War Cyclopedia - Z
Zabern Affair. Saverne (German Zabern) is a town in Alsace brought into prominence by a series of disgraceful acts on the part of the military garrison against the civilian population. Of those acts the one that excited the widest Interest and indignation was the wounding of a lame cobbler by a young lieutenant named För8tner because of "contemptuous cries," though the mayor asserted It was only the children who had jeered the officer. Förstner's unpopularity had arisen from an overzealous espousal of his superior officer's contempt for the civilian population and his Instructions to his command that if they stabbed an Alsatian who insulted them they would not only go unpunished but receive a reward. Even in Germany public feeling seemed outraged. The Reichstag passed a vote of censure, the Chancellor, perhaps unwillingly, disclosing the real policy of the authorities in Alsace-Lorraine by publicly declaring that "no progress could be made in Alsace-Lorraine unless they abandoned the fruitless attempt to turn the South Germans of the Reichslaud into North German Prussians." -The obnoxious garrison was transferred to another station. Forstner was sentenced by court-martial to detention for a short period. His promotion, however, soon followed and stands as evidence to the disregard of the military for civilian rights and opinion, an attitude that is again Illustrated by the protest of Dr. Jagow, the military president of Berlin, against even the light sentence imposed on Förstner. See Alsace-Lorraine; Luxemberg, Rosa; Militarism
"Zamora." A Swedish ship which was seized by the British, April 8, 1915, while on a voyage from New York to Stockholm. Pending the decision of the case the prize court permitted the British Government to requisition the copper which formed part of the Zamorct's cargo. On appeal, however, the judicial committee of the privy council overruled the order of requisition because the affidavit supporting it did not show the copper to be "urgently required for national purposes." The actual decision in the case rested therefore on a narrow basis, but Lord Parker's opinion announcing it contains the interesting and important dictum that in case of conflict between an order in council and international law, a British prize court must follow international law. See Prize Courts.
Zeebriigge. A Belgian seaport on the English Channel, north of Ostend. The fall of Antwerp opened the way for German occupation of the city. It is used as .a base for German submarine and aerial activity, being conveniently located for air raids against Britain.
Zemstvos. Local elective assemblies in Russia for the population dwelling outside the towns. Established in 1864, they were to be of two sorts-cantonal, in which even peasants had a limited representation, and provincial, composed of delegates elected from the cantonal zemistvos; they were to meet annually, and exercise large powers In relation to education, public health, roads, etc. In 1890 their powers were greatly restricted, but In 1905 they regained much of the initiative which they had lost. The role of the congress of Zemstvos, composed of leading members of the local bodies who in November, 1904, and June, 1905, assembled at Petrograd, has often been compared to that of the Assembly of Notables in tie French Revolution. In the present war the Zemstvos played a prominent and patriotic part in stimulating the production of munitions and war supplies. See Lvov, Prince.
Zeppelin. A type of dirigible balloon, lifted by gas bags held In an aluminum framework, and propelled by gasoline engines; designed by the 1at~ Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin whose experiments with aircraft, about 1906. attracted wide attention. In war the Zeppelins are used for observation purposes, especially at sea; and for raids on enemy country. German aircraft, Including Zeppelins, raided England 34 times between January 19, 1915, and October 1, 1917, killing outright 865 men, women, and children, and wounding over 2,500. For military purposes the difficulties in the use of Zeppelins and
ether balloons are size, cost, vulnerability, and difficulty et storage. Experience has Led to a greater use of airplanes and a lessening use of dirigible balloons. See Aviation.
Zimmermann, Dr. Alfred] (1859- ). German Foreign Minister, 1916-17, in succession to Gottlieb von Jagow. He Is known chiefly for his note to the German minister in Mexico proposing an alliance of Germany, Mexico, and Japan against the United States. - See Zimmerman Note.
Zimmerman Note. During the last week In February, 1917, there came into the hands of the State Department a note addressed by Dr. Zimmerman, the German Foreign Minister, to the German minister in Mexico. The note is dated January 19, 12 days before Germany announced her intention to resume unrestricted submarine warfare. It proposed; in the event that the United States should not remain neutral, an alliance with Mexico whereby Germany was to furnish general financial support, and Mexico was to reconquer her lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. Its text is as follows: "On the 1st of February we intend to begin submarine warfare unrestricted. In spite of this it is our intention to endeavor to keep neutral the United States of America. If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alliance on the following basis with Mexico: That we shall make war together and together make peace. We shall give general financial support, and It is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The details are left to you for settlement. You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the above in the greatest confidence as soon as it Is certain there will be an outbreak of war with the United States and suggest that the President of Mexico on his own initiative should communicate with Japan suggesting adherence at once to this plan; at the same time offer to mediate between Germany and Japan. Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico that the employment of ruthless submarine warfare now promises to compel England to make peace in a few months." See "scrap of Paper";