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THE RIVAL GUNS., Issue 15635, 28 October 1914
THE RIVAL GUNS.
CJI-'KMW WEAPONS NOT BETTER Til AX THE ALLIES'. srEGE PIECES BOGY. I'.y Military Correspondent of the London 'Standard' a.nd 'Western Morning News.') In an article entitled 'The Battle to the. Strongest Gun.' Sir Joseph ComptonRiekeit. M.P.. suggests that the German, advance in France has been due largely to their superiority in tho r.nmber of machine guns over the armies of Gre-at Britain and France, behind which looms, he say*, "the terrible, siege gun, or such a modelled siege trim as can be freely handled in the open held." He cites, too, the instance of the Liissian defeat in East Prussia, when, according tn reports from Petrograd, the battle was decided by large reinforcements, "accompanied by powerful gun.i obtained from German fortifications lying behind." His deduction is that the battle goes to "the strongest gun," and that it is incumbent on Great Britain to beat the Cermans by their own tactics, and provide quick-tire awl big guns for her troops i.i the same number and in the same calibre.
" [ eonsiiited one of the greatest of our i experts in artillery and explosives, and I was informed that the public need have, no disquietude, about the quality of British I guns either largo or small. The British : rillc has proved itself to ho a deadly weaI pon in eapahle hands, and our quick-fire ' batteries are maintained at the normal | establishment. It stands to reason that ; if the Cermans outnumber the Allied ! Forces by Hire" to one in the infantry, they v. ill outnumber our <piick-fire hat- ! ten"* hy thiee to one. Rut Sir Joseph j Coinpton-Itiekett, who is regarded by mili- | tare men as an "arm chair' eritie. -with • ! : rt!e knowledge of military matters, ha? ' failed to grasp tho important point whether j the Allied Forces' systematic and 1 orderly '"etirement before the German hordes has ] rot been due as nineh to strategy .is to | compulsion. The next few weeks will decide that. The fact that the Allies have j been able to assume the offensive serves : n< an illustration of the fact that proj bahiy they are not so overweighted in the | matter of <|nick-tire trims, and if they are j overweighted, that they are able to use | their .-mailer number of quick-firers with I deadly en'e< t. Thf comparative smallness | of the British ca-uaity list, in view of the ! -t'-rn work in which our troops have been ; engaged tend- to prove that the over- ; u helming pressure of quick-fire guns has ! not been evident. —Siege (inns of the Nations.— 'Then with regard to the 'terrible' siege guns .-aid to be used by the flermans. ' These cannot move with a mobile force, as : they require 23 hovses to draw them on I the ho*i of toads, and are so heavy i that they could not possibly be moved | over bfid ones. They have probably been ; u-ed to break down the Belgian torts at I l.ie-i'e and Xantur, but according to latest i icpoit- .-one of the forts at Liege have i not ever, yet been reduced, and the effec|tiveiie?; if those 'terrible' engines may j be taken to bo not as great as is supj po-t d. Bin. as a matter of fact, the Ger- ! man siege pun i=. not superior to similar j weapons u-ed by other nations. Their \ howitzer clas;. has a calibre slightly larger I than British and French howitzers, but I they an, certainly not rrore effective. The | German gun's calibre is 11.2 m, but its I lange and the velocity of the projectile J are not as effective as the British 9.4 in gun or the T'Teneh 10.Tin gu'i. Th» 'Rtisj Mans have a 12in siege gun, but little is l kiii.«n y?t of it; power. The followirg | tabic shows a comparison of tha calibre and weight of the siega guns (boiwtzers) that may be used in the present war :—■ W 7 eightof Weight Country. Calibre, equipment, of gun. French 10.7 in 22 tons 5$ tons Herman 1.1.2 in 28tons 6 tons British S4in 20ton» 54 tons Busiian 12in 28 tons 6 tons j Austrian 11.2 in 23 tons 6 tons j " Besides the siege guns there are two ■ other kinds of heavy ordnance that will ! play a part —the garrison guns and fi-M ■ I pieces. ! —Allies' Field Onus. - " In tha British and French liekl guns j there has beer, proved superiority in neeu- | lacy, range, and maiming powers, owing to the larger number of shrapnel burets in the shells. Tho British and German j field guns are of the same calibre. The j British weapon is smaller, but is more e!f»clive._ The sizes ard weights of the held artillery of the nations at war are shown as follows: Calibre Weight of Weight Country. (inches), shrapnel, of guru Austria 3.01 14.721 b Vcwt Belgium 2.95 14.31b 6.67cwt Fiance 2.95 15.961b 9 C wt f!"nnany o 03 151b 7.06c«-t •Ta pa" 2.95 14.51b 6.3cwt Russia 3.0 14.51 ib 7.Bsetvt 'Great Britain 3.03 12.541b fiewt 'Horse. —Garrison Artillery.— i " Regarding garrison artillery, «» are informed that Great Britain has superioiity with her 9.4 guru, which are expected to be abl<* to deal with anything tnat is likely to be brought against them. The guns in the French fortifications are said to have been renewed recently, ,tnd 10.7,n scans placed in lieu o£ Oin fiur.s Tap comparative weight nf this arm of tite European services is shown as follow* : Country. Cftlibre. Weight ■>'. gun. Britain 9.4 in 6 totes France 10 7m 6 i, tons Germany 9.4 in tons liussia l(;.7iu 7 ((■,„< /.u-triu o.4iii 6itoi:s •■ ll will be seen that there i- im m,. ;i | to Geririauy in the pnwer of her jfiuis of any class. [f it, became ncuu*uy lot Great Britain £q iiavfe sie&e 1
guns of superior power. llio*c ceu'd he readily adapted by takine a patter'' of the 13.5 in un\\< nsid in the Xtivw dmriening ilu-ii", aid adapting the firing, charge to tlie shoi'tor length. Then the'e won id be in the hold the most, formidable wo\ pou known, which would be capable of hur'ing on Us objective a Lyddite she!) neighing appjoximatoly three-rp.-nTtcrs »c a Un."
I BRITISH AND GERMAN ( DESTROYERS. A comparison of the British and Ger- , man strength in torpedo craft available in . the North Sea during tho present war , j shows that the proportion in destroyers is j almost identical with what obtained at j Port Arthur in 1904 between the Japanese j and the Russians. An analysis yields the I following. | —British Destroyers.-- ! 20 "E" 1012-1913 800 31 '4 20 ■■ K" 1012 020 32 4 123 "1 " Hill 1912 760 27 2 | 20 ■' 11. " 1010-1911 800 27 2 7 "F" 1007-1910 000:990 33 2 5 •'!••' 1906-1908 880 33 2 27 •K" 1902-1906 550 25£ 2 7 "D" 1900-1904 333 30 2 34 "C" 1897-1900 335 30 2 21 "IV 1895-1900 300 50 2 I 0 "A" 1893-1896 290 27 2 I 193 ! (16 others in Mediterranean, 8 China, and j 3 Australia.) | -—German Destroyers.— I i 24 1911-1015 820 32', ".5 54 1909-1911 050 32 i (some 4) 11 1008-1909 620 32 5 12 1907-1008 680 50 3 12 1006-1907 525 20; 7, I 1006 572 33i 3 11 1004-1906 430 28"i 3 12 1902-1904 420 28 3 23 1809-1902 400 261, to 28 3 1 1808 355 28 3 7 1888-1897 300-380 21 to 24 3 148 (Two others on the China Station.) This list does not include, craft of over 1.000 tons, which are now classed as " flotilla leaders" in the British service,, nor does it, allow for some four or five Russian destroyers which were, building in Germany when war beyan, and may have been taken over by the latter Power by this time. A COLONISTS IMPRESSIONS. We have been permitted 'to make, the following extracts from a letter received by to-day's mail from a welj-knowu Dnnedin citizen, who, with a fellow-townsman, went Home in tho lonic: " When we ha do good-bye b> you on the. Dunedin railway station seven weeks ago wo little thought that we. would arrive in the, (lid Country when it was passing through one of tho most strenuous periods of its existence as an Empire. It is scarcely possible to realise that we are now located in the very heart of our Empire when those stirring ■event* are passing. Wei had a, delightful pa-ssago fiom beginning to end. Th;> weather in the low Latitudes was certainly cold, but the temperature was not nearly so low as wo wore, led to believe would l>a the case at that, time of the year, midwinter, and tho sea, was comparatively smooth. After rounding tho Horn the water resembled the proverbial millpond, and one could scarcely believe that wo were in mid-Atlantic. "When off the Falkland Islands intimation was received by wireless that war had broken out, and that England had been drawn into it to honorably carry out her obligation to Belgium. This news came as a great surprise, to all, as things in Europe politically seemed very quiet on our leaving Wellington. Scraps of war iiwvs was from time t-> time received by wireless until Montevideo was reached, but on arriving there wo found that the newspapers, published in Spanish, had manufactured tho more sensational items in lieu of authentic information, which could not lie obtained owinji to Press censorship in England and Fiance. Wo, however, learnt enough to satisfy ourselves that all was going well at sea. The sympathy of that part -of the world is entirely with the English and French. There were about a do/.en large German steamers in tho harbor t,ak-
steamois in thu harbor taking lt'fnco id a neutral port-, and afraid to vent-me outside for fear of being picked up by one of the- British cruisers patrolling that part of the seas. One of these steamers was said to liavo on board, in addition to $ valuably cargo, £7CO,COO in gold. At Montevideo our captain received instructions fiom th-e Admiralty through the British Consul to proceed to s-ea without lights. Navigation was therefore done in total and dinner had to be. partaken of at 5 p.m. 'J'his restriction of lights, although very necessary, was most inconvenient, and did not add to the enjoyment of the voyage for the remainder of tho throe weeks. "With darkness at 6 o'clock, the evenings wno dreadfully long. Not even matches '.vert', allowed 'to be struck, although I must admit means were found of siiiwptit-ioutdy striking a match to light for a .smoke. " Four days after leaving the port of Montevideo Rio was reached. Hore we akso found .several German vessels ''bottled" tip. Rio Ls a beautifully situated city of about 1,000,000 inhabitants and well built,- Liu unfortunately tli? fidances of the trovernment arc- in a very bad condition owing to the war. Fresh loans, which were expectfd, cannot be floated, and all Government works have been stopped. I heard that th* salaried of Civil servants aro in arrears about three months, with th© exception of tha navv, which compel payment by turning on to the city the gains of the four largo modern Dreadnoughts which tho Government foolishly had built, and winch are now a
to the peace, and safety of the < iti»ens. I daresay Germany would Ih> very }ileasod to purchase them at the- present timo.
" From Rio wo mailed (|iiite an uinisru* 1 course, avoiding Tenoriffe aitogr-tlier. For almost tiireo weolw, with the calm the ionj; dark nigliLs, and lire tanUlisinj abseiKO of uowa, it wa* almost impossible to realise that we wcro vitally interested in the bi-rrgest doings since the world berjan. and when a few days ago no .stepped from tiK'se placid conditions into the throbbmc heaa-t of this mighty modern Babylon we ocuild hardly holievo that we were the same pe,rsonaJities. "Ab a rule, the Londoner tak«'s his sue. rounding very calmly, and is chary alwtit into coiisvjsation with stianjiei.s. But now we find him roatsxd. and in restaurant and other places ho enl-ers lively int-o dLseu&sion witli us ot' the- one a.liaiworbing subject. When we arrive.! at our ejected quarters in Bioimsbury street our hotel was iialfcmptv, many. i.ouri.sts himnx mado straight tor Ikhik.'' upon the outbreak ot wai, but now it is quite full, many residents of Franco and Belgium having arrived the last few days. Tiie general impression hen* is that "the war will bo a vory lengthy business.
"Tho youth of England are- enlisting freely for service, and the first 6.000 or 7,000 recruits on tlieir way to drill have been passing our window for tho past 20 minutes, lire airs wo hear whistled about the streets are -Bide, Britannia' a.nd the ' Marseillaise.'
" We are afraid we shall not be able to carry out our original intention of visiting th*» Continent, but we purpose going into Scotland next week, and Ireland later. The rest of our time we shall spend ouietlv in Loudon tm<i the country.
THE RIVAL GUNS., Issue 15635, 28 October 1914
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