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THEIR DESIGN., Issue 15679, 18 December 1914
INSIDE STORY OF THE RAID. INSULT & AFTER. THE DEEP GERMAN NOTION. A TIME TO THINK. THE ADMIRALTY'S WARNING. [By A. Spence.]
The object of sending German ships to the coast of England, the ease with which .<nich a. thing can be dono, the element of mist, this nature of blockades, and so on, were mostly anticipated in the notes yesterday. The same points crop -up all through the news to-day. A general egress of the German fleet, preceded by a bombardment of towns, seemed out of the question. When the German fleet does conic to sea it will come like a thief in the night. In several columns of cables, all interesting, attention fastens first on the German object. Many objects are given—relieving German depression, retarding reinforcements to the Continent, letting out other raiders to the trade routes, creating a diversion to enable ships carrying contraband to como in. These would be important objects, no doubt, but let there be no doubt as to the real object. It is clear] v staled by the authorities at Whitehall:' The Admiralty points out that a demonstration of this character against unfortified towns or commercial ports must not, under any circumstances, be allowed to modify the general naval poilcy. Here wo sec quite quickly the object and the danger. The Admiralty apprehends that if there are other raids of this nature —there will doubtless be many more—popular clamor may sweep away the existing arrangements and the existing control In times of peace the irate citizen, awakened from his beauty sleep by a noise of brawlers in the street, is apt to dash off a letter to the Press headed "Where Are the Police?*' In time of war this class of citizen is even more likely to dash off further letters to the Press, headed "Where Ie the Fleet?" It is this danger which the Admiralty fears. ASTONISHING FEATURE. A very as'.ou:shing feature is the fact that two armored uuisers were ueed by the Germans, as well a* J.ghter ships. This fact is embodied in the message by the War Office and in another message. These important ships took a mighty rick, for as they approached the mouth of the Tees the captain* knew well that one flash of rhe telegraph would bring the Tyne flotilla down on them in lews than an hour ; and this, in fact, did happen. It is stated that the -counter-attack from ihe Tyne was met by three German cruisere and four destroyers. It may be taken for grant?d that when the Tyne flotilla appeared the armored German fhips lost no time in standing out. to sea. As the cable puts it, "they desisted from the bombardment and rctirrd." The German destroyers and other hiht ships would be thrown out beh-'nd as a rearguard to delay the rush, while the larger ships steamed away to the Elbe. ■SCARBOROUGH. For the convenience of my readers the various messages relating to each town on the English eastern coast that was shelled may be put together. Scarborough people were sitting down to breakfast in the gaslight when the shelling began. The time is placed as 8.15 a.m., this bombardment bcintr simultaneous with that of West Hartlepool. It is evident that the affair was planned to ihe last, detail by (he Germans, and this would be in accord with German thoror.chness. Such coordinated moves aro hard to carry out. A light cruiser and "a. bigger vessel" were detailed for Scarborough. It is said that the Germans tired recklessly, but this aspect may lie. turned down. German ships never fire, that way. Their guns were discharged "in threes," indicating that they merely followed the modern practice of firing by salvos, so that the spotters in the crows' nests could note effects. They picked out the Grand Hotel and the Town Hall as primary targets, thus giving an equal affront to the wealthy tourist and to the civic authorities." They knew what they wero doing. Both these, classes may bo trusted to flood the English Press with letters bv and by.
Thi'y followed up in a way calculated to bring about the vandalism charge. •' Most of the damage," says tho cable. " took place at Castlo Hill." The reference is to the ancient ruins of Scarborough Castle. Tho Cockney archaeologist will be especially excited over this. Ho is sure to write, to the Press about it. HARTLEPOOL. Hartlepool—West Hartlepool, it swniF — is fortified, and, necessarily, a battle cruiser appeared at this point sk well as smaller ships. When the thunder of the guns was heard the inhabitants regarded it as gun practice. No bonder. So much gunnery practice off the English coaft has been going on that the mistake was natural. In the eailv -Jay? of tho war there was a report in the cables that heavy firing had been beard in the North Sea, indicating a general fleet action. It is now known that this wan only the Pathfinder practising at 5Ca —actually" beginning in war time the gunnery practice which she should have carried out long before! The affront I offered at Hartlepool wne partia.lly tho civic; affront, tho Town Ball and gasworks being choeen as something worth aiming I at. There was also a military and naval affront, and the troops were paraded (somei what unnecessarily) to repel a lauding. It 1 is stated that they sustained 17 casualties, while 72 civilians" were struck. Like the bombardment of Scarborough, this visitation on Hartlepool lasted only 25 minutes. The German wireless must have co-oper-ated -with the ships off Scarborough, for th'! firo was opened simultaneously and closed simultaneously. It was another coordinated movement, for they knew full well tlut the Tyne destroyers would be coining. In connection with this bombardment it is mentioned that the Germans turned round and round, displaying first one broadside, then tho other. That must have been to cave the wear on the primary guns by using both port and starboard latteries alternately. They had come to offer insult, not to offer serious war. The trade affront to Hartlepool is carefully not mentioned, but it would bo the greatest of the three. WHITBY. The insult at Whitby would resemble that at Scarborough. This town has a public library, museum, literary institute, baths, warehouses for sailcloth and cordage, and it is also a winter resort. Ita bombardment therefore touched the tourist and the artisan. It also touched the ancient abbey. The interests affected at Scarborough, Hartlepool, and Whitby only have to be placed together to show Tiow the tiniest epark of war may set off the powder magazine of a public- who, in spite of all their cheap reading, do not know the ABC of ww. That is why the Admiralty ha* deemed it advisable to it-sue a Note designed to keep a shaky public from tumbling to pieces. In a recent issue of the Lordon ' Times' it is frankly stated in an editorial that it does not pay to give the public the truth. The i«xcitnbles could not stand it, and tho moderates only torn round and call th« -writer "Dismal Jim,"
I WHAT MEANS IT? Being neither an optimist nor a. pessimist, but a simple interpreter dl_ the general meaning of the cables—this interpretation being given daily without fear or favor—l was struck by the mass of incenious chicane which we have received to-day on the war on land. I have also been long struck by the frank treatment which the war receives in the best American and English papers, and also, though to a less extent, in Germany. It will perhaps not need much emphasis to affirm that, despite the daily mass of allied " victories," it- has been toudh-and-eo with the Allies more than once. Sir John French told us that in his last despatch. To-day we have a guarded admission that all is not well on land for the moment. The German operations in th» Carpathians are being conducted on an " immense scale." A force of 170,000 Austro-Oermans crossed the. Carpathian passes, and (in another message) they are pouring over the Dukla Pass." If the Austrians have been able to make such a detachment, they may have won for the moment both on the Lodz front and the Czenstochowa-Cracow line. The third string to their bow was the move from Mlawa, designed to cut the Russian railways behind Warsaw. The Mlawa move was said to have been repulsed. We may be doing no harm in awaiting further news on that point.
# If things aro going wrong with the Russians in Poland—and I am sure they are hot §oing right—the Anglo-French must butt in on the western side to relieve the tension. So gaily and giddily that un l pleasant news is served to us to-day in a softened form : Reports indicate that the Allies aro advancing all along the line with the immediate object ot" driving the Germans out of Belgium. The result of this change of plan by Generals Joffre and French means that the campaign which was to be started in the spring is now Tinder way. Then it coca on solemnly to reassure the public that the Allies made a mistake in their arithmetic, and now find that they had more troops that they knew about. Lord Kitchener's new army of Territorials is- to be ready a. month earlier than was thought, etc Be not deceived. When a change of plan occurs something has gone wrong somewhere. It may not be very serious, but why not present it honestly? Perhaps wo will find some part of the solution in the reoocupation of Belgrade by the Servians. That could only have been done if detachments of Austrians had been called away from the Danube, and one cable affirms that that is so. It may be this detachment which is falling on the flank of thelvieff and Odessa armies, obliging them to take their hands off Cracow. It is not the first time that these two Russian armies have been turned by the flank.
THEIR DESIGN., Issue 15679, 18 December 1914
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