Image of poppy

Richmond WW1 Diary 9 April 1918

German offensive in Flanders launched | Germany’s final gamble for victory began with the St Michael Offensive, named after the patron saint of Germany. The Armistice with Russia in March 1918 had freed up many men who had been fighting on the Eastern Front. Germany now directed those soldiers to the Western Front. On 9…

Richmond WW1 Diary 1 April 1918

Royal Air Force formed | When the war started in 1914, people had only been successfully flying aeroplanes for a few years. Planes were very flimsy, made of a wooden frame covered with fabric and held together with wire. Because of the weakness of the materials, these planes had two sets of wings, and were…

Image of poppy

Richmond WW1 Diary 3 March 1918

Russia leaves the war | After the turmoil of the October Revolution and the overthrown of the Tsarist regime in 1917, a Russian government met again in January 1918, but was quickly dissolved by the Bolsheviks The temporary armistice between Russia and the Central Powers had come to an end. However, Foreign Commissar, Leon Trotsky,…

Image of poppy

Richmond WW1 Diary 5 December 1917

Armistice between Germany and Russia | The German government had been agitating to undermine the Russian rulers for some time. The withdrawal from the war of the huge Russian forces would release the Central Powers’ armies in the East and allow them to focus on winning the war on the Western Front. Despite the fact…

Image of poppy

Richmond WW1 Diary 1 December 1917

Birthday of Ernst Toller | Born 1 December 1893 in Prussia, Ernst Toller volunteered for duty at the start of the war. After serving in the German Army for 13 months at the Western Front he suffered a breakdown and was invalided out of the army. Although he survived the war and went on to…

Image of poppy

Richmond WW1 Diary 24 October 1917

Battle of Caporetto, defeat of the Italian Army | By late 1917, the strength of the Austro-Hungarian forces was failing and Germany feared its chief ally would pull out of the war. The decision was made to attack the Italian Army, then active on the Austro-Hungarian borders. The Battle of Caporetto, known as the Battle of…

Image of poppy

Richmond WW1 Diary 7 June 1917

Messines ridge destroyed | On 17 June 1917 a huge underground explosion destroyed the German-held Messines ridge south of Ypres. British, Australian and Canadian miners had worked for a year to dig tunnels and place 600 tonnes of explosives. Some 10,000 German soldiers were killed instantly and the blast was heard as far away as…