Date: 18 February 1915



With the arrival of "Der Tag," on which the much-talked-of submarine blockade is supposed to begin, it is worth while examining Germany's chances of converting her boats into effective action (says the "Daily Chronicle.") Three weeks ago it was known in German naval circles that the dispositions of the German submarines were as follows:—
Eight at Heligoland;
Six at Wilhelmshaven;
Four at Cuxhaven;
Four at Danzig;
Nine at Zeebrugee [sic] or in the Belgian canals; and
Several being repaired or altered.

One or two more were almost completed. On the strength of 40 odd submarines, therefore, the German Government had the presumption to declare a "blockade" of the whole of the British Isles and to mark a sea "war zone" stretching over thousands of miles. It is obvious that nothing in the nature of an effective trade blockade can be carried out under the prevailing conditions, though a few unarmed merchant vessels may be torpedoed or mined to justify the unwarrantable expectations of German public opinion.

Of the German submarines 11 belong to the class of improved large units. Their principal advantages, as claimed by the designers, is that they can remain in the open sea longer than their predecessors; can shoot bigger torpedoes and with greater force and precision; can sink and rise more rapidly; and can act as surface-boats by night—that is to say, when protected by darkness from attack they can fire torpedoes from above as well as below the surface of the water.

All the large submarines are kept, at Wilhelmshaven, Cuxhaven, and Heligoland.

Dreadnoughts and Zeppelins.

Most of the German warships are now massed at Wilhelmshaven and Cuxhaven or in the North Sea end of the Kiel Canal. In the latter part of December and in January there were important transfers from Kiel to these places.

Besides the eight submarines at Heligoland, 11 destroyers of the newest type have their base round the island-fortress, on which is the principal wireless station.

But it is in Belgium that the most astonishing developments are to be found. The German policy is to hold what she now possesses, and to fight England. To this end all the forts and harbours of the conquered country have been immensely strengthened, and the number of Zeppelins kept in Belgium alone is greater than the totals published in England, and based on German pre-war statistics.

The number of Zeppelins some three weeks ago was as follows:—
2 in Cuxhaven,
2 in Wilhelmshaven,
1 in Heligoland,
2 on the East Front,
3 or 4 on the West Front other than Belgium, and
About a dozen in Belgium.

It is claimed that the latest Zeppelins can remain in the air for 60 hours with a full complement of oil, tools, food, spare parts, and bombs, besides a wireless apparatus. This contention, however, has not been proved.

Submarines Ordered to Sink Ships at Sight.

The German submarines which are to engage in the blockade of the English coast have now received detailed instructions as to how they are to act. The instructions state that the blockade of England gives the submarines the right to regard and treat all merchantmen which are found within the blockaded area for the purpose of conveying anything to England as enemy ships engaged in illegal operations.

The submarines are to approach the merchantmen, if possible, without being seen, and are to torpedo them immediately without the slightest examination regarding their nationality, or in any way concerning themselves with the fate of the crews. The instructions add that neutral vessels which break the blockade have no rights at all, according to international law.

It is not directly stated in the instructions, but it is understood that the desire is that the crews of the torpedoed ships shall perish, so that there may be left no evidence regarding the fate of the ships. The German authorities believe that the disappearance with all hands of many merchantment [sic] will produce the most terrorising effect.

The Kaiser was expected at Wilhelmshaven to-day, and the general belief is that he is going to Heligoland to direct the blockade personally for a few weeks. Rumour adds that he may perhaps even go farther than Heligoland.—"Daily Mail."

Sunk Without Warning.

The Havre correspondent of "The Matin," giving details of the sinking of the Cardiff steamer Dulwich, says it was brought about by a German submarine. This act of piracy was committed in the Channel, off the shore near Etretat.

The Dulwich, described as a British collier, registered at the port of London, is stated by "The Matin" to have been torpedoed without warning at night time, and without the commander of the submarine caring whether he jeopardised the lives of the crew.

The Dulwich, at about half-past six on Monday evening, was bound for Rouen, having sailed from Hull with a cargo of coal. The weather was clear and the sea was rough.

Suddenly, a terrific explosion was heard on the starboard side, and it was found that, the ship, having been struck by a torpedo just below the waterline, was beginning to sink.

Boats were lowered, and the crew of 30 men got clear, but without taking away their effects. The vessel sank in about half an hour. While rowing about the crew saw the conning tower of the submarine emerge several times, apparently watching the boats.

Captain Hunter, of the s.s. Dulwich, resides with his sister, Mrs. Hanna, of Hickman-road, Penarth. He has been with the firm for about 10 years, first as engineer, and about two years ago he took up the command of the Dulwich, in which vessel he had previously been engaged as engineer. Capfain Hunter is the son of the late Captain John Hunter, of Ayrshire.

A Fecamp telegram adds: The crew immediateld took to the boats. The French destroyer Arquebuse rescued 22 of the men and brought them into port. Seven others reached Fecamp. There is no news of the two remaining men.

The Dulwich was twenty miles north-west of Havre Point when an explosion occurred on the starboard side amidship. The vessel sank in twenty minutes. The Dulwich, 3,289 tons, was owned by the British Steamship Co. (Messrs. Watts, Watts and Co., Ltd.), of Cardiff, London, etc.

Saved the Ship's Papers.

Paris, Wednesday.—A telegram from Fecamp says that seven men of the Dulwich arrived there during the night in one of the ship's boats. They had with them the ship's papers. The men, who were in an exhausted condition, and were suffering dreadfully from exposure, were given first aid, and then removed to the British hospital at the Casino.

'The "Jolly Roger".' The Cambria Daily Leader. 18 Feb. 1915. 3.

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