5th September 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Colombo in British Ceylon  – Arthur Terence Sahanandan Paul, pioneering Sri Lankan cardiothoracic surgeon.

http://livesonline.rcseng.ac.uk/biogs/E002039b.htm

War!

Protest: In Zimmerwald, Switzerland, delegates from international socialist parties in 11 countries hold a conference to advocate anti-militarist and pacifist policies and (for some) international socialist revolution, later making this small Swiss town a part of the foundation myth of the Soviet Union.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimmerwald_Conference#Signatories_of_the_Zimmerwald_Manifesto

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22nd August 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Brantford, Ontario – James Hiller, co-developer of the electron microscope.

http://www.nndb.com/people/125/000206504/

War!

The (Russian) Home Front: The Tsar takes over supreme command of the army, and leaves St Petersburg in the dangerous hands of the Tsarina and her trusted advisor, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, a peasant and mystical faith healer.

http://www.johndclare.net/Russ_Rasputin_Figes.htm

The (French) Home Front: in the streets of Paris, young boys and girls play at being soldiers and nurses.

http://www.vintag.es/2015/04/kids-at-war-paris-1915-rare-photographs.html

The (Scottish) Home Front: in Aberdeen, 26,000 pay sixpence each to attend the “Gala and Heather day” in Duthie Park, in support of the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

http://www.friendsofduthiepark.co.uk/heather-day-at-duthie-park-a-century-on/

The (Irish) Home Front: In Dublin, at a “Celebration of gaelic and athletic events”, Patrick Pearse addresses the crowd of several thousand on his subject: “The Resurrection of Erin”.

http://www.millstreet.ie/blog/2015/08/19/patrick-pearse-and-his-visit-to-millstreet-on-22nd-aug-1915

4th August 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Berlin – Eleonore “Loni” Nest, German child star actress who ended her career after more than 40 movies at the age of 13, before retiring to the south of France [Wikipedia]

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

War!

Adriatic skullduggery: The Triple Alliance  (Britain, France and Russia) reneges on its secret commitment to Italy (that control of parts of the Adriatic coast should only be decided after the war) by sending an official note to Serbia confirming the post-war territorial claims of Serbia and Montenegro. [Wikipedia].

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_London_(1915)

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

14th July 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Vilnius (in the Russian Empire, but occupied at the time by Germany) – Harold Pupkewitz, Lithuanian emigre and Namibian businessman.

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

Society and culture: at Penantigi Uchaf, Dinas Mawddwy in North Wales, today is a sheep-shearing day.

http://education.gtj.org.uk/en/blowup1/14623

12th July 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in the Pavlovsk Palace, the 18th-century Russian Imperial residence built by Paul I in Saint Petersburg  – Princess Catherine Ivanovna of Russia, great-great-granddaughter of Tsar Nicolas I and niece of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia: the last member of the Russian Imperial Family to be born before the fall of the dynasty, and ultimately the last surviving uncontested dynast of the Imperial House of Russia. She died in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 2007, aged 92.

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

War!

Gallipoli: Allied forces make a final attempt to take the hill of Achi Baba which overlooks the places where many allied soldiers have been pinned for weeks.

“As was the norm with operations from Helles casualties were inordinately high.  The Allies incurred 4,000 casualties and the Turkish force rather more, 10,000.  For all that the Turkish force suffered twice as heavily the encounter nevertheless ended with possession of Achi Baba remaining in Turkish hands.”

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

War at Sea: Off England’s east coast, the German submarine SM-UB6 has a productive day destroying four English fishing boats.

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

History, not fresh, but preserved and recycled: On the Western Front, Ulstermen from Northerl Ireland  and the Orangemen diaspora celebrate the Battle of the Boyne (1690)…

“We (the Canadians) all gathered together with a good many Ulstermen to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne. The procession started from “Shrapnel Square” and was headed by an old scout mounted on a white horse with its mane and tail plaited with Orange and Purple ribbon. Next came the fife and drums well decorated with Orange Lilies and “No Surrender” was painted on the flag we carried“.

http://www.grandorangelodge.co.uk/history.aspx?id=99487#.VZQZzBOqqko