Events of 1915
19 January 1915
In the first airborne attack on British soil, Zeppelins bomb Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn, killing five civilians.
4 February 1915
Germany begins unrestricted submarine warfare against merchant vessels.
18 February 1915
Blockade of Britain by German U-boats begins. All vessels are considered viable targets, including those from neutral countries.
19 February 1915
British and French naval attack on the Dardanelles. The Gallipoli Campaign begins.
10 March 1915
Battle of Neuve Chapelle. After an initial success, a British offensive is halted.
22 April 1915
Second Battle of Ypres, ending in stalemate. Germany is the first to use poison gas.
25 April 1915
Allied landing at Gallipoli – 70,000 British, Commonwealth and French troops come under heavy fire. On ‘Y’ Beach, 1,200 out of a force of 1,500 men are casualties.
7 May 1915
German U-boat torpedoes British liner Lusitania with the loss of American lives, creating a US-German diplomatic crisis.
23 May 1915
Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.
25 May 1915
Discontent over rising casualty figures grows and a coalition government is formed in Britain.
31 May 1915
The first Zeppelin raid on London kills seven and injures 35. British morale is shaken as Germany demonstrates it can attack the capital at will.
4 June 1915
The Third (and final) Battle of Krithia begins at Gallipoli as Allies attempt to push inland from their beach-heads. British losses amount to 6,000 men.
21 June 1915
British troops reach the Euphrates in Mesopotamia, and re-occupy Aden.
30 June 1915
German troops use flame throwers for the first time against the British lines at Hooge, Ypres.
6 August 1915
The Allies land two divisions at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, as part of The August Offensive. They opt not to take the strategic heights overlooking the beaches and are eventually pinned to the coast by Turkish troops.
16 August 1915
A U-boat bombards Whitehaven, proving that Britain’s maritime defences can be breached by German submarines.
21 August 1915
The Battle of Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli, is the final British offensive in the Dardanelles. They are repelled and lose 5,000 men.
1 September 1915
Germany suspends unrestricted submarine warfare.
25 September 1915
The Great Allied Offensive focuses on Loos and Champagne. At the Battle of Loos the British use gas for the first time but the wind blows this over their own troops resulting in 2632 casualties – seven are killed.
27 September 1915
British and Canadian regiments take Hill 70 at Loos and break the German line. The Canadians alone receive over 9,000 casualties.
12 October 1915
British nurse Edith Cavell is executed by German firing squad for helping POWs escape from Belgium to Holland. She becomes a popular martyr and British heroine.
31 October 1915
Steel helmets introduced on the British Front.
22 November 1915
Battle of Ctesiphon, 25 miles south of Baghdad. Allies inflict heavy casualties on the Turks, but are forced to retire to Kut due to lack of supplies. The Turkish soldiers give chase and besiege the town.
19 December 1915
Sir Douglas Haig replaces Sir John French as Commander in Chief of the British Expeditionary Force.
20 December 1915
Allies complete the evacuation of 83,000 troops from Suvla Bay and ANZAC Cove in Gallipoli. Not one soldier or sailor is killed in the withdrawal and the Turkish are unaware of the evacuation taking place.