WW1 Key Events

December 1916

The Battle of Verdun, that had begun on 21st February, wound up to a bloody climax during the 15th, 16th and 17th December, with the French Army finally gaining decisive ascendancy. The German … (more...)

Belgian Deportations – Forced Labour Emerges

From early 1915 the German policy of military conscription produced a labour shortage in German factories, and this in turn impacted on the war effort. Civilians in occupied Belgium were encouraged to … (more...)

November 1916

In what was the last British Army offensive on the Western Front for 1916, the Battle of the Ancre began on 13 November when the British 5th Army attacked German positions in the Ancre Valley. Some … (more...)

Fortnightly Summary – 4-17 July 1916

Savage fighting continued at the Battle of Verdun this week. Following the German assault on June 22 that used a preliminary bombardment of gas shells, another gas attack, using 60,000 shells, was … (more...)

October 1916

In the early hours of October 1, the German zeppelin L-31 was shot down while patrolling above London. The British pilot Second Lieutenant W. J. Tempest, flying a BE 2 aircraft, attacked the airship … (more...)

Death of A Zeppelin – The L-31 is shot down

The Germans had begun using aerial bombing using zeppelins from the early days of the war with London becoming a target from May 1915. The population of England detested the concept of random bombing … (more...)

The Australians and Germans Locked in Battle – Bullecourt, Ypres, Messines and Menin Road

Since leaving the battlefield of Gallipoli in late 1915, the Australians had fought in two major battles on the Western Front in which they had suffered devastating casualties – Fromelles and Pozieres … (more...)

Fortnightly Summary – 20 June – 3 July 1916

On June 22, the carnage of Verdun took an even more sinister turn, when the Germans launched a major gas attack against French artillery positions, firing more than 100,000 gas shells. The resulting … (more...)

The Fall of Fort Vaux

Fort Vaux, situated to northeast of Verdun was one of a number of forts designed to provide a protective shield around the city. Another of these, Fort Douaumont, had been captured in the early stages … (more...)

Fortnightly Summary – 6-19 June 1916

The week continued with the carnage of Verdun, as heavy fighting raged around Fort Vaux that eventually fell to the Germans on June 7. A “line of panic” had been prepared by the French beforehand, a … (more...)