May 1916

Diary of the War 1916

May 1.-German attacks east of Ypres: and north of Albert repulsed. French attack south-east of Douaumont Fort first line trench of 500 yards taken. Admiralty announce loss of armed yacht Aegusa and mine-sweeper Nasturtium through striking mines in the Mediterranean. Further surrenders in Ireland at Cork Euniscorthy and elsewhere.

May 2.—Five Zeppelin: attack East Coast from Rattray Head to Norfolk; about 100 bombs dropped, 36 casualties. French troops occupy Florina, 23 miles south of Monastir

May 3.—French push at Verdun; German positions north-west of Mort Homme and 100 prisoners taken. Zeppelin L20 wrecked off the Norwegian coast. Hostile aeroplane raid on Deal; three casualties. Resignation of Mr- Birrell; three of the Irish rebel leaders shot. New Military Service Blll introduced by Mr Asquith extended compulsory principle to marred men.

May 4— Zeppelin L20 destroyed by gunfire of H.M. ships Galatea and Phaeton and by a British submarine off the Schleswig coast. Four more Irish rebels shot.

May 5 – Zeppelin destroyed by fire of Allied Fleet over Salonika Harbour. German attack on Hill 304 in the Avocourt region; a footing gained. in an advanced trench. Major McBride, Irish rebel, shot. Russians within 120 miles of Baghdad.

May 6. — Text of German reply to American Note published; further effort to make renunciation of submarine campaign contingent on American inference with British blockade.

May 7.—Violent German attacks on Hill 304 and Fort Douaumont; a footing in French trenches gained and lost.

May 8.- Further German attacks on Hill 304 repulsed; French progress in region of Thiaumont farm. War office announce Australian and New Zealand troops in France. German rally in East Africa; they advance on Kondoa Irangi; Belgian advance on Ruanda progressing satisfactorily. German attack Nhika, Portuguese East Africa. White Star liner Cymric torpedoed sinks in 11 hours; five of the crew killed. Four more Irish rebels shot.

May 9.—President Wilson reply to German Note; Germany’s proposed abandonment of submarine warfare accepted, but guarantees refused as to America’s negotiations with other belligerents. Russians operating on the Persian frontier reach Kasr-i-Shirin, 110 miles from Baghdad.

May 10.—German attack on French lines defending Hill 237: French successful counter-attack at Mort Homme. German attack on General Van Deventer’s troops near Kondoa Irangi.repulsed

May 11.— German attack on French centre west of the Vaux pond repulsed. Germans capture about 500 yards of British trenches north-east of Vermelles; parts of the ground regained. Italian occupation of Mersa Moresa and the port of Bardia.on the Mediterranean near the Egyptian frontier announced. Mr. Asquith leaves for Dublin to investigate-the Irish situation.

 May 12. – French extend their positions south-east of Hancourt. Attacks on French centre at Verdun repulsed. Belgian troops reported in Kigali, German East Africa. Further German attacks on Nhika, Portuguese East Africa, repulsed. Zeppelin reported believed sunk off Norwegian coast.

 May 13. – German attacks on French lines west of Hill 304 and north-east of Mort Homme repulsed. German attack on British lines at Ploegsteert Wood; trenched entered, but enemy driven back. Turkish offence at Ashkala, 30 miles west of Erzrum, forced back the Russian centre, though at great cost.

 May 14. – Great Austrian offensive against Italian front in the Trentino; Italians fall back on their main lines of defence. German attacks on the Loos salient around the Hohenzollern Redoubt and Hulluch. Russian columns operating south of Lake Urumiah on the Persian border occupy Revanduz, on the road to Mosul. British monitor, M 30, lost in Mediterranean.

 May 15.- British occupy 250 yards of German trench on the Vimy ridge. British form under Colonel Kelly advance: on El Fasher, capital of the Sultan of Darfur. Sir Roger Casement charged with high treason at Bow street.

 May 16. — Further Austrian successes against the Italians around Rovereto on the Folgaria Plateau, and in the Val.Terragnoia; attempt to storm Zugna Torta checked. Fight between British destroyers and monitors and some German destroyers off the Belgian coast; enemy finally withdraw. Turkish camp at Bayoud, Sinai Peninsula, stormed by Australians and New Zealanders. Three German ships torpedoed and sunk off the south-east coast of Sweden.

 May 17. – Italian rally at Zugna Torta. Germans capture British mine crater on Vimy Ridge. New Air Board under presidency of Lord Curzon constituted.

 May 18.—French repulse German attack on Wood of Avocourt and Hill 304. Italians evacuate Zugna Torla. British naval. and air raid on El Arish, Siai Peninsula. Another German steamer sunk by a submarine off the Swedish coast.

 May 19. – Further German attack on Wood of Avocourt and Hill 304; they take a small work south of Hill 287. Turks evacuate the Beit Ellissa position on the south bank of the Tigris; the Dujailar Redoubt carried by General Gorringe. Enemy the Kent coast: some casualties; one of the raieors brought down by a naval patrol off the Belgian coast.

 May 20. – Great German assault with five divisions on Mont Homme; the summit of Hill 295 taken. General Lake reports the south bank of the Tigris as far as Shatt-el-Hai free of the enemy.

 May 21.—French take two trenches between Avocourt Wood and the Meuse, and repel attacks on western slopes of Mort Homme. Germans carry 1,500 yards at British trenches at Vimy Ridge.

 May 22.—-French carry German trenches: on mile and a quarter front from Thiaumont Farm to Douaumont Fort, they gain footing in the Fort.

 May 23.- German assault on the front. Thiaumont – Douaumont t repulsed. Germans gain Village of Cumieres. Italians falling back between the Astico and the Brenta. El Fasher occupied. Mr. Asquith moves eleventh Vote of credit for £300,000,000.

 May 24.—Fight at Verdun assumes dimensions of a great battle; the two armies: engaged over the whole Front; Germans again take the ruins of Douaumont; French regain part of Cumieres, British occupy Lembeni other parts of the Moshi railway, Germens East Africa.

 May 25.—-Great German attack at Verdun between Haudromont Wood and Thiaumont farm; a trench taken. King’s message to his people; 5,041,000 voluteers. General Smuts occupies Same on the Usambara Railway.

 May 26.-French win back trench Haudromont Wood and Thiaumont farm. German attack between Avocourt Wood and Mont. Hummo repulsed. Bulgurians and Germans occupy Fort Rupel on the Greek frontier; Kavala threatened; great excitement in Greece. French recapture part of Cumieres. American Note on Allied searching of neutral mails published.

 May 27.—French take some trenches southwest of Mort Homme

 May 28.-Austrian offensive against Italians continues especially north of Asiago;  Austrians repulsed in the Lagarina Valley.

 May 29.-—German attack on Hill 304 repulsed; north-west of Cumieres Germans gain some trenches. Italians evacuate Asiago. Austrians drive a wedge between Monte Pasubio and Arsiero; Italians maintain their positions.

 May 30.—French abandon the Bethincourt- Cumieres road between Mort Hommeu and Cumieres and evacuate Caurettes Wood; they are driven back towards Chattancourt; counter-attack drives Germens back to Cumieres. Turkish Offensive in Armenia; Mamakhatun reoccupied. German trenches at Pangani, German East; Africa, carried by General Smuts‘s troops; Germans retire to Mkomazi: General Northey’s occupation at Neu Langenburg announced.

 May 31.—Grand Naval Battle of the Coast of Jutland. –

Sir David Beatty’s squadron of eight battlecruisers, Lion, Tiger. Princess Royal, Queen Mary, Invincible, Indefatigable, Inflexible, and New Zealand, supported by the four battleships Valiant, Warspite, Barham and Malaya, and eight or nine armoured cruisers, attacks Vice-Admiral Hipper’s battle-cruisers squadron west of Hantsholm Point; supported later by Admiral Scheer, until Sir John Jellicoe’s main fleet comes up, when the German Fleet retires; British lose battle cruisers Queen Mary, Indefatigable and Invincible, cruisers Defence, Black Prince and Warrior, and destroyers Tipperary, Turbulent, Fortune, Sparrowhalk, Ardent, Nomad, Nester and Shark; Germans lose two battleship, two Dreadnought battle-cruisers, four light cruisers and at least nine destroyers, and a submarine.

Italians withdrawal near Posina and on the Asiago Plateau. Austrian attacks in the  Lagarina. Valley and at the Boole Pass countered: Austrian; claim capture Monte Priafora and the town of Gallio. French progress at Mort Homme. Austrrailians and New Zealand Mounted troops drive Turks from a post at Bir Salmana Sinai Peninsla


By Fred Hartshorn

Retired Engineer but now am a Therapeutic Counselor and charity volunteer. Ex DJ. MBACP, BSc(Hon), DipComp, DipCoun. Interested in books, computing, family and local history. Budding artist. and Musician.

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