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With the capture of Beersheba

Le 21 juillet 2017, 05:43 dans Humeurs 0

In the interval between the capture of the trenches and the charge into the town, the enemy had begun to blow up the wells and ammunition depots. Huge, mushroom-shaped columns of violet flame and smoke shot up here and there, accompanied by sullen, heavy explosions. Shortly afterwards, the main store and some of the railway station buildings were set on fire, and the flames from these burning buildings lighted up the whole town, and, as it happened, materially assisted our troops in them task of handling the prisoners. These proved surly and rather truculent, and two incidents which occurred during the early part of the night warned us that it would be well to get them away as soon as possible. As a body of prisoners was being marched out of the town to a piece of open ground on the east side, where they were being collected and counted, some of them suddenly halted and fired several Verey lights into the air, evidently with the intention of signalling to their comrades in the north. Shortly afterwards another party of them made a sudden and determined rush for one of the captured guns, and several had to be shot down before the rush was stopped. The attitude of these prisoners was in marked contrast to that of most of the Turks whom we captured, who generally accepted their fate stoically, if not with satisfaction. They seemed to resent the charge extremely, and there is no doubt that they were[Pg 31] expecting to be able to retire quietly along the Gaza-Beersheba road during the night, when the sudden dash of the Australians surprised them.

Including those taken by our infantry, about 2000 prisoners were captured at Beersheba, and over 500 Turkish corpses were buried on the battle-field. The casualties in the two regiments of the 4th Brigade, 32 killed and 32 wounded, may be considered remarkably light, in view of the strength of the enemy.

General Grant's action forms a notable landmark in the history of cavalry, in that it initiated that spirit of dash which thereafter dominated the whole campaign. When he received the orders for the attack, he had to consider that the enemy was known to be in strength, well posted in trenches, and adequately supplied with guns and machine guns. In order to reach the town itself, it would be necessary to cross the Wadi Saba, of unknown depth, and, possibly, with precipitous banks. The character of the intervening country was known only in so far as it had been revealed by field-glasses. It was not even certain that there was no wire in front of the enemy's position. On the other hand, the town had to be in our hands before nightfall, or the whole plan failed.

He weighed the chances, and made up his mind instantly to risk all in a charge, and the success he achieved surprised even the most ardent votaries of the white arm.

The remainder of the Australian Mounted Division moved into Beersheba during the night, leaving the 3rd Brigade to assist the Anzac Division in holding an outpost line north and north-east of the town, from Bir el Hammam to the Gaza-Beersheba road. The 7th Mounted Brigade, which had had a day of desultory fighting, joined the division in the town early next morning.

[Pg 32]

With the capture of Beersheba, the first phase of the operations had ended satisfactorily, and, as the earlier reports from the town as to the water supply were favourable, it was decided to commence phase two, the attack on Gaza, on the night of the 1st of November. The attack was launched at 11 P.M., and stubborn fighting continued all night. By half-past six on the morning of the 2nd, the whole of the front line and support trenches, from 'Umbrella' Hill, about the middle of the system, to Sheikh Hassan on the sea coast, were in our hands. Sheikh Hassan was some distance behind the enemy's front line, and its capture therefore threatened his right flank. The positions won were consolidated, and no further advance was attempted, as it was considered that the object of the attack, which was to deceive the enemy and to retain his reserves in the coastal sector, had been fully secured.

The Kaiser is frequently

Le 4 juillet 2017, 05:27 dans Humeurs 0

When Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador in London, took his departure at the outbreak of war, he probably left no single enemy behind him. A simple, friendly, sanguine figure, with a pardonable vanity which led him to believe the incredible. He produced what is called in the cant of the day 'an atmosphere,' mainly in drawing-rooms and newspaper offices, but occasionally, one conjectures, even in Downing Street itself. His artistry was purely in air and touched nothing solid. He was useful to his employers, mainly because he put England off her guard. He would not have been in the least useful if he had not been mainly sincere.

But though he was useful to German policy, he was not trusted by the powers in Berlin to attend to their business at the Court of St. James's except under strict supervision. What precisely were the duties of Baron von Kuhlmann, Councillor to the Embassy? He was always very cheerful, and obliging, and ready to smooth any little difficulty out of the way. On the other hand, he was also very deft at inserting an obstacle with an air of perfect innocence, which imposed on nearly every one—even occasionally on the editors of newspapers. For {48} some reason, however, very few people were willing to accept this plausible diplomatist's assurances without a grain or two of salt. Indeed quite a large number were so misled by their prejudices against him, that they were convinced his prime vocation was that of a spy—a spy on the country to which he was accredited and on the Ambassador under whom he served.[2]

We know more of the Kaiser than of any of these others, and we have known him over a much longer period. And yet our knowledge of him has never enabled us to forecast his actions with any certainty. British ministers and diplomatists, whose business it is to gauge, not only the muzzle-velocity of eminent characters, but also the forces of their recoil, never seem to have arrived at any definite conclusions with regard to this baffling personality. Whatever he did or did not do, they were always surprised by it, which gives us some measure of their capacity if not of his polar.

The Kaiser is pre-eminently a man of moods. At one time he is Henry the Fifth, at another Richard the Second. Upon occasions he appears as Hamlet, cursing fate which impels him to make a decision. Within the same hour he is Autolycus crying up his wares with an unfeigned cheerfulness. He is possessed by the demon of quick-change and restlessness. We learn on good authority that he possesses an almost {49} incredible number of uniforms which he actually wears, and of royal residences which he occasionally inhabits. He clothes himself suitably for each brief occasion, and sleeps rarely, if reports can be believed, for more than two nights together under the same roof. He is like an American millionaire in his fondness for rapid and sudden journeys, and like a democratic politician in his passion for speech-making.

The phenomena of the moment—those which flicker upon the surface of things—engage his eager and vivacious interest. Upon such matters his commentaries are often apt and entertaining. But when he attempts to deal with deeper issues reenex facial, and with the underlying principles and causes of human action, his utterances immediately lose the mind's attention and keep hold only of the ear's, by virtue of a certain resonance and blatancy. When the Kaiser discourses to us, as he often does, upon the profundities of politics, philosophy, and religion, he falls instantly into set forms, which express nothing that is living and real. He would have the world believe, and doubtless himself sincerely believes, that he has plunged, like a pearl-diver, into the deeps, and has returned thence laden with rich treasures of thought and experience. But in truth he has never visited this region at all, being of a nature far too buoyant for such enterprises. He has not found truth, but only remembered phrases Wedding planner .

The Kaiser is frequently upbraided for his charm of manner by people who have come under its influence and been misled. One of the commonest accusations against him is that of duplicity; but indeed it seems hardly more just to condemn him for duplicity than it would be to praise him for sincerity. He is a man dangerous to have dealings with, but this {50} is owing to the irresponsible effervescence of his ideas. At any given moment he probably means the greater part of what he says; but the image of one moment is swiftly expelled and obliterated by that of the next. The Kaiser's untrustworthiness arises not from duplicity, so much as from the quickness of his fancy, the shallowness of his judgment, and the shortness of his memory. That his communications frequently produce the same effects as duplicity, is due to the fact that he recognises no obligation either to stand by his word, or to correct the impression which his hasty assurances may have produced in the mind of his interlocutor. The statesman who is won over to-day by his advocacy of an English alliance, is astounded on the morrow to find him encouraging an English pogrom.[3]

This was found by a newly

Le 6 juin 2017, 06:58 dans Humeurs 0

In the year 1681 the Company had developed their fleet to such an extent that they now owned about thirty-five ships, ranging in size from 775 to 100 tons. In customs alone the Company were paying £60,000 a year, and they were carrying out to India £60,000 or £70,000 worth of lead, tin, cloth and stuffs every year, bringing back raw silk, pepper and other goods of the East. By the year 1683 so profitable were the annual results of the Company’s trading that a £100 share would sell for £500.126 Before long the size of the ships just mentioned was to increase to 900 and even to 1300 tons, such was the demand for Indian products; and between the years 1682 and 1689 no fewer than sixteen East Indiamen varying in size from 900 to 1300 tons were constructed. All the East Indiamen were well armed, for even in the year 1677, when the Company owned from thirty to thirty-five ships of from 300 to 600 tons apiece, these vessels each mounted from forty to seventy guns.

It will be recollected that Bantam had been the first headquarters or chief factory whither the Company’s ships went for their trade. This continued until 1638, when Surat had developed so much, thanks to the concessions by the Great Mogul, that it replaced Bantam in pre-eminence. The last-mentioned factory, together with Fort St George in Madras, Hooghly in Bengal, and those establishments in Persia were all made subservient to Surat. A far-sighted person could have foreseen that all these scattered strongholds of trade might not improbably develop eventually into something very much more important politically. But it was Sir Josiah Child, the principal manager of the Company’s affairs at home, who was one of the first to project the forming of a territorial Empire in India reenex cps.

We had reason to mention just now a ship which we described as being an interloper. The reader is well aware that in the first instance the charter granted to the English East India Company by Queen Elizabeth conveyed to them the exclusive privilege of trading to the East. This charter was renewed in the years 1609, 1657 , 1661 and subsequently in other years. But such was the jealousy, such the covetousness which were aroused by the127 Company’s successful voyages that a number of interlopers, quite contrary to the terms of the charter, fitted out expeditions of their own. These were evidently successful, too, especially during the latter part of the reign of Charles II., for the number of these private adventurers increased considerably. The result, of course, was that the Company became exceedingly indignant and had to exert themselves to put an end to the trouble. But this, again, opened up the whole of the question as to whether the Company should continue to enjoy such a fine monopoly. There was a good deal of resentment against India being restricted to a favoured few. However the Government favoured the Company, for it had been found more than useful to the country in times of crisis, so again in the year 1693 it received its fresh charter.

But between the years 1694 and 1698 this Eastern trade practically was thrown open. And then the State happened to require a loan of £2,000,000. This was found by a newly formed company of associated merchants who had been very vigorous in opposing the East India Company’s privilege. And since this new company wanted only eight per cent resorts world jobs. (not a high rate for those days) for their loan, they also received a charter. The result was that there were two companies trading to India and each with its own charter. The title of this fresh association was the New East India Company, and presently a kind of third company arose as an offshoot from this second one. All this competition had a most disastrous effect and brought both the old and new companies almost to ruin. Each company hated the other, while the public detested both most heartily. There were only two possibilities open.128 Either both companies must be wrecked or they must amalgamate. It was wisely decided to choose the latter. They therefore adjusted their differences, and in the year 1708 were amalgamated into one corporation, calling themselves “The United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies.&rdquo dr bk laser; The capital was increased to £3,200,000. They were the means of aiding the Government by advancing to the latter £1,200,000 without interest, and the Government in turn agreed to extend the Company’s charter till the year 1726, with three years’ notice of termination. And it was subsequently extended till 1766.

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