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Navy was organised as for war, from the largest vessels down to the comparatively small ships which are employed in the defence of the Danube. This successful mobilisation of the Austrian Navy marks the beginning of a new era in the Adriatic and in distant waters.

Patiently, economically, and maybe slowly the Austrian Fleet is rising to the new aspirations, and the day is now not very far distant when Austria will stand beside Germany as one of the great naval Powers of Europe. She has adopted the German standard of naval efficiency. She stands to-day where Germany stood ten years ago when the first of the Navy Acts passed the Reichstag ; but she has the advantage of the bitter experience which Germany has in the meantime garnered. The German naval authorities were compelled to spend their limited resources upon comparatively small ships, and to build up the whole naval organisation on a cramped scale. The result is that in Germany a great deal of the work which was done in the past ten years, particularly in respect of dock construction, harbour development, and the building of the Kiel Canal—the essential strategic link between the North Sea and the Baltic-has to be done over again on a larger, a Dreadnought, plan, at a colossal expenditure. Austria will undoubtedly avoid these errors. The temper in which the new problems are being faced is shown by the decision to advance at one step from the construction of small battleships of 14,500 tons to Dreadnought vessels of the first class displacing 19,000 to 20,000 tons, and not inferior in armament, speed, or radius of action to the vessels now being designed for the British Navy. It is true that only the preliminaries in connection with the new programme of expansion have yet been settled, but next year the execution of these plans will be commenced. Whatever may be the feelings of Italy, her neighbour and ally but something less than friend, AustriaHungary is about to enter the lists as a first-class naval Power.

It is the very gravity of the situation from the British point of view which condemns exaggeration. To-day Austria is of little account as a naval Power; not a single Dreadnought has been laid down, but she is getting ready for the to-morrow, big with promise if only Germany remains faithful and Italy can be wooed, cajoled, or forced into a line of common action. The trend of events is indicated by the exclusive exchange of courtesies between the Austrian and German Fleets at Kiel. As a sequel to the recent events in the Near East when Germany stood behind Austria, an Austrian squadron, it is reported, is about to visit the Baltic. Whatever the size of the actual force which visits Kiel, the fact to be realised is that Austria is now maintaining in full commission in proportion to her existing strength a larger force than any other continental Navy, and, as events have shown, the machinery for mobilisation is well designed and in good working order. Austria may not complete a Dreadnought for three or four years. But the fact to be insisted upon is that she is treading the

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same road as Germany. While the House of Commons is discussing à mathematically accurate two - Power standard, and debating whether the United States does or does not come into the calculations, the significant development is almost at our doors where Germany, Austria, and-less cordially, it is true—Italy are clasping hands and combining to form a naval combination, not of to-day, but in this generation, which must powerfully influence British naval policy.

Italy is the sixth naval Power of the world, ranking now after Japan in matériel strength. Her Navy has been the victim of financial stringency, but though the funds for shipbuilding are restricted and the coal available for cruising is limited, a large proportion of her resources are in training during the summer months. Nine battleships and four armoured cruisers form the active force, fully manned for seven months in the year, with a reserve squadron which comprises three older battleships. A fair proportion of torpedo craft are also fully manned during the summer. In proportion to her existing matériel strength and her financial resources, Italy, though as a naval Power she has receded of late years, is not neglecting the war training of her fleet. Austria having shown the way, Italy, with halting step, is following. She intended to lay down two Dreadnoughts; in the past few weeks she has decided to double this number and embark on an ambitious programme. It will occupy six or ten years probably, unless some way out of the present financial difficulties is discovered ; in Germany salvation has been found in loans. But the main fact is that the Italian Navy is to be larger and that Italy is one of the three allies.

In parenthesis and as a fitting part in any consideration of the standing of the navies of Europe, reference may be made to the Russian and French Fleets. The first named can for the present be ignored. Little progress in putting the Navy in order has been made since the close of the disastrous struggle in the Far East, and even if there were a fleet there is no machinery for organising victory-no directing brain. The French Navy is passing through a crisis. The fleet, such as it is, is struggling against adversity of fortune and perversity of Ministers. Recent revelations have shown the nation that the administration in Paris and at the ports is unsound, that a large proportion of the money annually voted for the fleet is wasted, and that the matériel—ships of all classes--is neglected and defective. Six battleships form the Active Squadron, with six older ones in reserve, in the Mediterranean, and there are six armoured cruisers and some coast-defence ships in the Channel. In proportion to her nominal strength, France is not maintaining a fleet comparable with that of Germany, and her fitness to win must deteriorate year

by year.

It is one of the unhappy chances of diplomacy that Great Britain should be a party to a triple entente in which she herself has to bear

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practically all the naval burden. The Russian Navy is still in the slough of despond, and the French Navy is passing through the valley of humiliation. In the existing grouping of the Powers, the triple entente implies liabilities which the British people are only now beginning slowly to realise. France may need assistance, and Holland, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal stand continually in need of protection. Upon the fleet must rest our main dependence. It is unsafe to place reliance upon any naval assistance which might be rendered in time of emergency by the French or Russian Fleets. In a naval sense Great Britain still occupies a position of splendid isolation, and the calculations upon which future programmes are based must still embody this policy. At the same time naval strength must be judged not merely by balancing matériel against matériel, officers against officers, or men against men, but by the spirit which animates rival forces.

Judged on this basis, Germany is already far in advance of every other continental fleet. Of twenty-four “battleships' less than twenty-five years old, four of which are little more than coast-defence ships of 9900 tons-she keeps sixteen always in full commission; in addition to four armoured cruisers, six scouts, and a fairly large group of destroyers, varying at different seasons from eleven to over thirty ; she has neither submarines nor torpedo boats; in summary about 66 per cent. of her matériel is employed in active training. As new ships are completed, the Navy Bill provides for but a small numerical growth in the German High Sea Fleet. Half the Navy, consisting of the newest and best ships, will be always on active service, and the remainder will be kept in reserve. When the naval establishment reaches its maximum strength about 50 per cent. of the ships will be kept fully manned, and the remainder will form a reserve force in accordance with the terms of the Navy Bill which has been already quoted. The German High Sea Fleet as it exists to-day is a powerful training squadron, but it is supported by very inconsiderable reserves. It is not intended to fight, it is not intended, probably, even for use as a diplomatic weapon; it is the high school of the Navy—the seagoing university-in which admirals, captains, junior officers, and the rank and file of the Navy are being given a higher education in naval warfare. In the coming winter and onward, month by month, new ships-Dreadnoughts and Indomitableswill be completed for sea and will replace in the first line the older vessels, until, in the spring of 1914, Germany will possess an Active Fleet of eighteen, or possibly twenty-two, Dreadnoughts, with the existing High Sea Fleet held in reserve--only partly manned.

By that time Austria will also probably be on the point of reaching the first stage of development of her new naval policy. Her fleet, such as it is, is maintained to-day on a higher standard in proportion to

its total strength than any other continental Navy except that of Germany. Last spring when the mobilisation of the Austrian Fleet took place she had on a war footing the following ships :

Ist DIVISION.

Displacement.

Tons.

Speed.
Knots.

Vain
Guns
4 94 in.
12 7.5 in.

Erzherzog Karl .
Erzherzog Ferdinand Max 10,600

20
Erzherzog Friedrich

2ND DIVISION.
Hapsburg -
Arpad

8,340

18

( 3 9:4 in. Babenberg

1 12 5.9 in. 3RD DIVISION.

2 9.4 in. Kaiser Karl VI.

6,250

20

8 5.9 in. Zenta.

2,300

20

8 4.7 in. Pelitan

2,440

14

2 10 pdrs. Together with 9 torpedo craft. Judged in direct contrast with even the German High Sea Fleet, this is a relatively weak naval force; but the fact that Austria, so far as is known, is keeping it more or less on a war footing and that behind is an active, intelligent, and economical administration, is evidence of the foundations which are now being laid of the great Navy of to-morrow which will be prepared to fight side by side with that of Germany.

What is the position of the British Fleet as it faces these developments ? As has been already explained, ten years ago when the German Act first placed on record the new standard of naval efficiency, the British Fleet was widely dispersed in little groups over the face of the waters, with one considerable squadron in the Mediterranean and a group of eight battleships in British waters. The Navy had no organisation for war, its Intelligence Department was weak; the admirals in command were without adequate staffs, there was no organisation of torpedo craft, and the prestige of the Navy rested not upon its preparedness for war, but upon the triumphs it had gained in earlier days before steel had superseded wood and steam power had taken the place of sails. Ten years ago the Navy's expenditure on coal was 750,0001. ; in the current year the expenditure is estimated at upwards of 2,000,0001. Ten years ago the British public credited the Navy with possessing forty-seven battleships, and of these eighteen were in seagoing commission, with only three first-class cruisers, six second-class cruisers, and a number of small craft. The German Navy Act awakened the British naval authorities from a period of slumber; they had been living upon the fruits of past victories. At first slowly, and of late years with rapid strides, the Navy has been reorganised. It now possesses two main battle forces, one in the Home seas and the other in the Mediterranean, with the Atlantic Fleet as a connecting link, held always in readiness to

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co-operate with one or other of the main forces. Ten years ago there existed no effective organisation of reserves ; to-day behind the active fleet there is a reserve organisation, the efficiency of which has been repeatedly demonstrated in the past few years and will be further tested during the present month. In barest summary the peace standing of the British Fleet in European waters only is as follows :

Battleships. - Home Fleet, sixteen with full crews and three battleship-cruisers (Indomitables), and ten with nucleus crews; in addition the Atlantic Fleet has six, and the Mediterranean Fleet six, a total of forty-one, of which all but six are always on duty in Home waters.

Armoured Cruisers.-Fourteen are in full commission in Home waters, with ten others with nucleus crews, and four are on duty in the Mediterranean-a total of twenty-eight.

Protected Cruisers, Scouts, and Gunboats.—Thirteen are in full commission in Home waters, with fifteen others with nucleus crews, and there are three on duty in the Mediterranean--a total of thirty-one.

Torpedo Craft.—There are forty-eight destroyers permanently associated with the two active divisions of the Home Fleet, besides thirty-two submarines and thirty new torpedo boats—coastal destroyers '-while twenty other torpedo boats are attached, as mobile defences, to the Home ports. In addition, sixty-nine destroyers, thirty torpedo boats, and some submarines are in commission with large nucleus crews ; thus giving to the Navy a total of 130 torpedo craft always on active service in Home waters, and about 100 older ones with nucleus crews. There are eleven destroyers in the Mediterranean.

Auxiliary Ships. For the first time in its history the Navy has been provided with a due proportion of auxiliary vessels. A hospital ship is always cruising with the fleet, together with floating workshops for repairs, and a number of depot and parent ships for service with the torpedo craft, and the Admiralty have provided groups of mine-layers and mine-sweepers ready for instant service.

This, in briefest outline, is the organisation of the British Navy at present. It takes no account of older ships with small maintenance

Of sixty-three battleships and battleship-cruisers (Indomitables) of less than twenty-five years old, thirty-one are maintained on a war footing and ten possess nucleus crews of regular officers and men, varying in strength from 50 per cent. and upwards of the full war strength. Of thirty-eight armoured cruisers less than twenty years old, eighteen are maintained in full commission in Europe, and ten have large nucleus crews. There is an even larger proportion of protected cruisers kept permanently in commission, but many of them are outside European waters, constituting the China, East Indies, Australian, Cape of Good Hope, and West Indian Squadrons. There are also four armoured cruisers on the China Station, where Germany has a very small force, including one armoured ship only. An examination

crews.

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