Why German spies blew up this US island

5 903
And how they almost got away with it.
Become a Video Lab member! bit.ly/video-lab
In the years leading up to the United States’ entry into World War I in 1917, the nation was neutral, profiting from the war by manufacturing munitions and selling them to both sides. But a British naval blockade around Germany made it impossible for the Central Powers to acquire American arms. As a result, Imperial Germany established a ring of saboteurs and spies within the US, secretly destroying munitions factories and ships, and trying to make it look like an accident.
The signature attack of this campaign occurred on July 30, 1916, when saboteurs set fire to a massive stockpile of munitions ready to ship from Black Tom Island, a munitions depot in New York Harbor. The explosion was felt for miles around, but because the US had no infrastructure of domestic intelligence at the times, it took decades to prove that it wasn’t just an unfortunate accident. This German sabotage campaign ultimately laid the groundwork for the establishment of domestic intelligence agencies specializing in counter-espionage in the US.
Sabotage at Black Tom, by Jules Witcover: www.worldcat.org/title/sabotage-at-black-tom-imperial-germanys-secret-war-in-america-1914-1917/oclc/230989346
The Detonators by Chad Millman: www.littlebrown.com/titles/chad-millman/the-detonators/9780316076623/
Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out www.vox.com.
Watch our full video catalog: goo.gl/IZONyE
Follow Vox on Facebook: goo.gl/U2g06o
Or Twitter: goo.gl/XFrZ5H
Lengd: 07:27


Vox - 5 mánuðum síðan
The disappearing incendiary device that Franz von Rintelen used to set fire to ships (and possibly to blow up Black Tom) was designed by chemist and spy Walter Scheele. You can read more on him and how the device actually worked here (it's a great story in its own right): http://felixsommerfeld.com/news/mexican-revolution-blog/2019/3/9/dr-walter-t-scheele-mad-scientist-bomb-maker-german-spy
Paulo Membrive
Paulo Membrive - 2 mánuðum síðan
When you find the images for your videos ?
Replace Gaza with Israeli towns.
Replace Gaza with Israeli towns. - 5 mánuðum síðan
🦟For Bavaria!!!🤣🤣🤣🤣
Aayush Singh
Aayush Singh - 5 mánuðum síðan
can you please do a story on citizenship amendment bill in India.
TC1TheOrginal - 5 mánuðum síðan
And the evidence it wasn't an accident?
Vito Lebommil
Vito Lebommil - 5 mánuðum síðan
Can you guys share more details on HOW the US found out it was a German spy job and provide some evidence? I mean, we all remember Iraq and their weapon of mass destruction...
Matthew Moses
Matthew Moses - Degi Síðan síðan
Biggest forgotten history
Matt Esaw
Matt Esaw - 13 dögum síðan
I didn't know how devastating the explosion was in NY - especially damaging the Statute of Liberty. How did the Black Tom Explosion compare to the the Canadian Halifax Explosion of 1917? I know there was a lot of relief support from the states, most notably the annual Boston Christmas Tree festivities which initially started as an effort to help victims of the explosion.
lesterclaypool1 - Mánuði síðan
how come a history buff like myself never ever heard of this? and no one i have ever met heard of this ,,,i know now it is being taught , but it think its mendela effect ,, i never heard that the statue of liberty s torch was broken because of this , and all the windows for 25 mile were broken and no body i know ever heard about it ? come on
Surin Jairam
Surin Jairam - Mánuði síðan
So, it was no accident but there is no actual proof it were the germans...
Justin H
Justin H - 2 mánuðum síðan
This happened in earth 2.1 not earth 1.2 there have been many mistakes or glitches better word for 1.2 anyway wake up can't say anymore take care
Joseph Leonard
Joseph Leonard - 2 mánuðum síðan
Germany caused the creation of the largest and most dangerous intelligence network on the planet.
Nick Walker
Nick Walker - 2 mánuðum síðan
"You know what Europe looks like, right?"
**shows crude blob drawing**
Danny Frantsevich
Danny Frantsevich - 2 mánuðum síðan
I was kind of waiting for you to explain how they found out the Germans did it... why skip the information we all came here for?...
KennethSNSDSone SMTOWN - 2 mánuðum síðan
*what if they only blame it to the Germany so that they can enter the war just like what Republicans did on 9/11 so that they can go to war in the middle east?! 🤷‍♀️*
SA Mapping
SA Mapping - 3 mánuðum síðan
What was the use of phil?
ZE XIAN VICTOR LIU 刘泽贤 - 3 mánuðum síðan
So what bomb was used to set fire to the ship? Genuinely curious...
BlackEgyptianTelevision BETV
BlackEgyptianTelevision BETV - 3 mánuðum síðan
'' we record EVERYTHING and keep tabs on EVERYONE..'' sub my channel 2 hear the truth about life AND death...
TheBuggyGamer - 3 mánuðum síðan
Aren’t you like across a building?
Gia Đình Là Số 1 USA
Gia Đình Là Số 1 USA - 3 mánuðum síðan
Vox đã làm một công việc tuyệt vời như vậy với sự cống hiến hoàn toàn. Vox chắc chắn xứng đáng được đánh giá cao chân thành. Giữ tinh thần tốt, tất cả những điều tốt nhất cho thành công Vox trong tương lai của Vox!
quiflington - 3 mánuðum síðan
This is exactly why I hate homosexuals
Higgins_123 - 4 mánuðum síðan
I'm surprised this hasn't been used more as a partial justification of the japanese internship in the second world war. If there was such a widespread, effective and determined effort by germany in the first world war surely the gov would be criticised for not expecting something comparable from japan who's citizens were arguably far more nationalistic..
Simming FTW
Simming FTW - 4 mánuðum síðan
Not English for ducks sake it’s British
Vilver II
Vilver II - 4 mánuðum síðan
So much history in this story.
Gio D
Gio D - 4 mánuðum síðan
Cool story! Thx!
Ululululud - 4 mánuðum síðan
You can’t just say zee Germans
You can’t just say “Spies”
Where’s the specificities ...
AlexG911 - 4 mánuðum síðan
“u ready to history??! Ha ha ha”
Wow what an uneducated bunch
Sjeskey - 4 mánuðum síðan
the worlds first modern terrorist attack then?
Ululululud - 4 mánuðum síðan
@Sjeskey Nope , French Libertarians/Anarchists against the state powers
Chesco - 4 mánuðum síðan
*What if workplace accidents blamed 'German Spies' as the cause?*
Guido Ventura
Guido Ventura - 4 mánuðum síðan
I think we NEED a second part of the video, this is TOO SHORT
xele fonte
xele fonte - 4 mánuðum síðan
*This happened back when the American government was incompetent...oh wait they still are.*
Maçã Verde
Maçã Verde - 4 mánuðum síðan
I'll like you this time Vox..
Ace Hardy
Ace Hardy - 4 mánuðum síðan
djcj101 - 4 mánuðum síðan
So, where was Black Tom?
Megan Gee
Megan Gee - 4 mánuðum síðan
You guys are making a video dollop!
Jonathan B
Jonathan B - 4 mánuðum síðan
Fascinating. Thank you.
Bruh moment
Bruh moment - 5 mánuðum síðan
Jet Set
Jet Set - 5 mánuðum síðan
Its funny how he says this couldnt happen today even tho we had 9/11.
Okie Dokie Okie
Okie Dokie Okie - 5 mánuðum síðan
🦟🦗🦟🦗🦟🦗🦟🦗 💥🔥💥🔥💥🔥💥 FOR BAVARIA
DJARIA - 5 mánuðum síðan
Kaiesis - 5 mánuðum síðan
Can totally see you reading the dialogue off your computer. Did you plagiarize the entire thing from wikipedia?
TheBrettYouNeed - 5 mánuðum síðan
So 25 years later, month before entering ww2 they found evidence it was german spies after all? How convenient.
IgorGuardMy - 5 mánuðum síðan
One of the best series on vox, I love it and the hosts. Although this one could've been more thorough on details
Ike Okereke
Ike Okereke - 5 mánuðum síðan
Why are the comments on this video the shittest they have ever been?
Justice Warrior
Justice Warrior - 5 mánuðum síðan
Hmmm this seems like a Rabbi..
And the story about how they "discovered" it was the sabotage of the Germans also doesn't explain anything..
"Watcha doing here at this time of night with a matchbox rabbi?? "
Justice Warrior
Justice Warrior - 5 mánuðum síðan
United States of WAR PROFIT!!!
Ike Okereke
Ike Okereke - 5 mánuðum síðan
Vernon Keith Sequeira
Vernon Keith Sequeira - 5 mánuðum síðan
Not going to lie, they had me at the mosquitoes part 😂 💯
Ville Törölä
Ville Törölä - 5 mánuðum síðan
Sooooo they just decided it was the Germans? Where's the evidence, quite a lazy video. What else can you expect from vox...
Jonathan Greindl
Jonathan Greindl - 5 mánuðum síðan
A little disappointed, seems like you report only from your american view
Dzikrina Saira
Dzikrina Saira - 5 mánuðum síðan
So whats the point of this video? It didnt touch the most important questions which are how did the US finally find out that it was german sabotages? How did they prove it?
Anyway, I like this series. Kep up the good work,guys :)
LP Pokefan
LP Pokefan - 5 mánuðum síðan
1:25 This Map is definitely from before 1914, but interesting video.
KendrixTermina - 5 mánuðum síðan
The USA may have way better intelligence agencies now but they haven't stopped the war profiteering or being surprised when ppl get mad about it.
BENNET ATWELL - 5 mánuðum síðan
I just want to say, I love vox!
BENNET ATWELL - 5 mánuðum síðan
I just want to say, I love vox!
Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez - 5 mánuðum síðan
Anybody else here from Mandela Effect? I don’t remember learning about this... EVER.
Star Core
Star Core - 26 dögum síðan
Same! I came to this video after watching a video by All Time who mentioned the explosion of Black Tom Island in one of their Mandela Effect videos.
KXNG KLIZHY - 5 mánuðum síðan
So no real evidence just flaming my beloved DEUTSCHLAND 🇩🇪
Susana Horia
Susana Horia - 5 mánuðum síðan
Why are the Balearic Islands highlighted for the Allies? They've been part of Spain for centuries?
1323GamerTV - 5 mánuðum síðan
Why is this video laggy
Josephus Lanit
Josephus Lanit - 5 mánuðum síðan
Now ISIS and Narcos are buying these US arms. Lol.
Googlelee Goo
Googlelee Goo - 5 mánuðum síðan
Ready for the best part…?
Here’s Vox’s far-left political page back in September celebrating the passage of AB 5 as a “victory for workers everywhere”:

AB 5’s passage — which Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to
sign — could easily be seen as just another progressive victory in
California. But it is more than that. It is a historic moment for the US
labor movement too.

By making it hard for employers to misclassify employees as
independent contractors, potentially millions of California workers
who’ve been kept off payrolls will get basic labor rights for the first
time, like overtime pay and unemployment benefits. This includes
janitors, construction workers, security guards, and hotel housekeepers —
and yes, this group also includes Uber and Lyft drivers.And then, a mere three months later, this very same Vox celebrated AB

5 by axing hundreds of people just in time for the Christmas holidays.
You gotta love socialism.

You see, the law makes it impossible for Vox to keep these folks on,
unless of course Vox wants to hire them — you know, add some 200 people
to its payroll, which would include enormous new costs, but…

Vox doesn’t love working people enough to take on all of that, so they were fired.
Samsuz Zaman
Samsuz Zaman - 5 mánuðum síðan
USA President : How to enter a war???
Blows up some things in his land.
Blames someone for doing that.
And fights him.......
It's a tradition for US Presidents...
Warpath1337 - 5 mánuðum síðan
See they spy on you for you freedom...
Marcus Vachon
Marcus Vachon - 5 mánuðum síðan
This is one explanation as to why, during WWII, America worked so hard to protect the eastern seaboard from the Axis Powers. Obviously, the main reason was the German U-boats, but the American government officials did not forget the repeated attacks by the German spies.
His Excellency President of Republic of Gambia
So basically, America was selling weapons to both sides; who would have thought?
Benjamin Gonzalez
Benjamin Gonzalez - 5 mánuðum síðan
America didn’t recognize it up until 1939 when WWII huh.. very convenient
EquineDreams - 5 mánuðum síðan
So you read the book "Black Tom Island" ? How much info about Frederick Herrmann, , the Pencil Bomb and the "Herrmann Letter" will be in the movie? Is there a way I can contact you privately? Have you also read: The Detonators by Chad Millman? and "The Fourth Horseman" by Robert Koenig? I confess that i have read very little of the last book other than the parts where Frederick Herrmann or the Herrmann Letter is mentioned. One more thing in the Black Tom Island book there was something that happened in Mexico where he saved his fellow spy's life on page 137 that the author called a myth or "story" as in tall tale. It was NOT a tall tale! It was not a "story" it DID happen! It is too bad the authors never contacted Fred Herrmann's son who was still living at the time of the writing of the book. Do the creators of this video or the movie have a contact email? For those who think Black Black Tom Island was an inside Job uh NO it wasn't and the book "Black Tom Island" is accurate except for the part just mentioned which is not politically significant as its just a personal story about something that DID happen that some people are overly incredulous about.
Ze Frendly Medic
Ze Frendly Medic - 5 mánuðum síðan
More economic downturn.
Ze Frendly Medic
Ze Frendly Medic - 5 mánuðum síðan
MMMM Yaaa zis ist gut!!!
Michel J Pun
Michel J Pun - 5 mánuðum síðan
This is a great story I can't believe they have not made a movie from this!!!!
Destroyer VTK
Destroyer VTK - 5 mánuðum síðan
Failed inside job for america
TheLukester10 - 5 mánuðum síðan
Yay you guys talked about my city. Jersey City on the map 🥳
T Chowdhury
T Chowdhury - 5 mánuðum síðan
So US was doing the same things back in the 1900 just like now by supplying arms for war, who ever it may be?!!
Hassan Shahid
Hassan Shahid - 5 mánuðum síðan
Guys, please do an episode on the CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT and NATIONAL REGISTER OF CITIZEN OF INDIA. These two policies presented by the BJP government is killing India's secular constitution and has been condemned even by the UNHR.
The law is targeting the muslims of the nation. And a lot of muslims are going to lose their home.
TheJrbdog - 5 mánuðum síðan
1939 sure is a suspicious time to blame the Germans...
big oof
big oof - 5 mánuðum síðan
Germany is NOT the ideal man
Eduardo Villicana
Eduardo Villicana - 5 mánuðum síðan
This is fresh new history
Señor Droolcup
Señor Droolcup - 5 mánuðum síðan
the podcast "the dollop" has a suspiciously similar setup. nevertheless I enjoyed it
D. adimas
D. adimas - 5 mánuðum síðan
How do you validate your source??
Helgali - 5 mánuðum síðan
US wanted nothing with WWI.
1:06 ".. but that doesn't mean they couldn't profit from it".
Capitalism (overall US mentality) in a nutshell.
Everything Dibs
Everything Dibs - 5 mánuðum síðan
bisquitnspanky - 5 mánuðum síðan
The explosion was waiting to happen regardless.
Swarnamoy Nandi
Swarnamoy Nandi - 5 mánuðum síðan
Plz cover the NRC situation in India.
matthew clark
matthew clark - 5 mánuðum síðan
Gggaaawwwddd not this thing again. Please, please I beg of you, lose this video format, it's absolutely awful. Or at least put it in the title so I won't click it
a b
a b - 5 mánuðum síðan
Such a coincidence that it just got discovered in 39, right?
Gev G
Gev G - 5 mánuðum síðan
Doubt it was actual Germans though, but rather those that bare german last names.