Verdict—in re Captain
Steamships, Military Technology, Accidents, Controversy, Politics
A discussion of the conflict within the Admiralty following the wreck of the turret ironclad, HMS Captain. Begins by noting the vitriolic exchanges between the First Lord of the Admiralty, Hugh C E Childers, and the government's chief ship designer, Edward J Reed. Suggests that the only clear conclusion from the 'minutes and replies' is that the sea-lords and 'their constructors' are to blame. Alluding to Reed's unpopularity at the Admiralty, notes that he 'rose on his chief' and that since the Admiralty would not 'lean' on him they 'pierced their hand'. The outcome of this disagreement was the loss of the ship. Laments the huge cost of the wreck in terms of money and lives. Ponders the question, 'What odds at whose door heaviest blame should lie?'. Concludes by insisting that 'all the blame rests on you all'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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