Monday, October 31, 2016

Today -100: October 31, 1916: Numerical superiority and danger exist only for the weak

Erich Ludendorff, head of the German army, pooh poohs the vast Russian army: “Numerical superiority and danger exist only for the weak. Who objects against fate ought better to object against himself. A firm will commands fate. There is no blind fate.” Worst... fortune cookie fortunes... ever. Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg adds that France is “exterminating lives by their method of fighting. All their tenacity will be of no avail, for in the end there will be none of them left.”

Woodrow Wilson denies that there was ever any proposed “postscript” to his note to Germany about the Lusitania, telling them to ignore its warnings.

The British say that German flying ace Oswald Boelcke was shot down by a Brit. He wasn’t.

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1 comment:

  1. Oswald Boelcke was brought down by a collision with Erwin Bohme, one of his best students, that ripped off the upper wing of his Albatros D.II biplane. Six German planes had gone airborne to chase down a pair of British DH.2 fighters that had been spotted and neither Boelcke nor Bohme were aware of the proximity of the other when they both attacked one of the Brits. Within minutes, the Germans had pulled Boelcke's lifeless body from his plane to bring home from a crash he probably should have survived except for the rush to get into the air for his sixth sortie of the day keeping him from properly fastening his safety belt. It is thought that was the cause of his death, combined with the fact that he never wore a helmet. Interestingly, another of the six planes on the sortie was flown by a fellow by the name of Manfred von Richthofen, another of Boelcke's best students better known as the Red Baron. Both Richthofen and Bohme would later write accounts of the incident.