Friday, September 19, 2014

Today -100: September 19, 1914: Whoever knows the good-natured character of our troops cannot seriously pretend that they are inclined to needless or frivolous destruction

Austrian police ban the spreading of news about Austria’s war losses.

Automobiles are banned from leaving Paris except for military ambulances and the cars of officials and journalists.  Possibly to thwart the use of cars by spies, who are supposedly whizzing around Paris identifying concentrations of troops.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Von Kluck Flanked?”  That’s German Gen. Alexander Heinrich Rudolph von Kluck, the inspiration behind this British soldiers’ song, sung to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel:
Kaiser Bill is feeling ill,
The Crown Prince, he’s gone barmy.
We don’t give a cluck for old von Fluck
And all his bleedin’ army.
Germany distributes a pamphlet in Italy, which says “With German energy we have determined to win, and we invite the Italians to win with us.”  Sure, they can bring their Italian... energy.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: a Belgian courier arrives in London with news that the Germans have mined all the public buildings and large private homes in Brussels, and filled the schools with straw, preparing to blow up and burn down the city.

Fog of War etc: Alfred Zimmermann, Germany’s assistant foreign secretary, adds a new detail to Germany’s propaganda about the Louvain massacre: the treacherous civilians included women and children who blinded wounded German soldiers.  Obviously, the “severest measures” were required, indeed were forced on the Germans, for their self-preservation.  “Whoever knows the good-natured character of our troops cannot seriously pretend that they are inclined to needless or frivolous destruction.”

Repulsive Headline of the Day -100:  “Repulse Germans 10 Times.”  My favorite bit in this dispatch from the First Battle of the Aisne: “All the next day the battle was of a ding-dong nature”.

Gen. Funston, in charge of the US occupation of Vera Cruz, wants Pres. Wilson to delay the ending of the occupation until October 10 so that all the refugees and priests and nuns can escape before the Constitutionalists inevitably slaughter them all, or something.

Evidently French youths have not been allowed to volunteer for the army before the age of 20 without permission of their father.  Now the government will allow mothers to give that permission, but only if the father is absent.

Germany is supposedly trying to conscript ethnic Germans in the parts of Russia it’s occupying, and hanging those who refuse to comply.

John Rizzo, a prisoner at Sing Sing prison who served as waiter to the warden, escapes after the warden’s dinner party.

The British Parliament suspends the £3,000/year annuity of the Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a cousin of Queen Victoria who married a German 70-some years ago.

Turkey orders newspapers to call the renamed city of Petrograd by its old name St Petersburg.  I don’t know why.  Probably just to piss Russia off.

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