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The Dreadnought Hoax (1910) Options
Daemon
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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The Dreadnought Hoax (1910)

Nearly four years after the HMS Dreadnought entered service, the revolutionary battleship was "honored" with a visit from Abyssinian royalty. Though the ship's commanders only received last-minute notice of the Abyssinian delegation's impending arrival, they managed to arrange for their guests to be greeted with pomp and circumstance and then given a tour of the vessel. The royal visitors were later revealed to be mere pranksters in blackface. What now-famous author took part in the hoax? More...
Ray41
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 2:54:00 AM

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No comment other than; Angel Applause Applause Applause Applause
mangezi
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 6:32:10 AM

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Virginia Sttephen
thar
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 8:59:58 AM

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Well, since they had never seen any Abyssinians, I think they did their best to represent their Navy with honour!

I like the idea that since they could not find an Abyssian flag -

[by which I presume they mean they could not find out what it was supposed to look like, -since I am sure sailors could have sewn something together pretty quick - I assume Abyssinia being landlocked it did not feature on a naval list of foreign flags!]

-they decided on the flag and anthem of Zanzibar, presumably as being 'in the same sort of area!' And coincidentally a British Protectorate Dancing Brick wall

Puts Berlosconi's bunga bunga in its tawdry place!

And it is a credit to the legal system that they were not charged with anything, because they had committed no crime. I am sure in most countries at that time, a way would have been found to punish people who did that. So it is a credit to the British legal system that they could not be influenced by any outside pressure.

Quote:
The next day Cole sent the above picture and the details of his hoax (which cost him some 4,000 pounds) to the Daily Mail. It was anonymous, of course, but the Parliament and the public were outraged at this audacity: Dreadnought was, after all, the royal navy’s latest and best ship. When the identities were finally revealed, it contributed greatly to the fame of Woolf’s nascent Bloomsbery Group.

The only loser from this affair, it appeared, was the Abyssinian Emperor Menelik II. When he visited the country next, he was greeted by the howlers of ‘Bunga, bunga’ and denied the permission to visit any ship by the cautious navy which didn’t want a repeat of the embarrassing affair. For Cole, it was the climax of an adventurous, if not childish, life. At Cambridge, he dressed as the Sultan of Zanzibar. Later, he capitalized on his resemblance to Ramsay MacDonald by arranging for the Labour leader to be temporarily ‘lost’ in a tax in the London traffic while Cole went to a party meeting in his disguise and gave a speech, telling the workers to work more for less. But with the coming of the Great Depression, he was bankrupted; he died penniless and forgotten in 1936 at the age of 50 in France, where his antics went virtually unnoticed.
Guto André
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 9:19:13 AM

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What now-famous author took part in the hoax?

The main limitation of the disguises was that the "royals" could not eat anything or their make-up would be ruined. Adrian Stephen took the role of "interpreter".
CheVegas ☁️ ✈ ☁️
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 4:40:56 PM

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"The Navy sent two officers to cane Cole as a punishment but Cole countered that it was they who should be caned because they had been fooled in the first place."

Say what?! That made them look even more pathetic.
Gustavo de S Consoni
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 4:59:59 PM

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The best part:

"Cole and his compatriots had not broken any law".

Marguerite
Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 7:44:55 PM

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Today this hoax would be treated as a terrorist act.
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