Friday, December 9, 2016

History: The Year is 1914

I've uploaded year 1914 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The War to End All Wars is Here -- A few words to give context to the start of World War 1.

Death to All Tyrants... or Maybe Just Death -- A Serbian assassinates Archduke Ferdinand.

Better Off Losing -- With almost a million dead, the French might have done better losing this round.

Notable Births -- Yuri Andropov, Joe DiMaggio and Alec Guinness.

In Other News -- Babe Ruth, the last Passenger pigeon and Goddard patents his multistage rocket.

The War to End All Wars is Here

Just a few words before we begin. This generation has been running at a furious pace believing that success is within their grasp. They're good enough; They're smart enough; and Doggone it... they don't give a CRAP what you think! [1] The safeties are off. All the governors have been released. Then it happens. For years world leaders have been dropping like flies to assassin's bullets, but something has changed. Mutual defense treaties (some of them secret) have been signed recently. Otto Von Bismark's cradle-to-grave social programs and his building power base frightens everyone. Serbia has been harboring separatists who are spoiling for a fight with Austria-Hungary. HOWEVER, the coming war is not the fault of a single leader or terrorist group. At any point the public could call a halt to the coming war, but they are no more willing to back down than their leadership. They call it "The Great War" or "The War to End All Wars". Millions are going to die. It's going to happen, and it will be more horrible than you can imagine. I mean that. [2] [3] [4]
Here we go.

Death to All Tyrants... or Maybe Just Death

The Great War will begin with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo by a disgruntled Serbian. Is the Archduke a tyrant? He's not a lot of laughs, but seriously, no. Not really. Is the assassin an anarchist? Maybe. In any case, he is one of six assassins planted along a prearranged and advertised motorcade route. One of the assassins throws a bomb, but it bounces off the car and injures others. On their return, the Archduke and Duchess want to visit the injured people at the hospital, but their driver never gets the memo. He follows the original route. One of the assassins is still in position, but he figures the operation is blown. Then the Archduke shows up, five feet away! The assassin steps up and fires twice. The Duchess is hit. The Archduke takes one in the neck. His last words are, "Sophie, Sophie! Don't die! Live for our children!" But Duchess Sophie is dead. The Archduke will be following soon. The assassin is 19 years old... too young for capital punishment. He takes a cyanide capsule, but it doesn't work. He tries to shoot himself, but witnesses wrestle the gun away. He will spend the rest of his life in prison... which will be another 4 years. He will die of tuberculosis. [5] [6] [7] [8]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
A metal plaque marks the spot today. The assassin, Gavrilo Princip (gahv-ree-low prin-sip), is considered a hero by the Serbians. They are considering restoring the home of his birth. [9]

Better Off Losing

Archduke Ferdinand is dead and a Serbian did it. It's war. Austria-Hungry is allied with Germany, and they know that if Serbia is hit, Russia and France will jump in to save them. France's Plan 17 calls for fast, deep strikes into Germany, so, logically speaking, the Germans must hit France first before the Russians bite the Germans in the... uh... rear. It will do no good to roll into Paris victorious if the Russians are burning Berlin behind them. To outflank the French forces, the Germans march through Belgium which has a mutual defense treaty with Great Britain. (Oh... Oh...) England makes vague noises, but as the German forces reach the Belgian border, the British unleash. The Germans are riding the tiger now. (That is, once you get on the tiger, there is no getting off until he is dead... or you are.) Certainly, the Belgians know they are dead already, so they open up with everything they've got. Bodies pile up like cord wood, but the Germans keep coming. The Belgians and the French are trying to buy time so that the Russians can save them. Indeed, the Russians are mobilizing more quickly than anyone expected... almost as if they were fully mobilized already... because they were. But the Russian forces are mauled by Hindenburg. 250,000 Russians are dead or captured. This isn't working out like it was supposed to, but if one side or the other could get one solid hit in... well... that's not going to happen. France wins this round, but by the end of the year 955,000 Frenchmen will be dead, and that is just for starters. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I highly recommend Dan's Carlin's 6-part series entitled "Blueprint for Armageddon". It is worth the time, and as of this writing, it is free. One other point...the war seemed romantic and exciting to these farm boys, but it became less so from this point on. [15]

Notable Births

  • Yuri Andropov (Chairman of the KGB and General Secretary of the Soviet Union's Central Committee.) [16]
  • Joe DiMaggio (Center-fielder for the Yankees and best known for his 56-game hitting streak.) [17]
  • Alec Guinness (Actor best known as Obi-wan Kenobi from the Star Wars movies.) [18]

In Other News

  • Babe Ruth makes his Major League debut. He pitches a winning game for the Red Sox. He also meets his first wife. [19]
  • The last Passenger pigeon dies. They once filled the skies. You shot in their general direction and you were bound to hit several. [20]
  • Goddard patents his multistage rocket. He also patents liquid rocket fuel. [21]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1914, Wikipedia.

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