Page:Science and War.djvu/29

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


them, and then sailed away leaving each to blow the other out of the water in the belief that it was firing at the adversary that had dared to attack it. The clouds of smoke prevented either discovering its mistake. But in the new powders nothing is left unconsumed. The whole is turned into invisible gas. Aiming therefore continues possible; indeed each shot is a sighting shot for the next. This makes it imperative that the position of guns should not be altered by firing, in order that they may correct their aim by previous results and they are therefore mounted in cradles with arrangements to take up the recoil, and return the gun to its original position after firing. Quickfiring and machine guns can be used With accuracy, and their use is now the fundamental consideration in much of our military tactics. It would indeed be hard to exaggerate the extent to which military science has been changed by this invention of smokeless powder.

But Science had not completed its service to War in respect of Explosives

23