Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
the picture cast on the ground glass
of a camera you know the kind of
image always visible to the officer in
He gives few commands when the
enemy is sightecfc--Every man of his
crew is a volunteer and an expert
seaman who knows his duty and
A black smudge on the horizon
shows the position of the blockading
fleet. The commander descends from
the conning tower. Quietly he turns
to the steersman.
"Dive to 20 feet!"
"Dive to 20 feet, sir," repeats the
man at the wheel and gives the hori
zontal rudder a flip.. The little craft
slips under the water as easily as a
duck after a frog.
At the command the engineer shuts
off the gas engine and the submarine
glides along automatically as they dip
under the water and make the snip
air and, of course, water-tight. The
closeness is relieved by compressed
air. Enough of it is stored to last 24
Only the periscope shows as the
little air craft slips through the sea
nearer and nearer to Its mark. Larg
er and larger the image of a big bat
tleship grows, on the screen.
"Prepare to fire!"
The gunner takes a final survey
of his work. In a long tube, really a
magnified air gun, rests the torpedo,
17 feet long. Made of bronze it close
ly resembles a huge cigar except that
twin propellers project from the
pointed end. A torpedo flies to its
mark under its own power developed
in a compressed air engine of its own.
Now the little terror barely creeps
along. Dozens of eyes on the battle
ship are watching for it. Powerful
marine' glasses sweep every yard of
the sea's surface. But the periscopes
do not project more than a foot or
two out of the water. The color of
these little poles are sea color and
besides they dip behind every heave of
Do you suppose ron could see two 1
green fence posts sticking only a foot
or two out of a huge field of "waving
and rolling green grain 1,000 feet
Now the submersible is in good
range of its target and points directly
at the battleship as if to ram it amid
At the word the cap at the muzzle
of the tube flies up. There is a muf
fled thud as the plunger gives the tor
pedo a smart push. As it passes out a
catch depresses the throttle of the
torpedo's own engine and the propel
lers are whirring as it enters the
water. A gyroscope steadies the rud
der and the torpedo holds its course
in spite of sea swirls and currents.
The submarine crew braces for a
shock. In a moment it comes." The
little craft rolls and plunges as if in
a whirlpool. The torpedo, exploding,
has caused a mighty convulsion in
Presently the quaking subsides and
the periscope shows a listing, sinking
coffin of steel where there had been
a proud battleship.
THE WHOLE THING
"Well Bill, how's everything over
at your place?"
"Oh, he'siplretty welL thank you."