1915 January 3 The Turks plan a wide envelopment of the Russians at the Battle of Sarikamis In the Caucasus between Russia and Turkey. The Russians counterattack, smashing the Turkish army.
1915 January 14 Turkish commander Djemal Pasha secretly sets out across the Sinai Peninsula from Beersheba with an army of 22,000, intending to seize the Suez Canal.
1915 January 19-20 Bombing attacks on Britain by Zeppelin dirigibles, under the control of the German navy, result in few casualties, causing more anger than panic. During the year, 18 more raids will take place.
1915 January 23 A German battle cruiser squadron under Vice Admiral Franz von Hipper moves out to raid the English coast and harass the British fishing fleet.
1915 January 24 British Admiral David Beatty's battle cruiser squadron attacks Hipper off the Dogger Bank. Hipper wisely flees, but Beatty, with superior speed, catches him, sinking one cruiser. Both flagships are damaged.
1915 January 30 Colonel Edward M. House, Wilson's good friend and advisor, sails to Europe on the Lusitania to try to mediate a peace settlement. Both sides still feel they can get what they want and are unwilling to settle the conflict so quickly. (Schlesinger I)
1915 January 31 The Central Powers, reinforcing their armies in the east, launch a great offensive under Hindenburg in the Battle of Bolimov, a feint aimed at Warsaw to distract Russian attention. Poison gas shells are used for the first time, but are not highly effective in the freezing temperatures, and the Russians do not report the gas attack.
1915 January Winston Churchill orders a mostly British, Allied fleet to force the Dardanelles, then steam on to Constantinople (Istanbul) to dictate peace terms.
1915 February Hitler writes a long, autobiographical letter to his lawyer and friend, Ernst Hepp. (Hepp Letter)
1915 February The German submarine blockade of Great Britain begins.
1915 February 2 Advance elements of Djemal Pasha's army strike across the Suez canal in pontoon boats, but are repelled. No further Turkish assaults are made against the canal, but the threat holds back reinforcements from Gallipoli.
1915 February 4 Germany proclaims a war zone around the British Isles in retaliation for the blockade of its ports. Germany intensifies its submarine campaign against Allied merchant ships and attacks neutral ships.
1915 February 8 The new German Tenth Army hits the Russian right. The Russians are driven back into the Augustow Forest, barely escaping encirclement. 90,000 Russian prisoners are taken by the end of the month.
1915 February 10 President Wilson warns Germany that the U.S. will hold it "to a strict accountability" for "property damaged or lives lost." German submarine warfare is taking a heavy toll on neutral shipping, including American.
(Note: U-boat captains are in a difficult position because they cannot safely surface to allow enemy crews to board liferafts before being sunk. The fragile U-boats themselves are easily sunk by small-caliber deck guns.)
1915 February 19 A Franco-British fleet under British Admiral Sackville Carden begin a systematic reduction of the Turkish fortifications lining the Dardanelles.
1915 February 19 A German submarine sinks a Norwegian ship in British waters.
1915 February 25 The outer Turkish forts are silenced and Allied vessels enter the Dardanelles.
1915 March 10 A British attack at Neuve Chapelle fails after nearly achieving a breakthrough.
1915 March 11 Britain declares a blockade of all German ports.
1915 March 18 Turkish fortifications on the Dardanelles are attacked by sixteen British and French battleships. After the bombardment silences the Turkish shore batteries, three battleships are sunk in a minefield and three others are disabled.
1915 March 22 The Austrian garrison at Przemysl, Galicia, surrenders after a siege of 194 days. 110,000 troops are taken prisoner by the Russians.
1915 March 30 President Wilson protests the blockade of German ports and asks the British to allow neutrals to continue their trade as usual. Britain refuses.
1915 April 22 The second Battle of Ypres in Belgium begins when the Germans disrupt a planned Allied offensive. A German poison gas attack, the first on the Western Front, demoralizes Allied troops and creates a large gap in their lines, but the Allies retrieve the situation after a bitter struggle. (About 5,000 cylinders of chlorine gas was used by the Germans.)
1915 April List convenes an HAO meeting in Vienna. A number of well-known, Austrian public figures gather to hear Guido von List's Easter address. (Roots)
1915 April 25 Sir Ian Hamilton lands a force of British and Anzacs (Australia-New Zealand Army Corps) troops on the narrow Gallipoli Peninsula. The Turks ring the tiny beachheads with entrenchments, and the British find themselves locked in trench warfare much like that on the western front.
1915 April 26 The Allied powers sign the secret Treaty of London with Italy, which pledges to enter the war against Austria in exchange for territorial concessions. Although Italy fulfills its obligation, it receives only part of the territories promised when peace is concluded (1918-19).
1915 May-June The Allies renew their offensives in the north, but are repulsed in the Second Battle of Artois. Costly and unsuccessful assaults during the first half of the year have exhausted the Allies, who spend the rest of the summer resting, reorganizing, and reinforcing, as do the Germans. Both sides come perilously close to expending their ammunition reserves and now wait for munitions production to catch.
1915 May In Mesopotamia, British commander Gen. Sir John Nixon, lured by the prospect of capturing the legendary Baghdad, sends forces under Gen. Charles Townshend up the Tigris.
1915 May 1 A German U-boat torpedoes the American tanker Gulflight, causing three deaths. Germany quickly offers to make reparations and promises not to attack again without warning, unless the enemy ship tries to escape. Germany refuses to abandon submarine warfare, the only maritime warfare it can successfully carry out.
1915 May 1 The German Ambassador, Count von Bernstorff, issues a warning in the New York newspapers stating that it is unwise to travel into a war zone on vessels carrying cargoes vital to the Allies.
1915 May 7 A German submarine torpedoes and sinks the British passenger liner Lusitania off Kinsale Head, Ireland. 1,198 are lost, including 124 Americans. According to the Germans, the ship is carrying munitions, although the British deny this. Roosevelt calls it "murder on the high seas." (See May 1)
1915 May 10 Count von Bernstorff offers his condolences for the tragic loss of life upon the sinking of the Lusitania, but this only serves to rub salt into the wounds. (Schlesinger I)
1915 May 13 Secretary of State Bryan sends a note to Germany demanding disavowal of the attack upon the Lusitania and immediate reparations. Unfortunately, Bryan then proceeds to informs the Austrian Ambassador that the note "means no harm, but had to be written in order to pacify excited public opinion." The German Foreign Minister, Arthur Zimmerman, quickly learns of Bryan's indiscretion and claims to have called the American "bluff." Bryan is later forced to resign and the Germans never make a disavowal or pay reparations. (See June 8) (Schlesinger I)
1915 May 23 Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary. The Italian army, commanded by General Luigi Cadorna, is about 875,000 strong.
1915 May 25 The second Battle of Ypres comes to an end. The British suffer approximately 50,000 casualties, the French 10,000, and the Germans about 35,000.
1915 May 30 Colonel House confides in his diary, " I have concluded that war with Germany is inevitable..." adding that he will persuade President Wilson to act.
1915 May 31 Townshend, in Mesopotamia, overwhelms a Turkish outpost near Qurna in an amphibious assault, and begins to move inland.
1915 Summer Five hundred German housewives stage a protest against the war in Berlin.
1915 June 3 Austrian-German armies retake Przemysl in Galicia.
1915 June 8 Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigns on the grounds that as a pacifist he cannot sign a strongly worded second Lusitania note to the Germans that has been written by President Wilson and other members of the Cabinet. Bryan says "a ship carrying contraband should not rely upon passengers to protect her from attack -- it would be like putting women and children in front of the army." (Schlesinger I)
1915 June 9 Wilson sends the second Lusitania note to the Germans, demanding an end to their procrastination over reparations for sinking the unarmed passenger ship. Wilson refuses to recognize the previously non-existent "war zone" set up by Germany around the British Isles.
1915 June 17 The League to Enforce Peace is organized at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It is a prototype for the future League of Nations. William Howard Taft is made president.
1915 June 22 Lemberg is occupied by Austrian-German forces.
1915 June 23 Two Italian armies, each of approximately 100,000 troops, attack toward Gorizia during the First Battle of the Isonzo. They batter in vain against the heavily fortified Austrian defenses.
1915 July 2 Erich Muenter, a German instructor at Cornell University, explodes a bomb in the U.S. Senate reception room.
1915 July 3 Erich Muenter shoots J.P. (Jack) Morgan, Jr., for representing the British government in war contract negotiations. Muenter is quickly arrested and jailed. (Schlesinger I)
1915 July 6 Erich Muenter commits suicide while in police custody.
1915 July 15 Dr. Heinrich Albert, head of German propaganda in America, accidentially leaves his briefcase on a subway in New York. A secret service agent retrieves it and exposes the existence of an extensive espionage network and subversive activities across the nation. German consuls, embassy staff, officials of the Hamburg-American Steamship Line and many German-Americans are implicated.
1915 July 15 Rudolf von Sebottendorff marries Berta Anna Iffland, the divorced daughter of Friedrich Wilhelm Müller, a wealthy Berlin merchant. The marriage takes place in Vienna. (Roots)
1915 July 21 President Wilson sends a third Lusitania note to the Germans. It warns that any future infringement of American rights will be deemed "deliberately unfriendly." (Schlesinger I)
1915 July 25 A U-boat sinks the American cargo ship Leelanaw off the coast of Scotland.
1915 July 27 Wireless communications are set up between Japan and the U.S.
1915 July The Warburg Bank sends a telegram to the Imperial Navy Cabinet warning of the mounting anti-German mood in America after the sinking of the Lusitania. (Warburgs)
1915 August 5 Gen. Max von Gallwitz's new German Twelfth Army captures Warsaw.
1915 August 6 Hamilton attempts new landings at Gallipoli after the arrival of reinforcements, but because of the fear of German submarines, no battleships are available to provide artillery support and the operation fails. Russia is permanently cut off from its allies.
1915 August 10 General Leonard Wood sets up a military training camp in Plattsburg, New York. It will train 1,200 volunteers who pay for their own travel expenses, food and uniforms. By the summer of 1916, 16,000 men will be in unofficial military training.
1915 August 16 Leo Frank is taken from his prison hospital by a mob and lynched on the outskirts of Marietta, Ga.
1915 August 19 The British liner Arabic is sunk, with the loss of four more American lives.
1915 August 25 Brest-Litovsk falls and the entire Russian front is in complete collapse.
1915 September A circular of the Franconian Germanenorden clarifies its aims, rules and rituals. The principal aim of the order is the monitoring of the Jews and their activities by the creation of a center to which all antisemitic material would flow for distribution. Subsidiary aims include mutual aid of brothers in respect to business introductions, contracts and finance. Lastly, all brothers are committed to the circulation of völkisch journals, especially the Hammer, their "sharpest weapon against Jewry and other enemies of the people." (Roots)
(Note: The articles of the Germanenorden state that all nationals, male or female, of flawless Germanic descent are eligible for admission. Application forms request details about the color of the applicants hair, eyes and skin. The ideal coloration was blond to dark blond hair, blue to light brown eyes, and pale skin. Details regarding the parents, grandparents and spouse are also required. A guide to recruitment states that physically handicapped or "unpleasant looking" people were barred.) (Roots)
1915 September 1 Germany announces cessation of unlimited submarine warfare. The Germans, fearing U.S. involvement in the war on the side of the Allies, agrees to pay indemnities and guarantees that submarines will not sink passenger liners without warning.
1915 September-October The Allies again launch unsuccessful offensives in the Second Battle of Champagne and Third Battle of Artois. Casualties are more than 200,000 French, nearly 100,000 British, and 140,000 Germans. Sir Douglas Haig replaces French as commander of the BEF.
1915 September 5 Czar Nicholas II takes command of the Russian armies. Many consider it a grave mistake.
1915 September 6 On the Eastern Front, the German and Austrian "great offensive" has conquered all of Poland and Lithuania. Russia has lost 1 million men to date.
1915 September 18 The German occupation of Vilna climaxes a colossal 300 mile advance. Russian Grand Duke Nikolai skillfully keeps his armies intact, withdrawing in fairly good order, while evading German envelopment.
1915 September 24 Grand Duke Nikolai is unceremoniously relieved of command in Poland by the Czar and soon takes command in the Caucasus.
1915 October 6 Two armies, one Austrian and one German, drive south across the Serbian Sava-Danube border.
1915 October 11 Two Bulgarian armies strike west, one on Nis, the other on Skopje.
1915 Oct 12 British nurse, Edith Cavell, charged with espionage is executed by a German firing squad.
1915 October 13 The largest Zeppelin raid of the war kills 59 people in London.
1915 October 14 Britain and France declare war on Bulgaria.
1915 October 15 Sir Ian Hamilton is relieved at Gallipoli and replaced by General Sir Charles Monro, who soon directs a masterful evacuation.
1915 October 15 U.S. bankers arrange a $500 million loan to the British and French.
1915 October 15 Admiral Henning von Holzendorff visits Max Warburg at his home to ask his opinion on the economic impact of intensified U-boat warfare. Warburg tells him that unrestricted U-boat warfare will only draw America into the war. (Warburgs)
1915 October 18 The Italians, reorganized, reinforced, and supported by 1,200 guns strike once more at Gorizia and are again repulsed in the Third Battle of the Isonzo.
1915 October 21 Siegmund von Sebotendorff dies in Wiesbaden. His funeral is attended by Rudolf von Sebottendorff and his wife. (Wiesbaden Zeitung, November 23; Roots)
1915 November 7 The Italian liner Ancona, carrying 27 Americans, is sunk without warning by an Austrian submarine.
1915 November 13 Norman Hapgood in Harper's Weekly says that a sharp line separates Jews from Gentiles in America and concludes that antisemitic prejudice is becoming more distinct. "Americans do not deprive Jews of any rights," he wrote, "but they do not on the whole like them."
1915 November 22 Townshend attacks Ctesiphon, in Mesopotamia, but after 4 days of bitter fighting withdraws to Kut.
1915 November 25 The almost dormant Ku Klux Klan is revived in Atlanta, Georgia, by Colonel William J. Simmons.
1915 November Late in the month, the remnants of the Serbian army, accompanied by a horde of civilian refugees, reaches the Adriatic, pursued by the Austrians.
1915 November 30 Sabotage is suspected in an explosion at the DuPont munitions plant in Wilmington, Delaware.
1915 December Violent anti-war demonstrations break out in Berlin.
1915 December In an Allied conference at Chantilly, Joffre succeeds in obtaining agreement from Britain, Russia, Italy, and Romania that coordinated Allied offensives will be launched on the Western, Eastern, and Italian fronts, about June, when Russia should be ready.
1915 December 4 "To get the boys out of the trenches by Christmas," Henry Ford begins fitting out a "Peace Ship" on which he plans to travel to Europe to end the war. (Schlesinger I)
1915 December 6 Töpfer, Rüttinger's successor in the Nuremberg Germanenorden province, writes Julius Rüttinger complaining that the brothers are now weary of the ritual, ceremony and banquets, which Pohl seems to regard as the main purpose of the Order. (Roots)
1915 December 7 President Wilson asks for a standing army of 142,000 and a reserve of 400,000.
1915 December 7 General Townshend at Kut, in Mesopotamia, is besieged by the Turks.
1915 December 10 After suffering extremely heavy casualties, the bulk of the Allied troops and supplies at Gallipoli are evacuated by this date.
1915 December 31 Appalling losses have been suffered during 1915 on both sides: 612,000 Germans, 1,292,000 French, and 279,000 British. The year ends with no appreciable shift in the battle lines scarring the landscape from the North Sea to the Swiss Alps. Russian casualties on the Eastern Front are more than 2 million men, about half of whom had been captured. Combined German and Austrian casualties exceed 1 million.
1915 Sir Douglas Haig replaces Sir John French as the Commander-in-Chief of British forces.
1915 Albert Einstein, after a number of false starts, publishes his General Theory of Relativity, the definitive form of his general theory.
1915 Radical, antisemitic poet and journalist Dietrich Eckart returns to Munich after being gassed at the front.
1915 Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels coins the word Ariosophy. Its earliest mention is in Ostrara I, 82. (Roots)
1915 The Allied governments retain J.P. Morgan & Co. as their agent to handle purchases of war supplies in the United States. Thomas Lamont, of the House of Morgan, appoints Edward R. Stettinius, Sr. to oversee this vast operation. Stettinius soon becomes a partner, heading a special department that apportions British and French orders of war materiels among U.S. steel mills, powder plants, tool works and dozens of other industries.
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