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contrast met the eye

Le 18 juillet 2017, 05:41 dans Humeurs 0

Reports sent back from this area indicated such a lack of water that it was clear that no more than one cavalry division could be maintained there. Accordingly the Australian Mounted Division was ordered to remain in Beersheba, in general reserve,[Pg 33] and was directed to endeavour to improve the water supply there. There were a few surface pools in the Wadi Saba, the result of a thunderstorm that had broken a few days previously, but these were already rapidly drying up. Of the seven good wells in the town, five had been blown up by the Turks on the night of the 31st, and the remaining two had been prepared for demolition, but the charges had not been fired. Our sappers were left in splendid isolation, as they gingerly probed the débris round these wells, and eventually located the charges and safely removed them.

The enemy had evidently intended, in the event of his having to abandon Beersheba, to leave nothing but ruins behind him, for the whole place was a nest of explosive charges, 'booby traps' and trip wires. By a fortunate chance the German engineer who was responsible for the destruction of the town was away on leave in Jerusalem at the time of its capture. Consequently most of these trip wires were not yet attached to their detonators. A few, however, had been connected up before the town was taken. The writer came across one such, while making a rapid artillery reconnaissance round the town at daybreak on the 1st of November. Luckily it was noticed before the party rode over it, and, on being cut and followed to its source, was found to be connected to a detonator concealed in twenty cases of gelignite in the railway station,—enough to have laid the whole town in ruins.

Large numbers of hand grenades had been concealed in stores of grain and food in different parts of the town, and there were one or two accidents at first among parties of too eager explorers. Sir Philip Chetwode, commander of the 20th Corps, moved his headquarters into Beersheba a day or[Pg 34] two later, and occupied the house of the enemy commander. On examining the building before he moved in, our sappers found it packed from cellar to garret with cases of explosives, all connected to trip wires.

This house was one of the fine stone buildings, of which there were a number, surrounding a large public garden, and which had been built by the Germans during the war. The whole of this modern portion of the town appeared to have been built for propaganda purposes, or like the cities of lath and plaster which are run up in a few days for cinematograph productions. From time to time articles on the war in the East appeared in the German papers, generally synchronising with some reverse on the Western Front. In these articles, which were lavishly illustrated, Beersheba figured under headings such as 'the Queen City of the Prairies.' Apparently, in order to supply the necessary pictures, the Germans had laid out a large public garden, and built around it a series of imposing public buildings, including a Governor's house, Government offices, hospital, barracks, mosque, and even an hotel. The surrounding country abounds in a species of hard white limestone admirably suited for building, and all the houses were built of this and roofed with red tiles. They were ranged round the square, like four rows of stiff white soldiers with red helmets, and were so sited that any number of photographs could be taken from various positions, each showing a different view, and each hiding the real town behind the brand new German architecture. But once behind these houses, a shocking contrast met the eye. Here was the real Beersheba, a miserable collection of filthy mud hovels, huddled shrinkingly together as though trying to hide their shabbiness[Pg 35] from their gorgeous neighbours. The place in the centre was conspicuously labelled 'Bier Garten,' and was laid out with a number of little paths in an exact, geometrical pattern. The flower-beds supported a few dusty shrubs and a quantity of those hideous 'everlastings' so dear to the Teuton heart. All the buildings were laid out exactly facing the four points of the compass, except the mosque, which, in deference to Moslem prejudices, had been built with its mihrab turned towards Mecca, and consequently was lamentably askew. The Huns had taken their revenge, however, by garnishing the windows with German stained glass of an ugliness so startling that the Australians vowed their horses shied at it!

As to the precise form

Le 6 juillet 2017, 06:37 dans Humeurs 0

This opinion was not by any means unanimously or clearly held; but during the summer of 1911 and subsequently, it was undoubtedly the hypothesis upon which those members of our Government relied, who were chiefly responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs. Unfortunately Parliament and the country had never accepted either the policy or its consequences; they had never been asked to accept either the one or the other; nor had they been educated with a view to their acceptance.

At that time the error was exceedingly prevalent, that it is a more comfortable business fighting in your own country than in somebody else's HKBU BBA. From this it followed that it would be folly to engage in what were termed disapprovingly 'foreign adventures,' and that we should be wise to await attack behind our own shores. Recent events have wrought such a complete and rapid conversion from this heresy, that it is no longer worth while wasting words in exposing it. It is necessary, however, to recall how influential this view of the matter was, not only up to the declaration of war, but even for some time afterwards SmarTone Care.

As to the precise form of co-operation between the members of the Triple Entente in case of war, there could be no great mystery. It was obvious to any one who paid attention to what happened during the summer and autumn of 1911, that in the event of Germany attacking France over the Agadir dispute, we had let it be understood and expected, that we should send our Expeditionary Force across the Channel to co-operate with the French army on the north-eastern frontier.


[1] It can hardly be overlooked, however, that this principle, rightly or wrongly interpreted, had something to do with the Crimean War (1854-56) and with the British attitude at the Congress of Berlin (1878).

[2] Viscount Milner in the United Service Magazine, January 1912.
CHAPTER V THE MILITARY SITUATION
(August 1911)

The full gravity of the Agadir incident, though apparent to other nations, was never realised by the people of this country. The crisis arose suddenly in July 1911. Six weeks later it had subsided; but it was not until well on in the autumn that its meanings were grasped, even by that comparatively small section of the public who interest themselves in problems of defence and foreign affairs. From October onwards, however, an increasing number began to awake to the fact, that war had only been avoided by inches, and to consider seriously—many of them for the first time in their lives—what would have happened if England had become involved in a European conflict school finder.

When a man works

Le 21 juin 2017, 06:15 dans Humeurs 0

We listened with an equal wonder and weariness to German complaints that we were jealous of her trade and bent on strangling it; that we grudged her colonial expansion, and were intriguing all the world over to prevent it; that we had isolated her and ringed her round with hostile alliances. We knew that these notions were all entirely false. We knew that, so far from hampering German commerce, {40} our Free Trade system in the United Kingdom, in the Dependencies, and in the Indian Empire had fostered it and helped its rapid and brilliant success more than any other external factor Securities trading.

For fully thirty years from 1870—during which period what remained of the uncivilised portions of the world was divided up, during which period also Germany was the most powerful nation in Europe, and could have had anything she wanted of these new territories almost for the asking—Bismarck and the statesmen of his school, engrossed mainly in the European situation, set little store by colonies, thought of them rather as expensive and dangerous vanities, and abstained deliberately from taking an energetic part in the scramble. We knew, that in Africa and the East, Germany had nevertheless obtained considerable possessions, and that it was, primarily her own fault that she had not obtained more. We assumed, no doubt very foolishly, that she must ultimately become aware of her absurdity in blaming us for her own neglect. We forgot human nature, and the apologue of the drunkard who cursed the lamp-post for its clumsiness in getting in his way dermes vs Medilase.

The British people knew that Germany was talking nonsense; but unfortunately they never fully realised that she was sincere, and meant all the things she said. They thought she only half believed in her complaints, as a man is apt to do when ill-temper upsets his equanimity. They were confident that in the end the falsities would perish and the verities remain, and that in the fulness of time the two nations would become friends.

As to this last the British people probably judged correctly; but they entirely overlooked the fact, {41} that if truth was to be given a chance of prevailing in the end, it was important to provide against mischief which might very easily occur in the meantime. Nor did their rulers, whose duty it was, ever warn them seriously of this necessityYOOX HK .

When a man works himself up into a rage and proceeds to flourish a loaded revolver, something more is necessary for the security of the bystanders than the knowledge that his ill-temper does not rest upon a reasonable basis. War was not inevitable, certainly; but until the mood of Germany changed, it was exceedingly likely to occur unless the odds against the aggressor were made too formidable for him to face. None of the governments, however, which have controlled our national destinies since 1900, ever developed sufficient energy to realise the position of affairs, or ever mustered up courage to tell the people clearly what the risks were, to state the amount of the premium which was required to cover the risks, and to insist upon the immediate duty of the sacrifice which imperial security inexorably demanded.

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