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DAILY GUIDE., Issue 15629, 21 October 1914
CHIEF PHASES OF THE WAR. THE SEABOARD FIGHT. BARRING ROAD TO CALAIS. BLUE WATER BATTLE. WHY LOSE MORE CRUISERS? [By A. Sphnck.] Why use ciuiseris of the Hawke type to patrol the North (3ea? This interesting question is raised by the London 'Times.' The substitute is so simple that one wonders why it hao not been thought of before. Armed merchantmen would do—at least, for the duty of examining commerce, -which the Hawke was «igaged on. Some of these modern merchantmen are flyers, and, as ' The Times' puts it, the loss of life and material would be relatively insignificant if they came to grief. Apart from submarines, it looks as if the North Sea were being thickly sown with mines. Laying minefields off porta or on probablo areas of battle at sea is one thing; getting inine« adrift is another. Presumably such mines as the Germans have been laying are anchored mines, bttt when they are laid in deep water on a shifting bottom they are apt to fetch loose. Whatever kind of mines they may be, it seems that there are plenty of them. As early as August 24 the Admiralty's mine-sweepers had taken up a double duty. They were not only sweeping in front of the fleet, but they were keeping open certain trade tracks between Scandinavia and England. Hundreds of trawlers and tuga must have been engaged. And to deceive the enemy the swept routes seem to have been changed from time to time. Information as to these routes was confidei.tiaily supplied to captains of bona fide Eeutrala and British merchantmen having ,-occasion to cress the North f>ea. In view *>t all these perils by sea, the suggestion to make an extended use of armed merchantmen seems good, it is not the loss of ships that hurts us so much as the loss of life. TILS GUN ONLY. Quite a laconic wireless man dwells on the Undaunted. In reporting Saturday's engagement off Holland he only thought it worth while to tend two messp-es: "Pursuing four German dcstioyers.'' .ind then, after an hour or two: " Sunk the lot." The astonishing feature of the fight was the poor German gunnery. This is very unlike German*, so perhaps there is a little pardonable onc-sidedness in the message. If the British boats were struck, the Admiralty would naturally keep that fact to itself. The flotilla seems to have acted with intelligent co-opera-tion. The Unlaunted fastened on two Germans, and the destroyer Loy;l was so lucky at the jump, when she opened on her own target, that the Lance, Legion, and 'Lennox were free to fasten on the remaining German. That boat must have had a bad time. It was all over in 90 minutes. It seems that these German boats were !h>deed endeavoring to steal along to the Belgian coast, possibly to Ostend. The raval correspondent of 'The Times' sums it all up very nicely: " Our score has fceen chiefly made good by the old aboveboard fashion." He means the gun. It is a happy coincidence that such a message should reach us on October 21, for. it is the 109 th. anniversary of Trafalgar. The following tables give an approximate estimate of our -score" to date and theirs:—
Of these, Araphion and Pathfinder were sunk by minee. The cause of the lose of the Australian submarine AEI does not eeem Yet to be known. Aboukir, Cieesy, Hogne, and Hawke were hit bv submarines. The Pegasus was disabled, in action bv the Konigsben; off Zanzibar. In addition to these the .armed merchantman Oceanic was wrecked off the roast of Scotland on September 9, but all jaads were saved.
The Mainz, Kcln, and Ariadne were the cruisers sunk in action in Heligoland Biebt. In addition to snips given in the table, the following are other losses:— Destroyer sunk by mine in Baltic Sea, Au<uifit 17; two destroyers reported sunk off "the Elbe on August 27; Cap Trafalgar, armed merchantman, sunk by Carmania, September 14; Spivevrald, armed merchantman, captured; cruiser and two torpedo boats reported sunk by Russian cruiser Bayan in the Baltic: Itolo, armed merchantman, rank in Mediterranean; ' Rhode*, armed merchantman, sunk October 11; two submarines reported sunk in Baltic, October 11; Markomannia, armed merchantman, sunk in Indian Ocean, October 14. There have also been several hmm of ships at Teing-tao. GHOSTLY SCENE. Major-general Hu*yrt Hamilton, who has met hia death by a fateful shell segment ■which, burst 100 yds away, commanded the North Midland" division of the English Northern Command. His three brigades were Lincoln, Leicester, Stafford, Notts, and Derby men. Part of the district is Cromwell's old recruiting country, and, like Cromwell, who passed away while "the greatest storm" was raging in England, the deceased general went to his rest in the manner which one seized of the spirit of the soldier might possibly desire. The concentration of the German artillery was so great that the body could only be moved after night fell. At dusk it was carried to a little church at some place unnamed, and the cable then tells it« atory in a manner which is past com-ment:-—"As the party approached the church the attack recommenced violently. The chaplain's voice was inaudible, and the flashes from the guns lit up the building, which was in darkness save for a tiny torch whereby the chaplain read the service." The dark church, the dead general, the extraordinarily vivid bursts of the German artillery, and'the inaudible but courageous chaplain—it must have been one of the strangest of earth's many atrange scenes. MORE "LONG KOAD." Those who like to have their intelligence affronted daily will find plenty of affront in to-day's cables. The 'Telegraph' correspondent hae viewed the battlefields in North France (or says he has), and finds that the force of the Ger- . sum avalanche la dwindling. He does
not deign to indicate why they are still at Compiegne. Another one tells u® that only 30 Antwerpians have returned to their city. Thirty oat.of a population of more than a million. An alleged member of the naval brigade at Antwerp says (or, rather, the British war correspondent says) that the guns on the larger forts could not carry more than two miles. The two old 6m veterans at the Ocean Beach would beat that range easily. The purpose of this last report seems to be to diminish the importance of the fall of Antwerp. It is fast dwindling on paper from a first class fortress to a ramshackle hamlet, with nothing more _to guard it than a paling fence. We will hear more about this, for the ingenuity of the youthful note-taker at the front is hard to exhaust. He has given us, also, the story of concrete foundations prepared for the Germans in France jeans ago. One is afraid that the concrete under our own national battle spirit is no thicker than it ought to be, if the correspondents’ view of things is the right one. No one will thank these people for seeking to build the citadel of Hope on a foundation of falsehood.
There is one message which seems a likely one. A refugee from Liege states that the Germans, are heavily refortifying the town, cutting down woods, and throwing up miles of trenches and wire entanglements. They are also building a Zeppelin shed there. The face value of the message is convincing. Liege is just the right place for a Zeppelin shelter, and the reasons for refortitication aro so patent that the mention Is enough. As stated in these notes previously, the road to the Rhine will bo very long. Six or seven major sieges will Ire necessary in North France and Belgium alone, but “that is not all. Miles of field trenches and entanglements most likelysear the fields of Belgium, and the region from the Ardennes and Luxembourg _ to the Aisne must be a region of trench after trench. We know that as soon as the Saxons entered the wooded Ardennes at the commencement of the war they got out pick and shovel and began to dig. GOOD CABLES. There aro some good cables, too. We read that the Germans had planned to march a huge force across to Calais and engulf the French seaboard towns. Nothing would be more likely, and we know what for. The cable states that this plan was smashed by a German defeat near Lille.' To be sure, we have not heard much about this defeat, but the evidence of t-het cables is that the Allies are fighting for every inch of that precious seaboard. Nieuport is only 10 miles from Ostend, and one of. the main battle lines is between Nieuport and Roulers, which is about as far as the distance between Dunedin and Evansdale or Warrington. Wo do not seem to be doing badly. on this front. . In Boland a momentous battle is 10 or 11 days old. The collision is spreading far south of the frontier post at Saiidomiers, in the direction of the Carpathian Mountains. It seems almost certain that the South and South Central Russian Armies have bad to fall back from points leading to Cracow, but the siege of the fortress of Przemysl is still going on. And that is important. We have received some wild messages about this battle, and local successes were raised to the status of general victory. To-day the news is more modest, the Russians have gained “partial successes” on the northern wing near Warsaw and on the southern wing near Przemysl. This' battle will take a long time, and one cable says that the Germans propose to winter in Poland. Poland in winter is not a serene haven, and the message is only a correspondent’s guess at best. What seems apparent is that the road into Germany will not be opened for a very long time. The wealthy Russian coterie which allowed the German railway gauge to run so far into Poland must have been like some of the wealthy in other countries. There may bo a little gleam of patriotism in them somewhere. The “silver bullet,” as Mr Lloyd George has called it, comes along and shoots it out. CANADA AND INDIANS.
A correspondent asks a question which most people have thought a good deal about during the last few days; i;ir,—As one who takes a keen interest in your notes on the war, I was somewhat disappointed not to read comments on the transportation of 30,000 Indian troops across Canada to the seat of war, as reported in Monday night’s paper. Is it a canard? If not, for what reason can tills route have been chosen? Also regarding periscopes. Judging from what we read about them, they seem to bo rigid. Are they made or can they be made to fold down like the funnels of steamers passing under bridges? This would greatly reduce their vulnerability.
The transport of Indian troops through Canada seems improbable. It is, however, a guesswork matter, and I am not able to sav “ Yes ” or •“ No.” An Indian division consists of one white and several native brigades, and, with so many faiths and castes and creeds, the greatest care has to be taken in laying out an ordinary Indian camp in peace time. It may bo that something small has been passed through Canada, and been well magnified in a sensational way. The military drawbacks of sending an Indian division through Canada are apparent. The troopships would require to unload at Vancouver, and load again on the St. Lawrence, It would be quicker and cheaper to send Indian troops straight from Bombav through the Suez Canal. As to periscopes, some can be laid flat and some can be telescoped. But for purposes of battle, where there is little time for adjustment, the periscope of a submarine may be regarded as rigid. WAR CLOUD GROWS. It does look as if the war cloud will grow. The Ooeben is alleged to be out looking for the Russian Black Sea fleet. The Russian Black Sea admiral may take it into his head to look for the Goeben, alleged neutral though she be. An artillery freight train from Germany to Turkey has been held up. These things forebode no good. To-day we learn that the Italian fleet has been mobilised under the Duke of Abruzzi, who was in Dunedin seven or eight years ago. The Italian fleet is too well known to need much description. The man on the ship is, of course, the main proposition, but, as far as designs go, the Italian ships have arrested the attention of the naval architects of the world. There is no prettier deck plan than that of the battleship Dante Alighieri, for- instance—triplegunned turrets, and all on the centre lino system. Colonel Cunniberti seems to know what is what when it conies to designing a ship of war. Strong diplomatic pressure has doubtless been brought to boar on Italy by both sides. Loft to herself, war is the last thing that Italy wants —the last thing that she can afford to pay for. She wants to be neutral, to keep her ports open for the flow of the world’s goods—British goods among others—which will travel north along her railways to Switzerland, and thence onward to the German armies.
In Wellington there is a fairly strong colony of Italians, largely intelligent men. They seem to have sources of news which we never see—the Rome, Naples, and Turin papers among others. They meet on Sunday evenings at the 'Garibaldi Club in Ghuznec street, and talk and dream of empire, just as the Wellington Chinese do in their own rooms in Tory street. They are great empire-builders, but every one of them says that Italy does not want war. One put it to the writer thus: a We have no feeling except dislike of those Austrian merchants. We don’t want to fight, but if we do we have no choice which side to take, whether ■we like it or not. We spent a lot oi money getting Tripoli, and if we fight on the side of Germany then the English Fleet will take this colony from us, and we will never get it back, no matter who wins. Our country is not rich, and they ought to leave us alone. War is the deuce and all.” MR BRIDGEMAN’S COMPLAINT.
In a letter in Monday’s issue F. 0. Bridgeman suggested that wise men leave my notes unread. It seems that he reads them. He to give the im-
pression that he only asked some straightforward questions about airships. His communication, however, was of such a nature as to demand a vigorous reply. He states that ha hazarded the opinion that if a fleet of Zeppelins attack London few of them will return across the water. This indicates what loss of memory he seems to be subject to in the short interval between a Friday and a Sunday, for his original letter contained nothing of that kind. Ho characterises my notes as diatribes. In controversial writing the word “diatribes" is wearing long hair and a Crimean medal, and ought to bo well superannuated. He speaks of my notes “rubbing in the disasters.” Where were they rubbed in? The “abuse” as delivered on Saturday was as follows:—(1) Suggest that you are too far out of date on aeronautics to open up the question which your letter seems to desire. (2) It is time that patriotic firms painted the names of German agencies off their doors.
It seems to me that the more I write about food, and the more the true light is thrown on the war, the larger will grow the crop of letters. Mr Bridgeman suggests that I have no depth of attack. He will encounter all the attack he wants if he just keeps straight on.
—British Losses. — Ship Date. Loss of Life. Amphion ... Aug. 6 . . 130 Pathfinder ... Sept. 5 . . 170 Submarine All Sept. 15 . . 35 Aboukir Kept. 22. . 500 Creasy Sept. 22. . 550 Hogu'e, ... ... Kept. 22. . 390 Pegasus kSept. 26. . 25 Hawk* Oct. 15 . . 410
—Cr&riTMn Losses. — Ship. Date. Los s of Life Konigin Luise Aug. 5 ... 150 Bubmarine U15 Aug. 9 ... 25 Kaiser Willifilm. Aug. 26 ... 110 Mainz Aug. 27 ... 350 ~ Koln Aug. 27 ... 350 Ariadne Auj. 27 ... 200 Magdeburg Aug. 28 ... 370 Hela 330 Four destroveTS Oct. 17 ... —
DAILY GUIDE., Issue 15629, 21 October 1914
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