Monday, October 13, 2014

Today -100: October 13, 1914: Of internment, re-election, and horses

The Belgian army has successfully retreated to Ostend.

The Netherlands is interning the Belgian and British soldiers who fled across the border.  The Morning Post blames First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill for the disaster of Antwerp, for sending in too small and too under-trained a force, and says Churchill shouldn’t be interfering in military decisions anyway.

It comes out that in February 1913, President-elect Wilson wrote to Rep. A. Mitchell Palmer, getting Palmer & the D’s to block consideration of a constitutional amendment, passed by the Senate, to restrict presidents to a single six-year term (even though that was a plank in the party platform he supposedly ran on).

Austrians, facing high food prices, are eating a lot of horse meat.

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  1. Horse meat has always been a staple dish on the Continent - even today if you order steak rather than biftek in France, it will be probably be horse.

    By the end of the war, there was a lot of dead horse flesh around; the British and French armies alone had over 800,000 horses classified as "Total loss".

  2. France yes, but Austria?

    I'm also not really sure about the economics of this. You'd think the value of horses would be way up, with the army commandeering the best ones and farmers bidding for the rest.

  3. Horses for food were probably the ones unfit for work at this time. In the UK, initially the army bought horses and, in 2 days in August 1914, purchased 140,000. In all during the war the British army spent some 67 million GBP on horses - an enormous amount of money in today's terms, possibly even matching current daily US military spending:)

    More useful facts (looking ahead to the end of the war) between Nov 11 1918 and March 31 1920, the British army sold 500,000 for work and 61,000 for meat.

  4. A propos of nothing, a December 1914 article talks about how 1870 during the siege of Paris, dog cutlets were passed off as venison. I know they also ate the inhabitants of the Paris zoo. It's all in choosing the right sauce, apparently.