“The Pleasures of Winter on the Front.” Le Petit Journal, February 4, 1917.
“A German Observer Falls Into the Marne.” Le Petit Journal, May 27, 1917.
“The Torpedoed ‘Lusitania’; Hundreds of Noncombatant Passengers, Women and Children, Assassinated By German Pirates.” Le Petit Journal, May 23, 1915.
It’s interesting to note how many of what we would consider the “big stories” of the day were relegated to the back cover of Le Petit Journal. The Titanic sinking, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, and here, with the attack on the Lusitania. The reader is left to draw his or her own conclusions about whether this was done for propaganda purposes, or whether the journalists at the time simply thought them less significant events. In either case, it reminds me of something Warren Ellis wrote recently: “The future is what happens when you’re not looking.”
For what it’s worth, the front cover of this issue is a commemoration of the Garibaldi family on the 55th anniversary of an inconclusive battle fought in Sicily.
“Arabian Developments; The Sons of the Sharif of Mecca Drive the Turks Out of the Holy Cities of Islam.” Le Petit Journal, July 16, 1916.
“The Germans Burn Their Dead in the Blast Furnaces.” Le Petit Journal, April 16, 1916.
This might be a reference to one of the more bizarre propaganda stories of the First World War - Kadaververwertungsanstalt, “Corpse-Rendering Factories”. Fats being scarce in the Central Powers due to a British naval blockade, it was rumored the Germans were operating factories behind the front lines to burn their war dead down for the fat to make candles, nitroglycerine, etc. The source was a German newspaper story, wherein the Allies (perhaps deliberately) mistranslated the German word Kadaver - which refers to non-human corpses in all cases except medical dissection.
The accusations were false, though they naturally enjoyed some popularity in the Allied countries. Nevertheless, the Nazi regime which was to take power in Germany several years later would turn a similar idea against its civillian population.
How’s THAT for a Hurricane Sandy?
“Assassination of the Archduke-Heir of Austria and the Duchess his Wife in Sarajevo.” Le Petit Journal, July 12, 1914.
“The Vanquisher of Baghdad, George W. Bush.” Le Petit Journal, March 25, 1917.
No, no wait! I meant Lieutenant-General Stanley Maude! I SWEAR!