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SPEC & HIS SHIPS., Issue 15645, 9 November 1914
SPEC & HIS SHIPS.
CHILE COAST ACTION. THE ARTILLERY COMPARED. NO MATCH AT ALL. HEAVIER GUNS AT YPRES. A LONG FIGHT COMING. THE FRESH LINE IN POLAND. [By A. Spence.]
H our battleship Canopus had joined in the struggle off the coast of Chile in the twilight of Sunday, November 1, it would still have been an unequal tight. The more one looks at it, the more it appears how astonishingly unequal it was —at least in artillery. Each of the largo B.2in gnus ou the Scharnhorst (Count Von Spec’s flagship) can deliver fire at the rate of three shots a. minute.. Each shot weighs 242y1b. Six of these guns can train on the beam. The German Pacific flagship could therefore send home a primary broadside of 4.3651b per minute. She and the Gneisennu could together fire nearly four tons of shot each minute of that- desperate hour. On our side the flagship Good Hope could only give back about half a- ton per minute. Each of her o.2in guns can fire at the rate of 1,5 shots a minute, tlie shot weighing 3801b. The weight of the German heavy fire, compared with ours, was therefore nearly in the proportion of Bto 3. It is, of course, interesting to add on what the Canopus could have furnished if she, had been there. We can only estimate the effect of her artillery; not that of her superior armor. Each of her four 12in guns can be got off at tho rate of one shot a minute, and each shot weighs 8501b. Her heavy broadside per minute would therefore be 3,4001h. Adding on that of the Good Hope, the. whole would be a little over two tons. It has been stated that the Gentian heavy fire would be nearly four tons per minute. Bringing the sin guns on both sides into the estimate would alter matters a- little, for the British Gin projectile weighs 1001b, and that of Germany only 8811). But. after all. it is the heavy artillery wltich decides) matters. GALLANT LITTLE GLASGOW.
In view of this simple arithmetic it. is not snprising to fin rj that the Admiralty is satisfied with the gallantry shown by the British crews. With broadsides so different, it nas good grit, which ! ept the battle going even for an hour, 'i he gallant little Glasgow, in particular, must have been very well handled. During the action she had the Leipzig and Dresden on her hands all the time. She has on!v two Gin .runs and a number of smaller ones, and she only drew off when the armored ships began to pay attention to her. It was certainly time to depart then.
The complements of the ships mgu.ed would be ; hebarnhorsf 6SO men, Gnoisenau 650. Dresden 521. Xurnberg 295, Beipzir 286; total German crews, 2,202. On the British side the Go? ’ pe would carry about 700, Monmonih o, Glasgow 376; total British crews. 1.754. It is not. certain cither whether onr three ships engaged four Germans or five. The cruiser Dresden (5.600 tons) is mentioned in one message, hut not the Nurnborg. The latter was mentioned on Saturday, hut not the Dresden. The appearance of the Diesden is of some interest, for it is (ho first time (hat she has been definitely reported. Phe was previously thought to bo in the Atlantic, consorting possibly with the Karlsruhe and Elier. This newcomer is a sister to the now notorious Eindsn. GUNNERY IN DIM LIGHT.
The Schamhorst’s reputation in the German navy as a shoofing shin v.as given in former notes. Here we see her fighting her first battle in rough sea, which would V - against accurate shoot inti. The enemy seems to liave declined action until the light began to fade, and it is not very clear what advantage was achieved by this. As the Germans were inshore of tlie British, perhaps some neu-tral-tinted background of land helped to make them difficult to discern, while the English vessels, steaming out on flic seaward horizon, would he easier to range on.
11l tb*- ni-rount. which appeared on sale.,,’ impression given was that, when t,! - ..- Mbps were closing ;i, to 6,(G0 yards o,> ; . trial shot was fired, and immediately afterwords came the first concentrated broadside. It cripple,J the Good Hope, apparently nffect.in.rr fi, |- eiirrines. At once the Monmouth rio?ed ,i■ (o take the fire off hj er. hut the range, i a 1 then hern reduced to o.CfiO yr.i'ts, and fire was coiv-entrated on her. Mir small hr. adside would hanllv count a.v.'ust the united fire, of the iwo armored German ships which led their line. Conllagrations presently began to smoke on the Good Hope and Monmonth. The burning ships fought on. but, as darkness was descending, our chief ship blew up and sank. The Monmouth apparently had then taken in a good deal of wafer in her boiler rooms, for she was unable to keep up a proper head of steam. CONFLAGRATIONS ON SHIPS. Fires iji battle seem as liable, contindencios as ever, in spite of all precautions. The intense heat- emitted when these violent modern shells hurst sets fire to almost, anything—even the paint on the hull. We have, never been told what, method in followed in our Navy now with respect to removal of woodwork, but cm ting all the wood out of a ship makes her a dreary place to live and sail in. When the German Leipzig was off San Francisco the reporters who hoarded her noticed that every particle of woodwork had been hacked cut. The boats had also been turn-cl adrift and used for target practice. THE NEW LINE IN POLAND.
Those who.desire to form an intelligent view of what is going on in Poland may find it advantageous to note three places on the map—Thorn, Lodz, and Cracow, These points mark the new Ansiro-Oer-man battle line. The fortress of Thorn is the left. 1,-odz the centre, ami Cracow the right. The length of thin line is 210 miles—a contraction of the line held in the battle of the Vistula, which was about 90 miles longer. It is stated now, on the authority of the Copenhagen correspondent of the London ‘ Times,’ that the forces under Cenerals Hcndcnbnrg, Anffenberg, and Dankyl available to defend this line amount to 3,000,000, or exactly erjual to the Russian forces which will assault It. Perhaps the Austro-Gennan forces are over-estimated. It looks as if they were. When last we heard of them the numbers (given were much less, and that was only three weeks ago.. The centra of the new battle lino is only 60 miles back from the Vistula, and there are other features which make the importance of the German defeat on the Vistula look leas than the cables are intended to imply. One is that the AnstroGermans do not intend to fall back on the frontier fortresses and woo the advantage of that re-entrant curtain. They are still confident of holding on to a plane front. Then Poland, as wo know, is a slough of mud, movement Is difficult, and the gauge of the railways has to be reconstructed. This will certainly be awkward when it comes to building now bridges. Above all, the offensive demands a superiority of about three to one at the points of decision. Some lime ago u correspondent of the ‘ Evening Star ’ grew angry Sk A on J£QjOOO SrpVfi
pushed .back 150,000 Germans In the battle of the Maine. He did not realise that the British were on the offensive, and, if that was nil the margin in numbers which they liad, they did wonderfully well. It does not look as if the Germans will be thrown cut of Poland for a long time. The two Russian armies which headed the advance on Cracow have not yet been set free to resume tho operation, and, until they start again, every other operation is difficult. THE “MINERFWA.” The ‘‘minerfwa.” a trench mortar firing a 2001b shell at a range of 500 yards, and dropping very straight in its descent, is now in action at Ypres. There are corroborative messages, one by Mr Donohue. It seems that this is a new German artillery surprise, but no very great surprise, since the trench and the shot from the clouds are only the complementary parts in a battle of trenches I;fires must now ho one vast dug-out. Particulars about the minerfwa will be awaited with interest. Meantime we are beginning to rece.ive some news regarding the 42-centimetre siege gun—this through the Home papers. The big gun was in place and tested for the first time at Namur. It was not used at Liege. At Namur it was fired about once in 15 minutes. The impact of the shell was terrific, and its effect was discernible by the huge column of dust which it threw up. This rose in the air to a height of 300 ft or 400 ft, and was plainly visible at a distance of seven miles. About the minerfwa we know nothing yet. but the Home papers will have plenty on it now. BTRIALS AFTER BATTLE. On Saturday and to-day there have been various messages regarding tho burial of the dead. One stales that the Germans compelled Frenchwomen to carry- the corpses ou (heir shoulders 300 yards to where the trenches provided the readymade grave. The message goes on to paint a dreadful picture. In another cable we are informed that the Belgians are engaged in Ibis gruesome business on their own front, and Mr Martin Donohue gives other details.
Even the dead are used in this war husines-. it seems. The retreating army leaves the wreck of battle where it fell. 7bo pursuing army arrives on the spot where men fell by thousands one day and where the pursuers must camp next day. To camp leaving the field as it happens to Vie means pestilence, and so the supreme necessity of furnishing fatigue parties for burials ‘devolves on the side winch won. The first step is to collect arms and stores left on the field; then corno the interments. If prisoners have been captured they are sent out to do the Litter dutv.
A correspondent in the London ‘Times’ of September 19 gives the following picture after the battle of the Marne:—
■' German prisoners are employed in burying the dead. Over the greater part of the battlefield the dead have already been buried—that is, those who died in the open. But the front is very extensive. Hundreds of wounded, French and German, must have taken to the woods and died there. Long rows of newly-broken brown earth above the stubble mark the graves. Some of these burial trenches are 150 yards long, the dead lying shoulder to shoulder. I saw a sturdy ploughboy in a field tilling the soil near where there were half a dozen trenches of the dead. Tlie peasants are now coming back to their homes and are paying their small tribute, placing bouquets of sunflowers, dahlias, and sweet-smelling country roses on the mounds.” MUTHATION OF NURSE HUME.
Some time ago we heal'd a shocking story of the mutilation of Nurse Hume in Belgium by German soldiers. Perhaps the following, from ‘The Times,’ may ho permitted to tell its own story:— Kate Hume, aged 17, was charged at U monies on September 29 with bavin a uttered a forged letter purporting to have been written by her sister. Nurse Grace Hume, of Huddersfield. She was committed for trial. It may bo recalled that there was published recently a note purporting to have been written to her si>ter in Dumfries bv a Nurse Hume when in a dying condition in Belgium, after having been ouelly maitreated by German soldiers.
The great London journal goes on to Male r.lmt it suppressed that story from its columns. But it got out hero somehow. Worse still, it was rcccii c-d in Dunedin with c rod once and interest-. WHO INFORMS THE EMDEN!
Ceylon seems to be up in arms against the information which the cruiser Emden receives by wireless from that place. Some of the, directors of the Burma Oil Company live there occasionally, and this, perhaps, furnishes the origin of the news. It was tills exclusive, aristocratic Ceylon which brought Hector Macdonald down. The wonder of the thing is how poorly we suppress this sort of communication to hostile Powers. On October 1 a young German clerlt named Adolf Walsdorf, aged 19, came up for trial in London. It was stated in evidence by experts that he had put up a private wireless plant on his premises during the early part of August. A power meter was in the house ; an electric supply of current paid for. As far as hir. plant went messages could be transmitted for 150 miles, and received from all the English, French, and German high power stations. Experts stated in court that he could receive any message from Germany, but could not transmit one. It seems that they have been transmitting to the Emden from Ceylon, as well as receiving. The influential men in Ceylon—and they a.ro very influential—have now begun to cry out. A Rome message to-day hears on the foregoing. A priest named Argentcro gave a wireless demonstration at. the British Embassy in the Italian capita], and received a message from London. Afterwards, by means of an invention rendering a role, unnecessary, he intercepted a German Headquarters Staff message. The cable man drew the- long bow a good deal in the last, sentence. The rest may be. well enough. RECRUITING RATE AT HOME. ‘ The Times’ seems to look for a very long war. In the issue of October 2 we read : This rear v.o shall have, a mil lion men—wo, have, them now; next year two millions: in 1916 three millions.” It will l>? stranec indeed if the war stretches out along so vast a corridor of time. The end of this present year msT a how the set and 1 rend of things. hVotlnnd is. it seems, leading the, way ■ in recruiting. Taking the period August 4 Hirst day of war for ns) on till September 15 tin - number of enlistments was 501, .530. The percentage of male population was : -Scotland 2.79, England 2.41, Wales 1.94, and Ireland .93. it was anticipated when the mail left that Ireland would move much faster if the War Otiiro would announce the formation of an Irish army corps for the absorption of all Irishmen —Protestant and Catholic. WHAT BRINGS RECRUITS?
“ Oh, you'll stop recruits if you go on tolling things about tho wax!” I have often received this brickbat. It fell 01 me without damage. It seems now that a chart has been prepared at Whitehall showing that when the hour looked darkest recruits were most plentiful. The highest figure was during the " black first week" in September, when the Germans were moving on Paris. Antwerp furnished a similar result. There is nothing like giving both sides of the story. Thera cannot be anything bad in hearing it. We have not yet glimpsed one tittle of the recrimination over these matters which will come. Meantime some of our small correspondents in Dunedin seem to imagine that nothing should be said. All should be rose-oolor, right or wrong. There is no war reason behind this class of correspondence and news, but the trade reason ought to be obvious. The core is another thing: Giv© ua the reverses in all their nakedness; that will give ns the recruitsThe enlistment is the shortest way to restore trade by ending the war. THE CAMEROON HAUL. We get a very belated message to-day—-a good commentary on the news. Sydney sources tell us that “ according to the Calcutta ‘ Englishman ’ ” the cruiser Cumberland captured ciirht vessels of theWoerman Lino and ono of the Hamburg-Atnerika JLwa Kiysft,
One wonders what we will receive next u new*. The whole thing wae reported In the London '•‘Ernes’ six weeks ago. Tun names of fie ships which Captain Cyril Puller took charge of were given, so there is no need to reter to tho Calcutta * Englishman.’ ‘The Times’ gave tho tonnage taken in charge as 30,916. Another item which we might have got was one relating to the ervueer Pegasus, disabled by the Konigeberg at Zanzibar about September SO. It seems that by that lime th* Pegasus, had done quite n lot of damage at Dar-ce-SaJaam. She had blown, the floating dork to pieces, disabled the gunboat 3 foe wo, and demolished the German wireless station. So she hac not lived altogether in vain. YPRES THE POINT. More than once it has been pointed out that Ypres, only 25 miles in from tbs eea, is the point to watch in Belgium at present. There is a long message from tho High Commissioner supplying tho usual column of baek history from an “eye-wit-ness with the Headquarter* Staff.’’ The eye-witness fails from the military point, because tho story which bo gives is not that which an officer qualifying for an examination in tactics would sit down to study seriously. Just as it begins to grow interesting and intelligible some blank occurs—no doubt a Censor's blank. As news it is so far behind the present situation that it need hardly be considered. Since the eve-witness spoke last the situation has been recast. Wo will find presently a heavy development' of artillery at Ypres, and the battle will begin nnow. That much, indeed, can be seen from to-day's cables. An interesting point in the message is that the old field of Waterloo is being fortified in some degree. The great Duke of Wellington once mentioned that artificial alterations had spoiled the old field. There trill, of course, bo more alterations. Belgium is probably now one great German entrenched camp. Moreover, the oil tanks which the Allies endeavored to bomb near Bruges have a meaning all their own. The entrenchments are defensive. The oil tanks mean tho projected offensive move against England, whatever it may amount to in the end. It is to stop this project that the allied armies are now fighting so hard—to advance hy the left. A MEMORY OF MEMORIES. It must have been the greatest scene of the war when the Indians landed, at Marseilles. ‘The Times’ describes it. The haze which betokens a hot day had just begun to lift from the bay. The long line of transports came in, Tiding high.. Marseilles got out of bed and crowded to the quays. On the ships the troops were all on deck “packed as thick as pit-props on a Baltic schooner.” The lino of transports seemed interminable. Miles of streets were black with people. Marseilles had seen Turcos and Zouaves from Alp'crs. swarthv Moors, and coalblack men from Senegal, but nothing like this. They filed in twos down the gangway, every brown hand grabbed by some French soldier as they came ashore. First marched a detachment of Sikhs, head and shoulders above the spectators. Immediately the police guarding the routes were swept aside and. the ranks rushed. Frail old ladies with memories of 1870 pressed forward to see and touch these handsome bearded men with gleaming eyes and flashing white teeth. Women and men and children patted tho bronze giants on tho back. Hats, umbrellas, and sticks wore waving f the crowd j’unping, dancing, gesticulating, and cheering. Bv and by, further down the column, came the sturdy little Gurkha*, smiling. They marched to the music of the 4 Marseillaise, ’ played marvellously well .n a weird collection of reed instru aenls. Marseilles went mad. The troops ns they marched shouted something in Hindustani auspiciously like the British slogan: “Are we * down-hearted ?” And all the hot morning it went on—mile on mile of the march of India in a white man’s war; miles and miles of citizens frantic with joy to see them. That morning made memorable history. CABLES OF INTEREST.
One ip that hostages have been taken in all Belgian towns near the railways. This means death to the hostage if anything happens to a culvert or bridge. The eteamer Paroo reports that the Hidden has been sighted near Penang, coaling from two storedhips. Who supplied that coal?
The Goeben has com® bade to Stemboul, having “escaped an encounter” with Russian warships. She can outstrip anythin n which Russia has in the Black Sea ; but if the message is true it goes to indicate that she is afraid o! meeting the Sebastopol fleet. If so, the passage of Russian soldiery to some point on the coast of Asia Minor "or Bumelia should happen. But it is all doubtful. The seaboard armies in Russia have long since been, sent to Galicia. and the Caucasus have been stripped of Ss fra - the same theatre. At least, the Commissioner has said eo. The gunboat Gicr is now ordered to quit HonohUu. That it is Japanese, who are waiting for her was anticipated. IJrr captain is uo get five days to make up hi« mind what to do. This is the result ' f representation made t* - Wa-shincrton wbo-i diroct repi'esontation at Honolulu failo-l. The Americans are nr>t playing a vny clean game. The gunboat should liave h-: t Honolulu long ago. NAVAL LOSSES TO DATE.
Our sea losses in date now are Amphion, Pathfinder, Pegasus, Hogue, Aboukir, Grassy, Hermes, a submarine. Good Hope, and Monmouth. They hav lost H-ela, Mainz, Koln, Ariadne, four destroyers. the gunboat Moewe at Zanzibar, Magdeburg (in the Baltic), Konigsberg (not confirmed), Torek (not confirmed.) , Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse. and a submarine or two. Our worst luck. of course, was the occasion on which the thro© Cressys went in one day. As far as the actual number of sinkings go wo have done as much os they—done more, indeed. We have, how ever, lost moie heavily than the enemy in capital value.
SPEC & HIS SHIPS., Issue 15645, 9 November 1914
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