The Great War Part 104, August 12th 1916

BOMBERS GOING TO THE FRONT LINE. The roads were so cutup that they rendered the going very arduous for men so heavily burdened. than that needed for the high-speed tools of other alloys. Cobalt also pro­mised to be abetter plating material than nickel with the result that the British Empire acquired under the stimulus of war another great key industry. Cobalt-steel was especially invaluable wartime in that it ac­celerated our output of munitions. The list of our amazingly rapid Official Photographs. \OFF TO PUSH THE ENEMY YET A LITTLE FART HER BACK. Hand-to-hand fighting with bomb and bayonet was incessant during the first fortnight of the conquests and reponquests in the July advance. The men of our New Army were too much even for the Prussian Guard. scientific field of warlike activities COUld The Germans had practically all the stock of pure metal and the plant for making more and there Was a risk qf our munition work being seriously impeded by this foresightful piece of scientific strategy on their part. But our metallurgists quickly discovered an improved method of getting pure tungsten and under the stimulus of our military needs our possession of the principal tungsten mine made us supreme in the manifold tungsten industries such as the manufacture of tungsten wire­ drawn electric lamps tungsten-steel and other tungsten alloys. With respect to nickel first used in steel-making by a Glasgow firm whose ideas were borrowed by Krupp in his nickel-steel guns there was another difficulty in addition to that of escaping from the power of the German metal ring. There was not enough nickel in the world for the needs of ourselves and our Allies. Canadas great Canada here came to our assistance in discovery an indirect but effective way. In North Ontario was the only important source of cobalt in the world but except for the production of cobalt- blue the metal was a nuisance. It was obtained as waste when extracting silver. But the Canadian Department of Mines instituted researches into the production and appli-cations of metallic cobalt. As usual Sir Robert Hadfield of Sheffield was foremost in the study of its possibilities. He found that like nickel it raised the elastic limit and maximum stress of steel. Cobalt-steel high-speed tools were then obtained by a simpler cheaper method 86 be extended through many more pages. But we shall only refer to one more key industry— the manufacture of magnesium. As usual the Germans controlled the output of this metal and used it largely in flares on the battle-front at night as all the allied troops knew only too well. Owing to their monopoly they had an enormous supply of flares. The reduction of magnesium was a British invention and had been an important British industiy but the enemy blocked our trade by tariff duties and then used his Manufacture of deposits of easily-worked ore to ruin our magnesium plant. But the indomitable British genius for invention discovered a cheap process of dealing with refractory ores and a large new' plant was laid down capable of supplying the needs of the world. And these needs are vital. For the oxide of magnesium— -magnesia— is one of the most infusible of substances. It withstands almost every practical heat except that of the electric arc and is therefore an important element in the making of crucibles and firebricks. It is largely required in steel-making plants. It is impossible not to admire the infinite pains the Germans took to monopolise the chief means of war. They could not equal us in inventive power but they tried to prevent us from getting the alloys and crucibles we required. Even when a material like tungsten was-only to be found in bulk in British territory the enemy so absorbed the means of dealing with the ore that like the Australians, who had vast mines of zinc but could get no zinc for love or money we were left impoverished amid our natural riches.
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