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that the British were trying to convince them that they were beaten. They were under the impression that the British gunners were bent on their complete destruction. It must be assumed that in fact the British ships were not content to tickle the enemy, but determined to rob bis vessels of flotation and stability'-in other words, to sink them. They succeeded, and their success bears further testimony to the value of the bigger gun.

Both these actions were fought at long range and could hardly have been more decisive. The results rebut in the most convincing manner such arguments as were advanced in criticism of the big-gun policy embodied in the Dreadnought and later ships. It was urged that quantity of fire to disable the personnel, destroy the fire control and do other incidental damage was of more importance than quality of fire. An action would be fought at close range, when many small guns would be more effective than a less number of big guns. These and kindred arguments were summed up tersely in the following statement written two years after the launch of the Dreadnought type-ship:

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'A battle at extreme range will be indecisive, first because of the extreme delicacy and vulnerability of the controlling paraphernalia ; secondly on account of the impossibility of checking the range with absolute accuracy save under exceptionally favourable circumstances, and it is upon accurate range-finding that all else depends. Upon a calm day, at

. a stationary target, a varying range can be picked up fairly easily by watching the fall of the shot. But when the target is an enemy's ship, firing back, moving at fifteen knots, on a squally day, with rain pouring down and almost blotting her out at frequent intervals, the problem is not so simple. And in a fleet action other ships will be firing at the same target, and it will be impossible, especially in rough weather when waves are breaking, to tell which particular far-distant column of spray is caused by the projectiles from one's own guns.' ('Famous Duels of the Fleet' (Blackwood, 1908), p. xiii.)

Every incident which has occurred during the war has riddled these arguments. The bigger gun confers on the guns' crew an overwhelming advantage; and, if the ship in which it be mounted has the advantage of

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superior speed, the action becomes one-sided. In the Bight of Heligoland the British battle cruisers, owing to their speed, reached the scene of action just at the opportune moment and overwhelmed the enemy with their heavy guns, receiving practically no injury. At Cocos-Keeling Island the cruiser Sydney,' owing to her heavier gun power and higher speed, destroyed the * Emden,' herself suffering little damage. In the action off Coronel and in the engagement off the Falkland Islands, the result was the same.

Before the war occurred, those who regarded the battle cruiser as a costly and indeed extravagant type of ship, which outraged correct strategy and tactics, asserted that the type was already dead because reflection had proved to its detractors that such ships had no adequate raison d'être. It is true that the Admiralty hesitated, and that apparently no provision was made for such ships in the Estimates of 1912. But this was not

The Admiralty, in fact, laid down five ships which, though described as battleships, may be regarded as glorified battle-cruisers—the Queen Elizabeth' and her four sisters, to which a sixth was added under the Estimates of 1914-15. They are vessels which, like the vessels of the Invincible,' 'Lion' and Queen

• Mary' types, carry only eight big gunsi; but these guns are the most powerful ever mounted in a ship of war-15-inch weapons. Some speed was sacrificed to obtain increased armour protection. The ships were, therefore, designed for 25 knots and given armoured belts 13 inches thick, whereas the original Dreadnought, with a speed of 21 knots, carries only 11 inches, and her swifter sisters of the 'Invincible' class only 7 inches of

In these vessels of the Queen Elizabeth'class, of which six are either built or building, we have a type of ship which every incident of the war has shown to approximate closely to the model battleship of the future. They are powerful in offence and defence; they are swift; they carry only moderate-sized crews; and they reflect the sound strategic policy of a people with interests to defend in every part of the world, to whom therefore it is necessary that they should be able to move their defensive forces swiftly from one sea to another as circumstances may dictate. As no other ships except

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heavily gunned vessels of great speed could have won the action in the Bight of Heligoland, so no other vessels could have travelled the 7,000 miles to the Falkland Islands in the necessarily short time available and almost completely annihilated the German Pacific Squadron.

So much by way of examination of the results of these two actions. Both admirals went down in their ships, with about 3,800 officers and men; neither endeavoured, so far as we know, to avoid action, which meant destruction; neither admitted defeat or had a thought of surrendering. The two events will suggest different thoughts to various minds. But the predominant one must be whether an admiral is bound in duty to his flag to fight, whatever the odds against him; and whether, the result of the action being certain, he is compelled for the same reason to refuse to admit defeat, when by so doing, though he may hand over battered ships to the enemy, he would open a way to safety for those officers and men under his orders. The responsibility of a flag officer has greatly increased in the process of naval evolution which has occurred in the past hundred years. To-day defeat means apparently not disablement, but annihilation. In the circumstances doubts will be raised as to whether the old code of conduct in face of the foe does or should hold good. One tradition has already gone since the war opened ; Admiralty orders are to the effect that when one battleship or cruiser is torpedoed by a submarine, her consort or consorts should not stand by in the hope of rendering assistance, thus offering a stationary target or targets, but should steam away from the lurking peril. The cruiser actions, with their disastrous destruction of human life, will suggest that possibly the new warfare calls for other revisions in the traditional code of conduct.

The raid on the Yorkshire coast was the direct sequel to the action off the Falkland Islands. The German public realised, as in a flash, that superior brain power and superior naval power had triumphed. Depression overspread the whole Empire, and the naval authorities apparently decided that a tonic was necessary. In these circumstances the raid on our east coast was planned. What ships should be used for the purpose? Just as the British Admiralty chose two battle cruisers to

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proceed south and overwhelm Count von Spee's ships, so the Germans selected three vessels of a corresponding type, in association with the Blücher'-which is to a battle cruiser what the Lord Nelson' is to the Dreadnought—to dart across the North Sea and bombard Hartlepool, with its nominal fortifications, and Scarborough and Whitby, which are entirely unprotected by any defences. The German ships, steaming evidently at about 24 or 25 knots, were able to pass across the North Sea in the hours of darkness. Vessels of such speed, such heavy gun power, and such adequate armour protection had nothing to fear from any British patrol squadron; and the German naval authorities were aware that the Admiralty do not keep large armoured ships wandering aimlessly about the North Sea inshore, as easy targets for the enemy's submarines.

The flying cruiser force was able to reach the York. shire coast, and for a period of about an hour bombard it, killing some 110 men, women and children, and covering the newest navy in the world with an indelible mark of shame. During the sixty or seventy minutes that they were off these Yorkshire towns, German officers were aware that the sands were running out. Engaged with great pluck by a British scout cruiser and a few destroyers, they fled precipitately, realising that delay involved the certitude that they would be cut off and brought to action by superior force, and the last thing they desired was to fight. But, short as was their visit, it was very near being too long. But for the friendly assistance of a heavy mist, they would have been forced to fight, with what result is in no doubt. Climatic conditions, and climatic conditions alone, saved these ships from destruction.

It was no doubt assumed in Germany that this raid would powerfully influence public opinion in this country. One daily newspaper only—the Daily News'-and one public man only—Sir Walter Runciman,indulged in unfriendly criticism of the Navy and the naval administration. The nation as a whole realised that the immunity which the enemy enjoyed was to be regarded as the penalty which must be paid for the fruits which flow to us from a military command not of one sea only, but of every sea. They realised that the act of the Germans

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was equivalent to the stealthy visit of a burglar to a hospital in a well-policed town at the dead of night. Our watering-places, like every other watering-place

Ꮎ in the world prior to the adoption by Germany of the policy of 'frightfulness,' were protected by a generally accepted law of nations and not by fortifications. The burglar respects the hospitals, but the German Navy has no regard for any conventions of humanity.

It was asserted in the German Press that this incident showed that the British Fleet no longer exercised commanding influence in the North Sea and was indeed in hiding. Grand Admiral von Tirpitz, the Naval Secretary, even had the temerity to suggest that the German High Sea Fleet desired no better fortune than to meet the British forces if opportunity were offered. These foolish boastings had their sequel on Christmas Day, when the British Navy carried out one of the most daring exploits of which naval history contains any record. During the night a group of light cruisers, carrying seaplanes, and accompanied by destroyers and submarines, crossed the North Sea, arriving off the German coast in the neighbourhood of Heligoland about daybreak. Germany was thus challenged by a small British force in her own waters. Not a surface vessel appeared to support the German claims as expressed by the head of the enemy's Navy. A couple of Zeppelins and a few seaplanes arose from their base at Heligoland, and a few submarines issued forth to attack British ships. That was all. For three hours the British flotillas remained off Cuxhaven and succeeded in driving off the airships by anti-aircraft guns, out-manoeuvring the submarines by the use of the helm, and evading the bombs dropped by the enemy's heavier-than-air machines. In the meantime seven British seaplanes, which had been brought across the North Sea, were piloted with consummate skill and daring over the Shillig roads, where a number of men-ofwar were anchored, and over Cuxhaven, dropping bombs on various points of military importance. The extent of the damage is unknown, but, from the consternation reflected in the German Press and the subsequent action of the Emperor in sending for the Naval Secretary, it may be assumed that considerable injury was inflicted. All the seven airmen escaped-three being picked up by

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