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security against its powerful continental neighbours. Her military preponderance is as essential to her safety, as the maritime preponderance of Great Britain (an insular and colonial power) is indispensable to hers. Neither should be jealous nor distrustful of the other in any legitimate use which either may make of .the powers with which nature has endowed them, respectively, for providing effectually for their own security. The author makes these observations in no unfriendly spirit; he takes facts and circumstances as he finds them, and he uses them merely in proof of the necessity which Great Britain is under of taking corresponding measures to secure her own position, as a great maritime nation, among the powers of Europe. Sincerely disposed to value and maintain, in his humble sphere, the friendly relations which happily subsist between the governments of England and France, and relying on the assurances lately given by the head of the French nation, the author cannot but admire the policy by which the government of France is actuated in so reorganizing its maritime resources as to raise its navy to the highest possible degree of efficiency. Great Britain, as an insular and colonial empire, can maintain that high position in the rank of nations which she has gained by the instrumentality of her navy, only by keeping that noble branch of her service, not merely in a state barely sufficient to protect herself against any one maritime power, but fully adequate to defeat any maritime coalition to which political circumstances may at any future time give rise. And it must always be borne in mind, that, to enable the navy of Great Britain to act on equal terms with that of any continental nation, it ought by far to exceed the navy of such nation in the number of ships of war of like force. Taking France, for example: while the naval power of that country will, in the event of a war, be chiefly collected in the two seas on the shores of which her great arsenals are established, that of our country must be dispersed over the whole world with strength sufficient, in every region, to protect her numerous colonies and widely-extended commerce. The fleets of England will, in time of war, have to blockade two great ports in the British Channel, instead of one, as in former wars, and must, moreover, have dominant power in all the waters which surround the British Isles.

The manning of the British navy was, in former times, so promptly accomplished by compulsory service, that, often, the dangers which menaced the country by sea were averted by a consciousness, on the part of the enemy, that our fleets were fully prepared to oppose any attempt at aggression. But now that the Government depends upon a voluntary enlistment for the supply of seamen to man our ships of war, there is always a risk of delays taking place when a fleet is to be fitted for service; it will signify little that we have abundance of ships and of the materiel for arming them, if the brave men who are to serve in them are not forthcoming at the time of need. The French have still their law of compulsory enrolment, from which they form their ships' companies; but Great Britain has only the inducement which a liberal bounty and a careful attention to comfort on board the ships offer, to enable her to procure the men who are to defend the country and maintain the glory of her arms in naval warfare.

A brief notice of naval tactics under sail will be given in the present work, because it will be long before sails can be entirely superseded by steamengines, if this supercession should ever take place. Steam fleets will be compelled occasionally, from exhaustion of fuel or from derangements of the steam machinery, to have recourse to sails; and it is evident, therefore, that tactics with sails must not be hastily disregarded. A tract on naval warfare with steam is, however, indispensable at the present time, since evolutions which cannot be executed with precision and certainty, or even cannot be executed at all, with the sail, may be effectually accomplished by the steam machinery, while new evolutions and new formations must be subjects of contemplation; and thus it is imperative that our seamen should render themselves equally expert in both systems. Before entering, however, upon the subject of naval tactics with steam, it will be proper to devote a section to the purpose of giving a brief history of the introduction of steam as a moving power to ships, and a brief notice of the nature and action of steam-machinery in its application to the paddle and the screw, together with an inquiry into the relative values of these agents, with respect to their powers of communicating motion, and to their conveniences in the armament of ships of war.

Aug. 16, 1858.


(A.) List Of The British Steam Navy 137

(B.) War Navies Of The Several Continental Powers Of Europe

And Of The United States 140

(C.) On The Formation Of A New Code Of Naval Tactics .. .. 146

Index 149



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