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title: 'Pullman herald. (Pullman, W.T. [Wash.]) 1888-1989, August 20, 1904, Image 10',
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Image provided by: Washington State Library; Olympia, WA
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ON BOARD A BATTLE-SHIP.
In Action or Practice- The Crash of
Big Guns—How the" Jackies"
Stand the Modern Hell.
The war iti the East and the en
counters of the Russo-Japanese bat
tleships in deadly earnest have been
the means of arousing universal in
terest in the modern war vessel now
being so thoroughly tested. The
following article, prepared for 'the
HrKAI«D by one who has been " be
hind the guns," will be found both
enlightening and interesting to all
idstneu, giving as it does an "in
side picture" o\ the service on a
modem man-of-war's gun-decks—
some of the "terrors" which the
tailor man has to undergo, whether
in battle or at drill. All war-ships
are alike in this matter, and the de
scriptiotl applies equally well to the
cruisers of Uncle Sam as to those of
Jap. or RtISS :
"The sailor or the gunner aboard
a modern battleship, when in action
with an enemy, is not half so much
,iilaid of being killed by a shot from
another ship as he is of the noise of
his own guns and this applies to
the officers, too. They can, in a
measure, get away from the thought
of being hit because they aie too
busy at their stations to consider
that chance, but there is no getting
away from the awful noise It can
not be forgotten or warded off. In
fact, they are so absorbed in wait
ing for the crash of their own guns
and in trying to neutralize the ef
fect of the concussion that they sel
dom think of the projectiles from
the guns of the other fellows. The
only American sailor killed in the
engagement off Santiago was stand
ing 1 by the 6-itich guns, which were
just about to let loose a broadside at
the Spanish, lie was waiting for
the word to fire, and, as is custom
ary, had just raised himself on his
tiptoes and opened His mouth so
that the blast would not jar him so
heavily, when a Spanish shell came
along and took his head clean off.
But that was undoubtedly the last
thing the man was thinking of. The
sight he presented as he fell to the
deck created neither fear nor con
sternation among his companions.
They, too, were on their*tiptoes,
awaiting the word for that 6-inch
broadside. Not a man came down
to his heels after their comrade was
struck. The broadside was 'cut
loose,' then they rushed to him and
made proper disposition of his body.
" That it is the noise of their own
guns they abhor, and that only, is
shown by the fact that men-of-war's
men, fore and aft, in the U.S. navy
do not dread a battle any more than
they do target practice with the big
guns. They are proud of their pro
ficiency with the gigantic weapons,
and keen is the competition between
the ships of the fleet at the anchored
mark ; but the keenest among them
hales and abominates the noise and
terrible shocks. This is no indica
tion whatever of timidity on their
part. It is purely a physical dread
a shrinkage of the body, not of
the mind. It is a thing that few
men in the service ever really get
used to. When target practice is
announced as coming on, some of
the bluejackets will purposely over
stay their shore leave, when chance
offers, in order to avoid the drill.
A jackie who did this once upon a
time was hauled up before Admiral
(then Captain) Bob Evans, his com
mander, for explanation.
'Well, what have you JfOi to say
ng your leave?' the skip
per asked; 'you knew we were go
ing to sea fol big gun work.'
'That"s win- 1 staid on the beach,
Mr,' frankly admitted the old Bailor.
'Them big guns make me tired. 1
Five days in irons for you,' said
Evans. Then turning to an officer
at his side he added, sotto voet •
'But I'll be blanked if 1 blame the
man ; those blanked guns make me
It is a fact that half-civilized men,
fellows not highly organized, en-
dure this noise much less gamely
than men of superior order. The j
Chinese, for example, go all to bits •
I under the continuous roar. Amer
icans who helped to fight the Chi
nese naval battle at the Yalu a fewj
years ago say that the detonations
of their own guns drove 'slews' of
the Chinese sailors stark mad, and
made the balance, officers and men,
hysterical and of no use for fighting
purposes. They simply could not
stand the sharp concussions. They i
groveled at the feet of the white
gunners and implored them to stop
firing. Some of them jumped into!
j the sea and drowned to escape the
uproar. Yet a Chinaman hasn't
half so much fear of death as an
average white man.
" There is really no way of ex
| plaining exactly to my readers how
it feels to be within close earshot of
the explosion of these six, ten, and '
12-inch guns. To realize the sing
ular misery one must experience it j
himself. White men enduring it I
for the first time, especially when j
full service charges are used, have '
to keep a mighty strong clutch on :
themselves to avoid doing some-1
thing foolish. Men new to the Ti- |
tanic uproar have a peculiar and al- I
most uncontrollable desire to scream I
with all their might while the guns 1
are going, and to tear things. The j
mere concussion, let alone the strain '
of waiting for each discharge, tells 1)
severely upon the strongest men. It! f
catches most fellows about the spine 1
and jars them all over, and they re- '
main jarred for days afterward, ac-11
companied by ferocious headaches. I
The 'bang' of the 10-inch gun hits &
a man on deck first like a sharp slap I
of wind, followed instantly by a s
concussion that will rip and tear his j
uniform to rags. Hence, in battle |
or in heavy drill men and officers j'
strip to the least possible wear. It! \
seems strange that the human body j'
is not ripped and torn in the same j
way. The men on deck, however, '
are better off than the unfortunates j
whose duties keep them at stations '
below the main decks —the engi- I
neers, firemen, ammunition hoisters, j f
water-tenders, etc. The detonations 1£
ring down the hatchways with a\ '
force enormously amplified by the j I
narrowness of the passages, and the *
men below have the sensation each I
time as of being hit by an invisible |
pile-driver. The fellows on deck : J
have the advantage that they can !'
see wbfcn each shot is going to be I
fired and can brace themselves for;
it—get on their tiptoes and separate !
their upper and lower teeth. But '
there's nothing doing of that kind |
below. They must simply take it
as it comes. And it is the horrible \
uncertainty as to the exact instant '
(can you imagine it?) of the next
shot, and the next, that tells upon '
the men down there. They try to |
figure out by guess-work just when ;'
the next explosion is due, but it is |
invariably a vain and fruitless ef- '
tort. The explosion always nails I
them when they are not prepared
ior it and gray hairs and deafness J
accumulate. The language used in
the bowels of a battleship on such j
occasions is saddening.
"Ship's pets (dogs, cats, goats,
birds, even snakes) are always re- '
moved Ironi the vessel, when possi- |
ble, before big gun work. The ex- I
plosions would kill them. Seven
tine canary-birds on the battleship
Indiana dropped dead at the first
discharge of one of her guns at the I
Santiago fight. A few years ago, )
as an experiment, a number of sheep j
were placed in one turret of one of j
our ships while the 10 inch gun in
the other turret was fired. After
the first shot the animals were found
heaped up in a nice little pile, the |
deadest mutton imaginable. Yet, |
sailormen had withstood the shock
in the same turret without any per
manent injury, and are doing so to- :
day. But it is the nervous .system
that is attacked, and it stands to '
reason that, In the event of a pro
longed naval war, with these heavy
guns, the most rugged Jack Tar
would be obliged to succumb to the
' nerve-breaking concussions."
j. j. s;
BLACKMAN BROS. & CO
I I PULLMAN, WASH. 'j
i Men's Summer Suits !
■ -'• ' '-•■ " ■ ■ ■■ \ '■ ■ ■■■■■■■■• '■-■'$
j This great sale is now in progress and presents an opportunity for making a genuine s I X
(■ the cost of any Men's Summer Suits. It is our purpose in making such liberal reductions t 'a]? ngOn t
' strate more fully the merits of our Clothing, and to make it an object for every buyer to -° S|
, and examine our stock. Suits reduced as follows — . : *"• .* ; here jj
| $20.00 Men's Summer Suits —Combination Sale Price ... «• I
: $18.00 " • " " <( ...... *....... ■""■ $1500 1
I $15.00 " " " <( '..'*'""■ •••-14 50 1
! $12.00 " " <( " ; -----.. li2s;|
; $10.00 " " " " \. '""". ••-■••if'- 900?
i _ : J_ ZZZL_J*°°l
We carry the famous line of WELTED GLOVES, Water and Fire- 8
proof Tannage, from ■-■■■". |
65c to $1.50 a Pair! |
~ ~~~ : ; ; ; " ■ ' ■ . —— __ _______ 3
If you want comfort in hot weather, V";l
TRY OUR MEN'S "FINE, LIGHT-WEIGHT JERSEY !
RIBBED : UNDER-WIAH!!
at 30c and 50c. j
_ . ; . , ; ■' ■■'■!
PRICES ON SUMMER GOODS
- - •.■<;•■ ■ j
generally are low, and you should j
Look over our Bargains in this Line. I
FRENCH - BALBRIGGAN - UNDERWEAR
at 85 cents. This latter is usually good for three seasons' wear.
We have placed in one section of our shoe room all broken lots of Men's, Ladies' and Children's
Shoes; there are all sizes here, but not all sizes in each style. The lot includes our best Spring sell
ers, and for all who want reliable wearing foot-gear at a trifle of their actual value this is the chance.
You get them at 1-Scl to 1-2 off!
"■""" ■—-—■■■■ ' ' -. -■ — —— ■ ■ ■ .—__ a
-.-'- ■ ■ '.."-> v"-;..'->'',V;--V. >h.*'& \ !* - -■-.■■""■'
BOYvS' SHOILS made of Satin Calf > extra solid in all parts, built for good,
■■■ *—<v_^, hard service, come in sizes from Bto $/, and are regular
$1.05 boy's shoe—Combination Sale price, 92c. $1.25 shoes, 1 05. $1.50 shoes, 120
--■ " '■ " " . . - ■ " " ■'* ■ '-"-'.' - " '-'■ - - ' : - - ■.■-■-.■'-;■
For Poultry and Eggs
we pay the highest market price. Eggs are
now 20 cents. Chickens, ioc per
pound, live weight. ;■
. ■ . " " " - "'"■". . "" " ■ ■ ■■'."*■.,■■=, ■".-."-■ '■- ;;
; ■ * * - ■■ ■ ■ ." "; t ". - ■ -'_' - --; , - . - '2\_£L^':
BLACKMAN BROS. & CLIMP'T
[; .; PULLMAN, WASH.