Diary February 29, 1916

Germans launch grenade attack

German troops at Verdun scramble up the soft earth of a devastated trench to launch a grenade attack.

Diary for Tuesday, February 29, 1916:

Western Front

Verdun: Bloody struggle round Fresnes and salient. Falkenhayn finally agrees to attack on west bank of Meuse, releases 4 divisions and 84 heavy guns for it).
February losses: 30,000 French, 25,000 Germans.

Southern Fronts

Salonika: Malaria discoverer Sir R Ross writes to warn British Army Medical Director General Keogh, urging regular quinine and anti-mosquito measures: ‘You still have about two months grace before General Malaria comes in the field…’.
Italian Front: Mussolini promoted corporal for steady service.

Middle East

Mesopotamia, Kut: Battle casualties to date 2,927 plus 443 deaths from disease.

Sea War

Germany: Chancellor Bethmann memo to Kaiser expresses fear that unrestricted U-boat warfare will precipitate US intervention. U­-boat campaign to resume in War Zone, but only enemy vessels to be attacked inside or out.
North Sea: 20­ minutes action between German raider Greif (crew 306 men) and British AMC Alcantara northeast of Shetlands, both sunk. Möwe gets home as Royal Navy radio D/F assumes she is sailing westward.
During February record of 14 British ships sunk (4 in Mediterranean) by mines, number equalled only in April and May 1917.

Air War

Verdun: Commandant Peuty in command of French air force in sector orders offensive patrols in formation to destroy German aircraft.

Politics

Germany: Government tells US she will not postpone ‘unlimited’ U-boat war from midnight (actually intensified till end May).
Italy: Italians seizes German ships in her ports.

Home Fronts

France: Maritime Transport Committee formed.
Britain: ­National Volunteer Force accepted for Home Defence.
Prohibited list of enemy firms in neutral countries published.
Field Marshal French takes his seat in House of Lords as Viscount Ypres.

Call of War
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