Early 1900s

The Ottoman Empire Declares A Holy War - 11/14/1914

On this day in 1914, the religious leader Sheikh-ul-Islam declares an Islamic holy war on behalf of the Ottoman government on France, Russia, Britain, Montenegro and Serbia in World War I in Constantinople (now Istanbul) the capital city of the Ottoman Empire, which was founded by Osman Mehmed II in 1453. The empire grew in strength and numbers under the leadership of Suleiman the Magnificent in the sixteenth century stretching from Caucasus up in the north down to Egypt in the south, to Persian Gulf in the east and to Hungary in the west.In 1912, the First Balkan war between the Ottoman Empire and Balkans was a great defeat for the Ottoman Empire after losing nearly all of Europe she has already conquered. Following the defeat, coupled with the heavy migration of its inhabitants to territories belonging to the Balkans and Anatolia, it became a necessity to regain its power, wealth and the shrinking military size. As the First World War began in the summer of 1914, the Ottoman Empire decided to merge it forces with one of the great European powers in order to protect the empire against future loss having lost the Balkan War two years earlier. The leaders of Ottoman Empire including members of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) also known as the Young Turks quickly responded to the proposals made by Germany in August of 1914. Although the Germans and the Ottomans did not openly declare their treaty, yet a secret military alliance had already been concluded on August 2 thus establishing the Ottoman-German Alliance aimed at fighting a common enemy Russia, even though they did not officially involve in the WWI until several months later. The Ottoman Empire entered the war officially on October 29, when the Ottoman navy alongside the two German ships "Geoben and Breslau," which it gave safe harbor to after fleeing British ships. The ships were transferred to the Ottoman navy but still under the Germans control attacked Russian ports of Sevastopol in the black sea signifying the involvement of the Ottoman Empire in the Great War.Ottoman leader Sheikh-ul-Islam declaration of a holy war made two weeks later encouraging all Muslims all over the world including those in the Allied countries to come together in defending the Ottoman Empire against their common enemies. In his words, "the fate of those that are alive is happiness, while that of the dead is martyrdom. In accordance with Allah's promises, those who fight the Jihad war for the sake of the truth will have their rewards not in this world alone, but hereafter."    

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Early 1900s

The First Congresswoman Is Elected - 11/7/1916

Today in 1916, Jeannette was elected as a legislature to the U.S. House of Representatives. Making her the first woman ever in history of United States of America to won a seat at the congress.Jeannette Rankin was born and bred on a farm close to Missoula, Montana. Born of liberal parents, they urged her at a tender age to think past the limited chances, which was allowed to women of the mid twentieth century. Years later, she graduated from the University of Montana and the New York School of Philanthropy, after working as a social worker for a short period, she later became actively involved in politics to fight for women's right to vote and be voted for. Her endeavors took her back home to Montana in 1914, where she trusted pioneer conditions had made prominent admiration for women's work and talent, making it to an extent simpler to persuade men to allow them the privilege to vote. In addition, some western states like Wyoming and Colorado had officially endorsed women's' right to vote years prior to that, with Rankin's leadership and authoritative skills the state of Montana was able to join them in 1914.Now that women's right to vote had been secured, Rankin had to test the waters of her political strength in Montana by contesting in 1916, for one of the two seats in Congress as a Progressive Republican. Her courage and ability to stand out among others helped her in securing the support of the women and men alike. In the end, Rankin turned out to be the first woman in history to be elected into Congress.Moving to Washington, D.C. the following year, all eyes was on her to check whether a woman could deal with the duties of the high office. Rankin soon demonstrated she could; in fact, she likewise exhibited that she would not go against her own strongly held belief in political pragmatism. A committed pacifist, Rankin's first vote as a U.S. congresswoman was against U.S. entry into World War I. As she was being celebrated for her brave stand, yet others asserted her vote demonstrated that ladies were unequipped for boring the heavily laid burdens accustomed with national leadership, even though 55 congressmen had likewise voted against the war.Unfortunately, her vote against World War 1 did not favor her reelection bid in 1918. This made her to dedicate the next 20 years of life to peace work. Unexpectedly, she again won a seat in the U.S. Congress in 1940, at the time the country was going to World War II. Right after the bombarding of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, Rankin turned out to be the only legislature in the history of Congress to vote against U.S. going into both world wars. However, she was the only one who voted against the war this time around.

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Early 1900s

Germany Calls Off Unrestricted Submarine Warfare – 10/21/1918

On October 21, 1918, Germany decided to cancel their unrestricted warfare and fired their last torpedo for World War 1. The unrestricted warfare was supposed to be their hope to win against the British if the US had not intervened.Germany was determined to overpower the British and thus declared an unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1915 during World War I. The country declared that the sea around the British Isles will become a war zone where the German navy were instructed to attack all merchant ships, including the ones that come from neutral countries.  To make sure that they will subdue the British navy at sea, the Germans sent their most feared weapon to carry out the plan – the stealthy U-boat submarine. Following the declaration, merchant ships were attacked. The British ship Lusitania was one of those that fell victim to the German’s cruelty, where 1,201 suffered fatality, 128 of which were Americans.Woodrow Wilson who was the president of the United States at that time was very much displeased by what happened and demanded that the Germans put a stop to their attacks against unarmed merchant ships. The Germans were afraid that if they did not adhere to Wilson’s demands, they might provoke the U.S. into participating in the war. Over the next year, the German navy limited their attacks with the expectancy that upon doing so, the U.S. leader will somewhat be appeased with their effort.However, at the start of 1917, naval and army commanders convinced Kaiser that the U-boat warfare would be advantageous for Germany in the fight against the British. They told him that victory could easily be theirs by the end of fall if they persisted with the unrestricted submarine policy. On February 1st, the Germans officially resumed their attacks, following the same orders as before. Just two days after, Wilson broke U.S. diplomatic relationship with Germany and entered into World War I. They joined forces with the Allied powers on April 6, 1917.Germany believed that the naval war would give them advantage despite the fact that they were not progressing on the battlefields of the Western Front. Their hope only grew fainter when the Allied showed up once again in France and Belgium by summer in 1918. It didn’t also help that their own soldiers and sailors started to get frustrated and discontented. By mid-October, Admiral Reinhardt Scheer issued an order to all navy submarines to return to German bases. This was made at the time that Germany was caught up in the dilemma of how they could possibly get a truce that would give Germany favorable peace terms.Before the Admiral Reinhardt Scheer’s issued his order, the last German torpedo fired during the World War I was able to sink a small British merchant ship, the Saint Barcham, in the Irish Sea on October 21st. eight men were drowned by this incident. The German warfare killed 318 seamen during this month. When they left the Belgian coast, the Allied forces took over.

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Early 1900s

Mata Hari Executed - 10/15/1917

On this present day in 1917, the classic charming female undercover agent Mata Hari was executed for espionage by a French firing squad in Vincennes outside of Paris. She found fame as a talented performer of Oriental dances when she came to Paris in 1905. Then she began touring all of Europe, and telling people of her birth in an Indian temple where a priestess taught her ancient Indie dances, and named her Mata Hari, which means "eye of the era", in Indonesia dialect. However, Mata Hari was not born in India neither was she taught any ancient dance by a priestess, she was born in August 7, 1876 in Leeuwarden, a small town in northern Netherlands, and her real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, Her father was a hat trader who went bankrupt after bad investments, while her mother Antje Zelle died of illness when she was 15 years of age. Eventually, she and her three brothers were sent to live with different relatives, where she realized that her sexuality is the greatest possession she had. The Indian and Javanese dances she claimed to be taught by a priestess were the result of her several years she and her former husband Rudolf MacLeod, a military captain in the Dutch colonial army lived in Malaysia. Whether living a fabricated life or not, France to Russia, everywhere she performed was always filled because she is fond of stripping nude during her shows.Mata Hari became popular, and her register of lovers began including government and high-ranking military personnel from several countries during World War 1. In February 1917, she was arrested by the French authorities for working as a secret agent and was imprisoned at St. Lazare Prison, Paris. Later in the month of June, she was accused of revealing details of the Allies' new weapon, "The Tank", which caused death of thousands of French soldiers. On October 15, she was found guilty of espionage and sentenced to death. At the firing squad, Mata Hari removed her blindfold, and blew the soldiers a kiss as they aim to fire her. She was killed instantly when the gunshots hit her.It is possible that Mata Hari was a German spy, and acted as a double agent for the French authorities. However, the Germans had written her off as an inefficient agent after her gathered intelligence is of no value. However, her military trial was shallow with little evidence to support the claim that she was a spy. The only real crime she may have committed was falsifying her identity. In addition, the French authorities may have vented their anger on her at a time when the Allies were failing to beat back the Germans on the western front. Moreover, French authorities may probably made her as a scapegoat for the distracting military officers, whereas, all she wanted was to live a life of love and pleasure.

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Early 1900s

The Führer Wounded In British Attack - 10/14/1918

In October 14, 1918, Adolf Hitler was among the German soldiers that were wounded in Ypres Salient in Belgium; he was blinded temporarily because of a British gas shell blast. Immediately, Hitler was moved to a German military hospital at Pasewalk, in Pomerania. At a young age, Hitler enlisted into Austrian military service, which he later turned down due to lack of fitness. He later moved to Munich, and at the beginning of the First World War in the midsummer of 1914, young Hitler requested for and was granted special permission to enlist as a German soldier. He was named as a member of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. Afterwards he travelled to France in October 1914. During the first battle of Ypres, Hitler saw heavy action, which earned him the Iron Cross award for saving the life of a wounded soldier in December. Two years that followed saw Hitler take part in some of the deadliest offensive part of the war, which include the Battle of Neuve Chappelle, the battle of Ypres and the Battle of the Somme. Near Bapaume, France in October 7, 1916, young Hitler was wounded in the leg by a shell blast. He was move to a treatment camp near Berlin, and 4 months later, he returned to his unit by February 1917. One of the soldiers in Hitler's unit, named Hans Mend, said, "Whenever Hitler has the chance, he will preach on the lack of confidence by soldiers and then move on teaching on dedication to the cause on the home front Germany. He will sit in the corner of our mess with his head buried in his hand in deep thought. Then suddenly, he would jump to his feet, start running around and feeling excited. The following year, Hitler received more awards for bravery, and in August received an Iron Cross 1st Class for single handedly catching a group of French soldiers that were hiding in a hole during the German final offensive on the Western Front. However, the injury he sustained in October of that year ended Hitler's career in WW1. While recovering at Pasewalk, he heard the news of German surrendering; he felt the German people had betrayed him and his fellow soldiers. Angry and frustrated he wrote down the in his own account "when I heard the news, I almost collapse and hurriedly I went back to the ward where buried my head in between the pillows and sobbed bitterly".By the beginning of 1941, when Hitler named himself the fuller, it was obvious and clear to an extent how far he had been shaped by the experience of the First World War. In his words, I came back from the war with the experiences I gathered at the front, and from them I built the National Socialist community. 

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Early 1900s

The Beginning of World War I – 8/1/1914

It was on this day in 1914 that the German army invaded Belgium which started one of the deadliest and most destructive wars in our history, also known as World War I. It was a war that lasted more than four years and saw 70 million military personnel mobilized. As a result of the war, there were nearly 16 million deaths, 9 of those being combatants and 7 of them being civilians. The event that is coined as a major spark to the war is when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot to death, along with his wife. He was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire and was in Serbia despite the fact people would probably want him dead in the country. After he died, Austria-Hungary hoped it would give them a reason to go to war with Serbia, however that was all shot down when Russia intervened in support of Serbia. With that being said, Austria-Hungary backed down until they got word that Germany would have their support. When they got word, they declared war on Serbia. Then, all hell broke loose.Austria-Hungary started to attack Serbia, Russia ordered mobilization on Austria Hungary, France helped Russia, Germany and France went to war since France was helping Russia, Germany invaded Belgium, Great Britain declared war on Germany. It was a massive train wreck that involved one ally helping another ally, sparking another war after war. It was mayhem.As the end of 1914 neared, there didn’t seem to be an end in sight or even close for either side, which was unexpected seeing as to how each country thought it would only take a couple months. However, after a couple months, no progress was made, just more deaths.Three years later, near the end of 1917, a new leadership broke out in Russia and they immediately set sight on declaring peace with Germany. With the Americans helping with troops and resources to sweeten the negotiations, things finally started to work in the Allies’ favor. In November of 1918, an armistice agreement was signed by Germany with the Allies. The war was finally over.However, peace wouldn’t be kept for long. After the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, which officially ended all of the wars, Germany was punished and it ended up destabilizing Europe. Ironically, World War I has been coined as the “war to end all wars.” However, it would actually be the war that would lay the foundation for World War II, a war no one wanted to be involved in.World War I was one of the most deadliest and destructive conflicts in the history of the world. It saw way too many deaths, way too much destruction and so much money in “repairs.” With what we are seeing in the world today, we need to avoid letting “history repeat itself” or else we could be in for something similar to what we’ve already seen. And it never ends well.

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