Published Resources Details Journal Article

On sea-going torpedo boats
The Engineer
vol. 55, 23 March 1883, p. 222

Accession No.87


A summary of J A Normand's paper presented at the 1883 meeting of the Institution of Naval Architects. Normand advocated the extended use of sea-going torpedo boats of 50 to 80 tons displacement, having a maximum speed of 18 to 20 knots, capable of steaming 1000 nautical miles and manned by a crew of 10 to 15. Normand believed that if these vessels were adopted the following would occur: (1) No ironclad, no squadron or fleet, no cruisers (unless cruisers should attain the speed of torpedo boats) could navigate in a sea of moderate dimensions, such as the Channel or Black Sea, belonging simultaneously to powers at war, unless they were escorted by sea-going torpedo boats equal in strength to those of the enemy. (2) Military ports situated in those seas, or nearer than 200 or 300 miles to the enemy's shores, would be rendered useless as stations for ironclads or cruisers. (3) Powers not having military ports sufficiently far from the enemy's shores would actually be deprived of the use of their navy, with the exception of those vessels stationed in foreign neutral waters, unless they could force the blockade of sea-going torpedo boats with a fleet of the same kind and equal in strength. The above propositions were founded on the hypothesis that one squadron of 60 to 80 sea-going torpedo boats, equal in men and cost to one ironclad was stronger than that ironclad by daylight and a fortiori at night, even when reduced to half its number, by the other half having to coal and reprovision. The full text of Normand's paper and the discussion that followed was published in the Transactions of the Institution of Naval Architects, vol. 24, 1883, pp. 101-110.