11th January 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY – Lona Cohen (later, Helen Kroger), in Adams, Massachusetts, American  communist who spied for the Soviet Union, later taking a New Zealand identity and spying against Britain.

FIRST BALKAN WAR: The Manchester (UK) Guardian, reports a recent  address to the Imperial Institute:  “Some Lessons of the War in the Balkans” by Mr. Spenser Wilkinson, Chichele Professor of Military History at Oxford:

QUOTE:  In the present war, for the Balkan Allies to have taken Constantinople would have been to strike Turkey such a blow that her recovery would have been doubtful. The Powers would have had to consider the future of Turkey in Asia and perhaps its partition, which would have been unwelcome, and there would also probably have been a change in the attitude of Russia. These were probably among the reasons which led the Allies to prefer a truce to an attack upon Turkey’s last position which would have had little meaning unless it had been carried to the Bosphorus. Other difficulties of the Allies were the attitude of Austria and the desire of Roumania to exert her influence. Russian national sentiment was deeply attached to the prosperity of Bulgaria and Servia. An Austrian attack upon Servia and probably a Romanian attack upon Bulgaria would make it almost impossible for any Russian Government not to take action in defence of the Balkan States. In that case Germany would feel called upon to come to the assistance of Austria, and France could not refuse to co-operate with her Russian ally.

The problem of British statesmanship was whether in that eventuality, Great Britain could remain neutral consistently with her own self-respect and the position she had hitherto held as a European Power. For that reason it was desirable that all Englishmen should make up their minds while there was time as to their country’s duty in Europe and concerning the necessity of national organisation for war. UNQUOTE. [Manchester Guardian, 11 January 1913].

Transportation: The Paris public transport system moves from horse drawn to electric street-cars, and the last horse drawn car is withdrawn.

High Society: Archduchess Mechthildis of Austria marries Prince Olgierd Czartorysky of Poland. They will settle in Poland and emigrate to Brazil at the outbreak of World War 2.

Changing places: In Iran, Mirza Mohammad Ali Khan becomes the country’s 15th prime minister since the Iranian constitutional revolution in 1906.

Extreme weather: Nottingham in the UK is hit by a “Great Blizzard” that disrupts trade, transport and sporting events.

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