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CALAIS.

SWING OF CONCENTRATIONS. NOTES ON "ATROCITIES." THE MUTILATION LEGENDS. SHIPS OFF LA PLATA. IS THE VON DER TANN OUT? [By A. Spence.] Could tho Germans shoot across the Channel if they got to Calais? General Baron Von Ardenno has just answered the question in tho ' Saehsischcr StaatsAnzeiger.' " Tho distance is 22 miles," 6ays the baron, "and our 30.5 cm. (12in) howitzers have a range of 14 miles (height of such a shot 4,370yd5). The range of our 42cm. (17in) howitzers is much greater. England can expect still further artillery surprises. Even if we cannot shoot from tho French coast to tho English a safety zone can be made for German ships,'which will cover more than half the. navigable channel. We can also mako bases for submarines and—-last, but not least—bases for our Zeppelins. In .spito of all England's mine-laying, in spite of her great fleet, she is always afraid of a German force landing in the United Kingdom. When the French coast 13 in our hands such an invasion, which is now considered a foolish romance, will be easily possible, especially when England continue a to sund troops away from tho, Isliuid." That, then, was tho German view if they had got Calais. It interprets why tho Allies were obliged to ruin hundreds of Belgian farms by letting in the sea. It tells why Dixmuda was transformed into a blazing furnace, and why Ypres became bloodier than a score of Waterloos. Has Germany now given up Calais as a bad job? Tho news wears a little of that color. Amsterdam thinks that the swing of a new concentration is inland towards Courtrai. Tho 'Daily Chronicle' asserts that a constant reshufflng is apparent behind the enemy's lines. It is unsafe to tacit too much inference on to this at present. If it were wholly true it would indicate further quarrels among tho German higher leaders. But tho fact is that the aeroplane strips tho mystery off all concentrations, and the very 'situation which we see to-day has been happily phrased by a military writer. The art of war lias been robbed of that element of surprise which afforded Napoleon dramatic opportunity for the display of his genius. His object was to discover tho weak spot in tho enemy's lines, and, having discovered it, to hurl upon it ail the forces at his command. A premature revelation would have spoiled all. But a coup of the sort is no longer possible, for a manoeuvre on the one sido is met instantly by a manoeuvre on the other. War now consists in a series of parallel movements; its art has changed. It would be scarcely an exaggeration to say that it does not exist. The two armies turn about each other like boxers in the preliminary phases of a fight. They pivot clumsily to catch each other at a disadvantage, and that is practically all the art of it. The rest is a ding-dong battle of resistance, of marching and countermarching. That is to-day's news from Flanders in a nutshell. ONE MYSTERY ENDED. Everyone in Wellington knew what escort took the last Expeditionary Force away from these shores, but no one was allowed to say. That mighty official mystery, which was no mystery at all, and could not have deceived the eye of a tomtit, much le:s the eye of the enemy, ends 10-da>. J'lie Press Association message giving a further instalment of the story of the Emden, as told by an officer on

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141216.2.38

Bibliographic details

CALAIS., Evening Star, Issue 15677, 16 December 1914

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582

CALAIS. Evening Star, Issue 15677, 16 December 1914

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