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MONITORS., Issue 15631, 23 October 1914
OLD WAR TYPE REVIVED.
POLAND BATTLE MAP. PLAIN POSITION OF ARMIES. TWO TURNED BACK. THE FIGHT FOR NIEUPORT. [By A. Spence.] Moltke's son is dead—for the second time. More villas have been found with concrete under them. Two waggons of German lunatics, made ma-d by battle, have reached Munich. The Kaiser lives in wire entanglements and rabbit-proof fencing, something like a canary in a cage. A celebrated French surgeon agreed to operate on a German aristocrat for £7,000. The Germans had also stolen (sic) 50,000 bottles of champagne. Yes, sick ! Very sick indeed 1 It if? a sick public sentiment which does not mobilise against, such news. The whole reputable English newspapers are blazing in revolt. Yesterday a correspondent sent along a batch of clippings; to-day another correspondent sends another batch. The whole foolery is satirised; it is described without beg pardons. Some of those who are carrying on the good work of satire are women. They include Jessie Weston and Alice Morning. Both ladies have written more to the point on war during the past five years than most of the whole batch of men " with military experience" now acting as correspondents. MEANING OF TO-DAY'S MAP. It is a relief to turn to things tangible. To-day's map will give readers a rough but accurate enough idea of the battle of the Vistula. The Russians are marked in black ; the Germans in shaded blocks. The scale was too small to draw in the minor and grand reserves which feature battles, but some attempt has been made to do it on the Russian side. There is. first of all, the firing line of infantry and artillery. It is strung out along the river from " Pultusk to Przemysl. Then come the black rectangles indicating the first reserves to feed the firing line. Lastly, there is a heavy block showing the grand reserve. This is usually plaeed at some central spot, and held there till the battle develops. Rennenkampf and the Vilna army are shown further north. He forms the grand flank guard for the major operation along the river. He is part of the battle, and yet distinct from it. His business is to stand fast on his present front between Soldau and Grodno; pro tern., at least. The object of the map is to indicate clearly how much the battle has capsized the calculations- of the Russian General Staff. One requires to particularly note the positions of the Kieff and Odessa armies as they were before the German, counterstroke came. They were heading for Cracow. They were moving in parallel columns. After Cracow they would have wheeled to the right, entered Silesia, and headed for Breslau. After Breslau them are the good roads to Berlin, always provided that the Russians had been strong enough to force a passage of the river Oder. This project is done with, temporarily at all events. The Kieff and Odessa armies were drawing their supplies through Tarnopol and Leraberg (both marked). Without one word of warning the Austro-German armies opened out and lined Uip Vistula and San Rivers on their rear. Their line of supply was cut. Though we have not been told, it is almost certain that these two armies have had to retrace their steps, and are back in line of battle somewhere near Przemysl i and Jaroslav. Everything now depends I o)i the bloodshed. Strategy is finished for the moment. The news is good, as far as it goes. The Kound of the German cannon is receding in the direction of Warsaw—their northern battle wing. Headway has also been made in the gentle valley of the Pilitja River, which flows into"the Vistula on tlic side on which the Germans are. On the southern wing, along the San River, the Russians hold on. Th« key to the cables regarding this part of the battle is the fact that the siege of Przemysl is maintained. The number engaged is still vague. It looks like 2,500,000 Russians and about 1,800.000 Austro-Germans. Rennenkampf, on the flank, may have another 200,000. In specifying the Russian armies we are only sure of the Vilna, Odessa, and Kieff troop*!. What their centre is made, of we do not know. The Moscow and Varsovie armies are certainties, however. The St. Petersburg urmy must also be in line some/where.
It should be noticed that both sides desire to keep the Vistula River between them n-s far as possible. No commander like* battle with his back to a river. LETTER FROM AFRICA.
With Italy's ports open, and Holland's open, and the Danube open, the blockade of Germany is no blockade. So long ae she can pay spot ca«h she will be fed and clothed. To obtain cash she will doubtless tTV the Kimlx'iley diamond fields and the Transvaal gold mines. A letter which has been received by a Dunedin man from South Africa says a- good deal in sentences:
We have been wondering what it all means. Most of our defence force left on Tnet-day (five weeks ago) for goodnewi' knows where. Do Beers are working on relief work only. They are closing down regular muting operation*. The town (Kiniberky) is very quiet and rather auxioun.
Tho objective of tho Germans in South Africa, if they aie not turned baek by the loyal burgher.- and fractions of the Imperial forces in South Africa, is too obvious to req-iire further mention- Four or five hundred miles through elephant grass and deeeii, however, makes the road to Kimberley quite a'fi long as tho jaunt to 'TipperarV which the British soldier seems to have immortalised. THE MONITORS AT NIEUPOIIT.
Monitors did the shelling of Nieuport. Except for certain operations in the Danube, this typo of wanlor has not been heard of since the American Civil War, when the Mississippi was full of them, and the Atlantic coast of the United States knew them also. The name is derived from Captain Erie-son's original " Monitor," which engaged the armored Confederate Merrimac in Hampton Roads. It seems that these blocky little ships had been recently built at Barrow-in-Furness, and were intended for river service in Brazil. The- British Government keep a very fair rein on the armament makers, and there can be no resistance if the Government desire to purchase. The cable give 6 interesting details on draught, displacement, and speed. The kind of gun employed —6in calibre—was mentioned as likely in yesterday's notes. RED ROULERS. What is taking place in the small West Flanders plains is easy to see. Britain does not want further German advance along the low shores from Ostend to Calais. It is too near. The local centre behind this fraction of the battle of North France is Roulers. The desperation with which Roulers has been fought for is told in to-day's messages. French dragoons threw the Germans out of the place, and then enacted the role of engineers by putting up barricades. They knew what was coming. On Monday the Germans, well wise to what the French had done, bagon with the usual bombardment. The infantry, covered by this fire, bored in, and the Germans retook Bolder* after the jaoei *aww* <jf oil <a>M»tiont—street-
fighting. Next day the JJbenoh, a£ tor" btjing strengthened, wrested Roulers once more. The m adds : "After heavy fighting." The object of all this struggle ougbt to be plain enough. Germany wants ail points on this coast down to Boulogne at least; England does not want these points occupied. Belgians and French are resolutely co-operating in the endeavor to throw the Germans north along the seaboard. The Monitors have been shelling them from tlhe sea. It is, of course, a very serious operation. Elsewhere we see that the suburbs ©f the fortress of Lille, are in cinders. The fortifications of this important place have been described in notes this week. It is a strong place. W 7 hy we heard so little of ite fall is only another commentary on the news. EMDEN AGAIN. The infinitesimal Emden is still sweeping the Bay of Bengal. The list of her previous captures appears elsewhere, but a correspondent asks for a description of this latter-day Alabama. She is only a midget—one of two sisters—the other being the Dresden. They are six or seven years old, but still flyers, the nominal speed being over 24 knots. The Emden was laid down and finished at the Danzig yard. She has stowage for about 900 tons of coal, and unless pushed up to top speed can keep the tea for three weeks at a stretch without coaling ship. She has 10 guns of the typical 4.lin pattern for this class, which is fairly heavy when her engine p >wer is considered in relation to her displacement—only 5,600 tons. She has a crew of 320. The story of the interplay of searchlights between the Emden and a merchantman off the Hughli is interesting. It seems that the German captain, who may lie up ultimately at Batavia, or may be sunk, is enjoying this brief-livei maraud. If the story is true, he can still muster up a joke. Some Japanese or British ship will, however, have the last "Ha I ha'" in the cachinnation. By the way, there is news to-day of an interchange of courtesies between the Admiralties of London and Tokio The North China papers have for some time furnished evidence of wide activities by the Japanese in the Pacific. These activities have been very wide indeed. When the embargo on this class of news is lifted by the New Zealand Govrnment, perhaps on Monday, there will be a good deal to tell. CORRESPONDENTS. Several hostile letters are in to-day. They come from a quarter not unexpected. G. Fox protests against the "tone" of these articles. Tone is matter of taste; it often jars most when the note struck Is truest. Whatever the tone may be, G. Fox is no Napoleon when it comes to marshalling facts. There, is to sure, a somewhat plaintive attempt to drag in Lord Kitchener and also the Otago NavyLeague. Stripped of these side issues, G. Fox amounts to this: (1) These notes are stopping recruiting Iby (telling the truth; (2) TE was wrong to say that the Canadians must remain two months in England before they can be made ready for a Continental war ; (3) it was wrong to say that the War Office is what it is. Now, the answers are quite simple. Antwerp showed what the beneficial effect of the truth would be on recruiting. Every English, journal of standing, from the London 'Times' downward, is hammering hard on the same thing. G. Fox should write to them about it. The protracted halt of the Canadians in England is no doubt deplorable, but it is the cable message. If G. Fox would like these awkward cables colored, his best course seems to be to write to the all-powerful Lord North cliffe. As for the War Office, G. Fox will find a good deal to interest him in Sir William Butler's account of it. Robert*. Kitchener, and French have been, and still are. in passive revolt against it. So wast that stainless soldier, the late Lord Wolseley. It was eye-pain to Butler, anfi ho was a sane enough man.
MONITORS., Issue 15631, 23 October 1914
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