National Geographic : 1917 Jan
Photograph by A. W. Cutler THE PICTURESQUE SUN-DIAL IIOUSE: IIOLMWOOD, SURREY The ordinary blockade is not subject to these limitations. A blockade established upon the surface of the ocean can main tain a constant lookout over a wide ex panse of the sea. By use of search lights, it can be carried on at night as well as by day. Cruisers may be coaled at sea and provided with ammunition openly. The submarine may not. With out a base or a hovering fleet of "mother ships," the submarine cannot do continu ous duty on blockade or otherwise. If it is planned to operate the subma rine blockade of the British Isles in re lays, the number of ships on duty at a given port will be thereby halved, to the detriment of the blockade's effectiveness. Two submarines to a port could hardly maintain a blockade in the condition which the ordinary interpretation of in ternational law has required to give it recognition among neutrals. British domination of the sea has not come about by chance. England's geo graphic limitations have compelled her to keep the avenues of ocean traffic open through constant readiness to render na val protection to her carrying trade ; and it is the result of her insular position that her activities have developed on sea and land. What Nature has always done for the children of the wild by rendering them, adaptable, through habit and through equipment, to the environment in which they are placed, the English people have done for themselves. .Cribbed, cabined, and confined upon a group of islands lim ited in area and capable of inadequate productiveness, even with the most inten sive of cultivation, they were forced, first; to command the avenues of supply for themselves and, in order to meet the in creasing expense of such necessity, sec ond, to develop their manufacturing re sources to the highest degree. To this they owe the great number of ports which they now possess and which, by their very numbers, render a blockade, however attempted, a herculean task. A clearer example of how nations are lim ited or advanced by their geographic en vironment could hardly be found.