9 FEBRUARY 1895, Page 3

The cautious tone of our note of last week on

the ' capture " of Wei-hai-wei, has been amply justified. The external forts which protect the Arsenal were carried on January 31st; and on February 2nd the town of Wei-hai- wei itself was entered without resistance ; but the island in the centre of the harbour held out, and so did the ironclad fleet. Admiral Ting, whom even his European subordinates admire, finding that his fleet, consisting of two great ironclads of 7,000 tons each and eight smaller vessels, could not get out, issued orders to fight to the last, and was obeyed. Both sides maintained a terrible fire, and it was not till Tuesday that the Japanese, abandoning the hope of saving the Chinese Fleet, sunk it at night with torpedoes. Up to Friday afteinoon, no news of the com- plete taking of the island had been received; and though the Japanese have won, they have lost the grand prize they hoped for, the two mighty ironclads. They are afraid of menaces from Europe, and need heavier ships, which they can neither build nor buy in time. Their entire failure, and that of the Chinese, to buy effective fighting-ships in a harry, is a noteworthy feature in the war. Perhaps, with their wonderful ingenuity, they will raise the two Chinese men-of-war ; but even then they will take months of repairing.