10 MARCH 1877, Page 3

The Berlin correspondent of the Times states that General S.

Berdan, of the United States, has invented an instrument which will greatly improve and cheapen the art of killing. He calls his invention a "range-finder." It consists of a telescope and other instruments, all of which can be carried on a dog-cart, and which enable the engineers to measure with perfect accuracy up to 2,000 metres, or say, 1,500 yards. The time needed to ascertain dis- tance is only two minutes, and the General believes that his in- vention will double the accuracy of artillery fire, and quadruple that of infantry. The Berlin War Office is already trying the in- strument, and the British Government also is asking for particulars. It is curious how much science just now does for the attack, and how little for defence. The only recent idea of the latter kind is the spade-bayonet which enables irregulars to throw up earth- works almost as rapidly as a corps of navvies, a great advantage to a population trying to defend itself. What is now wanted is a weapon by which a population like that of Bosnia could render the advance of all but the very best regular troops impossible.