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THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR.
security by the still non-naval Peloponnesians. Their ships drawn up on the beach, the Athenian crews went inland to procure food, and while they were thus scattered their enemies rowed across the Hellespont and captured or destroyed on land an armada that they could never have successfully faced upon the water.
Lysander, the Peloponnesian admiral, had a large fleet, but Sea Power was in no way his. All that a superior navy could confer belonged to Athens—better ships and better sailors. And it gave her Ægospotami!
Her administration was bad, of course, or the fleet would never have been so caught napping by a ruse; but this in no way affects the fact—clear here as at Syracuse—that the greatest sea empire of the period was utterly extinguished by those who only partially, and with ill success, met Sea Power with Sea Power, but very successfully annihilated it in 'other ways.'
Of course, as ships were concerned in those 'other ways,' it is possible to argue that they embodied Sea Power, but such an argument will be academical rather than aught else. Sea Power as understood to-day means battleships and accessory craft and the full ability to handle them. One may argue that the Athenian fleet was the equivalent of a cruiser fleet and that the Syracusan vessels were, relatively, battleships. The Syracusan battleships destroyed the Athenian cruisers as the Merrimac destroyed the frigates of the Northerners in the United States Civil War. If one admits that, Syracuse must be regarded as a normal affair