Thursday, February 09, 2017

Today -100: February 9, 1917: Of turinos, cumulative casus belli, forts, ships, and reservists

One of the ships sunk by the Germans, who are on a ship-sinking tear, is the British steamer Turino. An American crew member named George Washington, no less, is killed, and if that doesn’t make the US go to war... oh, you say he’s negro? Guess not then.

The NYT’s unnamed source says that the Wilson administration’s case against Germany (and for war) will be “cumulative.” “For the present the Government is paying no particular attention to sporadic cases of the deaths of Americans through German submarine attacks.”

But they are totally building a fort. On the New York coast at Rockaway Point.

The other neutral nations are not following the US’s lead in breaking off relations with Germany. Not the Netherlands, Spain or Sweden (which after all have to share a continent with Germany) nor the South and Central American countries, although the latter do call the German blockade illegal.

The US government has been particularly unhelpful to shipping lines wondering whether they should cancel sailing plans or arm their ships. The American Line has decided to send the St Louis to Liverpool, but only if it can find a cannon, but it seems that these are only available from the Navy. They also have to decide whether to use their running lights or run dark.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: The Providence Journal, presumably in its role as disseminator of British Secret Service propaganda, says that German reservists in the US are heading to Mexico, along with German POWs who escaped from Siberia and made their way through China to Mexico, as one does, in order to direct operations against the US from Mexico in event of war.

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