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WASHINGTON, D.C., DECEMBER, 1912
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Great Britain: Germany: United States:
STRENGTH IN CAPITAL SHIPS
our preseNT STRENGTH AND GERMANY's present strengTH, AND WHAT THE STRENGTH OF EACH COUNTRY WILL BE FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS. IN THIS TABLE ARE INCLUDED the U.S.S. SOUTH CAROLINA AND MICHIGAN, AND THE GERMAN BATTLE CRUISErs.
Great Britain: Germany: United States:
20 Cents a Copy, $2.00 a Year Foreign Subscriptions, $2.50 a Year
Jan. 1, 1912 Jan. 1, 1913
DIAGRAM SHOWING COMPARATIVE DECREASE IN NUMBER OF CAPITAL SHIPS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY COMPARED WITH THE NUMBER OF CAPITAL SHIPS OF THE NAVIES OF GREAT BRITAIN AND GERMANY. INCLUDING BATTLE CRUISERS AND U.S.S. MICHIGAN AND SOUTH CAROLINA
November 1, 1909
December 1, 1911
January 1, 1915
Jan. 1, 1914 Jan, 1, 1915
WANTED: A NAVY STRONGER THAN THAT OF ANY OTHER NATION EXCEPT ENGLAND
Encouraged by the widespread interest manifested among all classes of citizens, THE NAVY asks every reader personally to impress upon his representatives in Congress the existing necessity that our navy should regain the second position among the navies of the world.
ADMIRALS AND VICE ADMIRALS
The bill providing for the re-establishment of the grades of admiral and vice admiral in the United States navy, which the Navy Department will recommend to the next session of Congress, deserves the earnest consideration of that body. Not only are our naval officers, under present conditions, placed in inferior positions when they meet the officers of foreign fleets, butthe nation itself is placed in a position of inferiority in the eyes of other nations.
Secretary Meyer, in his Report for 1912, calls attention to the fact that nineteen navies of the world have officers outranking United States rear admirals, and that, when our fleet enters foreign waters, its officers are compelled to yield precedence to ranking officers of smaller nations, even the officers of the Chinese and Turkish navies outranking those of our country.
The Secretary not only calls attention to the necessity of correcting this seeming inferiority, but shows that a proper organization of a fleet of the size of our present fleet imperatively calls for higher grades of command. As at present organized, the Atlantic fleet is commanded by a rear admiral, and the divisions by four other rear admirals,-a condition which "violates the principle of rank, which is that each separate degree of duty and authority, all depending one on the other,
requires a separate rank." Unless the present Congress remedies this existing condition of affairs, it will lay itself open to the charge of extreme negligence. The facts have been stated, in a manner free from ambiguity, by the Secretary and the necessity for remedial legislation brought to the attention of Congressmen. It remains to be seen if there is sufficient patriotism to raise the navy of the United States to its proper status among the navies of the world.
Although our fleet ranks third, the officers of nineteen navies take precedence over our officers merely through the negligence of Congress to enact legislation repeatedly asked for by the Navy Department. This state of affairs is at least undignified for a nation with the standing of that of United States to-day, and results in an unjust abasement of our naval officers. The ability shown and successes won in the past by our navy entitles its personnel to every reasonable consideration from the people of the nation, and yet Congress, through culpable remissness, refuses this just right.
A LARGER NAVY
In an address at Princeton University, November 12 (printed elsewhere in this number of THE NAVY), Colonel Robert M. Thompson presented pleas for a larger navy which it will be difficult for the disarmament advocates to combat successfully. His contention that the navy of the United States is our only protection from an invading army that might be suddenly landed on our shores by one of the great military powers of the world, is unassailable, supported, as it is, by citations of a number of historical parallels.
Colonel Thompson shows that even though the bookkeeping cost of our present navy is only about $1.30 per capita, there exists a vast credit item whose actual value cannot be expressed in dollars and cents, consisting in preparing the younger members of the enlisted personnel of the navy for a useful life by teaching them trades and professions which otherwise might not be acquired.
In advancing the deduction that the quality of our manufactured steel for commercial uses has been bet
tered by the insistent demand of naval architects for a better article, Colonel Thompson speaks with the knowledge of an expert and his conclusions must be accepted as correct. Any opponent of the development of the United States navy, after giving even cursory attention to Colonel Thompson's argument, must feel himself to be on the wrong side.
The great advance in aeronautics during the last few years and its probable development in the near future. have made its consideration as an auxiliary to military The and naval warfare necessary to every nation. United States is lagging behind in this world wide expansion of a new art whose future is undeniably linked with defensive and offensive tactics.
Aircraft as an auxiliary to the army and navy has passed the experimental stage and is recognized as a necessity not only by France and Germany, but also by Great Britain, Italy, and Russia. Germany has devoted itself especially to the development of the dirigible. whose latest model made a flight of 1200 miles in thirty hours, with twenty passengers. At the same time, aeroplanes and hydroplanes have not been neglected, both army and navy being well supplied with these newest auxiliaries.
But it is in France that the greatest development is seen. From the beginning, aerial navigation has appealed to the theatrical instincts of the French and they are to-day the leaders of the world in the building and operating of aircraft. The French Military and Naval Departments recognized at once the possibilities of the aeroplane, and, supplied with the necessary funds by the Government, its development has proceeded at a rapid
Italy, in her war with Turkey, made use of aeroplanes to some extent; though the first death of an aviator from an enemy's fire did not occur till the Balkan war, when Nicholas Popoff, a Russian aviator who was reconnoitering the Turkish forts at Adrianople, was shot by the Turks, his machine falling within their lines.
In the United States, the same spirit which handıcaps our naval development is seen in the failure to provide proper financial aid for the creation of an aerial arm of the service. America was the birthplace of the heavier-than-air flying machine, but foreign nations have outdistanced us in its practical military use.
Although we may never be in danger of an aerial invasion, yet it is unquestionably expedient that we should. be prepared for possible eventualities.
Aeros are the eyes of a commanding general, and are as essential to the complete equipment of a modern army as are the telephone or telegraph.
The parsimonious attitude of Congress in relation to furnishing funds for the proper protection of the nation is as inexplicable as regards aircraft as it is in the case of a proper naval equipment.
Captain F. M. Barber's article on "Japan and the United States," appearing in this issue of THE NAVY, is pertinent to the present situation. Not only is the present and possible future relations of the two coun tries intelligently discussed, but the remarks concerning Japan's industrial and economic conditions are worthy of careful consideration.
The economic writers of a generation ago furnished jeremiads in which the future results of the European military system were depicted in the most doleful manner. It was claimed that the excessive taxes wrung from the industrial classes of Europe would entail the final collapse of that system. To-day, the condition of the proletariat of Europe is better than ever before.
The salient point, which apparently was lost sight of by the old political economists, is that every dollar expended in building a new warship or in maintaining military establishments by any nation is returned to the people of that nation, provided the material used is produced by its own people and the necessary work is done by its own workmen.
Taxes that are returned to the workmen of a country in the way of wages are a blessing, not a curse, to the
proletariat of that country. This is why, notwithstanding the fact that the taxes of the world are higher today than ever before, the economic condition of the industrial masses is better.
Every dollar paid to domestic labor as wages stimulates domestic production in other lines. To-day there is an abundance of idle capital in the United States which could be invested in an issue of government bonds of, say, a billion dollars. That billion used to place the United States Navy on a footing superior to that of any other navy in the world would produce a period of unparalleled prosperity. The billion returned to our citizens as wages would increase their purchasing power to an extent that it would be hard to overestimate.
THE BALKAN WAR
Within the short period of seven weeks, a war unprecedented in celerity of execution has been carried to a successful termination by the allied nations of Bulgaria, Servia, Greece, and Montenegro. The psychological moment for its dénouement was seized upon and its prosecution hurried forward without delay.
For rapidity of movements the present war is without a parallel in modern times. Even the Franco-Prussian war of forty years ago was lacking in the headlong impetuosity that has characterized the movements of the Allies. The sacrifice of life has not been considered, in a desire to overcome the Turk, and to-day, seven weeks after little Montenegro declared war, the immense army of European Turkey has been driven pell-mell from Macedonia and Trace.
Now, in the face of accomplished facts, it is readily perceived that the results were due to the unpreparedness of Turkey. When the constitutional weakness of the Ottoman forces had been shown by the retreat of the Turkish army behind the forts of Tchatalja, the Sultan made an appeal to the Powers for intervention. This proving unavailing, direct negotiations were opened with Bulgaria, which country offered peace on condition of the evacuation of the besieged Turkish strongholds of Mace