Two German Zeppelin airships bomb Great Yarmouth and
King’s Lynn. Britain extends its Defence of the Realm Act, giving the Government power
to take over property for military use, control the pay and conditions of British
workers, and censor newspapers.
Poisonous gas is used – on both sides – at the second Battle of Ypres.
Start of the eight-month Gallipoli campaign. British and French forces (including troops from Australia,
New Zealand and India) try unsuccessfully to
establish a sea route to Russia through (what is today) Turkey and fail to capture Constantinople, capital
of the Ottoman empire. There are well over 200,000
casualties on each side.
Italy switches sides, fighting with Britain and its allies. Britain blockades German
ports, causing shortages of food and other supplies. German
submarines attempt to spread terror. In May, off southern Ireland, the passenger liner
Lusitania is sunk. Among the near-1,200 victims are more than 100 Americans.
Liberal Herbert Asquith’s Government faces accusations from the army about inadequate supplies. After a
Cabinet split prompted by “The Great Shell Shortage”, Asquith becomes head of a coalition
Bombs are dropped on London from Zeppelins. The first such attack on
the capital claims 28 lives and injures 60. By the end of May the following year,
Zeppelins will be responsible for the deaths of at least 550 civilians in Britain.
Women are recruited to jobs traditionally carried out by men, such as working on buses and trains.