papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 ноя 1874 - 24 янв 1965) The world crisis (1923)



The mighty enemy, with all the advantages of preparation and design, had delivered his onslaught and had everywhere been brought to a standstill. It was our turn now. The initiative had passed to the Great Amphibian. The time and the means were at our command. It was for us to say where we would strike and when.

Moreover, these same Germans were, of all the enemies in the world, the most to be dreaded when pursuing their own plans; the most easily disconcerted when forced to conform to the plans of their antagonist. To leave a German leisure to evolve his vast, patient, accurate designs, to make his slow, thorough, infinitely far-seeing preparations, was to court a terrible danger. To throw him out of his stride, to baffle his studious mind, to break his self-confidence, to cow his spirit,
to rupture his schemes by unexpected action, was surely the path not only of glory but of prudence.

Here then ends the first phase of the naval war, and with it this volume. The first part of the British task is done both by land and sea. Paris and the Channel Ports are saved, and the oceans are cleared.

Resources, almost measureless and of indescribable variety in ships, in men, in munitions and devices of war, will now flow month by month steadily into our hands. What shall we do with them ? Strategic alternatives on the greatest scale and of the highest order present themselves to our choice. Which shall we choose ? Shall we use our reinforced fleets and great new armies of 1915, either to turn the Teutonic right in the Baltic or their left in the Black Sea and the Balkans ? Or shall we hurl our manhood against sandbags, wire and concrete in frontal attack upon the German fortified lines in France ? Shall we by a supreme effort make direct contact with our Russian ally or leave her in a dangerous isolation ? Shall we by decisive action, in hopes of shortening the conflict, marshal and draw in the small nations in the North and in the South who now stand outside it ? Or shall we plod steadily forward at what lies immediately in our front ? Shall our armies toil only in the mud of Flanders, or shall we break new ground ?

Written August 23, 1913, Revised April, 1914

The first security for British merchant ships must be the superiority of the British Navy which should enable us to cover in peace, and hunt down and bring to battle in war, every enemy's warship which attempts to keep the seas. A policy of vigorous offence against the enemy's warships wherever stationed, will give immediately far greater protection to British traders than large numbers of vessels scattered sparsely about in an attitude of weak and defensive expectancy. This should be enjoined as the first duty of all British warships. Enemy's cruisers cannot live in the oceans for any length of time. They cannot coal at sea with any certainty. They cannot make many prizes without much steaming; and in these days of W.T. their whereabouts will be constantly reported. If British cruisers

But the best safeguard for the maintenance of British trade in war is the large number of merchant ships engaged in trading, and the immense number of harbours in the United Kingdom they can approach by ocean routes. This makes any serious interruption by enemy's commerce destroyers impossible. We must rely on numbers and averages.

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