Frivolous London awoke the next morning to the serious fact that Great Britain was at war with three of the greatest continental Powers. But after the first shock of surprise, the public took the matter very calmly. The conflict would take place on the sea, and the united navies of the three allied Powers would be crushed like flies by the tremendous British fleet. Fast cruisers would hunt down and capture the enemies’ merchantmen. Then the British fleet would seize all the French and German colonies, blockade their ports, force a passage to the gates of St Petersburg, and crush the impudent Powers, without landing a single soldier. Everything was easy to the most powerful navy in the world. Fighting in India was looked upon as a remote contingency. That hot country was far enough away and quite able to look after itself. Meanwhile the shores of England were safe, and her people patriotic and light-hearted. So reasoned the British public, and reasoned—wrong.