A look at the major events in the conflict during November 1918: November 1st The Battle of Valenciennes is launched by the British Army to advance to the French-Belgian border and the city of Valenciennes. The offensive lasts two days and results in the recapture of the city. November 2nd British cargo ships SS Surada … Continue reading WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 52 – The Last Month of War
Wilfred Owen is probably the best know of the WWI poets and his death, which occurred during the Allied attempt to retake the Sambre-Oise Canal just 8 days before the armistice was signed has come to symbolise the dreadful waste of war. Owen wrote the majority of his poems between August 1917 and September 1918. … Continue reading WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 50 – Smile, Smile, Smile
A look at the major events in the conflict during July 1918: July 1st The US troop transport ship USS Covington is torpedoed by German submarine U-86 off Brest, France. July 3rd Turkish Sultan Mohammed V of the Ottoman Empire dies at the Yildiz Palace in Constantinople and is succeeded by his brother Mohammed VI. … Continue reading WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 48 – Another Month of War
I was going to write a post about each of the four Christmases during WWI. However I found that the Imperial War Museum had, unsurprisingly, got there before me, so I will instead direct you to their “Voices of the First World War: Christmas at the Front” which includes a podcast. I will also direct … Continue reading WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 41 – Christmas at the Front
I have been attending the Remembrance service at the Cenotaph for many years now; hustling myself out of my warm and cosy hotel room at 7am to zoom down to Whitehall, often in the company of heavily armed police, to nab a spot right next to the memorial where the Queen and so many other … Continue reading WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 40 – Remembrance at the Cenotaph
The Third Battle of Ypres, which has become known in popular parlance as Passchendaele, was one of the most miserable offensives of the war on the Western Front. Starting in July, with an attack on Messines, and finishing in November with the taking of the ridge just beyond Passchendaele. Having spent months fighting the terrain … Continue reading WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 39 – They Called It Passchendaele
Now most often referred to as “Finished with the War: A Soldier’s Declaration” this letter was really a statement that Sassoon issued to his commanding officer, declining to return to duty after he had been on convalescent leave due to contracting gastric fever in August 2016. This refusal to fight was, Sassoon believed, the best … Continue reading WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 38 – Finished with the War; A Soldier’s Declaration.
A look at the major events of the conflict during August 1917: August 1st The Vatican publishes a Peace Note from Pope Benedict XV suggesting an initiative on which a peace might be based. August 2nd General Lavr Kornilov succeeds General Brusilov as Russian Commander-in-Chief August 3rd Austrian-German forces recapture Czernowitz in Bukovina on the … Continue reading WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 37 – Another Month of War
On 7 July 1917 the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), the first all-women unit in the British Army, was officially instituted. Between 1917 and 1921 over forty thousand women served, of whom around seventeen thousand served overseas (although not all at the same time). The WAAC owes its creation to two Scottish women who were … Continue reading WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 36 – Centenary of the WAAC
America had, in the first two and a half years of WWI, adopted a policy of neutrality and though that attempted to broker peace between the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire) and the Allies (United Kingdom, Serbia, Russia, France, Italy and Belgium). However the cumulative effect of German use of U … Continue reading WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 35 – Here Come the Yanks!