The Auckland Star. WITH WHICH ARE INCORPORATED The Evening News, Morning News and The Echo.
MONDAY, APRIL 12, 1909. THE EASTER WAR.
For the cause that lacks For the ibrongj that needs, resistance, For the future in the distance. And the good that toe: can, do.
L As has* been already, pointed' out; in."the description of the Garrison* Artillery l-manoeuvres that appeared* in Saturday's I'iSsUe, the* Easter" encampment isreniarkahle* as-hieing* the'first occasion! on which lour' Garrison Artillery has taken' part 'in' riigh'tifiring; This 1 fact' mafrks' a" distinct stage in the" development- of- ; our |;national services";• for: it indicates" that" 'we have begun at last to-realise that J'the problems of military - and naval'- de-1-feiMe:- are not- simply theoretical; but" largely practical, and- that our prepara- | tions- for any great' national emergency rmust be carried out under* conditions j approximating as closely, as possible to" ■the circumstances ■■ of actual -warfare. And it is evident from the -completeness' lof the" plans and the careful attention to> detail that have characterised our Easjter "War (Jame" that not onljr have I the ilaval and military experts responsible' for our safety realized this' truth, tout that they have succeeded 1 in' making, our gunners and volunteers appreciate it as well. Comparatively few people 1 seem to understand that the roar of the guns round the North Head'during the I past two nights has' indicated that Auckland has been theoretically attacked I by" foreign raiders, and that tlie invaders have been theoretically repelled. Yet, as our Teports of the manoeuvres show, the tactics and strategy of actual compaigning have been in evidence for the past three" days and nights' in and around the Waitemata; and it can hardly be doubted that tlffe practical experience | that our defenders have thus acquired of war-conditions, and the more accurate j knowledge they have gained of our capacity for defence or counter-attack, would be of inestimable value if ever i the safety of the city and its people should depend up "the dread arbitrament o£ war."
There appears to be no doubt in the minds' of those personally engaged in the "war game" this Easter, that the whole series of operations has been a great success. Those who have had long previous experience of our trainingcamps seem to be unanimously of the opinion that this night attack opens a" new era in our defence policy, and that it will give a great impetus to local enthusiasm among our volunteer forces. It is, of course, obvious that bhe strict discipline and the sedulous attention to' duty necessitated by the enforcement of war conditions, must vastly increase the efficiency of our' defence" forces. The pra*ctice\of night-firing, more especially with live shell, must be of great value to them and we may remark, as an encouraging feature of the "campaign," that the shooting of our gunnery seems to' have been remarkably accurate and effective. One fact about these manoeuvres that the people of Auckland ought to appreciate is" the amount of genuine' hardship and- self-sacrifice that they entail upon our volunteers'. To' camp out in such weather as We", have experienced recently under actual warconditions, is no'child's play. But we are far from imagining' that our volunteers talie these incoriveniehces' too seriOusly Our conviction is that men inspired by any real sense of responsibility toward the work they' have undertaken will always make light of incidental drawback's of this sort. And' if these Easter
m&'hoeuVres do' nothing' more than impress upon the general body of our citizens the important fact that every man among, them ought to be prepared to sacrifice his comfort and- convenience in just the same way, for the same purpose, they will not have been held in vain. We may remark incidentally that complaints have been made by a number of people that their rest has been broken by the' sound of the heavy guh's at night. We suggest to them-that" it may be less inconvenient to' have gun-firing at night twd or three time's si year here than to leave our harbour entirely' undefeh'de'd, or to man our forts only with •untrained men, and thus to' invite' the attack that any serious international complication might easily precipitate. Complaints of this sort are highly charac-' teristic of the selfishness and lack of public spirit that most British communities appear to display nowadays; and in our own case we hope that the Easter "war game" may do something to remedy this defect, and to wipe away the reproach'of it from our record. ,