Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/66

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the impression that we have been too slow in using our strength, is the attack upon the Dardanelles. It has long been a mystery why, in view of the tremendous results involved in such a blow at Germany's deluded ally, this attack was not made earlier. We do not know, and the Government do not enlighten us. But the delay has helped to send the price of bread to famine prices through blocking up the Russian wheat in the Black Sea ports; it has given the Turks and the Germans time to enormously strengthen the defences, and has prevented us from sending to our Russian friends that support in munitions of war of which they undoubtedly stood in need. There may, of course, have been good reasons for the delay, but if they exist, they have baffled the investigation of the most competent military and naval critics. It must never be forgotten that the reopening of the Dardanelles and the fall of Constantinople must exercise a far more potent influence on the progress of the war than, say, the relief of Antwerp—another example of singularly belated effort! It must, in fact, transform the whole position of the war and react with fatal effect through Turkey upon her Allies. Yet the war had been in progress for seven months before a serious attempt was made at what, directly Turkey joined in the war, must have been one of the primary objects of the Allies. What added price, I wonder, shall we be compelled to pay for that inexplicable delay, not merely in the increased cost of the necessaries of life at home and the expenses of the war abroad, but in the lives of our fighting men? For it must not be forgotten that a decisive blow at Turkey would do much to shorten the duration of the war. It would be a serious blow at Germany, and would be more than likely to precipitate the