Thursday, December 15, 2016

History: The Year is 1916

I've uploaded year 1916 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Rasputin Is Dead! Wait. He's Alive! -- The Russian mystic gets one to the head. It's all going to hit the fan now.

The Slaughter of the Innocents -- The Battle of the Verdun and the Somme will kill millions rather efficiently. (shudder!)

4 Reasons Why the USA Will Enter the War Next Year -- Essentially, promises made that could not be kept... and a telegram that went where it wasn't supposed to go.

Notable Births -- Roald Dahl, Betty Grable, and Kirk Douglas.

In Other News -- Bayano oil swindle begins, Margaret Sanger opens the 1st birth control clinic, and the Rose Bowl Games begin.

Rasputin Is Dead! Wait. He's Alive!

Let's make sure he is dead. BANG! He falls to the floor, but it's not enough. The poison didn't kill him. The bullet to the chest didn't work, so a final bullet to the forehead puts him down for sure. Right? Just in case, they tie him up and dump him in the river. His body is found days later. The autopsy concludes that he did NOT die of drowning. (I guess the bullet to the head did it.) Was he a zombie? No. He was a peasant mystic. He frightened most people, but Empress Alexandra of Russia believed that Rasputin was the only man who could keep her son alive. In fact, he had saved the boy's life a number of times, but his very public sexual shenanigans and obvious influence over the royal couple have turned the people against Emperor Nicolas and his German wife, Empress Alexandra. Russia is in a life-and-death struggle with Germany, so designating Alexandra as regent while the Emperor is away on a military inspection has people wondering about German collusion, sorcery, sexual promiscuity, and whether the heir to the throne is really Rasputin's son. (Probably not.) But Rasputin's death comes too late. The damage is done. The 20th century is about to hit a major speed bump with the Russian Revolution. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
If you saw a picture of Rasputin, you might believe that he was one of the undead... or played lead guitar for ZZ Top. He seemed to perform miracles, but these so-called miracles had logical explanations, such as his advice, "not to let the doctors bother the boy overmuch". In those days, doctors were less helpful than one might have hoped, though they were doing better than their predecessors. Whatever Rasputin was doing, he kept the heir to the throne alive while the doctors were failing. Once Rasputin died, the heir followed soon thereafter. As a couple, Nicolas and Alexandra seemed nice enough, but as leaders they had failed their people utterly. As a result, millions died in the Great War, and even more millions died with the creation of the Soviet Union. [6] [7]

The Slaughter of the Innocents

Just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any worse... it gets worse. The Battle of Verdun is a change in tactics. The gloves are off! (What the "F" did they think they were doing before this?) The normal tactic is for the guns to "soften up" the invasion route (thus advertising the invasion route) and then stop to allow the invasion to proceed. Of course, everyone knows this, so the other side immediately moves forward to block them. This time is different. The Germans wait for the Allied troops to move forward, and then blast the area again. Trees and pieces of bodies launch into the air. As with most battles of World War 1, the Generals fail to take advantage of breakthroughs, and it turns into a battle of attrition. With almost a million dead, the Generals do what is natural. They try it again 6 months later. The Somme (SUM) offensive is an attempt to break the stalemate on the Western Front. (It always is.) It will be the bloodiest battle of the 20th century. Almost 20,000 British soldiers are killed the first day. In 6 weeks a million men lay dead... at least they look like men... pieces of men anyway. [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Forgive me. It's awful. I know, but if you can believe it, I'm leaving out the really bad parts. I recommend reading the book by Peter Hart, "The Somme" which contains first-hand accounts from survivors, or at least they survived long enough to write a letter or two back home before they were killed. They read like good-bye letters because that is what they are. They knew they were dead men. They were even taught how to kill their fellow soldiers should they be wounded. "No sense in lingering," goes the logic. Very few men could kill their buddies even while they begged for relief from their suffering. [11]

4 Reasons Why the USA Will Enter the War Next Year

  • March 24th: President Wilson demands that Germany never sink vessels with Americans on board. This looks like a pretext to force the USA into the war, but historians are not sure of Wilson's intent. [12]
  • July 22nd: The San Francisco Preparedness Parade in support of joining the war is bombed, killing 10 and injuring 40. [13]
  • July 30th: The armory on "Black Tom" Island is blown up by German agents. The explosion damages the Statue of Liberty. Tourists are now blocked from entering the torch. Also FDR will round up the Japanese during World War 2, saying, "We don't want any more Black Toms." [14] [15]
  • January of Next Year: This sounds like a joke, but the Germans plan to invade Texas. Even though they promised not to sink shipping with Americans on-board they might have to do it anyway, so they telegram Ambassador Zimmermann in Mexico with instructions. He is to ask Mexico to threaten the US-Mexico border to keep President Wilson distracted. In exchange, Germany will help Mexico take back Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Fortunately, Mexico will tell Germany to stuff it, but the British have the line tapped. The Zimmermann Telegram will be passed to Wilson who will publish it and the reaction of US citizens will be explosive. [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
According to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, if Germany had held off the U-boat attacks for a couple of months, The USA would not have come into the war. Russia was about to crash in a revolution. That changed the whole dynamic. But the Germans didn't wait, probably couldn't wait any longer, so we'll never know. [17]

Notable Births

  • Roald Dahl (Author of "Matilda," and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.") [18]
  • Betty Grable (The #1 pin-up girl of World War 2. Her legs will be insured for 1 million dollars.) [19]
  • Kirk Douglas (Actor who recently celebrated his 100th birthday! He is also the father of actor Michael Douglas.) [20]

In Other News

  • Leo Koretz (korits) begins his Bayano oil swindle. Investors will beg him to take their money. [21] [22]
  • Margaret Sanger opens the 1st birth control clinic in the USA. It will become Planned Parenthood. [23]
  • The Rose Bowl Games begin. The 1st game was in 1902, but from this year forward a Rose Bowl football game will be played every year. [24]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1916, Wikipedia.

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