‘One 4.9 gun, one 3.4, and four maxims’

The matter-of-fact description of the weaponry aboard the Blitz, which Carruthers and Davies see on October 16 for the first time, includes the phrase ‘four maxims’. These days, the word ‘maxim’ is more associated with sleazy lad-mags, but in 1898 it had an altogether darker sense. A maxim is a machine-gun, named for its inventor, Sir HiramContinue reading “‘One 4.9 gun, one 3.4, and four maxims’”

‘A small German gunboat, steaming slowly west

It’s October 16th in the book by now, and the narrative has switched to Carruthers’s diary for the next few days. It is today that our two heroes encounter two boats which will form a key part of the last part of the book: the rather sinister Kormoran, which we’ll discuss separately, and the Blitz, the boat commandedContinue reading “‘A small German gunboat, steaming slowly west”

The 16th Adventure Club Podcast: Spiekeroog, snipes & the Maxim machine gun

The entry in Carruthers’s log book for October 16 makes mention of: a survey of the Muschel Balge between Wangerooge and Spiekeroog; a spot of hunting for jack snipe; encounters with both the galliot Kormoran and the torpedo gunboat Blitz – the latter armed with four ‘Maxims’. Lots for us to get our teeth intoContinue reading “The 16th Adventure Club Podcast: Spiekeroog, snipes & the Maxim machine gun”

‘Commander von Brüning, in command of the torpedo gunboat Blitz’

Where do writers get their characters from? In the case of Childers, we can be pretty sure that Davies is, to a large extent, a portrait of himself. Carruthers, we think, is an almagam of several of his real-life Oxbridge and Civil Service sailing chums. Dollman is a bit harder to work out. Perhaps he’sContinue reading “‘Commander von Brüning, in command of the torpedo gunboat Blitz’”