Britains Brilliant Stroke, Daily Racing Form, 1918-09-03


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BRITAINS BRILLIANT STROKE The astonishing nature of the British appearance at Baku on the Caspian Sea Russias oil and Asiatic metropolis may be indicated to the Ameri ¬ can mind by an imaginary comparison Let us siip jKtse that the United States were at war with Great Britain and wore busily engaged in trying to stop tin progress of an expedition which had managed to land on the coast of Maine when suddenly an ¬ other British expedition having crossed Canada and sailed in boats from Sank Ste Marie swooped down on Chicago and took itossession of that city Such an exploit indeed would not quite match the performance of the British at Baku for in that case the expedition would be marching across a British and a civilized country whereas the Baku expedition had to traverse an illsettled mostly desolate and foreign country countryIt It is a remarkable and brilliant military achieve ¬ ment with its iiolitical side It really admits Great Britain to leadership from now on in the Russian situation It outranks in importance the occupation of Vladivostok by Taiiaiiene British and Americans It is not to be supposed that the British have gone to the Caspian Sea without an adequate force to maintain themselves on Russian soil We are bound to suppose that they have made sure of their com ¬ munication via Resht their Persian port with Bag ¬ dad and Basra tlieir base on the Persian Gulf This being the case they are just as well situated to occupy Astrakhan as they are to occupy Baku Astrakhan means being in touch with the Don Cos ¬ sacks it means Tzaritsin and the whole valley of the Volga with close touch with the main body of the CzeclioSlovaks and the back door of Moscow wide open openTaken Taken in connection with the rapid movement of the British southward from Archangel and with the Siberian expedition it may be said at one stroke to reconstitute the eastern line and to present the German control in the Bolshevik Russia with a new crisis It will affect the Russian imagination as nothing else could And the Russian imagination is not the only one that will be affected The pres ¬ ence of the English on the Caspian Sea will declare to all Asia that the British power is still valid on that continent It will cheek the tide that has been setting toward Germany with the dominance of Berlin over Constantinople and the revival of Turk Ish influence in Central Asia consequent upon the fall and disintegration of Russia And all this in addition to the very neat material stroke which is involved in the displacement of the Germans from the control of the putative control of the great Rus ¬ sian oil fields i Every economic interest and every conservative aspiration in the old Russian empire will now look to England for its reconstruction or its deliverance Uoston Transcript

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