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QUESTION 2. Do you not think that, when you got on the Huascar's quarter, you had her not only in a very disadvantageous position to herself but in a position from which she could not easily extricate herself f ANSWER. I quite agree with you—after we got close to her. QUESTION 3. Was your speed uniform throughout the action? Was the Huascar's 2 What were they? ANSWER. Our speed was uniform during action ; so was the Huascars: eleven to eleven and a half, and ten and a half to eleven knots respectively. No hitch of any sort occurred in machinery or boilers On board of either ship. According to our chief engineer's statement our ship's speed might have been increased towards the end of the action, when she attained her highest pressure. The ship's bottom and boilers had lately been cleaned and overhauled. The Huascar had been four months out of dock—her bottom being rather foul. QUESTION 4. What projectiles did you use? What fuzes? Captain Breese says that when he was on board the Cochrane last April, both you and your brother spoke very highly of some new fuze you had just received ; what were these and did you use them ż ANswer. We used Palliser shell, provided with gas-checks; no cored Palliser shot were fired, although a sufficient number are kept loaded in battery. Two of the gas-checks were found in the captain’s cabin after piercing the plating of the stern. Quill friction tubes of not very good quality were only employed. If I remember well, Captain Breese must refer to an ebonite electric tube we received last year, and which I am sorry was not employed for want of a sufficient number of firing keys. I consider that there is nothing safer than an ebonite tube and firing key. QUESTION 5. What do you believe was the effect of the shots, which penetrated the Huascar's turret, upon the men inside? Were many of her wounded hurt by splinters from the backing? ANswer. We do not think that many were wounded by splinters from backing, but by some occasioned by shell after piercing the ship's side. QUESTION 6. Was there any particular reason why you did not attempt an electric broadside, or was that method of firing distrusted before the action began ” ANswer. An electric broadside was not distrusted, but considered unnecessary. On preparing for ramming, our guns are fired independently and in succession; the two bow guns are laid for three hundred yards right ahead, and the others on the beam close along side : these last cannot converge inside of two hundred yards. On passing alongside the Huascar, two guns on the side were only ready in time; the bow gun was fired as explained in my letter to Lieut. Meigs, and the other one missed fire from a bad tube. QUESTION 7. Did the Captain find any difficulty in handling the ship with the fighting wheel? Was the communication and reply easy % ANswer. The fighting wheel was not used in Our ship during action. As firing whilst under full speed has been often tried, I do not think that any difficulty would be experienced in handling ship with this wheel. The shifting from one wheel to the other is done in less than two minutes. QUESTION 8. When the Huascar was taken possession of, was she boarded by a large party? What was her condition, as found by this party? What steps ought an officer commanding such a party to take to prevent the destruction of his prize? Was her crew demoralized, or were they still under control? ANSWER. The Huascar was boarded, taken possession of, fires extinguished, two sentries posted, engine-room valves and water-tight compartments, (between engine and boiler room), closed by six men (riggers), two line officers and One engineer. Not a man was allowed to leave our battery or lower deck. On getting alongside the monitor, our boat was almost swamped by a crowd of sailors and soldiers carrying large bundles of clothes. I was helped over the side by the paymaster, midshipmen and other people, being received, cap in hand, by Lieutenant Gareson. The crew was in a dreadful state of excitement and fear, imploring our men not to kill them. The lining in the Captain’s turret had caught fire, and fallen through into the magazine flat; on this account, the Peruvian officers and men thought that the ship would blow up. The Officers had no control whatever over the crew ; the dead were lying about the decks—the captain's state-room being a heap of mangled corpses; the ship undoubtedly was very much knocked about. A sentry was immediately posted at engine-room and magazine door, and some of the prisoners made to help in extinguishing the fire. The engineer and firemen closed the water-tight door and valves, and put donkey in motion; the engineer reported engine, boiler and magazine safe ten minutes after we boarded her, Rifles, in perfect Working condition and about a hundred in number, were found untouched in their respective racks below. There were three feet of water on engine-room floor: bunkers full of midshipmen: wing-passages obstructed by the civil branch. The flag was lowered twice, and the Huascar's engines were stopped after being hailed by Captain La Torre to do so. We ran alongside, and lowered our only boat not inboard at the time. As regards steps to be taken by an officer boarding a prize, I really can suggest nothing (except closing water-tight doors), for it is my strong belief that a ship can easily be made to sink despite every effort of those who board her as a prize.
QUESTIONS ASKED BY LIEUTENANT J. F. MEIGs, U. S. N.
QUESTION 1. What is the light thrown on the relative value of broadside and bow fire by the fight off Angamos ? • ANSWER. We are unable to say much or even appreciate the relative value of bow and broadside firing, as we always fought the Huascar on the chase; we only fired with our two starboard foremost guns, the angle of training of which you are well acquainted with. A form of battery like the Cochrane's presents great advantages in a case like ours. QUESTION 2. How many shots did the Cochrane fire with her bow gun, with the centre gun, with the after gun? ANswer. With the starboard bow gun, 20 rounds.
QUESTION 3. Did the Captain determine to run close to the Huascar at first, in defiance of any risk he might run in approaching? ANswer. The Captain determined not to open fire until at two thousand metres range, this being the range at which our guns can penetrate an armor similar to the Huascar's ; besides he desired to destroy the enemy's ship at all hazards. The Huascar opened fire at three thousand and four hundred metres. QUESTION 4. Was all firing by guns, singly ANswer. The firing was carried on independently, rectifying the distance after every round. QUESTION 5. Why was it the Huascar was not damaged by plunging fire, when you were so near her, and why did you not ram * ANswer. We were close to the Huascar on two occasions when ramming was tried at nearly right angles; we missed, and passed about five yards astern of her; our bow gun, trained right ahead, was fired at two hundred yards, and the centre one, trained abeam, with three degrees depression, missed fire the first time and was being reloaded on the second. Plunging fire and ramming therefore never took place. One of the above bow shots hit the monitor's turret, and she immediately changed her course. QUESTION 6. Was the smoke from guns and smoke stacks a serious impediment at any time, to handling the ship? If it was, please state the positions of ships, and the circumstances of wind and weather when it was so. ANSWER. Neither the smoke from the funnel nor the Smoke caused by the firing of our guns prevented the good management of the ship. We used smokeless coal, and steaming ahead continually at almost full speed prevented any great accumulation of Smoke. At the most the battery was dark for about twenty seconds, our two fighting guns having been fired almost simultaneously. The weather was fine and clear with no wind; ship rolling quietly to an extreme (with her head east) of five degrees. QUESTION 7. When in close action how long did it take to serve the 9-inch guns? Please state the distance. ANSWER. Our men have had a good amount of training and loaded their guns in no time, i. e., thirty to forty seconds. Firing became sometimes difficult on account of the ever changing position of the enemy. Our first shot struck at one thousand seven hundred yards. Most of the firing was done at eight hundred to five hundred yards. You can take two minutes as an extreme limit of the time taken to fire each gun. QUESTION 8. How long had you been in action when you first thought the Huascar actually beaten ? ANSWER. The Huascar was considered lost or actually beaten before an hour's fighting, when her stern was about twenty degrees open towards starboard bow, and at five hundred metres distance. In this position, we had our strongest power and facility of management against the weaker part of the enemy. The nwe damaged her Stearing-gear for the second time, and the arrival of the Blanco precipitated her surrender. QUESTION 9. What was the effect on your armor of the Huascar's 10-inch shot? ANSWER. The Huascar's 10-inch Palliser shell was fired at about six hundred yards and struck our 6-inch armor on an angle of incidence of thirty degrees It penetrated three inches, removed bolts, inner lining, and broke on a beam. It probably broke up.
QUESTION 10. What light has been thrown on the question of the value of Small-arms and machine-guns?
ANSWER. Our machine guns and top riflemen were of great value to us. The Huascar's deck guns were deserted by their crews. It can be said that in a ship with guns mounted on an open deck it will become almost impossible to serve them under an enemy's fire at five hundred yards from mitrailleuses and top riflemen.
QUESTION 11. About how long had your guns’ crews been in training, and about how many practice shots had each gun-captain fired.
ANSWER. Our guns’ crews have been in almost constant training for nearly fourteen months. It is difficult to state the number of practice shots that each gun-captain had fired. In peace time Our ships are supposed to get firing practice twice a year; notwithstanding our men have had many opportunities of practising whilst cruising along the enemy’s coast.