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TO THE EDITOR. Sir,--In "Mr Sp fine's answer to my remarks in to-night's paper, he says I am making ihiid-rah' deductions, ami he g<v-w <in U> prove it by making more mistakes. He savs that a 'naval battle may not he decided so much by penetrating the belt as by delivery of fire, jamming turntables, r.nd smashing important f-tations. That is correct as far as it goes, but what 1 am trying to show is rliat as the Canopus is armed with four 12in guns, and these arcprotected by 12in of armor, and the ruining tower"also, it follows that the Gcrmans, since thev co'.ild not penetrate the. belt, evon at 10,000 yards, or even 9,0O0 ; could not have smashed any other important 6tation, since tliey are more heavily armored htan the wat«r-line, for the Canoj)us had no need t<> go closer because of her bigger guns. And it takes mighty good shooting to jam a. turntable. Mr Spcnce also says I am in error hi saying the Germans could only tiro 36 rounds a minute. When I wrote that. I was referring .to their prhuaiy guns only. With their secondary battery as well they could fire 84 rounds, of which 48 rounds would in all probability never have reached their mark. Again, lis says that in primary guns alone they could fire 8,7121b a minute. Wdl. tlie 8.2 guns on the Germans can fire two rounds a minute on an average, and each shot weighs 2421b, and they have six on a broadside, so by a little multiplication your contributor will find that they can only send 4,7481b a minute, while the. Canopus could send, as Mr Spence says, 3,4001b a. minute. One must remember, though, that a. broadside of 2,3741b on either side of a ship against 1,7001b is not much good if they can't get within effective range, and two rounds well aimed from tho big guns of ths Canopus would have gone through the Germans, and put them hors do combat. I quote my speed from the Admiralty estimates, not from thos-s of a. chief engineer. 1 think 1 have proved that it would be possible, for tht> Canopus to sink - Ili - - t ">. Germans without herself getting within the range of their guns, so 1 don't conr-i*: i it as aUsurd as he says. Jn picking out Mr S pence's example for showing the- absurdity of my statement that, it takes a lot of gunfire to sink evon an old battleship, ho must mivember that the .Russians were proved to be bad shots in their war against'the Japanese, and the latter were very much the opposite. The odds would bo more, even in the <a.*n of ihe Canopus.—l am, etc., D. H. Hamilton'. December 12.

Mr Spenco replies: Jerry-building in i words achieves nothing whatever the cor- ! respondent may be; "living to show," and . Ijliat is obscure enougli. ><<> amount of in-1 accurate dabbling in naval matters will "show" that the slower bhip can <ho(>«> ■ the range, a.s the letter implies in two places. Jamming a, turntable does not require " mighty good shooting," for iho Russians managed that much for the j Japanese flagship on August 10, 1904, even though they were (as the correspondent ' lias it) "proved to l>e bad allots." He: take* credit for pointing out that the Germane could fue 36 primary shots a. minute. | This was what he seemed to throw doubt ! on in his last letter, but now makes a j shabby volte face to affirm. It may bo I true that the correspondent, and his " Ad- | miralty estimates " are far above the plane | ■ of a chief engineers knowledge, but there is no collateral evidence <if that superiority i in the letter. What, estimates were they. \ by the way? And what date? He repeat:?, the absurdity that it takes a lot of gunfire j to sink even an old battleship, and then, j by a- cheap evasion explains the ease of j the battleship Osliabia, by referring to j the quality of the gunnery. It is not a ! question of good gunnery or bad, but merely a matter of how many shots placed the battleship in a condition to sink. Two shells did it. 'The arithmetic in the middle of the letter forms, its must amusing part. It is stacked up on the innocent hypothesis that a German B.2in gun cr,n only deliver two shots a minute. As the rate of delivery happens to be 60 per cent, greater the whole jerry-bud t fabric falls with, a | cracih. You do not see this class of correspondence in tho public Press outeido or Dunediu- ■ ' J

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MR SPENCE'S NOTES., Issue 15675, 14 December 1914

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MR SPENCE'S NOTES. Issue 15675, 14 December 1914

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