Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/241

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The Submariiie Blockade Rtmner

A U-Boat to Carry ConiraLana Car ^5^

���THANKS to the control of the North Sea by the British fleet, the entire manufacturing world has been forced to realize its dependence upon Germany for many materials. Some coal-tar drugs, dyes, and the like are worth anywhere from ten dollars to one hundred dollars an ounce; others can- not be obtained at any price. Germany, on the other hand, is beginning to feel the pinch of want. Meat is so scarce that it may soon be worth dollars a pound. If it were only possible to run the blockade in and out of Germany, what a fortune could be made by selling coal-tar products in the United States and food in Germany!

Now it is ob\ious that the only suc- cessful way of escaping the blockade is to travel either above or below the vigi- lant British cruisers — travel in the air, or tra\cl below the surface of the water. To carry even a few hundred pounds of freight through the air is out of the question. Neither the dirigible airship nor the aeroplane could ever make much money as a blockade runner, sini[)ly because of its limited carrying capacit\\ But what of the submarine? What are the possibilities of carr>-ing fairly large and extremely valuable cargos in under-sea craft?

��At least one submarine designer ap- parently believes in the possibility. He is Simon Lake, one of the foremost authorities on submarine boat construc- tion in this country. A few months ago, he patented a cargo-carrying submarine, the inspiration of which was probably given by the present war situation; for he says in his patent, "I provide an exceedingly novel construction of sub- marine or submergible boat particularly designed for carrying cargos of various descriptions, and which will be found of inestimable advantage in supplying blockaded countries with food-stuffs or war materials during hostilities, and which may be readily submerged, when upon the high seas, in the e\-ent of inter- ception by an enemy's fleet."

The construction of this cargo-carry- ing submarine of Mr. Lake's is utterly different fr(jm that of the familiar de- stroyer of battleships. Its external ap- pearance is perhaps not so widely at \-ariance with the accepted type, but its interior arrangements are in cver>" way remarkable. The vessel which we pic- ture would be at least 350 feet, and po.^- sibly 400 feet long, and would be able to carry about 5.000 tons of cargo.

To carry 5,000 tons at the surface, the vessel must be extraordinarily buoyant.

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