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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1861 Excerpt: ... than into oak. From the French experiments at Gavre, in 1836, it was found that a projectile will not lodge in a mass of timber unless it penetrates to a depth nearly equal to its diameter; as the elasticity of the fibres will force the shot or shell out, if the penetration be not deep enough to allow them to close behind the projectile, and so keep it imbedded in the wood. Penetration into water. 45. In 1848, experiments were made to try the penetration of shot into water, when fired with small angles of depression towards its surface; upon the results of these experiments, Sir Howard Douglas has the following remark:--" In consequence of the loss of force which the balls, in all these experiments sustained, it has been inferred, that if a shot be fired with such a depression as a ship's gun will bear, it will not penetrate into water more than 2 ft.; and, consequently, that it will be impossible to injure a ship by firing at her under water. The correctness of this inference we must however be permitted to doubt, till further experiments hare been made. It is highly probable that conoidal shot would penetrate to a certain depth into the water, and strike the ship below the water line." This opinion of Sir H. Douglas has been borne out by later experiments. An elongated projectile fired from a Whitworth gun passed through 33 ft. of water, and then penetrated into the side of a ship through 12 or 14 in. of oak beams and planking. From this it appears that elongated projectiles would prove very destructive to ships, when fired at short ranges, so that they may strike considerably below the water line, for the plugging of such perforations would be very difficult, if not impossible. In order that the elongated projectile may penetrate the water, an...
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