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dint of constant practice, and in mastless navy. She has been doing consequence of the wise policy. 80 now—so far as heavy ships aro pursued by this country in keeping concerned – for the last twenty a large number of ships in com yoars; yet notwithstanding that mission (ovon in peace timo), and this mastlcse navy has been so long keeping them constantly at sca in viow,--notwithstanding that it battling with the elements. has beon obvious to all thinking
During the socond quartor of mon that the issues of a futuro this century steam bogan to crcop naval war will depend upon the in as a motive power for ships compotoncy of our officers to handle —both men-of-war and merchant- heavy ironclads dexterously at high ships. Slowly but steadily for the speeds, and the competency of our last fifty years it has been ousting seamen to work complicated hysails. The old scamnanship dios draulic machinery, breech-loading hard; and there are even now in guns, quick firors of increased the British navy some otherwise calibre, torpedocs of all sorts, high intelligent oficors who are in favour explosives, &r., with ease and faof still keeping up a rigged train- miliarity, - we are still content ing squadron for the purposo of to keep our Channel squadron (our tcaching our officers and men the principal school of instruction) obsolete art of working ships under composed of old-fashioned masted sail, and this notwithstanding the ships with muzzlo - loading guns ; fact that we have now built a mast- to kcop a
50 - called less navy! An old and glorious squadron ” of rigged and obsolete art dics hard indeed.
cruisors constantly going; and to For many years after steam was train our officers and scamon to generally introduced into the royal work ships under sail, or at very navy, and it was recogniscd that low and economical speeds under battles would always in futuro bestsam. fought under steam, and not under This sounds almost fabulous, but sail, sails wero still retained as the it is true. It is therefore with ordinary motive power for ships in delight, and with a feeling of peace timo.
Strico cconomy with buoyant hope, that we see in the regard to coal was cnforced by nu institution of the annual naval mercas Admiralty circulars. It manæuvres a practical recognition was gencrally considered “lubbers of the fact that it is useless to ly," and a sign of inferior seaman make tools without teaching poople ship or want of nervo, to perform how to use them. Tho present any service under steam which could Board of Admiralty, whatever possibly be performed under sail, their shortcominga may be--and notwithstanding that tho latter they have had plonty laid at their might tako twico as long. And door
r—aro clearly cntitled to tho although wo lost sovoral fino ships crcdit of having discovered this through a too rigid adhoronco to truism, and what is more to tho this supposed cconomy, it was not point-of having given practical until ironclads had entirely super- offoct to the discovory. The valuo scded woodon ships, and until Ad- of the few thousand tons of coal miral Colomb had proved to de- burnt in the oxecution of the romonstration that masts and sails cont naval maneuvres is unworthy in the former woro no oconomy at of consideration in comparison with all, but very much tho roversc, that tho value of the exporience gained Great Britain began to build a by both oficors and seamen, stokors
and engineers, and, in short, by manœuvres, that they will always all employed.
be successful. But if ships are lost, We remarked above that the it will be a foolish and fatal error risks incurred by working heavy to make too much fuss about it, or ironclads at high speeds, as as in any way to curtail the scope sumed enemies, were justified in and dash of the last three years' view of the value of the experi. manæuvres. Those nations which ence gained by so doing; and this have been addicted to bold and is a subject concerning which we dangerous sports have always overdesire to say a word or two. We, come those which were timid, caudo not think that the general pub tious, or effeminate ; and as the lic realises, or indeed has
idea bold maneuvres of old-fashioned of, what these risks amount to; seamanship are now no longer posand yet it is probable that there sible, we must simulate its risks, is scarcely a captain who was en and train the eyes and strengthen gaged in the recent manæuvres the nerves of our officers by rushwho could not tell of one or more ing about at high speeds in heavy
escapes from collision, ironclads, or dashing about at still caused perhaps by steam steering- higher speeds in torpedo - boats. gear breaking down, helm put the These are the only things left for wrong way at a critical moment, us to do, - they afford the best mistake in the engine-room tele- available training for war; and graph, mistake in a signal, or some whatever the much-disputed value other simple but quite sufficient of torpedo-boats may be as factors cause; and the best and most cap in a future naval war, their value able of them will acknowledge that as a training-school for our younger they had luck.
officers is quite indisputable, and It is, however, too much to ex it would be almost impossible to pect that, as these maneuvres go on overestimate it. from year to year
-as fresh bands It is not our intention in the take part in them, and as speeds present article to enter into all the increase—we shall always have details of the various evolutions immunity from collisions, and performed by squadrons or single perhaps from the loss of a ship or ships during the late operations. two. But if such an unfortunate Moreover, it has already been occurrence were to take place, and done, in many words, and with. to take place more than once, and strangely varying success, by the to be attended with loss of life numerous special correspondents even, it would still afford no argu- in the two fleets. It is rather ment against a continuance of the our desire to give our readers a
On the contrary, it broad and general sketch of the would supply an additional reason campaign, which we have heard for their repetition, for the experi- amply discussed from various ence gained from failure and dis- points of view, and with rather aster may be successfully exerted more than the usual amount of to guard against their recurrence.
“ ifs and wherefores." We say, therefore, that risks The general idea of the game are justified; and although, no was given in the short extract doubt, our officers will do all in which we quoted above. It was to their power to avert collision or be played in accordance with cergrounding, it is too much to ex tain rules, not too elaborate or puzpect, in view of the nature of the zling, though fairly comprehensive;
VOL. CXLVI.--NO. DCCCLXXXVIII.
and all disputed points were to other, but proceeding on slightly be referred to the umpires : but divergent courses, and there were only four umpires ap- trating again at a given time, at a pointed, and it was impossible that prearranged rendezvous off Beechy they could be ubiquitous, or see all Head. The scheme had much to that went on. Thus on many occa
be said in its favour, and if accusions the players were left very rately carried out, and courses and much to themselves, and to their times rigidly adhered to, each ship own sense of fairness, and their taking part in it would know at own interpretation of the rules. any time— bar accidents — where Unfortunately, some of the captains all her consorts were, though not engaged were so led away by their in sight, and could thus, by a zeal, and by such a burning desire slight alteration of course and for distinction and reputation for speed, concentrate upon one, two, Nelsonic dash and hardihood, that or more of them, and thus very they appeared to forget that they probably lead a pursuing enemy were playing a game according to into a trap. It is, however, a certain definite rules, and acted scheme of strategy which depends as they undoubtedly would have very largely for its accomplishdone had the war been real' in- ment upon good-luck. The same stead of mimic.
may, of course, be said of all Thus the Thames, an unarmour strategy, either in actual or mimic ed cruiser, was captured on one or war. Yet the above scheme seems two occasions, and sunk on several for several reasons to be more than others, by broadsides from heavy ordinarily dependent upon luck, ironclads; yet she absolutely re- and Admiral Baird was quite right fused to surrender or to haul her in attributing its failure to a sharp colours down, and continued to turn of the wheel of fortune take part in the war a highly against him. It is very easy to commendable proceeding (sappos- be wise after the event, and to ing it possible) in actual war, speculate knowingly as to what though somewhat childish when might have happened if Admiral it is remembered that the game D'Arcy-Irvine, or somebody else, was being played like a game of had done something else except chess, according to certain rules. that which they actually did do. On the whole, though, and with Such speculations might be endone or two other but less glaring less, and would scarcely be profitaexceptions, the game was played ble. At any rate, we do not propose fairly, and in compliance with the to inflict them upon our readers; rules.
and it will be sufficient to say that The general idea of the strate the scheme failed completely. Adegy of the “B” or attacking fleet miral Tryon cleverly divided the
somewhat grotesquely called fast ships of “B” fleet, prevented the “ Achill Fleet"_was set forth a junction, and captured a first and in a memorandum by Admiral second class ironclad and a belted Baird on the 29th of August (the cruiser, thus greatly augmenting day on which the war ceased), and the “A” and reducing the “B” published in the Times of the fleet. For the first few days the 30th and other papers. Its lead- captured ships were used against ing feature was a rush for the their late consorts ; but this was Thames by the fast ships of “B” so obvious an absurdity, as reprefleet-not in company with each senting real war, that the umpires
wisely decided against it, and Liverpool. The
very stormy ordered the captured ships to weather, however, which continued withdraw from the game, like almost without intermission until taken chess-men.
the end of the war, entirely forAfter this the war in St George's bado any action by the torpedoOhannel seems to have degenerated boats; and as it seemed probable into a game of hide-and-seek be that the enemy had received full tween the slow ships of “B” fleet information as to the impregnaand a powerful contingent of “A” bility of Lough Swilly, and had no fleet-Cork harbour being “home” intention of attacking it, the Infor the “ B's.”
Aexible was ordered north-about There were still, however, two into the North Sea, and given a fast and powerful ships of the free hand to raid the enemy's “B” fleet which were neither cap towns on the east. Her captain tured nor locked up in Cork har
that Edinburgh, bour - the Anson, carrying the Leith, and Aberdeen had already flag of the Rear-Admiral, and the been sacked, and he entertained Collingwood, both of them first- bright visions of magnificent plun. class battle-ships with good speed; der, and enormous ransoms; but, and these made their way round alas ! his proclamation to the the west coasts of Ireland and Magistrates of Leith and EdinScotland and thus north - about burgh, demanding a ransom of twa into the North Sea, for the pur- bawbees, one for Leith and one for pose of raiding on the enemy's Edinburgh, together with a supply towns on the east coasts of Scot. of fresh fruit and vegetables for land and England.
the ship's company, and the freeEarly in the war the powerful dom of the city of Edinburgh but slow Inflexible of the “B” thrown in (N.B.—the freedom to fleet, had been detached with the be unanimous, or not accepted), Hecla torpedo depot-ship, and all was never delivered, and had to the torpedo-boats of that fleet, and be torn up, as it would have been this little squadron proceeded to grossly unfair, and contrary to the Lough Swilly, in the north of Ire- rules of international law, to have land, which, although not consid- subjected those fair cities to a ered fictitiously, like Berehaven, second ruinous ransom; and the as a fortified port according to the freedom of the capital of the rules, was very shortly rendered North, thus “thrown in ” in an impregnable against any attack auctioneering sort of manner, from heavy ships by the laying would have lost in the eyes of the down of two extensive groups of civilised world much of the digground mines in suitable posi- nity and honour which had hithtions, and protected by quick-fir- erto been attached to it. Edining guns. Thus a fortified port burgh, however, was spared this was extemporised in the north of indignity; and the Inflexible havIreland, and was intended to be ing now united with the Anson used for the double purpose of a and Collingwood, this powerful harbour of refuge for the cruisers squadron of three first-class battleor other ships of “B” fleet, and ships (though unfortunately with. also as a base of operations for the out scouts or cruisers) having torpedo - boats which it was in- failed to capture Commodore tended should raid on the Lamlash Markham in the Firth of Forth, squadron, the Clyde, and perhaps proceeded to the southward.
daylight on the morning of the by the enemy, and after dodging 28th they appeared off the mouth and doubling like a hare for about of the Tyne, bombarded North and an hour, hauled her colours down South Shields, then Sunderland, in compliance with the rules. The then proceeded to Hartlepool and Anson, carrying the flag of RearWhitby and did the same there, Admiral D'Arcy-Irvine, escaped. and were making for Scarborough, Thus ended the last episode of when at forty minutes past twelve the war. The tactics of Admiral they sighted a squadron of the Irvine have been severely comenemy's ships steering north along mented upon, and some hard things the coast.
said of him. Possibly he might Now came the closing scene of have done other than he did; but the war.
At the time the two it is only fair to remember that in squadrons sighted each other the that case it is probable that Adweather was bazy,—not a thick miral Tracey would also have acted log, but such a haze as admitted of otherwise, and we should then get large ships seeing each other at a into the region of the “ifs,” an exdistance of about two miles. The cursion which we consider it inex. squadrons consisted of the follow- pedient to make. ing ships : “A”Aeet—the Rodney With reference to the behaviour (flagship of Rear-Admiral Tracey), of the various classes of ships enthe Howe, and the Ajax, all first- gaged in the maneuvres, it may class battle - ships ; two belted be broadly stated that the ships of cruisers, and two unarmoured the Admiral class — viz. Anson, cruisers. The “B” squadron con- Rodney, Camperdown, Howe, and sisted of the three first-class bat- Collingwood-acquitted themselves tle-ships Anson, Collingwood, and satisfactorily. They were able to Inflexible. The meeting was quite maintain good speeds at sea; and unexpected so far as the “B's” in spite of their low free-board, it were concerned, and the “ A's" was possible to drive them at fair scarcely expected such luck on the speeds against very strong breezes, very last day of the war. Directly and comparatively heavy seas, the seven ships of the “A” squad- though of course under these cirron were sighted by the three ships cumstances they were very wet, of the “B,” the latter turned and taking in green seas over the foreendeavoured to escape to the most barbette. All trials, however, northward; but the slow Inflexible it must be remembered, were purely was very quickly caught and sur- peace trials, and give no indication rounded by Rodney, Howe, .and of what the behaviour of these two belted cruisers, and having ships wuuld be if their unarmoured been subjected to this overwhelm- ends had received injury from an ing fire for nearly half an hour, enemy's fire. Much has been said, she hauled down her colours and and much written, about the danger surrendered to the admiral of “A” to stability and buoyancy which is flcet. Anson and Collingwood involved in short belts and unarwere making a run-away fight of moured ends in ships which are it, and both seemed likely to called “battle-ships, and which escape, when unfortunately Col- are supposed to engage in close lingwood's boilers began to prime. action with an enemy. It is not She got water into her cylinders, intention the present and this so greatly reduced her occasion to enter into the question speed that she also was surrounded of the respective merits of short