8 December 1914
- Lieutenant General William Birdwood assumes command of the Australian and New Zealand units in Egypt. Birdwood adopts the term ‘ANZAC’ as a telegraphic code address for his Army corps; those who serve in the corps are called ANZACs for the first time.
- The Battle of the Falkland Islands occurs in the South Atlantic off the coast of Argentina. A reinforced British naval squadron led by Vice-Admiral Frederick Charles Doveton Sturdee destroys the German squadron of Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee. SMS Scharnhorst, SMS Gneisenau, SMS Leipzig and SMS Nurnberg are sunk; SMS Dresden escapes. Ten British sailors are killed, 19 are injured and no British ships are lost. By comparison 1,871 German sailors are killed, and 215 are captured. Von Spee and two of his sons are among those killed. Historians describe the engagement as the most decisive naval battle of World War I, providing the Allies with a huge, much-needed surge of confidence on the seas.
This entry was posted on December 8th, 2014.