Saturday, August 23, 2014

Today -100: August 23, 1914: Of false fleets, coal, and gay flags

Some Americans are volunteering for the French military, including aviator William Thaw, who’s bringing his plane with him.

Several of the warring countries have published Blue Books or White Papers or Yellow Books purporting to show that they’re not responsible for starting the war.  The NYT reproduces the British one.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: the Austrian fleet supposedly fought for six hours against an enemy fleet that wasn’t actually there.

The deadline for Japan’s ultimatum to Germany to give up Kiautschou is reached, unanswered.  Japanese newspapers are now suggesting that Japan’s promise to restore the territory to China eventually was contingent on Germany handing it over to Japan peacefully, so it doesn’t count.

The US Senate passes a bill for the government to purchase up to 15 million ounces of silver to keep up the price, which is under threat by the war.

The Germans shoot the burgomaster of Aerschot (Aarschot), Belgium, plus his son and his brother and 153 more.

The British protest to the United States about a ship which left San Francisco carrying coal they believe is intended for German warships.  International law is a bit complicated about neutral countries refueling combatant ships: German ships in the Pacific can only legally take on just enough coal to get them to the nearest German port, which would be in Samoa, and not do it again for three months.

The Austrian army is defeated by a much smaller Serb force.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Antwerp Gay With Flags.”

Heartwarming Story of the Day -100: the life of a French soldier in Lorraine (from where the French army has been forced to retreat, by the way) is saved when a bullet is deflected by a bust of Kaiser Wilhelm he’d looted from a school.

The New York Bull Moose party decides that the State Committee meeting will be open to anyone to speak, in a not terribly subtle attempt to get the meeting to stampede Theodore Roosevelt into running for governor, because no matter how many times he says he won’t run, no one really believes him.

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1 comment:

David Chappell said...

Useful bit of Trivial Pursuits knowledge - von Trapp of Sound of Music fame was a submarine commander in the Austro-Hungarian navy during the conflict -100