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2 december

 
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Emiel



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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Dec 2006 8:51    Onderwerp: 2 december Reageer met quote

1917 : Russia reaches armistice with the Central Powers
A day after Bolsheviks seize control of Russian military headquarters at Mogilev, a formal ceasefire is proclaimed throughout the battle zone between Russia and the Central Powers.

Immediately after their accession to power in Russia in November 1917, the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, had approached the Central Powers to arrange an armistice and withdraw from a war they saw as the major obstacle to their plan of providing food and land to the long-impoverished Russian peasant population. Leon Trotsky, in charge of foreign affairs, pressed Britain and France to open peace negotiations, threatening to make a separate armistice if his demands went unmet. After no response from the Allies, the Bolsheviks went ahead with their plan and made an appeal for peace that was welcomed by both Germany and Austria.

As a result of the ensuing negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, concluded in March 1918 after three months of debate and even renewed fighting in some areas, Russia would lose a million square miles of its territory, a third of its population, a majority of its coal, oil, and iron stores, and much of its industry. Lenin insisted that his Congress of Soviets accept the “shameful peace,” as he called it, “in order to save the world revolution” and “its only foothold – the Soviet Republic.”


www.history.com
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Dec 2006 9:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

beste emiel en zo konden de duitsers al hun troepen van het oosten naar het westen verplaatsen en er hun laatste offensief starten tegen de geallieerden met de bijna rampzalige gevolgen voor deze
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patrick vancoillie
laat ons de belgische gesneuvelde soldaten nooit vergeten wat er ook moge gebeuren...... diksmuide...merkem....nieuwpoort ..... de ijzer !!!
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 18:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The destruction of Chang Fort.

(...) Colonel Hayward’s 2nd Nigerian Regiment seized Muyuka on the 13th November. Major General C.M. Dobell, the Allied commander in the Cameroons, then ordered Colonel Gorges to clear the Northern Railway, and a force was assembled at Muyuka on 2nd December 1914.

Colonel Gorges was allocated a 12-pounder gun and two machine gun teams from the Royal Navy, the Nigerian artillery battery and a section of the Gold Coast Artillery, a Field Section Royal Engineers, the 1st and 2nd Nigeria Regiments, half of the Gold Coast Pioneer Company and various administrative detachments. Captain Butler was serving with the Gold Coast pioneers. (...)

http://www.kaiserscross.com/188001/264701.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 18:53    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Emperor Nicholas II- As I Knew Him - Diary in Russia 1914

2nd December 1914. - The Emperor told me of the death of poor Prince Nicolas Radziwill, who came across from England with me, and as we were walking on deck talking of old S. African days, prophesied to me his own death, and that the next great war would be between us and Russia. God forbid!

General Oba of Japan is a great favourite with us all, and told me that last night he had nightmare because I took him for such a long walk.

I spread the report that he had seen the Kaiser with his moustaches turned up, a yellow mouse sitting on one end and a pink mouse on the other. This amused him much, and he greets me in the morning with 'Bon jour, pas de souris jaunes hier soir, n'est ce pas ?"

All delighted with the news of Admiral Sturdee's victory.

The Emperor, discussing the talking of other languages but one's own, asked me if I was in India when a well-known Governor, having to speak on one occasion in French, referred to the term of service he had passed in the British Government as 'Quand j'e'tais dans le cabinet.'

I knew the Governor to whom he referred.

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/hanbury/1914.html
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Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 18:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kroniek van Baarle in de Eerste Wereldoorlog (1914)

2 december 1914 - “Onze kruideniers en bakkers kunnen door den oorlog geen eetwaren voor den plaatselijken verkoop uit België ontvangen en thans verzetten de ambtenaren van douanen te Baarle-Nassau zich tegen alle invoer van eetwaar vanuit Nederland. Het militair gezag in Baarle-Nassau echter neemt door de uitzonderlijke ligging van Baerle-Hertog genoegen met de invoer van eetwaren, op voorwaarde dat die zou geschieden onder toezicht van den Majoor te Baarle-Nassau en den burgemeester van Baerle-Hertog. De invoer zou berekend zijn naar gelang de bevolking waardoor alle fraude onmogelijk wordt. Onze kruideniers en bakkers onderwerpen zich aan de Nederlandse wetten. De bakkers van Baerle-Hertog, vijf in getal tegen vier van Baarle-Nassau, leveren minstens 2/3de van hun producten aan inwoners van Baarle-Nassau. Bij deze komen wij U zeer beleefd vragen bovengenoemde neringdoeners op gelijke voet te willen stellen met die van Baarle-Nassau om in de noodwendigheden van beide Baarles te kunnen voorzien.” (Gemeentearchief Baarle-Hertog; burgemeester van Gilse aan de Minister van Geldwezen in ‘s Gravenhage, 2.073.564 Register van Briefwisseling)

http://www.amaliavansolms.org/joomla15/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=187:05-kroniek-van-baarle-in-de-eerste-wereldoorlog-1914&catid=90:oorlog&Itemid=118
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 18:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Liebknecht against war credits



On 2 December 1914, the Reichstag approves the assumption of war credits for the second time since the outbreak of war in August. The social democrat Karl Liebknecht is the only representative to vote against the proposal. The day after that, the party’s executive committee censures his conduct. However, in the following months the number of war opponents in the SPD fraction increases, and other representatives join Liebknecht in voting against war credits.

http://www.bwbs.de/bwbs_biografie/Liebknecht_against_war_credits_B666.html

'If You Do Not Follow the Order You Will Be Shot' - New facts about the murder of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg

(...) At the beginning of the First World War he did not initially break with the discipline of the Social-Democratic Party, voting for war credits on August 4th, 1914. Liebknecht soon corrected his position and on 2nd December, 1914 he cast the sole vote against war credits. In a statement which was submitted to the Chairman of the Reichstag he characterised the war as one of annexation. This document was later circulated as an illegal leaflet. Even when drafted to the front, Liebknecht skilfully utilised his membership of the Prussian and Reichstag Chambers to continue the struggle. (...)

http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv5n1/luxembrg.htm
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Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lezing A. Reijngoudt over Belgische vluchtelingen in 1914 naar Nederland:

(...) Bij de bouw van het barakkenkamp werd te Harderwijk door de geïnterneerden meegeholpen. Dat gebeurde niet helemaal vrijwillig, schreef De Jaegher:

Zoo zag men den eenen na den anderen tusschen de tenten wegsluipen totdat er eindelijk niemand meer op het werk overschoot. Dit bracht ook somtijds een klein opstootje teweeg, maar het werd altijd in der minne geschikt en door belooften van te mogen uitgaan trachtten zijn ons weder aan den gang te krijgen. Ook ondervonden de hollandsche officieren rap dat ze met schoone woorden op ons het meeste wonnen en het was ook met groote beleefdheid dat zij ons altijd aanspraken.

[In Kamp Zeist ging het er anders aan toe. De stemming onder de geïnterneerden was daar door allerlei oorzaken erg negatief en opstandig. Op 2 december 1914 kwam het tot een uitbarsting. De kantine werd geplunderd en vandalisme vierde hoogtij. De Nederlandse bewaking werd uitgejouwd en uitgedaagd: Schiet maar, Kwattasoldaatjes.

Dat gebeurde de dag erop inderdaad. De Kwattasoldaatjes schoten na nieuwe provocaties met scherp, met als verschrikkelijk resultaat: acht doden en achttien gewonden.

Door deze traumatische ervaring was de stemming in Kamp Zeist waarschijnlijk voorgoed bedorven.] (...)

Helemaal lezen! http://www.ssew.nl/lezing-reijngoudt-over-belgische-vluchtelingen-1914-nederland
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:10    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

George Victor Wilde: Gallipoli Participant [1]



On 29 May 1915 Thorton Richard Wilde, the caretaker of the Cheltenham Hall, was writing to the Minister of Defence regarding malicious rumours circulating in the district about his son who had been serving with Australian forces at Gallipoli. [1] Mr Wilde asked the Minister if there was any way that the despicable individual who was creating mischief could be made to justify his statements. The rumour circulating was that George Victor Wilde, his sergeant stripes removed, had been sent home in disgrace to be imprisoned in the barracks at Queenscliff. [2] The truth, the father wrote, was that Sergeant Wilde had been slightly wounded at the Dardanelles. The reply from the Minister’s office was that it was regrettable that the Department could not suggest any means by which the person spreading the rumour could be dealt with except perhaps by recourse to civil action.

George Victor Wilde, born in Richmond, was a twenty-five year old single man employed as a motor mechanic when the First World War erupted in 1914. The assassination on 28 June of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was seen as the event that triggered the war but it was the invasion of Belgium and France by Germany on 4 August 1914 that saw the beginning of the military conflict. Within a fortnight of that date the 5th Battalion of the Australian Army was raised and it was on the 17 August 1914 that George Wilde enlisted at Ripponlea, making him a very early volunteer. He had some experience of military life having been a member of the 47th Infantry 3rd Division in the colonial forces holding the rank of sergeant. After a short training period at Broadmeadows he left with his fellow members of the Fifth Battalion, H Company, for Egypt on the HMAT Orvieto. They arrived in Egypt on 2 December 1914 and four months later took part in the ‘second wave’ landing at Gallipoli. Shortly after the landing, on 25 April 1915, he received a gunshot wound to the left shoulder and to the right of the back. [3] The wound was reported as not being life threatening but he was transferred at first to Mustapha and subsequently to the general hospital in Alexandria. A short time then followed in a convalescent home at Ras-al-tin, in Alexandria’s neighbourhood, before he was placed with Base Administration at Mudros on the island of Lemnos in August 1915. At the beginning of the next year he returned to his unit.

In August of 1916 he joined the Second Training Battalion in England. Then followed different assignments at military establishments in England. One was at Tidworth in south east Wiltshire on the eastern edge of Salisbury Plain. It was probably while there in the Overseas Training Brigade that he met Matilda Eleanor Key and married her on 2 June 1917 in Middlesex. At the time her address was given as 3 Cockerton, Warminster, Wiltshire. Ten months following his marriage George was back in France and fighting the Germans with his comrades in the 5th Battalion.

Returning to the question of rumour, it is not known what motivated the rumourmonger back in Cheltenham. Each rumour often has a ‘smidgin of truth’ which makes it more believable but the truth is wrapped in a lie or a series of lies. It was true that George wore the three stripes of a sergeant and they had been taken away but he had not been sent back to Melbourne. Why this demotion occurred is not recorded in his army records but on 22 December 1914 only twenty days after his arrival in Egypt he was classified as a private and transferred to a new company in the Fifth Battalion. On 15 January 1917 he was restored to the rank of sergeant (temporary) while a member of Headquarters AIF in England. At the time of his wedding in June 1917 his rank was given as sergeant but on 16 March 1918 he once more reverted to the rank of private. Again there is no comment in his record of why this occurred. A few weeks later he rejoined his unit in France where he fought to halt the German offensive at Hazebrouck. On the 14 June 1918 Private George Victor Wilde was dead.

The circumstances surrounding his death were reported by several members of the 5th Battalion. He was a member of a fatigue party carrying ammunition to the front line. It was about midnight when the Germans commenced shelling. A high velocity shell exploded near him, instantly killing him and a companion. One witness said a leg had been blown off and he was badly knocked about. Another soldier confirmed the damaged state of the body. The stretcher bearers removed the body the next day and he was buried in La Kreule British Military Cemetery between Hazebrouck and Borre. Several soldiers reported seeing the grave over which a cross had been erected showing his name, number and unit. [4]

His death was reported in the Moorabbin News, 14 September 1918. Later his name was included in the Roll of Honour placed in the church of St Matthew’s Cheltenham along with nine others who gave their lives, and forty nine others who served in the 1914-1918 conflict. His name is also recorded on the broken granite column in the memorial park behind the RSL building in Centre Dandenong Road, Cheltenham.

Footnotes
1. National Archives of Australia – Records Australian Military Forces.
2. Moorabbin News, 29 May 1915.
3. National Archives of Australia - Casualty Records.
4. Australian Red Cross Society Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau Files – 867 Private George Victor Wilde.


http://localhistory.kingston.vic.gov.au/htm/article/494.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:13    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

1916 in baseball

December 2 - 1916 - Under pressure from the Players League, the National Commission orders that injured players shall get full pay for the duration of their contracts. The injury clause previously let clubs suspend players after 15 days pay.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1916_in_baseball
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

In Pursuit of Pancho Villa 1916-1917



(...) An example of the service of one of the Georgia National Guard units deployed to the border is revealed in the reports of the 2nd Squadron Cavalry. The unit departed Camp Harris at Macon, Georgia on October 25, 1916 and arrived at Fort Bliss, Texas (Map 2) on November 1, 1916. At Fort Bliss, they underwent a month of mounted training until Then, the squadron left on December 1, 1916 for field duty at Fabens , Texas (Map 2) with three officers and 70 men, 79 horses, 2 transport wagons, and eight mules. The group marched 32 miles to Fabens finally reaching there at 1:40 p.m. on December 2, 1916. They performed border patrol with the 1st Kentucky Infantry and from December 16 on with the 2nd Kentucky Infantry. The squadron left Fort Bliss, Texas at 1a.m. on March 22, 1917 with three officers and 77 men, two wagons and full equipment. They arrived at home station, Atlanta, Georgia at 1p.m., March 27, 1917. The distance traveled was 1,700 miles. (...)

http://www.hsgng.org/pages/pancho.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:21    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Indian Soldiers in World Wars

Letters from the trench:The views of two wounded Indian soldiers in British hospitals extracted from Censor of Indian Mails:

"Government has made excellent arrangements for the sick and wounded. There is no trouble of any kind. We pass our days in joyful ease while government showers benefits upon us. We bless God continuously and pray for his bounty." (From a wounded soldier at York Place Hospital, 10 November 1915.)

"Alas we are not free to go about at will. In fact we Indians are treated like prisoners. On all sides there is barbed-wire and a sentry stands at each door. Leave London out of the question; we cannot even get to see New Milton properly. If I had known that such a state of affairs would exist, I would never have come. If you ask me the truth, I can say that I have never experienced such hardship in all my life. True, we are well fed, and are given plenty of clothing but the essential thing -- freedom - is denied. Convicts in India are sent to Andaman Islands; but we have found our convict station here in England." (From another soldier 2 December 1915).

http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelpsubject/history/history/asiansinbritain/indiansoldiersinworldwars/indiansoldiers.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:23    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Of all the bastards of places

You must not imagine that life in one of these year-long modern battles consists of continuous bomb fighting, bayoneting and bombarding all the time … [the] chief occupation is the digging of mile upon mile of endless sap [trench], of sunken road … The carrying of biscuit boxes and building timbers for hours daily … the sweeping and disinfecting of trenches in the never ending battle against flies – this is the soldier's life for nine days out of ten in a modern battle.
[Charles Bean, dispatch, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 2 December 1915, p.3058]

http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/2visiting/walk_07artillery.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:26    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The British Presence in Southern Patagonia - Death Announcements from "The Magellan Times" (1914-1918)

We regret to hear that Mr. Fred Wood, who was for some years administering the Sociedad Explotadora's farm at Rio Maclelland, has been killed in action, in Flanders. [2 December 1915]

We also have to announce the death of Mr. J. V. H. Marsters who fell in battle like a gallant man, fighting for his Country's freedom against an unscrupulous foe. [2 December 1915]

http://patbrit.org/bil/mt/obit-191x.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:28    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Albert Meyer

Albert Meyer was the penultimate spy executed at The Tower of London during World War One. At the time his arrest, Albert Meyer was 22 years old, described as 5 feet 7 inches tall.

He had worked in Hamburg, Seville and Pamplona before arriving in the UK during June 1914, started working as a cook at Cabins Ltd, Oxford Street, London. He then worked as a waiter in Blackpool, before returning to live in various lodging in London's Soho area. He tended to move around, as he kept making promises about paying his rent to his various landladies, but not usually paying it.

On 22 March 1915, Meyer asked for permission to travel to Copenhagen via Flushing and Germany, stating that he was Dutch, with Dutch parents born in Constantinople. Although his request was investigated, he was allowed to leave the country. He returned to the UK during May 1915, and moved into lodgings in the Soho area. On 20 May 1915, Albert Meyer married Catherine Rebecca Godleman at St. Pancras Registry Office.

The British Security Services intercepted another letter sent to a suspicious address in The Hague, Holland. When the letter was examined, it was found to have a message written in invisible ink. The message is shown below:

I hope that you have received my first letter. I have been to Chatham. The Royal Dockyard is closed entirely, but I got in in spite of all. There are a few cruisers there and a lot of guns as well as destroyers, for instance, Duncan, 2nd classs, 14000 tons, Lowestoft, 3rd class, Boadicea, Lance, Pembroke, Wilder and Actaeon etc.

The mouth of the Thames is guarded by steel like the Humber, but even more so. The ships pass at night and this is indicated from a watch boat through three vertically arranged red lanterns.

I have described to you the state of affairs here in London. A wounded Territorial told me in the course of a conversation that one German is worth twelve of Kitchener's men. There are many boys of 16 and 17 amongst them. They make enough effort and advertise in order to get soldiers. At every street corner, theatre and cinema, people are challenged to join [at this point in WWI, the UK did not have conscription].

The Government appeals to women and young girls to persuade their boyfriends and husbands. Ammunition is made everywhere. At Dartford a large metal factory has been turned into an ammunition factory and here every small metal workshop is making ammunition.

In order to get soldiers, the proprietors of shops have been asked to dismiss certain people and when the employees try to find positions somewhere else they are refused and they are asked, why do you not join the Army? People are forced in this country.

So far I have not been able to find out anything important, but it will come time time.

Yours truly,

(sgd.) Svend Person


Meyer also sent information which was completely incorrect and verged on utter rubbish, and not the sort of information that you would have expected to be supplied by a professional and dedicated German spy.

Late in August 1915, another suspicious letter was intercepted by the British Security Services. Although the letter was allowed to continue, the Security Services decided to act. Meyer and his wife were both arrested, although his wife was released as she was not involved in her husband's activities.

Albert Meyer was tried by courts-martial held at Middlesex Guildhall on 5-6 November 1915. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by shooting. Meyer's appeal was rejected. The Danish Embassy denied that Meyer was a Danish subject, and it appears that he was either German or Turkish.

At 7.45am on 2 December 1915, Albert Meyer was shot by a firing squad composed of soldiers from the 3rd Battalion Scots Guards. The following is an account of the execution:

It was fully expected, judging by his demeanour during the period he was waiting to be shot, that he would prove awkward, but nothing untoward happened until the morning of the execution. When the dread summons came in the cold dawn he was then in an hysterical state and when escorted from his cell suddenly burst into a wild effort to sing "Tipperary". His guard attempted to silence him, but all in vain.

He stopped on reaching the miniature rifle range where he was to be shot and cast a raving eye at the chair standing in the middle. Then he burst into a torrent of blasphemous cursing, reviling his Maker and calling down the vengeance of Heaven on those who had deserted him. Struggling fiercely with this stalwart guard, he was forcibly placed in the chair and strapped tightly in. Before the bullets of the firing party could reach him he had torn the bandage from his eyes, and died in a contorted mass, shouting curses at his captors, which were only stilled by the bullets.


http://www.stephen-stratford.co.uk/albert_meyer.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:30    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Pte.George Samuel Knight

309 Pte.George Samuel Knight, 1st Bn. Newfoundland Regiment. From St.John's, Newfoundland (where he was a member of the ‘Methodist Guards Brigade'), George was born in 1894 and ,like Hubert Ebsary, enlisted into the Newfoundland Regiment on September 7th 1914. After spending some time in the UK, he was also sent to Egypt as part of the 29th Division on August 20th 1915 before landing at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on September 20th. Killed in action at Suvla on December 2nd 1915, george is now buried in Azmak Cemetery, Suvla.

http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-people/remember-on-this-day/1573-dec-2010-dump-text.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:35    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Werner Voss



Eiserne Kreuz 1 - EK1 (Iron Cross, 1st Class), Awarded on or about: 2 December, 1916

Voss received the EKI for his first two aerial victories which occurred on 27 November, 1916.

Most Jasta pilots received the EK2 upon confirmation of the first aerial victory and would typically get the EKI around their fifth aerial victory. However, it was common practice to give the EK1 for a first aerial victory if the pilot had already earned the EK2, rather than have him wait until he achieved five victories. It probably had more to do with building confidence than anything else.

The EK1, was identical in every way to the EK2 except that it did not have the neck ribbon. Instead it was affixed to the uniform with a pin clasp . It was was worn on the left breast pocket.



http://blindkat.hegewisch.net/voss/gefreiter.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:40    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Evening Post, Volume XCII, Issue 133, 2 December 1916







http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=EP19161202.2.20.4
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Jack London's "Credo"

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.


Did Jack London actually write these words? No extant copy is available in his own handwriting or in any of his publications.

The source above comes from a book edited by Irving Shepard, Jack London's Tales of Adventure (New York: Doubleday, 1956), p. vii. Shepard was London's literary executor following Charmian London's death. He had grown up on the ranch, having been the only son of Jack's stepsister, Eliza London Shepard.

A more contemporary source appeared in a news article which may have been Shepard's source. Journalist Ernest J. Hopkins had visited the ranch just weeks before London's death, and reported the following in the San Francisco Bulletin, 2 December 1916:

"'I would rather be ashes than [sic] said Jack London not two months before his death, to a group of friends with whom he was discussing, as he loved to discuss, the eternal problems of life and living.

'I would rather be ashes than dust.' The words, with their strange double significance, are now recalled with emotion by those friends. When he made that striking summary of his personal philosophy, London was marvelously alive. He irradiated vigor. Every breath that he drew was to him a brilliant sensation. Every moment of his time was crammed with events. he was in love with life--an[d] with vitality--ablaze with the joy and the poignancy and the overwhelming interest of "The Game."

Let there be no misunderstanding of his phrase. Jack London did not mean to say that, after death, he would prefer the ashes of cremation to the dust of ordinary burial. Nothing was further from him than the thought that he himself was, as he put it, soon to 'go into the silence.' Of all the ardent group that heard him on that occasion, he was the most alive. Beside him all other men seemed colorless. But he was talking about life, not about death. He was giving his law of conduct, not his preference in funeral customs.

'I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than that it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to LIVE. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.'

'I would rather be ashes than dust.' In those words London perfectly expressed himself. Never content to do his thinking by halves, upon that instinct for supreme activity he constructed a philosophy that was consistent, if unusual. Absorbed in today, he could not envisage a hereafter. Enthusiastic over tangible facts and present sensations, he believed that ease was cowardice; that the stronger must over conquer the weaker; that intellectuality divorced from action was wasted an futile; that man and the animals were of one nature, man having no quality that was not rudimentarily present in horses and dogs; that after death the human being was 'just meat.' Amid these tangible ideas there was room for race-memories, but not for superstitions. There was room for violent work, intense play, fierce fighting, mad adventure, thoughtful planning, but not for pretty dreaming, not for dogma, not for detached theorization. His thought was essentially practical...."


http://london.sonoma.edu/credo.html
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Mexborough and Swinton Times, 2 December 1916

Mrs Hackett was asked by the “Times” representative what were her feelings upon learning that her husband had risen to such a height of heroism. “Well”, she said, “I knew he was no coward. I could never understand the doctors rejecting him on account of his heart. There wasn’t much wrong with that, was there? He was always after joining the Army, and I know he tried hard to get into the York and Lancaster Regiment. Only a few weeks before he enlisted, he got cut across the back by a fall of roof in the Manvers Main mine, and had a very narrow escape from death, so the deputy afterwards told me. The deputy wanted him to be taken home at once, but he refused saying he would work the shift out because his missus would be upset if she thought he had been hurt so badly that he had to give up work before the shift was up. That’s the sort of man he was. I can just imagine what he would think when he was down in the mine where he met his death. He would think when he heard that another poor fellow was fastened up in there: “What would my feelings be if I was lying helpless and nobody would stay with me. I must go to him, even if we both go under”.

http://www.tunnellersmemorial.com/WilliamHackettVC.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

2 December 1917 - 'Six o'clock swill' begins

Six p.m. closing of pubs was introduced as a 'temporary' wartime measure. It ushered in what became know as the 'six o'clock swill', as patrons aimed to get their fill before closing time. The practice lasted for the next 50 years.

Since the 1880s the campaign for the prohibition of alcohol had developed into a powerful mass movement. Supporters promoted sobriety as a ‘patriotic duty’ during wartime, and in 1915 and 1916 close to 160,000 New Zealanders signed petitions calling for six o'clock closing. The government agreed to restrict opening hours in order to increase efficiency in the wartime workforce. In 1918 six o'clock closing became permanent.

The liquor trade offered surprisingly little resistance. Its members felt that reduced hours of sale had ‘drawn some of the sting out of the wider Prohibition movement' and was preferable to a total ban. In a special referendum held in April 1919, and again at the general election in December 1919, national prohibition was only narrowly defeated. The cause continued to enjoy strong support at the polls throughout the 1920s.

Six o'clock closing became a part of the New Zealand way of life. In the short period between the end of the working day and closing time at the pub, large numbers of men crowded together to drink as much beer as they could before the so-called ‘supping-up’ time of 15 minutes was announced. While early closing was promoted as a way of ensuring that men got home to their families at a respectable hour, critics questioned the condition in which most men returned. Concerns about binge drinking in New Zealand culture have been attributed to the fact that six o'clock closing taught two generations of Kiwi men to drink as fast as possible.

The measure was decisively endorsed in a referendum in 1949. The first signs of a change in attitude began to appear in the 1960s when the expanding restaurant industry questioned laws that made it difficult to sell alcohol with meals. People socialising at the local sports club or RSA also sought a change to opening hours. As the number of tourists to New Zealand increased following the arrival of jet air travel, six o'clock closing was increasingly seen as an outdated concept.

In 1966 the Licensing Control Commission stated that a uniform law for hours of sale in all places was ‘neither equitable, enforceable, nor in the public interest’. A second national referendum in September 1967 saw nearly 64% of voters support the adoption of ten o'clock closing.

http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/timeline/02/12
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Harry G. E. Luchford



Captain Harry George Ernest Luchford MC (28 October 1894 - 2 December 1917) was an English World War I pilot credited with 24 victories. He was notable for scoring his first 11 victories in three months[1] while piloting an obsolete double-seated FE.2 pusher aircraft. (...)

Although born in India, Luchford was living in Bromley, Kent and working as a bank clerk when he enlisted in the military. He served successively in the Norfolk Regiment, the Army Service Corps, and the Indian Cavalry Division before his transition into the Royal Flying Corps in January 1916.

By May, Luchford had qualified to be a pilot with 20 Squadron. He scored his first win on 13 June 1917, with James Tennant as his observer. On 29 June, in a mid-day clash with Jasta 8, Luchford set an Albatros afire. He then scored steadily throughout July, totting up seven more wins over enemy fighter planes in the month. Luchford scored twice more in August, then changed mounts to the two-seated Bristol F.2 Fighter. Flying with a number of different observers such as Richard Hill, Victor White, and William Benger, Luchford was credited with 13 more triumphs between 9 September and 21 October 1917.

He was killed in action by Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp on 2 December 1917.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_G._E._Luchford
Afbeelding (en aanvullende tekst): http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/luchford.php
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

SM UB-81

SM UB-81 was a German Type UB III U-boat of the Kaiserliche Marine during World War I.

Her keel was laid down on 5 January 1917, by AG Weser, of Bremen-Vegesack and commissioned on 18 September 1917.[3].

On the night of 30 November/1 December 1917 she torpedoed and sank the 3,218 ton British steamer Molesey 12 miles west-south-west of the Brighton Light Vessel.[4]

She was mined on the night of 2 December 1917 to the south-east of the Isle of Wight. The crew of 34, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Reinhold Saltzwedel, managed to raise the forward torpedo tubes above the surface and 7 escaped before a collision occurred with a British patrol boat and she sank.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SM_UB-81
Zie ook http://pernsac.org.uk/Newsletter171.pdf
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Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 01 Dec 2010 19:56, in totaal 1 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Gillett, H.J., Pencil drawing, 2 December 1917


Royal Artillery crest

http://pw20c.mcmaster.ca/gillett-hj-pencil-drawing-2-december-1917
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 19:59    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

"For the Faith and Loyalty" - Three Hundred Years of the Russian Imperial Guards

(...) During the seditious years of the later part of his reign Nicholas II restored the original function of the life-guard troops - guarding of the sovereign. The unrest in a state and the insulting defeat in the Russo-Japanese war brought about a number of changes. These included the reform of the guard uniform: the guardsman in the full dress looked like the hero of the Patriotic war of 1812. New golden and silver lace were conferred on the eleven guard units. But the new uniform was fated to live for only a short period of time: in 1914 the Guards took it off forever.
Being thrown in the crucible of the World War I the Russian Imperial Guards was ruined even before the fall of the Russian Empire.

On 2 December, 1917 the last senior officer of the Life-guard Preobrazhensky regiment Alexander Kutepov gave an order to disband the first regiment of the Russian Imperial Guards. To follow this all the other regiments were also disbanded. Most of the officers moved to the Don River where the Voluntary Army was being formed. The Civil war was waiting for those who survived the World War I. (...)

http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/04/b2003/hm4_1_k.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 20:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant, 2 december 1918
Bron: Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Armenië

PARIJS, 1 December. (Reuter.) De nationale Armenische delegatie alhier heeft de onafhankelijkheid van het vereenigd Armenië uitgeroepen, Cilicia inbegrepen.

LONDEN, 30 November. (Reuter.) Van Armenische zijde verneemt Reuter, dat er uit Bagdad bericht is ontvangen, dat, volgens mededeelingen van vluchtelingen en ooggetuigen, die pas uit Turkije ontsnapt zijn, alle verbannen Armeniërs door de Turksche regeering ter dood zijn gebracht, in anticipatie op den wapenstilstand. Men zal zich herinneren, dat in het wapenstilstandsverdrag tusschen de geallieerden en Turkije bepaald was, dat alle Armenische ballingen te Konstantinopel bijeengebracht en aan de geallieerden overgegeven zouden worden. Er is tot nu toe geen spoor ontdekt van de Armenische notabelen, die gedeporteerd werden, toen Turkije den oorlog verklaarde.

http://www.agindepers.nl/kwestie/NRC-2-12-1918.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 20:05    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kroniek van Baarle in de Eerste Wereldoorlog (1918)

2 december 1918 - “Vanaf heden zijn in Tilburg alle publieke vermakelijkheden weer toegestaan, die in verband met de oorlogsomstandigheden verboden waren.” (Tilburgse Courant)

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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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 20:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

State of the Union Address: Woodrow Wilson (December 2, 1918)

GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS:

The year that has elapsed since I last stood before you to fulfil my constitutional duty to give to the Congress from time to time information on the state of the Union has been so crowded with great events, great processes, and great results that I cannot hope to give you an adequate picture of its transactions or of the far-reaching changes which have been wrought of our nation and of the world. You have yourselves witnessed these things, as I have. It is too soon to assess them; and we who stand in the midst of them and are part of them are less qualified than men of another generation will be to say what they mean, or even what they have been. But some great outstanding facts are unmistakable and constitute, in a sense, part of the public business with which it is our duty to deal. To state them is to set the stage for the legislative and executive action which must grow out of them and which we have yet to shape and determine.

A year ago we had sent 145,918 men overseas. Since then we have sent 1,950,513, an average of 162,542 each month, the number in fact rising, in May last, to 245,951, in June to 278,760, in July to 307,182, and continuing to reach similar figures in August and September, in August 289,570 and in September 257,438. No such movement of troops ever took place before, across three thousand miles of sea, followed by adequate equipment and supplies, and carried safely through extraordinary dangers of attack,-dangers which were alike strange and infinitely difficult to guard against. In all this movement only seven hundred and fifty-eight men were lost by enemy attack, six hundred and thirty of whom were upon a single English transport which was sunk near the Orkney Islands.

I need not tell you what lay back of this great movement of men and material. It is not invidious to say that back of it lay a supporting organization of the industries of the country and of all its productive activities more complete, more thorough in method and effective in result, more spirited and unanimous in purpose and effort than any other great belligerent had been able to effect. We profited greatly by the experience of the nations which had already been engaged for nearly three years in the exigent and exacting business, their every resource and every executive proficiency taxed to the utmost. We were their pupils. But we learned quickly and acted with a promptness and a readiness of cooperation that justify our great pride that we were able to serve the world with unparalleled energy and quick accomplishment.

But it is not the physical scale and executive efficiency of preparation, supply, equipment and despatch that I would dwell upon, but the mettle and quality of the officers and men we sent over and of the sailors who kept the seas, and the spirit of the nation that stood behind them. No soldiers or sailors ever proved themselves more quickly ready for the test of battle or acquitted themselves with more splendid courage and achievement when put to the test. Those of us who played some part in directing the great processes by which the war was pushed irresistibly forward to the final triumph may now forget all that and delight our thoughts with the story of what our men did. Their officers understood the grim and exacting task they had undertaken and performed it with an audacity, efficiency, and unhesitating courage that touch the story of convoy and battle with imperishable distinction at every turn, whether the enterprise were great or small, from their great chiefs, Pershing and Sims, down to the youngest lieutenant; and their men were worthy of them,-such men as hardly need to be commanded, and go to their terrible adventure blithely and with the quick intelligence of those who know just what it is they would accomplish. I am proud to be the fellow-countryman of men of such stuff and valor. Those of us who stayed at home did our duty; the war could not have been won or the gallant men who fought it given their opportunity to win it otherwise; but for many a long day we shall think ourselves "accurs'd we were not there, and hold our manhoods cheap while any speaks that fought" with these at St. Mihiel or Thierry. The memory of those days of triumphant battle will go with these fortunate men to their graves; and each will have his favorite memory. "Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, but hell remember with advantages what feats he did that day!"

What we all thank God for with deepest gratitude is that our men went in force into the line of battle just at the critical moment when the whole fate of the world seemed to hang in the balance and threw their fresh strength into the ranks of freedom in time to turn the whole tide and sweep of the fateful struggle,-turn it once for all, so that thenceforth it was back, back, back for their enemies, always back, never again forward! After that it was only a scant four months before the commanders of the Central Empires knew themselves beaten; and now their very empires are in liquidation!

And throughout it all how fine the spirit of the nation was: what unity of purpose, what untiring zeal! What elevation of purpose ran through all its splendid display of strength, its untiring accomplishment! I have said that those of us who stayed at home to do the work of organization and supply will always wish that we had been with the men whom we sustained by our labor; but we can never be ashamed. It has been an inspiring thing to be here in the midst of fine men who had turned aside from every private interest of their own and devoted the whole of their trained capacity to the tasks that supplied the sinews of the whole great undertaking! The patriotism, the unselfishness, the thoroughgoing devotion and distinguished capacity that marked their toilsome labors, day after day, month after month, have made them fit mates and comrades of the men in the trenches and on the sea. And not the men here in Washington only. They have but directed the vast achievement. Throughout innumerable factories, upon innumerable farms, in the depths of coal mines and iron mines and copper mines, wherever the stuffs of industry were to be obtained and prepared, in the shipyards, on the railways, at the docks, on the sea, in every labor that was needed to sustain the battle lines, men have vied with each other to do their part and do it well. They can look any man-at-arms in the face, and say, We also strove to win and gave the best that was in us to make our fleets and armies sure of their triumph!

And what shall we say of the women,-of their instant intelligence, quickening every task that they touched; their capacity for organization and cooperation, which gave their action discipline and enhanced the effectiveness of everything they attempted; their aptitude at tasks to which they had never before set their hands; their utter self-sacrifice alike in what they did and in what they gave? Their contribution to the great result is beyond appraisal. They have added a new lustre to the annals of American womanhood.

The least tribute we can pay them is to make them the equals of men in political rights as they have proved themselves their equals in every field of practical work they have entered, whether for themselves or for their country. These great days of completed achievement would be sadly marred were we to omit that act of justice. Besides the immense practical services they have rendered the women of the country have been the moving spirits in the systematic economies by which our people have voluntarily assisted to supply the suffering peoples of the world and the armies upon every front with food and everything else that we had that might serve the common cause. The details of such a story can never be fully written, but we carry them at our hearts and thank God that we can say that we are the kinsmen of such.

And now we are sure of the great triumph for which every sacrifice was made. It has come, come in its completeness, and with the pride and inspiration of these days of achievement quick within us, we turn to the tasks of peace again,-a peace secure against the violence of irresponsible monarchs and ambitious military coteries and made ready for a new order, for new foundations of justice and fair dealing.

We are about to give order and organization to this peace not only for ourselves but for the other peoples of the world as well, so far as they will suffer us to serve them. It is international justice that we seek, not domestic safety merely. Our thoughts have dwelt of late upon Europe, upon Asia, upon the near and the far East, very little upon the acts of peace and accommodation that wait to be performed at our own doors. While we are adjusting our relations with the rest of the world is it not of capital importance that we should clear away all grounds of misunderstanding with our immediate neighbors and give proof of the friendship we really feel? I hope that the members of the Senate will permit me to speak once more of the unratified treaty of friendship and adjustment with the Republic of Colombia. I very earnestly urge upon them an early and favorable action upon that vital matter. I believe that they will feel, with me, that the stage of affairs is now set for such action as will be not only just but generous and in the spirit of the new age upon which we have so happily entered.

So far as our domestic affairs are concerned the problem of our return to peace is a problem of economic and industrial readjustment. That problem is less serious for us than it may turn out too he for the nations which have suffered the disarrangements and the losses of war longer than we. Our people, moreover, do not wait to be coached and led. They know their own business, are quick and resourceful at every readjustment, definite in purpose, and self-reliant in action. Any leading strings we might seek to put them in would speedily become hopelessly tangled because they would pay no attention to them and go their own way. All that we can do as their legislative and executive servants is to mediate the process of change here, there, and elsewhere as we may. I have heard much counsel as to the plans that should be formed and personally conducted to a happy consummation, but from no quarter have I seen any general scheme of "reconstruction" emerge which I thought it likely we could force our spirited business men and self-reliant laborers to accept with due pliancy and obedience.

While the war lasted we set up many agencies by which to direct the industries of the country in the services it was necessary for them to render, by which to make sure of an abundant supply of the materials needed, by which to check undertakings that could for the time be dispensed with and stimulate those that were most serviceable in war, by which to gain for the purchasing departments of the Government a certain control over the prices of essential articles and materials, by which to restrain trade with alien enemies, make the most of the available shipping, and systematize financial transactions, both public and private, so that there would be no unnecessary conflict or confusion,-by which, in short, to put every material energy of the country in harness to draw the common load and make of us one team in the accomplishment of a great task. But the moment we knew the armistice to have been signed we took the harness off. Raw materials upon which the Government had kept its hand for fear there should not be enough for the industries that supplied the armies have been released and put into the general market again. Great industrial plants whose whole output and machinery had been taken over for the uses of the Government have been set free to return to the uses to which they were put before the war. It has not been possible to remove so readily or so quickly the control of foodstuffs and of shipping, because the world has still to be fed from our granaries and the ships are still needed to send supplies to our men overseas and to bring the men back as fast as the disturbed conditions on the other side of the water permit; but even there restraints are being relaxed as much as possible and more and more as the weeks go by.

Never before have there been agencies in existence in this country which knew so much of the field of supply, of labor, and of industry as the War Industries Board, the War Trade Board, the Labor Department, the Food Administration, and the Fuel Administration have known since their labors became thoroughly systematized; and they have not been isolated agencies; they have been directed by men who represented the permanent Departments of the Government and so have been the centres of unified and cooperative action. It has been the policy of the Executive, therefore, since the armistice was assured (which is in effect a complete submission of the enemy) to put the knowledge of these bodies at the disposal of the business men of the country and to offer their intelligent mediation at every point and in every matter where it was desired. It is surprising how fast the process of return to a peace footing has moved in the three weeks since the fighting stopped. It promises to outrun any inquiry that may be instituted and any aid that may be offered. It will not be easy to direct it any better than it will direct itself. The American business man is of quick initiative.

The ordinary and normal processes of private initiative will not, however, provide immediate employment for all of the men of our returning armies. Those who are of trained capacity, those who are skilled workmen, those who have acquired familiarity with established businesses, those who are ready and willing to go to the farms, all those whose aptitudes are known or will be sought out by employers will find no difficulty, it is safe to say, in finding place and employment. But there will be others who will be at a loss where to gain a livelihood unless pains are taken to guide them and put them in the way of work. There will be a large floating residuum of labor which should not be left wholly to shift for itself. It seems to me important, therefore, that the development of public works of every sort should be promptly resumed, in order that opportunities should be created for unskilled labor in particular, and that plans should be made for such developments of our unused lands and our natural resources as we have hitherto lacked stimulation to undertake.

I particularly direct your attention to the very practical plans which the Secretary of the Interior has developed in his annual report and before your Committees for the reclamation of arid, swamp, and cutover lands which might, if the States were willing and able to cooperate, redeem some three hundred million acres of land for cultivation. There are said to be fifteen or twenty million acres of land in the West, at present arid, for whose reclamation water is available, if properly conserved. There are about two hundred and thirty million acres from which the forests have been cut but which have never yet been cleared for the plow and which lie waste and desolate. These lie scattered all over the Union. And there are nearly eighty million acres of land that lie under swamps or subject to periodical overflow or too wet for anything but grazing, which it is perfectly feasible to drain and protect and redeem. The Congress can at once direct thousands of the returning soldiers to the reclamation of the arid lands which it has already undertaken, if it will but enlarge the plans and appropriations which it has entrusted to the Department of the Interior. It is possible in dealing with our unused land to effect a great rural and agricultural development which will afford the best sort of opportunity to men who want to help themselves and the Secretary of the Interior has thought the possible methods out in a way which is worthy of your most friendly attention.

I have spoken of the control which must yet for a while, perhaps for a long long while, be exercised over shipping because of the priority of service to which our forces overseas are entitled and which should also be accorded the shipments which are to save recently liberated peoples from starvation and many devastated regions from permanent ruin. May I not say a special word about the needs of Belgium and northern France? No sums of money paid by way of indemnity will serve of themselves to save them from hopeless disadvantage for years to come. Something more must be done than merely find the money. If they had money and raw materials in abundance to-morrow they could not resume their place in the industry of the world to-morrow,-the very important place they held before the flame of war swept across them. Many of their factories are razed to the ground. Much of their machinery is destroyed or has been taken away. Their people are scattered and many of their best workmen are dead. Their markets will be taken by others, if they are not in some special way assisted to rebuild their factories and replace their lost instruments of manufacture. They should not be left to the vicissitudes of the sharp competition for materials and for industrial facilities which is now to set in. I hope, therefore, that the Congress will not be unwilling, if it should become necessary, to grant to some such agency as the War Trade Board the right to establish priorities of export and supply for the benefit of these people whom we have been so happy to assist in saving from the German terror and whom we must not now thoughtlessly leave to shift for themselves in a pitiless competitive market.

For the steadying, and facilitation of our own domestic business readjustments nothing is more important than the immediate determination of the taxes that are to be levied for 1918, 1919, and 1920. As much of the burden of taxation must be lifted from business as sound methods of financing the Government will permit, and those who conduct the great essential industries of the country must be told as exactly as possible what obligations to the Government they will be expected to meet in the years immediately ahead of them. It will be of serious consequence to the country to delay removing all uncertainties in this matter a single day longer than the right processes of debate justify. It is idle to talk of successful and confident business reconstruction before those uncertainties are resolved.

If the war had continued it would have been necessary to raise at least eight billion dollars by taxation payable in the year 1919; but the war has ended and I agree with the Secretary of the Treasury that it will be safe to reduce the amount to six billions. An immediate rapid decline in the expenses of the Government is not to be looked for. Contracts made for war supplies will, indeed, be rapidly cancelled and liquidated, but their immediate liquidation will make heavy drains on the Treasury for the months just ahead of us. The maintenance of our forces on the other side of the sea is still necessary. A considerable proportion of those forces must remain in Europe during the period of occupation, and those which are brought home will be transported and demobilized at heavy expense for months to come. The interest on our war debt must of course be paid and provision made for the retirement of the obligations of the Government which represent it. But these demands will of course fall much below what a continuation of military operations would have entailed and six billions should suffice to supply a sound foundation for the financial operations of the year.

I entirely concur with the Secretary of the Treasury in recommending that the two billions needed in addition to the four billions provided by existing law be obtained from the profits which have accrued and shall accrue from war contracts and distinctively war business, but that these taxes be confined to the war profits accruing in 1918, or in 1919 from business originating in war contracts. I urge your acceptance of his recommendation that provision be made now, not subsequently, that the taxes to be paid in 1920 should be reduced from six to four billions. Any arrangements less definite than these would add elements of doubt and confusion to the critical period of industrial readjustment through which the country must now immediately pass, and which no true friend of the nation's essential business interests can afford to be responsible for creating or prolonging. Clearly determined conditions, clearly and simply charted, are indispensable to the economic revival and rapid industrial development which may confidently be expected if we act now and sweep all interrogation points away.

I take it for granted that the Congress will carry out the naval programme which was undertaken before we entered the war. The Secretary of the Navy has submitted to your Committees for authorization that part of the programme which covers the building plans of the next three years. These plans have been prepared along the lines and in accordance with the policy which the Congress established, not under the exceptional conditions of the war, but with the intention of adhering to a definite method of development for the navy. I earnestly recommend the uninterrupted pursuit of that policy. It would clearly be unwise for us to attempt to adjust our programmes to a future world policy as yet undetermined.

The question which causes me the greatest concern is the question of the policy to be adopted towards the railroads. I frankly turn to you for counsel upon it. I have no confident judgment of my own. I do not see how any thoughtful man can have who knows anything of the complexity of the problem. It is a problem which must be studied, studied immediately, and studied without bias or prejudice. Nothing can be gained by becoming partisans of any particular plan of settlement.

It was necessary that the administration of the railways should be taken over by the Government so long as the war lasted. It would have been impossible otherwise to establish and carry through under a single direction the necessary priorities of shipment. It would have been impossible otherwise to combine maximum production at the factories and mines and farms with the maximum possible car supply to take the products to the ports and markets; impossible to route troop shipments and freight shipments without regard to the advantage or-disadvantage of the roads employed; impossible to subordinate, when necessary, all questions of convenience to the public necessity; impossible to give the necessary financial support to the roads from the public treasury. But all these necessities have now been served, and the question is, What is best for the railroads and for the public in the future?

Exceptional circumstances and exceptional methods of administration were not needed to convince us that the railroads were not equal to the immense tasks of transportation imposed upon them by the rapid and continuous development of the industries of the country. We knew that already. And we knew that they were unequal to it partly because their full cooperation was rendered impossible by law and their competition made obligatory, so that it has been impossible to assign to them severally the traffic which could best be carried by their respective lines in the interest of expedition and national economy.

We may hope, I believe, for the formal conclusion of the war by treaty by the time Spring has come. The twenty-one months to which the present control of the railways is limited after formal proclamation of peace shall have been made will run at the farthest, I take it for granted, only to the January of 1921. The full equipment of the railways which the federal administration had planned could not be completed within any such period. The present law does not permit the use of the revenues of the several roads for the execution of such plans except by formal contract with their directors, some of whom will consent while some will not, and therefore does not afford sufficient authority to undertake improvements upon the scale upon which it would be necessary to undertake them. Every approach to this difficult subject-matter of decision brings us face to face, therefore, with this unanswered question: What is it right that we should do with the railroads, in the interest of the public and in fairness to their owners?

Let me say at once that I have no answer ready. The only thing that is perfectly clear to me is that it is not fair either to the public or to the owners of the railroads to leave the question unanswered and that it will presently become my duty to relinquish control of the roads, even before the expiration of the statutory period, unless there should appear some clear prospect in the meantime of a legislative solution. Their release would at least produce one element of a solution, namely certainty and a quick stimulation of private initiative.

I believe that it will be serviceable for me to set forth as explicitly as possible the alternative courses that lie open to our choice. We can simply release the roads and go back to the old conditions of private management, unrestricted competition, and multiform regulation by both state and federal authorities; or we can go to the opposite extreme and establish complete government control, accompanied, if necessary, by actual government ownership; or we can adopt an intermediate course of modified private control, under a more unified and affirmative public regulation and under such alterations of the law as will permit wasteful competition to be avoided and a considerable degree of unification of administration to be effected, as, for example, by regional corporations under which the railways of definable areas would be in effect combined in single systems.

The one conclusion that I am ready to state with confidence is that it would be a disservice alike to the country and to the owners of the railroads to return to the old conditions unmodified. Those are conditions of restraint without development. There is nothing affirmative or helpful about them. What the country chiefly needs is that all its means of transportation should be developed, its railways, its waterways, its highways, and its countryside roads. Some new element of policy, therefore, is absolutely necessary--necessary for the service of the public, necessary for the release of credit to those who are administering the railways, necessary for the protection of their security holders. The old policy may be changed much or little, but surely it cannot wisely be left as it was. I hope that the Con will have a complete and impartial study of the whole problem instituted at once and prosecuted as rapidly as possible. I stand ready and anxious to release the roads from the present control and I must do so at a very early date if by waiting until the statutory limit of time is reached I shall be merely prolonging the period of doubt and uncertainty which is hurtful to every interest concerned.

I welcome this occasion to announce to the Congress my purpose to join in Paris the representatives of the governments with which we have been associated in the war against the Central Empires for the purpose of discussing with them the main features of the treaty of peace. I realize the great inconveniences that will attend my leaving the country, particularly at this time, but the conclusion that it was my paramount duty to go has been forced upon me by considerations which I hope will seem as conclusive to you as they have seemed to me.

The Allied governments have accepted the bases of peace which I outlined to the Congress on the eighth of January last, as the Central Empires also have, and very reasonably desire my personal counsel in their interpretation and application, and it is highly desirable that I should give it in order that the sincere desire of our Government to contribute without selfish purpose of any kind to settlements that will be of common benefit to all the nations concerned may be made fully manifest. The peace settlements which are now to be agreed upon are of transcendent importance both to us and to the rest of the world, and I know of no business or interest which should take precedence of them. The gallant men of our armed forces on land and sea have consciously fought for the ideals which they knew to be the ideals of their country; I have sought to express those ideals; they have accepted my statements of them as the substance of their own thought and purpose, as the associated governments have accepted them; I owe it to them to see to it, so far as in me lies, that no false or mistaken interpretation is put upon them, and no possible effort omitted to realize them. It is now my duty to play my full part in making good what they offered their life's blood to obtain. I can think of no call to service which could transcend this.

I shall be in close touch with you and with affairs on this side the water, and you will know all that I do. At my request, the French and English governments have absolutely removed the censorship of cable news which until within a fortnight they had maintained and there is now no censorship whatever exercised at this end except upon attempted trade communications with enemy countries. It has been necessary to keep an open wire constantly available between Paris and the Department of State and another between France and the Department of War. In order that this might be done with the least possible interference with the other uses of the cables, I have temporarily taken over the control of both cables in order that they may be used as a single system. I did so at the advice of the most experienced cable officials, and I hope that the results will justify my hope that the news of the next few months may pass with the utmost freedom and with the least possible delay from each side of the sea to the other.

May I not hope, Gentlemen of the Congress, that in the delicate tasks I shall have to perform on the other side of the sea, in my efforts truly and faithfully to interpret the principles and purposes of the country we love, I may have the encouragement and the added strength of your united support? I realize the magnitude and difficulty of the duty I am undertaking; I am poignantly aware of its grave responsibilities. I am the servant of the nation. I can have no private thought or purpose of my own in performing such an errand. I go to give the best that is in me to the common settlements which I must now assist in arriving at in conference with the other working heads of the associated governments. I shall count upon your friendly countenance and encouragement. I shall not be inaccessible. The cables and the wireless will render me available for any counsel or service you may desire of me, and I shall be happy in the thought that I am constantly in touch with the weighty matters of domestic policy with which we shall have to deal. I shall make my absence as brief as possible and shall hope to return with the happy assurance that it has been possible to translate into action the great ideals for which America has striven.

http://www.infoplease.com/t/hist/state-of-the-union/130.html
_________________

"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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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 20:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

HMS Hood Fitting out.. Dec 2nd 1919



Finely detailed photo of the Hood during her final fitting out, with B turret still under construction. The two 15" guns can be clearly seen in position, and it is these two guns which fired for the last time as the wreck of HMS Hood sank beneath the sea after the colossal explosion which destroyed her. The theory is that the electrics shorted out as the ship sank, and the guns, which were loaded and ready to fire, did so automatically, but the guns were seen to fire in the ships final moments, and the sight made an enormous impression aboard the German ships Bismarck and Prinz Eugen. Comments were made to the effect that even in her final seconds the ship roared defiance at the king's enemies.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36758831@N04/4663803041/
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Dec 2010 20:28    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

2 December 1919 → Commons Sitting

1914–15 RECRUITS.


HC Deb 02 December 1919 vol 122 c190 190

Captain HACKING asked the Secretary of State for War whether men who enlisted in 1914 and 1915 are still serving in Mesopotamia and in India; and whether he will cable instructions for their immediate release?

Mr. CHURCHILL Instructions have already been cabled to Mesopotamia that men whose release is overdue are to be sent home by the first available ships. With regard to India, all 1914 men have been warned for embarkation en route for the United Kingdom, and the majority have embarked. All 1915 men have now proceeded to camps and should have embarked for the United Kingdom by third week of November.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1919/dec/02/1914-15-recruits
_________________

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