This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text.
Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book
(without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.
1915 Excerpt: ...defense against invasion. The 60 per cent, of
ships which we do possess, moreover, are wofully underofficered and
undermanned. Furthermore, the navy as a whole is badly balanced;
lacking, as it does, certain indispensable types of ships, such as
battle-cruisers and fast scouts, and being deficient in destroyers
and sea-going submarines. In considering the question of our naval
defense as represented by the fleet, we must rid ourselves of the
notion that the three thousand miles of ocean separating us from
Europe is in itself a form of protection. On the contrary, the size
and speed of modern ships, both of war and commerce, have brought
this country within, a week to ten days' steaming of the warships
and military transports of Europe, and because of the vast stretch
of our coastline and the secrecy that pertains to the sea, it may
be stated without fear of contradiction that our maritime frontier
renders us more open to a surprise attack than if our Atlantic
Coast were a land frontier running cheek by jowl with Europe. The
Spanish War taught the American people the controlling influence
exerted by the command of the sea, and so deeply was the lesson
laid to heart that, within the brief period of six years (1898 to
1904) Congress, by its liberal appropriations, raised the United
States to the position of second naval power in the world. Shortly
thereafter Great Britain set afloat the first dreadnought and
thereby revolutionized naval construction and upset all existing
naval valuations. Every great power but ourselves began feverishly
to reconstruct its navy along dreadnought lines, and increased its
naval budgets. The United States, with suicidal folly, began, in
this critical hour, to neglect its navy, being more concerned,
apparently, with pensions and t...
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