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THE BOLT., Issue 15707, 22 January 1915
NOTES ON NORFOLK RAID. [By A. Spence.] Were they Zeppelins? That is the in (cresting point. There are six messages distinctly favoring the Zoppeli.il theory, and a numbciv of observers testify that il was something of tho dirigible pattern which flew across Norfolk. Dutch observers noticed them going to ■tea past tho island of Tcrschdling, aim I also returning. Fishermen and coastguards saw them in transit, over the North Sen. and there is the testimony of the Anglican reel or of Sncti isham. Tho renter and his family were standing at the rectory gate. Thev watched tho manauivre, believing it to be a, British aeroplane, until by its shape they “realised tbc.i, it was a Zeppelin." The mght lias been described in one message, as still and dark ; in another massage as foggy and rainy. P-rrhapr, it was a bit of both. Whatever weal her i-nk'd. someone should have been able to identify tho typo, for even an old Zeppelin is longer than a, football ground. Tho subtle aluminium paint whieh makes lu.-r nearly invisible at certain altitudes in the daylinvc do-'s not occlude her much at low .attitudes in darkness, for t-Imro must be a loom of shape and shade against the background of stars and clouds and bine. Observers -fazing intii the ina-n.v-vested .nightwill see anything, it seems, it is only a lew yeais since people, in Otago (bought they saw nunetiiing that looked !i!-:o airships flying over Hois province. The Norfolk coastguards saw! four Zeppelins. and scino fishenuen saw six,. t)f the six sighted by the fishermen three steered in a south-east direction towards Varmor.lh ami three towards. Gromcr. If they steered “ soulh-ea.-t ’’ they ought to bo well iu I 11 - - interior of Russia now. Tin; air-line iron: the Elbe or the Jahde. where t.b.cso raiders, doubtless! came from, lies west, by a point or so south. 3 think wo may throw tho fi-shr-rineu’.s story overboard Moth a sinker alt ached. Yarmouth is more modest-. Tt frankly admits that nohedv actually saw the aircraft. but it is " h.-Moved ” to have Leon a dirigible. On (he. other .hand, Inc Yarmouth aothc-rhi-.-s haslak'd that they l.’i'mk it. was -ipiaocs, lia.sing linn, dedtu‘1 1- .it ou tin: comparatively email .size of the ho:libs. -Since the war began we have had no means of ice,ring n. whisper aboutZeppelins, and, going on ante-bellum inhumation, ail that wc do know is that, a. Zcppolm can carry as much as t-hreo or lour tons of explosive. Perhaps tho newer types vhiH: G-aint Zeppelin has been sum-vcor-ed to Willn imsbaven. to create cun carry a- good deal more. Turning- to He- German re ports, if, is to ho noticed, that, the l'.a;t---,’-r ieh-graph'd Count Zeppelin, whom j- v addressed ns “ commodore of my fleet," That (leer may mean anything. The- German Admiralty speaks of “ na\ at airships,'’ which is vague. W« aro no further' forward, hut I will hazard my conjecture. It is possible that Count Zeppelin has created some intermediate thing, ranging between a Zeppelin and an aeroplane, and, as the naval corns r.pondent .H Hie London ‘Times’ puts it, this was a. nia! lrip--a. scouting effort 9> ascertain what the dangers of an air raid, on England migin lie. What- the Gormans would abhor would be the shooting down of a Zeppelin, giving tho English armament ring.-, a chance, to open her out, and discover ii'.-r parts. Ono of tin; messages (from Amsterdam) says that Berlin asserts that it is- only the beginning of the Zeppelin enmpc.ign, 1 take t hat to L- a littic more than mere brag. These hawks over Norfolk, whatever they were, look a look in by way of r-eimmirsanci;. Gno cable mentions that, Ihe «eight of Hie bombs amounted to more than a. Taubo eonh! have carried. At the same time, no one has been aMo to positively identify a Zeppelin. HYMNS OF HATE. The naval contributor of ‘ The T'iinc- ’ stacks up the hypothesis that, the flight over the Norfolk broads is intended to restore confidence in tbo Zeppelins alter their inglerious Blowing at. (,’uxhavou. Me belieVt thal it wa-- a. ■ nrc-e.nouah Zapneliii at*a> k. and there is much collateral evidence in the cables which is hard to ilisconnt. Tim naval contribninr of f.ho r.nndon ' Tim. and Hie nev.-s sources do not. give a hint, of Hm. nature of lie air engagement at This haven on January 1. Ho the, meaning of the word “ inglorious " is dim. We only ],nn-,v that, >evcii British seaplanes were over (iiw iiaveii for three hour--, that Zeppelins were looser!, ami the Hriti-h seaplanes wmit away firnci.ieally nnharmed. Tho German expectancy on air shov.-em is embodied in H-.c, vn-ws of Herr Ernst Lissa.uer. He. is Hie author of ’The, Tlvinn <si \ I ;,V.-. ...t 0, a■ e'e ''.'.S' - iuotc \ .v.vl in the 'Cologne Gazettes 1 on sky subjects, Tlicro are flireo or four st.-inzas in sonorous German verse, and prints of these have been scattered through tho ranks of tho three Bavarian corps. The gem-ral translation is ;o follows; Night! Over England vaiillcfi night Along the coast the beat- of the foaming waters. IGl'orc the harbors and out at sea cruisers arc watching. The German army advances through Belgium and through Fram-c, and pre.-sos on Dunkirk, Boulogne, und Calais. Surrounded by the fortress of the sea England is sleeping. . , . England is dreaming. . . . Tlio e H n bumming in the still air, A shadow, a. narrow shadow, glides swiftly over the pale, night, sky. and is reflected in meadow and vale. England dream.heavily. England’s woods murmur. There is a sound iu tho heavens, over clearer, ev-w fpiickpr. Listen ! The propeller.; hum. England is dreaming. . . . England is groaning). Li.sMiui.-r is right iu parts. England is sleeping. England is dreaming. England ha? never done anything eke. Four veer; ago Lord Roberts—greater strategist than tho last century has produced—gave England it; option on a convergence of national destiny. England elected to affirm that it would stav a.s it was. England even got the length of calling this wonder of the ages an “old woman.” The building yards hummed on, patting together Dreadnoughts costing £2,500,000 each, They knew what was what, those big builders. They know what paid. Now. a? wc learn to our sorrow, (he gnestiou of air construction M, being begun. England dreamed. THE RAIDERS’ TIME-TABLE.
The time occupied by the raid from Terschcilino- back to the vicinity of the Dutch coast was Hi- hours. They passed tiie Dutch observers at 2.30 p.in., and (so it is said) they were “seen ” returning at 2 o’clock next morning. It lias to bo borne in mind that it was a thick night, so how the observation was made is a puzzle. Tiie air lino from Tersehelling to . Great Yarmouth is less than 160 miles, and therefore the cross-sea trip must have been a leisurely cruise. If they arrived off Yarmouth at 8.30 p.m., no less than six hours elapsed. That implies a speed of only 25J. miles an hour. Such a low rate may ha possible, for perhaps they guarded against weather contingencies by allowing a margin of time for reaching tiie roast of England just when they would wish to reach it—that is after nightfall. It is ijuite likely that, not knowing what reception might be in store for them, they flew up and down off the coast for an hoar or two. By remote possibility, it may have been that it was here that the fishermen sa%v them steering “ south-east.” If the time-table given is more than a guess there must have been more than one airship engaged, for Yarmouth was bombed at 8.30 p.m., Sheringham five minutes later, and Cromer five minutes later still. The line from Great Yarmouth to Sheringham is about 35 miles, and no airship could cross the space in five minutes. It would imply a vdbs&y of 4SO EifJsa aa hour. 'The time-tafe*» asseverates that tha raiders finished at King’s Lynn at 10.30 and were back near the coast of
| Holland at 2 a.m. —that is to sa.y, in ■ tlu’co hours and a-half. '['ho velocity on the home trip would therefore bo about 45 mi lea an hour, and that gives a further air of probability to the Zeppelin theory. 1 think, however, that there is much guesswork in all accounts, and the timetable may not bo above suspicion. THE PAINFUL PART. .And. now comes the painful part. The raid has set the insurance rates a-jump in the familiar Gilocitian way, hut that may pass. We pause, however, not without reverence, to note that the casualties were a boy. an old lady, a middle-aged shoemaker, a soldier's widow, and a baby. There is something in this plaintive list winch will cause the smallest spark in our manhood, in our divine manhood, to blaze. What are these gluts) ly junkers up 1o ? Wo cannot say. We can only vision the- poor dead, amf ask why wars should hr. The Orman idea of war is “ Fright-fulness.” and any German professor seems to be able to justify it. Gian sew it?,, from whom the, Germans draw all their ideas, lava it down that war is a. conflict of national policies only to lie solved in blood. Our own code secmc. to he a partial solution, in I 'non, a partial solution in fair words, a partial solution in money, and so on. Why r-nke war at all? THR FOOLERY OF IT. 1 As a finis to the foregoing I heard a man solemnly give his view on tldft raid, ami he gave it with assertiveness, something like this : “John Pnill, sir," he said, “John Bull caught 1 Never, sir! Never in your life I Don't yon see that John Bull has been drawing them on! He laid a trap for them. We want to get ono of tboir Zeppelins down, and see what sho is made of.” etc. I pointed out that plenty of Zeppelins had been captured (by cable). Why would they lay a trap 1 Above all, bow arc these traps laid ? He dodged to the nest subject. Tt illustrates a. typical colonial view. This trap theory exists in the, primitive mind. There is in field operations some crawl round to a flank, which would make Sir John French ill if ho heard of it. There :s, it .seems to-day, .some idea that all the Fast Coast insurances of England could be set moving merely because them was a. design to draw these German aircraft into a zone of danger. How is it done in practice ? LETTER FROM EGYPT. Tt is [iloasanler to turn from, this to things mom tangible. I have received a letter from tbo front, in Belgium, ono from Antwerp, and one from Egypt. All will bo published, lent, the Egypt, letter do serves priority, in view of the nature, id the cables to-day. (t is the letter of a. soldier writing to his father in .Dunedin, It reads ; Well, here we are. off the old boat at lasi, for anything from three. ’ months upwards. We. arrived nt Alexandria last Wednesday, and tamo on here by train on Saturday—about four hours’ journey. Jeitim is a. station a,bout eight miles out of Cairo and a mile from the <amp. Ail the New Zealand crowd are here, and about 5,000 Man Chester Territorials, including three brigades of artillery. They have been hero two months, and there are. 45,000 of them in Egypt. They look very young and small. The Australians am camped at, the Pyramids. Our camp- is on tbo desert—nothing but sand to the north and ea-st, and a sort of suburb of Cairn called Heliopolis forms tho other boundary. You can got from Cairo to Heliopolis, in electric car about eight miles—-for a half-piastre (penny farthing). Haven't been in to ('a im yet, but was in Heliopolis Inst night tor an hour or two. From what 1 can. hear. a. big company put up a, great t asinn hem. and built big hotels and tilings, and they didn’t, get, a license for the casino, it is all big buildings and good streets, but almost deserted except for our boys. Plenty of cafes, and tucker and smoke are dirt cheap, .so I won’t be hard up. Was ashore, in Alexandria, hot hj nights, and it was a. great, experience. L have left this letter too late, and the mail closes, in hall an hour, but there is a. mail every week, so f will give you all the news. Am very well, and. tvmild be glad l-o bear from New Zealand. A ‘Witness' would be very ni'"j.
THE BOLT., Issue 15707, 22 January 1915
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