# Problem: Torpedo Practice

If a fleet of sixteen men-of-war were lying at anchor and surrounded by the enemy, how many ships might be sunk if every torpedo, projected in a straight line, passed under three vessels and sank the fourth? In the diagram we have arranged the fleet in square formation, where it will be seen that as many as seven ships may be sunk (those in the top row and first column) by firing the torpedoes indicated by arrows. Anchoring the fleet as we like, to what extent can we increase this number? Remember that each successive ship is sunk before another torpedo is launched, and that every torpedo proceeds in a different direction; otherwise, by placing the ships in a straight line, we might sink as many as thirteen! It is an interesting little study in naval warfare, and eminently practicalâ€”provided the enemy will allow you to arrange his fleet for your convenience and promise to lie still and do nothing!

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### References

#### Project Gutenberg

1. Dudeney, H. E.: "Amusements in Mathematics", The Authors' Club, 1917

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