Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Today -100: May 15, 1918: Of Mitteleuropa, rationing, shared war burdens, and censorship

The Austrian and German kaisers met recently, and everyone thinks the purpose was to subordinate Austria to German, not just in the war (Germany wants Austria to send more troops against Italy), but in internal matters, and tie the countries together forever (“Mitteleuropa”). Also, it looks like Germany intends to keep parts of Poland it had promised to Austria.

Meat rationing begins in Paris. It’s going slowly because butchers are having difficulty cutting precisely the 200g of meat allowed per person.

The Germans have captured Rostov, cutting off northern Russia from the Caucasus. It’s almost like the Peace of Brest-Litovsk wasn’t a real peace. German control over Ukraine is tightening.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: This particular rumor, sent to Secretary of State Robert Lansing from the ambassador to Sweden, who got it from who knows where, says that Germany has demanded that Russia let it occupy Moscow and other major Russian cities.

Kaiser Wilhelm recognizes an independent Lithuania, if a Lithuania “allied to the German Empire by an eternal, steadfast alliance” can be called independent, which it cannot. Willy expects Lithuania to “participate in the war burdens of Germany, which secured her liberation.”

The city of Mount Vernon, New York, bans all German-language newspapers and also, just for the hell of it, the Hearst press, for the duration of the war.

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