Saturday, July 18, 2015

Today -100: July 18, 1915: Let None be the Kaiser’s Catspaws


The Remington strike looks like it will spread to other weapons plants, including that of the Lake Torpedo Boat Company, which is currently making 7 subs for the US Navy.

30,000 women march in London (in the rain, as is the custom) to demand of Munitions Minister Lloyd George that women be allowed to do war work. It’s all a bit of kabuki theater: not only is Lloyd George not opposed to women working in munitions factories, he is secretly subsidizing the march (I’m not sure who besides Emmeline Pankhurst was privy to that arrangement). Contralto Clara Butt says that the problem is with the government, not the women: loads of women have registered for war work but not been given it.

Banners for the march say things like “For Men Must Fight and Women Must Work,” “Let Us Save the Men in the Trenches. Women’s Work Will Save Men’s Lives,” “We Are Not Slackers. Down with Sex Prejudice,” “Let Women Work. Shells Made By a Wife May Save Her Husband’s Life,” and “Let None be the Kaiser’s Catspaws. To Keep the Kaiser Out Let Us Make Shells. We Will Not Be Prussianized.”

Leo Frank’s throat is badly slashed by a fellow prisoner, a two-time murderer named William Creen. His life is saved (for now) by a prisoner who is a doctor who poisoned a patient whose wife he was sleeping with.

The official British inquiry into the Lusitania sinking puts all the blame on the Germans and none on Capt. Turner or the Cunard Line. In other words, it’s the whitewash that Lord Mersey was tasked to produce.

Simon Lake, an engineer who designs submarines, thinks that if German sub warfare stops merchant shipping to Britain, Britain will be able to import food entirely by submarine within two years.

Germany responds officially to the Bryce Report, accusing Belgian civilians of breaking the rules of war by attacking German soldiers who were just innocently minding their own business (their business being invading Belgium): “from the very first a defensive battle was forced upon the German troops in Belgium as a matter of their self-preservation... The torch was applied in Lowen [Louvain] and in other Belgian cities only when bitter necessity demanded it.” The German indignation at Belgium for not supinely rolling over seems sincere, but their continuing inability to realize that no one else has ever shared or will ever share that indignation is kind of hilarious. Germany accuses Belgian civilians of atrocities (“bestial behavior”) just as fanciful and grotesque as those in the Bryce Report.

Headline of the Day -100: 


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