History of the Great War – Principle Events 1914-1918
Prefatory note[edit | edit source | hide | hide all]
This record of the events of the Great War is arranged in three Parts.
Part I is a general chronological list, in which all events of political, military or naval importance are entered. The bare facts only have been noted, and no attempt has been made to record the results, except in particular cases.
Part II consists in the main of the same entries as Part I, divided into four sections: "Political," "Military," "Naval" and "Air." The sub-divisions of each section have been printed in parallel columns in order to slow the synchronisation of events. The Military section has been sub-divided into two parts, dealing with the main and subsidiary theatres of war respectively.
Part III contains in general the same entries as Parts I and II arranged alphabetically, and is designed to enable the date of any known event to be ascertained at once.
Though the entries in the three different Parts are to a great extent the same, each Part serves a different purpose, and need for economy in space has compelled the exclusion of certain of the less important events from one or other of the Parts. This is particularly the case with regard to the battles and actions in the Eastern Theatre; where, owing to the lack of any Russian official record of events, the German official designations have been adopted. These battle-names are often so unfamiliar, that only the most important are shown in all three Parts; an exhaustive list is, however, contained in Part II.
All the belligerent States engaged in the Western Theatre have produced their own official lists of battles, but these vary so radically, both in regard to dates and nomenclature, that it has been found impossible to combine them in one list. In Part II, therefore, only the main operations of the fighting in this theatre have been included. In Parts I and III a somewhat greater elaboration has been permitted, and all the British and most of the French battle-names have been entered. In order to show the relation between the various official lists, a comparative table, including the German battle-names, has been prepared and appears as an Appendix.
Again, in certain of the minor theatres of war, Part II contains a number of entries which were considered useful in order to complete the record of the sequence of events, but were not considered of sufficient importance for inclusion in Parts I and III.
In Part II certain entries will be found repeated in more than one section – e.g., "Political" entries are often included in the "Military" or "Naval" lists, in order to emphasise the co-relation of events. In these cases events entered in lists other than that to which they normally belong have been, as a rule, printed in italics.
The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names have been consulted with regard to the spelling of names, and their ruling has been accepted. The only exceptions are names which, by common usage, have become familiar in other forms.
In cross references against entries in Parts I and II the date refers to the same month if no month is mentioned, and to the same year if no year is mentioned.
All dates are in the New Style.
In all operations in theatres of war where British troops were engaged the names and dates officially approved by the War Office have been adopted.
The authorities on which these lists are based have been, whenever possible, official documents or records, but in some instances (notably the Russo-Turkish operations in the Caucasus and Armenia) an absence of official information has compelled recourse to unofficial sources. Every endeavour has been made to avoid mistakes, but the Committee of Imperial Defence, under whose authority this book is issued, cannot guarantee the accuracy of each entry.
This work has been compiled mainly by Major H. T. Skinner, D.S.O., 29th Punjabis, and Captain H. FitzM. Stacke, M.C., The Worcestershire Regiment, who have been assisted from time to time by other officers employed in the historical Section. With regard to "Political" events, thanks are due to Mr. E. Parkes, O.B.E., of the Foreign Office Library, for the valuable assistance he has rendered in furnishing information and verifying entries.
E. Y. DANIEL, Secretary,
Historical Section, Committee of Imperial Defence