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UNTER WASSER.

FOUR GERMAN SHIPS GONE. REDS & THE BLUES. UNIFORMS AT ARMAGEDDON. THE MILITARY LIE. POLISH NEWS MARSHALLED. [By A. Spence.] “Untcr Wasser,” was, I believe, the headline which I placed as obituary notice over the Scharnhorst yesterday. One correspondent and one man in the street resents the bad usage of the German language which made it “ Unter Wassen,” and I am inclined to agree with them. Perhaps, in the excitement of election day, some typographical lapse is excusable. It was their lapse, anyhow ; not mine. Further details of the sinking of the Scharnhorst are conspicuous by their absence, but there are two facts. One is that Melbourne denies that the Dreadnought cruiser Australia was in it, and the other is that the cruiser Nurnberg has been sunk. I am not going to guess much over what happened, and would not like to pin my faith to the statement that only three casualties occurred in Vice-Admiral Sturdee’s squadron. We have, for instance, had seven separate and conflicting accounts of the losses which the Emdeu suffered in her engagement with the Sydney, the last being that of Captain Glossop, which is at variance with the other six. The chief point of interest about the battle of the Falkland Islands now is whether a Dreadnought cruiser did or did not take part. Judging from Vice-Admiral Sturdee’s position in the Navy at the outbreak of war it does look as if some ships embodying something " extra special ’’ had been despatched from England about the time that the Good Hope was sunk—4o days ago The second point of importance about the battle is that combined ocean sweeps—now 65 days old, at least—will be less arduous in future. The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were the only armored German ships in midocean, and both had a good primary broadside and a very fair turn of speed. In hunting them down we had to keep certain dusters of fighting ships together, so that the defeat off the coast of Chile should not bo repeated. Now, if it is so desired, every armored ship engaged in these ocean sweeps can branch off on some separate enterprise. Some playful friend reminds me that it was stated in these notes that the Scharnhorst was about as smart a gunnery ship as there is in the world. What about her now? Well, this: Firing in a heavy sea, on the China station, \vith the targets half-enveloped in mist, the mean range 6.500yd5, and combined speed of target and ship 21 knots, she sent home 19 iiits out of 22 with her B.2in guns, and 28 out of 50 with her 6in. It would be interesting to know if this gunnery has ever been equalled. LOSSES TO DATE. Exclusive of submarines, the following table gives the principal sea losses on each side arranged in order of size. Doubtful cases, such as the Canopus or the Otranto, are not counted, '/' ho date given is the date of launch, indicating the ago of the ship. At the time of the destruction of the Bulwark the British Joss in tonnage stood at 97.005 and that of Germany at 42,060. The action of Saturday last brings the German loss in tonnage up to 71,060. —Tho British List.—

Jaguar IS*) 9CO 121 Four destroyers 420 each 55 each ARMED MERCHANTMEN LOSSES. Tile losses of armed merchantmen are considerable. Our Oceanic, 17.274 tons, was wrecked off the north coast of Scotland about September 9. The other side lost, among others, tile Konlgin Liii.se, adapted merchantman for mine-laying, about August 6; Kaiser Wilhelm dor (Jrosse, 14,549 tons, sunk by the Highflyer about August 16 ; Cap 'Trafalgar, armed liner, sunk by Carman hi. about September 11 : Sprecwald, armed liner, 5,839 tons, captured by 11..M.5. Lerwick; Rothania, armed collier, 7,543 tons, captured in West Indies; Hole. armed merchantman, 700 tons, sunk in Mediterranean by the French ; Rhodes, 'armed merchantman, 1,925 toms, sunk by French; Markomania, armed merchantman, 4,500 tons, sunk in Indian Ocean. WHO TELLS TRUTH? An American Admiral is telling his nation that the submarine is a. laiiure. '1 lie war has not (lie ears) iuhilled the widelyexpected result. “Xothmg has happened to show that the battleship does not remain the main weapon.'’ Nothing, perhaps, except the influence of the armament rings. If this American Admiral—they call him Fletcher—will solcmnlv hold up his right hand and affirm that "lie has no connection, direct or indirect, with the Bethlehem Steel Trust, it might be worth while to sit down to consider whether he or Sir Percy Scott has got hold of the right relativity of submarines and battleships. So far as the war has gone the submarine seems to have had the best of the argument. POLAND AND PREVARICATION. Deeply important as the battles in MidPoland are, furnishing as they do the pressure which may decide the war, we are given nothing but the usual military lie. The military prevaricator is the cheapest and meanest prevaricator on earth. Some of his prevarication, foisted on to the war correspondents to fill the mouth of the man in the otreet on Saturday nights, may ho allowed to tell its own story ; London, September 14.—The Russians are lie'ginning the siege of Konigsberg. . [What befell that siege?] Romo, September 14. Four Russian armies are hastening to jnvade Germany. [Hastening ':], High Commissioner, September 21.—Russia 'has 6.000,000 , men under arms. [Notice other estimates.] London, September 26.—Cheat confidence is felt in. General Rennenkampf, [Lately in disgrace.] Rome, September 29.—Five Russian armies will march. .simultaneously. [As if it were all over, bur the .shouting.] Rome, September 50. —Russians merely inland to invest Qraoow and pass otk

[Seventy-two days ago, and Cracow not invested yet.] Petrograd. October 5.—8,000,000 Russians aro now mobilised. [A steep rise, even on tho High Commissioner’s absurd figure.] London, October 6.—‘Times’s’ Petrograd correspondent states that tho battle of Suwulki is destined to live in history as the Orcest in the war. [Referring to a side-show in Poland.] October 26.—Professor Pariset, authorised correspondent at Aussian Headquarters says that the railway gauges in Galicia are being steadily relaid. [Thor© has been a wonderful hush over tho railway gauge scandal since. Professor Pariset and others may have been warned that they will be sent home if they talk much about that painful subject.] October 11.—Battle of the Vistua begins. [Careful abstinence from mentioning that this upset the first march of the Kieff and Odessa armies through Galicia on Cracow.] Copenhagen, October 51.—German General Staff have decided to retire back over tho Silesian frontier. [Now they hold Dodz, not far from Warsaw.] October 31.—High Commissioner “ Reliable ”: T hive million Russians aro marching [He grows more modest. Perhaps the other odd million Russians were accidentally drowned in the Niemen and the Vistula before (he Russian authorities stopped vodka.] London, November 11.—The Russian Embassy says that the siege of Cracow is imminent, [ft has not arrived yet.] London, November 15.—Austria is tired of the war. [This week she sent 120.000 troops to the Italian frontier.] Copenhagen, November 16.—The Austrians will abandon Cracow rather than see it bombarded. [A guess.] Petrograd, November 21.—Tho Russians are definitely successful south of Czenstochowa. [But still fighting there with doubtful result.] Rome, November 23.—Przcmysl is exhausted. The final assault will take place on December 6—the Feast of St. Nicholas. [The feast seems to have been prolonged and the assault postponed, for to-day is December 11.] Petrograd, November 21.—7 be Germans have been routed between the Vistula and tho Warta. [But tbev have got Lodz.] London, November 30.—The barrier of Cracow has been broken, the bombardment begun, and one suburb is in flames. [Then why is the Grand Duke Nicholas still fighting forward to reach the place?] It seems to come to this: Tho Grand Duke Nicholas wants Cracow. The Kieff and Odessa armies are out after that fortress. The Varsovie and other armies must meanwhile hold or defeat tho AustroGcrman forces on the. southern line, Czcn-stochowa-Cracow. To interrupt this move Von Mackensen and Von Francois began the march on Lodz to turn it by the flank. For the moment they seem to have succeeded, for (as the cautions High Commissioner has put it) the Russians are “revising their offensive.” The Germans do not seem to be revising theirs, for they arc making a swoop from tho north—from Mlawa—to cut tho Russian sft gauge railway back of Warsaw. It is still an even gamble in strategy, and a time for a skilful use of reserves. A Copenhagen cable says that endless lines of trains are passing west through Warsaw with fresh Russian troops. The position is serious enough from both sides. Warsaw is sheltering 70,000 refugees, and “ there has been fearful devastation in Poland.” For the Russian, at present it is the superior numbers, the mud-march, and the outrageous outfit. For tho German it is tho handy strategic railway and the superior equipment! A RIOT OF UNIFORMS. It is a striking open picture of a Belgian scene which one of the correspondents of the London ‘Times’ gives—“a perfect blaze of color : of sartorial tints and trappings. It vva.-t Babel let loose.” Ho mentions .some of them—Senegalese, Arabs, Zouaves, tirailleurs, marines, and, fraternising with them, the inevitable Highlander in his “petticoats," now, I believe, dyed to some olive shade. The German soldier, when he awakes in the morning, mu.it occasionally wonder what new kind of soldier ho will engage that day. Tho riot in uniforms must indeed be striking. The Algerian spahi, for instance, wears a red fez edging beneath the folds of a turban bound with brown cords of camel's hair. His jacket flares red, and the blue of his waistcoat runs on lo harmonise with the darker blue, of his full Irousor.* gathered into his black cavalry hoots. Tire Zouave wears his picturesque green turban, blue jacket, and red Oriental trousers, bound at the waist with a. broad cummerbund. The Foreign Legion sport loose red trousers, blue blouse, double-breasted black tunic, red faring.*, rod-fringed green epaulettes, bine cummerbund, and red kepi, on which flares the seven-flamed grenade—the badge of tho legion. The characters and history of these men are as diverse as their uniforms. Mr C. W. Furlong. F.R.G.S., has painted tho Legion Etr.angeri thus : •* Tho average French legionnaire is of the working class, likely enough a deserter from the French army who has enlisted as a Swiss or a Belgian. Reside these, ns one strolls through tlmir barracks at Fidi-bol-Abbes, a bit in the hinterland of Oran, or sees them, off duty in a desert, encampment, one may find in the sockless shoes of tho legionnaires, ex-army officers, barristers, professor.*, diplomatists, and even exbishop-*, perchance ‘ hcel-br.lling’ their black bcß*. cud. among those doing their wasiFng, a prince or a banker; and if the nth-sing scion of a noble house is wanted, the ’.•.e11-worn advice is—‘Writ© to the C-T-tu'l of flie Legion.’” If the German pines, as the ancient Alßmans pined, tu ee:- or hear some now thing, it© is well suited in Belgium. Ho must encounter a new sight ami a now sensation daily. Perhaps some clay a sprinkling of Maoris, shouting their haka, mav add the last touch of variety to this medley of men. PLAIN, BUT PUGNACIOUS. These picturesque children of the desert aro of course welcome lo their blaze of color, but one thinks a little, too, of the least showy soldier in tho camps of Armageddon—the British man. No flowing trousers, no cumbersome greatcoats, sue li as the Russians wear. Virtually everybody except the Highlanders, from Sir John Fren.-h downward, nas tor headgear a comfortable flat-topped kind of cap. Elsewhere in the outfit everything has been sacrificed to convenience, and the colonel and the cm pond look much alike. It is a colorless army, this army of ours, but it may perhaps he left for its German antagonists to state which portion of a world in arms they like least—the men in the blazing uniforms, nr the plain-clad, smei-invisible man who shot down the Guard on November 11 at Lohnebakke. PITY POOR IVAN. There is one touch more before the picture of uniforms and packs is complete. Though changed lately, the Russian uniform and pack leave almost everything to be described. It has not improved a groat deal since tho Japanese War, and a Captain Solovioff has left his record of that : The disadvantages of our equipment were shown in this war. When ascending the hills, even a lightly-dressed officer felt when midway up that his breath was going fast, and dark rings danced before his eyes from thr strain, wh ,e bis muscles 'were trembling like overstrung wires. The heavily-laden soldier could hardly push ot o foo. in fr-_.it of tho other, ana went on automatically until he lay down exhausted, notw-.h-si-anding the whistling of bullets M)d the exhortations of his officers. He lay prone with a blackened tongue and upturned eye. And how could tin’s have been helped ? Tho answer does not seem far awaj T . Fit poor Ivan, the soldier, out on tho Bri tish model, and then, perhaps, ho will carry out a faster daily march than be seems capable of now. He only averaged two miles an hour during September. When tho Germans ware closing in on ; Mons about the middle of August they progressed 40 miles a day for three days days running. But then their equipment is something like the British. ,

Ship. Date. Tons. Crow. Bulwark IS 02 ] 5.000 780 Good Hope 1910 14,1.00 900 (?) Aboukir 1902 12,-OGO 700 Hogue 1902 12X00 700 Creasy ] 901. 12,000 7C0 Monmouth 1905 9.800 673 Hawke 1891 7,550 540 Hermes 1900 5,600 450 Amphion 1912 5.560 320 Pathfinder 1904 2.040 268 Pegasus 1890 2,155 254 iSpoody £ i 0 35 Niger 1892 8,10 35 —The German. List.— Scharnhorst ... 1907 11.600 6.50 Gneisenau 1907 11.600 650 Yorck 1906 9.050 .557 Mainz 1909 4,350 562 Koln 1910 4.550 362 .Magdeburg 1912 4,700 580 Linden 1808 5.600 521 Xurn berg 1905 5,450 295 Konigsberg 1907 5.4 CO 295 Leipzig 1806 5.250 286 Ariadna 1901 2,660 264 1 f.ela 19f J 2X40 173 Gior 1894 1.630 150 Tiger 1899 900 121 Luchs 1899 900 121 Panther 1901 1.000 125 Itlis 1X93 900 121

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141211.2.48

Bibliographic details

UNTER WASSER., Issue 15673, 11 December 1914

Word Count
2,358

UNTER WASSER. Issue 15673, 11 December 1914

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