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[Page 145]

In the forts? (4) What steps had been taken to defend the Channel by mines and land torpedo tubes? (5) What were the exact positions of minefields? On every one of these all-essential points we had no reliable information. It does not seem as if the all-important question of what the surviving ships of the Fleet, if they did succeed in getting through the Narrows, were to do, supposing the Turks refused to make peace on their arrival off Constantinople, was discussed at all. Because they could not stay up there indefinitely and the problem would then have arisen how to get them back through the Narrows again. In fact, the expert opinion, behind which the Government is desperately striving to entrench, seems to have resolved itself into a purely academic discussion as to the probable effect of the fire of ships' guns on forts. Here again opinion seems to have been divided, and Sr A. Wilson alone took the right view that it would be possible to smash the outer forts without much difficulty, but then we would have to 'wait and see' .
It would be interesting to know whether the two experts who knew the Turks and their resources better than any others were ever consulted at all. The one is Admiral Limpus who had charge of the Turkish Fleet before the war, and the other is Colonel Tyrrell, our Military Attache in Constantinople during the Balkan War. Colonel Tyrrell, who had made a close study of the Turkish Army and the causes for its defeat, realised quite clearly that this defeat was due to surprise

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