On This Day - 20 March 1917

Spotlights over Paris Theatre definitions: Western Front comprises the Franco-German-Belgian front and any military action in Great Britain, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Holland.  Eastern Front comprises the German-Russian, Austro-Russian and Austro-Romanian fronts.  Southern Front comprises the Austro-Italian and Balkan (including Bulgaro-Romanian) fronts, and Dardanelles.  Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres comprises Egypt, Tripoli, the Sudan, Asia Minor (including Transcaucasia), Arabia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Persia, Afghanistan, Turkestan, China, India, etc.  Naval and Overseas Operations comprises operations on the seas (except where carried out in combination with troops on land) and in Colonial and Overseas theatres, America, etc.  Political, etc. comprises political and internal events in all countries, including Notes, speeches, diplomatic, financial, economic and domestic matters.  Source: Chronology of the War (1914-18, London; copyright expired)

Western Front

Despite bad weather, British advance towards Cambrai and St. Quentin; 14 villages occupied.

Department of Oise entirely liberated.

French take Tergnier and cross St. Quentin Canal.

Historic ruins of Chateau de Coucy blown up by Germans.

French carry railway junction of Jussy (east of Ham).

German casualties reported at 4,148,163 (to end of February).

Naval and Overseas Operations

British hospital ship "Asturias" torpedoed without warning during night of 20-21 March: 41 lost.

Political, etc.

Ex-Tsar reviews troops, urging loyalty to Government and prosecution of war.

Appointment of Grand Duke Nicholas to supreme command of army annulled.

Casualties at Petrograd 2,500.

Proclamation by Provisional Government.

American Note to General Carranza (Mexico) published.

New French Ministry under M. Ribot.

First meeting of Imperial War Cabinet; Ministry of National Service formed.

Important developments in Board of Trade.

Dardanelles debate in House of Commons; Mr. Asquith defends Lord Kitchener.


On This Day