Monday, April 10, 2017

Today -100: April 10, 1917: Who ya gonna call? Divorce lawyers!

The US takes advantage of Austria breaking off relations to seize its interned merchant ships.

Woodrow Wilson is facing opposition in Congress to conscription. Many congresscritters think a volunteer military would be perfectly adequate. The administration’s argument is for “selective service,” a newly coined term meaning that every adult male is liable for service, but the government gets to select who it wants. In an all-volunteer service, as Britain found out early in the war, you get a lot of farmers, miners, factory workers etc joining up who would be more useful staying in their jobs.

The NYT thinks the US entering the war will not take the form of a formal alliance with the Entente nations, just a “gentleman’s agreement” on coordination. One obstacle to alliance: despite Wilson having constantly asked the Allies to spell out their war aims, they have failed so far to do so.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Philipp Scheidemann, head of the German Social Democratic Party, is rumored to be on a secret mission to Russia to convince his fellow socialists there to make a separate peace.

Josephine Cahane applies for her marriage to Benjamin Cahane to be annulled because her husband is afraid of ghosts and hid the fact until the day of their wedding when he insisted on going to a cemetery (as you do). Afraid of his (unspecified) cruelty, she took an apartment overlooking a graveyard: “When he tried to abuse me I told him to look into the cemetery and see the ghosts. It had the desired effect.”

A new issue of the Wipers Times, aka the B.E.F. Times, is out.

Excerpt from “–th Infantry Brigade Intelligence Summary. No. 30”

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