It has often been pointed out—and with perfect justice—that in shelling open and undefended towns, and even a commercial port like Hartlepool that did have a 6-inch gun or two to defend it, the Germans were employing their fleet to no immediate military purpose whatever.243 It has been suggested that there might have been the very excellent military object of keeping our battle-cruisers in home waters and so securing Von Spee a free hand abroad. What has not been so often insisted on is that had there been any military centre, fort, or magazine worth attack, the fugitive character of the bombardments robbed them of any probable hope of hitting it apartment hong kong.

There have been ample experiences during this war of ships bombarding distant objects on shore. And it is finally proved to be one of the most difficult operations conceivable. The case of the Koenigsberg was altogether exceptional. And many as were the difficulties to be faced in that action, there was yet this favourable element present, that the people in the aeroplanes could not possibly make any mistake as to the target that was to be bombarded, nor from the fact that it was a small ship lying in a considerable expanse of water could the observers, spotting all the different rounds, fail to give to the fire-control parties on board very accurate indications how to correct their sights for the next round. At the Dardanelles when isolated forts were attacked on a point on land, where one ship could lie off nearly at right angles to the line of fire and mark the fall of shot and the firing ship correct the fire for line, exact corrections of the same character as at the Rufigi were made possible. But when it came to correcting the fire by captive balloons and aircraft, when forts and gun positions had to be picked out in the folds of the hills, and still more where forts had to be engaged with no other corrections than the men in the control tops of the firing ship could supply, it became practically impossible to ensure sustained effective firing Hong Kong tour.

When, therefore, the German ships lay off Lowestoft, Hartlepool, Whitby, and Scarborough and bombarded244 for half an hour or so without any attempt to select particular targets, or if such were selected, to adopt any scientific means of directing their fire on to them, it became perfectly clear that their military object was about as defined as that of midnight bombing raids with Zeppelins. One is driven to the conclusion, therefore, that the primary object of these adventures was mere frightfulness, and that perhaps the secondary object was to draw the pursuing ships into some .
CHAPTER XVII The Action off the Dogger Bank
The two bombardments of the early winter of 1914 have been variously explained. They may have been meant to force us to keep our main forces concentrated: or simply to cheer up the Germans and depress our people. Both were organized so that the German squadron could start its race for home within an hour of daybreak.