MACHINES MAY WEAR OUT
AND vSETTLE LENGTH OF THE WAR. How long will the war last? That U a question that has been the subject of much speculation, and the various causes that tend to prolong or shorten this terrific contest have been considered from every point of view. An editorial in the ' Scientific American ' raises a question by discussing the endurance of the machinery used in the war, rather than that of the men engaged. Tins article, says in part: This is very largely a machine-made'war, and it would be a curious and not altogether illogical denouement of the great struggle if its end should be hastened through the fatigue of the machine rather than the exhaustion of the man. The war as Wi-ng fo-ugYit, -sviVh the gun and t-lie motor car. and so strenuous and uninterrupted has been the. struggle that these have been put to a test of endurance the like of which has nevar been witnessed in the history of artillery or tho briefer but very strenuous, history of the- gasoline car. The. life of the gun, so far as its absolute destruction by bursting is concerned, it practically unlimited, but not so its accuracy life. Every time a gun is fired some of the interior surface of its bore and delicate rifling is wiped away, and a certain degree of its accuracy is lost. This is true of the shoulder rifle, with its bore so small that it would not much more than admit a lead pencil, no less than of the great 16in siege gun of the Germans. Fortunately for the infantrymen, the wearing out of the bore decreases rapidly with a decrease in the size of the bore. Erosion, as it is railed by the artillerymen, is greatest In the large guns and least in the 0.30 rifle. Tho big guns which form the main batteries of warships and are emplaced in coast fortifications can fire from 160 to 250 rounds (dependent upon the pressure and heat in the powder chamber) before they begin to lose their accuracy. The motor car is a highly-deve-loped machine, which calls for careful upkeep to maintain it in full efficiency. In ordinary commercial service the motor car and the automobile, receive, as a rule, considerable care and watchful maintenance. In the present war, however, the treatment of these vehicles must, in the nature of things, be absolutely brutal, and the depreciation must be very :-apid. Where are the repair shops that can keep pace with this depreciation, and how shall the necessarily enormous wastage of the \rar be made good ? It may well be that the fatigue of the machine rather than the weariness of tho man will hasten the close of the present war.
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MACHINES MAY WEAR OUT, Evening Star, Issue 15700, 14 January 1915
MACHINES MAY WEAR OUT Evening Star, Issue 15700, 14 January 1915
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