Mary Hamer and Alastair Wilson)
‘In a word, the torpedo has brought into the Navy a fresh zest, a new romance, and possibilities more brilliant than were existent before its adoption.’A note on tone
Torpedos (sic) and Torpedo Vessels, Lieutenant G.E. Armstrong.
Another very formidable engine is in the process of development which bids fair to surpass even the ram – the torpedo The importance of the invention may be assumed from the fact that the Austrian government is said to have awarded £20,000 to Mr. Whitehead, the inventor. The French have sent an official to negotiate and I have advised the British Government to do likewise.In 1871, after a series of practical trials (the mention by Admiral Paget of the fact that the French were sniffing around provided a powerful incentive), the British Admiralty accepted the recommendation of the committee supervising the trials: “that it was unanimously of the opinion that any maritime nation failing to provide itself with submarine (in its literal meaning of “underwater) launched torpedoes would be neglecting a great source of power both for offence and defence”. (The submarine, in the sense of submersible boat, did not make an appearance in practical form until the mid-late 1890s.)