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Once the Fleet was mobilized

Once the Fleet was mobilized

In the above sketch the black silhouette shows the position at the moment the torpedo is fired; the white silhouette the position the ship has reached when the torpedo meets it. In the upper sketch the ship is running away from the torpedo, in the lower one coming to meet it. The distance run by the torpedo is the same in each case, but the range at the moment of firing is 6,000 yards in the upper case and 13,300 in the lower
CHAPTER VIII The Action That Never Was Fought
August, 1914.

Take it for all in all, the most remarkable thing about the naval war is that it took the Germans by surprise. They had planned the most perfect thing imaginable in the way of a scheme for the conquest of all Europe. It had but one flaw. They left Great Britain out of their calculations—left us out, that is to say, not as ulterior victims, but as probable and immediate combatants. We were omitted because Germany assumed that we should either be too rich, too frightened, or too unready to fight. So that, of all the contingencies that could be foreseen, simultaneous sea war with Great Britain and land war on two frontiers, was the one for which almost no preparations had been made. Hence to undo Germany utterly at sea proved to be a very simple business indeed The same problem confronted me that confronts the great
majority..

Much has been made of this statesman or that admiral having actually issued the mandate that kept the Grand Fleet mobilized and got it to its war stations two days before war was declared. But there is here no field for flattery and no scope for praise, and the historical interest in identifying the actual agent is slender. It has always been a part of the British defensive theory that the main Fleet shall be ever ready for instant war orders. Of the fact of its being the plan, we need no further testimony than Mr. Churchill’s first Memorandum after his elevation to the control of British naval policy and of the British109 Fleet. The thing, therefore, that was done was the mere mechanical discharge of a standing order The same problem confronted me that confronts the great majority..

and at its war stations, German sea power perished off the outer seas as effectually as if every surface ship had been incontinently sunk. There was not a day’s delay in our using the Channel exactly as if no enemy were afloat. Within an hour of the declaration of war being known, no German ship abroad cleared for a German port, nor did any ship in a German port clear for the open sea. The defeat was suffered without a blow being offered in defence, and, for the purposes of trade and transport, it was as instantaneous as it was final.

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