Blindes, origine a 1940

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But he could not. Try as he might, he could not get the blower to work, and the gas was starting to overwhelm him, too. His knees were weak and he could no longer think straight. Finally, on the verge of collapse, he staggered through the bulkhead door to the berthing deck. ” Green water rolled over the deck, breaking against the pilothouse and turret, completely submerging the hull so it looked as if the ship would be buried by the sea. The gunboats were still on station, rolling so hard that they dipped the muzzles of their guns in the water.

This would put Merrimack in a position to get under way in a matter of minutes once the men from Cumberland were aboard. But the first lieutenant, rather than following those orders, informed Alden that first they needed permission from the yard’s executive officer, Commander Robb. Alden hurried off to find Robb, meeting up with him just as Robb was leaving McCauley’s office. Alden was too late. Robb, a secessionist, had worked his will on the faltering McCauley. Robb informed Alden that McCauley had changed his mind, that he, Alden, could not have the ship.

Steam, smoke, and toxic gas filled the engine room, where the engineer’s division, known as the black gang, was struggling to fix the blowers. The engine room could not be cleared of the gas without the blowers to force it out. 24 JAMES L. NELSON Monitor had two blowers. When the belt on the first one broke, the ship’s engineer, Isaac Newton, leapt to repair it before the air in the engine room became untenable. He had almost managed to get a new belt in place when the second blower gave out. Newton knew he needed help.

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