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{By Aribi*] King George "has had his baptism of Are," as Napoleon 111. eaid of his son in 1 370. He is the first English Sovereign for nearlv two centuries to be oil a Uttlefi-ld" On Jttrw 16. 1743, George 11. commanded the British force* which defeated the French at Dettingen. That was the last occasion on which one of our kings was under fire. Constitutional interests make tho Government reluctant to allow the Sovereign to take needless risU, and commanders do not like to be hampered with sc serious a responsibility as the care of the monarch. AH the same. King George has done well to visit the front and show the nation that he docs not simply cr.II upon others to go. but sends hi*, sen. and even goes himself. In the earlier stages our kings almwrt invariably ltd their armies. Richard 111. was tho last of tho real wairior kings, for Cromwell is not yet admitted to the list of kings. William 111., cf glorious memory, was also *. warrior, hut it was rather in his capacity as a Dutchman. Thackeray says: "I believe it is certain about George IV.. that ">e had heard eo much of the war, kt.ightcd so many people, and worn such a prodigious quantity of marshal's uniforms, cocked hats, corks' feathers, scarlet and bullion in gentral. that he actually fancied he had rwen present in some campaigns, and. under the name of General Birvk. led a tremei.-'nus charge of the German legion at Wr.trrici." That, however, was all illusion. But Georirr V has actually been on the f.iu-.hts-n fi'h'. and is not likely hereafter to imairnie that he did anything more than hearten his brave men with his presence. Gcd save the King! ***«■»** Last we-»k I spoke of tho literature that preceded the war and prepared the German mind i r r it. T forgot Admiral Mahan and his work on the ' Influence of Sea Power." 11? has just passed away, expedited by too close a study of the great ivar that he had indirectly contributed to. I have seen many articles extolling the benefit he :'<nforrcd upon us by his great work. T am. however, sceptical about our obligations to him. We had all the practical benefits of sea power long before lie thought out the science of it. and showed the world how n«ce3sary pea power is to world empire, and how inevitable empire is when the sea power is pc - s-essed. We may not have known the true theory and reneon of the thing, but we had the thing itself, which was much to the purpose. What the Admiral did for •ns was to give away our secret to the world. I believe that his bonk was a revelation to Germany, and was the chief inspiration of her new naval policy; and. of course, that policy brought us into the war, for it roado us realise that Germanywas onv enemy, and that the empire she aimed at was no other than ours. Thus; a great book is a great evil. 'lite Influence of Sea Power' has cost the nations hundreds of millions of treasure, and no- mj;i can yet ctiess how many millions of lives. Jvst netnte the war the Kaiser in the running for the Nobel prize for ths nTcatest contribution toward* ths ppace cf the world. Re and Mahan should have been bracketed as equal but in tho other direction. ******* "You are French for ever," said General Joffre to the notabilities of Thann, in Alsace. "One of the Alsatians', in reply. said that tor nenrlv 50 years they had suffered every humiliation. They had been crushed wounded, and tortured in the name of a civilisation boasting itself superior to theirs. This they well knew was untrue. He concluded by assuring General Joffre of their absolute devotion." The pathos of it appeals to me. and I trust, their hopes will be realised. But the thought suggested by the incident is that an empire built on mere brute force is impossible. For nearly two generations no effort has been spared to Germanise Alsace, and behold the result! Parts of Poland have belonged to Prussia and to Austria for two centuries, and it will be found that the iron heel is hated there as much as it is in Alsace. Imagine the population of these conquests and robberies to he several times as great and rich as Germany, and what would become of her rule? Yet the Germans dream of a ; Germany embracing practically the whole of France and England, a large slice of Russia, and. of course, all of the colonies nf France and Britain. This dream can be seen in a map that is popular in Germany at the present moment. The Kaiser has talked of his new and splendid province of Belgium! If he acquired France, England, Poland, and the Overseas Dominions of Britain in the same May as he has acquired Belgium—and he could not acquire them in .any other way —how long would his world empire last? " Another victory like this will undo us." said Fyrrhtis after his first bout with the Remans. Germany, on her Hunnic principles, would only have to make her empire big enough to have no empire at all! ******* Compare with Germany's utter failure as a ruler cf alien races the success of "the great robber empire" which she hstes so bitterly, and which she thinks she has a divine commission to steal. " Steal' a fieo for the phrase! Convey tho wise it call." "Acquire" or "appropriate" would perhaps be the word with which she would make it right with Heaven and with such conscience as Nietzsche. Treitschke, and Co. have left her. But let the word be selected when needed. 'Meantime glance at this robber Empire. There are about 350,000.000 of alien and colored peoples in it, and their chief grievance appears to be that they are not allowed to go to the front and give the Germans a taste of their quality. "If the Emperor (King George) wants an army as b«j; as that of the Tsar. India will he happy to supply it," said a prominent native prince the other day. Tho Mohammedans of India and Egypt* prefer as not only to the Kaiser, bnt also to the sultan, the head of their own religion. The great Dominions have rallied to the AJother Land in the day of her need .vith more than mere loyalty—with enthun'asm. A large part of South Africa was annexed after a bitter war only 13 years ngo. But our system has already won it for the Empire, so that it grapples with a fanatical rebellion with its own hands, uid h.v so doing places the finest feather oossibie in our cap. How the German Intriguers must gnash their teeth! The Kaiser and his satellites may profitably militate on the contrast of results between their 44 years in Alsace and the 13 V'.-a'-s of the " rham empiro" in South Africa. ::- * * * * * * Germany is alleged to be preparing a jreat fleet of airships for an attack on London. Of course, this may be German bluff, but the attacks of our aeros indicate that the matter is taken seriously. Some particulars of the best recorded performances of airships and aeros will be interesting at this >.tage. An airship has lifted 7.8501b in addition to its fuel and its crew. That is equal to seven half-ton bombs. For as long as 30 hours such a ship has remained aloft, though not necessarily with the load just mentioned. A speed of 51 ner hour has been attained, and a rate of rising of l,sCoft per minute. The longest distance flown is 960 milos. the greatest height attained 9,645 ft, and the greatest number of men carried 28. The range of wireless communication is 300 miles. The airship has the great advantage of being able to stop its engine and hover, so as to drop its bomb more accurately. It is also steadier for guns and for telescopes than the aero. It can also stay np longer, can_ be armored to protect its* crew from rifle fire, and is not speedily brought down by a few bullet holes, for its supply of gas is immense. Being, however, about' the size of ft long r»ilw»y goods shed, it affords a fins mark for gun fir* -when low enough. It i* mora at tht mercy cf tha -wind than tht atro, and is very difficult to handle when landing, a large number of . men being required. Moreover, when it drops bombs or other ballast it must also sacrifice gas or rise rapidly to an inconvenient height. 'Aeroplanes and seaplanes have attained the speed of 112 and 78 miles per hour respectively, and have remained aloft 16|

and" hours, have carried 16 and four men, an<L_have flown a distance of 1,050 and 240 miles respectively. The weight lifted, in addition to crew and fuel, has reached 1,5001b. The best climbing speed has been 1.550 ft per minute, and the maximum height attained has been 19,600 ft. Their wireless range is 60 miles. These heavier than air machines depend on their engines tp keep them afloat, so that they cannot hover. For this reason they are not accurate bomb droppers, unless they descend so low as to be an easy mark for guns and rifles. It has been proposed that in attacking ships they should drop torpedoes instead of bombs. If the torpedo could be dropped close to tho ship it would be a serious matter, as it would dart forward on striking the water. The great speed of the aero and the smallness of tho mark it offers to the enemy when at a considerable height arc its chief advantages over tho airship. We hear a lot about the enterprises of the enemy "in the air. but nothing of what Britain is doing. We may rest assured, however, that she is not an idle spectator. Of course, nothing decisive can be done by aircraft at present. A Zeppelin attack on London could only be of the nature of an affront and an annoyance. It would mean a few murders of innocent people and a small destruction of property, but it would stimulate recruiting immensely. The danger lies not in' London, but in the fleet. A flight of airships dropping tons of high explosives i; a suggestion to make one shudder. ******* " Three Cheers for the Rod. White, and Blue " seems to most British people to be a very direct invitation to cheer their flag. But, "as a matter of fact, our flag is not " the red, white, and hlue," but the combination of the three, crosses of St. George, St. Patrick, and St. Andrew, two of which were red and the other white. The bit of blue is from the blue ground of the flag of Scotland, and certainly helpsgreatly towards making our flag the most beautiful in the world. But as the colors are arranged in no order or frequence, but rim in all directions, it is absurd to call the "meteor flag" the "red, white, and blue." This designation has, moreover, two other defects—it practically leaves Ireland out, for " red *' applies to the broader cross of St. George as well as to the narrow diagonal of St. Patrick; "white" describes the cross of St. Andrew and tho ground of the English flag as well as the ground of the Irish flag, a very thin stripe of which remains in our banner; the blue is Scots, and also the only white cross. Hence Scotland gets too* much attention in the '•red, white, and blue" phrase and Ireland gets nono except in greedy company, for England has met of the red and Scotland has most of the white and all the blue. This is another wrong to Ireland. The second defect of the phrase is that it usurps the clear rights of others, for several national flags are made up ot these threo colors without any complexity of crosses. The French (lag is red. white,

r.rd blue in three' pkvn perpendicular equal divisions, beginning at the extremity of the flag furthest from the pole. Th« Dutch flag is red, white, and blue in threo equal horizontal stripes, with the red at tho top. The Russian flag is also in horizontal* stripes like the Dutch, bnt the order, from the top. is white, blue. red. Even the American flag is composed of the three colors we have absurdly claimed for ourselves. All of these four nations have a better right to call their flag " th<> red, white, and blue" than we have. But it is just like our insular cheek to take tho only t.hree colors that will make a handsome flag and treat them as if they w>ro onr inalienable preserve. * * * * * * * There is a great deal in point ot" view. For exampk, a leading newspaper that never »ees any good in things done by the Government, "and that would not servo God if Massey bade it, has this complaint: In 1911 there were only 28 constituencies in which the contest'was confined to two candidates. In 28 conetiltiencies there were three candidates, in 16 four, and in 3 five. This year in .56 constituencies there are two candidates, in 19 three, and in 1 four. This is supposed to be a fatal indictment of the policy of repealing the Second Ballot Act without putting something equally useless in its place. To me tho statement appeanr to be a startling and unexpected justification of Mr Maesey's policy in the. matter. We are now to have the second ballot on the first round. Common sense and party organisation wocd out tho useless candidates before hand. When I say nseleM J. oi course, mean superfluous, for " useless" covers others besides rejected candidates. But why on earth should the mighty machinery ot" a General Election be set in motion, and tho whole population be brought out. horse and feet, man and woman, to determine that some conceited jackdaw is not required us a candidate and that two competitors arc sufficient? Surely it is better to make the political machine do some of its own work. * * * * •;; -::- * I am thankful to read that all is well on the " Strykow-Zgierz-Szadek-Zdunskovola line," though, for my part, I don't see how any mortal could possibly get over it. I , think that line might be safely left to take 'care of m itself. The Ephraimites of old would not let anyone go over the ford unless he pronounced " Shibboleth." If you could only insist on that. line being pronounced before it was eroded you might ij'o into winter quarters. An American scribe says that the Russians have won several pronounced victories, if one could Only pronounce tiicui : anil another scribe, commenting on the etiphiny of Przcmysl, Irkutsk, and Crwgzvut. points out the almost equal beauty ot many American names, such as Cutyhunk. Schviiectady. Wnxahachie. and Canajahorie. But I'll back the Irish to make a stand on tho's Recks-Owenta-raglin line. Still more defensible is the Pwllheli-Bittws-y-coed - Llandilofwar - Llanrwst line in Wales. If the enemy get over those barriers we t;ha!l t-till entrench ourselves behind the Ntaruawahia-Whaka- ! terapnrirari - Wtiikaremoana - Waihahauraunira - Ngatimaniapoto - NgutuotemanuPahiftakariki line, and bid them all come. Talk about the lines of Tunes Vedras!

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ON THE WATCH TOWER, Issue 15671, 9 December 1914

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ON THE WATCH TOWER Issue 15671, 9 December 1914

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