropped with very good results on the important railway junction and sidings at Courcelles-les-Metz, south-east of Metz. One of our bombing machines is missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 126:

    In spite of low clouds and a strong wind, a certain amount of flying was done.

    Eight successful reconnaissances were completed (five by the 5th Brigade and three by the 3rd Brigade).

    Five hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and two neutralized; two gun-pits were destroyed, three damaged, three explosions and two fires caused. Seven zone calls were sent down.

    Fifty-two photographs were taken (all by the 5th Brigade), 138 bombs dropped, and 8,057 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:—

    Night 8th/9th - 9th Wing: 44 25-lb bombs on Courtrai, lights near Bisseghem, Menin, Moorslede, billets at Heule, and St. Denis Westrem by No 102 Squadron.

    By Day - 1st Brigade: 1st Wing dropped 30 25-lb bombs on miscellaneous targets and fired 4.090 rounds.

    3rd Brigade: 23 25-lb bombs were dropped and 870 rounds fired.

    5th Brigade: 15th Wing took 52 photographs, dropped 37 25-lb bombs and fired 2,597 rounds, and 22nd Wing dropped four 25-lb bombs.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft very slight and only one decisive combat took place.

    2nd-Lieut H H Hartley & Lieut R S Herring, 48 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south of Guise at 12:00/13:00 - 2nd-Lieut Hartley and Lieut Herring, No 48 Squadron, shot down one EA completely out of control and it was last seen a height of 2,000 feet still in the same condition. It was impossible two see the EA crash owing to clouds


    2nd-Lieut J L S Hanman (Ok) & Lieut Wood (Ok), 12 Sqn, RE8 A3766 - attacked by 6 EA at 6,200 feet over Sh51b.W.18 [east of Marquion] and shot through during line reconnaissance
    2nd-Lieut F R Hunt (Inj) & Lieut J E M Evans (Inj), 48 Sqn, Bristol F.2B B1210 - force landed 62c.V.28.a [north of Guizancourt] due engine failure on camera co-operation St Quentin
    2nd-Lieut G A C Manley (Pow), 54 Sqn, Camel B5417 – took off 09:35/10:35 and last seen at 8,000 feet east of line near Sissy during wireless interruption
    2nd-Lieut O B Swart (Pow) & 2nd-Lieut A Fielding-Clarke (Pow), 100 Sqn, FE2b B439 – took off 17:51/18:51 then missing from bombing Courcelles; engine failure

    There were just the two claims reported by aces on this day...

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    A total of five British Airmen were lost on this day

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    Eastern Front
    Central Powers sign separate peace with Ukraine including 1 million t food for Polish Kholm land.

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    Skoropadsky, Hetman of the Ukraine, talks to the Kaiser.

    The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on 3 March 1918 between the Russian SFSR and the Central Powers, but prior to that on 9 February 1918, the Central Powers signed an exclusive protectorate treaty (German: Brotfrieden, "peace for bread") with the Ukrainian People's Republic as part of the negotiations that took place in Brest-Litovsk, Grodno Governorate (now Brest, Belarus) recognizing the sovereignty of the Ukrainian republic. Although not formally annexing the territory of the former Russian Empire, Germany and Austria-Hungary secured food-supply support in return for providing military protection. The Quadruple Alliance recognized Ukraine as a neutral state. Because of the Bolshevik Russian aggression (see Group of forces in battle with the counterrevolution in the South of Russia), the Ukrainian People's Republic declared its independence under the government of the General Secretariat of Ukraine. In its declaration the General Secretariat announced elections for the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly to be held on 9 January 1918 and the first convocation on January 22 of the same year.

    On 17 December 1917, Vladimir Lenin as the head of the Sovnarkom released an ultimatum in which he accused the Central Rada of disorganizing the frontlines, stopping "any troops going into the region of the Don, the Urals, or elsewhere", sheltering political enemies such as the members of the Cadet party and ones who sided with Kaledine, as well as a requirement to "put an end to the attempts to crush the armies of the Soviet and of the Red Guard in Ukraine". Lenin gave 24 hours' notice to the government of what he called "the independent and bourgeois Republic of the Ukraine" to respond. Having Soviet armies already in Ukraine, the government of Ukraine had to act quickly to preserve the sovereignty of the state. The Ukrainian Central Rada expressed a desire for a peace treaty with foreign countries and its recognition worldwide. Since the representatives of the British and French Empires did not wish to recognize its sovereignty considering it as a part of their major ally, the Russian Empire, the treaty would give a chance for some recognition in face of the Central Powers. On 1 January 1918, a Ukrainian delegation headed by Vsevolod Holubovych arrived at Brest-Litovsk. The initial delegation beside Mykola Liubynsky, Oleksandr Sevriuk, and Mykola Levytsky included Mykhailo Poloz.

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    Signing of the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk during the night between 9 and 10 February 1918. Sitting in the middle from the left: Count Ottokar Czernin, Richard von Kühlmann and Vasil Radoslavov

    The peace negotiation was initiated by the government of Soviet Russia on 3 December 1917 represented by the delegation headed by the Ukrainian-born Leon Trotsky. Several resolutions were reached between 22–26 December and on 28 December 1917 an armistice was signed suspending hostilities at front-lines. Prior to that a Soviet government of Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic was formed in Kharkiv on 17 December 1917. The final undersigning was being procrastinated by Bolsheviks in hope of reaching some agreement with the Entente treaty members. On 12 January 1918, Count Ottokar Czernin as a representative of the Central Powers recognized the independent delegation from the Ukrainian People's Republic, but together with Csáky refused to discuss the questions of Halychyna, Bucovina, and Subcarpathian Rus. They agreed that the Kholm Governorate and the region of Podlachia were part of the Ukrainian People's Republic. The Russian Bolshevik delegation, headed by Leon Trotsky, had at first also recognized the independent Ukrainian delegation on January 10. The Ukrainian delegation returned on 20 January 1918 to Kiev, where the Tsentralna Rada proclaimed a fully sovereign Ukrainian state on January 25 (dated January 22). Right after this a new Ukrainian delegation was sent to Brest headed now by Oleksandr Sevriuk. Meanwhile, Bolshevik revolts occurred in different cities in Ukraine, which more or less forced the Ukrainian People's Republic – which was lacking organized military forces – to seek foreign aid.[However, the situation for the Central Powers was also critical, especially for Austria-Hungary, which suffered severe food shortages. On February 1, a plenary session of the Congress was attended also by the Soviet government of Ukraine in the presence of Yukhym Medvediev and Vasyl' Shakhrai. Nevertheless, the Central Powers continued to negotiate with the delegation from the Ukrainian People's Republic as the sole representatives of Ukraine. While the Tsentralna Rada was abandoning Kiev for Bolshevik troops, a peace treaty was signed in Brest-Litovsk during the night of February 8–9 over the Bolsheviks' protests.

    The German newspaper "Lubeck Ads" on its front page (Extrablatt) printed the announcement about "Peace with the Ukraine". "Today on 9 February 1918 at 2 o'clock in the morning the Peace between the Quadruple Alliance and the Ukrainian People's Republic was signed.

    Western Front
    Somme: GHQ allows Gough (Fifth Army) to conduct fighting withdrawal before expected spring offensive.

    Home Fronts
    Turkey: First Women’s Labour battalion (male officers initially) attached to First Army.

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    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  42. #3042


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    10th February 1918

    Eastern Front

    Brest-Litovsk: Trotsky (before leaving talks for 4th time) announces ‘no peace, no war’ against Central Powers though demobilization ordered.

    Leon Trotsky announces:
    We are going out of the war. We inform all peoples and their governments of this fact. We are giving the order for a general demobilisation of all our armies opposed at present to the troops of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria.

    Finland: Unarmed Finnish Civil Guards land in Aland Islands but forced out by Sweden.

    Sea War
    Adriatic: Poet D’Annunzio goes on failed raid by 3 MAS boats to attack 4 steamers near Fiume (night February 10-11).

    Home Fronts
    Britain: Information Ministry founded, Beaverbrook Minister (Ministry formally established March 4 ‘To direct the thought of most of the world’). c.4,500 motor vehicles using coal gas.
    Turkey: Death of Ex*-Sultan Abdul Hamid II (75, deposed 1909) at Manisa, Asia Minor.
    Germany: Kaiser addresses Homburgers ‘War is a disciplinary action by God to educate mankind … Our Lord God means us to have peace’.

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    US Navy recruiting poster

    The War in the Air

    General Headquarters, February 11th.

    “On the 10th inst. the weather was again overcast, with a high wind, which interfered with flying. Several reconnaissances were carried out by our aeroplanes, and hostile batteries were successfully engaged by our artillery with aerial observation. A few bombs were dropped by us on various targets behind the enemy's lines. No combats took place.”

    RFC Communiqué number 126:

    The weather was very overcast with a high wind and little flying was carried out.

    Five successful reconnaissances were completed (four by the 5th Brigade).

    Three hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and nine neutralized; two gun-pits were damaged, three explosions and two fires caused. Twenty-two zone calls were sent down.

    Thirty-five photographs were taken, 50 bombs dropped and 4,327 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:—

    1st Brigade: 1st Wing dropped 18 25-lb bombs and fired 800 rounds.

    3rd Brigade: 12th Wing took 10 photographs and dropped four 25-lb bombs on trench targets.

    5th Brigade: 15th Wing took 25 photographs and dropped 28 25-lb bombs and fired 3,527 rounds.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft activity was very slight and no combats took place.

    Capt G B Moore, 1 Sqn, Balloon in flames -



    There were however 5 British airmen lost on this day

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    There was just the one ace claiming a victory on this day

    Tenente Ferruccio Ranza claims his 14th and 15th ivctories of the war

    Ranza was a Sottotenente in the engineers when World War I broke out, being assigned on 8 November 1914 as a lieutenant in 1st Engineer Regiment. He attended the flight school at Venaria. His first assignment, on 14 October 1915, was to 43a Squadriglia to fly reconnaissance missions. He won a Bronze award of the Medal for Military Valor for carrying out an artillery spotting mission under heavy fire on 1 April 1916. However, Ranza had no success in aerial warfare until he transitioned to Nieuports and joined 77a Squadriglia on 22 June 1916. Five days later, flying a Nieuport 11, he downed a Hansa-Brandenburg C.I. On 14 September 1916, he shot down a seaplane[1] and received another Bronze award. By 25 November, he had four confirmed wins and one unconfirmed. He made another unconfirmed claim on 4 April 1917.

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    Fulco Ruffo di Calabria was removed from command of 91a Squadriglia because of combat fatigue; Ranza was appointed to succeed him in command, on 1 May 1917, while still flying with 77a Squadriglia through June. Ranza scored again on 23 June 1917, and would continue to score through the end of the war, with his last claims being two unconfirmed victories on 29 October 1918. He would be awarded two more Silver Medals for Military Valor. Ranza ended World War I having flown 465 combat sorties and had posted 20 aerial victory claims. In the process, he was promoted to captain. During the war, he had won three Silver awards of the Medal for Military Valor, the Serbian Order of the Star of Karađorđe, four war crosses (two Italian, one French, one Belgian), and the Military Order of Savoy.

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    Western Front

    A heavy raid is carried out by Australians against German positions south-east of Messines. Heavy casualties are inflicted on the enemy and thirty-seven prisoners brought back

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-12-2018 at 11:18.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  43. #3043


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    11th February 1918

    General Headquarters, February 12th.

    "On the 11th inst. mist, high winds, and low clouds again made weather conditions unfavourable for flying. Little work was possible with the artillery, but our aeroplanes carried out several successful reconnaissances, and dropped over a ton of bombs on various targets behind the enemy's lines. No fighting took place. To-day, our machines carried out a raid into Germany and bombed the town of Offenburg. Details of this raid have not yet been received."

    RFC Communiqué number 126:

    Clouds, mist and strong wind interfered flying, the weather being somewhat better on the 5th Brigade front.

    One hostile battery was neutralized, 14 registrations carried out, and a fire caused. Fourteen zone calls were sent down.

    One hundred and forty-four photographs were taken, 102 bombs dropped, and 4,376 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:-

    1st Brigade: Fourteen 25-lb bombs on miscellaneous targets by the 1st Wing.

    3rd Brigade: 12th Wing dropped 10 25-lb bombs and fired 500 rounds on various targets.

    5th Brigade: One hundred and forty-four plates were exposed and 8,876 rounds fired, 15th Wing dropped 66 25-lb bombs, and 22nd Wing dropped 12 25-lb bombs.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    E.A. activity was very slight. No combats took place.



    Leutnant Xavier Dannhuber was injured on this day

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    Xavier Dannhuber was shot down on 27 September 1917 near Pervijze (Pervyse) by a Nieuport 23 flown by Belgian pilot Lt. Goethals Jacques of Escadrille 5. Wounded in action on 18 October 1917, Dannhuber's Albatros is believed to have been shot down by Belgian ace Andre de Meulemeester. Dannhuber was credited with ten victories before crashing a Pfalz D.IIIa during a test flight at Thugny airfield on 11 February 1918. Recovering from his injuries, he resumed command of Jasta 79b on 9 October 1918. He scored his final victory of the war five days later, shooting down a Sopwith Dolphin near Bohain.

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    Pfalz D.III of Jasta 10

    The following aerial victories were claimed oday

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    There were (only) two British airmen lost on this day - the lowest number in several months

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    The special service ship HMS Cullist (also known as HMS Westphalia) is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-97 in the Irish Sea. Two Lieutenants killed have been previously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. A total of five officers, twenty seven ratings, two members of the Royal Marine Light Infantry and nine merchant marine reservists are lost in the sinking.

    Sub Lieutenant George Hambrook Dean Doubleday DSC is killed at age 22. He is the third son of the Reverend John Doubleday.
    Engineer Lieutenant Neil Shaw MacKinnon (Royal Naval Reserve) is also killed at age 40.

    During the First World War a young man from Wolverhampton signed up aboard HMS Cullist to "do his bit" in the war effort. HMS Cullist was a merchant vessel which had been equipped as a submarine decoy vessel or "Q-ship" as they were more commonly known. This young man wasn't famous, or even well known. He was just one of many from Wolverhampton that deserve to be.

    On May 17th 1917 the crew was mustered together at Pembroke Dock in Wales under the command of Lt. Cdr. S.H.Simpson. The crew consisted of a mix of marine personnel. Besides RN-personnel there were Royal Naval Reserves, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves, Royal Marine Light Infantry, and Mercantile Marine Reserves on board.

    A series of trials followed to test the ship and bring/blend the crew together into a cohesive fighting force. On the afternoon of July 13th 1917 the ship made, for the first time, contact with an enemy submarine in the English Channel. As no suspicions had been aroused regarding the nature of the vessel the U-boat opened fire from about 10 Km but not one shell or torpedo hit HMS Cullist. To shorten the range and increase its chances of hitting the ship the U-boat increased speed. However, when it came into the range of the British ship's guns, Lt.Cdr.Simpson decided to remove camouflage and attacked the submarine. The submarine was hit several times and, 'as discretion is sometimes the better part of valour', the U-boat Captain broke off the engagement and submerged. This successful action was marked by the award of 1 DSO, 2DSC's, 4DSM's and 3 MiD's.

    Approximately one month later, on August 20th 1917, HMS Cullist was attacked again by an U-boat in the Channel. This time she was not so lucky and one of the enemy shells penetrated her engine room and 2 stokers were injured. Fire was returned and this submarine, probably an UC-type, was hit a number of times and fled. For this action 3 DSM's were awarded.

    On her return to Devonport from this action the ship unfortunately hit the jetty and consequently had to spend some time in dry dock. On September 17th 1917 HMS Cullist claimed to have damaged an enemy submarine and noted 'target probably sunk'.

    On November 17th 1917 they fought another duel on a foggy sea when HMS Cullist scored several hits on the attacking submarine. On this accasion Lt.Cdr.Simpson described the submarine's condition as 'considerably damaged' and 'doubtful if he can reach his base'.

    Unfortunately, the run of luck enjoyed by HMS Cullist ran out on Febrary 11th 1918 when, following a surprise attack, the ship was torpedoed and sank within minutes. The attacking U-boat, U-97, came to the surface and the crew tried to locate Lt.Cdr.Simpson. Although he was wounded and in the water, the submarine's crew could not locate him and thought he had been killed in action. The U-boat commander then took a number of prisoners of war on board to prove his victory and left the combat zone. The remaining personnel were later picked up by the trawler James Green. Of the total of 70 crewmembers, 43 were killed in action, amongst them was William Ernest Lycett. William was the son of Edward Lycett and Winnifred Elwell of 61 Herbert Street, off Stafford Street, Wolverhampton. His body was never recovered for burial. He was 18 years old.

    Also sunk today when torpedoed in the English Channel by U-53 is the steamer Merton Hall (Master A Cameron). Her crew suffers fifty seven fatal casualties including her master. Also lost is

    Able Seaman Herbert Lawrence (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) whose son will be killed serving in the Royal Naval Air Force Reserve in the Second World War.

    USA: Wilson adds four war aims points in Congress address, says no general peace obtainable by separate negotiation.

    Sea War
    USSR: Soviet Red Fleet founded on volunteer basis, 5 commissars (Sovnarkom) to run Baltic Fleet on February 12.
    Adriatic: British Adriatic Force reorganized. Franco*-Italian net barraged completed between Fano Island and Corfu.

    Occupied Territories
    Belgium: Great Brussels demo against separate Flanders.

    Home Fronts

    Germany: Berlin papers prematurely hail peace with Russia.

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    Sceptical German view of Wilson as ‘peace make

    President Woodrow Wilsons Address to the US Congress 11th February 1918

    Gentlemen of the Congress:
    On the eighth of January I had the honor of addressing you on the objects of the war as our people conceive them. The Prime Minister of Great Britain had spoken in similar terms on the fifth of January. To these addresses the German Chancellor replied on the tweny-fourth and Count Czernin, for Austria, on the same day. It is gratifying to have our desire so promptly realized that all exchanges of views on this great mattter should be made in the hearing of all the world.

    Count Czernin's reply, which is directed chiefly to my own address of the eighth of January, is uttered in a very friendly tone. He finds in my statement a sufficiently encouraging approach to the views of his own Government to justify him in believing that it furnishes a basis for more detailed discusssion of purposes by the two Governments. He is represented to have intimated that the views he was expressing had been communicated to me beforehand and that I was aware of them at the time he was uttering them; but in this I am sure he was misunderstood. I had received no intimation of what he intended to say. There was, of course no reason why he should communicate privately with me. I am quite content to be one of his public audience.

    Count von Hertling's reply is, I must say, very vague and very confusing. It is full of equivocal phrases and leads it is not clear where. But it is certainly in a very different tone from that of Count Czernin, and apparently of an opposite purpose. It confirms, I am sorry to say, rather than removes, the unfortunate impression made by what we had learned of the conferences at Brest-Litovsk. His discussion and acceptance of our general principles lead him to no practical conclusions. He refuses to apply them to the substantive items which must constitute the body of my final settlement. He is jealous of international action and of international counsel. He accepts, he says, the principle of public diplomacy, but he appears to insist that it be confined, at any rate in this case, to generalities and that the several particular questions of territory and sovereignty, the several questions upon whose settlement must depend the acceptance of peace by the twenty-three states now engaged in the war, must be discussed and settled, not in general council, but severally by the nations most immediately concerned by interest or neighborhood. He agrees that the seas should be free, but looks askance at any limitation to that freedom by international action in the interest of the common order. He would without reserve be glad to see economic barriers resolved between nation and nation, for that could in no way impede the ambitions of the military party with whom he seems constrained to keep on terms. Neither does he raise objection to a limitation of armaments. That matter will be settled of itself, he thinks, by the economic conditions which must follow the war. But the German colonies, he demands, must be returned without debate. He will discuss with no one but the representatives of Russia what disposition shall be made of the people and the lands of the Baltic provinces; with no one but the Government of France the "conditions" under which French territory shall be evacuated; and only with Austria what shall be done with Poland. In the determination of all questions affecting the Balkan states he defers, as I understand him, to Austria and Turkey: and with regard to the agreement to be entered into concerning the non-Turkish peoples of the present Ottoman Empire, to the Turkish authorities themselves. After a settlement all round, effected in this fashion, by individual barter and concession, he would have no objection, if I correctly interpret his statement, to a league of nations which would undertake to hold the new balance of power steady against external disturbance. It must be evident to everyone who understands that this war has wrought in the opinion and temper of the world that no general peace, no peace worth the infinite sacrrifices of these years of tragical suffering, can possibly be arrived at in any such fashion. The method the German Chancellor proposes is the method of the Congress of Vienna. We cannot and will not return to that. What is at at stake now is the peace of the world. What we are striving for is a new international order based upon broad and universal principles of right and justice, -- no mere peace of shreds and patches. Is it possible that Count von Hertling does not see that, does not grasp it, is in fact living in his thought in a world dead and gone? Has he utterly forgotten the Reichstag Resolutions of the nineteenth of July, or does he deliberately ignore them? They spoke of the conditions of general peace, not of national aggrandisement or of arrangements between state and state. The peace of the world depends upon the just settlement of each of the several problems to which I adverted in my recent address to the Congress. I, of course, do not rnean that the peace of the world depends upon the acceptance of any particular set of suggestions as to the way in which those problems are to be dealt with. I mean only that those problems each and all affect the whole world; that unless they are dealt with in a spirit of unselfish and unbiased justice, with a view to the wishes, the natural connections, the racial aspirations, the security, snd the peace of mind of the peoples involved, no permanent peace will have been attained. They cannot be discussed separately or in cor ners. None of them constitutes a private or separate interest from which the opinion of the world may be shut out. Whatever affects the peace affects mankind, and nothing settled by military force, if settled wrong, is settled at all. It will presently have to be reopened.

    Is Count von Hertling not aware that he is speaking in the court of mankind, that all the awakened nations of the world now sit in judgment on what every public man, of whatever nation, may say on the issues of a confliet which has spread to every region of the world? The Reichstag Resolutions of July themselves frankly aceepted the decisions of that court. There shall be no annexations, no contributions, no punitive damage. Peoples are not to be handed about from onc sovereignty to another by an international conference or an understanding betwreen rivals and antagonists. National aspirations must be respected; peoples may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. "Self-determination" is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle of actions which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril. We cannot have general peace for the asking, or by the mere arrangements of a peace conference. It cannot be pieeed together out of individual understandings between powerful states. All the parties to this war must join in the settlement of every issue anywhere involved in it; beeause what we are seeing is a peace that we can all unite to guarantee and maintain and every item of it must be submitted to the common judgment whether it be right and fair, an act of justice, rather than a bargain between sovereigns.

    The United States has no desire to interfere in European affairs or to act as arbiter in European temitorial disputes. She would disdain to take advantage of any internal weakness or disorder to impose ber own will upon another people. She is quite ready to be shown that the settlements she has suggested are not the best or the most enduring. They are only her own provisional sketch of principles and of the way in which they should be applied. But she entered this war beeause she was made a partner, whether she would or not, in the sufferings and indignities inflicted by the military masters of Germany, against the peace and security of mankind; and the conditions of peace will touch her as nearly as they will touch any other nation to which is entrusted a leading part in the maintenance of civilization.. She cannot see her way to peace until the causes of this war are removed, its renewal rendered as nearly as may be impossible.

    This war had its roots in the disregard of the rights of small nations and of nationalities which lacked the union and the force to make good their claim to determine their own allegiances and their own forms of political life. Covenants must now be entered into which will render such things impossible for the future; and those covenants must be backed by the united force of all the nations that love justice and are willing to maintain it at any cost. If territorial settlements and the political relations of great populations which have not the organized power to resist are to be determined by the contracts of the powerful governments which consider themselves most directly affected, as Count von Hertling proposes, why may not economic questions also? It has come about in the altered world in which we now find ourselves that justice and the rights of peoples affect the whole field of international dealing as much as access to raw materials and fair and equal conditions of trade. Count von Hertling wants the essential bases of commereial and industrial life to be safeguarded by common agreement and guarantees but he cannot expect that to be conceded him if the other rnatters to be determined by the articles on peace are not handled in the same way as items in the final accounting. He cannot ask the benefit of common agreement in the one field without according it in the other. I take it for granted that he sees that separate and selfish compacts with regard to trade and the essential materials of manufacture would afford no foundation for peace. Neither, he may rest asssured, will separate and selfish compacts writh regard to provinces and peoples.

    Count Czernin seems to see the fundamental elements of peace with clear eyes and does not seek to obscure them. He sees that an independent Poland, made up of all the indisputably Polish peoples who lie contiguous to one another, is a matter of European concern and must of course be conceded; that Belgium must be evacuated and restored, no matter what sacrifices and concessions that may involve; and that national aspirations must be satisfied, even within his own Empire, in the common interest of Europe and mankind. If he is silent about questions which touch the interest and purpose of his allies more nearly than they touch those of Austria only, it must of course be because he feels constrained, I suppose, to defer to Germany and Turkey in the circumstances. Seeing and conceding, as he does, the essential principles involved and the necessity of candidly applying them, he naturally feels that Austria can respond to the purpose of peace as expressed by the United States with less embarrassment than could Germany. He would probably have gone much farther had it not been for the embarrassments of Austria's alliances and of her dependence upon Germany.

    After all, the test of whether it is possible for either goverament to go any further in this comparison of views is simple and obvious. The principles to be applied are these:

    First, that each part of the final settlement must be based upon the essential justice of that particular case and upon such adjustments as are most likely to bring a peace that will be permanent;
    Second, that peoples and provinces are not to be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were mere chattels and pawns in a game, even the great game, now forever discredited, of the balance of power; but that
    Third, every territorial settlement involved in this war must be made in the interest and for the benefit of the populations concerned, and not as a part of any mere adjustment or compromise of claims amongst rival states; and
    Fourth, that all well defined national aspirations shall be accorded the utmost satisfaction that can be accorded them without introducing new or perpetuating old elements of discord and antagonism that would be likely in time to breaks the peace of Europe and consequently of the world.
    A general peace erected upon such foundations can be discussed. Until such a peace can be secured we have no choice but to go on. So far as we can judge, these principles that we regard as fundamental are already everywhere accepted as imperative except among the spokesmen of the military and annexationist party in Germany. If they have anywhere else been rejected, the objectors have not been suffieiently numerous or influential to make their voices audible. The tragical circurmstance is that this one party in Germany is apparently willing and able to send millions of men to their death to prevent what all the world now sees to be just.

    I would not be a true spokesman of thc people of the United States if I did not say once more that we entered this war upon no small occasion, and that we can never turn back from a course chosen upon principle. Our resources are in part mobilised now, and we shall not pause until they are mobilised in their entirety. Our armies are rapidly going to the fighting front, and will go more and more rapidly. Our whole strength will be put into this war of emancipation, -- emancipation from the threat and attempted mastery of selfish groups of autocratic rulers, -- whatever the difficulties and present partial delays. We are indomitable in our power of independent action and can in no circumstances consent to live in a world governed by intrigue and force. We believe that our own desire for a new international order under which reason and justice and the common interests of mankind shall prevail is the desire of enlightened men everywhere. Without that new order the world will be without peace and human life will lack tolerable conditions of existence and development. Having set our hand to the task of achieving it, we shall not turn back.

    I hope that it is not necessary for me to add thst no word of what I have said is intended as a threat. That is not the temper of our people. I have spoken thus only that the whole world may know the true spirit of America -- that men everywhere may know that our passion for justice and for self-government is no mere passion of words but a passion which, once set in action, must be satisfied. The power of the United States is a menace to no nation or people. It will never be used in agression or for the aggrandisement of any selfish interest of our own. lt springs out of freedom and is for the service of freedom.

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    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  44. #3044


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    12th February 1918

    Captain the Honorable Harold Alfred Vivian St. George Harmsworth MC (Irish Guards) dies at home of wounds received in action in November 1917 at age 23. He is the son of Viscount Rothermere, chief proprietor of the Daily Mail. His brother was killed in November 1916. He was educated at Etonand Christ Church, Oxford. At Eton, where he was in Mr. Brinton’s house, he took prizes in science, history, and divinity,including the Rosebery history prize. He was a promising boxer, and won the school welterweight championship. Later, when he was at Christ Church, Oxford, he gained his blue for boxing,and represented the University against Cambridge in 1914. Hejoined the Irish Guards a few days after the outbreak ofwar, and went to the front in December 1914. Captain Harmsworth was held in affectionate esteem by the officers and men of the battalion with which he fought and fell. When, after being severely wounded in 1915 (it was his second wound), and recovering from an attack of trench fever, he was appointed to Lord French’s staff in London, his great desire was to be back in the trenches, and as soon as he was fit for active service he insisted upon resigning his Staff appointment, and returned to his battalion in the field. He went back to France for the third – and last – time in August of last year. Captain Harmsworth was awarded the Military Cross six weeks ago, when in hospital. Lord Rothermere’s second son, Lieutenant the Honorable Vere Harmsworth, R.N.V.R., was killed on 13th November 1916, while serving with the Royal Naval Division. His only surviving son is Lieutenant the Hon. Esmond Harmsworth, R.M.A.

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    The cruiser HMS Roxbourgh rams and sinks the German submarine U-89 off Northern Ireland, while on escort duty.

    MS Roxburgh was one of six Devonshire-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion and was transferred to the reserve Third Fleet in 1909. She was then assigned to the 5th Cruiser Squadron of the reserve Second Fleet in 1912 and the 3rd Cruiser Squadron the following year. Upon mobilisation in mid-1914 her squadron was assigned to the Grand Fleet and spent much of its time patrolling the northern exits from the North Sea and the Norwegian coast. She was torpedoed in mid-1915 by a German submarine and repairs took almost a year. Roxburgh was transferred to the North America and West Indies Station in mid-1916 and spent the rest of the war escorting convoys. She rammed a German submarine while escorting a convoy in early 1918. She was reduced to reserve in 1919, but recommissioned later that year for use as a radio training ship. The ship was paid off in 1920 and sold for scrap the following year.

    Roxburgh was designed to displace 10,850 long tons (11,020 t). The ship had an overall length of 473 feet 6 inches (144.3 m), a beam of 68 feet 6 inches (20.9 m) and a deep draught of 24 feet (7.3 m). She was powered by two 4-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one shaft, which produced a total of 21,000 indicated horsepower (16,000 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph). The engines were powered by seventeen Dürr and six cylindrical boilers. She carried a maximum of 1,033 long tons (1,050 t) of coal and her complement consisted of 610 officers and enlisted men. Her main armament consisted of four breech-loading (BL) 7.5-inch Mk I guns mounted in four single-gun turrets, one each fore and aft of the superstructure and one on each side. The guns fired their 200-pound (91 kg) shells to a range of about 13,800 yards (12,600 m).[4] Her secondary armament of six BL 6-inch Mk VII guns was arranged in casemates amidships. Four of these were mounted on the main deck and were only usable in calm weather. They had a maximum range of approximately 12,200 yards (11,200 m) with their 100-pound (45 kg) shells. Roxburgh also carried 18 quick-firing (QF) 3-pounder Hotchkiss guns and two submerged 18-inch torpedo tubes. Her two 12-pounder 8 cwt guns could be dismounted for service ashore. At some point in the war, the main deck six-inch guns of the Devonshire-class ships were moved to the upper deck and given gun shields. Their casemates were plated over to improve seakeeping and the four 3-pounder guns displaced by the transfer were landed. The ship's waterline armour belt had a maximum thickness of six inches (152 mm) and was closed off by five-inch (127 mm) transverse bulkheads. The armour of the gun turrets was also five inches thick whilst that of their barbettes was six inches thick. The protective deck armour ranged in thickness from .75–2 inches (19–51 mm) and the conning tower was protected by twelve inches (305 mm) of armour.

    Middle East
    Armenia: Turk Offensive (45,000-50,000 in 8 divisions with 160 guns) begins with taking Cardakli on Zara-Sivas road and advance to Erzincan (February 14). Colonel Morel’s 2,000 Armenians with 6 guns make epic retreat to Erzerum (February 14-25).

    Eastern Front
    Southern Russia: Reds capture two points on Novorossiisk*-Tsaritsyn railway and defeat Polish Corps at Rogachev.

    Sea War
    Eastern Atlantic: U-89 rammed and sunk off Malin Head (North Ireland) with all hands by British cruiser Roxburgh (night February 12-13).

    Air War
    Germany: 12 DH4s of No 55 Squadron bomb railways and barracks at Offenburg (Baden).
    Salonika: 20 Royal Flying Corps bombers burn out Cestovo ammo dump.

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    DH.4 of 55 Squadron (having finally plucked up the courge to attempt a repaint - my first ever attempt will be to to produce a 55 Squadron DH.4 from the ARES American one... wish me luck - editor)

    General Headquarters, February 13th.

    "On the 12th inst. weather conditions again rendered flying practically impossible. Work in conjunction with the artillery was attempted, and a few hostile batteries were engaged. Bombs were also dropped by our aeroplanes on various targets behind the enemy's lines, and machine-gun fire was opened from the air upon his trenches. In the raid carried out by us yesterday into Germany, over one and a quarter tons of bombs were dropped on the barracks and railway station south of Offenburg with excellent results. Several direct hits were observed on the railway station and line and on a railway workshop. Several bursts were seen also in the vicinity of the barracks. Two fires were started in the town. One of our aeroplanes also carried out a successful reconnaissance of hostile aerodromes in Germany. All our machines returned."

    RFC Communiqué number 127:

    Little flying was possible owing to the bad weather continuing, although in the afternoon it cleared somewhat particularly in the south, but at no time was work with artillery really possible.
    Four batteries were neutralised; three targets registered, and seven zone calls sent down.
    Eighty-seven photographs were taken, 45 bombs dropped and 2,035 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:-

    1st Brigade: 10th Wing dropped eight 25-lb bombs and fired 500 rounds.
    2nd Brigade: 2nd Wing dropped two 25-lb bombs.
    3rd Brigade: 12th Wing took 36 photographs, dropped two 25-lb bombs and fired 625 rounds.
    5th Brigade: 15th Wing dropped 10 25-lb bombs and fired 910 rounds.
    8th Brigade: 51 photographs. Five 230- lb, four 112-lb and four 40-lb phosphorus bombs were dropped by No 55 Squadron on barracks and railway station at Offenburg (Germany).

    Bombing - 8th Brigade: twelve machines of No 55 Squadron carried out a raid into Germany - the barracks and railway station at Offenburg being the objectives. As the results of bombs bursts, two large fires were caused, one in the north and one in south of the town. Several direct hits were obtained on the railway station and on the line, and one on railway workshop. Several bursts were seen around the barracks, and a direct hit was obtained on a house just beside the building. Four E.A. were seen over the objectives but these did not attack. Thirty-three photographs were taken. All our machines returned.

    Miscellaneous - A machine of No 55 Squadron carried out a successful photographic reconnaissance of hostile aerodromes in Germany, exposing 18 plates.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    E.A. activity was very slight. No combats took place.


    Lieut W B Andrew (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut F G Todd (Kia), 55 Sqn, DH4 A7730 - killed in action ?

    The following claims were made today - astonishingly we have two pilots (both Canadian) with FIVE kills apiece on this day

    William George "Billy" Barker, VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Two Bars claims five kills in a day- a feat he will achieve an amzing five times before the end of the war. He was flying his favourite plane - Sopwith Camel B6313 the single most successful fighter plane in the history of the RFC/RAF.

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    Lieutenant Harold Byrn "Steve" Hudson MC was flying Sopwith Camel B6356 when he matched Barkers haul of five victories in a day

    The son of a doctor and a native of England, Harold Byrn Hudson's family emigrated to British Columbia in 1912. Joining the Royal Flying Corps in 1917, he became a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 24 May 1917. Posted to Italy, he flew the Sopwith Camel with 28 Squadron and shared in several victories over kite balloons with his flight commander, William Barker. He was reassigned to 45 Squadron at the end of May 1918. After the war, Hudson returned to British Columbia where he worked in the pulp and papermill industries.

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    Eight British airmen were lost on this day

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    Captain Tunstll's Men (enjoying better weather now on the Italian front)

    Front line trenches on the Montello, between roads 14 and 19.

    It seems likely that it was during this tour in the line that a number of incidents occurred which 2Lt. Bernard Garside (see 27th January) would later relate in the memoir he wrote for his young niece and nephew,

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    “It was on the Piave too I first had bullets flying near me. I had gone down to the front line and was standing reading my map and looking round me on the top of the trench, for I loved maps then and do now. Suddenly I heard something twanging the wires just in front of me and heard an aeroplane up above. I realised pretty soon that our guns were firing and it and the bullets were dropping practically on me. You bet I soon got into the trench. Of course they would only have given me a nasty knock on my steel helmet, but still … Another incident shows you the kind of pranks soldiers can play on each other. Our Company Commander, going visiting our sentries in the front line one night, found a sentry from the next Company nodding. He cried, “Hands up!” and then showed him how neglectful he was. The sentry told some sort of yarn about this which made his Company’s officers think it was a dirty trick, so they were wild. Next night, our Company Commander had to go on a patrol and cross the shingle, and the Company next door knew this, so they pretended they thought the noise heard was the Austrians and fired their Lewis guns just over his head, scaring him badly. The Officer who did this was called Airey (2Lt. Stephen Brown Airey, see 9th October 1917), and came from Skipton and your Mummy knows him”.

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    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  45. #3045


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    13th February 1918

    Yet another very quiet day, hard work in these winter months, so little happening, anywhere...

    So its put on a bit of Glenn Miller (and why not?) get myelf a cheeky half.. and see what I can find

    The War in the Air

    General Headquarters, February 14th.

    “On the 13th inst., little work was possible owing to low clouds and rain. A few reconnaissances were carried out by our aeroplanes in the early morning, and bombs were dropped on various targets."

    RFC Communiqué number 127:

    Practically no flying was done owing to rain and mist.

    5th Brigade was able to carry out three reconnaissances, and machines of this Brigade also dropped bombs.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    2nd-Lieut P K Hobson, 84 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed north-east of St Quentin at 12:10/13:10


    Capt H H W Bean (Wia), 52 Sqn, RE8 - wounded in knee in combat on dawn reconnaissance

    Inspite of the generally dire weather there were still eight British airmen lost on this day

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    There were only the two verified claims by aces on this day

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    On 10 May 1917, Percy Kyme Hobson MC joined the Royal Flying Corps. Posted to 84 Squadron on 22 October 1917, he scored 7 victories flying the S.E.5a.

    T./2nd Lt. Percy Kyme Hobson, Gen. List and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Observing a large body of troops with transport, he descended to within 200 feet, and, despite very severe enemy rifle and machine gun fire from the ground, dropped four bombs, three of which were direct hits on the transport, causing severe casualties, which were increased by the accurate machine gun fire brought to bear on his target. On a later occasion, he observed a large body of troops moving across the open, and attacked these with bombs and machine gun fire, causing many casualties and scattering them in all directions. He has been responsible for the destruction of four enemy machines, and has at all times shown a complete disregard for personal danger.

    Western Front

    Germany: Ludendorff promises Kaiser victory in proposed spring offensive.
    Champagne: *French finally eliminate Tahure*-Butte du Mesnil Salient, US guns give fire support, 177 PoWs. German counter-attack on February 18.
    Northwest of of Passchendaele a German party attacks and temporarily captures two British outposts. The enemy is subsequently ejected by a counter-attacak.

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    Poster glibly assuring Germany that their army would win the freedom of the seas.

    Eastern Front
    Germany: Bad Homburg Crown Council decides on further advance into Russia, Kaiser demands Bolsheviks be ‘beaten to death’.
    Don: Kaledin commits suicide at Novocherkassk, having raised only 147 Cossack volunteers, Nazarov elected Ataman (until February 25).

    Sea War

    Adriatic: Around this day submarine Bemouilli probably lost to mines.

    More from our reporters on the ground in Worcestershire (covering the Worcestershire Regiment)

    War Front:

    1st Batt: At 6am the enemy raided Nos 12 and 13 posts with a raiding party 50 strong. The Front Line was only saved in daylight by a swift, well-thought out counterattack by 2Lt SG Russell. Casualties in B Coy were 1 other rank killed, 3 OR wounded and 3 OR missing. 1 officer and 1 OR joined the Batt.

    2nd Batt: All officers attended a lecture on pigeons.

    10thBatt: Batt relieved in Front Line by the Artists Rifles and proceeded to huts at Assaye Camp, Beaulencourt.

    Home Front:

    NATIONAL INSURANCE – Getting Benefits Without Sickness – At the City Police Court today, Evelyn Derry (16) 11 Spa Row, was summoned for making two false representations for the purpose of obtaining sickness benefit from the Prudential Approved Society. Mrs Derry, her mother, was summoned for aiding and abetting.

    COUNTY POLICE BONUS – A special meeting of the Standing Joint Committee was held at the Shirehall on Saturday. A report had been considered by the Chief Constable, who stated that he had received petitions from members of the police force for an increase of the present war bonus. He recommended that the present bonus be increased from January 1st to 10s per week for married men and 8s per week for single men, to include all ranks.

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-14-2018 at 01:36.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  46. #3046


    Apologies for the image problems with the latest post I am trying to rectify, but the internet seems to hate me.
    Message received Reg (see below) I will go back to splitting them across the page.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-14-2018 at 01:40.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  47. #3047


    Sorry to add to your problems Chris but the casualty reports have got very small small again and my old eyes are not what they used to be. (In fact, thinking about it, none of me is what it used to be!).

  48. #3048


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    Meet you in the bar for drinks after the presses stop running as this is my 1000th post on this thread...

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    The Pulitzer Prize

    14th February 1918

    So its Valentine's day 1918 - I am guessing there is not much love going around on the Western front.

    General Headquarters, February 15th.

    “On the 14th inst. low clouds and mist continued and greatly impeded flying. In spite of these unfavourable conditions reconnaissances were attempted by our aeroplanes, and a few bombs were dropped behind the enemy's lines. A hostile convoy and troops on the road were attacked with machine-gun fire from a low altitude. One of our machines is missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 127:

    The weather was again very misty and the sky completely overcast; but a machine of the 1st Brigade dropped four 25-lb bombs on Lorgies and fired 200 rounds from a height of 50 feet into a convoy of troops on the Hénin-Liétard – Douai road.


    Capt S J Sibley (Pow) & 2nd-Lieut O G S Crawford (Pow), 48 Sqn, Bristol F.2B B1254 – took off 10:05/11:905 and last seen flying east over St Quentin on special low reconnaissance.

    The only claim I can find on this day is from Leutnant Mermann Leptien of Jasta 21. This was his second kill, he would go on to score another six including the American ace Richard Alexander "Alex" Hewat

    Despite (or maybe because of) the poor weather there were still eight British airmen lost on this day

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    Eastern Front
    USSR – RED ARMY FORMED (Decree published on February 23): Volunteer force, commanders to get 4 months basic training at four cities.

    The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army (Russian: Рабоче-крестьянская Красная армия (РККА), Raboche-krest'yanskaya Krasnaya armiya (RKKA), frequently shortened in Russian to Красная aрмия (КА), Krasnaya armiya (KA), in English: Red Army, also in critical literature and folklore of that epoch – Red Horde, Army of Work) was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution (Red October or Bolshevik Revolution). The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations (especially the various groups collectively known as the White Army) of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991

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    In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and that is to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army (the standing army to be replaced by the arming of the entire people)." At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. Approximately 23% (about 19 million) of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized; however, most of them were not equipped with any weapons and had support roles such as maintaining the lines of communication and the base areas. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million.

    While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, and, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe." Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed mainly of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army; men, along with some women, flooded the recruitment centres. If they were turned away they would collect scrap metal and prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army.

    The Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for war, Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Samoisky, Steinberg were also specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army. The demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery, convoys and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; only an immediate signing of the peace treaty will save us from destruction.

    Middle East
    Palestine: British XX Corps prelim 2-mile advance on 6-mile front occupies two villages northeast of Jerusalem.

    Secret War
    Western Mediterranean: U-35 lands 2 agents and 12 cases of anthrax germs (immediately seized) off Cartagena, Spain.

    Canada: Death of British Ambassador to Washington Sir Cecil Spring*-Rice at Ottawa. Lord Reading (arrived February 11) succeeds.

    The War Diary Of The Master Of Belhaven

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: The former Battalion Chaplain, Rev. Wilfred Leveson Henderson MC (see 21st November 1917), who had been severely wounded in the attack on the Messines Ridge on 7th June, appeared before an Army Medical Board at Yorkhill War Hospital, Glasgow. The Board found that, “He has made progress since his last Board. He has been walking considerable distances with sticks and never uses his crutches. The pain has become less. He can walk about the house without the aid of sticks and the pain has greatly decreased in his legs. His special boot is acting admirably”. He was granted a further months’ leave before being re-examined.

    Four days after confirmation was given that 2Lt. Maurice Tribe MC (see 10th February) was unfit for any medical category higher than CII, making him fit only for garrison duty at home, notice was issued that Tribe was to undertake a course in metallurgy in the Technical Department at the University of Sheffield, under the Ministry of Munitions, in lieu of regimental duty.

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    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  49. #3049


    Quote Originally Posted by Hedeby View Post
    Apologies for the image problems with the latest post I am trying to rectify, but the internet seems to hate me.
    Message received Reg (see below) I will go back to splitting them across the page.
    Time for an upgrade then Chris.You should never knowingly be under gunned.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  50. #3050

    Default Congrats

    Many, many congratulations on reaching the impressive milestone of 1000 editorial posts. I will be honoured to join you in the Mess for a celebratory drink or two.