<– Part 152 – June 17, 1917  | Part 153 – June 24, 1917 |  Part 154 – July 1, 1917 –>

Alexander Kerensky

German forces in Belgium captured a British patrol June 19, who revealed plans for an amphibious landing behind German lines. Although a surprise landing by Allied forces across the channel would perhaps be successful if a surprise, now that the attempt is expected, the Germans are sure to be ready.

On June 21, more turmoil arose in Russia as Georgy Lvov was replaced by Alexander Kerensky as head of the Provisional Government.

<– Part 151 – June 10, 1917  | Part 152 – June 17, 1917 |  Part 153 – June 24, 1917 –>

King Constantine I of Greece in a German Field Marshall uniform in 1913, an honor bestowed on him by German Emperor Wilhelm II

King Constantine I of Greece abdicated June 12 under Allied pressure, as he was suspected of being overly-friendly towards the German Empire. His eldest son likewise was bypassed (he is a veteran of the German Army), leaving Alexander to ascend to the throne.

At Messines, the British Army’s advances were secured June 14, with no other fighting expected. Each side lost 25,000 soldiers, although nearly half the German losses are missing or captured.

Under pressure from conscientious objectors and other pacifists, the United States passed the Espionage Act on June 15, which makes it illegal to interfere with military operations or to discourage anyone from enlisting in the army.

<– Part 150 – June 3, 1917  | Part 151 – June 10, 1917 |  Part 152 – June 17, 1917 –>

The Battle of Messines

The British assault at Messines, an attempt to crush a large German salient, began the morning of June 4 with 19 large mines detonated beneath the ridge, killing 10,000 German soldiers, and the sound reportedly heard in London and Dublin. Weeks of miners laying miles of tunnels beneath the site have paid off, as the nearly 10-mile front has begun its assault. British planes buzzed the German defenses, masking the sound of tanks moving into position, as the Allies have followed-up on the mine detonation with a rolling artillery barrage just in front of 80,000 soldiers. The Allies reached their second objectives one-half mile behind the front lines in only 35 minutes. By 8:40, the British had achieved their early objectives, and due to lower than expected casualties (estimates were 50-60%), the higher than expected number of surviving troops clustered into the same area led to a seven-hour delay. Attacks and counter-attacks continue, although the British have held their positions without serious issue.

Earlier today, the Italian Sixth Army attack Austro-Hungarian defenders on Mount Ortigara, in southern Trentino, to secure the strategic position. Although the peak was captured, Austrian counter-attacks are imminent.

At the Isonzo, fighting has ceased, with both sides suffering 225,000 casualties, of a total of 600,000 soldiers engaged.

<– Part 149 – May 27, 1917  | Part 150 – June 3, 1917 |  Part 151 – June 10, 1917 –>

Major General John J. Pershing

Following a two-day battle, Allied forces have captured Skra, Greece, on May 31, taking it from the heavily-outnumbered Bulgarian defenders.

Along the Isonzo, the impressive Italian gains have been completely erased by a concentrated Austrian counterattack earlier today, returning all units essentially to their starting positions, although the Italian forces are still advanced from their initial trenches.

In Belgium, odd troop positions among British troops indicate possible future activities along the coast.

Scattered reports indicate that U.S. General John J. Pershing has arrived in France, in preparation for the American Expeditionary Force’s own arrival.