Page 3749

3749 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

so sure were we to get after him, that,

toward the end, he rarely ventured more

than a few miles from his base."

The American vessels were frequently

attacked by submarines and had several

narrow escapes. On one occasion, a submarine unintentionally rammed the flagship New York and dented her bottom

and demolished the starboard propeller.

It was thought that the blows from the

propeller sank the submarine. On the

way to dry-dock to make repairs three

torpedoes were fired at the New York

by hostile submarines, but she was not

hit. Once when some of the American

ships were guarding and supporting a

convoy of 30 or 40 vessels off the coast

of Norway, hostile ships fired six torpedoes

at the vessels but not one was struck.

Upon the whole, the duty of the fleet

was monotonous and it was subjected to

many hardships. The main base of the

Grand Fleet was in the bleak harbor of

Scapa Flow in the Orkneys. The weather

in that region, especially in winter, was

exceedingly bad, with cold, sleet, snow, ice,

and heavy seas.

The American ships formed, of course,

only a small part of the whole fleet. According to Rear Admiral Rodman, on

entering or leaving port the column of

ships of the Grand Fleet, excluding destroyers, was on an average 65 miles long.

On one occasion it was 76 miles long.

Three other battleships, the Utah, Arizona, and Oklahoma, were sent over in the

early summer of 1918, under command of

Rear Admiral T. S. Rodgers. These vessels

operated from a base at Berehaven, Ireland,

protecting convoys and keeping guard

against enemy raiders and other craft.

The work of transporting troops to

France was put in charge of Vice Admiral

Albert Gleaves. Up to the time of signing

the armistice 2,079,880 men were transported overseas, with a total loss of less

than three hundred. Men said with truth

that the crossing through the submarine

zone was made safer than going motoring

on Sunday afternoon.

By no means were all these men carried

on American ships. According to Admiral

Gleaves, 48-1/2 per cent were carried in

British ships, 46-1/4 per cent in American

ships, and the rest in French and Italian

vessels. The United States furnished,

however, 82-3/4 per cent of the convoys.

A very great many of the troops were

carried over on former German liners.

The giant Leviathan, formerly the Vaterland, alone made ten trips and transported

over 94,000 men.

In a speech in London in October, 1918,

Admiral Sims revealed some interesting