Translated by Lieut. T. B. M. Mason, U. S. N.
In May, 1874, the author published an article entitled "Heavy Guns, Armor, and the Ram in Naval Actions," in which it was stated that the discussion of the torpedo was omitted, as it had hitherto played such an unimportant part in actual warfare. Since that date the Turco-Russian war has at least given several instances of the value of torpedoes when used by steam launches, although their necessity as an arm for sea going vessels is still one of theory. Commander Chardonneau has published an interesting account—collected from official documents—of the operations of the Russian steam launches, and while it is greatly to be regretted that the Turkish authorities have not given us some facts concerning the torpedo attacks against their ships, I have been able to gain a certain amount of information from the latter source, which has materially assisted me in the compilation of the following pages. These later engagements, united to the earlier and crude attempts made by the steam launches of both parties during the American civil war will perhaps give us enough data from which to draw a few practical lessons for future use.