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of torpedoes against these vessels, the Germans evolved a new weapon, from which they expected better results. This was the electricallycontrolled moon-boat, the advent of which was duly reported in an official communiqué during 1917. Capable of very high speed, loaded with a heavy charge of explosives, and under perfect control from a shore station, this novel instrument threatened to become more formidable than the conventional torpedo. One of them struck the Erebus, demolishing part of the "blister." An examination showed, however, that the injury was less serious than had been feared, and the Erebus was soon in service again. After this experience all the monitors were fitted with a strong guard rail running round the bulge, and thereafter the electric boat" torpedoes" appear to have been less dangerous.--The Engineer, 14/2.
U-Boats SOLD FOR JUNK.-Purchasers of 47, Held by British Promise to Break Them Up.-A number of German submarines lying in a British port are to be handed over to the Allied governments, some being sent to Italy, Japan, and other countries. Forty-seven submarines, of all sizes, up to the big ocean-going submarines, have been sold under the condition that they be broken up. The Admiralty will first remove their engines.--N. Y. Times, 5/3.
GERMAN ANTI-AIRCRAFT DEFENCES.-Now that the cessation of hostilities against the Central Powers permits the issue of sundry details concerning the work of the Royal Air Force against the German defences in Belgium the public will be able to realize better than during the actual course of the war the tremendous opposition which our airmen had to face in the performance of their duties. During the war no less than 30,000 bombs were dropped by our Dunkerque squadron-principally upon Ostende, Bruges, and Zeebrugge, which were the bases of the German destroyer flotillas operating off the Belgian coast, and contained their submarine depots, and all our aerial operations against this coastal sector were carried out in the teeth of a powerful and carefully-organized system of antiaircraft defences. The number of anti-aircraft batteries was very large and included some guns of 8-inch caliber. One well-known gun at Westende could throw a shell up to 22,000 feet, and the local defences, both fixed and mobile, were formidable to a degree. To take one example of a closely defended locality, there were concentrated at Bruges alone within a small radius more than 50 powerful searchlights, over 50 guns of various calibers, about 40 kite balloons carrying nets, and innumerable machineguns and tracer pom-pom guns. Yet, in spite of the intensive barrage which the enemy could put up, Bruges was on one occasion bombed from a height of only 200 feet.-Army and Navy Gazette, 8/2.
SHIFTS ON GERMAN FLEET.Britain May Let France and Italy Have Some Ships, but Sink Her Own.-A change in the attitude of the British Government regarding the plan to sink interned German warships has been noticed since the return of Premier Lloyd George to Paris. It now appears likely that instead of the German craft being sunk Great Britain will be willing to permit France and Italy to keep some of the ships, but will consent to sink her own allotment.
In this way, it is said, Great Britain would relieve the United States of the necessity of carrying out her projected great naval building program, which, it is understood, was based on the intention of preventing any one nation from having such a predominant navy as would give her control of the seas against the powers of the League of Nations.
The addition of some of the German warships to the French and Italian navies would not sensibly disturb the balance of naval power, excluding Austria and Germany.
The desire of American naval experts that the German ships shall be eliminated, it is said, is based on considerations of economy, as they hold
that if the German ships are given to Great Britain in the proportion proposed the United States would be compelled to spend $1,000,000,000 to maintain her place in the naval lists.-N. Y. Times, 11/3.
AERONAUTICS.-Although the government still finds it necessary to place a ban on civilian flying, several more or less unofficial performances during the past month are worthy of note. Of them one of the more technically interesting was the ascent on the 2d of a British_machine from a point near Ipswich with the pilot, Captain Lang, R. A. F., and an observer, Lieutenant Blowes, to a height of 30,500 feet, thus establishing a world's altitude record for an aeroplane. The machine used was De Havilland 9 biplane, made by the Aircraft Manufacturing Company, and equipped with a Napier “Lion” engine developing 450 horsepower. The first 10,000 feet was accomplished in 6 minutes 18 seconds, the first 20,000 feet in 19 minutes 40 seconds, and the maximum of 30,500 feet in 66 minutes 55 seconds. The oxygen apparatus and the electrical heating apparatus both gave trouble, and at the maximum height the engine stopped running by reason, it is stated, of the failure of the small propeller-driven petrol and oil pumps. The feat was accomplished, it is interesting to note, in a wind blowing, on the ground, at 35 miles an hour. Another notable performance was the flight on the 18th of a large Handley-Page machine from Belfast to Sheffield, and thence at a later date to the east coast of England. The machine was fitted with four Rolls-Royce engines, developing a total of 1600 horsepower, and was built by Messrs. Harland and Wolff. It was one of a number constructed for the bombing of Berlin, and was of the same design as the machine which in November flew over London with forty passengers on board. Fully loaded it weighs over fourteen tons, and carries sufficient fuel for a Aight of 1500 miles. On the journey from Belfast the machine carried a crew of seven with half a ton of luggage, the pilot being Mr. C. B. Prodger, the well-known aviator. The weather was bitterly cold and windy at the start, and later, especially over the Midlands, heavy banks of fog were encountered. The journey was made via the Isle of Man, Blackpool, Preston, and Manchester, and was commenced a few minutes after noon. At 3.25 p. m. the pilot brought the machine to land at Sheffield, having spent 25 minutes in the endeavor to find the aerodrome. The journey of 300 miles was thus accomplished at the rate of 100 miles an hour. During much of the course the ground was invisible and the pilot had to steer by his compass. Bad weather prevented the continuation of the journey to the east coast for some days--it had been intended to accor lish the whole trip in one stage—but eventually the remaining portion of the journey, a course of 130 miles, via Lincoln, Skegness, and the coast line southwards, was successfully achieved, in spite of gusty winds, storms and low-lying mist, the time taken being one hour forty minutes. The Engineer, 7/2.
8000 GERMAN PLANES BAGGED.--Britain Reports 2800 of Her Aircraft Were Lost.---London, March 13.-During the war 8000 enemy airplanes were shot down by the British air forces, while 2800 British air machines were missing, Brig.-Gen. J. E. B. Seeley announced in the House of Commons to-day in introducing the army's estimates of £66,500,000. General Seeley said that if the war had continued the estimate would have been £200,000,000.
When the armistice was signed, he added, England was turning out 4000 airplanes a month and had 200 squadrons in commission compared to six at the beginning of the war.-Baltimore Sun, 13/3.
The CLYDE-Built Airshje “R.-34.”—The new Clyde-built airship R.-34, says The Glasgow Herald, is expected to have a speed of 80 m. p. h. to 90 m. p. h. under average weather conditions, and to be capable of cross
ing the Atlantic from Scotland to New York and returning without stopping. She is 670 feet in length, 79 feet in diameter, and of 2,000,000 cubic feet capacity. She has a lifting power of 50 tons, and a total horsepower-in five engines-of 1250. Four cars or gondolas are suspended from the framework, the forward being the navigating or control car from which the vessel is operated, and in which there are also the wireless telegraphy and wireless telephony cabin and the ballast and bomb controls. From each car there runs to the top of the vessel a wire ladder, which leads also into a corridor that runs all the length of the ship. At the extreme stern, near the rudder and the elevating planes, there is a machine-gun platform, while right on the top there is another platform for machine guns and also for a 2-pounder gun. There are water ballast tanks having a capacity of 2000 pounds, and petrol tanks capable of carrying fuel sufficient for eight days' continuous running. All these tanks can, if necessary, be released at any time and dropped clear of the ship. If caught at sea in fog the R.-34 can stay in the air for three weeks at a time, or can throw out a sea anchor and ride out a storm, keeping in touch with the land by wireless, or asking for whatever assistance may be desired.Engineering, 21/2.
A BONUS FOR THE Navy.—That the Admiralty have officially admitted the pay of the officers and men to need "thorough and expeditious revision” should go far to quiet the unrest in the navy. It will be held satisfactory also that at the same time this admission is made notice is given of a temporary increase, or bonus, pending the conclusion of the investigations now being held in the matter. The official announcement adds that "this bonus must not be taken as representing the increase which the board may ultimately consider necessary before they can be satisfied that the officers and men of the Naval Service are receiving that just and equitable remuneration which their services so well merit." Assuredly the increase now given does not nearly meet the standard which the officers and men themselves consider an adequate remuneration for their services, nor in the case of the men does it meet the claim they have made as a body in public meeting. Apparently not less than 50 per cent on the substantive pay of the officers, and 100 per cent on that of the men will satisfy their own expectations of equitable treatment. It is much to be regretted that an advance was not made before the men began to agitate for it, and whether the board have taken an altogether wise course in dealing with the movement only time will show.-Army and Navy Gazette, 11/2.
LORD JELLICOE's Case,-By Arthur Pollen.-Those who think the British Navy was never truly prepared for war, nor in war commanded on right principles until it was too late, base their opinions upon the following familiar considerations :
From 1905 onwards, they say, the Admiralty was dominated by a group who thought of naval war as a state of things in which Great Britain would somehow, and inevitably, command the sea. They never thought of it in terms of victorious fighting, by which alone command of the sea can be assured. Hence their preparations, their plans, and their theory of command were based upon false premises. As fighting was omitted from their calculations, they thought of ships only in terms of number, size and speed, and of weapons only in terms of range and the weight and explosive capacity of the projectiles. They did not concern themselves with finding a strategy that should force their enemy to battle, nor with tactics by which the unthought-of battle should be fought, nor with methods by which their battle weapons should be used. Not only did they not prepare to fight : they did not expect that the enemy would do so. So long as their fleet was sufficiently numerous and, according to
the narrow material standards they were able to understand, overwhelmingly powerful, they assumed that the enemy would be afraid—just as they themselves were unprepared-to attack. Accordingly they did not protect the fleet bases nor prepare for thwarting the under-water war which, had their plan been right, was the only form of war in which the enemy could engage. And, having misconceived the whole nature of war, they could not, of course, select men for the chief command on any proof of their fitness for it, nor could they train or prepare them to engage in it.
When war broke out, a member of this group, whose singular personal charm, firmness of character, grasp of detail, and talent for organization, had made him by much the most effective and influential, was sent to command the feet which was in all essentials his own creation, and to carry out the plans of which he was so largely the author.
The Testing of a Theory.—The test of the whole work of this group naturally, and inevitably, came when the chief fighting forces of the opposed sides met at the Battle of Jutland. And those who thought this group mistaken in its aims and methods, pointed out that the commanderin-chief on that occasion was true to type. They asserted that he did not bring his fleet into action as would a man who was determined to win a decisive victory as rapidly as possible; that, on the contrary, he left the fast division of the feet unsupported at the most critical moment; that, when circumstances enabled him to retrieve the situation, rather than allow his fleet to face the risk of a torpedo attack, he turned his ships incontinently away, and so allowed Admiral Scheer to escape. On the morrow--they went on to say-no effort was made to redeem the failure of the day before.
This, briefly, is the indictment that has been brought against the Material School and Lord Jellicoe. When, therefore, it was announced that he was about to publish a volume on his command of the Grand Fleet and the Battle of Jutland, it was natural people should expect a reasoned reply to the case that had been brought against him. The Grand Fleet, 1914-1916 (Cassell, 315. 6d. net), shows that this expectation was founded on a complete misjudgment of Lord Jellicoe as a man, and consequently upon a complete misconception of his object in writing.
The Grand Fleet, 1914-1916, is not a reply to the case I have set out above, nor is it a defence of the author's policy, nor, in the narrower sense of the word, is it an apology. Take the charge that the navy was unprepared. Lord Jellicoe, so far from attempting to justify either himself or those with whom he was so closely associated both in pre-war days and after, carries the indictment to lengths that no critic of the Admiralty has ever thought of in his dreams. The policy of adopting dreadnoughts had indeed been questioned; but no one had ever suspected that every single ship of this type had been built on a hopelessly wrong constructional principle, and so built to the knowledge of those who ordered the construction. We knew that the wrong place had been chosen for the fleet base, and that it was undefended against submarines and mines. But we had no conception that no provision of any kind had been made for putting it into defence for war, and that it was without the means of fitting or supplying a single ship, or of providing the most elementary facilities for the most vital of the fleet's activities, namely, gunnery practice. The degree to which we were under-supplied with light craft as compared with the enemy was almost incredible. We had a bare quarter of their provision ! We were without the means of making or thwarting under-water war generally, and in a host of crucial matters--range-finders, fire control, armor-piercing shells, searchlights, and substitutes for searchlights—we were at a disadvantage that is inconceivable. The curious thing is that as to every one, almost, of these points, controversy had been active before the war, and almost everything which experience showed to be necessary had been urged, but without success, on the boards of which Lord Jellicoe
was a member. The gallant officer's category of defects is a stupefying arraignment.
The Battle of Jutland.-When we come to Jutland, the thing is more extraordinary still. He meets the charge of unwillingness to fight at decisive ranges by explaining, with almost painful precision, why it was he feared the Grand Fleet could not survive-in sufficient strength to safeguard Allied interests-if, even for a moment, it were brought into close action with the enemy. He then goes on to show how, between 6 and 6.14, he had the choice of two modes of deployment only, and, by exquisitely careful plans, he proves to demonstration that by neither method could he either bring the fleet into action or come to the support of Sir David Beatty's squadron. Then, when at last his fleet was in action, he tells us with meticulous accuracy why at 7.23—though he knew that a German Fleet in being was the worst possible thing for us "—he turned his ships away from the enemy the moment the first of the two great torpedo attacks was made, and then how it was just this turn, and nothing else, that enabled Scheer to break off the action and escape. And finally, with the same sustained candor, he tells us how on the morning of June ist he expected the enemy to be at a certain place and at a certain hour, how he knew the enemy's ships had been battered and damaged, and how, nevertheless, with 25 undamaged battleships against the enemy's 20 cripples, he did not attempt to intercept them and retrieve the misfortunes of the day before.
Lord Jellicoe's Attitude.-Now, if the book is not a defence, what is it? It clearly has no parallel in literature save, perhaps, amongst the arresting records bequeathed to us by the simplicity of certain singular saints and the cynicism of a few exceptional sinners. Lord Jellicoe has, in short, set himself to the extremely difficult task of self-revelation; and he has succeeded to a very extraordinary degree. has succeeded because he is calmly conscious that he has done his duty as he understood it, and, being perfectly confident of this, he is above consideration of fear or caution in telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. His is an act of faith in the sense of justice of his countrymen: the work of a man too proud to fight for a reputation which he knows to be completely unindictable on any ground of morals or of honor. He is too singleminded and too simple-minded to conceal a single motive or to misrepresent a single action. He seems to say to his readers——“I give you the story as it happened: I show you my mind at work. If I am wrong, it is because I acted on wrong principles; but I am not conscious of it. I leave my character in your keeping.'
It is, then, impossible to close this book without an intense sense of the magnanimity and generosity of the writer. If there is a case against him, he has given it away quite hopelessly. It is precisely because of his conviction that there is no case that makes it so hard to insist that there is. But the obligations of intellectual integrity remain, even when it would seem that there is nothing left to fight for, and nobody to fight with, for Lord Jellicoe has disconcerted his critics by the strangely effective device of disarming himself. These obligations bind, however, because while Lord Jellicoe's book shows his motives from first to last to be of the highest, and his character to be above and beyond the least possibility of disparagement, the effect of his appeal to the public must be considered. Judging from the reviews, the book is taken to justify not only the writerwhich it should—but the policy and the theory of war which he represents, which it should not. It is possible that this may be only a passing moodthe natural reaction of the confiding candor of this appeal. But whether this is so or not it seems obligatory to say that if national interests are to be served a true and not a false impression must be deduced from these pages.
The paradox of the position, of course, is that Lord Jellicoe tells the same story as his critics--with a wealth of proof to which none of them