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below the surface of the water. Occa- Speaking in accurate figures, only thirtysionally, to make the thing seem real, a three per cent were in commission and miniature battleship, put together by the available for employment against a foe. men for the purpose, is blown up and Congress within the last few weeks has into everlasting smithereens.
augmented the force of coast artillery Now, Congress, in establishing the sufficiently to man thirty-eight per cent of Torpedo Artillery, has provided for five the guns—leaving only sixty-two per thousand and forty-three additional men, cent unutilizable in case of emergency. who, when they have obtained the requi- This is an improvement, but one may site training, will be a sufficient number well ask, “Where is the wisdom in econto operate all of the submarine defenses omy of this kind ?" of our harbors. This will require some The number of artillerymen required to years, and in the meantime, it is hoped, man our coast defenses is forty thousand. the balance of the money required for. Including the new Torpedo Artillery and mines and other material will be appro- the other additional men above men
priated. When these things have been tioned, Congress has now provided for accomplished, we shall have an effective twenty thousand—that is to say, onefirst line of defense-a means of protec- half of the necessary force. But peace tion for our seaports so formidable that reigns at present, and under such circumwe shall have no reason to fear a sudden stances it is hard to persuade the average raid upon our coast by a powerful legislator for the nation to vote money enemy. Within forty-eight hours after for military preparations. Efforts to the first alarm of war every harbor will educate him on the subject are not atbe completely mined-interposing an tended with flattering results, and he finds obstacle to invasion which no naval force, it difficult to realize what a complicated however strong, would attempt to pass network of machinery a modern fortress
There are now mounted in our sea is. To operate two of the great guns coast fortifications eleven hundred and (occupying one emplacement demands ninety-nine guns, including both great the services of eighty-six men, and an and small. Up to the first day of the equal number are needed to work a group present year two-thirds of these for- of six small-caliber, quick firers. midable weapons were practically use It has been said that the small-caliber less, for lack of men to shoot them. guns are used to cover and protect the
mine fields—that is to say, to prevent an enemy from destroying the mines in a channel by grappling for them and cutting their cables, or by exploding them with torpedoes of their own. This is obviously a matter of utmost importance, and the watching of the channel must be kept up at night, as well as by day, with the help of powerful searchlights. To provide the searchlights requisite for this purpose, $2,897,000 is needed. In addition to which, large sums ought to be expended for the perfecting of rangefinding systems at various forts, and for
the plotting-room from the observers in charge of the telescopes, and the position of a ship off-shore is marked on a chartall of this being accomplished with such astonishing rapidity that information of the exact situation of the vessel is conveyed, by way of the plotting room, to the guns within ten seconds of time. Thus it is that accurate shooting can be done with both guns and mortars—the latter being fired in groups of four, so as to give a shotgun effect—at distances of over two miles.
In some places—particularly at the en
the establishment of power plants to make electricity. In a modern fortress electricity is utilized for the searchlights, for illuminating the gun-pits at night, for telephone and telegraph connections covering all parts of the works, and for operating the ammunition hoists and the machinery of the disappearing gun-carriages.
The accuracy of the gun-fire directed from a seacoast fort depends mainly upon a system of range-finding and position. finding for which telescopes are used. These telescopes are connected by telephone and telegraph with a "plotting room,” which is a small underground chamber lined with concrete. At brief intervals reports are received by wire in
trances of Long Island Sound and Chesapeake Bay, in Puget Sound, and in the harbor of San Francisco—it is proposed to employ submarine boats as auxiliaries to the shore defenses. One such craft at each of these stations would serve the purpose—its function consisting in acting as scout or picket. Also, it would be extremely useful for repairing mine cables, being safe from attack while engaged in such work.
It may be added in this connection that experiments are now being made with a view to the utilization of automobile, otherwise known as "fish," torpedoes for attacking vessels from the shore—such torpedoes being made of exceptionally large size and capable of traveling four thousand yards—at a speed of something like twenty-eight miles an hour. Especially in narrow channels such a weapon might be extremely effective. But there are situations where the water space is too wide for the effective employment of fish torpedoes, and deep enough to render the establishment of satisfactory mine fields difficult_conditions under which the submarine boat is likely to prove a most efficient ally.
The northernmost of our coast forts are five, which protect two harbors in Maine. New Hampshire has three forts, all at Portsmouth. In Massachusetts the harbor of New Bedford has one fort, and that of Boston six. Narragansett Bay has five forts, and the entrance to Long Island Sound is guarded by four more, all of them very formidable. For New York City there are six fortresses, three in the neighborhood of Hellgate, and three in the harbor. Philadelphia has three forts, Baltimore five, and Washington two, one on each side of the Potomac. Hampton Roads is defended by two forts. In North Carolina there is one fort, at Wilmington. At Charles
ton there are two fortresses, and in Beaufort River there is one. Savannah has one fort.
The chain of fortresses on the Gulf coast begins at Key West, where there is one. At Tampa there are two, at Pensacola two, at Mobile two, at New Orleans (between the city and the mouth of the Mississippi) two, and at Galveston three.
On the Pacific coast there are thirteen forts in all—one at San Diego, five at San Francisco, three at the entrance of the Columbia River, one opposite Seattle (protecting the naval station there), and three at the entrance of Admiralty Inlet, a branch of Puget Sound which runs up to Seattle and Tacoma.
In conclusion it may be said that, so far as fortresses are concerned, all that are necessary have been provided, except that two are badly needed to defend the entrance at Chesapeake Bay. According to the War Department's estimate, it would cost $6,102,871 to build these forts, one on either side; in addition to which it would be necessary to expend $2,600,000 in creating an artificial island
breakwater in the middle of the water- high-power cannon at Manila, we have space. Without such an island, hostile done practically nothing as yet in the warships would be able to pass beyond way of fortifying our newly-acquired effective range of the guns on either islands—the Philippines, Guam, the Hashore.
waiian group, and Porto Rico—which, so For the construction of proper forti- far as the first three are concerned, would fications to protect the entrances of the be immediately seized by Japan, in case of Panama Canal $4,827,682 will be re- trouble with that power, without much quired. This can wait a while, but mean- hope of successful resistance on our part, while about $20,000,000 is urgently owing to the inferiority of our naval needed for the erection of defenses in our strength in the Pacific. An awakening various insular possessions—this sum not altogether pleasant may come some including guns and $3,000,000 worth of day. Our defensive policy has been ammunition. Beyond planting a few "penny wise and pound foolish.”
The Four Millions
Give me a bright blue morning
With streets all splashed with sun,
And their hearts that beat as one
Give me Broadway a-sparkle
With faces fresh from sleep,
Whose pouring pulses leap!
Then give me my place in the labor
Let my swift Fate be hurled
- J. O., in N. Y. Times.