Congratulations on continuing to provide well-researched and stimulating articles. I read with interest Captain Rodney Watterson’s submission, “Midwife to the Fleet Boat,” in the August issue (pp. 34–39). Watterson’s background and familiarity with the subject of submarine fleet boat design are impressive.
I did find his criticism of the Electric Boat Company quite harsh. Certainly, it was a profit-making private enterprise, and its development of submarine designs before World War I was undoubtedly aimed toward profit. But the problem with its pursuit of its own designs and neglect of the actual needs of the submarine sailors was due more to the governmental regulatory structure of the time (or lack of it) than it was to any callous pursuit of monetary gain. If a better structure had been in place, the efforts of Electric Boat and Lake Torpedo would have been a much better fit for the needs of the submarine service.