Submarines, Mines and Torpedoes in the War by Charles William Domville-Fife

Submarines, Mines and Torpedoes in the War

byCharles William Domville-Fife

Kobo ebook | March 8, 2015

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In the mist of war which envelops over half the entire world, no less than 264 underwater fighting ships are engaged. They form the submarine fleets of England, France, Russia, Japan, Germany and Austria; and the highly-trained crews of these modern additions to the fighting navies comprise nearly 20,000 men. But the conduct of submarine warfare on the grand scale requires far more than flotillas of submergible warships and their daring crews. This new branch of naval science is ever widening in its scope, its means of offence, and in its attendant ramifications. Every important naval base has its curious submarine floating docks, ready for crippled members of its attached flotilla; every naval construction department has its corps of submarine experts; each of the 1,500 surface warships engaged in this titanic struggle for the dominion of Europe and the mastery of the seas carries the means for delivering submarine attacks in its torpedoes and surface and submerged discharging tubes. The oceans in the theatres of war have been strewn with German and Austrian mines; then they have been either counter-mined or swept clear and mined again. British seaplanes, with specially trained observers, are continually searching from high in the air for the dark patches in the semi-transparent sea-green which denote the presence of mines and submarines. Within signal-range or wireless call of the aërial scouts and their attendant ships are destroyer flotillas to give battle to the hostile submarines, while hundreds of trawlers and small steamers, fitted with special apparatus, are continually sweeping up the hundreds of submarine mines laid by the enemy’s vessels which are fitted to enable them to sow like seeds over the pathways of the sea these deadly perils to navigation. Submerged wire entanglements in conjunction with boom-defences and observation and contact submarine mines protect the seaward approaches to harbours in the same way as similar appliances are used to protect the approaches to land fortifications; and every harbour, waterway and channel of strategic importance is protected by elaborate submarine mine defences. All this is part of the new warfare underseas—that science which is daily rendering hazardous the life of the greatest battleship and the smallest merchantman afloat in the zone of war. Before placing in review order the vast preparations made for submarine attack and defence in the years which preceded the outbreak of war and describing in detail the powerful submarine fleets engaged, it is necessary to make clear to the reader the wonderful change which this new mode of attack has made in all branches of naval warfare and its influence on sea power. As indicative of this change we have only to survey in their submarine aspect the naval operations in the opening phase of this, the greatest war in history. In the domain of naval strategy we find reflected the altered conditions caused by these invisible arms. Every battle on land and sea teaches its lesson of concealment and sudden stealthy attack; and even as the huge siege guns and devastating artillery fire of the land forces is causing the extension of the battle-front and the rapid burrowing under earth or entrenching of positions dearly won or with difficulty retained—“approximating to siege warfare”—so are the powerful 12 and 13.5-inch naval guns (weight of projectile 850 lbs. and 1,400 lbs. respectively), combined with the rapidity and accuracy of the modern warship’s secondary armament, necessitating the reduction in numbers of the big surface ships of the opposing fleets by frequent submarine and torpedo attacks prior to the decisive engagements between the battle fleets.

Title:Submarines, Mines and Torpedoes in the WarFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 8, 2015Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1465631860

ISBN - 13:9781465631862

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From the Author

In the mist of war which envelops over half the entire world, no less than 264 underwater fighting ships are engaged. They form the submarine fleets of England, France, Russia, Japan, Germany and Austria; and the highly-trained crews of these modern additions to the fighting navies comprise nearly 20,000 men. But the conduct of submarine warfare on the grand scale requires far more than flotillas of submergible warships and their daring crews. This new branch of naval science is ever widening in its scope, its means of offence, and in its attendant ramifications. Every important naval base has its curious submarine floating docks, ready for crippled members of its attached flotilla; every naval construction department has its corps of submarine experts; each of the 1,500 surface warships engaged in this titanic struggle for the dominion of Europe and the mastery of the seas carries the means for delivering submarine attacks in its torpedoes and surface and submerged discharging tubes. The oceans in the theatres of war have been strewn with German and Austrian mines; then they have been either counter-mined or swept clear and mined again. British seaplanes, with specially trained observers, are continually searching from high in the air for the dark patches in the semi-transparent sea-green which denote the presence of mines and submarines. Within signal-range or wireless call of the aërial scouts and their attendant ships are destroyer flotillas to give battle to the hostile submarines, while hundreds of trawlers and small steamers, fitted with special apparatus, are continually sweeping up the hundreds of submarine mines laid by the enemy’s vessels which are fitted to enable them to sow like seeds over the pathways of the sea these deadly perils to navigation. Submerged wire entanglements in conjunction with boom-defences and observation and contact submarine mines protect the seaward approaches to harbours in the same way as similar appliances are used to protect the approaches to land fortifications; and every harbour, waterway and channel of strategic importance is protected by elaborate submarine mine defences. All this is part of the new warfare underseas—that science which is daily rendering hazardous the life of the greatest battleship and the smallest merchantman afloat in the zone of war. Before placing in review order the vast preparations made for submarine attack and defence in the years which preceded the outbreak of war and describing in detail the powerful submarine fleets engaged, it is necessary to make clear to the reader the wonderful change which this new mode of attack has made in all branches of naval warfare and its influence on sea power. As indicative of this change we have only to survey in their submarine aspect the naval operations in the opening phase of this, the greatest war in history. In the domain of naval strategy we find reflected the altered conditions caused by these invisible arms. Every battle on land and sea teaches its lesson of concealment and sudden stealthy attack; and even as the huge siege guns and devastating artillery fire of the land forces is causing the extension of the battle-front and the rapid burrowing under earth or entrenching of positions dearly won or with difficulty retained—“approximating to siege warfare”—so are the powerful 12 and 13.5-inch naval guns (weight of projectile 850 lbs. and 1,400 lbs. respectively), combined with the rapidity and accuracy of the modern warship’s secondary armament, necessitating the reduction in numbers of the big surface ships of the opposing fleets by frequent submarine and torpedo attacks prior to the decisive engagements between the battle fleets.