27 NOVEMBER 1886, Page 3

The Americans are building a new ship, which will, its

designers fancy, make a revolution in the art of naval warfare. It is in itself only a steel cruiser, of 3,200 horse-power, and a speed of twenty knots an hour ; but it is to carry three enormous guns, throwing shells loaded with dynamite to a distance of three miles. The guns are steel tubes, seventy feet long, and tho cartridge is a thin copper case filled with 200 lb. of dynamite, and projected by the sudden release of air compressed at a pressure of 1,000 lb. to the square inch. The gun is said to have been tried and to have succeeded, and the ship is being actually built for the American Navy, with a contract under which, if she fails, she will be left on the contractors' hands. Dynamite-guns are, of course, only gnus of enormously exaggerated power ; but their use would probably have the immediate result of abolishing ironclads. Iron will yield like wood to dynamite, and the only powerful fleet of the future would be a thousand mosquito-boats, each carrying a single gun, and at the outside twenty men. Their danger would then be no greater than that of a group of soldiers in front of a Gatling, and, ceteris paribus, victory would remain with the sailors who mana3uvred best.