Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Today -100: November 12, 1914: The Battle of Cocos. No, really, that’s what it’s called.


The German cruiser Emden, which has been very successful against Allied ships – mostly British – for two months (2 warships, 16 steamers and a merchant ship captured or sunk) is attacked and destroyed by the Australian cruiser Sydney off the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean, with 1/3 of its crew killed.  The Emden’s captain and officers will be allowed to keep their swords.  They won’t be returned to Germany until 1920.  A landing party on Direction Island when the battle occurred escaped capture, stole a ship and got back to the German fleet safely.  One of the Emden’s guns may now be viewed in Hyde Park, Sydney:


German newspapers are neglecting to mention that Russian troops have crossed into German territory.

The NYT’s military expert says “The close fighting of the last nine weeks in France has been very trying to the morale of the troops.”

Luxemburg’s Parliament opens, not that it matters, given the German occupation.  Grand Duchess Marie says the Germans are promising an indemnity, presumably because they didn’t resist like Belgium did.  “Our rights, though violated, remain. ... I thank the people for their correct attitude, whereby disagreeable events have been prevented.”

Carranza declares war on Villa.

The NYT praises Southern women suffragists for opposing the federal route to women’s suffrage:  “If they cram the vote down the throats of a large part of the United States which does not want it and is even hostile to it,” the Times says, the “indifference and lack of intelligence” which the new voters will display “will be a body blow to the influence and standing of women in politics.”  The lesson from negro voters is that “the real friends of the negroes” wanted to start with just a few negroes voting and gradually expand it and had this been done, the Times says, some negroes might still have the vote, because evidently the reason they were deprived of the vote was that they weren’t very good at it, and for no other reason.


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