World War One Diary for Wednesday, February 28, 1917:
Germany: Only 60,000 Auxiliary Service Law Volunteers (mainly women) instead of 200,000 hoped for.
Russia: Duma member Kerensky calls for end to ‘medieval regime’.
India: Act forms Indian Defence Force (all British European subjects).
France: Nivelle letter to government warns of ‘pacifist propaganda’ reaching troops.
Somme: British have captured 11 villages and 2,133 PoWs during February.
Western Front: End of February British make first pigeon drops by balloon (after 3 agents so sent), 40% return rate by end of war.
Atlantic: In February British 10th (Minesweeping) Sloop Flotilla transferred from Immingham on East Coast (Humber) to Queenstown to meet mine threat off Southern Ireland, loses 2 ships in March.
7 Arethusa-class cruisers from Harwich Force and Grand Fleet converted to lay 70-74 mines each (February to November); carry out 35 operations (2,553 mines laid by November 1918).
Allied February shipping losses: 254 ships of 500,673t (German figure 520,412t) including record 105 British ships worth 313,486t. Mediterranean toll is 105,670t.