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7 December

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Dec 2005 7:01    Onderwerp: 7 December Reageer met quote

This Day In History | World War I

December 7

1916 David Lloyd George becomes prime minister of Britain

On this day in London in 1916, the embattled prime minister of Britain, Herbert Asquith, is replaced by David Lloyd George.

Lloyd George, a member of the radical wing of Asquith’s Liberal party who had served as chancellor of the exchequer from 1908 to 1915 and since then as minister for munitions and secretary of war, had long disagreed with the prime minister’s direction of the war effort. Together with members of the Conservative party, he conspired to oust Asquith in the first election since the formation of the wartime coalition cabinet in May 1915, causing a split within the Liberal Party which would never really heal.

As chancellor of the exchequer, Lloyd George had championed small businessmen against privileged landowners and the aristocracy and pushed through radical budgets; as prime minister, however, he saw the aggressive prosecution of the war as the principal task facing the British government. His first major project was to create a much-needed Imperial War Cabinet to direct the nation’s war strategy. Many members of the new war ministry under Lloyd George were Conservatives, monarchists, and pro-military figures, none of whom felt altogether comfortable with this intellectual, liberal-minded prime minister, but all of whom saw his boundless energy and formidable oratory skills as a welcome change from the ineffectual Asquith.

Over the next two years, Lloyd George would more than once be forced to yield to those same conservative forces and to the British generals, particularly Douglas Haig, who was often at odds with the prime minister. When he took office, the Allies seemed to be facing defeat; Lloyd George held his country together and led it to victory in November 1918. He would also play a crucial role in the ensuing peace negotiations at Versailles, where he appeared rather moderate next to the angry demands of his French counterpart, Georges Clemenceau, and the idealistic notions of Woodrow Wilson. Lloyd George came to regret the Versailles Treaty, however, predicting—correctly, as it turned out—another major war within the next two decades.

http://www.historychannel.com
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Mark



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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Dec 2005 8:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

John Thomas Carman - Corporal, Company D, Hampshire Regiment, age 26, died 7 December 1915, buried Doiran Memorial, Greece.

Bron: carman.net
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Hauptmann



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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Dec 2005 21:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

7 december 1914
Zuid-Afrika

Botha's troepen slaan een opstand neer die onder leiding stond van Christiaan Frederik Beyers, voormalig bevelhebber van het leger. Beyers verdrinkt bij het oversteken van de rivier de Vaal.
Falkland IJlanden
Kapitein Heathcoat Grant volgt orders van de Britse admiraliteit op en verstopt op eigen initiatief de Canopus in de modder van een verstekte plek in de haven van Port Stanley. Vervolgens maakt hij van zijn twaalfponds scheepsgeschut batterijen aan land en voorziet de ingang van de haven van mijnen en zet uitkijkposten uit. Kapitein Luce is met de Glasgow onderweg om een groep schepen onderweg van Engeland naar Montevideo te ontmoetten. Doel is om de Spee te zoeken. De groep schepen bestaat onder andere uit de slagschepen Invincible en Inflexible, vier pantserkruisers, twee lichte kruisers. Met de Glasgow bereiken zij Port Stanley. Sir Frederick Doveton Sturdee aan boord van de Invincible voert het commando.

7 december 1915
Albanië

Generaal Radomir Putnik en de Russische Ambassadeur in Servië, Koning Peter en andere stafofficieren komen aan in Skadar (Scutari). Putnik, bijna dood en zwaar ziek legt zijn taken neer.
Servië
Het Oostenrijk-Hongaarse derde leger, in de achtervolging op het Servische leger verovert Pec.
Mesopotamië
De Turken hebben Kut omsingeld en beginnen een beleg. Townshend heeft tienduizend man (tweeduizend zijn ziek of gewond) en 3500 niet vechtende Indiërs onder zijn commando. Aantal Arabische inwoners is ongeveer 7000.

7 december 1916
Roemenië

Mackensen bezet Boekarest. Falkenhayn's negende leger trekt naar het noorden om de olievelden en raffinaderijen bij Ploesti te veroveren. Hij is echter te laat. John Norton-Griffith heeft de velden bij Ploesti en Targoviste reeds in brand gezet, fabrieken zijn vernield. Een flinke klap voor de Duitsers. Norton-Griffith weet tevens graanvelden te vernielen en Roemenië te ontsnappen. Roemeense troepen trekken zich terug tot de rivier de Siret gevolgd door de Russen en Duitsers. Roemenië is 300.000 man kwijt waarvan de helft gevangenen. Duitse verliezen zijn 200.000

7 december 1917
Cambrai

De Britten ronden hun terugtrekking af. Byng's derde leger heeft 44.207 man en 158 stuks geschut verloren. Het Duitse tweede leger 41.000 man en 145 stuks geschut.

Bron: Almanac of World War I
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Henri



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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Dec 2005 21:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Der deutsche Heeresbericht:

Rückzug der Franzosen aus dem Cerna-Vardar-Bogen - Ipek erreicht
Großes Hauptquartier, 7. Dezember.
Westlicher Kriegsschauplatz:
Bei Berry-au-Bac glückte eine größere Sprengung. Der französische Graben ist mit seiner Besatzung verschüttet. Eine fast vollendete feindliche Minenanlage ist zerstört.
Östlich von Aubérive (in der Champagne) wurden etwa 250 Meter des vorderen französischen Grabens genommen. Über 60 Mann fielen gefangen in unsere Hand.
Östlicher Kriegsschauplatz:
Die Lage ist im allgemeinen unverändert.
Balkankriegsschauplatz:
Ipek ist erreicht. Etwa 1250 Gefangene wurden eingebracht.
Die Franzosen haben vor der drohenden Umfassung ihre Stellungen im Cerna (Krasu-)-Vardar-Bogen aufgeben müssen.

Oberste Heeresleitung. 1)
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 9:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Belgische vluchtelingen in Bedum 1914 –1915

(...) Uit de Notulen van de vergadering van Burgemeester en wethouders van 23 november 1914 blijkt dat men de vluchtelingenzaak wenst af te werken. In de plaatselijke krant 'De Bedumer' is een oproep verschenen waarin belanghebbenden worden uitgenodigd nota’s in te dienen in verband met gemaakte kosten van de huisvesting van Belgische vluchtelingen in de gemeente Bedum.

In de Notulen van de vergadering van Burgemeester en wethouders van 7 december 1914 wordt hierover het volgende vermeld: ….. Nota’s van huisvesting zijn ingediend door het Armenbestuur ad f 175,- en door K. Smith ad f 9,70. Besloten wordt deze uit te betalen. Besloten wordt het nog resterende bedrag der gehouden collecte (ongeveer f 900,-) af te dragen aan de Minister van Binnenlandse Zaken met het verzoek dit te willen bestemmen als bijdrage in de kosten, die het Rijk in het belang der vluchtelingen heeft te besteden…..

Uit deze notulen blijkt dat het hulp-comité te Bedum de collecteopbrengst had gereserveerd voor dit soort situaties. Vele hulp-comités in de provincie hadden de opbrengst van hun collectes afgestaan aan het Provinciaal Comité dat de vergoedingen aan de gemeenten betaalde. Het hulp-comité wenste kennelijk het beheer over het geld in eigen hand te houden.

Begin december informeert de Commissaris der Koningin nog eens of er nog Belgen in de gemeente woonachtig zijn. Er komt als antwoord: No. 343/ 7 december 1914/aan de Commissaris der Koningin/…..dat in deze gemeente geen Belgische vluchtelingen meer verblijven uitgezonderd twee meisjes die in dienstbetrekking zijn gegaan… (...)

http://www.wereldoorlog1418.nl/vluchtelingen/opvang-in-bedum.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 9:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The winter operations 1914-1915

(...) Based on information that the enemy was reducing his strength in France and Flanders, French Commander in Chief Joffre directed his armies to be ready to renew the offensive. On 7 December 1914 he sent a letter to General Foch, with a copy to Sir John French, with instructions that they should proceed with partial attacks in the Yser area and around Ypres without waiting for final preparations.

Urged on by pressure from the French to renew the offensive on the Western Front, British GHQ called a commanders conference on 12 December 1914. (...)

http://www.1914-1918.net/bat8.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 9:09    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

7 Dec 1914: "His Prehistoric Past" (film) is Released

His Prehistoric Past is a short movie written by and directed by Charlie Chaplin in 1914. He also stars in this short. It was Chaplin's last film with Keystone Studios.

Set in the stone age, King Low-Brow rules the land and a harem of wives. When Charlie arrives in this land (where every man has one thousand wives), he falls in love with the King's favorite wife. When the King falls over a cliff, he is presumed dead and Charlie crowns himself King. The King, however, is not dead and comes back and bashes Charlie over the head with a rock. It turns out it was a dream and a police man bashed Charlie over the head with his club because he was sleeping in the park.

Te bekijken op http://timelines.com/1914/12/7/his-prehistoric-past-film-is-released
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 9:12    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Khudadad Khan

Khudadad Khan, VC (20 October 1888 – 8 March 1971), was the first South Asian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest military award for gallantry in the face of the enemy given to British and Commonwealth forces. He was the first native-born Indian to win the VC.

On 31 October 1914, at Hollebeke, Belgium, 26-year old Khan performed an act of bravery for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War. (...)

Citation

War Office, 7th December, 1914.
His Majesty the KING-EMPEROR has been graciously pleased to approve of the grant of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned soldiers of the Indian Army for conspicuous bravery whilst serving with the Indian Army Corps, British Expeditionary Force: — [...]

4050, Sepoy Khudadad, 129th Duke of Counaught's Own Baluchis.

On 31st October, 1914, at Hollebeke, Belgium, the British Officer in charge of the detachment having been wounded, and the other gun put out of action by a shell, Sepoy Khudadad, though himself wounded, remained working his gun until all the other five men of the gun detachment had been killed.

—London Gazette 4 December 1914 (dated 7 December 1914)[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khudadad_Khan
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Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 9:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Graf von Spee

(...) Meanwhile the German admiral Graf von Spee is leading a small squadron of four cruisers across the Pacific towards South America. In September von Spee stops at Fanning Island to cut the trans-Pacific telegraph cable. He shells a French base in Tahiti, before reaching the South American coast and joining up with another German light cruiser. Off Coronel, on 1 November 1914, he is confronted by four British cruisers. Von Spee wins a decisive victory, sinking two of the British ships with no damage to his own.

Von Spee continues round Cape Horn to attack the Falkland Islands, where he is unaware that two British battle cruisers, more heavily armed than any of his squadron, have recently arrived from Britain to join half a dozen cruisers at Port Stanley.

Von Spee tries to escape but he is overtaken. In an engagement on 7 December 1914, he and some 2000 other German sailors lose their lives when four of the five ships in his squadron are sunk. The British on this occasion lose only ten men.

http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=18&HistoryID=ac62
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 13:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

‘De Nederlandse neutraliteit op de proef gesteld door de Belgenkwestie’
Maaike van de Wetering

(...) Streng werd opgetreden tegen de geïnterneerde soldaten die gevlucht waren of anderszins onrust veroorzaakten. ‘De beide gevluchte Duitsche vliegofficieren hebben aan een kameraad te Bergen geseind, dat ze in Osnabruck waren aangekomen. Naar de commandant van het interneeringsdepôt, kolonel de la Sablonière, van gezaghebbende Duitsche zijde vernam, zullen deze beide officieren, die zich aan woordbreuk hebben schuldig gemaakt, voor een raad van eer komen en is er geen sprake van, dat ze weer in het leger treden’. Ook een gevluchte soldaat, werd opnieuw aangehouden en teruggebracht naar het interneringskamp te Zeist. Ook van opstandigheid van de geïnterneerde Belgische militairen wordt melding gemaakt, zoals op 7 december 1914, wanneer de NRC melding maakt van het feit dat de minister van oorlog op de hoogte is gebracht ‘betreffende de oproerige beweging onder de geïnterneerde Belgische militairen in het kamp bij Zeist’. (...)

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:r8tgog5laQwJ:igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/student-theses/2007-0411-200308/De%2520Nederlandse%2520neutraliteit%2520op%2520de%2520proef%2520gesteld%2520door%2520de%2520Belgenkwestie.%2520Berichtgeving%2520in%2520de%2520NRC%2520en%2520het%2520Volk%25201914-1918.doc+24+november+1914&cd=52&hl=nl&ct=clnk&gl=n
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 13:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

History of the Intelligence Corps

Steps were also taken to raise an Intelligence Corps on the outbreak of war. The Intelligence Department at
the War Officer identified a number of Army officers, plus Metropolitan Police officers and other civilians
that would be called up at the outbreak of hostilities. Following the expiry of the British ultimatum to the
Germans on 5th August 1914 some fifty or so individuals received a telegram inviting them to join the newly
formed Intelligence Corps. The Corps was formed under its fist Commandant, Major TGJ Torrie, 17th Light
Cavalry, Indian Ary, and consisted of a Headquarters, Dismounted and Mounted Sections, a Motorcycle
Section and a Security Duties Section. Initially there were no other Ranks except soldier servants’ or officers’
batemen who were enlisted in 10th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, Intelligence (B). In due course police
officers and other with suitable civilian qualifications were employed as Field Security Police (either
transferring to the 10th Fusiliers or retaining their own cap badges). On 12 August 1914 the embryo Corps
embarked on the Olympia at Southampton for France with the British Expedition Force. On the 9 September
1914 Torrie left the Corps (he was killed in action on the Somme in 1916) to be replaced by Captain, later
Field Marshal Lord Wavell. Wavell moved to the General Staff on 07 December 1914 and was replaced by
Major Dunnington Jefferson who was responsible for establishing the high reputation of the Corps during
the war.

Lees verder op http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/history_of_intelligence_corps.pdf
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 19:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Christmas at the Front

On December 7, 1914, Pope Benedict XV suggested a temporary hiatus of the war for the celebration of Christmas. Though Germany readily agreed, the other powers refused.

http://history1900s.about.com/od/1910s/a/christmastruce_2.htm



Pope Benedict XV, on 7 December 1914, had begged for an official truce between the warring governments. He asked "that the guns may fall silent at least upon the night the angels sang." This attempt was, though, officially rebuffed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 19:46    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Creating the Yugoslav state

(...) The turning point occurred on 7 December 1914, when the Serbian National Assembly
made public its commitment to creating the Yugoslav state, in the so-called "Nis Declaration".
"With this", claims academician Popov, "Serbia made the first, but decisive, step in
exchanging its full-fledged state for an uncertain Yugoslav gamble". Our contemporary can
do nothing but wonder in disbelief how come the Serbian Government at the time refused to
create a true "greater" Serbia, according to the London Treaty of 26 April 1915, and consecutive
promises of the Entente Powers of 16 August 1915, for Serbia would then include
Backa, Slavonia with Srem, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and significant parts of Dalmatia and
north Albania. (...)

http://facta.junis.ni.ac.rs/lap/lap2004/lap2004-06.pdf
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Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 19:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Events of the Gallipoli Campaign

7 December 1915 - Although local planning had been proceeding since 22 November, the British government finally gave approval for the evacuation of the Anzac and Suvla positions. Helles was to be retained for the moment.

http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/5environment/timelines/100-events-gallipoli-campaign/november-december-1915.html

7 December 1915 - The British Cabinet orders the evacuation of Anzac and Suvla (orders to evacuate Helles are given in mid-December).

http://www.ataturktoday.com/1915GallipoliCanakkale.htm

7 December 1915 - Evacuation of ANZAC forces from Gallipoli begins. Though the Gallipoli campaign had failed British empire forces at least planned and executed the evacuation without loss.

http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/thismonth/
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Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005


Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 06 Dec 2010 20:02, in toaal 2 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2010 19:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

7 December 1915 → Lords Sitting

"STOP-THE-WAR" POST-CARDS.


HL Deb 07 December 1915 vol 20 cc532-4 532

THE EARL OF MEATH My Lords, I rise to ask His Majesty's Government whether they are aware that "Stop-the-War" post-cards are being anonymously sent through the Post Office; whether the persons sending these post-cards are liable to prosecution under the Defence of the Realm Act; and if so, whether His Majesty's Government will take steps to stop the circulation of such literature through the Post Office, and to discover and prosecute the offenders.

The ill-advised people who send these post-cards are probably very few in number, and if we had only to consider our own insular interests I, for one, should say that the wisest thing would be to ignore them and give them as much rope as they cared to hang themselves with. But I think we have to look upon the matter from a different point of view. Who are the people who are sending these post-cards through the post? It appears to me that they fall under one of three categories. Probably the largest category are those whose hearts and heads are equally soft. In the next category, perhaps, are those who unconsciously have imbibed the idea that the patriotic thing to do is to stop the war at any price. And as to the third category, I think we shall be justified by the past conduct of the German Government in saving that it is not at all unlikely that a certain amount of German money and initiative may be at the back of this attempt to influence public opinion through the Post Office.

We must not forget that the Central Powers are at this moment endeavouring to pose in the eyes of the world as maligned Governments and peoples whose real object is to bring about peace. They want to influence neutral opinion, especially in the United States, and to get to their support those whose intelligence is not very great but whose hearts are very good; and we know that in every direction German money has been squandered—there is no other word—all over the world for the purpose of getting public opinion to side with them. Millions, we hear, have been spent in the United States, practically to no purpose; and everywhere—in China, Japan, and in every country all over the world—money has been spent in this way. Last winter about this time, when I was living in Italy, the Italians were being deluged with literature, and the British who were there were deluged similarly. The people who sent this literature evidently did not know to whom they were sending it. One Englishman showed me literature that stood as high as that [indicating the height] from the floor which he had received, and he had kept it all. We know, then, that German money is being spent in every direction for this purpose. Is it not possible that something of the sort may be going on in regard to this attempt to influence public opinion through the Post Office?

The Germans hope also to introduce the apple of discord between the Allies, and I think we must remember that some of our Allies manage their affairs in a different way from what we do at home and may not realise why we give so much latitude to those who we have reason to suspect may not be entirely friendly to us. We have signed a solemn agreement with France, with Russia, and with Japan that we will not make peace upon our own account, that we will wait until the Allies are agreed upon this point. This has been renewed quite recently by the addition of Italy to those of the Allies who have signed that agreement. It therefore appears to me that we owe it, not only to ourselves but to our Allies and to the world, that there should be no talk of peace until the common enemy has been thoroughly subdued, and until effectual guarantees have been given which, in the opinion of all the Allies, would justify the cessation of the war, and render the enemy incapable of renewing it for many years to come.

These are the reasons why I have brought this subject before your Lordships' House. Although the matter is a small one it is important to act on the principle of obsta principiis, because we do not know whether, if we allow this to go on, it may not assume larger proportions. I ask His Majesty's Government whether they do not consider that the Defence of the Realm Act applies to this matter. It appears to me that it does, but I am not a lawyer. Therefore I desire to ask whether the words "endanger the successful prosecution of the war," which are used in that Act, do not render these people liable to prosecution.

§ THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON) My Lords, in replying to the noble Earl I will confine myself to the question of the post-card, to which I confess I think he has attached an importance rather in excess of anything that it deserves. The attention of the Home Secretary had not previously been called to this matter. He has been in communication with the Postmaster-General, who forwarded to him a specimen post-card. I have the post-card here, and I think it must have been one that was supplied by the noble Earl himself. No previous application in regard to these post-cards had reached the Postmaster-General, and he has no information that they are being sent in any numbers through the post. The card, as the noble Earl is aware, is anonymous. There is no clue whatever as to the person who sent it, and even if he could be traced it would not seem possible—this is in reply to the last question put by the noble Earl—to take any proceedings under the Defence of the Realm Regulations. I have the post-card here, and will show it to any noble Lord who desires to see it, but I roust say for myself that it does not strike me as a document which is in the least degree likely to impress any one seriously, or to affect the judgment of those who may receive it as to the prosecution of the war. In fact, I entirely agree with one remark made by the noble Earl—that the person who originated this scheme must have a very ill-balanced mind.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1915/dec/07/stop-the-war-post-cards
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The Siege of Kut-al-Amara, 1916

Following the signal (and, to the British at least, unexpected) failure of the Anglo-Indian attack upon Ctesiphon in November 1915 Sir Charles Townshend led his infantry force, the 6th (Poona) Division, on a wearisome retreat back to Kut-al-Amara, arriving in early December.

Aware too that his force was exhausted and unable to retreat further Townshend resolved to stay and hold Kut, a town of key importance to the British presence in the region. In this he was supported by regional Commander-in-Chief Sir John Nixon. The War Office in London however favoured a retreat still further south; however by the time this news reached Townshend he was already under siege.

Consequently the defence of Kut - sited in a loop of the River Tigris - was set in train ahead of the arrival of the besieging Turk force of 10,500 men on 7 December. However Kut's very geographical formation in effect meant that Townshend and his men were effectively bottled up.

Nevertheless the division's cavalry were despatched back to Basra the day before the arrival of the Turkish force (6 December 1915), since they were likely to prove of little use and yet a drain upon scarce resources during siege operations.

Leading the Turks were Nur-Ud-Din and the German commander Baron von der Goltz. Their instructions were straightforward if steep: to force the British entirely from Mesopotamia.

Consequently Nur-Ud-Din and von der Goltz attempted to pierce Kut's defences on three separate occasions in December; all however failed. Thus the Turks set about blockading the town while despatching forces to prevent British relief operations from succeeding in reaching Kut.

In Britain, as in India, the news of Townshend's setback had stunned the government which resolved to immediately send additional forces to the region, diverted from the Western Front. Consideration was given to regard both Palestine and Mesopotamia as a single front.

Townshend was led to expect rapid relief. He himself calculated that there were enough supplies to maintain the garrison for a month (subsequently revised to two months and then to almost five), although this assumed full daily rations.

Informed that a relief operation might take two months to assemble Townshend proposed instead breaking out and retiring further south: Nixon however insisted that he remain at Kut and therefore tie up as many Turkish forces as possible.

In due course the first British expedition to raise the blockade was set underway from Basra in January 1916, led by Sir Fenton Aylmer. Their efforts were repeatedly repulsed however with heavy loss, at Sheikh Sa'ad, the Wadi and Hanna in January 1916 and again two months later in March at Dujaila.

April brought a further relief operation, this time led by the sceptical Sir George Gorringe. Despite meeting von der Goltz and his Turkish Sixth Army, piercing their line some 30km south of Kut, the expedition ran out of steam and was abandoned on 22 April.

With no further hope of relief - a final attempt by the paddle steamer Julnar to reach the town with supplies having failed - Townshend requested and received an armistice pending surrender talks on 26 April.

The Turks agreed to send 10 days of food into the garrison while the six-day armistice was in effect. While the talks were in progress the British took the opportunity of destroying anything of value in the town, aware of its imminent surrender.

An additional 23,000 British casualties have been suffered during the relief efforts; the Turks lost approximately 10,000 men.

Although Khalil Pasha, Baghdad's military governor, proved sympathetic to Townshend's offer of £1 million plus a guarantee that none of his men would be used again in fighting against the Ottoman Empire - effectively buying parole, he was instructed by Minister of War Enver Pasha to require Townshend's unconditional surrender.

This was duly delivered on 29 April 1916, the British having run out of food supplies and wracked with disease of epidemic proportions (and with entirely inadequate medical provisioning to meet it).

It was the greatest humiliation to have befallen the British army in its history. For the Turks - and for Germany - it proved a significant morale booster, and undoubtedly weakened British influence in the Middle East.

Approximately 8,000 Anglo-Indian troops were taken prisoner (many weak through sickness), as was Townshend himself. However whereas he was treated as something of an honoured guest (and ultimately was released to assist with the Ottoman armistice negotiations in October 1918), his men were treated with cruelty and routine brutality, with a significant percentage dying while in captivity.

Baron von der Goltz meanwhile did not live to witness the conclusion of siege operations; he died ten days earlier of Typhus, although rumours persisted (unproven) that he was actually poisoned by a group of Young Turk officers.

http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/siegeofkut.htm

The Second Battle of Kut

In the meantime, the Turkish Sixth Army was reorganized into 2 corps, the XIII and the XVIII. Nurettin Paşa, was given to the command of the 72-years old German Field Marshal Colmar von der Goltz. Nurettin was not happy and he expressed his feelings in a cable he sent to the Ottoman High Command in Istanbul: “The Iraq Army has already proven that it does not need the military knowledge of Goltz Paşa… The dilemma of sending a non-Muslim general to Iraq, which has a Muslim population and where we declared a Holy War, is remarkable.”

The Turkish Sixth Army pursued the retreating British forces into Kut. The siege of Kut began on 7 December 1915, with Turkish divisions encircling the town, digging a series of trenches across the neck of the bend in Tigris in which the town was located and cutting it off from Basra.

Meanwhile Townshend calculated that there were supplies in Kut for a month. He suggested an attempt to break out and retire, but this was rejected by Sir John Nixon, commander of British forces in Mesopotamia, who ordered him to remain and hold as many Turkish troops around Kut as possible. A relief force, under the command of General Aylmer was to be sent to Kut.

Turkish forces launched several attacks during December 1915 but they were all repulsed. Meanwhile some additional reinforcements arrived in Mesopotamia from the Third Army. The year 1916 began with the Turkish XVIII Corps, composed of 45th and 51st Divisions, encircling the town and the XIII Corps with the 35th and 52nd Divisions blocking the British relief force about 30 km down the Tigris.

http://www.turkeyswar.com/campaigns/mesopotamia1.htm
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005


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Woodrow Wilson: Third Annual Message (December 7, 1915)

GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS:

Since I last had the privilege of addressing you on the state of the Union the war of nations on the other side of the sea, which had then only begun to disclose its portentous proportions, has extended its threatening and sinister scope until it has swept within its flame some portion of every quarter of the globe, not excepting our own hemisphere, has altered the whole face of international affairs, and now presents a prospect of reorganization and reconstruction such as statesmen and peoples have never been called upon to attempt before.

We have stood apart, studiously neutral. It was our manifest duty to do so. Not only did we have no part or interest in the policies which seem to have brought the conflict on; it was necessary, if a universal catastrophe was to be avoided, that a limit should be set to the sweep of destructive war and that some part of the great family of nations should keep the processes of peace alive, if only to prevent collective economic ruin and the breakdown throughout the world of the industries by which its populations are fed and sustained. It was manifestly the duty of the self-governed nations of this hemisphere to redress, if possible, the balance of economic loss and confusion in the other, if they could do nothing more. In the day of readjustment and recuperation we earnestly hope and believe that they can be of infinite service.

In this neutrality, to which they were bidden not only by their separate life and their habitual detachment from the politics of Europe but also by a clear perception of international duty, the states of America have become conscious of a new and more vital community of interest and moral partnership in affairs, more clearly conscious of the many common sympathies and interests and duties which bid them stand together.

There was a time in the early days of our own great nation and of the republics fighting their way to independence in Central and South America when the government of the United States looked upon itself as in some sort the guardian of the republics to the South of her as against any encroachments or efforts at political control from the other side of the water; felt it its duty to play the part even without invitation from them; and I think that we can claim that the task was undertaken with a true and disinterested enthusiasm for the freedom of the Americas and the unmolested Self government of her independent peoples. But it was always difficult to maintain such a role without offense to the pride of the peoples whose freedom of action we sought to protect, and without provoking serious misconceptions of our motives, and every thoughtful man of affairs must welcome the altered circumstances of the new day in whose light we now stand, when there is no claim of guardianship or thought of wards but, instead, a full and honorable association as of partners between ourselves and our neighbors, in the interest of all America, north and south. Our concern for the independence and prosperity of the states of Central and South America is not altered. We retain unabated the spirit that has inspired us throughout the whole life of our government and which was so frankly put into words by President Monroe. We still mean always to make a common cause of national independence and of political liberty in America. But that purpose is now better understood so far as it concerns ourselves. It is known not to be a selfish purpose. It is known to have in it no thought of taking advantage of any government in this hemisphere or playing its political fortunes for our own benefit. All the governments of America stand, so far as we are concerned, upon a footing of genuine equality and unquestioned independence.

We have been put to the test in the case of Mexico, and we have stood the test. Whether we have benefited Mexico by the course we have pursued remains to be seen. Her fortunes are in her own hands. But we have at least proved that we will not take advantage of her in her distress and undertake to impose upon her an order and government of our own choosing. Liberty is often a fierce and intractable thing, to which no bounds can be set, and to which no bounds of a few men's choosing ought ever to be set. Every American who has drunk at the true fountains of principle and tradition must subscribe without reservation to the high doctrine of the Virginia Bill of Rights, which in the great days in which our government was set up was everywhere amongst us accepted as the creed of free men. That doctrine is, "That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community"; that "of all the various modes and forms of government, that is the best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal." We have unhesitatingly applied that heroic principle to the case of Mexico, and now hopefully await the rebirth of the troubled Republic, which had so much of which to purge itself and so little sympathy from any outside quarter in the radical but necessary process. We will aid and befriend Mexico, but we will not coerce her; and our course with regard to her ought to be sufficient proof to all America that we seek no political suzerainty or selfish control.

The moral is, that the states of America are not hostile rivals but cooperating friends, and that their growing sense of community or interest, alike in matters political and in matters economic, is likely to give them a new significance as factors in international affairs and in the political history of the world. It presents them as in a very deep and true sense a unit in world affairs, spiritual partners, standing together because thinking together, quick with common sympathies and common ideals. Separated they are subject to all the cross currents of the confused politics of a world of hostile rivalries; united in spirit and purpose they cannot be disappointed of their peaceful destiny.

This is Pan-Americanism. It has none of the spirit of empire in it. It is the embodiment, the effectual embodiment, of the spirit of law and independence and liberty and mutual service.

A very notable body of men recently met in the City of Washington, at the invitation and as the guests of this Government, whose deliberations are likely to be looked back to as marking a memorable turning point in the history of America. They were representative spokesmen of the several independent states of this hemisphere and were assembled to discuss the financial and commercial relations of the republics of the two continents which nature and political fortune have so intimately linked together. I earnestly recommend to your perusal the reports of their proceedings and of the actions of their committees. You will get from them, I think, a fresh conception of the ease and intelligence and advantage with which Americans of both continents may draw together in practical cooperation and of what the material foundations of this hopeful partnership of interest must consist,-of how we should build them and of how necessary it is that we should hasten their building.

There is, I venture to point out, an especial significance just now attaching to this whole matter of drawing the Americans together in bonds of honorable partnership and mutual advantage because of the economic readjustments which the world must inevitably witness within the next generation, when peace shall have at last resumed its healthful tasks. In the performance of these tasks I believe the Americas to be destined to play their parts together. I am interested to fix your attention on this prospect now because unless you take it within your view and permit the full significance of it to command your thought I cannot find the right light in which to set forth the particular matter that lies at the very font of my whole thought as I address you to-day. I mean national defense.

No one who really comprehends the spirit of the great people for whom we are appointed to speak can fail to perceive that their passion is for peace, their genius best displayed in the practice of the arts of peace. Great democracies are not belligerent. They do not seek or desire war. Their thought is of individual liberty and of the free labor that supports life and the uncensored thought that quickens it. Conquest and dominion are not in our reckoning, or agreeable to our principles. But just because we demand unmolested development and the undisturbed government of our own lives upon our own principles of right and liberty, we resent, from whatever quarter it may come, the aggression we ourselves will not practice. We insist upon security in prosecuting our self-chosen lines of national development. We do more than that. We demand it also for others. We do not confine our enthusiasm for individual liberty and free national development to the incidents and movements of affairs which affect only ourselves. We feel it wherever there is a people that tries to walk in these difficult paths of independence and right. From the first we have made common cause with all partisans of liberty on this side the sea, and have deemed it as important that our neighbors should be free from all outside domination as that we ourselves should be.- have set America aside as a whole for the uses of independent nations and political freemen.

Out of such thoughts grow all our policies. We regard war merely as a means of asserting the rights of a people against aggression. And we are as fiercely jealous of coercive or dictatorial power within our own nation as of aggression from without. We will not maintain a standing army except for uses which are as necessary in times of peace as in times of war; and we shall always see to it that our military peace establishment is no larger than is actually and continuously needed for the uses of days in which no enemies move against us. But we do believe in a body of free citizens ready and sufficient to take care of themselves and of the governments which they have set up to serve them. In our constitutions themselves we have commanded that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," and our confidence has been that our safety in times of danger would lie in the rising of the nation to take care of itself, as the farmers rose at Lexington.

But war has never been a mere matter of men and guns. It is a thing of disciplined might. If our citizens are ever to fight effectively upon a sudden summons, they must know how modern fighting is done, and what to do when the summons comes to render themselves immediately available and immediately effective. And the government must be their servant in this matter, must supply them with the training they need to take care of themselves and of it. The military arm of their government, which they will not allow to direct them, they may properly use to serve them and make their independence secure,-and not their own independence merely but the rights also of those with whom they have made common cause, should they also be put in jeopardy. They must be fitted to play the great role in the world, and particularly in this hemisphere, for which they are qualified by principle and by chastened ambition to play.

It is with these ideals in mind that the plans of the Department of War for more adequate national defense were conceived which will be laid before you, and which I urge you to sanction and put into effect as soon as they can be properly scrutinized and discussed. They seem to me the essential first steps, and they seem to me for the present sufficient.

They contemplate an increase of the standing force of the regular army from its present strength of five thousand and twenty-three officers and one hundred and two thousand nine hundred and eightyfive enlisted men of all services to a strength of seven thousand one hundred and thirty-six officers and one hundred and thirty-four thousand seven hundred and seven enlisted men, or 141,843, all told, all services, rank and file, by the addition of fifty-two companies of coast artillery, fifteen companies of engineers, ten regiments of infantry, four regiments of field artillery, and four aero squadrons, besides seven hundred and fifty officers required for a great variety of extra service, especially the all important duty of training the citizen force of which I shall presently speak, seven hundred and ninety-two noncommissioned officers for service in drill, recruiting and the like, and the necessary quota of enlisted men for the Quartermaster Corps, the Hospital Corps, the Ordnance Department, and other similar auxiliary services. These are the additions necessary to render the army adequate for its present duties, duties which it has to perform not only upon our own continental coasts and borders and at our interior army posts, but also in the Philippines, in the Hawaiian Islands, at the Isthmus, and in Porto Rico.

By way of making the country ready to assert some part of its real power promptly and upon a larger scale, should occasion arise, the plan also contemplates supplementing the army by a force of four hundred thousand disciplined citizens, raised in increments of one hundred and thirty-three thousand a year throughout a period of three years. This it is proposed to do by a process of enlistment under which the serviceable men of the country would be asked to bind themselves to serve with the colors for purposes of training for short periods throughout three years, and to come to the colors at call at any time throughout an additional "furlough" period of three years. This force of four hundred thousand men would be provided with personal accoutrements as fast as enlisted and their equipment for the field made ready to be supplied at any time. They would be assembled for training at stated intervals at convenient places in association with suitable units of the regular army. Their period of annual training would not necessarily exceed two months in the year.

It would depend upon the patriotic feeling of the younger men of the country whether they responded to such a call to service or not. It would depend upon the patriotic spirit of the employers of the country whether they made it possible for the younger men in their employ to respond under favorable conditions or not. I, for one, do not doubt the patriotic devotion either of our young men or of those who give them employment,--those for whose benefit and protection they would in fact enlist. I would look forward to the success of such an experiment with entire confidence.

At least so much by way of preparation for defense seems to me to be absolutely imperative now. We cannot do less.

The programme which will be laid before you by the Secretary of the Navy is similarly conceived. It involves only a shortening of the time within which plans long matured shall be carried out; but it does make definite and explicit a programme which has heretofore been only implicit, held in the minds of the Committees on Naval Affairs and disclosed in the debates of the two Houses but nowhere formulated or formally adopted. It seems to me very clear that it will be to the advantage of the country for the Congress to adopt a comprehensive plan for putting the navy upon a final footing of strength and efficiency and to press that plan to completion within the next five years. We have always looked to the navy of the country as our first and chief line of defense; we have always seen it to be our manifest course of prudence to be strong on the seas. Year by year we have been creating a navy which now ranks very high indeed among the navies of the maritime nations. We should now definitely determine how we shall complete what we have begun, and how soon.

The programme to be laid before you contemplates the construction within five years of ten battleships, six battle cruisers, ten scout cruisers, fifty destroyers, fifteen fleet submarines, eighty-five coast submarines, four gunboats, one hospital ship, two ammunition ships, two fuel oil ships, and one repair ship. It is proposed that of this number we shall the first year provide for the construction of two battleships, two battle cruisers, three scout cruisers, fifteen destroyers, five fleet submarines, twenty-five coast submarines, two gunboats, and one hospital ship; the second year, two battleships, one scout cruiser, ten destroyers, four fleet submarines, fifteen coast submarines, one gunboat, and one fuel oil ship; the third year, two battleships, one battle cruiser, two scout cruisers, five destroyers, two fleet sub marines, and fifteen coast submarines; the fourth year, two battleships, two battle cruisers, two scout cruisers, ten destroyers, two fleet submarines, fifteen coast submarines, one ammunition ship, and one fuel oil ship; and the fifth year, two battleships, one battle cruiser, two scout cruisers, ten destroyers, two fleet submarines, fifteen coast submarines, one gunboat, one ammunition ship, and one repair ship.

The Secretary of the Navy is asking also for the immediate addition to the personnel of the navy of seven thousand five hundred sailors, twenty-five hundred apprentice seamen, and fifteen hundred marines. This increase would be sufficient to care for the ships which are to be completed within the fiscal year 1917 and also for the number of men which must be put in training to man the ships which will be completed early in 1918. It is also necessary that the number of midshipmen at the Naval academy at Annapolis should be increased by at least three hundred in order that the force of officers should be more rapidly added to; and authority is asked to appoint, for engineering duties only, approved graduates of engineering colleges, and for service in the aviation corps a certain number of men taken from civil life.

If this full programme should be carried out we should have built or building in 1921, according to the estimates of survival and standards of classification followed by the General Board of the Department, an effective navy consisting of twenty-seven battleships of the first line, six battle cruisers, twenty-five battleships of the second line, ten armored cruisers, thirteen scout cruisers, five first class cruisers, three second class cruisers, ten third class cruisers, one hundred and eight destroyers, eighteen fleet submarines, one hundred and fifty-seven coast submarines, six monitors, twenty gunboats, four supply ships, fifteen fuel ships, four transports, three tenders to torpedo vessels, eight vessels of special types, and two ammunition ships. This would be a navy fitted to our needs and worthy of our traditions.

But armies and instruments of war are only part of what has to be considered if we are to provide for the supreme matter of national self-sufficiency and security in all its aspects. There are other great matters which will be thrust upon our attention whether we will or not. There is, for example, a very pressing question of trade and shipping involved in this great problem of national adequacy. It is necessary for many weighty reasons of national efficiency and development that we should have a great merchant marine. The great merchant fleet we once used to make us rich, that great body of sturdy sailors who used to carry our flag into every sea, and who were the pride and often the bulwark of the nation, we have almost driven out of existence by inexcusable neglect and indifference and by a hope lessly blind and provincial policy of so-called economic protection. It is high time we repaired our mistake and resumed our commercial independence on the seas.

For it is a question of independence. If other nations go to war or seek to hamper each other's commerce, our merchants, it seems, are at their mercy, to do with as they please. We must use their ships, and use them as they determine. We have not ships enough of our own. We cannot handle our own commerce on the seas. Our independence is provincial, and is only on land and within our own borders. We are not likely to be permitted to use even the ships of other nations in rivalry of their own trade, and are without means to extend our commerce even where the doors are wide open and our goods desired. Such a situation is not to be endured. It is of capital importance not only that the United States should be its own carrier on the seas and enjoy the economic independence which only an adequate merchant marine would give it, but also that the American hemisphere as a whole should enjoy a like independence and self-sufficiency, if it is not to be drawn into the tangle of European affairs. Without such independence the whole question of our political unity and self-determination is very seriously clouded and complicated indeed.

Moreover, we can develop no true or effective American policy without ships of our own,--not ships of war, but ships of peace, carrying goods and carrying much more: creating friendships and rendering indispensable services to all interests on this side the water. They must move constantly back and forth between the Americas. They are the only shuttles that can weave the delicate fabric of sympathy, -comprehension, confidence, and mutual dependence in which we wish to clothe our policy of America for Americans.

The task of building up an adequate merchant marine for America private capital must ultimately undertake and achieve, as it has undertaken and achieved every other like task amongst us in the past, with admirable enterprise, intelligence, and vigor; and it seems to me a manifest dictate of wisdom that we should promptly remove every legal obstacle that may stand in the way of this much to be desired revival of our old independence and should facilitate in every possible way the building, purchase, and American registration of ships. But capital cannot accomplish this great task of a sudden. It must embark upon it by degrees, as the opportunities of trade develop. Something must be done at once; done to open routes and develop opportunities where they are as yet undeveloped; done to open the arteries of trade where the currents have not yet learned to run,-especially between the two American continents, where they are, singularly enough, yet to be created and quickened; and it is evident that only the government can undertake such beginnings and assume the initial financial risks. When the risk has passed and private capital begins to find its way in sufficient abundance into these new channels, the government may withdraw. But it cannot omit to begin. It should take the first steps, and should take them at once. Our goods must not lie piled up at our ports and stored upon side tracks in freight cars which are daily needed on the roads; must not be left without means of transport to any foreign quarter. We must not await the permission of foreign ship-owners and foreign governments to send them where we will.

With a view to meeting these pressing necessities of our commerce and availing ourselves at the earliest possible moment of the present unparalleled opportunity of linking the two Americas together in bonds of mutual interest and service, an opportunity which may never return again if we miss it now, proposals will be made to the present Congress for the purchase or construction of ships to be owned and directed by the government similar to those made to the last Congress, but modified in some essential particulars. I recommend these proposals to you for your prompt acceptance with the more confidence because every month that has elapsed since the former proposals were made has made the necessity for such action more and more manifestly imperative. That need was then foreseen; it is now acutely felt and everywhere realized by those for whom trade is waiting but who can find no conveyance for their goods. I am not so much interested in the particulars of the programme as I am in taking immediate advantage of the great opportunity which awaits us if we will but act in this emergency. In this matter, as in all others, a spirit of common counsel should prevail, and out of it should come an early solution of this pressing problem.

There is another matter which seems to me to be very intimately associated with the question of national safety and preparation for defense. That is our policy towards the Philippines and the people of Porto Rico. Our treatment of them and their attitude towards us are manifestly of the first consequence in the development of our duties in the world and in getting a free hand to perform those duties. We must be free from every unnecessary burden or embarrassment; and there is no better way to be clear of embarrassment than to fulfil our promises and promote the interests of those dependent on us to the utmost. Bills for the alteration and reform of the government of the Philippines and for rendering fuller political justice to the people of Porto Rico were submitted to the sixty-third Congress. They will be submitted also to you. I need not particularize their details. You are most of you already familiar with them. But I do recommend them to your early adoption with the sincere conviction that there are few measures you could adopt which would more serviceably clear the way for the great policies by which we wish to make good, now and always, our right to lead in enterpriscs of peace and good will and economic and political freedom.

The plans for the armed forces of the nation which I have outlined, and for the general policy of adequate preparation for mobilization and defense, involve of course very large additional expenditures of money,-expenditures which will considerably exceed the estimated revenues of the government. It is made my duty by law, whenever the estimates of expenditure exceed the estimates of revenue, to call the attention of the Congress to the fact and suggest any means of meeting the deficiency that it may be wise or possible for me to suggest. I am ready to believe that it would be my duty to do so in any case; and I feel particularly bound to speak of the matter when it appears that the deficiency will arise directly out of the adoption by the Congress of measures which I myself urge it to adopt. Allow me, therefore, to speak briefly of the present state of the Treasury and of the fiscal problems which the next year will probably disclose.

On the thirtieth of June last there was an available balance in the general fund of the Treasury Of $104,170,105.78. The total estimated receipts for the year 1916, on the assumption that the emergency revenue measure passed by the last Congress will not be extended beyond its present limit, the thirty-first of December, 1915, and that the present duty of one cent per pound on sugar will be discontinued after the first of May, 1916, will be $670,365,500. The balance of June last and these estimated revenues come, therefore, to a grand total of $774,535,605-78. The total estimated disbursements for the present fiscal year, including twenty-five millions for the Panama Canal, twelve millions for probable deficiency appropriations, and fifty thousand dollars for miscellaneous debt redemptions, will be $753,891,000; and the balance in the general fund of the Treasury will be reduced to $20,644,605.78. The emergency revenue act, if continued beyond its present time limitation, would produce, during the half year then remaining, about forty-one millions. The duty of one cent per pound on sugar, if continued, would produce during the two months of the fiscal year remaining after the first of May, about fifteen millions. These two sums, amounting together to fifty-six millions, if added to the revenues of the second half of the fiscal year, would yield the Treasury at the end of the year an available balance Of $76,644,605-78.

The additional revenues required to carry out the programme of military and naval preparation of which I have spoken, would, as at present estimated, be for the fiscal year, 1917, $93,800,000. Those figures, taken with the figures for the present fiscal year which I have already given, disclose our financial problem for the year 1917. Assuming that the taxes imposed by the emergency revenue act and the present duty on sugar are to be discontinued, and that the balance at the close of the present fiscal year will be only $20,644,605.78, that the disbursements for the Panama Canal will again be about twenty-five millions, and that the additional expenditures for the army and navy are authorized by the Congress, the deficit in the general fund of the Treasury on the thirtieth of June, 1917, will be nearly two hundred and thirty-five millions. To this sum at least fifty millions should be added to represent a safe working balance for the Treasury, and twelve millions to include the usual deficiency estimates in 1917; and these additions would make a total deficit of some two hundred and ninety-seven millions. If the present taxes should be continued throughout this year and the next, however, there would be a balance in the Treasury of some seventy-six and a half millions at the end of the present fiscal year, and a deficit at the end of the next year of only some fifty millions, or, reckoning in sixty-two millions for deficiency appropriations and a safe Treasury balance at the end of the year, a total deficit of some one hundred and twelve millions. The obvious moral of the figures is that it is a plain counsel of prudence to continue all of the present taxes or their equivalents, and confine ourselves to the problem of providing one hundred and twelve millions of new revenue rather than two hundred and ninety-seven millions.

How shall we obtain the new revenue? We are frequently reminded that there are many millions of bonds which the Treasury is authorized under existing law to sell to reimburse the sums paid out of current revenues for the construction of the Panama Canal; and it is true that bonds to the amount of approximately $222,000,000 are now available for that purpose. Prior to 1913, $134,631,980 of these bonds had actually been sold to recoup the expenditures at the Isthmus; and now constitute a considerable item of the public debt. But I, for one, do not believe that the people of this country approve of postponing the payment of their bills. Borrowing money is short-sighted finance. It can be justified only when permanent things are to be accomplished which many generations will certainly benefit by and which it seems hardly fair that a single generation should pay for. The objects we are now proposing to spend money for cannot be so classified, except in the sense that everything wisely done may be said to be done in the interest of posterity as well as in our own. It seems to me a clear dictate of prudent statesmanship and frank finance that in what we are now, I hope, about to undertake we should pay as we go. The people of the country are entitled to know just what burdens of taxation they are to carry, and to know from the outset, now. The new bills should be paid by internal taxation.

To what sources, then, shall we turn? This is so peculiarly a question which the gentlemen of the House of Representatives are expected under the Constitution to propose an answer to that you will hardly expect me to do more than discuss it in very general terms. We should be following an almost universal example of modern governments if we were to draw the greater part or even the whole of the revenues we need from the income taxes. By somewhat lowering the present limits of exemption and the figure at which the surtax shall begin to be imposed, and by increasing, step by step throughout the present graduation, the surtax itself, the income taxes as at present apportioned would yield sums sufficient to balance the books of the Treasury at the end of the fiscal year 1917 without anywhere making the burden unreasonably or oppressively heavy. The precise reckonings are fully and accurately set out in the report of the Secretary of the Treasury which will be immediately laid before you.

And there are many additional sources of revenue which can justly be resorted to without hampering the industries of the country or putting any too great charge upon individual expenditure. A tax of one cent per gallon on gasoline and naphtha would yield, at the present estimated production, $10,000,000; a tax of fifty cents per horse power on automobiles and internal explosion engines, $15,000,000; a stamp tax on bank cheques, probably $18,000,000; a tax of twenty-five cents per ton on pig iron, $10,000,000; a tax of twenty-five cents per ton on fabricated iron and steel, probably $10,000,000. In a country of great industries like this it ought to be easy to distribute the burdens of taxation without making them anywhere bear too heavily or too exclusively upon any one set of persons or undertakings. What is clear is, that the industry of this generation should pay the bills of this generation.

I have spoken to you to-day, Gentlemen, upon a single theme, the thorough preparation of the nation to care for its own security and to make sure of entire freedom to play the impartial role in this hemisphere and in the world which we all believe to have been providentially assigned to it. I have had in my mind no thought of any immediate or particular danger arising out of our relations with other nations. We are at peace with all the nations of the world, and there is reason to hope that no question in controversy between this and other Governments will lead to any serious breach of amicable relations, grave as some differences of attitude and policy have been land may yet turn out to be. I am sorry to say that the gravest threats against our national peace and safety have been uttered within our own borders. There are citizens of the United States, I blush to admit, born under other flags but welcomed under our generous naturalization laws to the full freedom and opportunity of America, who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life; who have sought to bring the authority and good name of our Government into contempt, to destroy our industries wherever they thought it effective for their vindictive purposes to strike at them, and to debase our politics to the uses of foreign intrigue. Their number is not great as compared with the whole number of those sturdy hosts by which our nation has been enriched in recent generations out of virile foreign stock; but it is great enough to have brought deep disgrace upon us and to have made it necessary that we should promptly make use of processes of law by which we may be purged of their corrupt distempers. America never witnessed anything like this before. It never dreamed it possible that men sworn into its own citizenship, men drawn out of great free stocks such as supplied some of the best and strongest elements of that little, but how heroic, nation that in a high day of old staked its very life to free itself from every entanglement that had darkened the fortunes of the older nations and set up a new standard here,that men of such origins and such free choices of allegiance would ever turn in malign reaction against the Government and people who bad welcomed and nurtured them and seek to make this proud country once more a hotbed of European passion. A little while ago such a thing would have seemed incredible. Because it was incredible we made no preparation for it. We would have been almost ashamed to prepare for it, as if we were suspicious of ourselves, our own comrades and neighbors! But the ugly and incredible thing has actually come about and we are without adequate federal laws to deal with it. I urge you to enact such laws at the earliest possible moment and feel that in doing so I am urging you to do nothing less than save the honor and self-respect of the nation. Such creatures of passion, disloyalty, and anarchy must be crushed out. They are not many, but they are infinitely malignant, and the hand of our power should close over them at once. They have formed plots to destroy property, they have entered into conspiracies against the neutrality of the Government, they have sought to pry into every confidential transaction of the Government in order to serve interests alien to our own. It is possible to deal with these things very effectually. I need not suggest the terms in which they may be dealt with.

I wish that it could be said that only a few men, misled by mistaken sentiments of allegiance to the governments under which they were born, had been guilty of disturbing the self-possession and misrepresenting the temper and principles of the country during these days of terrible war, when it would seem that every man who was truly an American would instinctively make it his duty and his pride to keep the scales of judgment even and prove himself a partisan of no nation but his own. But it cannot. There are some men among us, and many resident abroad who, though born and bred in the United States and calling themselves Americans, have so forgotten themselves and their honor as citizens as to put their passionate sympathy with one or the other side in the great European conflict above their regard for the peace and dignity of the United States. They also preach and practice disloyalty. No laws, I suppose, can reach corruptions of the mind and heart; but I should not speak of others without also speaking of these and expressing the even deeper humiliation and scorn which every self-possessed and thoughtfully patriotic American must feel when lie thinks of them and of the discredit they are daily bringing upon us.

While we speak of the preparation of the nation to make sure of her security and her effective power we must not fall into the patent error of supposing that her real strength comes from armaments and mere safeguards of written law. It comes, of course, from her people, their energy, their success in their undertakings, their free opportunity to use the natural resources of our great home land and of the lands outside our continental borders which look to us for protection, for encouragement, and for assistance in their development; from the organization and freedom and vitality of our economic life. The domestic questions which engaged the attention of the last Congress are more vital to the nation in this its time of test than at any other time. We cannot adequately make ready for any trial of our strength unless we wisely and promptly direct the force of our laws into these all-important fields of domestic action. A matter which it seems to me we should have very much at heart is the creation of the right instrumentalities by which to mobilize our economic resources in any time of national necessity. I take it for granted that I do not need your authority to call into systematic consultation with the directing officers of the army and navy men of recognized leadership and ability from among our citizens who are thoroughly familiar, for example, with the transportation facilities of the country and therefore competent to advise how they may be coordinated when the need arises, those who can suggest the best way in which to bring about prompt cooperation among the manufacturers of the country, should it be necessary, and those who could assist to bring the technical skill of the country to the aid of the Government in the solution of particular problems of defense. I only hope that if I should find it feasible to constitute such an advisory body the Congress would be willing to vote the small sum of money that would be needed to defray the expenses that would probably be necessary to give it the clerical and administrative Machinery with which to do serviceable work.

What is more important is, that the industries and resources of the country should be available and ready for mobilization. It is the more imperatively necessary, therefore, that we should promptly devise means for doing what we have not yet done: that we should give intelligent federal aid and stimulation to industrial and vocational education, as we have long done in the large field of our agricultural industry; that, at the same time that we safeguard and conserve the natural resources of the country we should put them at the disposal of those who will use them promptly and intelligently, as was sought to be done in the admirable bills submitted to the last Congress from its committees on the public lands, bills which I earnestly recommend in principle to your consideration; that we should put into early operation some provision for rural credits which will add to the extensive borrowing facilities already afforded the farmer by the Reserve Bank Act, adequate instrumentalities by which long credits may be obtained on land mortgages; and that we should study more carefully than they have hitherto been studied the right adaptation of our economic arrangements to changing conditions.

Many conditions about which we have repeatedly legislated are being altered from decade to decade, it is evident, under our very eyes, and are likely to change even more rapidly and more radically in the days immediately ahead of us, when peace has returned to the world and the nations of Europe once more take up their tasks of commerce and industry with the energy of those who must bestir themselves to build anew. just what these changes will be no one can certainly foresee or confidently predict. There are no calculable, because no stable, elements in the problem. The most we can do is to make certain that we have the necessary instrumentalities of information constantly at our service so that we may be sure that we know exactly what we are dealing with when we come to act, if it should be necessary to act at all. We must first certainly know what it is that we are seeking to adapt ourselves to. I may ask the privilege of addressing you more at length on this important matter a little later in your session.

In the meantime may I make this suggestion? The transportation problem is an exceedingly serious and pressing one in this country. There has from time to time of late been reason to fear that our railroads would not much longer be able to cope with it successfully, as at present equipped and coordinated I suggest that it would be wise to provide for a commission of inquiry to ascertain by a thorough canvass of the whole question whether our laws as at present framed and administered are as serviceable as they might be' in the solution of the problem. It is obviously a problem that lies at the very foundation of our efficiency as a people. Such an inquiry ought to draw out every circumstance and opinion worth considering and we need to know all sides of the matter if we mean to do anything in the field of federal legislation.

No one, I am sure, would wish to take any backward step. The regulation of the railways of the country by federal commission has had admirable results and has fully justified the hopes and expectations of those by whom the policy of regulation was originally proposed. The question is not what should we undo. It is, whether there is anything else we can do that would supply us with effective means, in the very process of regulation, for bettering the conditions under which the railroads are operated and for making them more useful servants of the country as a whole. It seems to me that it might be the part of wisdom, therefore, before further legislation in this field is attempted, to look at the whole problem of coordination and efficiency in the full light of a fresh assessment of circumstance and opinion, as a guide to dealing with the several parts of it.

For what we are seeking now, what in my mind is the single thought of this message, is national efficiency and security. We serve a great nation. We should serve it in the spirit of its peculiar genius. It is the genius of common men for self-government, industry, justice, liberty and peace. We should see to it that it lacks no instrument, no facility or vigor of law, to make it sufficient to play its part with energy, safety, and assured success. In this we are no partisans but heralds and prophets of a new age.

http://millercenter.org/scripps/archive/speeches/detail/3794
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"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
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Stanley Spencer

In 1914 Stanley Spencer joined the RAMC and was sent to Beaufort Hospital in Bristol where he looked after injured soldiers from the Western Front. He wrote a letter to Henry Lamb, about his experiences on 7th December, 1915.

Two hundred patients or more would arrive in the middle of the night - this was disquieting and disturbing. One had just got used to the patients one had; had mentally and imaginatively visualized them. I have to move patients with their beds from one ward to another or perhaps to the theatre.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ARTspencer.htm
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Britain, 1916: The Fall of Asquith - Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister

Then Lloyd George resigned on 5th December, and Asquith also resigned the same day. The king invited Law to form a government, but Law said he would only join a government if Asquith was in it. He, therefore, advised the king to send for Lloyd George. On 7th December Lloyd George met with Labour MPs. He gained support from Law and Addison, who marshalled votes from the backbench liberals. The leading Unionists also joined - Balfour was tempted by the offer of the foreign office; and Cecil, Chamberlain and Curzon joined during the day of 7th December. Curzon made his joining conditional on Churchill being left out of office and Haig remaining Commander-in-Chief. Lloyd George became Prime Minister on the evening of the 7th December 1916.

http://www.blacksacademy.net/content/3126.html
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The WWI experiences of Captain Charles Linklater, AIF

In early 1916 the Australian government recruited a new division to serve on the Western Front. Known as the Third Division, its ranks were filled with raw volunteers fresh from civilian life. Officers with combat experience were rare and as soon as Linklater recovered he took command of C Company (approximately 250 men) in the 33rd Battalion. It sailed for England in May 1916, trained there for six months and arrived in France in November 1916.

Charles wrote to Dorothy shortly after arriving at the front.


Somewhere in France, 7 December 1916

We have been in France 2 ½ weeks now. We have been in the trenches 8 days and are out for a few days, we will be going in again in a few days.

We are billeted in a big town which has been knocked about very much, it is nearly deserted, but a few people still remain. Most of them just stacked their furniture in one room and then cleared out. There is some beautiful furniture in some of the houses and the houses themselves all shell torn and the roofs battered in.

It is very cold in the trenches but we can get 3 good meals per day and a good dugout to sleep in when we can, so life is much more pleasant here than Gallipoli. We had very few casualties whilst in the trenches but our snipers got a good few Germans...

I had not had my clothes off for two weeks, until I went to the Military Baths yesterday and stayed 1 hour in a warm bath. They have converted a huge brewery into a military baths. You go down there, take off your dirty underwear, they give you a clean towel and underwear in exchange, also whilst in the trenches you send down your socks, one evening and the next evening a similar number is returned. Men have to change their socks every day, that is the preventative of trench feet. There are a couple of hundred women darning and mending at the baths, but they do not scrub the officers down.

The house I am writing this in is run by a [French] woman of about 50 years, 3 of us are staying here, she treats us like her sons (she is all alone at present). When I come in she runs and gets a hot brick to put to my feet and runs and lights the fire. She cannot do enough for us, her son is fighting and her daughter is a school teacher. We draw our rations and give them to her and she cooks them, also adds a few extras, so we will have to give her 3 or 4 shillings each when we leave.

The windows are shaking dreadfully from the concussion of the guns. If you have any friends going to the war tell them to get in either the artillery, Army Medical Corps or Army Service Corps. Army Service men never get hit...

http://zhour.net/doc09.html
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Robert Donald, diary entry (7th December, 1916)

I called on Mr. Asquith at 10 Downing Street, at 4 o'clock. He was sitting at the large table in the Cabinet room, his back to the fire. He looked a very lonely figure and a tired man. Lying in front of him were a few letters, just received from a political friends. He had a quiet and severe expression.

He said that Mr. Lloyd George had always professed to be the most friendly with him and no rift had occurred in their personal relations. He had the greatest admiration for him. Lloyd George possessed unique gifts, a real flare for politics, foresight, inspiration, etc. He would not say that Lloyd George owed everything to him, but he certainly owed a great deal. He saved him during the Budget of 1909, when all the Cabinet turned against him, and he came to his rescue and risked his own fate with Lloyd George's.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jdonald.htm
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Fall of Jerusalem, 7-9 December 1917

Jerusalem had been the target of the British effort in Palestine since the end of March 1917. At first it had been seen as part of a wider plan to combine a Russian offensive in the Caucasus, a British advance from Baghdad and the fall of Jerusalem to force the Turks to sue for peace. Later, after the spring of 1917 had seen the failure of the Allied offensive on the western front, the French mutiny and the rise of the U-boat threat, the capture of Jerusalem began to be seen as a much needed morale boost for the British population.

In June 1917 General Sir Edmund Allenby arrived to take command of the British forces in Egypt, then held up in front of the Turkish defences of Gaza. After careful preparation Allenby successfully implemented a plan already under consideration for an attack around the Turkish left. The resulting third battle of Gaza (31 October-7 November) forced the Turks to abandon the position at Gaza, and retreat back towards Gaza. An attempt to defend the railway linking Jerusalem to the north failed (battle of Junction Station, 13-14 November), splitting the Turkish armies in Palestine in two.

Allenby then attempted to take advantage of the rapid Turkish retreat to attack Jerusalem. The resulting battle of Nebi Samwil, 18-24 November, saw the British attempt to cut the road from Jerusalem to Nablus by sweeping through the Judean Mountains. It ended in failure when Turkish resistance proved to be more determined than expected.

In the aftermath of this battle, Allenby settled down to improve his supply lines and move new troops towards Jerusalem. XXI corps, who had conducted most of the pursuit after Gaza, was moved to the coast, while XX corps, who had made the crucial breakthrough at Beersheba on 31 October, moved up to take their place in the hills west of Jerusalem.

The attack by XXI corps had seen the British attempt to pivot on their right wing, and cut the Nablus road some way to the north of Jerusalem. General Sir Philip Chetwode, the commander of XX corps, decided to attempt the opposite move. XX corps would pivot on their left. Their right wing would advance almost directly towards Jerusalem, pass close to the north west of the city and get onto the Nablus road much further south.

The main advantage of this plan was that the advance could be supported from the main road from Ramleh to Jerusalem. However, it would require an attack on the main defences of Jerusalem. These had been created a year earlier by blasting trenches out of the rocky hills west of the city. In places they were three tiers high, and should have been almost impossible to attack.

Fortunately for the British, since the end of the first attack on Jerusalem the Turks had launched a series of determined but costly counterattacks with their best troops. When the British attack began early on 8 December Turkish resistance was much less stubborn than expected. At the end of the day the British had pushed the Turks out of their strongest positions, and made the evacuation of the city inevitable.

The last Turkish troops left Jerusalem early on the morning of 9 December. Just after noon on the same day the Mayor of Jerusalem presented the keys of the city to General Shea, the commander of 60th Division. His division would also see the most fighting on 9 December. A Turkish rearguard had been left in the Mount of Olives, and a bayonet charge was needed to force it out.

By the end of the day British divisions were in place all around Jerusalem. On 11 December General Allenby made his formal entry into the city. The Turks would mount one counterattack, on 26 December, but without success.

Rickard, J (3 September 2007), Fall of Jerusalem, 7-9 December 1917 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_jerusalem1917_fall.html
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Origins of the CHEKA (1917)
Lenin's Letter to Dzerhinsky, 7 December 1917

In connection with your report today dealing with the struggle against sabotage and counter-revolution, is it not possible to issue the following decree:

STRUGGLE AGAINST COUNTER-REVOLUTION AND SABOTAGE

The bourgeoisie, landholders, and all wealthy classes are making desperate efforts to undermine the revolution which is aiming to safeguard the interests of the toiling and exploited masses. The bourgeoisie is having recourse to the vilest crimes, bribing society's lowest elements and supplying liquor to these outcasts with the purpose of bringing on pogroms. The partisans of the bourgeoisie, especially the higher officials, bank clerks, etc., are sabotaging and organising strikes in order to block the government's efforts to reconstruct the state on a socialistic basis. Sabotage has spread even to the food-supply organisations and millions of people are threatened with famine. Special measures must be taken to fight counter-revolution and sabotage. taking these factors into consideration the Soviet of the People's Commissars decrees. . . .

1. Persons belonging to the wealthy classes (i.e., with incomes of 500 rubles or more per month, and owners of urban real estate, stocks and shares, or money amounting to over 1,000 rubles), and also all employees of banks, joint-stock companies, state and public institutions, shall within three days present to their house committees written statements in three copies over their own signatures and indicating their address, income, place of employment and their occupation.

2. The house committees shall countersign these statements, retain one copy and send one copy to the municipality and another to the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs.

3. Persons guilty of contravening the present law (failing to submit statements, giving false information, etc.) and members of house committees infringing the regulations governing the collection, filing and presentation of these statements to the institutions mentioned above shall be liable to a fine of up to 5,000 rubles for each infringement, or to imprisonment up to one year, or shall be sent to the front, depending on the nature of the offence.

4. Persons sabotaging the work of, or declining to work in, banks, state and public institutions, joint-stock companies, railways, etc., shall be liable to similar punishment.

5. As a first step towards universal labour conscription, it is decreed that the persons referred to in § I shall be obliged, first, constantly to carry with them a copy of the above-mentioned statement certified by the house committees and by their chiefs or elected officials (factory committees, food committees, railway committees, employees' trade unions, etc.); the certificates must indicate what public service or work is being performed by the individual in question, or whether he is living with his family as a disabled member thereof, etc.

6. Secondly, such persons shall be obliged to acquire, within one week from the promulgation of the present law, worker-consumer books (specimen attached), in which their weekly income and expenditures shall be entered, together with the public duties performed by the individual in question, certified by the proper committees or institutions.

7. Persons who do not come under §l shall present to their house committees a statement in one copy of their income and place of employment and shall carry another copy of this statement certified by the house committee.

http://www.historyguide.org/europe/cheka.html
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TOURING THE ITALIAN FRONT - The Americans

On 6 April 1917 the United States of America entered the war as an ‘Associated Nation’ of the Allies. One infantry regiment, the 332nd, served in Italy, along with several supply and medical units. In addition, a number of American Red Cross (ARC) and YMCA personnel provided care and comforts to the Italian Army, and later to the 332nd Infantry, its support units and the US Military Mission. A very small number of American doctors served in Italy in the ranks of the British Army as unit (infantry battalion, artillery regiment) Medical Officers, but by late November 1917 most had been returned to France to join the American Expeditionary Force. At that time the USA was still not at war with Austria; that occurred in 7 December 1917. There were exceptions, for example Captain S Bayne-Jones US Army Medical Corps served with 11/Sherwood Foresters in France and Italy and was with the unit on the Montello and (briefly) the Asiago Plateau.

http://www.worldwar1.com/itafront/alliesitaly.htm
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USQUE AD MARE - A History of the Canadian Coast Guard and Marine Services
by Thomas E. Appleton

The Loss of the Simcoe

1917 was a tragic year. In April, 11,000 Canadian soldiers died on Vimy Ridge; in October and November, for a gain of two square miles of mud at Paschendaele, a further 16,000 comrades-in-arms were killed. On December 6, as a result of a collision between two ships in Halifax harbour, a cargo of ammunition exploded and 1,630 people lost their lives in the ensuring holocaust, thousands more being injured. Numb from the casualties on the western front, which affected families in all parts of the Dominion, and then reeling from the aftermath of the unexpected explosion at home, people barely noticed another tragedy, which in a poignant exit to that terrible year, was the worst disaster in the history of Marine and Fisheries.


CGS Simcoe

The Simcoe was lost with all hands in 1917 when on passage from the Upper Lakes to the Bay of Fundy to relieve the CGS Dollard.

On the day following the Halifax explosion, the radio operator at Grindstone in the Magdalen Islands picked up a hurried message from the lighthouse tender Simcoe:

SOS SINKING CONDITION SW MAGDALEN ISLANDS OR BY FEW MILES EXACT POSITION NOT OBTAINABLE SHOULD JUDGE ABOUT TEN MILES SOUTHWEST MAGDALEN ISLANDS NOW CLEARING AWAY BOATS HEAVY SEA RUNNING SOS

From the time of receipt of this message, 8:10 p.m. on Saturday December 7, 1917, nothing was heard from the vessel which foundered with the loss of all 44 souls on board. Records of this sinking, sparse in the immediate details of the event, which are still unknown, are illustrative of the period. The steamer Seal and a naval patrol vessel attempted to search, but both were many miles from the estimated position and could make no progress in mountainous seas. Alerted by the radio stations at Grindstone and Fame Point, local communities were unable to help as small craft could not put out against the gale and blinding snow. From Pictou, the Aranmore was sailed the following morning as soon as word got through but, no trace having been found by the 11th., the search was abandoned.

The Simcoe was a twin screw steamer, 180 feet in length and then only eight years old, which had safely crossed the Atlantic from Wallsend-on-Tyne where she had been built. Normally stationed at Parry Sound, the first Marine and Fisheries ship for permanent service in the Great Lakes, the Simcoe handled the lighthouse and buoy work above Montreal with the Lambton, which was also commissioned in 1909. In the season of 1917 the steamer Dollard was found to be underpowered for the exposed conditions of the Bay of Fundy work, and the Simcoe was transferred to the Saint John, N.B. agency and was on passage there when the accident happened. Under the command of Captain W. J. Dalton and with Mr. W. T. Pitt as chief engineer, both of whom had come from Saint John to take over the ship, the Simcoe worked her way down from the Lakes, operating from Quebec for a few weeks on the way, until she was free to lend a hand in the lower Gulf before proceeding to her new station. At the time of her loss she had left Sydney with coal and supplies for Bird Rocks, which were delivered, after which she had intended to pick up the Magdalen buoys. It is thought that she had buoys on board on the night of the 7th. Captain Dalton was an experienced shipmaster who had previously commanded the Lansdowne and the Aberdeen on similar work.

Looking back from the vantage point of half a century, it is interesting to follow to aftermath in the light of present day conditions. In 1917 the crews of government ships had no death benefits, no workmen compensation and no superannuation. In this case Parliament was asked to vote funds to cover the dependents of those who lost their lives and, by Treasury Board minute of July 6, 1918, compassionate allowances were authorized. These were in the from of lump sums, $2,000 for the master and officers, $1,500 for petty officers, and $1,000 for seamen and equivalents. As seamen were then earning rather less than $40 per month, with masters no more than $150, the payments represented between one and two years salary. Where children were involved the amounts were split and, in one case where it had been represented that the beneficiary was likely to have squandered the money to the detriment of other dependents, a trusteeship was established with local town councillors.

If this relief was modest by modern standards, it was reasonable enough in the prevailing conditions and downright generous compared to the meagre compensations allowed to merchant seamen who, in most cases, would have got nothing. It was, however, long in coming and ponderous in execution. In the seven months which elapsed before payment was made, distressed relatives and their representatives wrote dozens of pitiful letters to the Department. One mother wrote that she had lost three sons in the war and now one at sea.

In a comparable situation today, substantial death benefits would be paid within a week, workmen compensation for both widows and children would follow and would be payable for life in some cases and superannuation would be paid in proportion to the contributions made. Even in cases where unexpected legal formalities might delay or impede relief, arrangements are in force which would ensure immediate interim payments to those in need.

Three echoes later recalled the ill-fated ship. In January 1922 the Lady Laurier landed a lifebuoy from the Simcoe, which had been found on a beach at Sable Island and, in February, fishermen from the Magdalen Islands reported sighting the wreck when working in calm weather off Old Harry Point; this position was never confirmed. In October of the same year a bottle with a farewell message, ostensibly from the Simcoe, was recovered near Pictou. As the name of the sender, C. H. MacDonald "of Scotland", does not appear in the crew list of the ship, it can only be concluded that the message was a cruel hoax.

As for the Dollard, apart from a season at Parry Sound in 1918, she gave good service on the Bay of Fundy station until the vessel was sold in 1961.

http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/eng/CCG/USQUE_Simcoe
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Australia: The voluntary system

Curtin devoted a number of lengthy editorials to putting arguments against the adoption of conscription. He claimed that voluntarism had not failed. Instead, the Prime Minister, W.M. Hughes, had got his sums completely wrong. In 1916 Hughes had asserted that 16,500 extra volunteers per month was the minimum necessary to provide enough reinforcements for the front without introducing conscription. In 1917, he revised the figure to 7,000 per month, but Curtin claimed that the revised figure was similarly excessive.

In an editorial on 7 December 1917, he asked whether Hughes' word could be trusted, and argued that it could not be because:

W M Hughes has said time and again that voluntarism had failed. IT HAS NOT, AND THE OFFICIAL FIGURES PROVE IT. The total enlistments to November 3, 1917, were 383,929. The total casualties up to November 10, 1917, were 114,747. Of these casualties 74,865 were sick and wounded, and of these it is calculated that 80 per cent, or 59,882, return to the firing line. We will take it, however, that the whole 114,747 have been put out of action. Therefore, subtracting that number from the total of enlistments, we find that there are available 269,182 men. There are fighting in France and Flanders five divisions, or 100,000 men, and in Egypt and Palestine, say, another division, or a total of 120,000. Subtracting that total from the number available, we get 149,182 men ready as reinforcements. But Pearce says 60,000 of these men that should be available, are not available. Let us knock them off then. Assuming that reinforcements are needed at the rate of 7,000 a month, WE HAVE HERE A RESERVE, EVEN IF NOT ANOTHER RECRUIT ENLISTED, SUFFICIENT TO KEEP UP THE STRENGTH OF ALL THE DIVISIONS FOR THE NEXT YEAR.

http://john.curtin.edu.au/battles/west.html


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"Kate Richards O'Hare Takes Stand In Her Own Defense," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7 December 1917.

KATE RICHARDS O'HARE TAKES STAND IN HER OWN DEFENSE
St. Louis Socialist on Trial in North Dakota for Alleged Seditious Utterances.


BISMARCK, N.D., Dec 7.--Kate Richards O'Hare, St. Louis Socialist and author, yesterday took the stand in her own defense in the United States District Court here, where she is on trial charged with seditious utterances.

Mrs. O'Hare denied that she had at any time opposed war measures, liberty loans, Red Cross or Y.M.C.A. campaigns. She also refuted the testimony of witnesses for the State who declared that she had referred to President Wilson as "Old Patience who has come down off his pedestal."

She admitted having been in communication with German Socialists before the declaration of war with Germany, but said she had not communicated with them since. Mrs. O'Hare declared she believed in democracy, and while she could not admit that the present war was a war for democracy, she believed democracy would grow out of it.

http://womhist.alexanderstreet.com/kro/doc003b.htm
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International Socialism and the Native: no labour movement without the black proletariat

"The abolition of the Native Indenture, Passport and Compound Systems and
the lifting of the Native Workers to the Political and Industrial Status of
the White is an essential step towards the Emancipation of the Working-class
in South Africa."

From The International, 7 December 1917,
published by the revolutonary syndicalist
International Socialist League [ISL],
Johannesburg, South Africa


The Management Committee of the ISL has issued the following statement to
the Branches as a basis of discussion at the Annual Conference. The MC
recommends this statement of our attitude towards the native worker to be
embodied in the League platform for 1918 propaganda. Comrades are invited to
read it with a view to discussion, and amendment if they so desire, at the
Conference of the League, which will be held in January 6th next.

"The abolition of the Native Indenture, Passport and Compound Systems and
the lifting of the Native Workers to the Political and Industrial Status of
the White is an essential step towards the Emancipation of the Working-class
in South Africa."

Society is divided into two classes: the working class, doing all the
labour; and the idle class, living on the fruits of labour. Strictly
speaking therefore there is no 'Native Problem'. There is only a working
class problem.

But within the working class arises the problem of the native worker. In all
countries the influx of cheap labour is used as a whip wherewith to beat the
whole of the working class. In South Africa the cheap labourer, being black,
is doubly resented by the higher paid worker. And the employers foment this
colour prejudice through their newspapers, and are thus able to wield the
whip of cheap labour with double effect.
The suicidal prejudice of the white workers against the coloured workers is
the only native problem. This prejudice manufactures the scabs that beat
both black and white in the day when the solidarity of all the workers is
essential to victory.

We speak therefore to the workers, and above all to those workers who look
forward to the emancipation of labour from wage slavery. There can be no
appeal to any section of society. outside the working-class, as their
interests are opposed to labour, and their opinions therefore of no account
to us.

One section of the workers cannot benefit itself at the expense of the rest
without betraying the hope of the children. Those who receive favours from
the master class may lift themselves out of the propertyless proletariat:
but their children will inherit the fear of the abyss which their fathers
helped to create.
The power of labour lies in its ability to stop, or to control industry. All
the workers are needed for this.
Labour, not Colour, is the watchword of solidarity.

If all those who labour cannot share in the emancipation of Labour, none can
be emancipated. "Labour cannot emancipate itself in the White while in the
Black it is branded." (Marx)

So long as we refuse to admit the native worker into the ranks of Labour
solidarity, so long will cheap labour pull down the white worker to the
native standard of existence.

But so soon as we welcome the native worker into equality on the industrial
field, then is he forthwith lifted up towards the white standard of living.

White standards are not in danger from the ambition of the native to
improve. White standards are endangered by the attempts to keep him down.

White standards will not be saved in South Africa by the White Labour
Policy. White standards will only be saved by the Black workers organising
industrially.

The highest social culture is safest in the keeping of the lowest paid
labourers.

What makes native labour so cheap and exploitable in South Africa? Laws and
regulations which, on the pretense of protecting society from barbarism,
degrade the native workers to the level of serfs and herded cattle for the
express uses of capital. These are:

The Passport system.
The Compound System.
The Native Indenture system.
The special penal laws which make it a crime for a native to absent himself
from work.
The denial of civil liberty and political rights.

All those things which place the native workers on a lower social plane than
the white workers are weapons in the hands of the employing class to be used
against all the workers, white and black.

These tyrant laws must be swept away. For these degrading conditions of
native labour are the abyss into which masses of the white workers are
continually being hurled by Capitalist competition.

Sweep them away! What pious horror is aroused by this demand! Unspeakable
calamities will follow, we are told. But are they not the very cause of the
social calamities they are supposed to guard against? Indeed, they are
themselves the greatest of social calamities.

The cause of Labour demands the abolition of the Pass, the Compound, and the
Indenture: and as the native workers gain in industrial solidarity, demands
for them complete political equality with their white fellow workers.

Only thus can the whole of the working class, white and black, march
unitedly forward to their common emancipation from wage slavery.

http://www.anarchosyndicalism.net/archive/display/236/index.php
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Amputees below knees, 7 December 1918

http://exhibitions.archives.govt.nz/animpressivesilence/node/297
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Evening Post, Volume XCVI, Issue 138, 7 December 1918





http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=EP19181207.2.60
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Kroniek van Baarle in de Eerste Wereldoorlog (1918)

7 december 1918 - “De sigaren met een fles lekker bier staan gereed om U te ontvangen. Daarbij ‘t verken in de kuip. Rijstpap zullen we koken zoohaast ge thuis zijt. In Zondereigen ligt een peloton van tien man. Gust Remeysen is vandaag voor de tweede maal thuis.” (wed. Jos Versmissen uit Zondereigen aan haar zoon Fons, doorgestuurd naar Caen, daarna naar het krijgsgasthuis Villiers Le Sec, Calvados, Frankrijk)

http://www.amaliavansolms.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=191:09-kroniek-van-baarle-in-de-eerste-wereldoorlog-1918&catid=90:oorlog&Itemid=118
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John Mahony



A letter from John Mahony’s aunt, Mrs Dwyer of Wangaratta, Victoria, described him in these words:

We are all broken hearted, especially his mother, to think that on the eve of Peace, he was Called Away. But as it was God’s Holy Will, and he was such a good true boy, it is pleasing to remember him as never doing an injustice to anyone.
- Letter, J Dwyer, Wangaratta, to General Paul Pau, 7 December 1918, John Austin Mahony, personal dossier, http://naa12.naa.gov.au/

http://www.ww1westernfront.gov.au/montbrehain/calvaire-cemetery.html
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"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
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‘the War Illustrated’ 7th December, 1918



from a French magazine early in the war; an exaggerated view of German and Austrian territorial ambitions in Europe

http://www.greatwardifferent.com/Great_War/Kaiser_in_London/Germany_Wins_01.htm
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Grey River Argus , 7 December 1918





http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=GRA19181207.2.24
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Private William ‘Harry’ Malthouse

Shattered hopes

In Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, an old man tended the immaculately
kept garden beds. As he heard the faint music of an approaching military
band, he placed his shears down and stood up to get a better view. As the
band turned the corner of the city street, he could see it was leading ranks
of khaki-clad soldiers, marching tall, heads held high and faces that expressed
resolute determination. They were headed for Circular Quay and
the ships that would take them to war half-way round the world. His
thoughts turned to his own son who had just enlisted. That afternoon, as he
made his way home, he noted the recruiting sign he had passed every day
for months. Today he stopped. The words, Have you done your bit?
seemed to beckon him.

Helemaal lezen! http://www.anzacday.org.au/justsoldiers/malthouse.pdf
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Kroniek van Baarle in de Eerste Wereldoorlog (1919)

7 december 1919 - Zaterdagmorgen arriveerde in Tilburg een trein met Weense kinderen, waarvan 190 bij pleegouders worden ondergebracht. In de Fraterstraat no.3 is een magazijn ingericht waar levensmiddelen kunnen worden bezorgd. Er is ook een lijst met inzamelingsadressen elders in de stad. (Tilburgse Courant)

http://www.amaliavansolms.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=192:10-kroniek-van-baarle-in-de-eerste-wereldoorlog-1919&catid=90:oorlog
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Britain's Day, 1918: "Side by side - Britannia! Britain's Day Dec. 7th 1918"

This World War I-era poster was created by James Montgomery Flagg in 1918. It was printed by the American Lithographic Company of New York. This poster shows Uncle Sam arm-in-arm with Britannia, accompanied by a lion (U.K.) and an eagle (U.S.A.).

"Britain's Day" in America.

WASHINGTON, December 7.
"Britain's Day" throughout the United States was marked by demonstrations in New York and Washington. Both cities were smothered in flags, while fetes, dinners, and open-air concerts were held, as in many cities. Contingents of Canadian soldiers were invited to participate in the celebrations at many border towns, and addresses eulogising Britain's effort, both on land and sea, were delivered in scores of centres.

NEW YORK, December 7.
Mr. Frank H Simmonds, commenting on the celebration of "Britain's Day," says: "When the German fleet entered the Firth of Forth, making the most stupendous surrender in history, the world recognised in some part Britain's contribution to the German defeat. Since Carthage bowed to Rome, there has been nothing to compare with the spectacle. It was the freedom of the seas vindicated, when the German fleet, still in being, struck its flag."

Bekijk de poster! https://www.studenthandouts.com/Gallery/WH10/World-War-I/december-7-1918-side-by-side-britannia-uncle-sam-world-war-i-poster.htm
Zie ook http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002712329/
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December 7, 1915: School superintendent Denfeld suggests military training in schools

On this day in Duluth in 1915, the Duluth News Tribune reported that Duluth school superintendent Robert Denfeld said he supported the idea of high school pupils training for the military. At the time, America was debating whether to join the allied war effort in Europe during what would later be called World War I, and several communities across the U.S. had already either accepted or rejected the idea preparing its young men for war. In fact, Denfeld felt that one hour of military training per week could be used to satisfy mandated “gymnasium work.” He told the newspaper, “The weak-kneed pacifists who are opposing military training in the schools forget that a man can have fighting blood in his veins and yet not be hungry for conquest. Military training of school children would instill a discipline which is necessary in business if not in war and develop strength of body and mind with patriotism at heart.” Denfeld inferred that students were otherwise wasting their time anyway: “Students easily could spend an hour each week at the new armory and execute military drills,” he said. “Most pupils have more time than they can spend to the best advantage.” He also felt that military training would elevate the students in the eyes of their teachers, as “Military training in the Duluth schools would likewise command for the teachers’ respect of the pupils. Duluth school officials are confronted with the problem of handling pupils either democratically or autocratically. The pupils must be handled all one of these two ways or not at all. There is no middle ground.” We could not locate any follow-up stories about whether the program was instated.

http://zenithcity.com/thisday/december-7-1915-school-superintendent-denfeld-suggests-military-training-in-schools/
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December 7, 1915 – First World War shopkeepers getting in the Christmas spirit

Christmas bells – that’s the bells of the shopkeepers’ cash tills – are well and truly ringing in Market Harborough town centre, if the advertisements in the December 7, 1915, edition of the Advertiser are anything to go by.

There are ‘display’ adverts on every page with a huge cross section of goods to be bought from Christmas puds and cakes to oil lamps, stoves and electric pocket lamps.

And the adverts are all very tastefully designed with ‘ordinary’ selling messages in contrast to the approach taken in December 1914 when some traders resorted to the crassest of ‘military’ language to promote their wares.

One ad from Elliott & Son, the clothiers and outfitters at 2 Church Street, shouted: “War Sales News – The enemy in retreat. As a result of the terrible onslaught of our customers, in every part of our stock, we can see how the goods have retreated. Reinforcements of bargains are still being brought in, and so the struggle continues. Their low prices, however, make them easy captures.”

https://newspapersandthegreatwar.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/december-7-1915-first-world-war-shopkeepers-getting-in-the-christmas-spirit/
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December 1917: Royalty and World War I: Captain The Honorable Cecil Edwardes

Captain The Honorable Cecil Edwardes was born on May 31, 1876, the third of the four sons and the seventh of the nine children of William Edwardes, 4th Baron Kensington and his wife Grace Johnstone-Douglas. (...)

In 1916, the Royal Tank Corps was formed and the British first used tanks in September 1916 at the Battle of Flers–Courcelette during the Battle of the Somme. Cecil transferred to the Royal Tank Regiment in 1916 and served with H Battalion.

During the Battle of Cambrai in France (November 20 – December 7, 1917), the Royal Tank Corps saw much action. 476 tanks were used in the battle and 179 were lost, including the tank of Cecil Edwardes. Six tanks from H Battalion took the town Fontaine, four miles from Cambrai, getting into the village 30 minutes before infantry of the Seaforth Highlanders and Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from the 51st Division followed up and occupied it. However, Cecil was killed when his tank was knocked out during the initial advance.

Captain Joseph Hassell, who served with Cecil, related this story about his death: “Edwardes had a premonition of his death. He told us the day before the action of this – settled up all his affairs. He was immensely popular and eight officers went up the day after his death, got his body out of the tank and carried him back for burial. In the absence of a Padre, I conducted such a burial service as was practicable.”

The exact date of Cecil’s death is unknown and the place of his grave is unknown, so he is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing in Louverval, France.

http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/december-1917-royalty-and-world-war-i/
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V. I. Lenin - Note To F. E. Dzerzhinsky - With A Draft Of A Decree On Fighting Counter-Revolutionaries And Saboteurs - Written: 7 December, 1917

To Comrade Dzerzhinsky,

Further to your report today on measures for fighting saboteurs and counter-revolutionaries, would it not be possible to submit a decree like the following?

On Fighting Counter-Revolutionaries and Saboteurs

The bourgeoisie, the landowners and all the rich classes are making desperate efforts to undermine the revolution, the aim of which is to safeguard the interests of the workers, the working and exploited masses.

The bourgeoisie are prepared to commit the most heinous crimes; they are bribing the outcast and degraded elements of society and plying them with drink to use them in riots. The supporters of the bourgeoisie, particularly among the higher clerical staff, bank officials, and so on, are sabotaging their work, and are organising strikes to thwart the government's measures for the realisation of socialist reforms. They have even gone so far as to sabotage food distribution, thereby menacing millions of people with famine.

Urgent measures are necessary to fight the counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs. In virtue of this, the Council of People's Commissars decrees:

(1) Persons belonging to the wealthy classes (i.e., with incomes of 500 rubles or more per month, and owners of urban real estate, stocks and shares, or money amounting to over 1,000 rubles), and also all employees of banks, joint-stock companies, state and public institutions, shall within three days [2] present to their house committees written statements in three copies over their own signatures and indicating their address, income, place of employment and their occupation.

(2) The house committees shall countersign these statements, retain one copy and send one copy to the municipality and another to the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (address:. ...[3]).

(3) Persons guilty of contravening the present law (failing to submit statements, giving false information, etc.) and members of house committees infringing the regulations governing the collection, filing and presentation of these statements to the institutions mentioned above shall be liable to a fine of up to 5,000 rubles for each infringement, or to imprisonment up to one year, or shall be sent to the front, depending on the nature of the offence.

(4) Persons sabotaging the work of, or declining to work in, banks, state and public institutions, joint-stock companies, railways, etc., shall be liable to similar punishment.

(5) As a first step towards universal labour conscription, it is decreed that the persons referred to in § I shall be obliged, first, constantly to carry with them a copy of the above-mentioned statement certified by the house committees and by their chiefs or elected officials (factory committees, food committees, railway committees, employees' trade unions, etc.); the certificates must indicate what public service or work is being performed by the individual in question, or whether he is living with his family as a disabled member thereof, etc.

(6) Secondly, such persons shall be obliged to acquire, within one week from the promulgation of the present law, worker-consumer books (specimen attached), in which their weekly income and expenditures shall be entered, together with the public duties performed by the individual in question, certified by the proper committees or institutions.

(7) Persons who do not come under § l shall present to their house committees a statement in one copy of their income and place of employment and shall carry another copy of this statement certified by the house committee.

Footnotes

[1] Lenin raised the question of fighting the internal counter-revolution and sabotage before the Council of People’s Commissars on December 6 (19), 1917, in view of the fierce resistance to the measures of the Soviet Government and a possible strike by senior civil servants. Dzerzhinsky was asked to form a commission to inquire into ways of fighting the sabotage. On December 7 (20), the government heard his report, in connection with which Lenin appears to have written his draft decree. At the same sitting the government formed the All-Russia Extraordinary Commission (Cheka) to Combat Counter-Revolution and Sabotage. Dzerzinisky was appointed its chairman.
[2] In the manuscript Lenin wrote within 24 hours above the words “within three days”-Ed.
[3]In the manuscript Lenin left a space for the address.-ed.


https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/dec/07.htm
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