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Germany's High Sea Fleet in the World War von Scheer, Admiral Reinhard (eBook)

  • Verlag: Shilka Publishing
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Germany's High Sea Fleet in the World War

Victors write history. German Admiral Reinhard Scheer knew this, and wrote his own anyway. In this memoir of World War One, he says, 'We are victors and vanquished at one and the same time, and in depicting our success the difficult problem confronts us of not forgetting that our strength did not last out to the end.' Admiral Scheer took command of the German High Seas Fleet in 1916. He championed unrestricted submarine warfare as the key to winning, maintaining that it was no worse than the British blockade against Germany. Scheer's belief in aggressive surface fleet actions led him to the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval engagement in World War One and still one of the biggest in history. Scheer asserts that the Fleet fought well throughout the war: 'The remembrance of the famous deeds which were accomplished on the sea will henceforth preserve over the grave of the German Fleet the hope that our race will succeed in creating for itself a position among the nations worthy of the German people.' This edition of Scheer's memoirs, first published in 1920, has been modernised with an active table of contents and links to footnotes, and has been lightly edited to correct typographical errors in the original.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 452
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 6610000016488
    Verlag: Shilka Publishing
    Größe: 2364 kBytes
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Germany's High Sea Fleet in the World War

Introduction

THE origin of the world war lies in the opposition between the Anglo-Saxon and the German conceptions of the world. On the former side is the claim to the position of unrestricted primacy in sea power, to the dominion of the seas, to the prerogative of ocean trade and to a levy on the treasures of all the earth. "We are the first nation of the world" is the dogma of every Englishman, and he cannot conceive how others can doubt it.

English history supplies the proof of the application - just as energetic as inconsiderate - of this conception. Even one of the greatest eulogists of the English methods in naval warfare - which best reflect English history - the American, Captain Mahan, made famous through his book, The Influence of Sea Power upon History , characterises it in his observations on the North American War of Independence, which ended in 1783:

"To quote again the [French] summary before given, their [the Allies - America, France and Spain] object was 'to avenge their respective injuries, and to put an end to that tyrannical Empire which England claims to maintain upon the ocean.' The revenge they had obtained was barren of benefit to themselves. They had, so that generation thought, injured England by liberating America; but they had not righted their wrongs in Gibraltar and Jamaica. The English fleet had not received any such treatment as would lessen its haughty self reliance, the armed neutrality of the Northern Powers had been allowed to pass fruitlessly away, and the English Empire over the seas soon became as tyrannical and more absolute than ever."

Still, England has in process of time understood how to create an almost universal recognition of its claim. Its whole policy, based on the authority of its Fleet and the favourable situation of the British Isles, has always been adapted to the principle that all that may contribute "ad majorem gloriam Britanniae" is of advantage also to the progress of mankind.

The principal feature of the English character is markedly materialistic and reveals itself in a striving for power and profit. The commercial spirit, which animates the individual Englishman, colours the political and military dealings of the whole people. Their claims, to themselves a matter of course, went so far always that they never granted advantages to another, even if their utilisation was not possible to themselves at the time, but might perhaps be so later. That has manifested itself most clearly in the Colonial sphere.

The edifice of English world importance and might has rested for a hundred years on the fame of Trafalgar, and they have carefully avoided hazarding it. They have besides, with skill and success, left untried no means of accentuating the impression of power and using it. What we should consider boastful was to the British only the expression of their full conviction and an obvious means to their end. In support of this we may mention such expressions as: "We have the ships, we have the men, we have the money, too," as well as ships' names, such as Irresistible , Invincible , Indomitable , Formidable , and many others.

This method, fundamentally, is really as the Poles asunder from ours, but still it does not fail to leave an impression on many Germans owing to its pomposity and the customary embroidery of commonplaces about promoting the happiness of mankind.

On the opposite side Prussia - Germany! Its whole history filled with struggle and distress, because the wars of Europe were carried on by preference on its territory. It was the nation of the Categorical Imperative, ever ready for privations and sacrifices, always raising itself again, till it seemed at last to have succeeded through the unification of the Empire in being able to reap the fruits of its hard won position of power. The victory over the hard times it had to pass thr

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