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[Page 24]

[Text incorporates handwritten corrections by E.A.B.]
to meet new and unexpected problems. Our mighty fleet of Pre-Dreadnaught had suddenly become useless and we could not afford to risk the loss of any more battleships. Already five had gone the Irrestibable Ocean Bouvet Triumph and Majestic more than we had ever lost before in any period of our naval history. The Turk had some real reason to feel elated. For the next two months he saw but little off his coast except an occasional battleship, some small cruisres and the ever present Destroyers. Of course, according to his theories, our fleet having been forced to retire we should have acknowledged ourselves beaten and taken the army or what was left of it off the coast. He waited for this happy hour in vain.

Meanwhile what was happenying. The brains at home were working hard to get back command of the surface of the seas. Rumours again came rippling down the Sunny Mediterranean of strange craft having been sighted on their way out the like of which had not been seen before. Our experts were in no way discouraged by the enforced idleness of the battleships. They are no use for for this kind of warfare. They were never built for this kind of work, they argued therefore we must invent something different type of craft which can carry the guns of a battleship without having their vulnerability to submarine attack. Only a nation with absolute command of the sea and with unlimited shipbuilding resources could have set to work to substitute one fleet with another of an entirely different type of fleet in the middle of a great war at a few hours notice, while at the same time blockading the German fleet, and holding all the worlds trade routes.

The rumours about craft of strange shape became more and more definite. One fine day in July the first of them arrived. She was unlike any other vessel ever seen in these parts having a low freeboard almost flush, with the eater a nine 9.2 in her bows and a six inch astern. She looked more like a Chinese Pagoda than a ship but she talked like one all right as the Turks found a few days later when she went out and tried a few shots for practice at Asia. She was followed by another little bird of passage even smaller and lower having two brand new beautiful six inch guns 'the same as the Lizzies' as the crew delight to tell you.

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