<– Part 96 – May 21, 1916  | Part 97 – May 28, 1916 |  Part 98 – June 4, 1916 –>

The punitive Strafexpedition at Asiago by the Austro-Hungarians continues, as the Italians are rushing reinforcements (including the recently-formed Fifth Army) to prevent a total encirclement of their forces at the Isonzo.

On May 22, the Anglo-Egyptian force in Darfur encountered Fur forces entrenched around the city of Berengia, and drove them back with artillery and maxim guns. A counter-attack by the Fur encountered an infantry square, and forty-minutes of intense fighting against several artillery batteries, infantry companies, and maxim sections forced a retreat. The Fur lost approximately 1,500 men to the British 5 dead, 22 wounded. The following morning, the British column was attacked twice, but the Fur were driven back and the British entered the capital city of Ofto el Fasher with only one wounded soldier. The Sultan has fled, and sent emissaries to discuss surrender.

At Verdun, the French assault on Fort Douaumont with severely-understrengthened regiments (some having only 40 men) commenced at 11:50am. The left and center were pinned down, but the right flank made some progress and captured about 1/2 the fort by nightall. German reserves repelled French reinforcements the next day, and then retook the fort, capturing 1,000 men inside. In three days, France lost 5,600 of the 12,000 men in the attack, to the German 4,500.

In Persia, the Turks have begun an advance against the Russians. Meanwhile, in Sinai & Palestine, Australian reinforcements have arrived in extreme, deadly heat. In German East Africa, the Allies are pushing towards Bismarckburg.

<– Part 95 – May 14, 1916  | Part 96 – May 21, 1916 |  Part 96 – May 28, 1916 –>

May 15 saw the Austro-Hungarian forces in Northern Italy’s Asiago region seize the initiative in Trentino. After a massive artillery bombardment, they began an advance towards Vicenza. The Italian center is already weakening, despite a nearly 2:1 advantage.

Verdun and vicinity, May 1916

On May 18, the Ottomans entered Said near the Sinai canal, and captured the air field there. The British have responded to Turkish bombings with their own. Meanwhile, the railway in the area has been completed, allowing British reinforcements to arrive. Further south, the expedition into Darfur, while capturing some Fur scouts and bombing others, has had no other contact with the enemy force.

A French heavy mortar, of the type used against the fort

At Verdun, the French are assaulting the captured Fort Douaumont, which has inflicted serious casualties on them, with some divisions facing 90-95% casualties. Heavy bombardment of the fort has killed many of the defenders, as the shells turn the walls to dust, which mixes with exhaust, while exposed corpses spread disease. Additionally, French aircraft has been effective in destroying German balloons, rendering artillery ineffective.

Finally, there are rumors of a secret British-French meeting, in which the spoils of war were determined as they each look to expand their sphere of influence. The rumors seem partially true, as the diplomats Sykes and Picot have been spotted meeting.

<– Part 94 – May 7, 1916  | Part 95 – May 14, 1916 |  Part 96 – May 21, 1916 –>

The fighting in East Africa at Kondoa Irangi ended May 10, as several waves of German assaults were repulsed by the British defenders, who in turn were unable to completely drive their opponents away. Both sides remains in defensive positions. The German Empire also announced, once again, the suspension of unrestricted submarine warfare.

Battle_of_Kondoa_Irangi ends may 10. several waves of german assaults repulsed; ends may 10. each side remains in position

May 10 Germany suspends unrestricted submarine warfare.

On May 12, in Darfur, the British-Egyptian forces have begun an advance into the heart of Fur territory, while planes dropped propaganda leaflets earlier this week promising the deposing of the ruler and an increase in religious freedoms.

In Persia, the Turks have strengthened their defenses near Khanagin as they await the approaching Russian thrust. Turkish planes also bombed Port Said near the Sinai canal, killing 22.

<– Part 93 – April 30, 1916  | Part 94 – May 7, 1916 |  Part 95 – May 14, 1916 –>

Verdun, May 1916. Hill 304 is just to the left of center.

The Anglo-Egyptian force in Darfur has used the last week to reinforce its supply and communication lines, despite some interference by small Fur detachments. In East Africa, near Kondoa Irangi, a South African force of 3,000 is in prepared defensive positions, as a German force of 4,000, with artilley, advances towards it.

At Verdun, the German offensive on the west bank has captured the north slope on May 4 and the crest of Hill 304 on May 7, but were unable to advance further. They have successfully resisted French counter-attacks in the last few days.