Book: The World Crisis, Vol. 1: 1911 1914

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APPENDIX D

MINING

In order to combat the many unwise proposals which were pressed upon me at this time to squander our small stock of mines, I drew up the following paper with which I endeavoured to repel the demands from the Cabinet, the Admiralty and the Fleet. I am aware that these views will be disputed, and I shall no doubt be told that the experience of the later stages of the war has disproved them. I still believe, however, that they were sound and truly applicable to the circumstances of 1914. But I go further and declare that the reasoning held good all through 1915 and 1916. If I am reminded that as part of the life and death struggle against the German submarines in 1917, we were led into a mining policy on a scale so gigantic as dwarfed every previous scheme, and if as the result of this huge diversion of our resources a certain number of German submarines were destroyed, still I assert that these conditions would never have arisen if a proper offensive had been developed by the Royal Navy, as would have been possible at far less cost. All being said, I take my stand, as I wrote to Lord Fisher, on the dictum ‘Mine in Haste and Sweep at Leisure.’

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