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

“Improving the position” | 18 Aug 1916

Bulgarian initiative and First Doiran Quick recap; Romania has just signed on to enter the war. The French have agreed to lead an attack to Continue reading “Improving the position” | 18 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

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

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

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

Delville Wood | Longueval | 26 Jul 1916

Battle of the Somme General Rawlinson is not particularly happy at the moment, having presided over a gigantic wet fart of an offensive on the Continue reading Delville Wood | Longueval | 26 Jul 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

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

Fort Souville | Contalmaison | 11 Jul 1916

Battle of Verdun Time to assault Verdun again. Let’s have the map for this. This is just about the last German throw of the dice. Continue reading Fort Souville | Contalmaison | 11 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

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

Hunter-Weston | Serre | 27 Jun 1916

Battle of the Somme Not everyone in the BEF is entirely content with the plans for the Battle of the Somme. General Hubert Rees will Continue reading Hunter-Weston | Serre | 27 Jun 1916

Somme postponed | 26 Jun 1916

Battle of the Somme The weather has turned nasty over the Somme battlefields. Heavy summer rains are starting to blow in from the south, and Continue reading Somme postponed | 26 Jun 1916

Gommecourt | Boulogne | Executions | 15 Jun 1916

German East Africa: The Northern Railway No, this is not an extremely boring classic film for railway enthusiasts. A couple of weeks ago, with the Continue reading Gommecourt | Boulogne | Executions | 15 Jun 1916

Sykes-Picot Agreement | 16 May 1916

Sykes-Picot Agreement There is an argument to be made that May 16 1916 is in fact the most significant date of the entire war. All Continue reading Sykes-Picot Agreement | 16 May 1916

Kondoa Irangi | Rawlinson & Haig | 8 Apr 1916

March to Kondoa The South Africans’ march to Kondoa continues with all speed possible, but Colonel von Lettow-Vorbeck has been thinking hard, and his own Continue reading Kondoa Irangi | Rawlinson & Haig | 8 Apr 1916

March to Kondoa | Lolkisale | 4 Apr 1916

March to Kondoa Yesterday we left the situation in Africa with General van Deventer riding out of Arusha, secure in the knowledge that Lolkisale (or Continue reading March to Kondoa | Lolkisale | 4 Apr 1916

March to Kondoa | Plans for the Somme | 3 Apr 1916

March to Kondoa General van Deventer can wait no longer for his 2nd Division to finish forming up. Time is of the essence here. They Continue reading March to Kondoa | Plans for the Somme | 3 Apr 1916

Hanna | Gorringe | 30 Mar 1916

Hanna That’s the Hanna chokepoint in Mesopotamia. Why yes, I’m starting today with the relief effort for the Siege of Kut, rather than holding it Continue reading Hanna | Gorringe | 30 Mar 1916

Latema Nek | 10 Mar 1916

Latema Nek From a British Empire perspective, there is precisely one good thing about the latest development in the invasion of German East Africa. This Continue reading Latema Nek | 10 Mar 1916

The Battle of Verdun | The plan | 4 Feb 1916

Battle of Verdun Right then. There are eight days to go until the Germans launch the Battle of Verdun, a battle that will define 1916 Continue reading The Battle of Verdun | The plan | 4 Feb 1916

Smith-Dorrien | Africa | 30 Dec 1915

Africa Before we leave Africa for the year, there’s a few developments to report, of some importance. South Africans have begun arriving in Kenya for Continue reading Smith-Dorrien | Africa | 30 Dec 1915

Falkenhayn | Belfort | Verdun | 3 Dec 1915

German strategy General von Falkenhayn’s determination to somehow take the initiative on the Western Front with a really, really big battle continues apace. As mentioned Continue reading Falkenhayn | Belfort | Verdun | 3 Dec 1915

Sir Bryan Mahon | Buggins’ turn | 03 July 1915

Kenneth Best Kenneth Best has some new arrivals to talk to. New Brigade of Jocks arriving, most in kilts. They look a sturdy, cheerful lot, Continue reading Sir Bryan Mahon | Buggins’ turn | 03 July 1915

Battle of Neuve Chapelle | 10 Mar 1915

The BEF takes its first serious offensive action in a long time today. Arguably since the start of the war, depending on how you feel Continue reading Battle of Neuve Chapelle | 10 Mar 1915