May 20

War for posession of Tripoli declared, some headlines never change

Daily Telegram from Sept. 30, 1911.

As this post is being written gasoline prices are hovering around $4.25 a gallon. Unrest and outright war in several oil producing countries have given speculators a lever to drive up prices.
For example Libya has been at war since…
Come to think of it when have they not been at war?
Romans, Muslims, Turks all made Libya part of their empires.
The second line in the Marine Hymn, "To the shores of Tripoli" refers to the first time an American battle flag was raised over the Old World. The line was inspired by the Barbary Coast War fought when the United States responded to pirate activity off the coast of Africa. Sound familiar?
In 1911 the Turkish Ottoman Empire was tottering and other European powers were ready to carve it up. This headline from the Daily Telegram written in Sept. 30, 1911 could be used today.


CONSTANTINOPLE, Sept. 30. — Russia today declares to the Porte its intention of occupying the Turkish province of Trebizond until Turkey pays off its last war indemnity to the czar. This is feared to portend the dismemberment of Turkey by European powers.

ROME, Sept. 30 — War between Italy and Turkey for the possession of Tripoli was formally declared today.
The official declaration of war came at 2:30 o'clock. In a statement issued to the powers, Italy promised that the rights of all foreigners would be protected. The declaration of war followed extended consideration of the situation by the Italian cabinet. Turkey absolutely denied the Italian contention that the latter's interest in Tripoli were threatened under the present conditions. Turkey desires a peaceful settlement of the dispute declaring that Italian subjects would not be endangered. The Turkish refusal to recognize Italy's right to assume control of the disputed territory, and, as threatened in its ultimatum Italy officially declared war. In less than an hour after Turkey's refusal to allow the Italian occupation of Tripoli had been made known, the Turkish ambassador to Rome was handled his passports, the Italian ambassador at Constantinople had left his post and orders were being flashed by wireless to Admiral Aubry, in command of the Italian expeditionary force before Tripoli, to at once land and occupy the disputed territory.

Strength of Opposing Forces.

Turkey's navy —Five old battleships, one first class cruiser, two third class cruisers, 2 gunboats, for torpedo boat destroyers, 8 torpedo boats and 3000 men.
Italy's navy—Seven modern battleships, six older battleships, 8 armored cruisers, 14 first class cruisers, 13 gunboats, 13 torpedo boat destroyers, 158 torpedo boats, six submarines and 29,941 men.
Turkey's army consists of a total war strength of 725,000 with 2,000,000 unorganized men available for duty. Her peace strength is 350,000 which is not at once available.
Italy's army consists of a total war strength of 1,046,000. It has a peace strength of 160,000 men, there being 100,000 men in the reserves. There are three old battleships in the navy, eight gunboats, twelve torpedo boats and 4000 sailors.

In other items of interest on the page the newspaper war was alive as seen in the advertisement at the lower right of the page. The Telegram battled for many years with the Tribune for the eyes of readers.

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