Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/194

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Submarine Destroyers

A TLQw use for motor boats

���SKIPPERS sleep peacefully in their berths on the freighters lying in the Thames near London in spite of sub- marine warfare. Freight from America and other countries, munitions of war and food supplies, arrive there in such quantities that the boats cannot be unloaded immediately, but they are just as safe in the mouth of the Thames as they would be in New York harbor. For that, England has America and Russia to thank. Some enterprising Russian must have seen Flyaway III winning races in American waters; there is the secret of the safety of commerce in the mouth of the Thames.

What keeps the German submarine away is the huge fleet of pert, saucy, little American launches. All of them were developed from the lines of Flyaway III, one of the few new engines of war for which America is responsible. Each boat is sixty feet long and is driven thirty miles an hour by gasoline engines. "Submarine swatters," the boys down

��on Long Island, New York, nicknamed them before they were shipped. With supplies of food and fuel for several days' cruise these boats spread fanlike from the mouth of the Thames, and from other shipping centers in England and Russia on the lookout for the wily submarine whose evil eye trails a tail of oil and bubbles behind it. In the deck house of the submarine swatter is a three-pound quick firer, capable of knocking the periscope clean off, or mortally wounding the submarine before it can come to the surface and get into action against the little American launches. No submarine can sail any waters where these fleets are located for half a day without being spotted, trailed, and destroyed. As was said before, the skippers of the freighters in the mouth of the Thames, waiting for a chance to unloail, sleep peacefully on.

A trial order of these submarine swatters was given to a Greenport, L. I., construction company late last year, and

���The motor-boat, up to this year considered insignificant in warfare, is proving to be the submarine's livest foe. Its powerful engine gives it speed and a wide radius of action


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