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as described below), being without such an escort, and since Kiel is an unhealthy place for any foreigner in these days, I left it without delay.
I believe that it would be simpler for a soldier to pass in khaki through Belgium and Brussels than for a spy to get within sight of the Kiel Canal. There is hardly a yard of land or water, along the Canal or near its approaches, that is not guarded night and day. Near the Canal everything is · Verboten.' You must not enter the zone-one mile on either side of the Canalwithout a special permit. Even if you have a pass, you are not allowed to enter the zone without being accompanied by a soldier. From every village and town which lies in the proximity of the Canal, every foreigner, whether naturalised or not, has been expelled. Even Germans whose reputations were not spotless had to
At the various bridges-either railroad or highwaythe ferries and every other kind of crossing, whole platoons of soldiers are stationed. Parcels that could be carried across are thoroughly examined ; civilians are not allowed to cross the Canal unless chaperoned by a soldier. Motor-cars, carriages, waggons, in short, vehicles of every kind and description, must be escorted by a soldier in order to reach the other side. Everybody must be in possession of a special pass, issued by the Mayor and countersigned by two prominent citizens of the town or village where he lives ; his business must be stated thereon; whether he enjoys a good reputation, and numerous other details. The pass is only valid for the particular station of the Canal for which it is issued. It must be applied for at least a week beforehand, so that the local authorities have ample time to despatch a list of the passes issued to the Canal Authorities. The passenger cannot change his route. If he should present himself at any other station, his name would be unknown there and he would be arrested at once. The formalities at the railroad stations giving access to the four railroad bridges are the severest of all. On reaching the last station before the Canal, all the passengers must alight. After your pass has been examined and not found wanting, your luggage thoroughly overhauled, your pockets searched, you may return to your seat in the train. You
might think that they would trust you now, but no, 'we cannot take any chances.' Some fifty soldiers with fixed bayonets and loaded rifles enter the train and are posted either in the vestibules of the carriages or--as is usually the case-one in each compartment. The blinds must be drawn, and the doors are locked on the outside. Sentries near the bridges have stringent instructions to fire, without warning, at any one seen prowling round. The anti-aircraft guns on the locks, bridges, and other points along the Canal are manned day and night.
Everything possible is done to discourage unnecessary travelling in the Canal Zone. It is better,' so they argue, 'to suspect and inconvenience a thousand innocent travellers, than that one guilty person should slip through
*My dear Sir, do you think we are fools ?' exclaimed a German officer whom I chaffed about these precautionary measures. What do you think it would be worth to the British to have our Canal put out of business, even if only temporarily ? Millions, my dear Sir, millions. In these times, and certainly so far as our Canal is concerned, we suspect everybody, and will consider him "not guilty"--for the time being only-when he has reached the other side, without accidents to the Canal.
*The reports from the different stations in the Zone would make interesting reading, especially for the British. We have caught very strange fish here, and big ones too. А special court-martial is continually sitting at Kiel, charged only with the investigation of Canal cases, and I can assure you that justice is meted out there, quick and drastic. Death is practically the only verdict.'
According to stories heard in Hamburg and Kiel, many attempts have been and are still being made to bribe native Germans. Several neutrals have tried their hand at earning a quick, but not an easy, penny. Ugh!' said an officer, whom I met in Kiel, contemptuously, “the English are no good in secret-service work. Why? Because they lack the one great essential—the fanatical spirit of patriotism, which is born in us, and is instilled into us from the cradle. If the English had a canal half as important to them as this is to us, it would have been wrecked long ago.' I was shown, in Hamburg, by a young and communicative naval officer (it was after one
of those convivial dinners of the Vaterland, concluding with French Cognac and Deutschland über Alles ') a set of most interesting photographs. They showed wrecks and .accidents' in the Canal since the beginning of the war. One Swedish freighter, loaded with lumber, was seen almost blocking the channel. As my friend the enemy explained, several tugs arrived only just in time to drag the steamer sufficiently to one side, so as not to obstruct the water-way entirely. The accident’occurred in October 1914. What happened to the Swedish captain and his crew I could not ascertain, but I was assured, with an ominous wink of the eye, that that skipper would never pass through the Canal again.
(5) FROM EMDEN TO WILHELMSHAVEN. At the outbreak of hostilities the following proclamation concerning the operation of the Kiel Canal in time of war was issued by the German Government:
The war operations of the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal have begun. The Canal Zone is closed at present for merchant vessels. Exceptions thereto require in every instance the permission of the Chief of the Naval Station of the Baltic Sea at Kiel.'
The 'exceptions are practically confined to such neutral ships as carry provisions for the Army or Navy, or are supplying Germany with foodstuffs. But in all cases the captains of these neutral ships must be personally known to the German authorities, and a large bond must be put up for them either by their employers or by themselves. Until the middle of this year (1915) only Dutch, Danish, Swedish or Norwegian steamers had obtained permits to pass through the Canal. From what I have seen of the inconveniences, the trouble, the red tape, that these men have to put up with every time they make the trip to or from Germany, I can assure you that, whatever their emoluments may be, they earn every penny of them.
With great difficulty I managed to get a passage on one of these neutral steamers. For all intents and purposes my nationality was the same as that of the vessel on which I sailed. I speak German quite fluently,
which was of course of great additional assistance. I joined the little 600-ton steamer at Emden, Germany's most western port. We proceeded on the inside, i.e. through the Ems-Jade Canal, to Wilhelmshaven, and thence by Cuxhaven through the Kiel Canal to Kiel. Although the actual distance we travelled is well under 200 miles, it took us the best part of five days. It was not what you might call a joy-ride, but nevertheless I would not have missed it for a great deal, for I learned more about the German fleet in those five days than I had in all the weeks I spent in Germany.
Through the Ems-Jade Canal, bordered on both sides by flat marshy country, the trip was uneventful; but, when we got within sight of Wilhelmshaven, the fun began. About three miles from our day's destination an officer and eight sailors came on board and, after having carefully examined our ship's papers, proceeded on a search of ship and crew as systematic and thorough as I have ever seen. But then, of course, I had never before attempted to enter Germany's most important naval base. It is quite true that she takes no chances with her fleet. The search, checking of papers, reports, messages to Wilhelmshaven, and numerous other formalities, took the better part of four hours. When finally our permits arrived, four sailors and a petty officer came on board, and under their guidance we finished the three miles that separated us from the famous naval bare. Through a system of locks, we reached the Coal Harbour,' which is part of the New Harbour of Wilhelmshaven. By devious methods and devices I had been able to time our arrival so that it would be too late to go out into the bay that same afternoon. We were told to make fast and prepare to stay the night. That was exactly what I had schemed for.
Through the courtesy of one of the harbour officials I was enabled to send a messenger to a naval surgeon, whom I had known in New York, and to whom I had been able to render a not inconsiderable service. The doctor proved a friend in need, and, to begin with, invited me to dinner at the Casino' (officers' mess), situated in the Park, a few hundred yards from the Imperial Docks. Being vouched for by an OberstabsArzt' (Chief Staff Surgeon) I was made most welcome
by some sixty odd naval officers. Among those whom I met, I recall Grand-Admiral Von Koester, Rear-Admiral Gädeke, Admiral Von Igennohl, Rear-Admiral Hipper, and many others. It was on this occasion, too, that I made the acquaintance of the notorious Captain-Lieutenant Hersing, the (then embryo) Lusitania Hero.' I had a talk with him on submarine matters, to which I shall return later.
On entering the 'Casino’I was at once struck by the large number of drawings, paintings and caricatures, depicting the Navy and its work, which almost covered the walls in every room and hall. Most of the caricatures of course played on England. Some of them were amusing. There was a picture of two Mermen at the bottom of the sea, enjoying the many good things the
Emden 'is throwing them, which is a very popular poster. A large copy of it, set in a magnificent frame of mahogany and old gold, hangs in the Casino, between the portraits of the Kaiser and the Kaiserin. It is surrounded by photographs of Captain Müller, Captain Mücke, who with a remnant of the crew escaped into Turkey, and other officers of the ‘Emden.'
Indeed I shall long remember that dinner at the officers' mess in Wilhelmshaven, but if I could give a full shorthand report of the conversations I listened to that evening, I fear you would think I had dined in a lunatic asylum instead of an officers' mess. One or two examples will suffice.
The talk was all 'shop' and war, of course. That same evening a number of airmen had returned from active service on the North Sea,' and the conversation drifted into the subject of Aircraft in relation to the invasion of England.' It seems that the idea of invading England with the assistance of the Navy has for the present been shelved. The North Sea ? Ah, indeed it was a great protection, a formidable obstacle, but, Sir, remember the old axiom about a chain being only as strong as its weakest link. So with the North Sea. It is only as wide as its narrowest point-i.e. 25 miles. That was the great principle to keep always before one's mind, because, in that figure, England's future doom lay sealed! Calais, not Egypt any more, was England's throat, the key to British World-power. Germany's