F Hammond letter 4 Aug 15

62210 RE

Sigs HQ 28th Bde

9th Scot Div

4 Aug 1915

Dear Mar & Pa

Just a line to let you know I am OK.  I suppose Will was over on Bank Holiday.

Our Brigade is again in the trenches for some time now.  There is some talk of there being some leave when we come out of course I don’t know how long it will take before it all goes thro the Divn and I suppose circumstances may stop it.  I think we shall be out for the winter alright.  We are expecting some of the German troops from Russia before long when I suppose they will make their last effort as far as the English Line is concerned I don’t think there is any doubt.

Well Gladys said something about Mar sending me some grub.  It has not arrd up to date.  Now Gladys you mustn’t kid poor old Gussie like that.  I am in the pink suppose you will be going to Blackpool when you receive this.  How’s Geo going on would like to hear something definite about his position.  There is very little news out in this part the same affairs occurring day after day.  One night the Germans got a surprise our artillery soon put them to sleep.  It’s for all the world like the fireworks at Belle Vue of a night.  They send star shells up which lights the country for miles around.  Drop me a line when you get to B’pool or a pc of it.  Just to cheer the Boys up.

Well Bye Bye for present.  Fred

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AUGUST 1915

On the 1st August 1915, the “Fokker Scourge” begins which lasted almost a year. The Fokker Eindecker EIII engine was fitted with an interrupter gear allowing the pilot to fire machine-gun bullets through the spinning propeller. The interrupter gear was an improved version of one fitted to a captured French plane. This interrupter was to give the Germans superiority over the Allied fighter planes until the Allied aerial technology caught up.

 

The Italian Second Battle of Isonzo ended on the 3rd August 1915. Casualties on both sides were heavy. Some minor territorial gains were made by the Italians since the battle began on the 18th July 1915, but gradually the fighting died away. The Italian General Cadorna was convinced he could break through to Trieste but he would need a couple of months to reinforce his forces before a third battle could begin.

 

At Gallipoli on the 6th August 1915, the British attacked the  heavily defending Turks at Suvla Bay. 63,000 Allied troops landed and were scheduled to link up with Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC’S) at nearby Anzac Cove. This was hindered because the operation was steeped in secrecy, whereby Allied senior officers were unaware of what adjoining forces were doing. The ANZAC’s  were unable to breakout at Anzac Cove and unable to link up with the British at Suvla Bay. Turkish Forces, led by Mustpha Kemel mounted a frantic attack and the British forces were pushed back. Turkish forces retook Suvla Bay on the 10th August 1915.

 

On the 19th August 1915, The German submarine U24 sank the British liner “Arabic” off the coast of Iceland. Of the 40 people who lost their lives, three were American. Despite protests from the Americans after the sinking of the “Lusitania” on 7th May 1915, submarine actions had continued. After the sinking of the “Arabic”, American protests escalate.

 

Italy declares war on Turkey on the 21st August 1915.

 

On the 21st August 1915, Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich was dismissed as the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army. Tsar Nicholas II takes overall military control on the 5th September 1915.

 

On the 21st August 1915 Major General Beauvoir de Lisle, who commanded the 29th Division of the British Army, decided to attack across the Suvla Plain. Surrounded by high ridges the British had a large base on the lower foothills, overlooked by Turkish forces. De Lisle intended to seize the foothills of the Scimitar and W Hills with the aim of crossing the Suvla Plains to link up with the British Army at Suvla Bay.

The plan was simple. The 29th Division would storm the Scimitar Hills and the 11th Division would attack the W Hills. To the south, the ANZACS would attack Hill 60. Preliminary bombardment lasted approximately half-hour and began at 2.30pm. By limiting the bombardment to 30 minutes, the British hoped the Turks would not have time to move their reserves up to the front line. The battle swung backwards and forwards on top of Scimitar Hill. For the British to advance beyond Scimitar Hill they would have to advance across wide-open spaces in full view of the Turkish Artillery. Officers of the Turkish Artillery were presented with an easy target of slow walking British infantry across an open plain devoid of any cover.

Eventually the attack petered out with very little ground gained and the link-up between the British and ANZAC forces not being accomplished.

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On the 30th August 1915, the Germans announce the prohibition of the sinking of passenger vessels without warning.