Saturday, October 08, 2016

Today -100: October 8, 1916: Maybe soon, maybe never

Germany plans to court-martial two captured British pilots for using tracer bullets. Britain explains that everyone uses tracer bullets for machine guns, including zeppelins, and hey we captured the crew of a zeppelin just last week and it had tracer bullets, so....

A German u-boat docks in Newport Harbor, Rhode Island, to everyone’s surprise. Evidently it made the 17-day voyage just to deliver a letter to the German ambassador to the US, which the captain asks an AP reporter to pop in a mailbox for him. Supposedly the letter is about relief campaigns in Poland, but rumors that the kaiser is asking Wilson to mediate peace inevitably spread. Under the rules of war, the sub can stay in port one day (Britain disagrees with this, saying that submarines are different from ships). Fregattenkapitän Rose says “We expect to reach home maybe soon, maybe never.” Spoiler Alert: He will reach home. During the war, the U-53 has or will sink around 88 ships.

Woodrow Wilson says that the Republicans lack a united set of proposals. “The only distinct definitions of purpose come from the collateral branches of the family” i.e., Teddy Roosevelt, who “professes opinions and purposes at which the rest in private shiver and demur.” Fair enough.

Mihály Károlyi, leader of a Hungarian opposition party, demands the end of the war, or at least Hungary’s participation in it, and for the emperor to dismiss the government of Count István Tisza, which “obtained its majority by corruption and does not represent the nation”.

Germany denies deliberately infecting prisoners of war with tuberculosis.

The NYT says that Russian military censors have allowed all sorts of calumnies about Jews to be published (cowardice as soldiers, evading military service, responsibility by treachery for military defeats, secret agents of the Germans, Jewish doctors maiming wounded soldiers, etc), while suppressing anything that praises the bravery of Jewish soldiers or contradicts the anti-Semitic lies.

Germany is reportedly interested in re-establishing the Vatican as a temporal power (making it independent of Italy).

Headline of the Day -100:

Oh, go fuck yourself, AP reporter who wrote this.

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