Main Menu | NJ Bicycle Routes | Great Jersey City Stories | New Jersey History | Hudson County Politics | Hudson County Facts | New Jersey Mafia | Hal Turner, FBI Informant | Email this Page
Removing Viruses and Spyware | Reinstalling Windows XP | Reset Windows XP or Vista Passwords | Windows Blue Screen of Death | Computer Noise | Don't Trust External Hard Drives! | Jersey City Computer Repair
Advertise Online SEO - Search Engine Optimization - Search Engine Marketing - SEM Domains For Sale George Washington Bridge Bike Path and Pedestrian Walkway Corona Extra Beer Subliminal Advertising Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Pet Care The Tunnel Bar La Cosa Nostra Jersey City Free Books
The Black Tom Explosion
Part B

the German envoys and agents failed to accomplish in physical damage, they more than compensated for by inflaming the public's imagination.

To the masterminds in Berlin -- primarily Col. Walther Nicolai, director of the Nachrichten Abteilung, the intelligence headquarters, centered in Berlin -- inflaming public imagination in the United States still wasn't enough. Dr. Albert, in a ridiculous charade of bungling, had allowed a U.S. Secret Servicc agent to snatch (in a New York elevated train) a briefcase containing incriminating literature about the Germans' activities. It involved not only Albert, Boy-Ed and von Papem but Dr. Constantin Theodor Dumba, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador and an American, George Sylvester Viereck, poet, propagandist and publisher of the militantly pro-German newspaper Vaterland.

The documents chronicled sabotage and projected activities, including an ambitious program to place fire bombs on Allied ships; wreck the Welland Canal, which bypassess Niagara Falls; and Wreak general chaos along the Canadian border.

That did it Albert, Boy-Ed, von Papen and Dumba were sent packing. Von Bernstorff miraculously weathered the storm. But Colonel Nicoiai knew that it was now time to rush in a reserve professional sabotage tean. It consisted of one man -- the suave, aristocratic army reservist, Capt Franz von Rintelen.

"Munitions," von Rinelen confided to his friends at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, "munitions ,my job -- what I can't buy I'll blow up , kaput schlagen!"

Buying was an empty boast. Already, the Allies' investment in U.S.-made materiel of war was approaching an annual $3 billion. Blowing up munitions was more within the realm of practicability.

Von Rintelen perfected the "pencil" bomb, a devilishly simple incendiary device which ignited cargoes when ships were far at sea. It was estimated later that he alone had destroyed $10 million worth of cargo on 36 ships.

In the United States less than three months, von Rintelen had worked fast. A spurious telegram, concocted by Scotland Yard, lured him on his way back to Germany. He was removed from a neutral ship at Falmouth, arrested and eventually returned to the United States for trial and imprisonment in the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta.

Before this supreme trickster had himself been tricked however, he was to recall strollling along the New Jersey waterfront one day and noting the intense activity at a mile-long pier jutting out from the settlement of Communipaw, opposite the Statue of Liberty. This was Black Tom Pier, resting partly on diminutive Black Tom Island, and containing a complex of warehouses and the tracks of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The name "Black Tom" was said to have originated from a swarthy-skinned fisherman, once the island's sole inhabitant.

Issuing forth from Black Tom Pier day and night, was much of the fuel


Jersey City History
Your Ancestors' Story
Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen's Jersey Shore Rock Haven!

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
Visit Liberty State Park!

Questions? Need more information about this Web Site? Contact us at:
297 Griffith St.
Jersey City, NJ 07307