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Title: Operations Upon the Sea - A Study
Author: Edelsheim, Franz, Freiherr von, 1868-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Copyright, 1914, by

Published November, 1914



This book is of especial importance at this time, for if Germany is to
reach the degree of advantage which her military preparedness seemed
to prophesy, it is plain that her navy must become increasingly
active, and play a far different rôle than that it has assumed in the
early stages of the war.

Covering this phase of the German operations the present volume must
appeal as forecasting movements strictly within the bounds of
actuality. A literal translation is all that has been attempted, with
absolutely no embellishment to make it "popular" or easy reading. With
characteristic bluntness this German officer brushes aside
non-essentials and goes to the main point in daring fashion. For that
very reason it is exceedingly pertinent to present-day discussions.

Issued as a military study in Germany, semi-official in nature, to
characterize it mildly, the material herein published for the first
time in English reveals the theories of at least a portion of the
military arm of the German Government, which it is only fair to state
may not represent the convictions of the German people.

Americans, as neutral but extremely interested observers of happenings
of the moment, cannot be blamed, however, for making note of
revelations that may come from either side in the conflict. Beyond
that, there are evidences on every hand that the patriotic citizens of
this country are waking to the necessity to face more securely the
difficulties a peace-loving nation may meet because of its lack of
enthusiasm for war.

                                             THE PUBLISHERS.


The purpose of this book is to estimate the value of operation over
the sea as demonstrated in modern warfare, to point out the most
important factors in its accomplishment, to describe the powerful
expedients provided by Germany for such an enterprise, and to broaden
the sphere of studying these important questions of interest to our

                                                 THE AUTHOR.



INTRODUCTION                                                   13

THEORETICAL VIEWS                                              17



        PREPARATIONS DURING PEACE                              27

        PREPARATIONS AT THE OUTBREAK OF WAR                    39

        EMBARKATION                                            46

        SEA VOYAGE                                             56

        LANDING                                                62

        OPERATIONS                                             71

        REEMBARKATION                                          75

APPLICATION                                                    77

    THAT CAN BE REACHED ONLY BY SEA                            79

 II VIEWS ON COLONIAL EXPEDITIONS                              93

III CONCLUDING VIEWS                                          106



Within recent years we have had a closer view of operations over the
sea in connection with wars on land. The war between Japan and China,
between America and Spain, between England and the Transvaal, and
finally the Chinese Expedition, have largely demonstrated the methods
of transporting troops over the sea. Whilst Moltke has shown the
insignificance of the land forces for such operations, the military
authorities must in the future reckon on the important problem of
preparing for and conducting a war across the sea.

Germany has greater resources for enterprises of this kind, and is
more efficient, than any other country. The excellent training and
readiness for war, the rapidity with which the troops can be
mobilized, are not attained by any other power; then, too, Germany has
the second largest merchant marine in the world, which affords a
first-class transport fleet not surpassed even by England's. Finally,
the constant improvement and strengthening of our battle fleet affords
additional security in transporting troops. These especially favorable
factors make possible a wide field for Germany's activity in world
politics. It is feasible for us to build strong military forces which
will be of great use to the Empire in this direction, to secure by
fighting a feared and esteemed position in the world such as we have
attained in Europe.

In this connection, it must be admitted that our navy cannot in the
near future reach the degree of development where it would be in a
position alone to solve for us the problems arising from energetic
participation in world politics. This shows the advisability of
impressing distant countries that believe themselves inaccessible to
direct attack and that have hitherto held Germany in little respect,
with the size and strength of our army. That is why we must keep in
mind the land operations in expeditions over-sea.

These operations, through their extent and aims, are concerned with
the most vital interests of the various nations, and include small
enterprises which would serve to acquire commanding positions for war
as well as for colonial requirements. All, however, emphasize the
problems of transporting, which vary with the conditions of wars on
land and which make distinct demands for preparation. These newly
found difficulties should be carefully examined by Germany.



Since steamers have supplanted sailing ships for commercial
intercourse it is possible to transport our large troop forces in
them; but fixed plans should be formulated with the view of making use
of these strong and numerous vessels in over-seas operations. The main
difficulty arises in the fact that all sea and land fighting forces
must be combined. However, any consequent friction can easily be
avoided if the army and fleet, in time of peace, become familiar with
their mutual dependence and with the need of individual cooperation.
It is plain, therefore, that operations over the sea should be planned
for in advance. There is no prospect of success unless the parts of
the complicated mechanism are individually prepared.

The selection of a favorable time and situation for operations is an
important factor in its success. If an unexpected landing could be
made the opponents would not succeed in making a strong defense, nor
would they be able to concentrate sufficient forces to oppose the
invasion. Hence the preparation of the land operations must be so
thoroughly advanced that in case of war the rapidity of mobilizing and
transporting would assure an advantageous surprise. How difficult and
costly this task is has been demonstrated by the United States in its
expedition to Cuba and by England in transporting its first troops to
South Africa.

The object of the operation must by all means be concealed and the
preliminary preparations should be planned so as to delude the
opponents. Napoleon's expedition against Egypt and the manner in
which it was undertaken even to-day remains a standard example.

A landing operation on an enemy's shore is generally possible only
where one is superior in naval strength to that which the enemy can
muster at a critical time. After a landing a victory at sea by our
opponents would not be of benefit to them, in case they have not
provided sufficient land fighting forces successfully to combat the
invasion. Therefore, it is imperative at least to strengthen our
German battle fleet so greatly that it would assure the troops a safe
passage, and also defeat or hold in check that portion of the enemy's
naval forces which they could readily employ.

If the transports sail ahead of the fleet there is the possibility
that with a reverse at sea the landing operations could not be carried
through. The rule to be followed is to employ for operations over the
sea all available battleships, part in the regular fleet and part as
an escort for the protection of the transports. In no case should the
land forces be transported on battleships, for they would restrict the
fighting value of the ships. So, for example, the French admiral
Gauthaunce--1801--in spite of his superior battle fleet was compelled
to withdraw to Toulon before the English fleet because his ships had
suffered in fighting value through the presence of land troops.

Only the largest steamships are to be considered for transports
because they have a greater field for action, can carry more troops
and require a smaller escort of battleships, thereby giving a small
battle fleet like ours more available strength, which is, of course,
of great value.

Naturally, the ships should be loaded to a capacity in proportion to
the length of the voyage. In cases where the distance is not great the
transport ships can make the trip twice, but it is important that the
principal part of the expedition go in the first transports so as not
to land an inefficient force on the enemy's coast. The whole purpose
of the enterprise might be defeated through lack of aggressive
strength of the landing troops. The number of troops to be landed must
be greater than the estimated number of the enemy. As they must be
able to assume the offensive, it is desirable that the militia be
debarred and only well drilled forces, under experienced officers, be
sent over. Such a combination gives the required fighting value.

In spite of the difficulty experienced in transporting horses, the
cavalry is an extremely valuable adjunct in operations of invasion,
playing a great part in offensive movements and in assisting the
field and heavy artillery. The cavalry will also be able to prevent an
attack on the infantry, which might otherwise inflict damage hard to
retrieve. In the Crimean War Marshal St. Arnault was hindered in the
pursuit of the routed Russians because of the deficiency in the
cavalry and artillery in the French army. He had only one hundred
troopers at his disposal, and his guns, drawn by only four horses,
were greatly hampered in their movements.

The difficulties in transporting large cavalry and artillery divisions
can be overcome through modern methods. The extent of our merchant
marine makes it possible to forward the necessary number of troops,
but it must be remembered that on account of our present political
position we can send only as strong a force as we can afford to
dispense with at home, without endangering the country.

The management of the complete operation over the sea as a rule can be
better executed by an army officer than by a naval officer, for the
success of the enterprise depends principally on the land operations.
This leadership would usually fall to the commanding officer of the
transport fleet and escorting squadron. It is out of the question to
change commands at such a critical period as disembarking. With us the
commander-in-chief of the transport troops is lower in rank than the
commander of the escorting squadron, a designation which the
vicissitudes of war have found very disadvantageous. More than one
well-planned operation has been restrained by the commanding admiral
because he sacrificed favorable conditions from the standpoint of land
operations to gain a slight advantage from a naval standpoint. On the
other hand, Napoleon I, against the advice of his admirals,
disembarked his troops in Egypt, and thereby kept them from sharing
the fate of the fleet.

After successful landings it may be necessary to place the transport
fleet and its escort in command of the chief of the land troops. Even
the battle fleet should be under his direction when a change of base
is necessary or when the land and sea forces are in joint action. For
technical naval questions the chief command would be assigned to an
officer of the Admiral Staff. In a joint attack on a coast city the
advantage of harmony and cooperation is readily seen. In the battle on
the Alma this fact was demonstrated, the striking of the fleet on the
flank was not ordered by the commander of the land forces and was not
brought about in unison with the land attack.



Whether the operations be large or small, full preparations must be
made during peace. These preparations include first of all the drawing
up of plans through the study of political and military relations.
Then the operations can be carried out under international
jurisdiction, avoiding thereby any disturbances of importance. The
possibilities of friction must be given careful thought.

First of all, a base for prospective operations must be determined by
exhaustive investigations as to landings that may be suitable. While
the first inquiries are made by naval officers, they can only be
completed by army officers. The following essential points must be
kept in view in searches made by naval officers:

I. To determine the naval strength required for protection of the
transport fleet and to settle the question of communication with home

II. To decide upon proper and specific points on the respective
coasts, from a marine standpoint.

III. To investigate all harbor facilities for the disembarking of the
troops, and to ascertain the number and size of ships the harbor will
admit so as to insure the protection of the land and sea flank.

IV. To study the enemy's coast defenses and decide upon the strength
required to attack them.

The researches of the army officers concern principally the following:

I. The aim of the operations is to overcome the obstacles as reported
by the naval officers.

II. The number of troops which the opponents can muster against the
invasion should be estimated.

III. All questions as to climate, water supply, and equipment
necessary should be decided.

All this information has been shown to be of distinct value, and
perhaps would cause us to alter, within the next year, the disposition
of the line of battle in case of war. Through a well ordered
intelligence department definite plans can be made.

Regarding operations which require troops fitted for tropical service,
capable officers and forces should be reviewed and inspected during
times of peace and made note of accordingly. The division would make a
suitable unit for large operations and could be formed from different
army corps. These divisions should be so equipped that they could
operate independently in customary situations. Fuller preparations
should be made for the sending of heavy artillery, the telegraph and
airship divisions. These formations would be important problems during
the voyage at sea. An especially skilled staff is needed. To this end,
loading transports and landing maneuvers for the heavy artillery and
other heavy divisions should take place annually in suitable harbors
on coasts that present the right opportunities for the troops. An
enlarged command of officers and subordinate officers would show
sufficient strength in a relatively short time. Incidentally it might
be possible to have these maneuvers take place in our foreign
possessions, where we could better determine the actual needs of
operations of this sort. This training would bring forth the simplest
and best means for the adjustment of our merchant marine for
transporting troops. All other expedients for the voyage would
likewise be shown. Some of this needed experience has already been
acquired through our expedition to China.

Just as a detailed plan of mobilization is required for any war on
land, a complete plan is necessary for operations over the sea which
embraces also the railway trip to the harbor and the rapid execution
of the tasks involved in embarking. On account of limited facilities
only one division can be handled on a railroad. The necessity for
transfer by wagons to the ships requires enlarged railway stations and
piers in many places. Furthermore, many different supply depots must
be built and maintained. In these depots building material should be
held in reserve for the alterations that are needed for the
transformation of the merchant ships into transports. All other
apparatus for successful transporting, such as extra lifting
contrivances, flat-bottom boats, gang planks, and so forth, should be
stored in advance. Usually, these adjuncts are lacking in the merchant
marine. Light railroad rolling stock for use in the tropics or in
difficult land conditions is also recommended.

In addition to these supply depots there must be in all harbors large
warehouses containing clothing, food and coal. The small requirements
of our transport to China did not emphasize sufficiently the value of
advance preparations, but it is evident that within a few days over
one hundred steamers should be provided with such accommodations. To
do this in an emergency would require too much time aside from the
difficulty that might be encountered in securing skilled labor.

For long distance transportation our large harbors on the North and
East seas can be utilized equally well for embarkation. Speed is the
chief requisite. In order to lessen the distance of transporting,
operations toward the west must be conducted from the North Sea ports
and toward the east from our east sea ports. This does not preclude
the possibility of towing the transports from the east sea through the
Kaiser Wilhelm Canal to the North Sea should it be found desirable,
but it would involve a waste of time. The smaller harbors should not
be used for embarking for large enterprises because they lack the
necessary facilities. They might be utilized to advantage in a smaller
way, provided sufficient means were at hand to take care of one
division a day. Especially suitable harbors on the North Sea are
Emden, Wilhelmshaven and Bremerhaven, in connection with Bremen, and
Cuxhaven with Hamburg and Glückstadt. These are the harbors that
should have complete preparations made for possible expeditions.

Bremerhaven is by far the best. In every respect it would take first
place for embarkation, because of its extensive wharfs. From this
point two or more divisions could be shipped daily without difficulty.
Cuxhaven is not so well situated, but its connection with Hamburg is
important. If it were brought up to full development it could take
care of two divisions a day which Hamburg could well supply.
Glückstadt is an especially important base because most of our live
stock exporting business is carried on there. It is recommended that a
short double-track railroad be built from Elmshorn to Glückstadt,
making a connection with the reserve corps frontier. In Glückstadt one
infantry division and part of a cavalry division can be shipped.

In Wilhelmshaven all the essential features are at hand, but it is
doubtful whether, in view of simultaneous mobilization of the fleet,
this place can be chosen for the embarkation of land troops. In any
event, it would be necessary to enlarge the harbor buildings. The
railroad facilities would also have to be increased.

While Emden is favorably situated, an examination discloses many
drawbacks. It needs better dock facilities and railroads to bring it
up to standard and in order to relieve the extensive shipping of
troops at Wilhelmshaven. Under existing circumstances Leer and
Papenburg could be used for transporting purposes, and these two with
Emden could handle one division.

The situation on the Baltic Sea is peculiarly unfavorable, no harbor,
with the exception of Kiel, being deep enough to accommodate our
larger steamships. At Danzig the dredging of navigable waters and
extension of docks should be planned, which are of great importance
from a military standpoint. The other smaller ports on the Baltic are
at present not suitable for transporting troops.

The Kiel harbor could not be utilized for the loading of large
transports because of the same conditions that affect Wilhelmshaven,
namely, the delay that might hinder the rapid mobilizing of the fleet,
which would not be permitted. The docks at Kiel must therefore be
greatly enlarged so that they could thoroughly satisfy simultaneously
the demands of the battle and transport fleets. Pillau and Swinemünde
should be authorized to extend their very small docks. On the other
hand, the large dry docks in Danzig, Stettin and Kiel should be in a
position, within the shortest possible time, to provide the necessary
buildings for transporting, if the materials and warehouses are
planned correctly.

Of the greatest importance in operations over the sea is the provision
of the proper number of ships. Defects in preparations in time of
peace would hinder successful execution and would give the enemy time
to take the necessary precautions to oppose an invasion. Yet it should
be stated that England, at the outbreak of the Boer, although lacking
full preparation during peace, in the course of a few weeks procured
the required number of ships for the first shipment.

The problem of ship control would at best fall to the loading
commission, which should be settled upon as an established authority
to make a comprehensive survey and appraise the German steamers for
military transporting. This commission should also list the
foreign-owned steamers which might be available in the harbors for use
in emergencies. Through close commercial relations this control can be
extended to neighboring foreign ports (Amsterdam, Rotterdam,
Copenhagen) to the end that we might charter several large foreign

The construction of stables for horses on our commercial ships would
cause delay, as we have pointed out previously. It would seem
advantageous to have our subsidized steamship companies to build
several ships which can be quickly adjusted for shipping horses. This
ought to be an easy matter with ships used for shipping cattle. The
Hamburg-American Line, it is known, will readily provide such a ship.

The management of the transport depots and the training of the
dry-dock and harbor personnel would obviously fall to the loading
commission. In a similar way, the navy would be permitted to divide
the sea-fighting strength, in the event of mobilization, into a fleet
of warships and an escort for the transport fleet, assuring effective
protection and a fighting force equal in rank to the enemy.


Actual preparations for war cannot be kept secret for any length of
time. Opponents would receive information through secret channels,
which would give them opportunity to concentrate and equip their
forces. The immediate preparations before the outbreak of war dare not
be instituted generally, but as soon as the decision for operations is
conceived, they must be promptly inaugurated. The aim should be to
keep the opponents in uncertainty for a short time, and then a rapidly
executed operation would take them unawares. An unexpected attack
depends largely upon rapidity of movement. Incidentally, diplomatic
pressure should be avoided if possible because such friction would
lessen considerably the chances for a successful undertaking.

In connection with wars on land the preliminary preparations are
simplified, for under these circumstances most of the battleships and
troops have been equipped and prepared for action. The methods to be
employed by the battleships to carry out the operations would vary and
must be left to the discretion of the chosen naval expert. It should
be pointed out in this connection, however, that with a small battle
fleet like ours it is most necessary to concentrate our full strength
for the defense and execution of the land operations. We must
endeavor, therefore, in time of peace to get our fleet forces out of
foreign waters and keep the battle fleet together. Thus the great
political questions would be decided only upon the European scene.

A rapid mobilization of our sea fighting forces, namely, those which
belong to the battle fleet, is of great advantage, but the calling in
from foreign waters of such forces would undoubtedly serve to create
suspicion. The Kaiser Wilhelm Canal affords us the means to
concentrate these forces quickly as may be required either in the
North or Baltic Sea.

If the demands for ships and supplies exceed our advance preparations,
proper methods should be employed to seize quickly what is needed and
immediate reparation made. Plans should also be made to secure
sufficient reenforcements of troops. In large operations where all our
ships are employed, after they are successfully loaded and started on
the voyage the transports arriving from foreign waters can be
equipped. All ships belonging to hostile nations that are lying in our
harbors we would of course seize and utilize for transports.

While the distribution of our transport steamers at the various points
of embarkation will have been taken care of by the loading commission,
various difficulties would be encountered in altering the vessels that
by chance are at the disposal of the commission for transports, such
as unforeseen defects and inaccurate measurements of the foreign
chartered steamers arriving in our ports. The adjustment and equipment
of these ships must be expedited so that the troops can be despatched
in masses as fast as they arrive. Once the ships reach the selected
harbors the necessary rearrangements probably can be made
simultaneously with the loading, depending upon the advance
preparations and the presence of a skilled staff of workmen. The time
needed will depend somewhat upon the length of the voyage to be made.

In England the steamers for transporting troops to Cape Town, which is
a long trip, were prepared in four days for the infantry and in seven
days for the cavalry and artillery. The consuming of such time, even
for a long sea voyage, must be considered poor execution. At the time
of our expedition to China we had the ships complete in a short time.
For one steamer, the discharge of the cargo, readjustment for
transport and reloading, with the exception of the cavalry, not more
than two days need be consumed. For short distances, according to
English and Russian estimates, one day is required for infantry and
two to two and one-half days for cavalry and artillery. These periods
can be greatly shortened through the efficiency of the building
staff, as pointed out previously.

The formation of the expedition corps must of course be established in
the annual maneuvers. Various factors, such as seasons, political
aims, present situation of opponents, extent of material for the
available ships, all bear witness to the urgency of taking up measures
in advance for facilitating the work of mobilization. The speedy
concentration of troops and materials at the points of embarkation
will make heavy demands upon the railroads, even though the haul is
short, and the shipment comparatively small. Arrangements should
therefore be made with the railroads to have on hand at all times
sufficient rolling stock for these purposes, to guarantee the prompt
departure of the transports. It is urged that authority be given the
loading commission to supervise and direct this work. It must be
taken into consideration that part of the troops are inexperienced
reserves and good order must be maintained. A high standard of
efficiency should prevail, to lessen the burdens of executing orders.

Numerous machine gun divisions increase the fighting strength and do
not require great space or support. The usefulness of a cyclist
division depends entirely upon the condition of the roads in the
hostile country. For the reasons stated previously, cavalry would not
suffer in distribution of strength, which is customary in wars on
land. In large over-seas operations it is recommended that a special
cavalry division or brigade be formed for reconnoitering purposes.
Beyond this, the strength of the cavalry division must be sufficient
to render possible an independent operation. It would also be of great
value to the field artillery, of which an ample supply is on hand.

Especially important is the method of distributing supply trains, for
these require a great deal of space and render landing very difficult.
They also hinder the rapid movement of the expedition corps. When the
transports do not remain in close communication with the troops after
landing, a very large supply of stores is necessary to make the army
independent of the vessels. There should be added, therefore, a
reserve ammunition column to that already provided.

A fixed amount of supplies should be determined upon, taking due
consideration of the extent of the voyage. The troops could
requisition some materials from the hostile country.


Proper loading is the business of the land forces and should be
conducted by trained officers so as to ensure the shipment of
materials and men. To make landing effective the necessary supplies
should go on the vessels with the troops. A loading plan should be so
drawn up in advance as to meet all emergencies. The length of time
consumed for loading depends on the distance of the voyage.

At the most the limit of a short sea voyage for us has been considered
about forty-eight hours. This is too small an estimate; it should
undoubtedly be doubled. The Italian General Staff estimates the length
of a short sea voyage to be five days. Besides, to preserve the
fighting worth of our troops, we must allow sufficient time for rest.

The troop transport capacity of a ship has heretofore been calculated
by the ship's tonnage, that is, sixty per cent. of the ship's capacity
is net ton loading space. The necessary space for us, for a long sea
voyage, is set at two tons for each man and six to seven tons for
each horse. The English and Russian estimates are about the same. But
the English transports to Cape Town accommodated a larger number of
troops than was thought possible, and the American transports to Cuba
were increased by one-third.

As for the arrangements which must be made for sleeping, cooking and
washing and for a hospital service, we need not go any further here,
as they have been discussed at length in the press. The stowing of
equipment and baggage should be done in such a way as to make the
articles available on landing in the order in which they are needed.
The ship's space required for maintenance supplies for man and horse
figures relatively as about one to five.

Coming next to the loading of the artillery, the rule should be to
place all common and machine guns on deck. A certain amount of
ammunition should be stowed so as to be quickly accessible. This is an
essential measure to afford the transport protection from some
privateer. The guns should be securely placed to prevent their
movement by the motion of the sea and to render feasible their use on
deck. Trials will soon be made to find the suitable means whereby
field artillery may be put to successful use on shipboard, and this
testing will certainly repay us. All rolling stock will be stowed away
firmly in the freight space without removing the wheels. The material
and personnel of the field hospital should be divided among the ships,
so that a ship's hospital division may be formed. The airship division
should be placed on deck in such fashion that observation flights may
be made during the voyage.

The shipping of horses is especially difficult. By former methods the
horses had to stand the entire trip and had practically no exercise.
This left them in a weakened condition and made necessary a long rest
after arrival. For a war transport, in which is required a rapid and
successful offensive, such horses are not useful. Because of the
important work to be done by them after landing, careful attention
should be given to the horses to keep them in good working condition.
To this end, proper nourishment must be given and facilities provided
for daily exercise while on the transports, which should consume at
least three-quarters of an hour for each horse.

Ships that are built particularly for the transportation of horses can
be adjusted with four decks over each other, including upper deck
stables and two courses for exercise, so that a transport of from
three to four thousand net tons capacity can carry over one thousand
horses. Three ships would accommodate two cavalry brigades. On every
large steamer many horses can be shipped for a long trip, in addition
to its regular quota of men and supplies.

After the transports have been prepared, about seven hundred and fifty
horses, equal to one cavalry regiment, or six batteries, can be loaded
daily on the lower decks. Cleanliness, ventilation and care are the
three most important factors for the good health of the horses. Every
horse transport must be given ventilating apparatus to assure
sufficient fresh air. Artificial ventilation is to be preferred to
natural ventilation, for if the latter becomes too strong the horses'
lungs are easily affected. Through this cause, for example, the
American transport to Cuba lost the greater number of their horses.

Likewise condensers are required for the necessary quantities of
drinking water. It is recommended that each ship be given its own
condenser. The provision of only one or two large condensers on
special ships which supply the entire demand of the transport fleet,
as the Americans employed in their expedition to Cuba, has not proved

For the short sea voyage, our transports would be able to despatch
substantially more troops, through Germany's geographical position.
The strength of near-by powers requires, though, the immediate
utilization of all ships and materials at our disposal, if the
operations are to succeed. For short expeditions, the general rule
will be to ship as many troops as the transports will carry. The
forces will bivouac on the upper and lower decks and receive only
straw bags and covers. They will keep their whole baggage with them.
Cooking will be done in large field kettles. If time permits, it is
recommended that the same adjustments as for a long journey be made
for the horses, at least to provide separate stalls. This will prevent
heavy losses in case of rough weather. Guns and accessories can be
disposed of in the same manner as for long voyages.

The length of time for embarkation depends on whether the loading can
be done from the wharves of the harbors or whether the troops and
materials must be taken out by lighters and then transferred to the
ships. The latter method is a waste of time and is dependent on wind
and weather.

The time required for loading is as follows: Fifteen minutes for one
hundred men, one minute for one horse, ten minutes for a cannon. In an
operation by the Russians, 8,000 men, including infantry and cavalry,
were embarked in eight hours. In our loading of East Asia transports,
it required one to one and one-half hours to load one battalion. The
speed of our loading has amazed departmental circles in general. It is
certain, though, that this time can be greatly reduced through
detailed preparation and training. Napoleon I, in the year 1795, had
ostensibly drilled his troops so well that he could plan to put
132,000 men and their materials on shipboard in two hours.

It must be remembered that everything, troops, guns and supplies must
eventually be landed on open coasts. Portable flat-bottom boats and
building materials for piers must therefore be carried on the
transports. Special vessels must accompany the transport fleet with
large reserve supplies of food, equipment, ammunition, coal and so
forth. A cable-laying ship is also required.

We must now consider to what extent Germany is able to load forces for
the execution of operations which involve only a short voyage, in
which success depends so much on speed. For embarkation on the North
Sea, Hamburg and Bremen alone could furnish so many steamers capable
of being converted into transports, that with their tonnage capacity
the loading of four infantry divisions is possible in a period of four
days. With the addition of ships from Emden, Wilhelmshaven, Glückstadt
and Kiel we would be able to despatch in the same length of time, at
least six infantry divisions, or five infantry and one cavalry
division. To these must be added several especially large and fast
German steamers, partly for the shipment that might be delayed and
partly to expedite the return to home waters. A large number of troops
can also be shipped from Baltic ports. Besides this, a repeated trip
of the transport fleet is possible if the command of the sea is
maintained continuously.

For longer sea voyages, in which the importance of speed is not so
great, our transport fleet can be greatly increased through chartering
or purchasing ships of foreign nations. Still, we are at present in
the position to despatch about four infantry divisions, with present
available ships, within ten or twelve days.


For transporting troops over the sea, it is the chief problem of the
navy to clear the course to the hostile shore. All enterprises of this
kind are dependent on the battle fleet, whose first aim, therefore,
must be to run down and attack the enemy's fleet which the transports
might encounter; if the opportunity is afforded our fleet must bring
about an engagement for the command of the sea at least by the time of
embarkation. As the mobilizing of the battle ships is finished before
the transport fleet is ready to put to sea, they can undertake an
early offensive to make secure the passage of the expedition. Also,
throughout the voyage offensive operations can be undertaken by the
battle fleet, in waters distant from the transport, which would serve
the same ends of keeping the course clear.

The escorts of the transport squadron should consist of just enough
ships to give immediate protection. A large number would increase
unnecessarily the size of the transport fleet without increasing its
safety, while every addition of strength to the battle fleet is of the
greatest value. The task of the escorts is only to protect the
transports from attacks by single or several small vessels of the
enemy. Our torpedo boats are particularly adapted for escort service,
and make it feasible to restrict the number of large battle ships used
for this purpose. During the assembling of the transports, these
boats may devote themselves to secure the safety of the traffic
between the loading harbors.

The departure of the transports from the various harbors must be so
regulated that they sail in close union, to assure a safe voyage and a
quick landing. The loading commission must take appropriate means to
expedite the loading in those harbors farthest removed from the
central assembling points. As a rule, the transport steamers would
sail with the battle fleet; but in the English expedition to South
Africa and ours to East Asia, this rule was not followed.

An essential requirement is that the transports put to sea as soon as
the loading is complete. They cannot wait for news of the success of
the battle fleet. A certain risk is involved, but it is not great, for
the transport fleet can always turn back. Only an early departure
would insure successful, unexpected landing. The shorter the voyage
the greater the necessity for a surprise attack.

In the event of our battle fleet being attacked, it does not follow
that the transport operations must be abandoned, for if the voyage be
short an energetic continuation of the venture will command a fair
prospect of success. Even the victor in a great naval battle might not
be able to carry out an attack against the transport squadron. An
individual hostile battle ship or cruiser would find it difficult to
break into the transport fleet.

An important factor in the sea voyage, perhaps the most important, is
the weather. For short distances, it is possible to a certain degree
to choose favorable weather for the passage, with the help of
scientific forecasts. Conditions might be such that a delay would not
harm the operations. Adverse weather conditions would more seriously
affect long-distance transporting, to a degree that might cause
abandonment. Our vessels must be so improved as to make them
independent of wind and weather, to make certain the speed of the
voyage and to permit the establishing of a time record. For the time
of the passage, the highest speed of the slowest boat is the standard,
which could probably be increased by towing with tugs.

In putting to sea all transport ships must retain the order of
position they are to take in the squadron; this order is not broken
until after leaving the harbor, so that the object of the voyage is
known only to the home officials. The advance guard of troops will
sail in the fastest ships so that they can make the unexpected
landing. The pioneer and airship divisions are placed with the advance
guard. The ships which have artillery ride on the flank of the troop
transports. Then follow the ships carrying supplies. The cable ship
comes last. The laying of the cable gives a continuous communication
with the home country. For extensive voyages, preparations must be
made for taking on coal on the open sea. The commander-in-chief of the
expedition corps should be on a transport steamer so that in event of
a fight the transport fleet will not be without proper guidance.

On long sea voyages, gymnastics, drilling and target practise can be
pursued. Ample daily exercising of the horses will occupy the greater
part of the time of the cavalry. For short sea voyages these features
are not so necessary. In general, strict discipline must be exercised
to overcome the tediousness of the trip.

While the command of the troops on every transport is in the oldest
officer, the command of the ship remains in the hands of the captain,
who is inferior in rank to the commander of the troops. If this
captain has not served in the German navy, a midshipman may be signed
as a coordinate officer. It is our policy to provide every transport
ship with a naval officer.


Military history shows that an attempt to prevent a really bold
landing is never successful. The defense must either scatter its
forces along the coast to be protected, or concentrate its full
strength to cover one point, while the assailant, through the mobility
of its transport, can keep its landing plan uncertain, and under the
protection of long-range guns on the ships can throw more troops
quickly on the land than the defense is able to concentrate in the
same time. A simultaneous landing at different places is hazardous if
the opponent can muster considerable strength. An expedition is seldom
so large that disadvantages arise through landing at one point. On the
other hand, it would require a great many battleships for the
protection of numerous landing places. A division of the forces
weakens all of them, and great difficulty would be found in uniformly
managing the start of the operations for want of time and means.
Therefore, it is recommended, when the situation permits, to select
one central place for landing.

For the disembarking a harbor is of course the most advantageous; less
advantageous but always favorable is an enclosed, protected bay; the
most unfavorable is the open coast. Yet a landing on the open coast
would encounter little resistance if it is carried out with great
speed. If the chosen landing place be near a bay or a seaport town, it
would be the mission of the first landed advance guard to seize this
port, to make it possible for the transport fleet to disembark the
mass of troops, horses and materials. The occupation of a good harbor
will greatly hasten the unloading, prevent a hostile attack from the
sea and add greatly to the ability of the landing corps to carry on
the operations. If a seizure of a port is not possible, the landing of
the entire expedition must take place by means of prepared
disembarking contrivances. Every transport must be equipped for
landing on an open coast.

The best landing place is a site nearest the object of the operations,
which would force the opponents to a decision before they were
thoroughly prepared. Clear coast regions within range of the ships'
guns are desirable, as is also quiet, deep water near to the landing

It is possible to land within range of important hostile garrisons and
fortifications. Russian landing maneuvers have demonstrated the truth
of this statement. Fortifications are effective against landing
enterprises only when sufficient troops are on hand to defend the
coast. If the assailant is successful in landing a detachment of
troops out of the range of the fortifications, the latter would be
ineffective for defense. The best security, however, for the initial
landing is its unexpected delivery. Reconnoitering of the coast site
by boats sent beforehand is an absurdity, for the opponents
immediately become acquainted with the landing plans and are given
time for preparations for defense. Of great importance for rapid,
well-regulated landing is uniform management through the signal
service of the ships and the telephone service on land, which can be
installed advantageously. In anchoring the ships must be the correct
distance apart, to avoid crowding.

The execution of the landing as a rule is as follows: The advance
guard rides ahead, on the last stretch, with its own escort of
battleships, and lands, if possible, unawares, usually at night. If
the landing be on an open coast, the mass of troops which follow
should immediately throw up earthworks. The entire disembarking must
be made with great speed, for the quicker the landing is accomplished
the less the danger of being disturbed. The most favorable time for
attacking the coast is at dawn, for the landing can take place unknown
to the enemy and day be used for disembarking. As the ships do not
carry a sufficient number of patent boats for landing on an open
coast, special flat-bottom boats should be prepared for unloading
horses and heavy material. The English employ collapsible boats for
landing men, which accommodate a crew of fifty, while the Russians
have flat-bottom boats capable of holding two hundred men, or one
complete cannon. It is recommended that we be permitted to try the
Russian model, which has been well tested. Small power boats should be
employed for tugging, as rowing would be a waste of valuable time. To
permit horses to swim ashore is to be condemned, for it would cause
confusion and delay, and we know from experience that a large number
are sometimes lost. The Americans, in their landing in Cuba, lost
seven per cent. of their horses. For the landing of artillery and
heavy materials small landing bridges must be erected on the beach,
for which prepared material is carried on the transports. The
assembling of the troops must not be permitted on the beach, for all
space there must be kept for the landing of supplies.

If a landing near a harbor is successful, the advance guard will
strive to take the same unawares, to seize those coast sentinels at
hand and to destroy the telegraph and signal service along the coast.
If all this is successful, the transport fleet will be signaled to
draw near. The advantage is apparent in landing in a large harbor or
bay, which affords the possibility of protection from a sea attack,
through the mining of the waters or through the guard of a limited
number of battleships. Earthworks, equipped with cannon and machine
guns, must be thrown up for the protection from the land side.

The piers must be distributed to make sufficient room for
disembarking. The existing plans for improvising landing bridges and
gangways should be extended, in order to expedite the landing. The
piers and bridges will be used for ships carrying horses, artillery
and heavy materials, while the infantry land by boats, under the
protection of large guns on shore or of the escorting battleships,
should the battle fleet maintain command of the sea. The landed troops
should be supplied provisions for many days so that they can begin
operations independent of the supply trains.

The time required for landing is considerably less than for loading.
The natural desire of the troops to land quickly helps to shorten the
time. One writer gives the following data: Lord Cochran landed 18,000
men on the open coast of America in five hours; in the Crimean War the
English accomplished the disembarking of 45,000 men, 83 guns and about
100 horses in less than eleven hours. The French are slower on account
of their handling of supply trains. The Russians, in their landing
maneuvers in the Black Sea, have landed a slow division in eleven and
one-half hours, where the steamers had to anchor five to six
kilometers from the coast. The marine writer Degories figures that
under average conditions it is possible to land 25,000 infantry, 1,000
cavalry and 60 guns in six hours. If the landing can be made in a
harbor, this time can be essentially lessened.

After the disembarking of the expedition, the further task of the
transport fleet and its escort of battleships depends on the maritime
strength of the country attacked. If the assailant continues in
command of the sea, the transport fleet can remain as a floating base
for the landed corps and can effect the reenforcement of the
expedition. If the assailant is not in command of the sea, then the
transport fleet must attempt to evade the operations of the hostile
fleet, by an immediate retreat to home waters.


The operations of the landed expedition corps on the whole can be
conducted according to the principles set down by the commanders of
the troops, but these principles must take into account the particular
conditions under which the forces operate. The well-known marine
writer, Mahan, emphasizes the fact that a landing operation must be
offensive to succeed. Military history shows that after boldly carried
out landings at Abukir and Cape Breton, for example, the success of
the extensive operations was impaired, almost lost, because of lack of
energy and rapidity of execution of offensive movements. The assembled
strength must be thrown forward on the line of least resistance.
Defensive strategy should be used only when a delay is necessary to
receive expected reenforcements. The primary aim of the operations is
to dispose of hostile forces, within the shortest possible time and
with the least loss to ourselves.

During the progress of the operations the country through which the
troops pass can be drawn upon to supplement equipment and supplies,
but the speed of the advance and the efficiency of the troops must not
be decreased through extended raids. While the distance to the
objective of the invasion is generally not great, it should be our
endeavor to be independent of our base of supplies. Much progress has
been made in the methods of making condensed foods, for man and horse,
which will help to solve the problem of provisions. The army of
invasion can also take an important site in the hostile country and
utilize it as a base of operations. Continuous communication with the
home country is therefore not absolutely necessary. In a densely
populated and rich country it is easy to secure provisions and
supplies. The maintenance of long lines of communications is hazardous
in that it requires excessive guard duty. When the battle fleet has
gained command of the sea it will be in a position to protect
continuously the base on the coast, and would also make it possible
for the corps of invasion to select new bases. Sherman's march to
Savannah in the Civil War has shown the practicability of this plan.
After one objective has been attained, it should be possible for the
expedition to reembark to land at some other point on the coast for
further operations.

Against the enemy's defenses we must throw our full strength and avoid
enterprises that involve a delay or a weakening of our forces. Dearly
purchased victories will in the end defeat our own aims.

If the operations of the troops are carried on along the coast, or if
the objective of the operations is a harbor or a coast fortification,
the battle fleet should act in unison with the land forces.
Battleships are superior to the field artillery, as they can be moved
at will and so are hard to put out of action. Continuous bombardment
from the battleships would prove effective aid for the troops.

It is important, then, that the command of land and naval forces be
joined in a commander-in-chief who would direct the field forces as
well as the naval forces. Small coast defenses of seaport cities could
not for any length of time withstand such a combined attack. It is
certain also that present-day coast defenses could not withstand an
energetic attack from the land side. They are more vulnerable than
inland fortresses because they are open to attack simultaneously from
land and water. However, if the battle fleet cannot gain the command
of the sea, and must retreat before the opposing forces, the
operations of the landed troops must be conducted wholly as a war on


A reembarkation of the expedition corps is possible only when the
battle fleet is able to prevent attack from the sea. In the event of
defeat on land, reembarkation is not absolutely impossible, for if
good order is maintained the improvised defenses of the landing sites,
with the help of the fleet, will sufficiently delay the pursuers. If
the reembarking must take place from some other point, preparations
for its defense must be made in advance. When the reembarkation is
done with the aim in view of attacking at another place, the rules as
explained in the chapter on "Embarkation" must be adhered to. For
such an operation, more time is essential, and pressure of the enemy
should not be permitted to interfere with its management.



The recognized military complication with England and America affords
an interesting example on account of the difference in distances in
which the transporting of troops takes place, on account of the
strength of the sea and land fighting forces of the two opponents, and
lastly on account of the difference in the territorial extensions of
the aforesaid countries, and on the whole challenges various measures.

A conflict with England must be fixed in the eye of Germany, for the
great German struggle for commerce represents to England just as great
a danger as the advance of Russia against India. Beginning operations
with a naval war with England, we could almost foresee the result.

England has brought about the existence of such a powerful, active
navy that we, with the best defenses we have, would hardly be able to
win a decisive victory. Only by closing an alliance with Russia would
the strength of England be injured indeed, but never by a direct
threat from these provinces. But an alliance with France would in fact
menace England. The latter, however, through her geographical location
and through her large and timely expenditures, which every combined
operation demands, could make possible by proper equipment a maritime
superiority against this alliance.

England's weakness is in just that which forms our strength, namely,
the land army. The English army responds to neither quantity nor
quality of its great and powerful position in comparison with the
extent of the land; therefore England, from convictions, proceeds so
that every invasion of the land can be prevented by the fleet. These
convictions are in no way justified, for while England in developing a
powerful sea-fighting strength has every day prepared for war, she has
not had a view of the consequences of confronting and beating a really
weaker sea opponent with its fighting units.

These are the measures which Germany, in case of a threatened war with
England, must adopt and practise: Our endeavors must be to engage the
fleet, if possible; to throw part of our land forces upon the English
coast, so that the conflict on the sea can be carried to the enemy's
land, where our troops are already superior in quality to England's,
and so that a victory for England's powerful naval strength could
have but the smallest influence.

The army fighting strength of England under the commander-in-chief is
composed of the army reserve, the militia, the volunteers and the
yeomanry. In the event of an unexpected invasion, only the
commander-in-chief and army reserve can be considered to any extent,
for the militia needs so much time to assemble and equip that they
would be in a weak position to assist the commander-in-chief in the
first decisive battle. The volunteers and yeomanry cannot in so short
a time be trained for war or be mobilized for action. Also their
insignificant fighting value must be kept in view, beside which our
well-trained troops will not let them seem as menacing opponents.

The English army is formed of three army corps with three divisions to
each corps. A third to a half of these corps is comprised of militia,
so that either it must be first completed, and then it would be too
late for cooperation in the first decisive battle, or it would be so
untrained that it really cannot be said to reach the strength of a
division. Of two army corps, two divisions and one cavalry brigade are
in Ireland, the greater part of which must remain there to prevent the
undertaking of a German invasion through Ireland even though it
brought about the longed-for freedom.

The preparation for defense should also be considered. This might
consist of one army corps with three divisions, or one army corps
comprised of two divisions, with perhaps a cavalry brigade made up
from three army corps. Whereas the army strength of an English
division is about 10,000 men, a German division carries 16,000 men,
hence four German divisions and a cavalry division would have a
superiority over the English army. But we are in a position to set
over in England, in the shortest time, six divisions of infantry, or
five divisions of infantry and one cavalry division.

How a well regulated operation against England is to be conducted
across the sea, obviously cannot be forecasted here. The passage in
moderate weather is a little over thirty hours' ride from our North
Sea harbors. The English coast affords extensive stretches of shore
which are suitable for landing troops. The land contains such large
resources that the invading army can procure a living therefrom. On
the other hand, the extent of the island is not so great that the
English land defenses could ever succeed in timely destroying a
successful invading force.

It is improbable that Germany could carry on for very long a well
regulated war necessitating considerable reenforcement of troops. The
supplies would have to be furnished for the greater part on land.
Maintaining communication with the home country can therefore readily
be seen to be of importance.

It is conclusive that the first aim of every operation of invasion in
England is their field army, and the second must be London. It is
probable that these two objectives would fall together, in that the
field army, on account of the small value of the volunteers, is needed
for the protection of London fortifications, so as not to leave the
metropolis insufficiently defended. Powerful public opinion would
demand this for fear that London would fall into the hands of the
invaders. But if London is taken by the invading army this would still
be only one of the many war ports which must be seized, to secure a
base of supplies and for the further operations which have every view
to concluding the overthrow of England.

Operations against the United States of North America must be entirely
different. With that country, in particular, political friction,
manifest in commercial aims, has not been lacking in recent years, and
has, until now, been removed chiefly through acquiescence on our part.
However, as this submission has its limit, the question arises as to
what means we can develop to carry out our purpose with force, in
order to combat the encroachment of the United States upon our
interests. Our main factor here is our fleet. Our battle fleet has
every prospect of victoriously defeating the forces of the United
States, widely dispersed over the two oceans. It is certain that after
the defeat of the United States fleet, the great extension of
unprotected coast line and powerful resources of that country would
compel them to make peace.

There is no effective method to force this opponent to relinquish its
maritime operations, even though there is only a trifling number of
American merchantmen, except the simultaneous blockading with our sea
forces of American ports, which can only be taken with heavy losses,
while our fleet demonstrated the actual limited worth of the
unpacified American colonies.

It must be deemed a possibility that the battle fleet of the United
States would not risk an engagement at sea except to avoid a disaster,
but would await, in its fortified harbors, a favorable opportunity to
strike. It is evident, then, that a naval war against the United
States cannot be carried on with success without at the same time
inaugurating action on land. Because of the great extensions of the
United States it would not be satisfactory for the operation of an
invading army to be directed toward conquering the interior of the
land. It is almost a certainty, however, that a victorious assault on
the Atlantic coast, tying up the importing and exporting business of
the whole country, would bring about such an annoying situation that
the government would be willing to treat for peace.

If the German invading force were equipped and ready for transporting
the moment the battle fleet is despatched, under average conditions
these corps can begin operations on American soil within at least four
weeks. To what extent we will be able to succeed has already been

The United States at this time is not in a position to oppose our
troops with an army of equal rank. Its regular army actually totals
65,000 men, of whom not more than 30,000 are ready to defend the home
country. Of these at least 10,000 men are required to guard Indian
territory and for the garrisoning of coast-wise fortifications, so
that only a regular army of 20,000 is available for field service.
There is also a militia of 100,000 men, the larger number of whom have
not been trained since the last war summons, and they are poorly
equipped with inferior rifles and still more poorly drilled.

If an unexpected invasion of the United States is prevented by the
length of time for the transporting of troops, and only an unexpected
landing can take place, it must be emphasized that the weakness and
inexperience of their regular army would essentially facilitate a
quick invasion.

For the continued occupation of as large a territory as the United
States, if they can oppose us for any length of time, an important
fighting force will be necessary, to protect the operating lines and
to carry on a successful warfare. An invading operation will be
difficult to reenforce, in that a second trip of the transport fleet
will be required, in order to despatch the necessary number of troops,
at such a great distance.

It is upon the whole questionable whether there is anything to be
gained in occupying for any length of time so large a stretch of land
as the United States. The fact that one or two of her provinces are
occupied by the invaders would not alone move the Americans to sue for
peace. To accomplish this end the invaders would have to inflict real
material damage by injuring the whole country through the successful
seizure of many of the Atlantic seaports in which the threads of the
entire wealth of the nation meet. It should be so managed that a line
of land operations would be in close juncture with the fleet, through
which we would be in a position to seize, within a short time, many of
these important and rich cities, to interrupt their means of supply,
disorganize all governmental affairs, assume control of all useful
buildings, confiscate all war and transport supplies, and lastly, to
impose heavy indemnities. For enterprises of this sort small land
forces would answer our purpose, for it would be unwise for the
American garrisons to attempt an attack.

Their excellently developed net of railways will enable them to
concentrate their troops in a relatively short time at the various
recognized landing points on the coast. But there are many other
splendid landings, and it appears feasible for the invading corps to
conduct its operations on these points with the cooperation of the
fleet. The land corps can either advance aggressively against the
concentrated opposing forces, or through embarking evade an attack and
land at a new place.

As a matter of fact, Germany is the only great power which is in a
position to conquer the United States. England could of course carry
out a successful attack on the sea, but she would not be prepared to
protect her Canadian provinces, with which the Americans could
compensate themselves for a total or crushing defeat on the sea. None
of the other great powers can provide the necessary transport fleet to
attempt an invasion.


All operations for colonial expeditions can be undertaken successfully
because of the small forces necessary to transport over the sea to
make war upon a country which does not possess modern equipment and
trained troops. Just such an expedition was unostentatiously carried
out in China before our own eyes.

The sending of an expedition to East Asia affords an interesting
example of what can be done. Without resistance we have set up
governments at a distance from the home country. It is possible with
the aid of the fleet to secure similar results. However, there are
many obstacles to be overcome. It is imperative that in time of peace
we should prepare in every possible way for war in foreign lands
which have any commercial value for us. Inasmuch as the German army
has determined upon larger divisions of troops, the problems of
operations on the distant sea falls to the navy. In the future the
conducting of such operations will rest with the General Staff. It
will be necessary to continue the preparations, described fully in the
forepart of this book, for the carrying out of operations against such
countries as Asia, Africa and South America. Good judgment must be
used in the selection of methods. The execution of the first
operations would require the constantly combined efforts of the
General Staff and the Admiral Staff.

Our excellent knowledge of East Asia has given us the necessary
technical preparation in the way of equipment. The chartering of
transport ships for service to China should not be difficult in
consequence of the large size of the expedition. The expedition corps
would require eighteen ships, material and supplies would take five.
The greater part of this number would be amply supplied by our two
large steamship companies, the North German Lloyd and the
Hamburg-American Line. The charter of these steamship companies
provides for their use as transports if needed for expeditions of this
sort. The disadvantages of this arrangement once appeared in the delay
through a labor strike, when it was necessary to transport part of the
unfinished ships to Wilhelmshaven. Another drawback is that not enough
room is provided in these ships. On the steamers of the
Hamburg-American Line, for example, only sixty-five per cent. of their
normal passenger capacity can be utilized for troops which means at
the most an approximate displacement of three net tons, so that only
one man instead of two can be carried. An adjustment should be reached
to the end that the entire freight capacity of the steamers could be
counted upon.

The interior arrangements of a steamer to be used for troop transport
must be planned according to law. Fire-extinguishers, life-saving
apparatus and other necessities must be provided for; numerous tables
and benches which can be drawn up to the ceiling should be in the
troops rooms, and should also be found up on deck. Hospital
arrangements for two and one-half per cent. of the transport strength
should be provided.

The active troops of the expedition corps are at present drawn from
volunteers, the reserve and the militia, and grouped in new
formations. Through this the home defenses may be benefited, but the
expedition corps would not be up to standard, even though the newly
formed troops would have sufficient time to concentrate. It is
advisable for such an expedition to employ active, well-trained
soldiers for the main part, while the balance could be made up of
reserves. It is also to be recommended that in the near future we form
a fixed body of troops trained for hospital service. Such a formation
would have great intrinsic worth.

A few words should be said about the organizing of a Colonial army,
which would be called upon to play an essential part in German
military operations over the sea. It would be of extraordinary value
in preserving order in our colonies and would also be of assistance in
commercial aims. The Colonial army would constitute a picked body of
men, suitable for service in hot climates and uncivilized countries,
who would be able to fight effectively against colonies with which we
might be at war.

There would still remain, however, the need of preparation of our home
forces for colonial expeditions. We are not assured at present of the
assembling of the necessary number of qualified troops without drawing
on our regular army.

It requires a good deal of time to procure the equipment for an
expedition to East Asia. Therefore, contracts with capable firms
should be made, to make delivery in the shortest possible time.

While the equipment of the infantry with up-to-date weapons is easily
accomplished, it is noteworthy that only about thirty horses can be
loaded by the English system. Some effort should be made to solve the
horse problem. The purchasing of horses in Australia, America and
South China has ceased, in consequence of the knowledge that only a
small percentage can withstand the change of climate.

It would be impossible to employ joint cavalry forces, due to lack of
mounts. It is imperative to find the means for forming a mounted
infantry, for there is an insufficient number of advanced cavalry
troops to meet an emergency. It would be advantageous if large
brigades now idle could be moved for operations in Eastern China. Past
experience in China has emphasized the great importance of cavalry for
operations in large countries.

The losses in newly purchased horses would be greater than if we would
send trained horses accustomed to military service. The great loss in
transporting horses is no longer to be feared. The experience of the
English in transporting horses to Cape Town proves the worth of their
loading system. And it should be pointed out that the Prussian
horses, through their training, can endure climatic changes and the
hardships of sea transportation much better than the English horses.

The thirty horses on the transport must be well taken care of to reach
East Asia. The ships should be fitted out with this aim in view.
Accidents usually occur in crossing the equator. The Red Sea and the
Indian Ocean are especially difficult to cross. This could be overcome
by sending the transport by way of Cape Town, where a part of the trip
could be made south through the Tropic of Cancer. It has been
demonstrated that horses not older than from ten to sixteen years
should be selected for service abroad. No fear need be felt as to the
feeding of the horses, for our horses are accustomed to little corn.
Sometimes feedings of soaked rice with molasses added have given
favorable results.

A possible help for the outfitting of the artillery would be the
purchasing in Italy of native mules and loading them at Genoa. In
English sea-transporting these animals have demonstrated their
exceptional powers of resistance. They are preferable to horses
because they can endure hardships better and can more easily be
accustomed to conditions in East Asia.

While we have a large variety of artillery, our expedition corps must
be equipped with mountain guns which can be carried by beasts of
burden. This is often necessary in colonial expeditions. Experience
shows that it is difficult to move the heavy artillery of the field
army over bad roads, and the large guns would not get very far. This
is true also of the steel-boat bridge trains. It is surprising that
our collapsible boats, universally approved as superior, are not

Our military arrangements have not included a suitable hospital
service, because the ambulances are too heavy and unwieldy. The French
seem to have been afforded very good service by the so-called
cacolets--saddle horses with pack saddles for the sick and wounded.
These are excellent for use in colonial countries. A light wagon model
is generally recommended for supplies, for despite the condition of
the roads they must be able to follow the troops.

It is a question how the unfavorable conditions of communication with
our men-of-war can be improved. Once the forces and supplies are in
Bremen and Bremerhaven no difficulties would be found in embarking.
For the future a central place is recommended from which the
expedition corps can sail.

If thorough preparations are made the loading of the transports can
be accomplished in two or three days; by the old method of loading it
took two days for each ship. To facilitate the work, the loading
should be done simultaneously on both sides of the steamer. The
greater part of the supplies can be brought by tugs from Bremen to
Bremerhaven. The troops can consequently embark at Quai in about four
hours. The vessels, which have been arranged to utilize all available
space, can also carry all accouterments, ammunition and supplies.
Great delay and inconvenience might be caused by not accurately
calculating the massive proportions of the military shipment. It is
therefore above all argument that the military authorities and not the
steamship company should oversee the loading so that it would be done
properly from a military standpoint. Through a haphazard loading, the
detached troops might not go in the same boat with their belongings,
and they might not even know where their individual effects were
stowed. Disembarking would be difficult and delayed, causing the
forces to wait a long time for the unloading of their guns and

With regard to the sea voyage, it is very advantageous for us that the
sailing of the joint fleet is not required. The trip by transport
would take from forty-two to fifty-seven days. The trip from Shanghai
to Taku can be made successfully with the aid of our battle fleet. The
transports should sail without artillery equipment, so that no
difficulty would be experienced in getting letters-of-marque; but if
they could have on deck even a small amount of the guns which they
have on board, they would have nothing to fear from privateers or
auxiliary cruisers. Upon arrival at Taku, considerable difficulties
might be encountered, for it is reported that it is practically
impossible to procure the extra help needed.

Considering a landing at Tsingtau, it should be noted that there has
not been provided a sufficient number of disembarking boats. This
situation proves that under all circumstances the troop transport must
be equipped independently to land its troops and supplies.

Experience has taught us that a great deal of preparation is necessary
to undertake colonial expeditions and it behooves us now to lay a
foundation for future operations over the sea.


Many operations of our army, under protection of the fleet, can be
conducted in hitherto unexpected directions; many commands which our
fleet may not be able to carry out alone can be accomplished by the
combination of the land and sea forces. Now if the army across the sea
is able to resist our strength, it is necessary to prepare in advance
to have our battle fleet so strong that it will be in a position to
assist materially in any undertaking of our troops. From studies of
the strength of our various opponents across the sea whom we must aim
at, because their neighboring territory is of great importance to us,
it is plain that we must enlarge our fleet to protect our commercial
interests. It is essential that the speed of our battle fleets be
increased. Not the least important thing to realize is the fact that
as a rule it is impossible to undertake large operations across the
sea, and to carry them out successfully, unless exhaustive
preparations are made during times of peace.


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