<– Part 92 – April 23, 1916  | Part 93 – April 30, 1916 |  Part 94 – May 7, 1916 –>

A rebellion erupted April 24 in Ireland, Easter Monday, several thousand strong. It was the largest since the Rebellion of 1798. Despite the large size and success in seizing several government buildings; however, despite shooting dead a guard and occupying the gatehouse of Dublin Castle, seat and emblem of London Rule, the superior British forces put the rebellion down by the 29th. During this same time, a meeting of worldwide socialists was held in Kienthal, a Swiss village, who stated their opposition to the war and the Central Powers as well.

One of Townshend’s men, an Indian soldier, after the surrender.

General Townshend, commander of the forces at Kut

However, despite this reassuring news from Ireland, bad news in the form of a crushing defeat of British troops arrived that same day – the beseiged forces at Kut, ridden with disease and starvation, were forced to surrender – over 13,000 British troops have been captured in Mesopotamia by the Ottomans. It is the largest defeat in decades, and follows just 4 months after the defeat at Gallipoli. The failure of a paddle steamer to reach the troops was the final nail in the coffin.

On April 27, the Germans launched a gas attack against British troops, whose gas masks were unable to protect them. The beginning of an offensive in the Halluch area, it ground to a halt when wind position shifted in the following days, blowing the gas into the German lines and killed hundreds. Despite this, the German assault was ordered, but British troops drove them back into their trenches. The British lost 1,600 men to gas and another 350 in the actual fighting, while the Germans suffered 1,500 casualties from gas alone.

Aerial view of the trenches at Hulloch.

Also on April 27, Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, British Secretary of State for War, asked the Americans for military assistance in Europe.

On April 30, the Lake Naroch offensive by the Russian Empire was halted, as the Russian artillery and infantry was unable to breach the strong German defensive positions. Of the 372,000 Russians and 82,000 Germans present for fighting, approximately 100,000 Russians and 30,000 Germans are casualties.

Vickers machine gun crew with gas masks.

One of the 1915 PH gas masks worn by the British troops. This one is missing its ventilator.




<– Part 91 – April 16, 1916  | Part 92 – April 23, 1916 |  Part 93 – April 30, 1916 –>

Fighting continues at Verdun, as German forces attempt wide-front assaults with unlimited objectives. Intelligence from German command indicates that the Germans are assuming 5 French casualties for every 2 of their own, holding to last month’s orders to preserve infantry. In keeping with this, the Germans have begun using Storm Trooper assault forces – 2 infantry squads and one engineer squad, armed with flamethrowers, hand grenades, automatic weapons, and small mortars. However, even with this new assault method, German advances are limited.

Ottoman troops at Katia

The German general commanding the Ottoman troops in the Sinai campaign: Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein

On the 19th, US President Woodrow Wilson gave a speech in which he called on the German submarines to stop attacks on any ship in enemy waters without first issuing a warning, and attempting to determine if it is, in fact, an enemy ship. In Mesopotamia, the German general has died of cholera.

The German submarine SM U-69 has avoided being destroyed by the new British “depth charges,” shedding further light on this revolutionary weapon.

New Zealand infantry in the Sinai campaign

Near the Sinai canal, Ottoman troops under a German general have achieved a surprise attack against scattered British cavalry guarding a water pipeline at Katia on April 23. British forces have been sporadic and scattered in the area; it is assumed that they will increase and strengthen their patrols.


<– Part 90 – April 9, 1916  | Part 91 – April 16, 1916 |  Part 92 – April 23, 1916 –>

Although their defensive positions are exposed to artillery fire on three sides, and cover is minimal due to their own previous artillery bombardment, the German forces at Verdun have voted to continue the fight rather than withdraw. The sausage grinder continues.

The garrison at Abiad was attacked by Fur forces on April 1415, but no casualties have been reported to the Anglo-Egyptian DarFur expedition.

The German submarine SM U-67 reported that on April 15 a British ship attempting to sink it dropped several charges into the water which detonated at specific depths. This could, perhaps, be the new weapon that sunk her sister ship U-68 on March 22.

Finally, the Ottoman forces have evacuated Trebizond/Trabzon, and the elements of the Russian Caucasus Army occupied it April 15.

<– Part 89 – April 2, 1916  | Part 90 – April 9, 1916 |  Part 91 – April 16, 1916 –>

On April 4, rumors began of planning by American military attaches in Europe to mobilize US shipping to bring an American army to Europe, should the necessity arise.

“Whatever happens we have got / the Maxim gun, and they have not.” – Hilaire Belloc

On the Western front, fighting at Verdun continues, although the Germans have only reached their first day’s objectives after nearly a month of fighting. French reinforcements are arriving, while the German reinforcements have been spent with little gain. Unless the German offensive on the Eastern bank is successful, the offensive seems doomed to an expensive failure.

In the Sudan, the Anglo-Egyptian Expedition has captured Abiad and left a garrison in place. Entrenched resistance by the Fur people has been brushed aside with artillery and Maxim machine guns. The Fur have some rifles, but many are armed with spears and chainmail armor.

<– Part 88 – March 26, 1916  | Part 89 – April 2, 1916 |  Part 90 – April 9, 1916 –>

French infantry charging with fixed bayonets

The Russian offensive at Lake Naroch ended March 30 with no gains. The long bombardment was ineffective; the 10km penetration of the front caused minimal damage to German defenses, and the 5:1 numerical superiority (375,000 Russians to 82,000 Germans) was wasted in human wave attacks. Russian morale is crushed, and the French (hoping the offensive would relieve pressure on the Western front) is similarly weakened. The Russians lost approximately 100,000 men, to the Germans’ 30,000.