|"The value of Wireless Telegraphy may one day be put to a great practical and critical test; then perhaps there will be a true appreciation of the magnitude of our work."|
"Immediately we touched the key, all the Germans pressed their keys, making indescribable noises by altering their spark frequencies rapidly. It has never been my lot to receive through such a jingle before, and I trust never again. Our signalling continued without interruption despite their efforts, although for about two hours pandemonium reigned in the ether."It would have been impossible for Admiral Sturdee's great cruisers, the "Indomitable" and "Inflexible," to have made their long voyage, and reached the scene of action totally unknown to the German commander, had it not been that the latter, as soon as he left the Pacific for the Atlantic, had passed from his friendly wireless zone.
"I have full confidence that when the War is over, and the facts can be made public, the appreciation to which I have referred will not be lacking."The old proverb that "A cat may look at a king" emboldens us to deprecate the Senatore's "gloss," and to point out that popular appreciation of the debt that all the combatants owe to wireless has already made great progress, so that whilst for full appreciation we may have to wait until the end of the war, even the facts which have already been permitted by our censors to appear in the pages of the Press have sufficed to give some indication of what that indebtedness is.
"Stepping into a small room where the telegraph keys clicked and a compact wireless apparatus was hidden behind armour, we saw one focus of communication which brings Sir John word of any submarine sighted, or of any movement in all the seas around the British Isles, and carries the Commander-in-Chief's orders far and near. The bluejackets on this service are invariably sturdy, long-service men of mature years."Think of what this picture means! Nelson and the great British geniuses of the sea in old days were able to communicate with the units of their fleet by flag and flare signals alone, visible only when they were in close proximity to the Admiral's ship, and when the state of the atmosphere was favourable; liable to misunderstanding at all times. Many and many a battle manoeuvre, ordered under those old conditions, failed in execution through non-reading (or mis-reading) of the primitive signals employed. Whenever a squadron had to be detached for separate service; as the vessels composing it passed from view, they passed from all possibility of quick communication. They might be able to carry out what they were sent to do, or they might fail. They might be destroyed, or sail away in a wholly unintended direction, without being able to let their commander-in-chief know where they were, or what they were doing. Wireless has completely revolutionised all this. Admiral Jellicoe can despatch single ships, or squadrons, where he will, and remain in touch with them the whole time. They can tell him how they fare, what they discover, how they are acting; they can ask for his instructions and receive them, so that he always has them as truly under command as if they were lying within earshot close by his side.
"There sits a little demon
Above the Admiralty,
To take the news of seamen
Seafaring on the sea;
So all the folk aboardships,
Five hundred miles away,
Can pitch it to their Lordships
At any time of day.
. . . . "red devastation
Still shall urge by land and sea
Every proud advancing nation,
While Marconi's installation
Rules the skies of Germany."