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Private By Jingo!
2 days /phase (slow)
Unrated - Spring, 1914, Finished
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~12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Testing, Testing. Is this thing on?
~12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Illustrierte Kronenzeitung

Arise! Arise, glorious sons of the Empire! Take arms and take pride in our great nation! Show unto the world the inherent superiority of our people! Arise, arise, ye men of Austria! Glory awaits.
12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: "King concerned about European tension"

Sir Reginald Windy-Bottom reporting for The Times

His Imperial Majesty Edward VII announced from Buckingham Palace that he was increasingly concerned by the military build up in the continent.

"Those sausage hiding Germans I fear are up to no good. British Secret Intelligence has identified that the naval yards in Kiel are fueling the German High Seas fleet. We cannot have this challenge to Britain's supremacy of the seas. "

Elsewhere the king also saw other challenges, "My cousin the Tsar sent me a Christmas card last year. But Nicky didn't do that this year. This is a worry as he's always prompt. The men of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales must steel themselves for the prospect of war over the horizon."

In other news the king said he was hopeful Aston Villa's performance would improve in the FA Cup.
12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: (did that work properly as anon, or did it include my name???)
~12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: test
~12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Turkey, your messages are not anon.
12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Hmmm... fucked up I guess.
~12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: This work?
~12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: yes
~12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Breaking news. Germany can't stop laughing. It would appear a news story was broadcast across the whole of Europe, accusing Germany of no good. While the transmission appeared to be from England, No one removed the Turkish banner from the news cast.

Though clearly a ruse, Vassals have been sent to the kings chambers to assure him that Germany means no ill will. It is believed they might try to use this humorous event to erect an Alliance.
~12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: This just in. I have been informed that no one uses the Term "vassals" or "chambers" any longer. That is all.
~12 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Befuddled British Boss Baffled By Burgeoning Newspapers!

From the Times of London:
His Majesty Edward VII toured the newspaper offices of the Times today in a royal visit that was, on the whole, a rousing success. His Majesty expressed particular excitement in the possibility of using the paper to accomplish espionage in the tense diplomatic situation abroad, before adding, "Er, but you won't publish that bit, will you?"

However, the monarch expressed slight confusion in the anonymous nature of the papers, pointing out that frequently his name was attached right there at the top of the letterhead for all to see. It is believed that the monarch's concerns arose from a clumsy attempt by the Turkish foreign office to plant a story in the Times, while neglecting to remove the Ottoman stationary.

Sir Reginald Windy-Bottom was requested by Scotland Yard for questioning following the incident.
~13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Heads Roll in Ottoman Foreign Office Shake-Up!

Chief Political Correspondent for Servet-i Fünun - Mohammed Hasabigun

The repurcutions from the London publishing fiasco has made its way to the capital Constantinopol with the head of the Empire's Foreign Office, Amhed Iminagaybar, stood down from his position by his Imperial Majesty Abdul Hamid II.

"We cannot stand such incompetence. I mean by all means create havoc across Europe but don't be so stupid as to send your business card with "gift" bong and pound of hashish to British reporters. Next time leave the card out, and at least get one of our embassies in another country attach their local postage stamps. Morons."

Comment was sought from Amhed Iminagaybar, but he could not be found. Rumours circulate he may have gone underground to one of Constantinpol's less desirable meeting houses.
13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Ok so how do I do grey press?
13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Type "grey:" then your message.
~13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Found it! Will post later so no one knows it is me.
~13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Le Monde: French Diplomat Found Dead In Berlin Brothel
His excellency, the Ambassador, was found dead yesterday morning in a prominent Berlin brothel. The news comes as a shock after his excellency had brokered peace talks between the rival English and German delegation as tensions mount between the two rivals over the build up of the Kiel Fleet.

The German ambassador was summoned for an explanation.
~13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Pope Leo XIII Holds Summit of Mediterranean Nations

Italia Recensione, 1 May 1901

Rome - Pope Leo XIII has invited the heads of state of the Ottoman Empire, Italy, France, and Austria to a "Papal Summit" over the growing strife in the Mediterranean.

Italian Prime Minister Zanardelli has already sent an affirmation of his intention to attend saying "I'll bring the canolli!" to which those of the press corps chuckled heartily.

French President Loubet declared May 1st as the first every "Royaume- Jour de la Méditerranée" and offered to bring a fine apéritif suitable for "biscuits" indicating the French don't understand Italian humor.

Austria sent a missive saying, in part "We will meet with His Holiness in private, but we are not to be summoned nor will we sit as equals with those who are beneath us". No response has yet been received from Sultan Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire.

The Papal Summit is to begin 15 May 1901 in Rome.
~13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Ottoman Sultan gives "Thumbs up" to Med Summit

Italia Recensione, 3 May 1901

Constantinopol - Sultan Abdul Hamid from the Ottoman Empire was snapped unexpectedly at the Blue Mosque with a cheesy grin and giving a two thumbs up salute to reporters today.

The Sultan's response came when asked about his attendance at the upcoming multi-national summit in Rome later this month.

In other news the biscuits to be provided by the French president have been flying off the shelves of Rome, Naples and Venice. The love affair with all things Parisian is expected to flow through to a French-Italian alliance quietly in negotiation behind the scenes in the lead up to the summit.

Undisclosed sources in Germany have postulated that the summit is merely a sham to justify the French-Italian alliance.
~13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Britain: We are a Mediterranean power!

The Times, 4 May 1901

London: His Majesty's Government has sent a terse diplomatic note to the Italian Prime Minister Zanardelli that the United Kingdom is a Mediterranean power, demanding a seat at the upcoming summit.

Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, said he was disappointed that His Majesty's Government was not invited.

"Mr Canolli must understand that we hold Gibraltar and Malta, key strategic locations in the Mediterranean. No peace can ensure there without our involvement.

"Yes, we may not have a fleet present on this classic Diplomacy board, but we all know if we were playing another variant our fleets would be there."

The Italian Prime Minister was eating ravioli at the time our reporters approached him for comment and stressed he was not to be interrupted. We persevered in our question (as any forthright English gentleman would), but were forced back when we came under fire from the Prime Minister's thrown slices of garlic bread.
13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: The French press reporting my death is untimely.
~13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Forgein Policy Change
Die Zeit, May 5th 1901.
The Chancellor has announced our great nation’s newest Foreign Policy.
“Holland has requested our aid in containing some national troubles. “ He when on to explain how we would be assisting them by bringing them under the banner of Germany. “Furthermore, we must steel ourselves against the advent of coming war, hopefully with the assistance from new allies, such as the French.”
He explained this summit in the Mediterranean is likely “a ruse to cover their intentions for war…” and in such a war France would “gain little from what they can offer.”
“Stand beside your neighbors, the Germans.” He implored of the French. It would appear Germany eyes will be watching France closely for any sign of an olive branch.
~13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Turmoil Around the Baltic!

Die Welt, May 11, 1901

Sonderberichterstatter Otto von Lubick, reporting:

News of the Reich's new alignment towards France has sent shockwaves around the Baltic. Rightist parties throughout Germany denounced the government's move, asserting that "No treaties with those who kill Germans!" could be accepted, citing the Reich's historic enmity with their westerly neighbor. "Besides, I wouldn't trust those Frogs as far as I could throw them," added one Otto Schrief, "Mighty shifty-looking if you ask me."

Meanwhile, Scandinavia is roiled with domestic turmoil over the potential re-alignment. "Well, they're selling us out, aren't they?" said one Otto Ottoson, of Norway. "We depend on the French to keep the Germans' filthy claws offa our land, and now who's to stop them?"

Concerned by the tottering governments around the Baltic, interested great powers have announced the dispatch of fleets of observation to the area.

"We can't let the damned Russians beat us to the punch, can we?" said Lord Humphrey Hood, commander of the fleet at Scapa Flow. "We're putting to see immediately so we can beat those bastards in St. Petersburg to exploiting those sweet, sweet riches in Norway - er, don't write that last bit, I say, STOP WRITING THINGS DOWN!"

"Of course the Germans and the English cannot be trusted," said Admiral Mikhail Mikhailovich, as the Russian northern fleet prepared to sortie from St. Petersburg. "Besides, there are historic Russian minorities in these nations that ardently desire protection and liberation at the first possibility."

Rumors of Anglo-Russian collaboration in the area could not be verified.
~13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Sabers Rattle in St. Petersburg!
Government cites grave concerns over Galicia, Black Sea.

AP Bulletin:
The Tsarist government sent sharply worded letters to the Habsburg emperor and the Ottoman sultan today, expressing his concern about recent military movements along the southern border.

"Galicia is home to historic Russian minorities," a spokesman for the government said, "and so we cannot allow Austrian incursions there. Our government believes that so-called 'training maneuvers' are truly a ruse to cover the ongoing eradication of ethnic Russians living in the province." The government warned the Habsburgs that, in the event of Austrian troops entering the province, they would have no choice but to declare a state of war on Austria in defense of Slavs everywhere.

Meanwhile, Russian Black Sea vessels clashed yet again with forces of the Turkish fleet in the Black Sea. A brief exchange of fire ensued as a Russian cruiser attempted to halt and board an Ottoman destroyer "to prevent smuggling." St. Petersburg apologized for the incident, but asserted Russian rights to free navigation in the Black Sea and requested a demilitarization of the entire region, "just until we get this mess sorted out."

The Tsar joined the British government in angrily denouncing the impending Mediterranean conference, asserting Russia's status as a Mediterranean power and requesting both a Russian presence at the conference and the addition of the Black Sea question to the list of items to be discussed.
13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Atrocities Abound in Berlin!

The Times, 13 May 1901
Editorial by M. Buckstone

Berlin's "liberations" must not go unchecked. It has come to the attention of this reporter that Berlin intends to use mustard gas to "liberate" the people's of Holland, Belgium and Denmark.

For those readers unfamiliar with mustard gas, it causes large blisters on the exposed skin and in the lungs. Berlin will not hesitate to use this on any resistance to their plans and this reporter calls on the Crown and the other civilized countries of Europe and the World to condemn these actions and move against Germany immediately.

Many innocent people will horribly suffer at the hands of Kaiser Wilhelm and the Deutsches Reich.
13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: crap! Sorry about that.
13 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: Why can't grey press be the default in a grey press game!
~14 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: type "grey:" first ;)
~14 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: SCANDAL AT TIMES
Foreign Governments Paying for Coverage!
Sinister Plot to Sway Government Policy!

The Guardian, C. Woodhouse reporting:

The Times of London is facing intense Parliamentary investigation this week after evidence surfaced of yet another instance of foreign governments planting stories in the newspaper.

Readers will recall the incident earlier this spring when the Sultan was caught spreading false stories of Anglo-German tension, an embarrasment that led to a huge shake up with the Ottoman foreign office.

Now, King Victor Emmanuel finds himself with similar egg on his face when it was discovered that a Times editorialist received a large shipment of linguini noodles immediately after calling for strident government action against the German empire.

MPs are outraged by the newspaper's behavior and are calling for heavy fines, while Tories demand strict regulation of the press "to curtail this invasive foreign influence into our noble state!" while Labour pounds the table and demands an Italian apology.

Coupled with the snub of England at the upcoming Mediterranean conference, relations between the United Kingdom and Italy are chilly indeed.
~14 Oct 15 UTC Spring, 1901: death bed recant
Die zeit
This morning Otto Schrief was found dead in his home office, clutching a note saying things such as "long live the Emperor" and "our French Allies". Autopsy report he died of old age at 32 years... Wait thirty... Umm... Yes. All hail the Emperor of Germany in his infinite wisdom... [clears throat]

In other news, there are whispers that France might actually agree to a treaty with Germany. I believe some of the terms involve French fleets traveling toward the Mediterranean rather than northern seas, but this is little more than hearsay.