Page 3714

3714 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

nailed upon it a canvas target 17 feet by

21 feet. Then for five hours for varying

distances the ships sailed back and forth

firing at the target. When the target

was finally examined, it had not been hit

a single time. Convinced of the need

of improvement, Roosevelt promoted Sims

to the rank of commander and made

him official inspector of target practice.

Under his able management gunnery in

the navy was revolutionized, and Sims

became known as the father of target

practice. He also introduced many other

improvements, and by cutting out all

waste motion, standardizing movements,

and synchronizing efforts, he reduced the

time required to load and fire a big gun

from five minutes to thirty seconds.

In 1910, in a speech in Guild Hall in

London, Sims had declared: "I believe

that if the time ever comes when the British

Empire is menaced by an external enemy,

you may count upon every man, every drop

of blood, every ship, and every dollar of

your kindred across the sea." For this

speech he was reprimanded by the home

authorities, but a day came when he was

able to remind the British and his own

people of his prediction. Admiral Sims held

command of our naval forces in European

waters throughout the war, and cooperated

with our Allies in a manner that won their

regard and admiration.

The work of patrolling a large part

of the Atlantic was soon taken over by

our navy, thereby releasing British vessels

for use in the North Sea and other waters

close at home. Early in May, a considerable number of destroyers was sent to

British waters and arrived at Queenstown in such good trim that they were

able to set to work as soon as they had

taken on fuel. Later, their number was

considerably augmented. Many cruisers,

converted yachts, and submarine "chasers"

were also sent abroad. Hydroplanes and

dirigible balloons were provided in course

of time.

Meanwhile, American armed merchantmen continued to make voyages through