23rd August 1915 (Monday)

Empire and global finance

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, publishes his thoughts on the Social Democratic idea of a “United States of Europe”, focussing in particular on the challenge of economic union in the context of political differences:

” Capital has become international and monopolist. The world has been carved up by a handful of Great Powers, i.e., powers successful in the great plunder and oppression of nations. The four Great Powers of Europe—Britain, France, Russia and Germany, with an aggregate population of between 250,000,000 and 300,000,000, and an area of about 7,000,000 square kilometres—possess colonies with a population of almost 500 million (494,500,000) and an area of 64,600,000 square kilometres, i.e., almost half the surface of the globe (133,000,000 square kilometres, exclusive of Arctic and Antarctic regions). Add to this the three Asian states—China, Turkey and Persia, now being rent piecemeal by thugs that are waging a war of “liberation”, namely, Japan, Russia, Britain and France. Those three Asian states, which may be called semi-colonies (in reality they are now 90 per cent colonies), have a total population of 360,000,000 and an area of 14,500,000 square kilometres (almost one and a half times the area of all Europe).

Furthermore, Britain, France and Germany have invested capital abroad to the value of no less than 70,000 million rubles. The business of securing “legitimate” profits from this tidy sum—these exceed 3,000 million rubles annually—committees of the millionaires, known as governments, which are equipped with armies and navies and which provide the sons and brothers of the millionaires with jobs in the colonies and semi-colonies as viceroys, consuls, ambassadors, officials of all kinds, clergymen, and other leeches.

That is how the plunder of about a thousand million of the earth’s population by a handful of Great Powers is organised in the epoch of the highest development of capitalism. No other organisation is possible under capitalism. Renounce colonies, “spheres of influence”, and the export of capital? To think that it is possible means coming down to the level of some snivelling parson who every Sunday preaches to the rich on the lofty principles of Christianity and advises them to give the poor, well, if not millions, at least several hundred rubles yearly.

“A United States of Europe under capitalism is tantamount to an agreement on the partition of colonies.”

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1915/aug/23.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29th July 1915 (Thursday)

DIED TODAY: Major-General Henry Newport Charles Heath, son of Major-General Alfred Heath, (Royal Artillery): Heath Jr was born in 1860 and attended Clifton College and Sandhurst Royal Military College before fighting in the Anglo-Egyptian War (1882); taking part in the Anglo-Egyptian expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum (1884-85); fighting in the Second Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902); and leading a command in the first world war before falling ill and dying today, aged 54.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Heath_(British_Army_officer)

 

 

26th July 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Nidubrolu in Andhra Pradesh, British India – Pragada Kotaiah, freedom fighter and parliamentarian.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragada_Kotaiah

War!

Socialism in Italy: a “rising star” of the Italian socialist party, one Benito Mussolini, expresses the view that “Italian workers should give ‘not a penny’ to the cause of war, nor spill ‘one drop of blood’ for a cause that had ‘nothing to do with it’. If the government failed to declare neutrality, the proletatriat would force it to do so”. [Mark Thompson: “The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915-1919”].

Fire in Constantinople:  A great fire in Istanbul, later attributed to Russian areoplane bombing, destroys over 3000 buildings.

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=WC19150825.2.49.3

Submarines in the Dardanelles: the French submarine “Mariotte” is sunk by the Ottoman Navy, and its crew taken as prisoners of war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shipwrecks_in_July_1915

Discipline on the Western Front: in the largest single judicial execution by the British during the war, 5 members of the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment are executed on the ramparts of Ypres.

http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/wr.php?main=inc/shot_at_dawn

20th June 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Hamburg – SM UC-6, a German  minelayer submarine.  In just over two years she will sink over 50 ships before herself being destroyed in September 1917.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SM_UC-6

War!

Eastern Front: At the Battle of Lemberg, German & Austro-Hungarian forces lauch an attack to re-take the city and the Austrian fortress lost to the Russians in 1914 (later Lwów in Poland, now Lviv in Ukraine).

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_lemberg1915.html

Across Empires: in St John’s on the Island of St. Pierre et Miquelon ( a vestige of the colony of New France off the Atlantic coast of Canada) 242 Canadian recruits of “F” company embark on HM Troopship Calgarian, bound for Liverpool and the war in Europe, including Inuit and Métis volunteers from Labrador.

http://www.heritage.nf.ca/first-world-war/articles/aboriginals-first-world-war.php

13th June 1915 (Sunday)

The 19th century is slowly passing away

DIED TODAY

~ RIP Viscount Nabeshima Naoyoshi, 13th and final daimyo of the Kashima Domain, in Hizen Province in the north west corner of the island of Kyushu, in south west Japan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabeshima_Naoyoshi

~ RIP Danish explorer Anders Christian Barclay Raunkiær, traveller to Riyadh and through eastern Arabia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barclay_Raunki%C3%A6r

~ RIP Amédée William Merlaud-Ponty, Governor General of French West Africa.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Merlaud-Ponty

4th June, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Bamako, capital of the colony of French Sudan (now Mali) – Modibo Keïta, the first President of independent Mali, 1960-1968.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modibo_Ke%C3%AFta

War!

Gallipoli: At the Third Battle of Krithia, the Allies once again fail to make any significant advance against the Turkish defenders.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Battle_of_Krithia

http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/krithia3.htm

On the Western Front: Private Oliver W. Hodgetts (8662) 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, having recently been found guilty of cowardice, is shot by firing squad at dawn. Private Hodgetts is 20 years old.

http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/wr.php?main=inc/shot_at_dawn

On the (English) Home Front: in Kent, the Dover Express reports how the local golf club is enjoying great popularity with Military Officers, who are however having to “make do” with girl caddies because so many young men are away fighting the war.

http://catalogue.stmargaretshistory.org.uk/items/show/2064

22nd April, 1915 (Thursday)

War – from above, from beneath, and from within…

 

BORN TODAY: in Brno, in Austria-Hungary (now part of the Czech Republic ) – Vilem Goth, Czechoslovakian exile who joined the RAF 310 squadron at Duxford, England, and died in action over Kent fighting for the Allies in 1940 .

http://www.bbm.org.uk/Goth.htm

The Western Front: At the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans secure an initial advantage by releasing poison gas onto a favorable wind, which totally surprises French colonial troops – Algerian and Zouaves, with many collapsing and dying while trying to flee. [Burg & Purcell].

War at Sea: In Washington DC, the German Imperial Embassy issues the following public notice addressed to US citizens:

NOTICE!

Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travellers sailing in the war zone on the ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.

http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania/final-crossing/

26th March, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Brooklyn, NY – Joseph Edward Filipelli, better known as “Flip Phillips” American jazz tenor saxophone and clarinet player.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip_Phillips

War!

On the “North West Frontier” of the British Raj, the Indian army is defending Miranshah, on the Tochi River in North Waziristan (now part of Pakistan), from a large force of “insurgents” (Lashkars, from Southern Afghanistan).

http://www.kaiserscross.com/304501/455322.html

 

16th March 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In the US of A – the Federal Trade Commission, “Protecting America’s Consumers”. Happy Centenary, FTC!

https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/our-history

War!

Irish British: The 1st Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers departs from Avonmouth in the west of England, bound for the Dardanelles and Gallipoli.

http://www.irishfamilyroots.com/royalmunsterfusiliers.html

Society and culture:

~ In England’s west country the Exeter and Plymouth gazette runs a short piece advertising the attractions of the “City Palace” (cinema):

“The City Palace, Exeter, has again a splendid selection of pictures for the first half of this week. The star film, “The Swan Song,” is a thrilling drama in two acts, the battle scene connected with it being of a most realistic character. Pathe’s Animated Gazette” again delights everyone. It depicts the Canadians second draft at drill, and the inspection of the Australians in England, showing what physically fit men our Colonies are loyally sending to the defence of the Motherland. The “Gazette” also gives an illustration of the Australians in Egypt in training by the Pyramids. “The Rescue” and ‘”The Love of Pierre Lacrosse” are both very fine dramas. The comic side of the programme provided for by “A Coat’s Tale” and “She Married for Love,” each of which is enough by itself to keep one merry and bright.” [www.exetermemories.co.uk]

http://www.exetermemories.co.uk/em/_events/1915-this-week.php

~ In France, the Government outlaws both the production and the retail sale of absinthe, declaring it a “toxic product”. (Protecting France’s consumers?).

http://www.absinthes.com/themag/absinthe-history/banning-absinthe-1714

21st February 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY – in Kharkiv, in the Russian Empire (soon to be the first city to acknowledge Soviet power, in 1917, and now the second largest city in Ukraine) – Evgeny Mikhailovich Lifshitz, Soviet physicist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evgeny_Lifshitz

World Affairs: A plan for a general insurrection against British rule in the Punjab, India, fails after informants forewarn the authorities.

http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/personalities/tundilat.html

War!

War from the air: a German Zeppelin bombs the towns of Braintree and Cochester in England’s eastern county of Essex.

http://www.iancastlezeppelin.co.uk/21st-february/4586236415