19th December 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Saxony, Germany – Dietrich Hrabak, World War 2 fighter ace.



Western Front: in response to a request from the French military, the British commander, (confusingly, General French), orders an attack on German forces at Givenchy. “In freezing rain between La Bombe Crossroads, near Neuve-Chapelle, and La Bassée Canal”, the Indian Corps succeed “in taking the first two German lines despite coming under heavy machine gun fire and, further to the north, the Garhwal Brigade and the Gurkhas [take] 300 metres of the opposing line at Festubert; however the enemy [is] quick to regroup and launched counter-attacks in the same morning, supported by artillery and making great use of hand grenades…British losses [are] high, especially among the Indian units. In addition to the wounds inflicted by German bullets and shells, many of the victims [are] suffering from frostbite and trench foot” [http://www.remembrancetrails-northernfrance.com/]


Letters home: Private Leppard from the south of England writes home to his mother from the front:

“The soldiers at the front need more rest. While in the trenches the water is over our knees most of the time. The war is going to last some time yet, and might be another twelve months before it is over. The war has only just begun and its going to be a war of exhaustion. After the regular armies have done their work it means that all the young lads at home being trained and disciplined and will take our place in the field. The sooner people understand this, the better, it will be for the nation.” [Spartacus Educational]


The bric-a-brac of war: In Scarborough, in eastern England, which suffered a german naval attack three days ago, local officials are being asked to provide pieces of shell and shrapnel to help recruitment drives across the country…



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