<– Part 57 – August 22, 1915  | Part 58 – August 29, 1915 |  Part 59 – September 5, 1915 –>

Kaiajik Dere and Hill 60. From Wikipedia.

Rumors are growing within the United States that the government there is preparing to send as many as one million soldiers overseas. Although the government has consistently denied this, the general fervor towards war in that country is growing.

At Gallipoli, the fighting over “Hill 60” has ended in another loss for the Entente British.

In Eastern Europe, the German 10th Army has attacked the retreating Russian 10th Army and has begun driving them back farther.

<– Part 56 – August 15, 1915  | Part 57 – August 22, 1915 |  Part 58 – August 29, 1915 –>

August 17 saw an attempted invasion of the Island of Palagruza in the Adriatic. An Austro-Hungarian landing force was repulsed by the Italian defenders, who were then fired upon by several Austro-Hungarian cruisers and destroyers. One Italian submarine torpedoed a cruiser.

Details of “The Baralong Incident” against U-27, on August 19, 1915.

Just south of Ireland, the SS Arabic, an English-flagged ocean liner, was sunk by a German U-Boat on August 19. Several Americans went down with it; an American response is expected.

Later that day, the HMS Baralong, frustrated at their inability to rescue SS Arabic’s crew (they picked up the distress call from 70 miles away) came across the U-boat U-27 opening fire on a freighter to scuttle it (the crew had been ordered off in lifeboats). The Baralong, flying the US flag, signaled that she would rescue the freigher’s crew. As the U-boat set a course to intercept, the two ships were blocked from each other’s view by the freighter. Baralong replaced her flag with the Union Jack, opened her gun ports, and opened fire on the U-boat as it appeared, with 34 shells fired at 600 yards sufficient to destroy the U-boat. Fearing the German crew would attempt to reach the freighter and scuttle her, the captain of the Baralong ordered the Royal Marines onboard to shoot the Germans in the water as they swam to the freighter. The legality of this incident remains to be seen. Although no mention has been made in the British press, Americans who had been aboard the freighter have given interviews to media, and German sentiment is opposed to the Baralong’s action of shooting sailors loose in the water.

A Turkish commander at Scimitar Hill, Mustafa Kemal.

The Entente forces have had another disappointing week at Gallipoli, with the actions at Sari Bair and Chunuk Bair both having ended with Ottoman victory.  Another attack was launched at Scimitar Hill yesterday, August 21, together with an attack on Hill 60. Some gains have been made at ANZAC cove and Cape Helles, but not to the degree the Allies wished.


<– Part 55 – August 8, 1915  | Part 56 – August 15, 1915 |  Part 57 – August 22, 1915 –>

A Map of the Gallipolli peninsula, with Allied gains in brown, and an inset showing its location in the Dardanelles and Sea of Marmara. From http://www.travellinkturkey.com/.

Fighting continues across the Gallipoli peninsula, as the Allied forces continue their attempts to break out of their initial beachheads. While the Australian forces reached Lone Pine on August 10, the fighting at the Krithia Vineyard and Suvla Ba resulted in Ottoman victories on August 13 and August 15, respectively. The Entente will to fight is waning, and unless they succeed in greater breakthroughs, the desire to force the peninsula will undoubtedly wane as well.

<– Part 54 – August 1, 1915  | Part 55 – August 8, 1915 |  Part 56 – August 15, 1915 –>

The Pass of Balmaha, an American merchant vessel, before her capture by the Germans.

An odd bit of news arrived earlier this week. The US ship Pass of Balmaha was reported missing two weeks ago on a cargo trip to England. It would appear that she was boarded by British marines and redirected to a British base for inspection. This included being forced to fly the British flag, which her crew objected to, since that would mark her a hostile vessel. The SMS U-36, a German sub, intercepted her, and the American captain hid the British marines in the hold and raised the Stars and Stripes. The German captain was suspicious, and on boarding her the American crew, resentful of the British meddling, revealed the British marines to the Germans. The Germans in turn redirected her to Germany, though her crew was taken to a neutral country and released. However, the Pass of Balmaha is now the SMS Seeadler, a German commerce raider.

In Italy, the now-called Second Battle of the Isonzo has ended on August 3, since both sides seem to have completely run out of ammunition for all weapons, both handheld and mounted. Although the Italians did not reach all of their goals, they did succeed in taking some ground and are therefore calling it a victory. Nearly 100,000 men are casualties of this latest fight.

August 5 saw German troops capture Warsaw. The Russian Army continues its great retreat.

August 6 saw an enormous series of attacks launched on the Gallipoli peninsula by the British forces at “Lone Pine” in ANZAC Cove (named for a solitary pine tree standing on a ridge at the beginning of the battle), Krithia Vineyard, Suvla Bay, and Sari Bair, with more launched the following day at the “Nek”, an easily-defended mountain pass, and Chunuk Bair. While the Australians have succeeded in reaching and holding objectives at Lone Pine, the remaining battles, though ongoing, seem to be failures due to miscommunication, too much dependence on victories by neighboring units (whose victory depends on their neighbors, leading to an impossible situation), poor planning, and atrocious military tactics (attacking uphill with enemy artillery on either side and insufficient support from one’s own artillery). In fact, one artillery barrage ended seven minutes early, leading to the British troops advancing to a dug-in, alerted, and fortified enemy position for several minutes.

August 8 saw the HMS E11, a famed British sub, sink an Austro-Hungarian warship in the Dardanelles. However, unless the tide turns at Gallipoli, it would appear the British Empire will be defeated in this area. It would appear modern warfare cannot tolerate massive naval landings, which the British have learned against the Germans.

<– Part 53 – July 25, 1915  | Part 54 – August 1, 1915 |  Part 55 – August 8, 1915 –>

On July 26, the Turks achieved their second victory at Manzikert in 850 years with a victory over the heavily outnumbered Russians. The following day, the Russian army launched a counter-attack at Kara Killisse, where the scored a victory on July 31. Otherwise, the Russian forces are in retreat across the sector. Meanwhile, in northern Italy, the second stage of fighting at the Isonzo continues.

The Mariotte, shortly before her last voyage.

July 26 saw another humiliation for the Entente, with the French submarine Mariotte becoming entangled in wires at a minefield inthe Dardanelles, stuck on the surface, and forced to be scuttled. Fortunately for the Entente, though, her captain was able to destroy sensitive documents after the Turkish guns firing on the stricken sub ceased fire when she signaled her surrender.

Across war-stricken Europe, nations are reacting to the United States’ note of last week, declaring that any sinking of an American ship would be regarded as ‘deliberately unfriendly.’ This action is clearly in response to last month’s sinking of the RMS Lusitania. Whether Germany (the clear target of the note) bears heed remains to be seen, although the United States certainly seems to be on the path towards war.