From a French source has come down to us an interesting account concerning a Congreve war rocket, which was found on the coast by Gen. de Grave, who transmitted it to the Society of Encouragement, at Paris. A description made by an official examiner states that the case was fashioned from a gray paper, painted. The inflammable material was of a yellowish gray, in which the sulphur constituent could be distinguished by the naked eye. It burned "with a fierce flame while exhaling sulphurous-acid gas."

Compositions Chinoises

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Formulas for Chinese flowers.

English* writers on military subjects at this time were especially optimistic over the future of the rocket as an important weapon. They extolled as one of the peculiar advantages its slight weight and bulk, which gave facility both for its conveyance and operation. It was also strongly recommended for purposes of naval bombardment. Its advocates pointed out a particular worth in this direction because of the fact that there is no reaction from its discharge. While the firing of even the smallest piece of ordnance from the deck of a ship sets up movement in the fabric itself, the largest rocket may be sent aloft without imparting any least trace of motion to the ship. In consequence of this, the carcasse, it was maintained by its admirers, might be thrown from the smallest boat with entire safety, even though it were a projectile equal to that cast from the heaviest mortar.

It was claimed in favor of these rockets for land service that they possessed a peculiar fitness due to easy portability. They were regarded as capable of doing a large part of the work of artillery, while, at the same time, they were so simple in their construction and so compact as to offer almost no difficulty in transportation, as compared with the usual forms of artillery. It was declared that the rockets afforded a practical system of artillery that was, in effect, ammunition without ordnance.

Nevertheless, we find some French critics of this period who stoutly deny English assertions as to the excellence of rockets in warfare - despite the fact that the invention of the war rocket was claimed for a French naval officer, stationed at Bordeaux. Authoritative students of military science maintained that the rocket should not be regarded as a really useful weapon, since its possibilities were extremely limited.

As a matter of fact, there was undoubtedly sufficient justification for high anticipation over the utility of rockets in warfare. It is true that they afford remarkable advantages by eliminating ordnance. Under conditions as they were at the time when the war rocket was developed by the British, it is likely that the device must have flourished to a greatly increased extent. Its range of flight was sufficient to make it a formidable war instrument, as compared with the other ordnance of the period. But the hopes of those who waxed so enthusiastic over the achievements of the rocket were destined never to be fulfilled. The reason for this disappointment was not due to any lack of correct judgment on their part in considering conditions as they were. The advocates of the rocket did not, and could not, foresee the development that was to come in the use of guns. The rifling of barrels, and the various important improvements in explosives, produced results that left the rocket, with its limited range, wholly outclassed, discredited, and inefficient as a missile.

Fortunately, however, the failure of the rocket as a projectile took nothing from its value for other purposes; and, for.such other purposes, its merits to-day are more highly appreciated than ever before.

122021° - 19 - 5