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I rejoice is that the stain of surrender has been wiped from the escutcheon of the German fleet.
"The sinking of the ships has proved that the spirit of the fleet is not dead. This last act was true to the best traditions of the German Navy. This deed was spontaneous and, I am convinced, it was not ordered nor inspired from Berlin. Our seamen were unwilling to bear the final disgrace or to suffer that the ships be turned over to the British. More than this, the spirit of Scapa Flow points the significant moral that our seamen, once removed from evil propaganda influences and left to come to their senses, again became mindful of their 'military honor.'
“The terms of peace brought the men of our feet to the realization, unfortunately too late, that they had been misled, hoodwinked and deceived. Subtle revolutionary propaganda had persuaded the men of our fleet that they could end the war quickly by going on strike. They were told and they believed, that if they struck the seamen of the enemy fleets would revolt also and that the war would thus be brought to an end automatically. In this misguided belief they started a revolution. Too credulous, they made the mistake of not waiting to let the other fellow strike first.
" It was never our intention to send the high sea fleet out to its certain death. At the beginning of the outbreak of the November revolt we were on the eve of undertaking a naval operation from which we promised ourselves the utmost success. This operation, after nearly two years had, at last, been made possible by the discontinuance of our submarine warfare during the negotiations leading up to the armistice. For nearly two years we had been unable to undertake an operation on a large scale with the high seas feet. This, first, because the feet was essential to protect the base of submarine warfare; second, because while our submarine warfare was carried on, we lacked all strategic flank protection for long distance naval operations.
Our fleet attack would proceed only from the narrow Wettriangle' behind Helgoland. To this base alone we were always forced to return.
'An operation of our high seas fleet against any point on the British coast left both our flanks exposed. The battle of Jutland proved we were not afraid of encountering the British grand feet on a fair field. But even if we had succeeded in drawing out the British grand fleet and beating it, we always had to figure on the danger of being cut off on our way home because, no matter how victorious we were, some of our ships would inevitably bring home holes in their body.
“In an operation against the British coast our strategic left fank was always exposed to the attack of British naval forces coming from the channel and our right Aank to attack from the north. With the suspension of our submarine warfare, this unfavorable strategic situation was suddenly changed. We now had plenty of submarines to use for the flank protection of our high seas fleet in any possible operation. With our hands thus freed we decided at the beginning of November that our fleet should and could strike a hard, perhaps a decisive, blow. We decided that while our armies were stubbornly and heroically resisting in the west, our fleet should not remain idle.
“Our plans offered every chance of success, but I was not one to send the high seas fleet out to its death, but to attack the coast of England in the direction of the mouth of the Thames to give us battle, in which case the grand feet would have run into our flanking submarines.
Our plan was carefully worked out and offered the certainty of success if the grand fleet came out. The one chance of failure, we figured, was that the British Aleet might not be coaxed out by our Channel attack. This plan, naturally, could not be disclosed to the men of our fleet. From preparations for this operation they got the fatal idea into their propaganda-turned heads that the fleet was about to be sent out to its death.
They argued, 'Why should we die on the verge of peace and with negotiations for an armistice going on?'
“In this misguided frame of mind they mutinied and started the revolution which they have since come to regret bitterly. They thought they were doing right and that their action would secure a just and equitable peace for the Fatherland. They still thought so when they took the ships over to Scapa Flow to be interned.
“I am convinced that not an officer or man would have been willing to take the ships over to Scapa Flow if they had known the peace ultimately to be imposed. And there is nothing to the charge of cowardice that officers and men should have gone down fighting rather than surrender the ships.. They all thought they were doing a high patriotic duty in taking the ships over to be interned and that by helping to execute this term of the armistice they were making possible a fair peace that had been promised them. Removed from propaganda influence, they realized what they had done and they atoned for it by sinking the fleet. Not for decades will Germany have a fleet again.
“If Great Britain increases its naval armament in the future, such an increase can be directed only against its allies, America or Japan; because Great Britain to-day has no other naval rivals than the two nations I have mentioned. Germany's navy is gone. France's navy never did amount to anything.'
Admiral Scheer made the remarkable statement to me that Great Britain could have ended the war quickly in its early stage by a bold, naval offensive in the spirit of Nelson.
“Right up to the last moment we did not expect England to enter the war," Admiral Scheer said. “ Accordingly, we were not prepared against a naval attack by Great Britain. We were prepared only for a two-front war; accordingly the third front,'our sea front, was denuded of military forces. If the British fleet had attacked in the first week of the war we should have been beaten. Under cover of the British Navy, the Russian armies, then available in great numbers, could have landed on the coast of Pomerania and could have easily marched to Berlin.
“I believe the British fleet did not attack in the first weeks of the war because Great Britain did not want to pay the price of a victory. She hoped to keep her fleet intact for pressure on the Peace Conference, and she thought it wiser to let the French and Russians win the war on land. Admiral Jellicoe's slow blockade strategy was correct and accomplished its purpose. No fault can be found with it provided that his confining the fleet to a blockade can be reconciled with conditions in the British Navy.
“I suspect also that there were no plans prepared at the beginning of the war for joint operations by the British, French and Russian fleets. I believe also that the British Aleet was not used for attack early in the war because nobody at that time knew just what would be the effect of torpedoes and mines in actual practice, and Admiral Jellicoe thought best to lay off. Where I find fault with Jellicoe is that he imputes that we, in a far less favorable strategic position, should have done what he hesitated to do with the advantage of position and superior forces."—Baltimore Sun, 6/30.
The PEACE TREATY AND GERMAN AVIATION.-In glancing over the official summary of the Peace Treaty, one finds the following rulings with regard to German aerial activities : The air clauses provide that the armed forces of Germany must not include any military or naval air forces. Germany is, however, to be allowed to maintain a maximum of 100 unarmed seaplanes up to October 1, 1919, to be exclusively employed in searching for submarine mines. The entire personnel of the air forces in Germany is to be demobilized within two months, excepting for a total of 1000 men, including officers, which may be retained up to October. The aircraft of the Allied and Associated Powers are to enjoy full liberty of passage and
landing over and in the territory and territorial waters of Germany until January 1, 1923, unless prior to that date Germany is admitted to the League of Nations or is permitted to adhere to the International Air Convention. The manufacture of aircraft and parts of aircraft is forbidden throughout Germany for six months. All military and naval aircraft (including dirigibles) and aeronautical material are to be delivered to the Allied and Associated Governments within three months, except for the 100 seaplanes already specified. General articles provide for the modification of German laws in conformity with the preceding clauses. All the clauses contained in the Treaty are to be executed by Germany under the control of the inter-Allied Commissions, to be specially appointed by the Allied and Associated Governments for which the German Government is bound to furnish all necessary facilities and expenses of upkeep. The duties of the Military, Naval, and Aeronautical Commissions of Control are laid down in detail. Aircraft of the Allied and Associated Powers shall have full liberty of passage and landing over and in German territory, equal treatment with German planes as to use of German airdromes, and with most-favored-nation planes as to internal commercial traffic in Germany. Germany agrees to accept Allied certificates of nationality, airworthiness, or competency and licenses, and to apply the convention relative to Aerial Navigation concluded between the Allied and Associated Powers to her own aircraft over her own territory. These rules apply until 1923, unless Germany has previously been admitted to the League of Nations or to the above convention.-Scientific American, 6/21.
SUBSTITUTE LUBRICANTS FOR LOCOMOTIVES AND WAGONS.-Owing to the scarcity of mineral lubricating oils in Germany during the war, recourse had to be had to substitutes, one of the most satisfactory being a mixture of mineral oil and tar oil. For summer use, the mixture consisted of 80 parts tar oil and 20 of mineral oil, stirred together at a temperature of 80° C. For the winter months the proportions were altered to 50-50, with an addition of 8-15 per cent of petroleum in the very cold weather. The mixing apparatus consisted of a simple framework of timber supporting the two casks of oil discharging into the feeding hopper of the mixer. The latter was a horizontal cylinder, holding 5 cwt., and provided with paddles and a steam coil, and the mixing took only a few minutes. The winter oil had the following characteristics : Sp. gr. at 20° C., 0.976; flash point, 150° C.; burning point, 180° C.; viscosity at 20° C., 50.94. The mixing and warming facilitated the deposition of the carbon suspended in the tar oil, thus preventing the premature choking of the wicks.—Technical Supplement to the Review of the Foreign Press, 6/10.
GREAT BRITAIN DISTRIBUTION OF THE FLEET.-In his speech on the Navy Estimates, Mr. Walter Long briefly described the measures which the Admiralty was taking to show the flag in every part of the world. He added that the worthy representation of British sea power abroad meant everything to the British Commonwealth, its prestige, greatness, and trade. Since that date the Admiralty's plans for the distribution of the fleet at home and abroad have been completed and made public. The fully commissioned force in home waters is to consist of three battle squadrons, the First, Second, and Third, and one battle cruiser squadron, with Admiral Sir Chas. E. Madden in supreme command. The First and Second Squadrons, made up of the ten ships belonging to the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign classes, represent the Atlantic feet, in which is incorporated the Battle Cruiser Squadron, a Flying Squadron” of seaplane carriers, the First Light Cruiser Squadron, and several flotillas of destroyers and submarines. The Third Battle Squadron and the Second Light Cruiser Squadron represent the home fleet. A striking feature of these
formations is their homogeneity, a principle which has been extended to the fleets and squadrons detailed for service abroad. The heavy guns mounted in the Atlantic feet are ninety-two 15-inch and twenty-four 13.5-inch; in the home fleet sixty 13.5-inch. These figures include the artillery of the Battle Cruiser Squadron, consisting of Lion, Princess Royal, Tiger, Renown, and Repulse. The First Light Cruiser Squadron is made up of three vessels of the C and three of the D class, but when ships now completing are delivered it will consist of six D cruisers. The Flying Squadron-a designation which now has a significance more literal than formerly—is composed of Furious, Argus, Vindictive (ex-Cavendish), and Vinder, the latter a converted merchantman. In the Mediterranean is the fourth battle squadron of six ships, viz., four Iron Dukes and two of the King George V class; the Third Light Cruiser Squadron of six C cruisers; the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla led by the Stuart, and a submarine flotilla. The 12-inch gun, it will be observed, is no longer represented in the fully commissioned strength of the navy, all ships armed with this caliber having passed into the reserve. An exception to this rule is the New Zealand, at present conveying Lord Jellicoe on his tour of the Dominions. Notable absentees from the commissioned fleets are the Agincourt, whose peculiar design and battery of fourteen 12-inch guns unfit her for work with the newly “standardized " formations; the Canada, whose 14-inch guns would complicate the ammunition supply; and the “large light cruisers " Glorious and Courageous, which, in view of their limited fighting value, are apparently considered too expensive to maintain in commission. In all, eleven dreadnought battleships and three battle cruisers are to be kept in reserve.--The Engineer, 6/27.
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN Navy. Before the departure of the battle cruiser Australia from Fremantle serious trouble occurred on board. The men declared that the officers had failed fully to reciprocate the welcome of the residents. The captain refused to delay the departure of the vessel as she was bound by schedule time. The men thereupon refused to get up steam, and the petty officers had to be ordered to do so. When the vessel was a few hours out at sea the captain read the King's Regulations covering mutiny and disobedience. The men then returned to their posts. Nearly 50 were arrested and six were placed under close arrest awaiting a courtmartial, which will probably be held at Sydney. Only a few privileged visitors were allowed on board the cruiser during her stay at Adelaide, and only a few sailors, mostly English, were permitted ashore. The Australia arrived at Melbourne on Tuesday, when Commodore Dumaresq stated that conditions on board the vessel were normal.--Army and Navy Gazette, 6/14.
The REVIVAL OF THE TORPEDO BOAT.-One of the most novel and successful types of fighting craft developed for service in the Channel and the North Sea was a small high-speed vessel to which the British gave the name of Coastal Motor Boat. These little vessels were in a sense a revival of the original torpedo boat, which was abandoned many years ago by all the navies of the world. The similarity lies in the high speed and small size both of the original and its modern revival; but whereas the torpedo boat possessed a round hull of the type prevalent in those days and was driven by steam engines at a speed of from 18 to 22 knots, the modern coastal motor boat is nothing more nor less than a racing motor boat of a modified hydroplane type, equipped with internal combustion engines and driven at speeds of from 35 to 40 knots.
The principal motive for building these boats was to enable a torpedo attack to be carried on in shoal, coastal waters. Large torpedo carriers such as destroyers and submarines are limited in their inshore operations by their comparatively heavy draft of eight to ten feet, which confines them to fairly deep water and exposes them to danger from mines. Early
in the war, there was a call for the development of a fleet of small, highspeed craft, drawing only a foot or two of water and capable of carrying and launching the torpedo, and the Thornycroft firm who built the first 60-foot torpedo craft in 1878, designed a high-speed motor boat with a special form of hydroplane hull, and equipped with a torpedo carried in a dropping gear such as is still used in naval boats. With the collaboration of Lieutenants Hampden, Brenner and Anson, of the Harwich force, designs were prepared for a 30-knot boat of the racing motor boat general type, capable of carrying a torpedo and the necessary discharge gear for the torpedo, with tanks for extra fuel.
- PLAN AND – -OUTBCARD PROFILE
SCALE OF FEET
These 40-Knor Boats Did Not HESITATE TO ATTACK ENEMY DESTROYERS.
THEY PERFORMED GOOD WORK AT ZEEBRUGGE AND OSTEND.
At the outset it was necessary to dismiss the proposed dropping gear, first because it was unsuitable for torpedoes larger than 14-inch, and secondly because it necessitated the slowing down of the boat before the torpedo could be launched. The three officers above mentioned, who volunteered to take charge of the boats, insisted that as the sole object of the new craft was to attack, arrangements should be made to discharge the torpedo as the boat advanced at high speed. Launching from a trough at the bow by means of a ram impulse gear, as was done in the early torpedo boats, did not conduce to safe and accurate practice, and launching from the stern would have necessitated turning for the attack to be made. Eventually it was determined to discharge the torpedo over the stern, tail first. The boat was built with this idea incorporated. The accompanying drawings are based upon illustrations which appeared in The Engineer, London, of June 6, 1919; and reference may be made to that issue for fuller details than are here given.
Since a naval weapon loses much of its value if the enemy is forewarned, the boats were built on an island in the Thames and every precaution was made to secure secrecy. The first three boats, finished in April, 1916, were tried out, mostly in the night time, at Queensborough, and