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Great War

Montag. 15. Februar 1915

Nach Angaben des britischen Schatzkanzlers David Lloyd George betragen die Kriegskosten der Alliierten bislang etwa 2 Mrd. Pfund Sterling (42 Mrd. Mark).

Die Höchstpreise für Speisekartoffeln werden im Deutschen Reich um 1,75 Mark je Zentner erhöht.
Der Bundesrat beschließt eine Einschränkung der Biererzeugung; um Gerste zu sparen, dürfen Brauereien vom 1. April an nur noch 60% der 1912 und 1913 zur Bierherstellung verwendeten Malzmenge verbrauchen.
On 15 February 1915 engineering workers on Clydeside went on strike for an  extra tuppence an hour, led by a committee of shop stewards…
Забастовки в бассейне р. Клайд. В 1915–16 шоп-стюарды возглавили ряд стачек на Клайде. В феврале 1915 г. произошли крупные стачки в машиностроительной и судостроительной промышленности бассейна реки Клайд в Шотландии.

Feb 1915: ‘Tuppence an Hour’ Engineers’ strike.
In February 1915, 10,000 engineering workers in Glasgow took unofficial strike action over their demands for an increase in wages.
In 1915 during a prolonged period of considerable economic hardship for most industrial workers, Clydeside engineering employers refused workers demands for a wage increase. The insatiable demand for war munitions had lead to a rapid rise in inflation and a savage attack on the living standards of the working class. Workers were demanding wage increases to offset these repressive conditions. At this time Weir’s of Cathcart was paying workers brought over from their American plant 6/- shillings a week more than workers in their Glasgow plant.

The dispute between workers and management at Weir’s very rapidly escalated into strike action. The strike was organised by a strike committee named the Labour Withholding Committee (LWC). This committee comprised of rank and file trade union members and shop stewards. It was they who remained in control of the strike rather than the officials from the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE).

The strike started in February 1915 and lasted almost 3 weeks. At its peak 10,000 members of the ASE from 8 separate engineering works were on strike throughout Clydeside.
It is composed of Delegates or Shop Stewards from all Trades in the Glasgow area, and is open to all such bona fide workers. The progressives in all Trades are invited to attend. Its origin goes back to the last big strike of February, 1915, when action was taken to force the demand put forward for an increase of 2d. per hour in the Engineering industry. At that time a Committee known as the Labour Withholding Committee was set up, representative of the different Trades in the industry, to organise the strike, and notwithstanding the fierce opposition from public opinion, employers, Government,and our own officials alike, that committee managed and carried through probably the best organised strike in the annals of Clyde history, and brought about closer working unity amongst the rank and file of the different Trades than years of official effort. It became obvious then that such a Committee permanently established would be valuable to workers, and with that purpose in view the Committee was kept in being after the termination of the strike.
Gaining no support from their own union, the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE) which demanded that they return to work, the strikers decided to set up a Labour Withholding Committee (LWC) to represent themselves and organise the strike. Their demands ultimately failed to budge the bosses, but the LWC was widely seen as an important preliminary step to the formation of the later Clyde Workers Committee (CWC) of rank-and-file trade unionists and the shop stewards movement.
On Clydeside a successful pay strike by engineers in February 1915 lasted 18 days.

Kaiser at German GHQ ordered postponement of U-Boat action against neutrals in the proclaimed area.
 10 А (герм.) взяла г. Августов.
Die russische 10. Armee in der neuntägigen Winterschlacht in Masuren vollständig vernichtet (über 50 000 Gefangene und mehr als 40 Geschütze erbeutet).
German 10th Army reached Suwalki. The Russian 10th Army’s XX Corps was virtually surrounded at Augustovo, but continued to hold its lines. German XXI Corps marches 22 miles to envelop 70,000 Russians in Augustow Forest (trapped on February 17).
The German 8th Army continued moving on Osowiec, but was stalled by very strong Russian resistance and heavy snow drifts.
  Создавалось опасение, что противник, обрушившись большими силами на левый фланг отряда, отбросит его от путей отхода на крепость и прижмёт к болотам восточное железной дороги.
 Имея в виду, что эвакуация Граево была закончена, часть сил противника оттянута в направлении Граево–Осовец и самая крепость выиграла несколько дней для приведения в оборонительное состояние своих верков, начальник отряда решил начать отступление на рубеж Руда, Околь, Лосево, высота 69,3.
  Однако неудобство новых позиций, переутомление войск и обход левого фланга противником, к-рый утром 15 февраля занял дер. Опартово и грозил отрезать пути отступления на Белашево, заставили продолжить отход на передовые позиции крепости Цемношие–Белашево.
  Отход начался около 15 час., немцы продвигались крайне осторожно, высылая вперед разведчиков.
  На Белашевскую позицию отряд прибыл ок. 20 час. и расположился для обороны
General P.A. Pleve’s Russian 12th Army, with Guard, IV Siberian, II Siberian, V and III Caucasian Corps, was ordered to abandon their offensive toward East Prussia and rush north to assist the Russian 10th Army.

Bielsk und Plozk (nördlich der Weichsel) besetzt. Germans occupy Plotsk.

  2.II. Германские войска значительными силами повели наступление от госуд. границы на г. Ломжу, сбивая прикрывающие части 1. отд. кав. бриг. 1. гв. див. выдвигается к линии р. Дзержбя.
  Противник: XX арм. к-с ген. Шольц: 41. пех див. к вечеру вышла на высоту д. Ляхово; уступом за её лев. флангом продвигается 34. ландв. бриг.; 34. рез. пех. п. с бат-ей занял д. Бржезно.

Carpathians: Böhm-Ermolli takes over enlarged Austrian Second Army (60,700 infantrymen).
British recapture trenches near St. Eloi.
Sapper Wilfred Sellars, Royal Engineers, Service #29560.
Very busy again. 27th (Division) recapture lost trenches. Artillery busy. Tony dispatched on a wagon. Expected attack did not come off. Feel very D(own).
Unter Beobachtung des deutschen Kronprinzen Wilhelm findet am 15. Februar ein Vergleichsschießen zwischen einem 38 cm Marinegeschütz “Langer Max” und einem 42 cm Mörser “Dicke Bertha” statt. Ziel ist der Panzerversenkturm auf dem Fort Douaumont.

Serbia: Albanian irregular soldiers advance into south Serbia reported, but driven back across frontier next day. / Advance of Albanians into Serbia reported.

The only Imperial Russian Navy seaplane carrier to see service in the Baltic Sea during Great War, Orlitza, is commissioned.
HMT Bedouin (RN): The naval trawler was lost on this date.
Dulwich (UK, 3,289 GRT): The cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk in the English Channel 16 nautical miles (30 km) north of Cap d’Antifer, Seine-Maritime, France by SM U-16 (Kaiserliche Marine) with the loss of two crew.

Britain: Government answer US note to German blockade. Anglo-French Agreement supplements November 9, 1914 Prize Convention.
Agreement concluded between Great Britain and France supplementing “prize” convention of November 9th, 1914.
Churchill in House of Commons: ‘… we expect the (Dardanelles) losses will be confined within manageable limits …’.
Zwischen Großbritannien und dem Deutschen Reich findet mit Unterstützung des niederländischen Roten Kreuzes der erste Austausch schwerverwundeter Kriegsgefangener statt. German-British disabled PoW exchange.

Allied governments suggests to Greece that it should intervene in support of Serbia and promise military support at port of Salonika (see January 29th and March 5th).

Die niederländische Regierung protestiert bei der britischen Regierung gegen das Hissen neutraler Flaggen durch britische Handelsschiffe.

Großes Hauptquartier, 15. Februar.
Westlicher Kriegsschauplatz:
Südlich Ypern bei St. Eloi entrissen wir dem Feinde ein etwa 900 Meter langes Stück seiner Stellung; Gegenangriffe waren erfolglos.
Ebenso mißlang ein Angriff des Gegners in der Gegend südwestlich La Bassée; einige Dutzend Gefangene blieben in unseren Händen.
Den Vorgraben, den wir am Sudelkopf am 12. Februar verloren hatten, haben wir wieder genommen; aus Sengern im Lauchtale wurde der Feind geworfen, den Ort Remspach räumte er darauf freiwillig.
Östlicher Kriegsschauplatz:
Nördlich Tilsit wurde der Feind aus Piktupönen vertrieben und wird in Richtung auf Tauroggen weitergedrängt.
Diesseits und jenseits der Grenze östlich der Seenplatte dauern die Verfolgungskämpfe noch an, überall schreiten unsere Truppen schnell vorwärts.
Gegen feindliche, über Lomza vorgehende Kräfte stoßen deutsche Teile in der Gegend von Kolno vor.
Im Weichselgebiet gewannen wir weiter Boden, Racionz ist von uns besetzt. In den vorhergehenden Kämpfen wurden neben zahlreichen Gefangenen sechs Geschütze erobert.
In Polen links der Weichsel keine wesentlichen Veränderungen.
Oberste Heeresleitung.
Отъ штаба Верховнаго Главнокомандующаго 2 февраля.
 На высоте у Козювки германцы окопались в сорока шагах перед нашими окопами. У Вышкова настойчивыя атаки неприятеля отбиты.
  Бои на правом берегу Вислы постепенно развиваются.
  На фронте от Мохова до дороги из Мышинца к Остроленку они имеют характер отдельных частных столкновений.
  В районе Лык–Райгрод–Граево бои ведутся со значительным упорством. Севернее же наши войска под давлением значительных сил германцев отходят в направлении на укреплённую линию реки Немана.
  На левом берегу Вислы только перестрелка, при чём на Ниде неприятель развивал временами весьма сильный артиллерийский огонь.
  В Карпатах мы отразили неприятельския атаки в районе Горлице и Свидника и овладели неприятельскими укреплениями у Смольника, что восточнее Лупкова. Нами взято здесь в плен 18 офицеров и свыше 1.000 нижних чинов и захвачено 3 пулемёта.
  Упорные бои ведутся на фронте Тухла–Вышков и на путях к Надворной.

Wien, 15. Februar, mittags. Amtlich wird verlautbart:
In Russisch-Polen und Westgalizien hat sich nichts ereignet. Die Kämpfe in den Karpathen sind auch weiter in vollem Gange. In Südostgalizien wurde gestern Nadworna in Besitz genommen, der Gegner in Richtung auf Stanislau zurückgedrängt.
Am südlichen Kriegsschauplatz keine Veränderung. Es herrscht, abgesehen von unbedeutenden Grenzgefechten, Ruhe.
Der Stellvertreter des Chefs des Generalstabes. v. Hoefer, Feldmarschalleutnant.

Lundi 15 février
Le bombardement allemand continue à Nieuport, dans les dunes et à Ypres, avec riposte de notre artillerie. Cannonnade intermittente de la Lys à l’Aisne. A Noulette, une fraction ennemie qui attaquait est arrêtée par notre feu d’infanterie. En Champagne, Reims qui en avait été libérée durant quelques jours, reçoit de nouveau des obus. Calme dans l’Argonne. En Lorraine, au nord-est de Pont-à-Mousson, les allemands occupent Norroy et attaquent le signal de Xon – mais nous les contre-attaquons. En Alsace, ils dessinent un mouvement offensif dans la vallée de la Lauch.
Le cabinet de Berlin vient de faire remettre un nouveau texte à la Hollande au sujet du blocus de la mer du Nord. Ce texte diffère quelque peu de celui qui avait été communiqué aux Etats-Unis. La chancellerie allemande, en même temps, interdit aux bateaux de pêche danois et norvégiens de sortir en haute mer: elle établit une sorte de blocus du Danemark et de la Norvège vers la mer du Nord et gêne ces deux pays dans leurs intérêts vitaux.
Le Giornale d’Italia qui parait à Rome et qui est l’organe de M. Sonnino, ministre des affaires étrangères, publie un vibrant appel à l’union de tous les partis et aussi à l’intervention dans la crise européenne. Il établit que l’Italie ne peut pas davantage, sans compromettre son avenir et ses droits nationaux, garder la neutralité. A la veille de la rentrée parlementaire, cet article est sensationnel : il apparaît comme la réponse du cabinet Salandra aux critiques de M. Giolitti.
L’Allemagne fait mettre sous séquestre le monument de Turenne à Salzbach.
Les Albanais, sans doute à la suggestion de l'Autriche, font une incursion vers Prizrend sur le territoire serbe.

  Дело о производстве следствия о турецком подданном С.Г. Абраше и персидском подданном А.А. Тер-Рафалианце, заподозренных в шпионаже
  Дело о производстве следствия о С.Ф. Кальвинском, задержанном в связи с наличием у него немецких денег

The Tsar returned to Tsarskoe Selo, and heard rumors of plans to assassinate Rasputin.
  Ники. 2-го февраля. Начало Великого поста.
  Встал в обычное время и пил чай со всеми спутниками. В 9 час. поезд подошёл к павильону Царского Села. С дочерьми в санях приехал домой. Большая радость увидеть их всех, а особенно Аликс и Алексея здоровыми.   Читал бумаги и привёл свои вещи в порядок, а затем погулял недолго. Начали говеть в пещерном храме феодоровского собора. Днем гуляли все вместе, Аликс в санках. Потом поработал с Алексеем и его штатом у башни. Была оттепель. После обеда был порядочно занят, Аликс просидела у меня в кабинете.

Georges Maurice Paléologue Понедельник, 15 февраля.
  Я говорю о Польше с графом Р., яростным националистом.
  — Признайтесь, — говорю я, — что поляки имеют некоторые основания не питать никакой любви к России.
  — Это правда, иногда у нас была тяжёлая рука по отношению к Польше… Но Польша воздала нам за это.
  — Каким образом?
  — Дав нам евреев.
  Это верно, что еврейский вопрос существует для России только со времени раздела Польши.

  Т/д «В. Венгеров и В. Гардин» и Т/д «Creo» М.И. Быстрицкого выпустили первую серию фильма Гардина «Приваловские миллионы» (вторая серия вышла 9 (22) февраля).

« La conférence socialiste internationale de Londres blâme l’agression allemande », La Croix, mardi 16 février 1915.
Londres, 15 février. — La conférence des représentants des partis socialistes et travaillistes des nations alliées a eu lieu à Londres, sous la présidence de M. Keir Hardie. MM. Marcel Sembat, Vaillant, Emile Vandervelde et quatre memebres de la Confédération générale du travail y assistaient.
Jules Guesde était absent pour cause de maladie.
La conférence a adopté un ordre du jour dans lequel elle émet l’avis que le droit et le devoir des nations attaquées est de prendre les mesures nécessaires pour assurer leur propre défense.
Cet ordre du jour déclare que l’invasion de la France et de la Belgique est une menace contre les nationalités indépendantes et un coup frappé contre la foi des traités et que, dans ces circonstances, la victoire de l’impérialisme allemande serait la défaite de la démocratie et de la liberté en Europe.

« Journalistes admis à bord de sous-marins allemands », L’Humanité, 15 février 1915.
Une dépêche d’Amsterdam annonce que l’état-major naval allemand a adressé à des correspondants de guerre américains, italiens et autrichiens des invitations à se rendre à bord de sous-marins pendant les ataques projetées contre les navires marchands. Les correspondants ont demandé au gouvernement allemand d’assurer leur vie contre les risques. Il est possible que plusieurs d’entre eux soient autorisés à aller dans les sous-marins comme « chauffeurs honoraires » pendant le prochain raid.
Indian 5th Light Infantry mutinies at Singapore. 39 Europeans killed, 37 mutineers executed. Восставшими освобождены немецкие военнопленные из лагеря Танглин, в т.ч. матросы крейсера Эмден.

On the morning of 15 February the General Officer Commanding Singapore addressed a farewell parade of the regiment, complimenting the sepoys on their excellent turn-out and referring to their departure the next day, without mentioning Hong Kong as the destination. At 3:30 pm on the afternoon of the same day, four Rajput companies of the eight companies making up the 5th Light Infantry with 100 men of the Malay States Guides Mule Battery mutinied. The mostly Pathan sepoys of the remaining four companies did not join the mutiny but scattered in confusion. Two British officers of the regiment were killed as they attempted to restore order. The mutineers divided themselves into three groups. A party of 100 went to obtain ammunition from Tanglin Barracks, where 309 Germans, including crew members from the German light cruiser SMS Emden, had been interned by the British. The mutineers fired on the camp guards and officers without warning, killing ten British guards, three Johore troops present in the camp and one German internee. … Three British and one German wounded survived the attack as did eight Royal Army Medical Corps personnel in the camp hospital, including one who managed to escape under heavy fire to raise the alarm. The mutineers tried to persuade the Germans to join them, but many of the latter were shaken by the sudden violence and reluctant to do so. Some German sailors and reservists wanted to join with the mutineers but the majority of internees adopted a neutral stance, refusing to accept rifles from the Indians. Thirty-five Germans escaped but the rest remained in the barracks.

As it was the middle of the Chinese New Year, most of the Chinese Volunteers Corps were on leave, leaving Singapore almost defenceless against the mutiny. The British government was caught unprepared, and other mutineers went on a killing spree at Keppel Harbour and Pasir Panjang, killing 18 European and local civilians. Martial law was imposed and marines from HMS Cadmus went ashore to join with British, Malay and Chinese Volunteer units and the small number of British regular troops forming part of the garrison. British Vice-Admiral Sir Martyn Jerram sent a radio message requesting help from any allied warships nearby.

A group of mutineers laid siege to the bungalow of the commanding officer of the 5th Light Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel E. V. Martin, which effectively blocked the route into Singapore Town. Colonel Martin and a detachment of the hastily mobilised Malay States Volunteer Rifles held out through the night of the 15th, under sporadic fire. Loyal sepoys who tried to join them were ordered to “go to a safe place” to prevent their being confused in the dark with mutineers. With daylight the defenders were successful in retaking the regimental barracks but the action cost one killed and five wounded. The mutineers scattered, and despite sniper fire the general population stayed calm while the volunteers, sailors and marines fought sporadic skirmishes with the mutineers.
USA: Rockefeller Foundation‘s War Relief Committee report published.
Turkish forces at the Suez Canal retreat back to Beersheba.

By February 15, the VIII Corps was pulled back to Gaza and the 10th Division was stationed at the end of a defensive line in Beersheba. Later during 1915, on the orders of Enver Paşa, 8th, 10th and 25th divisions were sent to Gallipoli and in their place three new divisions were raised: 41st, 43rd and 44th.

For the remainder of 1915, Cemal Paşa contented himself with the organisation of his forces. He established the “Desert Force Headquarters” which would command the forces in Sinai. This headquarters was located in Beersheba and placed under the command of the German Col. von Kressenstein, who conducted raids against the Canal defenders. The idea was to keep British attention on Ottoman army and try to increase the standing forces in Egypt, and thus decrease available manpower for offensives such as Gallipoli.

Meanwhile, a railroad line of 264 km connecting Beersheba to Sinai was built. New wells were opened to increase the water supply, and a telegram line of 100 km was installed for improved communication.
Türkischer erfolgreicher Vorstoß bei Korna (Mesopotamien).
A memorandum, drawn up on February 15 by Admiral Sir Henry Jackson, may be taken to express the Admiralty's final opinion on the question of military assistance to the fleet; it concludes with the following sentence: “The naval bombardment is not recommended as a sound operation unless a strong military force is ready to assist it, or, at least, to follow it up immediately the forts are silenced.”

This paper was forwarded to Admiral Carden on the same day “for his guidance,” but his orders — received two days earlier — had been drawn up on the basis of a purely naval operation. The two Marine battalions attached to the expedition were “to serve as the garrison for the base, or for any small landing operation of a temporary nature.”

There was no time to lose, for it was now the middle of February, and the 15th was the day on which it had been hoped the first shots would be fired. It was also the day on which the Queen Elizabeth was due to join Admiral Carden’s flag. But it was not to be. Persistent gales throughout January had thrown everything back. Though pressed at least to open operations on that day, Admiral Carden objected that in order to make real progress and to husband ammunition — which here, as everywhere, was then a source of serious anxiety — it was essential that the work should be continuous. Without his minesweepers and seaplanes it was useless to begin; and they could not be ready before the 19th.
But though the later date had to be accepted, the 15th was marked by an event even more important to the development of the enterprise than the opening of the attack. France had agreed to furnish a division for Salonica, the proposal had been made to Greece, and on this day her reply was received. It was to the effect that without the co-operation of Roumania M. Venizelos absolutely declined to entertain the idea of Greek intervention. To approach Roumania again was at the moment obviously useless. On the East Prussian Front the Russians had just been driven over the frontier after the disaster to their Tenth Army in the Masurian Lake district; in Galicia they were still being pressed back, and were rapidly retiring from the small section of the Bukovina which was not already in Austrian hands. It was therefore impossible for Roumania to move a finger, and we were thus thrown back upon the Dardanelles as the only possible alternative objective, and the only possible means of inducing the hesitating Balkan States to move to the rescue of Serbia.

Tripolitania: Italians arrive at Beni Ulid having abandoned Bu Ngeim southwest of Sirte. They reoccupy Gadames Oasis on Tunisian border after a fighting advance since January 13.
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