Sunday, June 07, 2015

June 7th, 1915

- After the formation of the coalition government in Britain, the existing War Council was renamed the Dardanelles Committee, but otherwise retained the same functions and membership; indeed, for now Churchill even remains a members.  Today it meets for the first time in three weeks, and given the name change it is not surprising that the ongoing campaign on Gallipoli is the focus of discussion.  The early enthusiasm of February and March for the operation has dissipated, replaced by bewilderment at the lack of success and uncertainty as to the best course of action.  Should Gallipoli be reinforced, which by definition means taking units from elsewhere, or should it be evacuated, thus giving the Ottomans a great morale victory and damaging British prestige throughout the Balkans and the Muslim world.  After discussion today, including a memo from Churchill, it is agreed to send out a further three divisions to Gallipoli, constituting the reinforcements General Hamilton had requested after the failure of the Second Battle of Krithia.  No one as of yet is willing to countenance the embarrassment of defeat by advocating evacuation.

- Overnight three Zeppelins attempted bombing raids on England, with varying degrees of success.  The naval Zeppelin L9 drops ten explosive and fifty incendiary bombs on Hull, causing the most extensive damage inflicted on England by a Zeppelin to date.  Indeed, during the day there are anti-German riots in Hull, mobs attacking businesses supposedly owned by Germans.  The two army Zeppelins sent against England - LZ38 and LZ39 - suffer a much different fate.  The former develops engine trouble and returns to its base near Brussels, only to have its shed bombed by two British aircraft based at Dunkirk after daybreak.  LZ39, meanwhile, earns the dubious distinction of being the first Zeppelin shot down by enemy fire.  Near Ghent it was attacked by several British aircraft, and Flight Sub-Lieutenant Warneford manages to drop a bomb that detonates on the airship, causing it to burst into flames and plummet to the earth.  The victory earns Warneford acclaim and the Victoria Cross, while the German army concludes the Zeppelins under its direction would be more profitably used in reconnaissance and bombing roles on the Eastern Front.

No comments:

Post a Comment