Official Naval Despatches No.3

NOTE. HAD the British Navy done nothing during the war but hold the sea, keeping the highways of commerce open for our own ships and for the uninterrupted passage to and from these islands of men and food and merchandise, it would have fully justified the confidence placed in it. It has done more :it has destroyed the German overseas trade, captured her mercantile marine or driven it to the shelter of neutral ports, and by isolating her colonial possessions paved the way for their capture or destruction. More than that, it has, as these reports issued by the Admiralty show, demon­strated its undiminished capacity to demoralize and destroy the enemy’s Navy whenever it shows itself and to give substantial assistance to the land operations of the Allied Armies. There have been occasions, such as that of the fight off the coast of Chile, and those of the submarine attacks which destroyed the zAboukir, Hogue and Cressy, where it has paid a heavy price for its admiralty of the seas but our losses, as these pages make clear, have been small by the side of those which have been inflicted on the enemy. While our great fleets ride in safety on the seas that lap the shores of Britain, we may sleep soundly of nights, and by day continue our work in the full knowledge that whatever the ebb and flow of the tide of battle land,on the British Navy, asKing George has said, is our “sure shield” from danger.
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