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Copyright by Under wood and Underwood, N. Y.
A BATTERY OF 12-INCH U. S. Coast DEFENSE MORTARS
exposed to the perils of the open and stormy ocean, or to attack or even observation by the enemy. It would enable them to be concentrated swiftly and secretly at any point on the coast where they might be needed; to swarm out of the nearest inlet to repel an approaching enemy. It would make any attempt to blockade any port of our coast futile, since that port would be in inland communication by water with all other ports along the coast. An enemy's fleet approaching any part of our coast would be confronted by a mobile fleet. There has been talk of the possibility of an enemy making a landing in force upon some remote and undefended part of our shores. That might readily be done, in present circumstances, if our battle-fleet were evaded or defeated. It would be impossible if the coast were lined at all points with a navigable inland waterway swarming with submarines and destroyers. And of course the peaceful commerce of this route could be maintained in time of war in a security which would be impossible outside of the coast line.
PANAMA AND THE CARIBBEAN The great need of the Panama Canal was felt at the beginning of our Spanish War; and its immense potential utility in war as well as its actual utility in peace is now increasingly obvious. It would enable our fighting fleet to be quickly transferred from one coast to the other, as danger threatened. In proportion to its value, however, is the need of protecting it from hostile seizure or destruction. Such protection is not to be afforded by mere fortifications at the terminals, though of course these are essential and the wisdom of our government in securing the treaty right to construct them is manifest. The security of the Canal depends upon our dominance in the adjacent waters, and particularly the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It was in order to have a foothold from which to attack the Canal that Germany so persistently intrigued for the possession of territory, if only a naval station, somewhere about the Caribbean, and it was to hamper us in our plans for defense of the Canal
that she opposed, on one occasion successfully, our acquisition of the Danish West Indies. Her extreme desire a few years ago to inveigle Holland into becoming a member of the empire was partly, of course, in order to gain Holland's frontage on the North Sea, but it was also in no small measure in order to be able to plant the German flag upon the Dutch Islands in the Caribbean. There is no more essential feature of our scheme of national defense than the maintenance of American dominance in those waters,
THE PANAMA CANAL A bird's-eye view of the great canal, which was planned as a short cut for the
fleet of the United States from one ocean to the other.