THE WAR OF 1920
By the Author of “A Trip Through Headline Land”
(Being the Diary of Gustav Bauerfeldt, VVar Correspondent of the Berliner Rurxdsclxau)
(.S'ynopsis:-In 1920 Gustav Banerfeldt, War Correspondent of
the "Berliner Rnndschan,” is in this country reporting the great war
lrclwuen the United States and the Allies for his paper. On his ar-
rival the Japanese and Mexicans have already began their invasion
of the States. The Panama Canal is destroyed July 14th. -This is
followed by England’s declaration of -war against the American Re-
public. The Mexicans overrun Texas and the Japanese are trium-
phant on the Pacific Coast. San l"ranc1'sco is attacked; the Califor-
nians are expelled from their state. The “hyphenated” Americans
prepare to save their country; New York City is bombarded.)
LL day the frightened exodus from Brooklyn continued; at
night the great guns took up their work again. First, the en-
campment of the Volunteers in Prospect Park was made untenable.
Next, a number of great industrial plants were tried for, and several
of them wrecked. Then the great shells began to fall around the -
Borough Hall. The pretty Hall of Records was blown asunder.
The Eagle Tower was toppled and the Hotel Clarendon set afire.
One shell wrecked the elevated railway structure above and the sub-
way below Fulton Street, snufhng out three-score lives and closing
those two ways of escape. This thing was almost beyond the nerves
ofthe bravest to endure. Death came out of nowhere, in so cruel a
form, mangling, maiming, killing the babe and mother whom the
agonized father strove to protect; giving no quarter, giving no
chance, making no distinction.
Then suddenly the firing ceased. Some heard dim muffled ex-
plosions afar off. In the morning it was learned that the two
powerful submarines had slipped out in the night. The Sampson
had been unable to find a target in the dark; the Schlcy had “got”
the swift battle cruiser Inflexible, which sank instantly with her
eight 12-inch guns. Furthermore, a huge battleship of the Over-
powering type had been hit by a mortar shell from Fort Hancock,
and had hastily retired with her superstructure afiame. The Schley
and Sampson escaped the swarm of destroyers which attempted to
run them down.
This sharp stroke by the defending forces put new heart enough
into the people of New York to stay the panic which the visitation
of murderous shells had bred.
By the same token, it made singularly inept the announcements
which formed the chief items in the newspapers on the morning of
the 22nd, that a great meeting to urge the Government to ask an
armistice and to propose to the Nation's enemies that all matters
between them be submitted to arbitration, would be held the next
day in Carnegie Hall, with overflow meetings in Central Park.
The principal speakers would be Charles W. Eliot, Nicholas Murray
Butler, John Hays Hammond, James Brown Scott, David Starr
Jordan, Newell Dwight Hillis and John Wesley Hill. It was not
revealed that William J. Bryan, William H. Taft, Alton B. Parker
and Jane Addams had indignantly refused to continue their peace
propaganda at this crisis.
The newspapers urged the support of all rational people for this
movement, in special articles emblazoned on the front pages. The
news of the American success during the night was printed with
little acclaim on an inner page, but it had already been spread
throughout the city, and as the infamy of this new attempt at be-
trayal dawned on the crowds of people gathered to cheer the
victory, it needed but a few fiery speeches to set mobs of infuriated
men racing for the newspaper buildings. '
The Herald, still the organ of French finance; the Times, still the
possessor of 250,000 shares of English Marconi stock; the Sun, still
edited by unnaturalized Englishmen and mortgaged to English
money-lenders; the World, still closely allied with the English press
bureau; the Press, still heavily interested in U. 5. Steel and Beth-
lehem Steel, which had continued for six years to make huge
profits selling the materials of war to England, Japan, France and
Russia, and were now vainly trying to resist the command of the
Congressional Munitions Committee to make munitions for the
American Army--all these felt the wrath of the mob. The H erald,
Sun and Press buildings were fired; in the other plants complete '
wreck was made of all machinery. The city had been under martial
law since the morning of the Zlst, but there were few regulars then‘
excepting drill squads engaged in teaching recruits. To the militia
had been entrusted most of the work of patrolling the city, and
hundreds of these joined the mobs.
The plant of the Hearst papers was not touched, for the Morning
American had furiously denounced the “proposal of cowardly sur-
render made by traitors." '
O'Hagan communicated with General kVood, who was on Gover-
nor's Island busy with administrative work, and received his per-
mission to guard the wrecked plants, to prohibit their owners and
managers from issuing their papers or any substitutes therefor from
any other plants, to run the Globe, Ilfail and Post as official organs.
and to arrest and confine any who could be found of the men who
purposed speaking at the “Arbitration” meeting the next day.
Needless to say, the meeting was not held. .
The blows struck in the night did not discourage the English.
At noon on the 22nd their hydro-aeroplanes rose in graceful flocks
and sailed over the Upper Bay and high above Manhattan. Five
military planes rose from Governor's Island, together with six non-
military machines, the private owners of which had just been sworn
in and uniformed as members of the regular army. Straight for
the scattered English machines they went, and the latter collected
over Brooklyn and fled like startled birds back to their fleets. One
American and one English plane were wrecked by mutual rifle-fire.
and two American machines were brought down by the guns of an
English cruiser to which they approached fatally close in their
The whole English fleet now moved closer and began the heaviest
naval bombardment history had yet known. The great guns of the
huge new Overpawerirzg, Overwhelming and Overbearing, the great
Queen Elisabelli, the mighty Iron Dnlee, the King Edward VII, the
King George V, the Malaya, the Monarch, the Prince George, the
Prince of Wales and several lesser craft united in attack on Fort
Hancock, and then, as the long line swung swiftly around, aimed in
turn at Fort VVadsworth, Fort Hamilton, the battleship New Y0l'l":
which lay behind Fort Hamilton, and finally at their most distant
mark, which their air-fleet was again indicating for them, the
Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The roar of their guns, the answering roar from the three for“
and from the New York, seemed to rock the towering city. Thc
fleet was taking its chances, but its swift movement, combined with
frequent twists and turns by each individual craft, made dihicult
targets for the forts. The American air-craft were aloft ag3l“-
chiefly for the assistance of the New York, which, cruising about in
swift zigzags behind Fort Hamilton, was equally unseen and uh‘
seeing. The rival air-squadrons left each other severely alone. .
First blood was drawn by the fleet, as an incalculable weight Of
metal from 15-inch and 13-inch guns crumpled a section of the
defenses at Fort Hancock and put a 12-inch mortar out of action.
Soon afterward a distant hit was scored by Fort Wadsworth, one
of the smaller, older cruisers being damaged above decks. Then a
mortar shell from Hancock tore away a portion of the bow of th8
Queen Elieabeth, and a 16-inch shot damaged one of the forward
guns of the Malaya. Meanwhile, the first shot from the Over-
pawering had struck near the Navy Yard, and within a few moments
nine shells from the Overbearing and Overwhelndng had landed 5“
the Yard. One of them tore two of the submarines to pieces, an‘
other put the forward turret of the Brooklyn out of all usefulness.
a third took one of that ship's funnels away. Returning from the
position near shore from which these hits had been made-across
the whole of Brooklyn-the Overbeariug was caught by shells from
Hamilton and Wadsworth, which, however, only wrecked a few of
her smaller guns and caused some casualties. Despite the favorable
range, Hancock's guns failed to score at this turn. The full power,
of the greatest guns of the fleet, now turned on Hancock, failed t5