Thursday, February 12, 2015

Today -100: February 12, 1915: We are a tongue-tied brood at the best

The Pancho Villa-appointed governor in southern Baja California ousts all of Carranza’s appointees (judges, customs officials, etc) and declares the currency issued by the Carranza governor void, criminalizing acceptance of it.

In Parliament, Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey is asked whether the Allies will make public their peace terms. Nope.

Kaiser Wilhelm, on the other hand, is quite willing to make his peace terms clear, telling his troops in Poland that Germany will not rest until the enemy is beaten to the ground. “He emphasized this statement with a crack of his riding whip.” As was the custom.

Britain more or less says it will start seizing all food shipped to Germany.

A German submarine shells a British steamship, the Laertes, in the North Sea, refusing to stop shelling the ship even when it raised a Dutch flag (which it was not entitled to use).

Headline of the Day -100 (LA Times): “Artillery Duel Worst of War.” Everyone’s a critic.

The Republican Majority Leader in the NY Legislature, Harold J. Hinman, opposes a bill for widows’ pensions, which just “encourages the relatives of poor widows to cast their burden upon the state.”

Rudyard Kipling gives a speech at a recruitment meeting for military bands. Why, a few fifes and drums spur troops to march at least five extra miles and “can swing a battalion back to quarters happy and composed in its mind, no matter how wet or tired its body may be.” “We are a tongue-tied brood at the best. The bands can declare on our behalf without shame and without shyness something of what we all feel and help us to reach a hand toward the men who have risen up to save us.”

There was a lot of obfuscation about who tried to assassinate Pancho Villa last month, but it was his long-time deputy and companion Rodolfo Fierro, who was upset by Villa criticizing him for losing all but six of his command in a battle and tried to kill him. Villa of course had him immediately executed.

The German ambassador to the US tells a New York German-language newspaper that this war will totally do away with anti-Semitism in Germany. Also, some of the kaiser’s best friends are Jews.

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