Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/81

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Popular Science Monthly


��torpedo will not sink her. A torpedo ex- ploding against the hull of the ship and crushing one or two of these compartments does not sink the ship because of the re- latively small size of the few compartments punctured, compared with the remaining dozen or more that are left intact.

The reason that one torpedo is not liable to break open more than two or three of these tanks is that a torpedo is in no sense an

���If the proposed freighter should be struck in a vital spot she would still keep afloat, the inside of the tank acting as a new hull

��armor-pierc- i ng shell which passes through the boat from one side to the other or ex- plodes inside, blowing everyth ing apart. On striking a vessel's side it explodes and does its work by the rapid expansion and con- cussion of the gases of its charge.

The majority of the new boats will be of steel and not of wood as first planned,


���and illustrated and described in the June issue of the Popular Science Monthly. They will be of steel because there is still some skepticism as to the practicability of the 3000- or 5000-ton wood vessel, because such a ship has never been built before. Questions have arisen as to the racking stresses and strains which would be set up in a ship by the use of un- seasoned wood and as to our ability to raise a suf- ficient army of shipbuild- ers to carry on the work. All of these argu ments and the facts that wood ships would probably have shorter lives than steel ones and be at a disadvantage in com- peting with the steel ships of other nations after the war, seem to have killed the wooden fleet proposition. Besides, there is no longer a shortage of steel.

��The old type of oil tank sinks at the stern if struck in the engine or boiler compartments — its only vulnerable spots


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��the ship. In the broken-away portion of the drawing the bulkheads dividing the space into compartments to reduce the crushing effects of the torpedo's explosion are very clearly shown

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