<– Part 135 – February 18, 1917  | Part 136 – February 25, 1917 |  Part 137 – March 4, 1917 –>

The Second Battle of Kut


Herbert Garland

At Bir el Hassana, although the Ottoman garrison surrendered, a stray Bedouin bullet shattered a British soldier’s leg February 19, leading to his evacuation by aeroplane. The rest of the garrison surrendered two days later, and the final Ottoman retreat from the peninsula has commenced.


British and Ottoman forces met at Kut February 23, and the British successfully recaptured the city with their 50,000 men, to the Ottoman 13,000, suffering only 1,000 British and Indian casualties. The Turks lost 3,000.

British intelligence indicates that the Zimmerman Telegram was given to US officials February 24, showing details of the proposed German alliance with Mexico against the United States.

The German withdrawal to the Hindenburg line continues. In Hedjaz, a Turkish train was destroyed by a mine invented by British officer Herbert Garland.


<– Part 134 – February 11, 1917  | Part 135 – February 18, 1917 |  Part 136 – February 25, 1917 –>

Reservations among the British High Command continue as to whether the Americans will be able to muster a force with any fighting ability, should the US enter the war.

The Sinai campaign continues, with Bir el Hassana surrendering February 18 to British forces. The last Ottoman garrison are retreating from the peninsula.

To the West, Operation Alberich continues, with German forces completely obliterating all land they are ceding to the Allies in an horrific scorched earth strategy.

<– Part 133 – February 4, 1917  | Part 134 – February 11, 1917 |  Part 135 – February 18, 1917 –>

Operation Alberich in March 1917

Western Front, early 1917

With American entry into the war seeming increasingly likely, the British General staff has estimated that, at most, only 250,000 American soldiers could be in Europe within one year.

On February 9, German forces in Western Europe commenced Operation Alberich, the planned withdrawal to the Hindenberg line, a defensive position behind the German lines. It is estimated that this withdrawal will take 5-8 weeks.


<– Part 132 – January 28, 1917  | Part 133 – February 4, 1917 |  Part 134 – February 11, 1917 –>

German chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg

Germany announced January 31 that it would resume unrestricted submarine warfare the following day. The German Chancellor, Theobald von Bethman-Hollweg, has opposed the decision, stating, “Germany is finished.” Indeed, the United States severed diplomatic ties with Germany on February 3 in response to this decision, and war seems imminent.

In Persia, Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich Romanov has joined Russian General Baratov.

On February 3, the British attacked the Senussi at Siwa, catching them by surprise due to a rapid, automobile advance. The rest of the day, however, was spent attempting to drive nearer to the tribesmen over the uneven ground. By early this morning, the Senussi had withdrawn.ttacks on ottoman railroads continue in

In Arabia, attacks on Ottoman railroads by the rebels continue with British assistance.