Papen - World War I

World War I

Papen was expelled from the United States during World War I for alleged complicity in the planning of sabotage such as blowing up U.S. rail lines. On 28 December 1915, he was declared persona non grata after his exposure and recalled to Germany. En route, his luggage was confiscated, and 126 cheque stubs were found showing payments to his agents. Papen went on to report on American attitudes, to both General Erich von Falkenhayn and Wilhelm II, German Emperor.

In April 1916, a United States federal grand jury issued an indictment against Papen for a plot to blow up Canada's Welland Canal, which connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, but Papen was then safely home; he remained under indictment until he became Chancellor of Germany, at which time the charges were dropped. Later in World War I, Papen served as an officer first on the Western Front, from 1917 as an officer on the General Staff in the Middle East, and as a major in the Ottoman army in Palestine.

Papen also served as intermediary between the Irish Volunteers and the German government regarding the purchase and delivery of arms to be used against the British during the Easter Rising of 1916, as well as serving as an intermediary with the Indian nationalists in the Hindu German Conspiracy. Promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, he returned to Germany and left the army at the war's end in 1918.

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