THE

NAVAL REVIEW

THE NAVAL SOCIETY
(Founded m rgra.)

For Private Circulation.
among its Members.

FEBRUARY, 1923.

Coby...
CONTENTS.
PAGE

HON EDITOR'S
.
NOTES.
A STUDY WAR-IV.
OF
By Admiral Sir R . N.
Custance, G.C.D., K.C.M.G., C.V.O., D.C.L. ...
HON. EDITOR'S NOTES.
Costs in the printing trade having come down and
become more or less stabilised, it was determined to...
the titles of any which I notice of an historical, scientific or general interest which may be appreciated by
individual m...
A S T U D Y O F WAR.-IV.
BY ADMIRAL R . N. CUSTANCE, B ., K.C.M .G.,
SIR
G.C.
C.V.O., D.C.L.
W e kazw seen lhat t h e deci...
NAVAL REVIEW.

2

instance by Xerxes before his expedition into Hellas in 480 B.C.,'
and by the current opinion of the Rus...
A STUDY OF WAR.-IV.

3

indirectly react on that of the armed force.
Similarly, any
addition tends to raise the strength a...
4

NAVAL REVIEW.

Enemy capture, that is the right to capture and confiscate
enemy merchant ships and enemy cargoes or boa...
as it too often has been on land, and by the terror created to
prevent ships putting to sea. In this they failed.
Since no...
b

NAVAL REVIEW.

gross tons. But the war losses of shipping were not the chief
difficulty during these two years. Shortag...
A STUDY OF WAR.-IV.

7

side. Its military aim was to destroy or neutralize the armed
ships opposed to it, whereas that of...
8

S.4V.4L REVIEW.

Portuguese ships and goods, if the free use of Oeiras Bay and
other Portuguese ports was denied to Eng...
A STUDY OF WAR.-IV.

9

~ 3 r d . ' News of his success arrived by December 24th-January
3rd, 16.50-I,~
when orders were i...
NAVAL REVIEW.

I0

Generals at sea-to control it.
Thus, the convoy system of
escorts was not then recognised to be part of...
A STUDY OF WAR.-IV.

I1

In December Penn detached three ships to search the Azores,
but remained himself, with five, in t...
NAVAL REVIEW.

I2

the first seven months. Henceforth occasional surface ships got
to sea and made a small number of captu...
A STUDY OF WAR.-IV.

I3

detachments in Australasian and Malayan waters, a n d later those
on the coast of America and in ...
T H E L A T E SIII. J U L I A N C O R B E T T .
SIR
JULIAN CORBETT'S
death is a very serious blow to naval history, and, a...
THE LATE S I R JUL1.W CORBETT.

.

I5

day. " It is the solution of this problem that is the eternal
preoccupation of the ...
I6

NAVAL REVIEW.

certain commanding positions are not necessarily plain to men
at the time. " Blake," he says, " had dem...
THE LATE SIR JULIAN CORBETT.

I7

torians are apt to forget that the Army and Navy are not the
end of a nation's existence...
I8

NAVAL REVIEW.

falgar " brings the record to its final point in sailing tactics.
T h e only g a p of importance is in ...
T H E LATE S I R JULIAN CORBETT.

'9

reasserts itself so strongly as to permit for most practical purposes the rough gene...
NAV.4L REVIEW.

20

that the History of W a r " is not always very amusing" is
mitigated in the case of Corbett's books. "...
THE LATE S I R JULIAN CORBETT.

21

based on ignoring the enemy's commerce a s our objective, we
found ourselves a t times...
O U T L I N E S O F HISTORY.-V.
T R A D E ROUTES.-PART 3.
By c.4pT-41~W. H. C. S. THRING,
C.B.E., E .N
I N the 16th centur...
OUTLINES OF HISTORY .-V.

23

Reduced to its simplest terms, this policy was to spend no
money outside the country but to ...
24

NAVAL REVIEW.

The German financiers had two powerful weapons, their
financial grip on Spain and religious animositics...
OUT1,INES OF HISTORY .-V.

25

the home manufacture and supplied a home market by enacting
that no subject should wear any...
26

NAVAL REVIEW.

Mr. Gee quotes some remarks of M. Colbert at a debate
at which Louis XIV. was present.
H e said : " The...
OUTLINES OF HISTORY .-V.

27

From this summary it would seem that our commerce was
in a bad way, but on the whole we were...
28

NAVAL REVIEW.

ships which they then sold and, returning to England, did the
same thing again. " By this means multitu...
OUTLINES OF HISTORY.-V.

29

and when success was still doubtful, may help the reader to a
clearer understanding of the wa...
C O N D U C T O F T H E C H A N N E L FLEE?' IN
1779 AGAINST S U P E R I O R FORCE.
DURING critical years of the W a r of ...
CONDUCT OF THE CHANNEL FLEET I N

1779.

3'

then Controller of the Navy, indicate the influence of the events
of 1779 on ...
32

NAVAL REVIEW.

Such was the state of affairs in the British Fleet.
The
character of the Ccinmandei-in-Chief, and the g...
CONDUCT OF THE CHANNEL FLEET I N

1779.

33

On July and, vhen off the Lizard, Hardy got intelligence
from a Genoese ship ...
34

NAVAL REVIEW.

himself in 1781 ; the other two express his view of Hardy
(Barham Papers, I .292-294).
. J u l y 27th.-...
CONDUCT O F T H E C H A N N E L FLEET IN

1779.

35

Writing to the n'Iinister of Marine on August znd,
d'orviliiers had s...
36

NAVAL IIEVIEW.

This step completed the victuals of the Combined Fleet as a
whole up till September 30th.
Hardy was no...
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  1. 1. THE NAVAL REVIEW THE NAVAL SOCIETY (Founded m rgra.) For Private Circulation. among its Members. FEBRUARY, 1923. Cobyrightcd undo- Act o q r r . f
  2. 2. CONTENTS. PAGE HON EDITOR'S . NOTES. A STUDY WAR-IV. OF By Admiral Sir R . N. Custance, G.C.D., K.C.M.G., C.V.O., D.C.L. THE LATESIR JULIAN CORBETT - - '4 OUTLINES HISTORY-V. TRADE OF ROUTES, Part 3. By Captain W. H. C. S. Thring, C.B.E., R.A.N. 22 I PUNISHMENTS INFLICTED SEA AT FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES THE END OF THE XVIIITH CENTURY. TO By Sir Reginald Acland, K.C., Judge Advocate of the Fleet - - - - - - 41 H.M.S. CANOPUS, .AUGUST, 1914, 1916-1. - - - - TO MARCH, - - I43 THE TIGRISABOVE B.~GHD.~D.By LieUt-come. A. S. Elwell-Sutton, R.N., B.A., F.R.G.S. - 153 CORRESPONDENCE - - - - - I77 Speed of Battleships. Gliding Flight over the Sea.
  3. 3. HON. EDITOR'S NOTES. Costs in the printing trade having come down and become more or less stabilised, it was determined to secure a new printing contract. Out of nine tenders sent out, Messrs. C. Knight and Co. were again the successful competitors. A considerable economy over rates that have recently been paid has resulted. Opportunity has in consequence been taken to revert to the quality of the cover and paper used in Vol. III., and to adopt a solid instead of a leaded type, A new form of wrapper which is better for reading. will also be used which it is hoped will better preserve the covers. It has been decided to cease numbering the numbers and to withdraw the restriction as to binding, so that members can have their numbers bound where most convenient and in what style they please, but Messrs. C. Knight & Co., 227, Tooley Street, London, S.E. I , will still continue to undertake the work. A title page and contents list of the previous year's volume will be enclosed with the February number for binding purposes. T h e February number will also always contain a Bankers' Standing Order Form, a copy of the Objects and Regulations of the Society, and the Annual Statement of Accounts. T h e latter shows that although k 7 5 13s. was owing on 31st December, we have been able to invest another k150, which is satisfactory in view of the fact that 107 members have been retired, of whom 27 have so far resigned. It is estimated we shall actually start the year with about 1,300, which is amply sufficient under present conditions, but it is requested that no opportunity should be lost of enlisting new members. Accompanying this number is Addendum A of the Subject Index, containing the contents of Vol. X. I find it impossible to comply, for the reasons stated in the February number, Vol. X., with my promise to produce a list of books for reading; instead, I propose to append to the list of Naval and Military books
  4. 4. the titles of any which I notice of an historical, scientific or general interest which may be appreciated by individual members. The Society has three sets of Vols. I. to X., with the Index, for disposal, for A 3 15s., or A 3 5s. for Vols. I. to IX., plus postage. Lieut.-Com. C. A. Petrie, having to leave for South Africa on the 26th, I have, with the authority of the , Saval Committee of the Sundays River Valley, taken over the issue of the options remaining in his hands, the period for which has been extended to 30th June, 1923. I shall be glad to give all the information I can about the Settlement, and anyone thinking of taking an option should apply to me. W. H. HENDERSON, Hon. Editor. January 22nd, 1923.
  5. 5. A S T U D Y O F WAR.-IV. BY ADMIRAL R . N. CUSTANCE, B ., K.C.M .G., SIR G.C. C.V.O., D.C.L. W e kazw seen lhat t h e decisive act in war i s t h e battle, and t h e decisive factor t h e arnzed force; also that t h e reciprocal nationul object is security, and t h e reciprocal military a i m i s t o destroy or to neutralize and to w e a k e n t h e o p p o s i n g armed force. VIII. TO WEAKEN OPPOSING ~ R M E D THE L FORCE AND TO STRENGTHEN ONE'S O U ~ N . WE have now to consider the contributory or secondary military aim which seeks to weaken the armed force of its opponent and to strengthen its own by impairing or increasing, as the case may be, the material resources and moral support upon which those forces depend.' The resources on which any armed sea, land or air force depends are man power, accumulated wealth and capacity to supply food, clothing, weapons, ammunition and all the appliances required by an armed force, including instruments of war, whether ships, land craft or aircraft and instruments for transport. By man power is meant the numerical strength, knowledge, skill, energy, courage and endurance of the nation and its allies, including not only their armed forces but their unarmed populations which support and minister to the wants of their armed forces. Hence man power has physical, intellectual, and moral sides. Physically and intellectually it changes slowly and is more or less stabilised at any particular time, but morally it is liable to great fluctuations. The moral stability of man power depends mainly on faith that the war is fought for a just cause, that is to say, that the national object is more right than that of the opponent. 'I'he better cause tends gradually to undermine the worse. I-Ience the effort each side makes to prove that its own cause is the more just. Numbers not being the sole measure of man power its real value is not easy to appreciate at any particular time, which partly accounts for the errors in judging relative strengths at the opening of every war, as for 1 Cf 111. above.
  6. 6. NAVAL REVIEW. 2 instance by Xerxes before his expedition into Hellas in 480 B.C.,' and by the current opinion of the Russian strength at the opening of the great German W a r . During peace the nation supports itself by productive work and may also accumulate wealth in various forms. But during war this is sometimes no longer the case, as nearly all work done by the armed forces, or for them, whether at home or abroad, is either destructive or unproductive. At home those who are transferred from the productive work of peace to the destructive or unproductive work of war have to be supported, and work done abroad has to be paid for. Hence wealth accuniulated in the past is usually needed during war to supplement the returns from such productive work as is still done. Nations possessed of such wealth can use it for that purpose, as did Athens during the Peloponesian War,z and Great Britain during the wars with France 1793-1815, and with Germany 1914-18. Nations with little or no such wealth have to make good the deficiency from outside sources, such as subsidies or loans from allies, or by plunder from enemies. Thus during the Ionian W a r 412-04 B.C., the Lacedaemonian Fleet was maintained by Persian wealth, and after being twice destroyed in battle was rebuilt by Lysander with the financial aid of Cyrus the p ~ u n g e r . ~ Similarly during the French wars of 1793-1815 the Continental Allies of Great Britain were financed by her, while the French armies overran and plundered the Continental States to supply their own wants. The same phenomena were seen during the German W a r 1914-1918. The natiorial capacity to supply food, clothing, weapons, equipment and instruments of locomotion varies greatly. Agricultural and undeveloped countries usually have a surplus of food and natural products but a deficiency of manufactured articles, as for example, Russia. lThereas the reverse is often the case with industrialised and highly developed countries amply provided with machinery and skilled labour to use it, as for example, Great Britain. Hence an interchange takes place constantly during peace and, when possible, during war, but somewhat changed in character to meet the changed demand. It will be seen that the resources are partly internal and partly external. Whatever be their origin, any deficiency tends to lower the strength and moral of the armed force, as its materiel map be incomplete and ill-found and its personnel illfed, and badly clothed, armed and equipped. Furthermore, the unarmed population may also suffer privation from want of food and deficiency of clothing which may impair their moral and 1 2 3 Herodotus VII., 101, e t sep. Thucydides I I . , 13, 124; VIII., 15. War at Sea," p. 105, by the author.
  7. 7. A STUDY OF WAR.-IV. 3 indirectly react on that of the armed force. Similarly, any addition tends to raise the strength and moral of the armed force. Hence the contributory or secondary military aim of each side is to prepare victory by impairing enemy resources and increasing its own. T o this end, while the primary aims are in the balance, each side may try to act by land, air and sea. On land, each side may overrun enemy territory, while its own is kept inviolate ; destroy or convert to its own use the communications and the means of production of that territory, levy contributions there, plunder the country and press the population into its service, or, as in past ages, enslave it, or, a s is threatened in future years, bomb and poison the inhabitants of its cities. As, for example, in 1796, after putting the Piedmontese army out of action and driving back the Austrian, Napoleon overran Northern, Italy with the avowed object of supporting his army.I Again, during the American Civil War, Sherman, after sending back Thomas to Nashville to neutralise the Confederate Army in Alabama under Hood, marched through Georgia to the sea and thence north through the Carolinas, destroying the railways, living on the country, and seriThe ously impairing the Confederate resources and moral. German invasion of Belgium, Northern France and Roumania will be fresh in the mind. T h e occupation of the capital indirectly weakens the armed force, since the national life becomes disorganised to an extent which increases with its complexity. For this reason the occupation of London would probably be more serious than that of any other capital. But even in that case, as a military aim, it would probably be secondary to the destruction of the armed force. For example, the occupation of Athens was less important than the Persian defeat at Salamis; of Vienna, needed to be supplemented by the French victory at Austerlitz; of Moscow, resulted in the disastrous French retreat. Berlin was occupied after and not before the destruction of the Prussian army at Jena. W h e n the Germans advanced into France in 1914 their primary aim was the destruction of the Allied armies and not the occupation of Paris which would have followed as a consequence of the victory which was denied them. At sea, each side may try to stop the enemy sea-borne trade and military transports and to prevent its own being stopped, thus cutting off enemy supplies and reinforcements from oversea while itself continuing to receive them ; also, to seize'enemy maritime bases of supply and intelligence while preserving its own intact. Trade is stopped by exercising the right of maritime capture, which means :1 Correspondence de Napoleon, 91. -
  8. 8. 4 NAVAL REVIEW. Enemy capture, that is the right to capture and confiscate enemy merchant ships and enemy cargoes or board such ships on all occasions when met with on the high seas or in the waters of a belligerent; and 2 . Neutral capture, that is, the right to capture and confiscate, or otherwise penalise, neutral merchant ships if they offend against neutrality. T h e justification for enemy capture is that all merchant ships are potential instruments of war as armed ships or as military transports, supply ships, despatch boats, and mine sweepers, and that the threat of capture stops or reduces the enemy sea-borne trade and thus cuts off his supplies; and for neutral capture is that " supplying the enemy, with what better enables him to carry on the war, is a departure from neutrality." For these reasons maritime capture has for several generations been recognised by the law of nations as a legitimate operation of war, and is claimed and exercised now as a means directly or indirectly to wealten the enemy's armed force and to shorten the war. , Attempts to weaken the right of capture have been made at intervals. T h e principal argument used has been that ships and cargoes are private property and that their capture is a hardship on private individuals. T h e argument is fallacious, since for several generations both ships and cargoes have been insured, with the result that the losses and the cost of insurance are borne not by private owners but by the consumers, who pay increased prices to cover them. Again, exception has been taken to the right to capture property on the ground that a different practice is followed on land. T h e most important difference is that the military commander is a law to himself, whereas the proceedings of the naval commander are reviewed by a prize court. The former acts outside the law, the latter under the law. T h e proceedings before the British Prize Court may be usefully compared with those followed by Napoleon's marshals or the German generals. That maritime capture is humane when carried out under the rules recognised by international law is evident from the procedure established under them and by the practice of the past. T h e duty of the captor was then to bring in, for adjudication by a prize court, any merchant ships he detained. If the ship captured was an enemy, the rule was not always observed. Whether the ship was brought in or not the safety of the personnel was always secured. In the recent war the British destroyed ships in the Baltic after removing and providing for the security of the personnel. T h e Germans also destroyed ships at sea, but they deliberately risked and sacrificed the lives of both crew and passengers, thus making- war a t sea inhumane. Their aim was to make war at sea as ruthless, brutal and lawless I.
  9. 9. as it too often has been on land, and by the terror created to prevent ships putting to sea. In this they failed. Since no two wars are waged under the same geographical, political, economic and military conditions, the practical application of the principle of maritime capture varies in each. This is especially so in the case of neutral capture. Many disputes arise about the rules relating to blockades, contraband, con- - a r g u m e n t . It is sufficient to note that the interest of the belli-gerents is regulated and the inconvenience and loss to neutrals in some respects mitigated. T h e details of these disputes are political and economic rather than military, and lie outside our argument. It is sufficient to note that the interest of the belligerent is usually complete stoppage of enemy trade, while that of the neutral may seem to be the uninterrupted continuance of his own trade. LJsually each side is held back from making extreme demands by action already taken in the past or possibly required in the future when the parts are reversed. illoreover, the political object of the war, the many-sided friction in the political and international machines, the relative strength not only of the belligerents but of the neutrals and the progress of the war all tend to influence the relations between belligerents and neutrals and the action respectively taken by them. In fact, the stoppage of neutral trade with a belligerent has always been dependent upon action taken by the belligerents and either accepted or tolerated by neutrals, or so much opposed by them that thev have ultimately joined in the war, a s did the United States in the years 1812 and 1917. T o prevent trade being stopped the reciprocal action required By the navy to destroy or to neutralise the opposing armed ships. 2 . Bv insurance to transfer the losses due to capture from private owners of ships and cargoes through the underwriters to the consumers who pay prices increased by the ~ r e m i u m s . T h e navy and insurance supplement each other. T h e more successful the navy, the fewer are the losses by capture, the lower the premiums and the less the stoppage to trade, and vice versa". The system enabled the sea-borne trade to continue during the wars of the 18th and 19th centuries. T h e recent German war introduced some changes. T h e Government then shared the war risks for the first time and undertook 80 per cent. of them, leaving the remainder to the underwriters. W i t h this help, the navy insurance svstem fulfilled its mission during the first complete year when the average monthly war losses were 55,ooo gross tons and, with graduallv increasing difficulty during the second complete year, when those losses were 89,000 I. 'v /O 23 J.cO
  10. 10. b NAVAL REVIEW. gross tons. But the war losses of shipping were not the chief difficulty during these two years. Shortage of supplies raised prices. Decreasing efficiency of shipping due to war delays, increasing Government demands for tonnage, cessation in ship building, resulted in an inadequate tonnage which raised freights and prices. As a consequence, the Government were forced to exercise a gradually increasing control over supplies and shipping.l In the third year of the war losses of Allied and neutral shipping gradually rose from 165,677 gross tons in August, 1916, to 866,610 gross tons in April, 1917, after which they gradually fell and continued to do so, reaching 113,054 gross tons in October, 1918. T o meet these losses ship building was largely developed, especially in the United States, with the result that by the second quarter of 1918 the losses were more than balanced by the new tonnage launched, and continued to be so to an increasing degree. T h e broad fact is that during the third year the navy failed to neutralize the German submarine action, which began to be intensive in February, 1917, but finally succeeded in doing so. T h e naval action requlred to prevent trade being stopped is now to be examined. T h e navy acts by watching the enemy armed ships at their points of departure, intercepting them on the ocean and forestalling them at their destination. T o illustrate this, it is proposed to sketch the second Civil W a r between the Royalists and the English Commonwealth after the execution of Charles I. in January, 1648-9, and the informal war of reprisals between England and France which developed during that civil war. T h e operations were conducted by land and sea. On land, the armies on either side were not unequal, but those of the Royalists were divided between Ireland and Scotland, and were thus at a disadvantage. The reciprocal military aim was to destroy the opposing army. Of the operations, it is sufficient to sap that Cromwell landed at Dublin in August, 1649, and left in the following May, having in the interval so far destroyed the Irish army that the threatened invasion of England became impossible, but the operations did not end until May, 1652. I n June, 1650, Cromwell moved to Scotland and, after protracted movements, destroyed the Scottish army at Worcester in September, 1651, but the final conquest of Scotland was not completed until the following February. At sea, the armed forces were on the one side the Commonwealth Navy, and on the other side seven English ships of war which hadgassed over to the Royalists in May, 1648, privateers bearing Royalist letters of marque and ultimately French ships of war and privateess, of which some bore letters of marque from Charles 11. T h e Commonwealth was much the stronger 1 Allied Shipping Control. Salter.
  11. 11. A STUDY OF WAR.-IV. 7 side. Its military aim was to destroy or neutralize the armed ships opposed to it, whereas that of the Royalists was to evade battle, and to plunder English trade in order to finance themselves and impair the resources of the Commonwealth. T h e aim was in the one case primary, in the other secondary. The operations may be said to have begun in January, 1648g, when Prince Rupert put to sea from Helvoetchuys with the seven revolted ships and another. H e arrived at Kinsale early in February.' From that base his ships were detached and made numerous captures of merchant ships until the middle of May,2 when the Commonwealth " Generals at sea " began a close watch, and by the threat of battle confined his ships to port. This was continued until late in October or early in November, when a gale of wind dispersing the watching squsdron, he put to sea with seven ships to evade the threat of Cromwell's advancing army. Transferring his base to Lisbon, he was left free for about three months and made several captures. On 10th-20th March, 1649-50, General Robert Blake, with twelve ships, arrived3 off the entrance to the Tagus. His inwere to seize or destroy structions, dated 17th-27th J a n ~ a r y , ~ the revolted and other ships operating under or with Prince Rupert, but to avoid conflict with foreign states unless they first became the assailants. H i s position was difficult seeing that, although the Thirty Years' W a r had been brought to a close recently by the Peace of Westphalia, France was still at war with Spain and was supporting Portugal in her struggle for independence from Spain. Also, not one of the Continental States had recognised, and all were hostile to the regicide Commonwealth. Blake attempted but failed to establish diplomatic relations with the K i n g of P ~ r t u g a l . ~ e was refused H permission to use Oeiras Bay, the,inner anchorage, except in bad weather, and was compelled to anchor in Cascaes Bay, the Unable to attack Rupert's ships exposed outer a n ~ h o r a g e . ~ owing to the opposition of the K i n g of Portugal, Blake remained to watch them, and to fight them if opportunity offered. In the middle of May the outward bound Brazil merchant fleet left the Tagus. Blake, empowered by his instructions, commandeered nine English merchant ships forming part of that fleet. Ten days later Colonel Edward Popham joined v,ith eight ships,? and brought instructions8 dated 20th-30th April and 25th April-5th May, ordering explicitly reprisals against Welbeck I., 519. I,evbourne-Popham, 13, 17. 3 Welbeck I., 519. 4 Thurloe I., 134. 5 Leybourne-Popham papers, p. 66. 6 Welbeck I., 520. 7 Levbourne-Popham, 66. 8 Thurloe I., 142, 144. V17elbeck I., 527. 1 2
  12. 12. 8 S.4V.4L REVIEW. Portuguese ships and goods, if the free use of Oeiras Bay and other Portuguese ports was denied to English ships, and inlplicitly a commercial blockade of Lisbon in addition to the military watch on the revolted ships. Reprisals were also ordered against the ships and goods of France. These instructions were acted upon and a complete rupture with Portugal followed. Supplies could no longer be obtained locally, which increased Blake's difficulties. With a mixed force of French, Portuguese and revolted ships superior in number to the watching squadron, Rupert tried to put to sea on July 26th-August jth, and again on September 7th-17th, but in each case after a skirmish he refused battle and returned into port. Seven days after the second attempt the homeward bound Brazil fleet was intercepted off the Tagus by Blake, who destroyed the flagship, captured seven ships and withdrew with them to the Bay of Cadiz, leaving open the port of Lisb0n.l During the last four months' stay off the Tagus the watching squadron had remained generally at anchor in Cascaes Bay, with single ships under way as required, and detachments to obtain supplies from time to time at Cadiz, or Vigo, upwards of two hundred sea miles away. Under Portuguese pressure2-the outcome of the English reprisalsRupert sailed on October 12th-~2nd with six revolted ships, and fourteen days later was off the port of Malaga, where he attaclied English merchant ships. This infringement of Spanish sovereignty caused the K i n g of Spain presently to forbid hirn the use of Spanish ports.' Blake had the news on October 28thNovember 7th, left Cadiz at once in pursuit, and between 3rd-13th and 5-15th November destroyed off Cartagena four of the revolted ships4 who had parted company with their Admiral. Rupert, with only two ships and a prize, reached Toulon some days later and remained there until May 7th-17th, 1 6 5 1 . ~ Blake pursued as far as the Balearic Islands, or perhaps Sardinia, but was back a t Cartagena by December 5th-15th." That Rupert had left Lisbon was known in London by November 2nd-lath, on which date the Council of State issued instructions to Blake directing him to return to England and informing him that Captain William Penn was named to corn. mand a squadron to intercept another Portuguese fleet from Brazil and to prevent Rupert doing further m i ~ c h i e f . ~ That Blake was already in pursuit was known by December 13th1 Welbrck I., 531, 536. ?Varburton III., 313. W e l b e c k I., 542. Welbeck I., 538, 539, 540, 543. 5 Penn I., 338. 6 Welbeck I . , 543, 545. 7 Tliurloe T., 166. 2
  13. 13. A STUDY OF WAR.-IV. 9 ~ 3 r d . ' News of his success arrived by December 24th-January 3rd, 16.50-I,~ when orders were issued desiring him to remain abroad as long as the public service required and directing him to give such orders to Penn a s were necessary. On that date Blake was at Cadiz on his way to England, which he reached ,~ in early F e b r ~ a r y and thus these orders were of no effect and probably did not reach him. During these same two years, 1649-50, the Royalist privateers were sailing from ports occupied by the Royalists in Ireland, Scotland, the Scilly Islands, Jersey and Isle of M a n ; also from ports in France, especially Dunkirk and Ostend. These ports of exit were so numerous and widespread that it was impossible to watch the privateers a s was done in the case of Rupert's squadron. It was difficult to meet them on the open sea, but they might be forestalled at their destination, which was the merchant ship they wished to capture. This was done. T h e practice began by placing armed ships as escorts alongside ships carrying troops, ammunition, Government stores, and was gradually extended to ordinary traders, the merchant in that case being charged convoy money until October, 1649, when the charge was r e m ~ v e d . ~ During the same two years the French were seizing English ships and goods. No redress being obtainable through the ordinary channels, the Commonwealth towards the end of the year 1649 began to grant letters of reprisal to private owners to recover their losses by seizing French ships and goods. These were followed in April, 1650, by instructions to English ships of war to seize French ships of war and merchant ships.5 'Thus it came about that during that year both English and French trade was being captured by both ships of war and privateers. Furthermore, the sea was not clear of pirates, especially in the Mediterranean, where the Barbary corsairs were active. Moreover, French and English goods on neutral ships were liable to seizure under the law of reprisals, and thus Dutch ships, the great neutral carriers, were often detained and their cargoes seized. T o neutralize the attacking ships, and prevent the trade being stopped became a pressing problem. Accordingly, ~ on October ~1st-November o t h ,1650, or about the date when Rupert's sortie from Cadiz was known in LondonG and Penn was nominated to relieve Blake, Parliament ordered a standing convoy service,' added fifteen per cent. to the customs to cover the expense and directed the Navy Commissioners-not the 1 2 3 4 5 Dom. Cal., 4 6 8 Thurloe I., 168. Dom. Cnl., 6, 44. Dom. Cnl., 349. Thurloe I.. 144. = Cf P. Dom. 7 Cnl., 1,651, p. 404.
  14. 14. NAVAL REVIEW. I0 Generals at sea-to control it. Thus, the convoy system of escorts was not then recognised to be part of the general operations against the enemy's armed ships. Six weeks later and before Blake's success off Cartagena was known Captain Edward Hall was nominated to command a squadron for convoy service in the Mediterranean.' On December 20th-joth, or about the time when Blake reached Cadiz on his way home, Penn left Falmouth with five ships having sailed2 from Spithead three weeks earlier and been detained by contrary winds. H i s instructions were to intercept the Brazil fleet at the Azores, and then to ploceed to Vigo on the coast of G a l i ~ i a . ~ e reached those islands on January H 17th-27th and was presently joined by three more ships. Three weeks later he learned that the Brazil fleet had passed. Whereupon he started in pursuit and on February ~1st-March 3rd met off Lisbon the Assurance, Captain Benjamin Blake, with information that despatches were awaiting him a t Vigo. A week later he anchored off Cadiz, where he met Captain Hall with seven ships of war, escorting the Mediterranean convoy, and on March 1 2 t h - ~ 2 n dreceived the missing despatches-possibly dated two months earlier4-which instructed him to pursue Rupert. Since leaving Falmouth he had captured eleven prizes of which six were Dutch. On March 29th-April Sth, 1651, Penn put to sea from Cadiz with eight ships in pursuit of Rupert, passed along the coast of Spain, through the Balearic Islands, called off Cagliari in Sardinia, and made Galita Island off the coast of Tunis on May I ~ t h - ~ 1 s tH e proposed to pass thence east of Sardinia and to . g o off Toulon, but a week later abandoned that idea and decided to seek intelligence at Leghorn. Arriving there on May 25thJune 4th, he learned that Rupert had left Toulon with five ships on May 7th-17th, and was reported to havi: gone to the eastward. On May 27th-June 6th Penn left Leghorn and ten days later was off Trapani in Sicily. For nearly seven weeks he cruised in the waters between Sicily and Tunis. Not having any news of the chase, he then passed through Malta to Messina, where, on July 29th-August Sth, he learned that Rupert had been capturing ships off Cadiz. Penn at once decided to leave Sicilian waters for Gibraltar, where he arrived on September 9th-~gth,having called at Cagliari, Formentera and Alicante on his way. Six days later a captured 1,ubecker reported that Rupert had been at the Azores5 1 2 3 4 5 Dom. Cal., 466. Penn I., 319. Welbeck II., 70. Dom. Cnl., p. 7. Cf Nelson and Villeneuve in 1805
  15. 15. A STUDY OF WAR.-IV. I1 In December Penn detached three ships to search the Azores, but remained himself, with five, in the Straits of Gibraltar until January, when he sailed with those ships for England, arriving , in the Downs on April 1 s t - r ~ t h 1652. Since leaving England he had captured thirtv-six prizes, of which several were Dutch. Through an error in judgment on his part, entirely pardonable, Penn had failed to make contact. Probably the threat of his squadron, coupled with the K i n g of Spain's refusal to allow the use of his ports in Spain, Italy, Sardinia and Sicily, had forced Rupert to leave the Mediterranean. Furthermore, Penn claimed that his presence in that sea had confined French ships of war in port and that he had captured six French merchant ships.l Rupert's subsequent movements had little effect on the war. Early in 1652 he passed from the Azores to the Cape de Verdes, thence in the summer of that year to the West Indies, his force gradually withering away and finally disappearing on his arrival at Nantes in March, 1G53. During the year 1651 the convoy system was well established, and the Royalist privateers were checked by the capture of their bases at the Scilly Islands, Jersey and Isle of Man, also by the Royalist defeat in Ireland and Scotland. w h e n the year 1652 opened Rupert's force had been driven out of European waters by a superior concentration which was then no longer needed. The Royalist privateers had been neutralized by the convoy svstem and the capture of their bases. The Royalist-Commonwealth war was practically a t an end. Rut the war of reprisals between France and England continued, France and Spain were at war and the Barbary corsairs were active. Both Dutch and English merchant ships were sailing in convoys under armed escorts. The second Civil W a r , 1649-51, illustrated the military watch on the principal enemy armed force at its port of departure with a view to bringing it to battle when opportunity offered, and the impossibility of watching all armed ships which threatened to stop the trade. Further, it supplied some explicit evidence of the difficulty of intercepting them on the high seas and implied it by introducing the convoy system which forestalled them at their destination, the merchant ship. The recent German W a r , 1914-18, presented the same phenomena in principle although far different in details. Blake's watch off Lisbon had its counterpart in the Rritish watch in the Yorth Sea. The German detachments abroad at the outbreak of war consisted of ten effective ships of war and four armed merchant ships. The force opposed to them by the combined British, French, Japanese, Russian and Italian navies was so greatly superior that all were either destroyed or driven into port during 1 Penn's Journal.
  16. 16. NAVAL REVIEW. I2 the first seven months. Henceforth occasional surface ships got to sea and made a small number of captures. T h e submarines became the real danger, as they were found to be even more difficult to intercept in the British seas than the surface ships on the ocean. T h e convoy system was introduced and applied, as in the Civil W a r , quite early for Government transports and much later for merchant ships, that is to say, in May, 1917, when the shipping losses were a t the highest.l Its success was complete and was furthered by the introduction of new instruments to locate and new weapons to destroy submarines when submerged, and by the addition of aircraft to the armed escorts in Home waters. Its justification remains always the same.2 The armed escort is placed alongside the convoy, because the enemy armed force is most likely to be nlet there. It secures the convoy by destroying or neutralizing the enemy when he appears, that is, by battle or the threat of battle. This is the guiding principle for the escort commander. No fixed rules are admissible. T h e outstanding example is the battle of Portland on February 18th-28th, 1651-2, . in which Martin 'Tromp with 70 ships of-war and a large convoy met the Generals a; seaBlake, Deane and hilonck-with the same number. Leaving his convoy to windward, Tromp bore down and fought a delaying action. After inflicting much loss on the English and suffering some loss himself, he broke off the action, rejoined his convoy and continued his course up Channel, followed by the Generals at sea. The destruction of the Emden by the Sydney during That ship, one of the German W a r is another example. three escorting the Australasian convoy of military transports, was detached some fifty miles for the purpose. As a military aim secondary to the destruction of the enemy armed force, the overseas bases of supply were captured by the stronger navy in the German W a r as they were in the Civil W a r . It is to be noted that all secondary military aims, whether to stop sea-borne trade or prevent it being stopped, or to capture oversea bases or territory, mean dispersion of force against which the primary aim to destroy the enemy armed ships is constantly re-acting to bring about concentration. Thus in the Civil W a r Rupert's squadron forced a Commonwealth concentration of twenty ships off 1,isbon during the summer of 1650 and seriously reduced the numbers available for other services, since the ships in commission at that time numbered about 72, of which 28 were armed merchant ships.3 Again, the small armed escort of the Civil W a r grew into the massed fleet of the first Dutch W a r . Also, in the German W a r Von Spee's concentration in the Pacific threatened at first the Entente 1 Cf 2 6 above. '< The military reasons for convoy are believed to be as valid now as ever they were." Naval Policy, p. 216. 1907. 3 Dom. Cal., 1649-50, p. 464.
  17. 17. A STUDY OF WAR.-IV. I3 detachments in Australasian and Malayan waters, a n d later those on the coast of America and in the Atlantic. Each of those detachments had to be made strong enough to meet him. Cradock was not strong enough and was dest~oyed,but Von Spee himself presently suffered the same fate from a superior concentration. It will be seen that the enemy resources are impaired in different ways, on land by overrunning territory and at sea by stopping trade and military transports a n d by capturing oversea bases. T h i s does not mean that the military aim is different by land and sea. O n the contrary it is the same, because the overrunning of territory, the stoppage of trade and military transports and the capture of oversea bases are means to a n end, that is, means to wealien the enemy armed forces and to prcpare their destruction, which is the military aim. Furthermore, it does not follow that the overrun territory must be annexed, nor the trade stopped permanently, nor the captured bases retained, although such might be, and in the past often has been, the national object, a s the result of the achievement of the military aim. T o overrun territory is a military measure; to annex it is a political act.
  18. 18. T H E L A T E SIII. J U L I A N C O R B E T T . SIR JULIAN CORBETT'S death is a very serious blow to naval history, and, as history is the raw material out of which a knowledge of the principles of strategy and tactics is built up, so the study of those arts will suffer. Corbett's work began rather more than a quarter of a century ago with a small volume on Monk for the " Men of Action " Series in 1889. This he followed in 1890 by another on " Drake," a book which, under the spell cast by the Elizabethans, led him into a more extended study; in 1898 he produced his " Drake and the Tudor Navy." Before writing this he had read largely, both in civil history and military science, and, as he says in his preface, his object was to give a general view of the circumstances under which England became a controlling force in the European system by virtue of her power upon the sea. T h e book is a remarkable one, and quickly ran into a second edition-a tribute unusual to a work of so specialised a character. T h e story is of peculiar interest to-day, for the changes in technique, the transition from galley warfare to sail warfare, and the shifting of the maritime balance of power, have their counterparts in the transition in the character of vessels that is taking place now. As the men of the sixteenth century found it hard to see where things would end, whether the galley would survive, so we as in glass darkly are trying to foresee whether the battle ship will do so. Corbett pointed dut rhat maritime warfare fallls into three periods, 'I' each sharply characterised by a generic difference in the ' capital in the seventeenth century it was happily calledship '-as the ship, that is, which formed the backbone of a fighting fleet, and which had a place in the fighting line. T h e first period is that of the galley, beginning in prehistoric times and culminating in the year 1571, at the Battle of Lepanto; the second is that of the ' great ship ' or ' ship-of-the-line,' which was established in 1588 with the campaign of the Great Armada, and reached its highest development at Trafalgar; the third is that in which we now (1898) live, the period of the battleship." Following this, Corbett made the acute remark that these divisions not only lie within certain defined chronological limits, but are rooted in the essentials of sea warfare. " The essence of naval strategy is sea endurance, by which is meant the degree of a fleet's capability of keeping the sea." In that sentence he puts his finger upon the crucial problem of to-
  19. 19. THE LATE S I R JUL1.W CORBETT. . I5 day. " It is the solution of this problem that is the eternal preoccupation of the naval art." Recent changes in material have affected the power of the ship to keep the sea-fuel, supplies, submarines,-and the solution of the problem introduced by the changed material is our preoccupation to#-day. All this may seem obvious to us now. But it was not so obvious 25 years ago, and a writer who could so succinctly define the pivotal influences, and with such accuracy that the definition becomes applicable to conditions of which none at that time dreamt, is entitled to our admiration : and that admiration is surely heightened when we reflect that he was a landsman. Does not this fact lend countenance to the assers tion that a study of history assists one to unravel the problems of strategy ? Corbett next turned his attention to the period following Drake, and in his " Successors of Drake " produced another volume of interest and importance. It is of peculiar interest, as we see in it the decline into which the navy and the naval art may fall. But it shows more. It makes clear that great lesson of the interdependence between navy and army. It illustrates the supreme importance of bases. It shows Spain, shattered by the Elizabethans but not robbed of all vitality, resurrecting her navy, and England, for want of an insight into the true nature of war, losing the command of the sea Drake had won for her. " The end of the war," he wrote, " saw Spain more powerful on the sea than when she began. W e had taught her the lesson of naval power, and she had learnt it according to her lights. W e had not learnt ours. It is doubtful whether we have learnt it yet. W e know what Nelson did at Trafalgar, and forget that its real importance was what it afterwards enabled Wellington to do." Very broadly, that sentence compresses the idea that ran through much of Corbett's theory of sea warfare. T h e value of sea power, he maintains a few lines lower on the same page, lies in its influence on the operations of armies. This idea he carried further in his next book, " England in the Mediterranean," in which he linked up the operations of the fleet up the Straits with Marlborough's armies in a masterly manner. The This book is one deserving the most careful reading. story of the events that led up to the campaign of 1704, and of the campaign itself, had never been told in a manner which expressed truly the strategy of William 111. and Marlborough. Not only, however, does Corbett in this book impress the lesson of the liaison between army and navy; he brings out the realisation, that followed the entrance of the English Navy into the Mediterranean, of the strategic importance of the Straits of Gibraltar in war with France and Spain : and, what is more, reminds us that strategical truths concerning the importance of
  20. 20. I6 NAVAL REVIEW. certain commanding positions are not necessarily plain to men at the time. " Blake," he says, " had demonstrated the surpassing importance of Gibraltar and the inherent weakness of the French position. H i s action had brought naked to the surface the cardinal fact that the two seats of her naval energy were separated widely and by a narrow defile. It was clear that the prompt seizure or even the threat to seize this defile must place in English hands the initiative in any naval war with her old enemy." But this truth was not clearly recognised at once. " T h e great facts of strategy have always grown slowly to axiomatic solidity, rather by repeated example than sudden prezcept." And this is a fact we do well to grasp; a iesson we do well to learn. Even a Cromwell or a Blake does not suddenly formulate in his mind a clear appreciation of a great strategic situation. T h e essence dawns upon him as the result of experience. It is more than probable that the problems of strategy that are obscure to us to-day will appear as clear as crystal to our successors; they will wonder why there should have been controversies on battleships, submarines and aircraft, and will be astonished that our policy delayed so long in translating season into correct action. Books such as those of Corbett are stimulants : they prevent us from imagining that a knowledge of strategy is a concomitant of an extra stripe upon the sleeve, or of an extensive knowledge of ballistics or other applied sciences. They demonstrate no less the need for study, than the very gradual growth of knowledge that results from it; and emphasize the catastrophies that result from the belief that there are short cuts to knowledge, or any other path than hard and sustained reading and thinking. Corbett's next work of importance was his " England in the Seven Years' W a r " (1907). H e had then been lecturer on History to the W a r College for some time, and, as he has often said to the present writer, had derived great advantage from personal intercourse with a number of naval officers. W i t h his increased experience he was developing new ideas; and in his preface he wrote that the value of the war is high as an example of the strategical use of the fleet and the practice of amphibious operations. " For a right consideration of the war the army must be regarded primarily as forming an integral part of the maritime force with which it was carried on." A critique of the book in the Spectator said : " Mr. Corbett, so far as we lrnow, is the first to take a comprehensive view of the war, and to disentangle the harmonious purpose running through England's efforts. T h e importance of this broad method to the student of history or of strategy can hardlv be exaggerated; for nothing is so essential to an understanding of success or failure in war as the correlation of all the elements brought into play during a campaign. Too many naval and military his- .
  21. 21. THE LATE SIR JULIAN CORBETT. I7 torians are apt to forget that the Army and Navy are not the end of a nation's existence, but literally the ' services ' whereby she attains one of her ends. If Mr. Corbett had done nothing else in these volumes, his ample recognition of this truth would have entitled him to the gratitude of all men of affairs and historical students." It was in this book that Corbett first formulated in writing his views of the function of the fleet. " The function of the fleet, the object for which it was always employed, has been threefold; firstly, to support or obstruct diplomatic effort; secondly, to protect or destroy commerce; and thirdly, to further or hinder military operations ashore.'' The command of the sea, he argued, is a means to a n e n d : and this is constantly lost sight of in naval policy. " W e forget what happended in the old wars; we blind ourselves by looking only on the dramatic moments of naval history ; we come unconsciously to assume that the defeat of the enemy's fleets solves all problems, and that we are always free and able to apply this apparently simple solution. Thus, until quite recent years, naval thought had tended to confine itself to the perfection of the weapon and to neglect the art of using it. Or, in other words, it had come to feel its sole concern was fighting, and had forgotten the art of making war." S o Corbett wrote in 1907. The criticism was just, and even if all the views he expressed did not command the approval of many great authorities, there were few who disagreed that the art of making war had been neglected in the concentration upon producing more powerful instruments. The book created a great impression, as the extract from the critique, quoted earlier, shows. It raised Corbett's position as a thinker. It received praise from all parts of the world. Three years later it was followed by his " Campaign of Trafalgar," a masterly study which threw an entirely new light upon the operations which led up to the battle. This is not the occasion upon which to discuss the views he held upon the manner in which the battle was fought, to uphold or contest his opinions. It is, however, pertinent to say that he made men think more about the tactics of Trafalgar than they had thought before. His earlier books upon Fighting Instructions, produced by the Navy Records Society in 1905 and 1908, had paved the way for a study of the development of the tactical thought which culminated at Trafalgar. His books indeed furnish a great deal of the material for a history of tactics. Those on the Drake and post-Drake period give us the beginnings, the discussions on Malaga and the Appendix in " England in the Vediterranean " afford the late 17th Century views, the Navy Records volumes trace the developments from Instructions, through Signals, to Trafalgar, and the " Campaign of Tra-
  22. 22. I8 NAVAL REVIEW. falgar " brings the record to its final point in sailing tactics. T h e only g a p of importance is in the Dutch W a r s , and that is not a complete gap, for' the instructions, the short sketch of Monk, and the notes on the Dartmouth Drawings all deal with it. During the period in which he was working a t the W a r College Corbett came into close touch with Lord Fisher, who invited his criticism on many of his schemes. Much correspondence passed between t h e m ; and Lord Fisher suggested to him that he should write a text book on Strategy. T h i s proposal he adopted, but with diffidence, a n d wrote " Some Principles of Maritime Strategy." It is interesting to read that book to-day. It was written in 191I , by a layman, without a n y experience of war except such a s h e had distilled from a study of the wars of the past, and from writings on war. I t would be remarkable if there were nothing in it from which a n y one dissented. But it will be found that the principles he enunciated were borne out in a remarkable degree in the late war. Speaking of co-ordination of naval and military effort, he said : " I t may be that the command of the sea is of s o urgent a n importance that the army will have to devote itself to assisting the fleet in its special task before it can act directly against the enemy's territory or land forces; on the other hand, it may be that the immediate duty of the fleet will be to forward military action ashore before it is free t o devote itself whole-heartedly to the destruction of the enemy fleets." W h a t the primary object for us islanders, was not, in Corbett's philosophy of war, a thing to be defined with the same inflexibility a s it can be defined in continental warfare; it is instructive to consider that opinion in relation to the strategical situation in those early days of 1914 when the Expeditionary Force was hastening to reach the battlefields in Flanders. I n his Principles, Corbett made the first clear written definition of the functions of the several elements of a fleet. Postulating that the object of naval warfare is to control communications (which is not the same thing a s the primary military object of a fleet in war) he said that " the fundamental requirement is the means of exercising that control." Battleships alone cannot exercise control ; specialisation has rendered them unfit, and too costly ever t o be numerous enough. Numbers are needed for this etercise, and those numbers are furnished by what we now call " cruisers." W h i c h brought him to the conclusion : " O n cruisers depends our exercise o control : on f . . The the battle-fleet depends the security of control. . true function of the battle-fleet is to protect cruisers a n d flotilla at their special work. T h e doctrine of destroying the enemy's armed forces a s the paramount object here reasserts itself, and .
  23. 23. T H E LATE S I R JULIAN CORBETT. '9 reasserts itself so strongly as to permit for most practical purposes the rough generalisation that the command depends on the battle-fleet." It has been said that Corbett's doctrine of war placed the destruction of the enemy forces in the background. T h e above quotation shows that the doctrine of destroying the enemy was by no means absent from his mind. The difficulty that history showed so frequently to exist was that of inequality in the opposing fleets. T h e following deduction is an accurate forecast of the policy adopted by the High Seas Fleet. " The normal condition is that if we desire a decision it is because we have definite hopes of success, and consequently the enemy will probably seek to avoid m e on our terms. In practice this means that if we have perfected our arrangements for the destruction of his main fleet he will refuse to expose it till he sees a more favourable opportunity. And what will be the result ? H e remains on the defensive, and theoretically all the ensuing period of inaction tends to fall into his scale. Without stirring from port his fleet is doing its work. T h e more closely he induces us to concentrate our cruiser1 force in face of his battle-fleet the more he frees the sea for the circulation of his own trade and the more he exposes ours to cruiser raids." W i t h the exception that the enemy could not free the sea for the circulation of his own trade, except in the Baltic, this is a picture of what happened three years later. This book on strategy illustrates the value of a study of history. Its writer, as we have remarked before, was not a seaman, had no technical knowledge or experience : yet by study of the history of war rendered himself capable of formulating views on, and forecasting events in, war and strategy. This is a remarkable tribute to history as a study for officers. There is, of course, nothing new in this fact, nothing that has not been known to every great commander and thinker. W h a t it does is merely to confirm their views. Count Schlieffen, the designer of the German war plan, wrote, many years ago : " Before every one who wishes to become a Commander-in-Chief there lies a book entitled ' T h e History of War.' It is not always, I must admit, very amusing. It involves the toiling through a mass of by no means exciting details. But by their means we arrive at facts, often soul-stirring facts, and at the root of it lies the perception of how everything has happened, how it was bound to happen, and how it will happen again." It is to this perception that Corbett's studies led him, and to this that the fruit of his studies leads those who read them And his works have the advantage of bellng intelligently. eminently readable ; the reproach, levelled by Von Schlieffen, 1 T h e word " cruiser " can justifiably be extended to those vessels of the flotilla engaged upon the defence of trade and communications.
  24. 24. NAV.4L REVIEW. 20 that the History of W a r " is not always very amusing" is mitigated in the case of Corbett's books. " Amusing," perhaps, in its common connotation, is not a quality one seeks in History, except for those to whom the unravelling of a complicated tangle of situations is an amusement-as fortunately it is to some people. This amusement Corbett's books freely afford ; and they do so largely because they furnish what naval histories hitherto have not furnished-sufficient material upon which to form a judgment. W e are shown the situations as a whole-not the mere minor strategical situations at sea. Diplomacy, armies, navies, commerce, neutrals, allies, all pull their respective strings, and we see how many interests there: are in war tending to deflect the course of operations from the straight line of the theoretically best. W a r , he was fond of saying, is never conducted upon a clean slate. Maxims admirable in themselves, are generally very difficult to put into operation in their perfection in practice. If it is to the advantage of one combatant to concentrate at the vital point, it is not improbable that it will be to the advantage of his enemy to bring about dispersion ; and that he will take measures that will force dispersion on the would-be concentrator. It is easy to say that the concentration of force should be proceeded with, and that no deflection from " the true course " of strategy should be made. But concentration may become over-concentration, as Kempenfelt once pointed out. This characteristic of refusing to be hag-ridden by phrases was characteristic of Corbett's analytical mind. While recognising to the full the truth of those generalisations into which the principles of war are, for convenience, compressed, he always urged that they needed intelligent translation : and the more one studies history the more fully does one appreciate the danger, to which in several places he alludes, of accepting at6 pied d e la lettre these aphorisms, interpreting them blindly. Criticism of a commander based solely on the purely theoretical and academic charge that he violated such and such a principle of war-and such criticisms are, as all readers of history know well, only too common-was nauseous to him. typical expression of his views occurs in his remarks on the doctrine of concentration of eff0rt.l " It is idle for purists to tell us that the deflection of commerce protection should not be permitted to turn us from our main purpose. W e have to do with the hard facts of war, and experience tells us that for economic reasons alone, apart from the pressure of public opinion, no one has ever found it possible to ignore the deflection entirely. S o vital indeed is financial vigour in war, that more often than not the maintenance of the flow of trade has been felt as a paramount consideration. Even in the best days of our Dutch Wars, when the whole plan was 1 '[Some principles of Maritime Strategy," page 162.
  25. 25. THE LATE S I R JULIAN CORBETT. 21 based on ignoring the enemy's commerce a s our objective, we found ourselves a t times forced to protect our own trade with seriously disturbing results." In these sentences he sets doctrine above dogma, illustrates his opinion from experience, a n d foretells accurately what was to happen in the troubled times of the late war. Besides writing the series of histories to which allusio? has been made, Corbett edited important works for the Navy R e cords Society-works involving much difficult research, needing great knowledge and scholarship for their production. The volumes of " Fighting Instructions " and " Signals and Instructions " afforded the first insight we have had into the development of tactics, a n d threw a new light upon the " Fighting Instructions." These books deserve the closest study b y students of tactics. Much that was not understood before their appearance was rendered plain, and much inaccurate condemnation of Instructions, based upon ignorance, was dispelled. Not the least valuable parts of the work are the admirable comments with which Corbett introduced each phase of development in that interesting story of the growth of tactical ideas. Corbett's work was very fully appreciated b y foreign students. I-Iis book on strategy was applauded, even thouqn all his views were not accepted to the full. T h e " Rivista Marittima" considered that it approached the subject of strategy from a higher standpoint than Mahan's " Naval Strat-gy," treating the problen~sfrom a broader and less national point of view. H i s history of the late war, so far a s it has been reviewed in foreign periodicals, has received high praise both from our late enemies and allies. Captain Chack, in the " Revue Maritime " for November, writes that " T h e profound regret that his loss causes affects not only the British Navy, of which he was the great historian. All, throughout the whole world, who interest themselves in historical research in general a n d maritime research in particular will be sorrowfully affected b y the disappearance of this great annalist." Those British naval officers who have read his works, and still more those who have been privileged to know him personally, will recognise how much he did for the advancement of the study of war, how greatly he added to the linowledge of our countrymen of what the Navy means to the nation, and how great is the loss of this great exponent of its history.
  26. 26. O U T L I N E S O F HISTORY.-V. T R A D E ROUTES.-PART 3. By c.4pT-41~W. H. C. S. THRING, C.B.E., E .N I N the 16th century England began, for the first time, to take an important part in the maritime commerce of the world. I propose to turn now from the general history of the trade routes to an examination of the factors which led to the acquisition by English sailors of that supremacy at sea which passed in succession from the Cretans to the Phcenicians, the Carthaginians, the sailors employed by Rome, the Saracens, the Venetians and other Italian states, the Turks, Portuguese, Spaniards and Dutch. W e may justly claim to be heirs to this high estate. In the first stage of the growth of English seafaring, which lasted until the end of the W a r s of the Roses, small individual efforts gradually evolved the Guild system. The conditions of the times did not make for large combined developments of foreign commerce. Before the close of this period the Government had begun to interest itself in the commerce of the country and a sturdy race of seamen existed, ready to take advantage of The increase in the opportunities which were soon to come. shipping may be judged from the facts that in 1400 English merchandise was for the most part carried in foreign ships, but bv 1500 more than half the cloth and three-quarters of other wares were carried in English ships. In the W a r s of the Roses the feudal system in England exhausted itself, and for purposes of war it came to an end. *4fter that time rulers had to pay their armies; wealthy merchants and bankers, from whom the king had to borrow money to pay his troops, were able to control to a large extent the policy of the country, for they became strong enough to refuse to supply funds if the conditions they required were not accepted. Thus the long series of land u7ars waged for commercially unimportant issues, in which the country had been almost continually engaged, came to an end. T h e Tudors had the genius to realise the new conditions under which a king should rule ; they saw that their own welfare must depend on that of the people, and that warlike adventure without regard for commerce was ruinous both for the monarch and for his subjects. Their policy, initiated by Henry VII. and fully developed in the reign of Elizabeth, quiclily carried England to the front rank of maritime powers.
  27. 27. OUTLINES OF HISTORY .-V. 23 Reduced to its simplest terms, this policy was to spend no money outside the country but to sell to the foreigner and so get his money. T h e country must be self-supporting and supply all wants. I n France and Holland a similar policy ruled, but England also believed in shipping as a source of profit, and most careful laws and regulations were adopted to encourage English seafarers to carry all English goods and also to carry for foreigners, for in this way foreign money could be earned by English labour. As the colonies and plantations developed their raw material was brought to England to be manufactured. T h e colonies were not allowed to manufacture for themselves but had to buy all their made goods from England; these and the colonial raw material might only be carried in English ships. The reign of Henry VII., who invaded England in 1485, and who, after the defeat and death of Richard 111. at Bosworth Field, was crowned K i n g of England, covered that amazing period in the world's history during which the Spaniards finally conquered the Moors in Spain, Columbus discovered the West Indies (and believed he had got to China), Vasco da Gama rounded South Africa and opened the sea route to the East, and Tohn Cabot set foot in North America. In this reign, too, printing became common, opening the way for the spread of knowledge. Henry VII. may have been a miser but he certainly was a very able man ; his acts show that he understood the foundations on which prosperity could be built. W h e n he came to the throne the navy was dead. He at once arranged for the building in England of ships which would be at least equal to those built anywhere. His ships were the first to be fitted with portholes for heavy guns and were the true forerunners of the wooden walls of later days. The key to the history of the 16th century is to be found in the change of trade routes brought about by the discovery of the sea route to the East. The Venetians, the Hansa League and the merchants of South Germany sought by every means to preserve their old supremacy. Their commerce was being destroyed by the Turks, the Dutch and the English. They soon obtained a grip on Spanish finances for they supplied Spain with war stores, manufactured goods, and naval stores from the Baltic. Soon they began to work the Spanish silver mines in South America. They do not appear to have talten active steps against Portugal, who refused to give them the monopoly of the on-carriage of eastern goods from Lisbon, probably because they hoped to get the control of this trade through Spaitt.
  28. 28. 24 NAVAL REVIEW. The German financiers had two powerful weapons, their financial grip on Spain and religious animositics. Both of these they used. They first moved against t h e Turks, their efforts culminating in the illusive victory of Lepanto. Then they moved against the Dutch and English, but the Armada disaster ended all chance of success. England fought Spain in the 16th century, the Dutch in the 17th and the French in the 18th, emerging the sea carriers for the world. Under the Tudors England had developed into a nation with definite aims which were shared by her rulers; in this England was ahead of her rivals. T h e French suffered from oppression, monarchial wars and revolution ; they did not shake off the personal rule of their monarchs until 1789, ,xnd then went to such excesses that they destroyed the best elements in the nation. Italy and Germany were divided; the Dutch suffered from corruption ; Spain was torn by the Inquisition and by expelling the Jews and Moors lost their workers. The Jews1 formed the mercantile class in Spain and the Moors were the agricultural workers ; the Spaniards themselves never succeeded in filling the vacant places. England's insular position gave her protection, she had a comparatively good political constitution and her merchants developed trade on broad lines. T h e English system of trade, begun under Henry VII., was continued in its general principles throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, until England was established as mistress of the seas and her commanding position made it unnecessary to maintain the old restrictions, which the vast increase in British manufactures brought about by the industrial revolution at the ' end of the 18th century, made irksome. In order to make clearer the working of the English trade system I propose to quote from " T h e Trade and Navigation of Great Britain Con;sidered," by Joshua Gee, London, 1731, 3rd Edition, a book which gives a clear picture of the conditions of that time. Mr. Gee surveys the history of commerce and the trade of each nation ; he gives also his views on the policy which England should pursue to further her own interests. His statements are borne out by other authorities. He tells us that the trade and navigation of England was much the same from the time of William the Conquerer until the days of Queen Elizabeth, and consisted in the export of raw materials, chiefly tin, lead, wool, some leather and iron, in sufficient quantities to purchase such foreign commodities as were wanted. Edward 111. was the first prince to take any notice of trade; by prohibiting the export of wool in 1338 he encouraged 1 These "Jews " were probably, like the commercial Jews of other parts of Europe, descendants of Phcenician and Carthaginian colonists who had adopted the Jewish religion, and had become known as Jews in order to escape frclm persecution by the Romans.
  29. 29. OUT1,INES OF HISTORY .-V. 25 the home manufacture and supplied a home market by enacting that no subject should wear any foreign cloth. Under Queen Elizabeth many and great advantages were added to trade. T h e East India Company opened the trade with the East; by treaty with the Duke of Muscovy the Archangel trade was developed; and plantations in America gradually supplied sugar and tobacco, not only for England but in sufficient quantities to supplant the Portuguese in the supply to the north of Europe. King Charles I. permitted the French to fish from Newfoundland.; Charles 11. and James were fond of French commodities, to the detriment of English manufacturers. Queen Mary and William established the manufacture of glass, silk, straw hats, . paper and linen, all of which had previously come from France. In their time also copper and brass manufactures were begun as well as sail cloth, sword blades, scissors and toys of steel; salt works were opened, and so many of the imports of France were decreased. Reduced to its simplest form, Mr. Gee takes the amount of bullion received from abroad as the gain in trade, the " Balance in Favour." A country should produce or import raw materials, manufacture them, and sell the balance not required in the country abroad. T h e import of luxuries which must be paid for by exports or by bullion is a loss, the import of necessities which must be paid for by exports is an equality system and no gain. When foreign countries pay for work done-as for produce or for manufactured goods, or for goods sold to them at a higher price than that at which they were bought-then there is a balance in favour. H e very definitely laps down that " the merchant . . . . may get a great deal of riches by 'importing foreign commodities for luxury and excess, when at the same time the nation is consuming its substance and running into poverty." Of all shipping enterprises the slave trade and the timber trade between America and Portugal seem to have been the most profitable. England was still drawing her supply of timber from the Baltic, a deplorable arrangement when it could be equally cheaply and well supplied from the Plantations and carried in British ships. Trade with Portugal, Spain and the Plantations showed a balance in our favour, whilst that with France, Holland, Russia, Germany, Denmark and Sweden was against us. It is interesting to look more closely into the reasons for this. Trade with France. " France, above all other nations, is the worst for England to trade with, it wants . . . . verv little either for luxurp or convenience . . . . political and frugal measures must make her the richest nation in Europe."
  30. 30. 26 NAVAL REVIEW. Mr. Gee quotes some remarks of M. Colbert at a debate at which Louis XIV. was present. H e said : " The most speedy way of increasing the riches of the kingdom was the finding out of manufactures for employing the poor and setting idle neople to work. That as flax, silk and wool were the most useful we should as much as possible produce those commodities in the country. As manufactures came to be made, and worn at the Court, the English nation would fall into the habit of wearing them . . . ." Accordingly, this task was undertaken; the French K i n g himself would wear nothing but what was made in France. T h e East India Company imported most of the muslins to Europe, where they became very popular, particularly in France. T h e French K i n g grew uneasy and by four edicts, issued from 1709 to 1714, he at last brought the people to wear cambrics. After the peace (1713) nothing would satisfy the English but to follow French fashions, muslins were thrust out of wear and expensive French lawns and cambrics came into general use. The Spaniards wore sober dress and bought English cloth until the Bourbon prince came to the throne. H e introduced French fashions and the nation followed until the balance of trade was turned against England. Smuggling from France to England was great and was encouraged by the French King. Mr. Gee suggests that rum, which could be bought cheaply from the British West Indies, ought to take the place of French brandy. Flanders and Germany. Mr. Gee considered that the imports from Flanders were perhaps five times a s valuable as our exports to that country. From Germany we imported vast quantities of linen; they took tobacco and sugar from us but had established their own manufactures, so that the balance of trade was against us. Sweden. Two-thirds of the iron ore used in England came from Sweden, besides copper, wood, etc., and they took but small quantities of our exports. In 1703 Sweden absolutely refused to let us have pitch and tar except in their own vessels and at their own price. T h e Government therefore encouraged production in the Plantations, " and we now (1731) get enough thence." Russia. From Russia we imported hemp, flax, linen cloth and Yarn, leather, tallow, furs, iron, potash, etc., to an immense value. Having no other market from which we could buy hemp in qu;intities, we had to pay any price they asked.
  31. 31. OUTLINES OF HISTORY .-V. 27 From this summary it would seem that our commerce was in a bad way, but on the whole we were gaining, as there were some sources of great profit. Of these Mr. Gee finds Ireland to be one of the most important. T o Ireland we exported almost all the manufactured goods that were used there except some coarse linens and coarse woollen cloth. From Ireland we took woollen yarn, linen yarn and great quantities of wool in the fleece, all for manufacture in England. " But what makes Ireland so very profitable to England is that it is thought that near one-third part of the Rents of the Whole belong to English Noblemen and Gentlemen that dwell here, besides the very large sums that are spent for the Education of their youth by the great number of Nobility and Gentry who resort to the English Court. . . . . There may be added to these the Sums of Money that are paid to Persons that have Places and Pensions out of the Irish revenues. . . . . They have an extraordinary Trade for their Hides, Tallow, Reef, Butter, etc., to Holland, Flanders, France, Portugal and Spain, which enables them to make large remittances to keep their balance with us." The Plantations. " Compare how this nation has increased in riches in I j o years. London then made a small figure compared with Bruges, Antwerp, and other Hansa towns, as well as the great cities of the Mediterranean. " Not one-quarter of the productions of the Plantations redounds to their own profit. The remainder comes to England where they sell their goods, buy their requirements, educate their children and spend their money when they return. AIso the interest on mortgages on the planter's estates is paid to England." New England gave poor opportunities for agriculture compared with the rich southern Plantations, but it proved one of the most valuable possessions nevertheless. Numbers of ships were built in New England and sold in the Mediterranean. The timber trade to Portugal led 'to a great increase in British shipping " by means of which we have crept into all the corners of Europe and become the carriers of the Mediterranean as well as between the Mediterranean, Holland, Hamburg and the Baltic . . . . and this is the reason why the Dutch have so exceedingly sunk." A picture is given of how this commerce grew. Young Englishmen bought cargoes of goods and took them to New England, where they sold at a profit which they invested in the construction of ships; in these they sailed to Portugal with a cargo of lumber, or took it to the Mediterranean. After disposing of their cargo, again a t a profit, they plied from port to port in the Mediterranean until they got good offers for their
  32. 32. 28 NAVAL REVIEW. ships which they then sold and, returning to England, did the same thing again. " By this means multitudes of seamen are brought up " evidently to the great advantage of England. The Plantations thus benefited the mother country in many ways. T h e slave trade to them was profitable, they supplied more tobacco and sugar than was wanted in England and the surplus was sold in Europe; they formed profitable markets for English manufactured goods and most of their money came to England. Above all, they greatly increased the volume of commerce carried in British ships. Of the East India trade Mr. Gee says : " W e send great quantities of bullion there and purchase at very low prices the products of India and China which are brought home in our navigation, out of which we supply ourselves with muslins, calicoes and other cotton cloths, as also coffee, tea and raw silk, and, it is supposed, sell to foreigners as much of the said commodities as repay for all the bullion shipped out and leave us besides a very considerable balance upon that trade." He thinks the Company should issue licences to private merchants to trade to China, particularly to the northern ports, as the China trade might be greatly increased and silk, etc., bought nearer to the provinces which produce the raw materials. Licences of this sort had already been issued for the coasting trade of India. Mr. Gee considered that the great increase of our treasure proceeds " chiefly from the labour of negroes in the Plantations," that, in fact, our wealth, like that of Greece and other early powers, was founded on slave labour; he considered that our commerce, manufactures and shipping were lesser adjuncts. H e therefore devotes his suggestions to means whereby the Plantations may be developed to supply all the raw materials which could be manufactured in England, slave labour being used in the production ; to the improvement of industrial conditions, and to the winning of markets. Holland, like the Hansa towns and Phcenicia of old, was thriving on commerce alone, France was advancing to wealth on her agriculture and industries; as yet the revolution in industry, which the introduction of machinery was to bring about, was not in sight; the days when England was to combine the commercial qualities which had given power to the Dutch with the industrial system which was the backbone of France, to add to them a great colonial empire all depending on sea communications, and to rise to greater power than either of her rivals, could not be foreseen at that time. This glimpse of British commerce of the period when the great struggles against powerful rivals were far from ended,
  33. 33. OUTLINES OF HISTORY.-V. 29 and when success was still doubtful, may help the reader to a clearer understanding of the wars with which the 1 6 t h ~ 17th and 18th centuries were filled. Economical influences pIayed a greater part both in causing wars and in bringing success or failure, than is sometimes realised. On the othel nand, the results of wars greatly affected commerce. Of this I have not attempted to deal in this article, not because 1 do not realise its importance, but because the wars and their results are so much better known than the economical side of the history. In the Seven Years' W a r the Navy most completely fulfilled its rBle from a commercial point of view. It drew but little on the man power and the factories of the country, yet it formed a shield behind which commerce and industry could continue unabated, whilst it drove our greatest rivals from the more important sea routes.
  34. 34. C O N D U C T O F T H E C H A N N E L FLEE?' IN 1779 AGAINST S U P E R I O R FORCE. DURING critical years of the W a r of American Independence the the Fleets of France and Spain in European waters were greatly superior in number to that of Great Britain. In face of these superior forces the British Chann,el Fleet had to protect the United Kingdom against invasion, and also to safeguard the arrival and departure of the great convoys which maintained our communications with the outer world and with our forces in America, at Gibraltar, and in the East and West Indies. Our fleets on foreign stations were maintained at a bare equality with those of France; this left us with a fleet in the Channel of about thirty-five sail of the line, confronting a French fleet of about thirty at Brest, and a Spanish fleet of about thirty-six at Cadiz. Three times the Combined Fleet of France and Spain appeared in the Channel with a superiority of about two to one. On each occasioil it failed to achieve any material result, either against the British Fleet, or against the convoys whose movements the latter covered. Three times the British Fleet succeeded in throwing supplies into Gibraltar in face of the superior fleet blockading it. T h e paper which follows deals with the first and most dangerous of the three incursions of the Combined Fleet into the Channel, that of 1779. Its object is to show how the existence of a hostile fleet which retains its freedom of action and striking power, even if greatly inferior in number and handled with the utmost caution, may cause the breakdown of a deliberately planned operation. Incidentally, the quotations given from the letters of Kempenfelt, the Captain of the Fleet, to Sir Charles Middleton,' 1 bIiddl,eton was Co,ntro:l'er. till 1795, and later, as Lord Barham, First Lord during the Trafalgar Campaign. Bes,ides this connfection with th'e later war it is not likely that Kernpenfelt's opinions were also those of Howe. used.--Barhlam papers, Val. I. Colomb's Naval WarNOTE:-Authorities fare, ch. viii Laird Clowes' History of the Royal Navy, ch. xxi., by Mahan. Histoire de la Marin~e Fraslca,isse, Chevalier. Journal of Sir Charl,es Hardy, amnd I n and Out Le:~,ers, Record Ofice. Barrow's L i f e of Howme. Ha'rdy's journal gives ma more than the b~ald facts, and csompar,es very unfavonrably with that of Jerxris. The volunt,e,er referr,ed to in Section I was Sir Benjamin TIiompslon, Count Von Rumford: an experimenter in gunpowder (see Dictionary of Ziationnl Biography). The writ,er saw sNomme rather scurrilo,ns 1,etters of his from the Victory several years a g o ; the extract giv,en is one of the only notes he mad'e. As f a r as he knomws tbey harme n.ever be,en published.
  35. 35. CONDUCT OF THE CHANNEL FLEET I N 1779. 3' then Controller of the Navy, indicate the influence of the events of 1779 on the naval adopted during the Napoleonic Wars. On March 18111, 1779, Admiral the Hon. Augustus Keppel, Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Fleet, struck his flag and came on shore, in protest against his treatment by the Admiralty. The majority of the flag officers on the active list supported his action, and declined to serve. Lord Howe, for example, said in the House of Coinmons that " it would not be prudent to trust the little reputation he had earned by forty years service, his personal honour, and everything else, which he held dear, in the hands of nlen who had neither the ability to act on their own judgment, nor the integrity and good sense to follow the advice of others, who might know more of the matter " (Barrow, P- '24). In consequence, the command was given to Admiral Sir Charles Hardy, the Governor of Greenwich Hospital. His last sea service had been as second in command to Hawlte, 20 years before. H e was 63, and old for his a g e ; he had, in fact, but I4 months to llve. His feelings towards the Government seem to have differed only in degree from those of his brother officers, for it was written of him by one who served in his flagship a s a volunteer1 and he " evidently meant to take a s small a share of responsibility upon himself as possible, to procrastinate as long as he could, and when he was obliged to act, to make ministers responsible for the consequences if he failed." His First Captain was Richard Kempenfelt. Though 16 years junior to his Admiral he was only two years younger ;%ut he was still at the height of his powers, and, next to Lord Howe, he was probably the most capable and clear-headed officer of his day. Under these circumstances the impatience of the criticisms upon Sir Charles Hardy in Kempenfelt's letters to Sir Charles Middleton is not difficult to understand. Though nothing can excuse his private comments, there is no reason to doubt his public loyalty to his Admiral, or to suspect that they were on bad terms with one another. In fact Kempenfelt himself declares : " I have not, nor never had, any variance with him (Sir Charles Hardy); he is good-natured, honest, has many private virtues which I esteem him for; but as an officer, you know my opinion " (Barham Papers, I . 298). Count von Rumford. I t was probably lack of influence, due to his Swedish ancestry, which prevented Kempenfelt from becoming ,a Captain at the early age then common. Hardy. Born 1716, Post Captain 1741, Rear Admiral 1756. Howe. Barn 1726, Post Captain 1746, Rear Admiral 1770. Kcm,penftlt. Born 1718, Post C~aptain1757, Rear Admiral 1780. 1 2
  36. 36. 32 NAVAL REVIEW. Such was the state of affairs in the British Fleet. The character of the Ccinmandei-in-Chief, and the general bitterness both against Sandwich, the First Lord, and against the corrupt administration of Lord North, intensified by the recent court martial upon Keppel, were alike unfavourable to anything but a policy of caution. 11. On April ~ z t h ,1779, about three weeks after Hardy had hoisted his flag in the Victory, Spain made a secret alliance with France, and the British Fleet lost the bare superiority in numbers it had hitherto possessed. T h e plan agreed upon between France and Spain was to send a Combined Fleet to seize the roadstead of St. Helen's, and from that point of vantage to land a force of fifty thousand men in England. The fleets were to assemble off Cizarga Island, 20 miles west oi Corunna, and proceed to St. Helen's. T h e troops were to e~nbark Havre and St. Malo, and occupy at the Isle of W i g h t as a base for further operations on the mainland. I n order to forestall the appearance Af a British Fleet off Ushant, the French Fleet under d'orvilliers was hurried to sea from Brest on June 4th. On June I ~ t it reached the rendezvous h at Cizarga Island. Here, however, d'orvilliers had to wait six weeks for the Spaniards, due it is said to Spanish pride being hurt at serving under a French Coininander-in-Chief. Whatever the reason, the delay was disastrous to the Allied plan of campaign, for the French Fleet had gone to sea ill-prepared for a long cruise, and at the critical moment its ships were short of victuals and water, and many of its men were down with smallpox and scurvy. 111. On June 16th Sir Charles Hardy left St. Ilelen's with about thirty sail of the line to take up the watch upon the French Fleet in Brest. H e had orders to return to the Lizard if the French Fleet escaped and his intelligence was not certain enough to enabie him to follow it; he was to regard the protection of Great Brltain and Ireland as his principal object. On the same day Great Britain declared war on Spain, and warning was sent to Hardy that the Spanish Fleet was said to be preparing for sea, with directions that if he got certain intelligence that the French and Spanish Fleets had joined and considered them too strong to fight, he was to return to Torbay or Spithead and await orders. On June zznd, shortly after reaching Ushant, Hardy got news froill a ship he spoke, that the French Fleet had sailed 18 days before; on the zjth, lacking further intelligence, he returned to the Lizard.
  37. 37. CONDUCT OF THE CHANNEL FLEET I N 1779. 33 On July and, vhen off the Lizard, Hardy got intelligence from a Genoese ship that she had seen a French Fleet off Finisterre on June 10th. This was the day before d'Orvilliers reached his rendezvous off Cizarga Island. " My situation is extremely disagreeable," wrote ICempenfelt to Middleton (Hnrham Papers, I .292) ; " 1 would give all the little I am worth to be out of it. Does the people at home think the nation in no danger? Where is Lord Howe at this alarming pcriod? I can't say more, you'll divine the rest. I can foresee no prospect at present. " All seems to depend on the abilities with which this Fleet is conducted ; let that be well considered." On receiving Hardy's dispatch of the 2 jth, the Admiralty wrote to him that he was not to return into port unless absolutely necessary. On July 3rd, however, a westerly gale got up, which drove the Channel Fleet into Torbay, where it anchored on' the 6th. Water was already short, and the ships were ordered to complete with all despatch. On July 8th the Admiralty instructed Hardy to carry out his original orders, and to keep so far to the westward as to prevent the fleet being driven into port again. Hardy left Torbay on the 14th and reached Ushant on the ~ 1 s t . Here he got intelligence from ships he spoke, that the Spanish ships from C'orunna had joined d'Orvilliers, and that the Cadiz Fleer was at sea. Hardy accordingly returned towards the Lizard, but in consequence of westerly winds made Plymouth instead, where he awaited further orders. On the 28th the Admiralty repeated their orders of the Sth, and on the 29th issued the following revised instructions. The enemy were believed to intend the invasion of England, and an attack upon the Leeward Islands and East India convoys, shortly expected in the Channel. Hardy was to proceed as far to the westward as he judged necessary, and to make the best use possible of the ships at his disposal to prevent the enemy carrying his designs into execution ; and not to leave his station while his provisions and water would allow him to keep the sea. T h e choice of position was left t o I-Iardy. I n acknowledging these orders Hardy proposed to cruise from 10 to 2 0 leagues 1V.S.W. of Scilly, as being the best station for meeting the incoming trade, and the enemy " if t h e y attempt to come into the Channel." T h e words in italics, underlined by Hardy, suggest that he still did not expect them to appear. T h e Leeward Islands convoy was sighted on July 3oth, and seen up Channel in safety, and on August st, a convoy from Cork, but there was still no news of the enemy. W e have three letters written by Kempenfelt to Middleton during this anxious time. The first gives Kempenfelt's own plan for dealing with the enemy, a plan he has able to execute
  38. 38. 34 NAVAL REVIEW. himself in 1781 ; the other two express his view of Hardy (Barham Papers, I .292-294). . J u l y 27th.-" Much, I may say almost all, depends upon this fleet ; 'tis an inferior against a superior fleet; therefore the greatest skill and address is requisite to counteract the designs of the enemy, to watch and seize the favourable opportunity for action, and to catch the advantage of making the effort at some or other feeble part of the enemy's line; or, if such opportunities don't offer, to be ever near the enemy, keep him at bay, and prevent his attempting to execute anything but at risk and hazard; to comnla~ldtheir attention, and oblige them to think of nothing LULbeing on guard against your attack. " Have the rilinistry sought for a head capable of such management and dexterity, or do they think that ships are sufficient of ~heniselves,without wisdom to direct or order their operations? S o much indifference at so dangerous a crisis is astonishing and alarming. Adieu, the cutter is going." I have scarce time to write to you; a August 6th.-" perpetual hurry prevails here, which, from the natural consequence of hurry, produces nothing to the purpose. " In confidence, I must inform you the confused conduct here is such that I tremble for the event. There is no forethought, therefore n o eveats provided against; we are every day, from morning till night, plagued and puzzled in minutiae, whilst essentials are totally neglected. An odd obstinacy and wa of negativing everything proposed, makes all advice use ess. There is a fund of good-nature in the man, but not one grain of the Commander-in-Chief ." August 9th.-" . . . . It is with the greatest difficulty I can ever prevail upon hinl to rnanceuvre the Fleet; he is always (so) impatient and in (such) a hurry to get to the westward, to the northward, or the southward, that he won't lose time to form a line." Thus did the state of affairs strike Kernpenfelt. The event showed that he had correctly estimated the effect of the British Fleet upon the mind of the enemy. Hardy may have been as impatient and inaccessible to advice as Kernpenfelt saw him, but none the less his cautious policy succeeded. r IV. T h e Spanish division from Ferrol joined d'orvilliers on July znd, t h e e weeks after the latter had reached the rendezvous; three weeks later, on July 23rd, the main body under Cordova arrived from Cadiz. There was more delay while the French signal boolts were translated and distributed to the Spanish ships, and it was not until August 7th that the Combined Fleet made Ushant. Here d'orvilliers had hoped to fill up his depleted ships with provisions, but he only got a small supply.
  39. 39. CONDUCT O F T H E C H A N N E L FLEET IN 1779. 35 Writing to the n'Iinister of Marine on August znd, d'orviliiers had stated his intentions as follows (Chevalier, p. 165) :. " W e shall search for the enemy along the coast as far as St. Helen's Road, and then, if I find the roads empty, or am able to take possession of them, I shall send word to M. de Vaux at Havre, in accordance with your instructions, and inform llini what steps I shall take to ensure the safety of his passage, which will depend on the main force of the English Fleet; that is to say, I shall dispose, on the one hand, the Combined Fleet to contain the enemy, and I shall detach, on the other, a light squadron and a sufficient force of ships of the line and frigates, or I shall propose to M. de Cordova to carry out that duty, in order that the army may have a clear and safe passage. " I anticipate that then, either by the battle i shall force upon the enemy, or by his retreat into harbour, I shall be certain of his situation and of the success of the operation." Before proceeding with this plan d'orvilliers proposed to anchor in Torbay and take in the provisions he had demanded from Brest. On August 14t11, the Combined Fleet reached the Lizard, and on the I jth, the Eddystone, without encountering a single British vessel. French frigates anchored in Cawsand Bay and captured several privateers and coasting vessels. On August 16th the Ardent, 64, coming out of Torbay to join the Channel Fleet, mistook the Combined Fleet for her own, steered to close it and was captured. T h e Marlborough, coming from Spithead, avoided capture, and carried the first news of the Combined Fleet's appearance to the British Fleet. X sloop she had in company took the same news to Plymouth. On the same day, August 16th, d'orvilliers received new orders from the Minlster of Marine. H e was now to blockade the English Flee: in Plymouth, and detach two divisions, one to St. Malo, and the other to Havre, to escort the transports to a point on the Cornish Coast, near Falmouth, where the landing was to be made. D'Orvilliers replied that a sheltered anchorage was absolutely necessary for his fleet to receive provisions and ride out the autumn gales, and that Falmouth was too dangerous a roadstead. Meanwhile, he continued his passage towards Torbay. The wind had now shifted to the eastward, and the Combined Fleet had to beat up Channel against it. By the 17th the fleet had worked up a s far as Torbay, but the east wind was increasing to such an extent as to make tile anchorage unsafe. The wind continued fresh from the east for several days and drove the Combined Fleet down Channel. On August zznd, the Spanish ships transferred some of their provisions and water to the French ships most short of them. .
  40. 40. 36 NAVAL IIEVIEW. This step completed the victuals of the Combined Fleet as a whole up till September 30th. Hardy was now over ~ o o miles to leeward. The easterly gale put it out of his power to interfere directly with the Allied operations, but as long as ~t held, the Combined Fleet could neither proceed with its plan of campaign, nor take in the provisions and water requlred to enable it to maintain its position in the Channel and await a better opportunity. v. On Augilst ~ z t h ,when the Combined Fleet entered the Channel, the British Fleet was 34 miles S.S.E. of Scilly, working to the westward against a steady westerly blow; on the 15th it had reached a position 47 miles mT.b S. of Scilly, with plenty of sea-room, and well to windward of any landfall the enemy might make, so long as the wind held westerly. On August 17th, when the British Fleet was 66 miles S.75'T/V. of Scilly-, the west wind dropped, and light easterly airs set in. At 3 p.m. the Southampton joined with the news that the Combined Fleet was in the Channel. At j p.m. the Marlborough arrived with the same intelligence, and the signal was made to prepare for action. T h e news was confirmed by the Jupiter which joined on the ~ 1 s t . On the 21st the easterly wind freshened, and by the 25th Sir Charles Hardy had been driven beyond the S.W. limit of his station, about IOO miles S.W. of Scilly. None the less, the discovery that he was at sea, and in a position to regain the Channel as soon as the wind veered to the westward, completely paralysed the operations of the enemy. VI. T h e news that the British Fleet was off' Scilly, and not, as d'orvilliers had hoped, in harbour, reached the Combined Upon this a council of war was Fleet on August 25th. assembled, which decided unanimously that, in view of the increase of dlsease in the French ships and the shortage of provisions and water, the Combined Fleet sl~ouldeither seek the British Fleet in the Channel Soundings or wait for it there. T h e council further decided that it would be necessary in any case to terminate the cruise on September Bth, and that then, conformably to the orders received by the Spanish Admiral, the Allies should separate as soon as convenient. Thus ended the Allied attempt to carry out an invasion of England. As long as the British Fleet retained its freedom of action, the conditions laid down by d'orvilliers as essential to the success of the operation could not be fulfilled. Before he could proceed with it, he must bring the British Fleet to action or drive it into port; without provisions he could not remain in the Channel; with :in easterly wind he could not find shelter

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