Sunday, March 7, 1915

In billets Rue du Quesne

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Men paid.  Battn resting.” [1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: “A Times Correspondent, vouched for by the editor as one of the first living authorities on copper statistics, has been figuring out that Germany and Austria have 1,300,000 men using rifles on the battle-front day in and day out.  He believes that each man will use on an average twenty rounds a day of ammunition.  To make this will require 305 tons of brass daily.  The Maxims will use up 30 tons a day.  Of the aggregate not more than seven tons a day will be recovered and returned to the arsenals as scrap.  The heavy and light artillery will consume daily 105 tons of brass. The brass used in the field has 72 per cent of copper in it, so that Germany and Austria are firing away 309 tons of copper per day, or at the rate of 112,000 tons a year.  It is the opinion of this expert that less than 40,000 tons can be produced in Germany and Austria even under high pressure.  It is known that electric light installations in the smaller centres are already being dismantled to provide copper, and that Belgian domiciles are being denuded of their kitchen utensils.  Despite all this, and the constant smuggling of copper into Germany, The Times correspondent is convinced that the essential metal is already scarce, and that if the blockade is kept up vigilantly ‘the fall of both Empires is certain.’   Ammunition supplies will inevitably fail.”    [2]

[1]    War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, March 7, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089700.jpg
[2]    “Big Battle Rages in Vosges Region,” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, Friday, March 5, 1915, pg. 2. col. 2


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