Monday, September 15, 2014

Today -100: September 15, 1914: Of marnes, pro-Germs, race treachery, and refugees

The First Battle of the Marne.  Germany’s chance of a blitzkrieg capture of Paris as called for under the Schlieffen Plan, already hopelessly behind schedule due to Belgium’s surprising (to Germany) unwillingness to allow itself to be used as an autobahn, is definitively lost.

Is it an unintentional typo that refers to a made-up interview with William Jennings Bryan that appears in an Argentine newspaper as showing a “pro-Germ view?”

Irish Home Rule will be enacted this week, finally.  Well, put on the statute books.  Asquith intends to postpone implementation for at least a year, and modify the bill, possibly excluding Ulster, before it goes into effect.  The disestablishment of the Church of England in Wales will also be postponed.

Albert M.C. McMaster, a professor of modern languages at Sweet Briar College, writes to the NYT to refute the idea that England siding with France against Germany is race treachery.  In fact, he says, the English are racially most similar to the French, both being based in the Celt.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100:  Rumors in Paris that Gen. Alexandre Percin has been executed as a traitor for having failed to defend Lille and ignoring orders to relieve the fortress Namur.  It was considered suspicious that he had a German wife.  I think the wife bit is wrong, and I know the rest of it is.

Fog of War: Germany says there is a revolt going on in India. There isn’t.

First World War Problems: an American woman stranded in Britain without funds applies to the American Relief Committee (at the Savoy) for passage home, but goes on hunger strike when she finds out it will be third class.  She gives up in the afternoon when the chairman, a Mr. Herbert Hoover, offers her 4s to buy herself dinner.

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