Diary May 19, 1916

Italian troops occupy a mountain-top

Italian troops occupy with a light artillery piece a mountain-top in the Trentino.

Diary for Friday, May 19, 1916:

Southern Fronts

Trentino: Italians abandon Mt Toraro-Mt Melignone line, destroying their forts, but after 5-mile advance Austrian XX Corps waits for artillery to come up for next phase as Italian First Army commits last reserves (6 Alpini batallions); Volturno Brigade saves Mt Pasubio (4,055 ft).

Western Front

Verdun: Germans capture position south of Hill 287.
Germans introduce diphosgene gas shell at Chattancourt. Disphosgene is a liquid (phosgene is gaseous) and is easily handled by gunners.

Middle East

Mesopotamia: Turks evacuate Es Sinn south bank position and retreat to Kut until the following day. British follow-up 10 miles for 10% heat-stroke casualties. Enver reaches Baghdad to instigate Persia offensive (until May 25) despite German objections.

African Fronts

East Africa: Belgians occupy Nyanza, contact Molitor at Kigali (by May 21) when Ruanda fully occupied.

Air War

Western Front: Navarre of Esc N67 scores his 12th and final victory over Verdun. Royal Flying Corps aircraft and balloon range 61 targets (88 on May 20, 76 on May 21 and 87 on May 22), claim 4 German aircraft.
Britain: 7 German floatplanes (1 lost to Royal Navy Air Service Nieuport from Dunkirk) fly moonlight raid at night May 19-20 on four East Kent coast towns; c.59 bombs on land; 3 casualties.
Flanders: German day and night bombing of Dunkirk (until May 22, 2 aircraft destroyed by Royal Navy Air Service) causes 121 casualties (372 bombs dropped).

Politics

Britain: Prime Minister Asquith refuses to see Russian General Gourko representative for Kitchener’s visit, plays 2 hours ‘bridge’ at Downing Street No 10 as usual.
London conference with Danes on limiting food exports to Germany (agreement with Danish Coal Bureau on May 30 and phosphates on June 8).

Home Fronts

Britain: 1916-17 Army fixed at 4 million. Boys’ welfare supervi­sors appointed to munition factories.

Call of War
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