Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/149

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143
THE PERIL OF INVASION

for a few days, vent German wrath and hatred on British towns and on British people.

To say they could not do this would be exceedingly foolish. Few people would be daring enough to say that it would be impossible for the Germans, aided undoubtedly by spies on shore, to land suddenly in the neighbourhood of one of the big East Coast towns a force strong enough to overpower, for the moment, the local defences, and establish itself—if only for a few days—in a position where it could lay waste with fire and sword a very considerable section of country. And we must never forget that, if ever the Germans get the chance, their atrocious treatment of the British population will be a thousand times worse than anything they have done in France and Belgium. That fact ought to sink deeply into the public mind. A German Expedition into this country would be undertaken with the one definite object of striking terror and producing a panic which would force our Government to sue for peace. To secure that end, the Germans would spare neither young nor old—every man, woman, and child within their power would be slaughtered without mercy, and without regard for age or sex. We have heard something, though not all, of the infamies perpetrated by German troops upon the helpless Belgians even before the world had realised how much Belgium had done to foil their plans. And we must not overlook the fact that certain German officers—enjoying the services of valets and other luxuries at Donington Hall, fitted up by us at a cost of £13,000—were those who ordered the wholesale massacre of women and children. We relieve the poor Belgian refugees, and caress their murderers.

If the flood-gates of German hatred were opened