Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Today -100: November 25, 1914: Of invasions, missionaries & dwarfs, salaams, and Florida property

H.G. Wells suggested that if Germany invaded Britain, civilians should defend the country with carving knives or any other weapons they could find.  The government is trying to shut down this sort of talk (which would violate the rules of war and make the entire population of Britain legitimate military targets), but won’t say what it’s plans in case of invasion actually are.

Headline of the Day -100:  “German Missionary Tries to Blow Up Ship.”  In West Africa somewhere, a British gunboat called the Dwarf.  He says he’s a soldier first and a missionary afterward.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100 / Headline of the Day -100: “Salaams of Indian Stay German Fire.”  One of Britain’s Indian troops was scouting at night when a German spotlight fell on him.  He started salaaming (bowing) his way to the Germans, where he pretended to be a disaffected colonial who just wanted to fight the British.  The next day he said he could come back with more like-minded Indians, so they let him go, like the lunk-headed Germans they are, not realizing that every single subject of the Raj is completely loyal to the king.

That article says that the Indians in Europe have been engaged in trenching and counter-trenching.  I have no idea what that means and no, Google, I did NOT mean “define contour-trenching.”

More Fog? Germany is said to be dismantling locomotives for their copper and brass, to make more bullets.

Zapata’s forces are entering Mexico City, which Carranza’s troops have all left.

E.C. Chambers, on trial for using the mails to defraud by the sale of Florida (swamp)land, claims that William Jennings Bryan himself inspected the land back in ought-ten and declared it perfectly good land (though under two feet of water) and later bought some.

I don’t normally do birth anniversaries here, but what the hell: Joe DiMaggio, whose autograph my father failed to get twice, once in the 1940s and once in the 1970s.

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  1. I'm trying to catch up on my Today -100 reading and just saw your question on "trenching and counter-trenching."

    I can't claim to know for sure, but that likely means that the Indian forces have been active in digging trenches and in creating trenches to either block German trenches or to undermine them (dig below) and place explosives under them. Similar to tunneling under walls of besieged towns: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnel_warfare

  2. Makes as much sense as anything, although I'd have guessed that the explosives thing wasn't a tactic used until later in the war, when it became clear that trench warfare was all there was.