15 JULY 1893, Page 16


[TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] Sut,—The terrible fate of the Victoria' very naturally so engrosses men's minds that but little attention has been given to the conduct of the Camperdown ' in the fatal collision. Of course, we don't expect our war-ships to be rammed if possible, even in actual warfare, but we expect them to ram. This is part of their effective offensive strength, and we expect to find them equal to it when called upon, without fatal consequences to themselves. Now, it appears the ' Camperdown' was only kept afloat after the collision with great difficulty, and by employing all hands to that sole end. Had she been in front of the enemy her capture or destruction would seem to have been inevitable. We are told that both vessels were steaming slowly ; in fact, fully allowing for the united speed of both vessels at the moment of impact, the blow was scarcely given with more than the force of a ship at half-speed colliding with one at rest. Surely the ordinary layman must be pardoned for believing that the fate of the ship which rams her enemy at full speed will be as tragical as that of her sunken foe, whatever experts may find it to their advantage to say to the contrary.—I am, Sir, &c., MONA.