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experiments, exercising his men, instructing his officers and himself. It would hardly be possible to find a life more single-heartedly devoted to one great purpose. "He was not one of those," says his biographer, "who preach the pusillanimous and delusive doctrine that the greatest of all British interests is peace. He knew full well, and he acted on the knowledge, that the greatest of all British interests is the defence of the British empire, and the maintenance of its honour and integrity." With this knowledge he was yet alive, as his letters show, to the value of preparation as a deterrent against attack. He realised also with a clearness very far from common in his day that the one and only barrier between the empire and ruin was its Navy. Fortune called him, in the warscare of 1885, to make suggestions for local defence to the Australian colonies, but he never gave way to the pernicious fallacy that forts can take the place of ships in defending a coast. On the contrary, he advised the colonies to restrain their fortifying zeal within reasonable bounds. What was needed was a mobile defence on land, where a body of resolute men could defeat any likely landing party, and a mobile defence at sea. How great a part he played in the formation of the special Australian squadron Admiral Fitzgerald plainly shows. Here again the work was trying, and called for almost endless tact. That he succeeded in reconciling the widely divergent views of the various colonies, and bringing the squadron into an accomplished fact, is one more contradiction of the new theory that a strong man cannot be a diplomatist.
With the subsequent work of Sir George Tryon, Admiral Fitzgerald, being master of his subject, is able
to deal in several chapters of the highest interest and instructiveness. One of these - upon the Naval Manœuvres in which he played so brilliant a part-we are able to consider side by side with a very luminous criticism from the last book of our five, 'The Navy and the Nation.' The manœuvres of 1888 and 1889 are especially worthy of a brief account, since they may be said to sum up almost in themselves the chief strategic principles which should govern the defence of these islands. In 1888 Tryon represented the enemy. He was blockaded in Bantry Bay, and his second-in-command in Lough Swilly. The blockading squadrons were in each case superior in force to the blockaded, though Tryon's two squadrons united were superior to either blockader singly. The result was held to demonstrate the impossibility of a close blockade under modern conditions. In these days of steam a blockaded enemy might attempt to break out at any moment, fair wind or not, and it is significant that in the case of these manœuvres the blockaders, on their own showing, were already exhausted almost to the point of raising the blockade before the very first day allowed by the Admiralty for an attempt to break through. When that day came, Tryon easily broke the blockade with his fastest ships under cover of a brilliant diversion; his coadjutor did the same, and a division from each squadron united in a raid upon the unprotected coasts of Scotland and England. Tryon's opponent fell back, to coal and to guard the mouth of the Thames; no doubt, too, the necessity of rest was a potent advocate of a passive defence. Tryon, meanwhile, took Liverpool, while his raiding squadron did great damage. Thus he was absolutely successful in gain
ing all his objects. But it is well pointed out by Mr Thursfield that his opponent would not have been thrown back on the rather futile strategy of watching the Thames had the country at that time possessed any organised system for collecting information of an enemy's movements along the coast and transmitting it to an admiral at sea. In default of such a system and of numerous fast cruisers, Tryon disappeared from the moment the blockade was raised, and there was nothing for it but to wait for him at what seemed his most likely objective. Avoiding this objective, Tryon was enabled to do vast damage to ports, towns, and shipping, although there was actually an unbeaten British fleet in being, of greatly superior strength to his own.
Next year the Admiralty profited by both the lessons learned in 1888. It had been shown that the close blockade of a hostile fleet was difficult, if not impossible, without a greater preponderance of force than Tryon's opponent then possessed-greater also than Britain could then expect to possess in dealing with France alone, to say nothing of a combination of Powers. Therefore another system of blockade was adopted. The British squadrons, this year commanded by Tryon, were to lie in port, observing the enemy's squadrons by means of fast cruisers. This year, also, there had been created a system of coast signalstations connected by telegraph with headquarters. Tryon's business, then, was not to prevent his inferior enemy from putting to sea, but to prevent him from doing damage on the British coasts. He was once more brilliantly successful. His opponent tried to evade him, to send fast ships up the Channel, and to raid the Thames.
Tryon disposed his fleet to cover the entrance to the Channel in such masterly fashion that not a single vessel got through. Three were taken; the others returned to their base at Queenstown. Thence they set off raiding round Scotland. Tryon shut up the enemy's slower ships in Queenstown, and sent a strong detachment after the raiders. Thanks to the new signal system, two out of the enemy's three battleships were captured, and the operations closed with the British fleet supreme at every point.
The lesson of 1889 was thus as consoling to the tax-payer as that of 1888 was disquieting. Certainly both might be pressed too far. It is no disparagement to Tryon's able opponent to say that superior tactical skill may in each case have been a factor in the result. But the general conclusion from the 1889 manœuvres was that with a superior British fleet in being, well provided with fast scouts and backed by an efficient system of coast intelligence, an enemy will never be able to attempt any serious enterprise against our islands. Mr Thursfield puts the point admirably. The plan of sending fast ships to evade Tryon and raid London did not, perhaps, deserve to fail; but "its failure was a better illustration of sound strategic principle than its success could possibly have been." As it was, the raid resulted in grave loss to the assailants. But even if they had got past Tryon, they could never have undertaken serious operations with his superior and unbroken fleet behind them. Admiral Fitzgerald quotes a valuable criticism of the German Admiral Batsch to the same effect. So with the subsequent raid. It happened that the raiders were all but annihi
lated. If they had not been, the damage they could have done would never have borne comparison with the damage they actually suffered by the capture of two out of three of them. In other words, the advantage to an enemy of raiding our coasts while we have an unbroken and superior fleet is not worth the risk of disaster to the raider. What we need, then, to ensure immunity for our coasts is a superior fleet of battleships and sufficient means of intelligence, both by cruisers and coaststations, to keep touch with the enemy. As long as this is done he cannot hurt us. If he recognises our superior force, we have the command of the sea. If he does not, he will fight for the command; and it is our own fault if he does not recognise our superiority after that.
As Tryon was largely instrumental in the experimental enforcement of these theories, so he was unwearied in his efforts to bring the fleet into a condition to act on them advantageously. Many branches of such effort, admirably presented as they are by the biographer, are perhaps too technical to be here discussed with confidence or profit. Tryon's system of manœuvres without signals, for example, ought to be left to the expert judgment of sailors, though any landsman can see that in the naval actions of the future signalling may easily become impossible, and some such system therefore imperative. To the general reader the subject will perhaps be of most interest as leading up to the awful tragedy of the Admiral's end. This is of course discussed by Admiral Fitzgerald. But let it be said to the infinite credit both of his feeling and his good sense, that this part of his story is far from being the
most insisted on. It is not Tryon's death but Tryon's life that Admiral Fitzgerald has professed to set before us. This is only decent justice to a man whose country was prosperous in him in all things up to his death; and it is also only judicious towards the reader, since he can learn nothing from Tryon's death, but very much that is of great profit from his life. For the rest, the account of the final catastrophe is clear, succinct, and sensible. To the frequent questions why somebody did not do something other than was done, and so avert the disaster, Admiral Fitzgerald gives the only rational reply. "The whole British nation," he reminds us, "admired and rejoiced in the fine display of discipline manifested by the officers and ship's company of the Victoria. . . . The foundation of that discipline, the spirit which gave it life, was precisely the same spirit which forbade Captain Bourke to give the order for the closing of water-tight doors in the presence of Sir George Tryon. We may regret it; but at the same time it is not logical to expect to have the discipline just when we want it, and to dispense with it, or to have it overridden, when we do not want it." As for the reason of the Admiral's fatal order, our author is equally sensible. This was the position. The two columns, headed respectively by Victoria and Camperdown, were six cables apart. Tryon wanted to bring them to two cables, preparatory to anchoring. The turning circle of the squadron he always estimated at four cables. To bring the columns from the cruising to the anchoring distance, therefore, it was enough for one column to circle inwards, thus reducing the interval by four cables. Tryon ordered both to turn, thus halving the necessary
distance, or, more correctly, as Admiral Fitzgerald explains, failing to double it on account of both columns turning inwards one towards the other. There are two circumstances, he adds, "which are apt to act as traps and snares to our memory and our mental arithmetic" in estimating the space required for ships to turn. One is confusion between diameter and radius of turning circles; the other, confusion between cables and distances of one hundred yards. Each is double the other. No doubt Tryon fell into some such snare.
The most infallible
of us, as our author says, have done the same again and again in matters with which we are perfectly familiar. This, the most simple explanation of the tragedy, is also the most plausible. All men may err so. But it is not given to all men to do what Tryon did for the Navy and for the country. In his death he lost us a battleship. In his life he gave us an example and a tradition worth a squadron.
The three remaining books of our five deal rather with the theory than the practice of naval war. We said at the beginning that it is a significant phenomenon that five books dealing with naval affairs should be published and read within six months. It is still more significant that these three should all be informed and inspired by the same strategical ideas. We find throughout the three of them what may now be called the authorised version of British naval policy. Its fundamental principles were discerned, as Sir George Clarke and Mr Thursfield repeatedly point out, by the great seamen and thinkers of the Elizabethan age. But only in very recent times has the doctrine of the command of the sea been at VOL. CLXI.-NO. DCCCCLXXVII.
all understood by the plain Englishman. Probably it is hardly understood even now; but with instructors like those before us it is the plain Englishman's own fault if he still dwells in error. For this enlightenment we are indebted perhaps in equal measure to Captain Mahan and to Admiral Colomb -to the first for showing us the overmastering influence of seapower on all warfare, and to the second for explaining how this influence is exerted The theory has been briefly hinted at in considering Admiral Tryon's connection with naval manœuvres. It is briefly this. The sea is com
manded-not, as was once curiously believed, by land positions in or upon it, but by a dominant fleet upon it. This fleet may either have defeated and crushed its enemy or its enemy may have recognised his inferiority. In the latter case, he shuts himself up in some friendly port, and it is the business of the commanding fleet to keep him there. He may get out; but if he is watched and followed he will be powerless to injure the party which commands the sea. Either he must be driven to an action or he must be driven ingloriously into port again. Meanwhile his enemy, possessing the sea as an occupying army possesses territory, possesses therewith the resources of the sea
its commerce-and can also deliver attacks over sea at any point desired. The application of this theory to our own country is simple. We need a force to gain command of the sea if an enemy disputes it, to enforce it if he does not. This force, therefore, must in the first place be superior in fighting ability to any enemy that may assail us. Secondly, it must be able to keep touch with the enemy, so that he may never attempt any enterprise without bringing a superior fleet
upon his back. So long as we have this, our trade and our coasts are secure against any but isolated raids, which can never fatally hurt us. Our territory is secure from invasion unless our enemy should be so mad as to plant a force on our shores without the ability to maintain communication with it. And in that case invasion would inevitably turn to his greater disadvantage.
This view is vigorously pressed from different sides by Mr Steevens, Major Callwell, and the joint authors of The Navy and the Nation.' Mr Steevens's book is in essence a pamphlet, devoting itself to the consideration of the navies of the world at the present moment and the policy which this country should follow having respect to these. He is plainly the least expert of our authors, and yet, perhaps from this very reason, he will probably be the most useful. 'Naval Policy,' in short, as its author freely admits, is an attempt to popularise its subject, and we think that in some measure it will be successful. It is not at all free from blunders. Port Darwin, to take an example, is not in Queensland; while the attribution to Sir George Clarke of a desire to evacuate the Mediterranean is especially unhappy in view of the fact that he has republished in 'The Navy and the Nation' an essay which severely condemns that project. It must also be said that the book-though perhaps for the same reason that makes some of us talk nineteen to the dozen
when we are especially shy-somewhat belies its bashful preface by a very confident tone throughout. On the other hand, Mr Steevens writes always with ease and point, sometimes with humour. He is able to make his subject interesting, which cannot always be said
of some really better qualified to deal with it. Moreover, whether he be right or wrong, he is always candid. He puts his facts before the reader so clearly that it is perfectly possible for him, if he dislikes Mr Steevens's conclusions, to draw others of his own. He begins at the very beginning of the subject, and ends with a useful catalogue of the chief navies. One very ingenious feature of the book is a chapter on "Relative Strength," wherein the author gives a series of tables comparing the principal navies in respect of various degrees in the several elements of force-gun-power, protection, speed, and coal-capacity. It would be easy to pick holes in the figures
indeed their compiler admits that these must needs be somewhat arbitrary; but the presentation is not only exceedingly effective, but also less misleading, because more fully explained and reasoned, than most of its kind. For the rest, Mr Steevens is an uncompromising advocate of additions to the Navy, both in ships and men, together with a certain limited amount of fortification and garrison for our stations abroad. At one point he reduces us to numb horror by the suggestion that we need sixtyseven new battleships to be fit for war on this year's figures and ninety by 1899. Presently, however, he relents, and lets us off with fourteen. This he claims as a moderate figure, and so, indeed, we think it. At any rate, the reasoning which leads up to it is very plain, and its basis is indicated at each step. In his final chapter Mr Steevens seems to touch the heart of the matter when he asks, "Are we ready for war?" The answer, of course, is that we are most unready. And though at times he seems to overstate his case, it is difficult to dis