||M. P. Cocker
||Airlife Publishing Ltd
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For many decades the navigable waters of the world have been traversed by ships of all nations in peace and in war. and during the peace ships have foundered by stress of storm far loo often. With the commencement of war. the hazards of the sea are increased many times by reason of the weapon known as the sea mine, or mine. The evolution of the mine is dealt with briefly later in this chapter, but despite the swept channels, the seas are still dangerous today from mines that have been laid by ships of many nations. In the early 20th century the British Admiralty decided that the threat from the weapon of the weaker power, for such was the mine described, was now loo well known and foreseen on too large a scale to be ignored. Consequently, in 1908 the Board decided that a number of the smaller vessels of the Fleet such as ships of the "Alarm", "Dryad" and "Sharpshooter" classes should be converted into minesweepers. From information gained by the trials and experimentation with the purchased trawler Oropesa II and its minesweeping gear, additional trawlers were purchased from commercial owners. The other need was in the provision of minelayers; here, the Royal Navy has always depended on requisitioned vessels to a large extent, although a number of classes of minelayers have originated from Admiralty designs and conversions of existing ships of the Fleet...