Monday, April 25, 2016

Today -100: April 25, 1916: Casement captured


There’s just one Irish story in the NYT today (British authorities are censoring other news, especially to the US): the capture of Sir Roger Casement, which actually occurred on the 21st, after the Germans infiltrated him into Ireland from a u-boat. A ship accompanying the u-boat, the Aud, carrying arms for Irish rebels (20,000 somewhat antiquated rifles and 1 million rounds of ammunition), was intercepted and ordered to shore, but the crew scuttled it instead (contrary to the NYT story, it is not sunk). The interception was assisted by British Naval Intelligence’s reading of cables between the German Foreign Office and the embassy in Washington. What Room 40 (the code-breaking arm of Naval Intelligence) did not bother doing was to tell Dublin Castle that an uprising was coming, at least not in enough detail to be convincing, because they were more concerned with protecting their sources. Consequently, many civil and military leaders were in England for the Easter holiday.

Casement, a former British diplomat but at heart an Irish nationalist and at penis a homosexual (that will become significant later), who hitherto was most famous for exposing Belgian atrocities in the Congo in the 00’s, was in the US when the war broke out and instead of returning home went to Germany to lobby for support for just such a rising as this and to recruit men from amongst the Irish prisoners of war. However by now he has realized that Germany wasn’t going to offer enough assistance for the rising to succeed and was hoping to persuade the Dublin plotters to postpone the plan.

There’s shooting at the Westinghouse Electric strike in East Pittsburgh. Factory guards at a plant making shells hit the strikers with hot water from a fire hose.

Seven of the Mexicans who participated in Pancho Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico are sentenced to death. Six will be hanged in June.

The House of Representatives passes a bill on the District of Columbia’s juvenile court after defeating amendments requiring racial segregation of juvenile prisoners and indeed guards.


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