Page 3599

3599 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

the machinery and tools to be used in

such work had first to be created.

In at least three things the Central

Powers had a great superiority. They

were immensely strong in heavy field

howitzers, they had immense stores of

shells and were able to make new ones

at a rate estimated as high as the prodigious number of 250,000 per day, and

they also enjoyed a great superiority in

the number of machine guns. These

weapons had turned out to be very

formidable, and a few men armed with

them could sometimes stand off thousands.

The making of the tools necessary for

manufacturing rifles and machine guns

took six or eight months, before the actual

production of the weapons could be begun.

The construction of even a 6- or 8-inch

howitzer was a matter of about half a

year, with the machinery in readiness,

and of larger guns a much longer time.

Lathes for the making of shells required

a long time to manufacture, and, even

after the shells were made, it was often

difficult to obtain the high explosive to

put in them. The delicate but powerful

engines for aeroplanes also required a

long time to build. And so it was with

almost every form of munition.

The Germans had foreseen the situation

and had prepared for it. Not only did

they begin the war with large accumulations of guns, shells, and rifles, but they

had organized industry in such a manner

as to render it easy to make more of

these necessary articles. Their foresight

had even extended to providing for a

supply of the raw materials. For example,

they had subsidized certain industries

that produced as by-products chemicals

needed in the making of explosives, notably

the coal tar and dye industries, which

produced toluene, one of the ingredients

of the terrible TNT, or trinitrotoluene.

The blockade was presently to hamper

the Germans by causing a. scarcity of

copper and of cotton, but they succeeded

in substituting other metals for copper

and made propulsive gunpowder out of

wood pulp instead of cotton. Notwithstanding the fact that the Allies were

able to draw upon the whole world for

such supplies, they were for at least a

year at a disadvantage in the manufacture

of high explosives. For all the rest of