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[295] David was inside the range of the Housatonic's guns. The men opened fire with pistols and rifles, but on came the curious little cylinder unaffected. She dove and passed nearly under the vessel's stern, drawing her torpedo after her. It struck the big ship almost amidships. Simultaneously cane the explosion. The Housatonic reeled and in a few moments lunged forward and sank bow first. Most of the officers and crew saved themselves by climbing into the rigging, from which they were taken by the small boats of the other vessels. The David had dived her last. She never came to the surface. After the war, when the wrecks off Charleston were being removed, the David was discovered at the bottom, not 100 feet away from her victim. All of her men were at their stations.

No other submarines were attempted by the Confederacy. The original David, just destroyed, was, therefore, unique, the only existing specimen of a type which has developed into such wonderworking craft as the modern submarines. All the maritime world is reckoning with them now. France is building a flotilla of them. Italy and Greece have some under construction. Germany, Russia, and Japan are experimenting with them, England has five; we have seven. Soon every navy in the world will have them. It might have been worth while for our navy to preserve this first effective type as a historical memento, rather than let it be sold for old iron.

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