By Ortega y Gasset Jose
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Extra info for El sentido historico de la teoria de Einstein
He claimed that not even the heavy artillery of big battleships would be able to break the fortiÀcations protecting the enemy’s guns, and he mentioned the bombardment of the forts of Alexandria by the Royal Navy as an example of the limitations of battleships in such a role. But small gunboats with their limited draught and armed with the mitrailleuse would be able to close the forts and hit through the crenels. To sail close to the fortresses in order to try to get a lucky shot through the crenels was of course dangerous, but using battleships to subdue a fortress would be more dangerous.
This kind of maritime policy could only be carried out by a large and well-organised Áeet that required means that were beyond the resources of private individuals. Building ships and bases, buying stores and recruiting crews for a navy required enormous investments that only a state could provide. An essential distinction between a naval Áeet and commerce-raiders was thus that the Àrst was controlled directly by a state, while the second could be contracted out to private ship owners. Commerce raiding could be conducted in two principally different ways.
Secondly, he insisted that it was the passengers’ and neutral ships’ own responsibility to take the necessary measures in order to avoid being sunk. In this way Chassériaud provided a kind of legitimacy to commercial warfare with torpedoes. Any casualties suffered by passenger or neutral shipping could be excused as collateral damage. Despite Chassériaud’s effort to construct an elaborate argument in order to fend off the accusations that the jeune école’s formula for commercial warfare was a striking breach on international law, he concluded as Aube and Charmes had done: In war, there has never been and will never be either international law or conventions, there is nothing but force.