Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 27th, 1915

- Churchill responds to Fisher's memorandum of the 25th, arguing that while maintaining superiority in the North Sea is the most important mission of the Royal Navy, there is nothing that pre-dreadnoughts can contribute to, given how hopelessly outdated they would be in combat against dreadnoughts.  As such, rather than simply sitting in port, it is better to utilize the pre-dreadnoughts in operations elsewhere where there is no risk of confronting more modern warships, such as the bombardment of the Ottoman forts at the Dardanelles.

- The capture of Hartmannswillerkopf on the 22nd has prompted an immediate response; fearing its capture to be the opening phase to roll up the French line in Alsace from the south, a counterattack has been organized by 47th and 66th Divisions.  Attacking through heavy snow, the French suffer heavy casualties and are repulsed.

- The Ottoman VIII Corps continues its advance westward across the Sinai Peninsula towards the Suez Canal.  Though they have avoided marching during daylight hours, the British have been able to use aerial reconnaissance, primarily by French sea-planes, to monitor the Ottoman movement.  By today the intelligence department in Cairo has concluded, correctly, that the main enemy force is advancing across the centre of the Sinai.

- At 5pm Emden's landing party departs Hodeida for Sanaa after a ceremony given on their behalf by the Ottoman garrison.  During the two weeks spent in Hodeida a number of German sailors have come down with dysentry and malaria, despite taking quinine daily, and First Office Mücke looks forward to arriving at Sanaa, where, he has been informed, the climate is very similar to Europe's.

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