THE HUSH UP.
•■>■ CASE OF THE AUDACIOUS. PEEP AT THE FUTURE. WAR'S MARK ON SHIPPING. ENEMY'S INFANTRY. HOW DO GERMANS ATTACK ? [By A. Spenck.] How the war is making the dry stuff rattle in a valley of skeletons not different from that which the Old Testament prophet vi.sioned ! | Either wc have quietly lost a superDreadnought or nearly lost one. Whether the nation has parted with her wholly is grey conjecture. Why .she was steaming at the spot where she was struck is another mystery. Struck she was, however. The ship is H.M.S. Audacious, 25,000 tons. The spot was the north coast of Ireland. Why was a superDreadnought roaming there? The dry bones in the valley of officialdom may rattle sufficiently in time, to furnish an answer. We do the .guessing at present. The camera is no guesser. Photographs from the deck of the White Star's Olympic disclose the. Audacious wallowing in a light sea, down by the stern. Two destroyers are. standing by on the. starhoard quarter, and a boat or two (apparently launched by the Olympic) approach her. These pictures have blazed through the Yankee papers, and everybody knew—everyone except us. It was towards tho end of October that the mine-laying near Alalin Head and Tory Island was reported. Then there was a little recrimination by Lord Mouth, and afterwards a hush-—a, long hush. On December 4, however, a cat.;',' came as follows : 'The Times' mentions a piece of news that the whole world outside of Groat Britain was acquainted with. Although, it has been published by American and Germans papers, it is still concealed by the. British Government. The Government have, placed the .Press of tho -country in an exceedingly difficult position. We fear that the Government have, ceased to understand how to keep in touch with the British public. Some papers hint that the ship was got to Belfast without sinking, hut the American and German Press sum her up as a total loss. 'That is as it may lie. What is sure is that there, will be a total Inss of public confidence in the Admiralty if these audacious suppressions last. When Louis of Battonherg was First Sea Lord tho nation got the truth every time, but Lord Fisher acts his own way. The last available, information disseminated by the. passengers is that the Audacious did not sink in the spot, where, she was left by tho Olympic, but that other vessels succeeded in drawing her into shallow water, where the hole in her bottom was patched sufficiently to permit her to he towed into Belfast. STLFNCK AT WHITEHALL. There, is no symptom yet that we. are to be permitted to hear what happened to the battleship Formidable, though the enemy must know. Another matter in which we are more deeply interested is the loss of men at sea. This is information which the Admiralty may be justified in withholding, for manifestly the, enemy can hardly know with the clue given by the lists in the English Press. 'The last table of losses of naval personnel was furnished on November 26, .somewhere about the date of the loss of the Bulwark. It read as under : Officers. Men. ! Killed 220 4.107 Wounded 37 437 Prisoners 5 96b 1 Interned 46 1,524 308 7.036 This inni' have, included the Bulwark's losses, which were practically the whole, Fhip's .company, and perhaps 500 or more should lie added for tho Formidable. FAII -R EACH IXO WA R EFFECT. A. chapter of 1,000 folios would not cover everything that the war is going ui do to shipping. The small, man in the t-hippir;g world will got to the wall hv and by, so he had' better lay hold on the- high freights while they hot. They are very high now. '['))<.! lower (he r-lups in proportion to the demand, the higher the rates, of course. It froi;-; that Liverpool men arc urging, the Government to release tin? German prizes to meet the scarcity of bottoms. Tiiis will probably be done., but what afterwards? 'The consequences are far too great to traver.se, and there are wonderful things behind everything which the. public never even get on nodding terms with, in the. Boer War many of tho big lines Hew for tho lucrative Avar rates, and were locked up in transporting men and fodder to South Africa for a. year or Iwo. Other trade concerns, teeing that they would be so locked up, built steamer after steamer to undertake the, calls which the war transports had dropped. In a year or two the world's shipping was much overbuilt, and cut-throat competition began after the. peace, of Vereeniging. It wan found, in tho course of tliis struggle, that new steamers, embodying sonic frefill patent process, couid pay in trades where older though more imposing-locking vessels could not earn a crust for their ovvnere. It was fully ten years before the world's .shipping a.gain adjusted iU.elt normally to the world's recpuremonte. That is largely why wo have seen fco many tramp steamers in New Zealand waters since 1900 flying strange foreign flags unknown in these latitudes before. They have all been hunting for the eniM-. Yet nt the time of the Boer War every knowledgeable one told you: "Oh, it won't make any difference to trade. There is no market lor import.-- or exports in South Africa!'' The overbuilding of steam tonnage had not. then been taken into account, and (except by the steam owners) has never been thought much about yet. But what a change it made in the world's carrying trade, and what mighier changes we shall see in steam competition in a year or two! It is all very good for the consumer, of course, and he will need some assistance by and by. Otherwise the- Liverpool clamor for the release of the captured German ships (seems to indicate that so many of tho best yards at Home are hustling to meet Admiralty requirements that would-be builders of merchantmen cannot place their contracts, just where, they would like. ONE MIGHTY MESSAGE. It is so mighty that it seems impertinent to bestride the road with comment : "London, January 5.—A correspondent from Cairo writes : ' The Australians and New Ze.alande.rs, little though they partook iii the rinlta-n'e accession ceremonies, clanked their spurs proudly, and the city wore, an honest holiday air.'" Perhaps there was something better in it when it was handed in at one of the London telegraph offices, and possibly the Censor got to it with the above result. Afterwards this embodiment of "breathless interest" was flashed round the globe. They clanked their spurs! It is not so long a-go that a correspondent declared that " wo would get all the news which is good for us." We do, it seems. In November the London ' Times ' pointed out editorially that, Tightly or wrongly—'Tho Times' thought wrongly—the military had assumed the business of living its t&orejac cuax
barking on a. business which they knew nothing about. It will be some tiir-e—----some yeans, I think—before the puolic realise what has been done to them in thi.s war. ■Meantime, they clanked their spurs ! Proudly, too! Nothing- about the Audacious, however. In one of the cables to-day tho ' Cologne Gazette' states frankly that "circumstances compel us to answer lies by lies." There you have the whole military mind—in Germany as well as in England. If people could see how the military mind works, or the inside of tho War Office, or the inside of Prussian militarism, there would be no more wars. Meantime, to use St. Paul's words, "we see through a glass darkly." FAVORITE LEGEND. One would not care to deliver himself, bound hand and loot, to wiiat the ' Daily Mail' may say, but there is one cable carrying eome interest tent along by the Potrograd correspondent of that journal. The German General Staff, he says, have not found fresh tactical methods to block tho road to Silesia. After a pause they have resumed the old dense, formation, suggesting that it is unsafe to cctis.Q hammering. And more to that effect. Now, there is a good deal of nonsensewritten .regarding the German methods of regimental, brigade, and divisional attack, and this nonsense is handed out daily and yearly to the public by all sorts of "military writers.'' Emm this the- bewildered man in the street figures great blocks of grey-cloihcd men—a mile broad and a mile deep, perhaps—marching to the muzzles of the, cannon. He loves to believe in these soneele&s formations, too, The German ■system of attack has been i modernised, but has always adhered to ' the principles of Scherfi's "Theory of Infantry'—a very old book. Germans are as good at extended order work as any j army in the world except England, and unless their artillery preparation is overwhelming (and tho letters of wounded officers ju England now admit that it is often deadly) they do extend, and extend very widely too. But the, purpose of this extension is not assault, for the development of a great volume ot tiro. It is after this volume, of lead has been established at fairly close range that the big; masses pour in, and after hand-to-hand lighting has begun mass follows mass. Our own formation to-day- the company with its platoons, for instance—was copied directly from Germany, but there is a difference. We cannot a fiord such losses as they can. and su our tendency is to establish wider fronts but depth of reserves. As this column happens to be a newspaper one, and not a, drill hook. i the subject cannot be pnr.-tied further, but thoso who harp on dense formations, etc., evidently do not understand the ivi lativity of preparatory lire, infantry at- ■ tack, and the varying breadths and depths which every battle, imposes on generals. What will do in one battle may not do in another. SUPERMAN. Bishop Welldon is credited with some interesting words in the cables to-day. 110 speaks of the conflict of the educational and religious ideals of England and Germany-—ideals which have long culminated in antagonisms leading to war. He states that German State worship went a certain distance, and Germany's theory of superman-—the man who is above, religion— went a. good deal further. If the State interests in Germany conflicted with tho law of Christ, said the bishop, Christ, must go. It is deeply hit-cresting, but no novelty. There are. supermen and super-sillies and J super-tyrants everywhere, aiul their heavy boots go equably forward over blood and through rain, and just, as equably over tile Sermon on the Mount, as over everything. J am not, quite sure that- the bishop's presentment of the, causes of the war does not itself walk over tho Sermon —especially in the passage where he indicates that the G'-rmaii professors have-, everywhere instilled the idea of tin- conquest- of the habitable globe. The Germans do not- go quite so far. and the. bishop mast have been well aware (hat be. was diawirig a very deadly bow indeed. THE STROKE AT STKIXBACH. The effort to develop the German front in Ai.-aco brought on a fairly strenuous battle at Steinbaeh. if may be expected that there arc the usual exaggerations which feature so many of the victories abhorred by .Kitchener. A good deal of military jargon is introduced—''point d'appui," and all that sort of thing—and not very intelligently 7 cither, unless tha despatch has been mutilated by the. Censor. Otherwise there is much tactical interest in tho story as we get it. A farm approached by cross roads in easy country is always a, first-class point in attack or defence, and this is mentioned. Such a farm in such a, ca'-o would ordinarily be strengthened by the engineers, while flic radiating road'-, of course, imply tree movement, lor ail arms, but especially for tho artillery. Tho German-; must have been numerically weaker, for the. exceptional efforts of the infantry to man the guns and the dismounted action of the cavalry indicate that the Kaiser's men were so badly pres-ed that, one specialist was obliged to undertake some other specialist's work. Gf course, we. can expect- no account of a battle in which the narrative is not colored a little wit!) the "atrocity'' tinge. "The enemy,'' if is said, " shield them, including women with their hair waving and their hands tied behind their hack:-.'' It is very hard to believe, especially the tied hands and tho waving hair. What, matters more to the. Allies is that, they know now whether the German control ha-- been -tripping troops from Alsace.
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THE HUSH UP., Evening Star, Issue 15694, 7 January 1915