THE CHANCES OF INVASION
GERMANY'S NECESSITY FOR MAKING ATTEMPT.
The danger of an invasion of Great Britain by Germany is pointed out in a striking article in. the ' Spectator.' Tho following is the substance of it: " Time being against her,, a condition of stalemate on her frontiers is a hopeless business for Germany Invasion, then, is a logical necessity. It is true that the chances are small, and that failure might mean the loss of a quarter of a million Germans or more, but to the German military philosopher that matters nothing. Ho would ask you: To decide tho problem of invasion or not invasion by any thought of the losses involved is ridiculous. The only question is how and where tho quarter of a million men can be best made use of. If the answer is in trying a. scheme of invasion, then the scheme must be tried. " Therefore, as we have said, if it should turn out in the course of the next week or so that tho armies have fought themselves to a standstill, the Germans are certain to take up the question of the invasion of Britain, and push it through with all the rush of which they are capable. The conditions for a rush on England cannot oe considered more favorable, but less favorable, than they were at the beginning of the war, or (shall we say?) at the end of the first three weeks of war, which, on ths whole, was the most favorable moment The Expeditionary Force had then left, and our auxiliary troops here had not pulled themselves together as they have done now. What we have been saying does not mean, of course, that the Germans Will not still try to improve their position by attrition before they begin their raid: —Submarines and Big Ships.—
•' When tho fervent attempt to expedite, attrition has either succeeded or failed the Germans would have to make up their minds to the final dash. Their transports are ready, and lie floating on many a mile of the waters of the Ems River. First, we presume, would come the submarines, then the destroyers, then the light cruisers, then the battle cruisers, and, last of all, the great battleships. Behind them would march —we use a landsman's word advisedly—the transports. The notion is that this vast and mixed Armada could mako its dash at our shores, coining on very much like the German columns which have attacked our positions in mass, with their machine guns in front. If they were undetected by our fleet till they reached our shores, they would, it is suggested, beach the transports while the righting craft formed a protecting iron ring around them, a ring outside which mine-layers would have laid a plentiful store of mines. In this protected area the transports would disembark their men and stores with feverish haste. Tho horS-os would lie thrown into the sea arid loft to swim ashore. The men would tumble into flatbottomed boats specially provided for tho purpose and towed by launches. This does not sound a very hopeful plan, but —The German Answer—to such criticism would no doubt be : 'lt is a great deal better than doing nothing, and it may succeed. If it docs, you are ruined. If it does not succeed, we are no worse off than we were before. We can easily spare 250,000 out of 7,000,000!' If, however, the German Armada did not succeed in getting out of Emdcn and the Bight of Heligoland without being sighted, and if the might of England, once more flushing 'to anticipate the scene,' found and engaged the enemy's battle fleet, the idea seems to be that while the German submarines were endeavoring to sink our vessels and a great fleet action was going on the transports, unnoticed in the turmoil, would rush to the selected place of disembarkation here, too, _ protecting themselves by a ring of mines in case the great naval action should not go in favor of the Germans. Of course, the trouble here would be that there might be enough of our submarines over and above those required for the battle work to follow the transports and get in among them. Wo do not want to be foolishly optimistic, and wo fully recognise that there is something, even if not as much as they suppose, in tho German principle of running risks. At the same time, and on a careful survey of the German metaphysic of invasion, we are still confident that the British or seaman's view is the true view of what will happen at an attempt at invasion before the command of the sea is secured, and that the German or landsman's view is a i thoroughly incorrect view."
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THE CHANCES OF INVASION, Evening Star, Issue 15690, 2 January 1915