Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Today -100: August 27, 1914: Of wars, petticoats, zeppelins and depraved minds, togos, and dead princes

Austria declares war on Japan.  I think it’s a Secret Santa thing.  I don’t believe there were ever any Austro-Japanese battles.

Prime Minister Asquith says he doesn’t intend to introduce conscription.  Others are trying to shame men into joining up in the time-honored manner: an ad in today’s London Times reads “Wanted, petticoats for all able-bodied youth in this country who have not yet joined the navy or army.”

Belgium says German zeppelin attacks on Antwerp are a violation of international law, an attack on civilians.  One part of the Fourth Convention of the Hague specifically bans dropping bombs from balloons, but Germany and Austria refused to ratify that part.  The NYT thinks the German military authorities are too civilized to have ordered such a thing, so the zep’s crew must have been “inspired by a depraved mind”.

German Togoland surrenders to Britain and France, which can now argue between themselves over who will get to keep it and whether they’ll change its name to something less amusing.

German newspapers are complaining about the (fictitious) treatment of Germans in other countries.  For example, a Hamburg paper says German patients were thrown out of hospitals in London.  German papers also complain that some German women met trains carrying French POWs and gave them cigarettes and chocolates.  A poem in the official Lokal-Anzeiger says, poetically, “Give me a whip for those women without breeding and honor!”

Prince Friedrich of Lippe – which is an actual German state, used to be one of those dozens and dozens of tiny German countries – is machine-gunned in Belgium, as was the custom.

Prince Georges de Ligne, a Belgian prince, is also killed. It’s getting all Game of Thrones out there.

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