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From ‘The Western Daily Mercury’-10th August 1885

The War Office has resolved thoroughly to investigate the subject of charging shells with explosives of a higher power than gunpowder, the employment of which has hitherto been avoided on account of the danger, which attended their use. It is believed that, with the knowledge now possessed concerning guncotton and the various compounds of the nitro-glycerin order, it will be possible to fire shells filled with them, and at the same time keep under due control the risky property which all such agencies possess of igniting by detonation or concussion. If this be accomplished chemists assert that shells can be charged with an explosive so potent that one of them, bursting alongside an ironclad, would shatter the strongest armour afloat, and render the mightiest warship as contemptible a foe as an old wooden frigate.

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