Saturday, October 11, 2014
Antwerp surrenders, following a 40-hour bombardment. The Belgian army is fleeing, headed by King Albert. It hopes to reach Ostend. Refugees are streaming into Holland, including inmates of insane asylums.
To some extent, the capture of Antwerp shows the failure of German strategy. The whole point of invading Belgium, following the Schlieffen Plan, was to sweep through it on the way to capture Paris. Since Antwerp was a fortress which would take some work and time to destroy and since it wasn’t blocking their transportation and communications line, they could simply bypass it. But the push to Paris has halted, so the Germans are stuck in Belgium and have to deal with it now.
The German Governor-General of Belgium, Field Marshal Baron von der Goltz, orders Belgians to accept German currency. “This is causing trouble at Brussels.”
Portugal is rumored to be about to join the war on Britain’s side.
Romania might be as well, following the removal of one major obstacle: King Carol I of Romania dies, at 75. His nephew Ferdinand will be the new king. Ferdinand is a Catholic, and was only allowed to become the heir-presumptive (after his father and older brother demurred) after agreeing that his children would be raised Orthodox. The Catholic Church excommunicated him for that, but later relented.
Annie Robinson, who was a stewardess on the Titanic, jumps to her death from a steamer in heavy fog. Better to have taken the hint and stayed off boats.
Headline of the Day -100 That’s Probably Not a Euphemism: “British Admire German Gunnery.”
Lord Haldane, the Lord High Chancellor (and former secretary of war), declares Britain’s war aims: “The terms of peace will be that the dominant spirit of militarism, which has perverted every talent of the German nation, will be crushed and broken, so that those who come after us shall be free from such terror.” In case you thought Britain didn’t have concrete war aims.
The German Army has more than 150 Jewish officers now, compared to none before the war.
House Republican leader James Mann of Illinois wants to force every congresscritter onto the record on women’s suffrage. He is a recent convert to the cause. His attempt quickly turns into a slanging match, much of which is subsequently expunged from the record, between Mann and Thomas Heflin (D-Ala.), whose sexism is matched only by his racism. Mann introduces an amendment to the Philippines Bill to introduce women’s suffrage in the Philippines; it loses 84-58.