<– Part 87 – March 19, 1916  | Part 88 – March 26, 1916 |  Part 89 – April 2, 1916 –>

The Anglo-Egyptian Darfur expedition brushed aside Fur army forces on March 22 and has taken Jebel el Hella, opening the way for further advance against the Fur.

Just south-west of Ireland, the British Q-ship HMS Farnborough sunk the German sub SM U-68 on the sub’s first week of the war. The successful attack is surprising, as Q-ships – heavily-armed merchant ships with hidden weaponry – are generally not as dominant in a conflict with a sub. Her ability to sink the sub is surprising, and perhaps indicative of advances in British anti-sub weaponry.

On March 24, the French passenger ship Sussex was torpedoed by the German SM UB-28. Approximately 75 of the 375 on board were killed. Several Americans were among those wounded, leading to further protests and complaints from the United States against the German Empire.

<– Part 86 – March 12, 1916  | Part 87 – March 19, 1916 |  Part 88 – March 26, 1916 –>

In an odd event earlier this week, Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin, with several other noted anarchists, issued a manifesto proclaiming support for the Allied war effort on March 14.

“Los Generales” at Fort Bliss 18 months ago – Álvaro Obregón, Villa, and Pershing.

On March 15, in response to the incursion by Mexican revolutionary “Pancho” Villa last week, US General John J. Pershing has been ordered to pursue Villa into Mexico from his base at Fort Bliss. Pershing’s wife and his three daughters were killed in a house fire six months ago, and Villa personally sent his condolences – the two had a friendly relationship.

In Italy, the Italian offensive at Isonzo – the fifth to date – has been halted, with approximately 2,000 casualties on each side. In North Africa, the Senussi have been scattered into the desert.

On March 16, after refusing to adhere to treaty stipulations, and having begun recently to mobilize his army and proclaim support for the Ottoman war cause, the Sultan of Darfur finds himself at war with a joint Anglo-Egyptian force advancing on Um Shanga.

In the German East Africa colony, on March 18, the retreating German forces from Latema Nek, some 2,000 strong, were surrounded at Kahe (south of Mount Kilimanjaro) by 500 British and South African troops. 700 Germans were killed and a further 200 captured, to the loss of 21 Allied soldiers. The remaining German forces have retreated into the colony.

U-6 on a pre-war postcard

Renaudin’s sister ship Bisson

The Russians have launched an offensive at Lake Naroch, at the request of the French, in an attempt to relieve pressure on the Western front. 375,000 Russians are attacking 82,000 Germans in strong defensive positions. After an extended 2-day artillery bombardment, the advancing Russians are encountering stiff German resistance, as their bombardment apparently has had limited effect due to poor aerial reconnaissance of German lines.

The Austro-Hungarian sub SM U-6 sunk the French destroyer Renaudin at Durazzo.


<– Part 85 – March 5, 1916  | Part 86 – March 12, 1916 |  Part 87 – March 19, 1916 –>

Yet another attempt to relieve the besieged British troops at Kut failed March 9 at Dujaila. A night attack by 18,500 British troops floundered as the multiple columns lost contact with one another. After stumbling across the Ottoman front lines early, the forces were ordered to wait 3 hours until the designated time for the surprise attack, allowing the 500 Turkish defenders to be reinforced by an additional 8,000. After some fighting, the British troops were driven back, losing 4,000 men to the Ottoman 1,300.

Battle of Latema Nek

Battle of Latema Nek

On March 9 the German Empire declared war on Portugal after the Portuguese conceded to British demands to confiscate German ships in port at Lisbon. In North America, “Pancho” Villa, the Mexican revolutionary, crossed the border of the United States and launched a raid on Columbus, New Mexico.

In Italy, the Italian army has launched another offensive at the Isonzo, the fifth to date. Approximately 250,000 Italian soldiers are assaulting the 100,000 Austro-Hungarian defenders.

A two-day battle waged in East Africa March 11-12, as the British forces pursued the Germans fleeing from Salaita. The German forces took up positions on two hills connected by “the Latema Nek,” a narrow ridge. Three assaults were launched by the British the morning, afternoon, and evening of the 11th, the last of which captured the hills. A British retreat was ordered in the hours before dawn the 12th, during which the British commander discovered his forces upon the hills and the Germans retreating.

In Persia, the Russian army has made futher advances against the Ottoman defenders.

<– Part 84 – February 27, 1916  | Part 85 – March 5, 1916 |  Part 86 – March 12, 1916 –>

The German colony of Kamerun formally issued its surrender to the Allied forces February 28. Two days later, on March 1, Germany announced the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare.

Russian advance in Armenia. Bitlis and Mush are in the center.

In Turkey, the city of Bitlis was again the site of an offensive by the Russian Caucasus Army, with her neighboring city of Mush. After fierce hand-to-hand fighting in the falling snow, a Russian corps of Armenian troops took the city during the early morning hours of March 4. The Turks have retreated, but are expected to launch a fierce opposition, as the Russian advance into Turkey is now unhindered otherwise.

In Western Europe, the German offensive at Verdun has ground to a halt as casualties rapidly increase with troop exhaustion. A snowstorm February 29 has allowed the French to bring up nearly 100,000 reinforcements, including artillery. This artillery has opened fire on the Germans, who are unable to return fire due to their own artillery having been left behind in the rapid advance, and now unable to get to the front due to mud and mechanical malfunctions caused by weather.

In North Africa, the British troops are on the march again for the Senussi.