Haig and Rawlinson | 22 Aug 1916

Haig and Rawlinson It seems that the rule among the BEF’s high command at the moment is “if in doubt, shout at General Rawlinson”. While Continue reading Haig and Rawlinson | 22 Aug 1916

Preparing for Flers-Courcelette | 15 Aug 1916

Battle of Flers-Courcelette Deep, long-suffering sigh. For reasons that we’ll get into in a moment, General Haig has decided that now is the time to Continue reading Preparing for Flers-Courcelette | 15 Aug 1916

Mouquet Farm | 14 Aug 1916

Mouquet Farm The march towards Mouquet Farm continues for the 4th Australian Division at the Battle of the Somme. They’ve almost done their job too Continue reading Mouquet Farm | 14 Aug 1916

Haig’s joke | Flora Sandes | 12 Aug 1916

Battle of Romani Time to close up shop in Egypt for the forseeable future. The Ottomans have lost just about two-thirds of their force. General Continue reading Haig’s joke | Flora Sandes | 12 Aug 1916

Joffre and Haig | Tanks | 10 Aug 1916

Sixth Isonzo The Italian Army is now, three days too late, pulling its collective finger out for a jolly good bash at the Austro-Hungarians’ reserve Continue reading Joffre and Haig | Tanks | 10 Aug 1916

Sixth Isonzo | Gorizia | 8 Aug 1916

Sixth Isonzo Hopefully you’re not still chewing on your knuckles from yesterday. The irony here really is painful. The Italian Army has spent a long, Continue reading Sixth Isonzo | Gorizia | 8 Aug 1916

Gorizia | Sixth Isonzo | 7 Aug 1916

Sixth Isonzo Yesterday we had a rather odd concept to digest; there’s been a battle on the Isonzo and there is good news for the Continue reading Gorizia | Sixth Isonzo | 7 Aug 1916

Bitlis | Romani | Verdun | 5 Aug 1916

Battle of Bitlis In the Caucasus we have rather a curate’s egg of a battle for the Ottomans. On paper, things are going quite well. Continue reading Bitlis | Romani | Verdun | 5 Aug 1916

Justifying the Somme | 2 Aug 1916

Battle of Bitlis Off to the Caucasus for starters today, where Ottoman commander Izzet’s three-independent-corps concept is already starting to wobble. One corps is finding Continue reading Justifying the Somme | 2 Aug 1916

The uses of Churchill | 1 Aug 1916

August on the Somme Winston Churchill is a pain in the arse, but he does have his uses. The fiasco on Gallipoli hasn’t done much Continue reading The uses of Churchill | 1 Aug 1916

Taking stock | 31 July 1916

Battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme is one month old. It’s been a long bloody month. I think I’ve said about all Continue reading Taking stock | 31 July 1916

Pozieres Windmill | 29 Jul 1916

Pozieres windmill Between the ANZACs and Pozieres windmill, there is a very nasty interconnected trench system with two main fire trenches. The staff knows them Continue reading Pozieres Windmill | 29 Jul 1916

General Gough | ANZACs | 28 Jul 1916

Battle of the Somme In Pozieres, the battered and bruised 1st Australian Division is being removed from the line and replaced with fellow Gallipoli veterans Continue reading General Gough | ANZACs | 28 Jul 1916

Erzincan | Haig & ANZACs | 25 Jul 1916

Battle of Erzincan Erzincan has surrendered. A second overwhelming Russian victory in 1916 is now complete. Vehip Pasha’s Third Army has, for the second time Continue reading Erzincan | Haig & ANZACs | 25 Jul 1916

Unexpected changes | Somme | 22 July 1916

I am going to try a little experiment today and format everything back to front, so we’ll start with the rear-area personal account and finish Continue reading Unexpected changes | Somme | 22 July 1916

Mission creep | Somme | 21 Jul 1916

Battle of the Somme I’ve been so caught up in shouting at British generalship over the last week that I’ve almost completely ignored a major Continue reading Mission creep | Somme | 21 Jul 1916

Passing the buck | Fromelles | 17 Jul 1916

Battle of the Somme Time to talk about the Somme again. It’s back to Delville Wood, while I sneak off to frantically google “things that Continue reading Passing the buck | Fromelles | 17 Jul 1916

Capture of Ovillers | 16 Jul 1916

Battle of the Somme Good news, everybody! One more pink name on our map of the Somme turns black today! After 16 days of on-and-off Continue reading Capture of Ovillers | 16 Jul 1916

Bazentin Ridge | Mwanza | 14 Jul 1916

Mwanza Back to Africa today, where the Force Publique gets well and truly stuck into Major Wintgens’s defensive positions outside Mwanza, on Lake Victoria. The Continue reading Bazentin Ridge | Mwanza | 14 Jul 1916

Verdun and the Somme | Fromelles | 13 Jul 1916

Battle of Verdun The Battle of the Somme has now succeeded in one of its main objectives. Today General von Falkenhayn orders offensive operations to Continue reading Verdun and the Somme | Fromelles | 13 Jul 1916

Castelletto | Souville | 12 Jul 1916

Castelletto For the past six months, the Italian army has been launching sporadic operations at the north-eastern end of the Dolomites. In theory, if they Continue reading Castelletto | Souville | 12 Jul 1916

Charteris’s intelligence | 6 Jul 1916

The Power of Positivity There is at least one person in the whole of the British Army who is entirely confident in his own performance Continue reading Charteris’s intelligence | 6 Jul 1916

Somme ennui | Erzincan | 5 Jul 1916

Battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme continues drifting aimlessly. At the top, both commanders-in-chief are busy fiddling around with the organisation of Continue reading Somme ennui | Erzincan | 5 Jul 1916

German counter-attacks | 4 Jul 1916

Battle of the Somme A huge rainstorm has blown in. Even if the BEF had been in position to launch a major attack on the Continue reading German counter-attacks | 4 Jul 1916

Joffre’s temper | 3 Jul 1916

German East Africa In Tanzania, the Schutztruppe is now in full-on retreat from the north of the colony. Colonel von Lettow-Vorbeck’s clear instruction has been Continue reading Joffre’s temper | 3 Jul 1916

Montauban | Bayburt | 2 Jul 1916

Battle of Erzincan Let’s have a little palate-cleansing aperitif before we dive back into the Somme, shall we? Quick reminder; the Ottomans have attacked the Continue reading Montauban | Bayburt | 2 Jul 1916

First day on the Somme | 1 July 1916

On the signal, company will advance! First day on the Somme In the British imagination, 1st July 1916 looms over the rest of the First Continue reading First day on the Somme | 1 July 1916

Footballs on the Somme | 29 Jun 1916

Battle of the Somme This, of course, should have been Z Day, but due to the bad weather, Z Day’s been put back to the Continue reading Footballs on the Somme | 29 Jun 1916

Rain and raids | 28 Jun 1916

“Y” Day on the Somme Just as most of the BEF’s part of the Western Front has been delivering intense artillery bombardments to disguise the Continue reading Rain and raids | 28 Jun 1916