Diary March 17, 1917

British 'tribal transport' porters

Some 1,500 British ‘tribal transport’ porters. All the armies involved in East Africa relied to a very considerable extend on head-carrying to get their supplies forward; the porters were often coerced into serving, poorly paid, and not always well treated.

World War One Diary for Saturday, March 17, 1917:

African Fronts

East Africa: Hoskins asks for 15,000 carriers per month to replace wastage plus 500 American light lorries (200 promised for mid­-May), orders 300 new KAR (mainly ex-German Askari) to leave Morogoro by rail for Tabora. They leave there for south on March 23.

Western Front

Somme: French occupy Roye, 2nd Australian Division occupies Bapaume. Germans blow up all public and commercial buildings and leave secret huge mine under the mairie (explodes on March 27, killing 2 French deputies and British staff). BEF occupies 13 villages. British Lucknow Cavalry Brigade ordered forward.
Aisne: German Seventh Army evacuates Crouy for position 5 miles to north; French can enter Lassigny.

Sea War

Atlantic: HM sloops Migonette and Alyssm (March 18) mined and sunk off southwest Ireland.
Channel: 16 German destroyers raid Ramsgate and Broadstairs (night March 17-18) also sink destroyer HMS Paragon (10 survivors) and torpedo destroyer Llewellyn.
Baltic: C-in-C Russian fleet Nepenin resigns, is shot and murdered by lone sailor. Vice-Admiral Maksimov elected in his place; restores order with 2 Provisional Government envoys.

Air War

Western Front: Fonck fights off 5 Albatrosses, destroying 1 (his second kill).
Britain: German aircraft drops 4 bombs near Dover submarine pens.
Arabia: ­Royal Flying Corps Flight moves from Rabegh up coast to Wejh.

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