Sunday, September 06, 2015

Today -100: September 6, 1915: Rudyard Kipling, sitting in a tree...

The passenger steamer Hesperian is torpedoed (without warning) off Ireland on its way to Montreal, by the same u-boat that sank the Lusitania. 32 are killed. Most of the passengers were wounded Canadian soldiers returning home or British emigrants to Canada. No American passengers. The British newspapers are crowing that this proves the German ambassador’s assurances to Pres. Wilson were lies. (Actually, the Hesperian had a mounted 4.7 gun, which means the U-20 was under no obligation, I believe, to give a warning, although there’s some question about that). (And will be more so when it’s revealed that it was a 6-inch gun, which the US considers the boundary between defensive and offensive guns). It is suspected that the Hesperian was targeted in the belief that it was carrying one of those shipments of gold Britain has been sending to the US.

James Archibald, an American reporter (he was the first man shot during the Spanish-American War, where he was a war correspondent), was detained a few days ago by the British authorities when his ship made a stop at Falmouth on its way from New York to Rotterdam. He was couriering some letters from the German and Austrian embassies in the US. The British kept the letters and are now gleefully leaking their contents. Konstantin Dumba, the Austrian ambassador to the US, is defending his letter to the foreign minister proposing measures to “disorganize and hold up for months, if not entirely prevent, the manufactures of munitions and in Bethlehem and the Middle West,” such as fomenting strikes. Dumba says this is an entirely legitimate part of his job. He says the steel industry has thousands of workers from the Austro-Hungarian Empire who “are uneducated and who do not understand that they are engaged in a work against their own country” and he just wanted to explain to them that they could be prosecuted if they ever returned home. He is going to Washington to explain his position to Secretary of State Lansing who (Spoiler Alert) will not agree.

Also seized were similar letters from military attaché at the German embassy, Capt. Franz von Papen, who will also be expelled from the US, although not until December. That’s the same Franz von Papen who was chancellor of Germany in 1932 and vice-chancellor under Hitler.

Canada is building giant military airplanes capable of speeds of nearly 100 mph.

Headline of the Day -100: 

Rudyard turns his hand to war reporting. The officers he quotes sound suspiciously like Rudyard Kipling.Rudyard turns his hand to war reporting. The officers he quotes sound suspiciously like Rudyard Kipling.

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