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Between Wilhelmshaven and Cuxhaven is a bay thirty miles in width, into which the Weser flows. Almost at the Weser's mouth in Bremerhaven, and forty miles up the river lies Bremen. On the Ems at Emden was a torpedo-boat station. Forty miles due north of Cuxhaven and guarding the mouth of the Elbe was another torpedo-base in Holstein at the mouth of the Eider. On the south side of the canal, between Brunsbuttel and Kudensee, was a new naval station that had cost $8,000,000 and had just been finished when the war began. There were abundant shelters for submarines and destroyers all the way from Borkum to the Eider, besides no fewer than three interior waterways giving timely passage when necessary. At Wilhelmshaven, Cuxhaven, and Kiel, the whole German fleet could lie at anchor in safety.

To dig out an enemy thus made secure in shelters had the look of a forlorn hope. He could not be dug out unless he was really ready to fight,, for he could withdraw from North Sea waters through the Kiel Canal and so into the Baltic. It was obvious that, if the British wished to try fortunes in the Baltic, their fleet would have to be divided and that would be a perilous undertaking. To get to Kiel, British warships would have to traverse the Skagerrak, a deep body of water sixty miles wide, and the Kattegat, another body of water of about the same width, between Denmark and Sweden, and would then have to find their way through the channel of the Great Belt, which could easily be mined by the Germans, or dominated by their torpedo-boats. Even in the wide Kattegat, large warships would have to move cautiously, navigation being difficult. By using mines and submarines in these waters the Germans could obtain a tremendous, almost an insuperable, advantage. A British fleet might get as far as the eastern entrance of the Skagerrak without great risk, for the Skagerrak could not be mined, but beyond those waters every mile of the way could be made to bristle with hidden perils.

There seemed, therefore, nothing for the British Navy to do, but patrol the North Sea and blockade the German coast, and so be content with bottling up the German fleet. By this means, it could control all the Seven Seas and Ger

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mans could get little food or supplies from the world outside. The fleet of Great Britain, thus controlling the fleet of Germany, provided a support on which all British operations could depend. One of the reasons why the German Fleet refrained from leaving its North Sea shelters, was the fact that on Germany's right flank were the sea forces of Russia. Measured by modern standards, Russia's ships were not formidable, but Russia had a considerable number of cruisers and so had to be watched in the Baltic.

Such losses as the British suffered later, on the high seas, from the Emden in the Indian Ocean, and from the Karlsruhe in the Atlantic, were small when compared with the services rendered to the Allies by British sea-power. Almost in a day the German flag was made to disappear from ocean waters, thousands of tons of shipping were captured and other ships made helpless in neutral ports. Hamburg and Bremen became as deserted as Savannah and Charleston were in the time of our Civil War. Because the Allies had control of the sea France was able to bring African troops to the battle-line and England her colonials and Indians. Because of this fact it also was possible to meet the Turkish attack on Egypt by a concentration of Australian, Indian, and Territorial troops brought through the Suez Canal. Some supplies still flowed into Germany from neutral stationsnotably from Scandinavia, but in decreasing quantities. German industry suffered more and more from the blockade, and exports fell to the vanishing points. Meanwhile, France and England remained open to the commerce of the world. Purchases made in America were promptly taken to Europe -clothing, automobiles, arms, ammunition, all in vast quantities. Conditions such as these helped to bridge over the gap between German preparedness and Allied want of it.

After four weeks of waiting for German ships to come out of the Baltic into the North Sea, British naval commanders went in search of them. On August 28, a battlesquadron of cruisers and destroyers, under command of Rear-Admiral Sir David Beatty, found and attacked a cruiser-squadron off Heligoland. In an eight-hour action, two of the German cruisers, the Mainz and the Ariadne, .were sunk, a third was set on fire, and two destroyers were sent to the bottom. The British losses were described as negligible.” During August and September several other German warships in different waters were sunk, chief

among them the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, formerly a well-known North-German Lloyd North Atlantic passenger-ship, which was sunk by a British cruiser on August 27 off the west coast of Africa. Another cruiser, the Hela, was sunk on September 13. German ships, meanwhile, had inflicted a good deal of damage on Russian commerce in the Baltic. None of these conflicts was a great naval fight, but they were sufficient to make the sea more safe for English, French and neutral ships, thus permitting the transport of foodsupplies and troops, and practically suspending Germany's oversea commerce, which meant the closing of many German factories and the throwing of German people out of regular employment. As early as August 12, the British had announced to port authorities that Atlantic lanes were again open. At the same time, the British Home Fleet-sixty vessels of war, against thirty in the German High Seas Fleet-guarded the exit of the Kiel Canal.

Thrilling stories of the engagement off Heligoland were told by men who took part in it. The engagement lasted about eight hours, during which time a mist hung over the contending fleets. The fighting was described as sharp and terrible, the British losses light. Of the destroyers only one afterward presented outward signs of having taken part in a battle. The official British report said five German craft were sunk. A non-commissioned officer of the Fearless, which in the thick of battle picked up many German wounded, said the whole operation “took place in a thick haze. When we opened fire, there was not a single searchlight playing on us. The Germans all seemed to be asleep. The action was very hot while it lasted.”

At 3.30 A.M. the Fearless and Arethusa, the latter vessel the pioneer-ship of a new class and then less than three days out of the builders' hands, escorted by some twenty destroyers, advanced in a southwesterly direction at twenty knots, on a course that would bring them to a point about six miles south and three miles west of Heligoland. At 8 o'clock dim shadows became visible through the mist. These

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