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THE BOER PEOPLE It is impossible to appreciate the South African problem and the causes which have led up to the present war between the British Empire and the Boer republics without some knowledge, however superficial, of the past history of South Africa. To tell the tale one must go back to the beginning, for there has been complete continuity of history in South Africa, and every stage has depended upon that which has preceded it. No one can... more...

PREFACE TO THE FINAL EDITION. During the course of the war some sixteen Editions of this work have appeared, each of which was, I hope, a little more full and accurate than that which preceded it. I may fairly claim, however, that the absolute mistakes made have been few in number, and that I have never had occasion to reverse, and seldom to modify, the judgments which I have formed. In this final edition the early text has been carefully... more...

INTRODUCTION While Great Britain remains an island, with dominion over palm and pine, it is to the sea that her four hundred millions of people must look for the key to all that has been achieved in the past and all that the future promises in the quickening dawn of a new era. Not only over Great Britain alone, however, does the ocean cast its spell, for it is the free highway of the world, sailed by the ships of all nations, without other... more...

Page 15 CHAPTER I THE BEGINNINGS OF NAVIES Civilization and sea power arose from the Mediterranean, and the progress of recent archeological research has shown that civilizations and empires had been reared in the Mediterranean on sea power long before the dawn of history. Since the records of Egypt are far better preserved than those of any other nation of antiquity, and the discovery of the Rosetta stone has made it possible to read them, we... more...

I. THE ISONZO FRONT 1 My first impressions of the Italian war centre upon Udine. So far I had had only a visit to Soissons on an exceptionally quiet day and the sound of a Zeppelin one night in Essex for all my experience of actual warfare. But my bedroom at the British mission in Udine roused perhaps extravagant expectations. There were holes in the plaster ceiling and wall, betraying splintered laths, holes, that had been caused by a bomb... more...


NAVY SHIPS More than one-third of our naval force was being reviewed by the President. A most impressive assembly of men-o'-war it was, in tonnage and weight of metal the greatest ever floated by the waters of the western hemisphere. The last of the fleet had arrived on the night before. From the bluffs along the shore they might have been seen approaching with a mysterious play of lights across the shadowy waters. In the morning they were... more...

PREFACE The rise of the Dutch Republic must ever be regarded as one of the leading events of modern times. Without the birth of this great commonwealth, the various historical phenomena of: the sixteenth and following centuries must have either not existed; or have presented themselves under essential modifications.—Itself an organized protest against ecclesiastical tyranny and universal empire, the Republic guarded with sagacity, at many... more...

ITHE GATEWAY OF THE GARDEN OF EDEN There is nothing to suggest that you are approaching the gateway of the Garden of Eden when you reach the top of the Persian Gulf, unless the sun be that Flaming Sword which turns every way to keep the way of the Tree of Life. Of cherubim we could see no signs. We lay motionless awaiting orders by wireless. Of the country before us we knew next to nothing. We did not grasp that the great river at whose mouth we... more...

Introductory Remarks. Rome was not built in a day, nor has the glorious British Navy attained its present condition except by slow degrees, by numerous trials and experiments, by improvements gradually and cautiously introduced, and by the employment of a vast amount of thought, energy, and toil. We are apt to forget when we see an elaborate machine, the immense quantity of mental and physical exertion it represents, the efforts of the united... more...

RAOUL BLANCHARD Greatest drama of the war. The Battle of Verdun, which continued through from February 21, 1916, to the 16th of December, ranks next to the Battle of the Marne as the greatest drama of the world war. Like the Marne, it represents the checkmate of a supreme effort on the part of the Germans to end the war swiftly by a thunderstroke. It surpasses the Battle of the Marne by the length of the struggle, the fury with which it was... more...