Friday, April 24, 2015

Today -100: April 24, 1915: Of incidental gases, and tourists

Headline of the Day -100:

I’m not sure what the point of lying about it is. If your poison gas is effective, which admittedly it isn’t yet, your lie is going to be rather easily disproved. I think they’re just lying out of habit now.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: 500 French soldiers have been blinded by some sort of German chemical hand grenades, according to some woman who heard it from some guy.

A Tory newspaper listed all the British Cabinet members it claims failed to follow the king’s example in turning teetotal. The 1st Lord of the Admiralty isn’t in the cabinet, is he? I can’t really imagine Winston giving up champagne and whiskey for the duration.

Allied troops land on the Gallipoli Peninsula. This will go well.

Britain is now also blockading Germany’s Africa colony Kamerun.

Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan is refusing to issue passports to Americans who want to visit the battlefields of the Great War as tourists. Evidently a party of potential sightseers had written the State Dept asking how close they might be allowed to the trenches, whether they’d be able to get good pictures of ruins, how much have food prices risen, and “What papers ought one to be sure to carry to be sure to avoid the inconvenience of spy mania?” State has now created a form letter for such inquiries saying that the Dept “believes that the presence of American tourists in and about the places where military operations are being carried on is most undesirable”.

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