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FLEET OF HYDRO-AEROPLANES, AUXILIARY TO British Navy Among Britain's force of heavier-than-air and gas-buoyed airships, none are capable of rendering more vital service to the fleet than

the hydro-aeroplanes, because of their ability to rest on the water instead of having to depend on a sustained flight in the air.

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SCENE AT AN AVIATION CAMP SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE On the right is a sergeant of the R. F. C., wearing the new badge of a propeller on his arm. He is saluting two aviation officers, one dressed for flying, the other wearing the flying certificate badge. On the right is an army B. E. biplane, with its four-bladed propeller and two seats for pilot and observer. This type, it is stated, is becoming more and more the standard pattern of machine for use by the R. F. C. On the left is a Bleriot monoplane and in the air a Henri Farman biplane.

pool, Birkenhead or Manchester.” (“Obstacles to Peace," page 158.) A similar but even more detailed and explicit denial of the story was made by a Swedish journalist whom Mr. McClure quotes.

There were also German reports of Zeppelin raids upon London: “The alarm and consternation was indescribable. ... The population was for the most part in hiding in cellars and underground railway tunnels. ... On the Thames several bridges sustained severe injury. Numerous destructive fires were caused in the West India Docks. ... Rumor puts the loss of life at twenty-one thousand.

.. With many a mighty crash blocks of houses were torn asunder."

Says Mr. McClure: “This whole statement is pure imagination. ... The absolute truth is, that none of the statements made by the German Government or the German newspapers is true, so far as anyone can find out."

Yet the German people absolutely believed these fables.

The military importance of the raids was entirely nil. Upon the British people the effect was merely that of exasperation against an enemy that thus waged war against non-combatants, and of incitement to engage more vigorously in the task of defeating and crushing that enemy. Upon the German people the effect of the fanciful fables was, no doubt, to restrain them from the disaffection, despair and revolt which would have been caused by knowledge of the truth.

THE FUNCTION OF THE AIRSHIP The net conclusion thus far attained, as the result of nearly three years of war, is that the gigantic dirigible balloon is of little practical value for military operations; all commensurate with its cost and its perils. The aeroplane, on the contrary, both of the small one-man type and of the large two-men or three-men type, is of immense and practically indispensable value. But its value is, after all, chiefly as an adjunct to the army and navy, for observation, scouting and signaling purposes, and occasionally for the dropping of explosive or incendiary bombs upon vulnerable points. It can no more take the place of terrestrial armies than the submarine boat can take the place of the battleship. With all the cost and all the activities of aircraft of various kinds in this war, not a single military operation of significance has been effected by them alone or upon their initiative.

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CHAPTER XIV

THE SINEWS OF WAR

The World's Costliest War — Finances of the European Belligerents — Their Huge Debts Before the War — Enormous Credits Voted — Astonishing Response of the People – Figures that Stagger the Imagination — Throwing the Almost Inexhaustible Wealth of America Into the Scale — Seven Billions Voted in a Single Lump - A Huge Loan to Our Allies — The Problem of Supplies of Food and Munitions of War — Importance of Sea Power - Nations Haunted by the Spectre of Famine - Historic Instances of Starvation in War.

THIS WAR costs billions where other wars cost millions. It is incomparably the most expensive war, in dollars and cents, that the world has ever known. That is not only because of its magnitude in geographical extent and in the number of nations and men involved. It is also because the advanced scientific methods of waging war are far more costly than the old ways. A single dreadnought now costs more than the whole British navy did in Nelson's day. When the shells which are fired from cannon cost hundreds of dollars each, and are fired by hundreds of thousands, the ammunition bill “staggers the imagination.” The result is that the belligerents are incurring indebtedness almost beyond the power of the average human mind to appreciate.

Before the war began the European powers were heavily burdened with debts, which had, as we have seen, been largely incurred through military preparations and the maintenance of huge armaments.

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