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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. S pence, l People- .seemed unduly excited yesterday over the action at sea off the coast of Chile. Thera were ominous headshakes, 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 this : In the opening phase only the two 9.2 in guns on the Good Hope would count. The Gormans would bring 12 B.2in guns into action on either 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' firers which the battleships mount. It would be difficult to imagine, a. more unequal action. One of the repons states that the British ships were outranged. This would be so in the case of the Monmouth and Glasgow. Their fighting value would be nothing in the first phase, and tho first phase would be practically the last. Ti the story is a canard it will constitute the most amazing canard ever I 1 iivulaled, even by the American Press. Tin- .Admiralty still doubts it, and the Admiralty lias been so straightforward in its dealings with the nation that one would not readily doubt the Admiralty. The Admiralty states that by this time Admiral Craddock should have boon reinforced by the arrival of tho battleship Canopus. Her presence would have given us the necessary preponderance in artillery. She has four 12in guns. The Admiralty's message is interesting in one way at least. The Canopus is one of six liaUleships constituting our Bth Battle Squadron, and attached to the Third Elect. Her detachment from that fleet shows that the Admiralty feels cheerful enough about the general situation in the North Sea. it also indicates a determined effort to hunt down tho Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and bring them to battle. It is true that the Canopus is two or three knots slower than the Seinnnhorsi, and cannot catch up on her unless she stands to fight, but her presence in these new waters spells out a. big word. Our New Zealand trade going Homo round Cape Horn is now safe against all comers. HEAVILY ("EN 5 ORE IE A hcavily-eensored nnw.rr regarding this engagement ha.- hern received from New York. 1' -coins true. Tho Germans saw i iic G. od Hope (chief ship) coming at, full speed to join the Monmouth ami Glasgow. The battle is said to have begun at 6.000 yards, and. as might have been expected, the return fire from the .Sclmrnhorst and Gneisenau was crippling. Then the ships bored in to 5.000 yards—the Tati-shima. i ange—and afterwards 4.500. In the evening (he Good Hope began to -how flame?. The general tenor of the news is that this action off the coast of ( iiil.' has taken place with results as «ta.;ed in the cables. THE REM HERA’S RUSE. tlnr New Zealand liner Rcnuicra furnishes an illustration of the difficulty of these operations in wide ocean. The battle at sea is always to the strong, but the race is not always lo the swift. What i.he Remuera sighted after leaving Montevideo may ’nave been the Kber and some sub vent ioned armed merchantman ; but whaievor it was, the captain of the Remuera. fully realised that daylight docs not. last for over. When night came lie 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.
Kveryonc must have been pleased to see that. that wonderfully practical man, •Sir Porcv Scott, ha.s returned to the Ad-
miralty for special service. Of his specialism in gunnery everyone knows so much that there is little need for common!.. How ho gave “logs" to the heavy six-inch guns in Natal is ancient history. Perhaps his best effort in the gunnery branch was his first. This was the invention of t he. “ dot ter,” which helps to correct the tout-laying in respect to the roll of the ship. There were groat, hopes cf keeping this appliance a. strict service secret, and no one hoped more than the inventor. Like every other appliance of war. however— like the French field gun of IS9B—its sci ret- passed into the hands of the armament manufacturers the world over. .Sir Percy tSeott has no time for the armament trusts. In that respect he is a soured man. Since the Roxburgh incident, about six years ago. he has been under seme, sort of cloud. Tina was the occasion when the famous sicrnal was hoisted : “ Knock off gunnery; come, back to port; paint ship, and look pretty." If. ifi nleasiitcr to not ire. that the wise discernment. of Mr Winston Churchill geos that Sir Percy Scott, must come to the Admiralty.
It. may not bo out of place to mention ill tit it was this great man who first told ns that tho battleship is doomed. He said that, the submarine will beat her. He stiid it at a. time when the armament manufacturers were, viewing the actual testa made at manoeuvres with horror. iSir Percy .-'rot* on that occasion spoke merely of submarines, but might nave said more. The small oil-driven battleship, moving in small swarms, with a single turret, three guns, flush deck, and great sneer!, would probably beat any Dreadnought. The subject, of oil. however. is an ill one to open up. Powerful trust? guard it. TilK OLD WAR OFFICE.
]i is not supiiwed to be exactly “ patriot'." to say much almm, the War Office, thouch a. British general tSi r William Butier) bus written a hook about i! whirl) ought. to have been sufficient to lift the scales off tho eyes of the nation. In respect to this e.xclusivo place. the military contributor of ihe Lomlon ‘Times’ breaks matters as gently as he can : T he past three months have witnessed
an unparalleled expansion of the British Army. The War Office, hampered ami starved for years for guns, rifles, ammunition. and clothing, will be unable to make good the deficiency for several months, but every day brings tin! realisation near or.
The expansion of the Briitsh Array is no doubt unparalleled, but the “starvation ’ in guns, rifles, and ammunition leaves one. laughing. The military contributor of tho London ’Times’ is writing politics and war in the same dash of ink. It is likely that ‘The Times’s 1 contributor (‘ The Times’ is part of the Harmsworth news trust) has been as guarded as he can. The exclusive coteries behind tho Horse Guards will no doubt endeavor to make it appear that they have 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 Cnrzcn of Keddhstone, in India some years ago. That furnishes a. telling comment on the Wav Office. In notes this week- I staled that, if our Sitcom! Army is now over the Channel, Lord Kitchener must have done wonder fully well. We ean see now that the Loudon Scottish have “come in” with elf eel. and ’.heir presence in Belgium betokrtui. i.l>« ajxival of tho Second Army.
J SEND OLDER, MEN. ' In ono respect the message by the mill tary contributor of ‘The Timca’ carries 4 value. The recruits coming forward an older than the boys usually joining tin army, and their physique is decidedly sa porior, wlrile their conduct and spirit s« all that can be desired. It is a grand word. Tlio old man—s£ to 50 —is coming into bis own. In the mud splash which the National Roaorve ir Dunedin made down tlhe gtresta on Thura day night last I looked at these stalwart ancients. Some of the best rifle shots in Xow Zealand were xnarduxis- ; Cbs drill ww very fair ; the talking in the ranks little; the word oi the officer commending stern and without a semblance of “Beg pardon." Ami, after the parade, one man said: “I suppose, as we have no uniforms, the Germans would just put us against a wall and shoot us.” Another reservist gave the answer very neatly; “Yew, after we have shot soma of them.” "Iboy know their musketry, these older men. We see to-day that lord Selborne, speaking at Chiswick, said that the voluntary response to the call for enlistment had been wonderful, bnt soma had “oold feet.” He characterised the young men who have no dependents a o shirkers in this supreoi* hour. If his lordship came to Dunedin and inspected the National Reserve hj« would find elderly men with families read; to be useful in war time. Give these clde'i men a chance. DEATH OF GENERAL KEKEWICH. The authority for the following serious note ‘The Times’s ’ ‘History of the Boar War.’ Kekewich, 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 Soul.;: Africa, but Kekewich never rose in ih» Army much. He had the misfortune to fall foul of the late Cecil Rhodes. The latter was embarrassing the anangemem * for the defence so much that, a short time before Kimberley was relieved, Kekowh U 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.” Kekewich then told Rhodes what the situation would come to, and for the moment Rhodes became apologetic. But, Kekewich. now dead, found promotion in the Army slow after that rupture of relations. STONE-THROWING IN WAR. Two or three days ago I mentioned that the battle in Bel mum might yet come to stone-throwing. To-day it is stated that the fight ing in the advanced trenches is so close that the combatants threw stones; across a dyke. 'Tile last time, as far as 1 know. and perhaps the only time, that this was done in war was bv Lawton’s Confederate brigade in the battle of Second Manassas in 1862. Those wonderful theorists on “modern weapons,and modern war " ought to be silent now. Some time, since we had the story of the ancient arrow ; now we have plain road metal. And no bad missile either. THE DARDANELLES. Rrituiu is definitely at war with Turkey. There is a story of a storm between the Turkish diplomat in London and Tiis menage, vouched for by ‘The Times’- Sydney ’him ’ service, but there is no need to pay much heed to that. What is clear is that Tewtik Pasha received his passports and left Portland place. There is, as v,e ran see from the messages, some effort tc restore peace. A number of Old Turks have resigned from the Cabinet. So the Turkish side of the war was hurried on by influences which there is no need (0
specify now. That the danger of Turkey was well foreseen is illustrated hy the bombardment of the Dardanelles, nr Bahr Sefed Bngbazi, as Hie Turks call it. It is 47 miles long, and between three and four nnles wide. A ery little is known about the state 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 tho passage of warships ends now, for we are in a state of war with those who hold the strait over which I.candor swam. It has been passed twice hy 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 tlie old Temerairo leading. For the. third lime we are in the strait. The commitment of ships to narrow 7 waters is dangerous, but there seems to be no harm in blowing up a few mine-layers to begin with, or in blowing tip any fort ashore from which mine-layer's may come to sea. THAI’ MYSTERIOUS WOUNDED MAN.
The ‘Daily Mail’s’ correspondent thinks that the mysterious ■wounded one who has been put to bod in Strassburg may be the Kaiser's son-in-law. “He was referred to" (says the message) “in cables on November 3.” Maybe be was. It is hard to know sometimes whom the cables refer to. but on or about November 3 the reference was to the frown Prince.
In conjunction with the foregoing some small reference to Von Kluck seems fitting. This was the general who was captured by the Central News Age ncy, London. ‘be Temps ’ refers to-day to the vaguer sto'-v of his death, and thinks that he. is still commanding in the region of the Aistic. No doubt, be is still alive. When the truth comes to be sorted out it will probably be found that this general is in charge of the operations extending from Lille south through France to Compiegne. It i? the central* shank of tho Z. More than one cable has given tho impression lately that attacks in this quarter, especially in the vicinity of Arras, have been violent. SMALL CABLE, BUT ELOQUENT.
There is a humble cable to-day stating that the Russians have “ recaptured " Jaroslar. It is eloauent. Jaroslav is tinguardian point, nortn of tho Austrian fortress of Przemysl, which the Russians captured as long ago as (September 22. How it passes! out of Russian hands and had to be retaken is a story which has not yet passed the Tensor. Tt affects the entire southern wings in the battle of the Vistula. THE GREAT POINT: VPR.E's For a lohg time I have steadily refrained from tracing out tho pointo won and lost in Belgium, for they mean nothing at present. The military writer who sits down to consider them seriously needs his hornvon enlarged. Whatt is evidently happening is that progress In this region of hedgerows and canals is as slow as it is bloody. When wo capture some place we hour'; when we me driven hack not a word come past the Tensor. It k stated now that the Duke of Wurtemburg has 700.000 men on the Ypres-LiHe line—say 18 miles. 'Hie fight at Ypreg is, for the moment. a.n artillery duel. The thousands of British wounded coining back to Calais are mostly injured bv shrapnel. This prepomh ramvi ..f artillery wounds indicates a nause v idl- iho rommanders re-
adjust. things for a. greater battle et Yores.
It is Mated that one of onr aviators has bombed oil tanks in the neighborhood of Bruges. Bruges u_*ed to bo no oil centre in ordinary commercial times, but a, depot is evidently being created ther* now. Yesterday wo heard that a new submarine and air base was being established at Zeehrugge, near Defend. Bead 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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