Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Today -100: November 18, 1914: Of mediation, good times in Warsaw, elusive teetotalers, wet military zones, and humane projectiles


Headline of the Day -100:  “President to Await Mediation Request.”  And await... and await...

Command of Mexico City is seized by Gen. Álvaro Obregón.  On behalf of Carranza, but that part is not clear to a confused NYT yet.  The move was intended to forestall Villa, who is sending troops towards the capital.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Germans Expected Good Time in Warsaw.”  This is why you should never trust graffiti in bathroom stalls.  The Germans had been planning to hold a ball in Warsaw after they captured it – they printed invitations and everything.  The army is now retreating, leaving behind horses and artillery, although it claims this is merely a strategic maneuver.

To pay for the war, British Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George proposes doubling the income tax and increasing the tax on beer and, so that the “elusive teetotalers” don’t escape having to pay, on tea as well (at this point Liberal MP and temperance advocate Leif Jones stalked out of the House of Commons chamber in protest).

Britain declares the whole North Sea a military zone, supposedly in response to Germany using civilian shipping vessels to lay mines.  So really, this military zone thing is a benevolent act to protect neutral ships from German perfidy and not at all a naval blockade intended to starve Germany.

Britain denies German charges that it uses dum-dum bullets, and says Germany does.  On the standard British army bullet, “In the opinion of Sir Victor Horsley, a well-known surgeon [and well-known vivisector of dogs], this bullet is ‘probably the most humane projectile yet devised’”.


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