Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Today -100: May 19, 1915: Of u-boats, pernicious practices, fishers, and independent pumping

Germany suspends submarine attacks on civilian merchant ships. For now.

A NYT editorial points out that there are huge meetings and petitions against Leo Frank being executed everywhere in the country – except Georgia.

Pancho Villa’s brother, who served under him, is killed by some drunken soldiers in a bull ring, as was the custom.

British Secretary of War Lord Kitchener calls for yet another 300,000 men. If he weren’t so careless with his toys, he wouldn’t keep needing new ones. He refers to the German use of poison gas as “diabolical” and a “pernicious practice” and says Britain and France will soon also use poison gas. He says the news from the Gallipoli campaign is “thoroughly satisfactory.” He doesn’t say to whom.

“Jackie” Fisher, the First Sea Lord, resigns, tired of fighting with Churchill over Gallipoli (which Churchill pushed as a strategy as an alternative to “sending our armies to chew barbed wire in Flanders,” and to which Fisher gave in against his better judgment) and for supreme control of the Admiralty. There are strong rumors that this will set off a reshuffle to create a “National” government of Liberals and Conservatives.

Austria’s last offer to Italy to prevent war: a bit of the Tyrol, the part of the western bank of the Isonzo inhabited entirely by Italians, not Trieste, which will just be made a “free imperial city,” etc. Couldn’t sound more grudging, or more like Austria intends to use the caveats to avoid implementing any of it.

Italian socialists declare a general strike against the war. Some of them are shot in Turin.

The Italian army commandeers the automobiles of every member of the cabinet except the prime minister.

The Yaqi Indians declare war on Mexico. They have captured a pumping station, and if that doesn’t say independence I don’t know what does.

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