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Some Naval Yarns   By:

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SOME NAVAL YARNS

BY MORDAUNT HALL

WITH A PREFACE BY LADY BEATTY

NEW YORK GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY PUBLISHERS IN AMERICA FOR HODDER & STOUGHTON MCMXVII

COPYRIGHT, 1917, BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

PREFACE

A book containing accounts of the work continually and unceasingly being carried on by the gallant officers and men of the Royal Navy should prove of considerable interest to all, and, at the present time, especially to the American reader. I am glad that a New York journalist has had the opportunity of witnessing a part of the titanic task of our courageous sea fighters, and of personally gaining an idea of the hardships endured by the plucky men who are watching our coast. This little book may help considerably to enlighten the general public on the work of the branches of the Navy, and prove that the men engaged in this tedious, hazardous, and nerve racking vigil are going about it with the same old valour befitting the traditions of the Royal Navy. They have fought the savage beasts like true sportsmen. They have rescued enemy sailors, clothed and fed them, without a sign of animus, knowing that victory will crown their efforts to throttle the enemy of humanity and of civilisation. And that enemy is now the common foe of the United States as well as of England. He has been the sly enemy of the United States even before the declaration of hostilities by the American Congress, while he was the avowed enemy of other countries engaged in this terrible war.

These stories, light though they be, give a conception of what it is to search the seas in a submarine, and the bravery of the youngest branch of the Navy the Royal Naval Air Service is palpable even from the modest accounts given by these seaplane pilots. They have confidence in their supremacy over the enemy, and are all smiles even in the face of imminent danger. It shows that often British coolness and pluck have saved a machine as well as the lives of men.

Of special interest is the talk with the captain of a mine sweeper while he is on the bridge of his vessel. He tells of the many neutral lives that have been saved by English seamen at the risk of their own vessels and the lives of their crews. Noteworthy is it that Great Britain in the course of this war has not been the cause of the loss of a single neutral life. Mines have been placed at random by Germany's pirate craft.

The grit of the English seaman comes to light in the author's journey in a naval ambulance train, as does also the fact that the service takes the utmost care of its wounded and sick. In the account of the Royal Naval Division it is touching to note that the men who are fighting in France and who distinguished themselves so valiantly in the Ancre and other battles, still cling to sea terms or talk.

The accounts in this volume may cause the people of my native country to appreciate the necessity for silence on the part of the British Admiralty, as now that their ships are linked with ours in the effort to defeat a common enemy the same idea of giving no information to the enemy even at the cost of criticism undoubtedly will be included in orders. Nevertheless, while playing the trump of silence, it is encouraging to read stories of the Navy so that the readers have certain knowledge that silence and brief reports do not mean that nothing is being accomplished. We have recently had an instance of the efficiency and courage of the officers and men in the fight between two British destroyers and half a dozen of the enemy craft, in which the Germans lost two vessels and the British none. Commanders and others greatly distinguished themselves in this conflict, which occurred in the dead of a moonless night... Continue reading book >>




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