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THE CHILE STORY, Issue 15644, 7 November 1914
THE CHILE STORY
STILL IN THE CLOUDS.
PHASES OF THE WAR ON LAND.
THE TIME FOR OLDER MEN.
[By A, Spence.] People seemed unduly excited yesterday over the action at sea- off the coast of Chile. There were ominous head.shakes, and the frequent remark : “ Oh, it was three to three ! A fair go ! In my notes yesterday I did. my best to show that it was no ‘‘go ’ at all.
Assuming that this battle has happened, it merely comes to tills : In the opening phase only the two 9.2iu guns on the Good Hope- would count. The Germans would bring 12 B,2iu guns into action on cither beam. Guns of this calibre are all quick-firers, and, on account of their rapid delivery of shot, they hold their own to some extent with the more majestic slow filers which the battleships mount. It would ho difficult to imagine a more, ■unequal action. One of tho reports states that the British, ships wore outranged. This would be so in the case of the Monmouth and Glasgow. Their fighting value, would be nothing in the first phase, and the first phase would be practically the last. If the story is a. canard, it will constitute the most amazing canard ever circulated, even by the American Press. The Admiralty still doubts it, and the Admiralty has been so straightforward in its dealings with the nation that one would not readily doubt the Admiralty. Tho Admiralty states that by this time Admiral Craddock should have been reinforced by the arrival of the. battleship Canopus. Her presence would have given ns the, necessary preponderance in artillery. She has four 12in guns. the Admiralty’s message is interesting in one way at least. Tho Canopus is one of six battleships constituting our Bth Battle Squadron, and attached to the Third Fleet. Her detachment from that licet shows that the Admiralty feels cheerful enough about the general situation in the North Sea. It also indicates a. determined effort to hunt down the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and bring them to battle. It is true that the Canopus is two or three knots Blower than the Schamhnrst. and cannot catch up on her unless she stands to tight, but her presence in these new waters spells nut a big word. Our New Zealand trade going Home round Capo Horn is now safe against all comers.
A heavily-censored message regarding this engagement has been received from New York. It seems true. The Germans saw the Good Hope (chief ship) coming at full speed to join the Monmouth and Glasgow. The battle is said to have begun at 6.000 yards, and, as might have been expected, the return "fire from the Scharnhorfrt. and Gnoiscnau was crippling. Then the ships bored in to 5,000 yards—the Tsu-shima. ranee—and afterwards 4,500. In .the evening Hie Good Hope began to show flames. The general tenor of the. news is that this action off the coast of (,'liile lias taken place with results as stated in the cables. THE BEMUERA'S RUSE. Our New Zealand liner Bemuera. furnishes an illustration of the difficulty of these operation? in wide ocean. The battle at sea. is always to the strong, hut the race is not always to tho swift. What tho Remucra sighted after leaving Montevideo may have been the E-ber and some subventioned armed merchantman ; but whatever it was. the captain of the .Remucra fully realised that daylight does not last for ever. When night came he put out lights and put the helm over. Next, morning his smoke was probably a good 100 miles beyond the gaze of the look-outs on the German crow's nests. SIR. PERCY SCOTT. ■' . Everyone must have been pleased to seo that that wonderfully practical man, Sir Percy Scott, has returned to the Admiralty for special service. Of his specialism in gunnery everyone knows so much that there is little need for comment. How he gave “logs” to the heavy six-inch guns in. Natal ia ancient history. Perhaps his best effort in the gunnery branch was his first. This was the invention of Hie “ dotter,” which helps to correct the gun-laying in respect to the roll of tho stiip. 'There were great hopes cf keeping this appliance a, strict service secret, mid no one hoped more than the inventor. Like every other appliance of war. however—like the French field gun of 1898 —its secret passed into the hands of the armament manufacturers the world over. Sir Percy Scott has no time for the armament' trusts. In that respect ho is a soured man. Since the Roxburgh incident, about six years ago, ho has been under some sort of cloud. That, was the occasion when the famous signal was hoisted ;«|“ Knock off gunnery ; come back to port; paint ship, and look pretty.” It is pleasing to notice that the wise, discernment df Mr Winston 'Churchill sees that Sir Percy Scott must conn 1 to tho Admirallv.
It, may not be out of place to mention that it was this "rent man who first told us that the battleship is doomed. He said that the submarine will hea.fc her. He said it at a. time when the armament manufacturers wore, viewing the actual tests made at manomvrqs with horror. (Sir Percy Scott on that'occasion spoke merely of submarines, but might have said more. Tim small oil-driven battleship. moving in small swarms, with a single turret, three gnus, flush dock, and great snood, would probably heat any Dreadnought. - The subject of oil. however. is an ill one to open up. Powerful trusts guard it. THE OLD WAR DEE ICE.
It is not- supposed to be exactly “ patriotic" to fiav imicii. about the \V:ir Office, though ;t British general /Sir William Hutler) has written a book about it which ought to have- been sufficient to lift the scales off the eyes of the nation. In respect to this exclusive place, the military contributor of the London ‘Times’ breaks matters as gently as he can ; The past three months have witnessed an unparalleled expansion of tho British Aiiny. The War Office, hampered and starved for years for guns, rifles, ammunition, and clothing, will be unable to make, good the deficiency for several months, but every day brings the realisation nearer. The expansion of the British Army is no doubt unparalleled, but the starvation ” in gnus, rifles, and ammunition leaves one laughing. The military contributor of the London ‘Times’ jsAvriling politics and war in the same dash of ink. it is likely that ‘The Times’s ’ contributor (‘The Times' is part of the Harmsworth news trust) has been as guarded as he can. The exclusive coteries behind the Horse Guards will no doubt endeavor to make it appear that they havo been “starved” for munitions. Meantime Kitchener drives them. Our Chief War Lord was recently one of the unemployed, no doubt in consequence of a memorable difference of opinion with Ciiraon of Keddlestone, in India some years ago. That furnishes a telling’ comment on the War Oflice. In notes this week I stated that, if our Second Army is now over the Channel, Lord Kitchener must havo done wonderfully well. We can see now that the Louden iScotlish have “come in” with effect, and their presence in Belgium betokens the arrival of the Second Army.,
SEND OLDER MEN. Tn one respect the message by the military contributor of ‘The Times' carries * value. The recruits coining forward ara old eiv than the boys usually jenning thfi army,, and their physique is decidedly superior. while their conduct and spirit wo all that can be desired. It is a grand word. The old man—3s to 50—is coming into his own. In the mud splosh which the National Reserve in Dunedin made down the streets on Thursday night last I looked at these stalwart an'cierts. Some of the best rifle shots in New Zealand were marching; the drill w.-* very fair; the talking in the ranks little : the* word ot the officer commanding lei ;• and without a semblance of “Beg pardon. - ’ AnJ, after the parade, one man said : “I suppose, as we have no uniforms, the Hermans would just put us against a wall and shoot us.” Another reservist gave the answer very neatly: “ Yes, after we have shot some of them." They know their musketry, these older men. Wo coo to-day that Lord Gel borne, speaking at Chiswick, said that the voluntary response to the call for enlistment had boon wonderful, but some had “odd feet.'' Ho characterised the young men who have no dependents as shirkers in this supreme hour. If Iris lordship came to Dunedin and inspected the National Reserve ho would, find elderly men with families ready to be useful in war time. Give these older men a chance. DEATH OF GENERAL KEKBWICH. Tho authority for the following serious note is 'The Times’s’ ‘History of the Boar War.’ Kekowich, defender of Kimberley, has passed to his final rest. It is stated that “ he fired off a- gun which was found beside his body.” With him goes a great grave memory. His defence of Kimberley was tactically quite as good as anything the British forces did in South. Africa, but Kekowich* never rose in the Army much. Ho had the misfortune to fall foul of the lale Cecil Rhodes. The latter was embarrassing the arrangements for the defence so much that, a short time before Kimberley was relieved, Kekewkh communicated with Lord Roberts, asking what should be done with Cecil Rhodes in such a situation. The answer was: “Do not hesitate to put him under arrest." Kekowich then told Rhodes what the situation would come to, and for the moment Rhodes became apologetic. But Kekowich, now dead, found promotion in tho Army slow after that rupture of relations.
STONE-THROWING IX WAR. Two or three days ago I mentioned that the kittle in Belgium. might yet come to stone-throwing. To-day it is* stated that the fighting in the advanced trenches is so dose that the combatants threw stones across a dyke. The last time, as far as T know, mid perhaps the only time, that this was done in war was tv Lawton’s Confederate brigade in the battlof Second Manassas in 1862. Those wonderful theorists on “modern weapons and modem war” might to lie silant now. Some time since we had the story oi I in; ancient arrow; now we have plain r-.:d metal. And no bad missile either. THE DARDANELLES. Britain is definitely at war with Turkey. There is a story of a storm between tin Turkish diplomat in London and his menage, vouched for by ‘TheTimes’- Sydney ‘Sim ’ service, but there is no need to pay much heed to that. What is clear is that Tewfik Pasha received his passports and left Portland place. There is, as wo can see from the messages, some effort to restore peace. A number of Old Turk* have resigned from the Cabinet. So the Turkish side of the war was hurried on by influences which there is no need to specify now. That the danger of Turkey was well foreseen is illustrated by the bombardment of the Dardanelles, or Bahr Sefed Boglia/i, as tho Turks (all it. It is 47 miles long, and between threo and four miles wide. Very little is known about the stale of the forts, except that they have recently passed under German control. There are 17 or 20 works called “castles. - ’ The Convention about the Dardanelles and the passage of warships end* now, for we are in a state of war with those who hold the strait over which Rounder swam. It has been passed twice by British ships acting in war time. Admiral Sir .1. T. Duckworth did it in 1807, and within more recent memory Sir Geoffrey Hornby went through, in a snowstorm the old Temerairo loading. For the third time \vc are in tho strait. The commitment of ships to narrow waters is dangerous, but there seems to be no harm in blowing up a few mine-layers to begin with, or in blowing up any fort ashore from which mi no-lay ora may come to sea. THAT MYSTERIOUS WOUNDED MAX.
The ‘Daily Mail’s’ correspondent thinks that the mysterious wounded one who has been put to laid in Strassburg may be the Kaiser's son-in-law. “He was referred to" (says the message) “in tables ou November 5.” Maybe he was. It is hard to know sometimes whom the cables refer to. but on or about November 5 the reference was to the Crown Prince. In conjunction with the foregoing son;.! (gnall reference to Von Kluck seems fittii;/. This was the general who was eaptuied by the Central News Age ncy, London. ' i ■ Temps’ refers to-day lo tho vagina si > of his death, and thinks that In- icommanding in the region of the A.'-n-. No doubt, he is still alive. V* hj m tc • truth comes to he sorted out it will o. ably lie found that this general is in <b'i| ■'• of the. operations extending Iron* ! : south through Franco to Cotnpiegne. li :' the central shank of the Z. More !!■.: ; ono cable has given tho impression I:.l . that attacks in' this quarter, especially ; . tin- vicinity of Arras, have been violent.
SMALL CAULK, HUT ELOQUENT. There is .a 1 rumble cable to-day staling that the Russians havo “recaptured" Jaroslav. It- is eloquent. Jaroslav is the guardian point north of the Austrian fortress of Prz.emysl, which the Russians captured as long'ago as September 22. How it. passed out'of Russian hands and had to be retaken in a story which has not yet passed Iho Censor. It affects the, entire southern trines in the battle of the Vistula.
THE GREAT POINT; YPRE>
For a long time I havo steadily retrained from' tracing; out the points won and lost in Belgium, for they mean nof King at present. The military writer who nits down to consider them seriously needs bis horizon enlarged. What is evidently happening i? that progress in this region, of hedge-rows and canals is as slow as It ia hlomly, When we capture w?m pla™ we hear; when wo. are driven hack not, a word come past the Gensor. J t ist seated now that the Duke of Wuriembnrg has 700,000 men on the Ypres-Lillo line—say 18 miles. The fight at Ypre* is, for the moment, an artillery duel. The thousands of British wounded coining back to Calais arc mostly injured by shrapnel. This preponderance of artillery wounds indicates a pause while the commanders readjust things for a greater battle a* Yprcs. It is stated that one of our aviator* has bombed oil tanks in the neighborhood of Bruges. Bruges used to he no oil centre, m ordinary commercial times, btrt a depot is evidently being created there now. Yesterday we heard that a new submarine and air "base was being established at, Zeebmg-ge. near Oetend. Read in this conjunction the message about the oil tanks at Bruges becomes significant.
THE CHILE STORY, Issue 15644, 7 November 1914
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