The Warrior and La Gloire
[Edward J Reed]
eng. , wdct.
Steamships, Military Technology, Natural Law, National Efficiency, Engineering, Nationalism, Status, Government, Professionalization
Comparison of the latest British and French battleships, aimed at even the 'least scientific reader of the cornhill magazine' (202). Asserts the superiority of the British ship hms Warrior, especially with regard to its speed. Although French newspapers boast that La Gloire can in fact reach the greatest speed, proclaims that 'in the waters of the sea—where laws of nature prevail—the deductions which we have drawn from science and experience will not be falsified' (196). The urgent necessity for the complete '"reconstruction" of the navy', the author claims, 'is a scientific question'. Indeed, this 'great crisis in our naval history [...] will need all our national good sense, and all our scientific skill, to carry us securely past it'. (198) Concludes that the Warrior is 'the embodiment of great naval architectural skill, and of no small amount of general scientific knowledge'. Its having been designed in Whitehall, moreover, shows that 'under the guise of "assistants" [...] the Admiralty conceal a highly accomplished staff of naval architects'. Why, the author asks, in 'a country like this, and when we require such vital tasks performed, [...] are men of science thus masked?'. (204)
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