Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/931

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England's Great Under-Sea Wall of Bombs

A combination of nets, bombs and patrol boats affords protection from the most daring submarine

��STRETCHED across the Straits of Dover, to guard the English Channel, and strung opposite many other stra- tegic points

��held in the adjacent meshes. Against the resulting explosion the intruder has not a chance. At least once a week, more often

twice and

��around the coasts of England are hundreds upon hun- dreds of miles of ex- plosive raid- preventing nets. These silent, life- less contrap- t i o n s of bombs and cables are nevertheless the most vigilant watchers of the sea. Ger- man torpedo boat de- stroyers and even sub- marinesmay steal past British pa- trol boats. But if they get through the nets, it can only be said that a miracle has happened.

England, after three years of ex- perience has made the nets too foolproof for that. A special rust-resisting cable is suspended from an uninterrupted line of buoys. The buoys are merely steel barrels made water tight. Directly below each barrel is a cor- responding anchor to keep the nets vertical and taut at all times. At every few inter- sections of the net cables, the high-explosive bombs are placed. The slightest jarring of the net by an intruder will set off the bombs

���German torpedo boats and submarines may steal past England's patrol boats. Through her nets, however, they cannot go

��sometimes three times in a week, an explosion is heard at the "bar- riers," as the lines of nets are called, which announces that an ene- my vessel has gone down in its attempt to break through.

What is especially significant about these nets is that they work as well at night as dur- ing the day. Here, again, they have an advan- tage over the patrol boats. Neverthe- less the pa- trol boats must guard the nets and see that nei- ther enemy airplanes nor torpedo boats have a chance to sink the steel buoys. The combination of nets and patrol boats forms a practically invulnerable protecting wall, which is never allowed to become broken or disarrayed.

Repair boats are constantly making need- ful patches, and are ready to renew even an entire section of a net should that be neces- sary at any time of the night or >day.


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