Permanent link to this item
ROUND THE CAULDRON, Issue 15650, 14 November 1914
ROUND THE CAULDRON
No. VI. [Specially Whitten for the Dunedin ‘Evening Star.*] [Copyright, j [By E. S. Hole, of London.] THE WAR SPIRIT IN GREECE. When 1 reached Athens I found very great uncertainty as to the progress of the war. Every paper had a different version, and as Greece is about the only country whose language I am unable to read 1 had to bo content with such confused and almost incomprehensible translations as I could get. 1 learned and saw, however, that tho conduct of British troops was highly praised everywhere, and the adjective “Ariston” applied to them. Tho Russian Consul informed the Russian passengers that they could not go on to Russia via Constantinople, and shortly after that special editions of the Greek papers were issued announcing that Turkey had declared war on Russia. At the time of writing I cannot ascertain whether this is true, but for myself I decided to spend no more time in Athens than I could help, and to get straight on in the direction of Odessa. By the courtesy of a Rumanian friend, I secured a passage on thia boat, which is convoying Rumanians back to their own country, arriving at Constanza on .Saturday or Sunday, calling at Constantinople, where 1 believe wc shall be able tn spend a day ere proceeding. Yesterday afternoon (September 19] at 4 o’clock I left Pinrus, Shortly after we had started one of the Rumanian officers told mo that on his voyage to tho Piraeus ho had boon stopped by a blank gun fired from an English cruiser, which sent an officer on board. This English officer was very thorough, but very polite, and left a pleasant memory among tho Rumanians, who as a nation have groat admiration for the English. This ship is crowded, carrying fully three times more passengers than she is built for, and we sleep everywhere—more than one-half of us on the deck. Besides the Rumanians, there are other nationalities on hoard, and every one of them wishes England to win, or. more explicitly, wishes Germany to he beaten, tiincc 1 left England, of all the many people in tho many places 1 have visited I have not yet found one individual who has said a nice word for Germany, nor have I in any newspaper read a single word in her favor.
I rolled myself upon tho deck last night, and, as usual, in two minutes was fast asleep. Bo I remained until, as I thought, some clumsy sailor had dropped something very heavy from aloft, for a loud sound awoke me with a start. -V dim. half-formed idea entered my head, I raised myself on my elbow and listened. Boom! ! 1 I sat bolt upright. There was no doubt about that second sound. Then full in front of me I saw a great warship, but could not distinguish under which flag. 1 felt practically sure it was British, hut still, suppose it was not? Just the same thought was in the minds of the awakened Russians on board, and I caught up a pair of glasses, and then saw, with unutterable feelings, another of those, old things, for at tho masthead was flying in the breeze the Union .Jack. It never booked to mo so beautiful before. The warship was apparently busy, for we had to wait while it finished its overhauling of a- French vessel, and then the steam pinnace eamo over to ns, its occupants all welcome guests. The young officiTr from H.M.S. Defence, may be interested to know (hat the politeness with which he executes bis duties does as much for the prestige of great Britain as the firing of any gun in war. 1 had trite pleasure of interpreting one or two final questions as he departed, and exchanged greetings with Ins crew while he was with tin- captain, for it was good to see those strong faces, I dare opine that they were somewhat surprised to find a solitary Englishman bound in the direction I was travelling, and all looked up with frank surprise when 1 shouted “'Good morning 1" ovt r the sid". And then T became aware, of many other warships in the near end far distance. Some near the coast, some on the far forward sky line, and the, meaning of the, sea power of Britain became a real tiling to me. After the least possible delay, and a parting “ Sorry to have kept yon" from the officer, we went ahead, with thrieedippwl flag. About, an hour afterwards wo were halted a gain, this time hy a destroyer. and a boat of bluejacket-, looking particularly business-like, came to us from H.M.S. Ronard, but speedily departed. the ofiiccr looking up in surprise from his purling boat as he. ton, got a repetition of my “Good morning." For the third time, we were stopped on this occasion by a. Turkish destroyer at the m<>mh of t\e mined portion of the, Dardanelles, where wo now wait, where we have now waited for two hours, presumably for a pilot to come on board to put ns through the maze of lurking death which, with sublime audacity, the Boric Ii i-i loaded these waters. As .1 writo, we again begin onr forward motion, so I lay down my pen and proceed to my point of observation, -but with faint hope of any further naval excitement, cither in tin; Dardanelles or in the Black -Sea. THE CNSI'EAKARLE TURK GETTING READY FOR. MISCHIEF, fieri', we are opposite Gafin-/, our steamer, guided by a Turkish pilot boat, having Mr-ces.-fully jy’got i a ter I the Mine- ■ strewn leach oi the Dardanelles. I have now keen several hours in Constantinople, ! v.!! f i the iccidl that L have 101111' to tho coia-Jv.sion that if ever a people were haul on giim Sind silent preparation foifwnr nr something equally di-morale, it is the Turkish nation to day. Since. I left- (Amstaminaple sotno moi.ilH ago I have heard that. Turkey artually has declared war on
Riirtiii, but there is tn> nwnli'.ii of it hi tli!. Bumai.ian papi-i I fail ; > see how aik 1 . where it would be por-Mbl;:* for Turkey to conduct a campaign i -gainst- Dial I'niur. Shortly after landing 1 1.-ought- a. c.-py "i the ‘Jettne Tnnv and never did the outlook seem <«<■» black and hopeless for Dir Allies as that paper made it out, to !>■'. Heath ;;tid disaMi r cv---y\v!ior--.- : r.oDnug but triumph for the tJ-’riniif aims. The ' ()sma;ii«cncr Lloyd' i-.rrri-c.l the fan,:.' message. and ‘La Tunptie ’ w almost- as bail, ah hough it did mention ; Ft it^;ns favorable to the coalition. I a is > ra.mc to tlia conclusion that there is a scientific plan being curried out, by Herman influence to p°r*tmdo tin; Ottoman public that niccess is certain for (he G-prinans in orut to pet them to lake action against Russia or Servin, and thus to make a confused isMie still nioic c mfoimdcd. When 1 returned to the boat an armed Turkish soldier Flood at the gangway, and once on hoard ! found it impossible to ira.vo the ah in even for a y.nd. and roughly and grrilly this puny Turk tin list back all who tried f> outer or depart without some paper of authenticity suJßcksnt to satisfy hj nn. A young Fi enchman with whom 1 spoke fold me that Turkey was actually mobilising, and lb" streets weio full either of uni termed marching soldiers or of troop.-, of mctley-elad. ragged 'Turks lad up marched t-u bairacks ur arsenals to leccivc their uniforms and arms.
Evcrj where 1 went in the city I got Dio electric ;itninyplicric feeling of tension, and I fed sure that .•something startling is cf/ntcnijilulc-d. and wiil be done by tin Turks cr<- the- ju'w-nt war comes to a close. Tin- Turk lias a. positive, genius for mismanaging things. .hkl if only the condition of the interior of St. Sophia worn all w-e bad against him it would be enough. T came prepared to like the Turk, and although my first stay was short. T am afraid my second -stay will hare to lie long, cud my convictions keep cro T return to my first -opinion. Be may be a splendid man in Asia, hut as (he. unbridled controller of the Dardanelles he is an impossibility If only the Balkan States could fedcrato and agree to hold Constantinople r<« common ground for all, and as iho scat of economic government of the whole pcnineula-rcven as Die spiritual seat of Islamifim as well—it would end one-half the troubles of Europe, and would let the Turk down lighDy at the- same time. Tbo more I think of it the more deeply 1 am convinced that it is the - only way out. So dubious was I of Dio whole Turkish moss that 1 did not trust myself to send a letter through the Turkish Post Office,
Since I penned the foregoing I have met with many vicissitudes. I journeyed as fare as Odessa, and have just returned to Galitza via Braild. having decided that the beet thing to do was to get to the theatre of war as expeditiously as possible. In company with throe other piessmen, and with much luggage (theirs, not mine), I arrived at the frontier, passed the Rumanian police, crossed a river, sot my foot on Russian sail, made my way to the examination post, and then suffered the humiliation of having to recross that river, because the visa on my passpoit was more than six months old, and because my protestation only evoked a response that the war had changed a lot of things. The coachman having returned,. I was thus landed by a river in a lovely spot some 10 mhos ham Galitza. whither I managed to travel in a farmer's cart, in company with thedtiver, a,woman, and a hoy, and I am not likely to forget very soon that return journey. I felt like Napoleon must have, felt alter Moscow, and was thankful that it was quite dark when the rattling. .pringk-ss cart carried me hack through the streets of Galitza. I am recoi oiled to everything, because I read in the Rumanian papers that tho “official" German report of the defeats of British troops is denied. I have also road of the naval battle oil Heligoland, of the sinking of th« Kniter Wilhelm der Grosso, of tire blowing up of tho Magdeburg, and of the Allies’ splendid victory at Charleroi. If is not easy for people at a distune» front the Turkish capital to imagine what intense interest centres on British arms, and wuat, this campaign on Krench-R ijhri sou means in the eyes of tlv Mohammedan for the maintenance of British picsligc. As a sample of the kind of “stuff” which is daily purveyed to the people of the Golden Horn, let me make one extract from tha • Tordschuman Hakikat.’ <>f Constantinople : The hour of fate, for England's prestige has slrutk. England, with a. population of nearly 40 juilh* us, h;m i/.e-l a quarter of the whole, cat lit and almost a third of humanity. One can ask whether England has made cojivsj ending sacrifices in order to obtain tn’s mighty power. The nceaiivo )» the, answer. Even now - , o-a cv-n the slightest compulsory duty line, been introduced. England, which pels Kilo jn her island pu-itiuu, and which trusts tn her ling., licet , has user! her f.ivotable position to manipulate gold ami intrigue in the alfnite of the Continent. By this means she seemed India and her colonies, and file keeps her povicrM by tho same means. thoroughly understandr, tiro art of fishing in troubled waters, and has practised it. for many years. But it has come to pass that/ this cannot continue. At last tho hour of her inevitable dnwmall lias struck. England should have been neutral. She should have nwt; _tnie to the policy of “ splendid isolation' whtc.i one.’of her statesmen proclaimed. -Nothing further is needed, hut tu fcccm that her fate was not to he denied.
ROUND THE CAULDRON, Issue 15650, 14 November 1914
Allied Press Ltd is the copyright owner for the Evening Star. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence. This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Allied Press Ltd. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.
Print, save, zoom in and more.