9th March 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Pietramelara, in Italy’s Campania region – Felice Leonardo, 100 years old today, but still only third in the ranking of the oldest currently surviving catholic bishops.




War at Sea: In the seas around Britain, Germany is carrying out fully its threat to merchant shipping, sinking 4 cargo vessels today in separate locations from St Abbs Head in Scotland to Liverpool Bay in the west and the English channel in the south. Most crews are rescued, but 52 merchant seamen lose their lives.


Gunboat diplomacy: The British end their bombardment of Smyrna (then a significant Greek city on the western shore of Asia Minor in the Ottoman Empire, now the wholly Turkish city of Izmir). In Greece, a new premier is appointed after his predecessor resigned in response to the Greek King’s pro-german sympathies. Meanwhile the British Government is attempting to justify its recent occupation of the Greek Island of Lemnos as a “military necessity”.



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