Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/79

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Our Unsinkable Torpedo-Proof Cargo Fleet

��The boats will be patterned after the ordinary its hull divided^ into a dozen or more tight

By Joseph Brinker /-

��UNSINKABLE? Yes, practically. That's the kind of ships it is now proposed to build for Uncle Sam's fleet of freighters to thwart the torpedoes of the German submarines. Of course no vessel afloat or to be launched in the near future will be unsinkable if a sufficient number of torpedoes are exploded against her sides. Even the latest battleship is not immune. But Uncle Sam's new boats will have no unprotected portions of the hulls, and it will take at least two and perhaps three well-aimed torpedoes to sink one of them.

The new type will be fully armed. It will be of steel construction and patterned after the present-day oil- tanker which is practically immune against 'single torpedo attacks except in the way of the engine and boiler rooms. If struck there she is done for and settles by the stern, with no power to proceed. The new boats will have fuel-oil tanks extending clear around the ship from main deck to main deck, from the front of the boiler space to the rear of the engine room. If a torpedo strikes her there and blows a hole in her outer skin, the inside of the tank will act as a new hull to keep her afloat until the submarine rises to view her prey. Then because of her arma- ment, the ship has a chance to de- stroy the submarine. None of the oil tankers have been sunk so far in the war by one torpedo, unless hit in the engine or boiler space.

Applying the Lesson Taught by the Oil-Tanker

The bulk oil in the tankers is carried in a dozen or more separate tanks or compartments into which the hull of the tanker is divided byanoiltight longi- tudinal centerline bulkhead and many transverse bulkheads. This is why one

��oil-tanker with compartments

��A billion dollars' worth of shipbuilding means that the proposed ships will entail the production of steel enough to make two Woolworth Buildings, each 792 ft. high


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