Flanders – Battle of Neuve Chapelle (until March 13): Although Joffre has abandoned his planned March combined offensive, Sir J French persists with BEF contribution. After a 35-minutes bombardment by 342 guns (5 burst due to dud fuses) 4 divisions (Lahore, Meerut, 7th and 8th British) attack at 0805 hours on 4,000-yard front. Neuve Chapelle village captured with 4 lines of trenches by 1200 hours, but advance quickly bogs down after 1,200 yards. Germans launch counterattacks, ammunition runs short; by dusk German 2nd line trenches taken with 750 PoWs.
Dardanelles: Kitchener tells Hamilton (GOC Central Force England) he will command MEF; 29th Division ordered to embark.
Dardanelles: Minesweepers try to work at night, 1 sunk, only 4 kts possible across current.
North Sea: Destroyer HMS Ariel rams and sinks U12 off Aberdeen.
Western Front: RFC simultaneously introduces 5 innovations in Neuve Chapelle battle, uses 7 squadrons with 85 aircraft.
1) ‘Clock System’ whereby the observer plots the fall of shot on a segmented celluloid disc.
2) photo-mosaic mapping of German trench system, by end of February.
3) systematic medium and long-range patrolling of approaches to battlefield;
4) synchronization and co-ordination of bombing plan (mainly rail targets) with main battle plan (3 aircraft bomb German division HQ at Fournes);
5) ‘contact patrols’ intended to disclose precise locations of advancing infantry.
Eastern Front: Warsaw bombed by German Army airships LZ30 and LZ34.
Britain: War Council discusses postwar territorial claims and for 1st time war aims. Churchill urges German Fleet’s surrender. Tory leaders Bonar Law and Lord Lansdowne attend for first and only time.
Germany: War aims comittee envisages controlling French coast to mouth of river Somme.
China: Revolutionary Party denounces Japan’s 21 Demands, calls for President’s overthrow. Shanghai rally resolves to boycott Japanese goods on March 18 but prohibited on March 25.