Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Today -100: April 29, 1915: Of gas, u-boats, crucifixions, emotional people, and setting an example of self-sacrifice


The Prussian military newspaper Kreuz Zeitung says it was the Allies’ “behavior” that forced Germany to resort to poison gas. And the Frankfort Zeitung says poison gas is much more humane than artillery shells, producing a quick, painless death.

The French armored cruiser Léon Gambetta is sunk by an Austrian submarine commanded by Lt. Baron George von Trapp. They didn’t mention that bit in The Sound of Music. 684 of the Gambetta’s crew of 821 are killed.

Headline of the Day -100 (LA Times):


A report on the massacre of Christians in Urumiah, Turkish Persia, confirms that while local Kurds carried out the acts, they were assisted by Turkish soldiers. Who raped the women (which the NYT, surprisingly, states explicitly).

Hey, the very next article I read also has a rape reference. German suffragist leader Dr. Lida Heymann, VP of International Congress of Women at the Hague, says “Worse than death, yes, worse than hellish, is the defenselessness of women in warfare and their violation by the invading soldier!” The American delegates finally arrived at the Hague after the British navy held up their ship in the English Channel for four days. The NYT/Chicago Herald’s story is written by Jane Addams, who is the Congress’s president. 

Writing in the Boston Herald, Elizabeth Lowell Putnam, sister of the president of Harvard, says the Women’s Peace Party, which sent Addams and others to the Hague congress, “is one of the most dangerous movements which has threatened our emotional people for a long time,” appealing to “emotional women [she really doesn’t like emotions, does she?] whose hearts are so large that many people have mistaken them for heads.”

Greece offers to join the war on the Allies’ side, but are told they’re offering too little help and demanding too much in return.

The Church of England’s Convocation comes out against prohibition. The next day it voted to “invite” the church and laity to “set an example of self-sacrifice” re alcohol, only after being reassured that this did not mean total abstinence. The Dean of Canterbury says he tried not drinking once, “and found it a failure in that it impaired his health.”

Carranza claims to expect the United States to recognize him within a couple of weeks. He also plans to defeat Villa any day now.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, the idea that poison gas was more humane than explosives was not just German propaganda. It was asserted by JBS Haldane (a very prominent British scientist) after WWI:

http://www.oldmagazinearticles.com/JBS_Haldane_Mustard_Gas_Tests_on_Africans

Of course poison gas is awful - but getting killed or injured by high explosives is awful, too (or by a sword, an arrow, atomic bomb, etc.).