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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

But the events that followed yielded not even these sombre consolations. Lord Kitchener did not make up his mind between the two courses, he drifted into both, and was unable to sustain either. The War Council, instead of coming to grips with him and making him come to grips with his problem, mutely and supinely awaited the mysterious workings of his mind. The First Sea Lord continued in a position where if the military attack failed he could say, ‘I was always against the Dardanelles—see my memorandum of February 27,’ and if it succeeded, ‘I was always in favour of a joint operation—see my letter to the First Lord of January 4.’ The British Army in France struggled forward at the side of the French into the disastrous offensives of May, and when these failed, as they were bound to, the Headquarters Staff turned upon Lord Kitchener and exposed the deficiency of shells, which they well knew from the beginning. Sir Ian Hamilton’s Army sprang ashore on the Peninsula, and then while victory was within their grasp fell down for want of shells and reinforcements, both of which, on the scale they required them, could at any time have been supplied. And lastly the Fleet, although now fully equipped for the naval attack, having thrown their responsibilities upon the Army, never even tested the enemy defences, and became the spectators and subsidiary assistants of a long and lamentable series of disasters incurred and of opportunities for ever thrown away.

CHAPTER XIV

THE FIRST DEFEAT OF THE U-BOATS

The Cabinet still laboured to perfect and maintain the Blockade against the enemy on the sea and the lawyers across the ocean.

We also purchased Italian and French submarines, in order to learn all that could be known of their design.

At the outbreak of the war we had altogether 74 submarines built, 31 building, and 14 ordered or projected. The Germans had 33 built and 28 building. But of the British total of 74 built, only 18 (8 E’s and 10 D’s) were over-sea boats, whereas of the 33 German submarines built no fewer than 28 were ‘over-sea’ vessels.

The submarine is the only vessel of war which does not fight its like. This is not to say that combats have not taken place between submarines, but these are exceptional and usually inconclusive. It follows therefore that the submarine fleet on one side ought not to be measured against the submarine fleet on the other. Its strength should be regulated not according to the number of enemy submarines, but according to your own war plan and the special circumstances of your country.

We looked forward to a sensible abatement of the pressure which the American Government was putting upon us to relax our system of blockade, and we received a whole armoury of practical arguments with which to reinforce our side of the contention.

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