Blake of the "Rattlesnake": Or, The Man who Saved England : a Story of Torpedo Warfare in 189-

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Tower Publishing Company, 1895

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Page 5 - BOOK PREFACE HAVE not sought or attempted in this story to settle any vexed questions of theories or tactics; such matters are no concern of mine. I have tried instead to work into story-form some of the romance that clings thick around the torpedo service, to set forth some of the poetry latent in torpedo craft. Any other aims I may have had in view are, I trust, sufficiently obvious in the text to need no mention here. It has been my good fortune to have had a good share of experience in torpedo...
Page 227 - JN 29th October, the time being ripe, and our preparations complete, we put to sea with a fleet consisting of HMSS. Rattlesnake, Niger, Hornet, Dasher, Speedy, five torpedo-boats, and the colliers Elizabeth E. Greenwood, Lilly, Blanche, and Emerald Lass, which last two we had managed to pick up during our stay at Lamlash. There should have been many more vessels, but, alas ! they had gone to join the great majority since that meeting in the Vernon.
Page 247 - In three lines we steamed slowly towards our quarry, the collier Lilly being some three or four cables ahead of us. Our centre line consisted of torpedo-boat No. 87, towing astern of her six dummy torpedo-boats which we had made during our stay at Lamlash. These were each a cable or so apart, the intervals being somewhat irregular, and the tow-line was under water all the way, so as to lessen the weight and save it 249 from being cut through by shot.
Page 144 - Abo archipelago, this was not entirely a matter to be wondered at. We were steaming along one day off Dantzig, spread out over the water, the better to sight our friends, when we met a British catcher hotly pursued by Russian cruisers. The Edgar and Fox went to her assistance, whereupon the Russians retired, but more of their ships coming up shortly afterwards, we all had to run for it; and we, getting separ146 *" ated from them, never saw either our cruisers or colliers again.
Page 36 - I thus missed seeing the first sea - fight between > European ironclads, though I heard all about it a few days later from my shipmates. Hearing of a thing and seeing it are very different, however, and then at any rate, I chafed much at not having been able to witness the affair. It was pretty dull at Haslar; I wasn't bad enough to be regularly laid up; and in these early days I had the place to myself, save for an old two-and-a-half striper laid up with a broken leg.
Page 151 - We'd nothing left to fire at their torpedo-boats with, an' a couple of the beggars sneaked up an' fired all their torpedoes into us. The Magnificat went down with a reg'lar rush in eight fathoms, her bilers bustin' as she did so, an' those of us wot wos lucky swam ashore. " We got into a little cave, an' watched the Rooshians sendin...
Page 196 - As we came round the island, whence the sound of firing still proceeded, we found a battle royal in progress. The third cruiser was firing broadside after broadside at our flotilla of torpedo-boats, which were coming on her from all sides ; while some distance away the Dasher was chasing one of the French torpedo-boats. Neither the Ferret nor the other torpedo-boat were to be seen: as we learnt later, our destroyer had been literally blown out of the water, while sinking the other boat under the...
Page 83 - Azores, where a lucky shot from one of the six-inch guns she carried on her poop had disabled this antagonist. Coaling at San Miguel, she struck homewards again, keeping well out in the Atlantic, for French cruisers swarmed like bees off the Spanish coast; and she had got along all right till our eventful meeting with her off the Scillies. The Davout had come up in the night from an opposite direction, still the Vcdetta was hoping to outsteam her; but the Frenchmen were within range and firing at...
Page 36 - RATTLESNAKE." shipshape enough for us to begin to settle down. At least, Blake did ; for myself, that whack on the head which I got when the Nelson was torpedoed proved one too many for me now that the excitement was over ; and I had to lie up for a day or two at Haslar. This was unfortunate, as I thus missed seeing the first sea - fight between > European ironclads, though I heard all about it a few days later from my shipmates.

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