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and it had been found that seaplanes were

of great assistance in locating the undersea


One peculiarity of the submarine situation was that the British for months

sedulously refrained from announcing the

capture or destruction of the enemy's

submarines. The submarines would leave

their home ports for cruises from which

they did not return. The relatives and

friends of the crew and the German naval

authorities remained in ignorance as to

whether they had met with some accident

or had fallen a prey to the wiles of their

enemies. The number captured or destroyed was undoubtedly considerable,

while some were doubtless lost as a result

of mishaps with which the enemy were in

no way connected.

The success of the Allies in dealing

with the submarine menace was a strong

factor in causing the Germans grudgingly

to agree to American demands in the

matter of visit and search. As we have

seen in the account of American affairs,

the promise was never strictly kept;

and when, early in 1916, the Germans

had succeeded in producing a number

of new and more powerful vessels, they

began to pay little heed to it. Not only

did they announce that, after March I,

they would sink without warning any

merchant vessel that was armed but they

proceeded to torpedo many unarmed vessels, causing much loss of life. Such

nations as Holland, Denmark, Norway, and

Sweden suffered from the new campaign

even more than did America.

For some weeks the submarines were

able to sink vessels almost as rapidly as

was done the year before, and it remained

to be seen whether the Allies would be

able to deal effectively with this new peril.

Their control of the sea enabled the

Allies to proceed leisurely to the task of

conquering the German overseas dominion.

An expedition from Australia quickly

occupied German New Guinea and other

islands in that part of the world, while

another from Australia and New Zealand

seized German Samoa. Further north

Australians captured the Marshall Islands,

while the Japanese seized the Caroline

Islands and other German possessions in

Oceanica. In none of these places were

the Germans able to make any effective


The task of conquering Kiao-Chau in

China proved somewhat more serious.

The Germans had spent millions in fortifying the port of Tsing-tau, and it was

defended by several thousand men, many of

them German reservists who had been

engaged in business in the Far East. In

addition, there were one Austrian warship

and some small German naval craft in the

port. The Japanese, assisted by a few British

troops, went about their work methodically,

their object being to reduce the place with

the least possible loss of life to themselves.

Landing at strategic points on the Chinese

coast, they moved forward into Kiao-Chau,

easily sweeping the Germans before them

into the fortifications. A formal siege

was then undertaken, the place was heavily

bombarded, some of the works were

stormed, and, on November 6, the Germans

surrendered. The Japanese announced that

they would hold the place until the end of

the war, and then return it to China, the

original owner.

In Africa the French and British' quickly

overran Togoland, and presently began the

invasion of Kamerun. This last mentioned

colony is, however, so immense in size and

the natural difficulties encountered were

so great that it was not until February,

1916, that the main German force gave

up the fight and, fifteen thousand strong,

took refuge in Spanish Guinea, where they

were interned.

In southern Africa the British reaped

the harvest the Liberal party had sown

when it adopted the magnanimous policy

toward the Boers that we have already

described in an earlier chapter. The

Germans had great hopes of an uprising

against the British in South Africa and

took what steps they could to bring such

an uprising to pass. There were undoubtedly many Boers in whom the old

rancor toward the British still lingered,

and among these the outbreak of the war

aroused hopes that they might be able to