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MINE-LAYERS ON THE IRISH COAST.

A cable message recently received was unjust in its reference to tho Earl of .Meath. As the result of a question asked by him in the House of Lords, Lord Meath was made to appear as the father of a ‘■candalons reflection upon the loyalty of Irishmen, tho insinuation being that k>me of them were in league with Germans. His lordship added that there was said to be much German gold circulating in Ireland. Tho Government’s answer to this statement was a confession that they had not heard of such a suggestion belore, an answer which compels the comment that it is a pity that Government, in these days of war, do not keep themselves in touch with what is going on in the United Kingdom. The suggestion, whatever Lord Meath’s motives were in making it, was not a new one. Five weeks earlier no less an authority than Mr John Dillon, M.P., speaking at a Nationalist demonstration in Ballaghadereen, County Mayo, asserted much the same thing. Mr Dillon then said that from many parts of the county ho had received information that agents

of the Sinn Feinera and pro-Germans had been around among the people spreading the most malignant and shameless lie?, and apparently supplied with unlimited funds. Some of tho lies which had been widely circulated were: First, that Mr Redmond and the Irish parly had sold the volunteers and entered into an arrangement with Lord Kitchener under which the volunteers would be turned into Eng-! lith soldiers and sent to fight in France. ■ Secondly, that conscription was going to, be enforced, so that all the young men of the country would be forced into the : Army, whether they liked it or not. i Thirdly, that Mr Redmond had obstructed : the arming and equipment of tho Irish ; Volunteers. And fourthly, that the Germans were sure to land in November, and that the people had better get ready to j make friends with them. “When I see violent and scurrilous attacks,” continued Mr Dillon, “ being made on every man wh ■ is a soldier m British Army, I feel bound to protest. ‘‘Was it to be laid down,” Mr Dillon continued, “that the Irish Guards who cheered Mr Redu.'-nd the other day m London, and who »ent into battle in that magnificent fight -hich would live for ever in the pages of military history, singing ‘God Save Ireland.’ were to be repudiated as unv. ort’ y of the name of Irishmen, and unworthy to bear company with the illustrious body of Sinn Fein- j ors?** , i As the British people had placed the Home Rule Bill on the Statute Book, he was England's friend in tliis war, and as long as England stood by that Bill and kept faith with Ireland, any influence that he could exercise would bo used to induce the Irish people to stand by England and keep faith with her. and to prove to England and the world that the bond of Ireland was something more than a scrap j of paper. (Cheers.) THE FRENCH SECRET CUN. Tho 75mm. (3in), a shielded quickfirer is n powerful gun of the unusual length of 86 calibres. The carriage is anchored by a trail spade and two brake blocks, which are arranged so as to go under the wheels, forming dragshoes on firing. The gun lias a goniometric sight, with independent lino of sight. A French battery consists of four guns and twelve waggons ; tho high velocity and flat trajectory give a maximum depth to tho cone of shrapnel bullet. In the hope of obtaining a rapid and overwhelming fire the French artillery ranges only for a long distance, and once this range is found tho ground within its limits is swept from ;>nd to end in a hurst of rapid fire. This is termed a “ rafale ” (squall, or gust), and technically signifies “ a aeries of eight rounds per gun, each two rounds being laid with 300 ft more deration than the last pair, the whole fired off as rapidly as possible.” The cone of time shrapnel being assumed as 100 vards, it is clear that four pairs of minds, bursting (say) at 1,000, 1,100, 1,200, and 1,300 yards (adding for the fast 300 yards for its forward effect), sweep the whole ground between I,(XX) and 1,600 yards from the guns. The maximum depth would, of course, be obtained with four elevations differing by the depth of cone; in such a case tho space from 1,000 to 2,220 _ yards would be covered. The rafale, in one minute, covers 300 yards, all the guns then being laid at the same elevation throughout. Here the maximum number of bullets is obtained for every square yard attacked. Between these extremes a skilful artillery officer can vary the rafale to the needs of each several case almost indefinitely. “Sweeping” fire is a series of three rounds per gun—one in a selected line, one to the right, and one to the 1 i of it. This is called “ mowing ” (tir fauchant). A further refinement in both services is the combined “ search and sweep.” Forty-eighty rounds constitute a scrips of this kind, and can be fired in Imin losec to cover an area of I,Booft by 600 ft. The result of such a series worked out mathematically is that 19 per cent, of all men and 75 per cent, of all horses in the area, and not under cover, should be hit by a separate bullet of shrapnel. The battery firing at the maximum rate would cover every available square yard in 13 minutes. The German artillery cannot do the same and get a similar intensity of fire. German spies and Gorman money have failed to obtain drawings of this terrible French gun.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141126.2.10.6

Bibliographic details

MINE-LAYERS ON THE IRISH COAST., Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

Word Count
963

MINE-LAYERS ON THE IRISH COAST. Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

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