Thursday, December 01, 2016

Today -100: December 1, 1916: Of disarmed armies, martial law, chihuahuas, and turkeys

King Constantine rejects the Allied demand that the Greek army turn over all its artillery and most of its weapons and ammunition.

The US declares martial law in the Dominican Republic.

Pancho Villa’s followers drive Carranza’s forces from Chihuahua City, possibly because the latter ran out of ammunition.

Headline of the Day -100:

Yes it does, yes it does.

After a long delay, the Wipers Times, now called the B.E.F. Times, has a new issue. Here’s a poem from it, entitled “The War Lord and the Chancellor (With apologies to the late Lewis Carrol),” the “war lord” being Kaiser Wilhelm and the chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg)

The War Lord and the Chancellor
 Were walking hand in hand;
They laughed like anything to see
 The devastated land;
“If this belonged to us,” they said,
 “It really would be grand.”

“If fifty Huns with fifty guns,
 Swept it for half a year;
Do you suppose,” the War Lord said,
 “That vict’ry would be near?”
“I doubt it,” said the Chancellor,
  And shed a bitter tear.

“You always were a pessimist,”
 The frowning War Lord said;
“Oh! Highest One it is because
 I always look ahead;
Before this War is finished you
 And I will both be dead.”

“Don’t talk like that I do beseech,”
 The War Lord wailed aloud;
“To win this War by any means,
 You know that I have vowed;
With Zeppelins and submarines,
 And waves of poison cloud.”

“Oh! chuck it Bill,” the Chancellor
 Said with a rueful air,
“You know quite well with ‘frightfulness’
 We’ve tried them everywhere.
And got it back with interest.”
 Bill glared and tore his hair.

He danced with rage, he howled and swore,
 And vowed that he would see
That Army so contemptible
 Would very quickly be
By every kind of “frightfulness”
 Sent to eternity.

The Chancellor spoke loud and long,
 With rhetoric inspired;
He spoke of love, and peace, and food,
 He spoke till he was tired;
And when he paused he turned around –
 The War Lord had expired!

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