Views of Commodore George W. Melville PDF ePub eBook

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Views of Commodore George W. Melville free pdf Excerpt from Views of Commodore George W. Melville: Chief Engineer of the Navy On the land rails of steel traversing valley, plain, and mountain make easy the path of the flying express and the fast freight, which together conquor time and distance in the binding into a homogeneous whole of the many States which form a Republic almost continental in extent- but the railroad is fixed, a permanent way, whose direction varies only with new constructions. The sea, on the contrary, gives a track-fluid, mobile, universal - which turns wherever swift prows may point, and on which massive hulls, much too huge for any form of land transit, may pass with ease from port to port. Moreover, when in 1805 - nine years after Washington wrote of America's "distant situation" - Nelson "chased half around the world a French fleet nearly twice the force of his own, scared by the very terror of his name," his fierce ardor fretted itself to fury with his ships, which through a run of 7, 000 miles of sea averaged but 93 miles a day, or less than 4 knots an hour. "Salt beef and the French fleet are better than roast beef and champagne without it," said the great Admiral in beginning his stern chase. He found that fleet, and with it death- but in the finding, through those lagging months, while drifting or beating over those leagues of sea, he must have felt to the full the limits which stinted the sea power of his time. Steam has changed all this. Over the same western ocean which Nelson, bitterly impatient, crossed and recrossed so slowly in 1805, the United States cruiser Columbia swept, ninety years later, at a speed of 18.41 knots per hour, or four and three-quarter times that of the ships which, dull sailers though they may have been, were very sure and deadly in their work at Trafalgar. This passage, in its sustained speed through such a distance, was not only a triumph, yet unequaled, for American naval engineering - it was as well a flashing illumination of the strategic fact that America's isolation, militarily, from European and Asian nations had diminished in this age in most marked degree. While it is not yet possible for the performance of the swift Columbia to be equaled in a trans-Atlantic run by armored battle ships, it seems quite certain that Nelsons speed can be increased nearly threefold, and that at this increased speed and within two weeks a European fleet of any required strength could be thrown upon our Atlantic coasts with one-third of its coal supply remaining. The geographic isolation, apparent or real, of any people has never yet been respected by superior forces. It forms no sure guard when, in peace or war, the nations of the earth come knocking at the door. Ancient Peru - peaceful, rich, unwarlike - was many leagues from Spain, and between them the waves of two oceans rolled. Yet there came Pizarro and his adventurers, soldiers less of Spain than of the lust of gold. The Inca fell, and the land was stripped of its fatal wealth- its people were enslaved, and in slaughter, torture, and rapine a noble civilization perished. In later times, China, arrogant and ignorant, learned, in a measure, the same lesson. While her officials babbled of invading England overland through Russia, the war of 1840 was waged against her by the people of that small island, parted from her by a hemisphere- and that war wrested Hongkong from her shore line, seized in indemnity $21, 000, 000 from her treasury, and by force opened five of her ports to the commerce of the world. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com

About George W Melville

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Details Book

Author : George W Melville
Publisher : Forgotten Books
Data Published : 27 September 2015
ISBN : 1332286569
EAN : 9781332286560
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 44 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
Rating :

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  • Views of Commodore George W. Melville free pdfViews of Commodore George W. Melville

    . Excerpt from Views of Commodore George W. Melville: Chief Engineer of the Navy On the land rails of steel traversing valley, plain, and mountain make easy the path of the flying express and the fast