Tuesday, July 29, 2014
  Another 1914 puzzle

Lots of discussion today about the formal start of WW1. Made me think back to the profoundly ODD document from the Signal Corps that I'd used before.



Previously I noted several big puzzles in this one short passage.

(1) What were we trying to accomplish by nation-building in Siberia? The real war was in France and Belgium. Russia had been fighting the Krauts, not very effectively.

(2) What were the Japs doing as part of the mission? This question is easy to answer: Japan wanted to own Siberia for Rebensraum, and later used the knowledge acquired during our 'introduction' to take over parts of Siberia. Japan had already defeated Russia in a brief 1905 war over competing claims in China.

(3) Why did we invite the Japs? Or did they simply invite themselves as part of their 1905 spoils?

(4) The casual mention of "Czecho-Slovak forces" indicates that Czechoslovakia was already a nation well before Armistice Day, or at least an entity with a government that could send troops to fight against Austria-Hungary.

Now another puzzle pops up. Russia was in the middle of its Revolution. By late 1918 Lenin was nominally in charge, though I suspect it took a while for his authority to extend into Siberia. By building telegraph and telephone lines, we were helping the new revolutionary government to extend its authority, which explains why Russian army troops were allowed/ordered to work with us. But it strengthens question (1). What did we hope to gain? Meanwhile, back at Mrs Wilson's Ranch, Mrs Wilson and Colonel House were fighting against real terrorism by a wide variety of Communist and Leftist rebels. This wasn't as much of a paradox as it seems now, because those rebels were not yet taking orders from Moscow ... but they did admire Lenin.

= = = = =

Much later: Solved the puzzle.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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