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Blockade Weaker In '14, Says Pratt

Admiral Declares Germany Must Find New Supply Source to win War


"From the naval operations point of view, England's blockade of Germany is more efficient than in 1914," Admiral William V. Pratt, USN Retired, said in a statement to the CRIMSON yesterday on the naval aspect of the present war.

Admiral Pratt was assistant Chief of the Bureau, and for a period occupied the position of "Cincus," or Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet. He will speak here next month on the naval aspect of the war at a meeting of Faculty members.

"Back Door" Important

"From the point of view of results," he continued, "it all depends upon how much Germany can get in the way of supplies through her back door. if these are sufficient she can hold out for a long time. However, while she might get enough for a watch-and-wait policy, it is doubtful if she could get enough for an active fighting policy over any length of time."

Admiral Pratt declared that Germany was more affected by the British blockade in this war than in the last because it is more perfected. It was put into operation earlier than in the last war, and Germany is not as well prepared to cope with it now as then.

New Channels Open

On the other hand, channels of supply are now open which were not in the last war when all Europe was fighting. Though cut off by sea, she now has access to trade with Scandinavia, Italy, and the Balkans.

Admiral Pratt expressed doubt whether England could have done much in the way of giving Finland naval aid "unless Britain entered the Baltic and controlled it. If it were not for German and Russian air power, this could have been done. But as air strength stands today, the move would have been hazardous."

He saw further complications in the war situation if Russia had defeated Finland. "Scandinavia alone could not have staved off Russia," he asserted. "The invasion of Scandinavia by Russia would almost certainy have brought Allied intervention regardless of what stand Germany took."

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