February 27, 1915

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

The headline on the front page describes the first reported use of a fire as a weapon of war:

LIQUID FIRE IS USED BY GERMANS
Motors Throw Big Bombs full of flaming Fluid On French
TROOPS IN AGONY RUSH FROM TRENCHES

Liquid fire is being used by the Germans as an instrument of war against the French.

This was announced in the official statement here by the French war office this afternoon. It declared that this weapon of death had been thrown on the advance French trenches between the Argonne and the ruse river. Several hundred French soldiers were burned by the flaming liquid which was dropped by bombs thrown up by German mortars. The clothing of the troops was set afire and they ran from the trenches screaming in agony.

A determined advance by the French second line, however, forced the enemy to abandon the trenches taken by these methods.

The paper reported the sale of leather by Muir & McDonald to make saddles for the French army:

Dallas Leather Goes To Warring Nations

Dallas, Ore. Feb. 27. – Few Dallas citizens are aware of the fact that one of the manufactured articles of this city is now being used by the allied armies in the great European war. For several years past the firm of Muir & McDonald, local tanners, have been shipping a large portion of their output to a large saddle concern at Waco, Texas. This company some months ago received an immense contract from the French government and have informed the local firm that they can use all of the material the firm can send them.

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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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