Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Today -100: October 11, 1917: Of mutiny, lost provinces, and krennings

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: The NYT reports that there was a mutiny on 4 or 5 German ships a few weeks ago, in which the captain of one of them was thrown into the sea and drowned. Kaiser Wilhelm ordered that 1 in 7 sailors be shot, but only 3 were executed after Chancellor Michaelis objected.

There are a couple of grains of truth in that. There was a fairly minor  rebellion in early August. No captain was drowned, but two sailors were executed, because the German Navy doesn’t recognize the concept of “fairly minor” mutinies. The government and right wing are using the incident as a stick to beat the opposition, blaming it, with no basis in fact, on the Independent Social Democrats (USPD); this is why we’re hearing about this now.

German Foreign Minister Richard von K├╝hlmann says the only thing that can’t be negotiated is Alsace-Lorraine.

Henry Krenning, the recently retired president of the Dorris Motor Car Company, is charged under the Espionage Act with making disparaging remarks about Woodrow Wilson at the theatre. Annoyingly, the nature of the remarks is unspecified, and there’s no follow-up.

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