<– Part 79 – January 23, 1916  | Part 80 – January 30, 1916 |  Part 81 – February 6, 1916 –>

January 24 saw the British troops returning to their station after their rough battle against the Senussi, trudging through cold and wet. In Germany, Reinhard Scheer has been appointed commander of the German Empires Hochseeflotte.

Admiral Richard Scheer

Montenegro has surrendered to Austria Hungary on January 25, after the King fled last week and ordered the head of the army to fight a hopeless campaign.


January 27 was a day of politics: In the United Kingdom, a lack of volunteers for the army has forced the government to institute the Military Service Act, introducing mandatory conscription. Conscientious objectors will be able to perform unarmed (though still war-related) work, while those refusing even this will be jailed. In the United States, coupled with growing confrontations with rebels on the Mexican border, President Woodrow Wilson has begun a nationwide whistle-stop campaign in New York, urging the nation and Continental Army to be prepared for any war that might come.


On January 29, German zeppelins bombed Paris. This may perhaps be an indicator of the future of warfare: mighty zeppelins dropping bombs upon a terrified populace. Germany again has shown herself willing to target civilians, an act which has already begun fanning flames in America because of the attacks of merchant and passenger liners by German submarines.

<– Part 78 – January 16, 1916  | Part 79 – January 23, 1916 |  Part 80 – January 30, 1916 –>

SM U-11

January 18 saw the Austro-Hungarian submarine U-11 sink the Italian hospital ship King Albert. This follows rumors of a new British anti-submarine weapon, although details are unavailable at this time.

The Senussi campaign of Africa continues in earnest, as British aircraft identified the main Senussi camp on January 19. The British troops attacked three days later; after a day of flanks and counter-flanks, the Senussi trenches were overrun that afternoon by Sikh South African and New Zealand infantry. The main Senussi body then retreated, having suffered 700 casualties to the British 300,.

The fighting near Kut continues. On the 21st, following a two-day bombardment, the 10,000-man British 7th Division charged across flooded, open terrain towards 30,000 heavily entrenched Turkish soldiers near Hanna, suffering 2,700 casualties to the Ottoman’s 500. No medical care was provided as temperatures dropped below freezing during the night, further crippling British morale.

The Russian push to Erzurum continues at Koprukoy, where the Russians finally achieved a breakthrough after taking advantage of the lack of Turkish reserves. The Ottoman Third Army retreat following was organized, although several rearguard units were destroyed. 20,000 of the 65,000 Ottoman troops fell, compared to 12,000 of the 75,000 Russian Caucasus Army. Further south, in Persia, the Russian thrust under Baratov has taken Hamedan.

Rumors of a massive Ottoman victory over the British South Arabia troops have been traced back to a minor skirmish January 12, in which British scouts searching for the Ottoman army found said army. They sustained approximately 40 casualties after inflicting over 200 on the Turks and then withdrew, their mission accomplished. The Ottomans have trumpeted this into a victory over the entire British force. Minor fighting continues in the area.

The general retreat of German forces in German Kamerun has been confirmed. They are reported to be withdrawing into the colonies of neutral parties nearby, including Spanish lands.

<– Part 77 – January 9, 1916  | Part 78 – January 16, 1916 |  Part 79 – January 23, 1916 –>

A massive offensive was launched January 10 by the Imperial Russian Army, seeming to be aimed at Erzurum. 350,000 Russian troops of the Caucasus Army face off against 134,000 of the Ottoman Third Army. Major losses from the Ottoman IX Corps have been reported as it has been pushed back by the Russian troops.

Allied troops have occupied the Greek island of Corfu since January 11, undoubtedly to assist in evacuating the Serbian Army.

British troops attempted another relief of the Kut garrison on January 13, but the 19,000 British soldiers, while taking the Ottoman positions at the Wadi River, were unable to press their advantage, having taken nearly 1,600 casualties.

Reports from the colonial fronts are similar. The Allied troops in Senussi have found abandoned camps, but are unable to find the main Senussi army. Similarly, in German Kamerun, the lack of enemy contact parallels rumors that the German commander in the area has ordered his men to scatter to neutral colonies around them, mainly those of Spain.

<– Part 76 – January 2, 1916  | Part 77 – January 9, 1916 |  Part 78 – January 16, 1916 –>

The forces of Austria-Hungary entered Montenegro on January 5, following the retreating Serb army. The Montenegrin army was entrenched at Mojkovac and encountered the following day. Fighting went on for two days, allowing the Serbian army more time to retreat. The 6,500 troops from Montenegro successfully held of 30,000 Austro-Hungarians, though at the cost of 2,500 casualties. The Austro-Hungarians have withdrawn

At Gallipoli, weathering many attacks from the Ottomans, the last troops were withdrawn the night of January 7/8, boarding boats early on the morning of the 8th. The last rearguard troops withdrew earlier today. The Gallipoli Campaign is over, lasting over 8 months. Of the 570,000 Allied troops and 316,000 Ottomans engaged, 252,000 Allies and approximately 230,000 Turks have been lost.

On the colonial front, in German Kamerun, there are rumors that the German general will surrender soon. In French North Africa, the Zaian raids continue against the French colonial troops.

A British Hospital ship evacuating casualties from Sheik Sa’ad.

In Mesopotamia, the Anglo-Indian forces attempted to break the siege lines around Kut at Sheik Sa’ad. Although the British forces took one bank of the Tigris, achieving their goals, the losses were much higher than hoped – 4,300 of the 13,300 British forces, compared to only 1,200 of the 9,000 Ottomans (elements of the Sixth Army). With this incomplete breakthrough with high casualties, Kut has not been bought any more time.

Indian machine gunners serving anti-aircraft duties.

<– Part 75 – December 26, 1915  | Part 76 – January 2, 1916 |  Part 77 – January 9, 1916 –>

Reports of wide-scale evacuation of Allied troops from Gallipoli have begun flooding in since December 28. Ottoman forces have made some attacks at the retreating troops, but have been held at bay by stalwart Australian rear-guard units.

In Africa, the British forces have destroyed some Senussi camps, but all tribesmen have fled upon contact.

December 30 brought another diplomatic incident when the German sub U-38 sunk the SS Persia off Crete while her passengers were eating lunch. In violation of international law, the German boat fired a torpedo without warning, without provocation, and without allowing the passengers an opportunity to reach lifeboats.

Further west, in the Adriatic, the skirmishing Austro-Hungarian ships have been forced back to port, but not before ramming and sinking the French sub Monge.