Advancing without fighting | 30 Nov 1914

More arsing around in Africa.  The French preparations for attack continue; and they help us answer the question “how do you advance without fighting?” Dar-es-Salaam Continue reading Advancing without fighting | 30 Nov 1914

First Ypres | 18 Nov 1914

The exact end date of the First Battle of Ypres is up for negotiation, but today’s as good a day as any to review the Continue reading First Ypres | 18 Nov 1914

Reinforcement | 15 Nov 1914

8th Division has arrived in strength; the horrific weather in Flanders continues, and the Germans are showing less and less willing to keep attacking with Continue reading Reinforcement | 15 Nov 1914

The Man with the Tea | 14 Nov 1914

Another day much like yesterday, which means I’m going to take the opportunity to tell probably my favourite funny story from the “it may well Continue reading The Man with the Tea | 14 Nov 1914

Very lights | 13 Nov 1914

We almost have a quiet day! There’s a fair amount of heavy fighting, to be sure, but nothing happens that hasn’t already been happening. The Continue reading Very lights | 13 Nov 1914

Lodz | 12 Nov 1914

It’s still bloody hot in and around Ypres. In a great example of the effects of fog of war, General Haig is now more worried Continue reading Lodz | 12 Nov 1914

Nonneboschen | 11 Nov 1914

Well, this is it. Today the Prussian Guards are going into action at Ypres to spearhead the offensive. Behind the defenders is the artillery; behind Continue reading Nonneboschen | 11 Nov 1914

Menin Road | 10 Nov 1914

Back to Flanders. Back to First Ypres. And back, in the end, to the Menin Road. One more push here will surely break the stubborn Continue reading Menin Road | 10 Nov 1914

Francis Orme | 07 Nov 1914

The British Official history notes that “The 7th November was misty and marked the definite commencement of winter weather. Henceforth, mud seriously interfered with operations, Continue reading Francis Orme | 07 Nov 1914

Rats, shells, corpses | 06 Nov 1914

Another day full of shells, shells and more shells on the Western Front. The last five days have been full of me writing variations on Continue reading Rats, shells, corpses | 06 Nov 1914

Messines | Coronel | 01 Nov 1914

Today we see the first instance of what will become a recurring theme. German intelligence takes the 2nd Worcesters’ vigorous counter-attack as evidence that the Continue reading Messines | Coronel | 01 Nov 1914

Gheluvelt | 31 Oct 1914

Sir John French would, in later life, rate the 31st of October 1914 as being the worst day of his life, containing the worst half Continue reading Gheluvelt | 31 Oct 1914

First Ypres | 30 Oct 1914

The day begins with French orders to renew the assault on Poelcappelle, sure that the Germans are about to crack.  The day ends with the Continue reading First Ypres | 30 Oct 1914

Ottoman raid on Russia | 29 Oct 1914

Once again, the big news today is away from the Western Front. The Ottoman Empire is now fully committed to joining the war, and launches Continue reading Ottoman raid on Russia | 29 Oct 1914

Penang | 28 Oct 1914

A series of actions all across the Western Front today, but first we’re going to Malaysia to catch up with our old friend the Emden. Continue reading Penang | 28 Oct 1914

Neuve Chapelle | 27 Oct 1914

“The situation at Neuve Chapelle, when morning dawned, was most unsatisfactory.” Once again Edmonds, the British official historian, shows a fine command of understatement. Neuve Continue reading Neuve Chapelle | 27 Oct 1914

Poelcappelle | 26 Oct 1914

Spirits are still high among the Allied commanders today. The French renew their attacks at Poelcappelle, north of Ypres; to the south, those dastardly Boches Continue reading Poelcappelle | 26 Oct 1914

Polygon Wood | 25 Oct 1914

The German hammer comes down on the Yser again. They’re slowly expanding their bridgehead at Nieuport, and yet again they throw everything they have at Continue reading Polygon Wood | 25 Oct 1914

Polygon Wood | 24 Oct 1914

Polygon Wood is either a large wood or a small forest about four miles east of Ypres, located on undulating terrain between the Gheluvelt plateau Continue reading Polygon Wood | 24 Oct 1914

Engineers | 23 Oct 1914

Today is a day of heavy fighting, but also a day of military engineers. There may be a lot of fighting going on, but unlike Continue reading Engineers | 23 Oct 1914

Langemarck | 22 Oct 1914

Another day in Flanders.  It’s now obvious to all that the German High Command has gone round headquarters with a set of tools, removed all Continue reading Langemarck | 22 Oct 1914

Ypres Salient | 21 Oct 1914

The German attacks in Flanders continue winding up. How much longer can the line hold in the face of it? Ypres 7th Division has received Continue reading Ypres Salient | 21 Oct 1914

Ypres | 20 Oct 1914

The Allies are once again well and truly on the defensive. Another grand plan to take the offensive in front of Ypres has fallen by Continue reading Ypres | 20 Oct 1914

Messines | Menin | 19 Oct 1914

The pendulum is swinging back towards the Germans. Their latest major offensive begins today, from La Bassee, through Armentieres and Messines, to Menin and Roulers, Continue reading Messines | Menin | 19 Oct 1914