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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 11 (June 1, 1930)

Back to the Baltic

Back to the Baltic.

While the naval delegates have been sitting in London listening to the cracking of the French Cabinet crockery, another sound comes across the North Sea, and it has on the whole a tranquillizing ring. It comes not from France, but from Germany, who is reported to have transferred her naval headquarters from the North Sea end of the Kiel Canal (Wilhelmshaven) to the Baltic end (Kiel). German motives are seldom entirely on the surface, but it has pleased some observers to regard this German movement as a gesture of goodwill to the Naval Limitation Conference. Let it then, pass at that. If the naval retirement from the North Sea to the Baltic is strategic and permanent, it is a striking commentary on the ex-Kaiser's drive in the opposite direction. The equipment of the Kiel Canal for the rapid transport of great warships was one of the significant facts of the pre-war period. Completion of the canal, combined with political happenings, directed by the lately deceased Admiral Von Tirpitz, forced the concentration of British naval power in the North Sea. Kiel canals and Channel tunnels are page 12 things that impress popular imagination. Some day, perhaps, their significance may be minimised by air transport. But that day is not just yet.

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