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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/736

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722

��Popular Science Monthly

��marines, how to locate mines, how lo act as scouts and patrols, and how to per- form, in general, the functions of a mosciuito fleet. The Navy Department has gone even furtiier. It has recom- mended the adoption of designs for power boats, which are to be so con- structed that they can mount a gun in the bow in time of war and yet not in- terfere with their use as pleasure craft in time of war. These vessels can be emplo>cd only near shore for patrol duty.

Our thousands of miles of coast line can never be so perfectly protected by shore batteries that a landing by a hostile force is impossible. A powerful na\'y must always be relied upon to en- gage the fleet that is convoying a fleet of hostile transports. Since we are a fourth rate na\-al power it is not likely that our ships will beable to cope successfully with the superdreadnoughts and battle cruis- ers of any great European power. It would seem as if the transports would surely land their troops after the defeat of our small battle fleet. Coast defence submarines would naturally be used to thwart the attempt at landing troops. They must be mobilized for the purpose. At present our submarines are inferior to those of Germany or England, and we have not enough of them to defend thou- sands of miles of coast. What is more, a modern submarine costs $600,000.

��Limitations of the Motor Boat

It is very evident that we need a weapon of defence which can be created almost overnight, as it were, which shall be at least as effecti\'e as a submarine, and which will appeal to the imagination and [latriolism of coast dwellers. No doubt the motor boat meets the situa- tion, and for that reason the efforts of the Na\y Department to enlist the services of motor boat owners in the cause of national defence are com- mendaljlc.

But the possibilities of the motor boat were hardly revealed in the recent maneuvers. Handled as they were last September they would have been power- less to prevent the landing of an enemy. Our Nav-y Department sees in the motor boat only a scout, a submarine antago- nist, a mine detector, and not its larger possibilities.

There is no reason, to my mind, win' the high-powered motor boat should not be employed to carry and discharge torpedoes. A torpedo, whether it is car- ried and discharged from a submarine, a torpedo-boat destroyer, or a motor boat will sink the largest battleship with equal effectiveness. But it must be carried safely and launched accurately. How this can be accomijlished the accompany- ing illustrations of a motor boat of my own design reveal.

���The t<iriH-(liHs :in .ill :ii lu .1 li> lh( liull. cik nil Mile of the kcfl. Above: Diiinn""

of the plan of the motor bout und end view allowing the torpedoes suspended in position

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