September 11, 1914

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

The  headlines continue to report the shifting conditions on the ground:

GERMANS’ RIGHT WING RETREATS
Center Being Heavily Reinforced Is Putting Up a Desperate Battle
ATTEMPT TO BREAK FRENCH CENTER FAILS
Fighting East of Paris Fierce and Battle Is Reaching Critical Stage

AVIATORS ATTEMPT TO KILL THE KAISER
Locate Kaiser’s Headquarters in Luxembourg and Hurl Four Bombs, All Missed

GERMANS REPORT DECISIVE VICTORY OVER RUSSIANS
War Office Says This Opens Way for Attack on Forces in Russian Poland
RUSSIANS PREPARE FOR GREAT BATTLE
Several German Corps Withdrawn From France, In Advancing Army

AMERICAN EXPERT ANALYSES TODAY’S ARMY SITUATION
Last Week’s Conditions Reversed, Allies Now Doing the Advancing
GERMAN RIGHT WING IN DIFFICULT POSITION
Stubborn Resistance of Belgians Alone Prevented German Success

SERVIANS CLAIM AUSTRIANS BEATEN
Bloodiest Battle of the War So Far As Servians Concerned Is Fought

EACH SIDE CLAIMS TO BE WINNER
French Seem to Have Slightly the Better of It in Fighting Near Paris
GERMANS WINNING AGAINST RUSSIANS
French Official Reports Claim National Success, but Battle Is Undecided

Assessing the Dual Monarchy’s plight in “The Outlook For Austria,” the editor wrote:

It is possible the allies are a trifle premature in arranging for dividing Austrian territory, but the fact that they are doing so indicates their intentions and makes the outlook anything but cheerful to Austria. Of course, the rabbit has to be caught before it can be skinned, but Austria, considered as the rabbit, may well begin to keep its eyes open for the coming of “Baby Buntin’s Daddy.” Its fighting force is immense, but in numbers only, and is in such condition as to be of little assistance to her ally, Germany, but must concentrate every effort in a supreme struggle for existence. This condition throws the weight of the war on Germany’s shoulder and the latter must meet the three great powers of Europe alone.

The irony of this could not be lost on readers. Three months had not elapsed since the assassinations in Sarajevo. All Europe was now engaged in a war with, to take an expression from the Viet Nam war, no light at the end of the tunnel, and no sense of how long that tunnel was.

The editor’s references to rabbits and Baby Buntin’ is from a childhood rhyme:

Bye, baby Bunting,
Daddy’s gone a-hunting,
Gone to get a rabbit skin
To wrap the baby Bunting in.

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About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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