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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 ноя 1874 - 24 янв 1965) The World Crisis Part II 1915

To All Who Tried

CHAPTER XIII

THE CASE FOR PERSEVERANCE AND DECISION

What on the other hand was the position in regard to the Fleet? On March 23 I called by minute for a report on the Naval Shell position and prospects. The report showed that our reserves were practically the same as those with which we had begun the war. No inroad whatever had been made upon them. These reserves were about to be augmented rapidly as the result of the large orders placed on the outbreak of hostilities. Henceforward our current monthly production in practically every nature of gun would exceed the entire expenditure since the beginning of the war. For instance, out of 56,000 rounds of 12-inch ammunition possessed by the Fleet in August, 1914, 3,480 had been fired in the eight months of war and an exactly similar quantity had already been received from the factories, while the monthly deliveries now arriving were over 3,700 rounds. Out of 31,000 9.2-inch shells available at the outbreak, 1,228 had been fired in eight months and the monthly delivery was 1,720. Most remarkable of all was the 6-inch. Out of 322,000 rounds at the outbreak, 13,000 had been expended since the beginning of the war, 41,000 had been received, and the future monthly deliveries were estimated at 44,000. Compared to totals of this character the expenditure on the Dardanelles was trivial.

It is not possible to prove finally whether or no success would have attended the renewal of the naval attack under these improved conditions. Allowance must be made for the intervention of the unexpected. War lies largely in the region of chance. Those who are committed to the ‘No’ principle, may summon chance to their aid to multiply their difficulties and fortify their fears. Those who hoped, and who wished to dare, can only dwell upon the solid facts which are now for the first time available. But these facts, in the absence of action, can never be conclusive.

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