Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 58.djvu/164

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156
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

SUBMARINE NAVIGATION.
By Professor W. P. BRADLEY,

WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY.

IN a paper read before the Society of Naval Architects, Nov. 11, 1898, Lieut. Commander W. W. Kimball, who commanded the torpedo flotilla during the war with Spain, said: "If it be granted that the surface torpedo boat has a place in naval warfare, and that her primary duty is the attack by night upon ships attempting blockade or raiding operations, then most assuredly the submarine torpedo boat has a most important tactical place, since she, and she alone, is competent to deliver a torpedo attack by day upon ships attempting blockading, bombarding or raiding operations. She is the only kind of inexpensive craft that can move up to a battleship in daylight, in the face of her fire and in spite of her supporting destroyers, and force that ship to move off or receive a torpedo. That there is no physical difficulty in the problem, is amply proved by the accurate functioning of the boat now in this harbor (the 'Holland'), which has shown to scores of doubters that perfect control in both the vertical and horizontal planes has been accomplished, that the boat can be held at any depth to within a foot, and be made to take porpoise-like dives, exposing the conning tower for only six or eight seconds, and can be steered on any desired course."

Rear-Admiral Jouett testified before the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs: "If I commanded a squadron that was blockading a port, and the enemy had half a dozen of these Holland submarine boats, I would be compelled to abandon the blockade and put to sea, to avoid destruction of my ships from an invisible source from which I could not defend myself."

Lieut. A. P. Niblack, who commanded the torpedo boat 'Winslow' during the latter part of the war, wrote in 'Marine Engineering/ December, 1898: "The crowning virtue of a submarine boat is that it makes blockades almost impossible. Strategically in war, it has a place all to itself." He is authority also for the statement: "If Spain had had the 'Holland' at Santiago, the blockade of that port by the United States would have been impossible, within the radius of action of the boat."

Admiral Dewey testified before the House Committee on Naval A Hairs, April 23, 1900: "I saw the operation of the boat ('Holland') down off Mount Vernon the other day. I said then, and I have said