Page:Heresies of Sea Power (1906).djvu/334
HERESIES OF SEA POWER.
a single hit will be decisive and from this they have argued that a return to small units is bound to come.1 Temporarily such a thing is in the possibilities, but the chances are against it; the immunity of sufficiently large dimensions will always be obvious and, therefore, probably always be sought in the future as in the past. Constructional problems grow less and less serious, only those connected with seamanship and so forth promise to remain. These, in matters relating to draught, may possibly remain constant, but this is in no way certain, since all objections as to increased draught limiting utility are to be met by an appeal to history. In ancient times six-foot draught or so represented the utmost possible maximum; modern navies, though they have multiplied this by five, are still quite suitable to their environments. It is rash, therefore, to assume limits in this direction just because such limitations most naturally occur to us.
In any case length and beam admit of great expansion without much difficulty; increased bulk must, therefore, be looked for as a factor in the natural order of things. Economy acts as a drag and a retarder of increase, but size will obviously go on expanding. Whence the only logical course of each and every Admiralty seeking sea dominion, is to build every new warship a little larger and consequently a little more powerful than its possible opponents. It
1The Maxims have been associated with such a theory.