13 FEBRUARY 1904, Page 1

Meantime we may expect a naval attack on Vladivostok, unless

the Russians have really been so foolish as to send their squadron out of the port already, in which case it will almost certainly be met and destroyed before it reaches Port Arthur, as will also the recent Russian reinforce- ments from Europe, said now to be somewhere off Formosa in the China Sea. There is also a rumour that the Russian Baltic Fleet of fifteen vessels is to be despatched to the Far East. If this is true, the men responsible for Russian naval strategy must have completely lost their heads. The fleet cannot arrive in time to help the Russian ships at Port .Arthur, and it is therefore almost certain to be "mopped up" by the victorious Japanese Fleet. One would have imagined that the Russians had already suffered enough injury by their astonishing neglect of the first principle of naval policy,— concentration of force. The Russians have already been taken in detail, but this cannot be remedied by also throwing away the Baltic Fleet. We have dealt with the political problem of the war elsewhere, and will only say here that though all the signs seem to point to a Japanese victory, we must not forget that Russia is far more formidable on land than on sea, and that if the Japanese are not as prudent as they are brave they may very well be drawn on, and find a Pultowa in Northern Manchuria. We do not say that they will, but it would be foolish to talk as if the events of the week had decided the issue. Nicholson's Nek did not give the Boers the ultimate victory.