Published Resources Details Journal Article

Hurd, A. S.
The success of the submarine
The Nineteenth Century and after
vol. 54, July-December 1903, pp. 711-721

Accession No.1982A


If war ever occurs between Great Britain and France, submarines will play no unimportant part in it. Fortunately such an event has not been further from the range of probability for many years past, but this happy circumstance does not alter the fact that on both sides of the English Channel submarines are being marshalled, drilled, and manoeuvred every day with a view to use in hostilities. This insidious craft has been adopted as an instrument of war, adopted deliberately after tests of its capabilities, and adopted in the belief that it is yet in its infancy, and that science and mechanical ingenuity will further develop its powers and increase the menace which it offers already to the larger and older types of ships on which in the past both nations have relied for defence on the seas. The submarine has arrived and taken its place in the British and French navies, not as a toy, but as a weapon of warfare the value of which has already been more or less definitely assessed.

The outlook for the next naval campaign is disturbing. If the submarine fulfils anticipations, if under real war conditions it can repeat successes obtained under simulated war conditions, the terrors and losses occasioned by the use of this weapon will paralyse the imagination and may drive the heavier ships from the narrow seas. It may be that its success will only be partial, and even in these circumstances it will shatter many preconceived ideas. We shall go into action when war occurs with weapons untried - battleships, cruisers, torpedo craft, all of them to a great extent experiments, and of these there is none of which so little is known and so much expected as the submarine.

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Related Published resources


  • Hurd, A. S., 'The coming of the submarine - the new British boats', The Nineteenth Century and after, vol. 51, January-June 1902, pp. 220-232. Details