Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29th, 1914

- Winston Churchill is another member of the War Council that is casting about for an option other than continuing the slaughter on the Western Front, as he writes to Prime Minister Asquith today: 'Are there not other alternatives than sending our armies to chew barbed wire in Flanders?  Cannot the power of the Navy be brought more directly to bear upon the enemy?'

- For the past several days, the Ottoman X Corps has been moving south towards Sarikamish, but marching across mountain peaks and through waist-deep snow has seen it lose a third of its strength to the elements.  When it arrives at Sarikamish today alongside IX Corps, the two units can muster only 18 000 soldiers to attack a Russian garrison that now numbers 14 000.  Though the Ottomans manage to sever the rail connection between Sarikamish and Kars, and though elements of 17th Division break into the town after dark, the Russians are able to rally and repulse the enemy assault.

The Battle of Sarikamish, December 29th, 1914.

Russian defenders at Sarikamish, December 1914.

Ottoman infantry marching through the mountains during the Battle of Sarikamish, December 1914.

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