Sunday, September 18, 2016

Today -100: September 18, 1916: Of chihuahuas, benevolent neutrality, and Lewis guns

Mexican Chief Carranza has been claiming that Pancho Villa probably died some time back, so it’s a bit embarrassing when Villa and his men briefly capture Chihuahua, free all the prisoners, and then leave, taking the army’s artillery and other weaponry with them. Carranza will claim this was actually done by supporters of the late former dictator Huerta, disguised as Villistas. Meanwhile, his men are happily executing captured Villistas.

Yesterday the NYT was saying that new Greek Prime Minister Nikolaos Kalogeropoulos was pro-Entente. Now he’s denying charges of being a Germanophile and saying his government will observe “benevolent neutrality” towards the Entente.

The best machine gun used by the British and French armies is the Lewis Gun, invented by an American, Col. Isaac Newton Lewis, in 1910. Fun fact: he offered it to the US Army for free in 1911, but they didn’t want it and still use inferior machine guns. My sense is that the general in charge of the ordnance department just didn’t like Lewis.

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