Sunday, April 26, 2015

Today -100: April 26, 1915: Of treacherous projectiles, massacres, and hat critics

Germany admits to using poison gas, although only, in the words of the Frankfurter Zeitung, “as a reply to the treacherous projectiles of the English and French.” Treacherous projectiles are the worst kind. The French report that the Germans are using chlorine gas. No shells, they’re just letting it loose when the winds are pointing in the direction of the French trenches, and hoping it doesn’t change direction.

Italy is still negotiating simultaneously with the Allies and with Austria, whose latest offer is that Trieste be given autonomy rather than be handed over to Italy outright. It’s almost like Austria doesn’t take seriously the threat of the mighty Italian military.

In fact, on this day Italy signed a secret treaty with the Allies. Italy would enter the war and in return get large portions of Austria, Albania (well, as a protectorate, but we all know what that means), some of Germany’s colonies, etc. Italy would only get some of this after the war, and threw a decades-long sulk over the slight to its (very minor) contributions to the Allied victory, a sulk which helped Mussolini take power.

Reports from Armenia say that the inhabitants of 10 Armenian villages have been massacred. One thing about the Armenian Genocide: everyone knew it was going on, right from the start, and knew many of the details, if they cared to.

Headline of the Day -100: 

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