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Richmond times-dispatch. [volume] (Richmond, Va.) 1914-current, August 29, 1915, Image 38

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045389/1915-08-29/ed-1/seq-38/

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"It is a fact that it would be perfectly possible for a
flotilla of German submarines to negotiate the trans
Atlantic passage and maintain itself off our coast by
means of secret bases in the West Indies, or even on
the very coast of the United States itself* By filling its
ballast tanks with oil in place of water, at the start of
its voyage; by travelling at slow speed on the surface
by night, and even by day when no vessels were in
sight, it would be possible for one of the largest sub
marines to reach our coast with a reserve of oil fuel suf
ficient for several day's cruising. A submarine base
for replenishment of oil supplies would be a very small
affair, and it could be snugly located on some unfre
quented stretch of our coast, especially in the North;
and the refilling of oil tanks could be done at night. It
is as well to remember that a surprise submarine
attack within our harbors and naval bases is to-day
physically practicable."?
From The Scientific American.
HE startling fact has been amply demonstrated
that the Germans can send their dreaded sub
marines across the Atlantlo Ocean to the
shores of the United States.
We need not pay much attention to the report
that the German submarines are already using a
baEe off the Maine coast for the purpose of operating
against British shipping. The mere fact that they
could do so is of vital importance to the United States
and should be fully realised by those Who wlBh to
protect our coasts against all possible serious war
Remember tlmt the appearance of a fleet of enemy
submarines off our const with bases of supply to
maintain them In prolonged Service would mean the
stoppage of all commerce on our coasts and In our
harbors and the torpedoing of our passenger boats, un
less we had the most up-to-date equipment to deal
with them.
To meet them we need not only a fleet as large
as any other nation, but a large auxiliary fleet of sub
marines, aeroplanes and fast patrol vessels.
By sending a submarine through hostile waters all
the way from Emden, the naval base on the North
Sea, to the Dardanelles, a distance of 4,100 miles, the
German navy has proved its ability beyond question,
to send submarines to New York, a distance practically
equal to that already covered.
These vast distances are rendered possible by the
revolutionary construction of the new petroleum
driven type of German submarine. The water bal
last tanks, which are an essential feature of the sub
marine. enabling her to rise and submerge, are filled
?with petroleum at the start of the voyage. As the
fuel tanks are exhausted the petroleum from the bal
last tanks llows in and its place is taken by water.
The petroleum engine drives the submarine while
1t is on the surface, and at the same time accumu
lates power in the electric engines, which drive the
boat when submerged.
Skilful handling of the submarine increases its
cruising radius in various ways. Steamships may be
engaged or forced to tow the submarine in mldocean
when out of reach of hostile cruisers in order to econ
omize fuel.
In making its now famous voyage to the Dardan
elles the German undersea boat had to thread her
way through the North Sea, almost constantly within
sight of British patrol vessels. It would have been
impossible for her to go south through the Straits
of Dover, because this is so narrow that It is almost
completely filled up with mines and other obstructions.
The northward course compelled the submarine to
go around the far north of Scotland. This added
1,500 miles, almost, entirely within sight of the British
IsleB, to her journey.
When the submarine reached the Straits of Gib
raltar there were numerous British cruisers constantly
patrolling the narrow waterway to be passed. The
submarine^iad pressed several Spanish steamers into
her serv.jce,* -The British patrol vessels went to in
vestigate hese -suspicious looking ships, which then
turned back to sea. While they were doing so the
submarine submerged and kept on through the straits
in an eastward direction toward the Dardanelles. The
signs of its presence, which might have been detected
by keen observation, were missed while the patrol
vessels were chasing the decoy steamers.
The new German submarine Is a comfortable sea
going vessel when on the surface, or in "surface
trim, as it is called. The decks are well above water,
the craft Is able, to open her hatches, and the ship
is navigated from the bridge. She has a long, flat
deck carried on a light superstructure^ which has
nothing to do with the submerging of the vessel, as it
is perforated to allow water to run freely in and out.
The deck is surrounded by a rail consisting of
stanchions and wire rope. She carries two masts
hinged at the deck, which can be raised to a vertical
position for carrying the wireless. When the ship is
going to submerge the wireless is removed, the two
masts are folded on deck and tied down, the hand
railing, the bridge and its fittings are taken down and
sent below. After the last of the crew has disap
peared through the hatchway it is closed and bolted
securely from within.
The submarine then is In the awash condition, the
main ballaFt tanks being filled and all hatches'and
other openings tightly secured. Jn this condition
she has a slight reserve buoyancy of a few hundred
pounds. The oil engines are now disconnected and
electric motor started. As soon as she has way on
the horizontal diving planes are depressed and' the
chip descends at a moderate angle until the desired
Sectional Diagram of the New German Ocean-Cruis
ing Type of Submarine, Which Can Cross the
Atlantic with Its Own Power, Showing the Ar
rangement of Tanks Using Oil Ballast, and
Pump-Operating Mechanism.
AA?Balancing Tanks Filled with Fuel Oil Instead of Water.
BB?Fuel Oil Suction Compartment, with Oil Strainers.
C?Main Pump Manifold.
D?Main Pump Cutout Valve, with Pump Suctions to Tanks, 1, 2, 3,
4 and 5.
E?Main Pump Suction and Discharge Pije.
F?Air Pressure Gauges.
G?Compressed Air Tanks.
H?Tank Control Manifold Valve with Individual Hand
Operating Stems.
I?Storage Batteries for Supplying Power to Electric Motors
for Underwater Cruising.
JJ?Fuel Mains from Suction Pumps to Tanks; Thes*.
Mains Are Used for
Sucking the Oil Out
of the Balancing
Tanks and Forcing
Water into the
Tanks When
depth 1b reached. The
small reserve buoy
ancy tends to make
the boat rise to the
surface, and this la
c o u n t e racted by
maintaining a Blight
degree of downward
Inside the boat is
a pressure dial
which shows the
man at the wheel
the depth at which
the boat is travell
When an enemy's
ship is to be attack
ed the submarine is
sunk until the tops
of the periscopes
only are above the
water. Through
these the command
er has clear vision
of objects on the
surface the view be
ing very much the
same ns he would obtain standing at the
Burface with good binoculars at hie eyes.
The torpedo is then aimed at the ship
from any distance ?within a thousand
yards. The German submarines use a
twenty-one-inch torpedo, carrying 400
pounds of explosive, and travelling un
der its own power at a speed of thirty
to forty knots.
If the (submarine is attacked by a -number of tor
pedo destroyers, which are the most effective surface
vessels for this kind of warfare, it can escape alto
gether by admitting sufficient water to destroy the
reserve buoyancy and settle qiiietlv on the bottom.
This is known as "going to sleep." When the com
mander wishes to rise to the surface he can do so by
admitting compressed air to the ballast tank, which
blows out a portion of the water, and starting his
electric motors. Then by lifting his horizontal planes
he can come to the surface where ho pleases.
These new German submarines have a surface
displacement of a thousand tons and are 300 feet long.
The maximum speed at the surface is about twenty
knots, and submerged they can make a speed of about
eleven knots, with a radiUB of about a hundred miles,
nt the end of which the stored electric power is ex
hausted and it is necessary to come to the surface to
generate power. When running at low speed at the
surface they can travel about 7.000 miles without re
plenishing their oil tanks.
A dozen giant torpedos are carried on tills boat.
They have fjjur torpedo tubes ahead and two astern,
making it possible for them to fire the whole of their
torpedoes in quick succession if the exigencies call
for it.
The submarine is the gun as well as the ship, and
it must be steered to aim at the object which it is
desired to hit.
It is an interesting fact That the aeroplane has
proved a very effective weapon in guarding against
submarines and is likely to be more so as the ability
of the planes to keep in the air for a long period is
increased. That is why the United States needs n
large supply of the type of seagoing aeroplanes known
as hydroplanes to defend our harbors against
possible submarine attack.
The value of aircraft in detecting submarines lies
in the fact that their height eliminates reflection at
the surface of the water just as the glass-bottomed
boats of Santa Catalina do. In clear water tho avia
tor can see a submarine at a depth of fifty feet or
more and can signal to a patrolling torpedo boat or
to a following dirigible. The latter approaching the
surface closely can drop a heavy bomb on the sub
marine, which, If It rises to repel the attack by its
high-angle guns, can be rammed by nearby destroyers.
Tho weakness of the submarine has been its in
feriority in gun power, as compared to such light
vessels as the torpedo destroyer, but this Is being
corrected, and there is every reason to believe that
we shall before long see the submarine battleship
whose details have already been thought out by Amer
ican naval constructors.
The German submarine attack by gunfire on the
liner Armenian, the sinking of the Crown of Castile
off Scilly Islands on March 20 in the same manner
by the U-28, and other recent exploits, show that the
latest German submarines are very much more power
ful in gunfire than the earlier ones. They are firing
a four-Inch shell weighing thirty-three pounds. The
sun with its recoil cvlinder and shelterine: bond is
>5 t
vi'\y ,< ?%'?
> ????/ v:.v.
:>?/)?:M*. ?
V.:^r. v.
The Actual Route Followed by the German Submarine Which eat
from Emden to the Dardanelles and There Torpedoed
Two British Battleships.
; ' ? rj-,0
i i, ?
? ?= ?
mounted upon a revolving pedestal, with seaid for
two operators. The revolving pedestal 1b Bupported
by a plunger elevator worked by a pneumatic cylinder.
The gunhood is really the hatch cover of the boat,
and when the weapon is lowered thiB cover sinks into
position against a rubber gasket in the recess at the
top of the hatch. The gun pointers take their posi
tion when the structure is down in the interior of the
boat and rise with it when the hatch cover is raiBed.
We have seen that it is easily possible for the new
est submarines to cross the Atlantic from the
European continent to our shores. The travelling
radius of 7,000 miles mentioned for these vessels
would permit them to cross and leave them a margin
of about 3,000 miles for manoeuvring up and down
our coasts. This, of course, would give them enor
mous possibilities of doing injury to our shipping, com
merce and warships.
Along our vast and thinly populated coast there are
thousands of bays, creeks, inlets and islands where
a submarine could probably find a secret hiding place
or base, secure from observation by our few naval
patrol vessels.
The coast of Maine, with its hundreds of deep-water
inlets and indentations, appears to offer a particu
larly great number of such hiding places. From a cen
tral point on the Maine coast to New York, allowing
for a considerable detour out to sea, is about 350
miles. The new submarine, after her transatlantic
voyage, could therefore make about five round trips
from her hiding place ou the Maine coast to New
York before exhausting her original supply of fuel,
lloston would be within much easier distance.
The southern part of our Atlantic coast also offers
an abundance of hiding places from which the prin
cipal ports of the South and the Gulf could be terror
ized. The Sea Ialands of South Carolina would fur
nish practically undiscoverable hiding places. Then
there are the Bahama Islands, over rive hundred in
number, and mostly uninhabited, stretching from
Florida to the West Indies. Here any number of sub
marines could bide in safety.
The submarine could not only come here and oper
ate for a considerable time with her original supply
of fuel, but there are many methods by which her
supplies could be renowed and she could be enabled
to keep up her predatory operations indefinitely.
The commonest procedure by the Germans is to
engage small steamships, generally trawlers, flying
neutral flags, to supply the submarines with fuel. The
submarine comes to the surface, a pipe line is run
from the tender to her tanks and the oil fuel pumped
In. To guard against such a procedure by an enemy
we should need a much larger navy than we havo and
constant vigilance among our patrolling vessels.
There are, of course, other ways in which the
predatory submarines could be maintained. Spies and
agents of the enemy living in our own country could
convey oil and provisions to the submarinos in their
secret lurking plnces. Our coast is 3o vast and so
poorly watched that it would be much easier to con
duct such operations here than in Europe.
Map of the Route
and Distance
That Would
JIave to Be
Covered by a
Travelling from
the German Sub
Marine Base,
Emden, to
New York.
Map Showing
Various Con
venient Places
That Could Bo
Used with Ease
by an
Enemy Submarine
as Bases of
Against New
York After She
Had Crossed
the Atlantic.
X periscopes.
Diagram Showing the Various Stages of a German Submarine in Operation from the Surface to the Bottom.
Copyright, 1018, by the Star Company. Great Britain Right* Reserved.

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