Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 28th, 1915

- In Courland the German 3rd and Bavarian Cavalry Divisions have covered seventy-five kilometres in the past forty-eight hours and reached the town of Kielmy.  With German forces streaming through the porous front, the main body of the Russian army in Courland withdraws past Kielmy.

- On Cape Helles the Entente forces launch their first major push northwards today.  Given the exhaustion of his forces after three days of constant combat, General Hunter-Weston of 29th Division has ordered a limited advance designed to seize Krithia and secure positions from which the high ground at Achi Baba can be seized in a subsequent attack.  After a preliminary bombardment undertaken by two artillery batteries and warships offshore, the British 87th and 88th Brigades, as well as the French 175th Regiment, climb out of their trenches and begin their advance.  They encounter heavy Ottoman resistance, and further the rough and unfamiliar terrain serves to disorientate and split adjacent battalions from each other.  The result is command chaos, with no one on the Entente side having any real idea what was happening.  This included Hunter-Weston himself, who finally landed his headquarters this morning but lacked radio or telephone communications with his forward units.  Units of the 87th Brigade manage to reach within a kilometre of Krithia, but unsupported on either flank (the adjacent units had gotten lost or repulsed), were forced to retire.  At the end of the day, all the attack accomplishes is to straighten out the Entente line - Krithia remains firmly in Ottoman hands - while the British and French suffer 2000 and 1200 casualties respectively.  Thus ends the First Battle of Krithia; it will not be the last.

The Entente advance up Cape Helles from late April to early May 1915.

- Twenty days after departing Djidda by sea aboard a zambuk, Emden's landing party arrives at Sherm Munnaiburra, a sheltered bay approximately ten miles south of El Wegh, their intended destination.  These last ten miles, however are over open seas, and they will be beyond the protection of the reefs which have kept larger enemy warships at bay.  Unwilling to risk capture, the Germans disembark and prepare to journey overland to El Wegh.

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