Sunday, March 08, 2015

March 8th, 1915

- Though no substantial success has been achieved in the fighting in Champagne, Joffre believes that the Germans are wearing down and that a breakthrough remains possible.  To this end, he orders XVI Corps, reinforced by 48th Division, to undertake a massive attack in four days time, in which as many soldiers as possible would be concentrated against the enemy line and maintain pressure with fresh infantry.

- Two days ago a French surprise attack against the German line west of Munster in Alsace succeeded in pushing back the defending Bavarian 6th Landwehr Division, seizing the Reichsackerkopf and Mönchberg.  In response 8th Bavarian Reserve Division was brought up, and a counterattack today regains the lost positions, with the exception of the summit of the Reichsackerkopf.

- Reinforcements having arrived from 10th Army to the north, General Gallwitz orders his forces to go back over on to the attack, advancing on both banks of the Orshitz River towards Prasnysz and Krasnosielce in Russian Poland.

- In the Carpathians the left wing of the Austro-Hungarian 2nd Army is finally able to gain ground today, as 41st Honved Division seizes the Maguryczne Heights.  This tactical success, however, does not lead to any wider advance, as the Russian lines remain unbroken and the weather continues to be miserable.

- Commodore Roger Keyes, previously commander of the submarines at Harwich, is currently serving as Chief of Staff to Admiral Carden at the Dardanelles.  Keyes was intimately familiar with the Ottoman defenses along the straits, having studied them while serving as naval attaché at Constantinople in 1906 and 1907.  Keyes is a strong advocate of the Dardanelles operation, believing seapower alone can force the straits.  However, as he writes to his wife today, he is concerned that the Admiralty is underestimating the challenges faced by the British and French warships, and has been insisting that Carden fully explain to his superiors the difficulties remaining to be surmounted.

- Shortly after 8am, three prisoners are shot by firing squad at the Criminal Prison in Singapore.  The executed were members of the 5th Light Infantry battalion, and their courts-martial had determined that they had played a leading role in instigating the mutiny of February 15th.  Over the next several weeks, of the one hundred and twenty-six captured mutineers, forty-seven will be executed, forty-seven will be executed, sixty-one transported for life, and the remainder will receive prison terms of various lengths.

The execution of mutineers at Singapore, March 1915.


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