Page:Science and War.djvu/63

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


give us in dealing with the emergencies that so continually arise and which permit of no delay.

In all these instances both combatants have to a more or less equal degree shared in the help that Science has given. But there is a glaring exception to which I must now refer. All explosives with a few unimportant exceptions depend on the use of Nitrates and until a few years ago these Nitrates were universally obtained from the natural deposits found in Chili. Science then shewed that they could be made directly from the Nitrogen of the atmosphere. Our Government and our Industrials took no heed of these discoveries. It involved less trouble and less expense to continue to get them from Chili and that contented them. It was otherwise with Germany. The German Government realized that to be able to make their Nitrates at home rendered them independent of the command of the sea for a substance essential to their production of explosives. They therefore developed the processes in Germany in factories designed on a huge scale and it

57