Diary February 21, 1916

German artillerymen operating a eight-inch (21-cm) howitzer

German artillerymen operating one of the 128 eight-inch (21-cm) howitzers deployed against Verdun.

Diary for Monday, February 21, 1916:

Western Front

BATTLE OF VERDUN BEGINS (until December 18): From 0715 hours violent 9-hour artillery preparation by 1,240 guns (including 150 mortars) on 8-mile front including gas shells (French field guns reply from 1300 hours). Led by 6,000 picked men (including 96 flamethrowers), 140,000 Germans (600 casualties) attack across 656-1203-yards No Man’s Land. They enter Herbebois and Le Bois de Ville; seize Haumont Wood and part of Caures Wood; shelling heard 100 miles away in Vosges.

see also: Battle of Verdun

Flanders­: Germans attack French positions in Givenchy woods near Bethune and take PoWs; gas attack at Maucourt Rouvray.

Southern Fronts

Greece: General Sarrail visits King of Greece.

Air War

Germans begin ‘barrage patrols’ over Verdun offensive, 168 aircraft including 21 Fokker Es (Boelcke from own landing ground 7 miles behind front). French shoot down Zeppelin L77.

Politics

Anglo-French reply to US 25 January protest offers postwar international tribunal. General Sarrail in Athens.

Home Fronts

Britain: House of Commons votes £ 120million (total £ 1,420 million for year). Adjutant-general Home Forces Sclater resigns, Macready succeeds following day. Second Industries Fair (London, until March 3).

Call of War
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