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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 XX

THE DARKENING SCENE

It must, however, be observed that whereas the Turkish shortage of ammunition arose from causes beyond their control, the British shortage sprang solely from lack of decision in the distribution of the available quantities between the various theatres of war.

The Turquoise was the only French submarine which achieved the passage, and she was disabled and captured after a brief career in the Marmora on October 30. In the Captain’s cabin of the Turquoise the enemy found his notebook, which he had forgotten to destroy. This notebook contained the rendezvous at which the Turquoise was to meet the British submarine E 20 on November 6. The German submarine U 14 was repairing at Constantinople. She kept the rendezvous, and E 20, expecting a friend, was blown to pieces by the torpedo of a foe.

We have always sent two-thirds of what was necessary a month too late.

The precious time that has been lost can never be retrieved. The German is drawing nearer from the north, the windy weather is coming on, Roumania may succumb to German pressure and release munitions to Turkey, Serbia may be smitten down and pierced, and Bulgaria (now almost within our reach) may realize that her aspirations can only be satisfied at German hands. Although we have all along had resources available which would have placed the issue of this battle beyond doubt, it can now only be regarded as one of the great hazards of war. The chances are not unfavourable, but where we might have had a certainty we now have a hazard.

Opportunity after opportunity, military and diplomatic, has been lost in the South-East of Europe. Risks have been run in the name of prudence before which hardihood itself would pale; yet so good are the cards, moral, military, and political, that we hold and have held through the war in this theatre, if only we choose to play them, that one great opportunity still remains. It is the last.

We must get Bulgaria now. Bulgaria is strong, her army is ready, her people are wounded by the Russian defeats, her territorial claims are rightful and harmonize perfectly with the principle of nationality, which ought to guide us.

The accession of Bulgaria would, of course, carry with it that of Roumania, and the union of all the Christian States of the Balkans against their natural enemies, Turkey and Austria, will be complete.

natural enemies...

The Germans habitually spread false reports, and we are habitually deceived by them. As far back as February, the 29th Division was stopped sailing for three weeks for fear of a renewed German offensive in the west following on a Russian collapse. In the present case the announcement made in all the German newspapers that the foreign attachés had left for the western front was a blind of the most obvious kind. It is undoubtedly in the German’s power, by the calculated indiscretions of officers and agents, to colour and confuse the whole of the intelligence information we receive through many sources.

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