Sunday, November 22, 2020

Today -100: November 22, 1920: Of bloody Sundays, united communists, wars, and railway track

Yesterday, “Bloody Sunday,” Sinn Féin hit squads killed 14 officials connected with courts-martial, some in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin and some in their homes in simultaneous raids coordinated by Michael Collins. Several hours later the police, army and Black and Tans supposedly track some of them to Croke Park stadium and are shot at – well, that’s their story, anyway – so they open fire, indiscriminately, on the football spectators, killing 14. A couple of people are then trampled to death in the panic.

Dublin Castle insists the assassinations were an act of desperation because the Irish administration has been closing in on them, arresting the usual suspects and collecting intelligence, so the raids were intended to disrupt that process and destroy evidence.

I’ve just run across a description of the Black and Tans in Roy Jenkins’ biography of Churchill: “a sort of Freikorps of those for whom the war had not provided enough violence or the peace enough employment opportunity.”

Edward Brennan of the Justice Dept’s Bureau of Justice (the proto-FBI) says there’s a massive underground United Communist Party, with Russians in control.

Lithuania demands the League of Nations invoke Article 16 of the Covenant and put an economic blockade of Poland for going to war with Lithuania without first trying not to go to war with Lithuania.

Four men posing as railroad officials in Transylvania steal an entire line of track (the article doesn’t say how long it was).

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