THE WORLD WIDE WAR.
SUEZ CANAL NOW. COLONIAL TROOPS LAND. THE BELGIUM GUESS. CONFLICT ON YSER LIKELY TO CO ON. THE REVANCHE. KITCHENER WILL SAY “AMEN.”
[By A. Spence.] Good whit© thought was given to the House of Commons by Lord Charles Beres/ord this week. He touched on tho unseen fleets in the Elbe, Jahde, and Kiel Canal. When the German ward rooms rise up to drink “Am Tag” for the last time they may not drink to “ The Day,” but to the night. “ Auf Die Kacbt” will perhaps b© the toast. They will come out at night, or in a fog. 'They will seek to introduce the element of surprise. That is Lord Charles Beresford’s opinion. Outnumbered by two to one, as they will be, they will not care for noonday. People may not understand that the simple operation of despatching a fleet to sea is as difficult as any other operation in war. Each ship and the interval between herself and her next astern occupy I,Booft in oidinary steaming stations, line ahead. If they close up to one cable, which is not exactly safe, tho slap and her gap might he squeezed down to 1,200 ft. Even so, 10 or 12 miles of German fleet has to get out of port. What Yon Ingenohl has to mind is that lie is not caught half in and half out, as the smallest admiral in the world in point of stature (Sir John Jellicoe) and his Chief of Staff (Sir C. E. Madden) would like to catch him, demolishing the, Markgraf and others while the rest of the column were huddled in the basins. Von Ingenohl might halve the time of exit by coming to sea in double column, but no admiral cares to be caught in double column, and if he emerged that way Sir John Jellicoo might be so close up tliat theie would bo no time to resolve tho two banks of ships into single column line ahead. When “The Day" comes we may expect to find that Lord Ghailes I’.eresford has hit tho bull's-eye as true prophet. A BATTLE OF GUESSES.
It’s a pretty medley of tips, forecasts, and guesses that we are getting from Belgium. The battle ol the \ser is over, says one. It has been renewed with intense virulence, says another, it is ended because both sides have dug themselves in, says 'The Times.’ Victory must be won in Belgium, and the Kaiser is in a hurry, says Mr Maxwell. A heavy German force has been sent to V pres to make a supreme effort, says Amsterdam. The Germans are paralysed by the inundations, savs Mr Donohoo.
-All these prophets are fighting for their reputations as diviners of the future, but, as the German General Staff and the Allied General Staffs keep their own counsel, they clearly have the best of the deal in thebattle of guesses at present. Mr Donohoo was never much good at military deduction, and I have noticed recently that he has been wrong oven in his record of fact. The pneumonia and other troubles which are affecting the Germans in the swamp area embody nothing more than a statement of tho obvious. The London ‘Times’ has a good argument in favor of a deadlock when it mentions the dug-outs. What tho Amsterdam guess amounts to I have no idea.
H it is pennL.-iblc for those rears, who give the work! its nows, to guess so extensively, I do not see why I should not have one guess, ton-—a guess and something more. I like Mr Maxwell's summary or the situation best ; It is dangerous to imagine that Germany has exhausted her reserves of lighters. . . . The picked men of the new levies are sent to the western area. Gormans believe that victory must be won here, and not in the east. . . . They are frantically endeavoring to make the Channel unsafe for the passage of British troops. . . . They have tasted the quality of our new troops. Hence the Kaiser is in a hurry, and we are not.
Here, 1 believe, we have it. If the Kaiser is in a hurry (and that is sure enough) one would hardly expect to 'find the offensive given up in Belgium, even though it is winter and the swamps are j deep. If that offensive is abandoned it implies the failure of Plan No. 2. Plan No. 1 was to strike the French at a time when they had made such a shockingly I bad array of forces at the end of August. ' Kitchener’s visit to France blew that plan out. Plan No. 2 is the bat tle for the Channel ports. If the Germans surrender it w« j are one step nearer to the end of tho war. ! This consideration, however, is pure stra I tegy. and strategy is always subordinate to j bloodshed. THE YSER BLOODSHED. | It is bloodshed which causes the strate- j gist lo pause on Plan No. 1 or No. 2 or No. 10,000, for the strategist makes many ! plans—sometimes many plana in a day— | and until he sees the casualty lists it is I impossible for him to plan on. His pen ; must, pause sometimes when lie views ; Ypres and the Yser. ‘ The Times ' says j that, viewed from the standpoint of casn- 1 allies, the Y»er i 45 days’ fight inn. at. least) , is the greatest battle in history. It is ' estimated that the Germans have lost. 1 200,000. As far as can be gathered from 1 the cables, the Allies have lost next to nothing—say, 20 at most—hut the usual : military prevarication deceives no one. ■ The old battles which wo learned about at school seem cheap things now. For in- : stance : CasualEngaged, Duration. tics. I Eylan 160.000 One day. 53,000 ! Borodino ... 250.000 One day. 60,000 Leiuzig 450,000 Four-days. Not known. Waterloo ... 155,500 One day. Not Mars-la-Tour... 200,000 One day. 51,400 Gravelotte ... 415,000 One day. 56,000 They certainly killed faster in proportion I to the time of engagement, these older I warriors, for tho Yser only averages about 1 4,400 casualties per clay. But that is not the point at present. The question is: Will tho German General Staff, viewing the losses on the Yser, sit tight for the winter now? I do not think so. | RHEUMS RECRIMINATIONS. j Rheims (pronounced Ranee, 1 believe) is faring on in the old way in a hurricane of shells. This time, so it. is card, it is the factories which form the target, not the Cathedral Rheims is not a. fortress, but a, fortified city, and as each is liable to any species of bombardment. But surely no artillerist firing ‘ Tir Rapide” or “Tir Fauchant,” or any other way, never let off such rafales of deadly shot as the recriminators in the world’s papers are now firing over Rheims Cathedral. One sample : This deed of vat.dalic sacrilege could only have been inspired by baffled war rage and frrv at tho mere thought of resistance, ‘Tim idea of such a city refusing to .surrender!” thought tho Ger- , mans, in the words of the French poet: 1 Get animal est tree mediant | Quand on I’aUaqne, ii se defend. j True, as far as it goes, but the “ wicked animal” who was minded to defend had no business to establish observation posts f
ii*. the spires of the cathedral. Photographs of this architectural glory of Christendom after the bombardment leave little doubt that this was done by tho French. JOFFBE’S MOTTO.
General Joffro, in a message to tho French Sixth Army has given his motto as." Revenge for 1870.” There is another member of the higher direction who will add : “ Amen ! Them’a my sentiments!" This is Earl Kitchener. He fought for the French in 1870. It waa the only time that ho was associated with a failure. As a student from Woolwich he enlisted in the array of the Loire (Franco then well beaten) under General Chanzy. Ho saw the interference of the politicians, the aristocracies, and tho War Offices of the world. He resolved that, if he was ever to be a soldier, he would freeze them. According to a Staff officer, who made the march on Omdurnian under Kitchener, “if anything had happened to the commander it would have taken tho War Office several years to find the Egyptian army." One of his worst moments in Egypt was when an officer arrived in Cairo with a letter of introduction from the Prince of Wales (afterwards Edward VII.). It waa a painful occasion, but Kitchener reflected on all the consequences which might ensue if an officer whom he did not care for were not passed carte blanche to the front. The result of the reflection was that the officer stayed where he was. It is pleasant to fie able to add that the officer went back smiling to England, and tho Prince of Wales was the first who met Lord Kithener when he returned. It was a pleasant termination, but (as it must have appeared to Kitchener at first) it was a decidedly ugly situation. Now the years have rolled by and Joffre is out for revenge for 1870. Kitchener will never forgive tho circumstance that ho was once part of a failure in 1870, so these generals will go hard together. It is the revanche. NEW ZEALANDERS IN EGYPT.
I made the forecast—an easy one—long ago that the New Zealanders and Australians comprising the main body of our Expeditionary Forces would be landed in Egypt, and that bis first enemy would be the Turk. To-day there is a message from the Secretary of State for the Colonies that this has happened. Afterwards they are to go to England, and then proceed on to the Continent. Just a further word of forecast: The urgency at the Canal must be great at present, though the Censor hushes up everything, and the Turk will be found to be a wiry enough enemy, especially when he gets the word “ Schutzen Gefccht ” from his German commanders. The struggle on the fringe of the Idumoau desert is only beginning, and, though wo may hardly hear a word, it will he bloody. The colonials best suited to the conditions would he the Australians, and perhaps the New Zealanders may pass straight on to England. That, however, is conjecture. The certainty is that the call for colonial troops in Europe is urgent. The inference is that they would have been sent on straight had not the call of the desert been so clamant. The amusing part is that the thing should have been wrapped in mystery so long, although there is not now one Gorman cruiser in position to interfere with the transports. A RETT XT OBSCURE CABLE. In this superlatively censored war no spot is wiappsd in mystery now more than the Suez Canal. By message dated early In November Sir Edward Grey told the world that the Foreign Office was well aware that timspoit had been collected in Syria, and roads prepared up to the frontier of Egypt. Some imposing estimates of the concentration at Damascus have In'er. given, arid the cable? once stated that the Turkish vans cv f.-cd the Idumoau frontier into Egypt on November 8 Since then nothing, except that Captain Chote’s camel corps had been knocked about at Rokanir. Of course, there was the old story of a treacherous use of ‘‘tire other fellow’s flag.'’ Where is R. kanir? It looks as if “Bikaner” were intended —meaning, not a spot in the Tdnm an or S na.tic Desert., but tlie Bikaner Camel Corps, a contingent given by one of fhc loyal Indian jrrince--. If this tiirniho riizht, there must he more Indian tr ' pe helping to guard the canal than wc have been told of. Til'' KFG AND THE POWDER. c -'i ,ir began we have weathered two Mol. dm festivals— Ba-iram and Mohan a; . wit boat any tiling going amiss. Rat ram, vvJiich is a tame sen cl flung, came and went eaily. Moharram, a more joyous affair, Out carry.ng with it ibc dangerous A.-hina fast, h.its just concluded, and the only advice we have re from Teheran, the .'ap.tai of Persia. It states that the occasion parsed without, war significance. Ph-t restless time, however. ]? Ramadan, when the ia>t is severe, and the Moslem meat; or levs warlike. Those uho have read * Cliitral,' by Sir Donald Robertson, wdl midc.eland that Islam is at best a keg m gunpowder, and we happen to bo sitting on that keg. A good deal of news on this point is doubt Ices kept from us, but what we do get is good. For tho convenience of r. adore: it may now be placed in order o f date; October 28. —Amcor of Afghanistan gave audience to a. member of I uvkLsh f ominiltec of Un.oir and Progress (pro-
Onnan). October 30.— ‘ Frankfu. i- -r Ze.tung' stales that there is evidence that a treaty has been concluded between Afghanistan and Tuikey. October 29. —Ti'flmr.malory document, by Sheik Aziz to Mori- in? of Syria and
India. November 1. —Tim Viceroy of India, publishes a communique to Moslems deploring Turkey's at* tude. Beefpt ion of tho communique -n outlying districts not then known. The wholehearted .-ill-, gianne of the Nizam of Hyderabad (one of the -noM influx.lial Mo.-lems in the, world) produced a- .marked - fT;ct. November 9.—Egyptian Moslems are being t,-night to -ii*int “l/ing live Hadji Mohammed Wilhelm !’’ November 19-—Pheik-iilTslam proclaims a holy war. November 24. —Proclamation of Jehad falls fiat in Ontral Asia- Minor. November 26.—Egypt repent--d to l>e vn.animons against the i tirks. N-ovemhc’- 27.-—'The power! ill S-nwid brotherhood notify Egypt that t,‘;cy int- rid to renrvn out of Die war. November 50. —Motiairarn pas.-t-s quietly at- T--h-*r.Mi. November 30.—Anver of Afg' ani tan, in a eordi.il letter to th*' Vice.- y <-s India, deploies Tin key's atiitadc. and affirms his neutrality. Putting all these messages K got her, llm chances of a J.-had. tli mi :: hj always to he watched, do n* t se-'-m to !i:n*ii:it to much at present. In other respects Dm task before us is greater. Pmnigrad livl- tinview- that the Turks, under tb-rman tininm.T, “are now an enduring and stead fa.-1-anrv.” ‘ ‘I MUST TELL FATHER." Tire Crown Prince has given an audience to an American join na-it-t. It is veil likely. He always u.-M to study the American miiilaiy attaches at the German manoeuvres, no doubt train police. The picture given of His Mi.hn-.ss is tne usual American picture—-a serous young man seized of his responsibilities. Ho got severely on to the cry of “militarism,” originally raised by the iate Mr W. TStead in England, and disl ked by ail countries who have no m.litji'y on the Continental seal- Every couriry ho-tefi what it has not get. Ho chipped in in quite- a. convincing way at the last. We have heard many unlikely stories of the Kaiser in the cables, and tho Ir.-t two were: fa! He viewed toe battle of Poland from a hill, and depa fid sadly ; (b) his carriage and blue cloak weic captured at tie .am: t.mc,_but at a spot about 500 miles away. AA lien told of this the Crown Prince merely did as any high-spirited voting man would do. He bust out laughing. and exclaimed ; “ T it-net tell father about that. ’ SUBMARINES IN THE CHANNEL The presence of German submarines in the Channel seems to be coiit-.iiiiilatcd in the cables. It will b: serious, and, a« is all too evident, Zcebrugge ia nut done with. But too much should not bo read.
into these messages at piesent. They are mostly guesses. Ehr instance, one correspondent to the Associated Press says that Pc was pwiui Lteu to visit K.ei, a..<l " tell the world all about what is doing there." That is a plain insult to the public intelligence. TOLD BY THE ENEMY. Enemy impressions of the sinking of the throe Gieesya have been appearing in the Home and American papers. Iliey are given by the man who sank them—Lieutenant Otto Weddingen, commanding the German submarine U9. At the time of the occurrence the British Admiralty frankly gave out all details except tho'locality. Lieutenant Weddingen eays that it was 18 miles north-west of Hook of Holland, and that he was at the time 200 miles from his base. He was running with his periscope sft above water, and he sighted the British ships at 6.10 a.m. ‘‘l could,’’ he says, “see their greyblack sides riding out of the water.” He steered to range up on the middle ship in a good torpedo position. He docs not tell what that range was, but ind cates that he could have fired from the first (the German torpedo range is over four miles). He ran in close, U9 being then 12ft under wafer. “I climbed to the surface after firing," he adds, "and discovered that the Aboukir had been struck under the magazine good and true. I submerged at once, as they had their puns ready,’’ He next describes the attack on the Hogue, at which ship he only fired once. He intended to hit her under the magnz'ne. but did not succeed ; but the torpedo got home, and, as he says, ‘‘she lay for 20 minutes on her side before she sank.” To attack the last ship, ih© Creasy, he had. to mv (a tfio surface again, and found that ship firing heavily both from port and starboard, and quite wildly (co he says). One shot, however, nearly hit him. He cent in two torpedoes on this chip, "to make sure." This makes four discharges altorcfher, and contradicts the cablestatern ert that a =en full of drowning men was thick w’th flving to-podoes. Weddingen adds that U9 is not a very modern subnmrnc (which is true), but hie crew handled her “like a skiff." HOW GOES THE GLASGOW?
German shirrs 'have not quitted the littoral of Chile. That was one of yesterday's cables, and it revives memories of the cruiser Glasgow, whose captain kept the line when the Good Hope blew up at the fourth salvo on November 1, and the Monmouth, badly hit, turned her bow to sea The Glasgow then saw 75 flashes in the darkness, indicating the final attack on the Monmouth between 7.30 p.m. and 9 p.m. The last heard of the Glasgow was that she was patching up five holes in her hull at Rio de Janeiro, and had been given nine days to get to sea. The intimation was given by the Brazilian Government prior to Saturday, November 21, so our light cruiser ought to be out in the South Atlantic now, although no word has come. A BRICK AT DE WET.
An old campaigner who spent more than 12 months on the heels of De Wet writes: —“ Fancy us having the African business all over again—the dirty rascals! I thought they mightn't he too keen about fighting for us, but 1 didn't think they would fight against us. And the worst of it is. it doesn't appear to be the small rebellion that the cables would like to make out. Alt they want to settle De Wet’s hash is one decent aeroplane. He is only good at running away. His fighting in the Boer War wasn’t worth a cent.” TO CORRE.sPONDENTS.
“Wll.”—The word “decimation” really means a loss of 1 in 10. The correspondents. however, use. it as equivalent to annihilation.
“ Reader.”—(l) Fret dr Dragoons and Cuiinss.crs wear a helmet, a..d the latter were wearing the fam.liar breastplate at the begriming of th? war, but may have discarded it since. (3) The heavy German cavalry do not wear cuirasses in war time. (5) Both German Cuirassiers and Uhlans are “heavies,” hardly distinguishable at sight, except that the Uhlan wears a mortar-board hat and the other “heavies” spiked helmets. (4) Cavalry commands (even Lancers) carry carbine and sword.
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THE WORLD WIDE WAR., Evening Star, Issue 15666, 3 December 1914