The Harwich Naval Forces

The Harwich Naval Forces

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Excerpt: ...that were detached from the Harwich Flotilla to be lost in the Mediterranean and Baltic. The sailor of to-day has not all the superstitions of his forefathers, but, like most people, he has some belief in omens. Certain coincidences made him regard it as very unlucky to sail in a submarine when a new captain was making his first voyage in her. Within a short period four submarines that had sailed out of Harwich under new captains were never heard of again. It was also recognised that ill luck was likely to attend the first voyage of a newly launched submarine; but that, so soon as the first voyage had been safely accomplished, all was well with the ship, which would 120 then be faced only by the ordinary chances of war. To turn to an amusing example of the superstition of the sea. In the course of one cruise a submarine of the Harwich Flotilla had fired seven torpedoes at various enemy ships without result. The captain discovered one of his crew kneeling on the deck over a bucket of sea-water. He was holding under the water and mercilessly wringing an object against which he was directing a volume of abuse in terms frankly nautical. Disgusted at the failure of the torpedoes, he was drowning the ship's mascot, a teddy bear or similar doll, hoping to change the luck. I wish that I could state that the next torpedo fired sank a Hun battleship, but I have no record of the sequel. Even in war there are humorous 121 incidents, and, indeed, there are many of them. One submarine captain of this flotilla attacked a German submarine on the surface and gave chase to her with the intention of torpedoing her. But the Hun had the greater speed; the British submarine had no gun, and could not get near enough to the receding foe to use a torpedo. So the captain had to content himself with signalling insulting messages to the Hun, hoping to taunt him into fighting; but the shocked Hun dived under the surface and disappeared in order to avoid the language. On...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 28 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 68g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236712145
  • 9781236712141