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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Mrt 2018 10:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

13 March 1916 – Fifth Isonzo

Field Marshall Luigi Cadorna was already planning an offensive for the spring when the Germans began their massive offensive at Verdun. Invoking strategic agreements made at Chantilly last December, French supreme commander Joseph Joffre has asked Cadorna to strike a blow against the Austro-Hungarian Empire in hopes of drawing German strength away from France. Never enthusiastic about his allies, Cadorna has nevertheless moved up his timetable by a few weeks for fear that a German victory at Verdun might well undo Italy’s plans in the Alps.

His battle plan is a clear example of applied ‘attrition doctrine.’ Rather than draw up a detailed schedule for complete victory, Cadorna hopes to weaken Austria with a series of attacks on limited objectives. Issuing vaguely-worded orders, Cadorna allows his subordinates to choose their own targets as long as they conquer the towns of Tolmino and Gorizia (see above photo, taken from the Italian side facing south). Commanding the 2nd Army, General Pietro Frugoni attacks the bridgehead at Tolmino, while the Duke of Aosta aims to capture San Michele by attacking at Gorizia and the Carso Plateau. Altogether, they have 29 divisions — about 350 battalions — and almost 1,400 artillery guns. The latter have spent the winter being repositioned towards the front so they can reach further behind Austrian lines.

Lees verder op http://ww1blog.osborneink.com/?p=12654
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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John Young Alexander Line, 13 March 1916 - Oundle School

Second Lieutenant John Young Alexander Line was born in 1895 and came to Laxton House, in January 1910. He played cricket for the XI in the summer of 1914 and won an Exhibition in History to Downing College Cambridge, where his father had also been an undergraduate. He played rugby and rowed for his college but towards the end of his first term, he joined up, taking a commission with his local North Staffordshire Regiment.

He arrived in France in July 1915 and died on 13th March 1916, of wounds received the previous day. He was hit by a sniper, near the old battle site of Neuve Chapelle, where five Oundelians had been killed the previous autumn. He was supervising a ‘work party’ which was draining a trench when he was killed. He was the first of thirty-five undergraduates from Downing College to be killed in the war and was just 20 years old.

John Line was an only child and his grieving parents erected a memorial window in the church in Stone, where John’s father had been the vicar and where his son was born. In the top left of the window are the arms and motto of Oundle School, a tribute to the debt his parents felt they owed to Sanderson and his staff.

Foto's op http://www.oundleschool.org.uk/John-Young-Alexander-Line-13-March-1916?returnUrl=/World-War-I-
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Mrt 2018 10:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

13 March 1916 | Centenary of WW1 in Orange

William Roy Lowdon enlists. William is commemorated on the Centenary of WWI in Orange Honour Roll; he would be killed in action in Belgium on 31 August 1917.

Roy Luke Cantrill enlists. Roy is commemorated on the Centenary of WWI in Orange Honour Roll; he would be killed in action in France on 28 February 1917.

http://www.centenaryww1orange.com.au/events/13-march-1916/
Meer over Lowdon: http://www.centenaryww1orange.com.au/service-men-and-women/william-roy-lowdon/
Meer over Cantrill: http://www.centenaryww1orange.com.au/service-men-and-women/roy-luke-cantrill/
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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Percy Toplis



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Daily Sketch, Number 2187, March 13, 1916

Description - The Daily Sketch was a British tabloid newspaper, established in Manchester in 1909 by Sir Edward Hulton (1869–1925), one of the leading newspaper proprietors of his era. Hulton soon moved the paper to London, where it competed with the other leading British tabloid, the Daily Mirror. Like his father Edward Hulton (died 1904), Hulton was an astute entrepreneur who regarded newspaper publishing as primarily a commercial enterprise. He and his editors attracted a large readership by offering human interest news stories, news about sports, serialized stories, competitions in which readers could win prizes, and other features that entertained as much as they informed. Hulton early recognized the possibilities of picture journalism, and the front and back pages of the Daily Sketch always were given over completely to photographs. Many people in Britain came to see World War I through the prism of the newspaper, which devoted extensive coverage to the war. Presented here are 144 issues of the Daily Sketch from April 9, 1915, to May 31, 1916. Each issue generally contained news about the battles on the Western Front and other theaters of the war, with much attention paid to the wounded and to war heroes; information about the activities of the British royal family and other notables; news about the home front; features about women and families; short articles on political and social issues; cartoons; serialized stories; and advertisements. The issues generally ran to 12 pages.

Online te lezen via https://www.wdl.org/en/item/19154/ of ga als je lui bent direct naar https://www.wdl.org/en/item/19154/view/1/1/ Luie donder... Wink
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Mrt 2018 10:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

13 MARCH, 1916: ALIEN INVASION

A century ago, the big story dominating world news was the carnage around Verdun, where a second phase of the German offensive was underway. The two-pronged attack had pushed south from positions northeast of the old town, advancing east of the Meuse from 6 March and west of the river two days later, by which time French sector commander Pétain had rushed every available man and artillery piece to the area. On the one hand, this chimed perfectly with German chief of staff Falkenhayn’s plan to draw the French into attrition and ‘bleed the French Army white’; on the other hand it was enough to halt the German offensive in its tracks.

In short, the mincing machine was nicely set up for the next few months, but the tactical nuance, derring-do and disaster on the ground that followed aren’t really my business here, and are covered in soldierly detail by the heritage industry, so let’s head off to East Africa.

The strange war for control of colonial East Africa is largely forgotten today, and almost completely ignored by modern media, so you won’t be hearing too many centenary fanfares about the biggest single operation of the campaign, known to posterity as the Morogoro Offensive. Launched by British Imperial forces in March 1916, it scored an early success, greeted as a major triumph by a British press desperate for some kind of victory to report, with the capture of Moshi, terminus of the main German East African railway, on 13 March

I sketched a background to the East African campaign, complete with the above stolen map, more than a year ago (2 January 1915, Colonial Carnage), but here’s the gist again. The British expected their colonial forces to mop up German East Africa with the same ease that they had disposed of other German colonies on the continent – but they’d reckoned without the resources available to the fertile jewel in the German colonial crown, and they’d reckoned without Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck.

In August 1914, colonial administrators in British and German East Africa preferred a resolution to their masters’ squabbles that would do the least possible damage to local societies, but military authorities were having none of it and both sides launched unsuccessful attacks during the autumn. Quickly reinforced with 12,000 men from India, British colonial forces were much the stronger on paper, and Royal Navy control of the sea-lanes meant they could resupply at will. The smaller German force, though effectively besieged in the colony, was better trained and led by a brilliant field commander in Lettow-Vorbeck, a leader who (in contrast to his British counterparts) trained, trusted and promoted his African troops as if they were Europeans.

Lettow-Vorbeck switched to a defensive campaign from early 1915, a hit-and-run affair designed to distract as many British resources as possible to East Africa from other fronts. In a year that saw plenty of cross-border raiding by both sides, German guerilla activity had destroyed 32 trains and 9 bridges on the British Uganda Railway by March 1916. Meanwhile the British Indian Expeditionary Force – cobbled together from British territorials, Askaris, Indian Army units and white colonial volunteers – attempted no major operations in 1915, though it did take (and loot) the small Lake Victoria port of Bukoba in late June in what seems to have been a morale building exercise. More ambitious British border raids in July and September had barely begun before they collapsed in disarray.

By the end of the year Lettow-Vorbeck and colonial governor Schlee had performed several minor miracles. Despite the British blockade they were keeping the colony reasonably well supplied, thanks to the efficiency of African farmers trained by German colonists and to erzatz production through a local chemical laboratory. Salvaging everything possible from the Königsberg, a German cruiser trapped and hunted by down by British ships in the maze-like Rufugi Delta, had meanwhile helped Lettow-Vorbeck maintain ammunition supplies and added heavy guns to his armoury, and by finding volunteers among the colonial and African populations he had managed to almost triple the size of his army. He entered 1916 at the head of some 14,500 combat troops, 3,000 of them European, deployed as northern and southern units, and controlled from his base at the central railway town of Tabora.

In London, the War as a whole was beginning to feel like a shambles by late 1915, and strategic thinking was dominated by gloom, the blame game and an urge for change. Blame for the running sore of East Africa was placed squarely (and with some justification) on the fairly obvious limitations of Indian Army commanders on the spot. On 15 November, an experienced Western Front general, Horace Smith-Dorrien, was appointed theatre c-in-c with instructions to win a morale-boosting victory as soon as possible . Smith-Dorrien promptly fell ill, and by the time his replacement, the South African Jan Smuts, reached his post on 19 February the Indian Army command had confirmed its incompetence by launching 6,000 men into another chaotically unsuccessful border raid, this time towards the town of Tavita.

Smuts was one of the twentieth century’s noisiest all-rounders, a polymath whose influence helped shape half a century of the British Empire. In 1916 he was a senior political figure in South Africa, an experienced veteran of two African wars – the Boer War and the previous year’s conquest of German Southwest Africa – and a lieutenant general (the British Empire’s youngest) in field command of the South African Army. Reinforcements from South Africa and Rhodesia had brought British combat strength up to 27,000 men, 71 field guns and a squadron of RFC aircraft when Smuts launched his opening attack across the frontier in early March, and it had taken the small towns of the northern Kilimanjaro region, including Moshi, by the time rain and the ravages of disease forced him to call a halt on 13 March.

Despite fanfares in the British press, the attack failed to achieve its main objective – the destruction of Lettow-Vorbeck’s army. The German force escaped intact, prompting Smuts to use a two-week break forced by bad weather to plan a multiple offensive that would surround his elusive enemy.

Secondary advances duly opened in early April from Northern Rhodesia, the Belgian Congo and Portuguese Mozambique (an impressive communications effort in colonial Africa), and at the same time Smuts launched a two-pronged offensive across the northern frontier. General Deventer’s 4,000 men advanced south towards the German colony’s central railway, and Smuts led the rest east towards the coast along the secondary railway.

It was a good plan, well coordinated by a very competent general, but it was a slow, painful failure. None of the diversionary attacks lasted very long or achieved anything, while Deventer spent a month getting halfway to the railway, chasing an exemplary German retreat that took or destroyed everything of use in its path. He had lost half his men to sickness when German hit-and-run attacks on 9 and 10 May forced a long pause. Smuts made slow progress eastwards but moved more rapidly from 22 May, taking the European settlement of Amani before turning south and marching for Morogoro, 185km west of Dar-es-Salaam on the Central Railway. His advance ran out of steam and paused for recuperation in late June, although a detachment of Indian troops took the coastal town of Tanga without a fight on 3 July.

The two British columns eventually converged on the Central Railway in late August. Morogoro was occupied on 26 August and Dar-es-Salaam on 3 September, but Lettow-Vorbeck and his army got clean away, escaping into the fertile Rufugi Delta region and leaving nothing of any value behind. Smuts did his best to follow, and had marched his sick and exhausted forces some 200km north by late September, when he finally gave up and went back to Dar-es-Salaam.

Smuts had captured a lot of territory, in theory at least, and his long, arduous trek around German East Africa had taken the colony’s railways, along with every town anyone in Europe had heard of. From where the British press, public and political establishing were standing, watching 1916’s plans for the Western Front burning at Verdun, this was the great victory they so desperately needed. Smuts found himself lionised as a hero, his military reputation raised to the roof, but aware that he had in fact suffered an expensive, ultimately unnecessary defeat.

After invaliding out 12,000 sick troops, Smuts left the theatre in January 1917 to join the British War Cabinet in London, where he did nothing to dispel the prevailing view that the East African campaign was triumphantly done and dusted. This was anything but true. Lettow-Vorbeck, resupplied by a German blockade-runner, remained a dangerous enemy at large in a territory of his own, and his dwindling forces would continue to plague occupation efforts for the next two years, overcoming supply problems and keeping ever-increasing numbers of British imperial troops occupied.

How the saga ended is a story in itself, best saved for later, but this rambling visit should reinforce my basic point about the campaign. For all the old-fashioned and extreme military endeavour involved, and for all Lettow-Vorbeck’s heroically ingenious defence of imperial interests, its most significant effect was to comprehensively ruin German East Africa. Armies ranged all across the colony for years, stripping it of resources, wrecking its institutions and destabilising its tribal societies by pitting them against each other as Askaris. A fertile, peaceful region in 1914, developing into a model for colonial development under relatively enlightened German rule, that part of eastern Africa has never fully recovered and remains a horrible mess. Well done, everyone.

POPPYCOCK! http://poppycockww1.com/africa/13-march-1916-alien-invasion/
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Mrt 2018 10:33    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Worcestershire in WWl

On the Home Front:

A Worcester Schoolmaster as Conscientious Objector: At a meeting of the Worcester County Council Mr. Parkes asked what action Council proposed to take with regard to an assistant master at Worcester Royal Grammar School who had been before the Worcester Tribunal as a conscientious objector. Mr. Parkes said that two of his boys had attended that School in the past, but he was bound to say that he would not be willing for them to continue under the tuition of a man like that, and that he would withdraw them. He thought that the conscientious objection to service under the Military Service Act was an abomination, and wanted stopping. He did not think that a person who was either afraid or not prepared to serve his country was the right person to teach boys at a public school. The Chairman said that he could not say anything about that case, for the reason that he had the honour to be a member of the County Appeal Tribunal, before whom, that particular case was to come…Mr. Parkes said that he had had an opportunity of expressing his own indignation (and, he felt, that of the Council) that a young man at a public school, instead of teaching young men their duty to their King and country should have set an example the other way about. (Hear, hear).

Worcestershire Men’s Acts: A long list of acts of gallantry on the battlefield for which Distinguished Conduct Medals have been awarded was published recently. The list includes several men in Worcestershire Battalions…For example: 9098 Sergt. H. Boyd, 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment: For conspicuous gallantry in an attack when he assisted in bringing in wounded men, and by persistent firing inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy’s bombing parties. He gave the greatest assistance to his company commander during the operations. Sergt. Boyd had been four times recommended for the honour. During an attack Sergt. Boyd exposed himself fearlessly while signalling for assistance, and for that act was promoted on the field; 2911 Pte. E. Donovan, 1/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (T.F.). For conspicuous devotion to duty. When both his comrades on a listening post were wounded, he managed to get them back to safety, and then went out again and brought in their rifles and equipment; 23291 Pte. F. Knowles, 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. For conspicuous gallantry when he went over the parapet by daylight within 40 yards of the enemy and dragged in a wounded man of another regiment.

http://www.ww1worcestershire.co.uk/key-dates/1916/03/2nd-batt-relieved-by-the-1st6th-scottish-rifles/
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Mrt 2018 10:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

BILLY SING - FAMOUS AUSTRALIAN SNIPER.

The "Cairo Evening Mail" publishes
the following graphic account of the
wonderful work of an Australian marks-
man on the Gallipoli Peninsula, the
story being written by Private Frank
Reed, another Australian :—
Trooper W. E. Sing may well be
termed Australia's champion rifle shot,
for during the time he was on Galli-
poli he accounted for over 200 Turks.
Of course, during enemy attacks he
probably shot many more, but as a
sniper he knows that over 200 fell
owing to his excellent marksmanship.
Sing's sniping methods are somewhat
similar to those of the Turk. He play-
ed them at their own game, and beat
them badly. His "posy" was so close
to the Turkish trenches that their
artillery rarely troubled him. He had
three distinct targets that his mates
by tacit consent left to him. One was
an enemy trench 350 yards away, an-
other was a communication sap 500
yards off, and the third was a track
in a gully 1,000 yards distant. Com-
fortably ensconced in his nest, Sing lay
with a couple of telescopes focussed
on likely places. An officer lay near by
with another telescope. So afraid were
the Turks of these unlucky spots that
the patient sniper often lay a whole
day without getting a glimpse of the
enemy. On other days, the Turks (new
troops probably) looked for trouble.
They walked boldly into view at a
bare 500 yards, and Sing, as he toppled
them over, exclaimed, "It's too easy
to be called sport."

LOCATING HIS POSY.
Every time Billy Sing felt sorry for
the poor Turks, he remembered how
their snipers picked off the Australian
officers in the early days of the land-
ing, and he hardened his heart. But
he never fired at a stretcher-bearer or
any of the soldiers who were trying
to rescue wounded Turks. At first the
enemy had not the slightest idea
whence the death-dealing bullets came.
Often Sing would bag a Turk, and the
enemy would blaze furiously at some
of our loopholes a hundred yards away.
But after a time they located him,
and the sandbags and bushes around
his ''posy" were riddled with bullets.
On one occasion a bullet found its way
through the loophole, badly wounding
a sergeant who was observing, and
slightly wounding Sing. Another ser-
geant took the telescope, and Sing,
after having his wound dressed, resum-
ed his sniping.
At times the Turks adopted bluffing
methods by dodging, but Sing just
smiled. He knew that he would get
them in time. One day a Turk who
knew the danger spot bobbed up his
head for an instant, and then disap-
peared. The imperturbable Sing never
moved—just kept his rifle focussed on
to where he knew the Turk must show
up. A couple of minutes later a head
appeared in the sap, then, the shoul-
ders, then the chest. There was a
sharp crack of the rifle. The Turk
threw up his arms and collapsed in an
ugly heap. The marker notched an-
other to Billy Sing.

A HIT THAT DIDN'T COUNT.
One day a well-known general crawl-
ed up into Sing's "posy" to observe for
him. Sing was in a bad mood, for it
was blowing hard, and he had missed
a man—actually missed a man at 300
yards. "I'll have to start and learn
shooting again," he said, disgustedly.
Just then a hat showed on a parapet
500 yards off. Once more Sing sight-
ed and waited. Soon a head appear-
ed, and Sing pulled the trigger. As
he fired two things happened. A gust
of wind blew strongly across the val-
ley, and the keen-eyed Australian knew
that it would deflect his bullet at least
a foot to the right, but as he fired
another Turk poked up his head right
next to the first one, and received the
bullet fair in the face. "I say, Gen-
eral," said Sing, "I'm awfully sorry for
that poor old Turk. I never meant
to hit him. I wanted the other chap.
I don't think I'll count him."
During recent months our snipers
put such a wholesome fear into the
Turks that none of them would show
up for an instant. So Sing changed
his tactics. He changed his "posy,"
and the Turks wasted ammunition on
his old sniping post for days after-
wards. He built a new "posy" right
opposite the nearest Turkish trench.
By the aid of a strong telescope, he
could not only pick out the loopholes
in the enemy's firing line, but whether
there was a face behind or not. Care-
fully adjusting the sight of his rifle, he
could nearly always score a bull's eye.
It takes keen eyesight and clever
marksmanship to do this, and Sing
was not the only Australian who could
do it. But it made the Turks fear
the Kangaroos all the more. At first
they feared our bayonets, and called
us "the mad white Gurkhas.'' Later
on they feared our bullets, and called
us other nasty names. But we didn't
mind, and Billy Sing didn't mind.
[Private Sing's name appears in to-
day's cablegrams, giving the details of
the acts for which the Distinguished
Conduct Medal has been awarded.]

Uit: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.), March 13 1916,
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/1037767
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Mrt 2018 11:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

[Letter to Hazel] : 13 March [1915] - Cecil Malthus

Acht bladzijden leesvoer... http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Heritage/Digitised/WarsAndConflicts/WorldWarI/Malthus/Malthus-1915-03-13-p01.asp en verder...
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Mrt 2018 11:25    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Orders from Churchill to Vice-Admiral Carden, dated 13 March 1915

This is a telegram containing direct orders from Churchill to his Naval Commander on the spot, Vice-Admiral Sackville Carden. The telegram was sent during the opening phase of the Gallipoli operation.

Original Transcript


TELEGRAM No. 105.
From admiralty [handwritten] DATE 13/3.
To British Admiral, Sent.
Murdos
Following is not to be sent by W/T
Admiral Carden has been told to send destroyer for it.
First Lord to Admiral Carden.
Personal and Secret.Your 203 gives the impression of your being brought to a standstill both by night and day during the 12th and makes me anxious to receive your reply to admiralty telegram No.101. I do not understand why minesweeping should be interfered with by fire which causes no casualties. Two or three hundred casualties would be a moderate price to pay for sweeping up as far as the Narrows. I highly approve your proposal to obtain volunteers from the Fleet for Mine Sweeping. This work has to be done whatever the loss of life and small craft and the sooner it is done the better.
Secondly we have information that the Turkish Forts are short of ammunition and that the German Officers have made desponding reports and have appealed to Germany for more. Every conceivable effort is being made to supply ammunition. It is being seriously considered to send a German or an Austrian submarine but apparently they have not started yet. Above is absolutely secret.
All this makes it clear that the operations should now be pressed forward methodically and resolutely by night and day the unavoidable losses are accepted.
The
.2.
The enemy is harassed and anxious now. Time is precious as the interference of submarines would be a very serious complication.
Thirdly, Sir Ian Hamilton leaves tonight to command the Army and will be with you on Tuesday 16th. Take him fully into your confidence and let there be the most cordial cooperation. But do not delay your own operations on this account.
The First Sea Lord has ordered QUEEN and IMPLACABLE to sail tonight to strengthen your Fleet and provide further reserve for casualties.
“W. S. C.”
CIRCULATED TO-
I.L
I.S.L
SIR.A.WILSON
SIR.H.JACKSON
D.O.D

Simplified Transcript

Your message gives the impression that you haven’t made any progress. I don’t understand why you haven’t carried on minesweeping. Two or three hundred casualties would be an acceptable price to clear the mines.
Secondly, we have information that the Turkish forts are running out of ammunition and have asked Germany for more.
All this makes clear that we must press forward. The enemy is under pressure now.
Thirdly, Sir Ian Hamilton leaves tonight to command the army and will be with you soon. Please co-operate fully with him but don’t delay your operations.
I’ve sent more ships to support you – HMS Queen and HMS Implacable.
WSC

Originelen te lezen op http://www.churchillarchiveforschools.com/themes/the-themes/key-events-and-developments-in-world-history/what-went-wrong-at-gallipoli-in-1915/the-sources/source-6
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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GALLIPOLI DISPATCHES 1915 - Harry Biles' War Diary

Harry Biles’ Diary: From Malta to Lemnos, 8 – 13 March 1915

Saturday 13 March, 1915: At Lemnos.

https://peterhbiles.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/harry-biles-diary-from-malta-to-lemnos-8-13-march-1915/
_________________

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