Friday, June 19, 2015

Today -100: June 19, 1915: Of peace prayers, well-educated white men under negro control, u-boats, and tractors

The German authorities are considering whether to prosecute the Cardinal Archbishop of Cologne for publishing a prayer for peace, saying “Nothing on earth is so cruel as war and such a war as the present war with its oceans of blood and tears.” In the past, though, he’s said that God is on Germany’s side, so who knows what’s up with him.

Germany complains that France is maltreating German POWs in Africa, especially in Dahomey (Benin), “where well-educated white men are under negro control”. In retaliation, French POWs will be forced to labor in swamps.

German feeling in favor of ruthless submarine warfare is reinforced by the story, whether true or not I don’t know, that two weeks ago a u-boat did what it was supposed to do under the rules of “humanitarian” warfare and gave a warning to a fishing ship it intended to sink so that the crew could escape, but the ship fired on her and sank her. (Update: Within a couple of days the story had changed from U-14 being fired on to U-29 being treacherously destroyed by a British tank steamer flying a Swedish flag. In fact, U-29 was rammed by one British dreadnought in March as it attempted to sink another dreadnought, no treachery involved).

A Cleveland company is advertising poison-gas shells in foreign publications. The government is not best pleased.

Henry Ford has invented an “automobile tractor.” I’m not sure what he’s actually invented that’s so new; tractors have been around since the beginning of the century, which is why there’s, you know, a word for them. At any rate, Ford will soon begin mass-producing tractors and come to dominate the market. The tractors will keep young men on the farm, Ford says. He doesn’t seem to have asked young men if they want to be kept on the farm.

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  1. Turns out that Cleveland company is the Cleveland Automatic Machine Co and the ad was for a machine that would manufacture high shrapnel shells from which the shrapnel would be covered with acid that quickly caused death if not immediately treated. Of course, the management claims the ad was a mixup with an article written by one of the company officials (wink wink). The Washington times has a much longer article about it on the front page here.