The Submarine Fleet gets ordered

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The Submarine Fleet gets ordered - IDER-WilR x '.'"BATTLES. A Sulrmarine Fleet...
IDER-WilR x '.'"BATTLES. A Sulrmarine Fleet Ordered by tie i " Hary Department. Boats of the Holland Type Building; Satisfactory To Secretary Long, and Swift, Shark-Shaped Ships Soon T bo the Silent Sentries of Onr Sleeping' Seas. Washington, Oct 15. Tit naval battles f the tBture will be fought beneath the surface of the water instead or above - It, The United States government has ordered a fleet of submarine boats, im. gins the scene of each a battle: A thousand searchlights illumine the mysterious depths of the ocean, penetrating to lta, Uttermost recesses and creating terror tftrvng the finny denizens of the silt) marine world. Here, there and everywhere. It seems, darting aboat with the same swllt apprehensive motion in all directions, torpedo boat of all sorts and slaes, now making for an object with a direct attack and delivering its deadly roller De-fore It can be interrupted and again disappearing with a mass of debris and a stream of blood marking: its tralL Her the din of the artillery and tne shrieks of the victims would be bushed by the transparent walls of water ana - neither flame or smoke would betray the . fatal accuracy of the murderous snot. - It would be like- a battle rn a dream. The nucleus of a submarine navy is now being formed by the United States gov eminent. There are being- built at the present moment seven, more boats of the Holland type, while one, the Plunger, is being re modelled to form a fitting part of this unique fleet. The Holland is fifty-three -feet m -. jengm, tne seven new coats are to ne seventy feet long, while the Plunger is bout donble the length of the Holland, The Plunger was built to meet govern, xnent requirements, but her engines and boilers proved too clumsy for the pur- . pose and -lighter ones are being substituted, the work being done at the Trigg . Iron Works, Richmond, Va. Of the seven new seventy-footers under construction, five are being built at , Nixon's shipyard at Elisabethport and two at the Union Iron Works, San lfran-clsco. ' All these craft are being built under tne supervision of the Holland Torpedo Bout Comapny. The navy department has fully deter- snlned - that the submarine boat is the coming thing in marine warfare. All reports corroborate this view to a greater or less extent. The latest indorsement bag Just ben received here. It is from Captain William M. Folger, who recommends that each, battle-ship In our navy be provided with picket launch" for defense against submarine torpedo boats. ' In tola report, based upon the recent - Volawr mZM. tern that be wa.a arreatty lm- - ayawaaa-a toy fcha. pxformnce of tbe llol- - ls.nA ud ipemks of tbe Important part mmm loan nil t!iy ina?ai opera- . tlona. The only danger which. Captain Volger apprelmuls the auoma-rtne boata : snay experience is the possibility of their 'Mta run over by a hostile or a friendly J : way that heavy steam" launches are a part' of the equipment of a modern battle-ship..:-'. Naval experts look upon the submarine boats with such extreme favor that tney j consider them to be the solution ox tne question of protecting our coasts from attack and . devastation in the evnt of war, thus leaving our navy free for offensive operations at the strategic points developed. It Is ceitaln that no other subject has commanded half as much attention as this class of boat during the last year and the navy department Is prepared to act upon these carefully dsawn conclusions by building a large fleet of submarine vessels as soon as appropriations can be made. This decision has been arrived at because it Is believed that the Hollond type, although not yet perfect, is the most satisfactory which can be developed for some years to come. Improvements are desirable In many ways, but it does not appear practicable to make them at present without causing a loss to the efficiency In some other way. One of the disadvantages is the comparatively low rate of speed at which the Holland travels. Her submerged speed is seven' knots for fifty miles rsdius of action and ten knots or more at. the expense of. radius. Another Important shortcoming is the fact that the field of vision Is limited when under water, but this disadvantage is offset by the fast ' of the boat's invisibility adding so largely to the effectiveness of attack and because the rapid vertical motion and mobility of the boat permits of sudden rises and dives which allow of a perfect vision for a few moments with a minimum chance of disablement from discovery and attack. Weighed up by the strictest possible calculations there Is no escape from the fact that the merits of the Holland type far exceed the shortcomings to be counted against it. 'The ability of the craft to perform certain positively definable, duties has been as clearly fixed by official triala as have the capabilities of other types of vessels submitted to the same test. The only point therefore remaining to be determined is whether the submarine boat can fill a sufficiently Important field to warrant the expenditure of large sums of money upon the construction of such vessels. The answer to Ihls Is an affirmative. France has pretty nearly demonstrated that she can put her coast line in a complete stite of defense without calling on her navy at all for the purpose by simply utilizing a fleet of submarine boats. It is the demonstration of this fact which Is tantalizing Great Britain and compelling Germany to hurry with tbje construction of submarine boats. So it becomes merely necessary to show that Buamarine boats of the Holland type can perform this important service to emphasize the actual necessity of building them, as they would furnish cur enormous coast line with a comparatively cheap and efficient defense. All naval authorities are agreed that no battle-ship In the world could prevent, by gunfire or otherwise, the approach of a boat of the Holland type. At night, by avoiding the searchlight lanes thrown out to watch for surface torpedo boats, the Holland could gradually creep up until near enough for her deadly work. Torpedo craft, or ,other small scouting vessels sent out to look for and stop her would prove inefficacious, as she could dive and still hold her way on to the ship or ships. It is estimated that a single submarine boat would be capable of defending a single point against a single war-ship. Single war-ships are scarcely likely to be sent to attack, however, and therefore the advantage wonld be In favpr of the Buhmarlnps still more t rongr Jy , consider late tli? probability of the attacklns ship, doubling back after having been chased. Thc dancM tl ftsfiapft Itt & M ti ships would therefore be leas in proportion than those of a single ship, because of the group of boats defending the point some would be held on Insbore

Clipped from
  1. The Times-Picayune,
  2. 04 Nov 1900, Sun,
  3. Page 18

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