Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/709

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Popular Science Monthly

��693

��When the Winds Go on a Rampage a Continent Is Too Small

TERRIFYING and disastrous in its effects as is a cyclone, it is nevertheless wonderfully impressive — unless one hap- pens to have real estate or other interests in its path. But to be able to take any pleasure in it, you should watch it from a great enough distance to be able to get the impression of its vastness and power with- out being harassed by the sight of the suf- fering it causes, as the meteorologists and Weather Bureaus do.

The map below shows how the great tornado of 1906 looked in perspective as it tore across the country, leaving a narrow diagonal strip of land from California to Maine swept clean of houses, trees and other evidences of life and civilization. The storm began its cross-country rampage on the coast of Southern California and traveled almost due northeast, curving slightly in the center of its course. While the havoc it wrought was appalling, the area affected was comparatively small, on account of the thinness of its path.

The unusual feature of the tornado was the length of its course. Generally such storms are more or less confined to one locality.

��The Torpedo- Boat Destroyer Is Defenseless against Guns

EVERYONE is familiar, of course, with the ordinary torpedo boat, a swift vessel of from four to six hundred tons in displacement, carrying no defensive armor, but armed with tubes for discharging the deadly torpedoes.

To counteract these wasps of the sea a type of vessel was designed of about double the size of torpedo boats, a little greater speed, and in addition to torpedo tubes, armed with rapid-fire six to twelve pounder guns, for the avowed purpose of destroying torpedo boats. Lately all the great nations have stopped building torpedo boats, as originally designated, and are building torpedo boat destroyers.

Recent engagements have developed the fact that torpedo boat destroyers are used almost wholly as torpedo boats. So, they are really battleship destroyers. To defend the capital ships from torpedo attack the dreadnoughts and battle cruisers are armed with secondary batteries of rapid-fire guns from four to six inches in diameter. One well placed shell from a gun of that size will ordinarily put a destroyer out of business, as the destroyers have no defen- sive armor whatever.

���Starting on the coast of Southern CaUfomia, the great tornado of 1906 swept a thin diagonal path across the entire country, leaving it cleared of houses, trees and all traces of civilization

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