Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 15th, 1915

- In addition to yesterday's attacks in the Argonne, French infantry attack Vauquois.  However, they are unable to achieve anything of note.

- The British operation against the port of Smyrna is abandoned today, after negotations with the local governor bear no fruit while mobile artillery batteries have prevented the minefields from being swept.  The attempt has not been without loss: the seaplane carrier Anne Rickmers has been severely damaged by the Ottoman torpedo-boat Demir Hissar.  On the other hand, the Ottomans have sunk five steamers in the channels leading to the port, which ironically accomplishes the British objective of preventing the use of Smyrna as a submarine base.  Moreover, the pre-dreadnoughts Triumph and Swiftsure are needed back at the Dardanelles for the daylight attack scheduled for the 18th.

- At dawn breaks over the Red Sea, the zambuk under the direct command of First Officer Mücke finds that overnight it has drifted into the middle of the English blockade line, with no wind available to allow for their escape.  However, though the mast-head of an English ship appears over the horizon, the zambuk is left unmolested; Mücke attributes this to the disinclination of the English to work on weekends.  When a breeze rises in the afternoon, they are able to resume its progress northwards.

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