by Tom B
IRISH REBEL FORCES ANNIHILATED OUTSIDE GALWAY
Government spokesmen announced late yesterday that the British Army in Ireland had inflicted a devastating blow to a force of Irish rebels in the vicinity of Galway city Monday afternoon. The size of this rebel force was described as being roughly 1,000 men. While the Irish rebels were not accompanied by any Germans they were well armed with rifles and ammunition which must have been provided by the Germans. Despite these arms the rebels were no match for the British Army and were almost completely destroyed. The leader of this despicable band of traitors, a Mr. Liam Mellowes, was taken prisoner. Along with the other prisoners he is being transferred to Athlone Barracks to face swift justice from a court martial.
While the British Army is to be commended for its efficient handling of the situation, this incident is also very troubling because it reveals the Irish insurrection to be more extensive than the government has previously acknowledged.
------The Times of London Wednesday April 28, 1915
------Killarney (Kerry) 0015 hrs Wednesday April 28, 1915
Elements of the 6th Bavarian Infantry Regiment began arriving at Killarney at dusk. They were thrown into the battle with the British pocket to the west of the city. This pocket had already been whittled down in the early afternoon as nearly all of the remaining RIC and militia there had run out of ammunition and surrendered. The Bavarians were able to release first Castlemaine Company and then Killorglin Company from the fighting and sent them to join the rest of Rommel’s 3rd Kerry battalion inside the city. Captain Schneider, commander of Killorglin Company and Captain Breitenbach, commander of Castlemaine Company, were now briefing Rommel about what had occurred. .Rommel learned that while the Bavarian rifle company with them had bore the brunt of the most intense fighting, the Irish Volunteers had definitely been of some assistance. The total casualties among the Irish Volunteers in this action had been 11 killed, 18 wounded and 2 missing.
"They need a lot of training but they are not cowards—except for the pair that ran off," said Schneider.
"How do you rate their marksmanship?" asked Rommel.
"Hmm, my overall impression is that at least half are very bad, Major. However a few look to be surprisingly deadly. The rest are somewhere in between."
"That was my impression as well," Breitenbach added, "of course, some would say that is true of most units in any Army, but in this case the disparity is extremely pronounced."
"Most of the men in the Killarney and Kenmare companies seem to have a fair bit of training as far as marching in formation."
"That would apply to Castlemaine Company as well."
"Same for my company, Major."
"My intent is to spend the next few days concentrating on training," said Rommel, "and I will start with placing an emphasis on developing marksmanship. Which brings me to another point. At least 1,000 Lee Enfield rifles have been captured in the Battle of Killarney along with an ample amount of 303 ammunition. While the Moisin-Nagant is not a bad rifle, I have come to the conclusion that the Lee Enfield is markedly superior and I am going to arm the entire battalion with them."
The two company commanders exchanged glances. Neither cared to opine so Rommel continued, "Some more of the helmets should be arriving soon from Tralee. In lieu of a uniform we make sure each man has a helmet. We also brought some simple IRA tunics from Germany. We have at least enough to give to every corporal and higher. We will talk with local tailors tomorrow if they can improvise some more quickly. More importantly I am going to consolidate Castlemaine Company into Killorglin Company. This will be company #1 in the battalion. I want the Castlemaine men kept as 2 separate platoons within the combined company at least for the time being. Captain Breitenbach, you will take command of company #2--- Killarney Company."
"From what I’ve seen with Killarney and Kenmare companies, about one man in ten in the Irish Volunteers is unfit to be an effective infantryman. Some are too old, a few have impairments. Mind you, I am not talking about those who can be redeemed with a few days of intense exercise. However it would be bad for the fragile morale of the Irish if we simply told a tenth of our men simply to go home. So I intend to form a separate detachment which will perform only support roles. I want both of you identify and remove the unfit soldiers from your companies which we will then transfer into this support detachment. This detachment is where I will be sending those women who insist on serving in the IRA."
"There were 5 women who showed up with Killorglin Company. I told them to go home and let the men do the fighting. Three of them insisted on staying. This is a strange country." Schneider commented.
"Oh, yes indeed! This is a very strange country! There is another advantage to forming this support detachment. O’Rahilly believes there are many older men in Kerry who are not part of the Irish Volunteers because they feel that they are not longer able to be effective soldiers. If we make it clear there is useful roles for them to perform, we should see many of them coming forward as well."
------BEF HQ Abbeville 0025 hrs
"I knew this would happen. I just knew it," Sir John French crowed to his staff, "The Belgians never were as good as we are, and since they got booted out of their country their morale has been downright brittle. Smith-Dorrien’s grand plan is failing. Yesterday’s success is melting away like an ice cube on a hot stove. At best we’re back where we started from---if the Belgians collapse completely Second Army will find itself in very serious trouble."
"But yesterday’s attack pushed the Germans permitting 1st Division to slip through last night and hopefully 29th and 48th Divisions will do so as well before this night is over," Gen. Murray countered.
"Complete and utter non sequitur! Many things happened yesterday and that ridiculous little circus Smith-Dorrien put on along with the subsequent Belgian attack were not—I repeat not--- the decisive events. The counterattacks by First Army were more important and most probably the most important of all was the fact that the Germans apparently exhausted their supply of shells. I am not going to let Smith-Dorrien get away with taking credit for the rescue of First Army."
------Crusheen (Clare) 0045 hrs
Yesterday morning the 109th Brigade had been reinforced by the arrival of the 10th Inniskilling Fusiliers, the unit which had destroyed the Irish Volunteers outside Galway city. It had been a strangely quiet day with the Ulstermen and German Marines both worried about the true strength of their enemy. The day’s big excitement occurred when a German seaplane flew overhead dropping 2 small bombs. One soldier suffered a very minor shrapnel wound. After dark, news had arrived that German cavalry had ambushed a small supply column south of Gort just over the county border. This was an ominous development and the brigade commander seriously considered withdrawing to Gort during the night. However morale in the brigade was now sky high with the news of the slaughter of the Papist traitors. For that reason he decided to attempt a night attack. The German position was well curved to make it more difficult to envelop. The brigadier thought that the German line might be overextended and relatively weak in the center at the apex of the arc He sent the 10th Inniskilling Fusiliers who triumphed over Irish Volunteers to test their mettle against the German Marines.
The Germans had registered their artillery battalion at dusk on the most likely approach routes. The moon was visible this night and one of the field gun batteries opened up on the Inniskilling Fusiliers when they were within about 2,500 years of the trench line. The defenders lit up the sky with flares and 2 machine guns opened fired. A single strand of wire had been laid before the very rudimentary German trench line. .The 109th Brigade only had a handful of wire cutters and the brigadier allocated all of them to the 10th Inniskilling Fusiliers for this attack. They had absolutely no grenades. Some of the attackers made it through the wire one way or another and into the trenches where the usual brutal melee resulted. When the Great War began the former sailors who went into the Naval Division had rather limited training in infantry skills. However in the Belgian campaign they had acquired combat experience and in the preparation for Operation Unicorn OKW had reinforced that with nearly 6 weeks of intensive supplemental training. They now proved to be more than a match for the New Army Ulstermen. When the German reserves arrived the British attack was already faltering.
The Germans took 8 wounded prisoners in this attack. Two of these prisoners boasted about slaughtering the Papist forces outside Galway which was the first time that the Germans became aware of this incident.
------south of Noyelles 0120 hrs
The 29th Division had suffered heavily in the last 3 days, first with the shelling by the High Seas Fleet and then by the costly and ineffective attack on the German salient. The wounded now outnumbered the able bodied. Likewise the horses had suffered nearly as badly, which was compounded by a reduction in the fodder ration since Saturday. Gen. Hunter-Weston expressed little interest in casualties and had not taken into consideration the hobbled condition of his command in planning the night move. The Germans again tried to discourage the movement with sporadic bursts of 7.7cm shellfire. This was more effective tonight because the British did not have the shells for the massed suppressive counter-battery fire they used the night before and because the bright moon was not obscured this time. They were not able to stop the British movement but they slowed it and inflicted additional casualties on an already badly hurt outfit
------north of Rathmore 0145 hrs
The Bavarian infantry continued to chew up the flank guard of the British 16th Division. Some of the British batteries had registered their guns at dusk. For a while they were able to stall the German advance. However by skillful use of the terrain to exploit gaps and open flanks the Bavarians had found their way into the British defenses. The were now on the verge of surrounding half of the 6th Royal Irish as well as infiltrating some of the British artillery when the 11th battalion Hampshire Regiment entered the fray after a hard march. Their determined counterattack was enough to check the Bavarian advance and through their formation into confusion.
------Crusheen (Clare) 0205 hrs
It was now clear to the commander of the 109th Brigade that the attack of 10th Inniskilling Fusiliers had failed. He momentarily considered committing another battalion but wisely decided it was futile and instead ordered a withdrawal all the way back to Gort.
------Belgian field hospital 0255 hrs
King Albert had stayed all night alongside Queen Elisabeth’s cot. He was desperately worried that she might not make it. Elisabeth weaved in and out of consciousness. Often she was somewhere in between and would mumble over and over certain phrases in German. Doctor Depage had tried to persuade Albert that it was best if the queen rest as much as possible esp. during the night when there was much less artillery fire to disturb her sleep. The doctor tried in vain to persuade Albert to get some sleep as well.
Elizabeth was now awake and lucid. "You should not have gone on that trip, my dearest," Albert chided, "You had not right to risk yourself so."
"Men were hurt. Men were suffering. I thought it was safe because the German guns had been quiet all morning. I---" replied the queen who suddenly started coughing violently.
Albert grew alarmed when he saw what she was coughing up was streaked with blood. "I need a doctor here immediately!" he yelled, "The queen is in grave danger!"
When Elisabeth finished her coughing, she said in a raw voice, "It is not that bad, my dear dear husband. Please do not worry yourself silly on my behalf."
Dr. Depage soon arrived and examined Elisabeth. "This is a fairly common occurrence with this sort of injury," he concluded, "it is no reason to be overly concerned."
"Overly concerned! She is my wife. Do not presume to tell me that I am overly concerned---"
Elisabeth interrupted, "—please, my wonderful husband. Trust in the good doctor’s experienced opinion. I will not leave you, my precious."
------south bank of Danube 0435 hrs
The German bridging detachment of XIV Army Corps was hard at work while elements of the 29th Infantry Division anxiously guarded the bridgehead. After 2 unsuccessful attempts to cross the Danube closer to Belgrade Prince Rupprecht had decided it was necessary to pick another less fiercely defended location. Initially Ludendorff had resisted the idea but eventually he concurred as well. The current position was far from ideal but at least the formidable water obstacle had been crossed.
------Kenmare (Kerry) 0500 hrs
The concentration of German forces in this coastal town had steadily grown overnight. All of the 2nd Bavarian Jaeger Battalion was now here along with the bicycle company of the 1st Bavarian Jaeger Battalion and the regimental minenwerfer company. There were also 3 squadrons of the 2nd Chevauleger Regiment. The men of the 2nd Bavarian Jaeger Battalion were now allowed to get some badly need sleep while the rest of the Bavarian Jaeger Regiment marched south to join them. Orders were given for the forces in Kenmare to be as inconspicuous as possible with the armored cars and minenwerfers hidden from airplanes beneath tree cover.
------Cashel (Tipperary) 0540 hrs
An impressive castle overlooked the Tipperary plains below. From here the kings of Munster ruled and it was here that Brian Ború was made High King of all Ireland back in 1002. Eamon O’Duibhir had hoped to take the venerable castle by coup de main before the sun rose. The 43 man contingent of RIC and local militia realized the Volunteers were too numerous to take on in an open battle and holed up in the castle. O’Duibhir sent his men to storm the castle but the attempt failed with 3 men killed and 6 wounded. Meanwhile 3 stragglers from Cashel Company showed up bringing a converted Redmondite with them. More important was the arrival of Thurles Company with 131 men and 4 women. Again there was a redistribution of firearms with Thurles Company receiving 40 of the Moisin-Nagant rifles.
"We’ll let men get a few hours rest and then we’ll be heading out for Limerick," O’Duibhir ordered.
------HQ British I Army Corps 0605 hrs
The commander of I Army Corps, General Charles Munro was in a bit of a pickle. The plan had been for 29th and 48th Divisions to complete their transit during the night and then come under the command of Smith-Dorrien’s Second Army. The problem was that the night movement of battered 29th Division had taken up nearly the entire night and so 48th (North Midland) Division had only just begun its own transit. It was now stuck less than midway. It presence in this location was clogging the supply lines for Cavalry Corps which had held the line in this sector plugging the gap created by the success of the German gas cloud.
German artillery including howitzers had opened for a sustained bombardment of the cavalry’s trenches a few minutes ago. It was likely another German infantry assault would be coming soon. The plan now required some improvisation. "Send a messenger to Cavalry Corps HQ immediately. Tell General Allenby I am sorry to be constricting his arteries but in compensation will give him use of 48th Division for the day."
"This will make the withdrawal process even more complicated tonight, General," a member of his staff felt obliged to say.
"I am well aware of that. We will do the best that we can."
------SMS Lothringen 0610 hrs
"She does not appear to have a wireless. That is good," remarked Admiral von Spee looking through his binoculars at an 870 ton British schooner which had apparently slipped through the screening cruisers of 2nd Scouting Group during the night. The little vessel was now facing 3 enemy battleships.
"Remove her crew and sink her," Spee ordered. .
------Belgian field hospital 0620 hrs
Shells could be heard exploding not too far away. A Major approached King Albert who was still maintaining a vigil over his wife. She was now sleeping. There was something about the sound of her breathing that bothered Albert even though Dr. Depage told him more than once not to worry. Albert continued to ignore polite suggestions that he should get some sleep as well.
"Your Majesty, it is necessary to move this hospital. It is no longer safe in its current location."
"Ah, but the queen is getting the sleep she needs to recover. Is it necessary to wake her?" asked Albert in a weary daze. Part of him down deep realized it was a silly thing to say.
"I am afraid so, Your Majesty."
------near Rathmore 0630 hrs
General Parsons watched as 15 pounder guns and 5" BL howitzers fired frantically trying to stem the Bavarian onslaught. He had expected a resumption of yesterday’s painful artillery duel but to his surprise—and relief—the Bavarian guns remained silent. The Bavarian infantry quickly found complete protection from at least the 15 pounders behind some hills.
Reports from a night action were almost always confusing and from inexperienced troops such as the 16th Division it was still worse. Parsons was still not clear about much of what had happened but he knew it was mostly bad. He had not lost any more guns but a Vickers machinegun had been overrun and the very preliminary casualty figures were nearly 500. He was starting to worry about panic and plummeting morale in his green troops
Still there was some other encouraging news. He had been able to withdraw 49th Brigade from Baraduff during the night without the expected counterattack by the Bavarian Jaegers which would have made things very bad. It was still necessary to abandon a few wagons during that retreat but otherwise that retreat had gone well.
After another minute watching artillery fire as fast as they could—which in the case of the obsolete howitzers was pretty slow-- he remembered that his stockpile of shells was limited and ordered, "Send word to the 15 pounder batteries to cease firing. The howitzer brigade can continue firing as they can reach behind the hills." Only 3 howitzer batteries were firing as the 4th battery was still being repositioned.
Parsons realized he would be soon leaving Rathmore and pulling back to the east to regroup. He tried not to think of the 3 battalions abandoned at Killarney.
------Adigrat (Abyssinia) 0714 hrs (GMT)
The day before a motor car had arrived from Eritrea in this important border city. Initially they pretended to be trade representatives but their real mission was to make sure that the Tigray region remained firmly in the control of Iyasu. They were reassured on this score and left. This morning motor trucks began to arrive in Adigrat hauling weapons and munitions. These were transferred to horse drawn wagons, which were waiting for them. When the transfer was complete the motor trucks headed back to Massawa, while the horse drawn carts departed for Mek’ele to the south escorted by an armed guard.
------Old Admiralty Building 0730 hrs
"Admiral Bayly has repeatedly said that we should treat all of our destroyers armed with 4" guns as if they were precious gems," remarked Admiral Wilson.
This comment did not sit well with Carson, "Are you criticizing the Prime Minister for pressuring us to mount this operation? It was not an unreasonable request on his part but rather an acceptable risk to take for potentially great gains." Carson actually had some reservations as well but to ridicule Bonar Law’s suggestion now would be ad admission that he had been negligent as well in approving it. He understood as much as the Prime Minister the full implications of what was now being called the ‘Fortnight Speech’..
"We could try again with the torpedo boats being transferred from Devonport," Admiral Callaghan speculated, "on a darker night the coastal batteries should be less of a factor--though spotlights were observed on both banks."
"Maybe it is best now to proceed with laying our own minefield at the mouth of the Shannon as we discussed yesterday," mused Admiral Oliver.
"But you said we only had 28 mines available in Ireland," answered Carson with an accusing tone.
"Yes, First Lord. As I explained yesterday we have had more uses for mines than mines since Utsire. We’ve increased production but not as much as we wished and the Army has complained about our competing for---"
"Yes, yes, there is no need to rehash that, Admiral Oliver. The Chancellor is working very hard at increasing production of all munitions. Let us proceed with laying our minefield off the mouth of the Shannon. How soon can we do that, Admiral Callaghan?"
"The minelayer is standing by at Berehaven, First Lord. It will need to raise steam but it can arrive off Loop Head in less than 10 hours. However it would be more effective to wait until dark so the Germans do not observe the laying."
"Besides the mines what is our plans if the invasion fleet should try to escape?"
"The torpedo craft we are assembling at Berehaven need to coal but they should be able to take up station off the Dingle Peninsula shortly after midnight. In the meantime the 11th Cruiser Squadron will assume a patrol off the Mouth of the Shannon."
"Hmm, but what if Blucher were to suddenly emerge from the Shannon? Those protected cruisers would be in serious danger."
"That is true, First Lord. It is one reason the cruisers will not approach too close to Mouth of the Shannon, though is another is the possibility of submarines lurking in the area. As for Blucher, the air patrols have not positively identified her as one of the enemy warships in the Shannon. Admittedly that is far from conclusive. We only have 2 naval aircraft in Ireland with a third seaplane is scheduled to arrive at Kingstown around noon today. One seaplane was assigned to patrol the Celtic Sea looking for elements of the invasion fleet heading for the Channel. The other one has been more than a little bit hampered by the weather. Regrettably I am inclined to agree with Admiral Bayly that Blucher is most likely at sea, probably raiding the Western Approaches accompanied by some of the light cruisers. We made fun of the Germans when they built Blucher but as a commerce raider she could be very problematic."
"Do you have a plan if Blucher is indeed raiding the Western Approaches?"
Admiral Callaghan frowned, exchanging glances with Admiral Oliver. Finally he said, "We have been considering options but not yet come to a definitive conclusion." So far this had consisted of waiting for the cruisers to run out of coal and pounce on them if they tried to use Ireland to coal. He did not think Carson would want to hear that.
"Hmm. Keep me posted on what you come up with. What do you intend to do with Colossus?"
"The leaking in her bow makes it painfully evident that we need to send her to the yards to finally undertake the serious repairs her battle damage at Utsire required. Dreadnought and Inflexible have now rejoined the Grand Fleet. Formidable returned to Scapa from the Mediterranean late last night. We can now afford to do with Colossus for a while."
"Do you still intend to make Dreadnought the flagship of 3rd Battle Squadron? And how do you intend to deploy Inflexible?"
"Yes, you are correct about Dreadnought. It will become the new flagship of 3rd Battle Squadron. Inflexible presents a bit of problem. Currently we are going to create a special formation combining it with 1st Light Cruiser Squadron."
"Hmm. Does sound unorthodox but nothing better jumps to mind. I will of course trust your professional judgment on this matter. But what about Emperor of India? I reluctantly concur with you about sending Colossus to the yards, but Emperor of India is too powerful a vessel to do without at this time."
"That is our opinion as well, First Lord. It looks like a condenser problem is reducing her maximum speed by about two knots. Since the Grand Fleet now includes predreadnoughts once again this does not really slow the effective maximum speed of the fleet. Once 1st Battle Squadron returns to Rosyth we will schedule some time for her in the Basin to conduct a thorough inspection. It may be something easy to remedy."
------Dublin Castle 0750 hrs
Gen. Friend and Chamberlain were briefing Lord Curzon and Birrell about overnight developments. General Friend had been reassuring in saying that there was still no sign of the feared third German division. The German Marines in Limerick still remained on the defensive. News of what happened at Crusheen had not filtered its way back to Dublin. So the major bad news was what was happening to 16th Division. Its attempt to reach its trapped battalions at Killarney had been abandoned and it was now desperately trying to fend off a strong enemy attack on its right flank. "At best it would be forced to withdraw back into County Cork, Your Excellency," concluded Friend.
"We’ve been worried sick about a German march on Dublin. Perhaps we should now be more concerned about an advance on Cork," commented Birrell.
"What do you suggest we do to bolster 16th Division, General?" asked the Viceroy.
"A little more than an hour from now the transports carrying the 1/2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade will be arriving at the Cobh, Your Excellency. Originally I intended to send 1 regiment each to Macroom, Mallow and Fermoy. I now think we should send 2 regiments to Macroom and 1 to Fermoy."
"Will one regiment of yeomanry suffice to counter the German cavalry intruding into County Tipperary?"
"So far our intelligence has only identified a single regiment of German cavalry operating in Limerick and western Tipperary. So a single regiment of yeomanry should be enough esp. as there will be 2 battalions of our infantry available to assist nearby."
"Ah, yes, one of those battalions being the one we sent to Thurles to eliminate the Fenians. Has it detrained as yet?"
"That is correct, Your Excellency. The 12th battalion Royal Irish Rifles detrained at Thurles station nearly 2 hours ago. It is currently proceeding south. Half of the battalion will follow the train tracks to intercept the German cavalry and the other half will proceed towards Cashel where the Fenians are now believed to be congregated."
Curzon turned to Chamberlain, "How did things go last night outside the areas controlled by the Germans?"
"There were several incidents of telegraph and telephone wires being cut, Your Excellency. What is more disturbing is that there were 6 attacks on constables outside the occupied territory last night. Three of these attacks were in Enniscorthy. One constable was found both strangled and stabbed, which suggests there were at least 2 assailants. The attackers had taken the constable’s rifle, ammunition and sidearm. The other two attacks thankfully failed. In both instances there were two assailants. In one of the attacks one of the assailants was killed. The other assailants were driven off, though we think one may have been wounded."
"There is a disturbing pattern there. The assailant who was killed--have you identified him yet? Was he a known member of the Irish Volunteers and/or the IRB?"
"He was identified, Your Excellency. Turns out he was barely 15 years old. He was not a known member of the Irish Volunteers much less the IRB. However the enrollment of the Irish Volunteers has grown in the last few weeks The membership information we have from our informants is far from being up to date. However Enniscorthy is one of the places where communication wires have been cut."
"That part of County Wexford has a history of Fenianism," added Birrell.
"Then we should not have lifted the curfew there!" growled Curzon, "I am reinstating the curfew there this evening. No, on second thought make it all of County Wexford. What about the other 3 incidents? Was there any pattern? Were any here in Dublin? Did any succeed?"
"The others were widely dispersed, Your Excellency. None were in Dublin. There was an unsuccessful attack in Cork city and another in Tullamore. The only other successful one was in Clones, that’s in County Monaghan. There the constable was shot twice at close range. The assailant grabbed the constable’s rifle and ran off. We have a witness but she did not get a good look at the perpetrator’s face."
"Hmm. I am somewhat surprised about the incident in Clones," Birrell commented, "About 3 weeks ago I was presented with an intelligence report on the strength of the armed factions county by county. My recollection was that in County Monaghan the MacNeill faction was believed to be very weak."
Chamberlain shrugged slightly, "I recall that report as well, sir. This was only a single incident last night. There was no other trouble in that county—well, other than a few drunken brawls between Protestants and Catholics."
"Hmm. As you say this was probably the work of s tiny group. I expect you to investigate thoroughly, but I see no reason to worry about Ulster at this time," remarked Lord Curzon scratching his chin pensively, "Dublin remains my greatest concern. Are you saying that Dublin behaved itself last night?". .
"Not exactly, Your Excellency. Another one of our informants was found with his throat cut this morning."
------middle of nowhere Herzegovina 0800 hrs
In the first 3 cays of Operation Tourniquet the Austrians had sporadically harassed the CANZAC positions with artillery fire—mostly 8cm field guns. This discouraged any movement but the low trajectory fire resulted in negligible casualties. Last night the Austrian artillery were reinforced with 2 batteries of 15cm field howitzers M.14 and 1 battery of 24cm Morser M.98. These batteries now opened fire on the trenches of the Australian Division. The powerful shells coming in at a high trajectory began to inflict serious casualties. General Bridges ordered counter-battery fire. He succeeded in silencing the Austrian howitzers but in doing he expended nearly all of his small stockpile of 4.5" howitzer shells.
-------Tipperary 0805 hrs
The 2nd squadron of the 16th Uhlan Regiment cautiously entered Tipperary. They did not encounter any resistance. The Germans had identified a handful of Irish Volunteers in County Limerick who had good equestrian skills and spoke passable German. .Each squadron plus the regimental HQ had one of these Irishmen riding with them. The ‘Irish Uhlan’ with 2nd squadron tried to contact Tipperary Company. Two of its members who had not answered the initial call out now came forward, accompanied by an elderly Fenian with a bad back who had not previously been part of the Volunteers. They conversed with the Germans and told them that Tipperary Company had indeed received some Russian rifles and then marched out heading for Cahir to the southeast. The squadron commander quickly sent a messenger to the regimental HQ to the north.
------SMS Blucher 0825 hrs
The latest victim of 2nd Scouting Group was a 3,100 ton British freighter lacking a wireless. It had departed Cardiff Friday afternoon and was bound for Buenos Aires with a cargo of coal. Admiral Maas signaled Admiral von Spee of this very important capture.
------Clones (Monaghan) 0830 hrs
The Clones Company of Redmond’s National Volunteers numbered 176 men when Lord Curzon ordered the RIC to seize the arms of all Volunteer factions. When the constables arrived to seize the arms no resistance was ordered but some words were exchanged and eventually the constables roughed up 3 members of the company, fracturing one man’s forearm.. This caused considerable ill feeling. Later it was learned that the local company of the Ulster Volunteer Force was not raided, their resentment grew though they did not know that the largely Orange Order local RIC were deliberately disobeying the Viceroy’s orders. Ironically the small local contingent of Irish Volunterrs, which called itself a company even though it numbered only 37 men and 2 women was not raided either. This because the Irish Volunteer company had been created only recently and the authorities were unaware that it even existed.
A fierce debate arose in National Volunteers Company. A young surveyor named Eion O’Duffy argued that they should join the Irish Volunteers. O’Duffy was well known and admired from his leadership role in the Gaelic Athletic Association in the county. A split occurred within the company and O’Duffy ended up taking 78 men along with himself to join the local Irish Volunteers. However O’Duffy insisted that he be given command of the combined company and after a day of wrangling with the Irish Volunteers that was conceded. Their total arsenal consisted of a single 7mm Mauser 93, a pair of Remington M1867 rifles, one.22 caliber rifle, 11 shotguns and 14 pistols. Late yesterday it was announced that the curfews had been lifted and O’Duffy ordered one of his men to try to ambush a lone constable on patrol during the night and get his rifle.
O’Duffy now met with two of his trusted men. "We killed a constable last night and got ourselves a right fine rifle. Unfortunately it was not loaded and Paddy didn’t see fit to get any of the victim’s ammunition, so for the time being it’s completely useless," he reported. He seemed strangely happy nonetheless.
One of his lieutenants was uneasy, "Ain’t we movin’ a wee bit too fast, Eion? This is sure to call attention to us. All for one rifle we dunna have the right bullets f’ur."
O’Duffy disagreed, "No, no, don’t you see that’s precisely the point. I wanted to do something that crosses the Rubicon. If we just sat around talkin’ while we wait for the rising to start elsewhere or the Germans march on Dublin then one by one the men we persuaded will have second thoughts and slink back to the National Volunteers."
"What’s next then?" asked the other lieutenant, "do we send men out tonight to cut wires? Try to ambush another constable and this time, grab some bullets as well?"
"Oh, no. They are sure to on the lookout for that tonight. And it looks to be a bright moon for most of the night. So make sure the lads behave themselves. I have something else in mind but it is goin’ to take some planning and preparing."
------Ahwaz (Persia) 0850 hrs (GMT)
Supplies and reinforcements arrived at Ahwaz this morning. The Ottoman caravan also brought a visitor for Col Al-Askary in the form of General Freiherr Colmar von Der Goltz. " I am deeply honored that you have come all the way to this remote area, Generalfeldmarschal," gushed Al-Askary.
The old Baron looked weary and fatigued but still managed a smile, "My dear friend, Helmuth, has a deep interest in unusual religions. He would never forgive me if I passed up on an opportunity to visit the only remaining stronghold of the Mandaeans."
Major Katz regarded Der Goltz’s reply as either whimsical or disingenuous. "The colonel and I thought it was much more likely that you would go to watch the assault on Basra, Feldmarschal."
"Hmm. That is not necessary. Kemal Bey has done very good work and currently has the main enemy force besieged at Basra, having forced them to evacuate Qurna" der Goltz replied, "However his assault on Basra Sunday night was rather hasty and repulsed with heavy losses. It is now clear to me that the finale there will take some time. Our enemies got themselves in trouble underestimating us. We should avoid making the same mistake. That is why I diverted a battalion here where I believe there are important strategic opportunities we can now begin to exploit without waiting for Basra to fall."
"You mean to shut down the pipeline, Feldmarschal?" Major Katz guessed.
"Oh yes, but that is only the beginning."
"It now happened that in this time of crisis I was called to lead our forces against this unholy violation of our sacred polity. In all my life, I had never been entrusted with such a sacred obligation as this."
----Sir Ian Hamilton, Ireland Diary
------SMS B.98 0905 hrs
The German destroyer which had separated from the rest of Spee’s task force now intercepted a 2,700 ton French merchantman out of Naples bound for St. Nazaire with a cargo of mostly olive oil. The freighter lacked a wireless. It was quickly captured. Once its crew was removed the ship was sunk. After that the destroyer resumed its ESE course.
------Tilsit (East Prussia) 0930 hrs
Operation Fulcrum had been scheduled to start at 0700 but General Georg von der Marwitz postponed it on account of marginal weather, which prevented the Army airship assigned to the operation from being able to observe anything. Visibility had improved only slightly since them so an half hour ago he decided it was time to proceed after a telephone call with Gen. Seeckt at Ober Ost which expressed Feldmarschal Hindenburg’s disappointment over the delay. The current intelligence assessment was that the Russian defenses in this area consisted of a single infantry division, border guard units and a few poorly Territorial battalions. However an air patrol the day before had spotted what appeared to be at least a full cavalry division rapidly approaching the area. . Marwitz decided to go ahead with the attack before the Russians could further reinforce their defenses. He held off on using the airship and pared back on the bombardment by the motorized heavy artillery battalions. These guns now erupted as one—3 batteries of the converted naval 15cm field guns and 2 batteries of 21cm Morser To the east along the Niemen River near Jurburg another 3 batteries of the 15cum guns commenced firing as well. .
------Mt. Mullaghanish (Kerry/Cork) 0950 hrs
A band of 35 constables slowly made their way up the mountain. The RIC had previously confiscated some firearms belonging to the Irish Volunteers in Ballyvourney and concluded that what little the Volunteers might have left would be mostly shotguns and pistols. As they worked their way up the mountain they tried to avoid tight areas where they could be ambushed with those short range weapons. Pretty soon they ran into was obviously some lookouts. The constables fired a few shots at long range, but the lookouts quickly scampered off untouched.
In addition to the rifles provided by the Germans and the two recently captured Lee-Enfield’s, Ballyvourney Company’s arsenal consisted of a Krag-Jorgensen, an American Trapdoor rifle, a Winchester model 1873, 2 Martini-Henry’s, 2 French Gras rifles, 10 .22 caliber rifles, 38 shotguns and 44 pistols. One of the .22 caliber rifles was interestingly a semiautomatic developed by Browning in just the last year. One of their members had been able to smuggle it in recently with the help of a cousin now living in the US.
The constables now came under fire from a few .22 caliber rifles. They again returned fire and their attackers quickly retired. The RIC gave chase. They soon came under fire from the men of Ballyvourney armed with the military grade rifles hiding behind some boulders. The constables tried to return fire as best they could but soon realized that their opponents had were better armed than anticipated and had a superior tactical position. The head constable ordered a retreat. They concentrated on assisting their wounded and were forced to leave their dead behind.
Julius Gaulart had taken part in the fighting. He thought that the Irishmen had done a decent enough job in setting up their ambush. The men who had been allocated the military rifles looked to be surprisingly good marksmen. However the Irish Volunteers were now letting the constables escape without a proper pursuit. He thought about yelling out some instructions but decided against it. His English was halting at best and usually these people spoke the bizarre Irish language. There was also the problem of their leader, Joe Flynn making it very clear he did not want Julius trying to usurp his authority.
Some of the Irish volunteers armed with shotguns finally scrambled down the slope to where the bodies of 4 constables lay. A pair of Lee Enfield rifles had been left behind by the most severely wounded so there was a total of 6 rifles and 4 pistols for the Volunteers to collect. They found that one of the supposed corpses was still breathing but the uncovscious victim perished in a few more minutes. The Volunteers had paid a price as well for their tiny victory. Two men were killed and 2 more were wounded. "They will get more men and come back, Joe. A lot more men. And we do not have much in the way of ammo," a deeply worried Kerns commented to Flynn, who merely nodded his head grimly then answered tersely, "I know, I know."
------Jurburg (East Prussia) 1005 hrs
The German artillery bombardment had ended. The 3rd Cavalry Division in the vanguard of the 1st Cavalry Corps attacked in the direction of Erzvhilki while the Guard Cavalry Division, which was the vanguard of the 2nd Cavalry Corps advanced from its jumping off points between Jurburg and Skirtymon heading in the general direction of Rossieny. Soon afterwards the Bavarian Cavalry Division departed from Tilsit as the vanguard of 3rd Cavalry Corps. It was accompanied by a squadron of 12 armored cars. Initially the cavalry advanced dismounted until Russian resistance had been eliminated.
OKW planned Operation Fulcrum using an extension of some of the tactics employed during Operation Whisper. The key element was to have completely motorized heavy artillery surrounded by a screen of cavalry while in transit. In addition to the heavy artillery, there was a motorized pioneer battalion well armed with medium and heavy minemwerfers, and a motorized machinegun company consisting of 3 MG companies, each armed with a dozen Russian Sokolov machineguns captured during Operation Whisper. Another small innovation was that the Germans had combined 4 cyclist companies into the 1st Cyclist Battalion and assigned it to 3rd Cavalry Corps.
------Richmond Barracks (Dublin) 1030 hrs
The British government decided it would start its trials of the Irish collaborators with the members of the IRB Military Council who they had arrested conspiring to start a rising once they learned of a German invasion. There were 3 elderly British officers on the court. Another similar court was being prepared in Athlone to try the Irish prisoners taken in County Galway.
Eamonn Kent was the first to be tried. He was asked what his plea was. He was tempted to say something like, "Guilty and proud of it." Instead in a dull mechanical voice he entered a plea of "not guilty." He felt disingenuous bordering on hypocritical in doing so.
This court had only 3 cases to try this day and so had the luxury of taking its time. There was no stenographer at this time which meant that the proceedings were recorded laboriously in longhand slowing down the procedure. The prosecution’s case was not as simple as it would be for the prisoners taken in Galway. The Military Council had fired no weapons at British soldiers. So there was a parade of Government agents called to give evidence of Kent’s sedition over a long period of time. There were also the arresting constables who testified that Kent and the others were in possession of firearms. There were also some handwritten notes that detailed military objectives for each battalion of the Dublin Brigade.
Kent was not permitted counsel. He was not given time to prepare a defense nor allowed to call witnesses. When the trial was over he wrote a note for his wife.
"Aine, my wife. I expect the death sentence. I only regret that I have now no longer the opportunity of showing you how I think of you now that the chance of seeing you again is so remote. .I shall die like a man for Ireland’s sake."
After writing the note they transferred him from Richmond Barracks to a cell in Kilmainham Jail. He was then told that he would be executed by firing squad the next morning. He was told that his wife had come to the jail to visit him. For a few minutes he was led to believe that she would be permitted to see him. Then for reasons they did not case to explain she was sent away with being allowed to speak with her condemned husband.
Kent was infuriated. When his rage subside he added a note for his boy..
"To my dear poor little son, Ronan, from his father who is on the point of dying tomorrow for Ireland Goodbye. E.K.
P.S. Take good care of your dear mother. May god help the two of you and may He give you both long life and happiness. God free Ireland."
------Belgian field hospital 1040 hrs
"Please, my husband, I am getting stronger each passing minute. You have other more important things to do that mope over me," Queen Elisabeth chided her husband, "Starting with getting some sleep. It pains to this say this, my husband, but you look terrible."
"I will get some sleep after you leave," Albert replied.
Elizabeth did not like the sound of that, "What do you mean, my love? Where are you sending me?"
"We have been in contact with the French. Arrangements have been made for you to receive the finest medical care in Paris. A motor ambulance will arrive very soon to take you Abbeville where a train will then carry you to Paris. It is unfortunately a long journey because the Germans occupy Amiens blocking the most direct route."
Elisabeth was unhappy, "You are not being sensible my husband. I do not need to go to Paris! We have Dr. Depage here with us! I fully trust his expertise."
"I have instructed Dr. Depage to accompany you all the way to Paris where he will confer in person with the French physicians."
"What? Dr. Depage is needed here! This hospital is full of many brave Belgian soldiers hurt far worse than myself. Quite frankly there is no need to send me off to Paris. I will be perfectly fine staying here. In a few more days I will—" At that Elisabeth began choking in a uncontrollable coughing fit, which persisted for more than a minute.
"I worry about the damage to your hearing, my beloved. You must not be hearing the sounds of artillery detonating all too close to here."
"I hear the artillery perfectly well, my husband," replied Elizabeth is a hoarse voice struggling to suppress further coughing, "and I would hasten to point out you have yourself been in still closer proximity to such sounds!"
"Stop being so stubborn. My decision has been made! You are going to Paris!"
------Newmarket (Cork) 1055 hrs
A rifle company of the 3rd battalion 13th Bavarian Infantry Regiment marched into this market town in northern Cork. The rest of the battalion along with most of the wagons was 7 miles behind to the west near the town of Blueford. Hindered by the lack of horses some of the wagons lagged still further behind. Despite the attack underway on the flank of the British 16th Division General von François and von Gyssling had agreed that it was important to divert an entire battalion to this area to act as screen if there was major cavalry thrust by the British erupting out of Cork, which would pose a threat the flow of supplies coming south from Foynes.
The Bavarians had a brief encounter with a half dozen RIC on the way to Newmarket. They killed one constable and retrieved his rifle, sidearm and ammo. The rest of the constables ran off into the countryside. Soon afterwards the Bavarians came upon the abandoned RIC station. They found some ammunition there along with a wagon, 2 horses, plentiful food and fodder. They also found some firearms and ammunition the constables had confiscated from both the local Irish Volunteers and the Redmondite National Volunteers and had not bothered to destroy.
At the outskirts of the city they were approached by 19 Irishmen, one of which brandished a sawed off shotgun. The Bavarians stayed outside the effective range of the shotguns. They had been assigned a member of the Irish Brigade who came forward to do the talking. He established that they were part of an Irish Volunteers company centered at Newmaarket. They had lost nearly all their weapons in a raid by the RIC Saturday night as had the local National Volunteers. The Bavarians quickly provided them with 30 Moisin-Nagant rifles and the lone Lee-Enfield they had captured earlier. They also told the Irish Volunteers that they could recover their former weapons at the RIC station if they wanted, but another larger shipment of the Moisin-Nagant rifles would be arriving tomorrow morning The rest of Newmarket Company was now ordered to assemble.
------near Nolette (France) 1100 hrs
When the German gas cloud allowed Sixth Army to create a gap between Indian Corps on the right wing of First Army and V Army Corps of the left wing of Second Army, Cavalry Corps was rushed in fill the gap. This helped prevent the Germans from reaching Noyelles but it caused the cavalrymen to become embroiled in several days of intense combat and paid a heavy price despite being reinforced with an RGA battery armed with 60 pounders to bolster its weak firepower. The 1st Cavalry Division on the right had already sustained over 2,200 casualties.
Late Saturday and early Sunday the I Army Corps had move into position on its left flank and this allowed Gen. Allenby to contract the front of the entire Corps to only 2 miles. This relief only proved temporary as late Monday 1st Division was moved out of line followed by 29th and 48th (South Midland) Divisions last night. The Indian Corps was supposed to fill most of this renewed gap, but this did not go as smoothly as planned. The Indian Corps had been badly mauled in the German attack, and furthermore the relief of more than 2 miles of trenches on its own left flank by III Army Corps was behind schedule due to hesitancy and equivocation on the part of its commander Gen. Pulteney..
The end result was that while there was not a true gap per se between Indian Corps of 2nd Cavalry Division, the forces occupying this boundary area were quite weak. Allenby had worried that the German Sixth Army might shift their Guard Corps so that most of its force fell on his Cavalry Corps and not V Army Corps. Allenby’s anxious guess was well justified. General von Fabeck had intended to overwhelm Cavalry Corps with the Prussian Guards early Tuesday morning. The determined British attacks by I Army Corps, Second Army and the Belgian 5th Division Monday had necessitated a change in Fabeck’s plans. For one thing the Belgians had managed to cut the road that was the main supply artery for the Guard Corps. Fabeck’s countermove to this was to try to eliminate the Belgian thorn in his side with a concentration of howitzers yesterday.
Once the Germans had pried the Belgians lose from the key road, Fabeck had ordered the Pruissian Guard howitzer battalions promptly returned to the Guard Corps. He ordered the Guards to prepare for an afternoon attack on Cavalry Corps. Copious supplies flowed to the Prussian Guards during the night, including not only shells but rifle and hand grenades which they had nearly exhausted in prior assaults. Just before dawn Fabeck had begun to acknowledge that he had failed in his attempt to completely shatter the Belgians which would permit an envelopment of the British Second Army. Fabeck again altered his plans and decided to place greater emphasis on the attack of the Guard Corps. It attack was moved up 2 hours.
The artillery of the Guard Corps opened fire on the trenches of 2nd Cavalry Division and a portion of 1st Cavalry Division. The RGA battery attempted counter-battery fire but it was down to its last 40 shells. The horse artillery batteries with their 13 pounders remained quiet waiting for the subsequent infantry assault.
------Killarney (Kerry) 1135 hrs
General Otto von Gyssling summoned Major Rommel.to see him. "Things did not go exactly according to plan, now did they?" he said with an expression that Rommel found hard to interpret.
"That is correct, General. The concept was sound but there were some problems in the details. Despite the difficulties we ultimately prevailed."
"Yes, but not anywhere as speedily as had been hoped."
Rommel began to suspect that the general for some obscure reason still did properly appreciate him. "Yes, General it took longer than planned," he finally conceded, hoping to appease him."
The general was glad that Rommel had conceded at least a small point. He moved on to another topic, "As you probably already know, 20 Russian Sokolov machine guns captured during Operation Whisper were brought to Ireland to be used by the Irish battalions.
Rommel brightened, "Am I to receive a pair of these machine guns, General?"
"Hmm. There is something of a problem. None of these weapons were offloaded at Tralee Bay. Instead hey were assigned a low priority and were only offloaded at Foynes late yesterday. Now there is still a shortage of horses and this makes the flow of supplies from Foynes rather difficult. I need to give priority towards getting more artillery shells, esp. for my howitzers. The transport of your machineguns all the way to Killarney is going to get a very low priority. I would not count on seeing them before Sunday."
The general did not sound unhappy about this. Rommel still wondered if the general resented him. He decided to be stoic about the matter,"Oh, well, uh, I do understand how there are other things that must ---"
"---but wait, there is another option. We captured 2 Vickers machineguns in working condition during the Battle of Killarney along with a goodly number of ammunition belts. Since you are switching to the British rifles, why not use their machineguns as well?"
Rommel grinned from ear to ear.
------near Nolette 1245 hrs
The Prussian Guards had begun their infantry assault. Most of their attack felt on 2nd Cavalry Division. In the early months of the war the Guards had frequently attacked with great bravery and almost as frequently had suffered heavy losses as a result. During the winter months after Winckler’s Division had returned from Poland their officers and NCO’s had received some supplemental training which included the daring idea that even for the elite Guards there were times when ‘discretion was the better part of valor’. In the early part of the current offensive against the British this had resulted in a favorable casualty ratio but the Guards had failed to capture the key objectives of Nolette and Noyelles. A frustrated Gen. von Fabeck wondered if they had learned their lesson too well. With the disappointing results against the Belgians—possibly due to other German outfits having the same problem—he insisted that today’s attack be vigorous and unsparing.
The result of this was a fierce struggle as the Prussian Guards stubbornly forced their way into the trenches of Cavalry Corps, where their new issue of grenades served them well. In some places the cavalrymen put up a stubborn resistance and the usual brutalities of trench warfare ensued. The right wing of the German attack achieved the greatest success where it reached the thinly held area near the boundary with Indian Corps. There the Prussian Guards easily overwhelmed the defenders and were soon able to continue their advance.
------Kampala (Uganda) 1250 hrs (GMT)
Col. Philippe François Joseph Molitor came in out of the poring rain. A Negro servant took his raincoat. Molitor had brought a force of 1,400 askaris of the Belgian Force Publique from the Congo to relieve the British forces in Uganda, despite the onset of the rainy season. The lead company had arrived here about 3 hours earlier. Nearly half the expedition including most of the wagons was at least a day behind. As Molitor tried to get dry the consul approached. "It’s a damn shame you couldn’t get here any sooner."
Molitor was moderately fluent in English when he left the Congo and during his trip brushed up on it daily. Nevertheless he wasn’t sure if the consul was being critical or merely banal.. There had been some awkward negotiations between the British and Belgian colonial administrators. One thing the British emphasized was that they did not want the Belgian relief into Uganda to be too big. "General Tombeur told me that I was to arrive at Kampala before the end of the month, Monsieur. As far as I am concerned we are two days early."
"Yes, yes. I am not trying to be judgmental my dear fellow. It’s just something awful has happened and I cannot help but wonder if could have been avoided had you been able to get here sooner."
"What is this terrible thing you are referring to?"
"You haven’t heard? Oh, dear. The short of it is that the Germans attacked Nairobi in strength and we believe they succeeded in capturing it."
------10 Downing St. 1405 hrs
The new British military commander for Ireland, General Sir Ian Hamilton was meeting with the War Committee before he left. The War Committee decided it was best to meet only with Hamilton and not invite Lord Kitchener.
"I will get to the point, General Hamilton," said Bonar Law, "we are not happy—not at all happy-- with the progress of the military campaign in Ireland. The Germans rudely ejected 10th Division from Limerick while a counterthrust into Kerry by 16th Division that looked promising just yesterday is now backpedaling into County Cork."
"Yes, Prime Minister I am well aware of these setbacks. As Lord Kitchener was probably told you already both 10th and 16th are New Army divisions that were not yet fully ready for combat when the Germans landed. This is esp. so in the case of the 16th Division which is part of the Second New Army. It is engaged with what General French believes to be the best German division he has yet to encounter."
"What you say undeniably has some validity, Sir Ian, but still this committee suspects certain errors of judgment made by General Friend and others have seriously aggravated these problems," Carson commented.
"For the time being we will permit General Friend to remain in Dublin as part of your staff," added Bonar Law, "Pick his brains—that is, if he has any. In a few days we expect that you will have become thoroughly comfortable with the complexities of the situation and can either ship him back to England or use him as the presiding officer for another military court. We now have 2 military courts set up—one in Dublin and another in Athone--but it is beginning to look like we may need still more as I firmly intend to execute any and all Irish traitors."
"Lord Kitchener mentioned setting up 2 new Army Corps HQ in Ireland. Can you give us some more detail on that," requested Lloyd-George.
"Why yes, Chancellor. I would be happy to clarify that matter for you. There will be ultimately 2 new Corps formed in Ireland. We have already selected the necessary personnel for VI Army Corps, which is to have control over 10th, 36th and 49th Division. Lt. Gen. Frederick Stopford is to be its commander. He will be arriving in Ireland tomorrow morning with most of his staff."
"Hmm. Wasn’t Gen. Stopford going to retire? I heard his health was not all that good," remarked a concerned Lloyd-George.
Hamilton made an ambiguous grimace, "I understand your concern, Chancellor, but in all honesty I regard Gen. Stopford’s health as acceptable, esp. in a place as hospitable as Ireland. His age is, strange as it may sound, a prime reason why he was selected. We needed a general with seniority over Gen. Mahan."
Bonar-Law rolled his eyes, "Just so we are completely open, General Hamilton, but we are not completely taken with General Mahan’s performance, either. If you feel that it is necessary to relieve him as well then so be it. However there are uh, special reasons---"
"--political reasons" Lloyd-George clarified.
"Well, yes, you are correct, David. They are political reasons," continued the Prime Minister, "for retaining General Mahan if at all possible. As I said if you decide to remove him we will back but you must not take that step lightly."
Hamilton was no stranger to the political aspects of military command "I understand very well, Prime Minister, and shall conduct myself accordingly."
"You did say two corps, General?" asked Carson.
"Yes, I did, First Lord. Over the weekend Lord Kitchener will assemble what is to be VII Army Corps. He is currently leaning towards Lt. Gen. Keir as its commander, though that selection is not final. VII Army Corps will be responsible for operations in Kerry and Cork. In addition to 16th Division and 1/2nd South Midlands Yeomanry Brigade it will control another territorial division that Lord Kitchener is in the process of selecting/"
"So you agree with Lord Kitchener that we need to send at least one more division to Ireland if we are to destroy the German invasion as rapidly as we promised Parliament?" asked Lloyd-George.
"That is correct, Chancellor. Our very latest intelligence now leads us to believe that our fears of a 3rd German Division in Ireland were unfounded. They may have landed another regiment of their Marines to in County Limerick to augment those in Limerick, that’s all. So I am confident that we can meet the deadline announced by the Prime Minister with just one more division provided that it is committed promptly."
"I don’t know if Lord Kitchener has told you, but he was with this committee when we met with his King George and His Majesty was deeply concerned about the possibility that Ireland is intended merely as a diversion and the real German intention is to invade England," said Bonar Law with a frown, "and while we do not believe that to be the case, His Majesty’s position cannot be dismissed lightly."
"Heaven forbid!" exclaimed Hamilton.
"Further complicating matters Lord Northcliffe has been making essentially the same argument as His Majesty in his newspapers," added Carson.
"So the commitment of yet another division to Ireland is going to be a bit of a sticky widget for the time being," declared Lloyd-George, "But as it now appears the Germans have only 2 divisions in Ireland why can’t you get the job accomplished with four?"
"A valid question, Chancellor. There are multiple reasons. If I might split hairs a wee bit the German strength is best categorized as two and a half divisions---they appear to have about 30 battalions. And half of those belong to what we consider very elite units—6th Bavarian Division and the 3 Bavarian Jaeger battalions. As we’ve discussed previously the New Army divisions in Ireland were not yet at a stage we would consider them ready for combat. Unfortunately they’ve already been seriously weakened in some regrettable combat. Adding a single Territorial Division will allow us to seize the initiative but this will be a campaign which uses artillery very sparingly on account of the very grave situation of the BEF in France, which simply must have priority for artillery shells. So I will be waging a mostly infantry struggle in what is the fairly rugged terrain of western Munster. Furthering complicating matters I will be fighting the clock and calendar as much as the Germans."
------British Embassy Washington D.C. 1600 hrs
One of the things the British Ambassador, Sir Cecil Spring-Rice did after his meeting with President Wilson was to order his staff to get in touch with Shane Leslie and ask him to visit the ambassador as soon as possible. Shane Leslie was now in his office.
Sir Cecil had two cables from Sir Edward Grey expressing satisfaction with the ambassador’s handling of President Wilson. Sir Cecil did not feel satisfied. Deep inside he still smoldered.
"How many speeches have you given about the situation in Ireland, Shane?"
Leslie frowned, "Three so far, Sir Cecil. One late Sunday afternoon here, the second around noon in New York Monday, and the third later that day in another part of New York."
"Nothing since? Why have you been so restrained? You should be giving at least 3 speeches daily! What with the Jewish run press here in leaguer with the Germans, we need all the voices we can get urging these Irish-Americans to see that they have no reason to support the dastardly German invasion."
Leslie made an uncomfortable grimace, "Truth be told, Mr. Ambassador. The last speech I gave ended up being a rather unpleasant experience."
"You mean with the crowd? Were you heckled?"
"Uh, no—well yes actually but that’s not what upset me. It was the other speakers on the podium. They were two staunch Unionists present and they decided to use this dreadful event as another opportunity to extol their cause. One of them even went so far as to blame Sir John Redmond for the German invasion!"
"Harrumph! So with the Empire facing its gravest threat since Napoleon you are now sulking in your tent like Achilles because someone insulted Sir John Redmond. What in Heaven is wrong with you?"
Shane glared at the ambassador. He decided to shift the topic of discussion, "I saw in this morning’s newspaper that there are more Irishmen are fighting alongside the Germans than first reported. That something fairly large happened in County Galway."
"Yes, yes, we received some cables about that last night. But what does this have to do---"
"It will make a world of difference here in America. Most Catholic Irish-Americans still harbor a deep seated hostility to England. So far they have been scratching their heads trying to figure out just what is happening. The notion that the Germans will do to Ireland what they did to Belgium makes quite a few of them very uneasy but there are those who will start openly supporting the Germans if they think a serious rising is underway."
"Well then I’d say that is precisely the reason why I need you to campaign as vigorously as possible! In addition to the war of men and materials, there is the war of words. It is that war we can and will win for God is most assuredly on our side!"
Sir Cecil’s mention of the Almighty had an unexpected effect on Leslie. Just what side is God on? Shane wondered. Not too long ago I was as certain as the ambassador that God was on Britain’s side. In recent months I’ve had more than a few doubts though. I need to talk this over with somehow who knows God better than I do.
------HQ British Cavalry Corps 1435 hrs
The initial reports General Allenby received from the commander of 2nd Cavalry Division, General Hubert Gough had not been as bad as Allenby had feared. They spoke of intense resistance by the cavalrymen in the frontline trench and of the bodies of the Prussian Guards being stacked in great heaps upon the wire. Allenby as well as Haig liked the fiery Irishman, Gough. He had the cocky aggressiveness they regarded as the hallmark of a cavalry officer. Allenby had noticed on more than one previous occasion that Gough;s reports were inclined to take an overly rosy view of his tactical situation.
A new set of reports reached Allenby’s HQ. "Christ Almighty! General Gough now says the Germans have overrun 6th Dragoon Guards. His horse artillery is very close to exhausting their ammunition. Have we heard yet from General Willcocks?"
"No word as yet from Indian Corps, General."
"Well despite their clogging our supply lines, it’s a blessing we have South Midlands Division at our disposal. Have we established a direct telephone line to the divisional HQ?"
"Not yet, sir."
"Make that an urgent priority for the signal company. In the meantime have our fastest motorcycle standing by which I knock off some orders for General Graham."
------Harar (Abyssinia) 1620 hrs
Tafari Makonnen, who claimed to be a Ras even though both Iyasu and Zauditu regarded as only a Dejazmach, had just finished dining with his wife, Menen Asfaw, who was also the niece of Lij Iyasu. Though she was only in her mid 20’s, Tafari was her fourth husband. The first 3 marriages had been strictly arranged. While married to her third husband Ras Leul Seged, a much older man she never really cared for, she met Tafari Makonnen and the two became very fond of each other. Iyasu noticed this and arranged for her separation from Ras Leul Seged and sent her to Harar so she could marry Tafari, hoping this would create a bond between Tafari and himself. This bond had turned out not to be very strong. Menem had not tried to plead her uncle’s case. Shewas deeply devoted to the Ethiopian Church and the rumors that her uncle wished to convert to Islam as enough for her. She did pray for Iyasu’s soul.
"There have been a great many developments that bear on our situation," Tafari declared, "For instance only a few hours ago I learned that the Germans invaded Ireland. You know about Ireland, right?"
Menem was brighter than most Abyssinian noblewomen. This was one of the things that endeared her tot Tafari. Still now and then she would disappoint him.
"Ireland is an island to the west of Britain under British control. I’ve heard some of the Irish do not like the English. Is this what the Germans mean to exploit?"
Tafari smiled. This time she did not disappoint him, "Yes, that is part of what is going on. However there is still more at work. The Germans can use Ireland as a base to give them better access to the Atlantic. It means they will be able to project their power abroad more easily."
Menem thought that over. At first she looked confused then she looked worried, "You hint that the Germans could come to the Horn of Africa. Is that something we should fear?"
"Perhaps. Let us consider it conjunction with some other news closer to home. I also learned this morning that the German forces attacked Nairobi and may have captured it. They apparently claim to have taken that city."
"Isn’t Nairobi the capital of British East Africa? Didn’t you tell me yesterday that a military expedition of considerable power entered our territory out of British East Africa?"
Again Tafari was impressed with his wife, "You remember well my dearest. As far as I know this is the only one of the British expeditions to cross our border. Their expedition out of Somaliland that was supposed to augment my own army remains bottled up due to the Mad Mullah’s control of the mountain passes."
"But didn’t the British agents tell you a few days that they would soon eliminate this troublesome Mullah?"
"They have been saying that for well over a week. As for the British expedition in the south it is not causing people to rally to my cause. No instead it is causing people to rally to Iyasu’s side And there is yet another British expedition. It is coming from the north and will head first to Gondar, which is Zuditu’s stronghold. The British agents have strongly implied without actually explicitly saying it that they are willing to strike a deal with Zauditu if I do not agree to sign the treaty they put before me."
"The one that makes our country a British protectorate?"
"Yes. So far they haven’t seen fit to make any of the substantive changes I’ve requested," said Tafari. His expression became very serious as if he was having an intense internal debate. "What is wrong, my love?" asked a concerned Menem.
With a deep sigh and an even deeper frown Tafari answered , "A few days ago my men uncovered a plot by some of the local Muslins to assassinate me. I did not tell you sooner because I thought it might upset you."
"A plot to assassinate! Why of course I am worried," she answered in a loud voice. Then she paused and in a more hushed tone asked, "Surely you think my uncle---"
"---the thought crossed my mind. Under torture the ringleader confessed that men working for Iyasu paid him to kill me."
Menem gulped and then replied uneasily, "There are things wrong with my uncle but I did not think he could sink so low."
Tafari made a reassuring smile, "Hmm. You see, I’m not sure that he has. I asked my interrogators to ask the ringleader is the Queen of France was also involved in the plot. They came back to me and confirmed that the prisoner had indeed admitted to the involvement of the Queen of France."
"But why would the Queen of France want to harm you? It is Iyasu that invaded her colony."
Tafari sighed gently. His consort had finally disappointed him, "There is no Queen of France."
Menem briefly looked puzzled then responded, "Oh, so France has a king not a queen?"
"No, my love. The French have neither king nor queen."
"Oh. But if the French have neither King nor Queen then how are they governed?"
"With great difficulty from what I am told," replied Tafari. His expression became very serious, "There is something I need from you now."
"Yes, my husband." She began to undo the buttons on her garment.
"No. Not that. What I need now is for you to write a letter to your uncle."
------Dundrun (Tipperary) 1635 hrs
The commander of the12th battalion Royal Irish Rifles had split his battalion in half. He sent 2 rifle companies south to attack the Irish Volunteers reported to be near Cashel and took the rest of battalion including the machine gun section down the path of the railway to counter German cavalry which had been attacking the railway. After a grueling march he had reached the small town of Dundrun and set up a defensive position straddling the railroad tracks, while waiting for his wagons to catch up. Weather was very mixed in the afternoon. There was a light shower for nearly an hour. The clouds began to open up before it finished and this produced a lovely rainbow for a few minutes.
Anticipating that cavalry would prefer to attack his flanks instead of head on, he had established outposts and patrols on both flanks. A messenger now arrived on a bicycle with news that a body of Irish rebels had been spotted strolling down the main raid that ran through Dundrun on to Limerick. The battalion commander immediately sent one messenger to find his other 2 companies and tell them where the Irish Volunteers actually were. He also sent another messenger to inform 10th Division. After that he personally led his right hand company to engage the Irish Volunteers. He knew what the 10th Inniskilling Fusliers had done to the Papist traitors in County Galway and intended to do the same here in County Tipperary.
Soon afterwards this company in a column encountered the Tipperary Brigade. The small Clogheen Company was in the vanguard and when they saw the Ulsterman approaching they fired a few hurried rounds then fell back on the main body of the Brigade behind them to the southeast. The Royal Irish Rifles gave vigorous pursuit. As they charged they soon came under fire from the other companies. In barely a minute 8 soldiers in the lead platoon crumpled to ground. The commander of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles had been provided an estimate of 500 Irish Volunteers in Tipperary but the real number he faced was 730 men plus 27 women. The colonel decided against trying to close with bayonets. "Pull back now!" he ordered, "Pull back and form a firing line!" His orders were promptly carried out and a small arms firefight ensued. The colonel discovered that the Irish were also better armed than expected---roughly half the men appeared to have rifles—and what was even more of shock the rebel marksmanship was not as bad as he expected. They were not as good as his own men but they were exacting a serious toll on the Royal Irish Rifles. The colonel sent another messenger back to the other company back guarding the train tracks. He ordered the company to take half of his company and reinforce him quickly, leaving the other half to guard the wagons and the tracks. These 2 extra platoons were directed to bring additional ammunition.
Soon after the messenger departed one of the German Albatross landplanes based at Foynes emerged from out a cloudbank and soared over the battlefield. This sight distracted the men on both sides. . The plane banked and came around again at a lower altitude. It flew directly over the British line and dropped 2 small bombs. As the plane passed over the British position the pilot dropped by hand 2 very small bombs. These succeeded in killing one soldier and lightly wounding two more. This completely distracted the Royal Irish Rifles. Meanwhile over on the rebel side, O’Duibhir could be heard shouting, "Don’t just stand there gaping like a bunch of sill girls! Shoot, by God! Shoot!"
The Royal Irish Rifles fired some rounds at the Albatross as it flew off to the southwest. Their battalion commander soon told them to stop staring at the sky and resume shooting the Papist swine. And so the firefight continued. Meanwhile the German airplane spotted a squadron of the 16th Uhlan Regiment about 2 miles from the battle. The cavalrymen were startled when the plane made a a very rough landing in a nearby field. The squadron commander guessed that the plane must be in serious trouble and sent 2 riders galloping over to investigate.
With the arrival of the 2 additional platoons the slight advantage enjoyed by the Ulstermen became more pronounced and it soon became obvious to the Volunteers as well. Like the Russians who once employed most of the rifles they were now firing, when an Irish Volunteer with a rifle was badly hit another who lacked a rifle took it from him. However the rifles had been originally allocated to the best shots in the companies.
The Irish began to fall back slowly but the Ulstermen pursued. Some of the Irish Volunteers started to run away. A quarter of the Irish Volunteers had become casualties. A few of the men began to talk about surrendering. O"Duibhir heard this and was furious. "If they capture they will shoot you anyway!" he yelled over the noise of the battlefield, "better to die shooting back." Some of the men cheered when they heard that, but two more tried to run away. One of those was it in the back as he ran. Some of the men were beginning to pray. Many who lacked a rifle now clutched a rosary.
"I tell you that they’re going to run out of ammunition real soon," said one of the Irish Volunteers armed only with a sawed off shotgun and a machete, "Then we can close and take with our shotguns."
"Not if what raises some dust over there is more British reinforcements bring more ammo."
"So you hear that?" asked of those fervently praying his rosary.
"I thought I heard a bugle."
"Bah, it’s the Angel of Death you be hearin’. He’s coming for all of us."
"Or maybe its still more reinforcements for the British. Huh? What in heaven! Saints alive, will you be looking at that---"
Horsemen carrying lances could now be seen clearing the small ridge behind the Royal Irish Rifles: The horsemen galloped down the slope. Belatedly some of the Ulstermen turned around. Most hesitated. A few managed to get off a round. The Uhlans charged into infantrymen. Lances impaled men and then the sabers started slashing while still others were trampled by the horses.
"The Lord has delivered us!" yelled O"Duibhir. Some of his men merely watched while other continued to fire. At this range they were more like to hit the German cavalry than the Ulstermen. O’Duibhir stood and waved his sword…With a mighty roar he yelled.
And with that the made of Irish irregulars, including some who were lightly wounded, sprang to their feet and ran towards the enemy. As they ran they shared a common thought. Deep in their bones they felt that at this moment there would at long last be true and fitting retribution for the centuries of degradation and woe perpetrated by the English on Ireland. A rage emboldened by hope thundered in their feet as they converged on the Ulstermen still trying to fight off the Uhlans. Some of the Ulstermen noticed the tide of human wrath still more than twice their number about to sweep down upon them. Quite a few panicked and fled to the west in disarray, but still more of the Ulstermen experienced their own berserker rage and now barely noticed the horse borne German kibitzers interfering with their own sacred agenda of bloodletting. With a feral snarl they resolutely faced their kismet firing a few rounds into the avalanche that approached.
In an apotheosis of rage O’Duibhir somehow managed to find breath in his sprinting lungs to shout, "For Ireland, for all that we ever wanted, for all that we were wrongly denied. This is our day of reckoning!"
And with that a roar went amongst the Irish Volunteers. Irishmen crashed into Irishmen on a field that was definitely not "a long way from Tipperary". The volunteers who had shotguns could now make good use of them and the men who only had pistols and improvised pole arms Emerald green collided with orange and from their vigorous combination there issued forth a torrent of bright crimson. The Uhlans who played their own role in this slaughter were mostly hardened veterans who in their many months on the dreadful continental battlefields had thought they had seen everything. But in these minutes on the Tipperary plains they experienced something still more terrible than they had ever seen, and yet strangely beautiful as well. All who were on this field this day, German as well as Irish, were forever changed in ways they found nearly impossible to express in words.
Towards the end a troop of Uhlans form another squadron arrived, but by then the battle was nearly over. A little more than 90 of the Royal Irish Rifles had escaped, including some who were lightly wounded. There was a heap of bodies lying on the field. Crows were already gathering. There were several instances where the corpse of an Irish Volunteer and that of an Ulsterman were still locked in their final grasp. The Germans and Irish had taken 164 prisoners of which nearly two thirds were wounded to some degree. The Irish Volunteers had paid a heavy price for their victory. They counted 86 dead—including 2 women—and 140 wounded of which 3 were women. Another 34 were missing and they were correctly assumed to be those who had run off. The Uhlan casualties were 13 killed and 22 wounded.
------SMS B.98 off La Coruna 1705 hrs
The German destroyer had encountered a British passenger liner with a wireless too strong to be jammed. The B.98 did not try to capture the passenger ship for multiple reasons. Instead it tried to deny the liner a good look at her. The Spanish patrol boat approaching from the south was another matter.
------southwest of Roscrea (Tipperary) 1710 hrs
"Did they ever tell you why this train’s departure was delayed so long, Mr. Murdoch?" the journalist C.P. Connolly asked the Australian correspondent sitting beside him.
"There was some problem with the tracks in Queen’s County, that’s all they would say," answered Keith Murdoch.
"Did you notice a large number of constables patrolling around the tracks near Maryborough?"
Murdoch frowned slightly and shook his head, "I didn’t notice anything unusual, but if you say so."
Christopher Powell Connolly—he almost always went by his initials ‘C.P’-- was in his mid 50’s. At one time he had been a prosecutor in Silver Bows County Montana in 1898. On one occasion he ordered the police to close a crooked gambling den. When they refused he took a revolver and a deputy and did it himself. Disgusted with the widespread corruption he saw in Montana he went into private practice and in 1906 he wrote a series called The Story of Montana for McClure’s magazine. It was a lurid tale of corruption in the style that would soon be derided as ‘muckraking’. The series was immensely popular and established his name nationwide.
In 1907 Collier’s Weekly asked him to cover the Haywood trial in Boise. Big Bill Haywood, the purblind founder of the Industrial Workers of the World, the so called ‘Wobblies’, had been accused (along with two others tried separately) of plotting the bombing death of former Idaho governor, Frank Steunenberg who had summoned the federal troops who brutally suppressed the 1899 miners’ uprising at Coeur d’Alene. His lead attorney was none other than Clarence Darrow. The trial received immense national coverage but it Connolly’s reporting distinguished itself by itself by providing readers of Collier’s sweeping background to the story lacking in other accounts. Soon after Haywood’s acquittal the prosecutor in the case, Senator William Borah was himself indicted for allegedly securing fraudulent federal timber leases. This caused William Allen White, the editor of the Emporia Kansas Gazette and a prominent supporter of Republican Progressives, to ask Connolly to do an independent investigation and delivered his findings personally to President Roosevelt.
In 1909 Connolly joined the staff of Collier’s. Later that year he began an investigation of Richard Ballinger, the Secretary of the Interior. Ballinger had been accused by the Forest Service chief Gifford Pinchot and some others of giving away mineral rich federal land in Alaska to J.P. Morgan and the Guggenheim family. After President Taft fired Pinchot, Collier’s asked Connolly to investigate. His reports linked Ballinger with spurious Alaskan land claims made by major contributors to the Taft campaign. This series resulted in a Congressional investigation that cleared Ballinger on a party line vote, but the secretary resigned soon afterwards and the gap between Taft and Roosevelt’s Progressives widened.
In 1911 Connolly covered the trial of the McNamara brothers, unionists charged with bombing the Los Angeles Times and killing 21 people. Once again Clarence Darrow led the defense. This time one of Darrow’s investigators was caught trying to bribe a juror after which Darrow entered guilty pleas and ended up standing trial himself on bribery charges which ended in a hung jury. Connolly’s piece on this pathetic episode was titled Protest by Dynamite. He heaped scorn on the conservative faction that dominated Los Angeles driving workers to acts of desperation, as much as Darrow and the Socialist Press.
Connolly moved his family to New Jersey in 1912 and became an editor at Collier’s. He continued his investigative stories. In one of them he accused the Senator Francis E. Warren, chairman of the Senate military affairs committee of pulling stings to get his son-in-law, John J. Pershing, promoted to brigadier general over 862 higher ranking officers and made commandant of West Point. In 1913 Connolly covered the Atlanta trial of a Jewish businessman, Leo Franks, accused of the rape and murder of a 13 year old girl. Franks was ultimately convicted . Franks had written several letters to Connolly after the trial thanking him for the articles in Collier’s which he believed would help persuade the Supreme Court to overturn his conviction.
Ciollier’s Weekly had been originally founded by Irishman Peter Collier with a special interest in catering to the Catholic market. When James Connolly was arrested for treason in March,, Peter’s son Robert asked CP Connolly to go to London to cover James Connolly trial. As the trial focused on what was CP’s favorite topics--- radical labor movements and the trouble they get themselves in, he was eager to go. When the trial was over C.P. then went to Dublin to do some further research into the Transport Union and the Citizen Army. He even expanded his series to do a piece on the Countess Markieviscz.
After exchanging cables with Collier’s CP was persuaded to remain in Dublin until Connolly’s execution to see if there was any unrest in Dublin afterwards. A little more than a week ago he ran into the Australian journalist he was now sitting with. Previously the only reporters he had encountered in Dublin were a few members of the Socialist press from several nations, including an American he had rubbed shoulders with during the trial of the McNamara brothers. Murdoch had traveled to England hoping to be allowed to cover the CANZAC expedition but had yet to obtain permission to travel to Albania. Instead he decided to cover James Connolly on account of Australia’s large Irish population. Connolly found Murdoch both more interesting and less biased than the Socialists and they became mildly friendly. Then last Saturday a story broke that was lot bigger than James Connolly and the Transport Union. Suddenly CP Connolly had become a war correspondent.
Sunday morning C.P. was arrested by the Dublin Metropolitan Police. They did not call it an arrest but as a former prosecutor it sure seemed like one. He was taken to Dublin Castle and thoroughly interrogated. He immediately got the impression that Americans with Irish names were strongly suspected of being Fenian collaborators with the Germans. They asked if he was related to James Connolly which he was sure they already knew he was not. The interrogators made a big deal out of his being from Montana and having spent time in nearby Idaho. They asked him repeatedly if he had any contact or connection with the poet, Ezra Pound, who came from Idaho. This sounded downright paranoid to CP. They asked him about the Countess Markieviscz, whom had briefly interviewed after her release. They wanted to know if he had any contact with her or knew anything about her current whereabouts. Eventually they released him, but ordered him to remain in Dublin. He was not to submit any more stories without clearing it with the government first. Despite the decidedly unfriendly attitude CP made it clear that he wanted permission to travel to the war zone to cover the fighting.
He had not expected anything to come of this. Then early this morning he received a telephone call at his hotel. Augustine Birrell, the Secretary for Ireland had personally approved his request to report on the war. This approval was subject to several strict conditions. He was to go to the town of Nenagh in County Tipperary, which was being used as a major base. From there he would be close to the fighting at Limerick. He was not to leave Nenagh without the permission of the local military authorities. His articles would be subject to censorship. It was very strongly suggested that he should collaborate with Murdoch who was to go with him.
The train they rode on carried mostly supplies had only 3 passenger cars. Connolly and Murdoch sat in the head car. Most of the passengers in this car were RIC but there were a handful of soldiers and some civilians. Civilians going all the way to Nenagh had to have special written authorization and sit in the head car. All the other civilians remaining in the other two cars had been forced to exit at Roscrea.
. Murdoch had been reserved most of the trip. Connolly guessed early on that Murdoch had been told details that were being withheld from him. Murdoch did try to dispel some of the incredible rumors that had been floating around Dublin, but as to what actually was happening CP could sense that he was leaving things out. Around the time they crossed into County Tipperary Murdoch had warmed up some and sort of confessed that was true. Connolly now decided to ask something that he had speculated about since learning he has going to the battle zone, "I am still wondering why they chose me to go along with you. Any ideas?"
Murdoch nodded, "Most of the foreign reporters who happened to be in Dublin last Saturday belong to the Socialist Press trying to make a big stink about James Connolly. They are all in custody now, including 4 of your fellow Yanks. Besides the Socialists and yourself, there were only two other American journalists in Dublin. One was of Irish ancestry like yourself but with some known Fenian connections. He’s in custody as well. Most likely getting the third degree as we speak. The remaining American is not Irish but he is of German ancestry and he works for William Randolph Hearst. There is a great deal of antipathy in Britain towards Hearst if you haven’t noticed. That reporter has not been arrested so far but he’s been told not to leave Dublin. So that leaves yourself, CP."
That revelation was not particularly flattering but it rang true to Connolly’s ears. "So that explains my situation. Still I am flabbergasted there are not any more reporters from the British and Irish newspapers. Have they gone ahead of us?"
Murdoch shrugged, "Not that I know of. One thing I should mention is that from the very start of the war Lord Kitchener had been opposed to having reporters at the front. General Joffre is of a similar opinion. With Ireland itself invaded, it is obvious that there are additional reasons why the government would not want reporters at the front."
"But Secretary Birrell is letting us go to Nenagh."
Murdoch leaned forward and spoke in a softer voice, "Politically speaking Birrell is a walking corpse right now and he knows it. It’s only a question of when he is being replaced, not if. If Ireland wasn’t such a thankless job that nobody wants he’d be gone already. So he feels to free to do whatever he wants in what little time he has left. But don’t be surprised if he’s overruled soon and we’re ordered back to Dublin or maybe the Curragh."
Murdoch leaned back. After a few seconds Connolly spoke, "I guess they mean to go ahead with the execution tomorrow."
"You mean Connolly? Oh yeah, that’s for certain."
"Of course I mean Connolly. Who else would I be referring to? Unless… Hmm, have the court martials started already?"
"I don’t know," Murdoch lied, "they may have started today. If not today then tomorrow or the day after" Murdoch had been told that the court martials of the IRB Military Council would start today and that if death sentences were handed down the executions would probably begin tomorrow. He had also been told this was one reason they were willing to send C.P. to Nenagh. They did not want the former prosecutor setting his sights on the judicial proceedings. In fact Murdoch was instructed to keep a close watch on Connolly and immediately report anything suspicious.
"I am worried that these court martials for the Fenians that your Prime Minister is so eager to start will run roughshod over the legitimate rights of the accused. As you you’ll recall from past discussions I concluded that James Connolly’s trial was fair despite a few troubling irregularities. I don’t think I will be able to say the same thing about these military courts."
"Perhaps then it would be best if you concentrated on reporting the actual fighting."
"I do not see why I cannot do both."
"Be practical CP. You’ve been told that you must submit your articles to the censor. If you cause too much trouble they’ll send you packing, or maybe even have you arrested."
"People have threatened me before, Mr. Murdoch. It hasn’t stopped me from doing what I felt was right."
------Millstreet (Cork) 1730 hrs
Finding the enemy still reluctant to engage in another artillery duel the British 16th Division was able to pin the Bavarian infantry behind the hills using its 15 pounder guns. This allowed General Parsons to withdraw his own infantry to the east. His orders from General Friend were clear. He was to block a German march on Cork through Macroom, the most direct path. His forces were assembling in the vicinity of the market town of Millstreet. Once it was dark he would send what was left of his division marching south on the road that led to Macroom through the valley between the Derrynasaggart Mountains and the Boggeragh Mountains. To hinder a probable pursuit by the Bavarians along the same route he planned to position the 8th battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers supported by a battery of 15 pounders in the area just north of the tiny hamlet of Carriganimmy to act as a rear guard. .
------ Dundrun (Tipperary) 1755 hrs
Three of the four squadrons of the 16th Uhlan Regiment had arrived at Dundun as well as the regimental HQ. The regimental adjutant spoke English very well –it had been an important factor in his selection---and summoned O’Duibhir to see him.
"I understand you were heading towards Limerick when you encountered the enemy infantry?" the adjutant.
"That is correct," replied O’Duibhir.
:"If you had not been interrupted that route would have placed your unit in great peril. Most if not all of an entire British Division is now situated a few kilometers to the northeast of Limerick. You would have marched straight into their left flank. It is well patrolled now so it is utterly impossible you could have achieved surprise during the day and merely highly unlikely by night. You would likely have suffered more than half your force killed or captured with the remainder dispersed into the countryside."
O;Duibhir mulled that over. Finally he shrugged, "We thought joining the Germans would be the safest thing we could do. What do you suggest we do now?"
"All of your current options have serious problems. We eliminated only the rough equivalent of a company this afternoon. The rest of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles is still out there. The battalion was evidently split up probably to search better. One remaining portion is to the west. It has several wagons and probably has 1 or 2 machineguns. It had been guarding the railroad tracks but it is now moving to the northwest seeking the aid of the enemy division outside Limerick. There may be another part of that battalion out there as well. We briefly clashed with a portion of a British battalion back in County Limerick on Monday. We drove them off but their losses were not severe. I have reports that they appear to be following us now. Enemy infantry was spotted approaching Tipperary city a few hours ago. We believe it is from this outfit, which we do not think is the 12th Royal Irish Rifles but another battalion, possibly Connaught Rangers. It is dangerous for our forces to remain here. There is a possibility that the two enemy battalions will join in an early morning attack. So we need to get moving in a few hours."
"If you say so. My men are tired and we’re still busy burying the dead and tending to the large number of wounded but if needs to be done we can move. But where are we going? To Limerick? You said the route we were taking would lead us into an enemy division and certain destruction. Are we going to take another road to Limerick?"
"We would like to do just that, but unfortunately that means moving west and into the arms of the Connaught Rangers battalion that followed us from Kilmallock." If they did not have the Irish infantry tagging along with them the Uhlans had a fair chance of dashing past the pursuing Connaught Rangers, but the adjutant decided not to mention that.
"Your entire regiment combined with the help of my Tipperary Volunteers cannot whip a single battalion?"
The adjutant scowled, "Do not be misled by what happened here today. Even if it is at full strength a cavalry regiment is usually no match for an infantry battalion---and my regiment is not full strength having already taken substantial losses. In all candor I do not see your men tipping the scales, even when they are provided more rifles."
"I am so glad you brought that up. Are we getting the Lee-Enfield rifles that were captured today?"
"No, while we captured over 200 Lee-Enfield rifles we captured barely 2,000 rounds of 303. However we did bring another 400 of the Moisin-Nagant rifles along with 30,000 rounds of suitable ammunition, which will be turned over to you after this meeting."
"Well that is very good news. So just where are we going?"
"Our line of retreat looks to be cut off. We therefore need to move forward. There is a large town called Thurles on the rail line to the northeast. Disrupting the enemy railroad in Tipperary is part of our mission. Can you help get provisions for us once we reach Thurles?"
"That shouldn’t be too much of a problem. One of my larger companies comes from Thurles. There is another small company to the north of Thurles here at Templemore," O’Duibhir pointed at the map on the table, "that I’d like to call out now that I have more rifles. There are also larger companies further north at Roscrea and Nenagh."
------Nolette 1850 hrs
The town of Nolette had teased and frustrated the Guard Corps for several days. The Prussian Guards had on two occasions gotten within 500 yards of the town itself only to be pushed back by fanatical British counterattacks. Now they were in possession of the town itself, despite futile counterattacks by the 3rd Hussars. They now tried to continue their advance towards the next objective, Noyelles to the south. As they did there was a renewed British counterattack, this time by the 1/4th and 1/5th battalions Royal Warwicks. The initial attack by these two battalions was supported by 3 batteries of 18 pounders and 2 batteries of 15 pounders. The shortage of shells made the bombardment very brief. The infantry halted the Prussian Guard advance on Noyelles with the assistance of the 2nd Dragoons but failed to push them back and suffered serious losses.
------HQ German First Army 1900 hrs
Generaloberst von Kluck and his chief of staff, Generalmajor von Kuhl had summoned the commander of IV Reserve Corps, General of Artillery Hans von Gronau. "We have known for nearly a week that the next major French attack will come against us. At first we thought it might be aimed at Soissons but it soon became clear that it is directed at Compiegne," stated von Kuhl.
"We managed to convince General von Falkenhayn and he reinforced us with the 121st Infantry Division yesterday," said von Kluck.
"However it has not been easy to determine the true extent of the French buildup," continued Kuhl, "due to Compiegne forest affording good cover from aerial observation. This morning we received some fresh intelligence that is far from conclusive which hints that the French attack could be even stronger than we’ve been anticipating "
Compiegne fell within the sector controlled by IV Reserve Corps. General Gronau was not overjoyed to hear this news, "In that case, we clearly require additional reinforcements. At a bare minimum we need more heavy artillery."
"Unfortunately that is most unlikely," replied Kluck, "for one thing this latest batch of intelligence is from a source of questionable reliability. For another OHL is very much fixated on the exciting battle underway in Picardy. Until that struggle resolves General von Falkenhayn is going to be reluctant to relinquish anything more."
"We need for you to order several trench raids both tonight and tomorrow, General von Gronau," suggested Kuhl, "That may help to confirm or invalidate our intelligence. In the meantime we will pass this latest intelligence on to OHL and keep our fingers crossed."
------Limerick 1915 hrs
In selecting adjutants for the units in Operation Unicorn, fluency in English had been an important criterion. The division adjutant for the 1st Naval Division spoke English very well. "I understand you too have some ideas that you wish passed on to General Jacobsen," he said with only a slight accent to his two visitors, Mick Collivet, the commandant of Limerick Brigade and Major Jack White IRA, "I ask that you make it brief. We have received some intelligence in the last hour suggesting that the British will attack here either tonight or tomorrow morning. That must be our first order of business, yes?"
"Yes, Colonel, we understand completely and appreciate whatever time you can spare," replied Collivet, "but Major White and myself have something we believe can help the rising in Ireland."
What rising in Ireland? the adjutant sarcastically thought to himself who said, "Hmm. It has been a cause for some concern that the rising has not been bigger."
Collivet nodded grimly. General von Jacobsen had been bluntly disparaging about that the last two days. "I know that it has not been anywhere as extensive as you were led to believe by Casement and Devoy. It disappoints me as well. However Major White and myself were discussing that terrible tragedy in Country Galway. We are convinced that one big reason there is not a major rising elsewhere is that the British succeeded in disarming the Irish Volunteers—and apparently the National Volunteers as well. Furthermore they’ve arrested nearly all the brigade and battalion commandants and some company leaders as well."
"Yes, yes. The general and I have heard this all before. I hope you come here to do more than offer the same old excuses."
Collivet chafed at this and let Maj. White reply "Yes, Colonel, we believe that if we can quickly move weapons far beyond the current occupied territory we can stir things up."
"Hmm. But how do you suggest we go about it? The 16th Uhlans are supposed to distribute rifles in the western portion of County Tipperary. What else can be done? The trick with sending the motor trucks produced mixed results and certainly will not work if we attempt it again. The 6th Bavarian Division should be able to reach the remainder of Kerry and a small portion of northern Cork soon but that has nothing to do with this unit."
"We understand that. We are looking elsewhere," replied Collivet, "and Major White has a wonderful idea how to get them there."
------OKW Berlin 1940 hrs
"You have ruined everything, everything," Admiral von Tirpitz yelled at Generalfeldmarschal von Moltke "This is September all over again. When you encounter some unexpected difficulty you despair and abandon the plan."
"The plan is not completely abandoned, Admiral. If certain criteria are met including a massive Irish uprising, we can still send 111th Infantry Division along with 3rd Naval Brigade," Moltke countered. The recent stress was taking its toll on Moltke. He continued to feel quite ill but did not want Tirpitz to notice that.
"Bah! You know very well that is utter nonsense. For one thing the 3rd Naval Brigade is seriously understrength because we sent all the Marine replacements to 1st Naval Division.. Besides Falkenhayn will come back and demand the 111th Division in less than a week. If he has a good story or any story for that matter, you will blindly hand it over to him."
"Do not presume to know my decisions in advance, Admiral. I will do what I think is best for Germany. When are you planning to go complaining to the All Highest? Or have you already done so?"
Tirpitz glared daggers, "His Majesty needs to be kept informed. And when are you planning to tell General von François that there is not going to be a second wave?"
As Tirpitz intended that question stung. In the short time von François had been at OKW, Moltke had become fond of him. He did not look forward to telling him that he was being abandoned. "He was well aware before he left Lubeck that he needed to have a contingency in case there was no second wave."
"The contingency plan for that eventuality was to administer a series of sharp attacks on the British and then go over to guerilla warfare supporting the Irish rebels in the mountains of Munster to tie up as much British strength as long as possible. In light of the anemic revolt we have seen so far this strategy will quickly fail."
Moltke squirmed. He knew this already. "What you’re saying is all very hypothetical. I have not yet ruled out the Second Wave. We need to know how close General von François is to taking the primary objective. He was more than a day behind schedule in capturing Killarney. And with no rising in Cork that alternative looks even less promising."
"Yes, on this point we agree. We will send a wireless message later this evening demanding an update on his progress."
------Pentonville Prison (London) 2005 hrs
After he had been sentenced to hang, James Connolly was moved to Pentonville Prison. Being a condemned man the guards were not as harsh as they had been in the Tower. That is initially. Suddenly last Saturday two of them entered his cell and beat him severely. They told him that he was responsible for the Germans invading Ireland. The proud core of Connolly wished that indeed it was so, though part of worried about getting the invited guests to go home once the war was over. In the meantime the other prisoners had taken to spitting at Connolly and making threats. He wondered if they would indeed spare him the hangman. The warden took extra precautions to insure he lived to be executed. He also insisted Connolly not appear bruised when he was executed.
The guards did not tell Connolly much about the invasion. Some of what they said contradictory—some guards told him the invasion fleet had been destroyed before it had finished landing its troops but others admitted that had not happened. One thing the guards were consistent about was that the Irish participation was very minimal. Dublin and Cork remained completely docile. No one told him about what happened in Galway until the priest arrived a few minutes ago to make one more attempt to save Connolly the atheist from eternal damnation.
He did mention something had happened in Galway.
"I do not see how you be taking delight in this, James," admonished the priest, "Most of the rebels involved are dead. A few did make their escape but most of the survivors are prisoners and probably all will be executed. So just what did they accomplish?"
"Everything, Father, everything! Don’t you see they showed the whole world that the Irish people are not contented with British tyranny and are willing to die for freedom! It sends a message loud and clear. Mark my words it is only the beginning."
"Frankly I seriously doubt that, but even if what you say is true, you won’t be here to see it now will you, my son. You will be before the throne of the God. That’s what you need to be thinki’ about just now. The only blood you should be concerned with is that of Our Lord Jesus, who died for your sins."
The priest had long been told no one was an atheist when they faced death. The people who told him this had never met James Connolly.
------Killarney (Limerick) 2015 hrs
The forces which had been occupying the best hotel in town had surrendered in the afternoon. General von Gyssling was not surprised to learn that the occupants were mostly the HQ staff of the British 48th Brigade. He moved his own staff there and took stock of the situation along with the commander of the 12th Bavarian Infantry Brigade.
. "So the pockets of enemy resistance in the vicinity of Killarney have finally been eliminated," said von Gyssling in a tone of that was part statement and part question.
. "Essentially yes, General. There are indications a few very small groups escaped into the countryside but they should not pose a threat."
"Good. Now in the last two days we’ve hurt the rest of the 16th Division though not as much I wanted. It is still a potential threat. It has been falling back to the east for most of the day. There are two important questions. First is where are they headed? I see only two possibilities that make any sense—south towards Macroom or due east to Mallow. What is your guess?"
"Hmm. The most direct route to Cork from Killarney does go through Macroom. However if if they are expecting another division to arrive at Cork from England then that division will likely be heading for Macroom in which case they’ll fall back to the east, but not all the way to Mallow, but to Banteer."
Gyssling briefly grinned, "You anticipated my second question. Is there additional British forces headed our way? Will they use the battered 16th Division to bait a trap?"
"That is a distinct possibility, General. Still at a minimum we need to do something to draw the British attention so they don’t realize the Jaeger Regiment’s bold mission until it is too late."
"General von François intends to reinforce me with the foot artillery and pioneer battalions at Limerick. However the shortage of horses will seriously slow their transit. I could use that as an excuse to remain where we are content to sweep the Ring of Kerry with its precious cable stations."
"But from the look in your eye you do not intend to do that, yes?"
"That is correct but neither am I going to rush after the enemy without exercising caution. Let the 6th Infantry Regiment get a well deserved rest tonight and send them marching towards Macroom at first light. We will see if the British have left the barn door open. The field artillery battalion will follow. We have taken control of more horses in the last two days so we have more mobility though there is still some problems. That is one reason I will hold 11th Bavarian Infantry Regiment behind temporarily. Another is that I want one of its battalions will try to seize the cable stations."
------Kenmare (Kerry) 2030 hrs
The clouds had thickened once again and light rain had begun to fall. With the fall of darkness the Bavarians at Kenmare were again on the move. The Bavarian Jaeger Regiment crossed to the south bank of Kenmare Bay and then worked its way along the coast with half of the 1st Bavarian Jaeger Battalion being sent on ahead escorted by 2 armored cars.. Meanwhile the 2nd Chevauleger Regiment rode out to the south making for Glengariff. The cavalrymen were accompanied by a pair of armored cars as well.
------Abington (Limerick) 2100 hrs
General Mahon had been given explicit orders from Lord Kitchener to launch a major attack this day against the German position in Limerick. Mahon had very little ammunition for his artillery so he realized his only real hope was an attempt to envelop the right flank of the German Marines during the night. Men of the 29th Brigade now began wading across the Dead River. Initially the attack went very smoothly. The Germans were even weaker than expected with only a handful of thinly manned outposts. Some of the Germans ran off, the rest were quickly killed or captured. The attackers then began to diverge. The 5th battalion Connaught Rangers moved to attack and try to roll up the right end of the first German trench line which was curved back some. When they reached the trench line they found it shallow and thinly held with the few German soldiers scurrying up the trench like trapped rats. The Connaught Rangers pursued with great relish. They soon came to a point where there was a branch in the trench line which curved sharply to the west. This area was dominated by a large well constructed bunker as strongpoint. Flares were fired into the air and a searchlight lathed the battlefield with light. A pair of machineguns in the strongpoint spewed forth a furious stream of lead. This was soon supplemented by medium and light mortars which blasted the Connaught Rangers. The German Marines now made their stand in the curved branch of the trench line which had a single strand of wire and had been dug fairly deep. .
The rest of 29th Brigade meanwhile swept around further to the south. There were a pair of strongpoints in their way which they now attacked. Both turned out to be little more than outposts. In one they surprised and captured 3 German Marines. The other had been hurriedly evacuated and when the men of the 6th battalion Royal Irish Rifles captured it a booby trap killed 2 men and wounded 3 more. After that they continued their advance with their cohesion slowly disintegrating in the darkness. Eventually they began to run into the extension of the same trench line that stymied 5th Connaught Rangers. The 6th Leinster Regiment was illuminated and hit by 7.7cm fire as it attempted to attack a portion of the line. Not long afterward the 6th Royal Irish Rifles ran into another strongpoint. Unlike the previous one this one was strongly held ncluding a pair of Maxims that tore into it while another battery of 7.7cm guns opened up.
The German defenders belonged to 2 battalions of the 4th Marine Fusiliers Regiment. It was they who had come ashore at Tralee Bay. After Tralee fell they departed from the 6th Bavarian Division and marched through northern Kerry and County Limerick to rejoin the 1st Naval Division at Limerick city. In addition to their machine gun company they had their automatic rifle company as well which they put to good use.
General Mahon had ordered the assault with reservations. The brigadier was warned against trying to persist if things should go awry. As usual figuring out what the hell was happening during a night battle was far from easy but eventually the brigadier learned enough to realize a withdrawal was in order. He had captured a portion of trench and 2 strongpoints which he was determined to retain.
------Nolette 2130 hrs
The 48th (South Midland) Division made another desperate counterattack on the Prussian Guards at Nolette using all of the 143rd (Warwickshire) Brigade plus the 4th battalion Ox & Bucks. They were able to fashion some additional jam tin bombs before the assault. Their senior officers addressed the men before the assault. The Tommies were told that while their division had reached a position where they could receive supplies most of First Army remained cut off and in great peril. It was imperative that the Prussian Guards be expelled from Nolette if the rest of First Army was to survive..
The attack went forward in the dark without any artillery preparation. Soon no man’s land was garishly illuminated by flares and searchlights. German artillery and minenwefers came into play later than they would have during the day, almost at the same time as the machineguns began their lethal roar. Despite horrible losses the Tommies pressed on. Their improvised bombs proved of some use and there was the usual savage hand to hand fighting in the trenches. The Ox & Bucks had a bit of luck and found a large gap in the German wire. They rolled up a stretch of trench causing some panic in the 2nd Grenadier Guards. As usual the night battle degenerated into confusion. This time it hurt the defender more than the attacker as the Prussian Guards thought they had been overwhelmed by a force much larger than the actual situation.. Instead of attempting a counterattack they tried to evacuate what appeared to be an indefensible position. The dogged persistence of the Ox & Bucks caused their momentum to penetrate the fall back position as well.
They had paid a steep price but by midnight the 48th Division had reclaimed Nolette.
------Carriganimmy (Cork) 2245 hrs
There was a very small RIC station in Carriganimmy There were only 3 constables currently occupying it. One stood guard outside the front door as the other two were sleeping. Clouds only partially obscured the moon and he had enough light to see some shapes approaching down the road. He poked his head in the door and yelled, "Quentin, Adam. Wake up, wake up! He got some people violating curfew."
Quentin and Adam stirred and quickly got dressed. The guard went back outside with his rifle readied. Quentin was the senior constable and asked, "How many are there? What are they doing?"
"Six or seven, sir and they’re coming this way."
"Here? Do they look to be armed?"
"Uh, one of them appears to be carrying a rifle, sir"
"Damn. This could be something serious. Be ready to open fire, Felix. Adam, hurry up, man!"
"Sir, you better come take a look at this."
Quentin had yet to get his boots on but grabbed his rifle and came to the door. He saw a bunch of men—he counted seven. One of them had something peculiar about him. There was a spike on top of his head. In a few seconds it became clear there were two men in uniform. In addition to the German there was another constable with his left arm in a sling. The others wore civilian clothes. Two of the civilians appeared to be wounded as well. One had his right arm in a sling and the other had the top of his head well bandaged. One of the civilians carried a rifle over his shoulder. All of the civilians were carrying pistols. As they got closer Felix had his rifle ready and aimed at the German. Quentin yelled out, "Quentin yelled out, "Stop where you are! Don’t you come any closer!"
They stopped. The wounded constable yelled back, "I am Constable Edward Curtis. I am wounded and can use some help if you please. We have taken a German soldier prisoner. I would appreciate it very much if you’d not be pointin’ y’er rifle in my direction. I am not the enemy."
A fully dressed and armed Adam came outside and also readied his rifle. "I am not familiar with that name. Where are you from, Constable Curtis?" asked Quentin.
"I am from Cork. A group of us was sent to reinforce Ballyvourney where there has been some trouble with Irish Volunteers. I was part of a small patrol that was ambushed by a small batch of Germans. The others in my patrol were killed and I was wounded and taken prisoner. After dark though these fine Irish boys who had learned of what had happened snuck up and attacked the Germans. They killed all but this one German who surrendered. Two of my rescuers were killed and two more were wounded as you can see."
"What do you think sir?" Felix asked in a soft voice that would not carry.
"It looks like we have ourselves some bona fide heroes here. But civilians carrying guns make uneasy. Shoulder your rifles but draw your revolvers. You, too, Adam. Grab the German and then we’ll disarm the civilians. We’ll try to be polite about it." Felix and Adam shouldered their rifles and stepped forward with revolvers drawn to fetch the German. Meanwhile Quentin began putting his boots on.
The man claiming to be Constable Curtis was really Joe Flynn. He had killed 8 constables in the last 2 days and from the uniforms of the slain constables he found items that were not too badly stained and fit him well enough. The tunic he now wore had a small bullet hole over the left breast that he was hiding with his sling. His trousers had been hurriedly cleaned which reduced but did complete eliminate a certain odor. The boots he wore were slightly tight. Flynn had acknowledged that it was too dangerous for Ballyvourney Company to remain at Mt. Mullaghanish and moved their camp to the smaller wooded mountain at Carraleigh to the east. He kept most of the company there but took 3 small bands further east to Carriganimmy. In addition to the band he brought to the RIC Station he had one group of outlooks watching the road to the north and another to the south.
"You did good work boys. Don’t worry. We won’t be arrestin’ you for violating curfew. You might even get a small reward," said Felix as they approached the band "How are you doing Constable?" Adam asked the impersonator with concern.
Suddenly Flynn doubled over, groaning in agony. Adam and Felix both ran to assist. They leaned over and asked, "What is wrong—"
"You are," answered Flynn who suddenly brought his pistol up and put a cap in Adam’s face. He fired at Felix next but the Irishmen with the phony head wound had meanwhile fired and hit as well. Meanwhile the Irish Volunteer carrying Gaulart’s Mauser readied it and fired a round which missed at Quentin, who had stopped putting his boots on and was trying to ready his own rifle. He worked the Mauser’s bolt and fired again just as Quentin swung his Lee-Enfield into action. This time he hit Quentin in the thigh. Meanwhile Flynn charged forward firing his pistol. In pain Quentin had lowered his rifle but now tried to fire at the closing Flynn. Before he did a round from Flynn’s pistol struck him in the chest. Quentin collapsed. When Flynn reached the Quentin he tried to fire one more round at point blank range but the pistol was empty. In frustration he savagely kicked Quentin, then took the Lee-Enfield off his shoulder and leaning over fired.
Gefreiter Julius Gaulart had been little more than a spectator during this firefight. He had been less than enthusiastic about this charade the Irish Volunteers had put him through. Using captured uniforms to impersonate the enemy struck him as extremely immoral. He had protested this beforehand, causing Joe Flynn to become irate. Julius did not like to admit it but Flynn, who he thought was not completely sane, managed to intimidate him. We was beginning to wonder if the Irish were corrupting him. They now at least gave him back his Mauser.. Meanwhile the Irish Volunteers quickly searched the station. They found 300 rounds of .303 (in addition to 59 rounds taken from the slain constables), a spare pistol and 200 pistol rounds. There were a few other items worth taking in the station, such as a first aid kit and a shovel. They also found that the constables kept spare uniforms. As they were getting ready to leave a teenage lad belonging to the lookouts posted to the north came running towards them. "Joe, Joe!" he yelled, "you got to get goin’!"
"What is it Paddy?" Flynn asked, "Are there more constables coming this way?"
The boy gasped for breathe he had run so hard. "No, Joe. It’s British soldiers this time. Several hundred and they’re heading this way."
------off Loop Head (Clare) 2315 hrs
A light rain was falling. The anxious lookouts could not see much as the clouds had thickened again blocking out most of the moonlight. The small coastal minelayer chugged towards the mouth of Shannon at 10 knots. Suddenly one of the lookouts cried out that there was ship off the starboard bow. The ship’s captain ordered speed reduced to only 5 knots. His vessel had only an old 6 pounder and a machinegun for armament. Most of the warships succored in the Shannon would make short work of his ship. Further out to sea there were 3 old destroyers and 7 torpedo boats prepared to make a torpedo attack if the German invasion fleet emergedt the Shannon. Further out were 3 protected cruisers belong to the 11th Cruiser Squadron.
Signals were exchanged by searchlight. If the ship was indeed German it would likely to have commenced firing immediately so it was no surprise—yet still a relief when it was learned that the vessel was the HMT Sarba, an armed trawler which had arrived at dusk as a sentry. In addition to being a lookout the Sarba was also a reference point. The minelayer continued on for exactly 2 more nautical miles. She then began to lay a row 14 mines 100 years apart. The minelayer then swung around in a 16 point turn and laid 14 more mines in a second row. Due to the darkness the Germans would have no inkling of this minelaying. The problem was that under these conditions would not have as precise a knowledge of its location as it would had the field been laid by day. However it was understood that if the Royal Navy stormed into the Shannon in strength they would be sweeping mines everywhere, so that made little difference.
Her mission accomplished without mishap the minelayer headed back to Berehaven naval base, leaving the other warships to continue their watch.
------ Carriganimmy (Cork) 2320 hrs
The soldiers of 7th Leinster Regiment were very tired. Since they had detrained at Mallow Sunday morning they had had marched to Rathmore and then engaged in the difficult struggle to keep the 6th Bavarian Division from overwhelming the right flank of their division and now they had been ordered to Macroom in still another forced march. They had managed to get a little more rest in the last two days than the men of the 6th Royal Irish Regiment which was one reason they were in lead of the current march
They were marching past an RIC station. Before leaving Millstreet their commander had been told of its existence. As they approached they found a constable in the middle of the road waving to them. When approached he insisted on speaking with the battalion commander. They noticed another constable was outside digging a grave. There were 3 bodies lying on the ground stripped to their underclothes.
"What happened here? Were you attacked?" asked the battalion commander.
"Yes, colonel. About a dozen Fenians attacked less than a half hour ago. We managed to drive them off. They left behind 3 corpses which we are now burying. We are keeping their clothes for possible clues about the fellow conspirators," replied Joe Flynn. He had found one of the tunics in the station house was a reasonable fit, though a tad large. Flynn now had a uniform without bullet holes. His pants still had an odor but he thought having just been in a firefight the officers would politely ignore it. .
. "Good Heavens! I still cannot get over the fact that there are Irishmen willing to take advantage of this situation."
"I could not agree more, Colonel. These so called Irish Volunteers are a bunch of filthy traitors and should be shown not the slightest bit of mercy. Kill every single one of them I say."
"My feelings exactly! But how about your men? Were any of them hurt?"
"None was hit, thank God. However one of my men is having a bad case of nerves right now. Very innocent fellow. Never killed anyone before. That sort of thing. I’m sure he’ll snap out of it but I told him to try to get some rest."
The colonel sighed. Despite their training it happened to soldiers sometimes as well. The RIC were little more than well armed policemen. "That’s probably all for the best," he answered, "Though if he is still unreliable in the morning it will be necessary to give him a stern talking to. Not easy to do some times with the really sensitive blokes but it needs doin’. But somehow I don’t think you demanded to see me just to for advice on discipline."
"Now, even though it is very sound advice you be givin’ me, Colonel. No, the real reason is that we fired off a great deal of ammunition. We do not have that much .303 left. Furthermore towards the end of the fight, one of the men jammed his rifle. We could use a replacement rifle and say another 200 rounds."
"Hmm. Lee-Enfield’s are hard to jam if you operate them properly," replied the colonel with a hint of criticism implied, "How severely is it jammed? Some of my sergeants are magicians when it comes to---"
"---uh, begging your pardon, Colonel, while I am sure they are every bit as good as you say. They are, I do know when a rifle is broken beyond any hope of repair and this rifle most certainly is."
The colonel looked at him. He was tired as well. Too tired to argue over one rifle, "I did not mean to impugn your judgment, constable. We had suffered serious losses these last two days and now have the luxury of some spare rifles. As far as ammunition, are you sure you need 200 rounds. As I’ve been told the entire division is coming down this road before dawn. That should scare away any Fenians still skulking about. So why don’t I give you 100 rounds plus the rifle?"
Flynn was glad the colonel had not insisted on seeing the damaged rifle and decided to take what he could get as far as ammunition,. "I am most sorry to hear about your losses, Colonel. I truly am. I reckon we can make due with the 100 rounds."
------Old Admiralty Building 2335 hrs
"What is so important?" Admiral Oliver asked Captain Hall as he entered Room 40 after being summoned with great urgency. "Is this about the German cruisers? Are they all off La Coruna?" asked Oliver trying to guess what was so important, "Or is the German invasion fleet trying to slip out of the Shannon?"
"Neither, Admiral," replied an excited Hall. "The wonder boys just finished translating this radio message from Berlin a half hour ago. It is from OKW to General von François." replied Captain Hall.
Oliver took the paper and for more than a minute blinked harder than Hall.
FROM OKW TO VON FRANCOIS REQUEST REPORT IN NEXT SIX HOURS ON STATUS OF ASSAULT ON BEREHAVEN.STOP
GERMANS ATTACK NAIROBI
Spokesmen for the German government claimed that their forces have captured Nairobi, the capital of the British East African colony. The British government has acknowledged that the German forces have attacked Nairobi but say it is not clear at this time, who controls the capital. This news comes as a shock to most military experts who did not think the German colonies were capable of a major offensive action, esp. in the rainy season.
------New York Journal American Thursday April 29, 1915
------La Coruna (Spain) 0305 hrs
The destroyer, B.98 had oil fired boilers. The German Ettapen officers had made arrangements for oil to be ready at the Spanish port. It was refueled in a fraction of the time it would take to coal. Its skipper realized that the Entente was now aware of its presence and put out to sea before dawn. She left behind a 3 man diplomatic team.
------ Carriganimmy (Cork) 0435 hrs
The 16th Division had worked its way past the RIC Flynn had taken during the night. The clouds had thickened and he sent Gaulart and 2 of his men back to the mountain camp with one of the captured SMLE’s and the tin liner of ammunition. About two later he approached another unit passing though and once again was able to come away with 300 more rounds of .303 ammunition. He had gotten some sleep and then decided to approach an artillery battery that had stopped up the road. He went as much to see what they were up to as to beg for more ammunition. It had begun to rain while he was sleeping and it now coming down fairly hard. This time he got a full case of ammunition. Flynn found out that the battery was not immediately continuing onto Macroom but would remain in the area to support a rifle battalion that would try to delay the pursuit of the Germans.
"I want to set up an observation post with a heliograph," remarked the battery commander, "where’s the best place for them. According to the map there is a small mountain at Carraleigh. Are you familiar with it? Is it suitable?"
Flynn involuntarily gulped. This was near his company’s camp. He paused and thought, "It should be suitable. It’s heavily wooded as most of the local mountains are, but I can show them an easy to climb path that leads to the top."
------Nolette 0600 hrs
Despite the protest of General Gough, General Allenby had decided to replace the devastated 2nd Calvary Division in the trenches with the 48th (South Midland) Division. The Guard Corps now expressed its wrath at being expelled from Nolette with a sharp artillery bombardment.
------Thurles (Tipperary) 0610 hrs
The 16th Uhlan Regiment had arrived more than an hour early. They eliminated a half dozen constables at the edge of town and penned up a larger group plus some militia in their station. The mounted pioneers went about their methodical destruction of the railway. The Irish Volunteers now began to enter Thurles. Part of O’Duibhir’s forces was a sizable company from large market town. Its members spread the tale of the great victory they had won over the vile AngloIrisih Protestants from Ulster. Within a few hours 11 men of the company who had not answered the original summons came forward along with 8 former Redmondites.
------Old Admiralty Building 0700 hrs
Lloyd-George had considered one of the great advantages to the 3 man War Committee which had replaced Asquith’s cumbersome War Council was that it could meet more often and could be convened on very short notice. It was for that reason he had helped the Prime Minister in resting the repeated suggestions in Parliament that the War Committee be expanded—seven was usually the favorite suggestion. Unfortunately on account of this flexibility in being able to convene the War Committee, Lloyd-George now found himself in the Old Admiralty Building at this dreadfully early hour.
"Admiral Oliver, are you absolutely sure about this information," asked a skeptical Bonar Law, "Last I heard the Germans were between Killarney and Rathmore. Now you tell me they will attempt to seize our fortified naval base at Berehaven within 24 hours?"
Admiral Oliver suppressed a scowl. There had been many who complained about the intelligence coming from the Naval Intelligence Division. Incomplete intelligence was regarded as contributing both to Dogger Bank and Utsire.
The 1/5th battalion York and Lancaster Regiment
The 5th battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers
------SMS Seeadler (North Atlantic) 0735 hrs
Graf Felix von Luckner watched in anticipation as the single funneled British steamer approached.
Back in November news of the Lettow-Vorbeck’s awesome victory at Tanga caused a stir in both the Army and Navy. When OKW was formed one of its projects was studying schemes to get weapons and ammunition to East Africa. The return of Admiral von Spee’s Asiatic Squadron dominated Tirptiz’s attention delaying a decision. With the great victory at Utsire Tirpitz warmed to Operation Unicorn which he had previously regarded as a flight of fancy. In his enthusiasm for the Irish invasion he decided Africa was an unimportant sideshow and began arguing there was no real need to assist Lettow-Vorbeck.
In March however there came news of Lij Iyasu bringing Abyssinia into the war as an ally. This caused Africa to assume greater strategic importance. Moltke began pressuring him to try something. The staff of OKW presented Tirpitz with several options. The one that he selected involved using a disguised sailing boat. There were several prominent people in Sweden who wanted their country to join the Central Powers. One of them was willing to see a schooner with an auxiliary motor at a discount. At first it was thought to keep the vessel with Sweish markings but concern was expressed that if Sweden did enter the war Swedish vessels would be fair game for the Entente. So she was disguised as a Norwegian vessel.