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the same. I cannot think that a navy we require vessels carrying even Lord Randolph would have guns, and the gunboat alone will the temerity to argue that our not
purpose. An naval policy should be framed on armed cruiser, again, can carry that of Austria.
guns of fair calibre, and she is But I am not arguing as to a very efficient weapon for patrolwhat our Navy Estimates ought to ling the seas, and for the protection be, but that our national wants of commerce; but she is slightly should be our standard of naval armoured, if armoured at all_she efficiency; and that mere compari- is long and unhandy, and her guns sons of our naval power with that are not adapted for breaching purof other nations are barren and poses. Small guns, it has been misleading. We need command urged by Admiral Aube, the presof the sea,—we must accordingly ent Minister of Marine in France, have sea - going vessels. Other with their range of over 7000 Powers may be content with ves- yards are sufficient for all ordisels for coast defense—or ships nary purposes of destruction; but that are mere floating batteries at here at least we have the ounce most, fit only for Mediterranean of fact which is worth all these service-or fast cruisers to attack theories, as we know that the late an enemy's commerce, but of little Admiral Courbet officially exfighting value. We want all these, pressed his regret at being unable as supremacy at all points is a to complete the destruction of the condition of our existence, yet we Chinese arsenal on the river Min cannot follow the example of any with his gunboats, carrying 14 C. nation differently situated.
(572 in.) guns, in 1885: “ We wantI turn now to my second point, ed,"he says,“guns of 24 c.(872 in.), which would need several articles of at least of 19 c. (7 in.)" to deal with at all satisfactorily, We want, then, big guns, and it as it is the tactical question of the has been proposed to carry them day; but I will endeavour to sum in floating batteries of slow speed. up the relative value of different M. Gougeard, late Minister of arms shortly and in general terms. Marine under Gambetta, who died
We have the gun, the ram, and recently, in a thoughtful treatise, the torpedo. The big guncan published in 1884, called “La only be carried by a big ship, or marine de Guerre, son passé et son by a small one which has sacri- avenir,' whilst he condemns huge ficed speed, sea-going qualities, ironclads, advocates foating batprotection, coal-carrying power, or teries for the attack of forts, and some of these desiderata.
fast torpedo-cruisers of 1700 tons. A gunboat, I apply the term to M. Gougeard points out clearly a small craft carrying one or two how important speed is in view of big guns, has its uses. It draws modern torpedo development; and little water, is powerful for the his floating batteries are only prodefence of harbours or for bom- posed for attacking forts, the torbarding the enemy's forts, but it pedo being the arm of the ships, is obviously not weapon for which he considers as “ navires de ocean service.
A gunboat may be haute mer.” fairly seaworthy, but she cannot The late M. Gabriel Charmes, keep the sea unless nursed by a a brilliant French writer, whose large vessel or transport. Cer- writings in the • Revue des deux tainly, for the usual purpose of Mondes' have received much at
tention, was more severely logical comparatively small vessels; and than M. Gougeard. He would it has been pointed out triumrely for a navy entirely on torpedo- phantly that these formidable little boats and small gunboats, while he craft cost very little. A torpedowould strictly limit the size of the boat classed as first-class a few former and the calibre of the guns years since was 87 feet in length, of the latter. This is perfectly and cost about £8000; but boats logical ; but it has the objection of of this class were found to be ignoring the necessity for any guns dangerous, and it is difficult to except those of small calibre, and say what is now considered a firstit cannot be supported by any class boat, as they have increased competent authority.
to 112, 120, and even 150 feet in admitted to be necessary, and guns length in some instances. The of large though not necessarily of late Admiral Arthur, an experienormous calibre. If these guns enced torpedo officer, in a lecture are to be carried in effective men- at the United Service Institution of-war, which will be useful for last year, spoke of torpedo-boats ordinary purposes, they must, as costing £25,000 each, about the far as can at present be seen, be cost of a “jackass frigate" of carried on board large ships, whose former days. vital parts and guns' crews are As I write, I hear of an ironclad protected by plating.
torpedo-boat, 166 feet long, built The ram stands on a different for the Japanese Government by footing. It is a valuable weapon Messrs Yarrow & Co. of offence under certain circum- Commander Bainbridge Hoff, stances; but
useless U. S. N., in his lecture, to which I against forts, and offer no protec- have already referred, speaking of tion against torpedo attack. An the torpedo-boats which accom. ironclad is always a ram, and a panied the Particular Service heavy vessel like the Polyphemus, Squadron under Admiral Hornby built for ramming purposes, has in 1885, says that at the close its use ; but no one could pretend of the operations they were “50 to rest our maritime supremacy on badly used up—battered like old rams only. The automatic torpedo tin pans, leaky and slow, with the has too evidently placed the ram frames showing through the platsomewhat in the background, as it ings like the ribs of famished is unnecessary to run the risk of beasts—that they would have been damage to one's own vessel by worthless against an enemy. ramming an opponent, if she can This caustic reference to these be sunk by the discharge of a boats refers no doubt to the smaller Whitehead torpedo. This, how- class, which had been severely tried ; ever, is somewhat begging the but the description is scarcely exquestion, as many hold that the aggerated, and I doubt whether ram blow is much more sure than even the new class of torpedothat of a torpedo; but it is cer- catchers, 200 feet long and of 450
in the fear of torpedoes will tons, intended for a speed of 19 frequently keep the ram at a dis- knots, will have sufficient strength tance. The ram can be and is and power to be efficient sea-going carried by all large vessels ; but vessels. to ensure the maximum effect to a But the torpedo-yes, the much ram, she should be of medium size dreaded, much-vaunted torpedo with great speed and handiness. has distinct limits. However dis
The torpedo can be carried by charged, it has its limits of speed and range, into which I need not warfare, torpedo-boats would atnow enter; but above all, it is tack and succeed in destroying useless for many purposes.
large ships, when it is admitted It is good for destruction of an that many, and perhaps the maenemy afloat, but there its use jority of the assailants, would be ends. A single gun fired from a sunk. There must be some limits, gunboat may be useful in protect- as is well known, to the risks ing a landing-party, can shell ex- which will be incurred even by posed troops of an enemy, can brave men, and I object to the effect considerable destruction on money argument as altogether shore at long ranges, can sink inapplicable. The argument to attacking boats, and do many which I refer is put much as other services.
follows: "A certain number of A whole flotilla of torpedo-boats torpedo - boats, say ten, costing would be useless under similar £100,000, attack an iron d, costcircumstances, and they might, if ing £600,000; eight of the attackcaught unawares, be themselves ing boats perhaps are sunk, but destroyed by a few shots from a the remaining two escape, and desingle gunboat. When we come stroy the ironclad.” It is then to torpedoes carried by big ships pointed out that “the torpedoor ironclads, the torpedo takes a boats sunk have only cost between secondary position of value. It is £60,000 and £70,000, and that intended to add to the power of the their loss of life has been some big ship, and not to supersede her. 100 men, while the ironclad cost
As to the power against big £600,000, and was manned by, say, ships of the torpedo and the tor- 500 men.” The fact of the extrapedo-boat, I venture to think that ordinary determination that would both are overrated ; but we urgent- have to be shown by the assailants ly want more experiments on these in such a case is conveniently overpoints. Our
experiments looked ; but it is certainly more against the Resistance show that, probable that, after a few boats with every advantage in favour of had been sunk, the remainder the torpedo, the old ironclad re- would not press the attack. mained afloat, though seriously Such are some of the fallacies injured ; and the French and Ital- on which the arguments for the ian experiments point to a similar torpedo are based; and I venture result. The French strengthened to think that an impartial study an old ironclad, the Protectrice, of the facts of the problem will and exploded a Whitehead torpedo show that however useful the ram against her last year, and failed or the torpedo may be as adjuncts to sink her. The Italians, before to naval power, a country such commencing their new ironclads, as England cannot rely solely or Sicilia and Ré Umberto, exploded mainly on these arms. They are, a charge of 80 lb. of gun-cotton indeed, simply destructive in their against a section representing a nature, only useful against an submerged portion of the Sicilia enemy afloat. They might destroy at Spezia, and were so satisfied an enemy's naval power, but they with the resistance of the ironclad, have no conservative force. that these two vessels of 13,000 It is acknowledged even by the tons were at once commenced. strongest advocates of the torpedo,
I think, too, that it is untrue that torpedo-boats would require and unpractical to assume that, to be supported by transports under ordinary circumstances of carrying reserves of
stores; and the question immedi- ventilation was conducted by artiately arises as to whether these ficial means, the axiom being that transports should not be able to the fighting value of the ship was defend themselves. If this ques- in no case to be interfered with. tion is answered in the affirmative, But we have changed all this; it we at once come to the big man-of- was found that the officers and men war again; and the really absurd had to live, the fight might never but strictly logical contention, from take place, and in case it did it the torpedo advocates' point of was more important to keep the view, of M. Gabriel Charmes, that living mechanism, on which, after a maritime power should depend all, everything depended, in a entirely on small torpedo - boats, healthy condition, than to prevent falls to the ground.
a chance shot doing some small What, then, should be the proper damage; so in our more recent function of a navy such as England ships, skylights, ports, and scuttles, requires ? The answer cannot be giving the necessary air and light, better given than in the words of have been allowed, with the result the distinguished French admiral, of corresponding comfort and effiJurien de la Gravière. He asks, ciency under ordinary circum“ À quoi peut servir une marine pus stances. It appears to me that And he answers, “A occuper les this illustration shows the way in grandes voies maritimes."
which we should consider our navy This is our first necessity, and generally. It should be suitable large ships and large cruisers are for ordinary everyday use, and it required for this duty.
cannot be constructed solely to It is evident, too, that we must meet any special theory of war. meet any enemy on even terms, and Let us take the bombardment of if rams and torpedo-boats are im- Alexandria or the French operaportant factors in modern naval tions in China, in both of which warfare, we must not be behind- cases naval force came into play, hand in placing our fleet, to use but in neither of which would an expressive Americanism, “be- rams or torpedo-boats have been yond a peradventure,” by being of much use. I am aware that a armed at all points, and we must great deal was endeavoured to be accordingly possess similar vessels. made of the use of torpedoes by But naval power consists in the the French in China; but a careability to carry out other duties ful consideration of the operations than that of fighting an enemy in shows that they played a very the open sea.
subordinate part, if indeed all that It is too easily assumed that in was done by the torpedoes might speaking of a navy we have sim- not have been at least as well done ply to be prepared to fight a rival, without them. On the other hand, who will meet us more or less on both after the bombardment of even terms; but peace service, and Alexandria and after the destrucwarfare against weaker or less tion of the forts at the mouth of civilised nations, have also to be the river Min, after the big guns thought of by the admiralty. had played their part, numerous
In the ironclads built ten to landing-parties were wanted ; and twenty years ago, it was thought
one of the weaknesses necessary to sacrifice everything to of the modern ironclad or turretcomplete armour protection : mess- ship,adapted solely for action at sea, decks and cabins were not allowed that she could not furnish enough scuttles, skylights were tabooed, men to meet these requirements.
I hold, then, that, while modern and dogmatism, they have certainly arms and inventions must not be not been clearly stated; and I now ignored, we must enlarge our views propose to show the shipbuilding so as to embrace all the duties re- policy actually being carried out quired of a great maritime Power, by the leading maritime Powers. unless we are to sacrifice much of The following table is from a what has generally been held to be return called “ Navies of England included in the term naval suprem- and other Countries,” moved for by асу. It may be necessary here to Lord Charles Beresford, and preadd, that among modern weapons · sented to the House of Commons I have not forgotten the Norden- on 17th May last. The return felt submarine boat, but that I gives names and much detailed ininclude it as a development of the formation ; but as there is no sumtorpedo, very formidable under mary, I am responsible for classifycertain circumstances, but essen- ing the results in a tabulated form. tially limited in its action.
It will be seen that I have adopted I have given above general indi- the term “ battle-ships" as prefercations of the views on which I able to that of ironclads, as the hold that our naval shipbuilding latter term would strictly include policy should proceed, which are, I lightly armoured gunboats, while believe, those of our best naval the large Italian vessels are not authorities at the Admiralty and properly ironclad at all, being unelsewhere, though probably, from protected by armour at the waterour national objection to formulas line.
The building of the Brennas and Charles
Martel, 2 first-class ships included in French list, has been suspended by Admiral Aube; but it is said that their designs are faulty. The French have in addition 8 ironclad gunboats
of 1000 to 1600 tons building. Baltic and Black Sea fleet are both in
cluded. Russia has two ironclad gun
boats not included in above. Germany has in addition 14 armoured
gun.vessels, carrying 9 to io iuches of armour, niostly i gun only, and of 800
to 1000 tons. One ironclad, the Italia, and 3 building,
Lepanto, Sicilia, and Re Umberto, are
the largest yet designed by any nation. Austria has a small armcuired gunboats
not included in the autre.