An Introduction by Denis Cahill

This database started life as a small collection of references on fast steam launches and torpedo boats. As time progressed it assumed a life of its own and I found that maintaining it became increasingly difficult. What was a simple “Word” document containing a few hundred references had evolved into a collection of over three thousand abstracts of articles gathered from a range of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century publications, some of which were only available in specialist collections. The database is a work in progress and is constantly being added to. Furthermore, it is hoped that we will be able to link the abstracts to scanned images of the original articles thereby providing users with direct access to the material cited in the abstracts.

Journals such as The Engineer, Engineering, Transactions of the Institution of Naval Architects, The Scientific American, Minutes of the Proceedings of The Institution of Civil Engineers, The Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, and newspapers such as The Times and The New York Times provide valuable insights into the development of torpedoes and torpedo warfare. However, these sources are not always readily available. By linking the abstracts in the database with scanned images of the original articles we hope to provide users with immediate access to these what can be hard to find resources. Material covered by copyright will not be reproduced. As stated before this is a work in progress and any suggestions as to how it may be improved in terms of its content will be gratefully received.

There are other bibliographies and annotated bibliographies on torpedoes and torpedo warfare e.g. William A. Ellis, Torpedoes a list of references to material in the New York Public Library, New York, 1917., Frederick J. Milford, ‘Torpedo Technology Bibliography’ The Submarine Review, April, 1995., Rushmore, D. B., Lanman, W. and Lop, E. A. ‘Bibliography of the literature of submarines, mines and torpedoes.’ General Electric Review, vol. 20, no. 8, August 1917, pp. 675-694., Charles R. Gundersen, The Pre-Torpedo Era Inventions and U.S. Patents, Naval Undersea Museum, Keyport, Washington, 2010., Edwyn Gray, The Devil’s Device Robert Whitehead and the History of the Torpedo, (Revised and Updated Edition) Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 1991.

-Denis Cahill, April 2012