Lessons of the War with Spain: And Other Articles

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Little, Brown,, 1899 - International Peace Conference - 320 pages
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Page 116 - It was clear to my own mind that the squadron would not have any great difficulty in forcing the surrender of the place, but the fact that we should be held several days in completing arrangements for holding it; that part of our force would have to be left to await the arrival of troops to garrison it; that the movements of the Spanish squadron, our main objective, were still unknown; that the flying squadron was still north and not in a position to render any aid; that Havana, Cervera's natural...
Page 232 - Power, force, is a faculty of national life; one of the talents committed to nations by God. Like every other endowment of a complex organization, it must be held under control of the enlightened intellect and of the upright heart; but no more than any other can it be carelessly or lightly abjured, without incurring the responsibility of one who buries in the earth that which was entrusted to him for use.
Page 186 - ... conditions which then obtained, afford to risk the loss or disablement of a single battleship, unless the enterprise in which it was hazarded carried a reasonable probability of equal or greater loss to the enemy, leaving us, therefore, as strong as before relatively to the naval power which in the course of events might yet be arrayed against us. If we lost ten thousand men, the country could replace them; if we lost a battleship, it could not be replaced. The issue of the war, as a whole and...
Page 56 - ... miles apart, though probably the best that could be done under all the circumstances of the moment, was contrary to sound practice, and that the conditions which made it necessary should not have existed. Thus, deficient coast protection reacts unfavorably upon the war fleet, which in all its movements should be free from any responsibility for the mere safety of the ports it quits. Under such conditions as then obtained it might have been possible for Spain to force our entire battle fleet from...
Page 56 - Puerto Rico. The time element also entered the calculations in another way, for a fleet of heavy ships is more certainly able to put to sea at a moment's notice, in all conditions of tide and weather, from the Chesapeake than from New York Bay. In short, the position chosen may be taken to indicate that, in the opinion of the Navy Department and its advisers, Cervera was not likely to attempt a...
Page 29 - This estimate of the military importance of Puerto Rico should never be lost sight of by us as long as we have any responsibility, direct or indirect, for the safety or independence of Cuba. Puerto Rico considered militarily is to Cuba, to the future Isthmian Canal, and to our Pacific Coast, what Malta is, or may be, to Egypt and the beyond; and there is for us the like necessity to hold and strengthen the one, in its entirety and in its immediate surroundings, that there is for Great Britain to...
Page 50 - I took the liberty to observe," wrote Nelson at the siege of Calvi, when the commanding general suggested that some vessels might batter the forts, "that the business of laying wood against stone walls was much altered of late." Precisely what was in his mind when he said "of late" does not appear, but the phrase itself shows that the conditions which induced any momentary equality between ships and forts when brought within range were essentially transient. As seaports and all entrances from the...
Page 76 - As it was, most men were in fear that the French would invade ; but I was always of another opinion ; for I always said, that whilst we had a fleet in being, they would not dare to make an attempt.
Page 28 - ... navy, and in that of the Confederate States. To a European nation the argument must have been quite decisive; for to it, as distant or more distant than Spain from Cuba, such an intermediate station would have been an almost insurmountable obstacle while in an enemy's hands, and an equally valuable base if wrested from him. To the United States these considerations were applicable only in part; for while the inconvenience to Spain would be the same, the gain to us would be but little, as our...
Page 225 - I urged that it is not to be supposed that nations will antecedently submit themselves to a tribunal, the general principles of which have not been crystallized into a code of some sort. A Court of Arbitration, however constituted, should have laid down for its guidance and governance certain established rules, or body of precedents, which by common agreement have reached the authority of law, and so may justly be styled law international; a code, to which appeal may be made, and upon...

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