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Diary March 12, 1915


German 21-cm howitzer
A German gunner peers into the sight of a 21-cm howitzer. The Germans had a powerful siege park for forts but was initially inadequate to defeat extensive trench systems.
Diary for Friday, March 12, 1915:

Western Front

Flanders – Neuve Chapelle: 16,000-strong German counter­attacks from 0500 hours, easily repulsed by IV and Indian Corps; III Corps takes L’Epinette. Fighting until nightfall when Haig orders entrenching on line won, but only a slight salient 2,000 yds wide and 1,200 yds deep has been pushed into German line. Total British casualties: 11,652 men (4,200 of Indian Corps). German casualties including 1,700 PoWs. Germans bombard Ypres.
Champagne: ­Reinforced French Fourth Army offensive storms part of Grey Trenches, but no gains on next day.

Middle East

Dardanelles: Royal Navy Division reaches Lemnos. French 1st Division arrives on March 15.

African Fronts

Cameroons: French Mission at Duala (until March 18) to arrange mid­-October Allied advance on Yaunde after rainy season.

Sea War

Channel: First Q-ship vs U-boat encounter is bloodless: U29 ignores Vienna south of Scilly Islands, latter rescues the crew of scuttled Andalusian.
Palestine: French cruiser St Louis shells Gaza.

Politics

Britain: Government formally accepts Russian claim of March 4 to Constantinople.

Secret War

Germany: British agent ‘Frey’ enters Germany from Switzerland but proves fraud by end of 1915.

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