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No. 3409 November 6, 1909 { VOL. CCLXIII.

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Why Does Germany Build Warships? By Dr. Hans Delbrück,
Professor of History at the Berlin University

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As It Happened. Book II. Chapter V. More of Sandylane Hill.
By Ashton Hilliers. (To be continued.)
The Evolution of Maurice Barres. By Ernest Dimnet
Forward or Backward? By Hemendra Prasad Ghose


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MODERN REVIEW (Calcutta) 353



A Break in the Rains. I-IV. By Edmund Candler. (To be con-


The Recent Troubles in Catalonia. By Herbert Adams Gibbons

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Germany builds warships in order to protect her commerce. This is the natural reply, and, though correct, it is nevertheless not exhaustive; for it would not satisfy those who feel that they are being menaced by Germany's Navy. Germany is the second commercial maritime Power of the world, and possesses some though perhaps very unimportant-colonies. It is necessary, therefore, that the fatherland should maintain warships for their protection. It is further necessary that she should have a fleet sufficiently strong to cope with other second-class naval Powers, notably France. Should France maintain a considerably stronger fleet than Germany the maritime traffic of the latter could be entirely cut off in case of war, a fact which would be of far greater consequence to-day than in 1870. At that time our commerce was of no great importance, and the French blockade did not injure us to any great extent, for in spite of it we succeeded in taking possession of a considerable part of France. To-day, however, France is so guarded by her splendid system of frontier fortifications that the German armies would not have the same facility in penetrating into the heart of the country, whilst the suspension of our maritime traffic would cause us irretrievable loss. Under these conditions it is evident that we must maintain a fleet which is at least as powerful as that of France, and the actual problem only begins at the point when the question arises whether the naval power of Germany is in a position to cope with that of England. It is, of course, out of the question that the German fleet as a whole could contend with the British fleet as a whole. The calculations, too, which have been made by the Brit

ish Admiralty to the effect that in 1912 Germany would possess as many, if not more, Dreadnoughts are quite erroneous, a point which has been conclusively proved by the German Admiralty. But in a war, and more particularly a naval war, even the most untoward incidents and complications must be taken into consideration. To be just, we must therefore admit that the safety of the British Isles is already jeopardized if the naval strength of a neighboring Power is near to or not far off that of the British Navy. Whether this is the case with the German Navy or not depends on the relative value of vessels of the Dreadnought class as compared with other vessels. If it be true that the Dreadnoughts alone are final, and that all the other vessels are of no importance, then there is little doubt that in the course of the next few years the strength of the German fleet will more nearly approach that of the English fleet than has yet been the case. From this the English conclude that Germany is threatening the United Kingdom, and that, given the opportunity, she would attack the British Isles, either alone or assisted by another Power. Then, with the British Navy destroyed, a German army would land on England's shores and take possession of the country.

In Germany these English ideas are considered either as vain illusions or party politics. It will be remembered that during the whole of the nineteenth century the British public were continually scared by a threatened invasion either from France or from Russia. A German invasion of England is out of the question even under the most favorable circumstances. Admitting that by a certain time Germany possessed as many

Dreadnoughts as Great Britain, and given that these annihilated each other, the remaining vessels in Germany's possession would be entirely overwhelmed by the immense surplus of the British Navy. On the other hand, a coalition between two Powers need not be feared. Who would assist Germany against England? Should such a plan be successful Germany would have become so powerful that she could tyrannize over the world. It is to the interest of all the other Powers, including even Austria, to prevent such a state of affairs. England need not fear that another naval Power will become Germany's ally. Should a war with Germany break out, England could even count on the assistance of the French Navy, for France would undoubtedly feel that her national independence would be lost if Germany were victorious.

Then since Germany cannot entertain the idea of conquering England on the high seas, why does she build a fleet which appears to exceed the requirements necessary for a war with any other Power? Some particularly perspicacious observers have discovered that the capacity for coals on the German Dreadnoughts is conspicuously small; from this they would infer that these vessels have been built exclusively for use in the North Seain other words, against England. This statement is quite as untrue as the assertion that we possess a greater number of Dreadnoughts than Great Britain. The German vessels have coal bunkers of quite normal dimensions, which make them practicable also on distant seas.

After correcting all the facts and examining the question from all sides, it remains to be seen what are the relations between the English and German fleets, and what conclusions affecting English and German politics can be deduced.

The German Navy is not, and never will be, sufficiently strong directly to menace England; yet it is strong enough to necessitate a cautious English policy and to compel England continually to consider her relations with Germany. This alone is what Germany desired to achieve by the building of her warships. Consider the aspect of the world, if Germany had been content to maintain her position of thirty years ago as a Continental Power, and had built no warships in addition to her few cruisers. England's power on the seas would be boundless. France, Russia, the United States, as well as Japan, would all be under her sway. To-day England is forced to treat all these Powers with consideration, in order to avoid all friction which might encourage one or another of them to make Germany her ally. Without Germany's Navy the world would to-day in the course of thirty years be on the high road to becoming English. Only twelve years ago England forced France to evacuate Fashoda. But five years ago a treaty was concluded between these two countries by which France was given a free hand in Morocco, although English interests were strong there, and also received the disputed territories in Senegambia and Siam.

Lord Palmerston once said that Morocco was of more importance than Egypt; to-day England has renounced her interests in Morocco. She has given up her share in the Panama Canal to the United States. She has made concessions to Russia in Persia. From the Turkish inheritance she obtained the two most valuable possessions of Egypt and Cyprus, as well as several districts on the Arabian coast. There is no doubt in Germany that, in the event of a further dissolution of Turkey, the whole of Arabia, Syria and Mesopotamia would be brought under


English rule, and a compact dominion extending from Calcutta to Alexandria would be the immediate result. this event England would, by controlling Mecca, govern the centre of Mahomedanism, and could establish a new Khalifate whereby she would gain a far-reaching influence over Mahomedans in all parts of the world. Similarly, England would extend her dominions from Alexandria to Cape Town. The number of English subjects (400 millions), which form onequarter of the world's population, would increase to immense proportions. Who would be able to oppose any effort on the part of England to subjugate even China if at any time she found it advisable? Since a German Navy has come into existence, however, all these suppositions have become mere phantoms. Turkey, China and Japan have to be treated with the same consideration and care as France and the United States, and can freely enjoy their independence.

"Germany, therefore, maintains a navy, not for her own benefit but in order to safeguard the independence of other Powers?" This would be a misinterpretation of my meaning. Germany does not safeguard the independence of other nations for their sake, but for her own. She has neither the intention nor the power of acquiring considerable colonial possessions. Since Germany has become an industrial Power she is no longer an emigrant but an immigrant country. This factor is of the highest importance, but does not appear to be sufficiently known or appreciated in England, where the opinion seems to prevail that Germany is still obliged (as was the case thirty years ago) to send 200,000 of her sons beyond her frontiers every year because they are unable to find any means of livelihood within her boundaries. All this has changed. German emigration is of little impor

tance about 20,000 people per annum -whereas the number of immigrants from Russia, Austria and Italy increases continually, for, notwithstanding the steadily growing population, the number of workers, particularly in the country, is insufficient. The numerous emigrants who year after year leave Hamburg and Bremen for America are not Germans, but Russians or Austrians sailing from German ports.

It is evident that Germany has such a very small surplus of workers that for this reason alone she cannot attempt to acquire any colonial possessions. Moreover, there is little available territory that remains to be acquired. I once read that England suspected Germany of an intention to seize Australia and New Zealand. If this were true I should like to advise my compatriots that it would be better to begin by subjugating England. For, in the first place, England is wealthier than Australia, and if the effort were to be made it would be advisable to endeavor to capture the greater prize. Secondly, it is easier to conquer forty million people outside your gates than five million on the other side of two oceans. Those who wish to indulge in visions may imagine that some day the Germans, assisted by the Boers, will oust the English from Cape Town and take possession of South Africa. As far as my knowledge of South Africa goes, however, the Boers are not at all anxious to fight again against England; and even should they be induced to do so, I do not think they would desire to be under our rule. Moreover, we could render them but little assistance. For if our Navy is not strong enough to conquer the British fleet in the North Sea we should have still less favorable prospects of getting to South Africa. Should the Africanders one day decide to throw off the British yoke, they would certainly not place themselves

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