Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Today -100: August 12, 1914: Of silent wars, codes, mazatlans, war taxes, and last wars

Headline of the Day -100:  “NO BATTLE NEWS REACHING PARIS; Country Is Making War Silently.”  French war news, what little there is of it, doesn’t name individual units or generals, “indicating that there will be no war heroes until the war is over.”  (This article is a good example of how every story in the NYT that originates from one of the combatant countries takes up that country’s boasts and lies.  Evidently the French army will fight this war entirely on German soil, and the Germans can’t win against the French Army’s secret weapon – bayonets!)  France bans war correspondents except those of France and its allies, so no Americans.

Germany declares victory at Mülhausen, Alsace.  France denies that, and calls it Mulhouse.

Fog of War, Dispersed: Kaiser Wilhelm is still in his castle in Berlin, not leading his troops at the front.  he may be crazy, but he’s not stupid.

Germany asks Britain for permission to send telegraph messages in code to the US.  They may have more trouble with the US, which ordered the banning of military wireless messages (which it can do since such messages have to be relayed).

Mexico: the Constitutionalists occupy Mazatlan after the Federals flee.  Wasn’t there a major siege of Mazatlan a few weeks ago?  I’ve totally lost track of this.  15 Fed. officers and 2 soldiers are executed, and left all day in the, I assume, hot sun, as is the custom.

The US Border Patrol discovers a cable across the Rio Grande by which rifles were trollied into Mexico for Pancho Villa.

The US Congress will stay in session because it might need to pass what they’re calling a war tax, that is a tax to make up the tariff revenue lost due to the disruption in trade caused by the European war.

Headline of the Day -100:  “The Lusitania Safe.”  For now.  It arrives at Liverpool.

Switzerland, trying to buy respect for its neutrality, offers to take in the war wounded from every nation.

The America’s Cup race is put off until 1915.

The war still lacks a proper name.  The New York Sun suggests the Pan-European War.  The NYT thinks that’s too “learned” to catch on.  It hopes it will be called The Last War, since it’s beginning to look like H.G. Wells’ prophecies, but without atomic bombs.

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