Primer of the Coming World

Primer of the Coming World

Primer of the Coming World

Primer of the Coming World

Excerpt

Kaiser Wilhelm II of unblessed memory was a perfect dilettante. He was gifted enough to pick up quickly a little something in every field of knowledge. But he was not gifted enough to realize that he did not for that reason understand a great deal. Nor was he modest enough to suspect that in every field the real problem began at the very point where his knowledge and judgment ended. He always took his own sophomoric ideas for grandiose pioneering concepts.

One day he discovered in himself a talented shipbuilding engineer. Once and for all he was going to show the world how a truly modern, perfect, bold, and revolutionary battleship should be built. When his blueprints were ready, he received only non-committal opinions from his experts; so he sent the blueprints to the Italian Admiral Brin, one of the most famous shipbuilders of the day, and asked him for his opinion. The Reich Chancellor preserved the admiral's answer in his memoirs: "The ship which Your Majesty has designed," it ran, "would be the mightiest, the most terrible, and also the loveliest battleship ever seen. It would have a speed which has not yet been attained, its armor would surpass that of anything now afloat, its masts would be the highest in the world, its guns would outrange any others. And the inner appointments are so well arranged that for the whole . . .

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