There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Tue, 18 Feb 2020 11:00
Part One: Basil Zaharoff: The Man Who Sold World War One
Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Wanna say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know. Because after listening to stuff you should know you will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees. So four whole months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar wide ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello America and the rest of the world. I'm Robert Evans, and this is yet another terrible introduction for the podcast that exists that you're listening to. And it's called behind the ******** and about bad people. And that's the introduction. Sophie, do you think that's a keeper? It's way better than some of the ones you've done in the last couple weeks. Well, I'll have to. I'll have to correct that and make it worse. In the first episode, he just goes Hitler. Oh my God. Yeah, well, you know, my guest today who you're hearing from is Teresa Lee. Teresa, what's up? How's it going? I'm in the studio, but you're not. I can see you in a. East Coast, which is terrible, and it knows it. In general, you just hate the East Coast. Yeah, I mean the West Coast, like, you know the, the, the, yeah, exactly. We're, we're, we're all West Coast elites on this podcast. Yeah, yes. Elite. Where's the three? How do they do the hacks or hacks are elite. L No, 733, whatever. Don't add me. Yeah, yeah. But, Theresa, you and I worked together. We did a number of years at a website called Cracked, where we were we were East or West Coast elites together. Hmm. And and now you have a podcast called you can tell me anything, which I've guessed it on once. Is there anything else you'd like to announce right now? You also are professionally funny, which is, I think is pretty cool. She has an adorable dog. I do have a dog. Sure. I besides being a professionally funny. I I'm not never funny if you're not paying me, by the way. But I I have a short film. So yeah, if you guys want check out called. I think she likes you. It it came out like about a month ago, but you know, it's still out there and never spread the word too much considering we have no marketing money. But it's on YouTube. YouTube youtube.com/i think she likes you. Well, we're going to. I'm gonna ask my listeners right now to do guerilla marketing for your show. Go spray paint an MTA station, burn down a wealthy person's house and. Do you have some problem with me urging people to do commit crimes on your behalf, Teresa? Is that something you don't like? Please, please do not commit crimes on my behalf. Please not commit crimes on anyone's behalf. And, you know, just stay in school. Cool. Teresa. Saying that to be polite, this podcast is very pro crime. OK, cool. Get out there. Break some laws. Break some random laws. Go jaywalking. It's a good time. It's safe. Yeah, do it blindfolded. Definitely do that. Yeah, that's that's the competitive version of jaywalking. Competitive jaywalking. Yeah. Yeah, the the judge, the judges, the ER Doctor Who sees you. Teresa, have you ever heard of Basil Zaharoff? I don't think so. That's the way I say the last name again. Hazard Zaharah ZAHAROF, no, that was me buying time to try to think of an answer. But no, I'm going to just go with no. And you know what if that sounds so that's OK. It's not I'm I I had never heard of this guy until I started researching until like, right before I started researching him. Is a fascinating figure. He has more nicknames than I think, almost any historical figure I've ever studied. He's was called the Merchant of Death, the armaments King, the mystery man of Europe, a whole bunch of them. The amount of Europe really just doesn't hold up to the others. It's just that sounds like a draft nickname. Yeah, like it was in somebody's like Google, like, like, like, like a saved e-mail. They're just like, yeah, it sounds like when you text your friends to be like, what do you think? And they're like, no, yeah, well, he didn't choose his nicknames, but he didn't choose his career. And the things he did in his life are why. So this guy was the, the inspiration behind one of James Bond's early villains, the head of Spectre. So, like, one of the first bond villains, like, it was directly inspired by this guy. And he was basically a bond. Colin? This is going to be a different episode than a lot, because a lot of what I'm going to tell you today are lies, because there are so this guy told so many lies about his background that nobody knows for certain a lot of things. The dude we're talking about today is, in short, the guy who invented the international arms industry. Wow. Yeah, so he this is like the guy who figured out, like, selling guns to multiple, like different countries as like an international business. He's like one of the very first, like there were a couple of other people at the same time. But like, he's the, he's the brilliant mind behind the arms industry. You could call him like the father of the military industrial complex. So that's our dude today. Are you a fan? Was that? Are you a fan of the international arms trade, Theresa? You know, I usually fan of international things, but in this case, I have to say hard. No. So your podcast is not currently sponsored by Raytheon? You know, I I haven't checked, but I'm going to guess no, that I don't think we're sponsored by a mass weapons distributor. But, you know, I guess. I said we can still. I mean I don't know things can surprise if you're listening Raytheon opportunity here you could you could you wanna read, sell a lot of drones small group of comedy Slash therapy fans. Who might be interested in buying mass weapons of mass destruction? I mean, I I happen to know, Theresa, that your podcasts have a lot of fans who are the potentates of small Eastern European nations. So, yeah, that's a there. There might be some sales in there. Yeah, so, uh, Prince Zacharias Basilius. Zakharoff was born in a small town in Anatolia, which is like Turkey, on October 6th, 1849. There are very few. Yeah, he's a Libra. There you go. That's two in a row they love. Yeah, the the we got. So there there aren't a whole lot of set facts about his early life. But I called him a Prince at the start, and he absolutely was not a Prince. We know for a fact that he was in no way a Prince, but he would lie about being a Prince as entire life, not even by marriage. Not not even by marriage. Yeah, his parents were Greeks, and they'd spent most of the mid 1840s fleeing political instability as Greece fought for its independence from the Ottoman Empire. Since they were living in the Ottoman Empire for most of their lives, identifying as Greek was not an entirely safe move. So they changed the family last name from Zachariah DC's to Zakharoff so that they could pretend to be Russians. So from an early age, his parents are like, tell everybody we're ******* Russian. And let him know we're Greek. Yeah, so that's cool. And the hidden is Russians. The Zakharoff's wound up living in a town named Mugla in the Anatolian peninsula. Today. We would call it Turkey, but they didn't. Then Zacharias was named after his grandfather, and he lived in Mugla until he was three, when his family decided Constantinople was a safe enough city to move to. All of this part is probably pretty accurate, but Zakharoff would spend the rest of his life trying to obscure even these very basic details of his upbringing as an old man. He told a teenage girl that he wanted to **** this quote also. He yeah. He's that guy, OK? Quote my father was Russian. Well, it's one of these episodes. OK, cool. Well, he's, I mean, he's a rich old arms dealer. Of course he's gonna try to have sex with children. Quote my father was Russian and my mother was Greek, of the Byzantine family of des Brasenose. In another interview published on the same time, though, he told a journalist I was born in Anatolia. My father was a Polish origin, my mother was French with the Levantine strain, so everyone who talked to me would tell a different story about where his parents came from, what his his upbringing was. He was just like one of those people who lied habitually about every single aspect of their lives. I feel like with that, a lot of times you think, oh, there must be some massive secret, but in general it's just because the truth is so boring or so uninteresting that they're just trying to obscure it. Yeah, you know, I I think it and I think it often starts with people who just like because the truth is so boring and they don't want to be boring. But some of those people wind up living very interesting lives. And I guess if you, if you have this combination of lying about everything and having an interesting life, that's what it takes to be an international man of mystery. See that? Yeah. And also if you. Which is why I lied about my upbringing. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I've I've followed this blueprint my entire life, so. Yeah, like, none of you even know I'm Canadian. It's. I kept that. I've never even seen your face. It's a I don't know what you look like. No, I always wear a mask. It's one of those president masks, yeah. So those Akerlof would later claim we have grown up poor. He did not. That was another lie. His family was comfortably middle class and he attended very good schools. His mother was blind and after school she made her son repeat all of his lessons for that day to her, which he claimed is how he sharpened his memory. His dad was in the business of importing something called Attar of Roses, which I think is basically a fancy rose scented essential oil. He had to boil like 250 pounds of rose petals to get a single ounce of the liquid, so it was very valuable. He traveled a lot for work in his family, traveled with him. One of Sarah's sisters was born in England, and the time of Broad gave him an early experience with foreign languages and cultures. So he again lies about the number of languages he can speak the rest of his life and says it's like 14 or something ridiculous. But he was a polyglot and he gets experience around the world from a young age. So there are rumors that when Zaharoff was young, a wealthy family offered to pay his tuition to an English school in the capital. These rumors usually end with allegations of that wealthy. Families, Masonic connections. Because this guy shows up in a lot of conspiracy theories. You'll find him in a lot of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, even though he was not Jewish, because a lot of people are convinced he was Jewish because he was an arms dealer that spoilers helped lead the world into World War One. So yeah, that's a fun 10, no? Yeah. Sounds like these other people have to work through their issues. Yeah, I mean, if you're any kind of important and any kind of shady racists will decide that you must secretly be Jewish. Yeah, cool, cool. It is cool. It. That's exactly what it is, Theresa. It's it's cool. So yeah, the there's rumors that, like, yeah, this wealthy Masonic family paid for him to go to a fancy school for shady reasons. The reality is that he probably attended this English school in Constantinople for free because all of the English schools in the city were run by churches, and people didn't like the churches because they were Muslim and not Christian. And so the churches were always empty and would give free schooling to people just to keep them full. So that's probably how he was able to go to a good school. So Zaharoff nursed an early love of England. Regarding it from the beginning as the one nation that could help him establish the kind of career that he wanted to have, one version of his background suggests that as an adolescent he made his way over to England and attended a mid level British boarding school. He claimed the other boys made fun of him for his foreign sounding name and so he adopted his middle name, Basil, as his new first name. He also says that he learned how to box so he could punch anyone who made fun of him. So that's yeah, that sounds like a healthy way to cope with the anger. Yeah. I mean, yeah. People make fun of you. You learn how to punch. That's a healthy. Yeah, that's the word for it. Did Todd Phillips write this guy's life? No. Yeah. Robert, that was, I think he was an inspiration for Todd. Yeah. Yes. Yeah, this is this is actually. This is like the opposite of that story. OK, so sorry, I'm totally distracting you. OK. Yeah, so there are some reasons to believe this version of the story, because he did know a lot about English culture and, like, knew a lot about boarding school culture in England. But like people who later, like, looked through the records of all of those schools, there's like no evidence that he actually attended any of them. The other, more legendary version of this guy's life story is that when he was an adolescent, his family fell on hard times, and he was forced to take to the streets of Constantinople to hustle his way to get enough money to pay for an education. These rumors will claim that he worked as a brothel. Tout was the term at the time. You know what a brothel tout is? I can guess. Is it a guy who goes? Is it like a person who barks people into a brothel? Like, hey, we got a we got sex tonight. Come on in. You know where sex like that? Yeah. OK yeah. You know, that's exactly what it is. Yeah, you should do that. You know a lot about brothels. Yeah, they have people. That's what if that's so sad? If I barking into comedy shows is like the worst thing. And then to do it for a brothel sounds just like, do they need that? I feel like people like sex, right? Yeah, but they don't always know where the sex is, right? And they don't know what time. Maybe there's a lot of competition. What time do the doors open for the sex? You got no ******* know. You don't wanna really, you know. And for you know that was not meant to be fun, but that now it is. OK. No, but it was. Yeah. OK. What's up? Yeah, so he's a brothel tout and like. You'll find a lot of like kind of poorly written and poorly researched articles about him that will claim he got his start as a pimp. And it's just because people haven't heard of a brothel tout. Like it was way lower level than a pimp. Like he was not getting a cut of these girls money. He was getting paid to basically stand on the street and shout out the prices of different women in the brothel. You can buy this. Yeah, this is a dollar to. I don't know. I don't know what brothel prices were like in Constantinople more than 1800s. I don't know. I mean, that was a lot of money back then. Sure. Hard working person ought to be able to afford a brothel. So yeah, it was the kind of job that probably would have made a lot of sense for someone like basil, because he was very cultured, he spoke a lot of languages. He was very charming, tall and handsome. He's the kind of person you would want to be doing that job. He was good at talking people into things. We he worked as a money changer, too, and as a tourist guide, but he didn't. Find his first true calling until he got involved in the noble profession, a firefighting. Ohh now, OK, that sounds like you guys normally a great thing to do, right? Working as a firefighter, one of the one of the most noble professions you can embark upon. That was not his job in the fire department. His job was starting fires. So in this period of time the Constantinople Fire Brigade was basically a mafia and in order to make money. They would burn down the houses of rich people and then basically solicit bribes to go get their valuables out so they'd be like, oh, your house is on fire. That's a shame. Be good if somebody went in there and rescued your nice ****. And, like, gets paid and yeah, it's pretty cool. That's dark, I mean. We're firefighters, not provided like, what were these bribes the way like like you bribe police, but it's not, it's still shady or we're firefighters, the tight, like private industry where you have to pay them to come like a plan. Public employees for Christmas tree, yeah. Yeah, this would happen again. That's why you don't do that. That's the thing. That's that with all the fires that were going on in California, like rich people hired fire firefighters. So yeah, I mean, this is like, there's a long history of this, like Marcus Licinius Crassus, who is a a Roman and one of the like, considered to be like, the one of the wealthiest men in the ancient world, made a lot of his fortune by operating the fire department in ancient Rome, which was a private enterprise, and charging people while their houses were on fire to put the fires out. Yeah, so like, this is like a like fire, like running firefighting like companies was like a thing that you would do if you were a real ***** ** **** for a very long time because, like, the governments didn't do **** all. Yeah, it's awesome. Who but his job? So Basil was not putting out fires. He would start them OK, which is like the easiest part of that gig. Really. Like, I think I would have been very good at this job. Yeah. In 1865, a major fire tore through Constantinople, destroying 8000 homes, 20 mosques, 5 churches, and numerous businesses. Roughly 1/4 of the city was burned down, 20,000 people were rendered homeless, and an unknown number were killed. The Ottoman government responded with a vicious crackdown, arresting and trying and hanging numerous perpetrators. It is impossible to know if Zaharoff had anything to do with this, but his friends on the fire Brigade later noted that he fled the city immediately afterwards and stayed away for five full years. Seems guilty. Maybe. So here's the thing. There's again, as I said, there's different versions of all of this, and it's entirely possible that he fled the city because he committed a totally different series of crimes. Hmm true because he was a yeah always criming and I'm gonna read you what to you about what those crimes were in this quote from the book Man of Arms which is a biography of Zaharoff in his late teens it is generally accepted a maternal uncle, Sebastopol this offered him a job in his cloth business in the busy Galata district by the port. The merchant was delighted with his astute and aspiring relation and for two or three years everything went well. Then, suddenly and mysteriously, the young man vanished and for several years all trace of his career vanished with him, conveniently. Creating one of those vacuums in his life which legends so avidly filled, one tail had it that he absconded with his uncle's cash, was caught and sent to a prison from which he made his escape. It was even hinted that he had taken the life of a warder of a guard in this bid. The least sensational view was that he had committed some misdemeanor, but had managed to flee abroad with the proceeds to embark on a new career under another name. So either he got in trouble for burning down 1/4 of the city, had to flee, or he stole all of his uncle's money. They had to flee, and it's also possible that he went to jail for stealing his uncle's money and then murdered a cop and had to flee. All of those things are possible. We don't know which is true, if it or any of them. It might be something totally different. That's the frustrating thing about writing about this guy. Yeah, it's like really impossible to know what actually happened, and Basel himself only deepened the mystery by saying **** like this to interviewers later in life. Quote I have been lucky all my life. If I hadn't been, I should have been murdered long ago, or else serving a life sentence in some prison. So he, he would drop little lines like that just to keep the mystery alive. So there's some buried bodies in his past that have not been found. There were, there are a lot of buried bodies in his past that everybody saw because that's kind of the benefit of being an arms dealer is you can get a lot of people buried and you're just doing your job. So, yeah, he's just boosting those Q4 numbers, you know. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. His Q4 numbers just for me. Your jokes are killing me. Hmm. Robert, why aren't you as funniest stories? And I think it's because he's on a screen. So then I feel more compulsion to say things, but then they feel more, what's it called? Non sequitur. So I will. And then Sophie's across from me, so she's laughing at me, but I am paying. I'm paying rapt attention. You're paying very close attention. That's good. So? So he lied, OK? And you don't know what? Everything he ever said is a lie and we don't know what he did. These are the different stories he may have been. A prostitute Barker and then an arsonist who fled the country. He may have stolen all of his uncle's money. Might have murdered a cop. Who knows. By the early 1870s though, we know that Zaharoff had made it to Great Britain, and we know this to a point of certainty because he almost immediately got arrested and massive legal tropical over there and there are thankfully court records. So this is the **** we absolutely know happened. During his travels to England he met a young woman named Emily Burrows who was the daughter of a Bristol based businessman and depending on which version of history you believe, Basil was either living off money stolen from his uncle or living there off money given to him for commodity speculation by a number of businesses. Back in Constantinople. Either way, when he meets this woman, Emily, he succeeds in passing himself off as a very wealthy foreign man, which he was not. But he was charming and he had a nice suit and no one had the Internet, so he was able to get away with. Yeah, these lies. Emily falls in love with Basil. He proposed to her and in short order, the couple were married in Paris. They quickly returned back to England to repeat the marriage ceremony in front of her family. Years later, Emily's niece Henriette recalled that this second ceremony was, quote, planned in a great rush. My aunt seemed agitated about something. She wanted to wait a little longer, but Basilius was pressing her to marry him. So Anthony Alfrey, one of Basil's biographers, suspects that she might have been nervous because she hadn't told her parents about the first marriage that they'd had in Paris. But it's also possible that she'd started to suspect that her new beau might be a con artist, because he absolutely was. On the marriage register, he listed his name as Zacharias Gorshkov, which was a reference to Prince Michael Gorshkov of Russia, so he was claiming to be a Russian. Prince to this woman. That's why he's yeah, yeah. He claimed that his dad, a rose oil salesman, was a high-ranking Russian general and Basil himself claimed to be a general. And it's entirely possible that Emily didn't even know that her new husband had like grown up in Constantinople and believed him to be a full blooded member of the Russian nobility. For his part, Basil's interest in Emily probably had less to do with love than real estate. She was four years older than him, and her wealthy father was somewhat desperate to marry her off, so he'd set her up in a fashionable apartment right off of Belgrave Square in Bristol. Now, Basil was very much taken with her high class home and he wanted to live there himself. Unfortunately, once the two were wed, Emily's father started pushing for them to move back to the family home in the country. Vasal resisted this because he was marrying this woman for her nice apartment. Yeah, so yeah, for a little while they lived very well together in that nice apartment, but that was not to last very long and in a little bit. Teresa, I'm gonna tell you what happened next. How's that Aerov got arrested and how his first time in court went. But first you know who won't lie to women and claim to be a Russian Prince? Who? Raytheon. No, they will make a missile. That's nothing but knives to assassinate people in Afghanistan and Yemen, but they will not pretend to be a Russian Prince to romance. This woman. I mean, they would if they could, but Raytheon is notoriously bad at faking a Russian accent. That's one thing everyone knows the women and claim to be a Russian Prince. Who? Raytheon. No, they will make a missile. That's nothing but knives to assassinate people in Afghanistan and Yemen, but they will not pretend to be a Russian Prince to romance. This woman. I mean, they would if they could, but Raytheon is notoriously bad at faking a Russian accent. That's one thing everyone knows. So we're off to ads. There, here we go. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and. That meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at mintmobile.com/behind. That's mintmobile.com/behind. Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy. At mintmobile.com/behind. So by now we imagine that you've seen the theories on Tik T.O.K. You maybe even heard the rumors, your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade, we hear at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions. Sometimes there are answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research. With you for the first time ever in a book format, you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read books.com or wherever you find your favorite books. My name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world, and if you can give a voice to them, you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with Spreaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always feel like an ambassador for speaker. But that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Get paid to talk about the things you love. Spreaker from iheart. We're back. The podcast returns. The ads are done. So I'm going to read another quote from the book Man at Arms, about the early days of a Basil's ill-fated marriage to Miss Emily quote and Hill St They remained the bogus Boyer, Miss Greenslade recalled. Who is this woman's like niece? Years later, accompanying himself on the piano and entertaining his wife and her niece with talk of life on the steps and the gay goings on in the court of Saint Petersburg, the idol lasted little more than a month. Then, scenting trouble, perhaps alerted by news from Constantinople, Zaharoff persuaded his wife that it was. Imperative they leave the country. He gave the impression that he was engaged in important diplomatic missions for the Russian government and had acquired enemies who, abetted by the police, were on his tail, accompanied always by the the woman relating the story this woman's niece. They moved to Brussels where they were royally treated, but unfortunately for Zaharoff and his new bride, the news of a wedding between this Russian Prince and the High society Englishwoman had made international news, and businessmen and Constantinople who'd sent him over to England to make investments were really ****** to see this guy. They knew was a Greek businessman living the high life in England, pretending to be a Russian Prince. So these people he stole from basically see him in the paper and are like, that's not a ******* Russian Prince. Yeah, so these businessmen had sent Zaharoff over to England with about £7000 in merchandise and securities, which was somewhere in the ballpark of 1 1/2 million U.S. dollars. Yeah, so he stole steals a lot from these people. They immediately sent a representative over to London to file charges, which is why Zaharoff had felt the need to flee Britain in the 1st place. Unfortunately for him, England and Belgium had just signed one of the world's first extradition treaties and Prince Zaharoff quickly became the very first person arrested and extradited under it. That's cool, yeah. Breaking new ground now. The new Princess, his new wife was not happy with this, but Zaharoff assured her it was all a terrible misunderstanding, just a case of mistaken identity, and promised he would take care of it very quickly. If only her wealthy father would help him with some of the legal bills in the short term while he put matters to write and got in touch with his royal family members back in Russia. In December, he went to court charged with stealing 28 cases of gum and 109 bags of gall, along with the theft of seven. Yeah, that's not what I expected him to have stolen. Yeah, he stole like these were like products they sent over as like samples that he took with him and just sold in England, along with £7000 worth of securities. Upon arrest, he had been found with the securities in the form of 24 Turkish bonds and a loaded revolver. The court asked Basil if he was often in the habit of traveling with thousands of dollars of other people's money and a loaded gun. He assured them that he had been traveling with a revolver regularly since the age of seven, which is a weird thing to brag to a quote about. Do you always have stolen money and guns? Yeah, that's like, I don't do. Don't worry. I've had, I've had a gun since I was a child, so you don't have to worry. No, no, I got a gun when I was a baby. It's fine. Yeah. Don't don't don't freak out. And there's a court artist depiction of him giving his deposition, and it's pretty ******* great. I am going to have Sophie show it to you now so you can get a look at how the court artist thought of this guy. OK. Let's see it. Oh. It looks like he's like in a therapist office. Yeah, he's yeah. I mean, he's. It's weird. Yeah, that must have. His waist is very thin, his mustache in like beard or like pointed and like like very thin hook vibe. Yeah, kind of like a cross between Captain Hook and a New Yorker caricature of a fancy British person. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So there are, again, two stories as to how this whole court case was resolved. Zaharoff would go to his grave claiming that he settled the matter in court when he found a lost letter from his uncle, the head of the firm that had hired him, stating that he should take the bond money as payment for his travel expenses and services rendered. And it does seem to be true that the aggrieved party who sued him was his uncle. But the rest of the story is probably a lie. Court records note that Prince Zaharoff was declared guilty of embezzlement, but only sentenced to pay about 100 pounds in fines. This is likely because he agreed to pay restitution to the people he'd robbed. Or rather, he got his new wife to pay back the people he'd stolen from his biographer notes quote. All that is clear is that Zaharoff had made a promise of at least partial restitution, and there is little doubt parental indulgence so recently overtaxed of its probable source, Miss Zakharov, the late Princess Gorchakov. Knee Burrows like his his his wife who was pretending like using the name Gorchakov which was the fake name that this guy used this and her husband's legal expenses according to her niece swallowed up her aunts money. So basically he has her pay the pay back the people he stole from. So he gets to keep the money and then as soon as he's released from jail he flees England and abandons his wife and yeah also abandoned the continents. Well yeah, I mean you're not really a grifter if you don't abandoned. At least one wife. Yeah. It's crazy that she. I feel like she almost got out of it before they. Or you said she had doubts before the second marriage. Yeah, it seems like that that she was starting to realize this guy was shady and then it's almost she had to just keep going because it's like, well, at this point I'm gonna just see it through. The sunk cost fallacy is applied to romance. Yeah, it makes fools of us all. So now obviously today, if you've got a grifter who gets in trouble in one country and caught in a grift and tried in court. You're gonna flee to Mexico. That's just where you're gonna go if you're a grifter in the modern era. But Mexico was not the place for Grifters in the late 1800s, and so instead, Prince Zaharoff left for the United States, which was great, was the Mexico of the 1800s in terms of being a place for Grifters to go and absolutely be able to get away with anything. So yeah, he gets on a boat, ***** off to North America. He never divorced Emily. He basically just abandoned her to her family after taking all of their money. So, yeah, that's that's cool. Well, sorry, I should say he went to Cyprus like. Yeah, it's it's cool stuff. So, yeah, like, it's very complicated. This guy is like the, the, the, the, the, the movements this guy goes through. But after, like some time in North America, he goes to Cyprus, this tiny Grecian island, and he founds a business and he starts a series of small enterprises, operating a gradually expanding number of shops and importing exotic foodstuffs. And as his finances gradually improved, he started going back and forth. England again, and he never met with his wife. Like like he like would hide from her every time he was back in England on business by the early 1800s he took on a few small jobs selling rifles to the Greek government and like he didn't like at this point, really like take up arms dealing as a major trade. But it was certainly something he was willing to do a little bit of. He sold linens too. He catered barracks for the British Army. His company laid down Telegraph poles and train tracks. He got involved with shipping. And was constantly investing in different markets. During his trips to London, he lived pretty well off of this, but his businesses were constantly in one sort of debt or another, and his profits were always in the process of being reinvested into a new enterprise. He hatched a scheme to get the British government to let him run the development of Cyprus, which they controlled thanks to his shaky treaty deal with Russia and the Ottoman Empire. For this, government let him develop this island. He was trying to wow. He was trying to. He failed. So England was kind of like in control of Cyprus due to these, like, weird series of political events. And he was trying to get them to, like, develop the island and let him run it. But that didn't end up working. Neither did a series of, like business ventures in Alexandria and then France and then back to the Mediterranean coast. And trying to keep track of all his businesses and plots in this. Is like, impossible. There's just so much **** going on and like, so much. Doubt about it. What matters is that he was a serial entrepreneur. He's one of these guys that always has an angle, always has a business. He's trying, always has an investment going on. And yeah, he was successful enough at this that he was able to dress well and live comfortably and put on the image of being wealthy. But he was also always on the edge of disaster and always had most of his assets invested into the next big thing. Have you seen uncut gems? No, this reminds me of that movie. Yeah, how so? He's just constantly. Adam Sandler's character is like constantly just like getting in higher stakes gambling debt. And he'll like finally get it back to pay someone. But instead of paying it back, he's like, I'm going to gamble this on this new game and then I'll make even more and you'll both get paid and he's just doing it more and more. And then at the end, well, I won't give it away, but, you know, gambling. Yeah, you can. You can assume that it's how gambling happens. What happens when you generally, this is kind of that story, but. It for him, when he he gambles too much, it helps start World War One, so a little bit more high stakes. Wow. OK, so we're going there. OK, cool. Yeah, that's where this **** goes. So Basil built a reputation as a man of scandal, and he left behind a constant stream of sobbing women and outraged families. I'm going to read you now a letter that he sent while he was in a hotel in Paris to one of his business partners. And his letter kind of gives you some insight into the way he conducted his relationships. And he's talking in this about. Like two women he met at the hotel and slept with quote Miss Gehron, whom I was fool enough to poke a few times immediately after my arrival at the hotel, had her knife in me and Miss Mccraith for my giving her up with the latter. You appear to be under the impression that Miss McGrath was divorced and I might marry her. You were wrong. I would not do so if she had millions. I poked her because it was my Caprice. I poke her still, and when I want to change, I shall give her up. I am under no obligations to her family as she cost me what an average ***** would do. And I pay her in one way or another. And I have no doubt that if another man chose to court her and pay for it, he could have her if he paid more than me and she would turn me up. So this is the guy way this guy talks about the red pill. Yeah, he's he's pretty gross. So shortly after, wow, yeah, I didn't even realize that was. I didn't know people were. It just seems very current to be like. A poker? Hmm. Yeah, it's weird to hear in like an 8. You expect people to be like, I don't know, what's a fancy way to say, **** I lay with, you know, stooped. It's not fancy at all. So shortly after writing this, Zaharoff fell ill. He was diagnosed with anemia and it's impossible to know what ailment he actually had because 1870s medicine was basically drunk. Guessing his description of his doctor's orders for how to treat this ailment as entertaining, though quote I'm to avoid the least excitement to take gentle exercise and avoid all stares. And if I want to kill myself, I am to have a woman. This last is strictly enforced. I am to give up women altogether and in fact avoid them so as to not get excited. His doctor says he's got to stop *******. So it's * **** disease. He probably got STD's because they were like, if they said he can't, he can't get excited. Not because of the heart, but because of *** **** because it has to do with women, right? *** **** burns, and he when it gets hard, it hurts. Might have gotten some of that chlamydia's. I don't know. I I don't know. You got poked poked disease. Yeah, he was poking too much, and his doctor said he had to stop it with the poken, so whatever illness actually affected him, Basil Zaharoff eventually recovered and continued his unsuccessful bouncing around the Mediterranean in search of a big score. By 1884, he'd given up on this quest and decided to take leave of the continent for good and try his luck in the United States of America. And I'm not going to kill myself by giving you an itemized list of every con and legitimate business that he dipped his fingers into. The Smithsonian magazine gives a pretty good overview. Of Basil's time in the United States quote it appears that he was the Count Zaharoff who in Utah in 1884 claimed to be in possession of four black diamonds that played a celebrated part in the Turko Russian War, and who a year later caused a small scandal in Missouri by associating it with the notorious Madame Pearl Clifford, one of the most beautiful soiled doves ever known in Saint Louis, while working as a Superintendent of a local railway sleeping car company. He was certainly the Count Zaharoff who hastily promoting himself to the imminence of Prince Zacharias Basilia Sahara. Married the New York heiress Jeannie Billings for her $150,000 and her expectations later in 1885. So he bounces around like sells like, like, gets involved in some sort of scheme, pretending that he has like these historic diamonds, like runs a railway sleeping car company at some point, like he's just constantly involved in these like weird little get rich quick schemes. And then he marries this New York heiress and steals her money. Huh. So yeah, yeah. He he he definitely has a pattern, and I found an like a quote from the Omaha Daily Bee like an article at the time, like written about him at the time that describes his modus operandi. During this. Quote, he maintained a high social position by means of letters from prominent society people which purported to be genuine and had a library full of documents which he claimed were written to him by European dignitaries. He claimed to be a nephew of Prince Gorchakov and told her remarkable story of his banishment by the Czar. At one point he created a considerable. Emotion among the set here in which he moved by threatening to go abroad and fight a duel with a Prussian Prince who dared to insult his mother. So it's the same kind of lie. Like, I mean, there's no Internet. You just go over to America and just try a new set of lies on a new set of people. So that's pretty cool. Yeah. It's almost like the bigger the lie, the less like he thinks. Like, the less likely it's like you think like, oh, someone wouldn't lie about something that big. Like you could easily find out if he was a Prince, so can't be alive. So let's not look into it at all. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Like, well, if he was a Prince, we would know that he, if he wasn't really a Prince, it would be someone was saying he's not a Prince. Yeah, I I do feel like in that period of time in America, if you had an accent that was vaguely European, most people would believe that you were royalty as long as long as you wore a suit. I think even like when I studied abroad with in college, it was like the girls went crazy for accents. It's like, you know, just have an accent. You could still be a bad, bad person. They could still be mean to you, but they're like, no, the the European accent, they're perfect and you know, can do no wrong better than American men. Oh yeah, I mean, you can get away with anything if you have the right kind of British accent. If you have the wrong kind of British accent, you can't get away with anything. Real crapshoot being English so. Yeah, Basil's scamming in America worked out well for a while, but as always, he was eventually found out. This time it was by a Philadelphia businessman who happened across another newspaper article announcing his marriage in New York. Like that this woman in New York was getting married to this Russian Prince. So this wedding between the Russian Prince and a wealthy socialite was once again big news. And unfortunately for basil, the businessman who came across this was originally from Bristol and was like, didn't I read a news article about a Russian Prince marrying a rich woman and then that guy. Got arrested for like, stealing a **** load of money. So this guy reaches out to Basil's first wife over in England, and her family starts an international manhunt to arrest this bigamist. And yeah, so Basil has to flee the United States for again. So he's now fled two countries for marrying rich woman and stealing their money while pretending to be a Russian Prince. But he got out just ahead of the authorities. He managed to make it back to Europe as the law was closing in on him. He left behind his wife and a pile of debts once again. And by 1885? It was back in the Balkans, working for an old employer of his named Thorsten Nordenfelt. Now Nordenfelt ran a sizable arms company. He was a weapons manufacturer and he was one of a number of up and coming businesses that were selling ever deadlier guns to the armies of Europe. Nordenfelt had employed Basil as a salesman briefly back in 1877, but the two had fallen out of touch over the years as Basil had ****** and scammed his way across multiple continents. But now that Zaharoff was back and looking for work, Nordenfelt. Arms seemed as good a place to make money as any, and it's here we should talk a little bit about the global armaments industry. It didn't really exist. For most of history. Early firearms were like artisanal tools. Each one was made by hand by, like, an artisan. And so, like, you couldn't really have gigantic gun companies in the same way you do now because you needed like some some dude like mass manufacturing. Yeah, it wasn't really possible with, like, early arms. You know, some firearms makers were, like, larger and more successful and, like, hired a lot of these artisans. But, like, international arms conglomerates the way we know them did not exist at the time. Which is a shame, because it means that the good people of the late 1800s couldn't enjoy the fine products that the Raytheon Corporation makes. Like that knife missile I told you about. I bet there's 1000 things you could use a knife missile for, Theresa if you had a knife. I would use all weapons, person. You know, I like to get my weapons at the farmers market. I just think I like to look someone in the eyes when I'm buying a killing machine. You know, I want to be like, I want to know. That hands, you know, I want to touch the hands that that made it. I like twine guns, you know? Yeah, that makes sense. Guns made. Farm to table drove. Yeah. Yeah. Like my I like table drove. Yeah. Excuse me. Where these drones are free range. I want my drones to be played classical music while they're being made. Yeah, I only local bullets. I am not going to like. Yeah, I I'm not. I don't want to murder the environment. Just these random people I've decided on my enemies. Yeah. Well. If you enjoy artisanal killing machines, then you'll enjoy the fine products and services that support this podcast. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and at Mint. Family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twist at mintmobile.com/behind. That's mintmobile.com/behind. Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind. So by now we imagine that you've seen the theories on Tik T.O.K. You maybe even heard the rumors, your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade, we hear at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions, sometimes their answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research. With you for the first time ever in a book format, you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read books.com or wherever you find your favorite books. My name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world, and if you can give a voice to them, you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with Spreaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always feel like an ambassador for speaker. But that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Get paid to talk about the things you love. Spreaker from iheart. We're back. So, talking about the arms industry, in the late 1800s, I'm going to read a quote from Smithsonian magazine, kind of laying out the state of the industry at the time. It was not then a huge industry. Best known was perhaps Alfred Krupp, the cannon maker of Essen. At 10 he inherited a modest iron foundry from the old Frederick Krupp, who had started in it in 1823. At 14, Alfred went into the business and slowly took over its direction. Cannon were made of copper. Alfred perfected a solid Crucible steel block from which he made. Cannon. But he had not yet perfected any projectile capable of penetrating the intransigent mentality of military bureaucrats. Can and were made of copper had always been, and must always be here. Krupp learned from the start that the way to sell Cannon to the Prussian king was to sell them also to Prussia's neighbors and enemies. He made his first sales to Egypt than to Austria. When the Austrio Prussian War began, both armies fired Krups cannonballs at each other, and his guns would have been working in both armies in the Franco Prussian War. But for Napoleon, the 3rd's refusal to buy them corrupts can and made. Bizmark Swift victory possible? So this is like the first big armed manufacturers Krupp, and by the mid 1800s like the industry was starting to grow, in part because of crap. Modern firearms made by companies like Winchester and Martini had also started to sweep into the world's wars. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Barrier company. See? Shoot, shoot, the house is right by Winchester. Mystery House, shout out to San Jose is right by where you live, shout out to San Jose. And if if you're in California and you're going to kill people. Make sure it's with a Winchester rifle. Yeah, that's. No, no, no, don't. Don't listen to that, Albert. Don't kill people. Cool. But if you do kill local Roberto, that's. As a Texan, I use Raytheon because it's made outside of Plano, TX. So I know that if I'm in a drone strike somebody, I'm gonna drone strike them with a drone made right down the road by the same artisans that I I meet in line at the Trader Joe's before they go build missile guidance systems. That's good, you know? It's like, yeah, keep keep killing local. That's what we want in our community. Yeah, kill low. No, this is too, too dark. All lined up. Umm, so yeah, like the American Civil War had a big impact on like, the growth of the arms industry at this time. Because like, we start to make like, you start to see mass produced weapons that are like way deadlier than guns had ever been before. And suddenly all these these nations in Europe start wanting to buy them. There's fighting in between Greece and Russia and Serbia and Turkey and the Balkans, and like this spreads the development of new cannons and new firearms and spreads their adoption by the armies of Europe. So yeah, this is kind of the state of the industry in 1885 when basil gets involved in it. So like it is starting to explode. But you're still at this point where like the idea of massive international arms companies is kind of weird and new. And Zaharoff was initially commissioned to act as the Nordenfelt Arms corporate representative for the Balkans. He received £5 a week in salary plus commissions, Basil being an entrepreneur and instantly realized that selling a handful of guns at a time to a single. Country was not going to earn him the kind of money he desired to make, so taking a leaf out of Krupp's book, he decides that he should start selling guns by triggering arms races that, like this, is the way to make ******* money if you're going to. If you want to sell a lot of guns, you make an arms race. Nordenfelt was not a large manufacturer, but they traded in some very novel weapons systems, including a brand new submarine that had just been invented. Now, submarines were really new at the time, and they weren't very well understood, and they usually killed the people inside of them. You wouldn't want to be a submarine. Person in this time. OK, but they were also like this, the new sexy weapon system. Like, so they represented a huge opportunity because, like, no one really had them yet. And here's how the biography Man of Arms describes what Basil did. Next quote. Many years later, Zaharoff recounted his part in opening up this market. I sold a submarine to the Greeks and then, he added with a conventional chuckle and went to the Turks and sold them a couple. Russia presented the next obvious target from a less reliable source. We learned that Zaharoff, with bland impudence, expounded the situation, as he saw it, to the Navy minister in Saint Petersburg. My firm is the agent of no one power. The Turks have brought 2 submarines from my firm. In the event of war, the Turkish Navy can, thanks to these submarines, miniature ships in the Black Sea and strike you where you least expect them, with the Turks possess you too. And 1/2 in greater numbers, if you wish. I propose that while two submarines are sufficient for the local needs of a small power like Turkey, four should be necessary for your own security. Is a great power. Legend relates that Russia fell for this logic. That was this would have made a total of seven submarines, which is a lot of money for him. So he sparks like a minor submarine arms race between three countries. He's like a high school girl. That's like trying to start drama, where you go up to like 1-2 best friends. You're like, oh, I heard so and so I heard Becky, you know, say that she doesn't like you. And then they're like, oh, Becky's a *****. And then you go to Becky and you're like, I heard Kelsey blah, and now they're like fighting, but they weren't. Yeah. If it wasn't for him. I mean, that makes me think that teenage girls would actually be incredible arms dealers. I think teenage girls would make excellent intelligence officers because all of the CIA and intelligence companies, companies, you know, organizations do is they're just gossiping. That's all they're doing. They're meeting up. Just exchange secrets and. Make little alliances and we should use teenage well, no, let's never mind, I take that back. Let's not use teenage girls for anything, but it's hard to listen to this podcast a lot, so maybe they'll take you up on that. Yeah, harnessing teenage girls harness some teenage girls. Not literally, not so. The submarines that Zaharoff sold were notoriously ****** and basically death traps. And they were they were renowned as being death traps by the standards of late. 1800 submarines. So like in the era where all submarines are death traps everyone's like, but don't get in those ******* submarines because they're terrible, but he makes a lot of money selling them. So this fact that he sold 7 submarines and got a cut of the commissions obviously generated him a tidy profit and turned him instantly into one of the most influential minds within the Nordenfelt arms company. Zaharoff basically coined this, codified his strategy of selling arms to one country to panic another to then panic another so we could sell arms to them all. He came to like basically turn this into like he called it the system Zaharoff. So he like, he like names this thing he did to spark arms. Like the Sistine Chapel. Is that no like cyst system with an E ohe, the zachar the Zaharoff like naming it like a masterpiece? No, it's it is kind of naming it like a masterpiece. He's like, when he goes into court meetings, he's like, the thing you got to do is spark an arms race. That's how you ******* make bank with this ****. And, like, I'm the guy who invented, even though he's kind of stealing that from Trump because he's, you know, a scammer. So, having cornered the Mediterranean submarine market, Zaharoff next set his sights on a more ambitious goal, the European machine gun industry. Here are Maxim, the American arms maker who invented the Babe Ruth of weaponry meant to kill large numbers of European. Teenagers had just arrived on the continent. Maxim was demonstrating his new quick firing Maxim Gun, which worried Nordenfelt since their own quick firing gun was really ******. Zaharoff knew at once that Maxim single barreled machine gun was way better than the one that Nordenfelt made, and in the tradition of all great businessmen, he decided that if you can't beat them, join them. No one is 100% certain how Basil convinced Hiram Maxim to merge his company with Nordenfelt, but HG Wells wrote out one of the explanations of this. So this is HG Wells. Talking about how Zaharoff. Has achieved this coup quote. Maxim exhibited his gun in Vienna when he fired his gun at a target and demonstrated its power. Zaharoff was busy explaining to expert observers that the whole thing was an exhibition of skill, that only Maxim could fire the gun. It would take years to train men to use it, but these new machines were delicate and difficult to make, and could not be produced in quantities, and so forth. Maxim, after tracing the initials of the emperor upon a target prepared to receive orders, they were not forthcoming. He learned that Nordenfelt was simple and strong. This gun of his was a scientific instrument. And fit for soldierly hands, his demonstration went for nothing. What had happened? He realized he was visa vie with a salesman, a very formidable salesman. In the end, he amalgamated with the Salesman. So Zaharoff is like, I can't beat this guy's gun, so I'll lie to everyone about him until he realizes he's basically just got to work with me. Otherwise he's not going to succeed in selling any guns. That's such a classic manipulation move because he's like, that gun sucks. Don't buy that gun. And then once they join, he's like, now I have your gun and now he's like, it's good again it now we're selling it. So yeah, no, this is the best. Super easy to use. You can kill so many teenagers with this gun. You want to kill teenage British people? This is the gun, Robert. So what? Stop that. It killed so many teenage British people. This is World War One, Sophie. Yes, but but don't say if you want to. I mean, I'm saying it's a domestic dispute. If you wanna kill the most European conscript soldiers possible, you wanna Maxim machine gun. And they do sponsor this podcast. Jesus. Robert so this happened in 1886, and over the next couple of years, Nordenfelt himself increasingly bowed out of the company he'd founded, while Basil Zaharoff took control of much of the enterprise. And it's hard to overstate what a big deal this is. So Maxim Nordenfelt arms quickly becomes Maxim like it, like it's just known by the name Maxim, because their gun is like, this, is like the defining weapon of the age. And Maxim, under Zaharoff, becomes one of the very, very first massive. International gun companies, international arms companies, and they sold a huge variety of weapons to parties in multiple hemispheres. The additional reach the merger gave Zaharoff meant it was even easier for him to spark arms races all over the world. And I'm going to quote from the Smithsonian again here. The next step was a condemnation with Vickers. Thomas Vickers, the second largest English manufacturer of arms. Maxim became a member of the Vicar's Board of directors. Zaharoff's name did not figure into the organization at all, but he and Maxim, and some proportion unknown to history, got for their company. From victors £1.3 million / 6 and a half, $1,000,000, partly in cash and partly in stock for the Vickers company. Zaharoff thus became a substantial stockholder in Vickers and would one day be the largest of all. He also became the chief salesman of vicars, which unlike Krup and Schneider had remained up to this point out of the international market. But Zaharoff showed the way in this bountiful field, and therefore he got moving about Europe with the card, announcing himself as the delegate of Thomas Vickers and Sons, so the period from 1877 to 1914 when he's. The the chief representative of like the the big one of probably the biggest arms company in the world was also the period where the world went through the most significant arms buildup that has ever happened. New technologies were being constantly invented and refined, and every nation in Europe was like worried about fighting every other nation in Europe. So they all were buying up piles of Maxim guns and corrupt cannons and like all of the weaponry they could possibly get. And Zaharoff himself drove this trend. In 1890, his Vickers guns became the sole supplier of naval weaponry. To the British Empire, they bought a controlling interest in Beardmore shipbuilding firm in Glasgow, which gave the gigantic arms concern. Zaharoff managed a cut of the fortune that Britain spent building up her Navy. Now, Britain's naval buildup was driven largely by Kaiser Vilhelms obsessive need to grow the German Navy, which would steadily encouraged by crop. So, like the German arms company crop is telling the leader of Germany, like, you got to build more ships and basils being like, hey, the Germans are building more ships, we got to build more ships. And it just so happens that I get a cut of every ship. So both corporations profited massively from this naval buildup, which also ratcheted up tensions between Imperial Germany and Great Britain. Is this all over the world before? Yeah. We're planes invented here. Or is this all via boat? Yeah. OK, so he. Because I'm just imagining, like, because when you say, like, he went to this country and said this and went to this country, I'm imagining, like, him getting on a boat, taking a long time to get there and then being like, here's some gossip by this and then, like, getting back on, like, it's very slow. Very slow. He's not taking plane. There are planes in this. And he a little later we'll talk about how he started convincing countries to buy air forces. How does one travel submarine like once it's bought? Like does someone drive it over to Germany? And I think they were probably built in the Mediterranean and then just like sailed over to where they were going. And then it's like delivery day, Amazon delivery, your U boats are here. Yeah, I mean, Amazon will get a U boat to you way faster now. I mean, they've gotten so much better at delivering submarines. So yeah, do do? Do yeah, both crop and and Maxim or yeah, profited massively from the naval buildup that just you know also ratcheted up tensions in Europe and got both countries closer to fighting each other and Zakharov continued to sell arms to both sides of conflicts and wars all over the world using the cynical tactics of the system. They're designed to ensure ever growing profits while the world lurched closer and closer to cataclysm. I found a really interesting book called men of wealth by a guy named John Flynn that does a good job of illustrating how this web came together quote events favored them the Spanish American War the Chinese American War the English Boer War in which the tommies armed with Vickers rifles were scientifically mowed down with Maxim 's machine gun or quick filing in cannon supplied to the Bowers by Mister Zakharoff of Vickers. But the greatest opportunity was the Russo Japanese war when it ended all of Europe. Our ministries are awoke. The war had been a great proving ground for guns and ships, a laboratory for militarists. Above all, Russia had to start at the bottom and completely rebuild her shattered armies. Bazaar provided over $620 million for rearming. All the armament makers in the world flocked to Saint Petersburg. Zaharoff, representing Vickers, arrived first on scene. So, like, he's the official arms manufacturer of the British Army, and he's selling guns to the Boers who are murdering British soldiers. And then he sells a bunch of weapons to the Japanese, who then beat the Russians. In a very surprising war, and the fact that Japan, this like third rate power in the eyes of Europeans beats Russia in this war leads to all these nations buying even more guns because they're like, oh **** Japan can do that stuff to Russia. They might be able to do it to us. We gotta buy more weapons. And the Russians are like, we need to buy way more ******* weapons. So like. He's very successful in getting everybody to continue buying way the **** more guns. And what Basil Zaharoff did in Saint Petersburg would establish him as the greatest arms dealer of his era and perhaps of all time. It would also help make the horrible bloodletting of the First World War completely inevitable. But that story, Theresa, we're going to have to talk about in Part 2. How are you feeling so far? Well, I mean, like, you know, I I know how I know part of how it ends, because I know World War I know we're getting up to the war. Yep. So I'm just like, I want to put those dots together. Can't wait. Yeah, is is good. It's a good time. We're we're at the park right now where, I don't know. He's helped spark a couple of wars, but. Not nearly as much as he's going to do, but for now, it's time for all of you to go off and try to provoke your own wars in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. He means it's time to plug your plug cables. Teresa. Yeah, it is time to plug your plug cables. Oh my blockable. I was like, wait, what? I'm sorry. I thought this was like, I thought you were doing a sponsored ad for Glade Plug cables. No, no, no, no, my plegables. Ohh. Well, you know, you can listen to my podcast, you can tell me anything where comedians like Robert who's been on before confess something they've never told anyone before. I guess if this this guy Basil was on and be all lies. But generally speaking, people tell truths. And then we talk. It's fun. You know what else is fun, Teresa? What? The fine products produced by great companies like Raytheon. What Raytheon what Robert means to say farm to table missiles full of knives. What? OK, what Robert means to say is that he's doing a live show with Billy Wayne Davis in Los Angeles on March 3rd at Danny Typewriter. You should get tickets and we will be saving, selling artisanal arms there. So if you're doing anything of that nature, you can follow Robert on Twitter at all I'm saying is you can follow our podcast at at ******* Pod on Twitter Instagram. And if you're grease or or Turkey and you wanna buy some submarines, we'll have a couple of submarines. So thanks for listening, Chris. End it. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Hey, I don't know. Less. Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture, and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know. Because after listening to stuff you should know. You will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony. Honey your co-host for the San Diego Zoo 's amazing wildlife podcast in this special episode. We're speaking with doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees for 4 months. The chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts.