Thursday, October 16, 2014
Today -100: October 16, 1914: Of contagious diseases, submarines on choo-choos, arson in arsenals, buxtons, and spies
The Watch Committee of the navy town of Plymouth, England recommends reestablishing the old Contagious Diseases Acts requiring compulsory examination of prostitutes (and anyone the police suspected of being prostitutes) for venereal diseases, to preserve the health of sailors. Women’s suffrage groups oppose this (as feminists and evangelicals and evangelical feminists did in the 19th century).
Louis Botha, South African prime minister, will personally lead commandos against Salmon Maritz’s rebellion.
Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: The rumor in London is that the Germans plan to move submarines by rail to the French and Belgian coasts.
More fog, probably: a fire in the Austrian arsenal is said to have destroyed a just-completed dreadnought and six torpedo-boat destroyers; the fire is believed to have been set deliberately.
German troops occupy Bruges.
A British newspaper claims that German estimates of losses (killed, wounded, missing and POW) in France and Belgium at 700,000 men, and maybe 150,000 on the Russian front; Austrian losses are 500,000.
Noel and Charles Buxton, brothers from a political family, Noel a Liberal MP, are both shot by a Turk in Bucharest, on their way back from a mission to preserve Bulgaria’s neutrality in the war and planning to attend King Carol of Romania’s funeral. Noel is shot in the leg, Charles in the lung. Charles will be a major player in the sort-of-anti-war Union of Democratic Control.
Russia says that many of the German civilians in Poland have turned out to be spies and have been dealt with accordingly.