We had no thaw like you. Still an iron frost. Foggy early, but sun came out and it was nice, but cold. Tried to get the dead Bosches in last night but failed, as the Huns put a M.G. barrage on the body. Yes, I think the Army School does them a lot of good. Always a little skeptical about the Bosche having got to bedrock, but they are in a bad way, no doubt, or would not have gone in for this latest ‘frightfulness.’ Old man Wilson must be in a quandary, but America will never go to war, I’m sure. We have just started a heavy strafe, just S. [South] I have instituted a new scheme of work, making Battalions responsible for areas, and not ordering working parties from Bde; at present it’s working well, and everyone is delighted with it, and playing up well. The old way caused much friction, and much useless discomfort to the men.
The ‘frightfulness’ referred to by Lieutenant Colonel Blacker was the return to unrestricted submarine warfare by Germany, announced in the German Reichstag on 31 January 1917 and begun the next day. Contrary to Blacker’s prediction, the United States did enter the war—the actions by German U-Boats against United States merchant ships being one of the factors that influenced that decision.