17th May 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Zurich – Marcel Roland de Quervain, Swiss glaciologist, “known for his fundamental work on the metamorphism and physical properties of snow.”

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/487087/Marcel-Roland-de-Quervain

War!

Anatolia: In the Armenian city of Van, in eastern Turkey, the one month long siege of the city by Ottoman forces intent on suppressing Armenian activists is relieved by the arrival of Russian troops from the city of Malazgirt, temporarily under Russian control.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Van_%281915%29

On the (British) Home Front: The Liberal Government (Asquith’s first ministry) is brought down by high levels of unpopularity, partly fuelled by the continuing failures at Gallipoli.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Government_1905%E2%80%9315

27th April 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Alexandropol in the Russian Empire (now Gyumri in western Armenia, near the Turkish border)  – Hovhannes (Onik) Tadevosi Karapetyan, poet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hovhannes_Shiraz

War!

War at Sea: In the Straits of Otranto, between Italy and Albania, where the French are attempting to blockade the Austro-Hungarian navy inside the Adriatic (ie preventing access to the wider Mediterranean), the Austrian submarine U-5 torpedoes and sinks the cruiser Leon Gambetta, sending 547 sailors to their death. [Burg & Purcell].

 Africa: At Gibeon Station in German South West Africa (now Namibia)  – 41 German and South African soldiers die in battle.

http://www.trenchfighter.com/41815/205801.html

Western Front: GAS!

The 3rd and 4th [gas] attacks took place on 26-27 April 1915 at Steenstrate-Lizerne, near Ieper, in which British, Sikhs and French were the victims. To the left of the Sikhs were French Colonial troops with essentially North Africans and at their right were the British. The Ferozepur Brigade, and the French colonial troops to the left of them, were the worst hit. More gas attacks followed on 27-29 April and 01-02 May 1915 and the victims were again British, Sikhs, Pathans, French and Algerians. [http://www.sikhiwiki.org/].

http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Menin_Gate_and_the_Sikhs

24th April 1915 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Bletchingley, Surrey, England – Field Marshal Richard Michael Power (Baron) Carver, GCB, CBE, DSO & Bar, MC, educated at Winchester and Sandhurst; Chief of General Staff and Head of the British Army from 1973 to 1976.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Carver,_Baron_Carver

War!

On the (Turkish) Home Front: In Istanbul the authorities arrest around 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders, today being conventionally referenced as the start of the Armenian massacres which some describe as a holocause or genocide. An estimated 1 to 1.5 million Armenians will die in the troubles ahead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide

http://hmd.org.uk/content/24041915-deportation-armenian-intellectuals-istanbul

On the (English) Home Front: In East London (UK)Leyton Orient football (soccer) club beat visitors Leicester City 2-0  to maintain their position at 9th in England’s second division.

http://www.statto.com/football/stats/results/1915-04-24/leyton-orient-v-leicester-city

On the Western Front: at the Battle of St Julien (Ypres), the German army releases more chlorine gas, successfully breaking the line of the Canadian 1st Division, who have been advised to counteract the gas by urinating on thier handkerchiefs.

http://ww1cemeteries.com/ww1cemeteries/second_battle_of_ypres.htm

20th April 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Rio de Janeiro – Aurora Miranda da Cunha Richaid, Brazilian entertainer, and sister of Carmen.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Aurora+Miranda+da+Cunha+Richaid&biw=992&bih=513&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Q30yVaLBLsqxygP2kYDYCw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&dpr=2.5#imgrc=juLuhVPQfVVP4M%253A%3BST7ncRLcj40yHM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fupload.wikimedia.org%252Fwikipedia%252Fcommons%252F5%252F5c%252FAurora_Miranda_Tres_Caballeros.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fen.wikipedia.org%252Fwiki%252FAurora_Miranda%3B480%3B360

War!

Dardanelles: More than 200 ships are now assembled in the harbour at Mudros, Lemnos, in preparation for the British and French invasion of Turkey.

http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/5environment/timelines/100-events-gallipoli-campaign/april-may-1915.html

Turkish Armenia: In Van, in Eastern Turkey, during an incident between Armenian citizens and the Turkish authorities, two Armenians are shot dead, escalating to reprisals, and then to the “siege” of the City by Turkish troops and a corresponding insurgency by Armenian resistance forces.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Van_%281915%29#City_under_siege.2C_20_April

The view from Cairo: T.E.Lawrence writes to a colleague about his frustrations and experiences as an Intelligence Officer in Egypt:

“It’s very dull: but of course I haven’t any training as a field officer, and I don’t know that I want to go fighting up to Constantinople. It would be bad form, I think. The only place worth visiting is A [Alexandretta – on the modern Syria/ Turkey border] and they are all afraid of going there, for fear of hurting the feelings of our allies. [ie the French, who have designs on Syria].

“The [Suez] Canal is still holding out, and we are forgetting all about it. Turkey, if she is wise, will raid it from time to time, and annoy the garrison there, which is huge, and lumbersome, and creaks so loudly in the joints that you hear them eight hours before they move…

… I bought you a seal the other day. It’s probably the only one you’ll get from us this year, which is almost its only virtue. One wouldn’t have bought it anywhere else, but in Cairo it was refreshing. For Leeds, I am sending a mediaeval dagger pommel – or piece of horse-trapping – bought in Jerusalem lately.

Poor old Turkey is only hanging together. People always talk of the splendid show she has made lately, but it really is too pitiful for words. Everything about her is very very sick, and almost I think it will be good to make an end of her, though it will be very inconvenient to ourselves. I only hope that Aleppo and Damascus will escape a little the fate that has come upon Cairo. Anything fouler than the town buildings, or its beastly people, can’t be”.

http://www.telstudies.org/writings/letters/1915-16/150420_hogarth.shtml

8th April, 1915 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Zagreb, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now the capital of Croatia) – Ivan Supek, Croatian physicist, philosopher, playwright, writer and peace activist [Wikipedia].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Supek

War!

The (Turkish) Home Front: In Zeitoun, in Cilicia, south east Turkey, the Turkish government begins the first of its year long systematic program of deporting Armenians. The official justification for the program is the belief that Armenians have been supporting, and in some cases fighting alongside, Russian invading forces from the Caucasus region.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=H0mfmdThGLAC&pg=PA642&lpg=PA642&dq=8th+april+1915&source=bl&ots=GIqijy0oQb&sig=ckm7S0LUp6E7Uvg6M9K915AP9Hk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nXUdVav7OtHmaNiWgNAD&ved=0CEgQ6AEwCTgK#v=onepage&q=8th%20april%201915&f=false

4th March, 1915 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: The Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade: “Shipped to Egypt without horses where it was broken up 26 August 1915″. [http://www.diggerhistory.info/].

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-a-l-horse/4th_lh_bde.htm

War!

Counting chickens: The Allied “Triple Entente” nations – Russia, France and Britain – begin secret talks on how to divide up the lands of the Ottoman Empire (The “Constantinople Agreement”, agreed two weeks from today on 18th March 1915). In the event, the agreement is never implemented because: firstly, the British and French campaign in the Dardanelles fails; and secondly, the Russian empire collapses (temporarily at least) with the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, which takes Russia out the war (and the subsequent peace) completely.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantinople_Agreement

In the Dardanelles: HMS Agamemnon spends the day with its 9.2 inch Mk XI guns trained relentlessly on the Turkish forts at Sedd el Bahr (“Walls of the Sea”).

Across Turkey’s north west frontier, in Bulgaria (its recent foe in the second Balkan War): The Bulgarian Armenian Committee telegraphs to London confirming a force of 20.000 Armenian Volunteers who want to fight against the Turks and await British assistance to assist them to Iskenderun province (the ancient greek city of Alexandretta on the borders of Turkey and what is now Syria).

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=80c_1416808936

Peace:

Life on the land: In Connecticut, USA – farmer Frank Seger records his day in his diary:

“8 Above” [that is,  8 Fahreneit – well below freezing]

“Clear & cold as Hell and Damnation. Began to warm up after noon. Heman took the milk. Lewis dug load of dirt down in the little meadow for box stall was 8 inches of frost. Cleaned out barn to load of munare [sic] up to Comestocks. Boys cut some stalks. I went up and helped Rubin Wolf saw down trees.”

http://www.onsegermountain.org/seger/march1915.html

5th February, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in New York City – Robert Hofstader, Nobel prize winning nuclear physicist.

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1961/hofstadter-facts.html

War!

In the Ottoman Empire: the Philadelphia “Saturday Evening Post” publishes a Turkish proclamation announcing and justifying the deportation of Armenians from the Empire.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Up6V6UFMCqAC&pg=PA641&lpg=PA641&dq=5th+february+1915&source=bl&ots=Um5mFRiG79&sig=TxakTyFs1oZCuc0hypEiGL8RUXU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6c7MVPWhNYTWarbFgMAL&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBTgo#v=onepage&q=5th%20february%201915&f=false

On the Home Front: in London, Lancelot Dickinson Chapman is exposed in the Daily Mirror newspaper under the headline “Bogus VC Hero” after he spent several months “invent[ing] a persona for himself as a battlefield hero” . Later in the month he is sentenced to 10 months hard labour for his deception. [Great War London, blog].

https://greatwarlondon.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/a-fake-hero/